A Year in Review

This is the time of the year when magazines and TV shows do the "Year in Review" to give us their take on who was most influential, most popular, most 'whatever'. I've read several magazines lately that gave me their take on the Year in Review and I've had some thoughts.

The Royal Wedding was a Really Big Deal. Not only did this bring the world together for a few hours to watch the same thing, it helped our collective soul. In the midst of financial and political unease and distress I think the world needed a fairy tale to believe in, complete with the Happily Ever After.

The publishing industry doesn't know what's going to happen next and authors are willing to figure it out on their own in the meantime. Self-publishing doesn't mean what it used to thanks to the internet. Anyone, for good and for bad, can publish their own book. First, of course, you have to write it, edit it, and upload it to a channel by which readers can find it. And readers are finding new books by self-published authors. They are also finding books that authors are re-publishing themselves - and doing so really well. In the absence of establishment publishers figuring out how to harness the power of the internet to publish their own books, authors are going to do it for themselves. This is entrepreneurism at its best.

Politics as usual is over. Everywhere. I'm gonna have to learn a whole new list of names of despots. Or maybe not. Amazing.

If you are a sports team in Russia, take the bus. Really. You'll live longer. And speaking of living longer as an athlete, don't play professional football. Okay, this is not a scientific study by any means. This is just my reading of the Sports Illustrated Obituary section for this year but the football players are either really old, meaning they played football in non-serious helmets or before huge players and heavy hits, or they were fairly young, meaning they played in my lifetime. I don't think this bodes well for the average NFL player.

I've never been one to follow fashion or even to notice it much but I'm glad to say I love that color is 'in' again. It makes it much easier to find items I like when I get a chance to go shopping. I don't, however, get the deal with sea salt caramel, but that's because I detest caramel. For those of you that love caramel, I expect you to eat it all up so that chocolate can come back into fashion!!

And as part of my own, personal Year in Review I joined the millions of people around the world who have a smartphone. I Love Apple. I think we'll miss Steve Jobs more with each passing year, for what he could pull out of thin air, or push people to create out of nothing, or imagine could happen. That's entrepreneurism and brilliance wrapped into one.

I've only scratched the surface, but the kidlets are ready for more festivities. I'd love to hear what you think makes a good Year in Review or what you're looking forward to in the New Year.

Totally Together in time for the Holidays

Here is another item you are going to want to get for yourself and probably another for a friend and another for your daughter or your mom/ cousin/ neighbor/ teacher, etc. Really. Pop on over to Amazon, B&N, or your favorite bookstore of choice and take care of your purchase. I'll wait. .... Okay.

I'd heard about the Totally Together Journal before I ever saw one because I followed Stephanie O'Dea's A Year of Slowcooking.  Then I signed up for the Totally Together emails that followed the next year in which I got a daily email that reminded me to do seasonal things, PROM the kids toys or pile of mail, or to remember to take care of myself. The Totally Together Journal is geared more toward women with families but I don't think women without kids would feel excluded. Heck, we all still have to take out the trash, plan our meals, and do seasonal cleaning around the house no matter what our family situation is.

One of the things I truly appreciate about Stephanie's writing, both on her blogs and in the Totally Together Journal, is that she does a phenomenal job of pulling together a lot of information in one place in order to help us with our daily lives. It might be cooking. It might be cleaning. It might be just remembering to enjoy life. No matter what it is, she writes with clarity and sense of balance. It's not about doing things right - in the way that a woman in white gloves, pillbox hat, and a disapproving scowl is going to come into your house and 'tsk, tsk' when she finds that that you aren't following it precisely. And might I say, Thank Goodness! We all live our own lives and our homes reflect our individuality and our needs. Totally Together Journal respects that, too, and understands that you are going to use it as it fits in with your own life.

I can tell you that I've worked this journal hard in the last few weeks. Not only have we been preparing for the holidays, but I've just gone back to work. This is the first time since both of my kids were born that I've worked outside of the house. Thankfully I have lots of extra hands to help out but it's still been an adjustment. It's still going to take us time to get our feet fully underneath us and thankfully, I have the Totally Together Journal at hand to help keep me on track. And for that I am very, very grateful.

I was provided with a Totally Together Journal for this review. The review and the ideas for the review are my own.  You cannot have this journal, it's mine.