Sometimes, I just suddenly get a very strong urge to bake cookies. This only happens with cookies, strangely enough. Never with muffins, pies, cakes… No idea what that’s about, but when it happens, I just roll with it.
A few weeks ago on a Friday, I got the Cookie Urge again while I was at work and I decided to prepare cookie dough that evening and then bake the cookies the next morning (they turn out the best if you leave the dough in the fridge overnight!). I decided to try out something new, and I remembered the double chocolate chip cookie I’d had at Subway (no spon – but wouldn’t that be cool) the other day. Those cookies really are amazing, aren’t they? And the double chocolate chip is definitely my favourite.
So, I decided to bake my own double chocolate chip cookies and they came out amazing! There’s just something about that combination of dark chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips. And I don’t even really like white chocolate!
I had a bit of a hiccup along the way in that I found out I was out of plain flour when I’d already started baking. Whoops! I did still have wholemeal flour, though, so I used that instead. They still came out great, but a little more tough and dense than I’d imagined them to be. I put “plain flour” in the recipe because I still think that works best, but this proves you can definitely use wholemeal too! If you use plain flour, your cookies will probably spread a little more than mine did.
Anyway, enough babbling. Let’s get to the recipe!
While January seemed to go on for ages, February felt like it was over in a heartbeat. I blame it on those three days we didn’t have. I didn’t read as much in February as I did in January, but I did have a ton of fun reading! I read what is now a new favourite classic, and I finally read Landline, which had been sitting on my shelves for a good long while.
I also really enjoyed doing these mini reviews wrap up style last month, so I think I’m going to keep on doing that! Although, I’ll still be doing occasional full-length reviews for books I really have a lot to say on (I’ll be finishing On the Come Up by Angie Thomas later today – you can bet I have a lot to say about that!).
Anyway, on to the books!
Landline by Rainbow Rowell ★★★⭑☆ (3.5)
After my fantasy-heavy rotation in January, I really felt like reading a light contemporary novel at the start of February and Landline was the perfect pick. Rainbow Rowell is one of my favourite writers, but I have to say I’ve loved her YA novels much more than her adult ones. Fangirl and Eleanor & Park are both favourites of mine, but Attachments and now this one, while definitely enjoyable, weren’t that memorable to me. I love Rainbow Rowell’s writing, especially her dialogues and she also writes amazing characters. They’re always interesting and Georgie and Neal in Landline were so well-rounded and vibrant. I loved getting to know them and their relationship better throughout the book. It was a wonderful, flawed, realistic love story. Apart from the magic phone – that’s the one thing that just didn’t really do it for me.
As most of you will know, setting monthly TBRs (To Be Read) is a thing in the book blogging world. I love seeing what other people plan on reading that month, either on Instagram, their blogs or YouTube. It’s always fun to see people get enthusiastic about books they really want to read.
I rarely ever set monthly TBRs for myself, though. However, lately, my feelings on TBRs have changed a little.
I did it, guys! My holy grail, my unicorn of baking, has been captured. I finally managed to make a near-perfect macaron (over 20 of them actually)! After five attempts (divided over about as many years) that ended in differing degrees of failure, I can finally say that I have baked a successful macaron – and could probably do so again, meaning it wasn’t a fluke. Who knew I had it in me? I certainly thought it was a lost cause.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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