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Blog by Kelley Bren Burke — my life

Almost 100 Top Rated Books (Mostly Nonfiction)

Posted by Kelley Bren Burke on

I love books so much that I used to roller skate up and down my block while reading my latest library book. Yes, I was THAT cool as a kid. As an adult, I worked at Barnes & Noble Booksellers for 20 years. Now that I'm self employed, I read more than ever. I listen to audio books while I make jewelry, and I read most evenings.  I've read and loved each one of these books. I'm only including books that have at least a 3.7 average star rating on Goodreads. Most of them are nonfiction: memoirs, psychology, self help,...

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Shit Happens: One American's Story

Posted by Kelley Bren Burke on

Shit happens. Shit happens to me, and it happens to you. This whole Trump administration is 100% proof that downright lunatic shit happens.  I’m not a political person by nature. Nor did I think I was a patriotic American. I never knew until now that I was relying on America to be a good and decent place. We were poor when I was young. We lived in a two bedroom “garden-level” basement apartment. We needed help: help from our Grandma, help with tuition from the Catholic schools we went to, and financial help from the government.  When you grow up...

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True Confessions of an Imperfect Meditator

Posted by Kelley Bren Burke on

I found myself drinking wine, doing sit-ups, and meditating. All at the same time.  Last Friday, I opened a bottle of wine after dinner with my husband Chris. I lay down on the couch with my book and a glass of wine. Chris told me he was going to meditate, so I decided to meditate with him instead of reading. We’ve been using the 10% Happier app for guided meditations lately. The meditations on this app often have 3-5 minute video intros with teachings about meditation.  Chris chose a meditation that I had done recently. I got bored during the...

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What I Learned After 6 Months of Mindful Eating

Posted by Kelley Bren Burke on

I transformed a fancy Prosecco Bellini candle into two chocolate donuts. Magic? Nope. I smelled the best candle at my hair salon last summer. It was a $27 Prosecco Bellini candle from Voluspa. It smelled like a sparkling peach Bellini cocktail. I really wanted it, but I reminded myself I was on a budget, and I went on my merry way.  I stopped at a grocery store to pick up a few things on the way home. I found myself standing in front of the pastry case. It was a uncharacteristic move. Donuts are usually reserved for a special weekend...

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From Politically Apathetic to Political Activist: How I Took Action & How You Can, Too

Posted by Kelley Bren Burke on

I like watching The Bachelor waaaay more than I’d like to like The Bachelor. Like, I jumped up and squealed last Tuesday when my husband reminded me that the latest Bachelor episode was on Hulu. My interests are narrow and deep. I know a shit ton about the following subjects: books, selling on Etsy, dogs, happiness, The Real Housewives, meditation, habit formation, mindfulness, The Bachelor AND The Bachelorette. My knowledge of other subjects is shockingly deficient. I’ve watched hundreds of documentaries, and I could talk about them for hours. But I’ve never seen Star Wars. Any of them. I’m fairly sure...

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