Thursday, 28 February 2013

February Wrap-up

So my first month as a blogger has come to and end. How did I go? I set some goals for the month. They were pretty achievable, well, I thought so at the time. Let's look at them one by one.

1: Finish tutu
Did I do it? No. Not one little bit, though the box containing all that tulle is now in the same room as the sewing machine.

2. Sew 2 tees for me
Did I do it? No. Fabric still safely nestled in stash. Current tees looking raggier after each wash.

3. Review January's books
Did I do it? YES!!!!!!! Did I read anything in February? No.

4. Lose 4 kg
Did I do it? YES!!!!!! My clothes are getting baggy. Need new ones, soon......

5.Complete my goals and do The Challenge
Well, 2 out of 5 is not the greatest start, but it could have been worse. I am very pleased with number 4.

So what did I do all month?
I have spent much more time than I thought possible checking out other people's blogs. It's so much fun looking at everyone else's achievements as well as what folks do with their blogs, how they set them out and show their personalities.
It's also the first month back at school, so I have been hounding kids to do their homework, taking them to all their after school activities, and then collapsing in front of the TV at night.
Also, I have to confess I'm a master procrastinator. It's a habit I have cultivated since childhood. So, even though DD needs a tutu, all fitted and decorated by the end of March, I have been playing word games on my phone, and even downloaded Angry Birds, knowing full well how time consuming that game can be.
Is there hope for me? Well, yes there is. A good dose of adrenalin will kick in shortly and mild panic, too. That will get the tutu happening, and then hopefully I'll be on a roll. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Book Review - How to Be Single by Liz Tuccillo

I found this book at my mother's house. I think I was compelled to borrow it because it was so unexpected to find a novel by the coauthor of He's Just Not That Into You and a story editor of Sex and the City at Mum's.

The story follows a diverse group of 30-something single women through the hassles of singledom as they approach their late 30s. It sounds like the usual holiday reading material, and it was. I did enjoy the way the main character, Julie, travels around the world to discover how single women survive, or manage to get married, in different cultures around the world. The chapters set in Australia were pretty accurate and made me smile.

Book Review - Dreams Fom My Father - a Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama

This book provides a fascinating insight into the man who became President of the USA. Barack Obama wrote this book as a young man, long before he became a household name worldwide. He covers his young life from childhood, through to his first years in Chicago.
He discusses his life as a boy finding his place within himself and in the world, with a Kenyan father he hardly knew, growing up in Hawaii with his white mother and grandparents, and in Indonesia with his mother and Indonesian stepfather. Childhood can be tricky enough, but reading this opened my heart to the kids who look around the playground and can't find anyone who seems to be just like them, a group that fits.

He writes candidly about his teenage and College years, revealing the days he's probably less proud of, and which have given his political foes some fodder for the press.

His first visit to Kenya is discussed at length and the reader gets a real sense of how knowing one's family and origins helps us understand ourselves.

This book is not a quick read. It is written in a considered, but open and honest way with many references to the philosophical debates of race and class which were going on at the time. I learnt a lot about this man I'd only known of since his name became an international news story, and respect him much more for it. I'm very glad I found this book.

Book Review - The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkein

What a book to start off the year! It's been 25 years since I last read The Hobbit and I was wondering if I would still love it. I also wanted to read it again before I saw the new movie and needed to get all the fabulous Lord of the Rings movies out of my mind so I could enjoy this story on its own.
I'm so glad I did! I had forgotten quite a lot of this lovely tale.

I remembered the trolls and the spiders, the eagles and of course Smaug, but reading about their visit with Beorn was as if I was reading it for the very first time.

Re-reading The Hobbit was a lovely preparation for watching the movie, and even though I spent a little time in the theatre saying to myself "that's different" I thoroughly enjoyed it. Now I have to wait a whole year for the next installment!

Friday, 1 February 2013

February Goals

This year I'm trying to set achievable goals month by month.
For February, I hope to:
1. Finish my practise tutu for DD1. It's all cut out since October and I have started sewing, but need to do some frog stitch, so it's been ignored for a while. DD needs the real thing by April, so the clock is ticking now. I'm using the patterns and instruction book from
2. Sew 2 tees for myself. One V-neck and 1 scoop-neck using my J.Stern pattern. Will need to alter the boat neckline to a scoop.
3. Review the books I read in January.
4. Lose 4kg. (Thought I'd just slip that one in!)
5. If I've managed to do all of the above - attempt The Challenge!