Wednesday, September 7, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl by Tanya Lee Stone

A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl by Tanya Lee Stone

This was a really cute story. It was written in prose as if the three girls the book is about are writing the stories personally. It was a very quick read, couple of hours tops. Having gone through what these girls did in high school I was really able to relate to the story. I almost could add myself as another chapter.

The topic of the book was a boy in high school who is a jerk, basically. You know the type, the drop dead gorgeous football player that you feel would never be interested in you and all of  sudden he is? The book covers love, heartbreak, kissing, sex pressure, prude and slut. I wish I could have read a book like this before I went through high school. Would have made me a little more aware of what I'd be running into. Granted not all guys are like the guy in this book, but they are hard to pinpoint and if you aren't already aware that someone like this does and can exist.. you can get caught up in the trap.

I think every girl should read this before entering high school. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

My First Envelope from PIPSTICKS

My First Envelope from PIPSTICKS

Stickers in the mail once a month? WHAT?! Sounds amazing right? After much deliberation (okay like, 2 seconds) I decided I was going to try it out. I LOVE STICKERS!

I got my first envelope in the mail today and it was kind of funny actually. I completely forgot that I had signed up so it was a super awesome suprise today.

It was decorated and wrapped fantastically.

After I greedily tore open the envelope and dumped the treasures out:

First I couldn't believe how many stickers were included and second I didn't realize that they sent OTHER things than just stickers. It was a pleasant surprise.


My favorite stickers by far are the pink flamingos and the unicorn. In the top photo of pictures there is a ticket with a star on it. By being a subscription member I am entered in a drawing this month to win a pink typewriter! A PINK TYPEWRITER! My fingers and toes are crossed.

The something extra (postcard & quote card):


And lastly there was a newsletter included that informed me of my chance to win the pink typewriter, a photo of said pink typewriter.

I don't remember what I paid for this but when I look up the subscriptions online it looks like I paid about $14.95. I think it was worth it for a envelope full of stickers, a postcard, and a quote card. I'm doing it again next month for sure!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Letters from the Loony Bin by Thatcher C Nalley

Letters from the Loony Bin by Thatcher C Nalley

First off let me say that I read this book thinking that these were actual letters, written by actual patients, and that this whole story was true. Come to find out when I went to do a little research to find more of the back story that it wasn't true at all. So that should give you an indication on what kind of read it was. It felt real.

This is a book of 13 letters written by patients of an insane aslyum called Emerson Rose. The letters describe why the patients were admitted, how they felt about it, and what part they were playing in the "escape". If I had to say anything negitive about the book it would be that it just kinds of ends abruptley. I hope that author is planning a sequel.

On a side note... why don't all books have trailers. Is this not amazing?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

I've had this book on my 'to read' list for quite some time. I'm not sure where I saw it advertised but I was really anxious to get my nose into it. I was a little disappointed as first as it took me a very long time to get through the first half of the book. I don't normally hang on so long when a book is slow for me but for some reason I did with this one. Once I got to Part 2 however everything changed. I couldn't put the book down and everything that confused me in the beginning, began to make sense.

Code Name Verity is set during World War II (FYI: This is a work of fiction) and it follows the story line of two women. Maddie who is a pilot and Julie who is a spy. They go on a mission to France (who is occupied by Germany at this point) and things go terribly wrong. Julie is captured and held prisoner by the gestapo and forced to document everything she knows about the war effort in lou for her life, Maddie on the other hand is in hiding hoping to reconnect with her best friend. This is a story of best friends.

While I do admit part 1 is pretty slow... STICK WITH IT! I promise you will not be sorry when you finish the book. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Shadow of the Titanic: The Extraordinary Stories of Those Who Survived

Shadow of the Titanic: The Extraordinary Stories of Those Who Survived by Andrew Wilson

I've had this book on my "to read" list for quite some time and a random Saturday trip to the library had me walking away with a copy to finally read. 

This book was amazing! I've read other stories about the Titanic but they've always been about the sinking of the ship itself and the people who died on that frightful 1912 night. While I do realize that is the important part of the whole event this book actually focuses on those who survived and what their life was like after the sinking of the ship. I was amazed at some of the lives these people lead after the sinking of the ship. Some obviously couldn't handle the the enormity of it all and ended their lives, others lived as the walking dead, some ended up having very successful lives, while others ended up in loony bins. I never gave much thought to those who survived before and since the majority of them were women and children and the time period they were from what that meant. In 1912 not a lot of women held their own finances and to lose their husband in the sinking of the ship meant more than just losing a loved one. There was also a lot of talk of the honor that someone deemed as a husband/father/brother getting the women and children in to the life boats first and not joining them. There isn't that required kind of chivalry anymore in this day and age so that put an interesting spin on it for me. Something else I found incredibly interesting is the amount of things some of these people brought on the ship with them. Since there are account from survivors you hear about the things that they lost in the ship from fancy dresses to multiple pearl necklaces.

I couldn't put this book down. I recommend this to anyone interested in the Titanic and really anyone interested in a good read. If you've read other books about the Titanic and the sinking of the ship I can guarantee this will be like no other.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

My First Challenge Box

My First Challenge Box

Scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed one day I came across an ad for The Challenge Box. Per their website The Challenge Box mission is:

  1. Use data to help people live longer and healthier lifestyles.
  2. To deliver a challenge every month that inspires people to take the next step.
  3. Create products that give people confidence they can set any goal large or small, and achieve it.

So that's all great but what is it I'm sure you're asking, right? The Challenge Box is a monthly subscription box that you get in the mail with challenges for you to complete in the month to help in your goals to lose weight. Each month it includes a personalized workout plan, workout gear, and snacks to help you reach your exercise goals. It works in tandem with the Fitbit that I'm slightly obsessed with these days so I figured, what the heck lets give it a whirl!

I signed up June 30, 2016 and was asked if I wanted my first box to be July or August. I was anxious to get started so I chose July thinking I would get the box in the next week or so. I just got the box today (July 20th) and was disappointed it took so long. I realize that I signed up the last day of June so I decided to give the whole subscription some slack and not think to harshly of it.

My personalized workout plan was given to me via their website and based off a series of questions I answered when I signed up. Questions like, how active do I like my exercises, how often do I work out, etc etc. This month my exercises were a Seated Row, Standing Bicep Curl, and Seated Abdominal Twist. The workout plan came with pictures and explanations and how often to do each workout in order to work toward my goal of losing weight. It's pretty tits.

The part of this that I think is fun is the challenge part. You get points for completely things in the challenge. For example, I get 5 points if I achieve 10,000 steps on at least 15 days this month (tracked via my Fitbit). Each month you can earn up to 100 challenge points and for each 100 points I'll get a reward in my next monthly box! Sweet right?

I kind of think July is awash cause I was patiently waiting for my Challenge Box to come before starting and now here we are at the end of the month already. So for August I'm really going to hit it hard and see if I can't complete all the challenges!

Here is what my first July box looked like:

Woohoo, a package for me!

Very nicely packaged.

Welcome page explaining the challenge points (These are also found in more detail under your account on their website)

SNACKS! Because I have no self control I ate these right away. (It was at least lunch time) These were amazing. So amazing I think I need to find where they sell these and buy more. My flavor was KETTLE, which is amazing cause Kettle Corn from the fair is my favorite. According to the back of the bag though they also have BUTTER, SEA SALT, WHITE CHEDDAR, CHEESY JALAPENO and SWEET CHILI. Being someone who watches calories I didnt think this was too bad (140) for a snack.

A soft case bag with straps to hold all my goodies. This bag is actually fairly big so it would be great for a gym bag... if I went to the gym. :)

MORE SNACKS! Okay, so also cause I have no self control I ate the Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Bar... this was amazing, but had a lot of calories (200) for a snack. I took a bite of the coffee bar and tossed it. I'm sure it's super good, but coffee flavor just isn't my bag. Plus I was already drinking Cocoa Cola today so I'm not sure how much caffeine my system really needs. The last one I threw in the cupboard to try later having decided that eating in full two of the four snacks was probably enough.

Motivational Poster. This was just a printed out motivational saying on a piece of glossy paper, but I taped it to the door in my office aways. 

Exercise gear! This is one of those thingys that you put underneath your feet and then stretch your arms out and stuff. In my personalized exercise plan they were using one like this for the bicep curls. I've never had one of these and am excited I now do so I can test out some of these July exercises.

Overall I think that this box had some cool things in it. Was it worth the $36.98 I paid for it... I don't know about that, but I'll give it a couple of more months before I terminate my plan.

Wanna try it? Get your Challenge Box here.

And that's a wrap.

**UPDATE** - So apparently when I signed up for this I didn't sign up for a reoccurring plan, just a one month type deal. I signed up again to get the August box and I guess I was too late. I emailed someone who said that they would have one sent out special since I didn't realize I wasn't on reoccurring.. yeah it's Sept 6 and I still haven't gotten it... not to mention if they weren't sending August, I had already paid so they should be sending Sept... it's the 6th already and I haven't gotten it yet. I would think that if you are going to have a box that challenges you to do things for the month that you should get it by the 1st, if not shortly before to prepare and be ready. I had a horrible time with customer service and the one box I did get really wasn't worth all this hassle. Now I need to decide if I ask for my Sept box money back...or just wait to see if I ever get it. My new opinion thus far... don't waste your time or money.

Monday, July 18, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E Frankl

Man's Search for Meaning (an Introduction to Logotherapy) by Viktor E. Frankl

The current Pokemon craze landed me at the library last Saturday. Not only to catch some Pokemon I didn't already have but also to check out the local library as I hadn't done so yet since moving here. I carry a list around with me of books I'd like to read in case I ever find my self at a sale. I don't remember where I came across this book and decided to add it to my "books to read" list but our little local library in Princeton Minnesota had it!

Man's Search for Meaning is a memoir of Psychiatrist Viktor E Frankl's time in a Nazi death camp between the years 1942 and 1945. In this book, he doesn't go into great detail of what happened to him but instead talks about the psychology of it all. He writes "suffering is inevitable and that avoiding suffering is futile." So in other words one should make meaning of their suffering instead of surrendering to it. Frankl walks you through each step of the psyche while being in a concentration camp and what your thoughts in turn meant for you at that time.

While this book is of the depressing nature, Frankl is very inspirational.  He was able to find meaning to every aspect of the horrid things he endured while in Auschwitz and other concentration camps he was a prisoner in.

I was hoping that this book would be more of a memoir than it was so I was a little disappointed in that fact. This would have been a good book to read for a psychology class in college.