What I’ve been up to this summer

To those who follow this blog, maybe you might have noticed that I have not been the most consistent blogger this week (not that this fact was new, because before summer I wasn’t all that consistent or present either, but this time I have a reason which changes things! (right?) ). This is where I tell you what I have been up to these past couple of weeks!

Around the end of July a friend and I went roadtripping through Ireland for a week and that was amazing! We had great weather, we saw beautiful nature and just had an all round epic time! The people were really friendly as well, as everyone told us they would be.

Here are some pictures:

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Killarney National Park, such a beautiful lake!

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I think this was some where around the Ring of Kerry, but I could definitely be mistaken!

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This was at the Cliffs of Moher, which was awesome! It wasn’t this misty all the time, it cleared up every now and again, but having a misty photo is a must when you go to Ireland!

Afterwards I stayed with my mum for a week because we were both home alone and we decided to team up instead! I’m really happy I went there because we just had a really nice time and the weather was pretty decent as well so we could go swimming together in the nearby lake and stuff like that (my boyfriend generally doesn’t care for swimming, so this was a nice change from that!).

Directly linked to the week where I stayed over at my mum’s with my mum, I stayed over another week there, but this time with my boyfriend and without my mother. She was on holiday with a friend and she asked if we could take care of the dog and cats while she was away. And so that’s what we did. I love those animals dearly, but they are a lot of work! Especially when you have to fit everything around your working day. But we came through unscathed and had a lot of time in our tiny zoo!

And now we’re back home and there has been work, I’ve been swimming, I’ve been getting ready for my 10K run, I’ve been meeting with friends and family, in short I’ve been busy this summer and I’m loving it.

What have you guys been up to recently?

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Inside & Out Book Tag

So, I came across this tag on Fictional Living and it looked like a fun little tag. so without further ado, here are my answers:

1. Inside flap/Back of the book summaries: Too much info? Or not enough?

In general I think it has enough information, though sometimes I come across a synopsis which in my opinion gives a bit too much information (like a certain plot point that I would like to have discovered on my own). But what sometimes feels as too much information upfront can just mean that there are more surprises inside, which makes it alright.

2.New book: What form do you want it in? Be honest: Audiobook, E-Book, Paperback, or Hardcover?

I love hardcover books, just because they are sturdier and stay prettier over time. But I really enjoy paperbacks also because they are generally cheaper but also a lot more easy to read (no heavy books to hold for hours on end!). Seeing as I generally take my e-reader with me to pretty much anywhere (you’ll never know when a reading-opportunity will strike) I really enjoy e-books as well, though they can’t be added to your library which is a shame. Audiobooks is something I don’t have a lot of and don’t really listen to that often, so this is, for me, the least fun format for books.

3. Scribble while you read? Do you like to write in your books, taking notes, making comments, or do you keep your books clean clean clean?

I have never written in books if they weren’t books for school. I’m thinking of starting to add tabs to my books though because I really love quotes and I just want to keep better track of them in my books. plus I think it would be nice to be able to go back and just browse through some curated beautiful moments/quotes in my books.


4. Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female when you’re deciding on a book? What if you’re unsure of the author’s gender?

This is never a deciding factor for me. I never pick a book up based on the gender of the author (nor do I ever not pick up a book over this). I pick books based on many different things (have I enjoyed this author’s work before, does the synopsis sound good, did someone recommend it to me, does the cover look beautiful, etc.)

5.  Ever read ahead? or have you ever read the last page way before you got there? 

I only do this accidentally when a certain paragraph or dialogue will catch my eye while reading. I will flip to a next page and my eyes just catch on something in all caps or with some indents or something. Though this has definitely happened less since getting my e-reader because I see less text at once.

6.  Organized bookshelves, or Outrageous bookshelves?

I try to keep my bookshelves organized now that I have new ones (and don’t have to stack my books three deep). The only problem is that when I buy new books I don’t immediately put them in their place (it’s a fair bit of work seeing as I arrange my books on author’s names) so it always gets a bit out of control after a while.

7.  Have you ever bought a book based on the cover (alone)?

Not that much. Usually it goes along with a good review by someone. I have added many a book to my TBR based on just a cover, though when actually buying books I’m a bit more selective.

8. Take it outside to read, or stay in?

I like both. Inside can be so nice and cozy, I especially love it when the weather is horrible outside. But reading outside, in the garden, sitting under a tree with a nice little breeze can also be a lot of fun. The only really important thing is that there is not a lot of distracting noise.

Alive and blogging?

So, it seems that I have been gone for a little while (because in all honestly, is 8 months really that long?!). This temporary leave of absence was very unplanned but welcome at the same time. My eagerness to blog was starting to diminish somewhat, combined with the fact that I wanted a bit of a contextual makeover here on the blog, as well as me moving out and getting my own place with the Boyfriend were the most active reasons as to my unannounced hiatus. At first I was just mostly busy tearing off wallpaper,repainting, buying furniture, collecting cutlery and lamps to miss blogging too much. Then I was just busy adjusting to running a household, admittedly sharing it with someone helps a lot! And after being all busy with these things I fell into a bit of a creative slump blog-wise. I really wanted to update the type of content I was putting up here, but I was at a loss of how I wanted to go about this. This also coincided with me being in a reading slump, so on top of not knowing how to write it, I didn’t even know what to write about!

But here we are again, alive and blogging!

Does this mean that I now have a complete idea as to where I want to go with this blog?
No. However, I have a general idea of what I want to put up here. I want to do more relaxed book reviews. I love talking about books but it just started to feel so forced that it wasn’t as fun anymore. So I will definitely continue talking about books, albeit in a more loose way. Being someone who really loves quotes I want to make that a regular  feature of sorts. Discussions are also something I really enjoy doing, though I feel that doing those on my own makes me run out of steam real fast. So I’m actually looking at some bookish friends to see if they are interested in joining me from time to time with these discussions to just keep things more lively.

Besides bookish things I want to start talking about other things as well. I have been doing this for a bit, but I just want to expand on that even more. I think it would be fun to give the whole blog a bit more of a personal touch by talking more broadly than I did before.

 

I hope that my blogging break did not scare you away and that you’ll still be up for joining me here on Rantings, Ravings and Ramblings!

Rambling: Quilting

So I think it might be about time for me to talk about another passion of mine: quilting. While you might not think of this as the most glamorous hobby, let me try to persuade you to change your mind about this. Let me tell you why I, as an unprofessional and pretty recent hand-quilter, like to sew pieces of fabric together and show them to all of my friends.

1. THE COLORS

Honestly this could just be me, but seeing all the things that are out there I hardly doubt it. I love the colors that you shamelessly get to combine while quilting. Obviously this is a very personal thing though. Some people like more laid back colors, or some sober colors, while I’m firmly on the opposite side of the spectrum. I love my colors bright and flashy.

2. THE DESIGN

Designing the quilt is a lot of fun. I always have so many things that I wish I was working on that it’s tough to decide what I’ll start on next.  On Pinterest I have a special quilting board and it’s just bursting to the seams with inspiration for what I could do after this project or maybe the one after that. In some quilts I love the pattern, at other times I’ll love the color combinations. There’s just so many beautiful work out there that sometimes it feels a little daunting to get started myself. But it’s not stopping me. I’m just soldiering on and doing my own thing and getting better with everything that I do. For me the design definitely takes up a good portion of my time. I change my mind pretty often, and I love having things planned pretty far ahead. I also just love the planning, it’s almost as good as the quilting itself.

3. THE WORK ITSELF

For me working on my quilt is therapeutic. It helps me to relax while still keeping me occupied. Once I get started on the patchworking I take my work everywhere with me. I have a multitude of different sized boxes that I stuff with my quilting work and drag along with me pretty much everywhere I go. Sitting in the car for an hour? You bet I’ll be working on my latest project. And how cool is it that at the end of the ride you have created something beautiful that you can share with your friends and family?

4. COMBINING IT WITH READING

Yes, you read that correctly. I combine quilting with reading. How you ask? Audiobooks of course. It’s the perfect combination of passions for me. I have a slight attention deficit problem when it comes to just listening to audiobooks. But if I combine it with working on my quilt, I can actually listen to the story without getting distracted by anything around me. And it helps me to relax even more and get to reading some new books as well (or re-reading Harry Potter because Stephen Fry and his beautiful reading make it worthwhile every time).

5 TIME TO SHARE

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This was the first quilt I ever made. I’m still super happy with the colors in this and how beautiful it came together. DSC_0255[1]DSC_0254[1]

This is the second quilt I made. I used the paper piecing method and fell in love with it. It’s just a lot easier in my opinion, especially when you are using geometric shapes that are more difficult to draw correctly over and over again. Quilt number 3

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This is a pillowcase that I made for my father’s birthday. The colors in this quilt were picked to match his interior (of which I don’t have any picutres, so you’ll have to take my word for it) and it really matches beautifully.

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This is a quilt that I’m working on for a friend. I tried my hand at quilting with my sewing machine and found out that it’s not really my thing. Plus I had some accuracy issues as well, but maybe that was just my lack of technique. In any case, I like using the paper piecing method a lot more.

Odense, Denmark

So yes, I have missed a couple of posts. But I have a perfectly good reason to have done so, I promise. From Tuesday to Tuesday I have been on holiday to Denmark. I was staying with my friend who lives in Odense. This is apparently the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen and he even moved back here at a later age as well. The town is littered with statues that bear his likeness or that depict characters from his many stories. You can visit both his birth house and the house he himself lived in as a grown up. Both have become museums as a testament to what he’s done. Many places and things have been named after this celebrated writer. But even Copenhagen bears a tribute to this wonderful man with a statue of him on the main square.

Besides looking at the life of Hans Christian Andersen, we also visited Legoland (because how could you not go there?!). Then we also went to Copenhagen and even popped over to Sweden and visited Malmö. (I saw so many things from The Bridge that it made my little fangirl heart swell with joy!)

All in all my trip was great, even though the weather was cold, windy and even rainy. I had a lot of fun with my friends and have been recovering from all that fun ever since I have gotten back home. On Monday I start my fulltime job so that will be a big change for me as well. I hope I’m ready for that next step in life.

I hope everyone has been having a wonderful October and a great Halloween!