February’s Read

I swore it wouldn’t happen.

While everyone around me was hacking up a lung or burning a fever or being plagued with strep throat, I was immune.
Totally.  100%.  Immune.

Lesson learned: Don’t speak too soon. Because lo and behold, “it” happened.  I woke up on Monday with a burning sore throat.  Eyes that felt like giant fireballs.  And the energy of a piece of spaghetti.  Totally.  100%.  Limp.

In addition to becoming best friends with the kleenex box and guzzling tons of water, I’ve also been eating copious amounts of whole wheat blueberry muffins…I followed my basic recipe but used whole wheat in place of the white.  Delicious. I may have even enjoyed them more than the original, thanks to the slight nutty, wheaty texture.

I’ve also been eating chili like it’s my job.

(FYI, I don’t lose my appetite when I’m feeling under the weather.  But I most definitely DO have a very limited number of foods that seem to hit the spot.)

Chili and muffins.  Considering the fact that I could only eat frozen bagel bite pizzas when I had pneumonia as a kid, I’d say this isn’t so bad. 😉

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A Book A Month Resolution, 2011

January’s Choice: “Brooklyn”

February’s Choice: “House Rules” by Jodi Picoult

I am a huge fan of Jodi Picoult.  She really knows how to pull at my heartstrings, making me laugh and cry throughout each of her books.  Each and every one.  I love that.

Chapter by chapter, the characters become more than just fiction.  They become real. A sister, a brother, a friend.   “House Rules” follows the life of a family and a boy who has Aspergers.  A girl becomes murdered, and you’re left wondering the who’s, what’s, and why’s throughout the book.  You want to believe that someone in particular is NOT guilty, but then you’re not entirely convinced that he’s not.  And if he IS guilty, should he be charged?  Was it really his fault?

I loved the beautiful way that Jodi Picoult explained Aspergers.  I loved the way she tied the characters together, showing the strength of a family.  The frustrations.  The anger.  The sadness.  The happiness.  I loved the book.

Loved it.  And highly recommend it. 😀

Question: Do you lose your appetite when you’re sick?

Question: What have you been reading lately?

Over A Bowl of Oats

It was over a bowl of crunchy cashew banana oats, that I officially began my New Years Resolution.

 

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Each new year, I like to plan out what my important goals will be.  Sometimes I fall flat on my face and realize that I did nothing to achieve my resolutions.  Other years I’m overwhelmed by all that was accomplished. 

This year, I decided that I wanted to make my goals entirely achievable.  Which explains why “travel to Paris” isn’t on the list.  Maybe next year.  😉

What was on the list, was the goal of reading one book a month for the entire year of 2011.  Today, I finished January’s book: Brooklyn.

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At first I didn’t much like the book.  It was—what’s the word?—simple.  Almost too simple.  But then I realized that it was simple because Elise was simple.  She was a young girl who knew nothing outside of her hometown in Ireland.  She thought nothing would ever change.  That her sister Rose and her mother would always be right there.  That life would continue on, just as is. 

And then things change.  The book becomes more complex.  Elise travels to America to find work, and the book has an undertone of fear.  Fear of the unknown.  And then, when she meets a young Italian man in America, the book become becomes light.  Frivolous, even.  Exciting. 

The book keeps changing, as each part of the book holds a new tone.  It’s rare to find a book that can change a character—change the entire tone—while still holding true to the personality of the original character.  The book is raw.  Simple.  Complex.  Sad but real.  Honest. 

I loved it!

 

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I think the key for pulling through with New Years Resolutions and goals for me, is to break them down month by month.  It holds me accountable, and I absolutely love the fresh start that each new month (each new DAY, for that matter) brings. 😀

Crunchy Cashew Banana Oats

I’ve been eating this standard breakfast for the past week or so.  I love the sweetness of cashew butter and bananas, and I love the crunch that granola brings to the table.  It’s a wonderful, winning combination.

You could make this stovetop, of course, but preparing the mix the night before and microwaving it the following morning produces very similar results.  Letting the oats sit in the liquid for a nights course softens them right up; you will have a deliciously creamy bowl of oatmeal in 3-5 minutes flat.  Enjoy this warm treat on even the busiest of mornings. :D 

  • 1/2 c. oatmeal
  • 1 c. milk + 1/4 c. water
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. crushed flax seed
  • cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp. Natures Path Pumpkin Flax Granola
  • 2 Tbsp. cashew butter
  1. In a large, microwaveable bowl, place oatmeal, milk, water, banana, flax seed and spices in a bowl.  Stir, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next morning, uncover the bowl and microwave for 3-5 minutes, stirring halfway through.  Top with granola and cashew butter and enjoy with your favorite book.

Question: Do you make daily/monthly/yearly goals for yourself?  How do you make them achievable? 

things to do

I put shower gel in my hair instead of conditioner.

I ate cajun in my morning bowl of oatmeal, thinking it was cinnamon.

I went to bed at 8:30 last night and fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

I had no answer for an elderly woman who asked me what day it was.  She thought I was being nice. 

I ate scrambled eggs two nights in a row.

The craziness continues.

The good news is that after tonight, I’ll be busy with only fun stuff for the next couple of weeks.  Vacation, here I am!  My brain thanks you.

I plan on vacation being filled to the brim with…

(1) Reading

I just finished Commuters by Emily Gray Tedrowe.  On first page, I honestly didn’t really like it. I had to force myself to keep going, because I just didn’t feel like the book was taking me anywhere.

And then I began the journey of getting to know the characters.  A young, punky guy who seems to just want someone—anyone—to believe in him.  An elderly woman, willing to do anything for the man who didn’t enter her life until recently.  A woman rediscovering her own life.  Rediscovering her husband after a severe accident that left him without a memory.

So many stories.  All combined into one family.  By the end of the book, I couldn’t put it down.  I felt so connected to each of the characters; they were so real.

 

Next on my list? 

I just, just, just started it, but so far I’m really liking it.

(2) Cooking

Because, really, there’s no excuse for the fact that I haven’t put the package I got from Jess to good use.  It’s a shame, really.

She sent me this package of graham flour.  I’m beyond excited to put this to good use.

To be continued…Tomorrow Morning!

(3) Preparing for Christmas

Because no Christmas is complete without at least one or two cups of hot chocolate and a night filled with baking cookies.  Not to mention the fact that I have some Christmas gift shopping to do (last full weekend before Christmas!)

Let my vacation begin! 😀

Question: Are you all done Christmas shopping?  Not me!!  Almost, but not quite.  I’m determined to finish it all this weekend though, sticking to my resolution that I will not be a last minute gift buyer.