My 2021 Reading Stats – 90 Books

In 2021, I finished reading 90 books, a total of 22,564 pages!

My First book of 2021:

To Sir Phillip, With Love by Julia Quinn

My last book of 2021:

Second Survivor by Leah Moyes
Number of books and pages per month.
I’m definitely into romance but I’ve recently gotten into memoirs and health related books.

The longest book I read in 2021:

Hardacre by C.L. Skelton – 509 Pages

The shortest book I read in 2021:

If the Fate Allow by Rainbow Rowell
– 39 Pages

The average length of the books I read was 306 pages!

Guess I wasn’t super impressed in general, huh?
It seems that I enjoy crying my eyes out while reading…
…and that I mostly go for medium paced books.
I like big books and I cannot like.
I read mostly fiction…
… and I have a thing for Portia Macintosh.

Number of books and average rating by month:

January: 9 – 3.3

February: 4 – 3.25

March: 9 – 3.75

April: 12 – 2.85

May: 6 – 3.33

June: 4 – 3.0

July: 4 – 3.0

August: 8 – 4.0

September: 4 – 3.25

October: 4 – 3.75

November: 15 – 3.33 (WOW!)

December: 11 – 3.0

Books I rated 5 stars/My favorite books of 2021

Where the Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself by Dr. Jill Biden

Unspeakable Things by Jess Lourey

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

When Things Go Wrong: Diseases: from The Body by Bill Bryson

Ramblers in Cornwall: Slow Travels Through a Salt-Licked Country by Arundhati Basu

Compendium Pandemica: A Guide to Horrible Infectious Diseases by A.D. Gray

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Moonlight Child by Karen McQuestion

Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek, T.J. Mitchell

2021 was definitely my best reading year yet. I don’t think I’ll reading that much in the near future, since I’m becoming a mom in May, but I know I’ll always be a reader.

Love,

Cheila

My 8 Reading Resolutions for 2020

Dear friends,

First of all, I wish you all a Happy New Year!

I know I’m late but I hope 2020 is wonderful for you and that we’re all entering our best decade yet.

I feel that I’ve never blogged that much about books which is rather strange since I spend a good portion of my time reading.

My goal for 2019 was 100 books. That was probably too ambitious as I was planning a whole church wedding and reception for 100 guests. I managed to read 71 books and I’m very proud of my literary accomplishments, even though I would have liked to meet my goal.

My second goal was to get out of my comfort zone of classics and historical novels. I wanted to explore different genres, and so I did. I read contemporary novels, fantasy and fell in love with thrillers, something I didn’t care for at all. I learned that a book doesn’t have to be the greatest piece of literature ever made for me to enjoy it. A silly romance is okay, and I can allow my literature major Cheila to like it.

All in all, it’s been my best reading year in a very long time. I was a former avid reader who didn’t read that much anymore and now I’m back to my bookworm ways. It feels like home.

I definitely want to keep it up in 2020 so I’ve come up with a list of reading goals:

1. I want to read some non-fiction. I find it mostly boring, to be honest, even if I’m interested in the subject. I understand that there are some great non-fiction books out there and I’d like to read a couple.

2. I’d like to finally finish the Grapes of Wrath. It’s my third attempt and I’m not loving it this time either. I don’t usually finish a book I don’t like (I don’t mind reading a few chapters and deciding it is not for me) but I’d like to finish this one for some reason. I think this is an old quarrel with a university professor I hated.

3. I wish I could finally stop being too lazy to write book reviews. I love following my reading on Goodreads but I never write any reviews, even when the book is perfect. I’m not sure I’ll ever become the kind of reader who writes reviews but I might as well put it out there.

4. Write a monthly reading list on the blog. I mean, I used to envy those bloggers who actually do this, simply because I was not reading enough to post a list myself. But now I am, so there’s nothing stopping me from posting my own monthly list. Maybe I can share great books with you guys and get great recommendations as well.

5. Highlight my favorite passages or quotes. It often happens that I read something that leaves me thinking “wow, this is beautifully written” or “this is definitely true”. Do I think to highlight this? No. Because I’m LAZY. I mean, it’s a Kindle. All I have to do is press and drag.

6. Read 5 classics. I absolutely love classics. There was a time it was all I would read. Then I decided I needed to be more adventurous and now I read just about anything. However, I seem to have forgotten how much I love a good classic. Which is a shame as there is so many I want to read. Sure, I do look at my copy of War and Peace and feel like crying because it is thicker than the Bible but I would like to devour the story at some point. I’d also like to eventually finish Vanity Fair and The Portrait of a Lady. I’ve recently taken them off my bookshelf and placed them on a side table, hoping I’ll look at them more often and remember I want to read them.

7. Read 5 paper books. Okay, please don’t murder me. If you’re one of those people who think a kindle is something from the devil and that I should be punished for using one, I used to be just like you. For a very long time I was personally offended by people who used this horrible devices to substitute a book. I’m pretty sure I rolled my eyes all the way back every time I encountered one of these “readers”. Then, I personally met Kindle. And Kindle unlimited. And I read about 100 more books than I had in many years. Now I’m now longer a book snob and I’m fine with whatever, as long as people are reading. On the other hand, if you’re one of those “people” who don’t like to read, you should choke on your coffee. Joking. Maybe. Still, I still love real books above all and want to keep reading them. I’m aiming for 5 this year.

8. Read 100 books. This was my goal for 2019 but I ended up at 71. I do want to try for 100 again, now that I’m no longer planning a wedding. I want to be able to say “I read 100 books this year”. It sounds like the perfect number. Besides, reading makes me very happy. Is there a better reason?

Do you have any reading goals for 2020? How many books did you manage in 2019?

Do share!

Love,

Chey

 

5 Things

Hey there everyone,

It’s been nearly 4 months since my last post. That’s a third of the year without posting. That’s very sad and disappointing but life is happening and I’m not the person I’d like to be and definitely not the blogger I’d like to be so let’s get over it and talk about something else already, Cheila.

I have so, so much to tell you all because well, 4 months. I need to control my writing and rambling urges though so I’ve decided to pick 5 things. I’ll tell you 5 things and that’ll be it for now.

  1. My wedding is in less than 2 months. The planning has been intense. I’m doing a whole series about the wedding and on wedding planning as I feel that I’ve learned so much that can be helpful to future brides. Also, I know that some people love weddings and enjoy reading about wedding planning in general. The most surprising thing about the wedding is how much of an emotional ride you’re in for. I was not expecting that at all. You get to know some people all over again and realise that when people say “I’m here for you”, they don’t always mean it. Not everyone, at least. Sometimes I feel like I’m planning a big party and that everyone wants to attend and look their best and eat and drink but no one remembers why we’re throwing it in the first place.
  2. I’ve changed jobs. I’ve changed jobs 4 times in one year and it has been exhausted for someone who had been doing the same for so many years. I’m not back at teaching. Not even close. I work for an online bank now. I’ve been here for 3 months. I like it very much. I’ve learned that people actually pay for sex work and write “pussy lick” as a description for a bank transfer. I’ve lived enough. I can die peacefully now, I’ve seen it all.
  3. I’ve made new friends. You know it’s hard to make friends as an adult because everyone has their own life to live and their own problems and spouses or relationships, kids, parents, jobs, stress sources. So it makes me very happy to say that I made a very special friend at work. I don’t know how it happened but she became one of my best friends and she’s coming to my wedding. Last time I met someone I can consider a best friend was my first year of university, 2011. I’m either picky or special people don’t come my way very often. I feel so lucky to have met her.
  4. We’re going to Gran Canaria for our honeymoon. I’ll do nothing but reading, sleeping, going to the beach and the pool for a whole week. I’m already looking at bathing suits online.
  5. I’ve been reading like a maniac for months. I wish I wasn’t so lazy so I could do some reviews. I’m currently on book 70 since 27/11/2018. This makes me happy. I’m currently reading Scarlet by Alexandra Ripley, the “sequel” to Gone With the Wind. I’ve been watching series as well. Since April I’ve watched:
  • Chernobyl (5/5)
  • Big Little Lies, Season 2 (3/5)
  • La Casa de Papel, Season 2 (4/5)
  • Divorce, Season 3 (2/5)
  • Game of Thrones, Season 8 (1/5)
  • Currently watching season 7 of Orange is the New Black and Season 3 of The Handmaid’s Tale.

I guess that’s it for today. I miss blogging but I wanna do it by tiny pieces.

I also want to redesign the blog as I’m done with the way it looks now. I’ll get to it.

Have a lovely day.

Chey

 

 

 

 

If We Were Having Coffee – Part I

IMG_E7373[1]

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you that I wear glasses now. Not always, but I need them to watch TV, go to the movies, drive (I don’t drive but if I did), etc. I’m short sighted and it’s not that bad but the glasses make a huge difference. First couple of times I wore them I keep taking them off and putting them on to see the difference. Literally. I think I began to see there was an issue, again literally, about 6 months ago. I could have been before that. I was at the movies and kept asking Rui if the screen was blurry or unfocused. It looked fine to him. Then it started to get worse while watching a movie or a TV show at home. Everything was blurry, even faces. And God help me if any letters or signs came on the screen. Then I was at work and it was hard to focus someone’s face at a distance. I could see them but their face was a blur. Same for street signs. I could go on. A couple of weeks ago I finally got tested and they confirmed I needed glasses. What a HUGE difference it makes. Do I think I look good wearing glasses? I mean, I don’t know yet. It’s weird. They keep getting dirty and I’m kind of obsessed with them being spotless. Rui thinks I’m crazy and that I’m going to end up scratching them from cleaning them too much.

img_7367
Yes, I’m wearing pajamas. Don’t judge

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you that I quit sugar. I won’t eat anything with added sugar or add sugar to my coffee or tea. I do eat sweeteners because I’m not that good. I have a major sweet tooth. I’ve had a slip up or two but one of them was accidental. I had no idea my stevia had added sugar. WTF? It’s very hard to be sugar free, honestly. Not in the sense that I’m constantly craving it because it has been easier than I thought but it’s definitely harder to find food you can eat. Your options get pretty limited. EVERYTHING has sugar. Why does BREAD need sugar? We are lucky that our bread, Portuguese bread, is not that sweet so we can find a few varieties with no sugar added but in general, most bread contains sugar. I’ve been getting creative and trying to come up with sweets and desserts with no sugar, using vanilla extract, applesauce, ripe bananas, coconut milk and cinnamon to add flavor. Sometimes I do use some sweetener as a substitute for sugar because again, most recipes ask for sugar. I’ve actually been trying to cook a lot more lately. Would you like a list of recipes? Some of them I find online and adapt, others I kind of make up myself. I’ve discovered this very easy 2 ingredient pizza dough: Flour and plain Greek yogurt. The pizza (I made the sauce too) turned out pretty yummy.

IMG_7250[1]

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you that I began having my eyebrows threaded and I’m never going back! It’s the perfect method for me. It’s relatively painless (definitely less painful than wax or tweezers), natural and they look so perfect and well defined. The lady I go to is awesome! She has being doing this for 10 years and she only charges 8€. I had never tried it before because I thought it would be too expensive but I’m so glad I did.

IMG_7169[1]
Awkward photo so I can show you my eyebrows…

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you I’ve been getting gel nails and it’s great. I bite my nails to the bone and they look so miserable all the time. Even when I paint them they still end up in my mouth. It’s a horrible habit and this seems to be the perfect solution for me. They last 3-4 weeks, they’re not terribly expensive and my hands look so much better. I instantly feel like a lady and more put together. I feel way more confident if my nails are done. It’s the third time I’ve got them done and they look more natural each time because my nails can grow freely since I’m not munching on them.

IMG_7084[1]
First time – I may or may not be sitting on the toilet here.
IMG_7159[1]
Second time – Looks kind of black but it is dark blue
IMG_7356[1]
Now – That’s my driver’s hand. I’m marrying him.
IMG_7357[1]
Now – The red is slightly sparkly but my shitty iPhone SE didn’t pick that up

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you that we got our wedding bands last week. I absolutely love them!! I can’t wait to marry the love of my life so we can wear them together, even tough Rui has this phobia of getting a ring stuck on his finger and having to get his whole arm amputated. Or both arms. I’m serious, the guy can’t even try on a ring without asking “what if it doesn’t come off????” Now he’s gonna kill me because I’m sharing too much. Or maybe he won’t because if he tries I’ll put a very tight ring on each one of his fingers and watch him cry and call emergency services. Phobias are weird, aren’t they? I’m always afraid I’m gonna fall in the shower and die. I’m not 80 years old, but still. Don’t like to shower when I’m home alone.

IMG_7311[1]
I won’t show you our wedding rings yet so here, take a photo of our pupper begging for the hamburgers I was making for dinner.

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you that between November 27th and today, I’ve read 41 books. I’m currently reading book 42 and 43 (yes, at the same time). I’m so in love with reading right now. My goal for 2019 is 100 books and I’ve only read 24 so far. Better hurry. Do you follow me on Goodreads? https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/25856029-cheila-cruz 

A few favorites from the past couple of weeks:

218040_1_ftc

My Sister's Intended SMALL

MagnoliaInn

31848329

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you about the movies I’ve watched lately and ask if  you’d seen any of them. If you’d like to check how I rated them you can follow me on Letterboxd: Chey23

Finally,

If we were having coffee…

I’d ask you to tell me all about you. What’s happening, what you’ve been doing, how’s life, what’s making you happy or sad. I’d ask all the things. I’d love it if you’d share what you’ve been up to in the comments.

This post is now longer than I intended. Anyways, if you do get to finish it, thank you for coming by and putting up with my randomness.

Love,

Chey

***All book and movie covers were stolen from google images***

***Spelling mistakes may be present because I don’t have glasses for my brain***

 

The longest Time

It has been 84 years…

Joking, but almost.

My last blog post was almost 4 months ago, which is insane.

I’ve even made my blog private for a while for reasons I won’t go over now but it’s back to being public.

I miss blogging and I miss you all.

This is just a general checking in post to let you know that I’m alive and well and that I miss you all.

I’ve changed jobs again, but it’s all good. I work for a startup now.

Our wedding is in 7 months away (October 5) and pretty much planned. I even have a dress.

I deleted all my social media 4 months ago and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

On Deleting Social Media

I’ve read about 30 books in the meantime, which is more than I read in the past 2 years combined. Some of my favorites include:

Paper Wife

39976486

The Little Orphan Girl

41056068

The Lost Letter

35484684

All She Left Behind

34457765

My Heart Remembers

18947878

Yellow Crocus

22319275

Mustard Seed

35101283 (1)

Say Goodbye for Now

30184217

Waiting for Summer’s Return

418202

The Widow of Larkspur Inn

51MuxdQBA1L

The Wedding Dress

51OVFjLPkWL

Some of them have been really cheesy regency novels. Would you like a full list and reviews? That could be fun.

And that is it for my little update.

Hope to talk to you all soon.

Love, Chey.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s World Book Day! So, tell me about your favorite books and a story about you and a book.

Book suggestions wanted!!

Bonus points if you tell me how this book makes you feel and a story about you and a book.

Mine:

– I remember I was reading Emma by Jane Austen when I met Rui. We’d text back and forth so those pages were filled with excitement and texting breaks.

– When we started dating, I was reading The Catcher in The Rye and I remember sitting at the cafe, half paying attention to it, because I was so nervous, waiting for him to meet me.

Your turn!

xx

Happy Happiness Day!! (Sorry about the redundancy) + 50 Things That Make Me Happy + What I’ve Got Going On Today: 20.03.2018

Happy Happiness Day, Everyone!! Are you happy? Hope so.

Today I’m sharing a few things that make me happy:

  1. My small family, when they’re not acting crazy.
  2. Rui.
  3. Rosa.
  4. My best friends.
  5. My students.
  6. This blog.
  7. Books.
  8. A good movie.
  9. World and European Cups (Football), especially when my team in winning. Who am I kidding, ONLY when my team is winning.
  10. The Oscars.
  11. TV shows.
  12. Food.
  13. A clean house.
  14. Shopping.
  15. Sleep.
  16. Loosing weight.
  17. Days off.
  18. Working.
  19. When my students pass their tests, get good grades or get into university with my help.
  20. Getting something in the mail.
  21. True crime podcasts.
  22. Gardening and beautiful flowers.
  23. When I found something with a great price or discount.
  24. Good hair days.
  25. When I reach my step/water/fruit/vegetable goals.
  26. My water fitness classes.
  27. Babies.
  28. YouTube videos.
  29. Candy.
  30. Good conversation.
  31. Colorful stuff.
  32. Stationary.
  33. Finishing a to-do list.
  34. Blogger friends and WordPress community.
  35. Taking pictures.
  36. Sunny days.
  37. Rainy days.
  38. When I make extra money.
  39. Warm showers/baths.
  40. The beach/countryside/mountains.
  41. Throwing parties and feeding people.
  42. Pink.
  43. Coffee.
  44. Those days when laundries dries outside in 30 minutes.
  45. Free online courses.
  46. Jokes/puns/quotes.
  47. Cutting my own hair.
  48. Massages.
  49. Crochet and Knitting.
  50. Cute things in general.

What about you? Can you tell me 3 things that make you happy?


Today is Tuesday, March 20th and the first day of Spring!!

I’m already thinking about longer, warmer days, sunny weather and my garden. The old lady in me is also excited about Spring cleaning and drying laundry outside in the sun. I’m definitely a fall girl, but Spring is a lovely season as well. To be honest, I do love all of the seasons. It’s great to experience the changes and different weathers throughout the year. We never get bored. At least I don’t. I do know quite a few people who complain if it’s raining, then complain if it’s hot, complain if it’s cold as well… I mean, never happy. Do you know any weather haters? I’m sure you do.

I woke up early and had breakfast with Rui. Toast and coffee with milk. I actually have two job interviews today (one of them is by Skype) and I decided I might as well get this eyebrows done and my hair professionally washed and blow dried, which I never do. You know by now that I cut my own hair (in layers, using a YouTube video which I can share) and was very happy and pleased when the hairdresser said the haircut was very well done. She asked me if I was a professional, ha! No way, I’m just good at following very simple, my-dog-could-do-it instructions.

You also know I do have a job already, but I must tell you I am actually quite bored of working sixteen hours a week. I’m used to a fast-paced rhythm and don’t really know what to do with myself sometimes. Yes, I have some freelance projects but it’s just not the same as having a work routine. We could obviously use the extra income as well, obviously. I won’t tell you what I’m interviewing for yet, but I’ll update you as soon as I know something, promise.

Well, now I need to get ready for my Skype interview which is at 12. It’s 11.19 a.m here.

Talk to you guys later. Thank you so much for coming by.

Desenho sem título (4)