Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Weekly Reads: A Window Opens

I received an e-ARC of A Window Opens and it looked like a book I'd want to read on a nice summer weekend. I picked it up when I was needing a nice light read. It's a slightly more grown up version of The Devil Wears Prada, with a lot more believability. It was fairly predictable, but it was still a great light read.

My rating: 3.5 stars.

Summary from goodreads:

For fans of I Don’t Know How She Does It and Where’d You Go, Bernadette?.

In A Window Opens, beloved books editor at Glamour magazine, Elisabeth Egan, brings us Alice Pearse, a compulsively honest, longing-to-have-it-all, sandwich generation heroine for our social-media-obsessed, lean in (or opt out) age. 

Like her fictional forebears Kate Reddy and Bridget Jones, Alice plays many roles (which she never refers to as “wearing many hats” and wishes you wouldn’t, either). She is a mostly-happily married mother of three, an attentive daughter, an ambivalent dog-owner, a part-time editor, a loyal neighbor and a Zen commuter. She is not: a cook, a craftswoman, a decorator, an active PTA member, a natural caretaker or the breadwinner. But when her husband makes a radical career change, Alice is ready to lean in—and she knows exactly how lucky she is to land a job at Scroll, a hip young start-up which promises to be the future of reading, with its chain of chic literary lounges and dedication to beloved classics. The Holy Grail of working mothers―an intellectually satisfying job and a happy personal life―seems suddenly within reach.

Despite the disapproval of her best friend, who owns the local bookstore, Alice is proud of her new “balancing act” (which is more like a three-ring circus) until her dad gets sick, her marriage flounders, her babysitter gets fed up, her kids start to grow up and her work takes an unexpected turn. Readers will cheer as Alice realizes the question is not whether it’s possible to have it all, but what does she―Alice Pearse―really want?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sioux Falls Half Marathon Training Week 7

I woke up early to head to BarreAmped express before work on Wednesday morning.

And that night, I was excited for group run at 605 Running Co. because it was finally cool-ish for a Wednesday night run! Somehow, while talking, Nicole and I managed to run a pretty quick quip on some rolling hills.
And after the run, I led a 60 minute yoga class in the studio. We had a blast.

Thursday night I did a recovery run to barre class, and I was shocked to see my pace around 9:40 on the hills. When I got to class, I was reminded that it was an express class with some tabata intervals. Ugh. 

Needless to say, my run home was a lot more "recovery" paced than the way there.
 

Friday I was supposed to do my long run, but I was really sorry from the class the night before. So I slept in a bit and then went to the studio for a barre class. Which was done in a different format, and destroyed my muscles. Gah, these ladies are trying to kill me!
And then after barre, I stayed for a power vinyasa class. Even downward facing dog was difficult to hold, my arms were so burnt out from barre. 


Sunday was my make up long run day, and it just didn't happen. Somehow I'm still sore from the craziness of barre classes, and I'm a little nervous that'll lead to an injury attempting a ten miler. I'm hoping a rest day will do my body some good, and I can start the week ready to tackle some good miles!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Kansas City Birthday Weekend

Kyle turned the big 3-0 last weekend. We had big plans to go fishing (shocker) so when his BFF asked if we'd want to come down to KC, and he'd fly home from his med school rotation from Michigan, we were in. Did I mention Kyle's BFF has a birthday the day before him?!? Yay birthdays!

We hit the road Friday after work. I took a selfie mostly to showcase my awesome Wisconsin brewery shirt. 

We got in fairly late, but the boys always stay up late ish when we arrive, so I opted to get some sleep after a couple of beers. I did make it until close to 1am which is a miracle.

Saturday morning we woke up for a "surprise" activity.


So freaking cool. I got to see and learn so much about the history of the NFL, players, teams, etc.

I couldn't resist shouting "Chuck Wood, SON!"

We went to Joe's for BBQ for lunch. And then we were off to the UNICO micro brew festival. All the beers. All the heat and sun. None of the breeze. Uff.

Birthday boy Ben!

After hours of sampling beers, we grabbed dinner, and I will forever dream of the salmon sliders I had. 

I'm so sweaty and clammy I can't believe he's touching me in this photo.

The crew rallied later than I did, and I set my alarm for midnight to wish Kyle a happy birthday, but I slept through. Oops.

Starbucks and chipotle were necessary for the drive home. As was a Stephen King audiobook.

We were both most excited to see this little loaf of bread. She crawled in, snuggled up, held my hand with her paws and zonked out. She loves going to grandma and grandpa's and bossing around my parents' dog (she takes after her mother, probably).

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Weekly Reads (Listens): A Modern Romance


I'm a huge fan of Aziz Ansari, so when his new book was announced, I immediately got on the list for the audiobook Modern Romance. I was surprised once I started listening to it, because it was actually a book chrnoicling his research on all things relationship. So I actually learned things. Whoa. Great read/listen.

My rating: 4 stars.

Summary from goodreads:


At some point, every one of us embarks on a journey to find love. We meet people, date, get into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone with whom we share a deep connection. This seems standard now, but it’s wildly different from what people did even just decades ago. Single people today have more romantic options than at any point in human history. With technology, our abilities to connect with and sort through these options are staggering. So why are so many people frustrated?

Some of our problems are unique to our time. “Why did this guy just text me an emoji of a pizza?” “Should I go out with this girl even though she listed Combos as one of her favorite snack foods? Combos?!” “My girlfriend just got a message from some dude named Nathan. Who’s Nathan? Did he just send her a photo of his penis? Should I check just to be sure?”

But the transformation of our romantic lives can’t be explained by technology alone. In a short period of time, the whole culture of finding love has changed dramatically. A few decades ago, people would find a decent person who lived in their neighborhood. Their families would meet and, after deciding neither party seemed like a murderer, they would get married and soon have a kid, all by the time they were twenty-four. Today, people marry later than ever and spend years of their lives on a quest to find the perfect person, a soul mate.

For years, Aziz Ansari has been aiming his comic insight at modern romance, but for Modern Romance, the book, he decided he needed to take things to another level. He teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg and designed a massive research project, including hundreds of interviews and focus groups conducted everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Wichita. They analyzed behavioral data and surveys and created their own online research forum on Reddit, which drew thousands of messages. They enlisted the world’s leading social scientists, including Andrew Cherlin, Eli Finkel, Helen Fisher, Sheena Iyengar, Barry Schwartz, Sherry Turkle, and Robb Willer. The result is unlike any social science or humor book we’ve seen before.

In Modern Romance, Ansari combines his irreverent humor with cutting-edge social science to give us an unforgettable tour of our new romantic world.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sioux Falls Half Marathon Training Week 6

Monday morning I took a barre class before work.

And ran there and back to get in some extra sweat.

Wednesday night I was able to take a restorative class from one of my teacher trainer classmates. Magical.

Because we were going out of town for the weekend, I did my long run Thursday morning before work. Somehow it was a tiny smidge faster pace than last week's eight miler. I'll take it. 

Sunday we got home from a long drive from Kansas City, and I immediately changed, grabbed my yoga mat, and went to the yoga studio for some restorative yoga. Very needed after a fun go-go weekend.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Weekly Reads: Challenger Deep

Challenger Deep is one of the most unique books I have ever read. It has already cropped up on many Mock Printz lists, and I was lucky enough to get an e-ARC of it to review prior to its publication, but I didn't get a chance before it expired. So I picked up the audiobook version of it. I have no doubt the audio will get accolades of some sort for the narration of the tale, but I don't know if I'd recommend listening to it on audiobook on the first read. That's right, this is one of those books that surely needs 2-3 reads to truly "get". So plan to read it the first time, listen the second, and then choose away for the third go through. I will be re-reading this closer to the Printz, but as of right now, I wouldn't be surprised if it won an honor at the very least.

My rating: 4 stars, which may change with a re-read.

Summary from goodreads:

Caden Bosch is on a ship that's headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench.

Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior.

Caden Bosch is designated the ship's artist in residence, to document the journey with images.

Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head.

Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny.

Caden Bosch is torn.

A captivating and powerful novel that lingers long beyond the last page, Challenger Deep is a heartfelt tour de force by one of today's most admired writers for teens.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Sioux Falls Half Marathon Training Week 5

Tuesday morning I ran to the yoga studio for run club and got my middle tempo miles in with the group before running home.

And after work I got to enjoy some rooftop yoga downtown. Yoga studio mirror <<<outdoor view.

Wednesday night I did an easy shake out run at run club before yoga. 

And then we did a fun flow outside in the SUN! 

Thursday I took a read day, and Friday I was up super early to run long. I had a great run, especially for not having run long for... Probably six weeks?? 

Saturday Kyle and I joined a group that were riding the new Sioux Falls race route. Kyle agreed to ride the half route, so we peeled off the group around mile seven. They gave us doughnuts pre rice. Excellent fuel.

Sunday I debated and debated about going to barre, but eventually opted to go. And it was awesome as always.