Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 New Authors Reading Challenge Wrap-Up


I really enjoyed this challenge, reading books by authors new to me. I had chosen to read 15 new authors and they include:
  1. Room by Emma Donoghue
  2. The Cather in the Rye - J.D. Salinge
  3. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hossein
  4. The Shack by William P. Young
  5. Fatal Error by J.A. Jance
  6. Diamond Ruby by Joseph Wallace
  7. Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby
  8. The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent
  9. The Wednesday Letters - Jason F. Wright
  10. Long Time Coming - Sandra Brown
  11. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky
  12. Bossypants by Tina Fey
  13. The Language of Secrets by Dianne Dixon
  14. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  15. Kissing Games of the World by Sandi Kahn Shelton

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Off The Shelf Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

Off The Shelf!

I had won a few books last year and thought that this challenge would be able to great way to read them. I chose the Tempted level and read 5 books for this challenge:
  1. Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby
  2. The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Ken
  3. The Language of Secrets by Dianne Dixon
  4. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  5. Kissing Games of the World by Sandi Kahn Shelton
I really enjoyed this challenge and liked all the books that I read, with The Bell Jar likely being my favorite of them.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Treadmill Workout

I'm currently traveling for work in Mexico, and even though the weather is absolutely gorgeous, I'm kind of regulated to running on the treadmill in the hotel gym. I am not able to rent a car and have to rely on the hotel shuttle or taxis for transportation. Since I'm not entirely familiar with the area, I figure running outside the hotel isn't in my best interest. So, the hotel treadmill it is. Which I get pretty bored of. If I'm at the gym, I can people-watch and the time doesn't seem to drag on. But, at the hotel gym, I stare at myself; not so fun. So, looking around for interval workouts on the internet (which I thought would make the time seem to go by faster), I modified one slightly and came up with this workout:


I tried it for the first time the other day and it kicked my butt. I had trouble finishing the last couple intervals and will have to keep working at it. I will definitely be keeping this one to add into my workout mix, especially with a long winter of treadmill workouts coming once I go home!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

What's In A Name Readng Challenge Wrap-Up

My second year participating in this challenge and I really enjoyed it again. The books I read include:

Number - 5th Horseman by James Patterson
It is a wild race against time as Lieutenant Lindsay Boxer and the newest member of the Women's Murder Club, attorney Yuki Castellano, lead an investigation into a string of mysterious patient deaths--and reveal a hospital administration determined to shield its reputation at all costs.
It had been quite some time since I read one of the Womens Murder Club books and my mother-in-law lent me this book. I guess the best way to put it was it didn't bother me to read it, it was one of those easy reads, that I like to read every so often. There was a lot of action and different plots going on, but not too much character depth. I didn't really feel like I got into the book too much.

Jewelry or Gem - Diamond Ruby by Joseph Wallace

From Coney Island sideshows to the brand-new Yankee Stadium, Diamond Ruby chronicles the extraordinary life and times of a girl who rises from utter poverty to the kind of renown only the Roaring Twenties can bestow.
I am so glad I read this book, I really enjoyed it. Closely based on a true story, Ruby is a young girl who is an ace pitcher, able to keep up with the best of them. At a young age, she takes on care of her two young nieces. The story takes you on a whirlwind of her young life, including appearing in a sideshow to becoming a minor-league pitcher. I really got into this book, and had a hard time putting it down!

Size - Long Time Coming by Sandra Brown

He arrived out of the blue—a flesh-and-blood phantom from the past in a sports car as sleek and sexy as Law Kincaid himself. The world-famous astronaut was as devastatingly attractive as the first time Marnie Hibbs had laid eyes on him, seventeen years before. But she well knew the perils of falling for a ladies’ man like Law.
I listened to this book on audio, which I had just started doing during my commute to and from Ohio. This audiobook kept me occupied during my drives, but I thought it was only ok. I'm not sure if it was because it was an audiobook, but I didn't really find myself relating to the characters.

Travel or Movement - The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

An epic tale of fathers and sons, of friendship and betrayal, that takes us from Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the atrocities of the present.
This book had been on my TBR list for some time and I should have read it much sooner, it was so good! I really enjoyed the story and found the story of life in Afghanistan really interesting. I will definitely be looking into read other books by this author.
Evil - Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Dostoyevsky's penetrating novel of an intellectual whose moral compass goes haywire, and the detective who hunts him down for his terrible crime, is a stunning psychological portrait, a thriller and a profound meditation on guilt and retribution.
I have to admit reading this book intimidated me. I had seen that it had gotten good reviews but didn't know if I would be able to get through it. This book did take me some time to read, and I did not find it to be an easy read by any means, but I am so glad I read it. I thought that it was very good and I enjoyed the psychological aspect of it.
Life Stage - The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
Stieg Larsson's seething heroine, Lisbeth Salander, once again finds herself paired with journalist Mikael Blomkvist on the trail of a sinister criminal enterprise.
When I read the first book in this series, I really had no idea what it was about, I was pretty much reading it because it was so popular! The story line was not what I was expecting but I did find myself enjoying it, albeit somewhat disturbing. It was the same with the second book in the series. It moves along quickly and I enjoyed reading it. I was saddened to learn that the author had passed away and the three books were published posthumously.

Monday, October 3, 2011

100-Mile Fitness Challenge

I came across the 100-Mile Fitness Challenge a while ago, before I had started really getting into running and I thought it would be a fun and motivating way to keep up with running. Over three months, the goal is to accumulate 100 miles. Whether it's running or walking, the miles add up 1:1, or if you are doing another fitness activity, 20 minutes = 1 miles. And only whole miles count, partial miles can't be added together. I saw a post that the challenge was being hosted again from July to September and was really interested in participating. I had hoped to run a 10k this year, but with my work and traveling so much, it was not really happening. I thought this challenge would be a good fitness goal for me instead. So, I signed up and am really glad I did so. I think there were some times where I didn't quite feel like running after work, but the challenge kept me going. And I'm very happy that with a day to spare, I finished the challenge. I had been hoping to get more mileage in and finish sooner, but still am very proud of the accomplishment!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

So Busy

I can't believe it's August already! I've been working out of town Monday - Friday since April and I am quite ready for it to end. Unfortunately, it's crunch time for my project, so it may mean working a couple weekends this month.  :(  However, on a brighter note, our major house updates are just about complete. The outside of the house was just finished last weekend, and Jim and I are so pleased with everything. I've been working on taking photos and need to get them organized so I can post before and after pics. I am also really trying to keep up with my running. I signed up for the 100 Mile Fitness Challenge, which is to get in 100 miles in three months. Five weeks in, and I'm at 39 miles, which I'm pretty happy with. Before I started traveling, I had always had my longer runs on the weekends. But only being home two days a week, this has been hard, the weekends just seem to fly by, there's so much to do and catch up on. I may not be adding to my distances as much as I like, but I am at least maintaining.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

First 5k of 2011

Last weekend, I ran the Clawson Freedom Run, which is in the city I grew up. The race is at 7:30pm on a Sunday night, which I find a little odd and have to watch my eating - make sure I eat a little beforehand, but not too much. I've been really working hard at keeping up my running the past several weeks and was really pleased when I crossed the finish line at 30:59. I know I am a slow runner, but I am very proud of the fact that I am making progress and took over 2 minutes off my 5k times from last year.  :)

Even with my work schedule, I am planning to try and work on longer distances. Unfortunately, this will have to wait another couple days. The day after the race, I caught a nasty cold and almost a week later, I am still trying to be rid of it.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Happy 50th Anniversary!


Congratulations to my in-laws who just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last week! My husband and his siblings planned an anniversary party two weeks ago at the Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth to celebrate and it turned out great. Nearly 80 friends and family showed up, including some family from out of state and the priest that married them (I though that was so fun!). Such a great milestone to reach and many thanks to them for raising such an incredible son and family!

Friday, May 27, 2011

10k Training On Hold

I wish I could keep up with it, but with my work schedule, I can't.  :(  During the week, I'm out of town and working 10-12 hours a day at the plant. On the weekends, I'm trying to catch up on everything and they seem to just fly by. I'm still able to get a couple workouts in each week, but just can't seem to set aside enough time to get the longer runs in. This week, I found a really nice park near my hotel and went running. I'm hoping the weather will cooperate since I'll be much more apt to go running outside than that dreaded hotel gym! I'm looking forward to later this summer when the travel should be much less and I can start up the 10k training again!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Jamaica

Jim and I had a wonderful vacation! It was a very relaxing week on the beach. While I may not have gone running as much I would have liked, we took several walks on the beach and I met my goal of a nap each day (naps on the beach can't be beat!). We really enjoyed the resort and the food was very good. There are four specialty restaurants and we were able to make it to all of them with the Japanese restaurant as our favorite. And while we weren't on Seven Mile Beach, the bay we were at was all sandy and about a mile and a half long. The first morning I tried running on the beach, but it's a rather short beach, so I just settled for laps around the resort. And we took one excursion while we there - a catamaran took us snorkeling and then on to Rick's Cafe, where Jim jumped from the cliffs. Overall, a very relaxing and well-needed trip!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My New Toy

When I first started running last year, I was hesitant to purchase many new things for my hobby, in case I didn't stick with it. As it became more evident that I would keep up with it, I realized it would be really helpful to have a running watch to assist with tracking my workouts. Without it, I had to map my routes online and then use the playlists on my ipod to track my time. I researched the watches online and then when I finally had decided on one, it was nearly fall and it wouldn't do me too much good indoors on the treadmill. So with spring almost here, I purchased it last week and today, I went for my first run outdoors in several months. So glad to be back outdoors and I love my new watch!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Work Out Motivation

Me on this beach in a bikini 25 days from now is my motivation for getting my butt into the gym during the next three and a half weeks! We just booked seven nights at the Riu Palace Tropical Bay in Negril, Jamaica and I am so looking forward to this vacation! This has been such a cold winter and with my work and traveling for work, I can't wait to spend a week with my husband relaxing on the beach!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Holy Jet Lag!

I experienced my worst jet lag ever today. After 24 very long and boring hours of either being on an airplane or in an airport both Saturday and yesterday, I was able to get ~5 hours of sleep last night. And after two time changes a week apart, it's really hitting me today. I was so tired this afternoon, and drank quite a bit of coffee and Coke to compensate for it. The next struggle will be trying to stay awake this evening so I don't repeat this tomorrow. And I get to look forward to doing this all over again this weekend when I get back home! But, I'll be at home with Jim and celebrating our anniversary.  :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Longest Distance ... So Far!

I have been quite proud of myself with keeping up with my running program, I just completed Week 5 and ran 4 miles this morning. I took the run pretty slow on the treadmill (well, slower than usual), but was so happy that I completed it, I have never run that far before. I am having some trouble getting to the gym for cardio on my off-running days with work and everything else going on. And it's taken me two weeks to complete Week 5, I didn't feel quite like I could add half a mile to my run last Sunday, so I just added a quarter mile last week and then another quarter mile today. But, I am quite pleased with my progress and I hope next month's business trip doesn't get me too off course, I know I won't have too much time for running. My goal is to run the Blue Water Hospice 10k at the beginning of June. Last year, that race was my first 5k that I had run.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Around The World Business Trip

My next overseas business trip is booked and the two trips that I was expecting to take this winter will be combined into one. For two of my projects, we will be testing equipment at our suppliers' facilities and it turned out that this testing is scheduled at the same time for both projects. So I will be traveling to Spain for a week and then on to Korea for a week and literally flying around the world. I'll be traveling during the three weekends and while I do ok with the first time change when I arrive, I have the worst time adjusting when I get back home and it usually takes me a couple to several days. I'm not sure how well I'll handle three time changes in three weeks, but I do know that with how busy I'll be, I sure hope it isn't too bad. Luckily, I have no qualms using OTC sleeping pills to get me through international trips and time changes, I'd be a zombie otherwise!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Reading Challenges

I'll be using this post to organize my books and progress for the reading challenges I joined this year. I'm looking forward to participating in all of them!

Time Travel Reading Challenge (1/4)

  1. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon - Read
  2. The High Tech Knight by Leo Frankowski



Off The Shelf Reading Challenge (5/5) - Completed!

Off The Shelf!
  1. Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby - Read
  2. The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent - Read
  3. The Language of Secrets by Dianne Dixon - Read
  4. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath - Read
  5. Kissing Games of the World by Sandi Kahn Shelton - Read

What's In A Name 4 Challenge (6/6) - Completed!

  1. Number - 5th Horseman by James Patterson - Read
  2. Jewelry or Gem - Diamond Ruby by Joseph Wallace - Read
  3. Size - Long Time Coming - Sandra Brown - Read
  4. Travel or Movement - The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - Read
  5. Evil - Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky - Read
  6. Life Stage - The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson - Read

Take A Chance Challenge 3 (0/10)

  1. Staff Member's Choice -
  2. Loved One's Choice -
  3. Blogger's Choice -
  4. Critic's Choice -
  5. Blurb Book -
  6. Book Seer Pick -
  7. What Should I Read Next Pick -
  8. Which Book Pick -
  9. LibraryThing Pick -
  10. Pick A Method (Random Book Selection, Public Spying, Random Bestseller) - Love Story by Erich Segal

New Authors Reading Challenge (15/15) - Completed!

  1. Room by Emma Donoghue - Read
  2. The Cather in the Rye - J.D. Salinger - Read
  3. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - Read
  4. The Shack by William P. Young - Read
  5. Fatal Error by J.A. Jance - Read
  6. Diamond Ruby by Joseph Wallace - Read 
  7. Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby - Read 
  8. The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent - Read
  9. The Wednesday Letters - Jason F. Wright - Read
  10. Long Time Coming - Sandra Brown - Read
  11. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky - Read
  12. Bossypants by Tina Fey - Read
  13. The Language of Secrets by Dianne Dixon - Read
  14. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath - Read
  15. Kissing Games of the World by Sandi Kahn Shelton - Read

      2011 Take A Chance Challenge


      One last reading challenge I'm signing up for 2011 - Take A Chance Challenge 3. I came across this reading challenge and thought it would be fun choosing the ten different books. For this challenge, there are ten different categories and each describes books that qualify. The ten categories are:
      1. Staff Member's Choice
      2. Loved One's Choice
      3. Blogger's Choice
      4. Critic's choice
      5. Blurb Book
      6. Book Seer Pick
      7. What Should I Read Next Pick
      8. Which Book Pick
      9. LibraryThing Pick
      10. Pick A Method (Random Book Selection, Public Spying, Random Bestseller)
      For more info on the challenge and the categories, go to Take A Chance Challenge 3.

      2011 New Authors Reading Challenge


      I enjoy reading books by authors that are new to me, so I thought the New Authors Reading Challenge would be fun. The challenge runs from January 1, 2011 until December 31, 2011 and the objective is to read authors that are new to you. I decided to go for 15 this year. It should be a fun challenge! For more info, go to New Authors Reading Challenge.

      2011 Off The Shelf Reading Challenge

      Off The Shelf!

      Since I won a few books last year that I haven't gotten a chance to read yet, I thought the Off The Shelf Reading Challenge would be a great way to read them. This reading challenge runs from January 1, 2011 until December 31, 2011. The idea is to read books that you already own at the start of the challenge. I have chosen the Tempted level and plan on reading 5 books for this challenge. For more info on the challenge, go to Off The Shelf Reading Challenge.

      2011 Time Travel Reading Challenge


      Another reading challenge that I'm participating in for the second year is the Time Travel Reading Challenge, hosted by Alyce. From last year's challenge, I really enjoyed Outlander and read the first two books in the series. This year, I am aiming for four books for this challenge which are listed below. For more info on the challenge or to sign up, visit Time Travel Reading Challenge.
      1. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
      2. The High Tech Knight by Leo Frankowski
      3. ???
      4. ???

      2011 What's In A Name Reading Challenge



      I really enjoyed this reading challenge last year, so I've decided to enter What's In A Name Reading Challenge for 2011, hosted by Beth Fish Reads. Like last year, it should be interesting choosing the books to read!
      The contest starts January 1, 2011 and ends December 31, 2011. During that time, six books meeting the following criteria must be read:
      1. A book with a number in the title.
      2. A book with jewelry or a gem in the title.
      3. A book with a size in the title.
      4. A book with travel or movement in the title.
      5. A book with evil in the title.
      6. A book with a life stage in the title.
      For more info regarding the reading challenge or to sign up, visit the What's In A Name 4 blog.