In My Life
Being ahead of myself feels like such an accomplishment. I’m not done scheduling the entire September as I had hoped I’d manage. However, I’ve generally had at least two to three days buffer ahead of me in terms of blogging. Considering that alms all the posts I wrote in my two years of blogging were written within 12 hours of publication, that is huge progress. Also, check out the iPad screen in the photo above! I’ve put together a blogging planner that works for me.
Food, Food, Food and More Food
This week was a very productive one in the kitchen. I decided to experiment a fair bit and prepared dishes I had never prepared before — at least not like this. For some reason I always shirked roast potatoes. The ones I’ve tasted in the past were always so oily, I hated them. Well, I found that reducing the oil for basting a little and dabbing the potatoes after roasting can make all the difference!
Then there was the 3-layer chocolate cake. Mind you, I don’t own any spring forms, which explains why the edges are so rounded. That’s also why I didn’t attempt layer cakes until August this year. After compensating for the extra gaps with more cream though, you couldn’t really tell that the layers didn’t have straight edges. In true me fashion, I ditched chocolate cake recipes and improvised with the compositions. I’m happy to report that everything turned out great nonetheless.
Lastly, I successfully braised beef! I last attempted beef stew three years ago. The meat turned out far from tender. Perhaps I was a tad impatient back then. I was an undergraduate cooking in the common kitchen during study week. A lot of people were vying for the stove to cook their Maggie Mee. They didn’t appreciate me hogging the kitchen in our block.
Either way, this time round I added a huge dash of patience to my yet again improvised recipe and ended up with beef so tender, it fell apart just with the nudge of my fork. Success!
While this wasn’t planned, I found myself setting up shop on Society6. My username’s sephina. So far I’ve got one design with red carnations that I photographed earlier this year up on Society6. I’m not exactly sure which direction I wanna head into but I do want to integrate some of my photography somehow. Some ideas are floating around in my head but so far they’re concepts. I’ll update this space again when I’ve got more concrete things going. Though I do love the clock enough to possibly want it for myself.
There also were two new additions to my bookshelf this week; both review copies, courtesy of Pansing Books. A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston publishes towards the end of October and is an Arabian Nights retelling. I’ve been looking forward to it for months, so receive an ARC was a pleasant surprise.
Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly was released a month ago. It wasn’t on my radar but after I read the preview chapter on Amazon, I figured this one’s got humour. I love good humour in books, so I look forward to reading this one soon.
On the Blog
Upon looking up Drama by Raina Telgmeier in the public library catalogue, I found that it was pulled from the shelves. It’s now under review, possibly for LGBTQ themes. Since I’t had some requests for it, I explained how to take #bookthroughphone photos and how to improve them. Looking back, I summed up my August and shared my childhood favourite for Mise-en-scène.
I reviewed Vicious by V.E. Schwab and let me tell you, it was glorious! It’a about everything I usually don’t care for and certainly wouldn’t read but not knowing this before I started led me to enjoy it tremendously. Definitely give this one a shot, even if you’re not into superheroes. In my continued search graphic novels, I picked up This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki. Despite the beautiful artwork, that book left me cold. The plot was so stagnant, it bored me.
Around the Blogosphere
Mishma @ Chasing Faerytales considered if ARCs have become a symbol of blogger status. She concluded yes and I do agree with her to a large extent. Publishers won’t give ARCs to a blogger if they don’t fit into their marketing campaign. Bloggers who do review ARCs have proven themselves in terms of dedication, maturity of the blog, audience growth, etc.
However, just because a long-time blogger doesn’t review ARCs, that doesn’t mean they’re a lesser blogger. Perhaps they live outside the zones of territorial rights or don’t even want to review ARCs in the first place. The important this is is that neither is superior and if someone shares their ARC hauls, they shouldn’t be shamed and envious remarks and drama should be kept in check. The whole point is publicity and that includes posting photos on social media to generate hype.
- Anastasia @ Blogger’s Bookshelf showed off broken spines. She didn’t set out to break them but they do have history. Still, I’m pretty set on keeping my books in their best possible condition, no matter how much character broken spines might show.
- Meg @ Cuddlebuggery designed reimagined covers for The Raven Cycle. They are absolutely stunning to behold! If only these weren’t merely a personal project but were for print.
- Renae @ Respiring Thoughts set out to only read books by non-white authors in August. Now that the month is over, she shared what she learnt and took away from this endeavour.
- Steph @ Cuddlebuggery wrote an exposé on Samantha Reed, a blogger who plagiarised many book reviews from other bloggers. Plagiarism is a serious offence and needs to be dealt with accordingly. The reason Steph outlined everything that happened is that despite sending out emails of apology, Samantha didn’t make good on her word to make amends. She thought it important to warn everyone, in case other reviews have been plagiarised too without the reviewers’ knowledge.