Wednesday, November 30, 2011

E-numbered Creativity



And this is how my village looks after Luqaz and I had some fun with glazing, sprinkles, and -I hardly dare to admit- E-numbers.
I wish I did my research before I ate some of our creations.
According to  wikipedia "food colouring is not really healthy to your body".
Ok, I knew this. I guess I was trying to fool myself into believing the dyes we used were natural ...
But one of the natural blue food dyes is said to be made of butterfly pee (not to mention those made of insects). There really is no upside here ...
We'll just have to stay clear of those chemicals in the future. White glaze is prettiest anyway, right?

Gingerbread Fun!


I'm still a novice in the gingerbread house baking thing ... but since I live in Sweden now and gingerbread house building is like a national sport here, I decided to roll up my sleeves and get going!

Meet my village!




Aren't they adorable?
They even come in black too :) 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Advent Sunday = Yum!

Sweden is a country of many traditions ... and most of them include yumminess.
Last Sunday we were invited to my very first Adventsfika (thank you Jenny & Kalle!), got a taste of a little bit of everything you're 'supposed' to eat and drink at this time of year, and once again decided that there's no place like my new home :)





Luqaz and I finally started baking too! 
We're a bit behind as we don't even have advent candles yet *shame* but as you can't eat candles I'm not too bothered :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Advent Adoration




Advent Sunday was rather stormy here on the island so I'm glad I took advantage of sunny Saturday to go into town.
I'm so happy that people not only decorate the inside of their houses!
Now we only need a little bit of snow to transform Visby into a true winter fairytale town ...

***

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sisters Unite!


What if someone told you that the world will be saved by the Western woman? Would you agree or would you frown and shrug your shoulders?
What would you say if someone said we actually can?

The Dalai Lama said we would, and the women behind the organization Tree Sisters think he's right. They call for a feminine response to climate change - an experiment to see what we can achieve if we all stand up and take action together.

Their goal is to inspire people (I'm guessing they accept donations from men as well) to start giving back through trees ... and reforest the earth within 10 years!

www.treesisters.org


Why not go find out if you want to chip in?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our deepest fear

So many of us aren't living our life to the fullest.
I'm lying in bed writing this, and it's not even 3 in the afternoon, so I'm definitely not living life to the fullest ... (although I'm thoroughly enjoying it at the moment ;))
But what is it that's holding us back?
Wanting to find out could be a great reason to follow a greytogreen workshop.

The poem below I've copied from the greytogreen workbook. It's so beautiful and so true that I wanted to post it on my blog.


"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It's our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?'
Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of Life. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of Life that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. 
As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

A poem by Marianne Williamson, slightly modified, from the book "A Return to Love"


Monday, November 21, 2011

Inspiration from the main land

We just got back to our little island after 5 great days on the mainland.

One of the reasons for our trip was a seminar called greytogreen - held by my mum - which we went to in Skåne, where we discovered Wallåkra, a pottery factory, restaurant and conference center.

We found time to sneak around in the workshop above the shop and decided that the owner has all the right to be proud of her remarkable business.
If I knew how to make ceramics I'd swap places in no time :)






PS: more info on greytogreen will most definitely follow, but check out the website - you might come across pictures of a familiar face :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Blue skies, soybean soup and cinnamon buns








It's getting colder and colder ... today the temperature didn't rise above 8°C , so under the swedish motto "there's no bad weather, just bad clothes" we put on an extra layer of clothes before heading out the door.
But out the door we go! This time of year the smallest patch of blue sky is a good enough reason for a walk - soaking up that tiny little bit of sun before vitamin D pills become the only option :)

Last friday I took my couch-surfers to Leva, where we had lunch under the blue sky - in their fantastic greenhouse! 

And for those who need some extra motivation to stretch their legs: their fantastic kanelbullar are also a very good reason for a walk :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Treasures


One of the many fun housewarming gifts we got was a sourdough starter. So far I've baked twice, and both times with a satisfactory result. Ok, I've got loads to learn, but who knew baking your own bread was this easy?
I'm definitely hooked!


Almost just as hooked as I am on Visby.
We won't live here for ever, but for now I just can't get enough of this little medieval town.
Every time I walk around inside the city walls I discover new details I missed before,
transforming every walk into a new photo-treasure hunt :)





Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!
Ready for a new week? We're going for a little trip! Photos will most definitely follow :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lemon Frenzy



Health has returned! Our couch surfers claim it's thanks to the "medicines from the Belgian pharmacy" (delicious chocolate and speculaas) but it could also be their ginger tea with lemon and honey that did the trick :)


And I think I've found my church!
The house of Pippi Longstocking is, in my humble opinion, one of the must sees on the island, and everytime I take people there I am reminded of "The Pippilotta Principle" (or het Pippi Langkous Principe), a book by Christine Weiner and Carola Kupfer on how our lives would all benefit from a little Pippi-psychology.
(obviously, I recommend you all to read it - the original is in German, but I'm sure it's translated into many languages)


And because we're organizing a little french-themed party tonight I've been making lemon curd for the filling of my tarte au citron!

I bet Pippi would be proud!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Visby Harbor at Dusk x 4

 


Look who got herself a little toy - Analog :)
In my defense, I was looking for a cheaper alternative to Dreamweaver and got stuck in the mac app store.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Shades of Grey





I went for a walk yesterday thinking everything was grey.

You know what?

I was wrong.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bad luck & minimalism

Does anybody else have these random times of total clumsiness & bad luck?


During the last week I cut myself in the finger TWICE, stumped my toes definitely more than I usually do, AND I got an unusually agressive form of migraine that pinned me to the bed for 2 days.



I'm better now though and feel very grateful that I have the time to be ill on weekdays. 
Quite a luxury, if you think about it. 



I stumbled upon the mnmlist, via Keri Smith, and found renewed strength in my refusal of the smartphone
I'm not saying I'll be able to resist forever. But as long as my old phone works, I really don't need a new one. Even if that means not being able to play wordfeud!


from that same website :

A minimalist is anyone who questions the necessity of things, and who tries to live with what’s necessary, rather than with consumerism.

I'm definitely not saying I'm a minimalist. I love my stuff! But isn't it true that most things we think we so badly need, are just things the advertisements say we do ... ?
And aren't we supposed to be smarter than that?

If we wouldn't be so addicted to stuff, maybe we wouldn't have to work that hard just to pay it all, and we'd be able to work less and do more fun stuff, even on week days! 
(providing you're not sick, that is ...)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Vanishing Grandeur


Stockholm is always worth a visit, but nowadays even more.
Nick Brandt has an exhibition at Fotografiska. And it's fabulous.


Brandt is not a wildlife photographer. He's a portraitist.
(seriously, google his work - it's amazing)
Determined to be close to the animal in order to reveil its personality,
his images are more than breathtaking. 
His non-profit organization, the Big Life Foundation, is dedicated to the preservation of Africa's wildlife and ecosystems 
His goal is to raise awareness and funds for those animals who may well be the last of their kind.



 But above all, his photos memorialize the vanishing grandeur of the natural world of East Africa ...

Excuse my pessimism (I blame it on the fact that I'm sick),
but is there a part of the world where humans don't cause destruction?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Vivid Autumn Hues & Good Excuses for Parties






I can't get over how beautiful this season is!
What the sky lacks in colour these days, you find in the leaves on the ground and those that are left on the trees. 
We didn't celebrate Halloween this year, but we had our housewarming party yesterday (almost 3 months after we moved into our appartment), which we extended with one extra night since we had so much food leftover :)
It's apparently not very common to invite your neighbours to your housewarming party here in Sweden ...
which, for me of course, was all the more reasons to do so!
Not all of our them showed up (good thing we had some back-up friends who did! :p), but it feels really nice to know at least some of the people we share the building with.
Now we know what doors to knock on when we need some sugar :)