Monday, February 18, 2019

the highs and lows of february update

vegan food stockholm, february 2019 -

Dear potential clients and companies, please do not get in touch asking about my availability and fees and think I'll be so happy to be asked I'll work for free. The right approach would be to actually a) know your own budget and b) do research the market fees. And by all means never ever get back and say things like "unfortunately we have a very limited budget and we've talked this through and we feel this is something a student can do." That is just utterly offensive, disrespectful and unprofessional.

Freelancing business owners and consultants actually do their jobs as a their living. Free-lancing doesn't mean we work for free, I'm sorry that you've misunderstood that. We have more or less experience within our fields, but we're all professionals and that's what you pay for. So go ahead and let a student do it, and you'll get the result you pay (or not) for. And you know, that besides me never wanting to work with you, that I'll never ever recommend you as a client to someone else, right?

And after all these years, no, firmly no, I am a not a serf just because I decided to go my own way and offering my experience and services via my own business instead of being employed.

sheep o’hoy! fabulous sheep dress from palava (organic cotton), february 2019 💚🐑

Now, that's the most annoying thing that happened last week out of the way - and forever available in writing on the internetz. Here's a close-up glimpse of the gorgeous sheep dress I mentioned in the last post, from Palava. It makes me happy.

sheep o’hoy! fabulous sheep dress from palava (organic cotton), february 2019 💚🐑

Zigne has reluctantly paw approved it, but she still thinks it's such weirdness of all weirdnesses that amongst all the animal prints they've designed there are still no cats visible anywhere. She has even let Palava know about that blatant disrespect for the best animal in the whole wide world.

shoe per diem, feb 17, 2019 - look no ice

I'm also happy to report that I managed to make the cold a reasonably short one, with all that ginger, citrus and spices, and it was gone within less than a week. Grateful I am.

I've had the new Marimekko coat out for s spin a few times, and I'm doing my very best to look past its lint-and-cat-hair-magnetic-properties. Apart from that annoying trait it's both practical and cute, and a source for compliments apparently. Which is always nice.

the body shop, february 2019 - and snoopervisor zigne 💚

On the subject of compliments. I bought some fragrant necesseties at the Body Shop outlet last week - the Moringa body butter is one of my favourite skincare products ever, sad to hear they'll discontinue the extra large jars - and when I had to give my personal number to the cashier she just exclaimed "I must say you really don't look your age!". Upon which I answered, well thank you so much, it must be for all the fabulous skincare products I use.

Which obviously isn't the whole truth. Thank you genes too. And even if noone can stay completely away from heartache, sorrow and pain in life - and noone should, since it's through them we grow into better, more compassionate people - but most of us can at least take care of ourselves, inside out, eat well and stay away from harmful, toxic substances (and situations) that we are aware of.

Swedes usually make a big deal of having to show their identity card at the Systembolaget, to prove they're over 20 years old. As I never shop at Systembolaget - ie I rarely drink alcohol - that has never happened to me. But really, I'd much rather get a skincare professional in a beauty shop saying I look much younger than my age than a cashier selling alcohol.

new glasses, february 2019

I also went to the optician last week, and decided on a couple of new glasses so I could finally have sunglass clip-ons. Unfortunately the pair I tried on a while back was sold out at the moment - and here's I thinking I'm so unique, when half of Stockholm apparently chose the same frames, bah - so I chose others. But hopefully these frames will be back in stock soon.

After finding my beloved dotty glasses in 2011 I've never looked back at contact lenses again. I've sadly never found anything similar in frames as those, but I have enjoyed most of my glasses a lot anyway. It's difficult to imagine myself without glasses, they're so much me, a style statement I suppose.

But when the optician asked if I wanted to try on lenses to make it easier to chose frames I sad yes. It was such a weird situation, to be able to see so well and not having to watch the world through spectacles. Unfortunately, despite what the Body Shop cashier said, the age apparently show when I wear lenses, I get long-sighted and can't read and write properly close up. Photos and photo editing is just a blur. Thus I'd need reading glasses to have contact lenses. Which was a bit of a shocker actually. Who knew it would be so much easier to just wear glasses?

Still thinking of having a box of lenses available anyway, to wear with all my old sunglasses I never can wear these days (since I'm blind as a bat without my glasses/prescription sunglasses).

vegan food stockholm, february 2019 -

Have also had my first lovely semla of the year - from Bagar'n Hornstull, a bakery that have a lot of vegan buns and pastries. The funny thing is that the bakery, situated close to the underground station Hornstull, was around even before I was born. My family lived in that neighbourhood when I was a kid and I remember we shopped breads and buns there even then. 

the army of kindness 💚, pug baron and labrador mynta, february 2019

And I got to meet the army of cuteness and kindness. Pug Baron and labrador Mynta. We could all sleep safely if that was the only army around.

the army of kindness 💚, pug baron and labrador mynta, february 2019

six years ago ❤️💔

Was reminded that today was the day we were forced to say the final farewell to Little Loaf. An exceptional little character. And since my every attempt so far to welcome a new doggie to this house have been unsuccessful, perhaps he was the one and only woof for me. Well, what's meant to be will be, but you can't help but wonder...

snowdrops and zigne, february 16, 2019

As you might have noticed by the pictures already, the snow and ice have basically melted already and very quickly. Spring is very much in the air, which is quite scary on these latitudes. Much too soon, as in 1-2 months too soon. As much as one usually looks forward to spring and the absence of dark evenings, ice and snow, after last year's horrific hot and exhausting, and all the wild fires, summer I'm seriously afraid of how things will look this year. Climate change moves faster than ever, and the growth is exponential.

And with that in mind everyone should be afraid, seriously worried, demand change and not least change themselves. Yet, so little is done - apart from the amazing school strikes #fridaysforfuture started by the inspirational, smart Greta of course - it is truly heartbreaking.

vegan food stockholm, february 2019 -

Then clever copywriting and advertising like this makes me happy. "Have the balls to make the world a better place" by Swedish Stockholm-based vegan family company Vegme - that makes excellent plantbased protein for the present and the future.

vegan food stockholm, february 2019 -

A pun is never wrong, in my opinion. And even better when it's actually a tasty pun that can save many innocent lives.

vegan brunch at radisson blu royal park hotel, solna, stockholm, sweden, february 17, 2019 đŸŒ±đŸ’š -

Talking about tasty food that saves lives, I finally attended a much talked about vegan brunch yesterday at the Radisson Blu Royal Park Hotel in Stockholm, suburb Solna. It was great, with a few kinks, and I was really impressed about all that was offered, the inventiveness and ambition of the weekly plantbased event.

I'll share more views and photos of the food in a post of its own - which it certainly deserves! - later this week. For now - a post-vegan-brunch-coma-wefie, with my friend aka Sporty Spice in animal rights garment "Always on the side of the animals" and me in Marimekko, but no less on the side of the animals.

post-vegan brunch selfies, radisson blu royal park hotel, solna, stockholm, sweden, february 17, 2019 - always on the animals’ side đŸŒ±đŸ’š

And, February dearie, more goody goody goodness my way, m'kay?
A plethora of gratitude in advance.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

february so far

vegan food at home, february 2019 -

Dear Blog, it has been two years since a cold, so I guess I shouldn't complain that one has graced me with its present again. And since I stuffed myself full of ginger, citrus, chili, garlic and various hot drinks since Tuesday (since I had a meeting on Thursday I really really didn't want to miss) I'm through the worst (touch wood) quicker than usual, hooray!

vegan food at home, february 2019 -

So glad I stumbled over these favourite German ginger herb coughdrops in a health food store last month, I've ate a lot of them this past week, and alongside ginger tea and ginger shots they have worked wonder.

luddkolt’s british shorthair, february 2019 -

How about the rest of February on these latitudes then? Well, the main thing is probably the crazy, capricious winter weather. Global warming certainly has many unpleasant faces and now we've had the scary ice followed by heaps of snow, and then rain. Which turned public transport, roads and streets into havoc for a few days. Buses getting stuck and sliding (and with buses in Stockholm for some mad mad reason not being equipped with winter tires on all tires, you can imagine the scenes...), cars too. The public preparation for this kind of weather, that will only get worse and the new "normal" is very very poor in Stockholm. It shouldn't be a surprise for anyone, but it obviously is.

ootd (marimekko), february 2019

This is the first year I've bought and worn spikes on my boots, and I have to say I don't know how I've managed these past 5-6 winters without them. Brilliant on scary scary ice they are. Unfortunately the ice gripper design lacks a bit, thus I've lost them three times in a couple of weeks, but managed to retrace my steps and found them. Which obviously won't be the case every time it happens, and they're to expensive to keep buying again and again. So I got a pair of better designed heel grippers too. Which are also much easier to remove when your indoors or on snow-free streets.

icebug, february 2019

But most important of all, I did succumbed and got a pair of Swedish Icebug boots (which obviously are designed for Scandinavian weather, that's more than you can say for most shoes and boots designed and made in quite different weather alas...). It's such a pity and nuiscance they *had to* add that suede part on the boots, it serves absolutely no purpose as the boots are perfectly weather proofed without it. And most of their shoes and boots are accidently vegan anyway.

But this was the only model that fitted my needs, and I chose safety over my non-leather values. So many recommendations from friends, and also my physical therapist. Have only worn them a couple of times so far, but they are very comfortable, warm and feels very sturdy on these treacherous streets.

Given the persistent raining these past days though, which has washed away a substantial part of both snow and ice, I'm not sure when I'll desperately need the Icebugs next. Ah well, they're here and at my beckoning when needed.

icebug, february 2019

It was *a bit* of a mess with the delivery company Budbee - which I'd only had great things to say about before - which delivered them though. I followed the delivery in real time and when I saw they had stopped at the parking lot I went out to get the package. But before the driver turned up I got a notification that my package had been delivered. And the only reaction was obviously WTF?! No phone number, but their chat was opened and I was so angry, where were my rather expensive, pre-paid and necessary boots?

Ten minutes later there was a knock at the door and two women living two streets down also at a number 3 turned up with my package. Which I'm ever so grateful for. Because they could have just as easily been lost or the wrong recipient not been home. (Also I specifically told Budbee not to leave the package outside the door...). It's pretty basic knowledge for a delivery driver to know the maps and be certain s/he delivers to the right address imho.

I'm expecting another package from them next week. I do hope they will do better. *Insert rolling eyes* (Which is probably my most used emoji alas.)

stockholm and suburbs, sweden, february 2019 -

On the subject of annoying things, my new iPhone, which I only got in September/October -

and what a mess that was before we managed to sort out the previous subscription, get the right phone for the right price, iCloud, installing... And it was the week after I broke my arm too. Exhausting it was. And infuriating, I don't think I've written about this before but at a couple of pints I was so angry and the stupidity of it all and my own shortcomings (I'm glad I'm stubborn) that I just screamed and hit things when I put down the phone after talking with the customer "service" -

is acting up. Both the keypad and the camera and other things here and there. It obviously needs fixing, but seriously, most of us have a good portion of our lives in our smartphones and we also need them for our works. How will that work? Of course, I did survive the stolen iphone in 2013... An unwanted digital detox one might say. But one does expect a rather expensive thing to work flawlessly more than 4 months though.

stockholm and suburbs, sweden, february 2019 -

On the subject of work, I did have a pretty great job interview last week. For what seems like a great company with focus on sustainability. Fingers crossed I'll be one of the four that get called to a second interview next week. I felt we were a great match, hope the recruiter felt that too. Though obviously you never know who you are up against of course. What is meant to be will be, as always.

ootd (marimekko), february 2019

Post-interview I. With the obligatory ginger herb cough drop. Accidently all kitted in Marimekko. Or perhaps, dressed for happiness success.

I was also emailed by another great company, within the health and sustainability sector, about a copy project gig. After I had posted about one of their products on Instagram they'd apparently kindly stalked me online and contacted me. That made me very happy. I hope we can agree on the details, it would be such an interesting, fun and special gig.

vegan food at home, february 2019 -

On the topic of health, I've enjoyed eating overnight oats and chia puddings in cafes, but it's not until 2019 I've begun making my own versions. They've all been lovely. And I'll share some suggestions for ingredients in a post of its own to come. And yes, crunchy peanutbutter is a delightful part of it, not to be missed.

vegan food at home, february 2019 -

On food. I've come to realize how convenient and stress-free it is to order online and get home delivery. You can get most of the heavy stuff that's a nuisance to drag along on the bus or schedule a carpooling for, delivered to the door. Which is a relief concidering my arm in rehab as well as the treacherous roads now.

One of the things I've finally had the time to eat via this delivery is the Swedish frozen vegan pizzas from Oumph. Which turned out to be just lovely, the dough is fantastic and the flavour/texture is great. teamed up with a nice salad it's such a treat for dinner.

For you living in the UK, if you haven't tried the plantbased Oumph products yet, you really should asap. You won't be disappointed.

handmade squirrel and acorn necklace, palava, february 2019 (photo nina d)

About the UK. Remember my fabulous budgie skirt? And the grand sausage dog cardigan? I now have a fantastic sheep dress from Palava too. Organic cotton in a snazzy 1950ies model, quite unlike anything else that I have and I was a bit catious in ordering something as fitted as that (never mind measuring carefully and talking with the customer services about the sizes). But it was such a great fit when it arrived!

Haven't taken a photo of it yet, the snow rained away before I had a chance to make a dreamy capture of it, but trust me, cuteness galore. And so perfect with my favourite old applegreen shoes. When spring comes. (Seems awfully far away currently, but I fear it will be as short as last year and another devastatingly hot summer will follow...)

So instead of sheep dress, the above picture is of a sweet handmade necklace from Palava too, which I got on sale. Squirrels and acorn - which is one of my favourite things also in bobbaloo shape - how adorable is that? (Photo taken by a friend.)

maria nila vegan hair colours, february 2019

Something else I got for spring, hair colours. Or specifically vegan colour refreshers from Swedish brand Maria Nila - which has fantastic haircare products I highly recommend, all vegan - hair masques which colour that lasts 4-10 washes. I've been wanting to colour my hair pink or green for years, but I've never felt like bleaching my hair to get that perfectly pink effect. As I've struggle enough to accept the natural greys...

But now I thought maybe those greys can work to my colour advantage. And the worst thing that can happen is that there'll be no real colour visibility but I've only had a good nourishing hair masque. When the woolly hats and caps come off I'll have a go at these bottles.

luddkolt’s british shorthair, february 2019 -

Currently though, life is as much as possible snuggles with these inspirational beings, whose new favourite sleeping arrangements - despite their new luxurious bed - is various versions of this. One corner of the sofa is reluctantly left for me. And many cups of tea and other warm beverages - hello  golden mylk, beetroot latte and vegan hot cocoa with whipped cream and plantbased marshmallows... - while watching TV or reading books.

luddkolt’s british shorthair, february 2019 -

My favourite TV crush right now is the addictive Australian drama "A place to call home". Strong characters, great actors (and stylish costumes). I discovered it by chance on SVT Play before Christmas and was hooked after a couple of episodes. Now watching season four - previous seasons still available on Play in Sweden - I'll be sad when the final season six will have be shown. It gets all thumbs and paws up for well worth watching.

vegan scented candles from - 2019

Oh, February, you've been such an interesting mix of highs and lows and learning experiences so far, let's keep up the good work and make it an epically fabulastic month, okey?

Sunday, January 27, 2019

a shower curtain named bobby

somebody’s watching me, shower curtain 2018 đŸ˜»

A few years ago I saw a fantastic cat shower curtain on Instagram, from Society6.

Yes, I switch between my cross-stitched roses, the birdies and the Marimekko Unikko one (the duckiest shower curtain I gave to charity since I found the Peking duck depiction offensive, simply not the thing I want to look at in the shower. Or anywhere else for that matter).

But strangely enough it has been over 10 years since I had a cat shower curtain. Quelle horreur!

a shower curtain named bobby et al, december 2019

Browsing the Society6 website I found was can only be described as THE perfect one for a knitting, cat-loving, ex-British Shorthair breeder - meet Bobby.

a shower curtain named bobby et al, december 2019

That facial expression of contempt, betrayal and superiority in a delightful blend of smooch-worthiness is an expression well-known for any owner of a blue brit. Well, it's not an expression exclusive to the blue ones I suppose...

a shower curtain named bobby et al, december 2019

I rarely order things from the US anymore, as the Swedish customs have become very diligent in slapping on fees on everything big and small, be it gifts or not. Ie reasonably priced things tend to be very expensive in the end. I don't mind paying a reasonable customs fee of course, but I really mind paying postal fees for the so called service of our despicable postal *service* company PostNord -

which were bad enough when it was owned my the Swedish government alone, the lack of quality then plummeted to new lows when they merged with the Danish government, 40% ownership. And this past year, especially this winter the craziness has reached even lower lows of things disappearing,  being broken, advice notes not being sent or appearing in the app thus being returned to sender, mail being so delayed you end up paying extra fees for bills never reaching you etc etc. The list is endless. The only thing the has gone up is their prices. -

But this was obviously a must. It ended up taking over two months to get here. It should have taken a week. Reaching the Swedish border there was apparently a co-operation between the customs and PostNord, with no information whatsoever until 1,5 months had passed that I had to pay extra. Which I promptly did. And then it took 2 weeks until I got the advice note to pick it up. *Insert rolling eyes galore*

the shower curtain named bobby and friends, january 2019

But the happy smile on my face very time I walk into the bathroom, the urge to caress a shower curtain named Bobby's little soft nose - because yes, the details of the print are so unbelievably clear it looks both knitted as well as furry - and say sorry you had to put on that bobble hat, but you look darn cute in it, all that makes the wait worth it.

I'm not sure it's an ominous sign though, that the cats seem to communicate with Bobby? I do hope it's only admiration and not plotting a hostile feline take-over. If so, please send help.

the shower curtain named bobby and friends, january 2019

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

organic vegan food inspiration, part 7

Ă„rstiderna organic vegan food box, food ambassador, november 2018 -

Whether or not you're signed up to Veganuary it's not too late to sign the pledge or go vegan.

And remember, that people still are consuming meat and dairy, while also contributing to immense suffering, pain and violence, is one of the major reasons for climate change. And stop doing that, going plantbased, is also one of the easiest way to create a better world. For everyone.

Here are some inspiration for delicious vegan food - the previous plantbased inspiration posts are linked at the bottom of this post.

Ă„rstiderna organic vegan foodbix, food ambassador, january 2019 -

The dish above is supposed to be a adlay millet salad with beetroot served with a sunflower seed cream, however I scorched the adlay and ended up having to use buckwheat instead. It was okey, but I'd prefer more chewy texture. The sunflower seed cream with nutritional yeast was brilliant though and so easy to make.

Ă„rstiderna vegan organic food box ambassador, october 2018 -

Cauliflower in creamy curry lentil sauce with baby spinach, chili and wholegrain rice. Basic but nice.

Ă„rstiderna vegan organic food box ambassador, october 2018 -

Springrolls with cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, portobello mushrooms served with a wholegrain rice salad and tamari sauce. Lovely. And for every time I make my own springrolls the quicker the process is and the nicer they look. Hooray.

Ă„rstiderna vegan organic food box ambassador, october 2018 -

Empanadas with a spicy filling of portobello mushrooms, carrots, squash, garlic and chili. Served with a bean, avocado, baby spinach and tomato salad. It tasted much better than it looks I'm happy to say. Empanada might not be my thing to make.

Ă„rstiderna vegan organic food box ambassador, october 2018 -

Potato-leek soup with bread croutons and roasted pumpkin seeds. A basic, rustic and nice soup, but to make my own bread croutons was a great experience. That such a simple thing could add so much to the dish.

Ă„rstiderna organic vegan food box ambassador, october 2018 -

Polenta with oven baked aubergine, squash, red onion and almonds served with tapenade and rocket salad. I really really don't like olives/tapenade, but other than that it was a nice dish. Possibly a bit much work with the veggies for what you got in flavour/texture.

Ă„rstiderna organic vegan food box ambassador, october 2018 -

Vegan burger with potato wedges, tomato salsa and cabbage-carrot salad. The burger itself was bland, a bit soggy and too much fennel, but as a complete dish it was a great meal. And the salad was great. I'm really rubish at making simple side salads on my own, I'm always remembered how easy it is with these recipes but I still keep forgetting it when it's "a week without the food box" alas. (Good idea for this year's personal goals perhaps? Make more diverse, simple salads.)

Ă„rstiderna organic vegan food box ambassador, october 2018 -

Chili sin carne with quinoa, avocado and cherry tomatoes. No I'm not a great fan of tomato-based dishes in general, and this wasn't one of the exceptions. Still a basic, nourishing meal. And the quinoa made it a bit different.

Ă„rstiderna organic vegan food box, food ambassador, november 2018 -

Seitan-tortellini with kale pesto and fried tomatoes. Not every vegan enjoys kale and I'm one of those. No matter how it's prepared I rarely find it edible, too much of a chewy weed texture/flavour for me. However, to turn it into a pesto was actually a pretty neat thing (alongside almonds, nutritional yeast, lemon, rapeseed oil, black peppar and salt).

Ă„rstiderna organic vegan food box, food ambassador, november 2018 -

Pakoras with cauliflower, onion and sweet-potato on a bulgur salad with cucumber and cranberries. Quite nice, though perhaps a bit much work with the pakoras compared to what you got flavour- and texture-wise.

Ă„rstiderna organic vegan food box, food ambassador, november 2018 -

Korma curry with kidney beans, cauliflower, carrots and baby spinach. Not a favorite, very basic and rather boring imho. I'm not big on stews like this.

Ă„rstiderna organic vegan food box, food ambassador, november 2018 -

Another vegan burger with potato wedges and pickled red onion this time. Same burger as above, so bit soggy and too much fennel again, but pickled red onion is really fabulous!

Ă„rstiderna organic vegan food box, food ambassador, nov 2018 -

Marinated tofu with fried black cabbage, carrots, rice and tamari sauce. Lovely and simple.

Ă„rstiderna organic vegan food box, food ambassador, nov 2018 -

Pumpkin soup with chili, lime and coconut chips. Pumpkin soup is one of my favourite kind of soups, this was no exception. Wonderful and flavourful. Healthy comfort food at its best. I sprinkled a bit of chia and pumpkin seeds on top too for extra crunch.

Ă„rstiderna organic vegan food box, food ambassador, nov 2018 -

Salad tacos with beanmash, avocado, tomatoes and purple sweet potato fries. Pretty colours but taste-wise rather bland.

Ă„rstiderna organic vegan food box, food ambassador, nov 2018 -

Vegan hotdog in bahn mi buns, tabbouleh and pickled red onion. Simple and tasty crossover plantbased food. The hotdogs were seitan frankfurters, which are delish and very filling.

As usual, the recipes can be found on the Årstiderna website or in the app. In Swedish only, but I'd be happy to translate if you're interested in any particular dishes. (There's a limit to Google Translate's skills...)

So, what's vegan cooking for you this week?

Previous inspiration posts -

Organic vegan food inspiration 1
Organic vegan food inspiration 2
Organic vegan food inspiration 3

Organic vegan food inspiration 4
Organic vegan food inspiration 5
Organic vegan food inspiration 6
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