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Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is a wacky, mostly true memoir written by The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson. The book is comprised of a series of stories about Lawson’s life from early childhood, up through her marriage and beyond.
As you read this book you’ll find yourself shaking your head in utter disbelief that anyone could grow up the way the author describes. Lawson, provides photographic proof throughout the book and honestly without those pictures you would never believe that her stories were even remotely real.
The funniest stories revolve around Lawson’s father, a taxidermist who brings home road kill on a regular basis to amuse his children. Of course, Jenny and her younger sister are absolutely frightened by his antics, but that doesn’t stop him from bringing dead animals into their home.
This book isn’t for the faint of heart. There are a lot of curse words thrown in for good measure and Lawson herself states that many people will be offended by her words.
The book feels a bit like an ode to the dysfunctional. Many of her stories are both funny and disturbing. As I read the book I often wondered if I should cry for the author or laugh at the antics she described. I think that may be the point of this book. Perhaps the goal is to realize that no matter how messed up your upbringing might be humor makes it all much easier to swallow.
If nothing else this book will probably help you realize that ‘normal’ is all relative. If you didn’t grow up with raccoons wearing shorts and turkeys following you to school then you probably started off a lot differently then Lawson did.
Note: This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.
I must start this post by stating that I myself have never been in debt. My parents paid for my college tuition and I’ve always paid off my credit card bills in full each month. When I graduated from college I lived in a 9×9 room, (really more of a sun porch then a real room in the house), because rent was tremendously cheap. With the help of that tiny rent check, ($310 in 1999), I bought a new car and paid off the loan in less than a year.
I’ve made good choices in my life, but I’ve also been very blessed. I found a job right out of college with solid benefits that enabled me to stay home and heal for five months after an unexpected surgery. Had I worked somewhere else my medical bills and time off may have resulted in a very different financial picture.
Others are not always been so lucky. When medical bills loom they are forced to use credit cards to pay their doctor and hospital bills. There are a number of ways to help pay off these debts. You can ask credit card issuers to lower your interest rates, you can try to borrow money from friends and family, you can take out a home equity if you own at least 20% of your house or you can turn to debt consolidation services.
Debt consolidation works to lower the interest rate on your existing debt. Rather than paying multiple bills at a high rate each month you pay just one bill.
There are pros and cons to debt consolidation. It’s a bad idea to use a debt consolidation plan if you know that you cannot control your spending. This wouldn’t be the case for someone who has gone into debt for medical bills, but it could be a problem for someone who is prone to overspending. Also, debt consolidation services often extend the term of your debt, which means you pay less money per month, but may end up paying more over the long term. Still debt consolidation can be a good idea for someone looking to alleviate their current debt burden. It will provide more breathing room to pay for necessary daily expenses.
If you are looking for alternatives for dealing with your debt check out debt consolidation advice online. There is a plethora of information available.
I don’t like debt. In my life I’ve signed for one car loan and two mortgages. In fact, I dislike debt so much that I paid off my car loan within a year of buying it. The mortgages, which are held on two separate properties, are my only outstanding liabilities.
I realize I’m unbelievably fortunate and I am grateful for all that I’ve been given. My parents paid for my college education and with my degree I was able to work my way up from a starting salary of $32,000 to a mind boggling six figure salary. When I unexpectedly fell ill I had amazing health insurance and great employee benefits including short term disability that enabled me to stay home and heal for nearly five months.
I know that my life could easily be very different. If you change just one key variable I could have ended up in quite a bit of debt. What if I had taken out student loans? What if I hadn’t found such a high-paying career or had the courage and conviction to live within my means? What if my employer didn’t have great health benefits and I did not receive short term disability?
While we often talk about debt associated with carelessness and overspending I know that there are also a lot of people in the world with unfortunate and uncontrollable circumstances that leave them without the money to pay necessary bills. Without short-term-disability and amazing health benefits I believe I would have been one of them.
If you find yourself in need of a life line what do you do? Many people turn to friends and family for money, but borrowing from relatives can be quite tricky. You never know how money can impact a relationship and a lot of people aren’t willing to risk the repercussions. You can use credit cards to pay your bills, but they often charge exorbitant interest rates. If you are a homeowner you can take out a home equity loan, but a lot of people fear putting the house up as collateral.
So if you don’t want to take out a new credit card, borrow money from your family or apply for a home equity loan, what can you do? You can apply for a personal loan. A personal loan works much like any other loan. You pay a fixed amount of money in equal installments over a period of months or years. Unlike other types of loans there is typically no collateral to secure the loan, so there is no fear that your car will be repossessed or your home foreclosed upon.
The terms can vary widely for these types of loans so it’s best to compare rates to figure out if this is the best alternative for you.
Of course, you should make certain to consider all of the alternatives before entering into any financial agreement. Weigh your options, compare terms and determine which is the right solution for you.
*Note: This post contains sponsored links.
Note: This is a sponsored post.
If you are a long time reader of this blog you know that I was struck with an unexpected medical illness in my mid-twenties. I was completely blindsided by my health issues and had no idea problems could linger long after surgery and other medical interventions completed.
When modern medicine failed me I began researching alternative therapies and found help from acupuncturists and massage therapists who treated my whole body, not just the obvious parts that were aching. I know that there is a real need for modern medicine and that alternative therapies cannot always heal you. I also believe that one should explore all avenues of health and wellness, including those that are not performed by men in white coats.
In my case a combination of modern medicine and alternative therapies healed me. I required thoracic surgery to save my life, but that didn’t stop my pain. After surgery it was a combination of acupuncture, massage and trigger point therapy helped relieve my aching muscles and kept me free from pain medicines.
Depending on your diagnosis you may be able to try some self-help techniques. Of course, you should ALWAYS talk to your doctor before making any changes to your lifestyle.
A number of people in my family have sleep apnea and while some of them have gotten better with self-help techniques like losing weight, establishing a regular sleep schedule, sleeping on their sides and even experimenting with throat exercises one required a cpap machine.
I believe in most cases we heal from a combination of sources. We may require changes to our lifestyle, acupuncture or massage from alternative healers and good old modern medicine issued by men and women in white lab coats.
The key is to seek advice from a variety of sources. Often what heals one person will not help another. Take it from me, no one will care as much about your health as you do. I am frugal in many ways, but when it comes to health and healing I believe nothing in life is more important.
Note: This is a sponsored post from Pounds to Pocket. The content for this post was provided by a guest author.
Your Financial Future: Start Building Your Credit Rating Now
We all hear about bad credit ratings and how restrictive it can be if you ever want to borrow money. So it’s not surprising that the current economic climate has made banks very wary about lending to people that have a history of not paying back their loans and it’s getting more and more difficult to borrow money.
No Credit History Might As Well Be a Bad One
But what happens if you don’t have a bad credit history, you simply haven’t got a credit history at all? If you have no credit rating, you’re likely to find it just as difficult to borrow money as someone that has a bad history! It all seems rather unfair. Why should you suffer just because you’ve never had to borrow money before? Well, yes, it is unfair, but you can see why a bank would be wary. How will they know that you are likely to repay the loan without any prior evidence?
Start Building Your Credit Early
The best thing to do is to start building your credit history early. Building up a good history of borrowing money and paying it back in full and on time is a great way to show the banks that you’re a good person to lend to. The earlier you start building up a history, the better your credit rating will be, and you shouldn’t have as much trouble securing something like a mortgage.
How Do You Do It?
It’s all well and good saying that you should build a credit history, but how should you actually go about it?
Be Tactical with a Credit Card
Most of us savers tend to stay away from credit cards like the plague, but they can certainly do some good if you use them sensibly.
Don’t Ruin a Good Opportunity
Before applying for any loan be it large banks loans or unsecured loans, it’s essential to know that you will be able to meet the regular payments and pay the loan back in full. If you apply and are approved for a loan, don’t waste this great opportunity to build your credit rating!
Be sure to pay every installment in full and on time. This will all go on your credit history, which will directly affect your chances of securing a mortgage in the future. Similarly, however, if you miss payments, you could have a black mark against your name for quite some time.
If you don’t have any credit history at all, the current economic climate certainly isn’t your friend; it’s made banks very reluctant to lend and even those with a great credit history are finding it difficult. It’s important that you have a good credit history behind you in life and now is the perfect time to start building it: what are you waiting for?
The information in this article is provided for education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. The information in this article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial or any other advice. The information in this article is general in nature and is not specific to you the user or anyone else.
I’ve participated in quite a few BlogHer book reviews over the past year, but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I signed up to review Diary of a Submissive. Penguin Press, the publisher of the novel, calls it The “real” Fifty Shades of Grey…A true life erotic story of female submission to rival The Story of O.
I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey, but I know a lot of my friends have swooned over that novel. When I took a walk down the beach one summer morning I found two separate women lounging on chairs reading it.
Diary of a Submissive is told from the perspective of Sophie Morgan. Sophie is an independent woman who consciously gives up her power in order to coexist in a submissive relationship with a dominant man. She believes her submissive role maximizes her sexual pleasure with him.
The story steps you through her erotic experiences as her sexual desires awaken and deepen. This story is not for the faint of heart. It is classified as Erotica and Sophie provides detailed descriptions of sexual fetishes and explorations that would make a ‘good girl’ blush. I found it difficult to read a few scenes in the novel that were graphically depicted. Sophie is a self-described masochist who is aroused by physical pain and humiliation.
As the story progresses Sophie’s experiments are pushed to the limits. Her partner James takes her to deeper and darker places.
If you enjoyed reading Fifty Shades of Grey or want an introduction to the erotica genre this might be the book for you. As for me, I think I’ll stick with other novels. I have to admit that this one made me a little squeamish.
This is a compensated review commissioned by the BlogHer Book Club. All opinions expressed are my own.
Note: The content for this post was provided by a guest author.
If you are looking for a frugal way to enjoy world class entertainment then consider trying online gaming. Online casinos like JackpotCity offer a huge range of free and real money games for anyone to play. This site comes highly recommended as one of the best values for your money. I was considering online gaming for a long time as my husband is a huge fan, and once I started playing I realized that not only can you save money, you can actually boost your bankroll. The list below shows you how I did this and what helped me increase my gaming money without breaking my budget.
1. Online casinos offer bonuses that take the form of cash or extra credits when you make a deposit. Welcome bonuses are awarded on your first deposit and thereafter most sites offer some sort of loyalty rewards system. I learned pretty quickly that this is basically free money you can add to your bankroll and I took advantage of every bonus offered.
2. No matter what game you enjoy look for one with a lower house edge or special bonus features. You can save a ton of money by making sure the games you play provide a greater chance of winning.
3. Playing high roller games was something I was scared of at first, as was hitting the max-bet option on the slots, but my husband showed me how to maximize my chances and soon I was boosting my bankroll with bigger wins.
4. Never incur credit card debt. I have never played with money I can’t afford to lose and always avoided the credit card debt trap. Keep your expenses low and only use payment options that do not incur high charges or interest.
5. Don’t impulse play or make rash decisions, you can boost your bankroll with winnings if you know your game and play strong and steady, but rushed gaming and rash decisions will quickly empty your pockets.
If you have any other tips on boosting your bankroll I would love to hear them!
Before you read BlogHer’s latest book selection, ‘Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead’ I encourage you to watch this video.
In the video, the author of ‘Daring Greatly’ discusses her research on vulnerability to a live audience of 500 people at TEDxHouston. She references this speech multiple times throughout her book, but it provides a good summary of where her story will lead you.
Dr. Brown describes vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.” Throughout her research Dr. Brown finds people who refer to vulnerability as being naked when everyone else is clothed. It is something most of us try to avoid for fear of mockery and humiliation.
The funny thing is when asked about vulnerability people say it is the last thing they want someone to see in them, but the first thing they want to see in another person. It’s what makes us genuine and real. When people show vulnerability we immediately feel connected and close to them, but we are frightened that people might judge us for being vulnerable and view us as weak and unworthy.
Dr. Brown’s book breaks down her research in an effort to show why we should embrace our vulnerabilities. How it helps us to live a genuine life that is true to ourselves and to those around us. That living the model life of what people expect, (perfect family, perfect mother, perfectly thin, perfectly beautiful), should not be our goal, but rather to embrace the truth about ourselves and thus become more strongly connected to the people around us.
I found the chapter on wholehearted parenting extremely enlightening. It’s a very interesting book that opened my eyes up to the way in which we are raised and the way in which we raise our children. Even if you don’t buy the book, definitely check out the videos on Ted.com and elsewhere on the Internet. You’ll learn quite a lot about Dr. Brown’s research by watching them.
Note: This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.
This post was sponsored by glasses.com. The words are my own.
Have you ever walked into the Optometrist or Ophthalmologist for a routine appointment and walked out of the office with a prescription for new glasses? The doctor points you to the receptionist and recommends you shop for eyeglasses in the store associated with their office. That seems to make sense. The doctor knows your prescription so you wander over to the racks and begin picking up glasses and trying them on. After testing out almost every pair available you narrow down your choices and select the best one. You choose a pair you absolutely love only to find out they cost over $300!
Have you ever wondered why eyeglasses cost so much money? It seems most optical stores have a huge markup on frames often in the range of 50 percent to 100 percent. They raise their prices to mitigate their overhead costs. When you add up costs like advertising, employee salaries and store front rent it’s no wonder the consumer ends up paying a big price for new lenses and frames.
If you are in the market for glasses odds are you can’t see to read, drive or complete daily tasks without them. Feeling like you have no other option you pull out your wallet and fork over hundreds of dollars. Well what if there was a better way?
These days the internet provides a cheaper alternative to the expensive prices found at brick-and-mortar stores. Internet sites provide many of the same frames and designs without the overhead costs that force you to pay more.
Take glasses.com as an example. The site offers a price match guarantee and free shipping on all orders. It also has a great sales page that offers incredible deals on eyeglasses, including a current sale for 50% off all eyeglass lenses.
Worried that you won’t know exactly how you’ll look in the new frames? Glasses.com provides a virtual try-on service that allows you to upload a picture of yourself. Once uploaded you select various frames and can see the glasses overlaid right over your photo.
Still not sure? Glasses.com provides an in-home try-on program that permits you to select five frames, try them for seven days and return them free of charge. That’s even better than shopping at a brick-and-mortar store. You don’t even have to leave the house to decide whether or not you like them.
This would’ve been a great service for my 89 year old grandmother who recently needed new lenses and frames. My parents ended up dragging her all around town in search of a pair she liked. With the glasses.com free in-home try-on program they could have avoided all of that time, energy and hassle.
I found a few pairs in the women’s collection of glasses.com that would’ve been perfect for her. Click here to see that collection. Too bad my parents didn’t know about online sites like this one. My mom told me my grandmother’s lenses and frames cost nearly $500. I found similar pairs for less than $150!
It’s been awhile since I read a good mystery. It’s not typically the type of book I’d pick up a in book store so when an advanced copy of Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay showed up on my doorstep my husband laughed and said, “are you really going to read that?”
While I wouldn’t have chosen it for myself I sure am glad the BlogHer book club chose it for me. Trust Your Eyes is a story of two brothers who live together after the unexpected and unfortunate death of their father. The younger brother is schizophrenic and almost never steps outside of the house. At a young age he became obsessed with maps. He memorized every place he ever read about and can name intricate details about the streets and stores in cities he’s never even visited.
The invention of a new game called Whirl360 (similar to the street view on Google Maps) brings the younger brother’s love of maps directly to his computer and he spends all but an hour or two a day stepping through the streets of cities memorizing the places and landmarks within them.
During his online tour of New York City the schizophrenic brother stumbles upon an image he believes to be a murder. When he tells his brother about it the two of them quickly become wrapped up in investigating the mystery and the reader takes the journey alongside them as the details unravel throughout the pages.
I liked the way Barclay wrote this mystery around a modern day computer game. If you are familiar with Google Maps you will find the story quite interesting. Google does take snapshots of cities and towns and it is possible that one of their cameras could capture a crime in the making.
Note: This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.