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Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Driving and Listening

I drive. A lot. I drive 44 miles to work… one way. I am in the car. A lot.

As much as I love music and rolling the windows down (even in the winter and I crank the heat) and singing at the top of my lungs, I get tired of the radio. It gets so bad sometimes that when I am listening to Pandora radio, I’ll skip so many songs that I cannot skip any more, on any station. Then I have to go station by station until I find a song I want to hear. Luckily I have dozens of stations to match all my moods, so even going station by station, I can find something to appease myself.

But when the music gets old, the audio books come in handy! I have listened to 59 audio books the past few years. Wow. That sounds like a lot. I’m quite surprised myself!! I made an “audio book” section on my Goodreads list so I can keep track of which ones I listen to. That normally helps change up the monotony of the drive. But I’ll be honest, I need a break after a few audio books. They can also get monotonous.

So what is my latest way to pass the time? Netflix. Yes, I’m serious. It started a few weeks ago when I was catching up on Scandal. A coworker told me I would love it. I finally gave in and watched two seasons in about a week. One morning while I was getting ready, I was watching/listening and was really into the episode and couldn’t wait until I got home to see what happened next. So, I plugged my phone into my Aux cord in my car and played the episode. It was just like an audio book, but with more characters speaking.

netflix

Granted, the tv shows are more visual than what I am used to, and I know I miss some of the visual parts that would probably help explain what is going on, but I’m a multitasker. Even when I’m at home watching tv, I’m doing something else. I’m reading, or catching up on social media, or working on my blog (I’m currently watching the Syracuse vs. Dayton March Madness game). So I’m used to being a good listener when my stories are on.

This has really worked for me! I watched a few episodes of Scandal, a few of Dexter, and even a few of How I Met Your Mother when I needed a boost.

Now I don’t do this daily. Just like with everything else I get bored. But I absolutely love how technology gives us the option of listening to anything on our phones these days.

And this may not work for everyone. I’ve told a few people about this and have had people ask about the safety. I don’t watch my phone. I start the show, put my phone in the console and drive. I listen . I know it’s dangerous.

Has anyone else done this? I have a very deep watch list on Netflix with shows that I am interesting in watching, but always open to add more to my list.

PostHeaderIcon Oh What a Winter!

Ugh! Is it really only February? I am so sick of winter and the cold and snow! I am all about the novelty of the first snow of the season. It’s pretty and it normally means Christmas is around the corner (since it normally happens in late November/early December). But after Christmas, I am ready for warm, outdoor running weather.

We have been lucky the past few winters. Last year our winter was so mild, my husband was able to golf year-round. I think there was only one weekend he couldn’t golf due to wintry weather. This year, it’s been months since he’s been able to hit the links.

It’s been such a cruddy winter that nearly every school in our coverage area has missed all of its allowed calamity days. In Ohio, there has been a push to add more calamity days since nearly the whole state is facing this issue.

big snow

I commute an hour to work each day. In year’s past, I have stayed with coworkers, or at a hotel when it snowed. It was a handful of times a year, at most. This year, I have stayed a DOZEN times! But this year, I don’t dread it nearly as much. I have a couple of coworkers that live close to the station. We have dinner and watch Friends and have gal time. I look forward to coming home each time, spending time with my husband and sleeping in my own bed, but if anything, this wonky weather has bonded the three of us together. Oh and I get to sleep in an hour in the mornings. And one day I even walked to work.

 

walk through snow

 

Oh and get this! A couple of weeks ago I spent the weekend at my cousin’s house. When I got there Friday, I couldn’t believe how much more snow she had at her house compared to mine (and my house has had much more than where I work). It was dry all day Friday and Saturday, then we woke up Sunday to snow. We got 3 to 5 MORE inches than what we originally had and I got snowed in. Yes, I got snowed in! That hasn’t happened to me since 2003 when we had a mondo ice storm.

This winter is definitely leaving its mark. And one of our meteorologists says March may be one of the top 10 snowiest March’s on record. This does not make me a happy girl!!

This winter weather has also cramped my reading style. I think we all have this wonderful thought in our head that when it snows, readers always curl up with a good book, a blanket, a fireplace maybe and a hot cocoa. That has NOT been the case for me this winter. I’ve done ok reading so far this year, but I feel like I am behind.  When I’m with the girls, we chat and watch movies and tv and have fun. I still get in a little reading before bed, but not the curl up in a dark and quiet room lit by a fire.  I’m not complaining through. I am still ahead (or on top of) the reading game… and will give up a little reading time for friend time.

reading

I know I’m not the only one feeling the winter blues! Spill it. What’s driving you most nuts about this winter??

PostHeaderIcon H2Oh No!

Well I’ve had big plans the past week to read my tail off and post my tail off… Obviously that has not happened. Don’t worry I have excuses, excuses.

They start with the weather. Due to some predicted snow and – temperatures and an hour commute, I had a sleepover with some coworkers last week. We spent a lot of time watching Friends and playing Quiz Up (download it if you have an iPhone) and I did very little time reading.

Just as I was getting home and settled, well we had a little bit of a problem in the Kanawha Valley. If you have been under a rock the past week, here’s a little catching up: In Charleston, WV on Thursday, there was a chemical leak into the Elk River. A state of emergency was declared for 9 counties and certain water customers in all of those counties were put on a “do not use” water order. No drinking. No washing. Nothing. No boiling… it won’t help. It’s kind of been a HUGE DEAL! We are going on 6 days and hundreds of thousands of residents can’t bathe or drink water or brush their teeth or wash their clothes. (I live about 50 miles away from the leak, so I was not affected).

Courtesy: NBC Nightly News

Courtesy: NBC Nightly News

Courtesy: CNN

Courtesy: CNN

Courtesy: WSAZ

Courtesy: WSAZ

Good ole’ West Virginia has made national headlines … hence the NBC and CNN pictures above. Oh and I threw one in from my station for good measure. PS – That’s our Governor waiting to be interviewed. It’s been quite the week.

You can only imagine what it’s like working at a news station when there’s a water crisis. Being without power, well that’s unfortunate. But being without water…. that’s just unbearable. All hands have been on deck to cover the water crisis, so reading was put on the backburner.

Now good news, I did finish The Widow File by West Virginia author SG Redling this week and attended her book launch party tonight. A post about it will be up soon.

Now to ironic news, the last SG Redling book I read was called Flowertown and was about a chemical leak that led to an entire town being quarantined. Can you say prophetic? Luckily the West Virginia spill isn’t quite as bad. There have been some hospitalizations, but no serious patients. And the water is slowly coming back on to customers, so hopefully things will slow down and I’ll get back to reading and blogging.

 

PostHeaderIcon AnnAlysis Goals for 2014

Hope that your first day of 2014 has kicked off the year with a bang. We watched the ball drop with great friends and today I stayed in my pj’s until 1, got in a nice 2 mile run in 50 degree weather, and finished my first book of 2014, Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Jill Mansell.

Every year I have ideas for New Year’s resolutions, but never really put much merit with them. They always include reading and working out and saving money and being the best wife, friend and daughter I can be. I am normally pretty big on lists and numbers, but for some reason, I never set the bar too high for the New Year. There are so many obstacles in the year, I know that a wrench can be thrown and life can change. So, I set vague goals and just push myself throughout the year. I am absolutely my biggest competition, so my goal is always to be better than I was the day before.

Reading:
In 2014, when it comes to reading, I don’t really have any major goals on my list this year. I feel like I’m in an awesome place with reading. In the past year, I think I have really grown as a reader, opening up to new genres and becoming more literary rather than just being a reader. I also think that is coming with age. As I get older, my tastes in reading change, just like tastes in everything else in life.

I do plan to spend more time with NetGalley this year. I did pretty well toward the end of the year, really knocking out books on my list and getting to them before they are archived.

I also think I need to find a new reading nook at the house this year. My bed is normally my reading haven, but recently, as soon as I sit down and turn on my lamp, I’m out. I may need to move over to my desk chair… or even get rid of my little desk and get a reading chair. Now that’s a thought!

Novels aren’t going to be the only thing on my reading list this year. I’ve been trying to make my way through the Bible. It’s a slow and steady process, but I have a plan worked out, reading a few verses a day. I’m about a month ahead of my goal, so hopefully I can keep on track.

Blogging:
I definitely need to up my game this year on the blog. There were several times in 2013 that I slacked off. Life gets busy. Between work, and my commute, and working out, and reading, my blog really got put on the back burner last year. But this year, I’m going to work on getting reviews up and scheduled and knocking it out early in the week and not worry about logging on late on a Thursday night to bust out a post.

I want to use this year to kind of find a niche for my blog. Obviously it will always be primarily reviews, but I want to get better at life posts as well. Those are the posts that I love to read on other blogs, I just don’t feel like I have anything interesting enough to tell. I’ve tried several memes over the years, but nothing that has really stuck. This is going to take some thought and time, so stick with me and hopefully you’ll be coming back for more than reviews this year.

Life:
I’m continuing my healthy lifestyle this year, workout wise at least. I’m a snacker. There are some things I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to give up. But I’m already set up to go to the gym through March, then will determine if it’s nice enough to get back outside, or if I need to add another month. I kicked off my workout plan today, with a two mile run, some abs, squats and a little weights. My main fitness goal for this year is to run in more races. I only did one last year and it was my best time as an adult, but didn’t sign up for any others. I want to try to run in a race a month this year. We’ll see how that goes. I need to up my mileage quite a bit to become competitive again.

Saving money is always on my resolution list. This year it’s definitely a priority as we continue to look for a home and I start shopping for a new vehicle. It’s going to be a frugal ’14.

And finally: Be a good person. Be a good wife. Be a good friend. Be a good daughter, sister, etc.

I am really looking forward to this year and what it has in store! I hope you’ve set the bar high for this year.

“You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” -CS Lewis

PostHeaderIcon Let’s Get Physical Friday: Shredding with Jillian Michaels

Runner Blog

I have a confession to make: I’ve fallen off the workout wagon! I had been very proud of my workout efforts for the first several months of the year. I was hitting the gym, or doing home workouts, and running several times a week. I have also been eating better this year, than any other time in my life. I’ve really been on a path to healthier living. I still had cheat days, and weeks where I worked out less than others. But I was pretty consistent… until the last month.

I was playing basketball (which was dumb of me in the first place – I had knee surgery about 10 years ago and tend to get hurt…a lot) and twisted my knee…. the one I had surgery on. It was tender for a few days and I was terrified to do anything. So I took a couple of weeks off. I’m feeling much better, but have been very busy and just haven’t been able to get back on the wagon. Tomorrow will be three weeks since I’ve worked out, except for a few walks and a little bit of dancing at a wedding.

It’s amazing how short a time period can change how you feel about yourself. I haven’t been eating as healthy and I haven’t been working out. I feel like a blob. Others may not notice it, and tell me I’m crazy (which they do), but it doesn’t matter how they see me, it’s how I feel about myself.

So tonight, I’m getting back on the wagon. I’m going to shred with Jillian Michaels.

30 day shred

I have incorporated the 30 Day Shred into my normal workout routine the past few months, but never did it hard core. I would do it once or twice a week, not the 30 days as recommended….until now. I am still nervous about running on my knee, even though I’m not sure Jillian’s high intensity workouts will be any better for it. But I’m willing to try, to at least get me back in shape. And let me tell you, I AM OUT OF SHAPE after three weeks off.

I did the first workout tonight and my arms and legs were killing me! I will be sore tomorrow, but am going to push through it.

The workout includes 3 levels. You do each level for 10 days.

In the past, I’ve only done level 1, so I’m interested to see how the other levels go. I’m also interested to see how my body transforms after 30 days of hardcore workouts. I know I will probably be the only one to notice the changes, but again, I care how I feel about myself, rather than if others notice.

My only concern is actually getting in a workout for 30 straight days. There are some days when I don’t get home until 9 or 10 p.m. and want to grab a quick bite to eat then go to bed. But I am keeping a list of days I get the workout done, so hopefully I’ll keep myself honest. Day 1 is in the books. 29 left to go!

Have you done this series? If so, how did you like it??

Stay tuned for updates!

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