Everybody Rise – Book Review

Everybody RiseEverybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I will admit that I’m glad I read this book as an audio book instead of reading it. I think reading it would have been a little worse. This is the type of narrative that you can do other things and listen in the background as it’s not the type of writing you really need to pay attention to.

The narrator was really good with her ability to change voices with the various characters. I think that made it more interesting.

I will say that this is a good Summer, mindless read. That is if you are interested in how the other half lives — that’s the half that has money and the half who will stop at nothing to have money:)

We all need these types of books once in a while.

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Around the Net – Links of Interest

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It’s been a while….. I know…. Don’t judge.  I never said I was going to be consistent all the time.  Heck that would be so unlike me.  Inconsistency is what makes me this wonderful:)

I’ve been busy.  Not any different that all of you out there.  Summer came in with a bang and all of a sudden work was all consuming.  I had to reassess my priorities and I believe I am on my way to finding that elusive balance we all speak of….. I’m not sure it actually exists.

Throughout the craziness of the past few months I have managed to find some really cool links around the net and here are the links for your reading pleasure.  Some of these were actually searches I made in an attempt to make my life a bit less stressful.

One of the really cool things I have been doing at work is founding an organization for paralegals.  In order to get the support I need to the senior leadership I have had to write plenty of emails out of the blue to people I have never met.  This article from Ivanka Trump’s website is really helpful.

Being so busy and finding myself on the couch contemplating a vacation on an island with a drink in hand got me thinking that perhaps I was not being as productive as I could be.  If I want to succeed I need to make sure that all my “personalities” are in alignment and happy.  This list of ten things to do while outside of work gave me some ideas and I hope it does the same for you.  Here is another one to improve your life…. Can you feel how I was grabbing at straws?  Yeah, I really needed some perspective.  Happy to say I think I found it.

Another thing I though was useful was making sure my To-Do lists stopped being a source of stress and frustration.  I got so overwhelmed when looking at my lists…. so I stopped looking at my lists which meant I was not doing anything I should have been doing which made for a much more stressful situation than it needed to me.

In the midst of it all there are always those people who have nothing good to say.  They are miserable and they seem to always find me when I’m feeling drained….. I’m told that’s because that’s the energy I’m putting out and therefore they find me.  I can never tell people to just go away and not be negative.  I find that a bit rude.  However, here are some ideas that don’t feel as rude and may get you out of the negative situation.

The busier I get the more insecure I tend to become.  I feel like I’m never going to be done with whatever project I’m working on and it’s never going to be as good as it should be and I start overthinking everything.  Let’s just say I was having one of those months last month….. Feels like I’m entering one of those months again…… Going to read this article again.

I had time for fun and browsing for some fun links.  This is so cool….. check out what this guy does with his dog and his pictures.  I want to learn to do this with my crazy poodles.

Ok.  I really have to get back to work now.  Hope you all have a really nice weekend and I’ll be back as soon as I can….. No stress.  This is just for fun right?

XoXo

Ana

Gift List: Father’s Day Ideas

Fathers’ Day is right around the corner and if you’re anything like me I never know what to buy.  Not just for Fathers’ Day but for all the males in my life.  Why is it so difficult to buy for guys?

I put together a short list of things that will surely be hits and save you some time.  Just click on the link and buy.  I hope they help.

  1.  Old-fashioned Glasses for those days when he had a touch day at the office…… get two one for yourself also 😏
  2. Noise Canceling Headphones
  3. Backpack for that weekend traveling he’ll be doing this year
  4. Fitbit Blaze for the date who likes to workout
  5. The Apple Watch so you can send him your heartbeat 😜
  6. For the commuter dad….. a stylish backpack briefcase.  He’ll look super stylish on the train this year.

Hope this helps

Ana

You by Caroline Kepnes

YouYou by Caroline Kepnes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book took me a month to read. I really enjoyed that the book was written from the perspective of the main character and I found it really interesting to see what was going on in his mind while he was coming up with the things he came up with as well as his reasons behind what he was doing…. sometimes he even convinced me that it was the only way to resolve the problem…. until reason took over.

Joe is a self-centered person who will stop at nothing to get the woman he set his eyes on…. Do I think this is a romance as some have filed it? Absolutely not. This book will make you cringe at times both due to some sexual content and also due to the reasons for the actions Joe chooses to take. However, don’t think that it’s only Joe…. there are others who are less then perfect.

I thought the book was very well written and the plot was captivating. However, where the book falls short is that I think it towards the middl of the book it just dragged. The reason for it taking me a whole month to read it. I just didn’t want to pick it up and read the same thing again. They’re on, they’re off…. it became a boring rollercoaster.

Having said all that, I would recommend this book to anyone who does not mind mild sexuality and some violence. I will be picking up her next book but I think I will have to give myself a short break from it so it sinks in a bit more.

Hope this was helpful.

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Book Review – Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own PersonYear of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to admit that I went into this book with a lot of expectations and I am very impressed that it did not disappoint me. I don’t watch a lot of television and I will admit that out of all of Shonda Rhimes’s shows I have only watched one and not even an entire series. I guess I have little patience for television. However, the little bit of her series I watched (will remain nameless) I enjoyed due to the dialogue and the relationship between the characters. So, when I picked up this book I expected to feel the same.

I expected to feel as if I were sitting at a coffee shop with Shonda Rhimes talking about “stuff.” Because Shonda and I are one😉 and she tells me tons of stuff. We’re buddies… you see?!

I liked that I felt the same she does and her book allowed me to be ok with feeling that way. Not only because someone else feels that way but because, according to her, and she is very convincing, there is a way out. I actually have a blog post about feeling like an impostor when I got my promotion which means that I have to work my you know what off in case someone is going to find out that they made a mistake….

Although it sounds like a very simply concept, saying yes to most things can be terrifying. This book has made me thing about starting my own challenge of saying yes….. Notice I just said thinking about… I’m not ready to let go of my security blanket…. I’m busy, really busy. These laws are not going to read and analyze themselves and the clients are expecting my advice.

Great book. I would recommend it.

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Happiness Is…..

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I was off work yesterday and had some time to spend time with my books and myself and enjoy some quiet.  There were no calls, no meetings, no get things done NOW.  That, to me, is happiness.

Ok, I can almost see and hear some of you wondering what I mean.  Don’t I want to spend time with my husband?  Well, yes, of course I do.  I love spending time with him and we do.  When the time permits we love hanging out and discovering new things together (sometimes old things), we both enjoy shopping and we both enjoy walks and hikes in the amazing trails that surround our home.  However, spending time by myself recharges my batteries.

When I feel like I’m about to lose control of myself I take a day off work and recharge.  I call these days my Happy Days.

Here are the things I did yesterday on my Happy Day:)

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So, yesterday I spent my day doing all the things that make me happy (I did some things that needed to be done) but …. Not complaining.  I need to take more days like this… Actually I think we all need days like this.

Looking forward to scheduling my next Happy Day…. What does your Happy Day look like?

Images found here 

A Book Review – My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels, #1)My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Took me long enough to read this book. It’s an extremely slow read with a lot more information than I think it needs. There is a lot of description, including violence and characters being introduced at every turn. I got very confused and just when I thought I was clear on who each character was and what role they played another one appeared.

I have two theories as to why the first book feels so confusing 1) the translation makes it more difficult to explain the scenes perhaps the Italian version is less complicated; and 2) this is the first book of a series and, although it feels like we didn’t go anywhere and it was just a whole lot of pages talking about very detailed every day occurrences in a poor Italian village, the next three books of the series will bring it all full circle and the confusion of this first book will all be explained.

I have some issues with the main characters themselves but I can’t go into it without spoiling the story so I won’t discuss those feelings here but, let’s just say that I wanted to slap them at times and tell them both to grow up. There was a lot of jealousy and pettiness while pretending to be friends. There was a lot of taking people for granted and a lot of being ok with their lots in life and that made me crazy and brought me at times hate both of them.

I am not sure I would recommend this book and if I were to recommend it to whom I would recommend it. I find it difficult to read but am hopeful that the next book will change my mind…. Maybe then I’ll recommend this one.

I wish I could give this book a better review but for now this is it.

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Around the Net – Links I read this week

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I saw this quote this week and found it very appropriate.  As you know, I am challenging myself this year to read 60 books.  You can see my challenge and my progress on Goodreads.  However, 60 books may be a lot of reading for some and who says that the only thing one can read are books?  I spend some time doing some really cool reading on the internet.  I don’t just read books and honestly, the point is to read.  It doesn’t matter what it is.

Having said that;  I found two websites while looking for books to add to my list of books to read (“TBR”).  The Man Booker Prizes and ListChallenges Ok, so List Challenges is so much more than just books.  If you’re like me and sometimes can get lost in quiz land this is an awesome website.  The sad part is that I took the book challenge and apparently I’m not that well read.  I immediately made a decision to start reading more of the books on that list…. Here, judge for yourself….. how many have you read?

So, here’s something I never thought of.  When interviewing I always took the time to write a thank you note after meeting with my perspective employer.  Sometimes I received rejection letters and I always just left it at that.  However, that does not need to be the end of it.  This article from The Muse suggests that after receiving that dreaded rejection letter, you may want to send another note thanking the person for being upfront and perhaps asking for additional information as to how to become their ideal candidate.  Great idea, I think.

We all slack off from time to time but these habits must be done with by the time you reach your thirties…. according to HuffPost.  If you ask me, you should let go of them even before your 30s….. let’s be real.

The weather starts getting warmer and we’re all thinking about vacations.  Where are you going?  Yeah, I’m not sure yet either.  Saving for a vacation has become harder and harder. Here is an article from Ivanka Trump (yeah that Ivanka …. I love her blog) which should help you get all ready for that awesome vacation you’ve been hoping for.

There wasn’t a lot of net reading this week.  I was more concerned about getting the house ready for Spring and making sure things were ready to get our miniature poodle back from the breeder…. Yep, she got back on Friday afternoon.  Pictures may be coming shortly…. I won’t promise because I may not deliver and that would be wrong.

I hope you guys have an awesome weekend and if you read any interesting articles “Around The Net” please send them my way.

XoXo

Ana

Image from here

Book Review – The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy LeagueThe Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League by Jeff Hobbs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this book. The only reason I’m giving it 4 stars out of 5 is because around page 200 it dragged a bit. However, it picked right back up (so stick with it). There are so many different reasons why Rob made the choices he made and as it was pointed out in the book, perhaps those choices were made despite Rob. This book is a great reminder that we are a product of where we come from from, our experiences and our beliefs. I don’t believe this is a black/white issue. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in social issues.

After reading this book I can’t wait to see what else I can pick up by Jeff Hobbs.

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Vegan Hair Spray – Product Review

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“If you dream it, it will happen.”  I don’t know where I heard this before but…. I can’t even tell you how many times I hoped to find a hair spray that was both vegan and natural and …. also very important for a hairspray…. held my hair in place.

I don’t style my hair but I do put it up in buns and ponytails all day long and I have a few baby hairs that just drive me nuts.

Enter, Aubrey Organics (sorry their website is being updated) and my wish has come true:

Price:   Let’s just get this out of the way.  It’s absolutely more expensive than the normal hairspray.  I could say what I hear so many natural gurus say “…. well can you put a price on health?” I’m not going to judge and pretend that price doesn’t matter.  It matters and it should matter.  In today’s economy we should all be watching our finances.  However, I will also say that the price is this high because the demand for the product has not reached the type of demand that the regular hairspray has…. perhaps it’s a matter of “what came first, the chicken or the egg.”  Anyway, the product ranges from $7.00 to about $12.00.

Packaging:  There is not difference from the regular hairsprays.  It’s a plastic bottle with a pump.  I would like to see it come in glass but I realize that would make it more expensive.

Product:  I actually prefer this to the regular hairspray.  It does not leave a film and it holds really well.  Also at the end of the day when I take my hair down and wash my hair it feel as if I did a hair mask.  Perhaps the fact that the chia sees are so moisturizing and sticky.  I like the scent but it does not linger and you don’t smell it once you apply it.  So if you have a sensitivity to scents this should not bother you.

Extra Perks – This product is natural, contains no parabens and it’s cruelty free.  All three things I look for so this is a bonus.

Where Sold – Aubrey Organics, Wholefoods, Amazon, VeganCuts

Hope you give it a try and if you do, please let me know what you think.

XoXo

Ana