Posted in Books, Uncategorized

Books vs Kindle

20160701_125445Now I know this is the subject where a lot of people split like wildfire into either tec friendly going with the century e-readers to those ones who rather hold an actual book and turn the page all by themselves. I must admit I do struggle a bit with e-book readers. Nevertheless, I jumped on the bandwagon to try out the Kindle when it originally came out. The original Kindle, or first generation I believe it is now referred to, is a bit bulky and I know that Amazon have done a great deal of research and improvements to their e-reader which is why the Kindle can now be purchased in more updated styles and functions.20160701_125427

Since I couldn’t quite get on with the first generation Kindle, I am still stuck on my old model to this day. I used to have the Kindle in a case which made it even bulkier and heavier so in an attempt to make it appeal to me more I searched for different types of cases, which is when I stumbled across the Kindle skins. I love the fact, that you can customise your gadgets and who of us hasn’t gotten a mobile cover? Anyone? If yes, then I throw out a guess assumption that you probably don’t have children (yet), they’ll teach you to keep your phone sticky free. If you do have children and they leave your phone alone, then please contact me.

20160701_125418Anyway, the skin is a great idea to brighten or darken (in my case) your Kindle but I still struggle with the fact that I can’t turn the page. And I think I struggle the most with the fact that you never see the cover. I have the inclination that this was improved on later versions of the kindle but it’s not a feature on my Kindle.

There are definitely a lot of advantages to the Kindle though, so on we go. …  

I do have to admit though that the page on the kindle is very true to the actual page when holding a book. I find almost no difference here. The storage of the Kindle is excellent and its battery power lasts for ages. It is true that you don’t have to charge the Kindle for weeks on end. The most obvious plus and biggest sellin20160701_125525g point for me is that the Kindle is so portable. When I go on holiday I always take the Kindle with me as I have lots of books downloaded, so it doesn’t matter if a title doesn’t appeal at the moment, I just choose another one. It fits nicely in your handbag and when travelling to and from work this is a really important factor. Gone are the days when you have to cram a 500 plus page book into your handbag on top of all your other “essentials” weighing you down.

I am slightly miffed about the cost of Kindle books though. Initially it was portrayed, that the Kindle books would be much cheaper than paperback or hardback… but I do find that the e-books are still pricey, considering there is no cost going to paper or postage.

BUT then again, Amazon does offer free Kindle books and I must say that is really quite enticing and I have very often downloaded books for free. So it kind of makes up for this.

What type of reading do you prefer? Actual book or e-reader? Any tips on how to get acquainted with the e-readers?

Would love to read your comments.

Posted in Books, Uncategorized

What’s in my Amazon basket…..

I love books, love ‘em… and I love Amazon even more because it gets me a right cheap deal when hunting down some precious reading material.

Firstly I must admit, that I am not too ashamed to tell you that I mostly go for second hand books. I don’t need my books to be crisp and pristine….I actually prefer them, shall we say, lovingly handled. Sounds odd, but anyway. When it comes to books I find it hard to shell out the actual price and I rarely go to the bookstore nowadays. I think this stems from me buying a great number of books which turned out to be not quite to my liking or utter rubbish. So I always felt really bad paying full price for something that I ended up donating to my local charity shop a short while later anyway.

So Amazon is the way to go. It offers me options. If it’s a book  that I have thoroughly researched before buying and I am certain that I will treasure it, I will definitely buy it new, preferably in hardback, so it will last and sit pretty on my bookshelf. But any everyday novels or holiday reading material does not require hardback or full price for that matter.

Here’s a peek into what’s in my basket….

The Miniaturist by Jesse Burton – The author let it be known that the story itself was inspired by a doll’s house. This is a historical novel in quite an interesting setting: the merchant class of late 17th century Amsterdam. Not something that I usually gravitate to but the doll house got me, so I shall find out what it’s all about.

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory – I have not read anything of her before but she is kind of on my radar. Historical novels are usually not the genre I would choose but I definitely want to give it a go and see if I like them. This author is known to have done her proper research (for all her many books) and her writing is to be excellent. I’m sure Philippa won’t disappoint.

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters– Again, I have heard of Sarah Waters on many occassions but as of yet I have not read a single book of hers. The reason why I choose this one is because I like old mansions and this book seems to center about a family, their doctor and the house. I find it intriguing that the house itself seems to be of focus or is definitely a part of the novel.

I must admit that “The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair” might not make it all the way to a purchase. It’s a whopper of a book to say the least and since I don’t have much time to read these days I need a novel that keeps me going without being overwhelmed by the total page count… what shall I say, I get discouraged easily.

Please leave me a comment if you have any book recommendations that shouldn’t be missed. Thank you

 

Posted in Books, Uncategorized

Children’s book recommendations

Since I am a mum, who loves to read bedtime stories to my daughter, I thought I share some of the books which are a definite hit in our house. This post is greatly inspired due to my struggle to find the right kind of children’s books which are entertaining and a joy to read and because I grew fed up with getting it wrong yet again on Amazon. I love ordering books online but of course you don’t quite know what you’ll get as most of the books are not showing much of the story. I also love other mum’s real life take on what they read their children, so I thought that this blog is hopefully of some help to others.

Whilst I oftentimes got it wrong when ordering a book online, sometimes you can of course stumble across a gem of a book like

The Tangle Fairy

front cover tfWe have read this book every single day since we got it and oftentimes more than once a day. So rest assured that this is a really cute story. When it comes to children’s books I do like it when they rhyme, I don’t know, but it seems it’s easier for children to grasp the words and actually remember them. That’s not to say that I don’t have non-rhyme books.

So the Tangle Fairy is my daughter’s firm favorite for some time now but I also have other recommendations which are definitely classed as best-book-buy.

 

Guess How Much I Love You

ObvioGuess_How_Much_I_Love_You_Cover_Artusly, this book doesn’t need any introduction as it’s a firm bestseller when it comes to children’s books. The story of little nutbrown hare’s and big nutbrown hare’s competition who loves the other more is truly delightful. It does put the child in a very soothing atmosphere and I am always rewarded with a big hug and kiss when we get to the end of it.

 

Five Minutes Peace

fminutes peace coverBelieve me when I say that during the first time of reading this book I cried so much with laughter that I couldn’t even finish it. It’s hilarious. I must admit, I’m sure a 3 year old might not get the true meaning behind the book but it is nevertheless one of the best books I ever bought. My daughter even knows that I will laugh when reading it, so it’s an added bonus.

The book is about a mother’s struggle to find some alone time and how her children disturb her at every single attempt of getting 5 minutes peace.

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Little Bunny’s Bedtime

litlle b bedtimeThis actually came in a book collection which contained 3 books, but this one is our favorite. For a time we read it every single night before bedtime and although we read it a bit less now, it’s still a proper go to book which is enjoyed by not only my daughter but also by me. The story is lovely and tells of a little bunny who can’t sleep and all his loving mother’s tries to get him sleepy. The illustrations in the book are super sweet and the length of the book is just right.

 

I hope some of you out there enjoyed these reviews, there are definitely many more books that I can recommend and I shall do some similar posts in future.

Since this is all about recommendations I would love to hear your opinion and would be very pleased if you leave me a comment of any titles you would recommend (adult or children books).

Posted in Uncategorized

Balcony Space – a little bit of Zen

I love creating a space which is ticking all my comfort boxes and therefore totally to my liking. I had this dreary balcony which was quite an balunloved part of my apartment. I moved into the flat in winter time so there wasn’t much thought going into of how to use the space but once the temperatures were starting to get warmer I longed for a peaceful outdoor sanctuary. So when spring made an appearance I started to be on the lookout for gardening shelves, garden furniture and the like. Albeit small stuff….it’s still just a balcony and not very big in size. But I have found that even a small space can make you quite happy. I found a rather cheap cast iron gardening shelve which I knew I had to have. In hindsight I do curse myself for not getting the matching corner shelf unit but hey. My sister has kindly given me her garden furniture set as she has upgraded to something on a much larger scale…lucky her. But lucky me too, because I got a perfectly fine set for free and mind you, I go all out with cushions and throws, so you barely see the actual furniture in any case.

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Bonnie enjoying the morning sun
Now flowers are probably the biggest part which make or break the area. In my case I started small. I bought 6 plants and quickly saw that those are not enough. So I bought another 6 which made it look better but I still missed greenery which I quickly found at a local garden centre. My most recent additions are herbs which unfortunately, not to my doing whatsoever, seemingly don’t make a recovery from their being drowned at the supermarket where I bought them. It’s a real shame. I am still holding on to them, just in case. But I know that at some stage I will have to admit defeat and let them go.

Now decorations are what I love to play around with. At the moment I haven’t accessorised the balcony as much as I would like to but it’s a start. My mum was even so thoughtful and gave me 2 garden ornaments which cheekily make an appearance on the shelve unit. I don’t know why she gave me frog ornaments though as I am terrified, yes terrified, of frogs and toads. I do however like the fat one with the crown on it, he is a fairy tale character, so I don’t mind him as much. The other one I don’t like and maybe, just maybe he will fall off the shelve. Bonnie will take the blame for it I’m sure, we are nonetheless as thick as thieves.

So away from creepy frogs and back to my almost toad free sanctuary. What I find gives the most comfort are the chair covers, lime green throws and the colourful rug. All of the fabrics, by the way, are from Ikea, so it’s not only cheerful but cheapful….I know that’s not a word.20160618_132514[1]

I love sitting out on the balcony having a nice cup of coffee or enjoying a glass of wine in the evenings when all the good children are fast asleep (at a most reasonable hour) ….which never happens hence why it remains a weekly item on my agenda.

But hey the perfect setting is ready….so for now that has to be enough.

 

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Posted in Uncategorized

Summer favorite – Birkenstocks

This is a super random post but something I really just had to mention as it’s a summer favorite item of mine.

Birkenstocks are truly a purchase that I will never regret. I did grow up wearing them as a child so their fit is familiar and comfortable to me. I let go of the style for a while in my 20’s as I guess I didn’t deem them stylish enough but I’m in my 30’s now and I don’t mind to rock them…. Yeez I’m going to say trendy next….

20160622_111812[1]I have a pair of Papillon Birkenstocks in dark green/pink. I fruitlessly tried to find a picture of them on the internet but since I got them years and years ago I guess they are not current. So you will have to do with pictures I took of my own pair and my own feet. Sorry to those who are grossed out by toes, I do wear nail polish …if that’s any consolation. Anyway, although I had them for years I never wore them. The other day I went through my summer shoe collection and there they were again. They really look brand new and finally fit into most of my style. I wear them almost daily to work as sitting in the office doesn’t require high heeled footwork and I found I needed shoes which give my feet the freedom to breathe. Ballerinas are my usual daily go to but I don’t want to end up with sweaty feet during summer.

The fact that the Birkenstocks are quite colourful is a plus for me as it means they go with 20160622_111834[1]most of my clothes. Even today where I wear khaki leggings I find the shoes accommodate the colours nicely.  Contrary to the usual style my Birkenstocks have 3 clasps not two. This isn’t a must but feels and looks better on me as my feet are quite narrow. So I’ve basically opted for the slim fit version of Birkenstocks, not that they advertise them this way but just my take on it.

Finally all my shoe hoarding comes in handy. It really does show that holding on to items for years and years can actually pay off. Now if I only find the mindset to “rock” my 10-year-old-only-worn-once pair of strappy high heeled sandals.…then I’m truly a lucky girl.

Posted in Beauty

Simple elegance….Soap

I came across this in the most innocent way…so let me tell you the story.

A couple of weeks ago I went to the doctors in the morning. I only needed to pick up a prescription so it shouldn’t take long and I therwaiting in lineefore crammed this errand in before I drive to work. So every minute counts. Thankfully the lady at the reception is a proper multitasker and had the 6 people ahead of me cleared in no time. With this added bonus I thought it would be even more of an achievement if I not only picked up the prescription but also to run to the pharmacy and get it filled. So off I went. Out of the stuffy practice, rushing down the many flights of stairs and into the already humid morning sun. By the time I got in the car which was stuffy and hot I was sweating. Not good. I break a sweat easy and it’s absolutely not on to be sweating before 9am. The only solution in my mind was to get a bar of soap and freshen up in the bathroom at work. I live in a village, so supermarkets and drugstores roger gallet soaponly open after 9am which doesn’t work for me as this is when I have to already be at work. Then I had a mind flash….I still had to stop at the pharmacy, this is my only stop before work and it has to be my saviour. Decision made… I would buy soap there….problem solved. I went in to the pharmacy which is highly impressive considering it’s a village where I live. They have separate sections for make up, all the good medical stuff, baby products and luckily for me a whole shelf unit for super pricey body care products. There was only one brand but they had different kinds of soaps to choose from. There was no price list and since I was in a bit of a hurry I decided to stick with my original aim of just getting a bar of soap, not a body spray or body wash as I knew it could be quite expensive and since this was an emergency buy I didn’t want to spend a whole lot. Now, the smell of just the bars or soap was amazing. Never in my life have I smelled any soaps as pungent in fragrance as those by Roger & Gallet. Yes, they are more expensive than your usual bar of soap BUT they are well worth it.

That day I was most taken by the lime scented soap, it’s called…..wait for it I have to look it up….”Fleur d’Osmanthus”…which means something to the effect of “Chinese Garden of Eden” but I only know that it smells divine. So I bought it which felt almost like giving a present to myself…that’s how taken I was by it. The soap comes wrapped in lime green silk paper and the one I purchased even had a travel box. So that’s an added bonus and makes me happier about the price. It’s still affordable and since bars of soap are kind of dying out I am glad I found this brand and will buy more.

I have since tried out the fig scented body lotion…do you want to know the French name for it?…..”Fleur de Figuier” which is a whole ‘nother level of a pamper treat and again I can’t stop raving about it.

I find these beauties would make an absolute statement when given as a gift. Sometimes you only need a little something to give, please consider this brand. They are amazing.

Posted in Uncategorized

My dorkie Yorkie – pet post

I wanted to do a post about a beauty product today… but I had to come to the realisation that the product I use isn’t available in this particular form anymore. Oh no. I wish companies would stick to their original plan and not just change it up all the time. When it comes to lip make up they always switch setups or change colours and something you loved and trusted is wiped from the shelves leaving you feeling stupid for not stocking up in the first place. But hey. Nevermind…..the product review will still go ahead but just at a different time….after I have properly researched the successor or my beloved lip balm…..

But then I thought why not make it a pet day instead? I’m in my thirties now but I think when you grow up with a dog, like I did, or pets in general, you are almost doomed to continue on to having animals share your life. When I had my daughter and when she was out of the newborn stage I knew it is time to add a dog. I know, that in itself scre

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Bonnie as a baby
ams lunatic!!!!! from miles away but I was still at home looking after the baby and when I would return to work it would only be part time….so I had lots of reassurance that the dog would fit into our life quite nicely. So in came Bonnie….a Yorkshire Terrier….and a whirlwind of naughtiness but cuteness.

I did forget about the puppy stage though…..They are incredibly needy little buggers when you first get them and obviously you need a lot of

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If no lap can be found to have a snooze in then Bonnie will opt for my favorite (fake) fur throw…the cheek of her
patience with house training. But having them destroy furniture, toys …..the garden bushes…..that’s really where it gets hard. And annoying, oh it can be so annoying for them to learn. I read that Yorkshire Terriers are quite hard to train, I think that’s a nice way of putting that they are a bit stupid and that they need not just several repeats to learn but lots and lots more….but I love my Bonnie.

The reason why I had to get a puppy and couldn’t go with a rescue dog is the fact that I have a toddler. I would find it too risky to bring in an animal where I don’t know its full history and unfortunately dogs from rescue homes have a sad and hard past. I will however, later in my life, when looking after a toddler is not my main priority, definitely get a rescue dog.

Bonnie has surpassed her baby stage and is 1 year and a half. I openly admit that I have failed her slightly in the training stages so that she still begs for food and barks when she shouldn’t. But she is a dog and not a human….so there you go.20151103_153305[1].jpg

She accepts that she plays second fiddle to my daughter and is very gentle with her. Once my little one, I mean my daughter, is asleep or napping, Bonnie will immediately jump on my lap to get her mommy-me time. Which is cute but leaves me with ZERO time for myself. Just kidding….At night, when I watch TV or read in bed, Bonnie is always right there….which is very comforting….and creates an “Ahhh” moment.

I don’t mean to ramble on too much, so I’m leaving you with a promise to tell you more about Bonnie. Her routine, her craziness and how despite all that she still is part of balancing my life.