Maybe it's the binding, maybe it's the smell of the pages, maybe it's the blood, sweat, and tears poured into each word...who knows?  Why I love books so much is a mystery that is simply embedded into my DNA.  I've loved books and reading since I was 4 or 5 years old.  Fiction, Non-Fiction, and anything in between.  I read a LOT! 

Last year my goal was to read 50 books.  I fell way short.  I only got through 36 books, however, with all the blogs and magazines I read, my word count surely far surpasses that of a 50 book total.  There's just something awesome about picking up a book and having a story come to life completely in your mind.  Ever facet and feature just thriving inside your imagination.  It's powerful.

Currently I am finishing up "The Host" by the illustrious Stephenie Meyer.  Of course, I loved the Twilight Series.  Hello?  Gorgeous vampire, average and ordinary girl, sparkling skin, and tree climbing?  The story had it all.  One thing about Stephenie's books with me, though,  is that it takes me a while to get enthralled in it.  She writes big, long, wordy books and it isn't until about half way through the book that I get totally involved in the story.  After that point, it's over for me.  I'm hooked until the end.

Sometimes when I'm reading a book that's slower for me to get into I think about quitting and moving on to some other talked about sensation.  But, I don't.  I stick to it, because sometimes in stories like that, the very ending ties all of the drawn out contingents together.  Making the entire process worth it.

Books are great, and I'd rather be reading a book than watching TV any day.  Here are just a FEW of my favorites.  Check them out!

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman

Rich Like Them by Ryane D'Agostino

The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer

She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb

Happy for No Reason by Marci Schimoff

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker

The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins


Tear Jerkers

If you're a woman (or a sensitive male) you love a good tear jerker.  Yesterday I watched the entire episode of Celebrity Apprentice.  This is the first time I have watched TV in over a month.  The only reason I even turned the box on was because we finally decided to set up the DVD player in our new place.  The DVD player set up failed, so I opted to watch this intriguing show, instead. 

The point of the apprentice appeals to me for its business sense and the idea that team work is still paramount for success today.  However, what moved me was a scene where a young boy who has a deadly disease was given a check for $20,000 written out to Make a Wish Foundation.  He was excited since he was part of that foundation.  But the big moment came when he revealed his wish was to meet Donald Trump and he was told that he would get that chance.  The smile on that little boy's face was about to crack his face open.  It was awesome to see.

You know that exact moment when we watch things like that, things that make you so happy for the person being blessed?  Right at that exact moment when you know you helped make someone's dream come true?  That right there is what brings tears to my eyes.  Our ability to have the opportunity of making people's dreams come true.  We can do things which will bring us to the point of giving us options to work miracles in others lives.  That really moves me and is what I would love to dedicate my life toward.

Many times, we feel as if we have so many problems that there's no way to be in such a position.  Well, that's just an obstacle in our own mind.  God didn't give us this great body, this powerful mind which can only be controlled by us, just to go to waste.  Just to pay bills and get by.  We have this potential in all of us. 

I ran across this article today about people who have made it to the big time, but started out with NOTHING!  Zero!  Zilch!  Nada!  So if one other person can do it, why not us?  Just one other person has to show that it's possible to take the excuses away from us.  However, there are WAY more than just 1.  There are many, upon many, upon many people who have overcome terrible circumstances to be great and then pour out that love and greatness to others.  It's time to get inspired!


Yummy Lunch

Many people have the belief that a Vegetarian diet is that of deprivation.  Check out the lunch I had a couple of days ago (I ate two of these:o) and if you still think I'm deprived, so be it.

*Ingredients :  Whole Grain Bread, Lettuce, Tomato, Cucumber, Banana Peppers, Spinach, Olives, dab of Lite Mayo, Vinegar (Hmmmmmm!)


Middle Class America

One of the biggest passions I have in life is becoming free.  Totally free.  Free from worry, free from negativity, free from any kind of bondage.  Will I ever attain to this passionate goal of mine to perfection?  Absolutely not, but that doesn't mean that it is not my God given right to pursue such status in life.  I believe we were sent to earth to learn how to progress and create.  Create the life at which we can marvel and for which we can have an appetite.  It is our mission.

Many of us don't even know how much we are bound by other responsibilities and without even realizing it we give up a lot of the freedoms we have a right to possess.  The worst thing that can happen to a human is that he/she lives life in ignorance.  Some of us think we are doing better than we are, and that is the largest trap of all.

When I found this  article on YAHOO! I knew I had to share it.  Some people consider themselves middle class and are happy with that status.  Are you middle class?  Are you below middle class?  Are you wealthy?  Read the article, think about where you are, and determine where you want to be.



I don't eat you anymore because you have eyes, ears, a nose, and a mouth. 
Because you have feelings and can express them.
Because you are a sweet little (or large) soul who has every right to a long happy life, as do I.

When I feel pain, I understand where it's coming from and it is unpleasant.  When you feel pain from the hands of humans you are sad and confused, haven't you just minded your own business all this time?
I don't put you in my food anymore because you are not food, you are life.  Your death will not be on my hands anymore.
You have families, babies, friends.
You have fun and laugh and cry, just like I do.
Some of your kind are pets and some of you are meant to be mistreated, processed, and then consumed.  What makes one species different than the other?  I cannot comprehend taking my dog, murdering her, and roasting her to consume anymore than I can comprehend people doing that to you.
You don't have to die so that I may live, therefore I won't kill you.
When I found out the average human consumes 31 animals per year, I figured by deciding to go without meat, I would help 31 of you per year.  Though that may not seem like much overall, for each of those 31 it means their world and their life.
And that, I've been told, can make all the difference.


It's a Dog's Life

Here's a photo of my cousin's adorable Olde English Bulldog named Rocky.  I call him Rockstar, because he's all that!  He's so sweet.  He was the runt of the litter and has a painstaking need to be LOVED!  Don't we all? 

As I was sorting through all the mental files I have stored away regarding what to write about I thought of this little guy as he plays with my two dogs (The Alpha Diva Dog Meghan is the one pictured in this photo).  I have two mutts, who are both larger than Rocky is in size.  He wants to fit in so badly, but my dogs are making him earn it.  They aren't very open and friendly with him, yet he tries.  He has no hidden agenda, just wants friendship.

I think of ourselves as humans in that way also.  Really, we just want friendship.  We want to be loved.  We want to feel as if we're a part of something awesome.  But that can be hard.  We may encounter people with personalities like my dogs' who really aren't warm or inviting as soon as you're ready to be.  Maybe we have little in common.  Sometimes we might be the ones rejecting the company of others for fear that we lack any kind of compatibility. 

But as time goes on, and the more Rocky hangs out with my girls, they will become friends.  They will learn to play together and love each other.  After a time they won't remember not liking each other all too much in the beginning.  Here again dogs teach us the lesson.  That's exactly how humans are.  Shy to start a new relationship at first, but after time we all can become friends.  At the end of the day our differences are what unite us.


Blogger Girl

I have a complete love affair with blogging.  Not just blogging mind you, but blogging on Google's Blogger.  It is wonderful and keeps getting better.  New gadgets get added frequently and it really is very simple.  I've tried this blogging thing for almost a year now through various other sites and have found it so fun to be able scriptorily (new word of the day) express thoughts, feelings, and just blahs.

There are so many websites that offer neat ways to change the look of your blog.  Tonight will be the time I shop around for my perfect template.  Oh, and the price?  FREE!  How cool is it that a blog can become a hobby that you won't have to pay for if you don't want to? 

There's the argument between Blogger and Wordpress.  A lot of people who like Wordpress say it's much more customizeable, but with all the tips and tricks available in the blogosphere, you can create anything with Blogger that you can create with Wordpress.  Not to mention Blogger lets you put ads on your site and Wordpress does not. 

Here are some of my favorite sites that teach me tips and tricks of how to enhance and effectively use Blogger:




Here are some sites that now are starting to put out a lot more tips, but also include awesome backgrounds, headers, and other widgets:



And finally, here are three awesome sites which will give you great blogging skills tips, introduce you to multiplicity of other blogs, and are awesome places of which to be a part:




Happy Blogging!

Dog the Bounty Hunter

Barnes & Noble is an evil store.  Why?  Because if I didn't exercise my discipline I could spend hours upon hours till the very closing minute in there.  Okay, so the store itself isn't evil, in fact is so very good and awesome.  A book store is different from a library because of the atmosphere.  The intellectual set of loiters who come in here for a latte' or a $30 book just give off a neat vibe.  Oh, and then when you pick up a brand new book, never even having it's binding creased by another hand just makes you jump with giddy-ness.  Ok, maybe not you, but definitely me.  I love books and being in a place where there are so many brand new ones waiting to be explored, is just neat.

My friend and I were visiting in the cafe area when all of a sudden we hear screams and cheering (Another difference from libraries;o).  We look up to the second level and notice a throng of police officers escorting a couple to a table.  It was Dog the Bounty Hunter and his wife Beth.  They were there to do a book signing, so even though I've watched the show only a couple of times I turned into a fan and we went upstairs for some shots.

He was cool, didn't even sit behind the big oak desk.  He stood among everyone and chatted with his fans while his button down shirt was wide open for the purpose of allowing us to glare into his manly and  hairy chest.  Typical "Dog" style, I suppose.  He's got a great story of turning his life around and surely his book would be worth the read.

While watching this pandemonium at a book store over this rockstar author, I couldn't help but think how nuts this all looked.  I was a few feet away from him and all I could think of was, "These are normal folk."
They've just done some neat things and they are telling their story.  The reason we get obsessed over celebritity figures is that we all want that fame in one way or another. 

There are some of you shaking your head right now saying, "Oh no, not me!  I'm happy in my family and that's that."  Then why do you get just a little butterfly in you when someone pats you on the back and praises you for a job well done?  It's because we want to be recognized for our efforts.  We want to know that we are here for a purpose and that we will be appreciated for it.  So, it is our duty to do something!  Be someone!  Be influential.  Only then can we truly change our world.

Cheers to the Dog and Beth on their new book and their great life.  It will be exciting and rewarding to fill those shoes one day.


Spring is In the Air

Today was glorious.  I entered my car and felt the immediate sensation of heat cover my body head to toe.  Some people grunt at having to step into a hot car soaked with sunshine, but I revel in it.  Oh, how I love warmth.  I love everything about being warm, hot, and in between.  Yes, bring on the sweat and bring on the air conditioning, it makes me feel alive.

When the weather is nice and the sun is shining my mood is totally uplifted.  I feel light and happy and I feel a sense of new beginning.  A lot of people use the start of a new year to get a grip on renewal and hope inside their heads.  I won't deny that each fresh new year is thrilling, but there is something pretty magical about a new season.  Especially a season ushering in the feeling of warmth.  Good bye sweaters and boots, hello sandals and skirts!

As soon as the weather begins to fade away from blue into yellow and orange and red, one event immediately pops into my mind.  My birthday.  I celebrate it every May (even if just in my own head) and I reflect on the year that passed and on the year ahead.  While I may be just over two months away from the next one (the slower the better) I can't help but already get a sense of change and a prospective new outlook on the horizon.

I long to be free and to be still.  To be wild and to have thrills.  All of it.  I have this deep yearning feeling for a sense that has not come in to me as of yet.  For some peculiar reason I feel that this will be a transformational year for all of those things to begin happening.  It will be my golden birthday (turning 29 on the 29th) and my last year in the decade of my twenties.  When did this happen?  How?  Why so quickly?  However, as aging scared me at one point, I now look forward to this era swiftly zooming around the corner.  It's definitely time to do some good.


Delicious Memory

I went to the grocery store today for a few quick items.  As I strolled through to the bread isle, there they were.  Delicious looking crisp French Crullers.  I decided one of them would have to end up in my shopping basket.   As I got to the car I put it in drive and pulled out the donut.  Chomp, chomp...into my mouth it went.  It was good.  Sweet, dough-ie, and pastry-like.  However, it wasn't out of this world.  Then a thought hit me.

Was it really the fact that the donut was good or was it the fact that the memory attached to the donut was a good one that makes me continually choose this donut option? 

When I was a little girl my sweet dad would bring home French Crullers for me all the time.  Sometimes plain and sometimes vanilla frosted.  I ate and savored as any kid would and that was that.  Now that I moved back to NJ and live in the area where my dad spent most of his time with me I get the same craving for those sticky donuts everytime I pass by one of them.  They're okay.  Definitely not spectacular, but they are delicious.  Not so much in their taste, I realize, but in their memory.  Each bite reminds me of my Pop, and for as long as those bites last, the memory is the ingredient that makes those crullers exquisite.