MOXIE 2020 – Time for those resolutions

This post is one of my most cherished New Years Traditions. It all starts with finding a word for the New Year. Once that is done the goals, intentions and dreams are manifesting. Or is it the other way around? Do dreams lurk in the shadows of unconciousness and give hints so the right word emerges? Whichever way it is, it is working.

Looking back to the six+ years I have been doing the practice the words all have had value – some more some less:
💭 2013 – CRAFTALICIOUSME
💭 2014 – unfortunately I can’t remember a motto or word
💭 2015 – APPRECIATION
💭 2016 – LOSE
💭 2017 – BECOME Venturous & Lightsome
💭 2018 – BEAUTIFY
💭 2019 – TRUST

This years word will be MOXIE. I have not the slightest idea how that one sneaked up on me. I’ve heard of it but I couldn’t have told you what it meant. Maybe I still can’t quite grasp it but it feels right. The word is of Yiddish origin and the urban dictionary says: “It means a person full of energy, pep, courage or determination.” And that is exactly what I try to find, live and celebrate in 2020. Any additional layers this word offers will have to be discovered.

I am having one overall goal or intention this year and that is to wrap up projects. To no longer just talk about all the thing I’d like to do, to day dream about the the things that I start one day, when time is finally right. No this year I want to do. I want to find the ENERGY to start a project and finish it. To have enough focus and determination to see it through. On the other hand I need the courage to finally decide if certain things deserve to reappear on my to-do list over and over again. If I can’t find time and energy to start maybe it never was a project to follow through. And don’t forget the task that are a necessity to life that need to be taken care of, that spark no joy, that just belong to adulthood. I need to takle those as well. Don’t procrastinate, don’t find excuses – start, do, finish!

Then there are the hidden dreams, the nuggets of an unspoken ideas. The ones I lack the CONDFIDENCE to talk about, take the first step, just give it a chance to see if it is something worth persuing. The things that just need to be started and figured out while you are already on your way and wondering what took you so long to take that first step. I need to find my MOXIE. My spark that I have lost somewhere in the beginning of the last decade. I want to go out into the world and grab opportunities, leave my comfort zone, test out new things, speak my mind when necessary but also learn to find my inner core.

I will probably start by reading a couple books because you can never not be prepared. For one Elise’s book “Big Dreams, Daily Joys” I specially saved for January, And the other one “Step into your moxie” fitting my word perfectly. Maybe I’ll be recreating this sweater.

Did you choose a little word to guide you through 2020? Feel free to share in the comments, I’d love to hear it.

Happy New Year to you and may it be a perfect one to start off a new decade

Tobia

MY 2019: SEVEN YEARS OF BLOGGING

Who would have thought in 2013 that seven years later I am still here. I am still typing away on this space in the internet and there are (still) a few people finding it’s way to my site. So I will not break the chain and once again reminisce about what has happened in the blogging world in 2019 and in seven years of blogging. (Feel free to hop on to previous years year six, year five, year four, year three, year two, year one).

Blogging

Compared to last year I have been showing up more consistently and I can proudly say there hasn’t been a months I didn’t blog. Yeah me! Overall there were 38 posts published. My personal favorite was the recap of me moving to the U.S. 20 years ago but I also had a lot of fun writing the reading list for 2019. It comes as no surprise that the most time consuming post to wrote was my 101 goals in 1000 days though.
But let’s have a look about your favorites this year:

Your most visited post from this year though was my round-up of my current favorite Instagram accounts and the (almost) monthly coffee dates are also well liked.

Social Media

I spent a lot of time on Instagram this year. And even though my following has not increased I deleted all the spam accounts and lonely soldiers It was great way for me to connect to people and have some lovely conversations. I even got to meet people in real life. I have tried to re-connect with Twitter but somehow have not really been able to. Do you still use twitter? Also I have not been neglecting Pinterest a little and might need to spent more time there next year.

Over all I have found more joy and love in blogging in 2019 than in previous years. I had many more posts to write and drafted but since I had my arm injury I need to slow things down. I am hoping for 2020 I will be able to continue or maybe post a little bit more. If you have something your would like to read about let me know in the comments. If you want to follow along for my journey in year eight add me on Feedly or Bloglovin. Also lots of talk happening over at Instagram of course.

Happy New Year

Tobia

COLLECTION OF WALL CALENDAR FOR 2020 {FREEBIES}

Slowly very very slowly I try to settle into this new year. Into this new decade. My desk is still a mess. My plan to at least have that desk cleared by end of 2019 didn’t quite work out and here I am trying to create a blank slate to start fresh and new. With minimal success. Instead I have searched the web for free printable calendars to make my office space look all ready to go – once it is cleaned. Well, now that I have spent all that time why don’t I share what I have come across.

Boho Calendar by botanical paperworks

I like the natural vibe this one gives off and it is a contender for the one ending up in my room as the colors are so fitting too.

Selflove calendar by mirrorworld

Last year I used Viktorias calendar and again this year I love the floral embellishments and the little quote. Another hot contender for my office.

Typography calendar by vorstadtleben

Another clean and simple calendar with a bit of embellishing font. It also has some space to add information or notes.

Minimalistic calendar by paulsvera

If you like a simple clean calendar this minimalistic design might be right up your alley. Every year I save it but in the end I guess I am a bit more playful.

Floral calendar by papertraildesign

A colorful calendar with floral watercolor images to spruce up the office space and make you smile.

Fun Pattern calendar by gatheringbeauty

This calendar instantly spreads happiness and cheer with its colorful patterns. For some it might be a bit too childlike but I could think of a few you’d like this.

Blush calendar by colorfuldisaster

This is such a cute calendar and I love everything about it. The graphics, the quotes – however I wished they were on the calendar pages to read them throughout the months.

As always you can find a few more on my Pinterest Board. Enjoy picking out your little calendar for next year. And let me know which one you decided to print.
Happy day to you

Tobia

All shown calendars are hand selected by me. When you click the headline you will directly go to the website of the creator. This is not a sponsored post I just like to share my finds and if that is advertising other creatives work so be it.

Hello winter – bucket list for my favorite season

Winter is here. At least for me. As you may know winter starts December 1 or with the first snow fall. It least in my house. The snowfall usually comes later. This year however I am somewhat caught off guard. I just haven’t gotten all the things done I felt I needed to do. I have still too much work stuff to cross off the list to enjoy the season. I can’t craft as much as I’d like to due to my arm injury and in general life just flies by. To make the most of my favorite season I wrote yet another bucket list. But let’s do a quick check-in of the fall list first:

1. ✔𝗫 Finishing #the100daysofcraftaliciousimages project. Crossed off a few days.
2. ✔𝗫 Participating in #inktober – painted twice… better than nothing
3. ✔𝗫 Participating in #NaBloPoMO again – I made it on half the days.
4. 𝗫 Sew a pencil skirt
5. ✔ Baking pumpkin muffins – so yummy
6. ✔ Take walks and enjoy the changing season. 
7. ✔ Sell stuff on eBay 
8. ✔ Read Dracula 
9. ✔ Spending a weekend in Venice
10. ✔ Getting cozy
11. ✔ Getting started on xmas presents

craftaliciousme seeking creative life meadow with dew

Here is my winter bucket list to celebrate my favorite season.

1. Take a walk in the snowfall.
Nothing better than watch the dancing snowflakes and feeling the cold air on your cheeks.

2. ✔ Go to a Christmas concert.
As every year I am invited to a classical concert my godfathers wife is organizing. It will be my own personal Christmas party since I don’t work in an office anymore.

3. Get into Holiday spirit.
As I said I was caught by surprise this year. So I will try to find the spirit in all the odd places.

4. ✔ Celebrate our 6. Wedding Anniversary
I can not believe it’s been that long but it’s true. I feel like treating ourselves to a little anniversary trip. Maybe after seeing Helsinki for the 4th we go see Oslo now…

5. ✔ Visit Roncalli Christmas Circus
My littlest sister asked to spend an afternoon together eating cookies and visiting the circus since she won’t be home for Christmas this time around.

6. Plan vacations for 2020
It’s never too early thinking about a vacation. Usually we are always too late, everything is booked and we end up doing compromises. Maybe if you start spitballing ideas now, we might go on a bigger trip coming year.

7. ✔ Unravel 2019 and find a word for 2020
I am so looking forward to Susannah Conways workbook. I think it will be year 5 I am doing it. It’s the best during the years to reflect and get focus.

8. Go ice skating
I know this one makes the list every year. Hopefully it will be cold enough so the lakes are frozen and this will happen.

9. Try to catch a snowflake on camera.
I always wanted to do that but never did. Hope to find the the time.

10. Spend some cozy days with Mr. ♡.
He plans on a three week vacation over the holidays so I foresee lots of relaxing and movies.

11. Be kind
In times where everyone runs around hectic and stressed I want to make a conscious effort to be nice. This pdf should be a good reminder.

Did you make a list for the season? I’d love to have a peek. If you need inspiration you might find it here, here and here.

Happy December

Tobia

MY FAVORITE BOOKS 2019

As we are coming close to the end of 2019 it’s time to reflect on all the great books I have read. In total I am at xx currently but I believe a few more make the list. Of course I had a few favorite books in 2019 so let’s dive in.

Oremere Chronicles by Helen Scheuerer | ★★★★★

“In a realm where toxic mist sweeps the lands and magic is forbidden, all Bleak wants is a cure for her power.
Still grieving the death of her guardian, still trying to suppress her magic and dangerously self-medicating with alcohol, Bleak is snatched from her home by the commander of the king’s army, and summoned to the capital.”


You might think when reading this premises “I’ve read those stories a million times” and while this might be partly true I found the world it is all set in very interesting and different. Also to me the story felt a bit more grown up. Issues of addition were tackled, the ups and downs of friendship and forgiveness. I enjoyed it immensely and might have shed a tear too.

Daughters of the Dragon by William Andrews | ★★★★★

“During World War II, the Japanese forced 200,000 young Korean women to be sex slaves or “comfort women” for their soldiers. “Daughters of the Dragon” is one woman’s riveting story of strength, courage and promises kept.”

This was an intense read. The first 20 % are tough to go through and heart shattering. After that it gets a bit easier but nevertheless it is not a “pleasure” read. Still I flew through the book and forgot everything around me. 

I was aspecially impressed how graceful the whole topic was told. While it was often brutal and detailed it was never vulgar or pervers. I also felt the feelings of woman were well captured and that is not always the case with male authors. Chapeau.

I highly recommend reading this book. However be aware that it is no beach read.

“If you do not have courage, you will never blossom into the flower you were meant to be.”

Daughters of the Dragon – William Andrews

Dragon Queen by William Andrews | ★★★★★

“As tensions rise on the Korean peninsula, US diplomat Nate Simon is sent to Seoul to gauge the political situation and advise the president. He also needs to find out why someone sent the president an ancient, intricately carved comb with an ivory inlay of a two-headed dragon. Though familiar with Korea’s language and culture, Nate knows little of its troubled history. Beautiful and mysterious embassy aide Anna Carlson believes it’s time he learns, starting with the extraordinary story of Korea’s last queen.”

As the first book “Daughter of the Dragon” it was wonderfully written and swept me away into the world of a proud but grief stricken Korea.
I didn’t much care for the present story of Anna and Nate. But the life of the Dragon Queen was so interesting and engaging. It showed compassion and toughness in a male dominated dynasty. It showed humanity and love. All while quietly education about Koreas culture and history.

“You can wear the crown on your head and sit silently on the throne like the stones in the palace walls. Or you can wear the crown on your heart and be like a dragon who rules the forest. If you choose to be a stone, you must make yourself dead. If you choose to be a dragon, you must be alert and quick because many will want to slay you.”

Dragon Queen – William Andrews

Requiem for a Robin by Carter Bowman | ★★★★★

The haunted world of the Chryssians has crept upon the country of Passerine for the past one hundred years. Today, seventeen-year-old Lily Egret stands at a crossroads: spend the remainder of her days in hiding, or risk exposing the secret that will put her life in jeopardy.  
But something dangerous is growing inside of Lily—something that refuses to hide any longer. With no options left, Lily breaks the rules holding her life together and flees into the ruins of Chryssus, where more than specters wait for her in the shadows. Even safety comes with a price, though. With war on the brink, Lily will have to choose between her new allies and the only home she’s ever known. 


This was a pleasant and surprising read. I am glad I picked this one up.
Great world building and different setting from what I came across so far. The main character is not the smooth I-know-it all-heroine but has flaws and struggles that are actually relatable and believable. Looking forward to read more in the Second Soul series.

Strange the Dreamer Duology by Laini Taylor | ★★★★★

“The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way aroundand Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.
Love and hate, revenge and redemption, destruction and salvation all clash in this astonishing and heart-stopping sequel.”


Laien Taylor was a new to me author and I will definitely check out her other books. Her writing is just amazing, so whimsically crafted and the wording had such a nice flow.
I loved all the characters – they were not flat but had personality, good and evil had depths to it. And of course the storyline line was just beautiful, engaging and magical. A whole new world to discover.
if you like fantasy go read!

“Wishes don’t just come true. They’re only the target you paint around what you want. You still have to hit the bull’s-eye yourself.”

Muse of Nightmare – Laini Taylor

Vergiss kein einziges Wort by Dörthe Binkert | ★★★★⭐︎

Three epochs, three women, three destinies.
It’s the story of Martha, Maria and Magda from small Salesian town Gleiwitz which mirrors the history of the boarder region between Germany, Poland and Chzechia. The life between Christians and Jews, families being formed, families being expelled, families being left and reconnected. This stories takes place between 1920 and 1960 and beautifully portraits area and region and how close joy and sorrow are intertwined.


I immensely enjoyed this read. I struggled a bit to get into the writing style but the story immediately captured me. Even though this book was over 600 pages I would have continued reading to hear more about certain lives.
I especially enjoyed it as my Grandma was born and raised in this region and fled during WWII. It sometimes felt like reading her story.
Also some situations made me wonder about certain parallels to todays politics and situations. It felt very up-todate.
If you enjoy historical fiction this one is for your. Unfortunately it’s only in German but I hear translations are in progress.

The Book Thief by Mark Zusak | ★★★★⭐︎

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.
By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.


I’ve heard so much about this book that I really wanted to read it. It is beautifully written and is bordering on poetic. I enjoyed that very much. The story itself could have been a bit stronger for me. Don’t get me wrong it was nicely told and had lots of detail and heartbreak. However I was missing something. Maybe I was just very bothered with the German phrases that were included and always translated – so when you understand German it’s a bit annoying. Until the very end it was a 3 star book for me. But then I cried while reading the last pages and since I can not remember the last book doing that to me I upgraded to 4 stars.

“It was one of those moments of perfect tiredness, of having conquered not only the work at hand, but the night who had blocked the way.”

Mark Zusak

Nachtblau by Simone van de Vlugt | ★★★★⭐︎

“Following the sudden death of her husband, twenty-five-year old Catrin leaves her small village and takes a job as a housekeeper to the successful Van Nulandt merchant family. Amsterdam is a city at the peak of its powers: science and art are flourishing in the Golden Age and Dutch ships bring back exotic riches from the Far East. Madam Van Nulandt passes her time taking expensive painting lessons from a local master, Rembrandt van Rigin, and when Catrin takes up a brush to finish some of her mistress’s work, Rembrandt realizes the maid has genuine talent, and encourages her to continue. 
When a figure from her past threatens her new life, Catrin flees to the smaller city of Delft. There, her gift as a painter earns her a chance to earn a living painting pottery at a local workshop. Slowly, the workshop begins to develop a new type of pottery to rival fancy blue-on-white imported Chinese porcelain—and the graceful and coveted Delft Blue designs she creates help revolutionize the industry. But when tragedy strikes, Catrin must decide whether to defend her newfound independence, or return to the village that she’d fled.”


I really enjoyed this story and the setting in the art scene and characters one might know from art class or museums. Mentioned people and paintings do exist. Of course it’s historical fiction but I liked it and it was a entertaining read.

“Wohin fliegt der Seufzer?, fragt er. “Nirgendwohin. Er bleibt hier. Es war ein Seufzer des Glücks.”

Nachtblau – Simone van de Vlugt

This is my selection of favorite books 2019. I’ve read many more and you can find my reviews on Goodreads. Also let’s be friends there to build our TBR pile.

Happy reading

Tobia