Saturday, 5 March 2022

[Punch needle] Unicorn

Finally I had the chance to finish this punch needle project! I've bought this punch needle kit from a Facebook seller online last year! I was excited to get my hands on this new project as it looks fun and straightforward! Unfortunately it does take some time to get use to it especially the strength and consistency of the punching. I liked that I can easily frog it and redo without worry! Also the freedom to create or design a pattern easily is a bonus though we have to be extra creative LOL! It's similar to needle embroidery but with a different type of tools. Looking forward to more needle punching in the near future!
Before, punching punching!

After, the finished product!

Friday, 4 March 2022

[Crochet] Ice Bear

I had totally forgotten this project which I have completed end of last year for Princess' birthday present!!! Of the 3 We Bare Bears characters, she likes Ice Bear best so I've crochet this based on the pattern from Beary_ Bearnita on Instagram. I liked her patterns which are always easy and straightforward, the outcome would be the same as character itself.

In the making...

The end product!

Monday, 14 February 2022

[MPOV] The Italian Wife

My rating: 3/5
Goodreads rating: 3.94/5
Published: 25/11/2014
Author: Kate Furnivall
Genre: Historical romance, mystery, Italy
Italy, 1932 -- Mussolini's Italy is growing from strength to strength, but at what cost?

One bright autumn morning, architect Isabella Berotti sits at a café in the vibrant centre of Bellina, when a woman she's never met asks her to watch her ten-year-old daughter, just for a moment. Reluctantly, Isabella agrees -- and then watches in horror as the woman climbs to the top of the town's clock tower and steps over the edge.

This tragic encounter draws vivid memories to the surface, forcing Isabella to probe deeper into the secrets of her own past as she tries to protect the young girl from the authorities. Together with charismatic photographer Roberto Falco, Isabella is about to discover that secrets run deeper, and are more dangerous, than either of them could have possibly imagined . . .

From the glittering marble piazzas, to the picturesque hillside villages and winding streets of Rome, Kate Furnivall's epic new novel will take you on an breathtaking journey of intrigue, romance and betrayal.
TBNT Book Challenge for January:
A Murder Mystery OR Combines Thrills and Romance

Book Spin Bingo:
Title starting with alphabets I OR O

My first book for the year 2022 and it turns out to be quite enthralling! It definitely meets TBNT Book Challenge of a murder mystery AND combines thrills and romance! I'm just glad that I was able to finish it as it was such a busy month! It sure felt stressful trying to finish it either so I think I'll give the challenge a miss if I'm not able to do it, not going to rush to meet it anymore.

I was transported back to the olden days of Italy when Mussolini rules the country and loyalty of the people were always tested way back then. Overall premise of the story was interesting but it was not as engaging at some point. Maybe I felt rushed to finish it but I sure was not into it somewhere in the middle. When Isabella and Roberto got together, it wasn't a surprised and the ending was what I have thought it would be.

I would think this as an entertaining read, to pass time and liked that it has an interesting look during the Mussolini regime. Though fiction, I just liked anything historical plus I liked this author's writing from her previous books. Just wished it was more engaging this time around.

A romantic quote to end this post:
"Isabella, the first time I saw you, you had a blasted chicken stuck under your arm and an ancient vecchia clinging to youfor dear life, almost toppling you over. All around there was noise and confusion and the greyness of uncertainty. Fear was stamped on everyone's face. But you, with your chicken and your old woman and your smile, were like a shaft of sunlight on that station platform.'' He let his words drift across the space that divided them. ''I loved you then, Isabella, and I love you now.''

Tuesday, 1 February 2022

Gong Xi Fa Cai!


Picture Googled

Time flies and a new year beckons! Chinese New Year greetings to family and friends celebrating this auspicious new year! Happy Holidays to the rest! To those driving back to hometown, drive safely and stay safe!

Monday, 17 January 2022

TBNT Book Challenge 2022

Earlier this month, I have mentioned that I will slow down on my reading in order to allow a more relaxing year with more time for other hobbies such as to craft, garden or even colour. 

In view of this, I have lowered my Goodreads reading challenge from 36 books last year (to which I didn't complete) to 13 books for this year. Why 13? Well, this is to accommodate TBNT Book Challenge which has13 challenges. Aside from this, I am also going for Litsy's Book Spin Bingo which can be used concurrently with TBNT Book Challenge so no extra pressure here. I've thought of joining again some KLBAC book discussions but that will probably be after Chinese New Year. There are quite a few based on various genres so depending on my schedule, if it's too tight then I'll forgo it. 

Anyway, I'm sharing TBNT Book Challenge here, in case any of you readers are interested to participate.
Wish me luck!!!

Sunday, 16 January 2022

[MPOV] A Gift from Bob (Bob the Cat #3) by James Bowen

My rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 4.22/5
Published: 1/1/2014
Author: James Bowen
Genre: Memoir

December's Book Challenge:
1. TBNT Book Challenge: A book that has been adapted for the screen OR a screenplay / theatrical play

I've had this book in my TBR pile like for aeons so I'm glad to finally reading it! Unfortunately, Bob has also recently passed away so it is only apt that I read it now.
Street Cat Bob and James, stars of bestselling A Street Cat Named Bob and The World According to Bob that touched millions around the world, spend a cold and challenging December on the streets together in a new adventure. From the day James rescued a street cat abandoned in the hallway of his sheltered accommodation, they began a friendship which has transformed both their lives and, through the bestselling books A STREET CAT NAMED BOB and THE WORLD ACCORDING TO BOB, touched millions around the world. In this new story of their journey together, James looks back at the last Christmas they spent scraping a living on the streets and how Bob helped him through one of his toughest times - providing strength, friendship and inspiration but also teaching him important lessons about the true meaning of Christmas along the way.
I’ve enjoyed James journey with Bob in this lovely memoir. It’s sincere and truthful, capturing the essence of their friendship wholeheartedly! Now I did wished I have read it earlier but then everything happens for a reason, right?! 

Anyway, this book is so endearingly honest and an easy read to boot. Aside from Bob, James has also shared his gratitude to his customers and friends who have supported him through it all from the moment he was clean, no judgement, just caring people. It is so nice to know that there are still so many nice people on Earth! This has definitely been an eye-opening read for me especially from the point of view of someone who was homeless before. 

Thank you, Bob, for saving James.
Thank you, James, for this lovely memoir.
Now to look for the rest of the books!

Saturday, 15 January 2022

[MPOV] Auntie Lee's Deadly Specials (Singaporean Mystery #2) by Ovidia Yu

My rating: 3/5
Goodreads rating: 3.71/5
Published: 30/9/2014
Author: Ovidia Yu
Genre: Mystery fiction, cozy mystery

This is my pick for November's Book Challenge:
TBNT Book Challenge: A book with a picture of food on the cover OR food in the title
Rosie “Aunty” Lee, the feisty widow, amateur sleuth, and proprietor of Singapore’s best-loved home cooking restaurant, is back in another delectable, witty mystery involving scandal and murder among the city’s elite.

Few know more about what goes on in Singapore than Aunty Lee. When a scandal over illegal organ donation involving prominent citizens makes news, she already has a list of suspects. There’s no time to snoop, though—Aunty Lee’s Delights is catering a brunch for local socialites Henry and Mabel Sung at their opulent house.

Rumor has it that the Sung’s fortune is in trouble, and Aunty Lee wonders if the gossip is true. But soon after arriving at the Sung’s house, her curiosity turns to suspicion. Why is a storage house she discovers locked? What is the couple arguing about behind closed doors? Where is the guest of honor who never showed up?
Note: I am way behind my review postings so do anticipate a few bursts this week while I'm catching up.

I have enjoyed the first book, Auntie Lee's Delights (you can read my review here) so when this book challenge came up, I immediately thought of this book which was gifted by Ai Jou! Thankfully as I do not have another book to match that challenge, unless it's a cookbook LOL!!!

Book 2 seemed a little off, kinda long winded and wasn't as engaging for me. I'm not sure if it's due to my reading slump then whilst forcing myself to finish the challenge or I honestly find it quite repetitive for the first half of the book! Referencing back to the first book is fine but repeatedly or harping on the same points again and again was quite off-putting for me.

As the story progresses to the actual plots, then only I started to enjoy it somewhat. As usual, it reminded me of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple but in an Asian context LOL! The plots were more entertaining than the first book though which is a plus here. If you are looking for an Asian detective story, you can give Ovidia Yu's Singaporean Mystery series a try. 

You can check out the official website here:

Friday, 14 January 2022

[MPOV] The Finest Lies

My rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 4.48/5
Published: October 14th, 2021
Author: David J. Naiman
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
High schooler Nicole Hallett has just about had it with her brother Jay, so when a mysterious man appears with an offer to replace him with a better one, she doesn’t hesitate. Nicole has always been impulsive, but this time, she finds herself in predicament far worse than anything she’s experienced. Just like that, an average snow day—usually filled with hot cocoa and snowball fights—is commandeered by the stranger, who forces the siblings into a dangerous game.

Confronted by past reflections, tested by present complications, and threatened by future possibilities, Nicole has until the end of the day to disentangle the riddle of her life.

This suspenseful, yet winsome novel by award-winning author David J. Naiman explores the power of family and forgiveness. But take heed. The truth can cut like shards of glass, especially for those who’d rather avoid it. Sometimes, only the finest lies will do.
I have received this e-ARC from the author in return for my honest review. I had bouts of bad reading slumps due to the previous lockdown and I've tried switching to other genres but it didn't work. My Kobo had also turned on me and suddenly died!!! When I finally got it up and running, I realized all my existing e-books were gone! So I had to hunt and redownload it all again! Gosh so much drama lah! Anyway, finally I was able to finish reading this e-ARC and a thousand apologies to the author for the much delayed review.

The story delved into the most common sibling rivalry's question... ''would you trade your sibling for a better one?'' It's mostly on the sister's point of view. I liked the many moments of eye-opening experiences of the said sister, awareness on the treatment given to the sibling or close friends. With all this, she has finally seen what she has become to and was given the chance to repent. The ending may be the expected one but it is the journey that brings the story up. The author has put in quite an effort to create this unusual set-up yet engaging story.

This is a Young Adult novel with a strong message about family, especially sibling rivalry and shallow minds. It truly is a refreshing read for me with the way the story span and I loved a good ending. All in all, it was an entertaining read for me.
Here's an excerpt from the novel, you can check it out...

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