review: Leaving Time.

by mindy @ just a one girl revolution. on 01.28.15

in Reviews

I am a long-time fan of Jodi Picoult and was excited to read her latest effort, Leaving TimeHer stories are entertaining, easy reads – perfect for a beach day or curling up on a cold winter afternoon.

book recommendations

For the past decade, Jenna Metcalf wondered what happened to her mother, Alice, who disappeared the night of a tragic accident at the elephant sanctuary the family owned and operated. She researched everything she could find online, read through her mother’s old journals, and continually came up with no answers. As a last resort, she visits the town psychic, Serenity Jones, and enlists the help of Virgil Stanhope, a police officer turned private investigator. Together, the unlikely threesome set out on a journey to learn the whereabouts, for better or worse, of Alice Metcalf.

True to Picoult’s other novels, Leaving Time is full of unexpected twists and turns. Throughout the novel, Picoult does a nice job educating the reader about elephants, their habitats and life in a herd, and the struggles they experience both in the wild and in captivity. I found this component to be one of the most intriguing aspects, to the point that it made me want to learn more, even after finishing the story. While I was skeptical for most of the story about the storyline of the psychic, Serenity is ultimately one of the key characters in solving this mystery. The final plot twist was such that I absolutely did not see it coming; that said, it was also a bit unrealistic for my personal preferences. Fans of Picoult’s previous works will likely enjoy her latest effort, but it will particularly appeal to those with an interest in the supernatural.

3 out of 5 stars.

Book 3 of 52 read in 2015 (see the full list).

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2015 workouts, week 4.

by mindy @ just a one girl revolution. on 01.26.15

in Last Week's Workouts

last week's workoutsAnd, my first official week of training for the Bayshore Marathon is in the books! My body reminded me this week how desperately I need to make foam rolling a regular part of my routine. I refused to have a return case of ITBS again this year – I’ve got too many big goals for that pesky thing to slow me down! I was so consistent with that when I was released from physical therapy, but it has definitely fallen by the wayside! #saynotoITBS

Monday. ran 3.1 miles (10:38 pace). This marked my first time running outdoors in a month! After the Ted Corbitt 15k in mid-December, I didn’t run again in 2014! January started out too cold for what my lungs could handle, since I cap out right around 20 degrees. But, it was a relative heat wave in Michigan, with temperatures in the low-3os by the time I got home from work. Although I wanted nothing more than to curl up for a nap, I got myself out the door because I know I’ll regret the days I don’t get outside when I can! The people in my neighborhood aren’t the greatest at shoveling, so while a lot of snow melted over the weekend, there were points where I was doing some high knees to get through what was there! Let’s chalk it up to cross training, eh? It was a welcomed change of pace from the treadmill and I’m hoping the warmer weather sticks around for a little while.

Tuesday. rest day. I was completely wrecked by the time I got out of work, thanks to a health scare in the family. Emotional stress is exhausting! I went home and took what was supposed to be a 20-minute nap. Over an hour later, I woke up from a dead sleep and knew it wasn’t in the cards. In those moments, I generally turn to the 15-minute rule:  work out for 15 minutes and if I’m still not feeling it at that point, I can call it a day. I knew it was bad when I couldn’t even bribe myself with that. So, I put on my PJs and crawled back into bed.

Wednesday. rest day, part two. For this one, I have no real reason other than FUN! I went out with a big group of coworkers after work for dinner and to a Grand Rapids Griffins game (thanks, Downtown Grand Rapids!). Sometimes, social life > training life.

Thursday. ran 3.1 miles (10:43 pace). ‘Twas a rough one.

Friday. rest day, part three. Because I know myself well enough that I don’t do well on a long run if I work out the day before, even if I’ve already had two rest days this week.

Saturday. ran 6.2 miles (10:37 pace). I had six miles on my training plan, but I added the extra 0.2 to make it a 10k, just because. I was really proud of myself for running the entire time. While I am a big advocate of the run/walk method, I find myself sometimes walking on long runs not because I need to, but because I can. I really want to overcome that mindset during this training cycle because after the first time I walk, it gets easier and easier to fall back on that.

Sunday. hot yoga (75 minutes). It felt glorious to spend some time on my mat after a long run the day before. So freaking glorious.

Bring it on, week 2!

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review: A Constellation of Vital Phenomena


Set in war-torn rural Chechnya, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra, begins with Russian soldiers abducting 8-year-old Havaa’s father in the middle of the night, while she watches from the cover of the woods. Their neighbor, Akhmed, worries they will come back for the girl, so he takes her to safety at a nearby […]

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a game changing snack.


This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. For more Game Changing Snacks, visit Blue Diamond Almonds on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In case you haven’t heard, there’s a big game coming up, one for which you may be invited to a big watch party. Or, for the not so athletically inclined, we’re also smack […]

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2015 workouts, week 3.


After having the flu last week, I knew I needed to be careful this week so that I didn’t overdo it and wind up sick again. Although I still got in workouts every day that I planned, I was cautious with the intensity, especially at the beginning of the week. I did start incorporating some […]

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don’t quit. live as a champion.

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reading list, volume 48.


7 common pitfalls of otherwise healthy people via Well+Good because they hit on a few things that aren’t always included in these kinds of lists. You answer emails during dinner (and at yoga, and in bed…) If you’re super stressed all of the time, your cortisol levels will spike and all kinds of negative effects will […]

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review: Looking for Alaska.


John Green is most well-know for The Fault in Our Stars, but I’ve been wanting to read some of his other novels for awhile and picked up Looking for Alaska during a recent library trip. It is the story of Miles “Pudge” Halter, a new student at Culver Creek Boarding School in Alabama. He is searching for […]

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review: Skoop B-Strong.


Disclaimer:  Skoop provided me free products for this review; as always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Being vegetarian and an athlete, I feel like I have to be particularly cognizant about my protein intake because foods with higher amounts of protein are generally not ones that I crave. While my personal opinion is […]

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2015 workouts, week 2.


Winter returned to Michigan with a serious vengeance this week. In general, I don’t hate winter running; in fact, it makes me feel pretty hardcore to be out there slugging through snow and ice on a cold day. But, it was in the teens generally with a wind chill in the single digits or below […]

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