Monday, September 30, 2013

{ Primal Eating & Popsugar }

Hi Lovelies! I hope you all had an amazing weekend! Ours was pretty low-key, which was great since my birthday weekend the previous week was lovely, but super busy! I've had a lot going on over the last week, but wanted to make sure to stop in and say Hi! Welcome to all the new beauties stopping by my blog!!! I truly appreciate you taking the time to read my posts and all of your sweet comments. They truly make my day!

In other news....  I'm planning to try out The Whole 30 soon. This is very difficult for me in many ways and something I've thought very long and hard about. If you're not familiar with the Whole 30, it's thirty days of eating alongside Paleo guidelines. In other words - no grains, legumes, processed food, sugar, and a few other things. I know, I know, all of my vegan/vegetarian readers are probably cursing me right now! I'm sorry. I know.... I was a dairy-free vegetarian a couple years ago for about 2 months and while I felt great at first, it just wasn't for my body. Trust me, I want to be a vegetarian, I really do. But I have a myriad of issues that make that very very difficult. Already having a mild dairy intolerance, a severe gluten intolerance and some issues with blood sugar when I eat grain more than once in a day, just doesn't leave me very much to eat. After researching this way of eating for a while now, though I'm not overly crazy about the focus on meat, I've decided that it's just what's best for my body. I currently eat mainly cage-free, hormone-free poultry and some seafood a few times a week, with the very occasional grass-fed beef from time to time. So I don't really plan on increasing my meat intake. That's just the way I rationalize something that is a bit of a tough pill for me to swallow. It's hard for me knowing that I'm eating a once living thing, but I'm just so tired of being in pain and feeling sick all the time. Sometimes you just have to listen to your gut... Literally. So I was kind of toying with the idea of posting my progress on here. Maybe 1-2 times per week. Is this something you all would be interested in? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Last, but not least..... Over the summer I had the amazing honor of being accepted as a Popsugar Beauty & Fashion Blogger! And my first post was just published! I would love for you to check it out and show some love if you like it!!!

I'll be checking in again soon with another book review, some recipes and my latest fashion/beauty fav's!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

{ Three Weeks in Books ... }

I've obviously been a little MIA the last three weeks. It's amazing to me how quick the time flies by! It started out as waiting to post until my son got settled in school, and before I knew it, his first week back was over. I've had a crazy few weeks and have really been struggling to get out of my own head. We have a lot going on over here and between soccer practices, games, birthdays (mine is Thursday, yay!), and just the mundane parts of everyday life, the days seem to go on in warp speed. I've been looking for a part-time job, which is hard on my little mans schedule. But I'm really hoping to find something over the next couple of weeks, before everyone starts preparing for the string of holidays! To keep me sane lately, I've been reading. A LOT. Reading seems to be the only thing that is extremely calming to me. Sometimes when I'm in a tizz, watching a movie or working out helps, but my mind just keeps going. I can't control it. It's a disease really. But when I get lost in a book, my mind isn't capable of thinking at the same time. At least not too much anyway. So as I had mentioned in my last post, I had started reading Sharp Objects. I'm not the best book reviewer, so bare with me.....

So with Sharp Objects, I read this one really quick. I got sucked in and after a certain point I just couldn't put it down. Here is the book Synopsis via Goodreads:

" WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

With its taut, crafted writing, Sharp Objects is addictive, haunting, and unforgettable."

And Sharp Objects truly was unforgettable. It was one of the better books I have read in a while. And I say "better" because I hold very high standards in my "best" category. Only a few books have made this list and I've been a major reader for a very long time. I thought the building of characters was very very good in this book. There were so many layers to everyone and I really loved how each chapter seemed to peel another layer to reveal more and more as the book went on. This is what really hooked me. You see, the book is a bit gritty. And I don't mind a gritty book AT ALL. But it can get kind of weird at times. Even still, it was like a drug I just couldn't get enough of. About 3/4 of the way through the book I did have an idea who was committing the heinous murders, but I wouldn't say that it's predictable. All in all, I really really liked Sharp Objects. So much so that I followed it up immediately with Dark Places. I wasn't sure how much I would like Dark Places, which is why I didn't start with it. But I was so hooked on Gillian Flynn's style of writing, I dove in. Here is the synopsis:

" I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ.

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived–and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who’ve long forgotten her.

The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details–proof they hope may free Ben–Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history. For a fee, she’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club… and maybe she’ll admit her testimony wasn’t so solid after all.

As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the narrative flashes back to January 2, 1985. The events of that day are relayed through the eyes of Libby’s doomed family members–including Ben, a loner whose rage over his shiftless father and their failing farm have driven him into a disturbing friendship with the new girl in town. Piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started–on the run from a killer."

I also really enjoyed Dark Places, though not as much as Sharp Objects. I didn't feel like the characters were as complex. But unlike Sharp Objects, I didn't really have a true idea of what was going on and that gave me anxiety reading this book. I wanted to know so badly that I found myself holding my breath on parts of this book. I would put it down to get some things done and would find myself thinking about it. Waiting to go pick it up again. Like I already mentioned, Gillian Flynn has a gift. A gift of making her books like a drug. She lets you try a little bit and then she builds and builds until you find yourself an addict without even realizing it. Both books did start out a little slow for me, but after the first chapter I was sucked in. I highly recommend! 

I then moved on to another book that was blazing the net this year...... The Fault in our Stars. I read this book in just a couple days. It's a pretty quick read if you have the time. I wouldn't say I was head over heels for it, like so many people seem to be. But I did really find myself becoming attached to the characters.  Hazel & Augustus are cancer patients that meet in a support group. It's the classic story of boy meets girl and falls in love, but with a depressing, sad twist. There really isn't too much to say without ruining the story for you if you want to read it, but I would def recommend it! There is one part that I did fall in love with. A quote in the book that just made me catch my breath. I found myself reading it over and over. It's just so beautiful.....

Now I'm searching for another amazing book! What are you reading??? Follow me on Goodreads and send me some rec's please!