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HOW TO CHANGE A LIFE: A Foodie Fiction Novel ~Stacy Ballis

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

I want to start by saying I loved reading HOW TO CHANGE A LIFE every single page!  Perfect timing, fabulously written and not the least bit insulting, as the emotions were real and appropriate and they were not acted out in petty, small or mean actions.  This is how folks can best make change and it is also very fun – very fun.

The food is amazing and I can also state that I did not gain weight while reading even though there are some of the top recipes at the end of the book and a reading group guide!   I did make the quick Lemon Chicken pasta dish for two that was made for one of the characters for a lonely Friday night and even without a recipe spelled out, it was yummy.

Stacey Ballis is the author of ten foodie novels: INAPPROPRIATE MEN, SLEEPING OVER, ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT, THE SPINSTER SISTERS, GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT, OFF THE MENU, OUT TO LUNCH, RECIPE FOR DISASTER, WEDDING GIRL, and HOW TO CHANGE A LIFE.  She is a contributing author to three nonfiction anthologies: GIRLS WHO LIKE BOYS WHO LIKE BOYS, EVERYTHING I NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT BEING A GIRL I LEARNED FROM JUDY BLUME, and LIVING JEWISHLY.

Author page at Amazon

Three 39 year old friends meet at their favorite teacher’s memorial service and renew their friendship.  They found each other when their birthdays were all the same week in May and those dates were used as a sorting tool for group work in high school. They have not kept in touch as well as they would have liked and now are working on revitalizing their friendship.  They all share their thoughts and one suggests that they pick out something they wish to change and accomplish before their 40th birthday celebration.  Theresa is an Italian Mother who wishes to broaden her horizons and work on finding a part time job, Lynne is a successful entrepreneur who wants to purchase a house and land a 7-figure contract, and Eloise a chef, would like to start dating after a break up and enlarge her social connections.  Each one adds a dynamic to the other’s change list and they check in on progress regularly.   They add a bet that the loser must pay $5,000 to their former teacher’s foundation funds.  The tension mounts as they work on their lists and expand their horizons.

Theresa is the negotiator who keeps the friends connected; they all speak kindly to each other and recognize their emotions readily.  They are for the most part happy to have suggestions and to help discover other options or change their thinking on most problems.  This was so encouraging to read.  None of this current “mean girls” nastiness; the three women were mature and thoughtful and recognized how their differences enhanced their relationship.   Refreshing and yet made the read dynamic and optimistic. I was encouraged and I found lots of chuckles and clever moments to capture my attention. I am giving this book to at least 3 young women for holiday and birthday gifts this year. With a little help from our true friends we can certainly change and enjoy our life more.

Roxanne-Jones, Associate Publicist at Penguin Random House

“With the perfect blend of humor and heart, Ballis’s writing is powerfully honest and genuinely hilarious”  -Jen Lancaster, New York Times bestselling author of BY THE NUMBERS

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The Work of Everyday

Thursday, February 17th, 2011
Ladybug on Flower

Ladybug on Flower

I do not very often overtly write about LOVE.  When other bloggers ask me to write about LOVE I most often decline.  This is because LOVE and its astounding facets and angles is the basic core of why I believe we were put here on earth.   It is the work of everyday – every moment.  I love the diversity of each individual’s pursuit of this journey and the vast array of definitions.

Zeenat at Positive Provocations just shared this amazing group of blogger’s thoughts about Love.  I invite you to pause and read what has been said and shared.

We begin to understand our work on this earth by loving our own selves.  It is hoped that our parents had this lesson in tow and assisted us in our first feelings of love of self.  I am not naïve and know that this is not always the case, but have also learned that these sad circumstances can be remedied once an individual learns about the idea and work of LOVE.

I have found when we know better and understand we are a species that is capable to do better and may become response – enabled.

We have all these wonder full lessons along the way.  Lessons that provoke us to learn something new, explore, get distracted, hyper-focus, experience dissatisfaction, discover new emotions, test us and celebrate our very core values.  Sometimes we have to teach ourselves new strategies to accommodate the lessons learned or to accelerate those lessons to their conclusion.  I know that when I get stuck, I need to ask for help to get over the hurtles or rocky hard points.

I often get frustrated when my journey does not turn out to be the correct direction for me. I was just certain I was doing the right thing.  I usually find out I was not listening well enough and something else dazzled and bejeweled my path finding.  Time for a course correction.

There is nothing more amazing to me than the memory of having my newborn placed into my arms and the rush of loving spirit that came as I breathed this new person into me.  That experience was only so I would know what I needed to strive for in all the moments of my day – just a lesson in teaching me to recognize True Love.

Lust and sexual feelings are some of the greatest and worst lessons of living a loving life too.  I wonder if I will ever lust to dust?

Perfectionism is about control and is another life lesson that inhibits self love and loving every moment.   One is judging themselves on a scale that is only in the mind’s eye and the ego.  Only you can recognize your own perfect love.  You are your Soul Mate.

So my goal is to write every word with loving intention.  My meditation and prayer are always about opening to the loving expression of my day and tasks.  I believe that LOVE is what we came here for and it is our sole/solo purpose in life.

Writing this due to circumstances that happened on Valentine’s Day 2011, it caused me to ponder sharing these words and reminded me of this 1970’s song by Elton John.  I wish to share the song with you.

Love Song  ~ Elton John

The words I have to say
May well be simple but they’re true
Until you give your love
There’s nothing more that we can do

Love is the opening door
Love is what we came here for
No one could offer you more
Do you know what I mean
Have your eyes really seen

You say it’s very hard
To leave behind the life we knew
But there’s no other way
And now it’s really up to you
Love is the key we must turn
Truth is the flame we must burn
Freedom the lesson we must learn

Do you know what I mean
Have your eyes really seen
Love is the opening door
Love is what we came here for
No one could offer you more
Do you know what I mean
Have your eyes really seen…

Vocals: Elton John and Lesley Duncan
Acoustic guitar and backing vocals: Lesley Duncan

© 1969 Blue Seas Music, Inc./Jac Music Co., Inc,. ASCAP

I am looking forward to you amazing and appreciated ideas about this heartfelt sharing?  I want to know what you think and feel about the journey here on earth.

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