Friday, March 4, 2016

Whatever Is Lovely: A Book Review


In case you've missed it, adult coloring books are all the rage lately. For someone who has never stopped coloring regardless of age, via doodling, crafting, or downright busting out old coloring books, this trend is one that I'm glad to see sticking around.

Whatever Is Lovely: An Adult Coloring Book for Reflection and Worship, is a beautifully designed option for those who want to bust out their crayons or colored pencils. That being said, it offers a few extra bonuses that many others do not.

First, it offers you some alone time with the Gospel and God. I don't know about you, but my hectic life is basically begging for some extra alone time with God. Sometimes it's hard to carve that time out, but it's extra alluring to do so by using this book. The scripture and words bring about a sense of peace, especially while coloring and looking at the same loving words over and over.

Secondly, it's a curated collection filled with various artists, quotes, and scripture. So it's not just one viewpoint or story line or even the same types of pictures over and over. The variety makes it extra special. Each time you turn a page feels like a surprise, and honestly each one is so detailed and stunning.

Whether it's early morning, or late at night, "Whatever is Lovely" will bring you joy.

This book was provided to me via Blogging for Books, and the review reflects my honest opinion.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Book Review: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kailing



Let's be clear about one thing: I am obsessed with this book. Mindy Kailing's "Why Not Me?" is the perfect read for every young entrepreneur, actress, or human being. Scratch that, it's the perfect read for anyone of any age who needs a great laugh or has big dreams.

Mindy's writing style is candid, blunt, witty, dry, and hilarious. She tells stories so well that it feels like you're listening to your best friend catch you up on the latest in her love life and career. She has a great way of not taking herself or the business seriously, and as a young actress who works closely with a lot of other artists, it's so refreshing and a great reminder to be the same way.

She also speaks volumes to women, encouraging them to adopt the lifestyle and thinking of "why not me?", instead of holding themselves back or worrying their dreams won't come to pass. For someone so successful, she's easily able to relate to, and really does stir up a feeling of knowing that I can live out my dreams, too. I definitely had a point where I felt "wait a second, why not me? I can totally do this!" which is empowering and awesome. I particularly love the section where she talks about her tv show being cancelled. Any other human would have been knocked down a bit or felt defeated, and instead she simply decided something amazing would happen and The Mindy Project would stay in production. And it did! Almost immediately. As a reader, you learn so much about her mindset, consistent positive thinking, and her spirit that simply can't be defeated. Mindy Kailing is surely someone to look up to.

If you love celebrity news or insider info as to the on-goings of Hollywood or the behind-the-scenes of a TV show, this book is for you. She certainly doesn't gossip, but tells great stories about the people and experiences she's found herself working with. Stand out stories include visits to the White House, and what it's like in the writers room of The Mindy Project.

I love Mindy Kailing, and admire her even more after reading "Why Not Me?". If you read it, let me know what you think!

This review is part of Bloggers for Books, and the book "Why Not Me?" was given to me in exchange for my honest review.

remember: mustard seed coaching has moved here: www.lovemustardseedco.com 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Everyday Detox: Why I'm Obsessed with this Book


I'm obsessed with this book. Let's be clear here: I'm not a person you'll find cooking in the kitchen on a daily basis. I'd like to be but haven't quite gotten there yet. Upon learning that I need to give up a few more food categories, this time finally sucumbing to releasing my beloved gluten and sugar, I saw this book and immediately requested a copy. My love for sugar and bread and pasta runs deep, friends. Deep. But my love for being healthy ends up inching past as the winner in the end. Enter in this delicious book.

Aside from being gluten free, sugar free, and caffeine free (I'm failing at this, let's just be real), I'm also vegan. This makes me weary of cookbooks in general as most don't support alternative eating habits, like being vegan, unless the cover boldly states VEGAN is large, usually cool, letters. Megan easily and seamlessly incorporates options for all sorts of eaters by having simple "add this and ditch that to make it vegan" or "this simple swap out will make it great for dairy free friends", and so on (these are not direct quotes, mind you, but a generalization of her inclusion). This not only makes me excited to read each recipe but gives me a sense of belonging, which many cookbooks do not.




If the recipes don't grab you, her easy explanation of a healthy approach to eating will absolutely pull you in. The simple system is not a diet at all, but a smart way to let your body process foods easier and better than it currently can. As someone who firmly believes that what we put into our bodies affects not only our health but our moods, productivity, complexion and so on, I love the simplistic approach and her helpful lists. And if that doesn't pull you in, the pictures surely will. You may want to lick the pages (I did not), or find yourself staring with love and admiration (I absolutely did).

My first up to try are the Cauliflower Pizza Crust and the Vegan Mac N Cheese, along with any of her healthy juices. Don't be intimidated by eating healthy or natural foods. Let Megan and her fabulous book guide you on the journey.

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Please note I received this book from Blogging for Books for free, in exchange for my honest review.
photos via detoxinista.com

Monday, August 24, 2015

Better Than Before: A Book Review

A friendly reminder that my website is now www.lovemustardseedco.com, where you can find all the info on coaching, workshops, products, and more!

And now, for a book review!
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Something so many of us are unaware of is our habits and how they are shaping our lives. In "Better Than Before", Gretchen Rubin challenges us to identify our habits, and alter the ones that are not helping us live our best lives.




As someone who is obsessed with personal growth, and with challenging myself to remove and restructure anything that isn't helping me become the person I know I was born to be, this book lit my eyes up like a firework on the fourth of July. Habits? Change? Growth? Living better?! I was so in.

Ms. Rubin calls us first to identify ourselves as one of four "types" she lays out as Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels (for the record, I'm a blend of Rebel and Questioner). Using this information, she helps us understand how we work and how to begin making new choices, having new conversations (both in our heads and with others), and living fuller, happier lives. She also uses the tactic of "me too" by sharing personal struggles and triumphs, along with anecdotal stories that help examples come alive.

While I loved this book, and was strongly drawn to the design, I had the same experience with this as I did with her first book, The Happiness Project. I found myself getting a little distracted and feeling like sections were slightly being stretched out, and putting both books down for awhile before picking that up again. That being said, I ultimately went back to both and am glad I did.

Anytime someone wants to grow and change for the better, it should be applauded and supported. In this book, Gretchen Rubin does both, along with providing strategies to make those changes and create better habits to be, well, better than before.

I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinions!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mustard Seed Reads: "To You; Love God"


I absolutely love "To You; Love, God". Not only is the cover and layout simple and beautiful, the message is heartfelt and clear. This book provides a daily inspirational paragraph to set the tone for your day (and I find it's best enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea). The best part is that it's set out by date but not by year so you can come back year after year to view and re-read the messages.

There are sections for each month such as "Do" and "Love" that neatly package the messages in accordance with the monthly theme. If you feel you need motivational calls to action, hop to a section that is more active. If you need some comfort and kindness, find a section that matches.

This book can be shared with anyone, regardless of age, and would make a great book to read out loud to little ones at the start or end of a day. It's a great gift, again, really for anyone, and will surely be appreciated by all. I would absolutely buy this as a gift for friends or family. In a world that seems overwhelmed with chaos, pain, confusion, and frustration, being able to give someone a bit of peace and love and kindness is a true blessing.

Check out  To You; Love, God: A Year of Daily Guidance and Inspiration Straight from the Source and let me know how you like it!

**I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I never post anything other than what I honestly believe. Thanks for your support of this content so I can continue to provide you with exciting new books to read!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Time to Rise & Shine

Morning is my absolute favorite time of day. While I don't do it often, I love waking up early and using the time to refresh, check in on how I'm feeling and where I'm at, and set the standards for the day to come.


Morning routines are a quick and easy way to set the tone for your day, and make very big life changes with small steps. My morning routine starts with a 20-minute meditation. Well, no, back it up. My morning routine starts with feeling some puppy eyes staring at me waiting for me to wake up. Henry is the first one up and he can hardly contain himself with enthusiasm for the day. As soon as he sees my eyes open, he rolls onto his back to get his morning belly rub and we play a few rounds of "catch mommy's hand", which is a fan favorite around here. After Hen and I have our time together, Layla slowly makes her way from sleeping to sitting up to flopping over to me where she keeps her eyes shut and a big smile on her face while I scratch her ears until she falls back asleep.

As I write this, I realize even my dogs have a morning routine! Even more motivation for you to set one up.

Up next comes teeth brushing, my meditation, morning prayers and reading a chapter in my current 40-day devotional and by then the dogs have run downstairs to pee on their pee-pads and start eating breakfast, and have run back up to see what the heck is taking me so long.

This is when I first check my phone, and at the most I'll look at instagram. That's it. No email, no facebook, no internet, nothing else. Waking up without your technology in your face is crucial to the start of your day. You know what is usually in my emails? People needing things. If I haven't taken care of myself yet, how can I start to give to others? If you hop right on facebook then the very first thing you're doing is seeing what other people are up to (hello comparison), reading upsetting news going on in the world, or taking in other people's frustrations (don't act like you don't have friends who use facebook as their platform to complain about every traffic jam, burnt bagel, and bad dream). We don't need that first thing in the morning - or really, ever, so go on ahead and delete those constant complainers.


Next up is brewing a cup of tea or hitting the button on my bff Mr. Keurig for some delicious coffee, finding some breakfast, and playing fetch for a few minutes with Hen, who by now is basically leaping around, pushing his toys toward me. If I've got the time, this is also when I stretch.

This point is where my days veer off. I might throw on workout clothes and take the dogs out, I might hop right in the shower to get to auditions or callbacks, or I might be getting on skype and start coaching clients (which, yes, I often do with that tea or coffee in my hand, pjs still on). However, the beauty of my morning routine means even though every single day is different, with so many uncertainties, I've created stability and structure for myself before I jump into anything else. If you have a ton of structure and a day job you go to daily, you can create a morning routine to fulfill your other wants outside of your job. Maybe this is when you journal, paint, or write that best selling novel. Maybe it's when you get to the gym. Need more ideas? Here's a list of suggestions for you on how to rock out your morning routine:
  • pray
  • journal
  • meditate
  • stretch
  • make tea or coffee
  • cook a real breakfast that takes longer than grabbing a protein bar or donut
  • spend time with your partner, kids, parents, pets, or whoever else makes you smile
  • read a newspaper, magazine, book, or daily inspiration/devotional
  • take a long shower
  • go for a run, do a dvd/youtube workout, or hit the gym early
  • write a blog post
  • pursue your creative passions or dreams
  • write out three goals for the day
  • make a clear intention statement for your day
What does your morning look like? I'd love to hear your routines either here in the comments or over on instagram. Remember: YOU are in charge of your day. Not your facebook friends, family, co-workers, weather, or whatever else we can choose to blame. Shape your day how you want it, and start with the morning :)

love, mustard seed co

Friday, February 27, 2015

Doggie Gift Round-Up; Or, Things I Want for H & L


Sometimes when I really need to zone out, I play a game called "look at dog related things". I have another version for baby/toddler clothing, and that addiction is really out of hand but definitely pays off when in need of a baby gift. I digress. So after a round of looking at things I want for me or my (fur) kids, I thought I'd share for anyone else obsessed with their furry little man or lady.
 
1. This necklace from Tamed & Awesome.

2. One of these bowties for Sir Henry Elliot the Great. This shop donates to National Mill Dog Rescue, too!

3. And this art print (customized with a Henry and a Layla, of course) because are you kidding me?

4. This lady bug collar/flower set, which is ever so delightful for a little Layla Ladybugger.

5. And two of these nose-print necklaces, thank you very much.

Okay, doggie mamas, what say you? What's the best pet present you've gotten or given?