Monday, October 28, 2013

Been too long

I seem to keep forgetting I have this blog. Things have been so crazy busy with life!
I also haven't read a "fun" book in months. Everything I read is either school related or bible study. I'm itching to read something but I have other things that are a priority.

Something exciting has happened in the last few months and I'm finally able to share. Frenchie and I are expecting our first child! I am 13 weeks today and feeling amazing. I've started a branch off blog so this one stays as it is for books, food and fitness.
Visit And Bebe Makes Five for all the pregnancy details. I'm tracking each week and will start to post some bump photos more consistently.

As for the rest of life, piano lessons are in full swing. I love teaching and now that we're entering November soon, that means I can dig out Christmas carols in preparation for the Christmas recital. I'm hoping that I can get at least one student to do a duet this year.

I fell off the Happiness Project by being busy with other things. It's a shame because I loved the project, but here isn't time in my pregnancy brain for everything and right now my priorities are eating, teaching and studying. The plan is to get as much of my Nutrition diploma done before baby arrives. The sooner I complete the courses, case studies and exam, the sooner I can start my business and start a new chapter in my career.

Just a quick update that I may not post as often here, but that I'm still around!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Unintentional Forgetfullness August/September

It's been such a crazy couple months I almost forgot about my blog.
Life has been busy with lots of changes, ups and downs.

August Recap
Things hit rock bottom in August ending with me on anti-depressants and stress leave. My mental health is definitely on the mend now, but I'm no where near 100%. It's been a long couple months of healing and trying to pick up all the pieces.
My Happiness Project took a backseat to health and wellness. As did organizing the house and exercising.
I did manage to read a couple books for school, and I will try and get some of those reviews up.

September Recap
September has been busier than August and I can't believe it's the end of the month already!
I have 10 students for piano this year which is more than last year. I was a little worried when I lost 3 of my students this summer due to them moving, but I was pleasantly surprised with all my new students. It's so much fun teaching and although I'm busier than last year, I love every minute of it.
I have gotten 2 more tests back with my Natural Nutrition diploma. A 91% and a 95%! I am enjoying the learning process so much.
I haven't been great at the Happiness Project this month either but things are looking up.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August Happiness Project - Buy Some Happiness

August is all about buying some happiness.
Money doesn't always buy happiness, true deep and meaningful happiness. The kind that warms your heart for years and you can relive through memories. Money can buy vacations and excursions and those memories are definitely worth buying. Money can buy you temporary happiness in the form of a new object, clothes, etc.

Frenchie and I like to save our money and spend it when it means something. We saved for a long time to go to France and make memories. Do we never buy anything that is just a big expense for a temporary elation? Of course we do! And this month is a great one for me to "buy some happiness"

Indulge in a modest splurge

  • Buy something that is just for me. 
    • Spend a little on upgrading my pens, highlighters and study area. 
    • Buy pictures from the photographer we had done of our family.

Buy needful things

  • Am I an overbuyer or an underbuyer?
    • I'm in the middle. But there are some things that would be nice to have and make life a little easier or a little more enjoyable

Spend Out

  • Use up those things I've been saving for a "rainy day"
  • Start using the nicer things

Give something up

  • I haven't decided what to give up just yet. Because I don't overbuy, I don't tend to make those purchases I will regret as soon as I'm home. 


Monday, August 5, 2013

July 2013

July! I feel like July came, went and never really happened

Highlights of the Month
Back to teaching piano.
A few life decisions made (you'll have to wait for those until things are official)

My Happiness Project for July was to "Make Time for Friends"
Another successful month

Book Recap
2013 Reading Challenge

What I Read
With extra time on my hands, I spent July reading and studying. No "fun" books in the usual sense, but I really enjoyed reading all of these.

Eating Alive: Prevention Thru Good Digestion by John Matsen (review here)
Healing Arthritis by Penny Kendall-Reed (review here)
The Metabolic Typing Diet by William Linz Wolcott (review here)
Diabetes & Hypoglycemia by Michael T. Murray (review here)
The Nutritional Bypass by David W. Rowland (review here)

What I'm Currently Reading
Monthly Book Spending:
Spent: $0.00*
Saved: $0.00

*textbook costs are excluded


Thursday, August 1, 2013

July Happiness Project - Complete!

July is about Make Time for Friends
I'm terrible at keeping in touch with people and what better time than summer to get together with friends.

Bring People Together
  • Summer BBQ
  • Spent a lovely Saturday afternoon/evening with a bunch of friends I haven't seen in a while. It has to happen again before the snow comes!
  • After work drinks

Cut people some slack
  • Everyone has their own problems to deal with. 
  • I've been in my own world for the past month dealing with my own stuff. It's hard to remember that other people are also dealing with their own stuff. 

No Gossip
  • Stop joining in gossipy conversations. Keep things private
  • I think I've done a good job at this. I've kept myself out of conversations ABOUT people. 
Remember Birthdays

  • compile a list and wish people a happy birthday, not just when Facebook says it's their birthday
  • I have put the most important people to me in my calendar. Hopefully when their birthdays roll around next year I'll be more on the ball and be able to send a card or something.


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

18/30: The Nutritional Bypass by David W. Rowland

The Nutritional Bypass:  Reverse Atherosclerosis Without SurgeryThe Nutritional Bypass: Reverse Atherosclerosis Without Surgery by David W. Rowland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From Goodreads: Did you know that there is a time tested, safe, non-surgical method of removing arterial blockages-without side effects? Severe arterial blockages do not have to lead to coronary bypass surgery or heart attacks. Inside this book is a complete program for successfully reversing and preventing hardening of the arteries. You may be surprised to know that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease and that polyunsaturated oils may actually be doing more harm than good.

This may be a small book, but it was well worth reading.
The research that has been done on Bypass surgery, and other methods of clearing out plaque from arteries was very interesting. I learned a lot about the methods, what the rates of survival are, and if it really does prolong your life. It doesn't for most people, but only because after they have surgery, they return to their ways before. Without change, your health will return to poor again.

I didn't think that the Nutritional information was really far out there like you might expect. I was expecting a very limited diet that most people wouldn't follow. It was very easy, something most of us should be doing anyways. The supplement that he suggested had some great nutrients in it, that based on the studies and reviews, I would suggest to a couple people. It doesn't take a lot of change your diet and way of eating if you want to improve your health. Our heart runs our body, and we need to take care of it properly.

This topic is very near to me and I will be recommending this book to a few people.

View all my reviews


Sunday, July 28, 2013

17/30: Diabetes & Hypoglycemia by Michael T. Murray ND

Diabetes & Hypoglycemia: Your Natural Guide to Healing with Diet, Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs, Exercise, an d Other Natural MethodsDiabetes & Hypoglycemia: Your Natural Guide to Healing with Diet, Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs, Exercise, an d Other Natural Methods by Michael T. Murray
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Read from July 22 to 24, 2013
Format: Paperback

From Goodreads: Now You Can Combat Diabetes and Hypoglycemia—Naturally!
Struggling with frequent headaches, fatigue, irritability, or depression? Your body may be fighting a blood sugar imbalance. Diabetes and hypoglycemia, the major causes of blood sugar imbalance, are the most common of all diseases and can lead to chronic metabolic problems. Often, traditional medications treat only specific symptoms of these diseases without treating the whole body.

Another textbook done!

I enjoyed this one about Diabetes and Hypoglycemia. As someone who suffers from hypoglycemia, it was great to read about what foods to avoid, what foods to eat and other natural remedies that could help. It's great to know that even if you suffer from either of these blood sugar imbalances, you can get relief from a lot of the symptoms and minimize them leading to chronic metabolic problems.

The section on dietary suggestions was really interesting. It laid out a series of food groups, what is the best for someone with diabetes or hypoglycemia and includes a few recipes to go on. One thing I learned and didn't know before was that the recommended diet for sufferers is the HCF - High Complex-Carbohydrate, High Fiber diet. Most people, when they think of blood sugar, they think of cutting ALL carbs, which isn't what is best. Eating low on the glycemic index is a better idea as our bodies need carbohydrates. Starving your body of glucose will start to cause more issues. Did you know your brain's main fuel is glucose? You need it! But you need the right kind.

It was laid out really well for a non-medical person to understand and put into practice. It was written well with enough medical terms and layman's terms to get the point across. For anyone that has blood sugar issues this is a great little book to have around.

View all my reviews


Friday, July 26, 2013

16/30: The Metabolic Typing Diet

The Metabolic Typing Diet: Customize Your Diet To:  Free Yourself from Food Cravings:  Achieve Your Ideal Weight;  Enjoy High Energy and Robust Health;  Prevent and Reverse DiseaseThe Metabolic Typing Diet: Customize Your Diet To: Free Yourself from Food Cravings: Achieve Your Ideal Weight; Enjoy High Energy and Robust Health; Prevent and Reverse Disease by William Linz Wolcott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Read from May 27 to July 09, 2013
Format: Paperback

From Goodreads: For hereditary reasons, your metabolism is unique. Cutting-edge research shows that no single diet works well for everyone–the very same foods that keep your best friend slim may keep you overweight and feeling unhealthy and fatigued. Now, William Wolcott, a pioneer in the field of metabolic research, has developed a revolutionary weight-loss program that allows you to identify your "metabolic type" and create a diet that suits your individual nutritional needs.

This is definitely a book a lot of people should read. Your body has a natural set point and a natural way to lose weight. This book helps you find out what that is so you can start a weight loss journey that will be effective (Effective /=/ instant). It's about effective weight loss. Things don't happen overnight, in a week or in a month. They take time, and I think a lot of people don't realize that. To be healthy, and ideal, you need to take time.

The quiz was enlightening. I am a balanced metabolic type (rather than a protein or a carbohydrate) which I probably could have guessed. Basically, I need to eat a balance between protein and carbs to reach and MAINTAIN my ideal weight. For me, that means keeping the weight on. Most people will read that last sentence and close the page. Keeping weight off and keeping weight on are both difficult depending on you as an individual. Eating the RIGHT combination of nutrients will help you do both.

This is definitely a book worth reading and putting into practice. No crazy diet, no extreme foods, just healthy eating based on what is right for YOU.

View all my reviews


Friday, July 19, 2013

15/30: Healing Arthritis by Penny Kendall-Reed

Healing Arthritis: Complementary Naturopathic, Orthopedic & Drug TreatmentsHealing Arthritis: Complementary Naturopathic, Orthopedic & Drug Treatments by Penny Kendall-Reed
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Healing Arthritis was a good overview of the different types of arthritis and natural supplements that can assist in healing and pain relief.

The way the book is laid out was good. They went through the types of arthritis, which I didn't know included so many! Then proceeded to different treatments that can be beneficial, who should stay away from what supplements and treatments and which ones were best.

The material is dry and the delivery is as well. I did like how they included case studies for a number of the supplements. It gave a nice finish and real world perspective of each one. It's amazing that more people don't take the opportunity to use something natural to reduce their pain and inflammation before turning to drugs that have a long list of side effects.

I would highly recommend this book for someone who is treating arthritis, knows someone living with the pain, or deals with it on a daily basis themselves. There are treatments to consider before drugs and surgery.

View all my reviews


Monday, July 15, 2013

14/30: Eating Alive by Jonn Matsen

Eating Alive: Prevention Thru Good DigestionEating Alive: Prevention Thru Good Digestion by Jonn Matsen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Read from May 27 to July 08, 2013
Format: Paperback

This was a great book for describing how our digestive system affects our health and how we are damaging it.

It provides a very high level description of each portion of the digestive system, how it SHOULD function and how it DOES function, because for most people, those are not in sync. Matsen does a great job explaining things in terms that anyone can easily understand, using metaphors and examples. The high level explanations were perfect for an overview with as much detail as needed to get the point across. The illustrations I thought were comical and useful. Humour is a great way to get a point through to people and learning about the digestive system isn't exactly the most thrilling subject.

It's interesting to read exactly how much of what we eat and how our digestive system works keeps us healthy. The damage that we do to our systems every day is astounding. When you start to read about it, you really start to think about exactly what you're eating and what your body has to do in order to deal with it.

The only thing I didn't like was the patient letters. It seemed that the point of them was to show how Matsen is great and less about the patient success. I found that annoying and could have done without it.

View all my reviews


Friday, July 12, 2013

July Happiness Project - Make Time for Friends

July is about Make Time for Friends
I'm terrible at keeping in touch with people and what better time than summer to get together with friends.

Bring People Together

  • Summer BBQ
  • After work drinks

Cut people some slack

  • Everyone has their own problems to deal with. 

No Gossip

  • Stop joining in gossipy conversations. Keep things private
Remember Birthdays

  • compile a list and wish people a happy birthday, not just when Facebook says it's their birthday


Thursday, July 11, 2013

June 2013

June. An incredible month of travelling, discovery, food and wine.

Highlights of the Month
That's all that needs to be said about June.

My Happiness Project for June was to "Get Serious about Play"
I think I was successful!

Book Recap
2013 Reading Challenge

What I Read
I read absolutely nothing over June. I had grand plans of reading on the plane or at a bistro. Neither happened. Too much to see!

What I'm Currently Reading

Monthly Book Spending:
Spent: $21.02*
Saved: $1.90

*textbook costs are excluded


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

June Happiness Project - Done!

June was easy to "Get Serious about Play".
Our trip was the perfect place to embrace living in the moment. Getting up, deciding what to do and off we go. We made some wrong turns, wandered aimlessly and tried a ton of foods we've never had here.
I was able to really let go and experience life rather than just getting through the day (sometimes unsuccessfully). It felt amazing to be happy and relaxed.

Live in the moment
  • Stop looking at the future - hard to do, but I think I looked less into the future than I do while I'm here
  • Make a plan and forget about it until later. 
  • Live TODAY
Find more fun
  • Stop doing things that just aren't fun out of obligation. 
  • Find those things I have fun doing, and do them more

Go off the path
  • Try new foods, new places
  • Buy a french book to read - Didn't buy one, but I did always have the french menu in restaurants
  • Change the routine


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Bonjour! Hello! I'm Back!

Our trip to France was amazing. There are no words to describe exactly how I feel about that country and all the places we went. Life there is so different from here in a lot of better ways. I know it was vacation brain and seeing it through those eyes, but they are far more social than here.
We spent 2.5 weeks (19 days) with each other, 24/7. It was really wonderful and I love that we can travel together so well.

We flew direct from Calgary to Paris. A nice long 9h 12m flight. We left in the afternoon and arrived in the morning the next day because of the 9 hour time difference. I am terrible at sleeping on planes but managed to get a couple hours in at least. I did end up watching Les Miserables since Frenchie hasn't wanted to see it.

Things I had to get used to:

  • Eating light for breakfast - Cafe au lait, croissant / pain du chocolat
  • Eating late for lunch
  • Eating a late dinner - the majority of the restaurants don't open until 7:30pm and they usually don't start filling up until around 8:30-9pm. Very strange for this 6pm eater. 
  • Eating BREAD! Yes. I could eat bread and pasta over there with NO symptoms like I get here. I miss it already. 
  • Dogs are welcome - Everywhere. If they aren't, there is a sign. It really made me miss the dogs while we were away.

That was pretty much the extent of it. Eating (which is a big deal for me for blood sugar levels) really threw me for a loop. Once my body adjusted to the time changes I was set. There was always something to snack on and wine to drink. We stopped if our feet were sore for a cafe or macarons.

We have over 1600 photos and I have finally gotten them all onto the computer. With so many pics I can't pick my favourites so I will do a blog post for each location we went to. In total we stayed in 5 different places around France. Each one was different from the previous and allowed us to see a lot of the West side of France. I keep telling Frenchie we'll have to go back and see the East side and dip into Italy for a bit.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Au Revoir!! Blog Haitus


We're off to France!
I'll have tons of pictures, adventures and stories to share when we get back.
"See" you next month!


Friday, June 7, 2013

May 2013

May. Beautiful May. This month has been a whirlwind and I'm glad it's over.

Highlights of the Month
Received marks for two exams:
95% on Symptomatology I
90% on Anatomy & Physiology
Saw Balletlujah with my mom for Mother's Day - The Alberta Ballet was choreographed to the music of K.D. Lang. Absolutely stunning.

Happiness Project - I learned to lighten up a little.
Mostly learned to put things in perspective of what is important and what isn't worth stressing over.

Book Recap
2013 Reading Challenge
I have read 13 books toward my goal of 30 books.
I am right on track!
Pages Read (month): 1510
Pages Read (year): 6238

What I Read
Just One Day by Gayle Forman (review)
Hopeless by Colleen Hoover (review)
Essentials of Human Anatomy &Physiology by Elaine Nicpon Marieb (review)

What I'm Currently Reading

Monthly Book Spending:
Spent: $21.02*
Saved: $1.90

*textbook costs are excluded


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June Happiness Project - Get Serious About Play

Get Serious about play.
June is about enjoying life. Getting out of my comfort zone.
I'm a routine person and have my life planned out in a lot of detail. It makes sense to me to have plans. But sometimes those plans don't work out and that is a stress for me. Rather than focus on the plans as "written in stone" I need to see things more fluidly. Our trip this month will be perfect for that. Just go with the flow. Enjoy each day. In some cases, just make it through each day and start again tomorrow.

Live in the moment

  • Stop looking at the future
  • Make a plan and forget about it until later. 
  • Live TODAY

Find more fun

  • Stop doing things that just aren't fun out of obligation. 
  • Find those things I have fun doing, and do them more
    • board games, cards, movies, reading, french, dancing

Go off the path

  • Try new foods, new places
  • France!!
  • Buy a french book to read
  • Change the routine


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The day I ran a race

Chip time 00:36:42
Event Placement 875 of 2238
Us with our medals
They say "5K Finisher"
In the winter, my sister invited me to do a 5K with her. I was running at that point and thought it sounded like a good idea. The C25K was a great guide to get me going. I have yet to actually finish the entire program.

Over April and May, I sort of stopped running. I didn't have the time or the energy to do it in the morning and with my studying getting more intense, the weekends were out. Plus it was raining, which is a lame excuse, I know. I didn't feel ready for the race and it was one thing on a long list that is between France and I.

Sister and I ran my first 5k (her second) together the whole way and we crossed the finish line holding hands. We did it. Together. I had no clue how fun it would be. There was SO many people running and it took a bit to get going through the crowds. The energy of everyone around was awesome.
I figured we would take around 40 minutes to complete it. We usually did 4.5k in that amount of time when we were training together, so I was thrilled to see we were under that. We might sign up for another!


Monday, May 27, 2013

May Happiness Project: Success or failure?

I don't believe this month was a failure. It all depends on how you look at it.
Did I finish my tasks I set out to do? Not at all.
Do I feel lighter? Happier? Absolutely.

Take time for a project
I managed to get my garden going and it is growing like crazy! I'm still waiting for the beans, potatoes and one squash plant to surface, but things are looking good. I can't wait to have fresh veggies late summer/early fall.
Not complete
Wedding album photos
Photos of Beta/Taylor into album

Be a house of memories
I unloaded the camera of a bunch of photos that have been sitting on there forever. It's time to remove all the wedding and honeymoon photos that are just sitting on the card. They've been on the computer for a long time now, so there's really no need to keep a card half full.
I have yet to get around to making albums, but perhaps this summer.
Not complete
organize memory boxes
Update picture frames

Pray in the morning
I have been praying in the morning and it does lighten the day. It is a good start to let everything go and start fresh.

How I lightened up in unexpected ways
I am learning to let go and I believe a lot has to do with my garden. It's something new. Something I haven't ever done before. It's not up to me for it to grow. I can provide the seeds, the dirt, water and in part, the sun, but I can't actually do the growing. That is left to the plants themselves. If they grow, I'm ecstatic, if they don't, I guess it just wasn't the right.

When I was in therapy last week, my therapist thought it was interesting that I was able to just let go and not stress over my garden. It will grow or it won't. He also thought it was interesting that I have the same sort of laissez faire attitude towards other parts of life very near to my personal life.

So why can't I "lighten up" in different parts of my life? My go-to strategy needs to be adjusted for certain situations. I've discovered that I can use the "whatever happens, happens" attitude for things that are internal. Situations that have no influence by someone else, in other words, situations that are under my control.
A friend of mine sent me that image once and I'm finally starting to see why it makes sense. In my most stressful situations or the ones that I worry about the most, I am in the yellow or the red. I need to shift my focus for those situations to the green and concentrate only on that part. It's a hard task to do for someone who is a nurturer or a giver. I have tendencies towards making other people happy before myself. It's a hard skill to learn, to take care of yourself first.

I feel lighter in May, even though I didn't get my tasks done I set out to. They'll be done eventually. I am working on reframing how I think of things. Looking at the things I can control and trying to forget about those I can't.

It's nice to let go. <-- never thought I'd say that!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

13/30: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Hopeless (Hopeless, #1)Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Read from April 13 to May 08, 2013
Format: Ebook

From Goodreads: Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

I was not overly thrilled with this book. Mostly because I wasn't aware of the heavy subject matter until it was too late. If someone would have told me what it was REALLY about, I never would have picked it up. That said, I won't be recommending this one to anyone. There is a warning on Goodreads if you view the Kindle Edition that is not there on the paperback.

I liked the Sky and Holder as characters, but they seemed more mature than I would expect for 17/18 year olds. I would have expected this book to be in university age rather than high school. The seemed to be so much older than they were and it threw me off. Most 18 year olds would not deal with the situations they were thrown into as well as they did. I felt it was a little unrealistic that they both dealt with the realizations as well as they did. Holder sounding like a therapist in parts made me roll my eyes. It seemed like everything was really rushed near the end during discovery and dealing with the past that they didn't have time to really let things sink in.

The relationship between Sky and Holder was worth reading. The chemistry between them was written really well and I loved that fact that he was a respectful boyfriend. And how many books actually go out of their way to work in safe sex to a scene? Not many because it's awkward and breaks up the scene but it was done well, so that was awesome.

I'm conflicted with this one. If I had known the content, I would have went in reading it differently rather than just a romance book. I would only recommend this one if the reader was aware of the content rating and was that it is not a YA book as I was lead to believe It is definitely fits better in the New Adult genre. (Which I'm starting to love the more I read of it.)

View all my reviews


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Becoming greener!

Ever since my sister started selling Norwex, I've been thinking more and more about how to make our home greener. It takes a little work and buy in from the husband, but it's well worth it. The effects of chemicals on our bodies is astounding and the more we can eliminate the harmful effects, the better our health will be.
We don't do a lot, but every little bit makes a difference.

  • No chemical cleaning using Norwex cleaning products
  • Vegetables from the local farmers market
  • Try to buy hormone free meats whenever possible
  • Installed a clothesline to dry our clothes - love the smell of sunshine!
  • Planted a garden - small one for now, but if all goes well we will put much more in next year.
  • Installed a rain barrel
  • Programmable thermostat - we shut our furnace off completely in the summer, but the winter it is programmed to only be on when we need it.
  • No A/C in our house - We cool it down at night with one fan in the basement to pump cool air up and one fan in the upstairs bedroom to pump hot air out. All the windows get opened at night (that are safe to do so) and then close them all during the day. 
  • Frenchie rides a bicycle to work 3 times a week. I take transit daily
  • Using natural remedies for ailments when possible - the overuse of antibiotics is making our body systems weaker and bugs stronger and resistant. 
  • We cook almost all our meals - healthier!!
  • I have switched to natural deodorant - surprisingly I sweat less than I did with antiperspirant and do not smell. Plus my white shirts don't have yellow stains anymore.
  • We recycle - our garbage bin is nearly empty every week
What do you do to be greener?


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

12/30: Essentials of Human Anatomy & Physiology

Essentials of Human Anatomy &PhysiologyEssentials of Human Anatomy &Physiology by Elaine Nicpon Marieb
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Read from April 17 to May 08, 2013
Format: Paperback

From Goodreads: Essentials of Human Anatomy & Physiology continues to set the standard for short-course A&P texts. Its dramatically updated art program, more streamlined presentation of material, and integration of chapter objectives will help you better visualize and understand the structure and function of the human body. Elaine Marieb's clear and friendly writing style emphasizes the relevance of anatomy & physiology to your life and future career. The book clarifies concepts, defines key terms, and offers just the right balance of anatomy, physiology, and clinical coverage to make the content complete without being overwhelming. Elaine Marieb wrote this book specifically for the one-semester course and continues to carefully select a range of material that proves just right for the shorter course. New information on hot topics like the HPV Vaccine, Infantile Polycystic Kidney disease, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) draws students into the material.

Textbook #2! This book was required for the Anatomy and Physiology Subject of my Natural Nutrition diploma. Short course indeed! I burned through this material. My test is now handed in and I will wait 2 - 4 weeks for the results. Such a long time, but thankfully you don't have to wait to move on to the next module.

This book gave a really good overview of the anatomy system and all the interactions. I skipped taking biology in high school so with no background, I found this text really helpful. It was laid out well, the diagrams that went along with processes described really helped drive the information home. The "Did you get it?" questions sprinkled throughout the chapters were also great.

It truly amazes me how our bodies function. Every little cell plays a role and each organ is so interconnected. I especially loved the Lymphatic System (immune system) and it was very helpful to think of all our immune cells as a little army and what role they would play. I had no idea there was 5 types of white blood cells!
I have to say though, that people get really weirded out when you are reading about the Reproductive System (with drawings) on the bus. Come on people, it's not like you don't have those exact same parts.

View all my reviews


Friday, May 10, 2013

May Happiness Project - Week 1

May - Lighten Up
I almost forgot about my Happiness Project this month until I remembered I need to make a blog post about it. Life has been so busy over the last week, but somehow, I did manage to work on one project - the Garden

Take time for a project
  • Wedding album photos
  • Photos of Beta/Taylor into album
  • Garden (more pictures later)
    • Planted!! I finished putting in my first garden this past weekend. It's mostly in containers with one raised bed. 
    • We bought brand new dirt at a garden show a few weekends ago and it was delivered right to our door. I realized that we would need more tools than what we had in our garage. Wheelbarrow perhaps? All the seeds were bought a few days after that.
    • What we planted: 
      • Squash, Potatoes, Carrots, Garlic, Onions, Lettuce, Yellow Beans, Zucchini.
Bag of dirt

Be a house of memories
  • organize memory boxes
  • Update picture frames
Pray in the morning
  • I have said a prayer most mornings on my way to work. Everything from "PLEASE ...." to "Thank you" to "You're awesome" 


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

11/30: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)Just One Day by Gayle Forman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Read from April 24 to May 03, 2013
Format: Hardcover

From Goodreads: When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

I wanted to gush about this book. I loved Forman's other books. I just can't. It was good, but not gush-worthy.

I love Gayle Forman's writing. She has a way with words that really sucks you into the story. The descriptions of Paris and Amsterdam made me want to be there... RIGHT NOW. Getting lost in Paris sounds like the perfect way to fall in love with the city.

I didn't love Allyson. She seemed like a smart, strong girl that completely cracked, which threw me off. I've seen incredibly gifted, smart women crack under pressure, so I get that it happens. I know that the point of the book was to show that "one day" can make all the difference, it just seemed unrealistic for me. I didn't get to the point of feeling what Allyson felt, and I think that is what was missing for me. Perhaps it had more to do with her first time, than "being in love" but I didn't see the part where it ruined her life.

I also didn't fall in love with Willem. He just wasn't that guy that would sweep me off my feet like he did Allyson. He wasn't overly romantic to me and he didn't strike me as the guy you'd lose grades over. He was a fling. Love comes and goes and I really didn't feel like he was in love with Allyson at all.

I'm torn on this book. I liked it, but not enough to say "Read this one, it's awesome". I would definitely recommend it for those that love Forman's other books because she is an amazing writer.
I likely won't read the next one. I didn't care enough about Willem to want to find out what happened to him in the next book Just One Year

View all my reviews


Monday, May 6, 2013

SQUEEE!! France is almost here!

So close! And reading a book set in Paris is really making me have travel fever. Just over a month to go. May is a long month it seems but I hope it goes by quickly.

The Hot-air balloon ride is paid for and booked. Now to just pray for perfect flight conditions.
We booked our wine tour in Bordeaux. I can't wait to enjoy the sites and meet the winemakers.
Tickets to Versailles are also booked. We didn't want to take a tour guide and be confined to a group so we opted to buy the Versailles passport. It gives us access to all the ground, palace and Marie Antoinette's farm. We'll be able to take the train there, do our own thing and then train back. We decide how long to stay which is much more relaxing.
The Eiffel Tower tickets are booked. We opted to book tickets for the lift so that we don't have to wait in line. It will be the last thing we see in Paris, at night. The city will be beautiful with all the lights and the sunset. Very romantic, non?
The train tickets are also booked. We are taking the train less than we thought because of our timing, but it will work out great regardless. We had to add one more day for a car rental but I think driving from Carcassonne to Marseille will be lovely.

Now I have to learn how to use our new camera lens and start going through my clothes to figure out what to take and what not to. We're only allowed one suitcase each for 2+ weeks so it will be a lot of figuring out what I can wear more than once to maximize space. Thankfully we have a couple places that have laundry so that will help.

Things to book:
Buy Louvre tickets

Things to buy:
lightweight dinner jacket for Frenchie
European SIM card for phone - buy when we're there
Possibly new shoes for walking

What is already booked:
Direct Flights - Air Transat
Accommodations - Caen, Vouvray, Bordeaux, Carcassonne, Marseille, Paris
Car Rental - Peugot 208
Le Crazy Horse - Paris Cabaret
Calanques Boat Tour - Marseille
Train Passes
Eiffel Tower lift tickets
Hot-air Balloon Ride - Loire Valley
Versaille passport
Wine Tour - Bordeaux

What we've bought:
Packing cubes - saves space and separates dirty clothes from clean
Extra memory cards for camera
Camera backpack
Travel tripod (gift for Christmas)
GPS app for phone - thinking google will be fine
zoom camera lens
plug in converter
hidden money pouch
Suitcase locks


Friday, May 3, 2013

April 2013

April was supposed to be spring according to the calendar. Old Man Winter clearly didn't get the memo. It's been nothing but cold, snowy and miserable. Hopefully all that moisture will make May a nice month.

Highlights of the Month
Scored 89% on my first nutrition exam!
Submitted my second exam. (awaiting results)
Signed up for the remainder of the diploma. I'm committed now for the next 2 years.
Booked NFL Tickets for a 49ers VS Colts game in September (GO COLTS!!)
Happiness Project - April - Aim Higher
Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4

Book Recap
2013 Reading Challenge
I have read 10 books toward my goal of 30 books.
I am right on track!
Pages Read (month): 944
Pages Read (year): 4728

What I Read
Staying Healthy with Nutrition by Elson Haas (review)

What I'm Currently Reading
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
Essentials of Human Anatomy &Physiology by Elaine Nicpon Marieb

Monthly Book Spending:
Spent: ($0.00)
Saved: $0.00

I only read a textbook this month and its cost was included in my tuition so I'm really not sure how much the book ACTUALLY cost for me. 


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Happiness Project - Lighten Up

May - Lighten Up
This month is all about lightening up. Taking time to get a project done, remember the past and make a new habit of praying. I love to sing, but it's not something I'll do while I walk to the bus in the morning. While Gretchen had Sing in the Morning as a task for her May project, I'm going with Pray in the Morning. This month is going to be a busy one. 
We're nearing our trip in June, my piano lessons are coming to a close and I'm kicking my studying into high gear to make up for the time I'm on vacation. There are 3 birthdays this month in my family, Mother's day and Race Day (first 5K!) You could say that May is lightening my busy schedule as well which is great!

Take time for a project
  • Wedding album photos
    • We got a lovely photo album as a gift and have yet to put anything in it (2 years later). It's time I use the coupon to Black's Photography for 100 prints and fill it.
  • Photos of Beta/Taylor into album
    • Beta chewed the edge of a photo album when she was about 1 year old and I always thought it would be perfect to fill it with photos of her (and now with Taylor) 
  • Garden
    • With all the information I'm reading on nutrition, the more I feel the need to grow my own vegetables.

Be a house of memories
  • organize memory boxes
    • For our wedding we got a large box for memories. It has everything in it that was used to plan and little memories from the day. I loved the idea of keeping everything in a box, so I started a long time ago, the same thing for memories long before. Mostly pictures and cards and letters. There is a large pile of things that have yet to go into those boxes.
  • Update picture frames
    • We have a lot of picture frames that are mostly of family and good times. They haven't been updated in ages! 
Pray in the morning
  • I would like to find a prayer that gets me going in the morning. Something that I can recite that makes me feel full in the morning and sets me off right.


Monday, April 29, 2013

April Happiness Project: Done!

April is over!
This month has been a good one getting all my priorities in line. I have become busier with school and work and while piano lessons are coming to a close at the end of May, I feel like I am much better at it than before.

Asking for help is a huge struggle for me but well worth the exercise to make a point of doing this. Help can come from many sources and sometimes unexpectedly.
Keeping tasks on a list so they don't get forgotten has been very helpful, not sure for work, but for life in general. I love lists to begin with (packing anyone?) so it was an easy task
Learning to enjoy failure hasn't been fun, but it certainly does help knowing that everything is a lesson in some way or another.
My biggest success this month had to have been recognizing that there is time to do something in 30 minutes. Even if it's a couple questions, a small task or a chapter read, it's enough to chip away at the mile long list of things to do. This past weekend was a perfect example of this idea in motion. I alternated between cleaning up the flower beds and yard with studying or playing piano. Breaking everything up into smaller time slots made me much happier and gave me a chance to still be effective when I needed a break.

While this month wasn't nearly as successful with checking things off a list, but it gave me a nice perspective on things and a few new habits to keep up with. I was dreading this month when I read the chapter, but after making it work for ME it was well worth the focus.

On with May!


Monday, April 22, 2013

April Happiness Project: Week 3

I'm starting to get into a better groove. Stress levels are going down, life is starting to fall into place and I feel like I can finally manage everything. Compartmentalization is key! Everything seems less daunting when it's broken down into smaller tasks. I am starting to feel more content with my work at dayjob, studying and piano. I feel like there IS time for everything.

Ask for Help...
  • ...when I feel like I can't do it all.
    • I have been relying on Frenchie a lot since I signed up for my course. I can't thank him enough for taking on a bit of the extra work around the house. He's such a huge supporter.
    • Asking is more effective and better received that telling ;)
Work Smart
  • I have been working really hard at my diploma and there have been a few nights I struggle to answer some questions. I have learned that with the self study courses such as this, taking a step away, going to bed, going for a walk or just playing with the dogs for a bit helps shift my focus. What usually happens is I go back to the text and the answer pops out at me. Frustrating, but that half hour away can make a huge difference. 
  • There is no sense slugging through when I'm exhausted. It's ineffective and I'll get far more done if I stop, get some rest, recharge and pick it back up later. 
  • I've made a task list for work that has been very helpful for me to track what I am working on. Checking things off is a great incentive. (I like my gold stars!)
Enjoy Now
  • I was reading the Mortal Instruments series. I finished the first 2 books and really enjoyed them. I was trying to get through the third one and just got bored with it. With too many things on my mind, it wasn't the right book for me. I liked it, just a bad time to read it. Normally, I would push through and finish it, but that seems unfair to the book. 
  • I'm taking more time on the weekends to not-work. As part of working smart, I also have to enjoy. Taking time to cook dinner with Frenchie and going for a walk with the dogs and him helps me enjoy everything that much more. Breaks are important!


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

10/30: Staying Healthy with Nutrition by Elson M. Haas

Staying Healthy with Nutrition, rev: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional MedicineStaying Healthy with Nutrition, rev: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine by Elson M. Haas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Format: Paperback
Read from February 19 to April 17, 2013

From Goodreads: Decades of practical experience and scientific research are compiled into one encyclopedic volume that features newly expanded chapters on special supplements, lifestage programs, and breakthrough medical treatment protocals for conditions including fatigue, viral illnesses, weight management, and mental and mood disorders such as anxiety, ADHD, and depression.PART ONE gives a detailed analysis of The Building Blocks of nutrition: water, carbohydrates, proteins, fats and oils, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.PART TWO evaluates Foods and Diets, discussing every food group and most diets around the world. A special chapter on the environment and nutrition raises awareness and offers guidance about food additives, industrial chemicals, food irradiation, electropollution, and other health and ecological issues.PART THREE brings all of this nutritional information together, showing readers how to make wise and commonsense choices while Building a Healthy Diet. A personalized eating plan for the year, The Ideal Diet is both seasonally and naturally based, and a healthy lifelong diet.PART FOUR contains specific nutritional and lifestyle therapies for enhancing all stages of life and suggests treatments for common conditions and diseases such as aging, menopause, bone loss, weight loss, and cancer by focusing on Nutritional Applications: 32 Special Diet and Supplement Programs.Anyone interested in enhancing wellness, eating right, treating illness naturally, and living in harmony with nature will find Staying Healthy with Nutrition to be the ultimate handbook for optimal health and vitality.

As part of my Natural Nutrition diploma this was the first textbook. I made it through this entire textbook plus answering questions and writing two tests in 11 weeks.
This book is filled with some amazing information on ourselves and on our planet. The information provided is extensive and covers a wide range of topics.
My favourite portions of the book were definitely discussing how our earth and all the chemicals we put into it really affect our health. It makes you really think twice about what you're eating, breathing and touching.

Reading about preventative medicine really inspires me to be more proactive in my own health rather than reactive. There is something missing in our current medical system and I, like the author, believe it is preventative medicine. We function in a society where unless you're really sick or have some sort of disease, you aren't worth the time of a doctor. We need to start taking care of ourselves and prevent getting to that point. The more we take care of ourselves and prevent disease as best we can, the better our medical system will become in the future. It's a long way off, but we only need to start.

Definitely a must for my nutrition collection

View all my reviews


Monday, April 15, 2013

April Happiness Project: Week 2

This past week was a little tough and a little exciting.

Enjoy the fun of failure
I made a mistake a work that wasn't huge, but still got pulled into my boss' office to discuss. I hate that. As a child in school I always used to cry if I ever got in trouble, and it appears that hasn't changed much. I'm just better equipped to hold it in, which I'm not sure if better. I take things very personally and hate failure. My biggest fear is losing my job for some reason, and while I know that isn't something that's going to happen, it will always be in the back of mind. Fear is a powerful motivator even if it's just in your head. It also can cause undue stress which is terrible, so I guess it's a trade off.
I can't say I "enjoyed" the failure or that it was "fun", but I did try and remember that yes, I made a mistake, and yes it wasn't smart, but that's the end of it. Move on. Learn from it.

Ask for Help
I asked for help again at work with a problem I didn't know how to solve. I'm finding that asking different people is more helpful than my direct teammate. I get a lot of "I'm too busy" or "Not right now" that is very frustrating. I'm having to get creative in finding people for help and times that work for us both.

30 is long enough
All my hard work with my first course paid off. My first exam came back with a nice 89% mark on it! I'm super excited that I did that well. Gold star for me! This shows me that going at it slowly and steadily is the way to go. I get great amounts of time on the weekend to hammer through a lot of the material, just need to get more time during the week. I think this will be easier once I am in a different book and am not lugging around my 1000 page textbook.

Enjoy Now
This weekend I enjoyed my time on Sunday. I recently joined an NFP forum that has a lot of great women on it. It's inspired me to go back to Church and get more in touch with my faith again. It's been a long time since I've gone and I miss it. Part of it is my exhaustion and part of it is my anxiety about going alone. Frenchie may be a cradle-Catholic, but he's not much for going to Church. I need to re-think about going alone and put a positive spin on it. I will enjoy my alone time, be less of a nagging wife and strengthen MY faith rather than ours.
I felt more whole after I went this weekend and really took that feeling through with me all day.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Say hello to the next 2 years of books

I'm almost finished my last course in the introduction package of my Holistic Nutrition diploma. Rather than finish the intro package and then order the rest of the books, I decided to be proactive and order them early. That way I'll have no break and just continue on with the rhythm I've got working for me.
ALL the textbooks and course material came last night. A big heavy box on my doorstep.

The contents:
say AWWW puppy paws

I'm going to work my butt off to finish my intro package so I can dive into this pile. I also need to clear out some room on my bookshelf to put all these books.