Good Reads No. 2 8.26.2014

If there was anything I accomplished on my lengthy things-i'd-like-to-do this summer list, it was getting through some of the books I've wanted to read for while. I didn't make it to the gym daily or cook all of my meals from the farmer's market like I thought I would but I did read. a lot. 

we were liars by E. Lockhart I'll admit I did not think I would love this book as much as I did. I don't tend to get behind young adult novels as much as other people I know but we were liars didn't disappoint. The story follows a wealthy family's summers on an island off a Massachusetts. After a tragedy one of the children tries to piece her life, memories and family back together. She knows she was involved in a traumatic event but doesn't remember what happened and no one will tell her. I couldn't put this one down. 

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn I loved Gone Girl so I don't know why it took me so long to pick up Dark Places. With a movie release date of November 2014, I wanted to finish it this summer. At times I found myself getting lost in the very dark and often disturbing story other times I grew bored waiting for something to happen. If you don't mind some gory murder details and are looking for a mystery to flip through, I recommend this book. However,  if you haven't read Gone Girl yet, start there. I thought it was much better.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson Full disclosure: I couldn't finish this book. I'd read, put it down, pick it up again. Repeat. After about a third of the way through I laid it to rest. Life After Life explores the many possible paths a life can take and while I found that concept interesting, the story didn't hold my attention.

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg This book has already had its moment but I still think it is an important read for women and men. Not a typical summer page turner but I flew through it in a couple of days. If you have the chance, pick it up. 

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Do you have any summer reads I should fit in before summer is over? (noooo I can't believe it's almost over) 

Feel free to follow along with what I'm reading now and my recommendations on Goodreads.

Pineapple Raspberry Chia Seed Pudding 6.18.2014

Pudding might not be the right word for breakfast/snack but chia gel doesn't sound nearly as appetizing. About 5 years ago after a 5k a vendor was handing out bags of milled chia seed to promo their new "running superfood." From that day forward we've been sprinkling it on all of our food through a pepper shaker which is convenient (but tricks a lot of guests). 

Chia seed is high in protein, fiber and Omega 3s so it helps your body protect against inflammation and also changes the way your body converts carbs into simple sugars which may help control blood sugar. One of the most interesting things about chia seeds is that they can absorb up to 10 times their weight in liquid, making it ideal for this "pudding" and helps you feeling fuller longer.  You can find potential benefits of eating chia seed all over the web, if you are interested in knowing more about the superfood, definitely look it up. I could go on and on about all I have read but that is boring compared to the pudding potential I'm about to show you.

Pineapple Raspberry Chia Pudding

1/4 cup chia seed
2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Fruit Toppings:
Handful of chopped pineapple and raspberries plus a little more to sprinkle on top.

These 2 simple ingredients serve as the base to any chia pudding you could imagine. You may want to add agave nectar or sugar to sweetened this mixture because without fruit it can be bland. To avoid adding that, I used the about a handful of pineapple and raspberries to sweeten the almond milk. To do this I added the almond milk and fruit to my food processor and pulsed until it was smooth and light pink in color.

Once you've done that, pour your seeds into a bowl and add the almond milk on top. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for a minimum of 4 hours. I usually do this the day before I'll be eating it and allow it to sit over night for maximum pudding effect.

The texture can definitely take some getting used to so to add a little crunch to each bite I like to top my pudding with fresh fruit and granola. Topping choices are unlimited. My favorites have been cinnamon with banana and berries and nuts. The tart/sweetness of the raspberries and pineapple makes a winning combo though.

I make mine into individual servings to make it easy to grab in a hurry. The pudding lasts about 4 days in the fridge if you let it...but I doubt it will make it that long.

Back to Blogging 5.29.14

Ah, it feels good to be back to blogging! I never intended to take such a long break but balancing school, life and work was more demanding than I thought it would be. Days in between posts became weeks and the next thing I know my last post was in March.

I have a small confession to make though... I didn't really miss blogging. Back in March when I let the blog go a little too long in between posts, it was because I wasn't feeling inspired to be in this space. School was mentally exhausting (and creatively fulfilling) and took over the part of my mind that was usually dedicated to blogging.

It wasn't until I recognized how much fun I was having living my life offline that I realized I missed having part of my life online. It was like part of me had forgotten that to be inspired online you have to actually be living a life worth sharing offline.

 I used to dedicate a lot of time to reading other blogs and keeping up with the blogosphere and now I realize that was holding back my own blog. While it's fun to see what other people are doing, it can lead to a lot of comparison. I found myself constantly debating what posts I wanted to put up, stressed over photo quality, etc. My comparison to other blogs started to defeat the entire purpose of my own blog which was to share what I found interesting and inspiring.

Now I'm back with a renewed focus and little more blogging juice than I had a few months ago. Here's what I've been up to...

Focusing on getting fit. 
{Morning river runs}

Rediscovering my city.

{Fair Haven Beach}

 {Favorite view on my runs}

{Admiring the charm Oswego has}

Doing a little traveling. 

 {Beach side on Cape Cod}

{Poolside drinks at Chatham Bars Inn}

I'm excited to be back to this little corner of the web and thanks to you guys who have stuck around!

{follow along with more of my travels on Instagram}
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