Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Training for Tuesday


Running is my jam. It's my go to fitness activity because there's not much required to start. But running doesn't come super easy to me, and not because I'm prone to injury or anything, but rather I am prone to the lazy.

When I really got into running a couple years ago, it was nothing to get up every morning for a quick run, it was like brushing my teeth. Routine. That's how it has to be with exercise, you have to make it routine, you have to make it something you do, like getting your fruits and vegetables each day or showering once in a while.

I was running all the time, and I started to get a little obsessed and a little mean to myself when I didn't meet my goals. That's when I started running less, because I wasn't enjoying it anymore. It's supposed to be fun, right? You're supposed to hate it a little, but love it more. I didn't, so I stopped. Now I am getting back to loving it.

But I seriously lack motivation sometimes. I've struggled with my weight all my life, but as long as I don't binge and eat like a pig, I maintain the weight I'm at now, even if I'm not comfortable in my own skin. So it's easy for me to just choose sleep or couch time rather than run. Which is beyond ridiculous because exercise isn't just about losing weight, it's about being healthy, fit and (hopefully) living longer.

So I sign up for races. They help motivate me (most of the time - sometimes they don't).

Next month (25th to be exact) I am supposed to run my 4th (fourth?!) half marathon. I never thought I would be a runner or actually enjoy races. But there's nothing like finishing a race, all the emotions crash into me as I stumble over that line. I love it.

Am I ready? No. What is ready, anyway? I have a surprising ability to run a race when I haven't been training (see last half marathon) but it's not smart. I could injure myself. I barely complete it, just surviving. I don't want to just survive, I want to excel. Who doesn't? I want to be good. I want to be better than old me.

This link up is just what I needed (thanks Alyssa and Tracy!) to get my butt into gear. What can one really do in less than a month? I have been running but not long distances and not consistently. I have run one 10 miler in the last couple of months and it was not great.

I have 3 weekends left (shit!) before the race, which means 2-3 long runs. I can do some medium length races during the week and sprinkle some shorter runs in there as well. I won't meet my dream of under 2 hours, but I am confident I can run the whole thing and hopefully do better than my last race.

So that's what I'm working towards right now - running the whole race, and beating my last half marathon time.

Just to recap, for myself:

2011: 2:37:15
2012: 2:04:48
2014: 2:39:15

Wish me luck....

What are you working towards?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Oops I copy catted again.

Copy catted? Copy cat'd? I am the copy cat. This time Alyssa taunted me with her Q&As that I love so much. Even though she didn't technically nominate me, I'm doing it anyways.

11 things you never wanted to know about me

1. I can recite these movies from start to finish: Pride & Prejudice (2005), The Little Mermaid + Beauty & The Beast.. but only when they are on.

2. I count when I walk, and I have to land on an even number. I will take an extra step, even if it's a little one.

3. I was a model briefly. And I was a recurring extra on a popular TV show at home.

4. Mum said I used to go up and hug random people when I was little, and while they were oohing and ahhing over how cute I was, I would bite their knees.

5. I have split my head open twice.  

6. I sleep with both arms above my head.

7.  I like to read anything and everything and I go through phases of being obsessed with certain things, like weddings, houses and babies. 

8. I am a super fast reader. All I did as a kid was read. And read some more.

9. My memory is pretty shocking. I forget most things, and then remember the most random like 'you had the pasta last time we were here, 4 years ago' but not what we had for dinner last week.

10. I really love babies. At a party or gathering, I seem to be drawn to them, even strangers, and I'm like gimme yo baby. But I am 1000% not ready to have one of my own.

11. I couldn't take tablets until I was about 16. 

11 answers to random questions asked by Alyssa

1. What's the best/most interesting that's happened to you since you started blogging?

I'm gonna be totally cliche here and say the people + friends I have made. I would always read that and roll my eyes because as if but then I actually started commenting and talking to people and besides wondering why people were being so nice to me, I started really thinking of people as my friends, even if we've never met.

2. What was the hardest post to write?

Hmm. This one about pros & cons of living in the US. I love America, otherwise I wouldn't live here, but there are some things I am not a fan of, and I wanted to share. It's a touchy subject and I knew I was bound to offend someone but this is my blog, so... Also, this post about my past struggles with dieting & body image was harder than I thought.

3. Do your friends and family know about your blog? Do they read it?

Haha no. The only person in my real life that knows about my blog is my husband. Not even my mum or my best friends know.
I wrote this post a couple weeks ago, and since then my best friend found out I have a blog. More on that later.

4. Are you where you thought you would be today five years ago?

Ha no! Lets see. I am 27 and 5 years ago I was 22. I went out a lot, drank a lot, worked a lot, ate a lot, and wore really short dresses. I kinda thought at 27 I would be living in a cute little studio in the middle of the city, working in a fancy office overlooking the opera house, making lots of money and with a really cute boyfriend. Where I am now is way better.

5. What is one thing you hope happens, either in your life or the world, in the next five years?

Hmm. I want to travel more. I also want to complete everything on my 30 before 30 list. I would love World Peace, duh, but really what I would love is for health insurance in the US to miraculously change overnight to be more like what we have in Australia.

6. What is currently keeping you up at night?

I am a daydreamer, which I absolutely do as soon as I lay my head down at night. So, a night daydreamer? Anywho. Nothing serious right now, but I'm always thinking and planning and dreaming about something.

7. What's the most daring thing you've done this year?

I honestly struggled with this question. I haven't done anything daring. Harrumph

8. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

I am definitely an introvert, but an extrovert with the people I know and love. I am very shy when I meet new people and I will always choose my couch with a good book and a cat or two rather than a night on the town or doing something different. How boring, right? But with my friends, I am the loudest, the craziest, the 'lets do everything'est.

9. What is your most prized (material) possession?

I would say my laptop. I love the internet. It helps me stay in contact with people in Australia with facebook, skype etc. It holds all my photos (I really should back them up) and it's where I blog, and plan a million and one vacations I'll probably never take. It has all the pride & prejudice movies & tv series and even a PDF copy so I can read it anytime I want... Plus, it has dandelions on it.

10. Share a YouTube video that always makes you laugh.

Seriously KC and I could watch the babies eating lemons for hours. Hilarious.

11. Are there any words that you try to live by? Please share!

I like these quotes, which both happen to be tattooed on my body (in other languages)

Dare to Dream - pretty simple, it reminds me not to shy away from my dreams. I can do anything I put my mind to.

I think therefore I am - philosophically this means 'I am thinking, therefore I exist' but for me, it means what I think about myself is true. I got it after I was very sick and was trying to ignore what mean people were saying about me.

Also, I really dig this one.. maybe it should be my next tattoo!
So because technically Alyssa didn't nominate me, I am going to do the same thing as her, open nominations to anyone who wants to do this. I'll even make it easy (lazy) and you can do the same questions because Alyssa's questions were awesome.

Oh by the by, Alyssa and Tracy are hosting a super awesome link up tomorrow (read about it here) and you should totes magotes join the fun.
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Sunday, September 28, 2014

October Wallet Watch

I have a serious shopping problem, and I have been trying to get a handle on it for a few years. I started tracking my budget with Franish each month and it opened my eyes and made me sick (and ashamed!).

Life According to Steph

I won't tell you what I bought in September yet, but my goals for October wallet watch with Steph are as follows:

1. No shopping for clothes, shoes, makeup, accessories etc. excluding halloween costume.
2. No books. I mean it, Kristen. No. Books.
3. No house stuff either. No.
4. No eating out on my own (only with KC or the girls).

Wish me luck!
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Friday, September 26, 2014

Thoughts while running

Like every other runner in blogland, I thought I would share some of the thoughts I have while running... I promise I'm not making this stuff up.

Ugh. Why am I so lazy? This is easy. I should do this more often.

Running is totally easy.

Running is basically walking, but faster, and I walk all the time.

Is that an acorn? It looked like an acorn. Are they real things? Do squirrels really eat them? I should go back for it. But I think I stepped on it. Sorry squirrel.

Oh shit. Is that dog tied up or is it comingstraightatmeandgoingtoeatme ok calm down it's tied to the tree and is not even as tall as your ankles.

Ok, running is less easy than I remember. I wonder if I'm almost at a mile. A mile is good, right? 1 mile is better than nothing, I should turn around.

No Kristen, don't turn around. But don't turn down that street either, because there's a really big hill and you have to run back up it.

Why, why, why did you turn down the hill street? Don't you listen?

Ow. Ow. Ow. Hills are stupid.

Huzzah! 1 mile down. I can make it to 2, and 2 miles is a perfectly respectable distance.

Kristen, you can do more than 2 miles. Remember when you used to run 6 miles everyday?

Oh my god, get over yourself Kristen. You did that for one week 3 years ago.

Well, you can do it again. Don't you wanna be skinny?

No, self, I want to be healthy & fit. So there. Sticks tongue out.

Hope no-one saw that.

Is it 2 miles yet? How is this lasting forever?

I am so slow, I might as well be walking.

Ooh, walking sounds good.

I hate running. Why do I run? I don't even enjoy it.

Running is hard.

It is really hot out here.

Im dying. Legit, dying. My body is giving up.

I'm near the house, I could head back and 2 miles would be good. I can run longer tomorrow. That's a good idea, yes, let's do that.

Hmm, they just got their driveway redone and their lawn is immaculate. where do you think you live? This aint fancyville.

Ok, almost home and almost at 2 miles. Wait, what are you doing? Why are you turning down that street? That's not home!

Ugh. Ok, 3 miles it is. 3 miles is easy peasy lemon squeazy and it's just a short run Kristen. You have a half marathon coming up.

I'm a runner! I'm running! Remember when I didn't run? Look at me run! I am INVINCIBLE.

Is that a chicken bone? Gross.

Ugh that house seriously needs to mow their lawn and get rid of all the shit and broken down cars everywhere. Making the neighbourhood look bad. This aint shitsville y'all.

So many bugs stuck to me right now. I'm basically a windshield.

Glad I stole KC's sunglasses. I really should be wearing a full wetsuit and baklava to protect myself from the sun, because australian = skin cancer.

Um, I think you meant balaclava Kristen. You gonna put a dessert on your head?

Mmm, baklava. Yum.


No Kristen, that's all in your head. Keep going. Mind over matter.

Oh hi breeze, hi downhill. I love you.

Shit, another person. I hate that awkward should I smile and wave because I always half smile half grimace and I'm sure I just look constipated.

Ugh, One Direction. As if this is on my playlist, I totally would never have put this on here, total accident.

If only you saw what I could see, you'll understand why I want you so desperately, right now I'm looking at you and I can't believe you don't knooouhohooww, you don't you're byoootifulll - uhhohhh that's what makes you beautyfullll..

Kristen, if you're singing and dancing, you're not running. Focus.

nananananananana - sing it boys!

Ok, almost at 3 miles. Start heading towards home.

3 miles! And stop. Oh my god I am going to die.

Why did you stop SO FAR FROM HOME I have to walk another minute wtf Kristen.

Oh my god, my whole body is throbbing.

Can't breathe. Must. sit. down.

Ok, I'm fine. Yay me! Not even sore.

I love running. I should do it again tomorrow.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Guest Posting @ The Kay Times

I am guest posting over at Kay's place today while she is on the most amazing vacation..  

My post is about my do's and don'ts of visiting my country... check it out here!

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Why I don't expect you to love Pride & Prejudice

We all know I love Pride & Prejudice. But after this post where I talked about it a wee bit more, a few people mentioned they hadn't read it. Not just that, but that they felt guilty or expected me to dislike (aka judge) them for it.

I mentioned that I read a few lines aloud to my friends. After I read this one:

I would by no means suspend any pleasure of yours,'' he coldly replied. She said no more, and they went down the other dance and parted in silence; on each side dissatisfied, though not to an equal degree, for in Darcy's breast there was a tolerable powerful feeling towards her, which soon procured her pardon, and directed all his anger against another.

This quote - oy, the shivers it sends down my spine. But my friends just stared at me blankly. My best friend said "I'm not smart enough to read books like that." 

That comment stayed with me, much like all of the 'don't hate me but I haven't read it', or the 'I'm ashamed I've never read it' comments on my last post. I would never think anything of the sort about anyone, that they are not smart enough to read something, or that they 'should' read anything. Sure, I love it. I don't expect anyone else to. I just love to talk about it.

I certainly don't think I am any smarter than my very smart friend just because I read a certain book. I mentioned I had to read it more than a few times before I understood it all, and most people don't have the patience or insanity for that. I know this is why I cannot pick up other classics as readily, because I cannot look past the parts I don't understand and see the story.

The only reason I read Pride & Prejudice is because the movie was coming out with Keira Knightley, and I was kind of obsessed with her, and I wanted to see it, but I have this weird thing where I must read the book before I see the movie (hypocrite; out of Jane's other books I have only read Persuasion but I have seen all the screen adaptions...). 

But anyway. These are some reasons why you shouldn't read it if you don't want to:

1. Pride & Prejudice is not an easy read. I don't think I am smart and sometimes I just want an easy read. This book is an easy read for me, only because I have read it so many times! I have recently started reading Jane Austen's other books, and they are nowhere near as easy for me to get through. But really, the only 'not easy' parts are the big / old school words and you could skip most of them and still understand the book.

2. It is so frustrating sometimes. Gah! If they weren't so proud, or prejudiced. Jk. Seriously though, you just want Mrs Bennet to shut up for a second, and Lydia to stop being such a hussy, and Wickham and his lies. This book could be over in a couple pages if everyone understood each other a bit more - but that would be no fun.

3. You can get your P&P fix elsewhere. The movie, the BBC TV series, the youtube series, Bridget Jones... The reason that P&P is a over 200 years old and still resonates with modern readers is because no matter what changes, so much stays the same. Romance, misunderstandings, social class, family... The wording might be different but life is so much the same in some ways. That's why it can be modernised into Bridget Jones and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I love the book, yes, but I love the story in all its various forms.

4. Everyone has different tastes! I tried to read my husband's favourite books and couldn't get through the whole series. Bloggers recommend nonfiction, mysteries or scary books (and my definition of scary is like a child's), and I know I won't like them so I don't add them to my list. Reading is the most fabulous thing in the world. If you don't like reading, that's cool too. But if you do, you really ought to read what you want (duh) and not my favourite just because I won't shut up about it. 

5. You might not like it. Oh stop it, you'll make me cry. I couldn't bear it if someone disliked my favourite book. There would be tears, and we couldn't be friends anymore. I can't talk about it.

On one hand I want everyone to love P&P and on the other, I'm like no, keep away. This is mine. I know I'm not twisting any arms to read it, and I know most people would read what they want anyway, but I just wanted to say that it's OK not to like my favourite book. I know it's a classic, and it's amazing, and I never shut up about it, but really. It's OK.

I guess what I am trying to say is if you want to read it because you want to read it - go right ahead, and please love it and tell me all about it - but if you don't, that's beyond fine. Reading anything is fabulous, because really.... there is no enjoyment like reading!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

the life of 24 year old me

Before we go on, I just wanted to say that the year I turned 23 was my best year yet - at the time. Each year has topped it since. Ok, maybe not this year, but we'll get to that... well, now.

The year of 24 started off well.

I hung out with my aussie bestie a lot - it was so good to have a close friend in the same country.

I made another fabulous friend and suddenly we were always together, much like my friends in the US. It was great but it was starting to sink in that I would have to leave them when I moved to the US in 2012. Thinking about the future made me a little uneasy, as well as super excited.

A trip to Louisville in March started our St Paddy's tradition.

I saw real snow for the first time. It seemed so fun at the time.

I enjoyed lots of time with this guy. It seemed life couldn't get any better.

While I was back home, my best friend sent me an email that she and her man were now engaged. I was over the moon for her and wished I could be involved. Sadly there is not much you can do from the other side of the world, but I was thankful to be able to attend some festivities and the wedding itself.

It was a hard year for me - I felt at home in the US and in Australia. How was I ever going to choose? Because it's not choosing the country, really. It's choosing between the people.

I did my first (actually running the whole time) race!

Mum and I finally fulfilled her dream of travelling to the US, which included a trip to Disneyland to meet KC and his mom. Our mothers got along swimmingly, and I was so happy. Something was off about KC though, I could tell things weren't right.

We went our separate ways and mum and I went to Hawaii. It was all good until KC called me - I was supposed to be going to Louisville (without mum) after Hawaii but he told me things weren't working out. I had as great a time in Hawaii as I could and tried not to let my mum see how heartbroken I was.

Since changing flights cost a bucketload, I went to Louisville as planned and stayed with friends. We went out, but word to the wise - heartbreak + me + alcohol do not mix.

I was planning on moving there in 2012 and the wheels were already in motion so the plan stayed the same.

I was so happy to see one of my dearest friends go through pregnancy and all that jazz. My cousin had a baby the previous year, but there is something different about it being a friend and being there throughout the whole thing.

Because I was planning to move away for a year, I was convinced I would only miss the first year of this little lady's life and I couldn't wait to be a part of it when I got home.

As you can see I started trying to go darker and I hated it.

My cousin's kids. I made sure to see them before I left, even though it was only for a year.

Truthfully, 24 was probably my hardest year yet. I don't like to think about or dwell on the break up and heartbreak, it happened and it's so far gone it's not even in the same reality anymore. But it was hard. I wasn't eating, I wasn't sleeping - you guys, I wasn't even reading Pride & Prejudice. Shit was low.

What was your hardest year? 
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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Running Bucket List

I was so excited when Tracy said she would be co-hosting the monthly 'runners tell all' link up. I love reading these entries, but have never participated before because I've never really felt like talking about my running experiences, or that I was even a runner at all, but that's a post for another time.

But today's post is a race bucket list, and I could totally do that because, well I already had it in my drafts after I saw Tracy's post here. Also, what do I do better than make lists and daydream? Nothing! So here is my bucket list, my race goals and dreams:

1. The Urban Bourbon Half Marathon

This is kinda cheating because I am actually signed up for this already. However, I wanted to do another half in the 'ville so it counts. This will be my 4th half marathon.


2. Disneyland Princess Half Marathon

I have done one race at Disney World (holy humidity) so I am thinking my next race needs to be Disneyland. I love the idea of doing a half or a marathon, though Disney races are definitely not the ones you aim for PRs and such - they are packed, have fun photo ops on the way - you are running through Disney! - so not races to take yourself too seriously. Hopefully 2016.


3. San Francisco Nike Women's Half Marathon

I know I'm really dreaming with this one, from the hills to the it's so far away to the hard to get into it but I've always wanted to do it.

Nike Women's Half Marathon San Francisco

4. An international race

One day, wouldn't this be amazing? Can you imagine doing a race in Athens or Rome? I get emotional enough during races, the beauty of a place like that would turn me into a sobbing mess, though I can't help but dream.


5. Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half / Full

I love Vegas, and so does KC, and we keep talking about how we want to go back, and November would be the perfect time! It's at nighttime too, which is pretty awesome.


6. An Australian Race

I have done races at home before (Sydney Morning Herald Half & The City2Surf 3 times) but next time we go home I would love to do another. The Sydney morning herald half was amazing - it was my first half and I was a ball of emotions when I crossed the finish line (even though I walked some of it) because the city is packed and people are cheering you on like they know you. The route has amazing views of the city and I would love to do it again. The City 2 Surf is a bitch of a run, from the CBD to Bondi, so I'm not sure I'd do that one again! It was actually my first race ever (with the bestie, we walked the whole thing) and then my first actually running race - It's the largest run of it's kind in the world, and it's 14k.

7. Do a colour run!

I know these aren't serious and they are more for fun, but don't they look so fun? I was out of town when this came to the 'ville but hopefully next time.


8. Meet up with Alyssa in another state to do a race.

Alyssa wants to do a race in every state, so I thought I would piggy back on and meet up with her somewhere and do a race. Wouldn't that be so fun? Hopefully she doesn't mind...

9. Break 2 hours in a half marathon.

I don't think I'll succeed in my next one, but possibly the one after. I almost got there in 2012 at 2:05 but under 2 hours - even if it's by 1 second - is definitely a goal.

10. Actually do a marathon.

I'm talking about all these races including actual marathons like I've done one before. I am nowhere near it, but it's certainly a dream for one day.

Are you a runner? What's on your race bucket list? Image Map

Friday, September 19, 2014

Books Lately

I may have mentioned I love a good book. Who doesn't? I thought I'd share the books I've read lately.

If I Stay - Gayle Forman - 3 stars
amazon / goodreads

I wanted to love this book, and I did smile and laugh and overall I enjoyed it, but it wasn't what I was expecting. I cried, but I cry during hallmark commercials. It was a nice story, but I just didn't love any of the characters, a little too stereotypical and it was hard to relate. I mean, it was ok but not fabulous. 

Where She Went - Gayle Forman - 3 Stars

amazon / goodreads

I read If I Stay on the plane, and started Where She Went immediately after. Maybe if I hadn't, I wouldn't have been feeling a bit weird about If I Stay (I know that makes no sense, but spoilers). Partway through this book I closed it and opened something else on my kindle. Something about it bugged me. Felt like a slap in the face. I finished it, because I don't like to not finish books, and some of it made me teary, some of it made me smile, some of it made me cringe because of how cheesy it was. I don't know - sometimes there are books I can't definitively say yay or nay. 

The Opposite of Maybe - Maddie Dawson - 4 Stars

amazon / goodreads

I got this book from Sarah as part of the summer book swap. I'm not sure if I would have ever picked this book up for myself, or discovered it if not for the swap, so I'm very happy that I received it. This book took me a little while to get into, and then I couldn't put it down. Most of the characters were likable and well developed, though I didn't understand some of them and they annoyed me at times. Overall, I really did enjoy this book and giggled along and couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. And then it happens and the book ends so abruptly! I was very disappointed in that, I wish it had gone on just a wee bit longer. That was not enough of an ending for me!

The Paris Wife - Paula McLain - 2 stars

amazon / goodreads

I read this for the summer book challenge, and I struggled to get through it. Maybe it's because I forced myself to read it for a challenge, or maybe it's because I didn't know much about Hemingway beforehand. Either way, some parts were excruciatingly boring. I really didn't like either character, though their story did tug at a few heartstrings because I'm emotional like that. I think maybe if you are more into Hemingway and the other famous people who pop up, you might enjoy it, but for me it was boring, depressing and repetitive. 

The Husband's Secret - Liane Moriarty - 4 stars

amazon / goodreads

Another one for the challenge, and I loved how this one was an Australian author and it was set in Australia. I do think there were lots of Australian references that others might not get. I also think that the references to religion, or lack thereof, is not exclusively Australian persay, but the concept is more accepted in Australia than it would be here. I can understand someone very religious being offended by a couple of lines in the book. It took me a while to get into the book, but after the first chapter I read it in one sitting. I did enjoy it and it was compelling, thought provoking and well written. But something was missing, I really didn't love any of the characters, and some of the endings annoyed me.

Along for the Ride - Sarah Dessen - 4 stars

amazon goodreads

I read this one for the challenge, because Carly did. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It made me feel like a teenager again, even if my life was nothing like that. I really enjoyed it, and it definitely made me want to read more Sarah Dessen. 

The Pioneer Woman's Black Heels to Tractor Wheels - Ree Drummond - 4 stars
amazon / goodreads

Another one for the challenge. My best friend loves the pioneer woman, as I'm sure a lot of people do, but I have never really made any of her recipes, or wanted to. However, this book was really cute, well written and I really enjoyed it. Maybe because I am not a follower of her blog I enjoyed it more, it read like fiction and it was such a cute story, the kind of love story we all want. They honeymooned in Australia, and I could have done without the cliche, insulting, stereotypical jokes, but I eventually got over myself. I am deducting a star because most of the story is available on her blog online, so it's a bit steep to buy the book for only 85 pages of new material. To me it was all new material, but it might matter to other people. I would give this one 4.5 if I did half stars.

Persuasion - Jane Austen - 5 stars

amazon / goodreads

I didn't even try and finish this before the challenge ended, but I was determined to read it. I couldn't very well call myself a Jane Austen fan if I have only read Pride & Prejudice, now could I? I picked Persuasion as my next Austen, because I had heard such good things. How could I not rate this 5 stars? 10 stars! All the stars! Of course I adored this book. No words, really. Oh, what a wonderful story. I can see this being a favourite. Such a beautiful story.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot - 5 stars

amazon / goodreads

Another that I didn't finish before the challenge ended, but I still wanted to read it, so read it I did. The storytelling is amazingly moving. Despite a lot of scientific information, in most parts it reads like fiction. The contributions of HeLa cells to science are absolutely staggering and cannot be overstated. The sections where the science was described were clear and easy to understand (for me). I do not normally enjoy non-fiction, but I did enjoy this and felt I learned a lot. It did take me a while to read, picking it up for a chapter every now and again because of how heavy a subject it was. The only way I can describe this book is as a fascinating, disturbing, thought provoking, moving book that you should absolutely read. 

The Giver - Lois Lowry - 4 stars


I hadn't even heard of this book before the movie came out, much to the shock of pretty much everyone. We didn't read it in school, so there you go. I enjoyed it, but maybe I read too many Hunger Games and the like to fully appreciate it. I can see if this was the first type of those books you had read, especially as a child, it would be absolutely amazing. It was definitely well written, I really enjoyed it, but something about the ending bugged me.

Phew! That was a lot, but really it was July, August + some of September, so... not that much.
As always, any recommendations? Throw 'em at me.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

23 was so good to me

We left 22 year old me after my best friend left me. I mean, she went home where she belonged, but I felt like a huge chunk of me was missing. I booked my flight to see her in June before she had even boarded the plane. And then I didn't really do much from Feb-June because, well, my best friend wasn't there. June couldn't come fast enough.

On the first day we went to 'the lake' and had a crazy weekend that I barely remember. It was pretty awesome.

After we got back from the lake we went to dinner with these 2 guys, one of which my friend was now dating. The next day we went to a baseball game and I decided I kinda liked the other guy.

Then we went to Nashville for the CMA fest. The first night we saw our man Dierks again.

The time we were there was probably the highlight of my life so far. I felt like I fit in so much, the country music, my best friend, everything. I loved it so much.

I rocked a romper for probably the only time in my life.

I met some amazing women. They all grew up together and I wished that I could have been a part of that life - they were really the most fun, friendly, gorgeous inside and out women I have ever met. For people who just met we got along like a house on fire. I think we were all determined not to like each other because I was the Australian girl that took my best friend away (false) and they were the Americans who took her back (also false).

I discovered just how much my heart is divided by Australia and America. And I met that guy, remember. He was lovely and sweet and we only spent 5 days (5! days!) together total but I wanted to see him again.

After I got home, we welcomed a new addition to the family. My cousin had her second baby girl.. These two will always hold the most special place in my heart.

I managed to get back to Louisville for a visit in September. I had talked to KC (that guy...) almost every day on facebook and skype and email and I mean it wasn't weird to go visit a guy that you'd only spent 5 days with, right? If it went belly up, I had some friends to stay with.

But we discovered we loved each other and our mutual weirdness.

Back home again, I couldn't wait to go back. Another trip was booked for November. He made me a cowboys fan. Hey, I look good in blue.

My first, and only, marine corps ball. It was special for me to involved in that part of KC's life, even if it was ending when we met.

Our shortest time apart flew by and then we were in London for just over a week. I was really head over heels for this guy, if I would fly 24+ hours (and spend - ugh - a lot of money) to spend a week with him.

But really, it was all worth it. I never believed my life would get better with each year, and I couldn't see how it could possibly top this year. 23 was very good to me indeed.

What has been your favourite year? Image Map