Thursday, January 28, 2016

Moonlight over Paris

I really enjoy historical fiction books.  Specifically European based historical fiction books.  When I was given the opportunity to read Moonlight over Paris, I jumped all over it.  I have not read much fiction from the 1920s and this intrigued me.

Lady Helena survives a near death illness and promised herself as she lay ill in her bed that if she lived she would REALLY LIVE.  After healing from her illness she inquiries about art school and staying with her slightly ‘wild’ aunt in Paris.  She TELLS, not asks, her parents that she wants to try it out for one year.  They begrudgingly agree and off she goes on her adventure.

She spends a summer painting and reviving herself in the South of France.  She spends mornings painting and afternoons relaxing on the beach with family friends.  Returning from a day of painting she encounters a handsome American, Sam, who makes her promise to catch up with him when she gets to Paris.

When fall comes she moves into her aunt’s impressive house and begins art school where she meets a diverse close group of friends.  They encourage each other and become her lifeline in her new world.  She does eventually reconnect with Sam and a semi-romance blooms. 

Her art improves, her worldview improves and at the end of the year she returns home for a wedding and with a new knowledge about herself.

If you are looking for a quick light read this is your gem.  It has cameos from the Fitzgeralds and the Hemingways.  There were eye rolling moments for the love/romance part from me but it wasn't tooooo bad.

It makes me wish I could have been in Paris in the 1920s.  Ah, nostalgia for a world I never knew. 

I will say that the way Lady Helena’s growing up reminded me very much of how Downton Abbey would portray the time and it shocks me that even that close in the past women had no choices or could be RUINED by stupid rumors.  I do know that I am in a time period much better suited for my tastes. ;)

What light books have you read recently? Do you have any 1920s recommendations?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Virtual Coffee Date...

Good Monday morning!

I know I am needing the strong black coffee this morning.  I haven't posted one of these posts before but decided, why not?

If we were having coffee today, I'd tell you...  That I am all about the changes lately.  Now, the motivation isn't all there yet but the want for it is.  I'm usually slow on this but I'm making plans and focusing efforts on making it happen.  I really am glad I switched jobs 6 months ago! I am so much happier and that has helped me focus and make more changes.  I had a doctors appointment last month and last year for the first time ever I had high blood pressure.  This year? Back to normal.  I attribute this solely on the job change.  I did work out quite well for 3 months last year to help try to reduce stress but fell of that wagon.  But, I feel the difference in my body and it has been a great change!

If we were having coffee today, I'd tell you... that I was listening to the Happier podcast and really resonated with the idea of 'do not organize.'  I always say I am going to organize my office and I really just need to throw some stuff away.  I'm slowly getting better at this, but the bulk of what I really need to go through is my filing cabinet and then I would in theory throw almost all of it away and the piles that are on my desk that I want to save could go in the filing cabinet ha.  So yes, just throwing stuff away needs to happen.  Like I said above, getting the urge to make changes.. need the motivation to go through and pitch it during a nap time or at night.  I am not brave enough to throw without going through it yet!

If we were having coffee today, I'd tell you..   that in August we will have lived in our house for 10 years.  (will officially have that sucker paid off in 4 more years!!)  I am just now caring to decorate.  Most of our furniture is hand me downs.  We did buy two new chairs 3 years ago.  Our couch was a hand me down from 10 years ago and an end table came from my college apartment that I got free somewhere.  So yeah,  those two need to go this year! We also had work down on our ceilings last January and we finally need to hire someone to paint our upstairs and we are getting new carpet.  We just finally put up a new curtain rod and new curtains on our insanely large window after me hating it for 10 years.  In theory, I'd really just like to buy a new house but my husband is pretty set on this yard/location.  Plus, before we could sell it we need to do new carpet/paint like I mentioned and purge a ton of shit.  In 10 years we have re-done the kitchen, both bathrooms, new flooring upstairs,  re-done the laundry room and totally changed up one of the bedrooms (flooring and built in destruction).  I just want a new house.  Fresh, not old and with flaws. 

the new curtains.. nothing too exciting but so much better than the old ones! (as you can tell our window is huge!)

If we were having coffee today, I'd tell you..  I am so ready for summer.  We have three big plans made so far! Mackinaw Island trip, Port Crescent trip and Higgins Lake! So excited! I also bought a 10 visit pass to the zoo that I'm excited to use (along with the children's museum).  I can't wait to have my toes in the sand and a book in my hand!  I'm also trying to convince the hubby to splurge on a luxurious 10 year wedding anniversary trip next year.  I so want to do something, away, just the two of us. 


What's new with you? What is something you'd share if we were having coffee today?

Monday, January 18, 2016


Reading:  Moonlight over Paris by Jennifer Robson

Loving: My slippers.  Seriously.  I kind of want like 10 pairs.  And that my new curtains and my new curtain rod is up! FINALLY! We have lived in our house for almost 10 years and they were so gross and disgusting.  We have an insanely large window so it's been a process trying not to spend an arm and a leg while making sure we still block out sun and yada yada yada.

Thinking:  about life changes and how to make baby steps to make them a reality without being overwhelmed!

Frustrated: by winter.  I hate being cold.  Oh and people who are encouraging He Who Will Not Be Named  in his presidential campaign

Feeling:  glad that I had today as a paid holiday off and tomorrow as a sick day.  I was able to go to school with my kiddo today and have a lunch date with her and then tomorrow I can take her and then do my appointments and have an afternoon to myself!

Anticipating:  our summer trips.  The one good thing about a cold winter is that it is the perfect time to plan our summer camping trips! We have two booked and plans on where the third trip will be and will book that as soon as it opens up!

Watching: catching up on Blacklist a lot.  That and Madam Secretary.  Love that show.

Sad:  that my kid keeps asking questions about my grandpa who passed away.  I'm glad that she obviously had a connection and his sad that he's not here but it's sooo sad to have to explain this to a 4 year old. 

Working: on fixing my feet.  I'm hoping to have more insight soon.

Grateful: for days with my girl

Listening: to Serial and catching up on Get Booked podcasts..

Wishing: that we would have won the Powerball. ;)

What are you listening to, anticipating, and reading?

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 mileage and 2016 excercise plans

Last year I started out strong with a #mileaday challenge to utilize my Fitbit and get more active.  It worked --- BIG TIME.  January was my most active month all year and it set me up to be more healthy and lose inches.  And because I used what I knew about myself.  I have to work out every day or it will turn into zero days.  The commitment of one mile at least a day was huge and helped me then try new workouts with some walk/runs thrown in between.

Having made this commitment I decided to make a google doc and write down all of my run/walks.  Now I didn't always get every walk I took if it was not on the treadmill but I tried to remember.  I did not record all workouts because I would delete them after I completed them, also using a google doc.  I think for this coming year I shall record both workouts and mileage.

 Now like I said, knowing myself if I don't do it every day, I fall off hard.  And fall I did over the summer.  So all of the inches lost came back.  Plus some.  So regardless of how not high the numbers are, it was interesting to me.

Highest mileage month? 53.04 miles in January

Lowest mileage month? 0 in July.  Whoops.

Longest run/walk? 4.1 miles on January 23rd

Shortest run/walk/? .749 on December 27th

Most time spent on a run/walk? 63 minutes and 9 seconds on January 23rd]

Shortest time spent on a run/walk? 14 minutes on May 7th

Most run/walks in a month? January with 31

It was interesting looking at the months where there were lots of gaps.  Per my usual, there would be 2 or 3 days together and then a huge break and 2 days together and repeat.  I did fairly well until mid April then the year fell apart.  I tried again in November and got 11 straight days before my feet messed up on me again.  I've had major issues with them and I actually am talking to my doctor about it later this month.  But long story short they've made walking very painful and pretty much pushed me into more sitting around.  This past week or so I started out again with just walking and slowly increasing the minutes.  It seemed to be okay and then I tried running yesterday and that was apparently not okay. 

So I don't want to make any big grand plans for 2016 since I have no idea what the year holds for my feet and what not but barring any issues I'd like to...

-increase my total mileage
-record all run/walk
- tally up times spent run/walking
-record all workouts
- try more youtube workout videos

Do you record your workouts? What are your fitness goals for 2016?

Yearly total of miles? 138.259 miles