Monday, April 2, 2012

My March Adventures

Time sure does fly, doesn't it? March was a good month, busy as usual, but aren't we all? The biggest adventure around here last month was having my baby turn 13 years old! A teenager! Now husband and I are the parents of two teenage girls. Wow. Talk about adventures! :D

In health & fitness: 
Have you noticed the Crazy Sexy Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It! Diet book by Kris Carr on my sidebar that I've been reading for the last couple of weeks? I read most of it last month and just finished this morning. It's a fabulously inspirational and instructional book on revamping your lifestyle choices for optimal health, happiness and overall vitality.  I have to admit that my focus on healthy eating has slipped in the past several weeks after having completed that WholeLiving action plan back in February. Crazy Sexy Diet has helped (re-)inspire me to get back on track. Today I did a 24 green juice fast as prescribed by Kris Carr in her book and starting tomorrow I am back to 'Crazy Sexy - Whole Living' eating. I'm not doing the 21 Adventure Day Cleanse in Kris' book. I'm just not ready for another cleanse after having done the WholeLiving one in January. But I am going to use it as a guide to keep myself in check. I know I've said this often, but this time I mean it. :o)

March was a good workout month for me. I stepped up the running quite a bit and was kept extra motivated by my husband who has been joining me once or twice a week. We came up with a 5 km loop from our house, so that's the minimum distance we do now. I'm still biking and can't believe that I biked all winter long. I'm looking forward to the earlier sunrises so we can get out on the road nice and early on the weekends, ride 40-50 miles [64-80 km] and be home by lunchtime. Here's a rundown of what I did in March to keep my body moving:

Bike 80.78 miles | 22 fitness miles | 5.5 hours
Run 30.57 miles | 30.57 fitness miles | ~5.5 hours
Kickbox . . . . . . . . 14 fitness miles | 3.5 hours
Spin . . . . . . . . . . .  16 fitness miles | 4 hours
Powercuts . . . . . . . 16 fitness miles | 4 hours
Cardio Interval . . . . 4 fitness miles | 1 hour

Total fitness challenge 'miles'* = 102.57 miles

Which is approximately 23.5 hours of biking running kicking spinning lifting and cardio blasting. Yeah, baby!

*[My monthly goal is 100 miles where 1 fitness challenge mile = 15 min of cardio or strength training = 1 mile run.]

What did you do in March to keep moving?

In reading adventures: 
I read 13 books in March! Hooray! This puts me on schedule to reach my goal of 101 books this year. Assuming I keep this pace, of course. And the year is young, so really.. it doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot. Of the 13 books, 3 were novellas and 4 were graphic novels.. but the other 6 books were full length novels, including the 500+ page book Eona by Alison Goodman which is the second book I vowed to read for this year's Big Book Challenge. Which means... ta da!!! I completed my 2012 Big Book Challenge! One down ... um.. a lot more to go?

Here's a look at which books I read last month:

1. Capturing the Silken Thief by Jeannie Lin  
2. Eona by Alison Goodman
3. Ecstasy Unveiled by Larissa Ione
4. Eternity Embraced by Larissa Ione
5. Sin Undone by Larissa Ione 
6. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
7. A Lot Like Love by Julie James
8. Where She Went by Gayle Forman 
9. Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones 
10. The Good Neighbors Book One: Kin by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh
11. The Good Neighbors Book Two: Kith by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh
12. The Good Neighbors Book Three: Kind by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh
13. Eternity in Death by J.D. Robb

My favorite books this month are: Eona by Alison Goodman, Sin Undone by Larissa Ione, Where She Went by Gayle Forman and Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones.

I couldn't narrow down to just one! Interestingly, they're all SO different. I like that.

What great books did you read in March? 

Other projects and adventures: 

Behind the lens:
I'm still plugging along with my iPhone instagram Project 366. Well sort of. I had a Project 366 fail when I forgot to take a photo on March 16. Ugh. I'm really bummed about this. I decided to give myself a get out of jail free card just this once because it's leap year. Lame excuse, I know, but if I still take a picture every day until the end of the year I will have completed a Project 365. I know it's not the same as going 365 days STRAIGHT but it is what it is. :/ The following is my favorite photo from March..
The view at the park on one of my March runs.
Camera: iPhone 4S
In the garden: 
I'm still hoping to finally re-establish a vegetable garden this year before it's too late. I had a backyard vegetable garden for years but our home addition a few years ago took over where the garden was. I don't really get enough sunlight anywhere else in the yard except my flower garden between the house and the driveway, which is kind of a weird place for a vegetable garden since it would be visible from the street. I think I can still make it pretty. Well, until I have to put netting around it all to keep the deer out. Hopefully I'll carve some time this week and next to start transplanting the flowers to other areas of the yard to make room for neat rows of vegetables. I can't wait! :)

Do you have a vegetable garden?

So that's about it for my March adventures. Thanks for reading all about it and I wish you an Amazing April! xo


  1. What a gorgeous photo! I am always impressed with the quality of photo that can be taken with an iPhone. I love the composition and reflection you got in the water.

    I am living in an apartment so there will be no garden for me. I do, however, plan to do window boxes for the first time. I want flowers out front and herbs out my kitchen window. My boyfriend's dad had a HUGE garden that we regularly harvest. They end up with so many tomatoes that half end up rotting on the plant. I want to do more canning this year to try and utilize the excess produce.

  2. You are doing great with your reading and exercising this year! Your photo is beautiful. We are still debating a garden this year and have decided IF we plant one, it'll be a container garden this year.
    Congratulations on finishing your first reading challenge!

  3. I have to chime in and agree--a beautiful photo! I'm impressed that you keep up with so many different aspects of your life here. Blogging is a great motivator, isn't it?

  4. Wow, Christine, you had a great month all the way around. I love the photo :) And nice mileage this month in the running department!

    I'm hoping to do some vegetable garden boxes along the side of the house - where the sun hits the most - nothing big, but enough to plant some salad greens, a tomato plant, and some herbs. I'm calling it my kitchen garden. Since moving into the house two years ago, I haven't done any gardening - this year will be the year to get on that!

  5. You're such an inspiration for healthy living. The best I've been able to do these days is convience my mother to walk at least twice a week for like...15 min. -_-

    That picture looks gorgeous. Stunningly so.

    What kind of veggies/flowers are you looking for? I have a bunch of seeds I can't even get to since my previously planned garden also got taken over. Instead, my poor flowers are living in pots. And the freaking snails/slugs are eating my sunflowers again after I moved them to a new area to protect them from the rabbits. I mean, seriously?!! What the hecka! I need to rent some chickens. @_@

  6. Christine, first off the pic is just drop dead gorgeous!!! Don't beat yourself up about missing a day. I love to garden, I do it in containers. Tomatoes and peppers last year. This year I bought the topsy turvy for my tomatoes and I'm going to put zukes in my 2 big brick planters. I think maybe eggplants too.

    Wow, you read so many, in comparison I had a sloooooow month. I've really been concentrating on my crafting. Discovery Of Witches is wonderful, I am really enjoying it : )


  7. Seems like March was an awesome month for you, Christine! I mean, really mind-boggling everything you did :)

    Love the picture by the way, it's gorgeous! And really great reading month! I hope you can keep it up :) I'm going to read Eon soon, I promise :)

  8. Hi everyone! I'm so sorry to be replying to your lovely comments SO SO late. Last week turned unexpectedly hectic for me and I spent barely any time online. Several times I grabbed my laptop with intentions of doing the blogging thing but I just couldn't think so I chose to relax with a book instead. I'm sure you can all relate. ;)

    Oh and you're not going to believe this... but the day I put this post up lamenting that I missed March 16 for my photo project? Yep. You got it... I forgot to take a picture on April 2, too. :(( omg I felt like such an idiot. I debated starting over at day 1, but you know what? It's not a considered a challenge for nothing.. I'm just going to keep going and do my best. And if I miss a handful of days in a year, what's the big deal, right? I still shot pictures all year long. I'm going to try to let go of the obsession with doing it perfectly.. and focusing on just doing it! It's supposed to be FUN! What would you do? Tell me honestly!

    @ Shannon ... I loved the way that photo came out. The subject was there.. I just got lucky capturing it. Besides, the camera on the iphone 4S is really fantastic. Combined with the fun filters you can use on instagram, ordinary photos are transformed to artsy creations.

    I am a big fan of window boxes. They're so charming and if you're diligent about tending to them--they can be extremely prolific! In my opinion, growing your own fresh herbs is one of the greatest joys of home gardening. I love being able to just snip a few sprigs of whatever I need moments before using them. And they make such a huge impact on your meal. Love the idea of canning tomatoes! I've never done that, but do make homemade jams every year.

    @ Brandy... I thought you guys had a lot of fun with your garden last year? Why the debate? In my neighborhood, the debate over the garden is how hard you want to work to protect it against the deer and rabbits. Cherry tomatoes are really easy. Just plant them and let them ramble... no need to keep them neat. You'll have SO many little beauties for your salad every day.

    @ Linda... Thanks! I love that photo, too. I'm so proud of it. :D

    @ Janet ... Thanks re: the photo and the running miles. March was a good running month for me. As the weather warms up, my focus will shift from running to cycling. I barely run in July and August. Too hot.

    I LOVE quaint little kitchen gardens. Seriously.. they totally float my boat. I hope you find the time to get yours going this season. I hope we both do! It does take a little extra time and effort to get a garden going the first year. Keep me posted!

  9. @ little_alys...You wouldn't think I was so inspirational yesterday when I hate handfuls of jelly beans! Ack! Good thing I biked almost 70 miles between Saturday and Sunday, otherwise I'd feel more guilty than I already do for those jelly beans. :/ Hopefully you can get your mom out walking more than twice a week. We need to keep moving at any age, right?

    I am most likely going to buy seedlings at the farm down the street in early May for my garden. The garden still isn't ready and it's too late to grow things from seed indoors at this point. I can do fast crops like green beans or squash directly in the ground in May, of which I have a few packets of seeds already. Oooh! If you got a few chickens you could have fresh eggs! I would LOVE to be able to do that, but my yard is too small and it is a lot of work. And chickens poop. I have enough people and animals to clean up after already. lol!

    Do you know the trick of putting out saucers of beer in your garden for the slugs? They love beer and will climb right in and basically drown themselves. It's kind of mean, I guess, but it's organic at least. Or you could try going out at night with a flashlight and just picking them out of the garden and squishing them under your shoe. You do this a few nights in a row and you'll get the slug population under control. I did that one year and it helped a lot. You can also save egg shells and crush them into small-ish pieces to put around the base of your sunflowers. The edges will be too sharp for the slugs to crawl over. So I hear.

    @ luv46kdz ... I've always been curious at those tospy turvy growing contraptions for tomatoes! Let me know how it works out! Tomatoes, zukes and eggplants.. a true Italian gardener. ;) Basil, too, right? I love growing lots and lots of basil... for fresh eating all summer long and of course for pesto all winter long!

    Hope your crafting has been going well!

    @ nath... I didn't do THAT much in March! I think about the people who do as much as I do for themselves [exercise, read, etc..], taking care of their families and home AND they work outside the house full time? THAT's busy! But thanks, anyway for thinking what I do is impressive. ;)

    NO PRESSURE about Eon. In my opinion, the girl masquerading as a boy trope in this duology [is that a word?] is better than most that I've read because the girl in this case totally owns it. She's been doing it for so long that it's a way of life for her and she'll do whatever she must to preserve the lie. Her very life depends on it.

  10. @ Beth .. Sorry I skipped replying to your comment earlier! I'm glad you like my photo! You know, I started out as a book blogger with a post now and then about whatever else.. but over time my blog has transformed to more of a personal blog than anything else, although my love of books definitely shines through. :)

  11. Love your monthly adverture updates! Congrats on the exercise. I'm working on running 4 km. It's all flat, and I can run the first 3 km straight...working on the 4th km. (Oh, and I can get through the 4 km in 27 minutes). Hopefully I'll work to 5 km and then add in some hills...aiming to run a 5 km race in the spring - YIKES!

    All the best with the garden! I have one, although mine is bedded down for the winter now :)

  12. Sounds like you've been keeping quite busy! I feel like I've been saying this for awhile now but I REALLY need to get motivated and exercise more. I have so much more energy when I do and I just feel better about myself. Your blog always inspires me to go out and run :) It sounds like you had a pretty solid month of reading as well! And I love the picture!

  13. @ orannia ...Way to go with your running progress! Sounds like you're doing great--I think that's a very decent pace. Remember that on race day you'll end up pushing your training pace because the adrenalin of the race will spur you on. It's kind of thrilling to run your best on race day. I love that. I wish I could run with you!!!! We'd have so much fun. :D

    I STILL haven't worked on my garden since posting this.. and my perennials are getting bigger now, which is going to make transplanting a bit more work. Oh well. Good exercise. ;)

    @ samantha ...I'm glad to be inspiring you to exercise more. I know how hard it is to get time to yourself outside the home when your kids are young like yours, so don't be so hard on yourself. BUT at the same time.. it is so worth it if you can carve the time. If you're a runner, you can do a lot in 30 minutes a few days a week! How about jump roping? You can do that outside while the kids ride bikes, play with chalk, etc.. in the driveway. Shoot some hoops with the husband. A little one on one is fun. *wink*


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