New Year, new books!

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I mentioned before that last year I read a pitiful amount of books! I intend on improving that for this year.  I got a couple of new books from Santa, as well as a great find at a bargain bookstore!

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Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich was a present from Santa, and just like all her other books, I really enjoyed it.  It does seem a bit repetitious after the other stories in the series, but I can’t pass up the humor!  I moved on to Michael Connelly’s A Darkness More Than Night after that, which my aunty lent me when I couldn’t get to a bookstore!  This was also a pretty quick read because it wasn’t easy to put down – surprising for an author I haven’t read before – so I’m keeping my eye out for more of his books.  If you like detective novels, then you’ll like this one too.  Of course, I have to have a James Patterson in the pile as well.  This was an early birthday present from my in-laws, and I finished it in less than a week!  I’d read some negative reviews about Cross My Heart after I got the book, saying that the end came up very quickly, and the unfinished story was just a ploy by the author to get you to buy the next book.  I didn’t think the ending was rushed, although it was a little strange having two storylines overlapping the way it does.  I would have bought his next book anyway because I really enjoy the Alex Cross character.  Warning – there are parts of this book I had to devote more time to because I just couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out what happened!  Just as gripping as all his others.

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These all came from an op shop!  One of the greatest places to find book bargains, in my opinion – $7 for ALL of these!  $3 for each of the Dan Brown’s (at the moment they’re $10 each in book stores), and $1 total for the rest.  It’s a good way to ‘try out’ new authors without committing to full price if you find you don’t enjoy them.  I started reading My Legendary Girlfriend because I wanted something light-hearted after all the crime drama, and although it’s been reviewed as ‘the female Bridget Jones’, I’m just not getting into it!  I’m almost ready to move on to another one.

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…or, when I get a house and some kind of craft room set up!  These were Christmas presents from my aunty and my sister, who obviously know me pretty well!  The projects in these books are just gorgeous, I can’t wait to try them out.

I think all these should keep me out of mischief for a little while! What’s on your reading list for this year?

Trina xo

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Looking back on ’13

2013 was a great year for me in many ways – I graduated AND got married! – but there were lots of sad and stressful times too.  I’m looking forward to this year being a little more quiet and easy-going, once we finally get settled!

Crafts – As I always do, here is a look back at the crafts I got through in the last 12 months:

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1. Andrew’s T-shirt blanket
2. Crochet hexagon blanket (still in progress)
3. Puppy jumper
4. Bec’s T-shirt blanket
5. T&A sign for the head wedding table
6. Wedding invitations
7. Origami flowers – about 200 of them!
8. Wedding table centrepieces – all the jars were decorated with cut-outs, ribbons, sheet music and candles
9. Red shirt refashion
10. Travelling leaves scarf
11. Travelling leaves hat
12. Knitted Christmas tree

Food – I didn’t do a lot of exciting cooking last year while I was living with my parents, but I have a few new favourite recipes that I tried out that I’ll be sharing with you soon.

Reading – I read a pitiful 4 BOOKS. That’s terrible for me! I blame it on the distracting TV in my room!  2014 is already better, but more on that next time.

Wedding – It’s all over, and it feels like it was a really long time ago!  My hands still feel like they need to be making flowers, and I still check my emails more often than I should expecting to hear from vendors, but that will lessen over time! If you haven’t already, go and have a look at some of the photos.  I’m well and truly over weddings now!

Life – Being away from Mr EP for the bulk of the year was a strange feeling, but thanks to Skype we were able to talk almost every night.  A couple of days after graduating we headed to Melbourne for Bec’s wedding, and my parents went away on a Hawaiian cruise for their 30th wedding anniversary! But as well as those exciting times, my family went to 4 funerals last year, (including the minister who ran our pre-marriage sessions and said grace at our wedding – he was taken far too soon…) which really is 4 too many.

Blogging – My top posts for 2013 were Origami Flowers (still at number 1!), DIY Butterfly Sleeve Tunic, DIY Jewellery Cleaner, DIY T-shirt Blanket, and Apple-Cinnamon Pancake Muffins.  I’m excited about a new style for my blog for 2014, which is in the works!

Farewell ‘13 – bring it on (gently…) ‘14!

Trina xo

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Busy butterfly!

Although things have been a bit quiet on the blog, life has been pretty busy! With so much going on I thought I’d catch you up in one go.  SO – there’s been lots of…

  • Crocheting…

Making a hexagon blanket from this pattern.  No recipient in mind, just a good acrylic stash-busting project!  I plan on adding a border of cream hexagons to match the individual borders.

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  • Knitting…

I made a hat to match this shrug pattern a couple of years ago, but it got snatched away by my sis almost as soon as it came off the needles! I finally got around to making myself another one, with a matching scarf.

Knitting 2013

And this – since it’s getting pretty cold here, our new puppy has been feeling it!  More photos to come soon, but project details here.

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  • Reading…

I got this pile of books from my almost-sister-in-law as a late birthday present! I’ve started on “Along Came A Spider” – great so far, as to be expected from one of my favourite authors.

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  • Sewing…

This t-shirt blanket has been on the books for ages! This was supposed to be a Christmas present for sis, then a birthday present, then Christmas present again the following year, and it’s finally been completed – and it was well received!

Pre-sewn: I used a favourite book from childhood as a template for cutting out all her childhood t-shirts…

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After sewing: I used a flannel blanket for extra padding in the middle, with a cute chunky hem, just the right size for a double bed!

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  • Wedding prep…

13 weeks to go, and still SO MUCH to do!  Much of my wedding is DIY, so there’s been lots of cutting…

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… folding…

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… and sheet music cut-outs!

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When things settle down a bit, I’d really like to take on another challenge and get into some style posts, but in the meantime, you can check out these favourites that I read all the time – they are great inspiration!

http://franish.blogspot.co.nz/
http://www.merricksart.com/
http://www.puttingmetogether.com/
http://refashionista.net/
http://www.workclothesisuppose.com/
http://www.ajwearsclothes.com/
http://www.bluepaperlanterns.com/

Or check out my “My Style” Pinterest board to see what I love!

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PS: since it’s the beginning of the month I’ve updated my Popular Posts on the side bar – who knew my “Snapshots of my day” post would be my second most popular post in the last month! Should I do another one?

New books (+ 24 hour book sale!)

I mentioned that over Christmas I got a few new books – time to show them off!

** STAY TUNED FOR MORE INFORMATION ON AN AMAZING BOOK SALE THAT STARTS TODAY – WITH FREE DELIVERY! **

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The latest dramas of the witty Stephanie Plum! Yes, there are more cars exploding. Yes, there is more tension in the Stephanie-Ranger-Morelli love triangle.  Yes, Grandma Mazur and Lula are still hilarious.  What more can you expect from this series! Still my favourite series ever, and I was stoked to be able to buy it with some Christmas vouchers.  In this book Stephanie goes back to work for Ranger, and what starts as purely a job ends with her life in danger, as always, but also with her wearing a ridiculous bridesmaids dress!  On top of that she’s trying to find out more about patients disappearing from hospital beds, which gets her working with both Morelli and Randy Briggs, who finds he’s small enough to fit into a mail chute.  Add in some time at an embarrassing nudist beach, and a tiki that keeps bringing bad luck, and you’ve got another awesome read.

I couldn’t put it down – I read the whole thing in one sunny afternoon! Highly recommended, as always.

This is the latest instalment in the Women’s Murder Club series.  I admit I haven’t read any of these books yet, but I’m collecting them so that I can read them all through from number one – just haven’t found that one yet!  The blurb says “Detective Lindsay Boxer finally gets married.  But a missing newborn and a series of violent attachs push the Women’s Murder Club back to full throttle before the wedding gifts are even unwrapped.” (Apparently I have a thing for buying books that mention weddings at the moment!).  Really looking forward to starting this series.

This book was a bargain – $3.50 at a clearance sale!

“Welcome to 77 Shadow Street… where every 38 years a terror descends.  December 1897 – A family abducted, never to be found.  December 1935 – A household slaughtered in their beds.  December 1973 – Terrified workmen see a glimpse of hell.  December 2011 – Is 77 Shadow Street destined to be a death house once more?  This is not a ghost story.  It is something scarier by far.”  While I sometimes find Koontz’s work a little overrun with adjectives, this looks like a gripping tale.

This was a bargain too – also $3.50 at the clearance sale!

I picked this up while browsing one day, and flicking through it I found his interview with Audrey Hepburn! Looking further I found transcripts with Heath Ledger, Oprah, Jodi Foster, Madonna and Michael Crawford, among others.  Can’t wait to get into this! Though I’ll probably just pick it up occasionally and read an interview at a time, since the book is too heavy to cart around easily!

This was my biggest bargain – I originally saw it in a store on sale for $40 (down from $50), so I wrote it down to keep an eye out for it, only to find it at the same clearance sale for $7!

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So – onto details of the sale! I got an email from Book Depository the other day alerting me to their upcoming sale WHICH STARTS TODAY!!  Every 15 minutes for 25 hours a new book bargain will go up – and you have to get in quick to get it!  As always their free worldwide delivery applies.  Click below to find out more details… then come back and let me know what you snagged!

Book Depository SALE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(FYI – affiliate links)

On the nightstand + Book Fair haul

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“The official story of flight 353 is a lie.  They say it was an accident.  It was not.  They say there were no survivors.  There was one.  She is a scientist with a secret.  A secret that will change the world.”

At the top of the pile is the Dean Koontz I’m reading at the moment, ‘Sole Survivor’.  Its about a guy whose wife and two young daughters die in a plane crash, and he doesn’t cope too well.  When he visits their graves one day he finds someone there taking photos (the scientist, I presume), and when he asks her what she’s doing she replies that he’ll find out in time like the others.  As she leaves he realises that someone is following her, and they begin to give chase.  That’s all I’ve read so far, but I’m really enjoying it!

Book Fair

There are a few things you can say if you want to get my attention quickly.  One is Bradley Cooper.  Another is book fair.  I clean for a lady once a week and while I was working today she mentioned there was a book fair going on at the racecourse next door, and straight away I knew I wasn’t going to be able to avoid it!  It was a fundraiser for Red Cross, and at just $3 per book it was a really good deal.  Its really clear that I have weird taste in books, when you look at the titles I got.  Two by James Patterson – one Alex Cross storyline and one Women’s Murder Club storyline – and another two by Dean Koontz.  And then two biographies!  I’ve been a fan of Goldie Hawn since I saw her in ‘Foul Play’ and ‘Death Becomes Her’, so it will be great to read her background.  As for Dawn French, well, ‘Vicar of Dibley’ – say no more!  She’s hilarious, and the other bios I’ve read have been quite serious, other than Ellen of course, so it will be nice to mix a bit of humour into the pile.

Exciting times ahead!

What are you reading at the moment?

On the nightstand… April-June

With study being so busy over the last couple of months, I have regularly fallen into bed and gone straight to sleep.  Some nights though, I’ve needed something to take my mind of assignments, so I’ve managed to get through a few more books.  Now that’s its holidays I’ve just started on another couple too.

Latest books I've read

‘Explosive Eighteen’ by Janet Evanovich

One of my favourite authors ever!  I love the tangle between Stephanie, Morelli and Ranger at the start of the book, and the way that Stephanie can seem to stay on everyone’s good side – even the fake FBI agents who are after her!  Definitely one to read if you have read some of the others in the series; it may be a bit confusing otherwise.

‘Alex Cross’s Trial’ by James Patterson

Another one of my favourite authors.  This is a really interesting story, not told by Alex Cross, but based on a story that his grandmother used to tell him.  It revolves around a trial set at the time of lynchings in the deep south, and the rules of segregation there.  I thought it was relevant to read, since we’d just been studying that kind of thing in my History of Blues and Jazz class – the day after I started reading it we listened to Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday on the same subject! (Amazing imagery in that song by the way…)

‘Olivia’ by Tim Ewbank

I spotted this in a book store in Melbourne a few years ago, but it was out of my price range, so I left it -but never forgot about it, I’m a big fan of Olivia Newton-John.  Much to my amazement I came across it at a book clearance store down the road from my house – a bargain at just $5!!  A great book, some really interesting information on her background, both personally and professionally.  I like reading about behind the scenes stuff from my favourite movies – for the record, I think Grease is the greatest movie ever!

‘And Furthermore’ by Judi Dench

A similar book as above – and also a bargain from the same clearance store! Although it took me a while to get through it, I laughed a lot – she’s such a funny lady, and pulls pranks on people in the theatre a lot! A great insight into her career, especially if you’re a fan of her movies. (I just realised I cut off her head in the photo – how awful!)

‘The Power of a Praying Wife’ by Stormie O’Martian

This, and its partner ‘The Power of a Praying Husband’ were engagement presents to us from friends from church.  I just started reading this, and it seems like it will help our relationship a lot.  There are different chapters in the book associated with different areas to pray for as needed, rather than a book to just read from start to finish.

‘Unchain my Heart’ by Andiee Paviour

Just started reading this one too – really interesting so far.  Its the true story of a lady whose son got abducted by her ex-husband, the boy’s father, back in 1990, and she hasn’t been able to see him since.  Quite close to home, since it’s set in Australia, and her son would be the same age as me now…. I can’t wait to find out what happened!

Who else is reading an interesting book at the moment?

On the nightstand…

Usually I’m not one to have more than one book on the go at the same time, but I’ve got too many interesting books in the pile at the moment, I can’t wait to start the next one!

On my nightstand

This one is taking a bit to get into, maybe because I haven’t read any books about art theft before, but six chapters in its starting to pick up the pace a bit.

Figured I should start reading books like this, now that I’m engaged, just to see what I’m in for! Super interesting so far; I like that it has a practical side too.  If you have any recommendations for similar books you think I should look out for let me know.

I haven’t actually started reading this one yet, its just sitting there looking pretty on my bedside table!  I’m a big fan of the Ellen show though, and if the actual book is as brilliant as the back cover and introductory pages, then I’m really going to enjoy it! And this is her third book – must go hunt down the other two…

 

 

 

PS: all the links are to The Book Depository – I’m not getting paid for that, I just think they are brilliant!

PPS: sneaky photo there too of fiancé and I at a wedding we went to in November last year, in a pretty frame we got as an engagement present 🙂