Wednesday, November 30, 2011

and the winner of my first book is...

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Three little woollies braved the harsh winter winds and volunteered to draw the winner of a signed copy of "food and drinks with bobbaloos". To make a quick operation of it, we used the bobbaloo travel cabin for the drawing, Wilco - who did a great job the last time - was sent in to rumble through the tickets and chose a winner.

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"hurry up now, it's cold out here"

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Congratulations, Maria B

If you send me your address - my email can be found at my profile page - I'll have it in the mail asap.

Thank you all for participating, but most of all thank you for your kind and encouraging words about the book and everything else really! (If it was possible I'd give you all a copy of the book of course.)

Remember, you can still get the book in the Blurb shop, if I may say so, a perfect little feelgood Christmas gift for yourself or anyone special.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

a brand new luddkolt's website

Yes it still needs a bit of tweaking, there are annoying wee details I have yet to sort out, but all and all, I think the new Luddkolt's (my breeding of British Shorthair cats) website has the information and style I was looking for. Most everything can be improved, but for now, this will do (in Swedish only at the moment).

Kittens welcome.

Very Meowy me thinks!

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Monday, November 28, 2011

gettin' miss piggy with it

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There are three major recurring notions in trends I can't stand; animal prints, metallic and sparkly. Too much bling, hate bling in general.

That said, it was actually M who spotted the nailpolish display of the Muppet-collection from OPI, not me. I don't really  n e e d  another nailpolish. But I was quite taken with these, despite them being very glittery. I think it was the idea of having party nails, something sparkling amidst the recent weather glumness. I adore green and blue nailpolish, but I decided to go with red, seasonal and perky. I simply decided to Gettin' Miss Piggy with It. (Even if I have never been a fan of the Muppets.)

When I put on the first coat of polish I realised that hey, this isn't a proper polish, this is just a sparkly top coat. I can't find any about that on the OPI website nor on the display in shop and it was quite an initial nuisance to realise. But a couple of coats sort of gives the illusion of a nailpolish, red and glittery, flirtatious and very party even on a grey day. Plus, if it chipps it doesn't show as well since it's see-through and made up by tinsel. So it's pretty enjoyable anyway.

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The other jars comes with a little M story too. I was going to use my discount coupon on a jar of Kiehl's ultra facial cream (the one that works best for my dry and at times apparently sensitive skin), turns out they sell it in two jar sizes these days, so I went for the big one. Oh wait, said the sales clerk, let me give you a limited edition jar, it's much prettier. It's not as I had to pay more for it, so why not go for something more pleasing to the eye when I had the chance? - the expression on M's face overhearing that discussion was... well, obvious.

And when she described the deliciousness of Creme de Corps body butter with soy milk and honey and I went a bit swoony when I sniffed the sample jar - his facial expression went even more... obvious.

Some people just don't get it. Obviously.

PS The prettiness of the limited edition jar is however very debatable imho DS

PPS I was going to say a few words about how unfortunate it is that Kiehl's products are quite expensive in Europe, not just in Sweden, but really, they're overall pretty awesome and I will stick to my definitive view that too many things we buy are the very opposite to expensive, they're too cheap and if the consumer doesn't pay a reasonable price someone else has paid an unreasonable one DS

Sunday, November 27, 2011

advent sunday week-list

local christmas fair

Time for the weekly list. I'm proud to say, that even if it didn't feel like I accomplished much during the week - the wet, grey, dull blanket above is really doing its very best to dampen the spirit! But now we've had some rays of sun on two (!) different days and things feel a bit better - it seems I did.

By no means do I make these public lists to boast about how *much* I do in a week, most of us do the best we can I think, but I've found that if I make very public lists I really feel I have to start ticking things off them. If I only write them down in a notepad, as full of intention-to-do I might be while doing it, it's so much easier to slide in other directions...

So ticked off last week's list are;

~ three bags of stuff to charity Erikshjälpen, four bags of cat related things to one of the cat shelters in Stockholm (they're having a flee market next weekend) and two more for another cat shelter that will be dropped off next Friday

~ another week without snow. Yes it may be darker than usual this time of the year because of that, but really, the problems with the trains running very VERY less than smoothly during winters have been reasonable scarce (touch wood) plus no slippery, icy, nasty streets to worry about. And of course, the electrical bill is moderate.

~ the issues with the web host have been sorted. I'm working on the website. Finally. Though I'm still not all that friendly with WordPress. There are several (possibly minor, but just the same) annoying things that still needs to be sorted before I can officially launch it. But just being able to actually work on it for real - big sigh of relief.

~ and yes, it looks like (touch wood firmly) the problems we had with the registration of business name may be solved very soon. Affirmative phone calls have been made, letters have been written and posted. I am so hoping all these administrative matters will be sorted properly in the next fortnight. (And in this case  due to the special circumstances, of which I'm not going to tell at the moment but it has to do with bureaucracy that leaves a lot to be desired as far as efficiency goes, superfluous matters. Well, bureacracy often lacks in efficiency I suppose.)

~ the cowl is finished. But I need to tweak it, elevate its cuteness if you will.

~ obviously the saffron rusks got baked

~ went to a lovely Thanksgiving party - bringing a special little gift of appreciation to the hostess that I'm pretty pleased with myself - where the highlight of the food was a scrumptious butternut squash gratin. I'm now anxiously awaiting the recipe.

A *wee* fly in the ointment - pre-party, only something I was aware of and disappointed about - was the fact that the lotsa pockets dress had shrunk in the laundry (yes really, cotton apparently does that sometimes...), it didn't fit over my chest area buttoned up. Pure sadness in a dress situation. So yes, mum, the dress is all yours from now on... sigh.

~ I also managed to run a few miscallenous errands, cook a few dinners, vaccinate cats, install the Advent candlesticks and an Advent star in the window - but other than that, I don't do Christmas decorations anymore - and attend a little local Christmas fair.


For the week to come I plan to;

~ go to two different job related meetings, one definitely more pleasing than the other. But both have to be dealt with. Though with the various administrative and practical issues like the ones mentioned above, where I'm unable to really speed things up, I'm not sure what I'll bring to the meetings. Ah well.

~ have two nice lunches and one afternoon tea

~ f i n a l l y  announce the winner of the bobbaloo book - I'm so sorry it has taken this long...

~ prepare for another little blog giveaway, if the things I'm looking for is available

~ bake cookies (and possibly lussekatter)

~ work on the business website

~ start making a new cat breeder website, the old one has been up since the early 00ies and as much as it really needs a serious updating in so so many ways it hasn't been a priority since I haven't had kittens since 2007. But now that will hopefully change.

~ possibly finish that pair of Lovikka mittens

~ making the Christmas cards-list

Feels like it's a rather full week. Mostly in a good way though.

And yes, I recommend making public to-do-lists (of things okey to share), of course they're only ambitions and not set in stone, but I find that they do help my (at times wandering) mind staying focused.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

saffron rusks

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Easy to make - although a bit time consuming since they have to dried in oven for quite some time. Although perhaps not four hours, which I did this time since they seemed to soft for rusks, but in the end they turned out a bit like mini bricks. Never mind. I've made them before and they turned out lovely. So please continue -

and very satisfying in taste. Here's the recipe for biscotti style

S a f f r o n   r u s k s
makes about 40-50

220 g almonds
1 g saffron + 1 sugar lump
2 organic eggs + 1 egg white for glazing
2 dl caster sugar
1 tsp salt
~5 dl white flour
1 tsp baking powder

1. Finely grind 40 g of the almonds. Chop the rest very coarsely. Crush the sugar lump with the saffron in a mortar.

2. Mix the almonds, eggs, sugar, saffron and salt. Mix the flour with the baking powder and add that to the rest little by little. Be sure not to add too much flour.

3. Cover a baking sheet with baking paper. Roll the rusk dough into lengths and place them on the baking sheet. Brush them with the lightly whipped egg white.

4. Bake them for about 20 minutes in 180 degrees C. Remove the rusks from the oven and lower the temperature to about 100 degrees C.

5. Cut the lengths into biscotti sized rusks and then dry them in the oven for some 40 minutes plus - once again, by experience is that it takes quite a bit longer than 40 minutes to get them dry. But 4 hours might have been a bit long then...

Enjoy with a cup of your favourite tea ~

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

tired thursday thoughts, the random kind

i det här hushållet för katterna mycket nogsamt filmbok. jajamensan.

There was a teeny tiny li'l glimpse of the sun today. But it's still scary how dark it really must be, given it's almost impossible to take photos outdoors in natural light no matter time of day.

I'm really most tired these days. The lack of energy is almost palpable. And with these days being mostly about waiting for information - being dependent on other people's yes-no-maybe-i don't know:s in order to move on really is most tiresome - getting things signed, practical matters, technical matters, the really boring stuff, I have been watching quite a few movies while knitting (and waiting).

I've been keeping a movie-book since early 90ies - way before IMDB - I still do, I can't stop myself, I do love my lists. So I diligently make notes of actors, director etc etc in the umpteenth movie-book and of course rate them. I still haven't put all the movies I've watched (a few thousands by now) into a neat, synoptical register, I doubt I ever will, but for some reason it's comforting to have it all written down like this.

The most memorable movies (but not necessarily good ones) this past week - and for very different reasons - have been;

:: Videocracy - a documentary about Italy, Italian politics, corruption and the Italian worship of television. I was appaled and sickened. To put it mildly. It really puts interesting perspectives on the now ongoing Italian political crisis. Definitely worth watching. Just be prepared to be outraged.

:: Silent Hill - never played the game, just a horror movie I've recorded once upon a time but never have gotten around to watch until now (there are a lot of those, playing the current waiting game leaves room for through that backlog of movies). I actually enjoyed it more than I had expected. The ending still haunts me.

:: The Women - it wasn't a very enjoyable movie, a rather silly remake of a 1930ies play/movie and I almost couldn't watch it at all when I saw the horrific state of Meg Ryan. It's just so sad how she has maimed her sweet self with all that awful plastic surgery. And that was pretty much the only thing I could think about all through the movie. That trapped somewhere behind that weird looking face hid the real Meg Ryan. That all the actors (females only) in the end of the movie say a few personal words about beauty and she says something along the line of "Real beauty is authenticity" while so obviously not being authentic and real herself anymore. Saddening.

While watching movies I've knitted. The cowl is pretty much finished, another pair of socks too, plus I've begun knitting a pair of Lovikka mittens. But I've realised they're rather tough on the hands, that kind of thick yarn and the size of needles. Plus the sizes seem wonky and very small, I've been forced to unravel them twice and make my own size (and my hands aren't very big so I have no idea how this is suppose to be a man's size). They're pretty quick to make, if you didn't run into these size obstacles, but with them being so hard on hands I think I'll give it a rest for a while. It's not like we're expecting heavy snowfall some time soon - or, well, perhaps touch wood is very appropriate here, it's after all December anyday now, the no-snow-luck might be running out... - ie the need for very thick mittens isn't imminent.

Oh, and while this week has been mostly about playing the irksome waiting game, I've also baked those saffron rusks I planned to. More about them later (they're very nice and easy to make). Now a cup of evening tea and then bed I think. Toodle-oo Thursday, hallo Friday ~

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

first hyacinths

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The Christmas season has never much interested me, less and less so with every year - apart from Christmas cards, Ris á la Malta, lussekatter and hyacinths that is. I enjoy these four things that come with the season.

I'm very pleased about the first hyacinths of this season has just begun to bloom. I knew that "lawyers never lose their appeal" and the camera mug would come handy one day. Silly little trinkets have a tendency to do so now and then.

With the weather being similar to a very wet, tiring, grey blanket covering the Stockholm area for more than a week now - yes, I still say horay to every day with no snow, I do - and the lack of natural light being quite appaling, you really have to find little joys that brighten the days.

Like hyacinths and silly little mugs.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

the cove

I have only seen excerpts of the movie "The Cove", I am completely unable to see such senseless (and very human) cruelty against defenseless, peaceful creatures. I'm not one of those who has to be convinced about humanity's continous acts of evil. If you are able to watch this award winning documentary about the hunting of dolphins in Taiji, Japan for them to be sold alive to aquariums and marine parks all over the world or slaughtered for meat, you should. And tell others.

I follow the Sea Shepherd on Twitter, their daily eyewitness tweets about dolphins being hunted, captured and murdered are sickening. I retweet as much as possible. Just when compiling this blogpost I read this tweet: "dolphins incl.3 babies. Possibly 1 maybe 2 babies taken by dolphin resort. All other dolphins incl.babies brutally killed". Just another day of Weltschmerz...

You can also learn more about what you can do by watching this information video.

More information about their work, not only with the dolphins, can be found at The Sea Shepherd organisation's official website

"If you aren't an activist you're an inactivist" - Richard O'Barry

Monday, November 21, 2011

red socks reality check

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The red socks from earlier. As I mentioned then, I felt they needed some snowflakes amongst all that red. So they got some before I handed them over to the buyer.

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This is how the red socks turned out in the end. Had I had more time I would probably have stitched some more on, but I like how they look now too. And so did the customer. Very cozy looking snap this.

the red socks and their new owner

Thank you kindly for all sweet comments on my knitting, crocheting, making! I'm very happy you take the time to write them. Heart.

I would also like to write a few words on the selling of crafts and handmade things. In this case my handmade things. Some years ago I did sell my things and made more of an effort on the promoting. It went pretty well. That was before every department store and high street chain began offering similar stuff at a fraction of the price most crafters are able to sell their items for. (Unless you're a celebrity or a lauded, for more or less good reasons, designer.)

I have an Etsy shop for my jewellery (and other places where I display my stuff, have a look at the my-shops-page above) - I rarely make jewellery these days, seems pointless when I don't sell it and already have pieces I enjoy using myself - and the knitted/crocheted things. But I'm simply not able to compete with the "Etsy-prices", so it's an empty li'l shop. I have absolutely no idea how so many crafters are able to create, sell and seemingly make a living (are they really??) with such prices on their pieces. I'm sadly and unfortunately well aware of the fact that crafters and artists rarely get a reasonable pay for all the work and time they put into their pieces, but really the materials alone cost more for me than many of the end prices in Etsy-shops. I simply can't get that equation to work.

Basically things in this world are to cheap. People are getting so used to cheap things - can we blame IKEA for this too, please? - demanding things to be cheap, not grasping the quite obvious fact that if YOU are not willing to pay a reasonable price for the things you buy, well then someone further down the line of the production chain has had to pay for it instead (salary, working conditions, poor quality, the environment and so forth).

One the one side I wish people could see the wonderful value in handmade, 'slow-made' items, often OOAK, yes, there's a little piece of the soul of the maker in every carefully handmade thing produced. On the other side I wish crafters wouldn't be so afraid to take a reasonable price for the things they make, instead of collectively engage in cutting the prices. I may not be able to afford 10 pieces that way, but the one or two I get instead are even more treasured.

If you haven't guessed by know, this is another thing I think about a lot. That in this day and age of cheap instant gratification and a planet on its knees due to that behaviour we all need to shift our way of buying (and selling).

So. By no means do I feel that my work with yarn, needles and hook are more worth than anyone else's, but I'm just not willing and able to sell my pieces for prices ridiculously out of touch with the reality of materials and work I put into them. If other crafters can sell for figures that work for them, well done indeed. Myself I haven't in general been able to. These days I only sell pieces when people explicitly ask for something. And yes, I'm all for trade-offs - in case we have something we're both interested in trading.

My views on the matter. And red socks.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

last week, next week

shoe per diem nov 17, 2011 -

I'm quite enjoying the lists of what-will-I-do-next-week and what-DID-I-do-last-week, keeps me reasonably focused at tasks, instead of dreaming, contemplating and well, procrastinating I suppose... So here goes, ticked off (yayness) of last week's list are;

:: one inspirational fika, lunch etc is better than none - I had to run for the bus one day which that left my calcaneal spur/right heel terrible sore and painful. I managed to hobble myself through that day, but no more out and about walking for the rest of the week. Ah well. That left time for more good pottering at home.

:: yes, a pair of new socks were worn (evidence above)

:: i have baked - carrot cake in a roasting pan, spelt-rosemary breads and lemon pie

:: i made the raw icecream - and also a big batch of the creamy vegetable curry so there's plenty of leftovers for the week to come

:: embroidered all the socks - will show how the red ones turned out in the end tomorrow

:: got a lovely sprucing of hair

:: sold some furniture - have two more ads out this week. Hopefully this will fund the revamping of office space. Fingers crossed.

:: filled a wee bag for charity - yes, I'm adamant to properly fill more this week


:: finally bought paint for the office space - the painting will have to wait a while still, but the paint is close at hand. Me like. A lot, a lot, a lot.

:: enjoyed a full week of no snow - can we make it all through November, can we, can we, please?


Not ticked off last week's list were;

~ befriend WordPress, or well, perhaps it isn't WordPress but my web host that's acting up. Some days I just don't have the energy to concentrate on the mess, the technical aspects don't interest me and when they don't work I just need a break from the nuisance of it all. Will sort this will, yes I will.

~ getting that essential thing done - which is the register of my business' name - dealing with administrative authorities and their little popes, seriously... When it's sorted, one way or the other, I'm going to tell all about the magnitude of stupidity here...


So apart from the things above, for the week to come I'm planning to;

~ rest the foot

~ finish another pair of socks and of course the cowl - halfway now

~ bake saffron rusks

~ and yes, attend a Thanksgiving party on Saturday (the bobbaloos are invited too, how about that!), my first one, I'm hoping and thinking it will be a delight  - well, apart from the poor turkey, I hope I'll be able to completely concentrate on the vegetarian dishes... 

Now focus, focus.

Friday, November 18, 2011

happy cowl weekend

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Yes, I'm spending a good portion of a - what the forecast predict is going to be - glum weekend weatherwise with this lurid hank, making a cowl for someone (other than me).

The yarn chosen is bobbaloo approved - worth to mention is that while approving it they also pointed out that really, there aren't any violet, magenta, chocolate etc bobs living in the Scandinavian colony. Demanding li'l woollies they certainly are... -

and I can't wait to get started. It simply screams to be made into something delightful.

Have a lovely, restful weekend all!

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"hey, what are you all up to? is it edible?"

Thursday, November 17, 2011

december kittens

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Sharing my happiness - and hopefully not jinxing it by telling... so let's touch wood on that - over the fact that yes, there will be fluffy kittens arriving in December. Around the time of Lucia, proper little "lussekatter", plush, purring, cuddly, minuscule teddybear kittens (aka British Shorthairs), in many possible colour combinations, dotty, bicolour, torties, blue, red and then some. Oh- and awwness galore...

Siri <3 Rutger = true

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

post-sock-embroidery daze

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Yes, I did finished embroidering the socks yesterday. No make that today actually, since I spent pretty much the whole night doing it. I'm in a bit of a post-sock-embroidery daze. It was incredible time consuming, I didn't think it would be. Had I been thinking about it more beforehand I would of course have knitted the pattern into the socks instead of embroidering them afterwards. But now it's done. And I learnt a lesson. I think they're quite cute, although I'm not completely satisfied with the details.

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M made navy doodles (the lad is good at doodles) and from those I created the pattern - that part I am proud-ish of - but it was just supertricky to get every crosstitch even onto a knitted backdrop. But then again, they're not suppose to look like they're machine-made 'perfect', that would be rather pointless. (I'm working on being satisfied with "good enough".)

The actual socks were ready in April, though when summer came, and sore hand, the dealing with wool yarn and knitting wasn't on the agenda. But now finally there's an end result. Hopefully reciever will be pleased.

Me, I'm just very happy to have finished another project, I'm obviously very good at starting them, not quite as good at finishing them completely. Too many half- or very close to finished yarny projects around. Last Christmas was a very good time for actually finishing many of those, I'm thinking this Christmas - which is quickly approaching, gosh, this year called 2011 must be concidered one of the most swooshing by ones I've experienced so far! - will be a good time for that too.

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There's a pair of red socks also, very red, very nice hue of red. But I'm still contemplating doing a little snowflake pattern on them. Simple freeform. Perhaps in celebration of the fact that there has been yet another joyous day of no snow. Thus red socks will be presented - by Hefflebaum - another day.

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How's your yarn, needle and hook-projects for autumn/winter coming on?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

raw chocolate icecream

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I've had leftover bananas in the freezer for a while and making a smoothie again or bake a cake felt... boring. So I was very pleased when I found this recipe for almost raw vegan icecream (in Swedish) the other day. Only three ingredients, which certainly added to the awesomeness.

Not a great fan of soy milk I went with coconut milk instead (which made it raw icecream for sure) and it turned out... delicious! So simple, so healthy, so creamy, so satisfying and so dairy free, in other words, so many wins. Even if it's not as photo-pleasing to the eye it looks alright 'live' and the flavour way surpass the 'alright' judgement.

As I don't care about the rawness I served it with warm cherries - which of course added some extra delight - I imagine warm raspberries would be wonderful too.


R a w   c h o c o l a t e   i c e c r e a m
2-3 portions

2-3 frozen overripe bananas 

2-3 tbsp raw cacao
a dash of coconut milk

1. Either you a) peel and slice the bananas, put them in the freezer for a while or you b) take the frozen unpeeled bananas from the freezer, thaw them a bit under running, warm water and then slice them.

2. However you decide to do, the frozen slices should then be put in a blender along with the raw cacao - I used the nibs from the other day - add dashes of coconut milk while blending until you get a nice consistency.
 

Serve immediately.

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The nibs weren't completely absorbed in the icrecream but instead they turned into crunchy little bits like crushed chocolate bars. Lovely.

I did re-freeze the icecream leftovers - for some reason there were leftovers - and it tasted okay, but more like sorbet, I'm thinking another whizz in the blender would make it as good as new again.

So ticked of the week-list are now also:
# make raw icecream
# another day without snow
# embroidering of socks (or at least they will be before I'm allowed to go to bed)

Monday, November 14, 2011

november monday

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On a day when I apparently (subconsciously, promise) matched the lipgloss with the nailpolish (OPI Dulce de Leche) I have so far managed to tick this off yesterday's list-of-the-week:

unconsciously matching nailpolish and lipgloss. that kind of day.

# a monday breakfast accompanied by good talking about the life as a small business owner

veg breakfast

# handed in suggestions to get "the essential thing" fixed. Fingers crossed.

# another day without snow

# halfway through on the fourth sock

With very little sleep last night it will now be an early night, after having inaugurated my new toothbrush. I hope for squeaky-clean teeth and many hours of restful sleep. For a tomorrow with more list-off-ticking.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

for the week to come

three socks week

I plan to:

~ have a few brainstorming sessions which will include fika, lunch etc (because they're so much nicer that way) with people that inspires me

~ deal with not so good news I got last week, regarding something rather essential about my new life. Ah, the silly little pope behaviour of administrative authorities never fails. But this really has to be fixed. Asap. And there are no options other than it being fixed. Gahness galore.

~ continuing with the office revamping, not much got done last week admittedly, not much at all. Including filling some more bags for charity.

~ finish a fourth sock, that'll make it two pairs. Plus doing some embroidery on a couple of those. Not my forte, so how that'll turn out remains to be seen.

~ wear some more new socks - I actually did wear not two, but three new pairs last week. Yayness!

~ bake more

~ make raw (vegan) icecream

~ have a lovely hairdresser appointment with much needed sprucing of hair

~ being less annoyed with WordPress *I know I can do it, I know I can do it, I know I can do it...*

~ add to that some of the things I never did get around to last week

~ look forward to more days without snow

~ and of course, it would be lovely to hear more about your views on friendship

That sounds reasonably doable, right?

Friday, November 11, 2011

...and a wee bit of food shopping

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During all that talking and walking yesterday - I love reading your comments so far on the topic of friendship, please keep them coming! - we also managed to browse some food shops. Admittedly I'm not much for browsing said shops in general, if I'm not on holiday, then I love it, but it was just really nice to (also) guide an out-of-towner to various delicatessen, vegan and organic shops. I find that often makes me see the things - not only food shops of course - in a new light.

Thus I picked up a few things - some I had on my to-get-list, some she (a former vegan now vegetarian)  recommended -

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First stop was little delightful shop "Lakritsroten" (The Liquorice root), specializing in just that, liquorice related things. I'm not a great fan of liquorice as such, but there are a few lovely exceptions of course and I am game to try new flavours.

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So there I picked up a bag of saffron-liquorice rusks (from Emmas skafferi, Emma's pantry) - new in shop, I bought the very first bag. Nice rusks, but the saffron completely overpowers the liquorice, as saffron often tends too.

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Their own blend of raspberry-liqourice tea - looks grand and smells divine, but sadly it has very little flavour.  Nothing at all like that wonderful flavour-packed liquorice Forsman tea.
I also got a little bag of the actual sweet-root (lakritsrot), that I have yet to try.

Lakritsroten is a very nice shop, but the fact that they charge you extra for a simple gift wrapping isn't one of their nice features...

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At vegan shop Goodstore I got some organic pumpkin-ginger rice noodles (King Soba), basil tofu (Taifun) - which I'm thinking will be very nice together -

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raw cacao (from Naken, Swedish raw food brand that means "naked") - for a lovely simple raw icecream recipe I spotted the other day -

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and almond milk (EcoMil), because I've always wanted to try. Hopefully it's not only an appetizing idea, but actually drinkable too. If not, one can always use it for pancakes.

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At minuscule organic delicatessen 8T8 I treated myself to another tin of my new favourite tea brand organic Löv tea - the chocolate vanilla flavour is really nice, not a chocaholics dream perhaps, like the giveaway tea, but subtle and delightful - 

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and some handmade organic luxury toffees from Pärlans konfektyr (wordplay in Swedish, literally it translates "The Pearl's confectionary) - love their simple handstamped greaseproof wrapping! My favourite flavours were peppermint and seasalt, chocolate and liquroice were nice, but the crunchy coffee toffee I didn't like at all.

Not a bad day's shopping I think. And overall rather guilt free. Always a plus.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

friends for different occasions

Today I met a friend for the first time face to face and together we spent one of the loveliest days I've had in a long time. Some 10+ hours were passed talking, walking, vegetarian/vegan food browsing, a wee bit of shopping with a stop for lunch and later a cup of hot cocoa.

I was pretty exhausted, hungry and tired when I got home late in the evening, but also with the great feeling of having been able to both talk, being heard AND listen to someone who actually do think outside the despicable box for so many hours. To not having to had restrain myself from comment on issues people in general find well, less than pleasing to hear about.

That's a sadly rare thing these days, at least for me, the 9-5 life for so many people, the commitments, the family life and so forth, they all make it difficult to spend long hours just talking, talking, talking with no particular deadline. Therefore I rarely have that utterly satisfying feeling of having thoroughly vented a subject after meeting friends. Sure it's nice to have lunch, coffee, afternoon tea, dinner, drinks, go to some cultural event, but a few hours (perhaps after not having seen eachother for a few weeks, months even), it's just not enough time for catching up and discuss life, the bigger picture for real, to challenge the mind.

Sometimes I also feel, that no matter how nice, kind, well-meaning friends are we move in such different circles intellectually. I've been brought up to think for myself, question and criticize (when needed) and I miss such discussions, ventilating and challenging. I often find I can't talk about certain issues without people taking offence, taking it as a personal insult perhaps, they get defensive instead of simply taking it as a suggestion to think differently, see other sides of the life coin.

So many people, too many, just accept norms and values set by society (which of course actually is made up by ourselves), keep doing things by jog trot (like eating meat), never really question the selfish IKEA way of living, never analyze underlying motifs, refusing to see the big picture, how my actions make an impact on someone else's life on the other side of the world, that we are all connected.

Or perhaps I simply spend time with the *wrong* kind of people, perhaps we've grown apart over the years. Some of my friends and I. At least I know for sure I have far too few friends who are vegetarians. People who never question their own choices, who never seem to strive to become better, more compassionate people, I pity them and I pity the world.

And for saying that, being who I am I do know some people find me uppish, preaching and tiresome. Because to find time to actually question and challenge your ways, your life in this soul-crushing 9-5 life of ours it takes an open mind, effort and, most of all, a sincere wish to become a better person.

Trying to make a change - while nota bene definitely not being all perfect oneself, still eating some dairy products and using leather goods for example - influence others, in some small way at least, being an advocate for those who far too few listen too, care about, since selfishess rule, it's wearying. And some days, friends that don't challenge you, that are just a happy chat over a coffee and cake for a couple of hours, that like to talk shoes, nailpolish, cuddly guineapigs, curtain fabrics, planned holidays and such are just what a mind weary about the unfortunate ways of the world needs.

Friends for different occasions.

shoe per diem and liquorice

What's your thoughts on friendship?
Does it vary over time?
Do you grow apart?
Do you need friends that challenge your mind and ways?
Do you have friends for different occasions?

Edit: Where do you draw the line between friends and acquaintances? Do you have one?


The more I think about this, the more thoughts I'd like to add to this post. And I actually do think about it a lot, but this is the first time I've put it to blog. Fodder for more posts.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

knit sweaters for penguins

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This made me cry today, but also feeling more than a tad bit awwwness about the people who actually get down to knit sweaters to help the little penguins affected my the massive oil spill (caused by human greed as always...) in New Zealand. Penguin jumpers. So adorable, but for a very sad reason. So if you want to do a good deed with your knitting, this is one of the most worthy causes I've heard of in a long time.

Pattern and more information on how to get the sweaters to the penguins in Swedish

Pattern and more information in English, please read here, here and here

And even if they get a surplus of small sweaters I'm not so wildly guessing there will be sadly more occasions the penguin jumpers will come in use at, at a later date...

Edit: apparently the campaign has been very less than well-organized unfortunately, no need for more sweaters.
Read more here 
*Thanks for the link, Anne*

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

yes to carrots etc

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I've been a great fan of the Yes to Carrots - and not only because I *suffer* from the carrot defect - skincare range for a few years now. Sadly another fabulous brand not available in Sweden (yet). So whenever on a trip I look for it, always available in Sephora.

So I picked these up at the getaway; the lovely lovely cucumber-green tea shampoo I mentioned earlier.

The three different body scrubs I'm very pleased about. See, I've been searching in vain for good, affordable body scrubs sans oil recently - I loath the far too common oily scrubs, I don't want to feel all oily and unfresh when I step out of the shower, scrubs should scrub, oils nurture the skin afterwards if one feels the need for that. Scrub and oil in one jar is nastiness only, as far as I'm concerned.

Haven't begun using the Yes to Carrots one yet, will save for a special occasion, but the Sephora ones are lovely and unpretentious, smells divine of pineapple-grenadine and strawberry-raspberry. Instant tropical island holiday and perk-me-up (in more than one way obviously) in the shower. Me like.

I'm looking forward to using the body butter, with the cold and dry air we have during winters. I've never been a great fan of really buttery lotions but this time of the year, these past few years of getting older and apparently drier and drier, my poor skin is screaming for moisture (just not the nasty one offered in bodyscruboil jars). So I'm game to try anything new regarding that rather seasonal condition.

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What body scrubs do you use?
Perhaps you make your own even?
What's your favourite skincare product/s to use in order to
make your skin feel less dry during the colder time of the year?

Monday, November 07, 2011

good tea, bad tea

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I often judge a book by the cover, because curiously enough I've found that when I love the cover design I also at least 95% of the time love what's between the cover pages - "Special Topics in Calamity Physics" being a perfect example of the love cover, love book thing.

I wish the same could be said for tea. There are so many fabulous looking tea tins, packages, bags out there, but honestly they promise tea delights galore, but sadly more often than not disappoint.

The above teas I have mixed emotions about, cheap tea from a supermarket I just happened to stumble over - the tea, not the supermarket - called Garant (= guarantor, I suppose the name is suppose to toot quality guaranteed). Needless to say I adore the boxes and design!

The pink one is passionfruit-apple flavoured and it tastes just as lovely as the pink design box promises. The orange one is just that, orange flavoured. And tastes pretty much nothing. Sad face over that one. They do have otehr flavoured teas and gorgeous boxes that I hope will be as lovely as the pretty pink one, need to scout for those asap.

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Then we have teas picked up on recent getaway - and no it wasn't to London, the Harrods tea was for some odd reason sold at the airport when we caught the flight back home - both pretty in design. Especially the Harrods box, fabulastic design and that apple colour, oh my - and Q heart it lots, since she sees a kindred spirit in every green globe - and the box smells so nice of green apples. For that pricey price, surely it must be really good tea?

Short answer: no. Verdicts range from no discernible flavour at all to a stale aftertaste which basically makes it impossible to drink. Overpriced crap brand tea in a pretty package.

The other to packages where picked up at a local supermarket in "destination so far unknown to blog readers". They tea looks so pretty, simmering in hot water in their see-thru bags, it smells promising and lovely of citrus and spices... But, sadly, they also taste like nothingness. Albeit a cheaper nothingness.

It's odd how remarkably many bad teas there are around for all the few good ones. I'm so glad I found the lövely Löv tea tins and my new best friend the t-sac. They make my daily tea rituals so predictably good, simple and satisfying.

I'm also pleased I obviously have bobbaloos to colour match any tea packaging I lay my hands on.

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svart te = black tea, apelsin = orange
gamla söder = old south (söder being a hip part of inner city stockholm)

Sunday, November 06, 2011

last week, next week

the yayness of a MOO package! from @overheardatmoo

On the brink of a new week, I can tick this off my list for the week that went;


~ I did take quite a few pleasing steps towards my new life

~ have spent pretty much the whole weekend revamping and cleaning the office space. And then some. It's such a cathartic feeling, the deciding what to keep, sell, give away or throw away. One should do it more often, but one doesn't. The keeping of good, important, inspirational and pleasing to the eye and soul things only, should be essential. But for all sorts of reasons I don't live like that. Yet.

~ foot feeling tad better, but not completely well, though at least it's doable

~ it was a lovely ladies-who-lunch experience with a new friend at a new place. Both the lady and the place in question (more of later) where very inspirational.

~ baked a couple of things for the freezer and the sweet tummy. Not as much as planned though.

~ obviously the small sized woollies arrived

~ I finished one and a half sock, almost a whole ticking of that list bullet.

~  so did the MOO parcel. It was awesome! Show and more tell later.

~ the root filling happened. Yes, it has been painful (to begin with) and costly (all the way). I hope it's something in my rearview mirror only now.

~ yes, it has been an incredibly glum week weatherwise. But snowless, hooray!


For the week to come I plan to;

~ continuing with cleaning and revamping of office space. Including selling some furnitures, getting a new simple desk and the paint for the walls. I know what colour I want, I just hope I'll find the perfect hue, that will look as good on the walls as I imagine.

~ get good news. As much as one can plan that. So let's say I plan to keep my fingers crossed for said good news. Much awaited such as a part of new life according to me.

~ have at least two good lunches with friends...

~ ... including long and good talks about life

~ continue to make really good use of the t-sacs

~ sporting at least two new pair of socks, because I didn't do that at all last week

~ hopefully finish that book I never did finish last week. But at least I'm reading, even if slowly.

~ fill more bags of stuff and books to giveaway to charity

~ do some more baking

~ working more diligently on the new website I really need to get up and running asap. I just loath the more technical aspects of it. So it takes time. And I have to take lots of breaks because it annoys me so much that the instructions, as usual, aren't very user-friendly or for close-to-dummies. But I'm also learning along the way. The long way. Hopefully the learning will stick.

~  announce the winner of a signed copy of my first book (do I hear a hum of excitement here?)


So, do you have any good plans for the week to come?

Friday, November 04, 2011

happy november weekend ~

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Every day that passes without the first snow is a good day, even though it's strangely (and rather worrying I suppose) warm for the season with temperatures touching above +10 C. It feels like September rather than November. It's lovely (and does wonders for the electrical bill), but odd.

This autumn has, due to the high temperatures, completely lacked the lurid red and deep orange foliage I so adore this time of the year, nature and trees are instead different hues of yellow. But in my garden the ornament tree has shed some red, deep orange leaf and I've enjoyed it very much. It always make for a nice backdrop. This time for things bought on holiday and bobbaloos. Care to guess which destination where fishies are one speciality?

Have a lovely weekend,
with sweet relaxation and joy ~

Thursday, November 03, 2011

when heart sponges give life lessons

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I'm a stickler for well-thought through details, in general the quirkier the better. I'm also a firm believer that design that combines a pleasing playfulness with user-friendliness and comfort always wins over things that oozes boring usability only.

Add to that an even firmer belief that the daily boring household chores - but please, always keep in mind that a clean house is a sign of a wasted life - instantly get more fun-ish with the right tools. Like a red vacuum of course.

But on the more perishable side of tools I like to give an example;

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these heart sponges. Of course the cleaning and washing will be much more fun in the company of perky heart shaped sponges (or any other pleasing shape) than the usual unimaginative, dull rectangular sponge.

Admittedly I got these in Denmark quite a few years ago, but it was only recently the bobbaloos found them and reminded me that life and chores get quite a bit easier to manouevre with sweeter looking tools.

Bobbaloos really are not only cute as buttons, they're really clever little enlighteners. Us humans are so often blind to the obvious, sometimes it takes a bobbaloo or two to see sense and light. Heart.

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