Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dolphins encounter

The same day we went Sea World San Antonio to ride roller coasters we also met some dolphins from the park! 

My friend Lily and I bought tickets a few weeks ahead of time for $75 for a Dolphin Discovery Tour.  There were about 8 of us in our group and we went behind the scenes.  Honestly I was a little disappointed in what we got for our $75.  We were under the impression that you get to go in the water (they suggested a bathing suit when I called for the reservation), but we didn't even get to stick our feet in the water. Hmm. Must ask more questions when requesting info. :/  There are actually two options at Sea World San Antonio for dolphin experiences, this option was the Discovery Tour but there is also an Encounter Tour that is a bit cheaper.  We choose the Discovery Tour because it was less people in the group and you get more one on one interaction with the dolphins. (edit:  There doesn't seem to be another option for the Encounter Tour anymore, I guess they discontinued it.  Check with Sea World to be sure though)

My 30 under 30 item said to Swim with Dolphins, but there is no place in Texas where you can actually swim with the dolphins and honestly I think I would have been freaked out if I was asked to hold on to a fin and let them pull me out to sea.  I compromised with Sea World!  I will say it was really fun and exciting, I just wish I could have gotten in the water with them.

They took us behind the scenes and we passed different pumps and wildlife areas.  We learned a few facts that were neat.  For instance, did you know that all the water in the park has been there since it opened?  All water is recycled, even the condensation from the pumps goes into a drain and is recycled.  Pretty neat!

They had us sit under a canopy and two trainers came to speak with us about the dolphins.  In the picture below you can see the area where the dolphins that aren't currently in the actual park are held (they are rotated every so often).  There are several different pools for the dolphins to swim.  Depending on the sex of the animal and how aggressive they are to the other animals depends on which pool they are in and how many are in the pool.

This is what they use to transport dolphins into different parts of the park.

They showed us a few different pools and told us about the animals.  One pool held several dolphins and they just loved the attention!  Dolphins are adorable.

Then we got to pose with a dolphin so we could take home a free dolphin picture souvenir.  As another souvenir you got a tote bag and a waterbottle.  I kept the tote bag, but gave the water bottle away since I have so many at home.  I gave it to my friend Brandi that we saw there.

Then they let each of us do different tricks with the dolphins.  They would catch balls for us, twirl, wave, do flips, let us pet them, show us how they took medicine and got examined by the doctor, and lots more.

Then as we were saying goodbye they decided to splash us !  They told us beforehand that we might get wet and had the option to move.

I had a fantastic time and fell in love with dolphins.  They have now become my 3 favorite animal behind flamingos and penguins.  I highly recommend seeing the behind the scenes tour.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Rockin' out the 80's

So I forgot to upload pics from my 30th birthday party...oops!  Bad blogger.  To see the complete set of pics you can go here, but these are a few of my favs!  I had tons of fun and thank you to everyone who came out for my birthday!  We had fajitas and margaritas also, and they were yummy!

Cupcakes!  I bought these cupcakes from Sam's-neon colors of course and then added the toothpicks.  To make them I downloaded pics of my favorite 80's items and attached them to a toothpick with a hot glue gun.

Cake!  My sister has used this cake company for a while now and she is wonderful at making cakes.  This is her FB page.  She is also the woman who made Cole's Uno Birthday Cake.  Isn't my cake adorable?   I wanted a cake that was full of my favorite things from when I was a kid, smurfs, cabbage patch kids, goonies, NYKOB, tie dye, school house rock. Adorable!


My outfit:  I originally purchased a pink sequined dress, but it got messed up at the tailor so I had to find a quick replacement.  Enter Target (shirt) and a Halloween store (pants).  You really can't tell, but my hair is crimped.  I bought the bow at Target also, and Mandy's daughter Brooklyn loved it so I gave it to her before she left (when am I ever going to wear it again?!).
I wanted the decorations to be things from my childhood so we went to the party store and bought 6 different table clothes and table toppers.  You probably can't tell from this pics but Sesame Street, Strawberry Shortcake, Barbie, Mario Brothers, the Tie Die and Pac Man table clothes aren't shown.

Friends!  More friends at my Smugmug page.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Duracell Olympic support

As I was watching videos about the Olympics, I came across this one about Summer Sanders and Duracell.

Duracell created a FB page where you can send a message to the Team USA at the London Olympics, and you know of course Jabba and I had to participate (I posted the pic of him with the USA headband-haha, he hates dressing up, look at his face in the pic!).  We sent a message of support to all the Olympians saying how amazing and inspiring they are. I am always inspired by the athletes after the Olympics, or a defining moment of the games to get out there and do some calorie reducing sweat sessions.  

What a fun activity to do with your kids, animals, or even by yourself.  I also think you can also win gift cards or a trip somewhere if you submit a video.  I saw something about the contest, but I just wanted to send a message so I didn't really look at it (but it would be cool to win :) ).  Go spread your encouragement for your athletes today!

Go here for their FB page, and here for their Twitter page to participate.

(BTW, I have no affiliation with Duracell, I just heard about the messages and thought it would be a cool thing for everyone at home in the USA to do)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

My Next 30 Years

It's been almost 2 months since I celebrated my 30th birthday in May.  I completed 29 out of 30 items on my 30 under 30 list, and also have created a bucket list.  I was driving home from dinner tonight and heard the lyrics to Tim McGraw's My Next 30 Years.  This song is old and I have heard it a gazillion times, but today I listened to the lyrics all the way. 

Here are the lyrics, but with a few changes (in red). 

Tim Mcgraw My Next Thirty Years Lyrics

Songwriters: VASSAR, PHIL
I think I'll take a moment, celebrate my age
The ending of an era and the turning of a page
Now it's time to focus in on where I go from here
Lord have mercy on my next thirty years

Hey my next thirty years I'm gonna have some fun
Try to forget about all the crazy things I've done
Maybe now I've conquered all my adolescent fears
And I'll do it better in my next thirty years

My next thirty years I'm gonna settle all the scores
Cry a little less, laugh a little more
Find a world of happiness without the hate and fear
Figure out just what I'm doing here
In my next thirty years

Oh my next thirty years, I'm gonna watch my weight
Eat a few more salads and not stay up so late
Drink a little lemonade and not so many beers margaritas
Maybe I'll remember my next thirty years

My next thirty years will be the best years of my life
Raise a little family and hang out with my wife husband
Spend precious moments with the ones that I hold dear
Make up for lost time here, in my next thirty years
In my next thirty years

In my next 30 years I want to travel more, forgive more, love more, find something I am passionate about, add and complete items to my bucket list, and much, much more.  What about you?

Friday, July 27, 2012


The Olympics are here, the Olympics are here!!!  I love the Olympics if you can't tell, and I look forward to them for four years.  I do believe that this is the last time we will see that hottie named Michael Phelps grace our televisions half naked in a speedo. Sigh.

Personally, I love watching the swimming and gymnastics, but this year I am excited to watch the triathlons! I of course am competing in one August 5th so I need some inspiration.
Can you tell who Jabba is rooting for?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Houston Marathon Training-Week 1 and 2

For my Houston Marathon training I will be joining with the Gotta Run Katy program through January.  The program is based on the Brooks Hansen Method which maxes out your running program at 16 miles but is based on fatigue.  At the height of the program we will be running 6-8 miles on Friday, up to 16 miles on Saturday, and 11 or 12 on Sunday.  Our coach, Alain wants us to be prepared for the last 16 miles of the race, so he is going make us fatigued by running so many miles within a 3 day period.  On Tuesdays and Wednesdays we will be doing strength training and track workouts plus he will bring in different experts and vendors to speak with us.
At first I was hesitant to participate in a program that maxes out the running at 16 miles (what about the next 10!) but Coach Alain (plus I Googled the Brooks Hansen Method) relieved me of my fears.  I will try and update everyone on my weekly progress as I get closer to the big day!
Weekly Breakdown (Week 1):
Saturday: I started with the program on Saturday (I joined late, some members had been doing the program for about two weeks) and Coach Alain had us run 35 minutes one way, and 35 minutes back.  I didn’t have a watch so I tried keeping up with some other members in front of me.  I covered about 5 miles in the 70 minutes we had to run.  I know that isn’t much, but for me that is a lot seeing as I haven’t run hardly at all in the past 7 months since my half marathon.  Afterwards we stretched and we had a vendor from Luke’s Locker (also a Gotta Run member) who was the manager of the shoe department speak with us about the importance of good running shoes and also the different types of shoes out there.
Weekly breakdown (Week 2):
Sunday-Met up with Gotta Run Katy at 5:45 am (but I got there late-6 am) for an early morning workout.  We were supposed to run until we got to the dam, but my friend Aly walked with another member for a total of 4 miles.  I went home and fell right to sleep, I was exhausted from the mileage the day before and staying up later than usual.  I need to get to sleep earlier when I have to be there so early.
Monday-Lunchtime workout of Strong Body Ageless Body (45 min) using 3 lb weights (need to increase the weights!)
Tuesday-off.  I switched Monday and Tuesday because I had to meet with a potential pet sitter for Jabba when I go to Honduras (and misc times throughout the year) in September.
Wednesday-Since I am still sort of training for my first triathlon I took out my bike yesterday for a short time (very short, I borrowed a fancy bike from my friend and took it out for a test run), then I ran 3 miles, then I went home and did the arms/legs portion of the Strong Body, Ageless Body DVD.  Tired!
Thursday-Rest day!!!
Friday-Restday L I was supposed to run 6 miles, but that didn’t happen since I had a last minute errand to run that took awhile. Next week I will be better about getting ALL of my workout/runs in.
Saturday-8 miles!  Coach Alain said to run 45 minutes, which should be about 8 miles.  At 45 minutes I was only estimated to complete 6 miles so instead of quitting and saying that it was ok only to do 6 miles and cop out, I completed the 8 that he said to do.  I was the last person to finish, and the group had already done the stretching portion so I stretched on my own.  Afterwards I went to Starbucks for breakfast (Iced latte and a bagel with cream cheese) and to change out of my sweaty clothes so I would be comfortable to drive to Madisonville.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Strong Body, Ageless Body DVD Review

45 minutes total or you can just do specific parts of the DVD

Equipment needed:
Set of hand weights (any weight-I started with 3 lbs, but should have moved up to at least 5.  Erin uses 9 lb weights)
Yoga mat or towel (if you are on carpet you don’t need one)
Water (not really equipment but she does allow a water break)

I really like this workout DVD!  It is hard enough that you ‘feel the burn’ but not too difficult to where you feel like you are going to pass out and it is only 45 minutes long so you really feel like you have been working.  The DVD has lots of different moves where you work your entire body, not just one portion; however it does not have any cardio (other than doing the moves quickly).  The studio where she does the routine seems to be at a house so it’s not a ‘typical’ workout set (which I liked!) and the music didn’t seem as loud as some DVD’s out there. I also liked that the DVD showcased only her and not two or three other super muscular, “I hate any food but protein and despise cupcakes” kinds of people.  The DVD was just her in her home (I’m assuming it’s her home) and you, making it feel like a one-on-one personal training session.  The menu on the DVD has an option where you can go through the entire routine, or just do one section and stop.  This way you don't have to fast forward to get to what you want.

The instructor:
I hadn’t heard of Erin O’Brien before I purchased the DVD, but she was great.  She is great at explaining the moves and lets you know what is good or bad form so you can be sure not to hurt yourself.  Sometimes I had to laugh at her facial expressions when she says ‘you can do it’ with the utmost sincerity.  She is quick to move, has lots of energy, and is overall adorable!  She promises not to say awesome again at one point in the DVD, but then says it again later-I actually would have never noticed her saying it until she pointed it out.  I think it’s nice that she made a point not to be that annoying trainer in her workout DVD.  She has an Earthy but not hippie vibe to her, and she seems to really care about you and women everywhere, encouraging them to ‘be strong’.
Daily Review:
Day 1-(Wednesday) I didn’t realize until halfway through that the exercises on the top right of the screen were harder than the ones she was doing (side note-on Day 4 I noticed the box has ‘harder version’ written underneath it. Haha!).  Usually the trainer does the harder exercises the entire time on the main shot, and then the small shot (or person in the background) does the original or modified version. This video was opposite so I got confused a bit.  I am surprised that I actually sweated as much as I did today!  There really isn’t any cardio in this video, but I was sweaty.
Day 2-(Thursday) Today the exercises felt easier, except for the dreaded pull your knees in and sit up routine.  Still don’t like them! I felt a bit sore today in my upper arms and also my thighs, but overall I felt good.  I actually did all of the modifications in the top right of the screen the entire time today. I realized today that the office where I do my workouts was a bit stuffy, so that might be why I was so sweaty at the end. I need to bring a fan to put in there with me.  I watched another portion of the DVD with her bio in it and noticed that her husband is a famous actor from Desperate Housewives! 
Day 3-(Friday) Good workout today!  I felt like it should be longer, but the 45 minutes whizzed by.
Day 4-Skipped Monday (feeling blah) and today was great!  Each time I get better and better at the exercises.  I have been doing the DVD with 3lb weights (all I had!) but I just purchased some 5lb weights and will try and remember to bring them in tomorrow.
Day 5-(Monday)This is my last review day, but I know I will keep doing this DVD since I loved it so much!!  I didn’t bring heavier weights to work with me, but today I felt it!  I guess it was because I skipped so many times I had to start back at square one.  I did bring a fan in the office with me, but I still sweat!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Fueling for a marathon

Last year at this time when I was training for my half marathon I had attempted to eat healthy, but the temptation of cupcakes and frozen yogurt was a bit too much. :/

This time around for my marathon I am going to make more of an effort to have healthier foods around.  I have tried to cook foods in bulk over the last few weeks and then freeze them, buy more nuts, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.  I am trying to go out to eat less (which is only halfway working) and eat less red meat (‘white’ meat=lean protein).  I am trying to eat less packaged foods with fewer preservatives and stick to fresh made foods in the deli section at my grocery store or foods I prepared myself.  Experts say that you should stick to the outside areas of the grocery store and only go into the aisles for spices.  Get foods with an expiration date that is coming up.  If it is 2012 and the food doesn’t expire until 2015, then that might be full of crap that you don’t need to eat it, if you can’t pronounce words on the label then you probably shouldn’t eat them!
As I start to run more and exercise/cross train more I am going to be hungrier, but right now this is what I have been getting from the grocery store to fill me up for the week.  I haven’t been able to find a good farmers market or farm close to where I live now (I loved Froeberg’s Farm in Alvin by my old house) so I have to make do with the supermarket foods.
This is my typical day of eating lately:
1/2 cup of oatmeal with a fruit (usually either blueberries or banana), chia seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes, cinnamon, and honey.  I just purchased ground flax seed and I am going to start adding them to my oatmeal routine.
2 eggs and either a side of toast with jelly or a piece of fruit

 Sandwich-either pimento and cheese (fresh from the deli-not the packaged kind-and I know that it isn't the best, but it is really tasty and better than a burger) or PB&J sandwich on whole grain bread.
Vegetable-either steamed (with my favorite microwaveable steamer) or raw with hummus Fruit for ‘dessert’-lately it’s been cherries, mango, banana, or apple
Cheese-sometimes a Gouda Babybel piece (love!)
Leftover frozen bulk item I cooked (Chicken Spaghetti, meatloaf, 15 Bean Soup, Lasagna, etc)

It depends on what time I get home to decide if I am going to eat a big dinner or not.  Usually it’s leftover items I cooked or some fruit if I got home late and I am not hungry.

I usually get hungry around 9:30-10 am so I eat some nuts that I keep in my desk, and then around 3 or 3:30 pm I get hungry again and have some more nuts, or sometimes I bring an extra piece of fruit with me.  FYI: A serving on nuts (get unsalted!) is a shotglass size.  Don't go and eat a huge handful of nuts, that's a lot of calories.
When I do go out to eat I try and stick to water (plus it saves you like $2.50 each time you go out) or if I do get another kind of drink I get unsweetened tea.  In my tea I used to add 1 packet of Sweet n’ Low, then when that go too sweet I switched to ½ a packet.  Then I started hearing all sorts of things about Aspartame and tried to nix it from my tea all together.  Now I get tea with lemon, but honestly it tastes like water almost so I might as well save the money and get water…working on switching over 100%)

Hydrating drink-During and after a workout I have been drinking a sports drink called Nuun and I love it!  Nuun comes in dissolvable tablets (like Alka-Seltzer) that you add to your water bottle, let dissolve for 2 minutes and drink!  Super simple and it comes in a ton of flavors.  The best part is it’s not really sugary like Gatorade or PowerAde and is still really tasty and hydrating.

Margaritas-I have stopped drinking over the last few weeks in preparation of my triathlon and marathon.  Maybe in a few months I will go back to drinking something every once in a while, but overall I am trying to stop the additional calories and dehydration that alcohol brings. If I do happen to go out once in a while I won’t be that girl who orders water (unless I am driving) at the bar so I wouldn’t mind getting a drink then, but I am trying to reduce unneeded calories that will hinder my progress towards weight loss/marathon training.

That is my food for this week!  Let me know what you guys are eating, or if you have found any healthy foods that you can’t live without.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Lunch time workout

Last week I came to the realization that I sort of waste my lunch hour at work. I either run errands (which isn’t that wasteful), read a book, or chit-chat in the lunch room upstairs. I decided that since I am training for my triathlon and my marathon that I need to step it up and not waste an entire hour out of my day.
What did I decide to do?  Workout during lunch!  I tried running a few weeks ago and just about DIED!  It was as so hot out….nix running in the heat of the day.  On the 15th floor of our building there is a gym, but the equipment is older and I usually am not good with free weights at the gym and I despise treadmills…nix on the upstairs gym.
Then I thought about it and decided to bring my laptop here and do a workout dvd.  Brilliant!  Well, where can I do a workout dvd?  On my floor there is an empty office at the end of the hall (for now) so I asked my boss if I can use it during lunch with the door shut.  He said I could and yesterday I brought all my stuff to workout.

Here is my setup.  There isn’t that much room in the empty office but if I move out the other chairs I could have more room (no need to-I don’t do karate!).  I set up my laptop on the table and workout in front of it.  Do you like my FLAMINGO (!!) bag with my name on it?!  I am working on strength training so most of my DVD’s have some sort of weight involved.  These are three lb. weights but I am planning on bringing my 5lb. weights soon.

I am going to try and switch it up with different DVD’s that I have at my house and I am actually going to start reviewing the different DVD’s that I have bought.  Look for that soon!!  This DVD is called Strong Body, Ageless Body (bought from Amazon) and I loved it!  I will be doing a review soon (I want to complete the DVD several times before I review it completely).

After I get done I just put the DVD and weights in the cabinet (I need to bring my yoga mat from my car) and I am done.  Simple.

I don’t get overly sweaty, but I do put body splash on me after I change (just in case!).  So far this is working for me.  When we hire another person I will either have to stop, find another place, or hopefully it will be cooler so I can go running. 
What sort of things do you do for a daily workout?  Do you try and if it in before, during, or after lunch?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

OIAJ-a recipe!

What?!  A RECIPE coming from ME?!  Yep!  I can't believe it either. ;)  I have a few favorite blogs that swear by Overnight Oats in a Jar so I was determined to try it once I finally got a jar of empty nut butter (and remembered to save it!).  The best part of OIAJ is that you don't have to cook anything, you just mix everything together and leave it in the fridge overnight.

So, as this is my first time making OIAJ...it might not be pretty!   When making your OIAJ, feel free to change the ingredients to fit your tastes. The most important thing is the jar, the oats, and the liquid (milk or water). 

In the mix :
-Almost empty peanut butter jar (or you can use almond butter, or sunflower butter)
-1/2 cup oats
-1 cup milk (I used skim milk but you can use any kind of milk or even water)
-chia seeds
-coconut flakes (I used unsweetened)
-blueberries (they were frozen from when we picked them)

Step 1-Nearly empty jar of nut butter (this looks like more is in there, but really it wasn't a lot since I had just stirred it).

Step 2-Add the oats!

Step 3-Chia seeds

Step 4-Add the coconut flakes

Step 5-Then add milk (do you see my bike in the background I am using to train for my triathlon?!

Step 6-Stir and add the lid (I have had those spoons forever but I hardly ever use them!)

Step 7-Place in fridge overnight (Go Astros!)

Step 8-Add toppings (I added blueberries) that you don't want to get soggy (some people add granola here).

The verdict? Well, I think I added too much milk or something because it was still sort of runny this morning. :/ I told y'all I can't cook!  Did you think this recipe was going to turn out wonderful? haha. :)

It wasn't bad, but it wasn't my favorite breakfast.  I prefer stove cooked oats or eggs. 

Let me know if you make OIAJ and how they turn out.  Lots of blogs swear that they are so good.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Lori's Texan Themed wedding shower

My friend Lori is moving to North Carolina at the end of July to live with her fiance Clyde.  I will miss her so much!!  Lori and I met at SFA when we were in Student Government together and became fast friends. For some reason I did not take a picture with her (duh!), but she is in the limo ride pictures. from my 30 under 30 list :)

Her friend Jennifer and her Mom threw her the shower and it was so cute.  The theme was Texan (since she is moving out of state) and everything turned out so well.  Here are some pics.

Let's start with the dessert first!  The cake!  Do you see the Texas flag?  The cake was really, really good and it had the strawberries and blueberries inside the layers. It was not a triathlon training approved dessert item.

The coffee table was so cute, it had cupcakes (the entire cupcake display was in the shape of the State of Texas-do you see it?  Sorta?), red, white, blue gummy bears (OMG I love gummy bears, absolutely a weakness of mine), M & M's, and boot shaped confetti.

Red, white, and blue poms hanging from the ceiling

I love this!  It is a ceramic boot with red and white carnation, then they added a yellow rose (the Texas state flower for those of you who don't know that!) to the middle.  LOVE!

The food!  There were chicken nuggets, cheese dip, salsa, olives, sandwiches, and veggies.

Even the plates and cups were Texas themed!  They thought of everything.

A close up of the sandwiches.  There were two different kinds, ham or turkey and they used a cookie cutter to cut them into the State of Texas shape.

It was a great party and I am sad that I didn't get to get a picture of the bride to be. :/  Lori said she was having a packing party so I will be sure to get one then.  I will miss you Lori!!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

I Am Number Four: Lorien Legacies Series Review

I Am Number Four: Lorien Legacies Series Review
This is my review of the Lorien Legacies Series by Pittacus Lore.  Feel free to comment below on what you thought of the series as well.  :) Note: this is a REVIEW so there might be spoilers!  Only read up to the book you are on (or if you aren’t planning on reading them, I guess you can read them all).  You have been warned. :/
First off, I love the series!  I first heard of this series via the movie I Am Number Four which was good (I haven’t heard if there will be others made from the books).  The series is a proposed 6 book series (plus some mini e-books) and not all of them have been released.   This is a young adult series, but adults can read it also (YA: cheesy high school 'love' moments).  I have also included (at the bottom) the four Lorien’s names and their legacies that we know about so far. 
The first book is not as great as the second book, but it is still good!  The Lorien Legacies are the stories about 9 (or we think 9!) kids that come to Earth to escape the battle on their planet Lorien so they can one day return to it to rebuild and repopulate it.  They come with their Cepan (guardian) and must hide out to their Legacies (super powers) come in so they can fight!  They are being hunted by the Mogadorians from the planet Mogadorian who are trying to take over Earth as they did Lorien.  Before scattering on Earth they have a protective charm put on them that they must be killed in sequential order (#1-#9), if someone tries to kill them the person who attempts to kill them will be killed in whatever way they tried to kill the number.  Does that make since?  For instance, if I tried killing #9 (but I wouldn’t since he is super cute and mysterious!) by drowning him and it was #4’s turn (a hottie also) I wouldn’t be able to and I would drown myself.  Not a fun way to die (side note: don’t kill anyone, it’s a horrible thing to do, why would you do that anyway weirdo!).

I am Number Four starts out as #3 is being killed in Kenya.  Afterwards it follows #4 (who is next in line to die).  After #3 is killed they flee from where they are (John’s scar gave them away) and move to Paradise, Ohio.  John is at a new school and has to make new friends which isn’t easy for him.  He meets a girl named Sarah and they fall in ‘love’ (yuck! Teenagers who fall in ‘love’ get on my nerves), and John just knows it is forever (roll of my eyes at that!).  Needless to say there is a fight scene with the Mogadorian and he has to fight to stay alive but his legacies come in handy.  We also meet the fabulous (girl power!) Number 6 at the end of this book who we learn more about in the second book (plus the extra Ebook about her).

This book is a great follow-up to the first book; it had a lot more action than the first. LOVED IT!  Sometimes the second book to a series falls flat, but not this one!  This book continues on after I Am Number Four and John (#4) is on the run without HenrySix and Sam come with him and there is a bounty placed on their heads (Sam and John only).  We also meet #7, Marina who is hiding out in a convent.  Her Cepan has turned her back on her and is now a Nun of the convent/orphanage (I am not sure she is an official Nun, they might have to be confirmed or something).  The Rise of Six goes back and forth between #4 and #7 so you can get more information about them at the same time.
There are love triangles, betrayals, deaths, arrests, new legacies formed, captures, rescues, fights, secrets, partings, new characters, new developments, and much, much more.  

 The Lost Files: Six’s Legacy (available through ebook only)
This book is brief overview of what happened with Six and her Cepan before she met up with #4.  In The Rise of Six you hear her tell you the basically the story, but in Six’s Legacy you get more detail.  You hear about her time in Mexico, about when she posted a message back to #2 on the blog, when they fled to Texas, when they were caught, the torture, when she received her first legacy, when she escaped, and when she decided to go find John.  I loved the details in the book, even though it was way to short!  I wanted to hear more.  At the beginning of the book (I think it was only about 100 pages or so) she was a young woman, and after she escaped captivity you could tell she was a different person, a hard warrior. 
So far #6 and #9 have both been in captivity and they seem to be a different person when they come out (plus seeing their Cepan die must do something to you). John seems to be the same person, maybe slightly more focused (except seeing Sarah in the Rise of Six…stupid!).

 The Lost Files: Nine’s Legacy (available through ebook only)
The story is obviously about #9 and his time before he was captured (see The Power of Six to meet his character).  He and his Cepon, Sandor are hiding out in Chicago when the Mog’s catch up to them.  #9 falls in like with a girl named Maddy and it tells their story together.  It’s a short book so I can’t tell you what happens without giving it away…but I will say that he acts like a teenager (which he is) and things go south. :/  Oh, and I love the name for his iPod…iMog!

Legacies (superpowers) that are known (if I have missed any, let me know):
#4/John- Telekinesis, Lumen (lights in hands), ability to speak with animals, ability to see into the future, extra strength and speed, and able to withstand fire.
#6- Telekinesis, power to control the weather, can make herself invisible, and extra strength and speed.
#7/Marina- Telekinesis, can heal people/plants/animals, breathe underwater, night vision, and extra strength and speed.
#9- Telekinesis, anti Gravity, ability to speak with animals, and extra strength and speed.
#10/Ella-Aeternus (ability to change in age-only to the ages she has lived through)

Give us more stories Pittacus Lore!  I can’t wait for the next one to come out August 5th!  I will update this post after I read it!