The Hunger Games Trilogy

 

To say that I loved these books would be an understatement. I read these three books in 3 days, that’s one book a day. I stayed up way too late reading some of these books and loved them so much that I had a few dreams that I was in the Hunger Games! Kind of crazy if you think about it! But that’s really how much I enjoyed these books! Before I go into my review on these let me give you a brief description of these books!

(Summaries are from Goodreads)

The Hunger Games (#1)

The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The ‘tributes’ are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.

When 16-year-old Katniss’s younger sister, Prim, is selected as District 12’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

Catching Fire (#2)

Against aall odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol – a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s curel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

Mockingjay (#3)

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss’s family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans – except Katniss

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss’s willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. TO do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels’ Mockingjay – no matter what the personal cost.

Okay, so now that we have the background of all three books let’s talk about them and what I loved about each book.

Continue reading “The Hunger Games Trilogy”

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The #1 Movie Every (Catholic/Christian) Teacher Should Watch

First of all if you haven’t seen God’s Not Dead…what are you doing?!? You need to check it out! It’s a great movie and it will forever be one of my favorites.

The name of Jesus is becoming less and less welcomed in the world (especially in schools) with each passing day. If we as Christians don’t take a stand now, who knows what will happen.

God’s Not Dead 2 welcomes us back to Hope Springs where a beloved teacher Grace Wesley (played by Melissa Joan Hart) helps her students to understand and enjoy history. Her love of her profession, her love for her students and her love of life in general all stem from the same place…her love of Christ and her love for her faith.

Now this is where it becomes tricky, Grace doesn’t work in a private Christian school, she teaches in a public school where bringing up the name of Jesus or God is tricky and can get you into a lot of trouble. By sending your children to public school it allows a separation of church and state, by discussing religion in the public classroom it violates that separation which can anger some parents. Non-believers can often view someone discussing their religion as them trying to push their religion on a person who might not believe exactly what they do. Though that is often not the case, it is often how it is perceived.

During the movie, Brooke, a student grieving the loss of her brother, reaches out to Grace at a local coffee shop. During their conversation Brooke asks Grace (Mrs. Wesley) how she deals with certain things in her life, naturally it brought Grace to sharing how she finds hope and comfort in Christ.

Now you’re probably sitting there thinking, how is that so wrong? They were outside of school and all she did was be honest with her. Brooke asked her a question and she gave her an honest answer. There should be nothing wrong with that…but it will later be used against her.

A little later into the movie Mrs. Wesley is giving a history lesson about Gandhi and his teachings Brooke raises her hand and asks a question…bringing up Jesus.  Thinking very carefully, Mrs. Wesley contemplated how she was going to answer this question, or if she was even going to answer it. But she did. Though her answer was very reasonable, it will later land her in big trouble. Her principal and superintendent join forces with a zealous civil liberties group and Mrs. Wesley faces an epic court case that could cost her the career that she loves so much.

Now I won’t spoil the movie for you and tell you how it ends. I mean I wouldn’t tell you about it if I didn’t want you to go watch it. But let’s think about it for a minute. Could you imagine being asked a question by one of your students and feeling like you can’t answer it because it could ultimately cost you your job? I couldn’t even imagine.

I loved this movie for so many reasons. It came into my life at the perfect time to be honest. I was going through a rough patch in my life. I had lost my grandma and several other people very close to me and I was having a hard time staying connected to God. I was angry and I was upset, I didn’t understand why God was taking all of these amazing people away from me, and all at once. It was heartbreaking and devastating and I wasn’t sure how to handle all of it. Instead of turning to prayer for answers, I let my anger and confusion consume me. I felt like God had abandoned me when I needed Him the most. I know that sounds crazy but I honestly believe that everyone goes through it at least once in their life.

I remember the first time I watched it and I felt this overwhelming feeling at one point (I would tell you what point but I feel like that might ruin the movie), and I remember just crying, sobbing really. I remember sitting there realizing that it was silly of me to think that God wasn’t there for me. I knew that God was there for me, He was always there for me and He always will be. I had just been so angry and confused and upset that I decided to block Him out. But watching this movie helped me wakeup and realize something that I should’ve known all along.

“Lord you said that once I decided to follow you,
we would walk side by side through life,
but when I needed you most, I saw only one
set of footprints in the sand.

The Lord replied, ‘I love you, and I would never
leave you. During your times of trial and suffering.
When you see only one set of footprints it was
then that I carried you’ “.

I have been a Catholic all my life, 25 years to be exact. Now I haven’t always known what it really meant to be a Catholic. As I grew up I began to understand and as Catholics we are taught that God will always be there for us. If you read the Bible it’s true, God is always there for us whether we realize it or not. Those times that we think that He is not there…I feel like it is really us blocking Him out. I know that’s exactly what I was doing. I was angry and instead of letting Him guide me through the pain and the troublesome times I blocked Him out. But the good thing about God is, that even if you do block Him out, when you’re ready to go back to Him, He is there waiting with open arms. I may have blocked God out from my mind during those difficult times in my life, but I know that He still carried me through them. How do I know that? Because I don’t believe that I would’ve made it through them if He hadn’t.

My point is, that if you’re a Catholic teacher and teaching in a Catholic school, realized that you are blessed because you get to share your faith daily with your students without fear of being punished or potentially losing your job. As for those teachers that aren’t that lucky, keep your faith strong and don’t be afraid to be who you are.

If you check out this movie, pleases let me know! If you have already watched it, let me know what you thought of it. I know this can be a controversial topic, so please no arguing in the comments. Let’s be respectful of each other’s opinions please.

XoXo Shelby

5 ways to make time to exercise!

The number one excuse for not working out is “I don’t have time” but I can promise you that is not the main reason that they are not working out. There is something more to is, maybe there’s a lack of motivation, lack of enjoyment, negative associations with working out or even low self-esteem.

Americans tend to live life as if it’s a race against time, we’re always worried about getting here or getting there on time and fitting everything we want to do into an already busy schedule. We can find time for television shows, social media and social networking and even household tasks but that is because there are not the same barriers associated with these activities.

If you want to exercise you will make the time. But the truth is that some of us are just in denial about our health. Before I started exercising on the regular and eating healthier I was in denial about my health and my body. I didn’t think that I was over weight, I didn’t think that I needed to exercise. I felt fine in my body and I felt like I was a healthy person. One day something in my mind changed, something clicked and I wanted to exercise, I wanted to lose weight and I wanted to eat better…so I made the time for it.

Do you want to make time to exercise but you’re not sure how? Let me share with you five ways that you can make time for your workouts!

 

1. Make a Plan: Fail to plan….plan to fail. The best way to ensure that you exercise is to have a plan written out, schedule your workouts like they are important meetings and do your best not to cancel them. Imagine that your boss scheduled an important meeting with you and you decided that you didn’t want to go so you just canceled….I don’t think your boss would be happy about that. Treat your workouts like a meeting with your boss…don’t cancel! In order to make a plan there are some things that you need to consider. What time of the day is best for you to make sure that you can fit your workout in on the days that you want to. Does the morning work best for you or the evening? Once you’ve decided on that put it in writing and then put it in your phone as a reminder on your calendar, this will help you know that you shouldn’t schedule something during that time.

2. Hit “Play” at home: There are so many at home workouts and exercise DVD’s on the market that are not only cost-effective but they allow you to be flexible in your workouts. When you workout at home you can workout at any time, if you belong to a gym there’s more of a chance that you have to work around the schedule that they are open. Working out at home also gives you that option of privacy, some people aren’t comfortable working out around other people and there’s nothing wrong with that. Working out at home also gives you the ability to multi-task…need to do a load of laundry? No problem! Start the washing machine, push play and exercise while it washes the clothes. Washers done and you’re not done working out? Again no problem, push pause, move the clothes into the dryer and start your workout again!

3. Rise and Shine….Greet the Morning!: I know that we all live busy lives, we all have jobs that demand our attention for most of our day. Some of us have a family and sometimes that’s another job in itself. No time in the evening? Well there are early morning hours that you can still exercise! I know, I know, the morning is not always a good option for everyone. Personally I can’t stand waking up before I actually have to, but I also have the luxury of getting off work at 3:30 every day (for the most part), which gives me more than plenty of time to exercise in the evening. Even if you’re not a morning person it is possible to wake up early and exercise. I’ve done it before. Lay your workout clothes out the night before, if you’re going to workout at home then have the DVD or program or whatever picked out all ready so you don’t waste any time. Set your alarm and you’re all set.

4. HIIT it Hard: See what I did there? HIIT (hit) it hard? No…okay I tried to be funny! Anyways! High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) if done right can be done in a short amount of time and can be highly beneficial. If you’re focused on what you’re doing and you have a set routine, there’s no reason that you can’t get results in less than 20 minutes a week. Need some inspiration? Check out Pinterest, there are plenty of HIIT workouts on there. The best part is that they will most likely combine cardio and strength training and they will get your heartrate up and take it back own in a way that will increase your calorie burn not only during the workout but or up to an hour afterwards! I promise that you will feel like you spent an hour or more exercising and you really didn’t.

5. Wear a fitness tracker: I know that for those of us that have a desk job it’s difficult to move throughout the day. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we’re doing that before we know it, it’s lunch time and we haven’t even moved from our desk once. According to the American Heart Association, it is recommended that Americans take at least 10,000 steps a day, but studies have shown that by the age of 60, most people are down to about 4,500 steps a day. I never realized how little I moved throughout the day (other than when I was exercising) until I owned a Fitbit. I immediately became more aware and started to make sure that I moved a little bit more. As Fitbits have changed over the years and the technologies have advanced, some of them will now give you a reminder when you haven’t moved in a while. I have mine set up so that my active hours are from 8am to 7pm (11 hours) and the goal for each hour is 250 steps. About 10 minutes before the hour is over if I haven’t reached my goal of 250 steps it will vibrate to give me a reminder to move. If that happens I get up and walk a little. If I have kiddos in my room, I’ll get up and circle the classroom, if my room is empty I’ll get up and walk to the bathroom or walk to the office or the water fountain. Something to get my body moving. You’ll be surprised how motivated you get when you know you have a goal to reach!

Now that I’ve given you some tips and tricks on how to make sure that you can make time to workout I don’t want to hear any more excuses! Now I will say this, please listen to your body! If you are sick or injured there is no reason to push yourself to workout, you are only going to make the problem worse.

What was your favorite tip? Let me know in the comments below!

XoXo Shelby

Technology Takeover and burning books…

Now I will say that it has been a while since I read this book….I want to say that I read it in sixth or seventh grade? I’m 25 years old now, BUT I remember really enjoying this book! Now this is not going to be a typical book review. Yes I loved this book but in order for me to review it properly I would have to re-read it and my “to-read” list is a mile long right now. Maybe at a later date I will pick this book back up and give it a proper review. Until then I just want to discuss how I think this book relates to the world around us today. The more technology seems to develop, the more I feel like books are becoming more irrelevant. Does that mean they’re being banned? No they’re not, but I see it day in and day out…kids (and adults) just don’t like to read…and that makes me sad!

I feel like this book has more relevance (for lack of a better word) now than it did when it was written, but I’ll talk a little bit more about that in a minute. Before I do, let’s talk about what the story is actually about.

Set in the 24th century, Farenheit 451 tells the story of Guy Montag. Montag is a fireman and loves his job, you could even say that he takes pride in it. But this job isn’t like any fireman you would see around your city today, these firemen burn illegally owned books and the homes of their owners. Could you even imagine?!? I would be devastated if my house was burned to the ground because I owned a book (or multiple books because let’s face it I love books so in this setting I would be a rebel lol)! As the story develops, Montag begins to question the value of his profession and ultimately….his life. Through this novel we follow his struggles with his existence and eventually we follow him as he flees the oppressive, censored society that he lives in and joins an underground network of intellectuals. With his newfound friends, he witnesses the atomic destruction of his former city and dedicates himself to rebuilding a literate and cultural society. (Now that sounds like somewhere I would want to live!)

Continue reading “Technology Takeover and burning books…”

What’s in my teacher bag?!?

All of my fellow teacher friends out there, if you’re anything like me (and I know most of you are!!) You probably have way too many things in your teacher bag that you probably could leave at home….or school…but why take that chance, right?!?

So I thought it would be fun if I shared with all of you a list of things that I carry back and forth with me between school and home! (Some necessary and some not!)

 

Continue reading “What’s in my teacher bag?!?”

Easy Healthy Lasagna

Yes I said it, healthy lasagna!!

You’re probably thinking What?!!? But just hear me out! This recipe is 21 day fix approved, which if you’re like me and you love your Beachbody programs then this is perfect for you! If not, then just enjoy the benefits of a healthy recipe!


Ingredients: 

  • 8 sheets of whole grain lasagna
  • 15 oz tub of Ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/3 cup mozzarella and/or Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tea salt
  • 4 cups of chopped spinach (I also added some green pepper because I love green pepper)
  • 1 regular jar (24-32 oz) of low or no sugar marinara sauce


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Boil lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain and lay on wax paper. (Or you can cheat like I always do and buy the ones that you don’t have to pre-cook!)
  3. In a medium bowl, blend Ricotta, egg, salt, and mozzarella until well mixed.
  4. Mix in spinach and other ingredients
  5. Spread 1/4 cup of marinara on the bottom of a 9×13 pan.
  6. Spread spinach mixture evenly over 8 lasagna sheets.
  7. Roll up lasagna sheets and put into 9×13 pan.
  8. Dump the rest of the marinara sauce over the rolls.
  9. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes or until heated through.

 

This is super simple and super tasty!! If you give it a try let me know!!!

Happy cooking!

XoXo Shelby

Mystery…Thriller…Suspense…

Okay so it’s been a minute since I’ve read this book but I do remember loving it so much that I couldn’t put it down, and frankly I didn’t want to!

Before I go into my review let’s do a little summary first.

From Goodreads:

Every day the same.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

Until today.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good??

 

Now if that alone doesn’t make you want to read this book I’m not sure what will!!

This is definitely one unsettling thriller. No one can be trusted in this story. If you had to choose between an alcoholic, a liar and a cheat who would you trust??? These are the three women who are at the center of this story: Rachel, Anna and Megan. Each girl has her own story, and in that story is nothing but secrets.

Have you ever sat in a public place and watched people as they went about their daily lives? As you did that did you imagine what their life story was? Maybe even make up some stories about them and their life? Do you imagine that they are living their perfect lives?

That is what Rachel does each day as she rides on the train to and from town. She uses the lives of others to distract her from the mess of her own life. She has grown particularly fond of the life of “Jess and Jason” (as she likes to call them) who live at the house just outside of her train window when the train stops at the same red signal each morning. However, one morning Rachel notices that things are not as they normally are. As Rachel is watching out her train window one morning she sees something that completely changes the life she has imagined for “Jess and Jason”. This event will pull her into their lives more than she already was, though she is unsure exactly what she has seen and what she has seen or what she might know, she feels the need to find out.

Rachel’s boozy behavior and alcohol habit leaves her as an unreliable sources when it comes to whatever happened between “Jess and Jason”. This behavior is also what got her fired from her job in London and her husband. Since their divorce, she has become obsessed with Tom (her ex husband), who left her for a blonde woman named Anna. Like any man who leaves his wife for another woman, Tom thought the grass was going to be greener on the other side…and unfortunately he was wrong. Anna’s personality has drastically changed now that they are married and have a young daughter. Rightfully so, Anna isn’t so fond of Rachel lurking around their house. But no matter what Tom says or does, Rachel lurks and pesters them and remembers none of it the next day.

Now let’s circle back to this Jess and Jason situation for a moment. One day as  Rachel is taking her daily commute to the city she sees Jess…kissing another man, or so she thinks that’s what she saw. Jess’ real name is actually Megan, and this life that is she lives is nothing like the one Rachel had imagined in her head. She is incredible restless with her husband Scott (better known to Rachel as Jason) and is having an affair with her therapist. Megan feels as if she doesn’t belong on this little suburban street in this life that she lives. She once worked at an art gallery, however when she lost that job…things changed. She is bored and restless and completely unhappy with her life. Then one day…she disappears…never to be seen again.

As you can imagine, the disappearance of Megan became a huge story and as it does Rachel feels that it is her duty to go to the police with what she saw from the train. Of course, no one is willing to take Rachel seriously; a random drunken witness just waltzes in off the street declaring she knows what happened to this missing woman??? I wouldn’t trust her either. As if this story line isn’t crazy enough already, remember how I mentioned earlier that Anna can’t stand the fact that Rachel tends to lurk around their house?? Well it’s about to get even worse because Megan used to be Anna and Tom’s babysitter for a hot minute (and was terrible at it), which of course connects Megan, Scott and Anna….which connects Rachel and Anna…making them potential victims to whomever took/hurt/killed Megan.

Will they find out who took/hurt/killed Megan? Was is her husband. the therapist, Anna or some random stranger? Did she run away from home? You’re going to have to pick this book up and read it for yourself to find out!!

The story continues to unravel with more lies, more back-stabbing and more secrets. I don’t want to give too much away, so I will leave you with what I have written.

Have you read Girl on the Train?? What did you think of it?? I want to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

XoXo Shelby

Healthy Teacher Lunch Ideas

Eating healthy at lunch or even getting a lunch as a teacher can be difficult! Sometimes we end up working through our lunch, plus we have recess duty and who knows what other crazy interruptions. Instead of relying on coffee, diet soda (or soda in general) and unhealthy snacks let me give you a list of some quick healthy things that I enjoy packing in my lunch!

  1. Yogurt – it’s quick and easy and it tastes good! You can even back some granola and put it on top for a little added crunch!
  2. Veggies and Hummus – one of my favorite things to pack! Carrots, Celery, Cucumber, whatever your favorite vegetable is and add some hummus on the side and you have the perfect protein filled crunchy meal!
  3.  Veggies and Dip – for those of you that don’t like hummus you can always switch it out for your favorite veggie dip!
  4. Lettuce Wraps – There’s nothing like a good sandwich for lunch, but sometimes I don’t want all of those heavy carbs loading me down after lunch. Instead of using bread I like to make lettuce wraps. **Here’s a tip, pack all of the toppings and your lettuce separately otherwise it could potentially get soggy and messy and assemble it at lunch**
  5. Salads – I know this is super basic and anyone could think of this but seriously salads are one of my go-to lunches. They’re healthy, there’s only one dish and it’s super easy to eat too!
  6. Soup – now that it’s getting cold outside I like to either buy a healthy soup or make s big pot of soup in the crock pot and take it with me to work. It’s warm, it keeps me warm and it’s filling which is always nice.
  7. Chicken and rice – this is one of my go-to lunches on the days that I have to teach at the gym in the evening. It’s a little bit heavier of a lunch but not too heavy that it would weigh me down or make me feel groggy after lunch. The chicken and rice mixture is a good source of protein and carbs to help energize me a little bit more for the rest of my day.
  8. Chicken salad and pita chips – I love chicken salad, chicken salad sandwiches or even just chicken salad on some pita chips. The chicken gives you some protein which will give you a little boost and I enjoy the pita chips as opposed to bread because it’s less carbs and it adds a little bit of a crunch.

 

Those are pretty much my go-to lunches. Occasionally I will pack leftovers from the night before or change it up a bit. But these are my favorite things to pack. On a rare occasion I will buy a lunch from the school cafeteria but I try to stay away from that. When I do buy a lunch I tend do be hungry before it’s time to go home and then I find myself snacking on things that I shouldn’t.

What are some of your favorite lunches to pack?? Did you see any ideas above that you want to try? Let me know in the comments!

XoXo Shelby

Summer bodies are made in the Winter!

Winter is fast approaching which means colder weather, and comfort food! This time of year is never good for those of us who spend summer and the warmer months trying to get/stay fit! I know I have a difficult time staying active in the winter. I am a huge baby when it comes to the cold! I love Ohio and I love living here, but I could definitely do without the winters!! (Although I’m sure some places have it way worse, like I said I’m a baby when it comes to the cold!!) No one likes putting in all that hard work in the spring and summer only to have it ruined in the winter. Starting from square one is no fun!!

So in order to help you (and myself!) here are some tips on how to stay fit this winter!! Some of these I have tried before, some of them I haven’t and this winter I plan to give them a go! Hopefully you will see something that appeals to you as well and you will give it a try! I hope you find something that works for you!

 

1. Find an accountability partner: This is one of my favorite fitness tips in general! There is nothing better than having an accountability partner. I’ve talked about this before in a previous blog. Accountability partners are great because they keep you in check with your daily workouts and nutrition. Your accountability partner is someone who is always going to be in your corner, cheering you on to reach your goals. Another reason I love having an accountability partner (and a good one) is because he/she will call you out on your crap. Did you go off of your meal plan?? They’ll call you out on it. Did you skip a workout? They’ll call you out on it, and you can do the same for them! It might seem a little crazy but I promise it’s motivational! You just need to find the right accountability partner!

2. Try something new: Sometimes switching up your workouts will do great things for you! You might not realize it but you might be in a rut, it’s okay it happens sometimes. Switching up your normal workout can easily take your out of a funk that you don’t even realize you’re in. Not sure how to switch up your workout? Try a new fitness class that you’ve never tried before. Run a different trail if you’re a runner. You can even try switching up the time of day that you workout, if you normally workout in the evening try a morning workout or visa versa. You can even add a monthly challenge into the mix, you can find a lot of different ones on Pinterest!!

3. Focus on Nutrition: With the holidays coming up I know that this is the first thing that goes out the door for me! Nutrition is so difficult to focus on when there are so many delicious cookies and other comfort foods being made for the holidays. But let me give you a little hint. Focus on your nutrition on the other days of the month. Keep a food journal (I personally love using the MyFitnessPal app on my phone, it’s easy and I always have it with me!). Then use the holiday as your treat day. (Confused by the word treat day?? Take a look at my blog post where I talk all about the difference between a treat and a cheat day and why I prefer to call it a treat day!!).

4. No Gym?? Join one!: One of the many reasons people don’t workout in the winter is because they don’t own a gym membership. I know for me it is very difficult to workout at home, depending on my mood. Sometimes I can motivate myself at home to do a workout, sometimes I can’t. But if I go to the gym I know there will be classes or that I can motivate myself there. I know it’s a mind over matter situation but I haven’t quite conquered that yet! (I’m working on it!!)

5. Stay Hydrated: Staying hydrated in the winter is so difficult!! I know for me I would rather be drinking a cup of warm coffee or tea than drinking cold water. But staying hydrated even in the winter is very important. Make it a game with yourself. That’s what I do and let me tell you it works! I have a 48oz Bubba cup and I tell myself that I have to drink 1 full cup before lunch (for me that’s between 11:15 and 12:00 depending on the day), and then I fill it up and I have to drink the second one before I leave work (usually around 3:15). If I do that, I have then I know that I have drank 96oz of water by the time I have left work, leaving me with only 4oz left to drink to hit my 100oz goal mark for the day. Sometimes I will fill it up a 3rd time once I get home depending on how intense my workouts are for the day. (When you exercise you should be drinking extra water because you are losing a lot of water during your exercise!).

6. Be aware of your mental health and make sure that you take care of yourself: The winter months tend to be very difficult for a lot of people, the sun is out less, it’s cold and it can cause a lot of people to become more sad during these months. Season depression is a real thing that a lot of people experience. Make sure that during these winter months you are taking some time for you. Read a book, meditate, find something that makes you happy and do it for at least 15 or 20 minutes each day. Sometimes (even during the warmer months) we become so busy trying to please everyone else that we tend to forget that we need to do things for us too. Your workout can even be your “me time”, I know that my workout is my me time and more like therapy than anything else. Without it I would probably lose my mind sometimes!!

 

I hope that one of these tips (or even all of them) will help you to stay motivated this winter and holiday season!!!

What do you do to stay motivated in the cold months??? Did you see a tip above that you want to try this winter??? Let me know in the comments below!!!

XoXo Shelby

Looking for an exciting thriller to read?? Check out this one!

Could you imagine waking up every single morning not knowing who you are or who the person is that is laying next to you or anything about your life?? I mean if you think about it, our memories define us and make us who we are. I couldn’t imagine not being able to remember who I was or anything about my life. Welcome to Christine’s life.

In my opinion this debut book by S.J. Watson was written wonderfully. It’s a fast-paced psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I would definitely describe this book as one that you won’t be able to put down!

Before I Go to Sleep is about a woman named Christine who wakes up each morning with no memory of who she is. With the help of her husband and some labeled pictures, every day she put the pieces of her life back together just to forget it all again when she falls asleep. Each day she is reminded of the accident that put her where she is. However, after a visit from a mysterious doctor she is lead to a private journal that she has been writing to herself. This journal leads her to believe that her life might not be all that it seems and that the one person that she should be able to trust….might not be so trustworthy after all.

As she begins working each day with this Doctor (Dr. Nash) she begins to uncover more leads that are helping her to really piece her life back together. But with every memory that she unfolds, she is greeted with greater confusion and more questions. There are things that she remembers that her husband tends to leave out or not want to discuss. She remembers having a child and she suspects that at one point she was an author.

Are these new memories true or false?? Who is being truthful with her? Who is hiding things from her and why are they hiding those things?

As you read through this book you get sucked into the story line. Getting a small taste of what it would be like to live without your memories. As the story line develops you begin to notice things (along with Christine), that make you really think. Let me tell you, as the story developed I had two people on my list of “the one”….and I was right about one of them and I cried when the book ended.

I could really talk about this book forever. But I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who wants to go pick it up and read it for themselves…which I highly recommend that you do, so I’ll end my review here.

Have you already ready Before I Go to Sleep? What did you think of it? Have you seen the movie? If you have would you recommend it? (I personally haven’t seen it yet!) Tell me your thoughts in the comments below!

XoXo Shelby