Autumn 2017 goals

Hey pixels!! A new season is here, and this means new goals. A new list of things I want to do, because Summer goals are done. Or they should be done. I didn’t do all of them…. I hope I’ll be better doing what’s in the next list.

Now I have 3 months to start making. Yes!!!!! This is so exciting. Starting a new season is like having a new beginning, a new chance to do the things you love. A new hobby, an adventure, a travel or just learning a new skill. Everything is possible. Think about it, my happy pixels!!

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Autumn 2017 goals

Learn how to crochet: I know this has been on previous lists, but this time I’m going to make it. Really. I’ve joined some crochet classes, I started them last week. I want to learn how to make some amazing stuff: pillows, scarves, a handbag and, of course, amigurumi.

Start painting again: I love painting, but I don’t have enough time/space to do it. I live in a small house, so it’s hard to find a good place to paint at home. More classes, at least I can learn more thechniques and I have a special place to develop my skills.

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Design my own board game: I love board games, as you may know, my happy pixels. Now I’m planning to take my hobby to the next level: designinig my own game. Making the rules, the characthers, the board design, everything. A hard job, I know. But I hope it will be funny. Now I just can tell you a couple of things about this subject: it’s a cycling game and I hope it will be ready for Christmas, so I can play with my family as a first test. What’s the next step? A crowdfunding? Would you be interested, my happy pixels?

Learn how to make home made bread: yesterday I found an interesting book about making bread at the library. I’ve been thinking about this subject for months, and now is the moment. Summer is too warm to bake bread, but now a bit of extra warmth in the kitchen will be welcome. And the smell of the home made bread. Lovely! There will be some nice bread recipes here; soon, my happy pixels!

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Keep writing my book + take part on NaNoWriMo: I tried to take part on NaNoWriMo last year but I didn’t had a good story. Now I’m writing my first book, so it will be easier. Actually I have no idea if my story is good enough or not, or if I’m writing it the proper way, so I can’t wait until November arrives. Because of the help and tips that NaNoWriMow offers to you. And to share my story for the first time with people that aren’t friends or family. I want to have some neutral opinions about it….

Finish reading+watching Harry Potter and make a dessert theme related: yesterday I saw the film of The half-blood prince. Now I want to finish reading another book I’ve just started reading. But my next one will be The Deathly Hallows. Book and two films. I’ll finish with The cursed child. The last step: cooking something. I’m not sure about what to cook yet. Do you have any suggestion, my happy pixels?

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Start planning Christmas: it’s never too early to start planning the best holiday ever: Christmas!! I love Christmas: the family gatherings, food, songs, presents, sweets, and more. Planning everything is almost as fun as celebrating the holidays, so the fun can start whenever you want. Now? Perfect. I still have everything to do (and I can’t wait to start).

Do you have any goals for this Autumn, my happy pixels? What do you think about mine? Please, let me know in the comments below.

Photos source: Unsplash

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Red Pepper Risotto

Hey pixels!! I know red peppers are a Summer veggie. To celebrate the end of Summer I’ve made this risotto using the last fresh one I had at home. I love red peppers, I use them in a lot of recipes, like soups or to stuff them with more veggies!!

Red pepper risotto

Now I’m going to start with my Autumn recipes, but today I wanted to eat this pretty risotto. This is not a difficult recipe; actually I would say it’s a simple one. You’ll love it, my happy pixels!!

Red pepper risotto, closer

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • fluid goat cheese, to taste
  • grated mozzarella/parmesan, to taste
  • salt, olive oil

Directions:

In a large skillet, cook diced onions in olive oil until translucent, about 4-5′. Add red peppers and cook for 8-10′. Add uncooked rice and stir for 1′, allowing it to be coated with the other ingredients.
Pour in the vegetable stock, stirring gently and allowing it to absorb into the rice. Keep cooking the rice, stirring constantly, from 25-30′, or until all the liquid is absorbed. If you need more liquid, add a bit of water. You should have a well cooked rice. I don’t like pasta or rice al dente. For me, al dente means not cooked enough, but you can adjust the amount of liquid and cooking time if you prefer your rice less cooked.
Add cheeses and stir. Serve immediately!

Do you like risotto, my happy pixels? Have you enjoyed the last Summer days? Please, let me know in the comments below.

How to save for your next travel

Hey pixels!! We’ve been talking about travelling a lot lately. I started this post series to talk about my Summer trip. This was last month, just 30 days before I was enjoying my travel… Now I feel wanderlust again.

Flowers

But travelling is not cheap, and I don’t have lots of money… So, I’m saving for my next adventure!! I’ve been looking for more effective ways to save my money for my next travel. I knew some of the tips I’ve been reading, but I’ve found a couple of new interesting ideas. At least, new for me…

Now I want to share them with you, my happy pixels!! I don’t know if you’re saving for a travel or to buy a new car, but if you’re like me, you’re always saving to buy something… I hope this will help!!

How to save for your next travel

Create a budget: the first step is to know how you’re spending your money. Probably you think that you already know it, but why not tracking your payments for a couple of months using an Excel or another similar program? You’ll be surprised.

This simple first step will allow you to decide how you need to change your spending habits.

Church, Andorra

Try to earn more: this is obvious, but it’s not always possible. You can sell the items you’re not using on Ebay or Amazon. You can have a garage sale. Another option is to look for a part side job, to sell art on Etsy, to use Fiverr or similar….

But this is not always possible. Maybe your full time job is already exhausting or you have children and you don’t have time to do any extra job. Maybe you have already sold your valuable items. Don’t worry, you can still save.

A nice square in Ordino

Stop buying: this is pretty obvious, but it’s a difficult step if you’re used to buy new gadgets, clothes or books. The next time you want to buy something, ask yourself if you really need it. Most likely the answer is no. When you do need to buy items, try to buy them used, and when something breaks try fixing it first. Think that you don’t need to buy the new iPhone every year, your old one is still working well. Actually my smarphone is not Apple and I can handle it.

Use your common sense. Don’t spend on things that you already know are stupid or useless.

Start cooking: I know that resisitng the temptation of eating out because you’re too tired for cooking is difficult, but you’ll save tons of money just eating at home. Restaurant food or ready to eat meals are always more expensive than to buy the ingredients and to cook them. This step can be hard at the beginning, until you realize that cooking is actually funny and your meals taste better than McDonalds. That’s a chance to try some of the recipes we’ve been sharing here, my happy pixels!!

Cabin, Andorra

Make a shopping list and stick to it: the previous step won’t help that much if you don’t stop buying unnecessary items at the supermarket. Do you really need to have five different ice cream flavours in your freezer? Or that processed, expensive and unhealthy food? Compare different food brands and buy the cheapest one.

Make things different: it’s not limiting your life. Just go to the library instead of buying tons of books, invite your friends at home instead of going out, go to places on days they are offering free admission, and look for other free things to do for entertainment.

Save on Utilities: get rid of cable, dry your clothes outside if it’s sunny, turn off all lights when you are not using them, do not use the heat dry cycle on your dishwasher or just wash dishes by hand, and install CFL light bulbs.

Caldea: the building

Suscriptions: get rid of magazine suscriptions. Stop paying for the gym: go for a walk instead. Ride your bike. Run. It’s great!!

Gifts: make a service or give a home made gift. Or buy a cheaper present. A book is always an option.

There are tons of other saving tricks if you use your imagination. Do you know more of them? Did you know about the ones on my list? Do you have a special good one? Do you want to share it with us? Please, let me know in the comments below.

 

Meatless Mondays: Cheesy Tomato Pasta

Hey pixels!! It’s Monday again… sad, I know. But a good home made pasta dish can make your Monday a great day. I love pasta; I love tomato sauces, so I think this recipe is perfect!! It’s not difficult to make: you can make the sauce while cooking the pasta, and it’s a good option if you  eat at your office.

Pasta & tomato sauce

I’m sorry, my happy pixels. This is a short post. I’m just trying to survive another Monday… No, I am joking.. But today I have lots of stuff to do, and more book to write. I just wanted to share my lunch recipe with you, my happy friends!! Bon appetit!! I hope that you’ll love this recipe if you try it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pasta of your choice
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/8 cup cream/soy cream
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • olive oil, salt, oregano
  • 1/8 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • optional: mozzarella, grated

Directions:

Sauté the onion in olive oil for about 5-6′; add garlic and cook 1′ more. Season with salt and oregano.

Stir in the tomato sauce and the soy cream; let simmer for about 10′. Mix in the cooked pasta and the parmesan. Cook until the cheese is melted and well incorporated.

Optional: Serve with some grated mozzarella on top.

What do eat on Mondays? Do you like pasta? Please, let me know in the comments below.

Ben & Jerry’s Book Tag

Hey pixels!! I’ve been nominated by my lovely friend Ann, from Ann the Bookmaster to make this awesome tag!! Please, visit her blog, it’s awesome!! She is so kind!

Ben & Jerry’s Book Tag

VANILLA CARAMEL FUDGE:
PICK A LIGHT, FLUFFY CONTEMPORARY

Bear (Marian Engel). A weird story about a woman living alone in an island for a few months, just with the company of a bear.

reading at the beach

MINT CHOCOLATE COOKIE:
A NEW RELEASE THAT YOU WISH EVERYBODY WOULD READ

I don’t want to recommend a book if I haven’t read it first. I’m not sure if it’s a new release, but now I’m reading Le llamé corbata (Milena Michiko). It makes you think about life and it has some beautiful sentences.

CHERRY GARCIA:
AN ENDING THAT WAS BITTERSWEET

The invisible mile. I loved the book, but not how it ends. The end is so bittersweet that I’m thinking that I could ask its real meaning to the author by Twitter. I’m not sure if I want to understand it better…and I’m afraid of not receiving an answer. Have you ever written to an author by Twitter? How was your experience?

One of my new books, fnac Andorra

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE:
A BOOK CONTAINING YOUR OTP OF OTPS

Maybe Tobias Eaton and Tris, from the Divergent books.

Here I should confess that the first time I was reading the Harry Potter books, a part of me was hoping that Draco and Hermione would end up together. But not. I guess Ron is a great choice, actually.

MILK & COOKIES:
TWO AUTHORS WHO, IF THEY COLLABORATED, WOULD GO PERFECTLY TOGETHER

I’m not sure if they would go ok together, but I’m curious about how a collaboration between JK Rowling and Veronica Roth would be. I love their stories.

BOSTON CREAM PIE:
A BOOK THAT HAD YOU TURNING YOUR PAGES LATE INTO THE NIGHT

The book I’m reading now. This is always the answer, no matter which book I am reading…

book tag

CHOCOLATE THERAPY:
A BOOK THAT MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER AFTER A LONG DAY OF LIFE

 

Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone. Or any book with a positive story. I loved The Rosie project, for example.

COFFEE, COFFEE, BUZZBUZZBUZZ!:
A BOOK NOT YET RELEASED THAT YOU CAN’T WAIT TO GET YOUR HANDS ON

Not sure about it. Usually I don’t buy books; I just read books from the library. They have a special section where they put the new releases they just have bought. I go there to have a look. Sometimes I fall in love with the cover or with the story… If I don’t  like any of the new ones I borrow an older one.

I tag…

I tag everyone who loves ice cream! And reading! Or both… I guess this is a lot of people! I’ll be so happy if you do this tag! Please, let me know if you do it; I would love to read your answers!!

Thanks for reading my post. Lots of love,

Sílvia

DIY 42: mini photo album

Hey pixels!! A few days ago I wrote a post about the souvenirs I buy when I’m travelling. But what about a DIY one? A DIY photo album to remember your favourite moments of your last travel? I made one yesterday, it was a nice afternoon. Now it’s raining a lot and I can’t go out: maybe I’ll make another one!!

I had all the supplies for this DIY but the cardboard. Mine is pink, but you can choose your favourite colour. Oh, I printed the pictures in normal paper because I didn’t had a better one at home; I almost never print pictures at home. Honestly I almost never print my photos, I just store them at my computer. But the photos from a travel are special: I wanted some of them printed, and this mini album is so cute and adorable. I think it’s a nice way of spending a rainy weekend afternoon.

You’ll need:

  • cardboard
  • scissors, glue, pencil, ruler, eraser
  • to decor: washi tape, stamps, ink
  • your printed photos

The how to:

Draw the shape on the cardboard. My photos were 7*9cm, so I draw the squares for them a bit bigger. I draw one space for each picture plus two for the covers.

step 1 mini album

Cut and fold

step 2 mini album

Glue your pictures, one for each space. My album has 4 photos and a little map of Andorra.

Decorate: I used just some washi tape and my bike stamp.

step 4 mini album

That’s all, my happy pixels!! Just 4 easy steps!! And your mini album is done! What do you think about it? Cute, isn’t it?

Are you going to make one? It doesn’t have to be done using photos from a travel. You can make one as a gift using photos of yourself and the person who is receiving the gift, for example. Possibilities are endless!!

Please, let me know if you make one!! Thanks for reading, my happy pixels!!

The Makeup Book Tag

Hey pixels!! I’ve been nominated by my lovely friend Ann, from Ann the Bookmaster to make this amazing tag!! Please, visit her blog, is awesome!!

I’m not a big fan of make up, but I love reading and I love book tags, so I fell in love with the questions! I hope you’ll enjoy them!! Thanks for reading, my happy pixels!!

Summer trees

The Makeup Book Tag

Primer: pick a book that left a lasting impression

All the books I read (or almost all the books I read) leave me a lasting impression. At least until I start a new book. I can’t start reading a new book the same day I finish reading another one. The last book I’ve read now is The invisible mile, by David Coventry.

Foundation: pick your favourite first book in a series

I loved the first book of the Game of Thrones series. I read just four books. I lost my interest. I’m sorry but I couldn’t finish the last published book, and I don’t watch the tv show. So I’ve completely forgotten all the plots and charachters… sorry not sorry. At least I’m not worried about spoilers…

Concealer: pick a charachter you wish you could get rid of

I would say Ginny Weasley, but it was Ann’s choice. So, to name another charachter from the same book series, my answer would be Dolores Umbridge. I can’t stand her…

Another bad charachter for me is Anna, Erika’s sister on the books by Camilla Läckberg. I’m reading them now and I think she is so annoying: immature, selfish, she can’t do anything on her own…. I don’t like this kind of person.

Powder: pick your favourite last book in a series

The return of the king, the last book from The lord of the rings. I love the book (and the movie).

Eyebrows: a book that you think everyone should read

That’s a difficult one. I don’t think there is something similar as a book that everyone should read, but if I have to name one, I would say 1984, by George Orwell.

Eyeshadow: pick a book that has your favourite colours on the cover

The lab girl, by Hope Jahren. I love the cover. Pale yellow with some green leaves. Natural and simple. Lovely.

Eyeliner: pick a dark & misterious book

Any thriller. Now I’m going to read another one. Crim en directe, by Camilla Läckberg. A dark book I want to read is The Shining, by Stephen King.

Mascara: pick a long book

Jo confesso (Jaume Cabré): 999 pages. Almost one thousand: this is the longest book I have ever read.

Blush: pick a book that had some cringe-worthy romance

The perks of being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky. But actually I loved the book, and the movie.

Highlighter: pick a book that brighten your day

Any of the Harry Potter books, I know I talk a lot about them…

Lipstick: your favourite book kiss

Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice. I loved the book.

I tag…

I tag everyone who wants to answer the questions! If you love reading, feel free to make the tag!

What do you think about the books I’ve mentioned? Have you read them? Are you going to read them now? Please, let me know in the comments below.