Some thoughts…

I am getting very excited for the weekend. This is the weekend of 24 in 48 ( check out their blog and join me….if you would like! I have a stack of unread books and e-books and audio-books. My husband scheduled his mom to come and stay with for half the weekend so I’m hoping that doesn’t hurt my reading time. I plan to read as much as I can during the wee hours of the morning and as much as I can on Saturday so I can still have a little weekend time to be with my family. I will be updating my blog with pictures and progress on what I am reading and doing this entire weekend.

Today I started an audio-book. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I had started and read half this book in 2015 but I was in a funk that year and didn’t do much reading. So I am trying again and listening to the book. I got it through the Libby app through my public library. Libby is the sister app to the OverDrive app. I never used OverDrive but Libby is great and so easy to use. I highly recommend you use this app to get e-books and audio-books for free from the library.

That’s it for now. I’m going to try to get some reviews up in the coming weeks of books that I have read this year. Also trying to update my shop since I finished The 100 Day Project. Stay tuned…

When Breath Becomes Air ~ Paul Kalanithi

I loved this book! It was a very fast read for me because I couldn’t put it down. I read it over the new years weekend (wow…I’m so far behind in my reviews). Very sad but so good. It made me think about my life and all the people in it. I know that death is in my future, in everybody’s future, but I want to make the most of it and I want to spend it with the people that I love. I am actively looking for ways to spend more time with the people in my life.

Paul Kalanithi questions the meaning of life in this book like no one else has. While he was in medical school he questioned what a meaningful life was and if he was on the path to a meaningful life. Then he was diagnosed with cancer as a neurosurgeon. He write about his treatments, family life and having a child in-between his treatments and returning to work. This is not a spoiler, but Kalanithi was not cured of his cancer and died in March 2015.

I cried like a baby reading this book. I held my kids close once I was done. This book was beautifully written and something that I will continue to think about as I travel through this life.

Next book … The Underground Railroad ~ Colson Whitehead

5 more days!! and another podcast…

So as I wrap up my 100 Day Project, I have mixed emotions of the end. I loved setting aside 30 mins of everyday to craft and think about what I love and what others might connect with. I talked to my sister-in-law and she said she fell in love with all the full flower bookmarks. Others liked the written ones or the hand-drawn pictures. All these likes and suggestions will definitely be integrated into my shop. I’m really excited to add new items to my etsy shop and update some of the old ones.

Stay tuned for more bookmarks entering my shop and other stuff that I will be making in the future.

Oh a little side note…I am listening to another podcast about books/reading. But this one is so nostalgic to me that I have to share because I love love love it!! LeVar Burton Reads. Check it out. Listen. Subscribe. Do what you need to because it is amazing!! If you don’t know LeVar Burton by name you will know the face. Mr. Burton is the face of Reading Rainbow! OMG…I can’t contain my excitement!!

Quick story…

I have added another bookish podcast to my listening ears. Reading Glasses is so great. Unlike All The Books, Reading Glasses gives you tips on how to read and when to read and how to get out of reading slumps. Yesterday they released their 3rd episode, so if you want to start listening now is a great time because it is super new!

So far I have really liked the dynamics of the girls that host the show. And I am learning new tips on reading and reading more. Bottom line is that I really love it!!


Three Dark Crowns ~ Kendare Blake

I get a lot of my TBR (To Be Read) from podcasts. And most of the stuff is so new that I have to buy it but this one was a t my local library. It was amazing when I was able to check it out from the library. And the book did not disappoint. It is a young adult novel and was super easy to get through.

Three dark queens
are born in a glen,
sweet little triplets
will never be friends

Three dark sisters
all fair to be seen,
two to devour
and one to be Queen

I really connected with this book! This book is about three sisters that are heirs to the crown of their island but only one will be able to take it. Each sister has a different power. Mirabella is able to set fires and control storms. Katharine is able to ingest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe is able to control animals and make forests grow. In order to become queen the three sister have to fight to the death. The last one standing will be crowned.

I related to this novel because I have 2 sisters myself. We are not triplets but we are very close. We fought when we were younger, not so much anymore since we all live separately. But there is more to this story. The second book One Dark Throne comes out in September…I cant wait!

Next book … When Breath Becomes Air ~ Paul Kalanithi

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Mischling ~ Affinity Konar

…and another one!

I had to read this book about the holocaust….because that’s what I love to read about! It is about twin sisters, Pearl and Stasha, who are treated different in Auschwitz because of their twin-ness. Each girl is in charge of different aspects of their lives. Pearl has the sad, the good and the past. Stasha has the funny, the future and the bad. The girls are stripped of their identities and separated. Stasha, and a companion who has also lost his twin, go on a journey to find their other halves once their camp is liberated. This novel is very well written and shows us the love of two sisters and the hope of the world after WWII.

I read this book on a long weekend in Las Vegas with my husband sans kids! It was amazing to have that free time to reconnect with my husband and read without being interrupted. I think I enjoyed this book even more because of that. But also I have 2 beautiful sisters (not my twin or twins at all) and we have a connection similar to what is portrayed in this book. It was nice to read about sister bonds even if it was during the worst time of their lives.

Next book … Three Dark Crowns ~ Kendare Blake

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After moving into my new home, I needed to get my creative side back. I finally have a space that I can dedicate to my crafts, and have enough storage space for it all. During my working hours and downtime I listen to a million and one podcasts. One in particular has talked about The 100 Day Project on a few occasions. I always have an excuse as to why I can’t start new projects or work on my crafts, so I made a conscience decision to set this goal and stick to it!

I am almost half way through the 100 days, today is number 43, and I am still going strong. I have pledged to create a totally unique bookmark for 100 days. I have thrown two parties and still carved out 20 minutes to make a bookmark. Most of my bookmarks take about 15-30 minutes to make. I use newspaper that I have laying around, old magazines, stickers, sharpies, paint, burlap, yarn, pretty much anything that I can get my crafty hands on.

I have noticed that I gravitate towards flowers in magazines. I love the bright colors and the many different varieties that I find. I also love calligraphy! I have wanted to start learning how to write fancy and I have found a way to do that with this project.

Check out my Instagram page with all my bookmarks. @ashsbookmarks

The link is also to the right of this post. I have sold a few of the bookmarks but am unsure if I want to post them all to my etsy shop or just the select few that I have really fallen in love with. I’m still going to think on that one for a few days. In the meantime I will post a few of them here and then enjoy the rest of my Mother’s Day weekend.

Day 41: Black stripes, gold dots 😍🤗 #ashsbookmarks #the100dayproject #bookmark #craft

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Day 20: The Trees #ashsbookmarks #the100dayproject #bookmark #craft #trees

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The Wolf Road ~ Beth Lewis

In the words of one of my favorite podcasters, Liberty Hardy, “this book was bonkers!” It really was!! It is a thriller and there were times that I was literally on the edge of my seat reading this book. Nights where I didn’t want to sleep so I could stay up and read, just one more chapter! I work full time and have 2 little girls so my nights are for reading (or catching up on shows with my husband).

I love post-apocalyptic novels and this one was great. It takes place in British Columbia and Alaska but they don’t come out and say that. So you wouldn’t really know where they are unless you know the area somewhat and lingo. I vacationed there a few years ago and had so much fun, so I had previous knowledge of the lands and junk. The novel is about a girl who is taken in by a wanted man. She doesn’t know this until she has already been living with him for many years. But once she finds out she is on the move, with him close at her heels. She travels through BC meeting many and avoiding even more.

The writing is amazing and really makes me feel like I am there living right next to the characters. Please read this book. It reminds me of The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King. (Side note: that was the first novel I read by King, which made me fall in love with the older books by him. I’m not really a fan of his newer stuff but the oldies are goodies!)

Next book … Mischling ~ Affinity Konar

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A Clash of Kings ~ George R. R. Martin

What can I say about this book that I didn’t say about the first? Um…I loved it! I listen to these books because they are so long. They give me something to listen to as I work and it really makes the day fly by. I listen to them at 1.5x speed so I don’t have to listen for 40 hours. But it is just slow enough that I still comprehend what is being read to me.

This is the second book in the Game of Thrones series. This novel follows the Stark family all over the Seven Kingdoms, as well as other families that are entwined with that group and some that are not. People die and are killed and some are just separated from the ones that they love.

It is a great novel. And there is so much going on that I am never bored with the books. Plus I really like the guy that reads the books. Continuing the books on tape….is that what it’s still called?

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(Sidenote: Watching the Super Bowl [commercials] and just saw the one for Stranger Things 2…HALLOWEEN!!! I can’t wait that long! I want to watch the new season like now!)

Next book … The Wolf Road ~ Beth Lewis

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The Magnolia Story ~ Chip & Joanna Gaines

I love watching the DIY Network and HGTV. And I love Chip and Joanna Gaines. They are just a wholesome couple and I love what they do inside houses. Their style is amazing, or I guess I should say her style. My husband and I want to redo a lot of our house and we have this show in mind when it comes to style and design. #DemoDay #Shiplap #SubwayTiles

The Gaines’ book is just a memoir of their life together. There are so many interesting facts about their life that are so great and things that you don’t learn from their show. It was like taking a peak inside their lives and that peak looked so inspiring. Their love story is so cute and the proposal made me cry, it was that cute. Their values as a family are something to look up to and I have learned some pointers when dealing with my little ones and husband.

If you love to watch their show I highly recommend their book. Even if you don’t watch their show they have a great love story and there are some pointers for new families.

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Next book … A Clash of Kings ~ George R. R. Martin

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