Mini Reviews [4]: January edition

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The first month of the year is already over! Well, I say “already”, but January definitely felt like it was longer than 31 days, didn’t it? Have we uncovered a conspiracy here?

One of the reasons why I think January was longer than most months is that I managed to read six books this month! That’s pretty crazy for me – even though two of the books were graphic novels/comic books. It was a wonderful month, reading-wise, and I figured a good way to update you on all the books I read is by doing another round of mini reviews.

So, since we’ve got six (!) books to get through, let’s get to it!

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Spiced Apple Tray Bake

I finally baked something again this week! It’d been a month since I last baked anything, and much longer since the last time I tested a new recipe and I was starting to experience withdrawal symptoms. Truth be told, though, it was nice to take a little break from baking and go back to appreciating how much I truly love it, instead of feeling like I “have” to bake something, either for my blog or because I promised someone.

To ease myself back into the whole baking a recipe-making thing, I decided to start with something simple. We had a very cold, snowy week in the Netherlands this week so I was craving something with a ton of spices to go along with it. You know, the kind of baked goodie that makes you feel warm inside. I also love to bake with fruits, so I tossed in some apples. And that’s how I ended up with this spiced apple tray bake. It’s simple, it’s yummy, it’s warm and, above all, it’s delicious.

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10 Books I Want to Read in 2019

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I’ve seen a lot of people make lists of their most anticipated books coming out in 2019. I love seeing people all excited about new books! Some of them have me doing a happy dance as well (On the Come Up, anyone?), but I have to admit I’m not very up to speed on what books are coming out when. I’m still trying to get to books that came out in 2017 (and way before that).

In other words: I tend to be more of a backlist reader (backlist = books that haven’t come out recently). That doesn’t mean that I’m not excited about (finally) getting to read some of the books on my shelves, though, so I figured I’d share with you the ten books I’m most excited about reading in 2019.

Let me tell you; it was hard to keep it to just ten! There are easily twenty books on my shelves I would love to be reading right now. I also kind of told myself I need to read more of the books that are already on my shelves before I can go out and buy a ton of new ones. There are a couple exceptions, of course. Some books you just have to get, ya know? There’s no way I’m instating another book buying ban – that’s no fun!

Anyhow, let’s get to my list!

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What’s Happening in 2019?

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Happy New Year, everyone! It’s January 2019 and what better time to reflect on how things are going and what I want to change or keep doing in the new year than now, right?

At the start of 2018, I wrote a post about how I most of all wanted to have fun. Reading, baking, and blogging are my hobbies, so I didn’t want them to become a chore or something I felt like I had to do. I’m pleased to say that worked out quite well! I didn’t pressure myself into reading a certain number of books throughout the year – instead, I just read what and when I wanted and that resulted in me reading 50 books, which is 15 more than last year. Quite a good outcome!

The whole “keeping it fun” thing did mean that I didn’t post on the blog very regularly. I often didn’t have the energy to write new posts after a day of work and sometimes I just didn’t feel like it in the weekends or on my day off. There were times when I felt bad about that, but mostly I just let it go. I really enjoyed the posts I did write, and that was much more rewarding than putting up half-hearted posts just for the sake of it.

Which brings me to what’s going to happen in 2019.

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Looking Back on My Reading in 2018

My Reading in 2018

It’s the very last day of 2018 and what a year it’s been! Actually, I’m not in that much of a reminiscent mood this December. The year had its definite highs and lows, but I don’t really feel like dwelling on them, so I’m not going to! I’m excited for 2019 and I’ve got a lot of plans, but we’re going to talk about those in another post. One thing I do love looking back on is the things I read in a year, so that what’s were going to do today!

I’m going to look at Jamie/The Perpetual Page-Turner’s End of Year Book Survey for inspiration, but I’m not going to do the whole thing because it’s long and I only have an hour before having to get ready and leave for New Year celebrations #oops.

So, let’s get to it!

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My Thoughts on Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas (with spoilers!)

This review contains spoilers for the entire Throne of Glass series, including Kingdom of Ash itself

Aelin has risked everything to save her people―but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. Aware that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, though her resolve begins to unravel with each passing day…

With Aelin captured, Aedion and Lysandra remain the last line of defense to protect Terrasen from utter destruction. Yet they soon realize that the many allies they’ve gathered to battle Erawan’s hordes might not be enough to save them. Scattered across the continent and racing against time, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian are forced to forge their own paths to meet their fates. Hanging in the balance is any hope of salvation―and a better world.

And across the sea, his companions unwavering beside him, Rowan hunts to find his captured wife and queen―before she is lost to him forever.

As the threads of fate weave together at last, all must fight, if they are to have a chance at a future. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever in the explosive final chapter of the Throne of Glass series.

First published: 2018

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What I’ve Been Up To [6]: Guinea Pigs!

I love guinea pigs. Anyone who knows me well knows this about me. I used to have guinea pigs as pets as a child, but the last one passed away about a year before I moved out of my parents’ home and since then I’ve been guinea pig-less. Having a guinea pig cage in student housing isn’t the best idea, so for the past couple of years, I’ve had to make do with following a ton of guinea pig accounts on Instagram. Which is fun, too!

But a few months ago my boyfriend and I moved in together into an actual apartment with actual rooms and stuff. It’s been quite exciting. This also meant that I could finally get guinea pigs again, though, and after careful consideration of the responsibility it would take as well as spending some time convincing my boyfriend, we decided to go for it! Last weekend, we visited a guinea pig shelter and brought home my two new best friends: Arthur and Ziggy.

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Recipe: Kinder Bueno Brownies

Who else is loving autumn? I’m definitely enjoying the colder weather after the insane summer we had. But most of all, I’m enjoying the warm sweaters, hot cups of tea and delicious baked goodies. It’s cinnamon season! As I’m typing this, I’ve got a mug of apple cinnamon tea sitting beside my keyboard. Autumn definitely is the cosiest season – and I love me some cosy.

The recipe I’ve got for you today definitely fits with this image, although there’s no cinnamon involved. Instead, you get lots and lots of chocolate!

This is a recipe I thought of a little while ago. I love Kinder Buenos and I think I was eating one when I suddenly thought: Kinder Bueno brownies! Best idea I ever had? Maybe. It’s definitely up there. Although I must admit I was a little surprised by how the soft hazelnutty stuff inside the Kinder Bueno changed consistency – that was not part of my plan. But apparently, the stuff hardens when you bake it! It’s not super tough, or anything, but it’s definitely no longer runny. Still definitely delicious, though.

As with any brownies, this recipe is very easy to make. I whipped it up right after I came home from work because I needed a sweet treat for friends who were coming over for dinner and a film. This was perfect because it takes very little time and the result is amazing. I took the leftovers with me to work and my co-workers were very happy with me that day!

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Five Year Blogiversary + Giveaway

5 YEAR BLOGIVERSARY

It’s time to celebrate because today marks Books Baking and Blogging’s fifth anniversary! That’s right, I’ve been keeping this thing going for five whole years now. I’m as surprised as you are. A lot has happened in those five years since I posted my very first post, but this blog has been a constant throughout it all and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, let’s look back over the years, shall we? Keep reading until the end to find out how to enter the giveaway!

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