29 December, 2012

Cheer. Nastrój. Glädje.

Our Christmas this year was spent in Gothenburg, with all of V's family. It was a blast, and if I tried to tell you in words how lovely it was - I'd still sell it short. Instead, I will share some pictures with you.

17 December, 2012

Making Christmas!

This is the song that has been stuck in my head for the last few weeks as I have been crocheting, sewing, and otherwise hand-making all the Christmas gifts we are giving out this year:

I'm strange, I know.

Also this...

It's old, but for those of you who haven't heard it already, you're welcome.

12 December, 2012

Flat Happy Cheer

 In our new place, I realised that there's just no room for even a small Christmas tree.
There was a tiny little tree at ICA that I considered buying, because it was really realistic looking... but it was just depressingly small.

06 December, 2012

Raaaaaspberry Beret...

As I was emptying my yarn stash into a drawer in our new place, I found the band of a hat I had started last year. I finished the band, and started on the other part, only to make a big mistake, and being too frustrated to continue after I had to ravel all my hard work - I put it away and forgot about it.

Snowed In

Tuesday, the forecast was for a whole foot of snow, and they weren't lying!

05 December, 2012

My Christmas Wish List

This is my first time making a wish list for the blog. I don't know why! This was way fun!


04 December, 2012

Itty Bitty Living Space

Some of you might have had a chance to see the space we lived in while with V's parents. It was tiny - about 400 square feet - which seemed smaller because there were four of us living there. 

06 November, 2012

A Little Autumn Walk

I've been cooped up inside for the last couple weeks, because whenever I go out in this fabulous cold air, my lungs rebel against me and give me a horrible fit of coughing. We've decided that the reason for this is from allergy-related asthma, which is a new and exciting adventure, let me assure you.

04 November, 2012

Alla Helgons Dag

All Saints Day, is a day to remember your loved ones who have passed from this life. Here in Sweden, most shops are closed on this day, and people take the day to reflect on the past. It takes place on the first Saturday between October 31 and November 6. For us this year, that was last night!

We went to Skogskyrkogården Cemetery in Enskede, and walked around for a little while enjoying the lights. It was the first time I've ever experienced anything like that and I really enjoyed myself. I loved the atmosphere and couldn't help but take a few photos.  

22 October, 2012

On Work, Autumn, a Broken Lens, and Becoming Inspired

Hi everyone!
I'm finally home from the states, safe and sound in Sweden. Travel takes so much out of me, that I took a few days to just readjust to life, before I let myself become engrossed in work.

22 September, 2012


V sent me a few photos of our Bilbo a few days ago with the statement that "some humans don't have it this good". 

He's so right. In fact, for the first few months of our marriage in 2010, we lived in a cold little ancient cottage in Ireland with no heat source whatsoever.

15 September, 2012

In the Sun She MELTED, Melted, melted...

Ohio is hot, humid, and gross.

There. I said it.

Indian Summer

I am sitting here in Ohio right now, enjoying the cool breeze from the fan above me on my bare feet. The air conditioning in the house where I'm staying is running, and I feel cool and happy. That will all change if I go outside.
Actually, this evening, it's not so bad... but earlier it's been gross. Like... couldn't go outside. Sure, other people were out and about but not this northern girl. Nope.

Svalbard reflections

Where almost everyone I know dreams of Caribbean vacations and tropical getaways - I find myself daydreaming of adventures to Reykjavik, Swedish Lapland, and Svalbard.

18 August, 2012


Friends, my internet connection here is terrible. Absolutely terrible! I can barely check my email let alone write blog posts for you lately, and it's maddening. It would be worse, I imagine, if I happened to be an obsessive Facebook checker... but I'm not... no... of course not... *shifty eyes*

So I will leave you today with a photo of my sweet little Bilbo, mostly naked. He has finally healed, thanks to a very long wait and some eczema cream for humans. He's been so patient during this time.

What a good boy.

11 August, 2012

Moving to Sweden: Day Three

Today we go from Dunkerque, France to Heemskerk, The Netherlands via Brugge, Belgium.

10 August, 2012

Moving to Sweden: Day Two

Here we are again with day two of our journey to Sweden!

07 August, 2012

Moving to Sweden: Day One

Hello friends!

I apologize for the lack in update. We made it to Sweden safe and sound, and without any mishap! Hurrah! It took me a few days to finally settle down enough to sit and write a real post with photos and everything, but that's neither here nor there. Here we go!

image via Google Maps

29 July, 2012

Leaving Ireland

Now that I'm about to disembark from the ferry, I'm rested (finally), and all of our worldly possessions are in our van three decks down, I feel like I can say "whew!".

Having moved cross country in the states a few times, and moving abroad once, not to mention more than 50 small moves throughout my life - this. This was the hardest move so far. We slimmed all our stuff to only what fit inside our Nissan Primastar, and drove away. I felt a flood of emotion fall over me as I looked at our house for the last time and it was like Ireland was bidding us a fond farewell as the sun was shining and the skies were clear blue (for the first time in weeks!). I'm sad to leave the house but most of all, I'm sad to leave our beloved friends behind. Without them, we would probably not had as much fun during our time in county Cork and furthermore, without their support we wouldn't have been able to make this move at all, I think. They rallied together and offered to help us in our time of need. Even today after we have been gone for a whole day, friends will be entering our home to finish some final cleaning and things we did not accomplish in our frantic final hours. Some absolutely wonderful, kind people live in Ireland and I will certainly miss them.

Now, we are about to unload off the ferry with our kitty and drive through to the border of France and Belgium which is where we will stay for the night. I'll try to give a better update then, depending on Internet connections and such.

Goodbye Ireland, hello world.

20 July, 2012


With all the rain and cloudy days Ireland gets...

Big News!

Alright folks, wow! It's been a while since my last post, but I actually have an excuse! Some really big changes are coming our way in just a short while, so I have been super busy getting ready for those changes. Lots of travel will be happening too, within the next 3 months so I'm trying to just keep everything organised and that has been consuming my entire life.

Now! On to the big news! Let's see if you can guess from these images:


26 June, 2012

Fota Wildlife Park

V and I recently were discussing what to do on a weekend, and he suggested we go to Fota Wildife Park. Not being one who likes zoos at all (because let's face it, you can only see the same animals so many times before you lose interest), I was quick to dismiss the idea. He then informed me that it wasn't a zoo but a wildlife park and that many animals roam free on the grounds. 
I was interested, so we went. It was sort of hilarious to see some of the animals who are native to Africa with the Irish countryside as their background scenery.

But we had a good time nonetheless. I kept thinking about the weather that Ireland has been experiencing this summer (an average below 55 degrees F), and with all the rain I had to wonder how cold these animals got - being from, you know... AFRICA. But they didn't seem to be bothered.

12 June, 2012

A Favourite Corner of my Home: Oils, Butters, and Waxes

Welcome to A Favorite Corner of my Home, where I share with you one of the little spaces of my home that makes me feel especially happy. This week, I'm sharing with you my Oils, Butters, and Wax cupboard!

Admittedly, it's not a great name for a cupboard, but really I couldn't think of a better one. Suggestions are always welcome, if you can think of anything else! 
Also, it's not the whole cupboard that I love. It's specifically the top shelf that fills me with a certain feeling of warm goodness, every time I open it. It's times like these that I am reminded that I'm not a kid anymore...

03 June, 2012

A Favourite Corner of my Home: the Tea Cupboard

If you've been a long time reader, you might remember that I've not always been a lover of tea. It has taken me a couple years to warm up to drinking what is basically herb-infused water. For the longest time, I always took my tea with sugar, too. I desperately wanted to like tea and sometimes sugar really helped me get it down in polite company. 

A friend of mine, Hikari, inspired me to become a ginger ninja by cutting up some of the root and steeping it in water. That tea was sort of a turning point in my tea drinking life, and helped me branch out of my regular store-bought tea funk.

22 May, 2012

Super Suit

Bilbo is an all-around good kitty. He's handsome, smart, healthy, has lots of purrs to give, and of course he cuddles with me in the mornings. He doesn't pee where he's not supposed to, and only scratches on his scratching post; really, we lucked out. He's a great cat.

However, this poor little guy suffers from separation anxiety. Not in the way where he'll destroy your entire house while anxiously pacing the floor and pooping in your shoes but in a more self-destructive way. He licks. And licks, and licks, and licks... until there's no fur or skin left to lick - then he licks some more. It's terrible.
Thus was born the Super Suit.

Fashion is Hard.

For the past year or so, I have wanted to be more fashionable. If you could see me every day, you'd probably snort and roll your eyes...
What I call fashion (currently) is a pair of jeans and a t-shirt (sometimes not even my own). The worst part about it is not knowing how to improve it, exactly. What would look good on me? What would flatter me and be right for my age? I definitely don't want to be one of those 40-somethings running around dressed in clothes that look like they came from WetSeal and Delias. For that matter, I don't want to be a twenty-something who looks like I am trying to dress younger than I am. No Ugg boots for me.

16 May, 2012


Sometimes it's good to take a wee break from the blogosphere. It helps me to take some time to reflect on my blog and to think about what's to come. I like to think of my blog as a bit of a journal, but when I'm away, I resort to the ole pen and paper. I have about 6 or 7 journals started, completed, and in between that I've used through the years, Plus one or two sitting around empty until I decide what to put into them... but that's a whole other story. Literally.

Here's what I've been doing lately.

Things in our lives have been a bit crazy lately. We are trying to get all of our ducks in a row financially and since maths make my head spin - I resort to staring off into space.

02 May, 2012

Book Review

Why do I procrastinate so much? Now I have four book reviews for you. Wouldn't it just be easier to send them out into the world one at a time? Of course! But if you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know that's not my style... ha!
If you have ad blocking software installed on your browser, you might need to pause it and reload this page to see the images. 
Without further ado, I give you:

 The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

11 April, 2012

Book Review

I've never really been much of a reviewer of books. Reason being, I find myself lacking the ability to think fast enough to organise all my thoughts into a coherent paragraph in my head. I realized today that this feeling of inadequacy stems from having to give reports on books back in school, and read them aloud. I hated that. Fortunately for me (and probably you) I do not have to read my blog aloud very often...
Since I'm going through my own personal challenge/New Years Resolution to read 100 books in 2012 , and I've read some books that I have really, really enjoyed and thought it would be a shame not to share some of them with you. At this point in the game, I have read enough books to feel overwhelmed at the prospect of reviewing them all so I'll start with the ones I've read most recently (ie. over the weekend). Click on any of the images below to view them in Amazon. If you can't see the images, pause your adblocking program on your browser and reload the page.

First up, is Divergent by Veronica Roth.

 I picked up this book on a recommendation after finishing The Hunger Games trilogy and feeling that emptiness that comes when a good story ends...

02 April, 2012

Feel Good Moment

While lamenting about having to do laundry and not having any jeans to wear, I eyeballed my "clothes-I-will-be-able-to-wear-when-I-lose-weight" pile. Knowing that my jeans would come close but probably not button, I tried them on anyway... you know, just to see. To my utmost surprise and delight, they not only fit but do so comfortably! Who has two thumbs and is down a jeans size? THIS GIRL!!!

Tell me your feel good moment in a comment below!

30 March, 2012

A Weekend Getaway, Part 2

I realized that it's already March 30!! Better post this before we're completely out of the month the holiday actually falls in!

We were up and ready for the St. Patrick's Day parade in Ennis at 9:30am. We had to pack all our stuff together and be ready to check out, as our plans for the day unfortunately did not involve returning to our hotel room.
Once we left at about 10, we went straight to town and found parking, miraculously enough and were able to walk around Ennis a little before finding a place on the street to watch the parade. We arrived to the street a little early and were rewarded with the perfect spot! Hooray for us!
It was fun to see all the Paddy's Day spirit reflected in onlookers.

It was predicted to rain (as per Irish tradition), but just as we were waiting for the parade, the clouds broke and out came the blue skies and sun!
Just in time for the presentation of the flag...

21 March, 2012

A Weekend Getaway, Part 1

After weeks and weeks of being cooped up at home, and with a long weekend ahead of us, thanks to St. Patrick's day and a Bank Holiday, we decided to jump ship and head to Ennis, Co. Clare for a little retreat.

We left home on Thursday, and headed north. The drive was good, and we had some lovely weather along the way. Once we arrived in our hotel, The Woodstock Hotel, we got settled in and went to have a dip in their pool, soak away the day in their jacuzzi, and finally to turn to pudding in their sauna. An amazing way to end the day, and start our weekend!

The next morning it was raining, but we broke out our umbrella and went into town to walk around anyway. A little rain never hurt anyone.

We decided on breakfast at Cafe Aroma, mainly because we were just hungry and this was the first place we came to - but I have to say that I'm very glad we stumbled upon it.

01 March, 2012

Oh, Avocado... How I Love Thee.

Avocados. Those funny looking fruits at the grocery store. Buttery in taste and texture, rich in nutrients and vitamins... plus that amazing delicious green color. Perfect for Saint Patrick's Day, though not custom fare on this rock in the sea, much to my chagrin.

My mouth waters just at the thought of them. *droooool*

I have purchased at least 20 avocados since I have lived in Ireland and only ONE of them has been good. When I find them in the grocery store, they're either tiny (see below) and rock hard or decently sized and... you guessed it... rock hard. Usually, by the time they ripen, they're all brown and stringy inside - in other words, gross.

umm... what the crap?!

When I lived in the states, I would buy 3-4 avocados a week and eat them in sandwiches with sprouts and a bit of mayo, on toast with a bit of salt and pepper, or my favorite way - in homemade guacamole. My best friend and I have come up with a few different recipes to make it, and we used to eat it together on the couch while watching our favorite television shows.  We tried making an avocado smoothie once, but it turned out to be a failure.
Those were really the only ways I had ever heard of using avocados. Enter Pinterest.

23 February, 2012

Crazy Diets, Failure, and Success

I'd like to start this post with a little self pat on the back: I've lost 15 and a half pounds as of today! Woo!! And it feels so good!
(visit my profile and be friends on My Fitness Pal by clicking the image)

Over the last many years, I have tried a LOT of things to lose weight. I mean, a lot a lot. First, there were the diet pills joined with eating better. Then there was just regular ole eating better and exercise. I lost a couple pounds that way but hovered at the same weight for a month before I got discouraged and ate an entire cake... haha! I tried Couch to 5k, in which I lost exactly zero fat but did gain stamina, which I appreciated... before I quit. In September last year, I drastically reduced my drinking, and this year, I am proud to say that I have only had one drink - and I was peer pressured into it.
I kept my calories below 1200, and swam 2 to 3 times a week. I did that for more than three months, with no change. It was the first time I had been really inspired to stick to my goal, and I felt like a failure.

18 February, 2012

Homemade Deodorant

Back in November, I decided to switch from using commercial deodorant to homemade deodorant, and I have to tell you - the difference was amazing. I had never considered it before, but had searched out deodorants without aluminum tetrachlorohydrex gly as a teenager with my mom after she was diagnosed with Lymphoma. To our great surprise, some studies showed that aluminum tetrachlorohydrex gly was linked to cancer, and we just decided to figure out an alternative. At the time,  the alternative was to just use non antiperspirants... but as the years wore on, I didn't necessarily enjoy sweating all the time (especially when my Alaskan self lived in hot and humid Ohio), and I switched back to regular antiperspirant.

07 February, 2012

More Randomness

I have a few topics in the works, one which is near and dear to my heart is homemade deodorant, but I am in the midst of creating a recipe to share with you soon, so that must wait. In the mean time, here is some randomness for you :-)

- I have started a new diet, and lost 7 pounds! Of course I will share this experience with you, but perhaps after a few more weeks of (hopeful) success.

- There is a seemingly never ending pile of laundry to be done. We hang our clothes to dry and only have one rack, so usually I can only do two loads at a time before the rack is completely full. I'd love to dry some clothes outside, but winter means rain in Ireland. In the mean time, I stare longingly at my dryer.

- I have been learning two new boardgames with V. We have mastered the simple version of Through the Ages which has about 89234729 tiny pieces, and V is reading up on how to play the hard version of the game. It's taken him two days of memorizing and reading and checking things out online which makes me worry that we'll never be able to play the advanced version of the game. Definitely not for the faint of heart. The other game is Arkham Horror. There's about a million things to learn in that game too, including about 9,000 tiny pieces, 3,000 different decks of cards for varying situations, and of course all the little cardboard bits representing your life, money, sanity, etc. So... we've been trying for a couple weeks now and have only gotten through part of one game.

- The mornings are starting to get lighter. I have noticed that there's light in the bedroom at 7:45am now when only a couple weeks ago, it was completely dark until about 8:30. Hooray! Spring is coming!

- Our winter has been very mild this year. Considering last year's frigidness, and snow, we have only had one tiny flurry and mostly stayed around the 40's F. I find myself ok with this.

- Bilbo has been liking to snuggle up next to my side during the night, so I have been waking up with a ball of fur attached to my ribs. He has been very cuddly and I must admit that I kinda love it.

- I received an OtterBox iPhone case in the post recently, and it has changed the way I use my iPhone. Before, I had a flimsy plastic case and felt like I had to be ultra super careful when I used my phone, not to drop it (I did anyways... the worst is that we have a TILE floor... ugh). This new case is super cushioned and padded and impact resistant - and wouldn't you know, I haven't dropped it once? haha

- I have been drinking water and tea like a madwoman lately.

- I have also cut out all sugar from my daily intake. Bread too. I miss bread.

- Our house is growing moss. Not in the aesthetically pleasing way either. Just a slimy-ish green film on the outside of the house and on the patio. Time to rent a pressure washer, I think!

- The wallpaper in our living room has started giving me anxiety. It's this crazy pattern of vertical squiggly stripes in shades of grey and black and white. I hate it and avoid looking at it at all costs. I am considering replacing it, but need to ask my landlords' permission.

- I stubbed my toe.

- I have run out of randomness for you. :-)

27 January, 2012

The Chaos

As you may or may not know, my husband is Polish. All of the family on his side speak Polish, and nobody that I have met yet, speaks English other than his siblings... in which case, only his brother is actually comfortable with speaking English (which he does very well, as much as he may think otherwise).

I have been sllllooowwwlllyyy learning the Polish language ever since I met my husband, who thankfully, is a stickler for pronunciation; his parents are too, which I assume is where he learned to be so adamant about it. 

V: it's "cześć"... easy. It means "hello".
Me: cheeeee---
V: no. Czeeeeeeeeśśśśććć
Me: chhoooooo---
V: no. Cheh. Sh. Ch. Cześć.
Me: chaaaaaaa---
V: *facepalm*
myself as I imagine I look saying,"Brzeczyszczykiewicz..."

At any rate, my pronunciation of the words I know is very decent (at least that's what my husband tells me...), but in the Polish language, saying something and reading something is a completely different experience for a learner, as there are all kinds of new accents on letters and sooo many "z"s!!! "Dz" does not sound at all like "sz" or "cz", which do sound kind of like "ś" and "ć" but they aren't. It often makes my head spin.

At any rate, as a native English speaker, I tend to think that English as a whole is much easier to learn than Polish... or I did, until I read a poem called "The Chaos" by Dutch writer Gerard Nolst Trenité (1870 - 1946) which I will share with you now...

The Chaos

23 January, 2012

No Poo


ok... ok I don't mean constipation.
When I first heard the term "no poo" I really thought, without reading further, that someone was talking about not pooping.
I was wrong, now I am "no poo" too, and you can be too!


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