Wining Wife®

Because housework goes better with Malbec...

Book Review: Unbound by Steph Jagger

Sometimes, you work really, really hard for a really long time, and then you hit a wall. That wall may be one created due to burnout; it may be one that is created from trying to keep up with others; it may be one created when you realize you no longer care to live up to the expectations everyone else puts on you. 

That’s what happened to Steph Jagger, and she writes about it in Unbound. I can relate to her a lot. For a long time, in a male-dominated field (philosophy), I worked really hard to keep up with the guys around me. I was doing a great job! But, I wasn’t happy. Something was missing. Long hours, jumping through academic hoops, and the pressure to be “the best” and compete with others added up. Moreover, I was a single mom doing it all, and I felt like I was missing out on a TON when it came to my kid. So, I sought something else out. And now, here I am, 9 years after leaving grad school living a totally different life than I thought I’d be living right now (and that’s a good thing). 

Steph decided to head out and leave her job and her security and stability. Then, she decided to go and ski a bunch – four million vertical feet, in fact. 

“Who are you?” he asked, “and what kind of woman do you want to become?”

No one had ever asked me questions like that. I’d never thought about the who, what, and why questions. There hadn’t been room fort hose, not when I was so busy answering the where, when, and hows with my growing collection of shiny blue ribbons. (p. 151)

That’s the thing about chasing “success.” It becomes hard to know who you are when the spotlight isn’t on you. It becomes hard to know who you are or who you want to be. Instead, you get stuck in the mire of chasing one resume bullet point after another – without thinking much about why you’re doing it. And that’s why books like this are so important. It’s really easy to lose yourself when you think you’re on the path you’re “supposed to be on.” What’s harder is finding yourself on that same path and figuring out who it is you’re actually supposed to be. 

I think a lot of women go through this. I might be wrong. Especially those of us who grew up with the “girls can do anything” motto. It sometimes starts to feel like, “women should do everything” as opposed to an invitation to determine what course our lives should take. Add in entheusiastic mentors who push us and challenge us to fit into the success mold and lean in – and it can be easy to lose our way while on a paved road. So easy. 

I know I related a lot to Steph throughout the book. I think a lot of other women will as well. If you enjoyed Wild or Eat, Pray, Love, I can guarantee you’ll enjoy this book. If you’re like me, and haven’t read them yet, you’ll enjoy this book. I think the most important takeaway from Unbound is that sometimes you have to get out there and get away from what’s comfortable. Sometimes, you really do have to start over again. And you know what? That’s okay.

About Unbound

• Hardcover: 304 pages
• Publisher: Harper Wave (January 24, 2017)

A young woman follows winter across five continents on a physical and spiritual journey that tests her body and soul, in this transformative memoir, full of heart and courage, that speaks to the adventurousness in all of us.

Steph Jagger had always been a force of nature. Dissatisfied with the passive, limited roles she saw for women growing up, she emulated the men in her life—chasing success, climbing the corporate ladder, ticking the boxes, playing by the rules of a masculine ideal. She was accomplished. She was living “The Dream.” But it wasn’t her dream.

Then the universe caught her attention with a sign: Raise Restraining Device. Steph had seen this ski lift sign on countless occasions in the past, but the familiar words suddenly became a personal call to shake off the life she had built in a search for something different, something more.

Steph soon decided to walk away from the success and security she had worked long and hard to obtain. She quit her job, took a second mortgage on her house, sold everything except her ski equipment and her laptop, and bought a bundle of plane tickets. For the next year, she followed winter across North and South America, Asia, Europe, and New Zealand—and up and down the mountains of nine countries—on a mission to ski four million vertical feet in a year.

What hiking was for Cheryl Strayed, skiing became for Steph: a crucible in which to crack open her life and get to the very center of herself. But she would have to break herself down—first physically, then emotionally—before she could start to rebuild. And it was through this journey that she came to understand how to be a woman, how to love, and how to live authentically.

Electrifying, heartfelt, and full of humor, Unbound is Steph’s story—an odyssey of courage and self-discovery that, like Wild and Eat, Pray, Love, will inspire readers to remove their own restraining devices and pursue the life they are meant to lead.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Steph Jagger

Steph Jagger splits her time between Southern California and British Columbia where she dreams big dreams, writes her heart out, and runs an executive & life coaching practice. She holds a CEC (certified Executive Coach) degree from Royal Roads University and she believes courageous living doesn’t happen with one toe dangling in, but that we jump in, fully submerge, and sit in the juice. Think pickle, not cucumber.

You can find her at www.stephjagger.com or on Instagram @stephjagger.

GUEST POST: 2017 Wines on a Budget

Budget Wines 2017

This guest post comes from Annabelle, who writes for Wunderlabel. She’s sharing her tips on finding the best bang for your buck when it comes to 2017 wines. (This post contains affiliate links. Clicking on a link and making a purchase helps to support what I do here at Wining Wife®.

Do you tend to drink a little more wine through the winter? I know I do. I have to keep an eye on my budget with all the meals to prepare. This includes my wine budget. I enjoy really nice wines, especially the ones that are gifted to me. But, I do need to plan for when my wallet feels slimmer. 

I look for good deals on wines that oenophiles and merchants report will be trending in 2017. I try to get my hands on a few bottles while the prices are still decent. Let’s take a look at some of the predictably good wine values you can stock up on for next year.

Hearty Red Wines

Cool winter nights are a perfect time to sink into the couch by the fire with a glass of rich, deep flavored wine. I am thinking chocolate and berries. Zinfandel is a wine that pairs well with comforting meals and desserts.

Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel is a bold, berry forward wine that has been aged in oak for one year. It is produced in Sonoma County, California. The 2008 and 2014 varieties are both available now. The 2008 can be found for around $10.00, while the 2014 is a couple of dollars more.

Dry, Fruity White Wine

In spring the air is damp and the grass is starting to grow. Everything smells a little fresher this time of year. I get that antsy feeling of wanting to be outside without a coat on. But, we aren’t quite there. This is the time of year you want to start bringing out the white wines that pair well with lighter meals that have plenty of spring vegetables. Chardonnay is what comes to mind.

Alamos Chardonnay, from Argentina, has crisp citrus notes and a buttery vanilla finish. The 2015 is available for $9.00 to $10.00 per bottle. It goes well with fish, chicken, and most vegetables. 

Dry Rosé Wine

I am a fan of dry pink wines in the summer that are blends of white and red grapes. They have enough body to hold up to barbecue fare, and are also fine for an afternoon backyard get-together with friends accompanied by a large bowl of fresh fruit. My favorites are from the south of France.

Bieler Pere et Fils Rosé is a complex wine from the Provence region of France. It has the flavors of summer berries and melons, and the lavender that is grown all over the region. It is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Cinsaut and Cabernet grapes. The 2015 sells for between $11.00 and $12.00.

Medium Bodied Red Wine

As autumn approaches we see varieties of winter squashes, heirloom tomatoes, and plenty of apples at the farmers markets. This is a great time for platters of cheese, fruit, aged meats, and vegetables. It is also when you might be inclined to fill the house with the smell of spiced baked goods. This calls for a lighter red wine to share with friends. Pinot Noirs are perfect for this time of year.

HobNob Pinot Noir is a French variety that has softer tannins than some of the others. It smells faintly of violets and tastes of cherries laced with spices. It plays well with fennel, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The 2013 can be found for between $9.00 and $11.00.

December is a good time of year to look for holiday wine specials. Many merchants are willing to offer case discounts, even if the case includes a mix of wine varieties. You just need to ask. Stock up and enjoy.

 

Author Bio: Annabelle is a wine collector and appreciates handmade crafts. Apart from that she loves to write. In fact, she writes for Wunderlabel’s Italian site and their US website.

Book Blast: New Year – New Novels (AND GIVEAWAY!)

WELCOME TO THE NEW YEAR – NEW NOVELS BLAST! 
 
Click on any of the below book covers to be taken to the page that has more information on the novel as well as the Buy Links!
 
 
Novels Available for Pre-Order!
 
RABT Book Tours - As You Lay Sleeping  RABT Book Tours - Crashing Into Me  RABT Book Tours - No Second Chances  RABT Book Tours - Sheik's Rule
 
 
 
Novels Currently Available!
 
 
RABT Book Tours - Jigsaw Hearts   RABT Book Tours - And Then Mine Enemy  RABT Book Tours - Grey Cloudy Lies
RABT Book Tours - The Grizzly's Tale  RABT Book Tours - Making Bad Choices  RABT Book Tours - Unbreakable Heart  RABT Book Tours - The Knight
 
 
Enter the Giveaway
 
 
Want to learn more about RABT Book Tours? 
 
Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours

Book Review: Triangle of Hope by Michael Meyer

Michael Meyer’s Triangle of Hope follows three friends who have been battered by life. They wind up going on an adventure to a small Irish Town. The book is gripping, and there isn’t a dull moment throughout. Without giving away spoilers, I can say that this is a book that will stir your emotions and stick with you. The stories of the three characters are woven together, and just when you think there can’t be yet something else to knock the characters back – ell, you’ll have to wait and see what happens. I don’t say this lightly – this book is a must-read for anyone who enjoys literary fiction. 

Contemporary Fiction

Date Published: December 1, 2014

 Publisher: Pacific Books

Life grinds you down, but there’s always hope–and sometimes it can come in the strangest of ways….

After being battered by life’s cruelness, three unlikely friends find themselves drawn to a small Irish town seeking something–anything. Finding solace in one another, their quest throws them together and they make a courageous stand.

Clint Westerly was a success until a choice he makes blows his world all apart. Tanya Wilshire is broke and hell-bent on committing to her mother’s final deathbed request. 84-year-old Seamus Harrington needs to right an ancient wrong before time runs out.

Together, this unlikely trio of unexpected allies forms a Triangle of Hope against all odds, their disparate stories uniting for a thrilling conclusion that will leave the reader breathless.

If you love feel-good reads with happy endings, then TRIANGLE OF HOPE is for you. It is “a book that will stay with you forever.” – Wanda Hartzenberg, Wanda’s Amazing Amazon Reviewers

It is a “fantastic read that will pull at your heart.” – Lauren Alumbaugh, Goodreads librarian

SEMIFINALIST FOR THE 2015 KINDLE BOOK AWARD IN LITERARY FICTION

EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK:

1 – Los Angeles, California

His impending death hung in the air like thick smog, smothering everything in its path, obscuring a parade of ups and downs, the unevenness of thrills and chills that defined his life’s existence. It was eerie and scary, but also rather comforting, much like being in a warm bed on a cold night, like shivering while being filled with excitement at what was going to happen next. The news could very easily have been broadcast to those of his past and present, but he had made certain that all the speakers had been turned to mute. He had made the firm decision to meet his destiny without any chance of intervention by anyone. He was all alone in this, his final act.

The hotel room was a bit dark with all the lights switched off, but outside the window the sky was as bright blue as Cinnamon’s eyes had been. At least that’s the way it looked to Clint Westerly. For some reason his mind had suddenly flashed on Cinnamon of all things. Cinnamon had been the perfect cat. Paul Newman eyes, he had called them, which sparkled in the sunlight and glistened in the dark. Such beautiful eyes. Such a wonderful cat. Such a pity that eighteen years was all the time he had had to frolic through the world. Cinnamon had been the perfect cat, the perfect companion. The little cat had been much more than a friend. He had actually been like a son to both him and Sheila. Anybody who knew them would surely concur. That’s just the way things were in their wonderful world.

Their world. What a crock! What world? Everything gone now, vanished, disintegrated into thin air, the tiniest particles vaporized into non-existence. Not a remnant remaining except for the tortured thoughts brought about by that one memory that refused to disappear no matter how painfully the ever increasing toll that it took on his physical body and on his ever working brain, overwhelming him in the process, the remembrance bringing him to his knees, shutting out all other thoughts as well as the rest of the world. Darkness and clouds made up the present, and there would be no future. How could there be? Not with the ever painful memory tearing at his innards, wreaking havoc with the person he had once been. Obliterating the world he had once known. Snuffing out all that he had loved, all that had made up the world in which he had once so happily lived.

 He took a big swig from the large snifter of XO Remy Martin he held in his right hand, the cognac warming his throat at it snaked its way into his stomach, his left hand resting on the windowsill. There was so much beauty in the world. Just look at the trees gently blowing in the breeze. Look at how the leaves seem to glisten as they sway in the gentle breeze. See how the clouds out on the horizon take on the never-ending shapes of the imagination, slowly changing shapes and colors in an endless kaleidoscope of wondrous features, a galloping antelope, a smiling child, a mighty elm. All one had to do is look, and wonderful scenes could be seen and imagined, constantly evolving from one glorious image to the next.

Remember the giggles of little tots’ faces, the tail wagging of puppies, the sound of rain on the roof, the softness of a newly made bed, the warmth of a fire on a winter night, the smell of coffee in the morning, the moonlit sky, a beautiful sunset, the sound of waves crashing against the shore, the first gulp of water on a thirsty day, the move-it-forward power of a smile from a total stranger.

Yes, life could be so good…so why did it have to end this way?

Where to Purchase Triangle of Hope

 

I Can Do Hard Things – You Can Too (Cents of Style Fashion Friday Story)

Cents of Style You Can Do Hard thingsI’m 22 weeks pregnant with baby number 4 (a girl!), and so I’ve been thinking a lot about how to make 2017 the best year yet. One of those things I’ve been thinking about is where I’ve been. That’s why when Cents of Style  announced they were looking for Fashion Friday stories to accompany a deal on their Inspirational Graphic T-Shirts, I signed up. I chose to wear the “You Can Do Hard Things” shirt. I’m kind of surprised my regular jeans are still fitting me, usually at this point in a pregnancy, I have to saddle up with the saggy baggy maternity jeans brigade. This year is about reclaiming and rebuilding for me. That involves coming out of a sequence of years where I did a lot of hard things. 

In fact, I spent a lot of years doing hard things. It’s important to remember that I got through those hard things – and came out stronger for it. I graduated from high school early and started college in what would have been the spring semester of my junior year of high school. Then, like many 18 year old girls, who think they know everything, I was in a hurry to grow up. So, I got married. That didn’t last long. It wasn’t a good relationship, and I left – after a split lip for Christmas, a broken nose for Valentine’s day, and a heck of a lot of bruises between then and when I left 5 months later.  Not long after, I learned I was going to be a mom, and 3 months before my 21st birthday, there I was, starting a life with a small person – going it alone as single momma. Believe me, I did a lot of hard things in my 20s. I worked full time at one job while going to college full time as a philosophy major – and – I worked part time as a logic tutor. I honestly do not  know how I did it. 

I managed to get an award for being an active member of my community, take on a roll as treasurer of my honors society, Phi Sigma Tau, host open mic poetry nights at my workplace, and of course raise a kid. I graduated with my BA – with honors in the major – and applied to graduate school. Those were some tough years, but I graduated college with a 3.8 GPA

Philosophy, if you don’t know, is a traditionally male-dominated field. Being a woman in philosophy really is not for the weak. There’s still a lot of the “old boys” club mentality that goes on. So, when I got to my Master’s program, I really wasn’t surprised by the fact that I was one of four women entering to join two other women in the department. The rest of the 30-odd students were men. Even so, I rose up to the challenge the departmental makeup presented, and finished my degree in 2 years, with a 3.35 GPA

 When I joined my Ph.D. program, the stakes were even higher, even though there were more women in the department. On the home front, my very bright 8 year old was having a very rough time at his school, and I made the decision to pull him out and homeschool him – as a single parent in an intense Ph.D. program. I continued to do well in the program (3.8 overall GPA), but had another hard decision to make. I got in trouble for “working too much.” The graduate student union had a rule about working more than 30 hours – and I was working as a TA and an RA in another department. I was doing so because the stipend for being a TA was low, and I still had work study monies left over.  I was at risk for losing my TA-ship, which would have meant taking out more student loans to finish than I was comfortable with. On top of that, I was getting weary from the pressure to be at all departmental functions when it was difficult to afford a babysitter for all of them. Plus, I had a lot of pressure coming from back in California to hurry up and finish and go back to California. And, I was tired. So being tired, burned out, and worn down, I made a decision I still question from time to time. I left my Ph.D. program the semester before I was supposed to finish taking my comps.

After I left, it was 2008. The economy was flailing. I applied to over 200 jobs. Over 200. I had an MA degree and most of a Ph.D. Can you guess how many interviews I had? 

0. I had 0 interviews. The job market was that competitive. So, I looked at my kiddo and took a deep breath and made another hard decision: I decided to start my own writing and editing business. And the rest is history, sort of. I got into another nasty relationship that left me with PTSD. Then…I met my now husband, we added to our family, moved across the country, and added to our family some more.

And now…here I am, in the house we bought, and I’m working on reclaiming that fierce woman who did all that hard stuff – and more hard stuff I’m probably not even writing about here because, hello, this is a blog, not a book. “Reclaiming” is my word for 2017. “Reclaiming” because after you do a lot of hard stuff, you get tired. After 2 babies and with a 3rd pregnancy, it’s time to revamp my wardrobe, get new makeup, pay more attention to my hair – fix my piercings (my nose piercing closed!) and take steps to feel more fabulous. This momma of almost 4 is tired! SO…to do that, i’m still going to have to do some hard things – give birth, continue putting my businesses together and building, get our home organized, and keep going. 

If you need a reminder that you too can do hard things, or you’d like to check out the various other inspirational graphic tees available at Cents of Style, click here (affiliate link). The tee-shirt is so super soft and comfy – and fit over my pregnant belly just fine.

Inspirational Graphic T-Shirts for 50% OFF + FREE SHIPPING w/code INSPIRE17

*I was provided with the t-shirt by Cents of Style in exchange for writing my story.

Love-Based Money & Mindset Book Blitz

 
 
 
Personal Development/ Self-Help
Date Published:  December 2016
Make The Money You Desire Without Selling Your Soul
Publisher: Love-Based Publishing
 
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
 
Are you ready to step into a life of peaceful prosperity?
 
For many of us, money is a source of angst. Maybe there’s never enough and it’s a constant source of stress. Maybe no matter how hard you work, you’re never able to get ahead. Or maybe you’re in so much debt, all you feel is shame and despair.
 
 
If any of this sounds familiar, then you’re in for a treat. Love-Based Money and Mindset is designed to help you heal your relationship with money so you not only feel peaceful about it, but so you’re also able to attract all the abundance you want.
 
 
While this book is designed to help everyone who struggles with money issues, it’s particularly helpful for those who have (or want to have) a business. The bottom line: The more you can cultivate a love-based mindset, the more easily and effortlessly you’ll attract money into your life.
 
Other Books in the Love Based Business Series
 
 

 

Business, Writing
Publisher: Love-Based Publishing
Published: July 2014
 
 
Do you hate the way sales and marketing copy makes you feel? Sales-y? Inauthentic? Hype-y? Just plain icky? You’re not alone … and there’s a reason you feel that way. It’s because traditional sales and marketing copy (also known as direct response copy) sells by tapping into fear.
 
 
But, you don’t have to use fear – you can sell and market your business using love instead. And when you do that, you stop manipulating and twisting arms to get buyers, and instead start attracting, inspiring and inviting your ideal clients into your business.
 
 
Ahhh — doesn’t that sound wonderful?
 
 
In this book, copywriting and marketing expert Michele PW (Pariza Wacek) teaches you the philosophy and the foundational principles behind selling with love versus fear – the same principles she’s used to help her clients build their businesses over the years. Plus, she includes dozens of exercises so you too can easily implement love-based copy in your own business.
 
 
Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or business owner or just starting out, you’ll discover valuable tips and strategies around selling and marketing with love. And not only will you feel great about it, so will your ideal clients.
 
 
Business, Writing
Publisher: Love-Based Publishing
Published: September 2015
 
 
If you’re a business owner, entrepreneur, expert, speaker, author, coach or consultant who would love to create marketing materials that attract, inspire and invite your ideal prospects to become ideal clients without sounding hype-y or sales-y, then this book may be exactly what you’ve been looking for.
 
 
In Michele’s first book, “Love-Based Copywriting Method,” she walks you through the philosophy of love-based copywriting and explains why traditional copy and marketing feels so icky. In this book, “Love-Based Copywriting System” she rolls up her sleeves and walks you though her exact system for writing copy that converts without feeling sleazy.
 
 
You’ll discover exercises, examples, templates and more — in fact, it’s designed to be a “copywriting course in a book.” You’ll get detailed, step-by-step teachings of everything from headlines to features and benefits to presenting your offer and more, so if you follow along and complete the exercises, by the end of the book, you’ve got your copy created.
 
 
Also as a bonus, it included a free workbook!
 
 
Business, Marketing
Publisher: Love-Based Publishing
Published: April 2016
 
 
As an entrepreneur, small business owner, coach, consultant, speaker, author, and/or expert, you know marketing is the lifeblood of growing a successful business. Yet, for so many of us, marketing is also one of our biggest struggles.
 
 
Well, that’s all about to change. In Love-Based Online Marketing, Michele PW walks you through exactly how to create an Online Marketing Plan tailored specifically to you and your goals so you can grow a business you love AND that loves you back!
 
 
And the best part, thanks to the Assessment included in this book, your Online Marketing Plan will be based around your Marketing Love Factor. This means you’ll not only love your marketing (really! Even if you’ve always hated it before!), but you’ll also be empowered to market your business in the exact, perfect way for you.
 
 
So if attracting, inspiring and inviting your ideal prospects to become ideal clients and customers without being hype-y, sales-y or slime-y feels like a breath of fresh air, this book may be exactly what you’ve been looking for.
 
 
 
 
 
 
About the Author
 
 
 

 

When Michele was 3 years old, she taught herself to read because she wanted to write stories so badly.
As you can imagine, writing has been a driving passion throughout her life. She became a professional copywriter (which is writing promotional materials for businesses), which led to her founding a copywriting and marketing company that serves clients all over the world.
Along with being a copywriter, she also writes novels (in fact, she just published her first two psychological thriller/suspense/mystery novels called “The Stolen Twin” and “Mirror Image'”) plus, she is also the author of the “Love-Based Copy” books, which are a part of the “Love-Based Business” series and cover both business and personal development.
She holds a double major in English and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently she lives in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona with her husband Paul and southern squirrel hunter Cassie.

 
 
Contact Links
 
 
 
Purchase Links
 
 
 
 
 
 photo readingaddictionbutton_zps58fd99d6.png

Book Review: Killing It! by Sheryl O’ Loughlin

killing-it-coverAs an entrepreneur, I’m more than familiar with the demands on life being an entrepreneur makes and the level of commitment running your own business takes. When I was offered the opportunity to review Sheryl O’Loughlin’s Killing It! An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Keeping Your Head Without Losing Your Heart, I jumped at it. I’m always looking for more ways I can balance being an entrepreneur with being a wife and mom of three going on four. It’s not always easy.

Killing It! has chapters on love, partnerships, romance, children, friendships, and the need for a supportive tribe of others. Especially in a situation like mine, where I’m doing what I do from home, it’s important to reach out and find other people who are trying to do the same thing. A tribe is one of the most valuable assets an entrepreneur can have.  O’Loughlin writes:

“It may not be faith based, but entrepreneurs are a tribe, too. That’s why whenever an entrepreneur asks for my advice, I take the time to give it to him. I know him; I know what he’s facing…We need to support each other so we become stronger over time and create increasingly better businesses for the world.” (62)

Entrepreneurs, like bloggers, do make up a special tribe. We face special challenges – like – how do you bootstrap this new business venture enough to ensure that a venture capitalist, angel investor, or the Small Business Association lenders will see that you have a viable idea? Or how do you ensure that this idea you’re passionate about doesn’t take over every corner of your dining roo-er-life? It’s good to surround oneself with others who think and do similar things. In fact, the right people at the right time can serve as outstanding mentors. 

Later chapters in the book deal with risk, money, health, humility, and the ability to let go when necessary. Starting up business ventures is not for the feint of heart. You have to be willing to learn more than you thought you needed to know, work longer hours than you thought you could work, and put up with a substantial amount of risk before your business starts actually making money. You need to put in the time. This can sometimes lead entrepreneur-type-folks to embrace unhealthy eating habits and claim they never have time to exercise. 

Because of the level of stress involved with startups, it’s important to find ways to reduce stress, avoid burnout, and stay healthy.  O’Loughlin writes:

“I’m far from the only entrepreneur with a hard-charging personality–it’s how most of us are wired. Entrepreneurs have to be driven in order to want to take on such a job, and in order to succeed at it. But as the saying goes: ‘Your greatest strength can also be your greatest weakness.’ Because what do you thin happens when you take someone who is not prone to self-care, who gets laser focused, who is used to facing ten people’s worth of work and getting it done and then some, and put that person in a scenario where the workload is truly unmanageable, where the stakes are high, where the workload is truly unmanageable, where there is little about the outcome he or she can control, and where no one is giving him or her an A++, let alone a ‘job well done’? What do you thin happens when this person faces failure, possibly for the first time, as he or she almost inevitably will? It seems lie a recipe for a crash, and it is.

As someone who is recovering from crashing headfirst into the burnout wall, I can honestly say that this describes the experience of many entrepreneurs. Particularly those trying to “do it all.” 

If you run your own show or you’re thinking of starting a business, Sheryl O’Loughlin’s book will give you tips from the inside on how to succeed in this venture. The book is well-written, and I appreciate the honesty and candor with which she looks at this lifestyle. Reading the book is like sitting down at a coffee shop with someone who has been there.

About Killing It

• Hardcover: 304 pages
• Publisher: HarperBusiness (December 6, 2016)

The former CEO of Clif Bar, Co-founder of Plum, and serial entrepreneur offers insights about launching and growing a business while maintaining a fulfilled life in this practical guide filled with hard-won advice culled from the author’s own sometimes dark, raw experiences. With a foreword by Steve Blank.

Aspiring entrepreneurs are told that to launch a business, you must go all in, devoting every resource and moment to making it work. But following this advice comes at an enormous personal cost: divorce, addiction, even suicide. It means sacrificing the intangibles that make life worth living.

Sheryl O’Loughlin knows there is a better way. In Killing It, she shares the wisdom she’s gained from her successful experiences launching a company from the ground up (Plum), running two fast-growing companies (Clif Bar and REBBL), and mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs (Stanford University). She tells it like it is: If you don’t invest in your wellbeing, your business will not succeed, nor will you.

Sheryl knows firsthand the difficulty of balancing the needs of her growing family with her physical and mental health, while managing other work and life challenges. In this warm, honest, and wise handbook, she gives you the essentials for killing it in business—without killing the rest of your life.

Filled with real-life examples and anecdotes, Killing It addresses common questions including:

  • How do you prepare your significant other for your business venture?
  • How do you time launching and growing your business with the ebb and flow of family life?
  • How do you find joy in the day-to-day?
  • How do you maintain meaningful, supportive friendships?
  • How do you walk away and start again?

The ultimate life and business course, Killing It gives entrepreneurs the tools they need to start their enterprise and thrive—both in the office and at home.

Add to Goodreads badge

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

sheryl-oloughlin-apAbout Sheryl O’Loughlin

Sheryl O’Loughlin earned her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She is the CEO of REBBL super-herb beverages, and she previously served as the CEO of Clif Bar, where she led the concept development and introduction of Luna Bars, and was the cofounder and CEO of Plum Organics. She is the former executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She lives in Santa Rosa, California, with her husband, Patrick, and her two sons.

Happy New Year!

Can you believe it’s 2017 already? I can’t. Of course, I spent the last quarter of it battling some sort of nasty respiratory virus that cleared up just in time for December Madness – two birthdays, Christmas, New Years, and all of the planing that goes with that. My word for 2017 is “Reclaiming.” You may be wondering what that’s about, well, let me tell you about it.

Since my daughter was born in 2013, a lot of things have slid – my hair, my nose piercing closed up, and though I do love fabulous fashion, I haven’t put the effort in that I’d like to when it comes to having a wardrobe I love. In fact – LOL – most of my clothes are old and being held together with threads – the clothes that fit, that is. Of course, I’m pregnant now too, so fixing some of these things will wait until the second half of the year (like finally getting the phoenix tattoo I’ve wanted for years). So basically, I want to reclaim the fabulousness that has sort of faded in the shadow of baby and toddler tending. It’s still there, but in the wake of my husband’s job change, moving twice in the past year and a half, and all of the craziness that comes from that, I’ve let some of my usual things slide. It’s time to stop that.

This year, I think, has good things in store. I have more book reviews to share with you; I’m looking forward to selling more of my handmade goodies (you can find my Facebook group for that here, please request to join); my teenager is graduating and heading off to college; a new baby will be joining our family in May. Lots of good stuff! I’m looking forward to getting some of the guest posts I’ve accepted up, and to sharing older wine notes with you. Before I got pregnant, we had some great wine last year. 

What are your plans for the new year? Have you chosen a theme-word for the year? Do you have resolutions or goals for the new year? Please share them  in the comments!

Pattern Test: Sofilantjes’ Foliis Jacket and Dress

Sofilanthes Foliis Jacket

Brrrr…it’s getting cold outside. Well, at least, it’s starting to here in Kansas, anyway. It’s been a good while since I’ve done a pattern test, and when I saw that Anne Jacobs of Sofilantjes was doing a call for testers for a jacket, I knew I needed to sign up.  The pattern includes directions for a cropped jacket, a long A-line jacket, and a dress. The Sofilantjes Foliis Jacket & Dress pattern has a hood and options for long or 3/4 length sleeves. I made the long jacket option with long sleeves for my gal. 

The Fabric

v3498-001Solid - Blue - Verhees French Terry KnitFor the jacket, I used this gorgeous Verhees jersey Hologram Elephant digital print I got from Mabel Madison.  Originally, I had planned to make something for little guy using this fabric and some French terry I have (also from Mabel Madison).  I wound up choosing to make the Foliis from these two fabrics instead (and I have just enough left to still make little guy the shirt I’d wanted to make him). The fabrics are soft, and while the elephant print is not sweatshirt or French terry fabric, it is thick and heavy enough to hold up for this project. 

The Foliis Pattern

In the same style as other Sofilantjes’ patterns, the Foliis is easy to follow. Anne Jacobs breaks down the steps into easy-to follow directions that are the big reason I enjoy making her designs. The Foliis itself is not piece-heavy. Every pattern piece serves a functional purpose, and the illustrations were great. I made the 18 months size for my petite almost-3 year old girl. When pinning into place to cut, it’s important to make sure the words and the graphic on the pattern are going in the same direction. I wanted to be sure my elephants would all be the right way when the project was finished. 

I used the elephants for the body of the jacket and for the outer hood and the French terry on the cuffs and hood lining. The zipper was easy to modify and install given the instructions in the pattern. I decided to add a beaded zipper pull for a little bit of flair. The whole thing was quick to sew up – but it did require a bit of hand sewing. I put on the latest This Is Us episode and stitched the hood lining to the neckline in what seemed like no time at all (in reality, it took the episode plus a little extra time to finish.)

The Photo Shoot

I finished sewing my test early, but we had to leave town. The teenager was set to visit Simpson College in Indianola and Creighton University in Omaha. I took the finished jacket with us on our trip so I could take photos on one of the college campuses. There was a gorgeous park next to Simpson College that worked perfectly for the photo shoot. The jacket fits Little Miss perfectly – AND she loves it. It’s a win-win situation. We got lots of compliments on it while we were hanging out around town. It was 40 degrees once it warmed up, but still pretty windy and cool. Even though the jacket was made of jersey, she was warm enough in it to be comfortable for photos. 

How to Order the Foliis

Sofilantjes’ Foliis Jacket and Dress pattern is on sale for €6.05 ($5.30 USD) here until 11/30/2016 (affiliate link).

I received a testing and final copy of the Foliis pattern in exchange for my honest feedback on the pattern. All opinions about the pattern are my own. 

I’m thinking it would be really neat in a quilted cotton jersey. 🙂 What kind of fabric do you want to see the Foliis made up in?

TLC Tours Book Review: Forever Painless by Miranda Esmonde-White

I have been dealing with nasty chronic pain for almost 5 years now. I took an antibiotic, Cipro, that wreaked havoc on my entire body. Some days, just standing up is a chore. Other days, I feel fine. When I was offered the opportunity to review the book Forever Painless by Miranda Esmonde-White, I jumped at the chance, hoping that I might garner some new knowledge about things I can do to combat the pain in my life. 

The premise of Esmonde-White’s book is that we need to move more to combat pain using the Essentrics method. This method involves stretching and muscle conditioning. She wants doctors to pay more attention to the role chronic pain plays in health and wellness, and she wants it to become a routine part of our checkups – and one that doesn’t immediately and automatically resort to medication when it crops up. I can definitely jump aboard that ship. Prior to getting pregnant again, I was relying on the smallest dose of Motrin possible to get through the day relatively pain-free. That’s a dependency I’d rather not have. I cannot take stronger medications since I tend to be allergic to everything. 

Through the early chapters of the book, Esmonde-White talks about the root causes of chronic pain as well as the body’s built-in mechanisms for healing pain. She then talks about how a sedentary lifestyle can lead to chronic pain. Many of our modern jobs are built on sitting. She writes:

When we wake up in the morning, we usually feel a little stiff from a long night of immobility. The less we move upon waking, the stiffer we feel–but after some stretching, the stiffness can go away. 

Magnify that just-out-of-bed stiffness many times over, and you may better understand the sort of stiffness that many people chalk up to the aging process. Most people respond to this discomfort by moving less. But the less we move, the more our connective tissue solidifies, creating a chain reaction and exacerbating the problem. Remember: Pain is a message from the brain telling us that there is something dangerous happening to our body. The message of stiffness is a precursor to the pain message. (p.27)

This theory does make sense, as many times when I feel pain it is after having spent a day resting – because I felt pain! My back pain is the worst if I sleep in.  I feel like I can barely move. I also have a lot of hip pain following my last pregnancy that manifests most after I sit for a while.  

Once you’ve read through the introductory chapters, Esmonde-White introduces her readers to the exercises one can do to help combat pain. She organizes this section by area where one is having pain. This is really helpful for those who want to stick to her promise of helping you to “reclaim your life in 30 minutes a day.” You can follow her structure and focus on the areas that need to be focused on.

Overall, I’m hoping that following the guidelines in this book will help me to get on a path to being consistently pain-free. I recommend it for anyone who is looking for ways to fight back against chronic pain in low-impact ways without resorting to medications. 

forever-painless-cover

About Forever Painless

• Hardcover: 320 pages
• Publisher: Harper Wave (November 15, 2016)

End chronic pain—for good—with this practical guide from the PBS personality behind Classical Stretch and author of the New York Times bestseller Aging Backwards.

Chronic pain is the most common cause of long-term disability in the United States. Twenty percent of American adults accept back spasms, throbbing joints, arthritis aches, and other physical pain as an inevitable consequence of aging, illness, or injury. But the human body is not meant to endure chronic pain. Miranda Esmonde-White has spent decades helping professional athletes, ballet dancers, and Olympians overcome potentially career-ending injuries and guiding MS patients and cancer survivors toward pain-free mobility. Now, in Forever Painless, she shows everyone how to heal their aching bodies and live pain free.

The root of nearly all pain is movement—or lack thereof. We need to move our bodies to refresh, nourish, and revitalize our cells. Without physical activity, our cells become stagnant and decay, accelerating the aging process and causing pain. People who suffer chronic pain often become sedentary, afraid that movement and activity will make things worse, when just the opposite is true: movement is essential to healing. In Forever Painless, Miranda provides detailed instructions for gentle exercise designed to ease discomfort in the feet and ankles, knees, hips, back, and neck—allowing anyone to live happier, healthier, and pain-free no matter their age.

Add to Goodreads badge

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Miranda Esmonde-White

Miranda Esmonde-White is one of America’s greatest advocates and educators on healthy aging. She is best known for her PBS fitness show Classical Stretch, which has been on the air since 1999. A former ballerina, she designed the Essentrics technique, which uses low-intensity strength and stretch exercises to relieve pain, prevent injury, and slenderize the body. Esmonde-White works with professional and Olympic athletes and celebrities, and teaches classes to thousands of students worldwide each year.

Follow Esmonde-White on Facebook.

« Older posts

© 2017 Wining Wife®

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑