Book Review: The School of Good Mothers

I can’t recall if it was “tiktok that made me read it” or maybe one of the book influencers I follow on Social – but I recently read the book The School of Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan.

I want to start by saying that I had high expectations for this book.  The book had me hooked at the beginning as we begin to learn about Frida’s (the protagonist mom) very bad day.  Reading this part made me think of the countless times similar ideas pop into a mothers head – but daring to do it…is another question!

The novel continues by illustrating that the state has put into place a “school that will focus on re-programming bad mothers” with the help of robot dolls as the mother’s adopted children no less!  The story is written in away that you are transported to this prison-school where you feel you are sitting in the classroom with the robot dolls.  Majority of the lessons are harsh and challenging.  Mothers are taught to mother in a very mechanical way (read: if this else that).  Consequences are delivered out hourly.  The mothers also learn that there is a school for dads, where in contrast, the dad’s are treated with grace and respect.

The women are graded and medically analyzed to see if they are fit to return to the society as mothers to their children.  Most are not, which drives Frida to take a drastic decision.

This book was interesting right until the end.  I mean I could understand her mindset and her reasons for doing what she did – but I didn’t agree with it. And as always I wanted more science fiction in the story.  Would recommend 6.5/10

5 personal growth quotes that will make you rethink your purpose

I know I’ve stumbled upon these quotes multiple times, but just recently they hit different.

It made me reflect on my purpose, direction and priorities.  And also gave me more motivation. Though,  I must say, quotes are flaky and can’t always provide inspiration.  On occasion they can make you stand up, re-evaluate and take action.

So please feel free to reflect on the words and enjoy the sunflower pics I took at Robintide Farms

What we fear of doing most is usually what we most need to do.

We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.

It’s Never Too Late To Be What You Might Have Been

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

 

FOUR experiences not to miss on your trip to Banff

It’s been about 4 weeks since we got back from our trip to Calgary & BC (more lovingly known by most as “the Banff trip”)

I’ve yet to go through all my photos, but I figured this would be a good way to start. I read a lot of travel guides and blog posts ahead of our trip about what to see and do on #TheBanffTrip.

So I figure it only fair that I share my tips too! (my way of paying it forward). And nooo this list does not include Lake Louise (a bit of let down in my opinion!).

I’m sharing FOUR experiences that you can’t miss when in Calgary & BC (aka on your own Banff trip). These are great options to add to your itinerary if you are travelling with family/kids or if you want to try things off the beaten path (without the need to extensive gear or training!)

I should say that most of these attractions technically are in BC but considering how close everything is to each other, most people would still consider these things on their Banff Trip.

I’ve also shared our travel vlog – hopefully it provides some inspiration for a future trip.

  • Glacier (paid) Tour

Most people will tell you to check out the Glacier field by taking a small hike to the base of the glacier (aka the snout…just doesn’t sound nice). If you just see the base, you will not get the magnificent views, history/information and fresh (drinkable) glacier water. This can only be experienced by paying for the tour.

  • Peyto Lake

A moderate hike uphill and you get views of a turquoise lake surrounded by mountains (both with trees and snow peaks). And although there were crowds, it was way better here than to be herded like cattle between Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. Make sure to detour and check out this lake.

  • Takakkaw Falls

This is an easy-moderate hike with a surprise ending! The cool (read: cold) spray from the waterfall. Getting to most waterfalls can be a trek, but this is mostly paved which made it easier for my kids.

  • Jasper Gondola

We didn’t do the popular Banff Gondola (to be honest didn’t even want to). I found this attraction by a simple google search …and I honestly think this was way better. The views are stunning and you can even hike further up the summit. It was windy up there so be sure to bring a touq and some layers. The mountains in the distance look unreal!

August Reset and Monthly Goals

I’m back with another tiktok inspired trend: monthly goals!

Well technically I’ve always been making monthly goals.  But even more so, I just back from a vacation… vacations have a way and making me more inspired to review my habits & goals. And sometimes you need to write down your intentions and get re-acclimatized to your dreams.

Here are my August Goals & my current status as of the first full week of the month.

Drink 3L of water: I added a habit tracker (little water drops to track every water bottle of 500mL) to my planner for every day.  So far I’ve gotten to 2.L a few days.

Make art daily: not hitting this one yet.  The plan was to either paint, photograph, use procreate or blog.  And so far all I have excuses.  Will try again this week.

Forrest walks: again not there yet. My workday is a little crazy (side note: talking to my leadership about that this week to make sure I’m putting my career goals and professional brand first – and to have more space in my day to take walks in a forrest)

Daily Journaling & Mediation: 7 for 8 so far!

Read 2 books: I recently finished Verity and I’m now reading The Secret.

Share my art weekly: Promising myself that I will share a procreate piece this week!

Camera Settings Explained!

I’ve had my DSLR for about 10-11 years. And although you’ll find me with my “big camera” glued to my face – I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t always [insert: *G A S P*] shoot in manual.

I did take a photography 101 course around the time I bought the camera, and the settings I learned about in that course are the most important and particularly the only ones I will use to this day.

So in the spirit of “sharing is caring” I’m sharing – here are the TOP TWO camera settings explained.

ISO – let there be light!

This setting is so great to create drama (less light) or to add more calm to a photo (more light). The ISO is a number, if you need more light select a higher number, when you lead less light, turn the number down.

Photography, Camera Settings, Artist, Creative, Creator, Camera Hacks, Camera Tips, ISO, Shutter Speed

Shutter: The thrill of speed

This is probably my favourite setting. I use it (with a tripod or steady hand) to capture motion (like water or fast lights) or even the craters of the moon. Here we are working with fractions of a number to large whole numbers (ie seconds). The higher the shutter speed (ie: a whole number) the more crisp the photo. The lower the number (ie: a small fraction) the more crisp the picture will be. You have to play around the ISO here, meaning if you want to keep the shutter open for longer, you may want to reduce the ISO to prevent overexposure.

Photography, Camera Settings, Artist, Creative, Creator, Camera Hacks, Camera Tips, ISO, Shutter Speed