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To celebrate awesome author Jenna McCarthy‘s hilarious new book, I’ve Still Got It…I just can’t remember where I put it, summer (my fav season), and reading (a fav activity), I’m doing a *Fun, Fabulous, Summer Reading Giveaway!*

You…yes YOU could win this beach tote full of fun! Comment below with what you’ve “still got…and maybe can’t find” to be entered to WIN:
1. A copy of Jenna’s new book I’ve Still Got It…I just can’t remember where I put it WHICH JENNA WILL PERSONALIZE for the winner!!
2.A yellow polka dot beach bag…because why not?!
3. A pink leopard print water bottle–BPA-free natch–so you stay hydrated in style this summer!
4. A pink SPF-50 sun hat so that we can all stay as young-looking as possible.
5. And my favorite almond-coconut KIND bars (delicous! I live on them!)

Want more chances to win? Post this giveaway on social media, post the links below, and each one gives you ANOTHER CHANCE TO WIN!


#Contest #books #summer #reading #giveway #beach #beachbook #summerreading
My To-Be-Read (TBR) Pile is nearly as tall as I am (which, by the way, is fully in towering giantess territory), which is why it's taken me almost a year to get to this little gem. OK fine, I cheated a little by promoting it to the express lane because I've been excited to read it since I pre-ordered it last fall.

Turns out that my anticipation was fully justified. Jenna McCarthy's hilarious. I was literally laughing (yes, out loud, drawing stares in public and fully not caring) from the first page. She is irreverent, unafraid of “bad” language, and one of the most insightful, side-splitting, spot-on authors and commentators on marriage.

If you doubt me, watch her TedX presentation from December.

Some sections will appeal and apply more to some people than others. For instance, I didn't fully relate to the TV remote chapter because, if I'm brutally honest, I am the remote hog in my marriage. But even the sections that you may not think apply to you (for instance, in my case, the ones on kids didn't apply to me as I'm as-of-yet happily child-free) will still wildly entertain you (there's a scene involving two kids, adult supervision, and public urination that had me LOL yet again). For most chapters, I had to wonder if McCarthy didn't have binoculars trained on me and my house fully bugged–she was that in-tune with living with and loving the not-so-handyman I married. (I checked, she doesn't–she's safely across the country in California…or so her bio claims.)

It's a long-term habit that when I read something especially funny or awesome, I turn down that page's corner in order to share it with my hubby or other close friends. Turns out this is a dangerous practice when reading this book–there are sections in my copy where sometimes every page has been marked in this way. Sometimes the tops AND bottom corners are turned in!

I wondered if my husband would find it as funny or if this was geared toward the ladies (as the title might indicate). But I needn't have worried my pretty little head: Hubs laughed as hard or harder than me. When he wasn't laughing so hard he went silent, he managed to gasp out, “That's just like us!”

Oh good–it seems we agree on something 😉

Bottom line: I love it. I've recommended it (and will continue to do so) for everyone.

Best for: Anyone in a long-term relationship

Stars: Five, baby!

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Confession time: Guys, I'm super excited today. No, not about tomatoes (although they ARE exciting), or gardening, or my latest brush with crazy. No, today I'm excited because I'm featuring my very first guest post! Yay! {confetti}
Self-proclaimed grammar nerd, yogini, author, blogster, and all-around hilarious gal about town Jenny Baranick is sharing her thoughts on Punctuationasana. Read on to learn how yoga and punctuation intersect in ways you've never even imagined, then check out her blog, laugh your asana off, and then waste absolutely no time in logging onto amazon and ordering her book.
I've already ordered my copy because Krishna knows I don't want any unplanned or unwanted grammar mistakes (and neither should you, so get ordering!). And full disclosure, I've never actually met Jenny and no, she's not slipping me commissions (she has to save every penny towards her dream pad, the 50 Shades of Grey Apartment, after all). I stumbled across Jenny's blog a while back and am genuinely excited for her book and the chance to support a fellow up and coming author.
Punctuationasana
I tend to subscribe to the “live and let live” philosophy—except when it comes to yoga. I am super annoying because I try to push yoga on everyone. However cliché this sounds, yoga has enhanced my life in every imaginable way—physically, mentally, and spiritually—so, sue me:  I think the world would be a better place if everyone had healthy lower backs, a calm mind, and a generous spirit.
For a while there, I thought yoga teaching was my calling. I took a teacher training course, and I did even teach it for a while. But around the same time I began teaching, I fell in love with writing, and I felt that I had to choose because both yoga and writing would be full-time disciplines. So I chose to pursue writing as a career and take yoga classes instead of teaching it.
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My first writing endeavor is the recently released grammar book Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares.  (I’m also an English teacher.) And here’s what I realized: grammar and yoga actually have a lot in common—ending punctuation in particular.
For example, Child’s Pose (Balasana) looks kind of like a period, doesn’t it?
And like a period provides a nice long pause between sentences, we often come into Balasana when we need a nice long break between poses.
If you use your imagination a bit, Chair Pose (Utkatasana) looks kind of like a question mark:
And perhaps it’s no coincidence that when I am in Utkatasana I find myself asking this question: Why am I in this pose that is burning my thighs when I could be home on the couch?
And Head Stand (Sirsasana) looks like an exclamation point:            
And when I am in Sirsasana, I often feel like exclaiming, “Hey, Mom! Look at me! I’m upside down!”
Who knew yoga could be so nerdy! Or that punctuation could be so spiritual!

About the Author

Jenny Baranick teaches English composition, critical thinking, and a remedial English class called Writing Skills at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Consistently shocked at the poor grammar of her students, in January 2010, Jenny started her popular Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares blog.

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Confession: I read Le Cordon Bleu educated chef and author Kathleen Flinn’s first book, “The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry,” a few years ago and loved it so much that I would’ve bought whatever she wrote next, no matter how good, bad, or unrelated. Fortunately, her subsequent book, “The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks,” IS both good and also related.

I’m enjoying the same things about it that I enjoyed in the first book–her storytelling, the way she uses words, her sense of humor (I’m currently reading a chapter called, “The Pleasures of the Fish,” the name of which alone made me laugh), her sincere love and appreciation for food, her humility, and, of course, the recipes.

I confess,when I first read the flap, which talks about how a chance meeting with a stranger in the grocery store whose cart was loaded up with heavily processed, pre-fab crap items, inspired Flinn to start the experiment that led to this book (she selected nine women who mostly eat frozen or fast food and taught them how to cook), I was worried that I’d be a little bored. Not because the topic’s boring–it’s not! I love stories of transformation and food–but because I’m already in a heated state of agreement with the premise and principles.

I eat an organic (whenever possible), plant-based diet with fish as my main source of protein. Fast food? Never touch the stuff. Frozen? Nope–I’m the 1950s time traveler who accidentally landed in this era but still loves to cook everything herself.

Yeah, that’s right–I actually love to cook. I love everything about it–I love paging through cookbooks, dreaming up menus, shopping at the farmer’s market, and cooking everything from scratch. I’m the geek who loves the taste, smell, and preparation of food and most of all, I love to eat.

No judgment on those who don’t, but you can understand my concern that I’d be all, “been there…done that…[yawn]” while reading this. Well I needn’t have feared. Flinn deftly offers many tips and tricks that I’ve learned from AND yummy recipes that are accessible to all levels of home cooks. I’m currently excited about a certain tomato and shrimp recipe.

I still love, “The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry,” the most. But maybe you always love the first book you read by a certain author the most (Loyalty, people! Loyalty!). Or maybe it’s just plain hard to compete with a story that takes place in Paris. But that’s not a knock against “Kitchen Counter.” I’m thoroughly enjoying this second culinary/literary output by this thoroughly talented author and highly recommend it to all.


Note: The American Society of Journalists and Authors awarded “Kitchen Counter” first place in non-fiction/memoir for 2012.What can I say? Can I pick ’em or what?!