Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year to all :o)

Took a long walk today after doing some light grocery shopping for my very own New Years Eve - I didn't plan to be home at New Years but it just happened due to changed travel plans (see earlier blogs). And really I don't mind at all - celebrated both my birthday and Christmas abroad this year so why not the last night of this year as well ?

Well I shopped for all my favourite dish - even bought a bottle of bobly (and no can't drink it all - but what is New Years without it). And there are two 15 minute tv-programs, that everybody will watch. Yes they/I will turn on the TV on NewYears eve and see them - totally tradition - have even introduced them to people that have moved to our country, and now they are obsessed with them too.

Novelista Barista talked about being a tourist in her own city in her blog - while I took that walk today, I was reminded, that I live close to some of the biggest tourist attractions in the city. Hmmm.... my mind began to wander, and have now decided that I might not travel after all in the beginning of the New Year but instead be a tourist in my own city. I have seen a lot of the seights, but there are still plenty I haven't seen.

Then I looked down to the coffee cup in my hand - then I got a new crazy idea: Why not create a second blog with pics of coffee cups from various coffee houses? I mean, I do try out a lot of them while travelling, so here goes...... I am going to create "CoffeeCup - want to see my collection?"

Happy New Year

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Homemade bread

Maybe you've seen WASA's crispbread on OPRAH - anyway I was brought up with this type of bread - well different varities actually, and its good with hardboiled eggs, cheese, jam and soo much more.... My breakfast usually included 1 or 2 pieces of this type of bread.

A colleague of mine brought homebaked crispbread to the office one day - with many type of seeds in it - YUMMI :o) I got a copy of the recipe and bought all the ingredients. That was one month ago.

So whenever the blogger Melanie has mentioned WilliamsSonoma in her blog I have thought about trying this recipe, but haven't gotten around to it.... until today that is.

And while my crispbread were baking in the oven I watched Nigella Christmas, that I recorded on my DVR while I was in Barcelona. Those recipes she presented - wow I can actually eat a lot of the stuff she cooked, as most ingredients are allowed in my MS diet, I am soo getting her book via Amazon :o) I already have her Nigella Express, which has helped me cook lots of times. Why buy fastfood? Most of her recipes hardly take any time to make, and I always make double portions so I can put them into my freezer - that way I always have fastfood.

Now I am only left with one question to myself: Why did I stop baking bread, cookies etc.? I did it all the time, when I studied at the university. And the time invested really pays off, since the results is usually yum-yum. Maybe I just discovered a 2010 New Year resolution: make more homemade bread. :o)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Time for creative ideas

"Sometimes I wish that I could just sit down and get started on the cards without having to "force my brain" for creative ideas..." - ok those words came out of my mouth a couple of years ago, and now I always have a piece of paper with me to scribble down ideas... my colleagues still laugh when I pull yesterdays receipt for groceries out of my bag and start making notes about a new card idea.
Since I don't have to be back at work until 3 weeks from now (vacation time), I have given myself the following "tasks": try to make minimum one card per day - read a good book for ½ -1 hour per day - 1 hour walk every day (there are plenty of parks in my area). I haven't allocated specific timeslots everyday .... it simply wouldn't feel like vacation if I did.

It makes me "forget" all about the MS for a while (as in "healthy thoughts"), and to ignore a noisy, grumpy next door neighbour. Making those cards is soo far from my daily job, which is why it is so relaxing to make them. That might just be my biggest argument for not setting up my own business making cards - then there would be a pressure on making cards within limited time and putting the creativity to a test.....

Sunday, December 27, 2009

When everything else fail...

Went out last night for a cup of coffee at what seemed to be a cosy local coffee shop chain...

Well that visit lasted for about 5 seconds, as I was met with smoke.... Yikes! Welcome the the 21st century where smoking apparently still a allowed in public places in some countries.

All during my childhood I was subject to secondhand smoking and doctors found that to be the 'cause of my asthma (well that actually dissapeared when the MS took over) - and yes I am a non-smoker myself...

So when that decision failed, I turned to "good old" Starbucks - where smoking is not allowed. I know... sometimes I wish that I could turn back times ... but in occations like this, I am happy that there is a smoking ban in public this type of progress through time is just up my alley....

The picture is of another local Starbucks here in Barcelona......

Friday, December 25, 2009

Is goal free living possible?

I am currently in Spain - and Christmas is upon us. Have just enjoyed dinner in the hotel restaurant as my feet would have killed me, if I chose a restaurant away from the hotel. But enjoyed the calm surroundings and good food, that was not too pricy.

I always have a moleskin note in bag - it has been part of the "inventory" for that past 5+ years. Scribble down quotes from books/newspapers/movies, display discriptions from museum artefacts, curious fact regarding various traditions etc.

An entry that I have comletely forgotten somehow, "screamed" at me - in Stephen Shapiro's book "Goal Free Living", he writes aboud several secrets to living a goal free life: "Use a compass, not a map" is one of them.

Instead of writing New Years resolutions, one should rather find one word to describe the following year - that word will more than likely have mutiple meanings.

Well, didn't have a hard time finding my word to describe 2010 - actually it has been waiting idle on the tip of my tongue for a long time now:
Creativity as exploring if more of my ideas will come true:

  • Spreading joy when sending a homemade/selfmade card instead of off-the-shelves cards

  • As in learning new creative techniques

  • Maybe making some money on the creative things - thus funding other creative ideas

  • ...and the list could go on.

What is your word describing 2010?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Powerfull word - confirmed:o)

This time tomorrow I will be in Spain on vacation - I really didnt believe that I was going anywhare until I saw the word "confirmed".
Totally "me"-time, where I can explore a Christmas decorated Spain with my camera - read some books in a local coffee house, making sketches to some cards, that I want to make.... just let the creative side take over for a while.
I still have some vacation days left when I eventually return to my home, but have thought about making a lot of homemade cards, as friends and colleagues allways tell me, that I could make money on my cards. Up until now I have rejected that idea, but since they have repeated it and ordered cards from me....maybe just maybe I could start someting ....Gonna make big batch of different cards to different occations and see where this is going....
Merry Christmas / Happy holidays / Feliz Navidad

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Women of Grace

Sunday... just want to forget all about this week's events and not think of my postponed holiday...

What is better than doing it in the company of two women with grace... well not face to face as that is not possible but doing some of the things I love - watching a movie at the local cinema and reading a book.

"Coco Before Chanel" - Audrey Tatou has been one of my favourite acresses ever since Amélie, and her portrait of Coco Chanel is amazing. Everybody knows Chanel when fashion is mentioned - but how many know about her background?

A guy thought it was ok to check his email on his blackberry while watching the movie - some of us asked him to turn it of, as the light from the blackberry's screen was disturbing us "oh no can't do that - it is important issues" ??!! One of the cinema's employee's gave him an ultimatum - turn it off or go home to his wife instead of being at the cinema with his mistress ... he really hit a nerve, as the guy's face turned white and his mistress was soo soon as the movie ended they went outside in a hurry.

Second woman of grace: Audrey Hepburn.

I bought the book "What Would Audrey Do?" a while ago and started reading it today.

There are fun bits in the book that will never apply to me - but on the other hand, there might just be a few things that's worth considering.

Just writing this entry made me remember an exhibition (on loan from the MET) I saw in Chicago abouth Jacueline Kennedy - The White House Years where all the beautiful and memorable outfits were on display.... just browsing through the catalogue from that exihibition right now.... maybe, that's why I enjoy watching "Project Runway" - to see how the designers get their inspiration :o)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Is Christmas over already....??

I know .... reuse of picture, but this Santa is one of my favourite X-mas ornaments... and haven't quite had the time to take more pictures.

One of my colleagues is off sick, and we don't know the return date yet.... therefore my X-mas vacation has been postponed undefinately. Sigh!! I really need that vacation to recharge my batteries.... maybe just maybe I can find some extended big-city weekend, so I wont be home at the x-mas holidays but still able to work between X-mas and New Years. Guess the major travelling will be done in January.

Todays blog post from The Novelista Barista really got to me - I LOVE DOGS - but am not allowed to keep one in my building. That is actually a good thing, because with all the travelling I wouldn't be a suitable dog owner. I immediately donated some money so the dogs can get more blankets and get a bit warmer in this cold weather - maybe that is my chance to be a "secret Santa" to some dogs needing a good home. So please support Novelista Barista's initiative

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Expressions you love........

"La-la-la. Fingers in ears. Not listening"

At work this expession is often used by colleagues and myself - usually together with big smiles and laughter...... and you know somehow this expression is actually universal, as I have seen Russians, Italians, French smile when I have used this expression towards my male collegues... sometimes I am the only woman present, but they would never say anything that could offend me. Thats the cool ting about this expression - it fits so many occasions :o)

What is your favourite expression??

Monday, December 7, 2009

Old style communication

In one of my first blog posts I wrote about writing letters - well that is still my most cherished kind of communication.

I write emails all day long at my job and therefore dont consider them to be very personal when it comes to my own private mailbox - for me it is for leaving short messages: unless there is some vital info involved. Ok the monthly list of bills to be paid is still preferred at the mailbox instead of using vast amount of paper..... At work emails are necessary when communicating to people worldwide and also for written reference, that might be needed in claim cases etc.

Then there is the phone - sometimes I actually miss when it was attached to a cord.... yes if you weren't a home you might have to queue up at a phonebooth, and you would actually miss calls when you were not at home, and an answering machine would pick up a message... Now you are never alone - it could ring at anytime...

Several people I now instantly picks up the mobile, when they either leave their home or their job and chats away - usually about "nothing".... a lot of them while driving a car, a bicycle etc... Hello??!! Dont they know how many traffic accidents that actually could be avoided if they weren't on the phone.

The job equipped me with a mobile - so basically I am available 24/7 - but usually it does not ring at night nor in the weekends: the most times it has rung in the weekends are when my presence is suddenly urgently requested in another country.

I no longer have the old fashioned phone - a landline number is too expensive, so I actually have a private mobile phone as well.... and if I am not at home it is actually turned off.... yes after 7 years of addiction to my mobile phone I discovered the off-button :o)

Friday, December 4, 2009

American Pictures

If you have ever seen this picture - chances are that you know about "American Pictures - either as a slide-show/multimedia show or the book with Jacob Holts amazing pictures and stories about the Americans: black or white, rich or poor etc.

His shows have been seen by many people - especially across the USA and Denmark - he has touched, provoked thousands and tousands of people.

If you ever get the chance to see one or his lectures - it an experience worth your time.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

On a mission....

I've given myself this week to complete the shopping for X-mas and birthdays in December - one thing that needs to be bought will have to wait another 2 weeks: my X-mas vation.....

Am already on the reach to reach my goal, as I bought 4 birthday presents and another 3 for X-mas... plus finished 5 homemade birthday cards and 2 for X-mas.... And the best thing: still within the budget.

There is a dilemma regarding X-mas presents in my family: my sister-in-law insists that my 2 nieces only gets items from the wishlist - which I never honour ... why?? ... well followed that "rule" for years, but she never looked at the wishlist from me (even though she insisted to get one) and gave me books I already own etc. ("Oh!! I forgot to ensure that you are able to exhange this" - and you never can)... My nieces however think that my travelling is "soo cool" and they insist on getting purchases from abroad. I try to spend a lot of time with them and actually listens to what they have to say - and so far I have been able to pick items for them, that they refuse to let out of their eyesight even for one minute......

I have the same "gift" for picking a present when it comes to the friends with who I exchange X-mas presents - but for me it's all about paying attention to very small details that actually makes the difference....

Then there are the X-mas cards - did I score an own goal when I started creating my own X-mas cards?? There is no way back: several of them have expressed that they are always looking forward to receive this years card (as well as birthday greetings etc...)
Well my friends stood by me after I got diagnosed with MS - so this is my way of paying them back.... :o)