Sunday, May 24, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!

Hello good fine people of the world wide web... how is your Memorial Day going? Mine started off crazy busy, and has slowly segued into nice and relaxing... everything a Memorial Day weekend should be! And the weather is G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S. Warm, sunny, clear skies... perfect Memorial Day weekend weather!

Well, we got our new carpet installed on Friday, and let me tell you, it was an ORDEAL. We had to essentially pack up our entire apartment and move everything either onto the balcony or our bathrooms. It was not easy, and it was not fun. I slept very little on Thursday and Friday night, because I was so busy frantically packing and unpacking my entire room and all of my stuff in the other rooms in the apartment. The carpeting guys were kind of jerks and seemed agitated that we had not moved everything out of the way before they got there, but there was just some stuff that we could not physically lift ourselves, and they copped a bit of an attitude about that. Most guys would be honored to help two fine ladies move furniture and heavy boxes, but not these guys. It took a lot longer than we expected- they didn't leave until about 2:30- and the rest of Friday and Saturday was devoted to piecing our apartment back together, unpacking everything, multiple trips to storage and trash bins, etc. On a really hot day at that. It wasn't fun!!! I was more than happy for it to be over! And I will say this- it is a very nice carpet. It's very soft and comfy! I don't know if it was quite worth all the hassle my poor roommate and I had to go through, but it is nice.

We took advantage of the fact that all of our stuff was in disarray and rearranged the apartment a little- we moved furniture around to make the apartment look more spacious, and we set up a "Reading Corner"! We took an armchair and angled it at a corner of our apartment, and it's right next to all of our bookcases, but still in view of the TV. It's not finished yet because we haven't organized our books yet- my roommate and I are both out of shelf space, and need new bookshelves- but once we have it all set up and organized, I'll post a pic! Needless to say, I am very excited for Reading Corner. :-D

I also cleaned out and reorganized my room, threw away a ton of old stuff that I'd been hanging onto for years, organized stuff like photos and cards, etc. My room looks amazing! I can't remember the last time I had such a clean and well-organized bedroom. Want to take bets on how long it lasts? ;-) Nah, kidding. I'm really going to try to keep it this way.

While I was going through a bunch of old stuff, I came across a birthday card that my dad had given me about five years ago. It's beautiful. It's black and white with a flower on it (not sure what kind- an orchid maybe? I'm florally deficient), and on the front it says, "Savor each day for the gift that it is." I read it and immediately started to cry. It made me thank God that I'm a pack rat who holds on to everything. And in light of everything that's happened this year, that sentence couldn't be more true.

I had my room all finished up by Saturday night, and I've spent the rest of the weekend thoroughly exhausted!!! I did manage to make it to the gym today- first time since Wednesday, and I'm glad I went, I was itching to get there!- but my legs were definitely sore after my workout, and the rest of the afternoon consisted of sitting on the couch and watching the Phillies beat the Yankees (in a nail-biter game.... they won by one run in extra innings!!!). It felt so glorious just to park my ass on the couch and be completely lazy. :-) Okay, not completely lazy... I did do laundry and change the cat's litter. But it took effort!!!! I had no idea how physically exhausting and mentally taxing the whole carpet ordeal would be. It was basically like moving, only I didn't go anywhere- I moved into the same damn apartment! I hadn't thought there would be so much involved, honestly. I definitely underestimated the work that would need to go into this- the apartment complex had given us a checklist of things to do before the carpeting company got there, but it was extremely vague, like "clear off bookshelves", "unplug stuff from walls", etc. Nowhere did it say, "Put everything you own into boxes and move them into bathrooms or the balcony." It did say we had to get our stuff off the floor, but where are you supposed to put an entire apartments' worth of boxes if you cannot use your floor? Should I have waved my magic wand and had all the boxes suspended in the air, a la Harry Potter? Seriously! I'm either seriously lazy or a serious baby, because I feel like at this point, I should be recovered from it all by now. What's wrong with me??? :-D

I've really gotten into The Feminine Mystique, as much as I could this weekend, anyway. Last night I climbed into bed with every full intention of reading, opened my book, and realized that I was too mentally and physically exhausted to concentrate on processing words. :-D Oh. My. God. This book is SOOOO good! I'm still a little too worn out to get into the details right now, so look for a more thorough and competent review tomorrow. Right now, I'm still feeling tuckered out from the weekend, and am just ready to park my booty in bed! ;-D

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Crazy busy week= slacker blog

Hello, friends! Just wanted to let you know that posting will be even MORE sporadic than usual, because it's a bust week at work, and I'm in the midst of organizing/clearing stuff off shelves and floors to get ready for our carpet installation on Friday. But here's a quick update on my week so far:

*I finished up A Deadly Game, which was really good. I started a new book, The Feminine Mystique. So far, it's flipping awesome. This should be required reading for all women. More details to follow. Here's the book:

 DSCI1398 I got this baby for thirty-three cents at a paperback book sale... BOO-YA!!!   :-D

*I'm working hard at maintaining a positive attitude/looking on the bright side of life, and I think it's really working- I'm feeling much better these days, about work and life in general!   :-)

*I found a piece of glass in my applesauce today!!!! NOT cool.

*I'm still eating awesome sweet potato combos. I do have pics, but it's all stuff you've seen before. Use your imagination! Like tonight's will be a Gardenburger Savory Portabella Mushroom veggie burger, organic ketchup, broccoli, and the main star, the sweet potato. Ya'll know what this looks like! This isn't even a new one. Busy week= less time to get creative. Don't worry... I'm not running out of ideas!  ;-)

*We're having BEAUTIFUL weather here in PA! Finally!!!!! I can't believe it's Memorial Day weekend already... believe me, I'm not complaining at all! Summer is my absolute most favorite time of year. What's yours?

I hope you're all having a great week! I'll try to post before Friday, but no promises!   :-)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

18 books for 18 bucks

Can't get THAT at a bookstore or amazon, now can you?   :-P

I went to an awesome book sale today at a nearby library. And, in case you missed my post title, I got 18 books for $18!!!  All books- hardcover, paperbacks, whatever- were $1 each. How sweet is that??? Everything I got is in fairly decent condition, but for a buck a book, I can only expect so much.  :-D

I KNOW you want to know what I got, and you KNOW I'm gonna tell you!!!  :-)    I ended up with eleven hardbacks and seven paperbacks (I'm including an amazon link for each book, so you can get a better plot synopsis of each book- I wouldn't be able to do the same justice, lol!):



*Brightness Falls, by Jay McInerney: A fiction novel about a very successful married couple living in Manhattan in the 1980s (I love anything and everything 1980s-related), and how the 1987 stock market crash turns their lives and their marriage upside down.

*The Chocolate Lovers Club, by Carole Matthews: A fiction novel about a group of four girlfriends who bond over life, love, and chocolate. Think Sex and the City with a lot more calories.  ;-D

*Never Too Thin: Why Women are at War With Their Bodies, by Roberta Pollack Seid: I think it's pretty self-explanatory what this one's about!

*Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany, by Bill Buford: An autobiography/memoir of a man's rise to the culinary top while working for Mario Batali.

*You're Wearing That? Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation, by Deborah Tannen: A sociology book about how to improve communication and the relationship between mothers and daughters. Not that I expect to really do this anytime soon, but it can't hurt to be informed. Plus, I LOVE Deborah Tannen. I think she's an excellent observer of interpersonal communication and a fantastic writer. I love her books. She uses lots of real-life examples, which I always love to read about.

*Echoes in the Darkness, by Joseph Wambaugh: A true-crime book about a murder that actually took place in my area in the late 1970s of a woman and her two children, and it's recently been in the news again because the accused killer (who was convicted but later released due to a legal or trial technicality, I'm not really sure of the details, but I know he was released), recently died of old age. This happened before I was born, but I vaguely remember hearing about it in the news here and there, and it was a Lifetime movie in the '80s.

*Not Much Just Chillin: The Hidden Lives of Middle Schoolers, by Linda Perlstein: A sociological look into the behavior and psyche of middle schoolers. The author spends a year with a group of middle school students in suburban Baltimore and observes their mannerisms, attitudes, thoughts, feelings, etc. I love all things sociological, so this interested me. Although I don't think anyone will EVER be able to understand ANY middle school... God, middle school was ROUGH! :-D

*Wolves in Chic Clothing, by Carrie Karasyov and Jill Kargman: A typical NYC chick-lit book about a jewelry store assistant who is befriended by a gaggle of rich Upper East Side socialistas, and she gets all caught up in their world and their lifestyle, and then a misunderstanding causes them to drop her like a hot potato. I've been watching a lot of Real Housewives of New York City lately, and it reminded me of that!  :-)

*Asking for Love, by Roxana Robinson: A collection of short stories about the lives of East Coast WASPs. Most of them are focused on family dynamics, from marriages to divorce to blended families and adolescence. I have another book by this author, This is My Daughter, and I liked it a lot, so I figured I'd give this a go.

*Rise and Shine, by Anna Quindlen: A fiction novel about two sisters trying to mend fences after one sister inadvertently wrongs the other.

*Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea, by Chelsea Handler: Chelsea's autobiography. I love Chelsea Handler, so I figured, for $1, why not?   ;-P



*Luncheon of the Boating Party, by Susan Vreeland: A historical fiction novel about the people who are captured in the infamous Renoir painting.

*Summer of '49, by David Halberstam: A nonfiction chronicle of the Yankees (particularly Joe DiMaggio) and the Red Sox (focusing on Ted Williams) in the summer of 1949. I'm guessing that was a big year for those two.  :-)

*Paris to the Moon, by Adam Gopnik: A memoir/autobiography about a writer from The New Yorker who moves to Paris for a year with his wife and infant son, and chronicles his experiences as life as an American in Paris.

*Among Schoolchildren, by Tracy Kidder: Similar to the middle school book by Linda Perlstein, the author spends a year observing a fourth grade classroom in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

*Thinking of You, by Jill Mansell: An Irish chick-lit author that is new to me! This is a book about how a woman's daughter going off to college (or as they say abroad, "university"), and how she copes with Empty Nest Syndrome (oh, and she happens to be single, so insert complicated love triangle here).

*Last Chance Saloon, by Marian Keyes: A novel about three friends in their twenties in Dublin. Marian Keyes is one of my faves- this is actually the first book of hers I've ever read, but I didn't have my own copy. And now I do!  :-)

*We'll Always Have Paris: Sex and Love in the City of Light, by John Baxter: Memoir/autobiography of a man who falls in love with a French woman in the early 1990s, marries her, and moves to Paris to begin a new life with her, and the story is about his acclimation to Paris, focusing on some particularly, um, interesting historical facts and themes, as the subtitle of the book suggests. Apparently the book gets a little tawdry here and there. I hope my innocent eyes can handle it.  :-D   Apparently I was on some sort of Parisian kick subconsciously yesterday! I'd love to visit Paris at one point in my life. And I wouldn't mind learning more about French culture in general. I've always thought French was such a pretty language. I've taken a little bit here and there in middle school and college, but I barely remember a word of it.


So yeah... I think I done good yesterday!!!   :-)   How are your weekends going? I had a crazy-busy day yesterday- besides the book sale, I ran a bunch of errands, hit up the gym, washed and changed my bedsheets, watched American Dreams on Netflix, etc. I was like Wonder Woman yesterday!  I have some stuff I need to get done today too- we're getting new carpeting in our apartment on Friday, so we need to have all of our books cleared off shelves, all knickknacks, DVDs, anything on a shelf, needs to be removed. The carpeting company with move the furniture for us, we just have to empty the shelves. Suffice it to say, my roommate and I have a LOT of books. To the point where we no longer have shelf room, and I have taken to stacking them along the wall (although I do want to get a new bookcase and plan on looking for one soon). While it's exciting and fun to get a new carpet (it's a totally different color and everything), it's going to be such a pain in the ass to pack all that stuff up, and then put everything back! Ugh! My roommate and I both took Friday off, and we have off Monday b/c of Memorial Day, so at least we have a four-day weekend to get everything back in order. Plus, this gives me a good excuse to get my spring cleaning on! But I want to get a good start on it today so I won't be stressing out about it all week.

But first I need to share my latest potato combo off, because I'm proud of it, and it brought me immense joy and happiness last night for dinner:

DSCI1393 There was just so much love going on on this plate: grilled chicken, reduced-fat melted Provolone cheese, chopped spinach, sweet potato, oregano, Italian seasoning, pepper, crushed red pepper, organic ketchup on the side. Yum!  :-) Can you believe that's only three chicken breast tenderloins (which is the serving size, per the nutrition facts on Trader Joe's Frozen Chicken Breast tenderloins, which is what I buy)??? I shredded it to put it on the top, but still- it was LOT of chicken!!!! I enjoyed every bite. I love that these potato concoctions always look like they should be, like, a million calories, because they look so massive, but they're really not... this whole thing comes out to 300 calories! (Okay, 315 with the ketchup, but really!)   More importantly, it was absolutely delicious and healthy and satisfying.

Speaking of food, I'm off to make myself lunch and watch the ball game... GO PHILS!!!! Have a great rest of your weekend!  :-)

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I have no excuse for not blogging other than the fact that I have been a massive ball of stress all week. All due to work. And I was already dwelling on it so much (TOO much) in real life, I didn't want to dwell on it on my blog too and feel even worse, and bring y'all down with me. While the situation itself is not improving, I've decided simply to rise above it and try to keep a positive attitude. One of my biggest flaws (one of many, LOL!!!) is that I am a very hypersensitive person (I have been since I was a child- even in elementary school, teachers would tell my parents I seemed a lot more sensitive than other kids- neither of my parents are like that, so I don't know where I got it from!), and I definitely tend to overreact and overstress and make something out of nothing. It's something that I definitely don't like about myself and desperately want to change, but WANTING to change it and ACTUALLY changing it are two very different things! I'm really trying to work on it though, in small little easy steps- yoga, writing, deep breathing, trying to think positively, etc. I'm more than open to any suggestions and advice!!!

Let's move on to more positive things about the week. I'm digging the Scott Peterson investigation book that I'm reading right now. It's extremely detailed! I followed this case pretty closely when it was big in the news, and there's lots of info in there that not even I knew about. If you like well-written true crime, this one's for you. I'm about halfway through it right now, so I'll keep you posted (no pun intended!)

Yesterday was my sister's 17th birthday. I can't believe she's 17 already!!! It seems like she was just a teeny tiny baby (and, might I add, a tad bratty- sorry, Nicole, but you were, and you know it!!! ;-P) and now here she is, about to end her junior year of high school. It seems like she grew up so fast! Or maybe it just feels that way to me- since we're eleven years apart, I left for college when she was only seven years old. So she did most of her growing up when I was entering adulthood, and since my mother and I have never been close, I stayed away as much as possible. Unfortunately, in doing that, I didn't get to be as much a part of my sister's life as I would have liked to have been. I'm glad that we're making up for that now. Once she's out of the house herself, and after college (college!!!!), hopefully we'll live near each other and I'll get to see her a lot. I've really grown to value and appreciate and treasure her over the years. Of course, her outgoing her brattiness definitely helped. :-D She had a great birthday- her friends decorated her locker (something that I never got to have, since I have a June birthday- although I'd rather have the day off!), and she had some Cake Batter ice cream at Coldstone Creamery, and she told me it was worth every calorie. :-) I can't wait to see her in a few weeks! Our favorite book sale is in just two weeks, so I'll be seeing her for that. This is seriously our Christmas morning. We LOVE this book sale!!! :-D

My roommate and I are hitting a pretty good used book sale at a local library this weekend. I'm excited- after the week I had, I feel that I deserve to treat myself to some cheap, gently worn and used books!!! I went to this sale once before, and I remember that it was pretty good, so I'm optimistic. I'll let you know what I got! ;-D

In tater news, I managed to come up with a new one for dinner tonight:

DSCI1389 I hereby dub thee Pizza Burger Potato: sweet potato, reduced-fat Provolone, chopped spinach, oregano, crushed red pepper, crumbled Boca Tomato Bruschetta veggie burger with organic ketchup (which I didn't really need b/c there was so much flava-flav going on in the potato). Crazy good.

I hope you're all having a wonderful week. Friday will be here before we know it! I've been trying to catch up on blogs like crazy, but I've fallen way behind, so I hope to catch up on your lives either tonight or tomorrow! Right now, my bed and my journal and my book look awfully tempting... I got to bed later than usual (stress + anxiety= difficulty sleeping), so I'm hoping to sleep like a baby tonight!


Monday, May 11, 2009

Race for the Cure

We couldn't have asked for better weather for the Race for the Cure yesterday.

DSCI1378 DSCI1376 DSCI1379 DSCI1380 The turnout for the race was amazingly overwhelming, as usual. I got a bit choked up and emotional a few times- like when I saw survivors, and women currently going through the disease who'd lost their hair to chemo, and all the names and pictures and faces of those who lost their lives... one girl couldn't have been more than seven or eight years old, and she had a sign on the back of her shirt that read she was walking in memory of her mother. That one hit me the hardest, I think. Seeing those names and those faces are what brings me back to the race every year and what will keep me going every year until WE FIND A CURE. It's too late for so many women, but we can keep looking and keep fighting and NEVER give up hope that one day, we will find a cure.

I hope you all had great weekends and a wonderful Mother's Day, no matter how you spent it. This is something that I have never mentioned on my blog, but I want to be honest with anyone who reads this. I don't know if people have noticed that I don't mention my mother on my blog. There is a reason for that. My mother and I have been estranged for the past three years- we have not spoken, and the only time we have seen each other is when my father passed away recently, and we had to really put all of our differences aside for the sake of tragedy. I would have to start a whole new blog to explain all the reasons we don't have a relationship, but simply put, my mother has been extremely verbally and emotionally abusive to me (as well as my sister and my father, when they were married) for most of my life. On a few but rare occasions, physically abusive, but for the most part, all verbal and emotional. She has said things to and about me and my sister that no mother should ever say to her child... she once told me that she wished she'd had an abortion instead of having me. She is the also the type of person who not only says these things, but refuses to apologize, acknowledge, or take responsibility for how her words and actions affect her children. If you try to talk to her about a certain incident, she simply changes the subject as if it never happened. And I can't have a relationship with someone who denies saying and doing things that have brought me such immense pain and partially shaped me into the person that I am today. I can't have a "real" relationship with someone like that, whether it's my mother, a significant other, a friend, etc. It's a damaging, toxic, and unhealthy relationship. It's obviously more complicated than that, but it would be impossible to get into on the blog. But I can honestly tell you that I am a happier person not having this person in my life at all than to have her in my life, maintaining an unhealthy, toxic relationship that brings me emotional pain. I feel like that's a half-assed explanation, but just wanted to be honest. I don't get upset or sad about it often, and I do wish things were different sometimes- that I was close with my mom like so many other girls are fortunate enough to be- but honestly, my mother and I were never close, our relationship has been like this for almost my whole life, and so I can't really miss something that I never had and never will, you know? It's impossible to fix a broken relationship if someone will not admit their role in it. Will she change one day? Anything's possible, but I'm not holding my breath or wishing on a star. Even if we tried to start over today, I don't think I'd ever to fully be able to trust her. When I was younger, I'd talk to her and confide in her on occasion, and every time I did, I'd have it thrown back at me or hurled as an insult during a fight or an attack. She has also read my diary, as well as my sister's. There is no trust or respect in the relationship, and as sad as it is, it also it what it is, and I think I still managed to turn out okay, and so did my sister. ;-) But to all you peeps out there with awesome mamas, I hope you were good to her yesterday. I'm sure you were. If you're blessed enough to have a great mother, I hope you take the time to show her how much you appreciate it. Not everyone gets that kind of mother. But I think it's awesome if you do. I don't hate. ;-)

Anyway, sorry for that weird tangent/sob story. That wasn't the intent. I just figured with Mother's Day being yesterday, and reading all the posts from everyone else's blogs about what they did with their moms, I figured I needed to give at least some sort of explanation. And I've wanted to. This is my blog and I want to be able to talk about anything I want. The power of freedom of speech!!!! Gotta love those First Amendments!!!! :-)

Whew, I'm tired. I ran around all weekend on about five hours of sleep each night- my biological alarm clock is getting earlier and earlier as I get older, haha. As a teenager, I'd sleep until ten or eleven no problem. Now I wake up around 8 on the weekends... sometimes even earlier! Which I actually prefer- I like getting up early in the morning, sleeping that late would make me feel like I've wasted my morning- but my problem is that I'm totally nocturnal and can stay up until 2 AM easily- even 3 AM on occasion! And I'm not even doing anything cool- it's normally just watching TV or reading! I'm working on it though. And I've noticed that sometimes on the weekends, I'll find myself getting tired earlier, like around 11 or midnight, but rather than call it a night and go to bed, I push myself to stay up a little later, not even because I want to, but simply because I feel like, well, it's the weekend, so I CAN. I realize that's stupid, I'm not sure why I do it, and it's something I'm trying to work on. We'll try it out next weekend and see how it flies. :-D

I'm glad I took today off of work. I needed a day just to be a lazy cat. :-D I did go to the gym though, but hey, I wanted to! I'm one of those weird people who like the gym. That's right... I'm a total gym bunny! :-D But I could see how people could hate it. My theory is, hey, exercise should be fun, so go do it in a way that makes you happy- the gym, yoga, running, dancing, walking with friends, tennis, whateva. If you force yourself to work out, you'll hate it and never do it. Not that these are really deep thoughts here... they're pretty obvious! But most of my thoughts aren't deep, but very bright and shiny. :-)

Plus, getting in a good workout at the gym makes me feel like I've earned the right to park my booty on the couch and read, which is what I'm off to do now. The season finales of The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother are on tonight- yay! And then it's back to the daily grind tomorrow... smaller yay (want to start off the week on a bright note- it's already pretty good since it's a shorter week for me!).

Happy Monday!!!! :-)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Super Saturday

Hey hey party people! How is your weekend going thus far? I've had quite a productive day myself. I have to get up bright and early for the Breast Cancer Walk tomorrow (and I mean EARLY... earlier than I get up even for work!), so I wanted to get all my errands done today and out of the way, so I'm tuckered out, which is a good thing, because I need to try to go to bed early! I'm a night owl by nature- especially on weekends- so it won't be easy. I did not get much sleep last night, and so I'm hoping that will help ease me into slumber easier tonight, although I doubt it. I'm so glad I took Monday off, not because I thought I'd be worn out or anything like that (I mean, it's just a 5K WALK, for crying out loud!), but that way I can catch up on my sleep and just have a lazy day like I like to have on the weekend. I hate weekends where I'm just rushing, rushing, rushing around doing a million different things. Weekends are supposed to be relaxation time, you know?  ;-)   At least on ONE of those days!

Sorry I've been MIA for a few days... Thursday turned into an emotional evening (I was fine all day long at work, and came home and did yoga, and then at some point in the evening, I just felt sad and started crying and letting it all go), and then yesterday I was just sheer lazy.  :-)   I came home from the gym and made myself dinner and watched a Mystery Science Theater 3000  DVD. Did anyone else watch that show? It was on the Comedy Channel and Sci-Fi for a while, a very low-budget TV show from the '90s. The premise was that a guy and three "robots" that were stuck in outer space were forced to watch really, REALLY bad B-movies from the '50s and '60s (stuff like Attack of the Killer Leeches, Teenagers from Outer Space, etc.) and they'd make fun of them. It's hysterical. My dad got me into them when I was younger, and we'd watch them together. Anyway, some of my coworkers were talking about it at work yesterday, and I realized that I hadn't watched one in forever, so that's what I did last night. It reminded me of my dad, and made me feel close to him, which didn't make me feel sad, but rather, it made me happy.  :-)

And honestly, I just don't think I really need to blog every day. I'm not cool like other bloggers, haha. I live a really quiet, low-key life, and unlike a lot of the foodie bloggers, I tend to eat the same things over and over (although with a spin on them, like my awesome sweet potato combos). I just feel like on some days, nothing really happens to me that's worth mentioning on my blog- work, gym, dinner, whatever- so I'll probably just blog when I feel like it, which will probably still be often, just not EVERY day. Hope you all don't mind.   ;-)    Plus, I love so many other blogs out there, and sometimes I just want to come home and read all of yours!   :-)

But I DO have something new and exciting to share with the class... I picked a new book on Thursday night! I finished Falcon Crest before I went to bed. It was trashy good, LOL. Like a really stupid beach read from the disco era. I probably overpaid for it- I paid $2 and probably should have paid more, like, fifty cents for it- and I doubt I'll ever read it again, but I did like it. Not bad for a book based off a cheesy soap opera... although not superbly well-written either. Although you can't expect much from these kinds of books!

Anyway, my next random book pick was, I felt, extremely appropriate:

DSCI1375 A Deadly Game: The Untold Story of the Scott Peterson Investigation, by Catherine Crier. Here's what this book is such an appropriate pick:

*I picked this book on my Dad's birthday, and my Dad liked true crime books. He's the one that got me into true crime. We'd read some true crime books and follow some cases on TV. We actually discussed the Laci and Scott Peterson case a lot.

*This is book #57 on my list of unread books that I've started to read (yes, I keep track of them numerically.... I never claimed to be cool!). My dad's birthday was May 7, which is the date I picked this book.

I'm actually already like 100 pages into it, and it's really good! It's very well-written, and it's jam-packed with information about the case, the people, the investigation, etc. This was such a tragic story in the news- I remember it so vividly like it was just yesterday, so it's hard to believe it happened seven years ago. Even now, when I see a picture of Laci Peterson, my heart just breaks. She was so young and so beautiful and she looked so happy and excited to be expecting her first baby... to murder your pregnant wife on Christmas Eve... that takes some kind of evil monster. Her poor family... I cannot even imagine the heartbreak and heartache that they must continue to feel on a daily basis. It's sheer evil. But this is an excellent, excellent book. Not extraordinarily well- EDITED, though- I've definitely seen a few mistakes. Grrrr! Is it THAT hard to remember a hyphen or see an extra space between words? LOL.

I'm off to go make myself a snack of STRAWBERRIES!!!!! I picked some up at Wegmans today. I have not bought strawberries all year because they've been overpriced and out of season, but they were FINALLY 2 for $3 today, and they're beautiful. I can't wait to tear into those babies. I could seriously eat a pint in one sitting... it's going to be really hard not to!

I'll probably pop in at some point tomorrow with a recap of the Breast Cancer Walk. I can't believe it's here already!

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!   :-)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Happy birthday, Dad

Today is my dad's birthday. He would have been 54 years old today.

Me and DadHe was always trying to look so badass, but he was really a softie.   :-)   I love you, Dad.

Normal blogging will resume tomorrow or possibly Saturday- tonight I want to just take the time to write in my journal and let all my thoughts and emotions flow and get everything out. There'll be tears (there already have been), but that's okay. And there will be some laughter too- new eps of Parks and Recreation, The Office, and 30 Rock tonight- all of which are guaranteed to bring me a little laughter... trust me, my dad would have wanted that. One of the best things about my dad was that he had a great sense of humor.  :-)

I hope you all had a great day and a wonderful night. And if you are reading this and if you can, do me a favor- call your dad and tell him that you love him.  It was the last thing I got to say to my dad, and I thank God I had that moment.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Health Fair fun

Yesterday was my company's annual Health Fair. I LOVE the Health Fair, and I go every year. I really like that my company does this for us- I feel that they do a really good job of promoting health, fitness, and nutrition to employees- they offer healthy choices in all of our cafeterias- low-fat and low-sodium meals, whole grains, low-fat cheeses for sandwiches, soy milk, a nice salad bar, baked chips, sushi, etc.; we get discounts at a variety of gyms and Weight Watchers, and get reimbursed $150 at the end of the year if we go to a gym/fitness center a certain amount of times per year (I take advantage of that every year!), a gym on main campus; intramural sports teams, etc. I feel that they do a really great job of health promotion where I work, even if not everyone uses it to their benefit.

This year's fair did not disappoint! There were tons of booths with great information... and more importantly, lots and lots of free goodies!  :-)   I collected a ton of great info/pamphlets about a variety of topics, including:

*Yoga (where I scored two free issues of Yoga Living)

*Ways to squeeze in exercise/toning at your desk

*How to stress less/decompress/relieve stress/deep breathing techniques (I noticed this was a very prevalent topic at many different booths... I wonder if my company thinks we're a little stressed out??? Haha)

*How to get a more and restful sleep at night

*Coping with anger/anxiety

*Tips for a better posture/healthy back

And all sorts of fun goodies... recipes, travel first-aid kits, computer mousepads, pedometers, magnets, pens, highlighters, etc. They also gave away snacks- Snackwell's Cookies and Fig Newton Fruit Crisps- which I took, and then took a closer look ingredients, and lo and behold, what did I see on each and every one of these? High fructose corn syrup, as well as a bunch of other scary-sounding ingredients. Yuck. I don't want to just throw them out, because that's wasteful, but I don't necessarily want to eat them, either, so maybe my sister might want them. Or another coworker.

What does your company do in terms of health promotion for its employees, if anything? Do you wish they would do more? Less? (Is it possible to do less, LOL?)

That's about the most exciting thing that's happened to me this week. Still reading Falcon Crest. It's so bad that it's good, you know what I mean? The plot is over-the-top, the characters and the dialogue are flat-out ridiculous.... but not in that "God-this-is-the-worst-book-I've-ever-read" way, but rather the "guilty-pleasure-twenty-five-cent-drugstore-paperback-romance-novel" way... get the difference there?  :-D   I really don't know if it was even worth $2. Fifty cents, maybe. But it's amusing me wildly. I wonder what the TV show was like!  :-D

In food news, I've tried some new food products this week that brought newfound joy into my life:

*Gardenburger Savory Portobello Mushroom Burger- I'm not sure if these are new on the market or new to me, but yeah, I totally dig them! I've already had two and decided that I like it better with salsa than I do with horseradish hummus (although both were delightful). But the salsa really complimented the cheesy mushroomy goodness of the burger. Tonight's sweet potato dinner was a happy party in my tummy indeed:


*I also tried an interesting new combo for dessert last night, busting open my new Kozy Shack No-Sugar Added Rice Pudding that I bought last week:

DSCI1370 Please excuse the not-so-pretty picture... I never claimed to have photography skills. Anyhow, this was a container of rice pudding, mixed with some Kashi Honey Sunshine, cinnamon, and a teeny tiny sprinkle of vanilla whey protein powder for satiety love. This was a winner!!!! I'm so glad I have three more containers of this! Although I'm not feeling it tonight... no, I'm feeling chocolate tonight... might be time to break into that Chocolate Vitatop stash in the freezer.... mmmm... chocolate....

*Last but not least- nor is this a new product, but it's new to my life- I have been introduced to the pleasure that is no-sugar-added natural chunky applesauce. Laugh all you want at how simple this discovery is. I don't care.  :-D  I've been buying the smooth/non-chunky kind my whole adult life, because that's what I grew up on, but then I saw this at Wegmans and figured, what the hell. Live a little. And I LOVE it! It's soooo much better than the smooth kind. Chunks of apple right there to chew and enjoy? Yes, please! This reminds me of when I tried chunky natural peanut butter for the first time  (I grew up on smooth), and after one bite, I knew I could never, ever go back to the smooth operator side, nor did I want to. See a pattern here? Although in my defense, I didn't even know they made chunky no-sugar natural applesauce. How about you? Have you ever tried a really simple/well-known product that you had never tried before and realized, where has this been all my life???

Hope you all had a nice Hump Day! We're halfway there.... (cue "Livin' on a Prayer Here")

Time to go catch up on blogs... later, gators!  :-D

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I <3 lazy Sundays

Hello fabulous people! I hope you're enjoying the last few hours of the weekend before it's back to the daily grind.  It was a cold, rainy day here- still is! I got my workout in right after breakfast so I could be a lazy bum all afternoon.  :-D   The Phillies got rained out, but luckily there's been a marathon of The Golden Girls on all day long to amuse me.  :-D

I wasn't totally lazy. I took out the trash (in the rain= bonus points for me), and did a load of laundry. I lost a sock! One of my really cute Happy Bunny ankle socks... normally I can track down a missing sock, but I checked the washer and dryer and the floor and everywhere I could think it would have traveled, and I can't find the little bastard anywhere.  :-D   Ah well!

So I'm about sixty pages into Falcon Crest, and it's exactly what I expected it to be and hoped it would be- cheesy, over-the-top fluff. Like Danielle Steel. And not very well-written, although I'm not expecting Hemingway here- it IS a book based off a campy soap opera! But it'll entertain me and help me remember the 1980's fondly for a few days, and that's the important thing.  :-D

Speaking of the 80's, guess what? I was driving to the gym this morning, and you will never guess the song I heard on the radio- "I Think We're Alone Now," by Tiffany!!!! OMG!!! Do you remember Tiffany????  Not somewhere you hear on the radio too much these days!!!! :-D   The sad thing is, I still remembered most of the words... and sang along.   :-D   There's no room for pride on this blog!

Enjoy the rest of the evening and the weekend! I'm off to recreate the fabulous dinner from last night. In fact, all of my meals so far today have been exact replications of the ones from yesterday. Wait, that's not true. I had some chipotle salsa with my tuna melt. Delicioso!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

New goodies!!!

I hope everyone's having a great weekend so far! I had a pretty great Saturday myself! I got some new and exciting fun stuff I simply have to share with you!

Right after breakfast I was out and about. First I went to Trader Joe's to get some staples: bread, flaxseed, BBQ sauce. But I picked up a new hummus to try- Horseradish Hummus! Not new to them, new to me. Needless to say, I bust that baby open with my lunch, and I thought it was great! The horseradish flavor was very subtle- I was worried it would be really strong or overpowering. But it was delish! Definitely a repeat purchase! And it's nice to have a different flavor to mix it up a little... I've been eating the red roasted pepper flavor for a while now, it was time to try something else. Success!

From there, it was on to Kohl's! I didn't have as much money on my gift card as I thought I did, but only went about $10 over. I got three supercute new shirts (please forgive the messy room/less than stellar background and crappy picture- I need to upgrade to a better camera!):

DSCI1360 I figured I could wear this to work, as a light sweater in the summer.

DSCI1359 This was only $4!!!! I LOVE buying clothes off-season because they are so ridiculously cheap.

DSCI1361 I totally didn't need this- I already have a Penn State sweatshirt, and technically, I didn't go here (although I wanted to! Long story...), but whatev, it's supersoft and cozy and I looked adorable in it .  :-D

Not bad for $10!

Then it was on to my holy grail Wegmans. I mostly got the usual stuff- sweet potatoes, bananas, peanut buttah, toothpaste, veggie burgers, frozen veggies, all that fun stuff- but I also treated myself to some Kozy Shack No-Sugar Added Rice Pudding. I had found a coupon in Health magazine, and I had tried rice pudding for the first time a while back, and I really liked it, but it's never something I think to pick up, you know? Anyone ever had it? I'm not sure I've ever had any of Kozy Shack's products, although I see them around town on some of your blogs. I can't wait to try 'em out! I'll let you know what I think.

Speaking of food, I chowed down on some yummy eats today. Behold:

DSCI1354 Lunch was a tuna melt- low-sodium tuna mixed with spicy mustard and other random spices, reduced-fat Provolone, whole-wheat bread, all grilled up. Steamed veggies and new hummus on the side for dipping delight. Check out that cheese dripping down the sandwich. This was uber-yum.

Dinner was a sweet potato experiment that had been building up in the back of my head for a while now, and I figured tonight was no better night to try it out:

DSCI1357 This was just as much a success as I had imagined it to be... a SLOPPY JOE SWEET POTATO! What's that, you ask? Why, it's a serving of Boca ground crumbles warmed up in a skillet with 2 tbsp Trader Joe's All-Natural BBQ sauce and 1/2 tsp chopped onion, warmed up and slapped on top of a tater. More carrots and broccoli, and more hummus (which I actually didn't end up eating, there was so much flavor going on in the potato, I didn't need it!)

Don't worry, I ate other things throughout the day... just no pics. These are by far the most picworthy, don't worry!

Ooooh, Dirty Dancing is on TV!!! I <3 this movie!!!! I'm off to make sure nobody puts Baby in a corner- hope you all had a kickass Saturday!   :-)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Major letdown

Happy Friday, everyone! We made it through another work week, and are now rewarded with two days of blissful freedom!!!! :-)

So, I finished Sickened. And by finished, I mean, skimmed. This book started off really good and completely tapered off and got weird.

The book started off interesting enough- the first third of the book was really focused on the subject at hand, Munchausen by Proxy syndrome. The author endures numerous trips to the hospital, doctors, and specialists, while her mother fabricates and embellishes medical symptoms that her daughter supposedly has. Whether she gave her medicine or made her sick on purpose, I'm not sure. The author did mention that she was malnourished and either fed sugary junk food or just not fed at all. She was not given a lunch or money from lunch, and would barely get any dinner. At one point, her mother gets angry with a doctor who refuses to do open heart surgery on Julie, just to see if there "could" be a problem with her heart. Why that didn't signal a red flag within the doctor, I don't quite understand- what kind of mother suggests open heart surgery like it's a simple CAT-scan or MRI, and then gets angry when she is told that the surgery isn't needed, and that her daughter's tests come back fine? Most parents are beyond relieved to hear that news. Yet no one picks up on it. At this point, I was really intrigued, and wanted to keep reading, to find out what would happen to Julie as she got older, and how it would all be revealed eventually.

And then the book kind of completely fell apart. The last two-thirds of it are an absolute mess. I hope I don't give too much away here, in case anyone is interested in reading this- so I'll try not to give any spoilers here. But I felt like the book completely went off the topic of MBP syndrome and instead focused on the other disturbing parts of this poor girl's horrific childhood. If her childhood portrayal is accurate, then it sounds like MBP was, quite honestly, the least of her problems. In general, she suffered immense emotional and physical abuse from both parents on a daily basis. It sounds like both of her parents were seriously mentally ill. They lived in a secluded trailer in rural Ohio, kept loaded guns all throughout the house and constantly pulled them on each other, the mother was constantly threatening suicide, would lie to her husband and make up stories about the kids misbehaving just so he would beat them, the parents burned down their trailer for the insurance money, and once they got it, they actually abandoned their two children and went their separate ways, leaving them in a log cabin that didn't even have a toilet, etc. There are dozens of more examples I could list. I felt like every page, the abuse got worse and there would be a more terrifying story worse than the page before. I had a really hard time getting through it, as it's not really a book for the faint-hearted, which I definitely am. I had to skim through a lot of the medical procedures, and then once the book got away from all that, I had to skim the descriptions of the physical abuse. It got very graphic at times. And the writing had started out strong, but then it got jumpy and rambled all over the place. And the ending is just really abrupt and weird, with no closure. I don't want to give too much away, but I will say at least that.

I was really disappointed with this book. It was beyond depressing and beyond disturbing. My heart just breaks for this poor woman, all she had to endure- I didn't exactly grow up in the Brady household, but my parents might as well been Mike and Carol B. compared to the two monsters this author had for parents. She went through things that I couldn't even bring myself to imagine- couldn't even bring myself to read. But I bought this book hoping to get some real insight into MBP syndrome- something I really know almost nothing about- and I feel that the book hardly addressed it at all. It is really more of a memoir of graphic child abuse- while a very serious topic, not exactly what I wanted to read about or why I picked up this book. I don't feel that I learned much about MBP at all.

I'll certainly never read this again. I'll just redonate it to the library. Well, at least the $2 I spent on it went to a good cause! :-) And I hope that in writing it, it helped to heal the author's wounds a little. I don't even know how someone even attempts to recover from a childhood like that. I doubt you can. But hopefully in writing this book, she got a little closure.

I needed a really, really fun book after that. A light topic and a fun read. No way I could deal with anything heavy or intense after that! And I certainly got my wish!

DSCI1347 Can you believe, this is the second book I've picked from the Media Book Sale that was just two weeks ago??? I've got books that have been sitting on my shelves for, like, five years unread, and my last two picks are some of my most recent purchases! I assure you, I give that box of titles a crazy good shakeup for a minute or two and then pick with my eyes closed- so this is just a big coincidence! Why can't I coincidentally pick the winning Powerball numbers??? :-D

Anyway, I wound up with Falcon Crest, by Patrick Mann. As most of us were 80s' babies, you probably either have maybe heard of this show, or it's possible your mom was watching it while she was giving you baby food. :-D Falcon Crest was a primetime soap opera that was on TV from 1981-1990. It focused on a wealthy family that owned a Napa Valley winery, and a rival family that also owns a winery. If your parents watched Dynasty, Dallas, or Knots Landing, then chances are they watched this too. Ask them- I'll bet they've at least heard of it. My parents didn't watch this, but my mother was a huge Knots Landing fan. As a result, I grew up watching it, and I loved it as a kid, even though I didn't know what the hell was going on. All I knew is that no one worked and everyone had beautiful houses near the beach- my dream life!!! (It still is!!!!) :-) Anyway, the usual soap opera antics ensue here, I'm sure- the backstabbing, the cheating, the dying, the evil twins, it's probably all in here! I could definitely use some mega-over-the-top cheesiness right now after my last read, and we all know that anything from the 1980s has at least a little bit of a cheese factor in there somewhere, so I'm hoping that this will be a light, stupid, and silly read (I mean, check out the cover of the book alone! Hello, 1984!!!). And I'm still working my way through the second season of Knots Landing that I just got a few weeks ago, so this is the perfect accompaniment! :-D

Has anyone ever gotten hooked on a soap opera? Which ones? I watched all my mom's as a kid- she liked Guiding Light, All My Children, and of course, Knots Landing- and I kept watching All My Children throughout college, and some of my college girlfriends were hooked on this now-defunct soap on NBC called Passions- OMG, it was SO bad, but we LOVED it- we used to not schedule any classes at 1 PM so we could make sure we could watch it! We did that all four years! (Why we didn't think to tape it is beyond me, LOL!). Anyway, it was awful- ridiculous supernatural plots, and really terrible acting- worse than regular soap operas!-, and it's not even on the air anymore. Here's some info about it here. Come on, 'fess up! I did, so it's your turn!

All right, I'm off to go make my grocery lists- I'm getting up bright and early tomorrow morning to get my grocery shopping done- I like to get all my errands all out of the way on Saturday morning, so I have the rest of the weekend to relax and not worry about it- tomorrow we're taking a trip to Trader Joe's (yay!) and Wegmans (YAY!!!!). Also I'm hoping to get in a trip to Kohls to pick up some new clothes. I have some gift cards, and I'm in desperate need of some new work clothes! I'm totally worn out from this crazy busy week, so the rest of my night involves making my lists and checkin' them twice (like Santa!), and curling up in bed with my remote (Food Network! Say Yes to the Dress! Golden Girls! Friday night TV isn't all that bad!!!), and maybe my newest read (we'll see; I'm pretty beat, so my mental span might not stretch much further than a magazine). And I might or might not cap off my evening with some microwave popcorn. What can I say... I really know how to live it up on Friday nights, don't I? ;-D Hey, leave me alone. I'm getting old and I had a rough work week. The Golden Girls understand! :-D

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Short but sweet

Hey hey! Happy Thursday! I'm keeping my post brief tonight, since yours truly has had a headache off and on all day (and trying Power Yoga for the first time didn't make matters much better... I kept looking up to try to follow the instructor, and I got a bit dizzy! LOL), and have just been in kind of a blah mood all day... no real reason, nothing happened to put me in that state, it was just one of those days, you know? Oh well- it's nothing that a l'il Parks and Recreation, The Office, and 30 Rock can't fix!  :-P   Luckily, the Phillies were kind enough to take the night off so I could watch my shows uninterrupted... because, you know, their playing schedule is all about me.  :-D  

Plus I'm behind in reading all of your blogs, and trust me, you all have way more exciting lives than mine.  :-D

I will say this, though- I'm actually a little more than halfway through Sickened already! And I only started it yesterday! Even I'm impressed with myself, LOL! Nah, not really- it's not a long book (256 pages), the font size is pretty big, and I'm skimming over some of the icky medical procedures and medical records/letters from doctors that have a bunch of medical abbreviations and jargon that my simple little mind doesn't understand.  :-D I wouldn't be surprised if I had this finished up by tomorrow or Saturday, so I'll give my review and thoughts then.

I'm off to go bond with my Motrin and make myself a nice tasty dinner before my shows... have a good night, and happy almost-Friday!!!   :-)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Busy little bee

Man oh man... is anyone else having a seriously crazy busy week??? I need more hours in the day, I tell you! (for fun, though, not work- they get enough of my time as it is, haha!) Anyway, here's what I've been up to for the past few days in a nutshell:

*Watching a lot of amazing baseball- the Phillies are kicking ASS so far this year! Although, what do you expect from the 2008 World Series Champs??? :-P Seriously though, they've just been unstoppable lately... the other night, they had TWO grand slams in ONE game! I've never seen that before! I <3 my Phils. Although sometimes I get a little sad, because it reminds me of my dad... I grew up watching baseball with him, we'd play wiffle ball and softball, and he's the one who taught me to love the game... his birthday is coming up next week, May 7, so I've had that on my mind as well.

*Work's been superbusy this week... which I'm not minding, as it makes the day fly by (as much fun as downtime is, too much of it can be a bad thing, because it makes the day drag by soooo s-l-o-w-l-y).

*I picked up mt t-shirt and registration number for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure taking place in Philly on May 10- does anyone else do this race, in Philly or other places? I do it every year. It's a cause that I feel really passionate about as a woman, and it has affected me personally as well- I lost a grandmother to breast cancer (I'm named after her). She died from the disease back in the 1960s, before there was much really known about it in terms of symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. Had she been been a few decades later, she might have lived because it's become such an commonly known disease. Unfortunately, because of the time period, she was diagnosed in a late stage, and there was not much they could do for her when she was finally diagnosed. I also lost a former neighbor/family friend to the disease- Rosemary- she fought it so, so bravely, and wasn't able to overcome it in the end, and she left behind a loving, devoted husband, and two precious, sweet little boys (both, I believe, were under the age of ten at the time, but don't quote me- this was a long time ago, like mid/late 90s'). So it's a disease that I'm passionate about for many reasons. I do the walk every single year. I walk and don't run. I'm not a runner. I admire and applaud all the runners out there- I really wish I could be one- but it's never been my thing. Believe me, I've tried. The Philly Race for the Cure takes place every single year on Mother's Day. I've been doing it for about three years now, and plan on doing it every single year until there is a cure. I'm lucky in the sense that I live near a train station that takes me right into Philly- I made the mistake of driving once, and it was a disaster. Not only were major roads blocked off for the walk, but two colleges were having Graduation Day that same day. Major fiasco. Thousands and thousands of people, and, like, five parking spots for those thousands people. You do the math. :-D Never again! And the cool thing is that the company that I work for not only pays my registration fee and pay for my T-shirt, but they also sell discounted bus and train passes for the event. My company takes a vast interest in community events and health care for employees- we have our annual Health Fair coming up next week, which I love and go to every year. They really make an effort, and I really like that!

*Played around with a few new sweet potato combos (at least, I think they're new, it's getting hard to keep track!!!):

DSCI1344 Sweet potato + broccoli + Boca Tomato Bruschetta Parmesan Patty + roasted red pepper hummus= fabulousity.

*Last but not least, I finished Sense and Sensibility... I LOVED IT!!! I was having a hard time getting into it at first- the language was dense and it was definitely a book that required my undivided attention- but the more I read it, the more I loved it! Ah! So good! Now I get why women worship Jane Austen! I can't wait to read more of her books! I think the next book of hers I want to read is Emma. I know that the movie Clueless is based on Emma, and I love the movie Clueless (come on, who doesn't???), so I think it would be a really fun read! I'll be on the lookout for Jane Austen books at used book sales from now on!

*And I'll conclude my recap with my latest read:

DSCI1341 I thought it was funny that I randomly picked this book, because I just bought it two weeks ago! Sickened, by Julie Gregory. The memoir of a girl whose mother purposefully sickened her because she had Munchausen disease and was psychologically ill- she made Julie sick on purpose and made up false symptoms, because she craved the attention she received from nurses and doctors. I'm actually already about sixty pages into it, and man, did this poor girl have it rough! Not just from her mother, but it sounds like her father was definitely troubled as well, he came from a broken home, the parents had a miserable marriage, the mother was (obvi) psychologically troubled, they lived in a secluded cabin in rural Ohio because her parents were suspicious of other people (and, incidentally, racist= NOT cool). They hurt Julie both psychologically and physically, and clearly seemed to favor her younger brother. And she's only ten years old at this point. My heart is just breaking for this poor kid!

Well, the blog isn't the only writing I've been neglecting lately- my journal has been ignored as well, so I'm off to go take care of that right now! Happy Hump Day!!!! :-)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunshiny days

Wow... if this weekend's weather is any indication of the upcoming weather in the months ahead, then I think it's pretty safe to say sayonara to winter... which means I can finally put away my space heater!!!! Good riddance, winter!!!!   :-D

What a beautiful  weekend we had here!!!! Clear skies, warm but not humid, and an abundance of sunshine!!! It was perfect weather.... all I wanted to do was play outside.  :-)   But I settled for sitting on my balcony and reading Sense and Sensibility, which I am still LOVING!!!!  I can't believe it took me so long to jump on the Jane Austen bandwagon... now I get why she's a classic and a favorite and why women sing her praises. Though the writing is a lot denser than I'm used to (keep in mind I read a lot of books about shopaholics and momzillas, haha!), I find it absolutely beautiful, and prolific, and some of what she writes still rings true in society today- all the shenanigans that those a-holes Edward and Willoughby pull on the poor wonderful Dashwood sisters? Yeah, guys are still pulling crap like that today- maybe not the exact same things for the same reasons (land, money), but they've managed to accumulate plenty of other games and moves along the years! And when Elinor tells Marianne that it is impossible for anyone to expect to rely on one sole person for their unfulfilled happiness, I was like, amen, sister!!!!   :-D  I only have about sixty pages or so left... and I can't wait to finish it!

BTW, my sister had a great time at her junior prom! She called me and told me about it on Saturday. The boy kissed her... twice.   :-D   (I hope she doesn't kill me for putting that on my blog... but I think it's safe to say that not too many sixteen-year-old boys out there are reading this blog!!!) So yeah, she's on cloud nine right now. I can't wait to see pics!!! I'm so glad she had such a wonderful time... after all she's been through lately, and the fact that she's pretty awesome in general, she just deserved a really awesome prom, and a really nice guy, and I'm so glad she did.  :-)


My weekend's been pretty quiet and low-key, not much to blog home about... watched the Phillies kick some Marlins' boo-tay, went to Target and Wegmans and Trader Joe's, ate a lot of sweet potatoes... you know, the usual.     ;-)   I wish I were a more interesting blogger! What can I say... I dig routine!  :-)

Speaking of routine, my tummy is letting me know that it could use some dinner right about now!

Happy birthday wishes to Caitlin and Yasmin, two fine and fabulous ladies!  :-)

And on a sadder note, I want to take the time to again express my deepest sympathy and condolences to Jenna and her family for the devastating loss they endured over the weekend. There are no words to even express the heartbreak and tragedy, as there are no words in the English language that will ever suffice. Jenna, we love you and are here for you and your family. God bless.

Friday, April 24, 2009

It's that time of year again...

... I'm talking about prom season, kids. That's where my little sister is tonight- at her junior prom! And she's going with the boy she likes- he asked her- so it's especially exciting (cause that certainly never happened to me! I never snagged my crushes, LOL!) I can't wait to hear all about it and see pictures! She was so excited, and I'm so excited for her. Did you go to your prom/proms? Did you have fun? I went to my junior and senior proms. I went to my junior prom with a friend and I had a blast. I went to my senior prom with my boyfriend at the time (whom I remember not even liking all that much at the time), AND my wisdom teeth were coming in, so yeah, that was not as much fun for me!

So while my sixteen-year-old sister is shakin' her booty at her prom, I'm spending my Friday evening chilling at home after a tiring work week, watching some baseball, and making my grocery list for tomorrow morning, and unloading the dishwasher when it stops running- ah, adulthood.   :-)

Happy Friday to all!!! It's going to be absolutely beautiful here all weekend- almost ninety degrees!- and I'm damn sure going to make the most of it!!!! I've been waiting for this weather all year- THIS IS MY WEATHER!!!  Seriously, I think I might have Seasonal Affective Disorder. I am just inconsolably miserable in the winter months from always being so cold, and happy as a little clam in the hot and humid months. People complain about July and August being so hot, but I love it!!!! Last year I didn't use my car's air conditioner all summer, not once. I'm a windows-down kind of girl.  :-)

Whatever you're doing tonight and this weekend, and whatever the weather is like where you are, I hope you're having fun!   :-)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Recapping the week (so far)

I haven't really been blogging much this week, because, well, I've been lazy and just haven't had a whole lot going on, and I didn't want to bore you all! ;-) But so far this week, I've:

*Been productive at work (this gal earned her paycheck this week, let me tell you!)

*Not gotten too far in Sense and Sensibility, not because I'm not enjoying it; quite the opposite, actually- the more I read, the more I'm liking it! But fact-checking data all day long in a teeny tiny font makes for very tired eyes at night! So magazines are about all I can handle at night this week, LOL. I've been catching up on back issues of Rachael Ray's magazine, though (my boss gives me her back issues). But it's great and I can't wait to read more of it this week? Why did you all let me go so long without reading Jane Austen??? ;-D

*Had my annual routine exam at the OB/GYN (does anyone else still get a little uncomfortable and feel sorta awkward at their yearly exams, or do I just need to get over it already???)

*Started to slowly get sucked into The Real Housewives of New York City (because I don't watch ENOUGH crap TV shows, right? LOL! But ever since I read Naturally Thin, I've been very curious about this show, and I've slowly starting watching it... and kind of liking it... but also kind of hating it. It's weird).

*Did Sara Ivanhoe's Candlelight Yoga on Instant Netflix (LOVE her!!!)

*Started watching (and loving!!!) my new DVD, the second season of Knots Landing... cheesy 80s' drama at its finest, folks. :-)

*Enjoyed a new sweet potato combination of joy and excitement:

DSCI1327 (sauteed shrimp, peppers, and onions, on top of a sweet potato, with a little side cup of roasted red pepper hummus... this just rocked my world)

*Watched the Phillies lose. A lot.

*Wrote in my journal. A lot.

*Missed my dad extra-much this week. :-(

*Read all of your lovely blogs. :-) Looks like lots of bloggers are busy little bees this week!

It's almost the weekend!!! We made it!!! What are you doing this weekend? They're calling for BEAUTIFUL weather this weekend- in the eighties!!!- so whatever I do, I assure you, it'll be outdoors!!! :-D

I'm off to watch some 30 Rock and hopefully do a little reading!!!! I'm at such a good part in the book- the Dashwood sisters have just met the Steele sisters, and talk about some personality clashing!- have a good rest of the night!!! Friday's just a few hours away!!! :-)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wear Your Sneakers to Work Day

So it was "Wear Your Sneakers to Work Day" at my company today, and, like, four people participated. LOL. I was really surprised! Our dress code policy is business professional, so I thought this was a big deal and was looking forward to it, so I donned my Sketchers proudly all day long. I guess other people don't care as much, haha. Well, whatever. We never get the opportunity to do it, and it was nice to not have to wear heels or boots for a change.

My vacation day yesterday was nice! Not in terms of the weather, though. It was rainy and cold all day long... luckily, I only ventured to the gym and to get gas, and that was it. The rest of the day was spent writing in my journal and watching my new fun DVD, Knots Landing. Cheesy 80s' drama= perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon.   :-D   Here's my problem with vacation days, though- as nice as they are, they make me wish that I never had to work, LOL. I want to be a housewife- only without the husband or the kids. Now, how do I make that work???  Haha.

Although coming back to work today was not so bad. I'm working on a project that comes in once a quarter, and it keeps me pretty busy for a few days, and I'm a fan of anything that makes time go by quickly at work! And the project itself isn't hard- it's mostly fact-checking data... and sad is it sounds, I like it! I don't mind fact-checking because it's so black-and-white. It's either right or it's wrong. A nice break from grammatical rules and verb tenses, haha.   :-)   How was your Tuesday? I hope it was pleasant!

So in honor of the new episode of The Real Housewives of New York City that is on tonight (I'm slowly getting into this show), I figured now is the time to share my thoughts on Naturally Thin.  I'm not much of a book critic- I either like something or I don't, LOL- but I had mixed emotions on this book that I wanted to share and see what other people thought of this book too. I know a lot of bloggeristas have read it recently, and we all seem to have a similar consensus.

At first, I was a little turned off by the title. I'm not really into "dieting" books because I don't believe in dieting. I believe in healthy eating as a lifestyle. I think that diets are deprivation, both physically and mentally. But the more I heard about this book and how it was more of a book about "lifestyle" changes and choices, I was intrigued and reserved a copy at my library (yes, I broke my "no-checking-books-out-of-the-library-until-I've-read-all-of-mine" rule, but I didn't want to spend money on this book, since I didn't know if I'd really like it or not; plus, based on reviews and excerpts I'd read, a lot of it sounded like stuff that I already know and incorporate into my own eating lifestyle, or common sense, or stuff you can easily find for free on the internet.

So the book was divided into two sections- the first section was about the ten "rules" that are actually more like "mindframes" than rules, that encourage you to practice certain habits to engage in healthy eating and healthy living. I like that right off the bat, Bethenny lays it right on the table. She shuns dieting, for the same reasons I do, she says that these rules work for her and she's not saying that they will work exactly the same for everyone else, says she is NOT a doctor, NOT a nutritionist, NOT a professionally trained chef, this is just what works for her and she just wants to share that info with other people. She admits that she doesn't even follow her own rules sometimes, that she's not perfect and doesn't expect anyone else to be, either. Take what you want, and leave the rest, and I pretty much did that for the most part. There were some rules that I really liked, and some I knew wouldn't really apply to me or how I like to eat. Section two was more of a "guideline" of Bethenny walking you through a week's worth of her food choices, along with suggestions for your own. This is the part I wasn't completely on board with, but more on that later. For now, let's start with the "rules". I'll lay out each one, and what I thought of it and how I will/will not apply it to me.

Rule 1: Your diet is a bank account. So this is basically what it sounds like- balance everything out. Moderation is our friend. Make "smart investments" with your eating choices, just as you would with your money. She makes the comparison that you wouldn't buy a sweater that didn't fit or didn't look good on you, so why waste calories on something that you don't really want or enjoy all that much? She also compares food noise to food voice- food noise is negative inner dialogue, and food voice is basically the good voice, the angel on your shoulder telling you what your body wants or needs in terms of food. She also explains the term differential, which is the difference between two choices, and whether or not that difference is worthwhile to you (the example she gives is beef chili vs. turkey chili vs. vegetarian chili, and how to make that choice based on your personal differential, if you don't mind giving up the beef chili for a leaner choice, or if it matters to you more and you do want the beef chili, than to choose that, but to remember to balance the rest of your food choices for the day in terms of fat, sodium, whatever). I thought that this was a great rule. If you balance your choices accordingly, you should be able to enjoy all the food that you want to eat. This makes sense. If you have a piece of cake at work for dessert, don't have cookies after dinner later. You haven't deprived yourself, you just made your choice. I liked this rule, and feel I already use it.

Rule 2: You Can Have It All, Just Not All At Once. This rule focused on listening to your "food voice" and making the choices that you really want. If you really want something decadent, don't deprive yourself- you're just setting yourself up for a binge later, and you'll feel bad mentally, and most likely overeat whatever you were craving in the first place. Ah, that demon food noise strikes again! Instead, go ahead and give in to your craving. Pick what you want, make sure it's what you really want, then have it, enjoy it, and make it count. Savor and enjoy it! Just balance out your other choices accordingly. This is actually a lot like Rule #1. They kind of go hand-in-hand.

Rule #3: Taste Everything, Eat Nothing. I thought this was a pretty interesting chapter. This rule encourages really "tasting" your food in terms of eating to feel "satisfied", not "full". To eat little bits of really great food that you enjoy. Also, the chapter talks about "switching lanes"- meaning to take a few bites of something you love, and then switch to a different taste so that your taste buds don't get bored. I confess, this is something I could work on. I notice that when I eat dinner, which usually consists of a sweet potato, a protein source like chicken or salmon, and a veggie, I notice that I tend to eat the veggie first, then the protein and a little of the sweet potato, but I leave most of the sweet potato for the end. I'm not sure why I do this- there's no reason or anything, although I think I like to leave most of the sweet potato until the end because it's my favorite part of the meal, haha. But it's something I could work on. I can see how my taste buds would want a little more excitement after ten bites of broccoli, LOL!

Rule #4: Pay Attention. Out of all the rules in this book, I loved this one the most, and it's the one I feel is the most important. This one focused on eating consciously, taking the time to chew and appreciate every bite, taking your time to eat and appreciate what you're putting into your body, etc. If you don't pay attention while you're eating, then your mind hasn't registered that you've eaten, and you won't feel mentally satisfied even if you're physically satiated. Make your food an "experience", take the time to appreciate your food, and don't multitask while eating (watching TV, reading, driving, using the computer, etc). And eat slowly! People eat way too quickly. I used to date a guy who would have his food downed before I even sat down to the table to eat,  not even kidding. It was appalling on many levels. Now, I've always been a slow eater. Seriously, I'd miss recess a lot as a kid because it took me so long to eat. It takes me about an hour to eat my lunch, and about 30-45 minutes to eat dinner usually. I've always been like this. Not that I've never eaten fast, obviously, but whenever I have, I've felt uncomfortably sick. I remember in high school, my Chemistry teacher told me that one day I'd consider that a "blessing", because I'd have really good metabolism as an adult. But also, I enjoy eating slowly, because I truly believe that eating is just as much an emotional experience as it is a physical one, and I enjoy eating foods that I take the time to prepare for myself, so I like to take the time to savor and appreciate it! But I do confess that I am guilty of multitasking while I eat. I like to read while I'm eating. I like to watch TV when I'm eating dinner. I usually eat up eating my preworkout snack in the car. I can certainly understand how multitasking takes away from the point of savoring and enjoying your food, but I LIKE to read and watch TV while I'm eating, and I figure, if I can do both at the same time, and I enjoy eating that way, I'll keep doing what makes me happy until it's not making me happy anymore, LOL. But if multitasking isn't your thing, and you are someone who really needs to focus just on the food and can't appreciate your meal while doing other things, this could be a helpful tool.

Rule #5: Downsize Now. This is pretty much what it sounds like- small portions of delicious food that you enjoy. And don't ever eat out of the bag- always put everything on a plate or a bowl. Truthfully, I feel this didn't really apply to me. I don't really go out to eat often, and when I do, it's places that are pretty portion-controlled, like sushi, or sandwiches, etc. I make all my meals at home for the most part- and I'm the one who's in control of the portion size and all that, so I didn't find this rule particularly applicable to me. But if you eat out a lot or are often in situations where you're not really able to figure out portions, this could be a good rule for you. Oh, and I never eat out of a bag- I put everything on a plate or a bowl, which I'm sure my roommate just loves since it means we have to run the dishwasher every other night, LOL- but I'm a big believer in that rule. Eating out of a bag isn't fun! I like to put everything on a pretty plate or blog. Why not? It's more fun that way. And food should be fun, always!   ;-D

Rule #6: Cancel Your Membership to the Clean Plate Club. Again, exactly what it sounds like- don't feel obligated to eat everything on your plate. Eat until you're satisfied. If there's anything left over, save it for later. This is a good tip if you eat at restaurants a lot, because their portions are crazy ridiculous. But, again, I rarely eat out, and when I do, it's stuff that's pretty portion-controlled. But I will confess that I am a member of the Clean Plate Club. Even at restaurants, I always tend to want to eat the whole thing, no matter what. And I usually do! I guess I figure, I'm paying for it, and I am not big on leftovers in general- they never taste the same to me- so I feel compelled to finish it. I've always been guilty of this one. It's something I could work on the next time I'm in this situation. But, again, since I eat at home most of the time, I'm in charge of the portions, and I portion stuff out, so I will finish off my whole meal and not care. I'm not going to leave, like, five bites of chicken on my plate- I figure, I might as well finish it off! Haha. A good rule, but probably not one I'll practice unless I'm served some crazy-ass portion of something the next time I'm at a restaurant.

Rule #7: Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself. This rule encourages you to eat "real food", and not fake, processed foods. Your body and your mind will not be satisfied. We weren't built to eat fat-free cheese, kids. We just weren't. Eat a small portion of the real thing and you will feel much more satisfied on many levels. I like this rule and already follow it. This rule also talks about emotional eating and bingeing. I'm also really lucky in the sense that I have honestly never binged. You might not believe me, but it's true. I've never been a binge-eater. I'm someone who goes the other way- when I'm sad, upset, mad, stressed, I have no appetite at all. I've never been an emotional eater- my negative emotions tend to suppress my appetite. But I know that's really uncommon, and a lot of women struggle with emotional eating and bingeing, and so if you are one of them, this is a good chapter.

Rule #8: Know Thyself. This chapter focused on surrounding yourself with positive energy and influences, getting to know who you really are and what you really want out of life. That, in turn, will help you know your hunger. I liked this rule. Be friends with yourself!

Rule #9: Get Real. Eat real food, avoid packaged and processed foods whenever possible, care about what you eat, and eat high-volume "real" food- fruit, veggies, whole-grain pastas and cereals, beans, etc. Again, a rule I already follow. I'm real!  :-D

Rule #10:  Be Good To Yourself. I think I liked this rule the best. None of the other rules will ever work if you are not kind to yourself. Love yourself and treat yourself. I really try to be good to myself, but like most people, I know I could do a better job. I'm working on it.  :-)


So I really liked the rules. And I really liked the weekly "guidelines" that helped walk you through the different choices you could make based on your wants and needs and tastes. But then I got to Bethenny's food diary... and I was confused. For example, dinner one night was one glass of wine, a small crabcake, and the cheese and sauce off a soggy piece of pizza (she says the crust was "not worth eating"). Um, WHAT? Okay, this dinner would leave me completely unsatisfied physically and mentally. Where's the food??? Where are those fruits and veggies and whole grains she mentioned earlier? Personally, I'd rather have a real meal than four bites of fried food and liquor! But if that's what she wanted, then hey, great. She also says it's okay to skip a meal if you're not hungry for one- while she doesn't encourage it, she says if you're not hungry, don't eat. I do not endorse this idea.  I strongly oppose meal-skipping. It's bad for your body, bad for your metabolism, and could potentially set you up to overeat later. I eat three meals and two snacks a day, whether I'm hungry or not. I know my body well enough to know it needs to eat at least that often. While I would never tell anyone else how to live their life, I would never, ever encourage anyone to skip a meal. If you are not a breakfast person- the most skipped-over meal of the day, and ironically, the most important- make yourself a smoothie, have some yogurt, sip one of those Carnation Instant Breakfasts, something, anything. I couldn't believe she skipped meals sometimes! And some of her choices were just bizarre... but I guess that was the point. She made the choices she wanted and balanced her choices accordingly.

I don't know... my take on it is, I liked the rules, but I didn't think she really practiced what she preached in the end. She should have picked a different week to journal, haha. Her meals seemed really low in calories, vitamins/nutrients, fruits and veggies (but plentiful in alcohol... guess she wanted to save her calories for drinks, haha!). I'm glad I read this book, I definitely learned some things I want to incorporate into my own eating lifestyle and food choices, but let's just say I'm glad I borrowed this book from the library and that I didn't buy it.

So there's the review. I hope it was worth the wait. If you felt it wasn't, then I'm sorry I wasted your precious time.   :-P

Speaking of time, it's time for me to call it a night. Until we meet again, friends!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fabulous weekend

Sorry I've been MIA... I've been too busy having a glorious, kick-ass weekend. :-) This has honestly been the best weekend I've had all year, really. In so many ways. I've been dealing with so much personal stress lately, and it was really getting to me... so this is just what I needed to feel better! Here's why the weekend's been so awesome so far (and it's only halfway done for me, because I have a three-day weekend!!!) :-)

So let's start with yesterday morning. My sister and I went to one of our favorite semiannual used book sales at a local community center. And as usual, we both cleaned up! I got 16 books and 4 new workout tapes, for a total of $35! Trying doing THAT at Borders or Barnes and Noble! Haha. :-)

Here's what I got!


*The Good Life, by Jay McInerney (about two upper-class Manhattan couples and how the aftermath of 9/11 affects them)

*How We Got Here: The 70s- The Decade That Brought You Modern Life, For Better or Worse, by David Frum (about the social convulsions of the 70s and how that impacts us as a society today... I love the '70s, seriously, so I was excited for this find!)

*Irish America: Coming into Clover, by Maureen Dezell (a book about the history of Irish Americans... I'm mostly Irish and would love to know more about the culture!)

*For Laci: A Mother's Story of Love, Loss, and Justice, by Sharon Rocha (the story of Laci Peterson's life and murder, written by her mom)

*The Secret Language of Eating Disorders, by Peggy Claude-Pierre (I think the title of the book is pretty self-explanatory)

*Hurry Down Sunshine, by Michael Greenberg (a memoir in which the author writes about his fifteen-year-old daughter's psychotic breakdown and how the family copes with the aftermath)

*Waistland, by Deidre Barrett (a Harvard psychologist takes an in-depth look at the obesity and fitness crisis in America from an evolutional/biological standpoint... according to her, we are "basically hunter-gatherers lost in a jungle of burgers, lounge chairs, and TV remotes"... I'm very interested in reading her theories on this subject!)


*Bad Behaviour, by Sheila O'Flanagan (AUTOGRAPHED!!!- yes, I know how to spell "behavior" here in the USA, but this is an Irish chick lit novel... anyway, this is about the typical single-with-a-great-career-and-fabulous-apartment-and-great-friends-and-no-boyfriend-but-that's-okay gal who receives a wedding invitation to the wedding of her former best friend, who just happens to be marrying said gal's ex, whom he left for former BFF. Oh, the drama! I loves me some Irish chick lit, and I've never read this author, so I'm excited!!!)

*Free Food For Millionaires, by Min Jin Lee (a novel about the daughter of Korean immigrants who own a laundromat in Queens, is a Princeton grad with a degree in Economics, but doesn't have a job, yet is addicted to the expensive world of Manhattan, and the story is about her, her parents and their traditional values, and her friends of both Caucasian and Korean decent, and how the cultures intertwine and collide, while everyone's just trying to live... I'm not really doing the synopsis justice here, but it definitely sounds like an interesting book!)

*Picture Perfect, by Jodi Picoult (ya'll know how much I love my girl Jodi... this one's about is a seemingly "picture perfect" marriage, and something happens to make that fairy tale unravel. Jodi Picoult drama!!!! LOVE it!!!)

*Sickened, by Julie Gregory (a memoir of a girl whose mother had Munchausen by Proxy syndrome, the psychological disease where you make your child purposely sick in order for you to receive attention)

*What We Keep, by Elizabeth Berg (a novel about a woman who is flying home to see her mother, whom she has not spoken to in 35 years, and while on the plane, she recalls her childhood with her sister, and the series of events that divided their family)

*I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies): True Tales of a Loudmouth Girl, by Laurie Notaro (Laurie Notaro writes short essays/stories... think a female David Sedaris... anyway, this is a follow-up/sequel collection of essays to her other book, "Autobiography of a Fat Bride", which I read a while back and thoroughly enjoyed!)

*Among Other Things, I've Taken Up Smoking, by Aiobheann Sweeney (a coming-of-age novel about a young girl who grows up in a very small town in Maine- her mother disappeared mysteriously when she was small, and she grew up with her father, who was mostly dedicated to his work- and after graduating from high school, she decides to embark on a journey to stay in Manhattan with some of her father's old friends, and learns a lot about her father, and about herself)

*Girls Night In, by various chick lit authors (exactly what it sounds like- a collection of short stories written by some of the best chick lit writers out there- Jennifer Weiner, Sophie Kinsella, Meg Cabot, Marian Keyes, Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, etc.... I know I'll love this!)

*Falcon Crest, by Patrick Mann (this is a novel based off the 1980s' cheesy primetime soap that ran on CBS from 1981-1990. I've never seen it, but I love those cheesy nighttime soap operas from the '80s, as we well know, so I figured, what the hell, why not? It'll be like a Danielle Steel novel with lots of wealthy people and over-the-top drama)

I also bought four new workout videos! I usually can find one or two at book sales, believe it or not, and it never hurts to add new workouts into the regime! :-D I got:

*Abs Yoga

*Back Care Yoga (I have lower back problems)

*Power Yoga for Flexibility

*Pilates: Target Specifics

All in all, I'd call the book sale a great success! My sister was happy with everything that she got too. We were two very happy bookworms. :-)

After the sale, we dropped off all our goodies in my car and walked around... it was such a beautiful day outside, it had to have been around 75 degrees. We stopped by a really cute cafe called Seven Stones for a while, and we swore that we saw Wanda Sykes- I mean, this woman not only looked just like her, but she sounded just like her too. We knew how ridiculous that would seriously be, but I'm telling you, the resemblance was really uncanny! :-D Still, unlikely. Then we walked to Trader Joe's and stocked up on some goodies- chipotle salsa, salmon burgers, chicken, Clif Kids Z-bars, etc., and I found a new item!

DSCI1321 Papaya chunks! Exciting! You know, I don't think I've ever had papaya before. I bought two bags and have already given them a try, and it's yummy, but I have to say, I like mango better... ah well... live and learn! I'll finish off the bags and then go back to my trusty mango and pineapple. :-D

We were pretty exhausted from getting up early and running around for most of the day, so we went back to my apartment and just took it easy the rest of the day/evening. We made grilled chicken wraps for dinner, and watched Zack and Miri Make a Porno... it was really funny! Very raunchy. Don't see this with your grandmother. And the storyline was cute... like a very obscene version of When Harry Met Sally, haha. But funny! Then again, any movie with Seth Rogen in it is guaranteed to have quite a few inappropriate laughs, LOL... I love him! :-)

We ended up not doing the Book Festival today. It didn't start until 11 a.m., my sister had a lot of homework and wanted to be back early, the trains would only be running once an hour on Sundays, and it would take an hour just to go one-way... we just realized that the timetable wasn't really going to work. Oh well... maybe next time!

I took my sister home after breakfast, and then decided to run all of my errands today so that I didn't have to do anything on my vacation day tomorrow except sit on my butt. :-) I'm so glad I decided to do that and get everything over with... there's nothing worse than taking a vacation day where you're so busy doing a ton of stuff, that it doesn't even feel like a day off! I went all out- vacuumed my room, did laundry, changed my sheets, changed the cat litter, ran and unloaded the dishwasher... and now it's all done and I don't have to do squat tomorrow! :-) The most productive thing I'll do is go to the gym. That's it! :-)

I haven't gotten very far in Sense and Sensibility yet. I'm discovering that it's really the kind of book that you have to sit down and give your undivided attention to, and I just haven't been able to do that lately, being busy all weekend, being too stressed out and tired from work to really concentrate, etc. But I really want to get more into it! So hopefully I can read a little more tomorrow.

I know I keep promising you reviews of Love the One You're With and Naturally Thin. I feel like a liar, LOL. I don't mean to be!!! I'll just sum up Love the One You're With like this- while I do enjoy Emily Giffin, I have to say that this was my least favorite of her books that I've read (and I'm pretty sure I've read them all). I just didn't care for the main character, Ellen, and when you don't care for the main character of a book, it's hard to feel for him/her throughout the story, you know? That being said, it was still an entertaining enough read, and if you like traditional chick lit, you'd like this- but I just didn't care for the main character, and I thought the ending was a little far-fetched.

Naturally Thin, on the other hand, I have a lot more to say about. Just give me a little more time to get all my thoughts together- I promise to try and make it worthwhile! But for now, it's late, the day has gotten away from me (multitasking will do that to you!), and right now, my bed and my new Knots Landing DVD are calling me name... soon, kids... bear with me!

Hope you all had super-fabulous weekends!!!!