What I'm Reading & Why I Chose An Anti Self-Help Book

Hello lovely,

I’m so guilty of ignoring reading. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy reading, but my life is drastically different now from the days when I was able to finish thick books in three days or less. I used to read long after my parents sent me to bed, and often travelled with a book everywhere I went in case it was boring. Now worry that I have so much going on that I just don’t make the time. And even when I do have the time, I find myself thinking about other things and unable to concentrate. But when I saw this book in my best friend’s house on Christmas, I just had to have it! After she lent it to me, I couldn’t wait to dive in, but of course I made excuses. It wasn’t until j forced myself to sit down and read it, did I realise why this was the book I NEEDED in my life. The book is called F*ck Feelings by Dr. Michael and Sarah Bennett.

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I genuinely only read books that contain profanity because it feels real. I’m not perfect, so I don’t need a book that pretends to be perfect. And that’s why I chose an “anti-self help” book. I know I don’t have my life together, but I just can’t relate to the yoga moms, who drink smoothies instead of eating real food and take a bunch of styled photos for Instagram. The book offered answers to common issues we face in adulthood. Even the description tells you:

Need to stop screwing up? Want to become a more positive person?
Do you work with an ass? Think you can rescue an addicted person?
Looking for closure after abuse? Have you realized that your parent is an asshole?
Feel compelled to clear your name? Hope to salvage a lost love?
Want to get a lover to commit? Plagued by a bully?
Afraid of ruining your kid? Ready to vent your anger?

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What are you reading now? If anyone picks up the F*ck Feelings book, I’d love to chat with you about it!

Books in Progress: What I'm Reading Right Now

Hello Lovely,

I used to looooooove reading! I was the kid that walked while reading and never bumped into anything. I always had a book in my hand so I was never bored. Whether it was an errand, a hurricane or punishment, I was content as long as I had a book. I only came up for food and then I would go right back to reading. So what happened to my love for books? I was getting mediocre grades because I would rather read a fiction book than my textbooks. In 10th grade, a light bulb went off and I suddenly realised if I wanted to do well in school, it was my school books I needed to read. Needless to say, I’ve been reading school books ever since. So either I didn’t have the time to read for fun, or I just couldn’t bring myself to read one more thing.

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Even though I’m about to go back to school again (teaching certificate) I’m trying to make more time for reading. I’m only currently reading 2 books right now. I’m extra picky with my books so it’s hard to find something I want to read. Every time I get the Kindle first email, I know immediately I won’t find something I like. I’m not one for spiritual, self help, non-fiction, YA, or romance books. I love a good story about a character who somehow manages to mess up their life, and no matter how much they try to fix it, they keep making it worse (art imitates real life I suppose). So when I found these books, I was drawn to them immediately!

Life After Coffee
By Virginia Franken

First of all, coffee is in the title, so that was a no-brainer for me. The summary below really drew me in and the fact that it was free on Kindle Unlimited was the deal closer. I’m halfway through it and honestly, I’m nothing like the main character so I find myself getting frustrated with her holier-than-though judgements on other people when her own life is a crumbling mess. In the words of the great Kendrick Lamar, “Sit down, be humble”. I can’t wait to see how it ends.

When globe-trotting coffee buyer, Amy O'Hara, assures her husband--who stays at home to watch the kids--that it is He Who Has it Harder... she doesn't really believe it. That is, until the day she gets laid off, her husband locks himself in the garage to write the Great American Screenplay and she discovers she's actually the world's most incompetent mother.

Overnight Amy's world is no longer one of farmer negations and upscale coffee tastings. Instead she's spending her days attempting to discover where exactly she went wrong with her two resentful Children and trying to carve out a place within her local tribe of put-together neighborhood moms. However as their family dynamic begins to change in both fun and frustrating ways, she's starting to ask herself the big questions: Can her marriage survive this kind of role reversal? How do you clean puke out from in between the seams of a car seat? And what does she really amount to when the job she thought defined her is removed from the equation?

One thing is certain: whatever happens, she's going to need a lot more caffeine.

I know that I said I’m not one for self-help books, but something about the title really caught my eye. When I started reading it, I fell in love with how brutally honest Rachel is.

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Do you ever suspect that everyone else has life figured out and you don’t have a clue? If so, Rachel Hollis has something to tell you: that’s a lie.

As the founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Rachel Hollis developed an immense online community by sharing tips for better living while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own life. Now, in this challenging and inspiring new book, Rachel exposes the twenty lies and misconceptions that too often hold us back from living joyfully and productively, lies we’ve told ourselves so often we don’t even hear them anymore.

With painful honesty and fearless humor, Rachel unpacks and examines the falsehoods that once left her feeling overwhelmed and unworthy, and reveals the specific practical strategies that helped her move past them. In the process, she encourages, entertains, and even kicks a little butt, all to convince you to do whatever it takes to get real and become the joyous, confident woman you were meant to be.

With unflinching faith and rock-hard tenacity, Girl, Wash Your Face shows you how to live with passion and hustle--and how to give yourself grace without giving up.

The Invisible Boy
By Trudy Ludwig

Because I’m a guidance counsellor, I love finding books that I can use with the kids. While I’m not very fond of the rushed ending, I’ve actually already read this book and think it would be great for 3rd and 2nd graders. Well maybe read isn’t the correct word. I found a read aloud of it on YouTube. Don’t you just love the internet?

A simple act of kindness can transform an invisible boy into a friend...

Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party . . . until, that is, a new kid comes to class.

When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine.

From esteemed author and speaker Trudy Ludwig and acclaimed illustrator Patrice Barton, this gentle story shows how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish. Any parent, teacher, or counselor looking for material that sensitively addresses the needs of quieter children will find The Invisible Boy a valuable and important resource. 

Includes backmatter with discussion questions and resources for further reading. 

And that free bookmark I promised? I love this bookmark from It’s Always Autumn. It’s so cute! I’m currently using the box, owl and racoon as they’re my favourite woodland creatures. Which ones will you use?

What are you currently reading? Share your reading list and any recommendations you may have in the comment section below. Happy reading!

Friday Favourites: Books I've Got to Have

Hello Lovely,

Now that it's officially summer, everyone is looking for a good book or two to read. I definitely don't read as much as I used to, but lately there have been some books that really caught my eye. I love the idea of coffee table books and it's even better when those books are actually filled with fun things to do, like recipes and DIYs. So I've compiled a list of 6 books I've got to get before the summer is over.

1. Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering

Can we all just pause for a moment and praise the genius that is Joanna Gaines? I got hooked on her and her husband Chip after being forced to watch Fixer Upper with my mum. Now I'm obsessed with all things related to farmhouse living. When I found out about her book, it skyrocketed to the top of my list for must have books!

Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat
By Chrissy Teigen, Adeena Sussman

2. Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat

Some people call Chrissy Teigen a mean girl. I just think she's hilarious. And after this tweet:

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I knew I had to buy her recipe book! For years, she’s been collecting, cooking, and Instagramming her favorite recipes, and here they are: from breakfast all day to John’s famous fried chicken with spicy honey butter to her mom’s Thai classics. I know her new cookbook will soon be available so I want to get the first one and start a collection!

3. Cakes by Melissa: Life Is What You Bake It

I found out about Melissa when I watched my first episode of The Kitchen on Food Network. I think it was the birthday episode and I was absolutely blown away by easy she made everything look. That inspired me to try my own tie dye cake and it actually wasn't so bad. Cakes by Melissa is a mouthwatering collection of easy and imaginative cakes from the creative force behind the delicious bite-size cupcake brand Baked by Melissa. I'm hoping this book would help me to become a better cake decorator.

4. Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts

It's Martha Fucking Stewart. Need I say any more????? Organized by topic from A to Z, Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts contains complete instructions and brief histories for more than 30 techniques, detailed descriptions of the necessary tools and materials, and easy-to-copy templates.

5. 50 Ways to Draw Your Beautiful, Ordinary Life: Practical Lessons in Pencil and Paper (Flow)

I've seriously been trying to get back into drawing, but never quite knew where to start or what I want to draw. So I think this book would be the perfect inspiration as it includes step by step instructions on how to draw a whimsically curated list of the things we see and interact with every day: a bouquet of flowers, a watering can, a cat, mittens, favorite plants and vegetables, a cup and saucer, a kitchen table, fruit wrappers, a seagull, a dress collar, an apple tree.

6. A Touch of Farmhouse Charm: Easy DIY Projects to Add a Warm and Rustic Feel to Any Room

I'm obsessed with anything farmhouse related and a book that's basically a live version of Pinterest sounds like a good idea to me. The projects require minimal effort, yet add instant charm to any room. I like a lot of the projects in the book but I wish that they all had photos attached because I'm a visual person and won't make anything if I don't have an idea of what it's supposed to look like.

Are you digging any of these books? What's on your summer reading list? Share your favourites  or anything you're excited to read in the summer section below.

The Sweets & Sips eBook is Here!

Hello Lovely,

Today I am so happy to release my new eBook! It's taken months of preparation. I had so much fun putting this together, and thinking of fun and new recipes to share with you guys! All of the sweets are brand new and never before seen, with two new drink recipes and four oldies but goodies.

This book is meant to inspire you to take ordinary desserts and make something worthy of sharing with others for bakers of all levels. You are free to substitute for all dietary needs and of course double or even triple the recipe depending on your audience size. Don’t be afraid to add your own flair too. With 12 recipes (6 sweets and 6 sips), I hope this book lights that creative spark within you. Let Life By Olivia be your VIP Pass to the latest beauty and fashion trends with quick and easy recipes that shine and satisfy. Because life could use a personal touch.

If you want your free copy, you only have three days to get it free before it goes on sale on Amazon for $2.99! So all you have to do to get your free copy is enter your email address below and we'll send it right over! That's it! But you've only got three days to do so! So as of Thursday (Thanksgiving) you'll have to get it from Amazon. Act fast! You don't want to miss out on this deal. Unless you want to buy it, I won't discourage you from doing that!

 

 

 

Tuesday Ten: Get Your Summer Reading List Ready!

Spring signals so many things: The start of new relationships, as well as the end of many, especially due to graduation ceremonies. Once all of the cramming is over and done with, some of us find ourselves lacking, and good book perfectly fills that void. With travel plans and beach weather on the horizon, now is the best time to pick out your summer reading list and to get a head start (it’s okay to cheat sometimes. It was really hard trying to find only ten books, but I think I did it (Yay me!). All of the books I listed below, I've either rated at least 4 stars on ‘Goodreads’ or have received a lot of good reviews from others. I've read books that ranged from sunshine-and-daffodils, to the skies-opening-up-and-blood-raining-down, and OMG – have-to-read-that-again. But no matter the content, I'm always entranced.  The books I listed contain at least some sort of romance, action, adventure, paranormal, adult content and language, humour, and just good stuff amongst them. The last two books I included aren't a romance book, nor is it fiction, but I felt it best to throw in two last good reads. I hope that you guys can choose at least one of these books and fall into another reality and live there happily between the pages as I did (plus did I mention some of the characters are hilarious and just hot).

-Books are a hard-bound drug with no danger of an overdose. I am a happy victim of books. Are you?

1.      Birdie – Carr, M.C.

What's on your book list to read this year? Did any of my picks make your cut? Let me know in the comment section below!

XoX,

Amanda