What I've Been Reading-January

Wow! How is it already the end of January and I have not yet done a "What I've Been Reading" post? I guess that means I've been busy. And I have been. Between the holiday season, Haley's birthday, the circus, Monster Jam, and just my day to day life, there has hardly been time to do any blogging. But I have been reading, and reading quite a bit!

During this month I finished the Paper Magician trilogy. It was a quick series to read. I enjoyed it and recommend it to someone looking for a quick fantasy series. 

I also read Into the Wilderness. Many compared it to the Outlander series and Jamie and Claire even make a brief cameo appearance. But I really didn't see too many similarities and it didn't hook me enough for me to want to go out and finish the rest of the series, so I moved on to something else once I finished it.

I next moved on to the All Souls Trilogy which includes A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life.

I enjoyed this trilogy very much, though there were a lot of repetitive parts. I almost think I could have read the third book alone and understood what was going on. But I really liked the science and history woven throughout the series.

And this week I started Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter. 

I am now on chapter 4 and I have to admit that I am hooked. There are a few parallel stories going on and I know that they will merge soon and I am intrigued to see what will happen.

The summary of the book was what got me intrigued.

From the publisher: A sophisticated and chilling psychological thriller of dangerous secrets, cold vengeance, and unexpected absolution, in which two estranged sisters must come together to find truth about two harrowing tragedies, twenty years apart, that devastate their lives.

My friend Bianca had just finished it and when I asked her about it she told me that "it gave me everything that Gone Girl didn't."  I liked Gone Girl but I didn't love it, so I am really looking forward to getting deeper into Pretty Girls and seeing if it does for me what it did for Bianca.

So that's what I've been reading. What have you been reading? 

Ringling Bros Circus and Monster Jam-Tampa 2016

WOW!!! What a crazy whirlwind week it has been!

On Saturday January 9 we were invited to attend the Ringling Bros Circus and on Saturday January 16 we were invited to attend Monster Jam.

Both of these shows are produced by Feld Entertainment so for simplicity I'm going to discuss both of them in one post.

First, the circus.

This is a yearly tradition for us. One that dates to 2005 when our oldest child had not even turned a year old.

This year, we were two family members short Cry Ella got very very sick in the middle of the night the night before the show. Daddy took one for the team and stayed home with her while I ventured out with Haley and Ronin. Because of Ella not feeling well, the kids and I stayed at home for as long as possible so that Ella wouldn't feel like she was missing out on too much. We pretty much arrived just as the show was starting.

The opening was fantastic, as usual. But this year they had changed the format of the show, which was great for us! They had all our favorite performances BEFORE intermission.

We saw the Globe of Steel which is a family favorite!!

We saw the Lions and Tigers!!


And we saw the Elephants!


This year the elephant show was totally different! The audience was informed WHY the elephants perform the "tricks" that they do, and how those tricks would correspond to a natural movement that they would do in the wild. I really appreciated that bit of information.

Because Ella was sick, we left at Intermission. We stopped along the way and bought her a t-shirt, though. She was sick for the next 2 days. Poor little miss Surprised


But she wasn't sick for Monster Jam on January 16!!

We joined up with our friends and had a big kid party!! This was our friend's first time at Monster Jam and they loved it so much!!

The trucks were very exciting, and we all loved how El Toro Loco was driven by a woman AND she won the truck donut contest!! #LikeAGirl


It was loud, it was fun and of course...GRAVEDIGGER WON!! It was hit or miss there for a little bit! He got "hurt" and was pulled off the course. They said he wouldn't return, but of course HE DID...AND HE WON!!!



We had so much fun at both events, but having all 3 kids present at Monster Jam made this event our favorite this year! And it's not too late for you to get tickets to Monster Jam because they'll be back in Tampa on February 6 at 7pm. You can buy your tickets HERE.

We're already looking forward to next year's events and I'll be pumping all my kids full of Vitamin C leading up to the event! We can't have anyone missing out!


Florida Power Yoga: A Review Day 1

It's been a long time since I've really written anything fitness related. Since I stopped doing CrossFit on a regular basis, all I've been doing is a 2-3 mile wog (walk/jog combination) every day, some kettlebell swings, and some dance aerobics on my XBox. 

But you all know me. You know that I LOVE group fitness and being surrounded by the positive energy other people emit when they are working out.

Florida Power Yoga came on my radar in 2014 while at CrossFit En Fuego. A few of the girls there were talking about it and kept saying how much they loved it. I had tried Yoga before but it was way too passive for my liking.

Fast forward 2 years. My friend Jolie was telling me about a yoga place she had started going to and how much she loved it. She had their schedule hanging on her cork board so I took a peek and noticed that they had classes at night that actually fit into my schedule! Say what?? But again, was this like the passive yoga I had taken in the past?

I went to their website and immediately saw that they were NOT anything like the yoga classes I had taken in the past.

I mean, just read this description:

"People love it as it makes P90X look like child's play. We call every breath and to call it that fast means we know how to create a one of a kind experience each time you unroll a class. No two classes are never taught the same way. We have no script that we teach by. That's boring. We simply show up to teach to who ever is on the yoga mats and feel the energy in the room to where people want us to guide them." 

Now, I have NEVER taken a P90X class, but I know plenty (and I mean plenty) of people who have and they RAVE about it. So I was curious. How can a yoga class make P90X look like child's play? Well, I was determined to go and find out.

And find out I did!

Today was my first class at Florida Power Yoga and I can say unequivocally that I LOVED it! I mean, I can't even explain what we did. But I know we did some tabata (including burpees, squats, pushups, and more.) I know we did Warrior. Down Dog. Planks. Oh lord, the planks. 

The music was great and the class DID NOT STOP. If you needed a break, you took it, but there was no time "between tracks" like in typical cardio classes. We just went for it.

And I was drenched in sweat by the end. Like seriously. And I LOVED it (have I said that enough yet??)

It was such a great mix of HiiT, cardio, strength, stretching, and then that last bit where we just laid there, drenched in sweat, and relaxed. My mind was going in a million different directions, but centered on the fact that I really enjoyed what I had just done. I liked having my friend Jolie next to me (who was killing it BTW), I liked the energy of the studio, the owner (who is also the teacher) was not holding anything back.

And check out my heart rate data!

The numbers don't lie! I don't know of any other yoga classes where you will hit zones 4 and 5 and stay there for a significant amount of time! 

So...I signed up for a one month unlimited pass. My goal is to hit a class at least 4X per week, and I don't see any reason why I shouldn't be able to make that goal. I'll still keep with my wogs because I love getting out of the library on my lunch break and clearing my head. 

I'll be sure to keep the blog updated with my progress throughout the month. I'm super excited by the class I took today and look forward to what the rest of the month has in store for me.

And a special thanks to the owner Denice, who was kind enough to let me use her Elite Hot Hybrid Kulae Yoga mat instead of the traditional yoga mat I had brought with me. Apparently I would have been slipping and sliding all over the place with all my sweat Surprised


Have you ever done a "power yoga" class before?