Tag Archives: books

Keep Calm and Think Out Loud

It’s that time of the week again: Thursday, the time to Think Out Loud! Thanks as always to Amanda for hosting this link-up, even from sunny California…hope you’re enjoying your time in Disneyland, lady! I too am going to be on the move tomorrow (I’m heading to Boston and staying the night to visit friends, Friday to Saturday) so I won’t be posting; this is the last you’ll hear of me this week. But I guess that means I can just throw in some extra thinking today, right?

Think out loud with the rest of us by linking up!

1. Since writing Tuesday’s Trade ‘Em Up post, staying in a couple of nights, and making sure I get enough sleep, I have been feeling better about myself anxiety and body-image wise. I didn’t even experience guilt yesterday about going out with friends the night before. I met up with former UConn co-workers (and newly engaged couple) Cara and Brian for dinner at Bricco Trattoria in Glastonbury. Still loving it there and have kept returning since New Year’s Eve!  After dinner we walked (aka jogged, it was freaking freezing) over to Hanafin’s for Tuesday Trivia. Theirs starts at 8PM – nice and early! I enjoyed a half pint of the Rebel IPA (two thumbs up) and even managed to contribute a few movie-related trivia answers. I have to be honest and say I totally judged a bro the next table over who didn’t know that Finch is the last name of Atticus from To Kill a Mockingbird. Did you not take high school English?

A side of baby cabbages (of course) and they were awesome.

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Let’s Think-Out Loud (Let’s Think-Out Loud)

I hope at least one person gets that the title of this post is meant to be sung to the tune of “Let’s Get Loud” by J. Lo. If you don’t get it after this explanation and the below video, I have failed as a blogger.

 

I hope you guys are ready for some thoughts. Because I’ve got a few of them, and it’s Thursday, which means it’s time to link up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursdays!

Thinking-Out-Loud
1. I totally spaced and didn’t announce the winner of my Nancy Rose Performance workout outfit giveaway in Tuesday’s post. Oops! Thank you to all who entered and our winner is Hillary…I will be contacting you to arrange for receipt of your prize!

2. Best of Hartford 2014 awards nominations are out for both Hartford Magazine and Hartford Advocate. I’m honored to be nominated again in categories for both! You can vote for me for Best Blogger and Best Twitterer in Hartford Mag’s awards, and Best Local Blogger, Best Local Twitter, and Best Local Instagrammer in Hartford Advocate‘s awards.

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Best Books of 2013

Thanks so much to all for your comments of support on yesterday’s post. I was nervous to hit publish but am glad I could provide some insight into a common ED behavior. Even if everyone couldn’t relate (which I am glad for) I appreciate the words of encouragement about my efforts to kick the habit of body checking.

And ah, here she is with another cliche best-of-2013 post! I’m trying to stop guys, I really am, but this is a tough habit to kick. And ever since Kaitlin did her top books of 2013 post, I have been wanting to do one of my own! It’s no secret that I’m a bookworm. I’m also highly organized, which makes Goodreads the perfect way for me to keep track of both books I have read, how much I liked them, and books I want to read. My “read” shelf is making it a whole lot easier right now for me to make this list; these are all books I read in 2013 that I gave five stars to.

My Favorite Books of 2013

(Please note that these are in no particular order because I cannot be burdened with ranking these great books.)

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From Left to Write Book Club: The Dinner

I received a complimentary copy of “The Dinner”. All opinions are my own. This is not a sponsored post.

Upon finding out that one of the October books for From Left to Write book club was titled The Dinner, I became understandably excited. I’d already heard of the novel and not only was I excited to get a copy of a book with a loooong wait-list at my library, but that novel takes place over the course of a meal at a fancy restaurant. Um, how up my alley is that?!

It’s a summer’s evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse — the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened. Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.

As you may recall from previous posts, From Left to Write book club encourages members to write not a review but a post inspired by the book they read. As you can imagine, this book in particular inspired plenty in me! What stuck out to me most was the way the highly-cynical narrator (Paul) pointed out many subtle restaurant nuances that to him, seem absolutely ridiculous. I had to laugh because I’d seen plenty of them before!

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From Left to Write Book Club: The Funeral Dress

No one has ever entrusted impoverished Emmalee with anything important, but she takes it upon herself to sew her mentor’s resting garment in The Funeral Dress by Susan Gregg Gilmore. Join From Left to Write on October 15 as we discuss The Funeral Dress.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

My mom actually read this October From Left to Write book club novel before I did, and I went into it a bit wary because she wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it. She did though, because The Funeral Dress takes place in the South around the same time she grew up in the same region. I ended up enjoying it too! My parents’ Southern heritage, my fond memories of visits to relatives in the South and to the University of Tennessee, and my fondness for most people I meet from the area may have biased me slightly toward that enjoyment. But no matter where the novel took place, I am confident in saying that I think Susan Gregg Gilmore succeeded in telling a story that had me invested in its characters and glued to each chapter.

From Left to Write is all about inspiring members to publish not a review, but a blog post on any topic the novel inspired within us. I actually drafted an entire post about fond memories of visiting my relatives in the South, but I really didn’t like it. I felt forced while writing it and I hate hitting “Publish” if I’m not happy with what I wrote. SO I just deleted it all and am starting over right now. I’m actually going to take a totally different turn (think a turn that the GPS told you to make, and so you did, but then you end up crashed into a lake) and write about a completely silly topic – tater tots.

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Three Things Thursday: Travel Day!

Thanks so much for your comments on yesterday’s special WIAW post about my college food journey! I’ve come a long way and seen both ends of the spectrum, and it’s nice to have your encouragement and support as I continue to work on settling somewhere at a balanced middle.

The weekend will soon be upon us! But for me it begins at 1PM today, which is when I will leave work to get ready to head to the airport and catch a plane to Tennessee. I’m super-excited to reunite with my sister, my Nana Connie, and our close family friends. I’m also thankful that the University of Tennessee vs. Georgia football game we are attending on Saturday starts at 3:30PM. Last year the game started at 8PM and alas, tailgating got the best of me mentally and I did not end up attending the game. This time I am determined to enjoy myself and keep guilty thoughts at bay. I’m hoping for a nice tailgate that doesn’t start too soon before the game (and how could it with the game starting at 3:30PM), a fun game in which the Vols hopefully win, and some chill post-game relaxation at the hotel.

Can't wait to reunite with Nana Connie & my sister!

Can’t wait to reunite with Nana Connie & my sister!

I woke up yesterday with a cold, but am trying not to focus on it. I’m trying to use mind over matter and stay positive and enjoy my trip. Let’s get this Three Things Thursday goin’, as I enjoyed my recent Friday Five and am feeling random today.

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From Left to Write Book Club: Raising My Rainbow

I received a copy of “Raising My Rainbow” free of charge for my participation in this book club. The book link below is an affiliate link.

It’s time for another From Left to Write book club post (though I’m getting this one up a bit late – oops!) and I’m excited this time to be writing alongside some blends! For those who missed my last post, From Left to Write encourages blogging not a review of each book, but a post on anything the book inspired. Yes, anything! I’m here today to write about gender stereotypes and kids, an obvious choice given the description of Lori Duron’s Raising My Rainbow:

“Parenting is not an easy job, but what happens when your son loves to wear dresses and plays with toys marketed for girls? Lori Duron encounters this and much more with her youngest son, CJ. In Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son, Duron shares her discovery about CJ’s gender non-conformity and how her family accepts him for who he is.”

Lori (before this book, she had and still has her blog of the same name) and her husband, Matt, do a great job of not pushing CJ to continue in typical “boy sports” he tries and quickly loses interest in. She mentions that if he asks her to take dance or art classes, she will enroll him and not try to change his mind. That’s great, but it also got me thinking about the amount of “gender-conforming” activities young boys (versus young girls) have available to them.

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The Execution of Noa P. Singleton: My Last Meal

I don’t think most are interested in reading a book review unless they’ve either read the book or are definitely planning to read it. That’s why I’m such a big fan of the concept of the From Left to Write online blogger book club. Instead of writing a book review, the book is meant to serve as a writing prompt or inspiration for a post in which I can draw on and blog about my own personal experiences.

July’s book is a debut fiction novel by Elizabeth L. Silver – The Execution of Noa P. SingletonThe story switches between narration by Noa in the first person and narration by the mother of the girl Noa is in prison for killing – in the form of letters to her dead daughter. Immediately Noa is revealed as being on death row for the murder of a girl named Sarah, but we don’t know how said murder or its trial occurred. Slowly, those occurrences are revealed. However, I’m not going to write about them. I’m going to write about a topic discussed at length in one chapter of the book – the last meal.

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From Left to Write March Book Club: Raising Cubby

Thanks to fellow CT blogger and bookworm Carrie of Poet in the Pantry, I recently joined the From Left to Write online book club and got accepted just in time to sign up to partake in reading March’s book, Raising Cubby: A Father & Son’s Adventures with Asperger’s, Trains, Tractors, & High-Explosives by John Elder Robison.

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My First Vlog: “Spirit Junkie” Reflections

Perfect timing, Universe! Gabby Bernstein’s latest vlog is on Body Image. I loved watching and wanted to point you all to her post so that you could watch too! Then watch my vlog, oh geez, I’ve set myself up for embarrassment 😉

I’ve been teasing you guys for awhile about a review and my reflections on Gabrielle Bernstein‘s “Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles”. Concepts from the book that resonated with me have already been mentioned here and there, but I’ve never written a full-on post.

Kinda wanna find this dress and make this my adorable Halloween costume this year. (Source)

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