Sunday Sentence.

I called the composition Audere Est Facere.”  He laughed.

“To dare is to do?” Lotto said.

“Tottenham’s motto. Not a bad way to be an artist, in fact.”

“Your life seems simple,” Lancelot said.

Leo Sen said, “My life is beautiful.”

Fates and Furies: A Novel by Lauren Groff

I’m fairly late to the party by starting this book in late 2018.  Thus far, I find the character development to be amazing, even if I don’t particularly care for a single person in the book.  This little moment took me into my own life (there is a discussion around the team Tottenham Hotspur, and I just learned their motto, which I think is a great one.

Sunday Sentence.

Peterson, liberated from Sick Bay, arrived first with two cardboard boxes. ‘Some of your books,’ he said. ‘How do you organise them?’

‘By order of enjoyment.’

‘Yes, that’s helpful.’

‘Fiction goes on the top shelf, alphabetically, and everything else underneath in chronological order.’

Just One Damned Thing After Another: The Chronicles of St. Mary’s Book One (The Chronicles of St Mary’s 1), Jodi Taylor.

Even though I didn’t really like this book (weird character development, problematic pacing, and just…a disconnect), I did enjoy this quote.

Another 2019 Reading Challenge!

2019 reading challenge

I’m going to end up finishing a book this week (like, a real novel), so I’m starting 2019 off on a great start!

Some suggestions (and my books sometimes fall into multiple categories):


Week by numbers.

Coming down to the end of 2019, and a few last numbers to report.

  • 76,859, draft 1.5 of Under the Rain of Light is rocking in at.  Given I want to toss a few chapters, and write a few more, I still think 80K is a realistic place for the second draft (i.e. the one I want people to read).
  • 1,000, conservative guess of how many times I used the word ‘just’ in this draft.  One of my ‘clean up activities’ is going through a manuscript and seeking out words I use too often, or are weak.  Cut to me cringing when I see ‘just’ 4 times on one page.
  • 50, minutes, my current average daily amount of time on Instagram.  I am sad.
  • 3 hours, 25 minutes, my average daily screen time on my phone.  That’s another number I’d really like to change next year.
  • 8,178, steps, on average for December.  Can you tell we started fostering a dog this month?  And I don’t always bring my phone with me on our walkies, so the number could be higher.
  • Too much, (TMI), blood.  The former owners of Phoebe the foster pup never had her fixed, and the littlest dachshund went on heat last week.  If you’ve ever experienced this particular moment in nature, my best to you.  We’re hoping it’s over soon.
  • 1, pair of designer Italian shoes chewed up by Phoebe (my fault entirely for leaving them out).
  • 1, pair of designer shoes found at a great price today on consignment.
  • 1, house party we’ll be attending this evening.
  • 2, seasons of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel we binged over the holidays.
  • ALL, the pasta we’re making as our contribution to said house party.
  • ALL, the food I’m seem to be eating recently as part of A to Za’atar.
  • 0, trips currently planned for 2019.

Overall, 2018 delivered some interesting elements, and I’m cautiously optimistic to see what 2019 will be like.


Week by numbers.

Whatcha been up to?  I got my holiday shop on today and knocked off most of my list (for other people, poor Hubs).  Other than that, we’re helping prep for our friend’s giant party tomorrow, then a festive brunch on Sunday.

  • 73,648, words, current length of the Louvre project.  Of course, I think I’m going to need to pull a nuclear option and do some major rewriting once I get to the end of this draft, so… I have no idea what that means for my current word count.
  • 40%, off, my dream shoes.  I’ve literally had my eye on these Gianvito Rossi’s for OVER A YEAR, and today BOOM they were on sale and in my size.  I may or may not have done a happy dance in Bloomingdales.
  • 1, giant leg of lamb I have in the fridge.  Being a food blogger has some very strange perks.  Don’t worry, we’re cooking it for our friends big festive blow out tomorrow.
  • 1, video celebrating the start of EAFOL, of which I’m involve in for the first time next year!
  • 1, paperback version of The Queen of England: Coronation, now available!
  • 12+ million, views, I have on my photos on Google Maps.
  • 43, minutes I averaged on Instagram last week – yay for bringing numbers down!
  • 5, mid-to-terrible movies, Hubs and I have watched as part of our Christmas spirit initiative.
  • 6, episodes, of The Great British Baking Show watched.  It’s the ultimate in soothing programming.
  • 4, episodes, of Fake or Fortune watched.  As research for the Louvre manuscript, this show has been absolutely wonderful!  I’m trying to download other seasons now.

What are you doing this weekend?

Week by numbers (Black Friday/Cyber Monday version).

Just thought I’d share a few of my spending habits with you…  I’m pretty sure it’s in my blood, but I love a discount.  Give me a coupon and I’m there.  So, this time of year is always exciting for me.  Given I recently discovered Ebates (a cash back website, here’s the link in case you feel like saving some dosh), I’m just watching my numbers rise with every purchase.

Also, because I am a total dork (and was trying not to overspend), I made a list and really tried to stick to it.

So, what did I pick up?

  • A new pack of business cards from Moo (30% off).  Really, a sort of bland buy, but my ‘nice’ cards (I have two versions) rarely go on sale, so I scooped some up.  Here’s my referral link, if you’re interested.  My cards are always getting compliments, so I see no reason to change.
  • Banana Republic.  I was ready for a dress, but in the end, opted for a shirt (entire site was 50% off).  Given I am in the middle of a purge of ‘I hate everything in my closet,’ it was time to pick up a few decent garments.
  • Sephora.  I keep wanting to ‘quit’ the site, but then I can’t.  After a rather drunken conversation about skincare regimens with three very knowledgable women on the subject, I pulled the trigger on some Drunk Elephant (I pretty much only buy at this time of year).
  • Amazon.  Hubs wanted a 23 & Me kit, and they were on sale.  Done.  (And hey, if you’re on Amazon, you can add or review any of my books, just saying).
  • Express.  I saw a shirt I liked, and then a dress.  40% off (I ordered early and missed the 50% off, no big). Both have somehow already arrived, and I am very happy with both.
  • Box of Style.  I’m such a sucker for a good box of stuff.  Ebates coupon + another coupon brought the price to something reasonable.  It’s probably a good thing that PopSugar is now blocked (for whatever reason) in the UAE.  I’m hoping the box is shipped soon!
  • Flywheel.  Classes aren’t cheap, so I’m booking as many as possible.  30% off.
  • Wisestamp.  I have a fun e-mail signature (necessary, I believe, especially when I pitch out a lot and want to rep myself in a professional manner).  The site has some other items on their platform, and I’m curious to see if adding them will have any impact on my traffic.  The savings were significant, but I’m also going to pull the plug if no magic happens in 30 days.

So close, but not quite:

  • The Limited.  Had a dress I liked, but didn’t love.  7/10 will probably regret not purchasing.
  • Birchbox.  Another site that was close, but not quite (a few of their limited edition boxes as well as regular beauty items).
  • Tom’s.  My old ones are, well, old.  Given they were 30% off, I’m pretty sure this one is going to haunt me.


What did you nab in the sales?  Anything fun?