• Bewusst Leben,  Sarines Reisen

    Food Hallelujah Amen | Vrångö, Sweden

    SVENSKA – Älskade La ska gifta sig! Såklart att hon måste få en möhippa. För att fira i Las anda krävs det följande: umgås med fina vänner, skratta mycket (några tårar är absolut tillåtna), äta en massa god mat och mest av allt: njuta av naturen. Las väninna Tove hittade det perfekta stället som möjliggjorde allt detta: KajkantenVrångö utanför Göteborg.

    ENGLISH – Lovely La is getting hitched! Of course we had to throw her a bachelorette party. Celebrating La-style means hanging out with great friends, laughing (crying is ok, too), eating a ton of food, and most of all: enjoying nature. Her friend Tove found the perfect location for this shindig: Kajkanten on Vrångö, one of the islands of the southern Gothenburg archipelago.

    DEUTSCH – Die liebe La heiratet! Da darf ein Junggesellinnenabschied natürlich nicht fehlen. Feiern à la La bedeutet mit lieben Freundinnen abhängen, lachen (weinen ist auch erlaubt), jede Menge essen und vor allen Dingen: Natur genießen. Las Freundin Tove hat dafür den perfekten Ort gefunden: den Kajkanten auf Vrångö, einer der südlichen Schäreninseln Göteborgs.

    SVENSKA – Tack La för att du finns och berikar våra liv med ditt ljus – inte bara denna helgen. Och tack att du har så fina vänner! Tack Tove att du fixade ett härligt boendet (och massa mer). Tack tjejer för en underbar tjejhelg. Och tack Håkan för Kajkanten. Vilken glädje att få uppleva hur det känns att få se solnedgången på ön och sedan vila huvudet under ett vackert tak. Helt klart bättre än att behöva lämna ön med sista färjan.

    ENGLISH – Thank you, La, for being La, and for shining your light on us – not just this weekend. And thanks for having such wonderful friends! Thank you, Tove, for scoring this awesome accommodation (and so much more). Thank you, ladies, for a great girl’s weekend. And thank you, Håkan, for Kajkanten. What a dream to be able to see the sunset on Vrångö and laying our heads to rest under such a pretty roof. Much better than having to catch the last ferry to return to the mainland.

    DEUTSCH – Danke La, dass es dich gibt und du unser Leben mit deinem Licht berreicherst – nicht nur an diesem Wochenende. Und danke, dass du so tolle Freundinnen hast! Danke Tove, dass du so eine tolle Unterkunft organisiert hast (und jede Menge mehr). Danke Mädels für ein tolles Mädelswochenende. Und danke Håkan Kajkanten. So schön erleben zu dürfen, wie es ist, auf der Insel den Sonnenuntergang zu sehen und sich unter einem so schönen Dach schlafen legen zu dürfen. Viel besser, als mit der letzten Fähre nach Hause fahren zu müssen.

  • Bewusst Leben,  Sarines Göteborg

    Indestructible | Plant life

    The deal with the house has felt so right and so real the whole time to me that making the down-payment (this past Monday) doesn’t even seem like that big of a milestone. The house has felt like ours the whole time.

    Not even the fact that we’re still waiting for an appointment with a chimney sweeper (who, we hope, will tell us that everything is OK because otherwise things could suddenly take a turn towards pretty pricey …) can change that. Like I’ve been saying: I have come to the conclusion that I’d rather be excited about things than worried even if not everything is settled yet. If everything works out, then great – I did not waste any time worrying. If things don’t work out – then at least I had those moments of excitement and happiness. Anything can change at any time anyway, so.

    The plants in our apartment, which we once again abandoned for a trip up north, remind me how powerful and amazing life is. If these little guys can bounce back like that, so can I if for some reason things with this house don’t turn out as I imagine …

    Tuesday night …

    … this morning (Thursday).

    They actually looked a lot better already a few minutes after watering them.

    I just didn’t really bother to take any more pictures until this morning.


    If I can just get one tomato from these I’ll be happy.






    Yes, that is a plant pot with the O’boy logo painted on. Don’t ask.


    More like mourning glory …

    … morning glory!

  • Bewusst Leben,  Sarines Göteborg

    Let it grow

    Our little oasis.

    While we are spending more and more time dreaming about our new home, and especially the prospect of being closer to nature, we still do enjoy our balcony. Especially now that the plants are growing more and more, and you can see a change every day.

    The nasturtium is blossoming, …
    … the morning glory is spiraling its way up along the string I put up, …

    … and I wonder how far they will make it until it is time for us to pack.

    We’re not there yet, though, so in the meantime …

    … we make the best of it. Like delicious, colorful salads.
    The blossom came from our own nasturtium, the little flowery sprinkles you see are an herb mixture by Sonnentor. Love!
    Even when it’s hot outside, I like to drink my „lupin latte“ – also with sprinkles from Sonnentor (Flower Power). I guess that’s what the Swedes call „Adding a gold rim to the everyday“.
  • Bewusst Leben,  Sarines Göteborg

    Favorite places | Kretsloppsparken Alelyckan

    On Tuesday we paid a visit to one of my favorite places here in Gothenburg. Yes, it is a thrift-store – but the most amazing one I’ve ever been to. They have one huge building where you can find supplies you could probably build several houses with – doors, windows, appliances, the works. Then there is a regular thrift-store with books, and clothes, furniture and all that.

    The thriftstore

    And then, there is the café

    I want to live here!
    And I want one like this! Not for sale. I asked. Figures, it would have been gone a long time ago …
    I cannot stress enough how much I want to live here.
    How cool is this? Just not very useful in a city where it rains so much …
    This part is sort of a little boutique where they sell earrings and bags and whatnot. All handmade. And gorgeous!
    I am dragging pretty much anyone who comes to visit me to this place.
    Yeah, these pix aren’t from Tuesday either. …
    … But although it’s a little late/early for Christmas decoration I still liked the idea.
    Like, a lot.
    They sell used bikes, too.
    Really cool ones, too.
    Took these winter-y pictures when Gesine was here in January. Like I said: I make a lot of people go here with me …

    Finally some pix from Tuesday – of my purchase, that is. I almost didn’t want to go because I was afraid I would buy too much stuff. Luckily, I got away with 40 SEK (4,80€ | 6.30$).

    I just couldn’t resist this enamel beauty.
    Bright yellow – floweriness | Spring in my heart
  • Bewusst Leben,  Sarines Göteborg

    DIY | Knitting Café

    Last night I went to a knitting café for the first time. I had walked by the store the week before and had seen their sign that read „Knitting Café | Mondays 5pm – 8pm“ (well, ok, it said that in Swedish). I obviously didn’t happen to have my yarn and needles with me, plus I was on the way somewhere else. But I hoped I’d remember until this week – and I actually did!?

    If this isn’t fate: I had a bag from the store where the knitting café was held. A really pretty bag, too.

    Ironically, the „project“ (= yarn, needle and instructions for a sweater jacket, no actual work started yet) I took with me was a birthday present that Peter had gotten me from that place. Two and a half years ago, ehem. It wasn’t even the same owner anymore, so technically I didn’t have to tell her that story and thus embarrass myself … oh well.

    It’s going to be sweater when it’s big. I hope.

    There were four of us (including the shop owner), and although I’m afraid I was too busy counting in the beginning to be social and join in the conversation, it was nice. There were even sandwiches, and one of the ladies had brought cake since it was her birthday. When I joked that I had picked the right night to show up, I was informed that last week, another participant (who wasn’t there yesterday), had sort of „kidnapped“ them to her own home where she had prepared an entire dinner for the group. I am liking this already.

    I even have the perfect buttons for the jacket. Yep, another thrift-store find.

    I was also relieved to find that these wonderful ladies weren’t judging me for being an amateur who has to look down at her project the whole time to see what she’s doing. Also, I am slow. I mean, I didn’t seriously worry about not being allowed to „play with the pros“ if I wasn’t on their level. I guess the competitive part of me kind of did worry exactly about that, though. Frowns and eye-rolling. Luckily, that part of me is just paranoid, and was obviously proven wrong.

    This is the yarn Peter gave me. Organic wool with 15% camel hair. Better not mess this one up, huh?

    Oh yeah: Between all the chatter, coffee, sandwiches and cake, I did get started on that sweater jacket.

    This is what I am hoping it will look like:

    Here are the instructions, in case you want to beat me to it:

    http://www.garnstudio.com/lang/us/pattern.php?id=3676&lang=us (you can change the language on the page)

    A great site with lots of free patterns, by the way.

    Does this make you sad because there are no knitting café near you? Well, how about starting your own? That’s one thing that struck me last night: I didn’t technically have to wait for this to happen to me. I could have done that myself. You know, invite a bunch of your friends, everybody brings what they want to work on, you take turns with the snacks, … Simple.

    And if you want to go pro: Decorate according to the theme, like in Pyssla Duka Bjud.

  • Bewusst Leben,  Sarines Göteborg

    Jewelry | Sternenkind Creations

    I did it! Just sent in an application to à la London – Gothenburg Design market. Now I better get busy making more jewelry. I’ll post pix and all things related on the Sternenkind Creations page rather than as a blog post. Feedback – yes please!!! Wish me luck!

    Related posts:

    Going with the flow

    Pearls + neon yellow nylon thread = true

  • Bewusst Leben,  Sarines Göteborg

    More than words

    Today started out …

    … pancakey.

    I wasn’t very patient with the camera here, so it’s a little hard to see but …

    … I hope you do see that THERE WAS A LITTLE FLOWER IN MY TEA.

    Later my day turned …

    … outdoorsy. Met up with La at Trädgårdsföreningen. Couldn’t get over how nice it was with the sun out and all.

    And it ended …

    … kladdkaka-y. At Dina’s. My second mud cake this week. The chocolatey tastiness was preceded by a most delicious dinner. Thanks, Dina!

    Lucky (imagine me saying with a Napoleon Dynamite intonation).

  • Bewusst Leben,  Sarines Göteborg

    Junk Food – for real

    I am not only a hoarder when it comes to thrift-stores, no, I also hoard books. Library books. I cannot praise Gothenburg’s library enough – free membership, branches in every part of town, a huge selection, and, the best of all (yet also my downfall, as will soon become apparent): you can borrow a lot of items at once. I mean it: A LOT. You’re not supposed to borrow more than five at a time but there is no mechanism in the scanner that prevents you from checking out more.

    I try to be reasonable but what does happen to me a lot is, that I go to one of the libraries (they are nice places to hang out in town when it’s cold outside and you’re waiting for someone), and I find something that interests me. Lately mostly cook books, and diy related stuff. Mainly because those are really nice to look at, and inspiring, and also: expensive, so I wouldn’t buy them. What happens next then is me thinking „Oh, I want to borrow this one. But wait, I already have so many books at home. But if I don’t check this one out now, I’ll probably forget the title, and what if it’s not there anymore next time I come here?!“ So… you get the picture.

    This past week I borrowed a cook book, which makes me want to cook/bake through every single one of its recipes. It’s called Junk Food – på riktigt. I’d translate that with: Junk Food – for real. It combines two interests of mine – junk food and health. Health is obviously relative, in this case I mean that the food is made from the best ingredients possible (because you’re the one making it, duh), no funny business like preservatives, flavorings, etc. So the book has recipes for how you make all the classic junk food meals from scratch. Get this: there is even a recipe for how you make marshmallows!? I’m in love. Also, the food photography is really appealing – lots of vibrant colors.

    I am planning on making hamburgers (including making my own bbq sauce and hamburger dressing) tomorrow but since the dough for the buns is a yeast dough, I prepared that tonight (fresh yeast dough tastes great but it is basically a guarantee for a stomach ache).

    The yeast dough is rising under one of my beloved Kate Bingaman Burt kitchen towels. Ok, I admit – I just included this pic to have an excuse to show off one of my beloved Kate Bingaman Burt kitchen towels.
    Turmeric is what makes them look so nice and yellow.

    So, thank you Gothenburg library. I actually think I will purchase this book.
    To be continued …

  • Bewusst Leben,  Sarines Göteborg

    Thrift-store raid

    I can never go into a thrift-store without buying a bunch of stuff. So I am equally thrilled as terrified by the fact that here in Sweden thrift-stores (called „loppis“, short for „loppmarknad“ = flee-market) are all over the place. I kid you not: even when you’re driving on the loneliest road through the woods you’ll find signs (some hand-made, some „real“, like the official signs for a town or something) saying „loppis“.

    I have, however, found a solution for my problem. Not going in. Yes, unfortunately that is the best thing I have come up with so far. The positive thing with my addiction is: it is relatively cheap. I regularly find myself with a basket full of stuff in the line for the cash-register, preparing myself for the supposedly inevitable heart attack I am going to have when I hear the total. Kind of like at IKEA, you know, where you end up picking up a bunch of small items on the way, which you never planned on buying but now that you’re here, and they’re so cheap, and then at the cash register you find out that you misread the price (or rather: the tagging on the shelves was misleading), and everything is much more expensive than you thought but you don’t feel like bothering with returning the stuff now that they’ve already scanned everything – you know what I mean?

    Only, that at a Swedish loppis that’s not how it turns out. I am surprised every time by how a ton of stuff can cost so little. Everything is really expensive here (well, I guess that’s relative, I suppose the Norwegians would disagree but compared to Germany it is – and I do still compare, even after two years, sigh) – except for thrift-stores. Those are really cheap, and the only chance of me dying of a heart attack there is from the anxiety I build up myself while waiting in line.

    So, yes, there are a lot of things that are great with thrift-stores: it’s obviously better from a environmental/consumption point of view if we re-use stuff that already exists, instead of throwing away old stuff and producing new stuff all the time. It’s cheap, so I can afford buying a ton of stuff even when I don’t have much money (which is most of the time). And it’s fun. The less central/known the location of  a thrift-store, the higher your chances of finding real treasures. Even better when the people working there have no idea what stuff is worth (well, better for me, that is, I guess).

    But regardless of all the pros – stuff is still stuff, and accumulating it, no matter where you get it from, still clutters your home. Consumption is consumption is consumption … If I didn’t restrict my visits to these places, and my „feng shui bible“, I might as well be one of those hoarders that you see on tv.

    This week, I broke my self-imposed prohibition. I have been to three thrift-stores, it cost me 316 SEK (ca. 50$ | 38€), and here is some of my booty:

    Lately I have been buying a bunch of plates …

    Because I am obsessed with (making) these three tier servers:

    Obvs also made from plates found at various „loppises“.
    Yes, I am aware that we have no possible use for more than two of these, so anything I am making from now on, I will somehow have to get rid of …
    I especially dig plates with this kind of delicate flower pattern.
    This lovely can was only 5 SEK ( = 80¢ | 0,60 €), and I thought it would be perfect as a gift – filled with some chocolate chip cookies, maybe?
    Both Peter and I have been wanting to have these kind of spoons for when we eat sushi. Well, actually we don’t want the spoons for the sushi but for the miso-soup that comes with it. 15 SEK ( 2.60 $ | 1,80 €) for 4 spoons. Not bad, eh?
    I bought two of those brass forms …

    … because I thought I could use them when I try this recipe for making your own bath bombs.

    Oh yeah, and the tea cups I got because I want to make …

    … these kind of candles.

    This retro beauty is for my sister, if I can find a way to mail it to her safely (she lives in Jena and used to live in Mainz – how freaky is this?):

    Hm, you can’t see it in this picture but it also has a stamp that says „Schott Mainz“, so …

    I also broke my biggest no-no: I am not allowed to buy any new fabric until I have made something from the tons that I already have hoarded. But I just couldn’t walk past this:

    50 SEK ( 7.80 $ | 6 €) …
    … for about 1,5m x 3,2m (1,6 x 3,5 yards)
    Now all I need is an old arm chair that I can make over! Or professional help …

    Or professional help re-doing an old arm chair!

    Like so.

    Also, I bought …

    … this enamel-coated plate …
    … at 40 SEK ( 6.30 $ | 4,80 €) one of the more expensive purchases. But I just HAD TO.


    Why? Apart from that I think it’s adorable, I want to exchange all the plastic dishes with enamel (both for health and aesthetic reasons) in this lovely picnic basket:

    Do I need to mention that this is also from a loppis? 50 SEK (7.80 $ | 6 €). My best buy this year so far.

    Now you know the severity of my condition. If you know of any cures or remedies – please don’t tell me! I can’t imagine my life without loppis treasure hunts.