10 things to do in an airport

Ms Penelope Pickwick’s Books 2017 – What Books are on your bookshelf?

I am a New Year’s Resolutions kind of gal.  I am that crazy, somewhat OCD person that makes a goal list every year and does her best to get ‘er done.  At the beginning of 2017 I realized that my goal sheet needed some sprucing up…it was BORING!  I renamed categories and just added a healthy dose of fun into the titles and the goals themselves.  Today, I’d like to share one of those goals about books I wanted to read in 2017 with you.

I created a stack of 10 books to read throughout the year.  That was it.  Boring.  Snore.  Probably not going to happen even though they are staring me in the face every. single. day.  And then I remembered something.  When I was in 3rd grade my teacher held a contest.  She created a bookworm for each of us and for every book we read (think Golden Books back then) we added another segment to our bookworm.  I adore reading and my bookworm went around at least two of the walls in our classroom.

So that’s what I did!  This year I created a bookworm and named her Ms Penelope Pickwick and she is beautiful!  I’m not a crafty person, but I AM creative.  I cut out circles on pretty paper and every time I finish a book I add a segment to Ms Pickwick which now goes along an entire wall and started onto the next wall here in my studio.

In honor of it being November and I’m down to my last few books for the year, I’d like to list the books I’ve read here for the year and give you a little rating (solely my opinion, of course) from 1-5 stars and why.  Enjoy and happy Reading!  If you have any comments on any of the books listed here please feel free to let us know so that everyone can decide which one to buy next!  (Links to buy included below and the order is in what I read first, second, etc.)

Books I’ve Read in 2017 (So far…)

Beauty and The Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen – 5 Stars!

This was the first steampunk proper romance I had ever read and devoured it with ease.  Mystery, fantasy, love, women who kick-ass and take names.  This is an incredible read!

The Love Dare for Parents – 2 Stars!

I am a HUGE fan of the movie, Fireproof and the workbook available called The Love Dare so when I started having some trouble with my teenager it seemed like a good fit, but while I am Christian this book seemed a little too fire and brimstone for me.  There was some good advice, but I would not recommend this book.

My Fair Gentleman by Nancy Campbell Allen – 5 Stars!

After I read Beauty and The Clockwork Beast, I wanted more Nancy Campbell Allen (you can listen to her podcast interview with me here) and this was the next one.  While not a steampunk romance, it is a play on My Fair Lady and devoured this one in 24 hours flat.  Yep, it was that good.

The Assertiveness Guide for Women by Dr. Julie Hanks – 5 Stars!

Dr. Julie Hanks was a guest on the podcast (listen here) and her method is pretty much foolproof.  Loved her interview, loved this book, and believe it can help you learn more about yourself and finding the strength to be assertive in your life.

Louis L’amour Favorites: Bendigo Shafter, Borden Shantry, Brionne, The Broken Gun, The Californios, Callaghen, Catlow – All 5 Stars!

This year I completed my collection of novels by Louis L’amour via second hand stores, thrift stores, used book stores, and finally some on Amazon.  He is one of my favorites and I never tire of the good guy winning!  Glad I didn’t live in that era of old western towns, but can’t get enough of these!

The Artists Way by Julia Cameron – 5 Stars!

My husband bought this book for me Christmas 2015 and it took to the end of 2016 to crack it open.  I was really interested, but other books came first  What I didn’t know is that it was a workbook and would take weeks to complete.  I learned more about myself during those weeks than I have over the last decade.  It is a MUST READ and is phenomenal in its content.  It was through this book that I got the idea for #PlayDates and #Recess and was a influence in me finding my creativity and learning that I was actually creative!  Who knew?

The Mismatched Nativity by Merrilee Boyack – 5 Stars!

This is truly a children’s book, but because I had Merrilee on the podcast (listen here) and we talked about this very book, I had to get it and read it for sure.  I highly recommend it for your young’uns!

The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann – 5 Stars!

“A Little Story about a Powerful Business Idea” is so good that I still have the 5 steps of business on my dry-erase board in my studio.  Want a teaser?  The first one says, “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment”.  Get it, read it, enjoy it, implement it!

Kissing A Frog by Sharlene Hawkes – 5 Stars!

This was recommended to me by my best friend, Elizabeth and not only did I read it, enjoy it, and implement parts of it – I then asked Sharlene to be on the podcast and you can LISTEN HERE!  Miss America 1985 and the first foreign-born Miss America ever – you will love her!  There are only 95 copies of her book left in print and if you click here you will be directed to my website where you can get an autographed copy just for yourself!

The Conference of The Birds by Peter Sis – 3 Stars!

Given to me by a friend, it is beautifully illustrated and hard to understand.  Maybe I am just too simple to get all of it’s deeper meaning, but it is now my coffee table book because the artwork adds beauty to my home.

The Vicar’s Daughter, A Heart Revealed, Lord Fenton’s Folly – all by Josi S Kilpack – All 5 Stars!

Josi stole my heart long ago with her recipe/mystery novels featuring Sadie Hoffmiller and I’ve never looked back.  I was so deeply honored (and am a crazy huge fan!) that I asked her to be on the podcast and she accepted!  (Listen Here!) These three are some of her best proper romance books to date and I fall in love with her all over again every time I read them.  I went on a bender here obviously and read three in a row!  Highly recommend all three, but would read A Heart Revealed before Lord Fenton’s Folly – interconnected just a bit, but still can be read as stand alone books so pick your favorite!

You Have 4-Minutes to Change Your Life by Rebekah Borucki – 4 Stars!

This is an insightful book on how you can fit meditation (even four minutes) into your daily schedule.  It is definitely a way to do that, but found myself only giving four stars because I’m not very woo-woo…sorry ladies!  I loved the stories and indeed love Rebekah “Bex” Borucki so much that I had her on the podcast and had an incredible interview!  (Listen Here!)

Strong Is The New Pretty by Kate T Parker – 5 Stars!

If you need a Christmas present or birthday present or graduation present for any girl or woman in your life, look no further…this is it! There are not a lot of words, but little there are makes an impact.  Even more impactful are the images.  Kate’s photography in this work is worthy of any bookshelf or wall.  I found myself going from laughing to crying to being all out contemplative as I consumed the photos that fill it’s pages.  A must have for you and anyone else you can think of.  Want to learn more about Kate?  Listen to her podcast here!

There Is No Good Card For This by Kelsey Crowe, PhD – 5 Stars!

Another guest on Lauri’s Lemonade Stand The Positivity Podcast for Women (Listen Here!) Kelsey has empathy down to an art and in fact teaches it to other via her workshops.  In all honesty, I didn’t read the book before our interview.  Then this happened:  One of my closest friends started going through a divorce that still isn’t over as I write this and I felt like I could be a better friend.  I then devoured the book within a couple of weeks and started using its wisdom immediately.  It’s worth every penny – get it!

The Secret of the India Orchid by Nancy Campbell Allen – 5 Stars!

Don’t need to say another word more than what I did on her first two books listed above other than I can’t wait for her next steampunk romance coming out in 2018!!

Money, A Love Story by Kate Northrup – 5 Stars!

Ladies, this book is tailored just for you and your dirty money secrets you might be hiding.  Don’t hide under the covers about your finances any longer…Kate take you through her own experiences and what you can start doing right now today to make a difference in your personal finances.  True eye-opener and guess what?  She tells much, much more during our LLS Podcast interview (Listen Here!).

Choose Yourself by James Altucher – 5 Stars!

This book is all about possibilities.  Believing in possibilities.  Coming up with new possibilities.  It was so fun (even hysterical in some parts) to read and chock full of knowledge about how to Choose Yourself in this world in the best possible way.  Implementing even one part of this book could seriously change your life.  Try it out!

Books I’m reading right now (Unfinished)

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene’ Brown

Maybe It’s You by Lauren Handel Zander

Bragg’s Healthy Lifestyle by Paul C Bragg, ND PhD and Patricia Bragg, ND PhD

Better Each Day by Jessica Cassity

What’s on your bookshelf?

Would love to hear recommendations on new books, give me your two cents on any of the books written above and let me know if you purchase any of these based on the above reviews.  I would love to hear from you!

The Airport Play Date

The Airport Play Date

Let me start by saying that if you are planning your #playdate at the airport, there is not a lot of help on the internet about what to do while you are there.  In the end I took a bit from everyone and made up most of it on my own.  I made it more of a treasure hunt to be documented with selfies to cement the deal.  Here’s my treasure hunt list:
1)  Find the ugliest/craziest hat in the gift shop, put it on and take a selfie.  I didn’t have time on my way in, but I found it and took a picture on my way back into town…yuck!

2)  Take a picture of the departures board and pick a place you want to travel to.  I didn’t end up with any exotic options, but I chose Portland, Oregon because the guy I was talking to, David, suggested it because the house from Goonies is there…I would totally go see that!

3)  Find the craziest souvenir in the gift shop.  I chose beer stein looking salt and pepper shakers from Pasadena.  Are there people who would really buy beer stein looking salt and pepper shakers that say Pasadena on them??  Maybe I missed the memo.
4)  Take 2 Selfies with a stranger.  I chose David from the departures board, and this lovely flight attendant which brings me to the 5th item that I couldn’t bring into fruition…read on.

5)  Try and acquire a set of wings from the captain.  Remember those?  They would give them out to kids when they traveled.  Well, guess what?  They don’t have them anymore and haven’t had them for years according to this lovely flight attendant.  I asked her to think of something and she did!  She came back with a plastic cup, a napkin, a cookie, and pretzels and said it was the best she could do.  She gets an “A” for effort!!
6)  Find an airport sign that is laughable.  I found one!  In the Burbank airport there is a long stretch of red carpet that runs the length of the path of gates.  If you are paying attention you notice that it isn’t just for decoration, there is a purpose and a sign.  It tells you that the red carpet is supposed to remain clear of people…no loitering basically because it is meant to be used in an emergency only.  Really?  For what emergency?  A shooting where we all run for our lives?  A gas leak that again, has us running for our lives?  I guarantee that no one is going to be looking at that sign or the color of the carpet when that happens.  The best part?  No one was reading it.  There was one person (who moved before I got a picture)  sitting against the wall, on the red carpet, directly under the sign.  No joke.
7)  Take a picture of 5 pieces of artwork at the airport.  Burbank has a hall of art with Amelia Earhart!  So cool!  And Phoenix has an entire exhibit of crazy art there.  Do all airports have art?  I think so…the ones in the Dallas airport…all of the sculptures are pretty incredible.
8) Take a photo with a member of the airline staff or a security guard.  You should get extra points for the security guard…they are super paranoid!
9)  This is a freebie.  I just wanted to be on the look-out for something strange or weird that wasn’t already on my list.  I found it!  Flying Cats!  I sat down and talked to this poor lady who had both of her cats in small carriers and the cats were meowing like mad.  She told me she had already given them Xanax and it was having zero effect.  I took a video, laughed a bit, felt sorry for those poor cats (and their human mama) and chalked this one up as done!
10)  Two plane photos.  You saw my first one at the top looking over Burbank as I took off.  The other one was the best I could do from within the airport, but it totally counted!
Moral of the story…if you have an airport date…here’s the short list to cut and paste and print out.  It really was a lot of fun and required me to use my social skills and to be brave in talking with complete strangers, videoing flying cats, taking pictures of myself in crazy hats and taking a picture of the beer stein Pasadena salt and pepper shakers without the employee looking at me like I might shoplift at any moment.  Be adventurous!  Tell me about your latest #playdate below.  
1.  Find the ugliest/craziest hat in the gift shop, put it on and take a selfie
2.  Take a picture of the departures board and pick a place you want to travel to.
3.  Take a picture of the craziest souvenir in the gift shop.  Or buy it and give it to someone as your next white elephant gift at Christmas this year.
4.  Take 2 Selfies with a stranger.
5.  Try and acquire a set of wings from the captain.  (Let me know which airline you get this from because American Airlines isn’t doing it anymore…so sad!)
6.  Take a picture of an airport sign that is laughable.
7.  Take a picture of 5 pieces of artwork at the airport.
8.  Take a photo with a member of the airline staff or a security guard.
9.  Freebie!  Find something weird/strange/out of the ordinary that isn’t on your list.
10.  2 Plane Photos – One from inside the plane/One from the outside.

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