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Author: Marie McNary

The Slap In the Face You Need Today

The Slap In the Face You Need Today

As many of you know, I love to read. And although mysteries and fiction books tend to be my happy place, one goal I have for 2017 is to branch out and read more books in other genres.

I picked up a copy of Getting Noticed: A No-Nonsense Guide to Standing Out and Selling More for Momtrepreneurs Who ‘Aint Got Time for That’ after I saw a couple friends post about it on their Facebook Pages. I was apprehensive about reading it because business books often leave me feeling more overwhelmed, frustrated, and aware of my faults than when I picked them up.

This book, I liked. It was short (I read it in a day picking it up at random times I needed a break from other work), it was written in a very conversational style, and it didn’t hold back. It was a slap in the face ever so kindly reminding me that my lack of effort and hustle just may be the reason I’m not seeing the results I desire.

If you expect to have an output of 100% and you’re only willing to put in an input of 30%, you’re fooling yourself. – Lindsay Teague Moreno (Getting Noticed)

So, how do you know if this book is right for you? It may be a good choice for you if:

  • You are a Mom (or just a busy woman in general) who is trying to juggle family, life, and professional projects and having trouble with it all.
  • You are struggling with social media. How to use it. Personal v. Business Pages. When to post, where to, how often, etc.
  • You are looking for a quick read to give you a jolt of useful, practical social media business tips you can start applying today.
  • You are willing to put in the work.

Another huge takeaway for me was that being strategic in how you use social media doesn’t mean you are being un-authentic. Planning your social media strategy actually frees you up to be a more true version of yourself while delivering quality content that you want to share with the world. I also realized I need to take some time and figure out Instagram, but that’s a whole different story.

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to pick up this quick little read. I usually like to pass books on after I finish them (no sense them sitting on my shelf when someone else can be enjoying them), but this is one I plan to hang onto. Lindsay provided enough facts, links, and valuable information that it will be a good reference to refer back to as I tackle some of the social media strategies she suggested.

Is social media something you struggle with personally or professionally? What is the #1 thing you wish you could change in your social media use? Share with me in the comments.


What a Difference A Week Makes

What a Difference A Week Makes

It is always tough watching your little ones go through surgery. You want to take their pain away and there is nothing you can go there but be there and support them. For those of you who know our story, strabismus eye issues have plagued my identical twins, Joel and Caleb from birth. Early on I even wrote a few posts over at Little Four Eyes if you’re interested in reading about the early days of our journey.

Two weeks ago, Joel went in for his third strabismus eye surgery.

The little man was such a trooper. And recovery for this third surgery went fairly smooth. Sadly we are becoming pros at child outpatient surgery but a couple days home from school and a little TLC and he was back to his old self.

Today we had his two week check up and it went great!

Sticking with my intention to focus more on what I’m thankful for each day, I couldn’t help but be grateful as we headed home from his appointment.

Grateful for a wonderful team of doctors, nurses, and staff members who give every kid who comes through their door exceptional care.

Grateful for a happy, healthy kiddo who kept a positive outlook even when things were painful and no fun.

Grateful for an amazing support system of extended family and friends who pitched in to help us out that week, prayed for us, and checked in to see how everyone was doing.

And most of all, grateful for this wild, crazy, group of kiddos. This is about a week post surgery. I won’t post the pictures from the first couple of days post-surgery, but all I can say is what a difference a week makes!

My Focus for 2017

My Focus for 2017

2016 was a good year. I had interesting professional opportunities come my way. I engaged in volunteer activities I really enjoy. My family is happy, healthy, and thriving. I am blessed beyond measure. So why was 2016 a struggle for me? Why did I find myself regularly in a state of discontentment? Of restlessness? Fighting frustration and not knowing if I was focusing my efforts where I should be?

When I reflected back on the year and wrote my 2017 goals, I struggled with why these feelings kept creeping into my days when I have so very much to be thankful for. One thing kept coming to mind. And I have decided to make that word my focus for 2017.

Gratitude. (Or my lack there 0f) …


It is hard to admit when the reason something isn’t working is because of you. But I was sabotaging my own ability to enjoy my life in 2016 by not appreciating and cultivating what I have.

In 2017, my life will be lived through a new outlook. One of gratitude. One of thankfulness. One where I take time to be thankful for the many blessings in my life. And not only the blessings, but the failures. The disappointments that have been learning experiences and helped me to grow as a person.

Did you create 2017 goals? Two weeks into the New Year, are you already struggling with them? Try stepping back and taking some time to be grateful. Gratitude and thankfulness may be just the thing that you are looking for this year.


Better off Thread Book Review

Better off Thread Book Review

If you are like me, and like to read Christmas themed books through the month of December, Better off Thread by Amanda Lee is a great one to keep you full of Christmas cheer. Marcy and her dog Angus steal the show in this cozy mystery.better-off-thread

I could tell there had been books in this series before this one (quite a few by the look of the inside front cover), but you didn’t feel that you were coming into the party late. You did feel you were coming in during a happy time in Marcy’s life. I don’t know what Marcy went through in other books, but her personal life was relatively problem free (minus trying to impress the prospective in-laws).

I enjoyed this book and thought it was a perfect December read. It even made me want to go find a shop that sells embroidery kits like Marcy has and figure out how the heck she’s been making these adorable sounding Christmas tree ornaments all book long.

I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


First Degree Mudder Book Review

First Degree Mudder Book Review

We just got back from visiting extended family in Ohio for the Thanksgiving holiday. When I was packing for the trip, I had to decide what book I wanted to take with me. I wanted to take along a light and fun read and First Degree Mudder by Kate Dyer-Seeley was a perfect choice. This is the fourth book in the Pacific Northwest Mystery Series, but it was new to me. However, the author is not. I love Kate’s Bakeshop Mystery books that she writes under the name Ellie Alexander.

This series follows journalist Meg Reed on her adventures working for an adventure magazine in Portland, mudderOregon. Although I was new to the series, I did not feel left behind starting at book four. I immediately connected with Meg’s enthusiasm for her family, friends, and life in general.

One thing I thought was very cool about this series is I almost felt like the murder was a sub-plot to more complex storylines going on in Meg’s life (she is investigating the death of her father who was also a journalist working on a expose when he died). Meg’s journey through processing her father’s death and trying to find answers is a great story that I’m excited to read more about in future books. It was nice to have a mystery follow the protagonist that makes you want to keep reading – something that is unique in cozy mysteries I’ve come across.

I am honored to kick off the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for this book. Today through December 7th a crew of top book bloggers will be featuring this great book on their sites. They will be letting you know their thoughts, providing interviews with the author, guest features, and more. Stop by their sites and check out all the exciting elements they have to offer.

And now, for a giveaway. Kate is giving away a prize pack including signed copy of each of her Pacific Northwest Mystery books. Enter today. This is a series you want to have on your reading list!

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Missions, Donuts & Serving Together

Missions, Donuts & Serving Together

A couple weeks ago a missionary from the Dominican Republic visited my kids at school and talked about some of the work she is doing there. Her name is Jamielynn Tinkey.

I have never meat Jamielynn. But she had quite the impact on my kids. All three came home from school and wanted to have a lemonade stand to raise money to send to her and support her work. Since it is October and our street isn’t that busy, we settled on hosting a coffee hour at Church and sending her the money raised.

So they got to work. The colored signs and collected her prayer cards so they could tell others about who their money would be supporting.


Today was the day. They packed their signs and arrived at Church, eager to set things up.


It was so much fun to watch this come together because, apart from getting the donuts and making the coffee, this was all the boys. They picked someone they saw spreading the love of Jesus and wanted to help.

There is something really special about serving along side your family and watching it make sense to your kiddos. Today was such a blessing to be able to participate in for our family. I can’t wait to sit down with the boys and figure out our next project!

Thank you to Jamielynn and all our missionaries who spend tireless hours and energy in the field spreading the love of Jesus with those around the world. If you’d like to help too, here is a link to Jamielynn’s webpage.


Cat Got Your Diamonds Book Review

Cat Got Your Diamonds Book Review

I’ve got to tell you. I did not plan to enjoy this book.

~ I’m not a cat person
~ “Kitty Couture” didn’t strike me as something I’d be interested in

However there was a cute beagle on the book’s cover and I’m a sucker for beagles, so I thought I’d give it a try. And I’m ssssoooo glad I did. I found a new series for sure!


Cat Got Your Diamonds is the first in the Kitty Couture Mystery series written by Julie Chase. It follows Lacy Crocker on her return home to New Orleans. Lacy opens her a shop which doubles as in animal costume design and an organic pet bakery. When a man is found murdered in her shop, Lacy becomes the prime suspect and she fights to clear her name and save her reputation.

When I picked this book up, I wasn’t in the best of moods. As I skeptically began through the pages, I found myself enjoying and relating to Lacy. Life had not always gone her way, but she was determined to pull herself up and do work hard. She is surrounded by a loving family and friends and has a deep sense of community and pride in where she comes from. (Even thought it’s dysfunctional, it’s home!)

The mystery kept me guessing and the Lacy’s personal story has twists and turns that leave you wondering what will happen next. I love how the book left us with a bit of a personal cliffhanger (I totally had to Google the series when I was through and see when the next book is coming out – April 2017).

It just goes to show you you never can tell you which books will draw you in. I would have never guessed that a cozy mystery series about a Kitty Couture shop would be so enjoyable, but Julie made a fan out of me. I’ll be anxiously awaiting next April and more adventures from Lacy!

Check it out and enter below to win copies of two of Julie’s Geek Girl Books.
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