23 March 2015

5 Things That Always Seem to Happen on Rainy Days

Inspired by a rainy March Monday morning, I decided to write my first normal blog post in a long time. I've been bogged down a lot lately by blogging to-do's and writing pursuits (which are going well!) and regular day-to-day blogging has taken a minor backseat. Until today!

So there are certain things that always tend to happen on a rainy day and a couple that have happened very recently. It's something about dreary days like today that bring out the bad crummy luck.

1) You miss your bus.

This happened this morning actually. Apparently my attempt at waving down the driver went unnoticed and I had to wait ten minutes for the next one. Sure, not terrible.

But I remember one year when it was in the teens here on a cold winter night my mom and I were trying to catch a bus home. Despite banging on the windows, the driver sped off, making us wait 30 minutes in really cold weather until we decided to just call a cab.

2) You slip and fall (into mud or dog poop).

Yes, ladies and gentleman. Two weeks ago, I missed the last step going down stairs outside of my apartment complex. This caused me to careen forward and fall right into dog poop a neighbor didn't pick up.

3) Your umbrella flips out.

This is a huge reason I don't like umbrellas and don't take them with me usually. I feel like such a dork when wind and rain pick up and the umbrella is flipping inside out.

4) You didn't wear warm enough shoes.

Sneakers aren't good rain wear. Neither are UGG boots actually. I think I need to invest in some decent looking rain boots because so far everything I wear in this weather isn't warm enough.

5) You have to use the bathroom. Really bad.

Isn't this always the case? Although I have no memorable stories behind this one, once I heard from this lady who said she was sitting at a bus stop and it started to rain really bad. She didn't have any coat or umbrella and had to use the bathroom too. With the bus not showing up, and the rain continuing she just decided to cry and wet her pants. Sometimes you just have to lean into the experience all the way.

But there are upsides to a rainy day, and despite the dreary commute, I do actually like rainy days. So to end this post on a high note, here is one of my favorite rainy day songs:

20 March 2015

Hausfrau by Jil Alexander Essbaum Book Review [And Giveaway]

I love when I read a book that brings me so emotionally connected to the character that I feel like I need to have a "Dr. Phil" type of intervention in order to set them straight. You will be rooting for Anna while you also are screaming at her to change her ways. At least that's how I was. It's sort of like when you're watching a horror movie and you just CANNOT believe they went into the house alone.

What the Book Is About (obtained from Random House' website)

Intimate, intense, and written with the precision of a Swiss Army knife, Jill Alexander Essbaum’s debut novel is an unforgettable story of marriage, fidelity, sex, morality, and most especially self. Navigating the lines between lust and love, guilt and shame, excuses and reasons, Anna Benz is an electrifying heroine whose passions and choices readers will debate with recognition and fury. Her story reveals, with honesty and great beauty, how we create ourselves and how we lose ourselves and the sometimes disastrous choices we make to find ourselves.

What I Thought:

First, this book had excellent writing. The writer was able to create such a vivid scene. I had a bit of trouble with the occasional dutch-german words that were included, but once I got used to them being included in the book, I barely noticed them. I could immediately feel the misery of the main character and I really didn't like her at first. She was cheating on her husband with a variety of men, didn't seem to connect with her children, and she absolutely seemed miserable in the country she was in. After a while though I started feeling sorry for her and felt sympathetic to her despite her flaws. Her husband was obviously cold and even had bouts of violence against her. I even started rooting for her at some point to turn things around and improve her situation in some way - ANY WAY.

Then the ending came around. I absolutely hated the ending and left me feeling sad and miserable after finishing the book. I don't really want to give away what happens, but please be warned, this isn't a pleasant, breezy read. In fact, if you aren't in a great mood, this book won't improve things much for you.
The book delivered a powerful message, though. It was excellently written . The sexual content wasn't a huge part of the book, so if you are concerned about that, I didn't feel like it stood out. One part I really really liked and paid close attention to was that the main character had sessions with her therapist and these sessions were sprinkled throughout the book as real life happens. I loved how this was done - the sort of examination of her present experience and the issues she was having. Oh, if only she could have opened up to the therapist more, maybe it would have saved things.

Anyways, I rated this book four stars on GoodReads. I might have lowered the rating due to the ending but I thought the writer was very good at drawing me in and connecting me to a potentially unlikeable character. I didn't even like the woman at first and then by the end I'm rooting for her. So, how about that for good storytelling?

Make sure you purchase your own copy of this electrifying drama. The book is on sale now too so visit this link to buy your copy.

Best of all I get to giveaway a copy of this book to one lucky reader! All you need to do is leave a comment letting me know what about this book intrigues you. Make sure you leave your email address so I can contact you if you have won.

For a bonus entry, follow author @JAEssbaum.
For another bonus entry, follow me on Twitter @BeingTheWriter.

For each bonus entry, make sure you note in the comments you have done it by leaving a comment with your Twitter user name.

Contest open to US only. Email address required to win. Contest ends on 3/29. 

I received compensation in exchange for my honest review.

03 March 2015

Get The Extra Layer of Internet Security with Freedome App

First of all, I am happy to announce that the winner has been revealed for the iPad Mini! Congrats to Colleen B. for winning the prize!

Security and protecting myself from identity theft continues to be such an important factor in my life, especially as online security is more and more at risk. You just never know these days! To have security with programs like F-Secure Freedom at our side is such a great feeling. Just take a look at how many sites I was protected from just by using F-Secure Freedom App on my Windows Tablet!

Just like this video shows, you really don't know how at risk you are, especially when you are using public Wi-Fi. Watch this video to see just how easy it is to hack into a computer using public WiFi:

Isn't that frightening?? I couldn't believe it when I watched that.

Anyways, now is the time to take charge and give yourself an extra layer of protection.

With my link and code provided, I am happy to offer my readers a 90-Day FREE TRIAL to the Freedome Security App. Follow this link and use the code qsf257 for your free trial.

I received compensation for my posts with F-Secure. My opinions are 100% my own.

The Ripple Effect of 1 [Guest Post by D.L. Anderson]

Will You Gain the Power?

Did you know that approximately 200,000 people die every day across the world? That’s a lot of people if you ask me; a massive lot of individuals who have breathed their last breath, felt one last caress, and experienced their final moment within the epic journey known as life.

True, this reality does tend to lose its shrill and intense bearing the older we get and the more people we are forced to bury. Nonetheless, death is not something we ever get used to; not to the point where it does not have some effect on us. The question is – what effect will it have on you?

The answer depends largely on the individual who is fallen. On this wise, the deaths of those true heroes will always have immense effects on everyone in their world and the broader world we all share. Trust me; I could painlessly line up hundreds of men and women throughout history whose lives and contributions transcend their existence on the earth; whose teachings and examples continue to be celebrated and followed even unto this day.

The simple question I have for each reader is this: will you be part of this heroic cast of characters when the days of your sojourning on earth are fulfilled? Or allow me to ask it this way: will you gain the power to realize the profound ripple effect that onw man or woman can have when they dedicate themselves to fulfilling their purpose?


If you answered yes, then I’ve got good news for you – I can help you in this grand endeavor. See I’ve ruminated on this prospect in my life and have come to the following conclusion: 

The enduring value of my life will not be measured by what I got out of it, but rather by how much I gave of myself – and in giving, how many lives for the better were changed.

For this cause, I sought to craft a formula which would allow me and those like me (who would rise to the highest callings in life) to have the greatest impact we could possibly have – and I did. It is a combination of 6 unique steps which, if followed sequentially, will ensure that neither your life nor your death are without profound meaning and enduring value.

Appropriately this formula is based on the acronym IMPACT and includes the following steps:

·        Inspire
·        Mature
·        Purpose
·        Achieve
·        Contribute
·        Transfer


Visibly the first step is inspiration, for we will hardly do anything of value or requiring reckonable measures of labor if we are not first inspired to do so. This speaks to a crucial aspect of human nature; specifically our individual inspiration is generally contingent to the value we perceive is attached to that which we are to pursue. If it’s a high value, well then hello inspiration! If it’s not, then you’re better off letting someone else do the job because you’re either not going to get it done or you’re not going to do it well.

Now the key to inspiration is understanding the source, for there are many impulses and stimuli which are neither positive nor progressive. Consequently, if we are going to have a true and lasting impact on our world and the world we share, we must not only be inspired. The source of our inspiration must be positive progressive causes.

Less the world remembers us as villains as opposed to true heroes and heroines.


Upon being inspired, we must follow all the natural processes of maturation (i.e. the 2nd step in the process). These include a wide variety of personal developments (e.g. emotional, physical, and spiritual) which allow us to increase the breadth of our potential. This is critical because an immature person will fail to cash in on their aspirations simply because they have not ascended to a place where they can execute with any quantifiable measures of relevance or proficiency. They simply don’t know how. Thus it is incumbent upon each of us to follow every natural process of growth; else we find ourselves with a surplus of inspiration and a shortfall of realization.


Next, and perhaps the most obvious, we must understand our purpose in life. Here’s why:

It is impossible to have a lasting impact on others if you are living outside of your purpose.

This shouldn’t be too hard to understand. For example, my car keys are only useful to me as a means to start or unlock my car. They have no impact outside of this distinct function, for they serve no other purpose. As such, the only impact they can have in my life is by successfully starting or unlocking my car.

True, this is a much simpler example than the complex network of callings and purpose of the billions of men and women presently cohabiting the world. Still the underlying principle holds true. We are all here for a reason and have been uniquely designed to achieve specific objectives and goals in our lives – and if these are fulfilled, we will assuredly have a tremendous impact on everyone we meet and many who we have never met.


This speaks to the next step in the process; that is achievement, the certain conclusion of purpose. This truism lends itself to the question – if you have fulfilled your days and, simultaneously, failed to fulfill your purpose, then what you have really done? What have you accomplished? What have you achieved?

On the scale of impact, you haven’t accomplished too much – and what you have accomplished will not last, for it (like you) will be both scarcely and vaguely remembered; simply because it was all executed without an authentic purpose. Thus it does not endure.


Achievement, then, leads to contribution. It’s as natural as the dawn of the morning, and the evening when shadows fall. Here’s why: our greatest achievements are not executed for the betterment of ourselves or a small group; rather they are the amazing results of an authentic desire to improve the lives of all men and women everywhere.
In this order, we must not only be willing to contribute to the brotherhood of man; contributing on this pervasive scale should be our focus. It’s like I always say – the best kind of business is the business of helping others; but you will never know it until you try it.


Lastly we must willingly and effectively transfer our legacies to those we are leaving behind. This is critical for the following cause:

We diminish the power of our legacy by foolishly trying to hold onto it.

In spite of this fact, you will find countless men and women more concerned about making a name for themselves than ensuring that their works have redeeming value. What these fail to realize is that there is no better way to realize the redeeming value of our works than by transferring our legacies (in their currency) to others while we are yet living. This act elevates the work (which has the potential to be eternal) above the individual (which has no potential but to be temporary), and positions it to be carried on successfully for generations to come.

To Be Never Broken Again

This brings me to the conclusion of the process and this matter; explicitly this:

The legacy we leave behind after we are gone is contingent to the impact we have on others while we are yet alive.

So take my advice and don’t be as those vain men with questionable motives, whose works are of selfish reasons and enduring no longer than a season. Their impact is at first negligible, and then silently non-existent.

Instead you be as those men and women of renown, who realized that they were merely individual yet united links in the infinite chain of humanity – and that their lives were nothing more than a unique opportunity to effectively strengthen the chain, and to ensure that one day the circle of all life would be restored to be never broken again.

Here’s a question I have for each reader: are you living your life with purpose and having a positive progressive impact in all the offices and groups you are a part of? Or are you being negatively impacted by adverse realities and occasions, and positioning yourself to be all but forgotten the moment you are gone?

Or maybe you’re somewhere in between and ultimately aren’t living as impactful a life as you desire to lead. In each occasion, I would recommend that you visit us at Life Pinnacles, for our reason for existing is to have positive progressive impacts in as many lives as possible – and our mission is to help others as they work towards fulfilling the same cause in their lives.

If you decide to join us, you will receive access to my very first admission in my “Declarations of Independence” series, a compilation of short works dedicated to illuminating man’s search for fulfillment, and independence from all those things which are preventing him from finding it.

D. L. Anderson is a speaker and life trainer whose goals are centered on helping others live a life of purpose, excellence, and balance. Drawing on 15+ years of experience in various fields including information technology, consulting, and business management, D. L. Anderson is very excited to be able to effectively teach others the same principles which have made his life both fulfilling and successful.

His latest book is the self-help book, Unlocking the Mystery of You: The Pinnacle of Purpose.

Visit D.L. Anderson's website or visit him on Twitter  and Facebook. You also have the chance to win a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card! Enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends March 27.

21 February 2015

Privacy Freedome Challenge - Be Invisible Online (And Win an iPad Mini)

Have you declared your freedome yet? Today, I want to challenge YOU to declaring your freedome online. Why am I spelling "freedom" that way? It's because it's the new app by F-Secure called the Freedome App. You can download it today and receive a 90-day free trial.

So far since downloading the app, I've seen so many things protected and it's been such a safe feeling. I can't wait for the next time I'm using public Wi-Fi, I will not have to worry about my online security. Best of all, you don't have to worry about removing your existing security software. It runs right along side it.

Here's how you can get Freedome for 90 days free (and I know you'll be convinced to purchase it!). Just follow this link to download it and once installed, use the code:  qsf257.

Best of all, I am SO excited to announce that I get to giveaway an iPad Mini (16 GB Wifi) PLUS one year of Freedome.

Just use the Rafflecopter below and the giveaway ends on 2/27.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you declared your Freedome yet?

I received compensation for my work with F-Secure. All opinions are my own.

17 February 2015

Book Spotlight: ITGIRL4LIFE by Tamara Branch (Plus Win an iTunes Gift Card!)

I love to talk about books that inspire! Sometimes inspirational and motivational books though tend to be a little...longwinded, complicated, and not simplified to my own life. So when I had the chance to do a book spotlight on ITGIRL4LIFE by Tamara Branch and I read over what the book was about and what you can expect in the book, I knew everyone would love to hear about it.

About the Book

Writer, artist and speaker, Tamara Branch serves up 40 bite-sized chapters on how to build unshakable self-confidence, honor your life, and shine bright in the world, in ITGIRL4LIFE: How to bring out your special something and so much more. Packed with sage advice, life-changing insights and affirmations to help you soar, ITGIRL4LIFE offers ideas, tools and principles that you can reference and build upon, supporting you in becoming your best. Get ready to fall in love with your own wisdom, beauty and strength.

Whether you want to inspire yourself, or another lady in your life, this is a book that I think you should check out.

About the Author

"I believe in the power, beauty, strength and amazing potential of girls. I believe girls deserve to feel extraordinary. I believe that when girls shine their light, they are unstoppable!"
- ITGIRL4LIFE by Tamara Branch

Tamara Branch is from New York, born and raised in the Bronx. She is thrilled to share her first book release, ITGIRL4LIFE, kicking off the ITGIRL4LIFE self-esteem movement to empower girls to stand up, stand out and shine bright in the world.

Tamara has worked as a professional model and actor for almost two decades. She strutted down the runway for designers Calvin Klein, Donna Karen and Christian Dior, acted in a few independent films, co-hosted PBS New York’s education series, “What’s up in Technology” and appeared T.V. commercials and print ads for Levi’s, Old Navy, Hershey’s, Colgate, Kellogg’s Special K, Revlon, Hanes, Nike and many others. A Penn State alumnus and lifelong student of personal development, Tamara is deeply passionate about uplifting the human spirit.

After graduating from Institute for Integrative Nutrition, studying under Deepak Chopra, Dr. Andrew Weil and some of the top health and wellness experts in the world, she was inspired to raise the bar on her own ‘self care’ and support others in living more vibrantly. She is an abstract artist and teaches a dynamic dance class, where she gets to fuse her varied background, having trained in everything from jazz, ballet and modern to Afro-Caribbean and Salsa.

Tamara was recently asked to become a Female Visionary Author guest blogger for The Brave Heart Women Global Community.  She's a SAG/AFTRA member since 1998, a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and is represented by Abrams Artists Agency.

To find out more about Tamara Branch, visit her website, follow her on Twitter. find out more about Tamara at Goodreads and you can also read her blog.

Last not but not least, here's an excerpt I think you would enjoy:

YOU have IT. IT is the GREATNESS you were born with. IT is that unique special something that is all yours. Nothing and nobody can take IT away from you. IT is not something that you have one day and lose the next. IT is not fleeting. IT is not temporary. IT does not depend on the judgment or approval of others. IT is here to stay. Your job is to tap into IT. Your ITGIRL4LIFE adventure starts NOW. It’s about loving yourself, being authentic, taking charge and making a difference. You will need a great attitude, an open mind, the desire to grow and expand, the courage to create the life you want and the willingness to be your best self.
Are you ready? Your special something and so much more is right this way.

Doesn't that sound inspiring?? I know it does. I'm glad you stopped by because I'm also excited to bring you a $25.00 iTunes Gift Card giveaway. All you have to do is enter via Rafflecopter below.

If you are as excited as I am about this book, make sure you check out where you can purchase it:

ITGIRL4LIFE is available at Amazon.
Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.

Plus, you can discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

15 February 2015

How A VPN Can Protect Your Online Activity

I remember once when I was a mentor in college, a student told me, "Do you know how easy it is to hack into a computer that's using public Wi-Fi?" It's true too. Take a look at this article written by the Daily Mail showing you exactly how easy it is to hack into public Wi-Fi settings.

Or just check out this video here:

Well, these days I think internet security and protection is becoming more and more of a concern for people. I ran right into that problem over the weekend as I was looking online for a software I wanted to download onto my new tablet (I had used this software before on another computer). Well, I downloaded a link to what I assumed was that software and ended up downloading a virus. I eventually had to completely reinstall my system.

And it isn't just malicious software we have to worry about. With how much of our information is online, you want to take caution against what people see and how they can track you. That's why I was so excited to partner up with F-Secure and tell you about their newest software the Freedome app (compatible with most devices).

I downloaded this software to my tablet and I have been keeping an the program ever since I had it installed. You will not believe the type of malicious websites and [what else did you see it protecting] that it protected me from. Just take a look here:

You can use this software in addition to you're virus protection. It's that added layer protection that you need while you are online. It's privacy in addition to security. You can basically be invisible online and that's SO important for your protection.

First of all, downloading the program is EXTREMELY easy. It's just a few seconds. Next, it starts tracking immediately - you can turn it off and on as easy as you want. It also doesn't interfere with your regular security software.

This is such an important software to add to your devices. And I want to encourage everyone reading this to take a moment to download a 90 day trial and give it a try. You will be extremely impressed with what you find.

Simply follow this link here  and use the code qsf257 for your 90 day free trial.

What steps do you take to protect your identity online?

I received compensation for my posts. My opinions are my own.

12 February 2015

10 Book Titles That Would Make Hilariously Terrible Valentine Candy Hearts

I was perusing my GoodReads "to read" list and I spotted a couple of titles that I thought would make hilariously terrible Valentine's Day Candy Hearts. Since Valentine's Day is just around the corner, I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to compile the ten best bad candy heart book titles I found (plus one bonus one) in honor of the day. I want to preface this blog post by saying that all of the books I've collected actually have received excellent reviews. So the books themselves aren't bad, just their titles would just make terrible candy hearts.

1) I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You

Nothing like bragging about how awesome things are now that you are away from a person to give you the warm and fuzzies inside. This just screams Valentine's Day to me, doesn't it you? 

I actually read this book and it's extremely quirk and funny. However, the title as a candy heart could be pretty fitting for quite a lot of people. Maybe not a Valentine's Day love note, but more of a "hey, just admit it" kind of note.

3) Do You Remember Me Now?

This candy heart would just scream one night stand and you accidentally run into the person later on. Maybe that person turns out to be a coworker, employer, or someone that you are now forced to interact with on a regular basis. A-wk-ward.

This book title as a candy heart kind of screams an affair, doesn't it? If not an affair, it could also mean a bizarre and strange secret that you really hope doesn't get out in public. Or at least not out on Facebook.

I think this candy heart book title explains itself. 

I'm pretty sure there's a ton of people out there that would appreciate this candy heart.

It screams like something humiliating and horrible happened, doesn't it? Nothing like asking someone to forget about it for it to remain blazed in their memory.

Selfishness isn't romantic at all, and this would be such a terribly funny candy heart. You know, just a fresh little reminder, right?

So although this is a serious issue that's being talked about in the book, you have to admit, seeing this on a candy heart would be funny.

Doesn't this sound like a romantic Valentine's Day ahead of you if you got this candy heart?

I know there's so many self-help books that have titles that could make this list and I couldn't help but at least grab one. Nothing like someone telling you you're out of shape and messy to set the mood on Valentine's Day.

What book title would make an excellent terrible Valentine's candy heart? 

07 February 2015

Wintergarden by T.M. Wallace - Twitter Party Announcement! Register Now!

I am so excited to announce that I will be hosting a Twitter Party for author T.M. Wallace and her new book Wintergarden. The Twitter Party will be on March 21st at 8 pm EST (5 pm PST) and will last for one hour.

You must participate in order to receive prizes. Find out more about T.M. Wallace's book by visiting the GoodRead page here. It's an incredible tale about good versus evil and the magical world of fairies.

Register using the form below and the person with the most referrals receives a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card! Click to promote the Twitter party (and gain referrals!) by clicking this link:

Tweet: Join me on March 21st at 8pm EST (5pm PST) to celebrate the launch of @TMWallace1 new book #Wintergarden. RSVP here http://ctt.ec/adDau+

If you can't bring up the form, simply follow this link to RSVP. I can't wait to see you there!

Disclaimer: I have been compensated to host this Twitter party

04 February 2015

Protecting Your Web Domain [Guest Post]

When it comes to keeping your domain protection current, you ought to know well beforehand that this is a measure of the utmost importance. There are many reasons why you need to keep your domain well established and well protected. But if you're in any doubt about the importance of domain protection, this post ought to set you straight on the matter.

You Don't Want To Lose Your Place Or Your Face

Your domain is the place that you do business from. It's the place where thousands, or very possibly millions, of people visit you for the first time to make your acquaintance. Think about that for a moment. No matter how many people you meet in your life, you will very likely never shake hands and exchange pleasantries with a million people in person. But untold millions of people will visit your website over the course of your business career.

So, unless you've retired or sold off your business to others, it's vitally important that these millions of potential customers have a place to meet you - or, more precisely, your business, your goods, and your services. Considering that there are, indeed, millions of people who are searching the Internet every single day in search of a business that provides goods and services akin to yours, it's a tragic day for your wallet if your domain has expired and your website is "off the air".

Loss Of Domain = Loss Of Revenue

And this is where the crunch comes in. To put it quite frankly, loss of your domain = instant loss of revenue. Even if your website has only been up for a year and you've done the majority of your business at your "brick and mortar" location, the fact remains that your website has accounted for a sizable portion of your revenue.

You may not realize this, but a large percentage of your customers have found your business in the first place by surfing the Internet. Even if the majority of these customers have preferred to purchase from you at your physical location, a great many of these people have first perused your site to make sure that you have the goods and services that they're searching for.

These are only a few of the many, many reasons why you need domain expiration protection. If you don't have a plan in place, now is the time to get up to speed.

This is a sponsored guest post.
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