Thursday, December 3, 2015

Vii goes Visby

I promised exciting news so here it is!

About a month ago I walked into this new little store here in town.
I could have been a regular customer, commenting on how nice everything was, deciding on a pair of earrings and a poster, paying & closing the door behind me again.

I'll spare you the details but instead I got talking with the owner. 
Guided by my curiosity, but also because I could see the possibilities straight away, I asked about how she got started, how much she paid in rent (not a very Swedish thing to do but I felt like I could) and when she said that she had been thinking about a collaboration of some sort to share the costs, I pounced!
I left her a Vii-flyer and asked her to look at my products and said she was more than welcome to let me know if she was interested.

I paid, closed the door behind me, but I left with much more than just a pair of earrings and a poster ...

I got a text message the same evening :)

Sara from Pattern & Grading and I met the next week. The same day I moved my stuff into her store and together we rearranged and redecorated the window display.

Now we're 3 weeks further down the road.
I've been in the store on my allocated days, Monday to Wednesday, and selling at Christmas markets during the weekend. If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram you've maybe seen we've even been able to fit in a little inauguration party to celebrate our partnership :)

Yesterday our window got its Christmassy look and we got the logo up as well!

Exciting times, as you can imagine!
Our little idea, that little charming store in that barn on the countryside just got a lot of space to grow!

Stay tuned!


Friday, November 6, 2015

Add more colour to your diet!

As nature is losing its colours and the sky is grey rather than blue it's so refreshing to bring some colours into other aspects of our life ... Who said winter fashion has to be grey and black? Buy that green winter coat and bright yellow scarf!

The most obvious way to add colour to life for a nutritionist is of course through food. Salads are colourful by nature but now that we crave more warming food there is still hope for a vibrant colour scheme on our plates! Experiment with anything from the vegetable kingdom! My number one tip would be beets :)

We closed our store location a while back (the winter season is always so much more quiet than I remember it!) so I have a lot more time to spend in the kitchen all of a sudden. (What a blessing!) But just like every year the winter will be over before I know it and at least half of all the projects that I'm planning to do won't get finished. (Why is that?)

The store remains my number one focus though. The webshop is getting updated almost daily with Christmas present inspiration, I've signed up to just about all the Christmas markets here on the island and I might have even more exciting news to share in a week or so!

Until then, keep it healthy!*

*and with that I don't just mean the food on your plate, but also the thoughts in your head, the words coming out of your mouth, your relationships, your stress and activity level and everything else that makes up your lifestyle.

A bit much? I blame the fact that I had coffee this morning  ☕ It makes me rattle ☺️

Aina Maj

Monday, October 19, 2015

Treehouse Getaway

I'm not often at mum's place without a job description and a to do list, so this was a completely new experience :)

A lovely little holiday in the South of France. 
Croissants for breakfast served in our treehouse.
Lunch outside in the surprisingly hot sunshine, some sunbathing, some sightseeing, but most of all, just relaxing!

We started October in the best possible way.

I did give myself a mission as I am making mum an Instagram profile. Now I finally have a platform to share all the treehouse pictures I've taken over the years!

 If you've been at Orion B&B and have your own pictures to post, don't forget to tag @oriontreehouses and hashtag with #orionbb! 

Why not today?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Market Life

A lot of lists were written while brainstorming about opening our lifestyle store.
A lot of plans were made.
Some of those didn't materialise (or haven't yet) while other things just sort of happened without ever making it onto the lists in the first place.

Selling at markets was one of those things ... quite a few steps outside our comfort zones, to be honest, but with our recently adopted why-not-today-attitude we basically just had to go for it :)

No matter how brilliant our location is during the spring, during the fall & winter not a lot of people visit the local garden center.
From the end of August to the beginning of October markets are in the focus here on the island so from now on that will always be the time we go out and find our customers instead of waiting for them find us :)

Yesterday we had or final and most successful market - what a way to end the season!
We'll be putting the dates for next year's markets in our agendas already now so that we won't miss a single one in 2016!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Open Allotment Day

Today was open allotment day here in Visby. Hadn't it been for my adorable neighbour who has her own plot I wouldn't have known, but now I got a personal invite! 
Geared with my old but loyal camera I criss-crossed the paths alongside the different gardens, sneaking up on bumblebees and butterflies, doing my best to take only pictures and leave the berries ...

Due to the water shortage on the island people here are only allowed to water with a watering can, not with a hose, so the fact that so many flowers survive is the result of true love and dedication :)

I came home with a little bouquet of flowers and kale that is now on my kitchen table 

Some days you don't need much more than this to be happy :) but God do I miss my greenhouses!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


I've posted photos of limestone quarries before, as there are quite a few here on the island and definitely more enjoyable to swim in than our algae-riddled Baltic sea, but none are as amazing as the one we found last weekend. 
Look at those colours!!! đź’—

When you live on an island like Gotland it's almost considered a crime to leave during the summer months,
so when Jonatan and I both had 4 days off we decided to explore some more of the island, by bike! 

Isn't mine just a beauty? It truly is the best health-investment I've ever made. My old one didn't have gears which used to be my main excuse to take the car instead. Now I just need some winter tires so that even snow won't be an issue. (I'll let you know how that goes :p)

Since I went to a screening of the documentary Bikes vs Cars here in town this spring (and downloaded the tracking app with the same name) I've biked 350 kilometers, saved 22 liters of oil and 45 kg of CO2! We also sold one of our cars since we moved into town and put a tow bar on the one we kept so that we can take our bikes with us when we want to go explore a bit further away from home.

So now, what are your excuses for taking the car?
How about leaving it at home and biking/walking/inline skating/carpooling?

Why not today? ;)

Your health and/or the environment will thank you for it!


Sunday, August 9, 2015


The fact that sleep is important for our health and wellbeing is nothing many people will argue against.
Many things that we take for granted are affected by sleep.
Sleep affects our quality of life!
What I find especially interesting is that sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors in the brain: the hormones that are released into your blood when you are sleepy are the same ones that drive appetite. Getting enough sleep is therefore especially important for those who want to keep their weight in check.
On top of that, sleep lowers stress levels and increases emotional stability.
Plenty of reasons to make sure you get enough zzz's! 
Nothing new, but worth reminding yourself (myself) of.

Feeling a bit down, stressed or craving unhealthy foods?
Why not switch off your tv, computer or smartphone an hour earlier and treat yourself to an extra hour of restorative sleep?

I bet you can hear me coming ... Why not today?

Hint: a clutter-free yet cosy bedroom and an inviting bed definitely help! 

Saturday, July 18, 2015


There's no better place for lunch than a charming greenhouse filled with old furniture and pretty plants on a cloudy summer day.

Days like these I feel especially blessed to be running a company of my own, sharing the work load with my business partner who's been in the store on her own these past days so I get to spend time with my visitors. (Thank you Lotta!!)

Sure, being self-employed can be scary as hell. It takes a fair bit of discipline and a dash of naivety ...
& of course there are days when I second guess myself and wonder if I'm being stupid ...
but then I remember that I only have one life, 
and I really can't imagine wasting it working on someone else's dream!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Closing one door, opening another.

On the first of July I locked the door of my little red cottage behind me for the last time.

What started as a summertime housing solution in 2013 turned into 2 years of waking up to sea view in the middle of what I used to call my little paradise, where I took care of the gardens as well as the rental of a couple of summer cottages.

It was a dream come true. 
I had always wanted a little house of my own surrounded by nature.
I had 2 greenhouses at my disposal where I could grow my own food,  the beach at 50m from my doorstep, 
and I could go for walks in the nature reserve bordering the property without even meeting a single person.

It was a lot of work and took me a lot of time, but it was worth it.

But when the man who used to share my little paradise with me bought himself his own slice of paradise and gave me a key, my own paradise lost its glory and all of a sudden the reasons to hold on to it didn't outweigh the reasons to leave anymore.

I will miss the mulberry tree, the plum- and the apple trees, the blackberries and the figs,
I'll miss the early spring breakfasts & lunches in the greenhouse, soaking up the sun behind the glass before it's warm enough to sit outside.

I will miss the beautiful sunsets from my kitchen window and the sound of the waves ...

But nothing beats new-found freedom after letting go of too many responsibilities.
And there's nothing better than the energy boost a change always seems to bring along!

So now ...

Are there changes you know you need to make?
Isn't it time you let go of responsibilities that aren't yours to take?
Isn't it time to listen to your heart?

Why not today?

PS: That's really all it takes: "Why not today?" Lotta and I made posters and postcards with exactly that phrase on them (in Swedish though). So helpful to put up on your mirror or fridge as a reminder! 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Cardamom cookies by Vii - Varför inte idag?

This is the very first recipe to ever appear on this blog! 
I realise it's not the healthiest recipe to share for a nutritionist but since these are the cookies that won most votes during our cookie tasting this winter it only feels natural to share it with the world :)

You'll need:

150 g butter
150 g sugar
300 g flour
1 egg
1,5 tsp cardamom

  • Mix butter, sugar and eggs until smooth & add the flour and the cardamom while stirring until you have a smooth dough.
  • Let it rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes (cover the bowl with Bee's Wrap if you own one :D)
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C, roll our the dough on a floured surface, cut out cookies & press with a cookie stamp (we had ours custom made by Average TP on Etsy - so cool!).
  • Bake for about 10 minutes in the middle of the oven & let your cookies cool on a rack.


We gave away these cookies to everybody who promised to like us on Facebook during our opening weekend ... and of course we couldn't stop ourselves from eating the leftovers :) Otherwise they keep well in a closed container and even longer in the freezer.


xxx Aina Maj

Sunday, May 31, 2015

How an idea became reality

On the 6th of October last year the owner of the garden center I used to work at agreed to rent us some space in one of his barns, which is when things got real and we had a goal to work towards. 

We'd open the shop in the spring.
We had half a barn, but no door, and no wall to divide the garden center's storage space and what would be our store.
We had a lot of product ideas but no name, no real concept, and basically no clue :)

Super excited, Lotta and I met in Stockholm for our first official business meeting about a week later, drank loads of tea, coined a name, made huge to-do lists, drew plans ... and then life got in between until we met again in November.

Then, our logo, website, Facebook page and Instagram were created ... and life got in between again.

I like to think we've been super busy, actively planning and working on this business idea the whole winter, but in practice we procrastinated a whole lot when it came to searching for products and distributors and most of the "planning" actually happened during conversations with friends and family (and even complete strangers!) and time flew by nerve-rackingly quickly!

Originally we thought we'd start off with a little event with cookies and coffee inside one of the greenhouses at the garden center to offer a sneak peak to the people we knew and present a selection of our products to whoever was interested, but then, suddenly things started happening!

We got a door, a wall, shelves, made signs, started ordering our carefully selected products, printed postcards, posters & tote bags, baked cookies, invited our friends over for a cookie tasting, baked more cookies, and were generally feeling pretty good about things. 

Despite the fact that we definitely could have planned and procrastinated some more, we decided to put our motto to the test.
Why not today? Or rather, why not the 2nd of April?
We sent press releases to the local newspapers, prepared celebratory champagne, brewed loads of coffee to go with our cookies and hoped a lot of people would show up for our very first opening day!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Lifestyle changes

Last September me and my friend Lotta started brainstorming about how we could create for ourselves the lives we really wanted.
It's been clear since we met in 2010 that this would involve starting our own business ... so that's what we did.
On the 2nd of April, after months of dreaming, imagining, thinking, planning, ordering, organising, and quite a few freak-out moments we opened our lifestyle store called "Varför inte idag?" - Swedish for "Why not today?"

A name that became our motto, a daily reminder, and now also the name of my blog which till this day was called "Sustainability" a term that has become so vague over the years that it was time for an update.

Why not today?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year!

It's the 2nd day of the year and so far I've kept all my January Resolutions*:
I got up at a reasonable time, didn't eat meat, didn't drink alcohol, did (some) yoga, didn't spend money on anything I didn't actually need (none at all today actually), and did more work than I'd planned to do.
Oh and on top of that I did all my dishes, so my kitchen was clean for at least one full hour!

I've also had time to watch a chick-flick while eating cookies.
Talking about a successful day ...

Now the movie's finished and so are the cookies and there's a really loud storm raging outside that makes it impossible to sleep, so I picked up my favourite gardening book at started planning/daydreaming about the spring.

Amongst all other exciting plans I have for this year, my vegetable patch will be bigger than ever!

I don't know about you, but I'm SO ready for this new beginning!

*to put a little less pressure on myself I'm dividing my new year's resolutions up into monthly ones ... You should try it, it feels so much more manageable :p
I'm planning a sugar-free February. Who's with me?!