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Blue Spider’s Attic Unboxing

8ed0736655b647d8b362cfe9c51d98a6.pngSo I know there are thousands of subscription services out there and so many book or coffee themed ones; and though I’ve been wanting to try one for a while, I just couldn’t find the right fit. I wanted something at least a little personal and not a box in a “box” per-say 🙂 I found two that I was hopeful for, this is my unveiling of company number one Blue Spider’s Attic:

“The Magic of a Used Bookstore, Delivered.”

I am not a big fan of the name but I loved the concept of the company; used books, customized to you by taking a little questionnaire (about both coffee and books) choice of 1 or 3 books, fun themes! It feels personal and made me really excited for my box to come.

I was a little sad at first because my package was left in the rain and a few things got wet, but it did not ruin the overall excitement.20170412_172904.jpg

I do wish they would double package them though 😩

20170412_173313.jpgI love this quaint little sugar spoon!
“I have measured my life with coffee spoons” T.S. Eliot

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A sample from this fun company that does soup themed from books and tea, great combo! This ones
A sample from this fun company that does soup themed from books and tea, great combo! This one smells delish!20170412_173329-1.jpg

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Another little sample, whole bean medium roast, mmm mmm. Looking forward to brewing this one up.

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*The Books! What could they be 😀
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I had not heard of this book so I was excited to have this book be my first unveiled. Had some water damage 😩 but it will survive!

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*This one I have of course heard of and do have a copy already but hey 2 out of 3 is pretty darn good  🙂

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o me.

I love that there was a science fiction/ fantasy book, it shows that they really were catering the order to me.

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Yay another  treasure!

A cute little teacup necklace, LOVE it!

Well I must say that even despite the less than desirable name (I hate spiders,) and my first package arriving soaked and therefore getting one wet book, I still loved the experience. I thought the trinkety treasures were fun and relevant. I was also impressed with the books choices. Based on what I said I enjoyed it was spot on, general/historical fiction, Classic Literature, and Science Fiction/ Fantasy. It was also nice that the prices were really reasonable. Good Job Blue Spider Attic I will be giving you another try. 

Have you every tried any relative subscription boxes? If so please
share about your experience!

The Most Brewtiful Cafes II

lookbookThere were already so many stunning cafes in Part: I and yet
you will find in Part II that this world has many more incredibly
beautiful and interesting cafes.

Here is part II of The Most Brewtiful Cafes:

Bar Topolski (London)

Topolski gallery-bar-cafĂ©-venue is a unique London space set in the railway arches near Waterloo Station, in the former studio of artist and illustrator Feliks Topolski RA (1907 – 1989).

Knoll Ridge Cafe (Mt. Ruapehu, New Zealand)

Knoll Ridge Cafe is the highest cafe in New Zealand and has incredible views over the upper slopes. Serving a wide array of meals, including a fresh salad bar, hot dishes from around the world, café style snacks and espresso coffees.

Cafe Central (Vienna, Austria)

The cafĂ© was opened in 1876, and in the late 19th century it became a key meeting place of the Viennese intellectual scene. Until 1938 the cafĂ© was called the “Chess school” because of the presence of many chess players. The cafĂ© occupies the ground floor of the former Bank and Stockmarket Building, today called the Palais Ferstel. Palais Ferstel was renovated in 1975 and again in 1986 after closing post WW2.

Dreamy Camera Cafe (Yangpyeong, South Korea)

This incredibly unique cafe stands out on the hills of Yangpyeong as a red, rectangular building in the exact form of a Rolleiflex.

Balzac’s (Toronto, Canada)

Balzac’s Coffee Roasters micro-roasts the finest selection of Arabica beans at their roastery and serves some of Canada’s best coffee at their Ontario cafĂ©s.

Callas Cafe (Budapest, Hungary)

The Art Deco style Callas CafĂ© & Restaurant has a prime location on AndrĂĄssy Avenue right next to the Budapest Opera House.  Budapest is a city of cafĂ©s. Its famed historic cafĂ©s can still evoke a reflection of the lustre of the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s past…

Cafe Majestic (Porto, Portugal)

Belle Epoque-era cafe with ornate interior featuring carved wood, mirrors & chandeliers. This gorgeous cafe is rich with luster and history. Click here for More on The Majestic
“The Majestic CafĂ© is a wonderful place, where muses, thinkers and artists can get together to live the best moments life has to offer: simply sharing communication through words and gestures,glances smiles and even a few tears sometimes.” ~ Gloria Montenegro (President of the Paris Academy of Coffeeology.)

Well there they are, some of the most beautiful and interesting cafes in the world. I hope you enjoyed viewing them as much as I have. 
Please share if you have visited any of these magnificent cafes.

Which ones would you want to visit?

The Most Brewtiful Cafes I

lookbookPart I of my little guide to some beautiful and unique cafes/coffee houses from all around the world:

The Grounds (Alexandria, Australia)

Located in a former industrial precinct from the 1920s, The Grounds of Alexandria is a landmark coffee roastery, café and sustainable organic garden known for its abundance of fresh produce and hands-on experiences.

CaffĂš Greco (Rome, Italy)

This café has a rich history; it has been around since 1760 and was a known meeting place of artists, poets, and writers of all countries. Byron, Shelley, Goethe, Keats, Thackeray, Thorwaldsen, Mark Twain, Canova, Gounod, Bizet, Berlioz, Gogol, Wagner, King Ludwig of Bavaria and many other world celebrities having been regular patron of the CaffÚ Greco.

Mirrors Cafe (Gifu, Japan)

Covered in beautifully polished mirrored surfaces this building reflects the landscape surroundings. A row of cherry trees is planted at an embankment at its basin. The best time to visit is during the cherry blossom season.

Cafe New York (Budapest, Hungary)

An ornate cafe/restaurant founded in 1894 with frescoes & chandeliers. A stunning cafe serving coffee, cake & Hungarian cuisine.

Truth Coffee (Cape Town, South Africa)

This cafe was phenomenally designed by Heldane Martin. It features a steam-punk theme; adorned with vintage typewriters, Singer sewing machines, old candlestick telephones, exposed copper pipes, as well as old extending mirrors and Victorian tap levers. They also pride themselves on roasting and brewing the best quality coffees.

D’espresso (New York, NY)

Decor designed by Nemaworkshop was inspired by nearby New York Public Library turned on it’s side. This unique design is the backdrop for coffee, sandwiches & gelati.

Confeitaria Colombo (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil)

Its huge stained glass, tiled, and mirrored interior features materials from France, Portugal, and Belgium. Serving an array of classic Brazilian and Iberian cuisine, delicious pastries, and of course a cup of tea or famous Brazilian coffee.

The world is full of beautiful Cafes, I wish I could visit them all!

Have you ever been to any of these? Which are your favorite?

Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow!

Blogger BookBean Favorites

depositphotos_55772445-the-magic-book-book-with-magical-stories-magic-book1Below is a composition of the favorite books and drink pairings of my fellow blogger friends. This special Mini Book Bean is very personal and interesting. I hope you will all love the diversity and intrigue of the different books. Not to mention there are a few lovely things to try a sip of.

Here are my Fellow Blogger’s Favorites:

“Memoirs of a Geisha”
MemoirsOfAGeishaby Arthur Golden.

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

It is a beautifully written book of literary fiction, very poignant. Golden did quite a bit of research about Japan and Geishas, and the story takes us through the life of a poor Japanese girl who becomes highly successful at her profession. It also give an excellent look at the culture of Japan pre WWII, and a glimpse of the war.

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Why I love this book:
Having lived in Japan for several years, I enjoyed this tremendously, and wish he would have written another book.

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Book Bean: Hazelnut Coffee Creme 
I make Hazlenut Creme coffee fairly weak, then flavor it with Cafe D’Vita Cappucino Mix and and some whole milk or Half & Half. Very decadent!

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Submitted by Don Maker atdonmaker.com
Freelance writer and editor

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“Odd Thomas”

by Dean Koontz
Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

“The dead don’t talk. I don’t know why.”
But they do try to communicate, with a short-order cook in a small desert town serving as their reluctant confidant. Odd Thomas thinks of himself as an ordinary guy, if possessed of a certain measure of talent at the Pico Mundo Grill and rapturously in love with the most beautiful girl in the world, Stormy Llewellyn. Maybe he has a gift, maybe it’s a curse, Odd has never been sure, but he tries to do his best by the silent souls who seek him out. Sometimes they want justice, and Odd’s otherworldly tips to Pico Mundo’s sympathetic police chief, Wyatt Porter, can solve a crime. Occasionally they can prevent one. But this time it’s different.

Why I love this book:
Dean Koontz is a phenomenal writer and I love everything he writes, but Odd Thomas stands above all others. The story is passionately alluring and really draws you into the characters and world of Odd. A vivid, exciting, and interesting story; with wit an d humor that has you laughing out loud! What’s not to love.

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Book Bean:
 Butterscotch Americano
2 strong espresso shots, hot water, extra cream/ half n half, and a shot or two of butterscotch syrup.

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Submitted
by
M.J. Gale at The Phantom Rem
(A unique and original collection of thrilling spine tingling short-stories)

 

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“Don Quixote”


by Miguel de Cervantes

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

Widely regarded as the world’s first modern novel, and one of the funniest and most tragic books ever written, Don Quixote chronicles the famous picaresque adventures of the noble knight-errant Don Quixote of La Mancha and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, as they travel through sixteenth-century Spain.

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Why I love this book:

For it timeless depiction of the human condition

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1348075953_49210ccf92Book Bean:
Café con leche

a Spanish white coffee beverage. It is somewhat more similar to the Italian caffÚ latte than to the French café au lait. A latte, however, is made with espresso

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Submitted by Antonio at antonioyrocinante.com

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“The Good Soldier”



by Ford Madox Ford, 1915

Rated 4.0 on amazon.com

I’ve read it numerous times, and expect to read again.

The narrator, John Dowell, describes his life with his wife, Florence. They’re Americans, relegated to staying in Europe due to Florence’s heart condition, preventing her from making the ocean crossing home. At a spa in Germany they befriend the British Captain Edward Ashburnham and his wife, Leonora, Edward’s there to tend to his own heart ailment. Dowell’s narrative moves back and forth in time, revealing slices of the interrelationships of the two couples, following his understanding of what came to be a horrific combination of desire, deceit, misunderstanding and passion involving not only those four, but other men and women, destroying not only the two marriages, but the lives of everyone involved.

Why I love this book:
More than a tale of personal intrigue, the book is an ingenious problem — perhaps the ultimate exemplar — of “the unreliable narrator,” because we have only Dowell’s representation of complex human motives and relationships, and even at the end of the book, with all the outcomes made clear, we can’t know if what lay within the hearts and minds of everyone involved was as he depicts it. There is tremendous energy and horrific drama that ruins people, but we have only Dowell’s point of view from which to try to understand it. 

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In addition, it has one of the greatest first lines in all literature:
“This is the saddest story I have ever heard.”

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Book Bean: Espresso
If I could actually keep my eyes on my book and not on the scene, I’ll have an espresso at Florian’s in Piazza San Marco, per favore.

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Submitted by Brad at blaknissan
This blog is for travelers and would-be travelers, fans of reading, writing and literature, and anyone with a questing spirit.

 

“Leo the Late Bloomer”


by Robert Kraus.
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Leo is a young tiger who can’t keep up with the other animals who are learning to read, write, draw, eat neatly and speak. Under the watchful eye of his parents, in due time, Leo makes the grade and his first words are “I made it.”
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Why I love this book:
I like the book because like Leo it took me a long time to find myself and the result was a book I wrote – my bio in kid form “Buddy Bloom Wildflower.”

My book is dedicated to another favorite author and teacher – Leo Buscaglia, he wrote some best selling books about Love and you can watch him lecture on You Tube.

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Book Bean:Rocket Fuel.
AKA Green Tea!

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Submitted by Jerry Snider at Theartofbecomingawildflower

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“Half Blood Blues”



by Esi Edugyan

Rated 3.8 on amazon.com


Shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize.
Half-Blood Blues is the story of a group of black musicians trying to record a jazz album in the middle of WWII. The story plays out in Nazi controlled Berlin and in occupied Paris. The band members are a motley group and the book follows their fears, hopes and tribulations during the war.
Fifty years after the war, two of the surviving band members, Sid and Chip, get together for a cinematic tribute to their most famous musician of the group. The screening of the film hints at a mystery surrounding his arrest and his suspected death. Sid and Chip set out on a journey across the Polish landscape to a surprising climax full of hope and compassion.
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Why I love this book:
I absolutely loved the feel of jazz all through the book. There is pathos and the characters are deeply emotional as all art and artists are supposed to be.
Half Blood Blues touched my soul, in a mess of wild joyous music that survived the personal misery and the fear that the war brought to the protagonists.
Half Blood Blues is my favorite book because of the varied characters, a rich vocabulary, plenty of history and a touch of mystery. The imagery and the frequently idiosyncratic language is very beautiful and an entire range of emotions are explored through the characters. The book has a very artistic and an intense feeling to it.
I also liked the use of an unreliable narrator which adds to a sense of intrigue.
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Book Bean: Aam Panna
A tangy summer cooler made from the pulp of green mango.
Season the cooked mango pulp with sugar, rock salt and cumin powder. Add chilled water and top with crushed mint and ice.

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Submitted by Writinlive at Read Write Live
Self Expression equals Happiness”

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“Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban”


by J K Rowling

Rated 4.7 on amazon.com

For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held the infamous prisoner Sirius Black. Convicted of killing 13 people with a single curse, and said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter’s defeat of You-Know-Who was Black’s downfall as well. And the Azkaban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, “He’s at Hogwarts . . . he’s at Hogwarts.”

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Why I love this book:

*SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN’T READ HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN*

Do you ever read a really good book and just think “wow, this author must not be human because no human could’ve thought up this masterpiece”? Well, surprise surprise, I think that way with all of the Harry Potter books. J.K. Rowling can’t be human… so she must be a witch… IT ALL MAKES SENSE!

When I read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, I have to say, that is hands down my favorite Harry Potter book and here’s why: Remus Lupin’s background story.

I know there is SO much that goes on in the other books that can top anything that occurs in this book but for some reason, Lupin’s background story will forever stick with me as the best thing I’ve ever read.

Now, don’t get mad at me but I watched all of the movies before I read the books… I know, I know WHAT WAS I THINKING? Because of this idiot move, I saw how the movies kind of just brushed over the Shrieking Shack and what it was. I didn’t think ANYTHING of it. But then I read the book and saw that the Shrieking Shack wasn’t actually haunted, that villagers just thought it was but in fact it was because of Lupin occupying it during his transformations into a werewolf. *Explosion noise* MIND BLOWN! Now this might not be as interesting to anyone else but I find it so fascinating and the fact that the movies just brushed over the Shrieking Shack and didn’t even hear Lupin’s story astonishes me.
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Top-5-Moscato-Inspired-Rhymes-2Book Bean: Barefoot Moscato
So if you haven’t read Prisoner of Azkaban, why don’t you grab a nice glass of my favorite drink, Barefoot Moscato, and enjoy it. I assure you, there are some twists in there that’s going to have your mind exploding like mine!

Submitted by Carolyn at Mugglesforharrypotter
H
ead over to her site for lots of great insight to all things Harry Potter!

Since I commandeered the Sunday spot for this awesome collaboration
I’ll sneak in a Sunday Funny here:

'Oooh. By Emily Bronte. A very controversial book...Cruelty! Passion! Death! Risky territory for a woman author in the 1800s.'