Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Professional wogger.

Lambs, this fitness thing sucks. As it turns out, I'm not actually very good at it. I really am a fat kid at heart but I also don't want to shop at Lane Bryant and that pretty much, is the only reason I'm trying to get all fit. Well, that and I'd like to not have a heart attack. I'm too awesome to die young and all that.

But tonight I went for a quick two mile wog (walking/jogging combination) and I've said this before, but the downside to having a bubble butt via genetics is that it's really a barrier to wogging. Or any physical activity in general. I can always tell how well I'm doing in my exercise based on how quickly my rear end stops moving when I do. Today, it moved for awhile yet. I could have taken out a small child if one were behind me.

The more concerning problem from tonight's wog was perspiration. Well, at the time, I really thought I had actually peed my pants .3 miles in. Which, is pretty awful considering I didn't even feel it happen. So then all of these scenarios play through your head like, why didn't I feel myself peeing my own pants? What kind of medical malady would that be indicative of? I decided to ignore it, despite a rash obviously developing on my thigh, because I had black spandex like pants on and I figured nobody could see so let's stay on side streets and finish it out.

So I did.

As soon as I got home I went to investigate the situation.

As it turns out, I didn't pee myself! Which is super good to know. What I did do was sweat. It was clearly sweat. Normally, just my boobs sweat which is weird, but today? My thighs! I think that's good, right? Maybe that means my very own thunder from down under is slimming up a bit. That's kind of great.

My next mission is to get some shoes that don't make me want to say all of the swears a mile in, some socks that don't blister my feet, and a freaking arm band to put my phone in. Not to mention a serious sports bra that clasps in the front. I have found three really great ones for under $50 but they don't clasp in the front and to get it off after a workout you are essentially dislocating your shoulders. I can't keep asking Matt to come help me get free. Last week I got stuck, which is awful enough, but then he proceeded to come into the bathroom and laugh until he couldn't breathe because he said seeing me with a sports bra half on and half off and my arms all wonky, I looked like one of those seagulls stuck in a six pack ring holder you see in ads telling you not to litter.


Anyways. So that's my mission pretty soon. I have to get crackalackin, because I have quite a few 5K's coming up and I don't want to finish dead last again. It's kind of terrible to do that in case you aren't familiar. I mean, dead last means I still did more than people sitting on the couch, but when you get passed by old people, that's kind of awful.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Almost ten.

It's been awhile since I've reported anything on the marriage front. Someone recently emailed me and asked how things were because I haven't mentioned Matt. You'll all be pleased to know he's alive and well, albeit he does have a cold and he's trying to convince me he is on the verge of dying from it.

What is pretty cool is that in June we will be celebrating our ten year wedding anniversary. I know, ten. It's kind of a big deal. Of all of the people we know who were married around the same time we were, only a few remain married to the same person still. Most checked out around year five or less. We've come close but we keep trudging along things surely the best years are to come.

I will say, hands down, the worst years of a marriage are the first five. I look back on those years for us and I totally understand why people throw the towel in and say just to hell with it already. Those first five years brought the purchase of our first home, the birth of two children, infidelity, job loss, marriage counseling, bankruptcy, mental illness struggles, post-partum depression, family health issues, and another job shake up. When I look back on all of that I wonder, why not? Most of that was not what I had signed up for and I certainly didn't think we'd encounter it but we did. We did because we got lazy.

You may not believe it, but at heart, I'm a lazy person. I have great intentions, I do. But by the end of the day, I am exhausted. I'm sick of mothering, I'm sick of working, I'm sick of cleaning, I'm sick of hearing myself breathe- it's hard for me to give anything else to Matt when I feel like I've got nothing. Not to mention there are times where he makes me so angry I could literally rip my own hair out. I don't fully understand how his mind works and I don't know why after all of this time he doesn't just start the god damn dinner when he knows full well what we're having, instead he just sits there and plays stupid while I'm running around like a lunatic doing seven things at once. Then he wonders why I'm angry.

It's that kind of thing that I'm not sure I'm ever going to understand and it's sometimes hard to reconcile that.

But at the end of the day, he's alright. He's a good guy. He means well and I have to say that in my head a lot because he does try. He will always drop what he's doing and go to the movie theater to get me popcorn just because I want some. He cleans up puke and never makes me feel bad about it as I gag in a different room. He doesn't blink an eye when I need time away from everyone, he is a good sport, he puts up with my humor, he will leave work to bring me lunch if I'm too lazy to get it myself, he does a lot of great things.

Let us not forget how super awesome I am as a wife, either. I mean, I could list the reasons but you'd grow bored and nobody has time for that kind of list. We just know I'm super great and wonderful.

So with our anniversary coming up, I want to do something kind of great to celebrate. Preferably without kids, something fairly inexpensive because I have surgery the week after our anniversary and we are super broke right now, but something kind of awesome and romantic. My hope was to surprise a trip to Key West for him, but since our entire tax refund has gone to medical bills, that's shot. Unless I win the lottery, then it's still an option. I'm just out of ideas. It's hard to plan something awesome for a guy who really only likes to do nothing except watch woodworking shows or Antiques Roadshow. I mean, neither of those scream "super awesome fun times" for me, so that's out. I've got to think of something.

These are from when we first started dating. We both graduated college together, at that point we had been dating five months. The first picture was in the first month we were dating. Look at how skinny I was. And how stinking young we looked. BABIES, I tell you. Aw, those were the days where I always had money to get my hair done and eyebrows waxed, shopped at Pac Sun & Deb, and had seven colors of Adidas shoes. Matt blew his entire paycheck on rent, computer parts and beer.

Those were the days. :)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Perfectly Broken

As soon as I saw Prescott Lane had another book up for review, I jumped on the chance because I liked her first book First Position. It turns out I liked this one even better.

Perfectly Broken - Prescott Lane
Perfectly Broken
Even after years of trauma therapy, Peyton still believes she’s broken. She has little desire to date or show off her natural beauty, content simply to hang out with her best friends and run her pie shop in New Orleans. But her world turns upside-down when a handsome architect and self-confessed player shows up in her shop and thinks she’s perfect, much more than the usual hook-up. While Peyton does her best to resist his charms, believing she could never be enough for him, she can’t deny the obvious heat between them. With Reed determined to have her, Peyton must decide whether to continue to hide behind her apron and baggy clothes or take a chance and share her scars with Reed, a man with a playboy reputation and scars of his own -- a dark past he can’t possibly share with Peyton, not after learning the horrors she’s endured. But if they can find a way to trust each other, and themselves, they just might be able to heal, to save each other, to live perfectly broken together.

To be honest, when I started this book I immediately thought, "oh good, yet another romance novel that starts out with our female being a rape victim" and got annoyed. But then it turns out Peyton isn't a total sissy. Sure, she's unreasonable and she had a tendency to just run away from problems that are easily dealt with by communication and she practices a hard double standard with the lack of communication. She's all of those things. Then you have Reed who begins as a womanizer with commitment issues because of his father. Put them together and it's kind of an adorable relationship and story. 

The really great thing is that while Reed doesn't understand why Peyton is hesitant over intimacy, he respects it. He would always like a lot more and finds it hard to slow himself down and not ask for too much, but he respects whatever her reason is. And that will always be commendable. As their relationship develops, you see Peyton becoming more trusting of Reed and you can see the attachment between the two of them forming. A few bumps in the road (because of lack of communication) that put major strains on their relationship. Neither one of them handle it well, and I got a little worried about Reed making a pretty poor choice, but dammit- he rallied and I silently (oh, I'm kidding- I kicked my leg in the air and smacked my still asleep husband) cheered for him. And them. I was rooting for this couple the whole time.

I do feel like the story fell a little flat with Reed's father, I really hoped we'd get more meat out of that story line. Aside from that? Great book. It keeps you hooked and you have all kinds of drama. You have Reed and Peyton trying to date without having sex or being intimate, you have Heather (the crazy ex who doesn't understand Reed is in love, mostly because he doesn't understand it yet), we have Peyton reeling from tragedy as well as rape aftermath, and then we have Reed trying to figure it all out.

The ending? Perfect. I loved it. I loved how the story ended and I loved the epilogue. I so love an epilogue, especially a good one that gives readers a little bit extra you didn't know you wanted so much.

Overall? I would give it 4/5 stars. It's a great book, not too long, and it's entertaining enough to keep you going and wondering what is going to happen with these two as well as all of the secondary characters. I finished it in a day easily.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Quite possibly, the greatest thing I've seen all week.

You guys. YOU GUYS. I don't think I have ever fully told you how much I love watching those shows about people who are absolutely terrified that some horrific and catastrophic event is going to happen. Whether it's a solar flare that knocks everything out, zombies, terrorists, Big Foot's revenge, whatever- they are prepared. They hoard large amounts of food, batteries, guns, random ass packs and it's amazing and terrifying all on its own.

Cut to yesterday when my boss alerted me to the fact that at Sam's Club you can actually buy "emergency rations" in bulk, but you could only buy them online.

Naturally, I had to see. I had to see what $2,700 could get me.
Augason Farms Emergency Food Storage Kit - 1 year - 4 people
This. This is what you can get for the low cost of $2,698 and free shipping. The description says it will feed four people for one year. You can go HERE to see that actual product detail and what all of these cans contain. Never mind that I don't know what black turtle beans are, what "meat substitute" looks like, or how in the mother hell you're going to bake anything in an emergency because in any doomsday scenario I think of, electricity and gas would be pretty much non existent. On a morning of dodging zombies and rebels with AK-47's, let me just make some Mickey Mouse pancakes for my children and it'll be all alright.

So my next step was obviously to research this company and I found their website (HERE). Maybe you don't want to support Sam's Club and want to buy direct. YOU CAN.

On their website it was like the treasure trove of hilariousness. One thing I read time and time again on the comments was that you really need a bucket lid opener and a hand wheat grinder. All of your preparedness is for nothing if you can't get the lids open OR grind your wheat, yall. Never mind the fact that all of this needs to be refrigerated after opening, so unless you're prepared to eat nothing but black turtle beans until they are gone- I don't know what you're going to do.

But you guys, I have pets! What if the end of days were coming? What would Stumpy, Batman, Lola and Twinky do? They can't operate wheat grinders!

THANK GOD Augsason Farms had the foresight to worry about the animals. Behold, the Emergency Kit for Cats:
Emergency Kit for Cats
I'm not sure why I would be dicking around with cat toys and poop bags because if the world was ending, do I really care if my cat is entertained or there is poop on the ground?

Dogs get some love as well, though:
Emergency Kit for Dogs
If there were really zombies, I'm not trying to play fetch with Twinky. That would obviously lure the zombies to you and he's so dumb he'd forego the ball and run to the zombies looking for love.

Easily though? The best thing is the Deluxe Office Kit on Wheels.
Deluxe Office Kit on Wheels – 10 Person
You know why I love this? Because my boss and I both agreed that in the event of an emergency and we were literally stuck at work, we envision the location of this kit on wheels to be similar to the Cornucopia in the Hunger Games. For those who don't read, the Cornucopia is the hub where all of the essential supplies are held and people fight to the death to get what they need from there and scatter. You'd grab everything you could with reason and run like hell to your safety spot and hope that whatever you did grab would somehow be useful.

Particularly interesting that there are only two maxi pads in this kit. If you have more than one female I can tell you right now, a district/employee will be killed for possession of both maxi pads. You get 2 heavy duty flashlights but only 2 D batteries. So, unless those flashlights each run on one battery each, you are basically screwed. BUT, you get a roll of barricade tape AND a roll of caution tape. Which, thank god, zombies are not trying to bust through caution tape. Toilet chemicals? Well assuming you even have working plumbing to begin with, who really cares? I just assume in a post apocalyptic world it'll smell like poop. Only four of you get dust masks and there are only five gloves. It doesn't say five pairs of gloves, it makes it seem like literally, only five gloves. We don't even get complete pairs. This is probably to save weight because this is already a 82 pound duffle bag on wheels. Oh, and don't forget the 12 wet naps. Which, thank god because if they serve meat substitute ribs from the kit above, wet naps are a must.

I just could spend a ton of time going through this website and reviews. Oh god, the reviews. It's just... I can't. I really would like to meet a real life doomsday prepper.  I am fully aware that if it's the end of days, I wouldn't survive very long and maybe it's just best to shoot me on your way out of town and do me a solid because honestly- I would starve. You know I love chemically processed food but even I wouldn't eat this. I draw the line at food that can stay good for decades. Except for Twinkies because those are delicious.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Invitation Blitz

 We welcome Christina Hoffman, author of the contemporary romance, Invitation!

Title: Invitation
Author: Christina Hoffman
Publisher: Christina Hoffman
Pages: 187
Genre: Contemporary Romance/New Adult
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Available in kindle ebook and paperback at
Available at Smashwords in epub, mobi, pdf and doc.

Book Summary: 

Madison Spencer is a serious
medical student, focused only on work and hiding her beauty and her
once-passionate spirit behind a quiet plain-Jane facade. Since she was drugged,
stripped, assaulted and photographed by a vengeful ex, she has stayed away from
men and kept her heart and body safe.

But when heart-stoppingly gorgeous Dr. Liam Mason walks into her world, she
knows she's in trouble. After finding out about her devastating past, Liam
offers to bring her back to life with physical passion.
Madison thinks she should be repelled,
but she's intrigued and can't turn him away. Together they explore days and
nights of pleasure, and slowly develop into something more than bedmates.

Deep inside they each wonder if they've found their perfect match. But with
Liam's fear of being dragged down by commitment, and Madison's fear of being
hurt by another man threatening to destroy the world they’ve built together,
will they each be strong enough and brave enough to risk their hearts to have
it all?


I can't even
blame it on the booze. There wasn't any, or at least there wasn't any for me. I
was with Chloe, my bodyguard. Okay, actually she was my friend, but a really
overprotective friend who knew all about what I’d been through and wanted to
make sure it never happened again. So, no alcohol.

But, what she
and I hadn't counted on was him being there. There I was, minding my own
business, putting in my time at the Med School Social, more than ready to head
home for some studying, then Chinese food and a movie. And suddenly, him.

I was
inhaling when I caught sight of him, but my breath just stopped. It felt like
being punched in the chest. I kept telling myself, look away, look away! But it
was impossible. I was paralyzed. His beautiful face and magnificent body were
magnets, and my eyes were locked on them.

I hadn't felt
this kind of physical attraction since, well, ever. I had never felt like that.
I had stayed away from men for two years. I was pretty much terrified of them,
to tell the truth. But there he was. Unavoidable and irresistible.

I saw him in
profile. Oh, that hair. Thick, almost curly, falling into his eyes. The kind of
hair you need to gently push off of his face right before you kiss him. Or, the
kind of hair you grab really hard right before you're about to...

But, I'm
getting ahead of myself. The point I'm trying to make is that my mind very
clearly recognized all the dangers ahead and was saying, “Turn around, go, get
out of here! Before it's too late.” But then he turned around to look right at
me. It was already too late.

We held each
other's gaze a second longer than politeness required. Something inside me went
click, and for the first time in almost two years, I felt young and alive, and
really, really turned on. Every part of me suddenly woke up, and all the best
parts started to tingle. I was breathing harder. My lips parted slightly,
already begging to be kissed.

It was a
little overwhelming. I was out of practice. No, actually, I had never had the
kind of practice you would need to stay controlled in a situation like that. I
think maybe you can have a soul mate for your mind, and also one for your body.
And my body was saying “Get me over there right now!”

But I was
still too afraid. I smiled a little and turned away.

I had to stay
for a while, to look sociable, so I went over to the food table and stared at
the snacks, which were already stale. Nothing looked very good, and my throat
was too tight to eat anyway.

I was
starting to formulate a plan for escaping without the other students or the
teachers noticing when I felt the air move behind me, the softest caress
against my bare shoulders. Then, a hand on my back, an electric shock to my
body, wildly pleasurable. I gasped and spun around. Right into the arms of...

“I'm Liam.”

Liam. Right into the arms of Liam. Oh, he was even
more beautiful up close. My hand rose all on its own to push that wonderful
floppy hair from his face. I stopped suddenly, embarrassed, but he caught my
wrist, and held my palm gently to his face. We looked at each other and knew.

“Wanna get
out of here?” he asked, and of course, foolish, foolish woman that I am, I
said, “Yes.”

          I saw him my first day at the new
hospital. I'm a medical student and had just finished the lecture part of
things where we sit around learning about chemical reactions and body parts.
That was over, at last, and we were moving on to seeing real live patients in
the hospital.

orientation was step one in getting us ready for our new roles. We each got a
short lab coat and a tour of the locker rooms. We received our ID tag photos.

I'm not sure
why I first noticed Liam.

Since the bad
thing happened, I keep my head down and make eye contact with pretty much
nobody. I wear my hair in a tight bun at the nape of my neck and my clothes are
dull and loose. On that particular day, I was trying very hard to concentrate.
I was excited to be starting work in the hospital, but I was mostly terrified.
There was so much to take in and remember. My head was reeling after only two
hours. The last thing on my mind was men. So, who knows why I took that second
look as he walked by our group.

actually I do know why. He was gorgeous. Ridiculously gorgeous. Dark wavy hair,
just slightly overgrown so he looked like a happy surfer who'd tumbled out of
bed. Smiling eyes. Sparkling, mischievous, movie star eyes. A little bit of
stubble, likely because he had been on call all night. The rest of him looked
pretty much immaculate. He wore light wool pants and a sky blue shirt. No tie,
but the white lab coat made him look professional enough. 

I was
dedicated to maintaining my nun-like lifestyle, but, seriously, it was impossible
not to look at him. Even Chloe noticed him. She looked at him, then at me. She
shook her head lightly and whispered, “No”. I laughed a little because she
sounded like a mom telling a toddler that she couldn't have any candy. Well,
that was pretty much what was happening, so I guess Chloe nailed that.

She was
absolutely right. I didn't want any trouble. Certainly not that awful,
frightening feeling of falling in love. No time-consuming romance. And
certainly not all the time I had lost trying to recover from the trauma of what
had happened before. Even a plain old tiny heartbreak could set me back, and
put me way off course in my career.

No, I didn't
have the time or energy for any distractions. Nothing. Just work and school.

So I ignored the stunning resident with
the black hair, and tried to focus on the tall blond giving us the orientation
spiel. This was much easier because I felt no attraction to him at all. He was
really handsome, too. But something about him seemed mean. Or maybe arrogant. It's
hard to remember what I thought of him that first time, because the memory is
so clouded with all that came after. I'll just say he was a tall, slim blond
who should have caught my eye, but didn't.
About the Author:

Christina Hoffman was born in London, England. She moved with her family throughout Canada and the US, and has finally put down her suitcase, for
now, in
She believes that everyone has the right to
feel both smart and sexy. We don't have to be one or the other! She writes
stories about characters who live in the real world and who, somehow, still
believe in love.

She's starting a mini-revolution. She writes
sexy stories, but hasn't lost the romance from her Romances. Enough with whips
-- back to lips!

She hopes you enjoy her stories and see
yourself in her characters. After all, they are based on smart and sexy people,
just like you.

Christina’s latest book is the contemporary
romance, Invitation.

Visit her website at www.christinahoffman.com.

Connect & Socialize!

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Officially.... a student.

I don't know quite how to describe the feeling of being a college student the second time around. The first time around I wasn't even really excited about it,  not even a little bit. I didn't really go to school for something I wanted to do, I went so that I could find a good job and hopefully make a career from it and be a responsible adult. It certainly takes on a different meaning now knowing I am going back for something I want to do, and then hope that maybe I can use that degree somehow.

In the last few weeks I have heard a lot of different perspectives on what I should do, and I've weighed each and every one of them. It's difficult, even as a full fledged adult, to know if what you are doing is really the right thing to be doing. Certainly, this is going to be a financial burden when I finish. I'm obviously going to be strapped for time and my family will feel the brunt of that. I worry about my capabilities as a "non traditional" student with a full life, and I wonder if I'm going to lose my mind by the end of my first semester.

The great part about life is I don't know the answer to any of it.

The even better part is I don't care anymore.

I look back on a lot of the decisions I have made over the course of my adulthood and every single one of them was made being influenced heavily from people who thought they knew what I should do. I didn't want to make a wrong decision and I didn't want to disappoint. As it turns out, I did both regardless and even I wasn't happy to boot. So I've decided to throw caution to the wind and just to hell with it all.

As of 1:16 p.m. this afternoon, I am currently enrolled in 15 credits at the University of Wisconsin. I'm scared shitless, I'm nervous, but more importantly, I'm excited. I decided that even if I don't use my degree, I don't care. I want to say I've earned a Bachelor's degree as it was always my intended goal. I'm young enough that in theory, I could pay back my student loans and I will even get to use my degree. Somehow, I will figure it out. I might turn out to be totally terrible and just barely making it, or I might discover I'm actually a lot better at it than I think I will be.

Who knows, but I'm excited either way.

I am also that over achiever, do it all, make everyone happy person. I can't help it, that's just what I am. I put my needs dead last, and just do everything until exhaustion takes over. Don't get me wrong, I'll probably still do that because I can't help it, but I have a better plan on how to do this.

I decided against summer classes so I could plan PTO stuff for next year and get way more organized than ever before. I am going to meal plan and do some freezer meals for those nights I just can't cook, and by god- my Christmas cards are going to be made in July! Thankfully, Matt is excited for me. At first he wasn't and I could tell he didn't want me to do this. Now he is excited but doesn't want to admit it because I'd look like I was right yet again (as usual). But he and I have worked out a work schedule, and came up with a game plan for extra curricular activities. I don't say it nearly enough, but he's kind of great.

So this is IT, lambs. The leader is a college student yet again and it's terrifying and exciting all at once.

Outside In

Let's start the week with a book review, shall we?

Outside In - Doug Cooper
Outside In
From Memorial Day until the student workers and tourists leave in the fall, the island community of Put-in-Bay, Ohio, thrives on alcohol, drugs, sexual experimentation, and any other means of forgetting responsibilities. To Brad Shepherd—recently forced out of his job as a junior high math teacher after the overdose death of a student—it’s exactly the kind of place he’s looking for.

Allured by the comfort and acceptance of the hedonistic atmosphere, Brad trades his academic responsibilities and sense of obligation for a bouncer’s flashlight and a pursuit of the endless summer. With Cinch Stevens, his new best friend and local drug dealer, at his side, Brad becomes lost in a haze of excess and instant gratification filled with romantic conquests, late-night excursions to special island hideaways, and a growing drug habit. Not even the hope from a blossoming relationship with Astrid, a bold and radiant Norwegian waitress, nor the mentoring from a mysterious mandolin player named Caldwell is enough to pull him out of his downward spiral. But as Labor Day approaches, the grim reality of his empty quest consumes him. With nowhere left to run or hide, Brad must accept that identity cannot be found or fabricated, but emerges from within when one has the courage to let go.

A look at one man's belated coming of age that's equally funny, earnest, romantic, and lamenting, Doug Cooper’s debut novel explores the modern search for responsibility and identity, showing through the eyes of Brad Shepherd how sometimes, we can only come to understand who we truly are by becoming the person we’re not.

I'll be honest, I don't know where the funny portions of this book come in. Maybe because I was reading while exhausted I missed them, but I found the book more sad than anything else. We have Brad, a junior high math teacher who experiences the death of a student in his classroom, who basically loses it. And really, picking up all of your worldly belongings, tossing responsibility out the window and moving to a location where the only things to do in your time is to get drunk and do drugs, is what I would consider losing it. While interesting, and Brad is kind of a different character, I really had no idea where the story was going. The writing is good, it just felt like as a reader, I was as aimless as Brad. 

His adventures in Put-In-Bay, Ohio are what you would expect for a play like Key West, also referenced. I don't envision Ohio as being this hub of night life, and maybe Ohio gets a bum wrap. Maybe we should all go to Ohio and see what we're clearly missing. 

But he spends an entire summer basically wasting his life away under the guise of who knows what, finding himself? Finding a larger meaning? I don't know even, but as fall approaches he realizes the summer, albeit fun and adventurous, doesn't wholly provide what he was looking for. It still feels like he never really finds what he was looking for. Maybe that was intentional, maybe it wasn't thought out enough and just wasn't included, I'm not sure. Basically, I'm a little surprised at how normal the ending is. And maybe I'm just really naive, but I'm pretty sure if a person did that amount of drugs and alcohol in a summer, you'd walk away as an addict. I don't know if a person can really do that much and just... return to life without a souvenir drug habit. But... it's fiction. He could be a fairy princess if he wanted to. 

This is a debut, so given that, I'm interested to see what Doug Cooper has up his sleeve for the next book. Definitely has a good writing voice that makes it almost melodic to read, and that will get you through anything. It's available for Kindle right now for less than $7, so an interesting read if you're on a budget!