Genre: Self-Help

Book Review: The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

Posted November 14, 2017 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

ISBN: 9780446691437
Book Review: The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven PressfieldThe War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Published by Warner Books on 2003
Genres: Self-Help, Personal Growth, General
Pages: 165
Format: ebook
Source: bought
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two-stars

The Art of War meets "The Artist's Way" in this no-nonsense, profoundly inspiring guide to overcoming creative blocks of every kind.

I have heard some fellow creatives say that this book helped unblock them and how it helped their creativity. I have been feeling somewhat blocked lately and thought this would be a good time to crack it open and learn about some unblocking techniques.

What I Liked

There were a few quotes that I liked. I think there were two of them. The VERY last pages of the book were excellent. I am not saying this to be snarky either, but it was. It was if the majority part of the book was his morning pages, and then the last chapter was the real book. For that reason alone I will read Turning Pro, but I am just gonna borrow that one from the library.

In the next section, i complain about this but t goes both ways I think. I did like the inspirational feel of it at times. Like if i needed some inspiration then this would be a great book.

 

 

 

What I Did Not Like

Oe thing that I did not like was the short snippets of text that made up a chapter. I will be honest, going into this book I thought would be akin to reading The Artist Way or Bird By Bird but no, it was like a paragraph made up a chapter and that was it. And there weren’t even any techniques in the book. It was all inspirational

I really thought that I would be gleaning some insights on how to become unblocked in this book and i felt that what i got was….not that.. If it had been toughted as an inspiratinal book or such then ok, I might not have felt so disappointed, but ugh I am STILL blocked…Which I realize is no fault of the author but still.

There were no real techniques in this book. Expect a prayer to say before you start writing. I am like if it were THAT easy, there would be a lot more authors out there but alas

 

 

 

 

I hated this book. Aside from a few quotes, I felt this want even worth the money I spent on it and I THINK I  even got it on a sale.  I had to force myself to slog my way through it, and I am glad that I did because the last chapter was great, but all the other chapters were just ugh… I WANT MY 2 DOLLARS BACK!!

I think the reason that I was so disappointed though is because I went into it expecting one thing and got another. I wanted techniques that he used to write or to get unblock and instead it was a sappy inspirational book. I feel that had I been in the right frame of mind then I would have thought differently about this book.

two-stars

Book Review: This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody Warnick

Posted October 17, 2017 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

ISBN: 9780143129660
Book Review: This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody WarnickThis Is Where You Belong by Melody Warnick
Published by Penguin on July 4th 2017
Genres: Psychology, Mental Health, Self-Help, Personal Growth, Happiness, Social Science, Sociology, General
Pages: 320
Format: ebook
Source: bought
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five-stars

In the spirit of Gretchen Rubin's megaseller The Happiness Project and Eric Weiner's The Geography of Bliss, a journalist embarks on a project to discover what it takes to love where you live

The average restless American will move 11.7 times in a lifetime. For Melody Warnick, it was move #6, from Austin, Texas, to Blacksburg, Virginia, that threatened to unhinge her. In the lonely aftermath of unpacking, she wondered: Aren't we supposed to put down roots at some point? How does the place we live become the place we want to stay? This time, she had an epiphany. Rather than hold her breath and hope this new town would be her family's perfect fit, she would figure out how to fall in love with it--no matter what.      How we come to feel at home in our towns and cities is what Warnick sets out to discover in This Is Where You Belong. She dives into the body of research around place attachment--the deep sense of connection that binds some of us to our cities and increases our physical and emotional well-being--then travels to towns across America to see it in action. Inspired by a growing movement of placemaking, she examines what its practitioners are doing to create likeable locales. She also speaks with frequent movers and loyal stayers around the country to learn what draws highly mobile Americans to a new city, and what makes us stay. The best ideas she imports to her adopted hometown of Blacksburg for a series of Love Where You Live experiments designed to make her feel more locally connected. Dining with her neighbors. Shopping Small Business Saturday. Marching in the town Christmas parade.      Can these efforts make a halfhearted resident happier? Will Blacksburg be the place she finally stays? What Warnick learns will inspire you to embrace your own community--and perhaps discover that the place where you live right now . . . is home.

From the Hardcover edition.

 

I have to be honest. I am the type of person that packs up and moves every three years. I don’t know WHY I just get that itch that my life would be better if I were SOMEWHERE ELSE. I am a freelance ghostwriter, so I can live anywhere and maybe that is the problem. I never give anyplace a chance. I am currently in Cleveland, and I have been here a record of 5 years. I am starting to get that itch again so when I saw this book as a daily Kindle deal I grabbed it in the hopes that it would have some clues on how to love where I live. I am tired of packing up and leaving so this was the perfect opportunity to get some insight on how to NOT give in to that itch.

What I Liked

First of all, I loved how honest she was about that itch in moving. I could completely understand. I thought it was me and that I had issues but reading this I realized that America is the most mobile country on earth. It seems that almost half of us pack up and move every three to 5 years. I felt a LOT better after reading that.

I also loved her background information. Providing background information can be dangerous as some authors into boring you to tears. But not Melody Warnick her insights and information was highly useful to a person such as me who after three years thinks that ANYWHERE else would be the perfect place.  I feel lots better knowing that I am just one of millions of Americans who think the same

I loved her checklists on how to make roots and feel like you belong. I realized that I do that here in Cleveland more than any other place I have lived. Maybe it causes with my Cochlear Ear Implants I can hear now, and I became more involved in the community. for example I joined a book club at the library. I go to bookish events, and I frequent my favorite used bookstore, and I have become great friends at the little health food store I found near my apartment. In every other place I lived, I never did any of that. So I realize now that suppose I get married and move I know what to do to put down roots wherever I end up, but you know what? For the time being, I am staying here in Cleveland because I feel like I finally have a life here and THAT makes all the difference.

 

What I Did Not Like

The only complaint that I have was I wanted to hear more of HER story and not research facts all the time. She gives us little looks into her life but not as much as some other authors do. I can understand some people need privacy and are not as open, but sometimes it felt as if I was reading a textbook. I went into it expecting more of a memoir type thing so maybe that why that bugged me.

 

I enjoyed this book and learned a lot from it. I learned how to put down roots, and I realized that while I may not be out placemaking, I do get involved in the community in some ways, and that makes all the difference. I think that’s why I  have stayed here a record of 5 years. My friends can’t believe that I would stay in Cleveland for so long, but I do like it here. I would recommend this book to anyone feeling that old familiar itch to move..move…move…. Trust me I have moved dozens of times, and no place is “better” if you don’t attempt to put down some roots. So if you are one of the people who has a VIP to Uhaul then go and read this book…you can thank me later.

 

five-stars
Rating Report
Writing
five-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: five-stars

Book Review: Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

Posted August 11, 2017 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

ISBN: 9781328684059
Book Review: Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy FerrissTools of Titans by Timothy Ferriss
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on December 6th 2016
Genres: Business & Economics, General, Self-Help, Personal Growth, Success
Pages: 736
Format: hardcover
Source: library
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three-half-stars

The latest groundbreaking tome from Tim Ferriss, the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek.  From the author:   “For the last two years, I’ve interviewed more than 200 world-class performers for my podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show. The guests range from super celebs (Jamie Foxx, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc.) and athletes (icons of powerlifting, gymnastics, surfing, etc.) to legendary Special Operations commanders and black-market biochemists. For most of my guests, it’s the first time they’ve agreed to a two-to-three-hour interview. This unusual depth has helped make The Tim Ferriss Show the first business/interview podcast to pass 100 million downloads.   “This book contains the distilled tools, tactics, and ‘inside baseball’ you won’t find anywhere else. It also includes new tips from past guests, and life lessons from new ‘guests’ you haven’t met.   “What makes the show different is a relentless focus on actionable details. This is reflected in the questions. For example: What do these people do in the first sixty minutes of each morning? What do their workout routines look like, and why? What books have they gifted most to other people? What are the biggest wastes of time for novices in their field? What supplements do they take on a daily basis?   “I don’t view myself as an interviewer. I view myself as an experimenter. If I can’t test something and replicate results in the messy reality of everyday life, I’m not interested.   “Everything within these pages has been vetted, explored, and applied to my own life in some fashion. I’ve used dozens of the tactics and philosophies in high-stakes negotiations, high-risk environments, or large business dealings. The lessons have made me millions of dollars and saved me years of wasted effort and frustration.   “I created this book, my ultimate notebook of high-leverage tools, for myself. It’s changed my life, and I hope the same for you.”

My first thought after I turned the page of this book was that was one long ass book. I am not sure why chunkers have been intimidating me as of late. It is like I see a book over 300 pages and I run the other way. Maybe I have commitment issues, who knows. I read the Book The 4 hour Work Week, and the publishers made this book sound like this is gonna be the book to solve all of your problems. Tim himself has talked to everyone and distilled all the advice in this easy to understand Value and some such bullshit.
I can’t say much cause I ran up to sign for it at the library and when my hold finally came in I ran to the library to pick it up. I brought it home and started reading. I was all ready to learn the secrets of the Universe. Secrets that would make be happy, healthy and wealthy beyond my wildest dreams.
I should have had an inkling when I read the body part and he was all like Low Carb is the way to go. Ummm no it is no.t I am Vegan. Animal products gross me out. I mean I feel sorry for the animals in a way, but that’s not the sole reason I won’t eat meat. To me, I am just all like ewwwwww dead rotten flesh. Gross. But nope Tim was like low carb is the ONLY way to do and u need ketones and all of that crap. Do not think so Tim.
Then I was like ok so we differ on the diet, and it seems to exercise. I am all like I will just run/walk on the treadmill for an hour, and he has all of these…routines..that I am again like nope.
I should have put the book down but alas this was TIM FERRIS There had to be SOME good in this damn book.
And there was..kinda. I did make some notes on my Kindle. Like I think six notes out of 700 pages. One thing that I kept wondering is how does he fit so many routines in a day. I mean he has a morning routine a breakfast routine and on and on. Don’t he ever just look at the day and goes nope…Not gonna do today and stay in bed with a book? Oh and the books that he professes to read. They range from the obscure the art of archery to some stoic philosophy. Personally, I thought the stoic school of thought was bullshit in college, and I believe it is bullshit now. If I am gonna take after an ancient civilization is gonna be the party loving Romans. But Tim was big on the Stoics. I am like really Tim. Your life is not very stoic at the moment. In fact, it sounds like a privileged white male who is attempting t glean something from nothing. Like why oh why do I feel empty? I know I will read a stoic philosophy and eat dead rotten animals and crawl backward on the floor! Now I have a whole new perspective! Maybe I am just jealous but that what I was thinking when I was reading all of this.
In fact, this whole books reeks of white male privilege. Usually, I can tolerate some in yo face kind of privilege, but this book was way way out there with the privilege aspect of it.
I had to giggle when I came upon his real world MBA. He alertly did not want to take math classes at Stanford, so he invested 160K into some start-ups. Some failed some didn’t. I am not sure why I found this amusing. Maybe it causes after you get your MBA you supposed to know how to migrate the risks but if you are a hands on learner his way would work also.

 

There were a few Gems in Tool of Titans. Like the Wealthy part. I enjoyed that part as I need to learn about stuff such as that. I found it helpful. There are so many people who didn’t get financial advice young that need it now. Especially people who grew up as I did in Central Appalachia. There is no talk of investing there. I try to read what I can so that I can make better financial decisions but some books are just so far over my head. Not this one though. I could pretty much understand the advice in this book. Which is saying a lot since I am financially illiterate.

I think for me I am much more jaded now than when I read 4 hour work week a few years a go.  This was when I had first started my freelancing.Back then I lapped up books like this. Now though it seems to be the same information told again and again. I was even hoping to find out some neat new tech toys (I have a MAJOR case of shiny object Syndrome) but nope all the programs that are mentioned I have already tried out for myself. I could even think f BETTER programs to use than what was in the book.

I kind of wish that I could get back the time that I spent reading this book. At least I did not shell out money for it. I got my copy from the library. So there is that.
If I had to do it all over again I would have DNFed it but ah well. At least I got some financial  advice out of the book. I would encourage you to get the book from the library, and if you like it you can buy it, but for me, I felt as if I already heard it all before.

 

 

 

three-half-stars

Book Review: White Hot Truth: Clarity for Keeping It Real on Your Spiritual Path from One Seeker to Another

Posted July 17, 2017 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

ISBN: 9780997651409
Book Review: White Hot Truth: Clarity for Keeping It Real on Your Spiritual Path from One Seeker to AnotherWhite Hot Truth by Danielle LaPorte
Published by VIRTUONICA on May 16th 2017
Genres: Self-Help, General, Self-Help, Personal Growth, Happiness, Motivational & Inspirational, Spiritual
Pages: 264
Format: ebook
Source: Scribed
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five-stars

Has your self-help become self-criticism? A wise and often hilarious exploration of the conflicts between spiritual aspiration and the compulsion to improve, from Oprah Super Soul 100 member, Danielle LaPorte. Like a wise girlfriend you can totally relate to, Danielle cheerleads you to own your wisdom and self-worth by having a good laugh (and maybe a good cry) at the ways you've been trying to improve on your self-improvement. Rooted in compassion, feminism, and spiritual activism White Hot Truth is an intimate and (hilariously) relatable account of self-help tales gone wrong, and very right. If you love Brene Brown and Liz Gilbert's authenticity, and Marianne Williamson's strong spirit, you'll adore how Danielle lays bare "Boundaries for spiritual people"; the "Discipleshit" that happens when we give our power away; a "Soul-perspective" on suffering; "over tolerance" and "foolish compassion" in relationships, sneaky self-loathing; spiritual glamour. And in her poetic and brazen way, she brings it home with the hottest truth of all: You are your own guru.

As anyone who knows me knows I am a HUGE fan of Danielle Laporte. I stumbled on her about three years a go when I first read the Disiaire Map which broke me into a million pieces. Finally, I thought someone who GETS it. I am always nervous when a new book by a favorite author comes out. I mean will THIS be the book that flops? Has their magic run out? I found this on Scribed and I started to read and OMG this is her BEST book so far.

Think that it helps that I too am a New Age self-help junkie. I mean when my depression first hit this year I delayed in getting help cause maybe I was just working on some stuff. I was and am, but I also needed professional help, and I think that is where people like me run into problems we want to do it all ourselves, and sometimes we just need someone with the right degrees to point us in the right direction.

And Danelle GETS it she has been through therapy, worked with energy healers and the like. I love how she says that we need to craft our course of action to a program that fits US as a person.

I also learned a lot from this book. Like to stay away from shit you don’t fully understand. She tells of her stone story where she had some sacred stones in her apartment, and they started doing weird shit to her. She admits that she had no clue what they did exactly and thus ran into problems. Headaches that wouldn’t go away, a lump on her forehead among other things. People told her it was the stones, but she dismissed it til she no longer could. She finally got rid of them, and all the wired stuff went away also. That is an important lesson to be learned here if you don’t know 10000 percent how something works and can control it then stay far far far away. Power can be useful, but it can also be evil.

One major thing that I learned in this book is that there is something called a Functional Dr. I looked it up ad what do you know they have a clinic thingie at Cleveland Clinic. I am thinking about making an appoint if the take my insurance. The best that I understand it is that it is where East meets West and during my time in Africa I can tell you that unless you have Malaria or something that their traditional meds work a damn lot better than some of the shit that I have been given by traditional Dr’s. In fact apart from my audiologist and my shrink I try and stay far far away from Dr’s. You go in sick then you come out ten times sicker. My friend wasn’t feeling well, and she thought she just had bad allergies or something turns out she had Cancer. I have had several other friends who have had similar experiences.  And the shit traditional  Drs give you mostly just ends up making things worse. My mom has had antibiotics so much she has to take SUPER antibiotics when she gets sick now. I just wonder what she is gonna do when she becomes resistant to THAT.  Every time I felt bad in Cameroon, I would drink ginger, and that works soo much better than Zofran without making you sleep for 48 hours straight. Hmmph

I also like the chapter explaining what it is that everyone does. Like the aforementioned Functional Dr., I learned some neat things. Like what an energy worker is and how to use I love stuff like this so learning all of this is right up my alley. I also love how she keeps it real. There is no superiority complex with her that i have seen in other spiritual self-help junkies.

 

five-stars

Book Review:Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It! by Kris Carr

Posted July 11, 2017 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

ISBN: 9780762774524
Book Review:Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It! by Kris CarrCrazy Sexy Diet by Kris CarrSheila Buff
Published by Rowman & Littlefield on January 17th 2011
Genres: Health & Fitness, General, Diet & Nutrition, Diets, Nutrition, Self-Help, Motivational & Inspirational
Pages: 240
Format: hardcover
Source: library
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five-stars

The author of the best-selling Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips and Crazy Sexy Cancer Survivor takes on the crazy sexy subject of

what and how we eat, drink, and think.

Crazysexydiet.com

On the heels of Kris Carr's best-selling cancer survival guidebooks and her acclaimed TLC documentary comes her new journey into a realm vital to anyone's health. Infused with her signature sass, wit and advice-from-the-trenches style, Crazy Sexy Diet is a beautifully illustrated resource that puts you on the fast track to vibrant health, happiness and a great ass!

Along with help from her posse of experts, Carr lays out the fundamentals of her Crazy Sexy Diet: a low-glycemic, vegetarian program that emphasizes balancing the pH of the body with lush whole and raw foods, nourishing organic green drinks, and scrumptious smoothies. Plus, she shares the steps of her own twenty-one-day cleanse, and simple but delectable sample recipes.

In ten chapters with titles such as, “pHabulous,” “Coffee, Cupcakes and Cocktails,” “Make Juice Not War,” and “God-Pod Glow,” Carr empowers readers to move from a state of constant bodily damage control to one of renewal and repair. In addition to debunking common diet myths and sharing vital tips on detoxifying our bodies and psyches—advice that draws both on her personal experience as a cancer survivor and that of experts—she provides helpful hints on natural personal care, how to stretch a dollar, navigate the grocery store, eating well on the run, and working through the inevitable pangs and cravings for your old not-so-healthy life.

Crazy Sexy Diet is a must for anyone who seeks to be a confident and sexy wellness warrior.

Including contributions by:

Dean Ornish, M.D. – author and founder and president of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute

Neal Barnard, M.D. – author, founder of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), author of Food for Life

Kathy Freston – author of Quantum Wellness and health advocateAlejandro Junger, M.D. – author of Clean: The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body's Natural Ability to Heal Itself, and director of integrative medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital, NYCRory Freedman – coauthor of Skinny Bitch and health advocateMark Hyman, M.D. – author of The UltraMind Solution and pioneer in functional medicineEmily Deschanel – star of the Fox series Bones and health advocateSharon Gannon – author of Yoga and Vegetarianism, and cofounder of Jivamukti YogaWayne Pacelle – president & CEO, The Humane Society of the United StatesStacy Malkan – author and cofounder of the Campaign for Safe CosmeticsDr. Lilli Link – specialist in raw foods and integrative nutrition

Frank Lipman – author of Revive: Stop feeling Spent and Start Living Again and founder of the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center

Crazy Sexy tips for optimal health

Flood your body with alkaline nutrients * Flush stored waste products and chemicals * Reduce or eliminate animal products * *Dump sugar, you're sweet enough * Go gluten-free *Shake your booty * Wrangle the monkeys in your mind and turn down the stress * Install healthy boundaries so you don't burn out * Kill your television and Detox your In Box (Facebook too!) * Take fun seriously * Build a wellness posse support system *Be a "prevention is hot" cheerleader!

Kris Carr's television appearances have included:

- CBS Evening News with Katie Couric- The Early Show- The Today Show- Montel- Access Hollywood- The Mike & Juliet Show- Good Morning America- The Oprah Winfrey Show

Do you have any idea what it's like to feel blissfully whole and comfortable in your skin? You will. The Crazy Sexy Diet and lifestyle will give you the tools to navigate through life with clarity, balance, and flow. Health is more than just the absence of disease; it is the presence of vitality. Health is freedom from obstruction; it's living in a harmonious way that creates both inner and outer peace. . . . The Crazy Sexy Diet is loaded with wisdom, tips and advice from personal experien ce. If I feel great living and eating this way then you can feel fantastic! What I present to you is what works for me and countless other wellness warriors. This information just might save your life, or at the very least reduce the pesky cellulite. It's an awakening without the disease, knowledge without the price. Changing your mind is the biggest obstacle you face. But once you do, you'll realize that you are the one you've been waiting for. . . .

From the Introduction

I first heard of Kris Carr with her Crazy Sexy Cancer show. I thought she was courageous then I heard she had managed to put her cancer into remission by going vegan. Then a friend introduced me to Deliciously Ella. I was all like blah. I mean, everyone had reason to be worried. I topped the scale at 315 pounds. I smoked a pack a day, I did not move much, and I ate crap. I hate to say this, but it took a series of health crisis to get me to move my ass. I started coughing up blood one day, and at the ER they took an x-ray of my lungs, and they were COATED in tar. I smoked a pack a day for 21 years, so yeah. I left with some Chantix, and after about six tries and another trip to the ER, for…you guessed it… I was coughing up blood…AGAIN; the Dr told me I was playing Russian roulette with my health and mom was crying that I was gonna die soon. I quit smoking finally.

After about six months I could breathe like a normal person, and I was all proud, and then I went to the DR cause I was not feeling well and I topped the scale at my highest weight EVAR at 315 pounds. I almost crapped my pants. The Dr once again told me I was on the road to a heart attack. So after I almost had to use the cart at the food store cause I could barely walk I got my fat behind to the gym and went Paleo. I lost weight but and felt amazing, but honestly, I HATE meat. Seriously ewwwww. So that failed. I went back to eating crap. I mean I was on a first name basis at the local Burger King. This year I had one of the worst depressive episodes I have had since I was diagnosed with schizo-effective disorder in 2007. I was one notch above suicidal. I knew that I had to pull myself together and fight for me to not only to live but to thrive.

A friend urged me to watch some documentaries on Netflix, and I was hooked. What if I could beat this by changing my diet. I mean if Kris Carr could come back from stage 4 cancer surely I could get a grip on my schizo-effective disorder. So I checked her book out from the library and read it.

To be honest, I thought some of the stuff was extreme. I mean colonics? I am not sure about THAT, but overall I loved the book. I got some excellent ideas on how to incorporate some wellness stuff into my day. I mean I went gluten free vegan cold turkey. It helped that the night before I had a pizza and had the worst tummy ache in my life then I pooped out like three pounds. I am a TMI monster hee hee. I then realized that maybe gluten was not for me. SO gluten free vegan all the way here. I also am all over the essential oils and the dry brushing and all of that. I am all like  TOXINS BE GONE!!

She explains very well how your body works and how different stuff affects you. I mean this book took me about a week to read cause I was reading and taking notes. I learned ALOT in this book. Like how gluten affects some people and how meat affects you. There are some graphic pictures in the book, so if you are sensitive to that sort of thing, you may want to skip the meat chapter. I read it and was like ewwwwwww you mean they roll around in the own shit then eat THAT, and we eat it GROSS I AM NEVER EVER EATING MEAT AGAIN!

 

I highly recommend this book. It has a lot of information. It is not at all preachy. It gives you facts, and she even says that if you WANT to eat meat to get the best you can afford. Maybe after I start feeling better, I will go back to eating Applegate beef. After reading what all goes INTO the animals though, it may be tough to look at a hamburger the same way. I mean I KNOW Applegate takes care of their cows and that their cows have no antibiotics and are grass fed and grass finished. Yes, they are expensive, but at least I know that the beef from those cows won’t kill me and it is not gross to eat those cows. Heh, But to eat a hamburger from McDonald’s from Lord only knows where they get their beef..ewwwwww….

I have been pushing this book on everyone. As I type this, I am on day three of my gluten-free journey, and I can feel changes occurring in me. I know I am detoxing from all the crap and I can’t WAIT until I feel fabulous again!

 

 

five-stars

Book Review: Unf*ck Your Habitat: You’re Better Than Your Mess by Rachel Hoffman

Posted April 12, 2017 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 4 Comments

ISBN: 9781250102959
Book Review: Unf*ck Your Habitat: You’re Better Than Your Mess by Rachel HoffmanUnf*ck Your Habitat by Rachel Hoffman
Published by Macmillan on January 3rd 2017
Genres: House & Home, Self-Help, Motivational & Inspirational
Pages: 224
Source: library
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five-stars

Finally, a housekeeping and organizational system developed for those of us who'd describe our current living situation as a “f*cking mess” that we're desperate to fix. Unf*ck Your Habitat is for anyone who has been left behind by traditional aspirational systems. The ones that ignore single people with full-time jobs; people without kids but living with roommates; and people with mental illnesses or physical limitations. Most organizational books are aimed at traditional homemakers, DIYers, and people who seem to have unimaginable amounts of free time. They assume we all iron our sheets, have linen napkins to match our table runners, and can keep plants alive for longer than a week. Basically, they ignore most of us living here in the real world.
Interspersed with lists and challenges, this practical, no-nonsense advice relies on a 20/10 system (20 minutes of cleaning followed by a 10-minute break; no marathon cleaning allowed) to help you develop lifelong habits. It motivates you to embrace a new lifestyle in manageable sections so you can actually start applying the tactics as you progress. For everyone stuck between The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Adulting, this philosophy is decidedly more realistic than aspirational, but the goal is the same: not everyone will have a showcase of a home, but whatever your habitat, you deserve for it to bring you happiness, not stress.

This is a book that felt like it was written just for me. I admit it. I am a slob. However, my relationship with the Elf Prince has taken a serious turn, and I guess he expects the house that we will live in in the future to be reasonably clean. SO TIME TO GET MY ASS IN GEAR.

What I like about this book is that even though the author does have some nice talk moments most of the time it s advice like “ya gotta get off your ass” “it is gonna suck, no one likes cleaning” somehow hearing that cleaning sucks but that I DO deserve to live in a clean environment, so I just need to get up off my ass and do some 20/10’s.

The 20/10 is my favorite thing I have read out of all my cleaning books. I used to do the infamous marathon cleaning and let me tell you it has NEVER worked out well and it NEVER will. So I read to do what you can in 20 minutes and then take a ten-minute break. I downloaded the app onto my phone and made a list of all the shit I need to do and got my ass in gear and did some 20/10 and guess what my apt is now passably clean after only three days. I feel so proud.

She also gives the exact kind of pep talk that people like me need. Yes, Hillary, You have bipolar, and some days you won’t be able to get out of bed. That’s OK but the days when you feel fine to GET UP OFF YOUR ASS AND DO SOME 20/10’S!!! That kinda talk just fires me up. I know some people wouldn’t take kindly to the harshness of it, but for me, if you start me down the road to self-pity I will go down that path and never find my way back. I cant afford to do that, so I like the people that scream at me that all I need to do it to get off my damn ass and do some 20/10’s. Go to the Gym and even if you only walked ten mins that are better than sitting on my ass. Get up take a shower and put on clean PJ’s. Some day the gym and showering and putting on clean pj’s then going back to bed are all I can do, BUT I GOT OFF MY ASS. So see this is why I feel this book was written just for me.

I admit I was so inspired I bought the audio version to listen to while I clean. Hearing gets up off your ass, and all of that does pump some much-needed motivation in me.

Like I said I downloaded the app in the app store and made a list of all I need to get done and it will keep time for you. You push start and do everything you can in 20 mins then take a ten min break then work and break until u start to feel tired or antsy.

I am the ultimate slob, but this book has given me the tools and the mojo to unfuck my apt. Click To Tweet

I am gonna be honest most of my cleaning fears are because when I tried to help my mom when I was small, she would yell and scream at me for not doing it perfectly, so I quit. I DO have negative emotions tied to cleaning, and the book even addresses that. I was pleased. I was even more pleased with her suggestion you do 5 20/10? TREAT YO SELF! Go to the bookstore or get a massage or something. You gotta retrain your brain to like cleaning. I took it a step father and went and got some Mrs. Meyers stuff cause it all smalled like lavender. It cost a shitload in the health food store but I am going to try  Grove Collaborative         I will let y’all know how it goes.

No matter WHY you are a slob she addresses various reasons AND gives ways to get past the block and to get your house in order because the author is right, you DESERVE to live in a  clean environment, and you are better than your mess so buy this book and join me as we work to put out houses together!

five-stars

Guest Book Review: The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men and Marriage: How Love Works” by Suzanne Venker

Posted April 11, 2017 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

ISBN: 9781618688446
Guest Book Review: The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men and Marriage: How Love Works” by Suzanne VenkerThe Alpha Female's Guide to Men and Marriage by Suzanne Venker
Published by Simon and Schuster on February 14th 2017
Genres: Family & Relationships, Love & Romance, Marriage & Long-Term Relationships, Self-Help, General
Pages: 176
Goodreads

As seen on Fox & Friends
The Alpha Female's Guide to Men and Marriage shows women who have a dominating personality how to love a man.
America is in love with the alpha female. She’s the quintessential modern woman—assertive, razor sharp, and fully in control. Her success in the marketplace is undeniable, a downright boon to society. But what happens when the alpha female gets married?
She becomes an alpha wife, of course.
An alpha wife is in charge of everything and everyone. She is, quite simply, the Boss. The problem is, no man wants a boss for a wife. That type of relationship may work for a spell, but it will eventually come crashing down. Since 1970, just as women became more and more powerful outside the home—more alpha—the divorce rate has quadrupled. And it is women who lead the charge. Today, 70% of divorce is initiated by wives.
Do men just make lousy husbands? Not at that rate, says Suzanne Venker, bestselling author of The War on Men. The truth is that women don’t know how to be wives. Why would they? That’s not what they were raised to become.
But women can learn. There’s an art to loving a man, says Venker, and any woman can master it. An alpha female herself, Venker learned how to be a wife the hard way—through trial and error. Lots of error. And here’s what she knows today—the set of skills a woman needs to pursue a career, or even to raise children, is the exact set of skills that will mess up her marriage but good. No man likes to be told what to do. And no woman respects the man who does.
The Alpha Female's Guide to Men and Marriage gives women who are used to being in charge the tools they need to make their marriages less competitive and more complementary. Part memoir, part advice, this brave manifesto argues that while marriage is more challenging for the alpha female, it is possible to find peace in your marriage. In fact, it may be easier than you think.

The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men and Marriage: How Love Works” by Suzanne Venker was just the book I needed. Being a newlywed and an alpha female myself, it was helpful to read this before I went too far down the wrong marriage path and made the same mistakes that the author did! A few points that stuck out and resonated with me were:

 

 

  1. “People who lack the ability to trust compensate by taking control.” I have had trust issues ever since my boyfriend back in freshman year of high school slept with my older brother’s ex-girlfriend and the whole school knew about it except for me. I wish it didn’t affect me the way it had, but it was during a really formative time in my life and I decided then and there that I would never again be the “stupid girl”. So I hardened my heart and I guess decided to become an ‘alpha female’ so that I wouldn’t get hurt again which has correlated to not wanting to be vulnerable in relationships and taking control when I can’t trust.
  2. Another point Suzanne made was that “no relationship can last if one person is mentally preparing to get burned by the other” and that is what made me decide to change my mindset about my husband, instead of constantly trying to protect myself, I decided that we are in this together have started to be completely vulnerable in trusting him. And honestly he hasn’t given me even a millimeter of a doubt not to, so it is about time (after 6 years of being together)!
  3. “Your attitude is the single most important determiner of your success in life and marriage.” I thought this was quite extreme but honestly quite surprisingly true. Once I mentally let go of my distrust, life has become so much easier because my mind is a lot calmer, not constantly trying to find something wrong. What I used to believe was if I found out about something before it happened, I would hurt less, but even saying that aloud now sounds kind of silly. It is better to trust first until proven wrong than the other way around.
  4. “Ironically the deepest need of the wife, to feel loved, is undermined by her disrespect.” This stuck out to me because of how true it was for me in the early days while we were still dating, in order to prove that I was in charge, I would make snarky remarks or tease him in front of my family and his friends, without realizing that it was causing a rift between us. It wasn’t until he wanted to break up with me and my family started pointing my bad habits out that I decided I needed to control my tongue and start being nicer because no one wants to love someone who is mean all the time!
  5. “Be easy to please and you will be easy to love.” When I read that I was like, yea right I am going to be easy – he needs to earn my love! But Suzanne makes a good point; first off, I am already married so honestly he shouldn’t need to be constantly pursuing me, but also who wants to feel that they need to be on presentation mode all the time? She connects this way of thinking with the American culture that “easy women” aren’t the ideal. This may be true outside of marriage but once you are married it is a whole different situation.
  6. “Culture elevates women in not changing themselves, but that is ridiculous because you need to improve.” No one should change themselves for a man, but once you have decided on a man and in order to constantly be growing in the same direction, one must change! When I first met my husband we were in college, now we are both in the working world and completely different people than we were just 6 years ago. If we didn’t grow and adapt to each other, we probably wouldn’t still be together.
  7. “In the same way women release while talking, men release sexually.” I thought this was an extremely interesting point that isn’t often talked about! If my husband wasn’t around to listen to me and talk to me, I know I would go crazy and have all these pent up feelings, so to relate talking to sex is very interesting to me because I have a tangible way of understanding how he would feel if I were ever to “hold sex” against him or use it as a weapon!

 

Suzanne made lots of other interesting points in her book, which you will have to read for yourself to find out what you relate to most. Overall, it was a very easy and eye-opening read for me, partly because I agreed on a lot of her points, but also it was packed full of useful and actionable items. Definitely learned a lot from it and will be implementing these new insights in my marriage life!

I recently featured Suzanne Venker on my blog, Ladybossblogger.com, a blog that highlights female entrepreneurs via interviews – please check out her interview by clicking here.

Rising Strong by Brené Brown

Posted November 5, 2015 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

ISBN: 9780812995831
Rising Strong by Brené BrownRising Strong by Brené Brown
Published by Random House Publishing Group on August 25th 2015
Genres: Self-Help, Motivational & Inspirational, Psychology, Emotions, Business & Economics, Motivational
Pages: 336
Format: ebook
Source: bought
Goodreads
five-stars

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
When we deny our stories, they define us.
When we own our stories, we get to write the ending.   Social scientist Brené Brown has ignited a global conversation on courage, vulnerability, shame, and worthiness. Her pioneering work uncovered a profound truth: Vulnerability—the willingness to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome—is the only path to more love, belonging, creativity, and joy. But living a brave life is not always easy: We are, inevitably, going to stumble and fall.   It is the rise from falling that Brown takes as her subject in Rising Strong. As a grounded theory researcher, Brown has listened as a range of people—from leaders in Fortune 500 companies and the military to artists, couples in long-term relationships, teachers, and parents—shared their stories of being brave, falling, and getting back up. She asked herself, What do these people with strong and loving relationships, leaders nurturing creativity, artists pushing innovation, and clergy walking with people through faith and mystery have in common? The answer was clear: They recognize the power of emotion and they’re not afraid to lean in to discomfort.   Walking into our stories of hurt can feel dangerous. But the process of regaining our footing in the midst of struggle is where our courage is tested and our values are forged. Our stories of struggle can be big ones, like the loss of a job or the end of a relationship, or smaller ones, like a conflict with a friend or colleague. Regardless of magnitude or circumstance, the rising strong process is the same: We reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we’re feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process, every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives. Rising strong after a fall is how we cultivate wholeheartedness. It’s the process, Brown writes, that teaches us the most about who we are.
From the Hardcover edition.

Why I decided to read this book

A book club that I am a member of on Facebook picked this as their book to read last month.

my review

I wasn’t quite sure what I would think of this book. It is about failing after all. No one likes to talk about failing and no one like the feeling of vulnerability. I know when I feel emotionally naked I hate the discomfort it brings. So to have a whole book about topics that I try and avoid. Well..

I am surprised to say I loved it! Brene Brown, hereself tells stories that I could relate to about being vulnerable. She also has good research to back up her studies.  She shows that when we allow ourselves to feel valuable that we can move up and out of the place that we feel that we are chained to. I admit I have never thought of it like that. That if I allow myself to be variable and to set boundaries that I can move out of my negative head space into a place where I can respond with love. I have even tried this a few times, and it has worked!

Another thing that I never thought about was using her “Shitty First Drafts” tow write the story of what I THINK is happening. I tell myself that x and z hates me because of whatever reason that is floating in my brain at the moment. I have a shizoeffective disorder so there can be some pretty horrible things my mind comes up with. I then get mad and before I know it my whole day has gone down the shit hole. Now I can sit down open up Penzu and write down I think this is happening then later go back and see how much of it was in my head and how much of it is based in reality. I haven’t had a chance to try this yet. But I will. I always feel better after writing down my thoughts so this will be a good exercise for me.

Overall I think that this is a book that everyone can benefit from. I encourage you to buy the book so that you can go back over it again and again.

five-stars

Review:Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

Posted November 3, 2015 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

ISBN: 9780804137386
Review:Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeownEssentialism by Greg McKeown
Published by Crown Publishing Group on 2014
Genres: Business & Economics, Decision-Making & Problem Solving, Time Management, Personal Success, Self-Help, Personal Growth, Success
Pages: 260
Format: ebook
Source: library
Goodreads
three-half-stars

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES AND WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER 
Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin?   Do you simultaneously feel overworked and underutilized?   Are you often busy but not productive?   Do you feel like your time is constantly being hijacked by other people's agendas?   If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the Essentialist.   The Way of the Essentialist isn't about getting more done in less time. It's about getting only the right things done.  It is not  a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter. 
By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy - instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us.
Essentialism is not one more thing - it's a whole new way of doing everything. A must-read for any leader, manager, or individual who wants to learn who to do less, but better, in every area of their lives, Essentialism  is a movement whose time has come.

my reviewSo I am all about paring down to the basics these days. I had heard about this book and thought now I can learn how to pare down to the bare bones of survival. I know, I know it is a good dream but not feasible. However, this book did have some good points about boundaries and stuff. Like if your boss wants you to work on Sunday but you reserve that day for the Lord then you tell your boss to suck it and stick to your guns, and somehow you gain respect and your time back.

There is my biggest problem with this book. Supposed you work at Mickey D’s. If you tell you boss off there then basically you are SOL and jobless. While this book had some good advice, it is only applicable if you are in the upper economic classes. I mean in the freelancing community the hot topic is, should one take weekends and time off to recharge? I love my job, and I love to write, so I haven’t yet reached that crisis point when I tell everyone to fuck off that it is the weekend and not to bother me until Monday. But alas I know some who have. More power to ya. But if my cousin who is a road cleaner (I know there is an official name, but I cant think of it at the moment) tells HIS boss that he is not going to clear the road of snow in the wintertime on weekends cause that is family time, well again he would be SOL.

Again this book is an excellent book if you are upper middle class or richer. It seems that the American consumerism had gotten so big that it busted and now instead of McMansions we all want to go live in tiny houses with a tiny yard and a tiny friends list and a tiny…you get the picture.  But what if one doesn’t have the money or the means to get a tiny house custom built. What if you are really poor, and you do that extreme couponing thing and you need the room to store all that stuff. I feel that not everyone would have the ability to put this book into practice. I know that is more of a comment on our social classes than the book itself but still.

I would recommend this book, though. It DOES have some good valid ideas. We say yes to so many things when we need to be saying no.

three-half-stars

Book Review: SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient -Powered by the Science of Games by Jane McGonigal

Posted October 15, 2015 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

ISBN: 9780698185500
Book Review: SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient -Powered by the Science of Games by Jane McGonigalSuperBetter by Jane McGonigal
Published by Penguin on September 15th 2015
Genres: Self-Help, Personal Growth, Happiness, Psychology, General, Games, Video & Electronic
Pages: 400
Format: ebook
Source: bought
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

An innovative guide to living gamefully, based on the program that has already helped nearly half a million people achieve remarkable personal growthIn 2009, internationally renowned game designer Jane McGonigal suffered a severe concussion. Unable to think clearly or work or even get out of bed, she became anxious and depressed, even suicidal. But rather than let herself sink further, she decided to get better by doing what she does best: she turned her recovery process into a resilience-building game. What started as a simple motivational exercise quickly became a set of rules for “post-traumatic growth” that she shared on her blog. These rules led to a digital game and a major research study with the National Institutes of Health. Today nearly half a million people have played SuperBetter to get stronger, happier, and healthier.
But the life-changing ideas behind SuperBetter are much bigger than just one game. In this book, McGonigal reveals a decade’s worth of scientific research into the ways all games—including videogames, sports, and puzzles—change how we respond to stress, challenge, and pain. She explains how we can cultivate new powers of recovery and resilience in everyday life simply by adopting a more “gameful” mind-set. Being gameful means bringing the same psychological strengths we naturally display when we play games—such as optimism, creativity, courage, and determination—to real-world goals.
Drawing on hundreds of studies, McGonigal shows that getting superbetter is as simple as tapping into the three core psychological strengths that games help you build:
   • Your ability to control your attention, and therefore your thoughts and feelings    • Your power to turn anyone into a potential ally, and to strengthen your existing relationships    • Your natural capacity to motivate yourself and super-charge your heroic qualities, like willpower, compassion, and determination
SuperBetter contains nearly 100 playful challenges anyone can undertake in order to build these gameful strengths. It includes stories and data from people who have used the SuperBetter method to get stronger in the face of illness, injury, and other major setbacks, as well as to achieve goals like losing weight, running a marathon, and finding a new job.
As inspiring as it is down to earth, and grounded in rigorous research, SuperBetter is a proven game plan for a better life. You’ll never say that something is “just a game” again.
From the Hardcover edition.

my review

I am a huge gamer, and I also have been playing the Superbetter game ever since it came out. I had to admit that I really did not know HOW to play to get the most out of it, but after reading this book I feel as if I have a better grasp of the game.

She tells about how playing games can help us in real life everyday problems. I have to admit that I had never thought about taking my gaming obsession and applying it to real life problems. I mean really, How can World Od Warcraft help me when I am depressed. After reading this book, I realized that the skills in WOW like asking for help, working in a team, etc. can translate into the “real” world. I applied that to my life. I started asking for help and was surprised at how many people responded. It seems that there were a lot of people who wanted to help me but wasn’t sure how. I went back and started playing superbetter again and this time I knew HOW to play to get results. I got some of my friends to sign up for allies. And I can honestly feel that my depression and anxiety symptoms have become manageable.

I also love how she input tricks and power-ups into the book. Like for example anxiety and excitement is physically the same thing so if you feel anxious just make yourself think you are excited, and it becomes bearable. I tried this once, and it worked. I prefer to cut down on anxiety by the way of benzos but if you do not have access to them, then this is a good trick.

Another good trick is to breath in for 4 seconds and then breathe out for 8. This apparently does something to your nervous system and can stop anxiety and migraines and stuff. She admits that it is not perfect but most of the times she can get by without medication. I have wondered if this would help me. I am not to keen to try it though as even thinking about my anxiety gives me anxiety. I have learned that when I feel overwhelmed if breath like that then I can calm down.

I have added my power ups to the mix. Like I am trying to eat healthily so when I want junk food I eat a piece of fruit. When I feel horrible mediate and stuff like that. I still like all people with a serious chronic condition have bad days, but now they are fewer and farther spaced. I spend less time in bed curled into a fetal position not so patiently waiting for the end of time and more out and about and living. So the program works. I would recommend this to anyone with a  serious chronic condition. It is a great tool to make the living with your condition easier and enables you actually to make a life worth getting out of the bed.

five-stars