Thursday, June 30, 2011

A new discovery

I frequently like to organize my bookshelves. I greatly enjoy taking out all my books and reorganizing them, especially after I go on a book shopping spree (a little dorky, I know). I had no room left on my shelves and I have two bookshelves in my room. I decided to turn all my books horizontally and now I have room for all my books and room left over! Here is a little sample of one of my shelves. Oh, and an added bonus: this way the tops of the books don't get dusty. I find it quite difficult to get the dust off when it sticks to the tops of the pages. I am looking forward to having a wall filled with shelves for my books in my new place. I am on a hunt for the perfect bookshelf!

Labels: ,

Summer reading list

Now that school is officially over, I can dive into my pile of books I have been saving for the summer. On my list this summer:

The Brass Verdict - Michael Connelly

Bestseller Connelly delivers one of his most intricate plots to date in his 20th book, a beautifully executed crime thriller. When L.A. lawyer Mickey Haller, last seen in The Lincoln Lawyer (2005), inherits the practice and caseload of a fellow defense attorney, Jerry Vincent, who's been murdered, the high-profile double-homicide case against famed Hollywood producer Walter Elliot, accused of shooting his wife and her alleged lover, takes top priority. As Haller scrambles to build a defense, he butts heads with LAPD Det. Harry Bosch, the stalwart hero of Connelly's long-running series (The Black Echo, etc.), who's working Vincent's murder. When Haller realizes that the Elliot affair is bigger than simply a jealous husband killing his cheating wife, he and Bosch grudgingly agree to work together to solve what could be the biggest case in both their careers. Bosch might have met his match in the wily Haller, and readers will delight in their sparring.

The Reversal - Michael Connelly
Longtime defense attorney Mickey Haller is recruited to change stripes and prosecute the high-profile retrial of a brutal child murder. After 24 years in prison, convicted killer Jason Jessup has been exonerated by new DNA evidence. Haller is convinced Jessup is guilty, and he takes the case on the condition that he gets to choose his investigator, LAPD Detective Harry Bosch. Together, Bosch and Haller set off on a case fraught with political and personal danger. Opposing them is Jessup, now out on bail, a defense attorney who excels at manipulating the media, and a runaway eyewitness reluctant to testify after so many years. With the odds and the evidence against them, Bosch and Haller must nail a sadistic killer once and for all. If Bosch is sure of anything, it is that Jason Jessup plans to kill again.

The Book Theif - Markus Zusak

Death himself narrates the World War II-era story of Liesel Meminger from the time she is taken, at age nine, to live in Molching, Germany, with a foster family in a working-class neighborhood of tough kids, acid-tongued mothers, and loving fathers who earn their living by the work of their hands. The child arrives having just stolen her first book–although she has not yet learned how to read–and her foster father uses it, The Gravediggers Handbook, to lull her to sleep when shes roused by regular nightmares about her younger brothers death. Across the ensuing years of the late 1930s and into the 1940s, Liesel collects more stolen books as well as a peculiar set of friends: the boy Rudy, the Jewish refugee Max, the mayors reclusive wife (who has a whole library from which she allows Liesel to steal), and especially her foster parents. Zusak not only creates a mesmerizing and original story but also writes with poetic syntax, causing readers to deliberate over phrases and lines, even as the action impels them forward. Death is not a sentimental storyteller, but he does attend to an array of satisfying details, giving Liesels story all the nuances of chance, folly, and fulfilled expectation that it deserves. An extraordinary narrative

A Perfect Proposal - Katie Fforde
Sophie Apperly has spent her whole life pleasing others - but when she realises her family see her less as indispensable treasure and more as general dogsbody, she decides she's had enough. So when an old friend offers her the chance of a lifetime, she decides to swap Little England for the Big Apple, and heads off to the land of opportunity. From the moment Sophie hits the bright lights of Manhattan she's determined to enjoy every minute of her big adventure. And when fate throws her together with Matilda, a spirited grande dame of New York society who invites her to Connecticut for Thanksgiving, she willingly accepts. English-born Matilda is delighted with her new friend - though her grandson Luke, undeniably attractive but infuriatingly arrogant, is anything but welcoming. When Luke arrives in England a few weeks later, Sophie hardly expects him to seek her out. But Matilda has hatched some complicated plans of her own - and so Luke has a proposal to make ...

What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures - Malcolm Gladwell

What is the difference between choking and panicking? Why are there dozens of varieties of mustard-but only one variety of ketchup? What do football players teach us about how to hire teachers? What does hair dye tell us about the history of the 20th century?

In the past decade, Malcolm Gladwell has written three books that have radically changed how we understand our world and ourselves: The Tipping Point; Blink; and Outliers. Now, in What the Dog Saw, he brings together, for the first time, the best of his writing from The New Yorker over the same period.

Here is the bittersweet tale of the inventor of the birth control pill, and the dazzling inventions of the pasta sauce pioneer Howard Moscowitz. Gladwell sits with Ron Popeil, the king of the American kitchen, as he sells rotisserie ovens, and divines the secrets of Cesar Millan, the "dog whisperer" who can calm savage animals with the touch of his hand. He explores intelligence tests and ethnic profiling and "hindsight bias" and why it was that everyone in Silicon Valley once tripped over themselves to hire the same college graduate.

"Good writing," Gladwell says in his preface, "does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade. It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else's head." What the Dog Saw is yet another example of the buoyant spirit and unflagging curiosity that have made Malcolm Gladwell our most brilliant investigator of the hidden extraordinary.

Sisterhood Everlasting - Ann Brashares
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ann Brashares comes the welcome return of the characters whose friendship became a touchstone for a generation. Now Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget have grown up, starting their lives on their own. And though the jeans they shared are long gone, the sisterhood is everlasting. Despite having jobs and men that they love, each knows that something is missing: the closeness that once sustained them. Carmen is a successful actress in New York, engaged to be married, but misses her friends. Lena finds solace in her art, teaching in Rhode Island, but still thinks of Kostos and the road she didn’t take. Bridget lives with her longtime boyfriend, Eric, in San Francisco, and though a part of her wants to settle down, a bigger part can’t seem to shed her old restlessness. Then Tibby reaches out to bridge the distance, sending the others plane tickets for a reunion that they all breathlessly await. And indeed, it will change their lives forever—but in ways that none of them could ever have expected. As moving and life-changing as an encounter with long-lost best friends, Sisterhood Everlasting is a powerful story about growing up, losing your way, and finding the courage to create a new one.

The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Ruiz Zafón's novel, a bestseller in his native Spain, takes the satanic touches from Angel Heart and stirs them into a bookish intrigue à la Foucault's Pendulum. The time is the 1950s; the place, Barcelona. Daniel Sempere, the son of a widowed bookstore owner, is 10 when he discovers a novel, The Shadow of the Wind, by Julián Carax. The novel is rare, the author obscure, and rumors tell of a horribly disfigured man who has been burning every copy he can find of Carax's novels. The man calls himself Laín Coubert-the name of the devil in one of Carax's novels. As he grows up, Daniel's fascination with the mysterious Carax links him to a blind femme fatale with a "porcelain gaze," Clara Barceló; another fan, a leftist jack-of-all-trades, Fermín Romero de Torres; his best friend's sister, the delectable Beatriz Aguilar; and, as he begins investigating the life and death of Carax, a cast of characters with secrets to hide. Officially, Carax's dead body was dumped in an alley in 1936. But discrepancies in this story surface. Meanwhile, Daniel and Fermín are being harried by a sadistic policeman, Carax's childhood friend. As Daniel's quest continues, frightening parallels between his own life and Carax's begin to emerge.

From Notting Hill with Love...Actually - Ali McNamara

She was just a girl, standing in front of a boy ...wishing he looked more like Hugh Grant. Scarlett loves the movies. But does she love sensible fiance David just as much? With a big white wedding on the horizon, Scarlett really should have decided by now ...When she has the chance to house-sit in Notting Hill - the setting of one of her favourite movies - Scarlett jumps at the chance. But living life like a movie is trickier than it seems, especially when her new neighbour Sean is so irritating. And so irritatingly handsome, too. Scarlett soon finds herself starring in a romantic comedy of her very own: but who will end up as the leading man?

Labels: , , , ,

Cleaning up and moving out

Today I pack up my office and say goodbye to all the wonderful teachers I worked with this year. It is hard especially since I do not know where I will be next year. This is the time to "let go and let God"


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I heart Swiss Chalet

I feel the need to use up my gift cards right away. I have one for Swiss Chalet and I just ordered their Summer Sensations. Looks delicious!!! I will move on to my Starbucks cards next! What are the best Starbucks drinks? I have a few favourites that I stick to. One a cold day I will either get a decaf white chocolate mocha, hot chocolate or a green tea latte. One a hot summer day I love their decaf caramel frappucino and their green tea frappucino. I would love to try something new since I tend to stick to the same drinks.

Labels: ,

I hate goodbyes

I have always had trouble saying goodbye. Sometimes I think it's just better to leave the word "goodbye" unsaid because it makes it a little easier. Today was my last day at school. I managed to make it through most of the day without crying (surprising, I know!). But it was hard after the final bell rang. I realized that this is really it. It hasn't really hit me that it's actually over. I will miss all my students very very much. I definitely feel lucky and blessed to have had such a wonderful group of students to teach. I will treasure the memories and all the wonderful gifts I received. Speaking of gifts (on a happier note). I managed to spend one of my gift cards today at Chapters. I took advantage of their "buy 3 get 1 free" sale and picked up some summer reading.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

End of year trip

Today I went with my grade 6s to St. Brigid's camp. The last time I was there, I was in grade 6. The place still looked the same (from what I remember) but also felt so different. It was interesting to experience it as a teacher. Although it rained for a good chunk of the day, we got a few hours of sun and warmth. I did not bring my bathing suit (which may be a good thing because I could have ended up in the mud pit!) but I did get some tanning time. I am sure I will see and feel the burns tomorrow!


Monday, June 27, 2011

A sweet gift

One of my kids bought me this mug as an end of the year gift. I think it adequately describes the life of a teacher :p


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Monkey Love


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Book Beds

These are just too cool! I am loving the story book quilt and would love to take a nap in that comfy book bed. Can you tell that this is a sleep lazy Saturday for me?

Labels: ,

Walmart Art

I found this at Walmart a few weeks ago. I love the New York feel and the romanticism of this painting. I never thought to look for art work at Walmart. It turns out that they have some pretty nice ones!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Weekend!

Time for relaxing, reading and naps!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dress up your walls

I am moving out in a few months and am looking for things to spice up my new place. I am loving these wall decals from

Labels: ,

Dessert tonight

I came across a tiny tub of this in the freezer. Soooo good! The perfect blend of sweet and salty all in an ice cream!

Labels: ,

A fun site

I am really enjoying the site in which Leah Dieterich write thank you notes for various things in her life.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

One of my favourite quotations

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Talent Show!

Last month I decided to take on the role of coordinating this year's talent show at school. Being a first year teacher, I had no idea how much work it would be. Luckily I had a wonderful group of people who helped make the talent show possible. A few days ago I was unsure as to whether or not we could pull it off because of all the obstacles we faced in each rehearsal. Somehow everything fell into place and it turned out to be an amazing show. I am blessed to teach such talented and wonderful students.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Deliciousness crumble. There is something so satisfying about warm apple crumble with vanilla ice cream on top!

Labels: ,

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Loving this new bag! It comes in so many colours. I cannot seem to decide which one to get!

Labels: ,

Friday, June 17, 2011

Love this!

I want this welcome/un-welcome mat.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

The end is near

There are only 9 days of school left and still so much to do. It is a bittersweet time filled with stress, sadness, hope and relief. So many emotions all at once!! Each day I remind myself to take one moment at a time.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

These look delicious!

Milk and cookies cupcakes!

Labels: ,