For those of you that don’t know, I attend a couple different quilting retreats with my Mom every year. You can see my post on last year’s retreat here. I also have a couple older posts from 2014, 2015, and 2016 retreats. I’m not a quilter but I have found over the years that a quilting retreat is a great way to get some good reading done! So I tag along and while all the other ladies are quilting, I read! This year I was also determined that I be creative as well so I brought a coloring book to try and enhance my creative abilities. I also ended up helping one of the ladies with a project for a quilt she was making that was super fun! This year was another super productive and fun year, and I wanted to share with you readers a run-down of what happens at our mystical retreat weekends!
Here was my overall schedule for the weekend:
We started retreat on Thursday afternoon this year, which was earlier than in recent years. The extra time made a big difference and allowed me just a bit more time to get reading and other things done! Below are some highlights and pictures from the weekend:
- First picture colored! I purchased this Magical Planner on Amazon a few weeks ago because (a) I like magical things and (b) I like coloring. I already have a planner but I liked the information this planner has and I’m hoping to learn something new! Below are before and after pictures of the coloring! Love how all the colors really make the picture come alive.
- Mom and I went to a local winery, Chamard Vineyards, and did a tasting. We go here every year to get a stamp in our CT Winery Passports and also because we like wine! I snagged a few pictures below from the winery, which is beautiful.
- My handsome husband came to visit! We shared a delicious lunch and then went for a hike. The retreat center where we go for the Quilt Retreat has extensive trails and also various sporting gear. We found a basketball court along the way and decided to stop and shoot a couple hoops (picture below!). There’s also a gorgeous outdoor worship space that I love taking pictures of every year, it’s right on the water and is just so peaceful. Picture included below!
- I helped one of my friends, Debbie, with a quilt she was working on! I like stretching my creative muscles during retreat and I had great fun helping Debbie pick out which fabrics to use for the doggy glasses!
I also included a picture below of a few other quilts that ladies (and mom) were working on during the weekend and another picture that I colored during the weekend. Also my desk space where I hang out for the weekend is pictured below!
May was such a productive month for me! I had Bout of Books mid-month and the last couple days of the month I have been at a reading retreat. I got a lot of reading done and really had a great month! So anyways, here are some highlights from May for me:
# books read this month: 9
# pages read this month: 3,297
# books read year-to-date: 31
# pages read year-to-date: 10,454
Favorite Books I Read this Month:
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang – 4.75 stars – I loved this one, it was a great read!
Other Posts this month:
No Other Duke But You BLOG TOUR!!
Getting Hot With the Scot BLOG TOUR!!
Bout of Books 25 – many posts!
Product Review – Cashmere Writing Gloves
Product Review – Color Street Nails
Next Month TBR List:
-Waiting For Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey
-It’s Hot in the Hamptons by Holly Peterson
-The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda
-One Night at the Lake by Bethany Chase
-Rogue Most Wanted by Janna MacGregor
I was recently approached by Literary Book Gifts with an opportunity to review one of their products, the Cashmere Writing Gloves. For those of you that don’t know, Literary Book Gifts is an online retail store that features many reading related items. From their site – “Literary Book Gifts is a webstore that celebrates these high-quality works of literature that so many of us have enjoyed reading. Books and authors are always in mind when creating each addition to the catalog. The titles and authors are chosen to suit young adults, women, and men alike. These stories are meant to be enjoyed long after reading the final pages and the cover is closed. As designs, now they can be.” There’s a huge variety of gifts for any book lover. Some of the T-shirts and totes on the site look awesome and there’s a variety of books featured! I’m sure I’ll have to buy one of my favorites.
I received a pair of the Cashmere Writing Gloves in Heather Purple. The gloves are very comfortable and will definitely keep my hands warm on those cold nights when my hands are outside the covers to hold a book or turn a page! They’d also be great for writers to keep their hands warm while working on their next great novel!
As you can see from the photos, the gloves cover the whole back of your hand and have two finger openings, one for the thumb and then one for the other four fingers. The gloves are soft and comfortable and I’d recommend them! They’re a little steep at $52 but they’re cashmere and, from what I’ve experienced with them so far, they are a good quality product.
**I was provided with this free product in exchange for an honest and fair review.
So for one of my goals this year to help me focus more on reading and having concentrated time for reading, I decided to participate in two of the three Bout of Books reading challenges / read-a-thons this year! This was the second one for this year, with the first being in January. I was actually super successful over the last week with setting aside time for reading and I was able to get a lot done!
First let’s do my Day 7 (Sunday) update on reading.
Time spent reading: (Approximately) 3 hours
Number of pages I’ve read today: 212 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 1,375 pages
Books read: Continued reading My Favorite Half-Night Stand
Challenges: I did not do the challenge post for today
And now let’s look at how I fared for my overall Bout of Books 25 wrap up:
Time Devoted to Reading
I plan to read at least 1.5 hours each day during the week, with hopefully additional hours on Saturday and Sunday. Monday I’ll be at the spa with my Mom for Mother’s Day but hopefully can find time to read during the day while we’re there.
I met the daily reading goal 5 out of the 7 days. Tuesday I had to work too late and then Friday I had a bunch of other things I was getting done plus dinner out with family! I read extra some of the other days though so I made up for it. Overall I read over 20 hours for the challenge!
My goals for this read-a-thon are that I’d like to participate in as much as I can: the daily posts plus reading every day. I’d really like to just focus on getting back into reading. My traditional busy season at work goes from January to April and it was a killer this year. I gave up on reading for April since all I was doing was making myself more tired. I’ve just recently picked up reading again and it’s been going well but I need to get back on board with my reading schedule in a big way.
I was able to read every day! Which was a big deal for me – I didn’t read hardly anything in April. I only participated in one of the daily challenges but I did that so I could concentrate more on reading!
Books to Read
- Read The Bride Test by Helen Hoang Finished and reviewed!
- Read The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren Finished and reviewed!
- Read Next Girl to Die by Dea Poirier Finished and reviewed!
- Read a book for my Bookish Reading Challenge Started and got almost all the way through – review to come soon for My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
- Read The Suspect by Fiona Burton Did not get to
Overall I thought I did super well with this challenge and made a lot of time for reading! I’m looking forward to participating in a Bookish Bingo challenge next month and hopefully get lots more reading done!
Posting this a day late since we were too busy having tons of fun this weekend! Saturday was goal day so I got a lot of reading done and it was great! It was the perfect relaxing day spent with my Mom and also dinner with the family. So anyways my Saturday’s progress is below:
Time spent reading: (Approximately) 7 hours
Number of pages I’ve read today: 372 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 1,163 pages
Books read: Continued reading Next Girl to Die and started My Favorite Half-Night Stand
Challenges: I did not participate in the challenge for yesterday – I focused on reading for the day!
Stay tuned for continued progress made in my next post on my Sunday update!!
Yesterday I read a little in the afternoon while getting my car serviced but we went out to dinner with family so I didn’t get to read much at night. So anyways my Friday’s progress is below:
Time spent reading: (Approximately) 1 hour
Number of pages I’ve read today: 55 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 791 pages
Books read: Continued reading Next Girl to Die
Challenges: I did not participate in the challenge for yesterday – the day just flew by and there wasn’t enough time
Stay tuned for continued progress made in tomorrow’s post on my Saturday update!!
Title: The Bride Test
Author: Helen Hoang
Date finished: 5/13/19
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Pages in book: 320
Stand alone or series: #2 in the Kiss Quotient series
Where I got the book from: Edelweiss
NOTE: I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.
Blurb from the cover:
Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.
As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.
With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.
My rating: 4.75 stars out of a scale of 5
My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.
I have heard a lot about this author since her last release, The Kiss Quotient. I was excited to check out her most recent release and I’m so glad I got the chance to read this one! It’s so good, I read the whole thing in a day because I just couldn’t put it down! This book was so entertaining – Khai as a main character was super funny and endearing. I loved the chemistry between Esme and Khai too – it was emotional and intense, but at the same time so very sweet. I especially appreciated that the author wrote the story from both Khai and Esme’s points of view. I have found that reading pieces from both points of view allows readers to see into each character’s mindset and understand both of their character development better. I loved all the side characters too, Quan and Michael’s interactions with Khai were especially entertaining. And I didn’t even realize that Michael was the main character in the author’s first book, The Kiss Quotient, and now I can’t wait to read that one too! There were some kind of cheesy parts to this book, and the ending came together a little quickly for me. I thought that the author could’ve lingered in the resolution to the story a little but who knows. I really enjoyed this book, it was so good that I immediately wanted to start reading it again. I would recommend it!
Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page