Friday, November 21, 2014

Captive {Book Club Friday}

Hey y'all,

So I recently was given an eARC from Netgalley for the next book in the Blackcoat Rebellion series by Aimee Carter. If you remember last year around this time I read Pawn and became obsessed and sad that I would have to wait another year to read the following book. Now it is time to review Captive for Book Club Friday!

Now to refresh your memory, Pawn began with meeting Kitty Doe after she had taken the test to determine her classification in the country. She received a III due to her reading disability while Benji, her best-friend/boyfriend received a VI the highest one can score. Kitty is offered the chance to become a VII but only by being Masked (surgically transformed) into Lila Hart, the prime minster's niece who was recently killed but as Lila she will be Daxton's pawn in order to stop the rebellion Lila was stirring, or will she?

Enter Captive:
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Description:
For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister's niece, her frustration grows as her trust in her fake fiancé cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoats keep her in the dark more than ever.

But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she's accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape.

As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she'll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in—but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price?

My Opinion:
The first chunk of the book happens all within 24 hours and it was a little hard to transition from the palace to Elsewhere. I felt that this book was not filled with as many plot twists which I loved in Pawn but I felt it developed more of the country and justified the Rebellion of the Blackcoats more. I was so surprised at the way Knox reacted to a lot of things in this book and I have a feeling that he is secretly harboring feelings for Kitty which I wrestle with because I like that this dystopian book doesn't have a love triangle, and loving Knox. I loved that we saw a bit more of Grayson as well as learning more about Kitty and the man masked as Daxton! I won't reveal more for spoiler purposes but if you loved Pawn, I think you will enjoy Captive. I thought it was a decent sequel but the first book is still my favorite in the series. This one is only worth 4 out of 5 stars. I can't wait for Queen to come out next fall!
 

 Now, if you want to go pick up Captive, the book will be out on TUESDAY! If you want to go ahead and pre-order the book I know Barnes & Noble and Amazon give you those options.



What are you currently reading?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

jDl's Favorite Things 2014 {Songs}

Hey y'all,

It's Wednesday and there are only 42 days left in 2014! So yet again I am going to share some of my favorite things from this past year. If you missed my favorite foods of 2014 or favorite small business shops check out those posts here. Today I thought I would share some of my favorite songs of 2014. I am one of those people who will get hooked on a song for months on end and I mainly listen to country radio and Top 40s radio so I know most of these songs were one that were popular on the radio.

You can listen to the whole playlist below:


What have been your favorite songs of this year? Any artists I have to check out?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ten Things on Tuesday

Hey y'all,

Since I have so much to share on Friday, bookwise I thought I would share a list of ten things this Tuesday. They are all kind of random but I think that is what makes it fun. 

one. Brittney started a blog! Brittney is one of my sorority sisters and she started a blog called The Storm Life. You should go check it out! I have also added her link to my daily blog reads which you can find here.

two. She Read's Truth's new plan on giving thanks. I loved the plan on hospitality earlier this month and after the first devotion I know this short 12 day devotion will be the perfect way to prepare for Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season in the right frame of mind.

three. Cinderella is Saturday! It's time for my third show at the DPAC for this season. I am so excited for Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. I watched the TV movie with Brandy back when I was little and I know most of the songs so it will be a fun afternoon outing.
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four. Between Thursday and Thanksgiving I will be having 3 Thanksgiving meals. Yep, 3 in one week. I have a potluck at work, a dinner with PBX, and then my family's meal. Let's hope that I survive eating all the delicious food.

five. Froyo time with Sam. Sam-I-Am (aka one of my small group leaders) is one of those people who is so encouraging and gives amazing hugs so I'm happy we are going to indulge in froyo and let all the stress melt away on Wednesday. Yay for midweek pick me ups planned.

six. Mockingjay Pt. 1 comes out on Thursday! I am being responsible and not going to see it in theaters at midnight, or 8pm as I did with the first two films. Yep, I got an early showing to Catching Fire. I am actually trying to hold off and see it with my family over Thanksgiving break and if not my small group is meeting up and seeing it in two weeks.

seven. one of the local news stations made this music video about No Shave November to the tune of Frozen's Let it Go. I present, Let it Grow.

 
eight. Starbucks Holiday mugs. I do not drink coffee so whenever it is the holiday season and people gift me with Starbucks I search for really cute mugs. I have a few Starbucks holiday mugs and they have held up great. This year I am really liking this plaid one as well as the candy cane stripes demi cup and the oh, what fun mug.
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nine. Eight more days until the whole family is back together! This is the first time since May that I will be seeing my older siblings so I am excited to spend Thanksgiving with them, eating and hanging out. #outofstateproblems

ten. Hide and Hug Olaf. I love my elf on the shelf but for those of you opposed to having an adorable elf (mine is named PolkaDot after her polka dot skirt) you have an alternative with this hide and hug Olaf. I am still an elf fan but this is a sweet alternative for kids to have and hug.
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What are you excited about this week?
It's the last full week of classes here at UNC, the holidays are coming, and my roomie is cooking dinner tonight. Why would I not be in a great mood?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Motivation Monday {My First Ride @ Flywheel}

Hey y'all,

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are ready to take on this last full week before the big Thanksgiving holiday next Thursday. Before we all get to the holiday devoted to food and thankfulness I thought I would share a bit on my experience with Flywheel. I was contacted about trying the studio in Raleigh since it opened up in Cameron Village recently with both Flywheel and FlyBarre classes. I have always loved going to spin classes since it is a great way to sweat while still having fun. Also, your rides is yours. No one has to know if you decide not to add resistance each time it is an option. You build your workout with suggestions from the instructor but if you want to take it a bit easy or are coming back to fitness, all levels are welcome! I have yet to try the FlyBarre classes yet but I am thinking about going in December as a way to relax and stretch during the stressful holiday season.
Now, to reserve a spot in the class you simply check out the calendar, click the class you want and reserve the bike you would like. I chose a bike in the center, since I like being able to connect with the instructor but I decided second row was my speed. Once I clicked bike #16 I reserved it for my Saturday class at 8:30am with Jenn. I decided on a 45 min ride but there are also 60min rides available along with lots of theme rides. While you reserve your bike you also choose if you want to be included in the Torq board. I decided not to but I was actually keeping pace with a good amount of riders during my class and looking back on the stats in my account I would have been in the top 10. This is a great feature that can really motivate you in the class to keep pushing.

When I got to the studio, I checked in, grabbed the shoes they provide and when to the locker area. I had always taken spin classes in sneakers so it was interesting to have a ride with actual spin shoes. These lock into your bike so you are nice and secure.
Once I was all set, I went into the studio and was assisted in setting up my bike. All spin bikes are different so it is important to have someone show you the proper way to adjust it to you. Flywheel also provides seat covers if you feel like you need a bit of extra cushion. Once I was all set, it was time for the class. Jenn was a great instructor and very motivating for an 8:30am class on a Saturday morning. There are some regulars in the class and Jenn was very motivating and great with greeting everyone. One of the riders next to me was a regular and Jenn challenged her to make it to the #1 spot that class during some of the speed work.

The class flew by quickly and I loved that they incorporated some arm exercises as well since spin is very focused on your bottom half. I am excited to go to add flywheel in with my other fitness activities when I want to mix things up and not hit my normal gym every time I want to sweat.

Also, since we all love sales, this Thursday, Flywheel Sports Raleigh will be offering 5, 10 and 20 class packages at 20% off! Just head over to their studio, at the Cameron Village open house event or call the studio!


And, if you want to gift someone with some fitness classes, Flywheel is also having some great Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. On Black Friday, all retail items in the studio (excluding socks, bandanas, and water bottles) are 25% off. Then from 5pm Sunday Nov. 30-midnight December 1st all class packages are 15% off.

Have y'all ever tried Flywheel? Flybarre? 
What is your favorite way to work up a sweat?

All images were provided by Flywheel Sports. I was contacted and received complimentary Flywheel and Flybarre classes in exchange for writing a post on my experience at the Cameron Village Location. All opinions are of course, my own and I only accept and post items and experiences I truly value and believe my readers would enjoy.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Sayings

Hey y'all,

I am trying to enjoy this rainy Sunday afternoon and get ahead on some blog posts for this week so in the mean time I hope you enjoy this pin for Sunday Sayings. 
I hope y'all are finding the beauty in the small things today even if it is hot chocolate on a cold day, a nice buble bath, or spending time with family and friends! 

What do you celebrate on Sundays? Today, I celebrated my great-great-great-grandlittle becoming an official PBX sister!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

jDl's 2014 Favorite Things {Foods}

Hey y'all,

As promised I am going to be sharing some of my favorite things from this past year with y'all. Similar to Oprah but I'm not giving away a car, but there will be a favorite things giveaway at the end of the year so check that out! I hope these posts inspire you to try out a few new things or even give you some gift ideas.

Let's get started on this week's topic, food. I love going to the store to try out new products and this year I found some really great items while cruising around the aisles. Here they are:

Honey Vanilla Chamomile tea. My roommmate and I are obsessed with this tea. I bought this on a whim when I grabbed some sleepytime tea and it is now one of my favorite teas to have before bedtime. Just add in a bit of Stevia and honey and I am content.

Trader Joe's Gone Bananas are simply frozen banana slices dipped in chocolate. These litte guys are great when you are craving chocolate but still want to feel a bit healthy. I pick them up every time I make a TJ's run.

Tomato & Basil Hummus. I can let y'all know that hummus is still not my go -to snack but I decimated a container of tomato and basil hummus the first time I bought it. It is still a treat for me and I grab roasted garlic hummus for snap peas and carrot dip but if you want something that is perfect with pita chips check out this twist on hummus.

Snapea Crisps. I started to eat raw snappeas when I moved in with my roommate last year, and now I like them raw and baked. These are great for bbqs when you want chips but these are 70% snap pea not potato! What a great swap.

Van's Cinnamon Heaven cereal. So this tastes like Cinnamon Toast Crunch but the ingredient list is much better and those of you who are gluten intolerant can enjoy as well!

Protein bars. I love chocolate and peanut butter and these bars are delicious as a grab and go snack or before or after I hit the gym.

If you can't tell, 2014 has been filled with trying to find healthy, but delicious foods. What are your current favorite foods? 

ps. Did you see I entered the Facebook world? Like my page here.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Motivation Monday {Half Playlist}

Hey y'all,
I figured I would start this week off by sharing my half marathon playlist. I think music can be very motivating for training during those long runs and even during the actual race. Here is a list of the music I had going on my iPhone for training. I have even linked my spotify playlist at the bottom for the full 3+ hour playlist but below are a few of my favorites

Preppin’ Postgrad’s Half Playlist 
The Lumineers “Ho Hey”
Miley Cyrus “Can’t Be Tamed”
Group 1 Crew “He Said”
Metro Station “Shake It”
Jason Castro “Only a Mountain”
Fall Out Boy “My Songs Know What You Did In
Imagine Dragons “On Top of the World”
The Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling”
Ellie Goulding “Anything Could Happen”
Floren+The Machine “Shake it Out”
Of Monsters and Men “Little Talks”
Mumford & Sons “Little Lion Man”
Avicii “Hey Brother”
Bon Jovi “Livin’ On A Prayer”
Journey “Don’t Stop Believin’”
Jojo “Leave (Get Out)”
Fergie “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody”
Mumford & Sons “The Cave”
The All American Rejects “Move Along”
Kelly Clarkson “The War Is Over”
 

What are your favorite songs to work out to? 
How do you motivate  yourself to workout in the winter months?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Five on Friday

Hey y'all,

So apparently my Friday post and Blogger had a fight so here is my list of things I am loving for Five things on Friday/Sunday. 

one. Happy Birthday J! Today is my college bestie's birthday! I was so honored to serve as her Maid of Honor this August and I hope she has a fantastic birthday!


two. She Reads Truth. Have y'all been reading the hospitality plan? It is phenomenal and planed for the perfect time of the year as we prepare for the holidays.

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three. US Figure Skating Championship! If you follow figure skating apart from when we are in the middle of a Winter Olympics then you know that the US Figure Skating National Competition will be hosted in Greensboro this coming January. I have always loved figure skating and applied to volunteer. Yesterday, I officially got my assignment! It's real! I'm going to Nationals!

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four. Fall Nail Polish. As soon as the temperatures drop I tend to put away bright nail colors and the dark and neutral colors come on display. Last night while watching Scandal I painted my nails with OPI's Suzi Takes The Wheel and my toes are Lincoln Park at Midnight


five. Book Club Friday. I have read a few books this week and thought I would share.

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Description

Harry Mills is a guardian angel on a mission: help twenty-four-year-old Addie Folsom get her life back on track—and, if the right moment strikes, help her find love. Posing as a teacher at a local college in Tacoma, Washington, Harry is up to the task, but not even he can predict the surprises that lay in store.
After trying to make it on her own, Addie has returned home to Tacoma for the holidays, but this time she plans to stay for good, enrolling in the local community college to earn her degree. What she doesn’t plan to do is run into Erich Simmons.
Addie and her next-door neighbor, Erich, are like night and day. Growing up, he was popular and outgoing while she was rebellious and headstrong, and he never missed an opportunity to tease her. Now she intends to avoid him entirely, yet when they’re suddenly forced to spend Christmas together, Addie braces for trouble.
Perhaps it’s the spirit of the season or the magic of mistletoe, but Addie and Erich soon find they have more in common than they thought—and that two people who seem so wrong for each other may actually be just right. With a little prompting from a certain angelic teacher, the two are in for a holiday miracle they’ll never forget
Opinion:
I thought this was a cute and sweet story for the holidays but I was left with feeling like I wanted a few more chapters. This is a nice quick read and is actually part of a series of angelic intervention Christmas stories that you can check out.

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Description:
A Fairy Tale Recipe for Romance Ingredients: 1 beautiful woman 1 scandalous celebrity chef 1 heaping tablespoon of undeniable attraction 3 cups of pure chemistry Unlimited measure of sizzling passion Method 1. Take one drop-dead gorgeous Lindsay Bingham. 2.  Place her at a castle on an exotic Mediterranean island. 3. Add a little spice in the form of handsome celebrity chef Carlos Montigo. 4. Make them the hosts of a TV cooking show set in Europe. 5. Turn the heat up to an irresistible desire. 6. Don't get burned as their scorching passion explodes. 7. Cook until Lindsay and Carlos fall hopelessly in love!
My Opinion:
I loved the first book in this series, Accidental Princess, so I had high hopes for this book. While it was cute it wasn't fantastic nor a page turner for me. It was cute but very predictable.
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Description:

As a boy, Thronos, prince of Skye Hall, loved Lanthe, a mischievous Sorceri girl who made him question everything about his Vrekener clan. But when the two got caught in the middle of their families’ war, tragedy struck, leaving Thronos and Lanthe bitter enemies. Though centuries have passed, nothing can cool his seething need for the beautiful enchantress who scarred his body—and left an even deeper impression on his soul.
Lanthe, a once-formidable sorceress struggling to reclaim her gifts, searches for love and acceptance with all the wrong immortal suitors. But she’s never forgotten Thronos, the magnificent silver-eyed boy who protected her until she was ripped from the shelter of his arms. One harrowing night changed everything between them. Now he’s a notorious warlord with a blood vendetta against Lanthe, hunting her relentlessly.
With their families locked in conflict and battles raging all around them, will Thronos and Lanthe succumb to the brutal chaos that threatens everything they cherish? Or will the fragile bond they formed so long ago spark a passion strong enough to withstand even the darkest doubts?

 Opinion:
I love the Immortals After Dark Series but this book was just okay. I think Kresely Cole has spent took many books on the same event and I am hoping that we move forward in the timeline. I feel like we keep learning about various characters but their stories are not resolved. I'm glad that Lanthe's character is now settled and we are starting to know more about Nix but I want to get back to the original characters of the Valkyries and Werewolves. 

What is going on in your life this week?

ps. I finally got around to making a Facebook page for my blog if you want to like it click here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday {jDl's Favorite Things 2014}

Hey y'all,

I can always remember coming home and watching Oprah with my mom after school and anxiously awaiting the "Oprah's Favorite Things" show. It marked the Holiday season and highlighted a whole range of things so I thought I would hijack my Wishlist Wednesdays from now until Christmas Eve and make them jDl's Favorite Things. I have already come up with a few topics (favorite foods, home goods, makeup, etc) but if you have suggestions please leave them below. I am also going to host a giveaway of some of my favorite things in December so follow along!

Today I thought I would share some of my favorite small business online shops. 



Carrie the owner of Carrie Grace actually attends the same church as me although we have never met, so I am a silent supporter of my church and local/online boutiques. She is such a motivator on Social Media, seriously, you should check out her Instagram whenever you are having a bad day. I stumbled upon her store at the end of last year and was lucky to snag one of the coveted spots of the Necklace Club. Essentially, you pay a little more than $180 (there is a coupon code today for the launch: CELEBRATE) and you receive a necklace at the end of every month. The cost includes the shipping and each month is a different necklace. Talk about a great deal! I mean it comes out to under $16 a necklace+shipping and all of them are worth between $30-50. I just signed up for another year since I seriously get so many compliments on all of the necklaces I have received. This is a great gift for those who love surprises and jewelry. 
Here is one of the many necklaces I received:
Gee Gee Gifts
I have been a fan of Gee Gee Gifts back when it was called. It's Gee Gee, Baby but I recently ordered a Monogram Pullover through their deal on Groopdealz and I have been wearing it constantly! It is the Quarter Zip Sweatshirt and guess what, it has POCKETS! Yep, a monogram pullover with pockets! I didn't realize it comes in Men's sizes so be aware of that but I ordered the Medium Black with White Vine Monogram and it is nice and large and comfy. I put it on as soon as I get home from work and even wore it to Big/Little Reveal in this post.
 
Shelby is so sweet and crafted a beautiful burlap monogram for me! It is the perfect addition to my sewing table and I am in the middle of rearranging things so it can be highlighted more on this small space. She makes beautiful burlap signs as well as gorgeous prints. I think the Marriage Print is perfect for those on your Christmas list that just tied the knot this year, or for an anniversary present! You can check out Airleigh South here.
What are your favorite online stores?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Postgrad Diaries {Breakfast on the Go}

Hey y'all,

Until I started to see a nutritionist I never really ate breakfast. I like breakfast foods and brunch on the weekends is great but I am the kind of person who would rather spend those extra ten minutes lying in bed and not spending extra time in the kitchen. So I thought I would share some of my favorite quick and to grab and go and if you have any ideas I would love for you to share them!

Chocolate Strawberry Smoothie.
I am currently loving this breakfast. You add 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a scoop of chocolate protein powder (if you have vanilla protein powder just add in some unsweetened cocoa powder), a banana and some frozen strawberries (about five or so). Blend all together well. Enjoy!
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Greek Yogurt+Bar.
It took me a really long time to like greek yogurt. I still can only eat a few very specific brands and I found the Fage Fruyo Blended Greek Yogurt to have a great consistency. I tend to pair this up with some fruit or a protein bar like Luna or Lara bars for more protein in my morning.
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English Muffin
I love toasting a whole grain English muffin, add some crunchy peanut butter and eat this alongside a banana. I sometimes add honey on top of the peanut butter for some excellent sweetness.
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Of course I have a nice glass of water alongside all these since I don't drink coffee.
What's your favorite breakfast before work or school?