Thursday, June 23, 2016

Part One of My Summer Reading

Happy Thursday Morning!

I have been up since probably around 5:00 am. I am officially on vacation from work and my Poppy and family are coming down to Florida today for a whole week. To say I am excited is probably an understatement. I have missed my family so much and I am so glad they decided to come see me this year here in FL.

So since I have moved onto my second cup of coffee so far, I figured I would sit down and update on some books I have read recently. I plan to get some serious reading in this week also. I have tired after work but we started Game of Thrones and Orange Is The New Black is back and I got consumed with those haha.

Okay so recently in the last month and a half I have read 6 books since the last time I have posted about books...

Me Before You

Gahh this book....Let me just say it is a tear jerker for sure. You will laugh, cringe, get mad, be happy and mostly cry with this novel. This was the first book we have read in my online book club and it was a great first choice. Nanci and I also went and saw the movie when it came out opening weekend and to say I bawled my eyes out is an understatement. I cried like a baby, we both did. I highly recommend seeing the movie and reading the book, but read the book first. I have to admit and it is very rare that this happens, but I honestly loved the way the movie turned out and enjoyed it more than the book. But you be the judge and put this on your summer reading list.

Luckiest Girl Alive

I had first heard about this book through Reese Witherspoon's Insta, which she also has a book club #rwbookclub and I found another awesome book through her on that hashtag which will be in this list. This book was great. It was an easy read. It was a bit dark but I really enjoyed it. It has multiple story lines and when you think one is going one way it goes another and then ties around ONE HUGE story line. And I saw this might be made into a movie also. It has been compared to Gone Girl and I loved Gone Girl, but I can not see how it relates, except that the main character is a girl who could be a bit cooko bananas. Gone Girl for me is in a class all its own.

The Happiness Project

Okay so I have mixed reviews about this book. I really, really loved this book. I thought it had a lot of amazing points and ideas to make my own Happiness Project and that is exactly what I got out of the book, was making my own Happiness Project. I took a lot of her ideas from the book. She broke her happiness project into 12 months. She took on a different "happiness" project each month and then broke the month into bullet points kind of, little areas she would work on in the month. While not all months she was doing great, she did bring on some extra joy to her life. The main idea I got from this book was bringing on Happiness to my own self by doing things I truly love. And taking more time out for myself. I have been accomplishing just that too. Such as having mornings out at the beach with coffee in hand, something I rarely do but gives me a huge amount of pleasure. She also has a blog where she can get you started and organized with your own Happiness Project. I admit,  I have not checked it out yet, but plan too this year.

Bare Bones

Probably one, if not my favorite book this summer. Even if you are not a listener of The Bobby Bones Show, this book is still a great read. I had just started listening to the show when I started my commute to work. Everyone on the show is super motivating and impowering and funny. It is a joy to listen to each morning and replay on Iheart too. The book is about Bobby's life and how he literally came from nothing to the biggest radio host in Country Music. He lives by the motto of Fight.Grind.Repeat and from someone who too lives by this way, I could relate. He comes from a broken home and lost his mother to alcoholism. Which again I could relate to also. His book was truly inspiring and I loved every second. He told stories about celebrities and was honest and open with the readers about his story and relationships. It was truly written by him and you could tell 100% it was in his voice. This was a great read and I highly HIGHLY recommend this book.

And lastly....

Big Little Lies

This book was also on #rwbookclub and it was a true winner. I loved My Husbands Secret and this was right up there with goodness. It was quick and easy and fun to read. Lots of characters to follow but you got caught up quickly and it had a great ending. I absolutely LOVED this book and Reese is making into a movie and starring in it also because she enjoyed it so much. Make sure you put this on your list too!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday- Food

Good Tuesday Morning Y'all. I am linking up with my Bestie and awesome Blogger Nanci, over at This Crazy Life of Mine to do a Top Ten Tuesday post. Make sure to check out hers too.

So for my Top Ten Tuesday, I am going to list my Top Ten Favorite "New" Food Items I found right now. I mean Food is life and snacks are life lol.

Those Dilly Bites are heavenly. I found mine at Walmart but I have
heard you can find them at Target too!

This is the best dip! I especially love it with sliced up cucumbers.

I found these at Target. They have 3 other flavors too. They are basically the LaraBars 
rolled into little bite sized  pieces. Quick, convenient and have a good amount of flavor.

Fage has "crossed over" to the Chobani Flip Side. I love everything new when
it comes to yogurt and can not wait to try these. Hmmm maybe this will be breakfast today.

I am a HUGE lover of the Belvita Banana Bread Soft Baked and
I saw PB and well I couldn't grab it off the shelf fast enough. These
go perfect with Coffee and some fruit or yogurt. Or smeared with Extra PB :0)

I mean, HELLO!!!!

I can not wait to see Finding Dory, yes I am a little kid at heart for sure.
I love the 100 calorie Quaker Bars anyway. They are perfect
for a sweet treat in the day and I throw them in my bag all the time.
And Cookies and Cream, duh!

So I have seen this everywhere on Instagram and it was so hard to find. But
where I work there is a Whole Foods and I finally picked it up. I love lemon
flavored items, its refreshing and clean. The lemon is not overpowering at all and 
addicting, but don't feel guilty you could eat the whole pint :0)

It is Mango season at TJ this summer, I swear they are gearing up for Pumpkin Season, which
of course is my favorite season EVER. This mango coconut popcorn is packed with
tons of flavor. Crunchy and sweet, perfect combo.

This was a fun purchase, just had some topping to your coffee, kick back
and relax. I found at TJ Maxx. Not a ton of flavor but the possibilities are endless.

If You want to join in tag #toptentuesday

Friday, June 17, 2016

Looking Forward.....

Good Friday Morning!!!!

We are a little more than half way done with the month. Oh my goodness when did that happen.

Just wanted to check in because this week has been super crazy for me. It is Father's Day week at work and it is a long one for me because we are a bit busier than normal, is a 10 day work week for me and Father's Day is always tough for me without having my dad around anymore.
 The sting of him not here anymore, isn't as bad as it used to be, but it still sucks, helping people buy their gifts and making messages and not being able to do the same thing. By Sunday I am seriously ready for it to be all over and done with. BUT next Thursday my Poppy, uncles and cousins are coming down to Florida for a week long vacation. I am so excited, I can not even explain how excited I am. I am not only get a staycation, but I get the whole week with my family.

I am ready for lots of laughs, family time, sun and the beach and doing stuff I don't normally get to do.

Also looking forward to more time to dive back into some books. I have taken a lot out at the library and ready to dive in and not have any distractions.

AND I am ready for Orange Is The New Black to be back!! Yup it started streaming on Netflix today and I can not wait to get home from work and get into my sweats and just kick back and stream the heck out of it. If you live under a rock and have not watched OITNB, well you need to get Netflix just for that.

I am looking forward to my coffee date tomorrow with Nanci before work. Seriously surround yourself with good people and it will make your day even better.

Anything special you are looking forward to this week or weekend??

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Taste of Summer at The Winghouse Bar & Grill

Disclaimer: As being part of the Tampa Bay Bloggers, I was given a free meal and gift card from The Winghouse as a exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

The Winghouse has a new summer themed menu for this coming summer. All the yummy goodness I will be showing you, will start next Monday, June 13th at all 26 Winghouse locations.

We are talking new starters, meals and dessert and even a new cocktail to sip on while you eat.

Okay lets start with some starters:

Pretzel Bites. I mean what else could I say about these. They are warm, salty and then you dip them in either Honey Mustard or Cheese. Now here is a honest one, I normally always dip my pretzels in cheese, but I have to say the tangy and spicy of the Honey Mustard was the perfect combo. I recommend you be the judge next...

Another fun starter they have is Pulled Pork Nachos. Yes, pulled pork nachos, that have cabbage slaw, chips, cheese, jalpenos, tomatoes and cilantro lime dressing. Which holy heck that lime dressing is Amazing. I would bottle that up and put it on everything. I am going to send you over to Nanci and let you droll over her picture of these nachos.

Okay so now we are set up with some starters, lets move on to some meals you can dive into.

New Chicken Pasta Salad, tri colored pasta, with cucumbers, tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. You can order this salad with grilled chicken or fired. Healthy eaters go with the grilled, it is really, really good. I do recommend ordering this with a side of Italian dressing you can pour on yourself, to give it even more flavor and zing.

 If you want a Taco Salad, they have you covered. What I was really impressed with this taco salad, was it was not a traditional taco salad in that fried taco bowl that adds on a million calories. This taco salad is lettuce, chili, cheese, diced tomatoes, fried jalapenos, tortilla chips and that cilantro lime dressing. Simple, light and full of flavor. The fried jalapenos are super yummy and if you aren't into hot on your salad, no worries the fried jalapenos don't give a lot of heat, just pure flavor.

Now we might have had our tasting on a Tuesday, but it doesn't have to be a Taco Tuesday to order these. Shrimp, Chicken or Pork Tacos. All served stuffed with  cheddar cheese, shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes and the lime dressing. I admit again, I would never order pork tacos, I would typically go with Chicken, but after tasting the pork, that is a Win. It is so unique but works so well. Th pork is tender and gives taco a whole new flavor.

Speaking of pork, you will have to try the new pulled pork sandwich. Shredded BBQ pork, topped with coleslaw, which hello is the best way to eat a pulled pork, then crispy onion straws, GENIUS and drizzled in a Dallas sauce. I could gobble that up again today. The sandwich is served with chips and a pickle, a perfect summer BBQ meal to me, pair it with your favorite draft beer, that they serve and watch the Rays play on their many big screens.

And if you saved enough room, which, I HIGHLY recommend, pick up the Guava Cheesecake. I know you are thinking Guava? Well I had never had anything Guava before and this was heavenly, the tangy but sweet taste of the Guava mixed with a New York Style Cheesecake was the perfect ending to this summer loving, topped with whipped cream of course.

I hear our stomach rumbling from over here now. Hold on just a little bit longer, because all these items will be hitting the locations starting on June 13. Make sure to find a local The Winghouse by you and get the convenience of summer, BBQ and fun without having to a cook a thing yourself and make sure to come back and let me know what you tried.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

31 Days of Running and June Goals

Good Evening Friends

So it is 10:45 pm and I am not sure why I am up but I am lol. Believe it or not this is late for me. Probably because I have off tomorrow. I have been super spoiled this week because we get 3 days off for the holiday, it is amazing.

Okay so back to my post rather than bragging about my awesome work week. So for the month of May my main goal was to run every day for 2-3 miles each day. Actually it was my only goal for the month of May and I am proud to say that I completed it!!!

Man was it tough at times. The start of the month, work was crazy, as we had Mother's Day business and I was running around at work like a crazy person. On my feet all day long. Then of course my time of the month knocked me out. And just being tired and hot, it made for some of those runs to be extra hard and I am sure I walked a lot more than I normally would because of some aches and pains.

Some Joys from my Run Streak:

1. I always felt amazing after words.
2. I stayed active every day which really did boost my mood.
3. I got my steps in each day (actually out of the 31 days, I did not hit 10,000 steps but 3) and that was because I was off and just being lazy after or before.
4. It made me fall in love with running again for sure.
5. It became a habit and even when I don't want too, I know I need to.
6. I can see my body changing again. I even lost 5 pounds this month
7. I am sleeping  better

Some Not So Joy From My Run Streak:

1. I am doing laundry constantly

Honestly that is the only thing that is not so joyus with the run streak haha.

It really has been great and I have decided to keep it going.

Yup I am going to keep streaking. From now until July 4th, this time with at least 1 mile every day.

At this point I seriously feel like if I stop, I couldn't. I would feel too guilty. So one mile every day, despite the heat, work and how tired I am.

If you want to join along you should!!! Maybe if you don't want to run, then walk every day at least one mile. It starts to become more of a you time then anything else. I know you will enjoy it.

And since tomorrow is June 1, what a better time to start. Also in conjunction with my run streak. I plan on doing some cross train with my arms. I really am not liking the flabbiness, so I need to start toning them up. And continue to read more.

Simple, easy and attainable goals for June. Here is to another great month.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Global Running Day: A Look Into My Miles

Hey Friends

So I am partaking in one of those not really on the calendar but a holiday type of days. There are a tons of them but this one I truly truly love

Woot Woot!!!!

So I have linked up with Jonesin' For A Run for this day and she has set up some questions to answer all about the miles we love. Make sure to check out her blog and link and those who have also linked up too!!

Why Do I run?
I wish I had this really profound reason to my love of running but I can honestly just plainly say that I run because it makes me happy and discouraged and it brings me out of my comfort zone. I am not great in the gym, I get distracted and I don't know what I am doing but when I am running, I am me. I know the miles and the pace, I can get lost and always find my way home. It makes me sweat like no other, clears my mind and challenges and changes me with each mile.

How Do You plan to Celebrate National Running Day?
First I downloaded my Running Bib from Brooks Running and I of course am going to go for a run sometime that day. I am off of work that day and plan on getting 3 miles in, the best way to kick off the month of June too.

How many miles have you ran so far this year? Do I have a mileage goal for the year?
I do have a mileage goal for the year and it is 1000. The first half of the year was looking a little rough, I was sick and tired and it was strangely cold for Florida and I ached a whole lot, but this second half of the year I am kicking butt and taking names. I have ran so far 250 miles, I have to average about 125 month to hit that 1000 miles, I would be happy with half at this point as long as I am still loving it.

What big events do you have on the calendar this year?
I honestly have no big races coming up in 2016. I do have some races planned already for 2017, including Rock and Roll Nashville, which I am signing up for on June 1, because there is suppose to be a really big discount and I want to have a destination run next year. The rest of this year is just some 5ks and virtual runs.

Before I leave for a run I must have:
My Bluetooth headphones and my phone. I need music!

Do you track your runs?
I do track my runs through the Endomono app. I love it. I have had a Garmin, I still do but for some reason, no reason in general, I haven't been using it. I sync my Endomono app to My Fitness Pal and to my Fit Bit also. I always have my Fit Bit on.

Who is your favorite running partner?
Nanci is my favorite out of anyone and everyone!!

What races have you done so far this year?
I have actually done a lot of races this year. A lot more than I have in the past, February I did Best Damn Race Half Marathon, Race For a Cupcake 5k , Gasparilla 15k and a Valentine's Day virtual race. March I did a St. Patricks Days 5k Race. April I did a Boston 26.2 miles over 18 days virtual race, Iron Girl Half marathon. And May I did the Hippie Dash 5k. And this coming Saturday I m doing the Best Damn Race Leftover 5k.

If you have to give one piece of advice to someone about running what would it be?
Oh my gosh, one piece of advice is really hard. But I think the biggest would be just to get out there and try and don't let the way you feel let you down with it. It is going to suck in the beginning, like a lot. And you are going to this you are not getting anywhere with it and that mile is going to take forever. BUT don't give it up, just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Take the walk breaks, breathe really heavy, who cares if your thighs rub together or if people driving by see you, you are doing something so special, just keep going.

Describe your relationship with running in one word:

Makes sure you follow the link at the tap and see how everyone is spending Global Runnng Day and get out there and run!!!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Give Me The Beat Boys & Free My Soul

Image result for music quotes

Good Sunday Morning Everyone and a Happy Memorial Day Weekend. Hope you are enjoying your weekend with some time off, relaxing, having fun, and remembering those who have fallen in the line of duty.

I have off today and tomorrow, which as you know in my world, is slight rare for me, so I am extremely happy. I was a little bit off last week, I was tired and a bit cranky and was having some stomach issues towards the end of the week. Which did not help my mood at all But I made it through and feeling way better today.

So you know what gets me through when I am not feeling all that great; MUSIC. I absolutely love music and my taste in music is a little bit all over the place. I practically love it all. And even better, James loves music too, like a lot. Some mornings like today, we get up early, sit with our coffee and computers but on some Pandora or Spotify or Apple Music and just jam out. Actually in college our favorite thing to do was go to bars and listen to live music, cover bands, concerts, anything.

I bring this up because music saves my soul. It brings me back to a happy place, a sad place, emotional place, good music awakens me, lyrics make me think and reflect. Music seriously saves me. And  there is so much good music out there these days, it is hard to not get caught up in it all.

I just signed up for Apple Music, which is unlimited downloads for 9.99 a month. James got me hooked on it and well now I can not stop downloading music and making playlists. I also just recently bought 3 new CDs, yes I support the CD business still.

Fantastic CD!!! On constant replay! John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16, Wasted Time, The Fighter, Boy Gets a Truck, Break on Me, and Habit of You are some of my favorites, but seriously the whole CD is great.

Another great one! This came out just on Friday and I am already loving all of it. James got it for me from work yesterday and even HE is Loving it. He wanted to hear the title track, Black, over and over. And I convienced him to take me to see Dierks when he comes to Tampa on July 16. It is my birthday weekend, so it just makes sense. Other great tracks, Somewhere on a Beach, Black, Different For Girls and I'll Be The Moon.

And because this was just a fun CD to get because I love the Bobby Bones Morning Show and crew. Every Day is A Good Day is a really catchy and happy song, it is a fun CD to put on and just laugh and be happy with.

Okay so those are the CD's I have purchased lately. Some songs I have recently downloaded....

Came Here To Forget-Blake Shelton
Can't Stop The Feeling- Justin Timberlake
Messin' Around- Pitbull
Snapback- Old Dominion
Middle of a Memory- Cole Swindell
Home Alone Tonight- Luke Bryan
Buy Me A Boat- Chris Janson
My Church- Maren Morris
H.O.L.Y- Florida Georgia Lne
Castaway- Zac Brown Band

I am on a Huge Country Kick lately!

What are some of your favorite songs or CD's lately?/?

Oh and you can follow me on

Facebook and Instagram at RunChewSparkle