What I’ve Read in 2016


When I was a child, yes, before the internet, one of my favorite things to do was a trip to the library.  The best day at school was when the class was taken to the library to check out a book.  During the summers my group of friends would get dressed up and go to the library.   And, of course, there were those special days when the bookmobile bus would drive into the neighborhood, park on a designated street and wait for me to climb those 3 or 4 steps in to search for a book.  I felt rich as I wandered the rows of books looking for my next adventure, reading about places I had never been and opening my heart and mind to the power of another’s story.  Oh how grateful I am to my family and teachers who taught me how to read. 

Reading causes me to slow down, to stretch myself, to be a treasure hunter and often fact find if what I’m  reading is true and learn from others.  Reading brings me comfort, laughter, leads me to a new idea and often is a restful place to land from my own life.

Because of recently downsizing our home, my commute to work has become an hour longer each day but you know what – it has been a blessing.  Because of the internet and Audible.com, I can now download a book on my iPhone and play it through my car radio.  The little girl in me is delighted for this new library that is so easily available.  The commute flies by.  My coworker and friend, Amy and I started listening to books on our commute years ago.  It is a great way to remind us that the workday hasn’t started yet in the morning and ended in the afternoon.  We have been known to sit in front of her house because we have 15 minutes left and then broke out in applause at the ending while listening to The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  I am sure we were quite a sight to those outside the car.

Don’t get me wrong – I also read on Kindle; and I still treasure holding a book in my hands, turning the pages with my highlighter and pen in hand in case something catches my attention. 

This year I set a goal to read 40 books, as well as my bible.  I have met 3/4 of this goal and I am currently reading the kindle version of  Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow and listen to Among the Gods by Lynn Austin (which is the 5th in the series Chronicles of the Kings – I will be sad to finish this series).  The books of 2016 are a snapshot of my year – learning about people who settled our country,  the kings of the Old Testament, maneuvering the grief of a loved one, many areas of our history – Chicago World Fair and the women who stepped in to work the shipyards during WW2, downsizing a house and discovering there is a freedom in having less stuff, learning to cook more with organics and non-GMO ingredients as well as becoming very attached to a kitchen appliance I’d been scared of – the pressure cooker.  

I have been wanting to document and share my reading list for sometime and with Christmas less than 3 months away, I thought this might be a resource to all my fellow readers.

The Justice by Angela Hunt

The Keeper of the Ring Series by Angela Hunt

The Last of the Mohicans by James Cooper

A Good Yarn (Book 2) by Debbie Macomber

Susannah’s Garden by Debbie Macomber

The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber

Brides for Brothers by Debbie Macomber

A Woman’s Place by Lynn Austin

A Proper Pursuit by Lynn Austin

Faith of My Fathers (Chronicles of the Kings #4) by Lynn Austin

Gods and Kings (Chronicles of the Kings #1)  by Lynn Austin

Song of Redemption (Chronicles of the Kings #2) by Lynn Austin

Strength of His Hand (Chronicles of the Kings #3) by Lynn Austin

The Next Place by Warren Hanson

Remind Me by LN Croak

Magdalene by Angela Hunt

Getting Through the Tough Stuff by Chuck Swindoll

Moving On by Linda Hetzer/Janet Hulstrand

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

Where I Am by Billy Graham

The Elimination Diet:  Discover the foods that are making you sick and tired and feel better fast by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malters

The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst

One Simple Act:  Discovering the Art of Generosity by Debbie Macomb

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

First Easter by Peter Marshall

Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E Frankel

Unbroken by Laura Hollenbrand

Rightsize, Right Now.. by Regina Leads

The Paleo Kitchen by Julie Bauer and George Bryant

I’d love to hear what you are reading or listening to.

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Happy Page Turning…



Tips on Staying Focused to Reach Goals

di - Goals - Amaze Yourself

These past few weeks I’ve been involved in an accelerated business course to learn how to brand Deliciously Inspired.  I have an incredible young woman as a coach and the other women in the group are – well, you know one of my favorite words is – INSPIRING!  I’ve been learning so many new and exciting things that I’ve felt like I’m listening to people talk a foreign language at times.  But I think that’s true anytime we venture out of our comfort zone and stretch ourselves and reach for our heart-felt goals.  At 57 years old, I can look back and say that goals come in all areas, shapes and sizes.  I remember when I was in my 30’s I thought most everyone had some special skill which usually came from obtaining a college degree.  Since I don’t have a college degree, I felt  that I knew a little about a lot of things but wasn’t an “expert” in anything.  I smile to myself a little now because someone will always know more than someone else and realize my thinking was skewed  to believe one arrived at being an “expert” and quit learning.  Now I see that I was accomplishing goals by going to the library and checking out a book to learn a baking technique, completing a home renovation, studying my bible, etc – those goals have all been useful and put to good use.  In fact, this website couldn’t exist without all those small, medium and large size goals that were accomplished over the years.

So today I want to talk about goals.   Goals help us know ourselves better – they can teach us what is important to us – they help us find common ground with others and also help us find our unique voice.  Goals are powerful motivators – did you know you increase your success of accomplishing a goal if you write it down, keep it in front of you and have a level of accountability?  Goals empower us because our confidence is built, as the bible says, strength upon strength.  One goal met makes us stronger for the next goal we face.  

But here is the thing about goals – it is oh, so easy to NOT use our time wisely and become distracted – we become dreamers but not deliverers.   I am always on the search for wisdom from others that can help my growth in this area.  Little did I know that my most recent finding would  be from someone I was introduced to in my business course.   Her name is Kim Wilson and she blogs over at  The Fit Blue Line.   She is married to a police officer; an advocate for the officers and their family’s building healthy lifestyles and someday her desire is to create a non-profit  for fallen and injured officer and their families.  We have several core values in common and so I reached out to her and asked permission to share her thoughts on the subject with you all and she graciously agreed.

Words from Kim on How to Stay Insanely Focused?

How many important things did you get done last week? I mean the things that actually got you closer to your biggest goals and dreams. Can you write down a list of what you accomplished and how it is moving you forward to your ultimate goal?

Why can’t we get focused these days? Seems like we are all plugged into some sort of technology device anymore. We struggle to have a conversation with people standing in front of us without multitasking with our phones.

And then answers the Big Question – How can we get focused?  

  1.  Figure out what actually matters. Get real with yourself about what it is you REALLY do that moves you forward towards your goals.
  2. Pick only 2-3 top task for each day. There are just certain things that have to happen, no matter what, to move you forward. Figure them out and accomplish them daily. If you do this, then your day was a success!
  3. Get the important tasks done first & early! If you get up and do the most important 2-3 tasks first, before you truly start your day, then you are starting your day as a success. Once you get up and start the motions of your day, life will happen. You will have distractions.
  4. Do not connect to anything until you have accomplished your top tasks! Do not convince yourself you need to scroll Facebook, Twitter, IG or whatever social media you are on. Leave your internet notifications off (or chat groups, etc) and put your phone on airplane mode. Once you crush it, then turn it all back on and reward yourself, if you so desire.
  5. Don’t multitask. We all say we can do it. But we can’t. It’s not more efficient … it’s just not people! Do one task at a time. Do it with precision and with 100% of your focus on it and only it.

For Tips 6-10 – click on over and finish reading on Kim’s blog and when you are done, do me a favor – leave her a comment telling her you found her at Deliciously Inspired and what tip  you appreciated the most on how to stay focused toward your goals.  

One of my favorite ways to stay focused is to answer Kim’s question 1 – then write down on a piece of paper my top 4 – dedicate 15 minutes of time and see how far I can get.  Please comment below if you have a favorite way you stay focused.

Stay focused and extra sparkly