Preparing for Day 1 Arbonne Cleanse!

For about 39 years I never worried about my weight.  In fact, unless I was pregnant or nursing, I didn’t even have to watch what I ate. (what a $(@&* …. I know.)  I was a comfortable size 6 at about 5 foot 6 inches.  I always felt sorry for overweight people.  I felt sorry for women who were losing their hair.  I would be comforting and say, “No, you’re fabulous!” But inside I was feeling, “Please God, don’t let that happen to me.”  Truth.  Ugly, but true.

I didn’t want to get “old” – not that at 41 I am but let me just say ladies …. at 40 the tides become to come in and they just aren’t soft and subtle.

So here I sat, a 41 year old who suddenly weighed 234 pounds YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT.  I went from a nice steady 140 to 234 pounds …..and had lost some height and stood at 5 foot 5 inches. I’d lost so much hair that from any direction you can see how white my ugly scalp is.  I was miserable.  What happened to me?  Life I suppose.  My medications for anxiety and depression had some to do with it (Weight gain side effects are for the birds, and my husbands 4th tour overseas with the military didn’t help).  But then, I quit smoking on top of everything.  I was a smoker, yes.  For 28 years.  Two packs a day.  Until Pneumonia nearly killed me about 8 months ago.  So instead, I ate.  Ugh.

Skinny girl in a fat body.  I mean, for those of you that have known me through the years thank you, thank you, thank you for not mentioning WTH has happened to me!  I sware to you ….. just last week I was walking by a mirror in a department store and I thought, “Oh, gosh, that poor girl.”  Holy crap.  That girl was me.  ME.  The girl who can’t get up the stairs without stopping to take a break.  My ankles feel like they’re breaking, I eat fifteen tums a day, and my bowels?  Oh TMI.

So …. when my co-worker started feeling healthy and losing weight on a cleanse of course I wanted to hear about it.  Then, I learned it was an MLM.  The Arbonne Cleanse. Ugh.  Not my first rodeo here folks.  Been there, done that.  However, she was so excited about her own success I couldn’t help get excited with her.  I don’t have to sell it, just use it, right?

My husband was leaving for two months for Leadership training with the military and I knew, if I was going to make a move on my health and weight …. now was the time!  How fun to surprise him!  Hmmmm …. how to really stabefore-fronty motivated?  My son!  I have a 21 year old son in the military also who happens to be living at home right now (no pressure from me to move in whilst dad is gone. lol), and I wanted to see if we could do the cleanse together.  Mama and son.  He was in.  Not just in.  He was helping me afford it.  *insert tears.

We met Heather on a Thursday night in her new home, she was literally just moving in.  She was friendly, open, warm and inviting.  She also had a military background.  She explained the product, let us try some stuff, and then stepped back.

I told her and my co-worker we would think about it.  But, we were in.

Hence the food prepping tonight and the preparations to start this 30 day journey.  Here, you’ll find my “Before” picture.


before side.jpg

Here were my top 3 requests:

1.)  It’s gotta be easy.

2.)  It’s gotta be easy.

3.)  It’s gotta be easy.

Then, I learned I have to give up coffee AND martini’s.  Holy smokes.   So, tonight, I’m getting ready to dig in tomorrow.  My meal prep’s are all done for the next few days and I’m about to embark on a new journey for 30 days to change my eating habits and begin to develop a healthy lifestyle.  Please, don’t ask questions tonight ……. I’ve got a full martini and I’m enjoying the living heck out of it!  🙂  Love you all and I’ll keep you posted!

If you’ve done the Arbonne, let me hear about it!




&*#! U Depression. I’m here to stay.

For some of us it’s situational and for others it’s a chemical imbalance.  For some it’s triggered by screaming people in our faces, reminding us of childhood abuse and for others it’s the long hot shower turned cold because we can’t fathom how we’re going to finish the day.  For some, bi-polar disorder, PTSD, Anxiety Disorder, Depression, Mania ….. showing up to work hoping you can make it until noon so you can drive around the block and sit at  the corner and cry it out or hell, not even making it out of bed on a Tuesday.  Tuesday’s are hard.

Truth.   Depression you DO NOT OWN ME.  I will refuse to allow you to take me down.  I will get help.  I will see my therapist.  I will take my medication.  I will eat right.  I will exercise.  I will tell the people I love the most when I am hurting instead of isolating.  I will REFUSE, do you hear me now, I will REFUSE TO TAKE THIS LYING DOWN.

I will write a book about you.  How you tried to kill me.   And I will save others because if I am here for good …. SO ARE THEY.

Believe.  Hard.  For whatever reason.  Depression ?  @*(# ….. WE ARE HERE TO STAY!

Redemption.  Coming Soon to Amazon.  Follow me at @courtneyfrey on Facebook for details on Friday’s launch!

A Book Review: Cheerleading Can Be Murder


Carissa Ann Lynch wants us to believe in a cheerleader gone sociopath amongst a group of other cheerleaders whose primary goal in life is to make the cheer squad.  I remember those days.  I am far beyond them now.  So, at first I was a little skeptical, as you can imagine.  For someone who reads mainly non-fiction I wasn’t sure I could fall in love with a few fictionalized teens fighting over who does the best splits.

Then, Carissa got me.  Her talent at weaving depth into her characters, the way she ebbs and flows naturally with events, and her outstanding ability to create surprise and ethos was absolutely what pulled me in, and kept me there.

This is a great book for both teenage girls and their mom’s.  It is a flowing tale that teaches us the raw truth of navigating the teen years while attempting to be a balanced young woman.  The relationships in this novel will remind both you or your daughter that drama is temporary but love is forever.

Without giving too much away, I will tell you that I am already reading the second book in this series and cannot wait to discover more of the journey; party because I love her writing and partly because I have a 17 year old at home and Clarissa’s writing reminds me not to take the drama so seriously. 🙂  Way to write my friend, keep it up.

To purchase Lynch’s first book in this series head here now!


Book Review: 360 by Vicki Drane


If you’ve ever looked around at your life and thought to yourself, “Is this what I really want?  Is this who I really am?” Then Drane’s novel, 360, is for you.  Vicki exposes us to the life of Jessica, a beautiful young woman who has found herself at the cusp of desperation.  Lost and isolated in the throe’s of an abusive relationship, Jessica feels fear, insecurity, and is unable to escape from her own denial.  Drane exposes physical abuse in her novel and courageously speaks, through Jessica, on the painful and horrific ways in which women can often get stuck in negative patterns.  Jessica, a full time social worker whose job is to support, hear, and enable young children as they go through crisis, excels at helping others but fails to see how much self-care she herself deserves.

Your heart will break as you get to know this young woman, full of such potential with a selfless, giving spirit.  She seeks to serve others and to ensure their happiness but her efforts continue to be thwarted by those who do not appreciate her or see her value.  Drane however does not create a character who needs pity, or a woman who is completely oblivious to the reasons she acts the way she does.  Logically, Jessica is able to see – almost as if looking from the outside in – that she is stuck in a dead end and needs to escape.  As always however, even though we know the logic and reason of our situations that does not always mean our heart is in tune.  Jessica simply wants to love and to be loved.

Drane introduces Ruby, one of the little girls that Jessica nurtures at work.  Ruby, a precious and wise little spirit, endures so much pain and rejection from her mother but yet fights to find the positive in her life.  As their relationship grows, Jessica begins to see how she can give Ruby advice on letting go of the past- but she isn’t taking her own advice.  It is ultimately her relationship with Ruby that inspires her to finally take a stand.

Jessica’s revelation comes on a single day when she realizes, enough is enough.  Her ability to self-talk and see the light at the end of the tunnel pushes her forward to do the one thing she had needed to do all along.  Get out of her abusive relationship.

You will find yourself cheering Jessica on, desperately wanting to reach into the pages and offer her encouragement and hope.  You will feel, as the author does such a beautiful job, her pain and her loneliness and her struggle to let go of everything holding her back.

She is each of us.  She is the innate desire we each have to love and be loved in return.  She is the whisper we tell ourselves, that we deserve to be happy.  She is the pain, confusion, and insecurity we each feel when our past creeps in on us and our futures seem bleak.  She is authentic, truthful, and powerful in her quest to find her true self, escape from denial, and finally emerge the beautiful and inspired Jessica that was always there.

If you’re looking for an inspirational, heart-felt, authentic motivational book on conquering your fears and unveiling your true potential; this is it.  Drane does an amazing and fantastic job leading us down a path of hope.  GET YOUR COPY NOW!

Book Review: As Life Goes – Elementary


Jason Zandri’s novel, As Life Goes – Elementary, whisked me away into blissful nostalgia with words that remind me of my own father.  This novel, endearing and wise, is a must read.

Zandri details the life lived of a father and son who face adversity hand in hand, soul to soul, and with a priceless conviction of truth and honesty.  Mark Sanford, Mathew’s father, picks up the pieces left from his wife leaving him and their son with an honor and dignity that makes you fall in love with him; both as a father and as a man.  Woven so perfectly throughout the pages, and throughout his life, are words of wisdom so poignant that at times I highlighted them, to make sure I could recall them for myself as a mother.  Not only does Zandri create a character who overcomes adversity with sheer will power, but he adds compassion, wisdom, and enlightenment.  I found myself cheering Mark on in the early pages as he begins to create a new life for himself and his son, Mathew.

Add in a beautiful younger woman, Diane, in need of work but more so, in need of a hero, and her little sister and mother and you embark on several relationships that blossom and bloom in glorious new colors.  Jason’s novel couples coming of age, love story, parenting, and insight  with genuine, real life inspiration and as the relationships ebb and flow through travesty, hope, and trust one cannot help but want to read more.

Growing up, and even now into my forties, my father has always bestowed pearls of wisdom unto me.  It has been and always will be one of my greatest blessings, to have a father whose words guide and support.  Zandi’s novel made me pick up the phone and call my father after having finished reading it, just to remind him of how much I love him.

If you want a book that eloquently reminds you of what it means to lead an honorable life, without being preachy, this is it.  You will fall in love with all the characters, each in a different stage in life, and even have some amazing life lesson take-aways.

For so many reasons, this novel is a treasure.   Five stars.

Get your copy NOW!

Book Review: A Mathmatical State of Grace


In her novel, A Mathmatical State of Grace, Cathy McGough pairs an awkward yet highly intelligent young teen girl with a super star jock and the result is a love story too sweet to pass up.  Grace is a loveable, isolated yet sweet character whose crush on Vincente Marino, who is the opposite of Grace, is resolved early on to be wishful thinking on Grace’s part.  The two live in separate worlds, Grace a mathematical genius with few friends and Vincente a jock with a beautiful and equally popular girlfriend.  Vincente only notices Grace because she helps him with his math homework so that he can stay on the cricket team.  It’s a sweet, enjoyable beginning to the inside of every young girls mind whose crushed on a boy that seems far out of reach.

The novel takes a slight twist when Grace is injured, at the hands of Vincente, and ends up in the hospital having lost her memory and possibly even at death’s door due to brain complications.  Vincente, in his guilt, stays by Grace’s side at the hospital and becomes more of a dimensional character as we are introduced to his soft side.

The novel from there, takes a turn and enters into a science fiction like mode.  Hardly explainable, Vincente and Grace find themselves lost in a world together which seems to have no way out.  Left with no one, alone in the world, the two characters embark on a journey of survival. Their love story blossoms as they traverse this apocalypse type setting and it is very sweet to watch the characters develop deeper.

While I struggled as a reader to grasp the plot and the turn of events taking place I did find that the love story was comforting.  It reminds readers that true love really can happen in the least expected ways, and that often times, love can bring out the best in us.  I did not necessarily connect to the events or happenings in the story outside of the relationship between both main characters but am hoping that book two will bring some insight.

This would be a great read for anyone who enjoys science fiction, or for teen girls who are looking for a great love story.  My recommendation however is that you really do need to read both books one and two as I was left without an understanding of anything that was really going on.  Hoping to get book two and give a more insightful review!  BUY BOTH BOOKS NOW!



Book Review: Another Time – Another Chance


Author Steve Wilhelm gets falling in love right in his novel, “Another Time – Another Chance.” His ability to weave the magic of new love into a truly beautiful story of desire, hope, and healing is exceptional.  The story of a man, in this case, Daniel, whose life swarms with the blessing of beautiful women to whom he claims his love for, is at first a little bit one dimensional.  After all, the man has it all.  It seems, at first glance, when initially reading, that Daniel just got a great round of good luck and lives in bliss.  Where’s the plot?  Oh boy … keep reading.  Wilhelm introduces the idea of regret, that often not so distant companion of all things what if?  He does so in such a twist of fate, a simple moment of wonder, that the story takes on a life of its own.  What if we could go back and change things?  What if we didn’t have to wonder about the effects of our choices?

Daniel, having it all already, chooses to open Pandora’s box.  His memory plays tricks on him, to the point of his memory being completely erased for some period of time.  He cannot seem to shake off the idea that whatever it is that is missing, might be important.  He is given an opportunity to re-trace his life, to literally go back in time, to discover what it is he is missing and ultimately, find out what may have been.

As the reader I was at first angry at Daniel.  In fact, I had a lot of emotion.  Daniel had everything – a great wife, a loving daughter, a picture perfect everything.  Why risk what he had by challenging his memory to recall things that possibly were erased for a good reason?   Why, when he discovers what that memory is, does he want to immerse himself in it?  I struggled with the transition the author takes from Daniel in “real” life to Daniel “going back.”  However, Wilhelm doesn’t disappoint.  The new “life” Daniel finds is one that sucks you in and breathes a new life entirely into the novel.

The cliffhanger ebbs and flows throughout the second half of the novel, and I found myself getting more and more excited for a perceived outcome, one that I was sure was going to take place.  I couldn’t put this book down, not until I knew what was going to happen when Daniel woke up from his jaunt down memory lane.

Then, the author does the most difficult thing of all and does so in such a way that if he were here, in my living room, I would have smacked him on the shoulder.  He went somewhere I didn’t even think possible.   The ending leaves you breathless, and desperately wanting more.

Quite the love story, but also a novel that leaves you contemplating your own life, your own regrets and choices, and in the end provides a path that astonishes.  Five stars for this novel, pick it up today on Amazon!