Everybody Always

“Trees grow where they are planted; people grow where they are loved and accepted.” – Bob Goff

Wow, Bob Goff has really done it again. I received Bob’s first book, Love Does, from a coworker in graduate school and was blown away by the joy, fun and honesty of the book and Bob’s writing style. Well, he has made magic again, and I am not even a little surprised. Everybody Always is a beautiful novel filled with meaningful stories that are so easy to relate to and really drive home the idea of what love is and could be. Bob is a joy to follow on these stories too. He is witty, raw, and captivates you with his unique storytelling style and really spreads the message of loving everybody always.

Everybody Always can be summed up in the quote I began the review with. It is all about loving and accepting others and growing in that love. We need these books, we need this love, and we need this heart now more than ever. I found myself laughing, crying and being so touched by the stories in this book and cannot wait to read it over and over again!


It Starts with Food

A friend recommended this book to me as an introduction to the Whole30. It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways by Dallas Hartwig and Melissa Hartwig is a great read that easily explains the program and the science behind it.

The authors do a great job in keeping the tone of the book casual and writing the information in ways that are easy to understand and relate to. They use a lot of analogies and personal experiences to help illustrate their points. They also have several testimonials from people who have done the Whole30 before. The book is also broken down into sections to help you understand why they are recommending you cut or eat certain foods. The best part is the detailed (and delicious) menu and cooking ideas toward the end of the book.

The only downside to this book is that occasionally I think the tone  shifts and can appear to be a bit off in sections. Overall, this is a good introduction to a great plan. It is easy to understand, detailed, and intriguing. I definitely see a Whole30 in my future!

101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties (and let’s be hones,t your thirties too)

Over the past couple of years I have looked forward to visiting Paul Angone’s site http://allgroanup.com/ and reading his books. He offers a fresh perspective on being in your twenties and thirties and makes the sometimes (okay, all the time) confusing journey into a witty and meaningful ride. That is why when I heard he was releasing a new book, 101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties (and let’s be honest, your thirties too), I couldn’t wait to dive into it. It definitely was the fun, sound advice, and honest book I was hoping it would be (which did not surprise me, already being a fan).

This book captures the questions you should be asking in your twenties and thirties and combines exercises and examples that really help you think and put these questions into action. Here are some questions that really grabbed me:

60. What am I going to regret NOT doing?

61. Who will you not be able to help if you give up now?

82. What are my 3-5 favorite stories (books, movies, plays, historical accounts, etc.)?

Thinking about our regrets retroactively is easy, but thinking about what we can prevent regretting, now that will get you pondering. I also liked the second one because it really puts into light how your story is important, so important that if you stop now, it will be noticed, felt and missed. Wow. As an avid story seeker I also enjoyed the question about what my favorite books and movies were and what that meant in the context of who I am and where I want to go in life. And these are just some of the awesome questions, seriously, they are all great.

Paul uses his experiences and his candor to paint a picture that is easy to relate to and that helps us delve into our own questions. So if your question is “should I check out this book?”….I can help you with that one, yes!

War on a Sunday Morning

Accurately capturing history and being able to engage young people in that history is no easy task. It is however, a task that author Teresa Funke was up for and was able to accomplish in her book War on a Sunday Morning. The book is geared toward ages nine and up (but can be enjoyed by adults as well) and is based on a true story. It centers around a character named Rose who is at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 when it was attacked. Rose witnesses the attack from her front yard and watches as the nation, her family and her life are impacted and forever changed.

The aftermath of the attack is devastating and we join Rose as she witnesses prejudice, experiences mass fear, faces loss and discovers friendship. The characters are engaging and the content is honest as well as educational. It shines light on this day and the climate surrounding the nation at the time.

I was very impressed by this novel and look forward to reading more from Teresa!

The Healing Power of Essential Oils

Healing Oils

I started my journey with essential oils back in 2010. I was fresh out of undergrad and found myself having some health issues and symptoms that conventional medicine and treatments were unable to tackle. My sister-in-law mentioned her use of essential oils to me and I thought “sure, I will give anything a try,” so I ordered my first batch of oils. The rest, as they say, really is history. I have been faithfully using my essential oils now for about eight years and cannot say enough good things about the use of these oils. I have switched my toothpaste, cleaning supplies and even sunscreen to include these natural and nourishing oils in my daily life. So, when I saw Eric Zielinski’s The Healing Power of Essential Oils I knew it would be a great read for me.

Zielinski is very detailed in this book and I think it would be useful for oil users of all knowledge levels and experience levels. This book really does have quite a lot to offer. The blend recipes are pretty great, I have even used a couple since receiving the book and thought they were awesome. The mood-boosting inhaler and the inflammation-soothing roll-on recipes have been my favorites so far. I also really like that the book offers practical advice on basic tools and techniques for using oils such as carrier oils, using glass containers for the oils, and diffusing.

If you are an avid oil user or just starting out this book is worth a look! To learn more visit:

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this honest review.

How Healing Works

healing works

This book was such a breath of fresh air! In How Healing Works Dr. Wayne Jonas proposes a new way to approach healing. He uses his own experiences with those he has treated, along with several years of research, to lay out a revolutionary way to approach the body and how it heals. He talks a lot about how 80% of healing actually doesn’t come directly from the treatment, which is surprising at first but as you read more you start to  peel back layers to the healing process such as perception, environment and so much more. This book addresses the whole person as an individual, which I love. I am a strong believer in the connection between the mind and the body and love his approach and insight on healing. Definitely recommend!

Learn more here:

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this honest review.



Daring Greatly


Daring Greatly (2)

I stopped on this page for a long time. After I turned the page I kept looking back at the picture I took of it (I have developed this new habit while reading of taking pictures of important things I want to remember and reference later). This was the response from someone in author Brene Brown’s research when asked what vulnerability feels like. “Wow, I thought. This person nailed it.” I actually think this one sentence, this one explanation, also captures the spirit of the book quite nicely too.

Daring Greatly, How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead, was a wonderful book. I also have to confess, I intentionally read this book in January. I am doing the one word for the year exercise/challenge/goal where you choose a word and let it guide you throughout the year. My word is brave, so this book was a great read for me this month. The book highlights what it means to be vulnerable in our “never enough” culture and how that vulnerability is actually a good measure of courage. It’s about putting ourselves out there in order to live our lives and experience life in the arena, instead of being on the outside looking in. Opening ourselves up to vulnerability is hard, but I go back to the quote in the photo, because not opening ourselves up to vulnerability is just as scary.

I love Brene Brown’s writing style, research and messages throughout the book and could not recommend this read more. Who knows, maybe daring greatly starts with being vulnerable enough to pick up a copy and read this book for yourself.