~ short stories & novellas

Yay for more books :)

Today is Thursday which means it's Book Chat day.  I am linking up with Jessica at Sweet Green Tangerine and Erin over at It's the Journey.


Today's theme is Short Stories and Novellas.  I was a little bit stuck at first, because I usually read so many novels.  Then it hit me, "I have read a Novella!"

In 2000 Steve Martin (yes, the Steve Martin) wrote a novella called Shopgirl.  

Here is the summary from
Mirabelle works as a shop assistant in the glove department at Niemans, L.A.'s finest store; she also draws darkly gothic pictures at night. Adrift in the world and lonely, her situation is not improved by the fact that hardly anyone buys the kind of gloves that Niemans sell so she spends most of her day leaning on the counter staring into empty space. There are two men in her life - Jeremy, a man who stencils amplifiers for a living, and Mr Ray Porter, an older man and millionaire who applies logic to relationships, and is serially confused and disappointed. In this exquisitely self-contained novel, Steve Martin touches on the surface horrors of L.A. - the false noses, lips, breasts and people - without exaggeration or explicitly playing for laughs. It's insightful, dark, funny and tender Shopgirl is an incredibly strong piece of fiction.

I really enjoyed this book.  I felt for Mirabelle and really related to her.  She's bright, talented, and romantically challenged (much like myself).  A few years later it was turned into a movie, starring Steve Martin (of course). Claire Danes (one of my favs) and Jason Schwartzman.

They all did a fabulous job, especially Claire Danes.  It tends to happen, that when a book is turned into a movie that we lose a lot of what was so great about the book.  With Steve Martin starring in it we were guaranteed to get what we read.

As for short stories, I don't usually read these either, however, I do have one recommendation.  I don't know  if it would actually be considered a collection of short stories, but more of a collection of submissions.
Emma Forrest, one of my favorite writers, collaborated with several celebrities for this laugh out loud book - Damage Control.

Examples of contributers:  Minnie Driver, Marian Keyes, Francesca Lia Block, Rose McGowan, just to name a few.  I actually have had this book for quite some time, but haven't read it.  I am adding it to my book list of 2013.  I think that puts me at 24!

Happy Reading!

What are some of your favorite short stories?

Blogger Book Swap

Yay for books!  

I participated in a book swap this month via Kimmie who blogs over at The Simplicity of Being Curious.
It was great getting to meet another avid reader and send each other books.


I got paired up with Nicole who blogs at Three 31. She was also the co-host of the swap, lucky me!  Below is a picture of the books she sent me ~

Nicole sent me the books in a super cute striped mail bag.  I sent her books to her in a Snoopy mail bag!  Nicole was extremely generous and sent me 3 books instead of just 1.  The really pretty, colorful, girly card read: Hey Erica! I'm so happy that we are book swap partners...and you live near D.C. ...and you want to read "Room."  I hope you like this Literary Care Package.  I chose some of the titles you mentioned plus Margaret's new one.  Enjoy =) Big Hugs! ~ Nicole

Room is a book I have been eyeing for some time now.  I'm super excited to add it to my list of books to read this year.  Wonder Struck is a book Nicole is very passionate about and she wanted me to check it out.  And who doesn't love Echart Tolle (he kinda looks like a hobbit).  She also sent me a book mark with the letter E on it :).
Thanks so much Nicole! I hope you liked what I sent to you too!

Happy Monday everyone!
I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.
I am linking up with Jessica & Jenn for today's post.


Let's see how I did last week ~ 

1. Vacuum apartment. Having company over tends to help with tasks such as these!
2. Wash all of my blankets and take comforter to Dry Cleaners. I was definitely able to get my blankets washed, but still keep forgetting to take my comforter to the dry cleaners!
3.  Give my lovely feet a much needed pedicure.  It was lovely! My toes are a pretty red.
4. Make sure my lunch is packed every night for the next day.  I actually ate out on Tuesday and ordered on Friday.  The other 2 days I did have lunch at work; prepared the night before.
5.  Actually keep up with my shows.  I am fully caught up! WooHoo!

WooHoo! I did really well this week :)

This week's goals ~

1.  Rid my apartment of icky bugs. I keep finding icky dead bugs in my lower cabinets, so I'm going to fog my apartment while at the movies.
2.  I will moisturize my hands and feet every night before I go to bed.  In this winter weather my skin is so dry.
3.  Organize my February budget.  I am planning on a February Financial Fast, so I need to get ready!
4.  Buy Stamps!  I keep forgetting to buy stamps and I have these thank you cards that still need to go out!
5. Try 2 new recipes.  It was a 2013 resolution to try 2 new recipes a month. February is 4 days away and I still haven't done it.  I need to do that this week!

Good luck to me and everyone on their goals this week!

Sunday Social

Sunday is here again!  I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend and keeping warm.
I just love Sundays!

It's that time again, Sunday Social!!!  That means I am linking up with Ashley and Neely.
Sunday Social

This weeks questions ~

 1. What is your ideal way to relax?
Definitely in my pajamas or stretchy pants to start.  Watching a good movie or tv show.  Reading a good book too.

2. Where is your favorite place to be?

3. Who do you consider your biggest role model?
My momma!  She is one of the strongest people I know.  I call her whenever I need something and I know she'll always be there for me!

4. What does your life look like in 3 years?
Well, I will be 33.  I hope to be married and starting a family.  I would like to own a home by then as well.

5. If you could go back and change one decision, what would it be?
There isn't anything I would actually change.  But, sometimes I do wonder what my life would be like if I hadn't graduated from high school a year early.

6. What is your biggest accomplishment in life so far?
I would say that surviving Los Angeles!  I was there for 5 years...thousands of miles away from my family and I am sane! ~ Homer's Odyssey

Happy Thursday!  Only 2 more days until the weekend, phew!  I'm ready for another 3 day weekend (don't be jealous...I work all day on a Sunday for it).  Being that it is Thursday, that means it's book chat time.  Today's topic is what we are currently ready.  I am linking up with Jessica over at Sweet Green Tangerine for today's post.

Homer's Odyssey

Homer's Odyssey is my current book.
I am a big fan of memoirs, especially when they are about animals.  I have read the books Dewey, The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched The World, and  Oogie: The Dog only a Family Could Love. Both of these books brought tears to my eyes.

Here is a summary about Homer's Odyssey ~ 
(straight from Barnes&Noble)

The last thing Gwen Cooper wanted was another cat. She already had two, not to mention a phenomenally underpaying job and a recently broken heart. Then Gwen’s veterinarian called with a story about a three-week-old eyeless kitten who’d been abandoned. It was love at first sight.
Everyone warned that Homer would always be an “underachiever.” But the kitten nobody believed in quickly grew into a three-pound dynamo with a giant heart who eagerly made friends with every human who crossed his path. Homer scaled seven-foot bookcases with ease, survived being trapped alone for days after 9/11 in an apartment near the World Trade Center, and even saved Gwen’s life when he chased off an intruder who broke into their home in the middle of the night. But it was Homer’s unswerving loyalty, his infinite capacity for love, and his joy in the face of all obstacles that transformed Gwen’s life. And by the time she met the man she would marry, she realized that Homer had taught her the most valuable lesson of all: Love isn’t something you see with your eyes.

There really isn't anything else I can say.  So far, I am loving this story!


Another Movie Review ~ Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty

This was not a movie I ever planned on seeing.
I didn't see Hurt Locker and I had no desire to see this one.

I was on a date.  We had dinner at an oyster bar (very shelly crab cakes...I don't recommend Hank's Oyster Bar in Alexandria) and we were late for Django Unchained.  So, we chose Zero Dark Thirty.


I am the kind of girl who likes her chick flicks and her sci-fi dramas.  I'm not big on 'war' movies.  I know, I know, Zero Dark 30 is not a war movie, but the story of how our country fought, found, an defeated Osama Bin Laden.  

Ever since The Help, Jessica Chastain has been on everyone's radar.  She has gone from a blonde bimbo to a CIA operative who discovered the location of the United States' biggest enemy.  
It didn't help that I had a massive migraine during this movie, but I never left the theater.  All throughout the bright lights and very loud helicopters & bombings, I stuck to it.  

No, I am not one who keeps up with politics.  Some think I should be shunned for this.  It's depressing and sad. So, sue me.  There were a lot of things that happened in the movie, all true to life, that I don't remember.  A lot of bombings throughout the world (London for example) that I don't remember, because I don't pay enough attention to the news or politics.  I guess I should start paying more attention.

I had just moved back to Northern Virginia when Bin Laden was captured and killed.  My brother, Jacob, called me in the middle of the night.  I was asleep in my bed in Arlington and he wanted to know why I wasn't in front of the White House celebrating.  I had no idea what he was talking about, because I didn't have television or cable. Granted, it was around 1 or 2am, so I wouldn't have actually known until I woke up in the morning.  I did save that day's Washington Post.

If you are like me and you don't listen to the news, due to lack of television or radio, don't worry.  You can always count on Hollywood for a really good remake of real life.

I highly recommend Zero Dark Thirty.  That's all I can say.  Everything else will be explained in the movie.

Movie Review ~ Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper
Robert De Niro & Jackie Weaver

After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.

I saw this movie on Sunday afternoon and absolutely loved it.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to see it, but once I saw how many Oscar nominations it received, I knew that it wasn't a movie to miss.

Oscar Nominations Silver Linings Playbook has received:
Best Picture
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Film Editing
Writing - Adapted Screenplay

This is one of the first movies to get nominated for all of the major awards!

It really was a fantastic movie.  Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence did an amazing job and gave an authentic performance. He plays a young man named Pat who has just been released from court ordered mental hospital.  He was put in a mental hospital because he beat the crap out of his soon-to-be ex-wife's lover.  After 8 months he is released into the custody of his mother and father.  He soon meets a young girl, Tiffany, who seems to have just as many problems as he does.  Tiffany used to be a bit of a slut, but she fell in love with a boy named Tommy and settled down.  Well, Tommy can to an unfortunate death, leaving Tiffany to mourn in a way she really didn't handle well.  Together, Patrick and Tiffany come to grips with reality in a way that no one expects.

I really loved this movie.  I found every bit of it relevant and wonderful.  Not everything in life happens the way you think it will.  From court appointed therapy to a crazy Eagles fan father, it really does deserve every nomination it has received.

I definitely recommend seeing this movie.

Monday's 5 for 5

Happy Inauguration day everyone.  Congratulations to our 44th president on our country's 57th Inauguration!  Not to mention it being Martin Luther King Jr. Day...I'm staying away from our Nation's capitol and staying in my nice lovely home!

It is also Monday and that means 5 for 5. I am linking up with Jessica & Jenn for today's post.


Let's see how I did last week...

1. Work out 4 days this week.  I keep sucking at this one!  Maybe if I don't make it a "goal" then I'll actually do it!
2. Complete my "About Me" tab.  I am going to do this today!
3. Make a hair appointment for the weekend.  Yes! I got a hair cut and I love it!
4. Track what I eat every day.  Yeah, same here as with the working out one.  
5. Finish my new book Homer's Odyessey.  Haven't finished this one yet.  It's such a sweet book.  I will post more about this on Thursday.

I am starting to average a 1 for 5!  Let's see if I can do a little better this week ~ 

1. Vacuum apartment. After I do laundry I end up with sweater fuzz balls all over my carpet.
2. Wash all of my blankets and take comforter to Dry Cleaners.
3.  Give my lovely feet a much needed pedicure.  My poor feets!
4. Make sure my lunch is packed every night for the next day.  It's so much easier on my in the mornings.
5.  Actually keep up with my shows.  I was about 2 weeks behind on my beloved shows!

I think this is a week of goals that I can actually accomplish!

What goals are you setting for this week?  Have an awesome week!!!!!!

Sunday Social's Big 3's

Yay for Sunday!  It has been such a beautiful weekend.  I am definitely going outside for a jog today.
I am linking up with Ashley & Neely for today's Social Sunday and it's all about 3's!
Sunday Social
1. What are your top 3 favorite kinds of food?
~ Pizza ~
Any of my friends can tell you that I have a problem when it comes to Pizza.
~ Lasagna ~
~ Macaroni & Cheese ~
2. What are the first 3 things that you do in the morning?
~ hit 'snooze' about a million times ~
~ use the restroom ~
~ shower ~
3.  What are the last 3 things you do at night?
~ wash my face ~
~ brush my teeth ~
~ read my current novel ~
4.  What are 3 tv shows that I never miss?
~ Scandal ~
~ Revenge ~
~ Parenthood ~
5.  What are 3 places I would like to visit?
~ London ~
~ Ireland ~
~ Italy ~
6.  Who are 3 people I can always count on?
~ my mom ~
~ my dad ~
~ my bestie ~
How about you guys?  Want to share some of your big 3's?
I hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday!

Happies & Crappies

Happy Friday everyone!
Welcome to the very first week of Happies & Crappies created by Stephanie over at The Vintage Modern Wife and Sarah over at Scissors & A Whisk.  It is similar to High 5 for Friday, but you can list all of your "happies" from this week, along with some "crappies." 

The Vintage Modern Wife: Happies and Crappies Link Up

My Happies for this week ~
1.  Getting back to book club.  Seeing my book club ladies, after a leave of absence for about 6 months, was wonderful!  The conversation is intelligent and the food is tasty.  Plus, it's just a great excuse for some girl time.
2. Catching up on Grey's Anatomy.  I love this show (I love all of my shows), but this one holds a special place in my heart!
3. I met a cute guy last night at happy hour (we will refer to him as Red Scarf guy)!
4. I made a hair appointment for this weekend.  I am so excited to get my hair cut!

My Crappies for this week ~
1.  This weather stinks!
2. I have had trouble getting up all week and have been late all except 1 day to work.
3. I have been a total slacker with the blogging world this week.  I blame the weather.
4. I woke up this morning with a neck cramp and it hurts :(

That's about it for me today!  I will try and be better at posting this week.  I am also going to work on my About Me & Sponsor tabs this weekend.

Happy Friday!

I'm a slacker!

Wow, it's already Wednesday going on Thursday.  I'm such a slacker for not posting this week.  Inauguration is among us (especially those of us in the hospitality industry in Washington, D.C.) and my days have been getting away from me!

Luckily, because of the inauguration, I get a 3 day weekend!  I will use that extended break to make up my posts to you!

Thank you for understanding and here are some funny cartoons for you :-)

A Monday 5 for 5

Welcome to a new week with new goals (maybe some of the same ones)!  

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  Today I am linking up with the fabulous Jessica, who blogs at Fantastically Average and Jenn over at Party of One.

Let's start with last week's goals and see how I did...

1. Do not go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink! I actually did really well on this one!  There were a few days that I didn't even use my kitchen, so that helped.
2. Work on 1 Blog Tab this week. I did not do this one.  I am going to make this another goal for the week.  I promise!
3. Go to bed every night by 9:30.  I did really well on this one, but there were a few nights that I couldn't help.  Wednesday I went to a book launch party and got home a little late (due to metro) and then Thursday I had Revenge premiere party at work.  So, I'll go halvies in this one.
4. Get back to journaling.  Yeah...I didn't do this at all.  It's tough to get everything packed in and write in my journal.  I will try to do better on this one.
5. Work out at least 3 times this week.  Yeah...I didn't do this one either.  No excuses here!

Okay, so last week...not so hot!  Let's try again...(I am repeating some)

1. Work out 4 days this week.  I have made a schedule and know which days I am going to work out & I'm going to do it!
2. Complete my "About Me" tab.  I promise!
3. Make a hair appointment for the weekend.  I need a trim, bad!
4. Track what I eat every day.  This is a WW thing.  I only lost 0.6 pounds last week.  I think if I track everything that I eat I will do better at being aware of what I'm eating.  I also want to plan out my meals.  Tomorrow is good to go - my lunch is packed and dinner will be at Book Club.  
5. Finish my new book Homer's Odyessey.  This is such a sweet book. I started it on Monday.  It's a short book (296 pgs) and I think it will be a fast read.

Those are my goals for the week.  What are some of your goals?

Sunday Social ~ A little bit about my blog

Welcome to Sunday!  

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend, I know mine is going well so far.  I am linking up with Ashley & Neely for today's Social Sunday and it's all about our own blogs.

Sunday Social

1. What is the name of your blog and how long have you been blogging?
Well, the name of my blog is Looking to the Stars.  I have been blogging since September 3rd, 2012.

2. Why do you blog?
I originally started a blog, because I was super bored at work.  I was still working at the front office during the night shifts and it was really really slow with not a whole lot to do.  So, I started a blog to give myself something to do.  Now that I have a new job and I don't need that time filler, it has become a huge hobby of mine and I love it!  I love connecting with other people (bloggers & non-bloggers).  I also love finding people with similar interests!

3. What is the first blog you ever followed?
Pursuit of Pink
My best friend's blog.

4.  What is your favorite post that you wrote in 2012?
I think one of my favorite posts was a dedicated post to my dear friend Stephanie.  We met when we were both living in Los Angeles and have become such good friends.  I love her to death and wish we lived closer.  She is in Cincinnati with her hubby and baby boy.  I miss her all the time!

5.  What are your blogging goals for 2013?
~ To make sure I blog on a regular basis.
~ To get to 100 followers.
~ To get to 100 likes on my blog's Facebook page.
~ To get invited to do a guest post.

6. Name your top 3 favorite blogs.
This was a tough one, because I follow so many.
~ Fantastically Average
~ The Chronicles of Chaos
~ The Pursuit of Pink

I hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday!

A Fabulous High 5 for Friday

*Friday is here again*

Sorry for the missed post yesterday, my days kind of got away from me this week.  I hope everyone's week was fantastic.  I am doing this from work and my computer won't let me upload pictures, but here are the high lights from my week ~

1.  Downton Abbey as returned to the US with Season 3 and I was super disappointed that Hulu Plus isn't showing it :(  But...I went to the PBS website and you can watch it there!!!!!  My Saturday will be dedicated to Downton Abbey & all of my other shows!

Thank you PBS

2. I was invited, by my dear friend Marcy, to attend a book launch party.  I had only ever seen these in Bridget Jones Diary and was super excited! It was at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.  It was quite the fabulous event. There were hundreds of people there.  We were able to taste test the food from some of the restaurants featured in the book.  It was a lovely event!

I love books!

3. Yesterday I attended my first Kimpton Sales Rally.  It was so motivating and so fun!  There is a reason why Kimpton is one of the top companies to work for!  I'm ready for 2013!

Yay for Kimpton!

4.  Now that she has announced it on her own blog, I can finally say something!  My best friend is pregnant!  I am so excited!  Linds has always wanted to be a momma and now she is getting everything she ever wanted.  I could not be happier for Linds and Tolar! They are going to me amazing parents.

Here's to the future Tolar Baby!

5. Looking to the Stars is almost organized!  I was able to look at the "Stats" for my blog and I'm seeing where people are linking through to my blog and where in the world people are reading me (Poland?) and what they look at the most!  So many people have clicked on the "About Me" tab and I unfortunately haven't done that part yet.  I am detirmed to get it done!

I am linking up with Lauren over at From My Grey Desk for today's High 5 for Friday.

Have a great weekend!

A Wednesday Walkabout Scandal

Happy Hump Day!  I hope everyone's week is going swell so far.  Now, I know that I wrote about TV Shows yesterday, but I have discovered a new one ~ Scandal.

The hotel that I work at, The Rouge, in downtown Washington DC started doing screenings of some popular TV shows that would work for our very red hotel.  Sunday night we did the mid-season premiere of Revenge (I LOVE this show!!!) and this Thursday we are screening the mid-season premiere of Scandal.  I had never seen this show and only heard great things about it.  Today, while at work, I decided to do some "research" and check the show out.


This show is fantastic.  Shonda Rhimes is the creator...Grey's Anatomy & Private Practice.  No wonder it's so good.  Kerry Washington is amazing.  She plays this strong, independent, never-gives-up woman.  The writing is fantastic and the cast is GREAT.  It takes place in Washington DC, so it goes with our "Live Like a Local" theme that our Kimpton Hotels try to shoot for.  If you haven't watched Scandal yet, you are seriously missing out!

You can catch Scandal on ABC on Thursday nights @ 10pm.

I'm linking up with Jane from Adventures from Taingamala for today's Wednesday Walkabout.

A Little Winter TV to Warm You Up

I love this time of year when all of my beloved television shows come back from their winter hiatus!
While I was at Target this weekend I spotted the current Entertainment Weekly: Winter TV Preview.  I snatched it up immediately.  The stars of Smash are on the cover and I couldn't help myself!

The article on Smash was pretty good.  I was slightly confused why it didn't come back in the fall with all of the other shows, but after reading the article it is quite clear.  According to EW there have been a gazillion changes made.  They axed several cast members and brought in fresh blood.  The show's creater, Theresa Rebeck, was also let go and Josh Safran (Gossip Girl) was brought in.  They are adding more original songs, more stage shows, and the leading role for Marilyn keeps going back and forth.  Jennifer Hudson is guest starring (currently signed on for 3 episodes) and Liza Minnelli (episode 10) as herself.  There is also a Q&A with Debra Messing.  I absolutely love this show and I cannot wait for Smash 2.0!!!!!

Smash returns to NBC on Tuesday, February 5th @ 9:00pm

My next favorite show to come back this winter is Downton Abbey.  It actually returned this past Sunday, January 6th.  I fell in love with this show last year.  I think I have several posts about it! The time period, the language, the formality of everything...I just love it!  That probably goes along with my romantic side.  Here's a little of what to expect ~

Downton Abbey Scribe Julian Fellowes has a piece of advice for viewers tuning into season 3: "Just make sure to have a box of Kleenex."  Picking up just months after the season's swoonworthy Christmas special, which concluded with Matthew and Mary's long-awaited engagement, season 3 promises emotional turmoil for both the upstairs and downstairs residents.  While Lord Grantham reels from the revelation that the estate is essentially bankrupt, Matthew and Mary butt heads (shocker!) before their nuptials.  Meanwhile, Anna is intent on getting Bates out of prison and a devastating event sends a "shock wave that ripples through the house."  Consider yourselves warned!

That is straight from the horse my friends (the horse being Entertainment Weekly) and I couldn't have put it better myself!

You can tune into PBS on Sundays @ 9pm to catch Downton Abbey.

A Late 5 for 5

Happy Monday everyone!  Sorry for the late posting, but my weekend got away from me.  I was busy busy busy trying to keep up with the blogging world.  I bought a domain this weekend, so now all you have to do is type in instead of all the blogspot stuff (unless of course I'm book marked on your tool bar :) ).  I aslo started a Facebook Fan Page for my blog - Go Like me!

Okay, let's get on with the show.  I feel like I'm starting fresh wtih today's "5 for 5," because last week's was or resolutions.  Back to the weekly goals!

As usual I am linking up with the fabulous Jessica, who blogs at Fantastically Average and Jenn over at Party of One


1. Do not go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink! I hate waking up to them, so I'm going to make them disappear!

2. Work on 1 Blog Tab this week. I have my "About Me" and "Sponsor Me" tabs that I still have not actually done.  I worked on my "Book Love" tab and started that one.  I want to get at least 1 of them done this week.

3. Go to bed every night by 9:30.  Even if I'm in bed reading at 9:30, that's fine.  I need to be done in the kitchen, office, and be washed up and in bed!  Last week was tough getting up for work, because I was staying up too late.

4. Get back to journaling.  I have a beautiful journal, but I don't write in it enough.  I need to do that more!

5. Work out at least 3 times this week.  I'm not going to lose it if I don't move it! Nothing feels better than feeling thin!

That's my list for the week! What's yours?

Social Sunday ~ The Year Ahead

Happy Sunday everyone!  I hope you all had a beautiful week.

I am linking up with Ashley and Neely for today's 31st Social Sunday.  Today's theme this the year ahead.  I still can't believe it is 2013.  I love the #13 and I feel that it is going to be a good AWESOME year!

Sunday Social

This week's questions are... ~

1. Do you plan to change any of your eating habits in the new year?
YES! I joined Weight Watchers to help me with my food habits, so I am definitely looking to change some of those habits!

2. Do you have any work out tips to get us back in shape after the Holidays?
My mom and I heard on Oprah that when you are on a treadmill, it is all about INCLINE!  I usually do an 8.0 incline on 3.5/4.0 speed.  You may  not be going very fast, but because you are going uphill you definitely build up a sweat!!!!!

3. What is your favorite thing you did over the Holidays?
I would have to say that beating my dad at Scrabble was the best part!!!  My dad is a HUGE reader.  He can read a 400 page book in a matter of days!  He's super smart and a history buff.  I didn't think I stood a chance.  However, I BEAT HIM!!!!  The score was something like 236 vs 197. WooHoo!

4. What is something you hope to accomplish in 2013 that you didn't accomplish in 2012?
I know that I'm saying it a lot, but that really is my biggest goal.  My mom recommended that I give myself a deadline, so I shooting for July 15th!

5. Name 3 things happening this year that you are excited about.
~ I am turning 30 this year!
~ Mom says she has something exciting planned for our birthdays this year.  I'm not even going to try to investigate.  I can't wait to be surprised!
~ I am going to take another acting class this year.  I don't know where or which one, but I'm going to do it. It will probably be in the fall, like my Shakespeare class was, but I really want to take another one!

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday!


High Five for Friday

Happy Friday Everyone!

I am so glad that Friday is finally here. Even though it was only a 3 day work week, I am looking forward to my weekend!  After being off work for so long (11 days...eek!) and having to get up early again, I was simply exhausted.  I have a busy weekend ahead of me.  I do hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season.  Are you ready for what's to come in 2013?  How was everyone's week?  Here are the 5 high lights from mine...

1.  Structure!  Yes, I know I stated that I'm looking forward to my weekend, but I am grateful to be back to work and have structure during my week days again.  It's exhausting watching Law & Order: SVU all day!

2.  After a lovely little winter hiatus, my show are finally coming back on!  Parenthood was all new this past Tuesday, as was Law & Order: SVU.  The rest of my shows come back starting on Sunday! Oh how I have missed Revenge, Once Upon a Time, Nashville, and Grey's Anatomy!
Parenthood  & Law & Order: SVU air on NBC

Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Nashville, & Grey's Anatomy air on ABC

3.  I got organized this week!  With the coming of a new year I felt motivated to really get my butt in gear.  I cleaned out my kitchen cabinets, closet/drawers, and my office.  On Monday I cleaned and dusted my apartment and reorganized my book shelves.  There are still a few things that I would like to accomplish this weekend, but so far so good!

4.  I haven't had diet coke since December 23rd!  That makes it 11 days without Diet Coke! Woo Hoo!

5.  I paid off a credit card!!!!!! WooHoo!!!!!!
Last January, the night that it snowed and iced, I was wearing stiletto high heels out in D.C.  I stepped on a patch of ice and went face first into the sidewalk.  I had to get come work done on my pearly whites.  Thank the Lord for Care Credit!  I was able to finish paying it off (no interest) in December!  I am so glad that I won't be bringing that with me into 2013.

Today I am linking up with Lauren over at From My Grey Desk for today's "H54F."  Check our her blog and meet some new bloggers.

My First Book Chat

I love to read!

Falling in love with the characters and getting more and more involved in their lives and stories.
One of my resolutions for 2013 was to read 2 books a month.  I have a ton of books at home already that I haven't read. Some that I have started, yet never got around to finishing.  I am also in a book club, The Literary Lushes, so that will assist me with 24 books I want to read.  Okay, here's my list for 2013.

~ Books I have started reading previously and would like to try and finish ~
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton - this was actually a book club book this past year, but I didn't get  to read it.
The Next Always - Book 1 of the Inn Boonsboro Trilogy by Nora Roberts
Men and Dogs by Katie Crouch - I really liked this one, but can't remember why I didn't finish it.
Wicked by Gregory Maguire - I just couldn't get past them in college, but I'm going to start from the beginning and give it one more try!

~ Books I have that I have not begun to read yet ~
Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood - I saw the movie and LOVED it!
A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin - I have heard it's fantastic and want to give it a try.
The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson - I loved Dragon Tattoo and can't wait to read this one!
Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper - This book is about a blind kitty cat.
Persuasion by Jane Austen - I have to admit, I want to read this because of the movie "The Lake House" with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves.
Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen - I love the movie "The Jane Austen Book Club" and started buying all of her books.  Haven't read any of them!
Pride & Prejudice & Zombies by Austen and Grahme-Smith - Why not!
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - Heard it was amazing.  I knew a girl who stayed up until 4am reading this book!
Night Road by Kristin Hannah - I love her books and Linds acutally is letting me borrow this one.
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare - I saw the movie trailer (out in August) and it looks really good.  My mom didn't like it and stopped reading it half way through, but I'm going to give it a try.
Three Weeks With My Brother by Nicholas Sparks - LOVE him!
The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks - Did I mention I own ALL of his books?
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant - My mom read this and said it would be a good book to read around Easter, so I'm might make this my second book for March (Easter is on March 31st this year).
How To Be Single by Liz Tuccillo - Why not? I am single after all :)
A Lion Among Men by Gregory Maguire - That is, if I can get through Wicked.

This is not the order in which I am going to read them.  I have listed 22 books and there will be additions from book club.  WOW!!!!!! That's a lot of reading!  I have a tab on my home page called "Book Love."  After I finish each book I will post a little review of it.  I will start after I finish reading Little Women and then I will announce what book I'm going to read next!

I'm linking up with Jessica from Sweet Green Tangerine for today's book chat.

How did you spend 1-1-13?

I'll tell you what I did...

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit MARATHON!!!!!!!!

It was a pretty laid back day.  

I had a lovely New Year's Eve with Jacq and Frisco.  We watched "Rockin' New Year's Eve with Ryan Seacrest" and watched the ball drop.    

I had a pretty good 2012 and am hoping for an even better 2013.

Back to work for me!

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a wonderful 2012 and I wish you and even better 2013!