MIMM #6: Another Piece of My Heart and Events

It’s a marvelous feeling to see my body changing and improving day by day. I have progressed so much already even though the scale isn’t necessarily much lower than I’d hope, I can actually see improvements in my body and by what I’m accomplishing in the gym. My motivation is higher than ever and I absolutely love getting in shape.

Side planks for #plankaday

Here’s a marvelous book I read recently:

Another Piece of My Heart“Another Piece of My Heart” by Jane Green was an awesome book. I was unsure if I should read it because it seemed like something that wouldn’t necessarily interest me. I am only 22 and I tend to stay to books that have characters around my age or a little older, just because I can relate easier (there have been exceptions of course). This was another exception to my comfort-level and I am so glad I made this choice. The book is very engaging, it is extremely complex and it really made me feel like I was there with the characters, experiencing everything with them – I felt very connected to the characters and I felt like I was watching a TV series. Not a movie, a TV series – because there i a lot of stuff going on in this book to fit in one movie. The only thing I wasn’t too crazy about was the constant sudden change of voice and perspective of the narrator – sometimes it’s this person talking, sometimes it’s someone else, sometimes it’s an all-knowing 3rd person narrator. It can get a little confusing at times but that might have been what really connected me to the book and made me feel like I knew the story from all the different perspectives.

I don’t want to spoil anything by summarizing the book in case any of you decide to read it. But let me tell you, there is so much more to it than I thought there would be from reading the description. This book is a lot more complex than that and the twists and turns of events shift the focus entirely. That’s a good thing. Here’s Amazon’s description:

From the New York Times bestselling author of JEMIMA J, and THE BEACH HOUSE, comes Jane Green’s most emotional and powerful novel yet:  a story that explores the complications of a woman marrying into a ready-made family, and the true meaning of motherhood.

Andi has spent much of her adult life looking for the perfect man, and at thirty-seven, she’s finally found him.  Ethan–divorced with two daughters, Emily and Sophia–is a devoted father and even better husband.  Always hoping one day she would be a mother, Andi embraces the girls like they were her own. But in Emily’s eyes, Andi is an obstacle to her father’s love, and Emily will do whatever it takes to break her down. When the dynamics between the two escalate, they threaten everything Andi believes about love, family, and motherhood—leaving both women standing at a crossroad in their lives…and in their hearts.

ANOTHER PIECE OF MY HEART is a novel that illuminates the nuances and truths about relationships and is Jane Green at her absolute best.

I will gladly give this book a rating of 5 out of 5 stars. It’s a much recommended and marvelous read.

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Another point I want to make today is that it’s marvelous how health conscious business are becoming and that there is an increasing number of healthy lunch spots popping up all over the place. Last week, my co-workers and I made a lunch trip out to Freshii. After checking out their website and drooling, we decided we had to finally make the trip. Although I can’t say I was exactly overjoyed with the place – it was expensive and the food was pretty bland, we all agreed on the boring bland taste factor. I tried the Wild Pacific Salmon salad which was pretty dry and boring; my friends had a rice bowl and a noodle bowl, both of which they said they could have easily made themselves and it wasn’t anything to write home about, it was actually rather disappointing. I realized that it might be a better idea to just create your own salad/bowl when you go there because they offer a vast numer of unlimited veggie toppings, many of which I was interested in. If we make our way out there again, I will make sure to create my own salad and base my opinion off of that trip as well. Everyone deserves a second chance!

I went to two marvelous events this weekend. P-FIT is a fitness meet-up in Chicago that I found randomly, it is an evening outdoor pilates class in a park downtown Chicago and it is free. Any free fun fitness class is something I am totally interested in, so naturally I RSVP’ed! The class was led by a young female instructor who recently came here from Turkey. She spoke pretty good English but some stuff she didn’t say correctly and she wasn’t very good at instructing because of that, we were sometimes finding ourselves confused. Plus this one guy came who was totally annoying me – no only did he wear JEANS to work out and he looked like a homeless person overall (his whole look, his hair, his face, his everything) and he wouldn’t stop talking! Like shut up and let us workout, stop talking, stop being creepy! Sigh. I decided to walk back to my apartment because it ended at dusk and it’s my favorite time of the day so I thought it would be a wonderful chill walk, especially since this wasn’t all that far from my place. The walk took me around 35 minutes and I got some nice pictures of the city. The beauty of Chicago’s downtown still takes me breath away ❤

Another marvelous event was Pamper Me Fabulous yesterday. I did a review of KLUTCHclub box in June, a subscription fitness-focused monthly box, and they had me down as one of their members in their database. They sent me an email inviting me to attend this event for free (normally the price is $42) as a thanks for supporting them and living in Chicago. The email was sent to all Chicago members. Since I had no previous plans for Sunday, I RSVP’ed and decided to go (alone, dun dun dun, I know, I’m such a loser..) I came pretty late and didn’t stay long. I did manage to squeeze in their 20min hatha yoga session which was perfectly relaxing. It took place in a marvelous art studio with different art pieces hanging on the walls.

yoga and art

I sampled some cocktails by Godiva and Qream and wow, so so so good. Probably caloric as heck too though. Then i got some free samples of Think Thin bars and my gift bag. I doubt I would have come if I had to pay- you had to pay for everything in there again so I’d personally rather just go to Macy’s or Nordstrom to get the same kind of deals on skin products.

gift bag contents

Have a marvelous Monday everyone!

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MIMM #5: PB&J Protein Shake (vegan)

Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a marvelous Monday like I am! Thank you to Katie for hosting this awesomely positive and uplifting link up 🙂 First things first, I felt absolutely marvelous after yesterday’s arm workout because I think my biceps are finally starting to come into shape.

The picture doesn’t show much but let me tell you, this is a huge improvement for me. I have never had any muscle. I might have been skinnier, but strong and muscular – never. So this is a big deal for me. I am very excited and can’t wait what the future will bring. I cannot wait to look like Crystal from Spoonful of Fit. Okay, a girl can dream, alright…… *daydreaming*

Also, make sure you enter into my marvelous giveaway to win 12 flavors of Arctic Zero protein ice cream! The pints have only 150 calories per pint and the bars have 85 calories. They are delicious and great as a post-workout recovery snack or dessert 🙂 The giveaway ends on Wednesday!

A marvelous recipe: Protein shakes have been replacing my regular egg breakfast. I can’t get enough. They are just SO good!

It baffles me how people can just go and get a milkshake with all those calories, fat, and sugar when you can have an even better alternative, guilt-free, with a similar (if not better) flavor? It’s such a marvelous way to fuel your exhausted muscles after a good workout.

Here comes a PB&J protein shake. Ekhem, it’s peanut butter jelly time

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Marvelous in my Monday #4

Hello everyone! It’s Monday again! Yay! I, for one, love Mondays! One of the reasons why is Katie’s marvelous in my mondays blog hop party 🙂 Make sure you guys check out other bloggers posts on how they make their Mondays marrrrvvvelous!
I want to start out by mentioning some things I have been really into lately:

Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder – Consider me obsessed. This cocoa powder is the best I have ever tried. I can’t get enough. It’s so deep and dark it’s marvelous how much flavor it provides in just one tablespoon. I simply adore it! I have been on a craze with using it in almost everything from protein shakes to yogurt to baked goods.

Coconut flour – I finally started using coconut flour that I purchased a few months ago and again, I freaking love it. Its flavor is marvelous and it really makes a simple food taste like a treat. Stay posted for more recipes using it. A recent recipe I made using coconut flour and Special Dark cocoa powder is the single serve coconut brownie recipe.

Arctic Zero ice cream – I love using the Arctic Zero ice cream with various toppings or topped on the brownie as shown above. It’s such a perfect dessert for a hot summer day, especially since I don’t have to feel guilty about eating it. By the way, my Arctic Zero giveaway is open until next week so keep the entries coming! I know you want to win that marvelous prize pack of 8 ice cream pints + 8 bars!

Fifty Shades of Grey – While I can tell the book is E.L.James’ debut, it is still very engaging. I actually finished the first book last week but I am anxiously awaiting my turn from the holds on the second book. Darn, library. They should have ordered even more copies! Reading is a marvelous way to pass the time while exercising the mind and your imagination. Especially when it’s a little guilty pleasure such as this one 😉

PS. Why are all of the Fifty Shades pics with Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart? Umm, no, he is NOT even attractive. No way would he play a good Christian Grey. Not a chance.

TV shows – I am totally into this season of True Blood and I want Eric in my pants. I also finished watching the season of Friends with Benefits on Netflix (some random show that I found on there, but it’s actually really funny) and I started watching How I Met Your Mother from the beginning (I love that show so much, too funny!) and I am in the middle of watching Girls on HBO GO. It sucks not having a TV. But then again it doesn’t. Meh 🙂

My god, he’s sexy

Lastly, I started doing the #plankaday challenge and I want to get up to 2 minutes by the end of the month. I have gotten up to one minute and 45 seconds so far. Woop! 🙂 Progressing is such a marvelous feeling. I measure my planks separately from my workouts cause I find I last longer this way.

Marvelous in my Monday #2

The Whole World: A Novel

Hello everyone! We’ve had such gorgeous hot weather over in Chicago. It’s marvelous. It’s my favorite type of weather, I love warmth and I was outside a lot. I can only handle it a little at a time though but it was marvelous to be able to go outside to the park and read while soaking up some sun rays. Such a wonderful feeling.

I found a pretty interesting book that I’ve been reading recently, “The Whole World” by Emily Winslow. I’ve been sucked in and I can’t stop reading. It’s very interesting, it’s about two American female college students over in Cambridge and a boy. The three get really close, two of them get into a situation that got pretty intimate, however the girl freaked out and got sick right in front of the guy and ran away from him in embarrassment. Then the guy goes missing and no one knows where he is and what happened. There is a lot of complexity and twists and turns, but not too many to make the read exhausting. It’s a great happy medium of suspense and curiosity. I recommend it. I’m only halfway done but so far so good. I’m still anxiously awaiting my turn in line for Fifty Shades of Grey at my library. Ahh!

Then I also received two packages today, which was marvelous because I freaking LOVE getting packages 🙂 It makes me happy. One of the things I got was an all-natural superfood 30 day weight management system called iChoice. I got a good deal on this system on Groupon so I decided to give it a try. I researched the heck out of it and it doesn’t sound harmful. It’s all about getting all the nutrients your body needs. It’s not a weight LOSS program, it’s a weight management program, which sounds better. Plus it’s stimulant-free. I don’t deal well with stimulants (I drink decaf..) so this sounded like a good deal. We’ll see how it goes and how I like it.

June is a huge month for summer festivals in Chicago. I went to my first festival of the year yesterday. It was the Old Town Art Fair and it was fun looking at all of the marvelous art as well as watching the Beatles’ cover band play (and they were SO good! They even looked like The Beatles!) After the fair, my roommate and I went to Big Bowl and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the restaurant is all about being organic, all-natural, and sustainable. I had no idea! Plus they had a delicious $6 seasonal sangria! The seasonal fruit of the day were strawberries.. mmmm!

Oh yeah, make sure you follow me on Instagram if you use one 🙂 @xokammie

Oh and keep the Nimble/QuickieChick giveaway entries coming! The giveaway ends in 3 days!!

Marvelous in My Monday #1: Fitbit Love

One of my favorite bloggers, Katie, over at Healthy Diva Eats came up with a brand new weekly link up – Marvelous in my Monday – where bloggers share their marvelous happenings. Mondays makes this weekly post not only an alliteration, it also combats the “Monday Blahs” that some people might go through. I personally don’t go through those because Mondays are my off days and I love them hehe 😛

If you follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram, you might have seen me tweet this picture:

Besides the new Maxim, I was super excited because I finally got the FitBit Ultra! I sold some college books back and I thought the price (after the Amazon sellback money I got) was enough for me to pay to get it. I was super excited. I’ll have a fuller report on it once I use it longer, cause I’ve only been using it two days so far. But wow, is this little gadget motivating?! Seriously.

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