Wednesday, July 17, 2013

[Book-Tube-A-Thon] TBR pile

I have selected a few books for my Booktubeathon reading marathon, including Let the Great World Spin, The Book Thief and Accross the Universe

I went to a book fair a few weeks ago and I got quite a few books. I had prepared a list with everything I wanted to get in advance - yes, meet my inner nerd! A couple of them I already read (and have been meaning to post reviews on here!) and the other ones I decided to add to my Booktubeathon TBR List. So here they are:

I don't think I will be able to go through all of these by the end of the week, which is when the Booktubeathon officially ends, but these are definitely books I will be reading in the next few weeks. So, in case you want to see my review on any of these - stay tuned.

As for the Booktubeathon, it's been going great so far! I have already finished one book and read 293 pages and day 3 has just started. It was my goal to read about 100 pages a day, so this is great I think.

How have you been doing?

I have selected a few books for my Booktubeathon reading marathon, including Let the Great World Spin, The Book Thief and Accross the Universe

(Photos: Iva Yaneva)
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Saturday, July 13, 2013


Do you like books and crazy challenges? Is sitting with a good book and a cup of tea/coffee your idea of a perfect afternoon? Do you wish you read more?

Well, if the answer to any of the questions above is "yes" then BookTube-A-Thon might be just the thing for you! It is basically a reading marathon, which starts on July 15th and ends on July 21th. Your simple goal is to read as much as you can and complete as many challenges as possible. What are those challenges, you might ask - well, here they are:
  1.  Read 300 pages per day (yikes!)
  2. Read a book with 500+ pages
  3. Reread a book
  4. Finish a series or trilogy
  5. Read a book that's been on your bookshelf the longest
  6. Listen to an audiobook
  7. Read a classic
 Bonus challenge: How many challenges can you combine?

I know, I know - it's crazy! But it's also so much fun! To be honest I'm not really interested in rereading a book. I think there are far too many amazing books out there to spend your time reading something you've already read. I also don't think I can finish a series, since the one I've recently started is The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Claire and that one is huge! And the thing that scares me the most - reading 300 pages every single day for a week! Well, I'm not sure I'm gonna do all of these, but I really, really want to try. Do what you can do and hope for the best, right?

I'll share which books I have on my list on Monday and hopefully we can start together? Oh, come on - you know it will be fun!

The BookTube-A-Thon was created by Ariel and Raeleen on YouTube, which are both awesome and you should definitely check out. This is the official twitter for the BookTube-A-Thon and the hashtag you might want to use is #BOOKTUBEATHON.

Good luck to everyone, yay (myself included)! xo

(Photo: Bige Yılmaz)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Week Recap

I managed to get a few minutes for myself and read Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann in my parents backyard.

I've been away all week, visiting my parents. I was also working on starting my new business, which I will share with you next week. I think you will love it and I just can't wait to tell you more about it!

I also finished a couple of books and I'll be doing reviews on them tomorrow or during the weekend, so stay tuned for those.

What have you been doing this week? Any fun plans for the weekend? xo

(Photo: Iva Yaneva on Instagram)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Fashion

Bright neon colors on rainy days always put a smile on my face.

It's been a bit chilly and gloomy over here, so I turned to bright neon colors when choosing my outfit. Was it extremely creative - no. But it definitely put a smile on my face :)

(Follow me on Instagram)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Gluten-free and Dairy-free Banana Bread Cupcakes with Berries and Coconut

I had a few bananas left in my fridge the other day and I was craving cupcakes, so this is what came out of my kitchen. The cupcakes turned out really, really yummy and my boyfriend loved them as well - he ate four in one go before I could stop him! Haha.
And the best part is that these are gluten-free and if you skip the frosting - dairy free too! Who says that cupcakes can't be guilt-free?

My recipe for gluten-free and dairy-free banana bread cupcakes with berries and coconut. Gorgeous handmade mug from Raklata.

Ingredients (makes about 12 cupcakes):
  • 1 cup chickpeas flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour (or shredded coconut)
  • 1/2 cup rose hip flour (I believe you can substitute for almond flour)
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut butter
  • 1/2 cup raw cashew nuts
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 100g berry jam
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • vanilla extract
For the frosting:
  • 200g cream cheese (I used one pack of Philadelphia cream cheese)
  • 4 tbsp coconut cream (that has been hardened in the fridge overnight)
  • 100g berry jam
Mix all ingredients in a food processor. Do not try the batter - it will taste disgusting because of the raw chickpeas! But it will change taste when baked. I am speaking from experience, haha. 
Pour in cupcake form (with cupcake liners) and bake in an oven  heated at 200°C. Check if cupcakes are ready by poking with a toothpick - if it comes out relatively clean - they are ready to be taken out of the oven.
Set aside and wait for them to completely cool before adding the frosting.

For the frosting:
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Put in the fridge until the mix hardens a bit and then spread on each cupcake. Keep in mind that coconut cream melts easily, so I would suggest adding the frosting right before serving.

My recipe for gluten-free and dairy-free banana bread cupcakes with berries and coconut.

I hope you enjoy this easy, healthy-ish recipe and please, let me know if you make it! xo 

p.s. The beautiful mug with hand-painted flowers I got from Raklata at Etsy Craft Party a couple of weeks ago. Not only is it one of a kind, but it's also made by a really sweet lady. You can find her work here.

(Photos: Iva Yaneva for Iva Y)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Monday Fashion

I saw this collage on Tumblr and couldn't help but share it with you. I love the style, especially for a colder, rainy day.

See all the items here. Via The Polyvore Collection on Tumblr.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Weekend Insta Collage

Coffee and salted caramel ice-cream at Gelateria Confetti, seeing a few of Sofia Design Week exhibitions and Jamiroquai and Jessie J concerts in Sofia

Some highlights from my weekend:
  • Brunch, cappuccino and my favorite salted caramel ice-cream while the weather was still nice
  • I went to see a couple of exhibitions with a dear friend, including one about Greek Graphic Design, all part of Sofia Design Week. I always look forward to SDeW and I will be so sad when it's over.
  • Discovered a couple of shops - one that sells gorgeous antiques at a very reasonable price (I've been looking for one for years!) and another one with handmade and Indian things.
  • Saw both Jamiroquai and Jessie J live. Jamiroquai were amazing - one of the best concerts I've been to! Jessie J was great as well and she managed to make me cry - such a fantastic girl!
  • Lots of sweets, magazines and discovering the Ticket to Ride game for iPhone (I kick ass!).
  • Went to see Monsters University in a cinema full of kids. It was so not worth it - even the kids didn't laugh! The first part was SO much better! Looking forward to seeing Despicable Me 2, though, because minions!!
  • And finally, I also managed to finish a project I've been dragging for weeks. Whew!

Tonight we'll probably just stay at home and relax, watch an old movie perhaps. If you have any recommendations, please share, because we love watching old black-and-white movies and we're always on the lookout for new ones.

More sweets from Starbucks and Dodoni and playing Ticket to Ride for iPhone

If you're not following me on Instagram already - my name is @iva_y

So how was your weekend?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Rainy Afternoons

The weather has been crazy here. Last week it was almost 40°C and for the past couple of days - around 10°C. And it has been raining on top of that. But I don't mind it - I love rainy weather!

Books, tea and homemade brownies on a rainy afternoon

So yesterday I took an hour break from work and sat on my balcony. My necessities for a rainy afternoon: hot green tea with lemon, fuzzy socks and blanket, homemade brownies (healthy gluten and dairy-free ones, I promise!) and a book.

How do you like to spend rainy afternoons? xo

(Photos: Iva Yaneva for Iva Y)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Design Bazaar

Many people came to the Design Bazaar, which was part of Sofia Design Week

To those of you living in Sofia, especially if you are a designer, you probably already know that Sofia Design Week is happening right now. But what you might not know is that on Sunday there was a Design Bazaar in the yard of the National Art Academy, showcasing some of the best Bulgarian designers out there.

I have to say that after attending the lectures during the weekend, I couldn't help but face the fact that Bulgarian design isn't very well known, even in Bulgaria. I know this is common for most Balkan countries but I really do feel these talented people deserve a place among other, more famous designers. And I realize that they do not have the means to compete with large international brands, but I couldn't stress enough how important it is to support local creative entrepreneurs nontheless. So, naturally, I took out my camera, snapped a few pictures and decided to share some of my favorite finds with you.

Beautiful and practical tote bags from PlatForma at Design Bazaar

Beautiful and practical tote bags from PlatForma (Plat or Плат in Bulgarian means fabric)

Ceramics by Ekaterina Lachova at Design Bazaar

Gorgeous ceramics by Ekaterina Lachova.

Very cool T-shirts from Dushman at Design Bazaar
The graphic T-shirts from Dushman have been a favorite of mine for a long, long time. And they are made from organic cotton!

Jewelry by Jenya Adamova at Design Bazaar
Beautiful jewelry, made using traditional techniques by Jenya Adamova.

There were also a lot of handmade dolls and toys for kids. And I am not ashamed to say that these were probably my favorite shops!

Cute dolls from YoYo Fabric at Design BazaarCute dolls and fabric badges from YoYo Fabric, painted with environmentally friendly dyes.

Beautiful things by ToeMoe at Design Bazaar
Just look at all this cuteness! I have nothing to add, except that these are all made by ToeMoe.

Adorable mugs by Minushka at Design Bazaar Do these mugs by Minushka look familiar? Haha, yes - I couldn't resist! I was eying their printed cushions too.

Работилничка за чудеса at Design Bazaar Rabotilnichka za Chudesa (Работилничка за чудеса, or in translation "tiny miracles workshop")

Photos: Iva Yaneva for Iva Y

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Story About a Mug

Tea on my balcony in Bulgarian designer Victoria Knysh for Minushka cup

When I was little, I was one of those skinny kids, whose parents always had to trick them into eating their food. Except for french fries - that I could eat every day!

But I had this porcelain set with pretty drawings all over it, including on the inside of the mug and bowl. And every time I ate just half of my soup and refused to eat the rest, my mom would say "Come on, there's just a little bit left until you see the pretty picture at the bottom!" And I had seen this picture many times when the bowl was sitting empty in the cupboard. But for some reason, this little trick worked every single time and I would always eat the rest of my soup.

The minute I saw this mug on Minushka's stand, while I was at Design Bazar yesterday (another post, dedicated to it is to come) all those memories came back and I knew I just had to have it. That's what good design does to you, right? It brings a bunch of feelings and memories back.

And now, I am sitting on my balcony, sipping tea, with a goofy smile on my face, looking at the tiny fishes at the bottom of my mug.

Tea on my balcony in Bulgarian designer Victoria Knysh for Minushka cup

Minushka's website/ Velikan Mug (It means "a giant")/ The designer, Victoria Knysh's website
Photos: Iva Yaneva for Iva Y

Friday, June 21, 2013

Redesigning My Blog

Long time no see, huh? Well, I've been thinking a lot about what I should do with this blog, since I am not really writing in it any more. Researching and writing every day has been a bit of a hustle, especially if I have a deadline coming up. I've wanted to write about books for a while, about places to go in my city and of course my photography. There are so many things that I wanted to share, but none really fit into my "theme". That's why, I decided instead of not writing at all, I should just change the theme of my blog. So, from now on, you can read about pretty much anything that I find interesting here, my photography, a new creative business I'm starting with my cousin (I can't wait to tell you more about this!), books, movies, food, design and so much more.

And to celebrate that new beginning, I have changed the design of Iva Y. I've gotten quite sick of that dark old theme and I really wanted something simple, bright and with big photos. I hope you like it :)


Friday, February 15, 2013

My Sweet Valentine

Homemade chocolate covered pretzels for Valentine's Day

I hope everyone had a lovely day yesterday, whether you celebrate Valentine's Day or not. For me, it was just like any other day - staying at home and working. But I still wanted to do something sweet for my boyfriend (literally!) so I spent a few hours in the kitchen. He loves combining sweets with salty things, so I made him chocolate covered pretzels. There really isn't a recipe, you just melt chocolate and dip the pretzels in it. It's not really fast, but it's easy and if you like to multitask, just like I do, then you'll find this a pleasant thing to do. I used white and milk chocolate and added some colorful sprinkles on top. The result was pretty good I must say! I definitely recommend trying it out. I made a huuuuuge bowl, so we ate some last night while we watched our favourite TV shows and I packed the rest so he could take them to work the next morning.

Homemade chocolate covered pretzels for Valentine's Day

As for him, he showed up on my doorstep with some beautiful flowers. I haven't been feeling well in the past few days, so they really cheered me up. Also, we'd decided that we would stay home and perhaps order some food. But the sweet and thoughtful man that he is, he actually went to all of my favourite restaurants and picked up my favourite things from each one. He got me soup from one, a salad from another, 2 different desserts, pizza and sushi. He spent almost 2 hours going from one place to another. It was so sweet!

So yeah, that's my Valentine's story. I really hope you had a wonderful day and if not - I hope today is one! xo

(Photos: Iva Yaneva)
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