Category Archives: Blog Hops

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: My Greatest Strength

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

scrap of paper that says "there is power in kindness."My greatest strengths are my diplomacy and ability to find the good in everyone. They’re so closely related that I thought it was okay to bind them together for the sake of this prompt.

I’m the sort of person who gets along with just about everyone. People are fascinating, and I enjoy getting to know them one-on-one or in small groups. You can learn all sorts of things about someone by quietly listening to what they do (and don’t) say about themselves, others, and the world in general.

My favourite sorts of people are the ones who love to talk but who also know how to turn the conversation back to us quieter folks after a little while. That is such a wonderful skill to possess!

If someone says something that could be interpreted in multiple ways, I’ll search for the most charitable interpretation possible and give them the benefit of the doubt. Until or unless someone gives me good reason to suspect otherwise, I assume the best of them. In my experience, that’s usually the most helpful way to approach interactions with folks you don’t know well yet.

Being kind and polite to everyone costs nothing, but it can go a long way to make social situations enjoyable for everyone.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

A red ball with a smiley face on it. The ball is floating in a large body of water. Honestly, I haven’t read that many humorous books recently regardless of if we’re talking about tales published last year or thirty years ago.

I’ll share a few funny books I have read and hope I can get some great ideas for other reads from everyone else’s posts today.

Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh

It was a good read because… the author knows how to poke fun at herself while also inviting her audience to do the same when it comes to our own weird but funny stories about our pasts.

 

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

It was a good read because… everything and everyone was up for grabs here! There was no topic too sacred or mundane to joke about. This is one of the things I enjoy the most about Pratchett and Gaiman’s stories.

 

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

It was a good read because… of how skillfully but respectfully it picked apart the fairy tale genre and saved only their best bits to be woven together into something that was keenly self-aware but still somehow romantic and magical.

 

The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, #1-5) by Douglas Adams

It was a good read because… it regularly defied reader’s expectations of how a science fiction adventure series should go. If you haven’t already noticed, I love it when narrators are aware of their genres and purposefully break certain rules in them.

 

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

It was a good read because… no one is ever too old or too young for puns!

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: How I Take Care of My Health

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

While I did get out of some of these habits last year due to how topsy-turvy 2020 was for so many of us, I’m a health-conscious person in general.

I don’t smoke, drink alcohol, or use any other substances. My body can barely handle the side effects of caffeine, much less anything stronger than that. Haha!

I lift weights, do yoga, or take long walks nearly every day of the week. Winter tends to be a more sedentary season for me, but I do still try to get some activity in when everything outside is covered in ice and snow.

close-up photo of fresh raspberries, blackberries, and blueberriesI eat five servings of vegetables and fruit on most days. If I’m hungry between meals, these are the foods I reach for first.

I eat a low-sugar diet. That is to say, the natural sugar in whole, fresh fruit is fine, but I avoid the processed stuff unless it’s a holiday or I’m on vacation. (This is one of those rules I broke a lot last year. I’m working hard to make 2021 less sugary).

I meditate most days of the week. It does wonders for my mental health.

I use an electric toothbrush at my dentist’s recommendation. Apparently, they’re better at removing plaque than manual toothbrushes are. All I know is that I feel kind of futuristic and cool when a machine does some of that gentle scrubbing for me.

I’m up-to-date on my vaccinations, but I will never enjoy the sensation of a needle sliding into my arm. Shudder!

I weigh myself daily. There is more to being healthy than the number on the scale, but I like to see what my longterm trends are and stay within a healthy range for my body frame size. Unexplained changes in weight can be an early sign of some pretty dangerous diseases. It’s also handy to know how much you weigh in case a dentist, doctor, or other medical professional needs to prescribe certain types of medication that must be calibrated to your weight in order to be effective and safe.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books About Mardi Gras

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

A pink mardi gras mask with purple, blue, and yellow feathers sticking out of it.Technically, today’s topic was “Purple, Yellow, and/or Green Book Covers in honour of Mardi Gras.”

I’ve written so many posts about book covers of various colours that I tweaked it to be “Books About Mardi Gras” instead.

They span a wide range of topics, from  recipes to history to even zombies!

1. Gay as Mardi Gras  by Lily Velden

2. No Mardi Gras for the Dead by D.J. Donaldson

3. The Baby Dolls: Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition by Kim Marie Vaz

4. Mardi Gras Indians by Michael P. Smith and Alan Govenar

5. Mardi Gras . . . As It Was by Robert Tallant

6. Confessions of a Bi-Polar Mardi Gras Queen by Marie Étienne

7. Design A Mardi Gras Parade: A Coloring Book by Mr. Sean Gautreaux

8. Mardi Gras Greats: Delicious Mardi Gras Recipes, the Top 79 Mardi Gras Recipes by Jo Franks

9. New Orleans Carnival Balls: The Secret Side of Mardi Gras, 1870-1920 by Jennifer Atkins

10. Mardi Gras Zombies  by Bart Gnarly

 

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: The Most Romantic Movie Ever

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

I should warn you all that I don’t read or watch many romantic stories, so this answer might be a little off the beaten path. I like romances about characters who respect each other’s boundaries, have realistic expectations of their romantic partners, and  know how to take no for an answer. From what I recall, this tale did a pretty good job at all of those things.

Film poster for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Image on poster shows Jim Carrey looking worridly up at a scene of him and his love interest lying on cracked ice in a pond. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 sci-fi romance film about man who agreed to have his painful memories of his ex-girlfriend permanently erased.

In order for that to happen, he had to briefly relive all of the memories that included her beginning with the newest and most difficult ones. He was asleep during this process and has no way to communicate with the scientists who were erasing his memories.

As they worked backwards in time and he remembered happier moments with her, he changed his mind about this process.

I loved the plot just as much as I did the chemistry between the two main characters. They’d had more than their fair share of hard days together, but they’d also had some wonderful experiences as a couple.

It was cool to see a film acknowledge that most relationships generally aren’t 100% harmful or 100% helpful. (I’m not talking about toxic relationships here, just ordinary ones that might go through rough patches).

There are many shades of grey between those two extremes, and it isn’t always easy to know where the line is between a relationship that should end for the sake of everyone involved in it versus one that could be salvaged if both partners are willing to work at it.

The ending was immensely satisfying as well, although I won’t spoil it for anyone who has yet to check this film out.

Whether you’re single, in a longterm relationship, or somewhere in-between, I’d recommend this film to everyone as Valentine’s Day approaches.

Top Ten Tuesday: Conversation Hearts on Book Covers

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl As I mentioned on last year’s Valentine’s Day freebie post, I don’t actually celebrate this holiday. I do, however, love conversation hearts, so this year’s freebie post will be all about covers that feature those delicious little candies. If you’ve never eaten a conversation heart, they’re hard, sweet, and… Read More