Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday






"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I don't regularly participate in this but I just learned of a coming book and I am truly "dying" for it to be released so I can read it. It sounds fabulous!!


18667976
I cannot wait to read The Secret Life of Violet Grant!! I absolutely loved Williams' last book A Hundred Summers and if you haven't read it, you should. It's a very enjoyable story with great characters. 

From Amazon:
Manhattan, 1964. Vivian Schuyler, newly graduated from Bryn Mawr College, has recently defied the privilege of her storied old Fifth Avenue family to do the unthinkable for a budding Kennedy-era socialite: break into the Madison Avenue world of razor-stylish Metropolitan magazine. But when she receives a bulky overseas parcel in the mail, the unexpected contents draw her inexorably back into her family’s past, and the hushed-over crime passionnel of an aunt she never knew, whose existence has been wiped from the record of history.

Berlin, 1914. Violet Schuyler Grant endures her marriage to the philandering and decades-older scientist Dr. Walter Grant for one reason: for all his faults, he provides the necessary support to her liminal position as a young American female physicist in prewar Germany. The arrival of Dr. Grant’s magnetic former student at the beginning of Europe’s fateful summer interrupts this delicate d├ętente. Lionel Richardson, a captain in the British Army, challenges Violet to escape her husband’s perverse hold, and as the world edges into war and Lionel’s shocking true motives become evident, Violet is tempted to take the ultimate step to set herself free and seek a life of her own conviction with a man whose cause is as audacious as her own.

As the iridescent and fractured Vivian digs deeper into her aunt’s past and the mystery of her ultimate fate, Violet’s story of determination and desire unfolds, shedding light on the darkness of her years abroad . . . and teaching Vivian to reach forward with grace for the ambitious future––and the love––she wants most. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).
*********************************************************************************
1. Monday is my 7th anniversary. Whoa. We made it 7 years. Let's just say it's NOT been easy. Marriage is hard work. Like really hard work. The last 6 months of 2013 were WAY harder than the previous 6.5 years. I'm thankful that the past 2 months have brought some peace and calm back into my life. On that note, Sunday we are having a day to ourselves in Gatlinburg, shopping, walking, maybe go-karting, while E spends the WHOLE day (miracle!) with his grandma. Fun. Fun. Fun.

6999047
2. I'm reading THE BEACH HOUSE by Mary Alice Monroe right now. It's been enjoyable though there was one part that sorta knocked me a bit off my feet...not in a good way either...you see, the main character is 40 yrs old, close to my age, she chose a career path and recently lost her job and is reflecting on the fact that she has no children. At one point, she and her friend are reminiscing about when they were in their 20s and how life was for them at that time, including the ease of maintaining their weight etc. Yikes, that's when I thought to myself "wait! that is me! I am in my 40s and yes, life was so easy when I was 20"...Then I put on my big-girl panties, kept reading and accepted where I am in life despite it's not-so-perfect setting.

3. I hate living in a town that isn't big enough for frequent (or good) author visits. Atlanta and Nashville are close, but not close enough for a weeknight event. I am missing out on two author events in Atlanta for that very reason. Boo!

4.  Our travels to SC for Easter were good, though the weather was pretty crummy. Still, we managed to walk the Ravenel Bridge, walk on the beaches, eat at Poe's and enjoy some "down time" in the Lowcountry.


5. A friend of mine, aware of my love of SC, told me about the reality show "Southern Charm"...so I watched the 1st episode on On Demand last night and all I have to say is WOW, those people are spoiled brats, well, most of them anyway. I'm not sure I can continue to watch, but it does feel like that whole train wreck thing...you don't want to look, but really can't help it. 

6. Hopefully I'm not jinxing things, but I do think that Spring has finally arrived. Thank goodness!!

7. I had a great walking workout at the gym on Monday. It was a much better workout than my previous stationary bike workouts. I walked for 70 minutes and read my book at the same time. Win/Win. Looking forward to more workouts like that and hoping they help me get the muscle tone back that I lost from surgery. 

8. I've been taking the AR quizzes at school that our students have to take. The librarians are doing this neat "tour" around the library based on how many points a student has. Right now I have 106 points so I am in "Neverland" We have a student w/450 points right now!!!! They had to make a new "land" just for her. I've also realized it's hard to remember fine details from books. For example, I failed the test for THE HELP...embarrassing, but true. And I LOVED that book too! But it has been 4 years since I've read it.

9. That's all I got this week. Happy reading friends!!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).

13481748
1. I'm on a "not-so-great" book roll...I started reading Code Name Verity by  Elizabeth Wein and despite the rave reviews I kept seeing, I'm missing something. The book is set during WWII but the focus of the book is on pilots, female pilots specifically, which is also great, but it's so full of unnecessary detail that I am bored out of my mind. Since I have great difficulty giving up on a book, especially one with great reviews, I've set it to the side for now and moved on to another book...something else I rarely ever do - read more than 1 book at a time. Ack!

15742512
2. The book I moved on to is Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead. I thought it sounded entertaining and a light read, so a great one to turn to after my struggles with above mentioned book.  For the most part the story is simply ok - however the characters are the whiniest people you will ever meet. And then I went and read some reviews and NOBODY seems to have liked this book - primarily because of the whinyness...the characters are also the very rich, so their complaints are things like not getting into some stupid exclusive golf club. Seriously. I want nothing more than to plow through both of these books and move on to something good!! 

3. The strange thing about books and me is that I'm pretty easy to please. It is rare that I just do not like a book or come across one that is difficult to for me to finish. I can't believe I've hit two in a row like that. Geesh!! Also, I wonder if I hadn't read the negative reviews of Seating Arrangements, if the whining would bother me as much as it does. I tend to overlook things like that, but now that it's brought to my attention, it's bugging me. 

4. I could not be happier that today we dismiss at 1pm and don't have school until next Tuesday. South Carolina, here we come!!

6999047
5. Speaking of South Carolina, I'm hoping to be reading The Beach House next!!


6. I cannot believe I haven't ran since September 2013. That was when the trio of knee surgeries began. Ugh. Up until one month ago, I miraculously managed to maintain my weight, but I guess that "grace" period is over...all of a sudden the scale starting going up and up and up and once again I find myself over a dreaded number that I worked so very hard to get below after seeing a Nutritionist in November 2012. I've also changed gyms - the new one is a little farther from my house and I'm struggling with that. I might change back to the old gym....we'll see. On top of that, E was not in TaeKwonDo this time last year, so that adds 2 nights of class to our weekly schedule instead of going to the gym. So finally, this past Monday I decided "enough is enough" and I'm going back to healthy eating, especially if I'm not able to get to the gym as much as I would like to. Already Tuesday morning I saw a change in the scale and just felt better over all. Hooray! Let's hope I can keep up...I'm missing those running endorphins though, that's for sure. 

7. As much as I love creating & crafting I am losing my love of scrapbooking...sorta. It has turned into more of a chore or stressor as opposed to being a source of enjoyment. I just don't have the time for it like I used to. Seriously contemplating giving it up entirely at the end of this year.

8. And that's all I have for this week. Happy Easter everyone!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Currently

Eating // back to healthy foods...hopefully I can stick with it. 

Drinking // a lot more water.

Reading // Two not-so-stellar books...I just need to get through them. I wish I could just give up on a book, but I have such a hard time w/that.

Watching // Nothing at all. For the most part, that's ok and honestly, I have ZERO time for TV anyway.

Cooking // goodness. when I have time to cook and am actually at home at dinner time, it's something easy like chicken tacos. yum.

Blogging // still trying to more frequently. I guess I have a boring (routine) life as there is very little to write about.

Listening // SMASH soundtrack and "firework" by Katy Perry when it's E's turn for a song. 

Thinking // (1) about what my life will look like in a year. (2) this crazy weather. (3) getting out of town this weekend. thank goodness.

Needing // to win the lottery. I wouldn't even hog all the money for myself. honest.

Wanting // a mental health day. too bad I'm out of paid time off. a day off means no pay. good thing it's a short work week. 

Hating // the change in shape/size of my thighs thanks to not being able to run.

Loving // the excitement in preparing E's Easter basket...the bunny is coming to our house early, just in time to deliver a much wanted "gadget" that will make our Thursday afternoon road trip much more fun for all of us, but especially fun for E.

Avoiding // certain people. truth be told.

Anticipating // the weekend.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).

1. I have so many "home improvement" projects planned for the summer that I'm hoping I can fit them all in. The biggest one: I will sand and refinish all my kitchen cabinets.by.myself. Yikes! But then, I won't bother with this at all if our plans point towards moving out of state, which quite frankly, is completely an option right now.


Click this cover for a(n) eBook sample of The Invention of Wings.

2. Getting closer to the top of the reading list for this one...last check, I was #12 of  45!

3. I can't seem to get out from under this dark cloud lately. I think it's following me around. Ugh! It seems there always has to be one component of life that is a mess. Can't everything ever just be in harmony? Please.

4. I really miss airplane travel, specifically airports and the always-entertaining-people-watching activity that they provide. It would be nice to fly somewhere too though. I haven't been on a plane since December 2011.  :(


5. I have loved the SMASH version of this song from the beginning and now that I feel it's my current life theme, I love it even more!! BTW, if you never watched an episode of SMASH, you are missing out. I'm so sad there were only two seasons. I still miss it and often find myself on SMASH music binges. And did I mention Christian Borle. And Jack Davenport. And then there's Jeremy Jordan...what I would have given to see him in Newsies. Oh and you can't help but LOVE Debra Messing's character too. Love her!  I wish I could have seen her on Broadway in Outside Mullingar...it ended March 16, 2014. *sad face*

6. Only 5.5 more school days until a 4.5 day break which includes a visit to the SC shore. Cannot wait. So overdue & desperately needed.


7. This week's schedule has been nuts, with multiple places to be each day after school. Truly we aren't over-scheduled, it's just some bad timing of things. Ugh. I'm ready for this week to be over. 


8. Recently, there was some "news" at work released via email to all parents. E is on a baseball team with 8 classmates. He had practice the same night this news came out. You can take a guess at how that panned out for me. It seems a lot of the moms (1) have nothing better to talk about and (2) forget that I am a mom at baseball practice, not the counselor at the school where they send their kids. Boundaries are a good thing. Too bad not everyone has them.


9. Not sure if it's allergies or I'm fighting a cold, but I've had a nasty sore throat since Sunday evening. I feel close to losing my voice. It is exhausting to talk right now. At least on Friday I just have to sit and listen to a speaker all day - love in-service.


10. Looking forward to Sunday...a day with NO plans. Hope it stays that way!!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

looking forward - sometimes


Right now I choose to look forward...to summer and to travel...by far my favorite time of year, considering I have the summers off of course.

The latest addition to my summer plans is the fact that O will be working in a teeny-tiny town of 500 people in Virginia 6 hours from home but which just so happens to be only 2.5 hours from Washington DC. Oh yeah! We have been wanting to get to DC for a few years now and I have never ever been there...never. Holocaust Museum, here I come!!

Of course, the Holocaust Museum is no place for 6-year-olds, so E and O will have to find something else to do while I am there...I'm thinking the Museum of Natural History or the Air & Space Museum. It will all work out and I'm excited. I think we will all go to the zoo as well. 

Now to figure out our way around that crazy city and hopefully we can use the public transportation and not have to worry about parking and insane traffic. 

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).

1. I love this weekly prompt. I love it SO much that it's practically the only time I seem to get around to blogging. 

2. This has been a 'rougher-than-most' type of week. Seriously, for the past month or so things in life had been going fairly well. On Monday, a couple people decided to turn my work world a bit upside down. So instead of feeling certain about the immediate future, I'm contemplating some changes. This is both good and bad.

3. I am so very thankful for only 10.5 more school days until a 4.5 day long weekend. Happy Easter!!

 7026533
4. Reading this for the last 5th Grade book club of the school year. I'm only 20 pages in, but so far, so good.

 11065441
5. I decided to read this one after I read Eleanor & Park, primarily because this one was written for adults vs. YA...I'm just about done with it and it's been an enjoyable read. A nice break from my usual WWII Historical Fiction reads.

6. I've been spending a lot of time being "introspective" and doing some serious thought about friendships. For some reason, it's an area I struggle in and to this day I am not really sure why. I mean, really, I don't pick my nose in public or have any other strange behaviors that would frighten someone off. I feel that I make significant efforts to maintain friendships i.e. extend invitations, being considerate, thoughtful, sharing books and/or scrapbooking goodies and other random things friends do. I also feel that I am a pretty darn good listener - the counseling degree helps of course- but yet in the end, I feel that I am constantly the one putting in more effort to friendships and frankly I'm tired of it. My time is just as worthwhile as any one else's and yet I don't feel that some of my friends feel that way. I get the whole "i'm so busy" thing because you know what....I'm busy too...yep, even though I "ONLY HAVE 1 CHILD"...which seems to make people think I'm not very busy. I'm just really saddened and in a bit of a funk about this whole scenario. And then there's the whole thing where they clearly spend time with other friends, but don't have time for me...thank you Facebook & Instagram for that. Ugh. What am I doing wrong?

7. Looking so very forward to a little "date-night" with Ethan tomorrow night. O has to work late so E and I will run some errands, go to the gym and then the mall for dinner & make some returns. I'm so glad he's such a fun little guy to be out & about with.  We always have such a good time.

8. I wish I had a whole lot more time for reading every day. This could be a regular on this list.

9. I bought myself a Fitbit...3rd times a charm. I tried the Flex bracelet but I wear jewelry bracelets so that just didn't work for me. I got myself the Zip this time and I love it. It's super motivating to try to get to those 10,000 steps every day and it's NOT easy. I work in a school so I'm naturally getting more steps than someone who sits at a desk all day but it's still a challenge to get the 10k. I have to purposefully go for a walk in order to reach my goal and even then it can be hard. Last night we had just a little time after we got home to go big-wheeling (walking for me) and I still fell short with only 8100 steps all day. Darn.  If you have a Fitbit, let me know so we can be friends and challenge each other. 

10. I still miss running...especially since I weigh 9lbs more today than I did one year ago. I hate that.