Life: It Is What It Is By Lisa Sugarman

Cover of Life: It Is What It Is by Lisa Sugarman.Life: It Is What It Is by Lisa Sugarman is a collection of essays about life in Marblehead, Massachusetts.

These are really fun to read. Lisa Sugarman made me laugh and even managed to make me think a few times.

Some of the things she writes about are not things that usually concern me (school board meetings), because I have no kids (not even grandkids here), so I don’t usually keep up with that sort of thing.

But the schools are important to everyone in a community, because what happens there will eventually affect everything in the community (those kids will grow up). So even those articles were interesting, even aside from the fact that the author manages to make any subject amusing.

There are over 40 essays in this book, with subjects ranging from paranoid parents, being nice to nice people, making big New Years resolutions, reincarnation, and dealing with holidays. There is something for everyone.

About the book (from the back cover):

“While the rest of the world has six whole degrees of separation, Marblehead barely has one.”

Lisa Sugarman grew up, works, and lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts, a small town crammed onto nineteen square miles of east coast peninsula. As an opinion columnist for The Marblehead Reporter, she sees her home not as a town, but as a living, ever-evolving character.

Marblehead is by turns warm and friendly, pretentious and aloof. She’s modest and mysterious, beautiful and charming. She’s a wonderfully imperfect coctail of what makes people tick, and Lisa captures her changeable, magical nature in Life: It Is What It Is. And according to many of her readers, she does it like she’s talking to you from a bathroom stall.

What happens in Marblehead happens everywhere, whether the results are good, bad, or bizarre. Lisa’s columns remind us life is fluid, often chaotic, and never, ever perfect. And that’s okay, because it’s not supposed to be.

About the Author:
Promotion picture of Lisa Sugarman.Lisa received her bachelor of arts with honors from Salem State University in 1991 and attended Emerson College’s MA in Writing, Literature & Publishing program. Since 1991 she has written for a number of Boston-area newspapers, including: the Canton Journal, the Randolph Herald, the Hingham Journal, the Cohasset Mariner, the Swampscott Reporter, The Jewish Journal, the Sharon Advocate, and the Stoughton Journal. Most recently, she has authored the semi-regular opinion column It Is What It Is for The Marblehead Reporter and other GateHouse Media, Inc. publications since 2009.

Married to Dave, her high-school sweetheart, Lisa has two daughters, Riley and Libby.

 You can find Lisa Sugarman on  her blog, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube,  and Pinterest.


I received a free book to review.

The Pizza Trap By Gabrielle Welch

Cover of The Pizza Trap by Gabrielle Welch.The Pizza Trap by Gabrielle Welch is all about how to get your children (and yourself) to eat healthy foods instead of falling into the trap set by Pizza, and other junk (fast) foods, that are not healthy.

This book is packed with tips and tricks for teaching your kids to eat healthy, and how to change their diet after they are already addicted to junk foods.

The book has lots of information on which foods are junks, and why.

I always thought pizza wasn’t really that bad, but turns out it is really bad. Even when you put lots of veggies on it.

Then of course there are chips, and sweets, and all those boxed dinners, and microwavable dinners that are soooo easy to fix “sigh”. I’m almost sorry I read this book, because now I know that quite a few items in my kitchen are not at all good for us.

Then again if you don’t know you can’t do anything about it, and we really need to eat healthier, so I guess it is a good thing that I did read this book.

You should probably (unless you are already a health food nut, and even then you might learn something) read it too.

About the book:

Do your kids snack on junk food morning, noon, and night? Do they refuse to eat anything green? Are you tired of mealtime battles and restaurant temper tantrums? You’re not alone. Parents everywhere are losing the nutritional battle with thier kids. Research continues to prove that everyday “kid food” may be contributing to allergies, disease and behavioral problems.

Now is the time to make better choices for your kids. The good news? It’s surprisingly easy!

In The Pizza Trap, Gabrielle Welch empowers you to make simple choices to raise a happy, healthy child. Packed with easy,  real-world tips, The Pizza Trap is your guide to ending mealtime struggles, weaning your kids off junk food, and introducing them to the joy of whole foods.

About the Author:

Promotional picture of Author Gabrielle  Welch.Gabrielle Welch, founder of Welch Wellness, educates, supports and inspires women and children to help prevent disease and embrace a life of wellness through nutrition, green living and life balance. Gabrielle’s passion is to empower moms with the knowledge to make better choices when it comes to cooking, buying groceries and especially eating on- the- go.

You can follow the author on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

I received a free book to review. My opinion is my own.

Green Smoothies By Jonathan Vine

Green Smoothies : 50 Amazing Recipes for a Healthy Diet.Green Smoothies : 50 Amazing Recipes for a Healthy Diet by Jonathan Vine is an excellent resource for anyone who is wanting to eat healthier.

The author includes lots of information on why you should try to eat healthy in the first place, as well as why he considers green smoothies the healthiest way to eat.

One of the points he makes is that eating natural foods without changing them at all is probably the healthiest way to go. Meaning you pretty much eat them the way they come out of the garden.

The author says that cooking veggies tends to change them into less nutritious versions, so you are not getting as much out of the foods you eat. Besides that people tend to add things (like sugar, and salt) when cooking which reduces the health value.

Unfortunately lots of veggies don’t taste all that great right out of the garden (some greens are really strong), and you would have to eat a lot of them to get all your nutrients. So smoothies are the way to go.

Smoothies are about as natural as you can get.  The only changes to the veggies are blending them with other veggies or fruits (improves the flavor a lot).

One smoothie can give you much of the nutrients you need for the day, and they are not that hard to make.

There are 50 recipes in this book, and they use lots of different veggies. Some of them I have no desire to try, but the fruit smoothies are really good.

If you are looking for some good smoothie recipes this book has them! You can get a copy here.

Jonathan Vine also wrote Vegetarian Weight Loss . You can find some information about the author on Goodreads.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Reality Shock!

Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Reality Shock!The new Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Reality Shock! will be released on September 9.

It is just as good as the 2013 edition, and the 2012 edition. Maybe even better.

It has several different sections. One is about animals, and includes this cat.

Lazarus is an unusual looking feline with a lovable disposition. Born with a cleft palate that makes him look like almost vampiric, this cat is so warm and cuddly that his owner is using him as a therapy cat.


And this crazy (he must be right??) guy.

4_ Defying DeathA kind of real life Spider Man, Mustang Wanted dangles from buildings and cranes without any safety harness. He has performed pushups and other feats hanging more than 300ft above ground, where any slip could cause him to plummet.

The book has a lot more animals and lot of other crazy people doing scary things. There is a fella who jumps off of bridges even though he is in a wheel chair.

Of course there are also the smallest things, and the largest things. Amongst the largest things is a big toe, a nose, and a lady with the largest hips in the world.

There is also a lady with really long fingernails of over 18 inches. There are pictures of her brushing her teeth and signing her name. It isn’t easy with nails that long. She did cut her long toenails because they were too much in the way, but is growing them out again too.

There are pictures of lots of other interesting things too. A dress made out of rose petals. A chicken made of eggshells. A mouse skateboarding.  A man in a tutu.

This is a great book to have on the coffee table for company to look at. Especially kids. They will love it!

You can visit their website to order your Ripley’s Book, or check out Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! on Facebook and Twitter.

Nip It By Kristen Fredricks And Jeanie Wade

Cover picture of Nip It by Kristen Fredricks and Jeanie Wade.Nip It: Stop Negativity Moment by Moment by Kristen Fredricks and Jeanie Wade has a lot of good advice in it.

The authors tell you how to recognize negative moments(and people) and give you lots of tips and techniques that will help you learn to turn them from negative to positive moments.

And if you can’t manage to make it positive (some things just are NOT) you can still learn to deal with it better. Maybe.

It does take practice and you have to keep at it.

The authors actually make it sound easy. It isn’t easy. Not for me anyway. However – if/when you manage to do it…it can make life a lot happier.

I’m still working on it. I have managed to get myself to pause(mostly) – so I have a chance to ACT instead of REACT. You wouldn’t think that could make such a huge difference…but it does.

You are gonna have to try it yourself though. You won’t really believe it till you try it.

Go on. You will like it. Really! I do.

About the book:

Every person’s life has room for more positivity, and positivity is always your choice. The personal stories and real-life situations in Nip It challenge you to see your life as a series of individual moments over which you have control. Then you can choose to “nip” the negative moments and turn them into something more positive.

The authors provide hints and tips to help you recognize the negative situations you encounter, find ways to change their impact, and help you shift the outcomes from negative to positive. By the end of the book, you will have a toolset that will allow you to act rather than react when faced with a negative moment. When you apply the techniques that are outlined, you can begin to experience more positive life moments. And with practice, you’ll find that your positive moments turn into positive hours, then positive days, weeks, and months, which can lead to an overall life of greater positivity.

About the Authors:

Promo picture of author Kristen Fredricks.

Kris Fredricks has more than twenty years experience guiding groups to enhanced teamwork and more effective performance. She uses her naturally optimistic attitude to help others create a positive vision for how they will work together more effectively. Her natural enthusiasm is contagious.




Promotional picture of author Jeanie Wade.


Jeanie Wade has spent more than thirty years leading teams and understands how one negative team member can impact an entire team. She, like many people, is not a naturally positive person, so she enjoys sharing her insights on how practicing positivity every day can change your life.


Visit the What’s Your Spective? on Facebook (be sure and “like” it while you are there!) and check out their website.

Tales Of A Super Hero Pro Wedding Photographer By Bill Collins

Disclosure: I received a free book to review.

Cover of Tales of a Super Hero Pro Wedding Photographer by Bill Collins.Tales of a Super Hero Pro Wedding Photographer by Bill Collins is a pretty interesting book.

I got to review a proof of the black and white photo edition. There have been some changes made in the edition that you can buy now. Improvements of course.

From the emails I have gotten about that it sounds like it was mainly just re-organizing and making it look more appealing.

Personally I don’t think it needed much. The copy I saw was pretty nice. It has a lot of really good pictures in it. Makes me wish he had been around when I got married.

Besides the pictures there are a lot of interesting stories about weddings he photographed and problems he had.  He was a professional photographer for 45 years and photographed weddings full time for a large port of those years. That is a lot of experience!

Anyone thinking about becoming a photographer should read this book first. They might be able to avoid a lot of the same problems that way. The book contains a lot of information about how he ran his business too and some of the things he changed along the way to help prevent problems.

There are also tips about how to take good photographs that would be helpful to anyone wanting to take pictures of people.

I enjoyed reading the stories and looking at the pictures.

For more information about the book (including the prologue) visit the Bill Collins: Semi-Retired Pro Wedding Photographer website.

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! – Dare To Look!

The new Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Dare To Look! cover.The new Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Dare to Look! Will be coming out next month on the 10th.

It is just as good or maybe even better than the Download The Weird  one from last year. Those folks at Ripley’s sure keep themselves busy looking for weird stuff. And this year they found plenty!

One of the items in the book was about a squirrel that got caught in a manhole. The poor critter stuck his head through a hole and couldn’t get out apparently.

Picture of a squirrel stuck in a manhole.According to the book someone came to it’s rescue with some oil and got it loose again.

Another one that I really liked was about a man who made his own hobbit house out of balloons.

Picture of a hobbit house made of balloons.There are more than 200 pages of oddities and lots of pictures of weird things and people. Some pictures taken of people who have had their faces pulled out of shape with tape are pretty neat, and there is a fellow who put a bunch of pegs on his face.

Then are the crazy kids who climb high buildings to take pictures of themselves standing on the edge. I got dizzy just looking at the picture.

And there is a fold out section all about ventriloquists and the dummies they used as well as the only ventriloquism museum in the world.

It took me several days to look through the book and read over most of the entries. I really only skimmed it (mostly looking at the pictures) so I still have lots of odd stuff to check out. This is a really great book to keep out for company. Kids will especially love it.

This one also has the oddSCAN™  stuff in it too. If you have the  Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! app on your phone you can scan pictures or special icons to get downloadable content such as videos or extra pictures.

You can order your copy at and you can find Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! on Facebook and Twitter too.

Free Product Disclosure

Who Do You Want To Be? By Dr. Nicola Bunting Review

Who Do You Want To Be? How To Embrace Change And Live Your Dream by Dr. Nicola Bunting was interesting and not too difficult to read.

The book aims to help people who are going though changes in their lives figure out where they really want to go…and how to get there.

And it doesn’t matter if they changes are something you choose or something that just happens…like getting fired or losing your home in a tornado. Or if you just wake up one morning and decide you don’t want to keep on living the way you have been.

Whatever the changes may be Dr. Bunting wants to help you use the changes to actually find and live your dreams.

I really like that she uses the Enneagram which is a really neat personality profiling framework. I did the questionnaire for this a long time ago (you can do one online) and it was really helpful. It can tell you things you didn’t realize about yourself and what you really like.

I didn’t actually sit down and do all the things she recommends in the book(yet). I expect that if you actually did do the work it would be extremely helpful…and a lot cheaper than actually hiring a coach. Of course you might just find out you really need to hire a coach…

About the Book :

Change is inevitable – the plans we’ve made for our lives, our careers, our relationships, our family, and our finances can suddenly need dramatic adjustment, and that is when we anxiously realize, often too late, that we need a Plan B. Whether it’s the immediate shock of suddenly being made redundant and asked to clear your desk, or the more fundamental challenge of changing your career or ending your marriage, how you handle change may determine how happy you are in life. Who Do You Want To Be? intends to be an eminently practical book, a vital resource to turn to when faced with any kind of major change in your life – how to identify the nature of the change you are confronting, how to prepare yourself for it, how and when and in what spirit to take advantage of the concurrent opportunities that present themselves. . .

About The Author :

Picture of Dr. Nicola Bunting.Nicola Bunting is a personal and professional coach and founder of the international bespoke coaching company La Vita Nuova. She is one of only 1% of coaches to have attained the master certified coach credential and her clients include executives and other business leaders across several industries.

Dr. Bunting can be found on Twitter and her company website La Vita Nuova.


Golf Book Giveaway

Golf Book Giveaway

How Short Hitting Bad Golfers Break 90 All The Time by Fred FieldsSimple Wyrdings is happy to be able to give away another copy of How Short Hitting, Bad Golfers Break 90 All The Time by Fred Fields.

This is a great book for anyone who plays golf and would like to improve their game.

This giveaway is open to entrants from the US and Canada only. It ends on the 22nd of December. Just enter on the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Turning Final By Jim Reed Giveaway

Turning Final By Jim Reed Giveaway

Cover of Turning Final by Jim Reed.This is a really good book. The author traveled all over the word and there is lots of interesting stuff about airplanes and boats as well as the places he has been.

You can check out my review of Turning Final if you want to know more about it.

One of my lucky readers will win their own brand new paperback copy of this book. The winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to reply. The book will be shipped by the sponors.

Just enter on the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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