Listening to Books On CD

I work in an office 40 hours a week. I sit at a desk in front of a computer (mac in case you were wondering) and I work in Photoshop and Word and Indesign, doing some pretty redundant tasks. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my job, but it is in fact pretty boring. However that boredom allows me to listen to anything I like while working.

Often times I get to work and I listen to NPRs Morning Edition. It’s a radio news program that fills me in on random bits of global news in a fast passed entertaining manner. I feel like it gets my brain juices flowing, and makes feel slightly more informed about whats going on in the world. After that I spend the rest of the day either listening to:

NPR’s This American Life which are hour-long radio programs with a different theme each week. They share stories and interviews, its kind of amazing. My BFF Mallory introduced me to them and I’ve already listened back to 1999! Also I’m in L-O-V-E with Ira Glass….swooon…

See! Now you are in love too. Let’s just say I’m adding him to my “LIST”

The 2nd thing I listen to is Books on Tape CD. Mr. Gaunt is a CRAZY LIBRARY man. He has an account and he goes online and reserves all kinds of BOC (books on CD) then picks them up, brings them to me, and returns them when I’m done. Its awesome. He even goes online to find out what the current best sellers are and reserves those for me too!

An interesting fact is that a Best Seller BOC is not always the same as a Best Seller Book. Often times based on the people narrating the BOC and if there are multiple characters or sound effects a BOC can be really good, or not so good. Mr. Gaunt checked me out a few Nicholas Sparks BOC and I HATED them. Mostly because they were all read by men, who were then doing the voices of Southern Girls…AWFUL! It was a combo of the accent and cheesy girly voice that made them so silly to listen to that I just couldn’t. So I veto all Nicholas Sparks BOC. Sometimes BOC are read by multiple voices (even celebrities!) and they are the best ones to listen to. The Help was done by like 5 different voices and it was AMAZING! Sometimes BOC are read by the Author, especially if it’s a Biography, these are nice too.

So without Further Ado these are my reviews so far:

1. BOSSYPANTS by Tina Fey (read by Tina Fey)

This book was adorable, smart, funny and inspiring! I loved the whole thing, and love hearing it in Tina’s voice. I had heard some debates about some of her motherhood talk (breastfeeding) getting some negative feedback, and I was waiting for it, but in the end it was just so honest and awesome, I couldn’t complain. This would make a really great gift for pretty much any woman I know.

2. THE HELP. By Kathryn Stockett (Read by Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, Cassandra Campbell)

I sat at work and cried listening to this book. Absolutely heart breakingly wonderful. I have put off reviewing this book for a while because I just couldn’t find the words to describe how much I loved it. It is perfection. I would like to note though, that I never could have heard those accents as beautifully in my own head and I am thankful that I got to listen to them out loud. I had also heard some mixed reviews from people saying things like “I’m not reading a book about black women written by a white women” and to them I say YOUR LOSS! If they knew anything about this book they would not feel that way, they would feel like jerks for even thinking that. Even now when I see the quote “You is Kind, You is smart, You is important” it makes me want to burst into tears and love on every baby whose mother didn’t support them enough…GAH! Amazing! Another perfect read for EVERY woman I know.

3. THE HUNGER GAMES TRILOGY by Suzanne Collins (read by Carolyn McCormick)

Mr. Gaunt actually read all three of these books before recommending them to me. He was nervous that I wouldn’t like them as I am not a huge sci-fi fan, and these are a bit futuristic.  In the end though I loved them! They made me want to go out and learn some survival skills! The reader had a great voice and there was fun sound bites included. After I listened to them I told my brother to read them, and he loved them too. I think these would be good for almost anyone over the age of 12 who likes a bit of adventure and heroism.

4. ONE DAY by David Nicholls

Mr. Gaunt got this for me because it’s a bestseller being made into a movie. I actually just finished it yesterday, and it was…ok. Funny thing is I have a hard time reading british “chick-lit” and that part didn’t bother me as much as the plot. In general the book was slow-moving, VERY long (spans 20 years) and had in my opinion a very stereotypical ending that did nothing for me. I just couldn’t get into it, but it wasnt bad, some people might really like it. People LOVED the Friday Night Knitting Club books and I HATED them, so what do I know.

I have listened to probably 10 other books, many that were so boring I can’t even remember them. These are the ones that stood out the most for me. I also wanted to note that all but “Bossypants” are being made into movies right now. I plan on seeing The Help this weekend, although I have heard they made it into a light-hearted comedy, and I wouldn’t say the book was funny at all. So that’s weird. One Day I also might see (not in theaters) because I do like Anne Hatheway, and it’s probably very pretty. And of course I will see all of The Hunger Games movies. I hope they are better than the Twilight movies, closer to HP standards.

::::UPDATE:::::

My friend Hilary reminded of another book I LOVED! I can’t believe I spaced this one:

ROOM by Emma Donoghue (read by Michal Friedman, Ellen Archer, Robert Petkoff, Suzanne Toren )

This is an amazing story, and so uniquely written. I also suggest listening to this book as the child’s voice comes through by the reader (who I assume is a child). Definitely HIGHLY recommend, and although it’s a very sad and awful subject, its done without the vulgarness that is sometimes used to make these stories seem more interesting. This one takes human language to a whole new level, it’s very good.

OTHER BOC I HAVE LISTENED TO:

-The Short Life of Bre Tanner

-The Pilots Wife

-Fly Away Home

-The Senators Wife

-IV

-Size 12 is Not Fat

Would anyone else suggest any books they have read recently?

Berries and Blues

Its been a rough few days. I absolutely let what others think of me, make me doubt myself. I wouldn’t even say I’m over it. There sometimes feels like an over whelming amount of thing that I need to change about myself, that I don’t even know where to begin. I feel a bit like a loser.

I applied for a fulltime position at my job (a position that I was already doing, and was very much qualified for) but I didn’t get it. I got a stupid letter saying they chose another qualified candidate. It reminded me of Cheer tryouts in 9th grade, getting the letter that just says NOPE, and then letting your brain run wild with all the reasons why you suck. Too fat, too ugly, too opinionated, not happy enough, not smart enough, not unique or interesting….” I suppose I could ask my employer why it is exactly I didn’t get the job, but I feel it would only make things worse to have her confirm what I already know. I’m trying to quickly focus my energy on what my next step is. My job will probably end in the next 3-4 weeks, and I will need to decided what that means for me. I also like to tell myself things like “You don’t want a sit down job anyways” which is true. Sitting in a chair for 10 hours a day 6 days a week has totally made me gain 5 pounds. That’s an uphill battle I don’t think I want to fight. If you sit down for 40+ hours a week you have to eat PERFECT and work out HARD just to maintain your weight! GAH! I do not want to maintain my weight, I want to kick my weight to the curb!

This week we go back to 40 hours a week, so I will get off at 11pm! This is awesome, as now I can bring back my weight lifting in the evenings. When I got off at 1am there was no way in hell I could keep doing that. Now things can be more sane. I can eat healthier and it will all be better. Well I suppose the financial bit wont be better, but whatever.

Speak of financial. We let my brother move in with us at the beginning of Jully. He needed a cheap place to stay and we needed the extra money. He paid us one lump sum to stay here through the end of September. We will use this money to pay off all of our wedding vendors. This is a HUGE deal! I feel really fortunate that all of that will be taken care of.

We also scored MAJOR yesterday at Kinkos with our wedding invitations. For 2 weeks we had been trying to find a time to go get our invitation printed and cut with this one awesome guy who works there. However for many reasons we kept missing him. On Thursday afternoon we went in one more time and he was there, but super busy. He told us to come in really early on Friday morning and that he would have time to work one on one with us.

For our invitations we needed:

-40 full color prints (2 up)

-40 black and white prints (2 up)

-100 sheets cut to size.

When we had originally gone around to get price quotes Kinkos estimated that with the paper and the printing and cutting we were looking at $120. BUT he told us it would be about 1/2 that if we bought our own paper. I think I mentioned before that we ended up buying our paper on Sale at the paper zone about a month ago. For our design I had made digital files and measurements and put them on a USB drive to have printed. So Mr. Gaunt and I got up at 7:30 am yesterday and worked with “Cool Kinkos Man” for about an hour. Shockingly all of my files and sizes were perfect and the process was totally painless. Then the Kinkos guy ended up having to leave in an emergency (his wife ran out of gas in the middle of an intersection!) as he was leaving he told his coworker what to charge and said “I’ll throw in the cuts as a wedding gift” So his co worker rings us up and Mr.Gaunt hands him the coupon we had for 10% off. The guy looks at us and goes “I can’t use this, you didn’t reach the minimum, your total is $3.72″….uhhh….seriously? that’s right, we got all of invites printed and cut for $3.72! Amazing, I know.

I have to work my last Saturday today, then I get me weekends back! I’m going to try to have a good day today and to keep positive! Tomorrow I need to make something yummy with all our Raspberries that are ready!

Missed Days

Yesterday was Weigh in Day.

I woke up feeling really good about it, like I had definitely lost weight. I had been so good at staying on track.

Our scale broke earlier this week, so we jogged to my moms.

my allergies went insane and my eyes, nose, ears, EVERYTHING was watering awful.

My moms scale said we had both gained 3 pounds.

Obviously broken, or our scale has been broken for months, either way I’m not buying it.

I had a breakdown, mostly because I’m tired and I miss life.

I slept until 11 today, which I knew I would. I really wanted to sleep as much as I could. I go back to work at 2. That gives me about 2 hours to do stuff. luckily I get off at 10pm instead of 1am so we can go out after I get off. Then tomorrow I’m waking up SUPER early and we are going to have an adventure or something.

Oh and we are getting married in 90 DAYS! I can’t believe we have been engaged for almost a whole year (July 10th). What a crazy crazy year. We gotta get more stuff done! The Paper Zone is having a sale this weekend so we need to get our paper for the invitations! I feel like there are many To Do Lists in my future!

Last but not least

GO GO GO NEW YORK!!!!! I think it’s about time I take Mr. Gaunt to see this awesome state!

Full Time, Thank God!

This week I start working FULL TIME!

This is awesome as to say Mr. Gaunt and I were poor would be the understatement of the year. This week things took a turn for the worst and we have like $5 between the two of us. I’m actually shocked that we have managed to get by so long on such limited funds, but its done. I will now be working at LEAST 40 hours a week, more if they offer it to me.

So my working out and blogging may lighten a little as I will have less free time.

However money will mean more wedding planning AND trips to Seattle (for Wedding shoes and Rita) Olympia (For Mallory) and Portland (for Kelli). All LONG over due trips.

Today Mr. Gaunt and I walked to the library to get some more books on tape for me at work. We jogged the first mile-ish then walked. Although we did stop to race up the stairs at Maritime Heritage Park. In total about 3 miles.

Alright its shower time, as I am cold and the chicken on the BBQ is almost done.

Costco Eats and Work

We went to Costco this morning.

It was busy and I had a few too many samples…so shoot me.

We bought some amazing Hummus and Pearl Couscous Salad! I usually don’t buy pre-made pasta dishes, but this was vegan and organic and $5 for 32 oz! And the Hummus was $5 for 32 oz, also vegan and organic. It was a special deal through Pita Pal. At Whole Foods they sell 8oz of their Hummus for $5! Such a better deal at Costco. The guy also said that it last 5 weeks, which is nice because it’s a lot. Sealing the deal he yells to the crowd “For those of you on Weight Watchers, it’s a 1/2 cup for 1 point!” ummm…done. I bought it.

With a crap ton of Hummus we needed a chip like product, so we bought these Blue Ginger Brown Rice chips which are 33 chips for 110 calories, plus 3 grams of fiber. I’m not usually a big rice chip fan, but these are brown rice, so they are much more like a POP Chip, not that weird Lacquered looking cracker product. They are good.

Plus part skim cheese, Apple Chicken Sausage, Salad mix, Lean Ground Turkey, and lunch meat. Costco it always good to us.

I have to work today at Pier 1, which I’m actually kind of enjoying. Its WAAAY better than my real day job, which I hate. On friday I had a total breakdown at work. See on Wednesday I worked my butt off getting my department in to tip-top shape, like really went above and beyond, because we had a big store walk with all the district managers and supervisors. On Friday they came back after the walk and told us that they only walked a few departments and mine wasnt one of them. It was such a let down because I was really proud of myself. I just sobbed in the bathroom. My job is already pretty pointless, and when I really try to work hard and make a difference, it doesn’t even matter. They don’t care, don’t see, and sure as hell don’t say thank you. Its sad.

The good news is that on Thursdays we did our first local delivery of a painting. It was a 1st time Grandma who bought a painting of her grandson for his parents. She was so in love with it, and sent me such a sweet email telling how great it looked and how wonderful it was to work with me. It was so nice. This was my first order done without the assistance of Etsy, and it was great knowing that it can easily be done with email and Paypal and not have to pay Etsy’s Fees. This job is so much more rewarding! You work hard and it actually pays off! It just made me want to keep building this business, I NEED to do this for me.

The big move is now 14 weeks away for me! EEEK! So much to do still, but I’m trying to just stay on top of it and not stress. Christmas is till on the back burner for me. I got a really nice email from my friend Rita talking about the importance of Christmas, and reassuring me that its ok to kind of take a year off. I feel ok about not pushing any holiday cheer on myself this year. I know not everyone agrees with me, but that’s ok.

Lastly Mr. Gaunt and I are both undecided about the gym thing still. I really want the both of us to get memberships, but its really hard to find an extra $70 a month to do that. If you buy a 1 year membership its only about $17 per person a month, but we sure don’t have $400 laying around either. Its so tough to know what to do. I do know that the only way I’m going to lose weight is buy either STRAVING or working out. And let me tell you, starving aint that fun.

 

 

Please Forgive

I havent cooked anything worth photographing, nor anything else health related. And to be honest, all I really want to blog about is my life-woes (or non-woes) and my wedding. For this I am sorry that for the next 10 months I may be slightly useless as far as weight loss motivation.

And do I still plan on losing weight for the big day? Well it depends. I spent a good week doing the hunger diet. Oh whats that you ask? It’s where I don’t eat unless I am VERY hungry, and I always go to bed a little hungry. It might seem like starving yourself, but it’s not, I swear I eat. However in 10 days I lost 8 pounds. Yup 8 pounds in 10 days. Wanna guess how many days it took me to gain back? Ok I only gained back 4 pounds, but as you can see I can drop weight and pack it on like its my job! Ha! So I really feel like its futile. I know I eat healthy. I eat when I’m hungry. I make good choices. I don’t work out at a gym, but I have a pretty labor intensive job (for instance last week I was harnessed onto a moving platform 20 feet in the air, where I had to hold a cordless circular saw to cut down a 50 foot wall for a 45 minutes!). I don’t know. I mostly wanted to lose weight for the dress, but over the last few days (and after a dress trying on Hell) I realized that I DO want to look and feel like myself. I want to be comfortable and happy, not stressed. And so I may continue to work on it a little, but I’m going to give a good effort in not stressing. I’m also re thinking my entire feeling on dresses, even lowering my previous budget of **trying to find one under $700*** to insisting on spending less than $250!

So that’s that.

The holidays are coming up! This is nice and not so nice. Again its hard for me to get excited when A. I have so many other plans and things I’m focusing on (especially financially) and B. I’m not with my family. However they are here, and its our first “engaged” Christmas and our last “Not-Married” Christmas so I want to celebrate!

Mr. Gaunt and I have decided to get each other undergarments for Christmas…lol! Seriously. We both are in dire need of all new underwear, socks, undershirts, camis and bras. So that’s what we are getting each other! Lots and lots of underwear! Whats not to like? That way we are buying useful things and not stuff we don’t need. We are moving AND getting married so purchasing other stuff seems silly right now.

We are doing Thanksgiving at Ms. G’s house again. It’s always a good time of cooking and sitting on the porch and drinking Champagne. She’s already planning the menu, and has some amazing Kale recipes in the works! I’ll be making pies, because I like that.

Mr. Gaunt’s Birthday is the 28th, and I want to get him a new portable DVD player. I think I might (for the first time ever) attempt to hit up Target and maybe Best Buy on Black Friday to see if I can’t get a good deal. I don’t have to work that morning, so why not? Im also hoping to get a dinner party at a restaurant planned for his actual birthday, since it’s the big 3-0 and all.

Lastly I have ordered some pieces to put together little surprises for my bridesmaids that will go out next week…eek! And I have a graphic designer working on a quote for all of our paper wedding goods (invites and such) that I will get tonight. Fingers crossed I can afford it!

Last but not least I leave you with a few recipes to remind you how diverse and amazing Kale is! Use it in your Holiday meals!:

Kale Pesto Spread (click the photo to go to the recipe)

Chinese Noodles with Kale and Mushrooms (click the photo to go to the recipe)

Mashed Potatoes and Kale (click the photo to go to the recipe)

Vegan Sweet Potato, Corn, and Kale Chowder