Completed Books – October, 2014

This month I tried to incorporate a couple of books that tied in with the month of October and Halloween. I’m definitely not going to reach my goal of 50 books this year, as I’ve been a bit of a reading slump lately.  Instead, I will focus on the pure enjoyment of reading over the next two months rather than being distracted by completing a specific number of books.  I’ve read 34 books, which is 68% towards my goal of 50 books.

1: Gramercy Park
2: Morning Glory
3: The Book Thief
4: Havisham: A Novel
5: To Defy a King
6: The Winter Witch
7: The Bungalow
8: The Captain’s Verses
9: The Yoga-Body Cleanse: A 7-Day Ayurvedic Detox to Rejuvenate Your Body and Calm Your Mind
10: Wuthering Heights
11: Lost Lake
12: The Fault in Our Stars
13: The Body Book
14: The Splendour Falls
15: Longbourn
16: Mayim’s Vegan Table: 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours
17: Waking Kate
18: The Lost Hero
19: The Son of Neptune
20: Mark of Athena
21: Sailing Alone Around the Room
22: The Midnight Witch
23: The House of Hades
24: World Without End
25: The Book of Life
26: She Walks in Beauty
27: Notes from a Small Island
28: Crazy Sexy Diet
29: The Bookman’s Tale: A Novel of Obsession
30: The Age of Shakespeare
31: Rebecca
32: The Blood of Olympus
33: Goodnight June: A Novel
34: Poems Bewitched and Haunted (Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets)

Do you have any book recommendations that I should add to my reading list?

Outlook for October

Why is it that my favorite time of year (autumn and the holidays) seems to fly by so quickly?  We have enjoyed some nice weather for the month of September, and as we head into October, I hope to have a good outlook.  I have a few areas that I want to focus on, along with continuing process from last month. I have been better about cooking at home more often.  I didn’t realize how often we were eating out until I started planning meals for the week. It has required being more organized, allowing time for meal prep on Sunday and more frequent trips to the grocery store, but the result has been more home-cooked meals. Maybe it’s all in my head, but I am feeling better as well – perhaps because I can control what ingredients I am using.

For the month of October, I want to continue to eat more whole foods and home-cooked meals. I also want to incorporate yoga on a regular basis – 1 to 2 times a week as as start.  It could be as short as a 15 minute yoga routine, but I think I need to focus on frequency to have yoga be part of my lifestyle and reap all of the benefits. Finally, I want to focus on being more patient. Knowing that the frenzy and stress of the holiday season will be upon us shortly, I want to be mindful of being more patient (with people, work, processes, challenges, thoughts, and life in general).  Just breathe.

Completed Books – September, 2014

This month seemed to be a theme of England and Shakespeare.  It was fun getting refocused in my reading again. I hope I can continue with my reading progress.  I’ve read 30 books, which is 60% towards my goal of 50 books.

1: Gramercy Park
2: Morning Glory
3: The Book Thief
4: Havisham: A Novel
5: To Defy a King
6: The Winter Witch
7: The Bungalow
8: The Captain’s Verses
9: The Yoga-Body Cleanse: A 7-Day Ayurvedic Detox to Rejuvenate Your Body and Calm Your Mind
10: Wuthering Heights
11: Lost Lake
12: The Fault in Our Stars
13: The Body Book
14: The Splendour Falls
15: Longbourn
16: Mayim’s Vegan Table: 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours
17: Waking Kate
18: The Lost Hero
19: The Son of Neptune
20: Mark of Athena
21: Sailing Alone Around the Room
22: The Midnight Witch
23: The House of Hades
24: World Without End
25: The Book of Life
26: She Walks in Beauty
27: Notes from a Small Island
28: Crazy Sexy Diet
29: The Bookman’s Tale: A Novel of Obsession
30: The Age of Shakespeare

Do you have any book recommendations that I should add to my reading list?

The Bookman’s Tale

Welcome, fall reading!  It’s been a while.  And what better way to usher in the fall season than with a good book about a bibliophile and antiquarian bookseller, William Shakespeare, forgeries, and Victorian art?  I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  While it took a little while to get used to moving between three different periods in time, I became immersed in reading about book restoration, rare books, and all of the details and descriptions about books.

I also enjoyed reading another perspective about William Shakespeare, which brought up the age old question of whether Shakespeare was really Shakespeare… I found the highlights of that time period and different book collectors, booksellers, authors and artists also very interesting.  It’s been a while since I’ve read about that time period in history and it has piqued my interest.  I’ve now pulled another book off of my shelve which I have started reading – The Age of Shakespeare.  I also want to read Will in the World:  How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare.

What are your thoughts on Shakespeare?   

Back in the Kitchen

In my effort to cook more often and have more whole foods rather that processed convenience foods, I am going to dust off my cookbooks and attempt to try two new recipes a month.  I’ve written about my love of cookbooks in the past, but I tend to stick to my tried and true recipes.  I would like to try some new soup and chili recipes this fall and also make use of my crock pot more often in the fall and winter months.

Do you have any favorite fall recipes?

Poetry for the Seasons

I am currently reading a collection of poetry for the seasons. I’m trying to decide whether I will forge ahead and read the entire book now, or time my reading with the changing seasons.

Here are a few favorites for the autumn season:

Unharvested by Robert Frost
Last Week in October by Thomas Hardy
November, Impression by William Dean Howells
November Night by Adelaide Crapsey
End of October by Marie Ponsot

Do you have any favorite poems for autumn?

Sunday in September

Ahhh, September – welcome back.  A glorious weekend with perfect weather – sunshine during the day, cool at night.  You can feel the subtle change in the air as the season begins to change.

Leisurely Sunday morning sipping coffee and reading the newspaper?  Check.
Spending time prepping some food for the week, including a batch of homemade granola and a batch of brown rice?  Check.An afternoon walk around the lake, enjoying the sunshine and a nice breeze?  Check.
First Sunday of NFL football?  Check.
A pot roast in the slow cooker for Sunday dinner?  Check.

I hope you are enjoying your first Sunday in September!

 

Easy Egg Muffins

In my effort to simply a few things for the month of September, I made some egg muffins that will be a quick and easy breakfast during the work week, along with some toast and fruit or yogurt.  I made a batch in a mini muffin pan – a little egg goes a long way!

Egg MuffinsEasy Egg Muffins

4 eggs, whisked1/2 tbsp water
generous amount of salt and pepper (I liked my eggs seasoned well!)
ingredients of your choice – I sauteed some kale and shallot in olive oil and also added a handful of shredded cheddar cheese

Other combinations I would like to try include broccoli and cheese or spinach, mushroom and swiss. This would also be a great way to use leftover roasted veggies!

Pour egg mixture into a 12 count mini-muffin tin and cook for 15 minutes in a 375 degree oven.  Enjoy!

Simplify for September

As we head into the last quarter of the year. my goal is to get focused and set some monthly goals.  For the month of September, the goal is to keep things simple, but focused.  Major goals this month include a closet purge – I have already set aside a few bags for donations, but need to give some tough love to my closet and go through everything.  Other goals for the month of September include simplifying my meals.  Now that the weather is starting to get a bit cooler, I’m looking forward to making more soups and chili, which make simple and quick dinners during the work week.  I also want to simplify the food and ingredients I am eating, meaning more whole foods and less processed stuff. Finally, I want to enjoy the simple things in life – the nice autumn weather, a good book, and quality time with friends and family.  With “back to school” mode on my mind, I hope to get a kick start to the rest of the year by getting organized and getting back in the kitchen!

Do you have any fun ways to kick off the fall season?

 

Completed Books – August, 2014

Now that it is September, I am hoping I can refocus – both in my reading as well as in my personal life, including eating better, regular exercise, more yoga, etc…  I tackled a few bigger books over the summer months, and now I am hoping to focus on some books that I’ve had sitting on my shelves (with a few new books sprinkled in, of course!)  I’ve read 26 books, which is 52% towards my goal of 50 books.  At this point, I don’t think I’ll reach my goal of 50 books this year, but I hope to refocus and get some quality reading in before the end of the year.

1: Gramercy Park
2: Morning Glory
3: The Book Thief
4: Havisham: A Novel
5: To Defy a King
6: The Winter Witch
7: The Bungalow
8: The Captain’s Verses
9: The Yoga-Body Cleanse: A 7-Day Ayurvedic Detox to Rejuvenate Your Body and Calm Your Mind
10: Wuthering Heights
11: Lost Lake
12: The Fault in Our Stars
13: The Body Book
14: The Splendour Falls
15: Longbourn
16: Mayim’s Vegan Table: 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours
17: Waking Kate
18: The Lost Hero
19: The Son of Neptune
20: Mark of Athena
21: Sailing Alone Around the Room
22: The Midnight Witch
23: The House of Hades
24: World Without End
25: The Book of Life
26: She Walks in Beauty

 

Do you have any book recommendations that I should add to my reading list?