Monday, 27 February 2017

Inspire Me: Story Of Your Life

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend! My weekend, although low key, was exactly what I needed.

I think this is a good reminder for all of us from time to time- We are the authors of our own story. While we do not have total control over everything that happens, we do have control over how we act and react, and how a situation plays out. We also have control over the 'characters' in our life story. If they do not move your life forward, write them out. 
At times it can be hard not to let others influence you and the direction of your life. Others are not writing your story, they might contribute, but they are not the author- you are. 
For a long time- years- I was letting people hold the figurative pen to my life story. I was miserable. So. Miserable. I had friends who were worried about me and encouraged me to find a better situation. I didn't...I stuck it out...I hoped things would change, get better. Of course they didn't- these were toxic people (yes, multiple people) I was letting shape my story. 

I eventually found myself blindsided by these people. As the situation unfolded- as horrible as it was- I found myself feeling relieved. I saw an escape and I took it without looking back. With everything that they did to me, they were still trying to pull me back, control me. You could say this was a major plot twist.
It did change the direction of my life...that situation set me free, I realized I was free, and I took a death grip on that pen of life. I did what I wanted, I made choices, I said yes to somethings and no to others. I went from being a character in my life story to the lead author. 

Sometimes we give the pen to someone else to hold- sometimes unknowingly. It can be tough to get the pen back. Do what you have to do to get it back. You are the only one who can turn your life story into a bestseller.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Book Club: A Hundred Summers

Book A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
Image Via Chapters Indigo
Book: A Hundred Summers
Author: Beatriz Williams
Indigo Summary:

Lily Dane has returned to Seaview, Rhode Island, where her family has summered for generations. It’s an escape not only from New York’s social scene but from a heartbreak that still haunts her. Here, among the seaside community that has embraced her since childhood, she finds comfort in the familiar rituals of summer.

But this summer is different. Budgie and Nick Greenwald—Lily’s former best friend and former fiancĂ©—have arrived, too, and Seaview’s elite are abuzz. Under Budgie’s glamorous influence, Lily is seduced into a complicated web of renewed friendship and dangerous longing.

As a cataclysmic hurricane churns north through the Atlantic, and uneasy secrets slowly reveal themselves, Lily and Nick must confront an emotional storm that will change their worlds forever…

What I Have To Say:
This is a book that had been on my reading list forever and I finally got around to reading it. The chapters alternate between 1932, when Lilly and Nick first met, and 'present day' 1938, where the summer portion of the book is set. For this book, I liked the alternating time periods, as there was a six year lapse that didn't really have anything to do with the story. It also keeps the reader engaged and wondering what happened in the past to get to the 1938 present situation. The characters are well developed, and Lilly is likeable. There is depth to the plot and it flows well, which keeps you wanting to read. The plot lines and character relationships keep things interesting but are not overwhelming that you can't keep track of them. 

The storm of 1938 is a storm that actually happened. While what happened to Lilly et al was fictionalized (including the community they live in), the storm portion was based on real events- which is crazy! I can't imagine living through that or even being calm enough to figure out my own survival. 

Final Verdict:
Highly recommended! This was a great read and I thoroughly enjoyed it! My first instinct is to say that this is a great beach read, but I did enjoy being transported to a beach town in the middle of a very cold and snowy winter. I'm looking forward to re-reading this book soon. 

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Put A Bow On It February Deluxe Box Review

Put A Bow On It is a Canadian, monthly, lifestyle subscription box. I had subscribed to this box in the past and decided to give them another try. They offer two boxes, Premium (which I reviewed last week) and Deluxe, which I am reviewing today.

The Deluxe box is $36/month plus shipping. You will get 4-5 items a month that are lifestyle related and that fit the theme for that month. The Deluxe and Premium boxes have different themes and items. The theme for the February Deluxe box is Love and is said to have a retail value of $61.00
  • Votive Candle Holder & Candle This holder came in 4 different colours, and I'm glad that I got red- It's my favourite colour! In general, I'm not a fan of candle knick-knack-y/dust collector for me. With that said, it is pretty and I'm trying to think of another use for it. 
  • "If You Can Read This, Bring Me Some Wine" Socks How adorable are these socks?! I am not a fan of socks...I prefer bare feet and being able to wiggle my toes. Every once and awhile I do wear socks. Looking forward to wearing these!
  • Cherry Pick Double Pearl Earrings- Matte Black While...this exact same product, but in white, was in the Premium box. This is the first time, I believe, that Put A Bow On It has had the same product in the Deluxe and Premium boxes. I was disappointed to see a repeat product, but I do like the black earrings better than the white earrings. These are labelled as "pearl" earrings, but they are actually black ball earrings. 
  • Gold Feather Stemless Champagne Glasses- Set of 2 I. Love. These! I had never heard of stemless champagne glasses, but these are great! I'm excited to add them to my bar!
I don't necessarily think that subscriptions boxes need to have a crazy value, but I do think that the value of the box should at least equal the price of the box. I know the product cards (which does not list individual prices) says the box has an $61 value...I have a hard time believing that. I think, at best, this box has a $40-$45 value. I'm ok with this, because that's about what I paid. 

A lot of people prefer the Premium Box because of the 'higher value'. I actually prefer the Deluxe box- at least for February, I thought the Deluxe box was a better value and contained better items. I'm not really sure how the items fit the "Love" theme, but I still think there were some great items this month!

As a Canadian, I really want to support this Canadian Subscription and I really want to love it. for March, I canceled my Premium subscription and am just subscribe to the Deluxe. I'm going to try it out for a couple more months and see  what happens.  

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Hey, It's Ok
With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry

To have had a relaxing Family Day Weekend. Spent time with my parents and sister, and got to see a bunch of my cousins too!!

That I am looking forward to pottery painting with friends tonight! I did it last year with a different group of friends and had so much fun! I'm not sure what I am going to paint tonight...but I know it'll be fun!

To be obsessed with the TV show Tiny House Hunters.Some of those houses are so small. It's fun to see how they maximize the use of space and all the different characteristics of the houses.

That I had a fantastic birthday last week! Spoiled by friends and family, relaxing spa day, and a delicious dinner. I really couldn't have asked for much more.

To be loving the beautiful Spring-like weather we have been having!! Loved being able to spend so much time outside the past few all of the sunshine!!