Sober Julie Named 1 of the Best 15 Alcoholism Health Blogs!

As a blogger there are times when I’ve felt snowed under by my blog, unsure wether or not I’m taking it in the right direction…and frankly just tired of it. That may sound horrible but it’s the truth, one which I think any blogger would commiserate with. Sober Julie can be taxing at times….but somehow I’ve fallen so deeply in love with it and you all I continue.

Blogging takes an enormous amount of thought and effort at times, certainly it became this way for me once I decided to include brands/reviews and giveaways. I’ve often wondered if I’d made the right decision in moving Sober Julie away into the mainstream. I’ve wondered if my message about doing life Straight Up! was getting lost.

There are those who feel that a blog about sobriety should only about about that topic, those who feel that I am muddying the waters by offering other topics. To those I tip my hat as I respect their standpoint but I happen to disagree.

There is life in sobriety, one which is so joyous I feel pulled by God to share it with the world!

Yesterday this feeling of mine was cemented when I was notified that SoberJulie has been included in Health Line’s 15 Best Alcoholism Health Blogs of 2013!!

 Best Alcoholism Health Blogs

I was actually at Santa’s Village with my family enjoying a relaxing day surrounding by all things Christmas (my FAV holiday) when I was notified. As I read the email I felt a calm sense of gratitude coming over me. I sat down on a bench and said a wee prayer to God.

I thanked God for taking my life and doing something worthwhile with it. This isn’t where I would have mapped my life to head to but oh how grateful I am today!

#Blogiversary Guest Post~Alexandra Good Day Regular People

As the big day of Sober Julie Doing Life’s 1 Year Blogiversary approaches I am so pleased to have a VERY special woman Guest Posting for me today!

This woman has become a real friend in my life, her support and kindness touches me each day from across the web. Please my inspiring friend, Alexandra who pens her world at Good Day Regular People.

Please go over to her blog, as Alexandra puts it: “This blog is made up of  posts from an overanalyzing,  oversensitive, overwhelmed mother of three boys living life in a small town, where I find myself like a fish out of water.”

The writing is touching and Alexandra is oh-so easy to relate to!

To connect further with Alexandra, you can find her on Twitter as: @GDREmpress and Facebook at: Good Day Regular People

Ways To Foster Faith In Your  Children

God watches you, all the bad gets written down by God.

God will tell me if you’re lying.

God knows when you do things that  are wrong, He always knows.

It makes me sad that these are the words I grew up hearing about my most precious Lord.

These words came from my mother, and  they did much to make me behave. But it was behavior by intimidation, not out of  love to please Him.

There is a saying I have taped up to my  refrigerator, “To change the behavior of a child, without changing his heart, is  an abomination to his spirit.”

I love this statement. We are entrusted  with what are God’s children first. He has placed them in our temporary care to raise them in a way that His world is made better by their presence  in it.

 If I were a child again, what words  would lead me to a grander, larger than life great love for our Lord? I think the ones I’ve put together here, would have fostered those  feelings:

You are the apple of His  eye.

His world demanded your presence in it.

He made you because He has work that only you can do for Him.

You are His hands, His feet, His eyes, His mouth, on this planet.

God will always listen to you, no matter how big you think your problems are.

He could make anyone and anything in the universe that He wants to, and He chose to make you.

He knows who you are, and your name is forever joyfully in His heart.

There has never been anyone like you, ever, and there never will be again. That’s how carefully and specially He made  you.

No matter what you do, He will never not love you.

There’s nothing you can say or do: good  or bad, that will change how much He loves you.

He thinks of you, even if you don’t think of Him.

He will always love you, be there for  you, be thinking of you. No matter what you do, no matter what you think, no matter anything.

Those are the rose petal of words  that I wish had been strewn upon my heart as a child. But then, His perfect plan of me now being able to look back on my life as it was, is what allowed this post here today to be written, and to be read, by parents of now young  children.

Happy Blogoversary, wonderful Julie. I love you.

Win a Kindle Touch or $50 Gift Card to Amazon from Winter Wonderland Giveaway Event~US

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Welcome to the Winter Wonderland Giveaway Event. We have partnered up with lots of different and wonderful bloggers to bring you some fabulous prizes, just in time for the Holiday Season!

Giveaway starts December 2nd at 12:01 AM EST to December 15th at 12:01 AM EST. Giveaway winners will be announced through the Rafflecopter widget and notified by email by the end of the day on December 17th, 2011. Winners must reply to email notification within 48 hours of delivery, or a new winner will be chosen.

Participating Blogs that made these giveaways possible:

 

Pink Dandy Chatter
Outnumbered Mama
PS Mom Reviews
Pawsitive Living
Spilled Milkshake
Thrifty Divas
Indiana Coupon Savings
Social Studies Momma 
The Frugal Mom
Debs Dealz 
Mamalou’s Gems 
Magical Mouse Schoolhouse
Disney Contests and Sweepstakes
$uper $avin’ Momma 
Personalized Sketches and Sentiments
Half-Pint House Handouts
Horseshoes 
Chitown Cheapskate 
Get Outta My Head Please 
Capturing Magical Memories
Finger Click Saver
Tenuous Thoughts of Candy
Reading Teen
Sober Julie Doing Life
One Busy Moma
All In One Mom
Luv Saving Money
Jenny At Dapperhouse
My Secret Home
Black, Divorced and Virtuous
A Gal Needs…
Mommy2Nanny3Doggy1 
Sweeping The USA
Between The Lines
Mommies and Beyond
Crunchy Beach Mama
Savin’ It Up 
 Mayra’s Secret Bookcase 
The Working Writer’s Club
Counting My Kisses 
Lily’s Laundry 
Thrifty Mommas Tips 
Yummy Boy Mummy

* Winner will receive one Wi-Fi, 6″ E Ink Display Kindle Touch

 

*This giveaway is open to the US Only
*There will be 1 winner chosen to win this giveaway
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* Winner will receive one $50 gift card to use at Amazon.com


*This giveaway is open to the US Only
*There will be 1 winner chosen to win this giveaway
GIVEAWAY ENDS THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15TH AT 12:01 AM EST
GOOD LUCK!!!
****************CONTEST NOW CLOSED****************

 THE WINNERS ARE:

The Kindle Touch winner is April Taylor

The Amazon GC winner is Tiffany Drew


#Blogiversary Guest Post~Heather of The Extraordinary Ordinary

Today I am honored to have my friend Heather here sharing her writing with us to mark my #Blogiversary. Heather has a blog which many of you may be familiar with, The Extraordinary Ordinary. Heather is a wonderful writer, she has the ability to pull you into her world through her use of words. She shares her journey openly and honestly and that take courage!

Recently Heather was featured in Redbook’s article “My Mommy is an Alcoholic” where she opens the doors of her life in hopes of benefiting someone who may be reading.

 

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I walk with my Dad, around the track, lap one, lap two, lap three…but we don’t keep track. We get lapped by the runners and we lap the slow-walkers.  One of the slow-walkers says, Good morning! like it’s the first time we’ve passed him, every time.  And then sometimes he breaks into a run, his bent back and knobby knees pushing forward in short bursts, like he just can’t help  himself.  Like he’s racing and trying to win in the last seconds.

I want to be like him.  I want to be content going my own pace, surrendering to what passes me by and what I leave behind.  I want to burst forth, breaking into a run every once in a while, when I have the energy, only when I can.

It has taken me until age 35 to even begin to understand when to walk–when to wait and see and feel, and when to run–to find the energy to fight my aching back and wobbly knees and try a little harder.

For most of my life I’ve been doing a lot of spinning-wheels kind of running, faster, faster faster, to avoid the hurt from the past or to try to run quickly through whatever hurt may take over the next lap.  Just push through, don’t think, don’t feel, just go.

Which has been pretty futile since I feel things so deeply no matter how hard I try not to feel things.

So lately I’ve been strolling, just being, just existing. Not pushing for things to go my way, not manipulating life, not trying to make it what I think it should be.  I’m not very good at this, but I’m trying.  I’m slowing down enough to watch and wait and see. I’m saying, Good morning!

Life since the day I quit drinking has spurred on and it’s been good and fast and much.  Things have come my way that I did not expect and I’m grateful for those things.  But now, this slowing down feels good and right.  These days of growing a baby and being still and sifting through my heart are good.  Something is happening in me that means I have to strip away everything that feels like running.  It’s not time to run.

It’s time for quiet and for surrender.  It’s time to watch and wait and see, to hope and know and believe.

Around the track where I walk with my Dad there are big inspirational signs hanging on the concrete walls.  They say things about caring and responsibility and perseverance.  My Dad and I go slow enough that I can read them, to think about them, to let them sink in.  That’s what this feels like…a season to allow the dreams of my heart to reveal themselves like signs on a wall, ones I can take in, around and around and over and over, taking my time. This is different from my past, the way I would rush clumsily around the track, throwing up my own signs and willing life to follow my design.  This is different than wondering what my “purpose” is and why it hasn’t shown up…this is realizing that I live my purpose even when I don’t know that I am, and it’s all good.

#Blogiversary GiveawayFoods~@ConAgraFoods Gift Basket

********CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED********* 

 It’s #Blogiversary Giveaway Time once again!!!

Today I’m joined by ConAgra Foods who are the company which produce some of our most favorite brands such as Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice, Hunt’s, Orville Redenbacher’s, PAM, POGO, Snack Pack and VH. I can just picture everyone becoming more interested reading the brands, I’m sure you all have some of these products in your kitchens right now.

When I approached ConAgra Foods they immediately agreed to send me Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn for a family fun night I am planning along with a gift for my readers to celebrate my #Blogiversary. I will blog about the family night another time but didn’t want to wait to share the giveaway with you all.

Earlier this month I did a review titled Dinner with ConAgra Foods, Cbias and Loblaws. Within this review I shared their website and how easy the recipe section is, go have a look….even someone who is as challenged in the kitchen managed to make a delicious dish!

Here’s a sneak peek for those of you who haven’t checked out my ConAgra review:

This is a fantastic giveaway here folks, ConAgra Foods have graciously provided me with this HUGE gift basket for one lucky reader in Canada!

Mandatory Entry: In the comment section tell me one recipe from the ConAgra Foods website you’d like to try (bottom right)

Optional Entries – 1 comment per each optional entry
– Follow @ConAgraFoods on Twitter
– Follow Sober Julie Doing Life on Google Friend Connect
– Follow @SoberJulie on Twitter
– Like SoberJulieDoingLife on Facebook

– Google +1 one of my non-giveaway articles

– Subscribe to Sober Julie Doing Life via RSS
– Tweet this giveaway & leave a link to your tweet in comment (can be done 5x a day during giveaway)
Example Tweet..

#Blogiversary Enter to win a $75 gift basket from @ConAgraFoods! Ends Dec/13(CAN) @SoberJulie http://www.soberjulie.com/?p=1352

For everything you do, please leave a comment with the link.  All entries will be verified.  This contest closes at 11:59pm EST December 13, 2011.

The winner will be selected via Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond before another entry is chosen

*******Contents is open to residents of Canada******

THE WINNER IS ANNE MARIE BROWN!

#Blogiversary~Giveaway~Young Drivers of Canada ~ $75

*************CONTEST IS CLOSED*************

I grew up in a small town in Ontario, 45 minutes North of Toronto. Anywhere we wanted to go we had to drive, this had my Mum & Dad ferrying us here, there and everywhere non-stop. For my friends and I the day we turned 16 was like a dream, we all dreamed of being able to drive to the stores together and not be embarrassed by our parents.

Driving = freedom in small town Ontario in those days before transit systems.

From Young Drivers of Canada:

 “Learning to drive is a major milestone in anyone’s life, regardless of the age you are learning to drive. Learning the right skills will prepare you for the road ahead and practicing defensive driving techniques from an annually re-certified YD Instructor is key. When you are on the road and an emergency situation arises. Comprehensive driver training prepares drivers with a strong foundation of in-class knowledge and hands-on in-vehicle experience.

The leading cause of death for those between the ages of 16 and 24 is traffic collisions.  There is no doubt that the combination of experience, driving environment and cognitive limitations places each driver at risk.  Driver training prepares you for the road ahead.  People need to realize we are a community of drivers and we will all be sharing the road together.  Lets train our new drivers right, right from the start.”

 . Do you have a child who is approaching the age of 16? Or are you perhaps on the journey to getting your driving licence?

Well Young Drivers of Canada has provided me with a GREAT giveaway to one of my readers!

One reader will receive a $75 Young Drivers of Canada gift certificate towards a novice driver training program!  This is transferable and can be used at any Young Drivers Centre across the country.

Mandatory Entry: In the comment section tell me one Safe Winter Driving Tip.

Optional Entries – 1 comment per each optional entry
– Follow @youngdrivers on Twitter
– Like Young Drivers of Canada on Facebook
– Follow Sober Julie Doing Life on Google Friend Connect
– Follow @SoberJulie on Twitter
– Like SoberJulieDoingLife on Facebook

– Google +1 one of my non-giveaway articles

– Subscribe to Sober Julie Doing Life via RSS
– Tweet this giveaway & leave a link to your tweet in comment (can be done 5x a day during giveaway)
Example Tweet..

#Blogiversary Enter to win a $75 gift certificate from Young Drivers of Canada! Ends Dec/7 @SoberJulie http://www.soberjulie.com/?p=1225

For everything you do, please leave a comment with the link.  All entries will be verified.  This contest closes at 11:59pm EST December 7, 2011.

The winner will be selected via Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond before another entry is chosen

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THE WINNER IS: DEBBIE RITTER

IronKids Gummies & Adult Essentials Gummies Vitamins Giveaway~$65 US/CAN

The fantastic folks at Life Science Nutritionals are joining in on my Blogiversary celebrations!

Life Science Nutritionals is a rapidly growing company, started in Burlington, Ontario. Their first product was designed to give kids an all natural choice in a gummy vitamin! No sugar coating, no aspartame, no artificial colors . . only real ingredients.

Perhaps you’ve heard of IronKids Gummie Vitamins?

Our daughters just LOVE these vitamins! In the past they’ve complained about the taste of other vitamins or have often been affected by them, either upset stomachs or hyper-activity from the dyes/sugars. With IronKids we’ve experienced none of this, each morning the girls remind me it’s time for their gummies and we count out the appropriate amounts.

IronKids Gummies has been a relief for me, my youngest is highly sensitive to sugar and my eldest is a seriously picky eater and to have both girls approve of the taste is amazing. Now I know they’re getting their recommended vitamins in each day ….well I’m happy.

You can read all about the ingredients and benefits of the IronKids Gummie Vitamins here on their Products page.

Places you can buy IronKids Vitamins : Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall PharmaPlus, Loblaws/Fortinos, Costco, Walgreens.com and more.

Connect with IronKids
Online you can find IronKids
on twitter @KidsGummyMum
on Facebook Iron Kids Gummy Vitamins
and on their website http://www.iron-kids.com/ Sign up for the newsletter and get your $2 coupon

 Life Science Nutritionals has also launched an adult line of vitamins, Adult Essentials!

As you may know I have expereienced health issues and am determined to do everything I can to remain healthy. This includes taking vitamins and these Adult Essentials taste great…..and lo and behold they don’t make me feel queasy like other vitamins.

Adult Essentials entire line of products is approved by Health Canada.  In addition to that the full line of Adult Essentials won Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA) awards in 2011- voted on by Parents in Canada and US.  To learn more about this great Canadian product you can visit their website.

To stay up to date on any new releases or promotions make sure you are following them on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Life Science Nutritionals is giving away a fantastic gift package to one lucky reader in the US or Canada!

The prize includes a water bottle, 1 IronKids Omega & 1 Iron Kids Calcium and 1 Adult Essentials Multi & 1 Adult Essentials B12 ~ that’s a $65 value!

Mandatory Entry: In the comment section tell me one tip your family has adopted to keep healthy.

Optional Entries – 1 comment per each optional entry
– Follow @KidsGummyMum  on Twitter
– Like Iron Kids Gummy Vitamins  on Facebook

Follow @AdultEssentials  on Twitter
– Like Adult Essentials Gummy Vitamins  on Facebook
– Follow Sober Julie Doing Life on Google Friend Connect
– Follow @SoberJulie on Twitter
– Like SoberJulieDoingLife on Facebook

– Google +1 one of my non-giveaway articles

– Subscribe to Sober Julie Doing Life via RSS
– Tweet this giveaway & leave a link to your tweet in comment (can be done 5x a day during giveaway)
Example Tweet..

#Blogiversary #win $65 worth of Vitamins from @KidsGummyMum @AdultEssentials Dec/11US/CAN @SoberJulie http://www.soberjulie.com/?p=1221

For everything you do, please leave a comment with the linkAll entries will be verified.  This contest closes at 11:59pm EST December 11, 2011.

The winner will be selected via Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond before another entry is chosen.

AND THE WINNER IS: Krista Buchta

#Blogiversary Guest Post ~ By Word of Mouth Musings

 
Oh I love this Blogiversary celebration, today I bring to you an amazing woman Nicole whom I have much love for…..please welcome her warmly and head over to her site to link up!
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Happy Blogoversary to you ….

A blogoversary, an auspicious occasion to be sure.  Back in 2007, it was reported that 1.4 blogs were created every single second … and that was years ago. But it is also reported that many bloggers quit in the first few months. Yes, just a few short months after being filled with creativity and a desire to share their thoughts with the world – they quit!
It is such a pleasure to be here today – not just because its a blogoversary, but because the lovely Julie is no quitter. Julie shares her journey as a recovering alcoholic. There is a road one can never quit. She writes about her faith in her God, her love for her family and her passion for life.  When you put yourself out there, bare for the world to see and you can share such a painful part of your life as alcoholism — then you are truly a gift. People search for inspiration  and the blogosphere brings them Julie …
When Julie asked me to guest post for her here today, I thought about writing a post about my first year of blogging. I could tell you about the ups and the downs, the self inflicted pressure of posting each day or visiting as many blogs as I could. I could tell how easily my feelings were hurt when I miscontrued words on the screen, or even how some were not miscontrued at all and were delivered and received in just the way intended!

But really, the best part of blogging, and the reason we post, and tweet and head to conferences is about friendship.  In spite of these new friends being in our screens and living in far away places, they are real.  The bonds that are made are deep, the camaraderie immeasurable. The excitement of meeting IRL (in.real.life to you non bloggy types) is palpable, and I have been blessed so many times to find that the words that speak to me from my screen, are perfectly matched with the new friend I have made when I meet them and share that first hug!
I have yet to meet the lovely Julie IRL, but trust me, when I do, you will hear my squee around the globe.
Happy Blogoversary dear friend, I wish you many more, as you continue to bless those around the blogosphere with your bloggy goodness.

and doesn’t she just have THE best hair? LOVE it!

and as always …

Blogiversary Guest Post – KLZ – Taming Insanity

 Today I’m pleased to introduce you all to a blogger whom I’ve followed for almost a year now, another fantastic woman the blogisphere has blessed me with. 

This is my saucy, feisty friend KLZ. She is warm, loving, sarcastic and honest…all aspects which I adore about her. KLZ can be found telling amusing stories about her life at Taming Insanity. and throwing her inner thoughts out in 140 characters @TamingInsanity.

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I’m a flawed person.  Let’s face it, we all are. There’s something about being human that inherently means we’re going to have flaws.

I’m not sure if it’s a blessing or a curse that I’m perfectly comfortable having flaws. I’m very aware of them – they are part of my most basic make up. How could I ever claim to know or love myself without knowing my flaws?

Plus, people have no problem pointing them out to me. I’m too sensitive. I’m too harsh and insensitive. I ask annoying questions like “How can I be both sensitive and insensitive?”

The truth is, I mostly don’t care what other people think my flaws are. For you see, I am my own worst enemy.  I don’t think anyone can ever quite knock me out of that position. Someone else thinks I’m mean? Oh shucks. That’s nothing compared to what I’ve told myself in the past.

It doesn’t happen as frequently as it used to but occasionally I find myself overcome with horror at just how stupid I can be. I’m book smart but I can’t tell my left from my right. It infuriates me more than you can imagine that I cannot be counted on to do minor things like remember where my keys are.

So, I have developed systems over the years. For instance, my keys must go in the same spot every day. If they do not, an emotional riot ensues. I dodge frantically around the house shouting helpfully about how I know I put them somewhere safe. I curse myself for not being able to perform a task most two-year olds and monkeys could perform. How in the name of goodness can I not know where my keys are? I become frantic and overwhelmed. It’s ugly. Almost invariably, the keys are in my pocket. I never seem to learn this lesson.

The bonus to having carefully devised systems is that I have fewer emotional tantrums and riots in my head. However, it means I can be a bit rigid. If someone moves my keys or mocks my systems, I can feel myself get literally hot under the collar. They don’t know the stress I deal with when my systems are broken and I can’t easily complete simple tasks. They don’t know how much I berate myself for having the quadratic equation committed to memory but not recalling the precise placement of my keys. They don’t know that systems are the things that make me feel sane. All they see is that I’m very rigid about how certain things are done.

Which is sort of my overall point here: the thing that makes me great is the thing that makes me suck.

Do not kid yourself: this is true for you too. If you’re a great socializer, there are plenty of people who think you talk too much. There is no escape. There is no way to not have flaws. We are all flawed. It’s part of being human.

So give in and embrace your flaws. As long as they’re not physically hurting anyone, they’re really not so bad. Accept yourself as you are. It’s the best gift you can give yourself this holiday season.