Tag Archives: reading

From Left to Write Book Club: The Idea of Him

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

I have been a bad From Left to Write book club member lately. I either don’t have time to read the books, or I read them and end up not getting around to posting or posting late (like I am today). But I figure better late than never is definitely true, especially when I enjoyed the book so much. The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson is definitely what I’d call “fun” fiction or “beach reading”, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t recommend it to someone looking for just that! I had a hard time putting this one down and found myself staying up late to read it. Always the sign of a good read.

ideaofhim

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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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Weekend With My BB – Part One

Thanks to all who entered my giveaway for two Anchor Bay fitness DVDs – I received 193 entries! The two winners are…

Laurel and Angela!

Congrats, ladies! I will be contacting you for your shipping information. Can’t wait to hear what you think of the DVDs! And now, onto today’s weekend recap (part one!)…

During Friday’s drive from work to the gym, I was itching with excitement. Yes, I felt pumped to get to the gym after taking a semi-active rest day the day before. But I felt MORE pumped for what would be arriving in Glastonbury after my gym trip – Heather, my best blend!

Cheers!

My BB drove from MA to CT to stay for the weekend. We both absolutely craved the same things Friday night – wine, salad, and pajamas. Consider it done!

My mom captured the bloggers at work!

I purchased a bottle of Pinot Grigio for the perfect price of $7! I’d sampled this Pinot, from Lulu B Wines, at the Yelp Helps! event in Hartford recently. It was definitely Instagram-worthy, as you can see above, and also tastebud worthy! I find that white wines are way easier to “do cheap” than reds!

Using glasses from Chamard Vineyards!

Heather and I like to buy each other little gifts when we see things that remind us of each other (you can vomit now), and we weren’t even surprised when we pulled out bags from the same store (our little piece of heaven, Urban Outfitters) when it came time to exchange presents.

Who’da thunk it?!

I love giving people presents. I’ve been known to find someone the PERFECT birthday gift, and buy it, regardless of whether the birthday is a week or almost a year away! Hanging onto the gift becomes difficult. I only got Heather’s gift last weekend, but have been so anxious to give it to her since!

And for good reason! I knew this would be Heather’s face when she opened her present – a large photo book containing a history of the Beatles through FASHION! I don’t know much about the Beatles (don’t judge me) but I do know she loves them, and loves the fashion of the 60s (and beyond). Also, the book was $2 .Yup. Purchasing it for her was kinda a no-brainer.

Wet hair, don’t care.

The notebook on the right literally lists the benefits of drinking coffee – as if I needed any convincing to consume it daily – and is so perfect for grad school. Especially since I just started back this past Thursday! I love the contrasting stripe and polka dot patterns of the notebook on the left. They’re sure to get my creative juices flowing, which is appropriate since Heather purchased the notebook for the specific purpose of my continued journey with #AmazingMe. Um, #AmazingHeather! I’m so touched by her constant support.

The pan in the center has curried sweet potatoes from Whole Foods (plus ketchup) that we made extra crispy in the oven. Le duh.

We’d planned to add re-runs of “The Hills” to our salad-and-wine soiree, but they were not available on MTV.com. Never fear! We were better off moving ourselves and all our “gear” down to my basement to use Netflix. Five or six episodes later, we were in major #jadorelavie mode.

I also need to give Lauren Conrad props for having the BEST bitch faces ever.

I awoke with an annoying stab-my-eyes out headache, but I wasn’t too concerned. Heather and I had plans to visit the local Bikram Yoga studio. I had 9 classes from a Groupon to use and she’s a big fan, so we thought it was an appropriate Saturday morning BB workout. And a workout it was! Not only did I feel physically challenged, but also mentally. I noticed that whenever my mind started to wander, my balance did too! My desire to hold poses longer and more correctly drove me to bring my mind back to the present. The practice felt hardest to me during all the transitions to and from savasana, as strange as that sounds. The switching between lying on my back and whatever mat pose was next really got the blood flowing to and from my head, which made me feel light-headed and set my heart to a racing pace at times. That might sound scary, but I still felt in control of my body – just challenged as well. I felt like my heart and lungs were fighting to get stronger! I always discover something physically and mentally new about myself when I practice yoga, particularly a style as extreme as Bikram.

The post-Bikram glow – and HLS headband!

After showering and packing a snack bag (priorities, people), we went to our special Glastonbury spot – Daybreak Coffee Roasters. Every time Heather visits Glastonbury, our time together is not complete without a blogging session at Daybreak, just as my visits to her are not complete without a Wildflour trip (which must include a scone).

Of course my standard cottage cheese and fruit snack was on stand-by!

We ordered Pumpkin Spice (Heather) and Southern Pecan (me) French press coffees. In mugs, for ultimate coziness.

All set up with her protein oats!

We both were super productive thanks to our fresh fuel and cups of joe! And super zen thanks to the morning’s yoga and the peaceful atmosphere of Daybreak.

Thanks for the labels, Daybreak!

Afterwards, we went to Sonoma Wines & Spirits, my favorite package store ever, to help my mom pick out some craft beers. Sonoma has a great selection of singles of unique beers from smaller brands, and customers can build their own six pack AND get 10% off! Later in the day, I joined my mom in sampling some of the Dogfish Head Burton Baton and Sierra Nevada Hoptimum. We both agreed the Hoptimum was the winner!

Beer in a Coca-Cola glass, classic.

Perfect for Tennessee football viewing!

We obviously had to do a photoshoot outside of Sonoma. Because that’s what bloggers do.

Sonoma – and Heather’s fishtail braid skills – rock!

We had another Whole Foods experience for our late lunch, but managed to spend a bit less money this time.

Heather’s awe of how “cute” my town is totally made me realize that I sometimes take it for granted. I DEFINITELY used to in high school. I’m glad that since moving back home, I’ve learned about the treasures my town has to offer. One of the cute gift shops we visited, Emmy Lou’s, also happened to be home to Heather’s favorite type of dog, a corgi.

Awkward…

This particular corgi was named Tasha, and she was literally camera shy – as in, afraid of cameras! Opposite of a blogger. A hilarious attempt to get a photo of Heather and Tasha together ensued.

Corgi fail!

Corgi isn’t having this shit.

Seeing Heather laugh that hard was pretty awesome.

Tasha is over it.

Thanks to the shop/corgi owner, we got a good photo!

After our Glastonbury adventures were done, we went back to my house and I watched the football game with my mom (and my beer) while Heather read her book. Seeing my friends read makes me so happy, since I’m such a bookworm! We took some time to read each other favorite passages, both of her book and my latest (which I plan to do a post on soon). After more episodes of “The Hills” (can’t stop, won’t stop), we set off for dinner. To be continued…

You can read Heather’s take on our first adventures here 🙂 and more to come from me!

Cheap wines, red and/or white…do you buy/drink them?

Which old show could you watch endless re-runs of?

Have you ever tried Bikram yoga?

Sweat and Food

Please take a moment to vote for me (up to 10 times…a day…) in round one of the Hartford Courant 2012 Websters for CT’s Best Blogs! I’m nominated for Best Overall Blog, Best Health Blog, Best Food Blog, and Best Social Media Account! Thank you to those who nominated me, and voting for round one closes this Friday 3/30 at 11:59PM EST.

I’m glad that so many of you seemed to enjoy yesterday’s post about my appreciation for the friendships my blog has brought me! Sounds like a lot of you can relate – and that’s a great thing!

My makeshift home yoga "area"…computer booting up to play P90X Yoga this morn! My #PROOF.

I feel like it’s been forever since I just wrote about what was on my mind (instead of recapping the latest and greatest restaurants and events). I love doing that, but I also find it really therapeutic and cleansing, cheesy as that sounds, to just write whatever is on my mind! And based off of comments and feedback from my readers, it seems those posts are often enjoyed MORE than the ones where I share my delectable eats. Perhaps I’m giving you guys too much food porn? Do I need to take it away for awhile? 😉 OBVIOUSLY I’m kidding.

Typical healthy eats food porn…some may drool, some may wrinkle their noses.

I had a great workout yesterday. I have to share it with you guys! I did an hour-long spin class that totally kicked my butt and had me pouring sweat. I just LOVE how sweating makes me feel. It’s more refreshing than jumping into a pool on a hot day. Downside of sweating, just like getting out of a pool sometimes – I was FREEZING after that spin class. Complete icicle. Even 20 minutes of arm-breaking (don’t worry, not literally) weights after the class couldn’t warm me up. Once I got home I realized why – my sports bra, AKA undergarment completely 100% in contact with my skin, was totally drenched through. I don’t remember the last time it was like that after a workout. I TOLD you I sweated like a mad woman!

I came home and after a refreshing, HOT shower, I went upstairs to see what was for dinner. I was craving CARBS like a mad lady. No surprise after 1.5 hours at the gym! Thank goodness, my mom had heated up the last of our free Dr. Oetker’s Organic Veggie Frozen Pizzas that I received through a BzzAgent campaign, thanks to a coupon. She added garlic and leftover steamed broccoli to the pie, and heated it in the oven on a pizza stone. Perfection! After a few more minutes under the broiler, and with a pile of black beans for protein, this really hit the spot.

I also had half of a turkey burger, and later sampled some of my new Love Grown Foods granola (review/giveaway to come once I’ve tried every flavor!) with 0% plain Greek yogurt. I had it while reading the first 18 pages of my latest library find, “The Summer Without Men” by Siri (lol) Hustvedt. I already LOVE this book and am already gonna say that I recommend it to all of you , even though I’m 18 pages in.

I will leave you with this hilarious gem…someone playing a prank on my cubicle neighbor at work!

Do you ever get really cold after a workout, because of how much you sweat?

What did you have for dinner last night?

Have you ever read the book above, or any of Siri’s other books?