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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Springtime Stuffing for your Hungry Hungry Wallet!

Spring into Cash

$250 Giveaway

 

Enter to win $250 in PayPal Cash or a $250 Amazon Gift Code

Sponsor List Thanks to these awesome authors & bloggers for making this giveaway possible! I Am A Reader / Coupons and Freebies Mom / Dawn Malone, Author / Author Inger Iversen / Simple Wyrdings / Stacking My Book Shelves! / My Life. One Story at a Time. / Author Laurie Treacy / Krysten Lindsay Hager / Rockin' Book Reviews / Donna Amis Davis / Glistering: B's Blog / Lori's Reading Corner / Pauline Creeden / Ann Swann - author / JeanBookNerd / B. Kristin McMichael / S.T. Bende - YA Fantasy/Star Wars Kids Author / Laurisa White Reyes, Author / Deb Atwood / Helen Smith / MK McClintock / Blue Unicorn Book / Samantha Anne / R.A.Donnelly / Taylor Dean Books / A. Gardner - Author

Giveaway Details

$250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 Amazon.com eGift Card

Ends 4/15/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers, and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


    a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 5, 2018

Google Search Terms and Realizing When You Fucked Up

Things I googled today: How to train for a 5K when you’re fat as fuck.

Google kindly offered an edited search phrase while I typed: “How to train for a 5K when you’re obese.” Thanks, buddy. I really do have to stop beating myself up.

Some of you were with me when I dropped 70 lbs a couple of years ago. I kept it off for about a year and then moved to Texas. All the amazing food introductions combined with the stress of acclimating to a new environment (not an excuse, just… a reason) and anxiety about 1) fitting in 2) not failing brought me to this moment: I’ve. Gained it. All. Back.



…plus ten pounds. That hurt to admit.



 
All of the old physical aches and pains are back. The lack of confidence, the insecurity, the physical limitations, the general discomfort with taking pictures and looking in the mirror – it’s as if they never left. Which brings me to a conclusion that may or may not be accurate. I didn’t do this right the first time around.


I thought I’d be taking care of the inside as well as I had been the outside. But I’m guessing that all I did was put a band aid on things and went ahead and anchored my happiness in the weight loss. This is frustrating because I constantly told myself as part of my daily affirmations that I was doing the opposite.


You’re not your weight, Sam.
Weight & Inch loss or not, Sam, you’re beautiful.


…so, is there a second person in me that wasn’t buying any of it? How did I fool myself? Why would I fool myself? How do you ‘fake til you make it’, but then never actually make it?

I have answers for none of those questions. I also came to the realization about five minutes ago that it makes no sense to ask why or rehash any of the moments that led me to this renaissance. And how many renaissances do I, or any of us, get? As many as we fucking need, that’s how many. 

So with that in mind, I signed up for a 5K. Part of me thinks I’m crazy, part of me remembers that if I could build myself stronger than I was once, I can do it again. And training for a 3 mile jog/walk with my family will certainly get my ass into gear.

Now I’m downloading apps. And I took a new ‘before’ picture. And I got some new sneakers (because #treatyoself) and I’m rebuilding the work out playlist. And I’m carving out crucial self-care time that I’d spent the last two years filling with stupid shit. Except now, we make it stick. Like perfectly cooked pasta to a wall… wait, no pasta!


I’ve got this. And you all, whether you realize it or not (with zero requirements, because in my head you are *all* reading this), are holding me accountable. Maybe just be prepared to see a lot of Instagram and FB posts about working out again. Oh, and tweets. Don’t forget those!

Next Google search phrase: Best pre-workout powder for weight loss.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Make Your Wallet Happier Than Mine - It's All About The Luck O' The Irish!


 

 

Luck of the Irish $250 Giveaway

March 1st to 31st

 

Feeling Lucky?

Drop your info below to win $250 in PayPal Cash or a $250 Amazon Gift Code
 










Giveaway Details

$250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 Amazon.com eGift Card Ends 3/31/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers, and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sponsor List - Thanks to these awesome authors & bloggers for making this giveaway possible! I Am A Reader Coupons and Freebies Mom Rockin' Book Reviews Laurisa White Reyes, Author Helen Smith Simple Wyrdings Author Laurie Treacy Julie Coulter Bellon B. Kristin McMichael P. Creeden Books Lori's Reading Corner Ann Swann - Suspense & more La libreria di Beppe Elizabeth Isaacs Bella Street Time Travel Romance Author Inger Iversen Krysten Lindsay Hager author Author Dorothy Dreyer Jennifer Bardsley My Life. One Story at a Time. Suzie @ Remembrancy Jaclyn Weist Among the Reads Lise McClendon Suzy Turner Author Wendi Sotis Charissa Stastny - author Caroline Clemmons CoolCatMysteries Stacking My Book Shelves! The Candid Cover Christy's Cozy Corners Nancy C. Weeks Glistering: B's Blog Author Erin Richards Elizabeth Meyette, Author Donna Amis Davis Author D.E. Haggerty Samantha Anne JeanBookNerd Bookroom Reviews R.A.Donnelly CBY Book Club  

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Erin's Day for ALS Awareness - One Year Later

One year.

I can't believe it's been a year since Erin (Queen Saphire - now a legacy account in her honor) passed away from complications due to ALS. I didn't want this day back in 2017, I don't want this day now. 

I maintained blogging on the 11th for six months while educating myself on what ALS is, how ALS came to be, what's being done to research and combat it, and how close doctors are to finding new treatment or a cure. And as I typed the seven month blog, it occurred to me that I wasn't handling Erin's death in the healthiest way. I couldn't mentally deal with rehashing the pain every single month on the same day, and it was affecting all of my work. So I stopped the blog posts. 

I was scared that she'd go away, that her spirit wouldn't visit me or manifest anymore. But she's been with me nearly every day, regardless, and I feel her with such intensity sometimes that it's like she's still here. So I've hit a point in the grieving process where a sign will appear (or in one case, actually hearing her voice next to my right ear, whispering "Hi") and I'll look off into the distance and just say, "Hey Ren." And the tears are still there, but I'm smiling now. 

So what's actually been happening? 

Erin's memory drives everything I do lately. If I'm afraid of taking a step toward someone or something, I double back and think about what would happen if I'd actually texted Erin about it. And the reality of it is, if I'm not hurting myself or anyone else, her answer would always be, "Do it, Manfa!" -- any leap I take, any move I make, is in part because Erin would want me to. Upcoming projects include printing and binding a small stock of my work for giveaways later this year. Additionally, I'm going to be crafting a medium-fcukton of custom book plates and other kitschy homemade merchandise to make reading my work more fun and interactive (well, I suppose that remains to be seen). I'm really looking forward to sharing it all with my readers (yeah, you!), knowing Erin would be looking down, clapping excitedly and saying "Yeay!" (that's how she spelled it), because she's my biggest fan. 

I've learned of a couple of people currently living their best lives, despite the fact that they've been stricken with ALS, and I follow them on Instagram. I root for them and keep them in the back of my mind and heart every single day, because I don't want them or their loved ones to go through what Erin and we went through. If you do frequent, or not-so-frequent, Instagram, check out Steve Dezember's story; the page, @hopieannc , is curated and maintained by his wife Hope (they started dating weeks before his diagnosis, fell in love, married, and haven't looked back) and the photos tell the story of his current fight in a very real and very candid manner.  While you're there, go visit @carbajalphoto and meet Anthony Carbajal, a gentleman stricken with ALS who, even as the disease continues to rob him of his facilities, is determined to continue seeing the beauty in life through photography and sharing it with us all. 

Erin's Song - If Only Through Heaven's Eyes by *NSync

 The Ice Bucket Challenge continues to make good.  In November (almost a year after Erin's official diagnosis), researchers discovered that Pimozide, a drug used to treat schizophrenia, seems to slow the progress of ALS in both animal and human models, at least for the short term. Clinical trials still have to be run, but it is an absolute beacon of hope for those with the disease who need it. Click this sentence to read more about it. 

For my birthday, instead of presents, I chose to raise money for ALS research. I set a simple and attainable goal, and my friends truly came through.  We raised $250 in October, and stay tuned - because I'm not done raising money or awareness yet. In fact, if you are so inclined, be sure to visit alsa.org/donate since it is the 11th and Erin's Day for ALS Awareness and donate something in her memory on the anniversary of her passing.

What's Next? 

The plan, babies, is to continue to raise awareness of the hateful disease that stole my best friend and to make Erin's memory count for something. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - Erin Danielle Nelson (aka Queen Saphire of the Universal Zulu Nation) was the embodiment of unconditional love, unwavering support and, all around, a living angel. 

This new year will hopefully be comprised of a series of moments in which I honor her memory and continue to make her proud. So find me on Facebook, sign up for the mailing list, shoot me an email - because while my soul sister is gone, I've got plenty more to give. Not just for my own sense of accomplishment, but because Erin would want me to. 


 Erin Danielle Nelson 9/4/77 - 1/11/17