Why I Like Reading At Starbucks


Reading is one of my biggest hobbies, but recently it seems that I can’t find time for it, or let’s say I don’t let myself spend much time reading. It’s not that I wouldn’t love to cuddle up with a book on the couch or in bed, it’s just not that easy. 

Whenever I’m home, I get distracted by so many other things. Either I start cleaning up my flat, working on a blog post or writing a to-do list and then instantly start worrying about all the things on it that I haven’t done yet, so it’s nearly impossible for me to sit down and just enjoy reading a book. I’ve tried reading before going to bed, but most of the time I’m too tired and can’t finish more than one chapter. 

Here’s when Starbucks (or insert any coffee shop you like, it really doesn’t matter) comes in. 

WHY I LIKE READING AT STARBUCKS AND HOW IT MAKES MY LIFE BETTER:

  • People leave me alone. No waiter is coming around every 15 minutes asking me if I want anything else. Therefore, I don’t feel bad if I spend a lot of time there without ordering lots of coffee. I’ve once met a guy at Starbucks who told me that he’s coming there every day and spends hours working and reading with just getting a few refills. Nobody has ever complained. 

  • I get out of my flat. This means I can’t get distracted with cleaning or doing the laundry or whatever. There’s no Starbucks close by where I live so I have to go to the inner-city which is always nice, despite all the tourists. That way I can combine my Starbucks visit with a little shopping trip or just enjoy being around people instead of locking myself up in my flat. If the weather is nice, I take my coffee to go and drink it at a park nearby. 

  • I make my visit worthwhile. Once I’ve spent money on a Starbucks coffee, which isn’t particularly cheap as we all know, I will make sure that I didn’t do it for nothing (apart from having coffee, which I could have had at home too). Means I will spend a certain amount of time there and dedicate it to reading because that’s why I came here, right? 

  • It has become a habit. It’s just something I do now, and I’m looking forward to every week. It also means that no matter how busy my life is, there’s a fixed time in my calendar each week were I will be able to read and get away from everything else. Something that wouldn’t work for me if I were trying to read at home. 

  • It gives me some Me time. Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m always looking forward to these two hours or so that I have just for myself. There are days I’m so caught up in what I’m doing I totally forget to eat or to take a short break and just breathe and calm down. I’m working on that of course, and my weekly reading hours at Starbucks are already sacred to me.


I already mentioned in the post about my goals for this year that I’d love to make more time for reading. Not just five minutes between work, but quality reading time. My Starbucks reading hours are a good start, and I hope that I’ll be able to keep it up.  

Do you have a favourite reading place? Are you lucky enough not to get distracted by literally everything when you're at home? Tell me about your reading time!


What I'm Currently Loving


Happy Easter! I hope you’re all having a great Easter weekend. As a kid, I loved going on Easter egg hunts, but now as a  grown-up, it’s not a holiday I’m celebrating much. Therefore, I don’t have an Easter related post for you today. Instead, I thought it would be fun to share some things with you that I’m currently loving. 


MUSIC

I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It by The 1975 was released at the end of February and has been without a doubt my most listened album this month. In my post about 5 songs you should add to your March playlist I already mentioned the title Paris, but it’s hard for me to decide which song on the album I like best. They are all just great. The Sound is my number one dance tune at the moment. I know that the song was already released in January, but I only really started listening to it after the album came out. I can’t wait to see the band live next month. 


BEAUTY

I’ve always refused to buy a beauty blender, don’t ask me why. The whole sponge thing was something I didn’t even wanted to try. I was team foundation brush all the way, but, of course, I couldn’t resist forever. However, I did not buy an original Beautyblender. Instead, I went for the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge that I found on Amazon for a third of the price of the original Beautyblender. Okay, I  don’t like to admit that I was wrong the whole time, but I have to say that this entire sponge thing might be worth the hype (which is probably already over by now). I’m still not using it every day because it takes much longer than applying my foundation with a brush (is that normal or is it just me?), but whenever I’m using it, it does make such a difference. 

My other favourite beauty product this month is Lush’s Retread conditioner. I have very thick and dry hair, and this conditioner does wonders to it. It makes my hair very soft and less frizzy. If your hair is really damaged or needs an extra portion of moisture, I’d highly recommend the Retread conditioner. 


STATIONARY

You can never have enough notebooks or at least that’s what I’m telling myself. I’ve recently purchased a set of Marble Gold Foil notebooks, and I’m very much in love with them. They look so beautiful and chic, a lot of people have already asked me where I got them. Don’t we all like a bit of marble?  


TV

I already mentioned in my last post (Inspirational Blair Waldorf Quotes) that I’m currently re-watching Gossip Girl. It’s kinda fun watching it now, with the knowing of who Gossip Girl actually is, but at times I’m trying to blend it out because it simply doesn’t work!! It bothered me at first, but now I just settled on enjoying the show for what it is. We can’t change anything about it anyway. 



I’d love to hear what you are currently loving! Tell me in the comments!


Inspirational Blair Waldorf Quotes


I’m currently on a Gossip Girl rewatch (and nope, it still totally doesn’t make sense who GG is), so I wanted to share some of my favourite quotes from Blair Waldorf with you. She’s my absolute favourite character of the show, and she has said a lot of great things over the span of six seasons. I’m actually thinking about printing some quotes and hanging them on my wall as inspiration. 
Hope you enjoy the Blair Waldorf quotes I picked for you today! :-) 


Let me know in the comments if you’ve watched the show and which characters you like best! Are you a fan of Blair like me?









The Perfect Books For Spring Time


Spring is finally here (yay!), so I thought I’d share some of my favourite spring books with you. 

As I already mentioned in my post about 5 things I want to do more often in 2016, I’m trying to make more time for reading in my everyday life. Spring is perfect for that. I’m so looking forward to hours spent with a good book and a coffee at the park. At the moment, I’m still working on my perfect spring to-read list. In the meantime, I had a look at my bookshelves and found some books I enjoyed in the past which are perfect for spring time. Those I'd like to recommend to you. Have a look at my list, maybe you’ll find something you like. 

Happy reading!


1. The Enchanted April - Elizabeth von Arnim

A discreet advertisement in 'The Times', addressed to 'Those who Appreciate Wisteria and Sunshine...' is the impetus for a revelatory month for four very different women. High above the bay on the Italian Riviera stands San Salvatore, a mediaeval castle. Beckoned to this haven are Mrs. Wilkins, Mrs Arbuthnot, Mrs Fisher and Lady Caroline Dester, each quietly craving a respite. Lulled by the Mediterranean spirit, they gradually shed their skins and discover a harmony each of them has longed for but never known. First published in 1922 and reminiscent of 'Elizabeth and her German Garden', this delightful novel is imbued with the descriptive power and light-hearted irreverence for which Elizabeth von Arnim is renowned.


2. Black Beauty - Anna Sewell

Black Beauty is a handsome, sweet-tempered colt with a strong spirit. As a young colt, he is free to gallop in the fresh green meadows with his beloved mother, Duchess, and their kind master. But when his owners are forced to sell him, Black Beauty goes from a life of comfort and kindness to one of hard labour and cruelty. Bravely he works as hard as he can, suffering at the hands of men who treat animals badly. But Black Beauty has an unbreakable spirit and will, and is determined to survive…


3. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe - Fannie Flagg

The day Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison opened the Whistle Stop Cafe, the town took a turn for the better. It was the Depression, and that cafe was a home from home for many of us. You could get eggs, grits, bacon, ham, coffee and a smile for 25 cents. Ruth was just the sweetest girl you ever met. And Idgie? She was a character, all right. You never saw anyone so headstrong. But how anybody could have thought she murdered that man is beyond me. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is a mouth-watering tale of love, laughter and mystery. It will lift your spirits and above all, it'll remind you of the secret to life: friends.


4. A Room with a View - E. M. Forster

Lucy has her rigid, middle-class life mapped out for her until she visits Florence with her uptight cousin Charlotte, and finds her neatly ordered existence thrown off balance. Her eyes are opened by the unconventional characters she meets at the Pension Bertolini: flamboyant romantic novelist Eleanor Lavish, the Cockney Signora, curious Mr Emerson and, most of all, his passionate son George. Lucy finds herself torn between the intensity of life in Italy and the repressed morals of Edwardian England, personified in her terminally dull fiance Cecil Vyse. Will she ever learn to follow her own heart?


5. Breakfast at Tiffany’s - Truman Capote

Meet Holly Golightly - a free spirited, lop-sided romantic girl about town. With her tousled blond hair and upturned nose, dark glasses and chic black dresses, Holly is a style sensation wherever she goes. Her apartment rocks to Martini-soaked parties and she plays hostess to millionaires and gangsters alike. Yet Holly never loses sight of her ultimate dream - to find a real life place like Tiffany's that makes her feel at home.


6. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

Drifters in search of work, George and his childlike friend Lennie, have nothing in the world except the clothes on their back - and a dream that one day they will have some land of their own. Eventually, they find work on a ranch in California's Salinas Valley, but their hopes are dashed as Lennie - struggling against extreme cruelty, misunderstanding and feelings of jealousy - becomes a victim of his own strength. Tackling universal themes of friendship and shared vision, and giving a voice to America's lonely and dispossessed, Of Mice and Men remains Steinbeck's most popular work, achieving success as a novel, Broadway play and three acclaimed films.

7. Giovanni’s Room  - James Baldwin

When David meets the sensual Giovanni in a bohemian bar, he is swept into a passionate love affair. But his girlfriend's return to Paris destroys everything. Unable to admit to the truth, David pretends the liaison never happened - while Giovanni's life descends into tragedy. 


8. I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith

"I Capture the Castle" tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle's walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle"-- and the heart of the reader-- in one of literature's most enchanting entertainments.

9. Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery

The Cuthberts are in for a shock. They are expecting an orphan boy to help with the work at Green Gables - but a skinny red-haired girl turns up instead. Highly spirited Anne Shirley charms her way into the Cuthberts' affection with her vivid imagination and constant chatter, and soon it's impossible to imagine life without her.


What are your favourite spring reads?


DIY: Marbled Mugs + Sharpie Art


I’ve seen these two mug DIYs all over Pinterest and always wanted to do them myself, but never really got around to it. Which is a shame, because they are so easy and cheap and most of the things you need, you probably already have at home. So two days ago I decided that I would finally do this, went to the furniture store and bought a few plain mugs and bowls. Fortunately, they were really cheap, because I wasn’t sure how they would turn out. 

Everything else I needed - sharpies, nail polish, a plastic tub, toothpicks and paper towels - I had at home. 

For the first DIY, let's call it „The Sharpie Mug“, all you need is, well, a sharpie and a mug. I used gold, black and bronze, but you can use a sharpie of whatever colour you want, of course. And then all you have to do is draw, that’s it. Super easy, right? The sharpie dries quickly, but be careful that you don’t touch it too soon or it’ll smudge. Other than that, just be creative. Why haven’t I done this before??






DIY number two, „The Marbled Mug“, is super fun. You again need a plain mug (a bowl works fine as well), nail polish in whatever colour you like (you can go for one colour or mix some together), a tub of hot water, toothpicks and some paper towels.  

I would recommend not to use quick drying nail polish and to make sure that the water is really hot. You have to act very quickly once you've poured the nail polish into the water and we all know that cold water dries nail polish faster, which, believe me, you do not want in this situation. Make sure you hold the nail polish bottle near to the surface of the water or the drops will sink to the bottom, and slowly pour some drops into it. Use the toothpick to create a nice pattern or to mix two colours together. Then just dip your mug straight down into the water, remove it carefully and set it head over onto a paper towel to let it try. Done is your beautiful marble look. Make sure you only hand-wash the mug, never put it in the dishwasher. 






16 St. Patrick's Day Treats


Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 

What better way to celebrate the green holiday than with delicious food and drinks. I found 16 St. Patrick’s Day treats for you that will turn your St. Paddy’s party into a full success. Go check them out! Happy eating and cheers!

St Patrick’s Day Floats (Lime Sherbet Floats) | Home Cooking Memories

Lucky Leprechaun Cookie Bark | Your HOMEBASED Mom

Mint Chip Cookietini | Snappy Gourmet

Shamrock Cupcakes | Easy Cake Decorating

Shamrock Shake | Dessert Now Dinner Later

Creamy Irish Coffee | eatwell101

Drunken Grasshopper Fudge | Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

Sparkling Leprechaun Kiss | Hot Eats and Cool Reads

Chocolate Covered Four-Leaf Clover Shortbread Cookies | got chocolate

Ombre St. Patrick’s Day Jello Shots | tablespoon

St. Patrick’s Day Brownie Trifle | The Cookin’ Chicks

Appletinis | Full Fork Ahead

Mint Oreo Marshmallow Brownies | Momerish

Shamrock Sour Cocktail | Pizzazzerie

Shamrock Cookie Cups | Creations by Kara

St Patrick’s Day Grasshopper Ice Cream Cocktail | Dine & Dish

Spring Is For New Beginnings


According to the astronomical calendar, the beginning of spring is only four days away, and I’m so ready for it. Time to put away the scarfs and winter coats and say goodbye to the winter blues. Spring is just about to arrive. It’s the season of flowers, leather jackets and yes, new beginnings. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m awfully bad when it comes to New Year’s resolutions (I talked about some of them here). Somehow I never manage to start the year out right even though I always have everything beautifully planned out in my head. The first quarter of last year went quite well for me and was really exciting. I started the year in Lisbon and in February and March, I went to Nice, Cannes, Monaco, Paris, Milan and Manchester. Oh, and let’s not forget the hospital, but that’s a different story. 2016 has been a bit slower so far. After celebrating New Year’s in Madrid, life was less fun and more work. That would be fine if I could say that I’m successfully working on my personal goals as well, but unfortunately, I've been a bit lazy on that front. 

What better time is there to make some changes, start new things and get all the shit done that we’ve always wanted to do then the beginning of spring. Days are getting longer, the weather’s getting better and we had enough time to adjust ourselves to the wonderful thing that is 2016. The lazy days are over now, time to be productive! 

Get Outside

You might have forgotten about it over those cold and grey winter days, but there’s something called outside, and it’s actually quite beautiful. Now that the weather’s finally getting better there are no excuses anymore to stay inside all day. Go to the park (and maybe bring a book with you), take a walk, explore the city. Watch how everything starts to bloom; the world has never been this beautiful. Trust me, it’s worth a try! 

Start A New Project

Don’t tell me there isn’t anything you’ve always wanted to do, but could never really find the time or motivation for it. Writing a book, starting a blog, creating your own jewelry collection? Or have you always been thinking about going to dance class, but you never did? I’m sure there’s something you’d like to try. Now’s the time. DO IT.

Get Up Earlier

You might not want to hear it, but this can really help you getting things done. Getting up an hour earlier or even 30 minutes isn’t that hard and gives you the extra time you need to work on your new project, organise your day properly or do some housework so you’ll have more time in the evening to work on other things. I love working in the morning when my mind is still fresh, and it feels good to start the day in a productive way. If the sun can get up earlier, so can you!

Clean Out Your Wardrobe

While you are putting away your winter clothes, take the time to have a close look at everything and see if there’s anything you can get rid off. Clothes that aren’t in the best condition anymore, that don’t fit well, or you’re not wearing anymore because you maybe have changed your style. Believe me, this isn’t easy for me either because I always think that I might want to wear a certain piece again sometime. But the fact is, if you haven’t worn it in a while, you probably won’t miss it. And you certainly don’t need any clothes that aren’t looking good anymore. Be drastic and start your spring wardrobe with a decent and fitting collection you love. Are there any basics missing? A piece of the newest trend you desperately want to have? Now that you’ve so successfully cleaned out your wardrobe, you’ve earned your right to go on a little shopping trip!

Get A New Hairstyle

It doesn't matter if it’s a haircut or just a new colour, I love starting spring with a new hairstyle. It feels refreshing and always motivates me to be a better version of myself. Whatever plans I have, with a new hairstyle everything seems to go easier. You should give it a try; it can work wonders for your mind!

Start To Plan Your Summer

Now that spring’s finally here (well, almost), it also means one thing: summer’s not that far away. Maybe you’re the type of person who likes to be spontaneous and is always looking out for the best last minute offers (I love doing that myself), but sometimes it can be helpful to think a little bit ahead. When you’re in school or college, you and your friends have the same time off, but once you’re starting to work things get a little bit more complicated. It’s not only about finding the right time for a vacation, there’s also the big question where to go. If you start thinking about it now, you’ll have enough time to gather information about destinations, to compare offers online and arrange all the things for your perfect holiday. Do you need a visa? Any vaccinations? Anything you need to buy that you want to bring with you? What attractions are there to see and what trips could you take? 
Maybe you don’t want to go on vacation but do an internship or any activities in your city. That needs some planning too. You see, there’s a lot to think about. You will not only be ready for your vacation (or whatever you plan to do this summer) when the time finally comes, you also have something to look forward to. 
I’m going to meet with my friend next week to have a chat about our plans, and I’m excited. There are festivals we’d like to attend, my birthday weekend that needs to be planned and maybe another big trip in September. Oh, how I love planning trips!

Finding The Right Planner #2: Carpe Diem Planner

 

In the first part of this series, I talked about the Erin Condren LifePlanner. Today I want to show you another great planner, the Carpe Diem Planner by Simple Stories.

Here are the details about the Carpe Diem Planner:

  • Planner Size: A5 (inserts) / 8 x 9.4 x 1.375 inches (total)
  • faux leather (easy to wipe clean)
  • One metal camera charm
  • 12 monthly calendar pages
  • 12 monthly tabbed dividers
  • 72 weekly inserts
  • Six assorted inserts
  • 6-ring binding
  • pocket slits
  • elastic pen loop
  • available in six beautiful colours

This is the planner my mum is using at the moment, and she’s absolutely in love with it. The colour you can see in the pictures is aqua. Other available colours are black, coral, pink, robin’s egg and platinum.

The great thing with the Carpe Diem Planner is that it comes with so many accessories. You can get all kinds of stickers, dashboards, pocket inserts, dividers, bookmarks, paper clips, etc. - all in the same, colourful and super cute style of the Carpe Diem series. It makes planning become real fun. 

The planner pages are undated so you can start planning at any time of the year, but you should make sure to either get number stickers or a date stamp to label them (or you could just write the numbers per hand). You should also consider getting daily inserts if you need a lot of space to write. But keep in mind that if you'd like to use daily inserts for every month of the year, you'll probably have to go without any extra stuff like bookmarks, dashboards, etc. due to limited space. Alternatively, you could split up your year into two planners.

Are you interested in a Carpe Diem Planner? Go to the Simple Stories website and have a look at the Carpe Diem collection or just watch the video below. 




5 Things I Want To Do More Often In 2016


Cooking

Baking is something I love, but I’ve always struggled with cooking. For me, the time it takes to prepare a meal is hardly ever worth the effort. As a kid, I was very picky about what I ate and even though I’m way better now, I’m in no way experimental. It’s not that I don’t like food (never would I say that), but it doesn’t have a high priority either. If somebody asks me what my favourite food is, I still say pizza. Which is not healthy at all, and that’s the main reason I want to change something about my eating habits. Taking cooking more serious will hopefully help me to eat more regularly and healthy. I’m a vegetarian; I love salads and vegs. It shouldn’t be too hard to make some good and healthy meals out of that.

Yoga

Yoga and I have a bad history with a lot of breakups. Honestly, I don’t know why it is so hard for me to include Yoga in my everyday life and stick to it. Whenever I’ve practiced Yoga for a few weeks, I could feel the change in my body, and I loved it. Yoga is fun, and it can make you feel so good. Even though I know that, I always find reasons to quit, and I hate myself for it. One day of not doing it is enough to drop my routine completely and forget all about it. I’m telling myself that this time it will be different. Please wish me luck!

Reading

This might sound funny to people who know me because I already read a lot. In 2015, for example, I read a total of 98 books. That makes an average of about 8 books per month. Surely you think I do not need to increase my reading, and that’s understandable. But here’s the thing: I usually read a chapter before I go to bed. I read ten pages while I’m waiting for dinner to be ready, ten pages when I’m taking a break from whatever I’m doing. I read in waiting rooms, and I listen to audiobooks when I’m out. That is all great, and it sums up to a great total of books, but it’s not quality reading time. When was the last time I sat down with a book and a cup of tea and just read? Without having 100 other things on my mind and an invisible timer next to me? I honestly can’t remember. 
That’s what I want to change in 2016. Make more time for reading without any distractions and without time limits. Reading is one of my biggest hobbies. There should be more time for it in my life.

Taking walks (and bringing my camera along)

Taking a walk can be so refreshing. There’s a big park in Vienna where I used to go every Sunday with my dad when I was a kid. I’ve always loved being outside and active, breathing in fresh air and exploring life. These days I spend a lot of my time in front of my computer, being isolated in my room. So from time to time it’s nice to just go out, without any place I need to get to. Just walking, maybe putting in headphones and listening to some music or an audiobook. It always makes me feel good, and it’s something I need to do more often. Bringing my camera along on those walks will hopefully result in a few great pictures :)

Going to bed early

Going to bed early is the one thing I seem completely unable to manage. There is hardly a day I’m in bed before 1 or 2 am. The big problem about this is that I like getting up early and do most of my work in the morning. As a result, I hardly ever get more than 4 or 5 hours of sleep each night. That’s not enough; neither is it healthy. There’s nothing wrong with staying up late occasionally and doing with a little less than 8 or 9 hours of sleep. It just shouldn’t be a habit.

5 Amazing Songs To Add To Your March Playlist


Can you believe it's March already??
Here are 5 amazing songs you should definitely add to your March playlist!

Coasts - You
Coasts is a British rock band. Their self-titled debut album was released in January 2016. The whole album sounds great, but so far You is my favourite song on it. 

The 1975 - Paris
Their new album I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It came out last week. I'm in love with The Sound and basically all the other songs on it, but the reason I've picked Paris is that I actually went to Paris last March. Memories! It's not a particularly happy song, but oh well. „How I'd love to go to Paris again“ *sings*

Thomston - Expiry Date
Alternative pop from New Zealand. It’s a shame I had only discovered Thomston last month, but Expiry Date became instantly one of my favourite songs. I just need it in my March playlist.

Troye Sivan - Lost Boy
I’m still obsessed with Troye’s album Blue Neighbourhood. It’s so freaking amazing; I love every single song on it! My pick for this month is Lost Boy. But I highly suggest you also check out Heaven. But I highly suggest you also check out Heaven and especially Wild (if you for some inexplicable reason don't know it already).

Ezra Vine - Celeste
Feel-good indie pop. Celeste was probably my favourite song from my spring 2015 playlist. So I thought, why not bring it back? I still love that song. 


What are you listening to at the moment?


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