Friday, January 29, 2016

Books I read in 2015: A Review

Finally got around to posting this...I really do enjoy this end-of-year recap!!

1. Best Book(s) You Read In 2015? 
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. 

2. Most Disappointing Book? 
The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy...I had higher expectations based on her previous book. 

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book? 
The Storied life of AJ Fikry. While it had quite a bit of sadness, there was a good amount of happiness to offset it. 

4. Book(s) you recommended to people most in 2015? 
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling. Because everyone needs to laugh. 

5. Best series you discovered in 2015?
I really enjoyed reading Karen White's Tradd Street "series"...all based in Charleston, SC.

6. Favorite new author(s) you discovered in 2015?
I hadn't read anything by Kristin Hannah until The Nightingale. I was so blown away by that book, that I really want/need to read more of her work. 

7. Most thrilling, un-put-down-able book in 2015? 
The Nightingale - no contest.

8. Book you most anticipated in 2015? 
The Mapmaker's Children

9. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

10. Most memorable character in 2015? 
 Isabelle in The Nightingale. She did things I would never have the courage to do. I was scared for her as I read the book. 

11. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

I'm not sure what constitutes "beautifully written"...but for me again I'm going to have to say The Nightingale. It was so easy to picture every scene the author described, it was as if I was right there watching it happen. To me, that is beautifully written. 
12. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2015? 
I don't know that I would necessarily call it "impact" but I was definitely "moved" by The's probably the book I most vividly recall reading. I don't seem to have much long-term retention for fine details of a book, but this one has stuck with me. 
13. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?
To Kill a Mockingbird. Somehow I managed to avoid it if it was required reading in high school. 

14. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2015?
“The truth is, it’s hard to get people to like you, but it’s even harder to keep people liking you.”  -Mindy KalingWhy Not Me?

15. Authors you want to read more of in 2015?

JoJo Moyes...she has a few other books out there I have not yet read. Hopefully I get to them this year. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

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&encountered during the week. *********************************************************************************
Photo by Elkmont Half Marathon/Facebook

1) If I read, see, or hear one more thing about the bloodhound that "accidentally" ran a 1/2 marathon and came in 7th place, I may scream. Yes, it's cute and funny, but it's been ALL.OVER. my Facebook and now it showed up in my blog feed. Ack!!

2) I cannot remember how I learned about this app, but just discovered it last week One Second Everyday - you film a super short video each day and it takes 1 second of that and then it will compile them into one after say 30 days, you have a 30 second video with a clip from each day. I can't wait to get 30 days done...I'm only on day 2. Pretty sure I'll keep it to all video clips of Ethan....1st day was bedtime reading and yesterday was doing homework...thank goodness the weekend days will be a little more exciting. 

3) Can January just be over please? Thank you! 

4) While I'm wishing my life away, how about if the school year is just over too??!?

5) I'm just about done with Z: A novel of Zelda Fitzgerald...I only have about 25 pages to go but I just couldn't get through them last night -too tired--but let me say wow, F. Scott Fitzgerald is a complete jackass!!! Holy moly! I know in "those days" the "non-feminist" attitudes were "normal" but I would have socked him in the mouth by now. 

6) So not cool that The Mysteries of Laura was a re-run last night? What has happened to TV? (the little bit I watch anyway)...They air 3 new episodes and then hand us an episode from October? Seriously, these actors need to work more...especially for the insane $$$ they earn. Entertain me, geesh!!!

7) Where is the snow? It's January!! It's going to be 64 on Monday and 70 on Tuesday!!! That is just wrong!! Now I DO love warm weather, but I also REALLY LOVE snow days! In January, I want SNOW DAYS!!!

8) My mom was recently reading "Before I Go To Sleep" and kept telling me how good it is and that she thinks I'd like it. I wasn't opposed to reading it though it's not my typical genre...then she told me that it is also a movie...after discovering that the book is (1) not available electronically at my library and (2) it costs $12 on amazon for the e-book, and (3) discovering that Colin Firth is in the movie...yep, I rented it on iTunes and watched it last weekend. I still love Colin Firth but this was definitely a different role for him. Whoa!

9) I don't want to jinx myself, but I ran a mile last night after an exercise class I did and I had ZERO foot pain!! Wow! I can't believe it. I'm going to run (longer) tonight and see if I have the same results. I've been doing some of the hip exercises so hopefully that is helping. 

10) Pretty sure I have my costumes all complete for the Disney races next month. A friend of mine did the shirt for my Belle costume because I just couldn't find anything I liked. I'm not a tank top kind of gal so that wasn't an option. I also don't care for the phrase "This beauty runs like a beast", yeah, no. So I bought a plain white vneck at Michaels and she cut me an awesome design I found on-line with vinyl and I have my Belle shirt. Woot!! I also have the option of wearing a yellow long sleeve vneck underneath if it's chilly that day. Both of the previous times I've done the WDW Princess 1/2 I wore two layers the entire time and did not overheat, so I'm thinking that will be the plan this time too. Sidenote: I also weigh at least 10lbs less than I did when I ran it the last two times so I'm super stoked to have a big improvement on my finish time. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


These next couple weeks will hold a higher stress level for me.

I'm not excited about that at all.

While I faced Monday (yesterday) with a positive attitude, it quickly crumbled as (1) people threw me under the bus (undeservedly, if I may add) and (2) because I was frustrated with a variety of things, another co-worker yelled at me in front of 4 others. It is 18 hours later and I'm still stewing and wish I was a quick thinker and had fired back my own thoughts.

Maybe it's a good thing I didn't fire back much, but it still makes me mad.

I've been contemplating change in my life for a while anyway. 

It seems like yesterday was a message of "Yes, it is time for a change." 

Now to put that change into action....that's the hard part....not for lack of want though.

Today I feel on the verge of tears. And that makes me mad because these people are not worth my tears. 

I'm tired of feeling like no one is "on my side"...even if they claim they are, I don't feel it.

I am so angry too. I don't want to talk to anyone but of course, today that is inevitable.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

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) Totally not bookish - but we are on SNOW DAY #2 today and I couldn't be happier. More than just the fact that I don't have to go to work, but yesterday's snow day was heavenly as it allowed me to recuperate from the nightmarish 24 stomach flu/bug that attacked me on Tuesday night. I would have stayed home on Wednesday anyway so I'm thankful that I had a SNOW DAY and didn't have to use up my PTO time. 

2) Speaking of that dreaded stomach flu, I was victim 3/3 in my house. Oscar brought it home with him on Friday, according to him was near death on Saturday (as I enjoyed a scrapbooking retreat with my mom downtown) and then Sunday just before I got home, Ethan began tossing his cookies everywhere. I spent hours cleaning up puke and the house as a whole on Sunday...but apparently we were not quite germ free.

3) You would think I would lose MORE THAN 1 POUND after tossing my cookies all night Tuesday and consuming a total 550 calories on Wednesday...but no, down only 1 pound. *sigh*

4) I am thankful though that the bug didn't hit until Tuesday night after I was home...after work we drove across town to the running store to get new shoes since I'm having mega feet/shoe issues lately...that is totally sucking too, by the way....seriously, when did shoe shopping become so complicated. Turns out it's quite likely that the hamstring pull of October, has changed my gait, causing me to turn out my right foot and land more on the outer edge. This is in turn causing the shoe to break down on the outer edge and causing (mega) pain on the outer edge of my foot. So frustrated!  So the gal at the shoe store - who is awesome - thought I'd be better in a Saucony shoe....tried it on at the store, felt fine. Left the store, didn't feel fine. It started hurting the arch on my right foot...random. So now when this crazy weather clears up, I will have to go back with the Saucony and get the new NB 860 to at least get me thru the next race. She also gave me some awesome hip exercises that should help with correcting my gait. Who knew running was also so complicated?!?! Seriously!!

5) On the above running note, I am starting to see my goal (dream) of running 10 half marathons this year already start to dwindle. I don't want to be Negative Nellie, but with so many issues lately, it makes me doubt my body's ability to pull off 10 this year. I'm not giving up yet though.

6) I'm still reading Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald...I'm really hoping to finish it today on this SNOW the event that we have to return to work's sorta iffy right now....the weather, that is. Yesterday I felt like I read A LOT of the book, but turns out it was only 35 pages!! What?!?!  So I'm only 50% done...chances of finishing today...slim and none. Let me say however that Zelda and Scott sure lived some crazy lives...and I'm only 1/2 in...I can't imagine what else I'll learn.

7) These 2 snow days are making me even MORE upset than I already am about the brand new treadmill being broken. SEARS is not going to love me...the repair company was supposed to call within 5 days of me reporting the problem....we are on day 7 at least, no call. The part (motor) should arrive today. I called today and had to leave a message. Great sign. Not only am I tanking on my Fitbit challenges, but I'm getting in NO training since I also cannot get to the YMCA. While I desperately want it fixed, I also hope that the company screws up even more so I can justify getting refunded on the "lovely" extended care program we purchased. 

8) Well, I'm off for now...gotta get that book read...and need to get Ethan off the iPad so he can do some reading too. Oh that will be fun!!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

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) Last Thursday came and went, without a Bookish post from me. That is how the first week back to school has been...while time dragged on and it felt forever long, I was super busy. 

2) So last weekend was the WDW Marathon Weekend. I've always said I would NEVER attempt a full marathon - no way, no how, no interest....wellllllll, now that I belong to 3 different runDisney groups on FB and my feed filled up with people who completed the Dopey Challenge - 4 races in 4 days and left with 6 (YES, SIX!!!) medals...I have changed my statement to be that I will only ever attempt the WDW Marathon if I do a marathon at all....and I'm really inspired to try the Dopey Challenge myself in 2017. I'll have to see if I can manage it...from various angles. *sigh*

3) When I shared my desire to do the Dopey Challenge with the people closest to me, it was not received with support, but instead with comments like "You could get hurt." Ugh!! While I understand their concern, it's still something I'd LOVE to do and frankly, I could get hurt walking from my car into the YMCA, you just never know. I don't feel like the "risk" of getting hurt is justification for not trying.  And while I'm currently sidelined with a minor foot issue and have bum knees, some of the people who finished last weekend, appeared much "less fit" than me, so surely I can do it, right? For once, I'm optimistic about something and it would be nice to feel supported in it. 

4) The brand new treadmill we got in November died after 42 days of use (actually less since it wasn't even used every day). Now I get to play that fun game of calling for a repair person to come out and fix it. I had to call twice because I didn't have the model # and serial # the first time. Argh!! I was on hold for 15 minutes the first time and over 29 minutes the second time. It typically takes 7-10 days to get the parts, but I'm so lucky that the part I need isn't even in stock so it will be even longer. Once the part arrives, I can call the tech and schedule them to come out to repair it. They work really (in)convenient hours of 8am-5pm oh and some Saturdays, if I'm lucky. I can't believe I had to pay for this "extended protection plan"...what a joke!!! OK - I think my blood pressure just went up while typing this out.

5) So January just isn't my month. It hasn't been for a few years. I have a TON of work responsibilities in January that include managing least favorite thing to do. I am in charge of planning a week long "event" at school and have to delegate out things to my committee members. This is my least favorite part of my job here. If I had wanted to manage people, I would have stayed in Corporate America to do that and made a whole lot more money doing it. *sigh* I'm ready for February and lower stress levels. Not good timing that my treadmill is broken as it often serves as a great stress reliever. See! January is NOT my month.

6) OK - this Powerball thing is crazy...we don't usually play but of course we did this week. I'm concurrently typing this up and daydreaming what I would do if we won. While I'm fairly certain that we won't win, Ethan feels strongly that we will and keeps talking about how we will take a couple of our close friends to Disney with us in February. It's cute, but I think he's going to be rather disappointed. It is SO very hard NOT to fantasize about what life would be like with such a ridiculous amount of money. And then it's excruciatingly depressing when I don't win and reality sets back in. 

7) I am super excited about this weekend. IT's the 2nd year my mom and I will go to an overnight scrapbooking retreat...two nights away from home (though in the same town) in a hotel crafting until we drop. Pretty sure last year we scrapbooked until midnight, then went to our room where we stayed up until 1am reading our books. We are such crazy party animals. I am really looking forward to it this year again and hope I make some good progress in my 57 scrapbook projects I have not finished. I will be taking my running gear to the hotel and wearing out their treadmill...I am almost more excited about that than actually scrapbooking. 

8) Not to be a Debbie Downer - but I feel like I've fallen into a bit of a January funk...maybe that's normal, but maybe it's a combination of work stuff & not running (due to injury and treadmill) but I don't feel quite as happy as I did back in December. I sure hope it changes soon, I don't like feeling this way. Hopefully this weekend will bust me out of it. 

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9) In bookish news, I've finished 2 books already this year...woot! Now to keep up with that pace...yeah, that's the challenge. I read "Hook's Revenge" (grades 4-7) because I love all things Hook & Peter Pan and the cover screams "read me"!! It was cute. There is a sequel. I may read it eventually. The other book I finished was "An Unexpected Grace" for book club...not something I would normally pick up, but I completely enjoyed it and now I am dying to get a Golden Retriever, even more than before. (I've always wanted one)!

10) Where is the snow??? It has been borderline-ridiculously cold, but not a flake of snow in the air. Geesh....where are our snow days? We can get up to 7 of them without extending our school bring them on. 

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

2015 in Numbers

Just a little fun with numbers to recap 2015:

1: new car. After 10 years with the Ford Escape, we finally found the Ford Explorer that we wanted. It still feels HUGE to me, but I sure do love my heated seats, especially on this 23 degree morning today!!! Brrrr!

3: scrapbook projects started and not finished. #StoryOfMyLife

4: Pinterest projects completed: I made a melted crayon canvas (that sits on the floor in my office at work #fail), we made a popsicle stick bird feeder for grandma, we painted some rocks over the summer and I made a wine cork alpha "K"....yeah not too adventurous this summer, but at least we made something. 

7: Trips taken. ok well 6 of 7 were road trips to our usual haunt, South Carolina Lowcountry. The big trip was the Disney Cruise, which was completely amazing and we are dying to go back soon.

43: books read. 12 short of my Goodreads goal and the 1st year in last 5 that I didn't reach my goal. so sad. :(

69: blog posts: hey, that's 4 more than 2014. progress!!!

190: miles ran. I'm fairly happy with this number considering I was just getting back into running after crazy knee surgery & also struggled with fussy hamstring which banked me 4 miles in November. I actually ran more than this but this is what I logged on Nike+...when I started using the Galloway app, I didn't use Nike+ since both are on my phone and don't talk to each other. :(

I'm sure there a lot of other numbers I could have listed but I either can't think of them or don't know what the number would be, as in, miles driven - a WHOLE FREAKIN' lot...but again, not sure on the number exactly.