Friday, February 26, 2010

friday tulips


I promised tulips a while ago, this mixed bunch was my first of the season.

They are now sadly wilting but they did bring green joy to home and kitchen for quite a while. I do believe it is time to buy new ones tomorrow. In celebration of March arriving, even if outdoors still offer snow and ice galore (though thawing at the moment) March is the first month of spring. Really.

Happy weekend ~


Thursday, February 25, 2010

the green boots


I committed a mortal sin today. I colour coordinated handbag with boots. Oh the shame. It was however purely accidental, please believe, and when I had to rush for bus it was really too late to change either.

And as they weren't close to each other all the time all day I think I got away with it. Barely. And as both features have green patterns and different hues it may not have been obvious or even visible to the less than discerning eye. Perhaps.

I got through the day. And if the no-no-colour-coordination squad hasn't called yet I don't think it will, I won't tell and I hope you won't. And I solemnly swear it will not happen again. No, no.


On the bright side of this grave mortal sin, the handbag called Tindra that rarely get out and about these days was absolutely loving every minute of fresh air and having to work for her keep.

And the glorious boots. Well, as I've worn the beloved red boots pretty much all day since winter struck - apart from a couple of days with a pair of old boots that used to be comfy but now made serious way for the return of the aching left foot, ay - feet (and boots) were in desperate need of change. Enter, a pair of siblings, same model (El Naturalista Iggdrasil) but on sale (hooray) and in the most fantastic subdued yet spunky green hues. Love at first green boots sight.

Feet very, very happy. Undersigned concur. And red boots grateful to get some well deserved rest and relaxation from everyday winter wear and walking.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

the most beautiful shower curtain the world


Pink~red cross stitch roses print, surely this must be considered the most beautiful shower curtain in the world? As well as machine washable.

I am so very, very happy about the once in a blue moon exception to my personal rule of not shopping at H&M that is this shower curtain. I find it to be not only so pretty in pink-red-style but also the perfect reminder every morning that even if the snow piles are high and still there there’s hope of green gardens and spring to (soon!) come.

So thank you H&M Home. Who knows, I might be back for more…

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

the denim jacket


In general I'm not a jeans or denim kind of gal, the style and garments may look great on others and I hear it's suppose to be comfy. Me, I've never actually found jeans to be comfortable to wear, rather the opposite actually. Some exceptions to this personal view exist, though they are a few and mostly of the more tailored denim kind.

But when I find one of those exceptions I tend to be very happy and wearing it a lot. Because denim goes so very well with any fabric, style and most occasions depending on accessories. I've treasured some denim jackets over the years and I'm so very pleased about my latest bargain. Something I stumbled over at the outlet village shop (with my number one favourite brand, Danish Noa Noa) just hanging there, all alone, with a 80% discount (~35 $). And in the right Pia size. Sometimes life is good in denim.


I think the pocket embroidery totally rocks and I had serious plans of adding something similar to the collar, but I think the quirky little seams (that I didn't notice when I bought it, seen on top above) are good just as they are. And they match the quirky details on sleeve.


However, I would like to add something special and jazz it up somehow (and brooches just aren't enough) and hey presto, M (yes, generously giving him cred for the idea) came up with the brilliant notion of using the sweet handmade ceramic half eaten apples and worm button set that screamed 'buy us!' at African Touch (a place I really recommend for a good shopping experience on many levels) recently and change the ordinary buttons in jacket now into half eaten apples with wee worm delight.


The buttons, which come in many shapes, are from South African Incomparable Buttons, handmade and oozing uniqueness. Read more about the interesting company's story here.

So come green spring, this fine denim jacket bargain with be yellow-green appley smiley wormey sweet ~


And yes, I do feel very, very fortunate to be living in a very reasonable proximity to a Noa Noa outlet shop... Courtesy of that shop too, amongst other treasures, are gorgeous winter coat (that once turned me into a giant princess cake) and last year's (now more than well worn) plaid skirt.

Monday, February 22, 2010

the pia day

According to the Swedish calender, yet again, today (February 22nd) is and was officially Pia-day. As in 'namnsdag' (name day).

I wish I could say that it has been a grand day in celebration of that distinguished name, but alas with this past weekend's blizzards, freezing temperatures and less than competent people running the Swedish (especially in Stockholm) public transportation system I've spent more than a good portion of the day waiting for the c-trains. No matter how sensible I think I've dressed that has left me freezing to the bones. And in a grumpy mood.

For all sort of reasons really, apart from the appalling public transportation system-problems there's a very distinct feeling of a very displeasing (understatement magna) combination of resistance and uninterest to actually let me use my education/skills/intellect and be of use to the organisation at 'the place'.

It's destructive on many levels and no matter how constructively I point that out, the people who could make a difference don't seem to care. So my days I spend going from being quite angry to try and ignore to being sad. I wish it wasn't true, but I know it too well, this also is an organisation where the master suppression techniques flourish on several levels. It's despicable and now I'm quite desperately trying to find a solution where I can get what I want. How I don't know. I just know that this is not where I should be. Or that I should spend my days doing brainless tasks that any doofus could do. When I'm so much more, in so many ways.

Ah well, at least the sun shone and the skies were painted deep blue for a while today on this Pia day. And somewhere behind green windows, blue doors and red walls I'm sure there's room to be just me and noone else ~


Sunday, February 21, 2010

green peas


Not really a fan of green peas. In general. But since I found a bag of them in the freezer past week I've quite enjoyed them in a few dishes.

creamy pasta tricolore with soy sausage, peas and carrots

lentil and bean stew with peas, carrots and fried halloumi

peas-paprika-garlic noodles with quorn

But most of all they do look mighty fine and very green in an orange bowl in snow, don't you think?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

the new look, one year later

Exactly one year ago (February 20th 2009) this blog turned all green. Not as in envy or all organic but in looks. Since then there have been hundreds of blog posts appearing here and surely no-one can disagree when I say that that the once upon a year ago new green dress have made them all look so much better?

Looks are far from everything, but for those times when inspiration runs low and clever thoughts turned into words shine with their non-presence a flattering garment does a good deed to hide the flaws.

And for those days when the writing and published posts are of the more inspired kind, the lush green looks surrounds them in an eye pleasing way.

For me the green dress of 2009 has been a source of almost daily delight (and comfort when things feel less than happy green) and I'm glad to say still is. And just for that reason I, this blog, will have a little green post of this and that kind for this upcoming week.

And below behold three of my green favourite things -

one for many years favourite NoaNoa green silk NoaNoa skirt that's sadly falling to pieces and will have to be mended in one way or the other;

a pair of comfy summer shoes from favourite green (as in organic and recycled materials as the shoes are grey. In fact the exact same grey as in one fabulous handbag named Nora with a fantastic green lining...) shoe brand El Naturalista;

green, green garden grass on a warm, warm summer day.

The black addition in photo, despite not being green if not in envy, is another favourite of mine, simply swooning in awe of all the wonderful green prettiness seen all at once.

So, what's you favourite green thing?


Thursday, February 18, 2010

on ice - vikingarännet


Vikingarännet (translates to The Viking Run/Furrow/Channel) is an annual (if weather permitted) ice-skating race that takes place on the ice of lake Mälaren between Uppsala and Stockholm.

The 80 kilometres long run - that takes place on the waters of the old viking route with many cultural sightings - first started in 1999 and is opened to amateurs and competitors alike.

Vikingarännet is organised by Friluftsfrämjandet (The Organisation of Promotion of Outdoorlife) and Svenska Skridskoförbundet (The Swedish Skating Association).

The 2010 race had 3400 participants and the winner reached the goal at Rålambshovsparken (The Rålambshov Park) with the time 2 hrs 57 min.

A part of the race passes this little part of the Mälaren waters and as you would never ever see me on skates -

because A) I took numerous skating lessons as a child, I hated most every bit of it (every nasty thing that can happen when you combine slippery ice and sharp edged skates) and every year after seemingly endless weeks it gave me the coveted 'I've passed ice-skating class' medal. The next winter I was a newbie again. I'm totally and utterly without talent or inclination on ice.

B) I have a healthy fear of deep waters. And really don't care if said waters are covered of many inches of thick ice. Underneath are still deep waters and as far as I know walking on deep waters isn't included in the human features -

so I did the much wiser thing. I walked on ice and snow on dry land. With camera. Here are glimpses of said race. I love the way the light and snow make people look like they float in the air. And enjoy watching the diversity of more or less becoming and weather appropriate skating outfits ~


Read more about Vikingarännet here (both in Swedish and English. Though beware of a website that leaves a whole lot to be desired.)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

happy fat tuesday ~


I will, if everything go as planned, be celebrating mine with a well-deserved (not in the picture above) Stockholm super semla. And I hope everyone semla inclined will get a good such one too.

Previous posts and facts on the not so sacred but still very important old Swedish lenten bun tradition can be found here and here.

Happy Fat Tuesday!

Monday, February 15, 2010

and the winners of the postcards - bookmark are ...

The spoilt felines adamantly refused going out into the big white world - snoozing indoors way surpass such silliness - to take part in the big draw.

The loaf was way too busy keeping garden free of blackbirds and other feathered beings not-invited-by-loaf, to lend a helping paw to the draw.


Then decisively and graciously Bosse stepped in. Bosse the monkey - that I thought was a cow but still named Bosse before I realized he was probably a monkey. Just one of those days... - drew the following two winners from the pot ~


one set of 3 postcards plus bookmark will be sent to Denise at A Bun Can Dance...


and braving the snowy ground Bosse decided that the other set and bookmark will travel to


the other side of the world, recipients being the Kiwi gals Julie and Poppy Q.

Thank you for a job well done, Bosse!

And thank you all for giving such wonderful and sweet comments and participating! In an ideal world there would be postcards and bookmarks travelling from my world to each and everyone of yours!

There will however be one set of postcards travelling to a third recipient if she's interested, the one who signed her comment with 'Joni'. Just because her 'anonymous' comment made me more than a little bit teary (in a good way) -


"It was one of those days, when the words won't flow, and the grass isn't growing, so I went to your blog for inspiration. There were many of those days last year.

Now I come here just for the joy."

So if you three winners could please send me your addresses - my email address can be found at the profile page - and the small tokens of my appreciation for lovely comments left will be on their way asap.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

sunday evening

Sometimes one weekend, two days, just isn't enough time to relax and wind down and prepare for another week. Quite often I find that being so. Unless one absolutely love the way one spends the week of five days I suppose. Which I, alas, don't particularly do at the moment.

For the weekend that was I had many fine plans, big and small, errands, crafts, outings, relaxing things as well as uplifting stuff. I think I completed about 20% of them, because there was also a dire need of good long sleep and necessary be me-time to spend. And sadly not nearly as much reading that I would have liked. Now it's once again Sunday evening and I can't see the week offering a lot of time to complete those things either.

I also had plans to write this and that on blog, but there seem to be something seriously wrong with the uploading and downloading on Flickr. Not only my own photos seem to be 'the dreaded red X' photo not available or only half visible, but that's what I'm met with on other blogs that use 'the Flickr-method' too. Or maybe it's just my computer misbehaving. Anyone having the same problem with Flickr pics?

Anyway. Hopefully it'll be sorted, one way or the other until tomorrow. When I hope to finally be able to announce the winners of the postcards - bookmark giveaway. I already know who they are, soon you will too. In an ideal world I would love to be able to give each and everyone who left a comment in that post a set of the above, since I was (and am) truly chuffed about their absolute sweetness. Instead I offer tulips on blog and wish you all the finest of weeks ~

*tulips will have to wait, Flickr will just not cooperate,
for now there'll be only heartfelt wishes*

Thursday, February 11, 2010

clever cat thursday ~ cuddle trio


The heart and brain trust trio doing what cats do best, sleeping, snoozing, cuddling all at once. And as usual they're such relaxing sources of inspiring mindfullness and no worries exuders.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

wednesday words

:: Even though I in my usual manner think my days these days consist of too many unimportant meetings to keep people from actually working and not enough real and interesting, intellectual challenging and creative work I'm quite out of wit and inspiration when it comes to blogging. And not enough energy or geist to read as much as I usually do. Or feel the urge to knit (!).

This can't be meant to be. This can't be life. And I don't even get paid properly for having such uninspiring days.

On the bright side I had a really lovely lunch with a friend I don't see that often today. In a similar situation jobwise, with a different background, though clearly deserving so much more. We talked, ate, laughed and grumped, had a long walk in a Stockholm that can most definitely be described as , despite heaps of snow and treacherously icy streets, having spring in the air.

:: Even though I like to live by the idea that 'of two choices, two paths, chose the one that gives you the most resistance because it's the one that will make you grow the most' I also think that 'chose your battles wisely' is another good idea. Today I chose the most resistance-path in a matter that has upset be quite a bit as lately. It may be a minor thing in the big picture, but it really very much bugged me.

And as easy as it may be to write angry emails and stand up for yourself and others - and I have to admit I kind of love that. Ah, the lawyer in me thrives. Not that I always feel like making a big deal of matters wrong, I do chose my battles, but when I do it's quite delightful... - that way, it's far from always very pleasant to go all the way and face your adversary irl (which certainly can be seen as a prime example of the pros and cons with easy accessable Internet/online life).

Today I did the latter. And as most usual it wasn't at all as bad as it could have been. I may have been a bitch in parts - but in my full right of course - but also a reasonably well behaved one. And I came out wiser and with what was rightfully mine. And the lesson learnt (hopefully, perhaps, maybe) by adversary not to write such crappy contracts brimming with discrepancies (and spelling errors).

:: Tomorrow I have another gruesome meeting I could, would have liked to, be without. But even though perhaps not triumph I will surely survive that one too. And then comes Friday. And the weekend. And perhaps, maybe enough time to read, knit, catch up on blog reading, write and get at least a bit of sweet mojo back until another week begins.

:: Do you have to be stupid to be on Facebook? I wonder, since so many, too many (when one's one too many really) people think it's normal to 'lend money' to 'friends' on Facebook or be 'friends' with potential or current bosses and then think it's perfectly alright to whine about being scammed-not getting the job-feeling wronged by employer on television and in papers. Jeez, what's wrong with people? And where did they get their IQ from, the cornflakes box?

:: Today I got my electrical bill for January. So. Not. A. Good. Thing. for this winter.

:: I recently read that Albert Einstein is said to have had a lifelong suspicion of all authority. One healthy and wholehearted hear hear to that!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

the weekend that was


A few highlights from the rather delightful and relaxing weekend that was. Hopefully the memory of it will take me sailing through the week to come. Far from sure it's enough, but I wish and hope.


been searching high and low for so long, for a kitchen buffet that screams to move in. i stumbled over it past saturday at favourite charity shop. it was love at first glance. it cost a staggering 30 $ and the red kitchen buffet now stands proudly in red in kitchen. i've always pictured my buffet in pastel and i still contemplate a change of colour come spring. but for now it looks grand in dark red.


a slice of heavenly cardamom-mango
cheesecake at sturehov castle café


there was lots of snow and sunday offered a plethora of sun and blue skies. there was walk in sweet munchkin land.

there was long coveted, at last found, boots moving in. as lovely as they are, after one day's use i've decided that the nasty slippery, highly treacherous cursed this winter grounds aren't the best of grounds for these boots. but come spring...

and there were tulips desperately reaching for light ~


Friday, February 05, 2010

friday thoughts and pictures

TGIF - and not the restaurant chain which I find to be rather crap, but for one occasion in Orlando, which is irrelevant for this post but I do like wee detours... - as the past week certainly has been an emotional rollercoaster of the not good kind. People at 'new place' are friendly, helpful and overall good and fun sports.

But the lack of a decent chair and table for my work has left me with aching back, sore neck, the long time ago mouse-arm acting up thus generally feeling crap. (There's just that much one can help self with stretching and relaxation.)

To that add the tasks (that in part I can see as a good way to get to know the organisation and the way it works) which are in the long run such a waste of talents, education as well as the real me. These weeks left me quite disheartened actually.

And the constant reminder from different know-it-alls (who clearly don't) sources (that unfortunately one may depend on at times) that the the only acceptable thing to strive for is working full time 9-5 in office. If there's one lesson learnt these past years it is that I don't tick like that.

And to have educations, qualifications, interests, passions and dreams that suggest something else should be possible but still be 'forced to' - the details regarding this situation I won't go into - be grateful and pleased, well that makes me miserable and feels, again, soulcrushing.

Then I recieved an email this morning from a friend that really lifted my spirits. I think it was such a great and sweet message well worth sharing (I hope he won't mind) -

Personally I think you're fully in the right to grumble about the concepts of 9-5 office life as the acceptable norm. I've never believed in convention if it only brings a person misery, and you're far too bright a light to be dimmed within such confines. You may be too refined to do this but please feel free to give a big middle finger to anything that stifles you, your creative freedom, or your happiness.

I read that, felt better - and a little teary - wrote an email about the aches to the one job-concerned before I left for work. At work I went head on and talked to the 'boss-lady' about my feelings (lack of creativity and intellectual challenges while mentioning some ideas) but at the same time praising the overall sweet ambiance and helpfulness of people. I also mentioned the chair/table problem.

I was reasonably surprised how well she reacted, immediately gave the go ahead to order a new office chair for just me (which of course will take some time to get) and really being very positive about the suggestions of tasks I mentioned (she said that oh yes they really needed help with just the things I'd love to do but they just hadn't thought of this, to me but not to them obvious, possibility). They'll have an office meeting on Monday when this will be discussed. And even with the nagging aches the rest of the day felt more than alright.

I will now try and take good care of the aching Pia bits during weekend and hope Monday will bring great and positive things.

Friday ended with a nice wintry walk in neighbourhood and thinking how truly lucky I am to be able to spend life in such a place with the best of both closeness to city life as well as countryside (well, if not counting the very opposite to pleased feelings when discovering that even more of our precious rural recreational green areas and woods have been turned into big eye sore modern residential areas).


Here are some of the prettier parts - on a perfect weather winter day that offered perfect temperatures somewhere around 0 degrees C, lots of sun and spring feeling in the air as well as heaps of snow. And the days are quickly getting longer and brighter - of my neighbourhood, my Sweden this past afternoon.

one house I do lust after,
I admit without shame
almost 4 pm and still this light!
spring on it's way!
would love to live at the other side of the road and railway tracks,
where it's fullblown genuine countrystyle life in the suburb
and far far from densely populated
a bit of well-deserved 'fredagsmys'
(friday well-being)
at one of our nice local waterholes
Happy weekend for well deserving beings!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

happy groundhog day ~

Tad late but I'm sure that at this time somewhere on this globe it's still Groundhog Day!


I wonder if one loaf dog peeping out from under a snowcovered garden bench can be seen as the Swedish equivalent of Punxsutawney Phil?

Looking out the window at the latest blizzard spring does seem awfully long long away at this part of globe though...


Not that such a minor detail
seems to matter for one happy loaf.


Monday, February 01, 2010

skull man walking


Where one would least expect it, a skull reflector can be found. Not at all a fan of the 'skull trend' I still quite enjoy the contrast between this tidy dressed older man and his chosen reflector design.

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