The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown;

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Hey guys! As promised I came back this afternoon to post my review on the WONDERFUL book The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. Lets start with a little bit of background on what made me want to read this book so much. A month or so back, I texted my amazing sister in law because I had suddenly hit a hard spot with my passion for photography. I was at the point where I would rather sell my camera than hold it. I did not in any way feel like I was worthy of this passion, simply because my ex-husband was the entire reason I had that camera. In 2010, my passion for photography really began and I wanted so badly to have a better camera than the one I had. On our one year anniversary in 2011, the first real gift he ever got me was my Canon camera. I was in love with the camera and it literally never left my side. Then he decided that being together after five years was no longer something he wanted and he left. In 2017, I signed the remaining pages for our divorce and started a new life.

Now before you start wondering why this became a huge post about my ex-husband, I want you to know that I moved on from the situation. I have forgiven what needed to be forgiven, but in the same way, I haven’t been able to let go of some things. I thought by putting down my camera and turning my back to this photography passion that I would finally be free of him. I was wrong and late one night, it slapped me hard in the face. I wanted my passion back. I wanted to pick up my camera and feel like I was worthy of calling myself a photographer. I wanted to take pictures of my sons, nature, friends, and family and know that this was part of who I was supposed to be. I wanted to embrace that part of me and not hide it away just because someone from my past helped make it come alive.

My sister in law suggested this book and surprised me with it as her gift to me for Mother’s Day. This book made me feel so many emotions and it personally made me feel attacked which is EXACTLY what I needed. I needed a wake up call and Brené’s words gave me that with every chapter. I have always struggled with hiding the parts of me that I didn’t believe the world would find pretty and this book helped me realize I needed to embrace all parts of me. I needed to love myself more than I worried about others loving me. She helped me understand that squandering my gift for photography and even writing, brings distress to my life. The main reason I felt so empty, resentful, and ashamed was my own fault because I was ignoring my talent.

Please, if you are looking for a self-help/emotional-health book to read, get this one. It’s worth it entirely. I am blessed to have a sister in law like the one I have. She helped open my eyes to a whole new world. When I finished the last sentence of this book, I felt renewed. I felt like the weight of these emotions I was feeling was gone. I see through a whole new lense now. My goal is to live a wholehearted life, because I deserve to.

Yes I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”

Always,
Lauren

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Gifts-Imperfection-Think-Supposed-Embrace/dp/159285849X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1559159406&sr=8-3

Feel free to follow me on instagram and youtube as well!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bookswithgypsy/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/xXLaurenLustyXx

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Life Happens;

Happy Tuesday, everyone!  I wanted to pop in and say hey! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, I’m not going to lie. Life has been crazy lately. I’m hoping to get things together this week and be back to my normal weekly posts for you guys! I have dealt with some horrible health issues lately that I’m hoping to get into a doctor for soon so we can hopefully get some answers. The boys have also been sick on and off since Christmas, my oldest seems to get the worst of it each time. He has been in and out of doctors the past couple of weeks, blood work after blood work. We still don’t have any answers for him but we are taking things one day at a time. Hopefully since warmer weather is upon us, we can all catch a break and enjoy the summer.

I am currently reading TWO books and I’m in love with both of them. I am halfway through reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown, my wonderful sister in law got this book for me as part of my mothers day gift from her. So far I am absolutely in love with it. Brene Brown is an incredible speaker and author, I highly recommend her to anyone that needs a good we life wake up call. I hit a really low point in my life before mothers day and I texted my sister in law late one night and we talked about so much. She pulled me out of that and I found a love again for a certain passion in my life that I had lost interest in back when my ex husband walked out on us. This book has helped me find strength in myself that I forgot I had. When I finish it, which may even be today after this life update, I’ll be posting my review!

The second book I am reading is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, it is the first novel in the Outlander series and it’s really interesting! I’m definitely enjoying it. If you would like to keep up with how far I’ve gone in this book, please follow me on Goodreads! I keep up with it a lot and I also keep up with things on my instagram account! Both handles are BooksWithGypsy! Please feel free to give me a follow on there if you would liek to keep up with my life and content. I also post once a month on my youtube channel, I subscribed to OwlCrate and I do unboxing videos for that on my channel, please subscribe there as well to see that! Also called BooksWithGypsy.

Other than all of the sickness making its rounds in my home, life has been typical. Constantly on the go, constantly being a mother before anything else. Trying to get the baby weight off so I can start planning the wedding of my dreams, which is a terrifying idea because my first marriage blew up in my face. Do I have anymore anger toward that situation? No, I do not. I moved on from it. I forgave the situation and I am living my life for my boys. Their daddy and I take care of them the best we can and they’ll never know life without love. That’s my only goal these days, keep my boys smiling!

There’s an update for you guys, I hope to post a little later tonight with a book review! Have a wonderful week guys.

Always,
Lauren

Hold Yourself Dear by Pauline C. Smith;

Happy Hump day, friends! Taking a breather from the mom life while dinner is cooking to leave a review for you guys!

Hold Yourself Dear is a book that was lend to me after my fiance’s grandmama passed away at the beginning of this month. It was special to me during the time I had it because I imagined her sitting there reading it just as I was.

Hold Yourself Dear is about a high school girl who moves to a new town her senior year and she isn’t happy about it at first. Things quickly turn around for her though when she meets a sweet boy and makes new friends. I won’t go into too many details because I hate spoilers, but within the pages of this book you learn that the saying her mom tells her “hold yourself dear” has so many meanings.

I learned a lot from this book and I hope to always hold myself dear in life, no matter my age. I highly recommend reading this book, it’s a good one for sure! I would have given it a 5/5 on goodreads if it even existed on there! Sadly, it isn’t on there. I will post a link for Thriftbooks as always but it is currently unavailable.

Always,
Lauren

Thriftbooks:https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/hold-yourself-dear/8555912/#isbn=B0006BN424

Ridiculous by Dee Jay Shoulders;

Hi everyone! Get ready for an awesome book review by yours truly. I just finished reading a book written by the Pastor at my church, who is incredible by the way.

The book is called Ridiculous and let me tell you, nothing about the words in this book are ridiculous! I was brought through so many emotions while reading his words in this book, tears, laughter, you name it and I felt it.

The book touches on subjects such as depression, anxiety, fear, anger, etc. It walks you through verses and stories of God that will bring you through these seasons of your life. It’s a truth that defies all logic.

If you are religious person, or even if you’re not and you’re seeking answers for the “why is this happening” moments, please I urge you to read this book. The ten chapters it consists of are so helpful for anything in your life you may be going through. I definitely give this book a 5 star review, on goodreads and anywhere else I can!

Always,

Lauren

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Ridiculous-Truth-That-Defies-Logic-ebook/dp/B07L3DG7M1/ref=mp_s_a_1_fkmrnull_2?keywords=ridiculous+by+dee+jay+shoulders&qid=1553547790&s=gateway&sr=8-2-fkmrnull

Gypsy is Back!

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope my post finds you well. Thank you for sticking around as long as you have.

I apologize in advance for the lack of reviews and life updates. My health has gone down hill lately, I had a csection in October with the twins and it has caused my back a lot of issues. I start physical therapy this week though and we are hoping that gives me some relief! My family also suffered a great loss last week when my fiancé’s grandmama passed away. It was sudden and we have been busy getting through that. But I plan on doing a lot of blog posts this week and hopefully getting back up to speed on things.

You can expect a few reviews this week, I have read quite a few books since January. Including comics! I have gotten obsessed with comic books lately, thanks to my fiancé for contributing to my obsession.

If you’re a book lover such as myself, please give my blog a follow! I will be posting weekly updates and book reviews as well.

I am currently reading THREE books at one time. I’m reading Hold Yourself Dear, the first book to the Outlander series, and a book called Ridiculous that my church pastor has written. I’m excited to be back and I hope you’re excited to join me on this journey.

I also subscribed to Owlcrate for three months! I’ll be doing unboxing videos for my YouTube channel when those begin arriving!

Have a wonderful week, guys.

Lauren

Update, Review, and Goals!

Hey everyone, I’m back! It has been about three months since I posted anything book or youtube related. I wanted to check in and give a little update on everything!

First of all, the twins were born in October which is a big part of my absence, things have been a bit chaotic. I have also been in and out of the hospital due to some health issues I’ve been having but I won’t go into big detail on that.

Last time I posted anything I was reading Hocus Pocus & The All New Sequel by AW Jantha, I have finally been able to finish that one so I can let you know what I think! The first half of the book is the first story which I know all too well because Hocus Pocus is my number one favorite Halloween movie of all time. So I loved that part of the story. Now, fast forward twenty five years later and this is where the sequeal begins. It was a bit strange to me having it told from the point of view of Poppy, who is Max and Emily’s daughter. Yes, they got married. (spoiler, sorry.) Some parts of the new life for them kind of annoys me, it actually took a lot for me to keep interested on the second part of the book but I stuck it out. It ended nicely, but I don’t believe I’m the biggest fan of how it all played out. Maybe if I had not gone into with high expectations, I may have enjoyed it more. But, go into it with an open mind. Some parts have great plot twists! I hope if you do read it, you enjoy it.

I am actually editing a video for a youtube update as well, if you guys want to see that. My youtube channel is called BooksWithGypsy, please check that out. Give me a like and subscribe if you’d like! I hope to post there monthly at least. I am also creating an Instagram platform for my book reviews/updates. It will be under the same name, BooksWithGypsy. I haven’t created that just yet, but by the time you read this, hopefully it will be up!

My current goals for this year are to read more, I set a goal of twenty four books this year. That is two a month, I’m on my second book all ready which I mention in my youtube video. So expect a review on that one to be out this month also! I’m hoping to dive into my love for books more this year and just take some time for myself.

Thanks for staying with me on this journey!

Always,
Lauren

Thriftbooks Link: https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/hocus-pocus-the-original–the-sequel-25th-anniversary-edition_anna-waggener/18850846/#isbn=1368020038&idiq=28426429

 

“Meant to be a Mom.”

That’s the last thing my high risk doctor told me the day I had the twins and some days I question if that man knew what he was talking about.

They say the moms who feel as though they are doing it all wrong are the good ones, but what if that mom constantly feels like she’s failing at motherhood? That mom is me.

I brought two beautiful baby boys into this world causing my first born to no longer be the only one. He no longer gets the attention that he used to get from me and some days he lets that show by acting so awful I want to cry.

We used to do so much together and now I wonder if I’m doing enough. Is it enough only going on “Mommy and Me” dates once a week? Is it enough to sit on the sofa eating snacks and letting him pick the movie? Is it enough to make Walmart trips with just him? Is it enough to lay with him at bedtime after our story and hold him until he falls asleep? Is any of it ever going to feel like enough?

I’m watching him grow up right in front of my eyes and I feel like I’m missing it, between diaper changes and feedings, I’m too exhausted to do much these days. People probably think my son gets too much screen time or that he doesn’t eat healthy enough. I’m doing the best I can and some days none of it feels right.

I lay my head down every night promising that tomorrow will be better, I’ll do more tomorrow. The house will look better tomorrow, the kids will have all the attention they need from me tomorrow. I’ll be a better mom tomorrow. But when will tomorrow really come?

I’m my own worst critic, I know this. At the end of the day, I also know my children love me. My oldest tells me the same thing every single night.

“Mommy, I love you. You’re my best friend. Hold me tight.”

In that little moment I find the ability to breath through the anxiety, because maybe I’m not screwing this up completely. Maybe it was meant to be.

Youtube Is Back!

So I did another thing, two years later! I’m hoping not to get discouraged this time around, huge shoutout to Faith Fulk for giving me the push I needed to start it up again! If any of my friends are book lovers and like watching videos from other book lovers, please give my channel a chance and subscribe! Thanks. 

Always,
Lauren

The Other Life by Ellen Meister;

A book review finally after so long! I’m so happy to be back to doing these for you guys. Last night I finished reading The Other Life by Ellen Meister and let me tell you, THE TEARS.

If you had the ability to take a portal to another life, would you? That’s the choice pregnant and happily married Quinn Braverman was able to make in this story. Due to decisions her mother had made before she was born, Quinn had the ability to live two separate lives.

But ultimately she has to make a decision, did she want to live the life of a happily married mother of soon to be two children (the child she is currently carrying comes with devastating news) or would she choose to live the life of more freedom (the life where she can spend more time with her mother).

From beginning to end this book has you on an emotional roller coaster but I can promise you it is worth the tissues!

Now I’m off to start reading Hocus Pocus and The All New Sequel by A.W. Jantha! Happy Thursday, friends.

Always,
Lauren

Thriftbooks Link: https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/the-other-life_ellen-meister/669447/#isbn=0399157131&idiq=3370328

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