Wednesday, September 30, 2015

farewell september, welcome october

September has sadly been a very quiet and overall blah month. Perhaps it's the continuing of the runny nose and the health issues of August that caused it, perhaps there are other subconscious stuff. Whatever reason I will not be sad to see it go. It simply feels like a lost month to me.

Looking forward to October now, my (birthday)month and a time of the year I usually feel strong, capable and inspired. I hope this will also be true this year.

Happy beautiful October, one and all!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

dermalogica ultracalming skincare update

It's been almost a year since I first began using Dermalogica skincare. I know I've gotten a few recommendations of the brand before and I think it's a great company, with mostly vegan products and all cruelty free. Plus their foundation and social projects. I just haven't gotten around to buying any products.

Apart from the small sized bottles I got last year I've continued to use Kiehl's facial products, even though they do lack all the moisture my skin craves they've been "good enough". Until now, now I've invested in a few bottles and jars from Dermalogica instead. And hopefully this winter will be easier to cope with skinwise.

On the street in Berlin where dear Cafe im Literaturhaus is situated and the hotel we stayed in last summer there is also a Dermalogica flagship store. I went past it pretty much every day but I never had the guts to go in, it looked so big and clinical and somehow that is a bit off-putting to be honest, not inviting. Plus I thought that the brand prices probably doesn't differ all that much within Europe.

That said, not the bottles are bought. I'm *slightly* poorer from a monetary point of view, but richer when it comes to compassionate products and skincare. The skin does feel a bit softer and supple so far, not sure that will last when the weather will get colder. But at least it won't be worse than it has been these last few years. I use the ultracaling cleanser, serum and intensive moisture balance cream.

The small bottles are from a special gift you got when you bought two normal sized products, with microfoliant and recovery masque that will come perfect for the season.

Mmm, looking forward to a good skin winter.

Monday, September 28, 2015

the super blood moon

I was pretty excited about the opportunity to watch not only a fullmoon, not only a super moon but a super blood fullmoon. Reading up on how to get the best pictures. Setting the alarm clock in the middle of the night.

Only to wake up to completely cloudy skies over Stockholm.

Well, at least I got a glimpse of the fullmoon before I went to bed.

How about you, did you see the super blood moon?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

hurraw! lip balm again

Yes I know, I've written about hurraw! lip balm twice, but still it's a great product and it's that time of the year when the lips (and pretty much everything else) need extra care and kindness. Vegan product and of excellent quality. Not to mention lovely scents - my favourite is still the first one I got, chocolate.

But if you're a liquorice lover you certainly won't be disappointed by that one.

The tinted black cherry is fine, but to be honest I then prefer lipstick over a tinted balm. Lemon is my latest stick, nice but perhaps a bit too cleaning product-y scent for me.

What's your favourite lip balm?

PS If you are a cat, the sticks are great for scratching against too. At least when hold by human. DS

Saturday, September 26, 2015

no oatly, not at all almost like a proper breakfast

food and drink at home

I'm a great fan of using oats milk when cooking and baking, but in general I'm not very fond of drinking it cold. As a grown-up I was never really a fan of drinking cow milk in a glass either, it's all a bit icky as far as I'm concerned.

But when Oatly launched these almost like a proper breakfast (pretty) oats drinks I thought I'd challenge myself and try them.

Tried them and realised I still don't like drinking oats milk cold, no matter how fancy the bottle, the pun or the flavouring is. It still is basically icky according to my taste buds.

Plus seriously not the least bit almost like a proper breakfast, more like a very quick, healthy snack.

What about the different flavours then? The superior flavour was definitely the pineapple coconut banana. Perhaps because it was kind of smoothie like and exotic.

Passionfruit mango is one of my favourite blends when it comes to beverages of various kinds, sadly it was a surprisingly bland and indistinct blend in the Oatly drink. I usually shy away from black currant flavours because to be honest I think they smell like cat pee, this one didn't and it might have been thanks to the blueberry and aronia. Still not very interesting flavourwise. At least not for my human palate, certain cats obviously beg to differ.

Have you tried them?
What did you think?

Friday, September 25, 2015

pink haybales

This summer pink haybales have been visible in fields all over Sweden. I think they're lovely in themselves but it turned out that they are actually a very clever part of the breastcancer awareness campaign. 

High visibility, usefulness, simplicity and for a good cause. It's far from often those three go hand in hand in marketing. I applaude the initiative.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

are you an internet cat expert?

This month's theme at the Internetmuseum - Swedish museum on the internet about the internet - is #webkatz and there are chronicles about lolcats, cats vs dogs and such. And there is a quiz about your knowledge in internet cats. All in Swedish of course, but if you happen to know the lingua, or your webcats for that matter, I think you'll find it to be rather fun!

I'm happy and relieved to report I apparently hold a Ph.D. in internet cats knowledge. Good to know all those decades spent with cats have come to good use.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

autumnal equinox 2015

food and drink at home, autumn 2015 -

Cheers, Autumnal Equinox, time flies, it still feels like summer was only yesterday! 

It has been such a fast year and to be honest I have a difficult time keeping up with the changes. They are so subtle and the seasonal differences aren't as obvious as they used to be. I feel a bit lost actually. Strange times in so many ways.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

miss peregrine's peculiar children books

books, may 2015 -

I bought a bunch of books in May. And of those seven seen in the picture one was a present and three and a half I've read so far. Of which one I didn't like, yet I'd already bought the sequel when I realised it was incredibly overrated (and with too much animal cruelty involved, yes I'm talking about Peter May's "The Blackhouse" of course) and one was alright even if not very memorable as such (The Good House) and one I absolutely adored. And that one is the what this blogpost is about.

"Miss Peregrine's home for peculiar children" by Ransom Riggs isn't like any other book I've read. I don't care that it's supposedly a book for "young adults", it just draws you in from teh first page and refuses to leave you once you've read the last sentence. It's a quirky, ingenious read that uses old, creepy photos to create a wonderful multilayered horror story.

I'm currently reading the sequel "Hollow city" and half way through I love this one too. Looking forward to the third books in the series being released in pocket in Swedish, "Library of souls". Yes, usually I prefer to read books written in English in their original language, but sometimes I share the books with my mum and then they get read in Swedish instead. And this series is of excellent translation (which sadly is far from often the case).

So if you haven't read these peculiar books yet, you really really should!

books, 2015 -

Monday, September 21, 2015

the 10 years blogoversary

Oh, I just realised I completely missed the 10 years blogoversary of this very blog, which took place on September 8, 2015 already. Oops.

a) It's quite a powerful thing, realising that I've been at it for 10 years already. With all the things, the ups and downs and in betweens that have happened through that decade. 

b) I'm admittely not as passionate about blogging these days (clearly, just missed a milestone blogoversary...). Or really, perhaps simply my approach has changed.

c) But I also admit the blog is now (and still) such an intricate part of my life. And work. My portfolio one might say. And even if most visitors are lurkers these days, the statistics show there is still such a thing as blog readers. Which is awfully nice of course. Hopefully this ol' blog of mine still have the capacity to inspire a few readers near and far.

Happy 10th blogoversary to me - 

and in celebration of that I'm giving away 10 colourful Prosit postcards to one reader who leaves a comment about how you found your way here, what made you return and what you most enjoy reading about. Last day to participate is October 1st - the bobbaloos will graciously choose the winner. 

Come on, stop lurking, leave a snazzy comment!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

the bumblebee's last rest

At least this little fuzzy fella got a very lovely last resting place.

There are quite a few bumblebees around still, which surprise me since it's awfully late in the season. And from what I learnt by the bumblebee book - A sting in the tale by Dave Goulson - that's not a common thing in the very short life of bumblebees. Oh what have we done with the world...

I'm 1/3 through the book and while it certainly is an easy read, fascinating subject and a new learning experience I have to say that the first chapter about his childhood days and excessive animal hoarding without, obviously, parental guidance has left me with a really bad aftertaste. And sorry, but that feeling lasts no matter how well meaning and responsible the rest of the book might be.

So any animal lover out there who's thinking about reading the book, do skip that first chapter. And possibly the one where he talks about his efforts in taxidermy too.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

scones kind of saturday

I haven't baked scones for well over a year, but I finally did today and had them for lunch. It was so lovely, moreish and perfect that I wonder what kept me so long.

Are you a regular scones baker?

Friday, September 18, 2015

cheers, friday!

As I said after the first use of the new, "powerful" blender I was *a bit* disappointed about the lack of excellent ice crushing and overall blending.

Tried it again today, started with the ice cubes alone and that was just a sad mess. The frozen banana cuts didn't work either. And I ended up simply having to wait until everything thawed in the blender before I could finish making the smoothie (same as the last one).

Very disappointing so I'll return the blender and look for a better one that actually can deliver the results it says.

I've gotten four recommendations of great blenders, in the price range of a long weekend abroad for two (yes really!) to a very reasonable sum. As I usually use a blender about twice a week buying the super-expensive super-blender isn't really an option. But I get it's a smart idea if you're a blendoholic (in the nicest of vegan ways of course) and have the budget for it.

Myself I'll opt for the reasonably priced one. It has an ice crushing function and has gotten great reviews so it seems like a no brainer to me. Plus, to be honest, for me a long weekend trip is a much nicer notion than a super-blender lasting (hopefully) 30 years...

Cheers, weekend!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

the sceptical cat and the cat wall

Really. You again. And that thingie. Never a quiet moment. See this sceptical face? You are so tiresome, human.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

a beautiful little book

I rarely read classics anymore, although I've had both wonderful and awful experiences with them. But mainly I think it is because there are so so SO many new books published that I want to read (and of course never will be able to catch up on) and I prioritize those.

Once again the novella format comes to aid. I had never read anything by Marcel Proust before this one. Possibly because he's rumoured to be *difficult*. But you know what, this little short story about madame de Breyes melancholic summer was so beautiful. Wonderfully written - I can see that in an ideal world you should read it slowly slowly savouring each word - and surprisingly easy to relate to. 

Love issues and emotions never change, deep down we are the same, it's just the way we express ourselves in words that varies through the centuries. I love how connected one can feel with the old classics. Even more so than with modern books, which in many cases, to be honest, leave me feeling rather more alienated than before.

Yes, I should explore more classics. And look for the novellas first.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

a new haircut

So. A) I've cut my hair quite a bit. B) I've decided to stop fighting (in vain) the grey hairs and instead work with them.

The feeling right now is a mix of liberation and loss. And a bit of excitement. 

The hair is such a big part of one's personality. And I'm grateful for it patiently having hung in there for the journey of life, through short and long, light and dark. I guess I shouldn't make such a fuss of the grey bits - which first appeared in my early 30ies, thank you dad - but I neither look nor feel grey (or my age for that matter) and it is an uncomfortable thing to embrace, what greys imply. 

But I've now reach a stage where I feel it's just too much work - and probably not very healthy, from a chemical point of view - maintaining the hair colour. So from now on I'll gracefully (hopefully) work with the greys and blend them with highlights. I would not be able to just leave as is, I really wouldn't, but I feel this will be a smooth and classy way to deal with an unpleasant fact of life.

And somehow, a shorter cut and a new style makes it more exciting. A new beginning of hair sorts. Looking forward to my own first wash and style with shorter hair, who knows I might even use the hair dryer (which I haven't used for years, the less time spent on styling the better).

I'm also happy to say that my new hairstyle is totally paw approved.

Monday, September 14, 2015

oh happy rain

Can't help but feeling it's very liberating and refreshing with these past few days of rain. 

Because as lovely as sunshine might be, it does get *a bit* suffocating after weeks of no change in weather. And the rain becomes such a relief.

Variety is the key to perfect weather. As in life.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

vegan curry stew

Finally found these particular soy bits from Swedish vegan brand Anamma - which in hindsight I'm not sure is completely necessary to create this dish, but they're lovely - and did this fabulous, flavourful stew.

Here's how (serves 3-4):

300 g Anamma bits (or other vegan equivalent)
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1-2 tbsp curry
1 solo garlic
1 yellow onion
150 g broccoli
1-2 carrots
1-2 400 g tins coconut milk 
salt, black pepper

Peel and chop onion and carrot. Chop broccoli.

Fry Anamma bits and the chopped vegetables with oil, grated garlic and curry for a few minutes.

Add the coconut milk - after making this once I found that one tin wasn't enough liquid, so I suggest more than one - and let it boil for about 5 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. Serve with rice.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

an impromptu board meeting

The trials and tribulations of the Prosit CEO continues. No matter if planned or impromptu, the board meetings are rarely about keeping focused on the subject at hand and paw.

No, focusing really isn't one of the strong points of the paw provided board members. 

Cuteness yes, focus no. But inspecting, oh yes.

So far I've managed to work and encourage the pros and managed to work around the weaknesses. 

I suppose that's a decent sign of a decent boss, right? Right.

Friday, September 11, 2015

cookies and novellas

This is pretty much how I'll spend my weekend - with a few great cookies and reading to match.

Have 1/3 left of the "From Holmes to Sherlock" book - still good reading! - and a couple of other half-read books I'd really like to finish, but I'm sure I won't be able to keep my hands from these beauties:

the latest batch from the Novellix novella subscription is four novellas of Agatha Christie (since it would have been her 125th birthday next week). Stunningly stylish cover design. They simply scream "read me!". And so I will, at least a couple of them this weekend too.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

a bowl of chai oatmeal porridge

I used to love making oatmeal porridge for breakfast, lunch or simple dinner. But after skipping dairy products I have been reluctant to do it, eating it with plantbased milk. It is perfectly fine to cook and bake with, eating it cold is admittedly an acquired taste after so many years of dairy - which I can't stand the taste of anymore, so that's at least a good thing.

But then I saw a recipe for chai porridge on Instagram and it sounded so lovely I couldn't resist trying it out. And it turned out lovely! And the cold oat milk in chai flavour was perfect with it. I added a dollop of raspberry jam for more flavour and I think my old favourite apple sauce would be great too.

C h a i   o a t m e a l   p o r r i d g e
1 serving

1 dl oatmeal
1 sliced banana
some grated fresh ginger
pinch of salt
pinch of cardamom
a handful of seed (sunflower, hemp, pumpkin)
2,5 dl Oatly Chai milk

Mix in a pot, slowly boil for a few minutes.
Serve with cold plantbased milk and a dollop of jam for more flavour.

Kind to your body, the nature and the animals - and not least, tastes lovely!

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

the organic mushroom sweater

Apparently it's a mushroom season for Swedish designer Gudrun Sjödén this autumn. The fly agaric is the adorable symbol and the gorgeous orange anorak in organic cotton is sold out already - looking forward to all those little old ladies (the brand's most loyal customers) in orange coats popping up everywhere all over Stockholm! 

I was not interested in the (quite expensive) anorak myself, but it would be nice to have something mushroomy... And then I saw this - a delightful grey sweater in organic cotton with a cute mushroom print!

A few days later there was a 20% discount and I went back and got one. The only must-garment this autumn: a pedagogical mushroom sweater.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

say hello to the blender

Finally a powerful blender in my kitchen!

I was superexcited to use it the first time and of course I had to inaugurate it with a try of recreating that fantastic raw chocolate smoothie from Copenhagen. 

My first experience with the blender was unfortunately not a completely positive one. Mainly because it did not crush the ice cubes as easily as it was suppose to. 

Of course I did put every ingredient (banana, ice, dates, raw cacao nibs) in all at once, it might have been better to just have started with ice cubes only. 

Also the dates didn't completely blend either. That aside I did put too many dates in and the smoothie was too sweet for my palate. Plus I had though the raw cacao nibs would turn into that awesome chocolate drink as at 42Raw but it was more like a liquid version of my vegan banana-chocolate ice cream. Although nice, not exactly what I had looked forward to. 

I will have to look for other kinds of raw cacao products to blend in instead. And definitely add less dates next time. Plus hope the ice gets properly crushed if I start with that first and separately. Because it's such a brilliant, tasty, healthy smoothie idea. It only needs tweaking to perfection.

Monday, September 07, 2015

refusing autumn

Here stands I, refusing to give in to autumn. Finally finding a day to inaugurate that excellent Marimekko shirtdress, which sadly neither occasion nor weather has allowed until now. Bare legs, yellow shoes, cardigan no coat, drinking a summery drink and adamantly refusing to  welcome autumn. 

Admittedly it was a bit nippy in the air at first. But if you walk on the sunny side of the streets you could not guess it was nearly the middle of September already. I do hope there'll be many more days like this still. I love Indian summers!

And I have no idea why it's the same story every year, so many Swedish people put on thick clothes, scarves, quilted jackets (yes really!) and winter boots pretty much as soon as their own holidays are over (which often is early August). Talk about missing out on natural vitamin D and a good part of our short summer season. If there is such a thing as the glass is half empty-people this attitude would certainly fall into that description. I know, Swedes are not the only ones giving up summer too early in the season, but to be honest, sadly we're not a very happy and content people, for all sorts of reasons. The signs are everywhere and that's heart wrenching really. The world is in desperate need of States of Wellbeing, but where do we begin? With refusing autumn?

Sunday, September 06, 2015

organic chocolate from mulaté

Stumbled over these gorgeous, organic chocolates from Mulaté - a Lithuanian chocolatier - at my favourite Växplats Nybyn earlier this year. Didn't buy any then, but later I got three of the packages.

Spices - dark chocolate with cinnamon, vanilla and cayenne pepper. Sadly it was not one of those dark chocolate ones that proves to my palate that dark chocolate can be enjoyable and I will certainly not buy that one again. If you enjoy dark chocolate you will probably like it though. It's likely vegan but "can contain traces of milk".

Peanut - dark milk chocolate (whatever that means) with peanut butter and salt. Nice but not spectacular or really memorable.

Tahini - dark milk chocolate with tahini and sesame seeds. Award winning chocolate that is just wonderful! With a distinct flavour and texture of sesame seeds (which I love) in a rich, round but not overly sweet chocolate. Love it.

I don't eat candy or chocolate often, but I can certainly see myself get this last Tahini chocolate bar on a regular basis. Not that that is a very likely scenario since I've never seen the brand anywhere else than at Växplats Nybyn, which is only opened May - September. Probably a good thing though.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

from holmes to sherlock

I'm surprised at how much I like this Swedish biography-ish book about Sherlock Holmes by Mattias Boström. Because a) even if I do enjoy a bit of the older move adaptions of SH now and then and of course the latest Sherlock TV-series I've mostly found the character really annoying. And b) I may have been a bit intrigued by the book but I mainly bought it because it was on sale.

Little did I know I would be smitten from page one. It's written in a rather endearingly patronizing way combined with dry humour and interesting facts about pretty much everything Sherlockian from the author Conan Doyle and his sources of inspiration up to how the 21st century Sherlock-series came by. I'm appalled at the lack of copyrights before the early 1900s and I had no idea just how extremly popular teh Sherlock Holmes stories were back when it all began.

Of course I have no idea if I'll love the book through all its massive 460 pages, I'm only 1/4 in to it yet. But I'm impressed by the clearly well researched story and all the little factual tidbits through the centuries. It's strangely enough quite an exciting read, like a suspense novel in itself.

Don't know if it has been or is planned to be translated in to other languages. But if you're lucky enough to read Swedish I, 125 pages in, do recommend it.
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