Author Archives: Alexandra

First Third of 2024 Book Reviews!

My energy has been squashed from the last few weeks of the school year. Second graders have been on summer break mode for a month now, so you can imagine what my classroom volume level has been like. (and if you can’t just message me and I will send you an audio recording of it haha) I’m a few books behind, but am still proud I’ve read anythingat all.

“The only way to beat death is to chase it.” 

Struck with the same death curse his father, the king, died from just a few days before Red finds himself stuck. Will he have to accept his death, or will he have to learn to trust the very person he blames for his father’s death? The royal sorcerer. 

The magic world-building was fascinating. The royal sorcerers’ magic is tied to their King/Queen’s Truthwell. It was a slow build as this is just the first book in a series, but that was probably the most interesting part of the whole thing. While I did enjoy reading it, I didn’t feel totally invested in the plot because there are many qualities of the two main characters that bothered me. Probably won’t be continuing with this series. 

About three chapters in I wondered to myself why am I still reading this. My friend told me to stop, I could move on, but I’m not a quitter. Giving it a one strictly for my triumph over finishing it alone. And Goodreads won’t let me give it a zero. On that note- 0/10 recommend.

“Pharaoh is not the highest god, and Moses will prove it to him.”

Sold into slavery by her father, young Egyptian Kiya’s story takes place as mysterious plagues strike Egypt. While she, her mistress, and those around her are struck by each one, she finds her fellow Hebrew slave is being spared. She finds herself fleeing Egypt with the Hebrews and now must decide if she will reply on this God too. 

I read this book in all of 3 hours. I enjoyed the storyline and the portrayal of the plagues of Egypt and the trials of the Hebrews in the desert. As well as the journey of Kiya’s faith struggle between the gods of Egypt and the God of the Hebrews. 

That Arthur has not always existed seems odd to me. Like the wind on the moors and the wild winter stars, surely he has always lived . . . and always will.

The third book in the series follows Arthur as he begins his journey toward becoming King of the Summerland. This book is essentially split into 3 books with each told from a different perspective. Pelias, Bedwyr, and Aisein. 

This book had a lot of moments where it felt to drag on and on. Many battles, but I constantly felt like I was waiting for something. It really picked up the last 100 pages and I thought it had a good, yet sudden ending. As with the Arthurian legend, Arthur will return again one day. 

I wished we had insight into Arthur’s POV as everything is told about him from those close to him, but I will likely pick up the next book sometime this year. For now, I need a break from almost 600-page books.

“Death isn’t a habit you develop, you know, like tobacco or whiskey. It only takes once.” 

Biddy has lived on HyBrasil her whole life, with her guardian Rowan, and his rabbit familiar Hutch, but she has never left. Her knowledge of the rest of the world has come from the stories she’s read. But when Rowan goes on his night run to the mainland and doesn’t come back Biddy has to save him and she realizes her dream of going to the mainland may be different than she imagined.

A very fun read. I enjoyed it from start to finish. There were a few plot lines that didn’t feel fully explored nor utilized but I’d recommend it nonetheless.

Saint Padre Pio: In the Footsteps of St. Francis 5/5

Inheritance by Ridley Pearson 2.5/5

Restore by Sr. Miriam James Hyland 5/5

Clean Love in Courtship by Fr. Lawrence Lovasik 5/5

Mysteries of the Rosary by Fr. Gabriel Amorth 5/5

My reading journey feels like I’m forcing my way through knee-deep mud at the moment. Nothing has held my attention long enough for me to sit and read for long bursts of time. I bought a few books for my birthday so hopefully that changes. 

If you have recommendations for some fun fast paced stories I am all ears!

What have you been reading lately? Can you believe it’s the end of MAY?

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Check out: 2023 Book Challenge- January Reviews

The Best of March!- I got jumped

March flew so quickly that it’s actually the middle of April now. AH! But here is the best of it 🙂

As a kickoff for our Jogathon, we had a BMX show for the students, and some of us teachers got jumped! One of my students even hugged me after saying she was happy I was still alive. Meanwhile, another went “I thought, eh see you at the hospital I guess” HA!

My brother was here for a quick weekend visit on his Spring break and we took the opportunity to visit Disneyland! A very fun outing, with the new Mickey and Minnie Runaway Rail ride song STUCK in my head for days.

*here is a link for you to get it trapped in your head too*

I ended the month with a Padres vs Giants game, and a good one because we won!

Hello, pretty flowers. You are a sight for sore eyes after these gloomy few months.

My Favorite Podcast right now, with new episodes out every Monday.

What fun things did you do in March?

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Check out: Best of February

Ireland Diaries: Sligo, the Final Installment

The final installment of the Ireland Diaries is here. If you haven’t read the others you can find the links to them below 🙂

Sligo and Easkey were the final places I visited on my Ireland journeys and it was also the part that I was most excited about. My cousins on my dad’s side live in Ireland and, with the exception of one, I had never met any of them in person before. We had been chatting on the phone and emailing and skyping etc since we were little kids but that was all.

Our whole lives we spent every year hoping it would finally be the year we could meet. It only took me 21 years but I did finally get my grandparents to take me to Ireland to meet them, and it was like we had been hanging out in person all our lives. 

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Ireland Diaries: A Perfect Ireland Train Trip to Cork and Cobh

Welcome back to another post in the Ireland Diaries. If you’ve missed the others you can find them HERE.

Getting to go on a train trip was one of the things I was most excited to do when I went to Ireland. I told my grandpa that he could choose whichever trip he wanted as long as there was a castle to see. The trip we chose went from the Heuston Station in Dublin to Cork, then a van ride up to Cobh, and a train ride back. It takes about 3 hours by train to get from Dublin to Cork and the ride there didn’t seem as long as I expected. Though it may have been because I dozed part of the way.

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Ireland Diaries: The Guinness Factory

The fourth installment of the Ireland Diaries is finally here!

I was going to include the journey through the Guinness Storehouse in my other post, but then decided it deserved its own. My uncles and my dad were adamant that I visit, since they hadn’t gone before, and everyone wanted to know what it was like. The Guinness Storehouse, as stated on its website, has “seven floors of fun and excitement as you explore the story of Ireland’s most iconic beer.” Guinness Brewery began in 1759 in Dublin, Ireland, and from what I heard a lot of people told me that they think Guinness tastes better in Ireland. I personally think it’s disgusting but more on that later. 

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Ireland Diaries- Explore Beautiful Howth

Ireland is beautiful. That is the only way this story can begin. I waited my whole life to go there and it did not even, in the slightest, disappoint. I think it exceeded my expectations, which is why it gets a whole series of posts because it deserves it. 

For today’s post, we are going to start at the beginning, because it is a very good place to start.

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Monthly Favs- February 2024

An extra day in February gives me the extra wiggle room to help get a blog post out without feeling last minute. Phew. This month went by so fast. I blinked and now I have to change my classroom bulletin boards. (The worst moment of the month, yuck)

While it was a bit crazy I also got to spend a week with a college friend who I haven’t seen in almost two years so it was awesome! Yay to February break. Here are some of my favs from the month!

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Why you need to GOGH to this exhibit!

The Beyond Van Gogh: Immersive Experience is an exhibit that is currently happening around the country. The exhibit’s purpose is to show the artwork of Vincent Van Gogh in a way never experienced before.  With the use of projection and original scoring, you can view 300 of Van Gogh’s art as though you are in the paintings. 

My uncle bought us tickets for my birthday last year, but it didn’t come to San Diego until this month. I thought it was worth the wait. 

You begin in a room filled with projected information depicting Van Gogh’s life and includes quotes and empty frames creating the walkways. They are also a fun photo opportunity. 

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Monthly Favorites- January 2024

And just like that month 1 of 2024 is gone. A whirlwind of a month jumping back into another semester of teaching, the end of the holidays, and lots of SoCal rainy days. Let’s just say the first week after break having no outside time is NOT conducive to calm, attentive classroom behavior. Ha. 

A new series I am adding this year is Monthly Favorites! (Thanks Melissa for the recommendation *waves*) Anything from random things I’ve bought that month to interesting trends on Social Media can be discussed. So tune in every month for something new! 

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2023 Revisited and 2024 Goals

2023 crawled and flew at the same time. Now I’ve blinked and we are in the middle of January 2024! How crazy is that? To start the year let’s take a look back at 2023 Highlights and talk about some goals for 2024!

2023 the Best of

and was surprised with a Downton Themed Birthday outing you can read all about it here

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