Book Review: What Alice Forgot

I was planning on making a separate blog for book reviews for novels (I have some reviews of craft books coming up too that would have been on here), but I don’t really want to have to come up with a new theme and all that blog stuff right now. Maybe at a later date. For now, here goes.

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. All affiliate links are marked with an *. All opinions are 100% my own though.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

What Alice Forgot by Lianne MoriartyBook stats:

Format: Paperback
Source: borrowed from my sister
Genre: Fiction
Published by: Berkley
Pub. Date: First published 2009
Pages: 496
Formats Available: Paperback, eBook

Buy ItAmazon*

 

Synopsis:

Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.

So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes.

Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over.

Review:

After finishing the book I went and read some reviews of it on Goodreads. There were many positive reviews but what interested me most was that many readers either didn’t mention the side stories (her sister’s or her grandmother’s) or they didn’t like them. Interesting for me because in a way it was her sister’s story that affected me the most.

In a way I can relate with Alice: she’s married with young children (although her amnesia means she doesn’t know them), has problems in her marriage (what married couple doesn’t fight?) and we’re about the same age (her 2008 age I mean). When she comes to realize that she’s drifted away from longtime friends in the 10 years she’s lost, I can relate. Kids, jobs, marital situation, all have a factor in how often you can get together with a friend (I mean husbands like it if you spend time with them too usually). Her apparent 2008 social life and financial situation I don’t relate to whatsoever, ha. Although I’m more like 1998 Alice than 2008 Alice. I’ve always been more like 1998 Alice, so it’s hard for me to see how she could change so much in just a few years and all because of just one person really. Other than that I really did enjoy her whole storyline and seeing how her week or so of amnesia helps her to rebuild relationships.

Her sister Elisabeth’s storyline is something I can relate to really well. [POSSIBLE TRIGGER WARNING] Elisabeth has been having fertility issues with multiple miscarriages. Now that is something I can truly get. I do have to beautiful daughters but I’ve also lost four to miscarriage. I wonder if Elisabeth’s story line is why my sister practically forced me to borrow this book from her. Elisabeth’s story is woven throughout the book in the form of journal entries she writes to her therapist. At one point she describes her second miscarriage (and pregnancy) and how they kept that pregnancy hidden because they didn’t want to jinx it but then when the miscarriage happened she felt the need to tell people about it anyway.

Afterward, I felt it had been wrong not telling the family about the baby, because then I wanted them to know about the miscarriage, so that they knew the baby had existed. […] People weren’t as upset as with the first one, and how could they be, when they’d only just heard it existed in the first place. I felt this ridiculous protective feeling for my January baby, as if nobody loved her[…]

THIS. SO MUCH THIS. This is exactly what I was going through when we didn’t say anything about the last one. I felt like nobody cared except for me. And people made offhand remarks that I’m sure they didn’t mean to be hurtful but still hurt. (Like telling my brother-in-law and his future wife that they were her last hopes of having twin grandchildren just four weeks after my last miscarriage. Ummm.. I didn’t remember talking to her about whether or not I was done trying yet). … Anyway, if you ever you want to know what a person may be feeling after experiencing a miscarriage then I suggest reading this book just to read Elisabeth’s journal entries.

It’s really hard to review this book without giving everything away. I liked how it wrapped up in the end. It’s a good, quick read if you’re into chick-lit and/or Liane Moriarty books.

Rating: ★★★★☆

(I gave an extra star just for Elisabeth’s story and took off a star because I couldn’t believe that someone could go from being quiet and shy to outgoing and domineering in about 8 years, haha).

More Info:

Goodreads

 

my currently-reading shelf:
Ula's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (currently-reading shelf)

Breaking Ground Tour: Storage pod basket

Originally I was going to sew a doll pattern from a designer I hadn’t used yet but time ran away from me and lately I’ve been in a bit of a bag making binge anyway. I haven’t ventured into really advanced bag making that requires lots of hardware yet but that will hopefully happen this year since I have plans to advance in my sewing! Haha. Since a goal of mine is to majorly reorganize and purge the craft room (and well the rest of the house) I decided to make some fabric storage bins to hang in the craft room. I plan to make a few more for my daughters use as well for both in their bedroom and in the craft room. I decided to try out a pattern by a new-to-me designer Calico Forest Designs*.

Storage basket sewn by Lulu & Celeste

I don’t know why I don’t take out a ruler when I look at the finished sizes in the descriptions, the basket was a lot larger than I thought it would be! I think I was kind of expecting these small little pods like I’ve seen elsewhere, but this is pretty big. It will be used to store my thread, at the moment all my thread is a recycled plastic container and it’s actually hard to to get at the ones I want.

Below is the listing photo for the storage pod

Pattern by Calico Forest Designs can be found here*

 

The pattern sews up really quickly. I think from cut to sew it truly is a 1-hour project (I didn’t actually measure how long it took though but the sewing was quick). I did change up the construction slightly so that I left a small opening in the lining to the turn the bag out and then topstitched around the top. (The pattern suggests pressing a 1/4″ hem along the top of both lining and outer and then stitching closed at the top but that method tends to mess up at some point for me and I need to unpick. Easier for me to just to leave the opening in the lining and stitching that closed). The only con really is that the pattern pieces don’t line up perfectly which is even mentioned in the instructions.  So you may end up with a couple pieces where the fabric has a bit of a overhang on one edge like I did. I just trimmed the overhang so it wasn’t too bad. Also, this part isn’t a huge deal breaker, each page of the pattern is a separate PDF file. Obviously, they’re not a professional pattern designer so if that’s an issue for you I would look elsewhere. But if you’re ok with those smaller issues the end result is pretty good. I have only seen one other pattern similar although I didn’t check the finished size on it so I’m not sure if it’s the same really. So if you’re looking for a nice, big hanging fabric basket with a wide opening this is the pattern for you. 🙂

Storage basket sewn by Lulu & Celeste

I would suggest using the thicker type of quilting cotton to make your baskets. I used a lightweight chambray for the liner (which made amazing shorts) and had the outer been just as lightweight the whole basket would have been extremely floppy. So either add interfacing to the outer or use a good quality quilting cotton. I used some remnant of a fabric I’ve had in my stash for a few years now, I think it’s Amy Butler fabric but I’m not sure, I didn’t have any left of the fabric with the name printed on the selvedge.

Welcome to the Breaking Ground Blog Tour 2018. This week over 20 bloggers are joining together to break new ground by trying a pattern designer that is new to them, try new techniques, new styles, or whatever way they want to push themselves. The Full Tour includes all these creatives… we hope you’ll visit us each day:

Monday March 12- mahlicadesigns, Sewing Vortex, Sewing A La Carte, Little Heart Threads, The Sewing Scientist
Tuesday March 13- Musings of A Seamstress, A Custom Clothier, Octaves of Color, Aurora Design Fabrics, Sew Altered Style
Wednesday March 14- Flaxfield Sewing, Chook n Duck, Tales of a Tester, Sewing By Ti, Sewing Vortex, Kathy’s Kwilts and More
Thursday March 15- Very Blissful, Manning the Machine, Sew and Tell Project, Musings of a Seamstress, Stitches by Laura
Friday March 16- Lulu & Celeste, Tenille’s Thread, Sewing A La Carte, The Bear and Pea Atelier, Aurora Design Fabrics, Sprouting Jube Jube, Kathy’s Kwilts and More

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We’d love to see how you’re Breaking Ground this month. Share with us what you’re working on by using the hashtag #BreakingGround2018 across social media.  Better yet, join the Sew Alongs & Sewing Contests facebook group to sew along with the Breaking Ground theme for the entire month of March. In the group you’ll find support and encouragement for your projects and fun themed challenges.

 Lulu&Celeste signature

japanese knot bag sewn by lulu & celeste

Monaluna Journey tour: Japanese knot bag set

I absolutely love Monaluna Organic Fabrics! I’m so happy that I was able to be on this tour hosted by Gemia of Phat Quarters because it forced me to cut into this beautiful fabric I had received instead of just stashing it away. I have some other Monaluna fabric stashed away that I had purchased in the past and I keep changing my mind about what I want to make with it. But after sewing these up I’m determined to sew with the rest of my Monaluna stash.

The fabric was generously provided to tour participants by Jennifer of Monaluna Organic Fabrics. This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk (*).

Originally I was going to make a different bag but just before starting the project I realised I didn’t have enough interfacing and no time to go shopping. So I switched things up and made myself a new tote to replace my super sad one that I use for carrying my lunch to work in. (The handles are nearly non-existent).

I’ve been seeing tutorials for the Japanese knot bags all over the place but most of the finished bags were super tiny. Finally I came across the Lil Knot bag pattern* by Indigobirddesign. The pattern comes in three sizes. I sewed the medium size, which is still a little smaller than I would have liked but it’s large enough for my needs.

Japanese knot bag with monaluna fabrics

The pattern is reversible! Most likely I’ll be keeping the Desert Floral on the outside for the most part since it’s dark and I’ll be carrying it around on public transit but I love Dry Garden too. So pretty!

Since I had a lot of scraps leftover I decided to make myself a pretty notepad cover. I also had received some Paintbrush so I incorporated it into the other two projects. I used the dimensions from a tutorial I had found to cut out my pieces but I randomly pieced together the outside fabric. I’m in love with it. I used a vintage button from my stash. It doesn’t show too well in the photo but it’s pearlized. I also made myself a new key fob. They’re so easy and quick to make.

Notebook with monaluna fabrics

Inside notebook using monaluna fabrics
The inside
Notebook with monaluna fabrics
Front and back

Bag and Notebook with monaluna fabrics

I still have a few scraps (about a fat quarter each of the two florals and a fat eighth of the Paintbrush) left so there might be a couple new projects showing up at some point.

We have a giveaway happening for this tour thanks to our friends at Itch to Stitch, Grammies Dolls, Bella Sunshine, SisBoom, Little Moo Designs, Izzy & Ivy Designs, The Cloth Parcel, Jalie, Designs by Call Ajaire and Love Notions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit the rest of the stops below!
 Japanese knot bag with monaluna fabrics

Sunday Lately :: 165

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe, which is fearlessly led by Angelica (Gardening in High Heels) and Katy (Wild and Wanderful). We e-hangout every Sunday, sharing a small glimpse into the past week of life in our worlds. This year, other bloggers get to co-host every week. This week I’m the co-host! Yay!

This week’s themes are Procrastinating, Mixing, Progressing.

Procrastinating

I’m a major procrastinator. I really should have started my project that I had planned for the Red, White and Pink tour a month earlier because things got derailed fast when I got sick. I wound up featuring a project I had made a few months ago that I hadn’t shared on the blog yet. I’ve just been so tired lately that I don’t do any sewing at night anymore because I just spend so much more time just fixing things I did wrong, ha. So my only time to sew now is on my “weekend” (Thursdays and Fridays -and sometimes Wednesdays) but the last few weeks I’ve been volunteering on Thursdays, Wednesdays that I don’t work have been filled with doctor’s appointments and Fridays I keep my youngest home from daycare so I don’t get much time to myself.

Hazel Deer pattern by Dolly Henry sewn by Lulu & Celeste

Mixing

Lots of dough! I’ve been making homemade pizzas every week this month. So yummy! They don’t photograph well since my house is so dark at night and well, I cook at night, ha, so I don’t share them often. This week I made pizza rollups. They’re made like cinnamon rolls, so you spread out the dough and make your pizza like normal, but then roll it up and slice it. It can get pretty messy, but they’re so yummy.

Progessing

I’m slowly progressing on my personal sewing challenges for this year. I fell behind on a few projects (mainly the mini-art paintings and the twinchies) but I’m trying to manage my time better so I can get back on track and catch up. I have a few items from those challenges that need to be photographed and shared on Instagram so I will get those up this week. I have made some good progress on my UFO challenge. I just need to get my posts up. Hopefully this week sometime.

Cat my older daughter drew that I stitched out to use for one of my twinchies.

Red, White and Pink Tour: Hazel Deer pattern

I’m back participating in another blog tour hosted by Sewing by Ti, the Red, White and Pink Tour.

Originally I was planning to make a top or dress for my older daughter as it was her birthday earlier this month. Unfortunately the plans didn’t work out partly because I wound up catching the flu and it knocked me out completely for a few days and now more than a week later I’m still not 100%. I’ve also been volunteering at my daughter’s school running a lunchtime craft for a group of 21 kids in Kindergarten to Grade 2. It’s taking up almost all my free time, when I’m not hacking up a lung, to plan for. Continue reading “Red, White and Pink Tour: Hazel Deer pattern”

Sunday Lately #163

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe, which is fearlessly led by Angelica (Gardening in High Heels) and Katy (Wild and Wanderful). We e-hangout every Sunday, sharing a small glimpse into the past week of life in our worlds. This year, other bloggers get to co-host every week. This week’s co-host is Amy (Swimming in a Sea of Estrogen)

I enjoy writing my Sunday Lately posts when I remember.. unfortunately I don’t always remember. My goal this year is to do at least two per month.

This week’s themes:  Illustrating, Relying, Reminiscing

Illustrating.

Hmm.. I made a goal to make 365 mini paintings this year. I’ve fallen behind slightly (especially this past week as I had birthday celebrations to prep for) but since technically my goal wasn’t to paint a mini painting everyday I’m doing pretty good. If you want to see my mini paintings you can check them out on my alternate IG profile

Until last month I hadn’t really painted anything in years. And although I’m no Picasso I enjoy it. I have a few more mini paintings that I haven’t photographed yet so those will be going up this week, and I’ll work on another 3-4 later this week.

Relying.

I volunteered at my daughter’s school to run a lunchtime craft club for six weeks. Originally it was supposed to be two groups of kids (one for grades 3 to 6 and the other Kindergarten to grade 2) but the older group got cancelled. I have 21 kids in my group, 16(!) of them are Kindergarteners, then three Grade 1’s (including my nephew) and two Grade 2’s (including my daughter). OMGeee those Kindergarten kids… it was like trying to herd cats at times. The session is about 40 minutes, although the Grade 1 and 2’s are there for only 30 minutes. It’s a bit of challenge having these kids relying on me to come up with a craft that will interest them and keep them occupied for that long… and a challenge to get them to help me clean up at the end, lol. Note to self, as soon as the Grade 1 and 2 kids leave tell the K kids they have to finish up and start picking up their things.

Reminiscing.

My Silly Bean turns 8 today. 8!! Where the heck did the time go? Here’s one of the first posts she showed up in on my blog. She’s so little there. I tell her everyday to stop growing up, but she won’t listen to me :/

 

Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe