TSS: Monthly Recap [November 2013]

The Sunday Salon.com



Well, this may be my worst month since the 2008 campaign. Yep. Two books. One print. One audio. And I haven’t reviewed either of them yet. Go me.

I also reviewed The Coldest Girl in ColdtownEnthusiasm; and a couple Family Reads (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Little Prince). I will try to be a better blogger next month.


I’ve been dancing a bit and running a bit. I’m still dealing with a shoulder injury so the dancing is a bit limited (you have no idea how good your muscle memory is until you try to do routine ballet steps without your arms). I did attend a master class this month with a University of South Florida professor, which was a nice change of pace.

Way back at the beginning of the month, Ben, Evan, and I ran the Blue Moon 5k in Ozona. I finished in just about 34 minutes, which isn’t a personal record by any means but made me pretty happy.


I shared a few photos this month: E is Ready for Some Football and A Couple of Photos, but I definitely lost some of my photography mojo, too. We just got back from Boston and I barely broke out the camera. Hopefully the holiday spirit (and some camera toys under the tree?) will bring some inspiration.


Evan is 18 months old and is in full toddler-mode now (he is throwing a ball at the Christmas tree as I type this). He is running and talking and whining and still a total joy…90% of the time.

How did November treat you?

Monthly Recap [October 2013]

The Sunday Salon.com

I meant to post last Sunday. And then I thought it was scheduled for Wednesday. And now (Saturday) I am realizing that it never actually posted. So, here you go. My October Recap. Just a little late.


In October, I read:

I also reviewed Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock.


I was forced to take a little break due to a shoulder injury (muscle memory is a killer when you’re trying to keep an arm still). But I’m back now and my shoulder is definitely starting to get better with physcial therapy.


So, with the shoulder injury, I was pretty much forced to run if I wanted to exercise. I’ve been going somewhat regularly and ran a 5k on Sunday (but that was November so I can’t talk about it until next month). The weather is nice and running has been a good way to enjoy it.


Still taking pictures. Still learning. Still lusting after new lenses, etc. I posted a bunch of photos this month: Discovery Park; Autumn in Michigan; My Little Pumpkin; City Walk; Delicious Crayons.


Evan is 17 months old. He’s just starting to talk and sign and it is amazing to be able to communicate with him better. He’s also getting up early and really starting to cry when he doesn’t get his way. But I love him anyway.

TSS: September 2013 Recap

The Sunday Salon.com


Quick monthly recap because it’s October 6 so it has to be done but I only have about ten minutes to do it (where does the time GO?). I won’t be linking to old posts like I usually do but I don’t think it’s very hard to scroll back as I haven’t posted much.


Apparently I only read three books in September. Two audio and one print. I knew I wasn’t reading much, but three books? Jeez. But hey, I actually reviewed two of them.


I am back in ballet class and so happy about it. My adult class is actually adults this year and she’s not holding back on us. I am usually hurting for a few days but I just feel home for that hour I get to dance.


I stopped running in August when the heat became unbearable. Then I was doing a different exercise plan so I haven’t picked it back up yet. But I am running a 5k the first weekend in November so I have about 4 weeks to get back in running shape.

Those of you on twitter will have noticed that I just started counting calories (because I can’t stop talking about calories). I’m down 2.4 pounds the first week, which is better than I expected. I am really motivated to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight (or at least close) so running will be a huge part of this.


I am still taking photos and my camera is in manual mode 99% of the time. I even went on a photo walk with a bunch of other photographers last weekend. Pictures from that will be up on Wednesday.


E is 16 months old and still an absolute delight. He’s starting to be a real little boy that I can interact with a little and it is amazing. We had a few big “firsts” this month: first hair cut and first trip to the emergency room. E didn’t really enjoy either very much.

August 2013 [Monthly Recap]

Time to wrap up September…


Oh my goodness. I felt like I was never going to read a book again for awhile there. It’s been a year since I went back to work and I still haven’t really figured out how to fit reading into the working mom life I seem to have stumbled into.

I read:

None of these jump out to me as a favorite, which may be why August was such a tough reading month for me.

I also reviewed Pure and Eleanor & Park and started the Bloggers Recommend Challenge.


I made it to a class this month. Just one. But a real live ballet class. With plies and everything. And the fall session starts this week, so I am determined to get back.


After struggling through July, I basically gave up in August. When the feels like temperature rarely gets below the 90s, even after the sun goes down, and 5 nights out of 7 end up in thunderstorms, there just isn’t much to be done. I’m frustrated because I was just getting to the point where I could run for a half hour without stopping again and now I know I’ll have to start over. Again. But that seems to be how my running life works.


Only two photo posts this month:

I’ve got the camera on full manual mode all the time now!


(Random thought: When I see the word “mom” and still picture my mom – it’s hard to apply it to myself).

Evan is 15 months old and seems to be learning something new every second. He can point to his head, shoulders, nose, and belly button when asked. He reaches for my hand when he needs help and will take my hand when I offer. He’ll give me a kiss on request. He says a handful of words, but he is wildly inconsistent with all of them except “uh-oh.” Everything used to be “cat.” Now everything is “doggie.” Including the cats. He can go up and down the stairs. He can climb up on the couch and safely get off of it again (we’re still working on sitting rather than jumping once he’s up there though). It’s so much fun watching him figure out the world.

TSS: June 2013 [Monthly Recap]

The Sunday Salon.comIt’s already July 7. Time to wrap up June.


June was a tough month for me. Two of these were books that Ben and I (but mostly Ben) read to Evan, so I’m not sure they even count. I only finished 2 audiobooks because I also listened to about 25 hours of employment law conference material. I live an exciting life.

In addition to these, I reviewed Lean In; Sight Reading; and If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This.

I also took part in Audiobook Week sharing: My Audiobook YearHow I Choose AudiobooksMid-Week MemeAudiobook Tasks; and this year’s Audiobook Flowchart. And, as part of Audiobook Month, I posted an interview with Simon Vance.


So I’m officially adding this to my blog identity (tab to come soon). I’m a little nervous about it because I don’t really feel like a photographer – just someone who likes to take some pictures and pretends she knows a little about it. But, I also don’t really consider myself a very good runner. And I often don’t feel like a very good dancer and I’ve been taking class my whole life. So I’m just going for it.

This month I shared photos from the Dunedin Duck Derby and a father’s day photo. I am hoping to do more photo posts in the future.


I haven’t danced since March. It’s pretty much the saddest thing ever. When Ben gets back from Vermont, I need to make time to take a class.

But I am watching So You Think You Can Dance again. Any favorites yet?


I am working my way through Couch 2 5k. I am on Week 5, so I am getting there. I should probably find a 5k to run at the end but it’s summer in Florida and who wants to race then? Between the heat, humidity, and the jogging stroller, I’m not sure what I’m doing is actually running. But I’m out there.


Evan is 13 months old and in full blown toddler mode. I’m having a bit of a harder time adjusting – it’s hard to remember shoes and snacks when we leave the house! I am single-parenting right now, but it’s going great – partly thanks to my helpful future sister-in-law who is staying with me.

I just love this kid.

TSS: May 2013 Recap

The Sunday Salon.com



Gosh, didn’t I JUST wrap up April? May FLEW by. Maybe I can blame that for the really, really awful reading month I had. In May, I read:



  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  • The End of the Affair by Graham Greene (audio)
  • Life after Life by Kate Atkinson (audio)
  • If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This (audio)

I also reviewed The AbsolutistThe Tao of Pooh; and Scarlet and posted by Armchair Audies Wrap-Up.


I haven’t been to a dance class in just about two months. Life was so busy and I really am not that happy with the class I’ve been going to (they let teenagers into the adult class and I am getting much too old to be dancing with teenagers). My teacher, whom I adore, is leaving and, even though she won’t be teaching anymore, I am actually hoping to try a new class with her this summer.

I got the all-clear to start running again two weeks ago so I am slowly making my way back. I bought some new shoes that are AMAZING. My shin splints haven’t made a single appearance and I am just thrilled. I actually ran a 5k yesterday, but that was part of June so you get to hear about that next month.


Well this was a big month for me as a mom. Evan turned one (see a video of his first year) and we threw him a huge party (see a preview in my Pin It & Do It wrap-up post). He has really started walking now and I think I have to admit I have a toddler now. Which makes me happy and sad. This parenting thing is always a little bittersweet. I love watching him grow but I don’t want him to do it too fast.

I also kept taking pictures, as usual. See photos from a day at the park and some more random pictures of Evan.


TSS: April 2013 Recap

The Sunday Salon.com

It’s May 5. Probably about time to wrap up April.


In April, I read:

  1. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg (audio) 4 stars
  2. The Absolutist by John Boyne (audio) 4 stars
  3. The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout (ebook) 2.5 stars
  4. The Elite by Kiera Cass (audio) 4 stars
  5. Drama: An Actor’s Education by John Lithgow (audio) 3 stars
  6. Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauen Graham (ebook) 4 stars
  7. Hand Me Down by Melanie Thorne (audio) 4 stars

Not a bad month, but once again the majority of my books are audio. I’ve GOT to find some time to sit down with a print book. Maybe on my new patio furniture?

I also reviewed Parlor Games; The Art Forger; The Pluto Files; Being There; The Life You’ve Imagined; and Scarlet and shared the latest on my TBR;


I’m on hold for the moment. I’ve been having some pain in my left foot and the doctor told me I’m on injured status for awhile. So far it isn’t making me feel better, so I may just go back to running anyway. I’m sad to miss the Mother’s Day race I was going to run. The doctor also told me to buy new shoes – that part I like!

I did, however, post about my FitBit this month. I’m still trying to walk as much as possible.


Well, Evan is 11 months old and plans for his first birthday are well under way. I have no idea how this happened. He’s walking and talking (well, he says cat – or “tat”) and become a kid instead of a baby.

This month, I shared photos of Evan at the zoo and on Easter; a video of some of Evan’s very first steps; and before and after photos on our one-year home anniversary.

TSS: February 2013 Recap

The Sunday Salon.com

I am going to try a new Sunday Salon format to match my new look.


In February, I read:

  1. The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro – audio – 4.5 stars
  2. The Ghost Runner by Blair Richmond – ebook – 3.5 stars
  3. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – audio – 4 stars
  4. The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet by Neil deGrasse Tyson – audio – 3 stars
  5. The Life You’ve Imagined by Kristina Riggle – print – 3.5 stars
  6. Parlor Games by Maryka Biaggio – audio – 4 stars
  7. Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans – print – 4 stars

As you can see, I am a bit behind on reviews. But, I did manage to actually get some reading done. Yay!

In addition to The Ghost Runner, I reviewed Apollo’s AngelsCity of BonesEvery DayRaptureThe Book ThiefThe Casual Vacancy.


Between the illness that plagued our house and a photography workshop I took, I only made it to class once this month. But man it felt great once I got back.


My running suffered for the same reason – the baby was sick and I was sick. Now I am having some back issues again, but I hope to get running again soon. I had originally planned on running the 5k at Gasparilla last weekend, but I’ve learned my lesson and I won’t run another race without training at least a little bit. I am going to sign up for a Mother’s Day 5k, which should allow me plenty of time to get back in running shape. We are also planning on joining the YMCA so I will have no excuse.


Evan is nine months old. He’s still sch a joy to be around. We’ve regressed a little on sleep, but I’m hopeful that will change soon. If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that I can’t predict the future. A few weeks ago, Evan started refusing breast milk bottles and preferring formula. I fought him on it and tried everything to get him to take them again. But earlier this week, I decided to let it go and let him just have the formula. At nine months, the fight isn’t worth it. I’m sad that we’re one step closer to weaning, but I do love the freedom from pumping (only 1x/day!).

We’re having lots of fun cruising, clapping, waving, and playing in our new playroom.

How did February treat you?

TSS: November 2012 Recap


In November, I read:

 All I can say, once again, is thank goodness for audiobooks.

This month, I reviewed:

Hmm…I should probably post reviews more often.

I also shared my Pin It and Do It wrap up , discussed my new book club, my experiences cloth diapering and breastfeeding, and 30 things for which I am thankful.

Reading My Own Books is still going very slowly. November’s book – yep, book – was If I Stay. I am now reading The Book Thief. I really might actually finish this three-month project with only three books read. But that’s three fewer books on the TBR, right?


Evan continues to be just an awesome little person. He is 6 months old, 28 inches, and 17 lbs 1 oz – tall and skinny. He is almost sitting and crawling, just starting on solids, and has 6 teeth. He finds sneezes and balloons hilarious and smiles all the time. And he just keeps getting cuter:

Other Projects

I am continuing with my photo a day project, and I’ve added a holiday themed one. You can follow them on Instagram or Tumblr.

I am also participating in Trish’s laidback Holiday Pin It and Do It. Posts to come.

Final note: I am going to take the blog down for a few days this week. I have a trial starting tomorrow and I usually hide it from the view of googling jurors. It’ll be back up in a few days – I promise. I will also be making my twitter account private temporarily.

TSS: October 2012 Recap

The Sunday Salon.com

It’s that time again. October in review.


This was not my best reading month. I am still trying to figure out how to be a working mom and find time to read. Bear with me. In October, I read:


  1. We Have Always Lived in the Castle (audio) (reread)
  2. The Doula by Bridgit Boland (audio)
  3. With My Body by Nikki Gemmell
  4. Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr (audio)
  5. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare


In addition, I also reviewed PerfectThe ChaperoneThe Ugly Duchess; and A Land More Kind Than Home.

I shared the baby products I couldn’t live without; I asked for opinions about listening to audiobooks with the baby; and, most importantly, read my own books!


Evan is five months old. Can you believe it? He’s rolling over both ways, trying to sit up, and interested in grabbing EVERYTHING. It’s really fun watching him grow and change and develop a personality.

And now I am off to run a 5k. With absolutely no training. Wish me luck.