Books on Books on Books

I am an avid reader. Reading is my favourite hobby as it allows me to escape this world for a bit. As well as you can form connections with the characters 🙂 This year I hope to read 52 books!

 

Here are a list of books that I want to read 🙂

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

This book is about two characters, Noah and Jude who are twins. They used to be dependent on each other but after an incident, they are barely speaking. This book entails a love story. Will they resume their bond or will they isolate each other?

Separate Lives by Kathryn Flett

This book is about a couple, Alex and Susie, who have been married for 10 years. One day Alex receives a text from P that reads ‘ Start living a different kind of life …P 🙂 xxx. When Susie reads this message one morning she starts to question her marriage. As well as her husband’s faithfulness. This book entails a portrayal of marriage and adultery. It raises the question are people who they seem to be?

Saint Everything by Sarah Dessen

This book is about a family, the Chatams, who run a pizza parlor. From the star of the family to reckless behaviour, a car accident, jail sentence. This book follows the lives of these individuals and their mischiefs. It entails the aftermath of misfortune and bad choices. A modern tale about a family and self-discovery.

Somewhere Out There by Amy Hatvany

This book follows the lives of two sisters who were separated when their mother abandoned them. They each grew up in different environments, yet somehow they reunite thirty-five years later to find their mothers. This book provides insight on difficult childhoods as well as issues in a family.

The Charm Bracelet by Viola Shipman

This book is about the charm bracelet, that is a family heirloom. It entails the rediscovery of the important of family and each charm. Each year, Lolly, one of the main characters was given a charm along with advice for her birthday. Lolly is now seventy and starting to forget her past. The story of the family and each charm is revealed bit by bit. This story reminds readers of the preciousness of family.

These are just a few of the books I wish to read soon. For a list of books I have read and wish to read visit my Good Reads profile.

What’s on your To Be Read list?

-XOXO chana

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When An Opportunity Arises

Life is short, meaning we need to do what our hearts desires. People say to follow your heart and take your brain with you. Both your brain and heart influence the choices you make. Quite often in life you make bad decisions and rarely make good ones. Though as a result, the choices we make open several new doors in our lives. As you enter a new door, you are given opportunities. This is an endless cycle us we are constantly being given opportunities and issues randomly in our life span. To take a risk or to not a risk? That is the question. 😉 

I have decided to take a risk, by choosing to become a speaker at TEDx Bethune

What is TEDx Bethune? Well, for the past couple of years, annually TEDx Bethune is held ( an independently organized event). It is quite similar to The famously known Ted Talk. This is an event where students are asked to speak and spread ideas to the entire school. results in students ‘speaking out and learning’ new concepts. As well as leads not only students and but also school staff to question themselves and their beliefs. Typically there is one general topic, that students piggyback their ideas and talks off of. 

This year’s topic is gratitude. I have decided to speak about my experience and story of dealing with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. As well as speaking about how I became grateful for all the simple and small things in life. I hope that my Ted talk resonates with at least a few people. 

Ahhh the Ted Talk will be happening on April 4th ! I’m running out of time to prepare. 

Here are is an excerpt from the first draft of my Ted Talk:

” I was just like any teenage girl. Loving family, supportive friends, anxious award and living with flaws I’ve learned to love. Little did I know that my life would be flipped upside down in a span of 6 weeks. I remember the moment I talked to my doctor. At that moment my heart was at ease and my brain was wondering how I would deal with this bombshell everyday.  Now let’s take a step back and rewind to the summer of 2013. My mom and I would be spending 6 weeks of my summer in Sri Lanka. I was cool with the idea until we got to the airport terminal. Saying goodbye to my family got hysterically crying in front of strangers. I would be a thousand miles away from my support system. As soon as we landed I hoped and prayed that the weeks would fly by. The smell was different. The air smelled of smoke, dirt flying everywhere, palm trees in the distance, the sun frying g my skin. All I knew was after I got off the plane everything had changed. No more proper showers, no more toilets, mattresses, Internet or Netflix. Goodbye to my hopes of binge watching a new series. “

What opportunities have you gotten recently ?

-XOXO chana 

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A Piece of My Heart

Death comes in many forms. Whether it comes unexpected or was expected; the pain is still there. At some point in our lives, we think about death. And how we would like to leave this world. Though it takes someone away – it brings a family together. It is something we all fear. As humans, we never willingly speak about death. It is not something you casually bring up in a conversation.

The past few months have been a struggle. Recently, my cousin – who was more like my brother passed away. Each day it just gets harder. People say with time everything will be fine. But lately, it seems like with each passing day the hole in my heart lengthens. It sucks to know that I will not be able to see Waldo. He was destined for bigger and better things, yet was taken away, way too soon. 

Why was a wonderful person taken away from us at a young age? How does one move on from the death of a loved one? How do you mend a broken heart?

Every day I find myself thinking of waldo and everything he was supposed to be. The hole in my chest will never be filled. All I feel is emptiness as the days pass by.

Along with death comes grief. As a family, you will find yourselves going through several stages. First, comes isolation, then comes anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. The stages are a never ending cycle. There is no time limit, you can find yourself grieving for a couple months or even your whole lifetime.

After, Waldo’s death I was constantly in a state of shock. Was he really gone? I would keep replaying what happened in my head. I would be sitting down relaxing and then all of a sudden it would hit me. The end result were tears streaming down my face.

There’s not a day that passes by, where I don’t think of Waldo. He is constantly in my mind. He is the voice in my head, that helps me make decisions. Everything I do and plan to do is for Waldo. He taught me to fight for what you believe in and to work hard. And that is what I intend to do. He is my guardian angel ❤

Who is your guardian angel?

-XOXO chana

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Whats in my bag?

I am typically drawn to backpacks than purses as they are more convenient and affordable. Below is what I usually carry around in my bag.

This bag was a gift from my mother 🙂 I love the design 

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Gum and Mints 🙂 You can never go wrong with having a few of these in your bag!

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Makeup and Essentials pouch. Inside I carry: lip balm, bandages, lip gloss, sanitizer, etc

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My wallet, which holds my cards and id. As well as my coin pouch which also holds my McDonald’s Rewards

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This is my current favourite drink ❤

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Portable Charger which was gifted to me 🙂 This is an essential

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The book I am currently reading 🙂

WHAT DO YOU CARRY IN YOUR BAG?

-XOXO chana

 

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Tips and Tricks to Relieve Anxiety

Anxiety is something that everyone faces, sometime in their lifetime. Whether that be at a young age or when they mature into an adult. But anxiety can affect anyone at anytime. The first time I dealt with anxiety it was the summer of 2013, while I was vacationing in Sri Lanka. Throughout the past 3 years, I have learned ways to deal with anxiety 🙂

1. Relax

Anxiety almost always occurs when you are stressing out. Instead of causing stress on your mind, take a few minutes to relax. This can be done in whatever way you wish, whether it be a nap or just sitting there.

2.  Read a Book

My favourite way to destress or relieve anxiety is reading a book. At any time of the day, one can catch me holding a book. Reading a fictional book allows you to escape into another reality or universe but a little while. This will help keep your mind at ease.

3. Acceptance

Constantly, when one is feeling anxious they tend to push away those thoughts. But they do not realize that pushing away your thoughts only make it worse. As you are not giving it attention to make it go away. When you have a thought you do not enjoy, question it using the 5 W’s and How. This will help make the thought go away

4. Workout

My getting your body moving, you are allowing yourself to focus on something else. As well as working out releases endorphins that lighten your mood. As Like Elle Woods said, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. ”

5. DO SOMETHING YOU ENJOY

What do you do to manage not only your anxiety but also stress?

-XOXO chana

 

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Staying Organized and Productive

Though we may seem to believe that we are organized because our desk  and room are tidy that is not the case. Failure to organize can lead to unproductive results. SO here are a few tips for you to stay organized and productive. YALL GON SLAY

Get a notebook, planner or journal to keep track of events and important dates.

I am currently using my bullet journal to keep track of important dates such as due dates. As well as I make daily to-do lists.

Check your email

This allows one to be caught up with any news from family members, friends or even professors.

To Do Lists

Like I mentioned, I am an avid to do list maker. As crossing off something you’ll complete gives one a sense of satisfaction. Especially in the morning or night as you will know what you need to complete for the next day. You are getting a head start and are able to plan ahead.

Calendar

This allows you to get a visual representation of your day, week or even month. This will also come in handy when you start to plan your day 🙂

Breathe

Yes, you may be hella stressed right now. But stressing is only going to make you more anxious, Instead before starting your task, take 3 simple long breaths. As this keeps your mind at ease.

What do you do to stay on top of your game?

-XOXO chana

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Red Dress Project.

As you all know this past week was International Women’s day. We recognized all the wonderful and intelligent women in our lives. And I personally strive to be like my mother. She is one of few people I know that is headstrong and passionate. She is the queen in my life. All hail my mama ❤

Anyways, at my school this week we held the REDress project from March 6-10. We brought awareness to the 1,200 missing or murdered Aboriginal women. As well as collected donations from teachers and students. All funds went towards the Native Women’s Association of Canada.

The project is called the REDress project because Indigenous people believe that spirits can only see the colour red. The dresses represent the missing sisters, daughters, mothers, aunts, and grandmothers. A display of Red Dresses will be hanging in the commons.

Furthermore, in the commons, we held an art installation, in which Bethune Students created art that represented the issue. And in the halls there were presentation boards talking about other issues that Indigenous People face on a daily.

Here are a few pictures from the art installation at my school. 🙂

 

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-XOXO chana

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Bullet Journaling?  

Individuals are constantly coming up with new ways to stay organized and track events. I used to be agenda/planner girl. This was the method I would use to stay up to date. The agenda was usually provided by my school. As a student, I have been using this method for as long as I can remember; I believe I had been using this method for approximately 11 years. But over time, I realized that this traditional method was not for me.

I came across the method of bullet journaling when I was scrolling through YouTube looking at Plan With Me videos. Here’s a brief history on bullet journaling. Ryder Carroll came up with the idea of bullet journaling, as a place to keep track of things. Such as things you’ve done, things you aspire to do, important dates etc. He wanted a flexible system, which is an analog system used to track the past, organize the present and plan the future. This system requires a notebook of your choice and a variety of different pages. The original system designed by Carroll included these pages: key, index, future log, monthly log, daily log and a variety of collection pages.

The purpose of these pages

KEY: signifies what each symbol/ bullet means

INDEX: keep track of the pages in your bullet journal

FUTURE LOG: keep track of future dates in a year at a glance

MONTHLY LOG: keep track of events and tasks in a month

DAILY LOG: keep track of daily tasks and events

COLLECTION PAGES: additional notes and task that are related by a common theme. Examples: Books to read, shopping lists, monthly faves, gratitude logs, etc).

I seem to find myself drawn to bullet journaling for several reasons. Firstly, it allows you to express yourself and be creative in ways that you can not in a planner. With this method, you can design how you want your daily log to look, instead of using a standard layout in a planner. Also, it is very flexible. This method allows you to plan your weeks, in general days and months in a format that is appealing to you. meanwhile, in a planner, you have a set amount of space given to you. Furthermore, by using a bullet journal you have freedom. By this, I mean that you are able to do whatever you want in your bullet journal. The collection page, in general, re going to be different and unique. For instance,  in my bullet journal, I have several journal entries and use it as a scrapbook. I tape in pictures or pieces of my day that I would want to remember down the line. Lastly, this method allows you to bring out the artist in your self. Each page is designed by yourself. To decorate and bring your pages to life, you can use a variety of supplies. Such as pens, markers, paint, washi tape, stickers and more. Don’t worry, there will be a blog post coming up where I talk about my favourite bullet journal supplies 🙂

A page, currently in my bullet journal

 

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                                    How do you guys stay organized? 

-XOXO chana

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Shades of Our Sisters

I had the opportunity to go to Downtown Toronto, for a field trip to the Shades of our Sisters exhibit held at the Ryerson Student Centre. Luckily, we got the first viewing of the documentaries and the exhibition.

For those of, of you who have not heard about this, I’ll give you some background information. They are a group of individuals working on this project in order to honor the memory of 2 missing and murdered indigenous girls, Sonya Cywink and Patricia Carpenter. This project is an installation which tells the stories of these two young women This project was brought together by eight students from Ryerson University who are working with the Cynwink and Carpenter families.

We were able to view 2 documentaries of both the young women’s lives as well as look at artifacts and memorabilia of these women. This project brought me to tears as we viewed the documentary featuring the families grieving. One distinct part I remember from the documentary is hearing one of Sonya’s poems, it instantly brought me to tears. Throughout the exhibit, there were poems, childhood dolls, clothing, home videos, tapes, and more. Through these items, the viewers received another perspective of the lives of these women. The leaves in the display were designed by students across Ontario.

The viewers of the exhibit received both moose hide and a tobacco tie. The moose hide represents one’s commitment to honour, respect, and protect the women and children in one’s life and to work together with other men to end violence against women and children.  Furthermore, the tobacco ties are thought to signify, prayers as well as a physical manifestation of a prayer.

I am glad that my classmates and I were able to support a wonderful cause. I give my condolences and warmest wishes to the families of these young women.

– XOXO chana

 

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Book Review: The Girl on The Train

The Girl On the Train is a stellar novel written by Paul Hawkins. This modern psychological thriller keeps you on the edge of our seat with each page. This book is written in the perspective of 3 female characters who keep a journal. This novel follows the lives of Rachel, a passenger on a train who keeps up with the lives of a couple on the street she used to live in. But then she finds out horrific news and becomes a key witness. This novel follows the lives these 3 characters, Rachel, Megan, and Anna.

“ I have lost control over everything, even the places in my head ” – Paula Hawkins

The exquisite writing makes all the characters look guilty, causing you to speculate who it could be. This book made me realize that you don’t know someone as much as you thought you did. They are just putting on an act to mask their true self. This book kept me captivated throughout.

There are a variety of characters in this book. Including a chronic alcoholic, a cheater, conflicted wife, perceived murderer husband, jealous ex-wife, therapist and more.

Out of all the main characters, my favourite had to be Rachel. She played the role of an ex-wife who went through so much shit. From trying to get pregnant to ending up divorced from her unfaithful husband. The outcome of this lead to depression, alcoholism, and unemployment. Though she went through quite a few rough patches, she still managed to get through it at the end of the day. She’s also intrusive, but it leads to a great outcome in the end. Lastly, Rachel felt like a real person. I can totally see my self-becoming friends with her. Her flaws were what made her real. Unlike other books, the main character didn’t seem made up and fake. She was someone the reader may find themselves connecting and relating to.

Now, let us talk about the other 2 characters. As for Megan lets just say she’s conflicted in her marriage and life. Though at first, through Rachels perception, Megan is a perfect and model wife. One that Rachel wished she had been. But over time, as readers, we will start to see the perceived perfect character unravel to be the imperfect person we all are. Her marriage is falling apart and not for the reasons one would typically expect. She’s still in love with her husband but her problems are worse than it seems. She’s afraid of children because as a teenager she accidently killed her newborn baby. Dealing with abandonment issues as her first boyfriend fled and her brother died as a teenager in an accident. But let us not forgot about her tendency of having affairs. From sleeping with one man to kissing another. Hawkins did not do the character justice as we did not get to hear a lot about Megan’s perspective as there were not many journal entries written by her. in fact, Megan’s character did not develop instead the opposite happened. Everything went downhill after a couple journal entries.

Lastly, Anna. She was definitely the character I hated the most. She was the devil disguised as the husband stealing demon. As well as a drama queen, who can’t stand Rachel for the stupidest reasons. First off, Rachel did nothing wrong,.Anna was the one who stole Rachels man, lived in Rachels house, and dismisses another’s pain and sorrow. A distinct scene in this book is when Rachel is trying to reveal the person her ex-husband is to Anna, she does not listen. Though there is some slight character development as Anna comes to accept Rachel and wishes all the best for her. I hope that Evie does not turn out like her mother. Let her at least come out a decent human being, unlike her mother.

The story line of the book constantly made me guess who was guilty. Hawkins did an excellent job in making the reader second guess themselves as we learned more about the situation. The person you believe is guilty will change constantly. You won’t believe the number of times I found myself trying to connect the dots and predict who was guilty.

This book is one of the best books I have read this year. I finished this book with shock after the ending of the novel. The ending will leave you with your mouth wide open. Let’s just say TRUST NO ONE. The person you believe you can trust becomes a person you don’t know after shocking secrets are revealed.

If you have read Gone Girl, you will enjoy this book.  I 100% recommend yall to read this novel. This book was a major page turner. Your girl finished this book in 3 days. I would recommend this book to young adult readers or fans of psychological thrillers. This book can be easily compared to Gone Girl though there are some major differences.

Overall: 5/5

– XOXO chana

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