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Posts Tagged ‘reading’

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(I used the Rhonna Designs app on my iPhone to make this pic. I used this picture I took from my recent visit to Santa Cruz Boardwalk).

1.  This is my last Friday of summer vacation. 😦  This time next Friday I’ll be at a “Welcome Back” meeting for the start of the new school year for our first teacher workday.  My plan for the day is to spend it the way I’ve spent the entire summer – a combo of fitness and fun.  Fitness: a session on my home elliptical, walking the dogs with my dad, and swimming some laps. Fun: a bit of shopping (just took advantage of Victoria Secret’s most recent email offer), reading poolside, and a possible date later tonight.

2. This week has been a very social one, getting together with lots of friends that I’ve known since high school, which I’ve loved.  That’s one of the huge distinctions between my life now and my life before I lost all the weight.  I was always a social, extroverted person, but I often felt a bit depressed about the way I looked. Not to mention the clothing issue – I always tried to look my best, but nothing ever fit the way it should’ve.  I can’t count the number of times I turned down an invitation or made some excuse just so that I wouldn’t have to deal with all of that.  Now, I have tons of clothes in the closet that look great and make me feel fantastic.  Now, I am happy and excited when someone suggests going out.  I’m actually getting teary-eyed thinking about what a huge switch this is.  Just one more thing to be so grateful for about this new life.

3. I’ve been getting into Instagram a lot this summer, as you can tell by my feed on the right.  I post daily check-ins for my workouts and lots of pics of other things that just strike my fancy.  While I’ve been off, it’s been easy and really fun. This month I’m participating in three different photo-a-day contests, and I’m hoping I can keep up with them once school starts. If you haven’t joined a photo-a-day contest, I righly recommend them…maybe not just three in one month.  Still, the contests are a great way for me to stay focused on fitness, get motivated, and inspire myself and others with all the photos.

2014-08-02 08.50.30One is for the TIU community,

2014-08-01 12.17.59 one is hosted by @MoxieFitchick,

photoand the third is the Active Living Challenge with Fit Approach and Lorna Jane Active.

4. In anticipation of the school year starting in about a week, I spent a good portion of the day yesterday mapping out my school year workout plans in my iCal.  Since I have a morning prep period on my B days (which means I can get to school a bit later than normal) I’m going to fit in early morning fitness classes at the gym several times a week.  The live Insanity class that I tried a few weeks ago is now offered Tuesday mornings at 5:45am, and I’ll be there whenever Tuesday is a B day.  I’m also going to spinning at least once a week at 5:45am.  I’m still undecided about what I’ll do on my A days, when I need to leave my house by 7am.  Towards the end of last year I was waking up at 4:30am to do a morning workout, but that is just SO early.  Although it’s not ideal, I think I may go back to afternoon workouts on A days, because I really did enjoy them and they’re a great way to relieve the stress of the day.

5. 2014-08-07 12.40.49 Kandis, one of the TIUgirls, mentioned a week or two ago that she had started reading Gabrielle Bernstein’s May Cause Miracles.  Who doesn’t want “subtle shifts for radical change and unlimited happiness” right? The reviews and general internet buzz about the book was so positive that I thought I’d give it a try.  Have you read it?  What are your thoughts?  What book are you reading right now? Let me know in the comments.

That’s my Friday Five – I’m off to enjoy some pool time.

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Happy Friday! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, full of fun and exciting adventures.

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As you guys know, I’ve been loving the ToneItUp‘s workouts since mid-January.  I’ve done them 5 days a week, every week since I began, only missing while I was on vacation in Hawaii.  (If you haven’t checked them out, I highly recommend you do.  It’s completely free, and they have a fun community, full of supportive, motivating people who cheer on every workout you post about).

They’re about to launch their new #bikiniseries this coming Monday, which will run for 8 weeks, until the official start of summer.  Karena and Katrina put so much into the daily workouts they design, and the best part is, the whole thing is free.  All you need to do is sign up for the #bikiniseries and you’ll get reminder emails, weekly workouts, fun giveaways, yummy recipes, contests, etc.

I like the approach that Tone It Up takes toward living a healthy lifestyle.  Not only do they include workouts and nutrition, but they also concentrate on mindset.  Take yesterday’s challenge, for example:

The challenge asked participants to create their own summer must-do list.  Beyond workouts and eating right, what were things that we wanted to make sure to fit in this summer? I loved this! Any time I can make a list and get creative with my summer plans, I’m all for it!  As a teacher, lots of people ask me, what do you do all summer long?  My answer is always the same – anything I want to!  🙂  This summer, I really want to concentrate on enjoying each and every day.  I didn’t include all of my plans on my list, but I did include most of the things I’m hoping to do:

 

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The photo I used is one that was taken for me by a Danish tourist while I was riding my bike at Kailua Beach on Oahu.  She worried that I would be upset that so much of it was in the shadows, but I assured her that I actually liked the way it turned out.  It was the perfect photo to use for this assignment because it has an artsy feel right off the bat.  I like the way I’m in silhouette with the bike, but the ocean and the beach are in the bright sun in the background.

I thought I’d elaborate a bit on each of these summer plans…

Mid-morning swims: One of my favorite parts of summer is being able to swim at the pool at my parents’ townhouse complex.  More often than not, if I get there by 10:30 or 11, I have the entire place to myself, and I’m free to swim laps to my heart’s content.  Sometimes my dad and I meet there and swim together, and it’s a nice way for us to connect with each other as we update each other on the latest family happenings while we’re drying off in the sun.  It’s also a great time for me to be alone with my thoughts and just let go of all worries and stress.  Swimming really soothes me, and I can’t wait to start my almost-daily swims.

Daily doses of laughter: Whether it’s retelling a funny story, joking with my nieces, or watching Sofi do something goofy, I want to appreciate all the little moments of laughter that are part of my daily life this summer.  Laughter is good for the soul and the spirit, and I want to make sure I’m enjoying it all the time.

Hawaii-themed party: Since I had such a fun time in Hawaii, I figured it would be fun to have a party with a Hawaiian theme.  I’m still deciding if I’ll combine it with a Silpada party that I’m planning to have, or if it will be more of a traditional party.  Either way, I have plenty of fun outfits to choose from.

Coffee chats: I live really close to Starbucks (doesn’t everyone?!), so close in fact, that I can walk there with ease.  It’s become a habit with three or four of my friends that we meet up there and catch up about all that’s going on in our lives.  It’s the perfect place to get together because I can get a calorie-free passion iced tea, or a caffeine kick with an iced cinnamon dolce misto.  As far as I’m concerned, coffee is the perfect drink any time of day, so it fits well with a more carefree summer schedule.

SF (and SJ) Giants games: I love supporting my Giants, and plan to go to as many games as I can afford to this summer.  One that I know I’ll go to is the Italian Night at the Giants, where a really large group of family and friends all get together.  It’s so much fun!  The tickets at AT&T Park are expensive, so lately my friends and I have been opting to go to the SJ Giants games.  Not only are they ridiculously inexpensive (less than $10 per game), but they’re a lot of fun.  Very family-friendly, with lots of activities for the kids to participate in between innings.  My friend Di and I are even signing up to do the Giant 5K, which gets us into the game the evening of the race.  I’m actually going to an SJ Giants game this Friday with my sister and nieces, which will be tons of fun.  Bring on the baseball!!

Going on dates!: I’m actually really looking forward to this one.  Assuming of  course there are men to go on dates with.  I was only on Match.com for about 2 months back in November/December, and I have to say, I was pretty underwhelmed.  I got lots of winks, emails, and nudges, but when it came time for the guys to just make the move and ask for my number so we could move it to the next level of texting/talking on the phone and then hopefully soon afterward meeting up, they never pulled the trigger.  Even when I directly said, “here’s my number, I’d love to figure out a time for us to meet up for coffee or something.”  They disappeared quick.  I’m not one to go into a long and drawn out relationship online via email, or text, for that matter.  If you’re interested, you think I’m cute, you want to get to know me better, then let’s do that – let’s meet up and see if we hit it off.  Because we can have all the chemistry in the world online, we won’t know if we’re really going to be attracted to each other until we meet up.  I’m hoping that this time of year will be easier to connect than it was around the holidays.  One of the major takeaways I had from my trip to Hawaii was that I’m really ready to be in a relationship, even a more casual one.  Hopefully I have a bit of romance in store this summer.

Leash-free beach trips: Last summer I had a blast taking Sofi to a lesser-known beach where she could run off leash.  We have the best time when we go – she loves running along the shore, but is afraid to get too close to the water, so I don’t have to worry much about the waves taking her.  We both get in a great walk, we get some sunshine, and I get to read and relax.  What could be better?  Besides just that particular dog-friendly beach, I also hope to hit the other local beaches often this summer.

Long walks w/ Sofi: I take Sofi on walks almost every single day, but in the summer it’s so nice to be able to wake up and take a nice, long walk before the temperature heats up too much.  I love exploring all the different streets around my neighborhood with Sofi.  She loves when I find new places for our walks, so that’s definitely on my to-do summer list.

Reading: I’m not off to the best start so far this year in terms of my reading goal on Goodreads, but I did get quite a bit of reading time in when I was on vacation in Hawaii.  My goal for the summer is to fit in at least an hour a day of reading time.  I enjoy reading so much, and I want to make it a priority during the time of year when I have so few responsibilities pulling my focus from the things I enjoy.

Riding roller coasters: This is a huge one for me! It will definitely be its own blog post when it happens because it will be a major NSV.  I love going on roller coasters – the wilder and faster the better.  I haven’t been on one in I can’t even remember how long because of the time that I got on one and almost had to get off because the safety bar wasn’t going to close.  I pleaded with the kid running the ride to let me stay on it, and he did.  After that I only got bigger and knew that roller coaster were way out of reach.  I didn’t ever want to risk the embarrassment of being asked to get off before I was able to ride the ride.  So, this summer I plan on going to Great America and the Santa Cruz Boardwalk to ride as many roller coasters as I can.  Can’t wait!!

Family BBQs: I love grilling any day of the week, but getting together with my family and friends and sharing a meal as easy as BBQing is something really look forward to.  Sometimes it’s as simple as bringing my meat over to their house for an impromptu BBQ; other times it’s a more planned affair, like for Father’s Day or 4th of July.  Either way, I can’t wait to fire up the grill and get cooking!

Cocktails: Summertime is a great time to relax and let go a bit.  While I usually only drink on special occasions because the alcohol has empty calories, there is something to be said for enjoying a nice glass of white wine or a Swirl (local peeps will know what time talking about) with friends. Any afternoon or evening becomes more of a celebration when you add a cocktail.

Bike rides: I love riding my cruiser around, and now that more of my friends have bikes, too, I hope to get out and go on rides all summer long.  Half Moon Bay, Morgan Hill, and everywhere in between.  I love the freedom I feel when I’m riding my bike, the sun shining on my face, the wind in my hair.  There’s nothing in the world like it.

Backyard lounging: I have this great Adirondack chair that I bought a few years ago that’s nicely weathered now.  I adore sitting in it and enjoying the peace and serenity of my backyard.  Looking at the garden and seeing the flowers and trees.  Watching Sofi cavorting in the grass.  Reading, listening to music, or just trying to keep cool on a warm night.  Sounds perfect to me.

There are a lot more things I could add to my list, but I’ll save those up until I have enough to create an entirely new one.  This was such a fun exercise, and I’m really glad the Tone It Up girls gave this assignment.  It put me in a great mood and gave me some inspiration to get through these last weeks of my school year.

Now that you’ve read my list of how I’m going to create my summer, I’d like to challenge you to write your own list.  Either in the comments or by joining the TIU challenge.  Post a pic on Instagram with your list.  Tweet about it.  Write your own blog post.  It was a fun activity that really put me in the mindset to enjoy myself this summer, and I can’t wait to read about your plans.

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Happy Monday! I have a lot of fun things in the works this week, and I’m excited to share them with you as they happen.  Look for some great posts this week. One thing I’ve been really lax on lately is reading and commenting on blog posts.  I feel like ever since Google Reader announced its departure, my reading habits have been thrown a curve ball.  So I plan to rectify that, beginning today.

But now let’s get on with this week’s topic.

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: 10 Things That Make Me Happy

1.  First and foremost, my family.  They are the people who forgive me at my worst and celebrate me at my best.  They have been absolutely amazing in cheering my weight loss, and never shy away from complimenting me.  I am the person I’ve become because of their guidance and unending support.

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2.  My friends.  So many of the women that I consider my best friends are people I’ve known since high school.  Friendships that last 24 years are solid friendships, to be sure.  But I also feel really close to people that I’ve met much more recently, because sometimes you meet someone and you just click.  You know the type of friendship I mean – the kind where you feel as if you’ve known the person your whole life.  I value my friends and remain loyal to them through thick and thin.  If you’ve heard the term “ride or die chick,” that’s who I am for my friends.

3.  Sofi!  You knew she was going to be in the top 3, didn’t you?  This pup has brought unending joy and happiness into my life. She helps me live in the moment and to appreciate life’s special, little moments that I might otherwise miss.  There’s nothing better than going on a long walk with Sofi.

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I love this little one even when she’s being a monkey and tearing up the roses in my yard! (She loves eating the petals!).

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Her favorite resting position. Does it get any cuter?!

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4.  Teaching.  As much as I complain sometime about the workload/grading, I really do love what I do.  I adore hearing from former students and knowing that I impacted their lives in a positive way.  I enjoy watching them mature into bright, mature people who are ready to be contributing citizens.  It sounds corny, but I am so lucky to be able to do what I love for a living.  (Remind me of this in the middle of the semester when I’m drowning in honors essays, ok?).

5.  A great pedicure.  There’s really nothing like feeling like you toes look their best, especially in sandal season.

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6.  Reading.  Not only does reading offer a much-needed escape from reality, but it often allows me to learn, grow, and expand my thoughts.  From the moment I was taught how to decipher words on a page, I’ve loved reading, and I know that love will last with me forever.

7.  Writing. This blog is my outlet, my creative space.  A place where I share my thoughts and emotions, my dreams and my frustrations.  Who knows if it will ever become something more, something greater.  I’m just glad I have an ability to express myself through the written word.

8.  The beach.  I go to the beach as often as I can, and still it’s never enough.  Someday I would love to retire to a small little cottage on the beach so that I could take morning walks along the ocean.  How amazing does that sound?  Believe it, be it, right?

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9. Cooking.  Over the years, I really have become someone who loves to cook for myself and for others.  I love every aspect of it, from finding the perfect recipe, to planning the menu, to shopping, to chopping, to cooking, and tasting the final product.  Cooking is another creative outlet for me, and it’s been so much fun adapting the foods and flavors I love into my new post-surgery lifestyle.  I love a challenge!  Food is a huge part of my Italian culture, so the fact that I’m able to carry on my family’s traditions through some of the meals I make brings me great joy.

10. Shopping! Whether it’s shopping for a gift for someone else, or adding to my own wardrobe, I adore shopping.  I get a rush when I’m looking for that special something and find it.  I’ve always loved the way that clothes make me feel about myself, but now that I’m seeing the results of my efforts on the scale, clothes are even better.  I haven’t had any major shopping trips yet…but I’m biding my time until that first major shopping trip.  I cannot wait.

11.  (I know Kenlie asked for 10, but I just have to add this last one).  Working out.  Who would’ve thought that I would have written those words.  But it’s so true.  I love the feeling I get when I tackle a new fitness milestone. And the sense of accomplishment that comes when a really good workout is over.  I even love the way my heart pounds out of my chest as I try to match the tempo of my workout tunes while I’m on the elliptical machine.  I love the way working out feeds my competitive nature.  I know fitness is going to be my hobby/obsession from here on out.  As things get easier to accomplish because my overall health is improving, I know I’ll try to overcome bigger challenges.

Now it’s your turn to answer the questions! And also be sure to go back to Kenlie’s blog and leave a link to your FMM post in the comments! I really encourage you to comment on as many people’s posts as you can – I’ve met some fantastic people through FMM. You never know who you’ll meet today.

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I have about a month of summer vacation left, and I plan to eek all the excitement out of these last weeks as possible. I haven’t been to the pool in over a week, and I miss it, so I plan on doing much more swimming while I still have the time.  In fact, I really want to focus on trying one new fitness activity per week: using a spinning app I bought to get on a spin bike at the gym and give it a whirl, going to a Zumba class for the first time since surgery, getting back into Hot Hula in August, trying one of the weight training classes (like BodyPump), and maybe even Body Combat, if I’m feeling really adventurous.

I know this is supposed to be about summer, but today I had a meeting with some of the administrators from school, and I was able to see my schedule for next year.  I’m happy to report that I once again have a 3rd period prep, which means that I have the last period of my “A” day off.  Just like last year, I plan on leaving early enough so that I can get to the gym before the masses.

528403_10151320359910426_1422342242_n Tomorrow my sister and I are headed to SeaScape Resort with the doggies.  I love going there, because it’s a semi-private beach that allows dogs to go off leash.  Plus, it’s absolutely gorgeous there.  I’m looking forward to a long walk in the sand with the waves lapping my feet.  I also love watching the dogs run far ahead and then come back; they get so tired by the time we’re through.  It should be a fun day.

Friday Night Lights tv show image I just started watching Friday Night Lights, and I’m in the middle of quite a marathon.  I love this show!  I’ve always loved football, and of course I enjoy the whole high school aspect, plus I love the sense of school pride the show displays.  I’m just beginning Season 2, and I’m enjoying the character development.

10644930 I recently started reading the behemoth 11/23/63 by Stephen King.  It’s 849 pages, which is really daunting because I have it in it’s full, heavy hardcover glory.  I’ve never been a huge fan of Stephen King’s horror, but I love his other fiction, like Shawshank Redemption and The Body, which is the novella that Stand By Me is based on.  I’m enjoying the writing, and I’m really intrigued by the topic.  I’ll keep you posted.

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1. What a great week to be off of work!  I’ve spent my week off doing the perfect mix of activities – plenty of hardcore gym sessions, a few new culinary experiments, spending tons of time with friends, and reading.  The only way I could think of to top this week would have been if I’d been laying on a tropical beach somewhere.

20130222-103944.jpg 2. One of my culinary experiments was my cauliflower crust pizza.  Although my first attempt has needs some perfecting, I think I know exactly how to do just that.

3.  Yesterday I spent a fabulous day riding my bike in Half Moon Bay, and I also found this little quote, which just so happens to look strikingly similar to my beach cruiser, Lola.

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4.  I finished Gone Girl, and all I can say is if you haven’t read it – READ it!  I can’t say much more because there are lots of twists and turns that keep you shocked all the way to the final page of the novel.  My current read is another one by Gillian Flynn,

5886881 As the title implies, this one is another dark novel, and I am just as engaged by the flawed characters in this one.

5.  Finally, this morning as I was making my coffee, Sofi once again reminded me that sometimes all you need to be content is just a little spot of sun.  I love my pooch so much, and I’m glad she’s here to teach me all of these life lessons.

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1. I’m off today, and while I don’t have any real plans, I’m really enjoying having the freedom to do whatever I want to today. So far I’ve taken Sofi to the groomer’s, worked out, and started checking out all my favorite online haunts. Later I’m going to the dentist. It’s wild and crazy around here, I tell ya! But I am looking forward to catching up with a couple of friends later today.

2. On Sunday I went on the David’s Tea website and ordered three different varieties:

  1. Movie Night: it has real popped popcorn in it and is supposed to taste just like the real thing, without any calories.
  2. Cocoa Canela: this one is like Mexican chocolate, chocolate with cinnamon in it. Yum!
  3. Crème Caramel Rooibos: caramel is probably my favorite dessert flavor, so this will be a nice treat.

My thinking behind the order is that these teas, although pricey, will be the perfect after dinner sweet treat. Since I’m reducing my calories so strictly, I know I may have some cravings, and this will suit me perfectly. I’ve heard amazing things about David’s tea, and I couldn’t wait to receive it, but since it was coming from eastern Canada, I knew it would take a while to receive it. Not so! I just got my box today!!

20130208-124032.jpg I’m drinking the free sample of their coco chai as I write this, and it’s yummy!  I can’t wait to have cups (& pots) of all the others.

gone-girl-review_320 3.  I’ve just started reading Gone Girl, and although I’ve only just begun it, I’m really enjoying it.  I’ve heard so many great things about the book, and I can’t wait to see if it lives up to all the hype.  What’s on your bookshelf?

4.  I’ve been doing great with my workouts all week, but the one that I’m looking forward to the most is a love-themed Zumba class with Ani tomorrow, and you can bet I’ll be sporting either red or hot pink:

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5.  Finally, I saw this on FB this morning and loved it…

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Happy Friday!!! On the heels of a long weekend, today’s bound to be a fantastic day.

1. I completed my project revamping the school website, and everyone is really pleased.  It always feels good to be recognized for a job well done, especially with something that was so time consuming.

14212954_1208060030002. Tuesday evening my sister had asked me to watch my 5-year-old niece for a couple of hours, and my first thought was, let’s play Just Dance 4! I’d given it to my nieces for Christmas, but none of us had a chance to check it out yet.  So we popped it into the player and we boogied for 45 minutes!  My niece’s favorite songs were Call Me Maybe (hey, she’s five) and You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful (One Direction). She was jumping around so much that my sister said her feet hurt for two days afterward.  Poor baby!  That just shows how much we were getting into it.  I liked the new songs, and I can’t wait to try it again.

3. Goal #9 for my 13 in 13 is to do fun things with other people (i.e. get more social).  So far, I’ve been doing really well on this goal.  Last Sunday, I went over Tinkerbell and her hubby’s house to watch the Patriots’ game.  It was fun meeting new people, and getting out of the house for a couple of hours. This weekend I have plans to go on a bike ride with Tink and have dinner with my sister and parents (I’m bringing my food to eat so that I can stay on track) on Saturday, and then on Sunday after the 49ers game, go to coffee with Di, one of my best friends since high school.  I’ve made plans with Ani, too.  We’re going yoga at Lululemon on Sunday morning and then a combo puppy play date/ bike ride on Monday. I am loving getting back to my extroverted, social self.

4. I’ve been reading The Paris Wife, and I really enjoy it.  So far this year I haven’t followed my plan of carving out an hour each Saturday and Sunday to read, so this weekend I’m going to rectify that.  The weather is supposed to warm up this weekend, so I’m heading to my backyard to read in the fresh air.

5. I found this right before the new year on Pinterest, and so far, it has been completely true:

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Since I didn’t officially finish this post until Saturday morning, I figured I’d throw in one more to make it a Saturday Six, or should I say, a Quest for Six:

Who's got it better than us? NO ONE!!!

Who’s got it better than us? NO ONE!!!

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Throughout the month of December, I’ll be participating in #reverb12: celebrating the successes of 2012, honoring the challenges of 2012, and planting the seeds for a rich and rewarding 2013. December is the perfect time to reflect on the year that has passed and start to manifest dreams for the new year.

Day 9What was the best book you read in 2012, and why?

9361589-1The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern was one of the best books I’ve ever read, period.

It’s a sweeping, dark, gothic novel about a fantastical, moving circus called Le Cirque des Rêves, which is announced only by the tents that fill the skyline of whichever city they’ve set up in and which disappears without notice just as quickly. What makes this circus unique is that it’s open only at night and the acts aren’t slights of hand or what we think of as magic, but actual feats of supernatural skill completed as a competition behind the scenes.

The characters are richly drawn, the plot is seductive, and the writing is phenomenal. I liked the book so much that I assigned it to my students as outside reading. Most of them loved it as much as I did.

Go pick it up, you’ll only be sorry once it ends and you don’t have more pages to read.

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This month I’m participating in 30 Days of Thanks (#30DaysofThanks) by writing a blog post about 30 things I’m thankful for. To join in, go to the link above. The best part is, you don’t need to have a blog or even be on social media to take part in the project; you just need to be thankful. I can’t wait to see how my life might change by spending the 30 days in November giving thanks for things in my life — every single day.

Today I am thankful that my sister and I found some time in our busy schedules to slip away and go to see The Perks of Being a Wallflower before it left theatres.  If you didn’t get to see it, do.  If you haven’t read the book, read it.  Go buy the soundtrack, it’s fantastic.  Or, if you want, just go listen to it on Spotify:

The movie was beautifully done.  I think it helped that the novel’s author, Stephen Chbosky, wrote the screenplay and directed the film, too.  As much as I loved the book, I think this film might have been even better.  Although that might have been because the actors were so endearing.  It was truly one of the best movies I have seen in recent memory.

Afterward, LC and I went to Starbucks for a bit of an afternoon pick-me-up, and to take advantage of their “buy one holiday drink, get the other free from 2pm-5pm deal”.  I treated myself to a Grande Skinny Peppermint Mocha for 130 calories.  It was a delicious treat.

Weekends like this one, where my sister and I get to spend a lot of time together (we lounged around for much of the day yesterday, too) are all too rare, making them all the more precious.  I’m so grateful that my sister is my best friend and that she and my nieces live right next door.

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This month I’m participating in 30 Days of Thanks (#30DaysofThanks) by writing a blog post about 30 things I’m thankful for. To join in, go to the link above. The best part is, you don’t need to have a blog or even be on social media to take part in the project; you just need to be thankful. I can’t wait to see how my life might change by spending the 30 days in November giving thanks for things in my life — every single day.

Outside the sky has turned gray and the clouds are  showering everything beneath them with rain.  It’s my kind of day!

I’m thankful for a rainy Friday afternoon with nothing on the agenda but a strong, hot cup of coffee and a great book.

{Sure, I have loads of essays that I could be grading, but how often do days like this come around?  I’ll get back to those essays tomorrow, I promise}.

I’m currently reading The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker, and I have been captivated by both the story and the way that she writes.  Very engaging!

As for the coffee, my favorite is Caffe Verona from Starbucks, and luckily I have lots of K-Cups to keep me going all day.

I can’t think of a more enjoyable way to spend a quiet afternoon.  I’m grateful that I have the time to do it.

Now it’s time to cuddle up with Sofi…

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