This summer I have read some really good books. One of the books that I read at the beginning of the summer and really enjoyed was First Love by James Patterson. Another book that I thought was really good that I recently finished was The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks.
I am a big James Patterson fan and have read most of his books, or listened to them on audio. This particular book, First Love, is one I checked out from the library. It is not your typical high speed thriller book, with lots of action or twists, as many of his other books are known for. This book is a story of two young teenagers that decide to leave their homes in the state of Washington at the spur of the moment and travel to various big cities in other states for an adventure. The book is about a boy and a girl, told in the girls voice. It is a sweet and enjoyable story of young love and crazy things teenagers do. Some of them are kind of hard to believe but it is a fiction book. There are also some real life situations that are thrown in that make you realize that life is fragile and needs to be enjoyed each and every day to the fullest.
The other book I read and really enjoyed was The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks. I think I have read one other book by him before in the past and of course I have seen the movie The Notebook, based on his book. The Last Song was a story about a teenage girl and her younger brother that go to visit their Dad in North Carolina who they have not seen in a few years. The parents got a divorce and the kids live with the mom in New York. The teenage girl does not want to be there and makes that known to everyone. At first she gets mixed up hanging around the wrong crowd but then she meets a boy who is a good kid and from a nice family. She begins a summer romance with him and also starts to mend the relationship with her father. I don’t want to give anything away in case you read this book but some things happen toward the end to draw the Dad and kids a lot closer and make you realize that life can change at the blink of an eye. I will say you will need some tissues at the end of the book. I borrowed this book from my mom and told her she should have warned me about that for the ending. I think this book was also a movie but I have not seen it.
I also like to read non fiction books and tend to do that in the morning after I have done my workout and I am having a cup of coffee. One of the books I read and really enjoyed this summer was the above book called Living Simply – enjoying the peace of God. I got this book at the beginning of June at Mardel for half off. The book is comprised of about 40 sections, or chapters, that are each four pages. The first one, for example, is called Unpack Your Bags. There is a scripture and then a few paragraphs to read. At the end there is always One Final Thought for you to read like with the first one it is “Taking time to unpack the emotional clutter of yesterday allows you to more fully enjoy God’s irreplaceable gift of today.” The next page is titled Thoughts for Living Simple with scriptures or quotes related to the title of that day. The final page, number four, is Remember and Simplify with words of encouragement and advice. This book is small and very easy to read. I enjoyed reading the advice and scriptures of each day and I plan to start reading it over again.
On now to smoothies… I got a new smoothie book about a month ago from Barnes and Noble. The book has some really good recipes that I have tried. The book also gave me ideas for creating my own with a few less ingredients than called for in the recipes in the book.
One of the ones I created and absolutely love is this Mango Peach Smoothie. I have made it with and without the added spices and both combinations are good. Mangoes and Peaches are high in vitamin C and the mangoes protect against premature aging.
Mango Peach Smoothie
- 3/4 c. frozen sliced peaches (could also use fresh)
- 1/2 c. frozen mango chunks
- 1/2 to 3/4 c. mango or peach greek yogurt
- 1/2 to 3/4 c. orange juice
- 1/4 c. water
- 1 Tbls flaxseed meal
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie or apple pie spice (optional)
-Blend all of the above ingredients in a high speed blender (I use a Ninja blender) for 1 to 2 minutes or until everything is smooth.
The other smoothie I created was a Raspberry Mango blend. This one is not quite as good as the Peach Mango but has a pleasant taste. The honey in this one is optional but if you prefer a sweeter smoothie then I would add it. I tried it with and without and liked it better with the honey. Raspberries are really good for you and have lots of antioxidants to help you look younger.
Raspberry Mango Smoothie
- 1/2 c. frozen raspberries
- 1/2 c. frozen mango chunks
- 3 or 4 slices of frozen or fresh peaches
- 1 container of raspberry greek yogurt
- 1 Tbls ground flaxseed
- 1/2 to 3/4 c. water
- 1 to 2 tsp honey
-Blend all of the above ingredients in a high speed blender for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth.
Moving on to Sandals:
I recently discovered a new shoe company. The shoes were advertised in a Yoga Journal magazine I had checked out from the library – they are Ahnu shoes. I looked them up on the internet and fell in love with their sandals. They had this particular style half off so I got them for $45.00. They are so comfortable and easy to walk in. The color of the sandal is called lead. They are a shade of blue that goes pretty well with denim or other blues. I thought they were going to be more of a gray color but I am happy with the color they actually are. I originally ordered the black but they were a 1/2 size too big – they seem to run long. They offer free shipping both ways so I sent them back but they didn’t have the size I needed in the black so I got this color. I am so happy with them! They also sell some cute flats and I plan to order some of those in the fall.
I hope everyone is having a good last week of August. My kids started back to school this week – one in 11th grade and 2 (twins) in 8th grade. We have been pretty busy this week with getting more school supplies needed for certain classes and filling out more forms for each class.