20190225

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

   
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Synopsis - Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?
Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jump start her career.

Summoned to Evelyn's luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the '80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn's story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique's own in tragic and irreversible ways. This is a mesmerizing journey through the splendor of old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it costs—to face the truth.

My thoughts - Let me start off by saying that this is an LGBT book. I did not know that going in and I may not have read it had I known it. But I am so glad I missed that little nugget and read this book. It was so juicy and well written. It mostly takes place in old Hollywood and follows Evelyn Hugo as she goes from poor Cuban girl from Hell's Kitchen to Hollywood royalty. While reading the book I kept going back to the #metoo movement that blasted through the film industry. Tales of the casting couch and so on and all the women and men who came forward and shared their stories. Well here is Evelyn in a similar situation.. all the sexual favors she gave to get ahead in the game.. to get parts, fame and money. But unlike the #metoo movement where there are victims and there is blame (I am not shaming the movement and what is stands for) Evelyn was well aware of what she was doing, she didn't enjoy any of it but she did it all the same and she felt no shame, she was no victim and she states very clearly that she had no regrets. I found that interesting.. she tells Monique that if she's have to do it all over again.. she would. 

While much of the book is about what she did to get ahead it also deals with the true meaning of love and family, unconventional as it sometimes may be. Acceptance, forgiveness and all the other warm fuzzies. And while Evelyn is telling her tale you keep wondering why now? Why to Monique? I wasn't too shocked when the reason was revealed but it was moving nonetheless. 

I would highly recommend this book. Anything you think this book will be about it is that and so much more.

I know this book has been getting lots of love.. I had seen it popping up everywhere last year so if you've already read it I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. 
    
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20190222

Friday Photography



Pocket Full Of - A photograph featuring an abstraction of one of the Ocean Cement Factory's silo turned 70 foot tall giants mural by Brazilian street art duo OSGEMEOS. A glimpse of the awe inspiring urban street art found in Vancouver's Granville Island.

You can buy this print here. Get Free Shipping with code BLOGGER

Prints also available in larger sizes. Contact for more information and special requests.

I am open to wholesale and licensing opportunities. Get in touch for more information.    
 
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20190218

10 Expert Hacks for Decorating a Rental Apartment


This is a sponsored post by Domino


It has been about five year since we left apartment life.. and we spent even less than a year in a rental. When we were renting we were so hesitant to decorate.. M was always worried about having to patch up ever nail hole before we left so we never did anything. There was no Pinterest back then :( When renting, decorating seems difficult so here are some decorating hacks courtesy of Domino.



Maybe you can’t knock down the wall between your kitchen and dining room or pull up the wall-to-wall carpet, but there are many less permanent ways to make a rental apartment feel like home.
With a few easy decorating tips, you can keep your landlord happy, get your security deposit back, and have a home that expresses your personal style — until you’re ready to move out, that is.
Before you pull out the paint roller or start online shopping for light fixtures, be sure to get your landlord’s permission for any updates you plan to make. Chances are if the change increases the value of the property or you agree to put things back to their original state before moving out, your landlord will give you the green light.

Ten Expert Hacks for Decorating a Rental Apartment

1. Go Big With Wall Art

You may not be able to paint the walls (it never hurts to ask!), but don’t be afraid to hang art on the walls — the bigger the better.
Select a large-format canvas, like in this space, a world map, or trio of posters to create an eye-catching focal point. For an even bigger impact, try hanging a large tapestry, rug, or patterned fabric to create interest and cover boring white walls.
Don’t have any large pieces of art? Get the same effect by combining many smaller items into a gallery wall. While spackling over nail holes is one of the easiest fixes before moving out, if you’re worried about nailing into walls, use Command hooks or other easily removable hanging devices that won’t damage paint.

2. Upgrade Bath or Kitchen Fixtures

With your landlord’s permission, swap out the lackluster bath or kitchen faucet for a better-looking version. If you plan on making your rental apartment home for a few years and enjoy cooking, updating the faucet is a medium-difficulty task that packs a big punch.
While quality faucets don’t come cheap, it’s something you can remove and take with you to your next home. And if you’re relatively handy, the update should take less than an hour. Be sure to store the old faucet in a safe place to be reinstalled when you move out.

10 Tips for Decorating a Rental Apartment

3. Hang Curtains Over Blinds

The right window treatments add instant coziness to your rental home. Stuck with cheap plastic blinds? Don’t worry — you can hang curtains right over them.
Mount your curtain rod as close to the ceiling as possible above the window, then let the curtain fabric brush the floor to maximize the appearance of tall ceilings, like in this property. To jazz up a plain room, choose a patterned or bold curtain fabric.

4. Make It Cozy With Rugs

Area rugs transform a rental space from cold and sterile to personalized and cozy. While rugs are a no-brainer in a wood-floored living room, they can be added to any room in the house, from the kitchen and hallways to bedrooms and dining rooms.
If your walls and floors are neutral, picking a large rug in a bold pattern or bright colors is an easy opportunity to make a big impact in the room. Even if you have wall-to-wall carpet, adding an area rug on top helps to define the space — just make sure you anchor the area rug with furniture or a non-slip pad underneath to prevent wrinkling as the rug shifts.

Expert Tips for Decorating a Rental Apartment

5. Paint a Small Accent Wall

If you want to paint and your landlord gives you the OK, go with a bold color on a small area. Not only will a splash of color make a huge difference, it will be less work to paint over when you move out. Try a vibrant orange in a hallway or nook, or paint the lower portion of the wall, where chair rail molding would usually appear, like in this warehouse.

Ten Expert Tips for Decorating a Rental Apartment

6. Hang Temporary Wallpaper

Long avoided for being a pain to take down, removable wallpaper has opened up new home decor options for renters and homeowners alike. To save money and time, pick an accent wall to cover in a bold print, like this luxe vacation space. If you want to wallpaper an entire room, pick a smaller space like a bathroom or office.

7. Hide What You Don’t Like

Sometimes, the worst part about renting is living with quirks you don’t like and can’t change. But that doesn’t mean you have to stare at them every day. Disguise the ugly backsplash in your rental kitchen with removable tile stickers, toss a rug over a stained carpet, or hang a large piece of art over an awkward opening in the wall.

Decorating a Rental Apartment

8. Incorporate Hobbies as Art

Worried about where you’ll store your bike or surfboard in a small rental apartment? Instead of hiding them away in a small space, think of them as part of the decor.
A colorful bike or guitar hung on the wall or a surfboard leaning in the corner adds personality and immediately signifies to guests that you love adventure. If you love to travel, frame photos from your travels and make them into a conversation-starting gallery wall. Personal touches make a rental feel like home.

10 Expert Hacks for Decorating a Rental Apartment

9. Upgrade Lighting

Staring up at an ugly ‘90s-era ceiling light that’s not meshing with your decor style? Replace it with a new light fixture to instantly upgrade and personalize your space. A modern chandelier becomes the focus of the dining room in this vacation rental.
If you don’t want to remove the offending light, get creative and disguise it with a DIY lampshade that fits over the original fixture. More lighting options will make your rental apartment more comfortable. Even if your rooms have existing overhead lighting, adding table and floor lamps will amp up the ambiance.

10. Don’t Forget About the Front Door

Especially if you rent an apartment in a large building with identical doors, don’t neglect your entryway decor. Putting out a doormat or hanging a wreath differentiates your home from your neighbors, and makes a great first impression on guests before they even step foot in your apartment.
Read more at Domio.

      
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20190215

Friday Photography



Of the Sun God - A beautiful blue, red and gold carving found on the side of a building in the streets of Victoria, Canada. See more from our trip here

You can buy this print here. Get Free Shipping with code BLOGGER

Prints also available in larger sizes. Contact for more information and special requests.

I am open to wholesale and licensing opportunities. Get in touch for more information.

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20190211

Birthday Week

Last week M and I celebrated our birthdays. The last few years we have managed to find away to getaway.. even if for only a night. Three years ago we went to a BnB in New Jersey then we went to Vegas and last year we spent a night in New York. This year there is no getaway but no worries because we have a whole week of celebrating to do.

M started a little early with a major accomplishment.. on January 31st a whole week before he turned the big 4 oh he was at the New York Stock Exchange for the ringing of the opening bell.


And he met Katrina Adams the CEO of USTA (tennis association) :D So proud of him!

On Saturday, in the afternoon we headed to the city (New York) and walked around a bit.. thankfully it wasn't too cold. We went to Wagamama for an early dinner. It was our first time there and we will so definitely be going there again.. the food was so good.



We wanted to try the matcha taro swirl soft serve at Besfren but their ice cream machine was broken.. so instead we went to Grace Street Cafe for some Cookie Monster Shaved Ice. The kids especially loved it. 


Next we rushed over to Madison Square Garden where we were watching the Rangers game. We had club seats. We have gone to I think four or five games since H was born and we have sat in regular seats, club seat as well as right behind the goal.. and while they all ensure a good time, with kids club seats make things so much easier. Clubs seats come with food and all you can eat candy.


They both got their own bags!!! 





The Rangers lost :( but it was still such a great night.. and for being so good the boys good some extra goodies from management.. 0_0

Next was Superbowl Sunday.. the superbowl part was super boring but we had a great time with friends. 

Wednesday was my actual birthday. I started the day with wishes and phone calls from everyone then had a pampering hair cut and blow dry :) We went for dinner at a local Mexican place and then followed that with gelato.. cause nobody bought me a cake.. I was planning to buy one myself but I wanted to give the boys in my life the benefit of the doubt. Lol.

Thursday was M's birthday and the boys made him a card.. we opted to stay in for dinner and I made us a cake. 


Since M turned 40 he wanted to have a party.. after tossing around a few ideas he decided to have a boys ski party over the weekend.

I packed ski google party favors and bought some cupcakes. M picked up subs on the way there.. 





They had a great time!

update: 

Stephanie from Stephanie Crafts with Wool and Paper crafted this beautiful card for my birthday. I am in awe of the stunning details.. the more I look at it the more I discover. If you have visited her blog yer you really should.. 



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20190208

Friday Photography



North End - A beautiful building with an aged copper facade and red brick sides in the center of Boston historic North End neighborhood, also know as Little Italy. See more from our trip here

You can buy this print here. Get Free Shipping with code BLOGGER

Prints also available in larger sizes. Contact for more information and special requests.

I am open to wholesale and licensing opportunities. Get in touch for more information.

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20190204

The Mother in Law by Sally Hepworth

I usually do mini book reviews at the end of the year.. but often I find myself wishing I could write more.. delve a little deeper into the book. So this year I am planning.. hoping on doing slightly more detailed book reviews.



My first read of the year was The Mother in Law by Sally Hepworth. I won it via GoodReads.

Synopsis - Someone once told me that you have two families in your life - the one you are born into and the one you choose. Yes, you may get to choose your partner, but you don't choose your mother-in-law. The cackling mercenaries of fate determine it all. From the moment Lucy met Diana, she was kept at arm's length. Diana is exquisitely polite, but Lucy knows, even after marrying Oliver, that they'll never have the closeness she'd been hoping for. But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice, the matriarch of a loving family. Lucy had wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law. That was ten years ago. Now, Diana has been found dead, leaving a suicide note. But the autopsy reveals evidence of suffocation. And everyone in the family is hiding something...

My thoughts - This was a great first read of the year. The book is told from the perspective of Lucy and her mother in law Diana. It beautifully explored the mother in law/daughter in law dynamic. It also dealt with being a mother. Do we cripple our children by helping them out when ever they are in a tough situation? Or are we being cruel by teaching them to be self reliant. And of course the all important power of money. Does having money make your life easier or is it a burden? It also touched upon the pressure of infertility, assisted suicide as well as so many other domestic everyday issues. There were so many moments where I sat back just to ponder the ideas presented in this book and how they relate to me. I also bugged M a lot while reading this book with excerpts of the book and his thoughts. A few of my favorites.

not a direct quote Being poor and surviving on my own has been the single most defining thing I have ever done. It showed me what I was capable of. As a mother, I think this is the most important you can give your children. Unlike money, it can't be taken away.

"I worked hard for everything I ever cared about. And nothing I cared about ever cost a cent"

Now while both of these quotes are anti money I am not anti money.. I have lived with it and without it. It's probably the reason why I found these to quotes most interesting. 

There were so many points in this book that could be discussed ad nauseam which was what made it so interesting.. a must read for sure.
   

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20190201

Friday Photography



Kid Dryer - In Vancouver's famous Stanley Park right beside the water park I found this wonderfully ingenious and fun bright yellow kid dryer. Read more about our trip to Vancouver here

You can buy this print here. Get Free Shipping with code BLOGGER

Prints also available in larger sizes. Contact for more information and special requests.

I am open to wholesale and licensing opportunities. Get in touch for more information.  
 
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