March 30, 2015

Pinterest Interests: Snowshoeing

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This is bit of a cheat since I found this Pin after I started snowshoeing, but it’s my blog so I’ll do what I want. Winking smile 


The blog post Snowshoeing for Runners 101 is great even if you aren’t a runner. As you can see from the chart in the post, you don’t even have to go that fast to get a better workout than running. I do not run outdoors in the winter. It’s just too dangerous: ice, unplowed sidewalks, cars together are a bad combo. I will run on the treadmill but it sucks!

Snowshoeing is a great alternative. I get to spend time with my family and get in a workout. We bought our own snowshoes after borrowing from friends. They aren’t super fancy, and were around $60 a pair. We aren’t trekking up mountains so they do fine. I did invest in a good pair of boots and snow pants though.


If you don’t have friends with snowshoes, maybe try the nearest ski hill. Our local ski hill rents snowshoes and has trails just for that activity. They also have special moonlight trail nights, which we’ve never been able to do. Mostly we just kick around our neighbourhood or drive to the nearest park for a walk. It is a lot of fun!


Then when you get home you can make yourself a Gingerbread Kahlua Latte!

I realize it’s March now and in most places the snowshoeing season is over, but maybe it will get you thinking about it for next winter.

March 29, 2015

Week Long Bloggiesta Wrap Up!

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I didn’t get as much done as I wanted during Bloggiesta but most of the important stuff is done. I’ve marked a few Mini-Challenges for later, since I’ll have more time mid-April for blogging. I spent most of my blogging time visiting Trish’s Day in the Life participants posts (still trying to do that). Such good posts! Go check them out. I’m going to do it properly next time.

I took part in several Twitter chats, the most interesting was the one on reviews. Wow. So many people don’t write their own synopsises. Either they felt that the ones written by publishers were superior or, as one person said, thought writing one felt like plagiarism. I…don’t know what to make of that. I do write my own, though I try to keep them brief. The whole chat on reviewing was eye opening. I’m considering a change in how I do them. I have to brain storm. I’ll give a thought while I shampoo my hair.

Here’s how my to-do list fared:

  • Back up my blog.
  • Update my Review Page.
  • Write some posts. (working on it)
  • Think about what I’m going to do with the blog once my job ends soon.
  • Create some kind of blogging schedule and stick to it. (um….)
  • Clean out my email (again). *
  • Attend a Twitter party.


  • Pin backlog of reviews to Pinterest.

*I took myself off so many newsletters and mailing lists this time. Really, why do I need daily Twitter updates? And Goodreads, you too! I hope this cuts down on a lot of unnecessary emails. 

In other news, I’m listening to As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley. Flavia is in Canada and I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would.

I’m trying out contact lenses for the first time ever and it is more challenging than expected.

I finally saw Frozen and liked it quite a bit! I can see why kids are obsessed with it.

I keep forgetting Easter is next week. Argh! I need to plan our dinner and make sure the Easter Bunny will bring enough treats. I really want to try the Crab Cake recipe from The Mystery Writers Cookbook on Friday.

That’s it for now. Back to working on my future blog posts.

March 27, 2015

A Day In the Life of Chrisbookarama

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When Trish announced her idea of Day in the Life for bloggers, I was intrigued but cautious. Does anyone want to read about my daily schedule? Get up, go to work, come home, talk/argue with my kid, go to gym, eat, and sleep. Repeat. Then I read about this interesting photography project by Jason Travis called Persona in Portraits and Pictures of Their Essential Everyday Items on PetaPixel and was inspired.

The project began back in November 2007 when Travis decided to get to know his friends better. He wanted his camera to capture not just what people see when they look at his friends, but what they don’t — the things carried around constantly but normally tucked away from view.

What a fantastic way to get to know people better!

I’m going to tweak Trish’s idea and the photographer’s (check out more photos on his blog) to make my Day in the Life all about my Essential Everyday Items. Here’s something I realized: I have way fewer essential items than I thought I had. These are the possessions that I use on a daily basis during the winter and on a work day. I carry some in my purse, have them on my desk, or use them when at home.

Essential Items

Also these, but I wasn’t putting them on my kitchen table.


So, what do you think my day is like from these photos? What do these items say about me?

March 25, 2015

Take My Advice…Bloggiesta Style

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If you’re new to my blog, possibly because you’ve come here from Bloggiesta, let me tell you a bit about Chrisbookarama. This has been my blog for over 8 years now. I’ve seen a lot of changes in book blogging over the years. Bloggers have come and gone. Some gave up blogging, and others have created a job from this thing we do. There’ve been blogging trends and fads, controversies galore. Somehow I’m still here, maybe not as consistently as in the past, but here nevertheless.

Here’s my advice:

*There’s nothing wrong with being a smaller blog. There are going to be more popular blogs than yours. Maybe you’ll be a big time blogger or maybe no matter how much branding, advertising, networking, or selling yourself your blog is going to have a smaller audience. And that’s okay. There is something freeing about having a small audience. There is less pressure to do it all.

big time blogger

*Keep in mind, you don’t have to be on every publisher’s list, you don’t have to read every new release, you don’t have to do author interviews, you don’t have to post everyday. IF YOU DON”T WANT TO! If that’s what you want, and makes you happy, sure go for it, but don’t feel like you have to do that because that’s what makes a successful blogger.

*There are plenty of blog posts out there about being successful in the blogosphere: when to post, what to post, etc. Keeping up with all of that can make a person bonkers. For most book bloggers, blogging is a hobby. A hobby should be fun! Something you like doing. Have fun!

*And finally, don’t sign up for everything, and don’t say yes to every book review request you get. It seems like a good idea at the time, but trust me, you can get overwhelmed.

Now take a break and relax.


March 24, 2015

Tales From Another Mother Runner by Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell: Review

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another mother runner

I’ve read the previous Mother Runner books: Run Like a Mother, and Train Like a Mother. I also enjoy the Another Mother Runner podcast. I’m a runner, but not one who knows all the lingo. I still don’t know what a spilt is, but I’m learning. I’m slowly getting there. Slow is my natural state when it coms to running. Still, I like hearing and reading about other people’s experiences with running.

phoebe running

Tales From Another Mother Runner is a collection of essays from women who run. Many of the stories shared are from women who are lifelong athletes, or women who now run marathons (yes, plural). Some have suffered from terrible injuries and setbacks, but get back into running eventually, sometimes using the sport as a type of therapy.

It took me a long time to read Tales From Another Mother Runner. I would only read a couple at a time because they all sort of blended together after a while. Their reasons for running and their experiences are fairly similar. They’re all pretty dedicated to running like demons and run a lot of marathons. I had a hard time relating to many of the stories since I am not a competitive racer. How do I fit in? I mean, when one of the women begins her story about how she has a hard time owning the title Runner is training for an Ironman, what hope is there for me who finds 5 km a couple of times a week tough? If that person isn’t a runner, then who is?  It’s disheartening for a casual runner to read that, even though I know that’s just her personal obstacle. Maybe she suffers from Imposter Syndrome.

Then there is the essay from the woman living with MS. She runs when she is able. She gives voice to my own fears as I get older: What if someday I can’t run? This was probably the most motivating essay. If I can, then I should. Maybe I am slow, but I am getting out there.

The book is broken up into themes: Ownership, Perspective, Support, Joy, Strength, Ambition, and Persistence. In between, there are quotes about particular topics from regular runners, like TMI, What a Runner Looks Like, etc. These are my favorite parts of the book. I could have read a whole book of these.

This is a mixed review, and since I’m not much of an essay reader anyway it’s hard for me to give an opinion. Like any collection of essays, there will be favorites and duds. If you’re a runner and like essays, then you’ll probably enjoy Tales From a Another Mother Runner.

This was an ARC I received via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.