February Wrap-Up // Ella

Monday, 27 February 2017



Hi there, it's Ella!
So welcome to my February wrap-up! My Computer isn't working right know, so there won't be my usual collages, but however, let's dive right into it.


L'Art de la Simplicité by Dominique Loreau
✭✭✭✩✩

When I saw it at the bookstore, I was reminded of Marie Kondos book, so I wanted to give it a try. It isn't only about tidying, but about minimalism in different aspects of life. Sometimes, I didn't like how Loreau make it seem, like her way is the only way you should live. Also, at some times was difficult to filter the relevant information. But I liked the overall tone and idea, it definitely made me want to change some aspects of my living and inspired me.


Caraval by Stephanie Garber
✭✭✭
This book was amazing. I loved the atmosphere, the characters, her writing. It was a really exciting read, creating a world, where reality and magic blurred, so not only the characters where left unknown, what was real magic and what was not, but the reader as well. I'm curious for the next book!


Photography Beyond Auto by Chris Gatcum
✭✭✭✩✩

A quick little read on photography, which well explained exposure, focus and colour. Nice visuals.


Across the Universe, A Million Suns and Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
✭✭✭✭✭, ✭✭✭✭ & ✭✭✩ 

Well, you know, I did not wanted to spend too much time on reading while finals, but I absolutely failed when picking up Across the Universe at my library. I did not know it was a triology until I reached the end of the first book after two days. I immediately had to look up, wheter the library hold the sequels and it did so I left my desk and got them (in German because they only had the first volume in English).
These books were so good! Though, I didn't like the third book quite as much, so on.y four stars here but whatsoever.
I realised I want to read more science fiction Oswell as more Beth Revis.
Exciting story, amazing atmosphere, great characters.

Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett
✭✭✩✩

It has some fun points, it was nice overall, but mainly, I just felt like Bennett repeated herself over and over. I mean, I really liked some advice given, but it could have been told in a shorter amount of time, ink and dead trees.

Taking Flight by Michaela DePrince
✭✭✭✭✩

Michaela DePrince is a young, professional ballet dancer. I know her from the film "First Position" and watched some videos on her I found on Youtube, so when I stumbled over this book, I feeled, I really needed to read it, because her story is really interesting. It was a really quick read, fast told, you know, autobiographical. I really liked it, it was very interesting and she just brought things to the point(e) ;)
So I was really enjoying it.


Alice in Wonderland / Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll



Okay, so this was a hard one. I did not like it at first. I mean, I know that Wonderland is supposed to be crazy and nonsense, but I don't think the writing style has to be to. Reading it again in German made it better. Considering it being a victorian childrens book, it was okay, but however, I was really sorry not liking it, because my favourite booktuber is like the biggest Alice in Wonderland fan. But I just wasn't able to click with it.

The book includes Through the Looking Glass as well, same thing here.

This was it for today,
Ella.

App Review: Moment // Lena

Saturday, 25 February 2017







In the past months I noticed a change in my way of thinking. 

I started to reflect on the things and actions that take up most of my time. 
And it also made me realize that there're some pretty amazing things that make my life special and are worth the time and energy I spent on them.

I came to the conclusion that my phone or technical devices in general don't deserve a spot on my 
‚things that are important for my happiness‘-list.

I decided I wanted to try and have a ‚digital detox‘. 
I wanted to spend my time reading instead of wasting it by constantly checking my phone.

An app that really helps me with achieving that goal is ‚Moment‘.





At first, I was pretty shocked how much time I actually spend on my phone. I would say my phone use is quite normal for a 20 year old. I mainly use my phone to text people. How could that result in 4 hours of me actually using my phone?!

I became more and more aware of how much of my precious time I waste. And Moment also helped me analyzing my habits. By the amount of time I spend on my phone I can tell what I was doing that day. At the moment I'm working during the week, so I barely have time to be on my phone. The same goes for the days I spend with my dear ones. 

The app is pretty simple and the way it works self-explanatory. But other than simply tracking your phone use you can also a set a screen-free time, your daily limit or ask your phone to remind you to put it away.

If you buy the pro version you get your own 'coach' and participate in a 'phone bootcamp'. Sounds hilarious, I know. Nonetheless, I dropped 50 minutes from my daily phone use and saved proximately 12 hours during my 14 day bootcamp. On day one you have to put your phone down for 30 minutes but there're also way harder tasks like putting your phone to bed early or going a full day without it.

All in all, Moment is a fun way to limit your phone use and it definitely helped me realize how much time I waste away.

Have a wonderful day! 
And try putting your phone down from time to time so that you have time to appreciate the beautiful things in life.

Love, Lena 

Amsterdam Retro Photo Project - Disposable Camera // Ella

Wednesday, 15 February 2017


Hi there, it's Ella!

Today, I got a post different from the regular content (mainly books, you know).
Last November, I visited Amsterdam with a few good friends and I took a disposable camera with me, because I thought, I would be a nice idea - not making hundreds of pictures of one thing and choose the best afterwards, but take time to take one really good one.
Also, they wouldn't gather dust, just being saved on my computer forever.
And, of curse, they would have a nice retro effect.

So, I will just show you a few...




 Did you ever use a disposable camera?

Hope you liked the pics!
Ella

2017 Releases I'm Excited For // Lena

My tbr list is pretty long (33 books atm) and that's why I decided to buy less books in 2017. Nonetheless, there are some new releases I'm allowing myself to buy...

These beauties are waiting for their sequels...
  • Perfect (Flawed #2) by Cecilia Ahern - April 6th 
I've already read Flawed and really enjoyed it. I can't wait to continue on with the series. Btw I'm beyond angry that the german edition of Perfect was already released.
  • Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy by several authors - July 11th
Booktube is my guilty pleasure. The only thing I know about this book is that several authors teamed up with some famous booktubers. Sounds amazing to me!
  • Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2) by Cassandra Clare - May 23rd
I usually marathon series. That's why I haven't read Lady Midnight so far. But I'm definitely in a shadowhunter mood (I guess because of season two of the show). I hope I'll get to Lady Midnight soon so that I can dive right into Lord of Shadows.
  • Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #3) by Jenny Han - May 2nd
Disclaimer: I don't like Lara Jean. And I feel terribly sorry for that. 
The first two books weren't my cup of tea. In some way I felt too mature to read about Lara Jean's struggles and I secretly wished the book was about her older sister.
However, I'm definitely going to buy Always and Forever, Lara Jean because Jenny Han is one of my favorite authors.
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas - May 2nd
I have to admit I don't know anything about the series. But I'm a book hoarder and I'm collecting the series so that I can read it sometime later. 
  • Midnight Jewel (The Glittering Court #2) by Richelle Mead - June 27th
Same goes for this one... sorry not sorry
  • Ringer (Replica #2) by Lauren Oliver - October 3rd
I love Lauren Oliver. I've read most of her books and Replica was one of my more recent purchases. Can't wait to read it but I guess I'll wait a little while longer because otherwise I'll have to wait forever for Ringer to come out.

The Gratitude Diaries - And how they canged my life // Ella

Friday, 10 February 2017


Hi there, it's Ella!
Today, I finally want to talk about a book, I mentioned quite some times.
The Gratitude Diaries.

Basically, this books tells about how the author, Janice Kaplan, makes herself a promise on new years eve - to stop complaining and start being grateful and look on the bright side of whatever will happen.
Every month, she focuses on another subject - her marriage and friendship, finances and ambition, health and fitness,... whatever.
And through the year, she notices, how this effects her life in every aspect, because it is her attitude and perspective which change.
She involves a lot advice from expects on those topics, psychologists, academics, doctors, and philosophers,...

I did not only enjoy the reading itself - and I really have to say that how the books written and what it tells you just makes you somehow happier right away, but as I looked up from the book, I started thinking the same way of the same aspects in my life.

And this is what I am still doing.




Acknowledge the wonderful things.

Every time, when I am walking or taking the tram, whenever I have time to let my thoughts drift off, I am thinking about what makes me happy. Right now and overall.
I enjoy the fresh air, the sun, feeling my strong legs and feet taking me from one place to another, being in time or just having time to lean a bit back, admiring beautiful buildings, ...
I am thinking about my family and friends too, or how happy I am, being able to study, all those things. 

Doing this regularly gives me a more positive attitude overall.


Take yourself time to admire.

Every time I enter my room and the sun shines in, I am taking a short moment to smile at this. 
And I am doing this for quite a lot of things. 
Do not only pay short attention when passing by, but hold on for a few seconds, regard what made you pay attention in the first place.

This way, the impression will last longer.


See the positive side of the situation.

Honestly, I never really liked winter, just because I didn' like the cold and the slickness.
Well, that changed. Whenever I would silently complain about it, I stopped myself and I thought, why bother the cold? I'd rather be happy that I am wearing a thick coat and cozy scarf and beanie. 
Or sturdy footwear.
Now, I always smile at this, because I consider my clothes as a warm cocoon.
And I am able the be happy at the falling snow.

Furthermore, my way of studying has changed too.

I always really stressed about exams, like, in a really bad way. And I was afraid, this time it would be the same as ever.
But it isn't.
First, I stopped bother about all those things I didn't accomplished during the day. Instead, I tried to be happy about what I managed to do.
Actually, with the time, I even started doing more, because I developed a more positive attitude towards studying this way.
Second, whenever I started worrying about the exam itself and how in the world I should get everything done in time, I stopped myself.
I knew, I always managed it before.
I would manage it this time as well.
I wrote all the positive things down, that I am smart and in exam time, you're at high-performance anyways, stuff like this.

And it really worked.


Reflect on your thoughts.

Every evening, I write down what brought me joy that day. In the book, Kaplan wrote down what she was grateful for, but this works just the same way.
Sometimes, there are bigger events, like I was happy about eating dinner with my friend at this Indian restaurant. Sometimes, I just enjoyed the sun or the great book I read, being very productive that day or enjoying the smell of the freshly washed laundry.

And then, from time to time, I am writing a little text, more like a diary entry with general reflection.

I like coming back to both. Reading it just makes me even more happy and grateful, because I was allowed to make such wonderful experiences.


Those were the things which are helping me the most. There are not explicit in the book, but I saw it as if you find the most important things by filtering them out of the text anyways.

I hoped you liked this sort of post, I know, it was a bit long, but I really had to write that down.

Ella.



Looking back on January... // Lena

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

January - the first month of 2017 - is over. 
I needed a fresh start and January was even more than just a new beginning. I had amazing 31 days and they couldn't have been better. 
I want to share some things and moments that made me happy with you.

MY FAVORITES

  1. I'm an early bird. Don't be shocked. It might be a very weird favorite but I really enjoyed getting up at 6 in the morning. I love the quiet and the feeling you get when you realize you have the whole day ahead. 
  2. Jane the Virgin - At first, I wasn't really hooked but the series definitely got better. I can't wait for season 3.
  3. One of my all-time favorites is law. I love what I'm studying and in January I got to sit in several trials which is always a big highlight for me. Nothing makes more happy than loving what you do. 
  4. I went to IKEA and I bought myself a beautiful lamp. It makes my dorm room way more cozier and I can read in the evening.
  5. Tea - I've always been a tea lover but my love kind of went out of hand in January :D Instead of buying new books I accumulated a huge variety of teas. 
  6. I visited an exhibition on tapestries. It felt good to look at some art and the museum is beautiful. And I got to spend time with the people I love.

WHAT I'M EXCITED FOR IN FEBRUARY  

February will be full of work experience for me. I'm looking forward to learning more about local government, meeting new people and being more comfortable in my own skin.
I hope I'll find the opportunity to spend some quality time with my family and read a lot. Btw, I'm super excited for King's Cage to arrive, yay!
Towards the end of the month, I'll also see a play at my local theatre

Have a great February!
Lena



This was January '17 // Ella

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Hi there, it's Ella!
So, we're already into February, but I guess it's not to late to write about my January, including my favourites and thoughts.

Overall:

January was such a joyful month! 
I made a big change in how I am thinking. I appreciated the little things. Sunshine, fresh air, being glad I got the earlier train or tram. Instead of complaining about the cold I was happy to be cuddled up in my warm winter jacket. At the end of the day, I did not think about how much more I intended to do for university but being content with what I did.
I smiled more, I was calm and I kept my stuff tidy and organised.

I did not started doing more sport and I did not went to the library several times a week. My eating wasn't as healthy as I wished.
But I was really, really happy. Not the "happy-I-would-sing-and-dance-and-jump-around", but the silently-smiling-happy, grateful for small, wonderful, everyday life moments, holding on to it and carrying it through the whole day.

some favorites and my wrap-up

My favourites:


  1.  The Gratitude Diaries - Oh, this book really changed my way of thinking. I am much happier since I read it, but I don't want to say to much, because there will be a Post about this book coming up on Friday.
  2. My wonderful black H&M knitted pullover. I bought it, because I quite often feel like wearing black, to bad I did not have any black tops before. But now I have and I love it.
  3. Matcha! I really enjoyed the matcha Belgian chocolate my family got me and the matcha tea I bought for myself. I especially liked it, because it wasn't loose but tea bags.
  4. Viridi - a wonderful app, where you can care for your own pot of succulents. I am not that good at caring for real plants (unfortunately), but I enjoyed the wonderful colours and music in this app, as well as watching my babies growing each day ^^
  5. Skam - it's a norwegian young adult TV series which I am just obsessed with. The characters are wonderful and I highly appreciate it being just like real life.
  6. I went to an Indian restaurant with a really good friend. It was such a nice evening and the food was so good! I had chicken-banana curry <3

Looking forward:

In February, I am doing my semester finals, which will be a lot of stress, but January showed me, that I am able to handle it.
Also, I am looking forward to a lot of things afterwards: Time to relax and read, tidying my room, visiting my family and starting to work on my cosplay for the Leipziger book fair at the end of march.

And last but not least: Yesterday I started doing ballet after 1,5 years. And that just made me really, really happy.

I hope you will have a great month!
Ella

February TBR // Lena

Friday, 3 February 2017


I'm usually not that good at actually reading the books that are on my tbr.
That's why my list is pretty short. But I promise, I'll try my best ;)

1. Return to The Why Cafe (german edition) by John Strelecky
2. Ahas! Inspiration from The Why Cafe (german edition) by John Strelecky
3. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
4. King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard

I can't wait for King's Cage to arrive. I preordered it weeks ago :D

So these four books are the ones I definitely want to read in February
We'll see what other great books I'll get to read.

Have a very special reading month!
I hope you'll find enough time to fill February with amazing books.

Lots of love, Lena 

February TBR // Ella

Thursday, 2 February 2017


Hey, it's Ella!
And welcome to my tbr.
Let's dive right into it, this will only be a shortie ;)



                                              1. L'Art de la Simplicit√© by Dominique Loreau
                                              2. Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
                                              3. Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett
                                              4. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
                                              5. Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Since I have my finals coming up, I didn't want to put too much on my tbr.
I am super excited for these books, especially Caraval, because I heard great things about it.
Anyhow, If I should be able to read more, I have quite a few on hand, but I didn't wanted to include them in here, because listing them officially would create a bit of pressure to really read them, I guess.

What is on your tbr this month?
Did you read any of mine?

I hope, you will have a great reading month,
Ella.