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mother. marathoner. blogger. reader.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Book Review: The Little Paris Bookshop

My husband and I went to Paris to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. It was a trip I had always wanted to take and it was as magical and amazing as I imagined it would be. We ate amazing food. Sat by the Seine. Saw priceless art. Walked on streets that could tell a tale or two. Paris' rich history just bubbles up from it's cobblestones.

Since then, I never pass on a chance to read a book about Paris or one that is set in Paris. When The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George became one of the available titles for me to read and review as part of the Blogging for Books program, I knew I had to have it.

Monsieur Perdu owns and operates a floating bookstore, semi-permanently moored on the Seine. He fancies himself a literary apothecary, dispensing novels to heal people's souls. He, himself, leads a quiet life, possessively protecting a broken heart and lost love. Through a series of interesting events, Perdu finds himself captaining his floating bookstore to the South of France in search of a woman whose name he has not allowed himself to say for twenty years. Joined by a young author who has lost his muse, an exuberant Italian, and a lovely but not quite sane woman, Perdu lets go of the past and allows himself to heal.

Although drawn out in a few places, overall, I thought this was a well-written and enjoyable novel. George's descriptions of Paris are spot on - there were moments I could close my eyes and feel like I was again enjoying a fresh croissant. Perdu's foray into Southern France made me want to pack my bags that very instant and hop on a plane. 

The characters are lovable and endearing. I am fascinated by French apartments and their inhabitants. George does a wonderful job of painting a clear picture of Perdu's neighbors, so much so that I want to live with these people. I want to gossip with them on the stairs and endure their endless questions and misguided goodwill. Oh, to be harassed by a French concierge!

The implausibility of just up and driving a very large barge down the Seine, despite it not having moved in over twenty years, irked me at first. Taking a trip on a whim! With no money! Not telling anyone you're leaving! It's all very crazy and oh so very french. 

I'm passing this book along to a friend who has just read a series of stressful and anxiety provoking novels. This is just the book she needs to soothe her soul.  

Disclaimer: while I received this book for free in return for a review, all opinions and views expressed are solely mine. 

previous post: I forgot to eat lunch today

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I forgot to eat lunch today

I forgot to eat lunch today.

In truth, I did remember, I just wasn't hungry.

Also, it doesn't help that whatever I'm eating, my 17 month old instantly wants.  So, I don't actually get to eat an entire meal unless I want my ear drums blown out by a very loud little person.

He's lucky he's cute.

Back to the lunch thing.

So, I didn't eat but I did have a very large cup of Starbucks Macchiato which in hindsight was a terrible idea.

With sugar and caffeine coursing through my veins and no food in my stomach, I started having hot flashes, then my heart started to race and I was feeling all jittery.

Forgetting that I forgot to have lunch, I thought I was having an anxiety attack. Like a dork, I sat there doing a mental self analysis, trying to figure out what would be making me anxious. Then, I did what every self respecting 34 year old, mother of three would do - I called my mom.

She was at work. That poor woman. Nothing like getting a call from your distressed daughter, who is 14 hours away.  Thankfully, she is a nurse and NEVER visibly panics when I call with some dramatic story. She tells me what to do and sends me on my way. 

It took me about 15 minutes after we got off the phone to realize that the WHOLE issue was caused by the fact I had forgotten to eat lunch. No, that's not embarassing at all.

I bet she calls me tomorrow to remind me to eat.    

previous post: marathon training update

Sunday, August 16, 2015

marathon training update

Hey there stranger!

It's been awhile, I know.

After our 6 week trip roaming the Eastern seaboard, I was a little... well... a little of everything... happy. tired. You know how it goes.


School has started, bringing a whole new level of crazy to my life.

This SuperHero has started full day preK, taking her spidey sense and web slinger with her. Not to mention her forward fashion sense.

Not only have I been left to fend for myself against evildoers, but now I have lots of people who need to be lots of different places at pretty much the same time. Oh! and I can only fit like three of them in my car.

These types of logistical situations are what my nightmares are made of. My anxiety goes through the roof and the only thing that can bring it down is wonderful people agreeing to help me and (of course) running.

Speaking of which... I just finished week 7 of marathon training.

Considering it has been hotter then an oven and more humid then a freaking sauna - training has been  going very well. I haven't missed any runs and actually have been adding a few extra miles here and there. My #100milesinamonthstreak is still going strong.

I have my moments where I can't stand the idea of getting up and putting in a bunch of miles before the sun comes up but I'm pretty good at ignoring that voice. Having a running partner who I hate to disappoint helps. She gets up before I do, so I would feel terribly guilty chickening out on a run when she's already up and dressed.

The mileage is starting to add up and race day will be here before I know it. I'm playing around with some ideas about what I want to do next year... as soon as I get that figured that out you'll be the first to know :)

previous postan open letter to dog owners everywhere

Saturday, August 1, 2015

an open letter to dog owners everywhere

Dear Dog Owners,


Remember me? I'm that girl who ran by your house/passed you on the sidewalk/or trail/or any other public space ever conceived by a city planner.

I'm that girl who was sniffed/barked at/chased by or whose run was basically interrupted by your well meaning/protective dog.

We're on the same side. No seriously we are. I want to be safe. I want your dog to be safe. Let me tell you a story so maybe you can understand where I'm coming from. One day, I was running down a sidewalk by a busy two lane road. Across the road, a little boy opened his side door and his two dogs came running out. They saw me and ran across the road to investigate. Only one made it across. I didn't actually see the dog get hit but I did see the other dog whimper and try to get his partner to get up. I did see the owner come and pick up his dog with tears in his eyes. I cut my run short that day.

Ever since then, I have ZERO trust in a dog's behavior. When your dog barks and comes running towards me how am I supposed to know he's "friendly"? How do I know that he's not going to run out in traffic to reach me?

Throwing up in your hands in frustration or letting me know "he NEVER does this" is not helpful. I need to know that its safe to keep running. I need to know that your dog is not going to chase me for miles while you halfheartedly yell for him to stop.

Please leash your dog while walking in public areas. I know you know that you have a lovely, nice, kind dog but unless he's wearing a sign, I don't know that. I am going to assume the worst because I would like to finish my run in one piece.

Please don't get frustrated with me for running by your house (on the public sidewalk) when your HUGE dogs are roaming loose. I run long distances. There is only so much road for me to run on - it is inevitable I will pass by your house. I try to take note of areas that have aggressive/loose dogs but sometimes my system fails me.

Please don't allow your dog to sniff me or lick me. Seriously. Its just awkward.

Thank you to those dog owners who make their dogs sit quietly when I run by. To those dog owners who make an effort to share the public space we are both enjoying. To those dog owners who make eye contact and let me know that its safe to pass. To those dog owners who let their dog know that I am coming so that neither of us are caught off guard. I thank you for caring enough about me and your dog to make an effort.

Thanks so much! Until we meet again....




that super sweaty runner girl who is slightly afraid of dogs while she's running

previous post: Profiles of Inspirational Women: Michelle Wolfer