Thursday, December 29, 2016

2017 Planner Coral Carpe Diem

Last year I had a gold Dokibook and it held up very well. This year I decided to go with the coral Carpe Diem. I was able to purchase it through Chapters, and it arrived very quickly. The dividers are from January through December, the months and weekly pages are not dated. The binder seems to be very good quality and the paper is amazing. I can write with a Pilot G2 pen and it doesn't bleed through. I'm very happy with the quality so far.

I'm not a huge planner decorated. I have a few MAMBI sticker books but living in Canada, I haven't purchased any stickers from Etsy. I found the shipping expensive. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. I think I'll try to find some affordable functional stickers, because I do enjoy functional stickers.

The reason why I went with an A5 binder again is because I love the flexibility. My planner is also my budget binder, blog planner, meal planner, and notebook. I like that I can put in and take out pages when I want. I also like that I can find free printables online, and insert them into my binder. Yes, it's a bit big but overall I love it.

I'm excited to jump into 2017 with a new fresh planner.


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Scholastic Book Haul

A video posted by Jennifer Q (@jennifer_q85) on



I love that Caleb's daycare allows us to order from Scholastic. The bundled books are usually what I choose. These books are used for bedtime stories and quick reads. We usually choose 2 books each night, and sometimes Caleb will try to slip in a third. I love that these books are short, but interesting reads.

A photo posted by Jennifer Q (@jennifer_q85) on


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Canada Reads 2017 Longlist





Canada Reads has announced the 2017 longlist and most of them are new to me. The question being asked this yeah is "What is the one book Canadians need now?" The debate will take place between March 27-30. I look forward to the debates each year. I don't plan to read all of these, but I will read the 5 on the shortlist. In the meantime, I might try a few on the longlist.

From CBC:
The Canada Reads 2017 longlist consists of:
The panelists and the final five books will be announced on Jan. 31, 2017.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Favorite Authors



If you're a reader, I'm sure you have some authors that automatically end up on your "need to buy" list. These are the authors that we close one books and can't wait to pick up their next book. I'm always on the look out for these authors next releases.


Amy Hatvany is definitely one of my favorite authors, each and every book I've read by her has left me sad to leave those characters. Her books are thought provoking, and very unique. Best Kept Secret was the first book I read that I loved. It dealt with an alcoholic mother who was starting to unravel and a little boy stuck in the middle. Outside the Lines  was another great read that portrays a father who has a mental illness, and a little girl who loves her father. His mental illness directly impacts her life, but it's not easy navigate their relationship.

The Language of Sisters (Review)
Somewhere Out There (Review)
Heart Like Mine (Review)


Richard Wagamese is a native author that I adore. His books bring me to tears, I see myself in his pages, I see my family in his stories. He writes both non-fiction and fiction, and both genres are written really well. I haven't read all of his books, but I will get through them. Medicine Walk was in my top 3 books I read in 2016. A son honors his estranged father's dying wish by taking him for a long journey through the woods. The father finally explains his side of the story, and the son is given closure. If you're looking for a great read, or wanting to learn more about native culture, pick up one of this books. 

One Native Life (Review)
Indian Horse (Review)


Kate Morton's books are always a solid read. Her stories are intricately woven, and masterfully told. Each of her stories are unique, and filled with twists and turns. The first book I read was The Forgotten Garden, and her books never disappointed me. They're longer reads, but worth the time.

The House of Riverton
The Secret Keeper


Friday, December 16, 2016

Top 3 Books of 2016



2016 was not a good reading year for me, but I did manager to read about 28 books. Looking back at the year, these are the top 3 books that will stay with me for a long time. You know it's a good book, when you finish and know it will stay with you. There are certain books that I see that will bring me back to a certain time in my life. If you're looking for a great read, try one of these out.

Medicine Walk 

Franklin Starlight is called to visit his father, Eldon. He's sixteen years old and has had the most fleeting of relationships with the man. The rare moments they've shared haunt and trouble Frank, but he answers the call, a son's duty to a father. He finds Eldon decimated after years of drinking, dying of liver failure in a small town flophouse. Eldon asks his son to take him into the mountains, so he may be buried in the traditional Ojibway manner.     

What ensues is a journey through the rugged and beautiful backcountry, and a journey into the past, as the two men push forward to Eldon's end. From a poverty-stricken childhood, to the Korean War, and later the derelict houses of mill towns, Eldon relates both the desolate moments of his life and a time of redemption and love and in doing so offers Frank a history he has never known, the father he has never had, and a connection to himself he never expected.    

A novel about love, friendship, courage, and the idea that the land has within it powers of healing, Medicine Walk reveals the ultimate goodness of its characters and offers a deeply moving and redemptive conclusion. Wagamese's writing soars and his insight and compassion are matched by his gift of communicating these to the reader.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Reader Tag





Choose 1 word that describes you as a reader? 

Loyal

What's the first book you fell in love with? 

Matilda by Ronald Dahl I loved that Matilda was a reader, and her family weren't readers. As a teenager, I think the first book I fell in love with was A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. I had a few friends also reading, and loving the book and it felt great to all enjoy the book and talk about it.

Hardcover or Paperback?

Actually, I'm an exclusive ereader. I have a Kobo Aura One, which I love. I do prefer hardcover over paperback, but I love the functionality and the compact library that an ereader allows me to have.


What book do you read when you need to be comforted?

Harry Potter. When I really don't feel like reading anything or i'm trying to get out of a slump, I turn to Harry Potter.

Who taught you to be a reader?

I'm the only reader in my family. My parents always gave me the opportunities to feed my desire for books. They would allow me to order from Scholastic books, and took the time to allow me to pick out books at the library. For as long as I can remember, I was a reader. When I started to read, teachers would allow me to take home the reading books because I wanted to read ahead. Who taught me to be a reader? It was the combination of my teachers and my parents.

Describe your reading lounge?

My living room. It's cozy, and my husband and I relax once Caleb goes to bed. My husband isn't a reader but I read while he watches hockey. I also have to have a cozy, fuzzy blanket when I'm reading.

What book changed the way you act?

I can't pick just one. Books continue to provide information that make me think and question me as a person. I'm always looking to improve myself and be open minded. Books allow me to experience things I would never have the opportunity to do in real life.

Monday, December 5, 2016

November Book Haul


These are the books that I accumulated during November. Most of them were ebook deals, that I was excited to get. I haven't read any of these, but I do plan on checking some of them out soon. Have you read any of these? If so, what did you think about them?


Friday, December 2, 2016

November Wrap Up




November was a great reading month for me. I finally started to get back into reading during the evening. It also helps that hockey is back, and I don't feel bad reading when my husband is watching hockey. 2016 was not a good reading year for me, I don't think I'll end up reading 30 books this year. It's okay, I'm fine with that. I'm really hoping that 2017 is a better reading year for me. It's so enjoyable to dive into a book and get hooked. I've been reading alot of back list titles on my Kobo. I haven't been paying much attention to new releases.

I read some really great books that kept me reading. Joseph Boyden is an amazing writer, and Wenjack was a fantastic novella. I'm hoping to get around to a few more of his books in 2017. Sarah Jio was a new to me author that I had sitting on my Kobo for years. I'm so happy that I finally read some of her books. I really want to read all of her books. I believe she also has a new book coming out next year. A Christmas to Remember really wasn't my favorite, I think I would have enjoyed it more if it was edited a little more. The ending was good, but the story overall was okay. I would try another Jenny Hale book though. The last book that I read was Unwind, and it was really interesting. I really stayed away from YA books this year, because none of them really seemed like something I would like. I was really happy that Unwind was as good as it was.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Discussion: Gilmore Girls Revival


I watched the Gilmore Girls Revival, I binged watched all 4 episodes and was so happy to be back in Stars Hollow again. I watched Gilmore Girls when it was on the WB and then CW. Rory was always in the same stage as me school wise, and I related to her book loving ways. I loved that she was so motivated, and focused. When I finished that last episode, I felt disappointed. I could not longer relate to Rory.


First, Rory. What did Rory do in the last 9 years? She's now 32, living on different people's couches and doesn't seem to have the same drive. I'm okay with her not being sure about what she wants, but to be completely unemployed and not really doing anything about it, bothered me. Her relationship with Logan was also disappointing to me. I loved her and Logan together but to be the other woman again, and to be okay with that. NO, Rory... Why does she do this to herself again?? If Logan really loved you, he would forget about the "dynasty" and be with you. The life and death brigade coming back was great, but Logan ruined it by telling Rory he still planned to marry the Odette. Logan is to Rory what Christopher is to Lorelei. Jess seemed more mature than Rory. If the series continues, I would want her and Jess to be together.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Review: Unwind by Neal Schusterman



Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Released: 2007
Pages: 335
Source: Personal Copy

Unwinding is a result of a second Civil War that was fought between Pro Life and Pro Choice advocates. The new laws protect children until they are thirteen years old. If a parent didn’t want to keep the child, they were free to leave them on a doorstep. If they were seen leaving the child, the child became their responsibility and they could no longer walk away. Once the child was theres, they had to keep the child until they were thirteen. Once a child turned thirteen, parents could choose to “unwind” their children. This consisted to having all the parts of the child harvested to “live on” in someone else. Unwinding was a compromise between the two parties.

In Unwind, we have Connor, the “troubled” teen, Risa, an orphan and Lev, a tithe. They are all about to go to the harvest camp. Connor’s parents have signed the papers, and they don’t know, he knows. Risa is told she is to become unwound because of budget cuts and Lev has always known he would become unwound, because he would be a tithe. He’s accepted his faith, and although he’s scared, he doesn’t feel like he has a choice. The three of them end up on the run, trying to escape. Lev is really confused, and doesn’t want to be kidnapped by Connor and Risa. He’s a tithe, people have always made him proud to be in his shoes.

Unwind is a very interesting book that I didn’t really know about when I started reading it. I went in not knowing much about it, and I was really hooked. It’s very fast paced, action packed, different and disturbing. The story is told from three perspectives. The plot became very real to me, the world building was fantastic. There’s one section that gave me chills. I highly recommend this one. I haven’t been into young adult for a while, but this one was so original and interesting. I believe there are 4 books in the series, and I will be reading the others.




Monday, November 28, 2016

Review: Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio


Publisher: Plume
Released: 2012
Pages: 290
Source: Personal Copy

May 2011- Claire is a reporter working for a Seattle Newspaper. She’s asked to cover the “blackberry winter” snowstorm and compare it to a twin snowstorm that took place in 1933. As Claire begins to research the 1933 snowstorm, she discovers that a little boy went missing during the storm. Claire is clearly broken, she suffered a loss, and her marriage is barely hanging on. She hasn’t felt motivated in awhile, but she throws herself into this story. Her husband is the managing editor of the newspaper, his family are the owners. They work together but barely speak to each other. She has no idea what to do about her marriage but she uses the story to distract herself.

May 1933- Vera Ray is a single mother trying to provide for her three year old son. Vera is forced to leave her son home alone during the night to go to work. If she doesn’t go, her job will be gone and she’s on the verge of being evicted from their apartment. A freak May Snowstorm erupts and when Vera returns home, she can’t find her son. His teddy bear is left in the snow, the police think he ran away and will come back. She’s desperate to find her son.

Blackberry Winter intricately weaves two story lines, keeping the reader captivated. Both Claire and Vera are well developed characters. The pacing of the novel was well done, leaving the reader intrigued by both story lines. As a reader, if I’m more caught up with one story line, I tend to want to skip the story line that i’m not as interested in. This book had me enjoying both, equally.

This was my second Sarah Jio book that I read, and I really want to continue reading her books. She blends the past with the present, beautifully. Her writing is great. I really have a hard time putting her books down.




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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

November TBR List



These three books are on my immediate tbr list. I started Unwind by Neal Shusterman yesterday and these other two will be on my radar next. I can't believe I still haven't read Go Set A Watchman. The Witches of New York is high on my tbr because I loved Ami McKay's previous books. Have you read any of these? I haven't read much YA fiction lately, I don't really know what new releases I should pick up. I'm really excited to start reviewing some of these books again. I really struggled with a reading slump this year.

Unwind

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.


Monday, November 14, 2016

Review: The Violets of March by Sarah Jio


Publisher: Plume
Released: 2011
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5/5
Fun fact: I opened Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio on my ereader and somehow the ebook was skipped all the way to the back and when I sat down to read, I had no idea I was reading a preview for The Violets of March. When I finished the preview, figured out what happened, I immediately when to Kobo to purchase the ebook. I had to continue the story. I was hooked. I needed more.

The story opens with Emily in the process of ending her marriage after learning that her husband has left her for another woman. Readers immediately feel for Emily and we start the journey with her to rebuild her life. Emily is an uninspired, bestselling author living off royalty checks. As much as she wants to write, nothing good is put to paper. Her best friend, Annabelle convinces her to get away, and Emily decides to visit her Aunt Bee who she use to visit as a child during the summer. Emily returns to Bainbridge Island after many years away. The close relationship with her aunt is very apparent and  admirable. When Emily discovers a red velvet diary, she’s not sure if she should tell Bee. She’s not sure who wrote the contents, but it’s dated 1943. This diary leads Emily on a wild goose chase, and her own family history is dug up. Family secrets are not always welcomed by everyone once they are uncovered.

I truly enjoyed Emily as a character. She’s stuck, her husband has left and her career doesn’t seem to be moving forward. How can you miss a man who left you for another woman? Emily does, and it’s hard to move on. Bee is a fabulous older lady, and her storyline is great. This is a story about forgiveness. Love doesn’t always conquer all. We are humans, we are faulty, we can be stubborn. Secrets do surface and family secrets can be hurtful. The dual storyline kept me glued to the pages. I highly recommend this one. Now, on to Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio...

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Parenting Pressure




Do you have friends or family that have children the same age as yours? Do you ever feel pressured by your parenting peers? Parenting is hard, and when you start to feel pressured by others it adds to the stress. Lately, I've been feeling the pressure from family about Caleb's toilet training. I feel like he's being compared to others his age, and I really started to let it bother me. Overall, he does well with toilet training but he's not fully trained yet. He doesn't tell me when he has to go. When I starting realizing that I was really letting other people bother me, I decided I needed to take a step back and look at myself. Every child is different, and every situation is different. I work full time, and I'm not with Caleb all day. He doesn't really understand that a Pull Up is not a diaper. At home, I keep him in underwear and it works alot better. At daycare, it's different. Toilet training will come, and I need to let him figure it out. I will continue to encourage him, and work on the process, I don't think he fully understands the signs of when he needs to go. It will come.

I don't want to raise my son by comparing him to others. He has his own strengths and weaknesses (sleep) and I need to start being more confident in my parenting style. Yes, we still co sleep. Caleb doesn't sleep a full night. He wakes up EVERY SINGLE night, and one day he will sleep through the night. Until then, we have to do what is best for our family. When someone asks me "Does he sleep in his own bed yet?" I need to remember that they're not the one waking up with him all night, and not the one who has to go to work in the morning. No, he doesn't sleep in his own room, and that's fine. That question has to stop bothering me.

I do really well with not letting others bother me, but sometimes it does. In this case, I realized I was letting it get to me, I talked to my husband and we agreed that we need to focus on our situation and not be bothered by others. My husband is my biggest supporter and he encourages me when I need it. I'm going to stumble, and I'm going to feel frustrated but I always need to put my family first.


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Reading Wrap Up: October



October was an okay reading month for me. I was very into personal finance books, and I read both The Recovering Spender and Debt Free Forever and thought they were both good. I do enjoy Gail Vaz Oxlade, she's very in your face and knowledgeable.  I find alot of these books start to sound repetitive, I'm not sure if I'll be picking any personal finance books up in November. I've been itching to get back into reading and I think the warmer weather will really help. 

Books Read


November I'm hoping to have some book reviews, some personal finance posts and more lifestyle/parenting posts. The personal finance posts have  alot of traffic, so I know people are enjoying them and hopefully are motivated by these posts. I've never been in a bad financial state but I think it's great to learn how to be better about finances. It's something that really interests me. 

My favorite book read in October was Wenjack. I think it's a powerful read, and I encourage everyone to pick this novella up.

I'm currently reading another Joseph Boyden book:


Before internationally acclaimed author Joseph Boyden penned his bestselling novel Three Day Road and his Scotiabank Giller Prize–winning novel, Through Black Spruce, he published a powerful collection of thirteen stories about modern Aboriginal life that made readers and reviewers take notice. These stories of love, loss, rage and resilience match virtuosic style with clever wit to turn stereotypes on their head and reveal the traditions and grace of our First Peoples. Readers come to know a butterfly-costumed boy fascinated by the world of professional wrestling, a young woman who falls in love with a wolf, to the leader of an all-girl Native punk band and Painted Tongue, the unforgettable character from Through Black Spruce.Though each story is told in a different and distinct voice, they are all united by their captivating vitality, nuanced perceptions and vigorous prose.









Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Book Thoughts: Wenjack by Joseph Boyden


Book Description

An Ojibwe boy runs away from a North Ontario Indian School, not realizing just how far away home is. Along the way he's followed by Manitous, spirits of the forest who comment on his plight, cajoling, taunting, and ultimately offering him a type of comfort on his difficult journey back to the place he was so brutally removed from.
Written by Scotiabank Giller Prize winning author Joseph Boyden and beautifully illustrated by acclaimed artist Ken Monkman, Wenjack is a powerful and poignant look into the world of a residential school runaway trying to find his way home."


Book Thoughts:

Wenjack by Joseph Boyden is a book that I cannot properly review. This is an amazing novella that is important literature that needs to be read. So many Canadians are not aware that residential schools existed for us, and they have no idea how atrocious they were. We need to change our history books because this needs to be taught in schools. Joseph Boyden is an amazing author. He really is, and I plan to read all his books. Wenjack is essential reading, please pick it up. This book is short and will leaving you deep in thought. It's important for our residential school survivors that we learn what they went through. The last residential school closed in 1996, it was an attempt to "kill the Indian out of the child." Many of these federally run schools had their own graveyards.





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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

5 Things I Didn't Expect When Bringing Home My Baby





  1. You know the saying “sleeping like a baby” well I learned babies don’t sleep that well... Atleast Caleb didn’t, he was literally up ALL night. This went on for weeks and weeks, eventually I had to start co sleeping because it was the only thing that worked. The minute I would lay him down in his bassinet or crib, he knew and would wake up. No matter how gentle I was...I spend MANY hours in my rocking chair.


  1. I had no idea that I would feel incredibly lost when I brought Caleb home. I would second guess myself, I had no idea what I was doing. I thought I would just “know” and it was hard for me to realize that there was a learning curve, and I needed to give it time. Everyone gave me advice, and it gave me alot of anxiety. Especially when they were telling me to do the opposite of what I researched.


  1. My C Section was not as hard and painful as I was expecting. When I was in the hospital, I kept waiting for the excruciating pain, but it didn't come. It really wasn’t that bad. I was terrified. I didn’t even take pain killers, Tylenol was sufficient.


  1. I had pregnancy P.U.P.P (ITCHY Rash) and it was horrible! It was literally a rash that covered my entire body, except my face. I was so itchy, that I couldn’t even sleep when Caleb did sleep. My feet were probably the worst, and I didn’t know where to put them or what to do. This rash went away a few weeks after Caleb was born and came back 6 weeks later. I cried, I was so discouraged. The only thing they could give my was Benedryl, and I was already SO SO tired.
  1. I had no idea that I would be so scared of something happening to Caleb. He slept with a Levana monitor, and I would still check him all the time.



3 Things I Would Tell A New Mom

The first 8 weeks are the hardest, and you seem to settle into your new role. Both Mom, Dad and baby are learning how to fit into this new world. It’s normal to be afraid and feel lost, but give it time. I remember thinking “when will this get easier” it does, but it took awhile

If you need the help, and have it- Take it! I’m the type of person who wants to do every thing myself, and some times you need to step back and allow people to help you. Sleep deprivation will make you feel like you’re going crazy.

Take time to take care of yourself. Don’t forget that you need to be happy, healthy and sane to take care of baby. This new world is going to take some adjustment, and you need to figure out how to make it all work.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Tips On How To Save Money On Child Expenses





Newborn Outfits

All the little cute outfits are tempting but my experience taught me that you want the baby to be comfortable. Your little one will be sleeping, in a chair/swing or your arms most of the day. Hoodies make it difficult to hold the baby. I'm sure cute tutus would be similar. I can't tell you how many outfits, Caleb never wore because it was just too complicated. A onesie was much easier to put on him day to day.

Crib Bedding

Crib bedding is so expensive but not necessary. It's not recommended to have the set in the bed, I skipped on it and bought a toddler set. It fit the crib, and I put the comforter/sheet away until Caleb was able to use it. I kept the fitted sheet on the crib.

Equipment

You don't need a 300 dollar swing, a cheaper one will do fine. Actually, Caleb hated the swing altogether.  We could have skipped it. The Baby Bullet or similar baby food making machines are not necessary. If you have a blender or food processor that would be perfect. Use what you already have. Be careful not to get caught up in purchasing top of the line swings, strollers and other expensive equipment.


Baby Food

I made my own baby food, and it was very cost efficient. I started with a blender and ice trays. I eventually bought a Baby Bullet because I got sucked in, but it wasn't necessary. I made food ahead, and froze it. It was very easy, and I was able to feed Caleb a wide variety of foods.

Diapers

I know it's tempting to stock up on diapers, but if your baby/toddler grows out of the size before your boxes are done, you might be stuck with them. A store might let you exchange them, but there's a chance you won't be able to.  Diapers are on sale often, I personally don't recommend stocking up. Caleb didn't even fit in newborn diapers.

Clothing/Shoes

You know how they say "Children grow really fast?" Well they do, and you will go through alot of clothes. Be careful not to over buy because within a few months, it's too small.  Some of it may not have be worn. Caleb is 2, and he's gone through 3 shoe sizes in a year. Now, we only buy what we need because he grows out of it so fast.









Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Review: Kobo Aura One Vs H2o Reader


Comparing the Kobo Aura H20 to the new Aura One, the first thing you notice is the size. The Aura one is taller and slimmer. I really like the size of the Aura One. Instead of reading on a paperback sized reader, you'll be reading on a hardback sized reader. I think it offers a great reading experience.

The overall system feel is very similar to the H20. I think don't there's much of a difference. I really like Kobo's interface. Both readers are waterproof which is a huge benefit. I can read outside and no worry about rain drops, I can read in the bath. If I go to the beach, bring the reader along. The Aura One doesn't have the port plugged like the Kobo H20.

The Aura One also allows readers to use Overdrive, which I'm very excited for. I'm hoping the H20 will get this same upgrade. I borrow alot of books from the library, and this would be great to have across the readers.

While I was commuting to work, I found the size to be very comfortable with the Aura One. However, when the metro was REALLY crowded I was alittle afraid to hold the reader with one hand. It's very slim, and I was afraid to drop it. I do find the H20 more easier to hold with one hand.

Overall, I was really happy with the Aura one. I received a demo to use for a few weeks. I own the H20 and would love to own the Aura One but it will have to wait until I'm ready to upgrade. If you're use to Kobo the new reader won't be a big change, but it does have some cooler new options such as the comfort light. The biggest advantage the new reader has is the bigger size. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Review: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child





Review: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child
J K Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
Little Brown
301 Pages
Personal Copy
Rating: 3/5


Harry Potter will always be my favorite book series. I started reading the series when I was in highschool, I can remember getting the library book and sitting down to read it in the evening. I waiting patiently for each book to publish, and I went to the midnight book sale for the last book. When I heard about The Cursed Child, I was excited and couldn’t wait to get the book/play. I knew going in, that it was written as a play and J K Rowling wasn’t the only writer. However, I didn’t expect it to have such a different feel. It’s a character driven story, without much storytelling. There’s a lot of flashback storylines but not a lot of new material. That’s where I really felt like the story fell flat for me. I really struggled with the plot. I expected more from J K Rowling. If she was committing herself to continue the story, I expected her to give her readers more. This play felt like it was a “filler” project, something to just get done. It was not an eighth book in my mind, it didn't even come close. Yes, a play is meant to be experienced but I’ve read plays before, and I’ve enjoyed the plotlines. This script felt like a trip down memory lane and nothing really substantial was added. It wasn’t horrible, but it was just okay. I really don’t see myself going back and reading it again, not like the books themselves.


What were your thoughts? I’ve seen alot of mixed reviews. In a way, I wish I hadn’t read this one.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Fall Bucket List


Fall begins September 1st in my book. I love the fall season. I'm looking forward to putting on sweaters, and drinking warm tea in the evenings. Hot Chocolate is also a favorite warm drink of mine.  I've been thinking about the fall season, and which things I would like to accomplish.

Reading: I really want to read a few mystery/ cozy reads. I don't normally pick up these types of books, but I really want to give them a try.

Cooking: I'm going to try and find one new recipe per week to try. I really don't like cooking, it doesn't come naturally for me but it;s something that I have to do. I'm hoping to find new "go to" recipes.

Baking: Strawberry Jam...I'm going to try and make jam for the first time. I also want to bake some apple pies, and apple crisp.

Apple Picking: We went to an orchard last year, and I'm hoping to go back this year. Caleb is older, and I'm sure he'll have more fun.

Carve Pumpkins: My husband really enjoys carving pumpkins, and this one will be fun to do as a family.

Movie: I want to go see a movie with my husband. We haven't gone to a movie together since I was pregnant, that was 2013! This one is a must!




Friday, September 2, 2016

My Top 3 TBR Books

Description:  Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all slaves, but Cora is an outcast even among her fellow Africans, and she is coming into womanhood; even greater pain awaits. Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her of the Underground Railroad and they plot their escape. Like Gulliver, Cora encounters different worlds on each leg of her journey. 

Whitehead brilliantly recreates the unique terrors of black life in pre-Civil War America. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Dokibook Planner Review


I purchased my Dokibook at the beginning of the year, and it has really changed my life. After becoming a parent, going back to work full time and trying to manage my new world, I had to figure out a plan. Organization has always calmed me down, and allowed me to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. University days really kicked in my organization, and gave me skills that are so helpful in my every day.

I first purchased a Happy Planner but I wasn't enjoying the vertical spread. I had also purchased a cheap Chapters planner that had a week on one page spread, and I put those inserts in my Dokibook. It came with dividers, but no inserts. The dividers, pocket, and bookmark have all held up well. The gold planner has also held up great, after months of use. I bring it back and forth to work and still seems like new. The rings are still working great.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

If We Were Having Tea (Life Update)


If We Were Having Tea, I would tell you that I'm getting ready for my "No Spend" month. I'm really determined and looking forward to saving money and probably putting it into my Christmas Fund. Yes, I started saving for Christmas. Dave Ramsey is awesome! I'm still listening to his show in the afternoons, he keeps me motivated.

If We Were Having Tea, I would tell you that Caleb is growing and learning every day. My favorite thing he said this week was "I'm frustrated, and my back hurts." As he stomped off to his room, and was "frustrated" while Skyping his grandfather. He's changing classroom's this week, and I'm hoping it goes well. Caleb get's really attached to teachers and people, so I'm thinking this will be hard for him. His cousin is following behind probably tomorrow, and I think he will be better once they are together again.


If We Were Having Tea, I would tell you that I'm reading "Money Talks" by Gail Vaz-Oxlade. I'm liking it, but I'm not loving it like I enjoyed Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover."

If We Were Having Tea, I would tell you that I'm testing out to new Kobo Aura one. I'll have a review up in a few days. So far, I'm enjoying it and I like the bigger screen.

If We Were Having Tea, I would tell you that I bought some new David's Tea fall teas, and I'm so happy that fall is around the corner. I'm ready for sweaters, and tea, and cozy blankets in the evening. Fall is my favorite season, winter....not so much.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Morphe 12S and 12NB Palettes



Confession: I'm an eyeshadow junkie. I love neutral palettes, and I love palettes that you can pick up and know that they will work for you every, single, time...

I purchased the 12NB palette first. I wanted to try Morphe products and thought this would be a good place to start. It's a great palette for travel, and neutral. This quickly become one of the palettes always on my vanity. It's a great companion palette, and a great everyday palette. The mattes are great, the shimmers are nice but not metallic. Looking at this palette online, I thought the orange would be more "orange" but it's more of a brownish/orange color.


I purchased the 12S palette, I was really happy that I decided to order it. These shades are metallic, and amazing! These are great all over the lid shades for me.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Kobo Aura One




I'm so excited that Kobo has launched a new ereader. I've been using Kobo Readers for about 5 or more years. I've had the Kobo Touch, Kobo Glo, Kobo Vox, kobo Mini, Kobo Aura and the Kobo H20. It's safe to say that I really do enjoy Kobo's ereaders. All of my purchased books are through Kobo. I'm excited to test this one out. If you're looking for a new ereader, check this one out!


Monday, July 25, 2016

What I'm Reading, What I Recently Read

My Thoughts:

I started Reading Lighthouse Bay by Kimberley Freeman, and I'm so far I'm really enjoying it. I haven't been reading as much as usual and I have been pretty laid back about my reading. I have read Wildflower Hill and really liked, so I wanted to try this one. I was a little worried that I wouldn't like the two story lines/time frames but it doesn't seem to be a problem. I'm entertained by both main characters.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Morphe 350 Purchasing in Canada through Orabel

Purchasing Morphe in Canada

I've been wanting to try Morphe (Morphe Brushes) products for a long time but the shipping costs, duties and exchange rate really discouraged me. I thought I wouldn't end up getting this palette, because the cost couldn't be justified. I could buy a higher end palette instead. I found Orabel.ca on Instagram and realized it was a Canadian retailer that sold Morphe. I was so happy when I saw the 35o, and the shipping rate was only 5.99$. Yes, I paid more for the palette but it came out cheaper in the end.

I was really happy with the palette, it's not amazing quality but I will get alot of use out of it. The shimmer shades are great! I really wanted to play around with warmer colors, and this palette really worked out well for me. I will definitely buy from Orabel again. I received a 10% off when I subscribed to their newsletter. Shipping literally took less than 24 hours, because we're in the same city. I think I will buy the new Frost palette next.

Isn't this palette beautiful?? I find the quality very comparable to Makeup Revolution which is a favorite brand of mine.

If you would like to see more makeup hauls, I do have an instagram with just my makeup pictures.


You can check out my Beauty Blog at http://www.mrsqbeauty.com



Monday, May 9, 2016

Product Review: Salton Pressure Cooker 5-1 Multicooker Pot


I purchased a Salton Pressure Cooker and I've been using for about a week. Initially, I wanted an Instant Pot but it was a little more expensive and Salton offers a 5 year warranty. I also thought about the Pressure Cooker XL but a 60 warranty and mixed reviews made me take that one off the list. I'm a working mom with a toddler, I want healthy, fast meals. I thought an electric pressure cooker would be an asset to my kitchen. It would give me another option, because I slow cook alot.

The first time I used the Pressure cooker my chicken was still frozen and I tried a new seasoning. First, the seasoning wasn't tasty, and the frozen meat made too much liquid and I set the machine for too long. It turned out awful, and I was a little scared to use it again.

The second time I used it, I made pasta. I thought it's 6 mins, if it doesn't work out. I can have a backup plan and dinner won't be ruined. It turned out really great. The key is the proper amount of liquid and proper cook time. I'm a person who likes to add a few extra minutes to "make sure" my meat is cooked but I can't do this with the pressure cooker because it's so fast. I really need to get use to the machine and check the charts.

The third time I used it, I diced up my chicken and put it in a sauce. The chicken wasn't frozen and I cooked it for 11 minutes. It really should have been 10 because it was just starting to burn. The chicken was tender and really amazing. The sauced really went into the chicken and was tasty.

I think I'm going to love the pressure cooker, I just need to get use to it and stop thinking that I need the maximum amount of time. It takes a few minutes to come up to pressure, and then starts to count down. Releasing the pressure is not so scary, I throw a towel on top of the valve. This way it doesn't spray my cupboards. Once pressure has come down, the lid will unlock and you can open it. The buttons are really easy to understand and I can slow cook in this pot.

Salton Website

Description:

The pressure cooker that does it all! This functional pressure cooker can: warm, brown, steam, slow cook and pressure cook. With its 5 litre capacity, it will save you up to 70% cooking time on a wide variety of meals. Even tenderizes lean beef while preserving flavours and nutrients. The heavy gauge cooking pot distributes heat uniformly and has a non-stick coating for easy clean-ups. Also comes with a ‘Stir & Serve’ spatula and measuring cup. Spend less time in the kitchen and let the Multi-Pot work its magic.


Friday, April 29, 2016

April Wrap Up

Hi Everyone,

April was a good reading month. Of the four books I read, Medicine Walk was by favorite. That's not a surprise because Richard Wagamese is on of my favorite authors. I still have some of his books to read, and I'll slowly get to them. Here's a breakdown of my reading:

Confess by Colleen Hoover 3/5

Thoughts:

I thought this was a interesting book but a little too dramatic for me. Auburn's high school sweetheart Adam passed away and now years later she moves to Texas. We know Adam was in the hospital in Texas, and now for some reason Auburn has returned. She meets Owen at his art studio, and for the first time in a long time, she's wants to explore their relationship further. The first half of the book was mysterious and the characters were not really holding my attention. Half way through the book, I really started to enjoy it but towards the end I just wanted to finish. Overall, I gave it 3 stars. I would have like a clearer picture from the beginning and I think I would have enjoyed it more. It also felt too coincidental that the characters all had a past with each other. I felt like that took away from the story.

The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian 3/5

I like this book, but it's not the type of book that I would normally pick up. A bachelor party turns into sex slaves killing their guards and trying to get away with it. The book was okay, but I had a hard time with it. The main character Richard, is struggling with legal issues and marital issues after this innocent bachelor party turns crazy. Everyone's life is turned upside down. The men seemed to really want pity and I couldn't. Even Richard, he wasn't that innocent. The ending wasn't very realistic to me. It was good, but I wouldn't want to read it again.

Bunheads by Sophie Flack 3/5

Thoughts:

Bunheads has been on my reader for years, and I finally picked it up. I really enjoyed the ballerina world and Hannah trying to figure out if this career is really what she wants. I think all teenagers and young adults go through this stage. It's normal, it's realistic and she's sacrificed so much of herself. It's one of those books I liked but didn't love. I'm happy to finally have it checked off as read.

Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese 5/5 

Thoughts:

When Franklin Star is asked to go see his biological father Eldon, he's does so out of duty. His father has been in and out of his life, alcohol has always been a problem for Eldon. Now he's on his last days, and wants to set out into the woods with Franklin. What happens is a father comes clean to his son, and it's brutal and amazing.  Franklin deserved to know the truth and I was so happy that he got closure. Eldon started out as a despicable man, but throughout the book I saw how broken he really was. I loved this book!! Loved it.