Tag Archive | soap

Curtsies & Conspiracies… A Book Review

I am not sure what it is with grabbing the second book in a series but I seem to have turned it into somewhat of a talent! I have delved into this world before with the Parasol Protectorate series. Gail Carriger has a real talent to create an enthralling steampunk world full of vampires, werewolves and spys.  Curtsies & Conspiracies does not disappoint in any way. From the Finishing School series this is “Book the Second”, I actually came across this book from a rather entertaining website: Finishing School (HERE) where you learn “The Fine Art of Finishing Others”. Which of course means I completely did not make the connection between the adult series and this young adult one until the book came in from the library.

We follow Sophronia as she goes about her first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies where all things ladylike including spying and seat planning are taught from a dirigible! A school trip is more than simply visiting London… after all the entire school is afloat! There is conspiracy and intrigue, petticoats and suspiciously mechanical purses topped with fine lace.

What I love about the characters is that all the tiers of society are represented… the gentile ladies, the sooties in the boiler room (Soap), even those connected to the suspicious and unknown Picklemen. There are classes and clandestine meetings, adventure and balls and tea, flirtation with death as well as noble boys. There are characters connected to the adult series and the same basic conflicts of the main group. I love that I did not feel like I was reading a story that was really only for young adults. It was easy to lose yourself in the plot and enjoy the adventure.

So follow Sophronia as she uses her training to navigate London, relations with vampires and werewolves and the beginnings of young love!curtsies & conspiracies

Vacation Come and Gone

I have had some free time… GASP! And that has led my mind down new thought paths… One of the main ones is the question of whether or not I am where I should be right now… Is the life path I have taken the right one? Well, after careful consideration Thursday night (while Echo was loudly proclaiming her dislike of ANY movement Trinity made on the bed by her playpen) I came to the realization that I AM. It is definitely NOT the EASIEST path, rather more the road less traveled… but it is right for us. When I think of all the decisions I made (well Ken AND I made) that seem to go against the norm – having our large family, homeschooling, choosing to stay in Canada and get Ken his status, the list goes on and on… well they are all ones I do NOT regret. Life would be pretty bland without Echo and Trinity, without homeschooling adventures and our travels finding our “forever town”…

Hmm there is also the wonder of leaving 4 boys home ALONE in a house full of things… things they could leave on the floor… toss around and generally NOT clean up… I actually had to call Ken this morning to confirm he was aware of a Kijiji pick up (we really cannot hear our doorbell from the basement – a huge issue at times!) and leave him a list of things I forgot to mention before leaving on MSN. I am so the list maker and Ken is so NOT. 

We had a rather quiet day Friday – up at 6:55am (ouch), we missed Veronika leaving for her shift at Indigo. After copious amounts of cartoons while mommy ATTEMPTED (and I mean ATTEMPTED) to nap on the floor there was breakfast, toys and more cartoons. Finally around 11 am Echo was crashing so I got in a bath that was MOSTLY uninterrupted. After all Trinity is without the bulk of her siblings so more bored than she normally is. Apparently the moment Mommy went into the bath the boredom level skyrocketed! 

Echo LOVED the open main floor... so much to check out - note the door behind her where she would open it and yell down to Dinah the kitty

Trinity is officially a whiz with the iPad… she was teaching Veronika to play her favourites and in turn mastering the ones that were already loaded and running. The Snoopy game had a picture taking option, so of course we had to take one and email it to my computer!

Snoopy Kiss!

Hello Kitty!

We had a rather exciting milestone for our baby girl on Friday… she has mastered the stairs. I love Veronika’s stairs, they are completely carpeted and not too steep. Trinity was right there to cheer her on and I took a little video for Ken to see as well. She is growing up so quickly. 

Taking a water break... I will have to share the video once I get it to Ken

We had Kathy over Saturday night for games. She lives a short drive away in the city so it was an easy trip and she was able to stay SUPER late! Two new games in fact – Puerto Rico (which is very similar to Settlers) and Dragonology(based off the book, which I have at home!). Kathy hadn’t played them in ages so it was like we were all beginners. I think she plans on bringing at least one of them when she visits at our house next.

Puerto Rico Game

Dragonology... complete with bitty dragons!

With all 3 of us sharing a room and Echo playing the light sleeper Trinity got to stay out on the couch until super late... took her a while but she did conk!

Saturday was our shopping day… I had a decent budget for the day (around 50.00 plus a gift certificate) and Trinity had her 4.00 of saved allowance. We started at Indigo where I was NOT able to find the books on my list, but I did find two books. The one on the left was suggested reading by Veronika. 

Two of my new books

It was surprisingly difficult to find something in Trinity’s price range that she wanted, so we compromised. She used ALL her allowance and my snowsuit Kijiji money and got herself a bathtime dolly… shower included! It was on sale for 30% off! 

With a little working shower

I picked up some Christmas themed hand sanitizers at 3 for a dollar! (regularly 2.00 a piece), but the big deal was on my new winter coat… H&M had them marked down from 50 or 60 dollars to…. FIFTEEN!!! It is longer than the one I have, so warm and … NEW! I have not had a new winter coat in over 3 years… so this is a BIG deal to me. That also means that next year all I have to buy is new winter boots (another one I have not replaced in over 3 years). 

So CrossIron Mills outlets was worth it. Veronika works at the Indigo there as well. I think if I had had more cash, more interest and another stroller we may have wandered more but as it was we had fun. It wasn’t too crowded either. 

Trinity and Veronika spent part of their Saturday evening creating lovely bars of sweet smelling soap. She was so excited to pick the colours and scents and be a part of the process. It is an amazingly simple and CLEAN craft to do… as Veronika says, easy to clean up – it cleans itself as it is all just soap. 

Soap making stuff

Working together

Lots of pretty soap... I think Trinity may be gifting some out to special people!

Sunday was lovely and relaxing… we all lay around in the livingroom until almost noon watching cartoons… there was laundry to be done, a cat to visit with and of course the iPad to enjoy. Trinity got to the point where when it was  time to leave… well of course she didn’t want to. To be honest it was VERY tempting to just try and extend our vacation… but there is so much to do here at home AND bloodwork for me to have done on top of that. 

Relaxing kitty

On the way home we stopped off at a Chapters here in town and got two more books (one actually on my original list) and then it was home. Well… home sweet messy home! Apparently the 4 days I was gone was gaming palooza! Thankfully they maintained a level of clean that wasn’t horrible, but a wee bit worse than I left it. The fridge empty, the kids wild on games and Sean and Ted here! So they had company to boot! I didn’t get to see the guys for very long as of course they had the drive back in winter weather for work today but it was great to get the time I DID get with them! 

Monday was back to normal… well as normal as you can with boys wound up from gaming, girls not used to being home and Mommy feeling unprepared. Karyn was over in the evening so we FINALLY ducked out and got the much needed and well lamented poster paper… they were OUT of white! (seriously first time ever) but I was able to get some lovely yellow for our Chinese New Year poster. I love Dollarama. I was also able to get the AAA batteries I need to replace in Emanuel’s SleepyBird AND the reading pens for the kids’ books that Trinity is in love with. Oh and don’t forget some lovely Valentine’s Day themed ribbon… I figure our girls could each use a new hairbow! 


Gavin and I worked on making the Chinese word for prosper according to the education.comsite. The template did not seem to print out and I thought this would be more fun for Gavin – trying to recreate what he sees somewhere else. I think he did a great job! 

Careful copying

End result

I do wish we could have made it to an event but at least we have learned some new things! And I got another book to read them tomorrow… this one is a story more than a factual book but it should be interesting. 

Karyn is entering into a contest to go to a conference for work and part of that is making a video – apparently cuteness is a positive so the kids did a part for her today! I have to admit I was proud of them saying their sentence! I had to take a picture!! And then Trinity wanted one of just her and Echo! 

My Fab 5

Just the girls

Even with the mess and the frustrating children today it IS good to be home… that is not to say I would not have liked to stay longer! Girl time sure feels nice, and Veronika’s home is so bright and cheerful with exquisite company. Trinity has spent most of the day and evening talking about going back and what she wants to do with Veronika. I am so spoiled with such a lovely cousin!! Definitely someone who feels more like a sister! So now it is time to try and clear up a bit, after all we have a poster to make… AND it IS Tuesday tomorrow which means – LIBRARY DAY for the two little ones! First one in over a month!!! YAY!

Baby playing with a baby!