Wednesday, August 26, 2015

First steps in journaling!

For a long while (months) I had been playing in my head with the idea of starting a journal, even if I'm not the most creative person when it comes to that. A few weeks ago I bought a purple Moleskine notebook with blank pages, convinced that this would get me started... and it did! I still don't know where this journey will take me, but so far the beginning has been a pleasant experience. Hopefuly this will improve my creativity and expand my horizons!








Do you keep a journal? Has something in you (or in your life) changed thanks to it?



Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday treasury: sea breeze

I'm not going to the beach on holidays these year (even if I have it one hour away from home), but all of these help me to imagine I'm there. 

Nautical Anchor Wood Art Prints - Rustic Nautical Decor - Beach House Decor - Anchor Silhouette Sailing Nursery Art - SKU: 042-B
$9.00
Mermaid Off Duty Tank Top, Mermaid Shirt, Tank Top with Saying, Graphic Tank Top, Workout Tank, Womens Tank Top
$24.00
Eco-friendly Artisanal Market Tote Bag / Organic Handwoven Natural Fiber Handbag
$55.00
starfish fossil soap dish trinket treasure aqua  crackle ocean  handmade designer  day at the beach ceramic  ocean designer
$16.00
MINT SEAFOAM Mexican Blanket Beach Blanket Vintage Style
$28.99
Stripe denim x Waxed canvas zipper pouch - Sailor
$45.00
Baja Starfish Hair clip, Barrette or Pinch Clip, nautical hairclip, beach wedding, mermaid accessories
$10.00
Aloha Sign, Hawaiian Decor, Beach Sign, Beach House Decor, Surf Decor, Surf Shack, Hawaiian, Hawaii
$24.95
Long layer necklace, slate and gold boho layer necklace, beach necklace, beaded necklace, gold beaded long necklace
$16.00
Straw Fedora hat with trim, Summer Fedora, Fedora Beach Hat, Chic Fedora,
$27.50
Illustrated Sailing boat sea and clouds temporary tattoo - summer nautical tattoo - wedding and occasion tattoo - Set of 2
$5.00
Whale Tail Bracelet - Nautical Bracelet Beach Jewelry Leather and Metal
$21.00

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

12 reasons why I love living in a small apartment




I live in a pretty small apartment. It has 70m2 (229sqft) in two separated levels, which means that the stairs are counted as part of the space of the apartment. At the beginning I thought it would be a challenge to fit everything inside and I was dreaming about the day where I could be able to move somewhere bigger, however I learnt to love small living and I found a lot of advantages to it, to the point that now I wouldn't want to move to a bigger place. 


12 REASONS WHY I LOVE LIVING IN A SMALL APARTMENT


1. It feels as cozy as a fort made out of sheets and pillows.

2. Cleaning up the whole place is really fast, so it leaves me free time to dedicate to other things that are more important.

3. Because of the lack of space It forces me to get rid of things I'm not using, so I declutter often.

4. When vacuuming I can reach the living room, the kitchen, the bathroom, the bedroom and the entrance using just one single electrical outlet. 

5. Finding new storage ideas improves my creativity.

6. It helps me live with less of everything and lead a more simple life.

7. Using the heater is cheaper, it doesn't take long to get the whole space warm

8. The same goes for the A/C in Summer, and because it's an open apartment (except for the bedroom) I can cool down the whole place with just the A/C I have installed in the second level.

9. When I lose something is easier to find, because there's less places to look.

10. When painting buying paint for the whole place is a lot cheaper. Is also faster to paint, so walls can change more often.

11. If I'm cooking I can control the food from almost the whole apartment without the need to actually be in the kitchen (the open space helps with that too)

12. Because it's enough.



Saturday, July 18, 2015

Book Review: This Is Where It Ends

Title: This Is Where It Ends                  
Author: Marieke Nijkamp
Genre: YA Contemporary/Thriller
Publication: 2016
Rating: 4 / 5 stars

The Cover 

I really like this cover, it immediately caught my eye and I can imagine it's like that for a lot of people. Besides looking great aesthetically, the different colors of chalk against the black background look great and I like that the fonts are kept white and rather simple except for the one that looks like chalk writing (which then brings the whole black background to another level). Further it really fits the story as well, the chalk indicates it's set at a school and obviously the broken chalk stands for the bullets but also for the broken characters. Really, very well designed.

The Story

This is the kind of book where you don't want to know too many things before going in and really you basically only need to know the premise of it so I'll just copy the summary from Goodreads here as it perfectly sums up what a reader needs to know before starting this on. It's hard to say more about this book without giving too many things away.

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

My Thoughts 

I randomly came across this book when I got an email from Netgalley with a read now offer for this book. The author's name grabbed my attention as she's Dutch and I was surprised to see an English novel from a Dutch author. The description of the book seemed intriguing as did the cover so I quickly clicked and was able to get an arc. I'm glad I did because I might have otherwise missed this one. It's not a book that leaves you happy, it's an edge of your seat read so make sure you got some time on your hands when you start this because you will not be able to put it away easily. The story is what it is of course, as you can gather from the summary it's about a school shooting which is obviously a tricky subject to write about I guess.

It's a compelling story though and it simply works. The writing flows very well and even though we get four different point of views it all works. Every chapter starts with a time indication and only spans a couple of minutes. We then get to read about the different things the characters are going through during those minutes. The time indication is really cleverly done I think, it's a neat way to get the reader deeper involved in the story. Further the author has made use of blog entries and tweets that make the whole novel feel even more harrowing as people tweet and write about what is going on in real time. I really liked Nijkamp's writing style, it definitely fit the story in the sense that she mostly uses short sentences that move the story forward quickly and conveys the characters feelings and thoughts very well.

The characters are super diverse which is awesome of course as a lot of YA novels feature the same kind of people but here we have a lesbian couple, POC characters, a disabled boy, and it's refreshing to see these kind of characters features. Here's to hoping there will be more novels like this because it's something the YA world needs. Through the four characters that tell the story, we get to know them: their current situation, their past through flashbacks, and they also all know the boy with the gun so we can create a picture of him in our heads as well. Although as I was reading I was thinking that a fifth POV from the shooter would have been interesting as well; we do get a lot of information about him but I would have liked to read what was going through his head when he did what he did. Also, even though we learn a lot about the four characters, I still didn't really feel like they were very distinctive besides their "things" to put it that way. It's an understandable choice though because the focus of the story is elsewhere and it's not a very long novel either, and the choice to concentrate on what they're going through is an understandable one.

All in all, this is a really thrilling read which keeps you on the edge of your seat. You'll cry, you'll be afraid, you'll wonder what you would do in the same situation, and you'll keep wondering what will happen till the last pages. If you think the topic of the story is up your alley and you know you won't be disturb by some brutal scenes, I definitely recommend this book. It will be published in January 2016 so you'll have to wait a while to get to it though but it will be worth the wait! In the meantime I'll be looking forward to see what Marieke Nijkamp will do next.

Thanks a lot to Sourcebook Fire for the free ARC through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

ATCs with book pages in the background

I haven't shared any ATCs in a while now,  so now that I'm trying to keep the blog active again I thought I'd share a series of them I made this Spring, all of them using old book pages in the background colored with the Tim Holtz "Peacock Feathers" distress ink. The ornaments I used are both from Fancy Pants (the first two) and Pink Paislee (the last one).










Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sunday Treasury: Lemonade!

What about a cold glass of homemade lemonade? With this heat I'd totally drink one right now! Inspired by it, here's this refreshing treasury. Enjoy!


Lemon Watercolour Painting Kitchen Art Cafe Decor 5x10 inch Print - Fruit and Veg Study
£6.00
Lemon To Lemon Wreath...
$95.00
Sweet Citron Green Tea • Loose Leaf Blend of Lemon, Lime & Orange with Green Tea • Refreshing Citrus Burst of Flavor
$10.00
Lemon Citrus Circle Stamp, Hexagon Wood Mounted Rubber Stamp
$12.00
Milanblocks Womens Woven Pattern Lemon Straw Handbag Cross Body Beach Fruit Clutch
$49.99
Lemon botanical illustration. Botanical print. Lemon illustration print. Home decor. Wall art. Kitchen decor. Lemon poster. Citrus print.
$9.95
Food Photography - Kitchen Art - Lemons Photograph - 8x10 Fine Art Photography Print - Yellow White Home Decor
$25.00
Vintage Green Lemon Juicer
$32.00
Crochet  toy Yellow lemons  /Set of 3 / Soft eco-friendly play food toy /  kid's room decor / kitchen Decor
$30.00
Lemon Lime Mason Jar cup  24 oz large to go Tumbler with fabric sleeve- travel mug - teachers gift - mothers day- candy swirl straw included
$14.00
OOO – plastic yellow lemon bag hand bag
$26.99
Lemon iPhone 6 Case, Botanical iPhone 5S, Lemons iPhone 6 Plus Case Summer iPhone 5C Case
$22.00
Lemon Hair Clip, Lemonade Hair Clip, Felt Lemon Clippie, Yellow Hairclip, Fruit Feltie, Embroidered Felt Hair Clip for Baby, Toddler or Girl
$3.50
Retro pyrex bowl / lemon yellow bowl / vintage pyrex bowl / yellow pyrex bowl / small mixing bowl / retro kitchen vintage kitchen small bowl
$12.00
SALE Today Only Flattened Sprite Soda Bottle Lemon / Lime Cocktail Garnish Dish
$13.59

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

DIY Vegetable Garden using Old Pallets




Living in an apartment something I really miss is having a garden (even a small one) to be able to grow my own vegetables and herbs. Luckily, we have a small terrace that can become very useful for gardening, specially if the use of the space is good. So far I had planted herbs in pots and even some tomato plants, but I was lacking of a good space to plant some veggies like lettuce. That's why creating a raised veggie garden became the main project last Spring.

Because I love anything that involves using old materials and converting them into something else, I thought that old pallets were the best option. Once varnished and assambled it looks almost as good as an store bought one, and way cheaper!

Here's some pics of the process, and at the end the final product. 














Before filling it with earth we put a plastic wrapped inside with a few holes do get out the excess of water. Once the lettuce was growing I covered it with a protective net to avoid the birds to eat it. If you want to make you make sure that you attach also some wheels on the legs, to be able to move it from one side of the balcony to the other. This is really useful in small spaces! The shelf under it is also really pactical to keep some gardening stuff.