Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Salon

Giveaway Updates - last SS I was analyzing my first giveaways and the participation of bloggers vs non-bloggers.  I've made some decisions on future giveaways, policies and prizes based on these experiences over the last couple of months.  
1.  I will be limiting giveaways to bloggers.  I realize there are some regular blog readers out there who don't blog themselves, but I honestly don't think that's the case on my blog.  If that becomes the case at some point, I'll re-visit this policy.  I also realize that this new policy may irritate some participants and I may, in fact, lose followers over this decision.  But, that's ok too.  I'm not in this to gain followers.  I'm in this to read, write, blog and be an active participant in this wonderful community of bloggers.  The number of followers, while nice, means nothing if it's just that...a number without anyone behind it :/

2.  I'm going to limit hop participation to once a month.  I get way too involved and obsessive about trying to talk to everybody :p With the youngest going back to school in one week and the rest of us in two weeks, I've got to start getting our daily routines in place.

3.  I'm going to start passing along my ARC's...this means reading them gently...gulp.   Now, I'm still a book person, so I know there will be many I will simply choose not to pass along.  And, that's ok too.  But, I like to share.  It's a good thing.  I'll share those with my regular blog buddies, my "real life" friends and even students once in a while :)

4.  Last but not least, my girls and I got a little name pulling out of the hat happy, so I decided to pass along some extra prizes from my previous giveaways...What the heck was I gonna do with those extra books anyway?
All of these will be shipped this upcoming Tuesday, July 31.

Summer Lovin' Giveaway Hop winner overall - Stephanie @ A Dream Within a Dream (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Ninth Grade Sucks)
Extra Winners: Emily @ Emily's Crammed Bookshelf (The Luxe)
Rebecca @ Reading Wishes (Hold Still)
Isa @ Chasing Quills (The Sky is Everywhere)
Megan @ Hardcover Feedback (Twilight: The Complete Illustrated Movie Companion)

Vacation Reads Hop winner overall - Gisele @ A Life with Hobbies (Sookie Stackhouse pack)
Extra Winners: Heather @ Red Headed Bookworm (James Patterson pack #3)
Darlenes' Book Nook (James Patterson pack #2)

I Harley Ever Wash My Hands Giveaway winner - Heather @ Raging Bibliomania

Congrats to all the winners!

Da Birthday Boy - This past week we've been pretty involved in the husband's 50th birthday celebration.  As I mentioned yesterday, we had a blast at Aerosmith's Global Warming Tour concert in Atlanta Georgia, the traditional family birthday dinner, jumping out of a plane today and the birthday bash this Friday night.
Oh yeah, one of his younger brothers has been trying to talk him into it for a while, so what better time than his 50th b-day to go for it.
Am I going to watch?
Hell no.
Their instructions are to text me as soon as they are safely on the ground.  Further instructions for my brother-in-law are to head into the jungles of Belize if, for whatever reason, he doesn't bring the husband home.  
I will share the pics after the jump is over and all is safe.

South Beach Progress - I'm rolling right along with The South Beach Diet...I haven't said much about this bc this is honestly the first time I've really tried to follow a "diet." I've always been a believer of eating whatever I want in moderation.  However, with a metabolism that seems to have slowed immensely, I've had to start really learning about what I'm putting in my mouth, how it affects my body, the amount of exercise I need to stay physically and mentally in shape, and refocusing some of my psychological hang-ups about food.  The first phase has been the hardest since I'm a carboholic...I'd rather have french fries than ice cream...seriously.  
Phase 1 to me has been a detox of sorts...clearing my body of the bad carbs, sugar and fats.  Honestly the first couple of days there were a few times I wanted to claw my eyes out.  That's how serious the withdrawals were.  That really got me to thinking about whether or not certain foods are worth the trade-offs I've been so freely giving when it comes to my health.  If cutting out refined sugar for a couple of days can send me into a tizzy and make my body actually suffer withdrawal symptoms, then what does that really say?  
Kinda scary huh?
I've lost 8 lbs and am free to move on to Phase 2 at this point until I reach my target weight...but I'm gonna stick with Phase 1 for another week or so until I go back to work.  I feel that good, ya'll.  I'm exercising daily with my dogs, eating fresh, raw foods, lean proteins, nuts, fish, delicious salads of all varieties, jello and cool whip as my special dessert each night and I'm not even hungry! 
Now not getting hungry is the have to's when you skip meals and let yourself reach that point where you feel like your "starving" that you are more likely to start eating everything in sight.  
But, I cooked french fries for my family last night...and did. not. eat. a. single. one.
Yeah, I wanted one. But, it wasn't worth it really isn't.
My oldest said yesterday she wants me to learn how to do "planks."  She's an athlete, you know.

Reading - I'm still chugging away at Stephen King's The Stand...getting deeper and deeper too...while I'm enjoying this one, I can put it down...bc it gets so deep at times that I almost get too scared.  Not scared as is psycho killer movie scared, but too real life scared...I found out yesterday via another blogger's end of the ReadAlong post that there was indeed a movie made from the book.  I will be watching this one...but not, of course, until I finish the book.

I also finished The Reluctant Matchmaker by Shobhan Bantwal, my first win as a Library Thing Early Reviewer.  It was a little slow at first, but the cultural aspects and the ending definitely made up for the early irritants.  I read this one gently and will be passing it along to a regular reader once the review is up.

Blogging - Posts were few this week and probably will be for next week as well with all the excitement over the 50th birthday bash and getting the youngest ready for back to school.
Media Monday - Perception
Snapshot Saturday - Guitar Man

For this week, I'll be posting a review of the tv series Rizzoli and Isles on Media Monday, and the review of The Reluctant Matchmaker at some point as well...but that's all I know for sure :/  How's that for a schedule? ;)

Till next week at the Salon :)


  1. 8 lbs is awesome! I've never tried that diet, but when I feel the need to lose some weight I try to cut out the carbs. You and I are opposites: I can leave the french fries but I love me some ice cream!

    I hope you get the text soon! :)

    1. I got the text and it sounds like he had a blast!! :) I like it so far bc it seems so something I could live with. I tried Atkins first bc my neighbor does it but I could not eat all that meat and cheese, meat and cheese. I was sooo nauseous! I have felt soo much better on this and I know it's bc the eating choices are so clean.

  2. I... argh... I have to non-recommend The Stand as a thing to watch because oh LORD the terrible 90s-ness of it. It's so so bad, and yet I watched the whole thing! (I think it's like 6 hours, overall). BUT if you want to see some terrrrrible acting (and some ok acting from Rob Lowe) then totally go for it!

    Also, you are so brave foregoing the french fries. And the carbs. Mmmm, carbs...

    1. They are delicious, aren't they?? In Phase 2 I'll be able to add back some long as they're whole grain. I do miss a really good hamburger with a soft bun :) It's all about balance though and I know it sounds corny but I was really due some balance :)
      6 hours??? I don't know about that :p

  3. Way to go on the weight loss! Hey, you've got the momentum now, so just ride the wave. Planking is an AMAZING way to build up your abs and your core body strength. That is an Andre staple. You have been so busy lately. Make sure you give yourself some down time!

    1. I've never paid much attention to the scales before but have found them to be a vital source of inspiration or warning...helps to know if I need to re-focus or fist pump! Planking begins today!! Oldest daughter is sitting right here next to me telling me to hit the floor! :0

  4. I can relate to the slow down of metabolism. I've always been very good about balancing but I hit a certain age and I've got this belly bulge that won't go away. I might have to try your diet idea.

    Can't believe it is time to go back to school-it has gone so fast!
    I hope the husband lands safely for his birthday leap!

    1. HATE the belly bulge...those muscles are so stretched out that they resist any tightening exercises...not to mention 3 C-sections :( But, I'm determined to get them in as much shape as possible. It may take a while but I'm in this for the long haul with my overall health as my main goal.
      I can't believe it either...School will bring a whole other level of stress to our lives so the eating, exercising schedule is a must!
      Husband landed safely and had a blast!!

  5. I'm completely with you on the carboholic thing ... and I know that withdrawal feeling all too well. I went on a low-cholesterol, low carb diet THE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS which, hello, is not the time to start such a diet. (Nothing formal, just a change in eating habits.) I've slipped a little and need to get back on track. But yeah, it is hard .... you're off to a good start!

    1. Melissa, I think balance is the key...I've learned enough about my body in just this short of time that if I want to cheat with dessert or a cocktail, I know I'll just have to cut back somewhere else, swim a few more laps, take another round with the dogs, or mow the grass again with my push mower ;) I also save my cheats for special occasions. We bake a load of cookies over Christmas holidays but I'm going to limit myself there as well. Another incentive for me is how bad some of those foods make me feel. For example, I love, love, love a fresh warm donut...but they make my stomach hurt. I just don't digest some of that stuff well. I know it and have dealt with it most of my life. Feeling better is the best motivation of all!! :)

  6. Jumping out of plane would scare the bejesus out of me! I can imagine that you are stressed out about this beyond belief! I sure would be! And congrats to losing the weight. I know how hard it can be, and even losing it just feels so good! Thanks also for the great win! I will be sure to send along my information to you very soon. Take care over there!

    1. I wasn't really nervous until the youngest got upset when he drove away...I had to assure her that nothing was going to happen to him :/ Then, he texted "Love you" to the girls and me right before he jumped. The space between the text "Love you" and "safely on the ground" just about did me in :p
      I have no interest at all in jumping out of a plane...none at all! He had a video made as well and it's pretty cool, yet heart pounding as well!!

  7. I feel you on the giveaway changes -- it's so challenging to be fair without feeling like it's all work with little payoff. When I do giveaways with publisher copies, I don't care much about how/what the winner does, but when I participate in hops where I pay shipping myself, suddenly I do very much care about the book(s) not just going on a shelf to be forgotten! Would love to hear your thoughts on this after implementing it a bit!

    Congrats on the diet stuff -- food is a loaded issue for me but my wife and I have had success with South Beach -- it got me to stop eating white sugar in my coffee -- which, given my love for New England 'regular' Dunkin Donuts, is a huge victory!

    1. Audra, I already lost a follower this morning, so I feel sure I hit a nerve with some folks. That was not my intention, but at the same time, I'm going to be honest about my feelings. And, there's enough of us in this community to match up with those who have similar goals rather than impersonal connections with tons of bloggers. I'm not a numbers girl...never have been and never will be.
      I gave away several extra gifts from my last two hops and will ship all of those goodies out tomorrow, so my next hop participation won't be until September. I'll keep you updated on how it goes...or if I get blackballed :/

      Soooo cool that ya'll have also had success with South Beach!! I've never added sugar to my coffee but I did use half and half...I've switched to skim milk and really, as far as taste goes, it doesn't make me any difference. I do like the occasional cocktail though and we've been on a couple of out of town trips where I did cheat. But, again, I think it's all about balance. I have a pretty distorted body image and have had it all my life for a variety of reasons, so I've enjoyed learning more about the inner workings of my body and food as fuel rather than just focusing on how fast I can drop the pounds and the way I look in a swimsuit :/ I'd be lying if I said those things didn't matter at all, but the reality is that I'm at that place where the quality of the rest of my life will very much depend on how I take care of my body. I can be sick and miserable for the next 40 (hopefully) years...or I can enjoy my grown-up/independent (finally) years. I've chosen to celebrate the rest of my life instead of endure it!
      There's a chain here in the South called Shipley's...those are the donuts that are irrisistable to me, especially warm :p

  8. Thank you for the book. :D That is an epic birthday week. I'd love to do something as extreme as jumping out of a plane for my birthday but I imagine I'd be too afraid.

    It's great that you're starting to eat healthy and resisting those carbs. Bread is my weakness. A few months ago I was trying to eat healthy so I ate a lot of fruits and vegetables and cut out processed foods and sugars. It was going well until my exams rolled around and slowly I broke down and started back on the carbs. Congratulations on doing so well. :)