Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Current Reads

I realize that it has been a while since I have done any updating that involves books and me reading. I have been reading quite a bit and my habit of buying books before I finish them is becoming obvious as I realize I have to start packing up my books to take them to my new apartment (still so freaking excited to share that!) and I have several boxes with just books in them....yea, that's how awesome I am! Anyways, I wanted to share the new books that I've gotten and then what I'm currently working on, especially since I am also still getting library books.

From bottom to top I'll try and go through each book quickly!

Thunderstruck by Erik Larson.
Back in high school I read Mr. Larson's top seller Devil In The White City, which if you haven't read you need to go out and read now! It's a brilliantly written (in my opinion) story about a series of murders which occurred during the Chicago World's Fair. I have only heard good things about his other books, so when I found this for $5.99 at Half-Price Books, how was I supposed to say no?

The Muse Asylum by David Czuchlewski.
Whenever I walk through the isles of a bookstore, I find myself waiting for something to catch my, almost like the book itself is calling out to me. This is how I felt when I saw this book. I'm not sure what exactly drew my attention here, but I picked it up and here it is now in my to-read pile!

Life Drawing for Beginners by Roisin Meaney. 
I'm not going to lie, when I saw this book I panicked slightly at the idea of it being a novel about life drawing. These tend to end up very sexual, and for all I know, it still could turn into a bit of a lemon filled novel, however I had to allow myself one purchase of a novel that was not about murder (*cough*ErikLarson*cough*) and could have a bit of romance.

Blogging for Creatives by Robin Houghton.
I've been trying to keep this blog up (and I think I'm doing alright?) for over a year now, and I figured maybe it was about time that I do a little research and figure out what I'm doing right vs what I'm doing wrong. Maybe it could help with me trying to figure out what to do from now on!

My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire by Michelle Goodman.
I'm still trying to figure out why I bought this book. Honestly! I'm not a creative professional for hire, I'm a personal trainer...I mean Matt is a creative professional in a sense, but I'm still not sure. Perhaps it is the vain hopes that I will end up becoming a creative professional and get to do creative things for a living like paint or write. We all have our dreams!

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.
I am a pescitarian (a vegetarian that still eats some seafood, milk, and eggs). I have absolutely no problem with anyone else eating whatever sort of red meat they want and I don't judge because, hey, that's their choice not mine. But when I looked at this book if caught my eye because it seems to be more about where our animal products come from and not so much trying to convert people to vegetarianism or what-not. So, I figured it could be a good read! Also, this is the guy who wrote Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and I enjoyed the writing in that book too.

And lastly, The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.
I know, I know, I'm a bit slow on the uptake here. This book has been out for how long and has been a movie for how long again? Hey! Better late than never! I received the entire box set of this series (5 books) for Christmas this past year from a friend and haven't gotten the chance to read them yet, so it is now near the top of my list to read.

I will say that these books that I'm sharing are not the only books I have that I have not yet read. If I were to go through all those books I would need several days! What other books do you guys have a suggestions for me to start reading? I'm open to just about anything, just not too big on horror....like Stephen King...he's bloody brilliant! But not really my style, ya know?

Sara :)

ps. Please forgive the quality of my photos, my camera from the iPhone is being stubborn and not working so I'm using a family member's iPod touch, but honestly, the lighting in my bedroom is super sucky. I'm working on getting that new camera but I'm still at such a loss for what to get! Help!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Musica Monday

Some days are not spectacular, but they aren't bad either. Some days are just what they are and not much more. They come and they go, but you find yourself simply exhausted by the end of the day. Has anyone ever felt that before? I came home today thinking that I had a good day, nothing extraordinary, but I was exhausted by the end of the day. I texted Matt saying that all "I want to curl up, watch TV, and maybe have a glass of wine :P". The only issue with that was that I still had to go to bell choir practice and I prefer to not drink wine alone. So, I went to bells with my mom, then came home, hung out with the sister, then proceeded downstairs to my room where I opened a bottle of Clear American Kiwi Strawberry naturally flavored sparkling water beverage which proceeded to explode all over me and my desk. Sigh. C'est la vie.
Anyways, I had no ideas for music for today and asked Matt for a suggestion, and he suggested this song which I absolutely love! Not only do I love the Lord of the Rings both book and movie series, but this man's voice is freaking amazing! I will also say that they lyrics really are quite amazing and can speak to each one of us as we try and find our places in the universe, what do we see on the horizon? Where do we see ourselves going? These are questions that many of us will never fully be able to answer, because we follow wherever life takes us and each day is a surprise, whether we look at it like that or not. I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do!

Sara :)

ps. Also, we confirmed the date for moving to be March 29th!!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Achievement Unlocked: First Apartment!!

It's official! Morgan and I have gotten our first apartment!! It is all still a bit surreal, we are finalizing a date to move in (probably during March, which is about 3 months earlier than I was originally planning, but I won't complain) but are both super excited. We got quite lucky with where we are ending up, because we will be in a safe area, with both our jobs within 15-25 minutes, which is one of the reasons we decided on moving in the first place. There is also a swimming pool, an exercise room, and tennis courts at this place which are all just an added bonus! I can't wait to get my feet wet and see if I'm still as bad at tennis as I used to be :P (I was not good!).
On the other hand, looking at this change means several other things that make life more interesting. For instance, financially, this is going to be a journey all it's own. I won't be traveling for really much at all for a while because we will be a bit tight on money. We understood that fact when we applied for the apartment and thought about it for a few days before. Also, this means that we are on our own, and other than college, neither of us have done this before. I am farther from Matt for now too, which is simply quite sad because we had gotten used to seeing each other and only having to drive like 15 minutes. But hopefully this will be a step in the right direction for the both of us.
I will let you know when we figure out our move in date, but for now I'm still letting everything sink in. This reminds me that I really need to get a new camera....I'm still not sure what kind I even want...ugh! 

Another mark for this week, we had a day this past week where it was in the 40s!!! Come on guys, Wisconsin is freaking cold like 30% of the year and there's construction 80% (yes, they do overlap).It's been a great week, eventful, and full of information and self-discovery. I've gotta work on this organization stuff...I'm getting better but it's just not good enough yet. But there's always something for everyone to work on and for me it's organization. :)

I'm super excited to start getting things ready for moving! I'm nervous as all hell! But so freaking excited as well!!

Sara :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Growing Up and Hearts Day!

Well, it's official: I'm growing up. Today I sent in my first application for an apartment. I can't remember exactly what the form is called, but I think it was an application. It cost some money and the managers at the building are going to run a background check on me and my future roommate (not Matt, although maybe in a year or two it will be Matt :P). The apartment we are trying to get is pretty sweet, in our opinion, and I can't wait to hear if we get it or not (we really hope so, obviously) and will be here to share it with you as soon as I know!

On another page of my story, Matt and I had a wonderful Valentine's Day! We gave each other cards and gifts. We both made some sort of food for the other: I gave him some sweetly addicting peanut butter and Nutella cookies while he gave me white chocolate covered fruit (pineapple, strawberries, and raspberries), which I am currently picking at making my hands quite sticky! He also got me a huge card that talked about the past year and a half we have been together and was really touching and made me super happy! Finally, his sister got us Wonder Woman and Batman little plushies which are freaking ADORABLE!!! I mean seriously, they are so cute! We went to Olive Garden for dinner, which is pretty much our go to for our fancy dates because the service, wine, and food there is delicious! We then went to Half-Price Books (guess whose idea that was :D) and went back to his house to hang out. It was really a wonderful night! I always have so much fun with him and I was so glad that I got to spend Hearts Day (well, technically, Saturday since we both worked all day/until 1030pm on Friday) with Matt as my Valentine!

How were your Hearts Days?

Sara :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Winter Story

Story for you guys! Part of me really doesn't want to share this story but the other part of me is like 'it's too good not to share'! So, I'll share and abbreviated version of it tonight. I was about to head home from my bosses house, we had a wine night with dinner and it was time to head home for the night (more like about 2 or 3 hours before) but I drove away and my car was not driving right at all like my back tires weren't spinning at all and for the life of me I couldn't figure out what was up! I was getting super frustrated and my car was not safely driving at all and i ended up on the side of the road 'stuck' unable to move. (Now, for those of you who know cars, you are probably laughing at me so hard right now, which is legitimate, cause I would be too if I were you. For the rest of you, just wait.) My boss, who is pretty dang awesome, came and found me. She then proceeded to attempt to drive my car only to mention to me 'you know the emergency brake is on?' And I pretty much face palmed myself right then and there. Yes, you read right, I drove my car with my emergency brake on, luckily it was during winter with a bunch of freshly fallen snow on the ground so I don't think there is much damage to my car (other than possibly balding a section of my back tires....) and only slight damage to my pride :P

Ok, so I didn't really have a song in mind for today, I just really wanted to share that story tonight because I thought it was worthy of being shared.

Sara :)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Vitamin D

And now for something kinda different. As you know, I'm a bit of a health nut (oh you didn't know....well I am sometimes! As exemplified by the brownies I'm going to make tomorrow (seriously! They're like healthy brownies!!)) and part of my job at the training studio is to write a weekly newsletter that goes out to anyone interested! Last month (sorry it took me a while to get it here) I did a little blerp about Vitamin D. Lately, we have been getting a bunch of questions at the studio concerning Vitamin D, hence the newsletter I wrote concerning the pros and cons of Vitamin D. Now, I did not take a side in this argument and I will not take one now because to each his/her own, but I will present to you information that you may find helpful or interesting concerning Vitamin D. Sorry if this isn't exactly your cup of tea, but I think it is interesting :)

The majority of our Vitamin D (80-90%) comes from exposing our skin to direct sunlight. There are two types of supplemental Vitamin D: Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3. Vitamin D2 comes from fortifed plant-based food and supplements, while Vitamin D3 comes from fortified animal-based food (such as baked salmon and tuna and yogurt). Vitamin D assists with teeth, bone, and immune system health. It helps prevent bone diseases such as rickets (osteomalacia in adults) and can also help with heart and blood problems.
Vitamin D supplements are recommended for those who are not exposed to sufficient sunlight and therefore do not absorb enough into their body. For the most part, taking in extra Vitamin D in the form of supplements does not seem to harm an adult. There is a possible risk to develop Vitamin D toxicity (especially in infants), which simply means that your body will produce more urine due to excess calcium.
In either case, make sure to talk to your doctor before starting any supplements. Especially if you are pregnant or taking other medications.

Alright, that's my little blerp on Vitamin D and Vitamin D supplements. Pretty interesting, no? Well, I hope that you enjoyed my little spout of information because I think this kind of stuff is interesting and there will probably be more of it later!

Also, I'm thinking of getting a Zumba certification. Has anyone done it before? Is it fun? What does it take?

Sara :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Writing Tips I've Been Given

I'm a reader, like a big reader. I read whenever I can, I have two bookshelves in my room full of books and I've read close to 1/4 of the mystery section in my library. Not to mention there are about 3 or so other bookshelves in my house that are full. So, it's a big thing in my family. I've also found that I enjoy writing. But this is a bit different since writing takes a bit more thought than reading a mystery book. I have started about 2 or 3 stories that I've dreamed about turning into books, but I haven't found a character that I had a long enough interest in to finish more than 3 or 4 chapters. Not to mention there is not nearly enough time in a day for me to get everything in that I want, but since when is that news?
Anyways, I wanted to share some advice I got from multiple sources about writing and what it takes, and how to make t not so much easier as more manageable.

1. Write everyday. Seriously, one of the best ways to become a better writer is to write everyday. I carry around 2 notebooks in my purse as of late: one for notes on daily life while the other is my writing notebook. Whenever I am bit with something that I feel would be a good section in a story, I write it down, because heaven knows if I wait until I'm home it'll never come out!

2. Read what you can. By reading what is interesting to you, you develop a style that is all your own but shares in bits of the styles of the writers you admire and want to be like. A writer who does not read has only his own life to write about.

3. Talk to your characters. If you don't feel like these charaters you are creating are real, your readers won't see them as real either. You are only as good as you let yourself be, and your characters are people/creatures so let them tell you what they are doing rather than you telling them what to do. I understand that this seems a bit weird, but seriously it's true!

4. Don't be afraid of more drafts. Rewriting your chapters may get rid of some of your characters and may change your plot completely, but if you did not like it the way it was, then your readers won't either. Don't be afraid to have 5 or 6 drafts! Each time you change something, you are getting better at your writing. Just know that if you are looking for perfection, it will take much longer, but only stop when you are satisfied or when your characters stop talking to you.

5. Relate to others. If you can't understand why other people do what they do, why they get angry, why they get sad, why try jump for joy, if they jump for joy, how are you supposed to be able to write about how a character of your creation acts? They are people in your mind as well, and it is just as important for you to understand why they do what they do. You can make one character like yourself but an entire story with little mini-me's running around really is not that interesting, there's no plot or conflict and that tends to only come when oh understand other characters and how the issue comes up. And to do this, you have to understand other personalities. Good luck!

6. Write what you like. They always say write what you know, but what f what you know is not what holds your interest? In my opinion, it should be write what you like because that is what you'll end up passionate about. Your passion will show in your writing and will get your readers as excited as you are about whatever it is! So if you want to write about snow, then write about snow, were about why you like snow and what happens on the snow. Write about freaking snow! 

7. Write the book you want to read. Ok, this one I got off Pinterest, but it seriously ring true. It might make it harder to write but it brings is back to passion. Just go write something!

I hope that this was at least interesting, a bit of a change in pace from my routine stuff! I'm working on taking my own advice ere and tying to get into the habit of writing everyday (so far...not too good) maybe it can help with stress!
I'm sorry that I've been so distracted lately, but life is crazy! I love you all for coming back and reading even though it's not consistent :)

Sara :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Shower Cat

Hey guys, so I'm heading to my first ever professional conference tomorrow! It's on injuries in athletic youth and I'm definitely going to be low on sleep for it but I had a date night with Matt (which shall come up later :P) and then got distracted by my cat sitting in the shower. Well, standing by the time I got a picture, but yes! Have a good night all!!

Sara :)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Wait...It's February?!

Where on earth did January go?! Ok, yes, it is a few days into February, but I kind of tend to sign out of reality during the weekends and January just seemed to have gone by so fast. Maybe being busy is what was doing that. I hope that you all had a wonderful beginning to 2014. I've got a few things going on this month that I wanted to try and start now, in hopes that I am able to do much better at posting for this month than I did last month...

Well, first off, a friend and I are looking for an apartment! We are planning on moving before summer (fingers crossed!) to Brown Deer, which is about 30-40 minutes south of where we currently live with our parentals. As of now we have not picked a place, but we are looking and that is super exciting! So, hopefully this month I will be able to update you all on that and the craziness and excitement of moving! This also means that I will be doing some DIY stuff to get ready for moving as well as after moving (because I have not for a while and my mind and fingers are itching for activity!) starting with reupholstering a set of dinning room chairs that we may end up using (stay tuned!).

Also, I'm two months into my new job as a personal trainer, meaning that I am supposed to have a handle on what I'm doing. While I would not say that I am an expert or extremely good by any stretch, I would say that I am for sure learning and I'm getting to that stage slowly but surly :). I'm also working on dropping some of my times at my first job that are affecting my current work. Since personal training is what I want to do (at least for now) I think concentrating on that would be a good idea, so I'm going to try to slowly drift away from my last job in hopes of putting more focus and energy into the training job.

It's February, and that means Valentine's Day! While I did have to remind Matt (twice...) about the date, he now has it written down and we are going to have a date day, probably on the 15th since we both work until late on the 14th. Besides, I think it's all worth it and hopefully we will have some fun :D Any suggestions for a place for dinner or activities?

I also found my camera (yay!!) while I was cleaning this past weekend! This means that I can start trying to take better pictures. Although, I am still saving up for a nice camera (or a video camera, I still have not decided) it's nice to have something other than my iPhone to take pictures.

I can't wait to do more during February and get a handle on everything that I'm doing :P It is going to be a very, VERY busy month!

Sara :)

ps. As you've probably noticed, we've been playing around with the style of the blog. I owe this to Matt, who really seemed to get into it last night and we found a new style that may or may not be changing again :P

Monday, February 3, 2014

Muisca Monday

This past weekend, I was able to sleep in and relax Sunday morning and Saturday afternoon. I had some reading to do for the newsletters I'm writing for my personal training job but other than that I was relaxing. It was a very nice feeling. I did work on reupholstering the dinning room chairs that Morgan and I will (maybe) be taking with us when we move, but that was actually quite a bit of fun.
It's nice on the weekends when I don't work because I get to dress just how I want. I'm not complaining about wearing exercise cloths everyday to work, but I never thought I'd miss the way jeans feel! Anyways, Sunday was my relaxing day and relaxing is exactly what I did! I turned the music up and I did some reading and crafting :) One of my favorite songs for this relaxing time is by the well-known Regina Spektor. Her debut album was 11:11 released in 2001 by herself (I could have worded that better but I'm too lazy to change it). The song I'm picking for you all to listen to today is from her 2009 album Far. Her song "The Calculation" just makes me want to put on a pretty dress (even in the middle of Wisconsin winter) and spin around with a smile on my face! What do you guys think?

Sara :)