Saturday, August 29, 2015

Half-Marathon Scrapbook Page

Hard to believe that just a few months ago I was walking a half-marathon. 13.1 miles! Finished in under four hours.

I made this scrapbook page using a kit that I picked up at the Scrapbook Factory store in Illinois The only thing I added to the page were the sparkly pink American Crafts Thicker letters spelling out "half". Everything else came with the kit!

It was actually a two-page kit designed for a Color Run, but I decided to break the kit into two separate pages: one for the half-marathon and one for the upcoming Color Run I'll be walking in NJ. It'll be nice to go back to a 5K after a half-marathon experience!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Hyacinth Girls - Book Review

Hyacinth Girls by Lauren Frankel is not a horror story, but it is a scary story about the effects of bullying and cyberbullying, and how clueless some parents are to what's really going on with their kids. The novel is told from two perspectives. There's Rebecca, the guardian to her deceased best friend's daughter Callie, and then there's Callie.

Rebecca thinks she knows what's happening with Callie, but can she really figure it all out before it's too late?

I started to get an idea of where the story was going about halfway through, which was more than poor Rebecca had guessed. But then the story took a turn that was just so unexpected, and it made me think, "How often is stuff like this happening in real life and only the victim and the perpetrator know?"

If your kid is on Facebook or other social media sites, if your kid uses a cell phone to text with friends and share pictures, then you definitely want to read this book!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Never Said - YA Book Review

Never Said by Carol Lynch Williams follows a few days in the lives of twins Annie and Sarah. Annie is the beautiful one who wins pageants. Or at least she was beautiful and did win pageants. That was before she started gaining weight, chopped off her hair, and got a piercing. Sarah is the quiet one who gets so anxious about speaking in front of people she can't even stand up to her insensitive mother.

The girls may have seemed total opposites at one point, but now they have come together to help each other work through their issues and escape their pasts. They both have to learn to speak up to save themselves.

Sarah's portion is written in traditional novel style, while Annie's is in prose. But both sections (which go back and forth) are very poetic. I think a lot of teens might be able to see a bit of themselves in Annie and/or Sarah, and hopefully reading this book gives them some hope and confidence to be who they are and defend themselves no matter what.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, August 24, 2015

Meal Plan Monday - August 24

I know it's been a few weeks since we've had a meal plan on the blog. But for two weeks, my husband and I were on vacation.

And other things have happened in our lives that have made it a bit difficult for me to get off my butt on the couch and plan out what we're eating. More on that later.

This week we've actually got stuff planned to eat. So, here it goes:

Sunday: leftover roast chicken with romaine, cheese, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, and broccoli

Monday: on our own

Tuesday: tuna sandwiches/nachos

Wednesday: grilled chicken parmesan

Thursday: pasta with ricotta and spinach

Friday: turkey burgers and fries

Saturday: TBD

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Dietland - Book Review

Don't let the cover of this book fool you, although, you might notice the cupcake bomb before I did. This is not a lighthearted book about an obese woman who a) loses the weight or b) finds love. Instead, this is an intense book about an obese woman named Plum who wants to have weight-loss surgery so she can finally live her life, but instead she finds herself part of a feminist group with ties to feminist extremists, and she doesn't know if she wants to support any of this and stick up for herself and women or just go through with her surgery and move on with her life.

I thought the style of this reminded me of something that Chuck Palahniuk would write, and then I read the "Acknowledgments" in the back of the book and discovered that the author, Sarai Walker, was inspired to write this book after reading and watching Fight Club. So, there you have it!

If you're a woman reading this book on her own, I have to say that I think it would be a lot better to read it with someone else or as part of a book club. There is a lot to discuss in this book! What would you do if you were in Plum's position? What would you do if you were in the position of ANY of the women in the book?

Some of this book may be hard for some women to read, especially those women who have gone through similar circumstances. But I think it's an important book that will launch a greater discussion about the treatment of women in this country.

Dietland is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and is on bookstore shelves now. I received a free copy of the book at Book Expo America with no obligation to review.