Showing posts with label reading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reading. Show all posts

Sunday, December 21, 2014

a man in the kitchen and other dreamy things

receiving magazines from friends, reading them (like any list-making geek, I take notes), and then passing them on to other friends is how I make sure the stacks under my bed don't get any bigger
 little c is a Pictionary superstar. it gets complicated when you are drawing for and against your opponent. and he is a worthy one
 one of his friends has a Christmas time birthday and her favorite color is purple so we hunted down for this stack and wrap. mission accomplished
the beauty of being a list maker and being married to a man who will not get out of the kitchen is that he will use the ingredients for the above to make completely different dishes (that admittedly are better than mine;) I won't complain. while he was training little c to be his soux chef, I was reading.

I've made some strategic writing plans for 2015 but am holding off on their execution so as to get in a bunch of holidaying time.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

more season

 it's been a great weekend. in the middle of it, my seventeen year old and I brought some Santa fun to a local library. the kids were so sweet. definite believers among them. one little guy was so star struck he didn't get the courage up to wish Santa a Merry Christmas until he was walking away ;)
 speaking of the season, the cards have started arriving. my favorite was this one from japan. a sweet student who stayed with us this year sent heart warming wishes and some great pictures he took
 I had dinner with some girlfriends this past week where I was gifted this great purse. it screamed holiday party to me (it could have been the oversized green ruffles ;) so I took it to the work shindig d and I went to last night. fun dinner (don't tell our moms, but d even thought it rivalled home cooking -- it was amazing) and dancing (important to balance all that food consumption) and staying overnight to sleep in and have breakfast in peace. that was pretty amazing too.
I have been putting up a few more Christmas trinkets. this one was 75cents at a local thrift store. (my favorite kind)

I am re-reading this book and listening to this. inspiring. and giving the season context. which I love.
this week has one work day and then holidays in which to write and read

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I may suggest what to buy your loved ones for Christmas


The last month has been a crash course in event planning. Our friend's beautiful wedding (the first wedding D & I have hosted and it was a dream), D's 40th birthday, and then a great event at work.
Now I'm back to the regular: a much slower rotation of work, writing, scrapbooking, thrifting, reading, and Netflix series obsessions.
The high schooler is on the cusp of his own driver's license which I'm not sure will cut down my driving as the other two have their own jobs and activities to go to, but it is thrilling (and hand wringingly nervewracking ;) to see him at this milestone.
I'm one of those annoying people counting down until I can turn the Christmas carols on. I've restrained from posting a countdown on my Facebook, but that hasn't stopped me from liking everyone's post who does ;)
Currently reading: Free the Children by the founder of Me to We (it has renewed my interest in kiva.org )
Currently writing: A writer's guide with my other half of the Writer's Weekend. It should be out for Christmas purchasing.

Monday, June 23, 2014

rooms of sadness and other things i study

read and loved this book. it was about the kind of darkness you have to read through fast so it doesn't sit too long on your soul, but half way through the book, it took a turn and the heaviness lifted and as a mother of boys, the relationship between mother and son really resonated with me.

currently studying some really interesting material and making notes for what may be the next novel.
if you need a writing prompt click here.
if you want to win $100 to spend on good eats click here

Saturday, March 29, 2014

books and virtual candy




It's been a writing intensive spring break. Took some days off from work to hang out with the kids and alternate between reading, writing, candy crush, and my favorite short workout  on repeat to train for soccer season. Missing my oldest who is gallivanting with his French class in Quebec and Montreal. Have been driving the middlest to his new farm job, and keeping the youngest in craft kits. Dinner party last night (amazing thai food this time), breakfast out with my cousins and sister this morning, and some more family celebrating for d's grandma's bday tonight.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

chai for breakfast, indoor stables, and reading about the art world

 if you are a lover of chai, you will be thrilled to know you can now eat your favorite flavor for breakfast as oatmeal. it's weird so you know I impulse purchased (verdict: good, but not topping sally's dark chocolate flavor).
the week has been running past juggling multiple work ventures, some family time with the kids' cousins on both sides, mommy chores like supergluing the broken glasses while we wait for the replacement ones, and attempting to fit a new read about Emily Carr into the mix.
 D and little C executing little C's stable plans for his horse Charlie (as close as he'll come to having a horse while under this roof -- I've seen the sort of life take-over horses are -- worse than hockey ;)


Friday, November 29, 2013

baking that hobbits prefer

this past week I watched this (with d, feeling ever so blessed to be surrounded by my family), read this (at every chance), listened to this (sung by my 16 year old and his buddy in their school talent show -- very entertaining) 5 stars all around
house that survived the building partnership (not pictured is the older brother who is too cool for blogs but not too cool for gingerbread)
note to self: do not buy prepackaged quilting fabric for kids' assignments. while I am proud of my middlest's quilting abilities -- this little dandy cost like it was from some where hipper than fabricland
70s unfolding tree I love holding court in the kitchen

given that it's Friday (day 1 of my three day weekend) it's one of those days I can do whatever I want, which turned out to be this : attended a work event this morning, delivered treats to d and his co-workers, stopped by my favorite thrift store, took little c to meet up with my mom and sister and little baby niece for a tall chai tea latte, bought 2 towels, made faux takeout, supervised annual gingerbread building (ok, I watched celeste and jesse forever (another 5 stars) in the living room while listening to them squabble about who was making the walls fall down ;) , planned holiday outfits to avoid shopping for anything new (have you seen those crowds?) and plan to write until late.

in the middle of more plot rearranging (will it ever end? ok I don't want it to...)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Economics and the 1920s -- not necessarily in that order

 d and I went to our monthly dinner party club last night where we met with our favorite dining peeps (the ones who don't shy away from a theme and go all out on their turn making dining magic happen) the theme was The Great Gatsby which meant my new haircut had purpose and d looked adorable in a bow tie.
 in my latest stack of library books was the one below -- insightful pretty much self page turning read. no matter what your approach to your relationship, I would bet u would find it speaks to you too. love books written by clever people.

this is my favorite time of year: the tree is on standby, I can't wait to start playing Christmas tunes ,and I've been wrapping stocking stuffers for some time now.

off to tidy up some more house before schlepping the kids back and forth to youth group. I have some time scheduled for plot rearranging this week. will let you know how it goes.
i'm not the only one who's psyched for holiday decorating. check out little c's coordinated lights and balloon chandelier -- I should be putting him in charge of the rest of the house ;)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Making time for the sentences that change your life.

There's a reason for one pot suppers. they save time.

I've just finished Nora Ephron's "I feel Bad about my Neck" and I loved it. had I not been given it by a friend, I might not have read it, having heard previously that it was about the physical side of aging and going on and on about it. but it wasn't. it was clever and funny and honest and had more depth than I was expecting.

as I finished it, I realized (part of this was tripping over the books beside my bed) that I read a lot of books. Just this week I posted on Facebook that I had finished my book club read (Monday meeting so I read it over Saturday and Sunday) and then went on to list the two I was reading after that.

My friend sue suggested goodreads which I clicked on and which looked fascinating, but I worried it would cut into my reading time. plus, I have such a substantial wishlist going on at alibris that I probably don't need to run across more to wish I'd read.

I like to own and collect books -- which is why at least one shelf in each room is full of them. and I'm married to a reader so he doesn't mention to the book sprawl and in fact contributes to it himself. which is huge to me. when I was a teenager, I dated a few boys who were not readers and knew we would never last.

there are many things I do to maximize reading time. I don't spend time nagging my boys to clean their rooms other than to throw their laundry and the missing towels down the stairs. (our room salso consist of an unmade bed and discarded reads so d and I can't talk) I speed clean ( I figure that doubles as working out which saves more time for reading ;) -- but not the boys' domains -- they do that when they need to

I also don't spend time recreational shopping either online or in real life. I have a few main stops I rotate through for the practical stuff, but most of my expenditures seem to be on non-fun like commuting gas and more groceries. sourcing those take up enough time -- my reading time would be severely cut into if I added more errands.

you won't understand this devotion unless you are similarly held hostage by reading addiction and compulsed by also a writing addiction so that nearly every thing you read and thing you experience finds it way into a scribbled note somewhere. perhaps that's why people sign up for goodreads when they already have a plethora of other social networking sites and not enough time already -- it's community.

timer beeped. blueberry scones coming out of the oven. (not usual for me -- baking also cuts into reading time -- usually my middlest takes care of it) they will perfect accompaniment to another read as soon as I tackle enough to do list to warrant it.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Second sleep, alternative investing, and things that embarrass your kids

 I love how these armchair covers my grandma made makes our chair look all learned.
 who needs blankets when you have invested heavily in stuffies?


I'm getting pretty excited about this writer's weekend my friend Allison and I are hosting next weekend.

In unrelated news, I've definitely experienced second sleep of late. You know -- the crashing after dinner because you let the day run you ragged and then waking up in the middle of the night all finished sleeping for a bit. Some people might see that as a problem, but if you have books you have been meaning to read, it's an opportunity.

During that read about 14 hours ago, I came across a passage I read at least 4 times because it resonated with me (like all the best novels and stand up comedians do) It's from The Memory Keeper's Daughter:

"The three men -- it shocked her that she thought of Paul this way, but he stood shoulder to shoulder with David now, nearly grown and independent, as if his body never had anything to do with hers at all..." (Edwards, 179)

My 16 year old would declare the quote creepy, but it's true for me nonetheless.

Tomorrow's attempting to be my day off -- there's a work meeting and some freelance work, and some civic responsibility interfering, but I plan to pick up my free Starbucks and squeeze in some  chillaxing (read scribing and perhaps thrifting) too

Saturday, September 21, 2013

this is how nightmares beget sore necks

Our master bedroom bed (the beautiful estate sale one I love that is a vintage queen -- read modern day double) is perfect for a couple that prefers to sleep with limbs intertwined, but not so great for a family bed. that didn't stop little c last night. after walking back and forth from his room to ours to tell we how getting back to sleep wasn't working -- I should I have told him what I recently learned about second sleep and to just start a project ;) he stood by the side of the bed while I prayed aloud for the riddance of evil including nightmares in our home and he crawled in and promptly starting snoring. success, I think ;)


the bed in the usual state of lived-in ness. if you want to read a lot of books and start projects wily-nily, you might have to give something up -- like bedmaking ;) (this previous house shot b/c camera card is still MIA)

finished this book (short synopsis video here -- worth taking two minutes to watch) from my one of my favorite bloggers in one go last night between pre-dinner tea with my sister and picking up the highschooler at work the late hours my dad used to wait for me outside of Wendy's when I was 16.

 

it was worth putting a tree grows in Brooklyn aside (which is my favorite kind of read ever since I read Booky as a kid -- brave, descriptive while emotionally understated, plucky, resilient hardship -- also why I loved the glass castle and Angela's Ashes)

after spending time with my dad and then my sister yesterday and then having a quiet night at home with d and the boys last night (where he made nasi and watched his favorite movie for the quadrillionth time and I read my book beside him) I am set to spend Saturday morning my favorite way (tea with my mom, grandma, and sisters) and then get ready for d's family to come over for dinner tomorrow) it's the best kind of weekend.

also, three cheers for spontaneous writing inspiration. it's started again while driving yesterday.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

a few more things

d is fixing my computer (i'm blaming the kids) while I type away on his. we are getting ready to sit down to a put your feet up night. it's been a long (but great) day at work and I hit my sister's place after it to get more homemaker inspiration (made my bacon and broccoli quiche and mint chocolate chip cookies in her kitchen over tea because hers never seems to get dirty and mine is always a few plates and papers away from being clean ;)
quote frameable source: keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk
reading this book. I know -- you probably read it forever ago. it looks great.
just stumbled onto this blog . only a half a post in and i'm adding it to the sidebar because that's how I roll (ok, I read a review on it) I'm ok with taking advice. it saves time.
doing some jotting on the couch. the oldest being at work will probably make me stay up and write later than this chick likes to. I should be paying him, but don't tell him.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Discovering Purpose over a Platter of the Good Stuff

I've been thinking a lot about purpose. And it keeps coming up. (Ok, part of that is which books I keep buying) But even when I'm having it float around in my subconscious, other people bring it up. Because it's not just me thinking about it. We all are. Like last weekend when I was having a girls night in with my friend Jen (the sort of foodie you'd be lucky to know so that you can expect a charcuterie & cheese plate when you stop by at the last minute), talk floated from fluff (where admittedly it stayed for a long time -- this is weekend decompressing after all ;) to the big stuff like searching out your purpose in life. It makes sense that having purpose (which boils down to finding people to serve and help and seeing this life in terms of big picture living -- ie. most things are not worth sweating. people before things, etc. ) makes you happy. Go ahead -- look around you -- the most positive people have a good sense of this. And the good thing about delving into this during the busy seasons of life means it can be an organic shift in how you live your life and you won't land up in a quieter season feeling like "what was the point of all this?" Because you'll know. And you'll know your place in it.
recommended reading: this, and this and for parents this
I'd love to hear other about other great books on intentionally living. Feel free to share them in the comments.

It's my day off so I am digging into Good Books, hitting at least one thrift store, puttering around the house, and planning this summer's publications (it looks like my collection of short stories and a book on working motherhood will both be hitting e-book format). Happy long weekend to you, fellow Canadians.

having the friends over that inspired this bbq back for more this weekend.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

shots of september

lately when i've been talking to other moms, i've felt like most of us took nearly all of september to hit our stride again combining life with the kids' school routine with work. it could be i'm only running into the affirming ones and that's ok too ;)

 went on a local aboriginal tour with some work peeps -- beautiful fascinating day
 we've been board-gaming up a storm -- the favorites: scrabble, guess who, and hangman
 summer is refusing to pack it in. i'm ok with it. family swims on the weekend didn't hurt anyone
 kitchsy kitchen cross-stitch -- you know it -- thrifting
 on another thrifting excursion -- found the mini oil that i'm sure someone else picked up on their travels for me -- love it
 heart warming fridge art
 found this picnic basket while thrifting -- plan to incorporate it into our Christmas pics if it works
loved this book. found it at the exchanging bookshelf at this holiday -- canadian experience, canadian content. -- yeah, i'm a fan
 
now if only i could only get my house managing down to a science... i've done the 30 day no spending before and now am knee deep in a 30 day organization bid. you have faith. i know you do ;)

maybe if i reward myself with writing time...

Saturday, September 08, 2012

summer merges into fall disguised as more summer

kids are back to school and i'm back at work. everyone survived the flu hitting the first week. thank goodness d took a parenting day to take care of little c who had to sit out the first one back. the middlest is now officially a middle schooler. their school's tradition is to take the gr 7s and 8s to camp the first week to bond. very cool. i snuck in a final day of beach on the labour day monday with my running partner, gwen. my first time at kilby and i loved it (and the cute store nearby where one could get sucked into an impromptu spending spree -- phone cases, robot mood rings... i may have to go back before Christmas -- this day i settled for pie to eat at the beach. delish. even if i didn't have bacon handy to pair with it, as gwen pointed out ;)
the middlest on paper route duty.
if i was at that stage, my friend's new baby would definitely give me a bad case of baby envy -- so sweet!
mid day sushi date with mom
where my fab girlfriends whisked me away to for my 35th
the amazing beach i definitely should have discovered earlier in the summer
currently reading left neglected (like an amazing combo of still alice and i don't know how she does it -- both reads i loved) i'm plotting to get writing in. it might have to be at lunchtime. before work is taken up by pavement pounding.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

snapshots of august

 my new stumbled upon pairing: maple brown sugar bacon with crumble apple pie -- as amazing as you suspect it might be -- combining it with this book about manhattan social climbing in the 30s was a delish summer combo.
 the great outdoor pool walking distance from our house -- i used to ride my bike here for swimming lessons as a kid. they have toonie swims in afternoon. my neighbor running partner and i dragged kids and picnic lunches along.
i finally realized why the kids are willing to part with hard earned paper route money for headphones like this -- you can't hear a thing outside of your podcast world once they're on -- a frazzled mommy delight. (and why i look like i am in my happy place ;)

 about the extent of the organizing that was accomplished on the art cupboard -- about 1/9 of what should have occured had i not been reading and eating treats and sitting by a pool half the summer
 the oldest realized his second story room fell in ripe cherry picking territory. i couldn't resist a photo and a bit of the spoils.
 little c thinks his new loft bed makes his room even more apartment like. kudos to grandpa for the hours of IKEA instruction riddled assembly
more reading. and no, the wild blackberries picked never made it into jam. fresh eats and muffins were all we could wait for.

i'm settling for reading above writing this summer. every summer i think it's going to be different. this one i'm being a little more realistic about not even attempting to get it in.