Formerly of Jenny Loves to Read Blog

Formerly of Jenny Loves to Read
I needed a reboot!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Mad Men Reading Challenge from Coffee and a Book Chick

I tried to watch Mad Men when it first started and I couldn't get into it.  Not my thing.  However, I can't say no to a reading challenge, so when my friend Natalie from Coffee and a Book Chick said she was doing a challenge with the books that were seen in the series, I said sure why not?  I tried this with LOST and had some success.    So here are the details from Natalie's blog:

The Mad Men Reading Challenge details:
  1. ENJOY.
  2. Sign up below. If you write an announcement post, link it up.
  3. Pick books from the NYPL list here and here and here.
  4. Read the book or listen to the audiobook.
  5. Write a review.
  6. Add the graphic from this post to your write-up.
  7. Every time you review a book from the list, add it to the Linky on the designated site:
  8. If you select books that weren't read on the Mad Men show, but were published (or were popular) during 1960 - 1968, just make a note of it in your post.
  9. Feel free to post about a movie or television show from that time period - the intent of this challenge is to celebrate the time and to say good-by to Mad Men.
  10. ENJOY!
As you can see the challenge is very wide open: either books seen on the show or books published during the time period of the show.  Easy peasy, right?

Come and join us!  It should be fun :)

© Jenny Girl - 2015 "All Rights Reserved"

Thursday, May 7, 2015

For the King's Favor by Elizabeth Chadwick

#2 HF Challenge Read

From Goodreads:
A captivating story of a mother's love stretched to breaking and a knight determined to rebuild his life with the royal mistress, For the King's Favor is Elizabeth Chadwick at her best. Based on a true story never before told and impeccably researched, this is a testament to the power of sacrifice and the strength of love. 

When Roger Bigod, heir to the powerful earldom of Norfolk, arrives at court to settle an inheritance, he meets Ida de Tosney, young mistress to King Henry II. In Roger, Ida sees a chance for lasting love, but their decision to marry carries an agonizing price. It's a breathtaking novel of making choices, not giving up, and coping with the terrible shifting whims of the king.

My Thoughts:

I have a like not like relationship with Chadwick.  Some of her stories I devour and others, I just put to the side.  This one falls in the really like pile.  Chadwick is historian first when it comes to her writing and For the King's Favor is true to this recipe.

King's Favor tells the story of both Ida and Roger from the beginning: their upbringing, trials and tribulations, and how they came to be at court and eventually find one another.  Luckily Henry II adores Ida and lets her choose her own husband in Roger, after he is finished with her of course. Although to be fair, Henry doesn't appear to be as heinous as most kings are.  In any case, the second half of the book is Ida and Roger's story of love and rebuilding Roger's inheritance as well as staying on Henry's good side.  The time frame is 1150-1183 and this is a very tumultuous time in England.

Once Henry dies, his sons John and Richard the Lionhearted, who loves to go crusade and get himself captured, squabble over the kingdom.   All of which is paid for by their noble subjects, including Roger and Ida.  They manage to weather the storms, have a great relationship, raise wonderful children, and really have the best in life.

Chadwick weaves real historical detail and accuracy into all her novels.  The political machinations, relationships at court, everything is brought to life.  There is some romance but really that is a side note.  Chadwick makes history interesting, and For the King's Favor holds up her tradition of great story telling.

© Jenny Girl - 2015 "All Rights Reserved"

Monday, May 4, 2015

Inspiration Monday: Workout Ideas

Inspiration Monday is hosted by Trish from Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity.
I think Trish got side tracked with her two adorable little girls, so there is no link up this week. However, I am posting anyway and encourage you to do the same.   Trish will catch us next time!

My inspiration this week is workout ideas.  It's the beginning of May and whether you want to lose weight, try something new, or just get moving, now is as good a tome as any.  There are plenty of free workout videos on YouTube, but picking one can be challenging.  If you're new to fitness or it's been a while I recommend you start slow.  If you're experienced and looking for something new, I'll give you a harder option later on.

Full disclosure: I work out in the mornings for 30 minutes only.  That's all I can spare.  I also try to walk for 30 minutes at lunch.  Two morning outs of the week I walk the dog, so no workouts those days.  Please don't think I'm some fitness nut because I'm not.  I enjoy it, and feel better when I do it.  I also like variety because I can;t do the same thing day in and day out.  So I use some of the channels i mention below and set up a schedule for myself.  I work out in the basement and drink coffee while doing so.  Oh and water too.

For you newbies or beginners try JessicaSmithTV

She has tons of free videos, she is pleasant, encouraging, and seems real and down to earth.  Her main routine is different types of walking videos, and there is something for everyone.  Jessica has plenty of variety, like yoga, pilates, and barre routines.  You can sign up for her newsletter at her website:
Jessica Smith TV

For 2015 Jessica started the year out with a video series titled Fit in 15.  For four weeks every day was a different 15 video for you to do.  If you had more time, you can do 2 or more.  But if you're just getting back into things you may prefer the shorter workouts first.  She also posts links to other suggested workouts on her site.

I've never had a bad workout on her site and several favorited that I like to go to quickly.

If you're looking for more of a challenge, I recommend Fitness Blender

I recently discovered they have a separate website too, where you can sign up and pay for more personalized or wight loss help.  I stick with their Youtube channel for now.  Their videos do not feature music, so I play some in the background, because I need music in the morning.

Their workouts are pretty tough so I recommend getting in the habit first and then checking out their site.  Even their beginner workouts have me gasping, but that's a good thing.

Both Jessica Smith and Fitness Blender show good form throughout their moves, good pace, are encouraging, and sweating along with you.  It's not pretty people who look pretty the whole time.  You see them struggle too.  They also have videos where they answer questions about fitness, or cardio vs. weights etc.

You can't go wrong with either one, so I hope I have inspired you to give one of them a try!

© Jenny Girl - 2015 "All Rights Reserved"