Downward Dog

I am long overdue for an update on my “goals” for 2015.  Goals, you say??  Yes, the goals I have not mentioned since January.  Whoops.  Unfortunately, not much to report for the first quarter of 2015. I did get my act together starting in April and have really embraced yoga again. I’ve been consistently doing a yoga routine 3 or 4 times a week for a few weeks and can honestly say that I notice a difference.  I am really trying to be present during my yoga time and have really noticed a difference in my range of motion and flexibility – I can finally touch my toes!

I would really like to maintain a consistent yoga practice (3 times a week) as I think it is good for my mind and body.  However, I also need to refocus my efforts on improving my eating habits as I think that will increase the benefits of yoga and my overall health and well-being.  I find it fascinating how I can be very disciplined in certain areas of my life, but seem to lack control when it comes to my eating habits.  I will start off really well and then I tend to give in to stress-eating or cravings.  I need to have more balance as it relates to my eating habits.  I will have to figure out my game plan for May.  Wish me luck!

Pocket Poets

As I mentioned in my last post, I love the Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets series.  Slowly but surely, I have been adding to my collection — and also trying to read more of my current collection!  I love the different covers and the size of the book is perfect – portable where I can keep a book in my bag or purse. I also love checking out used bookstores to see if I can find books to add to my collection.

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Do you have any favorite poetry books or collections?

Celebrate National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month!  As you can see from my completed books last year, along with my completed books so far this year, I’ve rekindled my love of poetry.  In honor of National Poetry Month, I’ve pulled a few poetry books from my shelves that I would like to read over the next month or two. I love the Everyman’s Library Pocket Poet books and thought that On Wings of Song would be a good one to welcome Spring.

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Completed Books – March, 2015

I slowed down last month and have completed 11 books, which is 22% towards my goal of 50 books. I have been doing a bit of multitasking with my reading as I’m still reading David Copperfield as well.  I used to have no problem reading a couple of different books at the same time, but I’m finding that I have a harder time focusing (and remembering) where I’m at with different books or have to go back if I’ve set a book down for a period of time.

1: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
2: Clara and Mr. Tiffany
3: Absolutely Truly: A Pumpkin Falls Mystery
4: The Miniaturist
5: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
6. The Professor and the Madman
7. Aimless Love
8. Lean In
9: The Four Seasons
10: The Food Babe Way
11: First Frost

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

Completed Books – February, 2015

Here is late recap on my reading progress for the month of February. I’ve read 8 books so far this year, which is 16% towards my goal of 50 books. I anticipate a lighter month of completed books for March, as I’ve decided to read David Copperfield.  I think that I read parts of this book when I was younger, so I decided to tackle this book.  I’m enjoying it and can’t believe I have not completed this book before now, but it is a long one!

1: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
2: Clara and Mr. Tiffany
3: Absolutely Truly: A Pumpkin Falls Mystery
4: The Miniaturist
5: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing6. The Professor and the Madman
7. Aimless Love
8. Lean In

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

Some Reads for 2015

Okay, I know we are already a month through 2015 and this post is a little late…  Over the holidays in December, I combed my shelves and pulled a few books that I hope to tackle in 2015 (along with a couple of books I received as gifts).  I also have a couple of new books that I would like to purchase and read this year, like All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.  I still need to make more of an effort to read some the books that have stacked up at home, but I will continue to keep an eye out for any new books as well.  :)

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Completed Books – January, 2015

Hard to believe we are through the first month of 2015.  Where did the time go?!?   While I haven’t been as focused as I would like on a few of my goals, I am off to a good start with my reading.  I have set my goal at 50 books again this year and started off the year the with some great books. I highly recommend The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.  I think any book lover would appreciate this book!

1: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
2: Clara and Mr. Tiffany
3: Absolutely Truly: A Pumpkin Falls Mystery
4: The Miniaturist
5: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

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

Welcome, 2015

Welcome, 2015.  Now that the holidays are over, I like to take a little time to think about the new year.  While I have been unsuccessful in the past at keeping some resolutions, I am going to attempt making some this year, but make them more “bite-size” goals (i.e. monthly, quarterly) with a few overall goals for the year.  I’m also planning to “officially” kick off my goals on Monday, January 5, because let’s be real… with New Year’s Eve falling on a Thursday this year, some of the fun and festivities carried over into Friday and the weekend.  Along with finishing up any leftover holiday treats, I plan to make a big grocery shopping trip today to restock my fridge and pantry.

A few goals throughout the 2015 year:
Be “present”.  Focus and enjoy the “now” rather than always worrying about the future (this will be a tough one for me, as I am always planning and thinking about what’s next!)
Take more breaks from technology (i.e. checking my phone and text messages all the time)
Be a better listener.  My mind tends to jump ahead in a conversation and think about responses, etc.  Hopefully by my first goal of being more present, this will be part of the result.

Goals for 1st quarter of 2015:
Eat in more (I need a break from all of the holiday parties and dinners out)
Eat more whole foods and less processed/packaged foodsBetter meal planning and preparation.  I was on a roll for a little while and fell of the wagon.

Goals for the month of January:
Yoga practice twice a week.  I started getting back into yoga over the holidays and it felt great.  I have to remember that even a 15 or 20 minute yoga practice counts.
Meditation. I wish I could say I would do this daily, but in the spirit of trying to keep things real, I will attempt a goal of a short meditation (even 5 minutes) three times a week.

What are some of your goals or resolutions you would like to tackle in 2015?

2014 Books – A Year in Review

While I did not reach my goal of completing 50 books this year, I felt like I included more non-fiction (mainly health-related books) and more poetry.  I have included a few reading highlights below.

Favorite Reads in 2014:
The Winter Witch
The Bookman’s Tale: A Novel of Obsession
Goodnight June
World Without End
The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen
The River of No Return

Non-Fiction Books:
The Yoga-Body Cleanse: A 7-Day Ayurvedic Detox to Rejuvenate Your Body and Calm Your Mind
The Body Book
Mayim’s Vegan Table: 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours
Notes from a Small Island
Crazy Sexy Diet
The Age of Shakespeare
French Lessons
Beethoven:  The Composer as Hero
It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Way

Poetry:
The Captain’s Verses
Sailing Alone Around the Room
She Walks in Beauty
Poems Bewitched and Haunted
The Trouble with Poetry
Christmas Poems

Books that I thought (and hoped) I would enjoy more:
Book of Life
Atlantia
Rooms

Books that were 600 pages or more:
World Without End
The House of Hades

What were some of your reading highlights or favorites in 2014?

Here’s to another year of reading in 2015.  Happy reading!

Completed Books – December, 2014

I didn’t hit my goal this year – I ended up completing 44 books, which is 88% towards my goal of 50 books.  Overall, I’m happy with my reading choices this year and felt that I included more variety in terms of some non-fiction and more poetry.  Stay tuned for a year in review post, along with books for 2015.

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)
35: Rooms: A Novel
36: The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen
37: The Trouble with Poetry
38: From Notting Hill with Love… Actually
39: French Lessons
40: Christmas Poems
41. Beethoven: The Composer as Hero
42: Atlantia
43: It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways
44: The River of No Return

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