Sunday, November 16, 2014

Who Doesn't Like To Eat? :)

I've been absent here for far too long. Sorry about that. I won't bore you with the details of slipping missions and demotivation. Instead, I will share with you,!

Hubby and I are revisiting our eating habits and so I've made a bit of a menu for the next three weeks. I'll share here in case anyone else is reviewing their eating.

We are avoiding white foods: sugar, white flour, potatoes and white rice, plus anything processed. Ugh,...I already miss bread. Anywho, is what I've got for week one. Wish us luck.

Week 1

Monday - lunch: olives, jalapeños, boiled potatoes
     dinner: out
tuesday - lunch: soup and salad
     dinner: cream carrot soup, sweet potato fries
wednesday - lunch: tuna sandwich, cream carrot soup
     dinner: roast chicken, glazed carrots, brussels sprouts
thursday - chicken sandwich and salad
     dinner: sautéed veggies and rice
friday - chicken sandwich and salad
     dinner: lentil meatloaf with mushroom gravy, broccoli, kale

saturday - meatloaf sandwich and salad
     dinner: fish, garlic mushroom quinoa, broccoli

sunday - lunch out
     dinner: minestrone soup

What foods do you try to avoid or eat more of?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

More Books

1. The Loyal Servant, Eva Hudson
Genre: Political Crime Novel

The description from the author's site:  "Winner of the Lucy Cavendish Prize for fiction, The Loyal Servant is a whistleblower thriller that topped the Amazon political fiction chart." and Book 1 of the Angela Tate Mysteries series, The Loyal Servant is a page-turning political thriller with a twist – everything that happens to Caroline Barber could easily happen to any one of us."

What I Liked:
This is a nice, well-rounded crime novel.
Set in Britain, it is sprinkled with British idioms which I loved.
The characters are real without being over the top. I cared about them.
It showed messy lives, nothing perfect here, just real. Compelling that way.
Nice twists - believable but surprising.

What I Didn't Like:
Can't think of anything.

Liked It? Definitely
Recommend It? Definitely to anyone who likes crime novels.
Where to Find It? Amazon
Price? Free to download.

2. Don't Look Away, Leslie A. Kelly
Genre: Thriller

The author's site:

What I Liked:
The female lead was tough enough but not over the top which is sometimes irritating.
The characters were great, well-rounded, likable or not as appropriate.
Futuristic but again, not overly so, just enough to be interesting, not so much that it took a lot of effort to understand.
Cool twist on 911 being the first terrorist attack, then years later the country experienced a much worse one. Again, interesting.

What I Didn't Like:
The climax scene is too short. I don't feel like I got to realize that it was over before we jumped into resolution. Should have spent more time there.
A little too rah rah United States in an arrogant way at the beginning. Kind of made the rest of the world sound stupid which I thought was unnecessary.
At the end, we suddenly realize that even though we thought eerything was wrapped up, in fact it's not. Then it just stops. I know that this is a series but I didn't realize that the book was going to hang at the end. Kind of frustrating.

Liked It? Um,...yeah for the most part.
Recommend It? I don't think so. The ending was really jarring and frustrating though it was well-written otherwise. Maybe.
Where To Find It? Amazon
Price? Currently $3.33 for download, though I caught it on a free day.

3. Writer to Writer Reminders: Tickles, Tips, and Tricks, Jacqueline Girdner and Lynne Murray
Genre: Instructional, Writing How-to

From Jacqueline Girdner's site: "We're two authors who've had a combined total of 22 books published. Our writing methods are so different that it's a constant reminder of how many ways there are to get words down on paper and tell a story.

So here are 52 tickles, tips and tricks that we hope will be helpful to you in your writing journey!"

What I Liked:
I really wanted to like something because I really enjoyed Jacqueline Girdner's last book (Meet a Jerk, Get To Work), but I just didn't like this one. :(

What I Didn't Like:
I found the style irritating. The two characters tried too hard to be funny and banter back and forth. I found it distracting.
The tips weren't all that good. Very few that I didn't already know and the new ones were not worthwhile.

Liked It? No.
Recommend It? No.
Where To Find It? Amazon
Price? $0.89 for download

4. The Front, Patricia Cornwell
Genre: Suspense

From the author's site: "At Risk featured Massachusetts state investigator Win Garano, a shrewd man of mixed-race background and a notinconsiderable chip on his shoulder; District Attorney Monique Lamont, a hard-charging woman with powerful ambitions and a troubling willingness to cut corners; and Garano’s grandmother, who has certain unpredictable talents that you ignore at your peril.

And in The Front, peril is what comes to them all. D.A. Lamont has a special job for Garano. As part of a new public relations campaign about the dangers of declining neighborhoods, she’s sending him to Watertown to “come up with a drama,” and she thinks she knows just the case that will serve. Garano is very skeptical, because he knows that Watertown is also the home base for a loose association of municipal police departments called the FRONT, set up in order that they don’t have to be so dependent on the state—much to Lamont’s anger. He senses a much deeper agenda here—but he has no idea just how deep it goes. In the days that follow, he’ll find that Lamont’s task, and the places it leads him, will resemble a house of mirrors—everywhere he turns, he’s not quite sure if what he’s seeing is true."

What I Liked:
Oooh, everything.
The characters are fabulous. The best I've ever read. So interesting, unique, with quirks that don't seem artificial.
Smart stuff.
Twists that you don't predict.

What I Didn't Like:
I thought that the explanation was a bit fast. I felt jarred a bit and had to go back to figure it all out. (this could be because I'm a little slow of course, but thought I'd mention it)

Liked It? Yes.
Recommend It? Absolutely.
Where To Find It? Chapters
Price? $9.49, but try your library. That's where I found it.

5. The Truth About Butterflies by Nancy Stephan
Genre: Memoir

Author's site

What I Liked:
I found the telling of her childhood to be fascinating. Like nothing I've experienced. New and interesting.
I read the first quarter of the book and didn't know that she was a black woman/girl. I thought that was an interesting twist.

What I Didn't Like:
There was something jerky about her writing.
Occasionally, the metaphors seemed forced.
There didn't seem to be an overall theme. Maybe that's too much to expect, but I missed a thread that tied everything together.

Liked It? Um,...yes. I didn't love it, but felt compelled at some points to keep reading. I liked it,...but,...I can't pinpoint exactly what was bothersome to me about it, but there was something that I couldn't shake.
Recommend It? Probably not.
Where To Find It? Amazon
Price? $2.99 download, though I got it for $0 awhile back.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Art Gym

I did something new today. I popped into The Art Gym. This is the coolest place. They have a bunch of tables set up and all the art supplies you could want to use: acrylics, oils, watercolours, pastels, charcoals, pencils, markers, instruction books, yadda yadda. They even have a pottery wheel. No kidding.

Sam showed me around. I should have gotten a picture of Sam,...what was I thinking? Anyway,...

I thought I would try some soft pastels which turned out to be quite hard (what's up with that?) and found out that they are messy and I suck at them. No, truly suck. I switched to charcoal,, same deal - messy and sucked. Switched to a pencil and just plain felt lame.

Fortunately, the deal I picked up for the month membership also included a free lesson. Phew. Already left a message to set that up. :)