Currently Reading · Memes · Personal Post · Recommendations · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: March 2018

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Hello and welcome to my monthly wrap-up for the month of March.

I turned 31 years old on the first of the month. Unfortunately the flu went through my house and we had to post-pone my birthday celebration. Once we were all feeling better, we had a nice family dinner. My favourite part was receiving my first birthday card that said “Mom”.

Charlie turned 11 months old on the 19th. He is doing great and learning so much everyday. His current favourites include; monkeys, ABC Kids TV videos on Youtube and trying to copy everything his Pop does. This morning he will have his first visit from the Easter Bunny, along with a turkey dinner with family.

You may recall that several weeks ago, I posted a 21 Day Anxiety Challenge. Well the flu interrupted my progress, but I have completed some of the tasks, just not in the order listed on the image I shared. My progress with the challenge includes:

  • Spend 20 Minutes Outside. I’ve been going out on walks several times a week.
  • Get hydrated. I’ve been taking a water bottle where ever I go, that I sip on throughout the day.
  • Take a long bubble bath. Nothing calms me down like a relaxing bath, paired with a good book.
  • Snuggle with an animal. My cat Nova starts off his day with cuddles every morning.

I really hope to do some meditation and yoga during the month of April.

I’ve started to use my Instagram more during the month of March. If you would like to follow me click the link below:

https://www.instagram.com/melissaleesredhousereviews/

Books Completed

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Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks
♥♥.5       2.5/5
Genre: Short Stories, Fiction

Everything She Lost by Alessandra Harris
♥♥    2/5
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense
Note: I was sent a copy of Everything She Lost by Alessandra Harris, from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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The Meeting Place (Song of Acadia, #1) by Janette Oke & T. Davis Bunn
♥♥♥♥         4/5
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction

The Stats

Total Number of Books Read: 3
Total Number of Fiction: 3
Total Number of Non-fiction: 0
Total Books Sent for Review: 1
Total Books Read from My Shelves: 1
Total Library Books Read: 1

Formats Read:

Physical Books: 1
eBooks: 2
Audio Books: 0

Total Books Read in 2018: 7

Currently Reading

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter.

Links

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Articles · Challenges · Personal Post

21 Day Anxiety Challenge

When I think back over the years of my life, I know that I’ve always been an anxious person. I tend to worry and overthink everything. Even before I’d ever heard of anxiety I recall having these nervous feelings. However it wasn’t until I entered high school and was diagnosed with heart disease, that it began to get worse. I wasn’t actually diagnosed until about 7 years and a half years ago when I had the emergency open heart surgery, that would save my life. Combined with depression and PTSD, there were many days where I couldn’t even leave my apartment. There were times when I would panic so bad that I had a hard time breathing.

I’m very lucky to have a strong support team around me, who I can rely on, along with good doctors. I’ve come a long way since then and have learned several coping strategies, however there are still times when the panic sets in all over again.

Recently my cousin came across a 21 Day Anxiety Challenge which was shared on the blog Love + Marriage and a Baby Carriage and we decided to give it a try together. It is a great lead in to a second challenge from the same blogger called The Happiness Challenge.

Even though my cousin and I live in different provinces, we thought that participating in this challenge together would be a great way to motivate each other. And to further ensure that I stick to the 21 days, I decided to share my progress here on my blog.

As you will see from the list of tasks below, it really is quite easy. Just one simple activity a day is aimed at improving your state of mind and relaxation by spending a short amount of time on yourself. Considering that we are both mom’s with young children, finding time for ourselves can be tricky, but it is definitely important.

21 Day (2)

Only time will tell if this challenge will bring any positive changes, but I am looking forward to finding out. Our starting date is Monday February 26.

Would you like to join us in this challenge? If so let me know so I can follow your progress.

Currently Reading · Memes · Personal Post · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: January 2018

January was a pretty busy month for me. I’ve started to slowly get back into working again. Although I didn’t make an specific New Year resolutions, I’m trying my best to make better decisions and to take better care of myself. Its hard to do when you have a little one. Even harder when you are a single parent. But I’m trying my best.

Charlie has learned and grown so much since Christmas. He is now over 9 months old, with two teeth and two more coming through. He never ceases to amaze me or melt my heart.

As you will see from my monthly wrap-up below, I only completed 1 book in January. However I’m actually pretty please with the amount of reading I’ve fit in this month. I’ve been slowly re-reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as well as an eBook by Beth Labonte.

I came to realize that in the past year I put a lot of pressure on myself to finish a book by the end of the month. I’m trying a new approach to this. I’m just going with the flow. I’ll get it finished when I can. And if that so happens to be a few days into a new month, then that is ok. I know this will change up my monthly wrap-up totals, but allow me to take my time and enjoy the stories I’m reading more.

Books Completed

40 Love by Madeleine Wickham
♥♥.5      2.5/5
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Audio Book

The Stats

Total Number of Books Read: 1
Total Number of Fiction: 1
Total Number of Non-fiction: 0
Total Books Sent for Review: 0
Total Books Read from My Shelves: 0
Total Library Books Read: 1

Formats Read

Physical Books: 0
eBooks: 0
Audio Books: 1

Total Books Read in 2018: 1

Currently Reading

February TBR


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Currently Reading · Memes · Personal Post

Currently Reading: January 21, 2018

It’s been a while since I did a Currently Reading post. Time is absolutely flying.. my baby boy is 9 months old now! How did that happen? My tiny little baby has turned into a cheeky handful. And I’m loving every minute of it.

Another thing I haven’t done in a long time is upload a picture to Instagram. I’d really like to start using that more.. Here is my latest post:

 

My Reading Progress

Last week I completed my first book of the year:

40-Love by Madeleine Wickham (Aka Sophie Kinsella) is a contemporary novel that does have its humorous moments but is chalk full of deplorable characters. I gave it 2.5 stars and my review will be posted in a couple weeks.

Currently Reading

Which is obviously much more enjoyable than a 2.5 star read. 🙂

What are you reading this week? Leave me a message in the comments.

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Hosted by: Book Date

 

Personal Post · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: November 2017

ML's Red House Reviews

November started off well here, but ended with a cold that hit my whole family. However it didn’t dampen the Christmas spirit that is starting to build. I got a good start on my Christmas shopping, which is surprising. The Christmas lights are up and we’ve been watching some fun movies and festive television shows. Those cheesy Hallmark movies are such a guilty pleasure of mine.

One thing that has always kicked off the festive season (for me) is watching the Toronto Santa Claus Parade on television. This year I was able to share that tradition with my son Charles. Sure he didn’t understand what we were watching, nor did he really pay much attention to what was on, but it was nice all the same. The holidays this year are going to be so special as it will be his first Christmas.

I’m satisfied with my reading progress this month and the quality of the books I read was good. Being sick sucks, but it allowed me to spend some more time reading. I finally finished reading The Measure of Katie Calloway, which I’ve slowly been making progress with on Kindle for PC, for quite a while now.

Books Completed

  • Down, Then Up: A Novella by Beth Labonte
    ♥♥♥♥ 4/5
    Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Novella
  • The Measure of Katie Calloway (Michigan Northwoods, #1) by Serena B. Miller
    ♥♥♥.5  3.5/5
    Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction
  • The Sound of Rain by Sarah Loudin Thomas 
    ♥♥♥.5  3.5/5
    Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction
    SENT FOR REVIEW

The Stats 

Total Number of Books Read: 3
Total Number of Fiction: 3
Total Number of Non-fiction: 0
Total Books Sent for Review: 1
Total Books Read from My Shelves: 2
Total Library Books Read: 0

Formats Read:

Physical Books: 0
eBooks: 3
Audio Books: 0

Total Books Read in 2017: 25 

Currently Reading

December TBR

I hope you all had a wonderful November and happy reading!

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Charlie's Corner · Personal Post · Recommendations

Charlie’s Corner: November Wonder Week with Life Outside the Box

Baby Boy!

After Charles was born I joined a group made up of local Mommy’s with young children. It has become a great place to turn to for support and we have met some wonderful people as a result.

One of the Mom’s in the group has created a blog to share the different activities she does with her two little ones. Click the links below to check it out:

Life Outside the Box (Blog)

Life Outside the Box (Facebook Page)

Last week Charles and I participated in an online program she created, which encouraged sensory, nature and motor skills play. November Wonder Week was a fun way to explore using everyday household items with an autumn theme. Each day Katherine would post a file including the instructions for the activity she planned. In her daily instructions she offered modifications for different age groups. Every child experienced this program in their own unique way. I really enjoyed learning how the other parents put their own spin on the activities. It helped give me ideas on what to do, as I am far less creative. I am really looking forward to participating in the next group program in the New Year.

Be sure to check out Katherine’s blog if you are interested in learning more about “Life Outside the Box”.

Currently Reading · Personal Post

Currently Reading: November 12, 2017

On November 11 Canadians all over the country paused to remember those who fought for our freedom. Lest we forget. 

It has been a while since I’ve done a “Currently Reading” post. Seeing as how my little man decided to settle down for the night at a decent time, I took the opportunity to make this post.

We had our first snowfall of the season last week. Charles was in a state of awe when he looked out the window that first morning to the ground covered. I just love watching him discovering new things.

My Reading Progress

So far this month I have completed one book:

Down, Then Up by Beth Labonte, which I gave 4 stars.

I feel somewhat slumpish though. What I really need is to pick up a book that I can get completely lost in. One that I can’t put down. I will keep my fingers crossed that the next one I pick up will be the right one for me.

Currently Reading

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What are you reading this week? Leave me a message in the comments.

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Personal Post · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: October 2017

October 2017

Do you ever think back and try to remember what you did over the past month, but draw a blank? That is what seems to happen to me whenever I sit down to put together my monthly wrap-ups.

Here is what I do remember off the top of my head (ha).

Baby Charlie is now 6 months old. This is such a fun age, because he is becoming more and more interactive. His personality is starting to shine and he is such a happy baby.

Yesterday he celebrated his first Halloween. Kicking it off with a party with some local Moms and their babies. He dressed up as a cute puppy dog. To check out the costume I bought him click here to be directed to the Party City website.

Mom life is keeping my quite busy and I’m having trouble prioritizing my time to blog. Hopefully this is something I will get better at over time.

On to the books..

I am pleased with my reading progress during the month of October, however I didn’t absolutely love the books I read. All of the books I read were sent to me for review.

Books Completed

3
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  •  The Fire By Night by Teresa Messineo 
    ♥♥♥♥ 4/5
    Genre: Historical Fiction
    SENT FOR REVIEW
  • Start Without Me by Joshua Max Feldman
    ♥♥.5 2.5/5
    Genre: Contemporary Fiction
    SENT FOR REVIEW
  • Newfie Come Home by David Belisle 
    Rating TBD
    Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Satire
    SENT FOR REVIEW

The Stats

Total Number of Books Read: 3
Total Number of Fiction: 3
Total Number of Non-fiction: 0
Total Books Sent for Review: 3
Total Books Read from My Shelves: 0
Total Library Books Read: 0

Formats Read:
Physical Books: 2
eBooks: 1
Audio Books: 0

Total Books Read in 2017: 23

November TBR

Links


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Currently Reading · Personal Post · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: August 2017

September 1st already! Wow this summer just flew by.

Here are some of my high’s and low’s in August…

  • I decided to move on from my first blog Melissa Lee’s Many Reads and create a fresh new start here on WordPress with ML’s Red House Reviews.
  • I’m pretty sure my laptop bit the dust. So I’m writing this post on my Dad’s computer, so I apologize for the lack of creativity in this wrap-up. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that I didn’t lose all my files and photos.
  • I had my best reading month so far this year.
  • Joined a local Mommy group and have met some wonderful ladies.
  • Charles turned 4 months old. He is such a happy baby and loves to babble and laugh.
  • Spent most of the month of August nursing a bad back, which is never fun. It is even less fun when you have a little one to care for.

Now lets talk books..

Books Completed

2 of these books were re-reads and the other 2 were for Bout of Books, which I failed miserably.

♥♥♥ 3/5
The Luxe ( Luxe, #1) by Anna Godbersen
Genre: Historical Fiction, YA Lit
RE-READ

♥♥♥3/5
The Islands of Doctor Thomas by Franchoise Enguehard
Genre: Canadian Literature

♥♥♥♥ 4/5
The Hangman (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6.5) by Louise Penny
Genre: Mystery, Short Story

♥♥♥♥♥4/5
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3) by JK Rowling 
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
RE-READ

The Stats

Total Number of Books Read: 4
Total Number of Fiction: 4
Total Number of Non-fiction: 0
Total Books Sent for Review: 0
Total Books Read From My Shelves: 2
Total Library Books Read: 2

Formats Read
Physical Books: 4
eBooks: 0
Audio Books: 0

Total Books Read in 2017: 19

Currently Reading

10468550

 

 

I hope you all had a wonderful summer and wishing you all the best in September.

 

Personal Post

Welcome to ML’s Red House Reviews!

Hello and welcome to ML’s Red House Reviews! Please allow me to introduce myself..

All about ML..

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My name is Melissa Lee (AKA ML). I was born and raised in a small town in Ontario Canada. I’m proud of my strong Newfoundland roots.

I am also proud to be called Mom to the loves of my life:

Charlie. Born: April 2017

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Nova. (Yes fur babies count too) Born: March 2013

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All about the books..

My love for books and reading began at an early age. Over the past 10 years my curiosity for new genres and authors has grown tremendously. Social media outlets such as Goodreads, Pinterest, BookTube and Blogs has lead me to discover many different authors that I wouldn’t have heard about otherwise. I enjoy connecting with other book lovers and so I was inspired to begin a blog of my own.

Melissa Lee’s Many Reads..

Melissa Lee's Many Reads

I launched my first blog Melissa Lee’s Many Reads in January of 2015. It was quite a learning experience for me as I had never created one before. It gave me the opportunity to join a wonderful community and connect with people from all over the world, who shared the same interests as I do. I even managed to gain a small group of followers, who I am very grateful for.

A change of heart…

Now you must be wondering why I have decided to create a different blog? Well there are several reasons.. As I prepared for the birth of my son Charlie and then in the months after his grand arrival, I took a step back from my blogging and reviewing. It has given me some time to reflect on my blog and I began to realize that although I still enjoy it, I just wasn’t satisfied with my presentation of it anymore. I had quite lofty goals for the content I wanted to publish, but lacked the knowledge to do it. To be honest, I tried to do too much with it and didn’t follow through entirely with the plans I would announce. At the same time, I felt that I had outgrown Melissa Lee’s Many Reads. I grew tried of its appearance and even its name.

Moving on..

Somehow it didn’t feel right to just overhaul the blog and take a different approach with it. Then I began having trouble with the blogging platform. I tried several times to fix problems, but just became more and more frustrated. In the end I came to the conclusion that I wanted somewhere I could start fresh and create a space that I could keep up with. A space that could grow with me. And so ML’s Red House Reviews was born.

How is ML’s Red House Reviews different from Melissa Lee’s Many Reads?

For those of you who have visited my first blog, you will notice that this layout is much more simple. In fact that I my main goal for this new blog; simplicity. I want to be able to share my interests and experiences here without setting strict scheme for myself. While I do plan to continue sharing book related content here, I also would like to post product reviews and more general lifestyle posts.

But why the Red House?

Because I actually have a red house of course. As I mentioned above my family is from Newfoundland and our vacation home has become a place of great comfort to me. So I decided to pay homage to my special place by including it in my blog name. In the future I hope to re-design the theme to include a picture of our red house, however for the time being it is being represented with a blue, white and red colour scheme which is inspired by the flag of Newfoundland.