Tag: book of the month club

One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2016 was to read a new book every month. I joined Book of the Month Club to shake things up and No One Knows was the first book I chose! I’ve loved being part of this fun subscription so much this year. The best part of getting a monthly choice is being introduced to books you may have never chosen on your own! You can sign up here if you’re interested.

Have you ever stayed up all night reading because you felt like your life would be incomplete without knowing the ending to the book?

That was me while reading this little page turner.

No One Knows by J.T. Ellison is one of those twisty, angst ridden novels that keeps you wanting to uncover the next secret. The story follows Aubrey who has mourned her missing husband for the past five years after he vanished on the night of a friend’s bachelor party. The police (and the public) targeted Aubrey as the prime suspect in his disappearance, and over time that slowly gives way to suspicion that he faked his own death. Now that five years have passed, his mother has made the decision to have him declared legally dead. The declaration causes old memories to surface and new facts to present themselves in the most intriguing way possible, sending Aubrey’s life in a tailspin all over again.

The clever twists and turns in this mystery will floor you. Just when you think you’ve figured things out, J.T. Ellison slaps you in the face with a new revelation. My focus is easily distracted typically, but No One Knows kept the wheels of my brain turning constantly. Like the rest of the story, the ending is so unexpected that I had to read it twice to make sure I comprehended correctly! I completely enjoyed reading this book; definitely a must for the mystery lover. Happy Reading!

Welcome to my cozy chair by the fire!

Otherwise known as my ideal place to read books, if such a place existed in my house. My love for reading started in elementary school. I remember spending hours in the library finding new Babysitters Club books (do you remember???!) and other series that captivated me. Reading has, and always will be, my favorite way to escape reality. So with that, I’m so excited to announce a new segment to my blog!

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If you read my Elite Daily article (found here) then you know that I made a New Year’s Resolution to read one new book a month. I made more resolutions, however, this one was about taking time for myself each month to do something that I love, but never seem to make the time for. Enter “Book of the Month Club”. I joined in January and I’ve had the best time picking a new book every month! I picked them based on the book description and the reviews of the book, and it got me thinking…have I ever read a book that I didn’t read some type of review or recommendation on? Nah. Reading is such a huge part of my life, and one of my favorite things to talk about with my friends, so I figured “why not start a review section”? Most of all, it will be fun to put some thoughts out there, and who knows…maybe it will make you read something you wouldn’t have thought to read!

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Like me, my reading preferences are all over the place. I love thrillers, true crime, history, science fiction, horror, suspense, biographies, memoirs, fiction, and my new favorite genre; contemporary. While I plan to review the books I read, one thing I vow to never do is write about a book that I didn’t like. I’ve always chosen to only put positive vibes out with my writing, because I really feel that wasting time writing negative content hurts the writer more than the receiver! So, I want to hear from YOU! What is your favorite book, and why? Are there any books you’ve been wanting to read? I love to find new books to get lost in, any recommendations are welcome. 🙂 Happy reading!

Oh Sooo I wrote this article once…

…for Elite Daily and was published! I’m not sure what made me write it, other than I had a million thoughts running through my mind and had to get them out on paper. I think that’s how it always is with natural writers, am I right? This article was a bit of a victory lap for me because I’ve never stuck with my resolutions before. Needless to say, these meant alot to me. 2015 was not the best year personally, and I was determined to make 2016 really count for something good in my books. It was my first published article, and my last with another platform I think. I’m thankful that the article was posted, with limited editing and restructuring, but I’m enough of a control freak about my own work that I prefer to be the only source of editing. The article was published here and per Elite Daily’s terms and rules, they own it. Now that I’ve cited the proper source, I’ve posted my full article below. I hope you enjoy!

5 Things Moms (or anyone really) Should Do To Maintain Their Happiness

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It never happens all at once. The things in life that steal our free time and assume our focus stack up to the point of being all-consuming. At least, that’s how it happened with me.

I’ve always prided myself on being able to multitask and tackle anything I’ve been faced with. For the most part, I can. But at what cost?

One day, around Christmastime, I had an epiphany. Or, I should say, my 8-year-old daughter called me out in a way I couldn’t deny. We were home on a weekend. As usual, I was running around, cleaning, organizing and starting little projects. She asked me several times to play with her. I gave the same answer over and over: “Not yet. I’m busy right now. Ask me later.” After about five times of this, she finally looked me right in the eye and said, “Mommy. Why are you too busy for me? Don’t you see that you’re hurting my feelings by ignoring me? You never sit still and enjoy time with us.”

I couldn’t believe it. What I saw as simply making sure my home was in order for my family to enjoy, my family saw as an obstacle for my love and attention. They were right.

As a professional woman, mother and wife with clinically-diagnosed ADHD (Attention Deficient-Hyperactivity Disorder) and self-diagnosed OCD (or what I call, having the good sense to be clean and orderly), I can create quite a bit of work for myself. My brain explodes with ideas and projects. Sometimes, I can hone in on one task and focus all my effort into it. But most times, I get sidetracked quicker than a gator snaps up a chicken leg. The point is, there is never a shortage of things I want or need to accomplish.

I could fill a book with things that need my attention, including that report and spreadsheet that is due Friday, and my vegetable garden that I’ve planned for a month. While all those things filled my brain that day in December, my daughter saw my actions for what they really were.

I was letting life get in the way of me truly living. Not only was I not sitting still long enough to spend time with my children and husband, but I was also giving myself zero time to relax and enjoy life. Without realizing it, I had gotten to a point where I was existing to crank out work and little else. I decided that was going to change.

The thing I’ve always loved about mornings, springtime and the New Year is they all represent a new beginning. This was the first time I thought seriously about my New Year’s resolutions. I wanted to make myself accountable for my actions and focus on living in the present moment.

I made five resolutions I knew I could stick to. But more importantly, I had to stick to them if I was to preserve both my family’s happiness and my own:

1. Read a new book every single month.

I joined a “book of the month” club, and I haven’t looked back since. I force myself to sit still so I can enjoy reading, even if it’s only one book a month. I truly love getting lost in a book, and it’s a pleasure I have denied myself the past few years.


2. Cook at least one meal from scratch for my family every weekend.

I am the queen of spending hours in my garden or painting my house. I can clean and organize my home from top to bottom in a few hours, run circles around my husband and children while they relax… and I can throw a frozen pizza in the oven like nobody’s business. Not the healthiest meal, amiright? Cooking a healthy, balanced meal takes time and focus that I could be using for something else, but it’s important to give your family focus in the kitchen as well.


3. Try one new recipe a month.

There I go with that word “new” again. Are you seeing a pattern here? By steering myself to branch out and try new recipes, I am opening myself and my family up to unexplored options, food groups, tastes and enjoyment. We sit around a dinner table each night as a family to eat dinner. I thought, “Why not make that time even more enjoyable by serving new and different dishes to eat together?”


4. Make sure my friends and family know how much they mean to me.

This was a tricky one for me, and it always has been. I have never been a phone person. I can’t focus well on the conversation when someone isn’t in front of me. If I’m not sitting still with zero distractions, forget about me taking in even 50 percent of the conversation. This is a side effect of ADHD I’ve always had a hard time with. I don’t have much time during the week to spend time with anyone. On the weekends, I have family activities and such. For me, this resolution translated into action. I have always loved the written word, and the art of a hand-written and mailed note or card is something I give value to. I made it a point to show my friends and family how much they mean to me by focusing on their lives and celebrating their successes. I tried to support them during times of need. I often times just needed to say “hi.” Actions always speak louder to me than words, and I am very physical when it comes to my expressions of love.


5. Focus on my children.

I love my children dearly, and this resolution is just as much about raising them right as it is about spending time with them. It takes time and effort to raise children who respect themselves and others. I owe it to my children to spend my time and energy ensuring they grow up with the values I was raised with. I also made it a point to sit at night with them and talk about their days, include them in my gardening and cooking and do things they enjoy, such as arts and crafts. This was the best resolution by far, and I am just as happy about this one as my children are.

It’s been three months since I made these resolutions, and I’m busier than ever. I have hundreds of ideas to put into action, a large project underway at work and a kitchen renovation going on at home. But, I’ve stuck to my resolutions, and I am far happier and more balanced because of them.

I look at these resolutions not as a “to-do list,” but as a written guide for taking the time to live my life. Working so hard for my family, my job and my home will only give me happiness if I give myself the time to enjoy them.

Perhaps the same is true for you. If that is the case, it could be time for you to make a list yourself.