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:

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)


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."