Remote – Book Review

IMG_9761wmI’ve been rather ill as of late, from the chronic Lyme disease. However, business ventures and dreams of the future have been on my mind. I find it fascinating how so many seemingly small aspects can make or break a business. When I saw Remote in the selection on Blogging for Books I didn’t want to pass it by. I love the idea of being able to work in an environment that’s most comfortable for the individual. With having social anxiety and a chronic illness this really appeals to me.

While having a job of any sort is not currently feasible, I hope with continuing to treat the Lyme that may change soon, so why not prepare? Currently I’m hoping to work with my writing and art, but who knows how that will turn out? Remote was really interesting; it seems to go from being directed to those who want to work remotely to employers who want to start remote work. It explains how you can make it work for you and bursts the false myths about this way of working. While there will always be many types of jobs that require you to work in-person, I look forward to seeing how common remote work becomes and what types of jobs it will offer. 

This is a short read, only 243 easy-to-read pages and plenty of graphics, so you should be able to read it in a single evening, which is good for those with busy lives. I rated this book four stars on Goodreads.

I was provided this book by Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts expressed here are, and forever will be, my own.

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Living with an Anxiety Disorder

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Living with an anxiety disorder is extremely difficult, and it’s the most common type of mental disorder in America. Sadly, despite the large number of people suffering from anxiety disorders (general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, and phobias) it’s still highly misunderstood. 

Two of the misunderstandings are that one, the anxiety or panic is something you can just turn off. Two, that if you have an anxiety disorder you must not trust in the Lord. It’s understandable that people have these misunderstandings if they’ve not lived it themselves; however it’s therefore important to educate ourselves and try to better understand and empathize. 

People are correct that we are to trust in the Lord, there are many verses that talk about it.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? -Matthew 6:25-27

However, there are different types of anxiety. There’s anxiety when you have something coming up in life and you don’t know how it will turn out; when you’re in immediate danger; and then there are anxiety disorders, where your brain sends out false signals and makes you anxious or panicked for seemingly no reason. When the Bible addresses anxiety it seems to be talking about thought centered anxiety, the type where you’re worried about something, whether it be finals, your job, et cetera. 

It’s perfectly normal to have stressful days or events, but we need to learn how to deal with these thoughts to live a healthy life and get things done. However the other forms of anxiety are different. If someone has a gun in your face you’re going to be anxious, and that anxiety causes adrenalin which will help you block out pain and act quickly, helping you get out of danger.

There are many things that may contribute to an anxiety disorder, “scientists currently think that, like heart disease and type 1 diabetes, mental illnesses are complex and probably result from a combination of genetic, environmental, psychological, and developmental factors.” (source) With an anxiety disorder you may not even have conscious thought as to why you’re anxious, you just have an overwhelming feeling that you have to escape the situation. Your heart feels like it’s beating a million miles a minute, you can hardly breathe, you feel like a brick wall is crumbling down around you, and the whole time you know it makes no sense but you have to escape. Though nobody is pointing a gun in your face your brain is yelling at you that you’re in danger and to escape. All the logical thinking in the world won’t help.

Please, instead of getting angry or throwing Bible verses at those with an anxiety disorder try to help them. Imagine what it must be like to have someone walk up behind you and touch you on the shoulder cause a complete meltdown in your brain, where you feel as if you’re in grave danger. The best way to help those in these situations is to be empathetic and listen to their needs. If certain situations cause an attack try to find ways around those situations, and if they can’t be avoided try to help find ways to ease as much of the anxiety as possible.

I have a phobia of going to the dentist, and obviously that can’t be avoided. I have someone back in the room with me so that they can help me communicate. I also use calming essential oils and wear headphones with my favorite music. It’s still awful, and I have stress-induced atonic seizures, but each of these things greatly help me.

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Getting Back on Track – February Goals

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I can hardly believe I posted so little this past month. I wanted to write so much, yet it seemed as if I’d mysteriously forgotten how to put my thoughts into words. Thankfully that ability seems to be back now.

Last month I had seven goals. I didn’t accomplish a couple of my goals, but I’m still pretty happy with what I did accomplish. Instead of reading seven books I read nine; my Learning Python book was due back at the library, and I didn’t get my own copy from AbeBooks until the other day, so that goal had to be put off a few weeks; I think I did pretty well getting back on track with healthy eating; I was unable to detox as often as I wish, but there was progress; I did create more healthy recipes, which I hope to share here soon; I obviously failed at getting back to my blogging schedule; I succeeded at reconnecting with some friends whom I lost touch with through the holidays.

While it may be difficult when I don’t meet some goals I set for myself, I just have to remind myself that I can’t (and don’t want to) plan for everything. If I’m too sick to do something I have to accept it and just try to do the best I can.

February should be insane around here, there’s some big plans being worked on and if they turn out the way we hope it will mean a few crazy busy months and some big changes. With that in mind I’m going to try to give myself reasonable goals.

  • Post twice weekly on Lavender and Honey
  • Finish studying Learning Python
  • Improve my left-handed sketching and writing*
  • Read at least seven books
  • Spend more time in the Word daily
  • Take the time to write down, and share, my new recipes

These goals seem like quite a feat, considering my Lyme disease, other plans, and life in general, but I want to push myself. Hopefully if I drink massive amounts of coffee and sleep enough my brain will behave enough.

What are your monthly goals, and what helps you accomplish them?

*I mentioned in an earlier post about being unable to use my right arm, but didn’t really elaborate. I injured my right arm the week before Christmas by a fall caused by my Lyme disease. Nothing broke, but it turns out that injured tendons take a lot longer to heal. 

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A Kitchen in France and Garden Party Dreams

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When I was last picking a book from *Blogging for Books to review I came across A Kitchen in France by Mimi Thorisson. I just couldn’t pass this book by. Not only was the cover gorgeous, but I loved the thought of seasonal recipes from a true French country kitchen. 

This book did not disappoint. I have many cookbooks, and there are many more that I want, yet I must say that this is my favorite. I love reading the stories throughout, about her childhood in Hong Kong, years in Paris, and life in Médoc with her family and fourteen dogs. The photos by her and her husband are gorgeous, and I love the respect she has for each ingredient. This book inspires me.

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Not only am I highly anticipating trying out all of her recipes, but it also inspires ideas for my own recipes. While reading through all the stories and notes that fill A Kitchen in France I kept daydreaming of garden parties with loved ones. Maybe one in late spring with her recipes for artichoke tartlets, tomato salad with parsley and shallots, and almond gazpacho, along with a glass of **champagne. Later on after lunch has been over for a while I could bring out a plate of colorful macarons (recipe not in the book) and trays of lattes made from freshly roasted coffee. If it was autumn I could serve her pork cheek ravioli with cèpes, butternut gratin, and chocolate meringue swirls with chocolate sauce and crème chantilly, along with **red wine.

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Of course I had to test out one of her recipes. Not only for this review, but because I’ve been dreaming of the many flavors. I was originally going to make her delicious looking onion tart, but rolling out puff pastry crust sounded difficult to do with the sole use of one arm. However, the other night I was in need for a little baking therapy, so I decided to splurge and try out the meringue swirls.

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Simply put, they were amazing. Mine didn’t turn out as gorgeous as her’s, but I gave myself a little grace since I only had one arm. While eating mine I couldn’t stop imagining the many different flavor combination. I loved the outer crunch of the meringue with the denser, almost candy bar nougat-like interior. It paired perfectly with the chocolate sauce and whipped cream. I shall be using this recipe many times in the future.

Do you have a favorite cookbook or food blogger? Do you find baking or cooking therapeutic?

*This book was provided to me by Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are, and forever will be, my own.

**Ephesians 5:18

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January Goals

IMG_6609wmjmgA random photo, however it’s from this month and I like any reason to share pictures of cute furries.

One of my favorite bloggers, Daisy from Simplicity Relished, recently shared her January goals. I found this inspirational. A year ago I wrote myself New Years resolutions for the first time, but found it impractical because life is always changing, and just because resolutions seem good at the start of the year doesn’t mean they’ll be attainable for the rest of the year. Instead this year I intend to join in making monthly goals.

  • Read seven books
  • Get back to healthy eating
  • Lyme detox three times weekly
  • Create more delicious, easy, and healthy recipes
  • Get back on my blogging schedule 
  • Reconnect with friends 

These goals may be simple, however I don’t want to give myself too many. I want to leave time open for spontaneity, anything that pops up unexpectedly, and keep my chronic illness in mind.

What are your resolutions or monthly goals?

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