Healthy Living with Better Body Foods

BetterBodyFoodsThe fine people over at Better Body Foods sent over their LIVfit Superfood Bled with Protein and their PB Fit for me to try, and I’m so happy they did!

If you’re not familiar with the LIVfit Superfood Blend with Protein, it’s a blendable powder that has real nutrients from real food.

This blend contains Antioxidants, fiber and protein from pea, hemp, chia, quinoa, cranberries, cherries, blueberries, spinach, broccoli, beets, shitake mushrooms, and green tea extract. These powerful antioxidants have been linked to anti-aging, and who doesn’t want a dose of that?

The proprietary organic fiber has been shown to improve digestive health, boost your immune system, and improve absorption of nutrients while suppressing appetite. The vegan protein found in the blend helps maintain muscle mass and aids in muscle development. The organic green tea extract and B-Complex also gives you energy, truly making this a superfood!

You can mix the powder into your favorite drink, and you’re set! LIVfit Superfood Blend is soy free, vegan, and gluten-free. Just coming off of a week where I’ve been very sick, I’m so excited to fill my body with good nutrition and get it back to normal.

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Are you a protein shake lover? Do you love to mix it up and create custom flavors and blends? I love to use the PB Fit in my shakes and kick it up a notch. PB Fit is a dry peanut butter. This allows you to add the protein and flavor of peanut butter without all of the extra calories associated with a blended product. My favorite shake is a chocolate peanut butter shake, and yes, I use the PB Fit! This product is also great if you’re making energy bites that call for peanut butter. Again, what a great way to cut out calories.

Check out their complete line of healthy options to kickstart your wellness goals! https://www.betterbodyfoods.com

THOB Bernadette Marie January-3

Healthy Living with BetterBodyFoods

Check out my review of LIVfit Superfood Blend and PBfit! || www.thishouseofboys.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Denver Area Bowling Fun!

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Looking for a great way to spend your spring? How about the Spring Play Pass from your local Bowlero location?

  • AMF Aurora Lanes
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Purchase your Spring Play Pass at https://bowlplaypass.com/. Pricing ranges from $22.95-$33.95 for Children 15 and younger, and $27.955-$37.95 for those 16 and older. Packages allow guests to bowl 2 games per day for three weeks from the date of purchase. The Spring Play Pass includes shoe rental. (Packages may vary per location.)

This is the perfect activity for families to enjoy while the kids are on Spring Break.

 

Our Children; Dealing with Loss and Grief

Our Children; Dealing with Loss and Grief

Most children will go through loss and grief when one of their great-grandparents or grandparents pass. For many of us, we can remember that from out own childhood. For me I was ten when my great-grandmother passed. It was expected. But just like my children I was only eleven when the girl who grew up next-door to me died of cancer and they lost their first friend at fourteen also from cancer.

I’ll never forget telling them that night that their dear friend and hockey brother went to hospice. The next morning I woke them very early to give them time to grieve his passing before trying to pull it together enough to go to school. The grief of that loss has never healed. Each day they think of their dear friend Ian and they celebrate his birthday each year with donuts for breakfast and ice cream through the day.

I hoped that their grieving would end with that loss, but alas you never know when it will happen again.

In the past year my children’s lives have been touched by loss. Last year at the end of the school year, they lost a beloved teacher to suicide. The very unexpected loss, for my twins, showed their emotional coping in different ways. Each of them had this teacher. My eldest twin had her for yearbook, while the other had her for English, and was close friends and classmates in that class with the teacher’s daughter.

After the news of her passing had swept through the school and community, the school brought in grief counselors to be there for the children. My eldest twin dealt with the tragedy by continuing on. They’d moved her students to another room and continued with another teacher. On the day after, they offered them outlets, such as activities in the gym, etc. He took those outlets.

My other son, the one who is very good friends with the teacher’s daughter, took the loss much harder. There was an option to spend the days in the library, among friends, and those counselors engaged with the students. The day after that, if they thought they weren’t ready to enter the classroom again, they could stay in the office. I was very grateful that they were given these options and the help to learn to cope. They were sure he’d needed more time since he was close to the daughter, whom spent many afternoons at our house and the group of friends rallied behind her.

Ribbons were worn and memorials were attended. And as a parent, you hoped you’d never see your child hurt again.

Enter cancer.

Our Children; Dealing with Loss and Grief

Jack and his beloved teacher, “Our Julie.”

Last year (2017) my youngest son entered his sixth-grade year with one of our all time, most favorite teachers ever. She had been the homeroom teacher for my eldest son, who is now almost 20, when he was in the third grade. That was a hard year for our family, and she seemed to know that this oldest of five needed a little extra love and support that year. From that first day we met her, we became close friends. She even worked for me on the side as an editor in my publishing house. Her friendship was valued by every member of our family, and I’m so grateful that every boy went through her classroom.

During this past year, when our youngest was in her class, she was diagnosed with cancer, again. I will tell you, I will forever be moved by her vigilance to be with her students as she went through surgeries and chemo treatments. I don’t know how she did it, but they were a team, she and those kids–a family. She would send photos of herself during treatment and keep in touch with them until she could get back to school.

Beating cancer was first and foremost on her mind. Her will and strength was contagious, and it gave those kids hope and determination to overcome any obstacle that would get in their way personally.

She passed in January of 2018.

The shock of her death rocked the community and our family. The boys sang at her funeral and the church was at capacity because she hadn’t just touched our lives, she’d touched the lives of every person she’d ever met. Though the grief was so deep, I think seeing what one person could mean to so many lifted the spirit of my children. They were special, because this amazing woman told them they were. She frequented their lives in school and personal occasions. It was nothing to see her sitting at their dining room table when they came down in the morning, or attending a gathering I would be having.

There were tears in all these occasions. There was deep grief and sadness. But in every instance of loss, my children rallied together to comfort one another. They talked about the good qualities they loved of each person, and they carried those good traits into their own lives. Losing a young friend shakes your world, and they will never forget that a fourteen-year-old boy can have courage and battle something so big, and yet face death with certainty that greatness is on the other side. They’ve seen the devastating results of suicide and they know that even someone who can positively impact lives can be hurting on the inside. And they’ve witnessed firsthand what love, compassion, and graciousness can do to the lives of people at any age.

I’d like to think they would never grieve again, but grief is a part of life. Knowing how to  carry on and keeping that person’s gifts in their hearts is vital. To keep the question, “If tomorrow it was me, what impact would I have had?” at the forefront of their minds as they walk this earth, then the grief taught them something.

Those whom my children have lost will never leave their hearts. And next, when they lose another loved one, I hope they will carry them and their lessons and messages  through the life they live–impacting those around them positively.

Should grief and your child ever overtake them and the cloud is unable to lift, seek help for them. Grief counselors are amazing people who can help them learn to face those feelings that hurt so badly. There are some things we simply can’t shelter our children from, but we certainly can give them the tools.

How have your children dealt with grief?

THOB Bernadette Marie January-2

Our Children; Dealing with Loss and Grief

Giving Myself Permission to Change the Way I Do Things

When I look at the title of this blog post, I find it a bit odd and I’m the one who is sitting here coming to grips with the concept. Why should I have to give myself permission to change the way do things? Well, because we need to know it’s okay to change how things are done in our lives when the circumstances surrounding us change.

Recently, my father got very sick and he had to leave the family business. Upon doing so he had to ask my husband to come back to work full time, which he’d left the business after twenty-five years and has been a stay-at-home dad (his dream job) for six months. We had a little routine. I was able to completely focus on my career and he took care of the kids and the house. With one phone call all of that changed.

Now, with all of that said, let me assure you that there wasn’t a single moment of hesitation on his part. He was at work the next day at 3am and he took over the job he’d been trained for a quarter of a century to do. With Dad gone, my sister, husband, mother and I were forced to do some serious digging into how my Dad did things to run his business. So I took my office set up down to the business and ran from an empty desk so that I could pick up any loose pieces. And that is what I’ve been doing for the past month.

Up until that day, I’d been working feverishly to get my blog moving into a direction where it would be a stable new business. I was writing posts and creating a podcast to accompany the blog. All of that seemed to come to a crashing halt, and I was worried that I was never going to get back to my business. My publishing house has a team, and that team has been able to take care of the little things I need taken care of. But by the wayside was my blog and my events/education company. How were they going to grow without me working them all the time, not to mention that I hadn’t been writing either.49712120 - checking on to do list. top view.

It was then that it occurred to me that I needed to let a few things slide and focus on some other things. The blog wasn’t dead and neither were my companies. I just needed to readjust my thinking and perhaps prioritize some tasks.

When I looked at my calendars I realized that there wasn’t anything there that was going to make or break any of my companies. Okay, so I do a few less takeovers for authors. Hockey season is almost over, and I can plan them at that time. So I didn’t get a blog post done last week on how my kids handled hockey playoffs. It’s still a topic for another day. I gave myself permission to reevaluate, reorganize, and rid myself of a few tasks that a month ago filled an hour, but now just would have to be dropped–at no cost to anyone.

I gave myself permission to meditate and pray more. I gave myself permission to be calm and listen when my husband or sister might be a bit worked up over the situation at hand. They are under an immense amount of stress, and though I’m here to help, I haven’t been here day after day like they have and equally their lives have been turned upside down. I’ve given myself permission to select the things I do for my kids. Though all teenagers, helping by getting lunch ready was a routine that we had in the mornings, but now if they want lunch packed they have to do it, and it’s okay for me to let that go.

Giving myself permission to change my schedule and not take on everything is a big deal for me. I can’t do everything and add more. Something has to give, but without permission I’m not apt to make the changes I need. Therefore, I accept that I can give permission to myself to change and be okay with it all.

How have you given yourself permission in the past to change your life, even in the littlest bit?

THOB Bernadette Marie January-2

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Giving Myself Permission to Change the Way I Do Things

 

 

How I Became A Publisher and Made My Dreams Come True

5 Prince Publishing

I have been an avid writer since I was thirteen-years-old. I’d like to say that I loved reading when I was younger, but that wasn’t the case. It wasn’t until I was in junior high school that I found a passion for reading. And wouldn’t you know it, that lead to wanting to write.

Well, to be honest, writing though it came naturally, was actually a secondary thought. I wanted to be an actress. Of course, I wanted someone to find me on the street and say, “Kid, you have what it takes.” That just doesn’t happen in the suburbs of Denver. I was moved, however, about the story that Sylvester Stallone wrote Rocky with just that in mine. His movie and he was the lead. Well, that seemed like the perfect answer for me too.

At the time I had also fallen in love with the mini-series. The Thorn Birds and If Tomorrow Comes will forever be two of my most beloved movies and favorite books. They are probably two of the only books I have read multiple times. So, it hit me. Write a book and get a movie deal. What a brilliant idea!

And so it began…

At the tender age of thirteen, I began to write the great, epic, tragic novel. But, I was only thirteen and I didn’t know anything about the walls beyond my junior high. So, as you might imagine, the story grew with me.

My father had given me an old electric typewriter, and I began to fill pages with story. I wrote in notebooks and then transcribed them onto more paper. When I didn’t like the story any more, I started all over. I would go on to write that same story over and over again for the next twenty-two years.

In 2007, I was finally a married mother of five and desperate for some alone time. The YMCA offered that, and I found I’d rather read than watch TV on a treadmill. So, while at the grocery store, I picked up a Nora Robert’s book. I didn’t really know who she was, but I’d heard about her. That year I began to suck down books, reading two or three a week. It was a glorious thing, and it sparked my need to write again.

That year I penned THE END to that book I’d written for twenty-two years and I put it away. That same year I wrote twelve more manuscripts.

I went to my first writing conferences and met like minded people. At the time, independent publishing was still a dirty thing to talk about, so it wasn’t a thought that even crossed my mind, but getting published was. One of the classes I took was about promoting yourself, and many of the tips were to do so before you were even published. I took this to heart.

Soon, the wonders that be had driven a publisher to me. OMG I was going to be published. Let’s make this part of my story really short. Signed and within the year, deal gone really bad! So I thought, I could do this myself.

I was tired of someone promising and not delivering–or paying. I could do what she was attempting to do, and luckily she’d connected me with an editor that made me a great writer.

Onward, in 2011 I opened 5 Prince Publishing with the clear intent to only publish my books under a real business name. See, back then, independent publishing (the more advanced version of self-publishing) was becoming a thing. It would take over and revolutionize the publishing world in the next few years. I had just walked through the door when it opened, lucky me.

So off I went, with my following, because I’d worked my butt off to get one before publishing, and I began to publish my books. Crazy enough, and early enough for massive success, I was bestseller material and I rode the wave. I put out five or six books a year, or more. And then people wanted to be part of it. Chance brought people to me, and I published them. Oh, those first few I ruined because I knew nothing, except to be gracious and give them their books back after I’d learned a few things.

In the past seven years, I have learned and grown with the industry. I didn’t have a degree or a million dollars worth of investors. I started my company just as I did with every company I’ve ever owned, with $1000 and a drive to learn everything I could while being submerged into it.

We’ve published over 160 titles from over 60 different authors in that time. I prefer to work on romances, but even my kid writes fantasy, so we work with what comes in. Many of my authors jump start here and move on to independently publish. Others are very comfortable in the small house environment that I offer.

When I say I’m a little fish in the big ocean, I’m met with, Oh, no you’re not. I guess I’m not making million dollar deals, but yeah, I’m not really small potatoes anymore either.

The lesson I did learn through all of this is that every author has a voice, and it is unique and different. Even though I work hard to be the best author there is, there is room for everyone. What an awesome opportunity I have to give a fresh voice a chance to shine. If they can go off on their own later, well, maybe I gave them that confidence to do so because I gave them that platform. If people stay with me and keep coming my way, well maybe I’m doing something right.

What dream have you fulfilled that you didn’t even know was a dream until you stumbled into it?

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Visit my publishing house at www.5PrinceBooks.com

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TechnoRetro Dads Podcast is one of my #FavoriteThings

Check out TechnoRetro Dads on iTunes! Family Friendly listening fun, taking you back to your childhood from the 70's and 80's.

Check out TechnoRetro Dads on iTunes! Family Friendly listening fun, taking you back to your childhood from the 70’s and 80’s.

Each Monday, grab your cereal bowl and join JediShua and shazbazzar as they reminisce about the past while exploring the future of some of their favorite science fiction and fantasy properties of their youth. Listen in to discussions about the movies, music, games, and comics of the 70s and 80s as they share the days of their youth with their own kids in a positive, family-friendly atmosphere.

If you’re a TechnoRetro Dad, the child of one, or just fondly remember the sci-fi/fantasy properties of the 70s and 80s, then this podcast is for you!

Considering that I was born early in the 70’s I often forget my young childhood was based in 70’s culture. However, when these two reminisce on food, movies, and toys, it takes me right back there. And then, they start their journey into 80’s pop culture, you just want to put on some extra socks, pull up your collar, and jump into your time machine.

This entertaining duo will have you singing songs from your past, remembering those toys you begged Santa for, and they LOVE their cereal! Yep! I didn’t even know there were that many different kinds of cereal out there. Shazbazzar likes his in a chilled bowl, and my husband tried this! It WILL keep your cereal crisper and the milk colder…I’m telling ya! Let’s not forget that they open each show with a series of jokes that have my kids rolling with laughter.

The best part about the podcast is you can listen with your kids in the car. Seriously, this is a BIG plus for me.This past week they had on Super Friend Tony Soehner, which IS my kiddo. I can’t tell you how much fun it was to listen to him talk about Ready Player One, eat cereal with JediShua, and talk about his own book coming out. He loves the retro too, and identifies with all things 70’s and 80’s. (We did something right.)

Check out their website at:  https://www.retrozap.com/technoretro-dads/  for a full listing of their podcasts. You can find their podcast on iTunes and follow them on Facebook!

**Thank you to JediShua for sending me graphics to use, and for allowing me to use their podcast bio.***

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Listen to TechnoRetro Dads on iTunes each Monday for a family friendly journey back to your childhood of the 70's and 80's. | www.thishouseofboys.com

Vionic Shoes are One of My #FavoriteThings

It’s #FavoriteThingsFriday and today I want to share with you my love of Vionic shoes!

When I returned home from Star Wars Celebration in April, I was THRILLED to find two boxes of shoes sent to me from Vionic. Let me tell you, I needed them.

I had made the very conscious decision to wear a nasty, cheap pair of flip flops through Orlando for a week. I knew that I would be paying a hefty price for it too, and I did. See, even though I live in Colorado, I wear flip flops all year long. Yes, sometimes even in the snow. I was thrilled to have a pair of Vionic scandals to try.

rs8455-p87-sr100588-335elation1-pnkomb-lifesty-le-0017-lprVionic shoes are based around Orthotic Technology, made for everyone. I tend to walk on the outside of my feet, and my shoes wear out. With my Vionics, I’m aligned  and balanced correctly, even in sandals.This does more for your body than make your feel feel better. Just think of how often you compensate for aching feet. By keeping you aligned and well balanced, your entire body benefits. The Orthotic Technology is also great for  plantar fasciitis too.

I also received a pair of athletic shoes. I have wider feet, however, I don’t have super wide feet. The problem is that most athletic shoes are made for a narrow foot. Well, let me tell you, after four pregnancies, my feet are no longer narrow. It happens. The athletic shoes give me that fantastic support and comfort. I walk up to twenty miles a week recreationally. I needed something that would take the brunt of that, and not my legs or feet.

If you’re looking for a great pair of shoes, I can’t say enough about the Vionic line. (They aren’t just sandals and athletic shoes either! You can look fantastic and feel great while being right in style too!)

Check them out at ​https://www.vionicshoes.com!

THOB Bernadette Marie January-3

I love Vionic shoes! They are one of my #FavoriteThings | www.thishouseofboys.com

Hard Boiled Eggs in My Instant Pot

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I have been married almost twenty-five years, but I will admit, it wasn’t until maybe three or four years ago that I learned to hard boil eggs without using a cooker. Um, life changing! When my mother got her Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer Instant Pot DUO Plus 60, 6 Qt 9-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, and Sterilizer, she was amazed at how easy hard boiled eggs were to do in it. I thought, why bother when all you have to do is boil water.

Needless to say, once I used the Instant Pot, I was sold. It was easy, and the eggs peel cleanly.

INSTANT POT

At first I think I was scared of all the buttons. (And this one isn’t even the top of the line. My husband, the cook, really wanted the Bluetooth one.)

But it couldn’t be more simple!

Instant Pot 2

When you get your Instant Pot, it comes with the rack. Set this in your pot, add one cup of water, and then set your eggs on the rack. You can also buy a the egg trivet, which I have coming from Amazon. This will hold your eggs upright. My mother loves this because it keeps her yolks centered and her Deviled Eggs are prettier.


Searching the Web, you’ll find lots of different cooking times for your eggs. This is dependent on how you want them to turn out. For me, I use the 6, 6, 6 method.

Step One: Add one cup of water to the pot with the eggs.

Step Two: Hit Pressure Cook and set it for six minutes. This means, once it builds pressure, it will cook the eggs under pressure for six minutes.

Step Three: Using the preset Keep Warm function, leave the eggs for 6 minutes before releasing the pressure.

Step Four: Remove the eggs from the Instant Pot and put them in an ice water bath for six minutes.

Step Five: Peel and serve!

Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

I’m sold! This is just one of the great things I love to make in our Instant Pot. What are some of your favorite recipes?

THOB Bernadette Marie January-3

Check out the Instant Pot on Amazon

Making hard boiled eggs in my Instant Pot is a no brainer! They turn out perfect every single time! | www.thishouseofboys.com

The Score is Never the Representation of the Game

The Score is Never a Good Representation of the Game

A well played game is not always the best representation of a good game.

One of my favorite sayings is Sometimes you win. Sometimes you learn. I don’t believe you ever lose.

This weekend we traveled to Chicago where three of our boys played in two different hockey tournaments. Our PeeWees were put in a higher division. The decision was made to still play because it was a learning experience.

It’s hard to be a kid wrapping your head around the thought that you might lose all your games. A well coached team knows no matter the outcome, upon return to regular league play, they will play amazing because they stepped up and met the challenge.

When faced with a challenge, it’s human nature to step up to the level of the challenger. Unfortunately our team did not walk away with any wins. They didn’t walk away with any blowouts either. They stepped up and kept their momentum intact. Equally as important, they kept their heads and appreciated the games for what they were–games with an opportunity for growth.

It’s also human nature to ask, “Did you win?” As a parent it’s equally as hard not to sigh and say, “No.” Appreciating the opportunity, I answered with, “The score was not in our favor, but what a great game!”

Though my older boys are in their own division, the score was not in their favor even though the other team had a player and a coach ejected. They out played the other team, but the score tilted the other way. There is no way to see that when you look at the 3-1 score.

Success as a parent is when our kids can skate off the ice, walk off the field, or leave the court with a sense pride in a win or a loss. When they have pride in themselves a loss will never count. As parents we have to give them a moment to mourn a loss, but ourselves move on from it as well. Winning games do not define our child as an athlete or us as a successful parent. Well rounded children come back from a losing score and say, “Next time I’ll work on this or that.” They will also come out of a win with the very same attitude.

Never a loss, always a learning experience.

New Book Release/Doing What I Love to Do!

Tomorrow marks the release of my 33rd novel, and it never gets any less exciting! I’m blessed to get to do what I love, and luckily it’s been very good to me and my family.

Writing has always been part of me, even when I wasn’t any good at it. Reading was a struggle for me until I was in junior high, and suddenly a new world opened up to me when I began reading. Interestingly enough, it was ghost stories that got me into reading. You would have thought I would have followed that path much sooner, but now the time was right.

The Tea Shop is unique to me as it is my first paranormal romance, but it also is set in Golden, Colorado in locations literally right out of my front door. Though I love to create towns as much as I love to create characters, I find that putting my characters in real life settings that I enjoy is equally as much fun. Hopefully some of my readers will recognize the locations, and to those who have never been to Golden, perhaps they’ll want to visit.

Following your passion, as I have with my writing, has been empowering. I often meet people who wish they could make a living doing what they love to do. The interesting part to me is that since I was 20 I’ve pursued only avenues that I enjoyed. I’ve been self-employed my whole life. If you can dream it, do it. Nothing but yourself is holding you back. I know, lots of times it’s finances that hold us back as well, but no matter the focus of the business I was started, I started it for under $1000 and went from there. I threw myself into it, and by doing so, it had to make a return.

Selling books leaves you vulnerable to the market. Sometimes people just don’t want to spend a few bucks on a book. But I don’t stop writing. I simply change to meet the new demands. 33 books published in 7 years is no small thing. But now I also focus on helping authors learn to promote and publish themselves. I run a publishing company, and I work my blog. As the markets change, I have built businesses that can accommodate that change for myself and my family.

My passion will always be in the stories I tell though. It’s where my heart is, and where I’m blessed to work.

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Seeing the future is a curse that Abigail Weston has carried her entire life. Knowing how and when someone will be hurt, or the whereabouts of missing poeple, haunts her enough to move away from the town that no longer trusts her.

When real estate developer Carson Stone meets the intuitive Abigail, he can’t help but feel the connection to her and wonder if love at first sight is possible, especailly since they share a passion for old buildings. She believes they all should remain, while he builds new ones in their place.

No matter Abigail’s feelings for Carson, knowing that their future is to be together does not ensure them a happily ever after, especially if she can’t figure out what the other side is trying to show her–because in her visions Carson’s future is dark and cold.

THOB Bernadette Marie January-3