Sunday, May 31, 2015

Book Plan Update - May

Yes, it's yet another month of my 2015 book plan and update.  Lucky you!  Back in January, I  made a plan to try to read through books I owned, and not buy new books until I'd made a substantial reduction in the (unread) books I owned. Here's the scoop

  • In January I didn't gain any books, but also didn't remove many titles from my list as I read a lot of library books and had some re-reads. (2 titles removed, 0 added; net result -2)
  • In February, I made bigger inroads in my owned titles (7 titles removed, 1 added; net result -6)
  • In March, well, you win some, you lose some (4 titles removed, 10 titles added; net result +6)
  • In April, better, but not perfect (6 titles removed, 7 added; net result +1)

and in May? 
  • I managed to read 4 titles from my list (Memento Mori by Muriel Spark, Once Upon Stilettos by Shanna Swendson, Straight Man by Richard Russo, Music and Silence by Rose Tremain). 
  • I bought 0 books from charity shops and 1 from a charity display table at the Wetland Centre
  • I bought three books (used) from AbeBooks (three in the Enchanted Inc series by Shanna Swendson)
  • I bought two books from WH Smith on the sale display (Amy Snow by Tracy Rees, The Illusionists by Rosie Thomas)
  • I read 3 (and a bit) library books this month (Lila by Marilynne Robinson, Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris, Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London Zoo by Julia Stuart (just a little), Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris)
  • I re-read a few books we own (The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne Valente, The Ivy Tree  and This Rough Magic  by Mary Stewart and two Mary Jo Putney books) including Alex's bedtime book
  • I got rid of one book which I decided I was never going to read (One Summer: 1927 by Bill Bryson)

May's tally is therefore...  
books read: 12 (and a bit)
 titles removed: 5,  titles added: 6; net result +1

Here's the updated list of Books to Read in 2015.  There are now 57 books on the list, with 7 months to go.
  1. Isabel Allende, City of Beasts (charity shop, March 2015)
  2. Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin (charity shop, March 2015)
  3. Gerhand Bakker, The Twin 
  4. Charlotte Betts, The Apothecary's Daughter (Waterstones, March 2015)
  5. Jessie Burton, The Miniaturist (Mother's Day 2015)
  6. Michael Collins, The Resurrectionists
  7. Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone (this one would be a re-read)
  8. Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles
  9. Jim Crace, Harvest
  10. Jeffrey Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides (Waterstones, March 2015)
  11. Barbara Ewing, Circus of Ghosts  (charity shop, April 2015)
  12. Jim Fergus, One Thousand White Women (Summer 2013)
  13. Anne Fine, All Bones and Lies
  14. Fannie Flagg, Can't Wait to get to Heaven (Feb 2015, charity shop)
  15. Ford Maddox Ford, Parade's End (Nov 2012 - birthday present - bought after the BBC adaptation - but I knew I wouldn't read it straight away as I wanted to let time pass from the adaptation.  Enough time has probably passed now...)
  16. E M Forster, Howards End (late 2014)
  17. Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Christmas 2014)
  18. Miles Franklin, My Brilliant Career
  19. Robert Galbraith, The Silkworm (Waterstones, March 2015)
  20. Patrick Gale, The Whole Day Through 
  21. Patrick Gale, Tree Surgery for Beginners (charity shop, April 2015)
  22. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (would be a re-read, bought shortly after his death - spring 2014 - as I was reminded how much I enjoyed it and I didn't seem to own a copy - think my old one fell apart, probably...)
  23. Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South
  24. Rumer Godden, Kingfishers Catch Fire
  25. Graham Greene, Brighton Rock
  26. Nicholas Griffin, The House of Sight and Shadow
  27. Jane Haddam, Glass Houses
  28. Laurell K Hamilton, Bloody Bones
  29. Anjali Joseph, Sarasawati Park
  30. Marina Lewycka, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian (charity shop, April 2015)
  31. Jim Lynch, The Highest Tide
  32. W Somerset Maugham, The Magician
  33. Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian (charity table, Wetland Centre, May 2015)
  34. John McGregor, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things (charity shop, April 2015 - will be a re-read as have read it in (apparently) October 2004 for a book group)
  35. Tom McNeal, Goodnight, Nebraska (AbeBooks, March 2015)
  36. Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran
  37. Patrick Ness, The Crane Wife (charity shop, April 2015)
  38. Kate O'Brien, The Land of Spices
  39. Tracy Rees, Amy Snow (WH Smith, May 2015)
  40. Kathy Reichs, Spider Bones
  41. Kathy Reichs, Virals (charity shop, March 2015)
  42. Anuradha Roy, An Atlas of Impossible Longing (Winter 2013, bought in a cheap shop in Oxford)
  43. Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Watcher in the Shadows (Christmas 2014)
  44. Simon Sebag Montefiore, One Night in Winter (Waterstones Piccadilly, not sure of date)
  45. Mark Slouka, The Visible World
  46. Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Summer 2013 - a re-read, as I read it when a teen)
  47. Shanna Swendson, Damsel Under Stress (Abe Books, May 2015)
  48. Shanna Swendson,  Don't Hex with Texas (Abe Books, May 2015)
  49. Magda Szabo, The Door
  50. Amy Tan, The Valley of Amazement
  51. Andrew Taylor, The Anatomy of Ghosts (passed on from Geoff, April 2015)
  52. Laini Taylor, Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Waterstones, March 2015)
  53. Rosie Thomas, The Illusionists (WH Smith, May 2015)
  54. Rose Tremaine, Merivel (Birthdy, 2014)
  55. Barry Unsworth, The Ruby in her Navel 
  56. Ayelet Waldman, Love and Treasure (new in December 2014)
  57. December, Elizabeth Winthrop

Book 49: The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catheryne Valente (re-read, aloud)

This has been Alex's bedtime book (with me - he has a different one with his dad and we take turns, plus we don't read every night, so it takes a while to get through a book these days!), and we have very nearly finished it - one chapter to go - so I'm counting it in May.  It's the second in this series of rather odd (in a good) way fantasy and I'm looking forward to reading him the third, which I haven't yet read myself  - but first, more C.S. Lewis (we are up to The Silver Chair, which I also have never read).  I fear Alex will soon be too old for a bedtime book - I will miss it!

May Round Up

What we ate in May...

  • 31st: Summery Soup with Pesto, Picnic leftovers
  • 30th: Picnic on Juniper Top
  • 29th: Sausages, Asparagus, New Potatoes
  • 28th: Mushroom and Bacon Risotto
  • 27th: Spag Bol Hotpot (Geoff cooking - K out)
  • 26th: Carrot Soup, Cheesy Biscuits
  • 25th: Spanakopita, Potatoes, Salad
  • 24th: Burgers (Meat & Veggie), etc
  • 23rd: Lemon Chicken, Potatoes, Veg
  • 22nd: Fish and Chips (takeaway)
  • 21st: Everyone Fend for Themselves
  • 20th: Springtime Pasta with Meatballs
  • 19th: Sausage and Prawn Jambalaya
  • 18th: Vegetable Jalfrezi
  • 17th: Spag Bol (Geoff Cooking)
  • 16th: Flammekeuche
  • 15th: Mexican Chicken Stew with Quinoa and Pinto Beans
  • 14th: Everyone fend for themselves
  • 13th: Stir Fried Spiced Pork Rice
  • 12th: Pasta with anchovies and capers
  • 11th: Courgette, Ham & Ricotta Tart
  • 10th: Lasagne, Salad, Garlic Bread
  • 9th: Sausages, Yorkshire Puddings, Kale
  • 8th: Sticky Chicken with Coleslaw
  • 7th: Everyone fend for themselves
  • 6th: Penne alla Crudaiola
  • 5th: Ham, Kale and Pasta Soup
  • 4th: Roast Gammon, Oven Potatoes, Courgettes
  • 3rd: Goan Pork Vindaloo with Potatoes
  • 2nd: Harissa Chicken Traybake with Peppers and Feta
  • 1st: Grilled Sea Bass, Greens, Potatoes

Dinner, 31/5/15: Summer Soup with Pesto, Picnic Leftovers

A bit of soup, along with a selection of picnic leftovers (our friend with whom we picnic usually sends all the leftovers home with us - so we get our leftovers and hers, too). 

I sorted of followed the recipe, though I didn't really do it in a no-cook way. And I used frozen soy beans, not peas, because I had some in the freezer.

May Declutter - FINAL DAY! - 31 items, 496 total

Well, so there it is - the final day. And actually, Sarah and I only went through part of her clothes; she still wants to do the rest of the drawers, so I'm sure there will be more stuff to go. Today's assortment is mostly Sarah's clothes - either things she doesn't wear, things which no longer fit or things which have holes (like the socks) - a few other t-shirts came downstairs to go in the pile to be cut for a future t-shirt quilt or to make a pillow from, or in one case, got donated to her brother (it's a Thor t-shirt; she really likes Thor, but it's bright red, so she never wears it. Alex has no such compunction).

Other items include a few shirts and cardigans from my own closet which for whatever reason I just don't wear, some pens, which either don't write (bin) or in the case of the green ones, will go to work as we do all our marking/commenting in green and I don't use them at home.  A few candles/candle holders which I don't really use - two are brand new, so will go in the raffle prize bag. And a Bjork CD - Olivia put it on the other day to see what it was like and I realised I only really like one or two of the songs, so it can go to the charity shop.

This has been a fun experiment. I'm not really a hoarder in the first place, so I do tend to go through things fairly regularly to make sure we aren't accumulating stuff we don't need - when the kids were younger, we always had a big sort out of toys and games in the autumn before Christmas/birthday season, partly for practical reasons and partly to gently teach them the lesson about those less fortunate and make a point that we are lucky to be getting new toys, etc.  It's a habit that endures - when there's no space to store something (a book, toy, game, CD, DVD, clothes, kitchen gadget, cookbook, whatever) in the place allocated for it, rather than put it somewhere else, we always have a sort out of the place and see what we can pass on.  I'm sure if I had a bigger house I would have more stuff, but hopefully it would still be fairly streamlined so I didn't have loads of stuff I don't need.

I'll never be a minimalist, nor do I really want to be, but it's nice to know that the stuff is there because I've decided actively it's something I want, not because of inertia!

Will I do this again? Probably not formally - I imagine it will be years before I can find this many more items to get rid of - but the traditional Spring Cleaning, where you turn out all the cupboards - is a darn good idea, regardless of whether you do it in the Spring or some other time!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Dinner, 30/5/15: Picnic on Juniper Top

One of our favourite picnic places, with far more food than needed (also a tradition) - I made a lentil salad (recipe below) and some asparagus wrapped in parma ham; otherwise the goodies were all bought. Yum.

May Declutter, Day 30: 30 Items, 465 Total

A varied collection today. I keep pretty much on top of my wardrobe, but there's always space for a few things to come out... Mostly this stuff is from downstairs, though.

  • (2 items) - dark blue linen trousers (I have two pairs and I like the other better), purple scarf (again, I have two - both gifts, I think - I kept the one I wear more) - Charity shop
  • (3 items) - two old t-shirts (I have newer ones in both black and brown) and a pair of socks I always forget I don't like until I put them on (not soft enough) - charity shop
  • (1 item) - Sarah's economics revision notes - recycling
  • (3 items) - various annuals - charty shop
  • (4 items) - children's picture books - my classroom at school
  • (10 items) - Beano annuals - my classroom
  • (3 items) - children's picture books - my classroom
  • (3 items) - two pots and a lid - recycling
  • (1 item)  - handful of plastic bags which are too small to be useful - the larger ones we keep in a holder under the sink to use for various stuff (we seem to acquire plastic bags despite carrying our own reusable shopping bags everywhere we go - I think they breed like rabbits) -recycling

Friday, May 29, 2015

Dinner, 29/5/15: Sausages, Asparagus, New Potatoes

This is one of those meals that illustrates well how having really good quality food is what makes a meal - the sausages are from a local farm shop/butcher and are superb; the potatoes are Jersey Royals and the asparagus is new season, fairly local. All incredibly gorgeous and very, very simply.

May declutter, Day 29: 29 Items, 435 Total

All books today - mostly from Alex's bookcases (his room is very small, and his book storage space is also quite small) - these are all books which he has read but doesn't feel compelled to keep. The bottom two are from my bookcases - another for my friend's pile and one for the charity shop - I probably won't read this again, and anyway, it's an old paperback with very small print!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Book 48: Music and Silence by Rose Tremain

Historical fiction, set in 17th century Denmark - the story (mostly) of the lutenist to King Christain II of Denmark. Also the story of the king, his wife, her servant, the servant's brother and many other bits of intrigue. I enjoyed this but for some reason found it a much slower read than I normally would. Perhaps I was just tired every time I tried to read it, so only read it in very small amounts.

Dinner, 28/5/15: Risotto with Bacon and Mushrooms

May Declutter, Day 28: 28 Items, 406 Total

Can you tell which kitchen cupboard I finally got around to clearing out?

  • (1 item) a pair of rechargeable batteries which no longer hold any charge - battery recycling at the civic amenity centre
  • (2 items) surplus plastic takeaway pot (I have a few - good for when you don't want to have to keep the plastic container; this one is a different size and doesn't stack well); plastic bottle which came with a lunch box which no one ever uses; recycling/charity shop
  • (4 items) lids for which we have no containers - recycling
  • (6 items) books from Alex's TBR shelves which he thinks he'll never read - charity shop
  • (8 items) books I've read  - a friend to whom I pass on books
  • (4 items) plastic pots which don't keep the lids on well; plastic pot with no lid - recycling
  • (3 items) plastic pots surplus to need, these are the older, more battered ones - recycling

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Book In

Found this one in the charity box at the Wetland Centre (50p for paperbacks). Next time I'm in the mood to be depressed but in a beautifully written way, I'll know what to reach for...

An afternoon at the London Wetland Centre

May declutter, Day 27: 27 items, 378 total

A mixed bag today, from various places around the house:

  • (2 items) a couple of books I won't read again - charity shop
  • (4 items) two packs of photo paper (I have loads - someone gave me lots a while back and I don't use it much), some dividers, some plastic sleeves - bin/charity shop
  • (9 items) various mailing envelopes - I kept a big selection but there were just way too many - most of these are cardboard sleeves, not padded (the padded one was ripped), so are less useful. I think I kept half a dozen. Recycling box.
  • (6 items) bookmarks - again, we have loads. I got rid of some freebies/old worn out ones - recycling box
  • (2 items) 2 cardigans I never wear - they are quite heavy weight, but short sleeves, not practical - charity shop
  • (1 item) - a pile of alphabet magnets we accumulate from a brand of smoothies we like - charity shop
  • (2 items) - a couple of empty ink cartridges (recycling box at school) and some air filters for a food waste box we don't use (we now have one from the council which doesn't use filters)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Book 47: This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart (re-read)

Again, a bedtime book which slipped into the daytime (though not much). I do have a daytime book which I am almost finished with as well, which will show up before the end of May, I'm sure...

Dinner, 26/5/15: Carrot Soup with Cheesy Biscuits

The soup was leftover, from the freezer (I didn't take a photo of it) but we had these cheesy biscuits to go with it, which I did photograph...Yum!

May Declutter, Day 26: 26 Items, 351 Total

More stuff from the shed, mostly -  a number of pottery pieces made by me (I've kept a lot, but these are ones I don't really use/like), some plastic plant pots and a few misc bits and pieces I dug out of the basket in the hallway which holds useful stuff like spare umbrellas, shoe polish, etc.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Dinner, 25/5/15: Spanakopita (Spinach Pie), Potatoes, Salad

I've made this so many times, I don't even think about recipes any more - basically, it's spinach (wilted, wrung out and chopped), spring onions, feta cheese, eggs, nutmeg with a layer of filo pastry at the bottom and either a layer or some scrunched up bits on top, depending on my mood. I'm sure there are a million recipes for it on the web...

May Declutter, Day 25: 25 Items, 325 Total

  • (3 items) stomp rocket, kids' gardening tools and gloves - these all going to a neighbour with smaller children than I have
  • (9 items) gardening seive, dead gloves, old compost bags (empty) dustbin lid, bits of clothes line, broken bird feeder, flange bracket, etc - mostly going in bin, though the seive will go with the freecycle stuff
  • (6 items) bits of broken pots, old basket, old half rolls of wallpaper, etc - rubbish
  • (7 items) plant pot trays - with the freecycle stuff

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Dinner, 24/5/15: Burgers, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie

Regular burgers, leftover veggie burgers from a while ago (from the freezer) and some hot dogs - too bad the weather wasn't good enough to eat on the patio!  And an apple pie for dessert - Alex made the crust (his first pie crust) under my expert tuition and it turned out really well - very light and flaky. An excellent pie - but then again, I do love an apple pie...

May Declutter, Day 24: 24 Items, 300 Total

  • (7 items) various cans of paint, either so old as to be no good, or from colours we no longer have in rooms - or both. Off to the tip ("Civic Amenity Centre").
  • (4 items) misc stuff from shed: box of grass seed eated by mice, dried up grout pen, other exciting things
  • (5 items) old sponges, brush, turtle wax so ancient as to predate my marriage, probably
  • (8 items) plant pots, trays, propagation trays, etc. A couple of these will go in the bin, the rest are being set aside to put on freecycle when I get around to it.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

May declutter, Day 23: 23 items, 276 Total

A real mixed bag today (so to speak) as we cleared out the shed a little while back, and there was lots of stuff from that. And some household items.
  • (3 items) pincushion (I have loads; this one is never used), scissors, pen - charity shop, school and bin (doesn't work anymore) respectively
  • (2 items) a couple of cookbooks I never use (charity shop)
  • (2 items) old outdoor chairs, one broken (tip)
  • (6 items) old basket, plant pots, bin, etc. all in bad shape, not worth saving or giving away - tip
  • (6 items) balls. some flat ones in the bin, the other ones to a neighbour with small kids
  • (2 items) old metal shelves (from shed, replaced by better plastic ones displaced from house in remodelling last year); fluorescent light cover no longer in use
  • (1 item) bucket with no handle - tip
  • (1 item) old blanket (all chewed up by mice - even found a little mouse nest inside it - almost hated to get rid of it - tempted to put it back for the mice...)
  • (1 items) pile of old teatowels from shed - bin

Dinner, 23/5/15: Lemon Chicken with New Potatoes, Carrots and Beans

This was a nice, simple, different way to cook chicken breasts - they were really succulent and tasty. We liked the sauce, as well, which isn't pictured on my plate (pre-sauce photo!). A keeper.  And one for my mental stock of Recipes Sarah Can Cook When She Goes Off To University (fairly cheap, easy, not too many ingredients)...

Friday, May 22, 2015

May Declutter, Day 22: 22 Items, 253 Total

  • (3 items) surplus cords
  • (3 items) a few books to add to my bag for a friend I pass books onto
  • (4 items) a few pairs of earrings I never wear - two going to a friend who likes novety earrings (if she wants them) the other two to the charity shop with the other jewellery
  • (9 items) button cards with cute vehicles on them. Collected back when Alex was very small with the intent of Doing Something With Them. Going to send these to a friend who is much more likely to use them in crafty endeavours than I am
  • (3 items) glue, glitter pots, very fine glitter. Sending the VFG on to aforementioned friend, the other bits are going in the bin (the glue is mostly dried out)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

May Declutter, Day 21: 21 Items, 231 Total

Finishing up in the bathroom, then on downstairs again, to the drawers with all the computery stuff in them...

  • (2 items) a couple of old poufs (insert joke here)
  • (5 items) some old cups which were demoted to bathroom use - except we have several others so we don't use them, a nearly empty thing of talc, a very old sunscreen
  • (6 items) various old phones. I've kept two others as emergency spares - these have all gone to Oxfam
  • (2 items) old DS with broken touchscreen, old camera (gone to school for backup)
  • (6 items) old MP3 player which no one uses, two more old phones (they just kept coming out of that drawer - it was amazing) - also gone to Oxfam - two mice which don't seem to work, spare charger (we have about a gazillion)

Books 45/46: The Diabolical Baron/The Rake by Mary Jo Putney (re-reads)

Putting these two together because they are related and I read them back to back in a couple of sittings - starting as a bedtime book, but then just finished them (very quick reads).  When clearing out the top of my cupboard recently, I found a stash of romances which I hadn't read/looked at in a while, and remembering how much I enjoyed some, I decided to have a quick re-read. Sometimes at the end of a long day, it's nice to have something which doesn't require a lot of focus, but which is still well-written and entertaining. Some romance novels are better than others. I only like the better ones...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May Declutter, Day 20: 20 Items, 210 Total

On to the bathroom today...

  • (6 items) various old medications which were either empty, nearly empty and not used or in one case, had a broken lid, which made them annoying to use
  • (4 items) bags - one broken, one really old, one an annoying shape, one just never used
  • (6 items) various flannels - kept a few, but we don't really use them much, using sponges and scrubbies more
  • (4 items) odd bits of soap/etc (the flower bubble bath wand a nice idea, but didn't really work well), a tiny funnel, a tiny pot for putting something in, which we never do

Monkey Cake

My entry for the staff bake off (cakes with an animal theme) - it was banana cake inside. I didn't win my round (which is good, as it means I won't have to bake in the final). It was fun though - usually I don't bake for the bake off because it's hard to find time to bake on a weeknight, but I got sucked in this year...

Dinner, 20/5/15: Springtime Pasta with Meatballs

Realised after I pulled this recipe out that it's not really a recipe, but it wasn't hard to work it out - combined everything up to the oil to make the meatballs, and that was about it. I think the sauce could have been a little saucier, but it was still nice.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May Declutter, Day 19: 19 Items, 190 Total

The photos for this bunch are a little odd - some stuff seems to have been photographed twice and two of the things I took out after I took the photos - I thought the hairdryer bits were for the old dryer and was going to chuck them, but double checked and they fit the current hair dryer, so I've saved them instead.
  • (1 item) two bits of wood from something
  • (4 items) various old keys to unknown things/keycards to places we don't work anymore
  • (1 item) mini clothes brush - probably from a Christmas cracker
  • (1 item) mirror - broken
  • (1 item) travelcard holder (not in use)
  • (1 item) old spacer for inhalers for small kids - our two asthmatic kids have different gear now
  • (2 items) spare glasses cases - we have several others
  • (1 item) belt which Geoff doesn't like & never uses
  • (1 item) empty clip picture frame
  • (1 item) A book I'll probably never read
  • (1 item) A scarf I wove for Geoff a long time ago, which he never wears
  • (2 items) a couple of things the kids made in Guides or Brownies or something (we aren't sentimental about that sort of stuff - we keep the stuff we really like and don't worry about the rest - the kids are ok with this...)
  • (1 item) very old proof of a friend's book, now published, etc.

Dinner, 19/5/15: Sausage and Prawn Jambalaya

Used some sausages I found in Sainsbury's which were chorizo style - more of a sausage texture, but with the paprika flavour of chorizo. Worked well here...

Books in

Having skipped my gym session today (twisted my back at work - it's not too bad, but not up to the gym), but still being in the high street while the kids were going, I nipped into WH Smith to get some glue and had a browse of the books. Can I go into WH Smith without buying books? Apparently not! I bought one for Alex (5th in a series he is reading), which isn't shown...

Monday, May 18, 2015

May Declutter, Day 18: 18 Items, 171 Total

Working my way through the bedroom with stuff I never use/wear/etc...
  • (4 items) various lip glosses I don't wear/which have dried up a bit/are almost used up
  • (1 item) powder stick which no longer dispenses properly
  • (1 item) powder compact - almost empty; I never really wear foundation (or indeed, pretty much any makeup except toenail polish)
  • (1 item) mirror. I have several. charity shop
  • (1 item) eye dazzle. see note on makeup above
  • (1 item) last year's gym/exercise notebook
  • (9 items) various jewellery I don't wear - old watch, bracelets, a ring, some blue stones (one earring one pendant - lost the other earring) and two charms which seem to have escaped the picture. 

Book 44: Once Upon Stilettos by Shanna Swendson

The second in the series - I've been reading it as a bedtime book, but got to the point where I was only about 40-50 pages from the end so I wanted to find out how it all turned out. Another cute installment in this series; I'll look forward to the next one...