Book's Cover
Reading Time
 I was recently contacted by the people at Anne Stone publishing about reviewing a new children's book.  I never turn down children's books because well my kids love to read and what is better than a free kids book right!  When I got the book in the mail even before reading it with my kids I was struck by the amazing graphics-The cover and the first pages had amazing drawings with bright bold colors.  The story itself was also well liked by both myself and the kids.  My son (6) who goes to a science school loved the details there were given about all the animals, my daughter (3) liked the pictures of the birdies.  For myself I liked the moral of the story, that you shouldn't judge people by their looks and that you  shouldn't try to be something that you are not.  Two very valuable lessons for kiddos (and adults) to learn.  But the craziest part about this book is that the author and illustrator is a young girl.  In fact in her author photo she even has braces-so cute.  I love that a young girl has followed her dream, was picked up by a publisher, and created such an impressive and beautiful work.  Kudos to her for putting together such a fantastic piece of art and literature.  You can find out more information about the author here.   I would say that that this is a great read for kids and if you are going to spend the money on a kids book, what better thing to support than a budding author.  Click here for link to amazon.  I would give it Five stars for a children's book 

Now, what else is everyone reading or reviewing this week.  Please link up your latest reviews (feel free to link more than one if you have it)so I can go check them out as well as the rest of my readers.  Have a great week and keep up those reviews.

The end of the year was rough but waiting for me was this
Non-rushed mornings 
Trips to the Movies 
Sharing popcorn 
And play time at the park including a dress with pink sassy boots (why not its summer) 

Well there are big changes ahead for Mamavation....feel free to pop by and check them out here if you haven't heard yet.  Things are only getting better over there.  One thing I like is that they are changing the Mamavation Monday post to a weekly update which is nice for slackers like me who are writing their Monday post on a Tuesday night.

My weekly update, I have been eating better and counting weight watchers points and slowly getting active now that I am feeling better.  I have a 5k in two weeks that I would like to be running a bit more for so I have been going out every other day jogging-I may up that to a few days in a row although I don't want to over do-I always an all or nothing mentality.

So my goals for this week.  Track my food, back to basics, and every other day runs with strength training from the Mamavation plan at least two days.  How was everyone's week?


To start out with I am trying something new on my blog called Book Review Weekend.  My hope is every weekend-at least over the summer-post a book review for my readers.  I am also hoping to find others out there who are review books who can link up there posts underneath my main post.  
So my weekend review was a book written by a cardiologist Peter R. Kowey.  Dr. Kowey weaves a very interested story about his main character Dr. Sarkis and life after having to leave a prestigious practice due to huge scandal.  This whole scandal can be found in Dr. Kowey's first book called Lethal Rhythm.  In this novel the main character Dr. Sarkis is called in on a consult of a suspicious death of a World War II veteran.  What he is discovers is more than a possible malpractice cause, but what might be a serial killer.  The story contains lots of interesting medical facts and data as well as well written characters and plot.  In fact at one point in the story I was suspecting one of the main characters of some shady business (won't go into too much detail because I don't want to spoil anything).  For me I love when that happens because it means the author has done a good job of not making the story line too obvious.  That being said I do have one small critique of the book and it is small-There was a tie into world war II and Nazi's and I wish this had been explored a bit more than it was in the story line.  Then again the book wouldn't have been such a quick read if that was the case.  

I would give the book 4 out of 5 stars and say it is a good summer beach read for those who like thrillers/mysteries.  

If you are a book review and would like to link up please do so below.  I would love to see what others out there are reading!!

Ok so this week was not so great, I am still sick.  Not bed ridden sick but this lung this just won't go away. Anything physical and I am coughing so hard I can't breath.  The doctor now has me on steroids and is hoping that will help...yikes.  So needless to say the scale was not my friend and I had my first gain at weight watchers in ten weeks (I did have a small gain while doing Mamavation but my weigh in days were different).  I gained 1.8 which is a lot and I am disappointed but only more driven to keep an eye on my food intake until I am able to exercise more.  My goal is to get out and walk a few miles even if I can't run them yet.

Looking forward I am signing up for 3 5k....one in three weeks that I would like to try and run most of it.  It is a great race a Go Red for Women event in Elizabeth Park...for those not around me it is a huge park and in the summer the park is full of blooming roses!  Then I am going to do a Penguin Run where you run around the Mystic Aquarium and part of your race prize is a free day at the aquarium.  Then the third is the one I am most excited about.  I am going to do a Zombie chase in Nov!  You can either race as a human or a Zombie.  My thought is if I sign up for enough of them I will keep at it. I know that the jogging played a huge part the weight loss I was able to achieve.

So goals for this week
1.  Run at least once
2.  Walk at least two times
3.  Do two strength workouts

“  This post is sponsored by ChopChop Magazine and Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway  ”
As the school year is coming to close I always have visions of grandeur about my summer vacation.  The amazing summer projects I will complete, the 100 pounds I will loose, and how I will somehow have a clean house.  Well this year as been a particularly rough one at school so my goal is to spend a lot of my vacation recharging my batteries, spending time with my kids, and getting myself grounded and ready to start what will be a crazy next school year as we go to block scheduling and new teacher evaluations.  Yet, no more talk of the negative, lets talk about what awaits me for the next 8 weeks!  So here are my summer to do lists.  I can't wait to begin! 

Reading List
-The Star Attraction-Alison Sweeney (review book)
-Prime time Princess-Lindy Dekoven (review book)
-Change your life in 7 days-Paul McKenna (review book)
-Joy Worthy-Julie McGrath (review book)
-Budget Diva's Guide to Slashing grocery bill by 50% or more-Sara Lundberg (review book)
-Love Anthony-Lisa Genova
-Cold Light-Traci Slatton
-The Queen's Fool-Philippa Gregory
-The Kingmaker's Daughter-Philippa Gregory
-Reading Lolita in Tehran-Azar Nafisi
Image taken from http://hamptonroads.com/2010/11/your-stack-books-helps-portsmouth-public-library

Non-reading To Do
-Vacation with the Hubby
-See the BFF Twice
-Complete 5 graduate classes (if this becomes too stressful I may get rid of it)
-Complete at two official 5k's
-Get my time to under 40min on a 5k
-Work on my self help books
-Blog three times a week
-Enjoy my down time with my family
-Scan kids artwork and make books about their year
-Make a photo album online of this year
-Work on at least three months of Josie's first year scrapbook (once I am done with her first year I am moving to all digital)
-Take one nap a week
-Go outside at least once everyday day (weather permitting)
-Average at least 9000 steps a day
-Go on one "trip" each week with the kids to a museum, park, zoo, etc
Before I get into this post I have to say, I have missed my little blog.  My stint as a Mamavation Mom was a once and lifetime opportunity and I am so blessed to have been chosen but I did miss my little space of the web.

So for those of you not following along over at Mamavation it was a wild ride that is for sure...I will do a bigger post about it when my school year ends (in two weeks-YEAH).  For now all you need to know is this

In the seven weeks of the campaign I lost seven pounds and 15.5 inches (yes you read that correctly, 15.5).  I will put in my before and after photos for you too see.  I did hope to loose a bit more weight but since I applied (which was about 3-4 weeks before I started) I went from 231.00 down to my current weight of 220.0 which means in about two and half months I lost nine pounds and 15.5 plus inches.


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Before with a serious gut 
After-Can't get over how much my stomach shrunk

Yet, more me it is more than that, it has given me a great foundation as a move forward in my weight loss journey. I was taught what I should be eating and when, shown how to make meal plans, giving lots of great exercise opportunities all of which I can do at home so there are no excuses as to why I can't workout.

Even this past week-the first one post campaign I was very sick but I still managed to eat ok but no exercise and I hated it.  It taught me that for seven weeks I made journaling my food, exercising, and eating well was my life.  Now I just need to keep on-Keeping on.

I am so excited to start my post campaign life and earn the rest of those "I lost ____ Pounds with Mamavation".

So I hope you all have a great week and my personal goals is to try and exercise a bit even though I am still really sick.

Also if you have ever even thought of applying for the campaign please check it out and DO IT!!! It was the best decision ever!