5 Things I'm Loving...

Found on Pinterest

Found on Pinterest

I haven't done a listing of things I'm loving in while.  So here is a quick look at a few things that are making me happy these days! 

I read this book in two days last week. Katherine Center is one of my favorite authors.  She is from Houston and her kids went to school with one of my friend's kids.  Seems kind of like knowing a celebrity.  Her books are quick reads, often laugh out loud funny, and completely entertaining.  This one is about a newly divorced women who decides to attend a wilderness adventure program to heal herself. In the process she learns important lessons on how to be happy.  It is really good. 

The book above is her last book.  I heard it  is being made into a movie, starting production in May 2015.  If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it as well.  Although they are quick to read and are not very long, you can completely see the scenes in your head.  She is a great writer. 

These Cadbury mini eggs are completely addictive. I am not sure I should recommend them as they are hard to stop eating.  They are crispy candy on the outside and dark chocolate on the inside.  Don't be fooled into thinking that because  they are dark chocolate they are good for you.  They are indeed better than some candy but they are still candy after all.  I bought one bag and can't stay out of them.  Thank goodness you can only get them at Easter! 

This decaf black tea is the best you can find.  It is a very strong and makes a really bold cup of tea.  I was first introduced to it by a yoga instructor probably 10 years ago who was from England.  When she got pregnant and gave up caffeine she tried all the decaf versions and found this one to be the best.  She is right.  Once you drink this other teas taste very weak.  Each bag has about twice the tea of a regular tea bag.  That said, it is a little expensive and you have to order it online or sometimes you can find it in a specialty British shop.  You can order it here.  I drink one or two cups a day with a little sweetener and a spash of whole milk.  When I had a teapot I would put in two bags and make a whole big pot.  It also makes really good iced tea.  When I order it, I just go ahead and get three or four big boxes.  Might as well only pay for shipping once! 

I saw this movie last summer but I am still a huge fan.  I love Kiera Knightly and Mark Ruffalo.  It is  a good story, has great music and makes you feel good.  I highly recommend it.  It got some bad reviews but I thought it was good. It is not yet streaming on Amazon but I suspect you can rent it.  

I have been addicted to the soundtrack. I am not an Adam Levine fan, but I love this song and most all of the album.  I listen to this song on repeat in my car!  It believe it was nominated for a grammy but sadly didn't win.  I heard it that night and immediately bought the album.  Be forewarned, it gets stuck in your head!

I love these Barre 3 workouts. It is a combination of yoga, pilates, and dance.  You use a yoga mat, light handheld weights and core ball.  (The weights and ball are optional.)  I have been doing the online version since late December, between 4 and 6 times a week.  It has made a huge difference in my core strength and the shape of my body.  Sadly I have reached the age where my body is just not my own any more.  How did things start sliding around so much?  Clothes fit but just not the same as they used to.  With my school schedule I could not get to yoga regularly and was not enjoying a home practice.  It was too dark too walk. So I started doing these workouts every morning before school.  At first I could barely do the modified versions.  I can tell that I am much stronger and can do so much more now.  My back hurts less, I got less tired with all the standing/dishwashing/mopping at school, and my jeans fit better.  Win - win - win!  For $15 a month the price was right and the results great.  The online videos vary from 10 minutes to 60 minutes.  I always have time for at least 10 minutes but usually do 30 ot 40 minutes.  They have studios where you can practice in a group but I have needed the flexibility of just doing it at home.  Here is their description of the program: 

Our signature 3-step sequence delivers a balanced, total-body workout that you can do anytime, anywhere. All movements are low-impact and designed to burn fat, build muscle and break through plateaus.

Isometric holds work your muscles to their deepest point and increase strength and endurance. Holding still strengthens your muscles continuously; it also gives you time to make sure your alignment and posture are perfect before you move.
Next, we add controlled 1-inch movements. These create just enough relief in the muscles to maintain the integrity of the hold for maximum benefit. By layering on one inch, you heat the body, increase your core strength, and rev your metabolism.
After completely taxing the muscles, we flush out the body with functional, large, dynamic moves. This cardio blast lifts the heart rate, improves circulation, and energizes the body.
— Barre 3

So that's it for my current favorites.  What are your favorites these days?  I am always open to suggestions!