read a new book month

“Reading a book is the most glorious pastime that humankind has yet devised”

-Wislawa Syzmborska

Books. Such wonderful things. They contain hidden mysteries, secret places waiting to be discovered; they whisper to us, and make our imagination grow and bloom like a flower in the spring. There is just so much wonder in books that is still to be unlocked, still to be uncovered. It’s funny how these different combinations of words can lead to so much thought and sheer BEAUTY, like how do these authors do it? I love to just pick up a good book, sit on the couch with a nice cup of chai. Mmmmm just thinking about it makes me warm and fuzzy.

Sadly, I think we have forgotten how to appreciate books for just EXISTING because they truly deserve to be acknowledged. It’s actually quite depressing, I used to read sooso much: in my free time, in lessons (I walked on the wild side, I know), in the car, at MEALS, and the unspoken truth: on the toilet. Ok, we all do it come on. I definitely do not read as much as I used to. My time is being EATEN by the monster that is GCSE’s, and just…I always get DISTRACTED by my phone or my computer. Which is a state which I do not want to be in. I WANT to read, and of course I still do, but maybe like a quarter of how much I used to. Sighhhhh.

Wow, I detect quite a gloomy undertone now and let me just brighten it up a little by saying that one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to read at least 3 books a month, and so far, it’s actually going well! I’ve recently been working through the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, which is so brilliantly funny and clever- 10/10 highly recommend. Before that I was reading various Sherlock Holmes stories (which I absolutely LOVE- so much smart VOCAB learnt) and before that I was reading the Maze Runner series which omg can I just SAY. LOVE. 10000/10. AMAZING. I was obsessed for like 2 MONTHS with this series and was fangirling with my friend who had introduced me to the series (thank the LORDS she did I am eternally grateful). DYLAN O’BRIEN IN THE MOVIE. JUST. Can we just take a moment of silence for the beautiful gloriousness that is Dylan O’Brien. Amen. But yeah, I really want to read MORE so I’m just setting myself goals and finding books that I really like! That’s the ticket. More like that’s the cinema ticket that I’ll be BOOKing (see what I did there) to go see DylAN O’BRIEN IN THE MAZE RUNNER.

I think we all need to read more. Here is my 100% working method for just that:

1. Pick up a new or old book that’s interesting to you

2. Find some quiet time and a quiet space, preferably a nice COMFY, quiet space, like a bed (with a nice duvet of course) or a couch 

3. Retrieve a blanket (or a duvet)

4. Retrieve mug of tea/ chai latte

5. Read on brother

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”
- George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

5

I am reading a brand new book for the first time in months and it is G R E A T. I’ve been reading fan fiction for so long I’ve forgotten how thirst quenching a real book can be. 

I’ve said “oh my god” at least 6 times.

It features:
1. Sci-fantasy that is entirely unexpected at every turn.
2. A BLACK GIRL who is not a sidekick and instead is every bit as well rounded, important, developed and vulnerable and romanticized as Hermione.
3. A GAY KID (the MC) who spends pretty much none of the book hating himself for being gay and only 20% of the book being upset about gay related things (brought on by other people). Its mostly him dealing with terrifying sci-fi, which is refreshing as fuck.  (literally the way this is handled when he meets the other kids is “i dont date girls” “oh you wouldnt date me because im fat right?” “no, i dont date any girls” “oh. ok.”
4. A POLISH CHILD. It is so rare and refreshing to have mixed age characters in YA books and it feels so realistic. I think the MC and the black girl are like 17-18 and the kid (who is also a fully realized and respected person) is about 13 years old. Also, its crazy refreshing to have Eastern European characters that aren’t tropes.

I’m almost done with the book (maybe 30 pages left) and its taken be abut 3-ish hours to read and I STILL have no idea how its going to end,

I highly recommend picking it up if you’re interested in diverse, imaginative Sci-fi. 

March 2017 in Numbers

How oh how is it April tomorrow? I still have a very clear moment in my memory from when I was a kid, and my mom saying “in the year 2000,″ and I was all like “no way, that’s the future!” And now here we are, well into the future

March flew by, as has 2017 so far. Here are some of the highlights for me from March 2017. 

16  ⇨ The number of times I worked out this month

Which, considering there were 31 days in March, means I worked out 51% of the days.  Truthfully it feels like way more than that (any day I go to CrossFit and/or a run is still a big, big, BIG deal, ha), but I’m still happy with this number (especially when I hardly worked our a mere few months ago).  I’m also really trying to focus on balance; by this I mean not go to the gym six or seven times a week, but rather something normal and consistent. For example I missed CrossFit last night to hangout with colleagues in town from Toronto, and as I type this I feel sick (cold) so I’m skipping it… balance! 

5 ⇨ The kilometers I ran this month (okay, so I went on one run, but it was a great run through downtown Detroit). 

I definitely had a holy crap I’m running through Detroit!!!!! moment on my run. It’s absolutely amazing the wonderful twists and turns life throws; WHO WOULD HAVE GUESS I’D EVER RUN THROUGH DETROIT?!

Here some bright n’ fun wall graffiti murals I saw on my run. 

6   ⇨The number of white roses I received. 

They’re pretty, eh? Along with this theme, and to throw another number into this post; 8. Eight is the number of dates I had with 1 guy.  I don’t really know what I’m doing or why, but it’s new and fun and for lack of a better way of saying it, a very adult “relationship.” (In quotes because hey oh, it’s not that serious yet.)  

I get dressed up in high heels and red lipstick, and we eat at beautiful restaurants, and walk around the Detroit Institute of Art. He brings me roses(!) and candy and cooks for me. He opens doors and kisses my forehead and holds my hand. It’s all very movie-ish right now; including me taking to my blog to write about it.  He’s a Doctor, which is interesting to hear about; both his everyday and the American health care system. 

I’m currently feeling very Sex and the City like though; dating at 32 and enjoying the city a lot! 

68 ⇨ The percent of income I saved 

68% is a bit misleading; I received a bonus this month for my rotation in Detroit, so my income is inflated this month. And to be transparent I get a lot of perks living in Detroit (car is paid for, allowance, etc.) so I advise to not compare your budget numbers to the ones below!  

Remember when I did that do-not-buy-things challenge for myself for the first month of January 2015? well I still think it was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself; it completely broke my habit of buying clutter and things, and triggered my savings; I’d still highly recommend it.  

0 ⇨ the number of books I finished

Ughhhh. This was a bad reading month. I finished a book last month, and don’t have a new one; suggestions are welcome! 

5 ⇨ the number of Big Little Lies I watched (it’s, so, so good)

Have you watched it yet? Get, on, it.  It’s a short series (5 episodes total) with Nicole Kidman and Reece Witherspoon and oh.my. it’s binge TV heaven. 

2.4 ⇨ the number of pounds I lost

Boooohiss as 2.4 pounds seems very little for a month of eating really relatively well and working out. 

That being said, my clothes are fitting SO MUCH BETTER. So much so, let me add a self indulgent outfit collage below. I really need to start looking at the camera and/or not parting my hair to one side, but let’s ignore those two factors for a hot second, because I am feeling pret-ty good in my own skin lately.  My bum is looking great (for me) if I do say so myself (s.q.u.a.t.s.), and I took a nap in my jeans the other day. I repeat. I TOOK A NAP IN MY JEANS (#youknowyourelosingweightwhen).

3  ⇨ the age Lily turned in March

On March 14th, my beautiful niece, Lily, turned THREE! Obviously I headed back to Toronto to help her celebrate her ladybug themed birthday!  The night before my sister and I put together ladybug loot bags, and prepared everything for her big day.  She played with her friends, blew out her candles, opened presents, and celebrated the milestone with a consistent smile on her face. 

That evening her dad asked her, “Lily, what was your favourite part of today?” and she replied, “Seeing Olivia and Adele and Mason and Audrey and Auntie and Grandpa…” and the list went on! It was so cute. 

1,800 ⇨ the calories I aim to hit each month 

I hit over 55 days on My Fitness Pal counting calories. True, March wasn’t the most perfect month; I’d often start recording breakfast and lunch and then forget / not bother at dinner time, but still, I tried and didn’t drop off. As I type this I hope to stay consistent in the month of April. 

4 ⇨ the number of times I went to the Detroit Institute of Art

I’m not sure why I enjoy the D.I.A. so much or why I put so much effort into heading to their exhibits; but I absolutely love it! I live very close too, so sometimes I walk there and then stroll around for an hour or two, or sit in their cafe and listen to the harp man play.  It’s all very adulty of me, or at least I feel that, and a nudge to embrace the art in Toronto when I’m back, as I hardly ever went to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) downtown, or Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) when I lived really close to them too! 

8 ⇨ The number of new restaurants I went to this month

Okay, I actually have no idea how many new spots I went to in March, but I’ve been exploring the restaurants in Detroit, and have been so impressed.  Here’s the link to my Detroit Google Map (I’ve been to the red restaurants, and still want to go to the brown ones!)

213 ⇨ The days till Courtney’s wedding!

On the day of Lily’s birthday party I was triple booked! In the morning I zoomed to the west end of the city to meet the Bride-to-be Courtney, and her other beautiful bridesmaid to choose dresses!  

Here’s mine:

And with that, that’s a happy summary of my life in Detroit.  I started this post on April 30, and today it’s April 5, which shows how BUSY life has been! 

I’m slowly making friends and settling in and really enjoying the Detroit life. I’m still waiting to hear from work whether my stay here will continue on throughout the summer or not, but I’m really hoping it does; especially as I have so many Northern Michigan to-dos! We shall see :) 

((Pssssssttt someone should recommend me EU books. I’m leaning towards prequel era, but if anyone has a good idea where to start I’d love to hear them!!))

2

Rory and Jess after the series finale; life in New York

2017 New Year Resolutions Ideas

- Break a world record
- Learn a new language
- Explore a new place near where you live
- Be organised
- Journal everyday
- Workout everyday
- Get a new hobby
- Read one book per month
- Learn an instrument
- Learn how to sing
- Learn a new sport
- Meditate
- Worry less
- Reduce stress
- Be more happy
- Go out and meet new people
- Do the thing you’ve always wanted to do
- Conquer a fear
- Visit another country
- Start a blog
- Keep your room clean
- Survive a day without your phone
- Survive a day without the internet
- Call an old friend
- Cook for your family
- Maintain a regular sleeping schedule
- Write more
- Go outdoors
- Donate to a charity
- Go hiking
- Drink more water
- Declutter your wardrobe
- Get your shit together
- Start an online business
- Eat healthy
- Become a vegetarian/vegan
- Find a favourite quote
- Inspire others
- Apply for internship
- Enjoy life
- Do something and be really good at it

Goal Setting Tarot Spread

This is a spread to be used in conjunction with a list of goals. Before laying down your cards in the shape of a pyramid, think of 3 six-month achievable goals, 2 twelve-month achievable goals, and one five-year achievable goal. Deal the cards face down. Each card gives advice on how to achieve a specific goal. Here’s how my reading for myself went:

1. 6 month goal: (Read 6 new books). 2 of Wands. Stay focused. Don’t let the desires of others distract you. Prioritize your goals.

2. 6 month goal: (Devote 1 day/week to creating). 9 of Swords. Do not let fear and anxiety surrounding failure rule you. The only way to get better is to be persistent.

3. 6 month goal: (Devote 2 days/week to working out). 5 of Coins. You’re not alone in this. Seek help from friends! They will support you!

4. 12 month goal: (Save $500). 3 of Cups. Happiness comes from great company, not from possessions. Focus on the relationships in your life instead of on things that cost money.

5. 12 month goal: (Finish tarot and palmistry courses). 8 of Wands. Divine inspiration is incoming. Be ready. Be listening.

6. 5 year goal: (Become a teacher). Justice. Stay true to your moral compass. You know what you want and how you are called to help others. Trust this.

Spread from Sasha Graham’s 365 Tarot Spreads

Deck is the Nicoletta Ceccoli Deck

anonymous asked:

hey so my lame ass new years resolution is to read more (at least a book a month) do you have any suggestions, books that changed your life (i know corny), or just some really good reads?

This is a big question. IDK if you are looking for fiction or non, or if you have any interest in memoirs, but I have a TON of book recommendations:

Interactive Books: 
Pick Me Up by Adam J. Kurtz
F*ck I’m in My Twenties
52 Lists for Happiness by Moorea Seal

Memoirs/Essays:
How to be Black by Baratunde Thurston
Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Meaty by Samantha Irby
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher (just realized I have the same handwriting as her ha)
White Girl Problems by Babe Walker
ANYTHING BY DAVID SEDARIS

Fiction:
The Clasp by Sloane Crosley
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
ANYTHING BY ZADIE SMITH

YA Lit:
Transcendent by Katelyn Detweiler
Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here by Anna Breslaw

A million others but I’m blanking right now. Come back once you’ve started a few of these and I’ll give you some more.

#Readwomen’s Month Wrap-up 

First off, I’d like to give a quick thanks to @ladybookmad for creating this challenge and hosting it. *bows to you* This was a really fun month and I read amazing novels (I gave them all 5 stars, I think. So there’s that.) 

 With that said, here we go: 

  • Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy: 5/5 stars (Review here
  • Nimona by Noelle Stevenson: 5/5 Stars  
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer: 5/5 stars 
  • Bone Gap by Laura Ruby: 5/5 stars (Review here

So there it is, friends. I hope you all had a good reading month, whether you participated in #readwomen or not.

Happy New Year’s! :) 

Mindful and Healthy Resolutions

In the spirit of a New Year! (Happy 2015 everyone). 

Even just one of these can make a huge difference in your life. If you don’t know which to choose, or what you need the most, pick a random number and let the universe guide you. 

Please share if you find this helpful. Someone else might share your opinion!

  1. Evaluate your relationships with honesty and remove the unhealthy ones in a gracious and kind way. 
  2. Make a list of five things you’re thankful for every day. Keep these in a journal to look at when you’re needing to be picked up. 
  3. Once a week, sit quietly and imagine love coming from your heart towards the people you have strained relationships with, or the people needing more love in their life. 
  4. Renew how special “I love you” is. Say it in the most tender of moments, in the most tender of ways. 
  5. Meditate for three minutes, three times a day. 
  6. Give people the space to make mistakes; educate (with kindness) those who make mistakes, but have good intentions. 
  7. Be an exception. Find something you don’t agree with in society, and change it in yourself. 
  8. Put down your phone and computer when someone is talking with you. Pay attention to their eyes instead of your screen. 
  9. Every day, make sure you have at least one conversation where you give the person your full attention. 
  10. Count to three mentally before responding in a conversation; make sure the person is done talking and that you gave them the space to speak. 
  11. Keep water next to you while you’re working. Sipping at it adds a lot more water and health to your day.
  12. Communicate honestly; share your concerns and the way you think with others.
  13. Release inner shame. Give yourself the space to not be perfect.
  14. Laugh. Once a day, do something or spend time with someone where you know you’ll end up laughing.
  15. Ask someone out on a date (friendly or romantic). Be bold and daring and step out of your comfort zone.  
  16. Start a zen doodle journal. Make little designs when you are feeling stressed, and let every line you draw absorb the negativity. 
  17. Take a walk once a day, even for five minutes or just around the block. 
  18. Start a yoga practice: a couple times a week, or for a few minutes every day. Whatever is best for your body.
  19. Substitute one sugary drink for water, or just add an extra glass of water every day. 
  20. Collect stones and crystals. Let them empower you, let them mean something. 
  21. Find a spiritual practice. You don’t have to believe in an after life or religion to be spiritual. 
  22. Start reminding yourself to live in the moment. 
  23. Begin to live for sensation. Pay attention to how different warm and cool feel. Feel your clothes. 
  24. Lay down for ten minutes every day and do nothing. Set a timer if you’re nervous of falling asleep. 
  25. Regulate your sleep schedule. You’ll have so much more energy if you fall asleep and wake up around the same time each day! 
  26. Make a new friend. Find someone you’re not sure you will instantly click with, and see where your relationship goes. 
  27. Take a class. Online, at an adult ed program, at a college, a teen out-of-school group, at your library. 
  28. Read one book a month. A whole book. 
  29. Learn a new word every day. Dictionary.com is perfect for this! 
  30. Look in the mirror every day and tell yourself that you are beautiful. You are. 
  31. Send a message (on any platform and to anyone) telling them that they are beautiful and inspirational. Don’t do it on anonymous. 
  32. Aim to be imperfect. Aim to make mistakes. Aim to love mistakes. 
  33. Buy a subscription to a magazine you want. Learn something. 
  34. Buy a plant, nurture it every day with a pure and unconditional love.
  35. Every sunny and warm day, make a point to lie in the sun for 10-15 minutes. (It’s good for you). 
  36. On bright days, start wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes. 
  37. Find a new vegetable or fruit that you like. 
  38. Learn to cook something yummy and healthy. Even just one meal. 
  39. Have a salad at least three times a week. Even a small one makes a huge difference. 
  40. Volunteer. Even one hour a week can make a huge difference in yours and other’s lives. 
  41. Start a blog and educate people on something you know a lot about. 
  42. Breathe. Pick one act to do every day that you breathe for a minute before. 
  43. When you have work to do, like doing it! It’s all in your mindset, whether you enjoy or loathe something. 
  44. Learn about the ego. Start to conquer your ego. 
  45. Spend a few minutes each day looking out a window. Find something beautiful every time. 
  46. Leave your house without your phone on occasion. 
  47. Take a short walk after eating. It helps digestion!
  48. Be open to healing. Tell yourself that you are willing to heal, no matter what trials that brings you. Be open to evolving. 
  49. Make a list of things you want to change about your daily routine or daily life. Each day, pick one thing and do it. 
  50. Tell yourself that you are worth loving. Place your hands over your heart, breathe, and let yourself be loved by the whole universe. 

anonymous asked:

Thank you for your book recs tag. So many good books that I now need to read. Are there any new books you'd desperately recommend?

I’m gonna choose to interpret “new books” as “new to me” i.e. books I’ve read in the last few months, adored, and haven’t YELLED ABOUT a lot yet, sooo: 

- SIX OF CROWS BY LEIGH BARDUGO – I haven’t read the Grisha trilogy so for the first 100 or so pages of this I was pleasantly “???” about everything, but then it TOOK TF OFF and didn’t slow down again and YO, I AM IN LOVE. the tagline is “six dangerous outcasts, one impossible heist” but honestly I think “my six morally grey kids flirt dreadfully and have shenanigans” is far more fitting. shenanigans and clutch-your-heart painful backstories. (alternately: “five dangerous outcasts, and Wylan”.) CAN’T WAIT FOR ALL THE ADRENALINE-FUELLED, TORTURED SNOGGING WE’RE GONNA GET IN THE NEXT BOOK! BRING IT ON! 

- FANS OF THE IMPOSSIBLE LIFE BY KATE SCELSA – this was a very lovely, very cute, very well written little sort-of-polyamory book. it’s basically about three kids (two boys who ID as gay and one straight girl) who’re obsessed with each other, and it ACTUALLY GOES THERE. like, they take it TO THE BONE ZONE. sort of. more like the Unambiguous Oral Zone, which is preceded by the boys being like “I thought you didn’t like to kiss girls?” “I thought YOU didn’t like to kiss girls!” and then finger-gunsing each other. AAAAANYWAY, I liked it a lot. and the author replied to my tweet with a winking smiley, so she’s golden. 

- HORRORSTÖR BY GRADY HENDRIX – two words: HAUNTED IKEA. (technically it’s haunted ‘Orsk’. and Ikea actually exists in their universe, which took me out of it slightly – I think Grady should have played it like Orsk Is Ikea, not “oh, Orsk is just a rip-off Ikea!” kind of like that ONE Harry Potter mention in Fangirl that gives you whiplash. BUT, OTHER THAN THAT: BRILLOPADS, AND GENUINELY VERY SCARY.)

- WHEN EVERYTHING FEELS LIKE THE MOVIES BY RAZIEL REID – okay, this book is an ACQUIRED TASTE. three pages in I was like “wow, this is absolutely not for me”, but I just… didn’t put it down. I devoured the whole thing in one sitting because I needed to know what was going to happen. it was very nihilistic, super fucked up, sexually explicit, but DAMN, JUDE. A CHARACTER FOR OUR TIME. queer af, genderfluid (? possibly?), he belongs in an early ‘90s New Queer Cinema flick starring Andreja Pejic and directed by Gregg Araki. 

- SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA BY BECKY ALBERTELLI – hoooo boy, this was a cute book. A CUTE BOOK. I read it immediately after finishing When Everything Feels Like The Movies, because I knew I needed something sweet and nice and Uplifting Teen Movieish before going to bed, AND THIS BOOK WAS IT. such a great premise, really great protagonist, big ol’ heart eyes in my face all the way through. 

- THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE BY PATRICK NESS – I’ve yelled about this book once before, but it bears repeating: it’s incredible and I am highkey in love with it. buncha teenagers trying to live their lives while residing in the same town as myriad YA SF/F Chosen Ones, who keep trying to Save the World at inopportune times and ruining graduation, etc. etc. 

- BOO BY NEIL SMITH – I have definitely yelled about this one MULTIPLE TIMES, but it’s probably The Favourite out of everything I’ve read in the last year. click here for in-depth, heartfelt plug.