Coffee Time #1

Typically this would normally be a post under tea talk, however, right now I’m drinking coffee instead of tea. The coffee I am having today is Nescafe Gold Espresso, which is an instant espresso (I unfortunately don’t own an espresso machine yet… so… got to accept what we do have), I made it into a latte using unsweetened almond milk and salted caramel “skinny syrup” (its called skinny syrup because its 0 calories and 0 sugar).

There has been a lot going on lately, we are now packing, as we will be moving back into my mother-in-law’s house, and on top of that I’m with Hailey, trying to get into a healthier lifestyle and get more fit (not sure if that was mentioned in a previous post), plus we are in the middle of wedding planning. I cannot wait to share posts about the wedding, like the time when I said yes to the dress, and how I felt trying on the dresses, I will be posting photos of the dress, so most likely will not post anything detailed about the wedding until after the wedding of course. I will also share photos of the items I got specifically for the wedding and where I got them from.

My fitness and trying to get into a healthier routine… is being worked on… and definitely not easy. There are times where I do so well and I’m so proud of myself, and then times I slip up.. but I mean, who doesn’t slip up.

This past week I hung out with my friend Lara, it was a lot of fun and well needed, considering I had not seen her in over a year. We went to a mall called Sherway Gardens. There I actually saw a really nice floral shop, which I may end up going to for flowers for the Wedding if I cannot find anything better. I also found some really nice shoes and a purse for the Bachelorette and for the Wedding. Again, all things will be posted in a later post after the wedding for the accessories I decide to use.

Three things I am really excited for for this month is going to this thing called Barbie’s World, its like a walk thru where you can take a bunch of photos, it will be a day out with my friend and my daughter. Getting wedding things sorted is another thing I am looking forward to, the more I can check off on our to do list the better, especially getting the rings. Lastly my bachelorette party, which falls into the last weekend of August, which I am beyond excited about. It’ll be kind of like a mini vacation away, although I will deeply miss my Fiancé and our daughter.

Stay tuned for the next coming future posts, as they will have lots of photos and lots to talk about.

~*ATBW*~

The Wedding Date (Book Review)

Synopsis:
A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel. Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist. On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend… After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the other…They’re just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century–or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want…”

Review:
I honestly thought this book was incredibly fun to read and I was very invested to see how far things would go with Alexa and Drew. I did not like the constant back and forth of oh its not meant to be, but I really want to be with them, but I can’t be with them.. blah blah blah. Another thing I did not like was how pretty much every time they were around each other, more or less they just had to have sex. The descriptions weren’t in so much great detail to the point it took away completely from the story, but it definitely went into more depth then a lot of other Romance books I have read in the past. This series does have more books, mostly about the other characters that were found in this book, which I cannot wait to get my hands on and read those books as well. The writing style was really good and easy to read, made it feel like I couldn’t put the book down and just had to keep reading.

Overall Review: *****

What a Girl Wants (Book Review)

Synopsis:
“Ever felt like the last item left on the clearance rack? As a successful patent attorney, Ashley Stockingdale has all the makings of a perfect catch — the looks, the brains, even a convertible. But at 31, she’s beginning to wonder if she’s been passed over for good. Deciding to adopt a new attitude, Ashley suddenly becomes the romantic interest of three men within a matter of days. While her heart enjoys turning the tables on the dating game, the rest of her previously predictable world is being turned upside down. Is it more than Ashley can handle? Or is it exactly what she wants? “

Review:
To be completely honest, I don’t have too much to say about this book. Amazing that the main character has a good job and friends that love her. Sucks that one of her love interests was a guy she turned down YEARSSSS ago because she wasn’t into him at the time. I did give this book a four stars on Goodreads, but I was actually turned off that it was a Christian Chick Lit book, too religious for me in my opinion. I will probably still want to read the other books for this series, but, I think I will stick to taking them out from the library instead of purchasing them.

Overall Review: ****

~*ATBW*~

Sisters Like Us (Book Review)

Synopsis:
The grass is always greener on your sister’s side of the fence… Divorce left Harper Szymanski with a name no one can spell, a house she can’t afford and a teenage daughter who’s pulling away. With her fledgling virtual-assistant business, she’s scrambling to maintain her overbearing mother’s ridiculous Susie Homemaker standards and still pay the bills, thanks to clients like Lucas, the annoying Playboy cop who claims he hangs around for Harper’s fresh-baked cookies. Spending half her life in school hasn’t prepared Dr. Stacey Bloom for her most daunting challenge — Motherhood. She didn’t inherit the nurturing gene like Harper and is in deep denial that a baby is coming. Worse, her mother will be horrified to learn that Stacey’s Husband plans to be a stay-at-home-dad… assuming Stacey can find the courage to tell Mom she’s already six months pregnant. Separately they may be a mess, but together Harper and Stacey can survive anything — their indomitable mother, overwhelming maternity stores and ex’s weddings. Sisters Like Us is a delightful look at sisters, mothers, and daughters in today’s fast-paced world, told with Susan Mallery’s trademark warmth and humor.

Review:
I literally could not put the book down when I was reading it last Summer. I really liked that although the two Sisters were pretty much living two different lives, that they were able to come together and help each other out through their problems. And as much as I hated the old traditional ways and expectations that the Mother had for her two children, I did like how the two sisters had each others back no matter how difficult their Mother made things get. Another thing I did not like was how Harper kept referring herself as old, only because ONE guy she might be interested in, always went for younger Women. I feel like it kind of tells Women that its okay to sit around and hope for someone to change their ways… only for him to turn around and stab her in the back by going back to younger Women after they were together for a bit. Aside from those two situations, overall I really did enjoy the book, it had a really nice easy flow to read and it kept me on the edge of my seat… it was definitely a will they wont they moment between Harper and Lucas. I also felt super invested in seeing if Stacey would slow down on her career and consider her life as a Mom.

One major thing I did get from this book is that life can throw you some unexpected curveballs, and you need to find a way to just roll with the punches and to become your better self.

Favourite Quotes:

“None of us is exactly how we want to be. The goal is to be the best person we can be, given our flaws.”

“Every failure brings us closer to our ultimate goal.”

Overall Review: *****

~*ATBW*~

Tea Talk #2

Today I am drinking Almond Cookie Crumble tea. Unfortunately I no longer have the packaging for this tea, so I cannot get the ingredients for it and this particular tea has been discontinued due to T by Daniel no longer making it. It tastes yummy, I also used unsweetened almond milk in it, due to it being a black tea, the combination makes it extra nutty.

On Friday there was a major Rogers outage for all of Canada. I was one of the unlucky ones that had both Internet and cellular phone issues pretty much the entire day. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you depend on technology until you don’t have any access to it anymore. Parts of me felt a little lost with out it, makes me wonder how we ever went without technology before lol.

This Saturday I really wanted to get out of the city and was in the mood to go for a picnic. We ended up driving to St. Thomas ON and ended up eating Chinese food at the park. It was nice, and the weather was perfect. I also introduced a splash pad to my daughter, the first time I tried to dip her feet into the running water, she freaked out, but the second time I tried, it seemed like she really enjoyed it.

Sunday… I had full intentions of doing chores. But I was just not having it, I was so exhausted and had zero interest in doing anything at all. This doesn’t happen to me often, but when it does… it hits really hard.

On Tuesday I had gone to Vaughn Mills with my friend Gloria and my parents. It was a nice day out.. I have not walked that many steps in a very long time, pretty much before midnight I got a total of 11,000 steps, which on a normal week, I’d be lucky to even hit that much in a 5 day period. I also did some shopping and got some new clothes for my baby girl. I can tell she is definitely going to be really spoiled by me.

Lets see what the rest of the week will bring for us.

~*ATBW*~

Motivational Monday #1

Not sure about everyone else, but I had an overwhelmingly busy week/weekend and when I was supposed to catch up on chores on Sunday, I had zero motivation to do it. Let us hope that this week starts off strong and that we can overcome any obstacles that hit us.

~*ATBW*~

Tea Talk #1

Welcome to my Tea Talk!

The way my Tea Talks are going to go is that I will discuss something completely random, something that is just sitting on my mind or just something I want to get off my chest, it could be a complaint, an accomplishment, something that makes me angry or happy. It can change each time, but will only be written when I am drinking tea. Each Tea Talk post will also include a little chit chat about what type of tea I am drinking that morning/evening. There is no particular day or time that these posts will occur, it can be fairly random, kind of like a journal or a diary per say, but will be numbered for tracking purposes, just to see how far I can take these Tea Talk posts.

For today’s tea, I am drinking Toffee Caramel Pu’erh Tea (Ingredients: Pu’reh tea, almond pieces, natural flavours) mixed with Chocolate Fudge Cake Rooibos Tea (Ingredients: Cocoa beans, Rooibos tea, date pieces, golden raisins, candied ginger pieces, roasted buckwheat, brittle pieces, licorice root, hazel nut, sunflower blossoms and natural flavours). I was running out of the Toffee Caramel, but in order to get good amount of flavour in my tea, I decided to mix it with another tea I already had started. Both of these tea flavours have come from Sipology. For these types of tea’s, I normally take it with a milk or creamer, today I chose Starbucks Almond & Oat Caramel Macciato flavour. So my tea is definitely very very very flavourful!

One of my favourite things to do is shop, which honestly could be really dangerous, especially if you are terrible when it comes to budgeting and tend to spend far much more than you probably should. Well, for me, I have noticed that there has been a lot more clearances, which, honestly, is my favourite type of shopping. When I was at the mall today, I went into one of my favourite stores, Bath & Body Works… such a DANGEROUS store… sometimes even worse than book stores for me. I got a few lotions, body sprays and a shower gel (I have far too much in my over stock pile right now… but, who can walk away from a clearance sale without shopping?), I do intend on making a separate post to show exactly what items were purchased.

On top of that sale, there was also a clearance sale with Scentsy, which I have ordered a bunch of Scentsy Buddies, Bitty Buddies, a new wax bar and a few dish soaps. Most of the Scentsy products is for my baby girl, whom I am obviously spoiling before she can even play with stuffed toys. The wax bar and dish soaps are however mine. On top of that, there is Thirty-One, one of my friends (former lead) was selling some of her stock for discounted prices, which I have a few items I am purchasing from her that I can put into good use. So I do have quite a few items I am super excited to receive.

Currently I have been keeping busy with my baby girl Hailey, I am currently on Maternity leave and loving it, however, I have been sucking when it comes to giving myself some well needed pampering time. I have been however, been trying to read more often, and have been trying to blog a little more, just to get into the hang of writing something often, eventually hoping to use this motivation to write a novel or even some short stories, something publishing worthy… one day.

On top of the new parenting duty, and the reading/writing.. I have also been occupied with so much wedding planning related stuff. I remember when I told myself years ago… like YEARSSSS ago… that I wanted to become an Event Planner, and now when I’m planning my own wedding, it makes me question if that would have ever been the job for me… I cannot make decisions to save my own life and I keep flip-flopping. Cannot wait to do specific wedding related posts when things start coming along. I am also super excited for my Bachelorette Party, because it would be the closest thing to a vacation from this crazy life… as much as I will be sad to be away from my baby girl and my Fiancé for a few days.

Another thing that I will be pre-occupied with this year would be moving. For just less than two years we have been living in a basement apartment, not quite to my standards as it doesn’t really feel like “home” to us given certain circumstances. We will be moving back in with my Mother-in-law, which will be to keep her company, but it would also help us save money. The market is just wild this year, houses being sold for over a million… rent pricing going ridiculously up. Living with in-laws this time will be a little different, we are actually painting the rooms, so they will be a little more personalized and we wont be feeling nearly as cramped as before. Unfortunate circumstances though, my Father-in-law had recently passed away this year, which I am incredibly sad about. I wasn’t super close with him, but, I felt a connection with him through talking about books, he also always treated me like a daughter of his own, and he felt like a father to me as well. I often think about him, and about our cat Josie. But I do know they are both watching over us.

On top of those two close deaths we are dealing with, my great aunt had also passed away recently. I was not as close with her, but, it still hurts. I haven’t seen her since I was younger, but she was always the most sweetest lady ever, and always made the people around her feel so loved.

Until next time…

~*ATBW*~

Summer Reading List 2022

For the month of July and August, I really wanted to try to focus on a Summer reading theme. The total amount of books I plan on reading this month is 11 books, which I may or may not succeed at, but, I truly do want to start blogging more about my book goals.

The titles I plan on reading is as follows:

  • The Summer Cottage by: Viola Shipman ✅
  • The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by: Ann Brashares ✅
  • Girls in Pants the Third Summer of the Sisterhood by: Ann Brashares
  • Summer Hours by: Amy Mason Doan
  • The Stepsisters by: Susan Mallery
  • The Book of Summer by: Michelle Gable
  • Summer at the Garden Café by: Felicity Hayes-McCoy
  • A Week at the Shore by: Barbara Delinsky
  • Just a Boy and a Girl in a Little Canoe by: Sarah Mlynowski

Depending on how successful I am with my July & August reading goals, I may even be able to do a Summer reading wrap-up, where I discuss about which books I enjoyed more than others.

Comment below with what your favourite Summer must reads are and what your July reading list looks like. I love getting book recommendations.

~*ATBW*~

Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop (Book Review)

Synopsis:
The trip of a lifetime! Rosie Lewis has her life together. A swanky job as a Michelin-Starred Sous Chef, a loving husband and future children scheduled for exactly January 2021. That’s until she comes home one day to find her husband’s prepacked bag and a confession that he’s had an affair. Heartbroken and devastated, Rosie downs her sorrows in a glass (or three) of wine, only to discover the following morning that she has spontaneously invested in a bright pink campervan to facilitate her grand plans to travel the country. Now, Rosie is about to embark on the trip of a lifetime, and the chance to change her life! With Poppy, her new-found travelling tea shop in tow, nothing could go wrong, could it…?

Review:
I loved everything about this book, mostly because I have secretly liked the idea of having a used book store/tea shop on wheels. My personality also was similar to Rosie, where I am a huge planner and barely ever do anything spontaneously, so I was very invested in seeing how her life would turn around once the least expected happened to her. Once her husband had left her, he said the one thing he did not like about her was that everything had to be by her books and within her timing, everything had to be planned and was predictable. She then felt like she needed to not only prove him wrong, but prove herself wrong and that she can change how she has managed her own life, that is when she spontaneously quit her job and purchased a campervan (under the influence of far too many glasses of wine). She then decided to get on the road and travel, selling different teas and making a whole new life for herself.

I am truly thankful for this book, as it taught me that not everything goes according to plan. And sometimes it is okay for you to be spontaneous and make different plans with your own life to fully enjoy it to the best of your ability. It also covers some Romance with someone she least expected to be with and online dating with someone who pretended to be someone he wasn’t.

Favourite Quotes:

“And one thing I’ve learned is there is no right way to walk this earth, and we can only learn from those in our lives, take whatever lesson we can from it and keep going.”

“It strikes me that we humans build these lives for ourselves that have the tendency to trap us.”

“Bookworms do that a lot, fall for the hero in their latest read and get terribly down about the fact they’re fictional.”

Overall Review:
*****

~*ATBW*~

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (Book Review)

Synopsis:
Daughter of immortals. Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law-risking exile-to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world. Daughter of death. Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she was being haunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer-a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery. Together, two girls will face an army of enemies-mortal and divine-determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bound of their abilities. Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

Review:
Wonder Woman is honestly on of my all time Super Heroes, and any novels to do with heroes.. especially heroes that already exist I find could be a hit and miss in terms of it being good. I overall think that Leigh Bardugo did a wonderful job to capture what Wonder Woman stands for. She was treated as if she was too little to be a true warrior, but when she was going to prove the other Amazons wrong, she had decided to go off course to protect this girl that had a boat which was being attacked.

This book did have some funny moments, especially how Alia would react when it came to Diana’s super strength. I really enjoyed the amount of girl power in this novel and how Diana pretty much tried to tell Alia how she can rewrite her own path and not be the evil she was destined to be.

I really did enjoy Leigh Bardugo’s writing style as well, so I am hoping to read more of her work. I am also looking forward reading more Super Hero novels written by some other amazing authors.

My favourite quotes:

“I am done being careful. I am done being quiet. Let them see me angry. Let them hear me wail at the top of my lungs.”

“We cannot spend our lives in hiding, wondering what we might accomplish if given the chance. We have to take that chance ourselves.”

“You can’t live in fear. You make things happen or they happen to you.”

“We can’t help the way we’re born. We can’t help what we are, only what life we choose to make for ourselves.”

“Because people are always going to look. They’re always going to judge, so you can say nothing or you can at least answer back.”

“A wise warrior learns from her mistakes.”

Overall Review:
****

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