Apr 29, 2014

Oh no!

Superdry Rose Dress

Yesterday was a school day and I was so happy to be back. I missed a day because of my holiday and last week we didn't have any lessons because of Easter. My favorite teacher, Rian, offered to help me catching up. Which is very nice of him, fortunately my book group already gave me their notes and all the necessary assignments, so I didn't need it. To make sure he asked me to have a cup of tea again, so I could ask him anything I hadn't understood. I would never say no to any extra time with Rian. He's cute and sweet and smart, the ideal teacher. I feel like a fourteen year old drooling over her high school teacher, only I'm not a teenager anymore and I have to be mature. Which is what I was trying to do. 
Everything went very well, until the end of our time together. When we went outside to say goodbye he lingered and clearly wanted to say something, but then Calvin arrived at that exact same spot and introduced himself as my boyfriend. I felt so embarrassed, like I cheated or something, while we aren't even dating. If there was a moment between me and Rian it was definitely gone and then to make it worse Calvin kissed me on the lips and took my hand to make me go inside again. I didn't really like that idea and told him to stop being so possessive. Then he took the hint and pushed me towards Rian wishing him good luck with me. I didn't know what to do. I apologized to Rian, but I don't think that really helped. He left without saying goodbye. I felt so stupid and I've clearly hurt Calvin's feelings now too. What a mess...

The love of my life by Louise Douglas

‘I miss him with every breath and heartbeat. He should have been my happy ending. Instead, he is the sad beginning to my story.’ Olivia and Luca Felicone had known each other nearly all their lives, but when they fell in love as teenagers and eloped to London, they broke the hearts of those closest to them. Luca’s parents run Marinella’s restaurant, the colourful hub of life in the otherwise bleak north-eastern seaside town of Watersford, and his mother, Angela, has never forgiven Olivia for causing such a rift in her beloved family. On a freezing January night Olivia’s life is shattered when she learns that Luca has been killed in a car accident on the M1. She is left with nothing, and after suffering from weeks of overwhelming grief, she abandons her job and returns North to where Luca has been buried in Watersford, just to be close to him – even though she knows she will not be welcome at Marinella’s. Olivia’s chance meeting with Luca’s married twin brother, Marc, leads to the realization that he is experiencing a loss almost as painful as her own. Their desolation draws them into an affair which both know has no future, but fills the space where Luca should be. It is a course of action that can only spiral out of control, and when it does, the consequences are both explosive and cruel. 

I copied the above from Amazon. The love of my life is a book about loss. Olivia has suffered the very painful loss of her beloved husband. Because his family wants to have him buried close to home and she misses him too much she moves to where Luca's grave is. Things aren't going well and Olivia's grief leads to destructive behavior. She's back at the place where she grew up, but she isn't welcome there.
Luca's family is cruel to Olivia and even after losing someone so dear to them they still can't behave normally towards her. She can't be with the one she loves and pushes those who love her away. When something awful happens she realizes she can't live like that any longer. This is a book of mourning and there isn't much that's going well in Olivia's life. The story is unbelievably sad. The main character's heart's broken and every emotion is so raw. The love of my life is a very real story, filled with tears, which is unbelievably beautiful.

Apr 28, 2014

Having cocktails with Lester on Saturday Evening

I wore this Isla & Lulu Always Smiling Dress to my date on Saturday evening. I love purple and dresses with flowers, so I was happy I could borrow this dress from Dawn. Lester took me to a fancy cocktail bar, somewhere I'd never been before. He'd made reservations, so we could have a booth just for the two of us. There was finger food to go with the drinks and everything was really nice. I actually like Lester a lot, I don't know if there's a spark, but there's definitely friendship there. We talked about our work and about books. He likes to read as well. His favorites are mainly classics and I'm glad I've read a few of those. Time flew by and at the end of the evening he held my hand. That was so sweet. He's such a nice man, very kind and a real gentleman. He's old fashioned. He told me he wants to take the time to get to know me before rushing into a relationship. I don't know if I'm ready for that yet, but he's certainly good boyfriend material and he's good looking too. That's why I agreed to meet him again in a few days.

I brought Dawn a lot of Nocibe products and helped her a bit on Saturday

I was glad I could give Dawn something that I bought for her in France. I brought her several products from the Les Delices line from Nocibe. Fortunately I could stock up for myself as well. These products are really great and every time I'm in France I have to buy a whole bunch. I'm currently using the Chocolat shower gel and it smells like chocolate sauce. It's divine! 
I helped my sister cleaning her house and I also packed some orders from her. Seth has some kind of unknown virus. He's done a lot of research in the tropics and the last time he went he caught something there. The doctors don't know what it is and they haven't been able to find a cure or a treatment. They aren't sure if it will go away by itself or if he'll stay chronically ill for the rest of his life. That's awful for him. Working and managing family life is hard for my sister at the moment. I stayed for dinner which I cooked and told her to put her feet up for once. She took a bath and I looked after the children and Seth. It was actually a very nice day. They try to make the best of it and are very close as a family which helps a lot. I've made some extra food that I've put in my sister's freezer, so she doesn't have to cook for a few days next week.
We spent the evening meal joking and Seth was able to join us. It was such a nice normal family get together that for a moment I forgot they are going through such a difficult time. I think they did as well. I played a game with my nieces and nephew and then I read them a story. Then Dawn helped me to get ready for my date. She braided my hair and she did my make up. She's so good at things like that. Of course I could also borrow one of her dresses, she never minds. I think she hardly wears them more than once. Before I left I helped her to get Seth in bed and then I downloaded a few episodes of a British comedy for her. After that it was time for my date and it wasn't easy to leave them all behind.

The Spook's Destiny by Joseph Delaney

The Spook's DestinyThe Spook's Destiny
The eighth chilling volume in the Wardstone Chronicles, featuring Tom Ward, the Spook's apprentice.
The Spook, Tom and Alice travel to Ireland, fleeing from the war in the County. There, Tom must tackle a group of evil mages who are desperate to rid their land of the Spook and his apprentice, and to increase their own dark powers.

His dangerous mission against the mages leads Tom to the Destiny Blade - a sword with a dark side, and a thirst for blood . . . Will this new weapon give him a fighting chance against the Fiend?

If he's to survive, he'll need training, and only one person can help - Grimalkin, the witch assassin. The dark against the dark . . .

I borrowed the summary from Joseph Delaney's website. In book Eight of the Last Apprentice series Tom, the Spook and Alice are in Ireland. Tom has many enemies there and even ends up in the Otherworld where he needs to fight for his life. And then of course there's the Feind they need to deal with. For that they need Grimalkin's help.
There's a lot of action in this book and for once Tom isn't helpless all the time, which is a nice chance. I really liked the scheming and planning. Tom's becoming an actual fighter and reading about his training was great. In this book there are of course many evil creatures and there's a heavy dose of nastiness and gore as usual. Tom is growing up and the stories are growing up with him, which is wonderful to see.

Apr 27, 2014

Crimson Veil by Yasmine Galenorn

We’re the D’Artigo sisters: savvy half-human, half-Fae ex-operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. My sister Camille is a wicked good witch with three gorgeous husbands. Delilah is a two-faced werecat and a Death Maiden. And me? I’m Menolly, a vampire married to a scorching hot werepuma. And right now, we’re facing enemies on all sides…

It’s been a long and devastating week. Back in Otherworld, war has decimated the elfin city of Elqaneve, our father has gone missing, and Shadow Wing has managed to obtain another spirit seal. On the home front, somebody burned down my bar, the Wayfarer, killing eight people, including a friend.

To make matters worse, we still haven’t found a way to stop Lowestar Radcliff—the daemon in charge of a supernatural corporate power grab. He’s attempting to awaken Suvika, the lord of vice and corrupt businessmen, and we have to stop him. Our enemies are closing in on all sides, and this time, there’s no place to hide… 

In Crimson Veil Menolly has to try to stay ahead of all the evil that's trying to spread and simultaneously the D'Artigo sisters have to deal with the loss of their father. So much is happening in the Otherworld and Earthside. The Sisters need all their friends to beat their current enemy, but new ones are never far away.
I'm a big fan of the D'Artigo sisters. I've started reading the series several years ago and I still like the books a lot. This one is a great one again. The sisters are brave, but they aren't invincible. Even though they have powerful allies, they have to fight several brutal monsters. Every time it's something different. I love the variety and because the sisters each take their turn the stories are always different. That's maybe even the best thing about the Otherworld novels, the sisters are all likable in their own way and every time I've finished a book that sister is my current favorite, until I read the following novel in the series. I always look forward to reading these books so much, I can't wait until the next one comes out.

Cocktails with Friends on Friday

On Friday night I put on this great relaxing The Ragged Priest Dip Dye Oversized Jumper that I bought on Asos. Our group of five was complete again and this time we were at my place where we had a cocktail night. I love Fentimans which is such a good substitute for alcoholic drinks.

Of course we also made cocktails and this time I used recipes found on Gintime. It was so much fun to have a normal Girl's Night In on Friday, just like we used to. Things are pretty much all right between Naomi and Lizzy and we all had a wonderful time. Everyone stayed for the night and we stayed up really, really late talking and laughing. It was such a big relief, my group of friends might have been a bit damaged, but it is still intact.

Apr 25, 2014

Some of the books I bought on Amazon today!

I bought these books on Amazon today, I can't wait to read them!

Dressing up for Edward and Victoria's

I wore this La Fee Maraboutee dress to Edward's dinner party. His wife Victoria gave me a hug when I came in. It's very nice that I'm so welcome at their home. I came a little early so I could help with the cooking. Not because Victoria can't do it on her own, but because she's such a good cook and Edward told me she would like to show me some of her grandmother's recipes. I learned a lot and Edward promised to copy the family recipe books for me, that's such an honor.
Of course they invited other people to the party as well. They always have plenty of guests. I didn't know any of these people, but I sensed some wannabe matchmaking. Two friendly couples came over with their sons, three men in total. They are all more or less my age and also none of them is in a relationship at the moment. I wasn't very amused because of the interfering in my love life, but that feeling disappeared very soon. All the men were sweethearts and I don't understand why they haven't got girlfriends. Two of them are brothers and they are close friends with the other. I liked the close friend a lot to be quite honest, his name is Lester and he asked me to go out for a drink together this weekend. I said yes. How could I do that? I've kissed a guy I should have stayed away from and now I've also agreed to a date with someone else. I must be out of my mind or maybe it's just because spring is in the air?
Afterwards I helped Edward and Victoria to clean the mess and I stayed over because that was more convenient. The guestroom had its own bathroom and everything was so luxurious. Of course I didn't go to work in my long dress today, I brought an extra set of clothes which I always do just in case something would happen to my dress. I can be sensible when it involves practicalities, men are a different story though...

The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna van Praag

Welcome to Hope Street, where literary ghosts give advice to the living, hot chocolate contains magical properties and hope is something you can hold in your hands.
Discover a mysterious house where women come to hide their secrets, heal their broken hearts and risk everything to change their lives forever…
“A magical book about an enchanted house and the notable women who inhabit it, both living and dead. Richly atmospheric, literary, and textured, The House casts an enthralling spell, giving both characters and readers not only what they most want, but what they ultimately need.”

I borrowed the summary from Menna van Praag's website. When Alba doesn't know where to go after something horrible has happened to her she finds herself on the doorstep of a house in Hope Street. Peggy, the current keeper of the house is letting her in and she can stay for ninety-nine nights. A lot of famous women have stayed at the house before her and the house has helped most of them to get back on their feet again. Two other women are staying in the house as well, Carmen is on the run and Greer needs a different career. Slowly the author reveals the characters of the women and what has made them come to the house.
The House at the End of Hope Street is such an enchanting book. I loved the magic of the house and the main characters are all really likeable. I wanted to learn their secrets, but I also didn't want to read too fast to make this book last longer. I liked it so much! It reads like a classic, but it's very accessible. The story drew me in and I wanted to see that house, I would have loved to get to know the main characters in person and I think magic like should actually exist. This is one of the best books I've read this year and I'm very sure I'm going to reread it over and over again.

Apr 24, 2014

An evening in the pub with Angie

French Connection Spring Silhouette Dress in Jersey with Embroidered Detail Asos

Angie came to my place for dinner yesterday. I cooked for us before we went out together because we were both too broke to go to a restaurant. After dinner we went to a pub where a local band would perform. When Angie's around there's always something going on and that was the case again this time. She scored ten phone numbers and when the band started to sing Angie especially for her she climbed on the stage to join them. Now she's an official member of their band, because she can actually sing. It was so funny. 
The evening didn't end there. I drank a little bit too much, just a little bit and then I met Calvin. We started to talk about my beloved pillow that he still hasn't given back. Of course he also tried to hit on me, which he always does just for fun. Only joking when you aren't very sober anymore can have more serious consequences. Which in this case meant that we kissed. Not just once, but we kept kissing and kissing and only stopped to come up for air. It must have lasted at least an hour and when we finally looked around us we noticed that the bar was almost empty. The only people left were Angie and the band who were laughing at us so hard. Which ruined the magic of the moment completely, so Calvin went home immediately and I waited for Angie to say goodbye to her new band mates. Now I feel a bit stupid for kissing him, but when I think about the kissing itself there are butterflies in my stomach. For Calvin, which is such a bad idea...

Apr 23, 2014

Gluten Free Practice meal from Jada

 Finally I had another Tuesday dinner night with my friends. It was my turn to cook, but Jada asked me if we could prepare a meal together. She has a date this weekend and she's invited him to have dinner at her place (very romantic in her parents' mansion), but he doesn't eat gluten. Together we've tried Annabel Langbein's sake & ginger roasted salmon which we served with rice and for desert we had chocolate coconut macaroons using a recipe from Eating made Easy. The meal was absolutely delicious and I think that date is going to be wonderful.
Of course we exchanged our regular updates which means that we talked about Jada's date with Stephen. She met him at Stella's survival school. Jada's taking some courses there and he's one of the instructors. Very romantic, for Jada. I love being in love, but romance in the mud is a bridge too far for me. I'm still having survival day nightmares. I can't wait to meet him though as he's put the smile back on Jada's face. Sandy and Jason are happily living together and their plans to travel are coming along nicely. Just a few more weeks and they will be ready to leave and see the world. Stella's very secretive about her love life, she won't tell us anything, but I have the feeling something's going on.
 I managed to tell them about Ben without crying. They told me that maybe it's better this way, because he more or less created all the difficult times between the happy moments. Stella's told me to start dating again as soon as possible and miraculously she already has a plan for my first date as a new single too, only she hasn't told me any of the details... yet?

The Dysfunctional Test by Kelly Moran

You are cordially challenged to a test of true love.
Growing up in her large, crazy Serbian family, Camryn Covic became an expert at shutting down her emotions in order to maintain her sanity. But when she loses her apartment, her job and her boyfriend all in one day, she hits her breaking point.
Worse, if her family finds out she’s single again, her sister’s upcoming wedding will be a disaster. The bride-to-be has a plan, though. A plan that involves an old friend, a pretend relationship…and the probability of ending up in a padded cell. This time for real.
Troy Lanske agreed to the crazy plan only because, when he was a lonely foster child, Camryn was his lifeline. But she isn’t the idealistic girl he remembers. She’s become so jaded that she doesn’t even believe in love anymore.
He sets out to restore her faith in happily-ever-afters, but his plan backfires when the fake relationship begins to feel all too real. Falling for the one woman he can’t have could mean losing more than just his honorary family. He could lose everything.
Warning: Contains a Playgirl-material hero and a woman who thinks she couldn’t be any more wrong for him. Enter one “Big Fat Overly Romantic Serbian Family”. Sit back and watch the magic happen. Enjoy!

I borrowed the summary from Amazon. To do her sister Heather a favor Camryn agrees to pretend her foster 'brother' Troy has been her boyfriend for quite a while already so they can go to the wedding together. Camryn seems reserved, but is she really? She and Troy have to spend a lot of time together and the pretending works a little better than they thought due to which they find themselves in a lot of uneasy situations.
The Dysfunctional Test is one of the funniest books I've ever read. The Life Lessons According to Camryn at the beginning of the chapters are hilarious. I ended up reading several of them aloud to other people. I also had to laugh very hard about Camryn's little niece Emily. It isn't easy to write a book that's both funny and romantic. I loved the chemistry between Camryn and Troy in combation with a strong story line and an enchanting plot. This is a book filled with sunshine, which is absolutely wonderful.

Apr 22, 2014

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

One of the most popular children’s books ever written, The Secret Garden is the story of the orphaned Mary Lennox whose life is changed when she discovers a secret on her uncle’s estate. Forced to live with her uncle after the death of her parents Mary is initially rude and selfish until she stumbles upon the fenced off garden once maintained by her dead aunt. While attempting to return the garden to it’s former glory – and with the help of her young friend Dickon and the gardener Ben – Mary finds her own attitude softening. Her new refuge turns out not only to be her salvation but offers hope to her mourning uncle and her disabled cousin Colin. A touching story, Burnett’s book is still enjoyed by children and adults a century after its initial publication.

I borrowed the summary from Amazon. When illness strikes Mary has nobody left in India and she's forced to go to England where she has to live with her uncle. She isn't supposed to be in his way and there's nothing to do in his big house, so she's forced to go outside and make something of her days.
The Secret Garden is such a sweet and wonderful book. I loved Mary's transformation. She becomes  a girl you just have to love. Dickon's a great boy and Colin just needs a little bit of help to be brave. The garden sounds so alive and pretty, it's like a living person and a main character of the story. This classic made me very happy and I'm so glad I read it. It's a story for children, but I can recommend it to everyone. We all want to experience joy and happiness from time to time, don't we?

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

A tiny girl is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913. She arrives completely alone with nothing but a small suitcase containing a few clothes and a single book -- a beautiful volume of fairy tales. She is taken in by the dockmaster and his wife and raised as their own. On her twenty-first birthday they tell her the truth, and with her sense of self shattered and with very little to go on, "Nell" sets out on a journey to England to try to trace her story, to find her real identity. Her quest leads her to Blackhurst Manor on the Cornish coast and the secrets of the doomed Mountrachet family. But it is not until her granddaughter, Cassandra, takes up the search after Nell's death that all the pieces of the puzzle are assembled. At Cliff Cottage, on the grounds of Blackhurst Manor, Cassandra discovers the forgotten garden of the book's title and is able to unlock the secrets of the beautiful book of fairy tales. 

I borrowed the summary from Amazon. In The Forgotten Garden we read about the lives of three women; Eliza, Nell and Cassandra. Eliza and Nell both have a troubled past. When she inherits a cottage Cassandra travels from Australia to England. There she finds answers to a lot of questions of the past. 
Reading The Forgotten Garden requires quite a bit of patience. The book has many pages and piece by piece every secret is being revealed. I couldn't put it down, I had to know what those secrets were. I completely lost myself in the stories and forgot everything around me. I loved the setting and the atmosphere. The three women are all brave and very likable. I shed some tears every now and then, but I also smiled. I thoroughly enjoyed the fairytales, the mystery and the vivacity and cleverness of the narration.

A great family Easter party with Jenna and Jim!

My parents love throwing a good party and they had one planned for Easter. A perfect occasion to put on my new Antoine & Lili outfit that I brought from France. I loved shopping there, French clothes can be so elegant. 
It was a good party eventually. The beginning was a little bit awkward, because people kept asking me why I didn't bring Ben, but fortunately Jenna was with me to support me. She's still dating her camera man and they're in a very serious relationship now. I'm happy for her, especially since she has what we've all been dreaming of for so long. It's so strange to call myself single again. I want what she has and when I'm over Ben I hope I will finally meet mister right too.
Somehow my parents know Jim, the author, and we talked for a while. He's given me some great writing tips for my book again. It's so sweet of him to help me. My parents are friends with his parents and as he was visiting his family for Easter he came along. We had a very nice chat and that made the party a lot better all of a sudden. 
It was nice to see my family again. Seth was there too. He looks so pale and not at all like he's feeling better. He even had to go to bed after an hour or so. I've promised my sister to do some cooking and babysitting again whenever she needs me. I gave her a big hug and told her she can always count on me. We had a cup of tea and a family chat when everybody went home which was my favorite moment of the day. I stayed the night too, I always love being in my childhood home, it feels so safe.

Apr 21, 2014

Lavender loves Stella

I'm so in love with Stella. I really like this warm person who stumbles through life not knowing how great she is, all the people around her who are totally clueless and the easy on the eyes man candy. Stella's a wonderful and funny drama. I've watched all the episodes several times already and they're so funny. Ruth Jones is a very talented woman. I can watch Stella over and over again and I always find something new to laugh about.

Hello France and Zeyssolff!

When Ben announced his leave I was devastated. I went to see Louise to cry on her shoulder. Soon after Naomi came over and she clearly had the same idea. We were all sobbing because of men and all of a sudden we felt so angry that we decided to leave all our worries behind us for a while. We instantly booked a holiday and went to France. We stayed at one of the Zeyssolff cottages in the Alsace where we enjoyed their great teas and delicious wines. It was great to leave home for a few days and to be somewhere else. We had so much fun! Finally there was a smile on Naomi's face again and Louise also looked a lot happier. I could forget about Ben and our miserable times at the end of our relationship and Naomi and Louise didn't think about Garry all the time. He's still out there and the police have found out he uses a false name and has committed the same crime in several cities already. Soon Naomi and Louise will meet other victims to talk about what happened to them and I hope it will help them to cope with their feelings a bit better.
We hiked, we went out for delicious dinners and we've done lots of shopping. Across the street from our cottage was a cookie factory. We ate lots and lots of gingerbread cookies and visited their cute museum. I came home being a few pounds heavier, but with a much lighter heart.

The Rising by Kelley Armstrong

Things are getting desperate for Maya and her friends. Hunted by the powerful St. Clouds and now a rival Cabal as well, they're quickly running out of places to hide.
All they have is the name and number of someone who might be able to give them a few answers. Answers to why they're so valuable, and why their supernatural powers are getting more and more out of control. But Maya is unprepared for the truths that await her. And like it or not, she'll have to face down some demons from her past if she ever hopes to move on with her life. Because Maya can't keep running forever.

 Maya is on the run, but things can't stay like that forever. When she gets caught she has to find some much needed answers so she can save herself and her friends. 
For me The Rising is such a wonderful finale. I will miss the cabals and their battles. The book is action packed and a true adrenaline rush, just like every other Kelley Armstrong book. I loved it. The suspense built up to a strong ending. This trilogy is thrilling and it's part of one of the best supernatural series there is.

Apr 20, 2014

Hello Chocolate!

What is it with heartbreak that makes you want to eat loads and loads of chocolate? I like mine bio and love Bovetti and Jardin Bio. I've eaten so much chocolate during the past couple of days, but it never seemed to be too much. I needed it and still do. Maybe you can see to which country I went when you check out the chocolate I ate. I will dearly miss those bars now that I'm back home again. I took a few with me, but I'm sure they aren't going to last very long.

Bye bye Ben

Girl on Film Floral Dress by Jovonna Topshop

My last date with Ben was a week ago. I had no idea what he was going to say, but I was under the impression he prepared a romantic evening for us. When I arrived at his home I saw a lot of packed boxes. Of course I asked him why they were there. He told me to sit down first and then he said that his ex-wife would move to Australia with her new boyfriend in a few days. As he didn't have any real ties being an artist he's decided to move there as well, so she could still see Samuel regularly. He never even thought about discussing any of that with me. So that was the end of Ben and me. I guess I wasn't too important to him, because he never even thought about asking me to come with him. I wasn't on his priority list at all. I felt so heartbroken that I needed a break and then went to my friends to cry my heart out. The next day we all packed our bags for a holiday. More about that later. I'm not over Ben yet and I still feel betrayed, but it wasn't meant to be. I loved him, but we never had an honest chance to make our relationship work. My love life hasn't been easy so far, but maybe somewhere in the future I will meet my mister right.

Apr 8, 2014

Ben on Sunday evening and my teacher on Monday

My aunt Giselle had ordered me two Tadashi Shoji dresses. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw them! Once in a while she does something extravagant for me and she knows my taste so well. I love my new dresses and I don't want to wear anything else anymore!
I wore the green one when I saw Ben on Sunday evening. When I came back from the wonderful writers' weekend I went to see him for an hour. We made out again and managed to go a little further this time, but we were again saved by the screams of a little boy called Samuel. It's getting a 'tiny bit' frustrating. Ben was so sweet though, he doesn't want to lose me and I could see he tried to show me how much he likes me. When I came home I found a card size drawing of hearts in all kinds of sizes and shapes in my pocket. Isn't that romantic?
Yesterday I wore the blue dress to school where I had to give another presentation. They make us stand in front of an audience so many times that we'll stop being nervous, at least that's the thought behind it. I don't know if it's working as for me it's exactly the other way around. Whenever standing on a platform close to my teachers I'm actually getting more nervous. Especially in the vicinity of one of them, the very nice man with the patient shoulder to cry on... Am I hopeless or what?

When I Found You by Catherine Ryan Hyde

When Nathan McCann discovers a newborn baby boy half buried in the woods, he assumes he's found a tiny dead body. But then the baby moves and in one remarkable moment, Nathan's life is changed forever.

The baby is sent to grow up with his grandmother, but Nathan can't forget him and is compelled to pay her a visit. He asks for one simple promise - that one day she will introduce the boy to Nathan and tell him, 'This is the man who found you in the woods.' 

Years pass and Nathan assumes that the old lady has not kept her promise, until one day an angry, troubled boy arrives on his doorstep with a suitcase . . .

I borrowed the summary from Amazon. Nathan is a humble, but wise man. He isn't very happy in his marriage and something's missing. When he finds a baby in the woods he wants to give his life some meaning. Nathan will never abandon the boy he found and he continues to check on him from time to time. 
I loved When I Found You. It's so different, in a good way. The story came alive really well. I could totally picture Nathan and Nat, the boy, and was surprised by all the life lessons I could learn from this book. Nathan is patient and forgiving, he tries to understand when everyone has given up. He's a loving and caring man and he gives without asking anything in return. That's beautiful. Whatever Nat does, Nathan continues to believe in him. That made this book such a moving and touching story. I was genuinely surprised by how multilayered and philosophical this seemingly simple story actually is.

Writing, writing and more writing

Notebook Santoro

It's been silent on my blog the past couple of days. That's because I spent my weekend writing like I've never written before. I went to aunt Giselle's and uncle Peter's bed and breakfast and stayed for two days. There was a last minute opening to a seminar. The whole weekend was filled with classes about writing and several of the teachers judged my work. It was scary, but it's one of the best things I've ever been to in my life! Now I've caught the writing bug and I'm going to spend every free minute on my story. I want to finish that book more than I've ever wanted anything in my life. I will keep you posted about my progress. 

Apr 5, 2014

My group of friends together at last

Hello Kitty Tissue Box from Amazon

I just reviewed Speak which is a book about rape. I read it after my friend Naomi told me she'd been raped, because I want to understand how she feels as well as I possibly can. Touching a woman against her will is never ever right and it's surprising how easily people judge. They don't think it's a big deal or she must have provoked it somehow because she's pretty and so on. It hurts me to hear that and I hope nobody will ever be mean to my friend like that again. It's worse enough already that she had to go through the assault itself. I don't understand those people and honestly I want to hit them. Naomi is shy and silent now, she's so serious and withdrawn. I know some of it will pass, but she will never be the same as she was before. 
Fortunately Lizzy managed to make things right again, so we could be complete for the first time in a long while. I love my group of friends and we've underlined once more that no man should ever come between us. We all had a sleepover at Naomi's childhood home. She's still living with her parents and she feels a lot better when she isn't alone at night. We've all taken turns to stay with her over the past couple of weeks, but this time it wasn't only for support, we also had a bit of fun. I hope that's the first step to healing again for Naomi. 

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

The first ten lies they tell you in high school.
"Speak up for yourself--we want to know what you have to say." From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. In Laurie Halse Anderson's powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.


I borrowed the summary from Amazon. I think Speak is a book that should be read by as many young women and men as possible. It's a book about rape. After Melinda's been raped she feels very depressed. Her parents aren't the most loving an sensitive people, all of her friends have abandoned her and she's lonely and alone. Things are going downhill in school and it's taking a long time before people around her see that something's going on. Instead they judge. 
Speak is a very realistic story in my opinion. It's never right when someone touches you against your will and speaking about it is important. It helps to tell the story, to talk about it and to heal. A lot of rape victims never tell their secret, because they can't or they're too afraid. It takes courage to do so. Speak shows that even if nothing seems to be right anymore there is a way to survive. It's a book of support and of empathy which is very much needed. Speak is a beautiful and heartbreaking story that should be on the curriculum in every high school.

Lavender loves Couleur Caramel

A lot of countries have their own Couleur Caramel shop. I love this brand! The eye shadow is subtle and very pretty and nothing can beat their lip products. I'm a big fan. Even though everything is quite pricey, for me it's worth it. All Couleur Caramel products are organic which is a big plus. They have an environment friendly way of packaging which I like as well. 

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