Posted in inspiration, interiors, lifestyle

Day 40 – Hygge Mania

The hygge lifestyle is the phenomenon of the moment and to be honest, the Danes are spot on with this one. The basic principles: be cosy, well fed, comfortable and happy.

Here are 10 of the most hygge things I could find… After all, new year = new blankets?

1. This blanket from John Lewis

2. This cardigan from Monki

3. This pot pie

4. This one pot pasta

5. These warm cocktails

6. This house on the Isle of Skye (in our dreams)

7. This apple cinnamon bread

8. This cinnamon hot chocolate with orange syrup

9. This oversized scarf from Zara

10. This chunky blanket from the White Company

Happy hygge!

Thank you for the recipes and photos πŸ™ŒπŸ˜πŸ’›

Posted in food, travel

Day 35 – Sweden

This chilly weather has got me thinking about Scandinavia and, more importantly, about food. My parents worked in Sweden for many years and still miss it to this day so, naturally, Swedish food comes out in the form of a smorgasbord whenever we have a big celebration e.g Christmas Eve tomorrow!

Here are 7 of the best foods to try in Sweden (they’re not all Christmassy) πŸ’›πŸ’™

1. Marabou chocolate is perfection. Try the milk or daim versions and the rolls are amazing!

2. Toast Skagen – these are basically open shrimp sandwiches with mayo, salad and sometimes even caviar! Decadent 🐟

3. Chai lattes – I know, I know, you can get these in any country that has a Starbucks but believe me, the Swedes have taken this spicy drink to a whole new level! Try Espresso House if you can 😘

4. Jansson’s temptation – this is the classic and delicious potato and fish combo that we Brits know and love but in an even more comforting bake!

Recipe here!

5. Semla – a cardamom spiced bun filled with cream, what more could a person want? Eat with coffee or warm milk β˜•

6. Kalles kaviar – trust me on this one, it looks weird but it’s so tasty served on toast or Swedish crispbread with egg and/or cucumber:

7. PrinsesstΓ₯rta – said to have been a royal favourite, this is the famous green cake that everyone needs in their life. Go and channel your inner princess πŸ‘‘

Thank you for the good-enough-to-eat photos πŸ™ŒπŸ˜

Happy Christmas Eve’s Eve! πŸŽ…β›„πŸŒ²πŸΎ

Posted in art, inspiration

Day 34

Today I thought I’d share some art by Zuhair Hassib, a Kurdish-Syrian artist who was born in 1960. 

His art is multifaceted. Hassib explores human closeness, femininity and colour on the one hand and war, destruction and sadness on the other. I suppose you could call this a metaphor for the situation in Syria as a whole; in just the past few weeks the news has focussed on the siege in East Aleppo as well as the romantic, poetic graffiti it provoked.

Without analysing Syrian current affairs further, I hope you enjoy this small collection of paintings:

Syria

Displacement

Find out more here.

Thank you for the images and thank you for reading!

πŸ™ŒπŸ˜

Posted in food, inspiration

Day 31

Since this is the time of year for dreams to come true, I’m bringing you a list of things to hope for: Foreign foods that the UK (and maybe everywhere else) needs more of!

I hope you enjoy 😁

1. Swiss raclette πŸ§€ yes, it is exactly how it looks – take a big cheese, melt it, scrape it over potatoes…

2. Russian waffle sandwiches (мягкиС Π²Π°Ρ„Π»ΠΈ). You heard me, the Russians are SANDWICHING waffles 😍 fillings include jam, buttercream, a combo of both, caramel, even a chewy marshmallow.

3. Dutch fries with mayo, ketchup and onion (trust me, perfect combo)

4. Khachapuri – a Georgian staple food that is basically deep pan pizza dough made into a boat and filled with cheese and egg or meat. Other variations include lobiani which is flat and filled with beans.

5. Sokolatina (σοκολατινα) – this is a beautifully decorated Greek chocolate cake made by alternating chocolate sponge and mousse!

6. Cailler chocolate – somehow our supermarkets prefer Lindt but Swiss brand Cailler comes in so many flavours that your heart will ache for what we don’t have 🍫

7. Skioufihta (σκιουφιχτα) is a Greek pasta dish. In Crete the pasta is hand rolled into little tubes and then cooked with stock and cheese! Simple and delicious.

8. Humita – I haven’t even tried this glorious, Latin American, steamed sweetcorn creation in its homeland but in a fairly authentic Argentinian restaurant in the Netherlands and it was delicious!

9. Π‘Ρ‹Ρ€ΠΎΠΊ (pronounced sirok) – how do I even begin to describe this… It’s like the miniature, individually packaged lovechild of a cheesecake and a choc ice that you can eat for breakfast, as a snack or for dessert. Often they come with fillings like jam or caramel as well πŸ™Œ

    Thank you for reading!

    πŸ˜πŸŽ„πŸΈπŸ•

    Posted in inspiration, lifestyle, travel

    Day 30 – Travel

    I know I said that this wasn’t intended to be a travel blog but today I have to break my rules (again) πŸ™ˆ

    The Netherlands at Christmas is something you have to see, especially Leiden. I’ve been to Leiden a few times and it never disappoints but even I was amazed by how beautiful it is at Christmas!

    The best thing about Leiden at this time of year is the floating Christmas market

    The market is assembled on barges in the centre of town and you can even ice skate where the water used to be.

    At/near the market you can also:

    – Have a beer and soak up the atmosphere! There is a stand in the market serving Pronck, a highly recommended local beer. Also the waterside pubs like Einstein have outdoor seating under the Christmas lights with blankets.

    – Visit bakeries such as Bakker Van Maanen and Jacobs which have special Christmas treats (they’d also make great presents)

    – Pop in to the Waag bar for a boozy coffee or a hot chocolate!

    – EAT DUTCH WAFFLES or maybe go to Oudt Leyden for enormous, xl pizza sized pancakes πŸ•

    Photo credit to 3rdspaceproject!!

    – Buy Christmas decorations, gifts, scarves, hats, jumpers, socks… All things festive!

    Have a beautiful evening πŸŽ…πŸ˜

    Posted in inspiration, lifestyle

    Day 29 – Christmas β›„

    Last minute Christmas present finders – this post is for you!

    I’m travelling a lot this Christmas so (for slightly self-serving reasons) I thought I’d have a look for easy DIY Christmas gifts. 

    The good news is they exist, the better news is that I’ve made a list!

    Happy crafting πŸ™Œ

    Candy cane sugar scrub? Yes please, Santa πŸŽ…

    Or a gingerbread one!

    Why not make this sweet festive treat

    …Or its citrussy, gin flavoured cousin?

    Speaking of alcohol, what could be better than Christmas pudding vodka πŸΈ

    Or a gift that can be personalised to anyone’s tastes β˜•

    And this cute mug looks easy peasy 😍

    Finally, for those more artistically inclined, you could even personalise a tote.

    Thank you to everyone for your amazing ideas!

    πŸ˜πŸŽ„