Kate Reads

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My friend Kate is one of the most voracious readers I know, and she’s been recommending books to me since we first learned to read together in Kindergarten and Grade 1. Charlotte’s Web and Bunnicula certainly did not disappoint.

Kate loves fiction (often with a gothic/medieval leaning), whereas I gravitate towards nonfiction, so she often recommends books that I would never even consider reading. Here are a few of her recent book suggestions, followed by some nonfiction reads I’m looking forward to making my way through this summer.

Kate’s Picks:

Mystery

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Equal parts mystery and comedy, this is a perfect beach read. Down on her luck, the heroine takes a job as a bounty hunter thinking it will be an easy way to some quick cash. Mix in a couple of sexy male complications, an evil bad guy, and a family that should be committed, and you’ve got a great read. Even better? This is the first in a series, so you can get a full summer’s worth of entertainment.

Modern Fiction

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Moore is a prolific writer with a quirky style and a dark and sarcastic sense of humour. You could pick up any of his books and be immensely entertained; I’m talking laugh out loud in public entertained. Bloodsucking Fiends is one of my personal favourites. Imagine waking up in an alley and discovering that much to your disbelief, you’ve been turned into a Vampire. The only solution? Charm a simple and trusting human male into helping you adjust to your new lifestyle while hunting down the one that turned you. Hilarious and bizarre, you’ll enjoy this book cover to cover.

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Classic literature:

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Though published posthumously, Northanger Abbey was actually the first novel Jane Austen ever completed. The publisher decided against releasing it; holding it while her other novels such as Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma were published to wide acclaim. But this charming novel is just as delicious as these other books and is a perfect read for someone looking for something fun, but still classical. Swept up in the Gothic novel craze of the age, the young heroine finds mystery and intrigue around every corner. But when she makes a splash in London society and catches the eye of an eligible bachelor, her overactive imagination might just cost her the love of her life.

Young Adult/Fantasy

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

If you’re a fan of series like Harry Potter or the Dark Materials, this series could be your next favourite. After losing her mother in India, a young girl is shipped off to a finishing school in Victorian England. There she discovers she is a descendant from a long line of powerful witches. Now she must prepare for a life as a well bred lady, while learning to harness her powers and keep the magical world from taking over. Full of twists, adventure and drama, this is a great choice for a poolside, cabin, rainy day read.

Historical fiction

Mistress of the Sun by Sandra Gulland

Set during the reign of Louis XIV, this novel follows the life of his favorite mistress Louise de Valliere. Similar in style to books by Philippa Gregory and Margaret George, this novel seamlessly blends intimacy, courtly intrigue, and historical fact. Gulland plunges her readers into the opulent world of life at Versailles and what it meant to love one of the most powerful men of all time.

My Two Nonfiction Picks:

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I’ve heard so much about this book and after reading this essay  I knew I had to read Paul Kalanithi’s story. His memoir chronicles his diagnosis with terminal cancer, transition from doctor to patient, and reflections on leading a meaningful life.

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I watched all of Master of None in pretty much one sitting, so putting this on my reading list this was a no-brainer. I’m now an Aziz Ansari superfan and can’t wait to read how he tries to make sense of the current state of romance with the help of an NYU sociologist.

What do you plan on reading this summer?

Pregnancy Update

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I’m now 28 and a bit weeks along and starting to feel pretty darn pregnant. After wanting to keep this little one’s sex a surprise, I found out at the ultrasound…again. I saw his “bits” on the screen and just knew that my feeling this baby was another boy was correct. Joe tried to convince me that I’m no technician, but I told him I definitely knew what I saw, so we had our midwife confirm it. I’m pretty excited (and a tad nervous) about having two little brothers running around. I loved having sisters, so it’s neat I will be able to see how a brotherly relationship works.

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A few thoughts on how things have been going so far:

Cravings…

Well…everything? Really I just have an appetite for a diverse range of good and less good things, like apples, chocolate, and Cheetos. I’ve been realizing I’m not really hungry all the time, but just really feel like eating. After I have this bundle, I think my cravings will turn into full blown ravenous hunger because breastfeeding requires so much energy.

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Snapshots

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(getting glammed up at MAC before the Vancouver Mom event, the whole night was such a treat)

What a week it’s been. Amidst the usual chaos, I was incredibly excited to attend the Vancouvermom.ca Top 30 Blogger Celebration at Roundhouse Radio. It was a great celebration and it felt so nice to be involved in a gathering of women who enjoy sharing their stories and talents through the blogosphere; a place that still feels incredibly new to me. It was very surreal to be included among the VM Top 30 list this year and I plan to share a post about the experience soon. This weekend, I hope to take it easy while also working on some writing I’ve had on the go for a while. This will likely take place in between the many random Craigslist wheelings and dealings that I seem to have involved myself in while getting things together for the new nursery. I wasn’t totally convinced before, but I now officially believe nesting is a real phenomenon.

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Father’s Day Ideas

 

Father’s Day has almost arrived and I’m still sorting out what I’d like to plan for Joe. As I’ve written before, here and here, I like to plan three components to special days like these so they centre around giving that special someone time for themselves, time with family, and a gesture or keepsake.

Gesture/Keepsake:

The items above all caught my eye for all those special dads:

Or, want to buy him a book? You could just get it out of the library for him! I was going to buy Joe this book because he’s a World War II buff, but decided, to get it on loan for him instead.

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Nursery Inspiration

 

Baby Blue Nursery

Looks as though full nesting mode has begun! I’ve been thinking non-stop about organizing and collecting things for the baby. Of course, none of this has really turned into anything overly productive other than intense internet searches.

I’m hoping through a mix of Craigslist, Facebook swap n’ shop groups, and some new purchases I can cobble together a natural and fun nursery for my little one. I still have a few months to go, so I plan on gathering slowly and steadily. I also want to purge many of the things I saved after having Frankie. As this is my second go at things, I’ve got a better idea of what new babies actually need (i.e. milk, diapers, wipes, cream, carrier, mom, onesies, and muslin cloths). Goodbye wipe warmer and pee-pee teepees!

Inspiration Above:

Cuddly Cloud PillowMediterranean Dreams Canvas PrintDresserNursing ChairCribGiraffeWooden Rainbow BlocksSheepskin

 

Date Night in an Hour?!

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Joe and I recently went out for a date night. We had forgotten to call the restaurant a few days in advance, so we wound up with the very responsible reservation time of 6:15 at one of our favourite spots, Les Faux Bourgeois. It didn’t disappoint and we had a great evening, but one thing shocked us both: we were home within about an hour. One hour!

My parents were here to look after Frankie, so it wasn’t that we were stressed about making it back. We didn’t even rush through dinner. It was just that we were ready to head back home once we’d finished up. A few reasons may have contributed to our early arrival home; it was a weeknight, we had been at work all day, I can’t drink right now… The other major factor, which surprised us both, was that we felt like we didn’t need as much time as we thought we would to recharge and to feel really connected to one another. When we got the bill, we just both agreed that we wanted to tuck our little guy into bed (again, maybe this was because we’d both been away from him all day).

In any event, our super fast date night made us realize that, yes, it’s important to make room for couple time. But, no, that doesn’t mean our couple time needs to be elaborate or take immense childcare planning. An hour here or there can help us accomplish quality time with one another.

Another sweet thing I think we realized was that we are in the midst of such a special time as a couple while we raise our young family. Thinking about this made me feel okay that we felt ready to come home so soon. Our son won’t always be here waiting for us and we are soaking it all in during this phase of our lives.

Has this happened to anyone else? Are parents just super efficient date night machines?

 

Legging Love

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Northern Light leggings from Teeki.

Recently I’ve been eyeing leggings and have been wanting to get a pair that are not just your basic black. Maybe I’m being drawn to them because of my big baby belly and the fact that I could wear them during and after pregnancy. A favourite look I’ve been seeing around my fair yoga city, is a loud legging print with a long t-shirt or long sleeved shirt. That’s a comfy look I think I could manage pretty much every day.

Here are some of my favourite legging prints (all from some ethically minded companies).

 

Tropic Thunder leggings from Jala.

Super Soft leggings from Pact.

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 Island Bliss leggings from Inner Fire.

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 SUP yoga leggings by Jala.