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Sunday, October 5, 2014

September Recap: A Very Busy Start to Fall

Greetings! I haven't been around much in the blogosphere ever since my move and the start of the new semester simply because I've been quite busy. And sadly, if anything it's only going to get busier for me from here. There's just no time for blogging in between teaching undergrads about animal physiology, marking mounds of papers, doing homework for my own class, working on my research, preparing several presentations, finishing up my latest manuscript, getting audited by the government, dealing with some major health problems, and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life (Yikes, I get panicky just writing all that down! Deep breaths...).

But as sad as I am about not having a ton of time to blog lately, it doesn't compare to how majorly BUMMED I've been about not having time to read. I have not had the time to do "just for fun" reading in over a week now! And do I ever miss it. There are so many just-released highly-anticipated sequels that I have been DYING to read, as well as contemporaries that I've been STOKED to read ever since being challenged by Sara, and older fantasies that I have been meaning to read for a long LONG time and was hoping to buddy read with Micheline... Just SO MANY BOOKS and no time to read them! And no sign of this busy grad school life letting up until winter holidays. Bleh.

So I guess what I'm trying to get across here is that I'm feeling quite stressed and overwhelmed with school and work and I have not had - and will not have in the near future - very much time to blog and read. I will do my best to post and comment when I can, but at the moment I'm feeling doubtful that that will happen as regularly as I would like. It sucks, but I guess that's just how it's going to be for the next little bit. I hope to get back into my regular blogging routine soon because I miss it and I miss all of you!


And now that that's out of the way, here's a quick rundown of my busy September:

First, my parents flew to Toronto to help me move and to visit a bit and it was so nice having them around! After a few days of laborious moving, we took in a Jays game...
(They lost, but I still had a surprisingly fun time considering I could not care less about baseball normally)

And I took them on a private tour of my workplace behind-the-scenes at the Royal Ontario Museum...
(There are SO MANY cool things stored away in collections that the public never gets to see)

And I gave them another guided tour of Ripley's Aquarium...
(This was my second time visiting the aquarium, but I swear I will never tire of it. It's SO cool!)

And I took them to Toronto Island for a day...
(We had a very pleasant day! I definitely want to spend more time there)

And while on the island, I got to cozy up to some cute animals at the petting zoo...
(I also got to pretend I was a tiny person)

And then they went back home to Edmonton. It was a good visit while it lasted!


Then I got to meet one of my all-time faves, Lauren Oliver, with my author-event-buddy Zahida:
She was soooo lovely!! I got all my books signed and personalized and had an altogether great night. Delirium was the first book I ever received for review and I LOVED it. I never thought in my four years of blogging that I would ever get the chance to meet Lauren, so I'm feeling quite lucky that I did!


And finally, I also took in a musical this month:
This was my second time seeing The Book of Mormon and it was just as good as the first! You can read my original review from 3 years ago if you want to know my thoughts on the musical in more detail, but suffice it to say, it's the most outrageously funny show I've ever seen. You know you've had a good time when you've laughed so much that your face hurts afterwards!


Blog Posts in September:

The Bookish Seven Deadly Sins Tag
Waiting On Wednesday: Macmillan Fall 2014 Catalog
Waiting On Wednesday: Simon & Schuster Fall 2014 Catalog
Waiting On Wednesday: HarperCollins Winter 2015 Catalog
Review: Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo - 4.5 Stars
Review: Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper - 2.5 Stars
My Life in August: Medieval Times, Niagara Falls, and Moving Time


Best Book Read in September:


This should really read "ONLY Book Read in September" because as I mentioned, I have not had a lot of time to get my reading on lately. But there's a good chance Ruin and Rising would have been my favourite anyways because I thought it was a pretty great conclusion. Not AMAZING, but I was altogether satisfied with how the story ended and where the characters ended up.

47 comments :

  1. I'm sorry to hear you are dealing with health problems, take good care or yourself girl :) I love those behind-the-scene pictures & the one of you and your dad is adorable! Good luck with everything that is going on right now <3

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  2. I can imagine all the cool stuff available at the ROM that we never get to see! Sounds like you packed in a lot of stuff to do during your parents' visit. What do they think of Toronto in comparison to Edmonton?

    Take care of yourself, Aylee, and don't stress too much about blogging. We'll still be around after all and hopefully you'll have some time for yourself once the winter holidays come around (at least that's what I keep telling myself :)

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    1. Thanks, Zahida! :) My mum had just as much trouble with the humidity here as I do!

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  3. Even if you've been busy it seems that you've been having a wonderful time in Toronto. Blogging will always be here for you when you have time( though I know exactly how you feel when you can't get to it so I won't try and pretend that it's not hard). Take care of yourself first and foremost. Don't run yourself too tired trying to be superwoman.

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    1. It's true, I have been! Thanks, Kristin!!

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  4. I completely understand about not finding reading time! I hope you do find time for yourself and take care of yourself. That's most important!

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  5. Hugs. <3 I'm sorry you haven't had time to do much :( THAT SUCKS. And not enough time for reading.. sad face. Hopefully you will find time this month :) hope you are doing awesome, though. <3 looks like September was pretty awesome, either way :) Thank you for sharing about it. <3 YAY for loving Ruin and Rising :D I did too. Thought it was perfect. Sigh. :)

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  6. I didn’t have time to read in college either. Don’t worry - it gets better and much less busy! You won’t be this busy forever. That list was stressful to read too. I love the pictures of bones you post here and on Instagram. So awesome!

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  7. Aylee, I'm going to miss you being such a presence around the blog-o-sphere. I love reading your blog and getting inspired to read new books. I'm truly sorry you have so much on your plate and are feeling stressed out. Hopefully, everything comes to pass, quickly for you and you can get back to what you know and love. If your "major health problems" are yours, I do wish you a speedy recovery.

    PS: What the heck are you studying at school? Some type of anthropology?

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    1. Thanks, Gina!! I'm studying palaeontology :)

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  8. PPS: EEEEEP Lauren Oliver - how cool is that!???

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  9. Sounds like such a fun month! I can't believe that you got to meet Lauren Oliver, I am so jealous right now. I also understand the whole not really reading for fun in college thing. I think that there was about a five year gap in college and that one year afterward where not a single non textbook book did I pick up. I just didn't have the motivation which was sad because the mortal instruments came out during that time, and I love that series. No one understands when I Fangirl about it though, which is sad. Hoping that things slow down a little bit for you and you can squeeze in some much needed reading time!

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    1. Thanks, Emma! It was a fun month, despite the stress!

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  10. Wow looks like you had a fab busy month (even though you didn't get to read much). Sometimes life get's busy and you just gotta go with the flow. Makes you appreciate reading and blogging much more I guess. Wow congrats on meeting Lauren Oliver. I haven't read her books yet but I will. I would love to meet Lauren Kate & Cassandra Clare!!

    Hope you settled in well and find some time to visit again soon :)

    Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.

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    1. Yes, fab month even though I was busy! Thanks, Chene!

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  11. Yay Edmonton! I would still like to get to Toronto someday. How long does it take to drive from Toronto to Niagara Falls?

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    1. It's about 2 hours from Toronto, assuming no traffic issues.

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  12. I'm sorry you haven't had much time to read! I've been busy with school and work too. I have a lot to read for school too so it's difficult to find a lot of "fun reading" time. haha It sounds like your parent's visit went well. I really liked Book of Mormon too. I just saw Dirty Dancing the musical a couple weeks ago; it was really good.

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  13. I'm sorry you haven't had reading/blogging time lately! It sounds like there is quite a lot going on, most of it positive, but definitely a lot to juggle! I recently had a couple months in summer like that and it definitely sucked to have to put reading and blogging on the back burner. Glad you're able to have fun with your family and go to cool events like Lauren Oliver's signing and The Book of Mormon (I still haven't seen it - I seriously need to!) :D

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    1. Yes, lots to juggle even when most of it is positive! Thanks, Lauren!

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  14. Eeeeep! I'm so sorry life is so busy for you at the moment - I almost got an anxiety attack just reading about all the stuff you've got going on! It's always a pain to have to put reading/blogging on hold but sadly, real life does that to us sometimes *shakes fist at real life*

    Oh and don't worry yourself about our buddy read. I'm not going anywhere so we'll make up for it eventually! There's always other books I can read, it's not like I don't already own tons that should have been read by now >.< We definitely all miss you too though but we'll be here when you get back into it too ♥

    Looks like you had a wonderful September with family visits, aquariums, museums and just doing the tourist-y thing! Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures with us and I'm glad you all seem to have had a blast! Meeting authors is always a highlight of life, especially ones as gifted as Ms Oliver :) Anyway, I hope October calms down for you real soon!! Take care xxxx

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    1. Eep, sorry about almost giving you an anxiety attack! Stupid real life!! ^^

      Heh, it's true! I'm definitely still interested though so I will keep you updated.

      Thanks, Micheline!! <3

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  15. It looks like you had a wonderful visit. I've been to Toronto a few times and it's a beautiful place.

    I've heard great things about the Book of Mormon too.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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  16. Sorry you are so stupid crazy busy! My boyfriend just finished his masters in August and is so relieved to have time to enjoy now. Stay sane!

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  17. Your life sounds so cool! I swear, you meet SO many authors. Grading papers - very adult. What's this manuscript you're doing? I lapsed with reading as well (although I can't say I was as busy as you) but I've been really good with it this last month, so I'm happy enough.

    Try not to stress too much, I guess? :)

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    1. Thanks, Elle, I'll try not to stress! My manuscript is for this side project in my research I have been hoping to publish.

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  18. Behind the scenes of museums seems like such an interesting place to look about. And working at a museum! That would be such an interesting experience.
    I'm sorry to hear you'll be around less for the next little while, I do love your posts a lot, but I hope that, even though it's making you incredibly busy, you're really enjoying the things you are doing. What you're studying, your work- I hope it's all just what you want to be doing. xx

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    1. It is an amazing experience and I am very lucky! Thanks, Romi!

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  19. We all know how it feels to wish for more time for reading/blogging. I think you've been doing a fantastic job of managing it all! And, your month looks pretty epic. I'm fascinated by the pictures of your workspace. And it looks like you have such an amazing job! Also, I love family visits and having an excuse to play tourist where I live. Sounds like a great month :)

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    1. Thanks, Nori! It was a pretty great month despite all the stress!

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  20. Aah, the times when life gets in the way of reading. Sad, sad times they are. Have some virtual cake! We will all still be here when you get back ;)

    I reaaallly feel the need for some Leigh Bardugo in my life. But then, there are *many* fantasy series I need in my life: Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, Throne of Glass series, Mistborn trilogy, ALL the Maggie Stiefvater (apart from Raven Boys, which I'm following avidly!) and many more. Alas for little reading time! I feel it too. I've been reading A Tale of Two Cities since the end of September, but finally the end is in sight! I love long books, but I really like being able to read something in two days! I guess the only solution is to stop going to school. I'm sure the institution would understand ..... reading is important!!

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    1. Yum, virtual cake!! ^^ SO MUCH READING SO LITTLE TIME! I'm sure the institution understands, they have to. Thanks, Emily!

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  21. Oh grad school, it sounds like you are very busy busy. And you're planning for another masters after this? Am I right? but really in the end, it will be all worth it. This is just one season of your life. I hope you get some down time soon, friend, we don't want you to burn out.

    I totally understand about not having time to read and missing it. Picking up a book is comforting. I haven't been reading much these last few months. I've been far to exhausted in the evening. But I have just finished a third book from your list. It's what's kept me going the last handful of weeks. So far, so good.

    Take care of yourself, Aylee, and enjoy the rest of October.

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    1. You're right, I do want to get another Master's Degree in Museum Studies after this. But who knows, I might be too burnt out on school when all is said and done.

      Thanks, Sara!! Which one was the third book you read from the list and did you like it?

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  22. You take care of yourself!! It looks like you're having a good time where you're at though ... and that would be awesome to have a behind the scenes tour of the museum! Very cool. :) And at least you read ONE book ... I mean, it's something, right? Better than none!

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  23. I'm sorry to hear about all the stressful things you're experiencing now. Don't worry about blogging. Remember, you do it because you enjoy it, not because it's a chore. Take the time you need. Sometimes things just pile up so much and you just have to go with the flow. It will all work itself out in the end. :)

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