Amazing Book

I just finished the most recent book I have been reading called Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight.  It is a serious page turner (or finger swipper if you are reading on a kindle like me)!

ameliaThe book is about a single mother who’s young daughter jumps off the roof of her school.  The story follows the mother trying to discover if her daughter’s death truly was a suicide, the daughters story leading up to her death and the mothers story around the time of her daughter’s conception until all three of these plots come together as one in the end.  The story is beautifully crafted and wonderfully surprising.  I literally couldn’t stop reading it.

If you are looking for a book to drag you in and hold on, this is the one you are looking for.  I spent the past two nights up way to late reading it and I honestly wish it wasn’t over.

HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend!!

Take Advantage of Your Life

This weekend was a rare occasion where Casey went out of town without me.  He went to a concert in Atlanta and I wasn’t sure what my work situation was going to be when we were deciding if I could go or not.  So that meant after dropping him off Saturday, I was on my own.

I went straight home and hit the road for my 7 mile run which was amazing.  I truly enjoyed all of it, at 1:30 in the afternoon on August 2nd!  The weather was “crappy” all weekend by everyone elses’ standards but it was idyllic for a runner!  It rained off and on the whole time and it felt incredible.

When I got home, I jumped in the shower, then on my bike to head downtown and do some tax free shopping!!

IMG_1775I went shopping for two things: Casey’s birthday and navy tee shirts for me to wear to work.  Casey made out like a bandit.  Quicksilver was doing 2 shirts, shorts, flip flops and sandals for $99.  Considering the shorts I was going to get him were $65 alone I just went for the whole shebang.  I can’t even believe that was a real thing, I save $154 on what I got him.  He made out way better than I did, no navy tees for me.  What a simple thing to not be able to find.

When I got home, I spent some time sitting on the porch reading my book and letting the dogs run outside in between the rain.  I watched our friends dog yesterday and today it is always good when Scar and Cho get some time outside.

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IMG_1779Eventually I came in to make a dinner that Casey wouldn’t appreciate: a HUGE plate of shrimp with Rice, Quinoa, Red Lentils and Barley and Asparagus.  It was delicious and that rice mix was amazing.

IMG_1778Today held a lot of the same, except my 14 miler and some yoga.  I was so worried about this run after last week being such a disaster.  I was getting really nervous if I was just super out of shape and if my fall marathon may not happen this year.  Before I headed out I spent 20 minutes doing some deep stretch yoga.  Thank goodness I can say that my concerns were quelled after a flawless 14 miler.  I went over the bridge into old mount pleasant, out to pitt street pier (where there were sooooo many people out) and did a loop on back home.  It went so well.  Again it was cloudy and misty and about 80 degrees, night and day compared to last week.

Once I got home and showered I ran out to do some errands and came home to do the final piece of my Casey-is-out-of-town-weekend: cleaning, baking and laundry.  I took some of the cookies I made to meet the new neighbors (August 1st is the move in date around Charleston so we literally have 25 new neighbors).

Trail Mix Cookies

Trail Mix Cookies

These turned out way better than I anticipated so I will have to get the recipe added!

So I would say I definitely took advantage of my life and my weekend alone.  It was wonderful, and it still isn’t over.  The rest of the night I am trying to finish this book I am reading, it is amazing.  Review to come.

Hope you had a great weekend and great long run as well!

Productivity

This morning started bright and early because I had to get my run in before work today.  As difficult as dragging myself out at 6am is, running in the 95 degree heat and humidity is 10x harder.  When I get it done I am always glad for it the rest of the day.

After a reasonably productive day at work I headed home to hang out for a few minutes before going to sushi happy hour as a going away party for the PT that is leaving.  It is crazy that I only met her last Tuesday, it feels so much longer and I was sad to see her go.  It also means I am truly the lead PT starting tomorrow.  CRAZY!

Once I biked my way home from dinner I felt motivated to get some much needed cleaning done in our house.  The living room and downstairs bathroom were really hurting for it.  The silly thing is that the whole ordeal only took 30 minutes and I am a much happier camper.   I have been trying out a cleaning “schedule” this week and I think it is really something I will benefit from.

Monday- Kitchen; Tuesday- Up Stair Bathroom; Wednesday- Downstairs Bathroom; Thursday- Living Room; Friday- Bed Room; Saturday- Laundry; Sunday- Fridge Clean.

We will see how well I can keep up with it but so far it’s been great, only spending 15-20 minutes each day while keeping everything pretty manageable.

Once my cleaning chores were finished, I went out on the porch to enjoy some time reading my book.  It is called We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.  I am about 65% finished with it (gotta love the kindle) and am curious to see where it is going.  My mom read it in about a day and really liked it, said the ending was quite a surprise.  She actually found it because it was likened to Gone Girl which I loved.

IMG_1773Hope you are enjoying your summer as much as I am.  Off to watch an episode of House of Cards with Casey before hitting the hay.

WIAW: Poor Planning

This morning started in my regular lazy fashion with a cup of coffee and some cereal for breakfast while I finished yet another book (A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby).  I am really loving this oatmeal squares.  They were on sale at our grocery store and I had a coupon so I got a box and immediately went back for a second box after trying them out.  They aren’t super sweet and actually keep me sustained for quite a while.

IMG_1517After finishing my book and lazing around for a while, I headed off the babysit.  However, this is where my poor planning began.  I left to go there at 11:30 (before lunch) and took nothing with me to eat leaving me to make enough sustenance from another person’s fridge (which I hate doing).   That lead to a lunch consisting of a few pieces of cheese, wheat thins and a few peanut butter M&Ms.

IMG_1519IMG_1520IMG_1521After leaving there, I went to run a few errands, you know exciting stuff like the bank and getting dog food, donating old clothes/shoes/books.  By the time I made it home I was actually starving.  Turns out a few crackers and pieces of cheese don’t exactly cut it as lunch for this girl so I had a snack of granola and yogurt, major shocker.

Seriously addicted to this stuff

Seriously addicted to this stuff

After job searching for a bit and delving into a new book, I decided to get my run in.  It was a lot cooler this evening after the past few nights of absolute scorchers.  Upon arrival home, I realized not only had I completely failed at lunch, I wasn’t set up to do much better with dinner.  I thought I had enough veggies and what not from the market last week to get up through to the weekend but I was quite mistaken.  Luckily Casey whipped up some delicious turkey burgers and some sweet fries we have had on reserve in the freezer for god only knows how long.

IMG_1525Not exactly the picture of nutrition but it was delicious and it absolutely could have been worse.

Hope your day in food looked a little better than mine.  Proper planning really does prevent poor performance, that is for sure.

Perks of Unemployment

I warn you that my nerd is coming out in a big way today.  One of my favorite perks of unemployment at the moment is being able to read ALL . THE . TIME .  In the past week I have read 3 fabulous books that I will not hesitate to say should make it to your summer reading list.  I will recap in the order I read them.

The Maze Runner

maze runnerThis is one of my little brother’s favorite books and after he told me I had to read it and I found out it is going to be a movie in the fall, I added it to my list.  It is another teenage, dystopian novel where the first few chapters you are thinking, “what the heck, this is so strange.”  But then you let all that go and just have to keep reading to figure out where in the world this could be going.  Basically, a teenage boy finds himself in the middle of this maze, without any of his life memories and all these strange boys surrounding him.  He and the boys are on a mission to find the way out and things just get weirder from there.  And of course, the end leaves you on a major cliff hanger so I already have the next one on hold at the library!

The Sandcastle Girls

Sandcastle GirlsThis one is the book we chose for our book club this month/two months.  The author says repetitively and it is so true, the book is about the genocide you know next to nothing about.  It is about the Armenian genocide in 1915 and is fascinating and devastating all at once.  It kind of makes me sick to think too much about it.  Did you know 1.5 million people died in this genocide, yet it is nearly never talked about.  I have to admit the story didn’t grab me from the beginning (though I was very preoccupied with my current life situation and was getting distracted while I was reading) but about half way through I started to see where it was going.  A young girl from Boston is basically viewed as wild and unruly so her father takes her on an aid mission to help the victims of the genocide and bring aid.  The story is about her meeting all sides of the tragedy from the soldiers, the natives and victims themselves.  It was a wonderful, and tragic story.  Definitely worth the read!

Necessary Lies

necessary liesI have to start with the fact that Diane Chamberlain is one of my favorite authors of all time.  I literally read this book in a day and a half.  I couldn’t stop reading it!  I don’t think I have ever read a book by her that I wasn’t thrilled with!! This book takes place in the South (North Carolina) in the 1960’s.  It follows the story of a recently married woman who is new to social work and one of the families she is servicing.  The main topic of the story: Sterilization of mentally handicapped, epileptic and basically poor people on welfare that they could essentially “neuter.”  The terrible part, this really happened…UNTIL 1975!!  How unbelievable is that.  Of the three I would recommend reading this first, but I just finished it so I am especially fired up about it at the moment.

All these books were fantastic and I would highly recommend any one of them (all very different from one another though).

Have you read anything awesome that I can add to my “unemployment reading list?”

Finally Human

After being laid up for the past three days I was so relieved to wake up a real human again today.  I still have a little residual sneeze/cough and stuffy nose but I could actually function in society today.  Tuesday was the worst, I was maybe awake a total of 2 hours; I couldn’t even read because my eyes hurt so bad.  It was THE WORST!!

The extent of my last few days (except Tuesday when even this was too much).

The extent of my last few days (except Tuesday when even this was more than I could handle).

I finished Labor Day yesterday and am anxious to watch the movie.  It was a really good book, though a bit odd.  You just have to leave your judgements at the cover because this is quite a strange family and an equally bizarre story.  It was quite good though and I flew through it.  I have another book by her on my list called After Her.  Hoping to be equally pleased.

laborday

With days of doing nothing behind me, I was rip raring to work out today (and really just get outside).  However, I had squandered the beautiful spring days that were Monday-Wednesday and came back to life just in time for 95 degrees, no breeze and like 99% humidity.  YAY SUMMER!  I got in a little less than four miles (I figured I should still take it easy after being so ill) and I was sweating like a pig when I was done.  Before my run, I got in a little yoga flow too because I was getting impatient for it to (sort of) cool off.  It was actually a really challenging video (at least for me) and had me sweating a good bit.

I made the executive, in my thoughts smart, decision to restart my six week goals next week.  After missing two days this week, the last thing I need to do coming back from illness is over load the next few days trying to make up missed miles and push ups.  What is life without changing, and re-changing plans.

Hope you have had a good few days!!  Finally feeling up for the beach tomorrow, can not wait!!

How Sundays Should Be

Today I finally got to sleep in and it was phenomenal!  I woke up alarm free at 9:30, read my book for a bit and bummed around until I had to leave for my quick 3 mile run to go meet Hannah for a yoga class.  We found a class that was only $7 for a drop in; only downside is that they are remodeling their studio so it was in kind of a weird place and everyone walking down the street could look in on us…awkward!

The class itself was great though and was PERFECT for me.  It wasn’t too hard but definitely challenged me and helped to soothe my sore muscles after my long run yesterday.  More importantly, we went to this really great place called One Shot for brunch afterward.

I was in love with Hannah's little tea pot.  And I had never had a Cronut (I am so behind the times) so we each got a mini cronut to try!

I was in love with Hannah’s little tea pot. And I had never had a Cronut (I am so behind the times) so we each got a mini cronut to try!

I have such a soft spot for huevos rancheros and these were gorgeous (and delicious)!

I have such a soft spot for huevos rancheros and these were gorgeous (and delicious)!

Hannahs oatmeal (I forget what it was called) but it had bananas, honey, coconut milk and coconut shreds.  Pretty much awesome!

Hannahs oatmeal (I forget what it was called) but it had bananas, honey, coconut milk and coconut shreds. Pretty much awesome!

 

After lounging around the coffee shop for a while, Hannah brought me home and I have done nothing but some laundry, read my book and most importantly watched the play off games.  I am quite thankful for the 49ers win so I can have a happy Casey!

It has been such a great day to unwind and relax before starting the week again, especially after this week was a little hectic trying to figure out the best routine.  I am sure once I really get it down I will be getting ready to leave.  Such is life!

Weekly Workout Recap

Running: 36.83 miles

Yoga: 115 minutes

Strength: none

Need to get on that strength this week for sure!

Book Review: Fall of Giants

Fall of giantsIf you are in search of a new book to read, this one is FANTASTIC.  It took me a little over a month to read but was totally worth it!

This book is the first in the Century Trilogy.  The Second is Called Winter of the World and the third is Edge of Eternity (not released until next fall).

The story follows various families from all over the world through the first world war.  Each character’s tale is woven together seamlessly with the next in such a masterful way.  The writing is remarkable and gives such a vivid depiction of what occured.  The best part, I ACTUALLY know what happened in World War I now.  For those of you that are good with the details don’t judge me but I feel like World War II was much more emphasized in school and I had a much better grasp on the events.  That being said, I can’t wait to dive in to the second one that is about WWII.

Side Note: The Book Thief which I read last year is being made into a move coming out November 8th.  It looks fantastic and I enjoyed the books so much, I just hope it does justice to the novel.

For now I am tackling Allegiant, the last of the Divergent series and I am devouring it.  So good!!  Though if you are like me I recommend brushing up on what happened at the end of the second one (Insurgent) so you are up to speed because it starts right in on the action!

You know you’re a nerd when…

I officially am on break now!!  Wooo hoo.  Camp ended today so I have 11 glorious days to not have to go to school!!  I do have some school related activities to do (CARES clinic, a peds project, study for comps) but since I have already passed my comp exam which we have to take again when after we go back (I think on the 26th) I am much less stressed about cramming hard for it.

Today, immediately after finishing camp I rode my bike over to the library to find a new book or two for break.  I got a little ambitious…

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I had picked out three and then when I went to check out “And the Mountains Echoed” had come in that I put on hold like three months ago and have forgotten so out I walked with four books!!  Tomorrow I will hopefully be going to the beach with a few friends, after my long run and our weekly farmers market trip, and can do a lot of reading there!

The rest of the day I finished the book I had been reading and went for a very hot easy (pace wise) run.  I finished my run at the dog park and had Casey and Scarlett meet me there which was a great way to end and cool down!

Good luck on your long runs tomorrow/Sunday everyone!!

End of the Streak

So congrats to all those that joined me for my April streaking, we did it!!

A month long streak would look something like this…

Streak

I have never done a streak before and I kinda loved it.  It was nice not to worry about when I would take a rest day during the week, there were none!  The only times it became a little bit of a burden were the days I went to hot yoga and went to run a few miles first.  I will be nice to see how much using that energy before class was making a difference next week.

I also decided since today was the last day of my streak that I would finish my audio book (there were 57 minutes left, perfect time for a good, steady run)!  This book was fantastic and I highly recommend it.

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult Image from: jodipicoult.com

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
Image from: jodipicoult.com

This book was a multigenerational story that starts focused solely on the grand daughter Sage and her trials and tribulations.  Then she meets Joseph Weber who becomes her friend and reveals that he was a SS officer in WWII.  This spurs Sage to ask her Jewish grandmother, Minka, who had survived the Holocaust her story.

This story was phenomenal but was brutally honest.  I feel like most of the WWII books I have read tell a story of people that got away, got lucky, and don’t get down to what actually happened.  There were times I found myself crying, WHILE I WAS RUNNING, listening to the stories of Joseph and Minka.  The grandmother’s story is horrifying and beautiful and disgusting all at the same time.

I have read all of Jodi’s books but this one was so different to me.  I think this may be one of my favorites of hers now.  I highly, highly recommend it!!

Today also marked the last major study day because tomorrow is my LAST FINAL!!  Woo hoo.  Send me some love at 9 am tomorrow!!

Have you read The Storyteller?  What did you think?  If you have read others of Jodi Picoult’s novels, which is your favorite?