Blogging for Smarties Virtual Tour Dec to Jan 2017 by Yvonne Wu

Blogging For Smarties

Blogging for Authors and Speakers

Join Author Yvonne Wu on her Virtual Tour, sponsored by The YP Publishing.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you did not have to struggle or depend on someone else to do it for you?



Published by The YP Publishing,

Author Yvonne Wu, 54 Pages, ISBN # 978-0-9813025-1-5

WINNER of the Global eBook Award for Technology

Purchase the Companion video here


About The Book – Blogging for Smarties

The Internet is often the first place that people turn to for information about anything and anyone. Company addresses, information about a person, and reviews about a company are a click away. Potential visitors rely on the Internet to learn about specials, book releases, events, and information. Your website is your storefront and it enables you to reach a global market. Having a website that supplies this information is a necessary component of running a business.

As an author and speaker, the Internet becomes a business channel to network, advertise your products and services, and build a following on a global level. Learn how to create your first blog, effectively market your blog and create passive income opportunities in our new ebook, “Blogging for Smarties Blogging for Authors and Speakers,” which will walk you through the steps of building an extremely effective website.

In this guide, you will learn:

Blogging Basics for Beginners
How to Attract Readers
Popular Blogging Platforms
How to Setup WordPress
Discover How to Use WordPress
Useful Plugins for Authors and Speakers
Discover Effective Marketing Strategies for Your Website
Easy Tips on How to Make Money with Your Blog
Learn Effective Podcasting
How to Market Your Podcast
Important Links to Resources


Many Authors and Speakers struggle with:



Installing Plugins

Adding an Opt in form

Marketing their Blog

Wouldn’t it be nice if you did not have to struggle or depend on someone else to do it for you?


I have only so much time and money, how do I know that this book will provide me with what I need?

Have you found that in order to find the answers on how to do something you found yourself buying several books? One book to learn blogging basics and another book that teaches you how to blog. Find the answers in one complete book. Most blogging books are very general and are not targeting the needs of a specific occupation. Blogging for Smarties has how to’s, strategies and solutions that meet the needs of authors and speakers.

About The Author -Yvonne Wu

Yvonne Wu, president of The YP Publishing, provides services tailored to professional dscyvonnespeakers and authors, helping them with marketing themselves in person and online. Yvonne has assisted authors with a wide variety of projects across North America, helping them with publishing and promoting their book. Yvonne is a Book Award Judge. Yvonne was a Stevie Awards for Women Judge and WebAward Judge. The 6th Annual Shorty Awards nominated The YP Publishing as #10 in the small business category of the Shorty Awards, She is a graduate of the Author Assistant Program, Business Administration Marketing and Speaker Assistant Program.


The ebook is available at:

Amazon I iTunes I Kobo

and other retailers

Join the Conversation



What are the pros and cons to this book?

Yes, much of the content can be found elsewhere, but you usually have to read several books to find out similar information. If you are not an author or speaker, you can still benefit from the information, but it may not be as relevant. Blogging for Smarties gives you the answers to the questions that are relevant to you as an author and speaker. The videos are available when you want. Saving you endless hours of time and research.

What People are Saying…

Writing a blog or podcast or even starting your own website might be more than a little enamoring to some. With all the technology out there, some of us still need to be held by the hand and guided through the steps. This Is The Book! Author Yvonne Wu takes the time to introduce WordPress and explain what it is and isn’t capable of doing. She then provides snapshots of screens as examples so that there is no misunderstanding. It doesn’t stop there! Tips on the various applications are provided to enable the reader to use the program to its maximum potential.

I am personally so glad to have had the chance to read this short how-to book. Researching and contemplating on a blog and website for quite a while, now, it just seemed too difficult to proceed. My mind has been changed! I feel empowered by the simplicity of it all. The language is something anyone with a little computer knowledge can understand. Suggestions provided by the author seem logical and to the point. I vow to try at least some of them! Writing a reference guide, especially one regarding websites and so on surely must be somewhat difficult but Ms. Wu makes it seem as though it were as natural as breathing. This book would be great for tutorial centers, libraries, computer labs and of course the home collection. I highly recommend “Blogging for Smarties” to anyone with an inkling to delve into their own cyber presence.

Reviewed by Brenda Ballard, for Readers Favorite


WINNER of the Global eBook Award for Technology

Have you found that in order to find the answers on how to do something you found silverebookawardyourself buying several books? One book to learn blogging basics and another book that teaches you how to blog. Find the answers in one complete book. Most blogging books are very general and are not targeting the needs of a specific occupation. Blogging for Smarties has how to’s, strategies and solutions that meet the needs of Authors and Speakers.

Blogging For Smarties is available on,, and more.Don’t have a Kindle? Read the book on your computer or tablet. Download the Free Kindle Reading App

Review –

Blogging for Smarties is a great tool to use when setting up a blog from scratch, but it also offered guidance, that as a seasoned blogger, I could use. While it is geared toward public speaking and setting up a blog conducive to that role, it will also introduce pros and cons of working on WordPress.

Just as the list above indicates, (see below) this book will take the beginner from the beginning to a fully operating blog complete with plug-ins and marketing strategy. I found the book to be very easy to understand and a great help even though my blog has been fully functional for many years. Blogging for Smarties has given me the courage to begin making some needed changes with my blog.

Whether you are a beginning blogger or a seasoned one, you will find little hints that will help you tweak your blog. Authors and speakers will definitely find this book helpful as they set up their blogs.

Blogging Basics for Beginners
How to Attract Readers
Popular Blogging Platforms
How to Setup WordPress
Discover How to Use WordPress
Useful Plugins for Authors and Speakers
Discover Effective Marketing Strategies for Your Website
Easy Tips on How to Make Money with Your Blog
Learn Effective Podcasting
How to Market Your Podcast
Important Links to Resources

Blogging For Smarties Tour Schedule

Dec 19 – Review at My Life One Story At A Time
Blogging For Smarties reaches readers and writer

Dec 20 – Review at Yet Another Blogging Mummy
Blogging For Smarties reaches bloggers

Dec 21 – Review at Lovely Reads
Blogging For Smarties reaches readers

Dec 23 – Guest Blogger at Women Connect Online
Blogging For Smarties reaches women bloggers

Dec 25 – Guest Blogger at Broowaha

Dec 28 – Guest Blogger at

Jan 3 – Review at Bound 4 Escape
Blogging For Smarties reaches readers and writers

Jan 5 – Review at Mama’s Corner Of the World
Blogging For Smarties reaches families

Jan 6 – Review at Phantom Paragrapher
Blogging For Smarties reaches New Zealand’s Professional Book Reviewer/ Librarian/Lifestyle Editor Paula Phillips readers

Learn More About Her Other Products:



Blogging For Smarties Video Training Series

Purchase Here

Learn more about blogging basics for Authors and Speakers.

  • Video1 – How to setup your blog using
  • Video2 – How to create a self-hosted website using
  • Video3 – Installing Plugins and Widgets.

* Blogging For Smarties Complete Edition eBook Includes Free Access to Video 1, 2 and 3.*


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Pieces of Me, Rescuing my Kidnapped Daughters by Lizabeth Meredith, Memoir – Review


In 1994, Lizbeth Meredith said goodbye to her four- and six-year-old daughters for a visit with their non-custodial father—only to learn days later that they had been kidnapped and taken to their father’s home country of Greece.

Twenty-nine and just on the verge of making her dreams of financial independence for her and her daughters come true, Lizbeth now faced a $100,000 problem on a $10 an hour budget. For the next two years—fueled by memories of her own childhood kidnapping—Lizbeth traded in her small life for a life more public, traveling to the White House and Greece, and becoming a local media sensation in order to garner interest in her efforts. The generous community of Anchorage becomes Lizbeth’s makeshift family—one that is replicated by a growing number of Greeks and expats overseas who help Lizbeth navigate the turbulent path leading back to her daughters.

Lizbeth Meredith is a writer with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in psychology. She has worked as a domestic violence advocate and a child abuse investigator, and with at-risk teens as a juvenile probation supervisor. She blogs at, is a contributor to A Girls’ Guide To Travelling Alone by Gemma Thompson, and is the author of When Push Comes to Shove: How to Help When Someone You Love Is Being Abused. She lives in Anchorage, Alaska near her two adult daughters.

My review

Pieces of Me is a book everyone should read. While some mothers should never have been mothers, I believe that the majority of mothers were born to be mothers. Lizbeth Meredith is one of those moms.

Going through a difficult and trying divorce didn’t break her, but when her ex-husband kidnapped her daughters and fled to Greece, the struggle to bring them home almost did.

As the author states in her book, no one can imagine or predict the effects such a trauma will have on children caught in this situation. Children want to love and please both parents, but when one of those parents manipulates them into believing one of their parents no longer loves them, it crosses the line into parental alienation. Too often, the alienated parent does not have the opportunity to correct the lies, and when they do it is often difficult because the people around the children (grandparents, uncles, aunts) also believe the lies and perpetuate them.

When parents come from different countries, retrieving the children is still not easy. There are proper channels and procedures that must be followed even when a non-custodial parent has abducted the children, and we all know the wheels of justice turn slowly when dealing with other countries. Lizbeth Meredith ran straight into this brick wall. But, it didn’t stop her; and she hit it many times.

Pieces of Me is a book about a mother’s determination to find and bring her children back home to the United States after her ex-husband abducted them and fled to his native country of Greece. It was a long struggle that costs Lizbeth and her children more than years of their lives and money. They paid the highest costs, love and piece of mind.

The children are now grown, but as so many victims of parental abduction and alienation will attest to, the nightmares still reign and life may never be normal again. Both the girls and Lizbeth struggle to this day with the after effects of the abduction. She was very brave to take the chance and speak out in order to educate others about their ordeal.

This book is worth the read. Just be prepared to have your heart broken.


Lizbeth Meredith has been kind enough to provide an excerpt from the book. This is the final chapter.


I wish I could say that we’ve gone on to live happily ever after, but real life is much more complicated. Healing from trauma has been a slow and steady process for my daughters, and for me. If you’d asked me a year or two after my daughters returned, in 1996, if they had (mostly) recovered from their experiences, I would have said yes. In my estimation, since I got them into therapy and provided a structured, safe home environment and we enjoyed a stable support network, they were on the perfect path to success. I assumed that the passage of time + counseling + a positive support system = a normal, healthy adult.

It turns out I was wrong. We made it through the initial health challenges: Meredith’s exposure to tuberculosis in Greece and Marianthi’s stomach problems that appeared to stem from anxiety.

Marianthi described her overall sense of guilt at not telling the flight attendants in 1994 that her father did not have permission to take her and her sister on a plane—at the ripe old age of six. The girls flourished in school almost immediately upon their return. They even got pets and eventually came to terms with not getting the little brother they’d requested. They excelled in soccer. One was a cheerleader. Both held jobs after school when they were old enough and helped pay for their extras.

On the other hand, the girls didn’t spare me a lick of pain and suffering in their teens. Both went through periods of experimental drug use. They became moody and defiant around age fifteen, and I felt as if I had very little influence. I, in turn, took it all very personally and responded in kind. When I told Meredith at sixteen that if she lived in my house, she’d have to follow my rules, she moved, renting an apartment with a coworker from Starbucks. It took six months of living on her own to realize she needed to change her ways to have the future she hoped for. Thanks to my older sister, who offered her a place to stay, Meredith relocated to her aunt’s and finished her senior year in high school in New Mexico, where she eventually completed college as well.

Marianthi went to college in Washington for a time. I didn’t notice it right away, but cracks started to develop in her psyche and then webbed out. She was terrified of my leaving her on campus. I told her that all kids are nervous when their parents leave them for the first time. It was only natural—a buck up, kid; you’ll be fine kind of deal.

But she wasn’t fine. By the time two semesters had passed, her anxiety had given way to full-blown mania, and the collateral damage that followed took years to repair. Meanwhile, Meredith became physically ill with heart-stopping, gut-exploding autoimmune conditions that worked against each other to keep her in chronic pain. And, as if that weren’t enough, Marianthi’s physical health also began to deteriorate, and then Meredith was swallowed by depression and anxiety and flashbacks.

I wish I’d been more tuned into the issues they faced. You might think I’d have empathized easily, since I, too, was a kidnapped child, but my experience was different from theirs. I found my father when I was a young adult, and it was a process I initiated. They were located as small children and abruptly brought back to the United states by me without warning.

It took a long time for me to wrap my mind around not only the aftermath of the girls’ kidnapping but also their difficult return home to their former lives. A child kidnapped by a family member is abruptly uprooted from her family life, her friends, her toys, her routines. There is no closure. All normalcy simply disappears. If she’s taken to another country, she loses her language and culture, too. And in order to survive, she mustn’t grieve but instead align with her abductor, who often works hard to replace the child’s positive memories of her left-behind parent with negative ones. Little by little. “Your dad tried to kill me,” my mom insisted over and over. “Your mom locked you in a room when you were little and left you alone,” Gregory told my daughters.

The abductor skillfully applies guilt to the child if the child demonstrates loss, and more guilt comes when the child learns she must lie to authorities about her life. “My mom is dead,” my daughter told her new Greek teacher. There is guilt for lying to new friends made, and guilt when the child realizes she is forgetting her left-behind parent. Identity is lost. The abducted child understands that there is no one to depend on because a parent she loved took her away from the other parent she loved. Childhood, and the feeling of safety that should accompany it, has ended.

I assumed things would bounce back to near-normal upon the girls’ return, but the recovery from abduction is more like a second abduction. Once again, the child loses all, without closure. My daughters lost their Greek friends, their Greek extended family, their teachers, their new culture, and their father. All the same losses, all over again. They were planted back with me, the woman who didn’t protect them from being kidnapped in the first place.

When people later heard of their kidnapping, their response was, “Oh. At least it was with your father,” minimizing, if not discounting altogether, the girls’ experiences. So then they felt self-conscious. Just get over it was the implied message, and I seconded the sentiment. I wanted them to be thrilled about being reunited with me and was crushed when they displayed emotions to the contrary.

Similarly, I acted as if their adult suffering were a personal affront, at least at first. Don’t I deserve some pleasant years, now that I’ve raised my kids on my own? Why do I have to do all of the clean-up, anyhow? Why doesn’t their father get to feel the brunt of his abuse of our daughters? All I want is to see them grow up and take flight so I can be proud and then reclaim some of my life for myself. I am driving home one day from work when I hear Dr. Bessel van der Kolk on the radio. I have read some of his works before. Dr. van der Kolk heads the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts, and authored The Body Keeps the Score.

He speaks about the destructive impact early traumas have on a person over the course of a lifetime. When I was a young parent, I assumed that since I left my husband when my daughters were tiny, they wouldn’t feel the full effect of being exposed to domestic violence. Likewise, when they returned from Greece, they were still little girls, so I told myself that the damage would be less impactful.

Not so, according to Dr. van der Kolk, and other brain researchers agree. Prebirth experiences—things like domestic violence and stress from poverty—affect how well a child develops language, develops connections with others, and develops physically and mentally. Trauma after birth will likely compromise that little human’s physical and mental health and, if unaddressed, will shorten her life expectancy by up to twenty years.

A brutalized child develops an angry brain, Dr. van der Kolk says. “Children kept in a state of terror and fear get brains that are chronically afraid.” And if a child hasn’t been able to trust her parents to protect her early on, then her response to subsequent traumas is that much more magnified. The lens through which the traumatized child sees the world is changed and determines how our muscles and our stress hormones organize themselves.

The body keeps the score.

Dr. van der Kolk endorses treatment from both Eastern and Western cultures. “In the East, people move. Yoga, meditation, tai chi . . . They learn to calm their bodies.” This, he says, helps move trauma out of the body. “In the West, people learn to talk and to speak the truth.” Talk therapy is helpful, especially combined with movement, to help us learn to calm and nurture ourselves.

My daughters, now in their late twenties, embrace both talk and movement therapy, and I believe they will have long and meaningful lives. Meredith finished college and works as a financial analyst. She is a yoga fanatic and enjoys outdoor sports. Marianthi is working toward her degree in psychology and, like her sister, loves the outdoors. Both are smart and sassy tomboys at heart. I hope that they’ll be able to fully reconnect with their family all over the globe, including their father, from whom they remain estranged after a fleeting attempt to have a normal relationship with him tanked a few years ago.

As for me, I’ve slowly and steadily worked my way back from being a hot mess with my own flashbacks and periods of rage to being a contented woman with an increasingly healthy lifestyle. I started with talk therapy, followed by Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR); then I earned a graduate degree in psychology and found meaningful work in state government.

I also began reconnecting with family when the girls and I got strong enough, and thanks to social media, it’s been easy to stay in touch and to continue meeting more of my relatives. It’s also allowed the girls to remain in contact with their Greek cousins and provided a means for their little Greek sister, born fourteen years ago, to contact them and reach out for sibling support. In her pictures, she looks like a perfect hybrid of both of my daughters, who plan to meet her.

It took well over a decade for me to climb out of debt, and there’s not been a single day since when I’ve lost my feeling of gladness. I’ve found there is an upside to having survived much turbulence. My daughters and I don’t have strong attachments to things and prefer to spend our time and money on shared experiences. We’ve been the recipients of uncommon grace and have all made a point of paying it forward through volunteering.

Each of us is passionate about culture and language, which is a good thing, since there are more than one hundred languages spoken in Anchorage alone. And we’ve grown more in love with Alaska, for both the wildlife and the generous people here, who take care of one another as though we are all extended family.

My life isn’t perfect, but it’s turned out better than I could have imagined. And despite my best efforts not to let some of the worst circumstances define it, they have. Because from them, I’ve learned to love writing and storytelling. I’ve carved out meaningful work helping people affected by trauma. I’ve become addicted to the adrenaline rush I get when traveling alone across the globe. And I’ve come to know the joy of contentment and the beauty of watching my kids blossom into adults.

My daughters may tell their own stories one day, but this is what I want them to remember of mine: once upon a time, a young mother with only pocket change, a host of bad memories, and a whole lot of love traveled the world to fight for their return, all by herself, and with the help of everyone. And they lived together, happily enough ever after, and with the knowledge that they were much more than lucky.



The Ethics of Judge Nadeau by Nancy Madore – Review


     Referencing actual exhibits, orders and depositions in real court cases, The Ethics of Judge Nadeau provides a bird’s eye view into the rationale behind behavior so incredible it will take your breath away. This candid and humorous account of Robert Nadeau’s antics (in and out of the courtroom) is as entertaining as it is shocking.

     The book was inspired by the belief that there are some things a lawyer should never do (especially if he is a judge) because they are either unethical, illegal, or just plain wrong.  Here are ten of the most obvious: 

  • A lawyer should not sleep with his client.
  • A lawyer should not disclose information his clients tell him in confidence.
  • A lawyer should not use what his clients tell him in confidence against them.
  • A lawyer should not secretly advise the opponents in his former client’s cases.
  • A lawyer should not stalk, slander or terrorize former clients.
  • In the course of stalking, slandering and terrorizing his former clients, a lawyer should not engage in the illegal dissemination of unauthorized recordings.
  • A lawyer should not offer money to a person who is testifying against him.
  • A lawyer should not make two–or even three–opposing statements under oath.  
  • A lawyer should not use client funds to pay his law firm’s operating expenses.
  • A lawyer should not enter his personal psych file as an exhibit without reading it first.

     Not only has Robert Nadeau done all of these things, but he actually tries to defend them in his various emails, pleadings and depositions. Worst of all, the judicial system has supported him every step of the way!

Author  Nancy Madore achieved enormous critical acclaim with her ‘Enchanted’ series with Harlequin, which includes ENCHANTED, ENCHANTED AGAIN and ENCHANTED DREAMS.

In her exciting new ‘Legacy of the Watchers’ series, Madore incorporates her love of ancient history and mythology into a modern day mystery that connects the dots from the past to the present—and reveals an explosive future. There are three installments in this speculative fiction series so far: THE HIDDEN ONES, POWER OF GODS and MASQUERADE. Madore is currently working on THE FOURTH TRUMPET.

THE ETHICS OF JUDGE NADEAU represents a diversion for Madore that was brought about by true life events. In her first work of non-fiction, Madore unravels a drama that is much stranger than fiction. This true life account of sex, betrayal, and corruption within our legal system is sure to shock, provoke and amuse.

You can read more about Nancy Madore and her books by visiting her website at

From the Author – 

What would you do if your divorce lawyer told you he was in love with you?

What if you fell for him, only to discover that all your marital assets were gone by the time he dumped you a few months later?

This happened to my friend Maryann, who’s former divorce lawyer is also a part-time judge.

In addition to ruining my friend’s case, this lawyer violated her attorney-client privilege (countless times), offered to help the other side of her case, stalked and harassed her for over a decade and then wrote the following about a woman who reminded him of her:

“Two weeks ago I presided over a child custody trial in which the mother reminded me of [Maryann], left the father for a series of extracurricular relationships, causing him to become alcoholic … I ultimately told the mother, to her face, that I felt that she was dishonest, manipulative, loose and in need of parenting courses … and I denied custody to her, even though she, like [Maryann], does love her kids and is otherwise a good mother to her children.The parallels in my mind were incredibly striking in that case. The mother even looked a bit like [Maryann], and the father looked a lot like [Maryann’s] ex-husband. I will never understand why things did not work out between [Maryann] and me.”

And that’s just the beginning.

My Review –

Right off the bat, I have to say that this book is amazing and it is difficult to believe the story is true, but sadly, it is. It is a very candid writing of how unjust, injustice can be. There are many excellent lawyers practicing law, but unless you happen upon the one who is just plain crazy, you will never understand the true workings of the justice system and how it can be worked by someone who knows that system, to demoralize and leave a person feeling completely unprotected.

No person should be able to harass another as Judge Nadeau has been allowed to and not suffer consequences.

The Ethics of Judge Nadeau is written with humor. I am truly surprised that the women in the story have survived with their sanity intact.  I am also disappointed that with so much evidence again Judge Nadeau, his peers have chosen to either look the other way or just ignore his antics rather than give him his just due. Judge Nadeau should have had his law license taken away from him, yet not only does he continue to practice law on unsuspecting victims, he continues to run for public office. The book also shows many decisions that reflect

The book also shows many decisions that reflect bad judgment on the victim’s part. Having had a relationship with a manipulative man, I do understand the head games being played and the difficulty in making sound decisions, however, I still feel better decisions could have been made.

I will recommend the book even though I feel the book was more of a tell-tell discussion; simply because the story should be told. I truly have a hard time describing this book. I’ve never read anything quite like it. The book is written with a humor I have trouble understanding. I guess it is true that sometimes you just have to laugh to stay sane. I do hope Judge Nadeau will get his “justice” some day.

And in the end – (from the author)


All of Judge Nadeau’s claims against me and my book were thrown out of court- “with prejudice,” which means Judge Nadeau can never again challenge what I wrote about his behavior (some of which you or I would go to jail for).

Since Judge Nadeau can no longer deny the horrible things he’s done as a lawyer (and a judge), he’s now on a smear campaign to malign the character of the person who exposed him (me). He’s doing it anonymously, of course. I guess the idea is that he won’t look so bad if he can make me look bad too. This is a sacrifice I knew I would have to make, and I’m happy to make it if it will help bring about an end to the corruption in York, Maine.

Meanwhile… this judge is running for re-election, and local media still won’t cover this story. What’s up New England?

A special thanks goes out to Attorney Scott Gleason of Haverhill, Massachusetts, for the best damn legal advice a girl could hope for!

Res judicata Baby!


My Life. One Story at a Time. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

The make-ahead Kitchen byAnnalise Thomas – Review

 Purchase on Amazon –

Skip the hassle of last-minute meals and leftovers and replace them with simple, healthy, delicious, and easy-to-prepare make-ahead dishes! Your family will love these comfortable meals, new favorites, cozy drinks, and tantalizing desserts–all of them prepared ahead of time so you don’t have to worry! Enjoy simple, soul-filling foods without the chaos of preparing them at the last minute.

With 4 kids, a large extended family, and a passion for feeding others, Annalise Thomas is no stranger to finding ways to simplify life in the kitchen. There is nothing that makes her happier than hearing from someone who was once intimidated in the kitchen “I made this! It was great, and now I’m feeling more confident in trying more homemade recipes!”

Annalise spends her time in the kitchen and exploring the beautiful Olympic Peninsula of Washington, where she lives, with her family. If you want to find her, look in her kitchen, or at one of the many beautiful beaches nearby watching her children play and combing for beach glass!

My Review –

I’ve been looking for a few good easy to prepare ahead-of-time meals and I was super excited to asked to review Annalise’s new cookbook.

We are all so busy these days and let’s face it, it’s not everyday that we have hours to spend in the kitchen cooking dinner. And, there are sometimes when we’d love to open up the freezer and just grab something already made and healthy for us.

If this sounds anything like your life, you will love The Make-Ahead Kitchen! Simple, easy recipes that are not only time-saving but chances are, you’ll have everything you need in your pantry.

Some of the recipes you’ll receive in the cookbook are Cashew Chicken and Brown Rice Casserole, Big Batch Maple-Glazed Make-Ahead Cinnamon Rolls and then for snack, The Best Fudgy from-scratch Brownies. And let’s not forget Make-ahead Pizza Rolls for those take-it-easy nights.

There are 75 Slow-Cooker, Freezer, and Prepared Meals included in the cookbook. Annalise had done a fabulous job with the book and recipes and gets a high-five and five stars for her efforts!

 Purchase on Amazon –

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee may be earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Blooming into Mindfulness by Martha Brettschneider – Review

In a world that pushes us to always look for the next best thing, BLOOMING INTO MINDFULNESS shows you how to break the cycle of discontent and take control of your own happiness.

Narrated with humor and raw honesty, Martha Brettschneider shares her transformation from ego-centered screaming mommy to a meditation-touting creative, finally at peace with the world.

Inspirational, motivational, and sprinkled with practical tips to silence our internal bully (the first step: recognizing that not all of our thoughts are to be trusted!), BLOOMING INTO MINDFULNESS is a must-read for anyone in search of an extra dose of internal peace.

If you’re looking for strategies to reduce suffering in yourself and others, boost positive energy in your life, and not only unveil but also embrace your purpose, this book is for you.

 Purchase on Amazon –

Martha Brettschneider is a writer, blogger, and award-winning photographer with a passion for inspiring mindfulness, the practice of finding beauty in the present moment. She stumbled upon mindfulness teachings in 2010 after breast cancer forced a reorientation of every aspect of her life—body, mind, and spirit. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband, two sons, and a rascally golden retriever puppy who takes great pleasure in eating her garden. Visit her at

From the Author (taken from Amazon)

As a young international economist, I had fully expected to lead a life of global work and exciting travel. But after swearing that I would never live in the suburbs, never step off the career ladder, never own a minivan, and never wipe my kids’ faces with my own spit, I ended up doing all of those things.

Through it all, my ego muttered incessantly in my ear, “So when are you going to start living YOUR life again? My garden was the only place where that internal critic was silent. Though I didn’t know it at the time, the garden was my first mindfulness mentor.

In 2009, breast cancer forced me to clear my calendar for a year. Pruning was required on many fronts, from my body to my habits to my clutter (both internal and external). With more spaciousness in my life and my thinking patterns, I was open to a shocking truth revealed to me one day in the garden: by only focusing on when my “next chapter” would begin, I was missing the beauty of life right in front of me. As my garden had been trying to tell me all along, joy can be found in every stage of our unfolding.

My Review – 

Blooming into Mindfulness opened my eyes to many things. The book is very well written and contains loads of information. The book is divided into three parts. The author takes the reader through her everyday life in Part One, then her journey through cancer in Part Two, and Part Three is about her awakening. The book is honest, informative, and humorous.

The author writes of her journey through cancer and finding a new normal; a life that would center around the prevention of cancer which would include meditation, gardening, jogging, and eating healthy. The author delves into feng shui to make her house and life more peaceful.

Weeding became more than weeding. I discovered myself clawing and stabbing at the earth with my trowel, gritting my teeth as I unearthed the roots of invasive, unwanted plants like so many cancer cells.

There were many parts of the books that were “ah ha” moments for me. One was her weeding episode. I recognized the actions in my own life where I’ve taken my anger out on unsuspecting activities. There was one such time my anger helped me win a zip code change “situation” for our community. I realize now that had I not had so much anger pent-up inside, that I may not have had the drive needed to pursue the project.

One of the earliest lessons I took from Eckhart’s teaching was to reframe how I thought about “problems.” We tend to infuse the word “problem” with drama and negativity, when in reality each life event is better thought of as a “situation.” His simplified sound bite “There are no problems, there are only situations” clicked with me, since I was now able to see how things in my life that appeared to be bad had actually led to good things (new circumstances, rewarding experiences, greater insight).

After reading about how a simple word change can change the negativity of a “situation”, I decided to try doing this as an experiment. It truly does work. If this were the only lesson I took away from the book, I would consider the book worth reading. But, I learned other valuable lessons as well.

You’re not putting your graduate degree to work! Yank that thought and toss it into the weed bin. Your friends are getting promotions at work and you’re earning nothing! Yank that thought, laugh in its face, and toss it into the weed bin alongside the other one. What do you even “do”? Are you kidding me? Yank that most ridiculous thought and pile it onto the rest of the unproductive thoughts that ego devises to make us suffer. And let’s go ahead and burn that pile.

From this particular quote, I learned how toxic the mind can be. While she weeds the negatives out, I write them down and then scratch through them. Different roads, same result. Valuable lesson.

“Many roads lead to the same end.” There is no single “right” way to get there. “Draw from the past to grow in the present.” “There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is always the same.”

I really liked the above quote. There are so many variations of the quote and we have all heard it before.

Andy has made it his life’s work to “demystify meditation for the masses,” spreading the word through…He makes the case that all you need is a chair and ten minutes a day to achieve calm, clarity, and increased awareness.

I used to think that meditation meant sitting in a pose for a very long time, thinking of what I don’t know, I never thought much past the sitting part. I find myself sitting in a quiet place or on the front porch swing quite often meditating. I just would not have called it such.

As I pushed the load up the back hill, Wilma the snake was on my mind. How could I blame her? She had simply been lying in her regular spot soaking in the warmth of her jungle. I would have reacted in the same way if rocks were being thrown at me in the comfort of my own home. They boys got off easy. Wilma had plenty of opportunity to bite, but she chose to gamble for a good long warning. She had more self-control than most of us. Years later I would learn some of Wilma’s skills. All of us have rocks thrown at us from time to time when we’re just minding our own business. How do we react in those situations? When faced with a perceived threat, the ability to resist biting back goes a long way in diffusing a crisis. Paying very close attention to the source of negative energy – calming staring it in the face like Wilma did – often dissolves it.

I think the most important thing I got out of the book was how to present in the moment. It was really a huge enlightenment to learn how to just be present; my mind is always going backward or forward.

The only thing I found bothersome in the book was the author’s adamant attitude toward not being spiritual. I am a deeply spiritual and religious person and I know that God is the center of my life. No matter how much we like to say that we control our destiny, we simply do not. I have a difficulty understanding why it is so difficult for some to believe in God. Deep down, I think it is fear. I am including this part because it is how I felt when reading the book and I thought it should be included as to not mislead anyone about my review.

That being said, I totally enjoyed the book and learned a great deal about myself while reading. It is written with honesty and a sense of humor. I am giving Blooming into Mindfulness five stars.

 Most of us spend our lives waiting for the next thing to happen, thinking that the next acquisition or experience will make us whole. Yet always looking forward to the next thing (in my case, my “next chapter”) prevents us from being able to appreciate the moment we are in. Being full present in the moment allows us to experience inner tranquility, recognizing that this moment – no matter what we have, what we are doing, how society views – is the best moment there has ever been. Only in the present moment can we take action, not in the past (which still controls so many of us) and not in the future (which is just a set of imagined scenarios).

 Purchase on Amazon –

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee may be earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Organizing Tip – Backup your computer soon! Do you remember to back up your computer? My PC automatically reminds me, but not my MAC. Since I write and have so many files on my computer, it is essential for me to back up my computer regularly. Don’t get caught like I did, standing at the Geek Squad counter with a computer that crashed and praying that you remembered to back up! Schedule your backup soon! Set an alarm on your phone to remind you. Write it in your planner. Just don’t forget!

I have a voice by Tyler Williams – Review

“Finding and fortifying our voices is so powerful. It awakens what once was sleeping. It strengthens what once was weak. And it inspires all of us into action.”

Tyler Williams has known success. He has performed in Atlanta’s famed Fox Theatre, raced down Victory Lane as a NASCAR driver, worked on hit film and TV shows, and sang for thousands in packed arenas. But Tyler has also known failure, devastating setbacks, and the pain of lost love. He knows how it feels to be lost, disconnected from himself and his passion.

Tyler tells his story of losing his “voice,” navigating life for many years without it, then finding it again–and finding himself in the process. “I Have a Voice” is full of life lessons that people both young and old will recognize. This is a book of hope, challenges and breakthrough moments. Tyler recounts his personal journey and uses his experience to help guide readers back to their own voices without dictating the steps to get there. Those who have lost their purpose, passion and “voice” will find renewal in his words.

Purchase on Amazon –

Tyler Williams is an author, motivational speaker, country music singer-songwriter, and former NASCAR All-American driver based in Atlanta, GA. Williams is a trained life and business coach, a Ziglar Legacy Certified speaker and trainer, and emotional intelligence trainer. He has trained at The Company Acting Studio as well as Jan Smith Studios in Atlanta, GA. Tyler has led a mission team to Kenya and Haiti for an adventure service project, has spoken and performed to thousands at high schools around the country and in arenas such as Phillips Arena, Infinite Energy Center and Atlanta’s iconic Fox Theatre.

Williams is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a BA in International Affairs. In his spare time, Williams enjoys motorsports and living a life of exploration. He currently races a sprint car for Cory Kruseman in Southern California.

“In his new book – I Have a Voice – Tyler delivers his story with raw honesty and intense courage, helping you discover who you are, while showing you how to amplify your voice. Read this book.”
-John Sowers
President of The Mentoring Project

My Review –

All we can ever hope to do in this world is our best in any given moment, in any given situation. We define ourselves by our experiences and we sometimes lose our voice in the process. This is what Tyler Williams writes about. Finding our lost voice. It is not a One Step, Two Step, Three, process. It is a process that will take you far inside of yourself to discover what it is you want to do with your life. And, the answer may change as we age, as circumstances change, and this is when we will need to dig deep.

I have a voice is Tyler Williams’ story and he tells it with grace and confidence. It will inspire you to take a look at your own life and ask those difficult questions – is this where I am supposed to be? Is this where I want to be; if not, then where?

The book is honest. It is forthright and inspiring. I am giving the book five stars. My advice – pick up this book and read it, then give it to someone you love.

Purchase on Amazon –


My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee may be earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Organizing Tip of the Day – I am someone who thinks everything is important and needs to be at my fingertips. Let me be the first to tell you, it’s not working – so, something has to give. I need to realize that I do not need to store my printer cartridges in the cabinet next to my desk. They last a long time so maybe the closet (next to the printer) in my office would be a better solution. I can only use one ink pen at a time (I do not color-code) so maybe some of the ten thousand pens I have in cute cups and containers on my desk can be stored elsewhere. I rarely ever use a paperclip so it’s safe to say if I put the cute container on the shelf behind me, they will still be close at hand.

How about you? What are your habits? Out of curiousness, do you read my organizational tip?