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Posted in Book Reviews

There’s A New Year’s Journal for Everyone

It’s resolution time. Why not resolve to write in a journal daily? Have trouble coming up with things to write? There are plenty of guided journals out there, like the four I’m going to tell you about!

The 5-Minute Stoicism Journal by Matthew J. Van Natta

51akCiKED9L._SX350_BO1,204,203,200_Enduring the troubles of life isn’t always an easy task. This journal is meant to help you reflect on life and see the joy and positivity in things. I like that each of the entries is supposed to only take 5-minutes of your time. That means you don’t have to set a ton of time aside for your journaling.

Journaling is a great stress reliever. Not only does this journal give you guidance on what to write about, but it’s also filled with some great quotes that will motivate you and bring you joy.

Take some time to look at your choices. Get to know your fears and how to let go of them. Look at failure, and learn how failing leads to success.

A Year of Mindfulness by Jennifer Raye

513lq5EPH5L._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_Mindfulness helps you be more present and focus more on now, rather than dwelling on the past or focusing on the future. We often put too much of our time into wondering what will happen. When will I get married? Will I ever find my dream job? What does tomorrow hold? Then, we look at the past and focus on the mistakes we’ve made.

With A Year of Mindfulness, you can spend each week of an entire year learning how to appreciate the present and cultivate a life of peace and joy.

There are seven guided entries for each week, so you can do one small entry each day. It won’t take much time to start living a happier now!

Everything Sucks – A Gratitude Journal by Tiffany Reese

41tmoiC0DiL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_Ever feel like life just keeps shitting on you, and you’ll never clean all of the stink off? Well, there is a guided journal out there just for you. The Everything Sucks journal is a delightful romp into dealing with a shitty hand. I like that this journal has a rough attitude — it’s for sure going to make you chuckle and help you see the brighter side of things without being choked out by people telling you to “be grateful for what you have.”

Learn how to find inspiration in your more positive friends. Look back at more positive times in your life. Find the simple pleasures in life, like your favorite part of any given day.

You’ll find some great motivational quotes within these pages. They’ll help inspire you and remind you that you’re not alone in your struggles.

A Mindfulness For Beginners Journal

41uuQ8rtmpL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_Need more mindfulness? A Mindfulness For Beginners will walk you through the steps of being in the present and living in the moment. Like all of the rest of the guided journals in this list, this is a quick entry book that will make you think but won’t take up a bunch of your time.

Learn to avoid self-talk, find joy in each moment, learn to focus on your present thoughts, and learn not to judge yourself so harshly.

Again, you’ll find a collection of inspirational quotes throughout the journal.

This is my favorite of the four!

Posted in Book Reviews

A Daily Dose Of Dad Jokes

51j9iKQYDCL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Sometimes I request free review books so I can pass them on to my husband. This is one of those books. I’m not a fan of terrible jokes, but they make me laugh when he tells them.

To be completely transparent, I didn’t read this book from front to back. I skimmed it well, and read a joke here and there. I wanted to save them so my husband can tell me his favorites once he reads it.

So, A Daily Dose Of Dad Jokes is a collection of 365 jokes to get you through a year of dumb jokes that will make most people shake their heads. If you’re a dad, or you like dad jokes, you’ll love this book.

My husband is reading it right now and told me a couple. He was even happy to see one of his favorites within the pages of this punny tome.

Posted in Book Reviews

The Self-Care Prescription by Robyn L. Gobin, PhD

51YaFQA75zL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_I talk to people about self-care all of the time. As a holistic life coach and spiritual counselor, I can’t say enough about the importance of taking care of yourself. Whether you’re single and alone or raising a family, you matter. You matter to your family, your friends, your colleagues, and sometimes even strangers. When you don’t take care of yourself, it’s harder to find the energy to take care of other people.

So, onto this stellar book that I got for free from the publisher. I love it. I mean, I covered many of the things in this book in my now out-of-print Reconnecting With yourself, but all writers covering similar topics will look into things differently and give different insight. No matter how many self-care books and articles you’ve read, I can bet you’ll find something extra in Robyn L. Gobin’s The Self-Care Prescription.

Sel-care encompasses more than physically caring for yourself. You also require social, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional self-care. All of these things are covered in this amazing book.

Each section has so many important tips in them to help you better your life and feel whole again. Did I mention I am in love with this book?

Social Self-Care: This section is all about the importance of healthy friendships, having fun, and taking time to unwind.

Physical Self-Care: Learn to eat right, take time for exercise, and the importance of getting a good night’s sleep.

Intellectual Self-Care: Learning new things all of the time is so important. Even if you learn something simple. Find a hobby. Discover your passions.

Vocational Self-Care: Our jobs are an integral part of life. This section will help you take better care of yourself on and off the job.

Spiritual Self-Care: Whether you’re religious or not, your spiritual self-care will help with positivity, joy, and faith. Learn about meditation and self-realization.

Emotional Self-Care: Emotional health includes learning when to say “no,” identify your triggers, and don’t dismiss your emotions.

This book will change your life.

Posted in Book Reviews

Mastering Memory by Brad Zupp

514JL+znpNL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_My memory is awful. I can chalk it up to either my anxiety or pills I was on for three or more years for my anxiety. Maybe it’s smartphones — that easy access to phone numbers — that made my mind lazy. Who knows? Whatever the reason, I was intrigued by Brad Zupp’s Mastering Memory because of my fading memories.

This book has a ton of tips and tricks, or “hacks” (if you’re into buzzwords) to help you increase your short-term memories. Each trick is mapped out to make it easy to test out for yourself. Some are easier than others.

If you’re tired of forgetting your grocery list and then missing a bunch of items from the list, the hacks in Mastering Memory could help you. There are memory hacks for just about anything you need to remember. There are general tricks and specific ones — like how to remember where you parked your car.

I got this book for free from the publisher. This is an unbiased review. The book is cool.

Posted in Book Reviews

The Attachment Theory Workbook by Annie Chen, LMFT

41c5QAqIRhL._SX404_BO1,204,203,200_What’s your relationship type? Most of us probably don’t really know the answer to this question. Chen’s book, The Attachment Theory Workbook, begins with a guide that will help you figure out your style. Once you know, you can figure out how to use this info to build better relationships.

Do you have trouble making friends? Argue with your family members all the time? Feel like your spouse doesn’t understand you? You may be interacting with people who have different relationship types. This book is the guide you need.

I love it because it’s a workbook. Plenty of lessons to do and places to take notes. It’s not easy learning where your faults and insecurities are, but by understanding them, you’ll find a deeper connection within yourself and with the people you share your life with.

 

This super-interesting book was free from the publisher. I chose to review it of my own free will.

Posted in Book Reviews

Two Books To Help You Sleep At Night

41b-OwLdw3L._SX404_BO1,204,203,200_I’m not awake because I can’t sleep. We’re night owls here. As a full-time freelance writer and a business owner/entrepreneur, I make my own hours. I married a career musician… Then again, I do have insomnia from time to time.

Do you? The 4-Week Insomnia Workbook may be just what you need to help you get to sleep and stay asleep long enough to get a good night’s sleep! This book is filled with healthy sleep habits that are meant to assist you in getting to sleep without the use of drugs or self-medicating habits.

I like that the book begins with an explanation of what insomnia is. Some people think 41jESQfCOWLone night of disrupted equals insomnia, but that’s not the case. Read on to learn how to change your sleep behaviors, and learn how to make a plan to regain your sleep-filled nights!

I’m no stranger to teaching people how to get more sleep. I get paid to write about it, like in this article about getting better sleep. If you liked that article, you’ll love this next book by Dr. Nicole Moshfegh, PsyD. In The Book Of Sleep: 75 Strategies to Relieve Insomnia, you’ll find easy-to-maneuver tips from quitting smoking (a habit that can affect your sleep) to getting into healthy habits, like doing Tai Chi.

This is a great book to have on hand when you need a reminder on how to relax and live healthier. The bonus is that the tips will help you get to sleep at night.

I got both of these stellar books from the publisher for free. I liked them, so I chose of my own free will to review them.

 

 

Posted in Book Reviews

Nine Cookbooks I’m Cooking With Right Now!

I’m not a cookbook hoarder by any means. However, when I get the chance to get my hands on a unique cookbook, I grab it. I get free books through a publisher, with no review requirements, but I love what I pick from them. Sometimes I pick cookbooks, like the six I am going to tell you about.

I cook for two. I have IBS triggered by anxiety. I am gluten-free and lactose intolerant. These things make it a challenge sometimes, even when I am cooking my own meals. The right cookbooks give me a chance to open up and try new things, instead of eating all the same “safe” foods all the time. Learning new safe foods means I don’t get bored with my steamed veggies and rice, because I have it less often (or with new sauces).

51FXbwLBsCL._SX403_BO1,204,203,200_Speaking of sauces, the first cookbook I want to tell you about is The World Sauces Cookbook by Mark C. Stevens. I love sauces. They make food less dry, they add flavor, and they’re fun. This cookbook is filled with fun and unique sauces, and if you’re a sauce lover, you need a copy!

The author begins with a break down of sauces from different regions, like Asia and the Americas. The second part of the book directs you where to use these sauces in your meals, from using them with meats to vegetables. Want to make a sauce but not sure what to eat it with? The book’s got you covered.

So far, I am thrilled to be making my own Tikka Masala. Hey, I have a lot of cookbooks to cook from, but I have a list of future sauces to make!

51OEb-47igL._SX403_BO1,204,203,200_So, I mentioned that I’m gluten-free. If I eat some, I’m sick for three days, and it’s not pretty. Gluten-Free Vegan Baking For Every Occasion by Sara McGlothlin has given me some new delicious treats while helping me learn to eat less meat!

I suck at baking things from scratch, but this recipe book has made it easier (and less scary).

WARNING: Reading these recipes will make you hungry!

I like to start easy. What can go wrong with Blueberry Muffins? They were delicious and some much better than the Jiffy packages I remember as a kid (before I had to be so strict about my diet).

Crisps, scones, cakes, bread, cookies, pies, and frosting – You’ll find them all in here (and you won’t be disappointed).

47193047._SX318_I’m trying to eat less meat. I can’t say it’s working all that well (I love meat), but I did find a couple great vegan/vegetarian books I’m enjoying. The first is the Fast & Easy Vegan Cookbook. The recipes are easy, but the prep is not fast. You’re eating mostly whole foods, so 51vf278FQmL._SX403_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgit’s going to take you some time to get those meals ready to eat. That’s OK, though. This way, you know what you’re putting into your body. My favorite recipe, so far, is the Artichoke Heart Salad. Huge fan of those tasty tidbits. This is one of the quicker recipes, too!

The other meat-free cookbook I love right now is The 30-Minute Vegetarian Cookbook. My favorite recipe in this cookbook is the White Bean and Cream of Asparagus Soup. While the name has “cream” in it, there is no dairy. I LOVE asparagus, and I am a huge fan of soup (and soup season is upon us).

51nRT5cOz+L._SX260_I have food sensitivities. It sucks. We eat at home most of the time because eating out anywhere is a nightmare. I constantly worry about being glutened (when I do, I am stuck out-of-commission for three days, running from crying in the bedroom to the bathroom). I didn’t try the plans in the next two books, because I suck at following diet plans. I did try recipes in each, though. They both have great foods that will help you feel better and discover which foods are harming you.

The first is The 14-Day Elimination Diet Plan. Note: you cut out a lot of foods with this diet plan. Not everyone will be up to that. But, if it’s a matter of life 51-VKyOH6rL._SX404_BO1,204,203,200_or death (or at least quality of life), it’s worth it. You can also talk to your doctor about the elimination diet plans and share this book with them. I like that recipes are broken up into their main ingredient, for the most part. Chicken recipes are separate from meat recipes.

The 4-Week Gut Health Plan is meant to restore the health of your stomach. If you suffer from a lot of gas, bowel issues, or even bloating, the recipes in this book are meant to help you. Again, it’s a diet plan you need to follow for it to work. The recipes are tasty even if you don’t have the drive to follow the 4-week menu.

51HY8kYJShLThere are amazing recipe books out there meant to heal your body. The food you eat (the drugs you take, the things you drink, and everything else that goes inside your body) determines much of your health. The air we breath matters too, and we can’t always do anything about that.

These last three recipe books are some healing tomes I am 51JgkDpzeBL._SX404_BO1,204,203,200_glad to have come across. The Chinese Medicine Cookbook is my absolute favorite of these three. I love Chinese cuisine and can’t really get it in restaurants since most soy sauce is made with wheat. I have some of my own favorite recipes (not in this cookbook), and my husband makes a fried rice that is to die for. This book has expanded our love for Chinese, and our bellies are thankful.

The Hashimoto’s AIP Cookbook is a must for anyone who has been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s or thyroid issues. It’s a guide to a healthier thyroid 51Z8Ux9ERcL._SX403_BO1,204,203,200_through food.

The Easy Sugar Detox Cookbook is the newest cookbook in my collection. I am hopeful for this one. Sugar is such a bad thing for us, but it’s in nearly everything (including that slice of bread you just used to make a sandwich). I’ve been trying to trade out recipes in this book anytime I crave a sugary snack. It doesn’t always work, but the Chocolat-Banana nice Cream is pretty divine.