Archives for June 2016

Emma Kate: Month 21

I can’t believe it. Emma Kate is officially 3 months shy of turning 2 years old! As I stated when she turned one, I would do quarterly updates on how she is doing, and it’s time for another one.

Things have changed quite a bit since EK was 18 months old. She now says tons of words, and has started putting short phrases together like “mama sit down” or “bye bye dada”. She still babbles a lot and I have no idea what she is saying, but communication is getting better which is so helpful in the tantrum department. Even if she can’t say it, she can point or show me what she wants or is trying to do.

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She wears size 5 diapers, 2T clothing (about to get 3T sleepers because she is so long!) and a size 6 shoe. In May I bought her size 5 sandals and she outgrew them in a month! We went to the ear doctor for a follow up on her tubes, and she weighed 29.8 pounds!

She has gotten better about actually helping me put her clothes on and wants so badly to be able to put on her shoes and socks by herself. She doesn’t fuss much anymore when I change her diaper or clothes which is a nice change. She even likes wearing her bows now and doesn’t usually pull them out.

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Emma Kate is still our fearless climber and I have caught her on the table more than once. She will push a basket to the back of the couch and flip over onto the other side. She can run really fast and likes to be chased around.

We have also had to introduce time out in the past couple months but she does well with it and apologizes and hugs us when she comes out. She has gotten better at listening and is starting to understand consequences. This absolutely doesn’t mean she is a perfect angel—she is quite strong willed, but I think she has a better understanding of rules now. 13533354_982465235164272_8865568365717421639_n

We bought her a water table and some water toys and girlfriend loves playing outside. It’s so hot though that the only time we can go outside IS to play in the water. When she is done playing and ready to go inside she says “bye bye wa wa” and waves and goes to the door. She cracks me up!

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EK also loves books, she drinks a ton of water, she loves farm animals, and as of late has loved watching YouTube videos of dogs, people, and America’s Funniest Home Videos. I have had to be strict about watching things on my phone because she would do it all day long.

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Whenever she sees a phone or camera she says “cheese” and tries to take a selfie. She is a clown and likes to put blankets on her head, boxes, anything to make us laugh. She will get an “ouchie” or “bo bo” and want everyone to kiss it for her. She loves eating with a fork and spoon even though she’s not very good at it. She has also started doing this thing where she takes all her toys in her room and puts them in her crib, or takes all the toys in the living room and puts the on the sofa. No idea why!

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I can’t believe for my next update Emma Kate will be TWO YEARS OLD! Time sure does fly. We love our baby girl!

QOTD: When did your kids start REALLY talking a lot? Any other fans of America’s Funniest Home Videos?

Early Birthday Surprise

Last Tuesday, I came home from picking Emma Kate up at daycare, and there were a bunch of people in my house. Surprise! Happy early birthday to me!

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My sweet husband planned this all for me, and manned the grill cooking chicken, burgers, hot dogs, sausage, sweet potato fries, etc. My friends brought some delicious appetizers, and we had quite the feast! (and quite the leftovers)

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Even champagne. Cheers!

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It was so great to see my friends and their families all at my house for an early birthday surprise. (Of course Emma Kate is shoving food in her mouth).

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He even got me a cookie cake! Emma Kate was all about that.

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I love these girls so much and am so thankful they are in my life and came to celebrate me!

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Most everyone has little ones so the party was over by 7:30, but I had a blast with my gal pals. A huge thanks to my sweet husband for thinking of me! Does this mean I get to celebrate my birthday again in July?

QOTD: Have you ever had a surprise birthday party?

5 Things Friday XVIII

Happy Friday! Here are five things for you to start off your weekend.

1.) KIND snacks was nice enough to send me some of their NEW breakfast bars to try out. The are made with 100% whole grains, featuring five super grains – oats, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa – to keep you going throughout the day. Flavors include: Blueberry Almond, Honey Oat, Dark Chocolate Cocoa, (my fave!) Peanut Butter, and Raspberry Chia.

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2.) Yesterday, Bobby and I were involved in a wreck. We were rear ended when we were stopping at a red light. Thankfully, my Toyota 4Runner is a beast and while it will need some bumper work, it looks way better than the other ladies car. We were all three in the car and are all thankfully ok (and yes I know I need a new car seat.) But it happened on a day when we had multiple appointments to get to so it just kind of threw a kink in the already stressful afternoon. But cars can be fixed, so we are not worried about that.

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3.) Emma Kate had a follow up with the doctor who put her tubes in her ears and he said they looked great! We have to go back again in 6 months but I am so glad we went ahead with the surgery. She was getting infections twice a month and now she has only had two since November.

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4.) You can now book your Disney vacation package for most dates in 2017 (up to 499 days out) and I would love to book for you! Email me at heather@travelwiththemagic.com for a free quote.

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5.) More eBook news coming next week! I can’t wait to share more with you, and a huge thanks to those of you that have offered to help with social media posts during launch week. If you are still interested in doing a social media post for me during the pre sale or launch period, please email me at heather@heatherslookingglass.com

QOTD: Have you ever been rear ended? What is your favorite KIND bar flavor? Are you planning a Disney trip for 2017?

2017 Disney World Packages

Guess what? You can now book a Walt Disney World room or vacation package for dates in 2017! (499 days in advance, so currently as of end of June I can book through the end of October/beginning of November). 2017 Disney packages came out yesterday, and I have already been busy quoting for my clients.

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The best part about these packages is that it only requires a $200 deposit (for room only it’s a deposit of one night of the price of the room + tax) that’s it! Also, the balance isn’t due until 30 days prior to travel! You can make changes, switch dates, cancel, etc. up until that point.

I have been booking Disney travel for my clients over six years and would love to plan a vacation for your family. Common misconception: It does not cost you anything extra to book through me. Why wait on hold on the phone or stress about how the website works, or how to get discounts when I can do it for you, and give you all of my best tips and knowledge from years of experience? I can make it easy for you!

Heather plan your next DCL vacation

I can also book your Disneyland or Disney Cruise Line vacation for you, as well as Universal Studios Orlando. Simply email me for a free no obligation quote. I would love to get you started or answer any questions you may have. heather@travelwiththemagic.com is where you can find me. Let’s get to planning, I can’t wait for you to experience the vacation of a lifetime!

QOTD: Are you planning to visit Disney in 2017?

Father’s Day Weekend 2016

Oh what a weekend! This one was one for the books my friends. We went to my parents house for Father’s Day plus my cousin was having her 50th birthday party at the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans on Friday night. Of course we weren’t going to miss that! It was adults only so we left little miss thing with Bobby’s mom at our house and headed south around lunchtime Friday.

We made it to my parents, unloaded, and got all gussied up before heading into the French Quarter.

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My poor dad had foot surgery and can’t fit his swollen foot into a dress shoe yet. He doesn’t normally wear sneakers to fancy occasions. Smile

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Ya’’ll, I’ve had this dress since college. I think I got it on clearance at Dillards. Sshhh don’t tell.

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Hello Mr. Streetcar, please don’t hit us, k thanks.

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We got to the Ritz early. We weren’t sure what kind of traffic we would run into heading downtown, so we killed some time checking out the beautiful hotel and hanging out on some couches near a gorgeous courtyard.

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There were so many flowers, I felt like I was in Disney World at the Grand Floridian.

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It was finally 7:30 and time for the party! My cousin rented out a private room and the decorations were amazing. We were given special drinks when we walked in the door with sugar around the rim (I may or may not have had two.)

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There was food everywhere, great music playing, and gorgeous flowers.

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But the coolest thing by far was the cake! Check out how amazing this is. I’m pretty sure my cousin designed it. (It was delicious, too!)

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We grabbed a table and headed over to the wonderful smelling food. My sweet Bobby who loves to eat was in heaven. They had shrimp, raw oysters, crab claws, beef, pork, three kinds of risotto, burgers, and so much more.

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After we ate and more guests arrived, it was time to dance! Get a couple drinks in me and I’m always ready to hit the dance floor. 9caf0bd1-5f4a-4512-9bce-1403131da815

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Mom and I dancing with the birthday girl!

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Clearly I was enjoying my drink while dancing.

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Later in the night, a New Orleans brass band came in to play for us, and gumbo was served. We started up a second line dance, and danced some more! (I was sore the next morning).

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A little after 11:00 after singing to the birthday girl and eating some cake, we were starting to fade fast and I realized I am way too much of an old lady to be out that late dancing and such. We said our goodbyes to family, friends, the Ritz, and Canal street as we headed back to my parents’ house. We had SO MUCH FUN and I am glad we came into town for the party!

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Oh, did I mention there was a photo booth, and my cousin had her own personalized backdrop? So so fun! Obviously we hated the party, right? haha. I love my crazy family.

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The hard reality of a night out on the town hit me Saturday morning and I felt like I had been hit by a bus! We normally eat pretty healthy and I think all the rich food plus sugary drinks, dancing, and being up late just got to me. Sadly I can’t keep up like the cool kids. We spent the day relaxing, recovering, and I even took a nap.

Later that afternoon my mom and I went shopping and then we came home and grilled for dinner. I was so lazy on Saturday I didn’t even take any pictures. Sunday morning I got up and decided to run a 5k. I hadn’t worked out in two days and was feeling pretty sluggish. It was super warm and humid but I’m glad I got it done.

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We ate lunch with my parents for Father’s Day, packed up the car and headed back to Mississippi. It was good to see baby girl yesterday afternoon and get back into a routine last night. The great weekends always go by so fast, but I will certainly always remember this one.

QOTD: Do you like to stay out late or are you an old person at heart like I am? Anyone run or race this weekend?

Motivation to Run

Let’s face it, as much as we all love the idea of running, sometimes we need a little extra kick in the pants to get us out the door. Whether it be lack of motivation due to early runs, weather, or simply being burnt out, every run isn’t fun or easy. I don’t know about you, but I often lack motivation to run.

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There are some days when my alarm goes off, and all I want to do is hit the snooze, roll over, and get a few more minutes of sleep before I have to start my day. But, time keeps on ticking whether I get up or not. Sometimes we all just need a little motivation.

I wanted to share a few tips that have helped me when I have one of those days that I just don’t feel like running. I try to keep in mind that I have never once regretted a run once I get going.

Motivational tips for “getting out there” even when you don’t feel like it:

1.   Pick a running mantra: One of my favorites is “you are stronger than you think.” Every time I want to quit, or not get out at all, I try to remember it’s usually mental.  I am stronger than I think I am. Find a great mantra (or borrow mine!) and repeat it to yourself when the going gets tough.

2.   Prepare ahead of time: One of the main reasons why people find themselves unmotivated to run is because they have to get up really early, or run after a long day at work. My advice for this is to be prepared. If it’s a morning run, lay everything out ahead of time, or even sleep in your running clothes. This makes it easy to get out the door in the morning (and you may get to sleep an extra few minutes with less prep time). If you have to run after work, go ahead and bring your running clothes and change immediately after you finish your job so you have no excuse. Leave a pair of running shoes in the trunk of your car. Have dinner ready ahead of time so you don’t have to spend a lot of fuss to get in some food before going on your run. You could even have a healthy snack in the car waiting for you. Plan, plan, and plan some more!

3.   Buy new clothes: If weather is causing your lack of motivation, make sure you have the proper gear to help combat the conditions. Layer well if it’s cold, or buy a fun new running jacket that you have been wanting. If it’s hot, maybe a cute new visor or moisture wicking top is what you need.

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4.   Take a break: Feeling burnt out after a long training cycle? It may just be time to take a break. Usually after a week or two of no running, I am itching to go again. A week or two won’t make you lose all your fitness, but may be just what you need to get your running mojo back. It can also help to prevent injury, as your body could be telling you it NEEDS a break!

5.   Find accountability partners: Start a blog to keep you accountable, or run with some friends who are counting on you to show up and run with them. This way, you will be less likely to bail. Or, simply ask a friend to give you a little push and check up on you to make sure you are sticking to your plan.

No matter what method you use, be sure to pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you are feeling extra sore or injured, take a day or two off just to be safe. Try to remember how lucky you are to have a healthy body that allows you to get you out the door, and keep on running!

QOTD: What is your best tip for having motivation to run?

More eBook Information

Hey guys! We are getting closer and closer to the launch, and I am getting really excited to share more eBook information with you! I wanted to share more of it with you today so you will know what is coming. My tentative plan right now is to have a week long pre launch period. That way, you can pre purchase the book at a special price. Then, I will have the actual “launch day”, and pricing will go up a little bit. That day is also when my pre sale buyers will get their copy delivered to their inbox!

I also wanted to share with you the table of contents for the book. If you are a VIP on my e-mail list, then you already got to see the table of contents. Don’t worry, you can sign up for my newsletter if you haven’t already and be the first to see new things, too!

I worked really hard on how to break my eBook down into sections and chapters that flowed together. I wanted everything to make sense!

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Next week, I will be sharing an excerpt from the eBook with my subscribers. I will also be posting here on the blog a little bit more about the content and why I chose to write about what I did.

One more thing. If you are interested in helping me spread the word about my eBook during the presale and/or launch by a blog post mention or social media post, please send me an email at heather@heatherslookingglass.com. I would give you a graphic, hash tags, and even talking points if you would like so there is minimal work on your part. (of course if you want to say more you are welcome to do so!) I would so appreciate your help. I hope to be able to inspire and help as many average feeling ladies as I can, and you can be a part of that! Get excited, it’s almost time!

QOTD: What section are you most excited to read? What books are you reading this summer? What is your favorite eBook written by a blogger? 

Overall Health and Wellness Tips

Overall health and wellness tips:

1.) Drink Water: I have harped on this several times on my blog, but water is SO important yall! It helps keep our bodies running smoothly, helps flush out toxins, clears our skin, and keeps us feeling full when we want to grab a snack. I shoot for eight glasses a day, and more on days that I do hard, sweaty workouts. Go grab a glass right now!

2.) Wear sunscreen: Spring is here, and if you haven’t already started wearing sunscreen (tip: you should wear it year round), then you need to start ASAP! Make it a part of your morning routine especially on your face! I also am careful to remember to put it on the backs of my hands. I know when I am driving my car they take a big hit on sunny days. Also remember sunscreen expires! If you have a bottle that has been in your cabinet for four summers, I would toss it and get a new one.

3.) Workout: This one is pretty obvious, but how often are you working out vigorously? Walking is so SO good for you, but if you aren’t getting your heart rate up or working up a sweat, you may not be doing your body as much good as you thought you were. A heart rate monitor can help you gauge your workouts. Shoot for five workouts of 30 minutes a week, or four workouts of 45 minutes each, but also walk as much as you can every day!

4.) Healthy eating: You may have heard the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen” and it’s so true! I know people with great abs who never do a single crunch. There are so many other great workouts that work your abs, and more importantly, it’s what food you are putting into your body. Take baby steps and try cutting out soda and unhealthy snacking during the day and instead drink water and eat snacks like almonds, Greek yogurt, an apple, or string cheese.

5.) Tooth health: This one doesn’t get mentioned as much as it should. Keeping your teeth healthy and strong is SO important for your health! I brush my teeth twice a day, and (try) to floss every day. (Full transparency, I don’t always floss every single day. Working on remembering!).

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Also, strengthening and repairing your weakened enamel is really important. Think about how a moisturizing lotion can replenish your skin. A toothpaste can replenish vital minerals for stronger enamel.

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I have been using Colgate Enamel Health Mineral Repair Toothpaste morning and night, which does just that. It helps absorb things like natural calcium and, with continued use, can help protect against sensitivity and cavities. (Not to mention it makes your breathe smell great!)

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We all get 24 hours in a day, and doing the above five things don’t take a very long time, but yet can have lasting effects on your health for many years to come. We only get one body, so let’s all take care of it the best way we know how!

QOTD: What is one of the five things I mentioned above that you struggle with?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

5 Things Friday XVIII

Happy Fri-yay! It’s a hot one here. Going to get up to 94! Lots to do today, but I wanted to pop in and share a few pieces of information with you. Have a great weekend!

1.) A Disney Day: As of Tuesday, June 21, I will be able to price out and book your 2017 Walt Disney World vacation for you! Prices are finally being released and I would love to help you plan a magical trip for your family. Just email me at heather@travelwiththemagic.com for a free quote (remember it’s FREE to use a travel agent, you don’t pay me anything extra for my work!)

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2.) Dessert or protein shake?: I found an amazing recipe on Pinterest for a delicious protein shake/smoothie that, I confess, I have been drinking 4-5 times a week for the past three weeks. It’s that good. It’s super easy to make (did anyone else know butter extract was a thing?) and it tastes delicious!

3.) Relight: I like nice and bright photos, but sometimes my iPhone pictures come out less than desirable, and some of the filters that look brighter also distort color in a way I don’t like, so I started using a free app called Relight and have had great results! Of course using my “big girl” camera would be better, but this is the next best thing for a quick touch up.

4.) WOW week: I’m old school and still call it VBS (vacation Bible school), but our church is hosting over 1200 kids this week and I have been volunteering some and having a blast! I’m so happy to be a part of a special church with an amazing children’s program. Emma Kate has been enjoying it too (she gets to come since I am a volunteer) and I can’t wait for her to be old enough to attend the “real thing”.

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5.) Bible Study: My small group at church will be doing a women’s Bible study in July and I have been trying to figure out what book we should use. I have a few that seem good I have been looking at but thought I would ask y’all if you have done anything lately you really liked? Looking for something a little on the short/light side for summer. Thanks for any suggestions you have!

QOTD: Did you attend VBS/WOW week as a kid? Any Bible study book ideas?

My Big Secret

If you subscribe to my e-mail list, then you already heard the revealing of my big secret. I have been hanging onto this for several months now, and it has been driving me crazy not being able to share it with you. I have felt like I was a liar, and being deceitful, even though the reality was I just wanted to get the ball really rolling before I spilled the beans…

I have almost finished writing an eBook.

Yes! I have felt the call to write something more than just my blog for many years now, but I would always stop trying because all of the technical “stuff” got me frustrated. I would get bogged down in logistics and how sales would work, how I would publish my eBook, and then of course…would anyone read it?

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Thanks to a well timed and awesome e-course by Abby from Just a Girl and Her Blog*, I was able to really dig in, get to writing, and get help with the technical side of things. I kept it a secret for a long time because I felt like if I said it out loud, it meant that I really had to follow through. I know all of you would hold me accountable, which is awesome but equally scary.  So I waited until I was in the (current) editing/formatting stage to break the news, because it’s coming out SOON. Yes, I plan to launch in July. That’s next month in case you aren’t keeping track.

I admitted to my email subscribers how terrified I am to actually do this, because I have put my whole heart into this project and would be pretty upset if it did not go over well. However, I am proud of myself for doing something that seemed so, so hard for me. In the end that will be enough. I proved to myself I can do hard things!

Here are some of the details about my eBook. The title is: “The Average Girl’s Guide to Living an Above Average Life.” Tips and tricks for becoming the best version of yourself.

Back when I sent out my first newsletter to my email subscribers, I asked you all to respond with something that is a current struggle. I received a lot of great responses, and the overwhelming theme of them had to do with stress, a lack of time, and a lack of confidence or motivation. I read responses like:

“I am so tired all the time, there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done.”

“My house is a MESS, and I lack motivation to clean it.”

“I have a goal of doing XYZ but I am too busy to even think about my dreams/goals let alone have the time to accomplish them.”

“I want to lose weight/eat better/workout more but I lack the confidence and don’t even know where to start.”

Can you relate to any of these? I know I could! It was heart breaking to read, because I could feel the stress, sadness, and longing seeping  through the emails. It reminded me of a time in the not so distant past when I was feeling the exact same way. I had just given birth to Emma Kate, and was really struggling with my identity, my stress level, exhaustion, and a mountain of a to do list. I felt like I would never get through it, so why bother? I’m just a regular average girl who would never amount to a whole lot.

Eventually I was able to come out of the fog, and I immediately started to make some changes that have been beneficial to my family as whole. Do I have it all together? Absolutely not. I still get stressed out, sometimes have a messy house, and definitely don’t feel like working out all the time. However, I have a system in place and have learned a few key tips and tricks. Most importantly, I learned to BELIEVE IN MYSELF. In my eBook I aim to teach you the things I learned, along with personal stories sprinkled in, most of which I have never shared on the blog before (and some laughing at my expense!)

At first I thought no one would really care what I had to say, but then I realized when you find something that you believe works, it just feels wrong to keep it to yourself. I wanted to help other women who have been there and done that in terms of feeling overwhelmed, forgotten, and average. Even if my eBook only helps one person, then it will be worth it to me.

I am thrilled to share with you all how I was able to get my life (sort of ) in order, and reach my full potential. I am still growing and learning every day, but I feel like I am in a really good place. I don’t have an official launch day yet, but please stay tuned! I will be doing a pre-sale with a lower price for the eBook, so you won’t want to miss out on that. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. My VIP’s on that list will be the first to know my launch date, pre-pricing info, and more.

I hope you are as excited as I am, I can’t wait to share my heart with you and prove to you that you are more than average.

QOTD: Have you ever thought about writing an eBook? Do you read eBooks?

*This is an affiliate link. This means if you click through and purchase, a small portion of sales go to me. Of course I would never post a link to something I didn’t believe in or use myself. Thanks for supporting THLG!