Book Buzz:

So Sara told me about ages ago. And I’ve just now joined but I can’t tell you how exciting it is! You go on, rate what you’ve read, tell what you’re currently reading and see what all your fellow reading-obsessed buds are reading. 
Whenever I get asked for book recommendations I usually can only remember the last book I read… maybe the last two, if it’s a good day. And when I ask for good books to read, people give me 87 suggestions and I often forget most of them. I’m so excited to have a place to check things out so I can put books on my amazon wish list. And it’s great that you can see what your friends like and don’t like, which will help me make decisions (i.e. I’ll steer clear of my friends whose lists are nothing but super depressing books). 
I was catching up on blogs tonight when Sara mentioned GoodReads again on her latest post, so I decided to check it out. I’ve now spent the last hour rating ones I’ve read and checking out all the books on her lists. I’ve also not gotten in the shower to go meet my buds out… and it looks like that’s not going to happen any time soon now that I’ve gotten excited over so many books. Damn it. I’m only 28 years old, but sometimes it feels like I’m 60-something. Oh well. I know Ashley feels me on that one. 
And a big happy 30th birthday to Bonna! 
We got to have her surprise party last night, which was really fun. 
Bonna, Amanda, Me, Chrissie
Ironically, we were joking last night about how old they all are (since I’m still a year away from 30).
As Bonna had to work early and wasn’t going to stay out too late. 
And Amanda was going to be doing yard-work all day and going to a bunco party tonight. 
I laughed at them. 
And now I’m blogging and reading on Saturday night because it’s entirely too much effort
to shower, get dressed, and meet them out for some music at a local bar. 
Who’s feelin’ old now? : ) 
Anyway… be my friend on GoodReads?! 
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Things That Are My Jam…

The following things are my JAM right now. 

1. This song.
 Y’all don’t even know how much this song is my jam right now. I danced through the entire Houston C terminal while this song was on repeat this morning. Robin Thicke… I have a new boyfriend.

2. This book. 
Loving it. Love that Robert Langdon can’t keep himself out of international trouble. It keeps me occupied and highly entertained. 

#3. This dog. 
Tango is so sweet. I’m pretty sure he tries to “tuck me in”. He always gets into bed with me and stays until I’m about to fall asleep. Then he stands up, looks back at me, then crawls into his kennel for the night. It’s the sweetest thing.

#4. This suitcase. 
I’ve only had this set for about 2 years, but it’s been on 60+ trips and starting to look worn; signs that it’s been a lot of places. Totally a good thing! 

#5. The weather! 
It’s feelin’ more like summer these days and it’s so nice to train my clients outdoors instead of inside. I like sunshine, and they love being outside after long days in the office. This is Tom, rockin’ out TRX Crossing Balance Lunges.

#6. Beignets 
I’ve been told all about Cafe Du Monde so decided to hit it up while I was in N’awlins this weekend. Wasn’t sure what a beignet was… now I’m in love. It’s basically a rectangle doughnut (but so much better) with about a pound of powered sugar on it. I also had red beans and rice for dinner, a Louisiana staple I’m told. Today’s menu: vegetables.

What’s your jam this week? 
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Book Buzz: Triple Whammy

I’ve been reading up a storm lately – being sick and bed-ridden contributed. 
As well as my having to fly every week…
Here’s what I’ve devouring lately: 

#1: No Easy Day
by Mark Owen

This is the story of the SEAL team that took down Osama Bin Laden. This book is SOOO good. I literally read half of it in one day. I’ve always been an admirer of SEALs purely because their physical training is so intense and impressive. Getting a glimpse into what their skill/tactical training is like is even more interesting and highly entertaining. This book highlights not only the Bin Laden mission but several others that lead up to that moment. These guys are so badass and it makes me really jealous. There are times when I think I could pull some of this ish off as well… and then I go play laser tag for my friend’s birthday a few weeks ago and am hit in literally the first 2.5 seconds we’re in the game. And then every other second after that. And then I think, “I’d be dead if this were real combat. Most likely, the first one dead.” And that would be embarrassing. So I think I’ll stick with fitness and let the badasses carry out the serious missions. : )

This book is a great/fast read and I highly recommend it. 
Good for both sexes, so your bfs and huzzies will probably like it as well. Score.
Kindle for $12.99
#2: Confessions of a Public Speaker
by Scott Berkun

I LOVED this book. As a “work” book, I didn’t expect this one to be entertaining. At all. I knew it would help me along and maybe give me some new ideas that my friends and colleagues hadn’t told me yet… but I had no idea how much I would actually ENJOY it. Scott Berkun writes really well and in a way that feels like he’s actually speaking with you, not talking at you. Like all good speakers, he tells stories that relate to you and that’s where he hits his main points. A lot of this book was him identifying what you can do to prevent a lot of the disasters that can break you when you’re speaking in a public venue. Then he tells you what to do to fix them, because you’re most likely going to make them anyway. This book was highly entertaining – especially the section where he invited a bunch of his friends/colleagues to pen their own embarrassing speaking incidents – hilarious. If you’ve got to do any public speaking/presenting for your field, this book is a must read. High five, Scotty B. Thanks for teaching me a few things & not being boring about it. ; )

Kindle, $8! Holla

Sidenote – I’ll be presenting at my first big conference in March, 6 weeks from now. Let’s hope I can remember half of this ish and not wind up on some viral youtube video with a split in the ass of my pants or having just fallen off the fucking stage…  #fingerscrossed #preptime

#3: Adrift 
by Steven Callahan

I first heard about this story when I read this survival book a few months back. It was so intriguing but only told the highlights of his survival mentality. So I wanted to go straight to the source to find out all the details. It was really worth it. Steven Callahan was SO prepared for a million different scenarios before he took out on his own. His preparedness made the difference in life or death for himself and I found that so incredible. He had some paper and a pencil so he kept a little journal of his time out on the water. 
This book was a little slower to read as it’s obviously just him and the ocean for all of it. I also just needed some breaks to mentally chill out from everything that he had to endure over those few months. It’s absolutely amazing what you can endure when you have to. It definitely makes you think twice about all the stuff you “need” every day. And I thought twice about texting a friend for dinner the other night that I was “starving”… I instead wrote, “I’m REALLY  hungry. Wanna go grab some food?” 
On Kindle for $9
What are you guys reading right now? 
I’ve now read one “work” book. 
So that means I can read 6 “fun” books until I should read another work one… ; ) 
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Book Buzz – Gone Girl

I needed a good “quick read” so I posted on Facebook asking for suggestions… this is always good because a FB post about books will usually yield at least 10-15 responses. I got 23. Six of which recommended Gone Girl, so it won. And since I bought my Kindle last year, I can just go online, purchase it, and it’s there. On my device! Yay for modern-day technology!

Taken from Gillian’s Website:
” On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Ami’s 5th wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick Dunne’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick Dunne isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but hearing from Amy through flashbacks in her diary reveal the perky perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media – as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents – the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter – but is he really a killer? As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one they love. With his twin sister Margo as his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was left in the silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?” 

Ooooooh. Suspenseful, indeed!

My thoughts are mixed on this book: 
The writing? Excellent! 
The suspense? Definitely present. I read this in just a few days… 
The 2 main characters? Wonderful, complex peeps. 
For me it was a little depressing though… Maybe just because I’ve gone through a divorce myself and reading about a couple going through marriage issues isn’t super entertaining. Not that I was relating to these characters to the tee; My hubs would have never killed me (nor I him). It’s just a little heavy is all. 
But overall, this book satisfied what I needed out of it. It was well written and a definite ‘can’t-put-it-down’ read. Have you guys read it? What did you think? 

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Things That Are My Jam Today

All that lead up with big news and then I leave you hangin’ for a week. 
My bad. Anyway… 
Things That Are My Jam Today: 
1. Unbroken
Recommended by Bridget,  this was the best book I’ve read since The Help. It’s written by Laura Hillenbrand, who also wrote Seabiscuit and it’s AH-mazing. A true story about a man who went from an Olympic ahtlete to a drafted military bombardier whose plane crashes in enemy territory during WWII. This book is one of those that, even if you have a spare two minutes before you walk out the door, you pull out of your bag to squeeze a few more pages in. This is a great read for the fellas too (you know: war, crashes, bombs, etc)! Thanks for the rec, Bridge! 
2. My nephew, Jaxson in his “Ninja Lloyd” Halloween costume. 
The moment I said, “let me get your picture” he struck this pose without missing a beat. 
That’s being in character.
3. My new kicks
It’s really hard for me to find a pair of running shoes that I like. I want minimalist shoes, but I also need a little padding for days when I’m on my feet for hours. These K Swiss ones feel good. And they get bonus points for matching my TRX ish. They lose a few of those points though because of the two foot long shoe strings… I meeeeeeean 
4. Getting a girl’s day with Jenn and Christy last week! 
We just hung out, shot the ish, and made cinnamon rolls. Yay for a few hours with the girls. 
5. Tango
He’s SO cute. This was him keeping watch and waiting for Trick-or-Treaters last week. 
6. My special man-friend
Yep. I’m dating somebody. He doesn’t live near me. BUT I’m heading his way to visit for a few days. Right now. 
Photos and deets to come later (gotta keep you guys interested somehow). 
Have a great week, everybody! 
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Book Buzz: Deep Survival. Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why

When my book club was getting off the ground I said the only way I’d join was if we didn’t read any depressing books:

No rape/molestation
No children dying
No abandonment
No self-pity, “why me?” victim books. 

Those are serious issues, and ones that I’ve helped other friends get through and frankly, I don’t want to read about it in my spare time. There’s enough horrible stories in real life and on the news. I want to read inspiring, adventurous, fun, sexy, comedic, good books for entertainment.

So I suggested this book, which has been on my Amazon Wish List for a month or so. My first response from that group email?

“How is that book NOT depressing and horrible?!” 

: ) Fair enough, Sarah. Fair enough. However, this is one of the most inspiring books I’ve ever read.

I’ve been into outdoor adventures for a long time. I like to climb, hike, packpack, camp, etc. I don’t get to participate in as much as I’d like (when you do work travel on the weekends, it limits your “fun travel” time) but I love learning about what ‘not to do’ when you’re in the great outdoors. My good friend, Jenn has worked for the National Park Service and I’ve heard lots of stories from her about people that die in crazy circumstances and ones that survive in crazy circumstances. It’s a morbid curiosity of mine, but one that I think could potentially save my life one day…

In a nutshell: 

First it shows the difference in personalities that determines who survives life and death situations and who doesn’t. Those that are more likely to accept the crisis situation, figure out a plan, and move forward are more likely to get themselves out quickly, before they die. Those who are in denial, focus on self-pity, and wait for something/somebody to come rescue them usually perish. I like to believe I’m a survivor. I don’t spend time wallowing. When something bad happens (in any situation), I figure out what my next step is, and act. I don’t place blame, I don’t wallow, I figure it out.

Then the book talks about the way the body reacts in certain circumstances that make people make smart/not-so-smart decisions. It gets scientific here, but still captivating.

It supports all these thoughts with many tales of survival (and some of peril) in a really gripping fashion: 
*How one teenage girl walked away from a plane crash with no supplies and survived 11 days in the jungle while other adults, with tons of supplies stayed put and died. 
* How one man survived 76 days at sea because he planned for everything that could go wrong and made the right preparations in order to fish and catch clean water from a small life raft. 
*How two grown men nearly died on a mountain climb because they were so hellbent on making this ascent they ignored several signs telling them they shouldn’t have started the climb in the first place; late start, storm coming, severe lightning threats, etc. 
 I read this book in about 5 days and loved every bit of it.
 If you’re fascinated by the same types of things, I’d highly recommend it. 
Plus, it includes several tips on how to prep yourself for decision making
in the thick of it. 
Kindle edition was only $9
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A trip, and victory…

Sunrise from my hotel room in Chicago yesterday:

Sometimes when I travel I just want to chill the F out. So that’s what I did this weekend. I had to teach a TRX course in Chicago Sunday, so I just pulled into town Saturday, posted up in bed with room service, and read my book! 
And guess what? 
I FINALLY finished The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo…
It only took me 6 months. 
Victory is mine. 

now I just have to read the next 2 in the series…
Hope you guys had a great weekend. 
Get after it this week! 
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Book Buzz: Past and Present

Since I did such a shite job with the Blogger Book Club I started (5 months ago), I’m just going to tell you what I’m reading when I’m reading it, and you guys can comment if you want. I just finished Pride and Prejudice last week:

It’s one of those books that you HAVE to read at some point in your life and everybody talks about how fabulous it is so I gave it a whirl… espesh since it was free when I bought my Kindle a couple months ago. And since I’ve always wanted to know what Meg Ryan’s character in You’ve Got Mail was going on and on about… and Jane Austen does use words like thither and felicity. It was all very exciting for me.
Bridget was also just talking about classic books the other day and asking why we don’t read them just for fun anymore… (Like without being in middle school and reading only the parts that had the answers to the worksheet questions your english teacher gave you. That’s not what I did or anything, but I’ve heard of people doing it.) This book was really enjoyable. Glad I got myself started!
~Moving on~
And I know I’m a year or more behind on every series of books there possibly is, (Twilight, Hunger Games, etc.) but because I want to see the movie so badly, I’ve gotta get my ass in gear when it comes to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo:
I actually downloaded this on my iPhone about a year ago and tried reading it then, but just COULD NOT GET INTO IT… and at the time, I was on a really long flight and it was killing my phone battery only 30 minutes in. Sooooo it got the boot. But the movies look amazing and I’ve been reading work books for a bit now and just want to read something entertaining that I can get sucked into easily.
Everybody keeps telling me that the beginning is slow,
but to just keep going.
So I guess I will.
Stieg Larsson, you get one more shot to lure me in, buddy.
Let’s hope it works.
What else is good out there, peeps? Send me your recommendations and maybe I’ll get around to reading them in 2013…
; )
Happy Monday
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I got a new toy!

So I bought a Kindle last night…
I’m so not a gadget person, but in preparation for my flight to Thailand (happening this weekend) I’m trying to find as many things to keep me occupied as possible… other than alcohol.
Flight #1: NYC to Tokyo – 14.5 hours
Flight #2: Tokyo to Bangkok – 7 hours
I’ve never sat for 14.5 hours straight. I’m not sure what the hell I’m going to do. (Other than pop some Tylenol PM and hope I pass the eff out for most of it.) Since I don’t really need an iPad, I settled for the Kindle. I like to read. It has 2 entire months of battery. I can buy books wirelessly. All good things, right? I should be good to go. I’ve already bought a few… this is going to be just like when I first got iTunes: BAD for my bank account.
Here’s what I have so far:
Pride and Prejudice ~ Jane Austen
Seriously… I’m Kidding ~ Ellen DeGeneres
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo ~ Steig Larsson
Presentation Zen ~ Garr Reynolds
What? Shut up, I’m a presenter. I have to work on these things

Any votes for November’s book club book?
Since I’ve pretty much screwed October’s book.
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Book Club and Steve Jobs

As I type this blog post out on my Macbook, I’m thinking of all the ways this man that I’ve never met has made my life so much easier. Having iTunes and my iPod to select music, make playlists and transport my music from gym to gym. Having this awesome computer that has never once, in over 4 years, acted up. Having my iPhone with all these insane apps that makes it effortless to run my business and travel all over the world without a single worry of missing an email, getting lost in random city, missing my connecting flight info, or making a purchase, all with the touch of a screen in my hand. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to know and interact with Steve Jobs, but it must have been insane. I have the utmost respect for anybody that has a vision (no matter how crazy it may be) and MAKING IT A REALITY. He’s done this more than anybody I’m aware of in the past couple of decades. Kudos, Mr. Jobs.

Job well done.
Moving on:
Book Club, September book,
The Hunger Games!
If you would have told me that I was going to read a futuristic/sci-fi/government conspiracy GUY book and absolutely love it, I would have told you that were straight trippin’. But it’s true. I did.I actually read all three books in the trilogy. In two weeks. Who am I?
So, Blogger Book Club members: Who actually read it? Who read all three books? Who now can’t effing wait for the movies?! Although I’m thinking they’re going to be a bit violent and I’ll have to not watch some of those scenes… I’m so glad I heard about these books once all three were out. Same with Twilight. I would have hated ending one book, having those HUGE cliffhangers, then having to wait another year for the next one to be released. Too bad I’ll have to do that with the movies.
Pumped about the movie.
Not pumped that this kid is playing Peeta.
What?! I mean, I’m totally for this guy in the movie… maybe as a tribute? And he’s from Kentucky, so I support him even more for representing… I just don’t see him as Peeta. What do you think?
But YAY for Jennifer Lawrence.
I think she’s a great Katniss.
AND she’s from the ‘Ville as well.
There’s just something about those peeps from KY…
They’re just so cool.
; )
OK. Thoughts on the book.
And suggestions for October’s book.
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