Tuesday, January 31, 2012


This week I did much better eating wise than in prior weeks.  I stayed under my calories for the week by 464!  I am not sure if I've ever stayed under that much to date!

Exercise wise:
Ran 29 miles
Walked 3 miles
1 Fitness Workout- Latin Cardio Dance from Dancing with the Stars

My long run was 9 miles this week and I have worked on getting a little bit faster.  I got outside with friends once and ran a practice for this weekends 10K on my own doing my best to follow the map of the course.  I  made a wrong turn and added .2 to the run, but I have a good idea what the course looks like and know I've already done it, so that should take some of the anxiety away this weekend.  Now I just need to decide how many days prior to the race to take off, at least one, but maybe two.  Depends how I am feeling.  I have two different training plans that I am alternating between for the half marathon, so this week I don;t have quite as long a run which is good with the current race.  My long run is supposed to be 7 but I may just count the 6.2 as I don't want to do that too close to the race.

Personal Milestone:
This week I reached 100 miles of running for the month, which is my highest monthly running amount since I started running last summer. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

It's Monday, What are you reading?

Here is what I finished last week:
1.  The Night Circus by Tess Morganstern
2.  The Death Cure by James Dashner
It was a bit of a slow reading week for me.  I only finished audio books, not quite sure why I didn't finish a print one.  I guess because I am going back and forth between the the library kindle one and the lengthy Gabaldon one.

What I am still reading:

On my Ipod I am still reading Throwaway by Heather Huffman (rarely actually get around to this one)
In print form I am reading The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon (still wishing there were more Clare in this one)
On my Kindle I have The Paris Wife by Paula McLain checked out of the library ('m 75% done and it is due on Friday.)
As an audio book in the car: just finished the book we were listening to and haven't checked out a new one yet.
A audio on my Ipod: Wither by Lauren DeStefano (listened to it while running this week)

I've been doing a lot of running so that may be what is cutting into my reading time. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Night Circus by Tess Morgenstern


The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazement's. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

My thoughts:
I really wanted to read this book, but the opportunity to listen to the audio version from the library came up and I took it.  I always wonder when I listen to a book if it would have been the same experience reading it myself.  I love that Jim Dale who read the Harry Potter books I listened to with my children was the narrator.  I have to say some of his voices sounded just like they did for certain Harry Potter characters and it threw me until I got used to it.  Another thing that gave me more trouble with the audio was the jumping back and forth in time, as some chapters are happening in the future or the past.

I purposefully did not read much of anything about this book, not even the synopsis, so I could experience the story on my own without thinking about what other thought about it.  i skimmed a few blogger reviews, but that was it.  There was so much talk about the book that I knew I wanted to read it.

The funny thing is my Ipod only gave me a very blurry picture of the cover and I thought the picture was a doll in someones hand.  When I pulled it up just now I saw that it was the circus on a hand instead.  I think the circus does become a character in the story so it is fitting my tiny image was what I thought was a doll or small child, a character in all of the action.

I was reminded of the Hugh Jackman movie, The Prestige, and the other one with Christian Bale, The Illusionist, because of the time period and the performances of magic on stage.  There was something unique about each of the characters and even as they continued to appear and interact, new facets about them would emerge from the story. 

It made me wonder how much hinges on time and being in the right place, or wrong place, at the right or wrong time.  None of us can control time and things can be decided based on being late or early.  Isabelle meets Marco because her train is late.  Bailey misses the train when the circus leaves early.    Also, how much do any of us understand the big picture of everything that goes around in the world around us and how much are we just cognizant of our own little bubble of it.  Do we see how our actions reach out to others?  Not to the extent that Celia and Marco are effecting others, but there are ripples from all that we do that go outward farther than any of us can know.

I saw when looking at some reviews tonight that many, many people loved this book and some others were less than thrilled with it.  I'm not in the less thrilled camp, but it did feel like a bit of a slow start to me, once I got into it I wanted to listen whenever I had a chance and listened to quite a bit today while I did a long run on the treadmill.  It gave me something to focus on while I was running and a reason to keep going as I knew I was very close to the end!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385534635
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 9/13/2011
Pages: 400

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bumped by Megan McCafferty


When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Up to now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

From New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty comes a strikingly original look at friendship, love, and sisterhood—in a future that is eerily believable.

My thoughts:
I liked how each chapter started with both characters names.  The name that was the right way on the page was the character whose point of view the chapter was written in and the upside down one was the opposite sister.  It is almost like they were mirror images of each other, they may look the same but their early life was so different, but for all that they still shared a lot of similarities and feelings about being expected to preg, get pregnant and give birth to a child.

In this future society, everyone is connected by technology all the time by the MiNet.  Almost a what if scenario based on how in touch people already are now and there are issues of how much of a good thing this is.  There are classes of students based on if they are having babies professionally, in a deal brokered by agents with money passing hands, or if they are amateurs who are doing it on their own.

The future of society rests with the very young and they are perhaps not as well equipped to deal with it all as they seem.  The stigma of teenage pregnancy is not if it happens to you, but if it hasn't yet.  Why are you wasting your good years?  You should be pregging for profit to pay for a good college and ensure your own future so you will have the money to pay down the line when you are ready to become a parent to your own child.

On the flip side in Goodside the church has very little technology and stresses marriage early on to have a blessed union in which to bring the new generation in.  It is almost as if they use no technology as a stand against Otherside.

I had not realized that this book was the beginning of a series, so I was a little disappointed when I got to the end and there was no resolution.  I think had I known beforehand that I would have been fine with it, but I never read much about the book prior to starting to read it so I was surprised.  I'll be looking forward to the next one to see how the events from this one play out.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061962745
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication date: 4/26/2011
Pages: 336
Age range: 14 - 17 Years

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


This week I feel good about the exercise I did, but calorie wise I went way off track.  I have a couple of ideas why I went so off course, but the most important thing is to refocus and stick to my goals.  I am not sure the scale has moved at all this month, but I'm not going to let myself give up!

Activity this week:
Ran 23 miles
Level 1 Of Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred (26 min)
Level 1 of Jillian Michaels Shed and Shred (45 min)
Crunch-Joy of Yoga (36 min)

I used to do the 30 Day Shred all the time and I was glad to see that it didn't feel anywhere near as hard as it used to.  I think I'll try level 2 next time.  In Shed and Shred I am still up in the air. but the inner thigh exercise made me sore for a few days so I may need to try that move at least again!  Hopefully if it makes you sore it actually doing something too.  Years ago the Crunch video was my favorite at home yoga workout.  I still remembered all the things the instructor was going to say and I was a bit sad at all the flexibility I have lost over the years.  I guess that is just incentive to keep at it!

According to MyFitnessPal I went over my weekly calories by 815, so not as bad as the week before.  I only went over the first four days so hopefully I've gotten back on the right track.  I think i said last week my goal was to stay under or at my calories for the week, well I am going to try that again for this week.

This is hosted by Mari at Bookworm with a View.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's Monday, What are you reading?

Here is what I read this past week:
1.  Blue Nights by Joan Didion
2.  Bumped by Megan McCafferty
3.  Beyond Religion by Dalai Lama

I'm still working on:

On my Ipod I am still reading Throwaway by Heather Huffman
In print form I am reading The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon
On my Kindle I have The Paris Wife by Paula McLain checked out of the library
As an audio book in the car The Death Cure by James Dashner
As audio on my Ipod: Night Circus

I really like The Scottish Prisoner, but it is by my bed and I only pick it up when I am going to sleep.  Lately I've been so tired that I haven't really gotten very far in it. 

I did manage to get a bunch of posts up for the prior week though, so I am caught up except for Bumped which I hope to write and post soon.  How was your week?

Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World by Dalai Lama, Alexander Norman (Contribution by)


A stirring call to move beyond religion for the guidance to improve human life on individual, community, and global levels—including a guided meditation practice for cultivating key human values

Ten years ago, in his best-selling Ethics for a New Millennium, His Holiness the Dalai Lama first proposed an approach to ethics based on universal rather than religious principles. Now, in Beyond Religion, the Dalai Lama, at his most compassionate and outspoken, elaborates and deepens his vision for the nonreligious way. Transcending the mere "religion wars," he outlines a system of secular ethics that gives tolerant respect to religion—those that ground ethics in a belief in God and an afterlife, and those that understand good actions as leading to better states of existence in future lives. And yet, with the highest level of spiritual and intellectual authority, the Dalai Lama makes a claim for what he calls a third way. This is a system of secular ethics that transcends religion as a way to recognize our common humanity and so contributes to a global human community based on understanding and mutual respect.

Beyond Religion is an essential statement from the Dalai Lama, a blueprint for all those who yearn for a life of spiritual fulfillment as they work for a better world.

My thoughts:
Last month I came across an offer to get this book free on audible.  Since I was looking for a way to listen to books on my Ipod I tried it out.  I've been listening to it a little at a time since then.  Yesterday I finished it while running on the treadmill.  I'm afraid some of the content didn't really stay with me, whether because I took so  long to listen to it or because I was listening rather than reading it.  I've found that I am great at listening to fiction, but non-fiction on audio isn't always as easy to hang onto and process.

The Dalai Lama raises a lot of suggestions, recommendations and concerns.  He tells stories to illustrate his point, for example how we need to make time for relationships and for leisure, as there will always be work to keep us busy, but if we put it off too long we may be in the grave before we have the chance to do what we keep saying we are going to do.

The chapter on guided meditation was a nice.  He went into detail and described all the things we can do and modifications for issues so that everyone has the opportunity to experience meditation in their lives.  Also the section on how hatred harms the person who hates was a good reminder to all of us that we can change the way we react to actions and the actions we take to change how we feel about what is happening to and around us.  Changing your attitude can made a big difference!  I tell my children this all the time, but it can be very hard to put into action in everyday life!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547636351
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 12/6/2011
Pages: 208

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Blue Nights by Joan Didion


From one of our most powerful writers, a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter. Richly textured with bits of her own childhood and married life with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and daughter, Quintana Roo, this new book by Joan Didion examines her thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding having children, illness, and growing old.

Blue Nights opens on July 26, 2010, as Didion thinks back to Quintana’s wedding in New York seven years before. Today would be her wedding anniversary. This fact triggers vivid snapshots of Quintana’s childhood—in Malibu, in Brentwood, at school in Holmby Hills. Reflecting on her daughter but also on her role as a parent, Didion asks the candid questions any parent might about how she feels she failed either because cues were not taken or perhaps displaced. “How could I have missed what was clearly there to be seen?” Finally, perhaps we all remain unknown to each other. Seamlessly woven in are incidents Didion sees as underscoring her own age, something she finds hard to acknowledge, much less accept.

Blue Nights—the long, light evening hours that signal the summer solstice, “the opposite of the dying of the brightness, but also its warning”—like The Year of Magical Thinking before it, is an iconic book of incisive and electric honesty, haunting and profoundly moving.

My thoughts:
This book felt a lot like The Year of Magical Thinking to me, except this time Didion was working through the death of her daughter and her own aging instead of the death of her husband.  The writing worked outward in circles.  She kept coming back to some of the same facts or phrases, but provided a richer background and landscape for those things.  The flowers and plants that grew at one of their homes, that her daughter then used for her wedding, and how she looked on that day.  How she questioned how she really did as a parent, like we all do.  Are we doing enough?  What are we missing when we are in the middle of it?  Did we make the right decision.

The book really flowed from chapter to chapter, even though it was in no way taking place chronologically, sometimes Quinitana was a little girl, or a baby, or sick in the ICU as an adult.  They lived in different places full of different memories, but they all revolve around her little girl and her understanding of her role as a parent.

Central to it all are fears about death and aging and becoming frail.  Having lost her mother, husband and daughter within ten years of each other took her family and left her wondering who she should list as an emergency contact at the hospital.  The people she would normally use are gone.

No one is free of worries or fears.  She talks about how she can;t open a closet or a drawer without coming across mementos for memories she no longer wants to have.  How she wishes she had lived that moment more fully instead of worrying about saving something that is now trivial. Each time I ended a chapter I kept right on going.  I read the whole book in one day in on and off spurts.  The pacing was great.  This is the second e-book I've borrowed from our library and I am loving this feature!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307267672
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/1/2011
Pages: 208

Friday, January 20, 2012

Saturday Snapshot- BounceU October Visit

Back in October I took my youngest two to BounceU for a Preschool Bounce Session.  I remember when it first opened when I was pregnant with my now five year old.  It was a great way to tire out kids!  The price has gone up since then and so many birthday parties are held here that we rarely just go for an open session.

Bouncing around in the moon bounces is harder than it looks.  Parents are invited to play with their children.  In this one they can jump and also try to get balls through hoops.

I can't seem to get the picture to rotate the right way but this is coming down the slide.  You can tell by his face that he isn't so sure that he likes this!

Where as this one loved it!  He went down over and over and over again.

It was fun.  I'm going to have to think about trying it again sometime soon!

This is hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books.

The Shadow of Your Smile by Susan May Warren

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About the book: The Shadow of Your Smile

A beautiful blanket of snow may cover the quaint town of Deep Haven each winter, but it can’t quite hide the wreckage of Noelle and Eli Hueston’s marriage.

After twenty-five years, they’re contemplating divorce . . . just as soon as their youngest son graduates from high school. But then an accident erases part of Noelle's memory. Though her other injuries are minor, she doesn’t remember Eli, their children, or the tragedy that has ripped their family apart. What’s more, Noelle is shocked that her life has turned out nothing like she dreamed it would. As she tries to regain her memory and slowly steps into her role as a wife and mother, Eli helps her readjust to daily life with sometimes-hilarious, sometimes-heartwarming results. But can she fall in love again with a man she can’t remember?

Will their secrets destroy them . . . or has erasing the past given them a chance for a future? Read the story behind the story here: http://www.susanmaywarren.com/books/the-shadow-of-your-smile.

My thoughts:
I received this book as part of a Litfuse Blog Tour.  I read it last month before the holidays and it was just the read I was looking for.  We did not have any snow last month, but it was easy to imagine how  treacherous roads can be and the stress of driving in bad weather.  When Noelle has her accident everything about her life as well as the lives of her family members changes.  But you are left to ponder if the memory loss is a curse or a blessing.  Thing of all the things we hold with us that are better left to fall away, what if you could let all that go in an instant.  No longer feel angry about petty life issues that can easily weigh us all down.  Whose turn it is to take out the trash, who is being taken for granted, who has let go of dreams or wishes.  To see all that gone and not even know it is gone might lift you up.

Noelle and Eli have to relearn each other and she has to relearn the life that she used to have and decide if that is the life she still wants to have.  Pieces of the puzzle of who she was in the twenty-five years that have been erased come back to her or to Eli and they don't always make sense until they are brought into focus and moved to the right place, getting a little bit of information from her friends, acquaintances and her children bring about a picture of the secrets she was keeping or that Eli stopped trying to share.  Eli has secrets as well that come to light.  The fragility of the marriage they had is opened up and decisions must be made.

I was drawn in by this couple and their struggle.  I wanted them to be honest with each other and to find their way.  So often when the going gets tough people head for divorce, but if there was something there worth believing in then one would hope it would still be there and just needs the chance to be nurtured and grown.  After reading this book I want to go back into Deep Haven and find out more about some of the other residents.  I haven't had the chance to look for those books yet, but they have been added to my TBR list!

About Susan: Susan May Warren is an award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty-five novels, many of which have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, the ACFW Book of the Year award, the Rita Award, and have been Christy finalists. After serving as a missionary for eight years in Russia, Susan returned home to a small town on Minnesota’s beautiful Lake Superior shore where she, her four children, and her husband are active in their local church.

Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder ofwww.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!)

A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at:http://www.susanmaywarren.com/.

Link to buy the book.

Blog tour schedule here.
 Come back to Deep Haven and Win!

Enter 1/9 - 1/28.

Sometimes love requires a little forgetting ... Come back to Deep Haven and find out what's been happening in your favorite quaint hamlet. If you're new to the Deep Haven series - this is the perfect book to start with - each book in the series is a stand alone story.

Susan is celebrating the release of The Shadow of Your Smile by giving away a prize pack worth over $200 from 1/9-1/28.

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A $200 Visa Gift Card (Use that to rekindle a little romance, treat yourself to a spa day, snap up those shoes you’ve been eyeing, or purchase a few great books!)
  • The entire set of Deep Haven Books 
The winner will be announced on 1/30/12 on Susan’s blog, Scribbles! Just click one of the icons below to enter and tell your friends about Susan's giveaway on FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner Series #2) by James Dashner


The Scorch Trials picks up where The Maze Runner left off. The Gladers have escaped the Maze, but now they face an even more treacherous challenge on the open roads of a devastated planet.

And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Can Thomas survive in such a violent world?
My thoughts:
This was last weeks audio book in the car.  Thomas and his friends discover that although they escaped the maze, they have not escaped the trials and are still being used and watched.  This time they are dumped out into the world and need to travel 100 miles in two weeks to be given the cure for the virus they all have.  They must go through deserts, tunnels and deals with Cranks.  Cranks are people who are infected with the virus and have gone crazy, or past the gone, and do violent and random things.
Each of the boys has awoken in what they thought was a safe house with a  tattoo on the back of their necks with a number.  In some cases they also have a word.  Ming ho is the leader, Newt is the glue, Thomas is something much worse.  They have to work as a team and get through this task and then they will all be saved.
The violence in this one is worse than the first one.  Seeing people who are crazy and want to kill them is worse to me than the mechanical monsters in the maze.  It is like the Cranks have lost their humanity to the virus.  It was a darker read.  At times it was hard to remember that the characters are all, for the most part, teenagers as they are dealing with situations involvingg life and death.
I know a lot of people have compared this series to The Hunger Games, but as I said in my last review, I still prefer The Hunger Games.
Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385738767
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 9/13/2011
Pages: 384
Age range: 12 - 17 Years
Series: Maze Runner Series, #2

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Love in a Nutshell by Janet Evanovich and Dorian Kelly


Number one bestselling author Janet Evanovich teams up with award-winning author Dorien Kelly to deliver a sparkling novel of romantic suspense, small-town antics, secretive sabotage, and lots and lots of beer

Kate Appleton needs a job. Her husband has left her, she’s been fired from her position as a magazine editor, and the only place she wants to go is to her parents’ summer house, The Nutshell, in Keene’s Harbor, Michigan. Kate’s plan is to turn The Nutshell into a Bed and Breakfast. Problem is, she needs cash, and the only job she can land is less than savory.

Matt Culhane wants Kate to spy on his brewery employees. Someone has been sabotaging his company, and Kate is just new enough in town that she can insert herself into Culhane’s business and snoop around for him. If Kate finds the culprit, Matt will pay her a $20,000 bonus. Needless to say, Kate is highly motivated. But several problems present themselves. Kate despises beer. No one seems to trust her. And she is falling hard for her boss.

Can these two smoke out a saboteur, save Kate’s family home, and keep a killer from closing in…all while resisting their undeniable attraction to one another? Filled with humor, heart, and loveable characters, Love in a Nutshell is delicious fun.

My thoughts:
This was the first audio book I checked out of our library for digital download.  I wanted to try listening to audio books while I run instead of music because a lot of the time I feel like I am having to decide between spending free time reading or running.  While it worked, I don't think the story kept me quite as motivated as music usually does.  I am going to give it another try before I rule it out entirely.  I also have to figure out how to remove it from my Ipod.  It isn't in itunes so I don't know how to select to remove it.  Can you tell the Ipod is still kind of new territory for me?

On to the actual book, I enjoyed this story.  It had good pacing and was fun.  There was a bit more about beer and brewing than I cared for, but had I been reading it I just would have skimmed over it.  My husband has brewed at home and I've heard all about the different components of brewing.  It just isn't my thing.  I liked the sleepy little town in the winter/fall and the way Kate went after what she needed.  There were some colorful and memorable characters along the way and a couple of interesting dogs.

I liked the mystery in the book too.  I accidentally listened ahead at one point so I found out who the person behind the sabotage was half way through, but it made me listen to see if I could have figured it out on my own if I hadn't already known and I have to admit, I'm not totally sure I would have.  Usually I can, but it could also be the difference between reading and listening, things that might have jumped off the page might not jump out as much listening, not really sure.

It was a fun listen and it is exciting that I got to read it so soon after it came out, usually it seems like lots of other bloggers are posting about the new books or coming out books they've read and I'm still months behind on getting to them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312651312
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 1/3/2012
Edition description: First Edition
Edition number: 1
Pages: 320

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


This past week I did well in some areas and faltered a bit in some others.  I went over my calories by quite a bit, it seemed like I was always hungry or eating because of stress.  So it is something to work harder on this week.  According to My Fitness Pal my goal between food and exercise is 1200 calories a day.  I have a hard time sticking with this and usually try to add in extra exercise so I can still eat.  I averaged between 1300 and 1400 a day overall, but only actually went over my amount on three of the days.

Exercise for the week:
Ran 24 miles
Walked 3.5

I didn't do any strength training or other exercises for the week.  I started walking at lunch two days a week with a coworker, which is good stress relief in the middle of the day.  Also, I took the time to do a long run this week.  Friday I ran 9 miles.  I made the decision to register for the half marathon at the end of April after the run, if I can do 9 now in three months I can do 13.1.

Goals for next week:
Get in more cross training.
Stick better to my calories, stop letting stress and eating just to eat be ways to sabotage myself.

This is hosted by Mari atBookworm with a View.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Twenty-First Wish by Debbie Macomber


The Twenty-First Wish by Debbie Macomber

Anne Marie Roche and her adopted daughter, ten-year-old Ellen, have each written a list of twenty wishes—on which they included learning to knit. But Ellen has quietly added a twenty-first wish: that her mom will fall in love with Tim, Ellen's birth father, who's recently entered their lives.

My thoughts:
When I borrowed this book from the library I meant to read all the stories, but the one I was most interested in was the one by Debbie Macomber.  I ended up not having enough time for the whole book.  I always like to stop back at Blossom Street, where a bunch of characters live and work and interact.  Anne Marie owns a bookstore and she and her adopted daughter have been living above it.  Since they are low on space they have bought a new house, but Ellen is having a hard time adjusting to the idea of moving from what she knows and aways from her friends.  Also in their lives is Tim, Ellen biological father who found out he had a daughter just recently.  Tim was not totally honest with Anne Marie in the past and now she isn't sure about trusting him.  But the attraction that was present in their past misunderstanding is still there.  When Anne Marie was widowed she met a group of women in a support group and they all made a list of twenty wishes.  Ellen found out about the wishes and made her own list.  Now she has added an additional wish, that her mom and dad will get together so they can be a family.  This was a nice, short easy read.  Just right for a sitting or two.  Especially if you are in a bad mood and want to see some sunshine!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

It's Monday, What are you reading?

Last week I finished a few books, which was much better than the previous week.

 Here is what I read last week:
1.  Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich
2.  Love in a Nutshell by Janet Evanovich and Dorian Kelly
3.  The Twenty-First Wish by Debbie Macomber
4.  The Next Always by Nora Roberts
5.  The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

I'm still working on:
On my Ipod I am still reading Throwaway by Heather Huffman
In print form I am reading The Scottish Prisioner by Diana Gabaldon
On my Kindle I went back to Bumped by Megan McCafferty
As an audio book in the car The Death Cure by James Dashner
As audio on my Ipod:  Beyond Religion by the Dalia Lama

I'm still working on getting back to posting everyday, I did better last week than the week before.  Today I hope to get reviews ready for the books I finished last week and haven't reviewed yet and to polish my review for a blog tour post for Friday.  What did you read this week?

Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich


Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum’s life is set to blow sky high when international murder hits dangerously close to home, in this dynamite novel by Janet Evanovich.

Before Stephanie can even step foot off Flight 127 Hawaii to Newark, she’s knee deep in trouble. Her dream vacation turned into a nightmare, and she’s flying back to New Jersey solo. Worse still, her seatmate never returned to the plane after the L.A. layover. Now he’s dead, in a garbage can, waiting for curbside pickup. His killer could be anyone. And a ragtag collection of thugs and psychos, not to mention the FBI, are all looking for a photograph the dead man was supposed to be carrying.

Only one other person has seen the missing photo—Stephanie Plum. Now she’s the target, and she doesn’t intend to end up in a garbage can. With the help of an FBI sketch artist Stephanie re-creates the person in the photo. Unfortunately the first sketch turns out to look like Tom Cruise, and the second sketch like Ashton Kutcher. Until Stephanie can improve her descriptive skills, she’ll need to watch her back.

Over at the bail bonds agency things are going from bad to worse. The bonds bus serving as Vinnie’s temporary HQ goes up in smoke. Stephanie’s wheelman, Lula, falls in love with their largest skip yet. Lifetime arch nemesis Joyce Barnhardt moves into Stephanie’s apartment. And everyone wants to know what happened in Hawaii?

Morelli, Trenton’s hottest cop, isn’t talking about Hawaii. Ranger, the man of mystery, isn’t talking about Hawaii. And all Stephanie is willing to say about her Hawaiian vacation is . . . It’s complicated.

My thoughts:
I borrowed this book from a friend.  She gave it to me last night and by this evening I was done.  I love how quick these books read, it wasn't like I spent all day reading it, although I did carve out more reading time today than I have been lately, but it just reads really fast.  I know I've read a lot of reviews that have complained that this storyline is getting stale.  Stephanie and her car troubles, will it blow up, be stolen, have a dead body in it or something else.  Stephanie and her inability to decide between Morelli and Ranger.  He lamenting on her job and ineptitude with bringing in skips.  Grandma and her funerals and viewings and her mom and pot roast and alcohol.  All that is true, but I can see myself continuing to read the series because it is comfortable and fun and kind of like the Star and OK magazines at the checkout at the grocery store, it is a fun diversion.

I have to admit that I am ready for her to make a decision on which man she wants in her life.  How long can she string them both along.  I get that Ranger isn't looking for a commitment so maybe for him it doesn't matter that she isn't just with him, but Morelli strikes me as the better choice of the two and I can't see him sticking around forever waiting for her to chose.

I liked the new twist with Joyce and that it was the bonds bus that blew up instead of her car.  It will be interesting to see how long Evanovich goes on with the series.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345527714
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/22/2011
Pages: 320
Series: Stephanie Plum Series, #18

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday Snapshot- Parkette's Birthday Party

Last weekend we attended a birthday party at a local gymnastics center.  The kids always have a really good time when we go here.

The highlight is always the foam pit.  They can crawl around, swing on a rope and jump off a pirate ship.  This is my oldest jumping off the plant with my daughter waiting behind him.

Crawling around looks easy, but the heavier you are the more it sucks you in.  I went in while I was pregnant one time and it felt like I was going to go all the way in the foam!  It is good exercise and brings a lot of smiles!

The last activity before cake is always the parachute.

The balance beam over the foam is a good way to get the kids to do it without being afraid of falling off.

The rope swing is the part that looks like the most fun to me!

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce at At Home with Books.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Next Always by Nora Roberts (Book One of the Inn Boonsboro Trilogy)


"America's favorite writer" (The New Yorker) begins an all-new trilogy-inspired by the inn she owns and the town she loves.

The historic hotel in BoonsBoro, Maryland, has endured war and peace, changing hands, even rumored hauntings. Now it's getting a major facelift from the Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother. As the architect of the family, Beckett's social life consists mostly of talking shop over pizza and beer. But there's another project he's got his eye on: the girl he's been waiting to kiss since he was fifteen...

The launch of a new Nora Roberts romance series always raised pulse-raising possibilities, but the first of her Inn Boonsboro trilogy is a pleasure onto itself. At its center are Beckett Montgomery, an architect with ambitious plans and a longstanding crush, and Clare Brewster, a young widow bookstore owner who has returned to her hometown. Roberts places readers inside the crosscurrents of small-town America, showing us how relationships evolve and hit speed bumps. With its French-flap cover, an attractive paperback original.

My thoughts:
This is my first library loaned e-book.  Our local library started carrying them last Friday and I checked this one out.  I made the mistake of clicking seven day loan instead of fourteen and felt a bit pressured as this was a busy week, but I managed to get it done before today.  I feel like my reading time has really dwindled lately.

This book was a nice comfortable read.  It reminded me a bit of her Sign of Seven trilogy and the In the Garden trilogy.  The characters had similarities to me to the ones in those books, but it was still a fun read.  Clare owns a bookstore, my dream job even though I know tons of them are going out of business, and Beckett is an architect who works with his family and still does a lot of the physical work as well.  His family is renovating an inn and they are making it into a one of a kind place.  There is a resident ghost who I will be interested to see more of in the second book due out in May.

Clare and Beckett have a grown up romance, she has three young boys and is a widow whose husband died in war and Beckett lost his father young and has always had a crush on her.  They move around obstacles and learn to trust each other.  They encounter the types of issues real people face, kids and job demands, trust and misunderstandings, and everything else.

I love how at the inn they are making each room different and to reflect a couple from a different book, like Elizabeth and Darcy.  It made me want to read the books the characters were taken from!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425243213
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date: 11/1/2011
Pages: 352
Series: Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy, #1
Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


This is hosted by Mari at Bookworm with a View. 

I've jumped back into my quest to be healthier and lighter.  The month of December was hard for me and especially the two weeks around Christmas and New Year's Day, but on January 2 I jumped back in.  Not the first, I had a cold and just wasn't too motivated!

Last week:
Ran 21 miles
Walked 2 miles
Zumba 20 minutes
Bellydancing 30 minutes
P90X Yoga 90 minutes

I used My Fitness Pal to track  my calories and ended the week above my goal by 145 calories.  For 7 days that felt pretty good.  I made myself be very honest about everything I ate and recorded even one chip here or there.  On Friday when I over did eating I decided I needed to workout again even though I had run in the morning.  I did not manage to get a long run in, my longest was just under 5 miles.  I ran with friends outside one day and the rest were on the treadmill.  I made sure I did something fitness wise everyday to try to set myself up for making exercise a habit in my life.

Superbowl 10K- Feb 5
West End St. Patrick's Day 5K-March 18
Emmaus 4 Miler- April 1

Possibly doing the a half marathon on April as well.  I need to make a decision as I know it sells out, but I'm just not sure I'm ready for it.

Goals this week:
Stay under my calories.
Make sure at least one day a week has a strength component
make a decision about the half marathon.

Monday, January 9, 2012

It's Monday, What are you reading?

Not sure what happened last week, but blogging just didn't happen for me, I missed all my regular posts.  So here's to a new week and getting back on track.

What I'm reading:
On my Ipod I am listening to Love in a Nutshell by Janet Evanovich.  It is an audio book I checked out of the library, they just started offering this program on Friday, and with my husband's help managed to transfer onto the Ipod.  So far I', enjoying it.

On my Ipod I am still reading Throwaway by Heather Huffman

On my kindle I am reading The Next Always by Nora Roberts (also checked out of the library)
In the car I am listening to The Scortch Trials by James Dashner
In print form I am reading The Scottish Prisioner by Diana Gabaldon
I don't think I finished anything last week, perhaps the reason for there being so few posts.  I've been caught up with getting my workouts and calorie counting in place.  I would say it was a New Year's Resolution, and it is in a way, but I started getting serious in July when i started running and more so in October when I started calorie counting.  I got a bit lazy in December and needed to get refocused on being healthy again and setting some goals. 
So new year and new goals and some new work on time management are in order!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Library E-Books!

Today our local library started lending out e-books.  I checked out my first book this morning and have it loaded on my Kindle.  I also checked out an audio book but I cannot seem to get it to transfer to my Ipod.  Not quite sure what it is I'm doing wrong there.  I downloaded one audio book from audible last month and got it to work, but the library system is different and I know I am probably just missing some easy piece.  Hopefully I'll get it sorted out so I can listen to a book while running!

Happy New Year to everyone!  I don't know quite why I haven't posted in so long, but hopefully I'm back in the swing of things now.  Perhaps it is that I haven't finished a book so I didn't feel like I had a review to post, but I missed the Saturday Snapshot, It's Monday, What are you reading? and Checkpoint this week which I don't have any good excuse for.  Time to start thinking about what pictures to use tomorrow!