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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My Month in July: Moving Plans, Anne Obsession, and a Birthday Giveaway

July was a fairly low-key month for me, which doesn't translate into a particularly exciting monthly recap post so I apologize for that. I've been spending much of the past few weeks planning for a move. The end of my lease is FINALLY approaching (August 31) and I can't wait to get out of my crap apartment and away from my shitty landlord (excuse the language... I rarely ever swear, but in this case I feel it is warranted). I won't go into details, but basically I have never felt so violated in my life as I have living in this apartment and dealing with several breaches of my personal privacy by my landlord. Luckily, my boyfriend and I have found another apartment that is in a better location, seems to have a reputable landlord, and is just generally better quality (ie. NO cockroaches or major electrical problems!). The only problem is of course, it's much more expensive. But I think I've finally come to accept that that's just how it has to be, living in the second most expensive city in Canada and wanting to live in a nice, clean home that I feel safe in.

But ANYWAYS. While I've been dealing with the stresses of moving, I've also had plenty of opportunities to relax and enjoy myself. As I mentioned last month, I read Anne of Green Gables for the first time and it became an INSTANT favourite of mine! So much so that not only did I reread Anne of Green Gables again this month, but I also went on to read the entire series! (Or, at least, all the books that are in the public domain; I haven't quite got my hands on the two books that were written afterwards in the 1930s).

I spoke before of my love for Anne, but it's worth repeating: I just love her earnestness, her dramatic nature, and her love of life. Reading about her adventures just brings me so much JOY! And it's an instant pick-me-up for me when I'm feeling down or stressed. I didn't enjoy the sequels quite as much as the original as Anne naturally does some growing up and loses a bit of her theatricalness, but it was just such a pleasure to read about her journey from orphan girl, to budding teacher and writer, to married with children. These books have become SO special to me this month that I just had to share!

They also do a great job with the movie adaptations, I think:
Megan Follows IS Anne brought to life! It's so satisfying when a book you love is translated into a faithful movie adaptation that does the book justice.

And taking my Anne Obsession to the next level:
Just HAD to have these potatoes from Anne's home, Prince Edward Island!! Bonus: they're also endorsed by two-time Olympic gold medalist Canadian bobsledder, Heather Moyse! LOL.


Also this month, I binge watched another Canadian treasure, Orphan Black:
I actually didn't even know this show was Canadian at first. All I knew about it was that it was about clones, it airs on BBC America, and the lead actress was supposedly brilliant. And lo and behold, I recognized Toronto immediately and then determined that the entire cast, crew, everything was Canadian, which was surprising because it's also a very fast-paced, thrilling show with great acting talents. Now I don't mean to sound disrespectful, but I feel like it's honestly pretty rare that Canada is able to produce shows of the quality of Orphan Black to run with the big shots in the US and the UK, for various reasons. So I am definitely pleasantly surprised with Orphan Black and I'm totally LOVING it! Also, Tatiana Maslany - who plays many different renditions of her cloned character absolutely brilliantly - was totally ROBBED of a nomination for Best Actress at the Emmy's this year and last!!


Lastly, there are a number of birthdays to celebrate. Firstly to my favourite hero Harry, who turns 34 today and who changed my life for the better, and secondly to my favourite author Jo, who turns 49 today and who is my Queen. Thank you for inspiring me, being there for me through my hardest times, and for giving me a love of reading.

And thirdly, and much less importantly, it is my 26th Birthday tomorrow! So to celebrate these birthdays and because I haven't hosted one in a while, I'm having a giveaway. One person will win $15 CDN to The Book Depository for the book of their choice. Thank you so much for reading my blog!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blog Posts in July:



Best Book Read in July:

No surprise here - I LOVED Jo's newest book, written under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith. As with the first in the Cormoran Strike Series, The Cuckoo's Calling, the mystery was excellently done, the characters are layered and likeable, and the story is very engaging. I was glued to the pages of The Silkworm and I really cannot wait to see more from Jo and Cormoran Strike in future instalments!

60 comments :

  1. I'm sorry to hear that your apartment and landlord were so crappy but you're moving on to better things ;) I....still haven't read any of the Anne of Green Gables books but I did start to watch this vlog series on youtube about it :) it seems really cute. Maybe I should try the movies too.

    And YAY YOU FINALLY STARTED ORPHAN BLACK. I love this show like no other. And yes, Tatiana was completely robbed of that nomination! But we all know she's the queen of acting and there's always next year. If she's not acknowledged next year however....

    I can't believe it's already the end of July--or that Harry Potter is turning 34. That picture is absolutely adorable, I can't handle it <3

    Happy early birthday! :)

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    1. I am moving on to better things! That's the important thing to remember :) A vlog series on YouTube eh? I could get into that! I better look that up.

      YAY FINALLY!! I was definitely late to this party. Unfortunately, Orphan Black isn't the kind of show that gets acknowledged by the Emmys, I think... I don't know, the impression I get is that it will always be a fan favourite, but nothing else will come of it at the Emmys.

      Thank you, Sandy!! ^^

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  2. I adore Anne of Green Gables so much. I maxed out my Junior Library Card reserving all the books - there are so many sequels, asldkfjds.

    Happy Birthday!
    (& to Harry and Jo too, because they are darlings.)

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    1. Aww, I love that! And yes, so many sequels, it's GRAND! Thank you!

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  3. YAYYY for finally moving out of that crap apartment and into something better!!It's been a long wait but you can finally move onto something better :D

    Oh and I am so so happy that you enjoyed Anne of Green Gables as much as I did growing up ♥ And YES Megan Follows IS Anne! I loved those films so so much, I think they did a wonderful job bringing Anne and her adventures to life! As for the books, I definitely agree that the first one is the best, though I did enjoy #2- #3 quite a bit too...after that, while they were still very good, I lost a bit of interest in how much Anne had changed and seemed to lose a lot of what made her so lovable. But I still enjoyed seeing her get a nice family after all her hardships early on :*)

    Orphan Black is a MUST WATCH show for me so seeing how much you enjoyed it makes me happy! I originally thought it was a british show too, you're right that unfortunately it's rare that Canadian shows live up to the standards we've come to expect from British TV and some American TV so this is very exciting!!

    Of course, Harry and Jo's Birthday is a HUGE deal...especially on the blog with HP Month and then Harry Potter Moment of the Week falling on THE day xD I Adore the illustration you chose and I also love how me and Harry have the same age LOL

    And finally a very happy early birthday to you!! So cool that your birthday is THE day after Harry and JKR!!! I hope you have an AMAZING day tomorrow and get spoiled tons...hopefully with some HP or bookish related goodness xxxxx Thanks for the giveaway too ♥

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    1. WOOHOO! It's been a long time coming, but it hasn't killed me and it will be over soon :)

      Yay, I'm glad too! I do wish I had also gotten into the books when I was growing up, but I'm just happy to have found them now. And yeah, Anne grows up, becomes more mature, and isn't quite as fun as she was as a young girl... but that's understandable I guess. I am happy that she finds a big family for herself!

      Woo, I think you'll love Orphan Black! From what I can tell, very few people have thought Orphan Black was actually a Canadian show. I am just so pleased it is doing well because hopefully this means that Canadian television will grow some more with its popularity.

      Heh, I did think of you doing your HP features, how special it was that they fell on July 31st. I didn't know you and Harry were the same age! Now that's special :) I had a great birthday, THANK YOU Micheline!! :D

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  4. Oh, your landlord sounds terrible. Hope your new apartment + landlord are much, much better! Home should be a comfortable place, not an annoyance.

    I really need to check out Anne of Green Gables - you make it sound amazing! Also adding Orphan Black to my watch-list.

    JK Rowling is basically Queen for all of us bookworms. Or maybe a bookish goddess...

    HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY!!!! Hope you celebrate with loved ones and a good book :D

    *throws confetti and cake at you*


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    1. Exactly! I want to be able to come home to an actual HOME! Not somewhere I don't feel comfortable and safe.

      Yes, absolutely you need to read/watch both of those! You won't regret it.

      I like bookish goddess :)

      Thank you, Lea!! Heh, I'd rather not have cake thrown AT me though! haha

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  5. Eeek, cockroaches. I am so glad you're finally away from your shitty landlord, Aylee. I've never had any bad experience from landlord's in general but if only I could say the same with the people I lived with these past few years. Sigh.

    And I have to read Anne of Green Gables. I think it just have to happen. I've heard how good Megan Follows is as Anne and I've experienced her awesomeness in Reign so I can really tell. Also, Orphan Black, I have it on my must-watch. :) I am also super-duper happy you loved Jo's new book!

    Happy Happy Birthday, Aylee! May you have the most special day ever and may you have more years to come. Also cheers to our Queen and Harry Potter. Long live magic!

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    1. I am so glad and relieved as well! Finally. I guess my situation is opposite from yours because I have never had to deal with bad roommates.

      Oh yes, it just HAS to! :) I haven't watched Reign so I didn't even know she was in that! OMG I think I need to watch it now.

      Thank you, Sarah!! That's so nice ^^

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  6. *hugs*
    Happy Birthday Aylee!!! or ¡Feliz CumpleaƱos! (as we say) *hugs some more* *gives cake*
    And I hope your new apartment is awesome!

    I've been meaning to watch Orphan Black but I keep forgetting, I do think it's on Netflix here so I'll try that (since I just watched the last episode of last season's Sherlock and now I've lost my will to live until Downton Starts up again).

    And Anne is awesome, I wanna read the second one - I loved the first book and I was surprised it covered so much of her life!! I mean, like six years, right? - and I want to go to PEI so bad!! It just looks lovely and Anne makes it sound so magical.

    Also, I'm gonna go check out some of your posts which apparently I missed because July was super busy a moth.

    *hugs* and happy birthday again!

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    1. *hugs back* THANK YOU, Alex!!

      haha, oh I hope you can find Orphan Black to watch. Unfortunately, it's not on Canadian Netflix for some reason...

      Yeah, it does cover a lot of her life! I think maybe 5 and a half years so we really get to see her grow up all in one book. We'll have to plan a PEI trip sometime! Come on, how awesome would that be?? ^^

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  7. Happy Birthday! I amso jealous that you share a birthday with Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling! I have a December b-day and nobody cool shares it with me. I am sorry to hear that your apartment wasn't a great experience. I can relate and having one bad experience can make your life so much more stressful. Congrats on finding a really great place. Even if you have to pay more it will be worth it in the end. I hope your move is smooth. Personally I hate moving and just despise it!

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    1. Heh, thanks! I always thought that strengthened our connection and it made me feel special :) Yeah, I do think it will be worth it in the end. The stress of the crap apartment, the stress of moving, everything. Thank, Emma!

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  8. Happy birthday! And congrats with being able to move - that must be a brilliant change.

    ANNE ANNE ANNE! I've recently being trying to justify to myself spending £20 on the entire box set, but I guess I'll just have to wait till school starts again and I can go to the library and DEVOUR THE REST OF THE SERIES. I have so much anticipation for Anne/Gilbert, I'm going crazy!

    Thanks so much for hosting the giveaway - you are awesome! :D

    I hope you have a great August :)

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    1. ANNE!! Yay, so glad you share my enthusiasm for her :D I don't actually own my own copy yet... I think when I eventually do pay up for my own copy, I want it to be a really special one! Sooo excited for you to discover the rest of the series!!

      Thank you, Emily!

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  9. I was OBSESSED with Anne when I was little. Anne of the Island was always my favorite. Happy Birthday!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

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    1. :D :D I do wish I had discovered Anne when I was younger, but I'm just happy to have found her now!!

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  10. Happy Birthday!!! That's totally just as important as Harry and Jo's. And I'm so glad you're getting a nicer apartment. It's crazy how expensive those can be, but I hope you feel much happier AND safer when you get there.

    I didn't know Orphan Black was Canadian either. I guess I assumed it was British since the BBC airs it. I really want to start this show - stupid Netflix doesn't have the first season. haha

    LOVED The Silkworm too. My sister and friend are both reading it now and really loving it too.

    -lauren

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    1. Awww, thank you, Lauren! I think I will feel happier and safer! I'm counting on it.

      Yeah, I thought for sure it was British and I thought for sure the actors were British too! They do a good job.

      Awesome!! Can't wait to read your review!

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  11. Happy Birthday!! My birthday was July 6, love sharing my birthday month with Harry and JKR :) I wore my Deathly Hallows necklace to work today! Glad you're getting a better apt situation as well, that happened with my husband and me last year. It was miserably hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter, and just not great. Our new apt is more expensive but so worth the quality of life! Heat/air, more space for books and just much more cozy and comfortable! Omg I bought Anne of Green Gables a few months ago, I've never read it! You're making me want to pick it up immediately :D I love the HP drawing tooo.

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    1. Thanks, Morgan! Happy belated birthday! It's cool to have that extra connection with Harry and Jo :) And you are AWESOME for wearing a Deathly Hallows necklace to work! And yeah, I figure it will be worth the extra money if my quality of life significantly increases. I know I will be happier! Oooh, that's exciting that you have yet to experience Anne - hope you love it as much as I do!!

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  12. I had no idea Orphan Black was Canadian! I binged watched the first season a couple weeks ago. It was SO great! I thought for sure it was a UK show. Way to go Canada! I am glad to hear that you are moving! I can't believe that you had to deal with such a crap landlord your first year in Toronto. I shake my fist. Hopefully this next place will be MUCH better for you. Goodness, Harry Potter is 34 years old! Whaaaaa?!?! That's older than me? How is that possible?

    Anywho... have a happy August!

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    1. I know! I was so surprised and SO impressed. I do think the new place will be better. I appreciate the sentiment!! It's good to have someone on my side to shake our fists at crap landlords together. Haha, it's hard to believe but Harry was actually born in 1980! So yes, he's getting on in age. Thanks, Sara!! ^^

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  13. Happy (early) birthday!! Do you have any fun plans to celebrate?

    I am so overjoyed that you are so in love with Anne's books and movies. And you are so right, Megan Follows IS Anne! Aaahh I'm so happy right now :) Have you seen her in Reign? It's so bizarre seeing Anne play the evil queen Catherne de Medici, but it's also hilarious and the entire show is worth watching just for her scenes alone.

    Ugh, and I am so happy for you to be moving out of that apartment. There is nothing quite like having your home and privacy violated like that. I hope your next apartment experience is much better.

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    1. Thanks, Small! My mum and auntie came for a visit for the long weekend and we did a lot of fun tourist-y activities so it was a good birthday :)

      Yayy, Anne just brings me so much JOY, I only wish I had found her when I was younger. I have not seen Reign, nor did I know that Megan Follows was in it! OMG I can't even imagine her as an evil Queen. But she definitely has the acting talent to sell it - I just have to see it to believe it!

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  14. Happy birthday and i wish you all the best in your future new "home place"

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  15. HAPPY BIRTHDAY sweetie :D I hope you are having an amazing day. <3 And I hope this month will be better for you :) Fingers crossed. <3 Thank you so much for the giveaway as well. You are awesome :)

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  16. I've always enjoyed shows from other countries, including Canada. The US always sexes up everything with looks over acting quality. (IMO anyway lol) Canada used to have more shows but now it seems the BBC has taken that over.

    I hope you have a better experience in your new home.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. Heh, I do know what you mean. The US does have a tendency of casting unbelievably good-looking people for acting roles and not necessarily talent.

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  17. Gahhhh I need to get around to reading Cuckoo's Calling and Silkworm! I haven't even read Casual Vacancy yet, and I even own it. For shame! haha I'm glad you're moving out of that apartment and into a nicer, safer one! And Orphan Black sounds amazing! I'll have to check it out! I need more time in my life to watch all the shows and read all the books I want to! :P Happy birthday and thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. Heh, I'm sure you will read them when you have the time! And I really hope you enjoy them! If only we had more time to do all the leisure activities we want to do...

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  18. I've seen Anne of the Green Gables a couple of times, but I have never read the books. I might pick them up, because I remember really like Anne as a character. Good luck with moving out, sounds like you've been in a stressful situation and I hope the new place is much better!

    I WAS TOO LATE FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY. I'm sorry, I'm ashamed :o HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY. And Orphan Black is on my list of series I need to watch soon.

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    1. Oh, you absolutely should read the books! I do think you would like them and love Anne :)

      Ha, nothing to be ashamed about! Thanks, Mell!!

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  19. A couple days late ... but HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AYLEE! I hope you had a fantastic birthday and ate some yummy cake :)

    And it's great that you're finally moving; hopefully you're going to like your new place a lot more.

    I've only read the first four books of Anne but have to agree with you, the first book was definitely the best. I think it's also because I read them when I was a kid and could relate more to a young Anne compared to the older Anne. I think it would be interesting to re-read this series again now that I'm a lot older to see how my perception of her would change. I still need to watch the movies of Anne (and swoon over Gilbert ;).

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    1. No cake for me, but I did have a good day! Thanks, Zahida :)

      Yeah, I would be curious to see what you think of the books now as an adult, how that has changed for you, if at all. And also what you think of the movies! Gilbert is also very well cast, I thought :)

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  20. Best of luck with your move. I know you've had a horrific year with that terrible landlord. I sure hope your next lease and landlord situation will be much improved!

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    1. Thanks, Gina! I think everything will turn out okay in the end!

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  21. Really hoping you'll like your new place much better than the old one and that it will be the cosiest and most stress-free place to curl up on the couch with a good book :)

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! That's exactly what I want, a place to feel at home in and that always involves a good book :)

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  22. I'm sorry about your crappy living situation! That sounds really unfortunate, and I'm glad you get to leave it very soon!
    And now I really need to start reading Anne of Green Gables. So many people have loved it, you read it now as an adult and loved it, and I just worked on a project for my class where we named ourselves Green Gables after the book. Clearly it's time. And having most of the books be in the public domain is always a good thing. :) and haha those potatoes.
    I've heard excellent things about Orphan Black; I'll need to start watching it soon!
    Happy Birthday Harry and J.K.R.! And happiest of birthdays, Aylee!

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    1. Thanks, Amanda, I'm glad about it as well!

      Ooooh yay!! It's definitely time and I cannot WAIT to hear what you think of it! It helps that they're in the public domain.

      Thanks, Amanda!!

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  23. Happy birthday to you, Aylee! It sounds like you've had a very full month, though with moving and all it sounds like it was pretty stressful at times! I hope your next place is so much better.

    I thought there were only three books to the Anne series, but I wasn't sure so I tried looking it up on my library and only found the first three... I'm very interested to find there were many more! This is very exciting, since I love Anne so much, too!

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    1. Thanks, Romi! It's been a bit stressful, but mostly pretty good :)

      Yeah, I believe there's 8 in all so you may have to order in the others from another library! YAY!

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  24. Once again! Happy Belated Birthday!!! :D And I'm glad you're finally getting to move to your new place! Yay for getting out of crappy apartments!!! :D I'll have to get your new address once you move, and I'll send you a surprise of sorts (for both your birthday and the move! haha). ;)

    I really need to watch Orphan Black! I didn't know it was Canadian either...and I know what you mean about Canadian shows. So many of them aren't the greatest quality, but it's really nice to have surprise awesome ones like Orphan Black! :D

    I also really need to read both The Cuckoo's Calling and The Silkworm...and I still need to read The Casual Vacancy. You definitely make me want to finally read them with your excitement for them! :D

    And Anne!!! :D I'm going on vacation next week, so I'm thinking I'll bring my ipod and put all of the audiobooks I have on there and maybe start listening to a few while I'm gone or on the plane. :)

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    1. Thanks, Ambur! And yayy this move has been a long time coming. The wait is almost over :D

      There have been a few Canadian shows that I've truly loved over the years (I think Corner Gas tops the list), but they don't come along as often as I would hope, so Orphan Black is special indeed.

      Yay! Jo's mystery books are very engaging and I found them hard to put down! So hopefully you love them too :)

      Oh yes this makes me so excited!! I'm really dying to hear what you think of the Anne audiobook... and I really think you'll fall in love with Anne. She's so charming that it would be impossible not to!

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    2. You're welcome, Eilidh!! :D It sure sounds like it! It is!! You're so close to being out of there. :D

      I've had a few, but not too many...and sadly, many of the ones I've loved have been cancelled. :P A couple that I used to love were Falcon Beach, and The Best Days. Corner Gas never really won me over that much, but I think that's more because one of my high school teachers loved it...and I didn't like that teacher. haha It sure is!! Yet another great show to add to my long list of ones to watch! haha

      Hopefully!!! I'll have to push them up higher on my to-read list. :)

      I just loaded up my iPod with all of my Audiobooks, so it's ready to go! :D I'm definitely excited to start Anne's story! :D

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    3. Haha, oh no I'm sorry to hear that that teacher ruined Corner Gas for you! You'll have to give it another go sometime. I could even lend you the dvds!

      and YAYYY!! :D:D

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  25. Yay! Congratulations on the great month you had, Aylee! I've been reading all your posts in my mail, but with studies and classes, it's getting difficult to stop by and comment regularly. Anyway, I loved reading and then going through this post now!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

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    1. Thanks, Sarika! I know how it is and I always appreciate your support!

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  26. Gah, you mentioned your landlord situation a few months ago and I thought it got better but it hasn't. Oh, well good thing you're moving soon!

    I've never read any Anne of Green Gables but man, I just LOVE Orphan Black. It's out-of-this-world good. Still have to watch the second half of season 2 and I'm so excited for it.

    Happy Belated Birthday, Eilidh! =D

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    1. Blergh yeah, unfortunately the landlord problems have been ongoing for a year now... But soon they will be no longer (hopefully...).

      Ooh, I'm almost done with season 2 of Orphan Black and you're definitely in for a treat with that!

      Thanks, Sana!! :D

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  27. And just like that you've convinced me to start watching Orphan Black XD But as a born romance-a-holic, I have to ask, how is the romance?

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    1. Oh well, almost all the clones are involved romantically with someone or other, but the focus is far from romance if that's what you're after. Still a really entertaining show!

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    2. That sounds perfect actually!

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