Archives for June 17, 2015

Birthday blessings!


packagesThis year, I hijacked my birthday by telling Leao and the boys I knew exactly what I wanted for my birthday.  I wanted books, craft products, lunch at my favorite Japanese restaurant and to adopt two elephants.  Once they were on board, I ordered my goodies and as each package arrived I put them in a bag and set them aside.  This required a lot of strength that I really didn’t know I had until yesterday.

Leao took the day off to spend with me so after we dropped the kids off, we went for tea at Starbucks. Then we came back to open my presents.

pencilssketchbooknotebooksI love pretty notebooks and this cute trio set make me smile so I can’t wait to use them.  I have also always wanted a Copic sketchbook. I have made my own but this one is already bound on Copic paper and it’s the perfect size to carry around. The pencils are so cute. They say things like “Don’t Steal this pencil”.


You know I love books and I am great at finding them at low prices. I ordered some from Amazon marketplace, Bookoutlet and Book Depository.  I really had to sit on my hands at times as they arrived over the past week. This has to be the largest book haul I’ve ever had. I’m set for summer reading.  The books are a mixture of Japanese fiction, new fiction, fantasy, poetry, mystery and I think a contemporary.

craftgoodiesThen I received some craft supplies that I have had my eyes on. Can’t wait to play with them. There are actually a few more craft goodies that haven’t arrived yet.

Then we attended Nicholas Science fair at his school. It was so much fun seeing all the different projects. After that Leao took me to my favorite Japanese restaurant.

lunch1 I love sushi and miso soup for starters.

lunch3Leao always tries to convinced me to eat the raw ones. But I am still whimpy. I like avocado rolls and shrimp tempura sushi but the raw – nope.

lunch2I had my first glass of alcohol since my cleanse and I was a light weight before but I think it hit me even harder this time!


I had fun and then I even squeezed in some reading before pick up.

My best friend, Natana called and we talked a while which was a treat because the past few weeks we have been playing phone tag trying to catch eachother with the 3-hour time difference. So it was great to catch up.

Earlier this month I adopted two elephants from an Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. I received the adoption papers on my birthday. How cool is that? I will be writing a post with photos and sharing more with you soon.

The second half of my day was spent with the boys while Leao went to a Red Sox game with friends from work. So the boys and I ate dinner and we went to an exclusive viewing of Disney’s Inside Out movie, 3 days before the movie is released to the general public. It was so much fun and the movie was excellent.

The final gift I received was an order from my Etsy store while we were at the movies.  What a great day right?

I am grateful for all the blessings and I hope you are having a great day today.


Belinda’s Book Nook Review: Bingo’s Run by James A. Levine


Title: Bingo’s Run
Author: James A. Levine
Copyright: January 7, 2014
Genre: non-fiction,
Format: audio book  Voice talent: Peter Macoo Pages: 304

Synopsis (from Amazon):

For fans of Dave Eggers, Teju Cole, and James McBride, comes this extraordinary novel of morality and the redemptive powers of art that offers a glimpse into an African underworld rarely described in fiction.

Meet Bingo, the greatest drug runner in the slums of Kibera, Nairobi, and maybe the world. A teenage grifter, often mistaken for a younger boy, he faithfully serves Wolf, the drug lord of Kibera. Bingo spends his days throwing rocks at Krazi Hari, the prophet of Kibera’s garbage mound, “lipping” safari tourists of their cash, and hanging out with his best friend, Slo-George, a taciturn fellow whose girth is a mystery to Bingo in a place where there is never enough food. Bingo earns his keep by running “white” to a host of clients, including Thomas Hunsa, a reclusive artist whose paintings, rooted in African tradition, move him. But when Bingo witnesses a drug-related murder and Wolf sends him to an orphanage for “protection,” Bingo’s life changes and he learns that life itself is the “run.”

A modern trickster tale that draws on African folklore, Bingo’s Run is a wildly original, often very funny, and always moving story of a boy alone in a corrupt and dangerous world who must depend on his wits and inner resources to survive.

My thoughts:

I came across this audio book while browsing on Overdrive on my Kindle. I loved the cover and listened to a sample and was hooked. The voice talent for this book was so pleasant to the ear and I have never read much on the drug world in Nairobi or any African countries for that matter. So although this is a work of fiction, I knew it could still shed some insight. I also knew that this book would fit into my reading resolutions for 2015.

I immediately fell into the story while listening to the voice talent. He did a great job of doing the voices for all the characters. I listened to this while working at my craft table and while working in my vegetable garden. It made the time fly even faster.

I like books that help to bring to light how complicated life can be. Especially for this young boy who lost both of his parents in turmoil at a young age and the extreme poverty. It helps to understand why he might have made the choices he did about dealing drugs.  There were a few sections of violence but overall it was about Bingo and him trying to survive and grow in such a stressful life.

Even though he was a drug dealer, I found myself wishing for him to be well, find true happiness and love. He had no one to guide him and the circumstances created so many choices for him that he would have better thought through had he had guidance.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I think the audio version really boosted it more for me. So I give it 4 butterflies.


Happy reading!



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