Since my sleep pattern is all over the place and I’m currently waiting for my husband to come out of the shower to watch the movie adaptation of the novel, Room; I thought this would be a perfect time to write my review. I finished the book about two weeks ago, but as you can tell I’m quite behind on blogging. Since I replaced Social Media Browsing with reading, I realized that my blog as become more of a Book review blog. I can’t help it, if I have a good book in my hand, it’s hard not to stop. I’m currently reading Perks of Being a Wall Flower, and I’m almost done with the book. If you’re wondering, Shehab has not read the book, Room, nor does he want to! He’s a movie addict, hence the reason he’s willing to stay away and watch the film with me.
I personally loved the concept behind the main plot of the story. I really liked the author, Emma Donoghue’s take on Stockholm Syndrome through the eyes of a five-year-old boy. The plot had quite an interesting concept behind it. The main gist of the novel is about a woman who is kidnapped at nineteen and kept in a soundproof room by her captor and gives birth to a child who is only accustomed to his daily life in this room. They eventually escape, and the book talks about his experience in the “real world” outside of the Room.
Reading wise, it was a slow read, it was interesting but a little slow. I expected the book to have more emotion and feeling. However, the author tried to narrate the story through the eyes of a five-year-old which is quite a challenge. I would recommend putting this book on your reading list! Now it’s time for the movie!
My sister, Rayka always reminds Shehab and me that you need to make restaurant reservations a month ahead of time. I know we’re horrible!
Our first Valentine’s Day as a couple.
Shehab told me that he loved me a couple of days before Valentine’s day, but that was also when he told his parents about me. Since things were already out in the open, Valentine’s day was a little restricted. During our first Valentine’s day, Shehab was given three hours for a lunch date (One hour to drive to my house, one hour for lunch, and one hour to drive home). Flexibility was quite difficult. Don’t worry we spent more than four hours together on our first Valentine’s Day. But we still enjoyed it and made the most out of it.
Shehab brought a single red rose for Little Miss Dora and a second single rose for me. He took me to one of my favorite Thai restaurants, Sawatdee so I could have Rama Tha Delight. We ended lunch at the Tea Garden for bubble tea. (After constant debates, since Shehab prefers buffets). I know it doesn’t sound very romantic, but it was perfect for me.
Our second Valentine’s Day as a married couple.
It didn’t really seem like Valentine’s day this year. Shehab was battling an awful cold, and I was fighting a sinus infection. (which I didn’t know at the time). We spent half the day hanging out at home until I got a craving for bubble tea again. (I think this has become a tradition, except we went to Tii Cup this time).
Later that night we tried to decide where to go, I know it was silly, I mean Valentine’s day! Come on! I gave in and went to a buffet double dating with Shehab and my parents. Again, it wasn’t the most romantic Valentine’s day, but I loved it.
In the course of a year, I realized something. Shehab and I have changed significantly.
- Our first Valentine’s day was more about getting to spend time with each other. I was so frustrated with the fact that I only had three hours with him. This time, Valentine’s day was like any other day, but we found a way to spend it with family. After all isn’t Valentine’s day about spending time with the people you love.
- When we were dating, every date/day we were able to see each other had to be special (specifically because of the restrictions). Now that we’re married, every day is special. However, we don’t have to make days like Valentine’s day extra special. I think we’ve become one of those couples who believe that every day is valentines day for them, Oh no!
- We’re a lot more relaxed with each other. I miss the days when I used to get really excited and dress up for dates. Shehab would dress up all handsomely as well. It was thrilling and exciting. Now we’re a lot more laid back since we’ve seen each other at our worst. (I’m talking grungy hair, pajama pants, and Shehab’s t-shirt).
Sometimes I wish that we had the opportunity to go on more dates while we were dating. We still have date nights. However, the thrill just isn’t the same. However, knowing that we’re together forever really does make up for the restricted time.
Disclosure: I decided to try essential oils a couple of months ago through Simply Aroma. Simply Aroma has changed their name and branding to Purely, and they have a wide variety of products. Since I am a Purely Advisor, I am marketing my own products. If you wish to make a sale, I will receive a commission from each sale.
On my twenty-third birthday my mom’s exact words were, “Happy Birthday Ishika, you need to take care of your skin! Soon you’ll be twenty-five and the wrinkles will start showing up!” Thanks, mum. Not the best wish, but my mum doesn’t look like she has a twenty-six-year-old daughter right now, I think I’ll take her advice. I laughed it off at the time, but it really is important to take care of my skin and for that matter, my husband’s skin as well.
Shehab is pretty good about his skin care but winter time isn’t anyone’s best friend. When my facial scrub from Essentially Spoiled did wonders for my skin (since the products are made with essential oils), I wanted Shehab to try products outside of the usual drug store brands. (He loves his Gillette shaving cream!).
That’s when I learned that Purely has a series of men’s care products and with Valentine’s day coming up I took advantage of the opportunity. (Instead of his usual video game). This year it’s selfishly about me! Now I’m a firm believer in trying the products myself or, in this case, having Shehab try them before promoting an item. I’m still learning my way around essential oils, but I can’t tell you how much I love using products that contain essential oils. After a couple of day of pleading with Shehab, he agreed to change his loyal brands. So here’s my Valentine’s Gift to Him…
I can’t wait to get Shehab’s testimonial on the products. He’s quite critical of everything! I know he’s going to love the natural products by Purely! And there’s a bonus for me, not commission wise. I love the idea of getting my husband to take better care of his skin.
If you are interested in purchasing any of these Purely products or would like to see all the other products, Purely offers, click here. Moment of truth, I’m still going to get him another video game, once he decides on the one he wants. I know I can’t always make it about me!
I’m going to be completely honest; I had to read Death Wears a Beauty Mask and Other Stories a couple of times before I finished the entire book. There was nothing wrong with it, but the series of short stories became a little boring after a while. I wanted something long that I looked forward to reading. I’m going to keep this entirely short. I love anything written by Mary Higgins Clark. However, I wouldn’t recommend this book if you’re looking for a long, mysterious, and suspenseful read. Don’t get me wrong, the plot for each story was interesting. I especially liked reading “Death Wears a Beauty Mask” and “The Man Next Door”. Both of these stories were quite thrilling. As of now I prefer novels over short stories. If you’ve never read a book by Mary Higgins Clark, I would strongly suggest reading Death Wears a Beauty Mask and Other Stories to help you get a feel for her writing style.
I don’t want to jinx myself, but I’ve never been disappointed by a novel written by Mary Higgins Clark. After all these years, she still seems to surprise me. I think I enjoyed The Cinderella Murder as much as I enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo! The Cinderella Murder isn’t as intense and horrifying as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, but it does have a lot of suspense.
Susan Dempsey is a striving artist from UCLA. On the day of her father’s birthday, she is invited to audition for an upcoming Director, Frank Parker. (Even though having an Audition at his house seems a little strange?) However, the next day Susan is found dead in a park just outside of Frank Parker’s house. She’s missing one silver shoe, hence the name, The Cinderella Murder. Her friend Madison, who is also her roommate, ends up auditioning with Frank Parker and is his alibi for the night. Other suspects in the case. Twenty years later, after all, the suspects are cleared a television producer, Laurie Moran reopens the cold case for her show Under Suspicion, and that’s when the mystery begins.
I’m usually very great at solving mysteries, but Mary Higgins Clark surprised me with the real killer, looking back she does give you a lot of hidden clues. However, I concentrated more on the big picture. I sacrificed my sleep and stayed awake until 1:00 a.m because I had to finish the novel. I’m a 10:30p.m. 11:30p.m. max bedtime girl. That probably tells you a lot about the intensity of the book!
Mary Higgins Clark covers a lot of great themes: jealousy, scandal, media, superficiality, and cult-like-cultures. You’ll see when you read the book. Would I recommend the book? Absolutely!
What’s next on the reading list. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I know I’m super behind. Like I said, I’ve only read the first book, but I’m excited to get back into the series.
I have a terrible habit! If I start a novel or a movie, and it’s terrible, I still have to finish it. It happened to me when I read Fifty Shades of Grey, such a terrible book and it happened to me when I read James Patterson’s novel Zoo!
I was highly disappointed when I read James Patterson’s novel, Zoo. As I mentioned before I was made aware of the novel after I watched CBS’s show Zoo based on the book by James Patterson. Other than three characters and the main two protagonists having the same names as characters in the show; everything else was different. And that’s ok! However, I had a lot more expectations for the novel.
So the basic story is about Scientist Jackson Oz who has recently been made aware that his theory of a virus called HAC is arising in the Animal Kingdom. All over the world, wild animals and domestic animals are acting strange and attacking human beings. On a trip to Africa, he meets a young biologist named Chloe Tousignant, who’s safari camp, is attacked by a pride of male lions. Together they’re trying to discover the strange animal behavior.
I won’t spoil the ending of the book, but it didn’t start to get interesting until the last one hundred pages, and even then the climax was very slow. It lacked mystery and suspense! On the positive side James Patterson covered some great themes about animal behavior, human greed, and evolution, but overall I would not recommend this book.
What’s next on the list? The Cinderella Murder by Mary Higgins Clark. I started the book, and I can tell you I’m already ready to read more.
Ok so I got legally married back in July, but my large official reception doesn’t happen until May. I’m happy to announce that I have reserved my wedding venue, well one of them at least. Yea, Bengali weddings are quite long, but I’m getting there. So I found the perfect venue for my wedding, and that’s about it! I have less than six months to plan a wedding and procrastinating isn’t helping. So what’s on my upcoming list…
- Formally ask my bridesmaids: Ok so I have a confession to make, I chose my bridesmaids sarees before I formally asked anyone. I ordered them online, and they were the perfect colors and design. I texted all my bridesmaids for their sizes before formally asking them. I know it’s horrible, I did get a lecture from my sister about it, but I was just overly excited.
- Ordering my centerpieces. So I have this vision and idea in my mind, something with roses, pearls, and tea candles. My wedding colors are pearl and maroon. I have the idea in my mind, but it’s going to take a while to create them and my plan is to order a ton of supplies wholesale online. I know what you’re thinking, you realize shipping takes forever? I know, that’s why I need to get my butt going.
- Flowers: Umm yea, so I never really thought about my bouquet or flowers and I decided to go with the most expensive flower on the face of the earth, umm yea… maybe I should get the whole florist, flowers, cost thing right now.
- Guest List and Invitations: My mom printed invitations in Bangladesh, yay, but I haven’t even finalized my guest lists, especially since my pre-reception venue refuses to answer my calls! Frustrating right? And what’s the rule for guest, I mean I have friends who invited me to their weddings, but I’m not in contact with them anymore, do I still invite them? Also, we’re only allowing children of close family friends to attend. With all of my family members we’re limited on seating, Yea even three hundred attendees isn’t enough, so is it bad not to allow a plus 1 when we have to put no uninvited guest. (reason for this… I’ve had experiences where guests bombard weddings with random family members and friends without your consent. I guess you have to a be a little harsh sometimes!)
- Decorations: So I have my centerpieces planned out, but what about the rest of the stuff? Seating arrangements, table numbers, meet the wedding party, backdrop…alright before I overwhelm myself, I think I’m going to turn to Pinterest for some inspiration.
- DJ: well my baby brother is a DJ, but I think he’d rather enjoy the wedding, so now it’s time to hunt down a DJ.
- Photographers and Videographers: So I’ve worked with a list of amazing photographers who are also close friends. It’s a little hard to choose the right photographer. I know I want at least two different photographers, one to follow the groom and his family and one to follow my family and me. Videographer? I don’t even want to think about that right now.
- Food: Oh the magic word, half of my venue delay was because we were trying to find a venue that allows Southeastern cuisine, after months of searching for a place, I realized I want something different! I mean we’re going to have Southeastern cuisine the day before right, and it gets messy. Now the struggle is finding the right dish, we’re having plated dinners, but haven’t decided what to choose.
- Cake: All I know is Shehab and I both love Chocolate cake, but not everyone does. I was thinking about having a small tiered cake for cutting and then having two different types of cake based on everyone’s preference.
And then there’s everything else. I’m just going to get this checklist out of the way before I begin adding to it. However, it would help to get some advice and ideas. Feel free to remind me of things I’m missing on the list, I know there’s a lot.
Christmas didn’t turn out the way I thought it would this year. My mum was in Bangladesh shopping for my wedding reception and Shehab spent Christmas in New York. It would have been his first Christmas in the United States, but he needed a little vacation and needed to be with family. I think space was right for us, I’ve been so stressed and frustrated that I wasn’t much fun to be around. It was hard not having my mother around as well. I tried my best to remain energetic and happy for Dora. I even made up for our forgetful Tooth Fairy moment.
I managed to cook my traditional Christmas dinner: Lamb Roast, herb roasted red potatoes, buttered asparagus, and dinner rolls. Preenon brought a Pumpkin pie on his way from school and instead of wine we had sparkling juice. I would say dinner was a semi success since I overcooked the lamb.I wish I paid attention more to our dinner or to the fact that nonstick roasting pans produce a lot more gas. As a result, our Parakeets, Pumpkin, and Blueberry died on Christmas day. (Birds, especially Parakeets are very sensitive to CO2. They weren’t in the kitchen. However, the small amount of CO2 spread throughout the house. Blueberry was at the bottom of the cage when I found her and Pumpkin died in Dora’s arms.
I couldn’t hold back the tears when I found Blueberry at the bottom of the cage and after Pumpkin died. I kissed her a couple of times (even though I shouldn’t have because at the time I didn’t know why she died). We adopted Blueberry from Petsmart and Pumpkin from the Humane Society. Pumpkin had been in a couple of homes before we adopted her. The Humane Society said she must have been abused because she did not like people. We were told that it wasn’t safe to adopt her because she might bite Dora. Before we adopted Pumpkin she lived in a nursing home but they surrendered her because they couldn’t give her enough attention.
We still decided to give it a try, when we went to visit Pumpkin at the Humane Society she responded to Dora right away. We couldn’t touch her, but she enjoyed talking and interacting with Dora. We used to let her out of the cage, and she would wander the house freely exploring. The best thing about Pumpkin was she would always return to her cage. We adopted Blueberry a month later. Blueberry was a little more playful at first she loved sitting on Dora’s shoulders but eventually she liked being alone.
It was always fun to watch Pumpkin and Blueberry interact. They knew exactly when they wanted to sleep, 9:00 p.m. every night and when they wanted to wake up, 7:30 a.m. if everyone else was awake. You could never leave the house without saying, “Goodbye Pumpkin, Goodbye Blueberry.” I miss them! They were family.
Pumpkin and Blueberry’s deaths taught me something. It made me realize how I had become negligent and disconnected from everyone. I allowed frustration get to the best to me to the point where I didn’t notice the warning signs until it was too late. I don’t think I could have changed the turn of events. I didn’t know that non-stick pans produce more gas. However, I could have given Blueberry a better last moment. Pumpkin died in Dora’s arms covered with my kisses. Their deaths made me realize that life is precious and that you have one chance to make a difference in this world. Pumpkin was breaking her barrier and showing us that a second chance at trust was possible made me realize that I need to break my walls. Pumpkin never lets us touch her; she was very clear about her boundaries. However, she enjoyed exploring the house. She would often walk to different rooms and observe what we were doing. December 25, 2015, is a day I will always remember, it was the day we lost Pumpkin and Blueberry, but it was also a day for me to remember that a second chance at the trust is possible.
It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book as intense and mysterious as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson. This was also one of the first times I’ve ever read a book before watching the movie. I know, I’m horrible! I don’t think I should ever judge a book by its cover, or a title for that matter. When I had first heard about the book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I didn’t know what to think. I honestly thought it was a ninja based, Chinese mystery. I hear Dragon, and I think the Chinese Dragon! I know I shouldn’t stereotype, but what can I say?
Well, this book did not take place in China. Instead, it takes place in Sweden. The first be three chapters are quite slow, I went back and re-read the first chapter after finishing Chapter 3. I don’t want to spoil the book for anyone, so I can’t go into too much detail without ruining the plot. The beginning parallels the lives of two protagonists; a financial journalists Kalle Blomkvist and a computer hacker, Lisbeth Salander. The book jumps back and forth detailing the lives of these two characters. However, every detail is extremely relevant. Here’s another piece of the puzzle, the book highlights a critical topic, Violence against Women. The story also incorporates a wide range of themes: Violence against women, rape, sexuality, revenge, murder, mystery, incest, and romance. Have you gotten a hold of your attention yet? Well, that’s all I can tell you about the book!
I can admit one more thing; this book consumed me. I couldn’t put it down! It got to the point where Shehab took the book away and said, “Can you pay attention to me?” What can I say, this book was intense! I’m usually great at uncovering mysteries. However, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo took me by surprise!
After reading the book, I did watch the movie on Netflix. To be completely honest the movie left out a lot of great details. Yes, that happens in a lot of movies based on books. However, I really wouldn’t recommend watching the film.
Shehab and I have one rule for our fights; no one goes to sleep angry. However, I often break the rules. I didn’t realize it, but that anger from the day before does carry on with you the next day. Sometimes it haunts your dreams, and it’s not a fun feeling. Especially when your partner has released that negative energy.
So how do you resolve the issue:
The last thing you should say every night is
Goodnight and I love you. It sounds a little cliche, but these words do have a large effect on you.
Now Shehab and I don’t say goodnight, and I love you to ignore a fight, we say it at the end when we completely know that the tension is resolved. It’s our signal to say it’s ok, and we’ll be fine.
I love this about Shehab. As I’ve disclosed before and you’ve figured out, sometimes I let negative energy and anger get the best of me. I tend to hold grudges, especially when hurtful things have been said. No matter how bad our fights get, Shehab constantly repeats the following, “Babe, I love you” or “Ishika, I love you so much.” I don’t want to hear it half the time, but when I walk away and calm myself down, those reassuring statements do help a lot.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, even in times of conflict don’t let your anger get the best of you. Sometimes just taking a breath or thinking things through can help. Like I said, no matter how angry Shehab gets, he’s yelling and then there’s a “but, I love you” it’s actually kind of adorable.
When you love each other, you can overcome any obstacle or conflict. However, don’t ever let yourself go to sleep with anger or frustration. End it that day, because it will flow onto the next day. I’ve realized the consequences of breaking the rules. Always go to sleep with a Goodnight, I love you!
Photo Credit: Mink Mingle