Monthly Wrap Up

May Wrap up

Welcome to June! We are nearly half way through 2018… the variable speed of time seriously puzzles me sometimes… some years go by slower than other.. 2018 is somehow flying by… 😉

So what happened in May?

Glad you asked. 😊 May was the month when I decided to become a gardener. I apologise to those lovely plants, but I honestly am doing my best and do try looking after them. My mission is not to kill them even though it seems that way sometimes..

As we are all friends here, I must tell you I am starting to be somehow sceptical about the well-being of my lavender plants. They were blooming when I bought them in April… now they are this woody / shrubby thing. I keep on telling myself they are going through a cycle – but in all honesty, I have absolutely no clue what’s going on there. I have researched gardening YouTube videos, read many articles and know a difference now between dead heading (the danger of reading too many fantasy novels is that words like dead heading tend to trigger vivid imagines in my head… oh dear), light shearing and hard cut back..


Here are those poor lavenders. Do you think they make it? Those two in blue pots are English lavenders and they are the ones I’m worried about. The white pots ones are French lavenders and they seem to be doing ok-ish I think..

May was also the month when I was really worried about our dog. 😦 We found a lump on his paw and it was growing. He did have it removed and fortunately, his results came back with good news of the lump being caused by viral papilloma. Something apparently quite common amongst young dogs. I was so relieved and happy when the vet called to give us those news. Not knowing what was going to happen felt so helpless. And I found it extremely hard to talk about it. But I did discuss it with James, who was equally worried, and it helped. It is still something I probably want to learn from though.


Anyhow, apart from me getting some soil on my hands, spending time with the dog and climbing outside, I have also discovered audio books.

Everyone: ‘Vera, audiobooks are awesome, you should try them out.’

Me: ‘Hmmmm, I’m not sure…’

Me in May: ‘Audiobooks are awesome, why hasn’t anyone told me about that…’ 😉

I loved listening to We Should All Be Feminists and Norse Mythology. Both narrated by their authors. Adiche’s voice is something I could listen to for hours. So soothing and beautiful. And I found Gaiman to be an excellent narrator as well. His voice would change with each character and I was imagining Thor’s booming voice and Loki’s sly one.

Do you have any good recommendation on audiobooks you enjoyed please? Was there a particular one that stood out for you? If so, fancy sharing it with me please? Thanks!

Let’s talk lists, shall we? Here’s my May’s reading list:

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – my review here

A thought provoking essay that is extremely digestible as it is told via stories. There is no judgement or hate attached to it. Just an open mind and a vision for better future. Shout out to Kristin for her interesting review that piqued my interest.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman – my review here

I absolutely adored this collection. Gaiman’s sharp writing makes those myths extremely modern. They are fast paced and full of action and there is also a lot of humour involved! Shout out to Holly for her wonderful review.

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik – review to arrive on Monday, 4th June

Teaser: Frost covered wings of cruel winter bring mysterious riders to Lithuanian villages. They travel to the human world via their winter road; steal people’s gold and kill whoever / whatever gets in their way. They are called Staryk and people fear and hate them equally. Three females may be able to stop them. Will they succeed?

My Sweet Friend by H.A. Leuschel – mini review to follow next week together with the one below

This novella drew me instantly in via some interesting psychological manipulation. Two females, a game of cat and mouse =  an exciting summer read.

Thanks Norrie for the recommendation!

Homes around the World by Anita Martinez Beijer – mini review to follow next week together with the one above

A beautiful collection of photos accompanied with stories behind those visuals. I am interested in carefully chosen home décor and enjoy knowing the Why behind.

I have purposely not included rating for these.

I am considering omitting my coffee style rating from reviews as I am finding it hard to sometimes compare fiction, non fiction and there are so many nuances between 4 stars, 4 ½ starts etc… in other words, it’s starting to stress me out. 🙂 I know there are bloggers out there who don’t give ratings. I will keep this topic for my next discussion post as I am curious to hear your thoughts. Stay tuned! 😊

My plans for June are following:


  • If possible, try to revive those lavenders (please wish me luck!)
  • Create a vase feature in front of our house to make it look welcoming (research ‘hardy plants’!!!)
  • Get our dog myself into running (so far we have done three runs and all I have to say: mixed results…)
  • Do Whole30


I have been feeling under the weather recently with hay fever being the worst I have had in a very long time. I am currently figuring out my allergies and am doing elimination food experiment in June called Whole30. I have eliminated common trigger food groups and will start slowly re-introducing them back to my meals in July / August. The premise is to find out if I have any sensitivities to these and if so, eliminate them to decrease my body’s inflammation. Which will then hopefully make me cope better with other allergies. Well that’s the theory anyway, I am happy to test it though to see what happens. 🙂

Would you be interested in hearing about Whole 30 weekly recaps? Would someone benefit from that?


  • Listen to another audiobook
  • Finish Emotional Agility by Susan David (nearly there!)
  • Be whimsical about fantasy / thrillers / memoirs / whatever else I may fancy reading that month
  • Reflect about my ARC behaviour… I think I have a problem… 😉

That’s it for now. Now over to you.

What did really stand out for you in May?

It doesn’t have to be bookish, just something you really enjoyed. 😊

And have you tried elimination diet before? And if so, did it work? (please say yes!!!) 😊

27 thoughts on “May Wrap up”

  1. Aw poor doggy! Glad to hear he’s doing better 😀
    Those lavenders in the blue pot look proper dead ☹️. I killed one just like them. The florist dude said they are unkillable. I proved him wrong in two weeks.

    I tried one audio book, and i struggled a lot. I thought audio is just not for me.
    But now that i couldn’t sleep for three days, i tried another one and it worked wonders. For me it was that this second one is way simpler. Only a few characters and a simple plot. The first i tried was Salem’s Lot by King and that is way too difficult to follow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I also think those lavenders won’t make it. Can I blame the soil? 🙈 I was also told in the shop that lavenders require minimal care and are hardy plants… 🤔

      I tried Love Wins by Rob Bell – he’s such a controversial and interesting person and I loved his ‘How to be here’ book. But the audio version didn’t work for me at all. I was getting lost, it was quite abstract.. I think some books definitely don’t work for me in an audio version either. I will keep this one for written form for sure.

      Monty is doing much better, thanks. Right now he wants his food and is the most obedient dog 🐶 in the world. 😊

      TGI Friday! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I loved Norse Mythology. 😊 Hope you will enjoy We Should All Be Feminists as well. I want to read more of her work now. 😊
      Have a good weekend and happy reading. 📚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so happy Monty is ok! I’m not an expert on audiobooks but I have listened to two books on BBC4 Radio Book at Bedtime and I finally found the perfect timing to listen. Not in the middle of the day when I have a million things to do and think about but in bed when it’s perfect for winding down. I hope you find some lovely new audiobooks to listen to in June!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Inge. I was so worried about him and it’s so good to know the little fluffball is ok. ❤
      That’s a great idea. I haven’t tried Radio Book at Bedtime but will keep that in mind and try it out. Thanks! 🙂
      Have a great weekend and happy reading. ❤📚


  3. Sounds like you have had a very busy May. I have never grown lavender but I don’t think the English ones are going to make it. The ones in the white pot look pretty good, though! So sorry to hear about your dog! Even though it was begnin that is still scary. He is super cute! I am glad he is going to be ok!
    I think it would be interesting for you to post about your journey with the Whole 30!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you are right Allie, that English lavender is probably not coming back. And thanks, I think the French one may just about make it. 🙂

      Oh thanks so much. I love my dog to bits and it was honestly so scary. And I felt really vulnerable because I had zero control of the outcome. So happy he is doing well, thanks. ❤

      I will write short recaps then. I wasn’t sure if anyone would read it but it may increase my accountability and maybe even inspire some.

      Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely weekend full of great reading. ❤ 📚


  4. So glad your doggie is okay! (And he’s completely adorable!)

    I tried audio books a couple of years back and couldn’t get into them. But I’ve tried them again recently and it’s like something clicked. Before I was devoting all my time to them like I would a physical book. Meaning listening to them lying across my bed with nothing else going on and day dreaming into sleep basically. I’ve actually found that splitting my attention even just by going for a walk helps hold my attention to the book! It’s like a whole new world of books has opened up 🙂

    Very interested in hearing your thoughts on the Whole30! Need to get my nutrition back on game! Happy June 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you. I’m so glad he’s alright too, he looks super cute and sweet… until you hear his signature bark.. it’s a sheltie thing apparently. 🐶 😊 I love him to bits.

      I really enjoyed these audiobooks whilst driving or when I was just really tired to read. Exactly as you said: a whole new world opened up for me! I’m currently trialling out audibles and think I will stick to it.

      I will do some Whole30 recaps. I’m currently seriously missing sugar.. thank goodness I can have coffee though. ☕️

      Happy June! 😊


  5. Oh no, sending many hugs and pets for you pup! My brief stint as a gardener ended in university when I ended up killing all my cacti. 😛 My friends were like,”How do you even kill a cactus?” Well, turns out it’s pretty easy! So all the best of luck to your lavenders! 😀 The French ones are looking really good, so fingers crossed for the English ones.

    And I would love see Whole 30 recaps! I’ve been struggling to eat better and get my weight up so maybe they’ll be a source for an extra bit of motivation. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Kathy! ❤️

      Yep, I have a suspicion my gardening skills may prove to be deadly even to those hardy plants. Oh well, we learn eh? I’ll probably give up on those English lavenders.. I’m starting to realise they don’t look very healthy indeed. 😊🙈 (I am very stubborn sometimes! 😂)

      Thank you, I will include Whole30 recaps. It’s a reset in terms of removing common allergens. I hope some of it may help. I’ll start taking photos / take notes. Eating better is a struggle for me sometimes too. 😔❤️ Big hugs. 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

    1. So am I, and I do appreciate your advice to listen to it as an audiobook- it absolutely worked, thanks. 😊

      Yay! Fingers crossed you enjoy Norse Mythology too! 😊🍀


  6. Yeah 2018 is flying by! I really hope your gardening works out (I know literally nothing about it though, wish I could help!) Aww I’m sorry about your dog as well- I wish him a speedy recovery! I love Gaiman’s voice- if I didn’t already have the kindle version I’d be totally tempted to get the audiobook version… heck I’m tempted anyway 😉 I’m really glad Norse Mythology was good as well- I’m excited for that collection. I think you should do whatever makes you happy in terms of ratings 🙂 I hope your elimination diet works- I’ve heard good things about them and that they can really help! Great wrap up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As always, thanks so much! 😊

      Well I am equally tempted to buy the physical Norse Mythology book – I don’t own many books but have a feeling this one should be a part of my library (and should do exist next to American Gods which I own already) 🙈😊 I totally get it.

      Thank you for your kind words, so good my fluffball is alright and even though elimination diet is hard, I’m really hoping it will help with figuring my allergies. I’m on day 2 and craving cheese 🧀 😊🙈

      Hope you are having a great weekend and thanks for stopping by. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome! 😊

        Totally get that! I also have American Gods, so I think it would look great beside that 😉

        You’re welcome! That’s really good- aww I’m sorry! But I’ve heard it can have great results 😊😊

        Thank you! You too! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Whew, it’s a relief to hear that your dog is going to get better, so wishing him a quick recovery! Also, I love gardening, but I know nil about growing lavendar, so good luck there. 😂 Ooh and same, I don’t dabble in audiobooks often, but your review of Norse definitely convinced me to give it a go. And I can’t wait till your discussion of book ratings; it’s something I have a lot of interest in, and it does stress me out too. 😉 Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. I really hope you do enjoy Norse Mythology as an audio book – all of sudden a whole new world of ‘reading’ opened up to me. 😊🤞

      I’m sorry to hear it also makes you uncomfortable. I’m currently formulating my thoughts. Looking forward to the discussion already! 😊❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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