Even though you know that it’s her destiny to make the trip to California, your heart aches knowing that she has to make this journey. It yells out to her, “No! Don’t do it, Eliza. Think of your future!” but you know she must go and there is nothing you can do to stop her. So you prepare yourself for a tear jerker — the story of a Chilean girl who follows her lover to California during the peak of the Gold Rush.

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One February morning, even though I had the cold sweats and had spent the night waking up every hour in agony over my stuffed nose and sinus problems, I crawled to my computer and entered the virtual waiting room…and waited. For the next 40 minutes I watched as Saturday, Friday, even Thursday sold out. I felt defeated. I was sick and would have kept on sleeping, but I had set my alarm to make sure I was awake to purchase tickets and now I wasn’t even going. Just as I put my head down on my desk, eyes filled with tears over the wasted effort, the screen changed and I was able to add tickets to my cart. I instantly sat up straight, excited that my group was finally called and squealed as I checked out. I purchased two tickets for Sunday night’s Comic-Con.

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I know, I know. I’m obsessed with the Klatch. But their amazing coffee, cushy couches, and delicious sandwiches make it a wonderful place to hide away for a few hours and enjoy a latte with friends. This time I decided to get my exercise on the way to the Klatch and rode two miles to the coffee shop.

Nothing like a cozy to go with my coffee.

Nothing like a cozy to go with my coffee.

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My motto all year has been: 30, flirty, and thriving. The past year has not been good to me: I gained a lot of weight and outgrew everything I owned and on top of all that,  about a month before my 30th birthday, I took a fall and broke my elbow. But I’m bouncing back and now I’m healthier than ever. After a long and stressful 2015, the universe helped me get my fitness and health back in focus and it all started with an unexpected physical.

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Fleece Navidad is a Christmas-themed, Knitting Mystery cozy that I picked up at a book sale a few months ago. Set in a Colorado college town, the main character, Kelly, is determined to prove that newcomer Claudia is not a murdering gold-digger, and certainly didn’t kill her romantic rival.

The knitting crew at Lambspun have an addition when newcomer Claudia joins the group. Widowed three times due to accidents, Claudia decided it was time to make a fresh start by leaving behind her life in Florida. A flirtatious and friendly older woman, Claudia quickly joins clubs at the Senior Center in addition to the Lambspun knitters. Her incredulous background makes some of the knitters suspicious that maybe Claudia is a gold-digger after her next victim.

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Way to go, Alex! I was fitness-ing too hard.

On May 1, I woke up in a cranky mood. It was one day until Joey’s birthday and a week until Mother’s Day and I still had some shopping to do. I was concerned about what to get for Mother’s  Day because I couldn’t find exactly what my mom wanted and I was afraid that she would be disappointed. We were also two weeks away from going to Laughlin and spending the weekend on Lake Mohave and I had yet to start looking for a bikini. If I thought I was cranky before, I had no idea that by 6:00 p.m. that night, I would be puking in a park and holding my broken elbow up for support.

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Two weeks ago, Joey and I walked in the rain down to the annual Friends of the Library book sale, an event going on at every library within the county. I am a big fan of getting books for cheap. I have found some of my favorite books at thrift stores for less than a dollar, so I was excited to see what awesome finds would be waiting for me at the library sale. At the top of my list were any old mysteries I might enjoy.

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Let’s travel to the English countryside for a weekend away, spent in a private, isolated glass cottage in the woods. The floor to ceiling windows capture the natural enclosure of the backwoods. No cell reception means no interruptions. Sounds lovely, right?

Now let’s add the burden of attending a bachelorette party with a bunch of strangers for your estranged high school best friend. The one you haven’t spoken to in nearly 10 years — after an awkward falling out. You’ve been invited to the party, but you’re not quite sure why, since you haven’t even been invited to the wedding. And why would you be? You two haven’t been friends for a long time. She has a new best friend now. Not so lovely anymore.

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I may not be a Mormon, but I hear the universe calling me to Zion. As a native Southern Californian, it seems outlandish to friends and family to want to leave the sunshine and move to the Deseret, but I’m looking forward to the quiet days of living in Utah.

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This was the view from our hotel when we stayed near Zion November 2014.

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After a year of my reading challenge, I have finally reached the end. In 2015, I set a goal to read 50 books and although it was a sluggish beginning I read a total of 25 books. My reading list had a mixture of cat stories, old stories, some tedious stories and some great finds. The majority read were, no surprise, cat-themed cozy mysteries.

Even with the Weekend Wednesdays, I was only able to accomplish half my goal. The problem I’m having with reaching my goal is it’s set too high. With my social obligations and time spent gaming, it’s just not possibly for me to read that many.

 But the goal wasn’t always about hitting 50; it was about dedicating myself to reading more books and discovering new worlds.Continue reading