How was your literate life this week? As always, I’m here to celebrate our literate lives with a sneak peek into my own. Here’s what I’ve been reading, writing, learning and loving this week!

What I’m Reading:

The first week of a new year seemed like the perfect time to read You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. Fitting, right? I love a good self-help book and this one was one of the best. This no-nonsense, yet humorous, book was REAL. It didn’t sugarcoat and it wasn’t full of fluff. It was raw, honest and shockingly practical. My biggest take-away? We can literally have anything we want in life if we think we deserve it first. The rest is just icing on the cake. Icing that takes hard work to bring to life, but that comes effortlessly if our minds are willing to accept new possibilities. I absolutely loved this book. 

If you’ve read my earlier reviews, you know that I completely fell in love with The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Brayden. So when I had a chance to read an advanced copy of her newest book, Flight of the Puffin, I jumped at it. But admittedly, I was hesitant. I mean, I connected so fiercely to Zoey and her mother, how could I possibly find that kind of cosmic reading connection again? Well, I did. And while I’ve been walking around with my Octopus sticker in my notebook ever since I read Ann’s first book, now, I hope to tote a puffin, too.  

This book follows the lives of four distinct, yet ultimately connected, characters exploring who they are, who they want to be and how they fit into the world that doesn’t feel welcoming to them. Alternating chapters give an inside view into each character’s reality and leave the reader questioning their own beliefs and potential actions. What would each of us do to make this child feel valued? What unintentional messages might we be sending by doing what we initially feel is right?

I’m not sure how Ann does it, but once again, she wrote straight into my heart and my own relationships. Knowing the pain of what is right, but what is done to keep the peace instead. Knowing the bonds that are forged over the fear of change, rather than the excitement of growing. This book so artfully explores how to remain true to yourself when the world feels like it is against you and to wholeheartedly believe in your bones that you are enough, just the way you are. 

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go create a fistful of paper love bombs to spread love and kindness, just as Libby did. Because every little act of kindness matters more than we’ll ever know.

What I’m Writing:

I’m continuing my trend around reflective writing this week, thanks to an inspiring tweet from @TenilleShade who passed along this amazing graphic from @evalottchen. The advice is simple: note three things to let go of, three things to keep and three wishes for the future. And just to make sure you print and tape it into your notebook, I’m showing it to you here, because I know if you see it, you’ll love it. Just click and print for your own notebook!

What I’m Learning:

Ok. Get ready for this. There may be mold and mycotoxins in our coffee. WHAT?! I absolutely love a good cup of coffee, so when I was reading up on cleaner eating for the coming year, I did not expect to find this little nugget of information. Convinced the article I was wrong, I read some more...and some more. And yes, it’s true. Now, it’s not enough mold for the FDA to be worried, but it still made me stop and think. So now, I’m researching ‘clean’ coffee beans and learning a great deal along the way. I’d love to hear your suggestions!

What I’m Loving:

I was walking through JoAnn’s Fabrics last week purchasing candy supplies for the chocolate bombs I made last week. And a display stopped me in my tracks. It was a tall display full of beautiful, durable paper rolls to cover journals with. Wait. You mean I CAN MAKE MY OWN JOURNALS? Of course, I knew it was possible….but I did not know it might be this accessible to me. So guess what I explored this week? Yup. Here are some links if this lights you up, too:

How to Make Your Own Journal: Step by Step for Beginners

Paper Covered Journal Books

Gift idea: Homemade Journals

DIY Notebooks from Scratch

Stay tuned for how my first notebook turns out!

There you have it! I hope this inspires you to make space for more reading and writing in your own life. What are the highlights from your literate life this week? 

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