Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Three Things...

1.  Okay, so I've been seeing posts about the concept of low spending. As someone who is addicted to purchasing books, journal covers, and notebooks...hmm...well, I thought I should consider the idea. But, truthfully, is it even possible? Isn't "low spend" just another phrase for "budget".  I mean, right? Or, am I not getting it? One person I saw still spent several hundred dollars and admitted to spending more than he had planned. It seems to me that as soon as you say "low spend" or "no spend" that you are going to spend. Its like a bad diet. I will not eat cookies and then I binge on cookies because I felt sad about something. I know one is emotional, but isn't the other one, too? Anyhow, I digress. My point is that "low spend" seems to be people still spending money. So, I think I will pass on this idea of "low spend".  

2.  Planners. What to choose? 2020 is not here yet, but everyone seems to be freaking out over what planners to use next year. And, I'm one of them. Ack! Especially, since Hobonichi released their lineup of new covers - oh, my! I want so many! I'm just not so sure I want to use a Hobonichi planner next year. I already own several undated ring planners that I should be using...except I sort of fell out of love with that style. I've been using Midori and Traveler's Company this year. And a weeks from Hobonichi. I wanted to try a variety to see what would stick. I've come to the realization that I like having different planners for different things. I have the Traveler's Company for bills/budget, the Midori for appointments, birthdays, etc.  And, I have the Hobonichi weeks for book blogging and a Hobonichi cousin for my gratitude journal. Oh, and I have a huge FLOW calendar on my wall. Yikes! I would like to consolidate some of the planners - the book blogging and general one. But, then again, I like what I like. And, I like the different planners for different things. Hmm...what about you? What you do you use? Do you even use a planner? Or are you like my sister and you just keep everything scheduled on your phone? What do you recommend?

3.  Books.  I just finished reading:

I have to say that I really enjoyed them both. the Badass book is basically a bunch of self-empowerment ideas/statements that you already know, but that its good to be reminded of.  Like, you have what you need to become the person you want to be. Or, the reactions you have to situations are your feelings about that situation, but its not the truth about the situation.  And, other people's negative energy/thoughts are theirs not yours.  So, I jotted these things down and found myself feeling energized.  As for the Artistic Voice book, I read that one in the hopes of getting inspired to write more. I'm not an artist with paint or photography, but I write. That's my creative outlet. And I do enjoy art, so I figured this would be an interesting read. And, it was. I liked reading about the different artists and how they discovered their artistic voice.  I like the advice of creating as much work as you can and even its not any good, you keep on creating. Throw it out and just create more. Its the fact that you keep showing up and creating that is everything. That is what gets you to find your artistic voice. Or at least, its one of the things. Its all a process in the end, right?

And now, I want something in the fiction genre to read. Not sure what though. I am still waiting for my copy of the new Yoko Ogawa - hurry up! I chose book depository and forgot that even though its free shipping it does take forever to get the books. Ack! So, what to read...hmm...any suggestions for me? I was thinking of Little Women, because I just saw the  trailer for the new film version of it. However, I tend to read that one during winter time. Well, let me know if you have any recommendations.

I'm off to read my new copy of O and Vogue - Taylor Swift is on the cover of Vogue and O has Oprah and Gayle. Should be fun. Hope you have a great day!! Happy reading!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Land Of Last Chances: A Novel by Joan Cohen

(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book: (from Goodreads)

Jeanne Bridgeton, an unmarried executive in her late forties, discovers life doesn’t begin and end on a spreadsheet when her expected menopause instead becomes an unexpected pregnancy. Though accomplished at managing risk professionally, Jeanne realizes her skills don’t extend to her personal life, where she has allowed the professional and the personal to become intertwined. She’s not even sure which of two men in her life is the father. Worse yet, a previously undisclosed family secret reveals that she may carry a rare hereditary gene for early-onset Alzheimer’s―and it’s too late to get genetic tests. This leaves Jeanne to cope with her intense fear of risk without the aid of the mountain of data she’s accustomed to relying upon. Wrestling with the question of whether her own needs, or those of her child, should prevail takes Jeanne on an intensely emotional journey―one that ultimately leads to growth and enlightenment.

my thoughts:

What a story! I absolutely LOVED Joan Cohen's novel, Land Of Last Chances. Talk about an emotional rollercoaster!

This is the story of Jeanne, a career-minded woman in her late forties. She's just found out she's pregnant. She isn't sure who the father of the baby is. And, she has just been told that her family carries the gene for early-onset Alzheimer's. Yep, she is overwhelmed, stressed out, and scared. Talk about life throwing lemons at you.  What's a gal to do? Figure it out...and fast!

Cohen has written a riveting and emotional story about a woman struggling to come to grips with the direction her life has taken her in.  A woman who contemplates whose needs come first - hers or the baby's?  A woman who has until recently always chosen her career as her main priority must now think about a baby? Say what?! Talk about foreign concept.  And through Cohen's writing, we get to learn and gain a sense of understanding about Jeanne's priorities. We get to see her struggle with tough choices and figure out how to handle these complicated questions that swirl around in her head - my career or a baby? shouldn't my needs come first? what if Alzheimer's hits me now, what then?   So many things to consider and the clock is ticking faster and faster. This is one story that you can't help but get caught up in.  I know that I enjoyed reading it slowly over the weekend and thinking about Jeanne. Such a great book! I LOVED it!!

Land Of Last Chances is a terrific story that you won't be able to put down. I would most definitely recommend it to anyone and everyone looking for their next read - you will fall in LOVE this book!!

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Three Things...

1.  Books. I'm currently reading the following:

As you can see, I'm a self-empowerment kick. I just started both book earlier this week and I am really enjoying them.  Of course, now I want to read a piece of fiction that I can sink my teeth into. So, I am patiently waiting for my copy of The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa. My fingers are crossed it will arrive today. What about you? What books are you reading? Any suggestions for me.

2.  TV shows.  Southern Charm. Oh, what a train wreck of a show. The people are beyond ridiculous with their pettiness. I can't help but wonder just how far they will go to get some screen time. Plus, I wonder how foolish they feel when they are acting up for television.  Then again, I'm sure they get paid a pretty penny for their "bad" behavior. Luckily, the new Aurora Teagarden movie was a treat to watch. I swear those movies get better and better. There is a new one this Sunday and I can't wait to watch. My fingers are crossed they keep making these movies. I just love watching Ro try to figure out these murder mysteries - she's always three steps ahead the police. LOL! Plus, she's always  referring to some true crime book she read for reference when picking up clues. Its a fun show.

3.  Music.  Since the new Taylor Swift album comes out next week, I'm listening to her music on repeat. I'm a fan, so its always fun to see what she will come up with next. I loved her new song ME! and I've always enjoyed listening to Delicate.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I plan on reading, and then reading some more. Cheers!

Friday, August 9, 2019

My Friday Five...

1.  Well, I'm 41 now. Yep, I turned one year older this past Sunday. I'll be honest and admit that prior to my birthday I was feeling the blues. I was overwhelmed by anxiety and depression all week long. I couldn't fall asleep until nearly 3 or 4am.  I cried most nights. It was pretty rough. I just found myself thinking about the past and where I was at currently in my life. I was feeling like a failure. I was feeling so unworthy. All of my fears were just running around loose in my head. It was not a good time.  And so, I talked it out and cried it out with God. I also wrote it all down and got it out of my head. I reminded myself of all the good people and things in my life. I repeated all the mantras I keep close to my heart. I read quotes and jotted down the ones that spoke to me. I made myself choose joy over and over, even though I just wanted to lie down and cry.  Sunday came and I celebrated with my mom, dad, and sister. I wanted just to have some family time with all four of us for once. I wanted low-key. And, I wanted donuts.  So we ate, talked, and laughed. I read the cards they gave me and my heart just burst.  I cried and cried. I saw how much they loved me and I felt so blessed in that moment. It made me realize just how lucky I truly am and that maybe Rachel Hollis is right, "It's impossible to feel anxiety and gratitude simultaneously."  Because in that moment when I was feeling so grateful for my family, I didn't feel anxious at all.

2.  Books, books, and more books...well, if you've been reading this blog for awhile, then you know all I ever want for my birthday or for Christmas are books. So, yes, I had a birthday book wish list and I was lucky to all of them. Hurrah!  Here they are:




and these were pre-orders (the Ogawa was pre-ordered last year for my birthday, so I've been waiting for a year!):


Not a bad bunch, eh? I can't wait to dive into the Ogawa - should be here next week. Woo hoo!!

3.  TV shows.  My TV watching has consisted of Southern Charm, The Hills: New Beginnings, and Good Witch. I am so behind on everything. I still need to watch the new Veronica Mars and Real Housewives of the OC.  Oh, and that new Mindy Kaling show, Four Weddings and a Funeral. Cripes! So much TV, so little time for it. Except, for Aurora Teagarden. Yep, I made time to watch the new movie on Hallmark this past Sunday - talk about perfect timing (on my birthday!). Plus, there was an Aurora Teagarden marathon, so I definitely caught a few of those as well. And, this Sunday is another new Aurora Teagarden movie - hurrah! What about you? What are you watching this summer? Any good shows to recommend? Let me know.

4.  Journals. Okay, so I think I definitely have an addiction. For my birthday I got the new Field Notes box set of Wilco ones (who doesn't love Wilco?!).  I also got some Christian Lacroix journals - they are so surreal and whimsical, how could I not want them? Plus, they remind me of Ab Fab.  Plus, I ordered two limited edition Traveler's Factory notebooks that just came out.  Oh, and did I mention that I used my birthday cards to make a junk journal. All of those plus the ones I already own - yikes! Then again, it was my birthday, so I suppose I shouldn't feel too guilty, right?

5.  Music.  Creedence Clearwater Revival.  This song on repeat: Have You Ever Seen The Rain?

And now, I'm off to read some magazines. I have copies of Vogue, O, Real Simple, and In Her Studio. Hope you all have a great weekend! Happy reading!!

Pleased To Meet Me: Genes, Germs, and the Curious Forces That Make Us Who We Are by Bill Sullivan

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

Why are you attracted to a certain “type?” Why are you a morning person? Why do you vote the way you do? From a witty new voice in popular science comes a clever, life-changing look at what makes you you.

“I can’t believe I just said that.” “What possessed me to do that?” “What’s wrong with me?” We’re constantly seeking answers to these fundamental human questions, and now, science has the answers. The foods we enjoy, the people we love, the emotions we feel, and the beliefs we hold can all be traced back to our DNA, germs, and environment. This witty, colloquial book is popular science at its best, describing in everyday language how genetics, epigenetics, microbiology, and psychology work together to influence our personality and actions. Mixing cutting-edge research and relatable humor, Pleased to Meet Me is filled with fascinating insights that shine a light on who we really are–and how we might become our best selves.

my thoughts:

I tell you, each time I read a new nonfiction book I find myself falling deeper in love with the genre. How can I not? Books that teach me about all the things, like, history, space, art, literature, and science - how can I resist that, right? So, I was super excited to get my hands on a copy of Bill Sullivan's book, Pleased To Meet Me. First off, I loved the title - it sums up what the book is about, which is learning about ourselves ( the human race ).  Plus, that book cover also shows us that we will be taking a peek inside what makes us tick, which I thought was great. I found myself excited to dive right into Sullivan's book and learn what he has to teach us about human behavior.  I just knew that I'd be in for quite a treat.

Lo and behold, I was right. Sullivan has written an engaging and entertaining read chock full of personal anecdotes and scientific facts.  Fascinating and thought-provoking, this book will have you wondering about GMOs, DNA, genes, and our ancestors. You won't be able to help but fall in deep with this book.  I absolutely enjoyed spending time with it - dipping in and out as I learned about why we choose the choices we make. I  know I haven't really described the book that well, but its just one of those that you have to experience for yourself.  Just know that the writing is top notch and the content will keep you interested long after you put the book down. Its funny, interesting, and unforgettable - what more could you want, right? I know I loved it.

I would definitely recommend Pleased To Meet Me to anyone and everyone looking for their next great read - you won't want to miss out on this one!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Pleased To Meet Me
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!