Month: January 2015

21-day Kindness Challenge, day twelve: stop complaining

21-day kindness challenge

This is a good one for me, because sometimes my default settings gets stuck in “complaining mode”. Today I’ll try to kick that habit. :)

Quote for the day (from the daily prompt e-mail): “The hard must become habit. The habit must become easy. The easy must become beautiful.”  — Doug Henning

21-day Kindness Challenge, days ten and eleven: time with someone you love/a daily ritual

21-day kindness challenge

For day ten of the challenge, we’re supposed to carve out some quality time with a loved one. I actually did this today, with a morning exercise routine and a healthy lunch with the husband.

Quote for the day (from the daily prompt e-mail): “Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.”  — Ursula K. Le Guin

For day eleven, we’re supposed to create a daily ritual; I’m trying to get back into the habit of doing yoga each day, so that’s what I’ll work on for this prompt. It makes me feel better physically and helps calm my mind. (Not to mention, it’s a lot of fun!)

Quote for the day (from the daily prompt e-mail): “Sometimes… the smallest drops in the bucket make the biggest ripples.”  — A.M. Hodgson

Music Monday: Bizarre Love Triangle

I SWEAR I heard a cover of this old New Order hit on the radio the other day, but I have no idea who the artist was. Either that, or it was a remix that I haven’t yet found on YouTube. Has anyone else heard it, or am I imagining things?! It’s driving me NUTS.

Thought Questions, #218-224

Overhead view of bridge wires

(photo by Vita Vilcina via Unsplash)

#218: What’s the best part of being you? My sassiness. I have very few inhibitions and don’t mind speaking my mind…which sometimes gets me in trouble.

#219: When you look back over the past month, what single moment stands out? I’m going to say Christmas morning, getting to have breakfast and open presents by the tree with the husband. We’ve had very little in the way of traditional holidays in our 6-1/2 years together, due to busy schedules and such, so it was kind of a magical Hallmark moment. (I know, such a schmaltzy thing.)

#220: What do you do to relieve stress? Drink tea, read, and snuggle with my cats.

#221: What is your happiest memory? First thing that springs to mind is dancing in the crowd at the Thirty Seconds to Mars concert this September. Totally awesome.

#222: What is your saddest memory? What pops to mind is a baby bunny that died in our yard when I was a kid, even though we tried to save it. It was just too young–it’s eyes weren’t even open I don’t think. I don’t know what happened or why it was abandoned, but we named it Ragamuffin and tried to nurse it along. Poor baby bunny. Still makes me sad today.

#223: What would you like to change? All the animal cruelty in the world.

#224: How many people do you love? I think I can count them on one hand. I don’t tend to form a lot of close relationships with people. I’m too content being a hermit with my books and cats, I guess!

 

21-day Kindness Challenge, day nine: give up a guilty pleasure

21-day kindness challenge

I think my guiltiest pleasure is always food. Terrible, I know! Carbs, especially, are my weakness, so today I skipped eating any bread, pasta, etc. in an effort to cut them out as much as possible. You have no idea how hard it is for me to give up bread!! (I suppose, really, I don’t feel guilty about enjoying my food. I just probably should learn to enjoy a little less of the bread basket and a little more of vegetables and fruits!)

Quote for the day (from the daily prompt e-mail): “My riches consist, not in the extent of my possessions, but in the fewness of my wants.”  — Joseph Brotherton

Q&A with Greer Macallister, author of ‘The Magician’s Lie’

The Magician's Lie, by Greer Macallister

Happy Saturday everyone! You may remember that back in November I reviewed the novel The Magician’s Lie, by Greer Macallister. Centered around a female illusionist accused of murder, the book is a bit of a cross between The Night Circus and Water for ElephantsThe Magician’s Lie just hit shelves on Tuesday, and Greer Macallister was kind enough to answer a few questions about book plotting, learning to do magic tricks, and some of her favorite books about illusionists! Click below to continue reading!

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Book review: ‘Heroes in a World Reborn’ + author interview with Nathan Ritter

Heroes in a World Reborn

If anyone has ever sat you down to watch The Wizard of Oz while listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, then you probably understand how a piece of music can transform a story into something…more. Something bigger and more lively than what is was before (and it may have been very imaginative to begin with!).

That’s kind of the same experience to be found with the children’s book Heroes in a World Reborn, by Nathan Ritter, which is meant to be read while listening to Asia’s 1983 album Alpha.  (You can find the full album for free on YouTube here.) The book is aimed at preteens but I think it would be suitable for kids eight and older, as long as they can handle a bit of scary monster-fighting and fantasy violence. Read on below for the full review, plus an interview with the author!

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Book review: ‘Refinery29: Style Stalking’, by Piera Gelardi and Christene Barberich

(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. However I was not compensated for writing a review and as always all opinions are my own.)

Refinery29-Style-Stalking-book

Refinery29: Style Stalking, by Piera Gelardi and Christene Barberich (paperback, 192 pages). Two out of five stars.

This book was kind of a big disappointment for me. It’s definitely aimed at twenty-something young women who really, really love fashion and fashion blogs. While I do like fashion and street style, I don’t get into such high-fashion labels and looks as this book seems to embrace, so a lot of the looks shown just weren’t “me”. If you really enjoy street style blogs like The Sartorialist or Man Repeller, this book might be a great fit for you. If you’ve ever read one of those blogs and scratched your head in confusion at something a blogger was wearing, then…it’s not.

With that said, if you’re new to dressing or are just in a wardrobe rut, this book does offer a lot of tips for creating your own look: how to re-wear pieces, how to mix prints, etc. Sprinkled throughout you’ll find advice from frequently snapped celebs like Solange Knowles on how to look fashionable and unique.

Unfortunately I felt like most of what was said, I’d already learned by reading Glamour and Lucky magazine. I also feel like this book is a little dated: obviously any fashion manual is going to appear slightly so, but some of the trends shown in the pages (flatform sandals, anyone?) make me think that future readers will not just be able to date this book’s decade–they’ll be able to pick out the exact year. I prefer a slightly less trendy approach to dressing, so that was just another point that made this book not the best fit for me.

Overall, like I said: perfect for the crowd that already reads this type of blog religiously. Not such a great fit for everyone else.