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Friday Fun! (May: Cooking, Fitness, Writing, Spring Cleaning, and Reading Of Course!)

Spring means I get to read outside in the sun for my lunch break!

Spring means I get to read outside in the sun for my lunch break!

Hello my lovely readers!

As previously promised, Friday Fun has now become a monthly check-in on the last Friday on the month to touch base with you guys and help you get to know (or stay in the know on) the blogger behind the reviews (and the novels/novellas/short stories of course).

May was a busy month for me.  I attended a conference for medical librarians, which invaded this blog a bit, as I summarized what I learned for both myself and for other librarians.  Thanks to that conference, I worked 12 days in a row, so I took off a few days the week after to give myself a nice long weekend.  On that long weekend, I did some spring cleaning and got started on sorting through and getting rid of stuff.  I usually do this in the spring, but I’m doing it with more vigor this year as my boyfriend and I are planning on moving in together when my lease is up.  I’m of course incredibly happy to be moving in with my partner but also nervous!  To that end, if any of you want to check out my ebay store, there’s mostly lp’s/records, clothes, and of course, books!  This is also why I’ve been reading so many books for my Bottom of the TBR Pile Challenge.  Most of my print books are for that challenge, and I’m trying to clear off my shelves.

My vacation also consisted of a lot of cooking.  Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies, and I hadn’t had much of a chance to make more complex recipes since I was so busy and exhausted.  I made: 4 hour lasagna (I call it that since it takes me…4 hours to make), twice-baked rutabagas, and pumpkin monkey bread muffins.  You can see all of the recipes over on my Pinterest Pinned It And Did It board.

This month also brought back the real motorcycle riding season.  My boyfriend got me an awesome vegan jacket (for safety) and a helmet (obviously, for safety), and we’ve been going on some nice evening rides together.  I’m looking forward to some longer ones out into western Mass later in the season.  I also got to dig my bicycle out of winter retirement and go on my first ride of the season.  I’m pleased to say my legs stayed in much better shape over this winter season than previous ones, although my seat bones weren’t so happy with the first ride. Ow.

In related work-out news, my gym’s 60 day challenge completed last week.  I had signed up for the body composition challenge, which was about body fat percent rather than body weight.  Over the course of the two months my body fat percent went down by 1.2%, and I gained 2 pounds of muscle!  I was totally shocked by those results, as I mostly just kept on doing my regular fitness routine, where I focus in on being healthy and acquiring more personal bests in weights/cardio/etc… I mostly wanted to see what impact my routine really has on my body, and it clearly is helping me build muscle.  I’m very excited about that.

I’m also pleased to report that writing is progressing on the sequel to Ecstatic Evil! I’m really in a paranormal frame of mind right now, and I’m having fun with it.  I hope to give the Tova fans the sequel as soon as possible.

In reading news, this month I read 7 books, which is the most I’ve read so far this year in a month.  I’m not even going to try to guess as to what made it go up, but I’m glad that it did!  I read a wide variety including scifi, urban fantasy, historical fiction, thriller/mystery, and horror, and I read across all reading platforms (ebook, print, and audio).  I have yet to write up reviews for 4 of these books, so rest assured, more reviews are coming!  For June I intend to continue my focus on predominantly choosing books that appeal to me most in that moment, although I would like to knock out at least one from my Bottom of the TBR Pile Challenge that is unappealing.  Additionally, I got an arc for the next book in Madeline Ashby’s artificial intelligence series that is releasing next month, as well as the final book in Jackie Morse Kessler’s series that is also releasing in June, and I’d like to read/review both of those around their release dates.

How were your Mays? What was your favorite read of the month?

Friday Fun! (Staycation Report)

Hello my lovely readers!  I hope you didn’t miss me *too* terribly much while I was on vacation.  😉  I must say, a vacation was exactly what I needed.  I had a lot of time to think without the stress of work or job hunting or school or any of that hanging over my head, and I feel like my head is screwed on much more straight now, I must admit.  I’m re-focused and have new energy.

So what all did I get up to?  Well, I went out for Asian fusion with one of my friends.  The mix of sushi, seaweed salad, and kushiyaki was awesome, but of course the highlight of the meal was the White Crane sake.  Nom.  That is all I have to say about that.  I also hit up a local pub that has a huge, huuuuge beer selection.  My friend calls it “the cheesecake factory of beer.”  Damn straight.  It just so happened that the final game of Bruins vs. Montreal was on, so we got to take that in with the crowd as well.  It was quite the memorable night.

I also met up with a member of Team Unicorn for lunch.  I so rarely get to see any of them outside of our periodic gatherings.  I also spent an afternoon reading by the Charles (and getting sunburned), as well as taking in the sights at the MFA.  I wanted to see the Chihuly exhibit, but I never did find it.  In fact, I had trouble getting out of the Asian and Ancient Europe section.  Ah well.

A friend and I hung out and made this incredible recipe of doom.  It was amazing. And there was strawberry jam all over my floor the next morning.

As you can see from my post earlier this week, I also took in the Boston Ballet for the first time since I was very young.  I had a fun time, but I must say it was not what I was expecting.  I also finally tried Zaftig’s restaurant for the first time after hearing it highly praised among Team Unicorn for a very long time.  I had an in-house made black bean burger, and I admit, it was the best one I’ve had in the Boston area.

I spent a day riding my bike around the city, partaking in a session with my trainer, and lounging around Harvard Square and on the river.  After that, I got the urge to spring clean.  I sorted, organized, recycled, and bagged up four trash bags of items to donate this week.  I also started scrubbing down the walls, but still have a few left to do.  My whole apartment feels so much lighter, fresher, and more homey now.  I’m so glad I took the time to spring clean.

That was pretty much my staycation, and I think I did a fairly good job keeping it well-rounded.  I’ve returned refreshed, and I must say that I fully intend to not let so much time go on before I take another one again.  Happy weekends!