Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Part 1: Losing Weight (The Tools)

On Monday I hit a pretty big milestone. After four and half months I hit my goal of losing 45 pounds. (Now on to the next goal!) :)

I've had a lot of friends ask me what I've been doing (and how I've lost it) so I thought I'd try to write it out. Turns out I like to talk. I'm dividing it up into a few parts.

Part 1: The Tools

Back in the middle of September I started two things.

  1. Keeping track of the calories I put into my body. Everything! Every single bit.
  2. Tracking my workouts. 

Only this time I didn't just start, I've been able to stick with it. 

Logging in my food:

I signed up for a free calorie counter called myfitnesspal. So did my husband (more out of support and encouragement for me). I also downloaded the app on my phone. (I LOVE this app.) And I use it diligently. Because sure if I decide not to log in my food it doesn't show up on the counter but it still shows up on my thighs.

Logging in my workouts:

Secondly I went searching for a website I could use to figure out how far I went jogging. (Which literally my first day I went a whopping .62 miles, and I was so proud of myself. We all gotta start somewhere.) I came across MapMyRUN which I fell in love with. I liked it because at the beginning I knew I'd be doing a lot of running but this site also let me log and keep track of other workouts too and to me it was a big motivator to see my workouts, done, on a calendar. 

I'll go into more depth about both of these in my other posts, if you're interested, but plain and simple I am losing weight because I am burning more calories than I'm consuming. Bottom line.

Read Part 2 here.
Read Part 3 here.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Marriage Monday: Positive choices, actions & feelings

POSITIVE ACTIONS that result in 

"The same principle applies to marriage. When I choose to have a positive influence on my wife, regardless of how I might feel, my positive choices lead to positive actions that result in positive feelings--for both me and my wife. Choosing to implement the power of positive influence is good for your own mental health, in addition to the positive impact it will have on your spouse."
"Where do we begin? Perhaps you can identify with the woman who said to me, 'Our marriage has been so dysfunctional for so long, I don't know where to start.' The first step in any positive change is to recognize and acknowledge that you have a choice."

Can you think of a time when you've consciencely made an effort to 
choose to be positive?

What can you do now, so that when you are faced with the need to choose (to be positive) you will be ready?

Quotes in this post are from The Four Seasons of Marriage by Gary Chapman (Author of the best-selling The Five Love Languages)

You can find my other Marriage Monday's here.

Last week I ran across the nomiations for About.com Best Marriage Blog/Website contest. I realize my blog isn't as big as the companies, clinics and therapists out there but I thought it'd be fun to give it a shot anyway. Would you help me out?

Go vote (Voting open until Feb 22)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Everneath Launch Party Recap & GIVEAWAY

Tuesday night at The Kings English, Brodi Ashton had her book launch for Everneath. It was HUGE. I've been to many events and launches around here and at TKE and this was the biggest one I've seen yet. It was so exciting to see so many people there showing love for this amazing author and excellent book!

And like Rachel said when she was introducing her, Brodi is very active in the author/book community around here so it was fun to see so many people (authors and readers alike) returning the love and coming out for her event.

The Six showing their support by wearing Dead Elvises shirts. (My husband designed them.) Thanks to Michelle from I Loved This Book for taking the picture and letting me use it. (She's having a giveaway too!)

Dead Elvises necklace everyone got at the launch party.

Book signed with bookmark and Dead Elvises stamp.
Everneath temporary tattoo.

My family cheering on Brodi.
Just one slide of the hilarious power point she had.

A visual of the rejection letters an author gets. Brodi says this is about a quarter of the ones she got.
The cake that The Kings English had to celebrate Everneath awesomeness.

Tawnya, Jenni, Me, Brodi, Jamie


I'm giving away a personalized signed book of Everneath by Brodi Ashton!

(Winner will choose the name to be personalized.)

I'll be using random.org to pick a winner. It's in your best interest to leave a seperate comment for each entry. Thanks.

+1 Comment on this post. If you win, what name would you like your book personalized to?
+1 Follow @Brodiashton on Twitter
+1 Follow @Cranberryfries on Twitter
+1 Tweet about the giveaway (you can copy/paste: I want to win Everneath by @Brodiashton from @Cranberryfries http://bit.ly/xOFWAd )

Additional Information:
Contest open from 1/27-2/10
Open to US residents only.
Winner will be notified via email so please be sure to leave it in the comments or have it attached to your profile.

Didn't Win? Purchase you're own here:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Possession & Surrender: New Covers Revealed!

Have you gotten a chance to read Possession yet? I read it last year and really enjoyed it. If you're a fan of dystopic novels you should certainly pick it up! A great blend of future, technology, power struggle and crushes.

Did you see?
Elana Johnsons books have gotten new covers.
Oh la la!

Possession: available now for purchase!

Surrender: Release date: June 5th 2012

What do you think?
Do you like the color vs the original white?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Happy day of official release to Brodi's book EVERNEATH! If you're at/near Utah be sure to come over to The Kings English tonight at 7pm for the launch party!

Title: Everneath
Author: Brodi Ashton
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: January 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray ( Harper Collins )
ISBN: 0062071130
Pages: 370 pages hardcover

Buy it: Amazon | The Book Depository
Add it: Goodreads | Shelfari

Synopsis: Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's.

More info on Author: Brodi's blog & facebook & twitter

Edited to add others now available; Neverfall & Everbound.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Marriage Monday: Be Romantic

  • Be intentional. Decide to be romantic.
  • Look for reasons to say 'thank you' to your spouse.
  • Try something out of the ordinary. (Don't normally send flowers? Do!, take care of a chore you know your spouse dislikes)
  • Plan a date. Call your spouse and ask them out.
  • Write a heartfelt note. (Or write a sweet sentence or two every morning.)
  • Instigate physical contact.
  • Send a text or make a phone call during the day just to say, 'I'm thinking of you' or 'Just hoping you're having a good day.'
  • Try having more physical contact through out the day. Hug and kiss when leaving & returning. Hold hands while watching TV. Sit near each other during meals and put your hand on their knee.
  • Take a walk together. Enjoy the fresh air.

Do you have other ideas you can share with us?

You can find my other Marriage Monday's here.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy Birthday

Six years ago this adorable little pill entered our family.

The more and more older she gets the more and more I realize
I'm in for it as she's the epitome of me and my crazy ways.

She's also one of the sweetest people I know and is the first to go and soothe those with hurt feelings. She loves to make people laugh and (after warming up to the attention, again, just like me!) loves to be the star of the show (that she impromptu-ly put on).

Happy Birthday Darlin'!

(Early this morning before anyone else was awake I was hanging streamers to the top of her door, something I do for all the kids birthdays so that they awake to birthday celebrations and a curtain of color. About 10 minutes after she woke up I was still hugging on her and she turned to me and said, 'I saw you hanging those up, I knew it was you the whole time.' Made me smile cause I never knew she thought it was just magically something that appeared on birthdays.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Meeting Cinder author Marissa Meyer

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Release Date: January 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
ISBN: 0312641893
Pages: Hardcover, 390 pgs

Buy it: Amazon | The Book Depository
Add it: Goodreads | Shelfari

Synopsis: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future

About Author: read her blog, follow her on twitter and become like her facebook page.

Photo courtesy of Jenni Elyse.

Meeting the author:
I had the privilege of getting to participate in a book blogger interview with Marissa Meyer while she was in Utah for a few signings. These smaller intimate gatherings are AMAZING. I realize authors are real people too but there is just something about getting to sit down and visit with someone who has created this incredible masterpiece. It was a real pleasure. She even brought along her husband Jesse who was kind enough to let us ask him some questions too.

The great thing about finding a good book is when there are others that follow. There will be four books in this series. Scarlet (Red Riding Hood), Crest (Rapunzel) and Winter (Snow White) which will all follow the Lunar. All books will be released a year apart.

It seems that a lot of people associate music with writing so the question came up but Marissa said she'd prefer not to write to music. However when she's trying to brainstorm she'll lay on the floor and listen to classic or alternative rock.

After the blogger gathering Marissa Meyer then spoke to the crowd that had gathered for the signing. And told us more stories about her path to publication which included once writing over 150,000 words in a month to try to win a walk on roll to Star Trek. Ok back up. 150,000 in a month? Are we all aware that that is around 5000 words in a DAY! This woman amazes me.

One of my favorite stories she told us was the day of the release she drove over to a local bookstore to sign some stock but the owner could only find all the copies but one. Later, on her way out, she noticed a patron sitting in the chairs at the store reading her book, the missing one they couldn't find. On the day of it's release. At 8:30 in the morning!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Marriage Monday: Skill Development

"Loving relationships almost inevitably have their ups and downs, and there may be times in such relationships when the decision/commitment is all or almost all that keeps the relationship going. This component can be essential for getting through hard times and returning to better ones. In ignoring it or separating it from love, one may be missing exactly that component of loving relationships that enables one to get through the hard times as well as the easy ones."
And to me, here's the kicker:
"Commitment must lead to skill development. "
And here's some hope:
"It's crucial to recognize, though, that much of the time these skills were learned and developed after the marriage began. Often, the development of the skills came in response to a crisis or a series of crises."
"What are those skills that people must learn if their marriage is to survive and move toward greatness? They are all secrets I discuss in this book, such as creating a great vision with your lover, resolving conflicts before they dissolve the marriage, communicating with each other so that harmony rather than chaos characterizes the relationship, and building a mutually satisfactory sexual relationship."

Any thoughts?

Quotes in this post were found in Learning to Live With the Love of Your Life...And Loving It! (Formerly titled The Triumphant Marriage) by Neil Clark Warren, Ph.D.

You can find my other Marriage Monday's here.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Books I read in 2011

Generally I post reviews or ratings so if you're interested you can see what I think over on my goodreads account Debbie Cranberryfries. But for a quick glance here's a list of books I read last year with my favorites bolded.

1. A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel
2. The Entitlement Trap by Richard and Linda Eyre
3. Howls Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones*
4. Crossed by Ally Condie
5. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
6. Variant by Robison Wells

7. Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson
8. That Summer by Sarah Dessen
9. The Help by Kathryn Stockett*
10. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
11. Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
12. Catch Me If You Can by Frank W. Abagnale*

13. After Obsession by Carrie Jones
14. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare*
15. Evolution, Me and Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande
16. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
17. I'd Tell You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter*
18. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

19. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith*
20. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
21. A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
22. A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck
23. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis
24. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly*

25. Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
26. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie*
27. The Kiss of a Stranger by Sarah M. Eden
28. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Annie Barrows
29. Queen of Babble in the Big City by Meg Cabot*
30. Demon Glass by Rachel Hawkins

31. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
32. Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King
33. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
34. Hold Me Closer Necromancer by Lish McBride
35. Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead
36. Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick*

37. Everneath by Brodi Ashton
38. Sweethearts by Sara Zarr
39. I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak
40. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
41. Hourglass by Myra McEntire
42. Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen*

43. Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler
44. Amy and Rogers Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (My favorite of the year)
45. How to Take the Ex Out of Ex-Boyfriend by Janette Rallison
46. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares*
47. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury*
48. Iron King by Julie Kagawa

49. Keeping The Moon by Sarah Dessen*
50. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney
51. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney
52. Wake Me When It's Over by Robison E. Wells*
53. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
54. Frogs and French Kisses by Sarah Mlynowski*

55. Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
56. Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen*
57. Peeled by Joan Bauer
58. The Shy Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson*
59. What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen*
60. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen*

61. The Summer of Cotton Candy by Debbie Viguie
62. Bossypants by Tina Fey*
63. A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker
64. Heist Society by Ally Carter*
65. Possession by Elana Johnson
66. Intrinsical by Lani Woodland

67. The Crazy Daze of Motherhood by Jane Still
68. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
69. The Boxcar Children Surprise Island by Gertrude Chandler Warner
70. Back When You Were Easier To Love by Emily Wing Smith
71. Jimmy Stone's Ghost Town by Scott Neumyer
72. The Lost Saint by Bree Despain

73. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
74. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) by Rick Riordan
75. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
76. Bumpy Landings by Donald J. Carey
77. Disney War by James B. Stewart*
78. Miss Delecourt Has Her Day by Heidi Ashworth
79. The Xanadu Adventure by Lloyd Alexander (somehow left off my picture list)

*Books I listened to on audiobook

Have you read any of these books?
What did you think?
What was your favorite read of 2011?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2012 Cranberryfries Reading Challenge

I'm wanting to do a fun book/reading challenge this year
but haven't been able to come up with anything.

In the past I've done

2011: A-Z
2010: local authors
2009: specific genre
2008: just reaching a specific number (100)

Anyone have any ideas for me???

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ten Year Wedding Anniversary

10 years ago on January 10th around 10 am my husband
and I were wed for time and all eternity!

~It's been an exciting ride!~

My folks, us, his folks

Our line. my parents, his parents, my 'maids of honor', us,
his 'best men', my brides maids (a few of our sisters)

Here's my post about our Nine year anniversary
Or this one about our Eight year anniversary
And just in case you want to know, How we met

Monday, January 9, 2012

Marriage Monday: The more you laugh together, the more you love your spouse.

"A woman discovered a shelf of reduced-price items at a local bookstore. Among the gifts was a little figurine of a man and woman, their heads lovingly tilted toward one another. "Happy 10th Anniversary" read the inscription. It appeared to be in perfect condition, yet its tag indicated "damaged." Examining it more closely, she found another tag underneath that read "Wife is coming unglued."

Let's face it, no spouse is immune to stress. We all feel like we're coming unglued at times. And wise experts agree that the best way for anyone to cope is with a good laugh. "Humor makes all things tolerable," said preacher Henry Ward Beecher. "Laugh out loud," says Chuck Swindoll. "It helps flush out the nervous system." On another occasion Chuck said, "Laughter is the most beautiful and beneficial therapy God ever granted humanity." Arnold Glasgow said, "Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects." The point is that even when you've had a tough day, or should we say especially when you've had a tough day, you need to laugh. It will help wash away the stress and keep the two of you together when you're coming unglued. So help each other to find something funny even when it's not easy."*

*This information was found in the article "Bring Laughter Into Your Marriage" by Les Parrott, Leslie Parrott from Focus on the Family Marriage and Relationships page.

You can find my other Marriage Monday's here.