Sunday, November 30, 2014
Since it's the first advent Sunday the seasonal bobbaloos thought we should to test these flavoured mulled wines (or glögg as we say in Sweden). Or rather one. I don't like neither figs nor port but enjoy chili and chocolate so we went for that one. I think it was quite lovely. With a strong aftertaste of chocolate it could have done with more chili for a greater oomf.
But to be quite honest, the bobbaloos have a bit of a drinking problem, so they only got to pose not drink. The problem is not of the kind you might think but of the drink-coffee-or-alcohol-and-there will-be-a-state-of-Gremlin. So I try to steer them away from those beverages. Even the lowest percentage of alcohol, as in this glühwein, turn them into more than a handful. And believe you me, a rampage consisting of small sized woollies isn't something you'd like to experience.
From Swedish producer Dufvenkrooks this is low alcohol mulled wine available in supermarkets and grocery stores.
Saturday, November 29, 2014
The work with the fantastic delicate yarn I got some weeks back is now in progress. Slow progress as the garn is really thin. And I couldn't find a pattern that was the equivalent of what my mind's eye saw so I went with quite a different one.
I do hope it'll turn out more than alright. This pattern is asymmetrical and blousy in shape and very different in front and back. So far I've done about 50% of the front. Slowly slowly getting there. Remember, also a work in progress needs paw approving.
Friday, November 28, 2014
The whole prepare-pumpkin-for-eating-thing is really very tiresome. Therefore I don't cook and enjoy it as much as I would. However this year I learnt some new preparing tricks (thank you, Dahn!) and I've stuffed my face full of the sunny potato-pumpkin soup + this pumpkin pie this past week.
Pumpkin soup is vegan, this pie could and should be if you find a dairy free butter without palm oil. Sadly that's not available in Sweden so I used liquid butter/oil for the crust.
I will update with the recipe tomorrow. It's a lovely low on sugar pie so I guess you could say it's health both for body and soul.
Vegan pumpkin pie
For the crust:
100 g dairy free butter (nb not available without palm oil in Sweden so I used liquid butter/oil)
3 dl flour
3 dl flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
0,5 tsp baking powder
0,5 dl water
Mix the ingredients together in a food processor (or by hand) until a ball. Roll the dough and fill a buttered tin, with a removable lining, with the crust (I can never be bothered with rolling pie doughs, so I just line the tin with the dough by hand). Let it rest in the fridge for an hour. Then let it pre-bake in the middle of the oven in 200C for 10 minutes.
For the pumpkin filling:
5 dl pumpkin puree
2 dl oats or soy or almond milk
1 dl caster sugar
4 tbsp potato flour
1 tsp vanilla sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
0,5 tsp ginger
0,5 tsp clove
0,25 tsp nutmeg
0,25 tsp allspice
Blend the ingredients together until a smooth puree. Fill the pre-baked pie crust with the filling- Let it bake in the middle of the oven in 225C for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to 175C and bake it for another 50 minutes. Let it cool and then rest it in the fridge overnight before serving.
Serve with dairy free whipped cream (I use Alpro soy cream).
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Using nailpolish is a very regular thing for me since a few years. And since then my nailpolish wardrobe has grown - the pink office nailpolish shelf is a
Although, when you're looking for a quick and affordable treat with colour oomf a good nailpolish is the perfect thing. This is my first nailpolish from M.A.C - and possibly my only since the information I had that their products are not subject to animal testing seems to be so-so. How quickly things change... - and it's in a lovely unusual shade of winered meets purple. And its name is Rebel. Which of course is an awesome name. The quality seems good, too bad about the animal-testing-part. As that so very clearly is in no way necessary for any beauty-product to be subjected too.
What are your favourite vegan nailpolish of good quality?
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Only a little glimpse of the batch, wouldn't want to spoil the card surprise too much...
Just like last year this year's batch of fresh from the printer Prosit Ord & Bild AB's Christmas cards and such to be arrived on the 20ish of November.
And just like last year (like every year I enjoy them very much. Hopefully the receivers to be will too.
And on the receiving end can be you too! Just like last year (three's a magic number) I'd be happy to send you one fabulous Christmas card should you so wish, give me a holler in the comment or send me an email.
As I'm very fond of great, personal Christmas cards - and have very strong opinions on them - I would of course love it even more if you'd like to swap cards with me. That would be such fun I'm sure!
I will start sending them in mid December, depending on where in the world they'll head, so there's still plenty on time to let me know.
PS I've ordered my Christmas cards from MOO since 2008, it might have been quite a debacle back then, but I'm very grateful that got sorted and I haven't *touch wood* experienced any such issues when ordering since. DS
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
This is my first hyacinth of winter season 2014. It's the rare specimen called bobbaloo hyacinth, as gorgeous in scent as it is in colour and natural appearance. Its scent have made me so very happy in the pink office for a couple of weeks now. Who needs scented candles or fabulastic body lotions and potions when you have hyacinths?
This particular pink colour and tint is new to me and it's adorable. The smell of hyacinth might be my favourite wintertime /Christmas scent.
A whole lot of heart.
Monday, November 24, 2014
I'm currently seeing a coach. Not because I saw an imminent need for one but because an acquaintance of mine, who's an HR-manager, is taking a coaching course and she was looking for clients to practice with. Since it was four sessions for free and I've sadly been forced to reform parts of my dreams and goals this year I thought it would be a good thing for me too. What do I want with my professional life now and how do I get there.
There are probably at least as much charlatans in the coaching business as there are good and great ones. So I'm usually healthy sceptical whenever I meet one. And I've met quite a few, from really bad to really good. When they're good they're empathic and have a knack for asking the right questions, leading you to find the answers yourself. When you leave the session you feel totally inspired, the world is your oyster and the sky is limitless.
After three sessions I feel it's been very good for me. I've given myself tasks on the goal-reaching road after every session. First time there were quite a few but after I'd done them it turned out there were no obvious and appealing ways forward with those particular ones. Even if it was clarifying it was also rather disappointing.
It was good to talk that through too. And the insight that even if I felt I'd done very little, because the outcome was so unsubstantial, I had in fact done loads. And what didn't happen wasn't because of me but because I can not control how other people/organisations attitudes, reactions or actions, I can only control what I do myself. Which of course isn't rocket science, but sometimes it takes someone else to point such obviousness out.
Since I've been overloaded with work these past two weeks in particular I haven't been able to really dig into the recent tasks I've given myself. But they're still viable and important and without any due date of course. Instead of feeling I need to do them all at once, if I tick one of them off each day I'll get there soon. Today I've even ticked two off the list.
And today's session was a good one. Which made me laugh and think. About how my mind works and what pushes me in general and forward.
We did and exercise involving the Venn diagram to see partly what I'm looking for in a dream client, collaboration or assignment, partly what I'm "all" about.
And here's when Mr Clooney appears in the equation. Given the features and attributes I'm looking for in my dream client/cooperation partner the symbol for s/he/it is apparently George Clooney. I have no idea how that happened but it made me laugh and the insight that it does make really good sense is a revelation.
This doesn't mean, however awesome that would be, my new goal is to actually have George Clooney as the dream client to work towards. It just means that I've refined qualities for new possible dream collaborations and goals. Thank you for that Mr Clooney, much obliged. Your next coffee is on me.
Sunday, November 23, 2014
What can I say other than I'm struly sorry I missed saying happy birthday to you on your actually birthday yesterday, November 22nd. Apart from being the oldest of the cats in this residence now you're a gentle soul, kind and quiet. You've been a superb caring, sweet mother and grandmother. And I think you've enjoyed sharing home with us, the rest of the feline herd as well as all those years with loaf dog extraordinaire. May you have lovely years to come, with lots of snuggles of all sorts
Happy tad belated birthday,
Saturday, November 22, 2014
I don't each much pasta but recently I've become very fond of this easy, creamy way of doing pasta sauce and just put whatever veggies and vegan proteing you have at home in it. It's delicious whatever you chose to add to the sauce. Today I went with vegan ham from Astrid och aporna (Astrid and the monkeys, same brand that makes my new vegan cheese favourite Jeezly) - not that I usually enjoy meat substitutes that imitates animal flesh in texture and flavour, but this is a rather nice product to vary the usual soy and tofu products with - and green asparagus. It was such a great flavour and texture combination and I really need to eat more asparagus on a regular basis!
The sauce is made with Oatly oats milk - like in the green pea soup - a bit of flour for thickening, salt, pepper and whatever spices you might enjoy, left over Jeezly, let it simmer until thickened, add the vegan ham and asparagus (or whatever vegan proteinn and veggies you enjoy) and let it boil for a few minutes. Serve with pasta of choice.
Not much of a recipe I know. And I really don't work with any specific amounts of the ingredients when I do this sauce, but you get the idea and hopefully it'll inspire you to an easy peasy awesome animal friendly pasta sauce.
Also happy that Swedish vegan food products now is fairly easy to find in food stores all over Sweden - this is Astrid and apornas soy steaks, Jeezly and top right the vegan ham I used called "strimlad sk*nka" (shredded h*m) - congrats to the consumers, the animals, the health and the environment!
Friday, November 21, 2014
There's something about Ztina. Whatever one's doing she's there within seconds taking it for granted she's a natural part of everything, everywhere in this residence. I strongly suspect she's a cat version of Little Loaf. Just more agile.
I will from now on call her Little Miss Lens Louse, as Little White, Sister Snow and such doesn't really capture her essence somehow.
She even, apparently, has a way of capturing a whole blog post which was suppose to be about the content of the special scent delivery the other day. Typical lens louse behaviour!
That said. I adore every single scent I got. Of which all was new to me and I had just hoped they'd be great given the descriptions on the Bath & Body Works website. And they were. I've only tried one so far, the one I had most looked forward to; Twisted peppermint. So much fabulousness in one bottle! If there was ever such a thing as heaven around Christmas this would surely be the smell of it. A body cream with strong and distinct scent of peppermint rocks (or polkagris as we call them in Sweden). Heart.
Of the six bottles two more are winter season / holiday traditions scents; Winter candy apple (body cream) and Sugar plum dream (body lotion) and the other three are summerish; Oahu coconut sunset (body lotion, similar to the Maui hibiscus beach one I adored last time), Pure paradise (fragrance mist, very Pia in scent as M puts it) and Endless weekend (body lotion). I have been saving on the Maui body lotion, but now I see, if not endless but many months of being swept in delicious fragrances before me.
And even if the weekend may not be endless, it is very welcome. Never mind I will spend some time working during it this time around too - because oh how I'm looking forward to the upcoming invoicing! And who knows how long this particular flow will last, even if I'm very much looking forward to working with stuff that makes my creative, compassionate heart truly sing I'm also immensely grateful for opportunities to pay bills/have fun and do something I do very well namely writing and copywriting. Now I'm just looking for that extra fullfillment and joy in my work.
So it's going to be a good weekend I'm sure. And above all, a very sweet-scented one.
Happy weekend one and all ~
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Searching for older blog posts about bread it seems I've written quite a few. I'm glad to report though that since the one I wrote in 2008 Sweden is swamped (at least in the big cities) with great (sourdough) bakeries. And I'm certainly not the only one who never buys bread at the supermarket anymore.
This dark rye bread with walnuts and sea salt I got the other day. I don't think I've bought anything from small bakery-chain / cafe Bröd & Salt (Bread & Salt) before but given the awesomeness of this loaf I will certainly return. Jam-packed with flavour and texture it tastes great with a dollop of butter and Jeezly vegan cheese for breakfast! Although, gently removing the sea salt before eating is essential, otherwise it's like eating a spoonful of salt straight up.
My CEO (ie me, myself and I) used to treat me to a soy latte/week or every second week. Since that's now a very rare thing the new treat is that I should have great bread for breakfast and most importantly; at least once a week I should have something really decent to look forward to when I take a fika break at home. Like a very nice bun or cake waiting for me in the freezer.
These two hit the spot on two different occasions this past intense work week, from one of my favourite bakeries Petrus, a sugar bun and a mumma (puff paste bun rolled in cardamom). It's important to have a bit of the health for the soul too.
What I don't use much these days is the ever popular breadbaskets. Looking at the old pictures of their immense feline popularity I might have to put them out for cats instead of bread again.
What's your favourite bakery/bread?
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Welcome to the blog which seems to be a bit weather obsessed at the moment. Which isn't difficult to grasp given the gloom and doom of Swedish climate at the moment alas.
But today there was proof that there really are blue skies above all that dull greyness we call sky. And there was glimpses of sun. In other words euphoria.
And even my suburb train station - which I really don't like for many reasons - was a little bit pretty. Given the right light and the right mood.
The "discovery" of a "new" cafe which was cosy, cute and with a fabulastic array of bread, cakes and buns teamed up with a great chat - ie the best illustration of the Swedish concept fika (I realised I hadn't created a lable/tag for that so better late than never now there is one) - also made for a really inspirational day overall.
And walking to the train home, at one of my favourite train stations, if not THE favourite, the late winter afternoon Stockholm was so very pretty, soaked in magic light. And life was more than alright.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
This is the special delivery of my day - a true bag of happiness. In the shape of the most deliciously scented lotions and potions from one of my favourite skincare brands Bath & Body Works. Which sadly still isn't available in Sweden. So I have to rely on kind souls from overseas bringing the bottles of goodness.
Every single bottle is of a different scent. And they all smell absolutely fantastic. I will reveal the content another day.
The special delivery person, who happens to be vegan, and I also had lunch at Falafelbaren as well as fabulous rawfood fika at little organic shop/cafe 8T8 - I think you can tell how delicious these chocolate treats were from the picture alone...
And she got the beanie. Despite the continous lack of sun it was a day of a very fine sort. It was a day to be grateful for.
Even if there's no hedgehog around to endorse the bottles of sweet scented things, like past summer.
Monday, November 17, 2014
It's official. The month of November has so far only offered 2 whole hours of sun in Stockholm. Two. Hours. Sun. And not even cohesively. Although in this case I'm not sure that would have been better or worse.
The lack of sun and natural vitamin D was an issue in October already. It's really really bad for the mood and the overall well-being. And given I'm eating vitamin D supplements and other stuff plus overall decent food I'd hate to know how it'd feel if I wasn't. Another depressing effect of climate change.
Two months ago the sun was still generous. Not to mention four glorious months ago... Everything feels better with a reasonable amount of sun. There's sadly only so much cat cuddles and good cups of teas can do for the overall mood when the body and soul scream for sun.
How do you survive reasonably intact during this time of the Scandinavian year? Or wherever you might live with similar dark, glum weather?
Sunday, November 16, 2014
A week later I'm still swamped with work of the copywriting kind and a dash of other matters. Neither time nor energy for much else. Except drinking copious amount of fine tea. Behold two new Swedish teas from Friggs with superfruits I've found, one rooibos with raspberry and pomegranate (lovely!) the other green tea with sea buckthorn and mango (sounds lovley, but it's a bit on the weak side in flavour unfortunately).
Yup, they have been thoroughly paw inspected. By Little Miss Blue Eyes ie one of the Prosit sisters. It's impawtant that the CEO gets her food and drink properly approved too.
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Attended a family gathering (in celebration of someone's 85th birthday) today. And while other people seem more interested in talking to eachother and ooing over babies I am, as usual, not the least bit interested in those participants. I only have eyes for the dogs, or whatever animals attend the gathering.
Today I was so very lucky to meet, greet and cuddle with not only one or two but three party dogs! Above is Wilson, 4 year old bordercollie mix, supersweet and mild tempered. He found Anton, 2 year old french bulldog, a bit too much.
Fun and energetic he reminded me a lot of Little Loaf. But to be honest I'm not sure, would I ever get a dog again, I'd want one this *on* again. They get more philosophical with age, but still, more than a handfull of dog...
Last and least in age, 5 months old Timmo, Spanish water dog. Such a soft bundle of fluff and puppiness! I'm going to see him (and the rooster and chickens he live with!) next weekend. Hopefully in better light conditions then.
Every party would be a better party with furry attendees as far as I'm concerned.
Friday, November 14, 2014
Some years ago I bought this beautiful acrylic yarn in order to make a blanket for Little Loaf. I never turned the yarn into that blanket. And Little Loaf darling is no more. It may be a beautiful looking yarn, but its still acrylic and I don't enjoy non-natural fibers for knitting and crocheting so it's just been biding its time.
Recently I took part in a little Pay It Forward-challenge which consists in doing something nice for five people and hopefully these random five will do something nice for another five each and so forth. I think it's a really lovely, simple little idea to spread goodness with!
I decided to knit one of my usual beanies - ie not the odd-cat-eared one - since the yarn is kind of magic, acrylic or not, to be a part of this challenge. And I think it turned out really lovely. The reason for it being made into something else than a doggie blanket, despite me not liking acrylic yarn, is that the beanie is meant for a vegan. And hardcore vegans don't use anything that has to do with animals ie that includes wool. I'm hoping the receiver will enjoy it when we meet next week. And I also hope the person in question doesn't read this blog. If so, look away, look away, forget you ever saw this!
Thursday, November 13, 2014
A really good falafel is hard to find. At least in Stockholm. But today I met what is most likely the best falafel I've ever had. In Stockholm and elsewhere.
Best overall falafel meal is still by far Hummus Bar in Budapest. Though as far as falafel itself goes, this one was super lovely, both in texture and flavour. Light and crispy.
The falafel and I met at popular hipster place (though I was glad to see there was a wide range of other guests too) Falafelbaren (The Falafel bar) and enjoyed a lunch together. Or at least I enjoyed the lunch, falafel was simply eaten.
I chose the falafel salad with halloumi. I know, I'm trying to eat vegan as much as possible but it was ages ago since I had halloumi and it looked so good. Sadly - or not! - it didn't taste much and it was difficult to remember why I've used to love halloumi. If there'll ever be a vegan version I'm no stranger to trying it of course...
The rest of the salad consisted of different mezes with flavour and textures that made the palate a very happy one. (Although carrot salad was no where near as heavenly as the Hummus Bar carrot and coriander one...)
My company chose luxuary falafel in pita bread and enjoyed it immensely too.
All food served at Falafelbaren is vegetarian. Most of it is vegan apart from the cheese and egg in a couple of dishes. The rennet in the cheese is non-animal.
Already looking forward to my next lunch there!
Edit, January 2015 - Please beware of a horribly slippery floor in the restaurant. I crash landed and unfortunately the coat needed a good dry cleaning after the incident, but things could really have gone so much worse. They apologized profusely but I was not offered anything as a compensation, like a free meal.
Edit again - they were really good on social media after the incident and they offered to pay my dry cleaning. Great customer service!
Food - 4/5
Service - 3/5
Ambiance - 2/5
Value for money - 4/5
Mon - Fri 11 am - 7 pm (or until they run out of falafel)
Sat 11 am - 4 pm
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Sometimes you just KNOW that really comfortable dress on serious sale will go SO very well with that old cardigan.
And finding the perfect shoes for an outfit in question is never, hrm, an issue in this residence...
I'm glad to say I was spot on correct in my knowing this time.
Also, this IS the perfect clothes combination; a good dress + a decent cardigan + great shoes. Works all year around and few, very few, are the occasions when you would be over- or underdressed. And it's oh so darn comfortable too.
What's your perfect outfit combo?
Cardigan: Bric a Brac Stockholm - old blogpost about the shop
Shoes: El Naturalista Dome maryjanes - old blogpost about them
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Behold the greenest and simplest of soups - creamy vegan pea soup made from frozen, thawed peas and Oatly oats milk only. Plus salt and spices obviously. I love when cooking can be made that simple and still with an absolutely delicious, healthy and filling end result.
No time for the more laboursome pumpkin soup yet, but there will be. Soon.
And one day I will blog more extensively about the fabulous Swedish brand Oatly which produces excellent healthy, vegan options to cows' milk and other dairy products - these products are made for humans not cow babies - made from oats. They have grand packaging with cocky copywriting (which I adore, it's very much in the same style as innocent smoothies...) and with that the've managed to enrage the horrific dairy industry so much - with slogans such as "Welcome to the post milk society" - that they've in fact been sued for their marketing. Go Oatly!
What's your favourite vegetarian/vegan soup?
Monday, November 10, 2014
Currently being unexpectedly swamped with copywriting work -
I'm very grateful of course, but I'm also really looking forward to finding assignments and collaborations where I
a) get reasonably paid for
b) doing things I love and am really good at and
c) at the same time making this world a better place
so if you're listening, oh mighty Universe, I'm so ready for that now! -
I don't find much time for cooking and such. At least not from any intricate recipes. But I'm hoping that I'll find a bit of time very soon to turn these gorgeous pumpkins into creamy pumpkin soups and vegan pumpkin pies. The bobbaloos brought them home so it would be a shame to having let that hard work been a waste - they are so looking forward to a generous portion of pumpkin pie, them small sized woollies.
What do you make and bake with pumpkin?
Do you have any favourite recipe?
Sunday, November 09, 2014
In the adorable yarn shop Garnboden Ulligt & Gulligt (The Yarn shop Wolly & Cuddlesome) - neighbour in Enköping with one of my favourite cafes - with oh so many droolworthy yarns and a very enthusiastic, helpful and sweet proprietor there is also a feline helper.
It's not until recently I've met him, but I do love any business that have furry helpers. And it's somehow kind of obvious that such a cute shop filled with addictive candy for yarn-aholics should also have the purrfect helper.
The help consists of sleeping in an armchair behind the counter. But I'm certain his mere presence, like any cat's or dog's or fine being's, oozes extra magic over the shop and its yarns.
My Lovikka mittens to be and the sweet sweater to be will be even more splendid for it, I'm sure.
Do you have a favourite shop or
other establishment with a perfect furry helper?
Saturday, November 08, 2014
It's been a week when I haven't been able to stop thinking about a certain gorgeous yarn. It begged to be ticked of that wish-list. Resistance was futile.
My mind's eye is seeing a knitted sweet sweater, very simple in tunic-style where the colours (beige, blue, orange and green) of the yarn is in focus not an intricate pattern. The hand-dyed wool yarn from Swedish Limmo Design is really thin so I'm thinking it'll take a while to complete. But I hope to knit a reasonable amount every eveving in front of the TV. And I'm adamant it'll be a plesing end result I'll want to wear - not like the bulky one from last season that only looks good with the perfect accessory - so I'll knit as fast as i can!
PS A) Of course there's always a bobbaloo in the Scandinavian settlement that matches any colour of yarn. B) Of course the yarn gets the paw approval it deserves. Or possible the inspector thinks there's no need for more yarn when there are very impawtant felines to take care of. DS
Friday, November 07, 2014
Now and then you make the acquaintance of food that immediately makes you think 'How did I survive without the taste and texture of this?'.
The humble edamame bean is such a food thing for me. Of course it's been some years now since we first met. And we don't have meetups very often.
But still, everytime our lips meet - whatever did I do without the delightful satisfaction the green, crunchy, nutty goodness of edamame brings?
They're so good as is and I mostly eat them 'plain' with a dash of sea salt only. But perhaps you have a favourite edamame recipe you'd care to share? If so, that would be awfully sweet of you.
Thursday, November 06, 2014
Exactly a month earlier than last year, and a lot less impressive than in 2012, today was the first day of snow for this winter season. It was sadly neither a pretty nor pleasant experience.
It's not often I find that I've put on too little clothing, but today I did. I wouldn't have minded those cosy bloomers and a quite not so delicate dress on top.
On the plus side on this gloomy, cold, wet day was an interesting breakfast seminar about email marketing trends (more of later), good solo fika moments, a lovely vegetarian lunch at a favourite place and a much needed pampering session at the hairdresser.
Conclusion, apart from the weather (which tends to cover the world and mind like a big wet, uninspiring blanket these days) it was quite a fine day, that was rounded of with some good (I hope) job news (initially for next week, but I hope it's a trend that keeps on giving). Peace.