Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Acquisition of Nora, the Short Version

To cut a long (about seven months) story short, meet the newest member of my beloved handbag family. Nora. And with exquisite female (handbag acquisition) logic she was for free. To cut a much longer and, to say the least, annoying story short, free in this case meaning another previous bought handbag was of faulty design/making thus ended up rejected and money refunded. Yes I did say free, ah such a deduction can surely only come from the cleverest of minds.

Nora is of the same brand as last summer's green lizard shoes, Spanish El Naturalista (a company with some interesting eco projects going on), and I'm thrilled I was finally able to purch... get her for free. And as if the look, design and intricate outside details - just look at that gorgeously made lock in shape of a lizard - weren't enough to drool over, it turned out she had the most amazing apple green lining. With the perfect amount of compartments and such.

The stitching is both well- and hand-made, but still with a charming rugged, lovely irregular look.

There was even a wee surprise in one of the compartments, a small wallet for days when you travel light. And this is her, in all glorious deep darkish grey looks. The perfect satchel I've been looking for in vain for many years, with long long straps, a reasonable weight, a size that fits all things necessary, and then some. Welcome to the family, Nora ~


Friday, February 27, 2009

Weekend Wind Down

It's been a busy week - especially for loaf doggie extraordinare, or so he thinks - one perfect way to wind down in green might be with a classic and rather nice - that is, if made properly with good ingredients, like this one at bakery Bakgården - Swedish pastry that goes by the name "dammsugare" (vacuum cleaner).

A pastry filled with cookie crumbles, cacao, butter and the traditional Swedish liqueur punsch. Ingredients shaped into a roll, covered in green marzipan, the ends dipped in dark chocolate - hey presto, vacuum cleaner delight. Your typical Swedish resourcefulness covered in green.
~ Have a lovely weekend ~

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Prosit Venture


Just thought I'd briefly no fuss mention my newish semi-secret - yeah right online - venture, as in my wee word and image smithy Prosit. Being somewhere between the planning stage and serious business one might say.

At least I've got me a snazzy looking site (happy, happy, even more grateful) and some lovely looking MOO cards (notice green backside on these recycled material cards.) So feel free to head over there and take a peek, you might find something you like. Any thoughts and questions, please get in touch


Eating Out - Bönor & Bakat

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Once upon a time I read about this café, Bönor & Bakat (Beans & Baked), being a smokey high school kids teeny-bopper hang out. The latter wouldn't have deterred me - only having just left that category of folks turned grown up myself - but being a *somewhat* rabid anti-smoker the previous (unconsciously) kept me from dropping by years after the Swedish smoking ban in restaurants and cafés was instilled.

A while back being in the vicinity I thought I'd finally give the place a go. Something I very much wish I had done earlier when I tasted the food. Unpretentiously they serve different sandwiches, light foods like salads, pasta and pies, sweets, coffee and tea. Their menu has rather a few options for vegetarians. The portions of food seem to be very generous in general, hence food and possible dessert can be split in two. The tea is also served in nice large bowls. Everything at reasonable prices.

If it wasn't for the, with some exceptions (call dibs sofa seat in window), less than cosy interior all this makes for a long seating in good company. Well, I'm probably willing to overlook the less-than-cosy factor for the food and good company actually. Do I get non-grumpy points for that or what.
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As for the food, there are some interesting options I'd like to try, but so far I've less than adventurously stuck to the three things I and my taste buds completely fell for on the first lunch visit; the baked potato with a deliciously seasoned cottage cheese-feta-pesto mix with salad, the blueberry or raspberry pie - which one can, should really, compose a song of praise about -and a hunk of steaming tea. The food part is shared, the tea part I happily gulp down all by myself.

The pies are so pretty too look at in the fridge counter, they don't look nearly as good in the bowl drowned in custard. But they taste divine, in a homemade crunchy and chewy, sweet and sour way. Pretty close to pie heaven.
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The guests are a mix of people, all ages and different walks of life, including a dash of the pram mob, but I'm glad to report they have actually behaved rather well as opposed to at other places for food. More non-grumpy points to be had here.

During the warmer seasons the café has a small outdoor seating area on the pavement. Which could be nice if this wasn't at one of the busiest streets in Stockholm, I kind of fail to see the appeal of gulping down the food with an overdose of exhaust emissions. Non-grumpy just discerning and health conscious.

If you don't happen to walk in on a day when sullen face teenage girl serves the staff also gets thumbs up. Oh yes, extra plus for magenta coloured walls adorned with quirky art.
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Café Bönor & Bakat (Beans & Baked)
S:t Eriksgatan 81, Stockholm
open Mon-Fri 8-22 (8 am-10 pm), Sat-Sun 9-22 (9 am-10 pm)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Meet the Makeout Blouse

Meet the very green happy vibes blouse that I'll enjoy the spring to come in. And no I didn't buy it solely for its name's sake - although admittedly that could have been the last detail that made me take the investment plunge, being a the buff for quirky ideas as I am - very obviously it has lots of other pros to it.

Like it being sweet and most pleasingly oomphy apple green with...

orange butterflies entangled in ornamental details and...
pink birds and...
more embroidered pink roses and then there's...
cute dark blue ribbons making the final touch of zestiness to its green delight. Your average Odd Molly style shirt I suppose, but since I adore (with a critical mind) many of their designs and styles - although far from always the ridiculous pricetags attached to the garments. Not to mention their silly huge several times per year collections, ever heard of slow fashion and the clothing industry's environmental impact...? If the pricetags had anything to do with the environmental consciousness, then obviously fine, but otherwise... - I'm sure I'll be very happy in it come lush green springtime.

feel good recycle

Just because I love a message in a bottle - though far from always, as in this case, the liquid in the bottle, but more on that later - and a good sign ~
Let's practise Swedish; "återvinning" - recycling, "station" ~ site, "återvinnare" - recycler, "åter" - again, "vinnaren" - the winner

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Granola on Fat Tuesday


Yes today is Fat Tuesday - and I'll most probably, hopefully, get my lenten bun at my not so secret place of super semlas - so what better way to start a day that most certainly won't end very healthy (but for the soul that is) with something that's really good for you and your tummy. Granola. Or muesli as we Swedes say as in "müsli".

In general not a big fan of that am I, nor of corn flakes or any crunchy stuff you put in your milk, yogurt or sour milk (not as bad as it sounds, just plain Swedish "filmjölk".) I faintly recall kind of liking a bit of cornflakes in a bowl when I was a child, with sourmilk, ginger and sugar. Ages ago, statute-barred.

But this crunchy granola concoction - served with sour milk and some apple sauce - I quite like now and then. And I'm sure eating this will more than level any semlas eaten today. Or any day really. Recipe as follow, easy to change, omit and put together in accordance with your own nutty preferences. I'm sure that if you like fruity bits in your granola some dried berries and fruits might work really well in there too. Recipe as follows ~

3 dl spelt flakes
3 dl rye flakes
3 dl rolled oats
½ - 1 dl bran
3 tbsp flax or psyllium seeds
1 dl pecans, walnuts, macadamia
2 dl sunflower seeds or
1 dl sunflower seeds and 1 dl pumpkin seeds
1 dl chopped hazelnuts or almonds
3 tbsp brown sugar

Sprinkle it all out in a long roasting pan, roast in oven for about 30 minutes at 150-175 degrees C until everything is golden brown.


The ingredients I use are all organic, hence making this post another version of celebration of green this week.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Undomestic Goddess

My only excuse for reading this book by Shopaholic-writer Sophie Kinsella was that I bought it before I got completely annoyed with the Shopaholic series. And just because I'm in general so much wiser and so much more discerning now - nothing hrm about that I'm sure - that I don't read chick lit anymore, this book has just been collecting dust in that ever growing to-read-list. Until I recently felt I just had to read something light, silly, relaxing and possibly entertaining without being world turning and thought provoking.

As it happened I quite enjoyed the read. Rather a lot actually. It might have something to do with the fact that it was about a stressed out lawyer (check) who turned housekeeper after having made a fatal error at work. Or so she thought, since of course many things aren't always what they seem (although too predictable that bit was.)

I could so relate to a lot of the things and feelings she went through, the way she with time mellowed in her new life and got things in perspective. The way she had to keep a straight face when plebs (as in mostly her new employers) who clearly know very less than they think they know utter and act in the most ridiculous of ways. To show that you have a brain doesn't - sadly - always work in your advantage or is the diplomatic and longterm way to approach things.

Admittedly I don't play in the main character's domestically challenged league, I just celebrate the fact that a clean house is a sign of a wasted life and that any kind of idiot can live in order only a true genius master chaos (those notions are more than handy as far as I'm concerned.)

But I thoroughly enjoyed reading about a woman who didn't know how the washing machine worked thus ended up having to replace her employer's fancy clothes for thousands of £, who pretended to have trained with the award winning French chef Michel de la Roux de la Blanc but ended up ordering sandwiches for 20 instead of 2 from a catering service.

I can relate to the way she doesn't want to be useless and needing lessons for seemingly simple things but wanting to handle things on her own without asking the assistance from anyone. And working your a~~ off at work without getting any real appreciation, rather the opposite in fact from some people (although I'm pretty darn sure she at least got a more substantial appropriate salary for that a~~ off working.)

There was an intense love scene in the vegetable garden on a hot summer day and there were fresh raspberries involved and of course an interesting pleasing to the eye gardener with a sun tan. And as I've mentioned before, anything involving fresh raspberries will get my full and immediate attention of course.

The ending was a bit to easy slapdashy put together. But I suppose that comes with the genre. All and all, despite that, I thought it was a surprisingly good and entertaining book, that I recommend for some easy few hours of reading. Mustn't forget that from the book I also learnt the important lesson that you don't put dry chickpeas in the oven in order to make them melt.

As Winter Returns with the Scent of Green Green Grass


With a very sudden return of winter with blizzards and relentless winds - though making a very pretty winter wonderland yet again - I'm glad I can at least enjoy feeling squeaky gree... ahem, clean with the scent of green green grass in soapy shower shape.




I also have a greenish, wonderful new friend, who will very soon get a full presentation in a post of her own. But for now, here's a postcard from the wondrous winter land where secret dreams and fairy tales are woven, just follow the road ahead...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

On the Groovy Green Theme


As the world according to me is buzzing with new green vibes I thought it would be fun to celebrate green in all sorts of shapes and forms for a wee while. Today green will come in the shape of the caring city by the water, in the lovely Knitta-style installations which can be found here and there always a delightful surprise that certainly light up any day. And not only for the poor cold, lonely beings that have been adorned in creative and colourful outfits.

But before first of all, do notice my world is now also sporting a rather snazzy footer - scroll down, can be found at the bottom of blog page - yes, it's *surprise* green. Me pleased. Very pleased.


Another thing that I like is the brave people in Stockholm, the ones who dare ignore the fact that despite glorious sunshine it's still several degrees C below zero and no matter how lovely the weather is it's freezing cold, too darn cold for having lunch outdoors. At least it is for us very less than brave ones.


Some beings have no choice but to endure the outdoors, come rain, come shine, come heat, come snow and freezing cold. Now they at least have a bespoke outfit of the unique, warming and mood lifting kind. That's quite comforting to know.



More Knitta-style in Stockholm can be found in previous posts here and here

Friday, February 20, 2009

A New Look


All dressed in green and ready to go. Pia's got a brand new dress. Thanks to one talented John - I'm so grateful and there'll be more than good thoughts coming your way - there'll be a lush, relaxed, summery feel in this realm of the blogosphere all year around.

Celebration time, under the sweet scent of a hyacinth there's cake for everyone - and as I'm in a generous mood, not only to those who find it in their heart to leave a comment for good green luck.


Have a good weekend, I know I will!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Blog Interrupted

For sprucing up purposes only this blog will very soon go private for a while. The blog interrupted interval will depend on messiness of task. Hopefully the mission won't take dragon-slaying proportions. I distinctly hear club of interest taking notes.


Nuxe Multi Purpose Dry Oil

My nose is a sensitive one. I have been known to swoon - in delight or otherwise and mostly only in a metaphorical way - from the perfect composition of perfume, after shave, body splashes, essential oils, whiffs of flowers and herbs and so forth. So thank you cats and your litter boxes for keeping me grounded on a daily basis and somewhat less scent fastidious than I could be if I'd only live in a sacheted world.

My scent memory is a strong one - as I suppose it is in most beings - and some scents do linger on over many, many years (both on a concious as well as unconscious level.) And one of my long term favourite scent friends is the Nuxe multi purpose dry oil in the photo - multi purpose as in for body, face and hair - above. It has such a wonderful, tantalizing, swooning in a both uplifting and calming way scent to it.

The skincare product contains six precious plant oils which, I think, work wonders outside in and incapsulate oneself in a really lovely, yet subtle, scented longlasting manner. The oils are St John's wort, a plant due to its many powerful features is being used against various ailments, in calmatives, anti-depressants, herbal teas, antiseptics. If overdosed it can be poisonous. Borage, also a potent plant that contains many different oils and has anti-inflammatory properties. Camellia, is apparently more than a pretty flower.


Macademia - also one major ingredients in the Aussie haircare range not to mention one very nice flavour in Häagen-Dazs icecream -, hazelnut and sweet almond, speaks for themselves.

Not the cheapest of products, but of very high quality and worth every drop of enchanting loveliness and velvety feel of skin. Not to mention swoon factor. Now and then one deserves a treat. I once tried the oil version that contains golden particles for extra shimmer. Big mistake. The shimmer particles rubbed off everywhere, on clothes and things I handled. Silly product.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Brits Rock

The poster girl for the obvious fact that every home should have (at least) one

One (or more) of course being a créme de la créme British Shorthair. The typical lovable, jovial, purringly cuddly and always outstandingly clever looking type of feline. And oh yes, if I haven't mentioned that before, they're also rather adorable looking. Kind of. In a certain irresistable way.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Soy Yarn


This is soy. No it isn't edible - despite liquorice nose interest, but on the other hand, that nose thinks most anything should be tried out as food - it's yarn. In a mix of wool and soy. The colour, perhaps not quite visible in the photos, is a lovely soft sweet shade blend of white, grey, purple, violet. The plan is, when I've finished some (too long) ongoing yarn projects I'll turn these hanks into a cosy long scarf. One perfect way to beat the winter blues.


Grown in a responsible and long term thinking way soy can have a great environmental impact and of course many healthy benefits, read more here and here

Talk to the Hand


Today I will graciously let the hands do the talking. Since they're all spruced up and ready to show off. Or at least that was the general idea and what I had hoped for when I finally got my hands on - oh the pun of it - a much coveted trainee treatment at prestigious - home of the world renowned Swedish massage - Axelsons Gymnastical Institute.

I have been known to find more or less delight in their different supplies of trainee treatments, massages, zone therapy, shiatsu, facials, pedicures. For about 1/3 of the cost of a salon treatment you get a usually rather good, no frills, experience for sore muscles and worn minds. This was however my first go at the manicure. Nature cosmetics only, hence no varnish and such.

And I think I can safely say that this was my first and only go at it. Because as lovely as the hand massage was - mmm... - the rest of the treatment I can do, and do, at home. Myself. Oil, hand bath, scrub, a very passing cuticle treatment, nail filing, French manicure... And the uncomfortable position I had to sit in during that just over an hour treatment left me in aching need of a full body massage. Which of course just might have been the purpose.

I have been, and still am I suppose, contemplating taking some of their classes. I'd love to learn more about aromatherapy, massage at work - a whole lot of people in need of a regular work day moment of relaxation out there - and just for the pleasure and adorable fun of it, take a weekend course in dog and cat massage.

One unexpected effect of the manicure though, was that I am now able to actually lift a man in hand all by myself. That's quite impressive, don't you think?


Monday, February 16, 2009

From the Desk of Pia K

Ah, there are very few things that can set the Monday mood, pimp up the week, spruce up one's life like like a gift in shape of one's own personalized, handcrafted in jade Chinese stamp with a dragon on top. Intricate details - Chinese dragons apparently don't just spit fire, they have very tiny, adorable teeth and look constantly high on something - and beautifully made it's truly one of a kind. From now on, letters from undersigned dragon's den will be extraordinary snazzy. Do I hear an unfathomable Choir of Envious Sighs out there - yes I thought so.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Rosy Foot Salt


Remember the ethereal pottering last December? This is what became of my first attempt of making skincare products, natural ingredients only. Foot salt. Which has a heavenly scent of roses, but also - feeling slightly Simon & Garfunkel - rosemary and thyme. And obviously organic sea salt. All ingredients having their own purpose in the mix. M seriously suggests I should try the product myself before I give it away as a gift, the risk of feet falling off being rather imminent. Silly, I know.

I'm now moving on to making some interesting sugar body scrubs with herbs and essential oils that can make a weaker woman than me (of course) swoon by just a whiff of its deliciousness. And oh yes, I will then venture into the unknown by using chocolate for outer body purposes. I'm feeling daringly adventerous.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Flowery Display of Colours

This richness in colours, exquisiteness and nature's creative splendour is brought to you from the Bergianska Botanical Garden in Stockholm, where many exotic (for our latitudes) flowers and plants are in bloom right now. A rather perfect way to spend a couple of hours when winter still has us northeners in its cold, cold grip.


Enjoy and have a lovely February 14th, however you chose to spend it ~


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