Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer Reading

Hello Monday!

I've taken a little bit of summer vacation from blogging and working long hours. It's been great! When it's as hot as it's been in Sweden (for the past few weeks it's been in the 80's) with out the comfort of A/C I just can't handle sitting in front of my computer for more than a few minutes per day. So besides working on the commissioned projects I received at the beginning of the month and shipping orders to my wonderful customers I haven't done much else work related. No new illustrations or other projects. I haven't even really been keeping up with my favorite blogs (shocker!) 

I've been spending most of my free time with Johan of course since he's on real summer vacation from work for 4 weeks. We've gone on lots of day trips to sun ourselves and cool off in the ocean or lake, even took a quick camping trip out in the archipelago (amazing!). We've of course been enjoying lots of picnics, grill parties with friends and gorgeous al fresco dinners on our balcony with refreshing glasses of wine or beer too. It's been really nice not really having any real plans, stay-cations can be just as great as travel. Since there is no better way to pass the time during hot summer hours at the beach/lake/park I've become a reading fiend again. I've read nearly 10 books in the past 3 weeks!

So I thought we'd chat about a few of my summer reads. To start off, a few of my absolute favorites:

By far my favorite summer read! I adored this book, especially since I'm such a book nerd. It's a little Da Vinci Code meets Harry Potter without the magic plus Google makes a huge appearance. Loved! Read it!

A perfect summer read as the story is set in the winter time. Almost, makes you feel a bit cooler. (Not really.) I loved the atmosphere of this book. It was so quiet, remote a little dreamy, and even a little depressing. I thought it would be a little more fantasy as the summary suggested but I loved it all the same.

This one was a bit weird, but I love weird. I really adored all of the accompanying weird photos throughout the books pages too, really added to the fantastical story. A fun fantasy/circus freak/supernatural twist on a World War II story.

and then let's move on to Gillian Flynn. I read all of her books. Gone Girl, Sharp Objects, and Dark Places. There is something seriously wrong with that woman, hehe. These books are sick, twisted, dark, and I was completely surprised by how each of the books ended (which is always nice, nothing worse than being able to figure out the who-done-it in the first few pages). I actually really enjoyed them, even with the disturbing feeling you're left with after finishing. Suppose that's the point.

To finish a few that I wasn't too hot for.

I just had to read this since everyone and their Mom has already and I don't want to be out of the loop. I thought the book was good, I suppose, but it didn't make me laugh or cry. (I think I'm cold hearted, hehe) Hated the pretentious teenage dialog. Meh.

And two other Young Adult books that were just that, a little too YA for me. Across the Universe by Beth Revis and We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. Still really nice reads if you're into YA teenage romance. (I'm 30, time to move on.)

What have you read this summer?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Blogger What's in my Bag: Emily of The Locust of Style

Hello Wednesday!

This week I'm spending some time getting spoiled by my Grandparents on the West coast of Sweden. Even though I'm taking just a pinch of time off from work and the internet to enjoy some sunshine and gorge on too much chocolate, I still of course wanted to have a gorgeous Blogger What's in my Bag illustration to show off for you today. This week's illustration features fashion blogger Emily of blog The Locust of Style. Emily has great easy going style and her blog is a major breath of fresh air!

To view all of the gorgeous illustrations I've created for tons of wonderful bloggers, check out my Blogger What's in my Bag Pinterest board here...

And if you'd like to have one commissioned for yourself or a friend you can purchase a Custom What's in my Bag listing in my Etsy shop here...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

New to EmmaKisstina: Press Photos

Hello Wednesday!

Last week I worked on a few new press shots for EmmaKisstina. I was hoping to take some great product shots but unfortunately this didn't really happen. What I did get was a nice template for a Photoshop mockup image with a white frame and a black frame. I've been meaning to create images like this since forever, so I'm glad I finally got my bootie in gear and actually got them photographed. Now all I have to do is add them to my shop listings!

By the way I've got several online shops now. Instead of just selling on Etsy you can now find me here:
• in several Tastemaker boutiques such as Cool Mom Picks or Glitter Guide
Nordic Design Collective a really great Swedish site.

Friday, June 27, 2014

5 of my Favorite Cookbooks

Hello Friday!

I'm obsessed with cookbooks. So much so that I have a buying ban for the time being (I think I'll have to donate a few or at least not buy so many all the time.) But I really love them not only for their great recipes, gorgeous photos and food inspiration I adore them for all of the stories that accompany the recipes. I love reading through a new cookbook like a novel!

Though I adore all of my cookbooks these 5 really stand out in my collection.

The Songs of Sapa by Luke Nguyen

This book is amazing, and so heavily packed with stories, and recipes you have to carry it with two hands. I've long had an interest in Vietnamese cooking. I love the simple flavors and use of lots of fresh herbs and vegetables. Not only does this book have very authentic recipes with tons of ingredients I've never heard of (and probably will have a hard time finding in Sweden) it also acts as a travel journal outlining the differences in culture and food in the different regions of Vietnam. This book took me more than a week to fully read through, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Every Grain of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop

Another Asian cookbook, specifically Sichuan cuisine, I completely adored reading through as Fuchsia has spent so much time exploring and discovering Chinese cooking. (I also recommend her biography/cookbook Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper to learn more about Chinese cuisine and all the  funny strange interesting differences in our cultures.) These recipes also seem very authentic but are presented in a way that is easier for us Westerners to mimic. The book has lots of notes for good replacements to exotic ingredients too which is helpful. There are so many recipes in this book that I've already created and adored and there are also so many more I can't wait to create.

Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

There is something so very exciting about Middle Eastern food. I love all of the spice mixes and the use of lots and lots of vegetables. It's healthy, hearty and never boring. This book also presents more than just amazing recipes but the premise that food goes beyond religion and brings people together. I really like that idea!

The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit

Not quite a cookbook as there are no recipes in this book, but no less helpful when creating meals. As the title suggests you can look up flavors/ingredients and it outlines all of the different taste combinations that would work really wonderful together. I'm great at looking into my fridge and creating meals from unlikely ingredients (if I say so myself) but sometimes you just need a little pinch of inspiration.

Sucré by Ladurée

Last but not least the most elegant and pretty cookbook in my collection. This book is so gorgeously packaged it's far too pretty to get anywhere near my messy kitchen. The book comes packaged in a pretty pistachio green box with light purple tissue paper and features a flocked cover and gold edged pages. Oooooo! It also houses the most elegant French desserts I've every seen. The recipes may take a lot of steps, but they're not completely as impossible as they look. I've had much success with lots of desserts especially a strawberry topped pistachio macaron cake!

What are your favorite cookbooks? I'm looking for a great vegetarian healthy eating cookbook. Recommendations? :) Also I hope you all have a really gorgeous weekend!