February Reads

Oh I read a lot of books in February. February isn’t even really over. But I still read a lot of books. Here’s a bit of a summary.

Whatever Tomorrow Brings – Lori Wick

I’ve made it my mission/goal to own, or at least read every Lori Wick book. There are quite a lot of them, but without actually looking into it, I think I’m halfway already. This is the first book in a four part series called ‘The Californians’ and I actually think this is Wick’s most popular series. These books are simple, straight forward, pure and enjoyable. I rarely like to read modern stories and sometimes all you want to read in your lunch break is something easy. I read this on my kindle and breezed through it. I’ll probably buy the other 3 soon.

The Dip – Seth Godin

I’ve been trying to expand my reading more lately and this quick little non fiction read did the trick. It actually changed my perception on a few things and had me thinking and talking about it for many days to come. Based around the concept of ‘quitting’ and how quitting isn’t always the worst choice and sticking out the wrong things can be so damaging. It’s applicable to entrepreneurs, marketing execs, people stuck in dead end jobs and .. well you could apply it to anything. I recommend it.

Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

Uggghh. I’ve been trying to finish this book for no joke, at least a year. I had it on my iPhone and I struggled and struggled through til I finally downloaded it onto my Kindle and finished off the last 25%. I wanted to read Wuthering Heights because it’s such a classic and it’s referenced over and over again in literature. Characters rambling on about how it’s their favourite book etc etc and I wanted to see what the fuss was about. I still don’t get it. Flawed cruel characters, storylines spread out over decades, old english and well.. It just wasn’t for me. I’ve hated maybe two books in my whole life and this is one of them. I’m so glad I finished it though, it was bugging me. Now it’s still bugging me, but only because it was so rubbish.

Heart of Gold – Lacy Williams

Why was this book so short? I’m not even exactly sure what this book was about it was over so quickly. Something about some sort of homestead, the search for gold which actually didn’t exist, love, family breakdown, horses and bandits. I couldn’t tell you the characters names or characteristics if I tried. That’s what happens when you purchase free books on kindle!

The Widow of Larkspur Inn – Lawana Blackwell

YES! I think I may have finally stumbled across a new Christian historical fiction author with delightful taste and easy reading style. I technically have a few chapters to go on this baby BUT February technically isn’t over and so technically, technically I can put it on this list. It’s my list so I will do what I want. This book centres around a recently widowed woman who brings her children to a new town to turn a run down old Inn into a Lodging House after her deceased husband leaves them with financial troubles. The title actually describes it fairly accurately. It has characters you fall for, a town you wish you could experience and life lessons and struggles you can relate to.

Now I can safely say I delivered all that I promised for February. This is not one book review but five short ones. Claps for Steffany.

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Kindle – A Review

I recently got a kindle!

It was part of all the things I got spoiled with at Christmas time. I seriously love to read and I talk about books frequently so I thought I’d do a little review on the Kindle. Every single person at work asks ‘what is that?’ when I read in the break room at work, so it’s safe to assume people aren’t very informed when it’s comes to the kindle.

I was pretty anti the idea of an e-reader. My love affair with books isn’t all about the stories, it’s actually with physical books. I love covers, crumped/used pages, fresh pages, libraries, the smell of books. I really love it all. Why would I give all those things I love up, for something I had to purchase, and then still, purchase books. However the one Kindle User at work convinced me to at least consider it. He brought his Kindle into work for me to examine and have a play with and little by little, I came to a place where I added ‘Kindle’ to my Christmas list.

It’s actually pretty fantastic. I have the Wireless version which doesn’t allow me access any old time but I need to be hooked into a wireless network. Which suits me and would suit other budget’s fine as it is the cheaper version.

Books are reasonably priced with classics for free and sales that occur from time to time. It’s all hooked in with an amazon account which I already had and with a click of a button I can purchase a book.

It’s extremely lightweight. No backlight, so it’s healthy for your eyes. It holds my place and let’s me know what percentage of the book I’ve read. I can skip chapters ahead, navigate easily page to page. You can purchase groovy little cases (of which I am yet to do) and I barely notice it in my handbag.

For me, the Kindle will be my travel reading companion, and I use it for my everyday reading at work. People who use public transport – GET A KINDLE. You will love love it. I’ve only really bought the one or two books. And I won’t get too carried away either. I will just buy the books I know I want to read during my breaks at work.

I recently went on a Cruise and took 4 books with me. My suitcase was heavy. I wish I had my kindle then, I could have packed more sunscreen and after sun gel. Which was what I actually needed.

Negatives? Other than it doesn’t smell like a book? None. I don’t damage my books by having them floating around my car/handbag. It’s a win win for me. If you ever want to have a play and test it out for yourself. Feel free to ask.

If you are concerned about my mental health – I wish to inform you, that I still love books. I will still buy them. In fact, for me, I will probably still buy books and then purchase them on Kindle for convenience. My library will still be extroadinarily expansive and you will all be jealous.

I hope.

5 stars

 

The Little Pattiserie

I’ve been working in Paddington for nearly a year now and I’m pretty embarassed to say that I haven’t tried too many of the little cafe’s that are hidden in and around Given/Latrobe Terrace. This morning I arrived particularly early to work, and while I’d already had a lovely big coffee, I needed to kill some time and thought I could probably choke down a smoothie or something.

Went for a walk and came across this little place.

Despite no eftpos facilities, and a grumpy dude who seemed to think it was my fault that he didn’t  have change for a $20 note, it was actually pretty  nice. Some quirky little chairs, undercover outside area which still provided nice light and a yummy berry smoothie. They did appear to have a lot of lovely little treats too, maybe I will pop back in and try them again.

Gratefully Shot

After 60 days of photographing things I’m grateful for (365 Agradecido) I am definitely learning a thing or two about how to be thankful.

  1. Coffee Machines

While my new work’s coffee machine actually makes fairly rubbish tasting coffee (after 3 attempts I think I’ll stop) – the very fact that my work has a coffee machine is a huge upgrade.

2. Grocery Store Hair Dye

You woudln’t believe how fast my hair is growing. I have noticeable regrowth after 3 weeks of new hair colour. So I’m very grateful that fixing it, only costs $20.

3. Cupcakes

My new boss bought me a cupcake today. This  makes me so happy.

4. Hannah Pinches

This lovely lady deserves a mention. We went out for dinner and movie last night – she’s honestly just really good company. I laugh a lot when I’m with her and it’s very reassuring to hang out with someone who gets all your references, quotes and jokes.

5. Mum’s Jewellery Collection

She honestly owns a ridiculous amount of jewellery. I could borrow something every day for a year and she probably wouldn’t notice. This is my favourite that I’m loving at the moment.

6. The Adjustment Bureau

I’m glad people still make decent films. It’s so rare to go to a thought provoking movie that isn’t just.. really weird and creepy. Every Christian should go see this. It’s funny how so much of the movie identifies with our worldview and yet how so much of it doesn’t fit in at all. It really helped me cement what I believe about fate, destiny & will. Emily Blunt is also amazing.

7. Bones Drama

Bones is finally amping up the antics when it comes to realtionships drama. So much slow moving tension building up over seasons.. and then Season 5 is just bringing out the big guns in terms of surprise drama.

8. HOLIDAY

20 days until I’m on holidays for 2 weeks! A week in Tassie and then a couple of days either side (due to the amazing amount of public holidays in April) is going to be just SO lovely. Plus Dave & Mel’s wedding. Yay!

9. Jesus

10. My new work. I’ve alluded to how much I love it already. But I really do. Grateful & Thankful and Happy.

Life

Today I just started watching my Dad’s favourite TV show – life.

It’s a really interesting concept for a TV show. It’s about a police officer, Charlie Crews who was wrongly accused of murder and was imprisoned for about 10 years. The show revolves around a different crime each episode that Charlie, recently returned to the force, solves with his new partner. But the underlying theme that runs through the entire program is the mystery of who framed Charlie for the murder of his brother and his brother’s family.

It’s not really my style of tv show – but the central character Charlie is quirky and interesting. They keep flashing back to a documentary someone is obviously making about the whole issue – and they are interviewing all the people involved. His ex-wife, previous partner, chief detective and his lawyer. The lawyer makes this interesting comment which has been rolling around my mind for a while.

His lawyer makes this comment.

Life was his sentence. So life is what he got back.

I’m not one hundred percent sure why it sticks with me but it does. At the beginning of a new year, you can’t help but be retrospective and introspective and all those other kinds of things. Life was taken from Charlie Crews. Everything. So when he was exonerated. They gave him his life back. They gave him his job back, 50 million dollars. But it’s interesting to see how a man tries to get his life back.

Life is such a funny thing. I’m pretty intent on living it. And living it as much as I can.

How I know I’m alive is that I kicked my leg really hard on a box lying out in the middle of the hallway. That will make a nice bruise.

A bruise is a sign of life. And that you have it or that you live it. It means you were wreckless or clumsy. Or you bruise easy. I’m not saying you should aim for bruises in life – but they are normally a sign of life.

Make sure you’re living your life. In 2011 do something that makes you feel alive.

September Wrap Up

Have been a bit MIA lately and that’s due to busy weekends and busy weeks filled with all kinds of different delights that I might post up soon including some pictures of my birthday and birthday gifts.

Got to catch up with Pierson on the weekend for a bit and it was SO good to see him. Also managed to get some footage of him for my ‘LIFE’ movie. Oh I haven’t told you about that? I’m making a movie of my life. Actually, more like my life lately as I haven’t been filming for the last 22 years. Would really love a better camera for filming.. my camera actually does a great job, but something to do with the format.. I have to convert it to use on my mac, and when I convert it, the quality drops. Not sure why anyone would want to know that?

In the meantime.. please enjoy – if you haven’t already seen it, my Hillsong 2010 movie.

Saw Charlie St Cloud on my birthday. Went mostly cos I love a bit of Zac Efron in my life, and especially on my birthday.

Was a bit of a strange sort of movie with an interesting (strange) kind of plot line. The character of Charlie St Cloud was pretty believable. Despite the fact that he talks to ghosts, he doesn’t come across as too ridiculous. Wasn’t as sad as I thought it was going to be either. Two girls were chatting about the movie as we left the cinema and one girl was all ‘Wow, I’ve never heard Zac talk so much, didn’t like that at all’. Haha! However I think Mr Efron’s acting skills have definitely improved and I think I’ll love anything he does – BUT I still prefer him as Troy Bolton. You really can’t beat the cheesy over the top HSM.

three stars

In other news, university is kind of crazy at the moment hence the lack of blogging. I realise that I don’t blog when I’m busy, I blog when I’m bored. Mostly finished a presentation off on the weekend, and just got one more big assignment before I’m done with assignments for the year. I think I just have one exam and then I’m done for a while.

I got two pairs of shoes from Blaine and Tegan for my birthday! Below is the pair I could find a picture of online! How lucky am I?

A Hand to Take Hold of the Scene

Going the Distance

Beware. Starring Drew Barrymore & Justin Long about a one night stand that turns into a relationship that they try and make it through despite the distance.  I thought that maybe the sex jokes in the ad were probably about all there would be in this movie. WRONG. Apart from the F word being used 3,000 more times than I like to hear it (which is never), the sex scenes, gross sex jokes, not much eye candy – oh yes, well, there wasn’t much I liked about it I guess.

Some and I repeart only some times it was funny. I definitely did laugh – but afterwards thought – oh boy, shouldn’t have laughed about that. Christina Applegate was pretty good though and the two best friends definitely made me laugh.

Our life is not a movie, or maybe

My family, when we spend time together, we normally like to spend it at the movies. I hardly ever go the movie, except for when all my family is in the same place and then I go all the time!

Tomorrow When The War Began

Okay so I wasn’t a huge fan of the books. I should probably say book because I’m not sure I really even finished the first one. I don’t know if that makes me some kind of bad person, or what kind of trouble I’m stiring. I don’t know how loyal TWTWB fans are. Is it like Twilight? I hope not cos I’m about to get a whole lot of hate mail. I’ll try and redeem myself by saying that I enjoyed the movie a lot more than the book. Generally fans don’t like those kinda statements, but this is my blog, so I guess I’ll just say what I want. I normally hate Australian movies so that the fact that I enjoyed it probably says a lot. Only bit I didn’t really love was Chris’s description of what had happened. It was funny intitially, but when he actually talked about the people that had been shot – it was made out to be funny, or at least everyone in the cinema laughed. They could have dropped out the humour a bit there I think.

Also – the army doesn’t have any planes! AND – I think it would have been better if I hadn’t seen the ads eighty times before hand.

Lots of explosions, kids being brave – it was actually pretty good!

four stars

The Other Guys

I don’t really know how we ended up seeing this one. My sister and my Dad chose it and we all went in not really knowing what it was about. It was your standard cops type of movie. It was kinda rude at times, but mostly fairly funny. The characters were all kinda quirky and strange which made it entertaining. I had one of those ‘wow Steff you’re laughing louder than everyone in the entire cinema’ moments – which always makes for good times. It was alright, made better by the fact that it was Will Ferrel and Mark Wahlberg – but I think you could wait til dvd.

Oh and Eva Mendes is stunning in it!

two and a half stars

Top Ten

Top Ten TV Shows

(beware of minor spoilers)

1. Gilmore Girls

Seasons 1-7

Favourite Character: Kirk

Favourite Season: Season 5

Favourite Moment: When Lorelai and Luke first get together, season finale of Season 4.

Why I love it: So many reasons. Classic quotes. Crazy pop culture references. All of the food. The crazy town.

Why I love it less: The last season.. not as good. AND – who says no to Logan Huntzberger!

2. Smallville

Seasons 1 – 10 (still showing)

Favourite Character: Clark but also love Lois and Oliver

Favourite Season: I think 6 & 8

Favourite Moment: When Lois kicks the phone book across the room!

Why I love it: The right amount of mix of action, romance, mystery, family ties etc.

Why I love it less: Lana Lang was a pain in my butt!

3. One Tree Hill

Season 1-7 (still showing)

Favourite Character: Brooke despite being  a Leyton fan.

Favourite Season: 3 and six!

Favourite Moment: Finale of season 6 – When Nathan gets into the NBA – finally!

Why I love it: Good quotes, great music.. easy on the eyes kinda television.

Why I love it less: Getting a little bit dramatic.. car crashes are also a bit overdone.

4. The West Wing

Season 1-7

Favourite Character: Jed Bartlett and Josh & Donna.. and maybe C.J – ah too many!

Favourite Season: Season 6. I liked seeing the campaign stuff.

Favourite Moment: Jed’s scene in the cathedral I think it’s Season 2 finale.

Why I love it: So brilliant, witty and smart.

Why I love it less:  It ended.  Oh and they cut Sam Seaborne!

5. Alias

Seasons 1-5

Favourite Character: Wise & Sark

Favourite Season: Season 2 & 4

Favourite Moment: I’m a new fan so it’s harder to tell. Probably when Francie double actually does die. What a mole.

Why I love it: Intrigue, disguises, Sydney kicking butt.

Why I love it less: Every single character I was like ‘are they out to betray Sydney’.. that got annoying. Also, Sark and Wise should have been in every episode.

6. Friends

Seasons 1-10

Favourite Character: Joey

Favourite Season: Season 8

Favourite moment: When Brad Pitt guest stars. Hilarious.

Why I love it: Soo funny. So quoteable.

Why I love it less: Always only funny. Every serious moment gets ruined by a joke.

7. The O.C

Seasons 1-4

Favourite Character: Seth

Favourite Season: Season 4

Favourite Moment: Seth quoting the mermaid poem to Summer.

Why I love it: Seth Cohen is hilarious.

Why I love it less: Marissa drove me crazy. One girl can’t have that many problems can she?!

8. The Office

Seasons 1-7

Favourite Character: Jim

Favourite Season: Couldn’t pick.

Favourite Moment: When Jim dresses up as Dwight!

Why I love it: It’s like every typical office just crazier.

Why I love it less: Michael Scott does tend to drive you crazy sometimes.

9. Gossip Girl

Season 1-4 (still showing)

Favourite Character: Blair & Dan

Favourite Season: Two? Not sure.

Favourite Moment: Aww.. Um.. also not sure.

Why I love it: I mainly like it for the fashion.

Why I love it less: They’ve already overused every single story line there could eveer be!

10. The Vampire Diaries

Seasons 1-2 (still showing)

Favourite Character: Caroline

Favourite Season: Season 2

Favourite Moment: I love the Unpleasantville episode. Stefan surprises Elene with that awesome dance move. Good times.

Why I love it: Drama

Why I love it less: Well it’s about vampires. So that’s a bit lame.

Alright. So I watch a lot of rubbish. What can you do about it?!

Introducing..

Hello – my name is Steffany and I love blogs.

Through the ease of google reader, I follow 46 blogs. And I follow 40+ on tumblr alone. I really love blogs.

I’m super super excited to introduce the latest blog that I’ll be following. I really love blogs and I really love this girl so I know I’ll really love her blog. That is a lot of love.

Introducing.. I Heart Photography.. A photography blog from the one and only Rebecca Whitecross.

Bec is one of those people with many talents – but isn’t too keen on flaunting them to the world. She’s subtle with her skills. I’m trying to beat the subtle out of her.

Photography for Bec is a way to escape life, experience life and also to express it. While this blog is only three posts young – I know you’ll love it.

Love Steffany.