Snapshot of a Winter Wonderland

Yesterday morning the landscape in my neighbourhood was grey, brown and dreary. Most of the leaves have fallen off of the trees leaving the bare branches reaching for the sky. It felt like winter had already arrived, especially as snow was falling during the walk to work.

The snow did not stop falling and continued throughout the day. The amount of snow covering the ground was unexpected and I messaged home for my daughter to bring me my winter boots. While walking home, I was glad that I had been able to reach her – inches of snow lay on the ground and the salt coating the sidewalks would have damaged my good shoes.

While walking home in the twilight, I could not help stop but admire the scene before me. With the twinkling lights and the gently falling snow, the scene before me looked like a Winter wonderland: a scene that made me smile in appreciation.

Our second snowfall of the season will linger a little longer than the first. The children in the playground will certainly appreciate it.

Have you yet experienced the first snow of the season?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Trent’s Weekly Smile challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive)

Leaf Bouquet

It is that time of year when I receive many leaf bouquets. I enjoy the colours of the Fall leaves and am always pleased to bring them into my classroom and enjoy the array on my desk.

No matter what year it is, the children in my class show their appreciation of nature’s beauty by collecting the leaves that have fallen on the ground. I remember my own children doing this when they were younger. It is a practice that does make me smile.

Have you received any leaf bouquets this year?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge for which we will be posting square photos featuring lines during the month of October; and Trent’s Weekly Smile challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive. )

Vote Lines

Yesterday all Canadians voted in the elections – or at least, one hoped all Canadians would. (According to the stats, 68.5% did). My family and I strategically went to vote soon after we had eaten an earlier than usual dinner as we wanted to avoid waiting in any vote lines.

Our strategy worked and we were in and out of the voting room quite quickly – no long line awaited us! What made me smile, though, was the fact that both my daughters are now voters. Performing our civic duty is something we can now do en famille. It made me proud to see them registering to vote and then casting their ballot for the first time.

Do you vote in the elections?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge for which we will be posting square photos featuring lines during the month of October; as well as Trent’s Weekly Smile challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

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.)

Frenzy Presents: Brian Francis

Last night I attended a Frenzy Presents event to launch a new release by Brian Francis. Break In Case of Emergency is his first YA novel which deals with mental health issues and the protagonist’s coming of age. I was excited to meet the author and read the words of a novelist I had not read before.

The evening had another attraction for me: I would see my dear friend who lives quite a distance from me. Normally when school is on, we don’t see one another. However, her children’s sports programmes have not yet started so she was able to meet me at the event.

I was enjoying her company so much that I forgot to take pictures! The snacks offered were yummy and the author was so nice to chat to. As the event was held at a restaurant, he came to each table and chatted with us for a while. So pleasant. My only regret was that he could not chat with us for longer! (And that I forgot to take a photo with him!)

Last night was a night to smile. I met an author, chatted with him, received a lovely novel to read, and spent time with my dear friend.

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.)

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.)