Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February 2012 Book Recap

What I read and started in February 2012
Books read to date: 4/40
According to the GoodReads challenge I'm 2 books behind to reach my yearly goal.


Still Reading The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian. I'm really enjoying this Bible Study. It's giving me a chance to see my husband through different eyes and really taking time to be with God and have Him present in our marriage.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I'm loving this book so far. I have a feeling I'll be a mess near the end. The writing is absolutely wonderful.
Monthly savings: -$2.54
Year-to-date savings: $27.44


4/40: The Marriage Project by Kathi Lipp

The Marriage Project: 21 Days to More Love and LaughterThe Marriage Project: 21 Days to More Love and Laughter by Kathi Lipp
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My husband and I are reading this at the same time. Our plan is to start the Project at the beginning of March. I love that he's as excited about it as I am.

If you remember, I did The Husband Project back in November 2011. I had a fun time doing the little projects and being more present to my husband. In a world where we sit on our phones, computers and watch TV while doing all that made me think we need to stop and take note of our marriage. We thought this book would be a good way to reconnect with all the multitasking we do these days. Take some time to really focus on each other.

Reading this book isn't an indication that our marriage needs work, or needs improving. In fact I'd say the opposite. We are not even a year in and there isn't a day that goes by that I'm not thankful for my husband and the life we are building together. I'm a believer that things can always get better if you work at them. Improving anything is always there. My marriage, my husband is one of the most important things in my life. Why wouldn't we focus on it?

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Spa Weekend Review!

This past weekend my two besties and I headed out to the city for a night of relaxation. Back in December we were all getting very restless and decided we needed to get away. After much back and forth we finally picked a weekend and a place.

We went to Kananaskis Delta Lodge overnight. (It's already been decided that we are going for two nights next time) They have a Girl Power package that is usually for 4 people but they adjusted the price for 3 of us. Kananaskis is just over an hour from Calgary. Just far enough to get away but close enough we can do an overnight trip. We all met at L's house and once everything was packed in my SUV we stopped at Starbucks before heading out. There was a collective sigh as we hit the city limits and the mountains came into view.

The package we booked came with valet parking so we pulled up, gave them our keys and took our bags. We were a little early for check in, so we had a coffee at the bistro while we waited. The hotel room we had was a loft. Beautiful place! Wood burning fire place, pull out couch, mini fridge, bathroom and table on the main floor. Upstairs had another bathroom and two beds.

We received a gift card upon check-in to the spa to spend on whatever we wanted. I believe they give you a gift card because then you'll book more than one spa appointment. It's the "Oh look! I have free money! Now I can get this AND that". Well played... it worked. We had pre-booked our appointments before knowing there was a gift card.

M had a facial when we arrived so L and I checked into the loft, made dinner reservations and read for a bit until our treatments started. L went for a facial and I got a pedicure. We all reconvened back at the loft, got all dressed up and went for dinner. We were definitely over-dressed for the ski lodge, but we didn't care. There aren't enough times to wear high heels and dresses and go for dinner so you take it when you can.  Dinner was great! Spent 2 hours eating, chatting and enjoying each others company.
Fireplace in our room
After dinner we headed to the hot tub. It's half indoors, half out. With the snow coming down it was beautiful out! We ended in the steam room and then headed back to our room. There is nothing better than lighting a fire, grabbing a glass of wine, eating chocolate that was delivered to our room and reading. We are all book nerds so it was truly perfect. We sat and ignored each other for a good hour while we read of books. Frenchie says we're lame, we think we're awesome.

Chocolate delivery!

Sunday we got up just in time to head to the spa again. I had a massage, L & M had body scrub/wraps. Checked out of our room, stored our bags and hit the breakfast buffet. Sadly after that it was time to head back to reality. It was definitely a much needed retreat.
View from our room.
It was a little cloudy and starting to snow.


3/40: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have mixed feelings about this book. I would have loved to give it 3.5 stars instead of 4, but it wasn't a 3 star book either.
Sam and Grace are in a peculiar situation. They only get half a summer after 6 years of watching each other in the winter. Sam as a wolf, Grace as a girl. It's a tortured love story about struggling against nature to stay together.

It may sound like the classic werewolf story, but the rules are different in everyone. Maggie's rules for werewolves are what bring about the tortured love story for Sam and Grace. He changes to a wolf because of the weather turning cold and remains a wolf until the weather warms up.  As I am Canadian this seemed really brutal to me. It's cold for 6 months out of the year! Particularily today.

I loved Sam and Grace's story. I loved the characters. I got a little bored through the middle after being sucked in, but the end completely redeemed itself. To the point where I wasn't planning on reading the rest of the series and now have them on hold at the library.

The writing was beautifully done. I love that the text is the same color as the cover of the book. You have to look very close but the writing is in fact blue. The same is true for the next two books. Matching text to cover color. Brilliant!

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bible Study: Week 4 His Sexuality

I won't go into a lot of detail on this past week because I don't want to share this part of my marriage online. So stop reading if you're expecting something juicy.

All I will say is that the chapter was very good and the questions were really hard to answer. I normally don't read my answers to this study to Frenchie, but I chose to on this one. It sparked some great conversation between us.

Julie and I are both very open people so talking about this subject with her was very therapeutic, humbling and validating. We are both able to talk about sex is a very clinical way without embarrassment or feeling like it's inappropriate. Obviously we leave out specific details as that is private and we both value our husbands privacy, plus, no one wants to hear that stuff.

I'm so glad that I have found such a wonderful friend. This bible study is bring Julie and I closer even though we are in different countries.

Next week is all about His Affection.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Bible Study: Week 3 - His Finances

This week was all about His Finances. A number of the questions focused on whether our husbands are responsible with their our money. Does he give the way that God intended? Does he have anxiety about the family finances? I didn't find this topic enlightening as much as some of the other ones, but I believe that is because there is no tension in this department of our life.

Julie and I found that our answers were very much the same this week. We both think our husbands are responsible with money, but more than that, they are responsible with the family. We are both newlyweds so finances are a big part of our life right now. We both work along with our husbands so the responsiblity of the family finances are very much a joint task. 

One of the biggest questions was whether our husbands, and ourselves, give the way God requires. This is a hard one, and although it may come off as selfish, I believe that God sees our intentions and understands.  Frenchie and I may not give to the poor by monetary means, but we give in other ways. We go through our life and donate that which we do not need. To me this is maybe even better than giving money because it is tangible. If you give someone money for clothing, there is no guarantee that is will be spent on that. Where as if you give someone clothing, they have what they need, not what they want.

I also believe that God wants us to be happy. He wants our family to be provided for. We give what we feel we can.

I'm interested to see what next week holds. The topic is His Sexuality. We are both very open to talking about sexuality so I believe the discussion with be good. I don't know how much I will share on my blog about a topic that is a very private matter between husband and wife. As open as I am about the topic, there are things that are sacred in a marriage.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Epicure Kick Off Party

Thursday night I had my very first Epicure Tasting Party. I called it a Kick Off Party because it was my first one and I invited my family and friends that I was comfortable with.  I had so much fun! We laughed, ate delicious food and everyone ordered some goodies I can't wait to deliver to them.

Epicure has a great training program and these little "How to Party" cards that are a basic outline of what to talk about, when to talk about it and things to say throughout the night. I know until I am comfortable with the product and do my talks more often I will be able to not rely on these cards as much.

I was very thankful to have one of my friends attend my party that LOVES Epicure. She has tried a lot of the product and was able to share with the rest of my guests what her favorites were. It was great to have another resource to assist. I am not the best public speaker, I'll admit that. I get nervous being in front of people. I find that once I jump in and start talking, everything goes smoothly. I think quick on my feet and if I can't answer a question, I know I can find the answer at a later time. Having my first party with people who are there to support me in this adventure meant a lot and really helped me feel like I can really do this. I feel like now I am ready to have a party with people I may not know all that well. It's time to step out and make a business for myself.

I didn't take any pictures of the actual party, but I did take a few of the set up. I used our dining room table so there was room for everyone to sit, it was comfortable and let Frenchie and my brother-in-law avoid the party. Although, Frenchie was sad when all the dips were gone by the end. He was banking on there being some left. He hasn't realized how good they are yet!

I didn't have the dips out yet, but just imagine there are wonderful goodies in the middle of the table that quickly disappeared throughout the night.
Business Kit Set up