Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Reading List

So I haven't had a post recently about what books I'm planning on reviewing, but with good reason! My husband got me hooked on reading "The Count of Monte Cristo". I've never read it before and it's fabulous! It was actually the first book we purchased for our Nook e-reader my brother got us for Christmas and let me just say that if you're going to read an 1,100+ page book and carry it around with e-reader is definitely the way to do it!

Anyway, since I'm less than 80 pages away from the end of that addictive, convoluted, intriguing tale of revenge and humanity, I've been looking forward to the next book on my list. I had to wait an extra week to request this one due to publishing issues, but I finally have another BookSneeze book to review! And I'm excited to say that it's my first e-book from them!

I have the joy of reading and reviewing "Simple Secrets to a Happy Life" by Luci Swindoll. Here is the book description from BookSneeze:

"Is it possible to stay full of life, laughter, love, and the Lord through eight decades in this crazy world? Is that even realistic? Yes! There is hope, and Luci Swindoll is living proof.
With heart and humor, this best-selling author and beloved speaker lays out the truths that can help us all become a little more creative, organized, healthy, and happy. This is not a complex prescription for how to become superwoman. These are simple secrets, the wisdom produced by years of walking with God and living well.
We don’t need more tips for “having it all,” but we could all use insight on “having what matters,” and there is no better guide than Luci Swindoll.
Luci has spent eight decades accumulating the stories, memories, verses, and practical tips that make up Simple Secrets to a Happy Life. Whether traveling the world or building life-long friendships, singing in the opera or working for Mobil Oil, every step has taught her a little more about how to love God, love her neighbor, and love herself.
The result is both personal and universal. Organized into fifty short chapters, her reflections form a simple and profound outline for making the most of the lives God has given us.
We could all use a little more joy in our lives, which means we could all use a little more Luci. Visit her through these snapshots of wisdom. You’ll find yourself drawn back again and again."

I look forward to reading and letting you know what I think in my review! After reading "The Count of Monte Cristo", I feel like this one will be a breeze to read through! :)

Soli Deo Gloria,

Saturday, March 24, 2012


(*I apologize in advance as this turned into a bit of a've been warned.*)

Have you ever stayed in a hotel? I have stayed in a myriad of them over the course of my life. For the most part, I haven't minded most of them and the occasional annoyance can be overlooked in light of the short stay. But there's one hotel that I'm not really a fan workplace.

You see, to make the offices more flexible and allow people to work closer to where they live, the company I work for removed most of the assigned office spaces and made it "hoteling" space in the DC area. Basically, I have to reserve a desk to work at each day I plan on being in the office. But I can only have 5 office reservations at a time. And I have to cart my laptop back and forth between my home and the office.

The system is supposed to be helpful for everyone as it allows people to move around more freely and not be tied down to one office. It allows them to work at the office closest to where they live (the office they "map" to) with the flexibility to visit other offices as needed for meetings, etc. And it theory, it's a great idea.

It would be a fabulous idea...if I were allowed to work from the closest office more often. I'm working with a team based an hour away near Dulles Airport in Virginia. Because no one there knew me in the beginning, they wanted me to be in the office so people could get to know me and so the team could gel since this was an entirely new contract. Okay, I get it and agreed to be there for a time. In December, I was allowed to go back to working from home one day a week which was wonderful, especially since it meant using less gas and one less day paying the toll to get home (which is now $2.25 one way).

But living an hour away from the office and having to fight Beltway traffic takes its toll. The knowledge that I'm passing at least 4 other offices on the way doesn't help either. And now, the company has released what it considers to be the "Guiding Principles" for this system and the first one listed is flexibility! One of the statements in there is that staff can work anywhere (subject, of course, to client requirements which is understandable). Here's hoping my project manager is listening!

One of the big downsides to hoteling in general, in my opinion, is the utter lack of any personalization in my workspace since I have no stable space. It just feels so drab and utilitarian. There was actually a study a couple of months ago that said workers are more productive if they have pictures of family and loved ones in their workspace. I believe it...

Basically, I can see the benefits for people who move around frequently or who usually work on site with clients. I think more of the benefits of the system would be realized if managers were more willing to work with a geographically dispersed team. I think there's still some ingrained thought patterns in the working world that make dispersed working an uphill battle. And I'm caught on the front lines...

</End Rant>

Thanks for letting me vent! :)

Soli Deo Gloria,

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Valentine's Day, Part Two

Hi friends! So I've been a bit of a blogging slacker again but now I'm back to reveal the wonderful little weekend getaway my handsome Valentine planned for us! :) I know...over a month ago now, but I promised!

It started basically with my adventures into the closet and trying on at least 4 skirts trying to figure out a nice outfit for dinner :) Don't most nice dates start that way?

Anyway, I had previously been told to pack an overnight bag so when hubby got home, we tossed our bags in the car and took a circuitous route to a restaurant I love and only have visited on special occasions...The Melting Pot!
Our wonderful dark and white chocolate fondue at the end of the meal. YUM!!
Such a lovely dinner courtesy of this thoughtful man :)

I was then whisked away to the same hotel where we had our wedding reception and welcomed with flowers and chocolate. :) It was fun to relive our memories of that day over a year and a half ago now.
Memories from this day! Hello wonderful ladies! :)
The next day, after grabbing a quick Panera breakfast, we headed into DC to spend some time at the National Gallery of Art and walking around the Mall. We wandered through a gallery of sculptures and saw some early Picasso works (most of which weren't all that impressive though there were a few). We enjoyed traversing the moving walkway between the two halves of the Gallery which makes for a great picture backdrop.

The moving walkway shot with the cool tunnel lights :)

After our adventures in art, we headed down the Mall to take in the sights. It was fun seeing people out flying kites and we even had a girl tell us "Boiler Up!" when she saw Dan's Purdue hat :) Only in DC (and probably Indiana...or during a Purdue game).

All in all, it was a fabulous and relaxing weekend. It gave us time to unwind and reconnect after some long weeks of the typical routine. It's always nice to have a chance to break out of the routine and get away, even if it's locally, for a little bit. :)

I hope you all have had a great month since Valentine's! How did you spend your Valentine's? What about St. Patrick's Day today? Any fun family traditions?

Soli Deo Gloria!