A blog about life - the good, the bad, the people, the books, the games, coffee, and food.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Five for Friday: Happy Things Edition

So here's the thing, I like hats...a lot, but I've not quite been brave enough to go with it. Until last week. Last week I bought myself this wonderful big hat, and wearing it has been amazing.

Another something making me happy, is getting my 2018 diary. It's a red bundle of delight, especially because I managed to find the layout that works best for me - week to view on the left, note page on the right.

Keiden enjoying his first advent calendar, it's all the delicious feelings of awww. 

While this time of year can get all busy, busy...there are still these perfect pockets of joy to be spotted. It's all kinds of happy making.


This song, is just hitting a happy note for me.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Book Thursday: Rescuing Prince Charming


Rescuing Prince Charming banner

This is my stop during the book blitz for Rescuing Prince Charming by Edward Hoornaert. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 28 November till 11 December. See the tour schedule here.

Introduction price!
For a limited time only Rescuing Prince Charming is available to purchase for only 1.99! You can buy your copy here on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes and Smashwords.
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Rescuing Prince CharmingRescuing Prince Charming (Alien Contact for Idiots #4)
By Edward Hoornaert
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 4 December, 2017

Blurb:
Dusty Johnson, a self-styled ordinary, everyday woman, responds with extraordinary heroism to saboteurs trying to bomb the prototype of Earth's first starship. She wants to return to anonymity, but her moment of courage propels her ever deeper into danger that tears the scabs off her dark past—and thrusts her into the arms of the unattainable man of her dreams.

Reese Eaglesbrood, an alien prince, yearns to restore his tattered reputation by guiding the starship project to completion, but his fascination with the unassuming heroine threatens to undermine his fragile authority. Shunning Dusty is necessary, yet unthinkable—and when the saboteurs strike again, she may be his only ally against Earth's darkest enemies.

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Review

This is a 3/5 star read for me.

On the surface of it this story should have everything going for it, but it didn't quite hit the sweet spot to get four stars. I liked Dusty, especially the ways in which she battled with being a heroine...yet there were parts of her characterisation that rung hollow. No way did she not pick up on some of the things she missed. 

Another reason why this didn't get to four stars - the overplayed trope of younger sibling needing to atone for something, with the atonement meaning he must ignore who he truly is.

I did enjoy the manipulations of the "bad guys". And am intrigued by the backstories of the guard pair.

Worth the read? Yes. Would I read the rest of the series? Depends on which character's story it is.

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Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Rescuing Prince Charming. These are the prizes you can win:
- Grand prize: e-book copies of the other three books in this series: Alien Contact for Idiots, Alien Contact for Kid Sisters and Newborn
- 2 winners win an e-book of their choice from any of the following three books: Alien Contact for Idiots, Alien Contact for Kid Sisters and Newborn

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

What now? Life post thesis

Photo by Chris Karidis on Unsplash
Life post thesis is so so strange. I don't know what to do with myself...and there's no guide book for what to do. Why can't life come with a guide?

So it's been about 5 weeks since submission, and it's actually only really now sinking in that I have submitted. My MA is done...and life without it is so strange. This has been a significant part of my life for so long - almost three years. There was the year spent figuring out which way to go, then the diploma year, which was get it all going and this year.

That's years of everything I do or don't do being directly related to thesis progress. Years where a part of my self has been defined by what I'm working on, how to understand it, how to fund it...literally every single thing has tied back to it.

And now it's gone...and I just don't know what to do with myself. Enjoy the free time is quite often something I get told, but how do I enjoy the free time. It seems endless, it seems meaningless without it being free time from something.

I don't know how to enjoy free time properly anymore. Actually is there such a thing? I mean I could work on that fitness journey thing...but folks, it just isn't clicking as the right thing for me right now. 

The slowing down of the year isn't helping much either. Immediately post submission was the get PhD plans going push...and the expansion of my idea is now sitting with potential supervisors. I'm waiting on some feedback before submitting applications. I'm waiting for thesis feedback before even trying to figure out article writing/submissions.

It just feels like a massive cycle of wait, wait and wait some more. Why does no one warn you about this? It's ridiculous how you're just supposed to cope and adjust from this all encompassing, intensive stress filled driven life to...nothing. 

It's all just nothing. Nothing and waiting...made worse by your actual capacity to really handle anything at a low. There is barely anything in the well of spoons...so the wanting to do something is hampered by the inability to do as well. 

I wonder if this is just another part of what drives us all to endlessly consume, consume, consume...an inability to find the right way to replenish ourselves. To be our self. To just be. That is another question as well, why are we so uncomfortable with just being...and not having plans?

Let's chat about teacher presents

So here's the thing, I had no idea teacher presents was a thing until recently. Growing-up there was never anyone given gifts to anyone - there just wasn't money for such thing. Sure there were amazing teachers, but the best I could do was write them a note.

And then I started reading mommy blogs, and I was all hold on, what is this think about teacher presents? In no way am I saying that the people we entrust our children to, the ones who can help keep the flame of learning bright don't deserve all our thanks. But, I've noticed that teacher presents has just become another thing that reinforces certain ways of thinking and being...ways of thinking and being that can hurt.

What is the point of giving a gift to your child's teacher? To express thanks, but does this mean that we automatically need to reach for our wallets? Is there no way to express our appreciation for all that the person does not automatically mean going to a shop? 

While there are those who spend a lot of time on finding the right gift for the right person, not all of us invest that in gift giving. And what are we teaching our children, that the only way to say thank you for something profound is with money? Surely, as people we are so much more than just what we can spend on others.

And what about those children at nursery - like my Keiden. There is more than his class teacher, and the two assistants who are part of his day and school experience. Every adult at his school knows who he is, and he who they are. How dare we ignore those who focus on the kitchen or buildings and grounds? All of those people matter to your child's experience at school.

I have no clear answer, but I do know that it's important to me that the person I want Keiden to be recognizes all who make a difference to his day. And that while giving gifts is lovely, what's important is the recognition and appreciating of what someone has done. How you make someone feel is far more important than what you give them.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Five for Friday: Quick Thoughts Edition

Today, Keiden started opening his first ever advent calendar. We got the Lego Star Wars one...it's amazing. He has though told us that tomorrow we'll open day 2, 3, 4 and 5 :0 Hopefully, we make the one a day thing work out.

Sunny skies, great for the mood...less so for my feet that are always hot.

Good friends are the best.

Applications are such work, but then some reference letters just make you want to cry.

How is it December already? This year seems to have done a big woosh-by.


Friday, 24 November 2017

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Book Thursday: Review Deck the Malls with Purple Peacocks

Hiya folks. It's a book review day. Still playing around with how I want this to look. This time blurb bits first then my review. Let me know which works for you :)

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Deck The Malls with Purple PeacocksDeck The Malls with Purple Peacocks (Alice Chronicles #2)
By Amy Gettinger
Genre: Chick-lit/ Women’s Fiction/ Sweet Romance

Blurb:
It’s Christmas in Orange County, California, and the mall is full of purple peacock decorations, large and small. Department store employee Aracely Martinez has a goofy Cuban friend, Quito (who’s awfully cute in his mall Santa suit), distracting her from her night-shift restocking job. But Aracely has a long-held secret, which her supervisor at the store, Jacob Thinnes, is holding over her head to make her do his bidding.

Which is too much bidding.

Enter Aracely’s oldest friends: Alice Chalmers, Georgette Jones and Julie Bowers. The group’s “Venus Warrior” bond from the 2003 production of The Venus Monologues at Garden Beach Community College is still very strong, and these women are ready, willing, and able to kick some butt to help Aracely out of her difficult bind. Join Aracely’s “Three Wise Women” plus her ever-present trickster hunk, Quito, in one adventure after another as they work against the odds to give Aracely a fabulous, nearly impossible Christmas gift: the life of her dreams.
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A generous 2.5 stars rounded up.

On the surface there was a lot I wanted to like about this read, and initially when it just focused on Aracely with moments of Alice and the gang it seemed an enjoyable read. But then, I started noticing small things that were irksome. And the story just took a massive dive away from Aracely - who you're with for about most of the first half. I was so not prepared for the change.

Granted had I read the first book in the Alice Chronicles, this would most likely be a different review. But when the next book in a series spends as much time as this one does with a different character, and gives you no lead into the main character of the series, it's not a good sign for me.

I expect more from a series. It's not supposed to rely on you coming to it from the previous book. Or at least that's been my experience with series where I've often started with later books in it.

*I am a lucky fish and got given a copy of the book*

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Friday, 17 November 2017

Five for Friday: The Watching/Watched Edition



The Good Place, is an all kinds of delightful comedy. It's smart and funny...something I'd happily recommend. 


Do I really need to tell you anything about This Is Us? I love this show, there has not been an episode where I don't at least sniffle. Randal and Beth are just such an amazing couple, hands down my favourite of the Pearsons.



Jerall and I watched Thor: Ragnarok yesterday. It's an all kinds of fun watch. Really enjoyable, and more Guardians of the Galaxy than Guardians :p


So Stranger Things 2 took a bit to really get going, but when it did it was all kinds of good. I really enjoy how the characters all got to develop - Steve for best tv mom. And I'm in awe of just how talented the younger members of the cast are, especially the actor playing Will. I'm blown away by him.


I'm late to the wonder that is Jane the Virgin, but at least I can watch it without cliff hangers :p I'm currently on the 8th episode of season two. So no spoilers please. Team Michael all the way! It's funny, it's smart, it's utterly enjoyable and the first 2 seasons are on showmax :p

What are you watching? Seen anything great lately you're happy to recommend to others?

Friday, 10 November 2017

Five for Friday: What I Want to Do Before the Year Ends Edition



  • Before the year ends I want to hit a few goals. The first read 300 books - currently I'm on 289, and really getting to 300 is totally do-able. I suspect goodreads counting boxed sets as one book is part of why I'm not there yet.
  • Get this getting fit thing going. So far I've hit 5 days of yoga, but spread over two weeks. It should be better.
  • Complete PhD applications.
  • At least one blog post a week.
  • Get my coffee drinking down to at most 2 coffees a day.
Do you have anything you want to get done before the end of the year?

Thursday, 2 November 2017

A ramble of thoughts

So this not having something urgent, and demanding of all my time and focus is a strange state of being. It's letting all sorts of thoughts in that I'm not keen on dealing with, at all. As such, I've been catching up on some of the youtube channels I watch. And then there was this:


And this, this idea of 80% that Hank is talking about is just all of the things. So I'm a perfectionist, and one that has a lot of the negative things that come with it: trying new things brings me all kinds of anxiety because what if I'm the worst at it, I try and don't follow through on a lot because I know I can't do it perfectly and if it can't be perfect what is the point, I hold myself to a harsher standard than I do anyone else etc. 

The fear of not doing something well is a large part of my inertia.

And here comes this video, that really says a lot of what has been said to me before, that at this moment has hit me in a way that may change things. I'm taken with this notion that going from the 80% to a 100% will take more work and effort than getting to the 80%. It just sounds so ridiculous and not at the same time. 

Because I know, I know that I never get to the 100%, I'm never satisfied with what I've done, so I never get to that 100%.  And am then never done, never able to move onto the next step.

So here I am, making it a public-ish thing. I will work at not going for the 100% anymore, I will work on being satisfied with getting to 80%. What does this mean in practice?

Well for now, that 30 days of yoga I want to do? I'm giving myself 5 weeks to do it. I'm not going to hit day 10 and just be done because it's too hard. Buffers make things more achievable. And getting things done is more important than it being perfect.

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Me in a nutshell: I game, read, tweet, enjoy good food, have bouts of red pen rage and I'm a coffee snob.

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2017 Reading Challenge

Cassey has read 1 book toward their goal of 200 books.
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