Category Archives: Uncategorized

Book Cover

Oh, I sooo wish we could show you the cover for our new book right this instant, but we’re not ready for the big reveal yet. The book won’t be available until next spring, but the publisher just showed us the cover and IT’S ADORABLE!! Working on the interior design of the book now…

-Kate

The Writing Assignment That Changed Lives

In this NPR article, psychologist Jordan Peterson says, “The act of writing is more powerful than people think.” He created a course for at-risk university students which centers on a writing assignment to “reflect on important moments in their past, identify key personal motivations and create plans for the future, including specific goals and strategies to overcome obstacles.” He calls the two parts ‘past authoring’ and ‘future authoring.’ YES! What he refers to as “self-authoring” is what we call “life mapping.” McGill University studied the results of the course and found a “powerful positive effect, reducing the drop out rate and increasing academic achievement.”

The Writing Assignment That Changed Lives, nprEd

My Life Map: A Journal to Help You Shape Your Life

To Mom,

How would you answer these prompts for your mom? Here are a few of my answers in the journal I gave my lovely mom:

I. You might have thought I wasn’t listening, but I have. Here are a some life lessons I’ve learned from you…

Top 5 List

1. Be frugal, whether you need to be or not.

2. Eat healthily (no processed foods, except chocolate)

3. Connect with nature as often as possible (at least once a day)

4. Smile until you mean it.

5. Look to dogs as good role models (especially border collies).

II. I was or am happy that you are my mother when…

I see friends losing their mothers. I’m grateful that you have taken such great care of yourself so that you are so vibrant and able to be a part of our lives at 85. You are a role model for aging well!

III. If I could make three amazing things happen for you by waving a magic wand, I’d…

1. bring Dad back to keep you company (and do the taxes for you)

2. erase all your occasional aches and pains so you can scamper along on hikes, free of pain

3. let us both travel the 3,000 miles between our homes with the snap of our fingers

[These prompts are from the gift journal – What I Love About You, Mom – a sweet way to share memories and appreciation with your mom.]

Stop Glossing Over the Good Stuff

I just have to share part of an excellent article by Jason Lengstorf on his blog, Scrawny to Brawny. Here’s the general theme:  “As simple as it seems, taking the time to recognize the good stuff can have a huge positive impact on your relationships with colleagues, significant others, friends, and clients.”

Excerpt from Jason’s article:

STOP GLOSSING OVER THE GOOD STUFF (How to Be Positive and Happy)

Positivity at Home

Every day I tell my girlfriend, Alison, what makes her special to me. Whether it’s her outfit, something cute she did that put a smile on my face, or just the fact that – to my bewilderment – she still hasn’t thrown all of my things out the window and changed the locks.

As a result, I can share my frustrations with her without it feeling like the relationship is ruined. We still fight, but those fights happen with the understanding that we don’t have each other, we’re just pissed that one of us was supposed to do the laundry and instead watched an entire season of The West Wing.

**

Yes! This is what at least two of our journals are all about…taking time to recognize the good stuff in your relationships. It may be simple, as Jason says, but not necessarily easy without some help, or a jumpstart from something like What I Love About You and What I Love About You, Mom.

Jason’s full article is here.

Favorite Book Covers (Kate)

Do you have favorite book covers? Why do you like them? Four different teams put together covers for our eight guided journals. All the covers do the job, but these two just might be my favorites. Both of these books are intended as keepsake gifts, so they need to be appealing. I know nothing about design, so my thoughts are purely instinctive.

What I Love About You (cover)

 

The first one, for What I Love About You, was designed by Donna Sinisgalli for Crown Archetype in the Random House family. It’s simple, clean and smart. The book is a fill-in journal for you to write in for a romantic partner, expressing the many things you love, admire and appreciate about him or her. The big heart quickly tells you what to expect. At first I wasn’t sure about the light blue, but now I appreciate that the cool color helps the cover avoid being overly sentimental or feminine. I was amused that the cover went through several rounds with design and marketing teams before being shown to my husband and me, and we were the first to notice the boobs and bottoms element to the heart and upside down heart. The team decided that if customers picked up on that image, even subliminally, that was okay. I also like the inside design – you can see that in the “peek inside” feature on Amazon.

  

What I Love About You, Mom (cover)

 

My next favorite cover is for the sequel to this journal, this one to fill out for your mom – What I Love About You, Mom. It was championed by the same wonderful editor, but with a whole new design team at Plume in the Penguin family. Catherine Leonardo was the designer. I think she did a great job keeping the simple, clean look, this time choosing flowers to express love. It reminds me of the time when four-year-old me picked all my neighbors tulips as a gift for my mom on Mother’s Day. Surprise! The colors chosen for the cover are cheerful and inviting. I especially love the way the petals touch, as if holding hands or hugging. The inside design is also gorgeous, using a batik-like border. The back cover has the two flowers leaning outwards to show the descriptive text, peek-a-boo style. Cute.

 

Mother-of-the-Bride Song by Carrie Underwood

I love this sweet mother-of-the-bride music video from Carrie Underwood to her mom, but I can’t help but think she should’ve used What I Love About You, Mom in there instead of a plain old photo album. Have a listen:

Carrie Underwood Music Video

Carrie Underwood with her Mom