Monday, June 18, 2012


Lately I have been really bad at a few things:

Posting regularly on the ol' blog
Responding to your wonderful (and much appreciated!) comments
Cleaning the house
Going to yoga
Keeping my outfit clean for longer than 20 minutes
Responding to emails in a timely fashion
Getting a full night's sleep
Changing a diaper on a wriggling octopus while trying to avoid a mess (ick). 

But, I have been getting really good at a few things too:

Watching Peanut like a hawk as he climbs a flight of stairs for the 10th time today
Teaching him how to sign "more" and working on "all done"
Cooking some healthy and pretty delicious meals and snacks
Chasing my son around the house and attempting to minimize the damage he will cause to himself/furniture
Tidying up after the disaster "Hurricane Peanut" leaves in his wake
Trying to reduce our spending and stay "on budget" (example: I made our own flour tortillas for dinner tonight instead of buying some, and they were delicious and easy! I am converted!)

So please excuse the bad. All the good is getting in the way lately. And that's just fine with me! 

Here are some other things that have happened lately:

I cut off my hair. I got pretty fed up with the damaged, thinning hair I was left with after having the babe, so I sucked it up and went and chopped it all off. This is the shortest I've ever had it, and it's been an interesting adjustment. It's not long enough to put in a ponytail anymore, which was my go-to style, so I have to learn some new tricks! 

My Mother's Day gift from Hubby was a cooking course with Chef Xavier Lacaze from Top Chef Canada!!! He's also the executive chef at Muse Restaurant here in Calgary. I am a Food Network addict, so this was the best gift ever! I went with my momma, which was awesome, and we cooked and drank wine and ate until we almost burst. It was phenomenal. The menu was right from Muse's kitchen, so we learned how to make some deliciousness that will now be in my regular rotation. And Chef Xavier was amazing! Also, I tried escargot. Honestly, they looked like the hideous little snails they were, and that was pretty tough to get over. But they just tasted like the butter and cream sauce they were cooked in. I doubt I will be eating them in the future. But glad I tried them! 


Monday, June 4, 2012

Book Review: The Taker by Alma Katsu

I have been reading a lot lately. Which is weird because I am so busy with a little one getting into absolutely everything possible! But I have trouble falling asleep at night, and if I stay up on the computer, Hubby gets annoyed with the "tap tap tap" of the keyboard while he is trying to sleep. So I read. 

I was interested in reading The Taker by Alma Katsu when I heard it was similar to The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. I really enjoyed The Gargoyle, so was looking forward to this one. 

I was surprised to see that The Taker is the first book of a trilogy, which was intriguing. To be honest, the cover really didn't appeal to me, and I wondered what I was getting myself into. But, you know the old adage about judging, so I cast my doubts aside and dug in. 

At first I found it a bit slow, and had some trouble getting excited about it. But once the character of Lanore started telling her story, it reeled me in. The story begins in present day, with a weary doctor encountering a mysterious woman (Lanore) who is being arrested for murder. Lanore tells him an incredible, and unbelievable tale; that she was born in the 1800s, and is immortal. She then tells him her whole story, full of love, adventure, mystery and danger, and how she came to be in her current predicament. 

I was a little worried that it might turn into some Twilighty-vampire-esque tale, especially upon looking at the cover, but it really doesn't. It's technically sort of a "paranormal romance" tale, but I would really not classify it like that. And it's definitely not a vampire book. Sure, there are immortal characters, but they don't seem to be vampires.  Katsu does a great job of hooking you in with a love story, and adding enough mystery and suspense that you want to keep reading to find out what happens. 

Mild spoiler alert: I should mention, though, that I was a little annoyed at Katsu's handling of a scene of rape. At least I assume it was rape. But judging from the character's passive acceptance and complete lack of distress at what happens, it's hard to tell. The book is by no means graphic (it occurs while she is drugged, so no details or anything), but I find it disturbing that it was just sort of glazed over. So you have been warned. 

All in all, it was a pretty good read. I am definitely interested in reading the second book in the series and seeing where it goes! She does a really good job with the characters, and Lanore's story sucks you in. It's not too difficult a read, so it's great for reading on the deck in the summer sun. 

Want to check it out? I have an extra copy of the book, so why not give it to one of you lovely people??

Just tell me what book you are reading now in the comment section (I'm always looking for new reads!), and then enter using the Rafflecopter widget. I will ship the book out at the end of the contest, and you will have a new summer book to read. Woo hoo! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: a copy of this book was provided to me by Simon an Schuster Canada free of charge. However, I chose the book, and all opinions are my own, of course! :) 



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