“About the three of us” by Andrea DeCarlo

November once again was a really busy month and therefore I only got to read one book again. But before I get into that, I quickly want to talk about how I got this book! So, basically some of my parent’s friends recently moved house and sorted out a ton of books in the process. Because my mum regularly volunteers at a library, there quickly were a few boxes filled mainly with novels waiting at our doorstep in order to be donated. If you know me, you know I can never resist finding new books, so I grabbed a few (okay….maybe a bit more than „a few“) of the novels to read myself before giving them to the library. And the book I’ll be talking about in this post is one of those! 

november books 2The book I read in November is by Andrea De Carlo and was originally released under the title „Di noi tre“. The english title is „About the Three of us“ and in German (the language I read it in), it’s „Wir drei“. 

Now as the name(s) suggest, „About the Three of us“ deals with a love triangle and the friendship between the three protagonists, Marco, Misia and Livio (the book is written from his perspective). Basically, Livio falls in love with Misia at the beginning of the story, but Misia only sees him as a friend and is more interested in Marco, who Livio considers his best friend. The three protagonists often leave each other and go for months without talking, but their paths always cross again after a while. 

While this is definitely not the best book I’ve ever read, I did really enjoy it. It pretty much only deals with daily life and although some people might think of that as boring, I absolutely love commonplace stories like that! Also, the book somehow give me such a feeling of freedom since the protagonists travel and move a lot and while I have no desire to move abroad right now, I still really enjoyed that feeling haha. 

In conclusion, „About the Three of us“ is not very suspenseful but it’s still entertaining and even though some heavy topics are mentioned, I found it to be a pretty easy and light read. 

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A quick vegan lentil pasta sauce

Today, I want to talk about one of my favorite super simple and quick recipes. I honestly was so sure I had posted it already, but apparently I haven’t, so….here we go. Today’s dish is a vegan alternative to bolognese sauce, including lots of lentils (one of my favorite ingredients). 

Ingredients: 

  • (vegan) Pasta 
  • Lentils
  • Carrots 
  • Onions 
  • Tomatoes (or tomato paste) 
  • Vegetable broth 
  • Seasoning 

Method: 

  • If you want to cook everything in one pot, start out by boiling and draining the pasta and then reusing the pot. If you don’t mind washing up, you can obviously prepare the pasta and the sauce at the same time. 
  • Peel and cut your veggies, heat them up in some oil in your pot and sear them for a bit. After a few minutes, add the lentils, broth and seasoning and boil the whole mix until the lentils are ready to eat. 

And that’s it! This is such a simple and quick meal and definitely one of the staples in my diet haha

I hope ya’ll enjoy this recipe as much as I do! 

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The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (= The only book I read in October)

Sooo basically, I only got to read one book in October. It was such a busy month for me with starting up uni and also The Goldfinch is a pretty long novel, so I don’t even feel bad haha. 

So without further ado, here’s my little review of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt! (Also, I didn’t see the movie because by the time I was finished with the book, no theatre near me was playing it anymore, which is pretty sad)

the goldfinch 1The Goldfinch tells the story of Theodore Decker, who loses his mom when he is really young and subsequently falls down a spiral of drug abuse, crime and depression (since the book is so long and deals with Theodore’s life from his childhood until his 30s, it has tons of subplots and I don’t want to give any of those away, so that’s the only overview you’re getting). 

In all honesty, I didn’t love the Goldfinch. Donna Tartt describes so many situations using a lot of detail, which is great if you want to immerse yourself in the story completely. However, it also causes lots of scenes to drag on for what feels like forever, despite them not even being important for the plot. Also, it’s quite a dramatic and sad story to read, so be aware of that! However, as I said, the Goldfinch is a book that truly allows you to get lost in the world of the novel and might awaken an interest for art (at least it did for me). 

If long books and deep stories don’t scare you away and you’re willing to read through some of the more dull scenes, this novel is definitely worth the read. 

(Also, I can’t wait to actually get my hands on the movie haha) 

Sophie 

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Healthy, vegan Quinoa Salad

Today, I’m sharing one of my all-time favorite recipes, that one of my best friends, Leonie, introduced to me. I make the dressing a bit differently than she does, but other than that, all the credit goes to her 🙂 

This Quinoa salad is perfect if you want a healthy and refreshing meal that will still fill you up. So, without further ado, here’s the recipe. As always, none of these ingredients are measured, just cook/cut up as much as you want! 

Ingredients: 

  • Quinoa
  • Tomato
  • Avoado & a little bit of lemon juice 
  • Pepper (the vegetable)
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce/Green Salad mix 
  • Salt & Pepper (the seasoning) 
  • Vinegar & Oil of your choice for the dressing 

Method: 

  • Start by cooking the quinoa. A good guideline is to put in about double the amount of the Quinoa in water. However, be attentive and add some more water if it’s gone before the Quinoa is finished. 
  • While the Quinoa is cooking, cut up your vegetables. When you’re chopping the avocado, sprinkle some lemon juice on top in order to prevent brown spots. Last but not least, add your salad leaves. 
  • Once the Quinoa is finished, add it to the bowl with your veggies. For the dressing, I used this  recipe. Once everything’s mixed thoroughly, season with salt and pepper and serve. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! Let me know if you try it. 

Sophie  

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A little trip to Edinburgh

As you might’ve read in one of my recent posts, I went to Edinburgh again in September to see my friends again. My time there was so much fun and definitely a bit too short. 

Here’s what we got up to during my stay 🙂 

(With a minimum of photos because I forgot to take them most of the time) 

First of, I surprised one of my absolute best friends, Rebecca, with my visit. Her birthday was about a week before I arrived, so I told her I had sent her a present when in reality, I was hand-delivering it! After tons of delays, the most stressful travel day ever ended with one of the best surprises I have ever been a part of and a beautiful night-time walk through Edinburgh!

One of the most exhausting but also fun days in Scotland but probably also in my life was Friday, the 20th of September. Rebecca, Juuso and I started the day by climbing Arthur’s seat, which no-one in the group had ever done! Rebecca and I were struggling a bit (surprisingly, going down was even harder than going up haha) but the view on top was so worth it!

Our hike was followed by a shopping spree and arguably the most fun nigh out I’ve ever had. We went to Atik in Edinburgh and my highlight there was definitely the lit-up dancefloor! 

During my trip, I also went out for breakfast and coffee with friends three times and took lots of walks through the city.

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While I am super optimistic and excited about my new university in Austria, I do miss my friends from Scotland every day and I always leave Edinburgh with a full and happy heart. 🙂 

 

Books I read in September

September this year was such a weird month for me. I’m so used to going back to school in the beginning/middle but my Austrian University only starts in the second week of October, so while my sister was going to school and my parents went back to work after taking some time off during the summer, I was home alone a lot and even went on a little trip to Scotland. All of that was not really a negative experience, just something I am not used to at all. Despite having so much time at home, I did not read as much as I wanted to, however I read some of the most amazing and life-changing books EVER this September, and here they are haha. 

  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert 

september books 5If you haven’t read this book, do it RIGHT NOW. I’ve read a lot throughout my life and this is definitely my favorite read ever (so far). Eat, Pray, Love is autobiography by Elizabeth Gilbert. After going through a pretty tough divorce, she decides to spend a year abroad in Italy, India and Indonesia to reconnect with her body and mind. The book was also turned into a movie starring Julia Roberts, so you might’ve heard about that. Anyway, I absolutely loved every single page. Through Elizabeth’s journey to find and love herself again, there are so many thoughts and tips she has that could be useful for anyone, no matter what stage of life you are in right now. I have literally adopted some of the thought-patterns and rituals Elizabeth has/gets/does in the book to my daily life and I feel like my life has really been improving since I finished Eat. Pray, Love. So basically, if it wasn’t obvious, I freaking love this book and EVERYONE needs to read it. 

  • Unfuck your brain by Faith G. Harper september books 6

I’m a sucker for self-help books. Of course, they aren’t a substitute for therapy or meds, but in my opinion, they can be a good start if you want to work on yourself/your mental health. I’ve been struggling with anxiety throughout my life and the last few months have been very tough on me so this book really came into my life at a perfect time. While it mostly deals with trauma, there’s helpful information and coping techniques in there for everyone who is not 100% happy all the time. Also, Unfuck your brain gives you the information you need to really understand why someone might be going through anxiety, depression, addiction etc. 

In conclusion, this is a super informative and helpful self-help book, written in a way that anyone can understand (as the explicit title suggests). The book is also very nicely organized, meaning that you can fast forward to whatever chapters are the most important to you without any problems. I highly recommend reading this if you or a loved one are struggling with mental health issues and want to have a basic understanding and some tips on how to deal with it (However, as i said, a self help book will NEVER replace talking to a professional). 

  • Gut gegen Nordwind (Available in English as „Love Virtually“) by Daniel Glattauer

september books 4This book is so meaningful to me, as it’s the first „grown-up“ book I ever read when I was around 11 or 12. It was recently turned into a (German) movie and I wanted to re-read the novel before seeing it at the cinema. Gut gegen Nordwind tells the story of Emmi and Leo. Due to a typo in an email address Leo receives a message from Emmi and they slowly start talking. Despite never having met in real life, they soon develop feelings for each other. 

I definitely fell so in love with this book when reading it for the second time. It’s such a sweet story and the author manages to tell it with such ease and AMAZING rhetorical skills. This is a nice, light read, perfect if you’re looking for a book that can be finished quickly and is really entertaining. 

  • High Fidelity by Nick Hornby 

High Fidelity is about Rob, who owns a record shop, and his reaction to his longterm september books 8girlfriend Laura breaking up with him (i know, it’s a very short description, but that’s pretty much all there is to say). 

I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, it was quite entertaining but at the same time it felt really negative and definitely always put me in a bit of a weird mood. It’s definitely a good book, just not ideal if you’re looking for a really funny/happy story, since it does get quite deep from time to time. However, if you’re really into music, this is the book for you. 

Those were all the books I read in September, if you know any of these, let me know what you thought of them! 

Sophie 

september books 1

Staying in a Pod Hostel for the first time!

I want to preface this post by saying that this is not sponsored or anything in any way. I paid for the entire stay at CoDE myself and simply thought it would make an interesting blog post. 

I recently went back to Edinburgh for a few days to visit some of my friends there (a blogpost about all our adventures will be up at one point as well). I decided to stay in a pod hostel in the city centre (CoDE Pod Hostel – THE LoFT) and wanted to share my experience. 

If you don’t know what a pod hostel is, it basically has the basic characteristics of a hostel (bunk beds, dorm rooms that multiple people share etc). but instead of normal bunk beds, you sleep inside a „pod“, kind of like a very small room, with a curtain at the opening for maximum privacy. 

Every pod also has a locker assigned to it, where you can store any valueable items. 

 

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This is the outside view of my little sleeping pod 🙂 
pod hostel 1
my room looked like this (featuring the aforementioned lockers) 

I can definitely say I really enjoyed my stay at the pod hostel. The staff were really friendly and helpful and everything was extremely clean (which definitely isn’t guaranteed with hostels). I was especially blown away by the bathrooms, since multiple people sharing a few showers and toilets can often lead to mold, dirt and just generally unsanitary conditions. However, CoDE had some of the most beautiful and clean showers I have ever seen, so that was a huge plus! 

CoDE also offers breakfast, which you can add to your booking for a small fee. I decided to try it and I am so glad I did. They offered toast, different spreads (including Nutella, jams and butter), eggs, fruit, cereal and WAFFLES. Yes, they had a waffle maker at breakfast, which was just amazing. 

The only downside to my stay at CoDE was the length of the beds. I am a pretty short person (I’m around 157cm/5.2“) and when I was laying in the bed with my legs straight, there was only quite a small space left until the end of the mattress/the curtain. So if you’re really tall, this might not be the ideal accommodation for you. 

pod hostel 4
This was my view when I was lying in the pod 

The LoFT location of CoDE (located on 50 Rose Street North Lane) was situated right next to Prince’s street (Edinburgh’s main shopping street), really close to Waverley and tons of bus stops. If you’re looking for a place in the city centre, this hostel is definitely the right choice! 

To me, a pod hostel seems like the perfect accommodation if you’re like me and have never stayed at a hostel by yourself but don’t want to spend heaps of money on an expensive hotel. Your little bed with the curtain in front almost makes you feel like you have your own room and provides privacy and an additional feeling of safety that will make the transition from private rooms to a hostel really easy. 

So, in conclusion, I would definitely recommend CoDE – THE LoFT to anyone who wants to visit Edinburgh on a budget while still seeking comfort. 

Sophie 

pod hostel 3