February 11, 2016

Currently...


Feeling... relieved.

Reading... "The Martian" by Andy Weir and "Spark Joy" by Marie Kondo. I never read more than one book at a time but these books are so drastically different in every regard, that it's fine to.


Watching... nothing! None of my TV shows have come back yet! Where is Scandal? Once Upon a Time? Mindy Project?

Thinking about... Lent. It was hard fitting Ash Wednesday Mass in yesterday but I'm so happy that I did.

Working on... reorganizing my apartment.

Needing... to update my planner. I've had a lot of things pop up over the last week but haven't been able to put them into my planner.

Wanting... it to be baseball season.

Annoyed... that we didn't get a snow day this week. We only got rain, but there was so much hype about a potential snow storm that I got excited!

Excited... to have a 4 day weekend!

Hoping... to be able to take a trip to Nashville next month with The Pilot.

Loving... my new computer!!!!!

What's on your list?
Did you write a 'Currently...' post this week? Don't forget to link up!







February 10, 2016

15 Books That Make Great Book Club Reads

I'm so happy that everyone loved my post last week on how to host a successful book club! So many of you are looking to start or join book clubs, or just keep your existing book clubs going strong!

To piggyback on last week's post, I'm sharing some recommendations for book club books that are guaranteed to start a great discussion!


I didn't love all of these books but they definitely lent themselves to great dialogue with friends who had also read these books or in my book clubs! 

The secret to a great book club pick, in my opinion, is to pick something that begs to be discussed, something that not everyone will necessarily love, but will spark a great conversation. All of these books fit that description. Just remember, not everyone will love every book and that's ok! Embrace different opinions!

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford - This is a great historical fiction pick that will spark discussion, especially given today's political climate.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield - I read this book over the summer. It was dark and mysterious but wonderfully written and you and your book club will either love the plot twist at the end or hate it!

The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay - This is one of my all time favorite books and is the source of my favorite running mantra. Taking place in Apartheid-South Africa, this novel about a kid who grows up wanting to be the welterweight boxing champion of the world explores a beautiful relationship between mentor and mentee and offers a lot to discuss.

Still Alice by Lisa Genoa - Alzheimer's is not an easy topic to read about, or to talk about but the way that Alice's family handles her diagnosis in this book sparked a great discussion when I picked it for my last book club.

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver - Another one of my all-time favorites, this book, told from five different perspectives of four daughters and their mother living in Africa with their missionary father. The character development in this book is fascinating and there's a character development twist, which I loved.

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler - This is a wonderful mystery novel that incorporates elements of fantasy. I gave it 3 stars but I loved talking about it with my book club.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah - I blogged through this book and you all know that I struggled with it as I read it, which I think makes for a wonderful discussion!

White Truffles in Winter by N.M. Kelby - Not only will this book make you hungry (try making one of the delicious dishes talked about for your book club!), but the character development is strong and the relationships leave a lot to discuss.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel - I personally didn't like this book, but I was in the minority with my book club. This post-apocalyptic novel will definitely get you and your book club talking about post-apocalyptic scenarios, which, while morbid, is kind of fun!

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - This book offers a phenomenal perspective on race from a non-American African. The novel's main character (who will be depicted by Lupita Nyong'o in the film adaptation) is a Nigerian who struggles to understand race relations in the US as a non-American African.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - This quickly became one of my top favorite books of all time but the writing style is unique and the narration by death, who often tells you that something is about to happen just before it does, doesn't sit well with a lot of people, which makes for good conversation.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt - Oh boy did I hate this book! I finished it and immediately needed to talk to someone about it. That's the sign of a good book club book!

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls - This memoir is tough to read, but it's fascinating, and will leave you and your book club mates with a lot to talk about.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg - My book club read this and loved it! My only nonfiction pick of the group, this book will have you thinking hard about why you do the things you do and how companies analyze your habits without you even knowing. The section on how Target knows you're pregnant before you even might is fascinating.

Little Bee by Chris Cleave - This is another book that had me desperately seeking someone to talk to at the end. A fascinating read, this book is riveting and has a shocking plot twist at the end that will keep you thinking about if for weeks afterward.

Whether for a book club or not, these will definitely give you something to talk about!

Oh and since so many of you commented about not having a book club to join, I've got something in the works with Carolann so stay tuned!

Have you read any of these? 
As always, happy reading! 

February 9, 2016

Weekly Workouts 6



Monday: 30 minutes of yoga.

Tuesday: 3 miles; 20 minutes of yoga. It wasn't cold out on this run. I wore capris and a long sleeve shirt with a headband, but 2 miles in, I felt like someone had jammed an ice pick through my head. It wasn't even windy but my ears hurt so badly that I came home with a raging headache. This was a tough yoga day too. Chair pose post run...not a fun combination, but I powered through.

Wednesday: 30 minutes of yoga.

Thursday: 20 minutes of yoga. This was a commitment. I'm still working through the 30 Day Yoga Camp Challenge, but this practice was 40 minutes long and I got home at 9:30 after a Junior League Happy Hour and just didn't want to. Then it hit me that I didn't HAVE to do the next video in the challenge, I could do something else! So, I found Yoga for Before Bedtime, got my om on, and went to bed. Win!

Friday: 30 minutes of yoga.

Saturday:
3 miles; 30 minutes of yoga.

Sunday:
15 minutes of yoga. I finished this practice at 11:59 pm on Sunday. If that isn't fitting it in, I don't know what is. I was determined to get this practice in. It didn't matter how late I was or how tired I was. 30 days of yoga, take 2, day 7...done!

Overall last week was a good week. This round of the yoga challenge seems harder. I picked up the challenge where I left of but I'm struggling. I'm sticking with it though! Blue Ridge Half training starts today and I'm pretty excited for the challenge ahead. I'm now ___ days into my yoga challenge and despite it feeling hard, I'm feeling good. I'm nervous about what things will look like add the month continues. I'm worried that training combined with daily yoga will be a little too much but this is only a half and it is only month one so my longest run won't go above 7 or 8 miles before the challenge is over so I should be OK but I need to remember to pay attention to how I'm feeling.

There you have it! Next week I'll recap my first week of Blue Ridge training and share my training plan with you! 

Looking for more weekly workout inspiration? This week I'm loving posts from:
Nicole @ Pumps and Iron - This quote is golden.
"I honestly felt a little relieved by it. My body was telling me I needed to slow the hell down and I just looked at my throbbing, swollen knee and said a silent thank you to it. You’re right, I need to pump the breaks."

Have you ever done a 30 day yoga challenge?
Have you ever done it while training for a race? 

Happy Sweating!
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