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Latest Book Obsession

Book Reviews, BookClub

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The hot alien living next door marks me.

The Lux Series


Okay, I am completely and totally obsessed with the Lux Series by Jennifer L Armentrout! It is hands down my favorite series that I’ve read to date. Finished Shadows, Obsidian, Onyx and will be reading Opal and Origin the minute I am done reading this months book selection. One thing totally bugs me about Onyx however *Spoiler Alert* in Onyx, Will explains to Katy he figured out she mutated after she was attacked in the parking lot however in Obsidian, Daemon did not heal her until the field fight with the Arum. So I am super confused and maybe missing something which is entirely possible.

Taking a brief break from the series to read this months book selection, Vampire Academy. Must read it before the movie comes out on Valentines Day.

If you have not read The Lux Series… run do not walk to grab your copies. Word on the street is Obsidian will be heading to the big screen! So EXCITED

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

Teardrop

Book Reviews

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Teardrop

Teardrop

Finished Teardrop by Lauren Kate back in November. I soooo hate saying anything bad about books so I am going to keep this short and sweet. Teardrop had a beautiful cover which is why I chose to read it. lol The story concept was great and intriguing. The downside… I had the hardest time getting through this book it was so slow with descriptions that went on for days, extremely slow paced that it was somewhat painful. Muddling through, it finally did pick up but not until around page 300 if memory serves right. I think this book could have been great had it been faster paced. Perhaps the rest of the series will pick up but I do know if I will have the patience to try again. Time will tell! :)

Never, ever cry… Seventeen-year-old Eureka won’t let anyone close enough to feel her pain. After her mother was killed in a freak accident, the things she used to love hold no meaning. She wants to escape, but one thing holds her back: Ander, the boy who is everywhere she goes, whose turquoise eyes are like the ocean. And then Eureka uncovers an ancient tale of romance and heartbreak, about a girl who cried an entire continent into the sea. Suddenly her mother’s death and Ander’s appearance seem connected, and her life takes on dark undercurrents that don’t make sense. Can everything you love be washed away?

xoxo,
Rhonda

Pasta Salad + Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea

Book Reviews, Musings, Recipes

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November is here and the holidays are approaching quicker than ever. This month I am participating in NaNoWriMo, drinking copious amounts of homemade lattes to keep the brain functioning at full capacity. Nevertheless, I’m enjoying every minute of it and all the new wonderful writers I have met. Truly amazing to see all the writes come together, supporting and cheering each other on.
Today, I wanted to share one of my favorite pasta salad recipes that would be awesome for all you NaNo peeps. Super easy to whip up and just grab a bowl when the munchies strike so that you can keep on writing.

Pasta Salad

 

 

Pasta Salad

1 pound of Pasta (Rotini or other favorite)

2 Bushels of Broccoli

1 Green Pepper

1 Red Pepper

2 Bushels Green Onions

1 jar Baby Corn

1 small can of black olives

8 oz package of sharp cheddar

8 oz bottle of Zesty Italian Dressing

1 tsp Salt

Boil the pasta al dente, according to package directions. While pasta is boiling, chop up all the veggies after thoroughly washing. Discarding the broccoli stalks.
Open your jar of baby cut them into bite sized pieces. Dice up your sharp cheddar cheese.
When your pasta has about one minute left to cook, throw your broccoli in the pot. It really brings out the green and is wonderful when just a tad cooked.
Rinse pasta and brccoli under cold water or drain and chill in the refrigerator depending on how much time you have.
Now it’s just a matter of grabbing a nice big bowl and combining the pasta with broccoli, salt, peppers, onions, corn, olives, cheese & dressing. Stir and eat! Mmm So good.
If your a meat eater, I have found that Summer Sausage goes nicely with this dish. Just dice some up and throw it in!

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Read a great book over the Halloween holiday “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” by April Genevieve Tucholke from the new Between series. Loved this book and gave it 4/5 stars.
You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town… until River West comes along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard.

Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more?

Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery… who makes you want to kiss back.

Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

Blending faded decadence and the thrilling dread of gothic horror, April Genevieve Tucholke weaves a dreamy, twisting contemporary romance, as gorgeously told as it is terrifying—a debut to watch.

Enjoyed Violet and eventually even came to like River (he kinda grew on me in a creepy sort of way). If your looking for a gothic and spooky read, pick this one up. Looking forward to Between the Spark and Burn due out in 2014. Bought the iPad version but the cover is so gorgeous that I wish I would have picked up the hardcover.

Bully & other Musings

BookClub

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After a busy summer with friends & family. I completely forgot to post September’s book & review, not to mention October’s.
Spent the last week of August in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Laying at the beach, reading, writing, jogging along the beach each morning and loving life. We are seriously contemplating buying a vacation home there.
Returning home was a shock to the system that needing some adjusting to. Busy with workshops, feverishly working on my first draft (which now has a title) and now training my new puppy.

********************

Last night I finished reading Bully by Penelope Douglas. What started out as a chapter reading for a workshop, kept going and going. Simply could not put this book down, devouring each and every page. I fell in love with Jared who I actually loathed in the beginning. Tate is a girl after my own heart, loved how she fought back when pushed to the brink. You go girl! Bully never sagged or got boring, there was something always going on which kept me turning each page.
Note: Peleope even put together a playlist from the book here. Bully playlist

There are three more books coming out soon.
* Until You (which is Jared’s POV) December 2013
* Rival 2014
* Misbehaved

My name is Tate. He doesn’t call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all.

We’re neighbors, and once, we were best friends. But then, one summer, he turned on me and has made it his mission to screw up my life at every opportunity. I’ve been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to hide from him. I worried about what was around every corner and behind every door.

So I left.

I spent a year studying abroad and bathed in the freedom of life without Jared. Now I’m back to finish up high school and get the hell out of here forever. I’m hoping that after a year of breathing room, he’s moved on and forgotten all about me.

But even if he hasn’t changed, I have. I’m not interested in avoiding him or turning the other cheek anymore. We’re going to go head to head, because neither of us wants to back down.

Bully by Penelope Douglas

Dollhouse & August Book Selection

BookClub

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I am constantly amazed at how fast 2013 is going. So, here we are already into August and before long football season will be among us.Excited but not even close for this summer to end. It has been a fantabulous summer, filled with cookouts, picnics, workouts in the sunshine, heaps of saucy movies + reading, writing bunches and even firing up Photoshop. Sooo, busy but loving and enjoying every minute of it.
Thought I would pop in for a quick update on the last book selection. Dollhouse by the Kardashians. It was as I am sure you can imagine, an uber light, fluffy read. I did have a hard time getting through it however. The first 3/4 of the book really did not have any meat & potatoes. A twist was added but not til much later in the book and I almost did not make it there. With so many quick, fun beach reads out, I would definitely pass on Dollhouse unless you are a die hard fan of the Kardashians. In which case, I’m sure you will really enjoy it.

August book selection is up ~~ Sunlounger – the Ultimate Beach Read ~~

“Off on your holidays soon? Then don’t forget to pack this fantastic read in with your sun lotions this summer! It’s bags of fun and very hard to put down so you won’t be leaving that poolside in a hurry!’ OK MAGAZINE

Take a trip around the world with 44 of the hottest writers in Women’s Fiction!

This bumper collection of sun-kissed short stories will have you boarding a millionaire’s yacht in St Tropez, exploring a sheik’s palace in Dubai, swimming with dolphins in Australia, partying in Ibiza, surfing in Hawaii, roaming ancient ruins in Turkey and sipping Limoncello in Italy!

Whether you read it on your favourite beach (Sunlounger features golden sands from Greece to Mauritius) or on your daily commute or coffee break you will be spirited away on a variety of adventures – some will make you chuckle with delight, some will make your heart pang, others will inspire you to live your life to the max!

There’s even a matching Sunlounger website – www.va-va-vacation.com – featuring everything you need to make this your Best Summer Ever, as well as exclusive interviews with each of the fabulous authors on board:

Katie Agnew, Valerie-Anne Baglietto, Rosie Blake, Alexandra Brown, Laurey Buckland, Abby Clements, Miranda Dickinson, Carrie Duffy, Ilana Fox, Victoria Fox, Emma Garcia, Michele Gorman, Kirsty Greenwood, Kate Guest, Kate Harrison, Lisa Heidke, Molly Hopkins, Pernille Hughes, Margaret James, Belinda Jones, Lucy Lord, Chrissie Manby, Louise Marley, Holly Martin, Nigel May, Martel Maxwell, Roisin Meaney, Kiri Mills, Nicola Moriarty, Tamsyn Murray, Emily O’Neill, Lynda Page, Carmen Reid, Wendy Rigg, Lucy Robinson, Talli Roland, Ruth Saberton, Nancy Scrofano, Cally Taylor, Sasha Wagstaff, Anna-Lou Weatherley, Julia Williams, Lara Williamson, Tiffany Wright

At a whopping 696 pages, this really is the ULTIMATE BEACH READ!

I have already dug into several of the short stories while relaxing at the pool. Enjoying it thus far and it is just perfect for the beach and quick summertime reading when we have so much going on.

Dollhouse

Beneath the Glitter

BookClub

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Finally finished “Beneath the Glitter”. It took me a little longer to get through since I have been so busy this month. Note to self: Schedule more reading time each month.
Overall, I did enjoy the book, it was a super easy read after a long day. My favorite character was Ava. Imho, she was much more fun and laid back then Sophia.
What I thought was super cute and different was at the end of each chapter there was LonDo’s & LonDont’s, the London sisters lists of do’s and dont’s. Will be picking up the next book (Where Beauty Lies) when it’s released this August. Rate it a 3/5 stars :)

Beneath the Glitter

P.S I Love, love, love the cover on this book!

Bergdorf Blondes

BookClub

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February’s book-club selection was the Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes. It was a perfect bubble bath or beach read as it is extremely light and fun. It had me craving Bellini’s, Alpha Peels, and a luxurious trip on a PJ.

Bergdorf Blondes

Excerpt From: Bergdorf Blondes

“Underneath all the issues and the drama and the clothes and the vitamin C injections, Julie is hopelessly romantic. She claims to have been in love more than fifty-four times. She started young—acquiring her first boyfriend at seven—“but that was before the oral sex epidemic hit,” she always says. She actually believes love songs. Like she really does think that love lifts you up where you belong and seriously fell for the Beatles’ crazy idea that all you need is love.”

The perfect Bellini

While reading this you may want to whip up a Bellini to enjoy.

2 ounces peach juice
4 ounces Champagne (sparkling wine may be used)

Pour your peach juice into a Champagne flute and then slowly add your Champagne.

xoxo,
Rhonda

Start Your Own Business Today With No Money

Productivity, Tip & Tricks

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Everyday single day, people are deciding to venture off and start their own business. People are craving more financial and personal freedom then ever before by doing something they are passionate about.

I have been have lots of discussions about this lately and finding out, that often people are putting this dream of theirs on hold because they believe it will take lots of money to start going. This however, is not entirely true. There are several things you can do right now to get your business moving forward today for very little, to no money at all.

I have come up with twelve ideas that you can start doing right now and I’m sure with a little brainstorming you can come up with even more ideas. However, these will get you moving forward now.

#1 You need your big idea – Write down your business idea and mission statement.

#2 Get your own domain name. These days hosting is incredibly cheap and can be found for five dollars a month or even less. Shop around and find a reliable host that best suits your needs.

#3 Join associates in your niche to network with. Really start getting out there and connecting with people. Not only is this one of the most important things you can start doing but it is fun too.

#4 Contact your local paper and other publications, let them know what your up to. You need to put yourself out there and start playing big.

#5 Start collecting testimonials right from the start. When clients email you praise, get permission to use it for your website, etc.

#6 Put your own name out there. It’s up to you to get out there everyday and talk about what your doing. A few ideas to get you going – newsletters, ezines, twitter, facebook, linkedIn, pinterest, online directories, and forums that are i your niche.

#7 Start building relationships. Use free online social media tools to build relationships and market yourself. With your main focus on relationship building.

#8 Look online for people hosting scholarship contests for events, seminars, and programs. Apply for them and see what happens, you have just as much chance at winning as anyone else.

#9 Write your own how-to guide or report that your niche would find extremely useful. Place it on Amazon for free and lead people back to your own website.

#10 Look on Craigslist for services or products you might need. You can find some quality people at good prices to get started. Some ideas might include – web design, virtual assistant, printing services, equipment if your a product based business.

#11 If you are in a product based business start small, with family and friends. Word of mouth spreads and is a great start for business growth. Great way to manage cost while the word is spreading.

#12 Swap out services for services. A few ideas might be web design, professional photography, PR services and legal advice. There are heaps of other businesses start out just like you that might be interested in what you have to offer. Do a little networking within your circle, you will be surprised that there is still plenty of wonderful people in the world who genuinely want to see you succeed.

So what you waiting for??

12 inexpensive and no cost ways to start your business today Start Your Biz Today Tips and tricks to start your very own business right now! "12 inexpensive and no cost ways to start your business today"

10 Ways to Beat the Isolation Blues

Productivity, Tip & Tricks

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Often when working from home or maybe you work out of your own office where human interaction is extinct, it is easy to fall into the isolation trap. From a business standpoint as well as personally. You do not have to go it alone! It is very important that you do not shut yourself off from the outside world.

Being alone all the time stifles creativity, creates loneliness that can lead to depression and all sorts of health problems.

I have put together my top 10 tricks to beat the isolation blues!

Get a mentor

Hire a personal or business coach

Have lunch or coffee with a friend or mentor

Work on a joint venture

Join a fitness club or hire a personal trainer

Get yourself an accountability partner to check in with on a daily basis

Go to networking events, seminars, workshops & join other organizations with likeminded peers

Get outside daily for some fresh air & sunshine. Even if it’s just a 10-15 minute walk.

Keep an active social life outside of your business. Go to parties and other social events, a retreat with a friend and of course family outing too.

My favorite thing to do when working from home – When you wake up in the morning, take a shower, get ready and dress like you are going to the office. Try it and you will see a HUGE shift in the way you work.

Taking action and actually doing these things will help you keep an outside perspective on life. Which in turn will help you remain creative and grow both professionally and personally.

Socialmedia and Skype are great to use when it’s impossible to get out. But nothing beats real world communication and human interaction.

Beat the Isolation Blues Listen to the audio How to conquer the isolation blues when you work from home. "Beat the Isolation Blues"

My 21 Day Feminine Grace Challenge

Feminine Grace, Productivity, Tip & Tricks

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Recently, I have found myself in a state of overwhelm, information & work overload. Which in turn has caused me to be irritable, frustrated and unhappy at times. Snapping at people, not getting anything done because I am trying to get EVERYTHING done. I have been neglecting my nutrition, exercise and sleep habits as well. All these things I know already but have somehow fallen off track and not been living to my fullest potential.

Starting tomorrow, I am getting back onto the path of find and living in my true, feminine grace.

For the next 21 days, I will challenging myself to re-align into feminine grace. As we grow, sometimes we need to make shifts in our lifestyle to accommodate the changes that are happening.

To cut down on the overload, I will be greatly cutting down my computer, T.V, and iPad time.

Cutting my work schedule down to 2 half days per week so that I can fulfill previous commitments.

Will only be talking on the phone to positive friends & family. No business talk.. no texting. I think texting has become a huge crutch in the way we communicate. It does have it’s benefits but is being greatly abused. I really know and have friends that will only communicate via text. So very unhealthy. No playing silly little games on the iPhone. Huge time waster.

Television – I am not really that bad when it comes to wasting a ton of time watching T.V but I am going to cut out the thrillers and scary flicks and opt for a comedy once, twice max per week. I do not do the news at all, however this past week in Colorado has been unusual with the house down the street in Castle Rock blowing up and the seriously disturbed, child killer on the loose. I did get sucked into the news. No more news for me.

iPad – 5 minutes max per day on twitter & Facebook.

My focus for the next 21 days is to get back in alignment with my feminine grace and for each person that will have different meanings and actions to take.

For myself-
Set Intentions
Be my best self
Focus on my positive energy
Stand tall
Treat Myself Daily
Get proper sleep
Exercise
Eat healthy
Quiet Time – twice daily
Read non businessy books
Listen to Positive & Motivating audios
Dance to fun, Inspirational music
Listen to relaxing lounge music
Loads of Facials, Baths and other Girly things!
Burn my favorite Aromatherapy Candles.
Fresh Tea
LOL = Laugh out Loud
Date nights with the Hot Tub
Get outside and Breathe the Fresh Air
Positive Relationship building
Everyday Gratitude.
Being in the Moment

What things could you do to get out of overwhelm, technology and work overload?

Happiness & Success,
Rhonda