Hearts Books Hearts

I really, really love to read.  I always have, since I was very little girl.  It’s been described as exercise for the mind which makes it my favorite kind of exercise to do because it leaves me feeling good without the fatigue, muscle aches and sweat!  ;0)

It seems like summertime is reading time as so many people take vacations and are looking for a fun way to relax and allow their minds to be massaged by their imaginations.  It’s a lovely ride.

So, I have compiled a list of books that I’ll be *ahem* attempting to read (sometimes naptime trumps reading time and, well, it takes me a little while . . . :0)) and thought I’d share it with you.  Some of these books will be on my long term list and some will be on my summer list.  Hope you find one you might like!!

First, there is a coooooooooooool looking list that I found posted on The Simple Mom’s site.  I’ve not read any of these but they all look really good.  I downloaded a sample of Paris in Love onto my Nook and I’ll probably do the same for What Alice Forgot until I’m finished with those I’m reading now and can go on to something else.  Here are a few of her picks and her commentary about them:

1. Paris in Love

I wasn’t sure I’d like this book when I first got it, but I like Paris, I like the illustrated cover, and well, I’d be happy to spend a year in the City of Lights. Paris in Love is about a family’s year in Paris, when the parents take a year-long sabbatical from work. The writer, Eloisa James, is actually a Shakespeare professor and romance novelist, and this charming memoir is based on her Facebook status updates from their year.

This is a charming, lighthearted read—I kept it on my nightstand and read several pages every night over the past month.

4. The Red Tent

I’m a bit late to this party, but enough recommendations from friends on Facebook have me convinced. A decade after its publication, author Anita Diamant has released a tenth anniversary edition of The Red Tent, so I thought it’d be a good time to give this book a whirl. From its description:

“Told in Dinah’s voice, Anita Diamant imagines the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood–the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of the mothers–Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah–the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through childhood, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah’s story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past.”

I’m anxious to see if this story lives up to all its five-star reviews.

5. 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

Another Austinite, Jen Hatmaker’s name won’t leave my Twitter stream and Facebook feed. I’ve chatted with her briefly via email, and she immediately made it to my People I Want to Meet Soon list. She and her family are church planters in socially unique setting in the city, and she says they’ve seen their world turned upside down as they’ve considered what it means to ask God how to live and not just what to do.

7 is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to varying degrees) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence.

To see the rest of Tsh’s picks, please visit her site.

Ok, so now for my picks.  These are books that I have read, am reading or would like to read:

The Hunger Games

Yes, Frans.  I got sucked in.  SO, here’s the story.  A dear Fran of mine and I decided that this year we would read a book a month.  Well, then we noticed that there were all of these good movies coming out, that had been adapted from books, that we were actually interested in seeing.  So we linked arms and went on a quest to read a book and then watch its movie. Just before the Hunger Games debuted we decided to read it and both of us were hooked.  Now, I have to say, this is not my kind of story.  Typically, I want nothing to do with this sort of story.  I enjoy a good adventure, some mystery, intrigue, suspense, murder and allllll that good stuff, but not as much as a good love story, some drama, something thought provoking and heart wrenching.  But Frans!!!  This book had it all tied up in one nice little bloody bow.  They’re pretty interesting books.  I’ve finished the first two and will probably finish the final one this summer.

I Don’t Know How She Does It

Ok.  I don’t know about this one.  I’m reading it now.  It’s . . .okay.  :0/  It’s gotten rave reviews and it’s not awful, but it’s just not shaping up to be as good as I thought it would be.  And there are some naughty words.  And they always throw me off!!  It’s not over yet, so I’m hoping it’ll get better.  We’ll see.  I just really want to see the movie . . .

Loving Our Kids on Purpose

Now, I’m not totally a parenting book nut–this is my first one and I love it!  I love how it draws a direct parallel between our relationship with our children and God’s relationship with us as a loving Father.  When I see myself as a child, and consider how He loves me, it changes my focus and heart toward parenting.  I haven’t finished it yet but it’s been wonderful.

The Vow

Yes, it’s a movie and I wanna see it!  But actually one of my dearest, closest Frans, who I affectionately refer to as Karma-Dee-Doo (her given name is Karma Best. Top five name, right??!?!?), told me about this one and acts as if it’s a MUST read.  She’s just gone on and on about it so I’m gonna give it a try.  If you try it and don’t like it, I’ll give you her contact info so you can slice her.  :0)  She did say that it trumps the movie by far, which, unfortunately, most books do.

Redeeming Love

This one comes HIGHLY recommended by just about everyone.  I’m just now digging in but will finish it this summer.  So far so good, but I have a feeling this one is going to be very heart wrenching . . .

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

I just love Maya Angelou.  And I want to read everything she writes.  Although this is an oldie, I haven’t finished it yet, so it’s on the list to finish this summer.  Another of hers that is my fave is Letters to My Daughter.  SO good.

SO.  In making this list, I discovered that there are quite a few more books that I’d like to read.  I’m one who reads a few books at time but I’d better get through these and then I can add more. :0)  Please, share your picks for the summer or let us know if you’ve read any of these and tell us what you think of ’em!!

Go on.  Get a book and a nice, relaxing place to read it and enjoy!

Black Bean Burgers! Ole!

My huni and I recently watched “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.”  For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s a documentary about a man who started a small revolution when he realized that by changing his eating habits, he could not only lose weight, but he could become healthier to the point of getting off of medication that was sustaining his life after being inflicted with a very serious autoimmune disease.  His idea was to go on a juice fast for 60 days during which time he would only consume fresh fruits and veggies, slid through a juicer.  It’s a very inspiring movie and we really enjoyed it. By the end, I was rooting for one of the guys and I nearly cried near the end.  For reals.

After watching it, E got all kinds of ideas about what we should be doing and what our family eating habits should be.  Mostly, we have pretty healthy eating habits but he wanted more.  So we settled on making a drastic change and decided we would become (mostly) pescatarian (hey, I loves me some Bojangle’s!!  I can’t COMPLETELY give it up!! . . .right now).  It’s been tough coming up with recipes because it requires a lot more thought but I’m pulling out some oldies but goodies to get us started.  Last night, I got in the kitchen and made some black bean burgers and homeade tortilla chips.  Thought I’d share the recipe.

Black bean Burgers:

1 tall can black beans (I used a 26.5 oz can which yielded about 8 burgers)

1/2 cup bread crumbs

2 eggs

fresh cilantro (you decide how much; if you love cilantro, go crazy, if you like it, use about a handful)

2 tsp cumin

dash of salt

dash of pepper

dash of onion poweder

dash of garlic powder

(by dash, I mean to taste, you decide how much you’d like based on how well seasoned you’d like your burgers and how you’d like for them to taste)

whole wheat tortillas

shredded cheese (optional)

Olive Oil

Salsa Sauce:

1 tbsp sour cream

2 tsbp salsa


Corn Tortillas

Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

For the burgers:

  • Gather all ingredients into a bowl.
  • Using a blender, mix all ingredients until a nice, well blended mixture forms.


  • Pat out burgers to desired size.
  • Heat olive oil in a warm skillet and place burgers into skillet, about three at a time depending on the size of the skillet.
  • Cook burgers on each side for about 3 minutes. (If you try to flip too soon, the burgers will fall apart. If you flip too late, they may be a little charred, but still tasty.)

  • In a separate pan, place a bit of butter (or non stick spray) in a pan and begin to toast the whole wheat tortilla.
  • (optional) As the tortilla is toasting, add a bit of cheese to each side so that it may melt simultaneously with the toasting tortilla.

  • As the burgers finish up, take them out of the pan and place them onto a lined pan to drain (won’t be much draining happening but excess oil will be collected by the lined pan).
  • Then, choose one burger patty and place it onto the toasting tortilla.
  • Add the special sauce and continue toasting to desired color and texture then close the burger!


For the Salsa Sauce:

  • Simply stir salsa into sour cream and there ya go!


For the Chips:

  • Using a pizza cutter, slice approx three corn tortillas at a time into desired chip size.

  • Place cut chips onto a lined baking pan.
  • Drizzle chips with olive oil (as much or as little as desired) and sprinkle with salt.

  • Place chips in a 400 degree oven and bake for 10 minutes or until desired brown, crispy goodness!


The verdict . . .


With a little help from my Pinterest board “Healthy Biology,” maybe I can keep this up.  Check it out:  http://pinterest.com/pamelovely/healthy-biology/

Would love to see what else is out there and for you to share your recipes with me!

Loving Pinterest

Here’s a glance at what I’ve got going on my Pinterest page!

To see more, check me out on Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/pamelovely

Here’s a crockpot cheesecake I pinned to my FoOoOoOd page that I’m going to try soon:

Source: crockpotladies.com via Pamela on Pinterest

Other stuff on my page:

Source: projectwedding.com via Pamela on Pinterest

Source: Uploaded by user via Pamela on Pinterest