Book Review: A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

December 19, 2016
A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston is a legendary tale reimagined and woven like the silk that our heroine speaks so much of. This is a story which expertly interlaces elements of magic, mystery and suspense. E.K. Johnston paints a beautifully vivid desert landscape, where you can practically hear the sand shifting and sliding across the dunes with every word. Click here to read more or pin and save for later.


A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston is a legendary tale reimagined and woven like the silk that our heroine speaks so much of. This is a story which expertly interlaces elements of magic, mystery and suspense. E.K. Johnston paints a beautifully vivid desert landscape, where you can practically hear the sand shifting and sliding across the dunes with every word. And flipping through the pages feels like a blast from the hot desert wind, as we follow our unnamed heroine through her interesting journey.

Born into a land where Lo-Melkhiin's insatiable desire for a wife often results in her imminent death, 300 girls have been sacrificed in order to keep the peace among the desert tribes. Now, her beloved sister, the loveliest in their village, is next on his list. Distraught, determined and driven by the love for her sister, our savvy heroine boldly decides to take her place.  She exchanged her sister's life for her own, and her warmth and love of her family and tribe, for the life of royalty.



But being a queen does not come with the perks it should. She's doomed herself to a short life behind lavish palace walls and halls, and across desert sands, where age-old secrets and even stronger maleficent forces are lurking behind every closed door, hushed voice, and unanswered question. For Lo-Melkhiin's reign of terror has cast a spell over the palace, affecting everyone and anyone who sets foot. But Lo-Melkhiin was not always so cruel. So what brought about this change that continues to plague the palace and its kingdom?

In a world shrouded by tradition, our heroine begins to do what she knows best-- weaving. Weaving stories out of thin air, stories which begin to shape the world she lives in and the one she left behind, where her beloved sister and family are beginning to stir up the people. Night after night, tale after tale, she remains alive, and the longer she lives, the closer their sisterly bond grows, the more her own inner power does too, changing their world as they know it. And potentially getting the key to lifting the curse and saving Lo-Melkhiin.

Although she remains nameless, hidden away, it is our main characters silent resilience in the face of danger and this quiet revolution that is so captivating. Despite the rumblings all around her, she proves that the greatest power doesn't always lie in those who speak the loudest and look the strongest, but it lies in those who seek their strength from sources closest to the heart and their roots that can influence the most change. This was an excellent read, based off an epic myth surrounding the well-known tales of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, that will capture your imagination for just as long after reading it.

Fave Quote
“I do fear him,” I said, which was close to the truth. “I fear him as I fear the desert sun and poisonous snakes. They are all part of the life I live. But the sun gives light, and snakes will feed a caravan if they are caught and cooked.”
― E.K. Johnston, A Thousand Nights

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A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston is a legendary tale reimagined and woven like the silk that our heroine speaks so much of. This is a story which expertly interlaces elements of magic, mystery and suspense. E.K. Johnston paints a beautifully vivid desert landscape, where you can practically hear the sand shifting and sliding across the dunes with every word. Click here to read more or pin and save for later.

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How to Find Your Place When You're Feeling Lost

December 12, 2016

This article was originally posted here  in November's Clover Letter


Starting university can be as nerve-wracking as it can be exciting. Grads tell you that time will fly by, and that the friends you make will be your life-long besties. But making friends can be tough when you go to a school with over 70,000 students in a city with over 2 million people. I've spent my life up until freshman year dreaming about going to off to college, saying a teary goodbye to family, choosing the perfect dorm décor, befriending my roommates, and maybe even joining a sorority. My dreams were crushed when my parents suggested that I commute to school instead of living on residence, since I wasn’t leaving home. While I argued against it at first, I ultimately gave in. They assured me that I would still make friends and that I would still find my place. I was skeptical. In the movies, the girl who makes life-long friends and truly became her own person does this all from the comfort of her dorm, not from her childhood bedroom. I couldn't help but feel a pang of envy as my friends discussed how much they looked forward to their newfound freedom and how they had already befriended their roommates online.


September rolled around and I imagined myself getting lost in the crowd; or worse, arriving and seeing that everyone had already formed tight-knit friend groups. I headed into Frosh Week with a heavy heart and troubled spirit, only to come out with a bunch of new friends. The relationships I made set the tone for the rest of the month, as I met more people and little by little began to feel comfortable. The key? Having an open mind. So, while I'm still trying to find my place, here are a few things I've learned that have made things a little easier.

Sign up for everything. And I do mean everything.

On club’s day, I signed up for anything that piqued my interest. While I didn’t end up participating in all of them, being on the email lists gave me tons of options and kept me in the know. Plus, I was able to talk to older students to gain advice, and I was introduced to great programs I never knew existed.


Find your study spot.

If you're a commuter student, then you don't have a cozy dorm room where you can rest in between classes. So, find the study space. Whether it has a great view or a great vibe, whether it's a café, a library, or a park, the regularity will give you an anchor in the midst of such a hectic lifestyle.


Make a resident BFF...literally.

I'm very lucky that one of my closest friends decided to live on residence. I visit her throughout the week, and as a result, I've befriended a few of her dorm mates. This has been super helpful because they make me aware of any on-campus activities previously unknown to commuter students like myself.


Orientation week = your week.

During Frosh Week, go to all of the activities, talk to your program leaders, get festive, but most importantly, be yourself. When I stopped worrying and let loose, I was able to have fun and actually made more friends than before. We were drawn to each other's personalities and positive energies, and as the week drew on, we all really bonded.

Remember: We’re all going through the same thing.

Even that girl with the perfect makeup and nails still wants someone to say hi to her. So I introduce myself to the people on either side of me in class. I ask questions and try to bond over our similar struggles. While I don't click with everyone I meet, more often than not I do gain a new friend (or at the very least, more insight into how the school works). It’s a win-win, so just go for it.


Psst! If you want to find out more about how you too can write for the Clover Letter click here.



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For The Sweet Tooth: Fluffy Pumpkin Spiced Waffles

December 05, 2016
For the Sweet Tooth: Fluffy Pumpkin Spiced Waffles! Easy to make and extra tasty, these pumpkin spice waffles are the perfect breakfast booster to get you ready for the rest of the day! Click to read more or pin and save for later.


I asked a while back on Instagram what to do with all of my homemade pumpkin purée.






As you can see, a few people answered my cry for help and their ideas got the wheels in my head spinning. And after deciding that I wanted to eat some waffles really badly, I fastened my apron, grabbed the purée, and got to thinking. As soon as I think pumpkin, I think spice. Even if I was given a Mad Libs to fill out and they asked for an adverb to complete the sentence, I would still fill in "spice". In my opinion, there's  something about the words "pumpkin spiced" that just ignite all of the senses. While initially, all I can see is the giant Starbucks PSL sign and Autumn leaves floating in front of me, I eventually come back down to Earth at the sound of my stomach grumbling. Okay, are you hungry yet? Good. Enjoy! 🍴

Easy to make and extra tasty, these pumpkin spice waffles are the perfect breakfast booster to get you ready for the rest of the day! Click to read more or pin and save for later.


Ingredients

  • 1.5 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp nutmeg
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 cup pumpkin purée (store bought should be fine, but I always use my homemade version)
  • 3 eggs
Easy to make and extra tasty, these pumpkin spice waffles are the perfect breakfast booster to get you ready for the rest of the day! Click to read more or pin and save for later.


Steps:


In a large bowl, begin by whisking together the sugar and the butter together until they're light-colored and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Then add the eggs and continue whisking until well combined.
Pour in the pumpkin purée to the mixture and whisk until smooth. 

Now, add the dry ingredients (the salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking powder and flour) and begin to mix it together. Slowly add the milk as you continue to mix it until it reaches a smooth consistency. 

Now, all that's left for you to do is to turn on your waffle iron and voila!

What's your favourite breakfast food?



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@itsalamb