Books Of Summer


This annual challenge is run by  Cathy at 746 Books.  This year it’s taking place between June 3rd and  September 3rd.  I don’t usually participate in these because I never read fast enough to do all I set out to do. But with Game Of Thrones wrapping up, and never reading the books, I knew I wanted to. And I’ve always wanted to read the Sookie Stackhouse novels after watching True Blood but never had the chance to get to them. Fingers crossed I get at least 10 done! And if I do I’ll keep going with Sookie. Number 10 on my list? I used to watch The Real Housewives Of New York (and New Jersey) as one of my guilty pleasures. I don’t watch them very often now but Carole Radziwill was always such an interesting person I thought I’d see her wrap up of her experience on the show.

Cathy explains, the rules are simple.  Take the Books of Summer image, pick your own 10, 15 or 20 books you’d like to read and link back Cathy’s master post at 746 Books by June 3rd 2019 so she knows that you are taking part.  The rules are really flexible.  Want to swap a book? Do it. Want to change your list half way through, go for it! Deciding to drop your goal from 20 to 15? She’s fine with that.

You can find my lists below with links to the book description on Goodreads. I’m hoping to keep my list updated with my reviews as I get them read!



  1. A Game Of Thrones by: George R.R. Martin
  2. A Clash Of Kings by: George R.R. Martin
  3. A Storm Of Swords by: George R.R. Martin
  4. A Feast For Crows by: George R.R. Martin
  5. A Dance With Dragons by: George R.R. Martin
  6. The Winds Of Winter by: George R.R. Martin 
  7. Dead Until Dark by: Charlaine Harris
  8. Living Dead In Dallas by: Charlaine Harris
  9. Club Dead by: Charlaine Harris
  10. Dead To The World by: Charlaine Harris



  1. Dead As A Doornail by: Charlaine Harris
  2. Definitely Dead by: Charlaine Harris
  3. All Together Dead by: Charlaine Harris
  4. From Dead To Worse by: Charlaine Harris
  5. Dead And Gone by: Charlaine Harris
  6. Dead In The Family by: Charlaine Harris
  7. Dead Reckoning by: Charlaine Harris
  8. Deadlocked by: Charlaine Harris
  9. Dead Ever After by: Charlaine Harris
  10. The Madcap Tales of My Year on the Real Housewives of New York Season 5 by: Carole Radziwell

Have you read any of my choices?  I’d love to hear what you think of my choices and if you’re planning to do the challenge, let me know. I’d love to see what you choose!

If you are joining in, head over to Cathy’s Blog to grab an image and enter the challenge! Remember to link back to Cathy’s Blog and don’t forget your hashtags! #20booksofsummer #15booksofsummer #10booksofsummer #readingchallenge #booksofsummer

Here’s to summer and some great reads!




Ted-Talk: Why thinking you’re ugly is bad for you

About 10,000 people a month Google the phrase, “Am I ugly?” Meaghan Ramsey of the Dove Self-Esteem Project has a feeling that many of them are young girls. In a deeply unsettling talk, she walks us through the surprising impacts of low body and image confidence—from lower grade point averages to greater risk-taking with drugs and alcohol. And then shares the key things all of us can do to disrupt this reality.

Love yourself first, as you are RIGHT NOW. That’s where you need to start.

Bare Feet Touching The Earth


Have you ever thought about how disconnected we are from the natural environment? We sleep in shelters above the flooring even upon beds. We work under fluorescent fixtures with climate controlled air ventilated through our offices. We sit on decks and porches when we go outside and find picnic shelters when we decide to eat surrounded by mother nature. We wear shoes of all sizes, shapes, and materials and even in the summer flip flops and sandals shield our precious paws from the earth we stand upon.

Our feet alone are far removed from the feeling of the earth beneath our feet and the grass between our toes. I am very much a barefoot person. And when I have to wear shoes they are usually flip flops or as minimal a running shoes as my legs/shins/ankles will withstand. I have always loved the energy of the earth. And at some point the rest of the world seemed to catch up as I see websites telling the virtue of earthing, books written about earthing, and see more and more people transitioning into Vibrams for everything from running to hiking, running, camping and paddle boarding. I’ve seen them on the tv show Survivor!

I know I enjoy being barefoot but apparently there are many possible benefits from your bare feet touching the earth. It’s kind of amazing. And our feet are just one part of us which most of the time stays far removed from the earth and all it’s wonder. With earth day approaching (April,22) take off your shoes and find some earth to stand on and just embrace the moment of re-connect to the earth 💚




Head To The Beach


Spring is in the air and soon local pools will be open and warm enough weather for beach trips. The ocean or just the water in a pool or lake can have amazing effects on your mood and anxiety levels. Going for a swim or floating on a raft, even just catching some rays on the beach or poolside can melt stress away and leave you refreshed and ready to tackle the world again. Do yourself a favor and take mini vacations to your local pool, lake, even a river. Or better yet find a beach and leave the world behind for day or two….


Boosts creativity

Being in a blue space makes you more creative, because it allows your brain to become relaxed, so you are more likely to drift off and imagine possibilities that when under everyday stress is difficult.

Stress melts away

Dangle your toes in the water, float above the waves or going for a swim. The ocean is filled with negative ions that are known to help relieve stress and boost your mood.

*Negative ions enhance our mood, stimulate our senses, improve appetite and sexual drive, provide relief from hay fever, sinusitis, bronchial asthma, allergies, migraines, even post operative pain and burns. Negative ions stimulate the reticuloendothelial system which is a group of defense cells in our bodies which marshal our resistance to disease. Negative ions promote alpha brain waves and increased brain wave amplitude which results in a higher awareness level. The body is better able to absorb oxygen into the blood cells, oxidize serotonin and filter airborne contaminants.Some scientists believe that the positive ions given off by the many appliances we use on a regular basis can leave us feeling angry, cranky, and overworked. Naturally occurring negative ions counteract all of this.


It reduces depression

The sound of the waves can put your mind into a relaxed or even meditative state similar to white or pink noise, only prettier sounding. This reduces anxiety and depression and will relax and improve your state of mind. Even the sound of the gulls flying above and the buzz of happy activity on the beach can lend itself to an uplifted mood. And what about the scent of ocean mist mixed with the scents of coconut oils from people who are using suntan lotions and sunscreens. It can be intoxicating.

Your perspective is changed for the better

Being in and around nature is so soothing. And even when it’s energized by surfing or parasailing it brings a peacefulness to the soul.  It reminds us that there are things bigger on this planet than a rush hour traffic, the girl at work that irks you or the bills sitting on the table.

80-by-the-sea (1)

Fodor’s Travel

80° By The Sea Discover Your Best Vacation Spots

*Prana View Australia

Book Recommendations


I’ve read a lot more than what I’m putting here and that I’d recommend. As far as fiction, I’m a big fan of Anne Rice, Stephen King and Eckhart Toll. Fiction I love spooky and mysterious reading. I’m very into personal development reading and occasionally like comics (think Neil Gaiman/Sandman). And of course books on nutrition, food, and running always catch my eye!  And I’m not going to review them because I don’t like giving it away like that. If you haven’t read just them, give them a try! I’ll update this page from now on as I read and find new books I liked enough to recommend. Happy reading!

“She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.”
~Annie Dillard


865 17061.jpg 19132.jpg 43877.jpg 98249


101098 178788.jpg 653396.jpg 830502 6383910.jpg


957162 957158 16256632.jpg 10136523.jpg  6660568


20601116.jpg 411nlAJXoJL.jpg 71nhKpEEI6L.jpg







Running out of my darkness


 writer for New York Magazine wrote this article “How Running and Meditation Change the Brains of the Depressed” and exercise helping depression is something I knew was real but something when you’re slipping into that dark place, you forget.

I’m not a full fledged “runner” by any means, yet. But I know just lacing up my shoes and stepping out the door were some of the first moments I was reminded, I am alive and I breathe. So I’m thankful just for the training, for the ability to step out into nature and move forward. It was hard at first. I cried. I couldn’t breathe. I started hyperventilating a few times. But every day was just a tiny bit easier. Easier to live beyond the sadness, or despite it. Easier find bright moments in a day that would remind me that I needed to thrive.

Something about feeling the sun beating down on my face (vitamin D is awesome) and leaving the emotionally cocooned safe  walls  of our apartment allowed me to not have anywhere to hide from the vulnerability of grief. And I think that’s a necessary step in battling depression. Allowing the vulnerability to release itself maybe is where you find renewed strength of spirit. That comfort of four walls are like arms embracing you with a huge hug when depression begins to set in, especially from loss. But soon the walls become a prison cell locking you into a moment in time. Maybe we do that because we fear we are letting go of that which we lost, that last spark of life remembered.


But we don’t. All the good memories remain as long as you choose to be brave enough, vulnerable enough to remember. I still cry. I still hurt. And I think when we lose someone (this includes furbabies as someone’s) who is close to your soul, you always will hurt, there always will be tears. But you have to find a way to smile despite it all. You have to choose to live the life they can’t. It’s the very best way we can honor them.

So how does it all work this running (exercising, walking, aerobics) help with depression? What’s the proof, or scientific mumbo-jumbo?





• It elevates the brain-derived neurotrophic factor, slowing cognitive decline and strengthening your capacity for and rate of learning, and protects neurons against the corrosive effects of cortisol (exercise boosts BDNF ) 8 Ways To Increase BDNF Levels (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor)

• It promotes brain growth. Not like, your heads gonna get big lol. Running and the chemicals release while going through very physical things stimulates new nerve growth. Endorphin’s are an amazing fix for depression! 5 Ways Running Boosts Brain Power .

• It helps ward off stress. If you include some sort of aerobic exercise into your daily routine, like walking and running your body and mind is better prepared for whatever comes at ya in the form of stress or depression triggers. If everyday stress is minimized coping skills are much more effective and with easier transition. Physical Activity Reduces Stress

• It’s kinda the closest we have to a Fountain Of Youth (naturally) Physically, the effects are obvious. But also mentally. Following a half hour of strenuous exercise, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex works harder to resist distracters and performance on tests of attention improves. Studies also show that immediately following exercise, problem solving, memory, and attention improve.  Think Better: Exercise


•It interrupts the mental feedback loop of stress, anxiety and depression within our brains. When we are stressed in our everyday life, or depressed because of a loss of some kind or dealing with anxiety because of something life has thrown unexpectedly at us, we can get “stuck”. Our brains go on a loop and doing a vigorous activity can be just the thing to snap our brains back into problem solving, or at least into acceptance of a situation if no other resolution is possible. Along with this, when depression sets in our bodies produce less Cortisol and that is bad news for our body trying to help us out of that loop, exercise increases Cortisol levels! The Brain on Stress

• It reduces muscle tension. Ever notice your body when you’re stressed out, or depressed? We tend to contract muscles and hold them in tense states. It’s all a part of that fight or flight mode ancient humans carry within them. Our body is ready to defend us against the perceived threat. Even if that threat is coming from ourselves being depressed or stressed to the max. Exercise, running, gives those muscles something to actually do. It then tires them out, they feel they fought the good fight and finally they can relax. Exercising to Relax

• It improves your self esteem which in turn gives you the confidence you can move forward away from the depression and anxiety. Developing Self-Confidence Through Running: How I Found Myself Out on the Road


So I don’t run very well, nor very fast or far (yet). But lacing up those shoes and putting your best effort in is what matters. You don’t have to be skinny, or already healthy. And you don’t have to be happy either. But your mood will lift as you continue running out of your darkness and into a better state of physical and mental health.


All content found in this article, including: text, images, audio, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, mental health advocate,  or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, go to the emergency department, or call 911 immediately. Or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline @ 1-800-273-8255 – Available 24 hours everyday

Advice from links to educational content and websites are to be taken at your own risk. is not responsible for the claims of external websites.




“I say : “All the perfect and broken Hallelujahs have an equal value .” It’s, as I say, a desire to affirm my faith in life, not in some formal religious way but with enthusiasm, with emotion.” ~ Leonard Cohen 


Leonard Cohen