The Princess Diarist

WARNING: There are some spoilers ahead. Short non-spoiler version: It was good… you should read it 🙂 Yay Carrie Fisher!

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Ahh The Princess Diarist… When I found out this was coming out I made sure the library was getting a copy. With the release of the Star Wars VII there was a lot of renewed interest from our patrons in Carrie Fisher’s books. As well as pretty much anything that could in some way maybe be slightly related to anything Star Wars 🙂

When we got it in there was definitely interest and I wanted to read it myself so I put on a reserve and waited patiently. Unfortunately no librarian perks when it comes to the reserves queue hahaha.

When I borrowed the book I got a few chapters in that night and the next day Carrie Fisher passed away. Some of what she wrote in the book talked about her eventual passing and it was just too weird and sad to continue reading it at that time so I returned it and let the other masses waiting for it go first.

So a couple of months down the track now the hordes have cleared I decided to give it another go. I really enjoyed this book. Bios are not generally something I steer towards, but I have found that when they are well written and interesting I do enjoy them.

It was quite interesting to see the differences between the writing styles of “present” day Carrie and the pages of 19 year old Carrie’s journals. It was very apparent from 19yo Carrie’s writing that she was very much infatuated by Harrison, though present day Carrie is reasonably discrete about the affair itself 19yo Carrie seemingly (to me) struggled under the banner of secrecy. If you are looking for some ground shattering literary genius out of those diaries you are not going to get it. They are what you would expect of a creative, somewhat angsty 19yo who’s smoking joints and head over heels. Kind of felt as though perhaps she had gotten hold of some of my old journals except I had more of a penchant for songs than poems.

I really enjoyed the behind the scenes parts of the memoir and I liked how she simultaneously loves and hates cons. She has a special tongue in cheek love for her fans as well.

Her writing style is quite quirky and you can almost imagine her saying the words as you read along. Actually the audio book would probably be great!

She does make a few references to her inevitable passing as well as that of her mother which made reading the book quite touching, but beautiful at the same time. One of the most poignant parts of the book for me was in the acknowledgements when she thanks her mother for “being too stubborn and thoughtful to die, “I love you, but that whole emergency, almost dying thing, wasn’t funny. Don’t even THINK about doing it again in any form.” Given that her mother died just one day after Carrie what was probably meant to be a wry joke took on a much more tender meaning.

If you are a fan of Carrie Fisher you will enjoy this book. If you are looking for some scandalous tell all on “Carrison” then this is probably not for you 🙂 But you will likely find some amazingly graphic fan fiction online hahaha. Whatever floats your boat, no judgement.

 

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Back in January I talked about my goals to reduce our household waste. So I thought I would do a little recap and see where we are at.

We have been doing okay with this in general, though there are some areas we could improve in:

  • We have not been as good on plastic bags as I would like, but we are recycling them instead of throwing them out as we used to do. It’s mostly an issue because I ensure I go for a walk at lunchtimes and often do some household shopping then and I don’t always remember to go to my car to get the eco bag first. Definitely something I need to work on habit wise.
    Eco Bags
  • Meal planning has also gone out the window for us for the most part just due to different crazy life things going on. I try to do it in my head a bit, obviously this is nowhere near as good as if I were doing it properly though so I really need to make an effort with this. Not only is it better for reducing waste, but it is also kinder on our wallets and better for our health because when I plan we end up with healthy well rounded meals.

Things we have done include:

  • I have done research into some of the things we buy and try to only buy items that have recyclable packaging (harder than you might think – though the redcycle program at Coles has helped a lot).
  • When it comes to items like egg cartons which are recyclable I will also look for opportunities for reuse. For instance our library storytime sometimes uses egg cartons for craft. In fact I found a flower craft recently for Mother’s Day that I sent through as a suggestion that uses egg cartons. This will mean that all staff’s egg cartons will be donated for the next few weeks to be used to create Mother’s Day gifts rather than being thrown out or recycled.
    Image result for egg carton flowers
    There are so many fun crafts you can do with egg cartons that I am actually going to save that for another post I think 🙂
  • Though we do not want junk mail it seems to keep magically appearing so I use the elastic bands from them on my frozen veggie bags once open to reduce the chance of freezer burn and recycle the junk mail. It’s only a little thing I know, but I also feel that that thought and little effort if magnified by many certainly counts.
    I also found out that my girlfriend who lives 30 minutes further bush than me doesn’t get junk mail at all so I now keep them for her and she recycles them after use.
  • When we next needed rice I bought a 5kg bag. Every one that sees it thinks I am crazy and it does take up a lot of room, but I used to buy the 500gram packet so I am literally saving 10 plastic packages and it saved me a BUNCH of money!
    We may not have sugar in our house, but if you need a cup of rice I am definitely your girl
    Image result for cup of rice cartoon
  • At work I have noticed that I have naturally become a lot more conscious of recycling and providing opportunities for people to learn more sustainable habits. No matter how small the scraps are now (from cutting out or whatever) I will put them in the paper recycling bin. I have also gotten into the habit of checking the staff paper recycling next to the internal printer for scrap paper as this is always in high demand at the library.
    Our Council has business card sized laminated signs with a cute cartoon of a light bulb reminding people to turn off switches. I have ordered some of these to place above the switches in our study areas as people often leave these on. I have also convinced Council to add recycling bins into all the libraries and centres (gyms and pools) which is amazing!!!
    I also had a chat with the guy from Council who runs eco programs like creating sustainable gardens, building terrariums and composting at home. It started with me offering to promote his programs in the library particularly on our social media sites. He was super excited about this and we are now talking about him possibly running some programs at the libraries which is amazing because we get a whole new slew of programs whilst our resource output would be minimal and we would be collaborating and networking with a whole new area of Council so I am pretty excited about this possibility 🙂

It was great for me to discover that I was able to make a difference at work as well as at home.

What changes have you made or do you suggest I make?


Free Comic Book Day

So there is this annual event called Free Comic Book Day. Never heard of it? Check out the information here http://www.freecomicbookday.com/ We have an amazing time with it at our library service with kid and family friendly activities that run all day. We have actually had people tell us they are visiting us rather than the big comic book stores which is amazing! I have taken my nephew to it for all of his 5 years he has been around.

I have been asked to participate this year as a character. Huge excitement!!!!! I get to choose who I want to be and source the costume which hopefully means I can find something that fits okay.

So here’s the thing… have you ever looked for plus sized costumes? Pretty much all of them have the word “sexy” in front whilst men get these awesome looking things like the below with options for fat or skinny people.

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Where are all the awesome costume options for shapely ladies?!!

At this stage I am pretty much assuming I am going to have to put one together myself so I have started thinking about who I might like to be. One of the other librarians is going as supergirl. I found some interesting costume (DIY) options for wonder woman which I think could work well. Another one I am pretty interested in currently is Claire Redfield from the Resident Evil comics/world… at least then everything is not as clingy and bodysuity… plus I really like the character.

Here is the current list I am considering:

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  • Claire Redfield – Resident Evil
  • Alice – Resident Evil
  • Wonder Woman – Wonder Woman
  • Lady Mechanika – Lady Mechanika – would be awesome, but huge amounts of prep.
  • Poison Ivy – Batman – would be a GREAT costume, but worried about doing a villain and having the kids be afraid of me when I am trying to get them involved with stuff 🙂 Also sometimes kids might “fight” villains.

Side note: I would totally love to do Abby from the new Ghostbusters, but that character isn’t from the comics 😦

What are your thoughts? There are other comic book characters I love, but I need it to be fat friendly, movable to some degree so I can interact with kids and hopefully more than one piece for ease of pee breaks 🙂 I would LOVE some suggestions from you all!

Annnnnndddddd…….. GO!!!

 


The Beauty of Darkness

The Beauty of Darkness is book 3 in The Remnant Chronicles saga and is my book number 2 for 52 books in 52 weeks.I talked about the second book in a recent post and was looking forward to reading the final installment. I will be as vague as possible, but some might consider what I will write slight spoilers 🙂

This was a thick book at 679 pages, so if you are someone who cannot commit to long books you might struggle, but I don’t mind them personally and I felt it was worth the read. When the story is good I don’t generally notice how long it is. Plus I was already two books in, I wasn’t about to stop now 🙂

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Love the cover art for this series!!!

There was this really interesting message through this whole story that I felt repeated over and over again through different storylines and that was that ‘no one is too great to fall’. This is SUCH a true message in day to day life for every person as well as in this book and I think that is why I appreciated it. It also shows how those that fall respond, do they become desperate and cruel or evil, or do they have an inner strength and sense of self that sustains them through the harshest of times. Let’s not mince words, these characters went through some hellish ordeals, particularly the female protagonist Lia. From a waited on princess to someone’s prisoner covered in filth and blood wearing a hessian sack, Lia’s resolve never faulted and her inner strength and leadership qualities just grew. Everything was taken from her and she didn’t crumble. This is a great book for young women to read for this message alone.

The other thing I liked about Lia and some of the other main characters is that they often didn’t make the popular choice. They were not afraid to make the difficult choice that would be immensely harder and possibly end in death because ultimately it was the right thing to do and could save many lives. Too often you read books where people throw the lives of thousands out to dry in the name of love and whilst I understand that being an impossible choice I do get frustrated by the sheer amount of these type of novels – like the Fallen series for example (not that I didn’t enjoy it – you can tell here and here).

Relationships were so interesting in this book. To be honest it didn’t end the way I wished it had. The ending I wanted wouldn’t be the popular version, but to me it was more realistic and I cannot say much more about how I felt about this without spoiling things so I will stop here.

I was a fan of the overall ending and was definitely a fan of many of the messages in the book. I was a particular fan of the women in this book. There is a strength to the women in this book that you cannot help but admire. Seriously SUCH a great read for young women today.


Things that are making me smile

I went for a walk to get a coffee today and our local coffee shop had this up. It made me smile (and want a t-shirt) so I asked the barista if I could take a picture of the sign. He seemed excited that people wanted to share it so I thought I would.

coffee-joke-sign

Seriously though… this needs to be on coffee cups and t-shirts… ooh and totes. You just know as a librarian, book lover and someone who is trying to reduce their waste that I love a good tote 🙂

Something else that made me happy recently is that my cover for my new phone arrived. At the beginning of the year I got a new Samsung S7 in rose gold. My contract for my old phone was a few months out of date so it was really time. I always have my phones in wrap round cases – I think it is what makes them last so long. I found a cover I LOVED online that I wanted so much that I literally waited a MONTH for it to arrive from Hong Kong. It only cost $12 though so BONUS!

new-phone-cover

Honestly, this looks even better in person than I thought it would. Often (as with my last phone case), when the item arrives the colour, quality or image are not as good as you had anticipated. With this product the colour is great, the quality of the materials and stitching is good. The names of some of the texts are a teeny bit hard to read sometimes, but if you are a Harry Potter fan you will be able to work out what they are 🙂

I was super pleased with this, it still makes me happy. The owl is SO cute. I really have a thing for owls, always have. My favourite are Tawny Owls, they are just so little and cute, Boobook Owls are also super adorable and have incredibly expressive faces… plus they have the word ‘book’ in their name 🙂  I don’t think it is overly fair to keep such beautiful animals as pets, but I would love to have them hanging around my place. This little sketch of Hedwig is probably the sweetest I have seen to be honest.

What has been making you smile lately?


Gözleme all the way

Have you tried gözleme? If not you should absolutely put it on your ‘must try before I die’ list. Technically I do not have one of these lists (yet!), but it rolls off the tongue beautifully so I think it should be a thing 🙂

I have an amazing group of friends at my work. They are brilliant people and truly without them my day to day life would not be half as shiny. We often like to have lunch together and one of my friends had been eyeing off a gözleme place that has been under construction for some time now. Finally it opened, so obviously we had to go on the first day.

gozleme-potato

Potato, spinach & feta – SO GOOD!!!

Looks great on the plate and even better when you taste it. It is served on a wooden board with a wedge of lemon. We all loved it and have already visited again a couple of times. It is promoted as Turkish street food and is made fresh, you can literally watch them make it for you from rolling out your dough to placing the finished product on your board. It is completely tasty and the people that run it are (from what I can gather) 1-2 families who are all Turkish, spanning across 3 generations, which I think is really cool.

Last week we went there and were offered Turkish tea (or Rize tea), it was a promotion and you got a free cup with every gözleme. I was a little hesitant because I had been warned off Turkish coffee, but I promised to try new things this year so I did… and I LOVED it. It was super yum. It is served in this elegant tiny little glass with a teeny teaspoon and a sugar cube. My friend and I were only disappointed that there wasn’t more.

turkish-tea

Turkish tea with spinach and feta gozleme

Such an interesting contrast to be eating street food with your hands and sipping on tea out of an elegant cup like a posh lady.

9/10 will eat and drink again – A LOT.
It is probably not good that this is such a short walk from my work, but honestly it is not that bad for you is it?


52 books in 52 weeks is back!

Wayyyy back in 2014 as one of my New Year’s goals I decided to undertake a 52 books in 52 weeks challenge (52b52w). Though I am a librarian and surrounded by books everyday I found that I rarely had time to read anymore. As it was my favourite past time I decided to find a way to get it back into my life.

My chill out time used to include a cup of tea a couple of smokes and a good read. Last year on Feb 15 I decided to put the gaspers down for good, in one more month it will be a year since my last cigarette. To be honest giving up smoking after a decade of doing it has made me probably the most proud of myself I have ever been, even more than graduating after 4 years of Uni haha. However, it did mean that I avoided reading. I realised that when I read I would sometimes crave so I stopped, this means I did not read much in 2016. Thankfully I am now over this phase and am ready to get back into reading big time!

So I thought I would start with book 2 and 3 in the Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson. I have been waiting to read these since I read the first book in the series The Kiss of Deception in November 2015. I really enjoyed the first installment and couldn’t wait to get into the second. However, knowing the cliffhanger I was left at the end of the first I decided to wait until both books came out so I could read them one after the other. LOVE me some binge reading!

So my first read for this year is The Heart of Betrayal book #2 in the Remnant Chronicles series.

heart-of-betrayal

I really enjoyed the first book in this series. It was very well written.

This second installment was written in a different manner and you were able to see the story from more points of view. Whilst I loved the first book and the fact you didn’t know who was who until the final curtain call this book felt like a step forward. It felt more adult. The development of the characters in this book was wonderful, often coming from witnessing or being subjected to brutal incidents.

I loved Lia’s development through this book. She really came into her own and I love her backbone. I really liked how I could see her love of the people and her gift growing, her sense of self was in constant development throughout this book.

This ended almost exactly the way I wanted. I have an idea of where I would like the next installment to go, but I feel it is unlikely the ending I will get.

I have already started on the third book and so far it is exciting too 🙂

Library lovers day in Australia is fast approaching on the 14 February. In support I am currently borrowing all of my books from the library and sharing them on my instagram with the hashtag #librarylove Feel free to do the same 🙂

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