What I Read: October

Goodbye October!

I’ll be sad to see you go. Mostly because October is the perfect month and November is only here to tease me with it’s cold New England days. No snow yet though so I shouldn’t be complaining.

I also had an awesome month of books!

I’m currently at 87/100 for my yearly goal. Which for you non-math nerds that means only 13 books to go and with 2 months before the New Year, I think I can do it.

So last month I told you I forayed into the world of audio books and wasn’t much of  a fan because it took me seven thousand years to finish a book. I guess since I only listened while working-out that makes me a pretty lazy person, but I swear while I was listening to the book I went to the gym an hour every morning!! I wanted to finish the dadgum book! I had to “check” it out three times for 2 weeks before it was done though, whoops.

What I Read October

 

This month I decided to skip the audio and try the kindle check out. Again, if you didn’t know this was a thing it’s awesome. You can check out ebooks from your library. I happen to have the kindle app on my ipad so thats the version I download. But once you’re done reading, simply delete from your device and it “sends” it back? At least that’s how my tiny brain understands it.

Another good thing about going the ebook checkout route is that you can be a bit more choosey in your picks. My library is large but it seems like all the books I’m looking for are always checked out! And ain’t nobody got time to be put on the waiting list. Actually I have no idea if there even is a waiting list, that just seems like a very library thing to do. With the ebooks though there’s a really easy waiting list, if you even need it. Plus once your number comes up, it’s automatically downloaded to your device…sups easy ya know.

So let’s get to the books!

WHAT I READ: OCTOBER

Insatiable by Meg Cabot 4 stars. I can’t help it, I love vampire books. And yes I did enjoy the Twilight series #TeamEdward. More than that though, I enjoy the element of fantasy that they bring. My head is in the clouds half the time anyway, so why not let it fly while I’m reading. Of course it was a little ironic that the main character hates the idea of vampires and the women that fall for them in stories, but once she finds out vampires do exist falls in love with one. I won’t ruin the ending though. If you like vampires, you’ll love this book. Hint, there’s  a war between vampire factions.

The Memory Thief by Emily Colin 5 stars. Love this book. It’s a crazy plot but perhaps more believable than the vampires. It was such a sweet story of love, but I gotta say I was team best friend guy the entire time. But to each their own I suppose. It’s the story of a guy who dies and his memories end up in some other guy who now feels the compulsion to find dead guys family. Make sense? It’s actually kinda creepy when I say it that way. More murder thriller than lvoe story, but I swear it comes across like an epic love not a newbie serial killer.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio 5 stars. Am I the last person on Earth to read this? I’m pretty sure I’m the only one to read it and not cry. I certainly felt all the feels, but cry? Sadly my stone cold heart couldn’t manage even a tear. Maybe there’s something wrong with me, or maybe I just didn’t feel a connection to the characters like everyone else. Either way it’s still a cute story with some sad parts. I think the author did a great job of showing all different emotions from all the characters and how complex the issue can really be for everyone involved. Also I love any book that writes from various points of view. Check it out.

[Tweet “My October book review! There were lots of winners! #bookworm “]

Hate List by Jennifer Brown 5 stars. Ok this may seem like a twisted opinion, but just like any Jodi Picoult book (think The Pact, Nineteen Minutes) it’s a story that will make you think. It does involve a school shooting so if that’s not something you’re comfortable in reading about I suggest you skip it. However if you like books that deeply examine the psyche of humans put through horrendous circumstances then you should pick it up. It’s one of those, there’s more to it then originally shows kinda books.

Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick 2 stars. Maybe because I’ve never wanted to be alone or because I know how to be in a relationship without losing my own identity, or it could be because the author has a habit of adding in all the words making her sentences really, really long (kinda like this one). No matter the reason, this was a struggle to get through. I wanted to like it. I just didn’t. I’d avoid if I were you.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn 5 stars! I have been waiting to read this book every since I read Gone Girl forever ago. I like deep and twisty novels because I can never guess what’s coming next and usually can’t relate. In case you missed it, that was my subtle way of saying my soul is all rainbows and sunshine. 😉 But my golden angel status aside, this was such a good read I immediately started reading Dark Places as well. I didn’t finish this month though so you’ll havtea wait until next month to read about it. Sorry!

So those were my October reads. All ebooks which is so crazy to me as I even write this sentence.

Read anything good lately?

Let me know in the comments below!

Plain Signature

Let’s Connect!

facebook twitter instagram pinterest bloglovin

2015 Word of the Year is Fearless

Oh hey February, I didn’t see you there….

January is over and I’m just now coming up with a word for the year I know. I’m late to most parties, if I even show up at all. It’s not a statement of how cool I am though, I’m just usually cowering in social anxiety behind my knitting needles…..but I’ve arrived, so points for effort.

I may have shared my Resolutions with you last month, and hopefully gave you a few things to think about. What I didn’t do was actually share my goals for 2015 with you. I’m not big of resolutions in the real sense. I don’t think they ever work and are honestly more disappointing and depressing then just calling them regular old fashioned goals. Call it semantics if you will, but there’s power in words.

I do however love goals. (duh, I’m a blogger)

As I look towards graduation and starting a new chapter in my life, this year has the grand potential to be one of the best. Besides 25 is the new 21 anyway right? Who wants to be barely legal and still have homework to do? That certainly doesn’t sound like the best years to me….

So here’s to 2015 (minus January, for non-bandwagon purposes) being the year of being FEARLESS! (with achievable small steps b/c what good is my degree if I don’t put it to good use)

Word of 2015 Fearless

One

Travel Abroad. This has honestly never been on my radar before. Call me the most vanilla person on the planet, I don’t care. I love to travel and have in fact been to almost all the Lower 48 states (barring Wisconsin, the Dakotas, and Louisiana). So a lack of interest in traveling isn’t what’s held me back. Perhaps the language barrier. Or more likely the time I accidentally watched part of Hostel 2 and had nightmares for months…. No matter, it took 25 years for me to actually want to travel abroad. I’m thinking Paris. Thoughts? (remember my Dad is in Germany so that’d be “home base”)

Step One: Get Passport.

Two

Get Published. As cliche as it sounds for a blogger to be writing something they want published, boo to your rules. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but it’s taken a few hardships and struggles to get the material to write something actually worth reading (in my opinion anyway) I got a good start during NaNoWriMo but then I realized I had too many graduate projects to put any real time into it. So I started writing again during the break and have a good beginning so here’s to finishing. Or at least giving it a good go.

Step One: Schedule Time for Writing (it’s lookin like Saturday mornings are my best bet)

Three

Expand My Yoga Practice. After drinking the racing kool-aid and completing two half marathons and a multitude of 5 and 10k’s over the past few years, my knee needs a break. I turned to spinning in the Fall to pick up my cardio slack, but yoga is what really grounded me and helped bring me out of my bout with depression. I’d like to expand my practice and work of some inversions. Balance and flexibility have never been my forte so here’s to hoping 😉

Step One: Go to class!! (I have free classes on campus)

Four

More Photography. This one isn’t super specific which is like a SMART goal sin. (Have I ever mentioned I wrote an e-book on this topic for grad school?) Anyway, I’ve always loved photography but have never moved beyond a typical point and shoot camera. I’m venturing more into the art now and have already signed up for a few local classes. Also my Big Bro has graciously allowed me to borrow his DSLR to practice with.

Step One. Try a photography challenge

Five

Revive My Blog Hop. Y’all remember that time I started a link-up called the Secret Blogger Club? Yea me neither. I started it kind of on a whim and it seemed to be a bit confusing for some people. BUT now it’s back and I’m hopin y’all will help me keep it going this time with a brand new button! P.S. you’re all invited!

Secret Blogger Club Button

It’s a weekly blog hop every Wednesday. It’s the same concept as before, in that it’s all about bloggers supporting bloggers. Also, there’s no theme, it’s a blog hop link-up. AKA link up whatever your post may be and hop around a bit.

Food? check. Travel? duh. Friends, family, diy, kids, whatever makes you happy. If the very act of writing your post made you happy then I want you to link up with me. Of course all I ask is you link back in your post or display the button on your page. Also be friendly! Make some new friends and let’s help make 2015 bigger and brighter then ever! (ps. grab the button from my sidebar or from here)

Step One: Link up, you know you want to 😉

So there they are. My goals and hopes for 2015. I’ve got some big changes ahead of me and can’t wait to see where life takes me, or rather where I take myself b/c let’s be honest I’m an ambitious go-getter.

I’m a bit late to the party I realize, it being 6th of February and all. But if you haven’t already, tell me one of your resolutions goals for 2015! I’d love to hear them 😀

Sig

Let’s Connect!

facebook twitter instagram pinterest bloglovin

Linkin up with Little Friday

These Are my Resolutions

First of all, Happy 2015, and yes I realize it’s the 5th and I’m late to the resolution bandwagon. Sorry, vacation = not on top of the blogging things. But I showed up and it’s Monday so I’d say that’s a win.

I’ve already shared my thoughts on resolutions the other day and how this year I’m challenging all of y’all to live a bit off-balance. I do actually have some more resolutions/challenges for you as well though. Maybe one of these days I’ll tell you my actual goals for 2015, but for now you get more deep philosophical thoughts 😉

Resolutions 2015

Resolutions.They come around every year. I’ve made no bones about the fact I hate them.  I get the sentiment behind them sure. I like every blogger ever, love goals and a good ole’ fashioned check-list. However “resolutions” have too much pressure behind them. It’s like the whole country perceives resolutions to instantly transform them into superior beings by January 2nd.

Therefore said resolutions tend to only hang out for a few weeks or so then poof gone. Seriously, January is like the worst time to set goals for the year.Think about it. Fitness goals are awful because it’s freakin freezing outside still and no one really wants to get up early in the dark and go workout. If you say you do you’re lying.

Nutrition goals are a bit easier because all the Holiday parties are now over but if you’re anything like the normal human you’ve got plenty of residual food to get you through till Spring. It’s called hibernation. Thousands of bears all across the nation are successful in these habits and they seem to be doin alright.

Organizational goals. Ok, let’s be honest. If you’re not an organized, non-procrastinating, person at this age then you really have no hope. Don’t make this your resolution….

So now that I’ve knocked out most of the big ones, what’s left? Here’s a look at my resolutions.

>> Live Life Off-Balance. We’ve already gone over this one. Go read it if you haven’t already and come back for the rest…….

Back?

>> Revel in the Beauty of Nature. Find the peace and tranquility of a snowy morning. Look for the beauty in a frosted car window. Nothing can “make” you feel anything, you can choose your own response. I want to choose wonder and amazement. I want to get outside my petty problems more often and find the beauty in the world around me.

finding the beauty around you

>> Be Kind. What a World we’d live in if everyone did one nice thing for someone else every day. What about two people. Three. I want to lift others up and just like looking for the beauty in nature, I want to find the beauty in those around me.

>> Be Silent and Listen. I love to talk, I have my own blog for the spillover of thoughts in my head afterall, but what could I learn if I listened more. What would those I normally talk to have to say if I was silent. What wonderful friendship might be created if I gave someone else the chance to speak up.

[Tweet “Need some resolution inspiration? Here’s a good place to start.”]

As a health educator I know all about SMART goals and effective goal-setting strategies so obviously these fail that criteria miserably. What they do pass is the test of personal improvement. They’ll help me stretch and grow as a person, friend, daughter, and sister.

Ok, now tell me your Resolutions for the year. And not just a shallow do-it-again-next-year kind of resolution. But who do you truly want to be.

And now how are you going to get there?

Sig

Let’s Connect!

facebook twitter instagram pinterest bloglovin

linkin up with MIMM

What Makes You Uncomfortable

Thanks for all the support from last week. Whatever’s goin around hit me hard and I was down and out for the count all week and it took all weekend to get back up again. As long as I’m 100% better by Saturday, it’s my big bro’s big day and he’s tyin the knot 😀

But that’s a story for another time….Today I have a question for you. Well more like a challenge but we’ll start with the easy part…..

What makes you uncomfortable?

By uncomfortable I don’t mean too-snug jeans that give you a muffin (or cake) top, although that is uncomfortable for everyone involved. I mean something that puts you outside your comfort zone. Something challenging that requires effort. Public speaking? Going somewhere new alone? Swimming with the sharks? (either real or ABC’s version)

what makes you uncomfortable

Can we talk about how gorgeous my sister is? Also how this could literally be a painting?

It’s not really that difficult of a question, there’s plenty of answers to it. The real question is what do you do when something makes you uncomfortable? Do you hide or do you rise to the occasion?

Well as you’re probably reading this I’m giving a pretty big presentation to the entire University Health Service team at UK pitching them a program my graduate partner and I designed to see fi they might like it. Oh it’s also like the majority of my final grade…so kinda a big deal.

Did I mention public speaking makes me uncomfortable? Duh, you say. Most people hate speaking in front of crowds. Ok, fine, so it’s not all that original, but I bet most people also don’t seek out opportunities to do it either. I LOVE public speaking b/c it makes me uncomfortable. Now don’t give me a mike and tell me to sing karaoke, that’s just terrifying, but speaking to stakeholders about something I believe in gives me fire.

I may be nervous the entire time, and stumble over some words here and there, and I wish I could tell you I blew them away and they hired me on the spot by offering me a million dollars (wouldn’t That be something) but I CAN tell you that my knowledge on the topic grew immensely (tobacco cessation if ya cared to know) as well as my understanding of the entire process of planning a health promotion program from scratch.

A few moments of being uncomfortable resulted in so much growth. Do I like said uncomfortable thing any better? Not even slightly. I am who I am, and honestly that’s a pretty big life lesson to learn for anyone.

WallsYouBuild

I am Kelsey. I will forever prefer a night in with my knitting needles to a night out on the town. I crave adventure but controlled and planned. I don’t like parties and giant crowds of strangers, and I’ll probably never understand the appeal of NYC. My world is right when I’ve got a book in my hands and I’ll never stop being curious about the World.

Basically, I’m ok with who I am. I don’t need the approval of “most of the population” to validate my likes and dislikes. So sure, lots of things make me uncomfortable, but occasionally I’ll step outside of those confinements and learn a little bit more about life and myself. And make some great friends along the way 🙂

With the New Year coming up, people are gonna be setting resolutions and trying to reinvent themselves. I challenge you to make it a goal to do something that makes you uncomfortable every once in a while. Once a day, a week, or a month. Step outside your comfort zone and see what may come of it.

Being uncomfortable is ok, it lasts but a moment, but I can promise you the lessons you learn and things you experience can last much longer.

So now tell me, what makes YOU uncomfortable?

Sig

Let’s Connect!

facebook twitter instagram pinterest bloglovin

Makin Changes – New Header and Page

If a blogger changes her header but doesn’t tell anyone does it make a sound?…Or something like that, I know there’s a sage saying in there somewhere. I couldn’t take the chance so if you haven’t already, take a gander at my new header!! I hope you like it!

Change is good, and sometimes it’s just needed.  I like change, I move a lot, I like to see new places. So why would my blog be any different? Is it bad that I can’t stop staring at it?…yea? ok I’ll stop 🙂

One of my goals for 2014 (and let’s be honest it has been for awhile) is to finally make the jump to self-hosting my website. I know, I know you’re probably sittin there sayin “just do it already.” Hey, I said I like change, not that I jump in to it quickly…..

IMG_1980

Anyway, so besides a new header I’ve also added a new page….(Cookin w/ Kels?) As some of you (read as none of you) know, I actually started blogging when I moved to Boston in 2012  on another blog. I did a lot of recipes and whatnot over there but for many reasons I retired it and came over here. Now, for your immense pleasure, I’m bringing the recipes page back…you’re welcome taste-buds 🙂

It’s sparse now but will soon fill up..I may or may not really, really love food 😉 Any recipes you’d like to see me try and (hopefully) succeed at?

“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird, that cannot fly.”

-Langston Hughes

Sig

On the Trail Again

Well the cold had me beat there for a few days (don’t judge me b/c I’m a baby about the cold) but I finally hit the pavement again today and boy did it feel good……..AWFUL b/c it’d been almost a week since I’d run lol. Just kidding it was fine, running is running and it feels good just bein out there again. I also attempted to be artistic with this photo…it’s not really in my blood….whatever, I was by a tank, be jealous lol

IMG_1947

I also finally used my Forerunner *correctly* for the first time (again this is a no-judgement zone ppl). It was a short 2 miler, startin back in slowly after my break. (Refer to Realistic Goals)  I was wicked stoked with my watch though! I tried out the run/walk option since that’s what I’ll be doin for my marathon, and besides needin to turn the volume up so I actually hear it beep, it was pretty cool. Anybody in the market for a basic running watch then this is your baby. I mean who can beat a purple gps running watch?….

IMG_1948

Ya know I just realized I gave y’all not 1 but 2 watch pictures today! Either I’m tryna catch up to every other runblogger out there or I just forgot to take a picture of something else…..I’ll let you decide which one is correct. 🙂

Next week is gonna be awesome…the trifecta of awesome (aka pile-it-on baby!). School, work, and marathon training starts! Ya know that phrase when it rains it pours? I think it applies here 🙂 But in a good way, I perform best when there’s lots going on. Not in a I-perform-best-under-pressure kinda thing (no one likes pressure I don’t care what they say), but rather a I-waste-my life-on-Netflix-and-Buzzfeed (if you don’t know what Buzzfeed is then just don’t, trust me….Don’t) kinda way when I have too much time on my hands. Busy = Productivity

Did you survive the Polar Freezing Cold Sub-Zero Temps Vortex? (or whatever it’s called) Next question, can anyone compete with a run by a tank? (I need to know if I needa up my game or not lol)

“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.”

-Dalai Lama XIV

Sig

2014 – No Excuses, Yes Realistic

First of all Happy New Year everyone! And what a wonderful 2014 I plan for it to be! Lot’s of big moments coming up for me and my family so I’m excited 😀 Sorry it’s been so long, I actually meant to post this Jan 1st but we see how well that worked out lol.

IMG_1911

Second, I’m finally back from the beach and even though I don’t talk much about serious things (If you’ve read my blog at all it’s pretty obvious lol),  with the new year and the subsequent resolutions that come with it upon us, I felt the need to talk about this…

NYqoute

Resolutions….They’re awesome, they really are. I set some every year just like every other Tom, Dick, and Harry. As a trainer I always make my clients have a goal in mind. They just work. BUT there’s a dark side to resolutions and goals which I want to address….the backslide, regret, depression, self-hate, and the excuses…..these are the things to avoid.

I’ve read the inspirational books that say there are no excuses (and I agree), but there is such a thing as being realistic. Don’t get caught up in who you used to be or what level you were at. For example, I used to run 7-8 miles a day and had no problems. Since then I’ve had 2 knee surgeries, have arthritis in one knee, and am lucky to get in 1-3 miles every few days much slower and run/walking. It took me a long time to be ok with that, but I realize I’m not the same person I was years ago and therefore cannot train like I did years ago.

IMG_1931

One of my goals this year is to run a marathon. Well run/walk anyway. So I haven’t let my knee become an excuse Not to do something, but it is a reason not to do what I used to (aka run the whole thing)….So my point is, make goals and resolutions, dream big! Now go ahead and throw out your excuses, just get rid of em! But remember to be realistic about the goals you set and the way you go about it. Don’t beat yourself up if you fall, or stumble on your way to completing those goals. And remember that as time goes by, things change. You won’t start where you might have been once, but every day you get better and stronger. And you’ll reach those goals if you stick with it.

What are your goals for 2014?

“Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon.”

-Paul Brandt

Sig

Let’s Connect!

facebooktwitterinstagrampinterestbloglovin