My hiatus explained

Enough said? Well, no. So here goes…

I have read a total of 10 books so far this year. This is a new low for me since I got my groove of reading back in 2012-ish, or was it earlier than that? Who cares. The point is, it’s very over halfway through the year and I am not going to reach 100.

Once I got pregnant, I knew that reading would become difficult, so I tried to read more while I thought I had the time. Boy that idea failed. I tried reading on the bus to and from work but morning sickness reared its ugly head and got in the way for 6 months or so. I wore the sea-bands, drank lots of water, ate a little healthier, but reading time eluded me.

Post-birth, I spent a lot of time in the hospital with my baby in the Neonatal unit. She was unexpectedly 6 weeks early. I was expecting early, just not THAT early. It was mostly cuddles with baby, feeding, expressing, watching and waiting for her in between feeds. I could watch her for hours. I would sit in the comfy chair and read a chapter here and there. I managed to finish a book! I thought this was my turning point, and it would only get better from there, but things haven’t really changed.

My little bundle is not so tiny anymore, and while I feel that I have more moments to read, my attention span has shortened. I find myself starting books and never being able to finish them. Since leaving hospital, I have read 1 e-book, and 2 baby books which I haven’t added to GR yet. I started reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone e-book out loud to baby but it expired before Harry made it to Hogwarts. The reading rut has come back.

Life carries on… it turns out reading is not my priority anymore, work isn’t either and I am perfectly okay with that. Although our baby girl had a rough start to life, I wouldn’t change her for the world. She is my priority.

Hey, and if it takes 80 children’s books to complete the GR challenge, well so be it. Every book counts. If I have time to write a review, I will post it. It might seem like tumbleweeds are blowing past, but I will be back in full force in time. Will you stick this out with me? I’m not committing to a number of posts per week, month or year. I will be here when I can. No more, no less.

Just stick with me. Things might just get interesting around here.

xoxo,

Shaz

I’m Okay With That

Long time, no hear from me. I know. It’s been awhile.

I took a little break from blogging as I needed the time and energy to focus on my work and studies. I took up full time distance studies when I started at my part time job. I didn’t know that life would also get in the way of my reading and blogging time. So many people can juggle with their hands full and I was one of those people for the first trimester, but it all came tumbling down for the second trimester. So my bookish life took a back seat, and I’m okay with that.

My workplace has started celebrating women by having these workshops to hear from our senior female leaders and highlighting the strengths of our fellow colleagues. I attended the first, and there was one saying that really stuck with me ‘I’m okay with that’. It’s about being in a good place, taking life as it comes your way and being able to accept the failures with all the good stuff and being good with it. It’s like, knowing that you have the worst dance moves, but living it up on the dance floor, or being The DUFF in your group of friends and still going out to parties, because you’re okay with that. Gosh, I hope you understand me.

What really threw a spanner in the works was my personal life. With work and studies, I could manage okay. Having health matters in the immediate family was another ballgame. It was emotionally draining. I’m happy to say we’ve come through the major hurdles and now it’s about management of lifestyle, and making healthy choices. I signed up to participate in a research study. It’s about being given the tools to help myself become a better me. I know that I’m not perfect. I eat takeaways and don’t exercise as much as I should. But I’ve got a new workout plan which I will do my best to complete. I may not lose weight, but I will be a healthier person at the end of the programme and once again, I’m okay with that.

I’m on a break this trimester (unintentionally missed the enrolment deadline) but it gives me some breathing room to focus on my family and it also allows me to get back into some reading. I’ve finished a couple of books over the last fortnight. I’ve soo missed jumping into someone else’s world and leaving my worries behind. I’m even running a low pressure Book Pool Challenge over on Goodreads, in the Book Lovin Kiwi’s group. I’m going to read as many books as I can. I’m like 36 books behind my Goodreads Challenge (I’m okay with that…) but also hoping to complete it for 2016. I might need your motivation!

I hope you’ve stuck me with. My hiatus is officially coming to an end. Please be okay with that.

See you again, much sooner than the last post.

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Blogwarming Winner Announcement!

It’s been a busy few weeks since launching sharlenesays & I’m doing my best to line up posts & be as prepared as I can. I got a little distracted this week with Booktube & it’s readathon, Booktubeathon. But I am back on track.

I wanted to end the first month with a bang so I hosted a giveaway. Entrants had to either follow me on twitter, tweet aboutethe giveaway or leave a comment on the giveaway post and I am happy to announce…

~ Alysia Allen ~

who has won an audiobook of her choice from Audible.com.
Alysia, I have sent you an email. Please let me know what book you would like.

I know July hasn’t ended so expect another post this week. Make sure to follow the blog so you don’t miss out on the flash giveaways!

I am so excited. My own blog brings new opportunities, so expect more soon.

final love sharlene

Welcome

Nau mai, haere mai, welcome.

 You know, I never imagined when I first started blogging in 2009, that 5 years later I would have my very own site. I honestly didn’t think people would read what I had to say, but the blogging community, especially book bloggers, really changed my way of thinking. I am so excited to venture into the world of widgets and plugins. Give me a chance to get my head around everything. Changes are inevitable. But it really feels like I’m stepping out of my free ‘little girl’ blog and right into the big leagues!

grey laurel sharlene says skinnyI’ve been working on a chevron theme for my blog all week, even getting the hubby to create new headers but last night as I was piecing it all together, I just had a burst of creativity and fell in love with the laurel. I was up all night but am happy with how it looks. What do you think?

I couldn’t figure out the error in importing my wordpress.com content so for now, I will leave it at http://sharlenesmith.wordpress.com/. The site will remain up until I am ready to let it all go.

I’ve managed to put up my Reading Challenges pages. I found it hard to keep up with the all the challenges on one page, so to each their own page! If I can work it out, I will have a section just for my reviews too. Mostly be YA/NA genre. I see it’s common to have a policy around reviewing books so that might make an appearance. Will see how much time I can spare.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” 
― George R.R. MartinA Dance with Dragons

So, this is it. My first post. I was hoping some inspiring words would come to mind. Maybe in the next one! Please feel free to overstay your welcome and I’ll see ya soon!

final love sharlene