Sunday Salon: Summer’s Back!

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Hello! It’s been awhile since I did a Sunday Salon. I’ve missed it, but life has really gotten in the way.

This weekend has been hotter than the standard here. I love that it’s sunny and bright out, but I like to be in the shade or indoors in this kind of weather. It’s relaxing so I like to read! I read one book yesterday and anticipate more day.

I officially started my job this past Monday. The job is the same one I’ve been doing for a year now, but I was made an employee. This is good for me since I now have some financial security and benefits to boot! Working full-time on this project has been tiring though and does not leave a lot of room for me to keep all my hobbies.

It’ll be easier if I just do a quick run down on things:

Books: I hope to read one more book today and start another. I really have not been reading much this year, but hopefully I can catch up this summer to complete my humble 52 books goal this year. I just have too much other stuff going on in my life.

TV: Was off for a couple days for Canada Day and spent that time and this past week watching: “Sense8,” “New Amsterdam,” “Humans,” “Unreal”, and “The Borgias”. I recommend them all in various ways. Two are airing now.

Movies: I went to see Magic Mike XXL in a cinema VIP lounge experience. As someone who no longer really goes to the cinema, I loved the comfortable and bigger seating. So much so that it makes me think I’ll do it again this year. Movie was really fun as well.

Food: I usually bake at least once or every other week, but I didn’t this past week due to the weather. Made a really nice Orange Ricotta loaf the other week though. I haven’t baked bread in over a month. I made a really good black bean and quinoa salad for lunch last week. Now I’m a bit stumped on what I will eat this week for lunch.

Fitness: I’m not running 🙁 A couple weeks after I completed my half-marathon in May, I noticed some pain in my inner calf. I think it’s a minor stress fracture. I’m going to go to physiotherapy soon to check it out. I have a 10K in early September that I still hope to run. In the meantime, I am trying to ride my bike and I’ve been doing some yoga.

Knitting: Finally finished those socks I started in September. No photos yet. I am really not knitting anymore.

Travel: Maybe heading down to the USA for a couple days in August. I am also planning a holiday back to the UK in the autumn. Hope to get that finalized soon. I can’t wait to travel abroad again!

Real Life: Work has complicated things and I had some issues with my neighour the last two months. I really hope things will be calmer now. My friends and family are still very important so I am prioritizing them more in the warm months.

Whew! I think that should be a long enough update. I will continue to blog about my books. To those of you still reading this blog, thank you!

Have a happy week!

Sunday Salon: World Cup and Chores

Sunday Salon

Hello, all!

Since last Salon, I haven’t had time to think about the blog very much. In fact, I didn’t even know the comments were broken and a visitor kindly contacted me about it. Thanks, Susan!

Yesterday, I finally did write a couple of posts on some books I read in May. I have a couple more posts to write then I’ll have caught up for those posts. I am still not reading though. I’ve been too busy.

I’m working at home these days which is not something I have done in awhile. I made progress this week, and did some cleaning and laundry as well. In fact, I still have to clean some more.

Knitting: Haven’t done any in months. I have to be careful otherwise my muscle memory will forget like it did five years ago. I’ll have to make time for it.

Fitness: Started running again on Thursday and I ran this morning. Just 4km each time, and today was better. I’ve got a 5km race in September, but I find running in summer difficult because of the heat. Hopefully I can get back to doing a regular 6km on weekends.

TV: Finished the new season of “Orange is the New Black”. I enjoyed it, possibly more than season one.

Later today, more chores, maybe some gelato, but now, finish the Netherlands vs Mexico World Cup game. I would have posted this post much earlier if I hadn’t been watching. I’ve got a soft spot for the Dutch!

Have a great week!

Sunday Salon – Veronica Mars

Sunday Salon

Hello everyone! It has been awhile since I did a Salon post or even blog. I have been very busy this month: ran my 10km, celebrated a birthday, worked a lot, socialized, and worked out.

The last week was rough as I injured myself so am resting my leg and a bunch of other silly annoying things happened. I’m glad it was done with. Yesterday, I ended it by watching the new Veronica Mars movie. I really enjoyed it and

Today, I went to hot yoga and rewatched the movie and read some fanfiction. I couldn’t resist. I remember watching the show for the first time eight years. It reminded me how addictive I found it. I also downloaded the Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line ebook and audiobook. I’m listening to it now. I’ll put up a review of the book when I’m done. I’ll probably devour the ebook at some point.

I have not been reading very much this month either. I’ve been too busy doing the aforementioned activities. I’ve lost some reading mojo as well. I really need to start my Classics Spin novel: Kim by Rudyard Kipling. Will tonight be the evening?

Hopefully I can read and blog more in April. I know I won’t be blogging in May because I will be in China. I will not be taking my laptop. I’ve loaded my Kindle though and bought a new camera lens.

Now back to some books. Have a great end of March!

Sunday Salon: February Blues

Sunday Salon

Hello, everyone!

I have not been reading very much lately. I’ve been too busy and tired to read most days. Some readers like to read to unwind, but I am really active and like a book to take me away for hours and hours. Time of which I do not have lately.

As for my book of today, I am still undecided. I could read my Classics Spin book (Kim by Rudyard Kipling), but I think I will err on my two pile of library books. Goodness, I am glad I have not bought any fiction for awhile. I’m trying to hold out until June as well.

One of my reading goals this year is to read more out loud. I think it’s an interesting exercise as it could help improve my public speaking and normal conversation. It seems a lot of words and stories were written to be read out loud such as poetry. I hope to do more of that this year.

Knitting: Haven’t started. The chart is the most complicated one I’ve encountered yet. I gave up colour coding it. I think I will cast on today or this week to get it started.

In terms of fitness, I signed up for a 10KM next month. I don’t have the proper time to train for it and complete it to the best I could. I am running more though. This week, I ran 6k and 5k. Perhaps by the time the race arrives, I can do that three times a week. Swimming is not going as well as I would like. I can just barely front float and glide. No actual swimming to be done yet. I’ll be glad when the snow starts melting so I can ride my bike again and run more without muddy shoes.

This weekend, I watched season 2 of “House of Cards” which I enjoyed even more than S1. You can see my review of House of Cards season 1 and a review of the British series.

What are you doing this weekend?

Sunday Salon: January Catch-up

Sunday Salon

Hello, everyone! It’s been a busy time for me, both with work and personally. I have been recovering from this cough that I’ve had for a month. It was very cold earlier in the month, but we had a milder week. Still, I’ve felt a touch of the January blues with my work load and personal responsibilities.

Today, I am going to read John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars.

Yesterday, I went on my first run in about 5-6 weeks. It felt good, but the last 1km of the 6km was a bit tiring! I hope to get back to shape for my first 10km race in two months time. I started swimming lessons which were really difficult for me. I didn’t go this week, but I really hope I get proficient soon as I want to become at least decent at it.

In book news, I read Georgette Heyer’s The Talisman Ring over a week ago. It was average and had some nice Heyer moments, but nothing worth a blog post.

This week, I watched Netflix’s Norwegian-American comedy show “Lilyhammer” based on a friend’s recommendation. It is quite funny and I enjoy watching a foreign show with a touch of American influence. Sometimes, it was a bit too violent and dark more than funny, but still entertaining.

How is your January shaping up?

Sunday Salon: New Autumn

Sunday Salon

Happy Sunday! It’s been a few weeks since my last Salon. Actually, I’ve become quite busy lately. I am too tired and fatigued to read on the weekdays, and I must run errands or have social engagements on the weekends. I have managed to read at least one book per week, but just barely.

Today, I am reading Marsha Altman’s P&P sequel The Darcys & the Bingleys. I really should be reading my Classics Spin book Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I will start that, but I must consider the over two dozen books from the library. I bought a couple of cookbooks and a calligraphy book the other week too. I still have at least 30 books unsorted in the house that I got this summer.

Books are my addiction!

In fitness news, I ran a 4KM colour run two weeks ago and no running since. Once again, no time, but it was good. I hope to run more as the weather gets chillier. I am biking about 4 days of the week now. I don’t know if my endurance or legs muscles are better, I am definitely faster and more confident on the road. I’m surprisingly enjoying myself. I even bought some lights for my wheels so I can bike in the dusk.

In knitting news, there is no knitting news. Sigh.

Food news, I started my sourdough starter yesterday! I hope to make sourdough in a couple weeks time. Exciting.

What have you been doing this weekend?

Sunday Salon: Victoria Day Weekend

Sunday Salon

Hello, everyone! It’s the first long weekend of the summer, and I haven’t done much. Poo.

I went to a tulip photo spree on Tuesday. Usually, I do not take a lot of flower photos, but tulips are one of my favourite flowers and are omnipresent this time of year. May is one of my favourite months.

Tulips 2013

This week, I read and watched War Horse (review up tomorrow). Today, I am going to read Gail Carriger’s Etiquette and Espionage. It won’t take me long so I may also start Stoner by John Edward Williams or Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin or one of the other many (MANY) books I have from the library.

Sometimes, knowing how many books I have in the house unread makes me overwhelmed, but in a good way mostly.

Tulips 2013

Fitness: I wanted to run yesterday or today, but I think I’ll hold it off until tomorrow since it’s about to rain soon. I did at least go rock climbing on Friday. I average about 8km a week for running which is just OK, but not great. I really need to get up to 10-12km a week at least.

In other news, I’m planning on a trip to New York City in July which for me will mean seeing an old friend, exploring a new city, taking lots of photos and modest shopping. I’m looking forward to it.

How is your weekend so far?

Sunday Salon: Sunny May

Sunday Salon

Hello, everyone! It’s been a couple of weeks since my last Sunday Salon and I’ve read a number of books including: The Brief Encounter screenplay, If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller by Italo Calvino, Where’d you go, Bernadette by Maria Semple, and The Woman Who Died A Lot by Jasper Fforde. I’ve posted some more knitting posts as well.

Today, I’m reading The Best America Travel Writing 2008. After this, I have a few other library books, but I would really like to catch up to the Game of Thrones series.

In other news, I am still keeping busy with work and fitness. Last Saturday, I ran 7km and achieved a personal best in my 5km. I also started Muay Thai or Thai Kickboxing this week, and it really whooped my butt. I am definitely going to do it again. I even bought a skipping rope today so I could practice it at home. I have not jumped rope in years, but I remember even liking it as a workout as a kid.

The weather has been really nice lately. As is usual, it seems to have skipped right into summer. I hope to take some tulip photos this week and add some new headers to this blog.

What are you doing this May?

Booking Through Thursday – What Else?

What’s your favorite hobby OTHER THAN reading? – BTT

Probably knitting, but I have a lot of other hobbies now that I’ve cut down on so I can balance them out. So the more “active” hobbies include reading; knitting; blogging/writing (which ties into the first two); TV & movies; working out which includes running, yoga and just after yesterday, muay thai; and photography. Even the last one I don’t do as much, but will hopefully do more of as the weather is getting better. Here are my more dormant hobbies: travel, spinning, fiddle, ukulele, cooking, canning, and baking.

Does socializing count? If so, that’s far up there too.

What do you like to do other than reading?

Sunday Salon – April Showers

Sunday Salon

This past week, I finished Walden, Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter, and the Brief Encounter screenplay. Both of the latter will be tomorrow and early in the week.

I have been very busy the last couple of weeks working two jobs and still trying to find time to do some of my hobbies and socialize. As a result, reading has been put off. Today, I do plan on reading some of Italo Calvino’s If On a Winter’s Night A Traveller.

I also plan on doing a run today. I’ve had to miss my Saturday morning running group’s 6KM runs, but for the last couple of weeks, I’ve done two 4KM runs after work in the weekdays. Hopefully today I can do at least that and maybe more, but the weather has been quite bad lately. There was ice pellets and hale on Friday and it’s been very wet.

Either way, I’m going to make a run to my favourite French bakery soon and get some pastries. It’s become a tradition for every other week.

This week, I’ll try to read, knit my socks, hopefully doing a WIP Wednesday post, and work out a bit more.

What are you doing this week?

Sunday Salon: Maple Bacon Biscuits

Sunday Salon

Happy Easter to those who celebrate it! I never really got this holiday, religious wise or chocolate wise so the only thing I personally like about it is the extra long weekend.

This week I posted my reviews of Flight Behavior and America Again.

This weekend I’ve been busy of course. I made a hat for a friend on Friday, ran about 6km yesterday, have been reading some Walden, and just now, I baked some Maple Bacon Biscuits from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Pereleman.

Maple Bacon Biscuits

They turned out alright. I don’t know why, but the mix was a bit drier than usual, maybe I did not use enough bacon fat or maple syrup. I’ve made a lot of scones and biscuits, and they are one of my favourite things to bake. With this one, I used less than a pinch of salt because the bacon was salty enough, buttermilk substitute (milk + lemon juice, always), managed 8 biscuits from a glass cup of less than 2″ diameter, and put an egg wash (always on top, never the sides with biscuits/scones).

My reading goal this weekend was to read at least three books, but it may end up being just two. Walden is slow going. I like the ideas in it, but I also find it a bit too florid and even pretentious. It is one long essay so it’s not as easy to read as other nonfiction books. Also, unlike a lot of modern essays, his real life examples are smaller. It’s very philosophical.

Have a Happy first week of April!

Note: I did write most of the above post on Sunday/yesterday, but then my bandwidth exceeded again so I am posting it on Easter Monday.

Fitness Updated: Completed Couch to 5K

After a long time, I have completed the Couch to 5Km running plan on my fourth attempt of the plan. I’ve been interrupted by laziness, injury, laziness, sickness and more laziness, I’m done! I haven’t run (and probably been fit) like this in years.

The last week of the plan was not that fun. I had some inconsistency in the last couple of weeks so it may have contributed to the sheer boredom and fatigue that happened on all three of my 30 minute runs. The runner’s high wasn’t kicking in fast enough, and I would just count down until 30 minutes were up. It wasn’t that enjoyable.

Today, I had great run. I was full of energy. Maybe it was because it was in the morning (usually run in the evenings), the weather was beautiful (it rained overnight but was sunny and just the right temp), and I had finally achieved some consistency from last week. The high was there after the first ten minutes as opposed to the twenty last week. I ran for 35 minutes straight today. I plan to do that for at least another week then up it another 5 minutes, eventually reaching my goal of 45 minutes 3x a week. Then keep that up in the gym or in a field house (ugh) for the rest of the winter. I’m considering running a 10K in May.

I  still do 20min of yoga after every running though I’m in a dire need of a new yoga DVD. I am not doing pilates these days though, but I’ll take up again next month. I’m also trying to work on the idea of doing pushups, lounges, and squats until I do. I can do like 2 push ups, but I need to do some strength training.