One Lovely Blog Award

award

I was nominated by the lovely Rachel @paceamorelibri for this award – Thank you so much! ❤ People, go check out her blog if you haven’t already! She’s great!

The Rules:

  • Thank the person that nominated you and leave a link to their blog.
  • Post about the award.
  • Share seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate at most 15 people.
  • Tell your nominees they’ve been nominated for one lovely award.

Facts about me: 

Is it just me, or is it very hard to talk about yourself? XD Well, these are some facts I came up with:

1. I recently adopted two chinchillas! It’s the most important thing that has happpened to me lately and I’m so happy! 🙂 My country, Croatia, recently passed a law that forbids farming animals for fur (finally!) Our animal rights group, Animal Friends Croatia, helped the chinchillas find their new homes. Sadly, only one farmer actually gave his chinchillas for adoption. 😦 I hope others will follow. Anyway, I adopted two girls – Kira (Valkira = Valkyrie in Croatian) and Seffi (Persephone). Here’s a picture of Kira, on the day I adopted her:

18010090_1473863512665491_4474603676380221466_n.jpg

2. I LOVE to travel! I wish I had the means to travel even more. I also collect postcards.

3. And yet, I love being home. I’m not a very outgoing person, and I don’t like crowded places. I like spending time with the people closest to me. Or alone. Alone is also fine. I have my chinchillas and my books for company, so I’m never really alone. 😛

4. I’m a pacifist, and yet I’m strangely obsessed with swords. I actually own a replica of a medieval sword, my parents brought it to me from Spain. I just adore it, it’s one of my most prised possessions!

DSC03293 (3)

5. Actually, I’m obsessed with all things medieval, from the very early middle ages to the Rennaisance. My MA thesis was on medieval literature and my professor was a bit confused by my choice. XD

6. I also love all things Gothic. This includes not only the literature, but also the subculture and music. I don’t consider myself a goth, I’m a blend of few things actually. XD But I do mostly wear black.

7. I have a poster of John William Waterhouse’s “The Lady of Shalott” in my room. I love the painting and the poem.

John_William_Waterhouse_-_The_Lady_of_Shalott_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

And that’s it! I’ll nominate a few people now, but no pressure to actually do it. :*

Sophie @blameitonchocolate

Stuart @alwaystrustinbooks

@thequirkybooknerd

Chelsea @spotlightonstories

Azia @amwillisjournal

 

 

 

Advertisements

Get to Know Me Tag

get to know.png

First of all, I have to thank dear Chris @readbychris for tagging me to do this! It’s always nice to get to know people better, and these posts are fun to do. So, let’s start, shall we?

Name: Irena

Nicknames: I don’t have a nickname… Irena is not that common name so I guess there was no need for one. It really bothered me as a kid, but I’m fine with it now.

Birthday: April 24th

Star Sign: Taurus

Occupation: Currently, trying to pass my teacher’s exam. XD I’m an English and Croatian teacher.


APPEARANCE:

Hair colour: It’s red now, but naturally I have that weird colour that’s not blonde or brown, but mostly grey. Mousy. XD

Hair length: About 10cm below my collarbones.

Eye colour: Grey-blue. Sometimes even a little bit green. It changes.

Best feature: Ummm… I’ll go with my eyes, I guess…

Braces: Oh, I had them for YEARS!

Piercings: None. I don’t even have my ears pierced. I pierced them when I was a child and there were some complications so now I’m scared of it and everything similar, such as tattoos! The holes are completely closed now.

Tattoos: I’d really like to have one! I think tattoos can be gorgeous. But, as I said earlier, I’m very scared of it. Maybe I’ll be brave enough someday… Now, I’d never get anything this huge, but I think this looks soooo lovely (link):

78Nn-zBTvvrv8MuXEmNW_ThievesofTower7

Right or left: Is this a political question? 😛 Yeah, bad joke, anyway I write with my right hand (if that’s what I’m supposed to answer).


FIRSTS:

Holiday: I used to go on summer vacation every year with my parents, and I was very small on the first one so I don’t really remember it. XD We are lucky to live in a coastal town, and several beautiful islands are very close so it was easy to travel there and enjoy.

Best Friend: My brother was my first best friend. I was very sucky at making friends (and still am).

Award: Well, we had those “commendations” in primary school. Everyone who had As in all subjects got one at the end of the school year. Does this count? XD

Sport: I’m horrible at sports. Always have been. For a year I went to this kid’s club where we played all kinds of sports but I didn’t really like it so I gave up. In my defence, I’m doing yoga now. XD

Concert: I didn’t really go to concerts as a child. The only concert worth mentioning was the Iron Maiden concert, in 2008. It was so surprising that they came to our town (Split is not a really well-known location, if a band comes to Croatia, they usually hold the concert in the capital, Zagreb). Last summer they came back and it was as great as the first time. 😀

maxresdefault (1).jpg


FAVORITES:

TV shows: Unpopular opinion time: I don’t like to watch a lot of TV shows. Yeah, I’m weird. The thing is, they usually last too long and start to drag, and then I get disappointed… I do watch some, of course. My all-time favourite is Black Sails. Love that one to pieces! Nowadays I like Gotham. I liked Arrow but it’s not that good anymore. The one I really can’t wait to come back is Jessica Jones. 🙂

bks4

Colour: Black. I know it’s not really a colour, but I don’t care. 😉

Song: Anything by Emilie Autumn. She’s the best. Then: White Flag by The Romanovs, Pain Looks Good on You by London After Midnight, Sleepwalking by The Crüxshadows, The First by Pink Turns Blue and many others. Oh, and the entire Queen of the Damned soundtrack! So vampire-ish! 😀

Emilie Autumn by Sopranino on DeviantArt

Restaurant: I don’t think I have a favourite…

Shop: Any nice bookshop. 😉 I don’t have a favourite clothing shop, I usually hate most of the stuff in the stores. XD

Books: I usually name Frankenstein as my favourite, but really, there are so many great books…

Shoes: I feel the best in a pair of black boots.


CURRENTLY:

Feeling: Eh… Fine. 😛

Single or Taken: Taken. My boyfriend is my best friend. ❤

Eating: Nothing. I’m thinking about going to the kitchen and having an apple. Actually, I’ll do it. Just wait for a moment, I’ll be back straight away….

Thinking About: Maybe I should’ve cut this apple in smaller pieces.

Watching: Nothing. I’m writing a post. XD

Wearing: Sweatpants and a shirt. Just regular “home” clothes. XD


FUTURE:

Want Children: Not really…

Want to be married: I want to be with my boyfriend, marriage doesn’t mean much to me.

Careers in mind: I would love to do something in publishing, but that’s almost impossible here. I would also like to study more, get an phD.

Where you want to live: Travel everywhere, live… Well, I don’t know. There are several places, but sometimes I also want to stay here.


DO YOU BELIEVE IN:

God: No…

Miracles: I believe in happy coincidences.

Love at first sight: No. You can’t love someone based on how that person looks, which is the only thing you know about them at first sight. Someone can draw your attention, and that can later turn into love, but only after you really get to know each other.

Ghosts: No. I will get scared if you tell me ghost stories, though. XD

Aliens: Yes. The universe is sooo big, I think there must be some other living beings out there.

Soul Mates: Depends how you define it… If you call someone you’re really close to your soul mate, that’s fine. I don’t believe in “predestined to find each other” kind of soul mates.

Heaven: No… I wish there was something after death, but I can’t make myself believe in it.

Hell: No.

Kissing on the first date: Well, it does exist, doesn’t it? XD

Yourself: Oh, I really wish I believed in myself more… I’m not a very confident person.


And in the end, I tag these wonderful people (and everyone else who want to do the tag!)

Ignitedmoth

Ellen@alittlebooklife

Ellie@bloggingfordopamine

Jackie@toomuchofabooknerd

Swetlana@readingthroughthenights

Inside & Out Book Tag

in-out-book-tga1.png

First of all, thanks to Anna@mybookishdream for tagging me to do this. It was really fun! 🙂 Anna has an amazing blog, I truly recommend you all to check it out!

I know I wasn’t as active lately, but I just had so many things to do… I also adopted two chinchillas a few days ago and they have to adapt so I’ve been very focused on them. I don’t want the introduction to be too long, but I’ll explain a bit more at the end of the post, if anyone’s interested.* So, let’s get to my answers:

1. Inside flap/Back of the book summaries: Too much info? Or not enough?

Well, it really depends, there are all kinds of summaries. I don’t think they give up too much information, but sometimes they can be misleading, which I find annoying. There are also some books with no information about the story whatsoever, and that’s really horrible. How am I supposed to know if I want the book or not? XD Solution: Google. But it’s still annoying. Why not put at least a teeny-tiny description?

giphy (2).gif

2. New book: What form do you want it in? Be honest: Audiobook, E-Book, Paperback, or Hardcover?

A nice paperback. I prefer paperbacks to hardcovers, but I don’t like the really small ones, with tiny letters. I have nothing against e-books, but if I really like a book I want to have a physical copy. And audiobooks are just not for me, sadly. I cannot concentrate on them at all, my mind just wanders off. Physical copies are just the best. 🙂

tumblr_mk8bzwRnH41rjbvjvo1_500.gif

3. Scribble while you read? Do you like to write in your books, taking notes, making comments, or do you keep your books clean clean clean?

I do sometimes underline a quote I like, but that’s mostly it. Lately, I decided to start writing down my thoughts on Goodreads, so we’ll see how that goes.

4. Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female when you’re deciding on a book? What if you’re unsure of the author’s gender?

I don’t care about the gender of the author. Why would I? And wouldn’t that be a bit sexist? I read the books I think I would enjoy, that’s the only criteria.

5. Ever read ahead? or have you ever read the last page way before you got there?

Oooo, reading the last page… I used to do that a lot when I was a kid, though it’s not really a logical thing to do. XD Sometimes I would get nervous something would not go the way I wanted it to, so I’d read the last page in hopes it will console me. I’m sure you know thet feeling. When you read something and it makes you anxious…

http-%2F%2Fmashable.com%2Fwp-content%2Fgallery%2Fbook-lovers%2Funcle-fester.gif

6. Organised bookshelves, or Outrageous bookshelves?

Organised bookshelves. I’m running out of space so they’re not as organised as I would like them to be. The way I arrange my books may seem random, but it makes sense in my mind.

merlin-books.gif

7. Have you ever bought a book based on the cover (alone)?

I haven’t. I can be drawn by the cover, but I would never buy a book without checking what it’s about. I’m not that rich. XD

8. Take it outside to read, or stay in?

Stay in, definitely. I rarely read outside. I like to spend time in nature, but I’m not the kind of person who takes a book, sits on a bench, and reads. I like to be at home, preferably in bed.

giphy (3).gif

And that’s it! I will tag some people, but of course, don’t feel obligated to do the tag. 😉

Sarah @betweenthepages

Marie @marieslibrary

Shanah @bionicbookwormblog

@ignitedmoth

@ardentattachments


* My country, Croatia, recently passed a law that forbids farming animals for fur (finally!) Little, fluffy chinchillas are safe now. A local animal righs group is now trying to find people to adopt the chinchillas. Sadly, only one farmer actually gave his chinchillas for adoption. 😦 I hope others will follow. Anyway, I adopted two girls – Kira (Valkira = Valkyrie in Croatian) and Seffi (Persephone). They are beyond adorable, but still very scared, poor babies…

Quote for Thought: The Handmaid’s Tale

quote-for-thought-goth

“We lived, as usual, by ignoring. Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.”

– Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

This quote really rings true to me. Most people see the bad things that are going on, but choose to ignore it. Especially if it’s something that’s happening to someone else. While I was reading The Handmaid’s Tale, some parts reminded me of the famous WWII-related poem by Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

And, in the end, what can one little voice do? How can I stop something that is so much larger than me? That’s a question no one really has an answer to. Turning the head away is the easy way. It gives us the comfort of not being seen, the freedom to live on, without danger.

We were the people who were not in the papers. We were the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom.

– Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

I’m not an optimist, or an idealist, so I can’t really find a good answer to all of this. To be honest, sometimes I don’t have faith in people, at all. But, hopefully, everything that’s going on in the world right now is not leading to another horrible period in history. And hopefully, we will always be able to speak up when we feel the need to.

Top 5 Wednesday: Book Trends I’m Tired of Seeing

top-wed-goth

Top 5 Wendesday is hosted by Samatha. The guidelines and topics can be found on the Goodreads group.


This weeks’ topic  are the trends in books and publishing you are tired of seeing . It may be a certain kind of cover, or a trope seen too often in a genre.

1. Whitewashed covers

“Tired of” is too mild – this is completely unacceptable and offensive. Not many books have a POC main character, and then, when one finally does, the cover shows a white person anyway. You can find many examples of this HERE.

2. “The next xy!”

Publishers do this all the time… Every book is a “new” something. So now we have many new Harry Potters and Twilights, Girl in the Train was advertised as new Gone Girl etc. I think that’s very annoying, and often misleading. Also, quite unfair to the new book and author.

3. Insta-love

Now, when it comes to tropes, I think a lot of them can actually be done in a good way. It really depends on how the author handles the trope. But the thing I can’t stand is insta-love. No, I do not believe in love at first sight. Attraction – yes – and that can, with time, turn into love. But WITH TIME. You cannot love a person you don’t even know. That’s more of an obssession in my opinion. Sexual attraction and/or sexual tension can be strong feelings, and can be addressed in books, of course, but they are not love. I personally love books in which relationships are slowly developed, and not only romantic ones – frienships can also take time to develop. The only time insta-love worked was in Up. 😛

tumblr_lm0enmVVMj1qdlkgg.gif

4. Who cares about friendship?

This is something I’ve noticed, but you may not agree. Books often focus on a romantic relationship, even when it’s just a minor part of the book. Friendships are quite neglected. People always talk about their “ships” and which characters they want to end up together. But what about friendship? Especially male and female friendships – I believe in them and would like to see more of them in books.

5. It’s destiny!

This can be related to the insta-love trope (we were destined for each other!) and more frequently to the Chosen One trope. In my opinion, destiny is not a good enough explanation for anything (to he honest, I’m not a big believer in destiny in general, so this might be just my personal preference). It feels a bit awkward to me if a character does someting because s/he was predestined to. Also, it’s been done so many times. I think life is strange and weird, and that’s what makes it interesting. I believe we all make our own paths in life. Or at least I want to believe it.

Untitled.png

So, those are the things that annoy me. Hopefully they weren’t too controversial. 😉 Anyway, I’d like to hear what you think!

Books and Hot Tea Got a Redesign

I wasn’t sure if this needed a post, but in the end I decided to do it. I’ve been trying to make my blog look better for a while now, but it never turned out the way I wanted it to. Now, I think I’m quite satisfied with it, though I’m not very good at this stuff. XD

First of all, I want to introduce you to Sheila the owl, my new mascot. 🙂

sheila

Sheila was a template I found on pixabay.com (a great place to find free stock photos!) and then I just adjusted her colours. Owls were always a symbol of wisdom (and bookishness – if that’s not a word it should be) so she is perfect for this job! Sheila will be featured in my memes, such as Captured Moments and Quote for Thought. I also created a banner for the Top 5 Wednesday posts since I’m planning to do these regularly (maybe not every Wednesday, but most).

I am also planning to introduce a new monthly meme called In First Person, which will be posted every 1st day of the month. In these posts I will talk about a theme that I found interesting that month, something new I discovered, and mostly about things that are not related to books, because sometimes I want to talk about some other things as well. Once a month will be enough for that I think. This is Books and Hot Tea after all. 😉

in fiiirst person.png

This means I will also be following a certain schedule:

  • On Mondays I will post a Quote for Thought or a Captured Moments post – in case I go on a trip or somewhere interesting. Sometimes, a tag/award post will be posted on Moday instead of those memes – if there is one to do.
  • Wednesdays are reserved for Top 5 Wednesday.
  • On Thursday, Friday or Saturday I will post a piece of writing (Twittering Tales and more).
  • In First Person will be an additional post.

So, this means posting three days a week. Well, at least for now… We’ll see how it works. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. Sometimes, I might skip a post or so.

I’m also using a new theme – Misty Lake. I’m very satisfied with this one!

And that’s it! Happy blogging, people! 🙂


 

The 2016/2017 Book Tag

tag ..png

Thank you, dear Azia at The Uncharted World for tagging me to do this tag! I loved these questions, especially since they are not all about books! The creator of the tag is David at theguywhosaidalwaysno so thanks to you, too! 🙂

If you want to read Azia’s post, click HERE.

First, here are the rules:

  1. Mention the creator of the tag.
  2. Use the image that you find in this article.
  3. Mention the blogger who has chosen you.
  4. Answer the questions.
  5. Mention 9 bloggers/friends and let them know through a comment on their blog.

Now, let’s get to the questions:

1. Describe your 2016 in 3 words.

Bitter, sweet, unforgettable.

2. Write the name of two people that have characterized your 2016.

Two is really not that much… First of all, my boyfriend. And the other person would probably be my mentor. I worked with her for a year, exactly for the span of 2016, and she was a great mentor, I couldn’t have wished for a better one. Working in a school for the first time, with so many children, was an experience I will never forget.

3. Write the most beautiful place yoou have visited in 2016 and wwhy you liked it so much.

Oh, no… How can I choose between Dublin and Vienna?!

DSC02141.JPG

dsc03259

It’s impossible… So, maybe, I’ll choose the Cliffs of Moher, because just looking at them makes you appreciate nature even more than you did before. The beauty of nature is the greatest!

DSC02161.JPG

4. Write the most delicious food you’ve tasted.

2016 was the year I discovered homemade almond butter! I don’t know how I lived without it before. And it’s so easy to make! All you need are almods! Here’s a link if you’re interested.

5. Write the event that has marked you most in 2016 (even a global event).

Speaking of global events, that would definitely be the so-called refugee crisis. Some people really showed their worst, countries have closed borders, and it made me so sad. I’m from Croatia, so our country was on the so-called Balkan Route, and I think we initially handled it well, without closing the borders (though there were some shameful incidents). Now with the new, conservative government, I don’t know how our country is going to proceed with it.

6. Write the finest purchase you made in 2016, and if you want, link a photo.

I’ve bought several amazing books. But somehow, I’m most proud of some graphic novels I’ve read, since I don’t read them often. Especially Watchmen! I love love this one!

untitled1

7. Write 3 good intentions for 2017.

I’d like to write more, keep up with my blog, and be happy. 😉

8. Write 1 place you want to visit in 2017.

Just one? I want to travel EVERYWHERE! If I had to choose one place, then probably Iceland.

9. Write 1 plate/food you want to eat in 2017.

Something wonderful that I haven’t eaten before. I’ll let it be a surprise for me! XD

And, in the end, I tag these wonderful people: abitbookishblog, The Looking Glass, Books ‘n’ Reviews Oh My, Quill’s Corner, The Night is Dark and Full of Books, Paradisbooks, Ann Reads Them, Caffeinated Bibliophile, The Book WenchBeth Jones and Closet Readers.

If you choose to do it, I’m looking forward to your posts! 🙂