Honest Truths: I’m poor, not penurious.

Guess who had to google that word, penurious. I’m not even sure if I’m using it correctly.

I still feel like I need to preface this post by saying I believe I am by no means living in poverty, I just feel the crunch most days. This isn’t a plea for your money. I don’t want to be spammed with get rich quick schemes. I am grateful to be able to afford our weekly rent to have a roof over our heads and I have a very gracious workplace.

However, there are just some days when I log into my bank account and I wish there were just a few more dollars in there. I’m not talking millions either, literally a few more dollars would make me smile more often. They say money doesn’t bring you happiness but it makes life easier having it, it makes living a little less stressful. I’m sure you’re all thinking, we’ll get off your butt and do something about it.

So, What am I doing about it? To be honest, I know that what I am doing is not enough, but I’ve started making small changes to make it easier on the budget, and to start seriously paying off debt and get my life on track and towards saving to buy our first home.

I’m about making a few small changes in my life that are sustainable. For instance, I have  stopped buying mochas or hot drinks. They were a weekly guilty pleasure. I stopped drinking coffees while pregnant and limit myself now because I’m breastfeeding. For the price of a barista made coffee, I can buy a packet of instant granulated coffee and still have some change. I might get 20 cups of coffee for the price of one or two. Yes, it’s cheap but to be honest, it’s not nasty and I get my quick fix, quicker than waiting in line at a cafe.

Another small change is I don’t go shopping unless I need to. I unsubscribed from regular marketing emails from a bunch of retail stores. I’ve removed the temptation from my life and my inbox thanks me also.

Even my birthday this year I didn’t want to spend money on myself. Instead buying a treat, I volunteered to be a collector for the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation street appeal.

Adulting can be hard. Parenting is harder. I’m in my 30’s now and I feel these are the years to start making a difference for the family.

So my honest truth, I am poor. But if I can pay all my bills, reduce the debt and manage to squirrel a dollar or two away for my baby’s future, and put money towards my first home, then I know that I shouldn’t complain! I want to feel content with the things I have or I just need to try a little harder.


Thanks for sticking with me.

xoxo Love Shaz

Love by Matt de la Pena

I recently discovered that Overdrive are now offering read-along eBooks. No, this isn’t your typical audiobook, nor is it a simple narration.

You open the book, click on Start Narration and it reads the words to you. It even highlights the words as it goes along so it’s easy to follow.

I didn’t realise it at the start, but it will even turn the page when it gets to the end of the page!

Its almost handsfree reading!

But enough about that. The book that I found, was Love by Matt de la Pena. I wanted a cute short story to read to by daughter at bed time. She’s only one. She fell asleep pretty quickly but me, I was in awe.

The read-along I heard was by the  author. I heard how the story was meant to be read, how it was meant to be heard. That was the pinnacle of my experience.

The story really tugs at the heart strings. It’s so full of emotion and shares all the ways we experience love. The story resounded with me as I snuggled in bed with my daughter.

The last page was my fave: It’s not luck you’ll leave with, it’s love.

I hope that when my daughter leaves home, that saying is how she will feel. Knowing that she is safe & has that security to know we will be here for her always.

The best book I have read since ‘Guess How Much I Love You’. Children’s books are the best.

xoxo Shaz

January Wrap Up

Goodreads Challenge for 2018 is off to a good start. I know only one of these books is a novel, but they all count! Here is the list of e-books I read in January.

  1. Under the Lights (The Field Party, #2)
  2. The Infographic Guide to Personal Finance: A Visual Reference for Everything You Need to Know
  3. I Love You with All My Butt!: An Illustrated Book of Big Thoughts from Little Kids
  4. Saga, Vol. 4 (Saga, #4)

january-2018-readsI Love You with All My Butt would have to be my fave this month. It’s a book that I want on my shelf and I will read to my daughter, so she knows that life isn’t always serious. If there isn’t room in your life for a little fun and laughter, then I’d say you’re doing it wrong.

I read the Infographic Guide to Personal Finances as my husband and I have started our wee family, and are looking to buy our first home. I’d like to say we are in a position to go it alone, but my parents will be contributing towards our deposit and thank God for Kiwisaver (a government retirement scheme) that I signed up to in my second job (like 5+ years ago). Because without it, this conversation might not be happening for another 10 years. Any help I can get, the better, and at least I won’t get weird looks from a book, like ‘You’re 30 and you don’t own your home?’.

I’m really not sure why I have continued reading the Saga series. It’s really quite graphic… and yes, it is a graphic novel! I am aware of that. But the blood, the gory, the off-earth aspect and the explicit. These aren’t really my kind of things I like to read. But OCD sticks it’s ugly head in sometimes, and I want to see the series through to the end, however it ends.

and I MUST READ all Abbi Glines, so I have continued the Field Party series, and read Under the Lights. I quite liked the story. My fave character would have to be Nona, the grandmother. She took in her granddaughter, when her own daughter couldn’t look after her child, not once but twice. She is a top lady.

Well there you have it, my reads for January 2018. What did you read this month? Leave me a link.

Bout of Books 18 | TBR & Progress

Bout of Books 18

Here are some goals for the Bout of Books 18.0 Readathon:

  • Read 5 books
  • Read a book by a ‘new to me’ author
  • Participate in at least one of the Daily Challenges
  • Find a new BookTuber to follow
  • Send a tweet to someone new every day

and here is my TBR pile:

Are you participating? If so, share your TBR!

Here is my Daily Progress:

Day One – Monday
Pages Read: 20
Books: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Day 1 #boutofbooks –> Introduce myself #insixwords . WOULD RATHER READ THAN BRUSH HAIR!

A photo posted by Sharlene Douglas-Huriwai (@sharlenesays) on

Day Two – Tuesday
Pages Read: 31
Books: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Day Three – Wednesday
Pages Read: 157
Books: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Day Four – Thursday
Pages Read: 100 (currently on page 364)
Currently Reading: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Day Five – Friday
Pages Read: 56
Books Finished: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Day Six – Saturday
Pages Read: 80 (21%)
Currently Reading: The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

Day Seven – Sunday
Pages Read: 416 (22-100%)
Finished Reading: The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

Final Comments?
I went hard on the last day to finish the second book. I felt that I didn’t commit a lot of time to reading. Next time I am going to start a day late, as Monday in New Zealand begins before the Readathon timezone and doing the daily challenges a day late was super confusing when it come to posting my progress. I only managed to complete one of the five goals above, but that leaves room for improvement next time.

So, with that, I’ll see you then!

2017 Blog Ambitions

Happy New Year!

I’ve thought about making so many changes to my blog but I know that in 5 months time, with a little one in my arms, I just won’t have the time or energy to make this blog my priority. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going anywhere. I will do my utmost to be here on the regular and keep up with the latest releases. So I thought it best to set myself some blogging goals, and share those. If someone else knows about them, then I have a better chance of sticking to them. I’m going with the KISS Rule & only setting 5. That’s right. That was a challenge limiting myself to 5, because there is so much I want to achieve and so very little time to do it in. How fast did the last 12 months go? Like it just disappeared!

Here are my hopes and dreams for SharleneSays in 2017:

1 | Post a review each month

2 | Start using some of my own photos

3 | Post monthly TBR & Wrapups

4 | Vlog on Bookish topics on SharleneSays on Youtube

5 | Smash out tasks for 101 Bookish Things in 1001 Days

If you’ve got some blogging aspirations, send me a link in the Comments section. I love checking out Bookish blogs.

That’s all for now folks. Have a safe and happy holidays. You’ll see me again very soon with a January TBR.

xoxo Sharlene