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 

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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 🙂 
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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. 

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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 

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Easiest crepe cake ever!

One of my absolute favourite Austrian foods are „Palatschinken“, which are essentially the same thing as crepes. And one of my favourite ways to eat them is stacked, kinda like a cake. 

So, here is my recipe for a nice crepe „cake“. However, these measurements are meant for 1 person, so be aware of that! 

Ingredients for the crepes: 

  • 1 egg
  • 65ml milk 
  • 40g flour 
  • 1 pinch of salt 
  • Some oil or butter to fry the crepes 

Toppings: 

  • Nutella/Jam/Peanut butter…. whatever kind of spread you like! 
  • Fruit or any other topping you want. 

Method: 

  • Mix all the ingredients for the crepes in a bowl. 
  • Now, let the dough rest for a little, while you chop up the fruit. 
  • Pour some oil into a pan and let it heat up. 
  • Once the oil is hot, take a scoop of the dough and put it in the pan. You can „wiggle“ the pan in order to distribute the dough evenly. Flip the crepe so that it is thoroughly cooked on both sides and then place it on a plate. 
  • While the next crepe is frying in the pan, you can cover the one that’s already finished with your preferred spread (Nutella, jam, peanut butter etc.) and then stack the next crepe onto it. Continue doing that until all crepes are finished and stacked on top of each other. 
  • Last but not least, add any more toppings (like fruit, crushed cookies etc). 
  • Serve the crepes while they’re still warm 🙂 

This definitely is one of the most simple but fun dessert recipes I’ve tried recently! If you try it, let me know how you liked your crepe cake! 

Sophie 

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My 4th and final Bry concert

If you’ve seen Twenty-one pilots during their Emotional Roadshow Europe Tour, chances are, you’ve also seen Bry. He is a musician from Ireland who also used to be very active on Youtube. 

Back in like 2014, I was obsessed with his videos and music, and couldn’t believe my luck, when two years later, he was announced as Tøp’s support act. Only about half a year later, I got to see Bry again, when he played a show at „Flex“ a club in Vienna. 

After seeing him live for the third time at a festival that summer, it was already pretty clear that his music and live shows had become a really important part of my life. No matter how big the crowd, Bry concerts always feel really familiar and intimate. 

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Recently, he has decided that he wants to take a step back from his music career and go back to University in order to become a teacher. On his farewell tour, Bry also added a stop in Vienna and of course, I had to go! The show was held in a tiny little studio called „Global thinkers“ in Vienna and it almost felt like a living-room kinda show. There weren’t even real tickets, instead Bry himself stood at the door with a guestlist which had the names of everyone who had purchased a „ticket“!  And I can honestly say that I have never felt more comfortable or welcome at a concert before. The support act was Dave Giles, who was awesome and really created a nice atmosphere! It was such a nice evening that celebrated Bry’s music in the most relaxed, laid-back way possible. 

After the show, there was a meet and greet, where I got the opportunity to once again thank him for all that his music and concerts have done for me. We also took a picture together (seated because the height difference was too big haha). 

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All in all, it was definitely one of the highlights of my summer and I’m so so happy that I went 🙂 

Also, if you’ve never heard of Bry before, please check out his music, it really is amazing! 

Books I read in August

august-books-2.jpgAugust set a new record for me when it comes to reading. I actually decided to take two months (August and September) off before starting Uni and all the newfound free time from being unemployed really shows in my book consumption haha. The past month was also the first time I ever read an E-Book, which was interesting! 

Also, you might realize that two books are missing from the pictures. One of them was the aforementioned e-book and i didn’t want to just take a picture of a screen. The second one I donated to our local library immediately after reading. 🙂 

So without further ado, here are the books I read in August: 

  • The light we lost by Jill Santopoloaugust book blog 10

This novel tells the story of Lucy and Gabe. They meet for the first time on September 11, 2001, while they’re studying at College in NYC and immediately fall in love. However, they get torn apart again and again, but can never fully get over each other. The light we lost is a book that tells a whole life story of ever-lasting love and honestly, it freaking destroyed me emotionally haha. I literally cried like 3 times while reading it, so if you’re looking for a light-hearted summer read, this is not it. However, if you like tragic love stories, this is the perfect book for you! Jill Santopolo manages to simultaneously capture the beauty and sadness and pain of love, so it definitely it is a very well-written story (Just make sure to handle with care if you have a broken heart yourself).

  • If only by Melanie Murphy

Melanie Murphy is not only an author, but also a Youtube creator, which is how I got to know her. Her novel „If only“ deals with a protagonist who is not exactly happy with her life. When she receives a gift from her grandma which allows her to view different alternate versions of her life, she has to reconsider lots of her past decisions. 

I’m a sucker for alternate reality stories. No matter whether they deal with a different version of our world today (like Jennifer Government, which is mentioned later) or with varieties in someone’s personal life, like in If only, I just love them. I literally flew through the novel (one reason for that was definitely how fun it was to read on the E-Book reader at night!) and finished it within like 2 days. I’d recommend it if you don’t mind magical/fantasy elements and are looking for an easy read. Alternate reality stories can be really sad and dark, but this one was definitely more hopeful and fun! 

  • Golden Cage (Original Title: „En bur av guld“) by Camilla Läckberg 

august book blog post xyzGolden Cage tells the story of married couple Faye (stay-at-home mum) and Jack (enterpeneur). Their relationship has become pretty unhealthy over the years and finally, something happens and pushes Faye over the edge – she leaves Jack and wants revenge for the horrible way he treated her. Throughout the book, the reader gets insight in her plans in order to completely ruin her ex-husband’s life and at the same time you get to see Jack’s fucked up almost sociopathic personality come through more and more. 

This novel is super thrilling and as a female reader, I definitely felt empowered by reading a story of a woman who reclaims her life after a toxic relationship. Another aspects that make this book even harder to put down are constant hints at Faye’s dark past, which is uncovered more and more as the story goes on. 

This is definitely a super intense read that’s perfect if you prefer mental tension rather than violence or action. 

  • Missing. New York by Don Winslow 

I honestly don’t know where to start with this book because I have a real hate-love-relationship with it. I got it for a really cheap price (good!), it was actually quite a gripping read (good!) but I found the protagonist (who tells the story) SO FREAKING ANNOYING (bad!). Basically, this story is about a cop who specializes in finding missing people, who quits his job and leaves his wife and hometown behind in order to find a particular abducted child. As I said, the story is really thrilling and you just want to know how it ends. Also, the plot is actually very well thought out. However, the protagonist is your typical „toughened up by life“ cop, who thinks he’s so much stronger and better than the rest of humankind because he forces himself to be really masculine and to have basically no emotions. If that’s your cup of tea, that’s awesome, but for me it made the book a bit less enjoyable. 

  • How to be Good by Nick Hornby 

How to be Good is yet another book about a broken relationship (There seems to be a august book 3pattern here haha). The protagonists, Katie and David have been married for quite a while and aren’t really happy with each other anymore. Katie’s main reason for being unhappy is the fact that her husband is very irritable, always grumpy and pessimistic. However, when David meets a kind of spiritual healer called „DJ GoodNews“, he suddenly changes drastically and forces Katie to reconsider her own life choices. 

This is definitely a funny book that’ll make you laugh but at the same time, it will challenge your view of the world and of yourself. It’s not preachy or anything though, which is really hard to achieve, so props to Nick Hornby for that! 

  • Logoland (Original Title: Jennifer Government) by Max Barry 

august books 4Logoland is probably the most political book I read in August and I really enjoyed the little change from failed love stories haha. This novel focuses on a dystopian society where huge corporations rule the world and even the police and the government are businesses themselves. The characters get their last names from the companies they work for (Hence the original title).

Jennifer Government is only one of the many characters whose stories are told throughout the book. It’s one of those novels where you first get to know a few individual people and then, page-by-page, you realize more and more how their stories are connected to each other. 

Logoland is the book for you if you are a little bit interested in politics and economics but want to read a thrilling novel rather than a dry non-fiction book. The story really challenges the reader’s view on our consumerist society and I definitely recommend it! 

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So, those were my August books! If you’ve read any of these, let me know what you thought of them!

Sophie