Wish List

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.

In Zanesville:
The beguiling fourteen-year-old narrator of IN ZANESVILLE is a late bloomer. She is used to flying under the radar-a sidekick, a third wheel, a marching band dropout, a disastrous babysitter, the kind of girl whose Eureka moment is the discovery that "fudge" can't be said with an English accent.

Luckily, she has a best friend, a similarly undiscovered girl with whom she shares the everyday adventures of a 1970s American girlhood, incidents through which a world is revealed, and character is forged.

In time, their friendship is tested-- by their families' claims on them, by a clique of popular girls who stumble upon them as if they were found objects, and by the first, startling, subversive intimations of womanhood.

With dry wit and piercing observation, Jo Ann Beard shows us that in the seemingly quiet streets of America's innumerable Zanesvilles is a world of wonders, and that within the souls of the awkward and the overlooked often burns something radiant and unforgettable.

The Implosion of Aggie:
Sixteen-year-old Aggie Winchester couldn't care less about who's elected prom queen–even if it's her pregnant Goth-girl best friend, Sylvia Ness. Aggie's got bigger things to worry about, like whether or not her ex-boyfriend wants to get back together and whether her mom will survive cancer.

But like it or not, Aggie soon finds herself in the middle of an unfolding prom scandal, largely because her mom, who is the school's principal, is rumored to have burned prom ballots so Sylvia won’t be elected queen. Aggie's own investigation makes her wonder if the election could be dirty on both sides.

Plain Wisdom:
Best-selling novelist Cindy Woodsmall might seem to have little in common with Miriam Flaud, a woman immersed in the culture of Old Order Amish. But with nine children and almost 60 years of marriage between them, Cindy and Miriam both have found the secrets to facing life with strength and grace. Whether enduring financial setbacks, celebrating new babies and times of prosperity, grieving the crushing losses in the deaths of family and friends, or facing disappointments with their respective communities—through it all they find guidance for each day by looking to God.

With poignant recollections, unexpected insights, and humorous tales, the two women welcome you into their unique friendship. You’ll also gain a rare glimpse into the traditions and ways of the Amish as Miriam recalls special occasions and shares family recipes throughout the book.

Plain Wisdom is a heartwarming celebration of God, womanhood, and the search for beauty that unites us all. So grab your cup and your quilt and settle in for a soul-comforting read with Plain Wisdom.

Review - Hate List by Jennifer Brown


I started this book knowing it would be tough for me to read. By tough, I mean heart-breaking. I read Columbine by Dave Cullen, or should I say I tried to read it, but it was too much pain for me to finish. My heart just went out to those students, parents and all those involved. Just terrifying and so much pain. So I knew by reading this I may not finish it. I would also be jostling feelings for both sides. I'd say that is probably my favorite part of this entire book. It portrays the side of Valerie, the girlfriend of the shooter and how she lives her life after her boyfriend decides to shoot up the school without any indication to her.

It was simply amazing how Jennifer Brown went in to how Valerie actually started the Hate List: a list of people that annoy or make fun of her and her boyfriend and how it turns into the basis of the reason her boyfriend makes the choices he does. I felt so much for Valerie and her guilt over thinking she had a part in it all. How she should have known it was going to happen and did she feel like she had pulled the trigger, even though she never touched the gun.

This story was a bit more tame than Columbine and yet, Brown didn't cut back on any of the emotional pilings up.

I truly enjoyed the way the author took the time to show sides from the popular side to the so called "outcasts" and how they were before and changed afterward, if at all.

It is a read I would love for my 14 year old niece to read. I would love to hear how she feels about all the characters in the story. I find this would be a great way to open up the conversation about being bullied and being the bullier. A sad, but experienced thing growing up as a child.


I am hooked.

I have taken three classes of Anusara Yoga and cannot get enough. It is right up my alley. They talk about positive attitudes, energy, trust and heart. I love the fact that for one hour a couple times a week I can go and listen to five minutes of my instructor speaking (called centering) of remembering why I am taking yoga and thanking myself and those who allow me to attend. For one hour, I can devote to myself all the attention and emotion I feel working out as if I were running full speed and yet, I am working within the space of my yoga mat. I love the deep breathing and meditative feelings. I cannot get over the hum of energy that fills the room while the class is happening. I feel so in tune with it all. I am still getting used to the bells and the "OM", but I simply feel inspired when at the end of class, during rest, my teacher sings some song and plays what looks like a piano/accordion.

The name itself, Anusara, means "flowing with grace" or "flowing with nature" or "flowing with your heart."

Not to mention I get quite the workout. The past class there was only a few students, which I was thankful for - the less people to embarrass myself in front of (not that anyone even knows I am there), but I entered "rest" with sweat dripping down my forehead. It was my very first Vinyasa class where we continue to move (or flow) through all the positions. I had up to that point, only been to instructional classes and though my instructor assured me I would be fine, the nervousness didn't recede. I was very proud of myself because not only did I try all the positions, there was only one that I just couldn't get. That is one thing I really like too - my instructor is constantly saying, just give it a try. I cannot stand and hold my foot in my hand while straightening my foot in front of me and then holding my other hand out to the side. I just don't have the stretching ability yet in my legs. Oddly, I don't get frustrated with myself because of it.

(picture courtesy of yogajournal.com)

I truly enjoy working my body into positions my mind says - Nope that's not gonna happen. I love moving, flexing, stretching and then holding for a few breaths. Just enough to relax and feel the full weight of the movement. All of this is done while breathing in . . . and out. It is almost like I am dancing with myself. Only my two left feet have disappeared and I am graceful. I am thankful that my teacher is so wonderful and takes the time to subtly help me improve my position posture. I can feel the difference when I am holding a pose correctly.

After just a few classes, my everyday standing posture has taken a remarkable turn for the better. I feel better too.

On the other hand, my body is sore. Especially in my legs and hamstrings. My stretching abilities throughout my legs has never been very good, but I like yoga so much I refuse to give up or not do it fully. I know my legs will stretch on their own.

Ever since my car accident years ago that broke my wrist it has been very difficult to perform certain things like push ups or in yoga class holding the plank pose, but the method that we use in yoga is different. It doesn't create the same pain, though it is sore. The movements and position holds also seems to relieve the pressure that I generally attain throughout my shoulder blades and eventually acting up my TMJ. The strengthening is nothing like I have ever experienced. The muscles I am feeling are oddly ones I don't remember ever feeling throughout my core - stomach, back, thighs and other such (unmentionable) nether regions. (seriously, who knew I had muscles THERE?)

I am very excited. I cannot wait to see what I feel like, what I look like after a few months of this. Not to mention, I feel so blessed to have found a place that I enjoy so immensely.

We talk alot about what our expectations are and what we are hoping to get out of yoga. What is my focus. It's funny because in life there isn't much out there that I don't have goals for. I am such a determined little soul always searching for the correct way, the better way to experience life. I am nothing but (overly) focused. I went in to this yoga class thinking that maybe, just this class, I could experience what it is like to NOT have any goals. Or rather, for my goal to be just simply TO BE. I think that is where life is taking me right now. To live in the here and now. Experience the presence and not be so caught up in what happened recently (past) or what I will need to prepare for (future). Live right here, right now in what I am doing in the current seconds of my life. Obviously a bonus would be to have better posture; be stronger in mind, body and soul, to feel refreshed and calm; to be happy; to allow myself a couple hours every week to be just me doing what I want which is choosing yoga. (see how easy it is for me to set goals and become determined to ACCOMPLISH it all at once?)

Wordless Wednesday - how much is that kitty in the window

And on a side note, I just loved the back of this truck, which you can just barely make out.

Wordless Wednesday

Such Randomness I don't know what to do with it

Do my cats count as an additional person in the car while driving in the carpool lane? What if I have two cats in the car, does that make a difference?

Take my advice: do not eat JuniorMints in bed, inevitably one will be lost only to be found - stuck to the comforter, sheets and my upper arm.

There is just no real great way to sleep with a cat on either side of my bed, not to mention when trying to sleep in - well, they don't really like that and when I have one on each side, there's no escape. Literally. I wake up, just a little and hear WEOW! I crack open an eye and one is right there, in my face, WEOW!! So I roll over and get licked on the nose - which if you have ever had this happen it's nice, but not pleasant and it continues til I get up or smother myself with the covers.

I know I have said this a million times before, but my boyfriend totally rocks. Exhibit A: He lives in another city and yet I can still get a text from him that makes me sigh like Barbie in Toy Story 3. (wait for it, it's at the very end of that video clip)

Speaking of movies, does anyone else (other than me) continually throughout each and every day quote Despicable Me? I am SO in love with that movie. I can't stand it! I watch it all the time. My favorites are - Lightbulb! --- It's so fluffy I'm gonna die! --- It was your cousin's idea. WHAAAAT?!!? -- Banana --- Do I look like I speak Spanish? You have the face como un burro. --- Curses you tiny little toilet!! ---- Why are you so . . . old? --- Yes, yes I went to kindergarten. I know how the alphabet works. --- okay so I quote THE ENTIRE MOVIE. I am a complete freak.

Do you believe in feelings and intuition when meeting people? I was helping people out on the salesfloor the other day and I swear I had this guy ask me for help who, I kid you not, the level of feelings of "I'm a serial killer" was off the charts. My skin was crawling like never before. I literally did all I could to get away from him while covering my name tag and trying to be as little like someone who he might want to capture and torture. Then turned around and I helped this guy who was so nice, only to have one of my people tell me "That is what a pedophile looks like." This led me to really consider how each of us experiences these feelings of intuition about strangers so different.

I have a bicycle and a bike helmet and am dying to ride it, but WHERE should I go? I can't very well go ride for lunch like I'd like to do because what if I feel too fat to ride back? I can't go to the grocery store or Target bc they are way too far and I don't have a basket to put the things in. I could just go and bike around, take some pics or something, but I am not sure I am comfortable biking on trails by my lonesome. Does anyone have any better ideas?

What is your favorite board game? Saint and I just taught ourselves to play backgammon and I enjoy it. (he only enjoys it when he wins) Mostly, I think I enjoy it because I remember watching my parents (very fondly) play it while I was growing up. Everywhere we went they pulled out this really nice wooden backgammon set.

I would not recommend eating a bean and cheese burrito smothered in green sauce on the day of yoga class. I'm just saying, um'k?

I have tried a few new foods in the past couple of weeks - grits - which on first try were tasty, but second a bit dry and grainy; chutney - oh hells yum especially served on a corned beef sandwich.

And on the subject of food, I have been enjoying humus though it reminds me quite a bit of the yeast ball scene in the movie, Baby Mama. (photo courtesy of rawfoodrightnow.blogspot.com)

Review - Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

Rachel Hawkins, you are so not my favorite person right now! I just finished Demonglass and if you don't come out with the next one right quick, I'll have to come find you. I prefer books that end in happiness and resolutions are come to, but this book left me wanting SO much more. I need to know what happens. GRRR! I don't want to spoil it for anyone, so I'll stop there.

I seem to be saying this alot lately, but I LOVED this book!! It was so good. Such a page turner. Read it in half a day and wished it had kept going. Usually the second books in a series and not so great. They stilt and slow down, where as the first books just plug along excitement after excitement. This book was not like that. It did have a slow start, but quickly picked up and rolled along. There were new ideas, new characters and it kept the wonderful feeling of adventure and fun from the first book, Hex Hall.

Rachel Hawkins does an incredible job of making her character Sophie be the ultimate in relate-able teens. Her manner of speaking and thinking is just so human like. It's fantastic. I can relate to this character so well, I feel almost like it could be me. (if I was a demon) Jenna, Cal, Archer all the characters she has developed within this series are so easy to like and even those I don't want to like, I like. I feel so much like I did back in high school. Those feelings of lose, love, frustration, trying to fit in, jostling friends and boys. I felt for Sophie's insecurities, but she is such a strong girl that I was excited for her too. The choice of good versus evil and trying to figure out who is good and who isn't while competing with her insides of love and friendship. Such good stuff.

And I just love the covers of the books. They are so magnificently done.

Sigh, the Hex Hall series is truly fun.