I had the good fortune to read this title in advance, thanks to the Kindle First program.
A Beautiful Work In Progress: A Memoir, Kindle Edition, by Mirna Valerio is one of the most inspirational personal accounts I have ever read. It does not hurt that the book details the life of a plus-size athlete. I am a plus-sized, non-athlete, but inspiration can go a long way into shifting thoughts which become actions, so I am willing myself to put these good intentions into practice and get myself started toward better health. Her advice goes so far as to think of oneself as an athlete whether or not any external validation of that is present. Good advice, I think how shortly ago I finally decided to think of myself as a writer– if only because “I write.”
Like the author, Mirna Valerio, I have replaced the goal of becoming “skinny” (whatever that is) with becoming fit and healthy. I think that is more a desirable and realistic plan. Will I be running marathons– most certainly not, I know– no matter how impressive that would be.
She makes it unmistakably clear within the pages of the book and in the speech she gave in September of 2016 (reprinted in the appendix) that we have our preferences. We are not cookie-cutter people in shape, size, nor about personal tastes. My preferred physical activities center around basketball, dance and swimming. I have tried to keep dancing, but the instances of basketball and swimming have indeed become fewer and farther-between. These favorite activities are ones I wish to resurrect in earnest.
Her accounts of some of her marathons were quite harrowing. She is unquestionably a dedicated, determined, and exemplary athlete. In my opinion, the author is a role model and heroine, though she writes her story as though she is neither. Her prose is approachable, readable, and relatable. Reading her account is almost like hearing it from her lips, as her style is easygoing, matter-of-fact, and unassuming. I have gotten to know her more than most other authors, I believe.
The accounts of her many races and her training measures are here, but there is much more in this book. Mirna Valerio is a multi-faceted person. Her intellect shines through as clearly as her athleticism and prowess in her marathon runs. She is a voracious reader, she has taught music and Spanish and traveled a good deal. It is all pretty fascinating.
I am usually one to think “I am not worthy!” when reading such an account of an accomplished person, but I know that she would not want that so I will put that energy instead into making my story come true. After all, this is not the end. I am chronologically further into my story than Mirna Valerio, but this last act could prove greater than the others if I put my all into it and “do not leave anything on the trail” so to speak.
So here am I, despite appearances, a burgeoning athlete. Thank you, Mirna Valerio. I have subscribed to your Facebook and Twitter because I see that your posts are as inspirational as this book, and I will need the encouragement. In return, consider me another “work in progress” and one of your many “enablers.” 🙂
If you are interested in this lively account of a marathoner, then here is the Amazon product page link to A Beautiful Work In Progress: A Memoir.
This RFID Blocking Genuine Leather Women’s Wallet is cute and practical. It is seemingly ageless, as nearly everyone can use it. My young adult daughter loves it, I use it, and I am past middle age, and I can imagine seniors proudly toting it about town. Seriously, this style it has is both timeless and classical. I get an Audrey Hepburn vibe from it myself. The colors are gorgeous! It comes in black, purple and red. I bought the red, and it is beautiful.
I appreciate the roominess of this product. It holds my photo ID and other vital cards, such as my bank, credit/ debit, punch, savings and store cards. It can hold bills and change (zippered change purse). Two large zippered compartments hold at least nine single cards; then four large compartments contain cash or other items, including other cards if need be. The zippers are modern, yet retro at the same time. The wallet is custom-made; impeccably designed and stitched.
In the irony department, as I was putting together this review, I became aware of fraud against my account via a pop-up notification. Do not be deluded into thinking it could never happen to you, as it strikes people of all walks of life. It has happened to my family several times. This latest incident occurred across the country. At least I know it was not the result of the theft of my card, nor of it being scanned by thieves. After all, I have used RFID protective sleeves and wallets for many years. I have gifted them to some loved ones, too, so maybe they would not fall victim to predatory acts. Too bad a charming wallet cannot protect online identity, too.
Your RFID Women’s Wallet comes with a guarantee of full refund or replacement should you be dissatisfied.
The Amazon product page is here should you wish to learn more or order one for yourself or a loved one.
Here is my original Amazon review. I hope you like it! 🙂
This Notting Portable Handheld Fabric Steamer is a handy little tool to keep your clothing looking top notch. It is so compact at 8.25″ tall that it is perfect for travel as well as home use. It is light weight at just over one pound, too. The 140ml tank seems deceptively small, but you can go for a while before it runs out.
Who has time for ironing? Anyone. It takes only a minute to heat the water to boiling. Steaming your garments could not be easier. Fill the reservoir, plug the unit in, turn the switch on, wait about 60 seconds, then attack those wrinkles.
I have used mine mainly for my curtains and draperies and even my shower curtain. It is so much easier to do while they are hanging. It not only removes unsightly wrinkles, but it neutralizes odors and refreshes the fabric. I have used it on my daughter’s scrubs for work, as well.
The power is automatically shut off when the water level is low for safety. There is a 30-day money back guarantee as well as a 24-month warranty, so there is no risk.
If you are interested in checking out this little gem for yourself, here is the Amazon product page.
The Natural Feelings Choker Set option I chose has six necklaces in all. They arrive each in a protective plastic bag. The set includes a black velvet pouch to store them.
These fashion accessories are all the rage now. I bought this set as a gift for my younger daughter. She looks lovely on her. There are some gothic and some tattoo lace ones in the collection. She has a weekly event she attends that is the perfect venue to wear the necklaces. She is excited to show them off.
The material here is either felted lace or leather, which is excellent. There is no cheap plastic as some other chains use. There is no scratchiness or discomfort. The clasps are either on the left or the right, which takes a little getting used to, but is no real problem.
My daughter’s neck is fairly average [about 14″], but she is using a bit of the extender to fit them correctly. I recommend double-checking for neck size if that is any concern.
The Natural Feelings Choker Set  offers a 90-day money back or product exchange warranty, so there is no risk.
If you would like to see the different collections the Amazon product page is here.
Should you want to see my original review, it is located here.
What are your favorite accessories? 🙂
~ Comfortable, stylish fun! ~
These socks are incredibly adorable! I bought them for my daughter who is a Studio Ghibli fan. The character is Totoro from “My Neighbor Totoro” fame [US movie title].
This set of three pairs of socks has blue, gray, and pink colors included.
She and I wear the same size, so I tried them out, too. The pairs are quality-made, though thin socks. These are perfect for warmer weather. I think the area of the ears at the top of the sock is excellent. The tops are not at all binding on the calf, which is a great relief to me. I have diabetes and the problems associated with it.
My daughter likes that they are fan-related and that they show her style and personality. That is a win in my book.
A tip from the company states that the socks should be washed inside out in cold water for the best results, so I have done that hoping that the socks will last a good long while. So far I have no complaints about durability. There has been no degradation that I have noticed with these from regular wear, washing, and drying.
If you would like a pair of these cute character socks, here is the product page on Amazon.
Here is the link to my Amazon Review.
Do you like Studio Ghibli? Have you seen “My Neighbor Totoro”?