Tuesday, May 29, 2012

7 Days 1 Challenge: Twenty-Two

I  feel AMAZING after my week of stretching. I'm now back into my sleeping routine and feeling refreshed in the mornings. I cannot believe I ever got away from it. Now, if only I can get up extra, extra early to fit in my morning yoga. I miss it sooooooooooo much.

Because of the Monday holiday, I was away over the weekend so we're starting this week's challenge today--Tuesday!

*In case you're new to these challenges, the challenge starts on Monday and ends Sunday night. The following Monday I'll post a new challenge.

This week's challenge:
Reading the Psalms.
Source: Google Images
Spend time in the Word this week by reading a Psalm a day. The Psalms are full of raw emotion and through them we are given a spiritual model to follow. I find it best to start my day with a psalm and end my day with one as well. It helps me awaken in the morning and relieves the stress of the day at night. Now, I'm not challenging you to read a psalm twice a day because I know how busy our lives can get. But I am challenging you to spend some part of your day in God's word.

Who wants to take the weekly challenge? Let me know and share your thoughts/struggles and link ups below!

With Love and God Bless,

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sunday Sweets (On a Monday...Night)


2. I hope everybody had a great weekend filled with cookouts, parades, family and ice cream. Lots of ice cream :)

3. My brother flew in from South Carolina this weekend. I've missed him sooooooo much. I hate not being able to see him whenever I want. It's just awful. But I spent all the time I could with him because I won't see him again until Christmas...and this is a maybe :(

4. My little sister graduated from high school on Sunday, which, sadly, kind of makes me feel old. Anyhoo....CONGRATS!
My brother, Cody, the graduate, Cherokee, and me

5. Okay. So, THE most stressful thing in the world is buying a new house. So many things to consider and think about and anticipate and mull over and decide and there's plenty of time to second guess yourself and.....this list is getting tiresome. And I'm getting stressed.

4. Here's a sneak peek into my new life as a Youth Services Librarian.

These are just some of the new books that are no longer "new" that needed shelved. (I had two! more piles just like that on my desk in the back!)

5. By the way, I'm sad because I realized earlier this week I'm never going to actually finish all of the books I want to read. By the time I finish one book, I've already added 10 more to my "to-read" list. Ai yi yi.

6. I had to work on Saturday which mainly consisted of me buried under a pile of cut-outs and paper as I finished up the Summer Reading Bulletin. To say I was having a blast is a huge understatement.

(I wish I could have made it bigger, but we have such high ceilings I can't really hang stuff.)

7. Weird experience: Mr. B was having some foot pain so we went to see "Dr. Scholl" (haha). I never knew going to the doctor could be so much fun.

8. I'm dreading summer. I hate shorts and the stage where I'm white as a ghost until I get my first tan. Ugghhhhh....

9. And I'm not a tanning-bed-before-summer kind of gal. The idea of skin cancer and ageing faster with wrinkled skin is not high on my list.

10. Over the weekend I was not home because I was visiting family. The other night Mr. B called to inform me that our beautiful planter was knocked over....and broken. There is no way it fell over on its own. We're pretty sure it was those darn neighbor kids. "We can't have anything nice."

11. I've been super stressed with my new job and house hunting that I've been enjoying some must-needed "me and wine" time fairly often this week :)

12. Oh, and I think I'm moving my "Sunday Sweets" back to every other week. I don't seem to have the time to blog about other things....and to be honest, I miss the variety of my posts. Soooo....see ya in two weeks :)

With Love and God Bless,

Monday, May 21, 2012

7 Days 1 Challenge: Twenty-One

I just want to say the No TV Challenge was actually super easy for me. Not having to worry about watching my show(s) gave me more time. I didn't have to rush through making dinner or my Bible devotional. And this challenge only reminded me that I don't really like TV. It is one technology I could do without....until football season. Then it's attached to my hip on Sundays.

Anyhoo, it's Monday and that means a new challenge!

*In case you're new to these challenges, the challenge starts on Monday and ends Sunday night. The following Monday I'll post a new challenge.

This week's challenge:
Stretch every morning and night.

Source: Yahoo! Images
I used to do a simple and quick yoga routine every night before turning out the light and diving under the blankets. It allowed me to get any stress from the day out of my body and off my mind, resulting in a night worth of really great sleep. But I've been so busy the last few months that I just stopped and completely forgot all about my routine. And my body is paying for it. I can tell. The last few nights I've had crazy charlie horses (some people call them stingers). Hands down the.worse.pain I have yet to experience. I know they only last a couple of terrifying, paralyzing and excruciating seconds, but it feels like forever. Tears come instantly. I end up crying for a few minutes. My calves are tender for the next few days. Charlie horses are the devil.

Back in high school when I played volleyball I used to get them in my forearms every once in a while. Ouch. Getting them in your neck is even worse. I always fear I'm going to be paralyzed.


Anyhoo, I've noticed that I tend to get these if I haven't been stretching. And lately, I have not. Friday night my body reminded me.

So, I am for sure getting back into my routine. The yoga stretches only take a few minutes. I do five Sun Salutations in the morning and a few yoga poses right before bed. These stretches work wonders.

Join me in stretching out the kinks!

Who wants to take the weekly challenge? Let me know and share your thoughts/struggles and link ups below!
With Love and God Bless,

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Sweets

1.  This week flew by! My new job is awesome. I just know I'm going to love it and the people there, too.

2. Love that my days are now spent around books, children, programming and crafts. Here are a few crafts I found on Pinterest that I'll be incorporating into upcoming programs.

Fairies in a Jar

3.  Annnnnnd I love having first dibs on the new children's books that come in. Picture books are divine.

4. Oh, and Summer Reading is kicking off next week! Remember Summer Reading at your library when you were a kid? You know, you read a bunch of books or read for a certain amount of time and then you win prizes. Yeah, super excited.

5. I saw this recipe this morning and I absolutely have to make it soon. Only problem, the recipe is not in English. Hmmmmm.

6. Today I met up with my friends from Stark State for a "Tiny Appetizers (and wine) Party." I haven't seen these girls (and Andrew) in a week and I already miss them! I had a blast as always and we decided our next party is Lemonade. LOVE.

7. And for this party I made some ah-mazing dark chocolate fudge with pistachios and espresso. I saw the recipe on The Chew and knew I had to make it. I'll post a review on it soon!

8. I'm really eager to get this house hunting under way. Not that I'm thrilled to drive an hour each way five days a week, but the whole filling-up-my-tank-twice-a-week thing is a little ridiculous. Grrr....

9. My brother is flying in on Friday!!!!!!!!!!!! I haven't seen him since Christmas...to say I'm ecstatic is a huge understatement.

With Love and God Bless,

Monday, May 14, 2012

7 Days 1 Challenge: Twenty

How did everybody do with the Green Monster challenge?

I'm feeling healthy, cleansed and ready for my big week ahead. To my surprise, as much as I enjoy Green Monsters, I found it harder to get my daily smoothie than I thought. I ran out of spinach half way through and had to run to the grocery store for more, which was odd because we never go grocery shopping mid-week. And I realized it's much easier to remember to drink my smoothie if I do it first thing in the morning...especially since some days I don't get home until almost 9pm!

Anyhoo, it's Monday and that means a new challenge!

*In case you're new to these challenges, the challenge starts on Monday and ends Sunday night. The following Monday I'll post a new challenge.

This week's challenge:
No Television.
Source: Yahoo! Images

Sooooo upset they cancelled GCB (what will Carlene do now that Rip has a daughter?!) and Ringer (what will Bridget do now that she knows her sister is alive?!). Grrrr!

Every time I find a show I like, they take it away. (Anybody remember The Unusuals, starring the handsome and talented Jeremy Renner? Ohhh that show was great, and he's beautiful.He's my absolute favorite. Huge celebrity crush going on over here.) Ummm not everybody wants to watch reality trash and see half-naked people! This is exactly why I stick to ESPN and Food Network.

Sports and cooking.

At least those are worth watching, and ABC signed The Chew for a second season. :)

I hardly even watch TV, and the TV I do watch they take away. Now all I have left is Once Upon a Time (they better not touch that show), Rizzoli and Isles (that comes back on in June), and Army Wives (which is supposed to return this December after a year and a half hiatus).

But, I'm giving up all TV this week because 1) I'm mad, 2) it'll do me good, and 3) I want a break and a chance to spend my time doing other more valuable things...like reading and transitioning into my new job :)

A lot of people know I'm not a huge TV fan anyway, but it's still great to occasionally turn off the tube and focus on other things...whether it's spending more time with God, your family, exercising, getting chores done, catching up with friends, or just taking some time for yourself. I'm sure many of you are "addicted" to your TV, and I'm sure you don't even realize how many hours you actually spend a week watching. Maybe as a bonus challenge you can calculate how many hours of free time you've gained this week!

Who wants to take the weekly challenge? Let me know and share your thoughts/struggles and link ups below!

With Love and God Bless,

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Sweets

1. Happy Mother's Day, Mama!

2. Well, it was my last week with Stark State's Writing Center. My co-worker and dear friend, Jessica H., brought in cheesecake, lime tortilla chips and guacamole to celebrate. She also made me a banner and everyone signed it. Wow, I'm really going to miss my co-workers. They're some of my best friends. :(

3. On Wednesday, Pemberly finally came home! After almost $400, he looks brand-spanking new.

4. I spent my last day at Massillon Public Library at a Youth Conference with Angel, the Teen Librarian. We had a blast and learned so much about "Teens Going Mobile @ Your Library." There are so many awesome, educational apps out there. Too bad most libraries aren't going to be able to afford these. However, the keynote speaker did mention that we could create a list of recommended apps to show teens if they ask for suggestions.

5. I'm sure you all know about my love of conferences, and this one didn't disappoint. Lunch was actually really good and I met so many friendly people. Like the Teen Librarian from the library I will be calling home as of tomorrow. She was all excited that she got to talk with me first. Also, her last name is Amazing. She can literally say, "Hi. I'm Amazing." Jealous. <--- I later discovered she and her husband had their names changed to "Amazing," but still...awesome.

6. Antony John was the guest author at the conference. I never heard of Antony, but after listening to him book talk his four books, I've marked all of them to read. And I was the lucky attendee that won a copy of his newest book, Elemental, which hits stores in November. It's the first in the dystopian trilogy set in Outer Banks, NC....super excited to dive into this book.

7. Annnnd....I won one of the door prizes! Another book, Secrets (The Ivy #2), by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur, but I let Angel take that book and we'll switch once we've finished.

8. To celebrate my very last day on Friday, a few of my co-workers and I had lunch at Zoup! and then I got a half-price frappy and had Crispy Chicken Margarita Tacos for dinner. Soooo good. A perfect ending. :)

9. Mr. B and I are house hunting, and we went through a really nice house yesterday. However, it had no garage (which Mr. B desperately wants) and the only washer and dryer hookup was in the kitchen and it was a "stacked" set. Ummm, no. I can't do that. I'd need a stool just to get into the dryer. I don't think so....however the Jack-and-Jill bathroom set up was divine.

10. Oh, and I can't wait to start the summer devotional, Love Like Him, from Do Not Depart. Head on over to their blog site and print out the free PDF. This series starts tomorrow!

With Love and God Bless,

Monday, May 7, 2012

7 Days 1 Challenge: Nineteen

How did everybody do last week?

I was perfect until Saturday night. My friends and I went out to eat to celebrate my new job, at the library, and afterward I wanted something sweet. So we went to Strickland's for some custard. And I tried the maple. Pretty darn tasty.

I couldn't help it. Celebrations require something sweet. And creamy. And it was worth it.

But it's Monday and that means a new challenge!

*In case you're new to these challenges, the challenge starts on Monday and ends Sunday night. The following Monday I'll post a new challenge.

This week's challenge:
One Green Monster a Day.
Source: Oh She Glows

If you are unfamiliar with Green Monsters, check out Oh She Glows blogger Angela's other site, Green Monster Movement. She created this site to inform others about these healthy green smoothies.These smoothies are fabulous and are a great way to get your daily veggie intake. Angela's web site provides links to readers' Green Monster recipes along with her Classic Green Monster.

Don't worry, in case this is your first introduction to the Green Monster, you can't taste the spinach. It just gives your smoothie more nutrition and changes the color to a pretty green....or sometimes brown when you mix green and red. Which is what happened to me this morning....strawberries, spinach and peaches...not very picturesque.

Try one and you'll be hooked. And remember, the Green Monster is a blank canvas with soooo many options.

So, drink up!

Who wants to take the weekly challenge? Let me know and share your thoughts/struggles and link ups below!

With Love and God Bless,

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Sweets

1. What is with this weather?!! Last week there were snow flurries, and this week the sun and humidity are killing me!

2. A thunderstorm would be A-mazing right now.

3. I love whole wheat pasta. I replace white with it every chance I get. This week I finally tried some whole wheat gnocchi. Once it finished cooking it smelled like dog food. It didn't taste much butter. Probably what dog food tastes like. I had to smother it in a cheese sauce just to choke it down. I think I'll stick to my normal white-floured gnocchi.

4. So....I made this delicious southern dish for dinner this week. O.M.Gee. Have I mentioned that I love Trisha?

5.  I was a little Pinterest happy this week and found so many great ideas, perfect on a hot day . Like this adult popsicle. Or this peachy beverage. And this fabulous birthday party idea. Why are kids getting all the fun? I like to paint.

6. And now for the big news: I got a job! In my career field!

7. I am now a Youth Librarian at Warren-Trumbell County Public Library and I start in one week! Hello, children's programs, crafts and books. Great to meet you, full-time and benefits.

8. Sadly, this means I will be leaving my current jobs, both the Writing Center and Massillon Public Library. It's bittersweet. I'm going to miss seeing my friends every day. I really, really liked the people I worked with at Stark State. It's funny though because one of my good friends at the Writing Center also found another job this week too. So we all went out to celebrate Italian style. And then we had custard for dessert. And they gave me a going away present. Flowers and a $25 Starbucks gift card.

They know me so well. :)

9. And now Mr. B and I have to decide where we'll live. My new job is an hour away.....so we're off to the drawing board.

10. Did anyone else watch the Kentucky Derby? I didn't get to because I was too busy celebrating, but.....I picked the winner! I picked I'll Have Another. Too bad I'm not a betting woman. We'd be rolling in the dough and not worrying about price ranges for houses. More rolling. Less ranges.

11. Oh, and dinner tonight was BBQ chicken, Portobella Fries, and corn of the cob. First corn of the season was surprisingly wonderful. I'd have taken a picture, but I was too busy enjoying my meal. :)

With Love and God Bless,

Friday, May 4, 2012

What I'm Reading

Wow. It's been a while since I've done a "What I'm Reading" post. I seriously need to play catch-up because I've been reading like crazy! So let's get to it, shall we?

On the Jellicoe Road (Melina Marchetta)
Audiobook (Winner of 2009 Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature)

Loved. Loved. Loved! Yep, I loved this book. The girl who read this story was amazing, but anything read in an Australian accent immediately goes to the top of my list. (Anyone know if Keith Urban or Hugh Jackman will be lending their voices to a book any time soon?) It just made it more intriguing and I was enthralled before the first chapter ended.

However, it did get confusing at times because there are two different story lines happening at once. I'm sure in the actual print version a story line change would be noticeable by font type.

I cried. Multiple times. But there were times it just got so intense I couldn't help myself.

The main character, Taylor Markham, is searching for her mother, who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road, and her father, whom she never knew. At first you get annoyed with her teenage, rude, and don't-give-a-crap attitude. But then you understand why and you really begin to like her. This book is a must read...or hear.

The Hunger Games trilogy (Suzanne Collins)
Mr. B downloaded these for free on the Kindle Fire.

Well, to start, it took me forever to get into book one because I was so enraged distracted by the editing errors. Scholastic was clearly having an issue with subject-verb agreement. Had I not been reading a borrowed copy on Mr. B's Kindle Fire, I would have taken a red pen, corrected all of the errors, and sent it back to the publisher as my resume.

In looking past the grammatical errors, the books were actually quite great, and I enjoyed the concept; I thought it was creative and intriguing. It made me very curious. It also made Mr. B curious. He actually said he wouldn't mind seeing the movie with me. (However, we have yet to see the movie because we can't seem to find more than a few hours off...together.)

Oh, and why are there always love triangles? Is it that hard to say "I don't like you. I want to be with him"? It was like Twilight all over again (but much better by far), which made me slightly irritable.

I'm absolutely positive the movies will not be as violent as the books, which is tragic because they are some excellent scenes.

Anne of Avonlea (L. M. Montgomery)
The second book in the Anne of Green Gables series.

I'm thrilled and excited and I go all girly when I pick up these Anne books. I can't help it. I just love her! She's one of my all-time favorite characters. I can only imagine how I might have reacted if I had read these as a little girl...

Alas, I did not, but I'm reveling in them now. I'm just so involved in her life. I want to see her in college and teaching her students, be with her when she stumbles upon her first love affair, and frolic together in the woods while creating fantastic stories. Ahhh, Anne.

Oh, and I finally finished the A Wrinkle in Time Quartet!

L'Engle's books....let's just say you can read each one as a stand alone. There's no continuation, and you could really read them out of order, which I recommend. Read #4 before #3 if you're looking for some kind of order. Also, it appears that I enjoy every other book, with #3 being my favorite. I really liked the plot of  A Swiftly Tilting Planet, which sort of coincides with #5, An Acceptable Time. And as my friend suggested, during our book club discussion, she was "immediately sold on the third one the minute a UNICORN strolled in."

I felt that I appreciated the books (Book #1, actually) much more when I read it as a child. There was just something off....I think it's because I need a reason, excuse, or somewhat of a conclusion. These books spend the whole time leading up to the event, the event, and then boom! Book over. Every one left me thinking, Wait! What? Why? Book 2 was definitely the weirdest, but I'm not into much sci-fi.

"What I'm Reading" part 2 will be up soon!

Have you read and good books lately? Share your good reads in the comments!

With Love and God Bless,