happy friday!

I have finished teaching my afternoon class, which means it is offically SPRING BREAK here at Purdue! Woo hoo! There may still be snow on the ground, but it is beginning to feel a little more like spring. Today’s temperature was a balmy 40 degrees, and it is staying light out later and later, which is so nice after a long winter of 5 pm sunsets.

A few fun things of late:

  • Yesterday I saw Warm Bodies, a zombie love story. It was witty and hilarious and surprisingly moving. I loved it! If it’s still playing where you are, I’d highly recommend it.
  • Today I had lunch with good friends at Panera {shout-out to Sarah The Pajama Chef: fuji apple chicken salad is the best!} My friend Matt and his wife Casey recently got the most adorable basset hound puppy named Merriwether, and I could not stop petting her soft ears and wrinkly face. I miss our family dog Murray a TON — I even dreamed about him last night! — and I can’t wait to see him this summer! He would have been jealous at all the attention I was giving Merriwether.

murray jealous

  • I just finished reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, a suspenseful, twists-and-turns mystery that was recommended to me by mulitple people and I have to say, I really could not put it down. The book is over 400 pages but I flew through it in a matter of days, even staying up late to read it a few nights! I was over-all satisfied by the book and very impressed with the author’s plotting and characterization talents, but for me the ending was disappointing. It felt like a roller-coaster that is building and building, and then just stops before the final descent. There is a final twist, but my main feeling when closing the book was frustration. Has anyone else read Gone Girl? What did you think of it?
  • The next book I’m planning to read is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green as part of the March PBF Book Club. I have read other books by John Green in the past and LOVED them, so I have high hopes for this one!
  • Maybe I am feeling book-crazy because I stopped by the local library this afternoon and spent some time browsing — one of my favorite things to do! I go to the library pretty much once a week and stock up on not just books, but also DVDs and CDs. Before I moved to Lafayette, I often used to overlook the library as a wonderful treasure trove of free entertainment.
  • I’m super excited to be participating in The Lean Green Bean’s Foodie Pen Pals group for March! It’s free to sign up, and you’re paired with another blogger or reader to send a box of treats and food goodies to that month. I’m having a blast picking out things to send to my pen-pal. You can learn more about the group and sign up for next month at The Lean Green Bean.
The Lean Green Bean

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! Anyone else getting spring fever?

“make mornings matter” in march!

“If you eat a frog first thing in the morning, that will probably be the worst thing you do all day.” – Mark Twain.

Source: Frog by David Wagner

Source: Frog by David Wagner

Happy Thursday, friends! How is your week going so far?

The always-amazing Crystal over at Money-Saving Mom is hosting a really neat Early to Rise Challenge during the month of March. I have been inspired by her posts, and floored by her {and other participants} wake-up times: 5:33. 6:01. 5:45. A.M.!!

Now to some of you, that is a piece of cake. That is simply routine for you. 5 a.m. and sunrises are a normal part of your day. {My mom is one of those people. Hi, Mom!}

But I have always been a night owl. Maybe it’s related to writing — I often feel more creative late at night, when the world is quiet and I am close to dreamland. {In fact, I titled my short story collection 3 a.m. because that’s when I was up writing many of the stories in the book!} I’ve read that we all have natural body rhythms as either night owls or early birds, and I am definitely in the night owl category. I often joke with my Gramps, who lives out in California, that he and I are on the same time schedule — we go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time; I’m just three hours ahead of him on the clock! 🙂

Still, I like to feel productive, and I’ve found my mornings often set the tone for the rest of my day. If I have a sluggish morning where I wake up, head straight to my computer, check my email first thing, and browse around on Facebook, it will soon be an hour later and I will feel totally crummy. Then I’ll be rushing to “get a start” on my day and very likely the whole entire day will seem like a giant game of catch-up.

If, instead, I wake up, drink two glasses of water, brew some tea and cook a healthy, hearty breakfast, and start the day with one chore I do not want to do or have been putting off — just do it and get it DONE so I don’t have to worry about it anymore — then the entire day seems sunnier, easier, lovelier. I feel on top of things. I feel productive. Even if the task I’ve been putting off takes me a total of three minutes, like yesterday morning, when I called the mechanic who I had been been playing phone tag with the entire day before. I called him first thing when I got up, was done with the task in three minutes, and felt a sense of motivation and accomplishment that carried me through the entire day!

To paraphrase Mark Twain’s quote from the beginning of this post, what “frogs” are you putting off? Think how great you will feel if you get them done first thing and then have the whole day to not worry about it!

Another thing that really gets my day off on a great, energetic note is to do a little bit of exercise first thing in the morning. One of my goals for 2013 is to stretch every day, and I feel so much better the rest of the day if I take a few minutes to stretch my legs and hips when I first get out of bed. I am also trying to motivate myself to get into the routine of doing my sit ups and push ups first thing in morning, before I hop in the shower and eat breakfast. I often feel too tired or busy to do them at night, but I really want to work on building up the strength of my core, and so doing my sit-ups and push-ups are important to me. For the rest of March — and beyond — that is a small goal I am focusing on!

How about you? How do you make your mornings matter? If you’re looking for inspiration, I love this post by Crystal: “15 Things You Can Do Each Morning to Make Your Day More Successful.” I think she gives great advice! And whether your morning starts at 5 a.m. or noon, this is a no-judgment zone! It’s all about what works best for you and your lifestyle. 🙂