“Girl, Wash Your Face”{book/ Audible review}

Let me start by saying that I am an extremely hard critic for books that tell me what to do. I guess I don’t like being bossed around by anyone.

One of my closest friends took me to see “Made For More.” This is a movie about Rachel Hollis and her conference, Rise.

I have to say that Rachel is likeable right away. She’s relatable and funny (that’s why she has a tribe of over a million followers). I wasn’t over the top excited to leave and run and get the book though. I felt like it was great for certain women, but not really for me.

Fast-forward a few days later and I was looking for something to inspire me to do more than just get through my days (which is the way I’ve felt lately). I looked at all kinds of books. I then listened to an excerpt from this book and bought it with an Audible credit.

I listened while I worked out. I listened while I waited for someone to get done with an appointment. I actually was inspired. I didn’t expect to enjoy it half as much as I did. I didn’t really expect to feel inspired or excited from it, but I was!

It’s hard to put my finger on why. I don’t know exactly why. I know that listening to Rachel talk about her struggles, her fears, her dreams, and her successes has made me feel like I can do so much more than what I’ve been telling myself, and what I’ve been letting others make me feel like I can do.  Somewhere along the way, I lost a sense of hopefulness about the future. I needed to hear someone tell me that women tell themselves lies and let themselves believe lies, and that we have to stop it! None of this was new news, by the way. I’ve heard this all before. Head to Pinterest and you’ll see a thousand quotes all about it.  I’ve just never heard it from another person exactly when I needed to hear it.

Even though I don’t have the same dreams as Rachel (I don’t want to be a mogul or friends of the rich and famous) she still spoke words into my heart that urge me to move past the limitations that I allow myself to believe and reach for so much more. I just want to live a life that abundantly serves others,  but in a way where I feel blessed to do so, and not in a way that leaves me depleted and overwhelmed.

I’m looking at my life with greater expectations.

I would recommend this book to any woman out there who feels stuck in a rut, any woman who needs someone to tell her that she’s made for more than what she’s settled for in the past, and any woman who is looking for a cheerleader and a coach to tell her what she needs to do to get out of her own way in order to live a beautiful and full life.

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Mrs. Kennedy and Me {Book Review}

Recently, I have a new fascination with Jackie Kennedy Onassis. I knew very little about the Kennedy administration and that time period in general. Someone I know said that they would love to sit down and have a conversation with Jackie Kennedy. As I thought about what she lived through, my fascination grew.

I bought a book written by her Secret Service agent, Clint Hill. The book is entitled Mrs. Kennedy and Me. I began reading the book not knowing much about the Kennedy family in general and finished the book even more intrigued by their lives. She was the epitome of class and strength in the face of so much. Clint Hill obviously saw Mrs. Kennedy in the best and worst situations, and he was also constantly impressed with the way she handled things.

There were so many stories in the book that I absolutely loved.  One of my favorites was the story of how she so charmed the French writer, Andre Malraux, that he would offer to bring the Mona Lisa to the United States. This exhibition would be the first time that the painting left France.  She was so excited for people who were not in the position to travel all the way to France to have the opportunity to view this incredible work of art.  The History Channel tells the historical story of the Mona Lisa’s trip to the United States.

There are so many great stories in the book. If anyone has even the slightest interest in Jackie Kennedy this is a great book to find out more about the former First Lady. Not only am I completely intrigued by Jackie Kennedy now, I am also fascinated with Clint Hill and the other Secret Service agents of the time. Since finishing Mrs. Kennedy and Me, I have finished a book about all the Kennedy wives and am currently reading one about the agents who were present that fateful day in November when the whole world was turned upside down.

Goodreads says:

The #1 New York Times bestselling memoir by Clint Hill that Kirkus Reviews called “clear and honest prose free from salaciousness and gossip,” Jackie Kennedy’s personal Secret Service agent details his very close relationship with the First Lady during the four years leading up to and following President John F. Kennedy’s tragic assassination.

In those four years, Hill was by Mrs. Kennedy’s side for some of the happiest moments as well as the darkest. He was there for the birth of John, Jr. on November 25, 1960, as well as for the birth and sudden death of Patrick Bouvier Kennedy on August 8, 1963. Three and a half months later, the unthinkable happened.

Forty-seven years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the one vivid image that never leaves Clint Hill’s mind is that of President Kennedy’s head lying on Mrs. Kennedy’s lap in the back seat of the limousine, his eyes fixed, blood splattered all over the back of the car, Mrs. Kennedy, and Hill as well. Sprawled on the trunk of the car as it sped away from Dealey Plaza, Hill clung to the sides of the car, his feet wedged in so his body was as high as possible.

Clint Hill jumped on the car too late to save the president, but all he knew after that first shot was that if more shots were coming, the bullets had to hit him instead of the First Lady.

Mrs. Kennedy’s strength, class, and dignity over those tragic four days in November 1963 held the country together.

This is the story, told for the first time, of the man who perhaps held her together.

I highly recommend Mrs. Kennedy and Me.