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.)

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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.)

A Missed Opportunity

Yesterday I was manning the desk at the Kindergarten Orientation table and registering parents and their children as they came in. Between moments while waiting for people to arrive, I realised that the decorations on the table would make a perfect backdrop to some photos showcasing my books.

I could not help but smile. Since starting my bookstagram account on Instagram, I am often thinking of different ways to present the books I read.

Do you sometimes see the perfect photo background?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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

Drawing of the Planets

This week I am giving a series of tests to my students to ensure that I give them the correct grade in their year-end report card. Even though they are in grade 1 and 2, I do insist they be quiet while they are writing so that each child has the environment in which to focus. Once the children have completed their test, I give them a sheet of paper on which to draw so that they are kept busy while their classmates continue with their test.

I loved what one of my students drew while waiting for his classmates to finish! He has been reading about the planets with his parents and drew a summary of what he had learned. The constellation he created in his drawing named after himself made me smile. 😀

What made you smile recently?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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

A Savvy Readathon

On Sunday I participated in my first online readathon. The event was planned by the enthusiastic group of people at Harper Collins Canada that run the publisher’s marketing. During the session, participants were able to respond to questions and prompts on Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram.

I chose two books that I would read during the readathon: The Song of the Jade Lily by Kirsty Manning and The Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K.Rowling. The first book I opened was an historical fiction set during World War II; and the second was part of my re-read of Harry Potter’s novels. I was not sure whether I would get to Harry’s story but I wanted to be prepared in case I finished Manning’s novel.

Even though I was participating in the readathon, I still wanted to go to my Sunday morning Zumba class therefore I did a little reading before I left home for my exercise class. The Song of the Jade Lily had captured my interest and I was ready to spend the entire day immersed in the book.

After Zumba I am always hungry and it was not long after arriving home that I made myself a quick lunch so that I could once again immerse myself in the story I was reading.

One of the fun things about the readathon was the questions that were asked on the hour. Around mid-afternoon, participants were asked what were their bad reading habits. I quickly snapped a photo in response. For some people leaving a book open flat while taking a quick break is definitely a no-no!

The readathon ended at 5pm. I did not get to complete my novel but I enjoyed reading along with other readers all over Canada. I enjoyed the conversations on social media and connected with many readers. The activity made me smile and I will definitely participate in the next one!

What has made you smile this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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