2015 Reading Challenge!

Thanks to My Tiny Obsessions, I learned that Popsugar put out a Reading Challenge 2015.

Now, I know that I already have a reading challenge set and reading 52 books in a year is almost impossible. I struggle with 35 and I set 40 books for this year plus there’s that Classics Adventure which is a long term project.  I’m happily reading my second Jane Austen novel this year before heading back into the next indie book. While I’m here, if you have indie book suggestions/recommendations, please send them my way. I have a bunch still in my tablet but I’m always on the prowl for more.

Here is the list.  You will find the printable at the link up there, just click on Reading Challenge 2015. Maybe you’d like to join this Reading Challenge also, right?

The ones I’ve read will be bold and italicized along with the link to the book review. If I already know what book I intend on reading for whichever one, I’ll put it next to the category.

2015 Ultimate Reading Challenge

  • A book with more than 500 pages: A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire #2)
  • A classic romance : Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • A book that became a movie: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  • A book published this year: Slippery Things by Lane Baker
  • A book with a number in the title: Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
  • A book written by someone under 30: Death Before Daylight by Shannon A Thompson
  • A book with non human characters: Watership Down/Animal Farm
  • A funny book:
  • A book by a female authorImmortal Obsession by Denise K. Rago
  • A mystery or thriller: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
  • A book with a one-word title: Slash by Evan Kingston
  • A book of short stories: Grimm’s Fairy Tales
  • A book set in a different country: The Scottish Banker of Sunabaya by Ian Hamilton
  • A nonfiction bookTwo Wolves by Evan Sanders
  • A popular author’s first book: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  • A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet: The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
  • A book a friend recommended:
  • A Pulitzer Prize-winning book: The Goldfinch/To Kill a Mockingbird
  • A book based on a true story: Argo
  • A book at the bottom of your t0-read list: The Uninvited/Charlotte and Emily
  • A book your mom loves  (Skipping this one.  My mom reads Chinese books and I read EXTREMELY slow in Chinese)
  • A book that scares you: Carrie by Stephen King
  • A book more than 100 years old: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  • A book based entirely on its cover: You by Austin Grossman
  • A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t:
  • A memoir:  Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  • A book you can finish in a day: Amulet series by Kazu Kabuishi
  • A book with antonyms in the title:
  • A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit: Need to research this one a little more…
  • A book that came out the year you were born: Zodiac (could work together with nonfiction)
  • A book with bad reviews
  • A trilogy: The Orphan Trilogy by James & Lance Morcan
  • A book from your childhood: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  • A book with a love triangle: For The Thrill by Nora Flite (might change)
  • A book set in the futureNemo’s World by Jeb Kinnison
  • A book set in high school: 
  • A book with a color in the title : Red Queen by Jeb Kinnison
  • A book that made you cry: A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
  • A book with magic: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • A graphic novel: Prince of Persia Before the Sandstorm by Jordan Mechner
  • A book by an author you’ve never read before: The Fault in our Stars by John Green
  • A book you own but never read: When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman
  • A book that takes place in your hometown: Inside by Alix Ohlin
  • A book that was originally written in a different language: Les Miserables?
  • A book set during Christmas: I’ll find one as Christmas approaches, many months later…
  • A book written by an author with your same initials: (I’ll need to take a walk in the bookstore aisle…)
  • A play: (Not really into this.  Unless I pick up a copy of some Shakespeare…)
  • A banned book:
  • A book based on or turned into a TV show: The 100 by Kass Morgan
  • A book you started by never finished: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass

Here’s my Reading Challenge for 2015.  This is going to exceed my Goodreads challenge but even if I don’t finish it in 2015, I will continue to make it happen.  A secondary goal this year is to save money and that means exploring free ebooks and reading ALL the books I have bought but haven’t checked out yet. So, that’s the basis of my list here.

Anyone up for doing this Reading Challenge in 2015 also? Any books to suggest? 

Let us start the week easy with this “quick” list 🙂 Happy Monday!

Week 4: A Little Bit at a Time :)

Week 4! I can hardly believe that I’ve been back in this workout thing for a month.  Its really made me feel a whole lot better. My mind and concentration, even my energy is better than before.  Not to mention, aside from feeling sore, I feel really great about myself.


Also called Fast and Furious Calorie Burn (on Youtube). This workout is pretty intense.  When life gets busy, I try to get these intense workout bursts to stay active.  I’m slowly gathering a good little bit of these and I want to try new ones so that I can keep the workouts diversified bit by bit. The instructions are done really well so its easy to follow even if you are focusing on the moves and there’s demo before each one before moving to the reps for the move.  At the end of this, it feels extremely hard to do for some moves.

I love this one a lot and I’ll probably head back to do this again to see how strength improves.


I needed to get some yoga in and since I was going to a arts and crafts show and going to taste some alcohol, I wanted to do a detox session before.  This one is supposedly very good for hangovers and I can actually see it really working out for that.  Its to help boost metabolism and I definitely felt like it got my blood flowing but also relaxing.  Its a few moves and the sun salutation.

pura vida tone it up

I followed this through with Pura Vida Workout from Tone it Up. Its one that I haven’t done in a long time.  A full-body workout again.  I didn’t quite feel it in my legs while I was working out but today (Sunday), when I woke up, its been reminding me how hard that workout was.

If you click the image, you’ll have the actual link with a video for this workout.  Some of these are a little hard to understand from the description but its a pretty good workout.  The dual movements covers the full-body. Spider Monkey Push-up is a pain to do.

FYI, I did 20 reps for first two moves while I did 10-15 reps for the last two. Completed 3 rounds.


I’m not hitting the 3 times a week nowadays.  There’s just too much stuff to do.  Still, this weekend, tracking my body transformation is starting to be motivating because I’m seeing better results this week. Thats my inspiration.

addiction results

I’m totally back on track.  Its great to see my body heading in the right direction.  Its an amazing feeling to get back some of that feel-good element, reduce stress and start feeling more confident about myself (and my body). Loving it! 🙂

Week 3: The Most Satisfying Pain

Week 3 was a whole lot more motivating.

Its because I now have geared my mind (or at least for the past week, I did) to go workout when I was having writer’s block.

Lets get straight to it, nothing else to write 🙂


I haven’t done this one in ages.  This was almost the first Yoga workout that I tried to get me interested in it.  It was really relaxing.  Rem

Remember my last week ended with that crazy Pumps and Iron workout on Sunday? Yeah, my abs were aching for 4 days (at least).  So I figured that Yoga would be a good idea to stretch out my abs.  It did but it also worked it like mad.  I always forget that Yoga is very abs heavy…

Its imprinted in my brain now.  I assure you of that.


This is a little trickier because its five 10 minutes workouts so I’ll try to see if I can get the videos since its hard to embed the Popsugar videos from their video player.  Easier on YouTube.

If you just want to check it on one post and flip through it, click HERE!

Part 1: Light Cardio and Core Warmup

A pretty good warm-up.  It definitely get the blood going and ready to move on to the more intense stuff.

Part 2: Cardio Focus and Calorie Burner

This one works fairly well, except while I’m working out its hard to focus so much on the whole body coordination and it took a lot of effort to get some of the moves right. I’m guessing the second time will be better.

Part 3: Arms and Shoulders

My weakness is arms and shoulders. Kind of sad because I used to do dragon boat and that should be my forte if anything, although there’s a whole lot of abs work involved and the whole body.  A common misconception non-dragonboaters might have. Anyways, my shoulders are extremely weak and I’m trying to strengthen it right now.  This workout was pretty intense.  Its nice to have the 3lbs because it was the perfect weight.  Hopefully I’ll be able to go up to 5lbs after a few more weeks.

Part 4: Legs and Bottom

I didn’t actually do the full 10 minutes for this one because I didn’t go and search out the YouTube version. The one on Popsugar TV was really lagging and it was a tad inhumane to do it like a million times more than the fit instructors there were doing.  And I wasn’t a huge fan of the workout so I just moved along.

Part 5: Yoga Cooldown

I’m pretty happy with this yoga workout. The variations and whatnot were really good.  It was a cooldown but it still had a good bit of work involved.  Plus, the instructor is one of the best I’ve tried out. I didn’t really have to watch her, provided you have a general knowledge of what bench pose, warrior 1 and warrior 2 is.

Since I cut a little off of the Part 4.  The whole thing took me about 45 minutes to do. Pretty efficient total body workout.

I had planned to get another workout in on Saturday night or Sunday evening but I wasn’t feeling well on Saturday night so I skipped it instead. Sleep was a little more important.

That was my workout week! I’m all better now. Just a little bug that hit me for an evening apparently.

Before I go, here’s a little workout inspiration:


Happy Monday! 🙂

Reviving an Old Segment: Weekly Workouts!

I took a little bit of time to get this revived mostly because when I do these segments its really to get myself back on track.  Its been hard to even find an ounce of time and energy to.  The last few weeks I’ve managed to get 2 workouts in.  I believe that I’ve gotten myself back into the state of mind.

Winter is coming around.  Holidays are around the corner.  And a whole lot of sitting inside at home is going to happen since outdoors activities happen once the weather gets cooler and colder.

For a reviving workout, I’ll share a few workouts that I may have already shared but some of you are new here, so it’ll be fresh 🙂

I won’t be doing everyday updates on the weekly but rather just workouts I’ve done. Or some things I join in: campaigns or whatnot.

Its been a few weeks of sporadic working out and I’ve actually revisited a few workouts and tried some new ones. Lets get moving! 🙂

1) Pop Sugar’s 30 minutes Capoeira Workout

2) Pop Sugar’s Do-Anywhere Circuit

Popsugar do anywhere circuit


3) Tribesports: The Core Workout


Tribesports The Core Workout

4) Pop Sugar Yoga Workout

5) Pop Sugar Fire Up the Core Circuit Workout

fire up the core circuit workout

I think 5 is enough. Right now, most of these are repeat training ones.  I love the Capoeira one but I always get really close to injuring my shoulder so I know that I need to work on that.  Strengthening my hamstrings and my shoulders are a must at this stage.

I’m looking at some 30 day challenges right now but can’t decide which yet.  I need to get back into the Tribesports community and to get back on track with this working out thing 🙂 So far, I’m balancing between body weights, strength training (with weights), adding some cardio and yoga to balance it all out.  Most of my cardio is from either jogging in place or playing DDR (on higher intensity).  As you can see, PopSugar is my new fave workout site.  It has so many challenging but refreshing workouts.  I hold true that I love the circuit workouts.  Those ones are fantastic: intense and the next day, your body tells you that it was a good one.

challenge change

I’m excited to get back into it.  Consider this a pre-workout segment.  The official first week is right now. Another update on Sunday or Monday  (hopefully, regularly)! 🙂

Week 8: Relieving Stress, Staying in Balance

The last two weeks seemed to have been sickly and then tiring.  To top that off, we come into one of the busiest weeks of the entire year at work.  I had no idea how it would go to be honest.  To top it off, Tone it Up was starting its Bikini Series again which caused it to not give out the Weekly Schedule but rather just Monday workout.  So no plans for the week on Sunday, causing it even harder to actually get anything going.  Lets see if I even manage to get in 4 workouts and we enter into the last indoor practice for dragonboat, I’m not even sure if I can make it this week…but the intention is there.


Following my writeup on last week’s  workouts, I realized I accomplished more than I had expected and it had tired out my body.  Sunday’s one set along with the full exercise on Saturday caused my lower body to be in immense pain.  I had to take the day off even I remotely wanted to do something on Tuesday.


Bikini Series starts today on Tone It Up.  I originally wasn’t too sure about joining and I’m pretty sure I won’t follow the whole thing since I like to switch it up a little here and there.  However the first workout did look cool. Even if they ask for morning workouts.  I don’t have energy for that… Either way, I decided to put together this week`s workouts on this very day.  Later than usual, but still, I`ll manage to get in a nice workout.

Today`s plan is a body weight workout called No Excuses Workout by PopSugar which I got from Pumps and Iron February Workout Roundup. Here is what it looks like:

OMG! This workout is crazy intense! The first circuit is possibly the hardest and it just smacks you down in pieces by the time you get to 3rd time.  The other 2 circuits aren’t particularly hard if they were done before the first circuit.  Definitely a keeper 🙂 I like to torture myself.  I call it challenging myself!


Seeing as Monday was a break day and this weekend might be crazy. I decided to use today as a workout day also. Plus, the Bikini Series is supposed to be working out every day.  They asked for 2 challenges today.  Challenge 1 is a 45 Cardio.  I don’t jog at night by myself…mostly for safety issues. I decided to the 45 minutes Pumps and Irons remix routine.

Did I ever tell you have much I love Pumps and Iron workouts? Because I do! Her workouts are like intense to the max where I end up cursing in pain and getting all disgusting and sweaty, but you know that its mega effective and efficient 🙂 I know I pushed myself every time after! I hope that she’ll come up with more of these workout DJ-ing! Mashups are fun stuff!

Then I followed through with the Challenge 2 and did Sunkissed Abs Workout from Tone it Up 🙂 Since I didn’t do a complete cardio, I did one set of this workout!


Tone it Up workout for today is called Bikini Strap Workout! Normally this is my dragonboat day but overtime at work has caused me to miss out on the last indoor practice.  Sad to see that this is the way I will end dragonboat season.  Hopefully I’ll be able to go back on part time.  Its my motivation to get that certificate done! Back to the Bikini Strap Workout, it was a strength training workout with super sets on mostly the upper body.  It was pretty intense for some of them.


I had to give myself a day off.  Other than having a long work day, I started coming up with sickness so I spent every moment I could either relaxing, drinking water or going to the washroom to flush out the bad toxins.  It didn’t really feel like I did much but sit around. At least I succeeded in resting, something my body will need for the next 3-4 days of craziness.


I had posted about brainwashing failure and how my sickness did not go away causing today to be a horrible day. It did NOT feel great at all. By the end of the day, for various reasons, I wanted to bang my head against the table and just sleep.  I did bang my head against the table, but I did not sleep until later that night.  I took the route of giving my body yet another day to rest and get better. 3rd day off this week, but I think its a good choice.


Because if you were following my previous post, you know that it was a fantastic choice.  My massive sore throat went away for the most part and I was super energetic and happy for some weird reason.  The enthusiasm for going into the office on Sunday was a bit abnormal.  Still, I didn’t end up staying for too long…4 hours or so and leaving.  One of the reasons I left early was to go home and prep for my postponed piano lesson and the second reason is for you…however, I am debating whether I want to post about it right now.  You will know about it eventually 🙂  Good news at night was that I managed to get in the workout I wanted.  I did the Friday one below from Tone It Up.

That was one set and it worked the full body and felt pretty awesome.  It didn’t say how many times to do it but I followed up with 2 sets of Itty Bitty Bikini Workout.  I’ve already done this one before and I remember liking it the last time and I still do.

This week was tiring, stressing and all sorts of negative.  I have managed to keep everything in balance and fought through sickness.  I don’t think I completely won the battle as I have a bit of sniffles. It could be worse and so far its been pretty alright. Plus, I got a few things done and I managed to do 4 days of workout so there wasn’t too much slacking off.  I didn’t even go and binge on junk food.  I always give you some fave workouts. This week its a bit harder to recommend but I think I felt the most awesome was Tuesday’s No Excuses Workout and Wednesday’s Pumps and Iron Workout Mashup!

Next week’s Bikini Series workouts are all set out.  I’m going to see if I can fit it all in. 🙂 Although Monday and Tuesday will be slightly tricky…