Friday, January 31, 2014

farewell january

stockholm morning

I was thinking about what I would say about the first month of 2014 and my instict was to say that it was a bit of a blaha month. But I think that would be unfair, it's only these last couple of weeks that have been rather blaha. With unpleasant lessons learnt. Or stuff of unnecessary nuisance. Which is of course something, employed or business owner, you can never escape (sadly) when dealing with people. Well, it hasn't have to be work related, dealing with people is tricky, period. At times it takes up a lot of energy.

But I'm also proud of myself when dealing with stuff like this, that I can (sort of) remain calm, breath and give argument. That I just don't accept. Being flexible is one thing, taken advantage of is quite another. Though sometimes the line is a fine one. And it's easy (too easy) to misunderstand eachother and the intentions. We need to get better at communicating.

Moving on to February - which I'm feeling super excited about! - these are the really good things I bring with me (I suppose the above lessons are some kind of good too, in anther way);

~ Quite a few meals containing that awesome carrot ginger juice. And on the last day of January I became a giddy owner of my own juicer. I see a near and far future of many freshly pressed carrot ginger juices. Beetroot orange and spinach apple ones too. Etc etc.

~ One absolutely wonderful and special coat. Which goes really well with a special hat. Not to mention having made me rekindle with a wonderful old tweed bag.

~ Sort of getting my cooking mojo back.

~ So so many fabulous ideas of all sorts. Collaborations and excitement galore. I'm not patient by birth, but sometimes I surprise myself with the patience I show. Teamed with persistence. Because I recognize great things, must things. And they need to happen.

~ I've quite enjoyed all this snow. And touch wood, the ice hasn't been too nasty. Touch wood again.

~ Fresh tulips.

~ Good and inspiring meetings with good and inspiring people.

Farewell January, you haven't been too bad, not too bad at all actually. May your sibling February bring even more of the great stuff and less of the not so happy matters!

So, how has your January been?
Good, bad, in between?
What are you looking forward to in February?

stockholm morning

Thursday, January 30, 2014

throwback thursday sweethearts

There's a hashtag on Instagram called #throwbackthursday where people publish old snaps, mostly from childhood or highschool etc. Time flies. Little did we realise back then that we would decades later be absorbed by smartphones and something called social media.

I am not a fan of publishing DSLR-photos on Instagram, it's a smartphone app, with few exceptions I don't see any reason for not using it for smartphone snaps alone. Imho.

So I stick to that concept - which doesn't mean I'm not using photo editing apps - with the very odd exception.

The odd exception often means cat photos (surprise!). Like today. My #throwbackthursday was this one photo. 2,5 years ago Zigne and Ztina, the fabulous Prosit sisters, were this irresistable and lovable. And there isn't a day gone by since then when I'm not grateful and happy for having them in my life. My throwback Thursday sweethearts.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

vegan coconut pannacotta


This was the first time I used that agar agar I've had in the pantry for so long. I have to say that it worked well and the texture of this pannacotta was more pannacottaish than the liquorice pannacotta with jelly sugar.

But I also have to admit that I much prefered the overall consistency of the jelly sugar + oats cream pannacotta, over this one with coconut milk + agar agar. Because a) the consistency of the latter is slightly more grainy and b) when poured into glasses and left to set it shifted into a bottom layer of jelly and a top layer of pannacotta. Maybe I did something wrong when I let it simmer, maybe the lemon juice the recipe called for wasn't a good idea or maybe the agar agar was too old.

I can definitely see myself trying this again, pannacotta is such an easy peasy dessert, but I will tweak the recipe. Original recipe in Swedish here

Coconut pannacotta
4-6 servings

1 tin coconut milk (400 ml)
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
1 vanilla pod
juice from one lemon (or not?)
1,5 tsp agar agar

Split the vanilla pod and take out the seeds, put both seeds and remaining pod in a pot with the coconut milk, sugar, lemon zest (and juice?). Let to boil and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Then add the agar agar and let it simmer for about 1 minute until it has dissolved. The strain the liquid to get rid of the lemon zest and the pods. Pour into glasses or bowls and let it cool.

I served mine with passion fruit and warm raspberries. Original recipe called for rhubarb compote. That would of course be lovely too. As would probably pomegranate.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

hurraw liquorice lip balm

Remember the lovely chocolate lip balm from Hurraw I wrote about a while back? Having used it for a few months now I have to say that it really is one of the best lip balms I've ever had. Delightful, smooth, softening and caring, not to mention the wonderful scent of "whatever flavour you chose".

I got myself the cherry lip balm too, smells lovely but it's also tinted so it isn't as carefree as the non-tinted ones. (I tend to forget I wear tinted lips and then I smudge all over my face. And somehow that's never a great look.)

I recently stumbled over Hurraw scent/flavoured lip balm, liquorice. And while I'm not really a liquorice fan as such I think it smells absolutely fantastic. And true liquorice fanatic would love it I'm sure!

I now have the happy Hurraw trio in my handbag, making sure I have a scent for every mood, chocolate, cherry or liquorice.

I've bought my Hurraw lip balms in well assorted health food stores.

Monday, January 27, 2014

stress relievers for the 21st century


To be honest, sometimes (often) I'm convinced every (many) gadget we bring into our lives just keep adding stress to it. Since they are rarely flawless and when they don't work as they are supposed to (which, come on, happens more often than we like to admit) we spend lots and lots of times fuming and tearing our hair, not being able to fix it ourselves and not getting the speedy service from helpdesk or customer service we need (and pay for).

But nevertheless these gadgets, upon them we often depend (or in some cases get addicted) both as work tools and entertainment thingies. They can certainly bright our lives up in certain aspects. And make work run smoother.

That is, when they work as they are suppose to.

My threesome above are things that can as easily be stress relievers as stress instigators, depending on how they act. But right now I prefer to look at them as relievers, since at this moment in time (touch wood) they do work. So

a) My new friend the pocket wi-fi, a mobile broadband I can use at home but also bring with me as I please.

As I've been moaning about for over a month now, my broadband hasn't been working in a pleasing way at all. The week before Christmas it began acting up in a bad way regularly. I had hopes it would be something temporary, I find that contacting customer service is just such a time-consuming task in general when it comes to these things and they are rarely very helpful. There are always some excuse for it not working. Either it isn't their fault or they can't see anything being wrong with the connection 'are you sure you've checked your cables and routers and whateverish out properly?'

This has also been a recurring issue for these past ten plus years with my internet provider, Telia (the largest telephone network operator in Sweden, used to be a public authority and also the only phone operator when there was still a monopoly in Sweden). All these years when I've regularly contacted the customer service because of the broadband not working they have never admitted to anything being wrong with it, but it has miraculously begun working again after the contact. In general though over the years it has never worked as well as it should do given the service I pay for.

Many times have I thought about unsubscribe and change my internet provider, but somehow it boils down to a case of plague or cholera. This time though I had enough. After having dealt with the customer service asking really stupid questions (which I had already answered) when I reported the failing broadband connection, after a technician visit who claimed it was the old modem's fault but it then turned out it wasn't. Two weeks without any proper internet connection at all at home (for some reason the computer can't connect to my iPhone, but it can connect to M's, so I had to work during nights to get things done), a lack of sleep and no solution in sight I simply had enough. I broke up with Telia (as far as the internet goes, still have them as provider of landline and mobile, but I will certainly look into other solutions there too). And never has a break up felt so good.

Fingers crossed my new provider and its pocket wi-fi will serve me well for a long long time to come.

b) Yes the iPhone is a fabulous gadget in many ways - even though it leaves you feeling very fragile and exposed when it gets stolen... - but really, one of its very less than pleasing features is the fact that it really needs to get recharged so often (at least for us who takes lot of pictures and edit). I'm not at all pleased about the fact that we're so dependent on electricity and available sockets with all these new gadgets.

c) This is a seriously nifty thing - if one is able to look pass the part of depending on things needing to charge so often - the pocket charger. I've had it for a couple of years now. And I have to say that the (stupid) stress I felt when I couldn't find an available socket when out and about is no more, since I always have this one charged and ready to help in my handbag. Fully charged it can recharge an iPhone five times around.

All these gadgets, all these things we depend on these days, how they've changed our lives and habits. Not sure if its for the better or not. Most days I think it's awesome, but when they act up and there isn't a simple solution to the nuisance I question that. And think about the countless hours and days we spend trying to solve all these new problems of the 21st century, of the 21st century gadgets.

I guess the stress relief or stress cause is a case of the daily form. At this moment (keep touching wood) I prefer to see them as relievers. And oh did that break up felt good! It cheered me up, to finally say, enough, be gone. What a relief.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

the flirting in the window

writing in the window

Love this writing in the window of a cafe I sometimes visit, but mostly just pass by on my way to and from the train in the city. So many things in life captured in a few simple, fun and flirtatious sentences.

"Do you want to come home with me for an after-party? No? Do you want to come and see my etchings? Ok, pity. Come up and count my cats? Not that either. Would you like to come home with me and have a cup of tea then? (...) What kind of tea? It's red tea. Rooibos. With pomegranate and sea buckthorn. I'm making it a bit strong. The way guys like it. Well then. It's down here. Welcome in!"

Myself, I would just say, come in and count my cats (and you'll possibly count forever) and have a cup of tea (I have an endless assortment to chose from).

Saturday, January 25, 2014

first semla 2014

first semla 2014

Had my first semla of the season today. As it turned out to be less than nice I sadly can't say it was an enjoyable experience.

A dry (sourdough) bun and too sweet almond paste with a strange tang made me a disappointed semla eater.

From bakery and cafe Petrus - which does sell other great sourdough breads like the St Paul-loaf, rolls, cardamom buns and cakes. Plus a very tasty saffron bun around Christmas. Semla-making just isn't their strong point it seems.

Friday, January 24, 2014

tzay skewers with peanut sauce

tzay skewers with peanut sauce

There's a Swedish television food-show called "Halv åtta hos mig" ('Half past seven at my place' or 'Come dine with me', as the original UK programme is called) - where four strangers eat dinners with eachother during four days and each get to be host in their own home. After the meal they score eachother and by the end of the week the winner gets a decent sum of money (or to share if there are several winners with the same overall score).

Admittedly I don't watch it very often due to a) too much animal flesh is served and b) too many of the diners tend to be either whiney, rather bitchy (behind the host's back of course...) or too full of themselves and their skills in the kitchen.

There's a celebrity version too, "Klockan åtta hos stjärnorna" ('Eight o'clock at the stars' because apparently celebrities dine later...) where the winner chose a good cause for the money instead. I'm in general even less interested in seeing celebrities eating dinners together but I stumbled over one episode where the first host happened to be one of the spokespersons for Miljöpartiet (the Swedish Green party), Gustav Fridolin, and since I percieve him as a very sympathetic person I thought I should give the episode a chance.

I'm so glad I did, for many reasons. The other three celebrity diners where also super-nice (fashion designer Bea Szenfeld (the vegan of the four), economics professor and author Micael Dahlén and composer, musician, entertainer Tina Ahlin) and everyone made awesome vegan food too. There were four friendly, quirky, great dinners with lots of laughters. The diners were unpretentious, generous and very kind in with their scores. I think the episodes can still be viewed online here, it's part 5.
I have only tried out the dish Fridolin made so far, tzay with peanut sauce. And it's really really lovely! Very simple to make and very satisfying. I usually serve the dish with basmati rice, grated carrots and cherry tomatos. Tzay or tzay skewers is soy protein and you should find it in well assorted super markets or delis or of course vegan food shops.

This is how I make the awesome, simple and very moreish peanut sauce -

Peanut sauce
serve 4-6

2 dl peanuts
400 g coconut milk
1 solo garlic
1,5 tbsp lemon juice
1,5 tbs soy sauce
1,5 tsp chili flakes
salt and black pepper

Put everything, incl the peeled garlic, into a blender and whizz. Don't overdo it as it's nice with a crunchy peanut feel to the sauce. Pour the sauce into a pot and let it boil slowly for about 5 minutes. Ready to be served!

You can of course add more or less of the garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce and chili flakes (or use fresh) depending on your palate's desire.

tzay skewer with peanut sauce

Thursday, January 23, 2014

black and red maryjanes

shoe per diem

These are certainly not shoes for the season, but they are the latest ones I purchased (for birthday money, yes it was a second pair this time, I'm easy to please in certain aspects...) and it's nice to look forward to inagurating them in a few months.

I really wanted another pair of the awesome pink ART oxfords I got last summer, in red. Because they are not only lovely to look at the combination model/sole/heel makes them one of the most comfortable pair of shoes I've ever had the good fortune to stumble upon. But alas not available in that in my size anymore, so I went with a black/red maryjanes with a fab red heel instead.

shoe per diem

They are adorable, but after trying them on I have to say that my first impression is that they feel conciderably less sturdy and supportive compared to the oxfords. I find the open parts too open for perfection and the strap tad delicate for me. Obviously I haven't worn them out and about yet, too late in the season purchased for that, but when I do I won't chose to wear them when I know there'll be a lot of walking involved. (Like with the summer sandals.)

One thing I've come to realise though is that every shoe is not for every occasion (duh!) - it is perfectly fine to save some for special, dainty affairs. And you know what, these shoes are not only adorable to look at, they totally make me feel like dancing. Arriba!

shoe per diem

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

the i is a work in progress

tulips in decay

When I notice that someone has read one of my really old blogposts (it has after all been nearly 8,5 years since the first one now) I tend to shudder uncomfortably. Because when I go back and read those really really old posts I have to admit I find them to be a bit flimsy, shallow and strained. I also have to admit I sometimes toy with the idea of deleting them. Because they are not very representative of the I I am today.

But then I also like the fact that I have been consistent in blogging for such a long time. And that it's visible in words that I have changed and grown as a human being over these years. Progress and inner growth, isn't that what we all strive for? Or at least it should be. We should all want to become better versions of ourselves as planet beings, constantly. A work in progress.

So I let those old blog posts be, because they represent me all those years ago. Even if I'm not very proud of some of the things I wrote back then they are good as a reminder of development. That I'm not the person I was then, I'm not the person I was last year, hey not even the one I was last month actually. Things happen that reshape me all the time. And you too. All of us.

A reminder that it's good to look forward, move on, strive to be that better I-version, but one shouldn't and can't erase the past and what experiences, meets, people, thought have shaped the I today.

Thus even if I admittedly shudder over the notion that people still find and read those old posts I now feel a tad ashamed of (yes really), I let them be. Because they are a part of my life. A part of who I am today. And that has to be alright. Somehow.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

international hugging day

bobbaloo outing

this might be one of the loveliest special days i've heard of, international hugging day! which is today, january 21.

i hope you get and give lots of heartfelt hugs today. and a celebratory sweet treat. of course.

happy happy happy
international hugging day,
one and all ~

bobbaloo outing

Monday, January 20, 2014



I saw "Philomena" last week - in the company of the entire senior citizen population of Stockholm. Or so it seemed - and I can't stop thinking about the movie. It was absolutely heartbreaking, on so many levels.

The horrificness of the religious institutions called the Magdelene laundries isn't news, but the awfulness of it all is ungraspable, every time. Human evil in the name of religion, what women have been put through simply because of their gender over the centuries and still are, all over the world. Madness, pure and utter heartbreaking madness.

Fantastic performances of great actors, Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. Even if Judi Dench was more of a little ol' lady than she should have been at Philomena's age of approximately 65. But I'm thinking that whatever we look like or however we act are tied to all our lifes' experiences, some act and look like little ol' ladies at 20, while others never do and live life to the fullest no matter age. Some are (seemingly) more timid than others, and being bossed around by  a daughter saying 'it's way past your bedtime!' when a 65 year old orders a glass of wine might seem fine (no matter how crazy it sounds). 

I'm so pleased the movie, Judi Dench and other categories have been Oscar nominated. A movie more than well worth seeing. It makes you feel, think and cry.

Perhaps you've already seen it?
What did you think?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

vegan liquorice pannacotta

vegan liquorice pannacotta

I've been meaning to try this simple and fab vegetarian pannacotta recipe I tried last year but making it vegan instead (ie not using cow-cream, but plant-cream instead). And now I've finally I gotten around to it. Wasn't sure if I should use soy cream or oats cream, but after asking about best substitute on Twitter I went for oats cream (from Oatly, called iMat - inFood, I think it might be sold udner the names Bio Cuisine or Hafer Cuisine. If the brand isn't sold in your country I'm sure you can find something equally good).

And I'm happy to say that it turned out just lovely. Only 13% fat compared to cow-cream's 40% it makes for a delightful, airy and creamy dessert.

v e g a n   l i q u o r i c e   p a n n a c o t t a
3 servings

0,75 dl jelly sugar (gelésocker)
3 dl iMat (oats cream from Oatly)
1,5 - 2 tbsp liquorice powder

whip the ingredients together in a pot. slowly let to a boil. boil for 30 seconds then pour into small serving pots/glasses. put into fridge for 1-2 hours before serving.

I've served this with both raspberry sauce and passionfruit, both are very nice compliments. Thinking pomegranate would be good too.

vegan pannacotta

Saturday, January 18, 2014

laughing matters


I think the articles worth reading posts are a pretty great and unpretentious way to share good readings, thoughts and inspiration. But I have been saving up a whole lot of those since last August and don't feel very inclined to look through them and sort the really special ones into a post.

Thus I will only share a few reads/photos which all either, in their own crazy ways, made me laugh until I cried or made me go all soft and mushy due to sweetness galore. Ie they're not thoughtprovoking or enlightening as such, they are simply hilarious or very endearing. And all of us need a regular dose of hilarious and/or heartwarming in our lives.

A really good laugh makes an already great day even better and gives a blue one a silver lining of light. So does sweetness. Enjoy!

~ Dog shaming - hilarious

~ Cat shaming - since cats are generally more well-behaved than dogs (well...) you might not cry just as much of laughter over this one, still great fun though

~ Big bag of gummy bears customer reviews - overdosing on sugar free candy does have a laxative effect, in case you didn't know...

~ Men and cats in similar poses - something for everyone here

~ Grandma and her odd eyed cat - precious

~ Child animal whisperers photos - magical

Friday, January 17, 2014

on a winter friday

winter wonderland

~ i marvelled over how pretty the winter wonderland is. every snowflake is a tiny piece of art

soy latte

~ i had a lovely soy latte and i still adore the winter design cups at espresso house

~ i had a very interesting and productive meeting, which means i will, for various reasons, spend a lot of time working this weekend. which is actually one of the things i love about running my own business - i decide how my weeks look, if i want to work on a saturday i can have a tuesday off and noone minds

eternity project shawl

~ i continue to work on the eternity shawl. i'm sure i will be very proud of myself when it's finished (at this rate, in about 10 years or so). only 178 rows to go, piece of cake

all and all a heart friday.
happy weekend one and all!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

soup season

broccoli soup

admittedly i'm not a great fan of soups, since i think crunchiness and chewing is such a pleasing part of good eating.

but a great, flavoursome bowl of soup now and then is quite nice. and it's so easy to make creamy, delightful vegan soups. the carrot soup i had last weekend was really lovely for example.
and the broccoli soup i made a few days ago wasn't too bad either. i regularly make a chickpea soup that's so easy peasy to make and filling. as is this lentil soup. potato and leak soup is a classic. and mushroom soup is very nice indeed. 

but when in the mood for cooking i rarely think 'wow, feel like making soup!', because crunchiness and chewing pretty much always win.

how about you, do you enjoy soups regularly?
do you have a favourite soup?
any simple recipe you'd like to share?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

under the full moon

under the full moon

Since I find it quite impossible to get a decent night's sleep with a full moon the bobbaloos suggested we should benefit from the big yellow globe above making wishes. And who am I to argue with such logic?

So I spent some time admiring the beauty in the cold, crisp winter evening, being immensely grateful for what I've got and making heartfelt wishes for three things I would love to have

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

orange in snow

orange in snow
sometimes a really bright and flavoursome fruit is that little something that makes your day better.

i also find the wee stem here very endearing somehow.

this orange reminds me of that sweet fairytale story by elsa beskow called 'solägget' (the sun egg). do you know it?

Monday, January 13, 2014

kronoper & famer

wagamama vegetarian dinner

Look, it's a bobbaloo book!

A Swedish publisher contacted Kit - the real woman behind the fabulastic bobbaloos, I'm only the queen of the Scandinavian bobbaloo settlement, they originally all stem from Minnesota - about the cover photo for the Swedish edition of "Historias de cronopios y de famas" (Stories about cronopios and famas, might be a translation I suppose) by Julio Cortázar. She asked me if it was a publisher with a good reputation - I couldn't say since I'd never heard of them, but their website and the books they published looked fair. 

Obviously they got along well and she said yes to contributing with a cover photo. I think it's fabulous! The funny thing though, is that people who know me and see the book in bookstores all go "whaaat, is it a Pia photo cover?!?!?". But no, it is not. Still awesome and fun, that them bobs have another - yes, of course they have my very own book from cover to content too - book they adorn. It might in fact be the beginning of world domination...

Admittedly I'd never heard of Julio Cortázar before (have you?). I got the book from a friend last week and I've only begun reading it. To be honest I'm really not sure it's my cup of tea... Hopefully I was just too tired when I began reading. Still, I'm very happy to have the book. And that Kit got this awesome assignment. 

The bobs think it's a fabulous cover too, but they're not sure they're really like those cronopios and famas, that they are meant to be images of. And no, they don't appreciated being called "filtfigurer" (felt figures) when they are in fact bobbaloos.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

sunday matters

pia k stockholm

~ defrosting. the freezer (thank you snow and cold weather for that opportunity) was well well overdue for that. it took six plus hours, work and patience. but i am now a proud owner of a frost-free and clean freezer.

hopefully that'll show a bit in the next electrical bill.

~ fuming. over the fact that my broadband still isn't working at all as it should. for everything gadgety that's supposedly meant to make our lives better, improved and easier there are hours upon hours of nuisance and fuming over them not working and trying to solve problems. hours upon hours of our lives never to be seen again.

~ crocheting. one of my two major yarny projects at this moment is this above lace shawl. i bought the yarn for it 2-3 years ago, but as it isn't a pattern per se but more of an inspiration there's a lot of thought, measuring and counting that had to be done and that's not my favourite things (the measuring and counting) so i haven't gotten around to start the work until now. 

it's super sweet alpaca yarn, very delicate and i can see this shawl taking ages and ages to finish. it is so time consuming. but i'm sure it'll be a satisfying piece to have finished. one day. in a not foreseeable future alas.

~ thinking. about life and love. about ideas, dreams and visions. that some of us have them in abundance. that others have not. or at least it's seemingly  impossible to get those others to share them. and that makes me really really sad. because more often than not sharing is caring. and i don't know what's worst, to not have any ideas, dreams, visions or not being able (or willing) to mediate them. to the people that supposedly mean the most to you.

sometimes i wish i didn't have a brain that insisted on contemplating and analysing quite so much. but most of the time i do love my brain, it's a bit mad, a dash creative, a splosh inspiring, a sprinkle compassionate, a drizzle loving and overall rather fun to hang around with on a daily basis.

~ preparing. for the week to come. it's going to be brilliant.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

snowy saturday

strängnäs winter

how befitting that a certain fabulastic coat arrived just in time for the snowfall!

i don't mind the snow per se, but i still loath the ice. so no matter how natural for the season this is, and how disturbing a green winter is from an environmental point of view, it has been lovely from the lack of ice and walking point of view.

but yes, pretty it is, this winter wonderland of ours.
and when you've had enough, tasty it is, a warming carrot soup.

strängnäs winter

strängnäs winter

strängnäs winter

strängnäs winter

strängnäs winter

Friday, January 10, 2014

food in colour

beetroot risotto
that i immensely enjoy colours in my life is very obvious (no kiddin'), that includes food when possible. as i think food should be pleasing to the eye as well as palate. while presentation certainly isn't everything, it does count for a lot. as does colour.

last week i made a big batch of beetroot risotto. which isn't all that pleasing to the eye (granted it looks like a big, nasty chunk of minced meat in picture), but very colourful. and very tasty. and got us peeing red for the rest of the week. 

-- i'll try and link the recipe later, the day my broadband see fit to work again. until then search the blog for 'beetroot risotto' and you shall find. just remember not to dive into the risotto like poor byno did, his li'l bobbaloo face is stained for life -- edit, recipe link

i've also rekindled with blood grapefruit. amazing both for eye and palate. apparently a fruit in season now. not locally grown of course. but something perky and nice to get us through a couple of more glum scandinavian winter months.

what are your favourite colourful foods?

Thursday, January 09, 2014

green times, green nails

green times

Sometimes the silliest little matters count. Like exactly which colour(s) of nailpolish you should start a new year with. I've contemplating this serious decision for a couple of nailpolish-free weeks now. And since I green is my number one nailpolish love I went with the three greens I adore most. Circus nails in green.

Starting the year with a de-lovely trio, setting the bar for the year to come. Oh, it will be a difficult green trio to top.

green times

China Glaza Running in circles, Sally Hansen Grass slipper, Essie Pretty edgy

What's the first nailpolish of choice for you this brand new year?

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

it is the time of tulips - apparently

first tulips 2014

I've bought the first tulips of 2014. Seems terribly early in the season for that. They were irresistable, the pale salmon pink/peach colour is amazing. Soft, creamy and somehow silky to look at. They were also rather overpriced. Not something I'd do regularly. But it was a treat to get them as an office windowsill inspiration. New (work) year and all.

Unfortunately they didn't exactly thrive upon arrival home. Three days later they do look very tired and uninspired poor things. They probably miss the sun too. Or it actually is too early in the season for them to grow naturally and healthy...

Someone said tulips will be hard to find this season. And that they will indeed be more expensive. As a part in what climate changes do. If that is true it is indeed heartbreaking. All those sad little steps and signs heading in the wrong direction. What we people have done to this planet...

All the more reason to do good deeds and try and be a better being as long as we have a planet to live on. To try and make a positive change, for others and for ourselves.

Thus the green notebook will soon be filled with great things. In fact they will be super exceptional splendid phenomenal genius matters. Not only because the book clearly states so. But also because it will be the start of one of many great projects planned for this year.

first tulips 2014

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

the fabulous happy coat

the most wonderful coat

The much awaited coat arrived today. When I unwrapped it it was a most gorgeous piece. The colour is amazing, someething between salmon pink and coral. When I tried it on it was clear we were made for eachother. A coat obviously designed by someone who knows the female body, what shapes and details that flatter and compliment. Seemingly simple, understated, timeless and simply marvellous design. Quality down to every detail.

The shoulders are not too wide, just perfect, the arm-length perfect, chest width leaving room for sweaters and movement. It looks great both buttoned up and open. The collar is adorable, the buttons cute, the length perfect, it has a fabulous swagger, more flared than A-shaped.

If you remember the lovely red coat worn by Martine McCutcheon in "Love Actually", it's very much in that style. And I adore it. I'm so happy the green duffle coat didn't fit. I'm actually glad I didn't find a red coat, because this colour is just stunning, totally inspiring and happiness instigating. Especially in this drab weather we're currently having.

It seems that Marimekko keeps bringing me perfect garments filled with joy (like last year's summer dress to mention but one other). Next time I'm looking for something smashing in timeless style, great fit and awesome colour I will remember to look at the Marimekko website first (because the selection in the Swedish shops is unfortunately rather meager).

the most wonderful coat

It wasn't a day for great photos, and I don't know if it's even possible to capture the colour right, but here are a few quick snaps of awesomeness.

What a fantastic way to start the year, I am so looking forward to spending many winter days and oh so many years in this coat. Glorious giddiness. We were simply meant to be together, the fabulous happy coat and I.

Monday, January 06, 2014

winds of change


So on this last day of Christmas and New year's holidays I thought it would be nice with a summary of sorts. What I have done, felt, accomplished and what I have not. See, I had big plans on cleaning, cleansing and shuffle around things and messy stuff in the house. That I have done very little of.

But what I have done/got - which always is much nicer to concentrate on, wouldn't you agree? The things we accomplish and enjoy, not our shortcomings and room for improvement-features - are;

~  enjoyed good food - and not really Christmassy food since I've never appreciated that kind of food, not only because it's terribly animal flesh concentrated per se, I don't enjoy the vegetarian version either. Not really my type of food. With some few exceptions.

~ the relaxation away from thoughts and mind revolving around work

~ the knitting and crocheting

~ the swearing over the fact that the internet/broadband really doesn't work as it's suppose to (what I pay for) - had a sneaky suspicion it was the computer singing its last tune, turned out it isn't. Tomorrow I will have to deal with that nuisance too.
~ the scent of hyacinths

~ good talks - admittedly there have been some less than good ones too. I really do not appreciate how those retrieve less than pleasant traits in me. Although life as a saint would be terribly samey and dull due to no room for improvement and growth I suppose.

~ a certain fox jacket

~ good walks - although I would have liked more of those, but weather has really not been outdoors inviting, more of indoors snugglingish. So that's alright. It has after all been lovely to snuggle.

Tomorrow the new year begins for real. And while I am right where I should be in certain aspects of my life, others really need to change. Well, I'm probably at the right place period, what I mean is that in certain areas in life I am calm and content, whilst in others I am now ready and open for a lot of change, improvement and shift of focus.

Life is bittersweet as in it is not a constant, it always urges on, we evolve and change with it. I do believe I'm at that phase in life where I can understand and fully embrace that fact. In all its bittersweetness. I hope you can too.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

saffron toffee

christmas saffron toffee ~ saffransknäck

This kind of toffee is a traditional Swedish sweet during Christmas. It's called "knäck" (as in "crack", but the only addictive ingredient in it would then be sugar). Few ingredients, but still pretty tricky to get just right, the perfect kind of chewiness, not to soft, not too hard. I've actually never boiled "knäck" myself, but my mum usually makes a batch every Christmas.

This year she made a vegan version, using oats-cream from Oatly instead and it turned out lovely! She also used the Oatly recipe (which you find in Swedish here) that suggested saffron would be a neat thing to flavour with. And it really really was, very nice indeed.

If you'd like to make your own "knäck", here's the recipe;

Saffron toffee (knäck)
makes 50-60 toffee moulds

3 dl caster sugar
3 dl light syrup
3 dl iMat
(Oatly oats-cream for cooking,
I'm sure you can find something similar vegan in your food store)
2 tbsp vegan butter (if the toffee is to hard after sphere-test)
2 dl parboiled/peeled/chopped almonds
1/2 package saffron

1. Stir the ingredients together in a thick-bottomed pan.
2. Let to boil and then boil on low temperature without lid for about 90-120 minutes. Stir regularly.
3. Make the "sphere-test" to determine the right sticky consistency. Drop a small sphere of the batter in a glass of cold water, remove and feel the consistency. Too soft? Let it boil some more. Too hard? Add the butter.
4. Pour the toffee into the moulds, let it cool and solidify.

Let the furry inspectors give paw of approval.
Enjoy! (But please beware that they might be hard on teeth)

Saturday, January 04, 2014

two woolly hats

two caps

A year ago I knitted quite a lot of hats, caps and beanies, but I never got around to the blog show and tell part. Not even sure I've uploaded to photos to Flickr actually. When I do I will blog a bit. Because they were/are quite adorable pieces. Some from pattern, some my own creations.

But for now, two hats I've made during the Christmas holidays. I may not have followed through with a lot of the things I had planned to do during these past few weeks - I totally blame the glum weather and lack of energy for that - but at least I have been busy with needles, hooks and yarn.

So apart from finishing the supersized red scarf - more of later - and the finishing touches of the Lovikka mittens I have also begun crocheting one shawl for myself (bought yarn for it three years ago ie better late than never. Although it's a lot of work for a minimal progress, seems like it's going to some kind of eternity project...), begun a scarf to order and then these two hats.

The purple one is actually a Lovikka hat, a gift for my mother. I have yet to do the finishing embroidery. And with the green winter it's no rush for that, too warm to wear anyway.

The other one, with a big pink bobble is from left over yarn from that soy-wool scarf I made a few year's back. Lovely soft yarn, winter white and blue greyish. My own creation and I thought a big pink bobble on top would be the perfect finishing touch. I will probably save it for inauguration next winter. The hat itself was a reasonably quick knit, the bobble on the other hand took well over three hours to finish. A lot of yarn went into that. And obviously a lot more work than one might think... At least when one does it by hand alone.

To begin and finish a knitting/crocheting project within a reasonable time span, there's something so utterly satisfying with that. Must. remember. that. feeling. And un-embrace the fact that I might be the queen of half finished yarn-projects.

Friday, January 03, 2014

fox jacket

behold the fox(y) jacket! an irresistable piece found at the winter sales (in one of my favourite shops). 

organic jersey cotton, pale grey chocka-block with tiny winered foxes. adorable, stylish, comfy and fun galore. and with pockets. yes pockets might be the best, practical detail on pretty much any garment imho.

i'm sure we'll have lots of great times together, my foxy new pal and i.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

cabbage and quorn

cabbage and quorn

I'm thinking I will make more of an effort to cook varied meals this year, because if there's something I really really have not felt inspiration to do this past year it is having fun in the kitchen. At least not the fun that involves preparing food and trying out recipes.

It's been a year of mostly stir fries with whatever vegetables I have in the fridge and freezer. Which of course isn't bad food or non-tasty, it just gets... a bit dull, uninspired.

Thus the thinking of varied cooking effort would be nice - not that I count this as a New year's resolution, I never do those, find them plain silly. Every day is a new day to improve yourself and your deeds no matter time of the year as far as I'm concerned.

I will continue with the stir fries of course, because they are so darn tasty, healthy and reasonably quick to whip together - because planning ahead of hunger is not one of my strong points - one of my simple favourites being this one. The white cabbage and minced quorn. Lovely flavours, textures and surprisingly filling.

I enjoy quorn, but I'm not a fan of it containing eggs, which is such an unnecessary ingredient really. I know there's a vegan version too, no eggs in that, but sadly not available in Sweden. Yet. This quick dish can of course also be made with minced soy. I bet that is just as lovely and satisfying as cabbage and quorn.

I keep the flavouring to a minimum, just salt, black pepper and a tad coriander. A splosh of soy sauce would probably be nice too.

What's your favourite quick meal with few ingredients?

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

my january first

stockholm january 1, 2014

~ cleaned the bathroom and put up that pretty bird shower curtain bought a year ago. It is lovely!

At the same time I counted to 37 bottles, jars, soaps, lotions and potions on the bath tub only. (Ie not counting all the other bottles, jars, lotions and potions pre- and post-shower.) There might be a diagnosis for that condition. I simply call it utter pleasure and indulgence. Counting 35 bottles now, I emptied two today.

~ intention was a one hour brisk walk, to start out the new year (which will be fabulous of course!) with fresh air and energy refill. It became 2,5 hours brisk walk instead. To be honest it was only pleasurable 2/3 of the distance, feeling tipsy and exhausted from all that oxygen. Though pleased I did it, a great way to set the pace and attitude for 2014 somehow.

I love how the year is still unspoilt, the road open and everything is possible. Imagine what amazing things we can achieve!

~ a soy latte and a green smoothie - which also are important ingredients of my 2014.

~ did a pedicure - as much as these feet in boots were made for walking they so deserve to be pampered and cared for regularly.

So, how was your first day of the year?

stockholm january 1, 2014
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