633 Books and a Healthy Outlook

Wild

I obviously didn’t sleep as much as I should have this year and had very little of what most would call ‘a life’. There are a couple of days left, but let’s call it like a rained out baseball game- 633 books, at least 184,651 pages (some audiobooks don’t have a print version) and a healthier Gwen.

What turned the corner for my attitude this year was a series of subtle changes and finally, grabbing the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle in September.  I’ve had issues for years, but they were messy issues that were hard to put into words and get across to the people that might have been able to help. After decades of trying and failing, I found someone that was able to put a label on those issues and even better, ready to teach me the tools to conquer them.

One of the things that I was inspired to do was to really take a more proactive approach to my physical health. Like take an honest account of how much physical activity I actually did, stop blaming genes for why I was skeletal and explore ways to make me more comfortable with what I put in and on my body. It was a sort of re-making of Gwen and it was damn time.

So while I read and listened to books trying to keep the demons at bay, I also grabbed a fitness tracker, made changes to my diet, explored (okay, researched to death) the sustainability and eco-friendliness of the products I use, and more. Coffee and Diet Coke no longer have me in their grips and Soap Nuts replaced regular detergent, for example.

The last thing that I really wanted to learn was about essential oils. Yes, they are all the rage right now, I know, but they had been on my radar for years thanks to being an armchair herbalist for over a decade now. The Healthy Living Bundle was a boon for that for a bunch of reasons and the biggest one was the Essential Oils & Natural Health course from Vintage Remedies. This class alone was $95 and the whole bundle was just $30.  This isn’t one of those simple ecourses where you get an email everyday and a nice print out. Vintage Remedies has a whole online system with private audio, video, tests and the whole nine yards that you can take at your own pace.  It was as well thought out, even better really, than the online classes I have taken from the local colleges. It gave me so much confidence that I took what I learned and made all of my Christmas gifts and tailored them to each persons individual needs.

I obviously could go on for years, but wanted to shout from the rooftops what a great resource this whole bundle was. You might be the type that is making health-related  resolutions this week and this would be one way to take that on as well. There is so much included that I haven’t even gotten through all of the books yet!

So, the bundle is being offered again for just today and tomorrow and yes, I am now an affiliate so I am going to give you that link. There are things that blogger link to to make money and this one has been different for me personally. It isn’t just a book that I liked or a product that I believe in, it is something that actually was a big part of the smile on my face these days, changed my whole outlook and is a great value no matter what aspect of healthy living you subscribe to.

Here goes,

There are more details via the link, but as with everything …if I try to describe it, we would be here all flipping day:)

(I will just have to go on about the year in books later)

Sort of Like Gwen's Signature


Playing with (the) Fire

Fire

I know, the book world is all ablaze with the “Amazon is evil” theme right now and I am indeed playing with fire by raising my hand to tell you that I bought a Kindle Fire. (Well, really, it was a gift, but I asked specifically for it, so same difference)

There were many reasons for me choosing the Fire and continuing my relationship with Amazon.

  • I already had a Kindle Keyboard that I loved and therefore, the books bought for that one would transfer easily.
  • I have an iPod touch that I use often and really wanted something like that, but with a bigger screen.
  • I already had Amazon Prime because I like my McCann’s Oatmeal by the case. Now I can watch free streaming movies and TV shows on the Fire.
  • To say that my budget is limited is an understatement.
  • There aren’t any independent bookstores near me. There are a couple used ones that I do go to once in a blue moon. Sure, I could drive the half hour to Barnes & Noble, pay for parking, and all that, but I don’t go into town that often for anything.

The Fire fulfills a need that I had, for a price that I could justify and seamlessly meshes with what I already own.

The Review

The Fire is a great entry-level tablet with the added customer support that all of the other low-priced tablets can’t even begin to match. While the low amount of onboard storage space concerns me a tad, the reality is that I just don’t need all of my books, videos, and music on a portable device at one time. (Even my Kindle Keyboard got sluggish when I had it loaded to the gills, so I have learned that less is better)

So far, it has been able to do everything that my Touch could do and more. That is what I wanted and needed. The Amazon App store is still a bit limited, but I can sideload apps from other places easily.

The reader app itself is the only thing that I think needs a bit of improvement. Since the Fire isn’t a 100% dedicated reader, the experience is more like using the reader apps that you may already have on your phone, PC, or iPod. It isn’t as full featured as my actual Kindle Keyboard.

Many have whined that it doesn’t have parental controls and therefore it is easy for Betty Sue or Billy Bob to buy books and videos that aren’t age appropriate, or for that matter to buy anything to their hearts content. I don’t have kids, so this isn’t an issue. However, I would feel comfortable handing this over to my step-grandkids without a problem. Since they aren’t genetically related to me, they are smart and know that when they click a button that says “buy” they are buying something.

So, have you made the jump to a tablet/iPad? What are your thoughts? Have any questions for me? Want to rant at me for supporting Amazon? Want to know why McCann’s oatmeal is the best?


Happy Haul-idays with Chronicle Books

 

Chronicle Books is having a killer contest and you and I could both win $500 of Chronicle loot! The Happy Haul-idays Contest will have two winners, one chosen from the bloggers that post their wish list and the other chosen from one of their commenters.

$500 is a lot of book moola and Chronicle has TONS of great books. Seriously, there is something for everyone here; even the yahoos in your family that don’t have the love of reading that we do.

 

 

1001 moments

   

I like to think that I am pretty good at living in the moment. However, there are a few loved ones in my family that could use a few tips. I am not going to point fingers, they know who they are. Or… at least they will when they get this in their stocking.

 

 

 

 

 

Amy Butler

 

There is only one thing better than Amy Butler’s fabric and that is her patterns. This baby is staying with me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lotta Jansdotter

 

I am all about handmade, handcrafted, & hand painted in my life. The simplicity of the Scandinavian style in Lotta Jansdotter’s Handmade Living really appeals to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Craft Inc Planner

 

I already have Craft Inc and still need help with my business planning. This will be great and don’t forget,  Creative, INC

 

I can’t seem to stay out of the kitchen lately, so for Christmas gifts, this will sure come in handy. Get ready to have some snazzy looking jars of jams, jellies, and cookie mixes!

Pretty Pantry Gifts

Lincoln 3d

 

My friend and I enjoy everything and anything Lincoln. We may have to fight over this one or I could just send her one of her own to Illinois.

Can you imagine seeing real pictures of Lincoln in 3D?!?!?

 

 

 

FLW Fallingwater

 

 

SQUEEEE!!! A Frank Lloyd Wright book. My collection is close to bursting, but there is always room for more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TCM

 

I could go on and on and I am still not up to $500. I can’t forget this one though. Do you like classic movies? I am a Turner Classic Movies junkie. It all started almost 20 years ago when I couldn’t sleep and PBS was playing Meet John Doe in the wee hours.

I fell in love with Gary Cooper that night. Soon after, I fell in love with John Barrymore. Leave it up to me to fall in love with drunk alcoholics. That little issue is something for my therapist to deal with. Nothing to discuss here people, move along.

 

Like I said, that doesn’t even make much of a dent in the prize of $500. There are a few Moleskines that I have my eye on, books for the kids, the always fun mashups of Jane Austen and I read a great review of Booze Cakes in the San Francisco Book Review What would you get?

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Apple Picking, Central Coast Style & Giveaway

The weather here has been wacky for the past month or so; some days it is well over 100 degrees and the next day pouring rain and/or fog. While it was nice to finally have some summer weather, all of those changes weren’t great for the apple orchards.

It seems that apples fall from the tree when there is a heavy rain and if they aren’t picked up quick like, they god bad fast. Many of the orchards in the See Canyon area were running u-pick specials, 1 bag for $7. The difference was that you were picking them off of the ground instead of from the tree. Off we wentto the See Canyon Fruit Ranch.

see canyon

Where we dug though the piles of apples, passing on the bruised ones and snatching up the good ones.. while dodging the yellow jackets.

apple

Now what is one to do with all of tose apples?  Luckily, MyBlogSpark and Pillsbury came to our rescue. They sent me a kit that included everything I needed to make my first apple pie!

pillsbury pie  crusts_final

You can see all of the great pies we have created at the "Love the Pie" Facebook Page and even better, you can enter to win your very own “Love the Pie” kit right here. (thanks to MyBlogSpark and Pillsbury)

Before you enter, I will show you my very first apple pie that I didn’t purchase in the freezer section of the grocery store. She may not have been beautiful, but she was scrumptious!

apple pie 2

 

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To cover my rear- I need to tell you that my kit was provided by Pillsbury via MyBlogSpark and the giveaway prize will be too.