In First Person: My Favourite Films

in first person

In First Person is a monthly meme here on Books and Hot Tea. Every first of the month I talk about a topic that is not related to books. Feel free to leave comments and chat with me!

Is this possible?! I actually posted In First Person post on time!

Well, happy September, people! Autumn is coming and that makes me really happy. 🙂 But, now, I’ll talk about something completely unrelated to that.

If you remember, in last month’s In First Person, I talked about films I like to watch when I just want to relax and have some fun. As much as I like the films on that list, those are not necessarily my favourites. But the films I really love are not always suitable for a cosy evening, as they can be quite disturbing. You’ll soon see why.

Before I start, I also want to stress that I’m not a big film lover. Everyone loves films, at least a little bit, but I’m not a big “movie junkie” and there are many classic films that I haven’t seen (yet). And the same is true for tv shows. I just don’t watch as many as other people seem to, and I get bored if there are too many seasons of a show. Reading one book takes a lot more time than watching one film, and since reading is my preferred free time activity, I just try to find time for it, which means something’s got to go. This doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate film as an art form. And I think these films truly are art:

Pan’s Labyrinth (original title: El laberinto del fauno)



IMDB description: In the falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

Director & Writer: Guillermo del Toro

There are many layers to this film. Pan’s Labyrinth is a blend of dark fantasy, drama, and historical genre. It’s magical and creepy, but also very realistic and sincere. It’s very powerful and it disturbs me every time I watch it. And it looks beautiful!

Black Swan


IMDB description: A committed dancer wins the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” only to find herself struggling to maintain her sanity.

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Another beautiful but disturbing film on the list. I’ve heard complaints about it not representing the lives of ballet dancers realistically, but I don’t think that was the point of the film. It is about ballet, of course, but more than that it is about a person who struggles with her own ambitions, jealousy, and expectations. It’s more psychological than anything else, and I think it was done great.

Mr Nobody


IMDB description: A boy stands on a station platform as a train is about to leave. Should he go with his mother or stay with his father? Infinite possibilities arise from this decision. As long as he doesn’t choose, anything is possible.

Director & Writer: Jaco Van Dormael

This film is about much more than you might guess form the description. It’s surreal at times, but everything makes sense in the end, which is not always the case with similar films. It’s a bit hard to explain without ruining it, so I won’t say much more.

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignnorance)


IMDB description: A washed-up actor, who once played a famous superhero, attempts to revive his career by writing and starring in a Broadway play.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu (he’s also one of the writers)

Birdman is a thought-provoking film which deals with the schism between Broadway and Hollywood, without taking sides, or promoting just one view. Every character is well-developed and interesting, with many flaws, but also some virtues. It is about art, and what art really is, but at the same time it portrays the lives of actors and people around them in a realistic way. The acting is great, and the choice of Michael Keaton for the main role was perfect and even metatextual in a certain way. (What’s even more interesting is that he recently played another “birdman” – Vulture – in Spider-man: Homecoming :P)

I’ll end the list here, even though there are more great films out there, because there four really stan out to me. Apparently, I love films which are strange, but not completely, if you even understand what I’m trying to say. XD

What kind of films do you like? What are your favourites? And do you have any recommendations for me? 🙂

In First Person: Films for a Cosy Evening

in first person

In First Person is a monthly meme here on Books and Hot Tea. Every first of the month I talk about a topic that is not related to books. Feel free to leave comments and chat with me!

Well, I should really just delete that description because I’m terrible at actually doing these posts. My last In First Person post was on the 2nd of June – even then I didn’t really publish it on the 1st. :/ But here it is, on the 6th of August – a new In First Person post!

Anyway, I decided to talk about films for a change! I wanted to post something about my favourites, but there are too many films to pick from, so I decided to be more specific. These are the films I like to watch when I just want to relax and have some fun. They may not be the greatest cinematic achievements, but they all have something that makes me want to see them again. I’ve seen them many times already, and I’ll probably watch them again. Soon. 😉 Here are some of them:


Let me just say, I ADORE animated films. So, I’ll start my list with them. Tangled is definitely one of my favourites. It’s probably my most watched film ever. I love all the characters, and it’s so much fun! And there’s Pascal and Max. They’re the best!

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The Emperor’s New Groove

This is my other Disney favourite. I can never choose between Tangled and The Emperor’s New Groove. It has the best villains ever!


I mean, Yzma was destined to become a meme:


This film is pure fun.

Interview with a Vampire

Some may not think this film belongs to the cosy list, but in my case it does. It’s great to watch this one when it’s raining outside, it makes a perfect atmosphere. Despite its flaws, it’s one of my favourites, and every now and then I feel the need to rewatch it. It’s also a film I watch alone since other people I know don’t like it that much, and those who had to watch it with me are kind of fed up with it. XD


Guardians of the Galaxy

It’s one of the most fun superhero films out there. I love this one and it’s a great choice when I’m in the mood for a laugh. There are some other superhero films that I like to rewatch, like The Avengers, Antman, Deadpool, and I’ll probably rewatch Spiderman: Homecoming many times in the future, but those movies don’t have Groot, so Guardians are my final choice.

P.S. How cute is Baby Groot in Vol.2?! Adorable!


Star Wars (the original trilogy)

I’m not hating on the new Star Wars films, but the first three (which are not really first anymore, but you know what I mean) were the ones I watched as a child and fell in love with. Nothing can compare to that. And Ewoks. 😀

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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

This one is very bloody and very fun. I just love it! It looks so gloomy and wonderful at the same time. The cast is great, and the songs are, too. If you don’t mind some blood and gore, I’m sure you’ll see just how fun and aesthetically pleasing this film is.

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Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls

I like the first Ace Ventura film, but I think the second one is much better. I loved this movies when I was a child, and I still watch it now. I’ve always wanted to be a pet detective myself and fight for animal rights. The best scene is definitely the Monopoly Guy scene. THE. BEST. Don’t fight me on this. 😛

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Mamma Mia!

Another guilty pleasure film. It’s just so much fun! And I love how Pierce Brosnan is trying to sing. XD It’s very fun to sing along to this film, too. I mean, we all know ABBA songs, don’t we?

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Now, I probably forgot many others… But these are some of the films that I’d chose to watch on a lazy day. So, let me know, what are some of the films you like to rewatch? Why do you watch them time and time again?

In First Person: Update

in first person

In First Person is a monthly meme here on Books and Hot Tea. Every first of the month I talk about a certain lifestyle topic I’m passionate about. Feel free to leave comments and chat with me!

Yes, I know the first day of June was yesterday, but I’m not too late. XD Anyway, I wanted to write this In First Person post as a little update on the last few weeks of my life. As you may have noticed, I wasn’t very active lately, so first I’ll explain why.

The Teacher’s Exam


That’s how I decided to call it anyway, since I don’t think there is a correct translation – the literal one would be “professional exam” but it sounds silly. Let me explain, or skip if you don’t care. Here, in Croatia, we are actually being prepared for working in schools in college, if we choose to. After graduating college, we’re supposed to have an apprenticeship in school. And after that we have this horrible, stressful exam. Not easy to become a teacher, ha?

Anyway I passed the exam! Yaaay! I cannot even explain how stressful it was. It’s a three-part exam: the written essay, one lesson in front of a class you’ve never seen before, and an oral exam. I spent two months studying for it, and now it is all done! After I finally passed the exam, I felt happy but quite drained. And that’s why I took a little break from this blog. Hopefully, I’ll be back now. 🙂

What I’ve Been Reading

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Yes, this is me. XD

This is a book blog, after all, so let’s talk about books! Of course, I didn’t have a lot of time to read, but I managed to squeeze some reading into my schedule. The most important news is that I’ve finally read The Handmaid’s Tale, and I even wrote a little post about it. It’s such an amazing book, and I’m definitely going to watch the series.

After that, I read Verland: The Transformation by B.E. Scully, and, sadly, I was very disappointed… I had really high expectations for this vampire novel, but it was not atmospheric at all, and I expect vampire novels to have a nice, gothic atmosphere. Also, there was this cringeworthy romance that I just couldn’t stand… Earlier this year I’ve read Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin, and if you want to read a vampire novel, I’d go with that one. This was my first book by Martin (no, I haven’t read ASOIAF, sorry) and I loved his writing. A different vampire novel, but not in a way that it goes too far away from the source (though what the source really is could be discussed).

And then, I read The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. I liked this book, but for some reason I expected more… The ending was really, really good, though. And I loved this quote:

Chiron had said once that nations were the most foolish of mortal inventions. ‘No man is worth more than another, wherever he is from.’

And now I’m continuing with The Memoirs of Lady Trent by Marie Brennan. I’ve mentioned many times before that I love A Natural History of Dragons, so it was high time for me to finish the series. I’m so happy to return to this world! And all the dragons! 🙂

Future Plans


First of all, I want to write more posts on this blog. I plan to write more about the books I’m reading, which I didn’t really do so often before. I don’t usually write reviews, I prefer to concentrate on one point I found interesting, but maybe I should try to write some reviews, too. Mostly, I think I’ll stick to the Quote for Thought posts.

I also want to get back to writing fiction. I’ve neglected it a bit lately… And I want to keep my Instagram (or should I say bookstagram) account alive, and to make more use of Goodreads. I’ve been using Goodreads mostly as a list of books read and to-be-read, but now I decided to connect with some people and even write reviews from time to time. It’s also a great place to write down interesting quotes as I read. And last, but definitely not least, I hope I’ll find a job soon. XD

And that’s all from me for now, hope you’re having a great Friday! Read you soon! 🙂

In First Person: Oat Cookies Recipe

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In First Person is a monthly meme here on Books and Hot Tea. Every first of the month I talk about a certain lifestyle topic I’m passionate about. Feel free to leave comments and chat with me!

It’s the first of April, the month I was born. 🙂 Birthdays used to be fun but they’re not that fun anymore. Guess I’m getting old. XD Another proof that I’m getting old is that I started to take care about what I eat. One of the biggest changes in my diet was to cut back on sugar.

I used to eat too much sugar, a day wouldn’t go by without at least a chocolate. To be honest, I don’t believe in any of the diets I see around, I think you should eat home cooked food whenever you can, and everything in ballance. That’s it. Sugar, however, is definitely bad for you if you eat as much as I did. This lead to the decision that I would try to make my own sweet bites. That way I’ll know exactly what goes in them, I’ll cut back on sugar, and I’ll still be able to eat sweets. Life is just meaningless without them, isn’t it? 😉

The first cookie recipe I developed was this one. Oat cookies are great to eat with your tea, so this is a nice continuation of my previous In First Person post. I love Grancereale oat cookies, so I looked at the ingredients list and started experimenting. My cookies taste quite similar, but are softer, which I actually prefer. Here’ how they look like:
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Here’s what you need (for about 15 cookies):

  • 100g almond flour
  • 80g oats
  • 2tbsp baking powder (or 1 tbsp baking soda)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds + 2 tbsp water (for chia egg)*
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey* (you can replace it with maple syrup if you’re a vegan)
  • 1 tbsp plant milk (I use oat milk or almond milk, you can use regular milk if you want to)
  • 1 tbsp (extra virgin) olive oil**

* Yes, this is hard to measure. I usually take one big, overflowing spoon of honey. XD
** I’m from the Mediterranen, I must use olive oil. In everything. XD You can replace it with something else, but olive oil is good for you, so… 😉

And here’s how you make them:

1. Preheat the oven to 140°C.
2. Put chia seeds and 2 tbsp water in a little bowl or plate to make chia egg. It will turn into a “paste” soon. Feel free to add a little bit more of water if that’s necessary for all the seeds to get wet.
3. Mix almond flour, oats and baking soda in a big bowl. I use hands for this recipe. They will get sticky, but it’s the best way.
4. Put wet ingredients in the bowl and mix. Do it slowly, little by little. They have to spread evenly. I usually put chia egg first, then milk, then honey and a drop of olive oil in the end. I try to spread it as I put the ingredients in, for example, this is how I put honey:
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5. Now you have a sticky dough!
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6. Put baking paper on a baking dish and form cookies. Make small balls in your hands and then press them. They won’t grow much so you don’t need to leave too much space between them.
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7. Bake the cookies on 140°C for about 20 minutes. Look at the lovely result! (I got 16 cookies this time.)
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8. Store them in your cupboard and enjoy!

I really hope you’ll like them! These cookies are vegetarian, but can easily be made vegan if you replace honey. They are dairy and egg free. Also, white sugar free, of course – the only sweetener used is honey. (Feel free to add more, if you want them even sweeter, it won’t change the outcome.)

You can play with the cookies, if you want to. I once made them with cacao powder, but you can use other tastes you like, for example vanilla extract or coconut flakes (in this case it might be nice to replace olive oil with coconut oil). You can do anything with them! If you decide to experiment, please, tell me how you made them! 🙂

In First Person: Love Tea, and Tea Will Love You Back

in first person

In First Person is a monthly meme here on Books and Hot Tea. Every first of the month I talk about a certain lifestyle topic I’m passionate about. Feel free to leave comments and chat with me!

Yes, I know today is the 2nd of March, so this is the first time I’m doing this meme and I’ve already failed. XD Anyway, for my first In First Person post I decided to talk about – big surprise! – tea. It is very fitting, considering the title of my blog. 😉 I’ve talked about tea before, but I’ve learned more since. And I’ve tried more teas. Now, let’s end this too long introduction, and start with the topic.

Tea bags.

I’ve been a tea drinker for years. I haven’t started drinking tea because of its health benefits, though in my family tea was mostly reserved for the times you were sick. I simply loved the taste and the smell. It made me warm when I was cold and it made me feel cosy when I was tired. People are mostly coffee drinkers here in Croatia, but I never liked the taste of coffee. So, no, I never drink coffee. I also don’t drink my tea with milkmi. Until lately, tea with milk was even considered strange in Croatia. xD I usually drink mine with just some lemon since I don’t like honey in tea (this is something people find strange).

When I say the word “tea” I mostly think of tea made from the tea plant (Camellia sinensis). Those are white, green, yellow, oolong and black teas. Other herbal teas are made from different plants and these include Rooibos, Mint, Chamomille, Nettle, Sage and many others. There are also different fruit teas, which I jokingly call “hot juice”. (It sounds less disturbing in Croatian…) The tea plant teas are the ones I will talk about in this post.

Types of tea. Picture from Oolong Tea Community.

Black Tea

Black tea is probably the most popular type of tea. It’s the most oxidized kind, and it’s completely fermented. That makes it the strongest in flavour and darkest in colour. It contains most caffeine, but caffeine level can vary quite a lot in different kinds of black tea since it depends on the part of the plant used and the brewing technique. The caffeine levels in tea can boost your blood pressure, but the effect doesn’t last long, and can help those with low blood pressure when they suffer for dizziness. The antioxidants in black tea are proven to strengthen your immunity, improve metabolism, and lower the risk of a stroke and heart attack since they help you fight high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

When it comes to taste, black tea is usually too bitter for me (especially since I don’t drink tea with milk), but I adore Earl Grey tea – a tea blend which is flavoured with the oil of bergamot. The flavour and smell of bergamot is lovely! And it really makes the tea taste less bitter. Nowadays, there are also green tea variations of Earl Grey, and though not traditional, they’re very good, too.

Black tea.

Another kind of fermented tea is Pu-Erh tea. Pu-erh traditionally begins as a raw product known as “rough” and can be sold in this form or pressed into a number of shapes and sold as “raw”. Both of these forms then undergo the complex process of gradual fermentation and maturation with time. This is the type of tea I haven’t tasted before except blended with another kind of tea, so if you have, I’d like to hear what you thought of it!

Oolong Tea

Oolong tea is the next type of tea when it comes to the level of fermentation. It’s higher in the level of antioxidants than black tea. The general rule is – the less the tea is fermented, the more antioxidants you get from it. Oolong has all the health benefits of black tea, but it’s even more powerful. To learn more about this typoe of tea, you can visit Oolong Tea Community.

Oolong tea is said to be most varied kind of tea when it comes to taste, so I’ll leave it to you to try it. 😉 I only tasted it once, to be honest, because it’s not very popular where I live, so suggestions would be appreciated.

Green Tea

Green tea is less oxidized than black tea and it belongs to the group of teas that are not fermented. This means that green tea contains more antioxidants than black tea, so you get even more health benefits from it. Green tea helps with prevention of some types of cancer, Parkinson’s and even Alzheimer’s disease. It boosts your metabolism and lowers your cholesterol level more than black and oolong tea. It’s also frequently used in cosmetic products. Because of the antioxidants it contains, it’s a good anti-inflammatory agent, it rejuvenates the skin, and has a sun protective effect. The non-fermented teas are generally great for skin health. And for your liver, too.

Green tea tastes a little grassier than black and oolong tea, which is something not everyone’s a fan of. Since I always drink my tea with lemon, I don’t have a problem with grassines. The lemon really helps tone it down, so I suggest you try it as well.

Fruit tea, black tea, green tea.

Matcha tea is a kind of green tea that is finely ground in a green powder. The green tea used to make matcha is shade-grown for about three weeks before harvest, and the stems and veins are removed in processing. It contains more caffeine than green tea. The match powder is used to make green tea ice-cream and other green tea foods.

Sencha is also a type of green tea, from Japan.

Now, another type of tea I’d like to mention here is gunpowder tea. To make this type of tea, each leaf is rolled into a small round pellet – its English name comes from its resemblance to grains of gunpowder. This rolling method of shaping tea is most often applied either to dried green tea or oolong tea, but the rolling method maked its taste stronger, which differentiates it from other green and oolong teas. It can also have a “smoky” flavour, which is fitting when you consider its name. XD

Yellow Tea

Yellow tea is another non-fermented tea. It’s processed in the same way as green tea, but the drying process is longer – damp leaves are left to sit and gain yellow colour, which gives it a different taste and smell.  It’s made from the buds of the tea plant, before they turn to leaves. Yellow tea has the same amount of antioxidants as green tea, and similar health benefits. However, it’s taste is milder and much less grassy.

I love the taste of yellow tea! I remember how sad I was when my mother almost forbid me to drink it once. She said her friend drank a lot of yellow tea to lose weight, and it did help, but a little too much. She lost too much weight in a short time and had many health issues because of that. Yellow tea is often used for losing weight (and it helps with body fat and metabolism), but it can’t do that kind of damage to you. The woman from the story was probably on a strict diet. My mother also realized that, and now I can drink yellow tea again. 😉

White Tea

White tea goes through minimal oxidation during processing and is one of the non-fermented teas. Similarly to yellow tea, it is made from the buds and leaves of the tea plant, and the buds give it its white colouring. Its taste and smell are similar to that of green tea, but a little milder, and less grassy. It contains the most antioxidants, so it is the best “cleaner” of the liver and your entire body. It is great for the skin, helps fight tumors, and since it has the least caffein so it’s great for good night sleep, and can even help with headaches. White tea is my favourite! I love its mild taste.

White tea.

Now, if you want to experiment, there are so many different blends of teas out there. If you don’t like the taste of any of these teas, but like fruit teas, try a blend! I currently have a white tea and cranberry blend in my cupboard, and the cranberry really changes the taste. However, I prefer teas blended with flowers ond herbs. These change the taste less, but give a wonderful smell to your tea and make it more flavourful. My favourite is a tea called The Rose of Orient from a local tea shop, a blend of green and gunpowder tea with jasmine, marigold and rose. It smells and tastes wonderful! I suggest to try, explore, and enjoy the journey! 🙂

Now, there are many other herbal teas, so maybe next time I’ll talk about those. This post is already so long! Thanks for reading and happy blogging! 🙂

And happy tea drinking as well!