Thursday, 31 December 2015

Can't Cook Won't Cook

I love food.

Unfortunately for me I am the world's worst cook.  Trust me. You don't want me anywhere near your kitchen or your oven or any kitchen appliance that makes beeping noises.  If it can be burnt, flattened or fall apart I'm your man... well woman really.

So as you can imagine cooking is pretty much off my agenda.  Occasionally though I am filled with the sudden yearning to make something, anything really, as long as it tastes yummy and requires very little cooking.

You can guess then how thrilled I am that there are now a plethora of cookbooks made for someone just like me.  Books that require very little, if any, cooking.  Books that are filled with yummy delicious easy recipes that even a bad cook like me can fail at... *cross fingers*

And don't get me started on mug cookbooks. Because yes there is a God and she's a woman who hates to cook as much as me.  Mug cookbooks are the best.  Seriously.  You just have to try them out. Because once you do you won't want to cook any other way.

Mmm do I smell something burning....

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

The Elixir of Life

I love a good cup of tea.

Something I entirely blame my parents for, who were and are, tea drinkers and nothing else.  Glass of water?  Nope.  A mug of coffee? No way.   Tea was the elixir of them all.  And in our household it was drunk morning, day and night ... and pretty much everywhere in between.

So it's probably not that surprising that I am a tea drinker myself... even if it did take awhile.  Because yes like the Gemini that I am I flirted with other drinks before hand.  Milo as a kid, then coffee in my 20's, followed by hot chocolate - which I still love - and then finally tea.  And not just tea with milk the way my parents have always drunk it.  But tea in all its forms.  Black tea, milky tea, green tea, herbal tea, fruit tea.... you name it, I drink it.  And like any addiction I've got to have the accessories too which probably explains my ever growing collection of tea cups and mugs.  Because yes you've got to have more than one.

And now I have discovered that there's books about tea and that we have a whole collection of them at our library.

Now that is awesome

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Have Feet Will Travel

Travel books are my mojo. 

Particularly weird and quirky travel books about everyday people going off on not so ordinary adventures. The fill me with all sorts of warm-fuzzies and glowy feels and make me want to see the world and isn't that the way it should be. 

Of course the list of places that I want to visit is long and never ending but that's half the fun, as is picking which destination to go to first....

Thursday, 24 December 2015

A Very Bookie Christmas

I love books.

Especially books about books.  Because who wouldn't.  And luckily for me and you there are plenty at Auckland Libraries to choose from.  Tales of bookstores and bookclubs and libraries and librarians and so much more and isn't that just the bestest thing.

It just makes you want to dance.

And when you've stopped dancing you can collapse onto a comfy chair with a glass of wine and a large (make that a very large) slice of Christmas cake and start on that huge pile of books that you have surrounded yourself with.

I have a feeling I may be awhile...

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Blood and Guts: Or A Very Gory Christmas

I love a good thriller.  Whether it's reading one or watching one.  There is just something about a good crime story with plenty of body count, a headless corpse... or two, and lots of twists and turns that is highly addictive.

And the Holiday Season is a perfect time to catch up on all the gory, mind griping, can't-stop watching/reading-until-you-know-who-did-it crime.  Even better there is a fun of guessing who the real killer is.

Only thing is once you start you can't stop and you find yourself impatiently waiting for the next in the series.  Or at least you do if you're me.

At least I have Luther to get me through this Christmas while I impatiently patiently wait for the next series of Sherlock, Bosch, Broadchurch...

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Purr, Purr, Meow, Meow - It's The Cat Post You've Always Wanted

I am the mad cat lady.

Or I would be if I a) lived on my own or b) my lovely partner finally gave in and let me embrace all things catish.

Luckily for me and the world I haven't yet managed to persuade him to let me have free reign and adopt all the cats.  Because if he did we both know our house would soon be a feline paradise.... or hell and that we would quickly succumb to our feline masters and be their slaves for life. Until then I have to settle for reading all the cat books and dreaming of all things catish and Garfield related. Because Garfield is my life role model

Purr, purr, meow, meow.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....

As some of you probably know by now I have a thing for Christmas books.  Especially romance Christmas books.  And with covers like these who can blame me.

There is just something about the idea of a roaring fire and snow and mulled wine and snow and gingerbread and snow.... that makes me go all gooey and warm.

And did I mention the snow?  I did?  Oh good.

That I have currently got nearly all of these at home waiting for the holidays to start so that I can curl up on the couch and fall into a Christmasy romance hole will come as no surprise then.

Now someone hand me a glass of that mulled wine...

Monday, 14 December 2015

Cats And Mice And Everything In Between

I just love this time of year because it gives me a chance to catch up on all the wonderful reading lists and to add to my every increasing to-be-read pile.  You the know the one. The one that is so long that it would probably take a whole year of dedicated reading to just get through it.  Still think of all the lovely books I could read...

Books like Firefly Hollow and Crenshaw, featuring both real... and imaginary animals.  And the fact that I am adding both of these to my to-be-read list as I type has nothing to do with my compulsive reading habit - okay it totally does..  I also want a cat name Crenshaw.  Because seriously who wouldn't.  An imaginary cat no-less. Now that is all kinds of awesome.  Just as all these books are. So check them out, share them with your kids, your friends kids and have a summery indulge of all things magical.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Don't you just love books with pictures.  Big, glorious, colourful pictures that tell a story in a way that words often can't.

And with summer upon us there is nothing better than stretching out upon a comfy blanket under a shady tree with a pile of picture books to wile away a hot, sunny afternoon, all while eating strawberries and drinking ice cold lemonade.  Because you have to do these things right.

Personally I want to read them all

Monday, 7 December 2015

Zinio! Zinio! Zinio! Or How To Read All The Magazines

If you're like me you're probably already a Zinio fan but if you've never heard of Zinio before then I highly recommend that you give it a go. Once you do you will never look back.

Because Zinio is THE way to read all and any magazine - or at the very least a large and continually growing collection of magazines.

Missed out on an issue from a few months ago? No problem because it could be on Zinio.

Wanting to keep all the issues of your favourite mag so you can go back to them again and again? Why yes with Zinio you can keep all the issues you download for as long as you like.

Interested in saving money and the planet? With Zinio you no longer have to worry about storing that ever-growing stack of paper magazines or buying an expensive subscription because now all you need to do is go to Auckland Libraries Zinio page, browse through our collection of titles, download the issue of the title you want to your portable device (Android, iPad, iPhone, etc.) and you're good to go.

Going on holiday but not wanting to fill you holiday bag with a pile of magazines? Then Zinio is the answer. Browse, click, download and wham bam you've suddenly got room to carry all that shopping or present giving you're planning on doing.

Now I wonder how many magazines can I fit on my tablet...

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Books and Blogs

The internet is a magical thing. It's easier now than ever before to write to someone on the other side of the world, or even a whole audience, about something that you're passionate about. Or just want to rant about, or want to share with the world. Or share that photo that you think is super cool, and want it to reach more than just your facebook friends.
Welcome to blogging, where you can make a living out of writing about your life, or sharing recipes, or making rugs out of newspaper (to just name a few). It's impressive just how many blogs are out there, and how many one-person blogs have become businesses that support a team of staff. I only recently fell into the 'blogosphere' (mostly craft blogs, myself) and let me tell you - there is definitely something for everyone.

And they're now extending their reach into your local library, with books about what they do and who they are - so with this, I present to you my favourite (so far) bloggers and their books.

Take for instance, Elisabeth Dunker at Fine Little Day. A designer, creator and now with a book to add to her repertoire, Dunker loves collecting things, making knicknacks out of other, smaller, knicknacks (in her book, she made a curtain out of doilies, which I'm particularly fond of) and crafting small beauties with her family... and then posting about it on her popular blog!
Now, even without the internet handy, you can check out her stuff - by checking out her book (also called Fine Little Day) from the library.

Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, is a popular author with a book published a while ago (Let's Pretend This Never Happened) and another one more recently. I found Furiously Happy while finding my holds on the holdshelf - it was waiting for someone else to pick it up, but I couldn't resist the creepily ecstatic taxidermied raccoon on the front cover (her first book features a mouse in a cape with a fancy hat) and picked it up to have a gander at the first few pages before hastily shoving it back under that lucky persons name on the shelf.
This woman is hilarious. I haven't read those books yet (I have her first, ready for me to read it - and I'm still on the waiting list for the second) but that's why her blog (about her travels and book events, and her, mostly) comes in handy. Chuck Furiously Happy on hold, read her first book and then sit at your desk in love with her blog until that request finally comes for you.

Ebony Bizys is the mind behind Hello Sandwich, a personal, as well as craft and lifestyle (and photography) blog based in Tokyo, Japan. Her new book, Hello Tokyo, is now in the libraries and is packed with an adorable pastel mix of topics, as well as notes about Japan and the culture there (which I am obsessed with).
With a smattering of crafts and how-to's, Bizys creates a guide on the various things she does on and off her blog - examples of favourite zines, how she started her blog, or how she makes an obento (Japanese lunchbox). To top it off, the book is very well designed (most bloggers books are, but this one is a particular favourite of mine) - and reads just like her lovely, modern (but simple) blog.

If you've ever looked eagerly at a craft recipe (tutorial? Hmm.) and then sobbed because the first step is 'Pour your prepared concrete into your previously made mould' or something equally as unrealistic (I love tutorials that assume you're already a pro) and you have no idea how to prepare your concrete or when you supposed to make the darn mould, then Materially Crafted is for you.
Victora Hudgins of A Subtle Revelry starts at the beginning, with the understanding that every crafter has to start somewhere. She explains the right way to spray spraypaint, the difference between cement and concrete, and how to take your first baby steps in a craft where everyone already assumes you know 'the basics'. Her blog is just as clear - super simple steps and easy to follow recipes so that you can get your craft on.

More and more bloggers are publishing books, so if craft or lifestyle (or humor) isn't your thing, no fear - the library will no doubt continue adding to its collection with variations of blogger books. Interested in blogs online but not so much print? It's even easier - finding an awesome blog for you is only a Google away.

Do you guys have a favourite blogger/vlogger?

Thursday, 3 December 2015

An Avalanche of Bookie Gifts

It's that time of year again.  You know the one.  Where you have to go out and face the hoards as you hunt for that exclusive gift.

If you're anything like me, the thought of facing it all has you heading for the hills with a good book and a ice cold frappe and ignoring it all.  This year though I have the absolute perfect solution: Online shopping.  Trust me it's the answer to everything. You can even do your shopping in your pyjamas. How awesome is that?

As always when I am hunting for gifts, I seem to find things that I want for myself and they seem to magically appear in my shopping cart before you know it.  Because of course you have to buy a few things for yourself.  Don't you?  And the wonderful thing is that all of these gifts are available right here in New Zealand.  Which means little to no shipping costs and super fast delivery.

First up is a colouring book.  For adults. Because yes that is a thing. A very big thing. And it seems there are colouring books of all kinds from Game of Thrones to Outlander to Sherlock. So how could you not check them out?

A notebook is always a necessity and this Penguin notebook featuring famous books seems like the perfect gift for any book lover.  Bookmarks are also another necessary thing and something you can never have enough off.  My current two favourites are this Owl paperclip type and this Winnie-The-Pooh one.

For something for the book or word lover who has everything, how about a set of fridge font magnets? Guaranteed to improve your spelling and your language.

Something that I treated myself last year was a Wonder Woman eyeglasses case.  Because how could I not?  And because it is just so perfect and also very handy as a safe place to put your sun glasses.

You can never have too many mugs.  Or at least you don't if you're me.  And these Christopher Vine designer mugs are absolutely beautiful,  Even better, they come in a variety of patterns and colours and there are bowls and plates and jugs too.  I'm very tempted to collect the entire lot.

Tote bags are another thing that I tend to have a lot of.  Mostly because I'm always breaking the handles on the things from overloading them with library books.  Luckily the tote bags I buy are only $2 so really you can easily buy 1 of every design.  I'm currently eyeing up this mosaic one as well as the pineapple one.

I've been in a bit of a Martha Stewart mode lately, trying everything from baking to home decorating, and the next two items are things I have been lusting after for absolutely ages - an ampersand light, perfect for that night time reading, and a chaise lounge chair, which is my idea of heaven.  Only thing is once I get this chair I may never want to leave it.

So that's my Christmas wish list.  What gifts have you been eyeing up?