#amonthoffaves – wishlist

 

A Month of Faves is hosted by GirlxoxoTraveling with T and Estella’s Revenge

 

#AMonthofFaves On Our Holiday Wishlist – There’s nothing wrong with putting what you want out in the universe. So share! What’s on your list – whether you’re hoping for it now, or saving to get it later. 

 

Whoops. I was doing so well but somehow forgot to post about this one!

I love beautiful books so I always have my eye on these editions of the Terry Pratchett books. I did get one (Mort) for my birthday this year, but would love more!

How about these beautiful Vintage Classics editions!

 

And I maybe one day I’ll own more of these editions of Fitzgerald’s books

Sigh. Just browsing these books makes me happy that these beauties exist.

Meanwhile, there’s always a demand for yarn. More and more yarn. But then where would I put it all??

What’s on your wishlist?

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#AMonthofFaves – Routines and Habits

A Month of Faves is hosted by GirlxoxoTraveling with T and Estella’s Revenge

WED. | Dec 12 – #AMonthofFaves Routines, Habits and Changes. What Worked this Year and/or What Didn’t. What habits, routines or rituals worked for you this year – either something you kept doing – or something new that you started. What did you try that didn’t work … or what did you used to do that no longer works for you.

Something new that I started this year – going to the gym.

I’ve lived in this city for about 8 years now and I’m disappointed to say that for such a long time my exercise has been about walking in parks or around our estate. Joining a gym has been something I’ve been looking at for a while, as I’ve been wanting to take up swimming again. The kids have been going for swim class but I wanted a place where they could go and swim just for fun, especially in summer. My city doesn’t have a proper public pool – it does have a small waterpark, but that’s open only in summer.

So we joined a gym that has a family membership, that is, the kids can take classes, use the swimming pool and there are also kids’ rooms (one for those below 6 and one for older kids) where I can drop them off if I want to take a class or use the gym. My 5yo goes to kindergarten in the afternoon so he usually goes to the kids’ room in the mornings on weekdays. Luckily one of his good friends from school goes too so he’s always bugging me to go, even last week when I was sick with a bad cough! He’s good motivation to go for my exercise classes! I take 2-3 Zumba classes a week. I’m also thinking of trying out a kickboxing class. And on the weekends, the whole family plays tennis.

So that’s probably the biggest change in routine for myself this year.

How about you? 

Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill #bookreview

Happy sigh. I adore the work of Katie O’Neill – she of the lovely Tea Dragon Society!

In this book, a young girl and her dad visit her aunt who lives on a small island that’s been hit by a storm. Lana discovers a baby aquicorn, a kind of seahorse-like creature and she nurses it back to health. It is a tale of loss and grief – Lana is learning to cope with the death of her mother. And also one of the environment – the underwater creatures’ homes are being destroyed by overfishing and pollution. And all accompanied by O’Neill’s gorgeous vibrant illustrations

It’s Monday

We had a busy weekend and I wrote a post about it earlier today. Meanwhile here is a photo to tempt you to go visit that post, if you haven’t already.

Currently…

Reading:

Watching:

West Wing

Great British Bake Off Christmas edition!

Listening:

Eating:

That chocolate chip twist pastry thing above

Drinking:

Nespresso with milk.

Cooking:

Today, fish porridge for the 7yo who has a sore throat and is staying home from school

Crafting:

Still working on those hexagons for the piano cover. It’s coming together now.

Last week:

I read:

I posted:

#amonthoffaves – weekend things

#amonthoffaves – Blogger Love

Library Loot December 5 to 11

#AMonthOfFaves – Books worth the hype (and not)

#AMonthofFaves – 2018 Favourites

 

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

#amonthoffaves – weekend things

MON. Dec. 10 – A Day (or Weekend) in the Life. What did you do on Saturday, December 8th … or that weekend – December 8-9. Let’s take a peak into each others lives as as we chronicle what we all did on that day (or during the weekend).

Well now I seem to have forgotten to chronicle my weekend! So I’m scrambling to write up this post on Monday at 630am. So instead of what exactly I did during the weekend, here are some things that did happen.

Saturday morning swim class. The boys go for swim class every Saturday morning in an outdoor pool – don’t worry it’s heated. And it was such a beautiful day outdoors, especially compared to last week where it was drizzling and suddenly in the middle of class a heavy downpour began.

Saturday lunch at Jang Su Jang. My mom loves Korean food so that was her request for lunch. We had our favourites like seafood pancake, dumpling soup, bulgogi, acorn noodles, and clam soon tofu. Then a wander around the Paris Baguette, a bakery-cafe chain from Korea.

The husband and I went out for dinner without the kids! It was an early celebration of our tenth anniversary (which is later this month, when my mum’s leaving for Singapore). And he wanted to take me out to omakase, which I hadn’t had before. It was a tiny restaurant in Menlo Park called Kyosho. Very popular, very crowded, and the tables were a little bit small but the food was delicious, the service was nice and it was a great time out. Also I got to wear a new dress I had bought in Singapore!

Don’t laugh but after dinner we went to Target. I had forgotten about the 20% off coupon I had and it was expiring that night! So we bought some toiletries, some hand towels I wanted to replace our old ones, some Beyblades for the boys’ Christmas presents. I’m just glad Target closes late – all the stores in the Menlo Park downtown area were shut by 7! As someone from Asia, where shopping happens until late, that always surprises me.

Sunday

Drove down to San Jose where the Mitsuwa supermarket is, it’s a big Japanese supermarket with a food court and a Kinokuniya (a bookstore chain from Japan). We ate at the Santouka ramen there, browsed at Kino, then bought some groceries from the supermarket. We were there specifically to buy the sliced beef for hotpot. The quality of the beef at the Japanese supermarket is quite a lot better than those at our local Chinese/Asian supermarkets and definitely worth the drive. Also decided to pick up a bottle of yuzu sake. I love yuzu so I wanted to try that.

The 7yo has been taking piano lessons for 2 years now and every so often the piano school holds a mini concert (plus a formal recital once a year), so this time it was the winter mini concert. And he did great!

However, in the evening, he started getting a sore throat, poor thing. Good thing that dinner was hot pot so it was nice and soupy and he managed to eat some.

And yes, hot pot! A simple easy way to have dinner, really. Just need to chop some vegetables (we used Napa cabbage), mushrooms, and make some stock. We have a two-side hotpot, so I made one vegetable stock with carrots, ginger and celery, and the other was a simple dashi commercially made, then a bit of miso for extra taste. And there was the sliced beef, fish balls and fish tofu from the Chinese supermarket, crabsticks, vegetables and mushrooms. And we ate it with rice.

How was your weekend?

#amonthoffaves – Blogger Love

 

A Month of Faves is hosted by  GirlxoxoTraveling with T and Estella’s Revenge

#AMonthofFaves [The Blogger Love Edition] – Recommend some bloggers and for us to check out and tell us what you like about each blog, e.g. bookish, food, fashion, travel, lifestyle, money, mom blogs, productivity etc. 

First of all, a shout out to the three hosts of A Month of Faves –  Tanya Patrice and Kim at GirlXOXO,  Tamara at Traveling with T and Andi at Estella’s Revenge for hosting this event!

Also some great blogs out there, in no particular order….

Reading the End 

The Captive Reader  (full disclosure: I’ve just started co-hosting Library Loot with her)

Buried in Print

746 Books

A Fantastical Librarian

 

Some food bloggers

Bake For Happy Kids

Cardamom and Tea

And also, I’ve started following some crochet bloggers

Attic 24

Look At What I Made 

Cherry Heart Blog

Repeat Crafter Me

#AMonthOfFaves – Books worth the hype (and not)

 

 

A Month of Faves is hosted by  GirlxoxoTraveling with T and Estella’s Revenge

WED. | Dec. 5 – #AMonthofFaves Popular Books Worth the Hype (and/or Not Worth the Hype)

I’m not exactly one who reads bestsellers and hyped books, at least I don’t think so. I am never quite sure what ‘hype’ means with books. Does it mean those lists of “most anticipated releases” that get published every so often? Or does it mean that I see it appear on the blogs and Instagrammers that I follow?

I was looking at my Goodreads ‘read’ list for the year and started noticing the number of ratings that each book had. There were the rare ones, like Wonder, that numbered in the 500,000s. And we don’t need to talk about the Harry Potter books which are in the sky high 5 million plus! But anything in the six figures were definitely popular books like Turtles All The Way Down by John Green and Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer. In contrast, an excellent book like Mishell Baker’s The Impostor Syndrome only has 445! (Note to self, always put a rating in Goodreads, especially for books like this)

But if I were only to count those in the six figures, I wouldn’t have read many. So instead I decided to go for those books with more than 25,000 ratings. There were some that I read, not that many, but some that surprised me as I had expected more ratings for them, as, to me, they were ‘hyped’. For instance, it felt that I keep seeing the Jackaby series by William Ritter, but surprisingly, just 18,663 ratings, so that means I can’t quite call it ‘hyped’, can I?

Ok, grumblings aside, here are….

Books read in 2018 that were worth the hype!

The Last Black Unicorn – Tiffany Haddish (26,535 ratings)

I listened to the audiobook and it was a lot of fun.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman (254,854 ratings)

Eleanor is such an awkward but endearing character, you can’t help but root for her.

Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood – Trevor Noah (161,674 ratings)

I don’t watch late night TV but I was interested in Noah’s story of growing up in South Africa and it definitely was a fascinating read. His mother was quite a force to be reckoned with! Unfortunately my library didn’t have an audiobook version but I’m sure it would make for a great listen.

Pachinko – Min Jin Lee (80,172 ratings)

Loved this intergenerational saga that begins in Korea and ends in Japan. Such details and lovely writing!

Agnes Grey – Anne Brontë (43,705 ratings)

For a classic, that’s not a huge number of ratings actually. But I really was surprised to find myself liking this short (251 pages) story based on Brontë’s own experience as a governess.

I’ll Be Gone In the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer – Michelle McNamara (56,806 ratings)

Oh man this book, just thinking about it gives me the chills. An absolutely terrifying, well-written true crime book.

 

 

Books read in 2018 that weren’t worth the hype

I don’t think there were really books that made me go “Ugh not worth it!”. So just a couple that made me think that maybe it’s more like, “eh, not for me”. Maybe these books are just more for someone else.

The Cuckoo’s Calling – JK Rowling (400,033 ratings)

A decent enough read, but I haven’t been hooked enough yet to start on the next book in the series…

The Immortalists – Chloe Benjamin (58,632 ratings)

It was an intriguing premise but for me, I kept wanting more of the stories of two of the siblings and wasn’t so interested in the others.

 

Books read in 2018 that I wish had far more hype

I know it’s not mentioned in the prompt but there are so many great books out there that don’t have enough hype.

Everything Here is Beautiful – Mira T Lee (6,634 ratings)

Lee has written an absolutely gorgeous book about two Chinese-American sisters, of mental illness, of immigrants. Read it! Read it!

The Arcadia Project series – Mishell Baker

This urban fantasy series begins with Borderline (3,322 ratings), goes onto Phantom Pains (1,082 ratings), and ends with Impostor Syndrome (447 ratings). Baker creates great settings and very memorable characters – her lead is a double amputee with Borderline Personality Disorder!

Forty Rooms – Olga Grushin (1,060 ratings)

Such a beautiful book – a kind of collection of short stories taking place in different rooms that a woman has lived in over her lifetime.

Death by Dumpling (A Noodle Shop Mystery #1) – Vivien Chien (just 582 ratings)

This was such a cute and fun foodie cozy mystery series set in an Asian mall in Cleveland. I really appreciate the way Chien draws her protagonist, not as your typical successful Asian but instead somehow who’s not done so well – bad breakup, quit her job, moved back in with her parents.

What books lived (or not) up to hype for you this year?

Check out what books I thought were worth the hype (or not) in 2017