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@therealchefaj is full of life, has an excellent memory, and has the key to Ultimate Weight Loss. She is funny, she is a skinny bitch, and she loves to sing song parodies about weight loss. 🎶 You will not be disappointed in this amazing podcast episode with the talented, vivacious Chef AJ! Copy and Paste this URL to Listen: Apple.co/32jFhwA ...

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One marathon in 1967 set @kathrineswitzer on the path that would direct the rest of her life. The first woman to enter and compete in the Boston Marathon was quite literally attacked by a race official who tried to pull of her bib number while she was running and who later had her disqualified. She then became an advocate for all women athletes when in 1972 women were allowed into the Boston Marathon and later the Marathon for women was added to the Olympic Event Calendar in 1984. Come on in and listen to this short interview with Kathrine Switzer (she is a busy lady and we were honored to get this time with her) and learn how you too can be FEARLESS!! Cut and Paste to Listen: bit.ly/Fearless261 ...

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Celebrating Summer Solstice by hosting a Poetry Party this evening! How will you celebrate? ...

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Jo Ellen was instantly my best friend from the moment we got on the phone and figured out how to upload her Skype since getting a new computer before starting our interview! She is completely down to earth and I love the fact that she practices smiling and that we eat Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups exactly the same way (even if mine are vegan!). You’re gonna fall in love with Jo Ellen Soesbee and this lovely episode! Cut and Paste to Listen Now: bit.ly/Soesbee ...

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“To human" is a VERB. Ready to be who you've always wanted to be? Learn to human better with Inner.U The NEW online coaching course ... Use my coupon! LEMONADE75 @laurenzander_coach @handelgroup bit.ly/LAUNCHDAY ❤️❤️ ...

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Love running into past guests and friends at events! @ladiesallride Lindsey still wearing a smile with her wheelchair...she is awesome! #MakeLemonade ...

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I don’t believe in Happy Endings...check out today’s blog on my website at laurislemomadestand.com to see why! ...

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There are so many wonderful things to say about this photo! First, friendship! @kristie_godfrey0426 is one of my beauties and was in from out of town...we laughed and laughed and laughed some more! Second, I love cruising in my Lauri’s Lemonade Stand Mobile! Third, we tried a new Vegan Restaurant! I had the gluten-free fluffy pancakes, tofu scramble with peppers and onions, with hash browns for brunch...delish! #MakeLemonade ...

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Don’t miss this week’s blog and email - Part 2 of 4 on goal setting! Last week was all about Dreaming Big and this week we are taking some time for self-reflection. ...

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@with_vs_at Kyla Mitsunaga! Thank you for sending me your book! Kyla is a TED speaker and a last guest on Lauri’s Lemonade Stand, A Positivity Podcast for Women episode #124. Check out her new book WITH vs AT! ...

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Is crying socially acceptable? Copy and Paste this link: https://laurislemonadestand.com/art-of-holiatry/embrace/ and let me know your thoughts! ...

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Negative Nelly or Positive Polly? It was the best of positive times and the worst of negative times… After being in airports for over 14 hours I have come to the conclusion that they bring out the best and the worst in people. Negative Energy VS Positive Energy. This story is one about my journey from Southern California to Boise, Idaho for a Women's Conference I was booked to speak at. ...

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These are a few of my favorite things...Will you tell me yours? ...

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Tell me one area where you are strong. Mine is falling and getting right back up-sister, that takes strength! ...

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Keep Moving! Not only is this the title Maggie Downie’s latest book, they are the words she lives by and teaches at @personaleuphoria. Maggie is an expert on body movement and especially the movement that can alleviate pain. Come on in to this LLS Podcast episode and learn how the “No Pain, No Gain” movement has hurt us as a culture. Learn the difference between your superficial muscles and your stabilizer muscles (super important to know the difference ladies! And I had no idea myself before this interview). You will learn the best movement is what speaks to you and is fun, but you will also learn some great tips that you can start doing today to alleviate pain in your body. Maggie’s website, personaleuphoria.com has an amazing blog for you to check out as well as other resources to her social media pages and of course her new book, Keep Moving! Why wait to start feeling better? Simply copy and paste this url and get moving now! bit.ly/MaggieDownie ...

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Health isn’t just about your physical body. Embrace your WHOLE self! #MakeLemonade ...

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Gray IS the New Blonde! While you can find @grayisthenewblonde as @victoriamarie.ig ‘s social media and website AND in t-shirt/tank-top/hoodie form - the most exciting thing is the #grayisthenewblonde documentary coming out this March! More and more women are “embracing their gray” or “celebrating their silver” (whichever resonates more with you) and while not all women are taking this track (you do you-we love you!), Victoria is here to support and empower those who are ready to make the transition. This @grayisthenewblonde documentary has been several years in the making supported by friends old and new, along with the literal blood, sweat, and tears needed to make such a historic film. I’ve made the switch to GRAY and LOVE it!! Will you? Listen in to this week’s LLS Podcast and tell me what you think! Simply copy and paste this url and enjoy: bit.ly/LoveMyGray ...

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The Boring Bliss of Routine

Is your routine answer “Life is busy.”?  It’s the unmistakably counted on answer when you ask someone the dreaded socially correct question now known as a greeting in our fair culture of “How are you?”.  Is  your response different?  A “fine, how are you?” perhaps?  I’m just as guilty as the next person and it has become habit to say either “fine, how are you?” or if I know them a bit better, “I’m busy”.  And if I hesitate (usually trying to think of how I really am so I can answer honestly) the person asking the question immediately thinks that something must be wrong in my life and jumps to conclusions that who knows what that has formed in their minds from sour milk to my dog dying.

Now that I’ve formed this little rant on the “how are you” question…I HAVE BEEN BUSY! Haha!  I can honestly answer that my life has been busy.  You have to understand that I am crazy OCD and an organizational freakazoid who has dialed in my “to-do list” and my “must-do” list so I’m practically scheduled out every day of the week.  Throw in a trip to Oakland for a family affair, my women’s conference where I was in charge of the almost 50 women volunteers, a couple of relatives popping in to say hello for a few days, and a planned trip coming up for four days the end of this week, and I pretty much throw my perfectly laid out plan out the window.  Well, not all of it…but it does get a bit more stressful and trying to shove 6 days of work into 3 days of available time.

BUSY VS ROUTINE

After some recuperating and catching up I realized that sometimes I consider my life boring.  Not bad boring, but routine boring.  The same old things week after week.  The same chores, the same workouts, the same type of work.  Wearing my retainers every night, praying, meditating, daily reading, meals…all of it!  And then I remember my younger adult self.  Scattered, not settled into a career or a happy marriage.  When the dust settled on the last two weeks and as I look forward to this coming weekend trip, I realize that I LOVE the BORING BLISS OF MY ROUTINE.

I love that I’m the first one up every morning because my hubby and puppies are not morning beings.  I love going downstairs and getting a glass of water first thing and putting away the dishes from the night before and laying out my breakfast utensils.  I love saying my morning prayers, and doing my daily reading and journaling all before the rest of my household awakes.  I absolutely LOVE everything about Lauri’s Lemonade Stand…from the podcast, to the blog, to Ms Penelope Pickwick (My Bookworm).  I love the routine of cooking dinner or just going out if it’s been a long day and that I watch movies most weeknights with my hubby (If you haven’t seen the movie Embrace…or I Feel Pretty…I highly recommend them!).

In today’s blog I just want to publicly acknowledge the boring bliss of my routine.  I absolutely love it.  I love the busy moments and the quiet moments.  I love the growth moments and the bliss moments that happen after the growth moments and I realize that I’ve learned something new.  I love the boring bliss of my routine!  The next time someone asks “how are you?”  I will answer “Really Good, and you?”  What will you say?

“The Big Fat Fail” – My Stab at Poetry

Poetry can be inspiring, motivating, heart-wrenching, powerful, but it always inflicts emotion.  It can pull at my heartstrings or just make me laugh.  Writing poetry is a hobby for me and I have decided to keep a notebook in my backpack just for this purpose.  While sitting at the car wash a couple of weeks ago (why does it take them so long?) I penned this one I call The Big Fat Fail.

Enjoy and let me know what emotions you feel when reading it by commenting below.  Feel free to share your stories of taking your “sucking lemons” failing moments and how you turned them into “sweet lemonade”!

Fail Rubber Stamp

The Big Fat Fail

Fail forward, they say!  And I can’t disagree,

but it’s hard to focus while nursing skinned knees.

Bumps, bruises, scrapes, the inevitable aches,

the road rash of crashing, but that’s what it takes.

To live is to fail, that’s the lesson I’ve learned,

through age and experience, or just getting burned.

20/20 vision for me has ALWAYS revealed,

every fail that I’ve suffered has earned me more steel.

Failure = Opportunity! To this I confess,

I love who I am now, having passed or “failed” each test.

Be sad in the moment, scream, cry or kick,

but look for the good, and lickety-split,

you’ll find your opportunity, practice!  Give it a whirl!

The Big Fat Fail can turn (I promise) into your pearl.

Want to read more poetry?

Check out Mary Oliver’s biography here and buy one of her books, House of Light here.

Goal Posts 2 of 4 – Reflection

Reflection

One of the funnest things I did before actually writing my goals down was reflect on my past years of goal-setting.  I have been printing out and posting my yearly goals on my bulletin board since 2010.  I kept them in a tidy little file folder tucked away in one of my office drawers and hadn’t thought much about them other than to put the old ones in at the end of each year. 

Not this time.

It was so great to reflect on some of my goals and what I was into at that particular time.  How my physical goals have changed from running a half marathon and now I’m racing mountain bikes.  Saving for Boobs had been on my list, but 2 years later decided they would be a “BIG” pain and get in the way of my physical fitness goals.  How many classes I wanted to finish to gain my high school diploma and how that goal came true in it’s entirety in 2012 when I graduated!

From knitting a blanket (yes, it’s still on there after three years) to completing a Shutterfly book.  From spiritual goals that were met to eating right.  It has been wonderful to reflect and introspect and ruminate over goals accomplished, goals that turned out not as important as I had thought in the moment and just how I’ve grown over the last 8 years while navigating my 40’s.  A crazy, mixed-up, wonderful, growth of a ride for sure.

Now it’s your turn:

    • What are some goals that were important to you at the time, but turned out less important as years passed?
    • What did you spend time on and wished you hadn’t?  Now vice versa…wish you had spent more time on, but didn’t?
    • Accomplished any bucket list items lately?  Can you add one this year?
    • Are your goals attainable within a specific time frame?

Now that you’ve Dreamed Big, and done a little Reflection, tune in next week to figure out how you can attain your goals by getting them into Bite-Size Chunks.

Don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know all about your goals and how your reflection of past goals have been for you. 

Love hearing from you!

Goal Posts 1 of 4 – Dream Big

 

Dream Big

What does it take to be focused on setting goals or what I have termed “Promises”?  This year I decided to shake things up a bit and use different description words and generally make my goals a lot more FUN!  I wanted to use my creativity and playfulness – we can sometimes be so stodgy, strict, and stick-in-the-muddy when it comes to making our serious goals. 

Why?

I decided that while I am serious about reaching my goals there wasn’t a reason on earth not to make them fun, playful, creative and attractive. 

The next Four Blogs will be entitled:

Dream Big, Reflections, Bite Size Chunks, and Accountability

For today, let’s focus on DREAMING BIG.  How would you complete the following sentences?

    • If money were not an option, I would______________________________________________.
    • If I could set my fear aside, I would______________________________________________.
    • My dream job would be____________________________.
    • If I had extra money to donate to any philanthropic organization I would pick__________________________.
    • 3 Things I would add to my bucket list__________________________________.
    • 3 Movies I’ve always wanted to see but haven’t taken the time are_____________________________________.
    • If I had an entire day to myself I would spend it doing__________________________________.
    • If I had more time to workout I would do_____________________________________.
    • My Secret Destination Dream vacation would be_____________________________________.
    • Something purely fun I want to learn___________________________________.
    • I want to retire at age__________________.
    • If I wrote a book it would be titled___________________________________.
    • 2 Projects I’ve put off for entirely too long____________________________________.
    • 1 House Project that I would love to finish this year____________________________________.

You get the idea here, right?  Allow yourself to dream big.  The goal of this exercise isn’t to necessarily see them ALL happen this year, but to realize or work on them throughout the year.  Is Paris your dream vacation?  Start a savings account specifically for that purpose, play a French film with subtitles while eating a crescent to keep your dream alive.  Have a nagging house project?  Write down what it would take to accomplish that goal. 

For example, last year I wanted to get new carpet upstairs so long before that became a reality I started saving for the carpet, picked out the carpet and pad as well as got quotes for installation.  Want to donate to a philanthropic organization but don’t have the money you would really like to donate?  So what!  They appreciate all donations.  I donate $10/month to PCRM and this year my husband picked 4 different charities he wanted to support at $5/month each.  Do something…not nothing.

And just as a side note…I do have on my promises list for something purely fun.  My hubby and I are going to learn to pop wheelies on our mountain bikes!  Yes!

After filling out your DREAMING BIG categories, it’s time to make them fun.  Please tune in next week for the Reflections topic where I look at my goals that I started printing out in 2010 and how this year I changed them from stodgy to playful.

If this was helpful, please leave a comment below as I would love to hear from you!

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3 Foolproof Ways to Eating Healthy by Samantha Russell

Samantha Russell, Live The Whole

3 foolproof ways to make healthy eating really work for you

by: Samantha Russell with LiveTheWhole.com

Healthy eating is hard to stick to. Sometimes it feels like the whole world is against you, with birthday parties, food-centered holidays, and potluck parties every second weekend.

I recently did a bunch of interviews with hard-working and accomplished women who all struggle to eat in a way that feels good to them. The number 1 thing they identified as getting in their way the most was consistency.

They all have so much knowledge about health, nutrition, and the way the want to be eating – but feel like life just constantly throws them curve balls and encourages them to eat more cake, buy more ice cream, and make exceptions to their plan all the time.

So, how can you make healthy eating actually work for you in a consistent way? Here are 3 foolproof ways to make healthy food choices your automatic ‘go to’ every day.

Step 1: Set SMART goals

Goals are great – you probably have them for your career, and maybe even your relationship, but have you stopped to formulate some great food and eating goals as well?

Just like any other goals in your life, healthy eating goals need to be SMART, or

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Resonates with you, and

Time-managed.

This means you have to think hard about exactly what you want to do, how you’ll measure your success, how to make the goal realistic for you and fit into your life, and when you’re going to pause and assess how things are going.

The problem with most healthy eating goals is that they go something like “I’m going to start eating better”, or “I’m going to cut down on carbs”, or even “I’m quitting sugar from now on”. There’s nothing wrong with trying any of these, but you’re going to need a better plan if you want to succeed.

For example, a SMART goal for “I’m quitting sugar” is:

“For the next 2 weeks (time managed), I am not going to eat or drink any sugar or added sweetener (specific + measurable). Instead, I’ll have a piece of fruit and drink green tea if I feel I need a little something extra (resonates + attainable).”

Step 2: Plan your meals the night before

Meal planning is the most helpful action step you can take to make healthy food choices easy – because you’ve already made them.

Simply sit down for 5 minutes before you go to bed and write down exactly what you’re going to eat the next day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and drinks.

Yes, even if it involves looking up the menu of a restaurant. By making food decisions when you’re relaxed, not hungry, and can give them your full attention, you’ll make way better decisions that are more in-line with your goals.

Now, with the food decisions already made, all you have to do is stick with them. If you feel like you’re going to struggle with that, this is where step 3 comes in.

Step 3: Have an emergency recovery plan

No matter how SMART your goals are, or how much planning you do, there are definitely going to be times when it’s still hard to make healthy choices. Consistency is really key when you’re habit building, so I like to use the superpowers of

  • The bigger picture,
  • Meditation, and
  • Switching gears

To help stay on track.

No matter how dedicated you are to changing your eating, stress, tiredness, and social pressure (to name just a couple of things!) can all make some really convincing sounding arguments as to why you should choose fast food tonight and “start eating healthy again in the morning”. Sometimes that’s ok, but when it’s happening multiple times a week, you’re not going to reach your goals.

So, when you can feel temptation or stress getting the better of you, take a moment to think about the bigger picture of why you want to eat healthier. Is it to be a good role model for you kids? Feel better in your body and be confident you trust yourself with food? Or to avoid carrying on the family history of type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure? Thinking about this bigger picture helps keep you motivated and on-track.

Some Lauri’s Lemonade Stand Podcast episodes that are great for this:

Interview with Katie Arms – take a moment out of your day to find out how Katie took a massive life-curveball and made it work for her on every level.

Interview with me – learn more about my struggle with change, eating, and consistency and how I personally made lasting change.

Interview with Makeda Pennycooke – learn how to transform you fear and make yourself feel safe.

The second secret weapon is meditation. You’re not going to want to do it – but trust me, put an app like headspace on your phone and when you feel yourself going off track in a way you don’t like, pop in your earphones and take a 5 minute timeout. Sometimes that’s all you need to refocus and get on with your day (and stick to the food plan you made the night before).

And finally, when you feel cravings creeping up on you, try mentally switching gears. Research shows that taking a break and doing something totally different with your brain reduces the intensity of cravings. In fact, the research was done using the game ‘Tetris’, which you can put on your phone right now. Fun, and helps you stay healthy.

The process of making healthy eating a habit is really all about practice, but it’s also about being prepared. Don’t expect (or even aim for) perfection, but you can definitely make healthy eating easy and automatic if you follow the 3 steps outlined above. Every great choice you make creates a positive cycle of self-trust, momentum, and motivation that can move your forward each day – towards a happier, healthier you.

About The Author:

Samantha runs Live the Whole and is certified by the Institute for the Psychology of Eating in the US, has a certificate in clinical and pastoral counseling from the University of Glasgow in the UK, and has a degree in psychology from Massey University in New Zealand.

Sam specializes in helping clients manage and heal their relationship with food, body, and self. She uses a blend of positive psychology and mind-body-nutrition connections, along with traditional coaching and counseling methodologies. She works together with clients to uncover the root causes of unwanted eating so they can feel happy, free, and in control.

We would love to hear your feedback so drop us a comment below – we read them ALL!

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!

25 Kinds of Journals to Keep

25 Kinds of Journals to Keep
In a recent podcast interview with Laurie Blackwell (Episode 27), we talked the inside out and sideways of journal writing.  Upon finding out our mutual passion of the subject, Laurie created this amazing list that includes 25 different kinds of journals you could create.
Laurie also teaches online journaling classes at www.laurieblackwell.com.
Check out the podcast interview here.  Enjoy and get journaling!
25 Kinds of Journals to Keep
  1. A Diary :: a fictional pen-pal to write to about all of your happenings and feelings
  2. Historical Record of Days :: think Lewis and Clark, complete with weather reports and sketches of objects encountered
  3. Art :: filled with pages of color, collage, drawings
  4. Travel :: a reflection on and memories concerning a trip away from home
  5. Pen-Pal :: You complete a page, send it to a friend who makes a page and sends it back to you
  6. Grief :: a way to remember and honor someone you loved and now miss
  7. Positivity :: a book to keep all happy thoughts and good happenings in so you can remember how wonderful life really is
  8. Wish :: a place to keep all those things (thoughts, clippings, pictures) of the things your heart desires
  9. Dream :: record the subconscious happenings in your mind while you sleep (upon waking up, of course)
  10. Family :: a place where everyone in the household can express themselves whenever they like (such a keepsake!)
  11. Letters :: where you write all the letters you will never send but have to put out there
  12. Book :: a record of all the books you read – when, what, and your own personal review
  13. Bullet :: the ultimate “get it done” way to organize
  14. Relationship :: a place to store mementos, dates, and details about your life together
  15. Wonderful Words ::  put all the words that sound beautiful or mean something special to you in this book, including their definitions
  16. Poetry ::  write down all your favorite poems, the ones that really move you, all in one journal
  17. A Place to Vent ::  All the stuff you’d like to get off your chest;  write it down here and when the journal is full, throw it away!
  18. Things I Never Want to Forget ::  memories throughout your life that you want to treasure forever
  19. My Favorites  ::  a place to record all those things you love the most, like your favorite restaurant, movie, song, scent, season…
  20. Recipes :: all the tried and true yummy food and the ones you’d like to make
  21. Patterns :: patterns you love – pieces cut from cloth, magazines, catalogs, and drawings of patterns that you’ve seen or from your imagination
  22. Healthy Me ::  what you eat each day, goals for being healthier, an exercise log, etc.
  23. Doodles ::  a place to draw to your heart’s content
  24. Money ::  where you record all the money that comes into your life and how you spend it;  a pretty and concise way to watch your pennies
  25. Reflections ::  an account of things you do and how they could be improved in the future;   this is a game-changer

The Mom Gear

The Mom Gear
Grand Baby Visit October 2016
“Can you watch the kids for a few days?”, my eldest daughter asks.  We have a wedding to go to and then I can get ready for Riley’s 4th birthday party.  I will bring them out to you (about a 3-hour drive) and then you can bring them back for the birthday party.  “Of course!”, I say, “That will be fun!”
Never mind that they had never stayed the night at my house without mommy before and that my youngest left at home is a Junior in high school.  Never mind that I’ve gotten used to actually sleeping through the night and have been spoiled about having most of my time as my own.  Never mind that I rarely change poopy diapers or have to keep “mimi’s”, “b-b’s”,  and “mina’s” definitions straight.
Now, don’t get me wrong…I absolutely adore my grand babies.  They are super cute, loaded with energy and say the funniest things I’ve ever heard.  They are fascinated by the littlest things, call big rocks volcanoes, know how to make my youngest dog do tricks on the walking bridge by our house, and save roly-poly’s by picking them up and putting them on trees.
They finish a huge breakfast eating waffles, bananas, strawberries, and some dry cold cereal to boot and walk away only to be back 15-20 minutes later telling me they are hungry. They dump the entire toy basket out and put it all back at least 5 times a day and that doesn’t count the other two where I put them away for them.
After two days I remembered what it was like to have the extra “mom gear”.  The Mom Gear is only available to moms of young children when they need it.  It’s like a super power that can only be called on when it’s needed.  It’s something akin to the mom’s having an extra pair of eyes in the back of their head.  It keeps you moving when you’ve been up several times a night to a child needing their “mina-mina” (which is a drink to my 2-year old grandson by the way), their “b-b” which is his pacifier, or his “mimi” which is his blanket that he can’t sleep without.
It’s the extra gear you find when you’ve already run 4 loads of laundry that day, but then you forgot to put the 4-year old in a diaper for her nap and she peed during her sleep so you have to do one more load and then scrub the bed.  It’s the extra gear that gives you patience when something you have owned for a very long time gets broken from curious little hands and makes you realize that the kids are far more important than whatever it was that broke.
I was ever so grateful that as a Gram who had not been in this situation for quite a long time that I still had my “Mom Gear” well intact somewhere in the depths my being.  Today, I am grateful to be in the stage of life that I’m in, but I am even more grateful to all of you mom’s like my oldest daughter who possess the “Mom Gear”.
You are incredible.  You are making a difference in this world with every smile, every load of laundry, ever meal prepared, every errand run, every time you’ve had to call on the strength of God for more patience.

Grandbabies

You young moms rock!  This is a shout-out to all of you, but a special shout out to my eldest daughter, Erica.  You are a beautiful, caring, loving mother.  I am so proud of how you are raising these beautiful grand babies of mine.  You matter.  You rock.  I love you, period.
Share pics of your babies/grandbabies  (mine are shown here) and tell us a little story about your “Mom Gear” in full force and effect!

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