Sunday, 29 November 2015

Book Reviews

A friend of mine keeps track of how many books she reads in a year. Maybe next year, I'll try that. I love to read, but I have no idea how many books I read a year.

Oh, 2016... the resolutions are already starting...

Kitchens of the Great Midwest, by J. Ryan Stradal - I reviewed this for the National Post (through an online book club), but it was really different and hard to review. It was written in a rotating narrative. Each chapter was told from the point of view of someone near the main character, Eva, a culinary genius. Of course, at the end, and throughout, you see all kinds of connections and their ripple effects. Interesting and quirky. 
3 unicorns.

I Don't Know How She Does It, by Allison Pearson - This novel was made into a movie a few years ago, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, so if you're not a book person the movie might be more appealing. This was very light and easy to relate to, as a mother. I would think mothers who work outside of the home could relate even more so. It was a little stressful just reading about ho stressed the main character, Kate Reddy is. Very similar to the Shopaholic books.
3 unicorns.

The Paris Architect, by Charles Belfoure - I love books set during WWII and have read lots of them this year. This captures the thin line between bravery and barbarism and emphasizes the difficulty of maintaining righteousness in the face of such threat. Lucien, the protagonist is an architect trying to design hiding spots for Jews in occupied Paris. A captivating and heartbreaking story. 
4 unicorns. 

At the Water's Edge, by Sara Gruen - I really enjoyed Water for Elephants, another novel by this author, and this is very similar. Set during WWII (again), this is the story of privileged young adults who are so removed from the realities of war, they devote all of their energies to the search for the Loch Ness Monster. Wait... did I lose you? Haha! It's better than it sounds. A little bit of history, romance, and mysticism all wrapped up in a short novel to make you wonder... could Nessie be real? 
3 unicorns.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed - This was made into a movie, too, starring Reese Witherspoon. I'd like to see it because the book was great and I like Ms. Witherspoon. A true story of one woman's search for wholeness. Parts of this story were unbelievable, but her perseverance and grit, and maybe her desperation led to a journey of healing and inspiration. If the prologue doesn't pique your interest, I don't know what will.
4.5 unicorns (yes a half unicorn; 4 unicorns and a horse).

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Back to School Pocket Pages

Gracie's first day of school was scary and exciting for both of us... 
But really good. 

These Project Life papers really worked with Gracie's pictures. A little hit of pink into the usual primary colours used for school projects. 

Moment captured. 

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Back to Layouts

A few days home and we're greeted by tons of snow!

Wow! Back to reality. 
and back to posting. 

Love inspector Emma watching Grams paint her nails.

Saturday, 21 November 2015


We're back and we had so much fun! 
What a great trip. 

My family went together and had such a great time. 

We had the perfect family resort, perfect weather, great food, yummy drinks, and just an all-around great experience. 



Digging, burying, seashell collecting. 



A cooking class for kids. 

Family time.

Waves to jump.


Oh boy! The ocean!

The waterpark for the kids was a pirate ship and a castle. 9 waterslides and a whole lot of awesome!

Cousin Time.

Such a great week and so many memories made. Loved it! Love these people! Loved the trip!

Friday, 13 November 2015

Friday the 13th....

Winter walk at the dog park with friends.

A few stairs thrown in for good measure. 

And the fastest stair climber was either four-legged or four years old.

And it snowed! Big, beautiful flakes!

Looks like it will be a beautiful winter!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Canada Day Layout

Horses, horses, it's always horses lately. 

These girls are smitten! 

Monday, 9 November 2015

Pumpkin Carving and Halloween!

We had lots of fun this year celebrating Halloween. 

We were in Hanna the weekend before visiting and got to carve pumpkins with Auntie, Grams, William and Jada. 

Gracie's class had a dress up day on Friday so both girls dressed up for that (Emma dressed up to drop her off). 

 And we went to the mall on Halloween to trick or treat in the afternoon and then to Gracie's swimming lessons, and home to get ready for some neighbourhood trick or treating.

What fun!

Hope you all had a great Halloween this year and got to enjoy some nice, sunshiny weather 
(and that you're not gorging on Halloween candy like I am.... oh, my tummy!!)

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Book Reviews

When the weather gets colder there's nothing I'd rather do than curl up with a good book and a cup of tea. It's the time of year when it's dark early and I don't spend as much time outside, but rather get cozy in flannels and read any chance I get.

I haven't posted about any of the books I've been reading lately, so I've got some catching up to do. I'll try and post more reviews soon.

Andrea Martin's Lady Parts - I like to mix things up and comedian's books are a great way to lighten things up with a fast, funny read. She's neurotic, quirky and funny. I'm not super familiar with her more recent work, but she was on SCTV and brought a Canadian woman's touch to improv, so how can she not be interesting? It was worth a read.
I give it 2 unicorns on the Kelly Malacko Grading Scale. (What can I say I'm surrounded by little girls...)

The Enchanted, by Rene Denefeld-
First things first... it's disturbing. Big warning. It's violent. It's about death row inmates in a prison. So, there's that....I've got to say though, it was interesting. The writing is so unique and fresh. The author doesn't name her main character and lets the reader see that each and every character is flawed, especially the protagonist.
4 unicorns.

Gathering Blue and The Messenger, from The Giver series, by Lois Lowry-
Young Adult fiction. This series is made up of four books, starting with the most famous, The Giver. They are all set in a dystopian world,  where values are skewed and the protagonist has a chance to change the world by embracing their gifts. They're quick reads, but the characters are captivating and they will leave you thinking even after you put them down. The books are all tied together, but are told through varying protagonists.

Gathering Blue (Book 2) - Kira is an orphan living in a world ruled by survival of the fittest, to the extreme, and she is handicapped.

Messenger (Book 3) - Matty is the messenger in a secluded village. He is the only one who can reach outside villages. When people from his community give up their altruistic nature in greed, he needs to warn an outsider who may help save them.

I give them both 3 unicorns.

The Girl on The Train, by Paula Hawkins -
A very popular novel, similar to Gone Girl. In the age of social media, where everyone knows intimate details about near strangers, this novel looks at what would happen if you get too involved in someone's life, when you don't really know who they are. A mystery that tangles the lives of 6 people with a drunken haze thrown in to really mix things up. It was interesting, but I knew what was happening early. The twists weren't twisty enough for this amateur sleuth....

2 unicorns.

Z, A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, by Therese Anne Fowler-

This novel was based on letters and historic documents written by Zelda Fitzgerald and is captivating and infuriating, heart-breaking and inspiring. The novel captures the story of a passionate couple and the roller coaster ride they call life. Set in the Jazz Age and telling the story of an imaginative and troubled couple, it really begs to be read.

5 unicorns.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Riding Lessons

 Gracie's really enjoy her riding lessons. 
Her second lesson taught them to steer, to trust their horses and helped them gain confidence around horses.

Gracie's coach gave her a crop to hold because she was having trouble kicking the horse hard enough to get her going. I talked to her afterwards about it and she said the coach asked her to hold onto the 'whipper-whapper' and that would be enough to remind her horse, Tara, to listen.

They look pretty comfortable. 

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Fall Layout

November 1st??!! 
How did that happen?

Hope you're all not too sick from the candy you ate last night... I'm in a full-blown diabetic coma. 
Too much!

I love this line by We R Memory Keepers, called Wildflower. So beautiful!!

A little twist on the usual fall colour palette, and it's so pretty!

Pair pretty paper with my two beauties and I love this layout.