Tag Archives: summer

Summer by the Sea

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Today, I wanted to share a non-bookish glimpse into my life with you. If you’re following me on Instagram, you may have seen some of these already – but they are all nicely collected here.

We spent a week in Fažana, which is a small coastal town in Istria, a Croatian peninsula not far from Slovenian border. We visited other places up and down Istrian coast in previous years and we decided to book a place in this auto camp because it had nice, new mobile homes (they’re like tiny apartment houses with a verandah out front). My husband and I are very fond of camping (in a tent) but since I’m seven months pregnant, I really had no desire to sleep on the floor and to have to walk to communal bathrooms twice a night with a headlamp.

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The week began with some poor weather, so we took a trip to Pula, which is the largest town of the region (very pretty in its own right, we’ve often visited). But we needed a good entertainment option for Kiddo, so we picked the aquarium. I had no idea it was this large and well-appointed! It also has a sea turtle rescue center where they keep injured sea turtles (the big ones!) until they’re well enough to be released back into the sea.

Kiddo was very, very happy with this choice – especially since we’d just watched Finding Nemo yet again and we found a special tropical tank with Dory, Nemo, and several other fish from the movie. We also saw sharks, which were fascinating to him. For me, the best display was a lit-up tank of jellyfish, which I would be terrified of meeting out in the open sea, but they look so beautiful like this.

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We had a very nice lunch at the Fažana marina, where we could watch boats coming and going and some gulls looking for fish. The weather was so hot it was actually a bit tiring for me – pregnancy and heatwaves don’t mix well. But I spent the afternoon in the shade, which was nice. My husband is the best, he takes really good care of me and our kid.

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The last evening, I took some time to walk along the beach, listening to an audiobook while A. put Kiddo to bed (we alternate nights). It was still hot but not unbearably so and the sky was cloudless, so it was easy to take a series of slightly clichéd photos of the sunset. :)

Kiddo then stayed on for another week of the holidays with his grandparents (my mom and dad) while we returned home to get some free time. As I’m writing this, he’s still there and I miss him so much already but I’m also looking forward to sleeping in and having some time to really dig into my work.

srcek

Are you planning on visiting the beach this year? Does this mean the sea or a lake for you?

What are your favourite ways to relax during the summer?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

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My Summer TBR

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I know summer has officially begun already and I’ve even spent a week at the seaside (which you probably realized if you’re following me on Instagram) but then I read Jolien’s post, in which she featured a number of great books she wants to get to this summer, and I thought I’d do something similar – both to keep myself from buying any more books (I own all but one of these already) and to remember I have fantastic reading to look forward to, even if I’ll be stuck in Ljubljana for most of July.

These are the books I’m hoping to read this summer (I’ll be crossing them off the list as I finish them):

  1. Half Wildhalf-wild-sally-green by Sally Green – this is one of those books that would otherwise languish on my bookshelf for a while. I got my copy from a friend and even though I’ve heard that this second part of the series isn’t as good as the first, the third is supposed to be fantastic.
  2. The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano – I have a Slovenian translation of this one and it’s supposed to be very good. I have no idea what it’s about (if you know, don’t tell me) but my mom recommended it so it’s bound to be good. (read in August)
  3. Sweet Little Lies by Jill Shalvis – this one isn’t out yet (four more days to go!!) but I have a preorder, because duh, it’s Shalvis. (read in June; unsurprisingly)
  4. Torn by Jennifer L. Armentrout – this is the second part of Armentrout’s New Adult paranormal romance series, coming out in July. I’m buddy reading it with Danya and Becky because Armentrout’s paranormals are our weakness, and we’ll be reviewing it soon after. (read in August)
  5. Rebel of the Sandsrebel-of-the-sands-hamilton by Alwyn Hamilton – I bought this one on a whim because it had a gorgeous cover (I saw the paperback in a bookstore in Vienna) + Alicia recommended it. It’s been sitting on my shelf for three months now and I really need to get to it, even if it means starting a new series instead of continuing an old one.
  6. The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison – I got this one because it’s a standalone and so many bloggers I trust have raved about it. The paperback I got is tiny compared to some of the fat fantasy tomes on our shelves. (read in July)
  7. Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier – as Daughter of the Forest was one of the best books I read in 2015, this is long overdue. I finally ordered a copy and will get to it soon. (read in July)
  8. And I Darken by Kiersten White – this is the only ARC on this list. It’s one of the few I requested in these past few months because I’m trying to be better at that (YAY for a 81% ratio on NetGalley!). I think this might be my next read since it comes out on June 28! (read in July)
  9. The Wrath and the Dawnwrath-and-dawn-renee-ahdieh by Renée Ahdieh – I picked up an e-book of this one when it was a Kindle deal, though I love the cover and it would look great on my shelves. Oh, well, I guess I can’t have everything… I also heard the second (and final) part is very, very good, so I’m intrigued!
  10. The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch – the only reread on this list so far. If you remember, DJ and I started a read-along of the entire series a while ago – I just managed to read Red Seas under Red Skies this past week (I’m waaay behind schedule). So we have two months to tackle The Republic before The Thorn of Emberlain is published in September!
  11. Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine – I’ve heard nothing but great things about this one + I have an e-book already, so it’s high time I read it, I think. (read in August)
  12. No Good Dragon Goes Unpunishedno-good-dragon-goes-unpunished-aaron by Rachel Aaron – okay, this is ARC #2 on my list. Did you see that? I GOT AN ARC of this one!! I was contacted by the author (or rather her husband) personally because I reviewed (and loved!!) Nice Dragons Finish Last and One Good Dragon Deserves Another. Woop! I am super excited to read what adventures await Julius and Marci (and other amazing dragons). (read in August)
  13. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë – ugh, the classics. I made some resolutions this year about reading more classics, so I’m putting dear old Jane on my list. It’s high time I read this story and the tiny, gorgeous edition with golden leaf edges is staring at me accusingly from my bookshelf (I moved it to a more visible position recently).

Well, I think this is quite ambitious. If I succeed in reading all of these, it’ll mean a significant dent in my general tbr pile and make me a very happy blogger indeed.

srcek

What will you be reading this summer?

Have you read any of these and should I make those books a priority?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

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Blue

DSC_0021Last week, we spent four days at my parents’ weekend house. While it rained one day (YAY for Ikea and new stationery!), it was sunny most of the time, so we took long walks and I took photos. I didn’t even do anything to these photos (I’m trying to learn about photography and photo editing but it’s a process…). Some were taken with our Canon camera and others with my phone. This first one is a view of the Gulf of Trieste from Via Napoleonica, an old road that offers magnificent views and a shelter from the wind even in the middle of the winter (or so we’ve been told).

DSC_0005After one stormy night, the skies were washed clean and the clouds were amazing.

DSC_0028Look, a bear! (Or possibly a weasel.)

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They’re so fluffy!

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I really appreciate my husband. He kept the kiddo occupied while I played at being a photographer. (I mean, I obviously appreciate him for so many things but I can imagine stopping constantly can be a bit frustrating…)

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I love the burnt summer grass, the colours are pretty.

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That bottom one looks like a macaron/hamburger.

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And this is the lovely view from Vremščica, a hilltop near my parents’ house. We could see for miles and miles around, the air was very clear. We also found delicious wild strawberries and saw some donkeys and sheep!

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srcek

Do you get fascinated by the skies sometimes? 

Have you been taking any (day) trips this summer? 

I’d love to hear from you! :)

Chasing Summer with Muffins

We didn’t get much of a summer here in Slovenia this year. It didn’t bother me as much because I really don’t like the sweltering heat that is completely unbearable in the city, but lots of holidaygoers were really disappointed. Also, summer isn’t really my favourite season – I much prefer spring and fall with their changing nature and milder temperatures.

Nevertheless, I like some summery things. I like eating watermelon, ice-cream and fresh veggies from my parents’ garden. I like reading in the shade. I like the smell of freshly mown grass and barbecue. I like sitting outside in the evenings without having to put a sweater on.

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These muffins* remind me of summer. They are tender and moist and fragrant with spices. My parents’ garden always has a huge zucchini outburst somewhere in the middle of the summer and we usually run out of ideas for using them, so I’ve recently started baking with them. mafini3

See how glossy they are? That’s an orange glaze, people, and it’s delectable. I highly recommend making these if you have spare zucchini on hand.

* Notes:

  • The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of sugar – I used 1 1/4 cups and still found them plenty sweet.
  • Also, the glaze recipe on the site makes you use 1 1/2 cups of confectioner’s sugar – that would make enough glaze for… something like 50 muffins in my opinion. But then I didn’t want the glaze to be overwhelmingly thick on top, I just wanted another slight hint of orange and sugar.
  • I filled 12 muffin cups with the batter and it almost overflowed – I guess if I used fancy tulip-shaped cones like Martha, I could have put more batter in each one. Or maybe my muffin tin has smaller cups? Who knows.

I also made this zucchini spice bread recently (exchanging some of the white flour for the whole-meal variety) and it was really, really good. A friend’s toddler ate two whole slices and had to be stopped eventually – though in all fairness I think he’s just in the phase where he’ll eat anything sweet that they give him.

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Do you have any favourite zucchini recipes? I’ve got several waiting to be used and I could really do with some inspiration!

How about a favourite muffin recipe?