Kid’s Book Nooks

I have only  one essential requirement for my dream home:

A book nook!

There is just something about having a little place designated in the home where you can cuddle up with a good book and relax that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

This morning as I rearranged (for the millionth time) my kid’s overflowing book shelves, I began to daydream about finally giving them their own special reading space.

Here are a few inspirations I found:

Amazing nook inside a playroom! I love how the book shelves are designed to have the books facing out so that kid’s can easily choose what they want to read. (via)

A few colourful cushions and a crate full of books make the perfect no-hassle nook. Very simple to put together – a godsend for busy moms! (via)

The secret hideaway! Think converted broom closet. Two simple shelves and a vintage lamp to shed light on their favourite tales. Kids will love this tucked away retreat. (via)

Bright, funky, and undeniably cool! A cloud bubble nook which would be great for older kids, tweens and teens. (via)

If you love a bit of DIY, this is the nook for you! Made out of pallets, this space-saving nook would make the perfect weekend project. (via)

The “whole family” nook. This nook is large enough to hold a couple of kids or an adult and kid combo for bedtime stories. You could even divide the shelves into kid and adult sections. (via)

A skinny nook with a view. Perfect for a quick catch-up on your favourite novel. This is a great no-frills option for moms and dads. (via)

And finally — my DREAM nook! Two words = enormous window. Seeing all that natural light pouring in is making me giddy!  If I had a nook like this, I would never leave it. I would probably eat and sleep there and need to hire a nanny. Ah well, a girl can dream!  🙂

Do you have a book nook in your home?

Mastered!

So you remember that dissertation that was kicking my butt a few months back? Well it turns out it was I who did the butt kicking! Yes, I was delighted to learn a couple of weeks ago that  I earned an “A” on the most important thing I have written to date. The piece was a work of non-fiction which provided a glimpse into the tumultuous time in my life when my newborn son fought valiently for his life and the gamut of emotions during that period. And now, he is 7 years old, an absolute joy, with a cluster of special needs ranging from hemiplegia (a form of cerebral palsy), speech delay, learning delay, and the odd seizure — but he is still here, still my shining star. He defied all the odds and provided the inspiration for me to master this Masters!

As you can imagine, a whole lot of tears and sleepless nights went into this degree and receiving such a great grade certainly made the journey worth it. Two days ago, the university officially awarded me my Master of Arts in Creative and Cultural Industries. I am beyond proud!

Next up, graduation on 18th September — what fun to wear that cap and gown one more time!

And no, I won’t stop here. There is indeed a Ph.D. on the horizon….  🙂

I am not dead…

I have been on holiday. Ok, not really.

As much as I wish I could tell you that I have been on a sandy beach somewhere, soaking up UV rays and sipping on something fruity and very alcoholic, alas, tis not so.

In its final weeks, my MA dissertation soundly kicked my butt. I exerted every last ounce of mental, emotional, and physical energy into writing 20,000 words of the most important story I have ever told. Two bouts of bronchitis, one UTI, and a semi mental breakdown later, and I think (fingers crossed) I am finally on the mend. I have been celebrating by sleeping. Move over Rip van Winkle…

Now it’s time to pick myself back up, dust myself off, and get cracking on bright new things ahead. Coming up in the next few weeks is Zoie’s 2nd birthday and party and I have been busy planning away excitedly. I am also on the hunt for some work experience (better put this MA to some use right?) and I have grand plans for this blog as well!

Fun times ahead! So I’m back, and I really hope I can stay this time. 🙂

Running out of excuses, ha

Well talk about fallin’ right off the face of the blogosphere! What’s going on with me? Could it be that I’ve run out of things to say? Never, haha.

Last week was half term, which in my world means one stir-crazy 4 year old who redefined the phrase “couch potato”. I’m surprised her butt didn’t fuse to the sofa! I did manage to pry her away from the TV long enough to drag her to a doctor’s appointment (for her little sis), a session at the soft-play centre, a run around at the park, and two playdates. Win.

If I had my way, they’d be in school always. Yeah, I said it.

Besides the hassle of half term, I’ve been in full on party planning panic mode for Emilie’s 5th birthday. If you know me, you know my parties. And you know that there is no halfway. It’s all or nothing. If it’s not perfect, well, mama ain’t happy. The theme is a closely guarded secret. If I told you I’d have to silence you, then who would be left to read my blog? For those who do know the theme, consider yourselves a part of the elite few — my ninja party planning crew. All shall be revealed in time. Watch this space!

So other than losing sleep and ignoring the fact that I still have a 20,000 word dissertation to write, all is well in my world of nappies, snot, and bruised knees.

I promise to get back on the blogging ball. Soon.

 

 

11 Things That Grind My Gears

I might not LOOK like I have three kids but I sure FEEL like I do!

1.  People who say to me, “You don’t look like you have THREE kids?!”  Really? Well what should a woman with three kids look like then? Enlighten me. I guess I’m supposed to look haggard or like I’ve gotten too friendly with my pals, Ben & Jerry? Here’s a recent example:

Standing in line at the checkout in the supermarket yesterday. Newborn baby in pram at the opposite checkout starts wailing inconsolably. I shake my head sympathetically and say “Oh I remember those days” to which the checkout lady practically shrieks “You’ve had a baby?!” I smile sweetly and say “I’ve had three…” and was immediately met by the audible gasps of not only the checkout lady but every customer within earshot. Right. Took my groceries and got the hell out.

The youngest mother on record was 5 years old. Keep that in mind.

2.  People who say, “You don’t look old enough to have kids!”  Seriously now? So, what, I can’t even pass for 15 nowadays?  Clearly someone has never watched Teen Mom.

So sorry the education system failed you...

3.  People who can’t spell. Oh. My. God. Now I’m no grammar Nazi and I am undoubtedly guilty of forgetting to spell check once or twice but for crying out loud! Facebook status updates are the bane of my existence! The thing that gets me riled up the most is the misspelling of simple words. “Themselfs” is a real winner.

"Oh hey girl! It's been sooo long!" (Not long enough)

 4.  When you are in town (or other random public place) and you see someone you know who you haven’t seen in a while and you don’t know how to react so you pretend that you didn’t see them because you aren’t sure if they saw you and if they did see you and are ignoring you, you don’t want to look the fool by going up to them and saying hi just in case they really didn’t see you or are actually trying to avoid you. So you walk away pretending not to see them and are left wondering if they did see you but were pretending not to and probably now think you are a bitch for not saying anything at all. Yeah. Happens to me ALL the time.

345... repeat after me. 345...

5.  People who say this:

“What part of America are you from?”

“The part called the Cayman Islands.”

“Oh um, ok, it’s just that your accent sounds so… so…”

“American? No it don’t, you na been payin’ attention awa?”

Because high voltage electricity is really bad for your health. And life.

6.  The one idiot who always insists on making a mad dash for the tube/train just as the doors are closing and either gets some appendage trapped or makes the doors reopen, thereby delaying my journey. You could fall onto the rails, genius. And then you’d be dead and the train will still leave your ass.  Just so you know.

First world problems...

7.  When my favourite food/snack/toiletry runs out at the store the one time I actually manage to make it there after weeks of daydreaming about it. Why??????? Didn’t they know I was coming?!

Get 'em Blade! Muhahaha

 8.  People who freak out over movie spoilers (you know who you are)… I mean is it really the end of the world if you find out that Edward and Bella’s little tot eventually turns out to be… **********… ooops. Ah yes, well nevermind.

And I was so sure green was my colour.

9.  People who ask me, “Is that your real hair?” No. I went out and bought this frizz-fest in a shop. On purpose.

That's what I say.

10.  People who say “Are you going to have any more kids?” or “You’re done now, right?” Well that’s between me and my uterus, thankyouverymuch.

If only it really worked.

11.  Sticky labels that don’t come off. Ever. You know the ones – you pick, peel, and scratch your fingernails to stubs just trying to get a piece off but can only manage to tear out one unsightly section so you go get the baby oil/washing liquid/WD-40 and douse and rub until the paper and glue become one big gooey mess only to wipe it off and find that it is still completely sticky underneath! Sigh.

So tell me: what are YOUR pet peeves?

Oh, for all my friends who find that they have said any of the above comments to me (or are terrible spellers), it’s cool. I still love you.  This is only directed toward ignorant strangers. And as for not being American – my hubby is American, my sisters are American, my kids are American by association, I spent one year of Kindergarten and two years of college in America. I freakin’ love America. I’m just not from there. That is all.

Critical theory, political economy, and Marxism, oh my!

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with this post but it made me laugh when all I want to do is pull my hair out...

 

“What does a ‘political economy’ approach to study of the Creative and Cultural Industries involve?  What are its advantages and disadvantages?”   (word limit: 5,000)

What, I ask you, did I do to deserve such punishment? Political what now? I’m not even sure if I am reading English, though it is far better than one of the alternatives:  “What is cultural hegemony?  Is it ubiquitous and insurmountable?” Huh?

I’ll tell you what is insurmountable — this essay! I am up to my eyeballs in textbooks grappling with the delicate issues of critical theory and analysis in relation to the cultural industries, economies, and all sorts a fancy crap that is going way over my little writer’s head. I write stories. I try to avoid politics and complicated theoretical stuff at all costs. Sigh.

When I was in high school I loved the sciences. I adored balancing chemical equations and had a perverse affinity for the Periodic Table. I could tell you all about the process of osmosis and enjoyed rolling “deoxyribonucleic acid” off my tongue. Science I can handle. English Literature I can handle. Heck, I’m not even too bad at math…

But this? Ideological hocus pocus? It surpasses me. Just… can’t… get it.

And it isn’t for lack of trying — I keep reading and reading and the more I read, the dumber I feel! Lol. It is truly a cruel joke.

So I’ve emailed the tutor for a desperate sit down session so that I can somehow grasp these utterly foreign concepts. I have a deadline on the 23rd and all I have so far is a stark blank Word document and a splitting headache.

Anyone out there in cyberworld have a clue about any of this?? Honestly, I can’t be the only one mystified by this… can I?