Are You SAD? Learn about Seasonal Affective Disorder

In the middle of this wintry weather the country has been having, I thought it would be a good time to mention more about SAD–Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Here in Louisiana, moments of sunlight have been few and far between.  It’s been snowy, icy, and too cold to take my kids outside.  Combine that with snow days where I am trying to keep the boys entertained, and it makes for a roller coaster of emotions and some very long days at times.

If you think you might be affected by SAD, check out this infographic to educate yourself and see how you can get help.

Advertisements

How to Start an Emergency Preparedness Kit

In Louisiana, the main weather event we have to be prepared for every year is hurricane season.  This lasts from June to November.  But, due to the nature of the weather we have been having all across the nation, I thought it would be a good idea to write about how to put together an emergency preparedness kit that will help you in a variety of situations.  I should note that this is based on my experiences from the last time we had a severe tropical storm that cut our power out for several days.  The list I am writing will help get you started but it’s highly open to customization.  For another option, you can purchase ready made kits from companies such as My Patriot Supply.

  • Bottled water, at least 2 gallons.  Add more if you will need it to make formula for infants.
  • Canned food that will be in date for the next 2-3 years
  • A manual can opener
  • Matches or lighter
  • A radio for hearing weather updates.  A weather radio is recommended since sometimes signals for broadcast radio stations can go down in strong winds.  A weather radio will ensure you can hear what’s going on at all times since it doesn’t use those broadcast stations.
  • Flashlights
  • A lantern
  • Candles, although I don’t recommend them if you will have toddlers around
  • Supplies for an infant–choose items that will keep for several months in the kit.  You can usually get formula with an expiration date of at least 6 months ahead.  Purchase diapers perhaps a size bigger than the one your child wears.  Wipes will keep for a long time and I would add plenty, because chances are they will be used by more than just the baby in your household.
  • On that note, if you have children, add something for them to do that does not require power.  I can tell you that my child is definitely one of this digital age, and he’ll get bored quickly.  A coloring book, a board game, cards, and small art set are all good ideas to add to your kit.  Try to put something in that your kids haven’t seen yet or in a while so it will be new to them.
  • Batteries for the things that need them, such as flashlights, lanterns, kids games, etc.
  • A first aid kit
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Pet food if you have the need

Be sure to check your kit at the beginning of each season to make sure your supplies inside are still good and to see if anything needs to be added or replaced based on the needs of your family.  Getting kits from a survival supplier such as My Patriot Supply will ensure the items in your kit are exactly right to have you and your family prepared for your emergency situation.

 

BOOK RE-RELEASE SPOTLIGHT: Slumber by Christy Sloat

I am so excited that SLUMBER by Christy Sloat is available now and that I get to share the news!
 
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Christy Sloat, be sure to check out all the details below.
 
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a finished copy of the book courtesy or Christy. and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
About The Book:

Title: SLUMBER (Slumber Duology #1)

Author: Christy Sloat
Pub. Date: January 12, 2018
Publisher: CHBB Publishing 
Pages: 234
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: AmazonB&NTBDGoodreads
Not all princesses get their happily ever after…
They tell me I killed my boyfriend Phillip in cold blood. I stabbed him twenty one times. I’m only seventeen years old, and I am serving life in Spindle Ridge Asylum for the Criminally Insane.
I don’t remember killing him, so it’s really hard to believe I’m capable of murder. In fact I don’t remember anything before I came to Spindle Ridge, not even my boyfriend.
I can only grasp onto my realistic dreams while the madness of the asylum threatens to pull me under. I dream I’m a beautiful princess and there is an evil faerie named Maleficent who is bent on my destruction. The dreams are the closest thing I have to memories of my life, except they aren’t real.
 I’m crazy. I’m not a princess.
They’re the mad illusions of an irrational teenage girl, right?
They’ve assigned me a new doctor, and she says I can trust her, and that she’ll help me see the truth of who I really am.
When she arrived she brought a new patient, Sawyer, who is everything Spindle Ridge isn’t: exciting, mysterious and beautiful. He promises he’s here to rescue me. Trusting either of them frightens me.
 Could it be possible that my dreams are more than just the imaginings of a delusional girl? Could they be truth?
 
I woke in the middle of the night hearing screams fill the air. This was not uncommon at all, but tonight I wasn’t expecting it. Normally when Adele’s meds are changed, she wakes screaming that she can’t sleep. Adele’s room is
across from mine. She is roughly in her twenties and I never learned how she ended up here. I try not to talk to the other patients. I don’t know why it is, but I don’t fit in with these people. To them I’m the murderer and they tend to
think less of me. That’s fine. I am what they say I am. That’s why I’m here, right?
 
They told me I stabbed my boyfriend, Phillip, but I don’t remember doing it. I actually don’t remember Phillip at all. No recollection of having been in a relationship either. I must have killed him or else I wouldn’t be in Spindle Ridge.
 
Dr. Altman says that I have to believe that I did it or we will never get anywhere. I’ll admit it’s hard to believe that these hands could stab a person twenty times. No matter how I imagined it, it is always hard to believe. 
 
I sat up listening hard for the screams. When they came again I noticed they were not female, they were male. The screams were deeper and reached a longer distance than Adele’s cries ever could. I wondered if the whole building
could hear him.
 
I pulled my covers up over my neck and covered my face. I just wanted to sleep and fall back into the dream I was having. It was beautiful, and if I had my way, I would stay there forever.
 
Wait!
 
I sat up fast. Closing my eyes, I tried to remember the dream to the last second. It wasn’t the same dream as the
one’s prior. This dream was different! This dream was me and a boy.
 
I never dreamed of anyone but my parents and the evil woman. The dream’s soft lullaby came back to me as I remembered where I was.
 
The smell of fresh grass came across my senses.
 
The sky so blue as I lay on a blanket. I rolled over and saw the face of a boy. He was everything that Spindle Ridge wasn’t; he was beautiful. He had long, shaggy, but not unruly, hair that touched his collar. When he smiled at
me, he looked like a boy in love. In love with me.
 
“Get up you lazy sack!”
 
I opened my eyes and was pulled back into the now. I was forced to leave the dream behind as I was being pulled out of bed by two nurses.

About Christy: 

I am a Southern California native, now living in New Jersey! How did that happen? I am married and have two beautiful little girls who love to read just like Mommy. I have had a passion for books since I was a little girl and an imagination for just as long. I hope my books can inspire others to read and to write too.
Giveaway Details:
1 winner will win a finished copy of SLUMBER (US Only).

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

My Advice for a Happy Relationship

When I was first asked to write this post, I had to think about it for a minute.  Yes, I have been married for over ten years, and they passed quickly.  We’ve had our share of ups and downs.  Even through all that and 2 kids later, I do still feel we have that special “spark.” I’m not sure if the advice I give will be relevant for every couple and every relationship, but here are some little things that work to keep Jared and I close.

Check in with One Another

Everyone has their things to do and people to see on an everyday basis.  While my husband works and I stay at home raising the kids, he still calls several times a day to check in on what we are doing and how the boys are behaving.  It really makes me feel like he’s thinking about me even when we are not together and that we are both in this parenting thing together.

Support Each Other’s Hobbies

While my hobbies might vary from time to time, whether it’s reading or shopping or clothes, my husband is really only interested in two things: sports and video games.  On his off days I give him time to play games if he wants to, and it’s easy for me to watch sports with him because I like to see his passion for the game.  He also encourages me to go off and have time by myself or with my sisters to do things I want to do.  Even if you don’t necessarily love the things your partner does, it’s important to make an effort to try or at least not openly insult the hobbies they have.  If the hobby does become an obsession that makes your partner ignore household and parenting duties though, it’s time to have a talk.

Don’t Hold Major Annoyances Inside

Which brings me to my next point–if you’re having an issue with your partner which is truly bothering you, say something!  Rather than letting your irritation build up to the point of anger which will erupt into a shouting match, directly and rationally communicate about what’s bothering you.  The goal is to get any problem out into the open–they might not even realize there is a problem!

Make any Night a Date Night

Although we don’t always have the time or the money to go out on fancy dinner dates, we often just wait until the kids are in bed and have a little meal to ourselves with no distractions.  We’ll set the table with low lighting and a bottle of wine, and just eat and lazily chat about things.  We don’t have to get dressed up and hire a babysitter.  It helps us feel like people and not just parents, even though we inevitably talk about the kids!

As I said, these are just a few ways my husband and I keep the gates of communication open and make each other feel loved.  We are by no means perfect but after being married for ten years maybe we do have a little bit of magic to share 🙂

If you and your partner are needing a sweet date night, check out the upcoming film Forever my Girl.

Forever My Girl tells the story of music super-star Liam Page (Alex Roe) who left his bride, Josie (Jessica Rothe), at the altar choosing fame and fortune instead. However, Liam never got over Josie, his one true love, nor did he ever forget his Southern roots in the small community where he was born and raised. When he unexpectedly returns to his hometown for the funeral of his high school best friend, Liam is suddenly faced with the consequences of all that he left behind.  Forever My Girl is an uplifting romantic film about second chances.  This wonderful film is perfect for all of us who believe in courtship, romance, and love enduring all things.  It also has an amazing music soundtrack that includes hot CMA New Artist of the Year nominee Lauren Alaina, Travis Tritt, and Alex Roe who stars in our film as country star “Liam Page.” It releases in theaters on January 19.

 

Saving Money on Getting New Carpet

Installing carpeting throughout an entire home is costly, but there are ways for you to save in upgrading your flooring. How exactly do you go about doing this? What is the best way to install quality-carpeting, not compromise on the look you want, and save? Consider these tips.

Shop “bulk”
You can purchase the carpeting from a “bulk” or mass-retailer. Warehouses which sell to commercial companies , may also sell to homeowners as well. Not only is carpeting cheaper, you can also find commercial-grade, and industrial-grade (berber-type finish), which is durable, and will last for years to come.

Buy/install
Consider having the company you buy the carpet from do the installation work as well. There are often deals which include “free installation” with whole-home purchase, or discounts on flooring if you buy for an entire home. So, rather than hire two companies (one to buy carpeting from and another installation company), do it all with one specialist. Check out Yourjobcost.co.uk to get an idea of how much carpet fitting costs.

Shop online
Believe it or not, you can order carpeting online. And, you can compare several mass-retailers which offer free shipping, online deals, and installation. So, you will find various qualities, material-finishes, colours, and varieties, all for an affordable price. And, you can have it shipped and installed same (or next-day) with most of these companies.

Comparison shop
There’s no way around it. With any consumer purchase, you have to shop to save. And, the same goes with your home’s flooring. So, before you buy new carpeting, compare, get a few quotes, and consider all specialists.

You have options when it comes to new flooring for your home. Make sure you know all of them before you buy. When purchasing and installing new carpeting for your entire home, these are a few simple tips to save, and ensure you get the quality you desire.

REVIEW: Just Between Us by Rebecca Drake

Just Between Us

by Rebecca Drake

Thriller/Suspense

Book Description

Alison, Julie, Sarah, Heather. Four friends living the suburban ideal. Their jobs are steady, their kids are healthy. They’re as beautiful as their houses. But each of them has a dirty little secret, and hidden behind the veneer of their perfect lives is a crime and a mystery that will consume them all.

Everything starts to unravel when Alison spots a nasty bruise on Heather’s wrist. She shares her suspicions with Julie and Sarah, compelling all three to investigate what looks like an increasingly violent marriage. As mysterious injuries and erratic behavior mount, Heather can no longer deny the abuse, but she refuses to leave her husband. Desperate to save her, Alison and the others dread the phone call telling them that she’s been killed. But when that call finally comes, it’s not Heather who’s dead. In a moment they’ll come to regret, the women must decide what lengths they’ll go to in order to help a friend.

Just Between Us is a thrilling glimpse into the underbelly of suburbia, where not all neighbors can be trusted, and even the closest friends keep dangerous secrets. You never really know what goes on in another person’s mind, or in their marriage.

MY THOUGHTS:

3.5 out of 5 Fleurs de Lis

Have you ever suspected something shady was going on behind the closed doors of your friends’ homes, but were afraid of asking for fear of hurting your friendship? Have you ever had to carry a deep, foreboding secret for your friends which changes you immensely?

In Just Between Us, a group of four women begin down a road from which they cannot travel back once they spot a bruise on one of the group’s wrists. Assuming Heather’s husband has been physically abusing her, the rest of the group, Julie, Sarah, and Alison, make no mistake of giving Heather their explicit advice and telling her they will be there if she needs them. And she does, for a night that they’ll regret forever.

The main issue I had with this novel is that it alternates points of view with each woman taking a turn to have her say…and I could barely tell the difference between the voice or personality of each woman. They all had kids and husbands too, although they were basically background players, and I can’t tell you any of their names even though I just finished the book a few hours ago. The friends have different careers, but these didn’t help me differentiate either.

It doesn’t take long before the suspense begins in this book. Even in the first chapter, as the friends are meeting for coffee, we see that one woman feels like she is the outsider, another thinks her friends are secretly talking about her when she’s not there. This is all pretty normal in female friend groups, and it’s interesting to see that the author included this aspect.

Jumping to conclusions is one thing every character in this book does very well. Without giving away too many important plot details, I will say that the reason almost all events are set into motion is that someone assumes something and rather than asking about it, takes matters into their own hands.

The first part of the book moved quite slowly and took me a while to get into. As I said before, the characters don’t seem to have their own unique voices and I couldn’t really connect with any of them. The action does pick up and there’s a lull while the characters are waiting and expecting their house of cards to fall down. Exposition picks up again towards the end, but by this point I had kind of already guessed the twist.

In the end, I have to say I like the way all of the events came together, even though it was kind of tragic. Just Between Us was not one of the best thriller novels I’ve ever read, but it kept me turning the pages.

 

About the Author

Rebecca Drake is the author of the novels Don’t Be Afraid, The Next Killing, The Dead Place, which was an IMBA bestseller, and Only Ever You, as well as the short story “Loaded,” which was featured in Pittsburgh Noir. A graduate of Penn State University and former journalist, she is currently an instructor in Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction M.F.A. program. Rebecca lives in Pittsburgh, PA, with her husband and two children.

 

Website | FacebookTwitter

 

 

SPOTLIGHT: The Last Thing She Ever Did by Gregg Olsen

The Last Thing She Ever Did

by Gregg Olsen

Psychological Thriller

Book Description

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes a psychological thriller exploring the things we dare to do when no one is looking . . .

The community along Oregon’s Deschutes River is one of successful careers and perfect families. For years, up-and-comers Liz and Owen have admired their good friends and neighbors, Carole and David. They appear to have it all—security, happiness, and a beautiful young son, Charlie.

Then Charlie vanishes without a trace, and all that seemed safe is shattered by a tragedy that is incomprehensible—except to Liz.

It took one fleeting moment for her to change the lives of everyone she loves—a heartrending accident that can’t be undone. Neither can the second-worst mistake of her life: concealing it. As two marriages crack and buckle in grief and fear, Liz retreats into her own dark place of guilt, escalating paranoia—and betrayals even she can’t imagine. Because there’s another good neighbor who has his own secrets, his own pain, and his own reasons for watching Liz’s every move.

And only he knows that the mystery of the missing boy on the Deschutes River is far from over.

You can purchase The Last Thing She Ever Did at the following Retailers:

About the Author

Throughout his career, Gregg Olsen has demonstrated an ability to create a detailed narrative that offers readers fascinating insights into the lives of people caught in extraordinary circumstances.

New York TimesWall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, Olsen has written nine nonfiction books, nine novels, a novella, and contributed a short story to a collection edited by Lee Child.

The award-winning author has been a guest on dozens of national and local television shows, including educational programs for the History Channel, Learning Channel, and Discovery Channel. He has also appeared on Dateline NBC, William Shatner’s Aftermath, Deadly Women on Investigation Discovery, Good Morning America, The Early Show, The Today Show, FOX News, CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, MSNBC, Entertainment Tonight, CBS 48 Hours, Oxygen’s Snapped, Court TV’s Crier Live, Inside Edition, Extra, Access Hollywood, and A&E’s Biography.

In addition to television and radio appearances, he has been featured in Redbook, USA Today, People,Salon magazine, Seattle Times, Los Angeles Times and the New York Post.

The Deep Dark was named Idaho Book of the Year by the ILA and Starvation Heights was honored by Washington’s Secretary of State for the book’s contribution to Washington state history and culture. His Young Adult novel, Envy, was the official selection of Washington for the National Book Festival.

Olsen, a Seattle native, lives in Olalla, Washington with his wife, twin daughters, three chickens, Milo (an obedience school dropout cocker spaniel) and Suri (a mini dachshund so spoiled she wears a sweater).

Giveaway is open Internationally. | Must be 13+ to Enter
 

– Winner will receive a Copy of THE LAST THING SHE EVER DID by Gregg Olsen.

– 1 Winner will receive a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

What to Do with Your Military History Degree – The Most Intriguing Jobs Out There

There are so many different degree options available to students nowadays, but few are as interesting as a military history degree. This particular degree may not be as popular as some of the others out there, but once you possess that master of arts in military history you are able to open some rather incredible career paths, some of which you may not have even thought of. So, what are the most interesting jobs you can pursue with a MMH degree from a prestigious school such as Norwich University? Let’s take a closer look.

Military History Professor

If you’ve ever had dreams of becoming a teacher yourself, then that military history degree could just be the way to go about it. With this degree, you can pursue a career as a military history professor, allowing you to share all your knowledge and passion for the subject with your students. These professors can be found in universities and colleges. Chances are you’ll be teaching a variety of history courses and it may not just be military-related. This can prove to be more rewarding for you though, as you get to dig even deeper into history.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics cites that historians make $55,110 per year, but you can make more or less depending on where you work.

Military Analyst

Another way you can put that military history degree to good use is to pursue a career as a military analyst through the CIA. In this job, you’ll be responsible for doing a vast amount of research and then brief various policymakers on what you find. You could be investigating resources from other governments, weapon systems, analyzing civilian relations, war prevention, and military treaties and issues. At any given time you could be working on a number of high-priority investigations at once, and sometimes that may also require traveling on your part.

Military History Unit Member

Another path is to work for the military itself as a military history unit member. This can be the perfect fit for all the information you have learned. If you take this route, you will serve in a unit that is called a military history detachment. You will serve in a large division and an excellent example of this is the infantry. You may be working in the field conducting interviews in order to get first-hand accounts of various combat situations, and you’ll be recording data about military actions as they are played out.

You will also be responsible for collecting photos, documents, and other hard data that may pertain to a combat or maneuver.

A Variety of Intriguing Paths to Take

Your military history degree can lead to all kinds of intriguing career paths that can direct you to a very rewarding job. While this degree may not be the first one that pops to mind, it is well worth considering for anyone with a love, appreciation, and passion for history and military operations.

Why Study the Humanities?

In a world that is ruled by technology at every step, one might question why should anyone study the humanities anymore? Well, the answer is more complex than one might imagine, but we will try to explain the reasons as to why humanities is still a very much valid stream, with the help of the following points.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is the first step, which is followed by analysis, and both of them are nurtured when you study humanities. Through the study of history, literature, philosophy, art, music and other divisions of the liberal arts, one learns to criticize, analyze and question; all of which are essential skills for a successful career and to grow as human beings.

Communication Skills

If you decide to join an online MALS program, you will need to be able to write a lot of papers. As you study, understand, analyze and critique various masterfully created pieces in your own subject, excellent communication skills develop automatically. You will also be required to communicate your views and understandings to others, which further hones communication skills.

The Bigger Picture

While studying for your liberal studies degree, you will develop an interdisciplinary global perspective, which will give you a top-down, helicopter-view of how all subjects are interconnected.

Personality Development

Nothing helps one develop their own unique personality than to be influenced by the great, creative minds and their works. As you come across viewpoints about various matters that oppose you own or reinforces it, you develop as a person. Besides, you will be introduced to whole new schools of thought, some of which you might have had no idea of previously.

Understanding Culture

An online master in liberal studies will help you understand culture better, and that includes both your own and that of the others. Aside from the general value, this also becomes particularly helpful if you want to join a career which involves working with diverse cultures and societies.

Inspiration

It doesn’t matter which branch you are studying, there is absolutely no shortage of inspiring personalities in history. As you study their backgrounds, their philosophy, the work they did and more, you will almost certainly find inspiration when you need it the most. The likes of Plato and Aristotle have inspired generations for thousands of years and will continue to do so well into the foreseeable future.

Opportunities

In spite of what a lot of people might be telling you, know that if you complete your online MALS degree from a reputed educational institution such as Rutgers Online, there are plenty of career opportunities that do open up. Primary areas include social services, the government, health and welfare, criminal justice, journalism, anchoring, editing, politics, lobbyist, assistantship, copywriting, grant writing, advertising, management personnel, recruiting and many more.

As you can see, studying liberal arts does not only open your career up to various opportunities, but it also helps you to develop as a human being. Even if you want to study something more professional on the side and further strengthen your resume, thanks to the flexibility of online courses, you can choose to do that as well.

Suggested Reading to Inspire You on Your Path as a DNP

Whether you are just starting your journey through grad school to work towards that BSN to DNP online from a well-respected school like Bradley University or have already graduated and are currently working with that nurse practitioner doctorate degree, you will need inspiration from time to time. That’s a given.

Anyone who is as busy and focused as a DNP, or is a student preparing for life as a DNP, knows what it’s like to need that extra bit of encouragement to keep going day after day. You might find the following books helpful when you’ve run out of battery and are in need of a bit of recharging.

How Doctors Think (Jerome Groopman)

If you read nothing else, this book is recommended for nurses who are, for all intents and purposes, jumping the fence to approach patient care from a different direction. Altogether too often, nurses become frustrated with doctors because they call the shots, literally as well as figuratively! This book gives you a better perspective of what a doctor sees from a broader scope and, as such, is bound by a different set of rules, regulations, and duties.

The buck stops with the doctor and sometimes it’s hard to remember that as a nurse. When you are a DNP, that buck will stop with you, so how would you make the call? Not only will this help you as a DNP, but as a nurse who sometimes has trouble understanding the reasoning behind what a doctor does and says, it will help you too. Getting inside the mind of doctors will help you every step of the way along your journey as a DNP.

Too Busy for Your Own Good: Get More Done in Less Time with Even More Energy (Connie Merritt)

As a nurse, you know all too well just how crazy life can get when you are constantly on the run. There is never a dull moment in the field of nursing and with such a severe shortage of trained medical personnel, more and more responsibilities fall on you. Do you often feel as though you are spinning your wheels, getting nowhere fast? Do you return home after a busy day on the floor, totally exhausted to the point where even eating dinner is a chore? If so, this book is for you.

Valuable Lessons

The book tells the story of how Connie was at the head of her game, making a great living and enjoying life to the full. At some point, though, she became overwhelmed with all the responsibilities and literally broke down. After finding herself in the ER in a full-blown panic attack, the author decided to go on a journey of self-discovery. Focusing on prioritizing her time and energy, Connie finally understood how to achieve a healthy balance in her life. In the book, she imparts valuable lessons to the reader.

These are just a couple books which should inspire you as you journey through life as a DNP. You will, at times, be overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of what is expected of you, but with a little inspiration and a good read, you will find the energy you need to take one step after another. No one said life as a DNP would be easy, but the rewards are well worth the effort.