Meet a Bookseller at Barnes & Nobles this weekend #BNDiscovery

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pre-folded artfold books- you can still read them!

B22kd2BCIAAkVA_.jpg large A book – what a concept!  Barnes & Noble stores are so, so much more than just bookstores.  Remember when we read magazines and took the fun quizzes?  There is a music shop, a kids’ educational zone (just for them), educational toys, fun toys, Minecraft, gifts galore, and so, so much more.  It is literally a one-stop shop for all your shopping needs.  And, you can get a coffee, a cookie, a muffin, or even a cheesecake (from the Cheesecake Factory) in your Barnes & Noble, while you do all your holiday shopping, or just have fun this weekend.

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New ART FOLDS books- read them and fold them

Stop by your local or any Barnes & Noble this weekend, for Discovery Weekend.  Check out all the events here, and take the family along for fun, kids’ events, and prizes, and yummy cookies.  When did you connect with a bookseller? I am not talking about ordering something on-line and reading it on a back-lit tablet, but when did you really connect with someone who sells and knows books? We all love our local library, but if you want to find a rare book, or something new, connect with a bookseller and ask questions, and get exactly what you are looking for – that perfect gift for that special someone. My favorite new thing I discovered was the book Art Folds- how cool.  It does not destroy the book, but you can read a book and follow the instructions (origami-like) to fold the pages you read to create some fun words.  This will look great on my book-shelf when I am done reading, and fun B22fUMIIAAAbi9V.jpg largeto look at too!  Check out the pictures, because I love ArtFolds.  Who thinks of this stuff?  You can’t do this with your digital reader, can you?

And don’t forget to add some yummy to your list while you shop.  Visit the Cafe and enjoy a coffee and fresh-baked goodies- S’more cookies are only $1.00!  Yum!  Check out and play with the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK – comes in a 7 inch screen and 10.1 inch too.  Whatever your gift needs are this year, check out Barnes & Noble this weekend, for their big Discovery Weekend event, Friday through Sunday, 21-23 November.

 

Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post, and attended a live preview event (and yes, even met several booksellers :-)) in exchange for promoting the #BNDiscovery weekend, 21-23 Nov.  The opinions expressed here are my own.

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You at the Center (R) of your Life 100 day Course – Progress Review

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youatthecenter.com

When I last wrote about this course, it was early October and I had done coursework for only about two weeks. Now, here we are a month and some change later (pun intended), and I have learned a lot about myself.  The 100-day course is now at day 51, and I have had two calls with Rachel Davis, and I had the honor of meeting her in person.  What a privilege!  What a difference two months and the coursework makes!

The main things I learn as I reflect on the 8 weeks of lessons are (1) making space and time for me, (2) learning to focus on one thing at a time, (3) identifying and doing the things that I enjoy and like which create space for me, and (4) learning to set boundaries with others, at work, and even with myself.  I am learning to do things that nurture me, all the while not making drastic changes.  And the great thing is that I feel that I have more time for all the things I love to do – with family and friends.  It’s nice to discuss this with my spouse too since we both work and lead busy, but manageable lives together.

How I have noticed this course working for me is that  while I have always been efficient in how I manage time,  I didn’t always put ME first, or at the center.  This is because I was just going down an endless “to do” list and I generally just felt like I was moving through life with no pleasure.   The excessive traveling for work between April and August had completely worn me down and led to health issues.  So much so that I didn’t take time to notice that which was in front of me.  I also didn’t make time for myself, to nurture me.  This course has helped me identify the things I enjoy and like doing, and want to incorporate daily, weekly or monthly into my routine.  I notice little things now, and am able to ask myself questions when I am doing something, “does this add value for me?”  When I am with my children, I am focused on them, and the activity, and I find I enjoy my time with them more. Even doing a routine task, I notice my sense of accomplishment, and it no longer feels so routine.  In fact, I notice everything I do now.  Am I watching a show, and working at the same time?   Am I trying to make business calls while I am driving to work to save time?  All of this is multi-tasking which leads to stress, and causes us to miss our lives.  No more phone calls if I can help it, and instead I do something I enjoy – sing along with the radio.  How nice, relaxing, and freeing.   In the mornings, I take time to eat breakfast and make a little time for myself before the crazy day begins, and hopefully in the spring, I will be able to start a garden too.

The key is also identifying those things, if money or time weren’t any issue, you would rather be doing.  I have learned that it is important to create measurable action plans and things you want to do, and not things you “should” be doing.  For example, you should be eating healthy, but do you want to.  What are those things you would rather be doing daily, weekly, etc.?   This course has also been good for me in that I write it all down – writing helps us see what we are thinking, refine it, and put action items with that goal, and or more action items.  For example, do I want to write/blog more? Yes, when I started writing and posting as Clueless in Colorado in 2004, no one knew me, and I used to write for fun, and really enjoyed it.  I didn’t worry about censorship or judgment and I was anonymous. While I can’t do that anymore because I have a public blog and persona,  I can still write and post for fun, because I love it.   Why not?  So, one of the things I identified that I enjoy is writing, and an action item is to write for at least 10 minutes a day, even if the writing is just random thoughts, ideas, and exploring.  So, you may see some fun posts like I used to write show up on Get Clued In.  And, writing is so fun for me, even if I do not publish a draft post, it feels so great to check this as “done” on my punch card (Part of the 100-day program) because I actually enjoy writing as an outlet for me and hobby.  It is something I used to do a lot more of and enjoyed.  When I feel like writing is a task, or part of a TO DO list, like paid posts sometimes are, I find it tougher to post.   So, I am excited to announce I will be writing for fun now too, and just because I enjoy it.  Hopefully, you will enjoy this journey with me too- part of growing, learning, exploring, and honestly, just having fun!

This course has spoken to me from day 1 and at day 51, it continues to speak to me, and more importantly, it’s changing my life for better.  If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of too much in your life, and the feeling that you just don’t have enough time, or you feel are too busy and cannot manage your time, this course may speak to you too!

* Disclaimer: I am participating in this program and was compensated the price of the course for four review posts of the course.  The opinions expressed here are my own.

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Milestones and Memories- Her First Sleepover

I am still up, wondering if she is okay.  Hopefully she is warm and comfortable.  Did she get enough to eat at dinner at her PJ party, and is she well hydrated?  Gosh,  I hope she brushed her teeth, and has a pillow to rest her beautiful head.  She is just seven years old, and here I am completely freaking out about her first sleepover.  Sure, many kids do sleepovers a lot sooner, but we all have different comfort levels.  This one is huge and almost her whole grade (girls only) is invited and in attendance.  Why am I so worried?  All the phones are on, and I rarely keep ringers on at night.   I slept, but kept waking up a few hours to look at the phone.  No missed calls or texts.  I am a worry wart – runs on my side of the family, but hopefully she is fine.  Her sister missed her too and woke me up at 6 am, asking when we’d go pick her up.

I couldn’t help but wonder, “is this how it will be when she goes out on a date, out with friends, or worse… leaves for college?”  Now I know and understandimage why a friend of ours keeps all his ringers on at night, since both his girls live away from home now.  I am not ready for all that , but thankfully, have plenty of time to get ready.  The best part is knowing that these little steps prepare us for the big ones that will be coming her way and ours.  I may never be ready for what it is to come, and may not sleep again, but it is good to know that all these seemingly smaller milestones and memories prepare me for what is to come — the day we send her out into this world.  Dramatic, huh?  Nah, I am just a mom, and this is who I am.  But, what a fun milestone this was for us.

She is home and she is fine, of course.  She had a great time and enjoyed time with her classmates.  Many of the girls were doing their first sleep over last night, so they shared that in common.  She didn’t even remember she had a family, except, of course, she missed her sister whom she is the closest to.  If she had her druther, she would have taken her along too.  Oh boy, I am not ready for an empty house just yet, not even for a night.

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Random Thoughts and Car Repairs

Here I sit, in a waiting area of a car repair/dealership.  You know the drill, you get a coupon for an oil change for $30, and you walk out with a $200 bill after repairs on things you do not understand.  And the worst part is, like FOX News and CNN, they scare the crap out of you.   “If you don’t get this belt fixed, ma’am, you could die – no really, you will be stranded in this cold weather, and you will die.”  My response, “okay just do it.  I don’t wanna die on the streets of Colorado in sub-zero temps.”

The waiting room has its share of fun people-watching, and very diverse people.  It’s a social experiment, really.  I think a guy was just sitting here to use the internet because once he is done with his work on his laptop, he just packs it up and leaves.  No one called his name.  He was not the chosen one who got called out to “discuss” his car’s woes and worst fears like I did.  No intercom paged him.  He just packed up all his electronic gadgets and took off.  I think he snagged a doughnut before he left too.

Like a doctor’s waiting room, there is that general look of desperation, fear, boredom, and despair on all the faces of most who sit here.  And when your name is called on the intercom you are relieved, because that means your car is ready and you leave.  No further “discussions” or “scary talks.”  When the technician walks in and calls your name, you sigh because it means this is not good news.  This means they found more things wrong, and it’s time to shell out more bucks.  It’s time for the fear talk.  The talk that will lead you to say, “yes, go ahead and fix it, I do not want my car to blow up mid-highway drive.”   And, speaking of repairs, where did my car go?  I cannot see it, I do not even know if they changed the oil, or replaced the belt, or whatever else they said needed done.  How can I inspect what they did?  They never really show me anyway.

And let’s not even talk about the wait, my God, the wait times.  You just keep waiting, and watching these people around you who are lucky enough to be called before you.  Where do they live?  Where did they come from?  How many repairs do they need?  Did they have a tough talk with the repair tech too?  Why won’t they call my name over the intercom so I can just be done and go back to my life? The despair, the fear, the boredom, the people-watching – the fun continues, and people keep entering, but no one seems to be leaving.  At one point, they are out of chairs, so people are now waiting elsewhere.  The joys of the waiting room at a car repair/dealership.  Well, folks, my time with you is done.  The goddess-like voice of the woman who just called my last name over the intercom, says my car is ready.  Yeah!  I am done!  It is time for me to go… ’til we meet again, at the car dealership or repair shop.

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You at the Center (R) of your Life 100 day Course – Introductory Post

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Life is busy – often, crazy busy.  Do you find yourself saying that?  Do you find yourself going from one TO DO item on your checklist to the next, including “Number 20.  (____) SPEND TIME WITH KIDS AND HUBBY?” If you feel you are busy, unbalanced, and have no time for anything, this course may just be for you.  The details of the 100-day course are here, and you can see for yourself.

This past August, Labor Day, I got sick from all the stress, lack of sleep, and going from one check list to another to just getting so sick that I could not travel to see my family.   And exactly a month later, I got sick again.  In fact, for August, we had to cancel one of our summer trips to see family, and this was my wake up call.  It was time for me to put ME at the center of my life and that which matters to me – that which nurtures me.  When your health fails, everything else inevitably follows, and this was a wake-up call which I inevitably needed.

Yes, I am that person who watches a show I like and is on my DVR whilst working on something whether it’s a blog post, work stuff, or checking email, etc.  I mean, has it gotten to the point where watching a show on my DVR is part of my TO DO checklist?  Yes, why yes, it has reached that point.  It’s sad, really.  I miss the days when my parents and I went on vacation and truly had a vacation, dad disconnected from work, mom disconnected from the kitchen, and everyone disconnected from any glimmer of social media, devices, etc.,  That was almost 2 decades ago.  Now, I cannot even take a day of leave without checking my E-mail, and checking in on things, and I have two outside the home jobs.  I have no idea why we do the things we do to ourselves.  I haven’t been able to do the things I enjoy – try out new recipes, have fun with the kids, and write thoughtful, meaningful posts here at Get Clued In!  All the things I enjoy take a back seat to the all-powerful checklist and numerous TO DO lists, some of which I even lose throughout the day, and have to re-create.  Yikers!

Enter this amazing course, which, in its introduction has set the stage to be a great eye-opening lesson for me.  So far, I have had the intro, and read Lessons 1, 2 and 3, and have done the worksheets.  Because I got sick for a few days after starting this course, I missed 2 days.  But, it seems like a process to me and truly is a 100-day process, in a way, writing daily about how I feel, what were the highlights and what happened.  My initial thoughts are – “this course speaks to me.” For example, did you know a Question is more important than an Answer.  We kinda know the answer, but “how” do we get to the answer – that is key.  We all have goals, but how do we obtain our goals?  The “how” is more important than the answer.

How can it be October already?  Can you believe that looking back on this year, I do not remember April through August because I was traveling so much and busy with so many things that I took no enjoyment in any of it.  So far, this course has spoken to me and that I am not alone in this busy world.  It is time to put YOU, or in this case, ME at the Center of my life.  I am looking forward to what the next 90 days holds for me.

I am not expecting the holy grail from this course, or it to give me the answers to all my questions (and believe me, I have plenty), but if I can learn a few things to help me  regain some control of my life, I will truly feel that it has been of benefit to me.   Heck, I do not even know if I have time to devote daily, much less weekly for something of this nature- yes, this course is on my TO DO List for the week… otherwise, I may forget amid all the crazy busyness.  :-(

* Disclaimer: I am participating in this program and was compensated the price of the course for four review posts of the course.  The opinions expressed here are my own.

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