Month: November 2015

Make Time For YOU at Lunch Time

I get it. We are all super busy, we have time constraints at home, work, school and just life in general. Multi-tasking is a skill that many of us have had to learn just from pure necessity!  As I am currently writing this post, I have my Consumer Behaviour tutorial playing in the background, my lunch half eaten on my desk, answering the odd back line calls while answering resident questions. And this is my break and I am trying to juggle five different items and none of them are relaxing (except maybe this post because I love writing!). Not much of a break right?

And statistics prove that I am not alone:

  • 70 per cent of workers take a lunch break that is 30 minutes or less
  • 20 per cent of millennials take fewer than 15 minutes for lunch, as compared to 11 per cent GenX
  • More than half of all workers wish they could take a nap during lunch, with millennials leading the way over Gen Xers (57 per cent vs. 46 per cent)
  • 49 per cent feel they would snack less and make better meal choices if they took a lunch break

This survey was conducted by Subway Canada and while it scares me, I am not shocked by it. More and more we are giving up dedicated ‘us’ time (aka lunch break) to get work done. We try to pack in as much as we can, in as little time as possible.

Take time for you with a lunch breakBut of course this means more than just losing a lunch time break. It has negative mental and physical health consequences. We are clearly making poorer food choices so that we can eat quicker, we are not eating slowly (I know I now ‘shovel’ food in my mouth so I can keep typing), we are sitting more (which has its own health problems) and not giving our minds the mental break it needs.

So how do we fight the working at lunch time battle?

  • Get up and go for a walk. Take fifteen to twenty minutes of your hour lunch break and get outside. You will feel better for this plus you are getting the blood flowing through your legs again.
  • Eat healthy! Make better choices, pack and time your snacks so that you are not munching aimlessly throughout the day.
  • The survey by Subway Canada also found that most workers report they would prefer to reach for a sandwich piled high with meat and veggies (27 per cent) before a greasy burger with a side of fries (21 per cent), last night’s leftovers (21 per cent), a salad with mixed greens (16 per cent) or snacks from the vending machine (3 per cent). So keep this in mind when making take out options! How will you feel after eating a greasy (but quick) meal.
  • Put away work. I mean it, cover it, hide and log out of anything work related for at least ten to fifteen minutes. It will do your mental health wonders.

How do you fight the never-ending battle at lunch time to make time for you?

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Another Way Home by Deborah Raney

Litfuse Book Tour

Sometimes God’s ways are not at all what we expect and exactly what we need.

Another Way Home by Deborah Raney

About Another Way Home

Grant and Audrey are adding grandchildren to their family left and right, but middle daughter, Danae, and her husband, Dallas Brooks, have been trying for years with no baby in sight.

Though Danae is ready to consider adoption, Dallas will not even discuss it. Despairing of ever having a family of her own, Danae decides to pour her passion and energies into volunteer work with a newly opened women’s shelter in town. Looking for a good cause to fill her lonely days, she never expects to give her heart to the hurting women she meets there. She’s finally learning to live her life with gratitude, but then heart-wrenching events on Thanksgiving weekend threaten to pull the entire Whitman clan into turmoil-and leave them all forever changed.

My Thoughts

Another Way Home is a touching, heart warming story that so many women can relate to. It touches on pregnancy, infertility and the pain that comes with this. I am one of those women. I struggled with miscarriages and infertility and it is painful, especially when you see others pregnant. You want to be happy but it is hard not to feel selfish. Deborah does a fantastic job of addressing these emotions on both sides, the side of the person dealing with infertility and the pregnant couple. She did a wonderful job showing both sides and how these emotions can affect families.

I love how adoption was tied into this story. It was a good portrayal of adoption and the love that forms from these relationships. The end shocked me in many ways (definitely not what I was expecting but in a good way). I love how Dallas and Danae grow as not only a couple but how as a part of their extended family and the relationships that are strained as they deal with infertility.

This is one of the book in the series but is great as a read alone but even better when you have read the other stories. It gives you an even more intimate view into the feelings and lives of our characters. Another Way Home will be the perfect addition to your home library!

You can find more reviews on Another Way Home on the Litfuse blog tour page. You can purchase a copy of the book here.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Deborah Raney’s books have won numerous awards, including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, and the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken, recently traded small-town life in Kansas-the setting of many of Deborah’s novels—for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita, where they enjoy gardening, antiquing, movies, and traveling to visit four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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But Mom, Five More Minutes Please!! #5MoreMinutes


Bed time. You would think that this would be the easiest part of the day for parents, right? Wrong!

I have put every tactic into place from a variety of parenting books but still I can’t get my children to go to bed when I ask them to. I have tried quiet time, bath time followed by reading time, lavender on their pillows and sitting quietly with them in their rooms.

But still I hear:

“Mom, I am thirsty. I can’t sleep without water because my throat hurts.”

“Mommy sweetie pie, you know you are the prettiest lady in the whole wide world.” Okay, I have to be honest I do cave when he calls me his sweetie pie because it is so darn cute!.

“Mom, I am hungry.” (But you ate three bowls of pasta??)

“I never watched my favourite show, how am I supposed to go to bed? I never get to watch tv or do anything fun!”

Five more minutes please!

Now tell me I am not alone here? From the graphic above, clearly as parents we are not alone! Children will do anything and everything they can to play the power card over their parents and get that extra five minutes.

So what do we do as parents?

Instead of dealing with tears and frustration, Netflix understands the spot parents are in and has launched (with DreamWorks Animation) five-minute shows. Yes – you heard that right, five-minute complete shows for your child!

Five More Minutes Please

The five more minutes series is based on the new DreamWorks hit on Netflix, DinoTrux. The best part it leaves everyone happy: your child still feels that they had a choice in the matter (they were able to watch a show and stay up a little bit later) and you as the parent eased them into bed with no tears. A win win!

What is the best five more minute excuse you have heard from your child?

Disclosure: I am a #StreamTeam member and receive perks with this affiliation. All opinions expressed are my own.

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An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti

Litfuse Book Tour

Too many people, too much snow, and too little room should be a recipe for disaster in An Endless Christmas.

An Endless Christmas Book Review

About An Endless Christmas

Christmas takes a very different turn when the guests of honor break up instead of announcing their engagement. Trapped with his family, they learn that love looks different from either imagined. Both in their eighties, Dodie and Wilson Binder celebrate every Christmas as if it were their last. This year, their grandson Micah is planning to ask his girlfriend, Katie, to marry him so they can celebrate with the whole family. But things go very wrong when she says, “no.” Now they are stuck. Too many people, too much snow, and too little room should be a recipe for disaster. But sometimes too much is just enough. Especially when it’s Christmas.

My Thoughts

Love and romance can become complicated especially when we let our past dictate our future. Sometimes we feel like we aren’t good enough to feel love or have someone appreciate us the way they do. This is Katie. She is scared to let herself feel and receive love freely. She very much loves Micah with all her heart but is scared of how he truly feels or if he will leave her. This is what guides her decision to turn down his proposal.

Instead of angering Micah or encountering a difficult situation, Katie is encompassed by his family as they try to relieve some of the awkwardness of the current situation. She is welcomed by his family as they show her the true meaning of love, family and Christmas.

A very special story, especially so close to Christmas! It was a heart warming story of love and family, trust and faith in each other. The novel was well written, engaging and witty, something you can re-read over and over again.

You can find more reviews on the Litfuse Blog Tour page. You can purchase a copy of the book here.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author

Drawing from 33 years of on-air radio ministry, Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels and novellas, nonfiction books and devotionals, and speaking for women’s and writers’ events. Her books have been recognized by Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards, Selah Awards, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Christian Retailing’s BEST Awards, and Carol Award nominations, among other honors, including a Family Fiction Readers’ Choice Award. She and her plot-tweaking husband live in Pittsville, Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Stop and Smell Your Children by Leah Spina

iRead Book Tours

Ready to laugh about motherhood and be encouraged? Tired of feeling overwhelmed and stressed out in the baby and toddler season? Need some fresh vision and perspective so you can enjoy—not just endure—your young children?

Stop and Smell Your Children by Leah Spina

About Stop and Smell Your Children

Stop and Smell Your Children: Laugh and Enjoy the Little Years offers moms-to-be and moms of young children short, real-life parenting stories that encourage and inspire. Leah Spina, mother of three children ages five and under, and former journalist, unleashes humor and perspective for tired moms who are parenting the “little” years. From the excitement of the positive pregnancy test to morning sickness and the banes of pregnancy, to childbirth, babies, toddlers and new parent struggles, the stories will make you laugh and see beauty in the chaos. Each story also includes thought-provoking takeaways to help busy moms gain a fresh outlook.

Strangers remind us that our children will be small only for a short time and to enjoy each moment. But then we return to the wild reality of parenting young children! All-night crying sessions. Never-ending laundry. Every-three-hour feeding schedules. Diaper explosions and projectile spit-up. Teething. Potty training. Yes, we enjoy our children, but we’d also like to enjoy a shower that lasts more than two minutes, or a meal that isn’t lukewarm (if we’re lucky). The truth is, pregnancy and parenting young children can be hard at times. But it can also be one of the best chapters of our lives, if we can learn to laugh and change our mindset.

My Thoughts

Have you ever received a book just in time? Something that you needed to read and hear from someone who wasn’t a family member or friend? Stop and Smell Your Children is THAT book.

Leah uses wit, personal experience and humour to make you see the light at the end of the tunnel, find joy in each rough moment and to cherish each moment. Our children grow so fast (honestly I can still remember my eleven year as a toddler and I am shocked when I look at him now!) and these are the most demanding years of us as parents. It can be hard at times not to be angry or resentful.

Leah uses humour (because if we are honest with each other – we have all been there before!) to help you see that behind every rough moment in time, take a deep breath and appreciate that moment of chaos. You will fall in love with her fresh writing and personal moments she shares. Stop and Smell Your Children should be the example all parenting books use when writing for parents. As parents, we need real life advice, humour and non judgemental views. We are all doing the best we can do! Stop and Smell Your Children will leave you in tears, smiling and remembering each and every special moment of your child’s life.

You can purchase a copy of Stop and Smell Your Children on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Leah Spina is a former journalist of a national newsweekly magazine and also worked as a childbirth coordinator at a large adoption agency. She has her B.S in Business Administration from Thomas Edison State College. She has two adorable children – Samson and Esther – and resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband, David. When she’s not changing diapers, she enjoys singing Broadway, sun tanning on Italian beaches and riding horses.

Book Trailer

The Giveaway!

My Canadian and American readers can now enter to win one of ten copies of Stop and Smell Your Children. Enter via the form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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