Friday 30 July 2021

Mid-Year Book Review

I like to sit down to reflect on my goals and intentions a few times a year.  I check in with my goals and see how I am doing, see my goals for 2021 here and my reflection from May here.  One of my goals each year is to read a minimum of 12 books.  I know for many people that's nothing but for me it's a struggle to carve out time to read, which gives me so much joy.  So a few years ago I made a realistic goal for myself that would keep me reading and not allow my hectic life/schedule to get in the way.  So far, I am on track and for the first time I have a lot of books that I really enjoyed and gave 5 stars to!!!   Let's take a look at the books I've ready so far.

⭐⭐⭐  The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

I was honestly a little disappointed, I was so excited about this book. The book is just okay. I kept waiting for something more. A character that grows or leaves an impression on me, or leaves me deep in thought. But it just never gets there. It felt too surface without the characters really leaving an impact on the reader even though their lives are clearly complex and should make a greater impression on the reader. Anyway, it's fine. You wouldn't regret reading it but it's nota book that I am rushing to recommend to others either.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

A lovely story following a young Jewish woman during WWII as she fights her way against the horror of that time period by forging documents to save Innocent lives. There is romance, but what I loved about the story is it shows that there are good/bad people of all religion, race, and origins. War and conflict can bring out the best in people or the worst. A beautifully written story set in a horrific time in history.  I've now recommended this book to several people and they all have loved it!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

I really enjoyed this book . It kept me wanting to turn the pages and I had no idea how it was going to twist and turn. It was a simple and easy read, yet very suspenseful. This isn't my usual genera and it was a nice change of writing style and also storytelling.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Daughter of the Reich by Louise Fein

Really enjoyed reading a book from a completely different perspective than most of the wonderful novels I've read regarding WWII. Being a child who came from a war torn country, you know there are always good people in the midst of terrible crazy. What made this story even more sad and powerful is the fact that it sheds light onto how vulnerable and impressionable children are. How quickly they take on the perspective of their parents and how often those terrible truths can become their own truths as adults. An important story to read.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  If I Knew Then by Jann Arden

An insightful and honest book. She is blunt in the most kind way. She weaves story and truth so poetically and I kept finding myself snapping pictures or quotes and passages. One of my favourite is “good things come from bad things.” I also love that she acknowledges her parents flees but also how they raised her with love (in the way that they knew) and resilience. I really enjoyed it much more than I anticipated truthfully.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

A heart breaking story based on true events that happened between 1920 and 1950, of children being taken from families and then adopted. Although the story and characters were fictional they came off the pages and as a teacher I could very much see this story and the family come to life. Its a page turner, heart wrenching but also infused with hope.

I listened to the audio version of this book and loved it! It was like an hour long podcast, so I assume the book is a super quick read. I appreciated how much Abby encourages women to support and empower other women, and the need for us to really reflect on the structures that have us feel like we have to complete rather than support and empower. I think although yes we have been taught this by having to fight for a seat at various tables, I think we are choosing to keep that narrative alive and well by continuing to compete for those seats rather than work together to create more seats for one another by championing each other. Her reflection and reframing of the old rules to the new rules is really encouraging and inspiring.  I decided to purchase this book for my administrative partner as a year end gift and I was able to identify the leadership qualities that I think she is very good at, and I just might buy it for myself to flip through as a reminder here and there.  

Sometimes you read a book and know it’s going to stay with you for life. Each page is filled with grief, terror, a presence of truth that you wish you could pretend doesn’t exist. At the same time it portrays peoples resilience, their natural desire for survival and a reminder that if we are in a position to lend a helping hand it can truly make someone’s life lighter. Although, topics like this are heavy on my heart, they are also stories that I need to hear. That teach me to listen and to look outside of my pretty neat and nice little life.

Past Book Reviews:

Well, that's a wrap.  You'll find me reading either on my deck each morning or on a sandy beach soaking up the sunshine.  Have a beautiful weekend loves.  

Saturday 24 July 2021

Beach Days & Bathing Suits

Hello friends!!!  This is just going to be a quick post because my BFF is arriving any minute for our annual family lake extravaganza!!!!!  So excited!!!

If you've been a long time reader, thank you and adore you, you know that each year I post about what I am wearing at the beach.  I have had some really honest posts regarding my insecurities when it comes to my beach body and how I've come to embrace it, read HERE.  I usually add at least one bathing suit to my collection each year and this year I scored a sweet one from Shein of all places.  To be honest I've been rather hesitant to buy things from them but after my teens talked me into ordering some spring wardrobe pieces and bathing suits for them and it working out 100% , I decided to give it a try too.  I only ordered one, took my measurements and then read reviews left by others on sizing.  I was between a small and medium but decided to size up.  Honestly, I think the small may have been a slightly better fit but the medium is just fine.  I like the high waisted bottoms and what I really fell in love with is the marble, tie-dye, print and the colors.  There was nothing like this anywhere else, plus the selection at Shein was unbelievable compared to anywhere else, not to mention that it's cheap!  The only thing I don't love, and this is across the board this year, is that the bottoms are cut in a little too narrow for me.  I really enjoy feeling like my butt is all covered up so that when I move I don't have those insecurities popping up, but I've tried to embrace the style and the more I have wore them, the more confident I have grown in them.  So maybe it's not such a bad thing to push ones self out of their comfort zone.  I also have a couple of cover-ups for the beach but mostly I have adorable little dresses that can take me from the beach to the market to a mid-day lunch visit with a friend.  I love simple little sundresses like this stripped one.  Doesn't it give you all the nautical vibes?

We spend a lot of time as the beach reading, sunbathing, swimming, visiting, boating and sometimes we even bring along card games or Spike Ball.  Summer is truly a magical time for our family as we spend up to 6 weeks at the lake.  We have a lot of friends and family come to visit, and it's fun to share our special little place with the people we love.

I hope you are all enjoying your summer thus far, there is still lots of it left so don't jump right into fall mode too quickly, lol.  Tell me, did you buy a new bathing suit this year?  Where?  What kind?  Do you love or dislike bathing suit shopping?

Shop This Post:

Allover Print High Waisted Bikini (lots of colors; $15)

Wednesday 14 July 2021

Little White Summer Dress

Friends, it's Bojana here from Bosbodaciousblog.  I am so excited to be a guest co-host for wonderful Carrie of the CurlyCraftyMom blog.  Carrie has great style not only in clothing but she is a talented crafter and cook as well.  I've been following Carrie for years and I always feel like I can see myself in her posts, that's how good she is.  Carrie and Jill co-host a style link--up every Thursday and so I am thrilled to be co-hosting with Jill this week, while Carrie is away on a much deserved holiday with her family.

As much as the LBD is a staple, I think a LWD is too.  I've been searching for the perfect one for a few years now and just haven't had luck in finding one until I stumbled upon this adorable eyelet number at Winners of all places.  I was immediately drawn to the simplicity of the dress, with simple but elegant eyelet details and the subtle ruffle hem.  Well then I tried it on and posted it to IG stories and everyone was DMing me "did you get it?" and "yes to that dress."  Of course by then it was already hanging in  my closet because sometimes you don't even need to ask for opinions, you just know as soon as you put it on.  Although my daughter didn't find a dress for her grade 8 grad, I scored a dress for $20, and it's become a fast favorite this summer already.  

I have wore it for a few special occasions such as our family photos, my nephews grade 12 BBQ celebration, and for my own daughters grade 8 mom and daughter dinner.  During these dressier occasions I paired it up with my new Steve Madden wedge sandals that are on sale currently.  They are so comfortable and are the perfect casual summer sandal.  Also, I added my new HB gold plated necklace and matching hoop earrings.  Keeping everything simple so that the dress is the main event.  Honestly, I have no intention in keeping this number locked away until another special occasion, heck no, it's going to the beach with me.  And I really want to try pairing it with my cowgirl boots in the fall and maybe a felt hat.  We will shall see!

Shop This Post:

Little White Dress (Winners; Shein similar)

Steve Madden Sandals

H&B necklace  & hoop earrings 

Friday 9 July 2021

What I Wore Recap: Work Hard, Play Hard

Today's post is a quick one.  I rounded up a few outfits that I think are perfect for people working in a casual professional setting through the summer months.  Although I am on summer holidays now, I love dressing up in summer pieces for work.  Give me all the dresses and cheery colors!  Let's take a peak.

Just through on a white blazer and you are office ready.

Yellow is so bright and cheery and pops even more against white jeans.  

Coffee before work is a must.  Plus, dressing up a pair of gingham shorts with some dramatic sleeves and flats looks summery and professional.

A simple, pattern dress with a cardigan is perfect to look summery while keeping you warm in over airconditioned spaces.  My current school doesn't have air conditioning but when I was in the office, I just had a neutral cardigan there all the time, just in case I got cold.

I need to find a replacement for these red pants because they are getting worn out but they always just make me feel like BOSS BABE!

This dress is 25 years old!!!!  If you follow me on IG , you saw me throwing it back to grade 8 grad when I wore this.  All these years later I still wear this dress and absolutely love it.  It has stood the test of time and it's flawlessly classic.  For someone who purges often its a miracle this dress has never been on the chopping block.

Although I love my job and planning outfits for work has become something that gives me joy, I love coming home to some comfy style.  Let's take a look at three outfits you will see me in probably weekly.
Although you wont see me rollerblading weekly, I love to wear my lulu capris and a loose top most evenings.  

Kick off the heels and trade them in for some white sneaks.  This is basically what I live in as the sun begins to set and we head out for our evening walk with Oreo.

Now that I am on summer vacy this is basically my uniform daily.  Denim shorts and a tee or tank.  Confession, I only have one pair of denim shorts?!?  Eeek, I really should probably add another pair, but I have a black pair and a denim skirt, and also several throw on simple dresses. 
What's your summer uniform?

Well, that's it my friends.  All of these came from my closet and NONE of them were new purchases this year.  The stores are still rather uninspired around here but I have been gravitating towards maybe adding a few pieces by ordering online.  

What trends are you loving right now?

Thursday 1 July 2021

Year End Reflections form a Mom: Parenting Teens

The trenches of the baby years represented by sleepless nights, the endless cycle of sleep, feed, change, cry, repeat, "oh and when is the last time I brushed my teeth?".  This is followed by the terrible twos and then excitement of them being old enough to go to preschool.  When you are in the trenches of the baby years you can’t imagine that one day you won’t be needed 24/7. You love them ferociously but you are absolutely exhausted by the end of the day.  Suddenly the days start to blend into endless hours watching them at gymnastics, hockey, dance, etc.  The weekly playdates at some point become sleepovers and suddenly you go from an active participants to looking in from the sidelines, and then eventually they take over and check in from time to time.  Oh don’t get me wrong, we are still driving to activities, we still host the sleepover and friends, and they still need us, but it's  different in intensity.  You stay close by, but you also know that they are figuring out their own path.  You brace yourself for having less say in their friendships, in their activities,  and hope the foundation you’ve laid is going to be strong enough for the next chapter.  It’s bittersweet to see my oldest going off to high school.  I am both excited for her and at the same time I know that we are going down a path where I will see her first heart break.  She’ll  have to make tough decisions and I’ll have to watch her make mistakes, because we all do.  Although I’ll always be here, I also know that she needs to do things in her own time and in her own way.  I have to embrace the change not only in her but in my own role as her mom.  I get little people.  I know how they work and how to convince them to ultimately do what I want or know is best.  Teens are all new for me too. 


So I am here to celebrate my daughter.  The young lady she is becoming.  She is strong.  She is compassionate.  She has opinions but is open to others ways of thinking  and doing.  She is funny.  She works hard.  She values family, friendships and most importantly herself.  So Halie, if you ever read this, I am so proud of you.  Although my heart is broken to see the years of your childhood gone, I am so grateful to walk beside you in this next chapter.


On another note, I also want to celebrate my youngest Anya finishing up grade 5.  She continues to keep me in awe of her energy, ideas and perspective.  She is friendly.  Outgoing.  Creative.  And loyal.  Although there are times that I am frustrated by her endless need for the next thing, I find myself equally mesmerized by her sense of herself.  Her ability to be unapologetically be herself.  To choose to live life in all the tiny moments it offers.  When we were doing family pictures, she did what was asked, she took the pictures and then she was off exploring.  We had no idea where she was but knew enough to trust her instincts. As we walked out f the gardens, I see her fancy shoes dangling from the tree  LOL.     She had climbed in a tree, in her new red, polka dot dress  and her dress shoes.  My girlie girl and my girl that loves adventure.  She already knows that you don’t have to choose one.  You can be both and everything in between.  In that moments, I wondered how I can insure that she stays just as she is.  I RELALLY DON’T WANT TO BE THE REASON SHE LOSES THAT. 


So there you have it.  My girls and this mams reflection.  What have you been reflecting on?

Photos by A & H Snapshots (Saskatoon & Candle Lake, Sk.)