What I Read in October

OctoberBooksI am really thankful that one of the last surviving Indigo stores is close to my office. One of my favourite things to do when I need a break is to walk to the store and browse around for new books. Sure, books are way cheaper on Amazon but I just love casually walking up and down the aisles in a book store until a cover, or title jumps out. This past month, that book for me was Ripper. I truly admire Isabelle Allende as an author and a feminist ( have you seen this TED Talk of hers?!) so when I saw her new book sitting on the shelf at the store I didn’t even think twice.

Ripper, is, as far as I am aware, Allende’s first venture into the murder mystery genre and she did a brilliant job. The story telling was so captivating that I was quite literally glued to this book – I just needed to find out who was committing all the murders and how they connected with the main character, Indiana!

Not only will this book will transport you to beautiful current day San Francisco, it will introduce you to four of the most compelling characters in any murder mystery novel. Allende is one of the most talented story tellers of this century and part of the reason why is because she has the ability to create incredible characters and in this case, the characters are what makes the novel truly memorable. After having finished this book, I felt like Indiana, her spunky daughter Amanda and her father were close family friends.

The Blackthorn Key was October’s pick for the #IndigoBookClub. I had never participated in this Twitter chat but figured since I devoured Ripper (finished it in just over a week) I had some time to catch up and finish the book before the chat. The book had potential – London in the 1600’s, a young apothecary apprentice, murder mystery ( this was apparently the theme for the month) –  but it turned out to be just all-right. The story was definitely entertaining but I found the characters lacked in complexity. I also didn’t try to solve the code puzzle that the main character is working to decipher but many on the #IndigoBookClub admitted that that was their favourite thing. It was an easy, entertaining read that one who loves solving puzzles might enjoy.

Have you read either of these books? What did you think?

Also, I’m always looking for new book to read so I’d love to know what you have been reading!

What I Read in October

Burn baby, burn!

The image, smell and crackling of a  fireplace invokes a delicious feeling of coziness in everyone {especially during the ridiculous snow storms that have been breezing through Toronto lately}. I, unfortunately, do not have the benefit of having  this small luxury in our home so I try to make up for it by pinning an extensive amount of fireplaces in hopes of having one someday soon. You can imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon Netflix’s Fireplace For Your Home.  I thought Netflix couldn’t get better, but then they came out with this hilarious faux-epic trailer and behind the scenes footage. Seriously Netflix, you crack me up!

Burn baby, burn!

The Perfect Nude Lip

marc jacobs severine

Although I am a lover of all things bright I find it takes a lot in me to add some pop to my lip. I have to not only be in the mood for bright lipstick but also be willing to take a break from my regular make-up routine. I still, however, covet the sharp and polished look that a well-applied lipstick can create. The solution – nude lipstick.

Nude tones are just about everywhere so during my search for the perfect nude lip I was shocked to learn that the majority of nude lipsticks out there are just not right.  Some shades made me look like I simply applied concealer causing my lips to disappear while others were too matted or too sticky. Just as I was about to throw my hands up in the air and call it quits Marc Jacobs dropped his new cosmetic line – Marc Jacobs Beauty. The colours available in his Lovemarc-LipGel are beautiful and the texture is glossy without being sticky – sheer perfection, but really, what else could we expect from Jacobs? Severine 112 is the perfect nude tone and when I found it it took everything in me to prevent a victory dance party from happening in the middle of Sephora. Needless to say, it has been incorporated into my every day look.

To top it all off, the body of the lipstick is magnetic so the lid securely fastens & will not fall off and create a mess in your purse {or does that only happen to me?}. It also has been great at attracting all the lose bobby pins in my purse making it incredibly easy for touch ups.

The Perfect Nude Lip

T.O. Review: Nadège Patisserie

Ombré Macarons Ombré Macarons

I believe that sometimes life just hands you little gifts -like an unexpected sweet text from a friend or a parking spot when you are in a hurry. Earlier this week I got one of those little gifts on my way to my favourite cupcake shop. I was on a mission and in a hurry when I stumbled, quite literally, upon Nadège. The chic design and delicious smell oozing out of the doorway stopped me dead in my tracks and I had little choice but to follow my nose straight into the French bakery. Like a little child, I was foolishly smiling from ear to ear while I took in the delicious cakes, macarons and chocolates that are freshly made in store. Although it took me a while to decide, I opted for some almond croissants for the following morning, four lovely macarons and two scrumptious cakes. Having a pastry baker as a sister has made me incredibly picky (some say snobby!) when it comes to deserts and pastries but every single item that I had from Nadège gets a licked-thumbs up! This is not to say that cupcakes will be replaced as my go-to desert but it’s always good to stop and try something new.

Almond Croissant review in TapatiaAlmond croissant in the morning with a cup of coffee
C3 {Caramel, Chocolate, Coconut} Cake review in TapatiaC3 – {Caramel, Chocolate Coconut} cake with a glass of rosé
Pur Noir Chocolate Cake Review in TapatiaPur Noir cake with a glass of red wine
T.O. Review: Nadège Patisserie

Cutting for Stone Rave

I like writing lists.

I have a long, so very long, list of “must read”.

I only add to that list books that are recommended by friends or classics that I have not yet read (like Catcher in the Rye…I know, I know…please don’t judge me)

Cutting for Stone had been on my list for far too long and I finally decided to tackle it this past Christmas. It was one of those wonderful reads that captivated me; I could not put it down and when I did I often imagined what would happen next.

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It is a beautiful saga, set in Ethiopia, that slowly unfolds a secret between an Indian nun and a cold British doctor through the lives of two twins, Marion and Shiva. As they boys grow up and begin to experience different events in their lives such as exile, betrayal, the trials of brotherhood and love, the emotions that come along with it all have a way of weaving their way through the pages and into your heart.  It is a beautifully written masterpiece that invites you into Ethiopia and asks you to grow up side-by-side with the two boys. This novel will move you to the core. I have not shed as many tears over a book since I was in grade 6 and read The Diary of Anne Frank. That being said, I highly suggest you read this in the privacy of your home lest you freak out passengers on the subway (its not fun, trust me.)

So if you are looking for a fantastic book to read this summer, this is it!  If you find yourself ever saying ” I just don’w know what to read”- this is it! If you bored out of your mind one day after work, or during your commute and the tweets on twitter are no longer sufficient to entertain you- this is it!

However, beware, as once you are done reading you will find yourself in a state of mind that I like to call the “book hangover” and will be unable to pick up another book for at least a month.

P.S. what do you recommend I read this summer?

Cutting for Stone Rave

British Fever

I’ve never been too focused or obsessed with the British Royalty like many people my age appear to be (although I must admit that I have had a crush on Prince William since I was six and I now have a girl crush on his wife!).

The British fever, however, has recently struck me in the way of Downton Abbey.

If you have not seen the show- you must! Really, even if you dislike period pieces…. trust me on this one.

This show beautifully unfolds the story of a British aristocratic family the Crawley’s. It begins with an issue regarding the future heir of the stunning estate of Downton and as the story develops and the characters come alive, we see their entertaining and real reactions to historical events. The aristocratic feel is softly juxtaposed with the life of the downstairs help. A wonderful butler, a hilarious cook, beautiful hand maidens, whose stories will have you laughing, crying, and yelling and/or throwing things at the TV.

Below you will find some of the best moments of the show according to moi; hopefully they will infect you with the same British fever I’ve been suffering of lately.

1. Maggie Smith as Granny.

mm-da-MaggieSdesk_tx7001Okay , so it’s not a particular moment but she is fantastic! She despises change and anything that comes along with it- electricity, work, week-ends- you name it! She has a witty and wonderful response for everything! She’s every bit old-fashioned but endearing.

2.Lady Sybil and her early feminist wayssybil

She is lobbying for female suffrage and begins wearing pants- you need to see Granny’s reaction to that!

3. Matthew & Lady Mary.

 Mary & Matthew | Wedding Day 

But specifically Lady Mary’s grace and class. Her strong willed personality is the perfect amalgamation of any one of Jane Austen’s stubborn yet lovely female characters with the class of princess Kate. A wonderful combination!

4. The cook’s- Mrs. Patmore -fits of rage, her love affair and her accent.

Mrs-Patmore-downton-abbey-20689414-398-265

So there you have it.

An intriguingly hillarious yet moving show that will have you speaking like a Brit in no time!

If you start watching it, let me know what you think!

xox

P.S. If you become as obsessed as I am you will certainly enjoy these:

The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook 

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey 

-and for you comic book lovers : Agent Gates and the Secret Adventures of Deconton Abbey: A Parody of Downton Abbey 

British Fever