Here we go in 2018

2018 is here and I am ready to make this a great year! A few highlights from the first month the year:

St. Louis Blues game in my company’s box! Plus they won!

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Running in the cold! One 6K in 5 degree weather, a 10K in 2 degree weather. Total monthly total was 25 miles.

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But I did get one 4 mile run where I only needed one layer!

Aunt Erin and Uncle Jake focused on experiences for Christmas instead of gifts. We found experiences that fit their current interests.

Brooke got tickets to Paw Patrol. It was a great show- and so was the popcorn!

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Lucas got an overnight stay in a hotel. We had dinner in bed, went swimming and had a big breakfast the next day!

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It was so fun to have one on one time with each of them. I want to soak up this time while they still want to hang out with us. At this stage in my life, we are still considered fun and cool. #auntlife

I found the library’s audiobook app and I listened to 11 books! Increased running and new projects at work that requires some manual processing have allowed me to have my earbuds in a lot!

  • Commonwealth – This left me feeling meh, there are a lot of characters and family trees to keep track of and for me, the story felt flat.

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  • The Nest – This was the story of family drama and money. It was pretty good.
  • Elsewhere – It was pretty good, it was a YA book so it was pretty simple.
  • Book of Speculation- I thought this was going to better than it ended up being. I found the characters hard to relate to. It has the aspect of historical fiction but fell short for me. Fun fact my mom read the book for her book club and was not a fan either.

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Most the time I read fiction but I also like to read about real people’s lives.

  • Does this Bible Belt Make Me Look Gay- This was a super short set of true stories written by a person detailing her story of coming out in a small town. It’s only an hour but it’s funny and uplifting. If you know someone struggling with coming out I recommend this set of stories.
  • Capital Gaines – This is Chip Gaines book (of Chip and Joanna). He reads the audiobook so of course, I was going to listen to the audiobook. He is open and honest about his life and growing his business. It was a great listen!

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  • Mom & Me & Mom – This a written by Maya Angelou and read by her. This is the story of the impact of women on her life. I am always amazed by the lives some of these authors lead!

I am a sucker for a good thriller. These all fit that bill and were pretty good about keeping me guessing. They are listed in the order I enjoyed them.

  • Arrowood – loved it! Highly recommended
  • The women in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. I have read her other books, this was pretty good.
  • The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson. It took awhile for me to get into this one, but it has a big twist at the end.
  • Behind Closed Doors – B.A. Paris. This was OK, the main character is just an awful person so at times I was ready for the story to be over.

I set a goal in my Goodreads app to read 100 books this year.  I want to try to actually read 100 and not include the ones I listened to. So January total so far is 2

  • Gypsy Moth Summer by Julia Fierro – I loved this book! It’s told from the different perspectives during one summer in a small town.
  • I Was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad by Souad Mekhennet – This was a total girl power book. It tells the story of a reporter who put herself in many dangerous situations to report on terrorism without bias. She stood up for what she believed in and for her colleagues. This was an inspiring story despite all the sadness she witnessed while reporting.

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One month in the books, looking forward to next month – birthday month!

~E

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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A product I am loving!

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If you apply any heat to your hair I recommend this product. It helps makes your hair look great and it smells good too!

Happy Styling!
Erin

 

A holly jolly December

What did I do in December- lots of holiday stuff!

It snowed on Christmas Eve! Jake and I kicked off the day with a cupcake breakfast! Mimosa’s and Irish Coffee were a must.

MORNING

Books:
Read 4, listened to 5

Read:
Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Wiener (this is the first book of hers I have actually red and not listened to) Not one of my favorites but still a good read. I like how all the characters lives intertwined but each character had their own story.

Down City: A Daughter’s Story of Love, Memory, and Murder This was a memoir a woman wrote about growing up in a family where her mother was murdered by drug dealers and her father was a troubled presence in her life.  While it doesn’t sound super uplifting it was a good read. She wrote the book to give her mother a voice that she didn’t get. I enjoyed it and it made my appreciate my parents even more! Read mostly in my Santa pants!

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So you have been publicly shamed I added this book to my want to read list because it was mentioned on a podcast. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get into it, it tells the stories of people who have, thank mainly to social media, been shamed. Either by a tweet or photo posted and then gone viral. I was worried this would be to many facts and science and research but it wasn’t that. The author, Jon Ronson, tells each shamed persons story and details his conversations with them about what the shaming meant to them and where they are currently in their lives. It was an interesting read and has made me think about my social media behavior.

Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose This book is also an audiobook, read by Joe Biden.  I didn’t think I could handle listening to him read this book. The book centers around his son’s battle with cancer and his decision about making a run for the presidency in 2016. I have always been a fan of Biden but after this book I am even bigger fan. He handled himself as both a family man and leader of our country.  I read this mostly while sitting on the couch by our Christmas tree.

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The Weekend Date: I won this as part of a GoodReads giveaway- so I got to read it before it’s January 30th release date. It was a good book about how a chance meeting in an elevator leads to so much more. I would recommend this for your next summer read.

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Listened:
The Forever Summer – This would be a great summer beach read or listen. It has romance and mystery. I would recommend it if you are looking for a relaxing read. Listened to mostly while in my car on cold days.

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The Windfall – Awful. I had flashbacks to listening to Crazy Rich Asians. This was set in India and focused on rich people and their problems. Listened to mostly at my desk at work.

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The Glass Castle – I had heard a few things about this one and wanted to listen to it before watching the movie.  The author read the audiobook, which is the true story of her life. This was a good book, makes you appreciate your childhood. It is amazing all she has done with her life after the childhood she endured.

Dorothy Must Die – This is a YA novel that takes you to the dark side of Oz – but darker than Wicked. It was fun to hear the story flipped upside down. This is a series and I can’t wait to listen to the next 2 in the series.

The Lying Game – The author of this book, Ruth Ware, also wrote In a Dark, Dark Wood which I loved. This book was also a mystery. I liked her first book better but this held my attention and kept me guessing until the end. She is an English author who sets her books in the UK and the reader of the audio book also has an English accent which is fun to listen to.

Miles: 16.7
I signed up for the Snowball Series, which is 6 races between Dec and Feb. A major plus is that I use the same race bib for each race – only one packet pickup and they have donuts after the race!

Race 1: Queeny Park 3 miles

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Race 2: Tower Grove Park 3.1. There was actually snow for the race!

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Not included in this total was the 3.1 miles from the hot chocolate race – because I didn’t run it. I woke up the morning of the race with a sore throat and achy body.  I did pick up my race swag but was sad to miss the chocolate finish!

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I squeezed in a few “just because runs” and got a chance to see a few deer!

RUNNING

I kicked off the holiday running season with an ugly Christmas sweater run with my friend Eileen. The route took us down Candy Cane Lane – a must do on any St. Louis Christmas list!

Other holiday fun included:
Walking through the Brewery Lights with the Gamma Phi’s
Attending the annual Lindsey holiday party
Celebrating Christmas with family and friends all through December

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Risk Manor all decked out for Christmas – complete with a roaring Netflix fire.

CHRISTMAS

Jake and I attended a fundraiser at Kendra Scott for the Ranken Jordan Young Professionals board we sit on. I got a pretty necklace and helped out sick kids.

I made one Pinterest recipe tomato and cheese tarts. These are pretty easy and make you like a rock star host!

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We had the house deep cleaned and had our new backsplash installed and the kitchen painted.

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We went ice skating at Winterfest on the last day it was open. They closed for the season that night due to predicted extreme cold in the St. Louis area.

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We spent New Year’s Eve hanging out with Dan and Sharon and enjoying carryout from Biggies. We even made it to midnight!

December was busy but fun! Stay for January happenings! I hope your 2018 is off to a good start!

~E