About Nell

Goodbye November

We’ve finally reached the end of November, the longest dreariest month of a long dreary year. I’m happy to be entering the holiday season; it’ll be a little brighter and lighter, even if it’s only due to all the Christmas lights. I love Christmas lights, so I really don’t mind!

But before that, here are 10 pictures from my November.

What took up most of my time in November was of course NaNoWriMo and I questioned my sanity many, many times during the month for signing up. But on November 27, I crossed the 50K word threshold and I was so happy I could cry. I could never have done it without my morning writing crew, so here are a bunch of cyber kisses for Ofelia GrÀnd, A.L. Lester, and J.M. Snyder. 😘

I’ve always found the darkness this far up north the hardest thing to cope with during the winter season. I can dress for cold weather, but I can’t magically make more daylight. So I’m trying to find things that cheer me up in the darkness. Like a candles everywhere (as in my writing pictures above). Or homemade chai syrup for the soul-soothing chai lattes I love to drink when it’s cold outside.

I met a pony huge dog, a great Dane, in November. He loves me, all animals do since I’m allergic and can’t cuddle them, and he’s still just an over-enthusiastic puppy who thinks he’s a lap dog and wants to sit on my lap. So I barricaded myself behind a chair so he wouldn’t get the opportunity, and look at how sad that made him. Those sad eyes!! 😭 Why don’t you love me, human?

I’m happy to be back in Sweden, but I have to admit I miss Malaysia sometimes. Especially when it’s dark and cold like November has been. On those days, I cook something that will remind me of Malaysia, like Hainanese chicken rice, which is a Malaysian culinary staple and so tasty. It’s ginger and spring onion and garlic and all the things I love.

Every day the sun was shining, I went out for a walk to soak up some light. One day, I stumbled upon a street where I want to live. Skrivaregatan. Means Writer’s Street. Perfect, don’t you think?

What do you do when you can’t see your BFFs IRL because of a stupid pandemic? Have Skype parties, of course. These are my dearest friends who graciously allowed me to post their picture on my blog. So say hello to Eva and Johanna everyone!! They’re awesome people and we’ve known each other for a long time. ❀️

One day, I made a frittata for dinner. I used a mitten to take the frying pan out of the oven and put it on the counter. Then it was in the way when I was going to do something, so I grabbed the handle, forgetting I’d literally just taken the pan out of a 200C (400F) oven. It hurt like a bitch, let me tell you. But I soaked my hand in cold water for five minutes, then I constantly applied aloe vera gel to it, and when I woke up the next day it didn’t hurt at all. That was pretty fucking lucky, if you ask me. “Lucky it wasn’t your writing hand,” my husband said, and yes. I wholeheartedly agree πŸ™‚

We started the holiday season early with glΓΆgg and saffron buns. Adventsfika is not to be trifled with, but my husband and I didn’t want to wait for actual advent so we may have started a bit early. I regret nothing!

Speaking of Christmas lights: I put up ours, too, of course. I love this new star I bought, and I just wish you could see how glittery it is IRL.

And today, on the last day of November I woke up to snow. And everyone knows that when life gives you snow, you make a (teeny-tiny) snowman. This is Frosty the Mini Snowman, complete with peppercorns for eyes, and a tiny tip of a carrot sculpted into a nose. Unfortunately, as I write this, Frosty the Mini Snowman is already melting, and my balcony is now a sad tragic place. Can I please have a moment of silence for Frosty? 😁

Nell Iris' Christmas

Holidays at Nell’s

Tomorrow is December 1st, and that means I’ve prepared some holiday shenanigans for the blog. Every day during December, I’ll post a holiday themed book recommendation. Not a full review, just a short rec of a book I’ve read and loved. Most of them will be Christmas themed, but I’ve tried my hardest to find some other winterish holidays, too, so you can expect a bit of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and even Lunar New Year.

My own holiday stories will be featured, of course. I have four Christmas stories, and one New Year’s Eve story, Resolutions for an Arbitrary Holiday, that will be released on December 30. I’ve sprinkled my books between the others through the month. All the other featured books are written by someone else.

Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve read and loved all these books, so these are heartfelt recommendations from me to you. I hope you’ll enjoy. πŸ™‚