Monthly Recap July + August '17 | Engagement and Vacation time!

A lot of things have happened these past two months (all really exciting), so I was too busy to write separate recaps. Here is an overview of all the things I have done that made me happy:

The most important and best thing that happened: my boyfriend went down on his knee! July 25th is the day we (finally) got engaged. He asked me in a romantic way and he designed a beautiful ring for me. I couldn't be happier!

I took some steps towards becoming more active: I had a yoga lesson in a park, when we had a beautiful sunny day, and I had a test day at a sport center (that I will join when they are done with their restorations)

I had some friend – and family time. I ate spareribs with my grandmother and grandfather, I had lunch at the Yogurt Barn with my mother and sister, lunch at Bagels & Beans with my sister and a trip to the hair dresser, I went to a birthday party from a friend and I saw Despicable Me 3 at the cinema with friends.

Engagement ringDuomo FlorenceSienaVenicePisaSwimming pool

I went to Italy last year (and three times before it too), so for many people it was no surprise that we went there again this year. We are definitely Italy-lovers at this point. Last year we booked a tour that brought us to many different places, but we both decided we needed more freedom.

This time we flew to Florence, where we had an apartment with swimming pool on 5 km from the center. We spend 4 of our days in Florence and we made trips with the train to Siena, Pisa + Lucca and Pistoia. We had two full days of just lying at the pool with a book. After 11 days we moved to Venice, where we had 3 more days before we flew back home.

I can say that this vacation was PERFECT. We really enjoyed having a pool, where we could dive in after our full day of walking. We had the BEST ice cream in the world every day and pizza's like they are meant to be. We also had the best weather you can imagine.

I can finally cross off three places on my bucketlist (Florence, Pisa and Venice) and I definitely need to return to Venice at some point. It is such a magical place and I loved to wander around all the alleys and to see all the beautiful buildings. We also hired a gondola and although it was really expensive, it was so worth it! Siena was a surprise and I ended up falling in love with all the all the Medieval influences.
If you are interested in more vacation photo's, I share some more on my Instagram: Mel_1704.

I had a delicious lunch together with my sister and then we went to buy some plants. I had a fantastic wedding party from Daisy, who looked beautiful in her dress - and two book club meetings.

CameraFairyloot JulyHandmaid'sLucky in LoveIncoming

The first thing I got this month was a new camera. I own a Canon 700D, but I didn't want to bring it with my on the plane and I wanted to make some vlogs for the family, so I went with the Sony Cybershot DSC HX90. I am satisfied with all the photos and videos I made. The programmed settings made it so easy to take quick photographs and it has a lot of functions to manually adjust your photos. I still need to test out different functions, but I'm happy with it!

The next thing I received was my July Fairyloot box. I loved all the items, especially the tin Mind Palace cup and the Harry Potter play cards. I also got my August box, but it arrived late, so I will share the content in my next recap.

I bought two physical books in July and three more in August. I got a copy of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood for the book club and my pre-order from Lucky in Love by Kasie West arrived. I bought the anthology Because You Love to Hate Me (overall disappointing..) in Florence and Defy The Stars by Claudia Gray in Siena (I like to bring books home as souvenirs) The last book I got was my pre-order from James Islington - An Echo of Things to Come.

I received some awesome things from Abrams & Chronicle Books (you guys are fabulous!) First a Princess Postcard Box, which features 100 collectible postcards from all the princesses. I got a copy from my anticipated book Odd & True by Cat Winters and a surprise: Ismée Williams – Water in May and Ghostly Tales; seven classically creepy stories from the Victorian era, illustrated by Bill Bragg.

And the last two things I received were copies from Heart's Blood and Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier, both gifted to me by my lovely friend Chiara from Delicate Eternity. I already own her books in Dutch, but I want to have them in English as well, so she was kind enough to give these two to me <3
Random Riggs – Tales of the Peculiar, audiobook on Storytel. 5/5. Lovely short stories in the world of the Peculiars.
Neil Gaiman – Fortunately, the Milk, audiobook on Storytel. 3/5. Adventerous short story.
Kendare Blake – One Dark Throne, eARC from Edelweiss. 4/5. Awesome sequel to Three Dark Crowns.
Mackenzie Lee – The Gentlemen's guide to Vice & Virtue, eARC from Edelweiss. 3/5. The hype got to me.

Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid's Tale. 3/5. Didn't love the writing, but terrifying, relevant plot.
V.E Schwab – A Darker Shade of Magic, reread as e-book. 5/5. Still one of my favorite books ever.
Anthology – Because You Love to Hate Me. 3/5. Overall disappointing.
V.E Schwab – A Gathering of Shadows, reread as e-book. 5/5. The Best.
Kristin Rae – Wish You Were Italian, read as e-book. 2/5. Mweh. Setting was great, plot sucked.
RaShelle Workman – A Beauty so Beastly, read as e-book. 1/5. By far one of the worst retellings I've ever read.
V.E Schwab – A Conjuring of Light. 5/5. FINALLY AND IT WAS PERFECT.
Cornelia Funke – Inkheart. 2/5. Liked the movie better.
Susan Dennard - Truthwitch. 3/5. It was too much and too little at the same time.

I'm going to bundle all the things I have watched.

TV Shows:     
Sense8: finally dared to start this show after I heard there will be a special to give the show a proper ending. On episode 7 from season 1 now and I love it.
Orange is the new Black: Season 5. Binged all the new episodes in a few days. I've seen many disappointed reviews, but I thought it was one of the better season!
Prison Break: Season 5. one question: WHYYYY? Just one stupid mess.
Better Call Saul: Season 3. What a way to end a season!
The Big Bang Theory: season 10, episode 6. Still okay, but they should start to work towards the end.
Game of Thrones: season 7 and OH MY GOD. MY HEART. Some terrifying situations. The season ending was spectacular!
The Blacklist. Season 3, still intriguing.

Ice Age: Collision Course. Funny. 
Despicable Me 3: not as good as the first one, but still really entertaining.
Underworld: Blood Wars. This seems to be an endless franchise, but I liked it.
Going in Style: not bad! Didn't make me laugh out loud, but it was okay.
Scorch Trials: nope. Didn't expect the zombies and I hate the cast.
The Boss: I love Melissa and while this wasn't her best movie, it made me laugh.
Naked: okay. Easy movie to watch in between others.
How to be single: nope, didn't enjoy it.
Catch Me If You Can: it was okay. 
Why Him?: mediocre comedy.
Kung Fu Panda 3: good! I liked it.
Boss Baby: not as good as I expected.
Wonder Woman: YEAAAAAAS.
Bastille Day: okay.
Mary Poppins: my boyfriend decided it was time for me to watch it. I hated it :')
Miss Peregine's Home for Peculiar Children: not a terrible adaptation, but I don't think the story translates well on screen.
The Danish Girl. Very interesting, touching movie about the first known transgender (Lili Elbe) who underwent chirurgery.

I am so excited about this news, so I wanted to share it with you. Victoria Schwab has signed a deal with Tor for a brand new three book series named Threads of Power, in the world of A Darker Shade of Magic! More information in this post.

In case you didn't know, this is some older news that I'm still FREAKING EXCITED about, is that Robin LaFevers is writing two more books in His Fair Assassin series. The thing that makes me the most happy is that they will feature Sybella & Beast, who are pretty much my ultimate favorite characters ever.


  1. What a couple of months you've had. Between the engagement and that amazing trip to Italy I don't know have you've had time for anything else. I've seen some of the instagram pictures of your holiday and I was extremely jealous. You looked like you had a great time and you saw so much! Definitely a brilliant trip. And the new camera looks like it did the job for you.

  2. Ahh congrats on the engagement, Mel! That's so exciting and I'm so happy for you!

    It sounds like you had a wonderful time in Italy. That's one of the places I'd LOVE to visit!

    ASDFGHJKL A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC 😍😍 I read it in July and I fell in love with it. I'm hoping to buy all of V.E. Schwab's books because she's already one of my favourite authors! 😍

  3. Congratulations on your engagement!

  4. Congrats on the engagement! That's a beautiful ring :) Looks like you had a great time in Italy!

  5. Congratulations on your engagement! Must be so exciting :))

    Your vacation in Italy sounds so nice. I want to go there too one day, I've only been to Rome. I really want to read the Inkheart series and can't believe I still haven't got them. Season 7 of GoT was so AWESOME!! My feelings were all over the place and that finale was just one big WOW. I really need to know how things ended with Tormund -.-
    And Wonder Woman was such an amazing movie!

    Have a lovely September!
    Here's my August Wrap Up @ Swissbookworm.

    xx Yasmine

  6. Congratulations, Mel! Wishing the two of you the best of luck 😊

  7. Wonder Woman was so awesome. And okay that Princess postcard box looks awesome.

    CONGRATS ON GETTING ENGAGED! Glad he put a ring on it!

  8. Congratulations on your engagement Mel. Your ring is beautiful. Wishing the best of luck to the two of you.

    The last two months seemed to have been amazing for you. I'm so jealous of your holiday in Italy - it seems such a stunning place to visit.

    Have a epic September. :)

  9. Congratulations on your engagement, that is such exciting news!!!! Also, your new blog design is GORGEOUS :)

    -Cristina @ Girl in the Pages

  10. Oh my gosh, I need the Princess Postcard Box!! Congratulations again on your engagement, that's so exciting!!! I loved your pictures :) Italy looks like it was fantastic, I visited once with friends years ago and would love to go back someday- we went to Rome, Florence, and Venice (for a day). Florence was my favorite, I'm jealous of your pool situation! So great. Can't wait to read One Dark Throne and I really want to reread the Shades of Magic series. Awww you hated Mary Poppins?! That was a favorite as a kid haha. I loved Wonder Woman toooo and felt the same way you did about DM3. Hope you have a great September!

  11. Eee, I love this recap Mel. <3 Sigh. You are always doing such aaaamazing things :D Once again, SO HAPPY about your engagement :D Congrats again. <3 Hugs. And yesss for vacation being perfect :D So jealous. Looks like an amazing place :) Thank you for sharing about all you have done sweetie. <3 I hope September is the best for you as well :) Yesss for enjoying One Dark Throne a bunch. I loved it too :) And Wonder Woman movie! Yesss :D So good.


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