Caravan Sonnet: February 2018

2/28/18

"When the Alphabet Runs Green" Book Launch Team Application

We're thrilled to announce you can now sign up to be a part of the When the Alphabet Runs Green book launch team! 

100 People will be selected from the applications to join the launch team on May 19th and the members will be notified via email by May 20th. 

Launch team members will receive exclusive access to a pre-release digital copy of When the Alphabet Runs Green and will be invited to join our private facebook group. 

SO there are only 100 spots- that's it and here is what we are looking for:
* someone that is fighting Lyme Disease or has a loved one fighting Lyme Disease
*someone that LOVES books
*someone that loves the internet and isn't afraid of social media
*someone who who is will to post about the book's release on their social media sites (and blog if applicable) and write a review on Amazon AND Goodreads (these reviews can be the same)

Who Can Apply for the Launch Team?
*Are you excited to read When the Alphabet Runs Green and tell your friends and fellow Lymie friends about it about it?
*Are you fairly savy at Social Media?
*Do you have an active blog? Are you active on any social Media Account? Do you have another legit place of influence (Lyme Support Group leader, Lyme Doctor, Lyme Nurse, Lyme Warrior, Lyme Caretaker, Lyme friend, etc?)

IF YES to any of these questions than we would love for you to apply!!! (You can click HERE to do so!) 

Things that We do NOT care about:
*your age (please note that this is a book for those dealing with Lyme Disease primarily for those 17 through 100+)
*Your location- we are happy to send the book to anywhere in the world
*Your social media numbers 

What would I be required to do?
We are asking you to do FOUR things:

1. Read an early portion or entire copy of the book.

2. Engage with your friends and followers online by posting about the book before, during, and after launch week (you will be provided with complimentary images, ideas, etc. on how to do this in our private Facebook group) (Launch Week is the week of June 1st, 2018)

3. In your place of influence we require that you write a blog post, facebook post, social media post, etc. about the book. You will be provided with lots of pics, links, and goodies for this!

4.  Post a review on Amazon AND on Goodreads during Launch Week which can be the exact same review (Launch Week is the week of July 11th, 2018)


What Do I Get?
You will receive a free digital copy of the book that will provide you with a first look at the book and access to a private facebook group that will keep you updated on the activity and latest news around the book. This gives you an opportunity to get an inside look at marketing a book and being apart of the movement surrounding the book. There will also be some exciting opportunities and special surprises for the launch team to win free goodies!!

After "When the Alphabet Runs Green" releases (on July 11th) and you have completed the reviews you have the option of receiving a complimentary signed paperback copy. If you are interested in this please fill out the address portion of the application. If you do not wish to receive a paperback copy after July 11th, 2018 please leave the address section blank on the application.
 AND I will be forever grateful!!

How do I Join?
We have made joining and applying for the When the Alphabet Runs Green book launch team SO simple. Simply fill out the application HERE!! (HURRY- APPLICATIONS CLOSE MAY 15TH!!) Don't forget, if chosen you will receive an email on MAY 20th and be invited to join the facebook group on that day also!

2/26/18

Strasbourg Cathedral (Cath├ędrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg) // France

One of the most special days of our entire Viking Rhine River Cruise was our day in Strasbourg. I think that y'all know that in the way I have shared so many posts about this amazing city! (*smiles*) As I mentioned that day we had the option of free time in Strasbourg after our guided tour in the morning which we took advantage of. So our day started with a guided tour where we learned about the history of Strasbourg (which you can read about HERE) as we took a walk through the historic section which you can read about HERE

As we walked the beautiful French streets we learned all about the inspiring Place Saint Thomas which you can read about HERE! Our tour ended in front of the Strasbourg Cathedral (also known as the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Strasbourg) right before Mass was to start. 
We decided to attend Mass and it was honestly one of the most special parts of our day. For those who may be curious- you can attend Mass as a visitor but there is no photography during the actual service. It is in French, but it was truly a beautiful experience that we really loved. 
It's hard to pick a "favorite" Cathedral that we saw on this trip as we saw so many different and beautiful ones that were all unique in their own ways. The Strasbourg Cathedral though was one of our favorites and it is simply a beautiful structure architecturally. 
At nearly 470 feet (466 exactly) it was at one time the world's tallest building in the years between 1647 and 1874. Even though it is not the tallest building anymore it remains the 6th tallest church in the world and is the highest structure to have been built in the Middle Ages. On a clear day the Cathedral can be seen even from the Black Mountains (which is on the other side of the Rhine). 
Goethe described it as a "sublimely towering wide-spreading tree of God" and one of my favorite authors, Victor Hugo (I believe we have well established my fervent love for Les Miserables!) said that it was a "gigantic and delicate marvel". 
The intricacy and details of the Cathedral were absolutely exquisite. 
The Cathedral has a long and detailed past that is rich in the way that it came to be and the way it was constructed. But even beyond the early years of construction the Cathedral was a point of interest for those in the last century.
During World War II, the Cathedral was actually considered a symbol for both of sides. Hitler actually visited the Cathedral in June of 1940. At the time he intended to transform the church into a national sanctuary for the German people. 
There was also talk by Hitler of turning it into a monument to the Unknown Soldier. Neither things took place. 
Almost a year later in March 1941 General Leclerc (a French General) made a promise that he would only rest his weapons when the "beautiful colors fly again on Strasbourg's Cathedral". 
During the war the Cathedral was hit by British and American bombs during air raids on Strasbourg. Much of the stained glass from the Cathedral had been taken out and stored in a salt mine but the building was still damaged. What was surprising to learn was that the final repairs to the war damage were only completed recently- in the early 1990s. 
As we sat in the pews during Mass we took in all of the beauty surrounding the inside of the Cathedral. The stain glass sections, the tapestries, the arches, etc. were all so deliberately and delicately designed that it was truly a marvel to see.
Have y'all ever been to the Strasbourg Cathedral? If you haven't put this on your bucket list- you will not regret it! 

Interested in reading more posts from our Viking River Cruise on the Rhine River? Simply click on the links below! 

2/25/18

HUGE sale in the Shop - TODAY ONLY!


HUGE flash sale happening RIGHT now at the shop!! Everything in the shop is 50% off!! No coupon code necessary! Hurry on over because the sale is for TODAY only!! Click HERE to go directly to the shop!

2/24/18

Au Vieux Strasbourg Restaurant // France

Happy Saturday y'all! I hope that your weekend is going well! This past week it has been so fun to share about our time in Strasbourg (sharing a brief history of Strasbourg HERE; sharing a walk through the historic section HERE, and sharing about the inspiring Place Saint Thomas HERE!) from our Rhine River Cruise! Strasbourg was one of our favorite places to visit so it is neat to share with all of y'all some from this experience. 
As I mentioned in a previous post we spent the entire day in Strasbourg and ended up eating at the Au Vieux Restaurant that is near the Cathedral. 
As you can see in this picture above that I took from the doorway of the restaurant the Cathedral is within a very easy and close walking distance. 
We chose the restaurant not only for the reviews that we saw but also because we knew that it offered allergy friendly options. To be frank the menu (even though it was in French) was easy to understand as it showed clearly the allergens that were in each meal choice. Unfortunately though the options were extremely limited if you have a combined gluten and dairy allergy. We chose the only option on the menu for this which was the Pork with Potatoes and Sauerkraut. Honestly, the meal (although a bit expensive) was very good and we were thankful to have found something allergen friendly. 
A humorous word of warning though for us travelers from the United States...this is more of a local restaurant that is not very friendly to tourists. I say humorous because I think that these situations are things to experience when you travel. It didn't frustrate us because we are easy going, but if you get uptight about running into issues with a restaurant this is not the place for you. 

I would also say that if you are looking for an authentic French experience and want to visit here I would suggest knowing some French phrases and understanding before hand that they are not trying to cater to tourists- especially those who don't speak French- at all. 

We love to explore non-touristy places so we were excited about this specific place, but unfortunately it didn't work out the best for us. We ran into problems when we decided to split our entree because we were not very hungry. Let me be honest and say that our waiter was not happy at all about this. Technically it is allowed, but it was definitely frowned upon. In fact after we ordered like this our waiter refused to even speak with us - sending over someone else to deliver our meal, never refreshed our drinks, and then ignored our request (for 30 minutes) for the bill. It was definitely sad that this behavior was shown at this cute place. I say that to share that if you are going to visit here then you will definitely want to be prepared for some unfriendly service if you choose to do this! 
All in all though we had a fantastic time chatting and enjoying our meal. I can't honestly say that we would go back (we saw so many other adorable street restaurants that we wish we would have tried in hindsight) but the location was perfect for us. 

Stay tuned for Monday as I share about the beautiful Strasbourg Cathedral! Happy Saturday friends! 

Interested in reading more posts from our Viking River Cruise on the Rhine River? Simply click on the links below! 

2/23/18

The Best Flat Iron Hair Straightener for Thick Hair

Happy Friday friends! I hope that y'all have had a wonderful week! Today for my "fashion friday" posts I wanted to share my favorite Flat Iron Hair Straightener that I have found works really well for my extremely thick hair. 

This sounds a bit silly but because of the length of my hair and the thickness of it, it would sometimes take me about an hour and a half to straighten. With my low energy as I am healing that is not something I want to spend an hour on (or even in the future honestly!) so I went hunting for the best iron for my hair. 


When I first discovered The HSI Professional Glider I was a bit skeptical because of the price being so low compared to other straighteners. But y'all it is my favorite that I have found! 

It works so well and if you purchase it on Amazon it comes with a pouch, a travel size of hair oil (which lasts an incredibly long time!), and a glove! I was honestly really surprised at how well this worked for my hair. Every time that I use it it only takes me about 25 minutes to do my hair which is awesome! Another thing that I love is that I have had it for almost 2 years and it still works great! Honestly, I think that there is a reason why it has almost 30,000 reviews and a 4.5 star rating! The cost for everything is $39.95 on Amazon and you can find it HERE if you are interested! 
In my quest to find the best I also tried a few other straighteners and here was my impressions:

This was given to me as a gift a couple of years ago. I do love it but I feel that for the cost the HSI Proessional Glider does just as good of a job to be honest. It is currently on sale on Amazon for 15% off but it is $89.99. You can find it HERE if you are interested. 

This was the cheapest of the group that I tried. I really wanted it to work (as I love a good bargain!) but unfortunately it took me almost an hour and a half to straighten my hair. The heat (even turned up all the way where I thought it would burn my hair) didn't seem to work with my hair and I heard from a lot of friends who have thick hair the same experience. At close to $23 I really feel it is not worth the price. I do have friends who have thinner hair that feel it does a wonderful job, so maybe consider it if your hair is thinner? If you are interested you can find it HERE

I did not purchase this one to try as one of my hair stylists had it and used it on my hair. It took about the same out of time (approximately 30 minutes) for her to do my hair and I felt that the look was comparative to the HSI Professional Glider above. The price is what deterred me from purchasing it (it is $69.95) but I have heard from friends that this is one of their favorites. You can find it HERE
What about y'all? Do you have a favorite hair straightener? Happy Friday y'all! I hope that you have a wonderful weekend!