Look what happened now...
Hey! How are you?
If the rest of this year passes as fast as Janurary did then I'm in serious trouble!
I had guests for 2+ weeks and worked. The house was full of people, plus some stayed down the street at a B & B. So there was lots of laughing, eating and visiting going on! It really was an amazing visit!
I blogged about some movies to watch with your BFF here and also reviewed a random movie a friend recommended to me here. I also managed to do some used book shopping.
I read a bit and owe you several reviews. Hopefully later this week I will get those out. The top book on that pile Hounded by Kevin Hearne was recommended by one of my friends here for the visit. She knew I would like it and she was so right! I'm already reading the second one in the series and buying the rest!
We decided to eat healthy for this adventure so I mostly cooked. We wolfed down nice cream and smoothies everyday as well as homemade soups, Buddha Bowls, vegan cookies and lattes. I didn't take many pictures because I was busy eating too, lol!
We ate a LOT! I think we went through approx. 40 pounds of bananas in two weeks! It's hard to tell because I had a lot of produce before we began this adventure, lol. Everyone seems to be happy eating plant based vegan and no one went hungry.
The downside though, one person caught a cold and before you knew it we all had it. I finished off the month in bed, but at least I had a lot of new books to read.
I'm excited to see what February brings.
See you at the airport~
So I’m wondering, how do you feel about New Year’s resolutions?
My 2017 resolution was to stop spending so much on printed books and working so much. I actually went on a book buying fast for several months in 2017 and cut way, way back in 2018. It was difficult because I so love books, but it is made easier when I think about having to either ship them or store them when we move again.
And the working so much? Well, I have taken a bit more time off and am back to daily walks, which help me handle the stress a lot better. Just getting away from my desk and out in nature has made a big difference.
I also vowed to eat better - which I'm still enjoying. :D
Some resolutions really change your life, others not so much. So for 2019 I am working on buying used books (cheaper and recycling is always a good idea) and also being picky about how many I keep. I'm going to continue eating the clean, veggie rich diet and make more time to travel. I think we may visit Sweden this year as well as some short trips in the US.
So how about you? What are your resolutions and are you keeping them?
It seems ludicrous to think I went on a "book buying fast" for most of the summer, doesn't it? I stayed away from Amazon (for books anyway) and did my best to avoid books stores, not that those really exist anymore. So just recently I've started shopping again. (You can read about the fall mini book haul here.) I held back, so it's a short post, lol.
Part of my recent promise to myself has been to stop working so much and find time to do things I love. I have put so much on the back burner lately because of work, but now that I am taking time to read, make art and travel again I feel so much better! #WIN
So far I've read two books from that mini haul.
The first book I read was this delightful book on Frida and Diego by Catherine Reef. This is a lovely book filled with the artists stories, photographs, history and art.
Frida and Diego by Catherine Reef
The second book I read this week was Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
This has been on my list to purchase for sometime, but I never seemed to remember it at Amazon. The used bookstore had a well read copy for $1 so I couldn't pass it up. Next I will probably buy in hardback.
Now I'm off for a mini road trip~ Have coffee, can travel!
So I am off my "book fast" and currently building my TBR stack. I enjoy spending time browsing online and in person at used bookstore because you never know what you will stumble upon.
Some authors might argue that books shouldn’t be sold in this manner since they don’t earn royalties on used books. I understand that, but as is the case with libraries, used book stores are a great place to discover authors and their work and add to your collection. If you are like me, once I find an author I like I usually purchase the entire catalogue.
Today's treasure were:
Another reason I'm drawn to used books is they offer a sense of their personal history. “To Jim, with love, Margret” makes me wonder about Jim and Margret and about their connection to the book. How did the book find it's way here? How many hands did it pass through?
I rarely see a book with lots of highlighting and comments in the margins. Most often they maybe a bit worn from repeated reading, but I actually take that as a positive sign.
So other than book shopping it was a normal day of work and usual errands. I plan on taking next weekend off to read and finish the details of my upcoming December trip.
After much research I have narrowed it down to two lovely guests houses for my next trip. This weekend I plan on booking one as I map out the rest of the adventure. This jaunt has a lot of moving pieces as I have a multiple state expeditions planned and have to schedule in work around sightseeing.
I know by December I will be ready for some warm weather, but I'm happy now to pull out the boots and jackets.
The fall weather is so nice! I dug out warmer leggings and last years boots earlier in the month and was pleased to see the boots are now a bit big on my legs. #ThankYouYoga
While I'm still not where I want to be, the scales has finally started tipping in the right direction. Plus I feel so much better as well. Between yoga, walking more and eating better I feel much more like myself again. Now I'm ready to go adventure!
Just as I was ending this entry, the post arrived with MORE BOOKS!
See you at the airport (or a used book store)~
This dish was super easy and quick to make. I roasted garlic, asparagus and grape tomatoes in the oven while the couscous was cooking. (It was seasoned with green onions and veggie stock.)
Then plated the couscous and put roasted veggies, more green onions and slivered almonds over the top. #WIN and instant favorite!
Meanwhile the rains have started.
So I'm not complaining at all.
Catch you later-
How are things? I'm catching up on my book reviews today, both here and at Goodreads.
According to the site I've only had time to review nine books this year. Of those some were really amazing...while a few let me down. (See below for one that really sucked ass.)
Two of the books I recently read were written by Kim Newman and one is a "collection". One of the Newman books is part of the Anno Dracula series, (which I love! ) You can find my review of book two of the series here and book one here.
While reading the first book I knew I wanted to read the entire series, so I've been collecting them.
This book is number three in the Anno Dracula series.
Judgment of Tears by Kim Newman
This book was also released as Dracula Cha Cha Cha in the UK. I started reading this series and was immediately hooked. I really enjoy the authors witty style of including historical and fictional era characters in the story along with a good mystery and lots of twisty plot turns. It's not your typical Dracula saga at all and if you are a Twilight fan - you will hate this.
Angels of Music by Kim Newman
I read this book because I'm touring Mr. Newman's catalogue, lol. This isn't part of the Anno Dracula series, but familiar characters do pop up. The book is a collection of stories set around the Phantom of the Opera and the women (Angels) he employees as spies, assassins and general heroes. Most of the cases are of course, paranormal or have a paranormal twist.
UGH! File this one under NO, Just NO!
This book wasn't what I thought it was, I thought it would be actual stories of camping, hiking, outdoor adventures with the paranormal or at least “urban legends” type stories. It was more like a middle school collection of short, classic (read old), ghost stories, mostly taking place in the UK. So if you are not familiar with the horror of overgrown hedges or abandoned manor houses it won’t really scare you. Some of the stores were well written, but not any more frightening than normal ghost stories you would tell around the camp fire. I’m donating the book to a school library.
But fortunately look what just came in the post today!
I hope all is well in your world? Life is great here. Work is good, weather is pleasant and I've a trove of new books, lol So it's time to ask that question, "What have you been reading?" Do you have any new recommendations or books to share? Cause I could always use another for the TBR shelf.
Currently I've changed my work schedule I have more time to read. #win!
So I've a few books to review.
This book is number two in the Anno Dracula series. I read book one here if you want to read my review.
The Bloody Baron by Kim Newman
I read book one and was hooked on the series and the authors witty style of including historical and fictional era characters in the story along with a good mystery. It's not your typical Dracula saga at all and if you are a Twilight fan - you will hate this.
Tokyo on Foot by Florent Chavouet
Another book I found via Goodreads. One of the people I follow had pick it up on a whim and reviewed it. I instantly fell in love with the sketch art. The artist/author is Florent Chavouet a French author who spent six months staying in Tokyo. His humor and insights make for a fun read, but the art and the energy he captures make this a treasured travllers book.
Part two coming soon!
See you at the airport~
How can March almost be over?
This month has flown by!
So how has your month been? March has been wonderful for me. Work is going great, lots of good things are in the works (more about them soon!) And I even found time to read a bit. #WIN
More book and product reviews soon.
Plus more travel tales and more all around randomness!
Catch you Later~
March is always a busy month, but that doesn't mean we can't still eat good food, yeah? So to prove that - here is a mini vegan food diary. I have tried to cook more and eat less take out. Plus be more creative and try new recipes.
I like to have stuff on hand for when people stop by. Stuff that is easy to cook and also doesn't scare the non-vegans. LOL So I bought a new pantry friendly burger mix. It actually tasted okay, kind of bland, but with pickles, onions and peppers it made a tasty burger. I'm gonna keep some on hand for surprise company.
Now I'm feeling inspired to try more new foods. Gotta go cook - catch you later!
So how is your week going?
We are enjoying the rain today! It's been awhile (maybe a month?) since the last real rain. It's not cold enough presently to snow, but the rain is more than welcome.
People here do not often drive in the rain, so it's the best time to go to the market or get errands done. But actually the pull to stay home and call in sick is strong, lol
(I'm acting like a local, lol)
In my defense I have new makeup to try and a pile of books to read, lol. I was planning on taking a break from purchasing both this month, but that didn't last a week! #FML
I'm not a fan of reading about wars. So it doesn't interest me and I do not know enough about the history to know what is satire and what is fiction. But I will do a full review soon of this book, plus the other two I've read this month.
And yes, I did go out in the rain.
From what I understand, the after-the-rain smell is actually a complex equation. See the smell changes based on the acidity of the rain. Because of chemicals in the atmosphere, rainwater tends to be somewhat acidic, especially in urban environments. Have you noticed different cities smell differently?
When rain comes in contact with organic debris or chemicals on the ground, it can cause some particularly aromatic reactions. It breaks apart soil and releases minerals trapped inside, and it reacts with chemicals, such as, I don't know, say petrol and this changes the scent, too. These reactions generally produce more unpleasant smells than bacteria spores, which is why the after-the-rain smell isn't always pleasant. But just like the smell caused by spores, the smell of chemical reactions is most noticeable when it rains following a dry spell. Since it does not rain often here, normally the scent is very distinct and took some getting used to.
(I burned a lot of scented candles in the beginning.)
Another after-the-rain smell comes from volatile oils that plants and trees release. The oil then collects on surfaces such as rocks, which we have plenty of. The rain reacts with the oil on the rocks and it becomes a gas. This scent is one that most people consider to be a pleasant, fresh smell. It has even been bottled and sold!
The after-the-rain smell in the UK and EU is different from the smell after the rain in south Texas, Washington state or Florida. So it's crazy when you talk about the after-the-rain smell with someone else, you may mean one thing while your friend is thinking of something else entirely.
Welcome to my travel blog, my healthy Vegan lifestyle blog and my life! It's a lot, but it's my passions and I just love to write about it. Here I share tips, stories and photos from my adventures and life. This is the place where people can find daily inspiration to travel and motivation to live healthier lives and laugh a bit too!
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