TK Maxx Haul

Welcome back to the Dean Kealy Blog! I was out shopping the other day in my local TK Maxx (I think the US call it TJ Maxx?) and shared a few of the bits I got on my Instagram Story (@dean.kealy), when one of you lovelies suggested that I do a haul post of all the bits I got.

I never thought about doing a haul-style blog post before, which I find mad because I love watching them on YouTube (apparently they’re the thing to be doing) but never thought about doing a blog post-style version.

I love TK Maxx–I was out doing a few errands, and TK Maxx just happened to be beside the store I was doing errands in, so I just had to pop in. Bear in mind, I don’t think I’ve ever been let loose on my own in this place–I’m usually with friends or family, who usually keep me in check and accountable to all the ridiculous things I could potentially pick up–but none of them were there on this day, so… here’s what I got:

Black Panther POP

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Gold Black Panther POP

In all my visits to TK Maxx, I’ve never seen a single POP figure in there–I love these things, I have a whole shelf in my room dedicated to them, but I’m very particular about the ones I pick up, I won’t pick up any ol’ POP, it has to be from a series, movie etc that I like. So imagine my delight when I not only saw POP figures but the gold ones too!!!! Now, the selection was not great, but they did have this gold version of the Marvel Studios Black Panther so I had to get it. There was also a gold version of Thor, but I already have a regular version POP of him from Thor Ragnarok, so I didn’t want to double up. He was super cheap too–normally POPS vary from €12-16, and I got this guy for a mere €6!!!

Batman Gallery Wall Piece

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Classic Batman Framed Print

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been slowly but surely building a gallery wall in my room. Not just any gallery wall, but a super-hero/pop-culture themed gallery wall because I’m a huge nerd (as if you couldn’t already tell). The last time I was in TK Maxx I picked up a framed print of a classic Spider-Man cover and it was only €10, and it was a perfect fit for my gallery wall, so I was only chuffed upon discovering this classic Batman cover version of it on this visit, and at the same €10 price tag, it went straight into my basket (yes, I had a basket, because let’s face it I’m going to pick up at least 20 things I’m going to want–even if I put over half of them back in the end…). My gallery wall is 90% complete at this stage, and I can’t wait to share it when it’s done–let me know if you’d like a blog post about it!

Coffee!!!

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Coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee!

OK, so I’ve grouped the next couple of items under one header because they are all coffee related! I love coffee — wait you mean you didn’t know? 😉 — so when I stumbled across the next few items I was in my element! In my defense, they do have an aisle dedicated to tea and coffee, so I did go down that way looking to pick up some coffee, but the others were bonus.

The coffee I picked up is The Live Company coffee, from Brazil and I’m super looking forward to trying this. I also love how the packaging is very eco-friendly! The outer packaging seems to be made of corrugated cardboard, and the only little bit of plastic I can see is wrapped around the coffee itself to keep it airtight, which is understandable. On a side note, it was great to see a good bit of plastic free packaging on a lot of the teas and coffees, as the majority of them seem to come in reusable tins, which is great!

Next I picked up a coffee-syrup ‘sample pack’ and this was reduced to a fiver, which was an absolute steal! It came with 4 x 45ml bottles of flavoured syrups to add to your coffee: vanilla, hazelnut, caramel, and Irish cream. I’ve had all these flavours in my coffee before, except for the irish cream one, so it’ll be interesting to see what that one tastes like! The bottles are also glass, making them perfectly reusable once they’re empty–OK I’ll shut up about stuff being eco-friendly/reusable now…

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My €2 mason jar!

Lastly, and my favourite purchase of the whole lot was the mason jar I picked up! It was on clearance for €2 and it’s huge! Absolute bargain, and it’s perfect for having my morning cold brew coffee in!


That wraps up my haul! I’d really love to hear your feedback on this type of blog post. I know haul videos are popular on the YouTubes, but does it work in blog-format? Did you enjoy this? Should I do it again in the future?

Lastly I’ll leave you guys with the question: do you shop in TK Maxx, and do you love or hate it, because I think it’s fairly evident that I love it!

😉

#PlasticFreeJuly2019: Reduce Plastic in the Bathroom!

So as we continue on with #PlasticFreeJuly2019, I thought that I’d share another aspect that I am trying to improve on, and that is removing the amount of plastic I use in the bathroom. Believe it or not, the bathroom is one of the biggest culprits for the amount of plastic we use and waste, and when you go looking, there are actually so many easy replacements.

Plastic waste is a problem in the bathroom – from toothpaste tubes to shampoo bottles. … If you’re trying to reduce your own plastic waste, one place you may feel a little stumped is in the bathroom. When it comes to hygiene and beauty products, plastic packaging is often hard to avoid  — from friendsoftheearth.uk

One of the first things I replaced in my bathroom was the soap. I stopped using dispenser soap and went back to the traditional bar of soap. Yes, those old things, remember those? The one I use, and in fact, most of the products I use in the bathroom is by Bull Dog. Along with the bar of soap, I also use their moisturizer, face wash and stubble moisturizer.

The bar of soap, straight away depletes a plastic soap dispenser from our bathroom, and the bar comes in cardboard packaging, making it recyclable. As for the moisturisers and face wash, the ‘plastics’ that Bull Dog use are made from sugarcane.

The tubes that Bulldog’s products come in are different. That’s because Bulldog is the first male skincare brand in the world to use sugarcane as a raw material in our packaging. So instead of using plastic from fossil fuels, Bulldog’s tubes use sugarcane plastic, made from Brazilian sugarcane, a renewable source that needs little more than natural rainfall to grow. — from bulldogskincare.com/sugarcane

Images via bulldogskincare.com

Each year skincare companies use lots of plastic in their packaging. Most of this plastic is made from fossil fuels, which are non-renewable and release carbon dioxide which contributes to global warming. — bulldogskincare.com

Next up Processed with VSCO with n2 presetis my toothbrush. I’ve stopped buying standard plastic toothbrushes, and instead have replaced mine with a biodegradable plastic alternative. I’ll be the first to put my hands up and say, yes its not a plastic free alternative, but it’s still an alternative. I did try the bamboo toothbrush everyone is going mad for, but I can’t stand the texture of it, personally, so I found this biodegradable plastic alternative. Ironically, I now can’t find them on Amazon (maybe the seller removed the listing?) but the packaging did insist it was biodegradable–hopefully I wasn’t deceived.

Approximately a billion brushes are thrown away in the United States annually — that’s 50 million pounds of waste. Roughly 3.5 billion brushes are sold worldwide each year — they all have to go somewhere, and that somewhere is usually landfill. It’s staggering to comprehend. But we can change it. — via Susan Goldberg on medium.com

Along with my toothbrush, I also just recently switched out my toothpaste and mouthwash. In the past couple of months I’ve been following a small little starter company on Instagram called Green Outlook, and I finally placed my first order there last week and picked up a few bits, including toothpaste and mouthwash.

https://www.greenoutlook.ie/product-category/bathroom/

These alternatives are much better than your standard shop bought toothpaste and mouthwash. They don’t contain fluoride, so they’re less abrasive on your teeth and the packaging they come in is completely plastic free. With the toothpaste you simply apply a pea sized amount to your toothbrush with the supplied wooden spatula, and the mouthwash comes in capsules that you dissolve in 20ml of water and rinse and gargle like you normally would with regular mouthwash.

There are so many other replacements too, including using roll-on deodorant instead of aerosols, avoiding plastic packaging by buying alternatives, and basically just being more conscious of how and what you use in the bathroom. I recommend checking out GreenOutlook.ie for all they have to offer in being plastic free–everything on there has zero plastic and even the packaging it’s delivered in is from recycled materials.

I could go on forever, but I feel like that’s enough for now to bombard you guys with. If you’ve any questions, feel free to ask them and I’ll answer to the best of my abilities.

If you’re getting fed up with my #PlasticFreeJuly2019 posts, this may be the last one — no promises though!

😉

Easy Homemade Cold Brew Coffee in 3 Simple Steps!

Last month I shared with you guys how to make yourselves an Easy Homemade Iced Latte in 3 Simple Steps. Today I want to share with you a cold coffee that doesn’t require as much effort, but you might have to wait a little longer for this one.

Before I go any further, I want to clear something up: an iced coffee and cold brew coffee are not the same thing! An iced coffee, is hot coffee poured over ice, whereas a cold brew coffee is coffee that has been made with nothing but cold water.

Generally with cold brew coffee, you make it from coffee beans, or ground coffee beans, if that’s how you buy them. You grind your beans and pour cold water over them and then place it in your fridge overnight and that’s when the magic happens. By letting the coffee sit overnight (8-12 hrs) it takes a lot of the bitterness and acidity that can be associated with coffee away, leaving you with a nice cold coffee beverage. Let’s get on with the how to then, shall we:


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Step 1

So like I said you’re going to need coffee beans, or ground coffee. Anywhere between 50g-80g of the stuff depending on how strong you like your coffee. If your beans are ground already, you’re good to go to the next step, otherwise get your beans, and ground ’em up to the consistency you desire.

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Weigh your coffee!

Step 2

Next you’re going to take those ground coffee beans and pour them into a french press, preferably a larger one as opposed to the one-man french press. The reason for this is you’re now going to pour 400-500ml of cold water in on top of your grounds. Get yourself a spoon or a utensil now and give the grounds a stir, making sure they’re all soaked by the water.

Place the top of the french press on your coffee but do NOT plunge YET and place in your fridge for 8-12 hours. I recommend doing this the night before, before you go to bed.

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My french press with coffee waiting to be chilled in fridge

Step 3

Rise and shine friends, it’s coffee time! After your time is up, remove the french press from the fridge. Now you can plunge that coffee, but make sure you do it slowly. I don’t know why but they always recommend you plunge the coffee slowly.

You’ll want to have a container/vessel of some some sort handy to pour and store the cold brew in. I recommend something that can hold 300-400ml, as that 400-500ml of water you poured in last night has now condensed and been soaked up by the coffee grounds.

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Keep your cold brew chilled in the fridge for upto a week!

Get your glass, a couple of ice cubes (to your liking and depending on how big your ice cubes are, I personally go for anywhere between 4-8) and your cold brew. Pour the cold brew in on top of the ice, but don’t go all the way. You’re going to only want to go halfway, because you’re not done yet. Next you need to pour about an espresso sized cup of water in on top of the cold brew, otherwise it’s going to be like drinking concentrated fruit juice without diluting it with water, if you catch my drift. The water dilutes it enough that it’s drinkable. You’re good to go from there, stick a reusable straw in it and off you go, or if you’re like me you can add a dash of milk and/or whatever way you take your coffee, sweeteners, syrups etc.

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Cheers!

There you have it: you’re own homemade cold brew coffee! The best thing about it is, you should have enough in that batch for 2-3 more beverages, and even better news: it will keep in your fridge for 1-2 weeks! So you only have to do all this once or twice a week, depending on how much you love cold brew–if you’re like me it’ll prob be 3 times a week!

😉

 

#PlasticFreeJuly2019: Stop Food Waste

Two weeks ago I made about #PlasticFreeJuly: Be More Enviromentally Friendly, and how July is being a month of awareness of how much waste we produce on this little planet of ours. While plastic is one of the massive causes, food is also a massive thing that we are wasting in our everyday lives, and that’s what I want to highlight in today’s post.

Last Monday I ventured off to a talk all about how to stop food waste and how to be more sustainable with our food/food waste. It was a very interesting talk hosted by Taz Kelleher, co-founder of Sustainable Fashion Dublin, and from that she has created Sustainable Food Dublin; along with her she had Dee Laffan of Food and Wine Ireland, Eoin Cluskey from Bread41 Dublin, and Stop Waste Ireland all sharing their tips and tricks on how you can be more aware of what you are wasting.

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The 1st Sustainable Food Dublin talk

Here are some of the key things I took from the talk:

  • The making of 1 quarter-pounder burger = a 90 minute shower!
  • Even if a cup, plastic or paper, says it’s decompose-able unless you recycle it properly/put it in a compost bin, it’s actually causing more damage to the environment, due to the gasses the cup emits while in general waste. You’re better off just using reusable cups and bottles.
  • While shopping, try and avoid foods that are wrapped in plastic. If you can buy your fruits and veg loose, it’s much better than buying them in plastic. Some supermarkets allow you to discard of plastic off their produce at checkout and sometimes even have bins provided.
  • Composting is key to fueling our planets natural resources.
  • Try and avoid processed foods whenever possible.
  • Be the solution, not the problem. If you feel overwhelmed with all these new things, try take on even just 1 new habit every month. Start with reusable cups this month. Something else next month, and so on until these habits are everyday life.
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leaflets we were given at the talk

Solutions to Help Prevent Food Waste:

  • Plan your meals for the week before going shopping. Only buy as you need, never ‘just in case’.
  • Try keeping leftover foods in clear containers. You’re more likely to want to use the food quicker before it goes bad if you can see what’s in the container as opposed to coloured containers, or containers you can’t see through.
  • Try not go by best before/use by dates. Use your senses to your advantage, sight, smell and taste. Just because produce says use by 07/12/19, it’s not automatically going to go expire at midnight.
  • Buy local, buy fresh. When buying meat and fruit and veg, try shop from your local butcher, markets, and fishmongers. Also don’t be afraid to ask questions about where the produce is from.

4 Key Things You Can Do To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint:

  • Eat Less Meat — Try having one meat free day a week.
  • Buy Seasonally — find out what fruits and veg grow in each season, and try to eat them when they’re ‘in season’, as that’s when they are at their best.
  • Buy Local — buy from your local butcher, fishmonger and markets, as opposed to buying from massive supermarket chains.
  • Cut down your food waste. There’s very little food that can’t go in your food waste bin, but that doesn’t mean we should just chuck it in there. Try freezing leftover portions, or heck even feed it to the dog (once its safe for them of course).
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Free kombucha was given at the talk. I’m now reusing the bottle for my cold brew coffee.

Our generation are probably one of the most wasteful generations in existence, and it’s now more than ever that we need to become more and more aware of what we’re consuming, how we’re consuming and what we’re going to do to change that going into the future!

If you’ve any questions, feel free to ask, and I’ll answer to the best of my ability, and if I can’t answer, I’ll veer you in the right direction!

🙂

Spotify Playlist: Nostalgia

Welcome to a little bonus blog post! I was hanging out with a friend the other day and we decided to pop some music on, and somehow we went down a rabbit hole of visiting some songs that brought back all the feels and memories from my teenage years.

I used to watch/listen to these songs while I was in school, and loved watching the videos that went with them. I used to watch these videos on Kerrang! TV, and it was so nice to watch and hear some of these songs again, especially after not hearing them for a good number of years!

I don’t really know what this blog post is to be honest, I just know I wanted to share this playlist with you guys, and I’d love to know what you think, and if you like these songs too, or where were you in your life when these songs were doing the rounds?

I’ll be back with another blog post for you guys on Monday! I’m trying to keep a regular schedule with you guys, giving you at least one blog post a week, and then sharing any bonus content (like this post) on maybe a Thursday or Friday!

🙂

My Commonplace Book

commonplace book
noun
noun: commonplace book; plural noun: commonplace books
  • a book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.

I was first introduced to the commonplace book format a few years ago, back when I first got into bullet journals, and was looking up other forms of journaling. At the time, I decided to start my own commonplace journal, which was in a sketchbook style of journal, but I ended up not using correctly and ended up just doing regular ‘dear diary’ style writing in it, and ended up quickly scrapping it shortly after.

Skip forward to a few weeks ago, I came across a video on YouTube by Jordan Clark called ‘You should start a commonplace book’. It was from this video I decided to revisit the concept of the commonplace book, and I decided to start my own. Please check out the video if you would like to see another perspective/more visually pleasing description.

I had just been to my local TK Maxx, and picked up a small A6/pocket sized notebook, and was really looking for a use for it, and then I came across this video, and decided that the notebook would be perfect for this little project.

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My first entry in my commonplace book was a passage I found while looking a little more into commonplace books, from Jonathan Swift’s ‘A letter of advice to a young poet’:

A commonplace book is what a provident poet cannot subsist without, for this proverbial reason, that ‘great wits have short memories’ and, on the other hand, poets, being liars by profession, ought to have good memories; to reconcile these, a book of this sort is in the nature of a supplemental memory, or a record of what occurs remarkable in every day’s reading or conversation. There you enter not only your own original thoughts, (which, a hundred to one, are few and insignificant) but such of other men as you think fit to make your own, by entering them there.

Since then I’ve been slowly adding a few little bits, including a quote I really liked about accountability, a photo from Instagram I found really inspiring and a few passages from one of my favourite books ‘A Note to Self’ by Connor Franta. No doubt I’ll surely go on to add more, but like Jordan talks about in her video, there is no pressure with a commonplace book. It is simply something that is there, something for you to add to whenever you feel like you might like to look back on that at some point in the future, or if you come across a photo of something truly beautiful that you know you just have to capture it somewhere.

That is my/the commonplace book, and hopefully this was enough to inspire or encourage you to start your own.

See you in my next post

😉

#PlasticFreeJuly: Be More Enviromentally Friendly

In the past few months, I’ve been trying to do my bit and reduce the amount of plastic waste I use in my every day life. Now, in today’s world, it’s not the easiest thing to do with plastic being almost everywhere, but at the same time, it’s not impossible and there are solutions and alternatives to stuff we use and buy every day.

I’m hopping on the #PlasticFreeJuly bandwagon, making sure I use, purchase and waste as little plastic as I physically can. Like I mentioned, I have been trying to do this over the past couple of months, so I do have a little advantage, but for those of you who feel like you would also like to join me on doing our bit to make our planet a little better, here are my tips, tricks, solutions etc.:

Coffee Cups & Water Bottles

This is probably one of the easiest things you could do starting today! How many plastic bottles do you go through? Just think about it. How many to-go coffees do you get every week? Imagine if you had a reusable coffee cup or water bottle. How many cups would you have not used? How many plastic bottles would you have avoided? If it’s between 5-7 of each, then you’re part of the problem. Get yourself a reusable coffee cup and reusable water bottle the next time you’re out. They’re not that hard to find. Most cafe’s now offer the option to purchase a reusable coffee cup while queuing, and even better again, some offer a discount if you hand them a reusable coffee cup when you order your coffee. As for the water bottle, you can get them almost anywhere. What size you get is completely up to you. I have a 500 ml bottle, a 1 litre bottle and a 2 litre bottle, and which one I use depends on what kind of day I’m going to have.

  • Disposable paper cups contain 5% polyurethane plastic, making composting and recycling of disposable cups extremely rare. — from ecoffecup.eco
  • Half a trillion disposable cups are manufactured annually around the world; that’s over 70 disposable cups for every person on the planet. — from ecoffecup.eco
  • Just one person switching to a reusable water bottle keeps 2,580 balloons of CO2 out of the air per year. Drinking from reusable water bottles can be safer then disposable bottles. For instance, a glass or stainless steel option won’t contain BPA, a harmful chemical used when making some plastics. — from add-impact.com

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Straws

Yes, that’s one of my iced lattes from a few blog posts ago and yes, that was indeed a stainless steel straw in the photo. Plastic straws were on of the first things I cut out when I started, and it’s also super easy to replace them, and it’s only going to get easier as more and more companies are replacing plastic with paper straws. For those of us at home it’s super easy too, paper straws are the common replacement, but for those who aren’t 100% keen on paper, you can also get other alternatives like bamboo and stainless steel straws, like pictured above. I bought my steel straws in TK Maxx, but I know lots of places are now selling them like Sostrene Grene and Flying Tiger have the paper straws.

  • In just the U.S. alone, one estimate suggests 500 million straws are used every single day. One study published earlier this year estimated as many as 8.3 billion plastic straws pollute the world’s beaches. Eight million tons of plastic flow into the ocean every year, and straws comprise just 0.025 percent of that. — from nationalgeographic.com

Shopping Bags & Produce

“A bag for life”. How many times have you seen that written on your plastic ‘reusable’ shopping bags, only to end up bringing it home and throwing it away. When it comes to shopping, try bring a reusable bag that’s not a plastic bag, or even better, try not accept a plastic bag. Most places offer a paper bag alternative, or even better, bring your own! I use this tote bag I picked up in Penney’s a while back, and if I know I’m going to be picking up a few bits, I’ll bring a backpack with me too. As for produce, this is a recent endeavor for me, where I’m more conscious about what I’m picking up and how it’s packaged. Now-a-days all our fruits and veg seem to come wrapped in plastic–why? What’s wrong with the non-plastic wrapped version? I’ll also try refrain from putting the veg into the small plastic bags they offer to put said fruit and veg in–there’s no need for it!

  • Reusable bags are sturdier than disposable bags. Each reusable shopping bag has the potential to eliminate the use of 1,000 plastic bags over its lifetime. Reusable bags are durable enough to be used for much more than just shopping trips. — from sites.psu.edu

Those are just some of the tips I have to share with you folks, I could probably spout on about so much more, but I don’t want to bore you guys. Hopefully I’ve gotten it across to you guys that it’s so important that we become more enviromentally conscious in everything we do, because unfortunately we can’t help that plastic is everywhere–heck, it’s even in the very air we breathe!

Recently Read || June Edition

Welcome back to another Recently Read post here on the blog! This one should have been posted back in May, but I decided I’d do a binge of 8 seasons of a TV series instead of actually sitting down to read a book–Oops!

I will admit that 2 out of these 3 books were a little harder to get into than I thought. Norse Mythology was surprisingly trickier, it being a collection of short stories as opposed to one long running story, and The Secret, well that’s a real mess with your head kinda book. Let’s get into it:

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

In 2006, a groundbreaking feature-length film revealed the great mystery of the universe – The Secret. Later that year, Rhonda Byrne followed with a book that became a worldwide bestseller.
The Secret contains wisdom from modern-day teachers – men and women who have used it to achieve health, wealth and happiness. By applying the knowledge of The Secret, they bring to light compelling stories of eradicating obstacles, and achieving what many would regard as impossible.

I picked this one up on the recommendation of a colleague in work, she said that it will change my outlook on everything and that even celebrities are known to use The Secret to help them get what they want. I devoured the first 50-odd pages, taking everything in as if it were gospel. It didn’t take long for me to realize that it is not gospel, so much as just a frame of mind, or an outlook on life. I struggled to pick it up after this stage of the book, dipping in and out, picking it up here and there, but in the end I didn’t actually finish reading it. I think something like The Secret is a kind of book that you need to read yourself and take your own opinion from it. I dunno, maybe I just wasn’t in the right place when I decided to read this, maybe I’ll pick it up again somewhere down the line and my thoughts and feelings will have changed towards it.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman, long inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction, presents a bravura rendition of the Norse gods and their world from their origin though their upheaval in Ragnarok.
In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki—son of a giant—blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassed manipulator.
Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelist arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose, these gods emerge with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

Alas, another Did Not Finish book, but through no fault of the book, but my own. I have a love hate relationship with short stories. I love reading them, but not an entire collection. I tried to read this as if it were a regular novel, and even though all the characters were the same, the different stories in each ‘chapter’ didn’t appeal to me. I have gotten so used to reading longer prose, and chapter books, that dipping in and out of different stories every couple of pages becomes quite chore-some. I wouldn’t mind but I had just picked this up after re-watching the first Thor movie, and going to see Avengers Endgame, which has a strong connection to the Norse Gods, so I thought I’d devour this. I will in time return to this book and finish the other stories that I didn’t read, because those that I did read were very enjoyable.

The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

All Stevie Bell wanted was to find the key to the Ellingham mystery, but instead she found her classmate dead. And while she solved that murder, the crimes of the past are still waiting in the dark. Just as Stevie feels she’s on the cusp of putting it together, her parents pull her out of Ellingham academy.
For her own safety they say. She must move past this obsession with crime. Now that Stevie’s away from the school of topiaries and secret tunnels, and her strange and endearing friends, she begins to feel disconnected from the rest of the world. At least she won’t have to see David anymore. David, who she kissed. David, who lied to her about his identity—son of despised politician Edward King. Then King himself arrives at her house to offer a deal: He will bring Stevie back to Ellingham immediately. In return, she must play nice with David. King is in the midst of a campaign and can’t afford his son stirring up trouble. If Stevie’s at school, David will stay put.
The tantalizing riddles behind the Ellingham murders are still waiting to be unraveled, and Stevie knows she’s so close. But the path to the truth has more twists and turns than she can imagine—and moving forward involves hurting someone she cares for. In New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson’s second novel of the Truly Devious series, nothing is free, and someone will pay for the truth with their life.

The Vanishing Stair is the 2nd book in the Truly Devious Trilogy. I read Truly Devious back in March when HarperCollins Ireland kindly gifted me a copy of the paperback which had been just released at the time (read the micro-review on my Instagram: @dean.kealy). I recently then allowed a work colleague to borrow it, and she loved it so much that she sought out the sequel, The Vanishing Stair, from her local library, and also allowed me to borrow it. I hadn’t a clue it was out already and was overjoyed to find out. For this alone, I give author Maureen Johnson kudos. I’m not a fan of books in series. It’s very rare that a story told across multiple books captivates me, but this was one of them. (off the top of my head Harry Potter and E.R. Murray’s Nine Lives series are the only others to do so). Without spoiling The Vanishing Stair, its a good ol’ fashioned murder mystery who-dunnit. It continues the mystery from the first book as well as the original murders that took place in the 1930’s at the Ellingham Academy–so you’re getting two for the price of one! If you’re a fan of murder mysteries and thrillers I definitely recommend, as there are also references to detective legends such as Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot!


With that, I give you my Recently Read June Edition, and I leave you asking: What books have you recently read? Have you read and/or will you read any of these? 🙂