A blog about life - the good, the bad, the people, the books, the games, and coffee.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Friday, 25 May 2018

Hi There

Hiya folks,

Lately it seems that my posts tend towards the catch-up variety...and it's okay. Here we are life keeps on ticking away, and we're nearly half way though 2018 0_0

Part of the reason why I've not been blogging as much as I would have liked to is pretty simply because I over extended myself this semester. Yip, I look at the year in terms of the first and second semester - the first one started about end Jan and is going on till the start of July when exams end. With teaching classes ending a week ago it feels like I can finally breathe. I'm definitely doing less next semester. Over extension is a real problem - I hope you don't end up doing the same to yourself. At it's worst I was having crying jags because I went to go sleep instead of keeping on pushing. Yip, not exactly the best thing. But it's better now, so that's something.

Onto the lighter things we go.

Keiden is being a busy, silly goose as ever :p He is making massive strides at swimming, and swimming on his own - with the pool noodle under his arms. He also went on his first flight, train ride and hotel stay in April. We went with Jerall on a Jhb work trip - bubble baths and showers were had :D Keiden was such a champ, the flight was just the right length for him. Bonus in that he is a much better flier than I am; I need meds and he doesn't. He still very excitedly talks about it, and is looking forward to our visit to PE to see his grandparents.

We've recently made the connection that Keiden is highly empathetic. A few things about him now makes a lot more sense to me. Now the trick is to work with it and use it to better understand and do what's best for him. Right now it means being more aware when watching shows with him, and less having him watching his lego shows without us.

Jerall is carrying on as his usual self, but has also taken on some more things. We're still figuring out that juggle as well as we can, but it should be more fixed in the next few weeks. This grown-up business is tough, and I'm so glad to have him to deal with it with me.

I'm going to end this post with asking how are you, and sharing some music videos that have just been on constant loop for me.

Ps. Janelle Monae is BOSS!

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Book Blitz: The Nerdy Necromancer

Hiya folks,

It's one of those posts I do to support my reading habit :p Not to forget that I do have this book in my TBR pile, plus I'm on a bit of a paranormal romance kick right now. So take a look, and enter the tour giveaway if that's your thing :)

The Nerdy Necromancer banner

The Nerdy Necromancer is only 99cents! Today Only!
You can get your copy of The Nerdy Necromancer for only 99 cents today only! Get your copy here.

The Nerdy NecromancerThe Nerdy Necromancer (The Deadicated Matchmaker #1)
By S.E. Babin
Helen Reaper has a weird relationship with the dead. As in she can bring anyone or anything back to life, so she’s constantly bombarded by people begging her to restore their loved ones, their pet fish, that cute girl who fell off a building while taking a selfie. Super. Annoying. So Helen becomes a necessary introvert and a homebody, choosing to absorb herself in books instead of real life.

The Deadication Dating Agency comes to her this time in the form of a mysterious letter and a cute little puppy.

They know someone who’s already dead who won’t mind her talent one little bit. Can a woman who raises the dead find a love that stays alive?

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of The Nerdy Necromancer. One winner will win a $25 Amazon Gift card.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Book Review: After All by Laurie Winter

After AllAfter All (Warriors of the Heart #3)
by Laurie Winter
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Adult
Release Date: April 18, 2018

Two years after lifesaving surgery left her infertile, Molly Hernandez is running full steam toward her goal of becoming a DEA Special Agent. She won’t be distracted by falling in love with an Army veteran who’s focused on settling down and making babies.

Drew Atwater delayed marriage and family until his Army career ended. Now, he has a one-year plan to find the woman of his dreams. Unfortunately, the only woman he wants is a spirited cop determined to leave their peaceful town.

While working with troubled teens, Molly and Drew discover they make a powerful team, but their opposing goals threaten to pull them miles apart. Can the power of unselfish love prove their future together will surpass any dream they could accomplish alone?

What I thought

This was a mostly interesting read, but it's not quite a 4 star read for me.

The usual "they just don't understand why the other doesn't get it" trope was given a variation on it by neither fully opening up, and being equally stubborn. It did though annoy me that Drew just wouldn't get a clue and leave Molly be. Well actually, Drew annoyed me he just wouldn't let Molly be, and he even drew in other woman when it was clear as day that he needed time to process the situation.

I do think that Molly's infertility was handled well, especially her interactions with her friends. Her desire to be supportive of her friends and respectful of her feelings, was well done. I must admit I thought things would go a certain way, when she was helping the teen. And it was great that it didn't.

*I'm a lucky fish and got an ARC of this read*

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Book Review: The Unlikeable Demon Hunter: Crave by Deborah Wilde

The Unlikeable Demon Hunter: Crave (Nava Katz, #4)The Unlikeable Demon Hunter: Crave by Deborah Wilde

What doesn’t kill you ...

seriously messes with your love life.

Nava is happily settling into her new relationship and life is all giddy joy and stolen kisses.

Except when it’s assassins. Talk about a mood killer.

She and Rohan are tracking the unlikely partnership between the Brotherhood and a witch who can bind demons, but every new piece of the puzzle is leaving them with more questions than answers.

And someone doesn’t appreciate them getting close to the truth.

Go figure.

On top of that, a demon known only as Candyman has unleashed a drug that’s harming users in extremely disturbing ways.

Nava vows to take this demon down. But will life as she knows it survive this mission, or will this be the one time she should have looked before she leapt?

Happily-ever-after? Barring death, she’s got a real shot at it.


What I thought

Nava and Ro *sigh*

Leo and Drio *double sigh*

Ari and Kane *triple sigh*

So here's the thing about a series, the character become your friends...you want things to go well for them, and when it doesn't...

There were so many times, I just wanted to reach into the book and slap them all upside the head :-/ Aside from the emotional turmoil caused by Nava and Ro, this read was all kinds of good. I mean it starts with Nava and Ro kissing - we've been waiting a long time for that - having a night off, and then jumps into snark and action.

The Candyman case, along with the ongoing investigation into the purple magic leads into some interesting moments. The least of which is what's up with Nava's magic - which is all kinds of "oooooh". We meet some new folks, Nava and her mom have a moment, Nava and Ro have moments...and then there's the interesting things we learn about them thanks to the interactions with the oshka.

I'm all in with the series. But now I need the next book like in my hands right now. So many things to clear up, and get answers too...and maybe some more Ro too :p

*I'm a lucky fish and on the authors ARC team.*

Monday, 2 April 2018

Currently - well more like it's been awhile

Well, hi there folks it's been awhile. It's a catch-up/currently post because I have some book related posts coming soon. I figured let's not just have a bunch of reviews.

Hmmmm since I last wrote there's been a few things. I finally got my mark for my MA. It's so much more than I was expecting, I got my degree cum laude aka a distinction :D The picture below is of Jerall and I post the graduation ceremony.

I got into my big dream university for my PhD. But funding is an issue...also that whole it's in an entirely different country. So while there are aspects of doing my PhD elsewhere, and the impact thereof on my career...career does not trump family. So I'm working on sorting it out to do my PhD at Stellenbosch. Writing it here, it's a short thing...but gosh did this whole thing stress me out. It's quite ridiculous how long it took and how it played out -_-

Keiden is happy at school. There were a few rough moments with him getting a new teacher, and some silly things with his friends. But overall he is happy and having fun, so that's a win. He's making great strides at swimming, and is swimming more and more by himself. Life skills ftw! On the not so great side, his paediatrician based on some recent bouts of sickness - and allergies - has given Keiden an asthma diagnosis. My kid is a rock star and so so good at the twice daily pump.

Jerall is being ever himself, so that's good. His thesis is a work in progress, but come September he should be submitting. So I've told him he has to start his PhD next year too :p

I may have sightly over extended myself, but busy is better than not. Am tutoring 2 third year modules and 1 first year module this semester. May tutor less next semester - need to try and get an article or two out of my M.

Overall, I think things are going generally well and on the positive side of contentment for my little family. And that's all good.

How have you been?

Friday, 16 February 2018

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Friday, 2 February 2018

Five for Friday: Shinning my light

Photo by Marcus Dall Col on Unsplash

This post is inspired by a chat with some of my peoples. We were talking about how there's a thing that women need to be all humble, humble, humble. And really we should shine the light on our accomplishments. So here are five I'm shining a light on.

I finished my MA in a year - that is freaking huge, especially in a department where most take three years. No more downplaying it for me, and saying I did stuff on it the year before when I was doing the diploma. I registered for my MA Jan 2017, and submitted end October 2017 - so actually less than a year, but hey I'm still waiting for my mark.

I have finally completed a 30 days of yoga challenge. Folks I've been trying to do it for three years, and this year it happened. Also I'm at 31 days of it now...and am going to ride the wave as far as I can. It's become so ingrained that both J and K tend to ask when I'm going to do it when we get home in the evenings.

I got accepted into a PhD programme at a UK university. Funding is an issue, but you know what...my proposal for my research was so good, they want me. Totally got to remember that.

I have an 81 day streak on Duolingo, that means I've set aside time 81 days in a row to learn a language or three. I'm taking action to make things happen.

A soppy one. Tomorrow Jerall and I will have been a couple for 14 years - that's an accomplishment. The work and love that goes into a relationship is astounding. And I'm proud to be half of a pair that's getting it right.

Want to share some of yours?

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Now you are four

Dear Keiden,

Today you turned four, and as you keep on telling us it means you're big boy now. Sometimes I'm not to sure about that, but I do know that you're most definitely not the little monkey we brought home from the hospital. Instead, now you're a fully blown silly goose. Well also a kiddie-binki, a silly, mommy's love, kiddio, goosey-loosey, sweetie pie, silly nanana and always mommy's baby.

Your year of three has been an interesting one. You started swimming lessons - you took some time to get into it, but now it's one of your favourite things. You go to lessons on Friday afternoons, then we have lunch at daddy's office, after which you and I go to the library and gardens. Sometimes, we both have silly moments, but mostly mommy really enjoys spending that time with you. We both agree that books are awesome :D

It's also been the year that Lego became a big thing for you. You decided that duplo was for babies, and as you're a big boy it'll only be Lego proper for you. Fortunately when you decided this, there was friend having a birthday who got to enjoy getting lots of blocks. You have spent hours and hours "reading" the instruction books, paging through the Lego catalogue, watching lego videos on youtube and building ALL THE THINGS. You often build something, and tell me to take a picture. Something you and daddy do often is see a cool toy - like your friend's marble maze, and then go home and build it from lego. You make up some great adventures and stories for your mini figs...all while asking me if mine can play too (it's still a no on that goose).

Given how much lego has been a big thing for you, it's not surprising that your first movie at the cinema was Lego Batman. And while you liked Batman, he still doesn't top your love for Captain America and Star Wars. Speaking of Star Wars, the Last Jedi was your second ever movie at the cinema. I'm still disturbed though by you being a big fan of Darth Vader and Kylo Ren...it just doesn't mesh with how much you like Luke, Asoka, Ezra and Rei. You really enjoyed your advent calendar, and very generously gave mommy the builds and mini figs you weren't that keen on :p

Although goose, its not surprising that you happily share. Your kindness is something I'm in awe of, also it's something school mentions in your reports, along with your dance moves (dance moves that are something all you, mommy and daddy don't have any). Your kindness, gentleness and caring heart are something that explains just why you seem to have many friends at school. Although, I'd appreciate if you'd remember that P is your friend that is a girl, not girlfriend. 

You've settled in more at school, something I'm glad happened. It seems Keiden, that while you're slow to warm to people, once you've decided that someone is your friend they're your friend for always. This also means you want to see your friends all the time. So school holidays were tough for you, you missed seeing your people. E is one of your people not from school, and goodness do you love seeing him. It's a good thing that his parents and yours are friends too. He and his mom are often people we ask to come with on our exploring.

Our exploring has carried on, but sometimes you just want to stay at home and not do much. Well other than build, read some stories and play "cooking game" with daddy. Playing in your kitchen, or playing cooking games with daddy on his computer are such fun for you. But not as much fun as when you and daddy cook or bake together. Your year of three had you making sandwiches, stirring all the pots, and making cheese sauce and pancakes. I hope that cooking stays something you enjoy.

Three was the year when you moved away from baby and toddler things to big boy life. And while it's been great to see, it's also been hard. Your stubbornness has been something epic, not to mention this habit of back chat. Best you sort that out this year :p

My Keiden, there is no one and there will never be anyone like you EVER. 

Love you lots and lots,

Friday, 19 January 2018

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Book Thursday: Dragon School: Initiate by Sarah K L Wilson [Review]

Magic comes to Dragon School. Can it be trusted? 

With First Flight behind her, sixteen-year-old Amel believes she can finally settle into her studies and learn to be a Dragon Rider. 

But when a friend is brutally injured, another has a dark secret, and Amel is entrusted with a vital message, she must question where her loyalties lie. Worse, Magikas have arrived at Dragon School and they bring both change and new prejudice against Amel. 

With the home Amel found at Dragon School quickly disappearing, will she know who to trust or will her new friendships disappear as quickly as her safety? 

My thoughts

Dragon School: Initiate

Well hello second book of action packed punches.

In this read - which is far too short, I need more answers - the world is fleshed out much more with magic beyond that we see at the school shows up. It's great seeing Amel find her feet around the school and with those who keep on doubting she'll make it. Her growing relationships with those around her is great to see. Not to forget that while she can dither on making a decision when needed she can be decisive and get things done.

It's another enjoyable four stars for this read from me.

*I'm a lucky fish and received an ARC of this*

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

The power of music

I was introduced to The Cranberries, well Zombie specifically by the older daughter of friends of my parents. She changed the way I saw music, and the world. From it I learnt that the world was so much more, and bigger,  than my ugly family bubble. That anger could lead to something beautiful and powerful. And that, that power could change the world.

I find it fitting that the words that best describe the loss of Dolores O'Riordan comes from another musician we lost, Chester Bennington [who wrote the song for the loss of Chris Cornell]

If they say
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone's time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We're quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do

Friday, 12 January 2018

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Book Thursday: Dragon School: First Flight by Sarah K L Wilson [Review]

Join Dragon School. Learn to Fly. 

Sixteen-year-old Amel arrived at Dragon School just like everyone else – with a dream to ride dragons and join the Dominion Dragon Riders.

But Amel has a crippled leg and Dragon School training is grueling. Before she can even become an initiate, she must complete her First Flight on a dragon. 

Can Amel survive First Flight and become a Dragon School initiate or will her dreams dash on the rocks below?


My thoughts

Dragon School: First Flight
This was an enjoyable taster of a fascinating world. I really enjoyed the pace of it, the protagonist, and the other cast of characters. It's a really quick read that grabs you from start to finish.

It's a four star read for me.

There are two things that stopped this from being a five star read: I didn't enjoy that the school despite the attention made to it not mattering who you were before with all being equal as a dragon rider, this was not done with the dragon selection. I understand that it shows the other factors at play, but it would have been great if Amel wasn't the last to pick her dragon. Another quibble is about the dragons, if her chosen one was so special why how did he make it to last pick?

*I'm a lucky fish who got given an ARC of the book*

Monday, 8 January 2018

You contain multitudes

Photo by Robson Hatsukami Morgan on Unsplash

You contain multitudes.

Your issue/thought/concern X matters because you matter - the right people will understand this.

Your multitudes mean that you can see and care about the state of the world, all of it's ugh and ugly and tear inducing horrors...all while being annoyed by bad coffee. 

You matter.

But while you matter it does not mean that you can treat anyone like they and their concerns matter less than you and your concerns. There is no scale of who matters and who doesn't - find people who understand this.

Find people who understand that while they have BIG things going on, it doesn't mean your things aren't BIG too.

Treat and care as you desire to be treated and cared about.

You matter.

You contain multitudes.

There has never been, there is not now, and there will never be someone like you.

You are multitudes.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Book Thursday: Modern Persuasion by Sara Marks [Review]

Modern PersuasionModern Persuasion (21st Century Austen #1)
by Sara Marks
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Which would you pick: the person you love or your own dreams?

What would you do if given a second chance at that decision?

Eight years ago Emma Shaw picked her career and family over the man she loved, Fredrick Wentworth. Since then she has built a career in publishing and spends her free time making sure her father and sisters are taken care of. Fredrick has spent the same years building his career as a screenwriter under increasing public scrutiny as a celebrity. When the editor of Fredrick’s first book is injured, Emma is forced to travel with Fredrick on his book tour.

Tension builds for the two former lovers over the course of the tour. Emma and Fredrick must face their emotional baggage and their misunderstanding about how their break-up impacted the other. Will they be able to find their way back together for a second chance at love? 

My thoughts

For the most this was an enjoyable read, but there were some moments of pacing that just didn't work for me. I enjoyed the ways in which the characters grappled with their emotions, each other and the situation. I was not a fan of the way everyone in Fredrick's life loved her - it just felt forced. I am a fan of the use of messaging within the novel.

His half in agony, half in hope "letter" had some rare moments of insight into Fredrick's perspectives of some moments, but ultimately it felt like a recap of everything I had just read...a waste of space, and part of the pacing issue.

If you're thinking this is because it's a re-telling of a loved Austen, it's not. Persuasion is the one Austen I haven't read - I do though know the general gist of it, and the way in which it was used in other books and a movie. It's actually because I haven't read Persuasion that I thought I could give this book a whirl - I'm cautious around re-tellings.

*I'm a lucky fish and got a given a copy of the book.*

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Transformation - my word for 2018

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash
Let me specify, positive transformation that it :p The word for the year thing works better for me than resolutions. The goals I want to achieve are all related to my self transformation. So here are my goals in no particular order.

  • Create more, consume less/with more purpose. This will be done with 3 blog posts a week, more colouring in, less mindless scrolling and reading, reading more nonfiction. Creating more also means writing an article or two from my thesis.
  • Have fewer moments of feeling not enough/not good enough/that I don't belong. This means more therapy, more reflection and tons of interior work. It also works with my keep on learning, focus on the visual studies plan for this year, keep on doing duolingo, and PhD dreams.
  • Feel less hate towards my body. This means I need to treat it better, do exercise, watch my portions, treat it with care.
Do you have a word for the year? Goals?

Monday, 1 January 2018

About Me

My photo

Me in a nutshell: I game, read, tweet, enjoy good food, have bouts of red pen rage and I'm a coffee snob.

tums2tots columnist

2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Cassey has read 0 books toward their goal of 100 books.

2017 Reading Challenge

Cassey has read 1 book toward their goal of 200 books.

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Cassey has read 9 books toward a goal of 100 books.

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