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Dishing with Dee….No Junk Food Challenge Week 1

dishing with dee 2

So I’m a little bit behind, but wanted to post a quick update of how week 1 went. Overall, I was proud of how I did – I had a point mid-week where I had a huge craving for soda. As in, I would have sold a body part for some, but I held out and drank lots of water instead (like a good girl). I was surprised that I wasn’t actually craving chocolate until Friday. Although that being said, I did continue to have my post-workout chocolate milk, since its full of good protein, so that could have explained why. I haven’t lost any real weight, but visually I see a difference.

Week 2 is going to be the hard one for me, its normally around this time, that I fall behind on challenges etc – so wish me luck!

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

TBR Tuesday – 7 April 2015

TBR TuesdayDance Upon the Air
Author: Nora Roberts
Series: #1 in Three Sisters Island series

Date Purchased: November 11, 2010

Review: As long as I’ve been reading romance, Nora Roberts has been a staple in my library – she is one of the few authors I can normally just grab and go – but there are a lot of her backlist that I haven’t ventured in to, although I own many of them. Dance Upon the Air, first published in 2001, is one of them. I think I grabbed the audiobook at a sale on Audible a few years ago. Unfortunately for me, while it is one of her older works, I also felt too much like her other paranormal trilogies/quartets – even now they start blending together. While the audiobook itself wasn’t long (in the 11 hour range), the book itself just felt like it dragged and I spent a good chunk of the time wanting to slap the main characters. This was a 2 star listen for me. Dance Upon the Air was a 2 star listen for me, the narrator was slightly better (3 stars for it)

What book did you discover on Mt TBR this week?

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2015 in TBR Tuesday, Uncategorized

 

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Dishing with Dee….A creature of habit

dishing with dee 2

If you ask any of my friends, they will tell you that I am a creature of habit – I have the same routine most mornings – leave for work within about the same 10 min window; stop for coffee at the same place (I mean, seriously, Wawa coffee is the bomb) and so on and so on. In fact, at times, I can be rather superstitious with my routine, because there have been days that I have deviated and all manner of things have gone wrong (like several years ago, Starbucks was closed in the morning, so no coffee for me – I was side-swiped by another car at an intersection and ended up giving my Itouch a bath – which meant having to replace it down the road) – now I know that it wasn’t due solely to the not having coffee in the am – but you have to wonder ;)

Anyways, you are probably wondering why I’m blathering about routines and coffee etc right now – because my routine this am was totally bungled (thank you DC morning traffic). When driving in to work, I merge onto a state highway and have to cross 4 lanes in about 1/2 a mile in order to get over for a) coffee and b) be in the right lane to get to work – but this morning, I wasn’t able to get over, thanks to some idiot who did the whole slow down/speed up routine to stop me from getting over…le sigh! Thankfully, nothing bad happened on the way into work, I had a killer omelette from the cafeteria downstairs for breakfast and its Friday! So here’s hoping it stays an awesome day!

How about you guys – are you creatures of routine, or fly by the seat of your pants types?

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2015 in Dishing with Dee, Uncategorized

 

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2015 Challenge – French Bingo

french-bingo-2015-logo2Ok, so I totally admit it, I’m a sucker for reading challenges – because I find that they are normally a quick and easy way to make me broaden my reading horizons without going too too far out of my comfort zone (although sometimes I really do). And who knows – maybe I’ll find a new authors that I love. Anyways, while browsing/stalking some of the various blogs that I follow, I came across Words and Peace who is hosting a Reader’s version of Bingo with a French theme (she also hosted it last year – I think I signed up and then epically failed – as in didn’t read anything). So I thought what the heck.

The goal is simple – as with normal bingo – you need to make a straight of 5 books – either horizontally, vertically or on the diagonal. Each square on the card has a different twist on France and French books (writers from different time periods; different genres etc).

The card looks like this (if you click on the link, it should take you to the original challenge page):
french bingo

In order to complete a square – read a book that fits the requirements; post a review on your blog and then link back to the challenge – and voila!

I’m looking forward to checking this out – and hopefully getting a BINGO some time during the year.

Wish Me Luck…

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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2015 First Book of the Year

first book of the year

Picking the first book to start in the new year is always a fun venture. Do I re-read a favorite that I have indulged in many times? A new book by a favorite author? A new release? Do I tackle one of the books loitering on my to-read pile or buy something brand spanking new? Those were just a few thoughts going through my mind as I considered how to approach this momentous task – because honestly, that first book of the year sets you up for your year or reading – if you start with a mediocre book, is that how your year is going to be? or vice versa, if you have a mind-blowing awesome book, then you are on track for a great year!

When I started considering the book I was going to start on the 1st (because that is how I decided to approach the task), I really only knew one thing – that the book somehow needed to find into one of the reading challenges I was doing in 2015.

the winter guestAfter much thought and consider, tossing and turning, I decided that my first book of 2015 would be The Winter Guest by Pam Jenoff. This will be my first stand-alone novel by this author, although, I did read and enjoy her contribution to an anthology in 2014.

The Winter Guest – Pam Jenoff
World War 2 Historical Fiction
Life is a constant struggle for the eighteen-year-old Nowak twins as they raise their three younger siblings in rural Poland under the shadow of the Nazi occupation. The constant threat of arrest has made everyone in their village a spy, and turned neighbor against neighbor. Though rugged, independent Helena and pretty, gentle Ruth couldn’t be more different, they are staunch allies in protecting their family from the threats the war brings closer to their doorstep with each passing day.

Then Helena discovers an American paratrooper stranded outside their small mountain village, wounded, but alive. Risking the safety of herself and her family, she hides Sam—a Jew—but Helena’s concern for the American grows into something much deeper. Defying the perils that render a future together all but impossible, Sam and Helena make plans for the family to flee. But Helena is forced to contend with the jealousy her choices have sparked in Ruth, culminating in a singular act of betrayal that endangers them all—and setting in motion a chain of events that will reverberate across continents and decades.

I’m looking forward to reading and starting off 2015 in style.

What was/is your first book of 2015?

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Happy New Year

blog happy new years

Wishing you a happy and fulfilling 2015

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

monday reading
I can’t believe that it is officially the last Monday of the year. I don’t know about you guys, but it seems like 2014 just flew by – I had a little great reading, lots of good reading and some disappointing reading. I discovered many new authors that I look forward to reading again and moved prior favorites from the auto-buy pile to the get from the library pile because they just don’t live up my expectations any more. As we enter the last 3 days of 2014, I have my normal multiple books in progress:

Listening:
light between oceansThe Light Between the Ocean – M.L. Stedman
After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

I picked this audiobook up after seeing it mentioned in a GR group and because it showed up on the popular book club books list and since I’m not in any real life groups, I was curious to see what groups (be they face to face or virtual) find interesting/choose often. I’m about halfway through right now and enjoying the story. The narrator is new to me, but I’m enjoying him so far – having grown up in Australia, typical “Australia” accents in audiobooks but me, but his works. I’m interested to see how the book finishes up.

Reading:
waistcoats weaponryWaistcoats & Weaponry – Gail Carriger
Sophronia continues second year finishing school in style — with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown. She, best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and charming Lord Felix Mersey stow away on train to return classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspects what or who would be aboard the suspiciously empty train.

I loved all of the books that I’ve read and listened to by this author – she is, IMHO, a good introduction to Steampunk (especially if you like a bit of a paranormal twist with Vampires/Werewolves). I listened to her Parasol Protectorate series and have been reading this series as its been released and can’t wait to see what Sophronia get’s up to in this newest book.

death cacheDeath Cache – Tiffinie Helmer
Loving her is murder…

She shouldn’t have played…

Gallery owner Tern Maiski has always had a way with men, but the one she gave her heart to disappeared without a word. Now he’s competing alongside her and four others in a high-tech treasure hunt, and her pride isn’t the only thing on the line. So is her life.

He doesn’t play by the rules…

Geophysicist Gage Fallon’s relationship with Tern has been cataclysmic from the beginning. He cared too much, too fast and their passion threatened to consume him. Now he’s back on firmer ground and competing in a game that will risk more than his heart.

Once their group is dropped off in a remote area near the Arctic Circle, it quickly becomes clear that instead of hunting for treasure, they’re the ones being hunted. And the killer is dead serious about caching them in.

Ms Helmer is an author that I see recommended quite often on Amazon for someone with a unique voice in contemporary romance today and based on the one book I’ve read by her, I have to agree. I love the Alaska setting and you can tell that the author does significant research into the topic she is writing about. I’m only a couple of chapters into this book right now, but already intrigued with the whole adventure Caching thing (I have some friends who are super into it and i’m intrigued to maybe try it in the New Year).

LTSSLiar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War – Karen Abbott
Karen Abbott illuminates one of the most fascinating yet little known aspects of the Civil War: the stories of four courageous women—a socialite, a farmgirl, an abolitionist, and a widow—who were spies.

After shooting a Union soldier in her front hall with a pocket pistol, Belle Boyd became a courier and spy for the Confederate army, using her charms to seduce men on both sides. Emma Edmonds cut off her hair and assumed the identity of a man to enlist as a Union private, witnessing the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. The beautiful widow, Rose O’Neale Greenhow, engaged in affairs with powerful Northern politicians to gather intelligence for the Confederacy, and used her young daughter to send information to Southern generals. Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy Richmond abolitionist, hid behind her proper Southern manners as she orchestrated a far-reaching espionage ring, right under the noses of suspicious rebel detectives.

I probably never would have picked this book up if I hadn’t seen the negative review for it in the Washington Post and subsequent discussions on the authors portrayal of events that occurred during the Civil War. So when I saw it on the new release shelf at the library I had to grab it. I’m about half-way through right now, but like the authors writing style and while there is a lot of detail, it is also a quick read (likely due to the typeset used). I’m trying to take my time reading it to absorb all the details.

stftStrength Training for Triathletes: The Complete Program to Build Triathlon Power, Speed, and Muscular Endurance – Patrick S. Hagerman
“Strength Training for Triathletes” offers a comprehensive strength training program for triathlon that will help triathletes build power, speed, and muscular endurance for faster racing over any race distance.

Certified USA Triathlon coach and NSCA Personal Trainer of the Year Patrick Hagerman, EdD, reveals a focused, triathlon-specific strength training program that will enable triathletes to push harder during training and on the race course when the effort is hardest. Triathletes who master this progressive strength training program will also become more resistant to injury, meaning fewer missed workouts.

“Strength Training for Triathletes” features 75 of the most effective strength training exercises for triathlon swimming, cycling, and running plus core strength and general conditioning. Full-color photographs illustrate each simple exercise, which are grouped so athletes can focus on their own individual performance limiters. Hagerman simplifies the science underlying strength training, offering easy-to-follow guidelines on resistance and reps that will make triathletes stronger through every phase of the season.

This is a review book from the publisher that I am currently reading. In 2014, I completed my first Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a 26.2 run) and looking forward to doing another one in 2015. But I know that I need to factor in some strength training into my training program. So far, this book has done a good job in breaking down how to develop a training plan based on goals and I am about to get to the actual information about various exercises. While I have the kindle version to read, my one complaint is that tables haven’t come across well (formatting has been removed), so I see myself buying the print version in the future.

YfRYoga for Runners – Christine Felstead
As a runner, you strike the ground 1,000 times per mile, with a force of two to three times your body weight. You can feel that impact in the muscles, ligaments, and bone structures throughout your body. Thankfully, “Yoga for Runners” addresses both the physical and mental demands of the sport. Whether you are new to yoga or have practiced for years, “Yoga for Runners” provides you with the most effective poses–88 poses in all. Each pose is described in detail to ensure correct execution, maximizing the physical benefit and decreasing the risk of injury.

You’ll learn how simple yoga techniques can be incorporated into your existing running workouts and routines to eliminate chronic aches and pains. Discover how each pose can be sequenced to address a specific need, such as strengthen and lengthen the hamstrings, strengthen and increase mobility of the hip joint, eliminate lower-back and upper-body discomfort, speed the recovery process after a practice run or a race, maintain a strong core, or just restore and rejuvenate to prepare for an upcoming event. These sequences target all troublesome muscle regions. Anatomical illustrations and descriptions explain why these poses and sequences decrease your risk of acute or chronic injury as well as why they are beneficial to your training regimen.

After just a few weeks of following “Yoga for Runners,” you will feel stronger, more balanced, more in tune with your breathing, and more aware of your posture and technique. Your entire running experience–endurance, strength, breathing, and mental sharpness–will be more productive, positive, and enjoyable.

As with strength training, I know that I also need to building some Yoga/flexibility training into my workout plan – while this book is focused specifically on how Yoga can help runner’s, a lot of the issues also apply to cycling and I can see how I would be able to adjust recommendations to encompass cycling issues/imbalances. I borrowed this book from the library, but I can see myself buying it for reference in the future.

How about you – what are you reading on this last Monday of 2014?

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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