Book Review: The One Thing – Briana Gaitan

4 out of 5 stars

OMG, I love the Hollywood Timelines Series! I just finished reading The One Thing, which is the second book in the series. This book reflects on Ginger’s life approximately six months after her cousin, Quinn, has moved to LA with her (Read, The Last Thing, to get to know Quinn’s story). While we may not have the fame or fortune that Ginger has there are some aspects of her life that some could find relatable from the heartbreaks, hookups, and new love. From Ginger’s encounters, she must first learn to love herself and learn to take control. This is a lesson that we all can take in as we should all learn to love ourselves and not dive into the darkness that waits when something goes wrong in our lives. We need to learn how to take control of our lives and to always fight for what we want.

It’s hard not to fall in love with these characters and their story without wanting more of them, too. However, I would have liked to have gotten to know Ginger’s life before leaving for LA to pursue her dreams of becoming an actress. I’m ready for Hollywood Timelines Book #3!

This is our second book review of the year and I can’t wait to share other books I’m reading throughout the year. What are you currently reading? Do you have any book recommendations?

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own.

Oatmeal Breakfast Shake

I hear from so many people that they do not like oatmeal. I am one that actually loves it, however, I live with some that do not. I have learned to become creative with it and it has gotten them to actually enjoy oatmeal. One of those ways is to make a shake with it. This is perfect because it is quick and easy to make and you can take it with you on your way to school, work, or the gym.


  • 1/2 nectarine (frozen)
  • 1/2 banana (frozen)
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal (uncooked)
  • 1 scoop whey protein powder

Add all the ingredients to your blender and blend to the desired consistency.

What I really like about this shake is that it is that you can use it with any fruit which is how I keep it from being the same thing every day. I have used strawberries, blueberries, etc. The only ingredients I do not change are the banana, oatmeal, and protein. I use vanilla for the protein powder but you can use whatever flavor you like.

My son always tells me how much he hates oatmeal and he drank this shake for weeks before he saw me make it and realized it had oatmeal in it.
Remember when you are freezing your bananas to make sure they are leopard-spotted and leave the peeling on. I do go ahead and cut them in half before freezing. They are easy to peel right out of the freezer. This is a great thing to do with your bananas to keep from throwing them out because they are bad. I have started cutting up all of our fruit that is not eaten and freezing it for these as well as the other shakes that I will share later!

A Great Way to Sneak Greens Into Your Diet…and Your Family

I love smoothies for breakfast! They offer a great mixture of carbohydrates and protein, without making you feel bloated and weighed down! I also put A LOT of spinach in my smoothies! Spinach is very bland, and when mixed with other flavors, it is virtually tasteless. This is one of the ONLY ways I can get my kids (and husband) to eat raw, leafy greens!

Below is a recipe for my “base,” I sometimes add other fruits such as bananas, blueberries, or mango. In addition, I will sometimes add milled flaxseed and chia seeds for an extra nutrient boost! However, beware of chia seeds they stick to the sides of your blender and sometimes get stuck in your toddler’s sippy cup! I buy almost ALL of the ingredients in bulk from SAM’s Club, and purchase protein powder from Amazon(I vary the type, I just stick with vegan/organic)!


  • Organic/Vegan Chocolate Protein Powder(I also love Sun Warrior protein Powder-but it is a bit more expensive!)
  • Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • Frozen Strawberries
  • Spinach(organic)


chia seeds, flax seeds, kefir, probiotic powder blend, other fruits fresh or frozen

Have a wonderful week!!!

Tips on Better Winter Fitness

With shorter days and colder temperatures, it can be difficult to maintain your fitness during the winter. Holiday feasts don’t help, either. Fortunately, it can still be easy to exercise through winter and achieve a healthy level of winter fitness. You just need to be creative; find a winter sport, act like a kid, change your winter fitness routine, and stay positive.

Winter Fitness Tips

  • Find a new sport. One of the first things that will help you to get better exercise and maintain fitness in the winter will be to realize that your winter exercise will probably be different than your summer exercise. When motivation drops in winter, find an activity that is more about fun than what you might think of as just exercise. For example, snowshoeing can be a real blast, but it also burns a lot of calories and is easy enough the whole family can do it together, making it a perfect winter exercise.
  • Play like a kid. Play with your kids. Either way, you’re sure to have lots of fun and burn some calories at the same time. Hiking up the sledding hill several times is good exercise, and then slide down is fun enough to keep you motivated. Building snowmen might not be the most aerobic activity, but it still keeps you off the couch.
  • Warm-up. Some people really enjoy winter running, but it’s important that you warm up properly if you want to run in the winter. Thoroughly perform your warm-up routine indoors to get your muscles loose and your body temperature up. It’s easy to overdress for winter running or any winter workout, and a longer warm-up inside will let you start with clothing more appropriate for the middle of your run. Winter is also a good time to make your warm-up more of an actual exercise routine, including working muscle groups you might ignore for the sake of specialization.
  • Stay inside. There are a lot of ways to stay fit inside your home. Stair climbers, exercise bikes, and treadmills provide great lower body and cardiovascular workouts. Home gyms let you work your whole body and come in compact designs. Exercise balls let you focus on your core muscles, which can be easy to forget.
  • Stay positive. Don’t feel bad because you aren’t doing as much as you might during the rest of the year. Negative thoughts make it tougher to stay motivated. Consider winter a time to give yourself a rest while still maintaining your fitness levels.