Thursday, July 28, 2016

Book Report 2

Hey! So life this spring ramped up to a level of business I had never seen before, but has since dwindled ever so slowly to normal levels again.  Weddings full of DIYs take a lot of time...!  I will of course share photos of that here, but I told myself I'd finish my thank you cards first. 

Reading wasn't quite the priority this spring, and then my beloved Kobo mini died in May, so I've been doing a lot more crosswords than reading of books.  This is what I've read since last time.

The Little Book of Big Change by Amy Johnson - Maybe I've already read too many books on habits, but this one didn't seem to offer anything I hadn't heard before.  The chapters were very short, which made for light reading, but also made it feel like a collection of magazine articles.  I wanted bigger things from this little book.

Spark Joy - Marie Kondo's first book rekindled my wannabe minimalist flame.  This book is a general repackaging of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up with a more illustrations.   It's a nice reminder of how your own life is a cluttered mess of useless possessions, so get it from a library instead of buying it!

The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins - Did you like Gone Girl?  This book felt similar to me.  Innocent enough at first but as the novel progresses things get dark and creepy and intense.  It's the type of book you have trouble putting down to go to sleep.  Best for non-school nights!

Misbehaving by Richard H. Thaler - I heard about this book through the Freakonomics podcast, and I while I find the study of Behavioral Economics fascinating, the history of the study of Behavioral Economics is anything but fascinating.    haha.  I should have known.  The book seems to be a who's who of the field that could be worth returning to when I know more about all of it.  For now, it's too much of a niche read, and I wasn't able to finish it.

Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz & Kat Helgeson - I was lucky enough to win this book in an Instagram contest hosted by Jessica of The Paper Trail Diary.   The idea of the book is so sweet.  Two girls become friends through the internet.  The entire book is told through tumblr posts/comments, texts, emails and instant messages which I thought worked really well.   Overall it was a fun youth novel, great for a day at the beach or reading on a plane. 

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth - I haven't yet watched this show on Netflix, but based on the stories in this book, it is going to be binge-worthy when the weather gets cold.  I had extra fun imagining my great-grandmother as the heroine, because she was a midwife too.  I'll admit that the book gave me some extra heeby-jeebies about child birth, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.  It was funny, engaging and action packed so I'll read the sequel too.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

In a Scrapbooking Groove

Do you go through phases where you just cannot get enough of a certain activity?  I am currently in one of those with scrapbooking.  Maybe it's because I've moved my supplies so they're clustered in one space, or because I am keeping my supplies out in that same corner, or that there's more sunlight in the evening, or it could be that I'm using it as an escape from all things wedding related that are burning me out. ha!  No matter the reason, I have in the past week been scrapbooking non-stop. 

Last weekend Shimelle hosted a bunch of challenges and I stole a few minutes away to participate.
This challenge was to go back to an 'older' collection, Shimelle's first.  I actually did have half the paper pad and a few embellishment bits sitting around - sweet!
These photos are slightly gross out of focus ones from my phone, so the layouts look better in person, but better blogged than perfect!

This first layout is about the very first time my brother and I were in a photobooth.  I love how the looks on our faces change as we "get it."  I think everything on this layout is from the Shimelle collection, with the exception of the tiny "yay" circle, which I think was from one of my Studio Calico Project Life kits.

This next layout was a fun one because I found an old teeny print from the Oldies Dance we went to in 2013.  The whole thing is made with the Shimelle collection.  I will add journaling later, but for the purposes of sharing on Instagram, etc.  I'm going to keep personal notes private. :)
This last layout is one from my 2015 Project Life album, which I am still chugging along at.  The 6x8 pocket has more Shimelle stuff, but the rest is a mish-mash of Studio Calico and the We Are Memory Keepers Love Notes collection by Amanda Rose Zampelli.  I have been making Project Life style albums since 2012 and I really love it.  This spread is from a not-so-ordinary 7th anniversary/day we got engaged, but normally I really enjoy capturing life's smaller moments in an album.  I am usually a little bit behind, but currently the lag is epic! This layout is from July 1st.  But I have been scrapping a lot lately, so I feel like I can catch up before long. 
 Do you scrapbook?  Have any questions about scrapbooking or Project Life? I'll try to post more layouts again soon!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Book Report!

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned it but I love reading.  I used to read a fair amount, but since getting my e-reader 2 years ago, I've been devouring books non-stop.  This year I took the Goodreads challenge and set a goal of 52 for 2016.  (I read 37 for my 35 goal last year.)
I am a huge fan of the Toronto Public Library and its millions of books available for free for e-readers.  It is the reason I chose to get one in the first place. 
(This also means that book photos mean stealth adventures at the bookstore at the mall...!)

Here are some thoughts on books I've read lately. Please let me know if you've read anything good! I'm always looking for new choices.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee - I have loved this book since I first read it in 9th grade.  For a while I was planning to name my future non-existent child Atticus or Scout.  Rereading it was a nice reminder of why I loved the book so much in the first place.

Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee - This is the follow-up novel to To Kill A Mockingbird.  The book picks up decades later, with Scout as an adult returning to her hometown.  Maybe it was because I had finished reading the first installment immediately before but I did find this book spent most of its time rehashing the original novel's plot.  It also came with a dose of reality that left me broken-hearted.  I won't spoil it by saying more, but if you read it, don't do them both back to back.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - I don't know why it took me so long to read a book by this iconic Canadian author.  My original impression of her work was completely misguided.  I had always thought that Atwood would be in the same category as a Jane Austin or Bronte sister, which doesn't really  engaged me.  But! This book was bleak dystopian novel! Is it weird that that makes me so excited?  I could not put this book down and I owe Margaret Atwood an apology - which includes reading all of her novels.

Shopaholic to the Rescue by Sophie Kinsella - I have been with this series since the beginning.  The original book was fabulous and I identified all too well with Becky.  These days though, I feel like Kinsella is just going through the motions.  The characters aren't evolving, the premise of each book is generally the same, and the appeal has faded.  I don't think I'll read any more of these books unless something gets rave reviews down the line.

The Blonde by Anna Godbersen - This book was a total random pick from my library recommendations.  It is part Marilyn Monroe fan-fiction and part spy thriller.  Without giving too much away, Marilyn has some Russian friends.  It's an interesting work, but it did leave me feeling uneasy.  Is it fair to write a fictional book about someone who actually existed?  If you've read it, I'd love to know what you think.

With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin - This book was free from the Kobo website.  It is set in WWII, featuring a nurse and an Army engineer writing anonymous letters to each other.  This is an easy, quick read with more will-they-won't-they than Ross & Rachel or Jim & Pam.  Overall it was fun, and I think it is part 1 of a series.

If you want to see what else I'm reading, check out Goodreads.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Vintage Valentine Treasures

Happy Valentine's Day!
Here's a treat for you! I recently was given a box of vintage paper ephemera from a neighbour in my apartment building. (The best right!?!)
In the box were dozens of cards that spanned years in a family's life, starting in maybe the 1940's. There were wedding cards, anniversary cards, telegrams from when their baby was born, birthday greetings, and my favourite, Valentines. 

I quickly photographed them before work on Friday so you can enjoy them too.  

Jim H is a little Jerkface.
Can you even imagine a kid handing out that Valentine now? 

I also laughed pretty hard at this one.  "Dad"  
He thinks of you so much... yet he clearly didn't even sign the card.  Oh vintage father issues. Poor Jeffrey.

I don't know if Daddy deserves that 3D yarn kitten bowtie...

And Jeff had a friend named Bunny!  The best.

I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did!  Which one is your favourite?  


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