SHOULD I QUIT?!

Good morning beautiful souls,

This morning I just wanted to take a moment to be honest with you – and the truth is that I feel like I’m constantly struggling with my life / blog balance.

My problem is finding the time to not only create content and upload it, but also to interact with all you beautiful souls. I absolutely love writing my blog and there’s no way I want to quit, however the pressures that come with writing a blog weigh down on me nearly every day.

Sometimes I’m left feeling, annoyed and disappointed in myself because I have all these amazing ideas I can’t wait to share with you which make me feel that creating content should be an easy task; but when I don’t find the time to set ideas into motion the guilt just creeps in. These days all I’ve managed is to just about upload a new blog post on time, but I’ve barely even done that, and interaction?! What’s even is that?! It’s been far too long now since I’ve really taken the time to interact with you beautiful souls and blogs and for that I am truly sorry.

I know it all boils down to priorities and I could definitely make better use of my time sometimes, but socializing and having evenings to unwind are also important and necessary for me. And when I do get a day off, if I’m not spending it catching up on all the housework, I like to go out and do something fun for the day and so again time flies away too quickly. So I don’t think one prioritizes the other for me really, but as they’re all important to me I need to work on finding a healthy balance between everything.

I really admire all of you out there writing such wonderful blogs and taking the time to interact with others. So I just want to take this moment to thank you all for the continual support, even when I’ve not been great at returning it, it means a lot to me! I hope to see you all stick around and know that I am working on finding a better life / blog balance to hopefully give way to a better routine with less stress and pressure and thus a better blog.

Also if anyone else struggles with finding a balance and has any tips I’d love to know!!

Love you all ❤

Carina xo

WHAT I’M CURRENTLY READING

Good morning beautiful souls,

If you follow me on Goodreads you will already know what I’m currently reading, but in case you don’t (psst.. go follow me..) I wanted to share with you the books I’ve been enjoying.

Firstly however I just want to talk about how much I love Goodreads, it is such a great website and if you’re not already on it you totally should be, at least if you’re a bookworm! This site enables you to yourself reading goals and log all the books you’re reading/ have read. You can rate them and leave reviews or even share them/recommend them to friends. If you enjoy discussing books there are also numerous book clubs you can join or even just discussion forums. I’ve not really joined a book club before. Well I tried it once but was put off as soon as the chosen book arrived in the post. Said book was the Count of Monte Christo, which I’d soon discovered was like a 900 page novel in the smallest writing possible! Needless to say I didn’t think I could finish it in a month and so I soon gave up and haven’t joined a book club since. However I did enjoy the story and so as you will see in a minute, I have picked this book up again and it is one of the books I am currently reading.

Every year I set myself a goal of 52 books a year, which can be quite challenging and I rarely complete the challenge, but it’s great fun being able to tick a book of the list and see how far you can get – it gives me a lot of satisfaction! So far I have read 15 books this year and that means I am currently 4 books behind schedule! (I hate seeing when I am behind schedule aha). However I also currently have about 10 books on the go so if I finish them all simultaneously it might balance out again!

I don’t know if you are like me when it comes to books but sometimes I just jump between books or randomly decide start a new one; essentially I follow where my mood takes me. Some books I read every night until they’re finished, others I delve into only now and then and again some are books which I picked up, lost interest in but am still determined to finish!

So without further ado,

The books I am currently/actively reading:

The Ambassadors Mission

As the son of the late High Lord Akkarin, saviour of the city, and Sonea, the former street urchin turned Black Magician, Lorkin has a legacy of heroism and adventure to live up to. So when Lord Dannyl takes the position of Guild Ambassador to Sachaka, Lorkin volunteers to be his assistant in the hopes of making his mark on the world.

When news comes that Lorkin is in danger, the law that forbids Black Magicians leaving the city forces Sonea to trust that Dannyl will save him. Besides, her old friend Cery needs her as never before: someone has been assassinating Thieves, and when his family is targeted he finds evidence that this Thief Hunter uses magic.

Either a member of the Guild is hunting down the Thieves one by one, or there is – once again – a rogue magician on the streets of Imardin. And this one has full control of their powers – and is willing to kill with them.

The Count of Monte Cristo (Audiobook on Audible)

The story of Edmund Dantes, self-styled Count of Monte Cristo, is told with consummate skill. The victim of a miscarriage of justice, Dantes is fired by a desire for retribution and empowered by a stroke of providence. In his campaign of vengeance, he becomes an anonymous agent of fate.

The sensational narrative of intrigue, betrayal, escape, and triumphant revenge moves at a cracking pace. Dumas’ novel presents a powerful conflict between good and evil embodied in an epic saga of rich diversity that is complicated by the hero’s ultimate discomfort with the hubristic implication of his own actions.

And the Mountains Echoed

Ten-year-old Abdullah would do anything for his younger sister. In a life of poverty and struggle, with no mother to care for them, Pari is the only person who brings Abdullah happiness. For her, he will trade his only pair of shoes to give her a feather for her treasured collection. When their father sets off with Pari across the desert to Kabul in search of work, Abdullah is determined not to be separated from her. Neither brother nor sister know what this fateful journey will bring them.

And the Mountains Echoed is a deeply moving epic of heartache, hope and, above all, the unbreakable bonds of love.

Coffee Table books (the now & then books):

Bloom

In Bloom, Estée shares the moments, people, things and life lessons that have made her who she is today and offers her tips for surviving life. Celebrate your bloom story and what makes you unique.

The Little Book Of Hygge

The Danish word hygge is one of those beautiful words that doesn’t directly translate into English, but it more or less means comfort, warmth or togetherness.

Hygge is the feeling you get when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, in warm knitted socks, in front of the fire, when it is dark, cold and stormy outside. It that feeling when you are sharing good, comfort food with your closest friends, by candle light and exchanging easy conversation. It is those cold, crisp blue sky mornings when the light through your window is just right.

Denmark is the happiest nation in the world and Meik puts this largely down to them living the hygge way. They focus on the small things that really matter, spend more quality time with friends and family and enjoy the good things in life. The Little Book of Hygge will give you practical steps and tips to become more hygge: how to pick the right lighting, organise a dinner party and even how to dress hygge, all backed up by Meik’s years’ of research at the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen.

The Sun And Her Flowers

From Rupi Kaur, the bestselling author of Milk and Honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. Illustrated by Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising and blooming. It is a celebration of love in all its forms.

The books I started, haven’t picked up in a while, but will get round to finishing eventually:

Tintenherz (or Inkheart in English – I’m reading it in it’s original language – German)

Meggie loves books. So does her father, Mo, a bookbinder, although he has never read aloud to her since her mother mysteriously disappeared. They live quietly until the night a stranger knocks at their door. He has come with a warning that forces Mo to reveal an extraordinary secret – a storytelling secret that will change their lives for ever.

Cider With Rosie

Cider with Rosie is a wonderfully vivid memoir of childhood in a remote Cotswold village, a village before electricity or cars, a timeless place on the verge of change. Growing up amongst the fields and woods and characters of the place, Laurie Lee depicts a world that is both immediate and real and belongs to a now-distant past.

Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina is one of the most loved and memorable heroines of literature. Her overwhelming charm dominates a novel of unparalleled richness and density.

Tolstoy considered this book to be his first real attempt at a novel form, and it addresses the very nature of society at all levels,- of destiny, death, human relationships and the irreconcilable contradictions of existence. It ends tragically, and there is much that evokes despair, yet set beside this is an abounding joy in life’s many ephemeral pleasures, and a profusion of comic relief.

Have you read any of these books?! I would love to know!! ❤

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MY LOOSE LEAF TEA COLLECTION

Good evening beautiful souls,

As most of you probably already know I’m on a mission to become more eco-friendly and my latest venture is ditching the tea bags! If you don’t already know, most tea bags contain plastic which make them non-biodegradable. So in order to avoid this Jessica and I ordered a load of loose leaf teas and bought two tea strainers as well.

I bought all the teas from the same company. Gaiwan who I found on Amazon are a German tea company and the range of loose teas they have on offer it amazing! I had over £100 worth of tea in my shopping basket before I had to narrow my choices down! We managed to narrow it down to 8 different teas: Cherry & Almond (black tea) – Peppermint – Green Magic (green tea) – Fresh Orange (green tea) – Winter Warmth (rooibos) – Orange & Mint (rooibos) – Children’s Herbs (herbal mix) – Evening Enjoyment (herbal mix). I haven’t tried all of them yet but the ones I have are really nice, mostly quite mild and if left steeping too long, not bitter (as can often be the case with a green tea).

Once the teas arrived we put them into the 1L Kilner jars we’d specifically bought for tea storage. Seeing all the identical labelled jars with pretty loose leaf teas in them makes my OCD me very happy! You may also have noticed that there’s actually 9 jars of tea; The 9th jar a Gingerbread Rooibos tea (as you might be able to tell, Jessica and I love Rooibos tea). I bought this one when I was in York from a loose leaf tea company called Hebden Tea (which you should check out if you’re ever in York – so many flavours to choose from!) The last loose leaf tea I have is a fruit tea which I’ve kept in the little Christmas tea tin, because I kinda like the tin, it’s cute and as it’s a good base for a mulled wine or Christmasy punch it fits the tin.

I also decided to have my favourite mugs on display next to the teas! I’m obsessed with pretty mugs and love how each one fit’s certain drinks or moods better. If I didn’t rein myself in when shopping I’d have a hoard of mugs right now (I already have too many) but I mean pretty mugs – the struggle is real! I might have to do a My Mug Collection post sometime haha!

Anyway, if you’re a big tea drinker I would really encourage you to invest in a loose leaf tea and a strainer or biodegradable tea bags!!! Also they look so pretty on display in glass jars ❤

Love Carina xo

MY FAVOURITE FRESH JUICE

Good morning beautiful souls,

I hope you had a great weekend! I must apologise for not posting last night, I had a busy weekend and was busy socializing both evenings and thus didn’t get around to finishing a post. So I thought I’d recycle a post this morning as it’s an easy peasy recipe for a fresh yummy start to a new week.

Here goes, this is my absolute favourite fresh juice of all time. Sadly making fresh juice can be quite expensive sometimes, so this is a treat, however occasionally you can find reduced fruit so keep your eyes open and look in local fruit and veg shops too!

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The drink – it’s nothing special, just freshly squeezed oranges, grapefruits and lime with a sprig of mint, but the combination is kinda amazing!

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I would usually squeeze 3 oranges, 1 red grapefruit, 1 lime and garnish with a sprig of mint. I would also recommend popping the freshly squeezed juice in the fridge to chill before drinking or adding and ice cube or two – it is the most tasty and refreshing when cool!

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Well I really hope you all make this because I’m obsessed with this juice aha. Do let me know if you try & enjoy it too!

Love Carina xo