Book in Progress

In case anyone was wondering, this is what a book looks like 6 months before pub date. The ideas are all there, the interior design is sparkling; it just needs a few tweaks and a great cover to wrap it up in gorgeous! Galley proofs coming soon…

Book of You in progress

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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

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Storytelling Makes You Happier in Life and in Love

“Storytelling is one way couples bond when a relationship is young. But between long-term partners, the conversation often becomes mundane. Psychologists say it is important to keep telling and listening to each other’s stories,” according to a 7/4/2016 Wall Street Journal article by Elizabeth Bernstein.

So true. Also true – your stories can be told aloud or in a guided journal: What I Love About You and The Book of Us for love stories and appreciation; or Picture of Me and The Book of Myself for stories about you that maybe you’ve never told.

 

Wall Street Journal article: Why Good Storytellers are Happier in Life and in Love

 

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Review: What I Love About You

Just in time for Valentine’s Day…

“It is impossible to truly tell someone, how much you love them, especially since it relates to the matters of the heart, and all of us aren’t linguists with long train of words to express our emotions. But if…you always find yourself at a loss of words, then this book is the perfect thing. It uses a simple fill in the blank approach to open the doors of expression. You can just fill in all the blanks and give it as a personal gift to remember you by.” Review on this site.

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Review: What I Love About You, Mom

What I Love About You, Mom just got a nice review on this website.

“We know that even though most of us are attracted to the idea of writing a journal, few are eventually successful in doing so. The major reason is, we just do not know how to express ourselves. This is where this guided journal comes in. Not only will it help you to preserve beautiful memories and parts of your life, but also, for the first time, help you realize, how much you truly owe to your mother. Writing this will give you an insight on the inner workings of your mind.”

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True or False? Opinion Poll

Force yourself to pick a side on these statements from Picture of Me: Who I Am in 221 Questions

Only thin women should wear bikinis. T/F

People should try their best to fit in and act normal. T/F

Online socializing counts as human interaction. T/F

I’m going to Heaven when I die. T/F

Chewing gum makes you look stupid. T/F

Men and women act differently due to biology, not upbringing. T/F

Love at first sight is usually 99% lust. T/F

English Literature is a useful college major. T/F

Everything happens for a reason. T/F

This is a great book. T/F (Just kidding – that’s not really in there, but you should get hold of a copy so you can see the other questions.)

Picture of Me

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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

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Journal Sighting

This cute Valentine’s Day display is in Barnes & Noble in Bloomington, Indiana. We just love it when people send us photos of our journals in stores. Thanks, Shelly! If you see our books somewhere, snap a photo and let us know.

What I Love About You @B&N in Indiana

What I Love About You @B&N in Indiana

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Trouble with New Year’s Resolutions?

My theory for why New Year’s Resolutions fail so often is that they usually aren’t grounded by a bigger purpose. So you want to exercise more. Why? To attract a vibrant life partner? To be healthy enough to play with grandchildren? To have many years to work on a cause you care about? The more clarity of the “why,” the more motivated you’ll be to follow through.

Yes, this takes some thought. You’ll need some guiding questions and exercises to either talk or write about. Maybe you have a wise friend or someone else wanting to dig deep who can partner with you. Maybe you could take a personal development workshop on the topic, or hire a life coach. Or you could simply find some good reading and journaling materials.

I highly recommend Tara Parker-Pope’s recent New York Times article: Creating a Mission Statement. She suggests asking yourself some of the same questions that David and I walk you through in our latest book, My Life Map: A Journal to Help You Shape Your Life.

If you like Parker-Pope’s article, consider letting My Life Map guide you through this discovery process.

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David Shows Book He Gave to His Mom for Mother’s Day

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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.]

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Amazon Review

Most reviews of our books make me smile for one reason or another. This new review for What I Love About You  made me smile so much this morning that I just had to share it:

“Probably my favorite product from amazon all-together! The book is so thorough, and is appropriate for any stage of a relationship. I love that there are questions that really apply to the specific couple – the way it’s written it encourages you to give a detailed, very personalized answer and it feels almost effortless to fill out! There are around 89-ish pages to fill out though, so leave a little time to do it. I love that there are all types of questions (check off, fill in the blank, paste a picture, etc.). This book expressed everything I’ve been feeling for the past 7 years with my significant other and I very, very highly recommend it. Of all the sentimental gifts I’ve given, this one got the biggest (positive) reaction, and is my absolute favorite.” – BrittanyN10

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Youngest Journaler Yet

Wow, I just heard the sweetest story. Last month, my friend Pam got a copy of the What I Love About You, Mom  for her mom. She set it on the coffee table and planned to start filling it out for her mom over the weekend. That evening, Pam’s adorable daughter saw it and began leafing through the pages. She’s in second grade, and excited about learning to read and write independently. She asked Pam if she could write in it for Pam’s upcoming birthday. Wow. Of course Pam said yes, and suggested she fill out 9-10 pages for her birthday, then 9-10 more for Christmas, and so on.

After her birthday, Pam showed me what her daughter had given her. I was floored by how well she was able to complete the first set of pages. Our goal in creating the short answer and check mark format was to make it easy for anyone to fill out, but I was still surprised to hear how easy it was for someone as young as this sweet gal. She wrote precious memories from “when she was young” with freshness and inventive spelling. She thanked her mom for “changing my dipers” and making “good snaks.” I know she’s going to love the pages that ask for drawing.

I’m happy for Pam to have this expression of gratitude from her young daughter, and a keepsake of this moment in time.

 

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We made mom videos!

Whenever we tell people about our gift journal for moms – What I Love About You, Mom – it usually gets them talking about their own moms. Since I had just gotten a handy dandy new Samsung phone with an amazingly clear video function, we decided to film a few of them answering questions from the journal.

1. What’s something special or unique about your mom? Answers involve favoritism, shining lights, and time keeping. They also prove that young men do love their mamas. Watch.

2. What’s something you want to thank your mom for, big or small? Answers involve New Jersey accents, acceptance and safety. Watch.

3. Share a memory about your mom from when you were a kid. Answers involve snapping turtles, balls of yarn, and a toad in trouble. Watch.

 

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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.

 

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