Thursday, April 30, 2015

bye bye snapseed, hello ps express

these past few years my number one favourite photo app has been snapseed. it had great features and filters that set it apart from other photo apps. it was easy to understand and navigate.

sadly after the latest update all the great key features have been removed, now it's simply an average photo app like so many others. and not very user friendly anymore. the update reminds me so much of when flickr drastically changed for the worse and completely lost its charm.

but as with everything in life, when something is lost, another door opens. in this case i rediscovered ps express, an app that used to be average and quite boring but which has apparently also been updated. for the better. 

i absolutely adore its varied filter options, how easy it is to tweak the photos and the high quality and sharpeness of the end result.

from a real colour punch or soft and dreamy to eerie inverted or wistful black and white.

having so much fun, again, with the iphone camera! in fact it's like a new camera. so from the sadness (in a luxuary problem way of course) of losing a fabulous and reliable photo app i'm in love with an old, once boring now exciting one. looking at the magic achieved with the app, wouldn't you agree?

i use other photo apps too, but none has been as reliable as once snapseed. i'm glad i've found a new favourite. it may not have every advantage of former snapseed, but it has loads if others. obviously.

what's your favourite photo app? 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

the vegan icecream season has begun

food and drink stockholm

Remember I wrote about the lovely Yelp ice cream testing a few years ago? Well the tiny organic icecream parlour 18 smaker (18 flavours) how now moved to new fresh digs. Just around the corner from their old ones. Room for more guests. And more icecream flavours.

food and drink stockholm

The drawback is that you now have to enjoy the excellent icecream with a less than excellent view - the heavy traffic of Hornsgatan. But I suppose that's a small price to pay for being able to enjoy the best (vegan) icecream in Stockholm! Because it truly is the best, even if you don't chose the vegan options - even if you should - they're all organic, flavourful and less sweet than your regular icecream. Which is great, less sugar, more flavour, winwin.

food and drink stockholm

They had at least 12 different vegan options when I had my first icecream of the season the other week. And it was über-tricky to chose the perfect two flavours. I do love their chocolate soy icecream though, so I pretty much always chose that. And then I had to have the saffron rice icecream. First time for rice icecream for me. It was very fresh, the consistency a blend of icecream and sorbet. My friend chose the raspberry sorbet to go with the chocolate. Flavour thumbs up!

food and drink stockholm

One thing that makes 18 smaker so great is that their flavours are so Swedish, not overly complicated and not overloaded with sugar, thus all the flavours come through. Apart from the usual flavours like vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and such they can be forrest berries, liquorice, strawberry cheesecake, saffron, cardamom, apple-cinnamon, rhum raisin, hazelnut, pecan, coconut, earl grey and mint sorbet, kiwi sorbet, pear and ginger sorbet, lemon sorbet, blueberry sorbet, orange, banana, apple sorbet, polka. Every day different flavours, so you're never sure what you'll get.

food and drink stockholm

I'm thinking icecream made of coconut milk would be perfect for making a very creamy vegan icecream. Perhaps they'll have that one day too. Or I could try and make some myself.

What's your favourite vegan icecream?

food and drink stockholm

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

do you want to sign up for a novella subscription?

norberg, sweden, april 2015

My friends at Novellix publishing company - which I wrote about on World Book Day - got in touch with a fun offer for my friends - and that of course includes you, dear lurking blog readers -

If you sign up for a novella subscription before May 10, 2015 and use the code "prosit" when you check out you will get 50 SEK discount! All books are written in Swedish, a subscription costs 99 SEK for 3 months (and you only have to subscribe for as long as you want) - and you will get new short stories written by Hans Gunnarsson, Ann Heberlein, Jonas Karlsson och Khashayar Naderehvandi.

Free P&P within Sweden, 59 SEK for the rest of Europe. You will find more details (in Swedish) at the Novellix website.

I really recommend these novellas, for all the reasons I previously mentioned. I'm also thinking they would be great little reads for anyone who's studying Swedish. And who knows, maybe you'll find your new favourite writer in the subscription?


PS. The subscription packaging is simple, unpretentious, just like a little paper bag full of sweets for grown ups! DS

Monday, April 27, 2015

are you coming?

are you coming? the pug named malte off to make an international paw print, april 2015

It isn't the first picture I've sold via the photo app Foap. But it's the first one which got a shout out on Instagram. And there's something extra sweet with the notion that this quirky little pug fella, a friend of little loaf, will make an international paw print somewhere. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

you, me and a cup of tea

luddkolt's british shorthair, april 2015

a nice cup of tea is always best shared. 
with the best of friends. 
why do i always have to remind you that sharing is caring, human?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

shall we plant these?

luddkolt's british shorthair, april 2015

it's such a lovely time of the year. flowers flowers flowers of all shapes and sorts.

luddkolt's british shorthair, april 2015

luddkolt's british shorthair, april 2015

flowers, april 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015

the horse scarf that was a zebra scarf

the zebra scarf

looking at the scarf now it seems ridiculous that i thought it was a beige scarf with black dalecarlian horses print. but when i spotted it in the window display that was exactly what it looked like. 

not really my colours (duh) but it was such a nice print and something that would go well with brighter colours. when the staff took it down and it turned out to be not horses but black/green striped zebras i knew i had to have it. 

the zebra scarf

i'm not an impulse buyer, but i do believe that is just what i did. or why no call it an earth day celebratory purchase? yes, that sounds better, with animals and in earth tones.

it's supersized and a blend of cotton/viscose. i've worn it already and it's really lovely, stylish even. an extra wee plus for the little bag it came in. a nice touch for a wonderful wearable piece. 

the horse scarf that turned out to be a zebra scarf.

the zebra scarf

Thursday, April 23, 2015

world book day 2015


Admittedly, I haven't been very successful with the concept reading by rota. Not because I wouldn't be able to be, but for the fact that I've been so absorbed by a few books I haven't been able NOT to read only one chapter at a time and then move on to the next in the pile.

I haven't written a book review since October, but I've certainly read them. I'm pleased to say. very pleased. It may be the World Book Day today but I won't write one today either. Instead I'll give you a clever reading tip if you feel you lack your usual reading mojo, or perhaps you just want to discover more writers in a simple way.

world book day 2015

Go read a short story.

Not exactly revolutionary, but such a great and easy way to keep reading and finish a book, lots of books. And find new favourite writers. Or decide that writer really isn't your cup of literary tea.

A small publishing company in Stockholm called Novellix publishes only short stories, a mix of old classics and new writers. Both Swedish and foreign, sometimes the short stories are brand new and written especially for Novellix. Publish four at a time. And pretty much always with wonderfully designed book covers.

world book day 2015

This was my first short story from Novellix, which I hadn't heard of before that. My mum gave me the book and since John Ajvide Lindqvist is my favourite writer it was a great wee gift. It's a fantastic story, he's such a talented and clever horror writer and these 45 pages sent such chills down my spine I couldn't turn the lights off for several nights after I'd read it. The novella is called "Speciella omständigheter" (Special circumstances) and it'll definitely make you think twice when buying your new home.

world book day 2015

Novellix later started to follow me on Instagram, I followed back and was smitten by the idea of novellas. Apart from selling their novellas online (and in some selected bookstores) they have a neat subscription where you get 6+1 books during 3 months.

food at home, march 2015

My first 2+1 books where three short stories by Astrid Lindgren. I've since gotten 2 more and in may I'll get the last two. I've also bought a few more novellas since, some I've enjoyed a lot while others have been, to be honest, less than well written nonsense. But since it's nonsense on few pages that doesn't matter all that much compared to when you get a proper book and get sorely disappointed. And the enjoyable ones have certainly wet my appetite for those writers.

books books

For Easter they had a cute little box with some novellas which was perfect as an Easter gift. I've come to love that it's always so easy to both start and finish a book when you have a short story close at hand. And that it's a lovely thing to do while having fika or breakfast, to read a little story accompanied by tea and cake.

So a good novella, for a quick read fix and food for thought, that'll be my tip for this year's World Book Day.

Edit: The friends at Novellix will give you 50 SEK discount if you sign up for a novella subscription before May 10, 2015. Just write the code "prosit" when you check out! All books are written in Swedish, a prescription costs 99 SEK for 3 months. Free P&P within Sweden, 59 SEK for the rest of Europe. More details (in Swedish) at Novellix website.

What's yours?

food and drink stockholm

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

earth day 2015

on a personal level it has been a lovely lovely earth day (proof is in the pictures). i wish the earth could say the same. sadly i think not.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

a timer named ztina

same same but different. a timer just like ztina. the timer is a gift for my mother, who've been wanting a pretty one for ages. but it moved house it needed to be captured with its lifesized, living twin.

such fun when you find very special AND useful little things.

Monday, April 20, 2015

sticky lemon cake

sticky lemon cake, april 2015

I baked this very simple sticky lemon cake for M's birthday yesterday. Sadly it didn't turn out the least bit sticky though. The recipe said 'bake for 35 minutes', since I know my oven gets a bit warmer I baked it for 25 minutes, but even that was too long. If you want it sticky.

sticky lemon cake, april 2015

If you just want a really lovely, simple lemon flavoured cake that goes great with a dollop or two of whipped soy cream, well then the 25 minutes are fine.

(not so) sticky lemon cake

175 g liquid butter-oil
2,5 dl caster sugar
2 organic kind eggs - I'm sure you can veganise it
1 organic lemon, peel and juice
2 dl white flour

Grease a baking tin of 22 cm and line with bread crumbs. Set the oven on 180C.

Whizz the liquid butter-oil with the sugar. Mix it with the eggs, lemon peel and juice. Add the flour and mix it to a smooth batter. Pour the batter into tin and bake for 20-25 minutes (or possibly 35 minutes depending on your oven.

Let it cool in tin before serving on a plate, icing sugar on top, decorations of choice and whipped soy cream.

sticky lemon cake, april 2015

I'm pretty certain there's a rule that says you don't have to tell the birthday person that the quality inspector got a bit fresh with the cake.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

cherry blossom stockholm 2015, part I

cherry blossom stockholm, april 19, 2015

I've seen photos of the cherry blossoms in Kungsträdgården on Instagram for several weeks now. And even if it's a welcome sight of beauty and the brighter time of the Swedish year it is also way too soon for comfort to be seeing them in March/April already, just like it was last year. The trees are usually in full bloom in late April/early May.

cherry blossom stockholm, april 19, 2015

Thus the early sight has made me sad, it's not the natural time of the year, it's the manmade greenhouse effect time of the year. But after those too warm days the weather deities have decided we need colder weather again and it has been a few cold days, which have made the sakuras sort of return into hibernation.

cherry blossom stockholm, april 19, 2015

We visited today and even if the trees in the eastern part of the park were well on their way into full bloom, at least the western parkway is still only a pink shimmer. I expect it'll be magical and gorgeous by next weekend.

cherry blossom stockholm, april 19, 2015

'That hairless guy is really cramping our bobbaloo style, can you please take another photo?'

cherry blossom stockholm, april 19, 2015

'See, that lady in the background is really happy to see us!'

I still think know it's too soon for the bloom, but it's not the trees fault. It's the stupidity and carelessness of mankind. And I will love the cherry blossoms for their own sake and magical beauty, but with a wistful tang.

cherry blossom stockholm, april 19, 2015

Be prepared for a second cherry blossom post 2015, when the trees are in full bloom.
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