Reading More: Beautiful Bodies

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A bunch of time back, I mentioned that I read Coming Clean. by Kimberly Rae Miller. She’s a dear friend of a dear friend, a truly lovely person, and someone I can reach out to if/when I know there’s something I need to ask her about. This is all besides the point for this post but I thought I’d mention it.

I enjoyed her first book very much and when it was announced that she was releasing a second one, I watched carefully for the pre-order announcement to be available on Amazon so I had my copy right away.

Then  it sat on my desk for awhile at work because these things happen.

Anyway. Her new book? Fantastic. Partially historical info, part memoir. It had a flavor of Mary Roach but more familiar and a little less formal.

From Amazon:

Like most people, Kimberly Rae Miller does not have the perfect body, but that hasn’t stopped her from trying. And trying. And trying some more. She’s been at it since she was four years old, when Sesame Street inspired her to go on her first diet. Postcollege, after a brief stint as a diet-pill model, she became a health-and-fitness writer and editor working on celebrities’ bestselling bios—sugarcoating the trials and tribulations celebs endure to stay thin. Needless to say, Kim has spent her life in pursuit of the ideal body.

But what is the ideal body? Knowing she’s far from alone in this struggle, Kim sets out to find the objective definition of this seemingly unattainable level of perfection. While on a fascinating and hilarious journey through time that takes her from obese Paleolithic cavewomen, to the bland menus that Drs. Graham and Kellogg prescribed to promote good morals in addition to good health, to the binge-drinking-prone regimen that caused William the Conqueror’s body to explode at his own funeral, Kim ends up discovering a lot about her relationship with her own body.

Warm, funny, and brutally honest, Beautiful Bodies is a blend of memoir and social history that will speak to anyone who’s ever been caught in a power struggle with his or her own body…in other words, just about everyone.

As someone who has an on and off weird relationship with food, how I look and how I feel about my body this was an interesting read. I appreciated the candid way she spoke about her experience, struggles, and successes. And I have to say, this girl is funny.

I also found myself looking for texts she’s cited because the research was interesting. While I’m not sure I’ll go back and read them, it was nice to have them on hand for further reading. Also, if you’re one who skips footnotes, don’t. You’ll thank me for saying so.

I look forward to her next book, which I hear is already in the works.

Is this something you’d read? Why or why not?

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Good things 2017: Week 36

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This tree is totally dead.
In an insanely beautiful kind of way.

It’s important to remember the things that are good in life. It reminds me how blessed I really am and also helps to ease the sting of the bad. I’m incredibly lucky, there’s more good than bad (Knockonwood!) and I want to document how thankful I am for it.

I’m in an interesting – but really good – place. (Knock on wood, let’s not tempt fate here.)

Some of the really good/fun/best things that are happening? I can’t talk about here just yet. I have to talk to him about the whole blogging thing.

Also, some of my coolest pics? They’re of his kids and I’m not going there. At least not yet, maybe not ever.

There’s a whole lot of new to navigate and while I work some of that out, let’s see about some of the good things from last week I can share now.

  • Being part of Coach Daddy’s 6 Words on who you’d back in time to hug…Go tell him who you’d like to hug.
  • Short work week.
  • Late night hugs and laughs
  • Space to do what I need to do for me.
  • Friends who have been there (and still are) to help navigate the new. Every situation is different, but knowing that some candid people I admire and respect have been there make it a little easier.
  • Driving around the orchard in the buggy trying apples and laughing.
  • Doors being painted
  • Random people telling me I’m lovely. Sounds silly but sometimes it’s nice to hear.
  • Really fricken awesome zucchini muffins.
  • A great group of kids to come back to the pool to for the session! (So many smiles, high fives and a few hugs.)
  • Delightful lunch with a colleague and our previous boss.
  • Hiking up Vroman’s nose for the first time. I’m not much of a hiker, but I like being outside and it was fun. And there were lots of puppies to pet. And pictures to take.
  • Breakfast with the lovely MsBix.

Good reads:

Favorite Photo:

I found this on my phone from awhile back. It’s my favorite photo this week

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One of MsBix’s girls.
They give the best eggs.

Favorite Song:

Basically anything by Chris Stapleton these days

How have you been? What made you smile? Tell me about one of your successes? Read anything good this week?

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Coffee Date

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Not yet, but soon!

Howdy. How’s the first full week of September treating you? Has fall in all it’s gory taken over where you are or is that special to NY? Confession time. I baked with Pumpkin Spice the other day and it was amazing. (I’ll post that recipe on Wednesday.)

Don’t worry, I was wearing my painting yoga pants and flip flops, not leggings and Uggs.

What’s in your cup today? I have cinnamon sugar cookie with coconut creamer which reminds me I have to see about getting more. It’s very tasty. I checked into Amazon but it’s way too expensive over there. I have to wonder if it was a seasonal one from last year that they aren’t bringing back.  I hate that. Don’t you?

What seasonal thing did you love that they aren’t bringing back again? This summer Dunkin’ didn’t bring back their Arnold Palmer Coolatta which made me ridiculously sad.  It might have been a partially whormonal feeling response though. There’s no reason to tear up because Dunkin’ doesn’t have your beverage of choice.

How has your week been? Mine has been pretty good. I’m terribly worried about friends down south, but they’re keeping an eye on things and doing what they’re supposed to (I think.) I’ve been donating to a few teachers’ and shelters’ Amazon wish lists so I know people are getting what they need directly, but I feel a little helpless to help people in Houston otherwise.

But I try to say prayers instead of just worrying. It takes the same amount of energy and maybe helps. Worrying sure doesn’t. Me being an anxious mess and getting an ulcer doesn’t help anyone.

Do you have anything fun planned for the weekend? We’re supposed to have a break from the rain so I think we’re going to check out a local visitor’s center and maybe go for a hike and have a picnic. The weather report is basically for a perfect fall day. Sunday I think I’m having breakfast with a dear lovely friend and maybe a movie.

What are you up to this weekend?

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Good things 2017: Week 35

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The apples are looking good!
I didn’t eat this one, but the one I did eat was tasty.

It’s important to remember the things that are good in life. It reminds me how blessed I really am and also helps to ease the sting of the bad. I’m incredibly lucky, there’s more good than bad (Knockonwood!) and I want to document how thankful I am for it.

There’s a whole lot of crap going on out there and some of it’s scary. Since I don’t necessarily want my blog to be a scary place or rehash things many other people are saying much better than I am, I’m not going to talk about those things.

How about some good stuff from the last week instead?

  • Not having to buy a wooden rod because Daddy-O has one that’s broken, but I can have. (Which he brought to me on his motorcycle.)
  • Hugs from kiddos
  • Apples are looking and tasting good!
  • Not having a hangover after moonshine/brandy sampling.
  • Kitchen and bathroom being done! Doors are all hung too. Now to clean.
  • Early days out for a long weekend.
  • Finding a certain level of friendship with Frank.
  • A thank you from a co-worker friend who is facing a health challenge for giving her some of my sick days.
  • Decently successful lawn sales to get rid of stuff.
  • Zyrtec (knockoff)

Good reads:

Favorite Photo:

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I asked for shelves, I got shelves.
This bathroom makes me happy now.

Favorite Song:

Love the spin.

I’m also a huge fan of Garth’s new song, “Ask me how I know.” but I haven’t found it on youtube yet.

How have you been? What made you smile? Tell me about one of your successes? Read anything good this week?

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Coffee Date

2017-09-01_10-25-47Happy Friday and September 1st. While it’s not fall just yet around here (technically) there are some trees changing, leaves are starting to fall (shh), and it felt like it was brick cold this morning when I went outside. (I think my car said 43*F!)

So what’s in your cup today? I have the usual, Chocolate donut coffee with coconut creamer. I know I should change it up, but I just don’t think about it when I’m making it. Maybe when it’s out again?

Crap! Now I want an actual chocolate donut. Or a pumpkin one. Or a cider one…GIMMIE THE DONUTS! (Ooh I’ll be out of the office today in time to go to Shery Lynns!) But I’m also trying to get my food stuff under control again. Not a diet mind you, lets just say more mindful eating.

What’s new in your world? How was your week? This week seemed to drag on and on, but it’s okay because it’s a long weekend and short week next week.

Next week I go back to the pool. Sigh. While the summer off was lovely, my bank account needs a bit of a boost. (Don’t worry, I’m fine, just looking at moving costs, holiday gifts etc.) I covered a few classes to help out and I’m actually looking forward to some of the kiddos I’ve missed. I tell you, there’s just something about them “getting it” that’s amazing.

How was your summer? It’s not done yet but we’re coming close. Me? If I had to pick something right now it would be the time spent out in the country in the garden or under the stars. If you lay still long enough, it’s dizzying to watch them overhead.

Can you see stars in the night sky where you live? Or is there too much other light?

 

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Good things 2017: Um, lately!

It’s important to remember the things that are good in life. It reminds me how blessed I really am and also helps to ease the sting of the bad. I’m incredibly lucky, there’s more good than bad (Knockonwood!) and I want to document how thankful I am for it.

At some point these posts got away from me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t take a moment to thank the Universe for the good bestowed on me. And even through the bad crap from this summer, there was a lot of good.

Some of them are little tiny things, some are bigger. I look at both as gifts to make up for the bullshit.

Here’s just some of the good things from this summer so far:

  • Bathroom being 98% done!
  • Successful Cousins Weekend
  • Summer days and nights out in the country
  • Only filling in at the pool when it suits me, but knowing I can go back whenever I want for more hours
  • Walls being done in the kitchen; cabinet doors need one more coat and to be rehung
  • Trying a new to me food at friends’ house and really liking it. (Trader Joe’s Masala with chicken and rice.)
  • Visiting with cousins at the Lake
  • A crap ton of vacation and sick time when I need to be available to friends I chose as family
  • Wine in small boxes in the freezer
  • A fun day at the fair
  • Company at said friends’ house for said dinner. I love those two. And their munchkin is no slouch either.
  • Winning at the Track
  • An over night camping trip even though it got super cold
  • Some wicked amazing storms
  • Road tripping with my bro.
  • Sweet hugs and kisses for Aunt Court (seriously, when the kiddos spontaneously hug or kiss me? So sweet!)
  • People coming together in times of tragedy
  • Lots of time with kiddos.
  • Fresh picked berries for daiquiris
  • Surviving a bee sting (there is some question about if I’m allergic to them or not.)
  • Cupcakes
  • Time in the garden
  • Once Upon a Time on Netflix
  • Being able to figure shit out on the fly

Good reads:

Favorite Photo:

There were a lot of great pics from this summer but I lost a lot of them when my phone tragically died. Also, some of the really great pics I’ve taken aren’t entirely mine to share because they’re of someone else’s kiddo…and I only share kiddo pics with permission from the adults.

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Part of the fun of this picture is that the kids were so shocked I was willing to pick up the bug.
It was a very jumpy bug.

Favorite Song:

So I’m pretty much in love with most of the Luminees’s stuff right now but this one really was interesting with the video. It apparently goes with the videos for Cleopatra and Ophelia to tell a story.

How have you been? What made you smile? Tell me about one of your successes? Read anything good this week?

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Survey Says! What kind of flower suits you?

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Courtney, your soul blossoms in the warmth of summer just like the Sunflower! You’re a tough person and even the strongest storm cannot harm you. You are always there for your friends. That is why this flower suits you perfectly!

Find out yours here.

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Reading More: Crimes Against a Book Club

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Crimes Against a Book Club by Kathy Cooperman was provided to me at no charge through my Amazon Prime Membership.  The opinions are my own. You can see other books I’ve reviewed here.

Every month Amazon sends me an email saying to choose a free book. Mostly they don’t interest me, but I choose a free book anyway because, well, Free Books!

They haven’t been amazing so far and usually I don’t get very far into them. Crimes Against a Book Club though? Worth it.

From Amazon:

Best friends Annie and Sarah need cash—fast. Sarah, a beautiful, successful lawyer, wants nothing more than to have a baby. But balancing IVF treatments with a grueling eighty-hour workweek is no walk in the park. Meanwhile, Annie, a Harvard-grad chemist recently transplanted to Southern California, is cutting coupons to afford her young autistic son’s expensive therapy.

Desperate, the two friends come up with a brilliant plan: they’ll combine Sarah’s looks and Annie’s brains to sell a “luxury” antiaging face cream to the wealthy, fading beauties in Annie’s La Jolla book club. The scheme seems innocent enough, until Annie decides to add a special—and oh-so-illegal—ingredient that could bring their whole operation crashing to the ground.

Hilarious, intelligent, and warm, Crimes Against a Book Club is a delightful look at the lengths women will go to fend for their families and for one another.

This one took me a bit to get into, but about a few chapters in it really picked up. I loved how the characters developed, the “will she get caught?!” element, and the different story lines intertwining.

A bit of a twist at the end and a bit implausible, but a nice way to spend a few late nights when I couldn’t sleep. The ladies made for some good companions with some good laughs.

Is this something you’d read? Why or why not?

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Survey says! My Southern belle name is

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Daisy May: People sometimes done take you as seriously as they should. You may not be very assertive, but you are insightful, especially when it comes to how others feel. Your thoughtfulness and kindness always come through when people need it most, which makes you a valuable friend! You should have been a Daisy May.

Okay then. I don’t know how many people would agree that I’m not very assertive, but I’m hopeful the rest is true and I sure do try!

If you want to see your Southern Belle name, you can play here.

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Coffee Date

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Some days after work Mother Nature offers me the perfect skies complete with friends.
Do you see the turtle?

Hey there! Fancy running into you here.

How’s it going? How have you been? That summer sun-kissed skin is a lovely look for you!

What’s in your cup? Today I have the usual of Chocolate Donut with Coconut Creamer. I know it’s getting a little boring, but I’m just not ready for the cinnamon fall coffees yet. (Note I said cinnamon, not pumpkin spice!) I’ve also paired it with some gluten free fig cookies and some of my finest liquid-gel Advil.

Living it up over here, that’s for sure.

I’m still on the fence about these fig cookies. They’re not a Fig Newton that’s for sure, but they’re not terrible. Just a little, dense? (For those of you not familiar with gluten free baked goods, they’re often a little dry or dense. I get the hiccups every time I eat a gf roll.)

Anyway, it’s close and I didn’t have to make it myself.

I’ve been trying to get the eating back under control after going hog wild when my cousins were in town and literally eating our way through the Capital District but a girl has to have a treat now and then. Have you tried any new treats lately? Do tell me about them!

Well I should get going, going to refill my cup with Decaf and be on my way for the day. I hope you have a lovely day and weekend! Anything fun planned?

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