Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Witch of Lime Street [Book Review]

It has been awhile since I have written a book review. I have been trying to do them more on my YouTube channel however right now our family is sharing Hands, Foot, and Mouth. My throat is super painful to talk, eat, and swallow. I have been putting off this review and need to get this over and done.



I was excited for this book for a few reasons. I got an ebook copy and hard copy. I was excited by this because I knew this was a book that would be of interest to me and some other family members. Which the hard copy comes in handy PERFECTLY for sharing. 

The book started out really great and interesting. Until I was about 60 pages in. At that point there just wasnt enough to hold my attention. I wanted to continue and to like it, but it just fell flat. 

HOWEVER, I will say I LOVED the cover. I did not realize it at first but after falling asleep on the couch and waking up in the middle of the night and going into my bedroom, the book was GLOWING on my nightstand. Everywhere that is green in the picture above (the border and around the photos) is glow in the dark 

Over all, I think this is an ok read. Its certainly not the best (I couldn't bring myself to finish), but not the absolute worst either

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Things I have said to my child!

In the process of moving this weekend, I have had quite an adventure. Saturday was spent moving my husband and I into our new apartment and today I am watching Lucas, my niece Paige, and nephews Mike and Nick. While I am here babysitting, the rest of the family is moving my sister Cat into her new trailer.

Earlier in the week since Stephen had to go to work I figured Lucas and I would spend some time at the apartment getting a few things setup as we had dropped a large haul of things bought from Walmart and Target off the day before. While in the new apartment I plugged the Winnie The Pooh nightlight into Lucas's room for him to view and look at while I was unpacking things. As soon as I had done so he pulled the cover off the light, leaned down and licked the light bulb! I promptly had to in a stern voice say "WE DO NOT LICK LIGHTBULBS."

When I was leaving the house earlier in the day to head to the apartment my dad passed me a package that had showed up at my sisters house for me. It was my latest Blogging for Book pick. I figured I would have it sent to her address because I did not at the current time have an idea of when it would ship and if we were going to be at our new place or not.

Oddly enough that night after putting everything away, I sat down on the floor (a house without furniture is pretty lame!) and opened the package. This was the book inside:
After the event I had that day this book could not be more PERFECT! It's not a long book at all, but more of a coffee table book with funny pictures. I could also see myself taking a few of the pages and framing them around the house.
 
This is perfect for any parent who needs a little laughter and to know they are not alone. We have all said something to our kids at one time or another that we honestly admit we never thought we would utter in our life. 
 
For me this book was a perfect 10/10 in everyway!
 
 
 
As always I received this book for free from Blogging For Books for the purposes of my honest review"

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Moving- Our New Adventure!

So I took a few days off blogging and writing because honestly we have been up to our heads in deep water.

For over a month now we have been fighting tooth and nail to process paperwork at an apartment complex because we need to vacate our current residence by October 1st.

Today being September 1st, we GOT OUR KEYS!

We are so excited. This is going to be a very interesting journey for my husband and I, as well as our son. For me I have lived away from only about 9 months during my first marriage. Even then I didn't have to worry about paying rent because he was in the military and they provided our housing allowance. When my husband moved out of his parents house it was into our current house which we live with my parents. Well my mom was here when she was alive.

For Lucas he has always had my parents and sister Catherine in his house. Now he is going to be moving into a two bedroom apartment with only Stephen and I.

Our luxury has been living next door to our church so Sunday mornings we could just walk over. Now we will have to drive.

We also get to learn a new town. I am semi familiar with the area out there. But there is still things to explore and find.


This is going to be a very exciting journey for us.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

How CANCER became part of who I am!

Cancer has been in my world longer than I have ever imagined. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly before my 21st birthday. She went through a mastectomy  and numerous reconstructions due to infections. But she survived.

Later on in August 2014 she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer that ended up taking her life in June 2015.

Aside from my own mother and various friends and family members experiencing cancer, I myself have been through the long road of cancer.

My cancer journey began in 2012. In April I broke off my relationship with a boyfriend to focus on just being me and dating me for awhile. I thought I was doing really well. I had been between 190 and 200 pounds at the point and had started to lose weight. I got down to about 140 pounds. I thought it was awesome that I was finally at my goal weight that the doctor has told me I should be at for a long time.

There was also one night where upon getting out of the shower I noticed a large lump near my collarbone. I went downstairs and showed my mom and asked her what she thought it could be. She told me not to worry about it and ignore it. I went back upstairs and ignored it. Two weeks later at family gathering I was sitting on a chair talking with one of my aunts when my mom stared down at my collarbone. She came over and began poking the lump that was still there. I could see her doing the math in her head and she urged me to go see the doctor. This is what the lump originally looked like:


I made an appointment and got sent for a biopsy. The biopsy procedure was done in office and only suppose to take about an hour or two at most. Mine took FOUR HOURS. The lymph node they pulled out was 3 centimeters by 2 centimeters and 2 centimeters high. NOT something that a normal lymph node near your collar bone should look like. It left me with a pretty cool scar that looked this:

I waited a few weeks and things really got strange. At the time this lump was discovered I was in the process of physical therapy to prove that my back aches are from my breasts, as I was perusing a breast reduction. August 22 I was at the physical therapy office when the doctors office called me on the phone at the PT office. Strange for them to do. They urged me to come in right away.

My parents and I drove from the hospital where I was having PT to the doctors office. We got there around 12:20 and had to wait until 1 when they opened after lunch. At this point I was on edge. I folded my hands, bowed my head and I prayed. I asked God to be with me and protect me in whatever they told me when I went into that office. I walked in and that was when I got the news that I had Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

I was SHOCKED. I never imagined that was the reason for my weight loss or all the symptoms like my tiredness and other things.

We went on to learn I also had a tumor down behind my heart which made me Stage 2 on the cancer level.

We opted to do a round of six chemo treatments and then 5 weeks of radiation.

I will say, the BEST invention to the cancer market, is the power port. Years back chemo was given directly through an IV. We have a family friend who went through chemo and burned his arms BADLY during chemo treatments. The ports allow them to administer chemo and draw blood. They are also scary because they connect directly into the veins to your heart. Here you can see my port in action at chemo:

In February 6, 2013 I finished Chemo and in April 2013 I finished radiation. One of the scariest things to be told during cancer was that chemo would likely kill any chances I had at conceiving a child. God works in mysterious ways because TWO WEEKS after finishing all treatments I was greeted by this:




It was amazing to tell the nurses a year later when I had my son on 2/4/14 that a year ago I was down in the same hospital receiving my last chemo treatment. My son is my miracle and has proved so much to me in my life. I so happy to have him in his life and my now husband who met me at a time when I was just diagnosed with cancer. In those first few months I was THE WORST girlfriend. I had no hair, I slept all the time, I was sick to my stomach because of treatments and medication.

The one memory I have during chemo is waking up from a nap during treatment and seeing him right there in the chair by my side. He would sit with me, even though all I did was sleep. I always dreamed my whole life of having someone who would be there through good and bad, and he has showed me just how much of a dream come true he is.

If you find yourself battling cancer whether you are the one getting treatment or the one in the chair beside the person, remember YOU ARE A WARRIOR.

One of my friends gave me the gift of this picture he made when treatment was over and I love the message in it:

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

History-My Own Guilty Pleasure

Recently I have found myself reflect on past family vacations and day trips. Years back we would take summer vacations with family friends or day trips back before my mom got sick and passed away.

When I was young I found myself wandering sometimes in museums or the places we were at and some of it was very interesting, and other parts I felt like someone had placed a shackle on my leg and I was being dragged around hell. I can remember sitting at the table with all the adults at family parties and they were talking about geneology and all this history about relatives. When I was kid I listened but never truly paid attention to the details.

I find now that my mom is gone I often want to know the answers. I of course have family members I can ask and get the answers, but it makes me take for granted all those times when I was young and had a chance to really learn something when I was in the museums or on whatever trip we were on.

My favorite memory from recently is when I inherited the locket of my mothers that was my great grandmothers. I knew my mom had told me over the years who it belonged to and I love this locket so much that it was the one thing I told my mom I wanted when she passed away. I thankfully found the courage to ask my mom before she passed who it belonged to and learned. I am so happy I did, because now I have the memory of my mother telling me.

I don't know if it's because I am 26 and "old" now that I like these things. But, I really have taken a longing to learning about history. I watched the Brian Boitano Project on Netflix. He goes in and restores and decorates an old family villa in Italy. It was short, but so amazing to see the old fixtures they found in the basement or the history he showed when furniture shopping. I have also gotten joy in watching my Aunt redo her home. Her house was built in 1784. She has updated things by making the bathroom a built in laundry room, converting one of the bedrooms into a walk in closet( old houses do not come with much storage) and is currently redoing the kitchen.

Its fantastic to walk in her house because the floors are old and uneven. In her dining room there is a door to the outside which is actual a Victorian Death Door. In history as we have found out, there have been superstitions against taking the deceased out the front door or main door of the home. It was also convenient when back in the old times the wake and funeral would often happen at the deceased's home instead of traditionally a funeral home as it is done today.

Earlier today I finished reading a very interesting e-book that was a mix of time travel, history, and story. The first book was free on Amazon and I want very much to continue with the series. Very interesting read. The book is called Time and Again by Deborah Heal. The first book as I mentioned as of 8-26-15 is free on Amazon Kindle. Book 1 is about a tutor spending the summer in a run-down old house. On the computer she and her student find a program called Beautiful Houses that is too amazing to be real. The program can rewind and fast forward the lives of all the people who ever lived in the house. The house in 1858, was a train stop on the Alton & Chicago line. It also happened to be a stop on the Underground Railroad.

I really enjoyed how the book has a good mix of history and story line. As this post says I enjoy history, but sometimes I feel with documentaries and books, too much information can be overwhelming. This was a perfect balance. Check it our for yourself at:

http://www.amazon.com/Time-Again-History-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B00BMUQAR4/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1440640154&sr=1-3&keywords=time+and+again


For now I am off to enjoy some history!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Little Paris Bookshop (Book Review)

Life is sad right now with most of our belongings packed in boxes. I can't access my craft supplies or most of all my books. But thanks to the wonderful creators of e-books, I have still been able to get some reading in.

With a move coming up very soon, I wanted to hold off on getting a physical book from Blogging For Books, because I don't know how much longer we are going to be at our current address or the full details of what the new address will be.

The book that I chose to try was:


I thought this was going to be a fabulous read. The description:
Monsieur Perdu can prescribe the perfect book for a broken heart. But can he fix his own?
 
Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

This sounded PERFECT. Surely with the loss of my mom in June and the loss of my dog this past weekend a book that could be perfect for healing the heart would be a good choice. 

At first start the story was quite good. I loved how it explained that books are often read at the right times for our lives. 

As I got to the part where Perdu and his companion started on their mission, I just started to get dis interested in the book. I scrolled through the pages not really reading at all. I tried to go back and try again, but I just didn't have a connection to it.

Maybe this book is for you. For me it wasn't. Maybe this was just the wrong time to read it. 

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Red Eyed Baby

Yesterday I posted that I want to start writing again. Right now at this moment, my husband is off at work and Lucas is still napping. I thought "what better time to write then now?"

I started brainstorming about possible topics and some right now that come to mind are still fresh wounds that I am not yet ready to elaborate on. So I turned to the good old internet resource GOOGLE for some writing prompts. I found a Sub Reddit that looks promising:

https://www.reddit.com/r/WritingPrompts/comments/3i7zyu/wpyou_live_in_a_dystopian_world_where_eye_color/

The prompt of this reddit is:

So, lets journey together into the year 2035 and meet this new life.

History class. The most boring class of the day. Who really cares about the stuff that happened back in 2015. That was 20 years ago. Words like Obama, Ashley Madison, those are the words our grandparents chattered about on and on, but no one pays attention to anymore. Nowadays its all about who has the best virtual reality scores or who downloaded their homework from their parents memory files. 

Well until today anyway, history was the most boring class. Our first day back at school, August 24, 2035 and we walk in to a webpage open on the classroom screen. The teacher seemed so excited, like they were about to be told they won the virtual lottery. 

"Class, today we have the most wonderful news. History is happening right before our hours. Just moments before you entered into this classroom, the newest generation of the world was born. This baby is very different from any the world has ever seen." It was at this moment that the old quack pulled up a picture of what looked like any other baby. Until he scrolled down to a photo of the eyes. THE BRIGHTEST CRIMSON color anyone had ever seen. I knew from history last year about how eyes can be all different colors and something about DNA and how it makes you have a certain color. But never had we heard of red eyes. At least outside of cosplay that is. People began whispering "contacts?" "messed up parental DNA?" I don't know what it was, but I was determined to make history. I wanted to be the first one to experience first hand if this was a truth or a mystery.

When I got home there were tons of news stories all over the place talking about this baby. I almost felt bad for the kid. To be hours old and already becoming a celebrity just because you look different from the rest of the world. Who really cares what a person looks like anyway. Isn't it whats on the inside that counts? 

I threw my school bag down and turned on my virtual reality system. I wanted to dive first hand into the virtual world to determine if this was a hoax or not. I figure a little research would not only get me famous for proving it true or false, but also give me some extra credit with the history teacher. Nothing like an essay you aren't expecting from a student on the second day of school to them on your good side. 

________________

Amazing what just 15 minutes of typing can turn out. I know this story only starts to answer the prompt. But I feel like its a good accomplishment for now. 

What do you think, should I follow through and write more of this story in the future? 
Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Finding the GIRL I use to be

I want to write again!

Over the course of my life I have always loved writing and English class. It was my favorite subject in school and one that brought me a lot of memories.

My middle school English teacher, George Cornelius, passed away during February vacation of seventh grade. I had always vowed to do well in English to honor his memory. In high school we had a project where we wrote an essay about our life up until that point. I still have that scrapbook essay to this day.

Over the past few years I have noticed my writing and reading declining. My life has changed in that I have a toddler now, so not as much free time, but also I have struggled with a concussion. I noticed my moods changing.

But recently I sat down and just started looking at my life and I am not happy with how I have been using my blog lately. I love doing the book reviews because its an awesome way to experience free books. But, I want to do more.

I want to take the written word and my creativity and put it out there for the world to see. I want to maybe turn this into a job, that will allow me to support my family, while still spending time with them. My therapist is pushing and pushing for me to go back to work after things brought up my anxiety and depression, but for our family that just is not really possible.

We have one car, myself, my husband, and our son, Lucas. For me to work outside the home we have to schedule daycare, which my in laws are willing to do and I have a sister who is more than happy to watch Lucas. However, those options are not always on the table. Paying for daycare would mean that after I bring home my paycheck and give daycare it's share of the money, I essentially only bring in pennies. Not very beneficial to us.

Having only one car is also a problem. Yes, there are modes of public transportation, but most those make me travel sick and in a way make me very uncomfortable. I have memories from early years about situations that have happened on buses and seeing them brings back flash backs.

That being said, I also get to a point where I love being at home. I love to be there for my family when they need it and to do the tasks like cooking, meal planning, the cleaning and organizing. My dream in life has always been to be a stay at home mom.

At the same time, I know our family could really use my bringing in some kind of money. Which is why I want to find a way to be able to stay at home and still support my family.

So starting today I am hopefully going to challenge myself to write on this blog at least twice a week. Small number to start out.

I hope you enjoy following my journey with me. I look forward to sharing it with you

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Messy Grace

With the recent "Love Wins" movement going on, I am very excited with that way Gay Lifestyle is becoming accepted. Gay pride and LGBTQ issues have always been a passion of mine. Many years ago when I started my first ever YouTube channel, I was really into gay pride videos.

In high school for our senior year we had to complete a Social Justice project. The topic was of our choosing and the project consisted of a 15 page research paper and presentation. I chose Homelessness of LGBTQ Youth. I no longer have a copy of the paper, but the memories from that project have lasted with me in many ways. I remember going to the True Colors event and having my own panel in which I talked about my research. It was at that event that I had the courage to come out as Bisexual to the world.

When I saw the book Messy Grace by Caleb Kaltenbach avaliable on Blogging for Books, I figured, WHY NOT?

Caleb Kaltenbach was raised by LGBT parents, marched in gay pride parades as a youngster, and experienced firsthand the hatred and bitterness of some Christians toward his family.
 
But then Caleb surprised everyone, including himself, by becoming a Christian…and a pastor.
 
Very few issues in Christianity are as divisive as the acceptance of the LGBT community in the church. As a pastor and as a person with beloved family members living a gay lifestyle, Caleb had to face this issue with courage and grace. 
 
Messy Grace shows us that Jesus’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself” doesn’t have an exception clause for a gay “neighbor”—or for that matter, any other “neighbor” we might find it hard to relate to. Jesus was able to love these people and yet still hold on to his beliefs. So can you. Even when it’s messy. - See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?work=246881#sthash.MncOOG3Z.dpuf


The book really hit home for me. Being Christian myself, our church has just become open and accepting. Many years ago when I was in middle school, there was a trans-gendered member of the congregation. I never said things directly to the person, but when talking with friends I often was unsure what pronoun to use-he or she. So many friends and I being young and confused, said "It". We only used it among each other and never directly toward the person. 

As I read the book this moment was brought back up to me. At the time I didn't know what trans-gendered meant. I had heard my mom talk about it, but it never really clicked for me. Reading this book I was brought to a point where I sat down one night to just have a talk with God as I usually do to wind down before bed, and this time I mentioned seeking forgiveness for the wrong doing. 

I especially enjoyed this book because I often find with gay pride books that bring religion into play they often get very preachy and just throw bible quote after bible quote out there. This book had a good balance of looking at the bible story and what it means, as a oppose to just the quote, and a dose of real life experiences from people who shared their story.

It was an AWESOME read and I am happy to have choosen it. Check it out if you too are into Gay Pride and Religion.

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

 


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Let's Pretend We're Normal

I am horrible lately at blogging and vlogging. Honestly we have had so much going in our lives. Today is the 5th of August. I can't believe we have reached AUGUST already of 2015. This date is also said because two months ago I said goodbye to my biggest fan, best-est friend...my mother. She was diagnosed a year ago this month with Stage 4 Lung Cancer. We thought she would be with us much longer, but in May 2015 she entered the hospital for dehydration. It was then we sat down and evaluated how things were going and determined there wasn't much hope.

Hospice was entered into and I will say that was the BEST experience of my life. Having the nurses to rely on to help with whatever we needed, really made the process easier. The aides were wonderful and I will never forget the morning that my mother passed away how our nurse immediately came to start the process and help dispose of medications, call the numbers that needed to be called.

We are also in the process of moving. Currently we are in limbo because of a holdup with some paperwork.

But anyway, onto the real reason I sat down to write.

Shortly before my mom died I recieved my latest Blogging For Books, read. The book was Let's Pretend Were Normal by Tricia Lott Willford. The book is about a family who has lost their father/husband. I figured this book would be a wonderful choice given the news that we were losing my mom and then the fact that we had lost her when it arrived.

I tried my hardest to read the book, but it just did not go well. There was a night that I was taking a bath and having a panic attack. My husband tried to coach me through and I ended up throwing the book out of the bathtub only to have it bounce back in and get completely soaking wet.

Another day in a fit of rage I tore each and every page out of the book in frustration because it was the closet thing to me.

So this book did not go well. In terms of physical experience.

Every review really loves this book and I do believe it has some good points and is a heart felt story. I applaud any writer who is able to sit down and write their story because each story is unique and really deserves to be shared with the world.

For me however this book was just a 1 star.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Just Like It

Making lists is something I have been doing rather recently, when I think about it. Of course, there is the usual grocery list of things I need to get at the store, which usually gets added to while in the store or completly forgotten at home leaving me to shop from memory(forgetting half the items I originally had written down).

The next popular is the to do list. I am always writing down or mentally listing things that need to get done. It seems I am the pillar that holds up my family and so everyones reminders become my responisbility and I often have many task and errands to run not only for myself, but for them as well.

My latest blogging for book choice was "Go Ahead and Like It"
At first glance I thought this choice was going to be much like the books by Keri Smith, where they are interactive and you write in the book itself. When I opened it, I discovered it is a compilation of the lists the author has made throughout her lifetime. The thought of making a list of likes is still enjoyable to me because as I mentioned above my lists are often task related. So here is my list of 10 likes:

1: My son's laughter
2. My husbands breathing(knowing he is home and close by is a comfort)
3. The sound of the mailman dropping off mail
4. Scentsy warmers and bars
5. Mac and Cheese
6. Fighting my anxiety like a champ
7. The word socks
8. Flutes
9. Knitting
10. Sending mail to friends.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

This Is What You Just Put In Your Mouth(Book Review)

Hey readers,

Hopefully I can get through this review easily. Currently only typing with 9 fingers as I somehow managed to slice my pinky open while getting out of the bath tub! Of course I would do something crazy like that just in time for having reviews and other things to write and type.

But, without further adieu, the latest book review.

The book for this review is

My first impression was that the book was packaged WAY wrong. It came in a medium sized box with three sheets of heavy duty bubble wrap. Way more than was needed to mail a book of this size or quality.

(As I write this, the light is also fading as my son has found the switch to the lamp in my bedroom, oh the joys of having children)

Mentioning my son, is one reason I did not like this book. I did not find the time to sit down and fully read this right away when it first came. 

When I did sit down and read it, I thought the book was going to be more "exposing" as to what is really in the products we use in everyday life, however upon further reading it simply is not.

To me the information provided in this books is extremely basic and I would not re-read this book or find any further joy from it. This was the first book from Blogging For Books that I generally disliked

My husband however found it interesting, so at least someone in the household got joy from it.

As always I received this book at no cost from Blogging For Books for review purpose. 


Friday, February 6, 2015

Love Without Limits (A BloggingForBooks Review)

Another month is upon us and that means time for yet another book review. This month is only six days in but it has been a doosy. My son turned a year old on the fourth and that has me looking back on the past year and seeing how much he has grown and changed, and how I as well have grown and changed not just as a parent, but as a person in general.

This month has also brought some tough family concerns to deal with. Nothing really that can be shared at the current time as we are all still trying to figure things out and just make things work with the help of God.

Speaking of God, that is the topic of this review. The book for this review is:
I was skeptical going into this book because faith or religious based books tend to be hit or miss with me. I either feel they get too preachy or quote the Bible too much. I have tried many times to take books out of our church or public library, only to get a few pages in and cast it aside because it was not as captivating as I thought it would be. 

This book however changed that for me. I got 16 pages in and I was HOOKED. I had never heard of Nick Vujicic before, but the story in this book written by himself and his wife Kanae, is to tell how they met each other and give some marriage advice. The book opened my eyes as to how I could be a better spouse to my own husband. As I read the book I realized that I often take my husband for granted. I know that he loves me and will always be by my side(In the early days of our relationship, when we were still dating, I was going through Chemotherapy for Hodgkin's Lymphoma and he was there at every session without batting an eyelash.). But I don't think I realized just how much I tend to yell without meaning to or take my frustrations out on him.

In the days since starting this book I have found myself, getting up and making his lunch for work without the usual moans and groans of doing so, going out to help him shovel snow when usually I would use the excuse of having to stay in with our son(thanks mom for watching him so I could do that) and just spending more time cuddling in general.

In truth this book helped my marriage. We were at the grocery store this past evening. My husband was at the bank depositing his paycheck while I walked around shopping for groceries. I found myself longing just to see him. The ache was the same as the one I had in the early stages of our relationship. When I would say goodbye to him when seeing him in person, or goodnight on Skype. I longed just to see his face and hear his voice.

The other night after our son fell asleep early, with two hours till my husband had to be at work, we popped a DVD in and just cuddled on the couch. Something we haven't done in quite awhile. Parenting has tired us out and my husband and I working opposite shifts has not helped either. 


Furthermore, the book was so helpful and insightful that I went on Amazon and purchased three more of Nick's books that I very much look forward to reading.

Thank You Nick for writing such an inspirational story and helping me in ways I could never have imagined.

As always I recieved this book from Blogging for Books for this review! 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The 13th Gift (Book Review)

The Holiday season is over and many of us have now stored our decorations away and are happily enjoying our presents.

My holiday's are still in many ways continuing, even though the new year has began. I had a book on my wishlist of books that I want to check out for review from Blogging for Books. It's a Christmas themed book and during the holiday season I knew I would be too busy to really enjoy it.

After running errands with my husband today I was greeted with the familiar package that I knew instantly was my next review book. I instantly sat down to read it. My mom even picked up the book and read the inside cover and quickly claimed the next read after I was finished.

A few chapters in, I wanted to continue reading, but had to stop to attend a meeting. When I got home I ran a nice hot bath and sat for over an hour finishing the book.

The book:


The story is about a family who has lost their father/husband the previous year around the Holiday time. This being their first Christmas without him. Soon they begin receiving gifts that relate to the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas". The gifts are really not extravagant, but simple from the heart and good will that the holiday season brings in people.

The 13th chapter, which leaving out spoilers, is one that brings a tear to your eye as you gain insight into the work that went into making this activity of giving to those in need possible. It was at the 13th chapter that I realized this is a TRUE STORY. Not just the work of a creative mind, but something that the author and her family went through.

It was a phenomenal read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I cannot wait until my mom reads the book as well to hear her reaction.




(I received this book for free with the purpose of review from Blogging For Books. )

Saturday, January 10, 2015

It Was Me All Along (Book Review)

New year, means NEW chances for book reviews! HOW AWESOME. This review choice I chose to do something a little different and opted to receive both the print and ebook copy of "It Was Me All Along" a memoir written by Andie Mitchell.

I went into this book hesitant because I tend to find memoir books and biographies a bit boring. However, I wanted to give this a try because I was interested in the topic of Weightloss as one of my new years goals is to get better physically healthy.

The book overall was meh. I didn't love it, but i didn't hate it either. I enjoyed that she put her raw story out there and was honest and open about her struggles. I think overall, I just didn't feel the connection(s) that I thought this book was going to make for me.

It did inspire me in that I need to have change in my own habits right now. As I went out today I realized I was drinking a Vanilla Coke simply because my husband had bought it for me, not just because I wanted it. As I sipped the soda, I realized it was nothing more than just corn syrup in a bottle and I honestly did not want that.

Also while reading today I had a vision of getting off my bottom and fighting all the excuses in side of me to clean off our treadmill and use it on days when it is too chilly to go for a walk outside.

Below is a youtube video review of Blogging for Books as well as a verbal review of the book:

video

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Goals for 2015

The new year is already three days in and today has been a real eye opener. Snow and rain falling down which lead to an afternoon nap. When I awoke I knew a change had to be made. I need to write my goals down where I can view them and hopefully stick them.

So what are they?

Well for a long time I have been struggling with a depression. It greatly reduced my ability to do things. I have no motivation. So my therapist and I have worked to setup my treatment goals. One of them is to get back to three activities that I had previously enjoyed, but have since stopped doing. Those three I have decided are crafting, writing, and vlogging.

Craft wise I have had no time as there is no real desire to scrapbook anymore. I could get into loom knitting. I think as far as this goal I would also like to do more crafts with my son and I think my youngest nephew would enjoy them as well. I remember the days when my oldest nephew was young and we would do a lot more crafty type projects.

Writing wise I have been doing an increase in blog posts as I make reviews about the Blogging for Books that I receive. I think I also need to start doing more of this though, just sitting and typing. I am also toying with an idea that may pan out as a novel, novella, or short story. Not exactly sure what it will pan out to be, but I think (and hope) that I continue on with it!

Vlogging wise is where I have struggled the most lately. In the last year I was big on doing pregnancy updates monthly and then weekly with my son. Since then I fell off the band wagon. I sit down and record video after video, but then I never upload them. When I get around to it, the content is about events that have already happened or I just dont feel the quality is good anymore.

I have also noticed I am starting to struggle with social anxiety. It has never been a problem for me to text or talk online. But gradually I have noticed I pulled back from those, for fear of what I could say. I need to start facing this and get back to the things I love.

Overall my goal for this year is better physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, EVERYTHING health in my life. I know I need to start getting more physically active because my weight is the same as when I had my son and its not good for my back and knees to be carrying all this extra baggage around.

Here is to a year of change!

I am excited for this journey ahead!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (Book Review)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Forgive me if this is a little bit of a grumpy post. I am finally recovering from a stomach bug that I got over Christmas and my laptop computer cord was fried during the Holiday Season. A new one is shipping from Amazon, and so in the mean time, I have to resort to using my husbands desktop. I HATE this keyboard!

But, I will over power this horrible little keyboard that is my enemy, because I feel (and need to get this review) UP and posted.

Before the Holiday's started I picked out my next Blogging for Books review that I was going to do. I changed my categories that I was into to give myself more options. I chose a print book about something I have needed to get a better handle on....CLEANING.



I would love to say that I am a perfect cleaner or tidy, but in all honesty I look around and realize I could easily be on one of those cleaning shows where they put you on TV and you see that the person must have a floor because they are not just floating in the air, but you CANNOT see it because of all the stuff.

As I type this I can look around me and see surfaces covered in Christmas Cards that were never mailed, empty Slim Jim wrappers my husband ate while playing a video game, and just so much CLUTTER!

This book I thought was also perfect for the time because with the Holidays comes gifts! Wonderful to get and give, but now we have gift boxes we want to save to use next year, my son has new toys, I have new books to find a home for on my shelves, and knick knacks that my husband gifted me.

I have been overwhelmed with clutter for a long while. This book is different in the usual approach in that it tells you to clean by item not location. This is helpful because whenever I try to clean by location I start with a simple spot in the room. As I clean I find things that go in other places and I go to put them away and then I get distracted by something, or I find one thing like an old journal and start reading it like its a long lost scroll.

So I took the advice of cleaning by item not location to use during the Pre Holiday Clean up. As I stared at our packed dining room table, I looked at what I could get rid of first. I removed all the clothing. Then all the books. Then I worked on all the paper. Before I knew it, the table was clear and the job was done. NO whining and crying or long drawn out process that I usually have. Best of all, I realized that it took me only 15 mins to do!

This book has many dog eared pages now with tips that I marked, so I will definitely be taking a second look at it and putting things into practice.

Honestly though, I recommend this to ANYONE who wants to declutter!


"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."