Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Book 3 "There's No Place Like Here"

The third book on my Empty Shelf is an Audio Book. I was given a small stack of audio books from a friend, & I decided to try one out while cleaning this week. I think it helped me stay productive :)
"There's No Place Like Here" by Cecelia Ahern was a good book! I would like to find it in written form so I can read it, as I feel I get more understanding when I'm the one reading.
It is about a little girl who's school mate goes missing, which leads her to panic in search every time anything goes missing, like her socks. She grows up with this panic, until she also goes missing. This book was nothing like what I was expecting just from the cover, it was so much more!
So what do you do to keep yourself on task while cleaning or doing household chores? Listening to Audio Books might become my new thing!

Friday, January 16, 2015

2nd Book "The Litigators" John Grisham

The second book on my 2015 Empty Shelf is "The Litigators" by John Grisham. I have said before that I love John Grisham!! He always has interesting characters making it very difficult to put the book down & go to bed!
This book was about a mass tort lawsuit, & it did not disappoint with it's crazy characters!
Let's hear about the books you have read this year! Join us at 2015 Empty Shelf Challenge on Facebook!

Friday, January 9, 2015

I'm Going to be an Aunt, Again!!


My brother & sister are having another baby!! :)
 Baby Luke wore this to tell me :) Of course, I didn't get it & thought the shirt was referring to him being an awesome brother to his "sister" Sammie (a miniature Schnauzer)
It wasn't until after Hubby & sister were asking if I had read it, that I understood :)
 We are all very excited!!! I got to go with them to hear the heartbeat!! :) That was very special! The Doctor said good strong heartbeat! :) I can't wait to welcome you to the world little strong heartbeat! But for now mommy is doing a great job of growing you!!


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Book 1 of 2015

The first book on this year's Empty Shelf is "Always Looking Up" by Michael J. Fox. This is his second autobiography (now I need to read the first) & it is mainly about his life after quitting full time acting. He talks about starting his nonprofit, his faith, his family life, & delving into politics.
This book will cause you to think. While I do not agree with some of his beliefs, his writing style & sincerity are rarely seen. He even tries to understand where other beliefs may be coming from. His marriage, as portrayed throughout this book, is one to be looked up to. I always enjoyed Michael J. Fox the actor, mainly from Family Ties, but this book helped me see Michael J. Fox the man.
Who else has started their first book for 2015? Let's get to reading!!

Friday, January 2, 2015

I would never...

I have something to admit that I never thought I would admit!
Hubby & I have been counting calories! About 4.5 months ago Hubby talked me into giving calorie counting a try after our upteenth try at South Beach fell to the wayside. I had used all the excuses before: Calories were made up by the dieting industry, I didn't want to turn all my food into a set of numbers, I didn't want to become one of those people who takes forever to order when going out because I have to calculate everything first...
Once I relented and said we could give it a shot, I told Hubby I didn't want anyone to know! I didn't want to fail yet again! But here we are 4 1/2 months later, & other than the holidays ( because calories don't count on holidays!) we have stuck to it!
I have learned alot!
Any diet can work if you stick to it. The important thing is finding a diet that fits with your lifestyle. I still feel like South Beach is a great diet, it wants you to cut unhealthy foods out of your life. Something I learned about me is, if I can't have something, then when I inevitably eat it, I feel like a failure & eat ten more things I "can't have".
With calorie counting, nothing is off limits (except a large shake from Sonic, those are more than my entire day's calorie allotment!) everything just has to fit into your day's calories. For example, the day after we started we already had date night planned for Texas Roadhouse. I love the margaritas at Texas roadhouse! So I looked up how many calories my margarita would be, & planned the rest of my day's calories so I would have enough leftover :) And that brings me to my fear of taking forever to order; we have the internet in our pockets now! I just look up where we are going on the way (Hubby usually drives, please don't do this if you are driving! Wait til you are parked) & figure out what I want & what fits into the calories I still have.
As we have gone, we have learned what the calories are for certain things we eat often. We have also said more than once, "so this is why we are fat!" when finding out the calories for things we used to eat too often, like the aforementioned large Sonic Shake!
So for the nuts & bolts of how we are doing it, we are using the My Fitness Pal app to keep track of our calories. They already have a lot of foods saved in their system, but if it isn't there, you can add it. You can also create recipes, & the app will tell you how many calories a serving is based on the ingredients. We also keep track of our exercise in the app, & it adds those calories back into our day's allotment. My exercise consists of walking Ghost a couple times a week. When it's warmer, Hubby plays tennis, & it is crazy how many calories that burns! We also use the Samsung app S Health the keep track of our steps when we are going somewhere like Six Flags or the State Fair where we will be walking a lot. It tells us how many calories are burned from how many steps we walked, & we just enter that into our calorie counter. We have found that we walk so much at these types of events, that even after all the fried food we ate at the fair, we came home with a surplus of calories! So if you want to eat everything in sight, just walk 8-10 hours a day ;)
So all that to say, "Hello, my name is Krystle, & I am a calorie counter." As of New Years Eve, I have lost 13.8 lbs, Hubby has lost 22 lbs. This is the longest we have ever stuck to a diet! We have a long way to go, but we are actually getting there instead of just talking about getting there!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Empty Shelf Challenge

For 2014 I accepted the Empty Shelf Challenge, from Jon Acuff. I accepted the challenge because Smart Phone games had taken the place of my reading time at bedtime. In 2013 I read a total of 2 books, which I felt was unacceptable! In 2014 I put 30 books on my Empty Shelf!
For 2015 I have cleared off my Empty Shelf, and I would like to issue the challenge to you! If you would like to read more books this year, or if you are an avid reader already & love finding new book recommendations, join us for the 2015 Empty Shelf Challenge.
1) Join the Facebook page 2015 Empty Shelf Challenge
2) Clear off a shelf that you want to fill with books this year
3) Take a picture of your empty shelf & share it with us on our Facebook page
4) Every book you finish, add to your shelf and share the picture with us. If you would like, you can share a short review, or just let us know weather or not you liked the book or if you would recommend the book.
I also recommend the post 4 Ways to Read More Books in 2015 that Jon Acuff wrote about why he didn't read more in 2014. The one that spoke the most to me was "I thought I had to finish books I didn't like" I know I would have read more books in 2014 had I put down books I didn't like & stopped trying to get through them just to put another book on the shelf.
Hopefully, we can be challenged to read more & find new books to read from each other!
If you read on an electronic device, take a screen shot of the books cover, or of your electronic shelf as it fills up. If you are a frequenter of the Library, take a pic of the book on your shelf before you return it. Everyone can participate! :)
I look forward to seeing what kind of books everyone is enjoying!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Books 25-30

My last 6 books on my Empty Shelf for 2014 are 6 Mary Poppins books in one volume.
"Mary Poppins"
Caused me to sing almost every Mary Poppins song in my head :) This book is full of nostalgia! Great read!
"Mary Poppins Comes Back"
Not as many movie memories, but everything seemed like it very well could have been in the movie.
My one issue with the book Mary is, she is very conceited, she is so very concerned with her looks above all else. However, she almost seems to be royalty to all she comes in contact with. This could be a reason for her always needing to look her best.
"Mary Poppins Opens The Door"
The children only act well with Mary, as soon as she is gone, they are back to their old ways. She comes back & knows they have been bad & reprimands them for it. This is sad to me because in the movie she seemed to have truly made a difference in their lives & didn't leave until they had truly changed.
"Mary Poppins In The Park"
The author says before this book that the remaining stories take place during Mary Poppins' visits in the previous 3 books, because "she cannot forever arrive and depart".
The books are good for reading a chapter (possibly to a young child) & ending there to pick up again another day. Each chapter begins an adventure, & ends the adventure all in a day's (or night's) time.
"Mary Poppins In Cherry Tree Lane"
The last 2 books in this set are short stories rather than novels. This short story was told from the Park Keeper's point of view as opposed to the children's like the previous books. It was about a very weird day as the park keeper saw it, & it came across as a very weird day even for a Mary Poppins book. I finished this one in a day, so a fun short read.
"Mary Poppins And The House Next Door"
The last book in this collection (there are 2 more Mary Poppins books not in this set) is another short story. This one is about Mr. Banks childhood nanny moving in next door. This woman is made out to be strictest person you could meet, and she has a little boy living with her who she is teaching to be an upstanding citizen. This short story felt different than the other books, it focused on the kids & not so much on Mary Poppins, which I suppose has to happen if she is going to be able to eventually leave them as upstanding citizens.
At the end, in the prelude, the writer says Mary Poppins did not write down to children as she felt other authors do. I agree with and appreciate this statement. These books are a great read for everyone!
30 books in one year! Thank you for allowing me to challenge myself with this Empty Shelf Challenge! How many books did you read in 2014?