Month: February 2017

Adding Biographies to my TBR list

I don’t think I’ve ever read a full on biography before, have I? I honestly can’t remember and I’ve been meaning to look at a few titles in the last few months. I’ve read snippets of history about people but never a published biography. 

I don’t think I have a specific kind of person to read about, I just want to read a published biography, possibly of someone alive. I do enjoy reading about the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci and Alexander the Great but I feel like I want to read about a pop culture person. I’m totally stepping out of my comfort zone here but it’d be an interesting challenge to find a few biographies and read them, give them an honest review. Maybe I’d find it entertaining, who knows? But I definitely want to add a few to my 2017 TBR list. 

Drop me a line in the comments if you have any suggestions 🙂

Xo

Book Review: The Liar by Nora Roberts

Just a quick synopsis and then I’ll elaborate on what I thought about this book. Contains spoilers, just thought I’d throw that out there.

Shelby Pomeroy, mother of three year old, Callie, has recently been widowed and found out that her husband was a gigantic liar and asshole, and he left her up to her eyeballs in debt. After she manages to sell off some things from her lavish lifestyle, she moves back to her small home town in Tennessee. She’s determined and headstrong to make a better life for herself and her daughter as well as rekindle past relationships with her family and friends. She also encounters romance and danger on the way.

I do love me a good cheesy romance with some suspense in it. Whoever said chivalry is dead has been unfortunately misinformed. I loved Griffin, as I’ve love many of the heroes in a book. He was flirty, kind, courteous and kinda hot, as the book implied throughout. I agreed with Shelby’s take on her life, owning up to her mistakes and not beneath fixing it. The only issue I had with story itself was that her dead husband, who wasn’t really dead showed up too late in the book. During the first few pages when it was indicted his body was never found at sea, I predicted off the bat that he was alive and he’d be the main villain. However, I love a good cheese fest so I stuck with it and it was a nice little book overall, I rated it a three on Goodreads.

What I could’ve done without in this book was the clutter, and I felt like it was more clutter than detail. Many times I felt like putting this book down and starting another but I’d recently done that with The Sun Is Also A Star, and I just couldn’t haul the guilt of leaving two books unfinished back to back. So I stuck it out. There were a lot of characters in this book, Shelby having a large family and all and sometimes I mixed up the characters names’ that were named after each other, such as the son and father or grandson and grandfather. There were also unnecessary details included about not so important characters and that was a bore fest. It was just a bit much and could’ve been omitted in my opinion.

XO

My Strange Addiction to Paper

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After I learned that this was an actual thing, I can be a little open about it. I’d often think that there was something wrong with me. Something childish that I never grew out of or just something completely ridiculous and it does still seem so, but it’s an actual thing and other people enjoy it as well.

So ever since I was a child, I would enjoy flipping through books, like all of the pages and smelling them. This is pretty normal, right? Everyone does it from time to time, especially avid readers like myself. Well here’s where it got confusing for me. I love to just sit and flip pages, each and every one of them until I reach to the end of the book and then flip them all the way back to the beginning. And while I’m watching TV or studying I keep doing this over and over and over, flipping back and forth.

I especially enjoy the feel of the paper against my fingers and the sound it makes, as well as the sound of the page turning. I can’t explain it, but I love it. I couldn’t make a connection whether it was therapeutic or relaxing to me until recently. I do this a lot in private and when my husband or anyone walks in, I quickly shut the book or pretend I was reading it, because I feel stupid about flipping pages for no reason.

A few months ago I was looking for a video on calming sounds on Youtube, I just love the sound of rain falling and thunder so I was looking. I then came across a video with a woman flipping pages of a telephone book or a magazine. It was labelled ASMR Page Turning. My curiosity of course got the better of me because it was still a strange thing to me at that time so I scrolled down to the comments and it was mind blowing how many people found this relaxing. It was amazing to me that people enjoyed different kinds of paper sounds whether it be thick, or newspaper etc.

I’ve never discussed my little habit with anyone before as I think I’ll still get some weird stares. Only people who share the same love of page turning will totally get this. Let me know what sounds relax you!

Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a tingly experience characterized by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine, precipitating relaxation. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)

xo Coffee Doll

Image: Pixabay.com

Why My Facebook Activity Has Declined Significantly

A few years ago I’ve started recognizing people’s lack of ability to respect others’ space even on a social media platform. I’d share entertaining posts, posts that related to me on a personal level, posts that made me angry or sad…basically I’d share my opinions on a lot of things.

I would think that MY profile is my own to do as I wish and it’s nobody’s business if they approve or not of what I post. But this isn’t the case. As the years progress, it’s getting even worse. Anything can offend anyone and believe me when I say everything offends someone.

I don’t check my notifications as often as before, actually I dread opening my app now. The bad news puts me off but it’s a part of life, something we can’t completely hide from. But it’s the stupidity and the ignoramuses behind their keyboards who feel like it’s their duty to dictate what the content of another person’s comment is. It’s the bullying, the shaming, the lack of respect for differences. It’s sickening to a point where I feel like I’d love to delete the app some day. But I do use it as a means to keep in contact with friends and family living on a different continent.

I’ve removed my children’s photos from FB now as I don’t even wish to socialize on that level. I don’t have strangers on my friends list either, it’s either people I’ve gone to school with or were acquainted with, and family. And yet it’s easier to use platforms like WordPress, Twitter, Instagram with a pseudonym and get my opinions across. People choose whether they want to read my content or not and move on. Ugh, I hate to rant in my first post for the week. Does anyone else have this problem with expressing your opinions and being attacked for it?

xo Coffee Doll

The Guilt of Not Finishing A Book

Even though I know it’s not the truth, I still feel like the only failure in the world to not finish reading a book. I feel ashamed to disclose whatever reasons I may have for not completing an entire book. My reasons may be ridiculous to other people. I can’t begin to describe the feelings of unworthiness and incompetence as a reader when I leave a book unfinished, and I have no idea why I am like this. I mean, I’m comfortable with other ridiculous things that I do so why not this one?

Like I’ve said a billions times on this blog(that may be slightly exaggerated), I am a lover of storytelling. When I say this, it means I appreciate all stories. They’ve taken birth from somewhere special and was conveyed in a way that maybe we can’t always see fit but the author does see the magic in their writing. And that to me, is special. To us it may be easy to nitpick an author’s work but to them, they know why everything happened the way it did and why everyone is the way they are.

I do leave negative reviews in a sense. I don’t always love a character or a story line, or the unnecessary clutter in a book and I do elaborate on it in a review which is fine. It’s not blatant hate of an author, it’s just feedback. Yet I feel so guilt-ridden when I can’t finish the story or even care to know what happens.

Most recently was The Sun is Also  a Star by Nicola Yoon. I’m sure it was a fine book to the audience that it catered too. I felt like it would’ve been an interesting book after I heard a review on it but after a hundred or so pages, I just couldn’t do it anymore. It was just not for me. There’s still a niggling voice in my head that’s telling me I have to eventually finish this book, which I dread, but I may have to comply at some point.

xo Coffee Doll

They Discontinued My Glucose Monitor

A lot of people use the glucose meters that their insurance covers, however, I have bought all of the meters that I own and continue to buy lancets and test strips. I’ve gone through quite a number of them and I do have to say, I have favorites. There’s a number of factors that come into play when I decide to purchase a glucose meter. That being: Price, quality, accuracy and availability. My current meter has been discontinued so you could imagine I’m out of sorts at the moment looking at reviews and videos online trying to decide which I should go with.

OneTouch was my first machine, those little ones that come in different colors. Of course I was a brand new diabetic and being a gal, I wanted the pink one. It was definitely one of the more expensive options and it’s strips cost an arm an a leg. When you’re diabetic, you have to test a few times daily and it becomes costly so I needed to find another option.

AccuChek was the second one I bought and it confused the heck out of me. Not only was it a costly buy but there’s different types of Accuchek meters, which I didn’t know at the time. I think I paid about twenty dollars for a box of the unique lancets which could only be used with a particular Accuchek machine and it was the wrong set. I wasn’t about to pay to return this wrong box of lancets but I quickly decided I needed to change meters. I needed something simple that could be used with the standard type lancets which are available at all times.

The third and final one I’ve been using for years is the TrueResult glucose meter. Reasons why I fell in love with it? Not only was it cheaper and made it economically possible for me to test my blood sugar daily, the pricks didn’t hurt my fingers and a very minute amount of blood was needed for a reading. I know what you’re thinking, cheaper may not always be the best but the reviews were great and I even tried it out side by side with my Accuchek and it seemed pretty accurate.

Well now I’m back to square one searching for a cost-effective meter so if you have any suggestions please drop them in the comments. Another issue I have with availability is that it needs to be available for purchase online. Strips at the actual stores are doubled in price!

xo Coffee Doll

A Mother’s Valentine(Short Story)

With a slouched stance, I look around the sitting room and let out a hoarse groan. Everything, everywhere. I lift my hand slowly with the intention of aggressively yanking out a few strands of hair but I made a fist instead.

I slumped into the rocking chair and a frustrated cry erupted from my throat. I lift my thigh and find a single pink lego. Those things are weapons. My feet and buttocks can attest to that.

One child is busy making a mess of the dominoes pieces, and I let her, because as a parent, you need to choose your battles. The other is singing, or dancing or, I just don’t know. All I know is, she’s moving around and it makes me dizzy and I also can’t hear myself think.

From the corner of my eyes, I see him swing the broom out of its usual dusty corner. He doesn’t have to but he does it anyway. We’re partners, equal halves. Although I feel like he bears most of the weight, I get treated like a more delicate half.

He sighs and looks at me before dragging the broom across the hardwood floor. “Honey, why don’t you take one child and go to the mall today? I’ll clean up around here.”

And my heart leaps.

I also feel this ball of guilt straining against my breastbone.

He doesn’t have to do all of this, for me.

Something he taught me, makes me jump at the opportunity to get out of the house for a short while. I didn’t always have an easy time accepting my husband’s kindness until I understood that he respected me as deeply as he loved me. He’s not as good with words as I am, but his actions speaks volumes.

© Coffee Doll All Rights Reserved

 

Why I don’t do Valentine’s Day

heart-762564_640When people hear me say that I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, I usually get frowns and smirks. Automatically that person thinks maybe she’s being sour because she’s all alone on Valentine’s Day or maybe her partner just doesn’t love her that much. I’ve heard women speak, and yes, even Valentine’s Day is a competition. It’s sometimes about whose significant other is more romantic, and it can be seen all over social media on February 14th.

I’ve went through different phrases of Valentine’s Day and most of them were spent like a normal day and I’ll share why in a bit. I’m not sure how the entire world celebrates Valentine’s Day but on this side of the globe, we’re conditioned from a very young age in believing that love should be celebrated in some extravagant way on this day. We’re made to feel that if the day isn’t spent  with “over-the-top” romance, then it’s a failure. We put so much effort into making this day special for our significant others, and we also set the expectation bar very high.

As a teenager, I saw a lot of female peers getting pampered and taken out on fancy dinners on this day and I’d always wondered what that felt like. When it was my turn to receive those cuddly bears and fattening chocolates, there was a certain anticipation. After I experienced a typical Valentine’s Day, it eventually turned February 15th and I asked myself…what was the point of that?

Giving it some thought, I finally derived what was the true meaning of Valentine’s Day. It’s part of our culture and it’s also a monumental commercial season. I won’t get into the marketing aspects of how little pink and red things get sold around Valentine’s Day to make someone feel special for five minutes, but I will say…aren’t you in love for the other three hundred and sixty four days of the year? Why do we limit love to just one day? And if you surprise your partner on other days, then why the need to promote romance on this one particular day?

Whenever I think of love…I have it, unconditionally at all times and I’m talking about parental love, love from family, friends, pets, etc. Whenever I think of candies and chocolates, I don’t want anymore. I’m diabetic and my kids are still developing teeth but it won’t stop my spouse from bringing it home every other day. I’m sure most of us go on dinners, outings, trips all year around so pardon me if I can’t fully comprehend what differentiates February 14th from all the other days of the year. I’d still love to hear how this day affects you and your partner, and why, and maybe put together a post on it.

xoxo Coffee Doll

Image: pixabay.com

A Day in the Life of a Diabetic Part 2

It’s seven a.m. and I’m faced with a dilemma. To eat or not to eat. I roll of the bed and start moving around. I look at the clock and it’s suddenly 7:18 a.m. I accomplish nothing important in eighteen minutes.

I’m thinking again, do I have a cup of coffee or do I risk a dizzy spell and get my preschooler to school early. I could never be one of those sprightly morning people, yet I do love getting things done early. My day seems to fit better.

I decide against the coffee before school drop off, and wake my four year old. I duck into the kitchen to warm milk for the baby before I wake her up. It saves me some wailing if it’s ready and waiting when she wakes up. I walk back into the kids’ bedroom and my firstborn is still fast asleep, ignoring my soft voice telling her it’s time to get ready for school.

I’m astonished that I’m not yet falling apart as I’ve had about three hours rest the night before. The younger child is totally unpredictable and it often weighs on my sanity. My body is moving around briskly and efficiently this morning, and I don’t want to think too hard of it in fear I jinx myself.

Twenty minutes until we leave the house and one child is half ready. My stomach isn’t churning which I’m grateful for and I have the energy of someone two hours before bedtime.

I’m usually perspiring at this time and tend to under-dress even though it’s below zero outside. It’s a windy morning and I don’t wear any extra clothing underneath my coat. I load everyone up in the double stroller and proceed to the preschool which stands a couple blocks from our house. I skid quite a bit this morning. Four days ago we had a snow day and as per usual, the lackadaisical residents of my city don’t shovel snow the way it’s suppose to be shoveled.

My hand is both numb and burning from the iciness in the air. The baby starts crying as the icy wind cuts into her delicate face and hands. I’ve tried to keep gloves on her but to no avail, she keeps ripping them off. Most days I don’t realize because I’m focused on the journey to and from school.

There’s four flights of stairs to climb, with a twenty-five pound toddler on one arm. I sigh and curse the day I signed my child up for this school. There is an elevator, which is only used for kitchen services. Humans with their own free will still take it, as do I on days that I physically can’t make the stairs. But there’s a woman at the school, a villain in my day. I dread running into her because I sometimes wish to use the elevator but she flies into my face and it reminds me of a bat opening it’s wings. Then she spews her venom and accuse me of not understanding a basic sign in English.

I want to retaliate in my best vocabulary and irritated tone but I decide against arguing with fools in a children’s environment. She isn’t worth my effort, especially when it’s taking me all of my will power and physicality to stay standing at this point. I hurriedly lead my child to her classroom and want to shout, “Yay!” Half of the hassle is over with. Now to descend those vicious stairs in which I fear my toddler will catapult into the air.

I huff and I puff and make my way down the stairs with my wriggling toddler sitting on my burning forearm. I can feel the heat emanating from my body and being trapped beneath my jacket. My hairline is slightly drenched and I wish to be out in the open where it’s cold. The heat of my body makes me want to pass out.

When I open the door to exit the school, the biting coldness makes it’s way through my skull and my brain stops for a split second. My eyes can’t focus on any one thing for too long. I tell myself, one way home, no detours. Coffee, breakfast and medicines.

xo

© Coffee Doll All Rights Reserved

 

 

Pros and Cons of Being A Stay-at-Home Mom

Motherhood is one of the most rewarding jobs you’ll ever have, however, like with any job, it can be overwhelming and downright frustrating. As I was writing how to be a productive SAHM, I made a mental list of the pros and cons of being a SAHM and felt like it deserved its own post. Some points play the role of both a pro and a con.

PROS

  1. The best thing about being a SAHM is getting to be with your kids all day, getting to witness everything that they do and learn on a daily basis.
  2. You’ll be present for all of their growing moments, first words, first steps,  and there is nothing greater than witnessing your child hit milestones for the first time.
  3. If your child falls sick, you’ll be there and not at work which may be hard to get out of.
  4. You can focus on a routine for your children and house, and get things done in an orderly manner compared to the stresses of working and coming home to tired and cranky children.
  5. You’re the sole caregiver for your child.
  6. It’s cheaper for most women to become stay-at-home moms as it is very costly for childcare and work hours are very demanding.
  7. You’re in control of how your activities and days are planned. You won’t have to worry about being called into work and having to organize a last minute babysitter.
  8. You get to teach your children and guide them in a way that you see fit and it’ll be consistent as kids can get confused with different rules.
  9. There’s no one looking over your shoulder telling you what to do or how to do it. You’re your own boss.

CONS

  1. You’re never alone. You can’t use the bathroom without an audience and sometimes you have to skip a shower and swallow your meals.
  2. You almost never get “me time” to do anything for yourself and if you’re like me, you don’t have girls night out either.
  3. Your job never ends. You’re working 24/7 and you’re exhausted most of the time.
  4. You tend to get bored and frustrated living the same routine day after day.
  5. When your social life ceases to exist after motherhood, it’s really awkward and difficult to make friends. You WILL miss engaging in social activities and having adult conversations that don’t involve kids.
  6. When they start fighting, misbehaving and talking back to you, you’ll want to rip your hair out. You’ll be stressed beyond belief.
  7. Living on one income is not an easy thing to manage and you may often feel like a failure, like your life is not reaching anywhere.
  8. It’s been almost five years since I’ve worked outside of my home and it literally feels like forever. I feel like the unemployment gap only worsens your chances of getting back out there, however I hope I’m wrong.

One suggestion that I always make in my SAHM posts is to get a hobby, whether it be joining a gym, writing, painting etc. When you have something to call your own, apart from your family life, it’s a way to cope when the going gets tough. I love to wind down by day by reading just before I sleep. It’s a relaxing way to calm your thoughts before bedtime. That’s just what works for me. If you have girlfriends, organize outings or activities that are not kid related. Even though both things are closely related, in order to be a happy mom, there needs to be a balance between caring for your family and caring for yourself.

xo Coffee Doll