“Who has time amidst all this CHAOS?”

Moria Rose from Schitt’s Creek has been my vibe for the past month!

I have been MIA on the blog as my personal life, job and health have all been quite demanding and well … chaotic. There is no other way to describe the tasks, events and feelings of the past month that was September.

Within the bookstore we have seen a number of fantastic authors walk through our doors (and many more to come), we’ve seen unexpected pivots and I, personally, have been growing my managerial skills in leaps and bounds due to unexpected circumstances. This is positive growth for me but it does not come without exhaustion and in turn, rest.

However, we’re on the rise book friends and the future is looking bright! I am officially rostering in some reading, reviewing, friends, family and wholesome time. I’m scheduled to leave the chaos behind for a little while and just find the things I love most again.

I’ve attempted to read a number of books this month but I’ve shuffled of the bandwagon and leapt into 10 hour sleeps instead #whoops. Here’s the half September wrap:

πŸ“– The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley

πŸ“– The American Roommate Experiment by Elena Armas

πŸ“– Electric and Mad and Brace by Tom Pitts

πŸ“– The Opal Miner’s Daughter by Fiona McArthur

πŸ“– The Vet from Snowy River by Stella Quinn

πŸ“– Her Death Was Also Water by Allen C. Jones

I need to preface that NONE of these book are BAD! As you can see this month I’ve bounced around from historical fiction, to romance, to literature, to rural romance and back to literature again. My brain had no idea what it wanted to read, and you know what, that’s okay! Because now I have 5 fantastic books that are a quarter of the way read that I can just pick up and keep going at any time – glass half full right? 🀣

Happy weekend to you all and I hope you take the time, as I am, to leave the chaos behind … even just for 24 hours. Mel xx

‘Go Your Own Speed’

The past few weeks haven’t been the highest in my life, but I think one of the core thoughts that got me through was “go your own speed”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been hard. Physical health, mental health and emotional health are all factors in a persons life that are not fixable overnight – well, at least for me they never have been.

I am incredibly grateful to live in a world, an environment and surrounded by spectacular people who support me in going at my own speed and allowing me to lean on them.

So today my book friends, I encourage you to also go at your own speed, don’t rush because if we do, somethings we miss all the little achievements in between and along the way xx

What do you practice?

Do you practice gratitude? πŸ’¬

I am a firm believer in bringing peace and comfort to my life. I have a lot to be grateful for, but I only came to realise this when I started writing down 3 things during my day, right before I go to bed, that I am grateful for. A counsellor at the time, and also an additional close friend suggest I try this exercise years ago. It is a technique I still practice to this day.

When I’m going through a hard time, I find practicing gratitude gives me insight as to what parts of my life make me happy and feel fulfilled. It also makes me realise what areas of my life are not bringing warmth, comfort, care, peace and positive energy. I highly recommend trying to bring aspects of practiced gratitude into your life – it will bring about a clearer picture mentally, emotionally and spiritually πŸ’– Happy Monday book lovers!

Saturday 19th February

Where am I? I am currently sitting in the most gorgeous and welcoming bookstore/cafe called Bouquiniste, Kiama, NSW. This stunning space is owned by Clayton Zane Comber, talented writer and author (you can expect to hear a little from Clay on ‘Author Talks’ soon πŸŽ™πŸ“š) & his spectacular partner Hannah who has a wealth of knowledge in hospitality and publishing. What a duo ⭐️

What am I drinking? A delicious long back in a cup with almond milk & a mixed berry slice

What am I thinking? This weekend I am incredibly grateful and proud of myself. I decided to take myself on a holiday to Kiama, not only to catch up with a life long friend, but breathe in the beach and explore a place that I have admired for over a year now. Clayton and Hannah have created the most creatively accepting space for book and coffee lovers alike. They inspire me to keep my dream alive of owning and running my own bookstore/cafe one day – with floor to ceiling bookshelves, mood lighting, bright and eclectic decor, and above all else, a fabulous environment. I am so grateful for time to explore and grow my perspectives.

I recently discussed ‘Infinite Country’ by Patricia Engel at my Literary Lovers Book Club. This short novel expanded my knowledge and awareness of Colombian culture, common adversities, folklore and spirituality. As the reader, the change in perspectives is quite jolting in this novel. We move from hearing Tahlia’s story, of whom has just escaped a correctional school for an assault she committed, to then being thrown into her parents story. This allows you to connect and understand her disconnected and emotionally damaging childhood. There are a lot of one liners and paragraphs that I’ve appreciated in this novel – I tabbed and wrote quite a few annotations. I will admit that I can see myself recommending this to only a selective few readers, depending on their style and tastes of reading. I can appreciate the talent, personal connection and beautiful writing in this book, however it didn’t make as grand of an impact on me as other novels I’ve read this year.

My 2022 Book Goals

  1. Read 50 book again πŸ“š
  2. Read 15 books off my combined GoodReads TBR and physical bookshelf that have sat unread for too long (ekk πŸ™ˆ)
  3. Read more from the Literature genre (I’ve been throughly enjoying it of late)
  4. Visit and borrow from my local library each month βœ…
  5. (Here is a controversial one …) Read at least one book on my Kindle each month βœ…

Okay now let me explain these a little more …

Last year I accomplished one of my biggest reading goals I’ve ever set – 50 book! And I did it! πŸ₯³ I aim to pick up more literary novels this year as it is a growing pleasure. Hopefully a large amount of this 50 will be literary.

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a new book and if I’m honest with you, I will still be buying new books – just probably on Kindle or with careful decision making as to whether I really really need the physical copy. I’ve made this goal and decision because my bookshelf is F U L L !! I have no space whatsoever for more books, therefore I need to start reading through all the books I own. Some of these include, ‘Cresent City’ by Sarah J Maas, ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ by Heather Morris, ‘American Dirt’ by Jenine Cummins & ‘Cloud Cuckoo Land’ By Anthony Doerr. I’m one pretty lucky girl to own such amazing books already!

My local library is awesome and they have an abundance of books, from a wide span of genres! I need to utilise my library card a little more this year πŸ“š And as for my Kindle, I recently upgraded to the new Kindle Paperwhite with the warming back light. I did this because it is more portable (for when I travel), it’s less harsh on my eyes than just the blue light and well… its much more affordable.

Comment down below what your book goals are for 2022? πŸ’«

Friday 24th September 2021

“You worked hard for this”

I found this online last night by @devsdoodlesco and it resonated with me. I don’t think we, as busy, bustling humans take much time to acknowledge where we’ve come from to where we are now. I try my best not to dwell on the past, depending on circumstance and the impact this has had on your current life/wellbeing/outlook. HOWEVER, I do think it is essential for us to be proud of what we have overcome in, gosh, even just the past year. The amount of resilience each and every person has within them is astonishing.

So maybe for today, before we start our weekends – try and reflect on where you’ve been and where you are now. It might help you feel a little lighter for your sunny weekend enjoying your hobbies, drinking coffee and seeing friends and family. It may even spark a little feeling of gratitude.

Monday 16th August 2021

Where am I? My family home in Regional NSW

What am I drinking? A good old instant coffee with almond milk (who doesn’t love one of these in the morning?!)

What am I thinking? My life, as have the lives of many people living in NSW, has been a whirlwind the past few days. I am grateful to be safe. I am grateful to be healthy. I am grateful to have company in lockdown. I believe that many people, including myself, will and have taken this lockdown as a hit to their mental health. I am trying to stay focused and breathe through the overwhelming thoughts of feeling lost and unstructured. I am a rigorous planner and love my routines, therefore this week and possibly weeks to come will be a new challenge. I’m trying to see through to a hopeful future and one where our whole state can come out of disarray. Stay safe everyone.

Friday 6th August 2021

My first β€˜Coffee’ post! We’re here – we’re doing this!

Where am I? Thorne Street Cafe (82 Thorne Street, Wagga Wagga, NSW, 2560)

What have I ordered? A Long Black w/ a side of Almond Milk & a Raspberry and White Choc Muffin

What am I thinking? How friendly the staff are and how lucky I am to be sitting in a coffee shop freely enjoying a coffee and food without lockdown restrictions of Covid-19. In regional NSW we are legally obliged to β€˜Check-In’, yet in places such as Sydney, sadly they cannot even leave their homes unless it is classed as essential.