fredag 31 december 2010

So this is the New Year?

Happy New Year everyone, great and small! Do you feel any different at all?

Ah, "Death cab for cutie" says it all in their song "New Year".

We here at home will be spending this last day of the year, as well as the first of the new, by sitting in the sofa/lying on the bed and resting. Micke's fever is an on/off thing, and he's coughing and nose dripping so much he's having trouble sleeping. Me, I'm mostly just tired. Major tired.

Anyway, enjoy the fireworks you see tonight. We here will be gazing through the window and see half of what Turku city is shooting up into the sky. The other half will not show, since the home for the elderly across the street will block that out.

onsdag 29 december 2010

Will "New Year's Day" become "Sick Day" instead?

Oh dear, Micke apparently caught the flu someone was spreading around like crazy on the train back from Ostrobothnia. (read: someone was coughing ALL the time on the train in our compartment) Now he's got a such a sore throat I've told him not to speak. It's painful to hear him say even so little as "it hurts". Awful. And on top of that, he's got a fever. He became symptomatic yesterday noon.

And this morning, I started to feel awful too.
I got up at 08:30, had to cancel my only morning-appointment, wrote an email to people saying "we might have to skip the New Year get-together at our place" and went back to bed. And slept until 15:00.

While I slept, I dreamt a somewhat crazy dream about:

  • My Mom celebrating her 70th birthday. In Sweden, at one of my aunt's places.
  • Me coloring my hair, because Mom said I had too.
  • I did it while being very pregnant, which meant it was a chore.
  • While doing this, Micke came along and also wanted his hair (read: beard) colored, and I somehow managed to do this and color his lips brown. Not pretty.
I guess my conscience it trying to tell me I need to start planning for my Mom's 70th birthday in May next year, and get an appointment at my hairdresser's in January. Don't know much about the other stuff.

tisdag 28 december 2010

Aprés Christmas comes lots of things...

... of which one is New Year. But that's a later blog post.

Our Christmas was okay. Much more a 'real holiday' that last time we were in Ostrobothnia for Christmas. This time, instead of driving around in the car visiting various people, we got to spend quite a lot of time at Micke's mother's apartment. I actually managed to forget being stressed out over things. Some of the time. Most of the time.

We visited relatives, and Micke's friend Joonas' family. I borrowed the car and drove to Kronoby to visit Sally and her family. Joonas cooked spicy meatballs when we visited, and even though he had totally forgot about my allergies it was okay. We played some games on their christmas present "Kinect" for Xbox. That was amusing, and what made it really funny was that the fact that the guys sweated like pigs when playing. It's a VERY athletic game console. It makes you exercise. A lot. While the guys were browsing through the Kinect-games on Xbox live, I talked with Joonas' mom and sister. They're very much into crafting (Sofia is mostly into scrap-booking, and her mom wants to start doing jewelry), and I got to browse through some of the crafting magazines they had. That was both fun and informative.

I also joined Sally's family for dinner, her mom had made these huge meat-pies that were really good. We talked, and the whole time while I was there Sally's cats totally boycotted me. They thought I had come to take them away. Again. That's the thank you get from helping your friend get her 2 cats to the train. They consider you to be the plague, and to be avoided at all costs.

We (that is, me and Micke) only ate out once, and it was REALLY nice of the people working in the kitchen at "O'Leary's" (it's a restaurant/bar with sports & baseball theme...) to make me paprika/chili-free dinner when I asked. My stomach was so pleased about that. It wants us to visit again.
*sigh* My stomach wants me to eat bland chicken pasta with lots of olive oil. Seriously, my stomach ain't the sharpest tool in the shed... Not that my brain is either, but at least it has the sense to frown at the stomach...

Oh, and it snowed. Like, it snowed a lot! During that week we must have had almost a meter of snow. And it was cold too: at most we had -27 degrees Celsius (-16.6 degrees Fahrenheit if you like that better). People complained about the cold. A lot. And on how the trains and people driving cars had problems because of it.
While driving, it snowed so much, it was either a complete whiteout because of the snow, or because your glasses got so much condensation on them (because of your own breathing).
Me, I just thought it was okay. I got to use my knitted buff on top of my regular scarf. And used a double  pair of knitted gloves. As well as boots that went up to under my knees.

Anyway, Christmas came and went, and what I got for Christmas can be placed into two categories: chocolate and other stuff.
I got a really elegant and simple pendant from Mimi, we got wine from Sally, and I got two earrings from Micke (of which I had chosen the color myself...). Of all the chocolate, I think by now Micke has eaten about ... half of it already.


He started on the train back home. He got a stomach ache.

*double sigh*

And he made me eat some as well. I got a stomach ache too. And I can safely say, that I've seen enough pralines now to last me until New Year.

To end this post, I'll share with you some pictures of snow and trains.

Snow over Aspegren's garden, Jakobstad.

Bennäs train station.

2 minutes early?!
Is this a late Christmas present, or only our train back to Turku? 

When this is all you have to stare at for 5 hours,
you're bound to get pretty bored.
No wonder we thought the chocolate was a good idea...

When in doubt/bored, use your phone to check forums/blog posts.

Every seat filled, all the space above crammed with luggage.
The people who hadn't bought tickets beforehand,
they had to stand. You try standing for 5 hours, and see
how your Christmas spirit survives that.
Back in Turku, where all the snow drifts were as tall as Micke!

fredag 17 december 2010

Baking bread...

... even though I shouldn't. Because people on the paleo-diet don't eat bread, because wheat flour hadn't been "invented" back in  10 000 BC....

But, non the less, I will try to entice you with my magnificent (hah!) bread baking pictures.

The foccacia!
...insert appropriate music here...

Dough on tray.

Wait for it...

Fermentation done, thank you Saccharomyces cerevisiae!

Olives! Pirkka eco-olives :) 

Plop plop plop!

eco-Olive oil!

Sea salt and dried rosemary!

200 degrees Celsius for 40-45 min!

Saved from the fiery flames of the oven!


Baking chocolate truffles

Last year, as well as the year before that, I baked truffle chocolate for Christmas. Mostly, because it was chocolate and candy and heck-it's-Christmas-can't-we-have-at-least-something-that's-not-healthy-to-eat. Both times, the whole kitchen was a MESS afterwards, and the whole 'event' took maybe 4 hours.

Needless to say, I soooo did not wan't to see the kitchen looking like this again.

And it's AMAZING how much just a simple pastry bag will help when doing this, instead of following the recipe and using two spoons (or hand and spoon like last year). Why (oh WHY?!) didn't Pirkka put that in their truffle recipe???

Yup, I'm also a Pirkka card user and a Pirkka-magazine reader. (For those of you who aren't, Pirkka is the 'loyal' customer club of one of Finland's biggest food market boutiques. Pirkka belongs to Kesko. The others are S-bonus that belongs to the S-group, and Ykkösbonus which belongs to Suomen Lähikauppa Oy). But, seriously, sometimes they DO have nice recipes in their monthly cooking-magazine.

The recipe is quite simple, and contains things like cocos fat, cocoa, chocolate, powdered sugar, egg, cream and orange peel. Here's the recipe I use on Pirkka, but while I searched around I found another one too. The other one is... a slightly less calorie BOMB.

Triple amount of truffle creme, triple the amount of nom noms to eat.

And I know that they - unfortunately! - look like small poops with nuts in.
Believe me when I say that was SO not the intention... 

The other variation looked a little like Brunberg's truffle.
But it was easier to make the "poop-like" ones.
We've already given some of these away as Christmas presents - who doesn't like chocolate? - and the rest will be MINE ALL MINE MUHAHAHAHA!
... I mean, mine and Micke's to eat while we spend Christmas with his family up in Ostrobothnia this year.


I've read, that no one is happy when they check how much their weight is.
People who are over-weight want to get a little lighter, and people who're under-weight want to get a little heavier.

Me, I just want (and need!) new clothes, because by this rate my whole wardrobe will look like I permanently borrow my elder mommy-type sister's clothes. And I don't even have a sister. My jeans look like hillbilly-jeans, my shirts sag, my skirts hang waaaay down my hips, and the only things that are kinda okay are the T-skirts. Except, most of them are so old / used / ratty, not to mention "H & M quality", that I'll be needing new ones fast.

Anyway, let's look at some pictures :)

This is our IKEA-scale.
To make using it more enjoyable,
I've written "I like YOU anyway" on it.
We have a pep-talk scale.
Micke's mom copied the idea.
Now she has a pep-talk scale too.
These are my feet.
There's many like them, but these are mine.
All pruned up and warm from the shower.
Sometimes I use nail polish, but not today.
The scale says "55 kilograms".
It used to say "60".
A quick calculation of my BMI gives 55/(1,65x1,65) = 20,20.
According to the index graph, I'm normal weight.

These are Micke's feet.
There's many like them, but these are his.
All covered with proper black socks,
facing my pruned toes, looking nice.
He never uses nail polish.
The scale says "73 kilograms".
Once, a long time ago (he told me), it used to say
"91 kilograms".

Christmas wish list of 2010

Dear Santa,

Even though my dear mother was forced to "kill you" when I was still very young (I was 8 years old, and had Santa-trauma/depression every December), I still hope that it's okay to write to you. You see, I think Christmas has become a bit like list-mania, and I need to get on the wagon. Like I did last year.

Last Christmas, I wished for 6 things. Of them, I got one: the new frying pan I wanted and we so desperately needed. I also got this amazing filé knife, which I so love my Mikael for.

The rest, I've bought during the year, so you're forgiven. And the chocolate I made myself, so that's okay too.

But, this year I'll be monitoring your behavior again, so here is my list for 2010:

  1. I want my Micke to stop being a nicotine addict, and be free of it once and for all.
    • This is not a selfish wish, because I want him to stop being so frustrated all the time. He's so stressed out, mostly because of his work, so please please please take at least this off his back.
  2. I would very much want to get a job for 2011. One that would preferably pay enough, so that Micke won't have to stress even more about work, and instead concentrate on his pro gradu thesis.
    • And no cheating and giving me one where I have to sit by a cash register all day. Seriously, I'm made for laboratory work. Sitting and parroting "that'll be 5,40 euros, please" is not work, it's a nightmare.
  3. A plane ticket to Paris and back. I want to have a kiss on top of the Eiffel tower, and see as much as I can in one day in the Louvre.
    • if this is impossible, then I promise not to hate you. 
    • not very much anyway
    • okay, I'll still hate you, but I understand that everyone should try and minimize their carbon-dioxide foot print.
    • not like that's a valid reason to skimp on me, just so you know
  4.  A new pair of jeans. I'm too small for the ones I have, so I look like a dork in all 5 of them. My hips and thighs aren't as wide as they used to be, so I look like a hillbilly in her mama's Sunday jeans.
    • waist <28'', I could begin with 26'' and go from there
    • length 32''
  5. I want mom and dad to stay (relatively) healthy. 
    • I know you'll have a hard time on this one, especially since both have a troublesome diet, and are already in the risk groups of adult diabetes and coronary disease. Especially dad.
    • but promise me you'll at least try
    • please?
  6. Chocolate and bottle of champagne.
    • I'll help you: I already made truffles. You only have to bring me a small bottle of champagne.
    • And I can save that one for New Year's Eve.

Christmas is a bit about making lists...

... or then making a LOT of them.

To do lists.
Shopping lists.
Wish lists.
Christmas-cards-to-be-sent lists.

It's a bit like list-mania.

I at least have been using the shopping/to do list application on our Ipod like crazy.  It's nice not to have to have a thousands post-its in you calendar. Easier to edit on-the-go too.

Anyway, I thought I should maybe also write a wish list. Even though I know that no one will adhere to it.

måndag 13 december 2010

Christmas decos

The -huge- Strömsö-dream catcher.
During one summer while visiting Micke's family up in Ostrobothnia, I managed to scavenge a part of a spruce tree root on the Fäboda beach. The (original) plan was for it to become the skeleton of a dream catcher.
Like the huge one they did in the Strömsö TV-program, which looked like this (picture on the right).
However, I didn't get any inspiration to create it that summer, and so the whole project kinda went on hiatus... until now.

We don't have many Christmas decos, mainly because when we moved in together Micke didn't have any, and the ones I had were hand-me-downs from my Mom and Dad. Only thing we've actually bought ourselves, which was last year, was an electrical advent candelabra (swe. adventsljusstake). One that was on sale after New Year came and went. Yeah, we're cheapos. But hey, we're students, so I guess it's okay.

Anyhow, one thing I really would have liked us to have last Christmas, was a wreath for the door. It looks so much more inviting and cozy if you have one hanging on it. We already have one for the rest of the year - one I bought this summer in Jakobstad during 'Jakobs dagar'. But it's not that 'Christmassy'....

This was actually a real simple craft-thing, and in the end required very few materials. So, out with the:
  • spruce root
  • yarn (gray, red, white)
  • jute twine
  • 2 wooden craft balls, some sewing thread and one old nylon sock
Welcome home!
Yes, even thought we don't want any 'rubbish' mail, the IKEA
and the Stockmann catalog is still considered ESSENTIAL mail :P
The dolls had their 'clothes' crocheted, and the bow and "snow" is also crocheted. The eyes and lips of the dolls were made by covering the wooden craft balls with pieces of the nylon sock and then stitching the rest.


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