flatly with books I read in June with cinnamon rolls and plant by craftaliciousme creative lifestyleblog

Summer has started and so the reading begins. Or something like that. There were ten books I read in June and most of them have been fun entertainment or something educational I enjoyed learning about. As every month I share with you my thoughts:

Pippi Langstrumpf by Astrid Lindgren | ★★★★⭐︎

What’s it about: A seven year old living alone in her Villa only with her horse and Mr. Nelson the monkey. With the neighbor kids Annika and Thomas she is having one adventure after another. Discoving a lemonade tree, shipwrecking on an island, trying to learn reading and writing while not being a regular student and give the property star a run around.
What I thought: It’s a story about friendship, adventure and not quite fitting in and also being underestimated. While I have to admit I loved a tiny bit more when I was a child I still saw all the fun things this story had to offer. What an achievement as it has been published 76 years ago (March 1944) It was written in 1941 for her 7 year old daughter suffering from pneumonia.
The book was influential for the feminist movement and emancipation of women. However it also was critiqued for showing a racist point of view regarding the black kids on TakaTuka Island. And while the father is call a n* king throughout the book – which obviously is not something we can slide – I feel like for the time it was written in it was rather critical on the whole colonial topic. Of course from our stand point now it is still something we need to talk about. This made me wonder and had heated discussions about it too – how much of classic and world literature can be re-written before it looses its originality? It’s importance of the time it was published and the generations it impacted… Don’t we re-write history if we do so too much? I have no answer for it. I tend to reading originals as you might now but I understand that not everyone has the knowledge, time or patience to critically put a book in perspective. Specially children book. My mom said something like “maybe children books have an area and serve a purpose in a certain time”. If you have thoughts I am more than happy to hear them.
Language: German but available in almost all languages there are
Recommend to: everyone loving a strong adventurous heroin. However you might want to check if it was re-worked when reading to kids who might not be able to be critical about the race issue.

Das Haus der verlorenen Kinder by Linda Winterberg | ★★★★⭐︎

What’s it about: A love story set in the WWII area in Norway. Lisbet and her best friend Oda fall in love with the enemy – German soldiers stationed behind the hill of their hometown. They loose everything dear to them and their last hope is the help of the occupier. But what looked like hope is the worst night mare for Lisbet and Oda. Only years later can Lisbet find peace.
What I thought: It was a wonderfully written story that had me captured from the first pages. I knew a little bit about the so called Lebensborn project the Nazis’s have done but I had no idea about the extent. Of course it’s fiction but I feel like it’s been very good researched. The story was of course woven so we have a happy ending and yes maybe it was slightly too constructed but it felt like it should be like that.
Language: German, available in English
Recommend to: Loving historic fiction with strong women settled with in the WWII area.

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult | ★★★★⭐︎

What’s it about: Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene? (Goodreads summery)
What I thought: This book has been on my TBR since 2016 and I finally managed to pick it up. And it couldn’t be a better read in times like these. It was intense. It was not fun, often uncomfortable and I could only read a couple pages because it was just overwhelming. Why was I not able to read through it you may ask? Well it was tough, it made me think and I was often times disgusted (when I read Turks view). In real life I would leave the room when people like him talk. I don’t need to give them an audience. However this book captured it perfectly. The characters were well drawn out, likable and relatable. After 1/3 the story picked up and it had more of a story flow for me. Early on in the book a thought crossed my mind: to make it a remarkable and unforgettable book there should not be a happy end. It should end with injustice. Well I will not spoil it for you.
Language: English
Recommend to: Everyone should read this.

Second Hand Magic die Nachthexen by Jo Hallberg | ★★★★⭐︎

What’s it about: Mo works in a book store. But not any book store – no a magical one. But she doesn’t much care about magic as it has only brought bad luck. in her free time she saves book from their destruction. Little does she know that one little notebook will change her fate. And that she will finally have to rely on her grandmas inherited fancy apartment.
What I thought: I liked the story. I liked the setting. It was interesting and a fast paced read. I felt like there were a few new thoughts even though that’s hardly possible within the fantasy genre. I look forward reading part II. Also I was really surprised that this book was written by a guy. It felt more like a female author.
Language: German
Recommend to: liking fantasy and books revolving around books

Dem Abgrund so nah by Jessica Koch | ★★★★⭐︎

What’s it about: Danny is ten years when is family is suffering from a tragedy that has them moving from the US to Germany. Dannys father handles the change by drinking too much and falling back to habit who hoped to have left before marriage. The victim is his son. And the mother can not help as she is suffering from a mental breakdown. Danny is on his own. But he has a will to survive.
What I thought: I have read the first part of the trilogy a couple years ago and always knew I want to continue. But I also knew it will be a book that takes a lot of courage for me to pick up. It is not easy to hear what is written here. It is based on a true story. I decided to listen to the book as I realized I am not as involved as if I read. I often had to stop and not continue because again I could only take so much. I am glad I read this book. However I am also glad I don’t have to do so again.
Language: German (English available under the title “So Near the Abyss”)
Recommend to: Everyone who can stomach reading about the sexual child abuse.

Zum Kaffee bei Mr. Dalton: Verwunschene Orte by Lilly Labord | ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: Holly tries again to learn and conquer her magic. Of course there still is the battle with her sister. She learns about hidden family secrets but it all escalates. The magicians fright against PRIMSA and the Council and it’s all very complictaed.
What I thought: I am not really involved in this series and I just want to get over it. The characters are rather flat and don’t develop at all (4th book and the main character is still not able to handle her magic…) I will finish the last one but I am rather happy it’s over then.
Language: German
Recommend to: xx

Nelkenliebe by Anja Saskia Beyer| ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: Katharinas father has only month to live. He has three wishes before he dies. One is to find his first love and to know why things didn’t work out between them. We start on a journey through Portugal and learn about people and history while trying to track down Marisa. At the same time Katharina is taking a closer look at her own life and how and with whom she wants to live it.
What I thought: I needed an easy and quick read for my train travel. For that the book was perfect. I liked the setting in Lissabon and Portugal. I bet it’s even better when you visit there on vacation. I also like the history about Portugals dictator Salazar and his regime. I had no idea about that and learnt about it for the first time. However I didn’t really like Katharina’s love story too much. It was too black and white. It was somewhat cliché and very much predictable. Gerd and Marisas story was a bit more interesting however the flash backs felt a bit forced to give you a history lesson specially towards the end. It was entertaining but I have read better.
Language: German
Recommend to: Everyone loving a low-key love story while learning about a new country and it’s history.

Life and other near death experiences by Camille Pagán | ★★⋆⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: When Libby Miller’s life crumbles within seconds she drops everything to escape to the Caribbean. Struggling with her ex husband, trying to sell the apartment, a noisy twin brother, a sickness that needs treating and a new love it is quite a bit there is to handle.
What I thought: The main character was not very likable in my opinion and rather judge mental and one dimensional.
It was not a light fluffy read but also didn’t carry any deep conversations on the topic. 
And while it picked up slightly towards the end I somehow predicted the outcome and was just waiting for it. 
For me it was a bit too shallow.
Language: English
Recommend to: Anyone needing some quick read that is not the typical love story.

Niemals by Andreas Pflüger | ★⋆⭐︎⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: Jenny Aaron is part of a special police force. After an accident that left her blind she receives a bunch of money from a former suspect. She is trying to figure out why that is. And while doing so re-works an old case and sheds more light on it.
What I thought: What a waste of time. I really did not enjoy this book at all. It was at least well written so I actually finished. Later on there were some interesting techniques about interrogation described and also the topic of blindness was interesting. But the story itself was more than boring in my opinion.
Language: German
Recommend to: If you like Tatort and thrillers you might enjoy it.

The Koran

What’s it about: Well, the religious book for Islam. What else to say.
What I thought: It was a tough read. I was struggling with the language, the rhyme or flow… If you are not at all familiar it is not really possible to understand. The version I read had many footnotes and historic infos but I skipped a lot of them because the interrupted reading even more. It was good to see a few parallels and similar stories you can find in the Bible. One thing I can say for sure is that the Koran is not as violent as it is often made out to be.
Language: German – available in almost all languages
Recommend to: Everyone wanting to learn about other religions and being open minded.

And there you have it. All the books I read in June. What a selection. If you want more info on what I thought about them and what I currently read we should be friends on Goodreads. Also drop one in the comment I should read this summer.

Happy reading


Soulfood – Saxonian Quarkkeulchen with a twist

plate with saxonian quarkkeulchen with applesauce and cinnamon real soul food

Some days call for soul food. Like really you need it to take another breath on this damaged world we live in. Please tell me I am not the only one. While I am often drawn towards hot semolina for breakfast. I recently remembered “Quarkkeulchen”. Something my mom made only every once in a while. It’s a Saxonian dish, very regional in Germany. Not a lot of people know about it. It’s a shame because souldfood coming out of a pan is always a good idea. And Saxonian Quarkkeulchen are pretty much the best there are.

As so many great dishes it is actually a meal made of left overs. Here you traditionally use boiled potatoes. But let’s be honest there is no such thing as left over potatoes. At least not in this house. Maybe the reason why it’s not often made.

stacked Saxonian quarkkeulchen real German soulfood

However I remember that there was a hack using some pre-made potatoes dumpling dough that you can buy almost in every supermarket (here in Germany at least).

Saxonian Quarkkeulchen – my souldfood of 2020:

  • 375 g potato dumpling dough (aka Kloßmasse) – it’s half a package
  • 250 g quark (curd)
  • 50 g flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar ( I often use brown sugar) – use more if you like it sweeter
  • 1 egg
  • a bit of grated lemon peel if you like
  • raisin if you prefer
  • cinnamon sugar
  • apple sauce
German soulfood Saxonian Quarkkeulchen fried in a pan served with cinnamon sugar and apple sauce
  1. Whip up the dough by combining dumpling dough, quark, flour and egg. Add lemon and rain if you like.
  2. Heat a pan with oil or shortening and form small patties of the dough.
  3. Fry until golden brown and crisp on the outside and a bit mushy inside.
  4. Serve hot or cold with cinnamon sugar and applesauce.

If you prefer to not use dumpling dough you can easy boil up potatoes, let them cool and grate them. Perfect if you do come across some left overs.

Be warned this dish is very filling. But also very delicious so you might find yourself reaching for just one more even though you are already stuffed.

Now have you ever heard of this dish? Or even eaten it? And do you have one of those dishes that are very regional to were you live that your friends from the next town over might not even have heard about? I love those little hidden recipes that are handed down through generations, that you grow up with and casually mention and suddenly realize the person next to you has not the faintest idea what you talk about.

saxionian quarkkeulchen stacked on a plate with applesauce and cinnamon sugar real German souldfood

Well, you better get some potatoes boiling or shopping because you probably feel like having some Quarkkeulchen right now.

And if you are not to fond of sweets you might like my other very regional and all time favorite summer dish Schmorgurken.

Happy cooking


Summer Bucket List – Enjoying Summer 2020

enjoying summer 2020 staying home craftaliciousme seeking creative life

Remember that I believe summer starts with June 1st? With that logic we are already a few days into the season. Nevertheless I decided to make yet another list. A list to help enjoy summer 2020 to the fullest. Because let’s face it: there won’t be any long distance vacation coming up anytime soon. We are definitely not planning on traveling anywhere this year. So sad but even more important to seek out some fun in the home town:

  1. ✔ Bake a sugar free cake.
    Apparently this didn’t happen in spring so let’s do it now.
  2. ✔ See the water front.
    Spend as many moments as possible with some water close by.
  3. Finish #the100dayproject
    I have taken a break as life and the worlds happenings have clearly overwhelmed me lately. I am hoping to picking up the habit again and crossing off a few more of my projects on the list.
  4. Read one book with more that 700 pages.
    There is a challenge (#dickebüchercamp) I might join. I have a couple contenders.
  5. Take a boat trip.
    Since there won’t be a vacay I am thinking about renting a boat (maybe with friends) and spent a day on the river.
  6. Enjoy my dads garden party.
    If the pandemic allows my dad is throwing a big party celebrating his lifes pivot point of living longer in a united Germany than in the former GDR.
  7. ✔ Meeting some friends again.
    I have been putting off meeting friends. I miss my dear friend A. lots as we haven’t seen each other since February. I have had a couple dinner requests but was reluctant.
  8. Have a movie night at home.
    We watch a lot of movies. Basically every time we have breakfast and dinner on weekends. However I want to have a more planned one. With a cool meal, popcorn in buckets (a birthday present) and a pre-picked movie.
  9. Enjoy my balcony daily.
    It’s the time for morning coffees outside and an outdoor office until the sun hits the screen.
  10. ✔ Make ice cream.
    I think I haven’t used my ice cream maker last year. This year I try one or two new recipes.
  11. Celebrate 15 years with Mr. ♡
    Yep, this July we have been dating for 15 years. Crazy how time flies.
  12. Going swimming.
    It’s been on my list last year. And I already had the itching to jump in a lake and take a swim. I am not the girl who needs a swim to feel a live and I don’t consider myself a good swimmer but something is calling me.
  13. Visit the Drive-in Cinema
    I want to do this for so so long but I can’t quite convince the husband to join. And the movies selection hasn’t been that great… But maybe this year.

And this is how I plan on enjoying summer 2020. Don’t always need to travel far to have some fun. What are your plans? Travel or #stayathome? Now let me know what’s on your list because I am sure my days are not completely filled yet.

Happy summer time


P.S. if you need inspiration for your own summer list check out my archive 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016.


coffee date craftaliciousme seeking creative life

What has happened to this year? I mean seriously I feel like I have lived life twice or more already and we haven’t even done half of it. I need some quiet and that is why I suggest grabbing our to-go cups and go to the cemetery. We sit on the bench close by the chapel overlooking the blackberry trees. The sun is hitting the spot and the trees are whispering in the wind. After we enjoyed the silence a bit we start chatting.

Sipping our coffee…
we’d talk about the current happenings and how they effect us. I want to know how you are doing. How you are handling the situation in your town. If you are effected by riots, by racism, your experiences and all. I did have a few deeper conversations with the husband. As he is a POC it came up once in a while throughout the years but I have to admit that I might have not understood him completely. And might have hurt him with my misunderstanding and misjudging of situations. It’s not a good feeling and so I need to learn more but I really need to listen and that has always been a hard one for me.

Sipping our coffee…
I admit that everything going on has me mentally struggling. The whole corona thing all started out quite ok for me but now with rules bing lifted and exceptions of friends, family and society being high to get back to previous lifestyles I am struggling. On top the political situation. And we are heading towards summer which always has me in a weird mentally space and I can feel depression knocking on my mental firewall. And I am so terrible sleepy all the damn time…

Sipping our coffee…
I wonder if you have ever made yourself an herbal tea from collected wild herbs and plants. I recently started getting into gather some plants and drying them to make my own selection of teas. I have so much to learn but I feel like it is something I enjoy. I would love to hear more if you have similar passions.

Sipping our coffee…
I’d share about my last weekend. I went to the country side to spent a few hours with family in the garden and celebrate my birthday. It was nice seeing everyone and it’s not often that all my siblings and parents are in the same spot nowadays. So we had lemon bundt cake with elderflowers and later we BBQ. It was a nice day. And I am really glad this years birthday was so much more fun that last years.

Sipping our coffee…
we talk about what we wear. I mentioned that I tried to wear self-made outfits in May (check out the challenge #memademay) but was not able to do so daily. We also talk about our clothing style. I still struggle with finding enough things to wear that make me feel good. How do you know what fits your personality. And what happens when all your clothe never fit because weight underlies such fluctuations. It’s so annoying.

Sipping our coffee…
I’d ask you what your summer vacation plans are. Are you planning on traveling somewhere? Will you spent this summer in your neck of the woods? We decided there won’t be much vacation going on which involves long distant traveling. Maybe a weekend in an airbnb but even that we are not sure. As most of Germany will spend time inside the country all the interesting spots will be so crowded that I believe it will not be very relaxing. So maybe we do a vacation in Berlin and do a few day trips. But I am open for my input und ideas.

We empty our cups, look at the darker clouds crowing the sky and decided to head back home. Not before agreeing to check in next month and to agree to pay Lecy a quick visit.

Have a great month of June


At the Moment #6

It’s my birthday today. And for a few years I take a minute (or two) to do an annual check in. It puts the year in perspective. It shows all the good things that happened. And it helps me realize to what I wish for. What I hope for. And this time around hoping and wishing is much needed.

at the moment craftaliciousme seeking creative life

.I think:
… 2020 will be a very peculiar year. So much is happening – half of what we are probably not (yet) recognizing. Most we are missing and still it’s effecting every single person on this planet one way or the other it seems. Pandemic, civil war like situations in the U.S., refugees in camps, horrific fires in Australia, earthquakes… You name it. And this year is not even half over. So much living we have to do…

.I like:
… not having migraines as badly anymore. Just this morning I had an aura but usually they pass without any pain now. The shots seemed to really have helped.

.I don’t like:
… myself a lot of times. And that is a very sad realization.

.I feel:
… Weltschmerz. I don’t know any other way to describe the current wariness. The disillusioning of what is happening to this world. So much pain. So much hate. So many egocentric people.

.I wear:
… my Apple Watch daily now.

.I learn:
… Spanish and should pick up a regular routine again. Also trying myself to read faster.

.I need:
…more self-confidence

.I’m annoyed by:
… people being egoistic.

.I want:
… to be able to read faster. Imagine all the books you could devour.

.I hear:
… my favorite playlist called “my happy place”.

.I’m making:
… all the things. This years 100 day project is finishing up all those projects I started, never finished or never tackled. I have made quite a few things lately. Right now I am working on doing our wedding photo album. It drags on. I am not good at editing out.

.I eat:
… asparagus. As long as it is still in season.

.I drink:
… a lot of coffee.

.I gather:
… herbs and wild leaves to make my own herbal tea for fall season. At least that is my plan.

.I smell:
… the neighbors cat litter box. The disadvantage of a balcony in an apartment building.

.I miss:
… my best friend. Our monthly date has been canceled three times and I haven’t seen her since the beginning of March. I hope we soon will.

.I regret:
… not being able to listen closely. Not being able to express my thoughts correctly. Causing pain.

.I enjoy:
… my quiet mornings where I read and learn new things and drink my coffee. And finally I can do it on the balcony again.

.I appreciate:
… Mr. ♡ taking the day off even though he is drowning at work because I had such a crappy experience last year being all by myself all day on my birthday.

.I trust.
… we will see better times. I trust we will come out stronger as a society. I trust that history will not repeat itself and that the human race is actually able to learn from its mistakes.

.I dream:
… of house or apartment by the water. Still. Forever. Probably.

.I read:
… Pippi Longstocking. It seemed like the right time to dive into my favorite children’s book.

Well, this has been a bit gloomy. Didnt want it to be but apparently that is the feeling at the moment. I love checking back and comparing with previous years once I am done writing. Feel free to also have a look: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019.

Happy birthday to me and happy day to you