Barely a Functioning Human Being

Usually, whenever Leander gets sick (which has been more often than usual over the last 6 months) I’ve gotten off the hook. Last week, I was not so lucky.

He came down with fevers and headaches first, and after a couple of days, it hit me just as hard. For days I barely felt like a functioning human being. I couldn’t read or write. I constantly fell asleep, and my temperature was dancing up and down to its completely own rhythm.

I got to watch quite a lot of Netflix in between the sleeping though, so I’m definitely a bit more caught up on the documentary side. Speaking of which, if you haven’t seen the “Fyre – The Greatest Party that Never Happened” or “The Keepers”, I highly recommend you do so!

But yes, so quite a bit of Netflix and a little bit of knitting, but other than that my mind felt like complete mush. I fell out of my writing routine (novel, blog posts, and journal), I tried to read but my brain just wasn’t able to pay attention, and I wasn’t able to film the videos I had planned on filming during the weekend.

Where am I going with this? Well, it’s not to complain about all the things I should have done but didn’t, it’s more to remind myself (and whoever needs it) that it’s okay. We’re only humans, and sometimes we will find ourselves to be barely functioning ones, for one reason or another, and that’s okay.

Sometimes the body needs to sort things out on its own, and there’s no need to put ourselves down or be angry for the things that we weren’t able to do because of that. The things will not be any more done because of it, and there’s a pretty good reason why it wasn’t done in the first place.

So just let it go, take the time, pick yourself up again, and keep going!

I can now say that I’ve started to feel like a functioning human being again, finally! I was even able to read a little bit today, which felt nice.

So I’m getting back to the land of the living, and I’m excited about it! I miss working creatively, and I miss being outside of this apartment!

Thank you body, for taking care of what needed to be taken care of. I love you and I’m so grateful for all that you do for me, even when it turns my brain to mush❤️

One Day in December by Josie Silver 📚 BOOK REVIEW

I listen to an audiobook version of One Day in December on Audible. 

Josie Silver

Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Publisher: Random House Audio (audiobook)

Originally published: October 16th, 2018

Pages: 416 (paperback)

Audiobook length: 10 Hours 27 Minutes

Blurb by the publisher:

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist. After all, life isn’t a scene from the movies, is it? But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy winter’s day, she sees a man she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away. 

Laurie thinks she’ll never see the boy from the bus again. But at a party a year later, her best friend Sarah introduces her to the new love of her life. Who is, of course, the boy from the bus.

Determined to let him go, Laurie gets on with her life. But what if fate has other plans?

Following Laurie, Sarah and Jack through ten years of love, heartbreak, and friendship, One Day in December is an uplifting, heart-warming and immensely moving love story that you’ll want to escape into forever, for fans of Jojo Moyes, Lucy Diamond, and Nicholas Sparks.

My Thoughts:

Right before Christmas 2018, I felt like I saw the cover of this book everywhere! I don’t know what it is about that, but sometimes it just completely puts me off wanting to read it. It was kind of like that with One Day in December as well. I didn’t feel drawn to it, I was so sure it was just some cheesy romance with a whole lot of too much Christmas crammed into it.

I judged the book by its cover (come on, all of us book lovers do from time to time), and I was wrong.

I found myself searching for my lacking Christmas spirit and decided that I was going to use my Audible credit on a Christmassy audiobook, but I didn’t want to go for one of the classics. Suddenly this book popped up again, and I took the time to read some of the non-spoiler reviews, and I was convinced to give it a go.

Where I thought I would we overwhelmed by an overly cheesy back and forth love story, I got so much more. This is a story about friendship, as much as it is about love. I loved hearing about Laurie and Sarah’s friendship, as I could relate to a lot of the struggle and the wonders of having such a strong friendship with someone.

The characters developed a lot through the story as well, and it was nice to see a set of characters that were actually quite relatable. They had the ups and downs of normal life.

And I got to say, Josie Silver sure added some funny and somewhat cringey scenes that had me giggling.

Yes, it is a romance novel! Yes, it has Christmas in it, but a lot less than I expected!

I was prepared to not like this book, and I did not go in with high expectations, but I ended up really enjoying this one! I was immersed in the story of Laurie and Jack, told by both perspectives. I found it to be an addictive read (or listen on my part) and one that I just flew through.

The only thing that took it down from a top-rated review for me was that everything kind of resolved whirlwind quick at the end.

But still, this is a story that has stuck with me more so than any other love story I’ve read in a while. Highly recommend if you’re looking for something light, fun and romantic!

Click on the Bookdepository link below to get your own copy, and let me know what you think of the book!

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My Favorite Tomato Salad 🌱 RECIPE (VEGAN)

I love food that’s affordable and easy to prep, and recently I’ve been all about tomato salad. I tried a few different combinations of greens, but I keep coming back to this one.

The ratios on the vegetables I use in my salad differs depending on what I’ve got in my fridge. But for this batch, I used about 15 cherry tomatoes, 4 regular sized carrots, half a cucumber, 1 small cup of couscous, one box of chickpeas, one box of lentils, and about a tablespoon of each of the spices.

A batch like this will usually last me for 2-3 days. It’s perfect as a meal on its own, or you can have it as a side dish.

If you want to add some extra moisture to your salad, add some balsamico, French or other dressing of your choice.

Quick and Easy!

  • Rinse veggies and cut them into as big or small pieces as you like.
  • Boil water for your couscous. I use 1 cup of boiled water for 1 cup of couscous. Add the spices to the couscous before you add the water. Let it sit under a lid for about 5 minutes.
  • Add lentils and chickpeas to the bowl.
  • Mix it all together in a bowl.
  • Add basil on top for that little something extra.
  • Now enjoy!

So tasty, and it’s good for you!

Cherry tomatoes:

  • Cherry tomatoes are high in potassium which may help lowering blood pressure.


  • Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. They are also a good source of several B-vitamins, vitamin K, and potassium. It’s also loaded with fiber and antioxidants.
  • Carrot consumption has been linked with reduced risk of cancer and heart disease, and improved eye health.
  • Carrots can also be good for your dental health because chewing on crunchy veggies is like using a natural toothbrush (But remember to also brush your teeth lovelies😜)


  • Cucumbers contain antioxidants, including flavonoids and tannins, which prevent the accumulation of harmful free radicals and may reduce the risk of chronic disease.


  • Chickpeas are high in protein and fiber.
  • Chickpeas have many characteristics that may help prevent some chronic illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Red lentils:

  • Lentils are high in iron, folate and protein.


  • Turmeric and especially its most active compound curcumin have many scientifically-proven health benefits, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer.
  • It’s a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and may also help improve symptoms of depression and arthritis.

The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho 📚 BOOK REVIEW

I read a Norwegian hardback version of The Witch of Portobello.

Paulo Coelho

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Bazar Forlag (Norwegian edition)

Originally published: September, 2006

Pages: 319 (hardback)

Audiobook length: 8 Hours and 14 Minutes

Blurb by the publisher:

Paulo Coelho, one of the world’s best-loved storytellers, is back with a riveting novel tracing the mysterious life and disappearance of Athena dubbed `the Witch of Portobello’, which was a top ten Sunday Times bestseller in hardback.

This is the story of Athena, or Sherine, to give her the name she was baptized with. Her life is pieced together through a series of recorded interviews with those people who knew her well or hardly at all – parents, colleagues, teachers, friends, acquaintances, her ex-husband.

The novel unravels Athena’s mysterious beginnings, via an orphanage in Romania, to a childhood in Beirut. When war breaks out, her adoptive family move with her to London, where a dramatic turn of events occurs…

Athena, who has been dubbed ‘the Witch of Portobello’ for her seeming powers of prophecy, disappears dramatically, leaving those who knew her to solve the mystery of her life and abrupt departure.

Like The Alchemist, The Witch of Portobello is the kind of story that will transform the way readers think about love, passion, joy, and sacrifice.

My thoughts:

I’m not sure what it was that I expected from this novel, except that I always have high expectations whenever I go into a new Coelho novel.

The Witch of Portobello tells the story of Athena (aka. Sherine Khalil) told through the people that she met throughout her life. We get to know at the very beginning of the story that Athena is dead, but we don’t know how or why. This is the thing that drives the story forward.

Through “interviews” with family, lovers, friends, and acquaintances, Coelho paints the picture of this mysterious woman coming from a gypsy background in Transylvania, adopted into a wealthy Lebanese family and then marrying and having a child at the age of 18. We then get to know the mysterious story of how her life unfolds through the lives that she touched in one way or the other. Some for better, some for worse.

There’s quite a lot of mystery to this story, and to find out how everything builds up to the ending of Athena’s life. As this is a Coelho novel, there is a certain amount of talk about religion and spirituality, which I think is to be expected if one has read any of his other novels. I for one don’t mind it, but I also feel like it can become a bit much at times.

I also had a bit of a hard time connecting to the character of Athena. That could be because we never really get to see or hear anything from her perspective. That makes her a character that’s hard for me to get a connection to, and therefore also one that I couldn’t really find myself fully invested in.

Even so, Coelho is a really good storyteller, and I never found this story to be boring or my mind to drift.

An interesting story about an interesting character’s fate, but the writing style didn’t fully appeal to me, unfortunately.

Click on the Bookdepository link below to get your own copy, and let me know what you think of the book!

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The World is Filled With Noise!

We are surrounded by it! I’m not talking about loud music or crazy neighbors (although some of you out there might be surrounded by that as well) no, I’m talking about the noises of expectations. All those voices, faces and adds that constantly tries to tell us how to live our lives, what kind of careers we should have, how many kids, when the right time to settle down is, what the right kind of relationship should be, what beauty looks like, and it goes on and on and on.

I used to listen to that noise when I was younger. Not only did I listen, but I took hell a lot of mental notes as well to try to map out how to make the perfect life for myself.

It wasn’t until I realized that the noise I was hearing was the product of what would make everyone else satisfied, but it wouldn’t make me happy that things started to change. Deep down I knew that I didn’t really want a typical lifestyle or a typical relationship, but my own voices had been drowned out by the constant noise of societies expectations. As soon as I stopped focusing on their voices and started to listen to my own, that’s when I fell in love with the silence.

That’s when I really started to love being in my own company, and found joy in mapping out the life that I really did want!

I started with being grateful for the things in my life that I already had. The things that are so easy to overlook when we’re always looking for something bigger or better.

I took time to just be present with myself and my own thoughts. I wrote, a lot. Lists and thoughts and dreams. Anything that would come to mind, I would put down on that paper or screen. That made it easier to sort out the noises that were still creeping in from time to time and throw those away.

Another great thing that happened was that the more I got other’s voices to leave my mind alone, the more I trusted my own inner voices. My gut feelings made more sense, and it is usually right.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the noise that is all around us, and so very hard to get rid of it. It’s constant work, but it is worth it.

So here’s me, one still learning how to find my very own path in this crazy world, giving you a friendly reminder to listen to the quiet. Find the things that make you happy, not everyone else, and then do THAT! Take time to be surrounded by silence. Meditate. Put your thoughts down and see where they take you.

I know I’ve said this a million times already, but I’m going to say it again:


There’s no one else quite like you, so don’t take away the chance for the world to experience the wonders that you can do!

Insomnia Baking – SHORT STORY

One night at the beginning of a new year, a body lay tossing and turning for hours in bed. She searched for the path into dreamland, but every direction she took led her to dark places of worries and thoughts.

Her body grew restless of the searching, and in all the darkness and silence, she found herself in the safe space of her kitchen. Out of cupboards, her hands found the ingredients to a recipe she knew so well.

The flour was her worry.

The sugar was the dreams she hardly dared to believe in.

The baking powder was the growing restlessness.

The vanilla was the opportunities that were lost.

The cocoa was the bittersweet memories.

The oil was the ones who had slipped away.

The maple syrup was for those she hoped would stay.

The rice milk was the hope of something better.

While she mixed it all together, a song she didn’t know she knew came straight from her heart and flowed through the kitchen. Her hands worked through all that troubled her. The smell of sweetness brought peace to her mind.

She had let go of all her troubles, and sent them in the oven.

And what came out was cookies filled with love.

She sprinkled them with sea salt, for the tears she did not cry.

Packed them up to share.

She smiled and lay down on her bed.

The path was finally there.

©Christina de Vries

I Get Lonely Too…

I love spending time in my own company.

But don’t you get lonely?

Of course I do!

So, this is a question I often get when I talk about self-love and being single. In a modern world where everyone is in such a rush to find the perfect job, the perfect partner, and to build the perfect life, I find myself in less and less of a rush to settle down.

Now don’t get me wrong, I would love to meet a partner in crime. I would love to have someone to drink coffee with in the morning, travel the world with, and make memories and have new experiences with. But even though I don’t have all of that in a man in my life right now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I feel like something is missing in my life. I’m very lucky to have the wonderful people in my life that I have, to be able to travel, have food on the table, a bed to sleep in and a roof over my head. Even more so, I’m incredibly lucky to be able to have new experiences and make memories with my son!

But being grateful with my life as a single woman doesn’t mean that I never get lonely. And feeling lonely at times doesn’t mean that I’m unhappy.

My happiness isn’t solely based on the romantic relationships that I’m in, or in my case aren’t in at the moment. I work hard and I’m very mindful about how I treat myself and what kind of energy I surround myself with. Being happy isn’t something that magically happens when you get a partner. Being happy comes from gratitude, friendships, mindfulness, and self-love.

I love my life, even though I’m constantly working on reaching the goals and dreams I have set for myself. But the reason I find so much happiness in the life that I have is that it’s all I have. This, here, RIGHT NOW! It’s all that matters, and the only thing that’s for certain. We don’t know how long we get to stay, how many people we get to love, how many times we get to hug our friends and family. So why do we live in the past that has already left us, or the future that we have no guaranty of?

So yes, I am lonely sometimes, but this is all a journey, and is equally as much one, with or without a partner ❤️Make sure you enjoy it!

Captive in the Dark by C.J. Roberts 📚 BOOK REVIEW

I read a paperback version of Captive in the Dark. This is the first book in the Dark Duet series.

C.J. Roberts

Genre: Erotica, Romance

Publisher: Neurotica Books

Originally published: July 20th 2011

Pages: 253 (Paperback)

Blurb by the publisher:

Caleb is a man with a singular interest in revenge. Kidnapped as a young boy and sold into slavery by a power-hungry mobster, he has thought of nothing but vengeance. For 12 years he has immersed himself in the world of pleasure slaves searching for the one man he holds ultimately responsible. Finally, the architect of his suffering has emerged with a new identity, but not a new nature. If Caleb is to get close enough to strike, he must become the very thing he abhors and kidnap a beautiful girl to train her to be all that he once was.

Eighteen-year-old Olivia Ruiz has just woken up in a strange place. Blindfolded and bound, there is only a calm male voice to welcome her. His name is Caleb, though he demands to be called Master. Olivia is young, beautiful, naïve and willful to a fault. She has a dark sensuality that cannot be hidden or denied, though she tries to accomplish both. Although she is frightened by the strong, sadistic, and arrogant man who holds her prisoner, what keeps Olivia awake in the dark is her unwelcome attraction to him.

WARNING: This book contains very disturbing situations, dubious consent, strong language, and graphic violence.

My Thoughts:

This is one of the books that I chose to read for my Exploring Erotica project, after it was recommended to me.

I don’t think I’ve ever had as much problem making up my mind and reviewing a book as I’ve had with this one so my thoughts might be a little bit all over the place.

I found this story to be highly problematic and somewhat interesting at the same time. It tells the story of human trafficking, which I think is an important subject, but also an extremely dark one. That is why I find it problematic to have a story where a captive, young, virgin who feels (at times) attracted to her captor. Of course, there might be a kind of Stockholm syndrome argument to all of this that might be very realistic. I don’t know enough about the known psychological aspect of kidnapping/trafficking to say anything about that. But even so, I couldn’t get into the “emotional bond” that was built between the two characters in this book.

I read erotica in the search for a good story with some sexiness and an edge to it. I do not have a problem with BDSM either, but as soon as you add the subject of non-consent/rape, then the story loses all erotic value to it in my opinion. I think those darker sides are important to talk about, and also put into literature, but I’m not sure the dark theme here, combined with erotica is something for me. It just didn’t sit right with me and left me with a bad aftertaste.

That being said, I really liked the way C.J. Roberts built the suspension in her story, and the characters really had a lot of development throughout the book. I also did like her writing style.

All in all, I guess I probably won’t continue on with the series because it isn’t for me, but I would love to read something else by her.

So that is why I find this one hard to review. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it. I find it well written, but problematically executed. I like how the characters, but not their relationship. It’s a mixture of a lot of emotions, and therefor somewhere right in the middle.

Do you want to make up your own opinion about the book?

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