20200928

Little Fires and a Curse So Dark and Lonely

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Synopsis- In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned--from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. 
Enter Mia Warren--an enigmatic artist and single mother--who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town--and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.
Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood--and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.

Thoughts- This has been a very popular book. It's won lots of awards. So it most likely will be the unpopular opinion when I say I didn't love it. I liked it.. it was a very good book with a strong subject matter but I still didn't love it. For those of you who haven't read it.. nor have you watched the show (I didn't and don't plan on it either) to me the book was about the question 'what makes a good mother?'. If you are wealthy and send your kids to the best school, the nicest vacations and cater to their every material need? Or should you be fun and open, less rules. Is being a biological mother enough, even if you can not provide for that child, have limited resources and no partner to share the load. Will an adoptive mother always be a second mother and not a child's real mother? There is no one answer and crazily enough you can be a perfect mother and your children can hate you or you can be a mess and manage to have brilliant children who love you despite your faults. There is no right or wrong answer, which is the scariest part of parenthood. So while all these brilliant points were touched upon in the book I didn't like the characters. So many of them more ungrateful and selfish.. I felt no connection.

I would love to hear your thoughts? Have you read it? 

A Cruse So Dark and Lonely by Brgid Kemmerer

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

SynopsisIt once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.
Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she's instead somehow sucked into Rhen's cursed world.
A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn't know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what's at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Thoughts - This book is a contemporary retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Beauty and the Beast was my least favorite Disney movie growing up, so why would I want to read a retelling? Idk! It had good reviews. It ended up on my bookshelf via paperbackswap and I ignored it for months. And then I picked it up and oh shit.. I devoured this book in two days.. I stayed up way past my bedtime reading this and yes they break the curse.. not really a spoiler but the journey was such fun. The last time I read YA fantasy was The Hunger Games a decade ago and I was just as obsessed. I couldn't even wait for paperback to deliver the second installment.. I went straight to the library and read the second one just as fast.. but there's a twist.

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brgid Kemmerer

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

Synopsis - The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.
Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen--until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?

Thoughts - Arrgh! This was such a frustrating book. I can't really say much without giving away details in case you do plan on reading this but I hated this book. Well maybe not hated because I read this one in two days as well.. and they are fat 500 pages books. But it took all the characters and painted them in a different light.. And I felt this switch in tone was less for the sake of the characters growth or lack thereof but more to get people riled up and sell more copies of the third installment. Drama for the sake of drama. Yes there is a third installment coming out in January. And honestly I can't wait to get my hands on it.. even though I am pretty sure it will disappoint me and I will have to throw it out a window after stomping on it a thousand times.. argh! 

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20200925

Friday Photography

Photograph Historic Calton Hill Sign in Edinburgh Scotland Brown Door and Green Ivy Horizontal Travel Fine Art Print Home Decor


Calton Hill - Photograph of the entrance of the historic Calton Hill in Edinburgh, Scotland. Read more about our trip to Edinburgh 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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20200921

Canandaigua Lake, New York

Just before the start of school we decided to take a break and get away. We had been thinking about doing something of the sort all summer but were unsure, when we finally decided to go ahead with it everything within a 3 hour radius was booked. We were only willing to go to safe states so Pennsylvania and New York seemed like our best bests. I expanded my search to the Finger Lakes district in Upstate New York and couldn't believe our lucky stars when I found a cute little place on VRBO in Canandaigua Lake with a pool! Yippee!!

It was approx 5 hours away.. so we thought to break up the trip with a horse back ride once we crossed into New York. We had never done one before and H is finally of a age where some companies allow him to ride a trail. Unfortunately it rained the whole afternoon.. so that was cancelled.. :(

Other than that little hiccup everything else was thankfully smooth sailing..

The House







We spent a lot of time in the pool.. well they did.. I spent a lot of time reading by the pool. It was a little cold but the kids didn't care.. they were so happy.. so we were so happy.





We played board games, watched movies, drank hot coco and popcorn and cuddled


Our only teeny tiny complaint would we that there were no restaurants that delivered. So we went to the nearby towns of Naples 15 minutes south and Canandaigua 15 minutes north of us to eat at the many restaurants. We even ended up dinning indoors a couple of times.. which we were initially very hesitant about but the tables were set far far apart, disinfected and it was all fine. 

While in the town of Canandaigua we stumbled upon a used book store, Papaperback Place..  



and we came home with 7 more books :)

We spent some of our morning at Kershaw Park on the northern most tip of the lake and then rented kayaks for an hour. This was D's first time being on his own kayak. H was with M on his kayak and I had my own. It was a beautiful day.



We were there for about 3 days.. on the way back we stopped in Corning to have lunch. We were in Corning last year and had heard a lot about the Corning Museum of Glass. Didn't had time to visit it then. Now we did :D

We spent way more time there then we had planned.. there were live demos.. very interesting. 



There was only one family per row.. very socially distant. And the glass artist had to use a air pump instead of blowing glass with his mouth. 




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20200918

Friday Photography

Photograph Extinct Volcano Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh Scotland Outdoor Green Nature Horizontal Travel Art Print Home Decor


Arthur's Seat - An ancient extinct picturesque volcano found in Edinburgh, Scotland. Read more about our trip to Edinburgh 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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20200914

lately

Ah where do I start?

We are back from our little vacation and it was perfect.. a post on that will be coming soon..



The kids started school.. they had two virtual days.. it was smooth sailing for the 5th grader.. not so much for the 1st grader.. I wanted to send that teacher a big virtual hug.. juggling twenty something 6 year olds in school and online at the same time can't be easy. Currently their school day ends at 12pm which I guess is great for the teacher.. less great for me. Waking up early has been a real struggle. 



They went to school in person for two days as well.. it's been pretty uneventful so far.. thankfully. I got them lanyards (that is such a weird word) for their masks so they don't accidentally drop them on the floor. In fact M and I attached them to our masks as well and found them very useful. 

On inquiring I was not quite surprised when the boys said they prefer virtual learning to in person. They are introverts and don't crave the need to be around others.. not sure if that is a good or bad quality.. good in a pandemic I suppose. They like to be in their own space without the stress of masks etc. 


We thought to make little thank you care packages to give to the teachers and bus driver on the first day. It contained a hand sanitizer, packet of wipes, packet of tissues and a couple of Emergen-C packets. 


On a separate note.. in a promotion with Nakturnal I received these incredibly stunning earrings. The brand has a beautiful array of stylish and chic gold earrings. 

I just finished reading Little Fires Everywhere and am currently devouring A Curse so Dark and Lonely. I haven't watched the Little Fire show.. I heard mixed reviews and don't want that to affect my experience of the book. I'll write reviews soon. 

I also just finished watching Anne with an E. It was positively delightful. It had a dark edge and touched upon a lot of current social issues while still being set in the 1800's. I was midway through it's second season.. there are a total of three when I found out it had been cancelled. I had watched Anne of Green Gables growing up and I was concerned they would not be able to end the series with a satisfying close. But while hurried they were able to tie up many loose ends and I honest to God clapped and squealed in the end with M staring at me, eyebrow raised. 

I am now watching 'The Boys' with M and The Great on my own, which is loosely based on Catherine the Great. It stars Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult. They are both  great in it.. but I have a soft spot for Hoult.. the little boy from About a Boy. Umbrella Academy has been repeatedly recommended so that's next on the list. What are you watching right now?  

Oh and I almost forgot!


We got an addition of some new rocks from neighbors and the rainbow rock H made now has a new home. The kids were so excited.. 
       
   
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