April 2015 Monthly Recap

Hi!

Monthly RecapWhat’s a better way to kick off the week than a quick trip down memory lane?! My April was packed with day trips, school events, and outings with friends, and Ciao Bella had its fair share of excitement as well. Here’s how the last month looked blog-wise, in case you need to catch up. How was your April?

The Carnival at Bray{The Carnival at Bray almost escaped my notice, but I’m determined to make sure it doesn’t escape yours! Well-written and award-worthy, this is a novel I can’t recommend enough.}

Reads: My short blogging hiatus in the middle of the month led to a smaller number of reviews in April, but I was still able to share my thoughts on some adorable middle grade novels and two strong YA reads.

  • Catch Your Death by Lauren Child | “Child has a trademark style of writing: a quirky mix of realism, a lack of realism, sharp humor, and suspense. Each of Ruby’s adventures show greater improvement in crafting stories in this way.”
  • Honey by Sarah Weeks | “Once again, Weeks brings animals antics, layered relationships, and charming simplicity, easily securing her a spot on my auto-read list.”
  • The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski | “Above all, it says a lot of an author’s skill when an imagined world of war can sweep readers away into intrigue and retain an unsettling sense of reality at the same time.”
  • Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt | “Her character is as realistic as they come. The author captures the odd time of middle school perfectly, and Ally’s growth from misunderstood trouble-maker to a confident kid is heartwarming.”
  • The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley {posted on Lit Up Review} | ” Jessie Ann Foley’s The Carnival at Bray is just one of many [books set in the nineties] I’ve read since blogging, but I would argue that none explore love, loss, and life as eloquently as Foley’s debut.”

April was a slow blogging and reading month – it happens! I only read six books last month {I blame it on Elizabeth Wein’s heart-wrenching new novel, Black Dove, White Raven :)}, but I truly enjoyed all of them. Hopefully, my good reading mood lasts throughout May!

April 2015 BooksAs always, this means that reviews for a few of these novels are on their way!

Cheese and Sausage QuicheEats: My recipe posting wasn’t as frequent as usual, but this tasty cheese and sausage quiche is reason enough to head to the kitchen. I love it for breakfast or as a light lunch with salad!

Finding Neverland Musical Moodboard{I am dismayed that Finding Neverland received no recognition in the Tony nominations. I thought it was a terrific production – making the moodboard was a breeze!}

More: Book reviews and recipes aren’t the only things I post about on Ciao Bella; April was busy with features too! I wrote about three more artists I love and admire in last month’s edition of Eye on Art, rounded up my favorite spring and summer accessories for a new Style Snapshot, and created a Musical Moodboard for the production of Finding Neverland. I also gathered up several free fonts for you to download HERE and opened up a discussion about blogger burnout HERE. Finally, when my lovely friend Paulina asked me to share my photography tips and tricks earlier in April, of course I said yes! Be sure to check out my guest post on her site, Navy Striped Peonies, HERE.

Classy Girls Wear Pearls{via Classy Girls Wear Pearls}

Favorites: Rarely am I not inspired by the creativity, enthusiasm, and kindness of other bloggers. Here are a few select favorites from my April blog reading!

  • Grace of Words Like Silver writes terrific book reviews, but I was an even more impressed with her recent guide to blog branding and photography. While her post is most applicable to book bloggers, I can’t see why any writer couldn’t use her tips when narrowing down their aesthetic.
  • I’ve heard endless good things about the addictive podcast, Serial, and can’t wait to give it a try as the school year comes to a close. When the time comes, I’ll be sure to turn to this handy list of “podcasts to try” from A Cup of Jo.
  • It’s a good day when lettering extraordinaire, Becca Clason, and popular craft blogger, Brittany Jepsen, team up. Their series of Instagram photos – creatively titled “Letter the Rainbow” – has me rushing to my own craft supplies to see what I can whip up next.
  • When Deb, the genius behind Smitten Kitchen, says a cookie recipe is her new go-to, you know to listen. I baked a batch of her salted chocolate chunk cookies, and I know I’ll be making them again, if not for their delicious taste, then at least for the easy directions!
  • Finally, Sarah Vickers has the ultimate preppy look; she always looks classically polished and put-together! I loved this glimpse into her office life, not to mention her amazing photo board, shown above.

Looking Forward May 2015{via My Cute Graphics}

Looking Ahead: May starts off a bit stressful {may I remind you? It’s tech week}, but it has a number of fun events in store. With a weekend of performances coming up, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day to look forward to, and shorts and flip-flops to pull out, I can’t see this month going wrong. What are you most excited for in May?

Have a wonderful Monday!
Bella

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4 thoughts on “April 2015 Monthly Recap

  1. 6 books isn’t too shabby! I only managed to read 5 books in April, and I don’t foresee myself reading much more than that in May either. Things get crazy busy this time of year! Happy May!

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  2. Not looking forward to AP tests but definitely looking forward to better weather and more Ciao Bella blog posts!

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    • Oh, I am NOT looking forward to my first AP tests next years – finals are stressful enough already! But thank you! Glad to hear you like reading Ciao Bella :)

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