Book Review: Start With Why

Start with WhyStart with Why by Simon Sinek

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wanted to love this book. I bought it when I was working in leadership & talent development and it sat on my shelf for years. Then my husband was asked to read it for a work book club and I thought “Great! We can read it together!”

It was not great.

I gave the book a really good try. I read parts 1 through 3 and made it 135 pages into the book before I just couldn’t anymore. It’s a good TEDTalk, it’s a poor book. A long article would have been plenty. Things I learned in the first 135 pages? The author really, really, really thinks Apple does amazing and innovative work and they are so the bee’s knees! Sinek also has a knack for writing the same sentence 3735385367345 different ways. It’s a little like padding in a college paper.

The topic is very important. I’m not going to dispute that. I always tell my son to know why he’s doing things and if he doesn’t, find the why. However, the execution of that explanation by the author is tedious and long and redundant. If you want the information from this book, watch the TEDTalk.

Book Review: The Invited

The InvitedThe Invited by Jennifer McMahon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First off, I love a good ghost story which means I adore Jennifer McMahon.

Secondly, is the main issue with the book. Nate and Helen leave the confines of urban sprawl for the freedom of backwoods Vermont where they intend to build a house. By themselves. Using YouTube videos. That bit of weirdness aside, the rest of the story is very compelling.

The story opens with the hanging of suspected witch, Hattie Breckenridge. Her story quickly intersects with Nate and Helen, a couple who drop everything to move onto a plot of 44-acres they snag at a deep discount from a man who is motivated and desperate to sell. Turns out, this haunted piece of land belongs to none other than Hattie. What ensues is a multi-generational ghost story and murder mystery that is nothing short of amazing.

Despite the mystery not being that mysterious, it was still a great story. The characters are engaging, the story is intriguing, and it’s just creepy enough to make you look over your shoulder after dark.

Book Review: The Library Book

The Library BookThe Library Book by Susan Orlean

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really gave this book 2.5/5 stars.

I love a good metaphor or simile and I enjoy some alliteration every now and then as well. However, Susan Orlean uses all three of the above in nearly every sentence of every paragraph on every page. It got to be a lot and it really impeded my ability to read the actual story.

The meat of the book, however, is interesting and enjoyable, though also a bit of a struggle to get through. At it’s core, The Library Book is about the history of the Los Angeles Central library as seen through the lens of the 1986 fire that destroyed the building and left nearly 700,000 books damaged or destroyed. Orlean often weaves multiple story lines together which can be difficult to track as we jump to the distant past to the present to the near past while also looking to the future. While the information itself is interesting, many readers might find themselves having to slog through the intense and ever-growing cast of characters, dates, and facts.

Overall, it was a struggle for me to finish. The last few chapters especially felt like they dragged on far too long as Orlean discussed conference after conference after conference and included details interesting to her but perhaps not to the casual reader. I learned a great deal but probably would not recommend this book to others.

That Time I Was on a Podcast

That time was last night!  Jessica McWilliams , host of Planner Lifestyle Podcast interviewed me last night. We talked Sims, planning, addiction, and more!  There’s even a couple of shout outs in there and I reveal the future of Eternally Yours. Have not listened to it so I probably sound ridiculous.

I was a little bit nervous so it’s entirely possible I sound ridiculous.  Thanks, Jess, for inviting me to nerd out with you!

First of the Month BuJo Update: May 2019

It’s that time again, friends!  A new month means new bullet journal spreads!  Let’s get right to it!

HAHA!  My photos aren’t crap this month!  They also aren’t super sleek like some bloggers but, hey, it’s the last week of grad school so we’re calling this good.

April Recap

April fell the fuck apart.  There is no other way to say it.  Between traveling for my kid’s spring break, a blizzard, and then coming down with that God-awful plague that everyone seemed to get April just never quite got off the ground.

My Line a Day page sums up the last half of the month pretty well.  I pretty much gave up on my meal tracker and line a day.  Most of my daily and weekly pages are empty.  I’m ok with that.  Before my PTSD diagnosis, I probably would have freaked out and tried to push myself to get every line and every box filled in but this time I just…didn’t?  And it felt freaking amazing!  To just say to myself “that can wait, you can’t” was a huge step in my healing process (I might be getting teary as I write this) and I’m so proud of myself for having a half-empty month.

Self-care BINGO was hit-and-miss.  I got a little too ambitious with some of my goals but I managed to get one BINGO which resulted in a trip to Starbucks.

Ok, on to the May update…


Given my struggles in April, May’s theme got put on the back burner.  Ended up going with “Growth” because “April showers bring May flowers” was too much for me and Graduation was too…well gray and black.  I have a ton of green, leafy washi so we’ve got vines, and fields, and some flowers but not a ton.  Anyway, pretty pleased with how this came out.  Not perfect but I’m learning to let go of the perfection.


May starts off the same way as my other bujos: cover page, monthly, goals, and habits.  I wanted to try something new this month to give me a more holistic view of what’s going on in my life.

Being out of work since November, I’ve really had to crack down on my spending.  The budget tracker is back because it really is a godsend.  I still have some spending issues but I managed to spend less in April than I did in March so YAY!  I’m confident I can be even more proactive with my spending this month.

I’m still working on using my meal planner religiously.  I have another appointment with the dietitian this month so that’s a good motivator to be on top of my food.

Self-care BINGO is back!  I had a blast with it in April but like I said, I was too ambitious.  This month I revised some of my goals and just left a bunch blank until I can think of some good items to drop into the squares.

OMG — I will have time to read again in a week!  Maybe I will actually fill up my reading list for the month!?

Then we get back into my “normal” spreads.  I combined my Line A Day and Gratitude spreads into one journaling page.  I upped my creativity on my Currently recap by hand-drawing that sucker (there’s something to be said of the printable though).  Finally, my Wins/Losses page finishes the tracking spreads and we head into my weeklies and dailies.

Final Thoughts:

Avoid the plague.

Supplies for March:

  • Pilot Precise V5 Deco Collection Rolling Ball Pens
  • Pilot FriXion Ball Slim Retractable
  • Craft Smith™ Wonton In A Million™ Sticker Book, Budget 1
  • Craft Smith™ Sweet Kawaii Design™ Sticker Book, Home Life
  • Happy Planner, Farmhouse Stickers
  • Krissyanne Designs, Celebrate Life Stickers
  • Zebra Pen Mildliner