Friday Reads, Sees and Feeds

Photo by  Annie Spratt  on  Unsplash

I can honestly tell you that I haven't watched a television series since Parenthood. I usually end up watching sports with my family, hop on my laptop (these days to redo my website--both parts fun and kill me now), or read (actually, more scroll than read these past couple of years.) But things are a-changin. I'm getting back to doing what makes me happy and that is reading, writing, watching (quality only) and sharing.  



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The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

God. The Universe. Higher Power. Regardless of what you connect with, they are what many of us consider guiding lights in our lives. Gabby's intention behind writing this book is to show the reader what leaning into that light looks like. Is this woo-woo? Maybe. Maybe not. I think it depends on your built in woo-woo barometer. Sure, she talks about manifestation, looking for signs, your thoughts create your world, vibes and all that but she also talks about prayer and having faith in what we cannot see. So, not so woo-woo after all.

One thing I've come to understand about the world around me is that what shows up in my life is what I have sought out, intentionally or not. If I'm critical, negative, ashamed or sad, that is what my life becomes--in all areas. When I let go of all that and focus on the positive, lots of good things have appeared. This takes lots and lots of practice which is why I bought this book. I needed more guidance on what this looks like on a daily basis. This is what Gabby's book does. 

She shares personal stories (she could've gone deeper with those--my only criticism) and shares the exercises she uses in her daily life to connect with the Universe and find her flow, so to speak. I'm definitely living in a space of personal and spiritual growth at this point in my life and this book was exactly what I needed to be reading right now. It requires an open mind and being okay with being uncomfortable.  

Something I learned as I read this was that when I'm in control, I feel stable and grounded. When I'm not in control, I feel completely vulnerable and live in fear. This book opened my eyes to some of my unhealthy fears/habits/patterns and that I must let go of my expectation, judgment, control, fear, shame, pain, and resistance. Gabby gives lessons in each chapter to tune in to our lives and the love that is always surrounding us. It's worth the read and if you're sitting there saying, "That's woo-woo as hell." then you definitely need to read it. :) 




The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

My friend, Nina Badzin recommended The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and it has not disappointed. I binge watched the first four episodes in one day with the second four shortly after. Rachel Brosnahan plays Midge Maisel and Alex Borstein becomes her sidekick/friend Susan as the show progresses. It's hilarious, inspiring, and addictive. The show is set in the late 1950's with Midge as a doting housewife. She supports her husband in every way, even when he wants to give stand-up comedy a go in the evenings after work. Things don't quite go as planned and this is when you fall in love with Midge. She's got a wardrobe to die for and knows how to use a good cuss word. You can find the full eight episodes on Amazon Prime (everyone has Prime these days, right?) and I promise, you'll love it. Sidenote: Susan (Alex Borstein's character) has some of the best one-liners. SO FUNNY!! 

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This is Us

I know, I know. I'm totally late to this train. Story of my life. I wanted this to my replacement show for Parenthood and when I missed the beginning of the season last fall, I gave up on trying to catch up. I am NOT a fan of the commercials you have to wait through when you watch online so I resisted. Then I waited for when my husband and I could watch together. However, between "there's a great game on tonight", coaching kids, and travel, there is a greater chances that I land a book contract in the next 24 minutes than watch this series with my husband. So here I am on my Smart TV, pulling up the episodes one by one and cursing the commercials all by myself. I'm only on episode 3 of season 1 so I haven't yet experienced the torrential tears I know are coming. Let me know if you are a loyal watcher and what episode sucked you in for life!  


The Bucket List Family

I'm IN LOVE with this family. There are four (but soon to be five!) in this sweet globe-trotting family, with a little girl, Dorothy and a little boy, Manilla. Garrett, the dad, and his wife, Jessica, met on a mission trip in college and have been sweethearts ever since. The story is that Garrett and some friends sold an app they developed called Scan to Snapchat so you can scan someone's profile and add them to your friends' list. Yes, that yellow square with all the black dots with your picture in the middle. They sold it for $54 million. Soooo, this little family took to the road since jobs were no longer required. Hello, dream life.

They globe trot with the kids and honestly, I don't think they spend any of their money. They have sponsors lined up for miles yet they are the least annoying social media influencers in the game. Their kids are adorable and the best travelers. I wish I had their videos around when my kids were little. I would have made them watch these videos until their eyes bled so truly understood the "a good little traveler" expectations. But my family is much bigger and while we still work on travel expectations (Stop teasing your brother! Dear God, put the phone down and look out the damn window for hours like I did when I was your age! We just ate--how can you be hungry?), I'm going to make them watch these videos so they can see what is possible for them and their own families some day. They just need to sell an app for $54 mil and they will be set! 

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MsRachelHollis (IG account)

This gal. She's a cool mom (with four kids even!), a kickass entrepreneur, author (fiction, cookbook, and soon to be non-fiction), and podcaster. She's real, funny, inspiring, and that gal you just want to hang out with. Her soon to be published book Girl, Wash Your Face is going on my to-read list and while I've read many "get off your ass, stop telling yourself you suck and get on with your awesome life" books, each one I read gives me a nugget of gold that only that unique author can provide. Plus, I am reading for research as there is a book in my future waiting to be written so all of these books are helping me design the framework I will use to put my own message out into the world. (Did I just admit to you all that I'm going to write a non-fiction book? Yes, yes I did.)