2018 My year in Books

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I love reading, especially on my Kindle which allows me to have a library of over 200 books in the palm of my hand. This year, I surpassed the goal I had set to read 2 books per month. I also read 2 books with the kids. These are fantastic chapter books that all my kids thoroughly enjoyed and were engrossed in the stories:

These are my books, mostly read on a Kindle and a few as audiobooks.

The book that has had a huge impact on my physical and mental health is Gut by Giulia Enders. I highly recommend this book – it is a long read but worth it IMO.

Half the books were from joining the Reese Witherspoon Book Club – I decided that I needed to get out of my comfort zone. A book club seemed like a good idea as I got to read books that otherwise would have never piqued my interest. I will try to keep up with it in 2019 too.

For the first time this year, I ventured into audiobooks and I must say I am a convert! It all started with our trip to France/Switzerland/Italy this summer. We got Phillip Pullman’s His Dark  Materials Trilogy for the trip. 2000 miles later we had were only 1 chapter shy of the end of the series. The kids (being a captive audience) really got into it and when we got home they were keen to also watch the movie based on the book. Spoiler alert – the movie is really bad :-(. Even the kids were disappointed but it was quaint to hear them discuss the differences between the book and the movie.

My oldest son is on the spectrum and dyslexic, he is not at ease around books as I am despite much cajoling from me. But it turned out the audiobooks were the thing for him. When it came time for him to read 1984 for school he asked me to find him an audiobook. We installed an app on his phone and he finds it much easier to listen to books.

I am looking forward to 2019 and what reading delights I will venture into. Have you read any of the books here? Any recommendations for my 2019 reading list? Please share, I’d love your input.

Battle Mage (An Epic Fantasy Adventure)

The Mysterious Benedict Society

A Simple Favour: An edge-of-your-seat thriller with a chilling twist

The Ladies’ Room

Crazy Rich Asians

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams

The Courage To Be Disliked: How to free yourself, change your life and achieve real happiness

The Alchemist

The Darkest Minds: Book 1 (A Darkest Minds Novel)

How to Build a Girl

Relight My Fire

On the Shortness of Life

The Last Mrs Parrish

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

Behind Closed Doors

Little Fires Everywhere

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

Gut: the inside story of our body’s most under-rated organ

The Rules of Magic

Big Little Lies

The Light We Lost

Year of Yes

What I Know for Sure

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k

Thanks for stopping by,

Peace and love,

Hila

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MCBN December: Grainline Studio Archer Button Up Shirt

It amazes me that I have had Grainline Studio’s Archer shirt pattern printed, taped and cut for over 2 years! I faltered at the step of pairing it with a fabric. Still better late than never. I finally used it for my December MCBN make. When I opened the package with the fabric, it immediately clicked for me that the twill weave cotton would be an Archer. I am mildly irritated with myself for taking so long to make this pattern but that’s something I want to tackle in 2019.

In the meantime…..

Here is the link that will take you to the post on the Minerva Craft Blogger Network. Enjoy!

Grainline Studio Archer Shirt (It was a cold day!)

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

MCBN November: Mens Smart Trousers Burda 6873

The thing I was most scared of sewing was smart work trousers for my husband. I have sewn him T shirts, jeans, hoodie tops, shorts, shirts, a coat; but trousers for work? That felt like out of my league. As the year has progressed I have been trying to push myself out of my comfort zones. I had to try it before the year was out. And here I am – feeling like I can finally call myself an advanced seamstress because not only have a made him trousers for work – they are the best fitting pair of trousers he has owned. Ever! Thats my November Minerva project. I am calling it my levelling up project (any World of Warcraft players here?) :-).

Here is the link that will take you to the post on the Minerva Craft Blogger Network. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

Cheering each other on and magnifying strentghs

A post I wrote on the 2nd of Jan this year….

2 Jan 2018

Today I had my swimming lesson. Something profound happened to me and I want to share.

After 3 weeks break from swimming lessons and the Christmas holidays wherein we had family stay with us, who were keen to jump in and help with chores, it meant I was not as active as usual. First off, stepping into the pool was hard as it felt very cold to my skin used to being under at least 3 layers. It took me 3 times as long to warm up from moving about in the water. Then when I set off for my front crawl (which I have been learning) I was quite cheeses off to realise that I had only made it half-length through and yet I was gulping like a fish out of water.

Needless to say, the whole lesson followed the same trend – much as I tried I just didn’t have the stamina to swim a full lap – 3/4 was the longest I managed. Towards the end of the lesson I was bobbing about in the water at the shallow end when my fellow classmate came up from her lap she had just finished (she is more advanced than me, she could already swim but is taking lessons to improve her stroke and stamina). We chatted about the lesson, making fun of the teachers’ insistence that our toes should be breaking water when all we are trying to do is make sure we just have enough breath. I got round to expressing my frustration at not being able to swim a lap in one go when 3 weeks ago I was doing laps for the whole lesson.

She then asked me to swim with her one last lap before we finish (there was about 5 minutes left by then) I wasn’t keen but she gently cajoled me and I relented and we set off. She has a very graceful way of swimming – and I tried to emulate her. As I was thinking about how nice it was to be swimming with someone else in sync (I could just see her on the peripheral of my vision) My hand touched the end of the pool. I had made it.

I had swum one lap in a go. It was embarrassing when I splashed water on her as I slapped the surface in a victory jig (I dance when I feel good – even in water). I couldn’t stop thanking her and she graciously insisted it was me.

But I am certain it wasn’t just me – I had spent 50 mins trying to do it but I couldn’t. Yet by having a pacemaker I did it the first time.

It made me think of sewing challenges and any challenge really – whether it is yoga, running or dieting – when in a group it is more likely to be reached. Its not competitive either – for me when I was swimming alongside her – I wasn’t thinking about being faster or better than her – though I can’t remember exactly what I was thinking a strong part was that I wasn’t focusing on what I wasn’t capable of but on that she could do it and she believed I could do it too.

I also had a nice feeling of not wanting to let her belief in me down. When I finished the lap – it became a self-evident truth to me that I can swim the lap. So I turned and swam another lap following behind her this time.

So my thinking is that when you join a group embarking on a similar goal to yours then its a case of the sum of the individual parts is great together and you get better. Anyway, this felt like an epiphany for me.