Month: August 2014

Gone Girl – a book review

Summer is avid-reading season for me. It seems a bit counter intuitive, like winter would be the best stay cozy-inside-and-read time, preferably with a fire and warm drink. But I love nothing more than to sit outside with a good read – at the beach, on a patio or at the park – and this summer I’ve made it through several.
Gone Girl book review www.nestinthewest.comGone Girl by Gillian Flynn was one. Now, I’m going to be intentionally vague because I don’t want to risk spoilers. The basics are this: we meet an amazing couple Nick and Amy on their fifth anniversary. Amy disappears and Nick’s reaction seems suspicious. Perhaps he’s killed her. Yet no body is discovered.

The rest is revealed through Nick’s voice and Amy’s diary. Nick is not the super nice guy he first appeared to be. His disposable phone and lack of concern raise doubts while the insight into Amy’s thoughts are downright disturbing. The distinct voices and perspectives of the main characters are this novel’s strength, along with incredible attention to detail. All is not as it seems with these two and it gets hard to determine the truth from lies, reality from daydreams. The author is a great manipulator and really tests loyalties – both the characters’ and the readers’.

Make no mistake, this is a thriller! Just when I thought I had it figured out, Flynn’s plot twists completely surprised me. I spoke to a few friends that have also read this and opinions were strong but varied. Like the story or not, the writing is brilliant! If you’re up for a fast-paced twisted mystery, give it a try. But be warned, this one is dark!

Scheduling spontaneous fun

One of the many things I love about this time of year is seeing all the school supplies roll into stores. I’m a total sucker for stationary and art supplies so I always end up buying at least one set of pencil crayons and a few new notebooks. This year I’ve been anticipating this influx even more than usual. All because I need a new daytimer.
Scheduling fun www.nestinthewest.comYup, I’m completely old school and can’t live without a hard-copy, write your life down, daytimer. It’s all part of the OCD infliction. I have to be able to see my entire week laid out or I’m lost. My BFF and I have a longstanding joke which originated when she asked me if I was making room in my little life for spontaneous fun. I told her I’d have to check my daytimer to see…so now we laugh about scheduling spontaneity!

Of course I’m so on this. Every December I buy myself a new daytimer for Christmas – such an exciting life, right!? Usually after looking at every available option, I get the Moleskin one. It has a week on one page and a blank page for notes on the facing page. Heaven for list makers! Well, this year I deviated, stepped out of my box and tried something new. Epic fail! I hate it so much I haven’t used it for months and now I feel like I’m free-falling!
Scheduling fun www.nestinthewest.comEnter school supply season and a huge selection of academic planners and all is right with the world again. I’m loving this little cutie I picked up at Chapters. It has my beloved blank page for lists and week at a glance. It’s also got a zip pocket in the back which I’ll use for coupons and cards, and bonus, it’s pink! I feel like I just got my best friend back!
Scheduling fun www.nestinthewest.comI wondered if the daytimer might be a dying breed with all the high tech options out there but there are enough in stores to suggest I’m not the only old school planner! How do you keep track – phone?, calendar?, day timer?, or do you just wing it?

Five for Friday: Catch-up edition

www.nestinthewest.comWell, that was a rather long and unintentional blog break! I’m going to chalk it up to summer – I’m out doing and enjoying my favourite season more than sitting writing about it. Right now, I’m smack-dab in the middle of a two week stay-cation and have been having lots of fun and a few getaways even before this. Here’s a quick catch-up before I resume regular posting next week!
Garrett Hayden on www.nestinthewest.comI took a day trip over to Vancouver to see my oldest nephew compete in his first body-building event. This is one of those experiences I’d never have if not for being an Aunty and I’m so glad I didn’t miss out. It was a blast! Loud pumping music, flashing lights, hooting, hollering and, of course, muscles! I’m ridiculously proud of Garrett for his discipline, hard work and absolute commitment. And wow, he took home first place……amazing!
www.nestinthewest.comThe following weekend was BC Day here and I took full advantage of the extra day off by scooting to Seattle – a city that’s near and dear to my heart. I stayed with my awesome cousin, who took such good care of me. In the course of the weekend we: had dinner at my fave restaurant (Scotch & Vine in Des Moines if you ever get there), took in a barbecue complete with Blue Angels air show with friends, had dinner with his daughters (also my cousins!), attended his youngest daughter’s wedding and spent a day boating on Lake Washington. So, so good. Cousins make the best friends!
www.nestinthewest.comI met a new favourite cocktail – the Moscow Mule. Do you know this one? I’ll admit that the special copper cup drew me in but this is also such a refreshing summer drink. Make your own with vodka, ginger beer and lime and hit up a patio now!
www.nestinthewest.comI’m ‘pumped’ about my current fitness routine. I’ve had such positive results with the 21 Day Fix program that I’m still doing it, usually early in the mornings before work. I’ve also added a second Beachbody program called Les Mills Pump to try to build more definition and tone. It’s a barbell based workout which is totally new to me and I’m loving it. It makes me feel strong! Along with this, Garrett is helping me keep my nutrition on track and it all feels like I’m on the right path!
www.nestinthewest.comHave you heard of the annual ‘mug swap’ on Instagram? The premise is simple: you sign up and are given a secret buddy to send a mug and optional additional goodies to. It’s a snail-mail-happy-kind-of-blessing thing with over 1000 participants! Well, I’m in and I’m having so much fun with it. My girl loves pink and reading, just like me, so it’s been easy to come up with goodies for her. Surprisingly, the mug was the hardest piece to choose. My parcel ships out today and I’m more excited for the giving than what I may receive.

Ok, we’re all up to date now! I truly hope you’re having your best summer ever and that you’ll check back in for more regular posts. Cheers to the weekend, and you!