On My Nightstand - February 10

Recently shelved as read:

It took me over three weeks to finish, but I'm so glad that I took the time to savour this incredible book. Even in its slower moments, I was still enraptured in the story and I have absolutely loved getting lost in the Lunar Chronicles world.  I still have Stars Above to look forward to, and I'll be super sad when this epic series draws to a close.  Although I heard about the Iko graphic novels, which I'm super pumped about, because Iko's character is one of my absolute favourites!

After such an epic series conclusion, I knew that I needed a little contemporary to mix things up a little.  Everything, Everything was such a unique book, but I have a full review coming up soon, so I won't spoil my thoughts here!

On my nightstand:


I'm making progress with A Feast for Crows and am barely on track to make it through the book this month.  It's nice to not have the pressure of a library deadline with this read, and I'll still be happy if it takes me until early March to finish this beast of a book.

I honestly didn't intend to make February the month of "crows" books, but I've been wanting to pick up Six of Crows for a while, but wanted to wait until after my reading slump had passed.  I'm so excited to be back in the Grisha world!

Calling my name from the shelf:

Brie @ A Slice of Brie read and loved this one earlier this year, and I've been eyeing it on my shelf ever since.  I haven't read a good adult book in a while either, so I think it's time to jump into one that I'm sure that I'll love.  Plus, it's another of the books off my 16 books to read in 2016 list.

How about you?  What are you reading this week!  Let's chat in the comments below and thanks for stopping by!

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Happy 3rd Birthday Marko!

It's hard to believe that three years have passed since Marko's birth, but here we are, celebrating his third birthday.  I wish that I had taken the time to share a post on his birthday each year, but there's no time like the present to play catch-up!

When you were born…
I looked at this little newborn baby and felt awed by the responsibility of being your mother.  Although I won't say that every day was easy, we surpassed each new challenge one at a time, learning about each other along the way.  From rolling over to crawling and from teething to eating solid foods, each new stage brought new discoveries and made you into more of a little boy and less of a baby.  Looking back on old photos, I still see glimpses of the little man that you'd become, coupled with now seeing glimpses of the little baby that you were.

When you turned one…
You were toddling around the house, bopping up and down whenever the music was turned on.  We laughed and called it "twerking" because you'd grab hold of whatever was nearby and just bounce your bum up and down.  You babbled like crazy, keeping up a steady stream of chatter but no real words just yet.  Except "mama," but you called everything and everyone "mama."  You started daycare which resulted in you bursting into tears the first two days when I dropped you off, and me to tears on the third day when I dropped you off and you didn't cry.  Although I missed our constant togetherness, I was excited to watch you make friends and learn some independence.

When you turned two…
Toddling is far behind you now, as you walk and run with confidence!  Your vocabulary in both English and Serbian expands each day and I love being able to have conversations with you during our commutes, even if it means less audiobooks that we used to listen to.  You were adamant about your likes and dislikes, especially about food, but we were confident that we weren't embarking on the "terrible twos" because you were just such a happy, well-adjusted little boy.

And now you're three…
We definitely didn't have a terrible two-year old, and the three year-old that you've become is just phenomenal.  You are definitely headstrong and like things just so, but you're also so funny and a great imitator, especially when you imitate your dad's antics!  Your vocabulary is still growing exponentially each day, and I still love our conversations.  You love being outside, especially at the "kitty park" (on our way to the park, there's a garden with a kitty boot scraper that you love to stop and talk to).  You still love reading books, often the same one over and over and over again, and excitedly ask to find books on specific topics when we visit the library.  You're always on the move, jumping, climbing, running, playing, which makes me value our snuggles and story time that much more, even when you sometimes ask for Tata to read your bedtime story, instead of me.  But you soften the blow with, "Next time, Mama, okay?" and a kiss, and I love the relationship that my boys have, so I happily sit on the floor and listen to Tata read a story.

Phew, I'm getting just as emotional as I was when I wrote my "Welcome to the World, Marko" post three years ago!  I am so blessed to be your Mama, and so awed by how much you've grown up in three short years.  It feels like just yesterday that we brought you home from the hospital, but also like you've always been a part of our lives.  If the past three years are any indication of how awesome life is now that you're a part of it, I can scarcely wait to find out what the next three years will hold.  Happy 3rd birthday, Marko, my beautiful baby boy.  I love you more than words can say.

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Thursday Tracks - Adore by Savages

Thursday Tracks is hosted over at Gone with the Words and gives me the opportunity to share another passion of mine -- MUSIC!

A former co-worker sent me an e-mail today that immediately intrigued me.  We've always swapped musical recommendations, but I knew he'd stumbled across something special when he sent me a message that said, "Forget every recommendation that I've ever given you, and go listen to this.  It's game changing."  I did just that, and immediately had goosebumps.  Just listen, and let me know what you think.

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On My Nightstand - February 3

Recently shelved as read:

Phew, what an intense book.  It had its slow moments for sure, but for most of the book I found myself cringing at all of the horrific things that Amanda experienced during her captivity.  I listened to it on audio, which led a sense of credibility to the story, but I found that it really bothered me that she co-wrote the book, since I felt that I was listening to her tell her own story, but using someone else's words to do so.  On the whole, a moving read, but the style of the story didn't quite work for me.  

On my nightstand:

I'm savouring the last hundred or so pages of Winter, and loving every minute of it.  I'm planning to read 27 pages per day of A Feast for Crows, with the goal of completing it by the end of February.  I'm only 50 pages in so far, but it already seems quite different from the last season of the show!

Calling my name from the shelf:

I've already decided that Six of Crows is going to happen this month, but I've also been eyeing Everything, Everything and have kind of been craving a contemporary?

How about you?  What are you reading this week!  Let's chat in the comments below and thanks for stopping by!

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February TBR

I love putting together my seasonal TBR posts, and took that a step further with my list of 16 books to read in 2016.  Although I'm definitely a mood reader and rarely stick to my planned TBR lists, I do enjoy putting them together.  I adore watching TBR videos on BookTube so I thought I'd start putting together my own TBR posts!

I'm not going to make these overly enthusiastic, but figure that I'll pick two books to read during the month and just see what happens from there.  These may be books off my book list, books to count towards challenges or simply books that I'm just in the mood to read.

A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
I signed up for a free Audible trial at the beginning of the year, when I feared that my reading slump would never end.  I picked A Feast for Crows as my free audiobook, but then fell into the Lunar Chronicles and forgot to pick this up!  I'd like to make a reading plan (inspired by Snuggly Oranges), which is what I did for the first two books.  February is a short month, but I'll need to read 27 pages per day in order to make it through the book in a month.  With audio and print on the go, I know that I can do it.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
This one has been calling my name from the shelf for a while now.  I bought my copy at the same time as Winter, but put off reading both of them due to my reading slump.  I think I'm ready, and game to knock one of the books off my 2016 TBR list!

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January Wrap-Up!

I know that this is going to be a theme each month, but how is it already the end of January?  I feel like 2016 just began, and now we're already a month in.

The Books

Books Read: 3 (Fairest, The Sculptor and The House in the Sky)
Finally, the end of my reading slump!  

Books Acquired: None
I'm not counting my Christmas book haul, since those books were technically from last year.

The Challenges

Prequel & Sequel Challenge: +1 (Fairest)
TBR Challenge: +1 (Fairest)
Around the Year in 52 Books: 3 challenges completed: a "between the numbers" books (Fairest), a book from the Goodreads Choice Awards (The Sculptor) and a memoir (The House in the Sky).

The Blog

January always seems like a busier blogging month, since there's so many new year's posts to share!  This month I started off with my bookish resolutions, wrapped up last year's challenges and then set goals for this year's challenges.  One of my favourite posts to share was my Christmas book haul!  I also set some series reading goals for myself, as well as a list of 16 books that I want to read in 2016.

I reviewed my last pending read but unreviewed review copy (Night Film) and talked openly about my reading slump.  I also brought back Marko Monday with a review of Alphabet Trains!

I joined Top Ten Tuesday and shared 2016 releases that I'm anticipating, as well as ten books that I recently added to my TBR list.

The Other Stuff

Christmas was pure magic this year, as I had expected.  It was absolutely spectacular to watch the magic of Christmas through Marko's eyes, especially when he saw the empty plate of cookies in the morning and realized that Santa really had come to visit and left presents under the tree.  Christmas was wonderful with my parents, and my dad even came home for the afternoon to open presents, rather than us hauling everything up to his extended care facility and opening gifts there.  It was really nice to relax at home while spending time with him, and made Christmas feel a lot more like it was before his accident.

Work is crazy busy, as always, but we did find a new marketing person and she's absolutely perfect.  I'm so happy to be back in my old job but grateful that I had the experience to take on a different role for a while, as well as gaining some experience with the hiring and training process.  I'm also back at school as of this week, so will be juggling work with school and trying to fit some reading in whenever I can because I am HOOKED on Winter and I can barely put the book down!  I'm supposed to be finished Chapter 1 and starting on Chapter 2 for school, and I haven't even picked the book up yet.  Part of the problem is that the textbook STINKS.  They must have used an awful smelling ink on the pages or something, so it's not inspiring good study habits for me.

The craziest bit of news is that Marko is going to be three in less than two weeks.  I cannot believe that I almost have a three year old and that he has grown up so quickly into such an amazing little man.  He is smart and kind and gentle and caring and fun loving and spunky and full of joy and everything that I could have hoped for in a child.  We've been asked on many, many occasions if we're planning to have a second child.  At this point, the answer is no, mainly because our condo is just too small for another baby, so we'd need to consider moving first.  I also feel that Marko is everything that I wanted in a child, and more, and I feel like my life is completely fulfilled with him in it.

What's happened in your life this past month?  Have you read anything interesting lately?  Are you sticking to your New Year's goals?  Let's chat in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by!

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Thursday Tracks - Love The Way You Lie

Thursday Tracks is hosted over at Gone with the Words and gives me the opportunity to share another passion of mine -- MUSIC!

At work, we've been taking turns playing DJ and supplying the music for the rest of us to enjoy while we work away.  Late last week, I was plugging away at some tasks when all of a sudden this song caught my attention, playing softly from my coworker's desk.  I immediately needed to know who the artist was, since I have a soft spot for acoustic covers!  I always loved Rihanna's part of the original, and this version just makes the whole song goosebump-inducing!  Here's Skylar Gray's version of "Love the Way You Lie."

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