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Tuesday, 30th August, 2016
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Plan Your Fall 2016

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Fall is coming upon us quicker than I would like it to. August is coming to an end, and living in Northern Europe, so is the warm summer weather (If there ever was any?). Seeing I’m a summer-person I easily feel low this time of year. That’s why I think it’s important to plan ahead and set goals for the next few dark months.

 

Some guidance:

  • What do I want to achieve this fall regarding
    • Work
    • Personal life, mental, and physical health
    • Love life

If you made New Year’s resolutions you still have time to follow through. When setting your goals it’s important to think both long- and short term. If you feel lost, it might help to create a mindmap or life circle to figure out what you want. All you have to then is set goals that will take you there, step by step.

 

  • How will I achieve my goals?
    • Monthly
    • Weekly
    • Daily

 

If you are like me, and is not particularly fond of the fall with all the pressure that comes along with it, it might be a good idea to make a list of happy things you will do.

  • Happy things I will do, for example:
    • Curl up on the couch with a blanket reading and watch some good TV shows
    • Drink lots of tea
    • Go for walks and look at the colorful nature
    • Drink wine and play games
    • Yoga

 

Instead of seeing this time of year as dark, gloomy, and filled with “have-to’s”, I will try to see it as a time for reflection and possibilites. The fall is coming wether I want to or not, so I can just as well make the best of it. Some things we do not have control over, like the weather. However, there are things that I can control, like how I choose to spend my time. Whatever you focus on will seem bigger; The darkness will be darker, the cold will be colder… If you focus on the beauty and positivities instead, they will become greater. It’s kinda like when someone’s pregnant and all of a sudden all they can see is pregnant women. If you look for the good, you will find it everywhere around you.

 

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Super Simple Homemade Granola

Is there anyone who doesn’t love granola? I eat it almost every day. Unfortunately, most granola’s that you buy are filled with added, unnecessary sugar. Earlier this week I decided to make my own. It’s so simple, and it doesn’t take any longer than 30 minutes. Since I’ve never done it before I didn’t feel like free-styling, and used this recipe. The result? Heavenly. I can eat it as a snack just as it is. Also, I’ve never tried to use coconut oil before, although it’s super trendy right now. I have to admit it might be a new favorite in the kitchen.

 

 

Tip: I added some extra coconut flakes at the end. Next time I’ll probably add some berries or fruit as well. There’s a million different ways to make granola: Use different grains, nuts, oats, berries, spices, etc. I think this was a good easy start.

 

Tip 2: The granola is rather chewy. Next time I might try to cook it longer after adding the liquids and see if it becomes more crunchy.

 

 

Super Simple Homemade Granola Recipe

 HERE

 

 

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Greek Zucchini Zoodle Salad

All I wanna eat during summer time is cold food like salads and sandwiches. Last night I tried the famous zoodles for the first time. There are so many new food trends going on right one, I feel like it’s something new popping up every week. So I guess it’s already out of fashion since I picked it up. Anyway, I loved the the Greek Zucchini Zoodle Salad I made yesterday! So fresh and summerish. It’s perfect as an appetizer, a side dish, or a light lunch. To make it more filling just add some grains like bulgur or quinoa or bread.

 

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I also added some cherry tomatoes, just because I love them. 

 

Greek Zucchini Zoodle Salad Recipe (appr 2 servings)

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest + 1 tbsp juice
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pack of feta cheese
  • Greek olives

 

  1. Turn the zucchini into zoodles by using a potato peeler (unless you have one of these real machines that makes it look like spaghetti).
  2. Mix it with the lemon zest, juice, olive oil, mint, salt and pepper.
  3. Put the feta cheese, olives and some additional zest on top.

 

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Egg & Kale Salad

This is me in a nutshell when I don’t know what I’m in the mood for: I just take a little bit of everything that I can find in the fridge and pantry and make my own little buffet plate. This is actually perfect, because all of these ingredients are good to stock up on since they stay fresh for a long time. Also, I don’t know what’s going on but I’m addicted to kale! I even found myself get cravings for it…

 

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A colorful salad with kale, carrots, avocado, corn, cherry tomatoes, kidney beans, snow peas, fresh basil, and fried egg

 

Recipe:

Well, just chop all your ingredients and put on a plate.

  • Don’t forget to massage your kale, sprinkle some lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and let it soak for a couple of minutes.
  • Finish with some balsamic vinegar or honey/mustard dressing.
  • If you want it to be more filling put some quinoa in there. I was just too lazy.
  • Be creative! Only your imagination is the limit.

 

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I also added a handful of cashew and walnuts after the picture was taken

 

 

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DIY: Clean Makeup Brushes

This is something that was long overdue. Do you know how much bacteria there are in your makeup brushes? It’s kinda gross when you think about it. What’s the point of washing your face if you’re gonna put dirty makup on a minute later? If you work as a makeup artist this is a prodecure that’s necessary after every single use. Although, as a regular user once a week is recommended. I have to admit I’m really bad at living after that advice…

 

I’ve tried different ways of cleaning my brushes, using soap and shampoo. This time I wanted to try something new.

 

How to clean your makeup brushes step by step: 

 

 

  1. Put an equal amount of dish washing soap/anti-bacterial soap and vegetable oil on a plate
  2. Swirl the brush around (i swirled it more in the palm of my hand)
  3. Rinse. Try not to get water where the brush is connected to the shaft since that might cause the glue to dissolve.
  4. Lay them flat on a towel to dry. It takes time, I usually leave them overnight. Do not put them in a glass with the “hair” up! Then the water will run down and most certainly dissolve the glue.

 

My thoughts: I think this was an OK way to clean the brushes. The soap made them really clean and the oil kept them smooth. The only downside is the smell: They don’t smell that good to be honest. I’ve seen other “recipes” where you add vinegar, and perhaps that would make it better. Also, is it just me or is it impossible to keep the water away from the shaft? How am I supposed to get them clean and rinse the brushes and not get water there? Although… It might be easier to clean them if you do it every week and not once a year… *guilty*.

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Organizing

Everyone who knows me is aware of my addiction to organizing. There’s nothing better than a color coordinated closet, books in alfabetic order, or a spotless kitchen counter. It’s therapeutic to clean. You work and you see an immediate result, the reward is instant. I guess it relieves some sort of stress. While some people relax by watching a movie, I find myself being more midful and relaxed cleaning or organizing.

 

Everytime I do something it goes in periods: I get really interested in one thing for a couple of weeks (or months), and I do it until it bores me, and I move on to the next thing. I’ve gone through periods of knitting, crafting, painting, making jewelry, etc. I still do some of it, but less frantically. My latest addiction is now organizing everything in containers. 

I want it all to be perfectly categorized in every single space: The kitchen pantry, bathroom medicine cabinet, the sock drawer, crafting box, book case… The list could go on and on.

 

Both my collegue and boyfriend gave me a weird look when I showed them pictures on Pinterest of how to organize the pantry. I even had a list of all the containers I wanted to get, what size, and where to put them… Call me crazy, but there’s nothing more satisfying than opening a drawer and being able to find your stuff.

 

 

My most recent project organizing my crafting material

Rule no 1:

Put smaller containers in the larger ones. I found some old freezer bag boxes that I cut out and put stuff in. No money spent.

No 2:

Don’t be a hoarder. I have a tendency to keep tiny pieces of scrap paper and 1 inch-long ribbons “just in case”. No, you’ll never use it. Toss it.

No 3:

Labels. This is still on my to do list.

No 4:

The most important one: Put everything back in its place when you’re done using it! Otherwise you worked so hard for nothing.

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Meal Planning

So I’ve been a little distant from this blog, my apologies. There hasn’t been any particular reason apart from me keeping busy with work and other stuff. Collecting blog material, one might say.  However, I’m not gone!

 

Today I would like to share my latest project: Meal Planning. This is probably one of the most grown-up and boring things I’ve ever heard of. I don’t wanna plan what I eat, I wanna be cool and spontaneous and eat whatever I’m in the mood for. After living like this hip and cool spontaneous free person for quite some time now, I’ve come to realize it’s not that convenient. I end up being hungry, wanting food right now. Going to the store and cook dinner is not at all what I want in that moment when I’m tired and hungry. On top of that, it’s a huge waste of both time and money to grocery shop every single day. Why spend 30 minutes on something 7 days/week when I can spend 1 hr/week and get it all done at once? So I’ve decided to give this meal planning a try.

 

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This is my second week doing it, and so far it’s been a little more tricky than I thought. Here’s what I learned so far:

  • Back to basics

Buy the key ingredients: Every meal needs one source of protein, carbs, veggies, and fat. Stock up your freezer with chicken, meat, fish, and some veggies. Buy pasta, rice, bulgur, etc. for the pantry. Fill your fridge with diary products and veggies to last for one week in the fridge.

  • Don’t overthink it

My first mistake was I felt like every meal had to be perfect. It really doesn’t. Stick to your favorite meals or mix up a few old ones. Just because you write down that you’re gonna make tacos on Friday doesn’t mean you have to make it on Friday. When the day comes you might wanna switch it with Wednesday’s meal. At least you got all the ingredients to cook something.

  • Less is more

It’s difficult to know in advance how much you need of every ingredient, and this is something you can only learn by doing. Everything that goes in the freezer, canned goods,  etc. is fine to buy in bulk since it lasts forever. Fresh veggies on the other hand is better to buy less of than too much. It’s no fun when you end up tossing two moldy broccoli’s and three brown apples just because you overestimated how much you need. Carrots, potatoes, cabbage, onions, etc. will last longer though. Tip: Put some paper towels in the bag of carrots to soak up the moisture and prevent them from going bad.

  • Be patient

It takes 21 days to create a new habit, so don’t give up just because it sucks the first week. I’ve only been doing this for two weeks, but I’ll give it some more time before ditching the idea.

 

 

What I’m most interested in is to see if our grocery costs will go down, stay the same, or maybe even rise? Will I save time or will I feel it’s even more time consuming? I will definitely give you an update after a month or two when I (hopefully) can see some results.

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The Best (And Worst) Halloumi

I love halloumi. I mean, who doesn’t? It’s so perfectly salty, chewy, and delicious. My favorite dish at the moment is this.

 

Anyway, last night I was about to make this for dinner. We were standing in our local grocery store, and we have two options: 1. Get the store brand’s halloumi cheap, or 2. Get the ecological superexpensive “better” brand. We decided to buy one of each to compare. How big of a diffenrence can it be, it’s both made of milk right?

Man oh man, was I wrong. The cheaper store brand halloumi sucked. It almost melted immidiatley in the pan and stuck to it even though I cooked it with olive oil. Not to mention the taste. No salt and it tasted burnt (but it wasn’t!).

 

So what about the ecological superexpensive halloumi? It was heaven. I usually get the same brand but non-eco one, and that’s good. But I have to say this eco-friendly one might be worth the extra money.

 

 

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Halloumi perfection: Golden, crisp, chewy, and salty.  

 

 

Since I’m not one of those fancy big bloggers who gets sponsored, I guess I can tell you the brand names.

 

Best halloumi ever: Fontana (extra plus for the ecological)

Worst halloumi ever: Coop

 

 

 

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How To Deal With Pollen

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Spring has finally arrived to Stockholm! The sun is shining, and all you wanna do is be outside. I finally put away my winter coat and scarf. Everyone is happy and life is easy…Or not. Because what happens as soon as the sun comes out? So does pollen. This stupid thing that makes your eyes water, nose itch, and lungs collapse.

 

Warning: I’m about to complain now.

Ever since I was a teenager I’ve felt the effects of pollen, but only for a short period of time in the beginning of spring/summer. By using eye drops and nose spray I’ve managed. However, this year it’s been horrendous. I’ve been taking anti-histamines, eye drops, nose spray, cortisone nose spray, and finally the doctor gave me a cortisone shot. All of this and it still doesn’t work! Several weeks have pasted and I’m still feeling extremely tired, my sinuses are swollen, and my eczema is acting out. It sucks because it feels like you’re sick but you’re not. OK, I feel better now after this rant.

Complaining done. 

 

So what do you do? How do you deal with pollen allergy? I have a long list of things: 

  • Use all the remedies you can get a hold of: Eye drops, anti-histamine pills, nose spray, anything the doctor will prescribe
  • Start using all of the above at least a month before the pollen season starts
  • Keep doors and windows closed. Air out your apartment/house early in the morning, late at night, or right after it rained
  • Wash your hair before going to bed
  • Workout indoors (at least on days with high pollen)
  • Don’t dry your clothes outside
  • Be observant to any cross allergies. For example: Eating an apple can create the same effect as birch pollen (having a cross allergy is not very common, and a doctor can test this)

 

To keep your mental sanity:

  • This is only temporary and it will pass (I really hope I’m not allergic to grass because then I’m screwed for the rest of the summer…)
  • Listen to your body. Maybe you won’t be able to run as fast or lift as heavy this time of the year, but you’ll get back on track soon
  • Drink a bunch of coffee to keep your energy level up (this is how I survive at the moment)

 

Now I’m about to go against my own advice by taking a walk in the sun. I’ll prep with some nose spray and eye drops though.

 

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Release for Jack Daniel’s “7 Crafts”

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Jack Daniel’s “No 7 Crafts”, hand bound book of the 7 crafts

 

My extremely talented boyfriend Evan has been working on project for Jack Daniel’s no.7, and now it’s finally released. They have created a book with seven crafts inspired by Jack Daniel’s, and Evan has taken all the photos for it. There are three people presented in the book: Sam the artist, Aadel the coffee brewer, and Nisj the music producer. They have each made a craft and drink based on Jack Daniel’s. They are all so talented and have created some really cool stuff.

 

 

It was awesome to finally meet the people behind the project, and the artists, since I’ve hears so much about them. The book turned out really well, and the drinks tasted great! I’m definitely going to make some at home.

 

Once again: You all have done an amazing job, and I am so freaking proud of you Evan! 

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