November 12, 2016

One Wild and Precious Life as an EU Trainee: Place du Luxemburg aka Plux

Photo credits: Bruno Maes Photography

You can't be a EU Trainee without knowing about the existence Plux. Place du Luxembourg on Thursdays is the best place to be. Trust me here.

Plux is also know as the networking place. It's the place to be on Thursdays. Lots of Parliament and Commission people go there. Important people too, apparently.

Guys. This Place. Thursdays are also one of the favourite days of the week. It's so cool infact. You finish work, pack your stuff and head to Plux. It takes me approx 10 minutes to get there and it's the best.

All the trainees are usually there. We all know that after work on Thursdays Plux is the place to go to. So you get to mingle with other trainees, hear about their DG and their work. It's a great socialising environment. I got to meet most of the trainees there. 

I love Plux.

Maybe it is not really the best 'networking' place out there, as I haven't seen anyone properly networking, but it's a great place nonetheless. Every Thursday is a bit different, but it's absolutely great. Everyone should experience Plux at least once in their lives!

To be honest here, the Traineeship is like a second Erasmus. Only you are not broke. There are so many things happening, so many places to be. So many people to meet. Exchange knowledge. It's amazing. 

I cannot recommend the EU Traineeship enough. It's once in a lifetime possibility, and it's honestly the best decision I've ever made. 
Days are funny. I wake up in the morning to go to work. I'm at work till 6ish, and then there is always something happening. Everyday I come home late in the evening. And then I wake up the next day and go to work again. It might sound exhausting, but I swear it's the best time in life I've ever had. I am so full of energy, the days are long and it feels great. It's dynamic and never ever dull. I guess that the only thing I could have ever asked for.  A life full of adventures with no dull moments. Life is so good.

There are many perks of this Traineeship. Numerous conferences, debates, networking events, but I'd say Plux is one of the best out there.

Ever been to Plux? Come along next Thursday! 

October 29, 2016

One Wild and Precious Life as an EU Trainee: International AfterWork

International AfterWork @ Mezzo Bar

As a EU Trainee you become fairly acquaint with the Brussels party scene. One of these party scenes is International AfterWork at Mezzo bar. 

It's held every Wednesday evening. And it's awesome! Every week there is a theme such as Italian night, Greek night, Romanian night, Russian night.. All international people are very welcome. 

People are encouraged to go to other people. So if you are coming alone, do not worry, you won't be alone for long. There is always an international person you can start talking to and discuss life, travels and general life in Brussels. 

To me Wednesday is one of the best days in the week. Plus, it's super good cause it's in the city centre. As a EU trainee I am usually hanging out in the Schuman area, and International AfterWork gives me an excuse to make a trip to the city centre. :) It feels nice to get out of the EU bubble for a night and talk about non EU related stuff. 

There is the usual crowd, and then there are the newcomers. Which makes the Wednesday night predictable and unpredictable at the same time. Which is good! It keeps the anticipation alive!

Oh, forgot to mention the best part! There is happy hour that lasts for 4 hours (6pm-10pm)! :) And the beer is  very cheap too! :) 

I have met really good people, and I developed great friendships at the International AfterWork. 

So, if you are a trainee, or you work in Brussels, or you are just visiting, I would highly advise you to come to the International AfterWork. It's always crowded, there is always good music, and I bet you can always find a particularly entertaining company! And ofcourse, networking!

October 23, 2016

Readathon: Hour 24

End of Event Survey

Which hour was most daunting for you?
Hour 18. I crashed. Went for a power nap (which thank god managed to stay a nap and not me sleeping till tomorrow!) for 3,5 hours and I feel human again. It was a good decision. I looked like a zombie in the hour 18.  

Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
I insist contemporary romance books are the best way to go. This time I decided to do a little change and read Fantasy because I wanted to startSrah J. Maas books in a while and readathon sounded like a good excuse to finally do it. But it's definitely slower place of reading. Took me 16 hours to finish the first book and it was 416 pages. I think I will stick with contemporary romance (again) next time!

Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season?
As I state every year (twice) this event is made of awesome. Keep the good work readathon people! The only thing that I skipped this time were the challenges. I haven't done any at all. The titles didn't seem intriguing. 

What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
The twitter feed was bat shit crazy good!

How many books did you read?
1 book + 

What were the names of the books you read?
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (416 pages)
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (about 75 pages)

Total of: 491 freaking pages! 

Which book did you enjoy most?
The one that I actually managed to finish :D

How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
Readathon events are made of awesomeness. I love participating in this event! It's a blast everytime!

See you again in April 2017 lovely people!

Readathon: Hour 12 - Coffee is my best friend

Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now?
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas - more than half way through :)
2. How many books have you read so far?
300 pages into the first book!
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas - apparently the second book is pure awesomeness!
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Apart from getting home 10 minutes after the start ... not much! Switched my phone to silent mode and it's amazing how noone can bother you.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

That my reading is going so slow! I knew that I should have gone with contemporary romance instead of fantasy but I really wanted a little change this time aroud! And twitter! It's an awesome event and enjoying every moment of it!

Hope you're having an amazing read-a-thon! Don't fall asleep! Make yourself a coffee and most of all, happy reading! And thank you cheerleaders for cheering! This means so much! :)

October 22, 2016

Readathon: Hour 1

#Readathon is here! :) :) I am so super excited about it! It's gonna be an awesome experience, I can feel it! :)

What is my goal? To read and have fun on Twitter and discussing awesome books!! :D

To read list:
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (416 pages)
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (640 pages)

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
This time around I am reading from Brussels, Belgium! Hehe, everytime it seems I'm reading somewhere else in Europe.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
For the second book, A Court of Mist and Fury! Heard sooo many great things about it!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Pasta, probably. And coffee :)

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I moved to Brussels 3 weeks ago and I started my internship at the European Commission. So far so good and I really like in here. Finally a grown up job that I studied for! I'm really happy :) I love to read Adult and New adult books. I like Romance. Dystopia, contemporary, historical.. it has to have some romance in it and I am a happy girl!

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
I've learnt that reading contemporary romance books is the best for this kind of events - it goes faster. But this time I will try fantasy cause I've been meaning to start this series for forever - so it's time! And I'll try to check more blogs and meet new awesome bloggers :)

You can find me on Twitter here: @neabarabea

Happy readathon to all of you amazing people :) Good luck! Lets have a good adventure together!

October 11, 2016

One Wild and Precious Life as an EU Trainee: Let the Adventure Begin!

EU Trainees October 2016

It hit me all at once when we were driving through France that I can finally take a deep breath. And I am free. I am free. 

When we were nearing Brussels I saw from the window of the bus this huge rainbow. We literally went beneath it. And I thought to myself "This is a really good sign".

I'm ready to start over again. Brussels here I come! Let the adventure begin! 

In the first week I have meet SO MANY people. Guys I am not kidding you, so many people. I think of myself as a person who remember all names, but woah, not this time. There were just too many. Everything was very overwhelming. New city, new house, new flatmates, new job, new colleagues, new people, new potential friends to meet. 

Overwhelming or not, though, OMG this place is the best thing ever!

My job is awesome. I really like the tasks that I've been given. And I love my supervisor and the 2 ladies of the team. My girls, I really enjoy working with them. It's dynamic and challenging. I love my job.

For the first time after a long while it seems my education is finally paying off. Thank you Edinburgh University. Thank you Universe. I am the happiest girl on the planet.

Being a Blue Book Trainee at the EU Commission is the best thing that ever happened to me.

There are no words to describe how happy and proud I was the moment I received the EU badge. I felt so badass. All that blood, and sweat, and tears, and hardwork were fucking worth it. It was all worth it. 

All that excitement for the future. 

Bring it on. 

August 24, 2016

You can close your eyes and think of England, or you just don't and you let it go.

Dear England,

most of my life I thought you were the best thing in existence. I did. I really, really did. I thought English people were just better because they were English. I thought they were better because they speak English with the proper English accent. I thought they were better because they were born in England and not anywhere else. Because England. 

Not anymore.

England, I'm so tired of you and your people. I'm so tired of trying to fit in and trying and trying, and trying. I'm tired. I'll never fit in.

I will never be anything other than an Eastern European to you. Ever. And the way you say this is so insulting, even if you don't mean it, it still is (sorry Eastern European people, you know what I mean, and again I'm sorry) in fact insulting. And not because you have no fucking clue of geography (because btw I would have never ever passed my finals in high school if I didn't know which countries belong to which side of Europe), but because you never really try, do you? All the excuse I ever get is "I'm not good in geography". I can understand that if you are an American, or Asian, but fucking European?! How did YOU pass finals in high school!? 

Second thing is you make me feel lower than you just by being. Talking to me. Being like "Are you Swedish?" with all that glint in your eyes, and then I say "No, I'm Slovenian," and you are "ah." What does that mean? Am I lower than you just because I'm from the Balkan, even though you think Slovenia is in the Baltic?

Why was I ever envy of you and your way of life?

And your way of life. You know, we, Slovenians, we might be very direct, but fuck my life, we were never this mean.

Dating. We might not do it the way you do it, but we sure as hell don't drag people along making them feel like they matter when in fact they don't. And I'm not talking about the first date. I'm talking about the 5th where you should sure as hell know if yes or no. And I mean sure as fucking hell. We don't lie to each other. Not like this. Geez, if we are not compatible then we just aren't, but don't make it sound like the best thing ever when you're actually thinking this was the worst thing ever. Honesty is the key, no? Cause this is mean, evil even. And it's not okay. And believe me, it never will be. You should never play with people's emotions. It's not right. 

I've been living here trying to make it, you know. It's just not working. And I was working hard to make it. But you know what? I don't feel like doing it anymore. 

Your lifestyle where everything is about work. Cause you know work? Not about friends, not about family, not about free time where you do the fuck you want?! But work. Hang it, seriously.  If I was meant to be alive to work 10-11 hours a day for 17000 pounds a year (which equals less than the minimum wage) as a graduate job.. then honestly I don't even know what to say. I get it that we start at the bottom, but flipping fucking chicken should never get me more money than a graduate job. Thank you capitalism and fuck you.

And I miss the passion. Passion for life, adventure, and beautiful things. And as much as I tried to find it in here, sorry England you have none. 

So, here we are. With me counting down the weeks and you laughing at me bloody England. You know, you don't feel like anything like in the historical romance - at least then you had gentleman who treated ladies well and took care of them, so tell me, what do you have now?

I think this is us. Done. 

I'm tired of you letting me down and you're probably tired of making me try harder. Which ever it is.. I don't really care. Cause this is not anymore about doing what is right or what is easy, but it's about what can I live with and what I cannot. And I'm really sorry to say (or not so sorry anymore), I cannot do this anymore. I just can't. You are not good for me.

I need to start doing what is right for me. And you are such a huge obstacle that I don't feel like investing more years in it to make it (possibly) work. Sorry England, I can't be bothered. We are done.

See A.? I might not be Taylor Swift, but I have my voice and my words.

With all my love,

July 27, 2016

Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith Review

Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between 
by Jennifer E. Smith
Published on September 1st 2015
Poppy, 246 pages

On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan have only one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night leads them to family and friends, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

Charming, bittersweet, and full of wisdom and heart, this irresistible novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that arise when life and love lead in different directions.

- description 

"Maybe the world isn't full of signs so much as it's full of 
people trying to use whatever evidence they can to find 
to convince themselves of what they hope to be true."

It's been a while since I read this book, but it has made such a big impression on me that I find myself still thinking about it sometimes, and therefore I thought it deserves a proper review. I love Jennifer E. Smith, I read most of her books and really enjoyed them all.  

July 21, 2016

Unwind by Neil Shusterman Review

by Neil Shusterman
Published on November 6th 2007
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 335 pages

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive. 

- description
"It's all right to be frightened. Change is always scary."
"Change?" yells Risa, "What do you mean 'change'? 
Dying is a little bit more than a 'change'."

So, I've been feeling a little down and I wanted to read a dystopia that will rock-my-world-make-cry-make-me-feel-better. So I checked on Goodreads and this one came up that seemed quite perfect for the mood that I was in. 

July 20, 2016

Safe Bet by Monica Murphy Cover Reveal


Safe Bet by Monica Murphy Series: The Rules #4

SafeBet Amazon.jpg  


SAFE BET features Sydney (Gabe's little sister from IN THE DARK, The Rules #2) and Wade from the One Week Girlfriend series (Owen Maguire's best friend!). This is my mashup book, peeps, and I am so incredibly excited to share Sydney and Wade's story with you. It's been a lot of fun, bringing together two series. Plus, readers have been requesting a book about Wade for YEARS and I'm finally doing it! What else is exciting? You'll get to catch up with Drew and Fable and the gang, as well as some of the characters from The Rules series. More information is coming soon (including preorder links, etc.) so watch for it!  

Add to your TBR on Goodreads

Pre-order on exclusively on iBooks

TheRulesSeries Box Set.jpg



Amazon / iBooks


Box set of the first three books in The Rules series - FAIR GAME, IN THE DARK, and SLOW PLAY! 

FAIR GAME: When your boyfriend bets YOU in a poker game, you better know when to run… Bad enough Jade Frost’s boyfriend drags her to a boring poker game. Even worse that he actually threw her into the betting pot during an intense round…and lost. Talk about the perfect excuse for Jade to make him her ex-boyfriend. Now she supposedly belongs to the ultra rich, extremely gorgeous Shep Prescott. He could have anything he wants yet he seems to be in hot pursuit of her. No matter how rude, how snarky, how impossible she acts, it doesn’t stop him. More like her horrible behavior seems to make him want her more. When she finds herself starting to fall for him, Jade’s confused. There’s more to Shep than the carefree rich charmer he portrays. No way could he want a serious relationship with her…or could he? 

IN THE DARK: The girl next door isn’t what she seems… Stuck spending the summer with his screwed up family, Gabriel Walker is bored out of his mind and looking for an adventure. And he seems to find it with the hot girl who lives next door. The attraction between them is instant. Electric. Soon they’re spending every stolen minute together. Talk about the perfect summer fling… Lucy is living a lie. She doesn’t live next door—she’s the girl who’s been hired to house sit for the summer. If Gabe wants to believe she’s a spoiled rich girl looking for some fun, she can go along with that. After the summer, she’ll never see him again. They don’t count on running into each other at college. Now Lucy must keep up the pretense of being a rich girl—and it’s exhausting. She knows she’s falling in love with Gabe and she’s scared he feels the same. Will he still care about her when he discovers the truth? 

SLOW PLAY: He's the player of all players... Newly broke girl Alexandria Asher just wants to live a normal life. After her parents are sent to prison on embezzlement charges, she enrolls in college under her mother’s maiden name and tries her best to pretend she’s someone else. Tristan Prescott is everything Alex is trying to avoid. A seemingly egotistical, lazy, rich jerk, she dumps her beer on his head when he comes on to her one night at a party. This only spurs Tristan into action. He loves nothing more than a challenge. And the beautiful Alex is exactly the type of challenge that intrigues him. Despite her reluctance, Alex finds herself quickly involved with Tristan. Underneath that playboy exterior is a good guy, a sweet and sexy guy who she is undoubtedly falling for. What they both don’t realize is the actions of Alex’s parents are the reason for so much tragedy in Tristan’s family. And when Tristan discovers who Alex and her family really is, can he forgive and forget?

Well, I've read them all so I highly recommend them. One week girlfriend was incredible and The Rules series was awesome too. I literally just finished Slow Play and it was so good. I'm really excited for the fourth book!

June 23, 2016

Kissing Madeline by Lex Martin Review

Kissing Madeline 
Dearest #3
by Lex Martin
Published on April 27th 2016
Lex Martin, 260 pages

What’s the worst thing about wanting a sexy NFL football player? Everyone else wants him, too. 

After catching my boyfriend getting deep-throated by a skanky cage girl, I’ve learned my lesson – never date a professional athlete. Never. Besides, I have more important things to worry about, like not blowing my shot to make it as a broadcast reporter. I won’t let anything get in my way, not even the new “it boy” of the NFL and my hot-as-hell neighbour.

What's the worst thing about getting death glares from his new neighbour? It doesn't make him want her any less. 

I’ve worked my ass off to make it to the pros. The last thing I need is the complication of a relationship, especially since my last one was a total train wreck. But I can’t stop thinking about the feisty girl next door with the smart mouth. And I’d love nothing more than to show her what to do with that mouth.

Friends with benefits might be the best idea he’s ever had. Or the worst. 

- description

Aww, we meet both characters in the first book of the series Dearest Clementine. Madeline was the character I was really waiting for - cause she is just super cool.

June 17, 2016

Dirty by Kylie Scott Review

Dive Bar #1
by Kylie Scott
Published on April 19th 2016
Martin's Griffin, 288 pages

The last thing Vaughan Hewson expects to find when he returns to his childhood home is a broken hearted bride in his shower, let alone the drama and chaos that comes with her.

Lydia Green doesn't know whether to burn down the church or sit and cry in a corner. Discovering the love of your life is having an affair on your wedding day is bad enough. Finding out it's with his best man is another thing all together. She narrowly escapes tying the knot and meets Vaughan only hours later.

Vaughan is the exact opposite of the picture perfect, respected businessman she thought she'd marry. This former musician-turned-bartender is rough around the edges and unsettled. But she already tried Mr. Right and discovered he's all wrong-maybe it's time to give Mr. Right Now a chance.

After all, what's wrong with getting dirty?

- description
"Trust me, never mock a romance book," said Mal with all the 
zest of a manic street preacher. "You have no idea the amount 
of good they can do for you between the sheets and on the street. 
If you love your girl? Buy her books."

I fucking love Kylie Scott! Her books are made of steamy awesomeness! I read the Stage Dive series and absolutely loved it! Her characters are funny, real, and somewhat deep. And there is no drama. This is a spin off series. 

June 13, 2016

Undecided by Julianna Keyes Review

by Julianna Keyes
Published on April 4th 2016
Julianna Keyes, 300 pages

Nora Kincaid has one goal for her second year of college: be invisible. Last year’s all-party-no-study strategy resulted in three failed classes and two criminal charges, and if she messes up again she’ll lose her scholarship. But there’s one problem with her plan for invisibility, and his name is Crosbie Lucas: infamous party king, general hellraiser…and her new roommate’s best friend.

Crosbie’s reckless reputation and well-known sexcapades aren’t part of Nora’s studious new strategy, but as she’s quickly learning, her new plan is also really boring. When Crosbie’s unexpected gestures of friendship pull her head out of her books long enough to see past his cocky veneer, she’s surprised to find a flawed and funny guy beneath it all. The muscles don’t hurt, either.

But as Nora starts to fall for Crosbie, the weight of one of last year’s bad decisions grows even heavier. Because three failing grades and two misdemeanors are nothing compared to the one big secret she’s hiding… 

- description

Crazy party girl Nora no more. Instead, we have Nora Bora 2.0. This was quite an interesting book. I really liked it. We see a girl that almost failed her first year in college but is back full on with the intention to make amends. Learning from past mistakes. Loved it.

May 25, 2016

Finding Dandelion by Lex Martin Review

Finding Dandelion
Dearest #2
by Lex Martin

Published on July 11th 2014
Lex Martin, 310 pages

When soccer all-star Jax Avery collides with Dani Hart on his twenty-first birthday, their connection is instantaneous and explosive. For the first time in years, Jax isn’t interested in his usual hit-it and quit-it approach.

But Dani knows better. Allowing herself a night to be carefree and feel the intensity of their attraction won’t change anything when it comes to dealing with a player. So when Jax doesn’t recognize Dani the next time he sees her, it shouldn’t be a total shock. The fact that he’s her new roommate's brother? That’s a shock.

Dani doesn’t regret that night with Jax, just the need to lie about it. Since her roommate has made it clear what she thinks about her brother’s “type” of girl, the last thing Dani wants is to admit what happened.

Jax knows he’s walking a fine line on the soccer team. One more misstep and he’s off the roster, his plans to go pro be damned. Except he can’t seem to care. About anything… except for the one girl who keeps invading his dreams.

Despite Jax’s fuzzy memory of his hot hookup with his sister’s friend, he can’t stay away from her, even if it means breaking his own rules. But there are bigger forces at work–realities that can end Dani’s college career and lies that can tear them apart.

Jax realizes what he’s losing if Dani walks away, but will he sacrifice his future to be with her? And will she let him if he does?

FINDING DANDELION, the second book in the Dearest series is a stand-alone novel. This New Adult romance is recommended for readers 18+ due to mature content.

- description

I read this book during the Read-a-thon. The first book in this series Dearest Clementine was really good, and Finding Dandelion, which can be read as a stand-alone, was good too.

May 20, 2016

Dirty Deeds by Megan Erickson Review

Dirty Deeds
Mechanics of Love #3
by Megan Erickson

Published on December 8th 2015
Avon Impulse, 304 pages

Alex Dawn is saying no to men. No to bad relationships, disappointments, and smooth-talkers. Focusing on her family and her job at Payton and Sons Automotive keeps her mind occupied and her heart content. She doesn’t really miss a man’s touch, until one night, a man shows up with the body of a god and a voice from her dirtiest dreams.

L.M. Spencer is only in Tory, Maryland, to scope out the town as a possible site for one of his company's hotels. The British businessman didn’t expect his car to break down or to find the hottest little American he’s ever seen holding a tire iron, piercing him with bright blue eyes.

They agree to one hot night, one dirty deed to burn out the chemistry between them. But from their first kiss, Alex can’t stop saying yes to this man. And when Spencer’s company threatens everything she cares about, they must make the choice to stand together or apart.

- description


This one was my favourite from the series Mechanics of Love! Actually, it’s one my favourite romance books ever. Man, this book. Aww all the feels. And British accent. Sometimes I really wish these stories were possible in real life. I mean, come on, we are talking contemporary not paranormal. I am not requesting a vampire or a shadow hunter. Just a sexy, smart guy with a British accent. Is that asking too much? I didn’t think so.
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