Monday, May 22, 2017

Mailbox Monday - May 22



Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Happy Monday! I hope you had a nice weekend. The weather was good here and it gave me a chance to spread some mulch down and refresh that area of the yard I designated for my wildlife friends. I also sold a house. Real estate has kept me very busy this year. The market is booming: low inventory and high buyer demand have increased prices.

On the book front, I've been playing catch up. These reviews were posted recently:

Organizing for Your Lifestyle
Food Junkies
The Joyful Business Planner
Creating a Life Worth Living, Volume 1

The Friends of the Wilbraham Public Library held their annual book sale at the beginning of May. Here's what I picked up from there:



Most of them are research materials for my writing, but I did pick up a couple of novels.

Last week, Charlotte Hubbard sent me her upcoming release. She has a book tour coming up soon.

Founded by the three Bender sisters, the Amish community of Promise Lodge is thriving—and growing. In fact, residents are thrilled to welcome a charismatic new arrival—one who may not just strengthen their faith, but put it to the test . . .

When Christine Bender meets widowed Bishop Monroe Burkholder, it’s love at first sight. But Preacher Amos finds him too good to be true, and is determined to find out what’s behind his sudden, unannounced arrival. Still, the colony needs a new bishop, and everyone is excited to have a younger, more progressive leader. As for Christine, Monroe returns her affection, but her bubble is soon burst with the arrival of a young woman half his age . . .

Leola Duff claims Monroe “ruined” her and she now intends to make an honest man of him. But throughout the process of discovering the truth, Christine never doubts that Monroe is the fine man she believes him to be—and never wavers in her faith that all will work out as it should. And when Monroe is forced to confess the truth before the entire congregation, he can only pray that open hearts and minds will prevail, allowing him a future at Promise Lodge—with Christine . . .

That's it for me this week. Hope you'll share your new mailbox.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Book Review: The Joyful Business Planner by Kate Martin

Where has this business planner been for the past three decades of my life? The Joyful Business Planner by Kate Martin is unlike anything you've probably seen before--which is why the author says she put it together.

Broken down into five sections--Business Overview, Marketing, Yearly Tracking, Calendars, and Wish Lists and Aspirations--this planner has the systems to get you organized and on track to meet your goals.

What I love about this book (everything really, but...):
  • It's less than 100 pages (perfect for busy small business owners like me);
  • It is short on narration and long on helpful templates to put the right systems in place;
  • There is one sheet that is a look at your current year at a glance that you can complete and hang in your office to stay focused;
  • One chapter focuses solely on social media marketing (including blogging);
I could go on and on about The Joyful Business Planner, but in the end all I need to say is this: if you are a small business owner, The Joyful Business Planner is an essential tool for success. 

Paperback: 92 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 13, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1539141810
ISBN-13: 978-1539141815

I received a digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Book Review: Food Junkies by Vera Tarman & Phil Werdell Read by Lisa Bunting


This is one of the most fascinating books I've ever read. Food Junkies: The Truth about Food Addiction by Vera Tarman and Phil Werdell and Read by Lisa Bunting is an in-depth look into food addiction with accounts from struggling addicts, a look into the shame of the addiction, and offers practical advice for people struggling with problems of overeating, binge eating, anorexia, and bulimia.

As someone who has struggled to eat healthy, Food Junkies was an eye-opening read. Learning about a variety of addictions and also how our bodies interact with what we eat is certainly helpful. Even when you know the health concerns, it isn't always easy not to over-indulge. Imagine how much more difficult it must be to cope with a food addiction and the shame that can come with it. There are stories of addiction in this book that will be tough to read, but if they help someone it will be worth it.

Audible doesn't always work well with my device, so I purchased the Kindle version. I did, however, download the audio version on my PC and thought Bunting's tone and inflection good for this topic.

If you're dealing with food addiction or know someone who is, Food Junkies is definitely worth reading; though I think it's a fascinating read for anyone interested in food and your body.


Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 8 hours and 20 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press
Audible.com Release Date: July 7, 2016
Language: English

I received an audio version of this book from the authors through Goddess Fish Promotions. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Book Review: Organizing for Your Lifestyle by Jane Stoller

It has long been my dream to get more organized. I'm not bad at it, but over the years the family has collected more things than we can ever use and I'm at the point where I don't want to look at it anymore. I've also never liked our closet storage. So, when Jane Stoller's publicist asked me if I would like to review Organizing for Your Lifestyle: Adaptable Inspirations from Socks to Suitcases, I jumped at the chance.

An organizer from a very young age, Stoller has put together a book that will inspire you to get organized for good. Get ideas on how to design your closet, tips on how best to hang your clothes, learn how to keep the bathroom toiletries in order and keep your kitchen tidy, learn traveling tips and more.

Organizing for Your Lifestyle is just the right size for the busy mom because it provides the information you need in under 130 pages. You can slip it in your purse and read it a little at time--maybe take some notes--and put together a plan of action. The pictures are an added bonus.

There are two hard things about organization--getting organized and staying organized. Stoller helps you to do both. My plan of action is already in the works and I look forward to sharing the results with my readers in the future.

If you're tired of living the life of the eternally disorganized, pick up a copy of Organizing for Your Lifestyle by Jane Stoller. It will empower you to change your ways.


Paperback: 148 pages
Publisher: BookBaby (August 4, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1483570959
ISBN-13: 978-1483570952

I received a free copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Diary of a Busy Mom - The Blessing of Trials




It's hard to believe that April 28 was my last post. I really miss blogging, but there has been little time for it. The real estate market is hot and I've had three new listings over the last few weeks. Two of them are already under contract: a sign of the limited housing inventory and how swiftly properties are moving. 

The house is a mess. I’m putting in twelve-hour days. My goal of bringing my office down to the first floor remains unachieved. Reading time is almost as non-existent as blogging time.

Over the last four weeks our family has traveled through and, thankfully, out of a valley. My husband was laid off. Both our cars needed expensive repairs. A dear friend passed away. But God is good! Hubby is back to work. Our friend’s son has been a sleepover guest. I had a chance to participate in my first Author’s Fair at the local library. We’ve had the joy of watching our girls’ concerts as the school year begins to wind down and our annual vacation to North Carolina is coming closer. We are hoping to plan a surprise for the Lil’ Diva’s sixteenth birthday too. Shhhhhh!

Life certainly is a mix of trials and blessings. We learn to praise God not only for the blessings, but for the trials as well. For without the trials, how could we ever come to appreciate how much He truly loves us? Would the blessings seem as sweet if we never traveled through a desert place? I can’t imagine they would.