Instagraming February!

Hello hello!

I’m so happy that March is finally here. Although we’re expected some snow today, it still feels like the end of winter is near. This weekend, I’m trying to get my receipts in order to do my taxes (ugh) and I’m going to watch some curling tonight.

Anyway, here’s what I was up to in February:
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Started painting my kitchen Gumball Red! // Winterfell scarf complete! post here // Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cookies for brother’s birthday // Dogs sitting in the front seat makes me happy // Double chocolate cheesecake for my dad’s birthday – recipe here // Lovely sunset // Picked up entertainment unit from IKEA. Took 2 hours to put together!  // Watched the 1914 film, Cinderella and became a bit obsessed with intertitles – post here.  // Painting other side of the kitchen // Spaghetti squash bake kinda based on this recipe // These snow banks are ridiculous // Rereading Bridget Jones’s Diary // Glossybox cupcake cups – post here // Another lovely sunset

What have you been up to this February? I love following new instagrammers. Follow me on instagram @Lesleylu and I’ll be sure to follow back! x

WIPW: Winterfell scarf is complete!

Well, we’re halfway through winter and my Winterfell scarf is finally complete. Just in case you needed evidence of how nerdy I am, here you go.

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This is a follow up from this post. This scarf came together quite quickly. I just had to keep putting it on the side to work on other things. Can you believe there was a time when I thought I would run out of things to knit or crochet? Seems so ridiculous now.

An adjustment I made to the pattern was to line the back with fleece. Yay for $5 remnants at Fabricland! I also added a crochet picot edge. It wasn’t the exact edging I wanted. I could see it in my mind, but I didn’t know what it was called so I did this in the meantime.

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In other nerd news, I was way too excited by the confirmation of the identity of Richard III. History + Who Do You Think You Are? + Science=AWESOME!

What’s on your needles at the moment?

Instagraming January!

Hello hello!

I’ve started to paint my kitchen red. I’m loving how it’s looking so far. Such a relief considering how dark the colour is. It’s a bit scary to paint the first stripe. I can’t wait to show you!

Anyway, here’s what I was up to in January:

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Coffee on New Year’s Day! // Mittens in progress. Now frogged because I don’t like how they turned out. The yarn is so pretty though. // Enjoying the gorgeous big blue Manitoba sky // Working on Missoni blanket again. It’s been over a year already! // First day back to class // Winter is coming scarf // Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Obsessed with this book. // Isn’t it cute that I thought -34C was cold when -44C was just around the corner? // I love my Travel & Leisure subscription but sometimes they’re rubbing it in. // Sprinkles! // Making scones // Treated parents to Creme Brulee French Toast. Recipe here. // Tea Cozy! Post here // Born to be Brad – Love this book! // Chevron NOTD // Sundogs!

What have you been up to this January? I love following new instagrammers. Follow me on instagram @Lesleylu and I’ll be sure to follow back! x

Pretty Reads: Favourite Books of 2012!

Hello hello!

I hope you all had a very enjoyable holiday!! Unfortunately, I was having some pretty awful allergy problems so it wasn’t the best it could be but I’ve definitely had worse. 🙂

This year, I found that I had a lot of books that I loved which is terrific. Thanks to Goodreads, I’m actually able to remember them by the time December rolls around. Honestly, what did I do before Goodreads? I love it so much! Also, I easily achieved my goal of reading 60 books this year. This went a lot better than last year’s goal of 50 that I kept putting off until the fall and then rushed to complete. Using goodreads to track books actually reminds me to make more time for reading. It’s so easy to put it off when you can easily spend an hour on your iphone doing nothing.

Anyway, here are my favourite books for 2012!

1. Favourite Thriller: Before I Go To Sleep – S.J. Watson

This was easy for me. I literally could not put it down. It’s a quick read but I was so anxious about the outcome that I couldn’t stand to wait until the morning. I think I stayed up until about 3 am to finish this. Then I just laid back, stared at the ceiling and thought about it some more. I loved the layout as you discover what’s happening at the same time as the main character. Fantastic!

2. Most Unexpected Favourite: The Sisters Brothers – Patrick DeWitt

This was a book club selection. Otherwise, I’m not sure I’d have ever picked it up. I mean, it’s a Western and that’s not really my think, is it? However, I really found this book to be so interesting. It was another one of those stories where you don’t really have all the information until the end so even if it’s not really a mystery there are some things you’re curious about. This book details the relationship of The Sisters brothers who are hired hit men as they go in search of their latest job. The dynamic between the brothers was really interesting and I liked how their roles changed throughout the book. I also really enjoyed how much joy they got from brushing their teeth for the first time.

3. Favourite New (to me) Series: Her Royal Spyness – Rhys Bowen

Easy for me to pick this series. I love it so much as you may have read here. I have to say I really enjoyed watching the Downton Abbey Christmas Special where they visit Scotland. I thought that Lady Georgiana would approve.

4. Favourite Memoir: Paris in Love – Eloisa James

I am a sucker for an expat in Paris memoir. Unfortunately, I never enjoy them as much as I think I’m going to. Fortunately, I really loved this book. Their life in Paris wasn’t really a non stop drama like many of these memoirs are. It was really just a snapshot of their day to day lives. That’s always the part of travelling that I love the best. The imagining that you live in that particular city at that moment. This is why I never really come back with a lot of stuff. I can’t stand to be in stores when I can be walking the streets!

beautifulruins5. Best Travel Fantasy: Beautiful Ruins – Jess Walter

Speaking of travel, I don’t think I visualized a book more this year than Beautiful Ruins. It was such a lovely story combining all of my favourite things : old hollywood, Italy and mystery. It really made me wish I were luxuriating on the coast of the Italian Riveria. {Book Image}

6. Best Chick Lit: Ten Girls to Watch – Charity Shumway

This was actually a recommendation I found on Freshly Pressed! I’m not sure I would have come across this book otherwise. The basic premise is that Dawn finally has her first proper magazine job which is to research the previous winners of a magazine’s Ten Girls To Watch for its 50th Anniversary. Of course there’s roommate and boyfriend drama but that’s not really what I was so impressed with. It’s embarrassing to say this but it was one of the few books I’ve read in this genre where all the women mentors are really very supportive. There’s no Miranda Priestly types here.  I honestly expected some kind of backstabbing, manipulative woman to show up at some point. However, that’s not the purpose of the book. It’s about navigating her life as a new professional  not how many times can she be humiliated in 400 pages.

7. Favourite Ensemble: A Game of Thrones – George RR Martin

You all know how obsessed I am with this series. Hence the scarf:
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Now that my holiday presents are complete, I should be able to finish this by the end of the weekend. Nerdtastic!

8. Favourite Historical Fiction : The Queen of Last Hopes: The Story of Margaret of Anjou – Susan Higginbotham

I didn’t read as much historical fiction as I did last year which surprised me. I really liked this book as I knew very little about this particular part of history. This was a Goodreads European Royalty Book Club pick. I find it so interesting that many of these stories have suspicions about the heir’s actual parentage. It’s as though the easiest way to bring down a house is to imply that the wife was unfaithful. Sadly, this continues through to the present day. However, at least now there’s DNA testing to silence the critics.

9. Favourite Real Life Book Club Pick : The Forgotten Garden – Kate Morten

This was one of my picks for our book club this year but that’s not the reason it’s on the list! I really loved it! I loved that this story had many different plot points that worked so well together. This story has romantic elements but it’s essentially about the inner dynamics of a family and what you’re willing to give up to keep others happy. This was the first book I’ve read from this author and I can’t wait to read the rest!

10. Favourite Book that lived up to its Hype : Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

I really did not want to read this book. I didn’t like the title or the cover art for some reason. On that basis alone, I decided it was not the book for me. However, I couldn’t ignore how often I read about it on one book blog or another. In the end, I decided to pick it up from the library and just give it a go. I had no expectations except maybe wanting to not like it. Well, this was a literal don’t-judge-a-book-by-its-cover moment. Much like Before I Go To Sleep, I could not put this down. I think I was up until 3 or 4 am with this. I had put it down a few times in a effort to go to sleep but I was too anxious about what was happening. I literally gasped three times during this book and once I finished, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

What was your favourite book this year? Let me know! Also, please join me on Goodreads!

Winter is Coming…

Well, they’ve forecasted that we’ll receive 20 cm of snow over the next day or so. It looks like it’s going to stay this time. 😦

To be honest, our city does such a fantastic job of clearing snow that I’ve only ever had two snow days in my life. Trust me, Winnipeggers get a lot of snow! However, if I don’t absolutely have to leave the house, I’d rather stay in until the roads are all clear and the sun is shining.

Here’s what I have prepared for the event of a snow in:

– Watching movies from the library: Why haven’t I ever thought of this before? I knew the library had DVDs but I didn’t realize how current the selection was. This is so great since I don’t have cable and there’s rental places around here anymore.

– Reading JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy: This month’s book club pick.

– Knitting my Winterfell scarf: Inspired by the patterns here and here. I’m such a Song of Ice and Fire geek I don’t even care.

– Studying Fairy Tales : presentation during Monday’s class!

How would you spend your day if you were snowed in?

 

Current Crush Thursday: Fancy Knitted Socks

Current Crush Thursdays

This month, you can link up at The Wright Stuff.

Ever since I began knitting just over a year ago, I’ve been dreaming of creating a pair of pretty, fancy socks. I have to admit that I’m a bit intimidated about the double pointed needles so I keep putting it off. I’ve found with knitting and crochet that things are a lot easier when you break it down step by step but I’m still nervous about it. I’ve decided to make a pair soon because I’d like to give them out to my parents and brother for Christmas presents. I better start practicing. Do you have any tips?


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What are you crushing on at the moment?

Music Monday : Girl Gone Wild – Madonna

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend? Are you still enjoying a long weekend? It was a chilly weekend for us in Winnipeg. I even noticed a few snow flakes this morning. Hmm…hope it’s only a temporary glitch. I got a lot of work done on the new baby blanket and read two books! Small books but books notheless.

They were Austenland by Shannon Hale and Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson. Austenland is cute but nothing particularly special. There was a twist at the end that saved the book for me. That said, I just noticed there’s a sequel and I’ll probably read it.  Before I Go to Sleep was FANTASTIC! I saw this recommended on a book blog but I don’t remember which one. It’s a very fast paced thriller and the kind that needs to be read in a day or two. I highly recommend it.

Today’s song is brought to you by the Queen of All Things Madonna. Love this song! It’s accompanied by a very gorgeous black & white video. Classic Madonna. I can’t wait for a remix of this song. I think it’s going to be amazing when remixed.

 How was your weekend? Did the Easter bunny come?

Music Monday : End Credits – Chase & Status ft. Plan B

Happy Monday!

What did you get up to? After driving a lot for work on Thursday & Friday (6 hours each way), I just wanted to laze about. I spent a lot of time on Netflix watching Austenesque movies while knitting. Over the course of the weekend, I watched Sense & Sensibility, North & South, Jane Austen Book Club (love this one) and Pride & Prejudice. I couldn’t stop! Do you ever go through those phases where you just want to watch or read a certain type of thing?

I haven’t been able to get this song out of my head for the past few days. It’s a few years old but it’s perfection.

 How was your weekend? What song is stuck in your head?

Work in Progress Wednesday: Missoni Inspired Blanket

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a WIPW. That’s because I haven’t been doing anything crafty lately. I missed it!! I was hoping to get 25% of the pattern done by the end of February but that did not happen. It takes longer than you imagine because the needles are small. I feel like I’ve really picked up the pace now that I’m confident in the pattern. Because I’m still so new to crochet & knitting, I tend to second guess every stitch which takes up so much time! Now I can at least watch tv while I do this and not have to run to the pattern every other second. I will give this until next week and then I’ll have to hold off until I finish my cousin’s baby blanket present which has not been started.

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The pattern can be found on Ravelry. I’m loosely following the colours in the pattern. The ones I like I’m keeping otherwise I’ll be adjusting slightly. I thik I’m going to keep it with cooler tones but we’ll see how we do. I’ve only been buying the yarn as I get to it to try to keep my stash at a manageable level. 🙂 Honestly, Ravelry is the coolest place every for knitting ideas and patterns. I paid for this one and it was worth every penny ($4 AUD)! Ravelry has helped me learn a lot and has made me more confident in my knitting. If you’re into knitting and crochet and you’re not on Ravlery, you really have to get on there!

What are you currently working on? xx

Music Monday : Ariel vs Lotus – Limblifter

Happy Monday!

I had an ok weekend. It was a bit chilly but very sunny so it felt warmer than it was. Bingo was a lot of fun. There is such a random assortment of people at bingo that you can’t help but love it.  I also caught up on some long overdue knitting. I’ve also been watching a lot of Hotel Babylon on Netflix. I really watch the most random assortment of things on Netflix. If you have Netflix Canada, please send me some recommendations!

Today’s song just popped in my head yesterday completely out of nowhere. I don’t even know the last  time I heard this song. It could be years. Limblifter was Canadian band in the 90s. I don’t think they’re still together but I could be wrong. I was a bit obsessed with them and their previous band Age of Electric. The 90s were a great time for Canadian music. That was pretty much all I listened to at the time. I really have to upload some of my old cds to my ipod.

This week sees me heading to Saskatchewan for a few days (looks like 4 at least) for work. Hopefully the sun stays out for the drive!

 How was your weekend?