Sunday, June 30, 2013

June Resolutions Recap

A beautiful day in June.

My Spiritual Resolution for the month of June was to focus on the Fruit of the Spirit Temperance.  Temperance means self-control.  This month due to some dietary changes and health decisions, I have lost eight pounds.  Practicing self-control with food and eating is a bit of a struggle for me.  I've felt a lot better with the changes I've made and hope to stick to them.

My Mental Resolution for this month was to finish You're Wearing That? by Deborah Tannen, The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier, and to catch up with my Goodreads Challenge, which is to read 52 books in one year.  While I did read World War Z by Max Brooks, No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy, and The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, this only added up to five books for the month of June.

My Emotional Resolution was to journal.  I did not do enough of this.  This resolution will transfer to July.

My Physical Resolution for June was to continue making healthy eating choices and keep moving.  My determination to eat gluten less has been a success.  Gluten free seems impossible for me at this time, but it is something to strive toward.  The other day I made gluten and MSG free shrimp fried rice.  It was delicious.  People become confused when I tell them I'm trying not to eat any wheat.  I would not go as far as to say I am allergic to wheat, I'm not, but I feel a lot better when I do not consume wheat and other grains which contain gluten.  Plus, the weight loss!  It made me feel great to see the scale go down and stay down.  My digestion has improved.  The gluten less diet is trying at times, just the other day I craved some candy and bought Twizzlers without reading the ingredients until I took the first bite....oops!  I quickly spit it out.  The other night I made the mistake of ordering a regular pizza, instead of gluten free.  It was very disappointing, but I did not deprive myself.  I remind myself, no one is perfect.

The idea of monthly resolutions comes from Kelli from She Learns As She Goes.  She is a wonderful young woman, check out her site.

Tomorrow I will post July's Resolutions.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Summer Bucket List

Kelli from She Learns As She Goes has inspired me to create a Summer Bucket List.  A regular Bucket List is a list of things to do before you die, while a Summer Bucket List is a list of things to do before the summer season is over.

2013 Summer Bucket List:

Visit NYC

Museum of Natural History

Take a picture of Strawberry Fields in Central Park

Museum of Modern Art

Top of the Rock Rockefeller Center (at night)

Visit Vermont

Visit Massachusetts

Visit Connecticut

Visit New Hampshire

Visit Rhode Island

Visit Pennsylvania

Tollgate Ice Cream

Three Year Anniversary

Homemade Lemonade

Relay for Life Event

Bake a Gluten Free Bread

Visit Maine (!)

Stress Free Move


Swim in the Ocean

Yes, you read correctly, there are seven states to visit on my Bucket List.  Exciting!

Let summer begin!

What are your plans this summer?

*The above photograph is not my own, it is from a collection I purchased the rights to use.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Goodreads Questionnaire

Lois and Elyssa did this book survey from Goodreads, so I thought I would join the fun. Here are my answers:

What book are you reading right now?
I am reading two books at the moment:  The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier and You're Wearing That? by Deborah Tannen

What will you read next?
There are many on my to read list, which is too long to list here.

What was your favorite childhood book?
This is an almost impossible question, because there are so many!  Maybe The Phantom Tollbooth, because I went through a phase with it, like most children.  The movie was pretty sweet, too.  Who remembers the Doldrums?

What were your reading habits like as a kid?
My reading habits as a kid looked about the same as my reading habits now.  I was always getting books out from the library, at times too many.

How many books do you have checked out from the library?
Eight books.

What books do you have on hold at the library?
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell and Non-Violent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg

Do you have a bad book habit?
Checking out too many books from the library and not returning them on time.

Do you read one book at a time or several?
Several.  Usually, I like to have one fiction and one non-fiction at a time.  Fiction gives me a little breathing room from too much 'real life'.

What is your favorite book you've read this year?
This is an incredibly hard question.  Probably Looking for Alaska by John Green.

What is your least favorite book you've read this year?
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.  This is not to say the book was all bad, it is just my least favorite so far in the year.

What is your reading comfort zone?
My comfort zone with reading is pretty wide, I enjoy many books of different genres.  See next question. ;)

How often do you read outside of your comfort zone?
The two book clubs I joined have introduced new genres and authors to me.   It has been a refreshing experience and I do feel stretched a little out of my comfort zone.

What is your favorite place to read?
In bed.

Do you lend out books?
In the past I have, but not recently.

Do you dog-ear books?

Do you write in the margins of books?

What makes you love a book?
Good characters, plot, and ideas.

What will inspire you to recommend a book?
If it fits the personality of a person or if the book has inspired me or changed my perspective.

What is the one book you will always recommend?
The Bible.  1984 by George Orwell.  Yes, that is two books.

Is there a book that you love that no one else seems to?
Maybe 1984 by George Orwell?  A lot of people have read Animal Farm by George Orwell, but 1984 spoke to me in a way which Animal Farm did not.  1984 focuses on one man against the system.  The Ministry of Peace is the military, The Ministry of Truth implements deception, and the Ministry of Love, well, you will have to read the book.  The concept of the government as Big Brother originated with Orwell.

Do you read while you are: Eating? Taking a bath? Watching TV? Listening to music? On the Computer? On the bus?
Yes, although if I am truly interested in a television program, I can't be reading at the same time.

What is your favorite genre to read?
Dystopia, which means the opposite of Utopia.

What genre do you rarely read, but wish you read more of?
Classics.  In highschool, I read a lot of the classics.  I would like to read them again.

What is your favorite biography?
I truly have not read enough to justify an answer.

What is your favorite non-fiction?
The Bible.

Have you ever read a self-help book?
Yes, life is about growing and changing.

What is your favorite reading snack?

What is the most inspirational book you've ever read?
The Bible.

Are there any books that have been ruined for you by all the hype?
Hype does not ruin books for me, poor plot, shabby characters, and flaws in timelines do.

How often do you agree with critics about a book?
Not very often.

How do you feel about giving negative reviews?
My opinion is only an opinion, not a fact.

What books are you most intimidated to begin?
War and Peace.  I started reading it in high school, but couldn't finish it.

What books are you most likely to take on vacation with you?

What is the longest you have gone without reading?
Maybe a few weeks?  Reading is one of my favorite activities.

What is a book that you just couldn't finish?
War and Peace.

What is the most money you have spent on books at one time?
Do textbooks count?  Hundreds of dollars...  Never again did I buy new textbooks, used textbooks worked
just as well.

How often do you skim through a book before reading it?
I don't.

Do you keep books or give them away once you've read them?
If I bought a book or a book was given to me as a gift, I don't give them away.  I don't usually buy a book
unless I read it first.

Are there any books that you've been avoiding, or refuse to read?
I'm just not interested in the Harry Potter series.

What is a book that you didn't expect to like, but did?
Probably a lot of the books I read in high school.  We did 18th and 19th Century English and American Literature.  Some of the books were truly intimidating, but I enjoyed most, if not all of them.

What is your favorite guilt-free pleasure reading?
The Bible.

What reading materials are in your bathroom right now?

What book do you most remember reading for school?
1984 by George Orwell.

What was the last book you couldn't put down until you finished it?
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky  Don't get me started...  The book felt like a rip off of The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger.

What book is physically closest to you right now?
You're Wearing That?

What is your favorite book series?
As a kid, I loved Star Wars books, not the chapter books, the novels.

What is the longest book you've ever read? The shortest?
The Bible is the longest book I have ever read, but I admit I did not read it in order.  The shortest book would probably be one of the many picture books I had as a child.

Who is your favorite book character?
Very hard question!  Come back another time, while I perform an in-depth analysis of my favorite fictional characters (probably introverts).

Who is your favorite author?

What is your favorite book?
The Bible

Consider Yourself Tagged!  Answer one of the questions in the comments below or ask a question of your own.

*The above photo is not my own, it is from an image collection I purchased the rights to use.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

June Resolutions

This photo describes how the last few days have felt, hot and humid.  It's days like yesterday, with a high of 91 degrees Fahrenheit (about 32 degrees Celsius) that I just wanted to crawl inside the refrigerator.  The humidity is just awful, it feels like you are swimming in your own sweat.  The pollen count has been high, too.  It's all-around not a fun time.  I can't imagine how the rest of the summer is going to pan out.  It feels like we skipped spring and plunged into summer.

My Spiritual Resolution for the month of June will be to focus on the Fruit of the Spirit Temperance.  This is the last month of Fruits of the Spirit.  Temperance means self-control.

My Mental Resolution for the month is to finish reading You're Wearing That? by Deborah Tannen and The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier.  In order to catch up with my Goodreads Challenge, I need to finish 11 books by the end of June.

You can visit my Goodreads account here.  Feel free to add me as a friend and recommend books for me to read. :)

My Emotional Resolution for the month is to privately journal more throughout the month. Keeping a journal is therapeutic.  It helps me to organize my thoughts.  I believe this will tie in to my spiritual resolution to practice self-control.  Writing about strong emotions can prevent an awkward, hurtful outburst.

My Physical Resolution for the month is to continue doing Just Dance on a regular basis and to continue making healthy eating choices.  We tried gluten-free mac and cheese last night and fell in love.  Unfortunately, the kind we bought had natural flavoring in it, but one healthy food choice at a time, right?

Monthly resolutions is a concept from Kelli from She Learns As She Goes.  Visit her blog! She is a graceful woman of God with great posts from the occasional recipe to Summer Bucket Lists.

*The above photograph is not my own, it is from a collection I purchased the rights to use.
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