January 2015 Book Reviews

I read a TON of books this month (I even impressed myself).  Between traveling for business and pleasure, there was just a lot of dead time – and I like to fill that time with reading!  Here is

IMG_0026the beginning of my 2015 list of books read – you can also find 2014 and 2013 on this site.  Below were my favorites from this month:


Like your books a little bit creepy but not scary?  This book will fit the bill.  It’s really hard to explain without giving away the fun of understanding it for yourself, but suffice it to say that it includes “ghosts,” family drama and lots of “ah ha” moments for the occupants of the house.  My rating 4 out of 5.

My daughter and I have had so much fun reading this series.  It’s about a group of girls without much in common who are thrown together by their mothers to create a mother- daughter book club.  Typical tween and teen issues abound (but pretty wholesome overall) – reminiscent to me of the many preteen books I read when I was young.  I love that the mothers are so involved, and that there are tidbits in each book about the books they read in the book club (Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, etc.).  They are quick reads and we’ve had a lot of good conversations about some of the topics as well as the books themselves.  There is a seventh book coming out this summer which we are anxiously awaiting.  My rating 4.5 out of 5.

I picked this book up at the library simply because I’d enjoyed What Alice Forgot. and this was from the same author.  It’s hard to say where I’d place this – not really romantic suspense, not really true chick lit – maybe a bit of a mixture.  Regardless, it was great fun.  The main character, Sophie, feels very real and the supporting characters are often quite hilarious.  After inheriting a house on a small island from her ex-boyfriend’s Aunt, Sophie decides it’s time to create a life she loves – and try she does.  I didn’t love the ending, but I didn’t hate it either.  This would be a good addition to your beach bag or to read on a long and boring flight.  My rating 4 out of 5.


I was lucky enough to get a pre-release copy of this book written by the blogger Jessica Turner of The Mom Creative, and while I’m sure I’ll do a deeper  review of it at some point, I couldn’t leave it off my list of favorites this month.  Jessica makes an excellent case for why women need to shift their perspective, lose the guilt and spend some time creating and enjoying their own interests.  Along with the why, she shares some helpful tips for how this can be done.  The topic is exactly my sweet spot – and what I coach women on weekly!  So of course I loved it!!  My rating 5 out of 5. 

Being a sucker for healthy programs, lifestyles, etc. when it was suggested as reading for my Mentor Masterclass this month, I had to delve into this book.  While I didn’t agree with all the principles – they are a bit too extreme for me and I’m a proponent of moderation in everything versus a more hardline approach, I DID like some of the suggestions and I really liked some of the recipes – the book is worth it for the recipes alone.  One thing I picked up that I’ve been trying out (and enjoying) is to start each meal with some raw foods – it’s an easy way to get extra veggies and fruits into your diet and a good way to ensure you are eating a decent percentage of raw food.  My rating 4 out of 5.

So what were your favorite books for the month?  I have another staggeringly high stack of books to be read from the library, but I’m always eager to get new recommendations.  Please share in the comments!

Do you wish you could read everyday but just can’t seem to make the time?  Then it’s time to re-create your mornings – a good start to your day will allow you time to spend on the things you love on a regular basis.  Get your FREE copy of my 3 day e-course HERE, implement the tips and by next week you’ll have a better start to your day!

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Weekly Goals January 26 – February 1

Hmm, somehow I missed posting my goals last week – must have been all the fun I was having playing in the snow with my kids Monday!  Oh well, back on track this week!Weekly Goals

Two Week’s Ago Goals


  • Complete my most dreaded task first every daydone!
  • Keep up with coaching coursework – done
  • Finish January blog postsdone
  • Submit a guest postdone, see my latest article on How To Make Your Goals a Reality at The Huffington Post HERE
  • Social Media plan for next two weeks – didn’t get to this
  • February blog postsoutline complete


  • Drink 6 glasses of water a daydone
  • Meditate 3xdone
  • Regular morning routinedone (and LOVING the way my days are beginning)


  • Pack for upcoming ski weekend – done – and already unpacked, trip was a blast!
  • Game night this week!have had a few very fun family game nights lately
  • Date nightdone


  • Prep for next day each nightdone
  • Work on office paperwork – did a little, but didn’t make much of a dent
  • Trip to Goodwilldone, four big bags of clutter GONE

This Week’s Goals


  • Complete my most dreaded task first every day
  • Keep up with coaching coursework
  • Re-do opt-in page
  • Submit a guest post
  • Twitter strategy
  • February blog posts


  • Read 2 books
  • Drink 6 glasses of water a day
  • Meditate 3x
  • Regular morning routine


  • Plan a fun family Saturday
  • Date night
  • Help my daughter with her science fair project


  • Prep for next day each night
  • Work on office paperwork

What are YOUR plans for the week?  I’d love to see you share them or even a link to your goals in the comments.

Ready to achieve your goals this year?  Having a personal health & lifestyle coach will keep you accountable and help you get the results you want – whether your goal is to get fit, eat better, be healthier, have more fun, or just be happier.  Right now I have room in my schedule for 3 new ladies – so if you want this to be the year you accomplish more than you ever have before, contact me to set up your FREE 30-minute Clarity Session.  We’ll hash out your top three goals and decide if we are a good fit to work together in the next few months to accomplish them.  What do you have to lose?  But act fast, because once those spots are gone, they are gone!

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As I mentioned last week, I like to pick a word to reference throughout the year.  Last year was ENJOY (and 2014 shaped up around that word perfectly).  This year I selected BELIEVE.  Or maybe I should say it selected me.Young Living Essential Oil On my desk are a few of the essential oil blends I like best, and Believe has been sitting there for a few weeks now.  Every time I’d glance down at that bottle, it just gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling.  I started to think of things using that word, things like . . .

I BELIEVE I can be healthy and happy.

I BELIEVE I can help busy moms create a less frazzled and healthier life.

I BELIEVE I can easily balance work and fun.

The list goes on and on.  The more I thought about it, the more “right” the word felt.   With encouragement from my Mentor Masterclass Coach, Jey, I even looked up the definition of the word believe:

1.  To have confidence in the truth, the existence or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so.

2.  To have confidence or faith in the truth of xyz; give credence to

3.  To have a conviction that (a person or thing) is, has been, or will be engaged in a given action or involved in a given situation

4.  to suppose or assume; understand

Mmm, I love that – it exemplifies exactly what I want for 2015.  I want to BELIEVE.

Do you pick a word or a theme for the year?  How do you do it?  What IS your word or theme – I love to hear this stuff from other women, so please share in the comments below!

Need to re-think your mornings?  Want to create time to work on your goals and dreams each day? Get your FREE copy of my 3-day e-course “Discover the Perfect Start to Your Day” HERE

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Love to Create? Think You are Too Busy? Think Again!

There aren’t enough hours in the day, right? With work, helping the kids with their homework, preparing meals, cleaning up after everyone and putting yet another load of laundry on, there’s very little time for sleep – let alone DIY and crafting! But do you look at that bare wall in the den and that tatty tablecloth on the kitchen table, and just wish you had a few hours to do something about them? Or do you browse through those wonderful crafting successes on Pinterest and think to yourself that “one day” you’ll have a few more minutes to yourself so that you too can create something incredible? You’re not alone – there’s a huge community of people out there who are feeling just as frustrated as you are! Thankfully though, there’s an exciting new product to help you quickly and easily get into (or back into) the creative projects you’ve been desperate to start. It’s called The Ultimate DIY Bundle, and it’s a collection of carefully curated DIY and crafting eBooks and eCourses from the world’s leading authors and bloggers in the industry. For the crazy low price of just $34.95, you get access to a carefully curated library of over 76 eBooks and eCourses. And let me reassure you that this really is great value: the Ultimate Bundles team (who produced the resource) has spent MONTHS seeking out the most respected experts in the industry and asking them to contribute their premium-quality eBooks and eCourses. These really are the best of the best when it comes to DIY and crafting advice and information. Topics in the bundle include:

  • Home decor
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  • Photography
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  • Cake decorating
  • Photography and photo-editing
  • Paint colors and interior design
  • …and a whole lot more (76 eBooks and eCourses in total) – to help you be inspired or get started with your next DIY or crafting project!

There’s no need to worry about information overload though: The Ultimate DIY Bundle comes with a complete guide to getting started, so that you can know exactly which resource to use for your specific crafting or DIY project and jump straight into it with confidence!     Hurry though! The Ultimate DIY Bundle will only be on sale for 6 days – from 8am EST on Wednesday, January 21 until 11.59pm EST on Monday, January 26. You can buy with complete confidence because you’re covered by the Ultimate Bundles 30-day money-back guarantee. That means you have a full 30 days to enjoy all the eBooks and eCourses in the bundle, and if you don’t think they provided enough value, you’ll get a full refund. Not only that, but The Ultimate DIY Bundle comes with 4 awesome bonuses, worth over $118. That’s 3x the price of the bundle alone! These include… A free $15 Store Credit PLUS 8×10 Art Print from Hope Ink ($43 Value), a free online class from Craftsy (up to $60 Value), free $15 store credit to Fawnsberg.com, and a free sewing pattern PLUS a Premium Video Class from UpCraft Club ($19.99 Value).  I have a few of the prints from Hope Ink and I just LOVE THEM!! So, don’t miss your chance to grab The Ultimate DIY Bundle, and get 76 incredible eBooks and eCourses for just $34.95. All you need to do is take action by midnight on Monday, January 26! This amazing deal ends in just…

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2015 Goals

Whew!Green Tea

I think I’ve spent more time pondering and planning my goals for 2015 than I EVER have.  Since I’ve spent so much time, they really feel right.  They feel audacious and challenging, yet still achievable (with a lot of hard work!).  These goals will stretch me and force me to grow – and that’s a good thing!

Every year I create a word to exemplify what I want my life to feel like for the year – it’s a word that I can fall back on when considering new opportunities, thinking about next steps, etc.  Last year that word was ENJOY.  This year, the word BELIEVE just came to me.  And it stuck.  So BELIEVE is my word for 2015.  I’ll share more about what that word means to me next week . . ..

On to the goals.  There are only ten of them this year, but as I mentioned, they are BIG!   All of them center around my core values of Relationships, Health and Helping Others.  The goals are written as if it’s the end of the year, and they have been accomplished.

1.  I am a successfully coaching six new women.

2.  I have completed a successful online group program to help busy moms move from frazzled to fabulous!

3.  I have tried something new every month.

4.  I have had many fun vacations as well as fun experiences each month with my family.

5.  I am exercising 5x per week, drinking lots of water and getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.

6.  I am a marketing and prospecting queen – my efforts make it fun and easy to fill my coaching programs by reaching the women they can help the most.

7.  I have a clean and organized house – especially the office.

8.  I have created regular nights out (or in) with my friends.

9.  I am practicing yoga and meditation regularly each week.

10.  I have enjoyed weekly “me time” in the form of massages, reading and learning new things – this gives me the energy and excitement to be more present with my family.

Most of them build on each other and they are a nice mix of health related, business and relationships – should be a very exciting year!

What are your goals?  I’d LOVE for you to share them in the comments.  I’ve found that stating your goals out loud helps keep you accountable – so give it a try – write them in the comments or link to your blog.  I BELIEVE it will be a successful and fun 2015!

Do you need an extra push this year to accomplish your health and lifestyle goals?  Then this might be the perfect year to work together.  Book your FREE 30 minute clarity session today and we will uncover your top three goals for the year and determine if we are a good fit to work together to accomplish them.

Rediscover Your Creative Side in 2015

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2014 Goals Re-Cap

It’s that time of year where we all look at what we accomplished and start considering what we want the new year to contain.  Instead of writing down a quick list on New Year’s Day of resolutions, I’ve been spending a bit of time each day really thinking about my values and what is most Weekly Goalsimportant to me.  So, I’m not coming out with my final 2015 goals until later this week – stay tuned, they will be BIG and audacious!

Looking back at 2014, I feel really good about how in general my life exemplified my one word – which was ENJOY.

Here is what I stated as my desires for 2014:  “I want 2014 to be the year I enjoy my business more, enjoy my life more, enjoy plenty of quality time with my friends and family and enjoy a healthier lifestyle for myself and my family.”  And here are the actual goals along with my thoughts on whether I accomplished them:

Family/ Friends

  • Show love for each family member monthly according to their Love LanguageI think I did a pretty good job of this, although my kid’s love languages are pretty murky.  Still I made a conscious effort each month to spend time with them, celebrate and enjoy life
  • Plan and enjoy six vacations or weekend getaways – we started the year with a couple of fun ski weekends, went to Florida for Spring Break with friends, went back to Orlando and then Pompano Beach in the summer, our annual “grown-ups only” Vegas Trip in July, a week in Michigan in July, Saint Louis in the Fall and finally Gatlinburg after Christmas.  So yes – definitely hit this goal!!!  So blessed to be able to travel regularly.
  • Enjoy regular get-togethers with friends - did a great job of this when it was warm out – we just seemed to naturally gravitate together when everyone is outside, do need to do a better job once the weather gets cold – I’d like to be more intentional about this in 2015

Healthier Lifestyle

  • Enjoy seasonal foods and the entire dining experience – overall, pretty good job with this one – I love to cook and that definitely helps!
  • Enjoy regular exercise – very consistent in 2014
  • Commit to enjoying a consistent morning routineaside from a few tough times (sick, traveling, or super busy at work) I did a much better job of this, and I find my mornings are SO MUCH BETTER when I get up earlier and take time for myself in the morning


  • Enjoy blogging – and share valuable content for YOU – I think I did a good job here, hope you did too!
  • Create programs and products I enjoy (and you will too!) – started the year with a Healthy Eating program that was a ton of fun, and am in the midst of creating a very exciting online program where I’ll help frazzled moms create a fabulous life!
  • Enjoy discovering new uses for my essential oils – and sharing them – have incorporated oils into my daily life – and still get a real kick out of trying new ones and sharing them with friends

How about YOU?  Do you feel good about 2014?  What worked and what didn’t work?  Are you setting new goals for 2015?  Do you need help in figuring out how to set goals?  If so, check out my latest Huffington Post article:  How to Make Your Goals a Reality and/or my short series on goal setting:  Goal Setting Step 1 and Goal Setting Step 2.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please feel free to comment and/or link to your blog posts with your 2014 results.

Do you need an extra push this year to accomplish your health and lifestyle goals?  Then this might be the perfect year to work together.  Book your FREE 30 minute clarity session today and we will uncover your top three goals for the year and determine if we are a good fit to work together to accomplish them.

Weekly Goals January 12 – 18

Last week was a great week – I felt very productive and even with a TON of school delays and closings feel good about what I accomplished (except for getting up early – that was  TOTAL bomb!!).Weekly Goals

Last Week’s Goals


  • Complete my most dreaded task first every day – four out of five days, so pretty positive
  • Keep up with coaching coursework – done, a GREAT week with FUN info
  • 2015 BIG GOALSdone, and will be revealed later this week!!!
  • Submit a guest postdone, submitted another article to HuffPost
  • Social Media plan for next two weeks – didn’t do this . .. 
  • January blog posts - planned out and half written



  • Plan a FUN Saturday – it’s our last completely free weekend day for quite some timewe had a fun AND relaxing day, which was just what we needed as the next few weekends are jam packed!!!


  • Prep for next day each nightdone
  • Work on office paperwork – a little bit

This Week’s Goals


  • Complete my most dreaded task first every day
  • Keep up with coaching coursework
  • Finish January blog posts
  • Submit a guest post
  • Social Media plan for next two weeks
  • February blog posts


  • Read 2 books
  • Drink 6 glasses of water a day
  • Meditate 3x
  • Regular morning routine


  • Pack for upcoming ski weekend
  • Game night this week!
  • Date night


  • Prep for next day each night
  • Work on office paperwork
  • Trip to Goodwill

Need to re-think your mornings?  Get your FREE copy of my 3-day e-course “Discover the Perfect Start to Your Day” HERE

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My Top Ten Books from 2014

This was a hard list to write – I read an amazing number of excellent books this year – many of which were recommended by YOU, so THANK booksYOU! I narrowed it down to 14 then finally my top 10.  It was a lot of fun looking back and remembering what I had read throughout the year.  Sometimes I could distinctly remember what was going on in my life when I read a particular book – love that! If you are interested, here is the entire list – just look at the 2014 books area of the store (2013 is out there too).

So, without further ado, here are my favorites (in the order I read them):

This one is a bit of a cheat, because I also read and loved the companion book The 5 Love Languages of Children so I’m counting both of them as one of my favorites.  I read these two very early in 2014 and even crafted one of my 2014 goals around them.  The idea behind these books – that we each have our own unique ways of feeling loved – really clicked for me.  I found it fascinating and have tried hard to apply the lessons – instead of showing love the way I feel it best, I’ve tried to tailor my actions to meet the needs of my family.

The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary into the Extraordinary by Mark Sanborn has such a positive message for all of us – and such an important reminder that we can all make a difference in our work as well as the lives of others just our attitude and how we approach our jobs.  Plus, by making that extra effort, WE will increase our happiness and job satisfaction.  I know that when I encounter a “Fred” in my day to day life, I notice it – and it can truly turn my day around.  I found myself taking all kinds of notes while I was reading it (I’m kinda geeky like that).  Great book for anyone who wants to experience more job satisfaction – especially if you work in customer service.

I’m not sure what to say about this book that hasn’t already been said.  Typically if I know a book will be sad, I avoid it – for me, reading is a place to learn and for enjoyment.  However, this book had so many positive reviews (and I knew that my daughter would be reading it when she got a bit older), that I figured I’d better give it a go.  So glad I did.  Yes, it’s sad, but it’s also uplifting.  An excellent reminder that life is short for all of us and sometimes the gifts we receive from the hard things we do are worth the pain.  I have to admit I haven’t watched the movie yet – waiting for a night I feel like crying!!!

What an amazing book – as soon as I finished it, I handed it to my daughter and told her to read it immediately.  She was in the middle of Divergent and couldn’t be swayed to stop.  Luckily, her 5th Grade class read it as a group – for which I am very thankful.  It is now one of her all-time favorite books (and mine too).  Auggie looks different.  Very different.  But his looks don’t define him.  Kids can be cruel.  They can also be kind.  The book shares Auggie’s struggles and successes when entering school for the first time.  A wonderful book for any 4th to 8th grade child – and for their parents!

I just love Shauna Niequist.  Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes was one of my all-time favorite books in 2013, so it makes sense that this one made my 2014 list (and she’s working on a new book right now!).  This collection of essays on everyday life is beautiful, inspiring and uplifting.  I love her writing – so much that I copied a paragraph from one of these essays right into my journal – I wanted to savor and re-read those beautiful words over and over . . .

This book has become my “go-to” when I want to give a gift to someone.  I just found it so hopeful and inspiring that once I finished it, I wanted everyone I knew to read it.  So I passed on my copy and have since bought several others for friends – I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did.  Bob Goff has an amazing life – a life he created on his own simply by living fully engaged in life – paying attention to the moments big and small.   I was reading it while we were on a vacation and I kept reading passages out loud to my family in the car – they were all enthralled and wanted me to continue sharing it as I read – that’s strong praise from two kids and a hubby who isn’t much of a reader!

Another book I’ve shared with the mama’s in my life – and one I know I’ll read many times myself.  I could totally relate with the author as I know I’ve been guilty way too many times of focusing on my phone or computer versus my precious children.  Although it’s not realistic to be able to drop everything all the time to do something with or pay attention to them, there ARE many instances where I can and should make that choice.  This book is a positive reminder to do just that – and a reminder of the rewards we reap by focusing on our actual life instead of our electronics and other distractions.

Looking for some fun fiction?  Look no further than The Rosie Project: A Novel.  This book was funny, it was heart-warming and I found myself cheering for Don and his desire to find a wife.  Well-written and just a ton of fun to read.  Take this on your next vacation.  Warning – if you don’t find Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory funny, you probably won’t like Don’s character.  As I was reviewing my books for this post, I discovered there is sequel (The Rosie Effect: A Novel) that was released last month – guess that’s going on my hold list at the library!

Having been a long-time fan of the blog Nesting Place, I was very excited to see Myquillin had a book out.  The book is lovely to read and to look at – the pictures are just wonderful.  The message is perfect for those of us who want a warm and welcoming home, but just don’t have that decorator instinct (yeah, I have many talents, but decorating is NOT one of them!).  I borrowed the book from the library, but this is one I will eventually purchase for my own collection – it’s a good one to read when you feel the need to spruce things up but don’t know where or how to start – and since I get that urge a few times a year . . .

Another novel, and a bit of a dark one at that.  However, the themes in the book really rang true for me – and I really appreciated how the characters stretched themselves, learned about themselves and by the end of the book had emotionally grown dramatically.  The book is well-written and for lovers of words, just a joy to read.  It’s classified as Young Lit, but I’d be cautious of handing to a younger or immature child – the storyline is pretty intense – even though the main characters are young.

Whew, that was quite a bit of work – but so much fun reviewing and remembering what I read.  Curious about the four that got the final cut?  Here they are, in no particular order – all excellent books, but I had to draw the line somewhere!  The Alchemist, The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life, 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story and Big Little Lies.  All of these were reviewed earlier in the year – so if you do a search on book reviews 2014 on this site, you are bound to find them.

I put the affiliate links to Amazon in this post to make it easy for you to find the books I mentioned, but please feel free to get them at your local library – that’s what I almost always do – and then if I think I will want to read it again, I’ll purchase the book.

What were your favorites for 2014?  What should I add to my VERY LONG list of books I’d like to read?  Please share in the comments – I’m always on the lookout for new recommendations!

Is reading more one of your goals for 2015?  But you feel like you NEVER have the time? If you want to create a healthy life that you love – and that includes time for what is important to YOU – contact me for a free Clarity Session - we’ll discuss your goals and dreams and you’ll leave the call understanding what is important to you and how you can start making it happen!

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