My Favorite Books 2018 – Part II

[Advertising – unpaid, post contains affiliate links] I have talked about my most favorite books of 2018 already in an early post. Here is the second part with series I read.

One & Future Series by Meredith R. Stoddard

The book is about a college girl who is collecting songs from her thesis which are connecting her to her past. Of course it is much more than that when she starts to realise how close it is all to her real life, that her mom had a huge secret and how it starts to catch up with her. The first book is a bit slow and and I felt like the story started when the book ended but I was intrigued enough to keep on reading and book too was much more interesting. I like it when a book gives and insight to a culture I know nothing about. I am sure I’ll continue reading this series.

#1 The River Maiden ✭✭✭ – eBook english || paperback english
#2 Cauldron ✭✭✭✭ – eBook english || paperback english
#3 Thrice to Thine (not yet read) – eBook english

Getting There (All Roads Lead Home Series) by L.L. Ward

They say the way is the journey. Jesse is a lost soul and decides to travel home. On the way he meets many characters who give him perspective. Once home we learn a bit more about him. The story then changes and takes a turn more into a crime aspect. Overall I enjoyed reading this western- However I was not aware it was a series so the cliffhanger left me rather unsatisfied. But I will continue reading.

#1 Getting There ✭✭✭✭ – eBook english
#2 Forgetting There (not yet read) – eBook english || paperback english
#3 Regretting There (not yet read) – eBook english

The Wings Trilogy by Angelina J. Steffort

It starts at a cemetery so it must be good one. Teenage love story between girl and angel. I was intrigued on the different take on the supernatural (not vampire, werewolf or such). I was bit annoyed with “I need to protect” part but ok. I will continue reading as the following books are part of the Kindle Unlimited deal.

#1 White ✭✭✭✭ – eBook english || paperback english
#2 Black (not yet read) – eBook english || paperback english
#3 Gray (not yet read) – eBook english || paperback english

Mind Dimension Series by Dima Zales

New series, new author and I read two books in a row. That is a good sign.
It is a Si-Fi book where the world is dived in Mind Readers and Mind Pushers (oh and humans) and of course they don’t like each other. And then a hero comes along who might end it. Well I don’t know yet as I still have to read the third book.

#1 Thought Readers ✭✭✭✭ – eBook english, eBook deutsch || paperback english, paperback deutsch
#2 Thought Pushers ✭✭✭✭ – eBook english, eBook deutsch || paperback english, paperback deutsch
#3 The Enlightened (not yet read) – eBook english, eBook deutsch ||  paperback deutsch
#4 The Elders (not yet read) – eBook english, eBook deutsch || paperback english, paperback deutsch

 

If you are still with me and speak German here are two more books. My reading goal for 2018 was to read a few German books. Those two made it to the top.

Priesterin der Kelten (Eifel Saga) by Sabine Altenburg

#1 Priesterin der Kelten ✭✭✭✭ – eBook deutsch ||  paperback deutsch
#2 Heilerin der Kelten (not yet read) – eBook deutsch || paperback deutsch
#3 Die Königin der Kelten (not yet read) – eBook deutsch || paperback deutsch

Die Erzählerin von Arden by Carola Schierz

A wonderful fairy teile that is easy to read and entertaining. It’s perfect for a day in the spa or a cozy night by the fire. I personally would have liked to here a few stories Lilian has to tell. And I found the role allocation very “classic” and devote.

My rating: ✭✭✭✭ – eBook deutsch

 

Ok, so much for my reading in 2018. Now on to 2019. Do you have a list you work on? Do you have topics to cross off? In 2015 my goal was to tackle a few classics that keep getting a reference. I am thinking about reading a few Noble Prize or Pulitzer Winners in 2019. Can you give me any reommendations?

*If you buy a book through one of the Amazon links I will receive a small  provision. This would help me keep this blog alive and cover a few of the administrative costs. Thank you. Or maybe I just buy a new book, who knows…

My experience with Operation Christmas Child

Last night I was a Christmas Elf. Remember my post about “Weihnachten im Schuhkarton“? Today was the day when Operation Christmas Child happened and I handed in my package. Also my sister and I volunteered to help get the packages ready for shipping. Let me give you an inside story of what I’ve learnt and a peek behind the scenes.

shoebox for operation christmaschild

Already in October I set out to fill my shoebox and get little gifts. It was actually a lot of fun shopping for a kid as I never really do and there are some weed things to get. This was in my shoebox:

shoebox items for operation christmaschild

As I said volunteered by helping in the “Christmas Workshop”. In Germany there are two locations (Berlin & Birkenfeld/Pforzheim) where all packages will be checked, sealed and distributed to the countries. We had a 15 min training session with a video and then we were sent to our packing stations. All packing stations had team leader who we could ask all our questions. At the table there were 4 positions.

  1. checking box for label boy/girl, envelopes with money, writing was appropriate
  2. checking items if they comply with guide lines and custom requirements.
  3. sealing the package
  4. putting shoeboxes into logos packages, labelling, sealing and dropping off at warehouse

We quickly combined 1 & 2 as the workflow was better that way and the shoeboxes didn’t get too messed up.

operation christmas child Weihnachten im Schuhkarton Weihnachtswerkstatt Berlin

My job was to check items in the boxes. I made a list of things I learnt and what is helpful for people checking the boxes:

  • Most people pack for the middle age group 5-9 years. Then 2-4 and the teenagers 10-14 had the least packages.
  • Make sure shelf-life is end of March following year. We had to remove all candy that didn’t apply. Sometimes leaving a package having no candy at all. We were able to fill that up with donated items. This is due to custom relations.
  • If you pack candy, always insert full packages. Single candy bars, small gummy bear packages, bonbon, etc. we had to check every single item. Sometimes that was 30 little pieces which takes forever. All items without minimal shelf-life needed to be removed.
  • It’s helpful if the letters are on the top not the bottom so the box doesn’t need to be unpacked entirely.
  • Don’t wrap the present. We had to unwrap them if we couldn’t guess what was in there.
  • No soap bubbles as it’s too dangerous – kids might drink it.
  • Wrap shower gel/shamppo in a bag. We had to do that to a loooot of items. Also some already came in damaged.

Most of the boxes had really nice ideas and items in them. Every once in a while there was a box that was just so sad – only half filled, old/used/damaged stuff. There were boxes I dumped completely in the garbage. I wonder what people think. But most of them were really fun and gave me ideas for the next year:

  • snow boots and slippers
  • vest
  • musical instruments (xylophone, harmonica, claves)
  • earrings
  • nailpolish
  • purses
  • watches
  • pacifier

packages for operation christmaschild

We were there for 4 hours and we were around 50 people working. At the end of the shift we managed to sent over 3,000 shoeboxes on its way. The goal this year is 100.000 boxes. If you live in Berlin (or Pforzheim) and feel like helping there are lots of open spots to sign up.

If you are not close enough to volunteer you could still pack a shoebox online. Or just donate a bit to run the operation.

Maybe I find time to help again this year. Otherwise I will pack another box next year. Have you every participated? Or do you support another organisation? Would love to hear about it.

Happy Sunday,

Tobia

Disclaimer: This post contains links to the Operation Christmas Child. Due to current (German) law this needs to be labelled advertising. However I was not paid to talk about it, I just think it’s a nice little project to do. Furthermore I have linked a few of my older articles because I believe you might enjoy them. Some of the photos were taken by berlinmittekind.

Happiness Review #26 & Coffeeshares

Good Morning you all,

hope your week was a wonderful one. Grab a cup of coffee (or tea) and sit down a while and let’s have a chat.

Advents Calender

My weeks been busy however I didn’t get any work done that brings money in. I guess it’s ok for now but I need to get going double next week. I had to catch up on my Christmas crafting for the advents calendar I participate in. Man some things didn’t work out quite how I wanted so I spent lots of time getting it done in time. The perfectionist in me is not hundred percent satisfied but more was just not possible. Now that I am done with this project I am thinking about participating in Julias a Secret Santa #StadtLandWichteln2018.

Advents Wreath

I have been collecting ideas for this years advents wreath. I usually make two wreath a year – one I am gifting my mother. It’s our little tradition. I get an advent calendar, she gets a wreath. Hers will be brown/golden this year with a nature base. I have that one pretty much figured out. I am not so sure about mine though. I have another interesting idea for a wreath made of recycled packaging waste however I am not sure if I will actually like it. But I still want to try out the idea. I guess I have enough fall backs if it looks ugly as hell. In case you also need inspiration I gathered a list of advent wreath inspiration of the last years.

advent wreath muffin liner

Cleaning Extravaganza

Inspired by my previous post I had a motivational push to get the apartment deep cleaned. So I spent the entire day yesterday doing everything – hence the missed post yesterday because I just couldn’t lift a finger at midnight. Now I am having lots of aches but a wonderful shiny apartment. I even managed to clean chunks of my craft room so I could vacuum there. Rarely ever happens because it’s so packed with projects laying everywhere.

Lunch Meetings

Also I had two fun lunch meetings with sister and neighbour this week. My sister and I met at this deli close to her work. The food was really nice, the location beautiful but it was so good to catch up with her. Haven’t seen her in a while. She also told me a story about something that really shook me. Sometimes crime is closer than we think. So please take care you all. And yesterday during my Feather-Dusting- Dance I took a break to have lunch with my neighbour and her new born. It was nice catching up. Now the is staying at home for a while we see each other every other week or so to take a walk in the park or have lunch together. I guess lunch breaks could be worth.

craftaliciousme seeking creative life ceiling details

Weekend Plans

As for the weekend ahead. I’ll be spending tonight with my sister at “Santas Workshop” to pack up gifts for “Christmas in a shoe box“. I am excited about that. I’ll share my experience with you tomorrow if you like so stop by. On another note I will probably have to write a few blog posts or at least take the pictures so I can make them happen. Because you guys it’s getting dark early and I don’t want to post without photos.

Now let me know what you have been up to. I’ll head over to LecyEclectic Alli and Denise to catch up now. Maybe I see you there.

Happy weekend,

Tobia

 

Disclaimer: This post contains links to other Blogs. Due to current (German) law this needs to be labelled advertising. Furthermore I have linked a few of my older articles because I believe you might enjoy them. 

Household Chores – an Attempt at a Scheduling Plan

I am not a huge fan of housework. I can come up with many ideas what I’d rather do. Even sitting and looking out of the window sounds more fascinating than swinging a feather duster. However I have to admit that I also don’t like to living in a pig stall so I have to suck it up and get to work. For a while we had some cleaning support. It didn’t work out as I was not willing to pay for services I am not satisfied with and prices were constantly raised. Every once in a while though I hire someone because we have too much on our schedule or I just want to treat myself.

For quite some time now I was wondering if a scheduled plan will help. Here is my attempt in gathering all the household chores in one place. Also I have included all the things that easily get forgotten in every day hassle.

household chores cleaning schedule

Daily

  • Wipe kitchen counters and unload dishwasher while making coffee
  • Start dishwasher at night
  • spent 15 minutes to clean up clutter throughout apartment to make it look tidy (fold blankets on couch, put away mail, etc.)

Weekly

  • Mondays: vacuum floors (or let little robot do it) & water plants
  • During phone calls: dust, fold laundry
  • Fridays: clean bathroom & wash all towels, deep clean kitchen, clean all mirrors and glass doors

Monthly

  • 1st: Decalcify the water filter & electric kettle
  • 15th: change bedsheets
  • mop floors

Quarterly

  • Feb/May/Aug/Nov Cleaning program for washing machine
  • Feb/May/Aug/Nov Cleaning program for dish washer

Biannually

  • Wash bedding when changing winter/summer bedding
  • Apr/Oct clean windows

Annually

  • January: clean kitchen cupboards
  • November: Vacuum the couch

Now I just have to find the energy to implement it. And I probably forgot about a dozen important things – or maybe it’s a work in progress. Please share what and how often you do things. I could really use some insights on how to do it the “right way” and also sent all the motivation please.

Happy housewifeing,

Tobia

Advent Wreath Inspiration

Who else is busy thinking about this years advent wreath? I usually ponder I ideas already when most people enjoy their summer vacay at the pool. I have to be honest, this year my picture is not that clear. When I don’t know what direction to go I usually just look at my Pinterest board ” Usually the first thing that I know if the color scheme of the new wreath. This might happen when I see certain candles or just some decoration that speaks to me. My moms wreath this year will be gold/brown/nude.

Following I want to share some advent wreath inspiration.

pine needle advent wreath | adventskrank aus nadeln

This pine needle advent wreath (tutorial) probably took the longest from all the ones I did. I love the look of it.

A minimalistic version is the French Knitted Wreath (tutorial).

walnut wreath tutorial by craftaliciousme

A nature inspired one with the Walnut Advent Wreath (tutorial).textile advent wreath made of sweaterThis wreath was created of an old favorite sweater.

 

advent wreath muffin liner

A wreath made of Muffin Liners. Took a lot of glue but its hanging in my apartment for many years.

moss advent wreath

Here is an idea on how to create a moss wreath.

One of my Favourites is this Snowball Wreath (tutorial). Just never leave it burning unattended.

simple pine needle wreath | krank aus Tannennadeln

Door wreath made of Pine Needles.

What’s your favorite? Let me know in the comments.

Happy inspiration,

Tobia