How I carry my phone on runs

Ever since I started running a few weeks ago, there’s been one question on my mind… Where the hell do I put my phone? Leaving it at home is not really an option. I have to have it with me for two reasons: 1) I like to listen to music while I sweat my butt off; and 2) I like to use the C25K app to help me keep time.

DIY Sock Armband

DIY Sock Armband

So, I tried making my own DIY armband out of a sock after I saw a couple of people posting about it. I even sewed on a little pocket to make it a little bit more secure, but alas, it was a big epic fail. I went out on my first run and my phone was just bouncing around way too much. It did not feel secure at all, so I just started running with my phone in my hand.

Then last week, I finally gave in and bought myself a “fanny pack.” I first saw one of these low-profile waistpacks on a fitness youtuber, and I thought it was a genius idea. It’s convenient. It’s practical…and best of all, it wasn’t hideous or dorky-looking lol. SPIbelt

I actually wasn’t looking for a specific brand when I went to the mall last week. I was pretty much going to buy whatever brand was available as long as the price is within reason. So that’s how I ended up with the SPIbelt. It was the only one that was available when I made my purchase. And I couldn’t be happier with it.

It feels so great to not have to hold on to my phone the entire time that I’m running. The SPIbelt is completely secure. It doesn’t bounce around at all. I actually forgot that I even had it on a couple of minutes into the run.The expandable pocket fits my Samsung Galaxy S3 with room to spare for other items. I highly recommend it.

If you are looking to shop around, there are a few other options out there, like the Nike Expandable Running Lean Waistpack, the Victoria’s Secret Stretch Hip Pack, and the Flipbelt. I’ve heard fairly good things about the Nike waistpack and the Flipbelt, so check those out if you’re in the market for a sleek, low-profile fanny pack.

DIY Running BeltYou could also try making your own if you’re crafty. Check out this adorable DIY running belt from the Sewing Rabbit. I would absolutely love to make this if I was actually capable of sewing on a straight line…Unfortunately for me, I’m completely hopeless in the sewing department, so I’m going to have to skip this particular DIY lol.

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Vampires Suck…surprisingly funny

Genre: ComedyVampires Suck

I went into this movie with no expectations whatsoever. I really thought it was just going to be another one of those stupid comedies…and for the most part, it is.

Then about 5 minutes later, I was cracking up like a hyena, which was a pleasant surprise. The movie was funny in a way that actually made me laugh out loud. Admittedly, a lot of the jokes were pretty stupid, but they were nonetheless entertaining.

If you couldn’t already tell from the photo above, Vampires Suck is a spoof of the Twilight movies. I think the main reason why I found it incredibly hilarious was because it was so successful in making Twilight seem absurd and ridiculous. This is coming from someone who’s read all of the books and seen all of the Twilight movies. While I’m not a huge fan of the whole Twilight “enterprise,” I liked the books and the movies well enough when they were first released. Since then, I’ve realized just how goofy the Twilight vampires are compared to others. Anyhow, after watching this movie, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at Edward, Bella, and Jacob quite the same way again lol.

Special mention goes to the actress who played Becca (a.k.a. Bella Swan). She was incredibly good at imitating Kristen Stewart, down to all of her awkward mannerisms.

Anyway, given the level of stupidity and silliness that went into this movie, I don’t think it’s everyone’s cup of tea, but if you don’t mind idiotic nonsense, give it a try and you might just enjoy it 🙂

Fitness Update: Won’t be needing surgery!

I met with my surgeon today…and I have some pretty great news! 🙂 After examining my arm, he decided that surgery won’t be necessary given the fact that my elbow is already looking like it’s healing up nicely on its own. He even said that with time, I’d be able to go climbing, and lift weights again. The only thing is, I might not be able to regain full range of motion in my arm. He thinks physical therapy might help with the problem, but it’s not a guaranteed solution…Even so, it’s something that I seriously need to consider. If I’m going back to bouldering, I have to be able to really reach out my arms. The longer the wingspan, the better!

Anyway, I just wanted to update you all on what’s happening. Hopefully, my elbow heals nicely without any complications.

Fat Burning Properties of Green Tea?

For the past few days I’ve been drinking one to two cups of green tea a day, and I’ve been noticing quite a bit of a difference in my body. According to several articles that I’ve been reading about the health benefits of green tea, the EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) found in it is apparently really good at burning fat, and boosting metabolism, especially when combined with physical exercise. I’m not exactly sure of how true this claim is. There’s always conflicting viewpoints on what’s healthy and what’s not. It’s definitely a difficult topic to get into, but I thought I’d share my thoughts/experience on the subject anyway.

Green Tea

Ever since my little climbing accident, I haven’t been able to really work out. For about 3 weeks after my fall, I was just sitting at home, doing nothing, so when I finally decided to get off my butt, I noticed that I gained about an inch of fat around my waist. I know that doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, but I really wanted to stay fit, and more or less maintain my weight…Actually, I wouldn’t mind putting on a few more pounds as long as it’s mostly muscle mass 😀 but if it’s just extra fat? No thanks!

Anyway, after noticing the slight thickening of my waist, I decided to start drinking green tea to see if it’ll help burn off fat as some studies claim. Sure enough, after just a few days, I felt and looked much less bloated than before. I’ve even managed to shave off that extra inch from my waist. I also lost a pound or two in the process. It’s astounding how 2 lbs can make so much of a difference in how my body looks. I’ve come to realize just how delicate the balance is between being too skinny and being a little chunky, especially with the body type that I have. On my 5 ft 3 inch-frame, a couple of pounds less can make me look much too thin, like a stick figure. On the other hand, a couple of pounds more, and I end up looking a little pudgy. It’s really a bit of a struggle to find just the right balance.

Note: I did not change my eating habits during all this. The only thing that’s changed is the fact that I’ve started running 3x a week for about half an hour each time.

For that reason, I can’t exactly pinpoint how much of the weight loss is the result of drinking green tea vs running. I’m leaving it to you to decide if there’s actually any correlation between green tea and weight loss. I would recommend trying it out and seeing for yourself 🙂

Book Review: How to Sleep with a Movie Star by Kristin Harmel

Book Info:
Title: How to Sleep with a Movie Star
Author: Kristin Harmel
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Chick-Lit
Print Length: 337 pages
Notes: written in first person perspective, past tense

Rating Comparison:
Goodreads: 3.68
Amazon.com: 4.1
Me: 2.0

How to Sleep with a Movie Star

Synopsis

When Claire lands the plum assignment of interviewing Hollywood’s #1 hottie (Cole Brannon), she knows better than to mix business with pleasure, yet the next morning she wakes up in his bed–without her clothes. The tabloids pick up the story, and she learns that not everything printed is true.

My thoughts…

When I first saw this book on Goodreads, I thought the premise sounded interesting, fun, and light, essentially another chick-lit to add to my ever-growing TBR list. Then I saw that one of my favorite authors, Julie James, had rated it 4 out of 5. That right there was the clincher for me. I went from putting the book in my “maybe” pile to instantly downloading it, and starting on the first chapter straightaway.

Let me just say that I really wanted to like this book, because I had so much faith in Ms. James’s literary taste, but in the end, I couldn’t do it. Claire is probably the most unlikeable female lead that I’ve ever had the misfortune to read about. She’s a push-over with a long list of body issues, and a lack of self-worth.

A few days after finding her boyfriend in bed with another woman, she was already thinking about taking him back. He didn’t even have to do anything to get her to that point. All he did was call her, probably to apologize, and to make excuses for his behavior. He didn’t send her flowers, nor did he make any sort of grand romantic gesture to show her how sorry he was. I’m not saying that flowers would’ve made things better, but if my boyfriend cheated on me, he’d have to do a lot better than just calling to apologize. And even then, I probably still wouldn’t take him back.

Claire, on the other hand, would’ve gone right back to living with Tom, her cheating freeloading ex-boyfriend, if he hadn’t made the mistake of asking her for money right before she was about to forgive him. She was so willing to believe the good in Tom; meanwhile, she’d believe the worst about Cole. She refers to Cole as lying scum for “sleeping” with other women, when she had absolutely no right to be angry. They weren’t in a relationship. He should be free to sleep with whomever he wanted. See the irony here? She’s absolutely furious at Cole even though they weren’t dating. Meanwhile, she’s about ready to welcome back cheating Tom with open arms, the man who was supposed to be faithful to her. How does that even make sense?!

Not only is she completely irrational, and lacking in self-respect, she’s also overly insecure about her looks. Halfway through the book, her insecurities started to grate on me. I get that people have body issues, but i don’t need to read about it over and over again!

Enough of my rant about Claire though. Let’s move on to discuss Cole. Cole was so incredibly perfect that he ended up becoming mind-numbingly dull. His parts in the book were very minimal. He was only in the story for about 20% of the time, so there wasn’t much opportunity for character development. His character fell very flat and 2-dimensional. I also never really felt any chemistry between him and Claire. I felt like he was just there to fulfill every girl’s fantasy of ending up with a famous good-looking actor.

The only thing that I liked about this book was the fact that everyone got just what they deserved in the end. For that reason, I’m giving this a 2 out of 5 rating, instead of the 1.5 that I was so tempted to give it. I’m actually very surprised that Julie James liked this book, but what can I really say? Everyone has different tastes, right?

My Rating: 2/5

United States of Tara

Genre: Drama, Comedy

Ever since I read the book The Girls He Adored by Jonathan Nasaw, I’ve developed a rather unnatural fascination with psychological disorders, specifically DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) or what some of you may know as Multiple Personality Disorder. There’s a lot of debate about whether or not DID is real, but that’s besides the point. I’m not planning opening that can of worms.

A few months ago, I stumbled across the show United States of Tara on IMDb. After reading the synopsis, I knew I just had to give the show a try. The series revolves around a woman who’s struggling with DID, while trying to raise a family. In the beginning of the series, she has 3 different alters: a 60’s inspired housewife named Alice, an aggressive war veteran named Buck, and a promiscuous 16 year old girl named T.

United States of Tara

After having seen the entirety of the show, I have great respect for Toni Collette, the actress who played Tara and all of the alters. She did such an amazing job portraying wildly different characters. It amazes me to think that she’s that talented, and still pretty much “unknown.” I’ve never even heard of her prior to this show, which is a real shame.

Out of the three seasons of the show, the second was probably the best. It was mostly about Tara finding out what traumatic event caused her illness. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, trying to figure out what could’ve happened to make her alters “come out.”

Overall, the series was very well done. I have to say, though, that I wasn’t completely satisfied with the ending, but then again, I can’t really think of any other way they could’ve ended the show. Maybe my dissatisfaction roots from the fact that I just wasn’t ready for the show to end. In any case, I highly recommend this series. It’s probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re willing to give it try, you might just like it.

Liebster Award!

Liebster Award

First of all, I’d like to thank Amber (Wild Heart Reviews) for nominating me. It was so sweet and thoughtful of you! I’ve actually seen this award going around the blogging community for quite some time now, and I thought it was really fun and interesting. Lucky for me, I now have the opportunity to take part in it 🙂

For those of you who don’t know what the Liebster award is, it’s essentially an award that’s given to small bloggers (typically those who have less than 200 followers). It’s a chance to discover new people, and to connect with them.

So, here are the rules:

  1. Thank the blogger that nominated you
  2. Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you
  3. Nominate 11 blogs that you think deserve the award
  4. Give them 11 questions to answer
  5. Let the bloggers know you nominated them

Questions:

1. Not everyone is a book blogger; What do you blog about?

I blog about anything and everything that comes to mind. My blog is mostly a reflection of all of my interests, so I could be writing about books one day, TV shows the next, or fitness and climbing.

2. Do you schedule your blogs or write them on the fly?

I write whenever I have something to write about, which unfortunately means that there could long gaps between my blog posts, especially when it’s taking me a while to finish a book that I want to review.

3. What do you do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I like to go climbing, but since I injured my arm, I haven’t been able to do that, so I’ve been mostly reading and watching TV shows.

4. How much time do you actively spend blogging?

This really depends on whether or not I have topics that I want to write about. Most of the time, writing a blog post can take me up to 3 hours to finish…And even then, I feel like I’m never completely done. I have a real problem with editing. Sometimes, I’ll publish a post, and then a few days later, I’ll go back to read it again and find something that I don’t like about it, so I end up making more edits. I’m a little bit obsessive in that way.

5. What was the last book you bought?

Every Breath You Take by Judith McNaught. I had already read a digital copy of it several years ago, but she came out with a second version with bonus scenes, so I just had to go out and buy it. I’m a big Judith McNaught fan, so I just couldn’t resist.

6. Every blogger has their drinking vice when blogging, what is yours? Coffee, tea, wine, water?

Water all the way. I’ve been cutting back on sugary drinks, so no more juices or soda for me. And I’m very sensitive to caffeine, so I don’t drink coffee unless I really need to stay awake for something. I’m also not big on alcoholic drinks. I’m mostly a social drinker, so you won’t see me drinking outside of a social gathering.

7. What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your blog?

My biggest challenge when it comes to blogging is probably reading books fast enough to write reviews regularly.

8. Did you have professional help or did you create your blog yourself?

I created my blog all by myself. I did look through forums when I had trouble with the layout though.

9. If you could travel anywhere in the world and stay for a year, where would it be?

There’s so much of the world that I want to see that it’s really hard for me to pick just one place, but if I had to choose right now, it would probably be New Zealand.

According to what I’ve heard, New Zealand has a lot to offer in terms of beautiful sceneries. I also heard that they have a lot of extreme “sports” out there, and that’s exactly what I’m looking for. You could say that I’m a bit of a thrill seeker. I’d love to go bungee jumping again, and I’d also love to try out one of those rope swings 🙂

10. If you could spend a day with your favorite author, what would you ask them?

I feel like all of the questions that I have for my favorite author are pretty ordinary and standard, things that they’ve already been asked many times before. But here they are anyway…

– When you’re writing a story, do you take inspiration from real-life experiences?
– Do you know the basic gist of the story before you even start writing? For example, do you have an outline of how the main characters meet, what kinds of conflicts they’ll face, how the story ends, etc.?
– How do you make up the dialogue between your characters? How do you ensure that it’s all interesting and witty?

11. What got you into blogging?

Boredom. As I mentioned before, I recently injured my arm, so right after the incident, I had a lot of time on my hands, just sitting at home. I’ve been thinking about blogging for a while now, but I just never really got motivated enough to go through with it until last month.

My questions for those I’m nominating:

  1. This is not really a question, but rather a request…Tell us a random fact about yourself.
  2. If you love reading, what got you started on it?
  3. If you could only read books from one author, who would it be?
  4. If there was a fictional character that you like to fantasize about, who would it be? Fictional character could be from a book, a TV show or a movie 😉
  5. Which artists/bands do you like to listen to the most?
  6. What’s the craziest thing on your bucket list?
  7. What’s the most beautiful place that you’ve ever been to?
  8. If you could live in a different time period, would you? If you answered yes, what year would it be, and where?
  9. Which fictional character would you love to trade places with and why?
  10. Do you do anything to stay in shape/be healthy? If so, what?
  11. What’s something that you really enjoy, and encourage people to try? (Could be an activity, food, product, etc.)

Who am I nominating?

I’ll have to get back to this one. I’m fairly new to the blogging community, so I’m going to need to scourge the internet for new bloggers first 🙂 I’ll be updating this list as soon as I discover new people:

Diana (enthusiasticindiereader)