Busy bumblebees – Photoset

You know how I have this wonderful DSLR lying around that I begged people to get me, to film videos and take lots of photos? That same camera that’s just sitting on my shelf collecting dust most of the time?
Well one of my goals this summer is to take loads more pictures. The sun was doing its thing and the bumblebees are loving the wild flowers my flatmate planted on our balcony – so I went and snapped a few pics, paparazza style.

Bumble bee on Phacelia tanacetifolia | daneesaur.co.uk Phacelia tanacetifolia | daneesaur.co.uk Bumble bee on Phacelia tanacetifolia | daneesaur.co.uk

Planting these was such a great decision. We fully expected them to be a colourful mix of different flowers though, as it looked that way on the label. The little sachet was called “Bienenschmaus” – German for “bee feast”. And it certainly is. Well, I haven’t seen any honey bees around just yet, but the bumblebees are loving itBumble bee on Phacelia tanacetifolia | daneesaur.co.uk Bumble bee on Phacelia tanacetifolia | daneesaur.co.uk

A little bit of research has revealed that the plant that has apparently defeated all other wild flowers appears to be Phacelia tanacetifolia, also called lacy phacelia or blue tansy. They bloom from early June (yup can confirm) til the end of September – which means they’ll be around for a while, yay! Bumble bee on Phacelia tanacetifolia | daneesaur.co.uk Bumble bee on Phacelia tanacetifolia | daneesaur.co.uk

I’m really curious to see if I can catch a honey bee feasting on the tansies, but maybe there just aren’t any around where we live? Or maybe we need to plant more flowers, hehe. Not that I’d mind, at all!Phacelia tanacetifolia | daneesaur.co.uk

All images © 2016 Daniela Struck. Do not use or distribute without permission.

A Lil’ Health Update

A Lil' Health Update on daneesaur.co.uk

Let’s get personal! *cracks knuckles* Keen observers of my blog may have noticed that I haven’t published a new post in a month, and have been quieter than usual on other channels as well.

Truth be told, that’s because my health, both physical and mental, has kind of taken a turn for the worse. Nothing dramatic, don’t worry – but my weeks are currently riddled with headaches, dizziness and overall debilitating fatigue, to a point where I keep on cancelling doctor’s appointments, because I can’t leave the house to get to them. All while trying to keep up with my two part-time jobs and the new uni semester that has just started. Spoilers – I’m not really doing a great job at any of them.

I fear all of this could be due to my liver not being able to cope with my meds; this would mean an annoying journey to wean off my SSRIs, at a point in time where I’d really need that extra push to keep my mental health intact – which, truth be told, is kind of in shambles because of this whole ordeal. Being bed-bound and too low on energy to really communicate much has left me feeling unproductive and isolated. The amount of times I stare at my phone only to see the “No notifications” tab glaring at me is probably unhealthy.

All of this is making me feel like a downward spiral. I am too ill to work, I’m undoubtedly doing a rotten job at work and uni, I feel bad about it and get terrified I might lose my job(s) and will also never finish my degree, so my anxiety and depression gets super bad, which in turn wants me to rely on meds a bit longer, which might be what causes my physical health to be this horrible to begin with. I just don’t know the way out right now, because everything seems important enough to take priority.

I also keep beating myself up for the fact that I’m 25 and still haven’t finished my degree (or am even anywhere close to finishing it) and just generally living a pretty stagnant life. I’m stuck in a rut.

Ultimately, I know I just need to start somewhere and slowly solve problem after problem (until the next one comes along, and then the next …) and I know I won’t fail, but at the moment everything just seems so unattainable. I’ll figure it out somehow, I’m sure.

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3 Months in Books – Quarterly Recap 1/2016

Sooo I have this problem at the moment. Last year, I really didn’t read much, so I started this series of doing quarterly book reviews, where I do quick mini reviews of the books I read in the last three months. Well, come 2016, and I’m suddenly on a roll when it comes to reading. Probably mostly because I now combine audiobooks with physical books, so I am basically constantly involved in the story. So yeah, this post is long; in January, February and March, I read ten books! Woops. I need your input: should I keep doing  these (probably long) quarterly recaps or should I switch them to monthly instead? Let me know in the comments!

Robinson Crusoe | ★★☆☆☆ 2/5
3 Months in Books at daneesaur.co.uk

Author: Daniel Defoe
Publisher: Penguin Books
Pages: 337
Published: 6 Dec 2012 (first published 1719)
Genre: Classics, Fiction, British Literature
Goodreads | Bookdepository

Here is the novel which has inspired countless imitations by lesser writers, none of which equal the power and originality of Defoe’s famous book. Robinson Crusoe, set ashore on an island after a terrible storm at sea, is forced to make do with only a knife, some tobacco, and a pipe. He learns how to build a canoe, make bread, and endure endless solitude. That is, until, twenty-four years later, when he confronts another human being. First published in 1719, Robinson Crusoe has been praised by such writers as James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Samuel Johnson as one of the greatest novels in the English language. (Goodreads)

Okay, I know last time around I said I’d dropped this book, but sometimes I get ambitious and determined about silly things and wanted to finish it. So I headed over to LibriVox and listened to it instead of reading. As an aside, did you know that LibriVox has a huge selection of classics with expired copyright as free audiobooks? I swear this isn’t sponsored, this site has just been such a lifesaver for me.  Woop, filling otherwise silent times with audiobooks! Now, this book is … uhh … definitely a product of its time. As soon as Friday appears, I was pretty much sat there rolling my eyes near-constantly. The imperialism is strong with this one.

The Vicar of Wakefield | ★★★☆☆ 3/5

Author: Oliver GoldsmithRobinson Crusoe 2/5 ★★☆☆☆
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pages: 197
Published: 2008 (first published 1766)
Genre: Classics, Fiction, British Literature
Goodreads | Bookdepository

Oliver Goldsmith’s hugely successful novel of 1766 remained for generations one of the most highly regarded and beloved works of eighteenth-century fiction. It depicts the fall and rise of the Primrose family, presided over by the benevolent vicar, the narrator of a fairy-tale plot of impersonation and deception, the abduction of a beautiful heroine and the machinations of an aristocratic villain. By turns comic and sentimental, the novel’s popularity owes much to its recognizable depiction of domestic life and loving family relationships. (Goodreads)

I actually finished one of the assigned readings on time! Go me! Celebrate! … but only because I listened to it as an audiobook for the second half of it. I liked it! It is fairly predictable, as 18th century novels tend to be, but it was nicely written, and contrary to Robinson Crusoe or Joseph Andrews, you actually feel with the characters somewhat. Not necessarily all the time, because they also tend to be vain as hell, but you can at least empathise.

The Remains of the Day | ★★★☆☆ 3/5

3 Months in Books at daneesaur.co.ukAuthor: Kazuo Ishiguro
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Pages: 258
Published: 2005 (first published 1988)
Genre: Historical Fiction, British Literature
Goodreads | Bookdepository

A contemporary classic, The Remains of the Day is Kazuo Ishiguro’s beautiful and haunting evocation of life between the wars in a Great English House.
In the summer of 1956, Stevens, the ageing butler of Darlington Hall, embarks on a leisurely holiday that will take him deep into the countryside and into his past. (Goodreads)

Such an utterly interesting read. This is my first Ishiguro, actually, but I think I rather like his writing style. As I’ve said in my previous post when I was still in the middle of reading this, I am really intrigued by unreliable narrators, and seeing his reality unfold in front of you is really fascinating.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime 1/5 ★☆☆☆☆

3 Months in Books at daneesaur.co.ukAuthor: Mark Haddon
Publisher: Red Fox
Pages: 268
Published: 2004 (first published 2003)
Genre: Mystery, Young Adult
Goodreads | Bookdepository

Fifteen-year-old Christopher has a photographic memory. He understands maths. He understands science. What he can’t understand are other human beings. When he finds his neighbour’s dog lying dead on the lawn, he decides to track down the killer and write a murder mystery about it. But what other mysteries will he end up uncovering? (Goodreads)

Ugh. So many things wrong with this book. It’s not well researched in regards to autism and the narration feels condescending and infantilising. The boy is supposed to be fifteen years old and reads like a 9-year-old (and don’t tell me that’s because ‘he’s meant to be autistic!!’). I’ve already ranted about this book in other places, so I don’t really feel like going on about it any more, but let’s just say we are in dire need of more positive well-researched neurodivergent representation and this book is definitely not it.

A Simple Story | ★★★☆☆ 3/5

3 Months in Books at daneesaur.co.ukAuthor: Elizabeth Inchbald
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pages: 345
Published: 2009 (first published 1791)
Genre: Classics, Fiction, British Literature
Goodreads | Bookdepository

When Miss Milner announces her passion for her guardian, a Catholic priest, she breaks through the double barrier of his religious vocation and 18th-century British society’s standards of proper womanly behavior. Like other women writers of her time, Elizabeth Inchbald concentrates on the question of a woman’s “proper education,” and her sureness of touch and subtlety of characterization prefigure Jane Austen’s work. (Goodreads)

The last book I read for my class on 18th Century Novels. Again I listened to most of this as an audiobook on LibriVox whenever I had the time, but the recording for this was actually quite annoying; it was a joint project by 5+ different readers, most of which weren’t very good. The story, on the other hand, is quite interesting; it’s essentially split in two parts, the first two volumes talking about Miss Milner, the latter two about her daughter Matilda. Some characters completely change their personality (we’re talking 180° here) in the second half, completely unexplained, which was more than awkward, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. Even though it’s just another story about female virtue.

Gone Girl | ★★★★☆ 4/5

3 Months in Books at daneesaur.co.ukAuthor: Gillian Flynn
Publisher: Crown
Pages: 566
Published: 2012
Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller
Goodreads | Bookdepository

On the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick’s wife, Amy, has disappeared. Nick is weak, Nick is a liar, and maybe he’s not the very best of husbands — but is he a killer? Amy’s diary reveals turmoil over their marriage, strange sicknesses, and her deep wish to be a mother — but is she telling the whole story? As the evidence slowly mounts, and the police investigation deepens, Nick is incriminated in horrible ways. He swears he didn’t murder his beautiful wife and goes on the offensive to clear his name. The mystery of Amy’s disappearance only gets more tangled as secrets unfurl from the web of their knotty marriage, and it becomes clear that something may have happened more disturbing than death. (Goodreads)

Oh man, this book fucked me up. I mean, I’m sure it was supposed to. It is a thriller, you know. I don’t usually read thrillers, and now I know why. I don’t like the suspense. It makes me anxious. Anyway, this book was beautifully crafted. You really, really start to hate some people. Which is good, I guess. You’re supposed to hate psychopaths, right? Well, a bunch of the attitudes were horribly misogynistic, but that was to be expected when both main characters have this sort of “Not Like Them” attitude. Beautifully executed, at any rate. I liked it.

Carry On | ★★★★★ 5/5

3 Months in Books at daneesaur.co.ukAuthor: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Pages: 517
Published: 2015
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, LGBT
Goodreads | Bookdepository

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything. 
Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters. (Goodreads)

Oh, I was so skeptical about this book. So skeptical. I stayed that way for the first, I don’t know, maybe 50 pages? Because it’s Harry Potter, without being Harry Potter. It was weird. It put me off. And then this stuck up little vampire saunders into my life and ruins everything. Carry On is everything I have ever wanted from a Young Adult book. The magic works in a wonderful way – by using sayings and song lyrics. What a neat idea! I don’t want to say all that much about it, because I just know I’ll get too excited and spoil you all, but it’s safe to say that you need to read this book. Even if you don’t like YA. I mean, don’t even like YA that much. And if it feels like an awkward cheap HP knockoff in the beginning – don’t worry, that will pass. One thing I will say is that I listened to parts of it as an audiobook, read by Euan Morton, and he does this thing when he reads female point of views where his voice gets all nasally and aspirated/sing-songy, which I couldn’t take seriously – that was massively annoying, I don’t think it’s at all necessary when a man narrates a girl.

The 5th Wave| ★★★☆☆ 3/5

3 Months in Books at daneesaur.co.ukAuthor: Rick Yancey
Publisher: Penguin Books
Pages: 460
Published: 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Goodreads | Bookdepository

The Passage meets The Hunger Games in a gripping new series from Carnegie-shortlisted Rick Yancey. After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one. Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave. On a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, until Cassie meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope for rescuing her brother and even saving herself. […] (Goodreads)

Mh. MMMMMHHH. Well, first thing I can say about this book is that I enjoyed the audiobook a whole lot more. It’s narrated by Phoebe Strole and Brandon Espinoza, who definitely play the parts of the teenagers very well. Also, the whole ‘making everything female characters say sound ridiculous’ that I criticised in Carry On’s audiobook didn’t happen, which made me very happy. As for the story, it was actually quite interesting (and scary, truth be told). It’s a very recent book, so a lot of the behaviour that is described is very, very relateable. Especially what happens with the death of the smartphones (sob). It’s told from two perspectives, Cassie’s and Zombie’s. Zombie’s perspective started to bore me quite quickly, because for the most part it’s just him going through boot camp, which … I’m not all that interested in, and Yancy didn’t manage to make it sound very compelling, either (well, that was probably the point). And Cassie’s story seems to develop into a strange and not quite relatable love story. Girl gets the romance plot and boy gets the military plot? I don’t know. That being said, Cassie is a cyncical sass master and I love her. I think I’m definitely interested in reading the second and third volume of the trilogy.

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope 3/5 ★★★☆☆

3 Months in Books at daneesaur.co.ukAuthor: Ian Doescher
Publisher: Quirk Books
Pages: 174
Published: 2013
Genre: Science Fiction, Humour, Poetry
Goodreads | Bookdepository

Return once more to a galaxy far, far away with this sublime retelling of George Lucas’s epic Star Wars in the style of the immortal Bard of Avon. The sage of a wise (Jedi) knight and an evil (Sith) lord, of a beautiful princess held captive and a young hero coming of age, Star Wars abounds with all the valor and villainy of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. ‘Tis a tale told by fretful Droids, full of faithful Wookiees and fearsome Stormtroopers, signifying… pretty much everything. {…] (Goodreads)

I had this book on my wish list, so my wonderful friend Janina gave me this for my birthday. It was a quick read, because I obviously knew the story beforehand, and it was funny to see it in all its Shakespearean glory! I immediately wanted to grab myself some actors and put the whole thing on stage. Some “classic” Shakespeare lines made it into the book, revamped into Star Wars style. Loved it. If you’re a Star Wars fan, and also like Shakespeare, I’d definitely recommend giving this one a go. Also, can I get the cover as a postcard/print please? It’s so pretty!

Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged | ★★★★☆ 4/5

3 Months in Books at daneesaur.co.ukAuthor: Ayisha Malik
Publisher: Twenty7
Pages: 456
Published: 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Goodreads | Bookdepository

“Brilliant idea! Excellent! Muslim dating? Well, I had no idea you were allowed to date.’ Then he leaned towards me and looked at me sympathetically. ‘Are your parents quite disappointed?’
Unlucky in love once again after her possible-marriage-partner-to-be proves a little too close to his parents, Sofia Khan is ready to renounce men for good. Or at least she was, until her boss persuades her to write a tell-all expose about the Muslim dating scene. 
As her woes become her work, Sofia must lean on the support of her brilliant friends, baffled colleagues and baffling parents as she goes in search of stories for her book. In amongst the marriage-crazy relatives, racist tube passengers and decidedly odd online daters, could there be a lingering possibility that she might just be falling in love . . . ? (Goodreads)

I read the last 300 pages of this in one day, which finally feels like I’m slowly turning back towards my binge-reading days. I’m not usually one for “chick lit” (though I despise the name, but “romance novels” make me think of topless men and frail women swooning in their arms on the cover, and “dating books” sound like self-help instructions), but this book got me hooked. The lovely Leena has called the book “our generation’s Bridget Jones” (coming from someone who adored those novels), but since I never really liked Bridget Jones myself, I have to say this is worlds better. Ayisha Malik (and by extension her focaliser/main character Sofia) is witty, sharp and a sass master. You know I always fall for the sass masters. I was pretty surprised by the ending (can’t say I didn’t like it though), and my pencil and I have found many-a-thing to underline. If you’re going to make any decision in life, be fearless about it. 
The only thing that really annoyed me at times is the fact that there are quite a few typos in the book. A forgotten quotation mark here, a missing word there – more than there should be in an edited and proofread publication. But as a proofreader myself, I know that things can go unseen no matter how many corrections it’s gone through.

Well! You’ve made it! These are the books I’ve read this year so far. What have been some of your highlight reads? And don’t forget to give me your input on doing quarterly or monthly recaps. 😉 xx

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7 Things That Suck About Having Ulcerative Colitis

IMG_5999_pin

7 Reasons Having Ulcerative Colitis Sucks at daneesaur.co.ukI realised that I’ve written everywhere that I’m a #spoonieblogger, writing about my ulcerative colitis, yadda yadda, but I hadn’t actually gotten to that part yet. I mean, I’ve done (and will keep doing) videos on that topic, but my YouTube channel and this blog aren’t one and the same, even if I want them to complement each other.

ANYWAY. To watch the videos I’ve done in my IBD series, click here for a neat playlist. So far, I’ve done a general video on what it’s like living with my illness, an informational video about Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and my entry for 2015’s Project for Awesome, which was for Crohn’s and Colitis UK.

Now, if you’re not familiar with IBD and want to know what I’m talking about, go watch my video on that topic and come back here – but if you’re too lazy (or can’t watch right now):
IBD stands for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, an autoimmune disease that affects the digestive system. Oversimplified, the gut gets attacked by the immune system, resulting in painful sores/ulcers and a whole lot of problems that come with them (diarrhoea, malnutrition, weakness, fatigue, … ). There are two main types: Crohn’s Disease, which can affect the whole digestive tract, and Ulcerative Colitis, which is restricted to the colon.

Because I’m basically a whiny bitch, I am going to share a few things that annoy me in particular about my illness.

ONE. People don’t take you seriously.

Be it strangers who judge you when you use the elevator for one floor, not giving up the disabled seat on the bus, or using disabled public bathrooms – or your own friends and family. People do not understand. Especially relating to fatigue, I can’t count the amount of times people who know me well have made fun of me for struggling to get out of the house before noon, or have become angry if I don’t wake up and get out of bed on time despite being woken up several times.
Particularly with my family, who are all concerned with natural dietary supplements and alternative medicine (which, not to get me wrong, I think are a GREAT thing with which to support traditional medicine and treatment – I entirely rely on supplements to support my nutrition), they seem to not take my illness seriously. I feel like they think it’s my own fault that I “still have it” because I’m just not “taking the right things”.
Which is even more annoying and hurtful than the casual “but have you tried yoga” advice you sometimes get from people.

TWO. You never feel entirely safe going out

So you wanted to go on this outing with friends? Too bad, they want to go to this obscure park outside the city, you have no idea where the nearest bathroom is, and still feel completely awkward just walking into a café/restaurant to either strut straight towards the bathroom or ask awkwardly if you can use it without ordering anything.
Also anything with typically long bathroom queues – think concerts, conventions, festivals (oh god nothing but porta-potties?? THE HORROR), clubs – is a no go. Well, not a no go. Let’s say, it goes hand in hand with an awful lot of stress and hoping your body doesn’t choose to act up on this particular day.

THREE. Staying at hostels becomes so much more complicated

On a similar note, do you have any idea how much I would love to just crash at a cheap(ish) place with shared bathrooms, if it’s just for a night or so? Yeah well. I need to be able to verify that I have access to a bathroom at all times (i.e. it’s not shared with too many other people who can occupy it), and sleeping in a dorm that only uses a bathroom in the hallway gets very annoying very fast when you have to get up around 3 times per night.

FOUR. Dating.

There. I don’t think I need to elaborate too much on this, but how do you casually slip into conversation that you’re chronically ill and, on bad days, run to the toilet literally all the time? Isn’t made better by the fact that it can also be triggered/exacerbated by stress/nervousness. Guess what makes you nervous?. Could it be first dates, and dating in general, perhaps? Nothing makes a new friend/potential partner feel more appreciated than when you flee the scene every couple of minutes.

FIVE. The Pain.

This one feels so obvious that I almost didn’t want to include it, but it’s what defines my daily experience. Stomach cramps, mouth ulcers, aching joints, fatigue, headaches, skin rashes … you come to cherish the good days, because most of them aren’t. I can count the pain-free days of the month on one hand. Sometimes it’s just a low-level, dull pain, making me feel like my UC just wants to remind me that it’s still there, but my standards of a “Good Day” have definitely changed.

SIX. The Glum Outlook.

People with IBD are at a higher risk for developing colon cancer – and the symptoms for this cancer are exactly the same as for the illness that you already have. Congratulations, say hi to your new-found paranoia! On the other hand, having IBD includes having regular check-ups and colonoscopies done, so if there is any change in development, we should find out early on.
Another thing that scares me a bit is the possibility of surgery. I know a lot of people with IBD who actually have a stoma/ostomy bag (hi Katie *waves*), so it’s not like it’s the end of the world, but it’s still not something that I’m looking forward to (why would it be). It’s essentially a surgery to take out part of your colon, often resulting in a stoma with a bag that’s collecting your stool. Yep. A poop bag.

SEVEN. Always feeling like you’re just throwing a pity party for yourself.

A friend of mine has MS. She hardly ever talks about it. She goes about her life as usual, seems to have absolute control over her studies and work, gets up early in the morning, is active and productive – if she is in pain, I wouldn’t know. There was actually a time where I was talking to another friend about using the elevator, and I went “Psh, I’m chronically ill, I’m allowed to be lazy”, and she replied “Dude, [Friend] has MS and still takes the stairs…”
And on Twitter I read about people whose chronic illnesses render their lives hardly livable (and still they do it – massive props to you), making me feel like the healthiest person on the planet by comparison. And then I sit there and wonder – should I just shut up?
I am incredible vocal about being ill – as I said, I’ve included it in my Twitter bio and my About Me on the blog (and wherever else I’m advertising my channels). Should I … just not? Am I just trying to cash in pity, because a lot of people have a lot more severe illnesses and you don’t hear a peep from them? Theoretically I know that we, in general, still need to work against the stigma placed upon people with disabilities or chronic illnesses, so I want to speak up and fight the fight – but where’s the balance between being vocal and letting my illness define me?

If you have a chronic illness yourself, maybe even ulcerative colitis or another IBD – I officially invite you to vent now! What sucks about it? Do you usually keep quiet because there’s “no need in whining”, or do you willingly share what’s going on behind the scenes?
What’s your approach? xx

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Weekend Reads #3

Weekend Blog Reads at daneesaur.co.uk

There we go, another little collection for you to read up on the articles, blog posts and videos I’ve found shareworthy in the last couple of days! Let’s jump right in.

PARENTING THE GERMAN WAY

It’s so strange, reading this article I’ve never really realised that people in other countries might be doing things differently. Helicopter parent style. Now, I don’t intend to ever have kids, but this is still a worthwhile read; it basically sums up my childhood!
How to Parent Like a German.

NO SLEEP CHEAT SHEET

Well, unlike the post’s author, I’m not a parent (plus I can’t drink caffeine, which makes bit of this a tad more difficult), but I’m struggling with fatigue a lot these days, so this is a great post for those days you just really have to pull through: How to Function at Work When You Got Almost No Sleep.

WHY BOOKS SMELL THE WAY THEY SMELL

Now this one’s one for the book nerds and chemistry geeks alike: ever wondered why books smell the way they do? Well, Compound Interest has got you covered. They explain that the “new book smell” (and the “old book smell”, for that matter) is far more than adhesives and ink: What Causes the Smell of New & Old Books?

RECIPES >> INSTANT MAC & CHEESE, SORT OF

Another post from A Beautiful Mess! This sounds like a great idea; sometimes eating vegan is made hard by the fact that there aren’t enough quick comfort food options. ABM have put up a wonderful recipe to prepare a vegan “boxed” Mac&Cheese mix that you just have to prepare with a bit of vegan butter and milk. I love the idea! Just need to find some onion powder now … : Homemade “Boxed” Mac + Cheese (Vegan Friendly).

What have you been reading & loving this past week? xx