Tuesday, September 13, 2016

One Conversation Can Change a Life

September is suicide prevention and awareness month. And it is so important to start a conversation and help promote resources and awareness on the prevention of suicide. It is important to learn how to talk about this sensitive issue without increasing harm.

Mental illness can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, race, religion. The effects can leave one feeling lost and alone and without help. But it is okay to get help. Without help individuals are left vulnerable.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death in the US. It is so important to know the warning signs and when and how to get help.

Warning signs:

  • Threats or comments about killing themselves, also known as suicidal ideation, can begin with seemingly harmless thoughts like “I wish I wasn’t here” but can become more overt and dangerous
  • Increased alcohol and drug use
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Social withdrawal from friends, family and the community
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Talking, writing or thinking about death
  • Impulsive or reckless behavior
  • - See more at: http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Related-Conditions/Risk-of-Suicide#sthash.BpriPCWz.dpuf

    It is important to know when to get help. But most importantly if you or you think someone you know is suffering, please reach out immediately. Prevention is the best cure.

    Some great organizations to get help:

    Take a minute and share what you know. Awareness on such a serious issue is important. We need to learn how to talk about these tough issues so we can all join in on preventing them.

    Best to all,

    Friday, September 2, 2016

    Saying Goodbye to Summer

    So Labor Day is here. Officially it is a holiday in which we celebrate the dedication of social and economic advancements of the American worker. Unofficially, though, it is the end of summer. I know, I know, summer doesn't really end until September 22 when the fall solstice comes upon us. However, by Labor Day all the local pools shut down, our summer camping gear gets packed up, the RVs return to their storage lot, the days are shorter and cooler, and almost all kids have returned to school.

    Don't get me wrong, I like fall--I like fall a lot. Especially in Colorado. The leaves turn a beautiful shade of yellow, orange, and red. The air gets crisp and cool. And most of all, things start to die off and my allergies calm down a bit. (I'm actually looking forward to that this year...what a season and the first freeze really helps with that. It also helps kill all the bugs...which is nice) Regardless of how much I love the fall, I always feel sad when this time of year comes. I love summer, and I mean LOVE summer.

    Summer brings warmth and longer days. And I like to fill those days with fun outdoor activities. I know that in Colorado you can be outdoors almost all year long, but there is something about being able to just sit outside and not have to bundle up. In summer, there are concerts at the park, picnics, swimming, neighborhood parties. (Where in the winter, everyone snuggles up inside their own homes on those long, dark evening.) I love hanging out back and having a fire and roasting marshmallows with my family. And I love to hike. I hike in the winter, but in the summer I don't have to worry about how many layers to wear...a pair of shorts and a tee works just fine. And of course, I love to take the top of my jeep and go for mountain drives.

    Summer makes me happy. 

    So here we are...Labor Day has come around and I have must say goodbye to my favorite season and all the fun things I love to do during it...like hiking, rafting, swimming, biking, etc. And I have to put the top back on the jeep...bummer.

    I'll embrace the upcoming seasons...I always do. But for now--Goodbye Summer! I'll miss ya until next year.

    Happy Labor Day to all. Enjoy your weekend! 

    Best to you all,


    Thursday, August 25, 2016

    Introducing...Piper Morgan

    A new series by Stephanie Faris. 

    I highly recommend checking out Stephanie Faris' latest books. Piper Morgan is a great read and perfect for ages 6-9 years old. What a wonderful series to introduce to elementary age girls. Both books were funny and cute. The characters were adorable and easy to relate to. And I loved the little facts throughout the stories, very informative and interesting with a spice of mystery. I also loved the illustrations. I can't wait to see more of Piper Morgan. This is going to be a great series for young girls to get hooked on.

    The first two books in the Piper Morgan series are on sale now at Amazon. Make sure you head on over and get your copies now! You won't regret it.

    When Piper Morgan and her mom have to move, Piper is sad to leave her friends behind, but excited for the new adventures coming her way. Her mom is looking for the perfect place for her and Piper to settle down, and dives into a series of odd jobs.

    Mom’s first job? An assistant to the head of the Big Top Circus. And Piper is excited to learn she will be a part of The Little Explorers, a group made up of the circus workers’ kids. They may be small in size, but they play a big part in the circus, as they kick-off the big elephant routine in the show.

    But during Piper’s debut as a Little Explorer, her high kicks and pointed toes don’t go quite as planned—and after causing a dance disaster, she has to prove to everyone—especially queen of the Little Explorers, Lexie—that she belongs in the spotlight.

    Piper and her mother take on another new adventure in the second book of the brand-new Piper Morgan series.

    After saying good-bye to her circus friends, Piper Morgan and her mom are on the move again, this time returning to mom’s hometown and to Piper’s beloved grandmother’s house after Piper’s mom takes a job in the local elementary school principal’s office. Piper is excited for a new school and new friends—and is thrilled when she is made an “office helper.” But there is one girl who seems determined to prove she is a better helper than Piper—and she just so happens to be the principal’s daughter. Can Piper figure out how to handle being the new girl in town once more?

    Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing. When she isn’t crafting fiction, Stephanie is indulging her gadget geek side by writing for online technology sites. Her work is regularly featured on a wide variety of blogs and websites, both under her own name and as a ghostwriter. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Neil.

    Find out more at stephaniefaris.com

    Best to all,

    Tuesday, August 23, 2016

    An Awesome Debut Novel from Mark Noce

    Exciting news!

    Today is release day for Mark Noce's debut novel Between Two Fires. What an amazing read. Mark has written a wonderful story centered around medieval times. His characters are well developed and believable. The story is highly engaging and hard to put down. I highly recommend this book. Mark Noce is definitely on my awesome list!

    You can pick it up today at Amazon. Don't wait. Get your copy now!

    Saxon barbarians threaten to destroy medieval Wales. Lady Branwen becomes Wales' last hope to unite their divided kingdoms when her father betroths her to a powerful Welsh warlord, the Hammer King. But the fledgling alliance is fraught with enemies from within and without as Branwen becomes the target of assassination attempts and courtly intrigue. A young woman in a world of fierce warriors, she seeks to assert her own authority and preserve Wales against the barbarians. But when she falls for a young hedge knight named Artagan, her world threatens to tear itself apart.
    Caught between her duty to her people and her love of a man she cannot have, Branwen must choose whether to preserve her royal marriage or to follow her heart. Somehow she must save her people and remain true to herself, before Saxon invaders and a mysterious traitor try to destroy her.

    MARK NOCE writes historical fiction with a passion. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, he has been an avid traveler and backpacker. He earned his BA and MA from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he also met his beautiful wife. By day, he works as a Technical Writer, having spent much of his career at places like Google and Facebook. He also writes short fiction online. When not reading or writing, he's probably listening to U2, sailing his dad's boat, or gardening with his family. He is the author of Between Two Fires.

    Best to all!

    Thursday, August 18, 2016

    Success and Failures- Olympic Style

    I'm obsessed with the Olympics. And I mean obsessed! I specifically love the swimming with beach volleyball a close second, but I don't stop there. I watch Olympic prime time every night and get caught up in all the athletes, their stories, their successes and their failures. And during the day while I am writing, and especially when I work out, I make sure the Olympics are playing in the background.

    It amazes me how much work goes in to a few seconds performance. And how little time races and sports are won by...like hundredths of seconds or points. I cry with the winners. I cry with the losers. But I am inspired by each and every story.

    I'm bummed knowing that the Olympics are coming to an end this weekend. It always seems to go too quickly and never come around again quickly enough. And it's hard to keep up with each and every sport throughout the years in between. Each sport has their own championships, world games, etc. and there is no other event that brings all these sports together at once for the world to watch.

    I'm always so inspired when watching the games. There's something about other's journeys that make me want to get out there right now and do something...anything. I mean, sure I could play beach volleyball (ummm,,,yeah right) Or maybe I could get that vault (hahaha...) Or sure, I could swim that fast (in my dreams...) Yeah! No...age might be my first downfall...but skill definitely is a close second. :)

    Okay, okay in all reality. Olympic-type success comes in all different shapes, sizes, and styles. I think what the Olympics do for me is bring that sense and desire of wanting to achieve a goal no matter what might stand in my way. They remind me that hard work, determination and skill can get me far, that I can reach for the stars and actually touch them someday! And if I fail, I should never stop trying. And although I joked about age...that really is just a number and should never stop me from my dreams.

    The stories from the Olympics are truly amazing. Those athletes seem super human. But maybe we all can be a little super human sometimes! Don't ever stop reaching for your dreams. You can and will get there someday!

    Inspirations comes in all forms, and we are all extraordinary!

    So...are you keeping up with the Olympics? How do they make you feel?

    The Olympic games may be coming to an end, but I do look forward to the Paralympics and plan to watch what I can. They aren't cover as closely as the Olympics, but trust me, I'll find a way.
    Best to you,