Monday, December 30, 2013

Music Monday #42

Yesterday me and my friends went to the theater to see The Hobbit pt. 2 The Desolation of Smaug which was a really good movie. At the end I heard this song which I already had heard before but had forgotten the lines of, so I couldn't look it up. As soon as I got home I looked up the song again and I love it, I've been playing it all day long now.

Ed Sheeran - I See Fire

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with family or friends!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Music Monday #41

Laurena - Permafrost

A new book blog

All book and writing related posts will be posted on Books are stories from now on! I want to keep this blog more focused on baking, crafting, photograpy, traveling and inspiration and on my new blog I won't have to feel like my bookish ramblings are out of place. You can also find a link to my other blog at the top of this page.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas cards

For my friends I drew some cards with christmas trees on them. Eventhough they're not as pretty as store bought cards I always like it better to make them myself. Making christmas card definitely gets me in the christmas spirit.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Discovering my own city

Suzan and I are working on a webseries about Zutphen, the city I live in. On monday we already filmed quite a lot and I also took some pictures. It's funny how working on this project I see my city in a different light. To me it always seemed like a pretty boring place, but I found out that it does have a rich history and there are lots of stories to tell about the place. It will probably take a little while before our first episode will be posted on youtube, but for now you can check out some photos I made.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Music Monday #40

I had heard the song Brother a couple of weeks ago when I was watching the audition of Uncle Jed on Australian's got talent. I really liked the song, but forgot to look it up and so I didn't hear it anymore until someone showed it to me. It's always nice when you hear a song again that you really like but forgot the name of!

Matt Corby - Brother

Click here for the studio version

Matt Corby -Untitled

Friday, December 13, 2013

Risotto with chicken and celery

I made this dish last sunday and this week my parents asked me to make it again, so it was quite a succes.
Ingrediƫnts (for 4 persons)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
300 g chicken breast in pieces
1/2-1 celery head in pieces
300 g risotto rice
1 l chicken broth/ 1 chicken broth tablet
200 g parmesan cheese
white wine

Preparation method

Heat olive oil in a saucepan or wok and fry the onion for about one minute. Bake the chicken along until every piece is white. Add the pieces celery and bake for about two minutes. Add the risotto and bake until the grains are glazy. Then add part of the broth (or water and the broth tablet) and let it simmer. Add more broth (or water) every time almost all is absorbed by the rice. If you want you can also add some white wine. Keep stirring the entire time. Cook the rice for 15-20 minutes until the rice is soft enough. Add pepper to taste and serve with the cheese.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Music Monday #39

Knowing that I love folk music, my father recently sent me a music video by The Kildares playing the classic Irish song Whiskey in the jar. The violinist is amazing. Her solo at the beginning sounds very middle-eastern to me somehow.

The Kildares - Whiskey in the jar

Thursday, December 5, 2013

How to make pepernoten

Pepernoten (spice nuts) are a special dutch Sinterklaas treat. They are very small round cookies. They are not really difficult to make, but I still managed to burn my first batch today. The recipe is enough for 3 baking sheets full of these, so I still had two batches that turned out nicely.The recipe uses speculaas spices, which you can buy in dutch supermarkets but probably not anywhere else. Click here to see how you can make it yourself.

250 g self raising flour
125 g brown sugar
6 tsp speculaas spices
150 g butter
2 tbsp milk

How to make it
Preheat the oven at 160 degrees C. Put the flour, sugar, speculaas spices and the butter in a bowl and mix it until a dough starts to form. Then slowly add the milk and knead it through the dough. Put a sheet of baking paper on the baking sheet. Make small rolls of the dough, put them on the baking paper and flatten them a little. Bake them for about 10-15 minutes. Check from time to time to see if they already have a nice golden brown color.



Today it's 5 december and in the Netherlands it's St. Nichola's eve. It's the evening where Sinterklaas brings everyone presents. It's a bit like Santa Claus. There are special songs and treats for Sinterklaas.
Sinterklaas usually arrives midway november on his steamship from Spain along with his helpers, the Zwarte Pieten (Black Petes). From the day Sinterklaas arrives up until 4 december children can in the evenings put hay or a carrot in their shoe for Sinterklaas's horse and during the night the Zwarte Pieten will replace it with candy or a small present. They also sing songs when they have put something in their shoe. Pepernoten (spice nuts) are very small round treats that are handed out by Zwarte Pieten. I will post a recipe of how to make them. Furthermore lots of people receive a chocolate letter, which is usually the first letter of their name.

As a kid Sinterklaas was my favorite holiday and it was always an exciting time.

Here are some Sinterklaas songs to get in the right mood!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Forever Beth: Lost and found by Elizabeth Cook-Howard



Set within the boroughs of New York City, 12 year veteran of the NYPD, Detective Kevin Walker is faced with the daunting task of solving the murder of a mother and her six year old daughter. Investigating as he has many times before, Detective Walker finds this particular case more disheartening to solve compared to all past cases he has investigated.

Beth Morris, a Domestic Violence Case Worker for the past seven years finds herself in a place of loss once again. Two of the most important people in her life are brutally murdered. The two same people who helped her understand what unconditional love is, how to give love and more importantly how to accept being loved. Their murder, their loss unearths Beth’s past filled with abuse, rejection and a wish for death.

Meeting Detective Walker when her life was crumbling, Beth found refuge in his need to protect. Initially assuming his protectiveness was routine, Beth realizes he too has a past filled with tragedy and the lack of maternal love. Kevin and Beth are two souls drawn together assumed by murder but realistically by love loss and painful pasts.

I received a copy of this book via Goodreads giveaway.

In the beginning of the book we meet the domestic violence case worker Beth Morris. Beth has had a tough life. She had a bad relationship with her mother, her husband physically abused her and her beloved father died. Beth can no longer live with all the pain and sees suicide as the only way out. Luckily she is saved and when she meets Rosa and Rosie through her work she finally finds people she can love again. Rosa and Rosie treat Beth like family, so when they are both murdered Beth's life is turned upside down once again.

What I really liked about this book was the pace in which the story was told. There was not a moment while reading this book that I was bored. I would have liked to get to know Beth a little better, but I presume the sequel will take care of that. The mystery of who murdered Rosa and Rosie didn't seem very complicated in the beginning but I was happy that it turned out to be a lot more complex in the end. I defenitely did not see that twist coming. Eventhough the book ends with a cliffhanger I didn't mind it at all. The story itself was well written. I do feel like there could have been a little more editing though. Kevin Walker is called handsome pretty often and that could have been a little less. A description of why he was so handsome would have been better, because I still don't really feel like I know what he looks like.
I was a bit confused that the exlamations are written between parentheses, since I have never seen that before.

Eventhough I'm not a very religious person I found that the religious aspect of this book was well written.

My favorite part of the book is actually when Beth has had an OD of heroine and she is in between the world of the living and heaven. To me that part of the book was written the best. Sometimes when I read a book that includes religion I feel like the sole purpose of the book is to convert me, which feels a bit annoying, but this book was very different.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Why I haven't been posting anything the last week...

... I think my nanowrimo chart tells it all. I've been wrinting like crazy for the past few days. I think I'm starting to see a pattern here. Look at my campnano chart from juli for example:

See any resemblance? It looks like I can sort of keep up in the beginning, then I fall a little more behind. Somewhere in the middle I want to keep up again and start to write a little more per day. Then after a few days I lose hope again and pretty much nothing is being written for the next days. In the end I am really behind and start writing like crazy to reach the 50.000 words. It was just like last time, in the beginning writing 1.667 word pers day seems like an awful lot, but in the end I'm perfectly able to write 5.000/6.000 words per day.

The mysterie of the missing plot

Eventhough I did reach 50.000 words my story is far from complete. In the end I just didn't know what to write anymore so I mainly wrote backstories for my characters and subplots. At the beginning I thought there was a plot, but somewhere along the way I realised that somehow there wasn't really any. Hence the mysterie of the missing plot. I'm not sure what happened here, but I'm going to try to plan everything a little better next year, haha.