Thursday, December 4, 2008

Inspirational and Motivational Gifts

Ever felt burned out or used up? No matter how much you love your life, it's inevitable to suffer from burn-out occasionally. We all need a jump-start every once in a while, something to perk us up and get us going. Read on for gifts that will inspire and motivate your family.

I'm sure you've heard of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Jack Canfield's inspirational book full of uplifting stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Now, the library includes a new series of books, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk,
filled with real-life episodes in the life of teens.

Addressing issues like eating disorders, new loves and heartbreak, looming college applications, substance abuse, and peer pressure, these inspirational books offer support for preteen and teen readers facing their own personal challenges, as well as fostering an open dialogue between adolescents and their parents. I highly recommend this thoughtful series.

All 7 books in the Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk seriesincluding Teens Talk: Tough Times, shown, are available from for around $10 to 12.

Every once in a while, when my kids bring their lunch to school, I'll throw in something extra, like a favorite dessert, just to surprise them. I've bought ice cream sandwiches for the whole class at lunch when the cafeteria was serving their own version of "mystery meat". When the boys were littler, and didn't worry so much about being cool and their Mom embarrassing them, I would pack little notes, just, "Hey, I'm thinking about you," that type of thing.

Susan Howson, an author, coach and mentor to young people, has done something along those lines, only magnified a hundred times or so, and much better than I could. She came up with a whole series of positive affirmations for kids, 64 in all, which she collected on beautifully illustrated Manifest Your Magnificence cards.

These cards are not only lovely to look at, but they reinforce various aspects of children's personalities, so that every kid can feel good about their own strengths, like creativity, compassion, positive attitude, or an inquisitive mind. Due to popular demand, Susan has also created an audio CD of the affirmations which can be played over and over for children, offering them unconditional support they can hear every day so they never forget how wonderful they are! (Manifest Your Magnificence cards (25.95) and Audio CD (15.95) are available on Susan's website, Magnificent Creations).

There's something cathartic about writing words down, especially when times are tough and you need to get those feelings out somehow. For me, blogging has been therapeutic, allowing me to connect with all of you in a very real way that has helped me (and I hope you, too!).

It's with the healing power of words in mind that Journal Buddies were created, a unique tool that allows parents and kids to write down their thoughts together and connect in a more meaningful way through the process. Journal Buddies has the added benefit of increasing a child's self-esteem, which we all know is so important, especially for our daughters these days (remember the recent poll I reported on by the Dove Self-Esteem Fund that found 7 out of 10 girls reported feeling inadequate in some way?).

Journal Buddies, winner of the 2008 Mom's Choice Award, gives parents and their children a way to focus on all the positives and build on them day by day so kids feel better about themselves (Journal Buddies: A Girl's Journal for Sharing and Celebrating Magnificence available from or the Journal Buddies website , 16.95)

And to inspire and motivate you, Cool Moms Rule! is giving away a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teen Talk Tough Times! Just comment on this post for your chance to win.

Extra entries for:
  • Visiting the site through my link
  • Subscribing to my feed
  • Following my blog on Blogger
  • Putting my button on your site
  • blogging or Tweeting about this giveaway
Please leave a comment for each additional entry you make and I will verify your extra entry. Prize will be awarded on Friday, December 12th.

Good luck!


Jenna said...

This sounds like a good wholesome book. Thanks!

ellen cunningham said...

I know exactly who I would give this to if I won. Thanks for the chance, sweetascandy579 at yahoo dot com.

ellen cunningham said...

I am a subscriber. Thanks, sweetascandy579 at yahoo dot com.

gahome2mom said...

I have a teenager and preteen at home, they'd like to read this book. TY

Ginny said...

My daughter is about to be a teen, would love to read.

Boone said...

I know my wife would like this book - she has the other chiken soup series - and ya never know one of the teens might even pick it up if left strategically around the house!

Anonymous said...

I've just been through a divorce and I know my teenage son would really benefit from this book. He has been suffering from a minor depression and it would help to hear the stories of other kids in the same or similar situations.

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