Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book Reviews!

As promised, here are some book reviews!

The best part of working in a school district is that I get to borrow books from the library! Not only do I get to borrow some excellent young adult fiction, but I get some good recommendations too from the librarians.

This past summer I was working in the library and I saw a book I had been meaning to read on the librarian's desk. It was very difficult to wait until the school year started to find out if I could borrow it. For me, when it comes to books, there is nothing better than borrowing a book. This way I can quickly figure out if I will want to read it again and therefore buy it, or I might never read it again, and I don't need to own a copy of it.

So what book was it?

It was called "There is No Dog" by Meg Rosoff. It's about a teenage God and how he is kind of lazy and doesn't really take care of Earth. And every time he falls in love, there is some huge disaster on Earth. He has an assistant who works very hard to keep everything running.

I really didn't like this book. I was very disappointed. The characters were not very likable and I had a hard time trying to finish reading the book. I only kept going because I had heard good reviews and I wanted to see if the story would get more interesting.
It didn't. I wouldn't recommend this one to anyone who didn't want to get angry. :)

But while I was in the library picking up that book, there was another that looked interesting.
"Born Wicked: The Cahill Witch Chronicles, Book One" by Jessica Spotswood.
I LOVED this book. I had a very hard time putting it down. My biggest disappointment? That the next book in this series won't be out until next year!  AAAAHHH! I hate waiting, I have no patience. I got to read the entire Twilight Series at once because I didn't get to it until after it all came out.
So what's Born Wicked about?
It's about three sister's who are witches. Cate is the oldest, and she takes care of her sisters after her mother's death. She has a lot of tough choices ahead of her as she tries to do what's best for her family, while protecting their secret. I absolutely loved the style of writing and the characters are likable and REAL (even if it is a different time period). I found a few of the twists and turns predictable, but I truly didn't care because I enjoyed reading it so much. I'm very much looking forward to the next book (and the next!).  I do hate finding a series at the beginning, waiting can be so hard!
You should go read the Amazon link to get a better description of the book...and speaking of Amazon, I should probably leave a review there for these books as well...Hmm. Need. More. Time. In. Day.)

After reading these two books, I was recommended another series by the Librarian.
"Divergent" by Veronica Roth was another one that I couldn't put down. I actually read it in one evening. I stayed up way too late that night, but Anthony wasn't home and I couldn't sleep anyway.
What is it about? A Utopian future...except that life isn't as perfect as you would think. This book reminded me of the Hunger Games and Harry Potter. Again, check out the link for a better description of the book. The good news for me, I can read the next book in the series! The bad news? I need to wait until the high schooler who borrowed it brings it back. :)

This week the librarian dropped off another one for me. I haven't touched it yet, but I should get some reading done this weekend.  I'll review that later.  Being friends with a librarian?  SO COOL!

Today is Friday for me, so more posts next week! Everyone have a good weekend!

Affiliate links were used in this post.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday already?!

My week is flying by!  And I have Friday off for my annual girls weekend with my sister and my cousins, so I need to get a lot done in a short amount of time!

I owe you all a book a good one recently and couldn't put it down. :)

Soon..I promise. Maybe tonight.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

More Warrior Dash

If you didn't read it yet, go and read yesterday's post about Warrior Dash:

Want more?  Here is an excellent blog post and more pictures of the dash itself:

Here is a YouTube video someone put together, I haven't watched this one yet:

Want more pictures? I'll try to get more of me later this week! Got questions? Let me know!

And for those that are helping me try to find that book, thank you!  I haven't found it yet, but I appreciate the help! :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

How to Prepare for Warrior Dash

I completed the Warrior Dash last Saturday. If you have been following my blog then you know that I went back and forth about wanting to do it.

I think it was clear by Saturday morning that I didn't want to do it, but I felt like I HAD to do it at that point. I'm not a quitter. I had already paid. I told people I was going to do it.

Was I prepared? Not really. But here is what I could have done to prepare myself:

1. First question, where does your Warrior Dash take place? Is it at a ski MOUNTAIN? If the answer is yes, then you should rethink your decision to do Warrior Dash. We went up the mountain and back down the mountain. The entire FIRST MILE was just running up the mountain. There were many obstacles, but I thought the mountain was the toughest obstacle. And if you must go up the mountain, then you must run down. This was really just falling with style. At a few points I really wished for a pair of skis, it would have been much much easier.

2. My race is at a mountain, but I still want to do it!
Okay, we can handle that. First, find your closest mountain hiking trail. Make sure there are parts that are steep enough that you might think about getting on your hands and knees. Found it? Is it at least 3.2 miles to go up and back down? Perfect!  Now run up it as fast as you can and when you get to the top, run back down as fast as you can.  That's how you should train. :)

3. What about the obstacles? I think the best way to handle the obstacles is the following:
Go find a rocky, dirty yard. Roll around in it. Crawl around with your belly on the ground. Make sure you get dirt under your finger nails and scrapes on your knees.  Good job! You are half way there.
Find some walls, climb over them and just fall off the other side, well done! You are now ready for some of the obstacles. Be prepared to jump over fire, crawl under barbwire, over netting and across balance beams as well.

4. What should I wear? About one year before the race, buy a new pair of sneakers to train in. (remember that mountain you are climbing up and down?) After a year of training, you should be ready for a new pair of sneakers. Wear those old yucky sneakers to the race. When you are done, rinse off as best you can, and donate them to the group collecting sneakers for recycling.  Got some old clothes you are thinking about donating? That's what you should wear, you may never want to wear these clothes again.

5.  Oooh, souvenirs! No, no, do NOT buy souvenirs. Are you doing this by yourself? No need for a fancy outfit or Warrior Dash "stuff". Are you running as a team? It's way cooler to come up with your own team outfit, complete with homemade accessories, head gear and makeup. You don't want anything that looks too professional, it's just not cool. Besides that, with your expensive registration fee, you get a viking helmet, t-shirt (nice one too!) and a metal when you finish. That is really all you need for souvenirs. They will also give you a beer if you are over 21. My race had Miller Lite, that made me very happy. :)

6. Anything else? After the race, you will be covered in mud. Lots and lots of mud. There will be people with fire hoses ready to spray you off as best as possible. This water was VERY cold. If my race was in July, this might have felt good. But then again, if my race was in July, I don't think I would have finished, it was hot enough in September. There was an option to do a fundraising thing with St. Jude's and they said something about VIP showers. I probably should have paid more attention and taken advantage of that.

When your race is over, make sure you have the following: 
A second set of clothes that you don't care about. Even after stripping off your first layer of muddy clothes, you yourself are covered in mud. You will need to wear something home, so TWO sets of clothes you don't care about are a good idea.
Two towels. One to rub off as much mud and water as possible, another one to sit on and protect your car seat for the way home.
A pair of flip flops you don't care about. Remember you are donating your sneakers to be recycled. Barefoot is an option, but sandals or flip flops would be good.
Water and food. After the race I was STARVING. They had turkey legs available, but they were very salty. I made Anthony stop at Wendys on the way home. My race was Saturday. It's now Monday, I'm still eating everything in sight.

At home:
Do not go in your house.
Find a place to safely strip off EVERYTHING outside. Using your hose (or power sprayer if you have one) rinse all your clothes. Three times. There will still be mud.
Rinse yourself as best you can, then go take a shower.
You know how those instructions on the shampoo say to lather, rinse and repeat?  Make sure you do the repeat part.
Once you have dried off, take the towels and wash cloths you just used and put them next to the washer to be washed. The next day, take your clothes from outside that you left out overnight (they will still be wet in the morning!) and combine with your towels and wash cloth for a HEAVY DUTY washing.

That night of the dash? Do your best to smile and tell everyone how awesome it was while subtly stretching all your muscles. If you do not stretch you will regret it.

That night? Crash and sleep like you have never slept before.
The next morning? Hopefully you are lucky and someone can bring you breakfast in bed, cuz you probably can't get up anyway. :)

I hope that answers all your questions!  As promised, here are pictures:
So innocent!

And after...why did I do this again?
I definitely earned this.
Clean at last!...and wearing my warrior shirt!
Will I do it again next year?  Only if people do it with me.  And next time I am only signing up the week before, not months before. That way I can change my mind last minute in case no one else signs up. :)  Was it fun? Yeah, it was.
I definitely felt like the old "Dani Do It".  The obstacles were fun and they had funny signs all over the course that said things like "Don't worry, we won't tell if you cry." and "We didn't train for this either." and "This makes up for the other 364 days." :)

Okay, this was a long post. I have been sitting still too long, which means my sore muscles can't move now. to stretch!  Want more pictures? Need more info? Got questions? Leave 'em in the comments!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Hello?  Anyone out there?

Did anyone have any ideas for me about that book?  No guesses?

Warrior Dash is in two days. I'm starting to freak out.
But it's the exact same way I felt right before I went sky diving. I know I'm about to do something that is possibly stupid and I might get hurt/die.  But I kinda live for that excited adrenaline-fueled thing.

I'm not relaxed at all, but I think I like it.
Maybe that's why I can't relax? I like adrenaline?

Now I just need to find a way to feel happy-not relaxed instead of sad-not relaxed. :)

Okay, I may not write tomorrow. If you don't see a blog post on Monday, then I didn't survive this weekend's Warrior Dash. I promise to post a picture of me covered in mud. :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Have you read this book?

When I was in fifth grade, I had a teacher who would read to us everyday after our lunch/recess. I think this was her way of getting us calm (after recess) and giving us a mental nap (after lunch).

I LOVED this time everyday. It might have even only been on Fridays, but I remember it as though it happened every day. She had sheets of paper with geometric designs on them and we would color while she read out loud. The colored sheets would end up around the room as decorations.

To this day, I still love coloring while I listen to something (like the radio, an audio book or even a movie). Two books that she read really stuck out in my mind. One of them I was able to track down a few years after I got out of college.

It's really hard to find a book based upon just what the story was about. :)

The one that I did find was called "Hurry Home, Candy"

I am terrified to get this book and read it again, I'm pretty sure I would cry my eyes out. But I do need to do it, because I am a dog lover and this story just stuck with me as a child. One of these days I'll break down and get it.

But there is another one, and I have no idea what it is called or who wrote it. I barely remember the story. I just need to find this other book. Out of all the books that were read to us that year, these two stuck out, so I need to get it. I think was only 10 or 11 years old back then!

So ....please let me know if you know what book this is:
The story is told from a boys point of view. He meets a girl and her dad and they are time travelers. At some point in the story there is more than one existing girl because of the overlapping timelines. And the boy who is our lead character was able to tell the difference because one had short hair and the other one wore her hair in a ponytail.

Any ideas? :)  Please pass it along to your bookworm friends, let's find this story!

(And thanks to my friend Jonathan who gave me the idea, because of his blog...) :)

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are used in this post.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Dani Don't Do It: Part 2 not everyone left comments.  But I got a few emails.

Encouraging ones.

I'm going to stop being scared.

I'm going to do it.

I'm not going to worry about getting hurt.

Dani Do It!

(anyone want to do it with me? please?)

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Dani Don't Do It?

So remember that Warrior Dash thing I signed up for?
Here is the link if you need a reminder:

I'm considering not doing it.

I didn't train for it like I should have.  I'm not in shape, I am still overweight and I'm starting to worry that if I try to do this, I'm going to hurt myself.

So...Dani Don't Do it?  It's not like me, and I feel weird about "quitting" or "giving up" on something.
It's just not me.

Thoughts? Ideas?

I was also hoping that someone would do the dash with me....but no one signed up with me.
It's like my weight loss bet....everyone fell off my bandwagon.  Sigh.

I do better losing weight when I am working with others on it as well. I would join Weight Watchers, but I can't do their program because of all my fruit and vegetable allergies.  Hmmm.

To Do or Not To Do.  That's my question.  Warrior Dash is a week from Saturday.  Hmmm...

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

My house is a mess.

My house is a mess.  If I invite someone over, I'll have to clean it.


I can't decide if I want to invite someone over or not. I had someone who used to come over and help me clean, but she is pregnant and decided to suspend her business (or at least stop cleaning my messy house) and so now I am in need of assistance again.

I can't keep up with it now I need to decide...hire another cleaning service?

Come up with a cleaning schedule?  Anyone have ideas for me?