Earlier this week, I found a book near the check-out of the library. At first, I was like… “uh-oh, somebody forgot their book!” I was about to return it to the Librarian when I noticed a sticker on the front of the book. It read:

Howdy! Hola! Bonjour! Guten Tag!
I’m a very special book. You see, I’m traveling around the world making new friends. I hope I’ve met another friend in you. Please go to and enter my BCID number (shown below). You’ll discover where I’ve been and who has read me, and can let them know I’m safe here in your hands. Then… READ and RELEASE me!

How neat is that?? So of course, I took the book home with me, to read, and afterwards, i will “release” it back into another public space!  (I’ve also registered the book online too, for others to track and see where it’s been and where it’s going).

I was very excited to find this book, because years ago (more than 10  years), I stumbled across another book that was part of the BookCrossing circulation.  I stumbled across Wayson Choy’s the Jade Peony.  Unfortunately, it was a book that I just couldn’t get into, so I passed it onto my sister, who then left it at the Vancouver International Airport (YVR).  Where it went, I wasn’t certain, but somebody (I’m hoping) must have picked it up, and kept it going!

The book I found earlier this week, is The Cure for Death by Lightning by Gail Anderson-Dargatz.  Life has been hectic for me this week, so I haven’t gotten past the first few pages of this book, but I WILL read this book, and I WILL re-circulate this book after I’ve finished.  I actually have no idea what this book is about, but I’m sure I will enjoy it.

In any case, to find out more about BookCrossing, check out their website.  I hope to find a few more of their books after I’ve finished with this one!


The Best Things in Life are…Free!

I have to admit that I have a really soft spot for free things.  I live for that feeling when a special surprise arrives in my mail box.  What can it be?  But I know what it is!  Most likely that sample of Tide pods that I requested 4 to 6 weeks ago.  And over an unspecified length of time, I have collected over a dozen laundry-associated samples that it has saved me from having to run out to buy a warehouse sized bottle of detergent just before the bottle ran dry.

Samples have also saved me from buying a newly marketed product at full price and size that I may not consider ever buying because I believe it’s a gimmick.  Try before you buy – it’s exactly what samples are for.  And better yet, many are freely mailed to your home.  The best tip in receiving free samples is to regularly check the following blogs:

I check Canadian Savers daily by clicking on their “Free Stuff” tab that is updated throughout the day.

Signing up for general product websites such as P&G Brandsavers ( not only offers up free sample packages seasonally but is a great portal for coupons on everyday items.  It also doesn’t hurt to email companies and brands directly to see if they offer coupons or product samples.

Get searching for free samples for your favourite brands and items, and sign up for those mailing lists.  You’ll be surprised by the multitude of free items that are available.  Happy Freebie-ing!


Fall is Here?? Deny Deny Deny!

It’s dawned on me that those who commit fashion faux-pas around this time, are just confused and in denial that cooler weather is upon us.

Is it sunny?  Wonderful. Is it a bit cool and breezy?  Chance of showers?  No problem.  I’ll just put on my cropped pants, summer top, and summer shoes to accommodate the sunniness, then, throw on a creepy-looking trench coat over my summer-wear, and carry my umbrella.  Voila.  I have an outfit for sunny weather, and rain.  Ummm… NO.  (And yes, I saw someone with this exact outfit, just yesterday).

Sunny Autumn weather usually means a more crisp cold air.  It’s completely inappropriate (and weird) to be wearing summer wear, with Autumn layers and jackets, etc..  It just simply looks odd.  If you are looking for “in-between” outfits while you wait for the warmish-sunny weather to turn cooler, please choose your clothing items with more care, and layer your clothing more appropriately.  Turn to warmer Fall colours, longer pant lengths, and layers up top.

I am far from being the fashion-police, but when your outfit screams multiple-season disorder,  and if it looks like you just threw on whatever available clothes were on the floor (whether clean or dirty), then you are a walking fashion no-no.  Yikes!  An extra few minutes to take care of your appearance goes a long way, in making good impressions, not to mention that a good appearance helps boost your own self-confidence!

So, yes, Fall is here.  Denial won’t prevent the weather from cooling down, so just roll with it, and embrace the new season.  Put away your summer clothes, and move on!


My Summer has Ended

For me, Summer has ended.  I just recently returned from a weekend trip to Whistler, and that marks the end of my “summer days.”  I always try to plan a vacation in the month of September, when the weather is still nice, but not too hot.

This year, though, the weather stayed blazing hot, making it feel as though it were still August.  I don’t like the blazing hot sun… especially when the hotel you are staying at has no air-conditioning.  No A/C?  What???  Yes, I knew there would be no A/C.  I read many hotel reviews online, before selecting this hotel.  There were few complaints about this hotel, other than the lack of air-conditioning.  So why did we choose this hotel?  It had almost everything that we wanted, and the price was satisfactory to the wallet.  Who knew that Whistler in September would be between 28 to 31 degrees Celsius, at it’s high??  My family and I figured A/C would not be needed in September weather.  We were wrong.  Thank goodness for swimming pools.

Yes, swimming pools.  I haven’t been in a pool or large body of water since my honeymoon, in 2007.  YES, that long!  But in any case, out of desperation to cool down, some of us headed to the pool.  What fun!  And how hungry-inducing it was, too!  Yes, we burned calories, merely by splashing in the water – muscle-meets-resistance means very hungry people, afterwards.  But I’d rather be cool and hungry, than hot and cranky – which is what we were before splashing into the pool.  In any case, while we enjoyed our time in the pool, and cooled ourselves off in the water, it did not make up for the lack of A/C in our rooms.  But it did provide some reprieve.

So having said that, I am now revising my list of wants and needs, when booking accommodations for vacations and other trips.  Swimming pools are now a “want” (or bonus), and air-conditioning almost at a need.  The majority of customer reviews must be all positive, and the price must offer good value for the type of accommodation.  There are a few other points to my list, but they are mostly “wants” and not “needs”, depending on the type of vacation and who my vacation companions are.

In any case, my weekend and my Summer “ended” as we drove from blazing hot Whistler, to cloudy and windy Squamish, to rainy and cloudy Vancouver coast.  I look forward to pulling out my sweaters, jeans, boots, and scarves.  I welcome Fall weather.  I’ve had my fun in the sun, and now I await the cooler weather, and for the holidays that come with it!