Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Recommended Reads

I got a message from my cousin Sandra today asking for book recommendations, and I realized that I haven't talked books much here lately.  I haven't talked much of anything, really, because I have a now 3 year old who never naps and that's life for now.  But M is home from school today so I just send the kids off to play together so I could blog books.

First off, this year's book club reads:
A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout - a journalist from Alberta and her story about the 15 months she spent in captivity, kidnapped for ransom in Somalia.  I didn't love it, but it was still interesting.
Peony in Love by Lisa See - set in long ago Japan, and a story about love and longing; interesting on the other culture level, but as the main character is a ghost for most of the book, sort of strange...
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell - found this one very interesting and plan to read for more of his.  This one's about success and why some people have what it takes to excel.
Luminaries by Eleanor Cattan - set in New Zealand in the gold rush days, this is a really interesting trip to another unfamiliar time and place.  She writes with so much detail, including the many characters wound throughout.  It is a massive book, and some in our group found parts of it tough, but I quite enjoyed it all.
In the next few months we will read:
Carry on Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton
An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield (I gave this one for Christmas last year meaning to borrow it back to read, but haven't done it yet.  Looking forward to it.)
Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America by Thomas King

Other books I have read in the last while that have stuck with me, which makes them recommendable in my mind, are these:

I read Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay sometime in the past and mad a note to look for more of her books.  I recently picked up a couple more - The House I Loved, which I recommend; it's set in Paris during the rebuilding, when many old streets were razed to make way for the new modern Paris.  I also read The Other Story which while well written, was not as enjoyable.  I like to like the main character, and this guy didn't quite get there.

Jeannette Walls is another author I read before (Glass Castle - highly recommended), and I picked up The Silver Star.  I enjoyed that one, too, and need to find her other one, Half Broke Horses.

Rainbow Rowell - I read Eleanor & Park (fun & recommended), and Attachments (also pretty good).  She has a few others that I will keep my eyes open for.

Kate Morton - The Secret Keeper.  She writes bigger books that are easy to get lost in.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion - read and enjoyed.

The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson.  Ridiculous and fun.  Will check out more from this author.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  Really liked this one.

Twelve Years a Slave.

The Giver by Lois Lowry.  Quick read, a classic that you should have on your read list.

Tana French - Haven't read her in a while, but I quite enjoyed her Irish murder mystery stories The Likeness and In the Woods and Broken Harbour.

There you go - a whole handful of maybe new-to-you authors and books to look for when you are looking for something to put on hold at the library.  What have you been reading?  My list to read is long, but I'm always looking for more recommendations.  Leave a comment and add to the list!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Massive Layout Catchup

Most of these I made or started at the retreat last October - they are from fall 2013 up to last spring.

I really like the pocket pages for getting the everyday kind of photos in the albums.  There are lots of little bits I want to remember, especially with Nolan changing so much.

This one's about selling my stuff retail and how it felt so pro.

Nolan loves keys...

and dishes / water.

The first stuff I cut with my Silhouette.

Nolan's 2nd birthday...  Almost exactly one year ago!

My favourite boy.

And my favourite girl.

Parked on the flight path watching planes take off.  Fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Thanks for looking!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Back to Scrapbooking

January feels so good. Gone are the to do lists and full calendar of December - I feel quite relaxed and like I have time to do things just for fun. With freer time and a new cutting machine (I got a Silhouette Portrait from Sean for Christmas!), I've been scrapbooking a bit.

I've finished up the layouts from the retreat that I didn't have titles for (I meant to pull out the Cricut (my old cutting machine that doesn't work very well anymore), but hadn't got around to it yet.  Also didn't get around to posting the ones I did have finished... Today I got out the camera and you should get to see the whole works of them soon.

Yesterday I left out on my desk the next bunch of photos to do, along with some papers I thought might work, but today in the mail came a stack of 6x6 paper pads that I had ordered - those are perfect for doing these kinds of pages!

These photos are from May last year - this is in progress with the new papers.  I so like that I have space to leave it until I can get back to it!  (I picked this page, with the 9 4x4 spots, because most of the photos on this side are vertical, and most of the ones that will go on the other side were horizontal.  I needed to pick a page that would suit both.)

A shot of my work space - there's the laptop and the Sillhouette... and the Carta Bella 'Boy Oh Boy' line of papers I'm using.

This was today's happy mail package.  :)

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Some New Favourite Ornaments

Last year I picked up some ornaments for M in Michael's $1.50 bin - I got the basketballs first, I think.  The next time I was in there I saw the soccer balls, too - awesome.  Her two sports.  I forgot where I hid the one pack, so she got one and then one after Christmas, but this year they were both around and ready to put on the tree.  :)  They just make me happy.  I've let her know that when she moves out she can take one of each and leave me one of each for our tree.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

It was a Merry Christmas

Our December:

We are done with Christmas concerts and recitals with Madeline and haven't started them yet with Nolan, so this was one attempt at making the month festive - a gingerbread train.  We all worked on it together, and Nolan was surprisingly tidy with his icing and candy placing!

Christmas Day was in Winnipeg this year - Sean and Nolan put together his sled before everyone else came over.


For the other side, we all went out to Circle Square Ranch yesterday.  What a great way to spend family time together - lots of space for the kids, and lots to do.  We'd all love to do it again.

Nolan went for his first little sled ride & did great!

I hope your holidays were full of love, joy, peace & hope, and that your new year holds many good things.