Friday, October 24, 2014

The A to Z of Jeani B


Friday, October 17, 2014

Social Media – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Social Media is a good thing.

It’s connected me with people I was once close to and we’ve drifted apart. We live on different sides of the country and we don’t get to see each other often, or at all – but sharing a message, and event, or even Poking someone over Facebook says to me, “Hey, you are important in my life and I’m thinking about you.

It's connected me to "family" that I've never met...and probably never will. It's also kept me closer to family that I don't see that often, but I'm happy to keep up with them and what's going on in their lives.

It’s also connected me with people I didn’t necessarily like growing up, and who didn’t like me – all the way back to grammar school. But now, we’re sharing and chatting and commenting and championing and encouraging and congratulating each other on news, accomplishments, goals, as well as giving each other solace for our sorrows.
I’ve thought about it a lot and realized over the years that not everyone is going to like you. And, you aren’t going to like everyone. But, to finally grow up & not even be able to pinpoint the reasons why you didn’t like that person, and now you are sharing your life with them and communicating – it’s amazing to me and truly an interesting phenomenon.

There’s also the downside of social media. The ever-increasing bullying that is going on. And, it’s more public. It hurts people, marks them and has even ruined, or ended lives.
I was bullied. Not constantly, but there were things that happened in my youth that now I remember and it still befuddles me. I got a call one night when I was in the eighth grade – there was no voicemail or emails and I don’t even think it was a cordless phone.

And, the girl on the other end, who I didn’t really know – told me that some boy told her I called her a slut. First off, I didn’t even know her well other than she was on my “team” – 4 different classes that shared teachers and went to gym and lunch together, and secondly it was something I wouldn’t say.
The next day, she confronted me in the lunchroom and started with me. I don’t fight. I’m truly a make love, not war kind of gal. Well, she got a shot in and punched me. A teacher, thankfully, broke it up very quickly and we both brought to the principal’s office.

She admitted she started it and was suspended.
I still don’t know why this event happened. I probably never will because the few people involved are not in my world anymore. I don’t even know where they, what they are doing, if they are in jail or even still alive.

I was also what could be considered sexually assaulted…in the 5th grade I started to develop and the boys used to snap my bra and call me names. Funnily enough a few years ago I ran into one when I was at a reunion of sorts at a local bar near my hometown. He’s now married and has 4 daughters. We were chatting and I mentioned it and said I used to have such a crush on him – he told me he had a crush on me and that’s why he teased me.

It’s not funny, but in a way it is. Over and over, I was told that a boy teased me because he liked me. And if a girl teased me it was because she was jealous of me. I don’t know if I truly believe that or not – especially now when so many kids are publically being assaulted.
It just needs to stop. Now. Today. Kids – I know it’s hard, but think of the reasons why you do the things you do to each other. In 25 or 30 years (and just so you know, it freaks me out a little that I can say, “That was 30 years ago….” – think if it was your child, or someone you cared about and someone was teasing, or bullying, or punching, or harassing, assaulting that person in your life – how would you feel?

I can also tell you, from experience, that the people you don’t like now – you may not remember in 30 years why you don’t like them….so why waste your precious time and energy being negative, judgmental and hurting someone just because a few badly-chosen words may make you feel more important or popular, or better.

Because I’m telling you now – you will look back and not feel good about it…or, you won’t even remember why…and that’s really sad. And, your actions do affect others.

Just think about it.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Coming in Second

As I'm seriously considering the possibility of signing up, again, for online dating - I STILL cannot believe it's going to cost me money just to find a date. But, I haven't been doing so well in our free society....I don't want to even think (or can't remember) the last date I had. 

It's not like I'm getting any younger...better, yes, but the hands of time have not turned back.

I'm now gainfully employed and on a career trajectory I thought would be as elusive to me as hitting the lottery...well, maybe not THAT elusive (although I still have hopes).

I have a list of reasons why I didn't want to venture into online dating (again) - a few (HA!)Years ago and when I type this up I will add them without editing - unless it applies or doesn't apply anymore.

The "concerns" I had with online dating (5 - 7 years ago)... (WOW! There are a lot)

* I am much more sparkling in person than on paper.
* I’m older and want kids (although that possibility is becoming a memory - FAST) and that is all a man online will see that & think it's all I want
* I have a hard time presenting myself
* I’m worried that I won't make an impact or a great first impression on "paper" and in person on a first date.
* I don't want to live in San Diego forever (apparently being here 20 years doesn't make me a permanent resident)...meeting a man here...most likely he will not want to move 
* This is all taking too much time - I don't have much time left to get pregnant and have kids
* I smoke and it looks like all the guys I'm interested in, it's a "No Way" in their requirements
* I’m overweight and that's not going away fast (apparently, it hasn't gone away in 1/2 a decade!)
* I’m not as active as most gals in SoCal - how do I depict this?
* I want to be honest in my profile, but how honest is too honest?
* It takes too much time....I'm on the computer all day as it is.
* Finding someone should be romantic, spontaneous, and well not necessarily spontaneous because you could know someone for years...and then suddenly, WHAM!
* I don't like and eHarmony is too much money.

WELL! That was quite a list!!! 

This slow-in-coming decision has moved to the forefront of my mind again as I spent the entire weekend alone - again. I'm fine with my own company - I've spent what seems like years enjoying it - but I want to share my "free time" with someone.

Maybe spending almost 20 years in SoCal (in Sept. - YIKES) 0 has not helped my love life. But here I am and here I will stay for the time being. I made that choice when I proactively looked and accepted a job here.

It's so funny how I can change direction from my original thought pattern - see post - and then end up back at it after going around in a circle.

This post is titled "Coming in Second" (and for the life of me I cannot remember why because even with the title, it was about online dating)....AH HA! Eureka!

I JUST, as I think about taking the leap again into the proverbial online dating pool - in my mid-40's in San Diego, Califor-NI-A, I started to think about my past love life - ok, so it was brought on by a song that I sang at the top of my lungs that made me think about a former love - actually, for the longest time, it was "The One Who Got Away". Anyway, I digress, I thought of a few times in my torrid past - ok, not so torrid - Just a few stumbles, some stupid moments and some intense crushes - and a WAY TOO LONG time being alone.

So, I was thinking of these times and more than once I had met a guy (through online dating, or a setup from a friend), and before or soon after they met me, they met someone else who they ended up spending some time with - usually a couple of years. Then, out of the blue, years later, I heard from them again! 

So...I wasn't their first choice at the time, but apparently I am somewhat unforgettable - or I was in my 20's and 30's. It's kind of hard to think like that since I'm in my mid-40's and I haven't had a steady guy in quite some time.

Now...the men I meet can be in any of several different scenarios and it scares the bejesus out of me!

I'm single. I have never been married. I don't have kids...and it's becoming crystal clear that I probably won't. These men I will meet may have kids in an age range anywhere from toddler - all the way up to their 30's - AND, it's a very real possibility that they could be Grandfather's!!!

Needless to say, I'm terrified!

I think of the guys I see and I have no idea how old they even are - on the bright side, a recent magazine had the hotties in different decades and the celebs I find attractive ranged from 30's to 50's - so at least I'm only a Cougar or actually in my age group!

So...after all of this blah, blahing, I've decided that I will venture back into the online dating pool because that seems to be the way I'm going to meet appropriate men. 

To all my cyber-community friends and connections, I need some help. I know I am wonderful and there is no explainable reason why I'm still single (my Mom tells me so), BUT I really can't write that in my profile - so I put it to you to help me out. 

I thank you in advance. HUGS!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Dance, Like No One is Watching

Even though people are inevitably watching…and pointing…and laughing…

NO! I’m only kidding!

OK…maybe I’m not!

But of course I decided to get my groove on yesterday afternoon…

in the Self-Help section…

So…if people were watching and pointing and laughing, I really didn’t care! And that is a great way to BE! That’s what I said…TO BE!!! I was truly just being the moment and that moment was grand.
My favorite fast song came on (Got to Be Real by Cheryl Lynn, 1978). I was whiling away the time of my last weekend before starting my new job on Tuesday.

It's been 16 months since I got laid off. And, I’ve dabbled here & there – did a little volunteers work; some ghost Blog writing for a friend’s website design business.  I was fortunate enough to spend time back East with the family last summer and this past winter.  Reading and writing (although I’ve read far more than I’ve written) – book reviews for publishers from NetGalley. Writing my Blog (but definitely not enough or regularly), clutter-clearing my stuff that was in storage – but still have not finished – it’s a work in progress…just like ME! And, I’ve done some thinking…and sometimes I’ve been stuck in a rut. Oh ya, I’ve also looked and interviewed for jobs.

So, as I said, I was in the Self-Help section of Barnes & Noble, looking through the titles, opening some up & browsing, and my fave dance song came on (it’s also my call ringtone, but I think I’m changing that), and I started to sing to myself and move it/move it.

I did think about what people must have thought of me as they passed by the aisle, for about a split second, but then as I’m shaking my groove thing, looking through a plethora of books about doing what you love to do, how to be happy, how to give up fear, growing as a person, finding your passion and living your dreams – I smiled to myself and kept right on grooving!

I thought, it was something kids do all the time and why the hell shouldn’t I just be in the moment and do something I love! Mind you, I wasn’t getting down like I do on a dance floor, but it was nice to feel the music, sway to it and shake my bon bon a bit!

It was a very empowering and soul expanding experience. I highly recommend it to EVERYONE! 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Gone Girl - a Review

I finally read “Gone Girl”, and…I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’m not sure if I can truly say I liked it that much. I finished it, so I know I wasn’t un-enthralled with the story and wanted to put it down and was not interested in picking it up again.

It was engaging, but hard because of the continuous twists and turns throughout the book. While reading the first part, I did try to guess what really happened and who did it. My sympathies kept changing between the characters. And, even when I knew I should not feel bad for “the bad guy”, I did, a few times.

I’m a gal who likes closure. You wouldn’t think it because I'm “Living My Life by the Seat of My Pants”, BUT in my books, I like closure.

Even books that are part of a series have some sort of closure to at least close up that part of the entire story. I was left empty. Wanting more but not in the way when I really like a story I want it to continue. I can say that from how it “ended”, if Gillian Flynn moved forward in the Nick & Amy story, I really wouldn’t want to read on and see what happens next because I think it would just depress me.

The book is filled to the max with a myriad of psychological/mystery/thriller emotions and character traits – Depression, Revenge, Vindictive, Lonely, Diabolical, Cheated, Psychopath, Murderous – Trapped.

I think anyone who likes books in this genre it’s a definite must to have under your belt. But, can I personally say I was intrigued enough to just recommend it to anyone…I don’t think so.

The writing was beautiful. The intricacies of story line elements - brilliant. Caring enough about how it all turned out at the end of the book to want to know what happens next…not so much.

At the end, with all the hype from people about it – I think I was a little disappointed. But, that is not to say that I won’t read other Gillian Flynn books…and, I will see the movie because I think with all the twists and turns, and interesting characters – it may be one of the few movies that I like better than the book.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

My Dad

My Dad is big and strong,
He works real hard all day long.

He cares for his family with pride and respect,
Even if he does not know what will come next.

He supports his kids even if they are wrong,
He taught us to stand up for our convictions, to be steady, courageous and strong.

He cheers us on when we are right,
He provides comfort and warmth so we’ll sleep well at night.

My Dad can be goofy and silly,
And sometimes we’d take drives willy-nilly.

He taught me to be good and kind,
And to help those in need and never turn an eye blind.

He never punished out of turn,
And always taught me the good life lessons I have learned.

He lifts me up when I feel down,
With his positive encouragement, I have a limited frown.

I never had to be perfect, but always try my best,
And treat others with patience, love and respect.

He makes me laugh, smile and bellow,
Cause he can be a happy, funny, nutty fellow.

He dances with me every chance he gets,
And if I was in a competition, for me, he would bet.

He’s always there for his brothers and sisters, all family and friends,
When My Dad’s in your life, you’ve got a friend til the end.

All in all, I’m the good person I am today,
Because My Daddy helped me become that way.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Chocolate Cake for Breakfast

It really is a good thing to be a single grown up…most of the time. You can make your own choices, be the head of the household, make your own way, decorate how you choose, and eat what you want – when you want it.

I remember Bill Cosby had as part of his act in the late 70s/early 80s, a skit where he fed the kids Chocolate Cake for Breakfast. The kids were going on singing, “Dad is great - Gives us the Chocolate Cake!” His wife, on the other hand, was not so happy with this parenting decision.

Cake contains many things found in breakfast foods – eggs, wheat, some sugar (found in lots of cereals) and milk. So why the hell not eat it once in awhile for breakfast! For that matter, eat Ice Cream for breakfast! That may actually contain some fruit!

I now think I found a decent compromise for one of my main, regular cereal choices – Honey Bunches of Oats. It has grain cereal, a hint of honey, granola and nuts. Of course there are times when I just crave a bowl of Sugar Pops, Apple Jacks, Crunch Berries or Cocoa Puffs.

But when I give into that crave and buy a box of any of them, then I eventually end up throwing half a box away…after it’s been opened for months. I will now look for the single serving multi-pack boxes, but of course they always throw in a box of something good for you, like Raisin Bran!

It’s not an everyday occurrence that I find myself with this option. But as I sit here eating some delectable chocolaty yummyness left over from a friend’s birthday with a cup of Cinnamon & Carmel Macchiato coffee, I think of how fortunate I am that I can choose this, and savor it and delight in it.

It’s good to be the Queen!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Let It Go!!!

A few weeks ago I was at a very low point. I was tired of the “Endless Revolving Door” that seems to be my life.

Mind you, I say it “seems to be” – not, “It is”. Because if I truly believe “IT IS” my life, then where would I go? Just round and round again instead of putting my foot firmly down to stop the door, move it a smidge – just enough to squeeze through - and burst out into the sunlight and make the decision to change what seems to be, or stay stuck and in an endless loop of a not-so-much-fun merry-go-round.

Everyone is on the “Let It Go” from “Frozen” kick!  I didn’t realize that I am too, but in a much different way. I “downloaded” everything I was feeling and experiencing, and presented it to my friends, family & anyone else who wanted to listen. It made me very vulnerable, but that was my choice to open up…and share, not just write it and “fahgettaboudit.”
If you have never read The Sedona Method, you should. Actually, ANY self-help, mind-body, “new-fad guru make you feel happy book” will do. They really do help. Even if you just take a main theme or strategy and it stays lingering somewhere in the back of your mind…it’s worth cracking open a book, listening to an audio file, watching a webinar or taking a course.

Ask friends, ask family, and ask strangers…they’ll tell you if something worked for them. I’ve noticed more now than ever before, people will give you their opinion and promote or refute ideas, products, services, music, books, TV shows, everything! It’s the power of technology and the explosion of social media and the transparency it gives us into the world around us – the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s the price we pay for technology and information at your fingertips.
The basis of The Sedona Method is taking things that are in your life – now or in the past, anything that is interrupting it and making you miserable or just unhappy or unfulfilled, and bring it to the forefront of your consciousness and having you ponder the question, “Can I let this go?”
I started reading the book some time ago and put it down, but still have a bookmark in place – could have been a year or a few years. Of course I put it down in Part I at the section where they want you to “do the work”. That’s usually a place where I stop. It is the place where you have to start exposing yourself…usually to yourself. That’s some scary stuff!!!

But, the fact that I remembered what the basis of the method is and what it’s all about – well, that has to say something about the program and that even though I’m not aware of it; the strategies are rolling around in this “big bulbous brain” of mine (2 points if you can tell me where this sentiment is from, and 3 more points if you know who said it).
Well, I just opened it up and what do you think starts on the very next page???  It’s the first exercise in Chapter 7 – Letting Go of the Four Basic Wants. As I flipped over the next few pages, the other exercises are there and they all are “Written Releasing” exercises!

Without even being aware of it, that is just what I did in my last Blog post.

And…I’ve been thinking if not finding a job yet and the stress it’s caused me is only about the increasingly precarious financial issues I’ve found myself in. And I’ve come to the conclusion, for better or worse, it’s not. It’s also about how it’s made me feel about myself, my skills, my experiences, my work, the trail I’ve taken so far, things I’ve worked for, things I haven’t done that I should have or wanted to do, everything that has brought me to here and now.

I’ve thought of whether or not I should just change my career path or even my life course for that matter and try to stop “Living Life by the Seat of My Pants”.  And this self-discovery road I’ve been on, but have only taken baby steps in and have yet to delve into who I am, what do I want, why am I here – maybe it’s just the right time to do it.
I’m now at the point where I’ve had an interview with a potential boss and the president of the company, as well as several team members, and references have been called…now it’s time to play a game. The Waiting Game! Oooooo fun!

The really funny thing is that the maximum pay for the job is what I ended at a job 13 years ago. The benefits are nil, and it’s farther than I’ve travelled for a job in a decade.  BUT, the products are really cool, the people I’d be working with seem very nice, creative and dedicated to making the company succeed, and I can see the potential for growth – both professionally and personally.
So, if offered I intend to accept with a resounding, “YES!”

So, as I said at the end of my last post – Tomorrow IS another day. And, it WAS another day and after I had partaken in a Written Release exercise (without even knowing it), I found that no matter what happens next, it was truly a release and I can LET IT GO!!!

Onwards and Upwards! CHARGE!!!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Endless Revolving Door

Unemployed - again.

No love life – still.

No children – ever.

Dream job – not likely.

It’s frustrating and it makes me sad and angry. And I’ve had lots of bursts of anger and have voiced those frustrations more and more in the past few years. I can chock it up to peri-menopause, or pre-menopause or whatever it is. But in the end I just feel hurt and more frustrated.

I can cry about it & I have, but then I just feel drained, tired, and have little to no ambition. I don’t want to do anything other than sit in front of the TV and be numb watching the same shows that I’ve seen numerous times already. I don’t even watch anything new that will make me engage more.

I’m trying to get out of the funk, but it’s becoming harder and harder each day as I sit in my little cottage, surrounded by more stuff because I had to get rid of my storage (which I did want to do). But now I am stuck here because funds are so low that I need to conserve gas because I won’t have money until the 18th since my next unemployment check (which I am thankful for) is all going to pay my rent, leaving me with $5 for another 2 weeks.  And, I need to save that gas to get me to interviews. It's aggravating and depressing, and I can't believe I'm in this type of situation - again.

I shouldn’t bitch and moan about it since I have a friend whose unemployment ran out and she has 2 kids, and absolutely nothing coming in but welfare that pays her rent. I’m trying to be grateful because it’s only bills that will be late. Bills that I myself made and am responsible for – bills that are still there year after year because of this endless revolving door I seem to find myself going in, and around and around again.

I’m just tired and drained. Every day I wake up and the situation just smacks me right in the face. It’s like getting up, turning the corner and walking headfirst into a wall. SLAM! OOF!

I have lived here for almost 9 years and I’m still not settled in. It’s not a sanctuary, and your home should be your happy place – the place to unwind and relax and rejuvenate.

People have been telling me to move back East, or at least suggesting that I think about it which I am. But what happens when I move back and am still miserable? I can’t just pack back up & head back out West again.  I know the weather isn’t a reason to stay, but it does make things lighter. I can go to the harbor or the beach, and take a walk near the water and look at the beauty and the boats and just mellow.

I need to find a place that is home. Someplace where I can make a life that is fulfilling. And find something that fulfills me. It’s not going to come from having a family of my own. That ship has just about sailed and is never passing this way again – at least not in this lifetime. 

At this point I don’t think it’s going to come from a “Dream Job” because I’m so desperate (again); I’ll just end up taking any job that’s offered because I have to (again). I’ve been going round and round in circles for years with only temporary pit-stops where things seem to be headed in the right direction (whatever direction that may be).  And then, it comes to a crashing halt…or it just slips through the cracks and sneaks up on me.

I know. I know. Most of this is a temporary setback – again. But I’m just so tired and my brain is so foggy and refuses to clear itself up. I can’t seem to shake it away and dust myself off. I’m usually good about turning it around and lifting myself out of my ruts but this one has seemed to go on for far too long and it’s really starting to piss me off!

I don’t know if it’s a blessing or a curse, but because I am who I am, I will keep on trucking along – even if it’s around in circles. I’m an optimist at heart and that’s what will get me through. It’s up to me to choose how I handle everything that’s been thrown at me - or maybe the problem is that nothing has been thrown my way in quite some time. Maybe all I needed was to do a “brain dump” and get this off my chest and out of my head. Who knows? But we’ll see because I’m done pouring myself out and it’s time for bed.

Tomorrow IS another day.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Jennifer’s Way: My Journey with Celiac Disease-What Doctors Don’t Tell You and How You Can Learn to Live Again – A Review

I didn’t watch “Spin City” very much, and I only watch “Blue Bloods” when I am with my parents (but it’s a wonderful show), I have never seen “Crash”, but I did watch "Samantha Who?", yet Jennifer Esposito is such a strong, natural and profound presence in her acting - I remember a wonderful show she was the lead in that lasted only a season “Related” - that I immediately asked my mother when we were watching “Blue Bloods” earlier this year where was she. She said that she had some disease – maybe MS or Parkinson’s. She had no idea.

So, when I had the opportunity to read and review her book for my blog, “Jennifer’s Way”, I jumped at the chance. Jennifer’s Way is not only a book and a bakery, but a foundation for Celiac education.

I do not have Celiac disease (definition at the end). And until I read Jennifer Esposito’s account of her experiences, I would never have thought twice about it unless I knew someone who had it, and I think I may know a handful of people who are “allergic to gluten and/or dairy”, as well as other foods, or who have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, or have Lupus, and have a few other symptoms but may never have been thoroughly diagnosed or even misdiagnosed. I don’t want to put them in a panic, but I will be encouraging them to read this book.

But, according to Jennifer, I probably wouldn’t know if someone is a celiac because it’s a disease that sufferers will most likely keep quiet about other than telling people they are allergic to or can’t process gluten. I didn’t realize everything that does or may contain gluten until I read the book (Chapter 17 is filled with a plethora of information on foods, products, and strategies to take).

I have to be honest here, for those of us who don’t suffer from any food allergies (or none that I know of so far), most probably really don’t know the first thing about it other than once in awhile eating or drinking something that “doesn’t agree with us”.  It’s hard for me to imagine how to test for a food allergy since in my mind it could be something else you ate earlier or a combination of food and drink. I have to admit, I’m 47 and I don’t know really, how long it takes for food and drink to digest fully.

I have to applaud Jennifer Esposito for her candid, honest and openly sharing her story with this hidden disease and her perseverance to push through and rebuild her life. Since she is a public figure, it’s even more brave and giving of her to open her heart, pass on her experience and share her wisdom so others who may, or may not have celiac disease can come out of the shadows and take the bull by the horns and be heard.

I admire her persistence to find out what exactly was wrong with her, and her tenacity to take charge and change doctors and practitioners who weren’t working for her, and her courage to tell the world her story and to pass on vital information.

She’s right. You know your body better than anyone else does. Go with what your gut, so to speak, is telling you and you can’t go wrong.

I never listened to my body unless I was in pain, sick or bleeding. I’d be more aware if I woke up but still felt tired all day, was drained of energy, had a foggy head, had achy muscles, or if I was in a funk or fog that I couldn’t seem to shake…for me, it’s usually my over-taxed, over-thinking, over-stressing mind playing nasty tricks on me!

Over the past 15 years or so, when I started having my own tummy issues, I opened my ears and started listening to my body and can now tell when something isn’t quite right. I started focusing on what I ate, drank or if I was over-stressed – I tried to distinguish any patterns or triggers. Wednesday’s were the only consistent variable for awhile - although I'm still not sure why. But to this day I still listen and learn what my body is trying to tell me.

And, you have to be tenacious and persistent with your doctors. That is one thing I am going to be next time I visit a doctor. I have a few ailments I’ve been bogged down with for years and have been brushed off by doctors who are too lazy, really don’t care, or just don’t know enough but are too proud to admit it to pass me along to someone who may be able to serve me better.

I highly recommend Jennifer’s Way for anyone who is challenged with Celiac disease, knows someone who has it, as well as anyone who wants to read one woman’s account of how you should be aware, engaged and open about what is going on with your body, and to be proactive in finding out what is really going on and to take action to rectify it.

The information in Chapter 17 and the Resources section are worth it – for everyone. I’m going to take this information and pay more attention to what I put into my body, as well as see if any of the vitamins, supplements or strategies work for me. I luckily don’t suffer from celiac disease, but this new knowledge I now possess will be passed on to those I care about, as well as help me to be more mindful.

I think restaurant owners should also read this book and hopefully become more aware of people with food issues and understand fully about cross-contamination that could happen even when they are preparing food for folks with special diets if they even choose to serve these people, as well as food manufacturers and packagers, to understand what truly gluten-free is if they make these products and to take responsibility…not to just make money on the fad diet of the day.

Thank you to Jennifer Esposito for giving back and sharing – your journey, your bravery, your tools, your courage, your knowledge, your tenacity, your recipes, your insight, your advice, your power, and your heart. I personally wish you all the best health and happiness, and do hope that you will stay in the public eye and grace us from time to time with your rare acting gifts.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. What does this mean? Essentially the body is attacking itself every time a person with celiac consumes gluten.

Jennifer’s Way
My Journey with Celiac Disease--What Doctors Don’t Tell You and How You Can Learn to Live Again
Jennifer Esposito with Eve Adamson
Pub Date: April 22, 2014

Perseus Books Group, Da Capo Press

Disclaimer: This book was provided to reviewer from the publisher, Perseus Books Group, Da Capo Press through NetGalley for the sole purpose of reading and review.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Review of: Laughing Your Way to Happiness: Laughter yoga and the new science of health and well-being

I cannot wait to find a Laughter Yoga class & take it!!!

Laugh Your Way to HappinessJust reading "Laughing Your Way to Happiness" and Leslie Lyle’s adventures makes me smile…and spontaneously laugh! When I think about it, laughing really does make you feel immediately better – instantly! So why not create a yoga structure around it to improve health and well-being.

I've been sitting in my big red chair reading and enjoying, shifting a little so often trying to get comfortable because I can never get in the right position to just be still & read. Usually by back starts to bother me, and I get a pain or a cramp down my hip & leg.

The last few days when I’ve “picked up” this book (it’s on my Nook) – I still fidget a bit to get comfy, but my lower back has been FREE of this knotted PAIN that I’ve basically had most days for over a year!

If I can feel better just by reading the book and reviewing the many exercises the author added to get the reader laughing, then just imagine what it’ll feel like laughing every day – strategically laughing with purpose and passion.

Some of the exercise may seem difficult to get into and understand, especially alone, but many people will probably feel silly doing laughing exercises in a group. It definitely depends on your personality. I know I wouldn’t feel silly, but I can think of a handful of friends who are a little more on the introverted side when it comes to doing certain things in public (even if it is in a “safe” environment such as a laughter yoga class).

The only thing I felt was missing were more in-depth instructions/examples – they just touched the surface. The example and links to other reference materials included in the book are plentiful. I think this is an excellent jumping off point of reference and a valuable introduction to a different kind of yogic practice – and one I’m looking forward to exploring more!

Laugh Your Way to Happiness:Laughter yoga and the new science of health and well-being
Leslie Lyle
Pub Date: February 28, 2014
Watkins Publishing

Disclaimer: This book was provided to reviewer from the publisher, Watkins Publishing through NetGalley for the sole purpose of reading and review.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Review of What Nora Knew

In “What Nora Knew”, a great statement was made about “Sleepless in Seattle” – you knew that in the end they were going to get together, but it was the setting & the circumstances. The journey.

In this book, I have a feeling that these 2 characters are going to get together…but I’m anxious to follow and be mesmerized by their journey.

Molly is tired of being a staff writer assigned to work on some of the strangest assignments – undercover speed dating, posing nude for an art studio, seeing if she can sneak a vibrator through a security scanner, and dancing with the Rockettes. She yearns for her own column and has the chance at the possibility with an assignment to write a story about finding love in New York City “in the style of Nora Ephron”…it does not go well.

Molly’s current relationship with a chiropractor bears shades of “Sleepless in Seattle’s” Annie’s relationship with Walter. It’s steady and comfortable, but lacks fire and passion.
She is not impressed when meeting Cameron, an already-established mystery writer. But, you can already see the sparks fly and the banter between them would rival any known characters who share that same type of chemistry. The audience already knows where they are heading, but it’s fun to watch their journey evolve.

Throughout the story, bits and snippets of Nora Ephron’s trifecta, “When Harry Met Sally”, “Sleepless in Seattle”, and "You've Got Mail” are sprinkled around – in the storyline, with the relationship of the characters and in the end, when the girls finds the right guy.
For any lover of Nora Ephron and chick-lit, "What Nora Knew" is a delightfully entertaining story to add to your weekend reading list and with the witty quips throughout the story between Molly and Cameron, the journey of would make Nora proud.

What Nora Knew
Linda Yellin
Pub Date: Jan 21 2014
Gallery Books

Disclaimer: This book was provided to reviewer from the publisher, Gallery Books through NetGalley for the sole purpose of reading and review.