Book Club

Good Saturday evening to all! It is a lovely evening if I do say so myself….me lounging on the couch with laptop in hand while hubs studies his little butt off.

So let’s go back to Thursday; glorious, wonderful Thursday! I tried a new thing- I joined a book club! Yay for me, I can read…

Book Review:
Our material for the month was a memoir by a half-Chinese, half-black Jamaican woman. In The Other Side of Paradise, readers learned about the adolescent life of Staceyann Chin and how she grew to become the woman she is today. Currently, she is a 30-something NYC author, but her life wasn’t always so seemingly glamorous. The book recounts stories of her very turbulent childhood, without much of a mother or father figure, moving from one home to another with her grandmother, brother, or sometimes all by herself. She was always very intelligent and did well in school, but her mouth often got her into trouble, especially being surrounded by so many ill-tempered, yet very religious women.

While the book was sometimes hard to comprehend with so much Patois (Patwa) infusion, it was deep, soul bearing and somewhat of a Cinderella story (minus the prince…). This book made me angry. I was mad at what was happening to Staceyann at almost all times throughout the 200+ pages of storytelling. Because of that, I say it’s a good read, and it will make you feel like you’re in the “real” Jamaica, whether you want to know what that’s like or not.

At the book club gathering, we only spent about 10 minutes of our 4+ hour conservation discussing this book, but it was still such a great time! Our hostess cooked up some seriously delicious Jamaican inspired dishes that she learned about from her year spent living and teaching there.

The Spread- jerk chicken, beans and rice, slaw, chips with mango salsa, cornmeal pudding, fresh pineapple and more!

Plate #1- beans and rice, slaw, pineapple, chips and mango salsa

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The spread was awesome and so were all the girls (7 total). We had some fun conversation, and it was nice to feel like I was hanging out with girlfriends again. I’m looking forward to our next meeting, except that the next book is over 700 pages! I better start soon.

Friday was not as happenin’ as the day before, but I still managed to make it through with less than 6 hours sleep (book club kept me out past midnight!) I started off my day with 6:00am spinning! Fridays are my favorite day for this exercise class because the instructor has the best music- a mix of classic rock, 90s, and top 40s stuff. I like.

For breakfast, I tried something new…cheesy cream of wheat! I used whole wheat cream of wheat (so filling!) and lite sharp cheddar from TJs. Then, for fun, I added nutritional yeast and TVP (textured vegetable protein), items often incorporated into a veg/vegan kitchen. It’s fun to try new stuff, and it turned out yummy and ridiculously filling!

Nutritional yeast (left) and TVP (right) top my cheesy grits

The best part of my day was getting a date night with the hubs! Friday night is kinda our time, so we enjoyed each others’ company and watched “Eureka.” I love this show! It’s a perfect blend of sci-fi (for the hubs) and good story lines and characters (for me). There are not many shows we can watch together, so we enjoy it when we can find some common ground. USA shows are also great for that- LOVE “Royal Pains,” “Burn Notice,” and “Psych”! Yeah, I watch a lot of TV…but I haven’t been indulging during the week as I’ve been super busy and am trying to read more (remember that 700+ page book?!) TV is my weekend escape…

Today I did some serious shopping, and I started early to do it. Just after 9am, I made my way to Borders to purchase the next book for book club, then did some damage at Kohl’s. They always sucker me in with those $10 off coupons, but I was in major need of work clothes. They just redid the Kohl’s that I now shop at and revamped their fitting rooms. I liked this idea:

"Like It" "Love It" and "Back on the Rack" hooks in the fitting room

I also bought more work clothes at Target and other goodies (it’s hard not to at Target), and ended the shopping spree with some staple purchases from Giant Eagle. I like the GE that’s next to my Target, obviously for its location, but also because it’s open 24 hours. It’s almost like Meijer back home. Oh man, I miss Meijer. They have everything! And they’re always open. And I used to live right by one….oh the memories.

Anyway, time to veg some more. Tough life.

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