Thursday, December 12, 2019

Books I Read in 2019 and Books I Plan to Read in 2020 - Blogmas Day 12

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. I have read 11 books so far in 2019 and I have really enjoyed the selection of books I have read this year. The list below is both of books I have finished and are still currently reading. I wrote a sentence for each book on my main take aways and my favourite thing about reading it. I love reading and I hope to get to my goal of 15 books read by the end of the year. I am currently at 11 so I would be happy with that and will try again for 15 next year if I don't meet it. Below that list, I included another list of books I plan to read in 2020.

Books read this year:

1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
I really enjoyed this book, it taught me how to interact people to help them like you and feel respected. The tips that he suggested we so spot on and I try to apply them each day. This one I might look through every year to remember the principles.

2. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
A fascinating page turner that had the main message that things are not always how they appear.

3. A Spark of Light - Jodi Picoult
An interesting read focusing on opinions about abortion. I realized that there are very different ideas about this topic and that it can really affect people and their families.

4. The Wedding Date - Jasmine Guillory
A light and fun read. It was so cute and I loved the relationship between the protagonists. A fun book to pick up and read wherever I left off and laugh and smile the whole way through.

5. The Power of Habit - Charles Duhigg
Shed some light on habits and how there are cues that we can control the habit that takes place once there is a cue. Learned how to create more positive habits as well and think about my habits.

6. The Miracle Morning - Hal Elrod
Learned that the morning is a great time to have a routine that sets you up positively for the day and for life. I started morning routines this year and now I have one I love.

7. Quiet - Susan Cain
Learned about how being quiet is not a bad thing, but a powerful thing and to harness the strengths within.

8. What to Expect Before You're Expecting - Heidi Murkoff
Learned more about how to prepare for pregnancy and increase chances of becoming pregnant.

9. the life-changing magic of tidying up - Marie Kondo
Learned how to get rid of things that don't spark joy and to organize my home.

10. Help Me - Marianne Power (currently reading)
Learning how reading self-help books do affect your life in positive ways and give you information on how to live a better life. I am inspired to read all of the books she read and try to put them to the test as well.

11. Better Than Before - Gretchen Ruben (currently reading)
Learning about how we each treat habits differently and stick to goals differently. Also more about habit formation and how there are some strategies that help us stick to habits.

Some of the books read in 2019

15 books I want to read in 2020:

  1.  Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope - Mark Manson
  2.  The Testaments - Margaret Atwood
  3. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear - Elizabeth Gilbert
  4. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead - Sheryl Sandberg
  5. Girl, Stop Apologizing - Rachel Hollis
  6. Something Like Happy - Eva Woods
  7.  How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease- Michael Greger
  8. The Immortalists - Chloe Benjamin
  9. The Miracle Equation - Hal Elrod
  10. Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty
  11. The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas
  12. Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life - Nir Eyal
  13. Milk and Honey - Rupi Kaur
  14. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler - Kelly Harms
  15. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed-Lori Gottlieb.

What are the books you enjoyed this year and want to read in 2020? Any books you would  recommend that I read next year?

Thank you for visiting my blog today! I really enjoy looking over the books I read in the current year and spend some time planning for reading in the next year. I look forward to reading the books I listed, they all had great reviews on goodreads and a lot of them have been on my "want to read" list for quite some time.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Ways to Give Back at Christmas - Blogmas Day 11

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. Welcome to day 11 of Blogmas! I just got back from a day of volunteering at the Chum Wish Foundation and it was wonderful sorting donations of toys and other items for newborn to 18 years old. It was great meeting new people and doing something to help others for a day. Today I will share with you a couple of the ways we can help to give back at this time of the year.
Photo source
Donating your time and energy somewhere is a great way to help out around the holidays. Every time I go and volunteer somewhere, I think that I should be doing it way more often and all year round. It makes you feel so good helping others, you meet new people, and you can also gain new skills by trying out new things in a volunteer setting. Some volunteer ideas going on right now in the Greater Toronto Area are:

Chum Wish Foundation: Sorting donations and "shopping" and putting together bags of toys that are appropriate for the ages of the children requested.Click here to find out more about volunteering.

Carol to Care: Trek for Teens Foundation is putting on this caroling to raise funds for homeless youth on December 14th from 1pm - 4pm. Click here to find out more about volunteering.

Yonge Street Mission - Helping to mail out Christmas cards to donors on December 12th and 13th. Task is printing out labels and affixing them onto envelopes. Click here to find out more about volunteering.

Ve'ahavta to Drive to Survive: Donation sorting of hygiene items and clothing. Click here for more information.


Donate money or items to causes that are close to your heart. I know Christmas always makes me think of those less fortunate and also the causes I love. I haven't donated in past years, but now that I am getting my finances in order and student debt paid off, I would like to start donating to causes I love. Some ideas of places to donate in the Toronto area if you are in Canada are:

Covenant House: Homeless youth are given a place to go for support and housing. This organization cares for the well-being of these children. Click here to find out more about making a donation.

Free-Them:Not-for-Profit organization dedicated to ending Human Trafficking in Canada and abroad. I attended their annual walk in September and donated to the cause. It is a great cause and so amazing what they are doing. Click here to find out more information on donating.

Wishing Well Sanctuary: I visited this sanctuary for animals a couple of years ago and it was a wonderful experience. It touched my heart that these animals were all saved from factory farms or negative situations and were able to live the rest of their lives at the sanctuary. Click here for more information on making a donation.

StreetKnit project: Knitting mittens or socks for the homeless and dropping them off at a local library. Click here for more information on where to drop off your knitted items.

Donate toys: Donate toys to the Chum Wish Foundation. Click here for more information.

I posted these organizations with links to their websites, not to have you make donations to these causes, but to show some opportunities to reach out and help out at this time of the year. I also encourage you to think of what organizations you believe in and visit their websites to make a donation. I made a small donation to both Wishing Well Sanctuary and Covenant House tonight and I volunteered at the Chum Wish Foundation today. It makes me feel so happy to help others and give back my time and a monetary donation to those less fortunate. I will continue to donate my time and some funds towards charities and organizations each Christmas. I would like to make a sinking fund and put some money aside all year to donate more towards charities.

Do you volunteer and/or donate to charities each year?

Thank you so much for visiting my blog today. I hope that you are enjoying the holiday season and I will be back tomorrow for Blogmas day 12!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Knitting an Ornament and Reading On - Blogmas Day 10

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. I have been busy and this time of year can get hectic with several things happening at once such as year end at work, Blogmas, and Christmas quickly approaching. I am so excited for Christmas and it is only 15 days away now! I am doing a daily countdown on my Instagram stories and I started yesterday. I have also been posting stories each day related to my Blogmas posts on my blog and also will be doing extra videos here and there related to Christmas.

I started knitting an ornament from Patons Merry Fair Isle Knit ornaments. It looks good so far and is very small. I used a size needle a bit lower than required I used size US 3, 3.25 mm double pointed needles so it might turn out smaller than they usually are. I haven't really knitted in fair isle for a project before, so it is a fun new challenge for me. I have practiced fair isle in the past to carry the yarn along and make a design, but never as a project. I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out! I just finished row 8 of the pattern and starting to see some of the fair isle design. Sorry for the photos they are dark because I took them this morning before work at 8 am.

I have been knitting the casual knit lace shawl pattern found on Ravelry. I had to frog some of it as I saw some errors. It is coming along, but I have been working on the Christmas ornament the past two days

I am still reading Better Than Before by Gretchen Ruben. I am really enjoying it so far and think it is a very interesting read. Habits are a really fascinating topic because we have daily habits that keep us organized and we don't really realize it sometimes. As I have become more in tune with my habits and how habits can help you go about your days, I have been working on adding in more positive habits that help me to do the things I need to do more seamlessly throughout the day. It comes more naturally without much thought which increases the chance I do these things more often that are positive in my life.

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