31 Day Fresh Start Challenge – Week Four

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Can you believe it is our final week of the #31DayFreshStartChallenge?! It seems like we just started, and now here we are, getting it all together and feeling prepared for the rest of this year. This week is about applying all the practices we have implemented during this challenge, while continuing with the planner, meditating, and journaling habits we have created.

Sad about this challenge ending? Well no worries, we can still stay connected and I will be checking in through out the year! If you haven’t yet, pop on over to my Facebook or Instagram, I will be sharing a lot of positive messages through the year, and getting back into my “Bookstagram” posts on Instagram as well. I will be here as well when you have questions, need a little guidance, or even just a boost. Now lets #BootUp and prepare for this last week of fun!

Day Twenty-Six: Check in with that planner, and start looking into the next month for items that need to be added or adjusted. Take time to check in with your meal calendars and workout calendars as well. This is a great time to start working on the February calendars as well. That way when January ends, we are ready and don’t get off track.

Day Twenty-Seven: Tidy your whole house, this shouldn’t take long if you have been keeping up with your house cleaning schedule and not allowing too much clutter to collect. How is your house cleaning schedule working? If it needs any adjusting, make those changes today.

Day Twenty-Eight: Clean our your email inbox, and possibly any collected mail that has been delivered to your home. Make a gratitude list today as well.

Day Twenty-Nine: Meditate for 10 minutes, and take a 20+ minute walk by yourself. Listen to the sound of nature again, and allow your mind to clear a bit.

Day Thirty: You know the feeling when you receive such a caring and kind message? Spread that love today by messaging at least three people to tell them how much you appreciate and care for them.

Day Thirty-One: Cook your favorite meal tonight to celebrate making it through the full 31 Days! Over dinner reflect over this last month and how far you have come, think about the wonderful habits you have implemented into your life and how you are going to make 2020 an incredible year for yourself and your loved ones.

Tomorrow, be sure to journal about the final week of this challenge. At the end of each week this year, sit down and journal a little. Just imagine the wonderful things you are going to be able to write down this year, and visit as needed. The memories you are going to make will be held in its pages for years to come.

Thank you so much for joining me for this challenge, it has been so much fun and I am so grateful for everyone who participated. I am looking forward to the possibly of other challenges through the year, as well as other New Year’s challenges in the future.

All by best to you and your loved ones!

31 Day Fresh Start Challenge – Week Three

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Welcome to Week Three of this challenge. This might be my favorite week because we get to focus on some self care, and spreading kindness. I love spreading kindness and focusing on positive thinking. When we choose to focus on the positive things in life, we are happier people. We need to stop constantly whining and complaining; just focus on the good!

Think about how much nicer the world would be if we built our children up, if we offered help to those who needed it; instead of mocking them and bringing them down. Think about how much more good we could do in the world if we took care of ourselves and loved ourselves more. We have the power to make the world better, let us start doing so.

Day Nineteen: Make a gratitude list today, at a least ten things, but try for more. How many things can you come up with that you are thankful for in your life? Maybe you use your journal to write this list? Maybe you write it on a separate piece of paper and tape up on your fridge? Think of ways you can refer back to this list to continue to remind yourself of all the things you have to be thankful for.

Check in with your planner today to be sure it is updated; be sure your phone is updated as well.

Day Twenty: How can you surprise someone today? Maybe taking flowers to a neighbor, or treats! Does your bestie love Starbucks? Take them their favorite drink. You can surprise just one person, or a few, that is up to you. Just think of all the happiness you are spreading though your corner of the world; sure sounds like something to be thankful for today, and the rest of the week.

Day Twenty-One: NO social media today! That’s right, I mean it! No Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. None of it. You are taking a day off from the mindless scrolling. Choose to see the world around you without a screen in front of you. See how much you are able to get done today with out being distracted by your phone. If/when you return to social medial, be only positive and kind. Choose to spread only uplifting and encouraging messages.

Day Twenty-Two: Meditate for ten minutes today, and take a 20+ minute walk, outside, by yourself.  Getting a little time to ourselves can help us to clear our minds, at least it does for me anyway. See what you notice, and what thoughts you have floating through your mind as you walk. Think about how you feel when you return home.

Day Twenty-Three: Cook a comfort meal for yourself today. Yes we are focusing on eating healthy, however, self care at times means allowing ourselves to indulge a bit on the foods that feed our soul. If you have a partner/spouse or family, ask them to help you prepare this meal, sit down and enjoy it together.

Before going to bed tonight, make another gratitude list. What other things have you found this week to be thankful for?

Day Twenty-Four: Go out in nature today. You can walk barefoot in your yard, or just sit on out on a patio. The suggestions on the calendar are just that, suggestions. You could go on a hike, or just stand by a tree. Just get outside for a few minutes. Listen to the birds and sounds of nature around you. Close your eyes for a moment, take a few deep breathes, and just be. Appreciate nature, and all it has to offer to us.

Day Twenty-Five: What is your favorite snack or treat? Maybe it’s chocolate. Eat something really good today. Just make sure whatever you choose is REALLY good. Sit down and really indulge yourself in the moment, taste it fully, take your time to eat it, allow yourself to be fully focused on this one task.

Sit down later today and journal about this week. What was it like to allow such beautiful space for self care this week? Really think deeply into how you feel, and while you’re at it, make a quick gratitude list.

I am so thankful you are here, and I am so thankful for such a great week. I’ll be back soon with our final week! What an amazing start to the New Year!

31 Day Fresh Start Challenge – Week Two

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Happy Sunday and welcome to Week Two! This week we will be organizing our homes, and as I warned, this is going to be a busy week. You aren’t afraid though, because you are prepared. You are ready to #BootUp and take this week straight on. Each day we’ll be focusing on cleaning out/decluttering and organizing a different space in our home.

Your task for Saturday was to get bins or boxes, as you decide that items are no longer needed, they can go into boxes. These items can be stored for a spring garage sale or donated to a local thrift store. If you find that you are in need of some extra organization bins or totes in a certain area, refer to my post here where I share how I organized my kitchen and bathroom; as well as here for some of my favorite things when organizing a space! For a deeper look into how to sort the items no longer needed check out this post as well as this one where I explain the other various ways you can get the items out of your home without them going in the trash.

Think about the space you are working in each day, how can you make each space less cluttered and work for you? It is possible to have a clutter free house, and after the holidays is the best time to declutter and clean out. Bonus tip: don’t take too long with deciding whether you need an item or not. The quicker you can decide, the quicker you can get through these tasks.

Day Twelve: I find that organizing the kitchen for some can be a very daunting task; for others this may be a clean/clutter free area already, we all have our differences. We will start in the kitchen, simply go cabinet by cabinet; clean out the items you no longer need and organize the items left. Make it an intention to put things back where they belong each time you use them. Be sure you go through your pantry and refrigerator as well.

Be sure to take time today to sit down and update your planner as needed.

Day Thirteen: Unless you have a lot of storage or closets in your living room, today shouldn’t take too long. Go through the needed spaces just as you did with your kitchen; everything should have place. Perhaps a decorate box or bin would help organize some blankets or pillows?

Day Fourteen: Time to attack those bathrooms, and thankfully, these can move pretty fast. Just like the other spaces in your home, clean out what isn’t needed and organize what is needed.

Day Fifteen: You’ll be doing the bedrooms today; if you have children (not toddlers or young children) you could probably set them to task with their own rooms leaving you to focus on your own space. While I do have a day selected for closets, you could do your bedroom closets this day, and focus on the other home closets/storage spaces on Friday.

Be sure to take time today to meditate for ten minutes as well.

Day Sixteen: Have an office, craft space, or bonus room? Maybe you have a guest room that needs attention? Turn your focus to these areas today. I hope by this day you are starting to feel a lightness surrounding yourself and your home.

Day Seventeen: It’s the last clean out day! Clean out those closets, and if there are any spaces that maybe need a little bit more time. This is a great time to take a moment to be sure you have cleaned out the spaces that you have wanted to focus on.

Day Eighteen: Easy day here, you’ll either take the cleaned out items to a local thrift shop, or store them somewhere for a spring garage sale. If you are storing them for a spring garage sale, make the plan now to take the remaining items to a thrift shop after. We don’t want these items to continue to clutter our home. Looking for other ideas of what you can do with these items? Last year I went into detail about other ways to donate or sell your items, you can find that post here.

Be sure to sit down and journal about this week as well. How are you feeling? Lighter? Motivated? Possibly a little more inspired?

See you in a week with Week Three!!

 

31 Day Fresh Start Challenge – Week One

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Welcome to the first full week of the #31DayFreshStartChallenge! I am ready and excited to jump into this week: Organize Your Life! This week we are going to focus on simple tasks that will help us all create a routine to help us feel more organized and prepared each month of this year. Let’s get started!

Day Five: We’ll start off fairly simply, sit down today and update your planner for the week and month. When you have your planner updated, be sure you update your phone calendar as well and as needed.

Day Six: Take time today to create a Daily, Weekly and Monthly cleaning schedule for your home. Check out my post here to see how I have mine set up. As you can see, I have simple things I do every day to ensure my house is always tidy. Then each day I can focus on one area and fully clean it. This takes the stress off of trying to do it all in one day; this means your house is always in a state of clean and being cleaned.

Day Seven: Very simple task for today, set up reminders in your phone for the following items –

Sundays: Reminder to sit down with your planner. Choose a time of day that works for you; for me it is in the morning. Set a reminder in your phone to go off each Sunday at the same time to sit down and go over your planner.

Wednesdays: Set a reminder to go off each Wednesday, again at a time that works for you, to sit down and meditate for at least 10 minutes.

Saturdays: Set a reminder in your phone for each Saturday to remind you to journal about your week.

Every Day: Set a reminder in your phone to go off at any time you want, middle of the day is great, that will pop up with your three words for this year. Seeing your three words, at least once a day (I actually set mine for two-three times) will help to focus you back to your goals.

Day Eight: Mediate for at least ten minutes, and while meditating, set your intentions for the rest of the week and weekend. When setting intentions, I mean which goals do you wish to accomplish? How do you want to show up for yourself and you family over the weekend? Setting these intentions and seeing them manifest in our mediation practice will help up to fulfill these in our lives.

Day Nine: Clean out you junk drawer or mail space. Be honest, you have, we all do. I know mine is in need of some TLC right now (and I’m not talking about Waterfalls). Beginning to clear the clutter will begin to help us clear the clutter in our minds. During this time, also be sure to have a clean, organized space for your planner, journal and folder. It’s important to designate a space for these items and keep them organized, as organization is our goal.

Day Ten: Time to clean out that email inbox! Maybe you are already really on top of this task, but me, oh how I am not. For those of us who need to focus on this area, we’ll sit down today and we’ll get our email inboxes cleaned OUT. Are we really going to read these subscriber list emails? Probably not.

While we are at it today, clean out old photos and messages on your phone. I’m not saying delete all photos, back up those you wish to keep to a computer and sort them into a file. Do you also have apps that you aren’t using? Delete those too; this will fill up a lot of spaces on our phones.

Day Eleven: Today we are going to prepare for Week Two by getting boxes or bins for the items we are preparing to clear out. Even just simple cardboard boxes will work, these can easily donated to a local thrift store, or stored for a spring garage sale.

Be sure to journal about this week at the end of your day. This is such a great way to end our week and to see our growth. It helps us to get some of those extra thoughts running round our head out, and helps us feel a better sense of calm.

See you soon with Week Two!

31 Day Fresh Start Challenge – Prep Week

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Happy New Year’s Eve! I hope you are as excited as I am to be starting this challenge tomorrow. If you haven’t yet, be sure you do the two pre-challenge prep tasks. Print out calendars and choose your three words. If you are not sure what I am talking about, refer back to the First Post for the information. Be sure to join our Facebook Group to connect with others participating in this challenge.

Let’s get started! Take some time today to really look at the calendar. Notice how we have specific things happening on the same days each week. We are going to start making these tasks habits; and the more we work on habits, the more likely they are to stick around.

I will tell you now that Week Two: Organize Your Home, will be the one that will take the most time. I encourage you to not worry, you will be able to accomplish it! We are working on preparing ourselves, and I wanted you to be aware to of this for the challenge. However, we are here to discuss the first four days, so here we go!

Day One: We’ll start off with a 10 mediation session. I like to use the Insight Timer App or the Guided Meditations on Do Yoga With Me. Find a quiet, comfortable spot to sit down, and allow yourself to relax for 10 minutes. Take some slow deep breaths to begin and push any thoughts from your mind; just allow yourself to be.

Be sure you also get your planner, a folder (any basic one will do), and a journal by today. The link I included was to my post last year where I shared my thoughts in choosing a planner. You don’t have get fancy, just choose one you feel will work for you. The calendars you printed can be stored in the folder.

Day Two: Only two simple tasks today, however, I want you to start incorporating these into your routine everyday. Drink your water, at least for 80-100oz a day. (Be sure to check with your health care provider.) Start doing this everyday; make it a goal to be hydrated! I know I feel so much better when I have my water each day. Being hydrated has so many benefits to our bodies and health.

Second task, to also do daily, make your bed! We’ve all heard either part of or all of the commencement speech William H. McRaven gave in 2014. He’s right, make your bed, everyday. This is a quick, simple task that has you starting your day with an accomplishment. Even on our toughest days, we at least made our bed.

For those who have not heard his Commencement Speech, I highly recommend it. You can also purchase the book, which is available on audio and is read by him. It is very motivational and I recommend to it all.

Day Three: Take a walk outside, at least 10 minutes, but try for 20-30 if you are able. (Again, always check with your health care provider to be sure you are healthy enough to complete the task.)

Grab that folder and take out one of the January calendars. This calendar is going to be your Breakfast, Lunch, and Exercise calendar, so be sure to label it. We’ll get to meal plans on Day Four, today we are just going to focus on exerciseTake some time and come up with a workout schedule that works for you. I find that switching up what I do helps me to not burn and keep excited about what my week holds. I enjoy walking, running, yoga, pilates, and weight training. I’ll be able to do each of these at least once a week, and will likely walk/run more than once. Be sure to choose what time of day you’ll be working out; being consistent will help you to be more successful.

Day Four: Eat a healthy meal! It’s time to start making some changes, that’s why we’re all here. One healthy meal can help inspire us to choose to make another healthy meal.

Take sometime today and create a healthy meal plan for yourself for breakfast and lunch. Use the same calendar as your exercise schedule for this task.

Now, take out your other January calendar, and use it to create your dinner plan. If you have a partner, spouse, or family, it is a good idea to make this a family task. In our home, we all sit down together and choose dinners until the calendar is full. This may seem a little daunting at first, but trust me, this is going to make your life so much easier. For us, it has cut back on our trips to the grocery store, because you know, this whole being prepared thing. Once you have both of your calendars filled out, tape them up in a cabinet in your kitchen.

Lastly, go grab that new journal, and write about the first four days of this challenge. What thoughts or feelings are you having? Do you feel excited, anxious? This is your journal, and no one will be asking you to share it, please be as open as you want to be.

Take a really deep, cleansing breath, you’ve got this whole challenge! I’ll be back Sunday with the break down of Week One! Reminder to check into my Facebook and Instagram for daily task break downs.

If you are sharing this journey on your own social media accounts, hashtag it: #31DayFreshStartChallenge / #LeopardOnAMission I love seeing others choosing happiness and encouraging others to do the same.

 

31 Day Fresh Start Challenge

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Here it is, the #31DayFreshStartChallenge! This is the full calendar, and I am so excited to get started. While we official begin on January 1st, there are a couple of things you will want to do before we actually begin, so I wanted to be sure to put them on the calendar. These things will help you to be more prepared to face this challenge; and as Edna Mode says, “Luck favors the prepared.” For those who have been following my Instagram or Facebook stories, you know that I have come up with a motto for this challenge, and for this year: BOOT UP! Because here we go!

The first thing you will want to do is print out blank calendars for 2020, at least two of each. These will help us plan meals and our exercise/wellness plans. More about that will come with the preparation-week post. These calendars can simply come from your computer or a Google search, and don’t need to be fancy.

The next thing you will want to do is to choose three words that will help to guide you through this year. Once you choose these words, write them on your bathroom mirror, with dry erase marker, so you see them every day.

This is a practice I learned from following Brendon Burchard and reading one of his books. While he chooses three words to help him, and others, focus on their future/aspirational selves, his don’t change. I like to come up with three each year that will help guide me to what I am trying to accomplish each year. I feel by doing this I am able to work on smaller sections of life each year. I am creating lasting habits that will continue to carry me into each year, and then I am able to use those habits and focus on three new areas as well.

My words for 2019 were: Happy, Motivated, Organized.
Often times my depression/anxiety can get in the way of my happiness and motivation, and I wanted a way to remind myself each day that I was capable of still being happy and motivated, even though I have times of struggle. I chose organized for two reasons. One, because I love organizing, and two because I still needed some help in keeping various areas in my life organized.

As we near 2020, I can see that I have accomplished so much this year by staying Happy, Motivated, and Organized. I helped many through my Organize Your House, Organize Your Life Challenge that I did in January 2019. My Book Club also expanded, and we were able to give back to our community through various collections and events.  I was also also able to organize more of my family life with some great tasks that I’ll be teaching you through this challenge.

This year my words are: Calm, Focused, Healthy.
These will help me continue to focus on the habits I have already created, while also expanding into new habits through 2020. I chose calm to help me adjust my anxiety a bit more, as well as to help me not overwhelm myself with tasks, projects, etc. I have a tendency to offer help to others even when I have my own long list of tasks to complete, and know that I end up really stressed out (and not feeling very calm) when I overstretch myself.

Focused, well, let’s be honest, we can all get off task at times. I’d like to work on that in 2020, as well as my health. I’m ready to get into a fun workout routine, and start eating more health foods! By staying focused, working out, and eating healthier I can continue to build a great future for myself and my family.

So there you have it! Your two preparation tasks for the challenge! As you work through this with me, I encourage you to use the hashtags: #31DayFreshStartChallenge and #LeopardOnAMission. Feel free to share this with friends and encourage them to dive in with you. Together we are going to make 2020 full of happiness, love and life. I’ll be back in a couple days with a breakdown of days 1-4, then each Sunday the post for that week will go up. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram for daily updates and explanations as well. I will also be available for questions; pop into the comments here on the website, or on my social media.

Have a Happy New Year and be safe!

And oh yeah, BOOT UP!

 

I Suck At Blogging

I suck at blogging, there I said it. (But I do love a good Snapchat filter.) I’m just not great at posting everyday, every month, or heck every season. So if you are here, if you are seeing this, know that I appreciate you. I am so thankful for those who have stuck around, and follow me on Facebook and Instagram as well.

It amazes me that people are able to come up with content to post nearly each day, and I really admire that creativity. I just don’t personally feel the need to do that, and only want to share when I feel I can put a good amount of quality and thoughts into my posts. (Because quality over quantity has many bonuses in life!)

Also, being a stay at home mom leaves me feeling like my life is not really interesting. I’m not dressing in cute outfits each day; and I really don’t think people want to read about what my toddler ate for breakfast. (Shocker! It was probably Cheerios and applesauce.)

That all being said, if you know me, then you know I am good at organizing, motivating others, and offering inspiration where needed. I’m also good at fresh, New Years starts. For 2019 we started the year by diving into home organization (the first post can be found here for those interested in checking it out) and I am very excited about what I have planned for us for January 2020!

31 days of home organization, life organization, health, and wellness! We are going to start this off on the correct foot. I really look forward to leading you all through a wonderful, healing process that will set us up for happiness in the new year.

Keep your eyes out shortly after Christmas for the full calendar! I’ll release all of it at once, then each week will get broken down into their own posts, along with daily posts on my Social Media platforms to help explain that days task further.

It’s going to be amazing, and I cannot wait for you to join me!

Until then, have a wonderful holiday season. Spend time with those you love, and be sure to set aside time for YOU.

Camp Grandma – Book Review

I am so excited to share my first Pop Up Review for Book Sparks! I was selected to read Camp Grandma and am so glad I had the opportunity to read this book.

Marianne Waggoner Day was a stay at home Mom, turned Business Woman, then got promoted to Grandma. Once she retired and started spending with her grandchildren, she realized that her business knowledge could be beneficial to their time together.

From this realization, Camp Grandma was born! In her book, Marianne takes you through various activities she has done with her grandkids that have given them some really wonderful skills to help lead them into a stronger future.

Her book has given me some wonderful ideas for activities to try with my oldest daughter this summer. I look forward to implementing some skill building projects into our schedule and watching her growth.

If you are a parent, grandparent, or child care provider, I highly recommend giving this book a read. It will inspire you to choose some different activities to try with the children in your lives. It is so important to give them a variety tools for their future, I know I love watching my children learn and grow.

This book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

Happy Reading!

Summer Reading Recommendations!

Here it is, my summer reading post! I am so happy to be sharing with you some excellent books to add to your reading list this summer.

Have you joined the Leopard Print Book Club yet?! We have some exciting things happening this summer! Including the #LeopardPrintBingoChallenge which just started!

Alright, are you reading to dive in? I sure am, here come some “fintastic” books!

You’re going to need a bigger tote.

(Props to anyone who gets that joke!) 🦈

 

Historical Fiction

Love and Ruin by Paula McLain is the story of Martha Gellhorn, Hemingway’s third wife. This novel beautifully follows their relationship and life in Cuba. Most importantly though, this follows Martha’s life as a war correspondent during World War II. I loved reading about her bravery and learning about some really amazing facts about the war I had not heard before. If you are a fan of WWII Historical Fiction, you will enjoy this book.

Often times when we think of Historical Fiction, we think of WWII. This year I had the pleasure of reading this amazing book by Lisa See. In The Island Of Sea Women, Lisa shares in the amazing life of the Haenyeo women of Jeju, South Korea and the how the wars affected this part of the world. Told through the eyes of Young-Sook, this book travels with her from childhood, all the way up through adulthood. This book is incredibly moving, and I am very thankful that I read it.

 

Real Life Adventure

I recently finished To Share the Sleeping Self by Jedidiah Jenkins, he shares in his journey riding his bike from the Oregon Coast down to Patagonia in South America. I think what I liked most about his story was that while he shared in the experiences he had while traveling, he also shared a lot of his mental journey through it all. It was really beautiful to see the changes he he went thorough while traveling the beautiful landscape.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed is one of my favorite books. I am so grateful she shared her amazing adventure with us. There are times in our lives when we need to make a change, or do something brave; and Cheryl did just that in her life. She set out and hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. In her book she shares the obstacles she faced, people she met, and lessons she learned while out on her hike.

 

Fun Series

I know that some out there are looking for a good “beach read”, or a good, fun series to read this summer. I highly recommend Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan; this three book series is so much fun. It left me laughing numerous times and he weaves such a wonderful tale of family, and some drama. His characters are bright, comical, and touching. I really think anyone would enjoy reading these books.

 

Mystery

I am sure you have heard a lot of buzz around this book, and if you haven’t read it yet, you have to add it to your summer reading list. In Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens uses the landscape of the North Carolina coast as the backdrop for her beautiful and mysterious tale. This book will leave you longing to visit and see just where the crawdads sing.

If you haven’t yet read one a mystery from Megan Miranda, I recommend you start with All The Missing Girls. This book is actually written backwards and is so creative. I didn’t want to put it down, and it left me on the edge of my seat. You’ll find yourself searching for more of her books after you read this one!

Heartfelt Read

For those looking for a touching, heartfelt read, I think you’ll fall in love with The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart. This book is a young readers novel, however, I felt it was an a very powerful story. It will leave you laughing, and crying, then it’ll probably make you laugh again. For adults, it will remind us what it used to be like to be a kid. Go out, have an adventure, but don’t forget where home is.

My Top Ten Books

I find it funny that I have had such a love of reading for the last few years, and it is just clicking in my brain that I should blog about it. Hey, I am a mom of two, my brain is a bit overworked these days. I am so excited to share with you ten of my most favorite books. These are in no particular order, and it doesn’t mean that I haven’t loved other book I have a read recently. There are also no spoilers, so please feel free to read on!

These are simply the books that I feel like have stuck with me, and that I find myself thinking of from time to time. These are the stories that I believe shape our lives, change the way we think, and build a home within our hearts.

I hope that you find some great reading suggestions here, and if you have read any of these, pop into the comments and let me know what you thought of them. I would love to hear what your favorite books are as well!

 

Harry Potter – J.K Rowling

If you know me, you know I have a strong love for Harry Potter. These books are amazing and hold some of the best life lessons. Within these books we find friendship, love of family, and acceptance of others. J.K. Rowling created such a beautiful world that anyone can escape into when we need break from reality.

If you haven’t yet given this series a try, please do yourself a favor and jump on in!

 

A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman

I picked this book up after the movie adaptation was nominated for an Oscar in the Foreign Language Film Category at the 2017 Academy Awards. This book will leave you crying, only to turn the page and have you bursting out with laughter again.

It implores to take a look at the various relationships we have in our lives and reminds us that we may not always know what is going on when we all go home.

The film is also available on Amazon Prime and is a really great watch if you are looking for something to do this weekend!

 

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry – Fredrik Backman

This is beautiful story about the love between a Grandparent and Grandchild, and the incredibly special bond they share. I greatly enjoyed the adventure the little girl goes on in this book and the wonderful net of characters Backman weaves together.

The story through out the book brings to life the fact that simply because life has been very hard to many, that doesn’t mean they are not worthy of friendship and acceptance. Just be sure you have tissues handy when you read this novel, you’ll need them.

 

All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

Fans of Historical Fiction and WWII novels will not be able to put this book down. It is one of the best books I have had the joy of reading. This novel is told from two characters on opposing sides of the war.

The tale is both sweet and intense at times. I didn’t want to put it down, and got through it in a matter of two-three days. The history shared I found really intriguing and enjoyed the various things I learned about the Resistance during WWII.

This is one of the books that stays with you long after you have ready it.

 

Sweetgirl – Travis Mulhauser

Are you tired of me talking about this book yet? I sure hope not because I am not going to stop! Taking place is the frozen landscape of the Upper Midwest, this novel is the journey of 16 year old Percy, and her struggle to get a baby to safety,.

This book is very well written, and left me on the edge of my seat waiting to read what would happen next. There are some great twists and turns in this book and I have found myself recommending it over and over again.

So consider this your recommendation, read this book!

 

Wild – Cheryl Strayed

Besides the fact that a lot of this book takes place in Oregon (my home state) this memoir is an incredible tale about Cheryl’s life and finding herself. I believe we have all had moments in our own lives where we feel we aren’t sure where we are going and need to figure out who we are. In Wild she shares of her experience in hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, the people she meets, and the dangers she encounters.

If you are in a period of your life when you are feeling unsure about what step to take next, give this book a try; I hope it helps you to find your own path.

 

Life of Pi – Yann Martel

I wish I had all of the words to share how much I love this book. It is an incredible story and will change you in ways you don’t realize. This is a novel about survival in the harshest of circumstances, and the will to live through it all.

When you are at a time in your life when you just need to feel something, this is the book read. This is also one of the movie adaptations that I have seen that sticks incredibly close to the book, I was very impressed with it.

 

The Art of Racing in the Rain – Garth Stein

Alright dog lovers, this one is for you. This novel is written entirely from the point of view from the dog, and it is an amazing story. It give us a glimpse into how dogs think, and how much they truly love us.

This book will make you angry at some points, and you will just want to will the dog to be able to speak. It is very well written and shares an amazing story, I hope you give it a chance some day and enjoy it as well.

 

Bridge to Terabithia – Katherine Paterson

Yes this is a book for middle schoolers, and I think a lot of adults should read it. This is the story of a young boy and the unlikely friendship with the new girl at school. It deals with family, imagination, and what childhood should be about.

It is a quick read, but very good and really makes you think about how you were in your younger years, as well as how you are with your own children.

 

The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I read this book in one night, and oh my goodness, I am so glad I did. This is a book that I think adults should read as well. After seeing little things online about The Little Prince, I ended up finding this copy at a used book store and thought my daughter would enjoy it. Well, when she said she didn’t quite understand it, I decided to read it, and could completely understand why. She simply is not old enough yet. I told her when she was older, I was going to have her read it again.

This book helps us to remember the enlightenment we had a children, and give us a view of various people we meet through our journey on earth. If you are heading into an profession that will give you the opportunity to be in a leadership situation, this is a great book to read!