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Showing posts from January, 2018

The Home for the Unwanted Girls

He who plants a seed plants life.Family relationships are complicated. And novelists have long used this premise to weave a tale of intrigue and suspense. Joanna Goodman's new novel, The Home For Unwanted Girls, is based on this idea. 

Set in 1950s Quebec, right in the centre of the French and English political turmoil, the novel is filled with secrets, deceit, family and love. As the title suggests, the story centres around the abandonment of a child. 

Maggie Hughes' parents represent both sides of the French and English resistance. Maggie's English-speaking father is pro-Anglo and has ambitious plans for his daughter, including going to an elite English school and definitely not interacting with French-speaking boys. The irony is that, his wife, Maggie's mother is francophone. Maggie has always been daddy's little girl and when it comes to taking sides, she's going to lean on the side of her father. She's always at odds with her mother, who constantly compl…

Get lost in Camp Forevermore

Camp can be a life-changing experience. From developing independence and self-confidence skills, to leadership and respect, one summer can forever change a child's outlook on life. But, while glossy camp brochures tout the great positive benefits of the experience, they often fail to take into consideration any negative impact it can glean on the child. 

That's the premise behind The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu. 

Somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, a young group of girls are sent to Camp Forevermore. Whether it's building up camaraderie with activities that include swimming to camp songs by the fire, on paper these girls seem to have hit the jackpot of a summer of experiences. Except that life isn't that straightforward. The reality is that there is bickering and backstabbing and bullying. 

One day, they set out on an overnight kayaking trip to a nearby island with a sole adult counsellor. What happens on this trip translates to a lifetime of scars, one that …

A cappuccino a day, keeps stress away

A frigid Sunday afternoon calls for baking. Eager to try out Tanya Bakes, a new baking book by YouTube sensation Tanya Burr, I scoured the pages to find something that would be easy to whip up and using the ingredients I already had in my pantry. Luckily, there were quite a few recipes that seemed to incorporate basic ingredients that any baker is sure to already have. 

I decided on the Cappuccino Cake. Because this is a British cookbook, it took some getting used to on the measurements. I turned to my handy metric conversation to estimate the amounts. For new bakers, who are not used to the British Imperial System of weights and measures, this can be a bit daunting and takes a bit of getting used to. 

The recipe also called for self-raising flour, and generally most baking recipes I've used incorporate all-purpose flour with baking soda. So, I took the liberty of adding some myself. The typical Canadian hack is 1 cup all purpose flour + 1 tsp baking soda = 1 cup of self raising flo…

How Top Performers Do Less and Achieve More

Many people believe that working hard is the key to success. But is it really? 

When Morten T. Hansen started his first job at twenty four, he worked crazy hours to make up for the lack of experience he possessed. Years later, he discovered something astonishing that made him rethink this initial position in work success. A colleague of his, was able to work a 8 - 6 day and produce work that was far superior to his. No nights. No weekends. 

Through various research, he came up with a theory.

To work smarter means to maximize the value of your work by selecting a few activities and applying intense targeted efforts.
Morten T. Hansen outlines seven key principles that yield extraordinary individual performance. By improving on these seven practices you can boost your performances beyond what it would be if you relied on talent, luck or the sheer number of hours worked. 

Start small and build up these routines bit by bit, until you master them. Great at Work tells stories of people from all w…