Culture

Books I Read January

How are we already talking about books I read in January 2021? How is it already 2021? Time is going by so fast these days, my dears, and while the part of me who wants to hug people is totally okay with that, the part of me that needs to somehow complete a research project by April is less so. Along those lines, I was really afraid that I would not have any books to talk about this month. As evidenced by the stressed out side of myself, school is really ramping up in my second last semester so I have lots of work to do and lots of Freire to read. Maybe by the end of this semester, I’ll finally be able to explain to people what praxis means.

But, like we recently discussed, when life is heavy and when life is light a girl needs to take some time for herself. And in my “me” time, I do like to read.

Something that will be a little bit different this year – I’m following the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge. I typically read more books in a year than the challenge requires you to read so not all books will fit into a category for the challenge, but if a book does tick a box, I’ll let you know which one.

The Cousins by Karen McManus

Favourite January Book I Read: The Cousins by Karen McManus

I was so excited to read The Cousins – Karen McManus writes YA thrillers in a really approachable way that still keeps you crazy engaged all the way through. Her characters act like teenagers and, when they decide not to include adults in their adventures, the decision makes sense. (Teens acting like adults in YA fiction is my least favourite thing – give me a compelling reason to get the adults out of the way!)

The Cousins lived up to all my expectations. It tells the story of – you guessed it – three cousins from the Story family. These kids barely know each other due to family **drama** when they are mysteriously invited to spend the summer working at their grandmother’s isolated island resort. As you can imagine, secrets are exposed and thrilling adventures take place. Plus! A bonus – the book has parallel time periods. It was such a fun read.

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: A book with a family tree

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

By contrast, I don’t think I could call The Hazel Wood a fun read, even if it is equally mysterious. Alice and her mother have spent their lives on the road, always followed by the “bad luck”. When her grandmother, a famous and reclusive author, passes away, it seems like the bad luck is finally behind them… but it’s just beginning.

The Hazel Wood is a throwback to dark fairy tales. It blends original fairy tales with the real world in a way that feels mildly reminiscent of Alice In Wonderland. Except it is very grown up. And Alice is not a particularly likeable character. There is a very very good reason for the darkness inside Alice – which she cannot understand – but I should warn you. You gotta wait through some angry, nastiness to get there.

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: A book about forgetting

The Night Country by Melissa Albert

The Night Country by Melissa Albert

Obviously I was able to get past Alice’s darkness – I almost immediately read The Hazel Wood’s sequel The Night Country. I preferred this book. Alice is in a more accessible place – even if she continues to set fire to the world around her – and y’all know I love it when the world expands. Plus this book has one of my favourite fantasy things – parallel storylines! I absolutely love seeing how the characters come together.

There is also a book of the fairy tales from this series – Tales from the Hinterland. I cannot wait to see where the characters in these first two books come from. We hear hints of their “stories”, I want the whole thing!

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

Wayward Son is another sequel… and I haven’t written about the original on this blog so… um… how do I handle this?

I really enjoyed it. It’s a YA LGBT romance-fantasy.

Go read Carry On. Then just read Wayward Son right afterwards to see what happens to a Chosen One once the thing they were chosen for is no longer a thing. It’s like fanfiction, but by the author. Love it.

My Favourite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

My Favourite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren is fairly prolific in the rom-com genre for their fluffy beachy reads. My Favourite Half-Night Stand is definitely a cute fluffy read, if fairly trope-y. (It’s a classic “secret identity” romance and the denouement happens through letters). I guess my only complaint is that I wish they had committed more fully to the bit? Like, a couple of times they show messages from a group chat and if that’s going to be a thing, I want it to be a thing.

But maybe I’m just thinking too much about my rom-coms.

Though I will admit, I literally started reading this book a year and a half ago. It took this long for me to actually sit down at finish it. So that says something.

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: The book that’s on your TBR list for the longest amount of time

Fitness

elevate barre program nutrition guide

Oof. Look at this girl go – restarting a blog and missing a week almost immediately. What can I say? I had a paper due last week. After doing a deep dive into reflexivity and the need for a community developed code of ethics for adult educators, my brain was toast. 3500 words is so many words. But anyway, I digress. I was gone, now I am back, and I want to talk about Elevate, a little program that I’ve been doing at my barre studio for the past month.

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Stuff About Me

Ugh. Really? That’s the title I’m picking for this post? “I’m Back, BAY-BEE”? I mean, I am back, this is a wildly accurate statement, but yikes on bikes! (Yikes on Bikes is also not a great thing for me to write… this is all starting to make me sound like I’m a mom who is not at all cool but thinks they are cool. Sorry, non-existent children.)

Okay, let’s start again.

I’m Back, Blogging Again!

(Using commas wildly since 1986.)

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Stuff About Me

Erin laying on a bed, engaged in reflection

On this day, this day just following one of the most reflective and challenging Yin yoga classes I’ve ever taken, and the last day of 2018, indulge me in a little bit of reflection. Let’s talk about how this year has gone by so quickly, as years seem to the older I get, but also how this single year feels like it has taken ten years to pass. Last January feels like eons ago.

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Fitness

In a shocking turn of events, I’m delayed writing up my Week Two Recap and it’s already Wed, Oct 31. Halloween! I’m a deer! (If I get a cute picture and not just a poorly lit picture in my office, I’ll post it on the A Flimsy Plan insta.) With this spoooooky season coming to a close, let’s hit up another recap of my Fit Girls journey! (Syntax? What’s syntax? I’m not fixing that sentence!)

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Fitness, Life

If there’s one thing my readers know about me, it’s that I’m an actress. Oh no, wait, that’s not what this post is about… Let’s start over. If there’s one thing my readers know about me, it’s that I love challenges. Challenges are essentially the only way I actually achieve anything in life because I truly thrive on external validation. (Hashtag, maybe not the best quality? Hashtag love yourself?) Anyway, today is a not a deep dive into my psyche, today is a recap of the first week of my most recent challenge – Fit Girls Guide‘s 28 Day Jumpstart.

Challenges are the Only Way I Ever Achieve Anything
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Life

Readers! Viewers! Guys! It’s me! I’m blogging! I know… are you hallucinating? Am I hallucinating? Is this a shared delusion, ala those people in France who died from dancing? (Note: Yes, that is a real thing. I’m super up on my internet obsessions from three years ago. Confirm it here.)

Though all those things may yet be true, I’m also blogging. I often get enthusiasms to get my life in order and this is one of those times. So you get to reap the benefits! How fun is that!?

As some of you know well, I recently had a super incredible roommate – young, fun, similar interests, tidy, hobbies and activities that kept her out of the house occasionally… all the things you want when you are bringing in a virtual stranger to share your home. She recently moved back into her own home, as she had been only there short-term while waiting for her renters to move out. This sounds like a random digression, but the reason I bring it up is because I haven’t yet replaced her. Having such a great roommate made me realize that I don’t have to compromise. I can wait again for a great roommate. I don’t have to live with all the 18 year old boys who keep trying to submit to be my roommate. (Why? I don’t know why… I think my ad is pretty clear that I don’t want to live with a child?)

But while I don’t have to compromise, what I do probably have to do is tighten up my belt a wee bit. And if there’s one thing I love (and thrive in doing), it’s challenges. So, without further ado, let me announce…

NO-SPEND APRIL

Yes! I had a friend do a No Spend January and she walked out of it with such insight about her spending habits – it’s time for me to gain that insight. And it’s time for you to come along with me on this journey on the blog. (Because even if I love challenges, I need shame to complete them.)

Anyone who has listened to my Riverdale podcast, Mystery, Outsiders and Abs, knows that I feel very strongly that you have to pay your rent if you want to live in a place. So obviously “no-spend” won’t be no spend…

THE RULES

Yes, you can spend on:

  • $30 grocery budget per week (probably just eggs, veggies and fruit)
  • Utilities/mortgage/property tax
  • Emergency medical supplies (fingers crossed, I won’t need this)
  • Gas
  • 1 social outing (because girl is not going to go crazy… I mean, anti-social)

No, you can’t spend on:

  •  Class Pass will be put on hold
  • Yoga membership will be put on hold (I’m going to do the Yoga with Adriene TRUE 30 day challenge to fill this gap… two challenges at once!)
  • Personal care products (makeup, skincare, face masks, shampoo, etc)
  • Alcohol
  •  Eating out
  • Fast food
  •  Clothes
  • Movies
  • “Spa” treats (massage, mani, pedi, etc)

Eee! How will I succeed? Only time (and this blog) will tell!

I’ll be posting weekly updates on the blog and sporadic sneak peeks on Insta (probably on my story) – aflimsyplan