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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Losing Touch, Sandra Hunter ~ Book review

* I received a copy of this book from TLC Book Tours to facilitate my review. I was not compensated for this review in any way. There are affiliate links throughout this post. *




A fairly short book, Losing Touch took me some time to get through. The story spans several decades, which is good to know going in. I say this not to "spoil" it for you, but to give you an idea of how you will get to know these characters, especially the primary character, the father, Arjun.

Arjun has moved his family from India looking for a better life. He is the man in charge, with a family that seems to be rebelling against him. He and his wife Sunila have two children. They both seem to loathe Arjun, from what I can tell early on.

And with good reason.

Good reason to loathe him, but not enough to stop me from reading.

He is a stern father, a seemingly rough husband.

He wants to maintain what is described as a traditional Indian household, but his children do not follow his lead. His daughter wants to be more independent, wants to wear things her new friends are wearing. He worries about who she connects with. He worries about his son, his son's education, his son's ability to grow into a strong man.

There were some aspects of these characters I could relate to, as family dynamics are interesting. I thought back often to my own teenage years and wondered how many times my parents questioned my actions. My motives. Who I was.

It is hard to relate to Sunila. She is an obeying wife. Sometimes beyond what I wanted to see.

Ultimately, as her husband's health continues to fail, our view changes. We see her struggles and we see him in a different light. He changes. He watches life move on around him and we're stuck inside his head.

These words were somewhat difficult to read, the words trapped in the minds of the elderly, but powerful just the same.

I would say that Losing Touch was a good read, but not an easy one.

If you're interested you can purchase a copy for your Kindle,  and if you'd like to purchase a hard copy (it's a light book and very easy to carry around with you), you can get Losing Touch here. And if you do read it, I hope you'll come back by and let me know what you think!


* I received a copy of this book from TLC Book Tours to facilitate my review. I was not compensated for this review in any way. *

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hey, y'all.

Hi, everyone.

Exciting news to share! Today is my SITS day.

Which means for those of you who already know me and love me? This is all going to be repetitive. But you should read it anyway, because maybe you'll learn something new! Or maybe you'll want to chime in and tell all of my new friends why they should love me, too, okay?

So, for those of you who are new here - I'm Andrea. This is my blog. Good Girl Gone Redneck was created in 2009 when my daughter was a little over two years old. If you do the math she's seven these days, but who wants to do math when school's out for the summer?

I'm a social worker turned SAHM turned part-time social worker. I'm also what you'd call a full-time volunteer for all the things. And yes. I do mean ALL. Most of my non-paid gigs go hand in hand with my mental health advocacy and focus. Some of them are blog related, which goes hand in hand with my social media addiction.

* Psst. You think I'm kidding - I know. I'm so totally not! *

So, where was I?

Right! Here's me.


That's me, dressed and ready for the Bruno Mars concert last month. Waiting for my friends to pick me up. For the concert which just so happened to be the following night. And if you think I'm kidding you can check Instagram. I shared it there, too. 

As you can tell I'm all about keeping it real here. I talk a lot about life, family, parenting, motherhood, relationships and connections, the aforementioned importance of mental health in my world, and books. Lots and lots of books. 

I'm a native New Yorker (which means I talk fast), mom of one (she's 7 now and home for summer vacation), married to my husband who is pretty much a saint (read on ...), and if you ask me why I'll let you know that I've lived here in North Carolina since 2006 and I still don't drive (yet)! So yeah, anyone have a medal for this man?



So, that's me in way more than a nutshell.

I'm really excited as I haven't had a SITS day in quite a few years. The last one, back in 2010, was a holiday themed celebration type post and being featured over at SITS was coordinated a bit differently. Now they have an amazing format where you meet the blogger and get introduced to them through some of their favorite posts (of their own, of course, because - well - self promotion!). SITS is a really cool and supportive community, website, environment and more where I'm currently the featured blogger of the day. So you should totally check it out.

Feel free to read those posts first. Or this one. Or whatever you want. Just be sure to stick around.

And leave me a comment so I can get to know you better. Or pop over to my GGGR Facebook page and leave me a #selfie! Because that would pretty much rock. And I'm the self-proclaimed queen of all the selfies these days. This one below happens to be one of my favorites. It's currently my Facebook profile pic, too. It just makes me laugh a little every time I see it, which is what it's all about, right? Taking things too seriously is just not the way to go. At least not for me these days.

So - that's me in a nutshell. I hope you'll join me on the next part of my journey as I work to get this sacred space redesigned. I'm scared, but in a weird way I'm thinking change is good!

Catch y'all later!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Spoonful of Comfort ~ product review

* I received a complimentary gift package of Spoonful of Comfort for my review. 
I have not received compensation for this post. *



I've always heard about Spoonful of Comfort. Always thought it sounded amazing. Maybe even went so far as to wish someone would send it to me. /fine - no maybe - I have!/

I've sent it to a friend before and she loved it. Said it was an incredible surprise and an amazing relief for her to have dinner for her and her husband. I was glad. And still intrigued. Would it be weird to send it to myself? 

Yay! Thanks for being you! Love, Me?

And so when the Spoonful of Comfort team contacted me about possibly reviewing their product, I was all in. Yes, please, when can I try it? 

Within no time at all I had this beautifully organized package of goodies at my door. 

First off, there's a beautiful ladle. 

Yes. A ladle can be beautiful. What of it?

Then, a HUGE jar of chicken soup. It's also pretty beautiful. But I'll come back to that. 

Included in this package were dinner rolls and oatmeal cookies. 

Come on, bread and sweets? WITH dinner? Thank you and sign me up. 



The soup was really good. 

Take a look at it. It's kind of pretty. And chock-full of vegetables and large pieces of chicken. I *may* have eaten it all by myself. *Maybe*



Look at this cookie. It's huge. And it was so good. Really good. 


These I shared. Promise. And my daughter loved them. 

What I love is that the Spoonful of Comfort online shop has a great variety of gift packages to order for your friends and family. Whether you've shipped your kids off to college and are looking to send them the comforts of home (options with cozy socks available!), or have a friend with a new baby you'd like to make dinner for but they live too far away, you'll find these packages are adjustable to meet your and your recipients' needs. 

All in all, I'm a fan. I plan on sending this off to friends in the future and think you could definitely brighten someone's day by doing so, as well. Honestly? If you're not sure who to send it to? Try it yourself. You're worth it. *wink*

* Disclaimer: I received a complimentary gift package of Spoonful of Comfort for my review. 
I have not received compensation for this post. *


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Perspective.

Interesting word, isn't it?

Mine's changed.

My perspective.

I used to be someone who would overreact, or simply, REACT (capitals for emphasis) to certain things.

And I don't now. Not really.

I mean, sure, I have my emotions and my feelings and my anxieties. Those don't change or go away - they're a part of who I am.

But life is different now.

Recently my laptop went black on me.

I mean - completely black - like buh-bye.

My husband looked at me after trying to fix it. Shook his head.

Everything. Gone. Wiped. Kaput.

We couldn't remember the last time we backed it up. Honestly, that's bad. I know. I should be doing that regularly. But I took a deep breath and replied.

Okay.

Okay?

Yep. Okay.

I survived. I lost a few pictures - sure, maybe - but I survived. Life moved on.

Last night he came upstairs and had a similar expression. Apologetic, almost.

He restarted the DVR and when it started again he clicked the list button and - - - -

NOTHING.

Empty.

70% full was now 100% free.

Okay.

Okay?

I'll find General Hospital on YouTube. I'll catch up on several seasons of Girls somehow.

All the movies? We'll get them back. Most of them are on more often than you'd imagine.

My daughter cried out for Phineas and Ferb. Well, not cried, but yelled, maybe?

We'll just record them again.

Things like this? These electronic mishaps? Totally would have zonked me before.

Before what? When?

Honestly, I think losing my father has given me a completely different perspective. There are so many awful things happening in our world that my losing a few photographs or a few television recordings is nothing in comparison. I've already suffered one of the worst losses in my 41+ years. My heart has been shattered and I'm still picking up the pieces nine months later.

So, yes.

Okay.

Because it's all about perspective.

* Linking up with Shell's Pour Your Heart Out this week. *

* p.s. The DVR recovered itself, but my point is still valid - I think.*

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Happy 10th Anniversary, Postpartum Progress!


I don't really remember the first time I was led to Postpartum Progress. 

I just know I eventually found myself there. 

I found myself reading and reading and reading. 

I was stuck. Absorbed in the words. The posts. 

I couldn't believe it. There was this place online that actually "got" it. This woman who knew what postpartum mental health was all about. 

And people were reading her. And commenting. And reading again. And sharing. Maybe it was a share that led me to Katherine. Maybe it was a tweet. I don't know. But that's okay. I don't have to know or fully remember. I just know that realizing she was out there and that there were all these women out there finding the support that they needed? 

AMAZING.

I experienced anxiety when I was pregnant. And during my forever-postpartum-period (I sometimes consider ALL MAMAS postpartum, as we're never quite "before pregnancy" again, are we?), too.

Anxiety's a beast sometimes.



I've written about it. 

Thought about it. 

I talk about it freely. 

I have found my people. I really have.

Katherine Stone is one of those women.

Have you read about how I semi-stalked her several years ago at Type-A Parent Conference? I wrote about how I met Katherine ... and I was only slightly excited, right?

She was as generous as one would expect when someone approaches you and kind of wants to give you a huge hug - just because you're you.


She was real. She is real. One thing I have learned to love about Katherine is how genuine she is. 

I've listened to her speak so many times, and I've yet to find a drop of conceit or expectation. Not that I had reason to, but she's like a celebrity to so many - you never know. But with Katherine? You can rest assured it's not there. I do know.  

She seems truly awed by the community she has created via Postpartum Progress. Completely floored every single time something amazing happens. 

And because of this and more - Katherine is truly worthy of every effort made on her behalf. 

The work she has done increasing awareness of postpartum mental health over the past ten years? Incomparable. The community she has created for women who NEED to know that they are not alone? Beyond words. 

So today I'm proud to be one of the many celebrating Katherine and Postpartum Progress. Happy TENTH anniversary, my friend. I'm proud to know you and thrilled for you and so excited to see what the coming years will bring.

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If you'd like to help support Katherine's efforts with a donation to Postpartum Progress you can do so very easily online. Postpartum Progress is a non-profit organization and your donation will be tax deductible. Your donation will go towards supporting an organization that supports ALL mamas EVERYWHERE.

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If you or anyone you know is experiencing symptoms of postpartum mood disorders, please consider reaching out for help. Postpartum Support International has a toll-free support line you can call 1.800.944.4PPD and a map of local support resources for you.

Looking to talk to mamas like you? #PPDChat is a weekly Twitter chat where you can find discussions related to living your life postpartum. 

Looking for hope? A reminder that you WILL get through this? Check out the Warrior Mom Photo Album and see these smiling faces. That will be you - soon.