Journal-ific Thursday: Wreck This Journal

I am a journal obsessed person, so I knew I needed a copy of Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal. Here are just a few pages I have done so far.

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Write One Word Over and Over I decided to write the word “Meow” and had a lot of fun with it as well. I especially love the words forming the cat head on the left hand side.

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Make a Paper Chain The best part was designing the chain strips and experimenting with different combos. It gets more and more smushed the longer it I use the journal.

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This Page is a Sign I knew I wanted my sign to say my new mantra to help remind me that there is so much more out there for me.

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Bring This Book in the Shower This was the very first thing I did when I got my wreck this journal. It was different and very fun.

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Sew This Page This page doesn’t read to me as quite finished but I like the current product, so here you got. Not entirely sure how I can advance this page but when I do I shall let you know.

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Draw With Glue Glitter glue counts, right? This page is fun and glittery, what more can I say? I will share more pages coming soon. I am hoping to have my most recent tegulat journal done by next Thurdsay so that will probably be the topic next week.

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Water Wednesday: Water Routines

This week has been a hard one for the water pledge for me. I have made my desired 80 ounces every day but by the skin of my teeth. What I realized was the patterns I had established in the week or so prior got all discombobulated for one reason or another.

I try to get somewhere between 8 – 16 ounces down within a half an hour of waking and the rest of a 24 ounce glass by an hour after waking.

The next 24 often goes with lunch but that is on a good day. I usually find myself slamming it down as we head out the door to workout later in the evening. Right there I just established a weak link in my water routine.

There (working out) 24+ ounces are consumed in the process. Now, here is where I pose a question; is drinking water while you work out (not just after, during) a positive or a negative thing? I don’t really need it during but I do like a swig here or there to keep my throat moist.

The last 8- 24 (80-96 total) comes before bed  mostly be chugging it as I head upstairs.

This routine seems to work but could be improved greatly. What is your water routine? How do you deal with items that alter or throw off your routine? I am really curious to know and am hoping to learn something which will benefit my routine.

MyHealthScore Update

This was Monday’s post but it was being obstinant.

Alrighty, yesterday I let them poke and prod me at Life Time to determine myhealthscore. What they discovered was not that surprising but all together interesting.

My score was 60 out of 100 and about where I thought I would be. My hdl/ldls and all that jazz counted me off but was told it wasn’t major, just could be MUCH better.

My glucose levels were a little high, also something I was expecting. Once again, nothing in the dangerous levels but with proper diet, nutrition, exercise and due diligence could be hopefully rectified. If a great enough change is not seen in three months more in-depth testing will result to test thyroid and stuff like that.

My VO2 levels weren’t that great either and that was something I always thought was wonky. It has seemed for many years now that it took more effort than necessary to catch my breath and stuff like that. It was suggested I take a test to look deeper into my problems as this can be a hindrance to exercise and daily life. When funds come available it will be first on my list.

The biggest thing that counted me off nor was that big of a shocker was my body fat percentage. It is no secret that I am overweight and inmany places considered obese. This means a recommended lower carb diet, something I was working towards anyway. Now I am one of those crazies checking the back of the box and doing the math. Looking not at calories but carbs.

All and all, I know this is for the greater good and a LONG road is ahead of me to lose my hopeful 60 lbs. Already down like 5ish, which is a start.

Now I must force another 24+ ounces of water down my throat, joy.

That Darn Cat and Other Health Related Things

One of the two cats (Pasha) that allow us to share a house with them is feeling a bit poorly. It seems his latest escape attempt found him in a scrap with another animal which ended up in him getting bit. When he returned he was lethargic, walking funny and just not generally himself. The vet said that the wound got infected and caused him to have a fever. They burst the absess and gave us a script for an antibiotic.

So now this silly little cat has to get icky pink stuff shot into his mouth twice daily. And to add insult to injury has to wear a cone of shame.

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We will probably be taking him in for another gander at his regular vet sometime next week.
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Tomorrow at 9am I am heading up to Lifetime to get what they call a MyHealthScore. Basically a
series of tests to see how my overall health is. I am not expecting to do so well and predicting a score of like maybe 70ish and if that. I guess onmy tomorrow can tell.

So Very Behind and Fiction Friday review: The Chocolate Castle Clue.

I am so very behind on my,blog posts right now, yep.

For Water Wednesday, I wanted to report I have been doing grand on hitting and often exceeded my 80 ounces. It is tough some days and my progress is effected by the type of vessal it is in. A few experiments has made me discover I like my water with a straw.
Here is one of my trackers because I thought you would want to see how I was doing such.

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Man, I can’t seem to figure out how to rotate the picture on my phone, but you can get the point. I just put them in my journal and color the section as 24 ounces are consumed.

In other news, I really dislike the elliptical. I know it is a fine piece of gym equipment but I just could never get a comfortable stance on it. After some research it does seem it is a piece which is commonly found to not be friendly to someone who is well, short. When I get the chance I want to experience all the ellipitical types to maybe find one I don’t hate as much.

Now for the Fiction Friday part of this post. I recently finished “The Chocolate Castle Clue” by Joanna Carl.
I wish I would have known this book was so deep into a series but that didn’t take away or distract so it work out fine. The mystery here starts when Lee discovers an old trophy from her aunt’s high school days. An odd reaction from a grown woman to the trophy and the long since memories it brings up for Lee’s aunt’s high school singing group The Pier-o-ettes begins to unravel a 40+ year old mystery everyone but his widow as long since forgotten.
The elements of this cozy are pretty standard and Carl’s pace keeps the ball rolling which made this hard for me to put down. Some of clues and neccesary story points did come off a bit forced or clunky but that is not something unknown to anyone who reads a lot of cozys. Overall this book received 4 out of 5 stars and I am looking forward to started from the beginning when I get the time.

Currently Reading: Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins (yes, of Hunger Games fame. This is here first published novel.)

Top Ten Favorite Books I Read in 2012 (and a Few I Thought Weren’t That Great)

Fridays here at Books, Booze and Baking shall hence forth be called Fiction Fridays. On this glorious day the topic will be well books. To start off this grand 2013, I will go over the top ten books I read in 2012 and add in some I didn’t think were that great.

These are in no particular order.

Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein
I really didn’t know much about this book going in but I saw it going through the library, than it popped up here and there around the internet. I set a request for a hold through the library and waited. The second I started the book I was hooked, I craved to know what was next. The story seemed well developed and researched and I found myself forgetting it was just a fiction. This was by far my all time favorite read of 2012, I highly suggest you do not let this gem slip away.

The Happiness Project – Gretchen Ruben
I am not even sure this blog would exist if it wasn’t for this book, to be honest. This was another book that I found mostly because I kept seeing it roll through the library and I was curious. Within twenty pages I was ready to start my own version of the Happiness Project and knew it was going to be a Christmas gift for a few people. I would suggest this for someone who wants to get an idea on what they can do to better themselves and finally feel happy.

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
Holy misdirection batman, but that is pretty much all I can say about this novel without giving it completely away. This novel just left me speechless. It was a dark, gritty and will leave you digesting it long after you finish it.

The Perks of Being A Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
I would not be completely lying if I didn’t tell you it was because the film was being released that I read this book. It had been on my Banned Book Week Too Read list for many years and the movie coming out finally gave me the push to just read it. I really enjoyed following the coming-of-age journey of Charlie. I highly suggest dipping into this read, it won’t be a laugh riot but certainly an adventure.

The Casual Vacancy – J.K. Rowling
I am and always will be a Potterhead until the day I die. Always. So of course I had to get my hands on her newest book, even if it wasn’t going to take me on a journey with Harry Potter. I can tell you that she can write. It may have been a bit slow but once I was finally able to give it the time it needed I had to know how it all worked out. Rowling seems to not leave anything unturned and you will feel like you have always been a member of Pagford.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Stiegg Larsson
I was late to this party, but that is kind of how life works sometimes. I am still really trying to digest this book but Larsson seemed like an author plucked before his time. It was dark, probably not suited for everybody but a great read.

The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness
This is book is the first in a series by Patrick Ness called Chaos Walking. I saw a reference to somewhere or another and gave it a gander. Holy heck, I am still not even sure what happened but that is what made it so interesting. In a world where woman are practically non-existent and men can hear each and even the animals thoughts you just don’t know what is going to happen. I urge you to take a gander at the description and give a go. It is not one for everybody and seems to be one of those books that you either really like or really hate, but where is the hurt in trying. To be on the safe side, why don’t you borrow it from a friend or a library and see for yourself. 

Cinder – Marissa Meyer
It’s Cinderella retold and this time our Cinderella is a cyborg. It was a bit predictable but the story moves on in a way that keeps you coming back for more. The next book “Scarlet” in the Lunar Chronicles comes out in less than a month and I cannot wait to get my hands it. Seriously chomping at the bit and am very upset the library doesn’t yet seem to have it available. Meyer did a masterful job of adding a sci-fy update to the classic. 

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathon Safran Foer
In short, it ripped my heart out, replaced it tenderly than yanked it back out. A roller-coaster ride that had my laughing, crying, gasping and every other emotion there is.

Bubbles Unbound – Sarah Strohmeyer
This book made my list because on how surprised I was by it. I decided to give this book a try because it fulfilled a 50 states mystery challenge I had given myself for the state of Pennsylvania. But with a charactor description such as “gum-snapping hairdresser with Barbie-doll curves pinched into hot pants and a tube top” for your main character you just am not sure how it is going to go. I really enjoyed this book, the first, of the series that when I can devote the time I would love to read the rest in the series. Imagine it as a blonder and far more ditsy version of Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum with maybe a bit of a dip of Paretsky’s Warshawski. Its a fun little mystery, perfect for the beach.

Now for those books that I suffered through or just had to let go unfinished:

  • I will read the Stephanie Plum novels until they disappear but I BEG that Evanovich quits going off on these random tangents or just let the series DIE as soon as possible. The last four of five just left me so confused or shaking my head that only because I want to see what trouble Plum is going to get into is the ONLY reason I keep going. I am in line for number Nineteen and I hope that this one isn’t like the others.
  • Mum’s the Word – Kate Collins I couldn’t even get through this book entirely. I didn’t feel for the characters, the mystery seemed a little forced. Just say no, I love a good cozy mystery and one around a flower shop would be great, but this one wasn’t for me.
  • Alice in Zombieland – Gena Showalter This book passed through my hands at the library and it sounded like it had potential. I wish I had NEVER heard of this book. First off it had nothing to do with Alice in Wonderland and it felt like it was written by a Twilight hungry thirteen year old. PASS!
  • Dexter is Delicious – Jeff Lindsay I love Dexter and when I discovered the show was based on some books I had to give them a gander. The first four were good, the fifth one was on a whole other plan. It wasn’t bad but if number six doesn’t give me something I wash my hands of the book series and will stick with the show

There you have it. What else can I say?

Next week expect a few reviews for whatever I have read by then. 

Books, Booze and Baking (and the Water Pledge)

We are well into 2013 and it is high time I got this blog officially off and rolling. I have been hemming and hawing over the details for the last two weeks and I am starting to get sick of it. The biggest thing I have been stressing over is the name. Books, Booze and Baking was the first thing to pop into my head and it was silly of me to fight it. In all my years of decision making going with the first thing I think about has rarely steered me wrong. This realization changed my life really because I am notorious for poor decision making; agonizing over every detail and weighing every outcome. Picking a meal at a restaurant is often impossible for me but that is neither here nor there right now.

What exactly is Books, Booze and Baking going to mean, you ask? It really should be called Books, Booze, Baking and Beyond but that seems like rather a mouthful.

Here is the run down:

Books
This part probably seems rather self-explanatory. I will discuss, review and facilitate topics about books. I adore reading. I can’t even begin to imagine my life without the written word and am constantly juggling two or more books. This will be a place for reviews of whatever I just finished, author discussions and eventually as we settle in an online book club of sorts. More information will be forthcoming as things get more solid.

Booze
I think honestly this is mostly here because I loved the alliteration of it but might as well make use of it. I am not a huge drinker by any means but I do have a soft spot for craft brews especially the homegrown Boulevard line of beers and I always have a bottle or two of wine in my fridge. My question to you is that as a reader what sort of topics  would you like me to cover for this section?

Baking
I doubt this will ever turn into a recipe blog but that doesn’t mean I won’t discuss whatever recipe I am currently attempting, although an occasional original recipe may be posted throughout this blog journey. I am a rather adventurous cook and in many ways would rather try to make something in my home instead of purchasing it pre-made. In a couple of days I am going to give homemade fig newtons a try, so that should be interesting. The husband and I are also slowing easing our way into a more Paleo way of life and I will go into greater detail at a later date.

Don’t forget “the Beyond”
I am also in the very slow and arduous but ultimately rewarding process of building a home business. I opened an etsy site a few months back but sales have been a bit dismal, it is difficult to difficult to stand out in a crowd of many. So look out for forthcoming tutorials, current projects and all things craft/creative related.
Beyond here can also mean just random discussions about whatever seems pertinent to me at the moment take my love of British television or my swan collection or my journey through my version of the Happiness Project or whatever. This is the all goes topic area, I can however promise to avoid such topics of religion or politics. I have my opinions on both but here is not the right place to air either of them.

Now that you know a little more about what to expect lets jump into the first topic; Drinking Water.

Water and I have never been very close friends, we have flitting relationships here and there but mostly I would rather reach for something with a little bit of flavor. This goes beyond the sugary soda (which I really don’t drink much anymore anyway) but the flavored coffees –addicted to hazelnut flavored coffee-, juice, sports drinks, tea; pretty much anything that isn’t water. This results in me constantly feeling dehydrated. I don’t think I have been properly hydrated in ten years. Yes, I am well aware of what I am doing to my body and all the benefits getting your daily recommended amount of water can do for you.

I just find water so plain, so boring. But that has got to change, especially now with Hubs and I receiving memberships to Lifetime Fitness for Christmas. I came up with something called the Water Pledge which I am going to take and I urge you to do the same.

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How you derive your required amount of ounces is entirely up to you. You could go with your across the board belief of eight glasses at eight ounces each totaling 64 ounces or google a Hydration Calculator and determine your recommended amount that way. According to one calculator I should consume 116.5 ounces of water a day another 120 ounces. That seems like a ridiculously large amount of water, for the sake of my sanity I think will cap it at 80 ounces for a week straight and see how I feel and evaluate than. This may seem to contradict the above pledge a bit but as someone who may consume no more than maybe eight ounces of water in a day, 120 just seems like a grand and lofty goal. 80 is about ten times the amount I normally get in a day.

Remember this is your pledge and you can do it however. Stick with the 64 ounces and increase as you see fit or go all in and try for the number from the calculator. The real aim of this exercise is to create a water habit for the future and beyond.

I hope you join me and start out down the road for a better way of life.

I will discuss my progress and my manor of keeping track next Wednesday, which shall henceforth be called “Water Wednesday”.

Let’s do this!