Read me a story

A few months ago in class, I tried to get one of my student’s attention. He was reading and he didn’t hear me. I had to repeat his name several times, and when he finally looked at me, he had a dazed look on his face. I told him “I get it, you were reading and your mind is still in the story. I love books too, so I know how it feels.” This led to a discussion with a few students about how much we all love books and reading. I don’t remember if the idea came from me or a student, but we decided to have a reading day. A whole day of nothing but books and reading, no other school work. The kids were so excited!

This was in late winter, so we decided to wait until it was nice enough to read outside. That day was last Friday. The kids worked really hard all week so they could read on Friday. I thought of making them little reading passports, where they could put stickers or stamps, but I decided against it. They were happy to read for the sake of reading, they didn’t need anything else.

We started off with a game of pass-the-book. Each kid picked a book from the ones I had set out on the tables. They sat in a circle and passed the books around while music played. When the music stopped, they had a minute to flip through it and decide if it was a book they would like to read.

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Then we took a trip to the library, because no matter how much the kids thought they could sit still and read all day, I knew better. We needed some action.

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When everyone had picked out their books, we went to the park to read there for a little while.

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After lunch, we headed out on the lawn in front of the school with our books, beach towels, blankets and water bottles.

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At one point, there were a bunch of us reading a book about the toe fairy (like the tooth fairy, but with toes). We were all crowded around the book and one kid poked my foot with his finger and asked “Who’s foot is this?”

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Yes, that is a small child on my back. She’s like velcro. We were looking at a book about Vikings.

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It was a perfect day. I told the kids we could do it again next year.

Sunday girl

I’ve recently become obsessed with Zooey Deschanel. Ok, maybe not obsessed, but that girl has some serious style! Not to mention talent as well. Let’s just say she influenced part of this post, which is all about dresses, books and yoga. How fabulous is that combination?

Dresses

Earlier in the week, I posted a teaser of a dress I bought. I originally saw it at Winners, but they didn’t have it in my size, so I went to another Winners. Again, no luck. It was perfect, but I was resigned to not having it. Then, I went to Marshall’s with my friend Suzanne and she said “Look at this pretty dress.” It was my dress! And in my size! It was fate I tell you, fate.

The very same day, I saw a cd at Starbucks from a duo called She and Him. It was Zooey Deschanel and a guy (I’m sorry, I don’t remember his name.). I didn’t even know she sang. When I got home, I looked it up. Not only does she sing, she writes her own songs. Plus, my new dress could totally be in her video for I could have been your girl.

I’ve been listening to the cd all week. I love it!

Back in December, I participated in Dressember, which was a challenge to wear a dress every day for the whole month. The Dressember creator decided to have a summer challenge so we could show off our pretty summer dresses. It’s only for a week this time, but I was super excited to wear my new dress in a Zooey-inspired style!

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That was day one of the dress challenge. Today was day two and it was very grey and gloomy this morning, so I went with bright colours to balance it out.

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I’ve already got my dress picked out for tomorrow!

Books

Today was one of my favourite book-related days of the year. The library book fair! Woohoo! (I know. I’m a nerd.) They sell old books and you pay by weight. I didn’t actually notice what the price per kilogram was, but it wasn’t very much. There were a lot of people and it was muggy in there, so I didn’t stay very long, but I was so happy I got to go!

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They also sell really, really old books. Last year, I bought a 100 year old book for my sister for 50 cents. No such luck this year though.

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I got some great stuff for me and for my classroom. I got eight books for the kids and it cost me 12$. You can barely get one book for that price! They’re all in really good shape too. I got four books for myself and it cost me 5$ Not quite as amazing as the 25 cent books I got last week, but still a good price for someone who buys more books than, well, than anything else really!

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Yoga

Today was day two of my 30 day yoga challenge. I usually go to yoga on Sunday morning, not afternoon, but today I was busy with the books, so I went to a beginner class in the afternoon. It’s nice to take an intro class every now and then. You really get into the foundation of the poses and you don’t just flow through them. It’s not as easy as you would expect because we get used to moving to a certain rythm and when you break a pose down into pieces, it takes more focus to get into it.

It was a good thing I didn’t go to a power class because I had a headache and every time I put my head down in downward dog, it hurt more. I think it’s my fault. I didn’t drink enough water today. Oops!

After class, I got my sticker! The girls made a sticker board where all the challengers can track their progress. It might seem silly, but getting that sticker is a great motivation!

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So that was my day as a Sunday girl, which is the title of one of the songs off She and Him, Volume 3. Here’s the video that inspired my look. I would have loved a crinoline and a bow, but I didn’t have either. I’ll definitely find a bow for next time I wear my dress!

When blissful moments find you

Today was one of those days. Happy just because. Little bits of bliss here and there.

I’ve been sick and whiny lately, so it was a nice change to have some moments that made me smile.

There was my new dress, which is so fabulous, it deserves it’s own post. (Soon!)

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All the classes at school put on plays around this time. My class’ play was a couple of weeks ago (a musical circus, adorable!). Tonight, I helped out with another group. We don’t have a stage at school, so we go to the church across the street. They have a huge basement with a great stage. While I was setting up chairs, I noticed a bookshelf. Obviously, I had to check it out. They were for sale. For 25 cents! Seriously! A quarter for a book! There was a piggy bank to put your coins in.

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And then coming home after a long, long day to find these beautiful lilacs my cousin Annie left for me and a card her daughter made me. Such a thoughtful gesture and it made me crazy happy! When someone goes out of their way to do something nice, just because, it’s a wonderful feeling.

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I had one of these moments today. They don’t happen every day, so I sat back for a few minutes and enjoyed watching the kids work.

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Also, I went to the library after school and ran into one of my first graders. Her reaction is a perfect example of how kids act when they see their teacher out of school.

You’re at the library?

You’re getting books?!

For our class?! Wow.

I hope your day had some bliss in it!

I’m not lazy, I’m energy efficient

I’m still sick.

I’ve spent the past ten days looking like the walking dead. I cough, I sneeze, I whine, I cough some more. It’s not pleasant.

Today is Sunday. I was sure by now, I would be all better. I was planning on going to yoga today. Since I can barely breathe without making a Darth Vader sound while just sitting on my couch, I figure hot yoga might not be the best thing for me right now.

I’m starting a 30 day yoga challenge on June first, so I guess this being sick business is kind of good timing. Hopefully, hopefully, I’ll be better by next Saturday.

I’ve been falling behind on my picture a day challenge, because of the whole being sick thing. Today, I’m trying to catch up. I’m also making some lemon chicken (well, my crockpot is). And that is it. No cleaning, no working, no running, no yoga. Just me, my couch, my pyjamas, my books and lots of tea. It’s the kind of day I always tell myself I’ll make time for, when I’m not sick. Now that I am sick, I am having a lazy day, and I am going to enjoy it! I no longer have a fever or feel the need to sleep after being awake for 20 minutes, so I’m going to make the most of my lazy day and start my week off feeling rested.

Please send healing thoughts, flowers and chocolate. Also, wine. I’m sure that would make me feel better.

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Confessions of a bookworm

I am a geeky book nerd.

It’s awesome.

How do you know if you are this awesome too?

Take this simple quiz.

Sometimes I would rather read than

A) Go outside

B) Go to work

C) Do housework

D) Talk to people

E) Watch tv

F) Do any form of exercise

G) Eat

H) Do anything else

If you answered yes to more than one of these, congratulations, you are awesome! Welcome to the book nerd club.

Last week, I saw a post that had me jumping for joy. My geeky club peeps will understand. It’s a Read-a-thon! OMG! I know, right?! How exciting!

It started this morning, but much as I would love to read at work, I don’t think my students would appreciate it. (Although, we are planning a one day read-a-thon, where we’ll go to the library, then read all day. I’m so rubbing off on them.)

It’s from today until Sunday.

Here are my goals for this week of awesomeness.

1. Read at least one hour per day.

2. Finish one yoga book and start another.

3. Not watch tv (Grey’s Anatomy season finale does not count).

If I do number three, then I’ll do much more than one hour for number one, but I’m still going to go running and to yoga, so we’ll see how it goes. Mostly, I’m just excited to have a reason to read, read, read! (Not that I actually need a reason, but whatever.)

Will you be joining my fantastic reading adventure? Check out the official site here. Because, yes, this is so awesome, it’s official. I didn’t even make it up.

These are some of my maybe books for this week.

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Any suggestions?

The Book Thief

Sometimes, after I’ve read a book, I’m still not sure if I liked it or not. Take Water for elephants. It’s a beautiful story, but it’s cruel too. It was well written and I tell people they should read it, but I’m not sure how I feel about it.

I just finished The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. I bought it based solely on the name. It sounded like something I would love. If I had taken a closer look, I might not have read it. Although I’m not sure I liked it, I am glad I read it. Confusing, I know.

Here are three things about this book that I think you should know before you read it:

1. It takes place in Germany during World War 2

2. The narrator is death

3. The sad moments outnumber the happy moments

It’s about a young girl trying to figure out life in war torn Germany. She is surrounded by people who don’t all believe the same things and who try to do their best, be it hide a Jewish man in their basement or leave the window to their library open so the book thief can “steal” a book.

Death, as a narrator, lets us know how it’s saddened by the state of humanity. It has a job to do, but is not happy about it.

The book is sad, but something kept me reading. I had to know Liesel’s fate. If you’ve read this, please tell me what you thought.

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I’ve got nothing to do today but smile

It’s already April, yay! It seems like not too long ago, I was complaining about snow and posting happy pictures of my best February moments to get over the winter blues. It’s still so cold, it feels like winter, but at least now, the snow is melting!

Today, I’m home sick, so I thought I would post some of my favourite moments from March as well. Maybe this will become an every month thing, but I’m not comitting to it just yet, in case I forget to do it next month!

Yoga in my happy place with some of my favourite people.

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Doing yoga in the snow.

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Spending time with my friend Suzanne and her new baby Stella, a.k.a., the mini muffin.

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Funky ashtanga flow to the music of Madonna with Natalie, most awesome yoga teacher.

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Making a cake for my little sister’s birthday.

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Sisterly love.

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Deciding to stop eating sugar. I still really, really want a chocolate bar, but it’s been a few weeks and I don’t feel tired as much. I guess it’s working! (Confession: I had a Luna bar yesterday. I was sick and grumpy and couldn’t help myself!)

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This salad. Oh.My.God. Bulgar and quinoa mixed with almonds, cucumbers and tomatoes, drizzled with lemon juice and lemon infused olive oil. So simple, so delicious!

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Learning how to get into a new yoga pose. Fallen angel. Amazing.

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Making sugar free cookies. Delicious!

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New books! This always makes me happy. I actually got more than three. This is just a sample.

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Learning a new way to get into an arm balance. Something fun to work on.

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What made you happy lately?

Read me!

If you’re a book lover/bookworm like me, you buy books when you feel inspired. You might not have time to read it just then, or maybe you’ve already got a big pile of to read books. It doesn’t matter. You want it, you buy it. It’s a book, so it’s ok. It’s never a bad idea to buy a book.

But then, you end up with a nice pile of “I just had to buy this book but now it’s been sitting of the shelf for a while” books. It’s a nice problem to have, and it’s this week’s prompt for The Broke and the Bookish’s top ten Tuesday.

1. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy

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Even before the Gilmore Girls episode where Rory tries to get Dean to read Anna Karenina, I’ve wanted to read it. It’s been called the best love story of all time. The thing is, I’ve tried to read this. I get lost in all the characters and their names. I mean, does Katherine really need to be Katie, Kitty, Ekaterina and Katherine? I’ll try again. I’m determined to read this even if I know how it ends.

2. Fall of Giants, Ken Follett

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I loved, loved, loved Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, so when Fall of Giants came out, I was super excited and bought it right away. I read a few chapters, but it’s about the first world war, and that’s not my favourite subject, so I put it aside and haven’t gotten back to it yet.

3. Shadow Princess, Indu Sundaresan

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I totally judge books by their cover and this one is a great example of what draws me in. I love stories set in India and this one seems to have some sort of sibling rivalry mystery.

4. 7 ans après, Guillaume Musso

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I’ve read several of Musso’s books, and I enjoyed them, so I didn’t hesitate to buy this one. I read about half, but then I lost interest. (Humm, maybe my top ten should be “Books I bought, then read a little and put away”.

5. Marie de la Mer, Annie Lavigne

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When I saw this book at the store, I snatched it up right away because I really liked the first one. When I realized it was a trilogy, I decided to wait for the third one to be published, so I wouldn’t have to wait between books two and three. Yes, I know that is a little strange.

6. The science of yoga, William J. Broad

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To be fair, I only bought this book a few days ago. I haven’t started it yet, but since it’s not a novel (which is what I normally read) I’ll probably read it in bits and pieces while I read other books.

7. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak

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Also a book I bought last weekend (because obviously, I need more books). Ever since I heard the title, I’ve been wanting to read it.

8. The Constant Princess, Philippa Gregory

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When I saw the movie The Other Boleyn girl, I decided to read the book. I bought this one instead and I can’t remember why I never read it. I bought it a few years ago.

9. Stones into schools, Greg Mortenson

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This book isn’t even mine. I got it for my mom after we read and loved Three cups of tea. As soon as she was done reading it, I grabbed it from her and, well, I haven’t read it yet. But you know that, because there’s a whole theme going on here.

10. Beautiful Darkness, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

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I liked Beautiful Creatures, so I bought the second book in the series. I’ve actually started reading it, so it doesn’t really belong on this list, but I ran out of books. It’s not great litterature, but it’s entertaining.

Writing this post was actually a great idea! I feel like I have a bunch of new books to read. Have you read any of these books? Which one should I start with?

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The Red Garden

Sometimes, a book is just a book. Sometimes, a book is an adventure, an escape, a dream, an other world. Rarely is one book all of these things. So when, a few pages into a book, you realize it’s going to be one of those books, the magical kind that keeps you from sleeping because you just have to read more, you do a little happy dance and sometimes let out a squeal of joy.

The Red Garden is one of those books.

Written by Alice Hoffman, it’s no surprise that it’s a fantastic read.

I had a little moment of doubt when I first started reading. The story starts off with Hallie Brady, a young woman who comes to America and becomes the founder of a new town in the wilderness of Massachusetts. I was so into her story, but after a few pages, it was over. The next chapter was the story of a sad young woman and a man who plants apple trees. Then, a little girl who goes missing.

Soon, I realized that the book was not a person’s story, as a novel usually is. It’s the story of a place. The place is Bearsville, later renamed Blackwell. People come and go, love and cry, hope and dream, live and die. The town grows and some of the earlier stories become legend. Every person leaves their mark on the town, and shapes into a place where magic happens.

Through the stories, we meet an interesting cast of character, including Emily Dickinson and Johnny Appleseed. Some stories are happier than others. There’s a man who’s going blind, but is more of an adventurer than anyone the town has seen since Hallie Brady. There’s the young man who comes home from war broken, only to have his soul healed by a young widow. There’s a young woman who meets a man who lives in the woods, and it changes her forever. My favourite was the fisherman’s wife. Sad, lonely and beautiful, she longs to go back home to be with her one true love. Her home isn’t where you expect it to be.

One of the things I loved the most was how, when a story ended, you might not know what happend to the people later on, but tidbits about their lives would come up in the next chapters, where they were now the current character’s ancestors.

I also love that there is an actual red garden. People don’t know why the earth is red, but you, the reader, know. It like knowing a secret. It feels like being a part of something special, because you’ve been there since the begining.

I finished this book over a week ago, but I haven’t been able to read anything else yet. The collection of episodes, like pieces of a puzzle, are still floating around in my head. I need to read it again, to make even more connections between the people and their stories.

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Today is Alice Hoffman’s birthday, and two very awesome bloggers have put together a bloghop where all of her fans could share their love for her enchanting storytelling. Happy birthday, Alice Hoffman, and thank you for sharing your magic!

I’ve written post about Alice Hoffman’s books before, because she’s just so amazing! Check it out here , here, here and here!

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened!

March break is coming to an end. I go back to work tomorrow. It’s ok. I needed a break, and now I’m going back refreshed and happy.

A lot of teachers and students escape to sunny destinations for March break. I do enjoy a good beach day (or week!) but my travel budget does not permit me to go somewhere warm every year. Not if I want to travel elsewhere during the year, that is. I decided on a staycation this year. The plan was simple: make as little plans as possible! I wanted to relax and enjoy myself. Here are some highlights of my blissful week.

Yoga.

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Yoga in the snow.

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Meeting baby Stella, a.k.a., The mini-muffin

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New books!

Coraline, by Neil Gaiman (finished!)

The Red Garden, by Alice Hoffman (finished!)

Beautiful Darkness, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Scrabble at the cottage (I won!)

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Watching the X-men trilogy in one day with my sister (number 27)

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Madonna yoga.

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Today I’ve been cooking and baking like a crazy person. I like to have meals prepared for lunches and homemade, gluten free snacks so I’m not tempted to buy any junk food during the week.

How do you enjoy your Spring Break?