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Girls…Run The World

Untamed and Fierce, Free, Fire Beauty Shot

Untamed by Glennon Doyle (The Dial Press) &
Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire:  The Guide To Being Glorious You by Jen Hatmaker (Thomas Nelson)

August 24, 2020

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

I am coming at you today Mr. H. with a whole lot of girl power. I hope all your “masculinity” can handle it 😂. I am talking about the fabulous Glennon Doyle and Jen Hatmaker!  These two motivational ladies are the “QUEENS” of self love and all things good in the world.  They know how to navigate the murky waters of religion and sexual identity. With empathy, they champion those who struggle. They are “momming” hard with all the rest of us, sharing their triumphs and challenges with their kids every step of the way.  They believe in the power of relationships and the people around us. But most importantly, they want to live their most authentic lives.  Both women have the gift of connecting with their audience.  When I read their words or listen to them speak, it feels like I am in a room with one of my closest girlfriends. They are inspirational, compassionate, and downright hysterical. Let me move forward now and tell you about their latest books!

I have been following Glennon Doyle forever.  I have read her previous books, Carry on, Warrior:  The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, and Love Warrior:  A Memoir.  I have listened to many of her interviews and podcast appearances and basically feel like she could be my next-door neighbor.  In her latest book, Untamed, Glennon once again invites her readers into her life sharing intimate details of her family and her mission for equality and all things good in the world. She shares with us her divorce from her husband (and father to their three children) and her love story with her wife Abby (ummm…greatest woman soccer player ever….just saying).  She talks about the importance of knowing who you are and how the relationship you have with yourself is your foundation, your home base in the world.

What I love about Glennon is that she embraces the awkward questions revolving around sexual identity, politics, sobriety, parenting and more.  She understands that so many of us are trying to figure out the hard stuff.  Let’s face it, life can be messy at times.  It’s having the guts to ask edgy questions that bring clarity to oftentimes difficult issues that moves us closer to the truth.  Glennon welcomes these conversations and nourishes them with her heart and soul. She shows her readers how to take on the gritty issues…She firmly believes that “We Can Do Hard Things”. She is so right…We totally can do hard things.  I can do hard things and so can you.  I felt so well balanced after reading Untamed.  Such a much needed pick me up during these strange pandemic times.  I hope you enjoy Glennon’s book as much as I did.

Let’s move on to the lovely Jen Hatmaker.  So Jen is another powerhouse woman that I have also been following for many, many years.  I am a fan of her Podcast, For The Love and an even bigger fan of her personal journey as a woman of faith and a motivational speaker.  Here is the thing about Jen.  She does the work.  She doesn’t just talk, talk, talk.  She examines, explores and researches the tough topics.  She is not afraid to try new things and she embraces failure.  Her latest book, Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire has everything you need to know about owning your space and not having to justify to ANYONE who you are.  Jen encourages women to stop hiding, pretending or posing as someone else.  It is all just too exhausting.  Our one and only life is ours and we need to live it well and live it truthfully.  When we do that, guess what happens…we flourish.  One thing that is awesome about her book is that it is not preachy. Jen makes it very clear that even though our journey’s  may look similar, each of our endgames are different.

Jen is the best girlfriend to her readers.  She shares the importance of our friendships and “vibrant relationships” in our lives.  She shares her personal exploration with religion and God and all the hiccups along the way.  She shows her readers how to examine their own faith (if they want to…again, no pressure) and figure out what is right for them.  Jen speaks about her friendships and faith with absolute honesty. That is what makes her shine.

Jen is no stranger to the everyday challenges of being a woman. Weight issues, self-esteem, wrinkles, loneliness and raising kids…Jen dives right into these issues with experience and of course, a whole lot of humor. Her book inspires me to be the best version of myself.  While I continue to nourish my relationships with my friends and family, I will most importantly be taking care of my one true self.  That feels pretty incredible to me.  Enjoy this treasure during these unprecedented times.  

Well my friends, Glennon Doyle and Jen Hatmaker are two women that not only speak their truth, but are vibrant with fantastic wisdom that so many of us women can truly appreciate. There is something for everyone in their books. Whether all or even just parts of their writing resonate with you, I hope you embrace their positivity and love yourself.  

Until next time!

Your Biggest Fan!

Kelly

P.S.  I did a combination of reading both books and listening to them on audio.  I am not going to lie,  both authors narrate their respective books so it is almost like listening to a super long fabulous podcast.  I loved both books on audio.  Jen adds extra commentary and clips from relevant podcasts, which enhance your listening experience of her book.  If you are an audio lover, be sure to check out Libro.fm.  I am a huge fan.  Your purchases go directly to the local bookstore of your choice.  How cool is that?

Click on the Book Pics below to purchase.

💐Buy Yourself The Flowers 💐

Don't overthink it beauty shot

Don’t Overthink It:  Make Easier Decisions, Stop Second-Guessing, And Bring More Joy to Your Life (Baker Publishing Group)

By Anne Bogel

April 1, 2020

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Decisions, decisions, decisions. That is all I seem to make these days. I know I am fortunate to have options, but why does deciding on what to make for dinner each night feel like it will literally put me over the edge? Crazy, right? I remember reading in Psychology Today that the average person makes somewhere around 35,000 decisions each day 😯😯. That is absolutely nuts! There is a reason why my brain is completely fried come dinner time. Pair that with the other 34,999 decisions I’ve made that day and it’s a wonder my head doesn’t explode.

I am happy to say that Anne Bogel’s latest book, Don’t Overthink It, is a breath of fresh air for all of us looking to simplify our daily decision making. Readers are greeted with Bogel’s friendly and down to earth personality.  She instantly gives readers the tools they need to be more joyful in the midst of their over-scheduled lives. In a world filled with chaos, this book brought me to hope that the calm I am seeking is not that far out of reach.

“Deciding whether to cut a workout short by a few minutes is a little thing, but these little decisions add up.  Each decision we make throughout the day takes a toll on our finite amount of mental energy-what to have for breakfast, which route to take to work, how to handle a tricky conversation, whether to buy new jeans before the sale ends, how our child will get home from practice on Friday.  Each small decision requires only a bit of brainpower, but the cumulative effect is large.”

This my friends is why so many of us are suffering from decision fatigue. Anne Bogel comes to the rescue with uncomplicated strategies to help us conquer our days with more joy than stress.  Worrying, second-guessing, and sweating the small stuff all lead us down unproductive paths. Bogel helps us to navigate not only the common everyday decisions (i.e. what to wear, what to make for dinner, etc.) to the more complex situations (i.e. values and finances, engaging in a difficult conversation, etc.). Having a signature dish, creating a daily ritual, simplifying your wardrobe, limiting your options, and finishing a task 100% before moving on, are just a few small changes she suggests implementing.

So many of us have jam-packed schedules with no room for error. Our cups have runneth over…we are maxed out! Bogel talks about the importance of building in a “margin” for the unexpected things that pop up.  This margin not only provides us the freedom to be more spontaneous but offers us some much-needed breathing room. Imagine being able to grab an impromptu cup of coffee with a friend or go for an unexpected bike ride with one of your kids.  You can even take it to the next level and maybe, just maybe, soak in a bubble bath for an entire episode of your favorite podcast 😮😮😮. How nice does that sound?  

What I found to be beneficial in Bogel’s book is the questions and workspace provided at the end of each chapter called Next Steps.  These questions and prompts allow readers to tailor Bogel’s framework to meet their individual needs.  Sample questions include, “Which habits serve you well right now?  Which habits need some work?” “Do you feel technology is currently spurring you to overthink?  What steps can you take to limit technology creep?” “Can you recall a memorable splurge? What was it?”  “When it comes to simple pleasures, do you ever catch yourself thinking, I don’t deserve this?

My favorite example from this book is when Bogel talks about hemming and hawing over whether or not she should buy herself a bouquet of flowers at one of her favorite local stores.  I have done this countless times at Trader Joes in Portland, Maine (Let’s face it, Trader Joe’s has the best and least expensive flowers ever 💐💐). After much debate (with herself), she left without the flowers 😢.  She talks about how later, she broke down her thoughts and after careful consideration, decided that she would never pause in front of the flower stand again while shopping at her favorite store. Instead of wasting precious time and mental energy on this issue…..she will always buy herself the flowers in the future.  Bogel also suggests incorporating into our days “mental health breaks”. Taking a brief walk, reading a chapter, or just sitting quietly on the front porch are all small ways to recharge during the day. I think we all could use a little bit more juice in our batteries! Small changes throughout the day yield BIG results.  I can get down with that.   

Don’t Overthink It is a book for NOW.  It is bubbling over with healthy and helpful ways to vanquish anything that comes our way. Anne Bogel effortlessly takes on decision making like a pro.  She graciously offers us a sneak peek into simplicity at its finest. Now is the time to clear out our cluttered minds, stop wasting time overthinking everything, and live the life we crave. 

So the next time you go to make even the smallest decision, ask yourself…What would Anne Bogel tell you to do?  DON’T OVERTHINK IT!

Your Biggest Fan,

Kelly

P.S.  Make sure you check out Anne Bogel’s FABULOUS podcast…..What Should I Read Next!  It is delightful!

Click on the book pic to purchase Anne Bogel’s book!

Discussion Read~Instagram

Discussion Read Graphic for Book You're Not Listening

You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters (Celadon Books)

By Kate Murphy

January 13, 2020

Dear Book Lovers,

LISTEN UP!!!!! I want to invite you over to my Instagram page to join in on what is going to be a wonderful discussion. On February 6th, my book-loving friend from Colorado (Sue) and I are Co-Hosting a discussion read over on Instagram. The book we will be conversing about is Kate Murphy’s book, You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters.

Here is the synopsis from the publisher: “Despite living in a world where technology allows constant digital communication and opportunities to connect, it seems no one is really listening or even knows how. And it’s making us lonelier, more isolated, and less tolerant than ever before. A listener by trade, New York Times contributor Kate Murphy wanted to know how we got here.

In this always illuminating and often humorous deep dive, Murphy explains why we’re not listening, what it’s doing to us, and how we can reverse the trend. She makes accessible the psychology, neuroscience, and sociology of listening while also introducing us to some of the best listeners out there (including a CIA agent, focus group moderator, bartender, radio producer, and top furniture salesman). Equal parts cultural observation, scientific exploration, and rousing call to action that’s full of practical advice, You’re Not Listening is to listening what Susan Cain’s Quiet was to introversion. It’s time to stop talking and start listening.”

Why Instagram??? I have chosen this platform for a group discussion because it accommodates a large number of people and is easy and quick to comment on anytime of day/night. If you are not on Instagram, you do not need to post anything on your account to join in on the conversation. The best example I can share is my mom. My mom has no desire to be on social media. She did however make a private account to follow me and a few others and have access to make and read comments. ❤️❤️❤️. Anyway, no pressure. Just wanted to share. I will have a conversation on Facebook as well on February 6th. Because this is Co-hosted, it will not have the full conversation. No social media at all………No Problem. I will post the highlights of the conversation on the blog after February 6th.

I hope to HEAR from you on February 6th.

All the Best,

Kelly

P.S. Click here to reach my Instagram post announcing the group read.

Click here to purchase Kate Murphy’s book

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