Saturday, March 31, 2012

Epicure Selections April Update

April is the perfect month to celebrate spring. Spring cleaning is here so why not clean out that pantry or spice rack and try some new flavours!

You can access the online catalogue here and have a look at what Epicure Selections has to offer.
Whether you're a customer, a hostess, or both, there are some wonderful specials this month.
April Customer Specials
It's Taco Time! Make Healthier Mexican Favorites at home.
The Mexican Fiesta Colleciton is over 25% off this month!
It includes:
Taco and Fajita Seasoning
Guacamole Dip Mix
Cheese & Jalapeno Dip Mix
Nacho Cheese Dip Mix
Pueblo Bean Dip Mixe
Poco Picante Salsa Mix (one of our most popular items)
Spend $60 and get 30% off these great items:
10" Eclipse Professional Frying Pan & Glass Lid
Cinco Pepper Blend and/or Prep Bowls (set of 4)

April Hostess Specials
Why not host and get some free dip mix or cookware you've been eyeing? Grab some friends and have a reason to get together and enjoy some great food.
Mothers day is coming so we are featuring Perfect Prezzies for Moms.
Get 40% off The Brentwood Insulated Tea Pot
The Baking Essentials Collection
There is always the option to do a catalogue party as well. A lot of us are busy and this is a great option to still enjoy all the benefits of hosting a party that may work for you!
Start some buzz around the office!
Happy Cooking!
Make Every Day Gourmet!

Friday, March 30, 2012

7/40: Firelight by Sophie Jordan

FirelightFirelight by Sophie Jordan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From Goodreads:
A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.
Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.
Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.
Quick read. I haven't read a book about Dragons (Draki) before so this was fun! Didn't take me long to get through this one.  Definitely pulled me in and I couldn't stop. I love books that make me think about doing nothing else but reading it. Getting halfway through the book I knew right away it was going to end with a cliffhanger and lead to a sequel. There was still so much to happen. I did like how it sort of ended, but with enough lingering questions to make you want to pick up the next one.

Jacinda is the first Fire-breather in generations to be born into a Pride. She's special but also not free to run her own life. She longs to do what she wants with her life, regardless of what other want. Her mother hates the pride and moves Jacinda and her sister to the dessert. Without the mountains and nature she thrives on, the dessert slowly starts to kill the Draki in Jacinda. Until she meets Will.

Oh Will. Every time an author describes the male characters eyes and focuses on how they look through his emotions I'm usually hooked. I'm a sucker for eyes and Will is no exception. He's the boy Jacinda should stay away from, but you're rooting for them to make it even though he's her enemy. Sophie Jordan did a great job at making you fall for him and trust him.

View all my reviews


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

6/40: Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran

Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French RevolutionMadame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution by Michelle Moran
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Michelle Moran is an amazing writer. She adds just enough description to give you an accurate picture while keeping the story moving. Madame Tussaud is a courageous woman who straddled the line between the royal family and the rebellion. How she survived the Revolution is a miracle to me. There were some points I thought it was the end for her and her family.

This book had tension, love and heartbreak. I was rooting for her and Henri the whole book. They were both so alike. He understood her and her ambition. The tension when the Reign of Terror was at it's height kept me reading. I had to know what was going to happen next. Everytime there was a knock on the Salon de Cire I kept thinking "This is it. They've come for them." Parts were hard to read, and it was revolting what people would do to others, even their friends. The level of detail that Moran puts into this book was great it some parts, like describing the Salon and the people. Other times I would have preferred less (squeemish?), but I appreciate that she kept the same level for everything throughout. She didn't sugarcoat anything and I loved that. It was a horrible time in history and the deeds people did (whether accounted truthfully or fiction) are portrayed well.

The only thing I didn't like was the ending. It ended fine, but it felt really rushed. There was only a "and then this all happened" explaination. I would  have loved another 40 pages to really get to the end a little more.

While this is a work of fiction, I loved the account of the French Revolution. The historical facts listed in the back were great. I had no idea that the guillotine was used as a form of death up until 1977.

I will absolutely be reading more by Michelle Moran. Amazing writer! She makes me realize why I love historical fiction so much.
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Sunday, March 25, 2012

5/40: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The book was so raw and beautiful it's hard to even write a review. The characters were true to their situations life put them in. Hazel and Gus were the perfect compliments to each other. John Green has a way with words that makes you live the story.

My family has a big history with cancer and shortly after our wedding my aunt passed because of it. I am still angry with God over taking my aunt, but I also know if my heart that she's in heaven and not in pain any more. Reading The Fault in Our Stars was either going to be very hard for me or give me closure. At least I thought so. It wasn't either.

I didn't cry in this book like I thought I would. And that's OK.
I didn't feel terribly sad. And that's OK.
I didn't feel peace at the end. And that's OK.

Or is it?

I had such a hard time writing this review. It's been nearly a month since I finished reading it. I didn't feel much of anything. I didn't feel much of anything. I'm not sure if that's because the book did such a great job at describing how Hazel and Gus having cancer was just a part of their life. Or if it's because I've dealt with this horrible disease so much in my life with extended family that I've become numb to the shock of it. In my world, people get cancer and die. Harsh yes, but that's my reality. Even if they survive it once, twice, eventually it comes back and the end is inevitable. I know two people that have beaten their fight and they are such a miracle. They are an anomaly in my eyes.

I appreciated John Greens writing and even though I'm not sure how to describe what I really felt after reading, I loved this book. The rawness in it and the lack of sugarcoating was needed. It was my first John Green book and I will definitely pick up another one.
View all my reviews

Monday, March 5, 2012

Heading back to the gym

It's time to head back to the gym. My movitation to get fit has hit that marriage bump where after the wedding you get so busy with life you stop taking care of yourself. Or stop caring.

Since stopping my pole dance classes I've done little to no exercise.  A few weeks ago I looked in the mirror after a shower and saw myself differently. I looked skinny. Now I've always prided myself with having a ballet body all my life. To look and see myself as skinny jarred my motivation into place. There is a big difference between being thin/fit/slender and being skinny. I hate being skinny and I take offense when people use that word. To me it's negative. So to look in a mirror and describe myself with that exact word made me feel awful. It's all perspective though. My husband says I'm beautiful, and I believe him. There are days I feel like the most beautiful person in the world (whether society thinks so or not).

Rather than feel down and sad, the snap of motivation has pushed me back to the gym. I've lost so much muscle mass from stopping pole dance that I am in need of an arse kicking. Ballet classes are fantastic but it's not enough.

Last week, Frenchie and I decided we need to both workout. Him for weight loss, me for muscle gain. We have a hard time working out together because programs are normally geared to one or the other. To find a program that both of us can do to get the desired results is frustrating.

The New Rules of Lifting for WomenA couple years ago I was big into a program called The New Rules of Lifting for Women. (The original version is for men) The program is designed specifically for women that want to build muscle (and as a result for most, lose fat). In 2009 I nearly completed this program before I injured myself from a combination of bad choices. Here is a collection of posts if you want to read the history.

New Rules of Lifting: Six Basic Moves for Maximum MuscleI am on a few forums and I have found myself suggesting this program to several ladies. Feeling like a hypocrite for pimping it out and not using it myself, I dusted the book off and decided it's time to reinvigorate my love for it. On top of that, I convinced Frenchie that he should do the original program designed for men. He's always up for trying something new so I found a template, got him the book and we're off to the races. The entire program can be done in our basement and because we are doing our own workouts we can be there together.

In an effort to be accountable, I think I will take pictures this week, do my measurements and check in every 2 weeks to show some progress. I just grabbed the JEFit app for my android and have found Stage 1 in the routine library. I'm very excited to be able to record my results and take them with me everywhere.