Reasons I Don't Work Out

Here's a compilation of all the reasons I haven't worked out in months:

  • The gym is too expensive...or the affordable ones don't have childcare
  • We can't stick to a schedule of when Hubs works out vs when I work out
    • mainly due to the fact that our work schedules are very different so we can't really be "fair"
  • It's too cold outside to do the free running
  • It's too wet outside to do the free local outside fitness group
  • I don't have time to go work out, then come back and get ready for work
  • The traffic in this town is insane and if I pay for the gym, I also have to fight traffic and by the time I do that plus workout my kid will be asleep when I get home so then I'll feel like a bad mom
  • My SAHM friends don't want to get up early to workout with me before work
  • My working mom friends don't have time to workout in the morning because they have to go do the daycare drop-off

What's your excuse?
(doesn't have to be for exercise, whatever you want to complain about)

Monthly Recommendations February 2017: OTP

This month's topic is OTPs, aka One True Pairing, aka the characters you most want to get together or like together (aka who you "ship" as in relationship).

I was kind of surprised when I looked at my recent reads that nothing really jumped out at me. And all but one were YA.

I've raved about this book a LOT. But this couple shows the roller coaster of life, and the "reset" Alice experiences when she gets amnesia forces them to remember why they loved each other to begin with, and how they each have changed and contributed to the demise of their marriage. It's heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time.

This one took a while for me, y'all. There is somewhat of a love triangle in this series, and for a while I really didn't know who I wanted Katniss to end up with. But at some point- I think in the third book- Katniss says that the reason she is drawn to Peeta is because he is different than she is. He is hopeful, and she is not, and if she had chosen anyone else (especially Gale) she wouldn't be her best self because she would just give in to the negative outlook she takes. This made me re-examine the series, and I respected the idea that you should pick the person who makes you the best person.

There is a couple in almost all of these books, but Scarlet & Wolf are my favorite. I'm not even sure entirely why...but they are just both super badass and committed to each other and feisty and awesome.

I'm not usually too big on the "star crossed lover" thing. But this is the best I've seen it done. When I first read this, I felt like it was over-hyped. But after rereads and the has grown near and dear to me.


Rowell does amazing jobs in both of these books. The characters felt so real and their relationships were not easy. There was uncertainty and confusion and passion and it was just sooo good. Anyone who thinks YA is "just" for kids has definitely not read Rowell. 

I know this trilogy is somewhat controversial. But I have always loved Tris & Four. I like that they challenge each other, disagree, and manage to stay committed throughout the fights and betrayals. They both always do what they think is best for the good, and they ultimately have faith in each other. 

What are your OTPs?

Show Us Your Books Link-Up: February 2017

The best bloggy day of the month- SHOW US YOUR BOOKS! Here's what I 've read(/listened to) in the past month.

This was a super interesting read. It is the story of Dinah, daughter of Leah & Jacob in the Bible. It does not paint everyone in the most flattering way, and that upsets some people. But it was really interesting to me in the way it points out that the Bible is so huge and mentions so many people, but in relatively small amounts. So this idea of backstory was intriguing, and I loved the picture it painted between the wives of Jacob. Womanhood was treated as very important and special, and having Dinah end up as a midwife showed so many aspects that are unique to being a woman. I'd recommend, but not if you want a book that's an extension of the Bible. It's just a good fictional read.
Library paperback

This was a super fun addition to The Lunar Chronicles. I listened to it through my library's audio book service and it was a pretty short one. Lots of reviews said it did not make them feel bad for the Queen, which ended up being the case for me too. Yes, she had a somewhat crappy family. But she is also just naturally a terrible person. She always made the worst possible choice, both for herself and others. Just a terrible, terrible human Lunar being.
Library audiobook

This is one of those "someday" books I always meant to read. Frank McCourt was a guest speaker at a conference I attended in high school, and he was great. So snarky and funny. This book was took a while to get into the groove because it's literally just a recap of his childhood/teenage years (until he comes to America). There isn't a "climax" so to speak, which I was waiting for for a long time. But it's a good look at poverty and religion and nationality and family and I'd recommend.
Audible audiobook

This is part two of the Peculiar series by Riggs. Book 1 was one of my favorite reads that year. I made the mistake of watching the movie (re: Book 1) while I read this, which I do NOT recommend. Some of the characters are actually switched in regards to peculiarities, which threw me way off. But it's interesting and you get more "history" of the peculiars so to speak, which I found fascinating.
Library ebook

I can't decide how I feel about it. Parts of it were great, but some parts of it are just "Hell no, why is no one making a bigger deal about this?!?" with caution?
Library audiobook

I started listening to the Girl's Girls podcast, so obviously I had to read Brittany's book. I don't think I had read her blog or articles before, although it sounded vaguely familiar. I really enjoy the podcast and it was cool to read the book and see how it all happened. I am not a big person, but I've definitely had issues with weight and body image so it was very relateable (why is this not a word? I'm getting that squiggly red line but come on, we say this ALL THE TIME).
Library hardback

One of my goals this year is to read more Native American and Own Voices, and this book fit both of those! It's a little bit older (the term Indian v Native American, for instance) but it dealt with identity and poverty and race and prejudice and community...I'd recommend.
Library audio

What have you been reading this month?
Link-up & let us know!

Life According to Steph

Erin's Challenge 6.0- We're Halfway There...

I did not realize until Megan posted her halfway check-in that we were, well, halfway into this challenge.

  •  5 points: Freebie – Read a book that is at least 200 pages.
    • Cress by Marissa Meyer
      • I started The Lunar Chronicles around November, and can't wait to finish. Plus it lends to the next challenge...
      • Library e-book
  •  10 points: Read a book that starts with the letter “W”.
  • 10 points: Read a book with six words in the title.
  • 15 points: Read a book that has a (mostly) green cover.
  •  20 points: Read a book with a homonym in the title (inspired by the book Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin that I [Erin] read last challenge with a character who is obsessed with homonyms.) 
  •  20 points: (Submitted by Linda) Read a book by your favorite author.
    • Naked in Death by J.D. Robb
    • I honestly don't know if I have a specific favorite author, but I've read a ton of Nora Roberts over the years and enjoy the few J.D. Robb books I've read (her thriller/mystery alias), plus I already have this one so...
    • Own physical copy 
  • 25 points: (Submitted by Christina) Read a book set in the city/town/state/territory/county/province where you live.
  • 30 points: (Submitted by Peggy) Read a “Rory Gilmore” book. The character of Rory from the Gilmore Girls was shown reading over 300 different books throughout the series. Choose one!
  •  30 points: (Submitted by Stef) Read a book from a genre that you’ve never read (or rarely read.)
  • 35 points: (Submitted by Ferne) Read a book with time travel.
So I am halfway done, which is a good place to be at the halfway mark ;) Considering the fact that I've read multiple other books that just didn't apply to this challenge...I'm happy with my progress so far. I need to get on the hard copy books I have, but I've been in a bit of slump and honestly forgot about those. Whoops.

If you are participating in the challenge, how are you doing? If you're not...have you read any of these or have suggestions for other possibilities?

The Miscarriage Playlist

 These songs don't actually have anything to do with miscarriage. They are just songs that I listened too after my miscarriage.

They are songs that made me feel strong, like I could endure that time of confusion and uncertainty. Songs that reminded me that sometimes life sucks, but humans endure hard things all the time, on large scales and on personal levels. Songs that remind me that life is worth living. Hope y'all find something in them too.

This Year by The Mountain Goats

Mary by Patty Griffin

Forever Young by Audra Mae & The Forest Rangers

Do Something Good: Donate Blood

Y'all, the world is kinda shit right now.

I don't even feel bad about saying "the world" instead of "America" because I have international computer friends who are also like "WTF, guys?"

So, here's a way to do something good regardless of who you are/what you believe:


Apparently we are in a shortage- which we kind of always seem to be in :( But the Red Cross is bugging me even more than normal.

So I gave in. Posted my #BloodSelfie on social media (which sounds awful, but I'm trying to work with you ARC!).

 And you know what happened? A nurse who is a friend from church- who I'm pretty sure I disagree with politically on most topics- thanked me. She commented how she sees first hand what a difference this makes, and how thankful she is for donors.

It was nice.

It was also easy. I chugged like 60 oz of water in 2 hours, peed twice, ate a hot pocket, did my rapid pass questionairre online in less than 10 minutes, and spent less than an hour on my phone while laying down.

Not a bad way to save 3 lives, y'all.

Go. Do it. I'm blessed to be able to do it very close to work and that my employer has crazy good regulations regarding donations that allow me to be able to do it so easily. But we all can. Take your kids!  They'll be fascinated and it's a great learning experience. Go with your friends or romantic partners or family members.

Do something great today, and donate blood.

Add It to My List: January 2017

ANOTHER LINK-UP! Because blogging is more fun with friends, let's just be real.

Link-up creators are Lauren from Eat, Drink, & Be Lauren and Bre from Bre Writes. Basically, they are always recommending things to each other- podcasts, television shows, music, blah blah blah. And they figured- why not share even further?

I always need recommendations, and I love link-ups where bloggers interact with each other. So this appeals to me immensely! I hope you will link-up also!

One note- I won't be discussing books very much, because I love the Show Us Your Books link-up and want to save it for that (which Lauren encourages this because she is a SUYB-er too).

Anyway, here's what I've been enjoying this month:

  • Dear Booknerd Podcast
    • of course they cancel right around the time I started listening, but I finished all 70+ episodes and enjoyed it
  • How to Stay Outraged Without Loosing Your Mind
    •  I know everyone has been sharing this- because it's important. Many of us are unhappy with the election results. And even if you have conservative values- Trump is openly silencing people who does not agree with him. If you believe in the Bill of Rights in any way, that is terrifying. Please don't ignore very serious red flags out of loyalty to a specific party.
  • Haven
    • This is the show Hubs & I are currently binging on. I started watching it because I thought it was based on the books in the Bishop/SCU series by Kay Hooper, but it's actually based on the book The Colorado Kid by Steven King. Either way, cool sci-fi series based on a novel. 
  • French Dip Sliders
    • OM NOM NOM
    • I made these for my church group (we trade off making dinner each week when we meet) and it was SO GOOD! I can't wait to make them again
  • Ask Me Another Podcast
    • Because it's random trivia and funny and I need something to zone out of the sorry mess of current politics.

What are you enjoying? 
Link-up so we can all add-it to our list!