Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weekly Wrap-up for January 16, 2011: School, Game On! Diet, Blog Changes, and Readalongs.

I am SO GLAD I don't have school tomorrow and get to enjoy another day off. Since I felt like last weekend went by so quickly, I am really trying to enjoy all the time I have this weekend to accomplish some things that need to get done (like taking down our Christmas decorations-we're a little behind).

This week will be a busy one in regards to work, even with it being a four day week. My seniors are writing satire narratives (how exciting will those be to grade? I am expecting awesomeness and I told them I wouldn't accept anything but). My U.S. History class is finishing discussions on the New Deal policies and taking a test on Friday. World Religions will be spending the week presenting their final projects. It will be a busy week in regards to grading, and prepping for next week, when they'll be taking their finals.

In the past few weeks, I have really picked up my goal to become a healthier, thinner person. I have been watching what I eat and working out at the gym with a personal trainer. It is going well so far and I have lost some weight. But it is a continuing battle and one that I feel like I am always going to struggle with. I hate being a "bigger" girl, and I didn't always used to be this way. I was a SKINNY little thing when I graduated high school, but bad habits in college and onward have caused me to gain quite a bit of extra jiggle in all the wrong places.

So when I was asked to join in on the "Game on! Diet" program with seven other bloggers, I immediately said yes. In two teams of four, we will be competing weekly in a battle of weight loss, getting rid of bad habits and starting new ones, and starting a new, healthier lifestyle. At the end of four weeks, the winning team members will each win giftcards to buy books with! It should be a blast and a great way to gain some motivation to start some new, healthy habits, while losing weight.

My team (also known as the winning team) is called Team Metamorphosis. The members are:
  1. Me aka Allie :)
  2. Amanda from The Zen Leaf
  3. Christina from Reading Thru Nite
  4. Trisha from Eclectic Eccentric
The other (losing) team is called Team Hunger Artists and has the following members:
  1. Amy from My Friend Amy
  2. Jason from Moored at Sea
  3. Lu from Regular Rumination
  4. Jenn from Picky Girl
Cheer us on as we struggle to get rid of some nasty habits and become healthier people. I am going to try and give up my Diet Coke, so if I am cranky, you know why.

I also wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone who commented on my post about stress and balancing life. You all gave some great tips and were super supportive. I think that as I continue to get into a new schedule things will all work themselves back out. I just need to be better about my time management. After all, I am a much happier person when I am busy, and while pressed for time, I always seem to get more done.

In blogging news...

You may have noticed a few small changes on the blog. I know that am peaceful when things are the way I want and need them, and that includes the blog. The major change is that I changed the color scheme. I had originally changed it to the "world map" theme last year around this time and really loved the image (it goes with the name of my blog so well), but I wasn't always crazy about the brown. And since the template was from Blogger-I'm not tech savvy enough to make my own, but have an idea for when I eventually figure that out-I learned out to tweak the color scheme. The greens are much more soothing and fitting to who I am as a person. Perhaps that is insane, but I like it.

The other big change is that I am, for the time being, not writing any more "Thursday Treats" posts. When I began the feature, it was a way for me to talk about books that weren't classics, since I felt that was lacking. And while I still love all those non-classic books that is not the focus of my blog. I find that when I write those posts I have to drag the love for them out of me. Sometimes they are easy to write, but most of the time I have a hard time writing them. I really want to be able to focus on my project and what I am doing, so the "Thursday Treats" are gone for now.

In Readalong news...

You should have noticed a grand total of FOUR posts going up about readalongs this week. From this point forward, I have decided that never again will I host three at once. Two is more than enough. So please, no more ties when you are voting! ;) Here are the links to the posts if you missed them (or need to still give me the link to your thoughts on one of the books). REMEMBER, if you participate in a readalong and complete it, I have something to send you in the mail! Yes! Extrinsic motivation to join in!
  1. War and Peace Post 1 on Volume 1
  2. Rebecca Post 1 on Chapters 1-15
  3. The Woman in White Post 1 on the First Half (300 pages or so)
  4. Oliver Twist Readalong Sign-ups and GIVEAWAY (only a few more hours to enter!)
So go read some of the awesome discussions we're having about these amazing books!

And because I saw it last night and really wanted to join in, I am going to be participating in Whitney's Jane Eyre readalong starting in March (I seem to have an obsession with readalongs-can you tell?). If you are interested in joining, go sign up!

And in reading news...

My reading has been primarily focused on the readalongs I have scheduled. But now with Rebecca done, The Woman in White nearly completion, and War and Peace having a post scheduled two weeks from now, I feel like I can finally dive into a book from one of my challenges. I am eying both Ceremony by Leslie Marmom Silko for Adam's TBR Challenge, or a Shakespeare play for my Shakespeare challenge (I also got that pile of plays for Christmas, so they are calling to me). We'll see how it goes, since I want to finish Collins before starting anything else.

I also need to read Lysistrata for my Greek Classics Circuit post coming up on the 4th, so that might get priority.

Expect to see posts this week on Emma and The Awakening. Both are excellent novels if you haven't read them.

What are your reading plans for this week? Let me know!

Happy Reading!


  1. Okay I think it's hilarious that we both added "aka" to our posts about the Game today. :D Cracked me up!

    I used to be super skinny. Underweight, even. And I was a good healthy weight right up until about 7 years ago. Sigh. I'm so looking forward to the journey back down!

  2. Good luck to all of you in your weight loss. I've been on my journey now for 12 weeks and I'm down 31 lb's. You all have to just stay motivated and resist those temptations. Lot's of water and exercise (I do more weights than cardio).

    I love the green-both of our favorite color :)

    And for the reading-I'm done with Rebecca, halfway with The Woman in White and then I will try to join in on War and Peace. Love the books!

    Love, Mom

  3. I love the new green, it is very soothing. I am planning on reading The Catcher in the Rye this week as part of my choices for the Back to the Classics Challenge. Good luck for the weight loss challenge, has inspired me to do something too. Thanks for mentioning the Jane Eyre read-a-long. Enjoy your day off tomorrow :)

  4. I have never been skinny, but I was always healthy until college.

    Team Hunger Artists are going down!

  5. Love the green. Like terri-maree said about, the color is very soothing. I just finished Jane Eyre last night so I hope you enjoy your read-along of it in March. I've also heard great things about Ceremony, if that sways your decision. Good luck on your weight loss goals!

  6. Allie - You, my dear, are making me feel like a slacker. How did you get ALL of that reading done, prep for three classes, grade, get to know new kids, curriculum, staff, and unspoken rules in a week. All whilst not ending up in a vegetated comatose state RIGHT NOW?

    I think that I'm on page 140 of Wilkie Collins. I set it down for a few days and had to get back into the swing of things. It's not a "can't wait to finish" read for me that Rebecca was.

    My weight has constantly fluctuated. It's like my body and I play a game. Here's to us LOSING weight and GAINING amazon bucks. :)

  7. Have fun with Jane Eyre!! You're going to love it.

    (I'm reading Agnes Grey this weekend, since you asked.) :-)

  8. Good luck! My advice these days always is: audio books (and podcasts!) help me walk. And read! Also, I love the green.

  9. Oh, I liked Ceremony! I was the only one in my class that did, though, at least I think so. :)

  10. Good luck! That sounds like a diet I should try. I love the idea of making it a competition. That would definitely help me succeed in changing my habits. I'll have to see if I can get the book for The Game On Diet.

    Good luck with Jane Eyre. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

  11. Lots of good stuff here! Definitely cheering you on in the health department. I'm in the same boat, and it's an uphill battle but going strong in the new year. :)

    I'm probably going to be lagging behind on The Woman in White. I actually traded in my old nook for a new one because of a scratch on the screen (toootally my fault), and I forgot to see what page I was on in Woman in White! Duh! So I'm trying to catch back up.

    I wish you a wonderful day off of school tomorrow! I had the choice of working. I decided to go ahead and go in, and I'll inherit a floating holiday for it that I can use later for a "mental health day." hehe

  12. Good luck w the Game On diet! :) And I love your blog redesign! I've been considering a bloggy makeover myself. hehe

  13. Good luck with Game On! I like your new color scheme here--I agree, green is very nicely soothing. As for my reading plans for this week? It'd be nice to find time to read even just a little bit of anything not work related! Looking forward to the next Emma post, too.

  14. Good luck with your Game On Diet! Read-Alongs are addicting aren't they? Do you think there's a 10 step program?