Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Book Club: Burying Water

 Burying Water: A Novel

Book: Burying Water
Author: K.A. Tucker
Indigo Summary
Left for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survives—but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to “Jane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself “Water” for the tiny, hidden marking on her body—the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him?

Twenty-four-year-old Jesse Welles doesn’t know how long it will be before Water gets her memory back. For her sake, Jesse hopes the answer is never. He knows that she’ll stay so much safer—and happier—that way. And that’s why, as hard as it is, he needs to keep his distance. Because getting too close could flood her with realities better left buried.

The trouble is, water always seems to find its way to the surface
 
What I have to say: 
One of my sorority sisters gifted to me Becoming Rain, by the same author, which I loved. A friend of mine lent me Chasing River, which I loved. So, I thought I would read Burying Water, which is the first book in the series.

The book alternates between Water, which is narrated in the present, and Jesse, which is narrated in the past. While this books centres around Water and Jesse, it also introduces us to Amber (one of the leads in Chasing River) and Luke (one of the leads in Becoming Rain). Ivy (one of the leads in Surviving Ice, the last book in the series) also makes a minor appearance towards the end.

Other books in the series use the alternating P.O.V. between the male and female leads, just as Burying Water does. However, Burying Water is the only book that takes a past/present perspective; the other books are told in the present. This past/present narrative was a bit harder to follow at times, but it did help move the story along and showed the relationship between Water and Jesse.

From the other two books in the series, I was already familiar with these two characters. It was great to see how they meet and what situations happened to bring them together. Plus, it adds context to their characters as related to the other stories. It was also kind of interesting to piece together parts of Water's past, was especially as her memories started to come back. 

Final verdict: 
While this was a good book, it was not my favourite book in the series, it was a good read and does a good job setting up the series. However, if you are going to read this series (which I HIGHLY recommend!!), I would suggest starting with this book. I read the series out of order and I wonder if I would have enjoyed this book more if I had read prior to the other ones; Jesse and Water are minor characters in the other two books.  


Thursday, 17 March 2016

White Willow: March Box

First of all, Happy St Patrick's Day!! Besides work and watching the season finale of How To Get Away With Murder, two things that are not very "Irish", I have no plans to celebrate this day. I will wear the only green piece of clothing I have, a cardigan, in the spirit of this holiday, and of course reflect on my Irish roots.

A couple of months ago, I heard about a new subscription box, White Willow. I saw a lot of positive reviews and liked the products that were being included in the box. I also liked that this is a lifestyle subscription box and that it's Canadian!! This is a monthly subscription and you will get 4-5 items with a value of at least $70. Subscriptions are monthly ($35), 3 months ($34), 6 months ($33) or 12 months ($32), plus shipping.
 
March was the first White Willow Box that I received...and I LOVED it!! They made a great first impression with their packaging- a crisp, clean white box with their logo. When you opened the box, it said "Unveil your surprise" with their hashtag underneath- which I loved, I didn't have to go searching for it. They also included a welcome card-nice touch- and a product card. Not all subscription boxes include product cards, even though they should! White Willow had pictures of the products, which were numbered and corresponded with the numbered description, making it easy to match everything up. 

So, what did I get?

  • Lindo Konjac Sponge: This is something I have received in other subscription boxes, so I wasn't super excited about it. However, I do think it's a great product and something I will definitely use.
    Value: $15
  • Organic Infused Basil Oil by La Tourangelle Artisan Oils: First of all I was so surprised and impressed to see this product included! I love the fact that they included a cooking product that I can actually use! I have never seen a product like this included in a lifestyle box and I think it's a fantastic addition! Plus it's GMO free, which is good. It can also be used in a variety of dishes: chicken, fish, pasta, pizza, salad, or with bread. I'm looking forward to using this!!
    Value: $12
  • Mudlark Memento Boxed Notes: I am not crazy about the design- I'm not a fan of floral prints- but I hand write notes all. the. time. There are 20 cards in four different designs. I will be using these and I was happy to have more note cards to add to my stationary collection. What I like even more is that the box is pretty solid and magnetic, so it will make a great keepsake box too. Two products in one.
    Value: $18
  • LOLLIA "Breathe" by Margot Elena Shower Gel: This is a "perfumed" shower gel...and it definitely has a scent to it! The scent-which is a little too much for my liking- is peonies and white lily. I'm hoping that when I use it in the shower, the water will bring the scent down a lot. It smells nice, if you like a strong floral scent. This was the "big ticket" item in the box and I'm not sure I would pay this much for a shower gel.
    Value: $30
  • Oil Serving Dish: Another product that I was surprised and impressed to see included! Especially since it is something that can be used on it's own/with stuff you already have, and/or with a product (Infused Basil Oil) that was included in the box. I love getting kitchen products, especially practical ones that I will use! Even when not in use, this dish will be on display in my kitchen. You can't really tell from the picture, but there is a design of a bunch of grapes on the plate, which balsamic vinegar will gravitate too when mixed with oil. Love, love, love this!
    Value: $6
  • Bonus item: Lindt chocolate. This is a well known and delicious brand and I was happy to see it included as a 'bonus' item. 
 What I paid: $42 (subscription + shipping)
Total value: $81 (bonus item not included)
  
The value is almost double what I paid! Even thought the value isn't as high compared to some other boxes (FabFitFun), it's still a great value. It actually has a higher value to me because I like all of the products and will use all of them. Even more value is added for me, because three of the products (oil dish, infused oil, note cards) are products that I have yet to see in a lifestyle box...the uniqueness of the products add value for me. 
My first White Willow Box definitely lived up to my expectations and I cannot wait for my April box to arrive!!

Note: All prices listed in this post are CAD.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

The Bachelor: A Social Experiment

I have maybe watched two episodes of The Bachelor before this season- including one episode of The Bachelor Canada, which I really wanted to like because I like to support Canadian content, but couldn't after I saw the world's most awkward hug. 

For some unknown reason, the Season 20 Premiere of The Bachelor was on my tv while I was talking to my friend Paul and I ended up watching it. I was surprised to learn this show had made it to season 20. I have never understood this show or how people can love it so much. 

The Communication Major got the best of me and I decided to do a little experiment, where I would commit to watching the entire season with an open mind. The goal was to understand the "hype" around this show and to see the appeal.

Each Monday, I would try and get excited about that night's episode. Paul and I would talk about how we were going to have our popcorn ready.

Despite all that...

I kept an open minded.

I came back week after week. 
 
I went to work every Tuesday and talked to my three die-hard co-workers. 

I live tweeted.

I followed #TheBachelor.
 
I REALLY did try. I promise. 
 
But it was also painful. It made me uncomfortable to watch some of Ben's dates. It was awkward watching him break up with people. And I did a lot of eye rolling when it came to some of the girls. Some of the girls- oh hey Olivia, oh hey Lace- were so...crazy...that I actually was scared for Ben's safety when watching. Luckily, nothing bad happened to Ben. 
 
While I was watching the episode, I couldn't believe that I was actually wasting TWO hours of my life watching this show. I had a co-worker offer to watch the show too so we could talk about it- I told her not too. I had another co-worker go out of her way to tell me that she has noticed a lot of The Bachelor related tweets recently and was wondering if she should be concerned.  
 
Bachelor Ben Higgins...he is cute! Image Via
Now, I do think Bachelor Ben Higgins is cute. He was adorable, charming, and oh so sweet. I could see why people loved him. I was rooting for him to find love, which he claims he did...so yay for that. I was also happy he picked Lauren...which I called after the hometown dates. Speaking of hometown dates...after Jojo calling her ex as she's waiting for Ben, and how her brother's acted...she did not deserve Ben. I did like the episode where they did a talent show...that was fun.

Despite my best efforts, and Paul's encouragement, I just couldn't get excited for the episodes. I really, really, really did try. I actually WANTED to like the show! I wanted to understand the hype. I wanted to be on board with everything. I wanted to become a fan.

Alas, it wasn't meant to be.

After watching the season, being part of Bachelor Nation (or at least attempting), I STILL don't get this show or it's appeal.
 
I'm sorry.
 
The best part about The Bachelor? Was talking to my co-workers and seeing how excited they were about the show. They made an effort to try and get me to see the appeal of the show, explaining things to me and telling me why it was good/exciting/positive. I appreciate their effort and patience.  

I would like to take this time to thank Paul for humouring me and watching the season so I had someone to talk to while the show was on (even though he did flip back and forth between The Bachelor and hockey, but he, along with his finacee, did watch the entire finale).

Never say never, but I don't plan on watching another season of The Bachelor. Or The Bachelorette, even though Jojo is the new bachelorette and Sam-who's opinion I trust and who generously answered all my Bachelor questions- said that this is a good thing, we like Jojo.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Hey, It's Ok!

Airing My Dirty Laundry

That I watched The Bachelor Finale. All three hours. THREE HOURS. This was the first time I have watched the entire season of this show. 

To have taken yesterday off. It was so nice to have some down time and to get to sleep in.

That I found out by chance that a childhood friend is engaged. She has had so much pain and loss in her life and I'm so incredibly happy for her...that she has some good in her life, some happiness. She deserves it

To be hopefully that winter is over and that Spring is here! 

That I am hopeful. Fingers crossed!!

To not believe that the new Kardashian-West baby is named "Saint". That has to be a joke, right?!


Monday, 14 March 2016

Loving My Life

Happy Monday everyone! I have been MIA, unexpectedly, and would like to think I am back...but we'll see what happens. A lot has happened in the past month since I last posted. 

Some bad, a lot of good, and tons of fun. I'm not going to mention the bad- it's not worth it. 
A friend I have known for 13 years and I have been spending a lot of time together recently. He is one of my best friends and I appreciate how he helps me to see a situation from a different perspective. We've been a sounding board for each other recently. I appreciate having a friend I can talk to about anything and everything.

In the past month, I have had a lot of 'firsts'- my first tip to the prairies, my first visit to the Nation's Capital, my first documentary premiere, my first time pottery painting- all of which will be documented in upcoming posts.
 
Something else I have been doing for the first time? Watching The Bachelor. I have never gotten into The Bachelor and I have probably watched, prior to this season- maybe two episodes. I just don't get it. I, by chance, ended up watching the Season Premiere and found it this season was the 20th season. Curiosity and my Communicatios Major got the best of me and I decided to watch the entire season in an attempt to see if I could find out with the draw is for this show. Basically, a social experiment. My "findings" will be revealed in an upcoming post.
 
Add all of the above to my usual work schedule and spending time with family and friends...I haven't had a lot of extra time. I hope that changes, I'm going to try, because I do miss blogging. 
 
While I have been busy...I have been loving life! I really can't complain about that!!