Tuesday, August 04, 2015

july book report.

book review / sunshineandwhimsy.net

Above are the books that I wanted to get read in July. And most of them, I did. The ones not mentioned will either be read later or were returned to the library unread because we leave for Beijing so soon!

We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas / I don't remember how I heard about this book. It took me a long time to get into. Really, I never felt that into it. But I got halfway through and figured I should keep going so I finished it. The thing that I liked about it though, is that it felt real. The characters were living real lives with real problems. It didn't seem too horrible to be true or too good to be true. The details and the emotions... written really well.

Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky / This one is an easy, quick read—good for an afternoon on a beach. Two friends, estranged for 10 years, reunited on an island, each with a secret. Nothing too in depth or intriguing; kind of predictable.

Before I Go by Colleen Oakley / It's about a woman diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time, but this time it's terminal. She spends the last months of her life trying to find a new wife for her husband. It wasn't earth-shatteringly good, but I liked it—maybe because it hits close to home for me, what with my mom having had breast cancer and being just a couple weeks from getting married myself.

The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes / Like the other books by Moyes I've recently read, I really liked this one. I didn't predict the ending (something I'm usually really good at), which is an extra thumbs-up. I didn't realize how many books Moyes has written and I'm looking forward to read them all!

The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton / I read this in 2011 but when I started to read the sequel, The Wednesday Daughters,  and realized I didn't remember it very well, I decided to reread it. I loved it the first time, but I think I liked it even more the second time. I had a better—and more personal—understanding of subjects like breast cancer and interracial marriage and could connect with the characters more. Please read it and let me know what you think!

Wedding Vows and Traditions by Cathy Howes / Obviously this is not the kind of book you're going to sit down and read for fun. But T and I wanted some vow inspiration so we looked through this book and we ended up choosing traditional vows to read along with our own written vows and a vow to say when we exchanged rings. Plus, it was interesting to read so many different options.

What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey / I didn't read this in its entirety, but enjoyed picking it up and skimming it when I had just a few minutes of free time. It's the kind of book you could just have on hand for people to look through. A small coffee table book, I guess.

What have you read and loved lately?

Friday, July 31, 2015

currently obsessed: caramel corn tea.

Remember that time I emailed David's Tea to ask about their Caramel Corn tea? Remember that although I was super impressed with their customer service, I was sad that they didn't have Caramel Corn tea anymore because it was a special edition for summer? 

Well, it's back (for a limited time)! And I ordered 500g of it! So yah, I think it's fair to call me obsessed ;) 

And since I have so much, I thought I'd do a giveaway! I'll mail 50g of Caramel Corn tea anywhere in the world. To enter, leave a comment telling me what you would like to see more of on this blog. If you can't think of anything, just leave your name and you'll still be entered. Giveaway will close Sunday night and I will announce a winner on Monday.*

(This is not in any way sponsored by David's Tea. I just really like their tea and ordered a lot.)

*Make sure you leave your email address so I can get your mailing address. I'll need a response by Tuesday morning so I can get it in the mail before heading back to Beijing. 

Update: The winner (as determined by random.org) is Kate Prix! Hooray! I'll be in touch and hopefully have your tea mailed out tomorrow!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

we're married!

And here's a sneak peek of photos from our wedding!

We stayed at the Plaza the night before our wedding and a couple nights after. They upgraded us to a honeymoon suite, yay!

This photo is from our "first look." I was so excited to see Tony, I could barely handle it. Can I go now?! I remember asking. As I walked down the hall to go outside where he was waiting, I started to cry but as soon as I opened the door, the tears were gone. 

The only flowers we had were bouquets for me and my bridesmaids. They were by Trites Flower Shop and I loved them! I sent them a few photos while I was still in Beijing and told them, "I want a bunch of bright colours and a little wild — flowers and shape of the bouquets." That's it. Didn't they turn out great?! 

This photo makes me smile so big. 

T and I read our vows to each other before the wedding. The first time I read mine to him, I cried. The second time I read them to him, he cried. The day of the wedding, I teared up while reading them, but didn't cry.

T cried while reading his vows to me and it made me feel so loved. I wanted to grab him and kiss him but I settled for holding his pockets, haha!

When I saw this photo, I started to cry!


When I saw this photo, I literally gasped. Those trees! And us! Ahhhh! LOVE! I'm thinking this would look great printed BIG and hanging in our living room. (We got married at Odell Park in Fredericton.)

Did you guess the right dress? (I think I should do an updated post with my thoughts on each dress, now that I don't have to worry about spilling the beans.)

Our wedding was so so simple but I think the little touches really brought it together. (Yay, wedding napkins!)

Our rings were made by Kristin Coffin, the invitations were from Wedding Paper Divas, and the napkins were from Tiny Prints.

I can't wait to share more with you... probably after we're back in Beijing. Life is hectic right now!

(Photos by Kandise Brown, who also did our not-engagement photos)

Monday, July 20, 2015


// How do you know your partner is the one?

// This photo and its caption is just one of the reasons I love Brandy.

// This studio apartment is dreamy. I want to live there.

// One of the best posts I've read about how to reach "inbox zero."

// "An apology letter to my body."

// I started using a DivaCup this week and I'm already a fan. "How and why to use a DivaCup"

// I think I'm going to change my name when I marry T, but this was interesting to read.

// This packing guide will be useful for my next vacation!

// I did get my dad all 11 seasons of Cheers, but... "25 Of The Best Responses To Amazon Prime Day". (#16 is my favourite.)

(Photo via Cup of Jo)
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