A kinda book/wine party

The Pilot and I have been in an excited frenzy- our family is coming in today from Key West and staying with us for a couple of weeks. We haven’t seen them in so long (my uncle since our wedding, and my aunt and cousin since we took a red eye to orlando 4 years ago, our newest cousin we haven’t even met yet and she’s two!) and we can’t wait to hang out with them. We’ve been getting things around the house fixed/ready, baby-proofed (it was a great kick in the pants to get it done, because little Liv will crawling any day now!), stocked the fridge – it’s going to be so much fun. When we moved into our house, I wanted it to be a family hub so everyone could come over and hang out whenever.

The men

It makes my heart happy that it actually turned out that way <3

I can’t want to see Liv play with her cousins,


 workout with my aunt (she’s a fitness instructor, too) and see my uncle. He tells the best stories and makes amaaaaazing food- I’ll be picking his brain for recipe ideas 😉

Quick dinner:

Shrimp 6

Shrimp with asparagus, mushrooms and onions,

Goddess dressing as the sauce,

served it on top of regular pasta for the Pilot, spiralized zucchini for myself.

Shrimp 7 

Usually before bed, I like to read for about 20 minutes or so, and I finally found a new one to suck me in.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks 938039Source

This is something that I knew absolutely nothing about, because I majored in Finance and stayed far, far away from science courses. I had to take a few basic classes for gen eds, and oceanography was a thousand times harder for me than financial derivatives. Anyway, there is a group of cells that has been used to study various diseases and cancers, the affects of immunizations, and have been an incredible contribution to modern medical advancements: He-La cells. These cells were obtained from a woman’s cervix (her name was Henrietta Lacks) a couple of months before she died from cancer, and have been used without her knowledge or her family’s permission since she’s been dead. Cancer cells continue to grow and reproduce, so her cells continue to be studied and sold for about $25 per vial. The craziest thing about it? She has done so much for the medical community and her children couldn’t afford health insurance. This book is nonfiction, but reads like a novel, and tells Henrietta’s story: her family background and where she came from and how her “immortal” cells have changed medical history. 

I’ve never done a book club or anything like that on the blog, because you can’t have a virtual wine party (the best part of a book club.. or can you?) and I never know when I’ll actually finish a book. Sometimes I’ll quit halfway through (cough, 50 shades, cough)… but if you’d like to read this one along with me, I’m really enjoying it so far 😉

This morning, we’re dropping Bell off at the groomers and then meeting some friends for coffee.

Hope you have a wonderful day! <3



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  1. Tasha on July 17, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    I loved that book! I used to do basic science cancer research, and would split (make multiple plates/grow) HeLa cells all the time. The author actually came to San Diego to give a talk a couple years back, but I couldn’t get tickets. It’s a really cool book for anyone, and an even more awesome book for those of us who have worked with the cells.

  2. Kylee on July 17, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    OMG best book. One of my top favorites. I’m considering reading it again soon because I read it a few years ago so it’s been a while 🙂 It’s awful that her family doesn’t have health insurance while her cells have helped the world so much. Granted, at the time that they were taken, there weren’t really many permissions or explanations required from doctors, they pretty much were allowed to do whatever they wanted. Now things are different so something like this story wouldn’t happen again. But thankfully it did, even though it wasn’t the best for everyone, because it helped billions of people.

    Cancer cells do continue to grow and reproduce but the reason hers were special were because they were the first ones to grow indefinitely in culture. No one had been able to grow human cells in a lab before that without killing them. I am a lab scientist (workin on a PhD) and I can speak from experience that it is hard to make most types of cells (human even down to yeast or ecoli) grow how you want them to in the lab!!! So the fact that these grow so easily still astounds me. You’ll love the book! She’s great at explaining science in a more novel-type manner so anyone can understand it 🙂

    If you enjoy this book, I highly recommend The Emperor of Maladies. It’s a “Biography of cancer”, meaning a history of cancer and research about it etc. It’s also written well and novel-like and it’s sooo enticing. I’m reading it now (it’s super long) and I LOOVE it so far.

  3. Vicky on July 18, 2012 at 1:06 am

    where did you get that table (?) with Olivia’s name in it as a puzzle?

    • Fitnessista on July 18, 2012 at 1:51 am

      it was a gift- she LOVES it

  4. Bek @ Crave on July 18, 2012 at 1:29 am

    mmm zucchini spirals! I really must get a spiraller thingy!

  5. Melissa (Better Fit) on July 18, 2012 at 3:17 am

    Sounds like a really interesting book! Have fun with your family! That’s fun that your aunt is a fitness instructor- you must enjoy talking “shop” and getting new ideas from each other.

  6. Jam on July 18, 2012 at 9:10 am

    i love this book! I give it as a gift all the time, hope you finish it, its worth it!

  7. Valerie @ FreshMutz on July 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    One more piece of advice from the tree— The strongest bend a little.

  8. Christina Marie on July 18, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Great Book! I knocked it out on an airplane for a work trip (both ways) and after wanted everyoneiknow to read it. Enjoy!

  9. Stephanie on July 18, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Clearly we just shop at the same stores (or people that buy for us do) because I continue to see SO many outifts my Samantha has on Olivia. And in another post I saw the same rattle. I guess when you shop at the same stores and have babies the same month that is bound to happen! 🙂 Oh, and Im not sure about your nieces, but ours absolutely love our little girl. Full on fights over who gets to hold/stroll/feed her. And the nephews too. It is so cute. 🙂

  10. Andy on July 19, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    I just have to say that Liv is an absolute stunner! What a beautiful baby 🙂

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