Fiona in January

Fiona in January

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A "Little" Update

Just thought I'd give you all a little update on Baby Knives in photo form.  She's rounding on 19 months soon and time really does fly!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Plank Fail

It's never fun to admit that you failed at a goal you made publicly.  No one enjoys that particular exercise in humility, right?  However, I believe if you made the goal publicly you need to follow it up in a similar manner.  Damn ethics...

In December I set a goal to do this plank challenge for 30 days, culminating in being able to hold a plank for 5 minutes.  Yes.  I am insane.

Several friends joined me in this challenge and I gamely started and did it every single day.  However, I can only make it to the 3 minute plank.  I tried for 2 weeks to increase my time past 3 minutes and my body just won't get there.  Frustrating? Of course.  However, after 2 fruitless weeks I have decided to abandon the challenge.  I'm still pretty proud of accomplishing a 3 minutes plank and plan to revisit the challenge in June to see if I can push it to 5 minutes.

In June of last year I started practicing yoga 3 days a week, then increased it to 5 and now I plan to do it every single day.  I've found something I love to do, is good for me fitness-wise and also has helped me meditate, focus and have more peace in my daily life.  I know, I sound like some sort of weird yoga groupie, but it seriously has made a huge difference in my life over the past 6+ months.  

However, I still want to continue challenging myself every 30 days to add something new to my fitness routine.  Although I am abandoning the plank for now (not really, I do it plenty in yoga!), I am taking on my next 30 day challenge, starting today and am pretty excited about it, so check it out below.

How have you fared in your own challenges and goals?  Anyone feel like adding to my public failure? At least I know I can meet the plank requirements of this challenge already, right? I'll take it!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Reading Recap

I thought I'd celebrate this first week of the new year by taking a few minutes to reflect back on some fantastic books I had the privilege to enjoy in 2013.

While I am a writer I don't tend to enjoy or really excel in writing critiques and reviews, I leave that to my more talented writer friends (check out one of them here).  However, I do like to remind myself of some of my favorites of the year.

I discovered a few authors this who really stood out to me.  This short list includes specific authors whose work I hadn't read until 2013.

AG Howard - "Splintered" (Urban Fantasy/Fiction)
Dana Bates - "The Girls Guide to Love & Supper Clubs" (Chick Lit/Foodie Lit)
Mindy Kaling - "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me" (Fiction/Comedy)
Erin Morganstern - "The Night Circus" (Fiction/Fantasy)
Kate Jacobs - "Comfort Food" (Foodie Lit)
Robin Sloan - "Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore" (Urban Fantasy/Fiction)
Elin Hilderbrand - "Silver Girl" (Fiction)
Luisa Weiss - "My Berlin Kitchen" (Foodie Lit)
Stephanie Evanovich - "Big Girl Panties" (Chick Lit/Fiction)
Sarah Addison Allen - "Garden Spells" (Fiction/Fantasy)

I guess that list gives you a general cross-section of some of my favorite genres, although there are a few of my longtime favorite authors I also read this year that I can't help but mention.

Kathleen Flinn - "The Kitchen Counter Cooking School" (Foodie Lit)
Jen Lancaster - "The Tao of Martha" (Chick Lit/Memoir)
Neil Gaiman - "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" (Fiction/Fantasy)
Gail Carriger - "Etiquette & Espionage" & "Curtsies & Conspiracies" (Fantasy/Fiction)
Jim C. Hines - "Codex Born" (Urban Fantasy/Fiction)
Ann Aguire - "Horde" (Fantasy/Fiction)
Philippa Gregory - "The White Princess" (Historical Fiction)

I'm looking forward to discovering more authors in the coming year, as well as continuing to enjoy new releases of some of the ones I've listed here.  What were some of your great reads in the past year?  Any suggestions to add to my list for the coming year?