Thursday, October 8, 2015

Roadtrip with a toddler

Saturday we leave for Gaspe, Quebec which is about 10 hours away. It usually takes us longer, because we stop more often with Caleb. 10 hours in a car is not easy for a toddler. This will be Caleb's 4th trip , and I hope it goes smoothly. We like to leave REALLY early, like 3-4am so that we can get a good chuck of the driving done with Caleb sleeping. Once he's awake, I usually keep a bag of toys and books upfront with me, and hand him one toy at a time. I'm not comfortable letting him snack in the car, if he were to choke it's too hard to get access to him. We stop and allow plenty of time to eat. I do allow Caleb to watch shows on the tablet, but I put the tablet in a transparent hard plastic file folder. This allows him to watch a movie and we don't have to worry about him exiting the movie and getting frustrated. Once the tablet is closed inside, he can hold it and watch. I plan on downloading a new to him movie, so that will make it more interesting.

Caleb is still rear-facing, and after this trip I'll think about turning him around. He doesn't complain, and I planned to rear-face until he was 2. He'll be 2 in December. Our basset hound will be in the back with him, belted in. If anything happened, the dog would be secured. I'll also bring my Tula Toddler carrier, if I need to hold Caleb and have my arms free when we're stopped. It's easy to put him in the carrier. I actually don't bring a stroller when we travel, the carrier is all I need.

Another tip, is to pack a diaper bag that's small, easy to throw on your back and has what you need. At rest stops, you'll want to be in and out quickly and having a smaller bag will allow you to find everything you're looking for. I bring disposable changing pads to put on the diaper changing table and throw it out once we're done. Don't forget an extra pair of clothes, as well as wipes and antibacterial soap for hands. Since Caleb still uses his pacifier, I make sure to pack extra and keep those with me. If he manages to throw one out, I can give him another. Even those tethers don't always work well.

These are some of my tips and tricks. Remember road trips are long for everyone, and sitting in a car seat can be boring. Have patience, and don't rush. If you have any additional tips for me, please comment!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Review: Somewhere Out There by Amy Hatvany

Publisher: Washington Square Press
Release: 2016
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5

Amy Hatvany is one of my go-to authors. I know what I’m in for when I pick up her books. Her characters are real and flawed. Natalie Clark grew up knowing she was adopted, her parents told her when she was 10 years old, but it was clear her parents didn’t want her to look into her past. Her mother felt threatened and Natalie didn’t want to hurt her. Looking for her biological mother seemed like something that would cause more harm than good.  Natalie had a happy life, as an only child. She became a lawyer, married a lawyer but decided to stay home when she had her daughter. When Natalie’s daughter comes home with a family tree project, Natalie starts thinking about her biological mother. When she starts pressing her mother for information, she learns that she had an older sister. It was believed that babies were easier to adopt because older children may have behavioral problems. Her parents only wanted the one child, and decided to only adopt Natalie. Brooke Walker was 4 years older, and never was adopted. She grew up in countless foster homes, and eventually she lived in a state facility until she “aged” out.

Natalie decides to focus on finding Brooke, and when she does, she tries her best to get to know her. Brooke is guarded and doesn’t open up easily. She has a lot of resentment towards their biological mother while Natalie is more open minded. Natalie and Brooke try to figure out what they want in their new relationship

I really enjoyed this book; Hatvany forces readers to think about controversial and complication topics. In each of her books, characters that I would typically not want to like, she provides their perspective and makes them real. In this case, we have Natalie and Brooke’s perspective but also their biological mother Jennifer’s perspective. It’s interesting to see all three perspectives. I highly recommend any of Amy Hatvany’s books. I’m pretty sure I have given all of them 5/5 stars. I love her writing!

This book will release in March, put it on pre-order. You’ll want to read this one. If you haven't read any of her other books, don't wait!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Fall Reads

My fall reading list is really exciting.  I love wrapping up with a blanket, having a tea or hot chocolate and reading in the evening. Hockey season is back, which means I can read guilt free since my husband is occupied on game nights. I also have a two week vacation coming up, and hope to get to these. My reading has been slow going, but these two books are a top priority. It's hunting season which means we'll be heading to Gaspe next Saturday, I'm excited to do nothing but relax! I'm currently reading Amy Hatvany's newest book, that will release in March. It's called Somewhere Out There and it's really good!

Wab Kinew hosted Canada Reads this year, and I've been waiting for his book to release. It deals with so many important topics. 

Goodreads Description: A moving story of father-son reconciliation told by a charismatic aboriginal star

When his father was given a diagnosis of terminal cancer, Winnipeg broadcaster and musician Wab Kinew decided to spend a year reconnecting with the accomplished but distant aboriginal man who’d raised him. The Reason You Walk spans that 2012 year, chronicling painful moments in the past and celebrating renewed hopes and dreams for the future. As Kinew revisits his own childhood in Winnipeg and on a reserve in Northern Ontario, he learns more about his father's traumatic childhood at residential school. 

An intriguing doubleness marks The Reason You Walk, itself a reference to an Anishinaabe ceremonial song. Born to an Anishinaabe father and a non-native mother, he has a foot in both cultures. He is a Sundancer, an academic, a former rapper, a hereditary chief and an urban activist. His father, Tobasonakwut, was both a beloved traditional chief and a respected elected leader who engaged directly with Ottawa. Internally divided, his father embraced both traditional native religion and Catholicism, the religion that was inculcated into him at the residential school where he was physically and sexually abused. In a grand gesture of reconciliation, Kinew's father invited the Roman Catholic bishop of Winnipeg to a Sundance ceremony in which he adopted him as his brother. 

Kinew writes affectingly of his own struggles in his twenties to find the right path, eventually giving up a self-destructive lifestyle to passionately pursue music and martial arts. From his unique vantage point, he offers an inside view of what it means to be an educated aboriginal living in a country that is just beginning to wake up to its aboriginal history and living presence. 

Invoking hope, healing and forgiveness, The Reason You Walk is a poignant story of a towering but damaged father and his son as they embark on a journey to repair their family bond. By turns lighthearted and solemn, Kinew gives us an inspiring vision for family and cross-cultural reconciliation, and for a wider conversation about the future of aboriginal peoples

I love Kate Morton and received an advanced copy of this one. It will release October 22nd. This is another one I'm hoping to read this fall. Kate Morton is a fantastic writer, and I've loved all her books. 

Goodreads Description:
The beguiling new novel from Kate Morton; the number one bestselling author of The House at Riverton and The Secret Keeper. 

An abandoned house...

After a particularly troubling case, Sadie Sparrow is sent on an enforced break from her job with the Metropolitan Police and retreats to her beloved grandfather's cottage in Cornwall. There she finds herself at a loose end, until one day she stumbles upon an abandoned house surrounded by overgrown gardens and dense woods, and learns the story of a baby boy who disappeared without a trace. 

A missing child...

June 1933, and the Edevane family's country house, Loeanneth, is polished and gleaming, ready for the much-anticipated Midsummer Eve party. For Eleanor, the annual party has always been one of her treasured traditions, but her middle daughter, Alice, sixteen years old and with literary ambitions, is especially excited. Not only has Alice worked out the perfect twist for her novel, she's also fallen helplessly in love with someone she shouldn't. But by the time midnight strikes and fireworks light up the night sky, the Edevane family will have suffered a loss so great they leave Loeanneth and never return. 

An unsolved mystery...

Seventy years later, in the attic writing room of her elegant Hampstead home, the formidable Alice Edevane leads a life as neatly plotted as the bestselling detective novels she writes. Until a young police detective starts asking questions about her family's past and seeking to resurrect the complex tangle of secrets Alice has spent her life trying to escape... 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

September Favorites

One of the new features I will include on my blog is my monthly favorites. This will be any items that I've been loving during that month. Unfortunately, for September I don't have any book favorites. I struggled with getting anything read. I'm hoping to change that in October. I also have vacation coming up and hoping to get some books read. My first favorite is going to be tea related. I've been loving David's Tea fall tea, and these two specifically are my go-to teas.

The Pumpkin Chai is so flavorful and great for fall. I bought these two in the 100g collectible tins. The tins are adorable and my picture doesn't do them justice. Peanut Butter Cup is an Herbal Tea and great for the evening. I didn't think it would really taste like a peanut butter cup but it does. These two I recommend if you're looking for fall teas.

This is the Melodysusie face wash machine. It vibrates on your skin and helps to remove dirt from clogged pores. I had seen alot of YouTubers raving about the Foreo Luna but it costs 200$ and I didn't want to spend that much. This one looks the same, I can't compare it because I've never used the Luna but this one leaves my face feeling so clean and smooth. I've had no problems with breakouts and I really enjoying using it every night. It costs me 36$ on Amazon and I would buy it again. If you're thinking about the Foreo Luna but the price tag is holding you back, try this one!

These two palettes are from Makeup Revolution an online UK brand, and I love their stuff. This month I've been using these two palettes the most. One is Matte and the other has both matte and shimmery colors. I'm a neutral girl and Makeup Revolution is one of my favorite brands. Their shipping is expensive, especially to Canada but it ships very fast and their makeup is very affordable. If you want to try out their stuff, sign up for their newsletter and you'll get 20$ off. You can shop in your currency which makes the site very user friendly. 

My last favorite item is my diffuser. You put the water in, your oil and the house starts to smell amazing. I love candles but don't trust myself to burn them anymore. I fall asleep so easily in the evenings that I can't trust myself. I also don't trust my dog or cat. This allows me to enjoy different scents and not risk burning down the house.

So, these are the items I've been loving for September. I hope you enjoyed this post, and I've really enjoyed getting back into blogging. I'm hoping to turn this blog into more of a lifestyle, mommy blog. Of course, I'll include books as well but I no longer feel pressured or stuck when I'm not reading as much.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Recipe: Slow Cooker Rice Pudding

I love rice pudding but it has to be creamy. This is the recipe that I use for my slow cooker. It's very easy, and yummy.

4 Cups of Milk
1/2 Cup of Long Grain Rice
1/2 Cup of Sugar
1/2 Tsp of Cinnamon

If you like raisins you can add in 1/2 cup of raisins. I'm not a fan, and I leave them out. This is great especially when you have extra milk that you need use.

I've had this recipe memorized for awhile now, but it was originally a Pinterest find. The pin can be found here.