Mug Monday & What I did while I was on my break

Mug Feature:    White porcelain mug with Alice in Wonderland motive: The Cheshire Cat

Book Topic:     What I did during my break


 

Heya! Welcome back to my long lost and nearly forgotten Mug Monday special.

How is everyone this beautiful Monday? I hope well.

As some of you might remember, I was on an apocalyptic book blog break. My time off wasn´t only used to refill my low running book blogging battery. I utilized my time away from my blog to catch up on my other passions. Like- spending time on Sky and Netflix and… to my utter shame… Youtube.

For some reason, I have a new fascination with watching beauty gurus and makeup tutorials. Now, I´m not a person who wears a whole lot of make-up. It´s mascara and blush for me, and that´s only when I leave the house.

Watching beauty gurus, though… It´s oddly satisfying. You get to listen to them talk about God and the world and watch them apply makeup like magicians. I admit- I tried a few things recommended by a booty guru and… well… Let´s say I´ll stick with applying facial masks. Moisturizing my face is a much safer option for me.

As of now my favorite beauty guru is Tati Westbrook.

 

She´s soooo pretty and comes across as a genuine person. And I would kill to have the ability to do my makeup like she does. * sigh *

 

Can we just stop here for a moment so we can appreciate this mug?

mug cat

I got this while I was in London in April. T´was a get a free mug if you purchase 30 smackers worth of tea deal. Guess who has lots of tea now * pointing at myself * So loving the orange Cheshire cat. ♥  

I´m going to be honest with you, though… This mug is not firm or sturdy and kind of gives the impression that it´ll break if I put too much tea in it. But the cat looks pretty 🙂

 

On to the next thing I´ve done on my break: Gardening

This might sound a bit boring ( and kind of is so I won´t blame you for skipping this part ) I found out that I don´t have a pitch black thumb. I´m normally the type of person who could kill plants just by being in the same room with them ( hence the reason why I don´t have any inside my house ). For years I´ve been the wicked plant witch. Now? Now it looks like I´m the veggie and fruit fairy.

Right now I have 4 hip high tomato plants, 1 outrageously large zucchini ( courgette ) plant, chives, parsley, mint, carrots, 2 blueberry bushes, 1 raspberry bush, 1 red currants bush, and 3 gigantic bean stocks.

I went from having a ghetto garden to having a miniature food court/ green jungle. Do you want to know how big of a deal this is for me? I have people stopping by and asking me what the hell happened to my garden. I kid you not. And I just stand there and give them a standard answer:

“I think it´s because I don´t go near them.”  I don´t want to take any risks so I admire everything from the window.

 

On to books!

Yes. Books. The one thing that hasn´t brought me any personal joy during my break. Well, I´ve overcome my funk. I´ve come to terms with not being able to read all my untouched reads. I´ve learned that life is about taking one step at a time. That includes reading. I seriously don´t want to end up being overwhelmed again so I´m entering the book world with baby steps.

Right now I´m trying to finish `When Ashes Fall` by author Marni Mann.

When ashes fall

I started this one a while back but had to put it down because…. ( try not to laugh ) I can´t touch the paperback. I´m NOT kidding. I have a problem with touching matt covers. I don´t like how they feel. I have to get out my cotton gloves to be able to touch any book with a matt cover. Since our temps are above 30 degrees I´m not too happy to wear gloves and therefore can´t continue to read any book with a matt cover.

 

 

But do not fear- I´ll finish the book sometime this year. Lol.

 

Okay- That´s a wrap for today. Monday can officially continue to give me hell.

I hope you enjoyed this week´s Mug Monday post. But before I leave…

 

How was your weekend? Did you do anything special? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤

 

Sending out many hugs and book love. Until next week, my dear bookish Padawans.

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A Book Blogger´s Voice

Book bloggers. You either like ´em or you don´t. You either enjoy what they have to say or you don´t. It´s as simple as that. * sigh * If only it were that simple.

Because these days, everyone has an opinion and people feel a desire to share their thoughts. Book bloggers, authors, food critics, makeup artists… everyone has something to say.

You don´t know this but… I´ve been receiving some negative feedback lately regarding my posts, and also some negative feedback on my personality. Emails, private messages… Basically every type of communication has been used aside from phone calls and public comments to tell me what type of person I am and that my content is harmful towards the people I supposedly target.

Normally, I´d wave those comments off, dismissing the hurtful and false accusations and not lose a minute of sleep over the fact that someone I haven´t had the pleasure to talk to face to face doesn´t like me or agree with the thoughts I share. But this time is different. This time I´ve slightly had enough of being told I´m cruel or hurtful, especially by people who´ve led me on for some time.

This has even gone as far as telling me my comments on fellow blogger´s blog content is questionable.

Here´s a list of accusations made towards my character / me as a human being:

  1. I come across rather aggressive
  2. I steamroll people with my opinions
  3. I´m arrogant
  4. I´m not likable
  5. I´m a shame to mankind
  6. I´m too opinionated

Now, I´m a confident person. I´m very happy in my own skin and I actually ( let´s all brace ourselves ) like myself. I don´t give two shits if I have floppy arms or if I have a flat tummy or not. I have 2 kids and I´m 36 years old. I have better things to do than to break my head over my body imperfections. I have a caring husband who loves me for who I am. I have 2 healthy kids who´ll hopefully become wonderful adults one day ( because I swear, we´re winging parenting. Everything´s possible at this point ). I´m also very fortunate enough to be able to do the things I love, such as book blogging.

In short- I truly appreciate life for what it is and find it a precious gift to be able to spend my time with the people surrounding me. Offline and online.

My focus is to share my thoughts with as many people as possible and find like-minded people who value and appreciate my thoughts / opinions. A huge bonus is when friendships form through blogging.

I don´t fool myself in believing everyone will like my content or will share my opinion. But I do welcome opinions of all kind… as long as they´re not aimed towards my personality. I work very hard on my blog. I spend countless hours reading and chatting with people because that´s something I enjoy doing. It makes me happy.

And then for people to knock on my internet door and accuse me for being a terrible person… That just pisses me off and makes me miserable.

But that´s the thing, right? The internet – It doesn´t give people the opportunity to truly get to know someone.

I get it. The internet is a playground. There are no rules. Everything is allowed. Which also means- strangers are entitled to do whatever the hell they want. I can´t and don´t want everyone to like me. Just as I can´t and don´t feel the need to have to like everyone I meet. If there´s chemistry- Great! If there´s nothing- Well, it was nice meeting you. This happens online and offline. It´s just the way it is. I do´t force bloggers to follow me or read my posts. I don´t expect to be understood all the time.  One of my favorite sayings are:

Never keep a cat from catching mice.

Meaning: I´m not keeping people from moving on. There´s the door. Just close it on your way out because I´m too lazy to get up.

Remember the part when I said I usually don´t let accusations get to me? That´s still true. I try to ignore negative comments aimed towards me, personally. What do I care if a stranger thinks I´m an awful person, right? But the accusations have been adding up. Even from bloggers who follow me.

I began doubting myself. What if I really come across as arrogant? What if I truly have a steamroll personality? And then I look at my kids while seeing these online written accusations in my mind.

You´re a shame to mankind.

You´re too opinionated.

You don´t accept other opinions other than your own.

 

It took some time to snap out of my funk. I shed a few tears and a few nights were spent talking to the husbutt about life in general. We talked about our goals and our achievements. We even discussed my blog and how I saw my blog in the future.

Would I still want to blog 4 years from now? Would I want to keep uploading reviews and reveal the nasty sides of the book universe? Certainly not if it meant receiving comments on my personality! So I came up with new ideas. ( which will be revealed soon )

We even talked about the comments I received… Not very long, though. It dawned on me very quickly that something wasn´t right. First off- These online people… the one´s who have low opinions of me, aren´t worth the time of my day. And second- Those accusations… They´re actually compliments. Because, yes!

I AM very opinionated. I always have been and that probably won´t change.  I grew up with a family who spoke their minds. I´m proud to be opinionated. I want my kids to be just as strong minded. If I have an opinion on something then I´m allowed to say what I think in a respectful manner. I don´t bullshit around, using a pathetic “it wasn´t my intention” excuse to mask a shit situation. People say things for a reason.

I DON`T steamroll over people. Some people just don´t know how to deal with a straight forward personality. I ask questions if I don´t understand someone´s POV. I dig for info because I like to understand. And I do so until I can see someone´s POV. That doesn´t mean my opinion changes… I´m just able to accept an opposite opinion better afterwards.

I DON`T come across as aggressive towards everyone. Some people are just too sensitive. Which is fine. To each their own.

I´m NOT arrogant. While I can see how others might think differently ( because it´s hard to tell over the internet, without seeing facial expressions and without listening to someone´s voice ) I can assure everyone… I´m many things- Arrogant doesn´t even make the list.

The person who claimed that I was a shame to mankind truly needs to rethink their anger. I was called that by a fan after I published a review for a popular book.

And at this point, I don´t really care if I´m likable or not. I´m human. I have feelings. I have my good days and my bad days. The bad days are reserved for the husbutt and my mom. Everyone else receives kindness and respect. Because why make the internet a shittier place than it already is?

I´m a book blogger. I love to read and review books. I don´t tell people I don´t like them. Who does that? Fine. Don´t like my blog or my posts, or whatever else I put online. But my personality?

I´m not the perfect mom and I´m far from being a fantabulous wife. I´m too short and I have a tummy flop. And who knows, I might even have floppy arms ( I´d have to check because I´ve never bothered to think about it ) I´m not a Wednesday Addams and I´m not Mother Theresa, either. I´m me. A woman most online people don´t know. Because I´m many things. Just not what I´ve been accused of.

So, to people who feel the need to give me their honest opinions on my personality…

You all still deserve to be treated with respect. I´m not sure about the kindness, though. Hmm, no. You don´t deserve my kindness. In fact- you deserve to become what you were to me before we crossed paths: Just another faceless figure I never knew existed.

Because the only problem I can see is this:

I´m confident. I´m outgoing. I love life and I certainly love to express my feelings when it comes to books. I love to chat and have debates on controversial topics. I guess you can say I´m an extroverted book nerd ( if there can be such a thing ). This can be seen as something terrible for over sensitive introverts who can´t understand the difference between confidence and arrogance.

 

The bottom line is…

If you want to be a good person- Be a good person. Just because you have a different opinion doesn´t mean others who don´t share your opinions are evil.

And PLEASE do NOT follow me on any social platform if you dislike my personality that much. Because I sure as hell don´t want to be confronted with assholes. Even if I can take it  I don´t enjoy talking to assholes.

If you´re opinionated and open-minded – STAY THAT WAY. It´s a wonderful trait to have.

Life is beautiful. Be accepting. Be tolerant. Be respectful. Be kind. Don´t be hurtful. And don´t be a fucking little internet shit and dish out your disrespect like someone would  hand out candy on Halloween.

I´m also not giving you the satisfaction of calling you out in public so you can have more reason to hate me. You sensitive lot don´t need to be humiliated. It´s a burden enough to have to live with yourselves and your vicious opinions you only share on the internet.

 

As for everyone else… I truly hope you never need to take this step and speak out like I just did. It´s awful. It´s draining. My deepest apologies for this long rant. But there are some things that I needed to get off my chest.

Hope you all have a wonderful day.

Much love,

Morgana

 

 

My Favorite Hiding Spots To Read

My second biggest issue as a reader. Finding hiding spots to read. Why? You´ll find out below. ❤

“Mommy!?”

“Dad, where´s mom?”

 

Those are the 2 most often asked questions in my house. I could be sitting on the roof and I´d still hear them call me. If it´s not the girls who´re looking for me it´s my husband.

“Honey?”

“Hey, I know you´re home! Your car´s in the driveway!”

 

The funny thing is, though, when I´m within eye-sight no one gives a hoot that I´m there. They only come looking for me when they don´t see or hear me.

But the big question is: Where am I when my family is on mommy/wifey hunt?

The truth? I´m hiding most of the time. Well, not necessarily hiding. I´m just in another room, reading or I´m actually being productive.

Don´t get me wrong… I love my little family to bits. It´s just when I want to shove in a chapter or two… they´re unforgiving.

Mothers face a harsh reality when it comes to reading. The easiest way to enjoy a book would be to read when there´s time. But what if you started reading a book and it turns out to be a proper page turner?

I´m one of those readers who can squeeze in a few pages / chapters no matter what time of day. I can read a page while stirring pasta. I can read a few pages while collecting dirty laundry my family so lovingly dumps all over the house. After 10 years I´ve become a master at reading while doing some housework. But still…

It´s hard to shove in some reading time when everyone´s at home. It´s even harder when the book I´m reading is so freaking awesome I can´t bare to put it down. Bedtime for the girls always feels like it´s light years away.

 

So, I semi hide from my family.

 

As a mom I´ve learned you have to fight for what you want, or be real sneaky about everything. Cookies, chocolate… I even have to hide the TV remote control. I love my little family but cut me some slack- I´m also a person with needs.

My favorite spot to read is, of course, on my comfy 3 seater but that´s usually occupied by 3 sloths named Eve, Lillian and Stefan. When do I read on my sofa? I hardly ever do. And if I do it´s way after my own bedtime because I still have the husbutt who likes to ask many MANY questions when I´m reading.

living
That´s officially / unofficially my sofa. The one I get to admire from a distance with a tear in my eye.

 

When my closest friends ask where I read I usually tell them “between the washer and dryer in the basement”. No one really knows how much truth there is to my words. No one but me and the sloths occupying the house. You see, the laundry room in the basement is officially the home of all the spiders in the world- according to my girls. They´ve seen 20 legged beasts wearing Elvis jumpsuits down there. That´s reason enough not to go down to the basement. Personally, if I would see bling bling spiders in my hiding spots I´d burn the house down.

spider panic

One would think the bathroom is a place everyone would avoid but nope. That´s where everyone heads first when they come looking for me. The bathroom is out of the question for quick chapter reads ( at least in my house). What about locking the bathroom door? People, I´ve tried that. A door will not stop the horde from asking questions. Because the door is not sound proof.

 

 

“What are you doing in there? Are you reading? How many pages does your book have left? Is the book good? I have to ask you a quick question. Honey, your left backlight isn´t working.” The bathroom is the new livingroom.

 

 

The Kitchen. To be honest- The kitchen is a room 2 out of 4 family members avoid. The only 2 who are constantly in the kitchen: me and my youngest. The other two think they have to help so they stay out. This is my shining hour because when I position myself in the perfect angle then no one can see me. So, technically, I´m not hiding. My family is just too lazy to walk into the kitchen and look around. They call. I don´t answer. VOILA!  Over the years the kitchen has become my new favorite reading spot!

kitchen
The books this wooden stool has seen…. the long hiding sessions this kitchen has witnessed.

 

My bedroom is holy. Like- holier than holy. It´s where I keep my sacred books. It´s the cleanest room and the only place where everything matches ( wallpaper, drapes, furniture, pillows ). Even my books compliment the interior. But I have glass doors. They can see me no matter where I am in the bedroom.

bedroom
The unluckiest room for reading in peace.

 

The only other place where I would be able to find some peace and quiet for a few minutes would be my car. Do I want to hide out in my car in the middle of winter? No book in this world would ever force me to sit in my car and read. I have my limits, too.

Granted- I don´t always hide nor do I always read. At least not 24/7. But when I do find a book worthy enough then I do take semi drastic steps. I often feel like I´m in the minority: A reading mom who struggles to take in a few chapters. But I also think the dark numbers of people reading like myself are high ( that´s what I tell myself so I can sleep better at night).

It´s also hard to hide at social gatherings, e.g. at birthday parties, holiday dinners with the family and at after -work parties. I´ve tried pulling out my phone and give the occasional nod or eye contact as if I were listening to any conversation just to read a few pages from a book…

…. but I got caught. After that, things didn´t go down so well for me. I am officially not allowed to read at parties anymore.

Do I belong in the minority? Am I hiding for nothing? The truth? It doesn´t matter.

As long as readers can make time for themselves, despite whatever circumstances… then all´s good.

So, what did we all learn today? The architect who designed my house didn´t include enough hiding corners. This house isn´t reader friendly.  We also learned that my family loves me so much they can´t stand to let me read for 10 minutes.

 

 

What I´d like to know: Do you need to escape every now and then to read? Do you squeeze in pages / chapters during the day or do you wait until you find lots of time? Tell me your secret! 

 

That´s it for today, my dear bookish Padawans. ❤ I hope you enjoy your day. Don´t forget to share the book love! ❤


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Book Review- Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women

Book Description

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a children’s book packed with 100 bedtime stories about the life of 100 extraordinary women from the past and the present, illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world. This book inspires girls with the stories of great women, from Elizabeth I to Serena Williams

My Thoughts

As a mother, I´m always trying to find ways to empower my two girls. I want them to know that they´re not on this planet to cook and clean for their future partners, nor do I want them to have the impression that girls / women can´t achieve their goals because of their gender. We live in 2018 so my efforts aren´t too tiring.

Now, I´m not a Social Justice Warrior or a 2.0 Feminist. I don´t rant about gender equality nor do I go on a strike at home, at work ( That would be stupid since I´m my own boss) or anywhere else.

No movement has ever helped me become the strong person I am today and I still don´t need a movement to help me achieve my goals. If I want something then I´ll sure damn well make sure I get it, just like everyone else.

So, with that being said- I want my girls to become strong individuals when they grow up.

Sometime after Christmas, Mirjam ( my dear friend and partner in crime) brought my girls a Christmas present. I´m always uncomfortable when friends of mine bring gifts for the witches because many just don´t „get them“. Mirjam does. And what a wonderful surprise she brought.

„Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women“ by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo.Goodnight Stories

I am in LOVE and so are my girls.

A beautiful book about international women who dreamed big and aimed high in their lifetime.

From Coco Chanel to Helen Keller. From Joan Jett to Jane Austen…. So many women who went against the stream and made a difference with their actions.

Each mentioned woman has a one page biography , including an illustration of said woman, with a glimpse of their lives including their achievements.

I cannot begin to say how often my girls sit on the sofa and read about Jane Goodall or Cleopatra and all the others with sparks of awe in their eyes. And at night, when they´re in bed, I steal the book and read through it myself because it´s THAT interesting.

A great, inspiring book for little women and even adults. I wish I could buy this book for my neighborhood just because it´s that well put together and fabulous.

Would I reread this book? I already am.

Would I recommend this read? Absolutely! There´s no way around it- Every little girl needs this book. It´s colorful, it spotlights many inspiring women ( besides Oprah. Oprah isn´t in this one.) and it´s also a great book for young girls to learn about historical figures ( Queen Elizabeth, Katharina the Great).

The Cover – 5 Stars ( It´s cute. It´s colorful. It´s busy but not pushy.)

The Stories – 5 stars ( Love. )

My emotional state after finishing this book: Happy I have a friend with such great taste and ecstatic I have a friend who shows love for my girls. I´m also over the moon with joy that this book exists for children!

I´m giving `Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women 5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase Links

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.de

Book review- The Break by Marian Keyes

Book Description

Amy O’Connell is living your typical modern life – harried, overfull and totally stressed out (more-than-occasional glasses of wine notwithstanding). Between a husband who has become withdrawn following the death of his father, three girls with various degrees of independence, a high-stress job commuting between Dublin and London, and the distraction of a colleague who may or may not be making moves on her – what’s a girl to do? Then Amy’s husband announces that he is taking “a break” – six months to go to the other side of the world and “clear his hand”. What the everlasting…..?

My Thoughts

Your husband wants a break. What do you do? Do you flip your top? Do you push him to go and enjoy his break or do you make him stay?

A break for me says someone in a marriage/relationship isn´t happy and needs time for themselves. I mean, that´s the only logical explanation I have because I, myself, have never been on one before so…. I got curious when I saw the book and read the synopsis.The Break

It´s scary when you´re married or in a relationship to think about a break when you don´t even need one. But what would happen if I or my husband would reach that point? Hof would either of us react? Would we survive? Or would we split up and go separate ways?

The ride home from the bookstore was gruesome, to say the least. I had so many questions and needed answers from the chick-lit I had bought.

I love Marian Keyes books. She has an amazing writing style. It´s truly a pleasure to read her stories because they´re so easy-going with the perfect amount of depth.

`The Break`was a fun and exciting read with so many feels. I had so much love and hate boiling inside me but then again- I felt alot of understanding for the characters and their actions.

( Not the break part. That crushed me.)

Without wanting to give anything away I would say this is a relatable read. The idea of a couple that loved each other to bits, even after so many years of being together, suddenly being challenged by one tiny life choice… plus the involvement with kids and work and everything else that comes with life is really not too far fetched.

My kind of Chick-Lit!

I did not only enjoy reading this relationship romance because it made me go through the „what if´s“ afterwards… I also enjoyed `The Break`for what it was- Entertaining.

It took me 2 days to start and finish 568 pages, and boy… was my heart all over the place.

The only complaint I have it that the end was a bit „So, this happens,… color out the rest for yourselves.“. The end didn´t quite get as much attention as I hoped for.

A reader gets alot of well written scenes on what happened before the break, during the break, and after the break. It felt like the real closure didn´t get a proper spotlight moment.

Nonetheless- I still enjoyed reading `The Break` by Marian Keyes.

Would I reread the story? Sure. Sometime in the future, most definitely.

Would I recommend this read? Absolutely. Although it´s a rather larger book it´s well written and the reading flow is great. Chick-Lit lovers will definitely get a kick out of this one.

The Cover – 5 stars ( A total eye-catcher. Simple, in-your-face subtle…. I love it )

The Story – 4 stars ( As a whole I´d say it was really enjoyable. But the end didn´t really do it for me. I expected more.)

The Characters – 4 stars ( Great. All aside from Amy´s husband, Hugh. Would have liked for him to have more… more…. more.)

My emotional state after finishing this read- Satisfied and waiting to read something new from the author.

I´m giving `The Break` by Marian Keyes 4 out of 5 stars.

Purchase Links

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.de