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    3 out of 5 Stars


    "One of the core ideas in his books is that it is possible to change other people's behavior by changing one's reaction to them."

    As I read this book the main word that kept jumping out at me is 'manipulation.' 
    By doing (or not doing) certain things, you are kind of manipulating the person into doing what you want. I am not a proponent of manipulation by any means. I do feel that helping the other person come to their own conclusions through some of these principles is helpful. 

    I read a review on this book by a reader on GoodReads and she said that this book had a negative effect on her life. With any self-help books that you read, you must take things with a grain of salt. With "How To Win Friends And Influence People," I believe many of the insights are mainly geared to a person who is in business (salesperson.) That is not to say parts may not be applied to personal friendships/relationships. I think you have to remain true to your personality and not force something that is not natural. 

    The negative reviewer said "The book basically tells you to be agreeable to everybody, find something to honestly like about them and compliment them on it, talk about their interests only and, practically, act like a people pleaser all the time. After being a smiley happy person with loads of friends for about a year, the unpleasant realization began to creep in, that by being so agreeable to everybody else, I rarely ever got my way. I also sustained friendships with people who were self-centered, so talking about their interests was all we got to do together, which drained me of my energy. The worst thing still, is that by trying to find something to like about every person, I completely disregarded their glaring faults. It didn't matter that those people did have redeeming
    qualities - they weren't redeeming enough! I ended up with a bunch of friends I didn't really want and, because I was so preoccupied with "winning" those friendships I missed out on the chance to form relationships with good people."

    I think what the reviewer did was to conform to the different principles and took them to heart a bit too much. There is definitely a time and place for everything and if you're using these principles all of the time, well that can seriously get tiring in my opinion. If you're thinking of reading this book because you are lonely & want friends, don't read it. 

    I read this book on my Kindle and plan on going back to all of the notes I highlighted. A lot of what is presented in this book is common knowledge, it's just that it is presented in a way that really makes you think about how to use the principles. Having examples of each is also extremely helpful.

    I think this book should be a requirement for college or anyone working in a business setting. I also believe it was completely written at the time aimed towards salesmen. Not all people have the natural ability to do the things presented in this book; some do. This book is obviously a best seller for a reason and I think the reason is the way the principles are presented.



    Book Review: How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

    3 out of 5 Stars


    "One of the core ideas in his books is that it is possible to change other people's behavior by changing one's reaction to them."

    As I read this book the main word that kept jumping out at me is 'manipulation.' 
    By doing (or not doing) certain things, you are kind of manipulating the person into doing what you want. I am not a proponent of manipulation by any means. I do feel that helping the other person come to their own conclusions through some of these principles is helpful. 

    I read a review on this book by a reader on GoodReads and she said that this book had a negative effect on her life. With any self-help books that you read, you must take things with a grain of salt. With "How To Win Friends And Influence People," I believe many of the insights are mainly geared to a person who is in business (salesperson.) That is not to say parts may not be applied to personal friendships/relationships. I think you have to remain true to your personality and not force something that is not natural. 

    The negative reviewer said "The book basically tells you to be agreeable to everybody, find something to honestly like about them and compliment them on it, talk about their interests only and, practically, act like a people pleaser all the time. After being a smiley happy person with loads of friends for about a year, the unpleasant realization began to creep in, that by being so agreeable to everybody else, I rarely ever got my way. I also sustained friendships with people who were self-centered, so talking about their interests was all we got to do together, which drained me of my energy. The worst thing still, is that by trying to find something to like about every person, I completely disregarded their glaring faults. It didn't matter that those people did have redeeming
    qualities - they weren't redeeming enough! I ended up with a bunch of friends I didn't really want and, because I was so preoccupied with "winning" those friendships I missed out on the chance to form relationships with good people."

    I think what the reviewer did was to conform to the different principles and took them to heart a bit too much. There is definitely a time and place for everything and if you're using these principles all of the time, well that can seriously get tiring in my opinion. If you're thinking of reading this book because you are lonely & want friends, don't read it. 

    I read this book on my Kindle and plan on going back to all of the notes I highlighted. A lot of what is presented in this book is common knowledge, it's just that it is presented in a way that really makes you think about how to use the principles. Having examples of each is also extremely helpful.

    I think this book should be a requirement for college or anyone working in a business setting. I also believe it was completely written at the time aimed towards salesmen. Not all people have the natural ability to do the things presented in this book; some do. This book is obviously a best seller for a reason and I think the reason is the way the principles are presented.



    Posted at 9:55 PM  |  by Lisa Epler, AVON ISR
    I've posted this on my business blog & Elle has given me permission to share on her blog too because the image crash is affecting hers and countless others.

    So, as you may have noticed, you're seeing the message 'Please Update Your Account To Enable 3rd Party Hosting' on most of my images.  This is because the site I've been using for various projects since 2003 suddenly decided to become a 'paid' site.  Photobucket.com has hosted images for free for many years with ad revenue being generated on their site.  Suddenly the beginning of July they cut off all of their 'non-paid members' (which is pretty much everyone) from hosting their images, leaving users who post images of their goods on Amazon, Ebay, blogs etcetera, to have no image-hosting.  As you can imagine, users are livid.  For weeks I could barely get into the site to even see what images I have there, but today I finally got access and began downloading and deleting my stored photos.  What's the big deal you might think?  Anyone who is using a hosting site has content seen by users and you want to appear professional online.  This situation obviously does not give that appearance. Here's the new pricing plan:

    photbucket plan

    I've given this topic too much of my time already, but I wanted to make my readers aware the reason my images are messed up.  If you'd like to read more, there are plenty of current articles on the web, including some recommendations of other sites to switch to.  (See Below)

    Musings Of An Average Mom:  Photobucket Crash




    So as soon as I find the time and a different image host site I will get to work on replacing the lost images.

    Thanks for your understanding, 

    Sorry For The Image Glitch!

    I've posted this on my business blog & Elle has given me permission to share on her blog too because the image crash is affecting hers and countless others.

    So, as you may have noticed, you're seeing the message 'Please Update Your Account To Enable 3rd Party Hosting' on most of my images.  This is because the site I've been using for various projects since 2003 suddenly decided to become a 'paid' site.  Photobucket.com has hosted images for free for many years with ad revenue being generated on their site.  Suddenly the beginning of July they cut off all of their 'non-paid members' (which is pretty much everyone) from hosting their images, leaving users who post images of their goods on Amazon, Ebay, blogs etcetera, to have no image-hosting.  As you can imagine, users are livid.  For weeks I could barely get into the site to even see what images I have there, but today I finally got access and began downloading and deleting my stored photos.  What's the big deal you might think?  Anyone who is using a hosting site has content seen by users and you want to appear professional online.  This situation obviously does not give that appearance. Here's the new pricing plan:

    photbucket plan

    I've given this topic too much of my time already, but I wanted to make my readers aware the reason my images are messed up.  If you'd like to read more, there are plenty of current articles on the web, including some recommendations of other sites to switch to.  (See Below)

    Musings Of An Average Mom:  Photobucket Crash




    So as soon as I find the time and a different image host site I will get to work on replacing the lost images.

    Thanks for your understanding, 

    Posted at 5:31 PM  |  by Lisa Epler, AVON ISR


    It's summertime and normally you can find me reading in the evenings on my hammock.  Weeks ago the hammock stand we had for years, broke.
    I started to search for new hammocks & stands but my husband told me to wait....they're too expensive.  One of the things I look forward to the most in the summer, I'm missing out on.  Before I know it the school schedule will be in full swing and the days will be shorter & cooler.  I guess my husband wants to wait to see if we can get a hammock on clearance near the end of summer....which is too late for me!

    I haven't been reading as many books in comparison to other summers.
    Currently I have about four reviews that I need to post, but just haven't had the time to sit down and write.  Also I just learned that the site I have been using for hosting my images on this blog is having issues, so I may need to deal with that issue soon.  Fun stuff.

     This has been the most stressful July in my entire life.  I don't think I can ever remember thinking of the month of July and stress in the same sentence!  There are many reasons for this, but the main ones are being a lending ear to someone with cancer and another friend who is leaving an abusive marriage, watching a 4 month old puppy for a week, some personal medical issues I won't go into here, bickering/friend issues with both my daughters and a few issues dealing with respect and time.   Summer has always been more of a relaxed time, never depressing or rushed, but yet here I am experiencing it.

    Most of my life I have been the friend to go to who will just listen.
     I try not to give advice if it doesn't seem wanted or I don't know about the topic at hand.  I think I'm there for people because when I was growing up what I thought and felt didn't seem to matter.  I think this is why I was shy and just kept to myself after awhile.  It also gets difficult when the people you trust or love the most look at you differently and lose respect for you.  I've lost friends over the years who I trusted and confided in and then they majorly betrayed me.  It's difficult to bounce back from things like that and want to be able to let new people into your life again.  Guarded......that is probably the best word to describe me.  I definitely have downfalls with being too serious or hard on myself.  I was brought up as the oldest of three daughters, so I was made the example of.  It wasn't right or fair how strict my parents were with me, but I know that everything I deal with now is because of the high expectations place on me.  There's nothing I can do about it now, other than try to be the best person I can be.

    Anyhow, summer is NOT supposed to be this serious, in-depth or depressing.
    I've ALWAYS loved summer.  Not so much the miserably humid days or mosquitoes, but swimming, picnics, fireworks, friends, lots of sunshine, sitting on the patio, laying on the hammock, gardening, reading and a myriad of other summer memories from my childhood are what make me cherish summer days.

    I'm just curious if anyone reading this has ever experienced a disappointing summer?  Can you remember the best summer you had and what made it the best?  I live in the Northeastern part of the United States and summer days are truly numbered.  Maybe that is why I cherish it so much because so much of the rest of the year is dreary.

    What are you reading this summer?
    Any recommendations?
    Even though I don't have my hammock, I hope to get in a few books within the next month.  And I will definitely start working on writing the book reviews of the books I have read.

    Thanks for reading & sorry if I depressed you!
    I just wanetd to clear up with my readers why the book reviews
    have been less and there haven't been many posts here.

    Thank you for following my blog & stay tuned......


    Summertime ~ Depression?



    It's summertime and normally you can find me reading in the evenings on my hammock.  Weeks ago the hammock stand we had for years, broke.
    I started to search for new hammocks & stands but my husband told me to wait....they're too expensive.  One of the things I look forward to the most in the summer, I'm missing out on.  Before I know it the school schedule will be in full swing and the days will be shorter & cooler.  I guess my husband wants to wait to see if we can get a hammock on clearance near the end of summer....which is too late for me!

    I haven't been reading as many books in comparison to other summers.
    Currently I have about four reviews that I need to post, but just haven't had the time to sit down and write.  Also I just learned that the site I have been using for hosting my images on this blog is having issues, so I may need to deal with that issue soon.  Fun stuff.

     This has been the most stressful July in my entire life.  I don't think I can ever remember thinking of the month of July and stress in the same sentence!  There are many reasons for this, but the main ones are being a lending ear to someone with cancer and another friend who is leaving an abusive marriage, watching a 4 month old puppy for a week, some personal medical issues I won't go into here, bickering/friend issues with both my daughters and a few issues dealing with respect and time.   Summer has always been more of a relaxed time, never depressing or rushed, but yet here I am experiencing it.

    Most of my life I have been the friend to go to who will just listen.
     I try not to give advice if it doesn't seem wanted or I don't know about the topic at hand.  I think I'm there for people because when I was growing up what I thought and felt didn't seem to matter.  I think this is why I was shy and just kept to myself after awhile.  It also gets difficult when the people you trust or love the most look at you differently and lose respect for you.  I've lost friends over the years who I trusted and confided in and then they majorly betrayed me.  It's difficult to bounce back from things like that and want to be able to let new people into your life again.  Guarded......that is probably the best word to describe me.  I definitely have downfalls with being too serious or hard on myself.  I was brought up as the oldest of three daughters, so I was made the example of.  It wasn't right or fair how strict my parents were with me, but I know that everything I deal with now is because of the high expectations place on me.  There's nothing I can do about it now, other than try to be the best person I can be.

    Anyhow, summer is NOT supposed to be this serious, in-depth or depressing.
    I've ALWAYS loved summer.  Not so much the miserably humid days or mosquitoes, but swimming, picnics, fireworks, friends, lots of sunshine, sitting on the patio, laying on the hammock, gardening, reading and a myriad of other summer memories from my childhood are what make me cherish summer days.

    I'm just curious if anyone reading this has ever experienced a disappointing summer?  Can you remember the best summer you had and what made it the best?  I live in the Northeastern part of the United States and summer days are truly numbered.  Maybe that is why I cherish it so much because so much of the rest of the year is dreary.

    What are you reading this summer?
    Any recommendations?
    Even though I don't have my hammock, I hope to get in a few books within the next month.  And I will definitely start working on writing the book reviews of the books I have read.

    Thanks for reading & sorry if I depressed you!
    I just wanetd to clear up with my readers why the book reviews
    have been less and there haven't been many posts here.

    Thank you for following my blog & stay tuned......


    Posted at 10:57 PM  |  by Elle
    3 out of 5 Stars

    This is the 4th and final  installment of the Napa wine heiress series.
    I would've been fine with this series ending at the 3rd book, as this was not my favorite in the series.

    Xavier St. Pierre is forced to introduce his three daughters to their half-Japanese sister, a product of one of his many affairs.  
    The sisters had no clue Sake even existed!  

    Sake has been living a less than glamorous life in San Francisco. 
    She has a potty-mouth, hangs out with less than desirable people and longs for the day she will see her mother again.  I did not really 'buy' her relationship with Bill Diamond, the real estate broker.  They just did not seem like the right 'fit'.  Sake's character was definitely more 'street' than than her half-sisters and she really had a difficult time fitting into this family.  
    (Talk about opposite sides of the track!)  
    I enjoy Heather Heyford's writing, but I guess I just didn't like the character Sake.


    Book Review: A Taste Of Sake by Heather Heyford

    3 out of 5 Stars

    This is the 4th and final  installment of the Napa wine heiress series.
    I would've been fine with this series ending at the 3rd book, as this was not my favorite in the series.

    Xavier St. Pierre is forced to introduce his three daughters to their half-Japanese sister, a product of one of his many affairs.  
    The sisters had no clue Sake even existed!  

    Sake has been living a less than glamorous life in San Francisco. 
    She has a potty-mouth, hangs out with less than desirable people and longs for the day she will see her mother again.  I did not really 'buy' her relationship with Bill Diamond, the real estate broker.  They just did not seem like the right 'fit'.  Sake's character was definitely more 'street' than than her half-sisters and she really had a difficult time fitting into this family.  
    (Talk about opposite sides of the track!)  
    I enjoy Heather Heyford's writing, but I guess I just didn't like the character Sake.


    Posted at 11:27 PM  |  by Elle
    3 out of 5 stars

    This book is centered around the death of Greg and Tess MacAvoy
    and their circle of friends, three couples, who recount their past travels and memories with the deceased couple.  Each couple thinks about how they may have contributed to their friends deaths.


    The book revisits the days when the friends met and grew up on the island and the chapters alternate between each friend's memories and viewpoint.
    There's a lot of storylines and characters to keep up with in this book.
    Affairs, gossip, drama, mistrust....






    Book Review: The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand

    3 out of 5 stars

    This book is centered around the death of Greg and Tess MacAvoy
    and their circle of friends, three couples, who recount their past travels and memories with the deceased couple.  Each couple thinks about how they may have contributed to their friends deaths.


    The book revisits the days when the friends met and grew up on the island and the chapters alternate between each friend's memories and viewpoint.
    There's a lot of storylines and characters to keep up with in this book.
    Affairs, gossip, drama, mistrust....






    Posted at 9:12 PM  |  by Elle
    Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

    This book was recommended by one of AVON's top representatives, 
    Lisa M. Wilber, Platinum Executive Leader.  
    Lisa also wrote a recommendation at the very beginning of this book.


    Andrea Patten addresses the fact that everyone has always been told to hush the inner critic within you.  Her approach is to try to work with that voice so that it can work for you, instead of against you. 

    "Finding benefits hidden by annoyances is not an easy process.  It takes effort, energy and focus.  And creating a new, more peaceful relationship with your Inner Critic is complicated by the fact that, for years, experts have been offering advice on how to silence the Inner Critic."

    She believes that by trying to 'kill off' the inner critic brings it back to be "even stronger and naggier than before."

    What is an inner critic?  Patten describes it in this way: 
    "An Inner Critic is our brain's misinterpretation of stimulus or data that:
    amplifies harsh self-judgement, creates negative self-talk and, interferes with the confidence needed to take action toward personal goals and desires."

    The author also gives many ideas and skills to help "transpose the negative into positive."

    "Your Inner Critic can brilliantly detect threats but is none too bright about priority-setting." 

    Patten also recommends giving your inner critic a new name....something that "brings both comfort and confidence."  

    "Personal growth strategies are not Swiss Army knives: I can't think of a single one that works in every situation, that's why it's such a good idea to try them on for size."

    "Part of nurturing an inner ally involves deciding which messages to focus on and which ones to let go." 

    Some negative key words mentioned within the writer's vocabulary in this book are:  demoralization, enemy, flaws, faults, tension, bad mental habits, threaten, warning, shatter, permanent, worrying, harmful, dangerous, panic and undesirable,

    Positive vocabulary used in this book to counter-act the negative words above are: brave, honest, relax, soothe, energize, safe, forgive, strengths, peaceful, strong, partnership, healthy, powerful, brilliant, nurturing, honesty, acceptance, courage, flourish, opportunities, benefits, focus and energy.

    I wish I could say more and believe more about the topic presented in this book.
    I've tried many times in my life to turn things around by mental ability.
    I honestly think this is way to continue to motivate yourself to just keep moving on in life.  I don't think that just by 'thinking' about something that it will happen.
    I could post examples here, but will refrain because I do not want to drudge up old memories just to upset myself on a book review.
    Change takes action, that I believe.  But even sometimes with action and doing the best you possibly can do, that still isn't enough.
    It's discouraging, and unfortunately we learn to live with it.

    I do not totally disagree with the thoughts and exercises presented in this book.  Like the author said, it's not a one-size-fits-all type of thing.  Definitely read this book to get ideas to help yourself deal with your inner critic.
    Try to apply the mental exercises presented and
     choose the ones that are best for you!


    Book Review: The Inner Critic Advantage: Making Peace with the Noise in Your Head by Andrea Patten

    Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

    This book was recommended by one of AVON's top representatives, 
    Lisa M. Wilber, Platinum Executive Leader.  
    Lisa also wrote a recommendation at the very beginning of this book.


    Andrea Patten addresses the fact that everyone has always been told to hush the inner critic within you.  Her approach is to try to work with that voice so that it can work for you, instead of against you. 

    "Finding benefits hidden by annoyances is not an easy process.  It takes effort, energy and focus.  And creating a new, more peaceful relationship with your Inner Critic is complicated by the fact that, for years, experts have been offering advice on how to silence the Inner Critic."

    She believes that by trying to 'kill off' the inner critic brings it back to be "even stronger and naggier than before."

    What is an inner critic?  Patten describes it in this way: 
    "An Inner Critic is our brain's misinterpretation of stimulus or data that:
    amplifies harsh self-judgement, creates negative self-talk and, interferes with the confidence needed to take action toward personal goals and desires."

    The author also gives many ideas and skills to help "transpose the negative into positive."

    "Your Inner Critic can brilliantly detect threats but is none too bright about priority-setting." 

    Patten also recommends giving your inner critic a new name....something that "brings both comfort and confidence."  

    "Personal growth strategies are not Swiss Army knives: I can't think of a single one that works in every situation, that's why it's such a good idea to try them on for size."

    "Part of nurturing an inner ally involves deciding which messages to focus on and which ones to let go." 

    Some negative key words mentioned within the writer's vocabulary in this book are:  demoralization, enemy, flaws, faults, tension, bad mental habits, threaten, warning, shatter, permanent, worrying, harmful, dangerous, panic and undesirable,

    Positive vocabulary used in this book to counter-act the negative words above are: brave, honest, relax, soothe, energize, safe, forgive, strengths, peaceful, strong, partnership, healthy, powerful, brilliant, nurturing, honesty, acceptance, courage, flourish, opportunities, benefits, focus and energy.

    I wish I could say more and believe more about the topic presented in this book.
    I've tried many times in my life to turn things around by mental ability.
    I honestly think this is way to continue to motivate yourself to just keep moving on in life.  I don't think that just by 'thinking' about something that it will happen.
    I could post examples here, but will refrain because I do not want to drudge up old memories just to upset myself on a book review.
    Change takes action, that I believe.  But even sometimes with action and doing the best you possibly can do, that still isn't enough.
    It's discouraging, and unfortunately we learn to live with it.

    I do not totally disagree with the thoughts and exercises presented in this book.  Like the author said, it's not a one-size-fits-all type of thing.  Definitely read this book to get ideas to help yourself deal with your inner critic.
    Try to apply the mental exercises presented and
     choose the ones that are best for you!


    Posted at 7:26 PM  |  by Lisa Epler, AVON ISR

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