The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race $75 Amazon Giveaway with Mike Mizrahi

Take a ride through 1895 Chattanooga as it’s turned upside down when a young woman has the audacity to ride a bicycle-in bloomers-in Mike H. Mizrahi’s new book, The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race! Anna Gaines, 19, struggles to conquer her insecurities after a horrible fall years ago from her beloved horse, Longstreet. On a visit to Brooklyn, she’s drawn to the new pastime of bicycling. But back at home, cycling is a scandalous sport for a proper lady. Anna has her eye on Peter Sawyer, president of the Cycling Club. As community outrage grows, an unexpected turn of events pits Anna against Peter in a race between the sexes.

This book receives a 2/5 from me. I liked the idea of the book, especially now with all that is going on with women’s rights. I thought it would be interesting to read about a woman’s right to do something so trivial in today’s time like riding a bike.

I liked bits and pieces of the book. Honestly, it was a bit chaotic for me. There were a lot of side stories going on that made it seem very disjointed. While they may have added a little bit, in my opinion there was not a very good flow from one story to the next. At times it was hard to follow along with which story line was the focus at the time. Because there were so many story lines to keep up with, I don’t feel that there was very much depth to the characters even though I think that is what the author was going for.

What I did find interesting were Anna’s inner thoughts. She wrestled with the unwanted responsibilities that come with being a leader. There was one chapter where she talked about how she had become a role model to younger girls and how she was scared about the weight of that role. I think any leader has these moments where we have to think about how each thing we do has meaning to those around us. And that sometimes doing the right thing for the greater good will come with some harsh comments from naysayers. Change can be hard.

It was also interesting to think that there was a time that women had to fight to ride a bike or to wear pants in public. We have come a long way, but it also made me think, what is it of our time that our kids will look back and say how ridiculous it is that we had to fight for that equality. This book mentioned several times about equal pay and hiring standards, and it makes me sad that we are still fighting that fight today. I hope that things will be better for my daughter so she doesn’t have to endure things like this.

There is a giveaway to celebrate the release of Mike’s new book. You can enter to win this $75 Amazon gift card giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race
  • A $75 Amazon gift card

Enter today by clicking the banner below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on June 14. The winner will be announced June 15 on Mike’s blog.

Bachelorette Rachel Week 3

And we finish out the “To Be Continued.”

Here are my thoughts for this week:

  • Demario is a cocky piece. “When I met you, my entire life changed.” Of course it did, you are on national television.
  • Rachel is giving it to him. She is not having any of his crap. She is looking for a man not a boy. Boom. I love her. Your time is not now Demario.
  • “He had nothing new to contribute besides begging.” Pretty much.
  • I hope the men take her seriously from now on. I love that she was strong about her convictions and didn’t let him sweet talk her.
  • So how did the Tickle Monster get those hands there? Don’t they only get one suitcase?
  • Lucas and Blake. They both need to go. I can’t do this bro drama.
  • Blake doesn’t eat carbs?
  • You both (Blake and Lucas) are trying to make each other look bad. You are both bitter and being crazy.
  • Tom called Lucas a scum bag.
  • Fred gets another week! Maybe she will get over the past behavior.
  • I bet Lucas goes to Paradise….gross. Speaking of…this cast list dropped this week.
  • Blake, buddy, you put yourself in the same category of that drama. Plus you can’t put yourself in the nice gentleman category when your first interview was about your sexual prowess.
  • I wish y’all could hear Tom’s reaction to this fight…I’m dying.
  • This started with straight shit talking then went to two grown men mocking each other with fart noises.
  • I think the Bachelorette seasons have more drama than the Bachelor seasons. Men try to act like they aren’t dramatic but they are just so silly.
  • YES TO ELLEN! I already saw the episode, but this is cool to see the backstory.
  • I don’t like that he called Rachel “sloppy seconds.” I hope she says something about that.
  • Alex is going at it with this dancing.
  • This is probably the one segment (strip dancing) of the Ellen show that I don’t like. I think it is a double standard of exploitation. No one would think this was ok if women were half naked strip dancing…
  • Never Have I Ever though…great game.
  • This has got to be weird to have them all talk about how many guys have kissed her.
  • Why is it awkward that Fred asked you to kiss him? People should get consent.
  • She is sending Fred home…She can’t get past him being a school kids.
  • Fred is going to be broken. You can just see it in his eyes that he is devastated.
  • Why did she take the rose with her to break up with Fred? That is like taunting him.
  • They are taking their horses into the stores? Is that real?
  • A CUPCAKE ATM???? WHY AREN’T THESE IN MISSOURI???
  • Why do they have to blur out the horse poop?
  • Anthony seems sweet and old school classy.
  • Tom thinks that Eric is stoned when he goes off on Iggy.
  • These men on this second group date…there are some I don’t feel like I have seen before.
  • This date in the party bus feels like a bachelorette party with all these women back.
  • Mud wrestling? Sometimes these shows are so sexist…
  • Well Rachel wanted to see all of them without their shirts on.
  • Kenny didn’t go easy on any of these people. He threw those men around. I thought he was going to break Lee. But seriously, Bryce won?
  • Wow Kenny used to be a Chippendale?
  • Rachel is not subtle at all. She tells everyone everything. Eric is going to blow his lid.
  • This conversation between Lee and Eric is interesting. Lee seems to be just saying whatever to be friends.
  • Everyone is coming at Eric.
  • I love Rachel’s formal coat. It is gorgeous. Her stylist really outdid themselves!
  • Man Rachel is not going to cut corners. I love how she is so blunt and forward.
  • Ugh I hate that they don’t do the rose ceremony at the end. I know we are continuing into next week, but at least give me some closure for this week.

My favorites:  Will and Dean.

And because I love the interviews I find on the Bachelor gossip, I wanted to share with you a couple.

 

 

 

Bachelorette Rachel Week 2

Now we are on to the real dates. Here are my thoughts for this week.

  • Oh I love Ashton and Mila are helping and are huge fans of the show. That’s awesome that they called the producers to be involved.
  • I would not let any of these men near my baby with how they are handling these fake babies.
  • Lucas is drowning his baby. How does that not disqualify him?
  • Ashton’s reaction to the Waboom was priceless.
  • So Blake now knows Lucas from before? I feel like he cannot focus on anything but Lucas.
  • I feel bad for Fred. She is just always going to come back to the camp thing.
  • Rachel just looks bored on this group date.
  • Lucas just sounds like he is drunk all the time. He slurs his speech, and he is just acting silly the whole time.
  • Dean. Oh Dean. Hubba hubba.
  • Kenny’s reaction to Lucas and Blake going at it-bahahaha. These men are definitely being ridiculous.
  • That kiss with Dean was so sweet. She looks so giddy.
  • I love that she brought her dog, Copper. That is definitely important to see if the dog likes the partner and vice versa.
  • This Barkfest looks like so much fun. This is a great date idea, like something that couples would actually do in real life. We could never bring our dogs to that though.
  • I love that Peter’s dad started watching the show to get to know Rachel.
  • I also love that Peter and Rachel are talking about therapy. Normalize counseling!
  • Peter and Rachel are so cute together. He seems super calm and would be a good balance for her.
  • I would forget about Rachel when Kareem walked out.
  • This basketball date is my kind of date!
  • Yes Demario is cocky.
  • It’s always funny to watch how men react on these sports dates. It’s like they have to prove their manhood more on these type of dates.
  • Oh this is the girlfriend off the show episode.
  • Demario is going to act like he doesn’t know Lexi…of course. Playah.
  • I think both Demario and Lexi are lying a little bit. Neither of them are making sense.
  • Keep it real Rachel. Get him out. You don’t need a man like that anyway.
  • Rachel is killing it in these dresses. She is looking so classy with these faux fur jackets.
  • Man Demario is ballsy for coming back.
  • Ugh I hate the “to be continued.”

My favorites:  Will, Josiah, Peter, and Dean.

Second Time Around

Much like this pregnancy, bringing Daphne home has been a much different experience than bringing George home.

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I think the biggest difference was all the unknown the first time around:

  • unknown job situation
  • unknown of how to handle a newborn
  • unknown of how long we would be in KY/TN

I remember being so anxious about our future and trying to keep this little person alive. It was hard to really enjoy those newborn stages.

I think we knew that having a newborn was going to be hard, but I don’t think we were at all prepared for the effects of being in the NICU, difficulties of breastfeeding, and general tiredness.

Tom also barely got any time off with George, especially since 2/3 of his time he did get from the Army we were still at the hospital with the NICU. This time he is off for 4 weeks right now, and will be taking another week or two when I head back to work in August. Having both of us here has been so nice.

This time we went in expecting the awful nights and set our expectations really low. I have been pleasantly surprised with the amount of sleep we are working with.

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Breastfeeding has been tons better this time around. I attribute this mostly to the fact that we were combating a 10 day stay in the NICU with George where he learned how to feed with bottles and syringes. Daphne’s first time eating was through breastfeeding, so I think it has just been much more natural. Granted it has only been twoish weeks, so I know we still have many more milestones to get through. I just hope it continues to go well. All I know is that I have not been breaking down crying in her room in the middle of the night like I did with George, so that is a plus.

Another big difference is that we are not as paranoid. I remember not wanting to leave the house with George. Our trips were very minimal with him in the car, and I just couldn’t deal with the logistics of breastfeeding. This time around, we have been out every other day as a family of four. I have a much better nursing cover that makes things much easier and gives me the modesty I want to be out while feeding her. Plus as I said, she is taking to it a lot better than George. I also think we realize that it is much easier to take a new baby out for errands and eating out than it is to take a toddler.

I also don’t feel like I have to have my eyes on her 24/7. With George, I would not take a shower without Tom being home because I was afraid he would die while I was getting clean. With Daphne, I am in other rooms all the time whether it is to finish cleaning or organizing the new bedrooms or playing with her big brother. I feel fine leaving her to nap in her rock and play without watching her breathe every second. We thank the NICU for making us even more paranoid as first tie parents. This time we are a little more confident that we won’t kill the kid if we look away for a second.

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It sounds like it has been all roses with Miss DC in comparison to Mr. Man. I will admit in a lot of ways it has been a lot easier. We are in a better place in life mentally, emotionally, and fiscally. That has a tremendous affect on how you approach being a parent.

However, having a toddler does make things more interesting. I can’t just sit around and hold Daphne all day which is pretty much what I did with George for the first couple months. My attention has to be split between two kids (and a husband and two dogs), which can be a little tricky. We have tried to keep George on as much of his normal schedule as possible. That can be hard when Daphne decides to eat right now and then George decides as soon as she is latched that is when he has to go potty. And he needs an audience to actually go…So making adjustments and forcing a toddler to change is never a piece of cake.

It has also been something trying to navigate the end of our renovation project with a newborn. Granted we moved when George was 2 months old, but having strangers in your house while you are newly home from the hospital and breastfeeding has been a little stressful this go around. Let alone I am still on a weight restriction so I can’t really help move anything into the new rooms.

There are good and bad moments with every transition I guess. However, I am trying to be positive this time around and try to enjoy these newborn moments as much as I can. Also this is a rare opportunity that I get to be home with my family over the summer months, so we are going to make the most of it. Our family is complete, and really what could be better than that?

Bachelorette Rachel Week 1

Yay my trash TV is back! Who is excited about Rachel being the one? Me.

It will be interesting to see how this season pans out since she has been put on this perfect pedestal.

I know tonight is the second week’s episode, but here are my thoughts on the first week.

  • Haha I love that she referenced “Clueless.”
  • I just spit out my drink when the granny said don’t sleep with any of them. Good advice!
  • I can’t wait to see the wardrobe they put her in. She is gorgeous!
  • I like Alex. Watching him with his mom during his bio was adorable.
  • They really upped their game in casting. They seem to all have real jobs.
  • Never mind…Waboom guy? Aspiring drummer?
  • Blake E is just going to talk about his penis. Awesome.
  • Diggy has 500 pairs of sneakers? Daphne can compete with that with the amount of moccassins I sorted yesterday…Also his dog is ADORABLE!
  • Josiah’s story…I’m weeping. I hope that he is the real deal.
  • Hmmm. It is interesting the women she had come back to give her a pep talk.
  • They gave her some really good advice.
  • I love Josiah’s suit. Snazzy!
  • There seems to be quite a few lawyers.
  • Demario is super confident…not sure how I feel about it.
  • Yes a marching band! Ohhh it’s the penis dude.
  • Fred is from her past. “He was a very bad kid!” That is crazy he had the yearbook.
  • Tickle Monster? Ok I guess they had to have some wild cards for the job titles.
  • What is with the Adam Jr. doll? So creepy.
  • So Rachel was Fred’s camp counselor. That does have to be hard to get past that experience of disciplining him.
  • Wow Bryan went in for the kill on the kiss!
  • Why did you get a $2000 suit for this? That is a lot of money?
  • These men are so hovering…
  • Blake is already challenging other men. I mean I would question Waboom guy too.
  • Oh I had high hopes for Mohit, but he got silly drunk.
  • I don’t trust Demario.
  • Really? You picked Lucas? I would like to hear the justification on that one.

My favorites:  Josiah, Alex and Bryan