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Random Rundown: star ratings, bagel pizzas, winter weather, and a fitness focus

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Well, I saved up enough little random tidbits to compile one strange and all-over-the-place post here. Let’s get started, shall we?

I’m starry-eyed. You may notice something a little more glamorous around here! Specifically, a lot more stars. I’ve added a star rating system to the book reviews I have already posted and will include it in future book reviews too. It goes a little somethin’ like this:

1 star rating.png


2 star rating.png

3 star rating.png

4 star rating.png

5 star rating.png

A disclaimer might be in order. To be fair, when I review a book and assign it a rating I consider many things. A few of them include: Did the book do what it set out to do? Compared with books I have read in a similar genre and style, where did this book fall? Did I enjoy the story? Did the book feel true and authentic? Was the writing technically done well? Did the author find their voice?

It is always hard to judge a book, even when you’re not doing it by it’s cover. Books are beautiful things, and are the result of amazing gifts and hard work by the authors who create them. I never mean a rating to be a judgement on the value of that author’s body of work. It is my personal opinion which I formed with my own unique tastes, perspective, and background as a reader.

Sometimes, it feels a little strange to consider a silly little work by a humorist a 4 star, while an epic tome feels like a clear 3 star. If they had very different answers to the above questions, it happens.

What does a bagel do when it’s locked out of the house? 

Calls a loxsmith, of course! Okay, that was terrible. I apologize. I don’t even know where I heard that one. I’m ashamed.

This recipe for Bagel Pizzas barely counts as a recipe. It is really a way of putting a few things together, to make something the kids will eat. However, the kids have been really into these lately and they are so easy I had to share. They are so simple in fact, a 3 or 6 year-old can even put them together themselves. I have personally witnessed this.

Bagel Pizzas Compiled Bigger.jpg

It really doesn’t require much guidance. You split a bagel in half, toast it in the toaster (it will keep it from getting soggy), spread sauce on each half, sprinkle cheese on each half, and broil it on low for 3.5 minutes. I used a red sauce (Ragu, specifically) and Monterey Jack cheese.

Bagel Pizzas 4

I cut each half into four pieces, and serve it with some fruit. It may not be the absolute healthiest option, but if you used a whole-wheat bagel and low-fat cheese it would kick it more into that neighborhood.

I’ll be honest – I actually cut my kids grapes up still before they eat them sometimes. I know they are old enough to handle a grape, but any sort of choking hazard totally freaks me out.
Haven Winter Walk

Enjoying a winter weather walk. There isn’t much snow on the ground in Bloomington now, but there was not long ago. About two weeks ago, Haven and I went on a walk around the neighborhood and she insisted on taking her new little pink purse with her. Grandma June bought it for her at a Goodwill Store back in December, when Haven spotted it and was smitten. I don’t know why I love this picture so much, but I do. She is so funny with her little handbag out on a stroll.

And in other news…

Our department has a fitness challenge going on, so I am hoping to have much more of a focus on health & wellness this  month. I’m upping my workouts from 3 per week to 4 (well… hopefully) and switching out several of my go-to meals and snacks for healthier ones. This also means I am keeping a food journal again. If you’ve never kept a food journal, I strongly recommend it! Even if you’re not trying to loose weight. Maybe announcing here that I’m keeping one will hold me accountable and I won’t slack off.

Over the next few weeks, I may post a few of my favorite healthy meal options… and my embarrassing and borderline inappropriate exercise playlist. Gotta have my music while burning up some calories. For some reason, I am consistently drawn to the explicit lyric versions.

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.

Author: Dani @ Painting Sunny

Hi there! I'm Dani, and it's lovely to meet you. My little family just moved to the quaint little college-town of Ithaca, NY and are loving it. Come hang out with me and talk about food, books, art, and other odd little things.

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