Chris Glabbwoods_ShanghaiRecently, I’ve had the pleasure to review the book Shanghai Street Style by Toni Johnson-Woods and Vicki Karaminas with photography by Fung Chan.

This book was a pleasure to read as it was chocked full of interesting info on ‘The Fashion World’ in Shanghai. Shanghai is extremely fashion forward, compared to the rest of the world, and this is extremely evident in this book! Between the gorgeous photos and rich wording, this book brought me (mentally) to a city that I’ve never visited. Every page was like an amazing adventure to some magical fashion land, and I simply could not get enough!

The writing expresses the importance of making a statement. Anybody can wear khakis and a polo, but when you match that up with a pair of statement shoes you make the outfit your own. While reading and admiring the pictures, I learned about an abundance of styles, from Vintage to Contemporary and Chic to Hipster.


One thing this book really illustrated, which I feel is often overlooked in the fashion world, is the importance of accessories. The book has a playful, but informative grasp on accessories. Some of my favourite features have to be the owl hanging from a Smart phone, or the large pink and red ‘Piece Sign’ necklace that’s slightly on the verge of being tacky. Either way, I absorbed every bit of inspiration possible from these accessories and I feel like I’ll benefit immensely from the statement pieces photographed in the book.


Along with this theme of accessories, I loved the parts of the book that illustrated the works that are bags and shoes. My favourite tidbit that really exposes the use of a bag would have to be this one:

“The Shanghainese put a lot of thought in choosing the perfect bag, and that’s how it should be. Bags tell us so much about a person’s personality, about what they like to do and where they like to go. Teamed up with an outfit, bags are an essential accessory for any city slicker on the move.”

I love this piece of writing because I think it’s so true to the purpose of bags and explains the personality behind the person carrying it.


One part of the book that I thought was a quite comedic was when they were talking about how to choose a perfect shoe. Some of the reasons they gave were things like taste, brand loyalty and of course – price. This piece was just so real that it cracked me up a bit. Of course, I wouldn’t buy a shoe that I didn’t like the look of — taste. I wouldn’t buy a shoe if I didn’t know the brand, or if I knew they were unreliable or not well constructed – brand loyalty. And I wouldn’t spend anything over $200 on a pair of shoes – price. And so, I just really connected with this part of the book!


Thanks sooo much to Marianne, for hooking me up with this amazing book, and to Shanghai for the inspiration!

Chris :)

Jamieson_Day Boy CoverTrent has never steered me wrong with his books, so I rushed to get my hands on his new book, Day Boy, on the day it came out. I begged the sales guy to un-box my copy so I had the first one sold in that store. I was a just a little excited, and now I am very satisfied.

This book dances to the beat of its own drum. It comes waltzing into your life and leaves footprints on your heart.

Midfield is a small town in the middle of nowhere, reached by long rides on horseback or a mysterious journey on the Night Train. Monsters rule the town. They come out at night and feed on willing townsfolk. In return, crime is low and the Day Boys are sent to see to odd jobs once the sun rises.

Mark is the Day Boy for Dain, but not for much longer. It is his moment to decide if he’s man enough to become one of the Monsters, or if he’s monstrous enough to remain a man.

The ‘V’ word (Vampire) is never uttered, though the legend stays pure.

I love the oldy worldy feel of Midfield yet I’m pretty sure it’s set in the future. The characters pull at your heart strings, and you can’t help being sucked in to cheering for Mark.

A one of a kind story you’d be foolish to miss.

Paperback, 309 pages

Published June 24th 2015 by Text Publishing (first published 2015)

ISBN13 9781922182838




carman-dark edenFifteen-year-old Will Besting is sent by his doctor to Fort Eden, an institution meant to help patients suffering from crippling phobias. Once there, Will and six other teenagers take turns in mysterious fear chambers and confront their worst nightmares—with the help of the group facilitator, Rainsford, an enigmatic guide. When the patients emerge from the chamber, they feel emboldened by the previous night’s experiences. But each person soon discovers strange, unexplained aches and pains. . . . What is really happening to the seven teens trapped in this dark Eden? Patrick Carman’s Dark Eden is a provocative exploration of fear, betrayal, memory, and— ultimately—immortality.

Hardcover, First Edition, 336 pages Published November 1st 2011 by Katherine Tegen Books
ISBN  0062009702 (ISBN13: 9780062009708)

Characters:  We are introduced to Will through sessions with his therapist. We learn he is an introvert who spends most of his time thinking about being at home with his little brother. However, he develops an interest in the other patients and sneakily begins taking files from the therapist’s computer.

Originality:  I found this story to be very unique; the seven kids are taken to a “summer camp” which is a place for them to face their fears. The therapist tells Will that there is some connection between all of them and that this treatment facility will be the only thing that can finally cure them because the therapy sessions for this group haven’t been working.

Plot: Will soon realizes that the “summer camp” is not what he originally thought and becomes paranoid. He breaks off from the group upon arrival and hides in a basement room where he watches the other kids become “healed”, one at a time, through a camera security system. He falls for one of the other patients and wants to try to warn her about what he’s been seeing before she goes to her final “healing” session. But that means coming out of hiding.

Writing:  While I really enjoyed how the story ended (it had a great twist), it took me a while to get through this short book because of the slow pacing.  The story kept a mysterious overtone, but I couldn’t feel a connection to the main character who spent all of his time hiding in a room watching a camera and hypothesizing about what he was seeing, instead of being part of the action.

Krista’s Rating:  It’s definitely a book that I was glad that I stuck with. It’s always nice to be surprised at the end of a story, and this one sure did that!

Belinda_kisses_tnSince Marianne is on a sugar fee-ish kick, I have a cottage cheese pie recipe I’d like to challenge you with Mandy (and I think it’s gluten free). It’s about the only recipe I make that people outside my family actually enjoy. It could make a snack for the Wrangles troops.



1/2 cup white rice

2 tblsp snipped chives (optional)

30g melted butter

500g cottage cheese

6 eggs

6 rashers of bacon (diced)

5 spring onions (snipped finely)

1 spanish onion (diced)

pinch of salt



Cook rice and allow to cool

Sweat off the bacon, onion, spring onion and allow to cool

Preheat oven to 200c

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix gently until combined

Pour mix into a greased pie dish

Cook until set and is a nice golden colour

*use a fork to stir the pie gently every 15-20 minutes during the cooking process


Joelene_tnTomorrowland reviewed by Joelene Pynnonen


tomorrowland-movieThe world is hovering on the brink of crisis. Wars are escalating, climate change is an ever increasing threat, and too few people are doing anything to combat it. For Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) letting the world fail around her is not an option. She has high hopes for the future and is willing to break the law to see them realised.

When Casey is bailed out of jail, the unfamiliar ‘60s pin she finds in her effects seems innocuous enough. It’s only when she touches it that she realises that it is like nothing she has encountered before. When against her skin, the pin transports her to an advanced and beautiful world; the kind of world that she can’t help but want to be a part of.

Tomorrowland is a wonderfully hopeful movie about the future – especially given how many gloomy dystopias have been popping up lately. I mean, I love a solid dystopia as much as the next person, but sometimes it’s nice to think of the world in terms of positives as well.

There’s quite a lot to see in Tomorrowland. The special effects are terrific, the storyline is solid – if simple, and the scenery and cinematography is stunning. It’s the characters that kept me riveted though. They’re by turns funny, admirable and compelling. Athena (Raffey Cassidy) is a robot who is amazing at finding people with vision and integrity and is pretty handy in a fight but lacks the ability to understand the emotions of those she recruits. Casey is a visionary – a dreamer who will do what it takes to make the world something better. Frank (George Clooney) is jaded after being rejected by Tomorrowland and finding himself unable to fit back into the real world. On their own these characters are interesting, but together they have a dynamic that is difficult to ignore.

There could have been more depth to the world of Tomorrowland. We see very little of it in the movie and there is so much anticipation of it that it is a little of a disappointment. That said there are some really inventive scenes involving contraptions made by Frank, which makes up for a lot of that.

Tomorrowland is everything that the teaser trailer promised – a fantastical journey through a visually stunning landscape. It is adventure at its best with wonderful characters, a lashing of humour and vibrant visuals. It’s a refreshing break from all of the dismal futuristic visions out there.

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