Books, Movies, Random

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I have read so many great books and watched so many awesome shows lately that I have to share. Here’s what I’ve been lovin.


My reading has been a collection of “high, low.”  This is my high-class book.  The Paris Wife tells the story of Ernest Hemingway’s first wife (he had four), and the fictionalized tale was so engrossing.  I knew how it was going to end (badly!) but still couldn’t put it down. McLain made Ernest a very sympathetic and complex character, and I loved the voice of Hadley – I wanted them to ‘make it’ oh-so-much.  This book was so descriptive, too.  I really felt like I was hanging out in 1920s Paris as I turned the pages.


Here’s my low-brow pick of the week.


So, I was at the airport, staring at the mass of paperbacks (I had forgotten my Kindle).  I wasn’t drawn to any of the covers and was unfamiliar with all the titles except this one – The Host by Stephenie Meyer of the Twilight series.  I admit – I was a huge Twilight fan for a long time, and then the movies were so horrendous that I fell out of love with vampire saga.  So I was hesitant to buy The Host, but I shouldn’t have been.  The reviews on Amazon ultimately sold me – and those 3,800+ reviews are right!  It was such a good book.  The Host tells the tale of aftermath of an alien invasion.  The aliens ‘infect’ humans as parasites and take over their bodies.  But what happens when one human’s consciousness doesn’t fully disappear?  A really freaky love quadrangle, that’s what.  I actually had no clue how she was going to end the book and was sad when the (long, long) novel was finished.


Okay – onto TV.


I’m a bit behind on the times, but I finally worked my way through Netflix’s new original season,  House of Cards, which describes one ruthless congressmen’s (Kevin Spacey – love) manipulative climb to the top.  Two major thumbs up… I can’t believe such a good show is on Netflix, of all places.  And that, my friends, is the future of TV.


And a movie!


Another ‘I’m so behind on the times’ plug.  I finally watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, which describes two very unhealthy men’s journey to health via juicing. The transformations are really incredible (not only do they lose a great deal of weight, but they also rid themselves of the symptoms of an intense autoimmune disease).  And I liked how they traveled across America interviewing people about their eating habits.  This movie inspired me so much that I promptly went on Amazon and bought a juicer.  I sprang for the Omega J8004, mostly because it has a fifteen year warranty.  We made our first juice last night – a combo of spinach, apples, kale, and pear – and it was really yummy.  I’ll do a full review of the Omega after I use it more, but so far – totally worth the money.  I’m excited to add fresh juice to my diet. Yay, veggies.


Oh, and while I’ve been watching all these TV shows and movies, I’ve been making friendship bracelets like I’m 8 years old again.


Not my bracelets (source)!  My bracelets are not that cool yet.  I was SUPER into friendship bracelets as a girl. I had a kit filled with strings and beads, and I spent all day at summer camp making dozens upon dozens of bracelets.  I was recently at Wal-Mart and saw a pack of string and decided to re-learn how to make them.  It’s MUCH harder than I remember…  And I have no one to sell them to for a quarter.  Damn.  So far, I’ve made the Husband a green-and-orange bracelet (for the University of Miami), which he assured me that he will wear come football season. Winking smile 


What have you been watching and reading?  Anyone else making friendship bracelets like it’s 1992?  Who loves to juice?



  • Courtney April 26, 2013, 11:56 am

    Thanks for the reviews. 🙂 I’ll definitely have to add The Paris Wife to my ever-expanding book list. I’m currently reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (along with a few law school prep books) and just finished watching every episode of Parenthood — such a good show!

  • Jane @ Not Plain So Jane April 26, 2013, 12:01 pm

    I watched House of Cards in 1 weekend!! I’m from DC and I swear that stuff actually goes on sadly. I recently started watching “Call the Midwife” it’s really good! It’s about post WWII in England and the whole mid-wifery scene. Books, gosh, I feel like I’m reading too many things at once!

  • Kelley April 26, 2013, 12:02 pm

    I have to admit, this is one of my favorite posts yet. You gave me the itch to pick up a book. I’ve heard great things about both those titles. It’s funny, now that I’m a mom, I’ve been totally drawn to the toys and hobbies I had as a kid lately too! Remember Gimp?! ( hahaha I think I might have to make a keychain this weekend! Have a good one!

  • Tara April 26, 2013, 12:06 pm

    The Paris wife is a great book and I’m glad you can put it on here! Hopefully yor diverse group of readers can now pick it up and enter the world of the Parisian era of great writers.

  • FitBritt@MyOwnBalance April 26, 2013, 12:12 pm

    I started The Paris Wife and couldn’t make it all the way through. It just didn’t grab me for some reason. I’ve been reading Gillian Flynn’s novels recently. They are really twisted. I also like the Call the Midwife series, it’s an interesting look into midwifery during the 50s in London.

  • Jasmine, bama + ry April 26, 2013, 12:16 pm

    I didn’t read any of the Twilight books and only saw the first Twilight movie, but Ryan and I saw The Host movie and oh my goodness, amazing. It was so good. We both loved it. I highly recommend it.

  • Jenn April 26, 2013, 12:42 pm

    I want a friendship bracelet!

  • Sarah April 26, 2013, 12:44 pm

    I am halfway through the first season of House of Cards and am HOOKED! So good, so hot!

  • Nicole April 26, 2013, 12:51 pm

    Honestly making everyone I know watch House of Cards. Kevin Spacey..swoooon. I fell in love with him in K-PAX. Judge me. I’ve been looking for a good book to read so I’ll have to pick up the Paris Wife. Maybe tonight! Thanks for bloggin’ it!

  • Christine @ BookishlyB April 26, 2013, 12:52 pm

    I’m super low-browing it with JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy. So far it sucks.

    I love House of Cards! We blew threw it in like two weeks. So great.

  • Kelsey April 26, 2013, 1:09 pm

    High/low class but both still good! Twilight is an awesome story, even if it’s poorly written 🙂 I need to read The Host now, sounds like I’d love it! I only had the patience for friendships bracelets for a very short time. I wish I could knit, so many cute scarfs and hats!

  • katyrenee April 26, 2013, 1:23 pm

    If you need any fancy patterns, this is a great resource. I was on a kick last summer with bracelets and watching old movies like Goonies.

  • Sarah @ Yogi in Action April 26, 2013, 1:25 pm

    Yay- books and movies.

    For books- have you read the series “Delirium” or “The Maze Runner”. Delirium is a 3 book series, and is a dystopian novel where they have identified love as a disease, and they have a “cure” for it but you have to wait until you’re 18. I really enjoyed the series (read all 3 books in 2 days). Maze Runner is a four book series and is also a dystopian novel, which I don’t really know how to describe without giving too much away- but I just finished book 2 and so far is really interesting!

    Your friendship bracelets make me think of the movie Napolean Dynamite, how the girl goes door-to-door selling bracelets. I guess you could sell yours that way?

  • Megan LH April 26, 2013, 1:36 pm

    I just got The Host on Kindle so I”m glad you recommended. My mom’s recommendation didn’t have me sold yet. I just read Damaged- it’s one of those made for Kindle novels. It was not what I expected but a very good one. I enjoy the stories of broken people falling in love.

    Also, I loved this post because you just shared your hobbies. I love the bracelets. I’m about to move away from my best friend for the first time since freshmen year of college (I’m 27 next month) and I think a friendship bracelet might be needed :).

  • Emily @ The Swallow Flies April 26, 2013, 1:45 pm

    Despite being totally obsessed with Hemingway (I’ve been to his house in the Keys twice!), I just did not love The Paris Wife and was totally bummed about it. Have you read Gone Girl? SO good!

  • Rebecca April 26, 2013, 1:51 pm

    I love those bracelets and went to click the link to check them out but a juicer link popped up? Anyways, good luck on your Tri this weekend!

  • Mrs Type A April 26, 2013, 1:53 pm

    I absolutely LOVED the Paris Wife. I literally cried at the end, even though I knew how it was going to end all along. And I never cry at books! I was just so invested in the characters and the story.

  • Steph @ A Life without Ice Cream April 26, 2013, 1:53 pm

    Thanks for the reviews! I’ve been eyeing the Paris Wife… I just finished World War Z (amazing and highly recommend even if you’re not into zombies… I wasn’t but am now :P) and am finishing The Virgin Cure (same author as the Birth House… highly recommend both).

    Also just finished House of Cards. So good. So ruthless. Love Spacey!

  • Logan @ Mountains and Miles April 26, 2013, 1:56 pm

    I LOVE House of Cards!!!! I’m also a huge Game of Thrones, Borgias and Mad Men fan – lucky for me all of them just started again!

  • Debbie @ Live from La Quinta April 26, 2013, 2:17 pm

    Loved Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Great movie. I really need to get juicing!

    A client told me about House of Cards. I guess it is making millions for Netflix because so many people are signing up just to see it. That’s what my client did. I haven’t started watching, but I plan to.

  • Claire April 26, 2013, 2:30 pm

    I just finished The Host last night! I was NOT expecting it to be so good, especially because I thought the beginning was kind of slow. But when it took off, it took off!

  • Michelle April 26, 2013, 3:06 pm

    The friendship bracelets would be a great gift to Girls on the Run, the next time you coach!

  • Jelena@FabLifePhD April 26, 2013, 3:22 pm

    You’re right, so 1992! My grandma was freaking out because I was stealing her knitting strings all the time. Do you think girls still make them?
    Speaking about reading, I am constanly one month after Julie’s PBF book club, so I read The fault in our stars and cried like 10 times through the book.
    Since Gossip Girl is over, I try to stay away from any addictive show!

  • Jamie April 26, 2013, 3:23 pm

    I love juicing! I need to watch Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead still but I regularly make the “mean green juice” from that movie. I always feel fantastic after I drink it! One book I am loving right now is City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. I know you are a fan of YA fiction as well so I thought I would mention it! My favorite shows are Mad Men (love me some Jon Hamm!) and Revenge.

    • Cassie May 1, 2013, 12:06 am

      It’s disappointing to see people recommending Cassandra Clare’s work. She is a former fanfic writer who was well-known for plagiarizing others’ work.

      See also:

      The second link analyzes her published work as a poor copy of her well-known fanfic which included plagiarism. So she’s making money off work that is not her own. Please don’t support plagiarism by purchasing her publications or encouraging others to do so.

      I believe she’s also the one who once claimed she had been robbed, then asked fans for “donations” to replace her stuff. She did not post police reports to support her robbery claims. This was a long time ago, though, so that could have been someone else in fandom.

  • Coco April 26, 2013, 3:26 pm

    A lot of scenes from House of Cards were filmed literally RIGHT by my house in Baltimore 🙂

  • Chrissy April 26, 2013, 3:36 pm

    If you liked The Paris Wife, you may enjoy The Aviator’s Wife. It’s about the Lindberg’s – very interesting and a great read.

  • rebecca @ blueberry smiles April 26, 2013, 4:25 pm

    I really want to see that documentary! Someone just bought us a juicer off our registry and I can’t wait to use it.

  • Lyndsey April 26, 2013, 4:26 pm

    Loved Fat Sick and Nearly dead. Inspired me to buy a juicer too! And do a 3 day cleanse.
    Favorite Juices which you can find on the fat sick and nearly dead reset website?
    Gazpacho Juice
    Green Lemonade (Amazing served over ice on a summer day)
    Sunset Juice

    All three of those are amazing. When making your own, just always include an acidity and you’ll be good to go!

  • Gloria April 26, 2013, 5:21 pm

    I loved The Paris Wife! Have you seen Midnight in Paris? It’s such a wonderful and fun movie that brings you back to the same era. It’s so funny that you mentioned buying a juicer, because I just bought a new one a couple days ago and I was so excited to see that it had arrived when I got home from work just now. I have an old Juiceman juicer (the bushy eyebrow guy infomercial one!) but it doesn’t work that well anymore, so I finally bought a shiny new one. Please feel free to share some juice recipes in the future 🙂

  • Claire April 26, 2013, 5:56 pm

    Juicing – not my bag. Most healthy living advocates recommend eating fresh fruit and veg to get all the benefits. Eg juicing removes most of the fibre, and increases the amount of natural sugar you consume. A glass of OJ would include the sugar of 6 oranges, whereas if you eat the whole fruit, you are unlikely to have more than 2. I guess juicing has a place if you are transitioning from a very unhealthy diet, but otherwise, not a great regular way to approach fruit and veg, in my opinion.

    • LLY April 28, 2013, 10:37 am

      I agree with this Claire. I think juices are fine – in moderation – but all the hype lately for juice cleanses is a little much. They are high in sugar and can wreak havoc on blood sugar levels. Not to mention there’s an obvious lack of protein and healthy fats. I think the guys in the movie -and most overweight people – would obviously do well because they are cutting out the junk food and cutting way back on calories and fat. If they ate a healthy diet mostly of green vegetables, lean protein, a little healthy fats and some fruit – they would have good results as well.

    • Charise May 1, 2013, 8:11 am

      I agree, too! I am hypoglycemic, and drinking that much sugar would make me crazy, and I would have a hard time feeling full without the fiber. I’d much rather eat the whole produce, with protein and fat to balance it out. I do enjoy the occasional green smoothie, though!

      I can see why it works for some people – it is a clear cut way to know what you’ll be eating and helps cut back on calories and junk.

  • Aja April 26, 2013, 6:04 pm

    I’ve been meaning to read The Paris Wife. I read The Host when it came out, and all I can remember is that the beginning 50 pages were good, so were the last 50, but the 300 in the middle were just like blahblahblah… The overall story isn’t bad, the writing is, and a lot could have been cut.

    I used to make friendship bracelets like crazy, but after a while I ran out of friends to give bracelets too and just ended up with a bunch of them.

  • Shari April 26, 2013, 6:43 pm

    My copy of Sarah Pekkanen’s THE BEST OF US just arrived today … so excited to start reading!

  • Carin April 26, 2013, 6:48 pm

    We have the same juicer in chrome! Have you tackled any wheatgrass yet?

  • Jen @ The Well Read Fish April 26, 2013, 7:49 pm

    I too love Kevin Spacey. Someone above mentioned “The Maze Runner” and while I don’t read a lot of YA, I liked it. So I’ll back that commenter up.

    I’m reading a book called “The Honey Thief,” fictional stories of Afghanistan. I’m sure it will be reminiscent of “The Kite Runner.”

  • Miranda @ Miranda Runs April 26, 2013, 8:04 pm

    I always made friendship bracelets when I was a kid too! Mine were always turquoise, pink, and white. Some things never change 😉

  • Melissa Hyde April 26, 2013, 8:24 pm

    I bought a juicer after watching that movie also! Now, I juice for my husband and myself about 2-3x/wk. My husband can’t get enough of the carrot, apple, ginger juice I make. My personal fave is spinach, apple, lemon and ginger. Happy juicing : )

  • Erin @ The Grass Skirt April 26, 2013, 8:31 pm

    Next time I see you, I expect a friendship bracelet. You got that? 🙂

  • Amber K April 26, 2013, 8:36 pm

    Oh man I remember recess during elementary school. The other kids would play sports or swing and me and my friends would be in the grass with friendship bracelets safety pinned to our pants as we worked on them.

  • Lisa April 26, 2013, 8:39 pm

    Hi there!
    Did you find any good smoothie recipes in that book by any chance? I love having the green monster smoothie, but I’m after some other tasty recipes 🙂

  • Lisa April 26, 2013, 10:00 pm

    I want to check out The Paris Wife now..thanks for the info. I like House of Cards too..I was surprised seeing it as a Netflix Original.
    Happy Birthday! 🙂

  • Kelsie April 26, 2013, 10:19 pm

    You have an iPhone, right? You can get the Kindle app and download books straight to your iPhone so you don’t end up paying the ridiculous cost of a book at the airport!

  • Kate @KateMovingForward April 26, 2013, 10:33 pm

    I loved The Paris Wife! It made me sad that he was such a messed up sleazeball, but I think their relationship was so interesting. If you liked that one you’ll also probably like The Aviator’s Wife which is about Anne Hemingway. So good. I biked for two hours just eating it up!

  • Emily @ Tips on Healthy Living April 26, 2013, 10:53 pm

    House of Cards was sooo good. I’ve just started Battlestar Gallactica on Netflix, and I can’t believe I’m 10 years behind on this one. It’s so so good.

    My favorite book of the past few months was Beautiful Ruins–amazing story about love, Italy, Hollywood, family, and everything else. Really amazing.

    I want to read the Paris Wife! Sounds awesome.

  • Dynamics April 27, 2013, 2:10 am

    I am making bracelets too. So many to choose from. Those shambala bracelets seem so easy to make. But right now, Kumihimo. I am loving it. It is so easy. you can make a bracelet in like 10 minutes or so. Check it out.

    I am reading the Clan of the Cave Bear. Lots of research went into these books. Fun to read them now that the Paleo and primal diets are out there. Gives you a sense of how things might have been back then.

  • Robin April 27, 2013, 6:59 am

    I literally just finished watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. It brought me to tears! What a great movie!

  • Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages April 27, 2013, 11:35 am

    I was just talking about The Paris Wife with someone the other day. Every single person I know who’s read it loves it, and I just thought it was the worst. All that Hadley did was whine, whine, whine. And I’m sure being married to Ernest was no bed of roses, but god, I just found her so annoying.

    However, I did go back and read a biography of her since I was curious if she was actually so terrible. It’s called Paris Without End and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I liked it.

  • K April 27, 2013, 1:34 pm

    Have you ever tried knitting? Maybe the husband would like a scarf in his teams colors a little more than a friendship bracelet. 😉

  • Sharon April 27, 2013, 8:04 pm

    Hi Caitlin,
    I’m new to your blog – fun topics! I made the Mean Green Juice recipe from Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead like there was no tomorrow when I was pregnant. I couldn’t stomach raw veggies from my typical salads, so fresh veggie juice was great! If you’ve never juiced chard (with the red stalk), you should add it once. It makes a very pretty juice – bright red in the bottom – with the green settled at the top. 🙂
    Just bought some string and always on the lookout for good movies – thanks for the new ideas!

  • Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} April 27, 2013, 8:16 pm

    I agree, the Twilight movies totally ruined the story for me too. I read The Host as well and I really didn’t like it, you did get me intrigued with the other book!

  • Elizabeth @ Positive Change April 27, 2013, 8:40 pm

    Thanks for the book suggests! I made a resolution to read a book a week, and I have came across so many new (to me) books. The Pairs Wife looks really good! And I have read The Host already. A really great book you should check out is called, The Orchard House, ( ). Watch wise I am for some reason loving animal documentaries right now! Just watched, The Last Lion. Such an amazing story!

  • Linda L April 28, 2013, 5:25 am

    Looking forward to your review on the juicer. My sister was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and many people highly recommend juicing as a nutrition supplement before and during chemotherapy. This type of juicer is low speed, hence heat generation is very limited. This method will not kill enzymes. There is a comment stating that eating whole fruit/food is the best. I totally agree, but in order to get the most nutrition in the least amount of time, juicing is the best bet. You can drink 5 oranges in maybe a minute, but will have to find time to eat 5 oranges. Moreover, for people with reduced appetite, juicing will condense a whole lot of fruits/vegetable in a glass. It is recommended to not drink more 10oz at once as one might experience a sugar spike.
    Just sharing some things that I found out while researching how can my sister get the most nutrition in the least amount of time. Wishing everyone good health!

  • Jill April 28, 2013, 9:36 am

    Reading “Gone Girl ” now. So far so good.

    Just finished “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and it BLEW me away. So thought provoking to me.

    And before that read “The Heavy: A mother, a daughter, a diet” (you might be intrigued by this one!!!).

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More April 28, 2013, 10:58 am

    I used to LOVE making friendship bracelets as a kid! I’d make bracelets and anklets. Definitely a favorite activity! I think my box of string is still hiding out somewhere. 🙂

  • Jenni April 28, 2013, 11:40 am

    I’ve never juiced at home before (I don’t own a juicer), but I recently made a vow to stop spending over seven bucks on single bottles from my favorite juice bar, so maybe I should consider investing in one soon! I’m not the hugest juice drinker, but they’re definitely refreshing and give me a nice boost. By the way, I’m Jenni! I just started a new health and fitness blog. Your blog is great! You have a very healthy approach to health (for lack of a less redundant word).

  • Jolene ( April 28, 2013, 3:23 pm

    I love to juice! My favourite combination is a bell pepper with grapefruit. I also love to juice beets!

  • Paris Bee Kids Blog April 28, 2013, 10:45 pm

    Going to look for The Paris Wife, sounds fascinating!!

    xoxo Paris Bee Kids Blog

  • Monica April 29, 2013, 2:59 am

    I started juicing about two weeks ago!! The juicer I bought was the same one he had, worth every penny!!! I juice all day and eat one healthy meal.. eventually I will get to the 10day reboot! but for now this is helping be healthier 🙂 plus I am breastfeeding and formula, so I need all the good calories I can get! Any good juice recipes?

  • Lenore April 29, 2013, 8:57 am

    I have that juicer, too! I love it, it’s really great at leafy greens and it’s pretty easy to clean. It’s not the best at fruits (it will juice them fine, but the pulp seems pretty wet and the juicer gets backed up if you go too fast), but I mostly juice vegetables anyway so it works really well for me.

  • Dana B April 29, 2013, 10:02 am

    I have that juicer too! My fav is collard greens, lemon, cucumber, and mint!

  • Hanna April 29, 2013, 12:02 pm

    ooo, I loved the Paris Wife, it was such an engrossing read! I’ll definitely have to check out the Host since I really enjoyed reading all the Twilight novels.

    As far as shows, I’m still really into Mad Men and Game of Thrones, plus I can’t wait for Breaking Bad to return for its final season!

  • Ja @Ja on the RUN April 29, 2013, 1:51 pm

    I’ve watched that documentary Fat Sick and Nearly Dead. That made us buy our juicer and go into juicing. So far my husband and I are loving it. 🙂

  • Jenn C April 30, 2013, 8:48 am

    We also watched Fat Sick and Nearly Dead when it premiered in Canada a few weeks ago. The movie also inspired me and luckily my mother in law has an omega juicer so she gave it to us and we have been juicing since. We do not juice as often as Joe Cross does, but we have about 2 or 3 16oz green juices a day. My 3yo loves kale and apples (we sneak ginger and lemon as well). I’m going to try a beet juice next.

    I read The Host a few years back and I liked it but not as much as the Twilight series. It took me a while to get into the book but in the end pretty good story.

    I should try to get on making those bracelets LOL. I’m not very crafty but should give it a try.

  • Luv What You Do April 30, 2013, 9:50 am

    I just started Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. Because I was stuck at the airport, I got pretty far into it. She is such an amazing author!

  • Charise May 1, 2013, 8:08 am

    I really liked The Paris Wife, too! I’ve been working my way through my own guilty pleasure series lately – the Royal Spyness books. So fun and lighthearted, and quick reads. I also just finished the last book in the Delirium trilogy, and was really disappointed in the way it just sort of fizzled out at the end.

  • AmandaonMaui May 3, 2013, 5:46 pm

    I just finished “The Paris Wife.” While I thought it was a good book, and I am so glad I read it, I definitely don’t see Ernest as a very nice guy. I can understand his existence more, and I can have sympathy for the apparent mood disorder he suffered from, but he was not a nice man. Though, neither were most of the people in the book. I was really shocked by the attitudes, and behaviors, of the people in the novel. I am certainly not a newbie to polyamorous relationships, or to same-sex relationships. I mean the way they treated each other was pretty appaling. The alcoholism of the time was so bad. I am just glad that I wasn’t there, then, with them.

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