Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

When I look back at this past year, I feel pleased and very grateful.
I'm grateful that it's been a healthy year for me and all my loved ones, and I pray that the next year will be so too.
I'm grateful for old and new friends. This year I've not only had many good times with my old friends but I've also found new amazing friends. Unexpectedly enough, I've found so many wonderful and kind friends through my blog and that is something I really cherish.
I'm grateful for so many things but I'm most grateful for these.
Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog!
I wish you a safe and happy new year & may all good things come to you!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

I found a lovely surprise when I read Lisa's blog this morning. Thank you! And thank you for all the other birthday wishes I received... Your're all so kind! As I said in my last post, it's good to be reminded of all the good things in the world, which is why I wanted to share one of my favorite texts with you. It doesn't include snowmen, stockings, reindeers or santa clauses but it does include the most important Christmas ingredient - kindness towards other people.

The Three Kings

Three Kings came riding from far away,
Melchior and Gaspar and Baltasar;
Three Wise Men out of the East were they,
And they traveled by night and they slept by day,
For their guide was a beautiful, wonderful star.

The star was so beautiful, large and clear,
That all the other stars of the sky
Became a white mist in the atmosphere;
And by this they knew that the coming was near
Of the Prince foretold in the prophecy.

Three caskets they bore on their saddle-bows,
Three caskets of gold with golden keys;
Their robes were of crimson silk, with rows
Of bells and pomegranates and furbelows,
Their turbans like blossoming almond-trees.

And so the Three Kings rode into the West,
Through the dusk of night over hill and dell,
And sometimes they nodded with beard on breast,
And sometimes talked, as they paused to rest,
With the people they met at some wayside well.

"Of the child that is born," said Baltasar,
"Good people, I pray you, tell us the news;
For we in the East have seen his star,
And have ridden fast, and have ridden far,
To find and worship the King of the Jews."

And the people answered, "You ask in vain;
We know of no king but Herod the Great!"
They thought the Wise Men were men insane,
As they spurred their horses across the plain
Like riders in haste who cannot wait.

And when they came to Jerusalem,
Herod the Great, who had heard this thing,
Sent for the Wise Men and questioned them;
And said, "Go down unto Bethlehem,
And bring me tidings of this new king."

So they rode away, and the star stood still,
The only one in the gray of morn;
Yes, it stopped, it stood still of its own free will,
Right over Bethlehem on the hill,
The city of David where Christ was born.

And the Three Kings rode through the gate and the guard,
Through the silent street, till their horses turned
And neighed as they entered the great inn-yard;
But the windows were closed, and the doors were barred,
And only a light in the stable burned.

And cradled there in the scented hay,
In the air made sweet by the breath of kine,
The little child in the manger lay,
The Child that would be King one day
Of a kingdom not human, but divine.

His mother, Mary of Nazareth,
Sat watching beside his place of rest,
Watching the even flow of his breath,
For the joy of life and the terror of death
Were mingled together in her breast.

They laid their offerings at his feet:
The gold was their tribute to a King;
The frankincense, with its odor sweet,
Was for the Priest, the Paraclete;
The myrrh for the body's burying.

And the mother wondered and bowed her head,
And sat as still as a statue of stone;
Her heart was troubled yet comforted,
Remembering what the angel had said
Of an endless reign and of David's throne.

Then the Kings rode out of the city gate,
With a clatter of hoofs in proud array;
But they went not back to Herod the Great,
For they knew his malice and feared his hate,
And returned to their homes by another way.

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I wish everyone a Christmas full of love, laugther & peace. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Fried Green Tomatoes

One of my friends threw a Christmas party yesterday and I had a wonderful time. There were people there from all over the world (it was a perfect opportunity for me to practice my English) but I also had one of my best friends there and it just made it a perfect night! I love listening to other people's stories and getting to know them, even if it's only for a evening.
Christmas is a time when I think it's even more important than usual to remember how much we have to be grateful for and I really tried to do so. I thought about it as I was standing there in a room full of lovely and very nice people or getting a warm loving hug from someone I just met a couple of hours earlier... I'm grateful that I could see the kindness and love that we all are capable to show other people, even though we only just met. I don't always see it, sometimes it's to easy to focus on all the terrible things happening in the world, which is why I'm glad I did see it yesterday.

One of my all-time favorite movies is Fried Green Tomatoes. It always makes me cry, but I also smile a lot while watching it. Anyway, the movie is based on a book by Fannie Flagg, who also has written A Redbird Christmas. A Redbird Christmas has been standing on my bookshelf for a long time now, since I wanted to read it at Christmas. I've finally begun reading it and I like it already, even though I've only read a couple of chapters, and I'm going to make myself a cup of tea and cuddle up in the sofa and read some more now... And you know what? It's in Swedish (it's named En röd liten fågel i juletid if there's any Swedes who want to read it)! It almost feels strange reading a Swedish novel :-)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

My favorite things

Lisa assigned me the letter L so here`s my 10 favorite things beginning with L:

1. Love. And I don't mean only love for a boyfriend/girlfriend or /husband/wife, even if that love is amazing and wonderful too. But I also mean love for other people, love for friends, love for the things we enjoy the most doing and love for God.

2. Laughter. I think it's important to laugh and I really appreciate the people who makes me laugh out loud...

3. Literature. Even since I was a little child I've loved reading. I love the feeling of being totally focused on the story and how the character's soon begin to feel like old friends... Even though I'm assigned a lot of different books in my literature classes and we're discussing the great novels of our time, I still enjoy stories beginning with Once upon a time... Some of my classmates only talks about the writings of old French and Russian authors and it`s almost like they`re forgetting that it should be fun and relaxing to read as well. Whenever I read something that`s not on the literaturelist for the course, I don`t want to analyse and think to hard about the plot or the motifs or who's the antagonist... I want something that leaves me with a good warm feeling inside when I'm finished reading.

4. Letters. E-mail is much quicker and much easier but even so, there's something special about receiving an good old fashioned handwritten letter.

5. London. My favorite European capital. The streets, the houses, the pubs, the underground, the people... I even like the weather with it's rainy days.

6. Lakes. I like the peacefulness of sitting down by the shore and looking at the waves... It's far from peaceful to ride a snowmobile over a frozen lake in the winter but just as much fun!

7. Libraries. The smell of old books, the quietness and bookshelfs full of books makes the library a perfect place to read and study. I guess this one is connected to nr 3 and my love for Literature...

8. Languages. One of the things that fascinates me most about languages is how the ability to speak and understand a certain language brings so many wonderful opportunities. Opportunities to learn about other cultures and opportunities to communicate with so many wonderful interesting people...

9. Lángos. A delicious Hungarian speciality. It's yummy and if you haven`t already tried it, try it!

10. Late nights. It's so quiet and peaceful at night and I sometimes find it easier to be creative at that time of the day. And besides, it's always comforting being inside looking out into the dark night and knowing that I can just stay inside where it's warm and cozy... Somehow, having late night conversations with good friends are also very comforting and sometimes also very funny. The topics you come up with when everyone is a bit tired and everyone has turned into an amateur philosopher is sometimes the most memorable!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Almost ready now

I`ve made all my Christmas cards and I`ve sent them as well. I`ve bought almost all my Christmas gifts and they are all wrapped up. I`ve baked Christmas cookies and thankfully, there`s still some left for Christmas Eve (I`m not entirely responsible for the disappearance of the cookies, I`ve had a lot of help).
I`m almost ready to celebrate Christmas now. Are you ready for the holidays?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Thank you

Ever since I was a little child, this day has been very special to me. Today is almost my birthday ;-) Actually my birthday is on 24th of December, but since we Swedes celebrate Christmas on the 24th instead of the 25th, it isn`t the best day to celebrate a birthday ;-)

But this year, I had to write an exam today & I`ll celebrate my birthday tomorrow instead. However, I had a wonderful day (as soon as my exam was over) together with my best friend... Which brings me to my main point of this post :-) I just wanted to say thank you for all your lovely comments! I feel really bad for not reading & commenting on all my favourite blogs but I still think of you :-)

I have promised myself that I will enjoy myself tomorrow and forget about the essay, the exam and all the other things I should do... Because if there`s one day of the year when it`s alright do forget about those kind of things, it is on your birthday! Even though it`s just almost your birthday ;-)

Monday, December 04, 2006


It`s finally December! I`m busy writing essays (well, actually it`s essay now because I only got one left to write), studying for exams and reading literature... But December is my favourite month of the year and I`m trying to take the time to enjoy it :-) I`ve been making christmas cards, buying and making presents, wrapping the presents, made gingerbread, visited Stockholm Globen Horseshow (which has become a very nice Christmas tradition), riding (but I want to ride out in the snow! Where is it?) but I haven`t had the time to blog. I`ll promise to try and find some time to do it, but it will be easier as soon as my essay is handed in & my exams are done.

I hope you`re having a lovely December as well!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

I`ve catched up on my sleeping & I though I should catch up on my blog now instead of reading "The Scarlet Letter" or "To the lighthouse" (I have been neglecting my blog during these intense period of studying, so I don`t feel that bad about keeping my books waiting).

There`s one thing that`s been on my mind now for quite a while & I`ve thought about writing about it, but haven`t had the time or the energy to do it. I read Anna`s post about Extreme Home makeover & there were a very interesting discussion in the comments... One of the points brought up was whether or not it is just a big commercial program & I`m curious to hear what you think. Is it a show where loving, caring and generous people help others or are thhey generous because it`s good PR?

Personally, I like the show. I`m touched by the stories of the families who are helped & by the kindness that people show them... (I usually watch the show with tears in my eyes)

Here`s links for those of you who also enjoys the show:
Extreme Makeover: Home edition
Extreme Makeover Blog

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I`ve been dreaming about a nice, big bed to snuggle up in with a good book and of course, I had all the time in the world to just relax and enjoy the reading... In my dream that is!
I don`t know why I`ve been so focused on beds, but I guess that happens when you`re so busy that the question "When will I have the time to sleep?" pops into your head more than once during a day...
Wouldn`t it be nice to have a bed with some nice linens like Chocolate and Aqua Bella Notte Linens Bedding or Country cottage Bella Notte Linens?

I really need to slow down now & perhaps then I`ll stop dreaming about sleeping ;-)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Appletrees & jewellery in the making

It`s really cold outside right now (well, actually it`s rather cold inside as well) and I just love how beautiful it all looks. I especially love the look of the appletrees... Appletrees are such a good sign of how the seasons are changing and the beauty of it`s many different colours are amazing, which I think is why I like it as much as I do. And appletrees means apples & apples means things like applepie, cider, fruitsalad... The appletree isn`t just a pretty face you know :-)

I`ve finally have had some time to sit down with my pearls & I`ve tried do create some jewellery. Right now, it`s only jewellery in the making because I`m not really finished yet but here`s how it looks at the moment.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

To lose sight of the shore

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of
the shore.”
- Andre Gide

I`m very impressed by all the wonderful bloggers who isn`t afraid of taking chances and doing completely new things. It`s very inspiring! And what`s even more amazing is the fact that there`s so many of them out there ;-) Here`s just a few inspiring bloggers who in one way or the other have done things I find very impressive.

Flossy sells some really pretty things at Amethyst Grove, including my favourites - her cupcake soaps.
Flitiga Myran is just about to open her own shop Cosas and I wish her all the luck in the world.
Nesting in the 21st Century has a very nice shop, Nesting with style, and she seems to have lovely Trunk Shows as well.
Creative Little Daisy makes her own bags and sells them at Daisy Bags. Everytime I look at Autumn`s bags I feel like sewing.
inspireco at has lots and lots of goodies on her website & I love the way she has organized her shop. Who wouldn`t want to find out what she is selling under A cherry on top?
Tales from Pixie Wood has her lovely country chic shop Cherry Menlove.
Posie Gets Cozy has so many nice things that she`s selling at Posie - rosy little things.
Julie Carobini`s book Chocolate Beach will be published soon.
One of my favourite food-bloggers, Chocolate & Zucchini, is writing a book.

Thank you for all the inspiration!

The picture is borrowed from Cosas. Thank you Anneli for being so generous with your beautiful photos!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

All the way from Australia

I`m so moved that I`m speechless & I`ve got a big, big smile on my face today... And it`s all thanks to my sweet friend Kali. Words cannot describe how grateful I am & thank you wouldn`t be enough but thank you is all I can come up with right now :-)

Today when I walked out to the mailbox, the loveliest surprise was waiting for me. This parcel came all the way from Australia to my mailbox...

There`s so much goodies in this parcel & I`m so excited about each and every one of them! I hope that I`ve got them all on photo and that I haven`t forgot any of it...

Everytime I write something in this notebook, I`ll think of you Kali :-)

I`ve been meaning to get a new adress book, buy it`s been one of those things that intend to do & then forget about it... How did you now that Kali? :-) It so pretty & I had to take a photo of one of the inside pages as well. And the book is full of pages like that.

Isn`t this gorgeous? I think it will look perfect in my bedroom, beside my mirror where I can hang my necklaces or something like that...

This is so beautiful in itself but it actually hide some more treasures inside it! I couldn`t believe it when I found more lovely things...

The Fragrant Sachets smells wonderful & I adore the picture.

I remember how I loved this rabbit when Kali showed pictures of it & now she`s moved in here :-) It`s amazing!

Love it, love it, love it... Everything is so wonderful!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Pearls & Paper

My parcel of pearls and various christmas crafting items finally arrived today! I`m really excited to get crafting and I`m already imagining the jewellery, christmas decorations & christmas cards that I would like to make :-)

I didn`t photograph everything in the parcel but here`s the pearls and some of the paper. Isn`t the images on the paper beautiful? I love the old-fashion look of it & I think it will make lovely christmas cards...

Friday, October 20, 2006

A pumpkin

I`m really trying not to be such a perfectionist & instead focus on how fun and relaxing it is to create things. I`m still experimenting with the sewing machine & this time I made something for Halloween... I figured it would be better to do the Halloween stuff before all the Christmas stuff, it seems to be a more logical order somehow ;-)

If you want to get into the Halloween spirit, take a look at the wonderful things at Potterybarn, Ballard Designs (I love the Spooky Treat Bowl) & Stonewall Kitchen.
And even though it`s not Halloween, sia has a wonderful collection called Delightful autumn.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Wish List: Books

I love to read and books have always been on my wish list every Christmas & Birthday. This year I`m spending most of my days reading classics or other fictional english literature, which is why I`m wishing for non-fiction books instead... I want good books that is well-written, inspiring and difficult to put away. I`m interested in books about houses, interior design, crafting and food but also inspiring biographies, memoirs and history books.

I would be grateful if anyone would like to help me out here! What`s your favourite book when it comes to non-fiction? On a cold winters day, when I`m lying in the sofa under a blanket with a large cup of tea right beside me and a book in my hands - what book should that be? :-)

What`s on my wish list right now:
Anything by Susan Branch but especially Christmas from the heart, Heart of the home: Notes from a Vineyard Kitchen & Vineyard Seasons

Anything from Gooseberry Patch. Doesn`t A Pinch of This, A Dash of That, Country Baking, Gifts for Giving or Old-Fashioned Country Christmas sound wonderful?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Christmas is coming early this year

I don`t know why, but suddenly I feel like it`s not such a bad thing to get organized and prepare my christmas presents/decorations now instead of a couple of days before Christmas Eve... It`s a strange feeling, knowing that I`ve got plenty of time to do it. Strange but pleasant! :-)

Here`s a Christmas decoration that I made the other day, mainly as an experiment since I haven`t used the sewing machine for years.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Cupcake decorating

There`s a lot of food posts right not but I wanted to take my favourites with me & now I feel like I should at least write something new about food too ;-)

I believe I`ve already mentioned that I`ve got a thing for cupcakes? That is, I`ve got a thing for reading about them (especially blogs, my favourites are 52 Cupcakes & Cupcake Bakeshop), looking at beautiful pictures of them, things with painted cupcakes on them & so on... And this weekend I gave decorating cupcakes a try & I very much enjoyed it!
Now to the strange bit - when it comes to eating them, I`m not that excited. The cupcakes I`ve eaten so far has been to sweet for me (I`m more into savoury muffins) and even though this probably is a good thing (for my teeths and my weight that is) I would like to find something between savoury muffins and sweet cupcakes. Any ideas?

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found this recipe only a couple of weeks ago but I`ve already used it twice. They were very popular & I enjoyed baking them too, but who wouldn`t like the smell of newly-baked cookies or the taste of chocolate chips that melt in your mouth? ;-)

100 g margarine (softened)
1 dl brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla sugar
1 egg
2 dl wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
100 g dark chocolate
50 g hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Put margarine, brown sugar & vanilla sugar in a bowl and use the electric mixer to stir it together.
Add the egg and make sure to mix it well.
Combine wheat flour, baking powder & salt. Then add this mixture to the margarine-mixture.
Chop the chocolate & the hazelnuts and stir into the cake mixture.

Take a tablespoon of the mixture for each cookie and place it on a baking plate with a baking cloth/oven paper on it. Bake for approx. 10 minutes and then let them cool off.

Bread with brie, pistachio & honey

This is a delicious snack (or an appetizer) which is really simple to make. The bread gets nice and crisp, the brie and the honey melt together into a tasty combination & the pistachio nut adds some salt to all the sweetness. It`s simply mouth watering!

A slice of white bread, a slice of brie, a pistachio nut & a sprinkle of buoyant honey to finish it of. Then into the oven for as long as it takes for the brie to melt.

Salmon & potatoes

Today I cooked one of my favourite dishes - Salmon & potatoes. This is a recipe I associate with summer evenings & eating dinner out on the porch...

Salmon with lime & ginger butter
600 gr Salmon fillet
Salt & pepper
1 lime (peel & juice)
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
50 gr butter
The salmon is baked in foil packages. Take 1 piece of salmon and put it on a piece of foil, season it with salt & pepper and then put a pat of lime & ginger butter on the salmon.
The lime & ginger butter is made out of the peel and the juice from one lime, the grated ginger & the butter which is all whisked together.
Wrap the package together and put in in the oven (225°C for about 10-15 minutes) or on the outdoor grill.

Boiled potatoes with olive oil, parsley & dill
800 gr potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ dl finely chopped parsley and dill
Peel (not necessary when using new potatoes) and boil the potatoes and let the water run off. Then add the olive oil, parsley and dill & stir it together.

Basil & Sundried Tomato Muffins

I like muffins and especially savoury muffins which I think is perfect as breakfast for those lazy weekend mornings when I`ve got time to treat myself with something special. To wake up knowing that I`m not in any hurry & then making myself some muffins to eat together with a hot cup of coffee - that`s a nice way to start off the day!

I got this delicious recipe from Kali.

Basil & Sundried Tomato Muffins
Makes 1 dozen
3 cups self raising flour (sifted)
1/2 cup roughly torn basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons sugarfreshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup salad oil
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups milk
Combine the first five ingredients. Beat oil, egg and milk together and pour over dry ingredients. Stir just enough to dampen the dry ingredients, spoon into well-greased muffin pans. Bake 18-20 minutes at 200 degrees celsius or until well risen and brown.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

I was a little worried at first because I really don`t get on with pies & cakes, don`t ask me why (but my I guess my cooking skills is not as great as I would wish them to be). Last time I tried to make a cake it was a plain simple cheesecake recipe and my intention was to serve it as a dessert at the dinner party I was throwing. I won`t go into details but I had to use my backup plan & serve the icecream instead. Maybe it would have been better if I had tried the recipe before the day of the dinner party, but we learn from our mistakes don`t we? Well, I don`t.

I found the recipe of the Strawberry-Rhubarb pie in Country Living and promised to serve it as a dessert at our family`s Midsummer celebration. That was on Friday. When did I try the recipe for the first time? Friday.
Luckily for me, it was a really simple recipe & even though I revised it a little (I used a little more of the strawberries & a little less of the rhubarb) it was well appreciated by the family.

Grandma`s Pie Dough
Yields: 4 single crusts Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes

4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 3/4 cups cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 egg (extra large)

Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk the vinegar, egg, and 1/2 cup of ice water together and mix into the flour mixture with your hands until just combined. Transfer to a clean work surface, and gently press to form a dough. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Shape each into a ball, flatten slightly to form a disk, and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour.
Timesaver: Keep extra dough frozen until ready to use. Allow two days to thaw in the refrigerator.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Yields: One 9-inch pie (about 8 servings) Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 45 to 55 minutes Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

2 disks Grandma`s Pie Dough (1/2 recipe)
1 1/3 pounds rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Heat the oven to 375° F. Roll out one disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness, and transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Set aside and keep chilled. Roll the remaining dough to 1/8-inch thickness and cut slits or use a miniature star cutter to create vents. Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, and flour in a large bowl, and transfer to the prepared pie pan; drape the rolled-out dough over the pie. Trim the edges of both crusts, leaving a 1/2- inch overhand. Fold the dough under, lightly pinching to seal the top and bottom crusts. Crimp around the rim and chill for 10 minutes. Bake on the center shelf of the oven until golden brown — 45 to 55 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
If you can't find fresh, use frozen rhubarb from the grocer's freezer section.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

More about me

I want to have a life where there`s always room for friends & family, where there`s always time for a cup of tea and one of my favourite savoury muffins, where there`s always a loving hug to get & where there`s a peaceful comforting atmosphere.
I want to live well, laugh often & love much.

Of course, the things I do and the things I like are all connected to these wishes...

I like things that have a country-, shabby chic-, danish-, english cottage- or New England kind of style... I`m looking for cozy things that look like they could belong in a country home, which doesn`t have to rule out all things modern but I do fall for pretty much anything with a old, rustic look to it :-)

Yankee Candles, Party Lite, Country Living, Nicholas Sparks, Country Living UK, Tamara McKinley, Jojo Moyes, Katie Fforde, Susan Branch, Joanne Fluke, Rebecca Lavelle, Cath Kidston, Shabby chic, Norah Jones, sia, Steven Curtis Chapman, Old Houses