Extended greetings to all and your loved ones!

My Christmas has been joyous and I hope yours as well. I’m home now and it might be raining (too lazy to check). The hype has mellowed out and I feel like writing. I’ve been going through my journal and I found a little comment on the most random page about how I wanted to start a book blog when I started university. I think my past self would be happy with my progress.

Keep warm.

-MS-

 

 

It’s Never too late for a Reflection

Happy New Year Everyone!

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Half of January has already passed and I’ve just finished my list of resolutions. There is no rule that states resolutions must be noted down or posted online on the first day of the year. And if it is a rule…well as much anti-hero protagonists say, “some rules are meant to be broken.” Also, I take a while to decide things.

And what did I decide to do this year differently?

  • Take care of my face:

I’m not going to buy new skincare products. I’m simply going to drink more water, sleep better, exercise, and eat better. More importantly, apply sunscreen on a daily basis.

  • Start learning kanji:

Kanji is the soul-sucking system of Japanese writing that uses Chinese characters. I’ve started, using a pdf I found online (if you want it I can email it to you so comment below), and it’s my goal to finish the textbook by the end of the year. For those who are interested in learning the language, I recommend learning these as early as possible because you don’t get very far without them. Plus after learning a few lessons, the characters aren’t as intimidating.

update: I’ve learned 100 characters!

  • Eat more berries

We all know berries are good for you. I know berries are godsends but only until last month did I realize I hardly eat any. It’s more difficult since I’m not a smoothie person. However, since 2016 began, I’ve found three simple ways to eat more berries that don’t require a blender.

  • Be more honest

That speaks for itself.

  • Do more urban sketching

I really enjoy drawing and scribbling and whatnot but there comes a time where I want to draw something new and I need references. At times I would use other artists’ tutorials and sure it would work in the short-term but then I watched a video about 10 mistakes beginners make. I’m not a beginner but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn from it. The point that struck me the most: to stop using other artworks as reference. That if I really wanted to improve I should “sketch” the world around me.


 

I took a nice vacation from this blog. Frankly I’m not sorry. Old me would be feeling guilty about it but it’s all good and I’m going to tell you why:

After reading A Tale For the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, I started reading the famous 1984 by George Orwell. Although I set a goal to finish it in a months time, I was far from achieving it for various reasons thus plunging me into a writers block.

Moreover, I had registered for two courses that had an overwhelming amount of reading material. In the end, I was too exhausted to continue 1984 or engage in other leisure readings. The best part is that I learned a lot from those courses so I have no regrets.

I value quality over quantity. So there was no point of me forcing myself to create content I wouldn’t be satisfied with. Plus since I wasn’t reading anything I couldn’t really write about anything…

An important encounter!

So, one night I was walking home and I noticed there’s a tall, slender woman walking her dog, trying to dodge the sprinklers, up ahead and I managed to strike a conversation with her. She was friendly to me and the conversation soon lead to her telling me that her work revolved helping people with blogging software (more or less). So when I told her about my blog she was actually happy and encouraged me to keep going. Perfect timing… since I was actually considering quitting.

“It’s okay to take a break.”

I know. We all know. But it was very comforting to hear that. And after I told her good-bye I went on my blog for the first time in months and scanned a couple of recent posts, laughing at my amateur, almost horrible pictures.

I’m pretty sure experienced bloggers know this but new bloggers are springing up and its good to remind them that taking long breaks are not a sin. However, don’t take a very long break (unless you really have to) because the risk of not continuing increases the longer you to put your blog on hold.


I’d like to share some updates:

  • I’m almost done with reading 1984!
  • I’ve set my Goodreads 2016 goal of reading 24 books this year. To help me with that I’ve joined a Facebook group who have the same goal and aim to encourage each other to complete it.
  • I’m changing this blogs name to Mellowshellie’s Book Log. I identify with that name more that The Bubbly Bibliomanic. Plus T.B.B. started reminding me of tuberculosis and that just ruined it for me.

And finally, Congratulations Life As Told By Film for reaching your One Year Anniversary ! I’m so proud of you!

Hope you all have a wonderful year!

 

 

 

 

Few Things I Discovered Before Buying Salma’s Present

April…

The weather was bipolar- coordinating outfits by it was a joke. Salma’s birthday was approaching and this year she, and the rest of us, made a list of gifts we wanted. Ranine and I split up buying the requested books and notified each other whenever one of the novels was purchased or spotted.

My half of the list:

  1. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
  2. In Darkness by Nick Lake
  3. Tsarina by J.Nelle Patrick
  4. The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters
  5. The House of The Spirits by Isabelle Allende

Fascinating list (I hadn’t heard of any of these).

So on a very meh day, I set out to buy the books when my friend, Dalia, messaged me that she was in Hamra. I was ecstatic! The last time I saw her was at the AIESEC conference back in March.

I met her and her two other friends on Bliss Street. Friendly, bubbly ladies who are studying Business at AUB. Let’s call them Reem and Sara. One of them recommended a Facebook page I think you will find interesting: The Shelf Club.

The obvious bookstore to go to was Antoine, one of Lebanon’s most popular book-selling franchises. However, before my companions and I reached Hamra Street, Sara needed to go to a nearby salon for a last minute appointment. There was no reason to object. On our way there, I laid eyes on the ochre walls of a place called The Little Bookshop.

I remember announcing excitedly that I wanted to check out the place. I think Dalia reacted the same as I did and Sara and Reem didn’t mind. Moreover, there was a chance that one of the books I was looking for could be sitting on one of the store’s shelves. After exploring the intimate collection of books, I didn’t find any of the books…

Doesn’t mean we left without purchasing anything.

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We arrived at the  salon where we were welcomed with smiles. Luckily one of the beauticians could squeeze Sara in for a last minute appointment. In fact, they could squeeze all of us for a quick touch on our nails as well. Truth be told, I’d never gotten my nails done at a salon before. I’m not a very girly person (I think I got more girly when I started university) and so the very few times I painted my nails, I did it by myself. Not that I was any good at it, unlike my little sister who can make cool patterns and much more.

Anyways, after being convinced by the other girls I decided to give it a shot. Picking a color took a while because I’m indecisive and I’ve only tried two basic colors: crimson red and dark violet. Nail polish bottles of different brands probably have different exaggerated names for those two colors but that’s it really. Tempted I was to choose the dark violet but then Reem pushed me to go for a lighter shade. So I decided to try Lilac.

I ended up liking it more than I expected. Lilac nail polish is here to stay!

While waiting for my nails to dry, I suddenly remembered Antoine’s closing time, leaving me approximately an hour to get there and shop. Sara wasn’t done yet, so Reem, Dalia, and I left for Antoine. When we arrived, I headed down to where the novels were kept only to discover someone I met recently worked there. Tossing my feelings of shyness away, I said hi to him and he responded happily before helping me look for the listed books.

I got 1/5 of them.

I was slightly disappointed but considering my budget and the fact that she was definitely getting two more books from Ranine, I was thankful that I found at least one of the novels. Salma had had warned us that these novels would be hard to find.

Dalia, Reem and I soon caught up with Sara and then headed back to Reem’s dorm to have a break from being outside.

I memorable day although only little events unfolded. The little things count.

I bought no. 5! Picture taken by the birthday girl
I bought no. 5!
Picture taken by Salma

-T.B.B.-