March 27, 2015

Expectation Hangover by Christine Hassler

Expectation Hangover by Christine Hassler is a great book about how to overcome your expectations and subsequent disappointments in everything from work, love, and life. Once we learn how to gain something from the disappointments in life, it helps us to see that sometimes these experiences can be some of the better things to happen to us in life.

Book Description
When our expectations are met and things go according to plan, we feel a sense of accomplishment; we feel safe, in control, and on track. But when life does not live up to our expectations, we end up with an Expectation Hangover. This particular brand of disappointment is profoundly uncomfortable and can cost us valuable time and energy if not treated and leveraged effectively.

Christine Hassler has broken down the complex and overwhelming experience of recovering from disappointment into a step-by-step treatment plan. This book reveals the formula for how to process Expectation Hangovers on the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual levels to immediately ease suffering. Instead of wallowing in regret, self-recrimination, or anger, we can see these experiences as catalysts for profound transformation and doorways that open to possibility.

Often it is only when life throws us a curveball (or several) that we look in a different direction and make room for the kinds of unexpected things that lead more directly to a life we love. By the time you finish this book, you’ll understand why your Expectation Hangover happened and have your own treatment plan — a clear course of action to pursue your goals while preventing future disappointment.Expectation Hangover

My Thoughts
Expectation Hangover is a book that everyone who has suffered disappointments in life should read. I’m so glad that a book like this was written because when we go through hard times or difficult experiences in life, sometimes we want to just go into a victim mentality and not really learn anything from it. However, if we take the steps and lessons learned from Christine in this book, we can actually gain tremendous insight into life from those life experiences.

Reading this book isn’t going to shelter you from bad experiences for the rest of your life. It’ll likely still happen. However, with this book, you can move through them faster and actually learn something from it – to turn it into a positive experience that can change your life direction for the better. Who wouldn’t want to change their life in such a fantastic way from a “bad” experience?

Overall, I learned a lot about myself, expectations, failures, disappointments, and how to overcome those in a more positive way. I think that everyone could benefit from reading this book. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Expectation Hangover, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

March 26, 2015

Polyvore: Boho Chic

Boho Chic

March 24, 2015

A Book of Miracles by Dr. Bernie S. Siegel

A Book of Miracles by Dr. Bernie S. Siegel is an amazing book about miracles that shows us that miracles aren’t just from the unexplained, but can truly come from anything because everything is a miracle. This is a great book to really uplift you and put you into a positive mindset about life.

Book Description
Bernie Siegel first wrote about miracles when he was a practicing surgeon and founded Exceptional Cancer Patients, a groundbreaking synthesis of group, individual, dream, and art therapy that provided patients with a “carefrontation.” Compiled during his more than thirty years of practice, speaking, and teaching, the stories in these pages are riveting, warm, and belief expanding. Their subjects include a girl whose baby brother helped her overcome anorexia, a woman whose cancer helped her heal by teaching her to stand up for herself, and a family that was saved from a burning house by bats. Without diminishing the reality of pain and hardship, the stories show real people turning crisis into blessing by responding to adversity in ways that empower and heal. They demonstrate what we are capable of and show us that we can achieve miracles as we confront life’s difficulties.” – A Book of Miracles

My Thoughts
A Book of Miracles is a book full of stories of miracles. It is divided into different categories of miracles for the chapters, such as: Birth and Renewal, Animal Inspiration, Dreams and Symbols, Miracle Healings, Angels and Guides, The Power of Prayer, and many more.

The stories included in this book are short, and can be enjoyed one at a time or read all at once. I liked reading them all of the ones included in the chapter, then taking the next day to read the miracles in the next chapter. Each one included is special and miraculous. I thoroughly enjoyed reading them all and will read them again.  

I think this is a very special book with truly inspiring and uplifting stories about miracles that everyone should enjoy. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of A Book of Miracles, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

March 23, 2015

Polyvore: Spring Break 2015

Spring Break 2015

ViVi – Woven Links Bracelet

ViVi is one of my favorite new jewelry companies. It has stunning collections that can reflects not just different seasonal collections, but can truly bring out the inner beauty and style every woman has.

The Woven Links Bracelet is such a cool bracelet that even as someone who doesn’t wear bracelets often, I’ve found myself actually wearing it. That is an accomplishment! I wear a lot of silver jewelry, and jeans is definitely a staple in my wardrobe, so this bracelet goes with a lot of my outfits.

The bracelet is adjustable and fits a 7.5 – 8 inch wrist. It is easy to put on by just snapping the closure, too. This is nice because some bracelets are a huge pain to put on – which is why I buy them and never end up wearing them. So glad that this is not the case with this super cute one!

I’ve worn this bracelet at least 10 times since I received it and I’ve gotten compliments on it each time I’ve worn it. If you are looking for a stylish and effortlessly cool bracelet, I definitely recommend this one!

Go to the ViVi website to buy the Woven Links Bracelet for $26.

*Thank you to ViVi for providing me with a sample of the product being reviewed. I was not paid or told what to write. All opinions expressed are my own.

March 13, 2015

The Grown Ups by Robin Antalek

The Grown Ups by Robin Antalek is a coming of age story about three characters who start off as teenagers in the story and become grown-ups. See how their relationships change, the type of people they grow up to be, and much more.

Book Description
From the author of The Summer We Fell Apart, an evocative and emotionally resonant coming-of-age novel involving three friends that explores what it means to be happy, what it means to grow up, and how difficult it is to do both together.

The summer he’s fifteen, Sam enjoys, for a few secret months, the unexpected attention of Suzie Epstein. For reasons Sam doesn’t entirely understand, he and Suzie keep their budding relationship hidden from their close knit group of friends. But as the summer ends, Sam’s world unexpectedly shatters twice: Suzie’s parents are moving to a new city to save their marriage, and his own mother has suddenly left the house, leaving Sam’s father alone to raise two sons.

Watching as her parents’ marital troubles escalate, Suzie takes on the responsibility of raising her two younger brothers and plans an early escape to college and independence. Though she thinks of Sam, she deeply misses her closest friend Bella, but makes no attempt to reconnect, embarrassed by the destructive wake of her parents as they left the only place Suzie called home. Years later, a chance meeting with Sam’s older brother will reunite her with both Sam and Bella—and force her to confront her past and her friends.

After losing Suzie, Bella finds her first real love in Sam. But Sam’s inability to commit to her or even his own future eventually drives them apart. In contrast, Bella’s old friend Suzie—and Sam’s older brother, Michael—seem to have worked it all out, leaving Bella to wonder where she went wrong.

Spanning over a decade, told in alternating voices, The Grown Ups explores the indelible bonds between friends and family and the challenges that threaten to divide them.” – The Grown Ups

My Thoughts
The Grown Ups spans over a decade and alternates between characters. For some readers, this may not be enjoyable because this method of storytelling isn’t for everyone. However, I think that the author did a very good job with the time spanned out to convey the message of the story. She also alternated between characters in a seamless way, which not all authors who do this can do well. I applaud her use of this because it does tell the story in a way that only seeing it through one of the characters just couldn’t do.

This is a well told coming of age story that takes teenagers into adulthood, and shows how relationships can fall apart, and some grow stronger. Growing up isn’t just about blowing out candles on your birthday each year, but the events and emotional growth that occurs in-between. This story shows just how true that is. It isn’t overly dramatic or too far-fetched to make the story unrealistic, which makes it that much more interesting, at least for me. The characters were well formed, and Sam, Suzie, and Bella each seemed like they could be people we could know in real life, or perhaps even recognize some aspects of their lives in our own.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this novel and look forward to seeing more of what the author writes. I definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a good read.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Grown Ups, William Morrow, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

March 10, 2015

Think Forward to Thrive by Jennice Vilhauer

Think Forward to Thrive by Jennice Vilhauer is a self-help book that features forward ideas on how thinking positive about the future, and not letting your past define you can truly help you become the person you want to be in the present as well as in the future. If you or someone you know needs a little (or a lot) of help in this area, be sure to read this book!

Book Description
Anticipating a positive future is the key to well-being and mental health. Yet when many people think of the future, they experience anxiety, depression, fear, and self-doubt. Unaware of how to change the future, most people are trapped in a cycle of re-creating their past. But your past does not have to define who you are or where you are going — you can break free. Future Directed Therapy (FDT) is a new psychotherapy that helps people create their future with awareness and choice, with skills based on cutting-edge cognitive science. Think Forward to Thrive is filled with information and step-by-step exercises to help you:

• Overcome negative emotions 
• Identify what you want in life
• Transform limiting beliefs 
• Take action 
• Live ready for successThink Forward to Thrive

My Thoughts
Think Forward to Thrive is a book that I think everyone could benefit from reading. It doesn’t just give the same old positive self-help advice that we’ve read over and over again. It gives fresh examples on how to change behavior, figure out what it is you really want, what is holding you back, and actually make the changes needed to reach your goals. The best advice in the world won’t get you there though if you don’t actually do it, so with the help of this book and your determination to make those changes, you can see real changes in your life.

One of the small additions that I really like that was included in this book is that in the beginning of each chapter, the author included a meaningful quote. My favorite is the one for chapter 1 by Stephen R. Covey which states “Live out of your imagination, not your history.”

I especially liked the section on goal setting, visualizing, and asking myself what it is that I really want. For instance, wanting to lose weight or have a better car are good goals, but there are underlying factors in them. Those “goals” aren’t necessarily what we really want, but a problem we are trying to solve. When we figure out the problem, then we can reach the ultimate goal associated with what we thought we wanted in a much more meaningful way.

Overall, I really like this book and think that it gives fantastic advice. I highly recommend it to everyone.

* Thank you to the publisher of Think Forward to Thrive, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

March 7, 2015

Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents

Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents is an extensive resource for anyone who wants to be published. If you are a writer and dream of being published, this is a book that you should seriously read!

Book Description
If you want to get published, read this book!

Jeff Herman’s Guide unmasks nonsense, clears confusion, and unlocks secret doorways to success for new and veteran writers! This highly respected resource is used by publishing insiders everywhere and has been read by millions all over the world.

Jeff Herman’s Guide is the writer’s best friend. It reveals the names, interests, and contact information of thousands of agents and editors. It presents invaluable information about more than 350 publishers and imprints (including Canadian and university presses), lists independent book editors who can help you make your work more publisher-friendly, and helps you spot scams.

Countless writers have achieved their highest aspirations by following Herman’s outside-the-box strategies. If you want to reach the top of your game and transform rejections into contracts, you need this book! Jeff Herman’s Guide will educate you, inspire you, and become your virtual entourage at every step along the exhilarating journey to publication. Ask anyone in the book business, and they will refer you to Jeff Herman’s Guide.

NEW for 2015: Comprehensive index listing dozens of subjects and categories to help you find the perfect publisher or agent.Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents

My Thoughts
Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents is one of the best books I have read that details how to find editors, literary agents, and publishers for the aspiring author. It would be useful for published authors as well, but the real help is needed for the new writers who need this guidance and the information on getting published from the ground level.

This updated guidebook for 2015 has updated listings, information, query letters, and so much more. Jeff Herman writes this guide in a way that is informative, easy to follow, and is like your friend to help guide you to being published. Sort of like a Fairy Godfather to the publishing world, and who doesn’t need one of those?

Overall, I found this book to be an excellent resource that I plan on using one day soon, too. It is a must buy for anyone who wants to be published. I highly recommend it!  

* Thank you to the publisher of Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

March 6, 2015

Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary edited by Ronald F. Youngblood

Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary by Ronald F. Youngblood is a detailed bible resource or dictionary that is perfect for anyone who reads the bible. This would be great to have on hand for bible study groups or to add to your shelf for when you may need further clarification when reading the bible.

Book Description
Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary is the most comprehensive and up-to-date Bible dictionary available. With a fresh new look and updated photographs, this new and enhanced edition is a wealth of basic study information with more than 7,000 entries plus more than 500 full-color photographs, maps, and pronunciation guides.

Features include:
·         Cross-references to major translations
·         More than 7,000 up-to-date entries
·         More than 500 full-color photographs and maps
·         Enlarged type size for easier reading
·         Visual Survey of the Bible from The Open Bible” – Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary

My Thoughts
Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary is a great find! Not only does it have more than 7,000 entries and over 500 illustrations, but it is also in large font for those who can’t read the smaller text that many Bibles are written in. One small thing that I appreciate in this reference book is that it includes the pronunciation for the entries. Because, in all seriousness, who actually pronounces all of these words and names correctly all the time? I know I sure don’t!

I fully enjoyed reading through this Bible Dictionary and treasure it on my bookshelf for when I need help figuring out something in the Bible. Not only have I enjoyed it, but my Dad also picked up this book and dived right in for further clarification on some entries he was currently reading. He liked the font size and also the illustrations that were included in it. We both highly recommend it!

* Thank you to the publisher of Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Thomas Nelson, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

March 5, 2015

Bulletproof Spirit by Captain Dan Willis

Bulletproof Spirit by Captain Dan Willis is “The first responder’s essential resource for protecting and healing mind and heart”. First responders are there to take care of us, but when you are one, sometimes the emotional trauma that is suffered can present itself in a very real way in your life. This is an excellent book to help those in professions that make them first responders able to enhance their lives and bulletproof their life against the emotional traumas they could experience.

Book Description
Suicide, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, and many more emotional and stress-related problems plague the first-responder community. Hundreds of thousands of these brave public servants have unwittingly become victims of the professions they once loved. However, the suffering that results from a professional life of sacrifice and service can be prevented and mitigated.

As a law-enforcement veteran, police captain Dan Willis has witnessed the damage of emotional trauma and has made it his personal mission to safeguard and enhance the wellness and wholeness of police officers, firefighters, EMTs, emergency-room personnel, and soldiers. Bulletproof Spirit offers field-tested expertise designed to be used by all first responders — and their families — to heal themselves and continue serving with compassion and strength.Bulletproof Spirit

My Thoughts
Bulletproof Spirit is an extremely valuable resource for anyone who works as a first responder. If you know someone that is a first responder, this would make a great book for you to give them, too. Sometimes the needed help may be just what they needed but didn’t know it themselves.

The 9 warning signs are important to note because a lot of first responders may not notice them as signs that something is going on with them. These include: isolation, irritability, difficulty sleeping, anger, emotional numbness, lack of communication, cynicism, distrust and loss of work satisfaction, depression, and drinking as a perceived need or habit. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you really are being affected by your work and should seek help. This book is a great start to getting that help because it not only shows you that you aren’t alone with these feelings as a first responder, but also gives many resources on getting additional help that is much needed.

I learned a lot from reading this book. I’m going into the medical profession as a RN very soon, and I can see how a lot of people in professions that are on the scene can suffer from PTSD and being emotionally, physically, and spiritually off balance. Books like this can truly help. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Bulletproof Spirit, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.