Monday, January 30, 2017

The Art of Being Organized

 
  


I have always been the neat, tidy and organized sibling in the family with a minimalist approach to everything I owned. I'm not one to hold on to things purely for sentimental reasons especially if it's broken or has outlived its usefulness in my life. I find great relief and a sense of peace in discarding and reorganizing my stuff in the house, my closet, my home office and my car. Why? Because I believe that if I haven't used it or wore it for a year, it means, I don't need it and someone else could better benefit from it. My family thinks I'm weird (for not being sentimental at all) and smiles at my OCD tendencies.

It has been 2 years since the last purging and I was feeling a bit off. Last Sunday, while waiting for the last of the laundry to finish drying, for some odd reason, I ended up watching a YouTube video of the KonMari method of folding up clothes and of course, I looked up who KonMari is and when I saw her list of books, I remembered we were given the book titled The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I jumped up from the couch, went to the bookshelf and retrieved the book. I have to say, this is the first book that I've read bits and pieces of and not in chronological order either. More of like I scanned the table of contents and decided to start reading on the section about tackling the bookshelf then I moved on to reading the section on folding clothes then tackling the closet then discarding papers. I don't think I've completely read the book at this point but it was so inspiring and I felt like someone finally understood why I feel the way I feel when I purge and organize my things. A couple of months ago, I was also looking at downsizing to a capsule wardrobe, inspired by a FaceBook ad from Cladwell. That Sunday late afternoon, I looked in my closet and muttered to myself, "It's now or never… time to try that capsule wardrobe." Then I started pulling clothes that I haven't worn in 2 years or more off their hangers because (1) it doesn't fit me anymore, (2) I don't like how it looks on me, (3) I don't need it anymore and finally, (4) it does not spark joy when I see it. I threw in a couple of purses, gloves, hats, shawls and scarves in it too. Then, before I bagged them, I brought out my laptop and created a text document to list how many pieces of clothing there are in a certain category for tax donation purposes, folded the clothes and put them in the bag marked "Donation." Now all I have to do is to haul all 3 bags to Goodwill and be done with it. 

Tuesday night, I was pulling some pajamas out of my dresser drawer and realized, I must be running out of space since my pajamas were a jumbled mess. Remembering what Marie Kondo said about properly folding clothes, I decided to give her method of folding clothes a try and yes, discarding my entire lounge wear items and a few lace-y nightclothes (because obviously, I didn't wear them for the last 6 years and because my skin is hypersensitive to lace - my skin easily gets irritated, red, itchy and splotchy when it gets in contact with the smallest amount of lace). A few minutes into it, my husband comes into the bedroom and eagerly joins me and organizes his dresser drawers too after I showed him how to fold items the KonMari way and guess what? Everything fits with room to spare! And looks pretty too! Hooray!

Despite the major purging that happened in my closet and dresser, I still felt off so last Thursday, I finally tackled my desk. All that is left to organize is the bookshelf and my office closet as I need to get some sort of shelving unit to put my yarn and books in. I just need to find the right shelving unit that is portable and lightweight in case we have to move or I want to relocate the shelves. Now that majority of my stuff has been re-organized, I feel so much better. Peace and serenity has been restored.


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  • Chapter 3 of Helena and the Dragon


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Monday, January 2, 2017

[Book Review] The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch, #1) by Rin Chupeco





My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
316 pages, ARC Edition
Genre: Teens & YA, Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Disclaimer: As a member of NetGalley, I received this galley in exchange for an honest review.


Part 1: From The Book Cover

In the captivating start to a new, darkly lyrical fantasy series for readers of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price...

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha—one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!



Part 2: Recommendation

I know, you're not supposed to judge the book by its cover but in this case, the book cover drew me in and after reading the book description, I just had to request an ARC. Luckily, I got approved.

316 pages is quite frankly, long for world-building and introducing characters. But I get it that this is a Fantasy series. A lot of other early reviewers didn't enjoy the book because of it and I agree that nothing much happens, however, I believe that it is essential to read this book prior to moving on to reading the next books in the series as this book explains quite a lot in terms of the Asha traditions, hierarchy, and the world itself. 

It is definitely very reminiscent of Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden in the sense that they have practically the same types of classes/training (as far as I can remember) and the same type of "job" description (i.e. Entertaining nobles with their singing, dancing, conversational prowess and skills at playing various musical instruments). The author's spin to this is the addition of the Asha's abilities for martial arts as well as their ability to wield and control magical elements using runic symbols, which is pretty cool. To make things a bit more interesting, she adds a category of Ashas called Dark Asha or Bone Witches because their power comes from the dark and they have control over death and their primary magical job is to resurrect and kill the various daevas before these daevas could wreak havoc on the towns and kill a lot of innocent people. 

The entire book chronicles the slow journey of Tea from ordinary village girl to Dark Asha with very detailed description on clothing which for some reason, I still could not imagine how they were worn as there were a lot of wraps and layers, not to mention the hundreds of bejeweled hair pins an Asha wears on a daily basis. Based on the description, it didn't sound anything like the kimonos as described by Arthur Golden in Memoirs of a Geisha but then again, I could be wrong as it has been such a long time since I read that book. 

Overall, I think fans of Memoirs of a Geisha who also appreciate magical fantasy will enjoy this book and by the end of it, I'm beginning to understand the workings of Tea's mind and therefore, I can't wait to read what happens in book 2.