June Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

June Favourites

June Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

June was a really awesome month! I had lots of shifts at work so that’ll help save up for a first payment for an apartment, we got to see family, we had our first wedding anniversary, and we went to the beach a bunch.

Aloe gel – I got a really, really bad burn when we went to the Toronto Islands for our annivesary. I used up our entire aloe plant easing the pain, so Nic went and bought the Life brand aloe gel from Shoppers. Ahhhh.

Washi tape – yes, my washi tape is from Dollarama, but it still works. I bought a few more rolls so I can coordinate my journal/bullet “agenda” with pages for blogging, favourites, my habit tracker, and goals. I made little tabs on each page that I wante to be able to flip to quickly.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm – still my favourite nude lip. It’s subtle enough that I can wear it while I work at the gym, but can be fancy with a smokey eye.

bareMinerals marvelous Moxie in Rebel – beautiful pink, not too sticky

Lush Aromaco deodorant – Yes, it’s that white chunk in the middle of the picture. I’ve been using this one for years. I love the smell of the patchouli, and unless I’m doing a hard workout, the scent covers any bad smells.

MUJI Moisturizing Milk – I mentioned this in my most recent skincare post. I love how gentle this is and how well it works with the MUJI cleansing oil.

June Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

Our first anniversary date at Byblos – amaaazing Mediterranean food and drinks.

June Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

I have absolutely loved my waterproof tablet pouch which I put on my KOBO. I bought it last year and have used it while reading at the dock, at the Atlantic ocean, at the beach… Just be careful you don’t leave it in there for too long if it’s super hot out, or the KOBO will overheat. Oops.

[Phone version]

June Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

I had lots of fun building a sandcastle last week. I’ve also loved wearing tons and tons of rings.

June Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

I love my new bikini from La Vie En Rose. It’s a push-up, which is crazy (cleavage in a bathing suit?!) but I love the strap detailing.

Beach Essentials!


Beach Essentials - JanessaMann.Com

Is anyone shocked that I over-pack for the beach? Nope. You never know what you might need!

What I Read in May #whatjanessareads - JanessaMann.Com
Gotta have snacks!

My number one is obviously snacks. Our friends always love to have fresh watermelon at the beach. Chop it up into cubes so everyone can share! Nic and I also love to buy dried mango strips from Dollarama. Other good greats are chips, granola bars (make sure your cooler stays cold so it doesn’t melt) and a can of pop-or a radler. No one in Toronto seems to care if you drink on the beach, it’s pretty funny.

Beach Essentials - JanessaMann.Com

Sun protection: hat, sunscreen, sarong, sunglasses

Entertainment: phone, KOBO, magazines

Anything else: towel (if you’re smart, get one of those straw mats from the dollar store so you don’t get sand on your towel), bathing suit, water bottle, and I love my waterproof pouches for my phone and KOBO


What do you need at the beach?

Beach Essentials - JanessaMann.Com`

We’ve loved being so relatively close to Woodbine Beach in Toronto, so beach trips are super easy with our friends 🙂

Beach Essentials - JanessaMann.Com

April Books #whatjanessareads

What I Read in April.png

I definitely slowed down this month with my reading. January-March I read over 20 books each month, but I think this time I was distracted, so I got 13. I had more shifts a week at work, read some longer books, and took more time to enjoy what I did read.

Follow along on my 2016 Goodreads challenge!

Top 3 Books From April:

  • Gold, Fame, Citrus – dystopia
  • Princess Elizabeth’s Spy – murder mystery
  • Poison Study – fantasy

The Bitter Kingdom” Fire & Thorns #3 – Rae Carson

I was so upset when I realized this was the final book in the series- they just kept getting better. Queen Elisa is a fugitive in enemy territory, rescuing her love, and newly fueled by her visit to the source of the earth’s magic. If you didn’t love the first book, the second one is better. The third is the best.

Murder at Castle Rock” Anne Marie Stoddard

Amelia is the manager at Castle Rock, a rock concert venue in Atlanta. Her boss, the owner, falls off the balcony and dies. Or course, it’s murder. Amelia’s co-workers and friends are implicated in the murder, so she has to investigate. It’s a pretty good novel, except the denouement at the end was longer than the climax “oh-turns-out-you’re-the-murderer-stop-trying-to-kill-me session”.

Gold Fame Citrus” Claire Vaye Watkins

My friend Karissa recommended this book after we discussed how much I loved “Station Eleven” and “The Heart Goes Last.” It is another really depressing post-modern book about how much the world is going to suck soon. In this case, we used up most of the water (I hate that that is slowly happening), and there is a huge sand dune which covers most of south-western US which is slowly absorbing the landscape. Luz is a very frustrating character because you hate her decisions. Most of the reviews talk about her “weak” character, but her world is pretty screwed up, so I can’t blame her. Luz and Ray are living somewhere outside LA, end up kidnapping/adopting a toddler, and then escape to the desert where they encounter a drugged-out cult.


Poison Study” Maria V. Snyder

I know I said that this month I read pretty slowly (for myself), but this book I flew through. I couldn’t believe how well-written and exciting it was. I loved it. Yelena has been in jail for a year after murdering her abuser. She is offered the role of taste tester for the Commander, and therefore learns lots about poisons. There is a rebellion brewing against the Commander of Ixia, and outlawed magicians are starting to show up.

The Magician’s Nephew” C.S. Lewis

This book always creeped me out, because Uncle Andrew is so terrifying. However, The Chronicles of Narnia is my favourite series. I love the descriptions of when Aslan creates Narnia. It’s a beautiful allegory of the Christian creation story.

Swamp Angel” Ethel Wilson

Another of the CanadaReads books. I did not read any descriptions before I started this book, so I was a little surprised with what I got. Maggie escapes a bad second marriage in Vancouver by working as a cook at a fishing camp in the middle of B.C. The swamp angel belongs to Maggie’s friend’s mother, who was a juggler, Nell. I didn’t love it, but I still can’t put a finger on why.

Path of Destruction” Star Wars: Darth Bane #1 – Drew Karpyshyn

Darth Bane grows up on a mining world in the Outer Rim, and escapes from that world by becoming a Sith soldier. The Sith discover that Bane has powers in the Force, so he gets trained as an apprentice. Bane starts reading about Sith history, and realizes that the current Sith Brotherhood is corrupt and not the way to control the Force. Shit goes down.

Princess Elizabeth’s Spy” Maggie Hope #2 – Susan Elia MacNeal

In WWII, Maggie is in training for MI-5, and ends up posing as Princess Elizabeth’s math tutor at Windsor Castle. She uncovers sleeper agents linked to the Nazis. Such a fun way to learn some history!

Sunny essentials: KOBO, NYX “Stockholm,” and my Raybans

The Crown of Embers” Fire and Thorns #2 – Rae Carson

Above I describe the third book in the trilogy. Queen Elisa has just conquered the invading Inviernos, a race of magicians, and defended her country. Many attempts are made on her life, and she discovers that as the God-stone bearer, she has a task to find the Gate of Life, where magic is most readily available.

Of Grave Concern” An Ophelia Wylde Paranormal Mystery #1 – Max McCoy

Sort of an odd concept for a book. Ophelia is on the run after conning some rich Wild West guy, and ends up being mistaken for a murderer. She’s put in jail, and to make bond and prove herself, she performs a medium show. She can see ghosts.

Murder on the Half Shelf” Booktown Mystery #6 – Lorna Barrett

At the grand opening of Booktown’s new B&B, Tricia encounters her long-lost (and drowned) love, who is using an alias, and his wife is murdered. Of course, Tricia has to balance her own mystery book store, her sister’s businesses, ridiculous personal situations, all while trying tot prove that her old love wasn’t the murderer.

Do or Diner” A Comfort Food Mystery #1 – Christine Wenger

Trixie takes over her aunt’s campground and diner. The health inspector dies from poisoned food at the diner, so everyone thinks Trixie did it. She has to prove she didnt.

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” The Tales of Dunk and Egg – George R. R. Martin

This book takes place 100 years before the Game of Thrones series. My KOBO version had illustrations in it, which was kinda cool, but if you get books like that, remember that it takes a while to load each page. If you clicked and it didn’t turn, and then clicked again, you’d have skipped a few pages. Anyway, the writing was a lot more juvenile than the normal series, but the stories were fun. Dunk is a hedge knight who gets adopted by Egg, a very small but knowledgeable squire. Turns out Egg is short for Aegon, and is one of the princes. Saw that coming with his purple eyes. Dunk is broke, and wants to get some money, and keeps getting into ridiculous fights


A Terrific and Tasty Tuesday

Well that was a lame title. But it’s true. Maybe I’ll get better at titles later.
I was very thankful this morning that I wasn’t working, because my insomnia kicked in. I woke up at 3am for my 9:30am yoga class. I decided I could skip the class in favour for maybe napping in the morning. That didn’t work out, but I did read two books on my Asus tablet turned e-reader, “Shadowplay” (a fantasy novel set several thousand years in the future) and  “Cloche and Dagger“. I’m onto my third of the day, another cozy murder mystery, “A Potion to Die For,” in time for Halloween. Check out my GoodReads widget on the side to see what else I’ve been reading. It seems like I’m going to hit my goal of 200 books in 2014. That’s awesome.

Pumpkin cinnamon rolls 

I decided I needed to do some baking today to use up some energy. I came across a recipe for pumpkin cinnamon rolls, and knew I had to try them. I’ve never actually baked cinnamon rolls (I’ve done cakes and pull-apart breads, but never the regular thing) despite it being my favourite food. These instructions by Cooking Classy looked straightforward enough, so I made them.
MAN were they good!

And cream cheese icing wowwuhh!!

My neighbour’s cat, Timmy really likes to visit for scratches, and I let him into the kitchen a tiny bit, despite being very allergic. I suffered hives for a while after he left, but he was so content getting his belly rubbed and purring that I couldn’t let silly hives stop me.

He kept getting confused by the string on the curtains
Kisses from my Timmykins

It was a beautiful day out, so I kept the screen door open to let in the breeze. 15 degrees right before Halloween? I’m definitely not in Ottawa…

Neighbour’s Japanese Maple still burning bright

I painted my nails with Essie’s “Wicked,” my favourite dark, almost black colour. Perfectly vampy.
I hope y’all had a good Tuesday! Tonight we have a choir rehearsal for our concert this weekend!