A Zumbathon

On Saturday I was excited to attend my first Zumbathon: two hours of non-stop of Zumba to Latin-inspired music.

The experience was awesome and the guest Zumba instructors AMAZING! I loved the choreography, the music, and the energy that they brought to the room. After an hour and a half, my own energy was flagging a little but I could not stop. It is not often that a person can experience such talented instructors. At the end of the two hour stint, I was thirsty and tired – but content.

I was sore when I arrived home but the experience was worth it. Not only did I reach my goal of 10 000 steps, but I also enjoyed the exercise immensely. I look forward to attending the next one that the dance school organises.

Have you attended a Zumbathon?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

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An Author Response

On Tuesday I posted my book review of The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton across all of my social media including Goodreads. The historical novel, which is coming out 10 September, is unreservedly a 5 star read for me and I stated my reasons why in my review. When I got home yesterday, I saw that the author herself had responded to my words.

I could not help but smile when I saw that she had taken the time to read my words and respond to them.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

Frenzy Presents: Fall 2019

On Sunday after lunch, I headed out to an event that I have always enjoyed in the past – the event for the young adult upcoming releases organised by Harper Collins Canada. Upon my arrival, I was greeted by some of the people who work for the publishing house. At each event, I am always warmly received by our hosts and it certainly encourages me to attend frequently.

Many of the upcoming releases look exciting! The ones that interest me are the fantasy novels and there are many that look promising.:

  1. Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron. This is a high fantasy novel written by a debut author.
  2. Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin. Another debut featuring a French inspired fantasy. Anything French and I am in!
  3. Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth. This is an alternate history fantasy set in 1800s England.
  4. Memory Thief by Laureen Mansy. A romance set in a fantasy world.
  5. The Sky Weaver by Kristen Ciccarelli. This is the third novel in her series.
  6. Crown of Oblivion by Julie Eshbaugh. A fantasy fiction with similarities to The Amazing Race.
  7. The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco. A fantasy that focuses on climate change.
  8. The End and Other Beginnings by Veronica Roth. A collection of futuristic short stories.

I look forward to seeing what other bloggers and bookstagrammers think of these stories – though I am sure that I will be pre-ordering some of these without their input! There are also a couple of novels that are not fantasy stories that I am interested in reading:

  1. Suggested Reading by Dave Connis. This novel is about a bookworm who fights back when her school censors a number of meaningful books.
  2. Verify by Joelle Charbonneau. The first of the duology centres on information restriction and censorship.
  3. Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen. The main characteer in this romance takes her advice from Jane Austen novels. As an Austen fan myself, this book is a must for me to read!

At the event, we also had the opportunity to hear Jamin Kaur speak and read some of her poetry from her upcoming release When You Ask Me Where I’m Going.

Her poetry is powerfully written and her words gave me chills.

We were each lucky enough to receive a signed ARC of her upcoming release. I look forward to reading her words.

Upon leaving the event, each person who attended was given a swag bag which contained three ARCs of the upcoming releases. When I peeked into mine, I gave an inner squeal of delight when I saw what I had received – a couple of the books were what I had wanted to read.

As always the event had me smiling – during and after. I have placed the books I received on the top of my TBR and will read them in the next few weeks while sipping the tea that was dropped into my swag bag.

What has made you smile this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

Cover Photo

Last week when I came home from a day’s outing, I saw that the magazine for OCTs (Ontario Certified Teacher) had arrived. I could not help but smile at the photo on the cover.

Karen Murray is one of the people who spoke at many events that I attended when I began working for the TDSB (Toronto District School Board). She is extremely knowledgeable and is so inspiring. It definitely made me smile to see that she has been recognised in the teacher’s magazine.

What has made you smile this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

A TBR Crate

During my Summer Break, I am spending time organising my home. While shopping with a friend of mine at IKEA yesterday, I came across a small wooden crate that would be perfect for me to keep the books I plan to read for the month in a neat space. I grabbed it enthusiastically, even though I noticed that I had to build it myself.

Earlier this afternoon as I prepared to build the crate, I hoped it would not be too complicated. IKEA instructions are not always as easy as one would hope.

I pieced the crate together like a puzzle and referred to the instructions to determine which size screws to begin the construction.

Screwing the pieces together were not easy as not all of the holes had been pre-drilled. I found myself having to use my body weight to ensure that the screw would sink into the wood.

I managed to complete putting the box together on my own. For a moment, I thought I would have to wait for my husband’s help and strength to screw the pieces together as I had some difficulty sinking the crew into the wood. Determination and perseverance, however, ensured that I succeeded.

My TBR is now neatly placed in the crate next to my bed. Seeing the box when I enter the room makes me smile. What makes me smile even more is that I managed to build it on my own without any help. 🙂

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

A Kitchen Experiment

For a while now I have been wanting to eat the pie of my childhood and early adulthood. I desire biting into the browned flakiness of the meal and enjoying its savoury contents. On Tuesday, I decided to try and bake a replica. I grabbed some ready-made puff pastry, a muffin pan, and the leftover stew we had had for dinner the previous evening.

My mini pies were a lot smaller than what I had bought in South Africa, but they tasted just as good. My family loved them and I will definitely make them again with varied ingredients. I would say that my experiment was a success! Definitely something to smile about! 😀

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

A Snapshot of Memory

On Saturday I visited St Jacob’s market with my cousin. It is a lengthy drive to visit the market but we love to do it for so many reasons: the market is huge; the prices are reasonable; the fruit and vegetables are freshly picked; and it gets us out of the city. Another reason is that there is a Dutch store in one of the buildings.

The both of us enjoy browsing in the store as it brings back pleasant childhood memories. One of the memories that play back in my mind is of my aunt (my cousin’s mom) preparing us a snack with toast and flavoured sprinkles. I used to devour freshly baked bread slathered with butter and topped with chocolate sprinkles. The best snack ever for a 10 year old!

During the past week, visiting the Dutch store at St Jacob’s market brought a smile to my face. It is always good to go down memory lane once in a while.

Have you tasted any of the Dutch sprinkles showcased in the photo?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

Thank You Card

It is nearing the end of the school year and yesterday morning I received one of my first thank you cards. The card was drawn by my student and shows his sense of humour.

I love the card as well as the gift card to the book store that was placed inside the envelope. A beautiful card and the chance to choose a new book. Definitely something to smile about!

What has made you to smile during the last week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

A Father’s Day Gift

My husband is not easy to find gifts for – as my children agree. However, I often find an acceptable present for him while roaming the shelves at my local bookstore. My husband now knows that I do this as he always guesses what my gift is (he is, of course, aided by the shape of the offering!). He guessed correctly on Sunday that I had bought him a bibliography – though he could not guess whose. He was happy to see that I offered him one on Bruce Lee – someone whom he has admired for years. The author did his research for 10 years and it looks like he was thorough.

My husband’s guesses made me smile. After being together so long, he definitely knows many of my choices. I think now he would be disappointed if I did not find an interesting book for him to read!

What has made you to smile during the last week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

Staff Appreciation Lunch

Last week Wednesday, the parent council at our school organised the annual staff appreciation lunch. Each year we gather in the library at lunch time and eat the hot lunch that the parents have organised for us. The food is always delicious, and the chats at each table enjoyable. It is not often that the staff as a whole get together to eat. The atmosphere was relaxed in spite of the work waiting for us in the classrooms.

The lunch was definitely something to smile about last week. 🙂

What caused you to smile last week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)