Thursday, July 30, 2015

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) The Disney Cruise was absolutely amazing! My only complaint: it was too short. Hahaha! Be forewarned...the "Disney Depression" is far WORSE coming off the boat than just leaving the parks. My entire family agrees. We are now trying to figure out how/when we can go again to ward off this awful depression.

2) The major highlight of the trip for me was swimming with the dolphins. I have wanted to do this since the beginning of time and as you can see from  my picture, I'm slightly excited. Everyone else just smiled "normally" for their picture , but I was so crazy-excited that I'm laughing mouth-wide-open and "click" there's the picture. Love it though!
3) Pirate Night was good fun and especially enjoyed by Ethan and Captain Jack Sparrow.

 4) And now for some bookish topics...I've read only 7 books so far this summer...none of them being the academic ones I planned to so I need to get started on those. I'm also still WAY behind on my Goodreads goal...what gives...this may be the first year I don't reach my goal and I didn't even raise it from last year. My favorite so far of the summer was "Me Before You" by JoJo Moyes...just finished it and LOVED it. Can't wait for the sequel in September!

5) We are into the true "summer-weather" here lately, with high chance of rain almost every afternoon. Part of me doesn't mind it so much, but then some days when I need want to go somewhere, well, it's a big drag. This week has been a week of doing very little....partially because there's really not much to do, besides going to the YMCA and the other part is that we are waiting for payday...which is TODAY - yahoo!! So today will will celebrate Payday by going to see the movie Pixels...of course, this is Ethan's pick, I could totally live without seeing it so I'm setting my expectations really low and hopefully it will at least be entertaining, I mean it does have Adam Sandler in it and I do love him!!

6) I have been reading two books at a time lately...mainly because my son keeps swiping my iPad so I need a "real" book and then I read my e-book at night after he has gone to bed. Last night, I finished reading "Summer Secrets" by Jane Green. I thought it was pretty good, her books are always a quick & easy read with good characters and a (fairly) realistic story. I read this as part of my work book club that we do for fun in the summer. We only read one book and meet once...which is fine since everyone is traveling and busy. We will meet in early August to discuss it. I am also reading "Serafina & The Black Cloak" which is a Disney Hyperion published book. I heard about it from my weekly Shelf Awareness emails and loved the description. It's a YA book of course and one I can totally see it being made into a movie, though I don't know if it will be. The story takes place at the Biltmore Mansion in Asheville, NC and though I live only 1 hour from there, I've never been, so it's been interesting to hear about the mansion in the story.

7) Our lan(d)? line has not worked at home for over a month now. Good thing not many people call us there. AT&T has been here to look at it. Couldn't fix it. Blamed our alarm company. We decided to switch to AT&T Digital Life for our alarm as well as some other features (that my security-crazed husband wanted) :) and so after all of that was installed, I figured the phone should work....reset the modem, but no luck!!! It took another week to finally get contact with an AT&T rep and now a tech is headed out tomorrow afternoon. Seriously, I don't care to even have the home phone line since it's mostly telemarketers anyway, but you know, we are in a "bundle" package and if we drop the phone, our Internet rate goes way's stupid really, but whatever. Anything to save $1, right?

8) Yesterday, we had an indoor/crafty day. We had gone to the pool Monday and Tuesday and frankly, I was all "pooled out" and since Ethan would get some swim time in after Bible Study last night, it was a good day to stay inside. We made another batch of "flubber", painted some Monster Rocks & Ethan painted my portrait (my favorite!).
Don't you love my red hair bow? :)
9) My latest hair dilemma is trying to figure out how or what kind of headband I can wear for my running races...I know, not a crisis, but still, there are pictures taken during and after the WDW Princess 1/2 and I'd like to look slightly decent in them. This is the problem with short hair. All those gals with long hair have it easy for races, just pull it back into a ponytail and maybe wear a visor - poof - looking good! Short hair unfortunately doesn't work that way. Oh and I can't wear a hat because it makes me crazy HOT, so that's not an option. *bummer* I'm thinking of purchasing a HippieRunner headband and seeing how it works out...I just don't know. I've been trolling Pinterest for shorthair/headband wearers...this tomboy may have to enlist the help of my hairstylist. #runnergirlproblems #shorthairproblems

 10) Somewhat out of the blue I decided to give up drinking Diet Dr. Pepper for the rest of the month. I just wanted to see if I would feel any differently w/o it. I drink it purely for the taste, the caffeine does nothing for me. I don't drink coffee or tea so this is my typical morning drink. The other reason I decided to try this is that I was sick and tired of people telling me how bad diet soda is for us. Ok, really, I don't think regular soda is any better - pure sugar - but then I suppose it depends on what you want to avoid. I was raised on diet soda and going to a restaurant and ordering water with my dinner is just not an option for me. I also don't want/like iced tea or lemonade - again, for flavor and sugar. So I went 5 days without drinking Diet Dr. Pepper and since I felt no changes of any kind, did not acquire any super human powers, I went back to it. I wasn't even craving it, I was just sick of drinking something else instead. I did consume a whole lot of Grape Crystal Light, which according to WW is the same as water....though it still has artificial sweetener in it. Either way, I'm not training to be some ultra athlete and I ran my 3 other 1/2 marathons while consuming Diet Dr. Pepper and lived to talk about it, so back to my old ways I go. I am considering however, only drinking it on M-W-F or T-Th once the school year begins again. And then with the $$ I'll save from not buying them, I will put in a box to save for the Disney trip. #winning

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Running @ Disney

Here I am as I finished the Castaway Cay 5k race in June. This was my first "real" race since major knee surgery in December 2013. I hated having to wait one full year to run again and am so glad those days are behind me. I've been running regularly since January 2015 and had set the goal of this 5k for my first race. It's not an officially timed race but they do have a clock up at the end for you to see how long it took you. It wasn't my speediest time, but again, being my 1st race in more than 18 months, I was ok with that. In fact, I was quite pleased as I didn't feel fatigued until 2.5miles in and I just so happened to finish 10-15 minutes sooner than a slim, trim 19yo family member, so that made me feel great. Slow & steady wins the race. 

On another note, I was so glad that Oscar and Ethan were standing at the finish line waiting and that Oscar captured this picture. While not the best picture of me, it captures the moment completely and is one of my favorite pics from the trip. A few minutes later, a Disney photog took my picture, but I don't love it nearly as much.

A couple of weeks ago, on July 14, my mom, Ethan and I were in Chattanooga being tourists and at 12noon we had to stop everything so I could sign up for the 2016 WDW Princess 1/2 Marathon. This will be the 3rd WDW 1/2 that I run. They have become so popular in the past few years, that they sell out in 3-4 hours. Thankfully I got in and the official training has begun. 

Since there are more than 15k women (and some men) that participate in this race, there are many starting corrals. The last time I did the race, in 2012, there were at least 8, maybe more. In order to be placed in a corral near the front, you must submit proof of finishing time from another race of 10k or more. I  thought I could use my previous race times, but then I read that it must be within the last year, which makes sense. So I am now registered for a 15k here in town in October. Of course, there were no 10k races nearby. It's all good though, as it will make for good training. I also signed up for a "back to school" 5k in August. 

I do most of my training on treadmills, so it's good to do a few races and get some outdoor pounding concrete time. I was quite sore after the CC 5k and that was running on asphalt, which is softer than concrete. 

I've never worn a costume in my previous 1/2 marathons but this time I plan to dress as Belle for this WDW 1/2. I'm even going to make my own tutu, which looks pretty easy from what I've found so far. Now I just need to find a yellow v-neck shirt and hopefully some yellow running capri length pants. Not as easy as one would think.  I'd really love these yellow running pants, but they are $80-90 so, yeah, that's not going to happen!! Seriously, who pays that much for workout clothes? Yikes!

Lastly, it will be so nice to get away for a few days in February considering this school year will be so different for us. We are starting one month later than everyone else in town due to construction on our school and will finish about 2 weeks later, in mid-June. We will also have less days off throughout the school year in order to not go so late in the year. I am looking so forward to this trip. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Things I'm Grateful For

Note: I started this post back in April and for some reason never hit "publish" I will now...

I'll be the first to admit that I don't often stop to be grateful for "things" in my life...doesn't mean I'm not, I just might not be vocalizing it or posting it and I get that sometimes I may post more points of frustration so in an effort to turn that around a bit, here is my post about some things I'm grateful for right NOW:

1) I'm thankful for peanut M&Ms....just got "hooked" on these lately and I seem to be able to control my intake fairly well.  *no longer "hooked" on these

2) I'm thankful for my new iHome alarm clock. I can mount my iPhone on it to charge at night, but the best part is that I can go to sleep with music playing. I even made a "bedtime" playlist. *oh goodness, I haven't gone to bed w/music playing in forever, need to get back to that.

3) I'm thankful for frequent trips to South Carolina. I have completely fallen in love with the state, especially Sullivan's Island and the surrounding areas.

4) I'm thankful for those last 30 minutes before I go to sleep where I can delve deep into whatever book I am reading. I won't lie....I wish I had more time for reading, but I'm soaking up whatever I can get right now.

5) I'm thankful for the upcoming extra long summer. *we still have 4 more weeks, but before you say "what?!"...please know that the school year itself will be a challenge w/few breaks & we will go until mid-June.

6) I'm thankful for blogs...for keeping me informed on the latest in books and scrapbooking.

7) I'm thankful for my sweet, kind, loving son.

Monday, July 27, 2015

crash & burn

1) For a while now, I've dabbled with the idea of starting a new blog - you know, the kind with it's own address (not here on Blogger) and with the eventual potential of earning money (via ads) or at least becoming part of a blogging community. I have 3-5 topics I would discuss regularly there and feel like i know enough about them to make this work. And quite frankly, I'm tired of reading everybody else's blogs like this...I want my own!

2) So yesterday, I did a TON of research (thank you Pinterest) to see just about how one goes about this. I pondered (many hours) on a blog name and finally this morning came up with one I felt was "just right"...broad enough to cover my topics, yet with a sort of key word in there to identify a connection to one of the major topics I would be writing about.

3) This afternoon, I set out to set up said blog site. Set up the hosting site and then began to design/create/assemble. Most research I found said to use Wordpress. So I did. They have only 3 FREE templates. None of which I LOVED...but I chose one and started trying to tweak and adjust things here and there. Not much luck. After at least 90 minutes of this, I wanted to quit. I contacted the hosting site and asked to cancel. The guy offered me a much lower rate...and suggested I try using Weebly instead. After 60 minutes using Weebly, I asked to cancel again. And did.

4) I feel like a technology idiot. Granted, I have never taken any sort of HTML or other website making type class, but these sites are supposed to be easy to set up...what the heck!!! Oh and if you are wondering why I didn't just set it up here...blogger doesn't allow you to make $$ off your blog here and transferring it over to Wordpress later is apparently a nightmare. *sigh*

5) So that was my Monday. A big fat technical fail. I still want to do this, but not sure what my next steps will be.

6) I'm thankful I had a great 3 mile run this morning and enjoyed a few hours at the pool with Ethan...that saved the day from being a complete disaster. :)

7) I guess going forward, I'll just focus on my running training and reading. And making crafts like this one....

And finding great info like this...

How Yoga Makes You a Better Runner: Poses for Runners #infographic