Showing posts with label About the writer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label About the writer. Show all posts

Jul 4, 2015

Sea Weekend: Suze Loves The Sea!

I love the sea. I'm from a coastal town and living by the sea is wonderful. I like it mainly in the spring and the autumn as it's too crowded during the summer. Here the sea is grey and tame. On my photo you see a view from Normandie. I love visiting this beautiful area in France. When I'm on holiday I love visiting other coastal towns. I want to see what they are like and I enjoy seeing the beaches in different shapes and sizes. Water never ceases to amaze me, it's versatile, it's beautiful and it's dangerous. The underwater world harbors many secrets which is an idea I love. 

Our summer weather is pretty unpredictable. Last week I was wearing my winter coat and today it's too hot to do anything. To be honest my favorite time for going to the beach is when it isn't so warm and when there aren't that many people. Today I'm staying far away from the crowds on the beach, but that doesn't mean I can't spend time in the dunes. I love them, they've my favorite part of the area I'm living in. 

I love the colors of the sea. It can be a muddy gray or an azure blue. I like the entire spectrum. The sea is never the same. I like being so close to the water as it gives me a sense of freedom. The sea is many things for me and fortunately they're all positive. I know I'm really lucky to feel that way. I love long walks on the beach or seeing a beautiful sunset. An empty beach is special for me, a full one not so much, but it has it's purpose as well as it brings prosperity to the area.

 I like the dunes, walking in the sand and discovering beautiful flowers or small animals. An evening walk on the beach can be very romantic. Drinking something warm while watching the waves crash on the shore is one of my favorite pastimes in the fall and winter. Every season brings its own precious memories. I can make this list longer and longer, as there's so much to say about the coast. To share my love for the beach I'm having a sea and beach themed weekend. There will be several beach and sea themed giveaways and reviews, I have a great interview for you and there will be two shop reviews of fantastic Etsy stores. Enjoy!

Jun 11, 2015

Australia Week: Suze Loves Australia

Australia has always fascinated me. Ever since I was a child I wanted to go there. When my mother's brother emigrated with his family I wanted to visit so badly, but we never had the chance. Later I had a boyfriend whose mother was from Australia and they used to tell me so many great stories about the country. The relationship didn't last, but my curiosity about Australia remained. After reading several novels set in Australia I wanted to go even more, but still I haven't been able to. I'm not that old yet, so I think my time will come and until then I can virtually travel there whenever I like.

I've chosen Australia as my next around the world destination because of my fascination for the culture and also because it's everything my country is not. It's usually warm, sometimes very warm, while here it's possible that I still wear my winter coat at the end of spring. There is a lot of space, while here in the Netherlands everything is really close. To travel from one side of the country to the other takes three hours by car here, while in Australia it's best to travel by plane. Tiny wasps and little harmless spiders are the most scary insects we have while in Australia people know how to live with the threats of bigger and scarier insects. I have never seen a snake outside a zoo as they hardly exist here while in Australia there are plenty. The Dutch need to protect themselves from the sun moderately as the sun burns so much less fierce here than in Australia, etc. I love that idea, of being different, but also the same, as we are all people who want to love and be loved.

I wish I could see Australia's bright colors and I'd love to barbecue for Christmas. I used to have a lot of penpals and they've taught me a lot about Australia through handwritten letters. My friends wrote to me about the heat, the water ratios, the food, the wines, the beautiful holiday destinations, living in the city, living in a small countryside village, having a pool in your backyard, etc. I loved hearing from them and have kept all the letters I received. While organizing my event I rediscovered how kind Australian people are. I've received so many friendly, generous and helpful messages. It truly warms my heart and I can't wait for this special week to begin!

Jun 8, 2015

Suze Loves Summer Reading

The summer is always the best reading time of the year for me. I love being outside, enjoying the sunshine and reading a book. When I go on holiday I always need a box for the books I'm bringing. I won't stress when I forget to bring clothes or toiletries, but I do stress when there are no books for me to read, so summer reading material is my top priority when I go on holiday. 
Somehow when I'm away and am completely relaxed I'm going for the heavy stuff. I bring bulky books, difficult literature and classics, so no light summer reading for me. My brain wants to do something while my body doesn't do anything. I think that's the perfect combination for me. Being somewhere beautiful while reading something beautiful is all I need. 
I'm living in a coastal town, but have no desire to read on the beach. For a lot of people this is the best thing there is, but it's not for me. Maybe it's because when I see the sea I want to swim and that I'm not a big fan of getting sand everywhere. I also don't like it when there are too many people, so when I go on holiday I like to go to a place with a big garden, somewhere secluded and preferably at the bottom of a gorgeous mountain. When I'm thinking about summer reading I immediately start with my summer dreaming. I love the idea of reading a good book when I'm somewhere nice. 
The best summer reading place I've ever visited was at a nice wooden cottage near the lavender fields in the Provence. There we had our own private mountain. Comfortable chairs on our terrace made the experience complete. Even a few angry wasps couldn't spoil my ideal reading experience. Every year I think about going back, but even though I want to I don't think I should as it will never be as magical as it was back then. It would be wiser to discover somewhere new. Maybe I can look at a flower field or smell roses while I'm reading. I'm not sure what the future will bring me, but I have enough dreams for at least twenty summers.

May 16, 2015


Running water is something that so many people use while not even thinking about it. It's a given in most of the world. Not everyone has running water though and I hope this will change eventually. I feel lucky that my life is usually so convenient. Now that I temporarily can't use water from the tap it's something that I can't stop thinking about. Running water is amazing really and I'm grateful I normally have it.

When I'm reading books set in earlier times I often wonder how comfortable people were back then. Of course rich people used to have a pretty luxurious life through all ages, but most people had to go without. We now have a lot more luxury for more people. I know that without it I wouldn't have been able to stay alive and I'm definitely grateful I'm living in this century.

The mass market toothbrush was only invented at the end of the eighteenth century and toothpaste even later and it must have been quite hard to clean ones teeth before that. I'm feeling so privileged that I can go to the shop and buy one and that I can use it every day. A lot of people must have been in pain before this invention while now we're taking it for granted. 

The world has changed quite a lot during the past couple of decades and some fabulous inventions have made life a lot easier. I'm going to be very happy when I don't have to shower using a bucket any more. Even though I don't like it, it's sometimes good to have a certain luxury taken away for a while.

May 12, 2015

Suze Loves: Beautiful Covers

I have to admit that I buy books because of their cover. If the cover is ugly the story can still be great, so it doesn't work the other way around, but a beautiful cover makes me want to buy a book without even knowing what it's about. Covers can be true works of art and they're sometimes so gorgeous that they have to be admired.

If a book with a beautiful cover is as beautiful on the inside it's definitely a winner for me and I'll keep it. I would never get rid of a book of the cover art is stunning. I don't think covers don't matter, I think they do. Who doesn't want to look at something pretty? It's much more attractive if a book has stunning art on the outside. And I think artists who make those covers are heroes. They should be admired and celebrated and the work they do is very important. To some people it even matters a lot. 

I love art in all forms and covers are part of the overall experience of buying a book. I often go through my selection of books, both paper books and kindle books, just to look at the covers. I especially like it when a book has raised lettering, colored sheets or glitters. Books like that are made to be admired, to be loved and cherished. Not only because of the story, but also because of their covers. 

I think cover art and story writing are two completely different things. I know hard work and a lot of careful planning goes into the covers of books. I love that covers are being shared on twitter, I like looking at them. Now that the summer is near I'm already looking forward to bright colored happy images. Every season has stunning cover art and there's always something to look forward to. Looking at books is completely free, but it sometimes feels like being in an online art gallery. I've got so much respect for the artists, they deserve to be praised and to receive credit for what they do. I love cover artists and am happy they are there to make books even more special.

May 2, 2015

About Suze: Tulips

I'm living in the tulip area in the Netherlands. At this time of year my home town is really beautiful. Every year I'm anxiously waiting to see the first flowers. Then for several weeks the fields are filled with the most wonderful colors. 

This year spring has started a little bit late. That means that there are still fields to admire while usually at the beginning of May most of them are empty already. I'm treasuring it and love it that I can watch those amazing tulips each day of this season.

My country is famous because of these flowers. I think it's such a joyful and happy sight and every single year it manages to amaze me. Besides tulips there are other flowers as well and there are vendors everywhere. There are many tourists and because of the beauty of it all everyone is cheerful and upbeat. It's the best feeling there is. I love tulip season!

Apr 26, 2015

Announcement and Rose Necklace Giveaway

I'm drawing the winners of my giveaways very soon. Also there has been a small delay in sending prizes as I've been really sick. I'm still not on the mend, but I'm hoping I will be soon. In the meantime I'll have some great giveaways for you and hopefully my blog will go back to normal again soon.
I'm giving a white rose necklace this time. Perfect as a wedding accessory or to wear with a lovely summer dress. Good luck!

    I will contact the winner via email. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international.    

Apr 24, 2015

Read What You Love and You Will Love to Read

I come from a family of avid readers and am happy that books are in my 'genes'. I would have missed so much without my precious stories and interesting sources of information. Ever since I was a little girl I've been in love with good stories. I used to read as many fairytales as I could and later I had a gruesome thriller phase. Then came the classics and after that I read one series after another and now I often find myself reading something romantic. Even though my tastes seem to have changed my love for a good book has always been the same. 
I'm writing this post as today I've discovered that I've probably read 100 books already in the first four months of this year. That isn't a bad start at all and I'm hoping I'll be able to continue at this pace the rest of the year as well. I'm reading so much that I'm having trouble keeping up with my reviews, but I can't seem to slow down. I don't want to slow down, I want to read as many pages as I can every single day. I'm thoroughly enjoying myself, so I don't think it's a big burden that I push myself to read almost a book a day. 
Reading makes me happy and it's also why I blog about books. I can't picture a life without stories. I'm grateful that there are so many authors who are working so hard to bring other people joy. I see reading as a cultural activity. I love it when I can dream away because of a good story. It's great to enter another world and the mind of someone else. It will never cease to amaze me how many different stories there are to choose from. When I look at my kindle or my bookshelves I'm grateful that I have almost unlimited options.
I think it's important never to forget the joy reading can bring, it's the most valuable lesson that I've been taught. I don't read something because other people read it, I choose a story because I think I'm going to enjoy it and it will make me happy. I don't feel ashamed because of anything I read and I don't feel any pressure to read exactly what someone else is reading. There's enough choice, so I can make up my own mind. It's what warms my heart and what keeps me happy. I'm always hoping that people will pass on the joy of reading. Readers who are having fun will keep reading. In my opinion everyone should be taught how important that is and I've been lucky to have met a teacher who kept making that point. 
Even the most dedicated readers can be discouraged if they are forced to read things they don't like at all on a regular basis. I've lost my reading mojo during my high school years. I didn't like the books we had to read, they were boring and the topics uninteresting. Fortunately I got it back a few years later and I've never read as much as I do now. My hunger to read hundreds of books started ever since my teacher's brilliant lecture. I want to keep spreading these wise words: read what you love and you will love to read.

Apr 21, 2015

Welsh Week: Last Post & Thanks

This is the last post of my Welsh Week. I've enjoyed every minute of it. It was fantastic to read about the rich culture of Wales and I've learned a lot. I've discovered Welsh literature and will love it forever. I also can't wait to visit the countryside to discover more beautiful places. Again I've noticed how kind Welsh people are and that has warmed my heart. 

The past 10 days were wonderful. I worked very hard to manage the event and am glad that I had the help of so many amazing people. I want to thank everyone who helped me to make the Welsh Week a great success. The views have been fantastic (over 47,000 already) and I hope people will continue visiting my website to find Welsh talent. 

Of course my love for Wales won't stop at the end of my Welsh Week. I will actively keep promoting Wales from now on.

I want to thank my co-bloggers Tanya, Anniek and Eline for helping me with my posts. I also want to thank David, Elizabeth Davies, Louise Marley, Anne Bennett, Chloe Hammond, June Francis, Emma Bennet, Juliet Greenwood, and Valerie-Anne Baglietto for writing guest posts. I enjoyed interviewing Kay, J. Anderson Coats, Emma Kavanagh, Menna Lloyd and Kat Ellis. I had so much fun reviewing and interviewing Etsy sellers Sarah, Chloe, Maggie, Jill, Nicola, Cathy, Yukiko, Quil, Kim, Kate (also many thanks for all your lovely comments), Robyn, Hazel and Sue. I'd like to thank Honno Press for their lovely books. I'd like to thank Valerie-Anne Baglietto, Jaimie Admans, Emma Bennet, Emma Kavanagh, Kat Ellis, June Francis, Elizabeth Davies, Juliet Greenwood, Louise Marley, Eloise Williams and Anne Bennett for sending me their books. I'd like to thank Dizzy Dots, Penlanlas, Bryony Jade,Earthbound Organics, Your Gift House, Adra, Scribbelicious, Angelic Hen and Personalized Jewellery. I also want to thank everyone who contributed with a giveaway, I feel loved, honored and thrilled that you've given me the confidence. Last, but not least I want to thank all the people who have shared my posts on social media. I hope I haven't forgotten anyone and if I have it wasn't intentional. I love you all.

The best thing of this week for me was the lovely chats with the people who helped me with this week. I've definitely made some new friends which is the best reward I could have ever received.

A big cwtch for everyone who has helped me to make this Welsh Week a success!

The amazing books we reviewed:

Great guest posts & interviews:

Fabulous shops:

Suzanne's own giveaways:

Apr 9, 2015

A very cute little lamb!

I went to the forest to see the lambs again today and photographed this very cute one. Normally they don't come so close, but this one obviously wasn't afraid at all. It's so wonderful to see everything around me come to life again after the winter.

Apr 6, 2015


I love walking, especially at the beginning of spring when the trees are getting their first leaves and the lambs are being born. They're so cute and it's amazing to hear the sound of their bleating.

For me spring hasn't truly started if I haven't seen the lambs in a large nature park near my home town. As the sheep are living in freedom it isn't easy to approach them, so the photos have been taken from as close as they would let me get. I definitely had the time of my life watching them.

Nature always is my number one choice when it comes to holidays, visiting places and inspiration. Being outside is what makes me the happiest. I'm glad it's spring and my plan is to enjoy it as much as I can.

Mar 30, 2015



I blog about things I like. This blog is positive only and I try to show the people who read my blog the beauty they can find online. After more than a year of blogging I'm still being surprised every day. I love it that there are so many talented people. They share their talent with the rest of the world which sometimes isn't an easy step to take. With beauty and talent there's often insecurity. That's why I think it's so important to tell people they are talented and to let them know how great their achievements are. 
I like creating myself. I might not be the best writer or the best artist, but I'm definitely having fun when I do something. Creating can be many things, it can help you to feel better, it can be fun, it can be relaxing, it can lighten your mood, it can be a medium to channel your emotions and much, much more. It isn't always easy to show the world your most private thoughts and feelings and still there are people who are willing to do that every single day just so others can enjoy it. There's so much beauty in that. I think it's inspiring and it makes me feel grateful and blessed.
The world is so much less grey because of all the wonderful creations people have made and will keep making. It's something I hope I will never forget. It's good to feel like a child who sees something for the first time. I love it that I can still discover and be impressed. It's what makes my days. I know not everyone realises that people have worked very hard for every book, each design and every work of art. Please keep supporting them by buying their creations and by giving them compliments and telling them how much we like them, that's how we can all contribute to keeping the beauty in the world.

Mar 2, 2015

Why I like YA

When I was twelve years old I started reading books for adults. Suddenly I was a lot wiser about life and love. A whole new world opened for me. My parents let me read anything I fancied from their shelves, so I didn't have to sneak around to get my hands on a book that I wasn't supposed to read. Teachers told me that it was way too early to read anything other than children's books at that age, but I was ready for something different and the step to adult books was the only one I could take.
I would have read Young Adult books at that age if they would have been available. It's something I've missed and I love the genre now, so I feel like I'm catching up. It's so important for teenagers to have something suitable and fun to read. A book with main characters who are the same age and are going through the same emotions is invaluable. I love the genre and will always be a supporter.
A lot of people are against adults reading Young Adult books, but I think it's all right to do that. If someone is eighty years old you don't expect them to read only books that have octogenarians as a main character either? I like books that have a good story and it doesn't matter how old or young the main characters are. I've read so many really good young adult books and part of me keeps wishing they would have been there when I was 12 years old and in the years after that.
I think books and stories are important when you grow up as they're giving you some extra, sometimes much needed wisdom. Every book has something to teach and I love it that there are so many good books available now. My 12 year old self would have had a blast with them. I didn't have access to a good bookshop and it makes me happy to see the current generation of teenagers has the possibility to spend their pocket money on books from the Bookdepository or the kindle shop. I think YA is a very important genre, one that's invaluable for teenagers and their parents. I love it and am a big supporter of the books and authors.

Feb 23, 2015



Do you consider yourself a brave person? It's a question I've been thinking about a lot lately. Even though I'm very calm before surgeries, I'm determined to accomplish my goals no matter what and I'm prepared to face my fears and do something about them I don't think I'm very brave. I have to work on the following things, just like the main characters of some really great books I've read.

 I don't stand up for myself enough. If someone says or does something I don't like I'm reluctant to say anything. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. It is better to say something every now and then though. I want to be a good friend, which means I have to be honest sometimes if it means I'm helping someone. I'm no doormat, I don't want people to walk over me, which means I have to speak up from time to time. I think I should be true to myself and keep being nice to people, but I have to work on being more outspoken. 
 Anatomy of a Misfit is a book about this subject. It's a really story with funny scenes which are often the result of the inability of the main character to speak her mind. I admit, I'm a little bit on the old side to have to learn this lesson, but better late than never right?

I don't dare to ask for help. Even if I need it badly it takes a lot of time before I say something, if I ever say anything at all. I think asking for help is a very brave thing to do and it's definitely something I need to learn. I want to fix everything on my own, but some things can't be done by one person alone. I need to grow and that means I have to learn to ask for something when I need it.
Bran and Talia both need to learn to open up to someone, to talk about their problems and to ask for help when they can no longer face their problems on their own. They learn that together they can achieve so much more. Again I'm so much older than these two, I'm catching up on my late teens and early twenties as you can see.

Giving everything I've got. I don't want to write with my foot on the brake any longer and I need to get more courage so I can give it my all. I want to start a new project, one that needs every ounce of creativity I possess. I could use a big dosage of courage to follow it through, as I really want to start that project. 
Kylie has plans for the future, which means she doesn't do anything in the now. She's waiting to start until all circumstances are perfect and she's very much in control of everything. Like her I need to let go of that control and be creative. It's not important if all variables are exactly right. Being creative can be fun and relaxing which is very important. Kylie managed to let go and to start letting her creativity flow, I should do that too. 

 Asking for things I like or want. I'm not good at asking people for things. For my blog I need to be able to do this, but I'm far from brave enough yet. I should advertise myself more and send more emails for possible posts. I should be more bold and that takes a big dose of courage. 
In the Love Goddess' Cooking School Holly needs to run a shop and start teaching cooking lessons while she doesn't have the knowledge. By being bold and appearing confident she's managing to keep her grandmother's business afloat until she masters every recipe she's trying. I need that fake it until you make it mentality. Even though I don't have the confidence now I will get it when I start putting myself out there. 

As you can see I've chosen books with main characters from young to a bit older as mastering these skills will be a project. I need to cram a few years into just a few months, so I'd better hurry up and start the process. There's so much you can learn from fiction, there's always some truth in a story. That's why I'm using books as a source of inspiration. When I've reached the final stage I think I'll feel so much more complete, I'm sure of it. I will catch up, I will catch up and I will catch up. Being more courageous is my new resolution. I want to face my fears and conquer all of them. With the start of spring I'd like to start working on this. I will keep you posted on my progress. How courageous are you?

Feb 16, 2015

Cheerful Mail!

I'm always using blog space on Mondays to tell you something about myself. This time I will talk about my love for mail. I found my first penpal when I was nine years old. I met her when I was on holiday in Switzerland. We got on really well and I loved sending and receiving envelopes filled with small gifts and lovely letters. Unfortunately we grew apart, but since I met her I've always loved mail and I've sent letters, postcards and mail art on a regular basis. 
Around the same time I found my first pen pal I also received some lovely stationery from the older sister of my boyfriend at that time. I treasured those beautiful sheets of paper and didn't want to write on them, because they were so pretty. I think that's when my love for stationery began. I have quite a big collection of cute and beautiful letter sets. I treasure them and like them so much. If I want to use my pretty paper I always have to buy doubles, otherwise it's not going to happen.
I used to send happy mail to quite a few friends long before I started my project. I love the idea of making someone's day because I sent a cute envelope. I used to spend hours crafting envelopes and I decorated a lot of paper. I'm still doing just a little bit of that, but not as much as before. I'm going to pick it up again and would like to show simple, quick projects on my blog. 
I think mail shouldn't disappear. It's so much fun to receive a cheerful envelope in your mailbox from time to time (or every day!). I hope that the people who read this who don't send postcards and letters any longer will think about sending them again. For the people who do, it's fabulous that you take the time to create something that will brighten up someone's day. I would love it if you could all join me in my quest to send more mail that will make people happy.

--- Suzanne ---

Feb 13, 2015


Friday the 13th always makes me think about luck. I'm a bit extra cautious on this day, but I also feel extra lucky somehow, because it makes me think about the things I'm happy about.

- I love my blog and am so happy that I can write about everything I love.
- There are so many things I love and I'm lucky that they are there and that a lot of them are within my reach.
- I love love which means I'm very fond of Valentine's Day. That's tomorrow, so something to look forward to.
- I like clovers and ladybugs, these symbols for luck make me smile. Especially on Friday the 13th I want to surround myself with them.
- I've made my first questionnaire for the blog and loved doing that.
- A lot of people have sent me nice tweets because they've received their prizes.
- Today I received a message from a friend who told me she's received her Christmas present. I thought it went missing, so I'm happy it arrived after all.
- I'm reading a nice book and am enjoying the story.
- I got a nice new necklace made with Roman glass and it's really lovely. 
- I went for a walk in the forest and I saw several deer, they are so cute.

What makes you feel lucky?

Feb 9, 2015

Too Many Books?

The thing I love is also something that frustrates me. I like books very much and can never have enough great titles to read. Since I've started Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams it's even worse, as because I blog I keep finding the most wonderful and fantastic books, but there are simply too many. I don't have enough time to read them all. I read six books per week and I still can't manage to read at least half of what I was planning to. How can I get rid of this frustration? I have a cheerful and happy personality, so this feeling doesn't suit me very well. I want to get rid of it yesterday instead of today. There are ten options I've considered.

1) I can buy all the books I want to have and live with the possibilities of great stories. I might read the books or I might not, but the idea that I can read them and that they are within my reach should be satisfying enough.

2) I should feel lucky that I have access to all these books. There were times when I couldn't afford even one book per week and now I can read six. Sometimes I receive them to review, but I also have enough money to buy a lot of lovely stories.

3) It's fantastic that there are authors who are so talented. Rather than focusing on the content of the books I should focus on the person behind them. It's fabulous to produce something that other people will enjoy and my frustration has to turn into admiration instead.

4) I have to learn how to speed read. I have actually tried this, but I don't enjoy reading a story at such a fast pace. It's tiring and it's not easy to notice all the layers that have been woven into the text. I think speed reading is a way to read more books, but so far I don't think it's a great one. I still wanted to list this possibility as there's a little spark of hope that I will enjoy it more when I'm getting used to it.

5) I should start as many stories as I can and choose the best and most promising books I can find. That way I'm not reading everything and books with a slow start won't be read, but at least I have a good chance I will enjoy the books that I read immensely. 

6) I can research every author, each book, the publisher and all the feedback for the title and for previous publications of the same author. It definitely helps, but there's little adventure left if I would choose each book I read this way. Although most of the time it's a decent option to choose good books.

7) I could learn to be content. I shouldn't want to suck up new information and beautiful stories all the time, sometimes I need a break to breathe and to notice how happy and lucky I am to be surrounded by books. Slowing down goes against my nature, but I can always try.

8) I need to write lists. If there's a list with every book I absolutely must read I'm keeping track of what I most certainly shouldn't forget. It's not one hundred percent reliable, though I hope it will help me to battle the chaos.

9) I might have to try to get rid of my book addiction. Do I need help? I don't think I do, I just need to find a way to have more time and to add extra hours to my day. Is that so bad? If it is I might need that help anyway.

10) Maybe the use of random choice would help. I can let the computer decide what I'm going to read. That way my selection is always honest and I don't lose time making choices. I can spend that time on reading a book instead. The downside is that if I really want to read a certain book I might never get the chance, so this method will both add to my stress level and it decreases it and I have no idea which of these two will win.

What should I choose, which of these ten methods will save me? How do you live with the abundance of books you want to read? Do you need any measurements or are you all right with the knowledge that you will never be able to get to everything you've been meaning to read?

--- Suzanne ---

Feb 6, 2015

10 Facts about Suzanne

1) I like French music

2) Technically I'm still a student

3) I have no patience for movies and watching television makes me unhappy. I prefer reading.

4) I taught myself how to read when I was 4 years old and have been addicted to it ever since.

5) I'm married to my high school sweetheart and we've been together for 18 years.

6) My first apartment was 30 square metres in total and I shared it with my boyfriend (now husband).

7) I tend to keep things I love for months before using them.

8) I love, love, love sweaters and pullovers and have loads of them.

9) I'm like a magpie, I like shiny things.

10) Before Librarian Lavender my favorite color was blue, now it's pink.

Jan 31, 2015

Lung Leavin' Day

On February 2nd it's Lung Leavin' Day. On this day nine years ago Heather's lung was removed, because she had a life threatening form of cancer, mesothelioma. Asbestos was the cause of Heather's lung cancer. Most people who are getting diagnosed with this form of cancer are getting a grave prognosis. They told Heather she'd have 15 months to live. Heather didn't give up though and this year it will be the 9th time that she's celebrating the removal of her lung. She has a daughter and she wants nothing more than to see her grow up. 
On the night before her surgery Heather, her family and her friends gathered together. They'd written their fears on a plate and threw them into a fire. Heather has turned this into a recurring event and would like people to join her. As I think Heather is a very brave and strong woman with a very special cause, I didn't hesitate to agree to write something about Lung Leavin' Day on my blog. Her strength is amazing and she's definitely someone I admire. 

Lung Leavin' Day is all about writing down your own fears and throwing them in a fire. It's a great way to deal with the things you're most afraid of. As Heather is brave enough to share her fears with the rest of the world I will do the same with mine. I'm not a healthy person and I never have been. I have a genetic connective tissue defect called EDS. It causes a lot of problems with my joints and my organs. The worst thing about it is the pain and I'm taking 14 painkillers per day to keep it from overwhelming me. Sometimes I'm in too much pain to think and that's something I'm trying to avoid. There's always a small fear that I will have another day like that or that my painkillers won't work any longer. Then there's also something wrong with my immune system. I've been given Azitromicine for it and that helps enough to give me back part of my life. I can't eat many things as it's not the medicine that helps me with my stomach issues, but it's keeping chest infections, pneumonia, ear infections and sinus infections from spreading. I'm more vulnerable than most people and there's always the fear of getting sick. 
The past couple of years I've been so ill I couldn't do anything. I spent my days in bed or on the sofa reading and that's all I could do. Since the Azitromicine I can write and even though it hurts my joints and muscles I'm having a much better life which I enjoy every single day. I'm grateful that I've been given this small part and am also afraid that someone will take my precious medication from me. At the same time I'm also afraid that I'll never be able to eat normally again. My stomach is getting upset from most types of food and I keep having to cross things off my list of food I can take. I always have to bring my own food wherever I go and even then there are no guarantees that it won't make me ill. It didn't used to be like that, as food was my biggest passion. I'm afraid I'll never be able to enjoy it again.
On Monday I'm going to write down these fears and throw them in a fire. Having strength is facing your fears and trying to overcome them which is what Heather's doing over and over again, I think that's amazing. Are you ready to face your fears, so they will no longer be able to control you and are you going to join Heather with me?

Jan 26, 2015

The First Month of the Year

This is the last Monday in January, for me it was a month with ups and downs. I spent the first few days of the year in Wales and I loved it there. I had such a good time and love the country and the people. When I left I could look back on a very good time. 
It was pretty much inevitable with so many people at the airport being ill that when we got home my husband and I were both under the weather. I already had some issues before Christmas, so wasn't very happy to spend my days on the sofa again. Luckily there was something really positive about that time as well. I had the chance to read a lot of books. 
Fortunately this was the only real negative. The positive is definitely a lot nicer to talk about. One really wonderful thing was the reading that also continued when I felt a bit better. I've read so much this month and I got a lot of great new books. Of course I couldn't stay away from book shopping while I was in the UK. Then I discovered a great English book shop in Amsterdam that has decent prices. The books aren't the newest titles, but they have some really nice offers. I've been there twice and am hoping to go a third time this week. 
My husband had some time off this month. After being sick we spent many fun days together. We've done a lot of shopping and I've found some great bargains during the sales. It was so nice to hang out together and I've had a great time. There are still a few days left and we're going to make them as good as possible, so I have something to look forward to this week. 
Another really great thing that happened to me is the mail I received. I got a wonderful I Love Beautiful Body set as a surprise gift. There was also a great package with Christmas presents waiting for me when I got home one day. And I've received an envelope with fabulous Etsy happy mail that has really made my day. I got several paperbacks from publishers/authors and enjoyed reading them very much. There was also a great thank you note from a dear friend and plenty of other things that brightened my days.  
I didn't expect that my giveaways would do so well. I'm always doing my very best to find the nicest combinations of gifts and am glad to make people happy with them. That has been my intention with this blog from the start and I'm enjoying it more than I could have ever imaged. I can't wait to list new giveaways and to keep the fun going. 
Last, but not least. I finally started thinking about what I'd like to do this year. My blog is one year old and I've discovered how much I like spending time writing posts. I've organized my first hop and event and am hoping to host many more. Of course there are other things that matter to me as well. For example trying to improve my French. I've made a list of things I'd like to achieve and hopefully I can manage to make some progress. I have a lot of ideas and can't wait to do something with them. 
Overall I loved January 2015. Hopefully your first month of the year was a good one as well.

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