Books as decor? (May 2022 read)

I meant to post this on Friday, but I’ve been nursing a cold for the past few days. It’s not COVID.

I came across this hilarious Buzzfeed article where actress Ashley Tisdale admits she made her husband buy 400 books to fill this gorgeous bookshelf for an Architectural Digest photoshoot. I think what they did was harmless. They bought from a bookstore supporting the shop, the publishers, and the authors. I think it’s all good. It wasn’t like they bought fake books made of woodblocks or plastic. It wasnt like they claimed they read all these books. Here is a glimpse of the books on their shelf, and I have to say, it’s incredibly random. Do I see them read any of these books in their leisurely time? Uh….I really don’t know. I just assumed her husband bought the first 400 unique books he could find.

Continue reading Books as decor? (May 2022 read)

Do you collect quotes? (And March 2022 reads)

Does anybody like to collect quotes? I do. I don’t like to collect pretty squares of platitudes and save them to my phone; it becomes jumbled with all the things I keep on my phone and I completely forget about it until I need to declutter my disk space and end up throwing it away. For me, I believe favorite quotes deserve a better place than my phone, they deserve a page on my notebook. I like to keep this notebook in the living room as my “living coffee table book.”

Continue reading Do you collect quotes? (And March 2022 reads)

February 2022 reads

…or shall I say read. There were plenty of books I read, but I wanted to finish The Final Revival of Opal and Nev from beginning to end.

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton

“How did I not just let life run me over? I’m sorry, I don’t usually use this word, but it’s because f*(|< that. I believe in myself above all.”

Dawnie Walton, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev

This book has an unusual format through a series of interviews a la VH1 “Behind the Music.” Across four decades it goes back and forth with the interview format with the main characters and other music industry folk and family, the Editor’s notes, and “present day” with the main character, S. Sunny Shelton, who has a connection with the band. Opal and Nev is a fictional short-lived interracial rock-and-rock duo in the 1970s — don’t expect it to be a story about interracial romance because this is not it. The story focuses on Opal, the African-American half of the duo, who had to deal with racism throughout her musical career. As her fame and voice diminished into obscurity, Nev’s star rose. Then you have Sunny devoted to weaving the story of Opal and Nev. There’s more to it, but I don’t want to spoil any of it. I guess I was expecting a long epic musical career, but that may have been naive of me.

I’ve been on the waiting list for this book for many weeks in the library and I finally got it! It arrived in time for Black History Month! Though the theatre kid in me enjoyed acting out each character, I would re-read this book in audiobook format to hear their take on it. Plus there were some lyrics sprinkled in the book where I would like to catch the tune through the magic of audiobooks. When I read it, I really tried my best punk rock impression.

#whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge: DebSueDonna, and Jo

January #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge and my favorite books from 2021

I decided for this year, I won’t be borrowing any books from the library or buying any books until I finish reading the books from my bookshelf. I bought these books because they caught my eye or because I added it to my order to qualify for free shipping. I also was on a waitlist for books from the library. When it arrived, I kept extending the hold because I already had other books I was reading. Based on the books on my shelf and on my waitlist, I think I already have my to-read pile for 2022. Not borrowing anything new or buying any books will be a challenge. Since last year I read 31 books, my new goal for this year would be to read 34 books making it about a 10% increase from last year.

Continue reading January #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge and my favorite books from 2021

December #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge

Here are some books I finished in November going into December. I can’t believe I’ve gone through an entire year reading at least 21 minutes per day! Even after this year is over, I can’t imagine a day when I am NOT reading something.

Continue reading December #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge

October and November #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge

Here are some books I’ve read in October and November. I’ve been meaning to share my October reads last month, but at that time I was prepping for Lana’s first birthday party and that same week I had a terrible stomachache. It was best to take it easy that week. Funny thing was that this week I was sick again, but I managed to complete my #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge post for October and November.

Continue reading October and November #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge

Little free library

I’m happy to say that my work has a Little Free Library to serve the community. My department launched a mobile LFL where everyday from 11:30am-1:30pm we would bring up the library cart for our patients, visitors, and staff members to enjoy free books. We are major hub for receiving donations in the community where clothes is the most requested — we have patients who come with no spare clothes when they’re discharged. But we’ve had books sitting in our office for a long, long time. They’re hardly requested so we decided to do an LFL. And yes, we definitely do take book donations. Of course they’re be disinfected before they circulate in the LFL. The books we have to replenish the most are the children’s books because people are always looking for new books for their kids (or niece, nephew, grandchild, godchild, etc.).

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September #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge

I can’t believe it’s already the middle of September! Here is a recap of the books I’ve read over the past month!

Books finished

A Promised Land  by Barack Obama (in audiobook, from the library) – This book covered his early life into the end of his first term in office. It’s probably the longest audiobook I’ve ever listened to. I found his trajectory into becoming the President very interesting. He did not come from a political dynasty that groomed him for higher office. Just a man with a very optimistic and idealistic vision and it got him very far. Each time I listened to his audiobook, I felt hopeful after each session.

Continue reading September #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge

I stopped counting the years and count my experiences…

My hibiscus produced three flowers over the last two weeks. It’s pretty easy maintaining hibiscus indoors — all it needs is lots of sun and water. It’s growing season so it needs to be fed frequently. My kitchen window is the perfect home for the hibiscus.

Continue reading I stopped counting the years and count my experiences…

Coffee and chocolate babka

If we were having coffee, we’d be pairing it with Trader Joe’s Chocolate Brooklyn Babka bread. It’s so indulgent.

It’s a hot weekend. I planted my olive tree in the front yard. Though it was sold an indoor plant, my yard is the ideal place for my olive tree. Olive trees do need a lot of sun. Since we like to close our curtains throughout the day over the summer, keeping the olive tree indoors may be incompatible. I may consider getting another olive tree — maybe keep it in its container — for the deck area. Or maybe get a bay leave tree instead.

Speaking of hot, stay tuned for more tomato dishes. This month’s tomatoes theme is coming to an end. I was planning to make some hot pasta or some curry at some point this month, but it’s been too hot to make either. I’ll table those another time. I learned few cold dishes that have become home cook staples.

Continue reading Coffee and chocolate babka

July and August 2021 #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge (plus why I read for fun)

I’m participating in the #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge, hosted by SueDonnaJo and Debbie.

Up until this year I have not read much but I think that’s because I tried to treat it like the way I would watch Netflix — binging it. As of this year, I started doing Gretchen Rubin’s read 21 minute in 2021 to help me read more. I found doing this practice manageable and sustainable because reading 21 minutes a day is achievable. Now I can’t imagine a day where I am not reading 21 minutes.

I’ve been reading more for the mental health benefits and how to process difficult emotions especially as I go through life as being a new mom. Also because of the pandemic as there are significantly fewer events and people are less inclined to go anywhere, reading has provided an escape where I can still have this sense of human connection and empathy. Reading is one of the simple pleasures that has centered me because there have been many moments when I have felt overwhelmed especially on some weeks when my husband is out doing army training.

Continue reading July and August 2021 #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge (plus why I read for fun)

Covered in paint from head to toe

If you come to my house for coffee, you’ll probably find me all covered in paint from head to toe but that’s because I’ve been painting my kid’s room. I know I paid someone to paint Lana’s room a couple of weeks ago, but there’s this one wall in Lana’s room that was not painted and it’s a plywood wall that scream the 1950s. This house was all built in 1953 after all. I was not sure if I wanted to keep the plywood wall or replace it with drywall. The painter said if I were to put drywall, he can come back another time to paint that wall for free. But after much thought, I decided to keep it but I’m going to paint it myself. Over the past week, I’ve cleaned, repaired some of the panels, spackled, filled gaps, and sanded. Today is the day for priming and painting. Working on the plywood wall is more work than painting the drywall. I can’t imagine how much more the painter would have charged me.

Continue reading Covered in paint from head to toe