Look what happened now...
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.
How's your weekend going?
I've been waiting for this one. No appointments scheduled and no work, just time to chill. #BIGWIN
One of my goals for 2018 was to get back into a regular exercise routine and also carve more downtime out for myself. Running two full-time businesses keeps me very busy, but I have hired more folks to help me and I can finally start to relax again. The weekends are MINE! lol
Don't get me wrong I did take off some in 2017, and I even managed to exercise and loose some weight. But everything was based on when I could find time, and that was not as often as it should have been. So Saturday I was up early for yoga, meditation and to enjoy the fiery sunrise.
One thing about living in the southwest is the sky, it's rare to see the sunrise or sunset without being moved. It's usually very dramatic and will inspire you, (as it has done for countless artists), to be more creative. If you really take the time to be present, it will also foster an appreciation for nature and our place in it, too.
One of my friends in Paris sent me a picture this morning of his sunrise in comparison, I'm not gonna post it (because it's not mine) and because it was a dull, gray, overcast day complete with drizzle. Don't get me wrong I love Paris, and I also love rainy weather, *which I miss here. So it's a trade off.
But I feel truly blessed to enjoy the best of both world.
(Read between the lines: I will be returning to Europe soon.)
So other than sunrise yoga, my weekend goals are to climb into my new books and practice the art of siestas, lol.
This is the second and third book in the Anno series. I wrote a review here and told you how much I liked this authors writing style, yeah? Well, when I find an author I really like I proceed to buy everything in their catalogue, so far I'm three in and he hasn't disappointed.
I'll do a proper book review next week, but so far I'm enjoying the book and looking forward to reading more in the series.
Now I'm off for a coffee with a friend in ABQ. I hope you are enjoying your weekend and find time to watch the sunrise/sunset.
This is my 8th blog post of 2018. Last year I blogged 127 times, that makes 10.58 blog posts per month, almost 2 blog posts per week. HEY THAT’S NOT BAD. Considering that it is a luxury to actually have time to sleep.
I even made the effort to update the look of the website and added video headers, plus some new pages. I have also opted to add a few affiliate links. I’m actually not sure if I want to continue them, we shall see. I also tried to refrain from bitching about work and being constantly exhausted all the time.
My 2018 new year resolution is blog at least 3 posts per week. I have never really cared if anybody reads this silly little blog, it has been more about documenting some of the places I’ve been and the insights I’ve had. So I am always surprised that people do follow. I want to say a BIG THANK YOU! 🙂 for your continued support.
Okay back to reviewing 2017...
This is somewhat surprising.
We are still here, on the outskirts of Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. I post mostly landscapes and of course food picture from here or random selfies, lol.
Honestly I am so in love with the mountains and the blue sky here and of course the house. We have a nice garden and mostly this feels like heaven. So I try to keep the house tidy and minimal even though it's big 2 story with 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and a huge bonus room I use for an office, but I don't actually talk much about the house. The kitchen is nice, much better than what we had in the UK, but not as well thought out as the kitchen in France. But it works for us, as you may have noticed I am sharing more food picts and recipes.
More Vegan Food
I have posted more and more vegan recipes and cooking stuff in general this past year. Mostly because I have been home more and have the ability to cook more. I still want to remind you I am NOT a food blogger.
I think I have taken more selfies in 2017 than all the past years combined. Remember when you wondered what I looked like? Yeah, those days are long gone.
But back to my hair, it is still blonde - And yes, I’m bored with it. I considered cutting it off this year, but I think I will wait another year. It grows pretty fast though and if I do not flat iron it you
can see it is really thick. Using the flat iron may make the style look better - but I hate how thin and flat it looks. :(
Travel in 2017
Travel this past year was sparse. Well, compared to other years when I'm running back and forth to NOLA, Florida or France. But I did mange a few adventures...
Janurary here in central New Mexico started out snowing...
I am still impressed with snow.
It was fun for a few days and then it was over. #Goodtimes
Jan - left the odd snow storm and headed to New York City. It was dark, cold and snowing there too. But New York is always amazing no matter what the weather is like.
This trip was part busines/part fun.
In February we left the dark and flew to Iceland.
This was a destination that's been on my son's bucket list for years, but I was not that excited. But guess what? I LOVED IT!
And totally not what I expected. It did snow while we were there, but we still managed a night trip to see the Northern Lights. We stayed 7 days and it was not long enough. I'm sure we will return soon.
March was a short Vegas get away and April was me at home planting a garden and experimenting in the kitchen.
May I had company and showed them around the area here. You can read about it here. I also started a mini food diary to share what I eat (people still ask) and what I typically purchase at the market.
August I began "What Are You Reading?" A quick review of my recent reads and such. Work was still very busy, but I made my mind up I was going to make time to read and relax more.
September another review and of course the hurricane hitting my home in Texas. I actually didn't talk much about it. Maybe this year I will be able to share more, it's just completely overwhelming. STILL.
October was Halloween and I was supposed to go to NOLA for a right old party, but I came down with a bug and spent it in bed. #FML (But look out this year!)
November I blogged about American Myths and more book reviews. We debated on going somewhere exotic for Christmas, but decided against it. After spending the holidays in Europe and other amazing places it was nice to just stay in and chill for a change. We did explore around the area, here some. Check out this short video if you want to see an ancient Native American site we hiked.
I also posted more about my not so secret love of flowers and house plants this past year.
So I posted more about gardens and houseplants than ever before. It's not quite an obsession, but almost.
So all in all it was a great year. We didn't travel as much as usual, but that's okay too. I'm so thankful we are able to live in a nice place, with lots of natural beauty and good people.
I'm also thankful for you, taking the time to read my silly little blog. I appreciate it and the encouraging emails I get from ya'll. Thank you for your friendship and support!
Do you have big plans for this year? I can't wait to see what adventures 2018 will bring!
See you at the airport-
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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