Book Review: Where'd You Go, Bernadette


My Rating: 
Genre: fiction, humour, contemporary, mystery, chick lit, adult fiction 

Summary
Back of the book:
When fifteen-year-old Bee claims a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for perfect grades, her fiercely intelligent but agoraphobic mother, Bernadette, throws herself into preparation for the trip. Worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted, Bernadette is on the brink of a meltdown. As disaster follows disaster, she disappears, leaving her family to pick up the pieces. Which is exactly what Bee does, weaving together emails, invoices, and school memos to reveal the secret past that Bernadette has been hiding for decades. 
Where'd You Go, Bernadette is an ingeniously entertaining novel about a family coming to terms with who they are, and the power of a daughter's love for her imperfect mother.

My Thoughts 

Where do I even begin?

First off, I've read a lot of reviews giving praise to Where'd You Go, Bernadette. These are the type of books I gravitate towards, especially when it has such a cute cover. I actually bought this book at a used book store a while ago, and left it on my shelf since. It wasn't until recently something change my course of interest when I decided to sway away from the love stories and found myself picking up this book. 

I wish I read this book the moment I brought it home

I loved everything about it! It was also more hilarious than I expected. The stereotypes here and there (esp. about Canadians hehe) made me laugh out loud on the bus. I loved the positivity of the book, and I especially loved the relationship between Bernadette and Bee. That was evident throughout the entire novel. 

The writing style itself was also interesting. It was a timeline of documents and interchanging emails  between various characters, collected by Bee, with the addition of her comments to fill in a few gaps. So, although you're reading from the perspective of Bee, you basically have a full story (and not a one sided version) because of all these compiled documents. Quite interesting if you ask me. 

And, lastly... Bernadette. I did not expect to like her character as much I did! I think that maybe because of my background in psychology. I really like the fact that her character was a spot-on reflection of someone with an anxiety disorder. Like common... she hired a virtual assistant in Delhi just to avoiding dealing with others. How can that not be interesting to read about? 

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. It was a great mix of quirky and mystery. I usually don't read mystery books, but I might have to pick one up soon because this novel was a real page turner.

Favourite Quotes:
  • "That's right,' she told the girls. 'You are bored. And I'm going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it's boring now? Well, it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn it's on you to make life interesting, the better off you'll be."
  • "Maybe that's what religion is, hurling yourself off a cliff and trusting that something bigger will take care of you and carry you to the right place."
  • "I can pinpoint that as the single happiest moment of my life, because I realized then that Mom would always have my back. It made me feel giant. I raced back down the concrete ramp, faster than I ever had before, so fast I should have fallen, but I didn't fall, because Mom was in the world."
  • "What's this?" She pulled out a card and half it away from her face. "I can't read what it says." I took it from her and read it aloud.
     1. Beeber Bifocal
     2. Twenty Mile House
     3. Bee
     4. Your escape
Fourteen miracles to go." 

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DIY: Cellphone Charger Holder

Hiya! It's finally Saturday, and I thought it would be fun to start off the weekend with some type of creative output.  You know those cute DIY projects you always see on Pinterest? Well, I decided to pick a cute one (one I'd most likely put to use) and recreate it. As you could tell from the title of this post, it's a cell phone charger holder! 


As I mentioned, this is not my idea. I actually first saw this creation on Kristyn's blog, where she created a cellphone holder using fabric, ribbon and a curtain grommet. It looked so cute, but I didn't have an extra curtain grommet laying around in the house so, I went on Pinerest and I surprisingly found many cute alternatives. 

I found others who created cellphone holders using an empty lotion bottle, or an old pair of jeans. There are a lot of different ways to go about this, and I decided to note from the pair of jeans method but, instead use old clothing I no longer wear. 


What you Need:

  • Fabric or an old piece of clothing 
  • Your phone
  • Scissors 
  • Needle and thread 
  • Ribbon (optional)



First, lay your phone on top of the fabric, and mark the dimensions you want (i.e., how high you may want the pouch part of the holder to be). I personally eyeballed this part.

Next, sew the two pieces of fabric together, from the inside, leaving the top side open for your phone to slide through.

For the handle, you can use ribbon and easily sew it to the top of your pouch, or cut and use another section from your material. 

Voila!
There you go! Not only was this easy to create, but now you have a cute spot to keep your phone (and wires!) while it's charging. 

What I love most about this, is the fact that your little animal friends won't have the temptation of nibbling on hanging loose wires. Penelope has a tendency of doing this -- I've gone through way to many chargers. It's time I keep just one. 


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A Round Up of My Favourite Posts

Based on the title of this post, you already know that I've created a list of some of my favourite posts I've written here on Nessa's Bliss.

Going through a lot of these old posts, I never realized how many posts I've actually written. I'm almost at 600 posts. I'm not quite sure if this is a good or bad thing... All I know is that I found a lot of posts I want to either edit or delete. So, that's definitely a project I'll be working on in the near future.

Going back to the point of today's post, when choosing a few of my favourite posts, I realized that I selected a lot of posts that pertained to me and the fun times I documented on here.  So, if you're really interested in going through some of my old posts, be prepared to leave my blog feeling like you've learnt A LOT more about me. 


My Favourite Posts (so far):
1. Tangible Object, Intangible Value
2. A Thousand Words
3. Living on the Wild Side 
4. Let's Go On An Adventure
5. What It Was Like Growing Up With Two Backgrounds!
6. Bunny Love to Start Off Your Weekend

Well there you go! I feel like I say that a lot on here... If you have the time, please feel free to go through some of my old posts! I had a lot of posts to choose from, and selecting a few was actually harder than I thought. 

SIDE NOTE: As I was going through these posts, I really saw a difference in my writing. Besides the fact that now I really take the time to edit my posts before uploading (ooppss), I also realized a change in my tone and maybe maturity (I think) in my writing. It's quite interesting... Anyone else notice this with their own posts? 

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Simplifying My Life with a Laptop Desk

Can we just talk about laptop desks for a moment?

I've never heard about laptop desks before. In fact, it was my sister who introduced the idea to me when she was on a mission to get one for herself before school started. We went to IKEA who supposedly discontinued the product. I say supposedly only because their website said they were available in other stores. Weird.

Any who, after that moment, my sister and I were looking into Walmart. And, blah no luck in the Canadian stores. Although, you can get them in the States, but they unfortunately don't ship up here to Canada. So, we for to just forgot about it.


It wasn't until we went to Winners (it's your Marshals my fellow American readers!) and randomly found it. Luckily there was only 2 left, so right then and there we each picked one for ourselves. 

I cannot even begin to tell how much this laptop desk simplified my life!

Also, I'm not even sure why it is only now that I discover the laptop desk... after I graduated from university... *insert rolling eyes emoji here*. It would've definitely been useful.


Yes, I have a desk. I also have a computer chair to sit on. And, there is space on my desk for my laptop to rest on. But, you see, sometimes I just don't want to sit on a chair. There are days where I'd rather lay or sit in bed all comfy and just work under my cozy sheets. But, the only problem I've experienced were back pains. 

Oh man, the back pains I've gotten were so bad over the past couple of years because of school. There were nights where I chose to do some work or study on my bed, but I never really noticed how much strain my neck and back endured just to bend in order to read a textbook or write notes.


What I love about this particular laptop desk is that it allows me to sit upright while reading a book or doing some typing on the laptop. That means no more straining my back and no more hunching over. I hated when I did that. What's even better is the fact that I can elevate part of the desk to best fit how I wanted my book or laptop to sit.  

Truthfully, this option was also a much cheaper option than purchasing from online, like from Ebay or Amazon. Believe it or not, I bought this for only $24.99 CAD. The cheapest one I found online was for $25.99 plus shipping. A lot of them didn't even have the option of elevating part of the desk, whereas my laptop desk allows me not only to elevate part of the desk, but still have some space to rest my phone, or wireless mouse, or even write notes on a notebook.

Talk about making my life so much more simpler on my bed!


I also love the fact that I was able to get this in pink with the motivating words "hustle". I told you before, I'm a sucker for cute pink things.

It may be 4 years too late for this purchase, but I'm glad I have it now. I'm going back to school in January. If there are still nights where I feel like doing a bit of work in bed, I can always pull this bad boy out.  Besides school, it has some good use now, especially when writing blog posts like this one ;)
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Mood Board: Work Space Inspiration

I love mood boards. They're so pretty to look at, and when making one for yourself, it can actually be come quite motivating. Anyone else feel me on this?  But, then again, I just love pretty things

With my sister recently moving back into the house she rents with her friends for the university year, I finally have my room back to myself!  When her school year ended back in April, she decided to take a break for the summer and ended up kicking it with me in my room. Needless to say, it got a bit crowded, and it got a whole lot of messy over here. So, when she left, I couldn't have been anymore thrilled -- kind of... I sometimes miss her presence, but don't tell her that :)

Having clear her stuff out, I took it as an opportunity to redecorate and move things around in my room. It wasn't (and still isn't) completely done yet, but that's because I have a whole bunch of ideas, and I have no idea where to begin! 

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

I decided to start with my work space. I moved my desk towards the window (best decision ever!), and moved my bookshelf closer to my desk. I'm also in the process of adding a cork board onto the side wall -- just picking the right spot. But, other than that, I'm still being inspired thanks to pinterest.

The mood board I created above just puts some of the ideas I want into perspective. As you can tell, I want my work space to be bright and pretty. Oh, and of course, organized, which is something I'm currently working on. 

Besides that, I'm in the DIY mood. See that clock in my mood board? I'm really tempted to make one of my own! A lot of ideas are flowing through my head. This mood board just motivates me that much more to get it all done!

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Three Books

This past summer, I think it's fair to say that I definitely caught up on a lot of reading that I didn't get to do during the school year. I don't know how a lot of you manage your time so well! I read a lot of your blogs and I realized that a lot of you have full-time jobs, and some are full-time students who all seem to still have time to read. Maybe because I tend to leave a lot of my school work last minute, I don't have the time to read?

But, with graduating from school and all, I've had such a rush of energy. I was finally able to pick up a book, lay on my bed and just ignore my netlfix account. I'm being serious. I'm technically paying for my little cousins, sister, and parents to watch netflix with my account.


Back to books...

Let's quickly talk about what I read, what I'm currently reading, and what I want to read. Three books (hence the title). Let's go.

What I read...
Where Rainbows Ends by Cecelia Ahern
What a BEAUTIFUL read! I absolutely loved being able to read the journey between Rosie and Alex friendship from ages 5 to 50!! The writing style throughout the novel was in the style of emails, letters and IM messages. And, I think this is what grabbed and kept my attention throughout the entire read. There were a few times I wanted to hurt them both for being so blind... but, that's for you to read and find out why!

What I currently reading...
Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
I've read many great reviews about this book. Plus, it has been sitting on my shelf for a while being neglected. So far, I'm really liking it! Maybe I'll write a review when I'm done.

What I want to read...
Girl Up by Laura Bates
I've never read a feminist based book before. I've never even really thought about doing so either until I read this amazing book review(ish) on Sarah Eliza. It was actually a guest post, but still a good read. She presented her favourite 5 feminist reads, and I decided to start this reading exploration with Girl Up!

What are your thoughts? Any books I should be reading? 

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Favourite Instagrammers!

Hello blogging world!

Can you believe I'm back on hereon a Sunday? Well, believe it! I'm still participating in the blog-tember challenge, and I'm really proud of myself for completing 7 out of 11 prompts so far (including this post)! Theres 30 in total, and one of my goals was to complete at least half. So far so good!


Speaking of Sundays, Sundays are usually my most relaxing day of the week. I tend to spend my Sundays doing either last minute stuff, or just plain ol' nothing. Sometimes, I even like to disappear from friends and family just to have this day all to myself.  But, thats only sometimes.

I think it's safe to say we all love laying in bed for a couple more hours than we should and just scroll around on my phone.  I know I do. And instagram is the first place I visit.
Here are some of my favourite instagram accounts I love to scroll through!


@ziba.reads


@mandyferrugia 


@theeverygirl_


 @collectivehub


@lisa_lostinlit


@bunniesnrabbits

P.S. Since you're already here, don't forget to follow me on insta! I tend to follow everyone back!

**I know.. shamelessly promoting myself over here :)

Who are your favourites? Who should I be following?

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A (Not So Typical) Day in The Life

My life is not so typical.  I do not have a daily routine like others may have because my usual class and work schedule varies on a day to day basis. I can either wake up early in the morning because I have an 8:00am shift, or I can sleep in until 10:00am and slowly get ready for my 1:00pm shift. It varies.

It's kind of exciting actually because I'm always doing something different.

My dad's cousin came into town for about 2 days before hopping onto another flight and heading out to New York City! So, for those 2 days, we had to blitz through all usual things tourists would see here in Toronto, and instead choose some of the more important landmarks.

This is a not so typical day in the life of Nessa. 

Good morning!  It's 7am.  Not only was I awoken by a phone call from my dad telling to get up and get ready (urg), but also from Ms. Penelope.  I think she was getting annoying that I wasn't showing her any love. She was nudging at my arm, and would stop until I was petting her. Talk about needy. Just kidding, she's a cutie, and I was happy to comply.


8:30ish am - My morning begins with just my mom and I as we take a little drive into downtown.   My mom is currently picking up a few things from work.  While waiting for her, I'm also waiting for the sun to come out.  But, for now, I'm really enjoying the view and the cool breeze.  I love when the sky looks all pretty with different shades of pink and purple. I love it.


9:35am - Since my mom has work later tonight, we decided to make a quick stop by the house for her to gather her things. You know, just in the case the day runs long and doesn't have time to come home before work.  We decided to take local way home because there was just too many cars on the highway. We didn't mind, I like spending more time with my mom.

Oh, I took a selfie for this hour because I usually don't take selfies and I've been loving my hair this morning. It's giving me that Ariana Grande vibe.


10:15am - BREAKFAST TIME. Remember I mentioned earlier my dad calling me and waking me up? It was for this exact moment. His cousin and hubby are staying at a hotel, and my dad wanted us to take them out to breakfast.  We went to this cute breakfast/lunch diner where there was a huge selection of breakfast. I didn't realize how many different ways you can make a breakfast dish.  It was a huge and delicious breakfast. I'll probably be full for the rest of the day...


11:58am/noon - We are back in downtown, but the other and more busier side of the City! Even though I live here, I always find myself taking pictures of the CN tower. I love my city, so why not right? Anyways, this is the first of the 2 main places C and L wanted to see during their short stay here. Because the admission to go up to the top was a bit on the expensive side, my mom and I decided to sit this one out. Besides, I've lived here my whole life and had my fair share of exploring my city, including going to the top of the CN Tower many times growing up.  I want the lovely couple some romantic time alone.


1:00pm - Although my mom and I decided to not go to the top with them, even though they were very persistent, they went alone! We even encouraged them to take their time. They aren't in Canada all the time right? So, there's really no point of them rushing just because we are waiting. Well, technically we aren't waiting for them.  My mom and I are at a coffee shop. We took our chargers out, and are currently both talking and being on our phones at the same time. Our version of a little coffee date!


1:30pm - I wanted them to get a feel for the city, so we decided to take a walk. Even though the sun was out, and it was a bit hot, walking never felt so nice. Because the lake is literally on the other side of the street, and we are walking between high building, the breeze was just absolutely beautiful. Also, during this walk, I found myself taking a lot of upward pictures of buildings. I don't know why, but I find buildings really pretty haha.


2:00pm - I'm on a boat! Okay, not really. We are technically on a Ferry Boat. But, what's the difference? I really have no idea. But, any who, during my coffee date with mom, we were talking about other little things to see before we head of the downtown core of the city. Then it hit me, let's take them to see the city line! Not many tourist know this (I think), but there is a Ferry Dock literally only 15 minute walk from the CN Tower. The ferry fare is super cheap, I'm talking literally $7.50 for to and from the city.

The ferry here can take you to three little "islands". By random selection, we decided to go to Hanlan's point. Even though I mentioned I lived here my whole life, I never been to this island. So, that was a good change. But, on the way to all three islands, this 5 minute ferry ride give you the chance to see the beautiful glimpse of the city line.


2:45pm - I'm leaving Hanlan's point feeling extremely relaxed, and now a bit tired. This mini island was basically a beautiful big park to walk or take a bike ride or walk your dog like others did. We decided to sit near a mini pond, or maybe it was part of the lake, I'm not sure, but nonetheless, it was still relaxing. We had a great time just chatting away.


4:00pm - I just dropped C and L back to their hotel room. They wanted to rest a bit and charge their camera battery before heading out tonight. I also dropped my mom off to work, and I headed back home. My book shelf has been bothering for for the last week. It think it is too full, I don't know. I'm just not feeling it. This is a picture of where I'm starting from. I'm thinking of buying a second shelf to spread some of the books from this shelf, and other books that are just laying from my desk... hmm...


6:10pm - Okay, I instead took a nap because I was pretty exhausted. I'm good now. Since my mom is at work, and my dad just got off work a couple hours ago, we are taking the cousins to see my sister in Hamilton. I'm going to driving this long 40 (45?) minute drive to my sister.  But, thats not the last stop for the night...

6:50pm - We are in Hamilton. We are currently waiting for the sister bring her presence into the car. Haha, she asked us to call her when we were 10 minutes away so she can get ready. I think she's pretty much starting to get ready now. My sister goes to school in a different city for those of you wondering!

  
7:40pm - The drive was definitely longer than I remembered... Not sure if it was because we made a pit stop to pick up my sister on the way... But, it doesn't mater, we are here! If you cannot tell from the pic, we are finally in Niagara Falls! And, what a view we have.


8:32pm - I'm not sure how the time flew so quickly, but we walked from one end of the falls to the other end. So, we got to see the American falls, and also the Canadian falls up close! We also went inside the souvenir shop there before it closed. We were pretty much just talking and walking around while waiting for the lights to shine on the water. 


9:52pm - Dinner time! We are still here at the Falls, and we decided to eat at the Kelseys here! The family is enjoying a beer/wine, and I'm here drinking gingerale because I already know I'm the designated driver for tonight! Boooooo.


10:37pm - We sent the lovely couple onto the Niagara Sky Wheel! If you've been to London before, it looks exactly like the London Eye! We thought it would give them a beautiful view of the entire city and falls. Plus, more romantic time for them without my dad, sister, and I tagging along!


11:15pm - Bowling anyone? They wanted to play some bowling, so here we are! It's been a while since I went bowling, only because I know I suck. But, today, I was actually winning for once! I even got 2 strikes in a row! Not too shabby. But, I also think it was because I was the only not drinking ;)


12:00am - Before heading back to the city, they wanted to hit the Casino first. Since my sister is finally legal to even enter the facility, it was perfect! I didn't want to take a picture from the inside, not trying to be arrested for some conspiracy of cheating. I don't know. But, this place was amazing and full of zombie looking people. I personally didn't play any of the games, but I did enjoy watching the others.

Well, this was fun! It was like I was also giving you a tour of the city today! Like I mentioned earlier in the post, this is not a typical day for me. I don't always go into the city and travel to Niagara Falls! Maybe next time I'll go through an actual regular (and more boring) day in my life! 

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5 Things That Bring Me Joy

Hiya! Today, I'm sharing five things that bring me joy! For this post, I decided to shy away from humans... haha specifically from family, friends and loved ones. How can I honestly pick only 5? I mean, everyone is in my life for a reason and because I want them there. So... choosing only 5 is definitely not easy. They all bring joy into my life!

This is, of course, is in no particular order:

Five Things that Bring Me Joy 

The library and/or book store
I've said this a million times as a kid to my family and friends... "if one day I choose to run away, you'll probably find me at a book store!"

I love book stores. I love the welcoming feeling of being able to just pick out a book and sit on the floor comfortably. I love seeing the many books surround me, and I love the fact that theres always a cafe near by. I can literally spend hours just browsing through books, and I will always leave feeling a sense of joy.

Flowers
How can I not mention flowers? There are just so many to choose from, all with different looks and different smells. I love receiving a bouquet of flowers.

Coffee
Coffee brings me morning, afternoon, and evening joy! Literally, when I drink coffee I feel a sense of energy I didn't have earlier in the day. I also feel nice and warm when drinking coffee. Also, some of my favourite memories with friends were over coffee dates. Even though I usually have my coffee to go, I love those easy go moments where I can sit in a cafe, with cup of coffee in hand and just relaxing, or reading.  

Stars
I live in the city... with all the crazy lights and busy LOUD streets. When I look up into the night sky, I often see the moon and moving lights which are obviously (supposedly?) from airplanes. Not much excitement there. But, growing up, I've had the opportunities to leave the city for many overnight weekend trips, and one of my most favourite parts was seeing a vast array of stars right above me.

Fortunately, I got to witness not one, but two shooting stars and see what the Little Dipper/Ursa Minor looks in person! I've read many pictures books growing up about stars and all the planets, but seeing this in person, literally made me happy. Whenever I leave the city, even if its to another city just 30 minutes out to visit friends or family, you never not see looking up at the sky in awe.

Such beauty that truly brings me joy.

And, last, but certainly not least...

Penelope
Okay, technically Penelope is not a person (even though her soul says otherwise), but she is a little rabbit, and I think none of my friends and family will get hurt if I put her on my list! I mean, common, she's a cute little bunny! 

This little rabbit is one of the best gifts Jay (or anyone as a matter of fact) has ever given me! I love animals, especially cute little ones. And, the fact that I was given the gift to take care living being under my watch truly makes me feel so honoured -- this is probably the closest thing to parenthood (which, is just not part of my plan at the moment). But, nonetheless, she truly is a campion in my home. I just love seeing her run around in my room, or hop ontop of my bed , or just stare at me with her cute blue eyes . She's just a bundle of joy.

What brings you joy?

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Songs I'm Currently Listening To


Can we talk about music for a second? I know I don't blog and share a lot of my favourite songs, but I do love to listen to music. Music is a huge part of my life... whether the words speak to my current feelings and situation, or the rhythm of a song makes me feel happy, I appreciate the beauty of music. 

With that being said, it is day 6 of the blogtember challenge, and I think you already know where I am going with this post...  

Tues., Sept 6: Create a playlist. What you're listening to now, what encourages you, holiday favourites, etc.

My "favourite" song changes on the daily! Literally. One day I would love one song, and then I tend to over it... all... day... long. For a good week or more. So, instead of sharing what my favourite songs are, I decided to create a playlist of songs that are currently on my replay list:
  1. We Don't Talk Anymore - Charlie Puth ft. Selena Gomez
  2. Into You - Ariana Grande
  3. Closer - The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey
  4. All in My Head (Flex) - Fifth Harmony ft. Betty Wap
  5. Kill Em With Kindness - Selena Gomez  
  6. Side to Side - Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj
  7. This is What You Came For - Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna
  8. Don't Let Me Down - The Chainsmokers ft. Days
  9. Dancing Kizomba - Alx Veliz
  10. Piece by Piece - Kelly Clarkson


Well, there you go! Do you like some of these songs? 

What are you currently listening to?

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