3 Books I’ve enjoyed reading this year | Morning Musings

The year is almost at its end and I am kind of bummed to report that I didn’t read nearly as much this year as I did in 2015. Maybe this is due to the fact that my commute was much longer last year or perhaps the fact that I am now more focused on taking pictures of my bookhauls rather than focusing on the reading… ha!

But here are 3 books that I highly recommend you check out…

  1. While the World is Still Asleep by Petra Durst Benning
    Genre: Fiction
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    This was by far my favourite read this year. It is a translation from the original German text but the translator has done an excellent job!The book is set in 1880’s Germany and revolves around our heroine Josephine and her new found love of cycling that she developed after she was blamed for the untimely demise of her 7 year old brother and sent to a village to recover from an ailment and psychological trauma 😔 🇩🇪

    She is even sent to prison because of her desire to cycle 😐 😵
    🔸Fun fact: Did you know that women were not allowed to ride bicycles in 1880s Germany?🚲  That is so messed up on so many levels and makes me so grateful that I was born when I was born. I know there is still a lot of work to be done.
    If you are a feminist, read this!
  2. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
    Genre: FictionScreen Shot 2016-02-17 at 12.13.49 AMI loved this book. It also happens to be my first Hemingway read. Not gonna lie, it was a tad hard to get into since Hemingway took his own sweet time talking about the surroundings and banal things but I started enjoying that a few chapters in.You should check it out if you enjoy reading fiction inspired by real life and reminiscing about Paris and its lost generation. Not going to do a review, you can google it!
  3. Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell
    Genre: YA FictionScreen Shot 2016-06-11 at 1.48.58 AMSo this book! OH MY GOD! ALL THE FEELS! I even talked about it on my blog earlier this year! I really enjoyed my time in university (well mostly) and I love the feeling of falling in love. This book was perfect for anyone who likes all of the above! I don’t really read that much YA anymore but Rainbow Rowell is the reigning queen and I suggest you check out her work pronto!

What were some of your favourite reads for 2016?

Ria goes to her First Ever Baby Shower!

Today I went to my first ever baby shower & it was a lot of fun! I don’t have a lot of friends in Toronto who have kids so I don’t really get invited to a ton of baby showers!

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The radiant mom to be and CAKE! OM NOM NOM!

It was a baby shower for one of the nicest, kindest souls that I have the pleasure of being friends with. Emily I love you so much and you are going to be an incredible mom!

I met Emily about 4.5 years ago now through twitter. She is a Toronto based jewelry designer and all around awesome lady! Check out her creations —> HERE <—

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It’s blurry but just LOOK at me having a really good time :p

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One of the many photo ops

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Up close and personal with the cake because that’s just how I roll! 

Straws

gaaaah how cute are these straws?

Cupcakes

baby shower favours!

Baby shower favours for everyone to take home – handmade soup that says from Ruby Shower to yours! How cute!

If you haven’t guessed by now, the theme of the shower was flamingoes and it is a girl! Congratulations Em and Alan! I can’t wait to meet your little bundle of joy and babysit her!

P.S: We played games and I actually won one of them! HUZZAH!

How I Quit Sugar

For those of you who know me personally, you know that I love loved sugar. Yup that’s right, about two months ago, I quit the white stuff. I am still eating fruits from time to time but no refined sugar whatsoever. Two days ago at an event, I had 2 mini cupcakes because well it was a major event and afterwards I felt like I was drunk. In short, it was awful.
I am really proud to say that now I don’t even crave sugary treats and would rather opt for vegetables or water.

How did this come to be you ask? Well my friends you are in luck because I am about to share some helpful tips to quit sugar for good (I hope). These tips will not be things like, “oh consume f***ing stevia” because YUCKS!

I quit Sugar

  1. It is all about the Why
    Yes, the why is so very important. I have tried to quit sugar several times before this but every single time I tried to do so, the main reason used to be the fact that I wanted to lose weight and fit in a dress. I would quit sugar for a few weeks, then go back to it as soon as I fit in a dress and the event where I had to wear it was over.
    This time, however, things were different.
    I quit because I wanted to live healthier. I have recently found out that almost all of my grandparents had diabetes and that it skips a generation. That in itself was enough for me to want to be healthier.
    So let your why be a healthier lifestyle. It is fine to have weight loss as one of your goals, tweak it a little and make it “MUST LOSE WEIGHT TO BE HEALTHIER!” and see wonders happen.
  2. Reward yourself
    Yes, I said it. You have to reward yourself but not with sugary stuff! Instead choose a different reward system. In my case, I am an avid book reader, so all the money I used to spend on candy, chocolates, drinks and other stuff now goes towards buying books.
    How I derived the magical number to spend on books? Mostly it is an estimate but I know that I used to consume chocolate bars, condensed milk and sweet treats from Starbucks every single day so the number comes up to roughly 60 dollars a week.
    I usually get my books from used book stores so $60 is enough for at least 3-5 books a week and it helps me nourish my mind!
    Also, I don’t buy 3-5 books a week so I am actually saving some money.
  3. Don’t go to places that serve sugary treats (at least for the first few weeks)
    Admittedly the first few weeks of quitting sugar are really rough. I had the shakes and could not sleep well, which to be honest scared me a little because I felt overly reliant on sugar.
    I found it incredibly hard to resist the urge to pick up snacks if I was looking at them, so I stopped going to places that served sugary treats, which included cafes and restaurants. C was also doing most of our grocery shopping so I did not have to worry about facing chocolates and other cakey goodness in person. (Thank you so much C!)
    When I did go for grocery shopping, we called the sugary aisle “The Aisle of Doom” and avoided it all together.
  4. Don’t talk about quitting sugar when you are trying to attempt it
    Quitting sugar is like being in fight club, we don’t talk about fight club. In the past, every time I had tried to quit sugar, I would tell everyone about it and everyone would praise me. As a result, I would get so much satisfaction from the fact that I was getting praised that I would not actually end up doing it.
    This time though, I only talked about it after a few weeks of trying to decrease my sugar intake and since I was already on the path, it was much easier to keep going on it.
  5. Do it with friends
    I am not refuting point number 4. What I am saying is that tell one friend about it and have them help you. C has known for a while that I have wanted to quit sugar and as a result has been cutting it out of my morning tea for a year or so now. I didn’t even know this!
    At first I thought C just really sucked at making tea :p but then when I found out, I was actually really happy because now when I actually did quit it, at least my tea in the morning tastes normal! And that my friends is a blessing!
  6. Don’t overthink it
    There is tons of stuff out there talking about how sugar is bad for you and causes a ton of diseases. I found that reading all that made me depressed and made me crave sugar more. So I would suggest not to overthink it.

I hope this helps you in quitting whatever you are trying to quit. I would love to hear your tips and tricks on how you have quit something. Let me know!

Image from Fit Girl Secrets (It has some tips on quitting sugar too!)

Of talented friends…

Heather's painting

The demon in my head

Price: C$130

This beautiful piece was painted by a friend of mine, Heather Jenkins, and I really want her to have her own online store but first we have to sell some art to prove that there is demand for it!

It is going for $40 with a frame! Let me know if any of you awesome folks are interested! You can reach me at roasted keyboard at gmail dot com. To see more of Heather’s beautiful work, click here! >> CLICK ME <<

Update

Heather's work

Finished product: C$40

Size: A4

This is the final product but if any of you like the 3 stages it can be painted on a canvas as well! It would mean a lot if you lovely folks shared this post!

Contest Time: For The Love of Fashion!

Read to the bottom for contest details!

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Top 5 Favorite Spring | Summer Trends

With the warmer climate right around the corner, it is time for a major overhaul of your winter wardrobe.  This year, stay fashionable and trendy with a little help from 3SHAHS and team! Here are our top five favorite fashion trends.

1. Colours:  Alongside emerald green, touted as the colour of the year, bold yet feminine shades such as tangerine orange, lemon zest and fuchsia are cult favorites too for 2013. Here is a boho chic dress from Versace’s latest collection that we simply adore. Complete this ensemble with a pair of long whimsical earrings.

 

Shades:  Popularized by Coco Chanel, black and white have been fashion staples in nearly every woman’s wardrobe for decades. We were thrilled to see these shades were ubiquitous and in vogue on runways across the globe.

2. Geometrics:  Stripes are a popular choice this year. They were seen all over the runways by designer ranging from Dolce & Gabbana to Marc Jacobs. Stripes are fun, flirty and with the right accessories can be made to look chic or girly.

 

Optical prints are making a massive comeback and were seen supporting the striped brigade down the catwalk. Did you know that vertical stripes make you look slimmer!

Due to the bold nature of geometrics, we recommend keeping accessories to a solid colour when wearing necklaces which layer over these patterns or opting for more intricate and colourful pieces when adorning cocktail rings or earrings.

3. Patterns:  From resolute figurative to forward floral prints this year’s prints are more gutsy than girly. Be it Sicilian puppets or Japanese dragons, nearly all the prints this season give out a strong and fierce vibe. Here are a few adventurous patterns from Dolce & Gabbana’s SS13 Collection.

 

4. Nautical:  Oscar de La Renta kept it classy yet playful with his nautical inspired ‘Ready to Wear’ line. 3SHAHS Yacht|Resort collection is one of our most versatile lines. It looks fabulous paired up with an evening dress or with a pair of jeans and a tee-shirt for a day of boating under the rays of the sun.

 

5. Trapeze-Shaped:  Inspired by the trends of the 1930s, trapeze-shaped skirts are making a comeback. We love the feminine and elegant feel of this style. Ralph Lauren’s SS13 collection displayed a combination of this trend lovingly married to a Spanish vibrant flare.

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Wrote this for 3SHAHS. LOVE THEIR CREATIONS!
Contest details:
Let me know which is your favorite piece on their site by 14th February and I will pick one of you and send a little something your way! It will be something from 3SHAHS’ site!
xoxo

Hope

She was afraid at first, for there was an all too familiar feeling; dread.

Yes, dread was it. She didn’t know what was happening but he was getting into her head and her heart and there was no denying or stopping it.

She tried to block him out at first.

Once, while holding her, he told her that at the start he was trying to push her away, intentionally. She wanted to laugh and say, ‘well that makes the two of us.’

He wasn’t the only one hiding secrets. War scars is what she called them. We all have them. For all of life is a certain type of war, is it not?

Some of us show our scars, while some of us try to conceal them and we get so good at hiding them that we even fool ourselves and doubt their existence.

Around him, she could not hide them anymore and it took every single particle of her being to stop herself from loving him. She was attracted to him like nail filings to a magnet and there came a point when she stopped fighting the feeling.

Around him, she could be herself. Around him, everything became easier.

She could just tell him her deepest, darkest secrets and not be afraid that he would tell anyone. Not be afraid that he would betray her, or so she hoped.

Hope; it keeps us going does it not?

hope

Must Have Hair Product – Not Sponsored and Sh*t

I am not much of a beauty blogger. Hell! I don’t even know the next thing about beauty. Never used make up, never had manicures and… well you get the picture but OH MY GOD! I just found a product that I HAVE to share with you guys.

I have a serious fetish for top knots and Bored With Your Hair has just the product that I have been looking for!

I am sure those of you who have massive hair, and are serial hair scrunchie breakers, can really use this product. Well I am assuming that all of you love top knots. I mean, who doesn’t! FINE! I am exaggerating but this is so awesome!

Oh and Michelle Phan used it in one of her videos and her hair looked OH SO AWESOME! and she has excellent taste when it comes to fashion/beauty products!

Doesn’t the model on the packaging look a little like Sarah Jessica Parker? Hmmmm…

Oh and here is the man behind the product! Theodore Leaf! TA DA!

You can check out his videos on YouTube. He is, in one word, FABULOUS! I had a ball watching his videos!

Oh and while I am at it, I am giving away 1 free* copy of Jeff Goins’ book titled Wrecked. Just let me know the name of your favorite blog and why it is your favorite? 

Love you guys!

*Terms and conditions apply! I haven’t quite figured them out myself but it just makes it sound oh so official right? WHEEE!