Thursday, 16 January 2020

McClain Hermes- Swimming By Faith, Not By Sight

In July of 2019, I had the opportunity to meet Paralympic Swimmer, World Champion, and World Record Holder, and (at the time) recent high school graduate McClain Hermes. McClain was your typical, down-to-earth, energetic teen. She was so funny and a lot of fun to be around. McClain is also one of the most inspiring people I have met.

McClain started swimming when she was six years old and lost her eyesight at 8 years old. She holds 20 American records, 5 Pan-American records, and 1 world record- all before graduating from high school! She graduated high school with high honors and took the same classes with the same academic rigor as her sighted peers. On top of all that, 10 years ago McClain and her dad started a service project to collect shoes for the homeless and have collected and donated over 27,000 pairs of shoes. She is currently training for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan.

To learn more about McClain's story and to be inspired by her, watch the (short) video below.




Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Galentine's Swap Sign Up

Chalk Full of Love and Candelles are hosting a Galentine's Swap! I participated in this swap a couple of year's ago, and had so much fun getting to know my partner and putting together a Galentine's package for her! I wasn't able to participate last year, but I am looking forward to this year and can't wait to learn about my partner!!


You can sign up for the swap here, sign ups close on Friday (January 17). Once sign ups have closed, you will be sent a questionnaire to fill out, you'll be matched with a partner, and then you swap Galentine's packages! Super easy, super fun, and a great way to meet- and celebrate- another gal! 


Thursday, 9 January 2020

2019 Book Club Reading List

Over the past 4+ years, I have been in a Book Club with some friends from high school. I love being in a book club and the variety of books and authors we read throughout the year. Here is the list of books that we read in 2019.

January: Becoming by Michelle Obama. This was my pick and I didn't love it as much as I thought I would. Interesting read and I definitely was more interested in the parts that dealt with Barrack's political career, where as my book club was more interested in the rest of the book and thought the political parts were boring.  

February: Bossypants by Tina Fey. Another book that I didn't love as much as I thought I would. I'm Tina Fey fan and I thought this book would be a lot funnier than it was- common thought among my book club. 

March: The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas. This was such a good book and a must read. This book hits so close to reality with police killing unarmed African Americans. The book follows Starr from the night of the shooting of her best friend through the aftermath. 

April: The Cry of the Dove by Fadia Faqir.This book follows Salma's journey of living in the middle east, going to jail to protect her from an honour killing, the immigration and assimilation of her life in England, and her longing to be find out about her daughter.

May: The Girl: Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch, and the Birth of an Unlikely Feminist by Michelle Morgan. Marilyn Monroe is the most famous women ever, but few people know about her influence in Hollywood that arguable changed the studio star system. This book focus on her career and how she took it back and led the way for other starlets. My review can be found here.

June: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. A.J. Fikry is a widowed bookstore owner and each chapter starts with him recommending a book. The book ends up relating to the plot point of that chapter. This was a cute, quick read and one I really enjoyed. 

July: Unwanted by Kristina Ohlsson. A little girl goes missing and the search to find her reveals a connection between other missing children. 

August: Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas. High school friends are spending spring break in Aruba, when one of them- Elise- gets murdered, and Anna and Tate are arrested for the murder. Throughout the books we learn how the friends know each other, the complexities of Anna and Elise's friendship, and whether or not Tate and Anna are innocent. My review can be found here.

September: Pick Your Own Book- September is the anniversary of our book club, so we decided to do something a little different this month. Each member got to pick what book they wanted, and then would share their thoughts of the book with everyone else at our September meeting. I read The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood. Ava joins a book club after her husband leaves her. As the book goes on, we learn the importance of the book Ava chooses for her book club to read.Ava's daughter Maggie is living in Paris and goes missing. We learn about Ava and what she gets up to while in Europe. 

October: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty. Long time friends Erika and Clementine, along with their husbands and Clementine's children, head to a BBQ at Erika's neighbour's house. Something happened that puts a strain on Erika and Clementine's friendship, and we learn why everyone feels guilty.   

November: Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer. A group of women travel to Area X as part of a mission. The women are to explore the area and record their findings. One by one, the women leave the mission- for various reasons and circumstance. 

December: Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. Mother Bernadette goes missing and daughter Bee is on a mission to find out where she went, what happened to her, and bring her home. My review can be found here.

My top three books that we read in 2019:
  1. Dangerous Girls (August)
  2. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (June)
  3. Where'd You Go Bernadette (December) and The Book That Matters Most (September)

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Dreams and Colour Reading List

Below you will find a master list of all books mentioned on this blog and my Instagram.

Most Recent:


Book Club List- Books Read By My Book Club



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