Saturday, January 31, 2015

Mixed Shelf #24

Recently I've been craving fantasy series again. Some new -to me- ones have caught my eye, but I'm also determined to finally get round to all the books in some series I started -and enjoyed!- years ago but never managed to actually finish.

Wanting: Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
I've been hearing so many great things about this series. In short, it's about a kick-ass girl dressing up as a boy so she can train to become a page, while her twin brother takes her place as a girl so he can go to a convent to learn magic. What's not to love? I mean, if that's not a premise that's intriguing from the get-go, I don't know what is.

Reading: The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
I just finished re-reading this book. It had been almost a decade since I last read it. Last time around I didn't get to the sequel, but this year I plan on finishing the whole trilogy. I do have to admit I did not enjoy this book as much as I did the first time. Partly because it wasn't a surprise anymore, partly because I found the ending very cringeworthy.

Waiting: Inkspell by Cornelia Funke
Another trilogy I've owned for ages, but only ever read the first book of... I remember loving Inkheart (also roughly a decade ago), and I do plan to re-read that one as well before finally moving on to the second book in the trilogy. I actually haven't got a clue as to what might happen in the rest of the series, but I think I'd like to keep it a surprise.

Have you read any of these? Or can you recommend any other series?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Lovely Movies: Kiki's Delivery Service

Sorry for another hiatus. I was forced to hibernate and take it easy, but I hope to be back blogging now… Anyway, I finally found myself a Kiki's Delivery Service DVD and watched it recently. It was just as lovely as I hoped.

It's quite unexpected that a movie about a teenage witch should be one of the most normal Studio Ghibli films, but somehow it is. It is still very imaginative and enchanting, but not quite as crazy as some of the others.

This might actually be one of my favorites though, and I expected as much from what I had heard about it. It had so many lovely things in it! Including a gorgeous painting! If I could get a huge print of it, I'd hang it above my bed.

As always I recommend the original version, but here's the US trailer:

Anyway, this is an adorable story with lovely characters and I already know I will watch this over and over again!

Have you seen any Studio Ghibli movies recently? I plan to watch all, and I think I'm about halfway there now...

P.S. There's also a non-animated remake of this story, but it seems they ditched Jiji, her cat sidekick, which is quite a shame!

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Oh my goodness! I just found the cutest Etsy shop! If you know me at all, you have figured out that I adore fairy tales and have a real weakness for cute jewelry. Well… LaliBlue combined the two in such a gorgeous and unique way!

Not only are the illustrations amazing to begin with, but the way they are incorporated into the (already adorable) wooden necklaces, leads to absolute perfection! There's so much attention to detail, depth and great color palettes.

There are a lot of interesting ones to choose from, but it would be hard to name a favorite! Little Red Riding Hood is incredibly cute, I always adore Alice in Wonderland, but I just love the waves and shape of the Pinocchio necklace...

And if you were to check out the actual LaliBlue website, you'd find even more jewelry! This brooch stood out to me, for instance, because: a) fellow braided brunette b) fellow ukelele/guitar player and c) the most adorable little owl!

But there's lots more, including the pieces below. And that's only from the jewelry part of the shop!

Yes, there are even other items as well! So you should really just check this shop out for yourself. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Mixed Shelf #23

As you could see in my Christmas gifts post, I was lucky enough to receive the Puffin in Bloom books. Not only are they stunning, but I'm so looking forward to reading all the stories! Needless to say, I started the first right away.

Wanting: the Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Another classic I am very much looking forward to is the Secret Garden. I did quite recently purchase the movie, but I might order the book soon too, and read that first. And if I do, I'll definitely go with the Penguin Threads edition above, which looks like it has an embroidered cover. Even the inside shows the back of the original embroidery.

Reading: Heidi by Johanna Spyri
I can only describe Heidi as adorable! Her enthusiasm is very contagious and inspiring. She's not always rewarded for her impulsive actions, but she sure is fun to read about. Anyway, I know some things about the story, but am thankfully still unaware of how it'll end. Although I'm sure I'll find out soon enough. I don't have many pages left!

Waiting: the Lottie Project by Jacqueline Wilson
Now that I rekindled my love for Jacqueline Wilson books, I picked up my old copies from my mom's place. I hope to re-read them soon. Starting with the Lottie Project, which was probably my favorite. I don't recall the entire storyline, but I do still remember a couple of things, and I am 100% sure I absolutely adored this book. I hope I will even now!

Are there any children's classics -or newer releases, for that matter- that you really enjoy?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Owl Things Considered

I've seen some relatively cute scarf hangers, but I never knew they made owl-shaped ones. And with rhinestone eyes to boot! It sure is too pretty to hang in the back of your closet. This deserves a prime spot on a wall or door, I think.

Anyway, they're available at ModCloth.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Lovely Movies: Pride

This is one of those amazing "stranger than fiction" events I didn't even know of until this movie came out (no pun intended). Once upon a time one guy urged the gay community to support the miners, and it changed history.

When I saw the trailer, I knew I had to go see it. It looked very promising, and it was made by the people responsible for Billy Elliot, which was an amazing movie as well. Anyway, it was even better than I expected!

It's one of those films that hits pretty much everything on the emotional scale. It had incredibly funny moments, incredibly sad ones. I also loved that it didn't really have a main character, but that it alternated and focused on the overall story. Anyway, highly recommended! But bring tissues... for both crying and laughing!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Mixed Shelf #22

On a bit of a whim, I ordered a recent release of one of my favorite authors growing up. I absolutely sped through it, and actually already finished it this week. It was wonderful, so I thought I'd still share it in a Mixed Shelf post.

Wanting: The Penguin Complete Novels of Nancy Mitford
I have to admit I'm actually quite unfamiliar with Nancy Mitford, however the things I did hear were positive. Apparently she had a wonderful sense of humor, which makes her high-society satire stories very entertaining -and incredibly fast- to read. So I am quite intrigued. And the wonderful cover doesn't hurt either, right?!

Reading: Opal Plumstead by Jacqueline Wilson
As mentioned, I used to love Jacqueline Wilson! And as it turns out, I still do! This was a marvelous read. I related to Opal on a bunch of levels, and  share her passion for art, fairies and women's rights. I got so invested in this story, that I could hardly close the book at night. To sleep again, I resolved to reading the last 150 pages one afternoon.

Waiting: Three Novels of New York by Edith Wharton
I don't think I need to explain this was a cover-buy. Even the back contains a beautiful illustration instead of a synopsis, as do the gorgeous French flaps. As a cherry on top, it has deckled edges! Also, it was an absolute bargain, so I really could not resist. I do, of course, intend to read it as well. They are well known classics after all.

Have you picked up any childhood favorites again recently? Or have you read any of the authors above?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2014 in Books

I knew up front that 2014 was going to be busier than the year before, so I set my reading goal at 35 books, instead of 50. I actually managed to surpass that by reading 7 more, which makes for a total of 42 books in 2014!

You might wonder why one pile is facing the wrong direction… Well, I got a library card this year, and those are stand-ins for the books I borrowed and returned. If you're really curious you can check my goodreads for all titles.

As for favorites, there is one book I really loved that I'll share with you later on in the year (as I have yet to give a copy to a friend of mine and don't want to spoil the surprise), but there's another one I adored too, and that is Lost Cat by Caroline Paul.

It is a non-fiction book about the author's cat running away and her trying to track it down. There's a lot more to it actually, but that should give you an idea. It is illustrated by Caroline Paul's partner, who experienced everything first hand as well. Anyway, it was wonderful! Funny, touching and a little sad at times. I'd recommend it to any cat lover!

How did your reading go in 2014? Was there any book you particularly enjoyed or would like to recommend?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

In the Mail… Christmas Edition!

So I'm a little behind on my Christmas posts, but I received some amazing gifts that I'd still love to show you! A very dear friend from the US sent me some things that just arrived recently, and they were very much worth the wait.

Everything was beautifully wrapped in the cutest papers and ribbons. Such a treat to look at and open! And the insides were amazing too! I got a stunning silver owl mug, along with chocolate-y treats and even hot cacoa mix to go in it.

In the United States a lot of people make it a tradition to give each other pyjamas. No one does that were I'm from, so I was really excited to be part of that tradition once, and receive three beautifully patterned flannel pyjama bottoms!

Hot drink? Check! Lounge wear? Check! All I need next is books, right? And maybe an owl ex libris sticker set? Yes!

But my friend also took care of any actual reading needs, because I got those gorgeous Puffin in Bloom books I am so smitten with. I had the feeling they'd be amazing, but to see them in real life… wow! They are fantastic!

And there were more owls… This gorgeous barn owl plate. I love how it's lifelike, yet really colorful at the same time!

Apart from the beautiful plate, there was also an adorable little hedgehog dish. It even has some slight 3D effects!


My lovely friend Amy also sent me some adorable things for Christmas! I got a teeny tiny owl planner that will come in very handy!

And a gorgeous notebook with the most beautiful patterns on the outside as well as inside, on every page even!

Anyway, as you can probably guess, I was over the moon with all my Christmas gifts! Did you get any in the mail too?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Christmas Gifts!

My mom and I had a lovely little Christmas at my place this year. It was small, but sweet, and we both gave each other some wonderful gifts! I, for instance, received some awesome owls, including this beautiful owl lamp I had asked for.

There was also a gorgeous little purse, that can be hung around your shoulder, or used as a clutch. I love the floral pattern on it, and how the three-dimensional flowers almost make owly ear tufts.

She also surprised me with a handy owl box that opens like a book. Quite the perfect gift for an owl-loving bookwurm!

How did you celebrate the holidays? Did you get any nice Christmas gifts from your family or friends?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Tea Tag!

Amy from I Am Adorakable tagged me to do this tag… And since I'm a big fan of tea, I was quite exicited to join in!

What was the first kind of tea you ever had?
I honestly don't remember.

Where is the best place to have tea - At home or in a coffee shop?
I think at home, because I have tons to choose from and it's so much cheaper. However, there are some coffee shops I do love because of their great loose teas… so I make an exception every now and then.

Do you prefer hot or cold tea?
Hot, I'm always cold myself, so I can use the extra heat.

When do you drink tea - Morning, afternoon or evening?
All day long. I rarely drink anything else.

What is your go-to tea?
Herbal tea. What kind usually depends on the time of day. I mostly drink ginger, fennel, chamomile or Vata tea.

What is your favourite seasonal tea?
I still fondly remember Celestial Seasons' Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride. They only sold it here for one year, but I recall it was amazing! Otherwise, chai.

What do you put in your tea?
Usually nothing, although I like mint tea with honey(which I also use in other teas when I have a cold).

Do you prefer your tea strong or weak?
Weak, except when it's a mild and sweet herbal tea, then I often let it steep a little longer.

How did you get started in the wonderful world of teas?
I just drank a lot of tea and seemed to get more and more excited about new ones I saw in shops.

What kind of tea are you most keen to try?
Amy mentioned almond tea. I did already drink something with nuts in a coffee shop a while back, which was amazing!

What is the worst tea you've ever tasted?
I bought this beautiful looking box of white tea. And though I expected something really light, it turned out to be very bitter and dark.

Do you prefer loose tea or teabags?
Teabags. Though I love the fanciness and ecofriendliness of loose leaves, it's such a hassle if you drink tea all day every day.

Teacup or mug?
Mugs. And I've got tons of them:)

Best night-time tea?
Fennel. Or Marks & Spencer's Chamomille & Lavender.

What is the number one tea you would recommend?
Vata tea! It's an ayurvedic tea, which is supposed to be good for Vata-type people (they believe there are three types of people that should follow different diets), but even if it shouldn't do anything for my health, it still tastes freakin' amazing!

If they're interested in answering these same questions (really, no pressure!), I'd like to tag: SianJenny, FeeMiki and Ariel. And I recommend you check out these lovely ladies if you haven't already!

Also, do you have anything to add? Or any tea you'd recommend me?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Mixed Shelf #21

This post is a few weeks late, but anyway... As an experiment I read a bit of a creepy book. It was definitely an addictive read, but I'm also quite happy to be reading something a lot more mellow and upbeat again now.

Wanting: Perla by Carolina De Robertis
This is a story about a girl from Buenos Aires. Her parents were very much in support of the dictatorship. Then one day a visitor that makes Perla question everything arrives, and it leads to her making some very big changes. Anyway, it sounds like it might be an interesting read. I might have to see if the library has a copy I can read...

Reading: Night Film by Marisha Pessl
Ok, I'll be honest and say that this book kept me up one very stormy night. After a full day of reading (and stopping at the scariest point) my mind kept going back into the story and my thoughts actually sounded like the narrator from the book. Very creepy. Anyway, I prefer Marisha Pessl's first book, but this was good too. Also, it had a very cool app!

Waiting: White Oleander by Janet Fitch
2015 is going to be the year I finally read some Janet Fitch! She only has two books, so I might very well read them both. I already owned her other book, but found White Oleander in a free library book case this summer. It made me so happy, because after seeing the movie years ago, it was already on my wishlist. I think I will read this soon!

How do you deal with creepy/heavy books? Do you enjoy them, or do you prefer lighter reads as well?

Friday, January 2, 2015

A Brand New Year!

In December I felt sick and overwhelmed, which -combined with celebrating the holidays- led to me neglecting this lovely space online. I am very excited to get back into it though! And I thought I'd start with a New Year's post.

It definitely wasn't all bad, but all in all 2014 was no picknick. In fact, it was one of the hardest years of my life. (With a lot more responsibility and a lot more health issues.) However, here are some milestones and happy memories to look back on:

  • I moved into my own apartment.
  • Adopted a wonderful cat. His name is Tofu, by the way!
  • Decided to get more serious about making music.
  • Met lovely bloggers in real life.
  • Went to a bunch of bookish events and read a lot.
  • Permitted myself to knit with more luxurious yarns.
  • Won a real Marc Jacobs bag.
  • Treated myself to a movie theater membership.
  • And received wonderful emails and snail mail from some of you guys.

Given my current condition, I don't want to put too much pressure on myself. In fact, it's pretty tempting to not make any goals or resolutions, but I do want to accomplish some things in 2015. So I'll try to focus on the following:

  • Finding a good routine that works for me, so I can rest enough, yet still do the things I need/want.
  • Continue my musical adventure and make some progress in writing/performing/recording/etc.
  • Get my studio space in order. I moved about a year ago, but it's still a storage space now.
  • Keep making social plans and spending time with lovely people.
  • And really get back into blogging. Because I just love it!


How did 2014 treat you? What were some of your highlights? And do you have any plans or resolutions for 2015?


Anyway, I want to thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. I hope you'll continue to read Blue Eyed Night Owl in 2015, and I just want to wish you a very happy, creative and wonderful new year!


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