Saturday, July 29, 2017

milk and honey - rupi kaur

During my first day at Project Zero, our study group looked at a poem for a text rendering protocol. Here's the poem we read;

For the protocol, the poem is read silently. Then, 3-4 people are asked to read it out loud. We are then split into 3 groups. One group creates a musical interpretation, one group a dramatic interpretation and one group a visual artistic interpretation. At the end of the study group, our fellow mentioned she chose this poem because most of her 8th graders carry around a copy of the book.

Needless to say, I had to look this girl up.

milk and honey is a collection of poems split into 4 sections/chapters;  the hurting, the loving, the breaking, the healing. Each poem deals with some aspect of love, femininity, abuse and violence. Some poems are sweet. Some are harsh. But they all connect in some way to what a lot of teenagers are going through.

Our fellow mentioned all her eighth graders loved this book. While I did too, I'm not sure all those poems are appropriate for 13 year olds. But then again, am I trying to shelter them?

Saturday, July 15, 2017

TLOS6 Worlds Collide - Chris Colfer

Chris Colfer's The Land of Stories has come to an end. And while it's sad, the conclusion was fabulous.

When we last saw our beloved twins, Alex had been placed under an evil spell and was wrecking havoc. So now it's time for Connor and his army to try to save Alex, fight the witches AND beat the Grand Army. Phew!

Chris Colfer does an amazing job of tying up all, and any loose ends. All our characters are revisited. Any questions you may have had are answered. Characters you may have wondered about, or forgotten about, are back. And we even get a glimpse into the future.

The Land of Stories has been amazing for a couple reasons.
1) I absolutely loved the series. I would mark down the date for the next books' release and anxiously wait for it.
2) Ethan discovered the series last summer. We spent many days discussing it, making predictions and sharing our favourite moments. This time around, we argued over who got to read it first, and then shared our favourite moments.

What will we do now?

Blood Betrayal - Tessa Dawn

I love the Blood Curse Series. Every book has been wonderful. I dive into them, and gobble them up.

But Blood Betrayal was the first book I cautiously read. Not because it wasn't any good, cos it was awesome, but it also made my heart race and my palms sweaty. Yes, it was that good!

This is the story of the Sentinel Warrior, Saxon Olaru. He finally gets his Blood Moon, but as all other books, things don't go smoothly. Kiera is his Destiny. However, unbeknown, to her, her twin sister, Kyla,  is a vampire hunter who knows all about the curse and the Blood Moon.

When the Blood Moon appears, Kyla realizes that her sister is the new Destiny, and this is also her chance to take out the clan. She arranges for Kiera to be kidnapped, and had the celestial constellation tattooed on her arm.

So, while Kyla tries to infiltrate the house of Jadon, Kiera is being tortured by the vampire hunters. you get why I had to read cautiously?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Spelled - Betsy Schow

"Girl of Emerald, no man can tame. Burn down the world, consumed by flames."

This is the curse placed on Dorthea's family. And because of this curse, our dear princess has never left her castle. And this has also probably been the reason she's turned into an incredibly self-centred brat!!!!

Like all fairytales, Dorothea's parents would like to see her married. They arrange a marriage between her and a prince, she's met once and thought he was the gardener. Needless to say, she's furious!

Wanting to escape this nightmare, Dorothea makes a wish from some orb thingy that was given to her by the Grey-Witch-disguised-as-a-child. Have you ever heard, "be careful what you wish for?" Yeah well, that's an understatement. The wish causes her parents to disappear, protective barriers to be broken and her would-be-husband into a chimera. 

So now Dorothea, Kato (the dog-groom) and Rexi (think she was the cook) are on a quest to fight the evil witch.

For a YA book, it was ok. The best parts were the cute references to modern day things (flitter for twitter, Hans Christian Louboutin shoes instead of Christian Louboutins). Each chapter also starts with a quote from another (made up) book which was quite amusing. 

But Dorothea was a brat. And I really struggled to find any redeeming qualities in her. Yes, she does grow up, but it comes really late, and suddenly. Even as fun as Rexi was, she irritated me. Actually, come to think of it, when Dorothea got on my good side, Rexi not so much. Hmmm.....

Sunday, July 2, 2017

30-Day Fitness Challenge

I'm part of a fun Facebook group, which is about fitness and fun. This month we have a lovely challenge to share some stories. Day 1 is a little long, so I've decided to blog about it. I may even decide to blog the whole month. We shall see.....

Day 1 - Your Fitness Story
So this is a long one.

I was always a skinny child. But I don't think I was ever overly active. I preferred to be inside with my book. As a child, this wasn't a big deal. As a teen, I was still skinny. And even as an adult, I was thin. Then one day, I noticed I was not.

Over the years, I've been to the gym, gotten myself a collection of DVD's and gotten trainers.

My last trainer was the best. I miss her. She knew how to motivate me, show faith in me, get me eating right, scold me when I messed up, but never made me feel like a looser. She moved last summer to Dubai and I was sure that was the end of it. Without her, how could I go on? I'm one of those people that need to be help accountable. Having a personal trainer kept me accountable. If I missed a session, she knew, and she was on top of it.

Then a Facebook friend introduced me to Beachbody. She had lost a lot of weight, and while I
 didn't ask her her secret, I did comment on how inspired she made me. She reached out and we chatted a bit. She got me to try 21-Day Fix. I loved it! It fit me perfectly. It was 30 minutes. Seven different workouts, so everyday it was something new. I loved it.

Since then I've tried a few other Beachbody programs. I'm hooked. I love them. I look better and I feel better.

And everyday, I text my trainer in Dubai. She still holds me accountable.

Day 2 - Your Fitness Goals This Month
I'm on vacation. I always have grandiose plans to workout everyday. But I'll be honest, it's not that easy. You're sightseeing, or visiting friends/relatives, or taking E to camp or traveling to Ottawa or Boston or something or another. I know it sounds like excuses, but I know me. So the solution I have is to keep active.

I bought myself a FitBit, and can I say I love it. My goal this month, really, is to keep active. Get my steps in. The days that are quieter, I don't want to spend the whole day with my coffee and book. Just half the day. The other half, I need to be out and about. Enjoying the weather. Enjoying the neighbourhood. Getting myself moving.

Thanks Nicole for this month's challenge. #hustleandheartchallenge  

Happy Birthday Ethan

My little munchkin turned 11 today. 
I can't believe how fast the years have gone.
I'm enjoying the moments,
because before I know it,
he'll become a young man.

Happy birthday Ethan.
Love you bunches.