<![CDATA[antibellelifestyle.com - Blog/Newsletter]]>Mon, 08 Jun 2020 19:26:52 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Anti-Belle Newsletter #4]]>Fri, 17 Apr 2020 16:49:10 GMThttp://antibellelifestyle.com/blog/anti-belle-newsletter-4Anti-Belle Lifestyle Newsletter #4
April 17, 2020

Hello Friends,

Let me be honest. Here in NYC, our lockdown mandate has just been extended for another 30 days (as it has in many places worldwide, I know.) Amid processing that and the new requirement to be masked in public, I have been struggling to stay mindfully present. It's a lifelong challenge for me, but it's especially potent now. My brain wants to know what next. What will the new world look like, and what will be my place in it? Can I x? Should I even try and hope for y? 

And when can I go see my parents in Nashville again? 

Setbacks and frustration are part of life. It's useless to wish them away or tell yourself to get over it. Sometimes you gotta sit with it. (A lesson I learned potently well during my publishing journey. Read this interview for the inside details!) If you're struggling with this long, isolated road, reach out. This Anti-Belle community is yours, and the more we boost each other, the more we can all work on claiming our customized HEAs. :) 

So, in the interest of lightening our loads, this week's newsletter is shorter and mostly a review of the fun stuff. Read on for giveaways aplenty, community opportunities, and a teaser for Nemesis!

Much love,

Giveaways For YOU
Figured I'd keep it organized for you this week! These are the current giveaways I'm running. All expire April 30, so you can enter multiple times between now & then! ALL are open internationally!

1. Free content: Need more Celeste & Ben? Addicted to Nick & Mel? All you have to do it hit me with a reply, tell me what you loved about the books, and I'll happily send you the epilogues to either or both stories FREE! No contest, no winner, just you getting free reading!
2. Win the ebooks: Want NSFW or OTR? Email me or hit me up on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram and answer one of the following:
1. What has April revealed for you?
2. What do you love most about the Anti-Belle world?

3. Win an Amazon giftcard! Share how you're using the newsletter workouts on social media, tag me on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram, and enter to win a $15 Amazon gift card! International folks should enter, too! 

 Community Forum-Brand New!
I'm always talking about reaching out, but I've not made a space for y'all to get to know each other! Well, I fixed that just now. :) 
Click here to join the Anti-Belle Lifestyle Facebook Page! If you join the page and post your response to Giveaway 2 there, you'll get double entry into the drawing! 

 Fitness Inspo

With the workout giveaway going on, I'm not offering a new routine this week. Instead, I want you to work back through the routines from newsletters 1-3 and shout it out! Find them all here
Do remember: it can be easy when working from home to forget to hydrate and move. Every 2 hours minimum, get up and walk around and drink some water! Promise it'll help you feel tons better, even on tough days. 

 Nemesis releases April 28
The advanced reviews are 5-stars, and I'm so excited! Preorder here, and also grab Not Suitable for Work & Off the Record here to get you caught up on the Anti-Belle Series. You can download both as e-books or read free on Kindle Unlimited! .

And finally, your quote of the week:
Live the life you want without limits or apology. It's your story. They don't have to understand.

Thanks for reading! Can't wait to hear from you!
Skye McDonald

<![CDATA[Indie-Go Author Spotlight]]>Tue, 14 Apr 2020 17:45:18 GMThttp://antibellelifestyle.com/blog/indie-go-author-spotlight“Whiskey and lipstickAnti-Belles get HEAsLiving, Writing Love.”
I "sat down" with Laura Mae of the Indie-Go Author Spotlight blog back in the winter at a virtual BBQ dinner in Nashville. We talked writing, publishing, reading, and life:

Laura: Where would you say you get most of your inspiration?
Skye: In the random, unexpected moments of life.

Click the Haiku to read the full interview on her blog!

<![CDATA[Anti-Belle Lifestyle #3]]>Fri, 10 Apr 2020 14:04:21 GMThttp://antibellelifestyle.com/blog/anti-belle-lifestyle-3

Anti-Belle Lifestyle #3

April 10, 2020
Hello, my friends! 

Happy Good Friday and Passover to all who celebrate. Whatever your'e celebrating today, from religious observances to being healthy to the sun coming up (or the rain!), I wish you all the best.

This week's newsletter is about reveals

What has this strange time revealed to you? Have you discovered a new passion? A reconnection with family? A deep and abiding love of lying on the couch and spacing out? There is no "winning the quarantine!" Whatever has been revealed, how are you honoring it? What are you working through? 

Remember that I'm here to listen and am thrilled when you reach out to share! For now, read on for motivation from the Anti-Belle community, the chance to win free books, and fitness inspiration

Much Love,

Daily Reveals

Spring is springing as we stay shuttered inside. Health and safety are humanity's singular concern, but the world continues her cycles. Beauty is there, even when our glazed-over eyes can't see it. 
As nature blooms, how are you blooming? What has this time revealed about you? Who are you when the noise of the hectic routines are removed?
+ If these questions elicit a positive response from you, wonderful! Tell me everything! What is your new obsession or joy?
If these questions strike a darker nerve, do trust that I completely understand. And, yes, I'm here to listen to that too! 
But if you're struggling with your shadow self, this is the time to do that work, too. There is nothing wrong with the negative emotions you will naturally feel. Don't demand they stop. Don't devalue them. They have a lot of worth, just like every part of you does! Work with them, journal through them--honor them, and then decide how you can alleviate them. 
For those whose shadow selves are strong right now, I recommend the workbook from LonerWolf. It's $15 and well worth it. That's a personal testimonial, by the way. I own and use it in my own reflections!

Cover Reveal!

Oh my goodness, y'all, is this cover a beauty or what???? Avery Kingston is a fellow romance author and a graphic designer. She's done all three of the Anti-Belle covers, and I swear each one somehow tops the mastery of the previous. NEMESIS had her cover reveal this week. Huge thank you to all those who supported and sent their oohs and ahhs. 
Pre-order is live! Click here to reserve your copy, and it'll be on your Kindle when you wake up on April 28!
Are you caught up on the Anti-Belle series? NEMESIS can be read as a standalone, but if you read Not Suitable for Work & Off the Record first, the world and characters become deeper.
Free content: Need more Celeste & Ben? Addicted to Nick & Mel? All you have to do it hit me with a reply, tell me what you loved about the books, and I'll happily send you the epilogues to either or both stories FREE!
Win the ebooks: Want NSFW or OTR for free? Enter the giveaway! Email me or hit me up on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram and answer one of the following:
1. What has April revealed for you?
2. What do you love most about the Anti-Belle world?

 The winner is drawn April 21st! International readers free to join!

Revelations from the Community!

"I used to race motorcross."
"I was a drummer in a girl band"
"I totally neglected monitoring my kids' schoolwork Monday so I could finish reading your book... Don't tell my husband!"
"Human interaction is key to my sanity"
"I've been in love with my best friend forever. In this time, I'm moving on and letting it go!"

"I worrry I'm not cool enough... But you know what? I need to stop worrying about what others think and practice self-compassion. This month I'm working on appreciating myself. I'm going to stop measuring my value in productivity and just enjoy what I'm doing and enjoy life as much as possible."

Weekly Workout Guide

Below is an all-levels table of this routine. Note the links to make sure your form is correct! As always, listen to your body and don't do more than you feel is safe.
Win an Amazon giftcard! Share how you're using these workouts on social media, tag me on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram, and enter to win a $15 Amazon gift card! International folks should enter, too!
Right now you may be far more sedentary than usual. This workout is 20 minutes a day, so aim to do it at least 5 days this week. Change up the activity as you see fit! But also be sure that you're standing up/ walking around at regular intervals. If you sit for an hour, stand for at least 15 minutes! 

Also, guys, stay hydrated. When we sit and work for hours on end, that can get ignored too. By the end of the day, you're feeling like garbage, sluggish and tired. Water or unsweetened tea HELPS THAT. 
Be well, everyone! 

20 Minute Intervals
March in place for one minute, rest for one minute. Repeat for 20 minutes.
March in place for one minute, squats one minute. Repeat for 20 minutes. 
March in place 1 minute, crunches one minute. Repeat for 20 minutes.

Jumping jacks or cross-jacks for one minute, rest for one minute. Repeat for 20 minutes.
Jacks for one minute, squats one minute. Repeat for 20 minutes. 
Jacks 1 minute, crunches one minute. Repeat for 20 minutes.
Jacks 1 minute, pushups one minute (on knees is fine!). Repeat for 20 minutes.

Burpees 1 minute, rest one minute. Repeat for 20 minutes.

And Finally
A quote for the week. 

"Unf**k yourself. Be who you were before all that stuff happened that dimmed your shine."

Be good, y'all.

Don't need more motivation in your life? Simply reply with UNSUBSCRIBE.

Skye McDonald
<![CDATA[Anti-Belle Lifestyle #2]]>Fri, 03 Apr 2020 07:00:00 GMThttp://antibellelifestyle.com/blog/anti-belle-lifestyle-2

Anti-Belle Lifestyle Newsletter #2

April 3, 2020

Hello, my Friend!

I'm hearing that many of us are overwhelmed with instructions on how to stay motivated these days. A certain amount of frustration might be setting in, a feeling of "don't tell me how to live my best life" or maybe, "extra time? I'm monitoring children 24/7 and working!"

You're not wrong. And I'm not here to tell you how to do anything. This isn't about me; it's about you. If my words help you do you a little brighter, a little closer to what you call satisfying, then my aim is accomplished. So, read on for what interests you, for what you need today. Just remember:

You are not aloneAnd I respect what you're doing right now.

The ways in which you're navigating this new, currently dark reality are all the "right" ones. Your routines aren't a mess. You are not a mess. You're doing what you can, and I respect you for that. Stop thinking there's another method that wins. All that matters is that you find your power and feel your fire--and your security!

Books, life, and fitness below. If this is all you read and it's enough, then I still met my goal. 
Much love, 

Nemesis Exclusive Content + Giveaway!

Mark your calendars! April 28 is the book birthday for my 3rd book in the Anti-Belle series and, y'all, this one is my favorite. (Shh! Don't tell Not Suitable for Work or Off the Record I said that!) Want to win a signed copy of this new beauty? Sign up here to be part of my cover reveal/book blitz! All you need is a social media page. (Book reviewers! Want an e-ARC? Email me!) The pics are from my Pinterest inspo board, by the way!
My newsletter lovelies get access to early content, and so it's my pleasure to share with you the BLURB for Nemesis! No one has seen this yet, so count yourself a VIP. ;) 
She’ll bring him to his knees. It’s exactly where he wants to be.
Liv Milani knows she’s That Girl. Bold, cool, fiercely loyal—and easy to blow off. Liv is a pro at guarding her heart and not taking things seriously. She is a champion at ignoring Will Langer, her brother’s best friend and Liv’s personal nemesis. The broody jerk’s stony silence is the last thing she needs during a season of change, and now he’s sharing her house for the summer. 
Will has spent years behind a stoic expression, longing to make Liv see just how incredible she is. He’d give anything to tell her that she’s his dream girl, but Liv is off-limits. Her brother made that clear long ago. Living with her is going to be a challenge, but Will knows how to control his feelings. Usually. 
Suddenly, everything is shaken up, and not taking things seriously is impossible. That Girl is becoming a warrior with a new career calling. Liv and Will’s strong personalities ignite cold indifference into white-hot passion that burns bright even after the Nashville summer has cooled. Against all the rules, they’re falling hard for each other. But keeping secrets is dangerous, and Liv has demons to battle before she can tell her nemesis just how much he means to her. 

 New Month, New Beginnings

April 1st fell on Wednesday. In the middle of a week, in the middle of a global quarantine, a new month and new season began. (Okay, okay, yes. Vernal Equinox and Aries season has already begun, but still. :) 
What's new? Your first answer is possibly "nothing and everything." Fair and true. So maybe my better question is, what can be new? However you're living these days, we're in a new month and season. What could you begin now? Instead of punching the walls that may feel like they've closed in, breathe deep. Accept what is. And then, take what might be and grab it by the reins. 
The photo shares a few of the replies when I asked this question on Instagram. I hope they inspire you and help you see that there's not one right answer. Whatever makes you shine is what you need! 
Journal about this--or don't. Think about this--or just do it. But if you decide to make a change or start something new, tell me about it! I'd love to share it with the community!  

Keep Fit: An All-Levels Workout

(Photo by Sebastian Pociecha on Unsplash)
 Did you get to try the exercise routine I shared last week? How did it go? Let me know! 
Below you'll find more ideas for at-home fitness. (Including a PDF if you want to print it!) **LIFE HACK** These routines can be broken up through the day! Grab the time between tasks and see how you feel at the end of a week.**

369 SWEAT!
Use this ladder workout to tone and burn all at once. Options for a move increase in difficulty (beginner/moderate/intense). 
All physical activity should be done at your own risk with your personal safety as a priority. If at any time you feel faint or pained, STOP. This workout is a guideline and should be practiced with care.
Warm Up (5 mins)
March in place 1 minute (Or jump rope or jumping jacks)
10 squats holding form (be sure your knees don’t go over your toes!)
10 toe-touches (or touch your shin/knee depending on flexibility)
Lateral shuffle
1 minute
10 cross-body jabs (punches) each side
10 situps OR mountain climbers
March in place/jump ropes/jumping jacks
Main Sets*
3 jumping jacks/ jump rope/ burpees
6 pushups (on knees is fine!)
9 squats (watch those toes!)
6 pushups
3 jumping jacks/ jump rope/ burpees
1 min rest/march in place
Repeat 3-5x
30 seconds fast feet OR 3 explosive squat-jumps
6 tricep dips OR triceps with dumbbells 
9 curtsey-lunges OR side-steps with resistance band
30 seconds fast feet OR 3 explosive squat-jumps
6 tricep dips OR triceps with dumbbells 
1 min rest/march in place
Repeat 3-5x
30 mountain climbers (1=both knees to chest) OR 30 situps (if you can’t do 30, do what you can!)
6 inchworms OR shoulder press with holding dumbbells or resistance band
9 sumo squats (optional squat jump)
30 mountain climbers (1=both knees to chest) OR 30 situps (if you can’t do 30, do what you can!)
6 inchworms OR shoulder press with holding dumbbells or resistance band
1 min rest/march in place
Repeat 3-5x
**If you want a long workout, you can do all of these in 1 day. (Each set 3-5x) BUT you can also take each set as a day’s workout, with or without supplemental cardio. Mix it up & make it yours!
Cool Down
Stretch. Here’s a good routine if you need it!

And Finally
As you go into your weekend and another week of this new life, take time to make it about you. There's nothing selfish about that. Name what you need and make it happen. You have the power to control a moment. Maybe not every one, but enough. Honor the new beginning you need and, even if it's a tiny thing, do something different.
If you want to share it, I'd love to hear.

Until next week, a quote a dear friend and colleague shared with me after last week's newsletter:

“And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet, and learn to be at home.”  Wendell Berry

Much love, my dear Anti-Belle!
<![CDATA[Anti-Belle Lifestyle #1]]>Fri, 27 Mar 2020 07:00:00 GMThttp://antibellelifestyle.com/blog/anti-belle-lifestyle-1

Anti-Belle Lifestyle Newsletter #1

March 2020

Hello my Friend!
I'm here in New York City. Two weeks ago, schools, restaurants, and gyms closed. Sunday, we went to "lockdown," and all nonessential services closed. (Fun fact: liquor stores are an essential service!) Wherever you are, I know that your life has also changed drastically this month. "Social distancing," "Stay home," "Flatten the curve"--we're all saying the same things. We know it's for the greater good. Meanwhile, we're feeling upside-down. Trapped in our own homes. Worried about money. Bored out of our minds. Fearful-especially for our older loved ones.

You are not alone.

The sentence above? Read it again. Say it aloud. Don't skim it; know it. Because lip service is one thing. Believing it is another. If nothing else, I am here for you. And I want to hear from you! I've been putting up stories on Instagram all week calling for DMs to discuss how we're managing this situation. I've been chatting with many lovely people on Facebook, too. So, reach out if you want more online community!

Read on in this newsletter for book news, fitness inspo, and coping strategies from your online friends! PLUS look for giveaway and event opportunities in each segment!

Book Three in the Series Coming Soon!

NEMESIS is the 3rd book in the Anti-Belle Series. If you're already on the bandwagon, this is Liv's story. I swear y'all are gonna fall in love with my sassy bombshell. This is an enemies-to-lovers, and oh my, these two are fiery! 
If you're not immersed in the Nashville-based series, I suggest you check out Not Suitable for Work and Off the Record now! They're are available in ebook, paperback, and FREE on Kindle Unlimited. 
**I need your help!** Want to be part of my NEMESIS cover reveal and have a chance to win an Anti-Belle giveaway? Reply to this email to say you're in, and I'll tell you what to do!

Finding the New Normal: Tips & Truths

The image is a handful of the replies I got on Instagram (Follow me!) when I asked how people were establishing normalcy in this new and strange time. It's easy to spend these days sitting in front of a screen, eating too much, maybe drinking too much, wishing it would all be over and we could just go back to how things were. If a chunk of your time has been spent that way, again: you are not alone. And there is NO need to guilt-trip yourself about how you "should" have managed things instead! 
There is no method that someone else has that means they're "winning the quarantine" and you're "losing" it. Stop all that talk! There is only you, doing what you can, adjusting like everyone else. 
My question to you is, how do you feel
Because if you feel sluggish, angry, bloated (ughhhh), and bored, well then that's information. It tells you that your strategies so far aren't fulfilling to you. Skip over any guilt about not living "your best quarantine life." Just drop that burden from your mind right now. But if you're tired of feeling icky, then take another look at that image. Start to find a routine for yourself that establishes this as normal. Let go of the hope that a couple days more and all will simply snap back into place. 
Today is what you have. Now is the moment that your life is happening. Don't waste it on pause. Work with what you have. Every. Damn. Day!

Staying Healthy
I'm a fitness instructor. I teach indoor cycling here in NYC, and I'm branching into personal training. But my beloved spin room is shuttered for now, and the weather has been rainy lately, and so I'm using this time to share fitness motivation with YOU! 
**CALL TO ACTION** If you use this routine next week, post a fitness selfie (or many!) and tag me on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter so I can shout you out AND enter you into a giveaway drawing

Your Stuck Inside Workout Week 1
I'm sharing three routines below, including links to examples for best form. Use the warmup and cardio for each set. Aim to do the strength routines with a day in between. *Cardio can be done daily if you want!*
**LIFE HACK** Busy? These workouts can be diced up throughout the day! Warmup while the coffee brews, do the cardio on a midmorning break, then the strength before dinner.
Warmup Stretch, jog in place
20 mins Cardio 
a) Walk or jog your neighborhood or back yard.
b) (Indoor option) For 20 minutes, alternate between jumping jacks for one minute and marching in place for one minute. (Turbo mode: burpees, not jacks!)
Arms Day

Bicep curls, shoulder presstricep kickbackschest fly
Aim for 3 sets of 12 reps each. 
Body Weight

Squats  Tricep Dips Crunches, Push Ups on knees 
3 sets of 12
Total Body
Plank, bicep curl to overhead press, lunges (alternate legs), skull-crushers
3 sets of 12, choose your weight to challenge you but be reasonable!

Slumber Party!

And finally, one more way to stay connected! Quick & Dirty Romance is the podcast I do with FAKER author Sarah Smith (on iTunes here!). Check out our 30-minutes-or-less episodes about what it's like to be a romance writer for fun distractions as you go about your new routines.
We are hosting a slumber party on IGTV this coming Saturday night, March 28, at 7pm EST! Follow us and come by for chat, games, and giveaways of our novels! 

And finally
I'm a collector of quotes. I'm leaving you with one for now. I'd LOVE for you to send me one to share with others! So in this time of newness and uncertainty, remember to let go of the battle because:
It's not the world against you. It's you against yourself.

Much love, my dear Anti-Belle!
Skye McDonald

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