Happiness: the good life

What does 'Good Life' mean to you?  I have heard two people reference this in the last week, now I'm thinking what this means to me. I think having a good life is living simply, with comfort and purpose.  I wonder if it's that simple...

My family has been having fun with Dr Drew's Narcissism test this week. Curious?  Click here to take the online exam. I scored 6, a few people in my family scored 19, 10 and someone scored a 31 (with pride).  HA!

Last night I met with my Omaha book club to discuss The Painted Girls, with author Cathy Buchanan.  It was such a thrill!  I will write more in my book review/post but it was delightful chatting with her.

100 day project: Day 32 ~ I hope to accomplish most since the list was built to ensure success, with a little push.

Adventure: Kilimanjaro planning (part 1)

I just realized I haven't blogged about my latest life adventure since announcing it in January - how is this possible?!

This week we are applying for our visas which means WT is grounded until we get his passport back. Prefect excuse to fly our son home for a visit ~ woohoo!

Visas: Passports will be sent in tomorrow, with a $100 check for each (plus expedite fees).  The turn around is usually a month but we are trying to speed this up so Bill can get back to traveling.

Medical: With Bill's third world/ international travel he's current on vaccines.  I need to set up my medical appointment to begin the vaccine process (and quarterly blood draw for Lymes status).

Shots & medication:  One of these is a three part series so I will start the process this week.

Here's a list of the shots I need:
Yellow Fever
Hepatitis A
MMR and Polio update
Typhoid Fever
Hepatitis B

There are also a few prescription medications to travel with:
Diamox (acute mountain sickness)
Zpack (super strength antibiotic)

Shopping: The hidden costs that accompany any adventure!  With the World Traveler grounded... this is the perfect time to research, shop and buy.  We are buying everything online but still have to try on apparel/shoes to make sure we have proper fit.

Items purchased this weekend:
WT's hiking boots: $250 retail, found online for $140
Mari's hiking boots: $290 retail, no online deals
Six pair wool socks: $18/pair, found online for $8/pair
Two duffle bags (Sherpa's carry from camp to camp): $80 each but we found them for $30 each!
WT's solar day pack: $239
WT's convertible zip offs: $80 retail, $20 online
Mari's Convertible zip offs: $75 retail, $30 online

Retail value: $1,200

We spent $827

We are in the three month window so our focus, chatter will start to shift towards planning and preparing.  I hope you will enjoy following these posts - I'm mostly posting my journey since I can't find any online journals and don't know anyone who has done this... I'm in uncharted territory and don't want anyone else to plan such a trip 'blindly'.

Time to lace up my shoes, enjoy a sunny Sunday, and get a run in!

Happiness: the ripple effect

When I started this personal challenge I thought maybe one or two people might join me.  I wasn't prepared for the ripple effect. Your emails and phone calls warm my heart.

What makes this 100 day challenge different is that it's not a diet, we aren't trying to make big changes to our lives. We are making time to reflect on what brings us joy. 

Today is day 25 of 100 for me.

How are you doing with your happiness project?  (it's not too late to join us and create a little happiness in your life).  Here's the post that started it all

New foods: About a decade ago I tried this experiment and discovered the avocado and pummelo (I enjoy both immensely).  Last week I tried my second new item, the white dragon fruit.

If I was on Survivor I would love this fruit since it tastes like water.  Should it be sweet? Tart? How would you prepare it?

Happiness: 100 days of happy

in this edition: reading, friendship, & 100 things I love

Go big or go home!

While in the midst of an enormous work project, I was preparing for my friends visit, WT decided to throw a party for fourteen, and I logged 40 miles.  

The visit was a success: we saw a movie, ate, shopped, walked seven miles in NYC, drove to Sleepy Hallow in a snow storm, hot tubbed under the stars (listening to Madonna), walked in the woods, drank tea (and spirits), and shopped some more.

My girlfriend and I have a strong bond, but we don't have a lot in common these days... the first item tells it all (HA):

- While I was secretly rooting for Amour, she choose Magic Mike
- I'm quiet and reserved, she's a trash talker
- She can shop for hours... strolling from store to store.  I shop for need (in and out)
- I love being outside, regardless of the weather...  she's not an outdoors gal
- I always save room for dessert while she passes on sweets... BUT after a few drinks I was happy to watch her enjoy a giant piece of carrot cake.  Slowly eating every last crumb over laughter.

Life: 100 things I love!

Lisa, Lit and Life, is a friend of mine.  She and I met through book club and thanks to book blogging and 'letting social media in'... we have been able to stay in contact almost every day since I moved... um... almost three years ago.

A few days ago I opened pinterest and saw she had pinned this picture.  I emailed Lisa right away to see if she would post with me.  The timing is perfect!

Building this list brought back fond memories from yesteryear.  I tried not to list specific favorites (ie: Christmas morning when AWP slept until the tree... for 16 years).

I loved making this list. What's on your list?

Let's get to it:
REM - automatic for the people
Survivor (the show)

Happiness: 100 day update (day 11)

Let me tell you about Kate.  She's a friend, wife, mother, juggling a career, volunteering.  The kind of person you want in your life.  

A life long dieter, Kate lost 50-60 pounds, she felt lighter and happier.  A few months later her mother died. Overcome with sadness and depression she gained the weight back.

Over the next year Kate's journey freed her from her vanity struggles, the depression melted away and her smile/laughter slowly returned. It was amazing to watch her transform and her confidence return after deciding to focus on what's important. 

The next summer she wore a bikini to the public pool.  I will never forget her telling me, "I'm tired of feeling like I HAVE to cover up.  I've always wanted to wear a two piece... so I'm doing it".  Something about her had changed, she was alive.

Books: February Reviews!

Another good month, four book reviews, crossing four genres

Books read this year: 10
Genre reach: self-discovery, YA, historical fiction, chick-lit, literary fiction, cookbooks

Classics: Have you read either or these titles: The Great Gatsby, or The Bell Jar?  I'm not sure which to read for the 100 day challenge.

Have you read any of these titles?  A few wonderful reads to share. 

Friends at my Table: I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  It's more than a cookbook.  Filled with tips for all types of entertaining, from table settings, preparing causal get together's, to weddings.  The author talks about utensils and other kitchen gadgets throughout the book.  Such a hardy reference!

Recipes I will try include: Lemon and Rosemary Tart ~ Hearty Vegetable Soup ~ pumpkin salsa 

Goodreads rating: 4 stars

Table for Seven:  I gave this one three stars, a good review but it lacked the wow factor.  I liked the "messiness" in the main character since I know a lot of women in the forties who seem to be dealing with what she deals with in the book.  For that alone, women will enjoy the journey.

Goodreads rating: 3 stars

The memory of Love: As with Astrid and Veronika… Olsson’s writing is stunning.  This is a quiet, powerful story of about a woman with a past, trying to navigate life.  I enjoyed the flashbacks, a lovely style for sharing background.  This novel is about life, rebuilding and the idea that we can make family.  Ika, Marion and George have this sense of family.  It’s a short, powerful novel.  Read it.

"Sometimes we are given exactly what we need.  Those precise people that you need the most come stumbling into your life.  Sometimes you don’t notice, and this is very sad.  Sometimes you lose them again.  This is sad too, but not as sad.  Because what you have once had together, you have forever.”

Goodreads rating: 4 stars

Quiet: I read this as part of a read-a-long.  Click here to read a complete review, and a Q&A  

Goodreads rating: 4 stars

Other books: I read a book for an author this week, being sent to the publisher next week so I'm not sure when I can mention it.  A fun, contemporary women's lit novel.  

I started The Painted Girls but put it down for a few weeks.  My book club rescheduled our book talk with Cathy Buchanan and I want the story fresh in my memory.  It's so good, I can't wait to reengage but thought it was be best to read it the week before our chat.

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