Thursday, October 24, 2013

Destiny: A Brightest Kind of Darkness book review

I've waited forever for this book. I mean, really and truly. It was supposed to come out in March but the author (Ms. P.T. Michelle herself) moved across the pond and it got pushed back until October 15. I must've read BKoD and Lucid at least 4 times each in the time before I finally got this book. Ms. Michelle gave me the book in exchange for my honest review, and honestly? I would've paid MORE than it costs. This book was freaking phenomenal!! I wouldn't have thought it would be possible to be even more in love with Ethan but Holy Cow did he ever take it up a notch in this book! And, well, wore less clothes. And provided more entertainment with his hands and mouth. ;-) 

Here's my review on Amazon: 
"I must say, my heart is still palpitating after the last line of this book. What?!?! OMG, Ms. Michelle, you have totally ensnared me...mind, body, and soul!!

I told the author that I was savoring this book and it's true. I took my time reading this, re-reading certain passages, highlighting about a million paragraphs, and trying to calm my breath. I waited a long time for this book to come out and it was definitely worth the wait.

Ethan and Nara have been through a lot. I spent the first half of the book just wanting to slap some sense into Ethan in the hopes it would help him remember. I thought Nara was a little overreactive and sensitive about some issues, but with good reason. It all worked out for the best and when he did finally remember, the goosebumps started and stayed until the end. Danielle...what can I say? I think she probably started out with good intentions but when it came to Ethan, her heart overruled her own purpose and who can blame her? Ethan has that effect on people. I'm sad for her that the end came like it did, but more than that, my heart bleeds for Drystan. I miss him already and I'm hoping that we still see him in the next one. His exit was abrupt and heart wrenching.

Nara's dad...well, that's going to be interesting to say the least. I'm very curious how that whole unintentional love triangle is going to play out! How will her mom react? Or Mr. Dixon for that matter? Yikes!

I'm surprised but not surprised over who the blond man turns out to be. It's a turn I wasn't expecting but once it was revealed, it made a whole lot of sense and I just went "Ah ha!" Now I can see where fate and destiny and purpose all roll into one to bring this series to life.

This book answered a lot of questions and then brought up a whole slew more. I had to bring my husband into the Corvus world just so I had someone to vent to. He (not an avid reader like me) thinks the book premise is great and different as well. I love the characters. I love that they fight for each other and for their destiny. A lot of book characters let other things get in the way of what they are meant to do or be, but Ethan and Nara get closer and more bound with each obstacle. It's a beautiful thing to watch. I have high hopes for them in the future and what they can accomplish. I really love how this book showed both viewpoints, and you really get a sense of how much Nara means to Ethan, what she does for him, how she lights up his darkness. And Adder? Holy Hades, was that not the hottest thing this side of the sun?? The only thing hotter was the culmination (finally!) of the love between Ethan and Nara. I was a smiling fool when it finally happened!! I think I have an entire chapter highlighted for future easy reference.

Kudos, Ms. Michelle, for giving me characters to love, to dream for, to hope with. The depth of love and purpose and pride for and with these two is astounding. I am anxiously awaiting the next book so that I can get more of my favorite couple. I highly recommend getting all 4 of these books and reading them back to back and re-reading them again and again. This is by far my #1 favorite series that I've ever read and it never disappoints or fails to live up to my expectations."

Seriously, though, if you haven't read these books yet, please run out and get them. They are different and interesting and will keep you guessing and engaged from beginning to end. You will be salivating for the next one!! Thank you, Patrice, for giving me another dose of Ethan! Cannot WAIT for the next one!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Day 29 - Recovery Week

Yesterday was the 1st day of my week 5 Recovery Week. It's supposed to be Core Cardio and Balance all week but I have the Deluxe version so I wanted to check out Max Interval Sports Training. I figure since it's 54 minutes (what?!), I'd do it on Sun, Wed and Fri when I have more time, and then the Core Cardio on Mon, Tues and Thurs when my girls have dance. My assessment is below...

Max Interval Sports Training:
This workout is 54 minutes long. The workout starts with one warm-up circuit that is repeated for 2 rounds with no breaks in between, for a total warm-up of about 9 minutes. Then, the main workout is numerous sports based drills in a circuit format. Each circuit is done once, and each drill in the circuit is 30 seconds to 1 minute long. There are water breaks at various points throughout the circuits and in between the circuits. The workout ends with a cool down stretch.

Warm-Up Circuit: (not too bad; I was still sweating but not as much as the regular warmups)
  • Jump Rope
  • Jump Rope – Switch Heels
  • Jump Rope – Switch Heels Higher
  • Jump Rope Side to Side
  • Cross Jacks
  • Knee Pulls – High
  • Knee Pulls – Low
  • Knee Pulls – Hand to Floor
Boxing Circuit: (I enjoyed this one. Really fun and powerful)
  • Jab Across
  • Jab Across 2 & 2
  • Jab Across 4 & 4
  • Jab Across 8 & 8
  • Uppercuts
  • Uppercuts 2 & 2
  • Uppercuts 4 & 4
  • Uppercuts 8 & 8
  • 8 Jabs/8 Power Jumps
Football Circuit: (Hate. Hate. Hate. lol I'm not a guy so football is not my thing...)
  • Football Drills
  • Tricep Pulses
  • Tackle
  • Offensive Line Elbow
Basketball Circuit: (this one is ok. It worked me out, just wasn't too fun)
  • 3 Point Shot – Run
  • Guard Drills
  • Suicide Drills
  • Basketball Dribble
Gymnastics Circuit: (this one was really hard. My 9 year old dancer/gymnast had no problem with these. I, on the other hand, looked like a spastic frog, especially on the pike jump and bronco jumps. You basically lean over in a V-push up stance, then push your feet off the ground and jump up into a sort of handstand. Not easy, and OMG it hurts).
  • Pike Jump
  • Pendulum
  • 6 Inches Hold
  • Flutter Kicks
  • Scissors
  • V-Push Ups
  • Bronco Jumps
Track and Field Circuit: (just running. I just finished C25K so this was easy lol)
  • Ladders – 15
  • Ladders – 30
  • Ladders – 45
  • Ladders – 60
  • Ladders – 45
  • Ladders – 30
  • Ladders – 15
  • Long Jump

The Max Interval Sports Training workout is one of my favorite Insanity workouts, even if it is a bit long. You do a ton of new sports orientated exercises in this workout including boxing, football, basketball, gymnastics, and track and field. Shaun T drills you and pushes you like he is your coach, making you feel like it is game day and you are in it to win it. The gymnastics jumps are so different than any other exercise I have done before so I think it's definitely challenging and keeps you a little more engaged if you've gotten complacent so far. Overall, I think this workout is really fun and makes you forget how hard you are working out!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Insanity Days 14-21

I am still doing Insanity, although I'm no longer posting a play by play every day, only because the exercises are at the repetition stage. For those of you curious, though, I'll list the workouts below!

Day 14 - Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Day 15 - Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs
Day 16 - Cardio Recovery
Day 17 - Cardio Power & Resistance
Day 18 - Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Day 19 - Pure Cardio & Cardio Abs
Day 20 - Cardio Power & Resistance
Day 21 - Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Day 22 - Cardio Recovery (haven't done yet but scheduled for today lol)

It's intense but I'm slowly getting better at it. My endurance is definitely better than it was when I started 3.5 weeks ago. :-)

Here's my weight stats:
Start Weight: 168.8
Current Weight: 151.8
Total lost: 17
Waist: 35
Chest: 38
Hips: 39
Thighs: 20
Total Inches Lost: 18 inches

And current pics:

Apples in a Bag

Can I get a What, what?! OMG. I was about to embark on a not-so-exciting breakfast of oatmeal this morning, which was the only thing I had at work. I was online trying to find ways to spruce it up when I came across this fabulous site and saw this wonderful recipe! I thought, hey, surprisingly I actually have said ingredients here at the office so no harm, no foul, right? I'd say so! I sliced my apple, added my spices, shook the baggie like a Polaroid picture, and popped that sucker into the microwave. Not only did it taste divine, but it made the office smell yumalicious! Try it on oatmeal, ice cream, or just eat it out of the bag for a sweet, healthy dessert!

Apples in a Bag
Recipe type: Dessert, Snack
  • 1 small apple (Golden Delicious or Granny Smith are my favorite)
  • 1 packet of sweetener (Splenda is my favorite), or a spoonful of sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Small handful of raisins, optional
  1. Peel or don’t peel apple, core and slice or dice. Place in freezer-quality plastic zippered bag along with remaining ingredients. Seal bag and shake well to mix ingredients.
  2. Reopen bag just a touch to vent. Microwave on High for 2 minutes– longer if you use a big apple.
  3. Carefully (it will be HOT and steamy) open bag and pour over plain or cinnamon-sugar pita chips, flour tortilla chips, oatmeal or ice cream.
(Nutritionals based on no raisins, unpeeled apples and artificial sweetener)

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 59 Fat: .2 g Carbohydrates: 16.7 g Sugar: 11.0 g Sodium: 2 mg Fiber: 2.9 g Protein: .3 Cholesterol: 0 mg

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Insanity Days 8 - 12 and updated Fit Test!

So days 8 through 12 are repeats of the previous exercises as listed:
Day 8 Pure Cardio
Day 9 Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Day 10 Cardio Recovery
Day 11 Cardio Power and Resistance
Day 12 - Pure Cardio & Cardio Abs - something new! Cardio Abs hurts like a mother. Seriously. My body just does not want to do the "V" formation and the leg pulses. Ugh. I better have some kicking abs after all this is done.

Day 13 - Fit Test! I was actually really surprised at the difference in my fit test scores. I didn't think 2 weeks would make that much of a difference!
Fit Test 1:
Switch Kicks - 50
Power Jacks - 36
Power Knees - 50L/30R
Power Jumps - 30
Globe Jumps - 9
Suicide Jumps - 14
Push Up Jacks - 17
Low Plank Oblique - 15

Fit Test 2:
Switch Kicks - 110
Power Jacks - 44
Power Knees - 100L/82R
Power Jumps - 35
Globe Jumps - 12
Suicide Jumps - 18
Push Up Jacks - 26
Low Plank Oblique - 30

Wow! I can tell that the C25K has helped my breathing and endurance. I'm officially running 3 miles daily and it feels great! It definitely assists me with all this Sean T INSANENESS!!