2018, January 5

My 2017 in books

In 2017, I challenged myself to read 25 books and made it one book past that, to 26 instead. It was a true challenge as unexpected circumstances got me depressed and in no mood to do anything, let alone sit down and read. So what I did read was both for fun and for work and barely anything stands out.

The total page count comes to 4417, with the longest book being “Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferris at 707 pages.

My top favorite reads of 2017 are:

  • “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert – I loved my friend Janel Gradowski’s, “Facing your fears”guest blog post inspired by “Big Magic” so much, that I looked forward to reading the book last year. I actually received it for my birthday in May 2016, except in Romanian which I didn’t care for, so it was really great to finally dive into it in English. I can honestly say I loved the book and Janel’s impressions of it are so very true.
  • “House Sitting Secrets Revealed: Learn to excel at house sitting from a successful full-time house sitter” by Crystal Gabrielle – This is one very long title, but I absolutely adored the book. I have a friend who house sits on a regular basis and I’ve been asking her questions sometimes, and have to admit was at times jealous of her being able to visit so many nice places and explore those cities while she’s house sitting. I loved the book because it explains so well what house sitting means, it is full of examples, resources and of truly great tips and advice drilling down to the specifics for those who wish to pursue this as a side-hustle or even as a full-time endeavor, while still remaining an easy read.
  •  “That Was the Year” by Jenny Bravo – I looked forward to reading the newest novel in the TATM series which I bought right after it was published in December 2016. It took me back to my younger years, it was a somewhat frenetic read, but a good read about friendship with romance thrown in, which is how life turns out to be so often.

Below is a print screen of all the titles I’ve read last year. Take a look, and check out the list itself on Goodreads. Who knows, you might see something you’d also like to read.

Now, please let me know in the comments below how many books you’ve read this past year? And what are your favorite reads for 2017 (or previous years)? Don’t hold back, I always love a good book recommendation!

I am challenging myself to read 25 books in 2018. Here’s hoping it’ll be much easier than it was last year.

Here’s to a great 2018, filled with lots of reading!

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2017, December 29

Happy New Year, the travel writer’s way

It’s been three years since my boyfriend and I started travelling over our New Year’s holiday time. We are currently enjoying Skopje, Macedonia.

I still want to wish you all a very Happy New Year and wonderful 2018 ahead – the travel writer’s way.

Go on over to Milliver’s  Travels to read about our New Year’s Eve, 2015 trip in my travel article, “Spending New Year’s Eve in Budapest, Hungary”. You won’t regret it.
Happy 2018, everyone!


2017, December 22

Merry Christmas, the travel writer’s way

This Christmas, I want to highlight a couple of awesome pictures my friends took. 

So if you want, go read my short article, “Funky Decorations: Holiday wishes, the travel writer’s way” over on Milliver’s  Travels to see them.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!

2017, December 15

Broke the BF ice skating

To the question “What have you been up to last ice skating season?”, the answer is “I broke the BF.”

He was already off from work, while I would be off starting two days later. However, I figured taking a break and going with the BF to run an errand, we could stop at the ice rink together. He liked the idea.

We were on the ice for about 15 minutes. He fell a couple of times, but was fine. Then I turned around for a minute, and he fell again, hitting his head.
He was fine, nothing major… but to this day, and probably until his last day on Earth, has a scar from the cut he got next to his right eyebrow.
It bled a bit back then, because of the sensitive area it is in, but hasn’t swollen, which was good. He kept saying that I should go skate more, he’s fine, and I kept saying “No, we really need to go sit you down. Besides, you might scare the children skating around us!” I am not even kidding – a mob of children have gathered around him in no time asking what happened and if there were any gory details to it…
I know logically it’s a natural thing to fall on ice, and he’s still being cute making jokes about it and not blaming me or anything, but oh well.

I haven’t asked him to come with me again after that day. Nor did I ask anyone else. I went alone, one session almost every week of the season.

This season? I’m going alone still! We’ll just have squash, hiking and cycling as sports activities to do together.

2017, December 1

Curious Holiday List time

As I did when first introducing this cute little idea-book years ago, I’ll share one of the list titles from the book and the content I came up with. Then, You let me know in the comment section what Your lists would look like.

I opened the book to page 109 and then chose the upper-right title, from the chapter “Lists for Holidays”.

I really have no clue what words might actually be uttered at a Shakespeare Society holiday party, but the below were the quotes I thought of when associating Shakespeare and the holiday season.

Quotes uttered at a ‘Shakespeare Society’ Holiday Party:

  • At Christmas I no more desire a rose
    Than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled mirth;
    ~Love’s Labours Lost (Act 1, Scene 1)
  • I see the trick on’t: here was a consent,
    Knowing aforehand of our merriment,
    To dash it like a Christmas comedy:
    Some carry-tale, some please-man, some slight zany,
    ~Love’s Labours Lost (Act Five, Scene 2)
  • SLY. Marry, I will; let them play it. Is not a comonty a Christmas gambold or a tumbling-trick?
    PAGE. No, my good lord, it is more pleasing stuff.
    ~The Taming of the Shrew (Intro, scene 2)
  • Have I lived to be carried in a basket, like a
    barrow of butcher’s offal, and to be thrown in the
    Thames? Well, if I be served such another trick,
    I’ll have my brains ta’en out and buttered, and give
    them to a dog for a new-year’s gift…
    ~Merry Wives of Windsor (Act 3, Scene 5)

Our modern conception of Christmas is more tied to “A Christmas Carol”, by Charles Dickens rather than Shakespeare.

Back in the court of Elizabeth I, Christmas and New Year weren’t celebrated as we do today.
Christmas was popularized in England when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert started following many of the German Christmas traditions about 200 years after the death of Shakespeare.

Your turn. Ready? Go! :)

2017, November 24

The 12 Days of Love Letter Writing, 2017

For the last six years, More Love Letters have been putting a bow on the holiday season by rolling out 12 letter requests over a span of 12 days. I first took part in 2012, after writing my first love letter, then again each Christmas time, and along the years I chimed in with letters just by browsing the Letter Requests page.

The 12 Days of Love Letter Writing is a perfect way for one to show up this season and help people in need around the world. This year it’s taking place during December 4-15.

Each day, More Love Letters will publish a new letter request to the More Love Letters blog.

Love Letter Writing To-Do List:

One

Sign up here.

Two

Whip out fancy stationery.

Three

Clear out time to write love letters.

Four

Optionally, snap a few photos and tweet them to @moreloveletters or post them to their Facebook Wall.
Use the hashtag #12DaysMLL

Five

Write one letter or submit a note to all 12 bundles! The choice is yours!
All letters should be postmarked by December 20, 2017.

Your love letters will be bundled up with other letters from across the world and delivered by the new year!

 

2017, November 17

Fall visit to the Iasi Botanical Garden

On a recent trip to Iasi, my boyfriend and I took delight in visiting the botanical garden. Its beauty, and especially the flower exhibition which was organized at the time, immediately made us wish we had similar exhibitions in our city as well.

Until then, we’ll just have to remember this one and look at the lovely pics often!

Want to see my pictures and read about it? Come on over to Milliver’s Travels where my travel article, “Autumn Flowers Exhibition, Anastasie Fătu Botanical Garden”, is live and very colorful.

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