February

february recap-01

Well hi there! It’s been a while!

February might be the shortest month, but it’s definitely long here in Canada. The snow just keeps going and going and while we had some great above average days in January (+9 … that never happens!), it’s just downright cold in February. The groundhog said we should have an early spring, but really, my birthday is in March and there is ALWAYS cold and snow. I’m not getting my hopes up.

This month the boy and I started getting out to playgroups and other events for mom and baby. We started to go to the library’s peek-a-boo play, as well as a drop in playtime the next town over. We even had some playdates with some other new moms! I’m such a hermit that I guess it’s kind of nice that baby is getting me out of the house. He’s also a lot more predictable, so it’s easier to get out and run errands with him. We’ve even started going to the library on a regular basis. I can’t wait for him to be big enough to play in the children’s area there — it’s brand new and totally awesome.

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Baby’s first piano lesson. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m still working on the book buying ban and doing surprisingly well. One would think that I would banish all books from coming into the house, but I still can’t pass up freebies. While I’m not overly critical of the free books I get (though I have got some great titles), I’m SUPER critical about the books I’m buying. I’ve bought a few new ones for baby, but when it comes to me buying one, I’ll hum and haw and eventually put it back. I have to get over this whole “must own all the books” idea I have in my head. It’s okay for me to buy books, but I want to really, really want them and not just buy to buy. So far I’ve only bought three books since the beginning of the year!

In fact, I saw this video on YouTube (retweeted by Giselle over at BookNerd Canada!) and told myself I need to watch it weekly as a reminder. It’s a GREAT video that presses on the fact that it’s our mentality that needs to be changed when it comes to buying less books, rather than putting restrictions on ourselves.

The Edmonton Book Bloggers had a meetup this month, which the baby and I attended. It’s always fun to meet up with these ladies! I can’t wait for the summertime when the roads will be a little better for driving. Oh, and the OLYMPICS! How great is Canada? Our athletes are amazing! I’m really not a sports person but I was glued to the TV for the whole two weeks. It was nuts. LOย was even decked out in his Team Canada gear on some days, cheering for our team. Hubs and I got up nice and early for the last hockey game and enjoyed every second of it! Sad that it’s over, but at least now our regular TV shows will come back. ๐Ÿ™‚

Awesome things I discovered this month:ย 

1. The Starbucks app. SO dangerous. But I love Starbucks and feel that this is necessary. I rarely go, but it’s nice to have an easy payment method for when I do.

2. Zinio. This is a new app from the library. Basically, it’s a ton of magazines that I can read on my iPad for free AND there’s no expiry date. I can go through and bookmark articles or recipes in the magazine to go back to later (great for recipes!). I do love magazines so this is a great way to read them without having them clutter up the house.

3. Adhesive nails. Since having LOย I’ve realized that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to paint my nails. Since I hate to wear makeup, it’s nice to have a bit of girly-ness about me. A new mom friend introduced me to adhesive nails which take about the same amount of time to adhere, but no drying time. It’s perfect! And they seem to last a long time. The really, really nice ones are expensive but I’ve only splurged once on a really good set and will watch out for sales from now on.

books read-01

February is always a hard month for reading … especially since we’re always missing a few days! Seriously, when is the next leap year?

  1. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (review book)
  2. Something Real by Heather Demetrios (review book)
  3. Penguins Hate Stuff by Greg Stones (all pictures — definitely not something I’m counting towards my goal!)
  4. Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol (graphic novel)
  5. Before My Eyes by Caroline Bock (review book)
  6. Blankets by Craig Thompson (graphic novel)
  7. The Complete Persepolis (Persepolis, #1-4) by Marjane Satrapi (graphic novel)
  8. Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols
  9. Black Orchid by Neil Gaiman (graphic novel)
  10. An Evening With Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer (audio CD with readings — so counting it as a book)

I know, this looks like a lot, BUT I’ve been trying to get to my local library a lot more which means I’ve been reading more graphic novels. While I’m also trying to knock out the physical ARCs I have on my shelves, I’m also trying to just read what I want, when I want — and trying to read books I buy and books that are gifted to me as I get them (I’m not counting freebies — surprisingly, I’ve gotten quite a few so far!). PLUS balancing other things like the piano and baking and crocheting, not to mention spending time with LOย and the husband, when I have spare time. It’s actually been kind of nice to not be focused on reading all the time. Feels like a hobby again!

mailbox goodies-01

Not a lot of official “mailbox” books, but I did get some goodies this month!

1392162268089 A beautiful baby blanket from the lovely Jenn (@thejennjenn) of Booksessed (Thank you, Jenn!!) as well as a signed copy of Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie courtesy of Quirk Books.ย 

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LOย got some new Oliver Jeffers books — the boy seriously loves his penguin books. And these books are so cute that it’s okay to read them over and over (and over) again. Not pictured is his newest book How to Catch a Star by — you guessed it — Oliver Jeffers. I tell you, the boy is obsessed.ย 

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Some free books I got from another mom in town who was cleaning out her shelves because they’re moving. Some great titles here!ย 

1393192952606Courtesy of Raincoast Books and Ambur over at Burning Impossibly Bright. Thank you to both of you!ย 

How was your month? Have you read anything good lately?

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19 thoughts on “February

  1. Loved this video! Some of the things you said are SO accurate and there definitely needs to be a BBA (Book Buying Anonymous) meeting somewhere haha.
    If there is a book I really really want to buy, to save SOME money, I always opt for a ‘Buy Used’ one on Amazon! Although I’m still buying it, it’s a couple of quid cheaper and I like the fact that they turn up with pages folded and looking used because it’s nice to know someone enjoyed it before me ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

    • Oh, it’s not my video! Just one I found on Twitter. But yes! I love watching it to remind me to not buy ALL the books! I do love browsing the sale books on Amazon. Sometimes they’ll have a hardback of a book I really really wanted for really cheap. It’s great! Though I only do that twice a year — it could be dangerous if I went on it all the time!

  2. I need to work on finding balance with my hobbies..lol

    You still did a lot of reading this past month (in my opinion), despite it being a short month. Great job on that!

    I’m so ready for spring to be here.. lol And I don’t know what you’re talking about. February flew by! But that might be because most of it was a sleep deprived haze. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I hope you have a wonderful March!

    • I find that I’m getting enough sleep and the months are flying by! LO started “talking” last week and it’s just the cutest thing, but it reminds me of how fast he’s growing. He needs to slow down!

      I’m a VERY slow reader now. It’s kind of nice, though I still have to pick up my crocheting. I put it down last week and still haven’t had the desire to start again. Maybe once I’m drinking tea and watching Downton Abbey this week … ha ha.

      • I just ordered a cross stitch book from TBD that was in their 25 hour sale. It is all fairy tale and such, so I’m excited for it..lol

        Your slow reading is faster than my fast reading ๐Ÿ˜› So I will always think you read a lot. I need to learn to crochet, you can make so many cute things!

      • I always get emails about their 25 hour sale, but never check it out … I should one day!

        Crocheting is a lot of fun! I like that it’s easy to finish projects quickly.

      • I forget to check out the sales until late in the day normally, but sometimes there are really good deals!

        I was looking at picking up a crochet kit from Chapters and Chris tells me it doesn’t look as nice as knitted stuff.. I think he’s ridiculous.. lol

  3. This is a great post! Congrats on doing so well with your book buying ban. I used to have a huge issue with buying piles and piles of books all at once, and now I try to only actually purchase 2, maybe three books a month (and only if I really want them). That way, I make sure to read the ones I do purchase. That being said, I still do have a huge TBR pile left over from my huge book haul days. The video you posted made a lot of sense. I might have to watch it from time to time to control the book-buying urges.

    I hope spring comes soon for you. It’s still very cold and snowy here in Upstate New York (ick). We need some tulips and daffodils and sunshine.

    • That’s great that you’re getting to the books you buy each month! I used to go so overboard, but now I’m making sure that I at least read the books that I buy. If I get freebies, they’re not high on my priority list, but the ones I buy MUST get read that month.

      Tulips, daffodils, and sunshine sound AWESOME. Seriously. It was -50 here with the windchill the other day. I NEED Spring.

  4. Oh the baby man is so cute! Soon he will be busting out a children’s album with his mom ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love my Starbucks app. I don’t go often either but it is super handy. Plus a free one every 12 isn’t bad either!

    I loved that video! I have done pretty well and March should be good. I have a few pre-orders but this is TBR month.

    • Ha ha … I can’t wait to see if he wants to sing with his mommy! I think it’d be a fun creative thing for us to try and write songs together, no matter how silly they are. ๐Ÿ™‚

      You get a free coffee every 12 with the Starbucks app? That’s awesome! I’ve only used it twice … it’s proving to be quite dangerous, though very convenient.

  5. You are one amazing lady. I only read 5 books this month and I didn’t have half as much to do as you do. College does keep me super busy. I’m hoping to pick up with reading again in March. I just didn’t pick the best books to read in February. I enjoy your blog updates about LO. He is growing so fast.

    • Well, I get lots of naptime from my little guy, which I’m sure your professors don’t give you! Ha ha … I hope you can catch up with your reading in March! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Ah yes, I’ve heard that it’s terribly cold in Edmonton at the moment! It’s cold in Toronto too, but not THAT cold, thankfully. Not sure what’s cuter, LO dressed up in Team Canada gear or LO playing the piano! Aww ๐Ÿ™‚ And thank you for sharing that YouTube video! Like she says, they are obvious tips, but it’s good to have someone say them out loud so that you can recognize how silly it is.

    • Yes! I have to watch that video constantly, it seems. I’m doing so well this year that I’m bound to have one week where I’m like, I must buy all the books! I keep going into my home library, though, and seeing the books that I still really want to read but haven’t. They help me stay on track!

  7. So cute playing the piano!! And I’m not sure how you do it with the cold. I suppose maybe you get used to it to some degree? Though I’m sure people don’t know how we deal with 70 days over 100 degrees in the summer (I’m not really sure either…). I remember it being cold when we lived in Toronto when I was little but I don’t think it gets as cold there as Edmonton.

    How did you learn about the playgroups that you’ve been attending? I’m a bit reclusive as well and I know that I should start getting out more than I do (mostly I’m too cold…and it’s only 30F here). My eldest is part of a playgroup from her school but I haven’t known how to go about finding one for smaller babies and I don’t have any friends with babies her age.

    • I have NO idea how you deal with days over 100 degrees … That’s what? Close to 40 degrees celcius? I can barely handle … I think it’d be around 70. That’s my limit. Ha ha. I’m definitely a cooler, but still kind of of warm, weather kind of girl.

      I actually joined a group on Facebook for moms in my area. I was just searching for moms groups and this one popped up. I introduced myself and then someone else mentioned they have a boy close to my guy’s age and we met up for coffee. After that I mentioned a library program for babies and met a few more moms that way. Not we set up a weekly date to get together with our little guys and drink coffee while they all stare at one another. Ha ha … Does your library have groups for babies? Mine has one for babies and others for other age ranges. There’s also aquasize classes for moms and babies at the pool, or kids play places where other people get together with kids of all ages. There’s also something called CHIPS here in town, which costs a small fee, but there are lots of moms there. AND in the closest town to me and a few others there’s a free program put on by Families First that meet on certain days of the week. You can come with children under 6, I believe, and they can play, moms and babies can chat, and they have snacktime for the kids and moms. It’s great! I hope you can find something … I really didn’t know anyone nearby who had a baby of any age, so this has been great. It’s kind of forced me out of the house, which I’m kind of liking!

  8. February did feel super long because of the cold…it’s supposed to warm up soon though, so hopefully it actually does!!! ๐Ÿ˜›

    And LO at the piano is adorable!!! I’m glad that you’re both having fun going out and socializing, too. It sounds like a lot of fun!

    I’m glad you like the Starbucks app, and I haven’t actually tried the adhesive nail stickers yet. I do have some though, so I’ll have to try them out! I found a bunch for cheap at Dollarama, too, if you’re looking for cheaper ones and the designs are really cute…still have to try them out though, so hopefully they’re okay quality. ๐Ÿ˜› Also, if it’s drying time that you want to lessen. I’ve noticed you can buy “quick dry drops” for nail polish now. I bought some “essence” brand from Shoppers and it works okay. I’ve ordered some higher brand drops from Julep, too, so we’ll see how their brand works. The essence drops definitely work better with lighter coats of polish and you obviously still have to let it dry for a bit, but it is quicker. It also really moisturizers your cuticles.

    Anyway, you definitely had a great month! And LO’s newest books look adorable. I have to admit that I like to look at kids’ books for myself sometimes. They’re so cute! And you’re welcome for Heartbeat! I hope you like it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I love getting out and socializing with LO! It’s good for both of us. ๐Ÿ™‚

      The Starbucks app is AWESOME. I got my free birthday drink, despite signing up less than 30 days before AND I got another free drink the other week. LOVE IT!

      I’ve been sticking with clear nail polish lately, but will probably keep watching for sales for the applications. They’re just so easy!

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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