Reading and Reviewing

I don’t make resolutions, but I do like to set myself goals for the year ahead. One of my goals for 2014 is to finally finish my BBC Top 200 challenge. At last count, I have just 34 books to go, and I think that’s perfectly doable in a 52-week period. I might just have to say a firm “No!” when someone suggests I read something off-liste (didya see what I did there??).

Currently reading:
The Master and Magarita (Mikhail Bulgakov), which is proving to be a surprisingly intriguing and enjoyable read so far. It’s a bit crazy, and a bit whimsical, but I like a bit of crazy whimsy, so it’s good.

Previously read:
Under the Tuscan Sun (Frances Mayes), which started off so well, and was really enjoyable…until the final few chapters where I got bored, and then confused, and then over it.

Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn), which I hoovered over our four-day holiday in Central Otago. It was so clever, well-written and intriguing, although I was slightly disappointed with the ending. Curiously, this was my Christmas gift as part of Advent Swap 2013, and when I checked my list of “Must Seek Out” books, this was on there. Whoop!

The Princess Bride (William Goldman) which was, for the most part, a lovely, beautiful story. I loved the movie (which was very true to the story), and was able to picture and predict many of the scenes, which only served to enhance my enjoyment of it. The only part I didn’t like were the “interjections”, which were irritating and in my mind, superfluous to the story. It was a great story to get lost in while sitting beside Pickle’s cot, waiting patiently for him to succumb to sleep after weaning.

The Name of the Rose (Umberto Eco), which I nicknamed The Book of Snore. Seriously, it was so boring and unenjoyable that I shelved it for a few days before deciding to plow on through so I could review it for 1001 Books to Read Before You Die. Otherwise….it would have been gently recycled.

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Advent Swap 2013: Days 20-25

This post is brought to you from the food-drunk haze that is Boxing Day. The weather outside is frightful, the littlest ones are playing with their new toys, and the man of the house is watching cricket. We had a great day with family yesterday, and we’re all a little bit tired today; I can imagine similar scenes are being played out in homes all across the country.

Here are the final gifts I received from Kimberley as part of Advent Swap 2013. I’m thrilled with everything I received, and wish I could give Kimberley a big hug; she put so much time and effort into finding the perfect treats, and I hope she enjoyed her Christmas day.

Day 20 Day 21 Day 22 Day 23 Day 24 Day 25Huge thanks to Kimberley for such wonderful gifts, and to Cat and Miriam for organising Advent Swap 2013. I will definitely be signing up again next year, and think you should too!

Advent Swap 2013: Days 1-5Advent Swap 2013: Days 6-12
Advent Swap 2013: Days 13-19

You can see what I sent my recipient, Treena-Marie, here.

Advent Swap 2013

Advent Swap 2013: Days 6-12

Every day when my boys open their advent calendars*, I’m just as excited to open one of the gifts sent to me by Kimberley. Every-single-thing has been amazing, and I feel so spoiled by such a lovely stranger.

Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12We’ve already made gingerbread biscuits using the cookie cutters, and will be decorating them with sprinkles this weekend. I’m also making more Tim Tam truffles for the kindy teachers, so the little Christmas paper cases will be ideal.

Treena-Marie has also been posting about the goodies I sent her, and so far, she’s happy – phew!

*Except on the days when they open the calendars with daddy while I try and doze in bed. On those days, the chocolates have been scoffed before 8am. Yeah, that’s how my husband rolls.

Advent Swap 2013: Days 1-5

When I saw I’d been given Treena-Marie as my recipient for Advent Swap 2013, I felt a bit sick. You see, Treena-Marie is one of those amazing people who can make basically anything and everything (her blog title says it all), plus she’s super-lovely (we met in April at Around the Table), and while the idea of the swap is that you make, buy or thrift, I’d already decided I was going to attempt to craft some things.

Gulp.

IMG_4510I’m nervously hoping she likes what she’s unwrapped so far – and that she isn’t inspecting my stitching too closely.

There are, of course, two sides to this swap; this year, it was a secret swap, so we didn’t have the same person gifting to as receiving from. Exciting!!

AS GoodiesWhen two boxes arrived from Kimberley from Creative Chaos, I couldn’t wait to open them up…but Pickle was fast asleep in my arms and I had to wait. When I did open them, I was greeted by such beautiful wrapping that I felt spoiled already, and what’s been inside so far has been perfect. Kimberley is obviously awesome.

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5Thank you so much, Kimberley xx