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Friday, May 11, 2018

FitVine Wine - Sauvignon Blanc

Per 5oz.
90 Calories
3g Carbohydrates
0.2g Sugar
13.4% Alcohol
If you are a wine drinker and also a fitness nut, then these wines are for you.  I first heard of FitVine Wines via an add from my local store and thought I might give them a try.  I'm always up to try a new wine and the low sugar content did have me wondering what the taste would be like.  I made a special trip to the store and grabbed a few different bottles. 

I really couldn't find much on the FitVine company but their website states they use an extended fermentation process which lowers the sugar levels you would find in other wines.  This process allows the average 5oz glass to be around 90-95 calories, 3 carbohydrates, 0.2 grams of sugar and up to 13.9% alcohol content (depending on which wine you drink).  There process also allows the wine to be gluten free and vegan friendly.
The first bottle I wanted to try was the Sauvignon Blanc which goes for about $18 a bottle.  I am no wine connoisseur, but I loved the clear yellowish coloring and the light peach and passion fruit flavor.  Even though I prefer a more sweet wine, I found this one really pleasant and I didn't miss the sugar that makes other wines so sweet.  I'm excited to try the rest!


Thursday, May 10, 2018

No Contact: How to Beat the Narcissist by HG Tudor

Publisher: Insight Books
Publish Date: 7/18/2016
Page Count: 156
Price: $11
Amazon Book
I wanted to learn more about No Contact, so I picked up a copy of this book after seeing the 4 and 1/2 stars it received on Amazon.  Once I got the book, it was kind of hard to read with the tiny font size (maybe 10 where normal books are around 12).  There are some formatting issues, page long paragraphs and lots of graphical errors.  I'm also going to take a guess that the author is from outside the USA because of some of the word choices.  But once you get past these issues, the book had some usefully information but not worth the $11 price tag.

The author claims to be a narcissist, so you first have to stop the urge to toss the book in the trash and cuss him out every other page.  Once you get past that, you get to learn about what really goes through the mind of someone that emotional abuses another.  He also helps us learn WHY someone abuses another, the correct way to deal with someone who is abusing you and the steps he used in order to continue the abuse so that you may avoid it in the future.

There were times, while reading what he did to his girlfriends, that really made me mad.  I almost wondered if the author was getting joy out of writing how much he hurts his girlfriends. Then I had to remind myself that he DOES know and DOESN'T care! 
"You will keep tying yourself in knots, exhausting yourself and becoming ground down as you try and work out why we do as we do.  You make the same mistake every time.  You try and analyze our behavior through your viewpoint.  This will not work.  Once you learn to look at why we say what we say and do what we do, through our viewpoint all becomes clear."

I also liked the way he explained why narcissists do what they do.  He used fuel as a way to explain the steps.  At first, we are prime fuel but that somewhere along the line we become normal fuel and he starts looking for that prime fuel again, all the while keeping the normal fuel hanging on until it is all used up. 

He goes into details about what can happen after No Contact is put into play and the tricks that will be used in order to squeeze back in.  I was kind of sick to my stomach when I realized how many times I fell for these same "Power Plays".  

I would recommend this book ONLY if you wanted to learn more about emotional abuse from the narcissists side of things.  It is a pretty short read with only 156 pages and most of that is repeated over and over just in a different way.  However, I would suggest buying the kindle version over the paperback so that you can change the font size for better reading and it's cheaper.    

Other Books On the Subject:
POWER: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse by Shahida Arbi

Psychopath Free by Jackson MacKenzie

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

Published on May 1, 2018
Published by Bloomsury
Pages: 229
Amazon ($10.79) Hardback
The long awaited moment has arrived and I couldn't wait to start reading the fourth book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy.  Somewhere along the lines of my excitement, I must have skipped over the part about this book being a novella of new books to come because it really didn't live up to my expections.  Where was the storyline????

This book takes place after the war in A Court of Wings and Ruin (Book 3) and has the point of views from: Feyre, Rhysand, Cassian, Morrigan and Nesta.  I was disappointed with the lack of plot of this book other then everyone suffering from trauma of the war and trying to find the perfect gifts for the upcoming holiday.  THAT is pretty much all of the 229 pages and had me walking away not liking how the characters, who I had fallen in love with in the other books, had turned out.

Maas has pretty much turned Nesta into a drunk that sleeps with anyone.  Tamlin is now nothing more then a shell of the powerful guy he used to be.  Feyre is still having issues with painting.  Cassian, Azriel and Mor are just big babies.   Elaine hangs out with the staff most of the time.  Lucien is mad at the world.  And Rhysand is always busy and forgets to eat. 

My favorite quote:
"You look like an angry snowball," Cassian said.

The only part of the book I really liked was when they were finally all together but even that seemed to have lost the fun banter.  I'm going to keep the faith that the next book will be much better and I will be able to fall back in love with the characters.  Although, I am wondering if Nesta's story will be more "adult" type of book instead of the "young adult" style I prefer.  I would give it 2 stars and that is only because I love the author.  You could just skip this book and wait for the others to come out.  Maas could have just taken the these chapters and rolled them into the first few chapters of the books for each character instead of making this mixed point of views.  It wasn't worth the $11 price tag.

On a positive note, if you pre-ordered the book and submitted your invoice, you were lucky enough to get this collector pin of the mountain and three stars.  Before reading the book I didn't really get the pin but there is a part in the book that explains what it means.
There is also a sneak peak for the next book as an added bonus which sounds like it will be Nesta and Cassian's story.  That was pretty much the best part of the book.  The rest of the book wasn't really needed.  A Court of Mist and Fury is still my favorite book out of the trilogy.

A Court of Thorns and Roses (Book 1)
A Court of Mist and Fury (Book 2)
A Court of Wings and Ruin (Book 3)

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

POWER: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse by Shahida Arabi

Published on: January 11, 2017
Published by: Thought Catalog Book
Pages: 354
Amazon: 4 1/2 Stars with over 100 reviews
Price: $4.99 Kindle or $13.49 Paperback

One word - AMAZING

Not long ago a friend recommended this book to me after living through another hurtful event from my ex.  At first I thought, It's just another book telling me to get over it and move on,  but after doing a little research and reading chapter 4 of the book online (20 Diversion Tactics), I decided to give this book a try and ordered the Kindle version.  I was hooked after the first chapter and ordered the paperback as well!

I took my time reading each word, highlighting important passages to me, taking notes and researching the different topics listed.  My mind was blown because it felt like reading my life only it was also giving me the answers to the questions I have been asking myself over and over.  I wish I would have found this book years ago and understood more about the world of emotional abuse.  It would have made me understand what was going on in my confusion of loving someone and given me the skills to walk away while healing from the damage.  I had convinced myself that maybe I was as crazy as my ex kept saying I was for not letting the past go and moving on, but this book helped explain why that wasn't possible and the steps I needed to make it possible.
"Healthy relationships thrive on security; unhealthy ones are filled with provocation, uncertainty and infidelity." 

I always wondered what happened to my Prince Charming, the man that would spend all night just talking, writing me poems or giving me cheesy cards.  Where was the guy that supported my choices and loved the same things I did?  Why did he stop showering me with I love you and telling me I was beautiful?  When did all that turn to put downs covered by I'm just joking.  How could he say I was fat, useless and not a real woman?  Why did he suddenly stop supporting my goals and telling me what a bad parent I was? How could he cheat on me and make me feel like I was going crazy?  If you are living like this or have, then this book may give you the answers to those questions like it has for me.    
This book is not set up as normal books would be but more of a collection of essays being a different chapter regarding the parts of emotion abuse and steps you may take to recover.  It is also FILLED with other helpful information with other books, websites and even support groups to join.
You will learn about the three phases of an abuse relationship:
  • Idealization - where you are treated as a queen, center of their universe, showered with gifts, taken on trips, praised, flattered which leaves you thinking you have found your perfect match.  
  • Devaluation - they become hot and cold, start putting you down but covering it with "I'm joking", comparing you to others, bringing in other people to the relationship, gaslighting, withdrawing and leaving you wondering what happened. 
  • Discard - leaves for another person or moves on quickly, public humiliation, convincing you that your worthless, you can't make it on your own, negative toward you, physically aggressive.
The book will go into detail about each of these phases which will help you understand how things went wrong in your relationship.  You will learn terms like:
  • Love-bombing - shallow flattery, constant texting and wanting to hang out with you all the time, which is a technique used to draw you in but doesn't last.
  • Gaslighting - technique used to convince you that you are remembering things inaccurate and placing the blame on your shoulders. This is a huge one for me and I never knew there was a term for it. I kept a journal for most of our relationship and was glad I did because it kept the facts clear.  
There is a section that will help you overcome the feelings you have when you see your partner treating someone else better than they did you and it will explain how to battle this so that you can find closure without ever getting a "genuine apology" from them for their treatment.   It will also help with the feeling that you walked away thinking you are a failure and worthless. 
Most of us are not strong enough to walk away in the devaluation phase.  I stayed for over 20+ years (between dating, marriage and after)!  We stick around through the "I love you", "I don't want you", "I want you back", "You're not what I want", "I love you, please give me another chance", yo-yo that are partners put us through without really understanding what is going on.  We just hope that one day they change their minds and see the diamond that has been right there all along while they chased after rocks. 

"Why would the same person who claimed to
love and care for you hurt you -
over and over without a hint of empathy or remorse? 
In the narcissist's world, it's simply because they can."

During my research on the subject, I found this letter  "When A Narcissist Says “I Love You” This Is What It Means",  written from the perspective of the narcissist and found it rather helpful as to why someone can say I love you so easy to so many different people at one time but can turn around and hurt the ones they claim to love.

The book will explain that no matter how many friends or family members tell you to leave, we only find the courage to walk away after facing a turning point or been pushed past our pain threshold. Once you have made that choice, the book will help you learn about NO CONTACT and help you find your power again.

It will also go into details about what you should and should NOT talk about because of what the outcome could be.  I learned this lesson the hard way.  I hand delivered to my ex what could really hurt me and bring me to my knees.  At the time, I was thinking if I told him, he would care enough about me to avoid this from happening.  Instead, he made sure to do this act which ultimately became the one thing that broke my pain threshold and pushed me into learning more about this subject.
Most importantly, there is a lot of information about the outcome of this kind of trauma and the long healing process to follow.  It goes into details about the different chemicals in the brain that are being messed with and the steps it can take to heal these so the feeling of being an empty shell can go away.  If you are in a long-term abuse relationship, it could also lead to something more major like:
  • PTSD
  • Complex PTSD
  • Narcissistic Victim Syndrome
Overall, I found this book a huge source of information on a subject I really knew nothing about.  I've already referred it to several people who I felt could benefit from the information after hearing their own stories.  It helps to finally feel like you have some of the answers to the questions you have been asking yourself over the years and to know the things you are feeling while trying to heal is normal. 
Looking over my story, I've found that even before this book I was doing a lot of these things anyway without even knowing it.  I was well on my way to the NO CONTACT, but it took getting really hurt one more time that pushed me to that edge.  Since we have a child together, I always felt we needed to be friends.  I now know this isn't the case and all it did was stop me from ever fully healing.  I was still being used as his supply when he needed a fix and now that I have cut off the contact, he will be forced to look for his supply in someone else.  
Other Books on the Subject:
No Contact: How to Beat the Narcissist by HG Tudor

Psychopath Free by Jackson Mackenzie