Thursday, October 29, 2015

November Reads




For some reason, I've been pushing back what I want to read and I'm hoping to change that in November. It's cold and I like to curl up with a book in the evening. These are the four books, I'm hoping to get to. I want to start off with something fun, and decided to read the new Nicholas Sparks. I haven't been reading his books lately, and I remember really enjoying them. Maybe that's what I need to get back into the swing of things. I love Catherine McKenzie and I'm excited for her new book. The following two are required for blog tours, and I need to get to them in November. So, this is what I have on my list.

If you've read any of these, let me know what do you think.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Toddler Favorites: Books



Here are four of Caleb's favorite books. We've been reading together at bedtime since he was really little, and it is apart of our bedtime routine. He was signing book before he could say book. Cars, Trucks, Planes, and Trains is a flap book. He loves opening the tabs on flap books, and discovering what's behind the flap. We also like to ask him to point out different images, and we really have fun with these types of books. Caleb is all about trucks, trains and buses right now. Sweet Dreams 5-Min Bedtime Stories is great when I want to find a quick read before book. The first story in this one is Sweet Dreams Curious George, and Caleb will ask for "George" when he sees this book. We've read the other stories too, but George is his favorite. Farmer Dale's Red Pickup Truck has been read over and over, and over. I can read this book with my eyes shut, I've read it that many times. It's cute, funny, and I love the pace of the story. The last book I wanted to mention was Elmo Loves You. Sesame Street, and Elmo are favorites of Caleb's. He loves this book, and how can you not enjoy Elmo?


Cars, Trucks, Planes and Trains
Sweet Dreams 5-Min Bedtime Stories
Farmer Dale's Red Pickup Truck
Elmo Loves You

Monday, October 26, 2015

If we were having tea...



I saw this post on The Perpetual Page Turner and really wanted to try this. It seemed like such a great idea. She titled it “If we were having coffee” but I’m more of a tea person...


If we were having tea… I would tell you that I’m back home from vacation. Every year, my husband and his family moose hunt . It’s a huge tradition, and I look forward to it every year. The men are in the woods, and the women are home . I like to relax and plan nothing.  The road trip went well. Caleb was good, but did get sick on the way home. Rookie mom mistake:  bring more than one extra set of clothing and make sure to have extra clothing for YOU. We stopped half way, and made it home on Sunday.  

If we were having tea… I would tell you that I didn’t get much reading done but I am reading A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler and really enjoying it.  I’m hoping to finish in the next couple days. I’m watching Scandal and I’m about 6 episodes in.  I’ve also been watching some Youtube channels.

If we were having tea… I would tell you that I ordered a Happy Planner, and was so excited to get home and open the box. I want to buy some stickers, but living in Canada means the shipping is 10$ US which is way more than I want to spend. I’m trying to figure out some more affordable options. Maybe printable stickers, and buy sticker paper. So far, I’m enjoying it. I’ll probably do a review on the planner and what I’m using it for.


If we were having tea… I would share that I’m not a huge Halloween fan. I love Christmas but I have a hard time getting into Halloween. I’ll enjoy seeing Caleb trick or treatin’ but it’s not a favorite holiday.

If we were having tea.. I'd share that Caleb is almost 2, and I'm planning a Firetruck birthday theme. I want to make all the decorations, and I found some cute stuff on Pinterest. He is in love with firetruck's and buses at the moment. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Wordless Wednesday Fall Vacation

Recipe: Cinnamon Bread



This was a Pinterest find, and it's now a staple in my home. It's a great evening coffee cake, and so easy to make. It makes 2 loafs which is great. You always have the option to freeze one loaf.

Batter

1 Cup of Butter
2 Cups of Sugar
2 Eggs
2 Cups of Milk
4 Cups of Flour
2 tsp of Baking Soda

Cinnamon/Sugar mixture

2/3 Cups of Sugar
2 Tsp of Cinnamon

Cream together butter, sugar and eggs. Add milk, flour and baking soda. Grease two pans, and fill halfway with batter. In a separate bowl mix together Sugar and Cinnamon mixture. Put half the cinnamon/sugar mixture in each pan, and swirl with a knife. Add the rest of the batter, and add the rest of the Cinnamon/Sugar mixture and swirl with a knife again. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Newest Books




These are the newest books that's I've added to my reader.

Carry on by Rainbow Rowell. I wasn't interested in this one, but the rave reviews has me really curious. I wasn't a fan of the Simon Snow snippets in Fangirl but I want to try this one out.

The Girl in 6E by A.R Torre

The Seafront Tearoom by Vanessa Greene. I will be participating in a blog tour for this one. Don't you love the cover?? I do.

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler. Currently Reading, and loving!

Midnight over Paris by Jennifer Robson


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Product Review: Ninja Kitchen Cooking System



My Ninja Kitchen Cooking System is probably my most used/most loved kitchen appliance. I recommend it to everyone. It has slow cooker, oven and stovetop mode. It’s the perfect size, versatile, and very easy to clean. If you need to cook your meat before you place it in the slow cooker, you can do this all in the Ninja. If you think you might be running late, and won’t have enough time to slow cook your meal, you can put it on “Oven” mode and speed up the cooking process. I also love the fact that you can time the slow cooker to cook for so many hours, and afterwards it will automatically go to “buffet” and keep your food warm but not overcook it. When you work full time, you can easily dry out your food by overcooking, if you don’t have a timer. Unlike a traditional Slow Cooker the liner is not stoneware, it is a nonstick liner. It’s much lighter and very easy to clean. If my Ninja broke, I would definitely want to buy another one.

Slow Cooker: Low, Medium, High and Buffet settings.

Oven: This is adjustable with the digital display like a traditional oven. You can adjust to from 250-425 degrees.


Stovetop: Low, Medium, High. You can use this to sear your meat, simmer or saute.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving



It's Canadian Thanksgiving and I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you're enjoying the day, and spending it with family and/or friends.

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
Pages:368
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!






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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.