Monthly archive October, 2015

COFFEE, BEYENE, CEREAL

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I’ve had such a nice few weeks at home in Gothenburg, catching up with friends, spending time with my family and sorting things out before moving to Malmö. Things have changed for the better and I’m excited to bring my new ways with me everywhere I go.
 
Something quite new is that I’ve made the decision to not drink coffee anymore, since it – to be precise – makes me feel like shit. So nowadays ‘going for coffee with friends’ is more like ‘gazing at my friend’s coffees while sipping on a glass of water.’ Which is fine too, because I can still enjoy the looks of it, the smell of it and the whole culture around it. That to me has always been as important as the drinking-part of it.
 
Have any of you stopped drinking coffee, or is it just too good to give up? I find this subject quite interesting since everyone seems to be affected very differently by it.
Anyhow, Da matteo is a good place to meet up with friends, caffeine or no caffeine.
 
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Wearing soft and comfortable materials as always, sweater from Massimo Dutti, pants from Gina Tricot.
Besides meeting up with friends, I spent a lot of time at home focusing on spiritual practice and just doing cosy things like watching movies, reading and writing, listening to good music and taking long walks in the forest.
 
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I received this lovely package on the post for my new collaboration with Beyene classics. “A contemporary footwear brand based in Stockholm that aims to produce shoes that combine superior craftsmanship with timeless aesthetics.”
 
To be honest I’ve been wearing these almost every day since I got them.  This type of classic model just goes well with pretty much any outfit, especially since the design is something in between sneakers and dress shoes.
When it comes to shoes I’m really a firm believer in owning just a few pairs that are of high quality and won’t go out of style after just half a season.
You can get your own pair here.
 
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Last but not least, I celebrated my 21st birthday in the end of September. One of my b-day gifts was this special edition of Cereal Magazine from my dad. In this issue I browsed through dreamy pages about California, which really enhanced my already strong attraction to travel there at some point. We’ll see if I can manage to squeeze in a Cali-trip in my travel plans next year, fingers crossed.
Some more good reading was about invisible design, the history of Levi’s, Belgian antiques, and French watchmakers.
 
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As my dad is a graphic designer, he made sure that even my birthday card was nice and minimal. Clever one isn’t he.
 
Other good things lately:
 
– The general feeling of being able to nourish and care for close relationships with my loved ones, now that I’m based at home in Sweden again.
 
– Realizing that ‘Discover weekly’ on Spotify is such a good way to find new music. Every week the list is filled with a whole bunch of new songs that based on what I usually listen to. Brilliant.
 
– Working at Søstrene Grene in Malmö, a cosy Danish little shop with all kinds of nice things. Everything from interior articles to paint brushes and sketchpads to little bags of caramels. We play classical music everyday in the shop and my collegues are all sweethearts. Such a dreamy workplace.
 
 
LOU

MY AUTUMN

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Here’s a little overview of what I want my autumn to look like. Obviously some of these points are more likely to happen than others, but as we all know, making lists is always a good way to structure your daydreams and goals. Big ones as well as small.
 
eating / soup of all sorts, lots of lentils and chickpeas, cinnamon buns and ice cream.
 
drinking / endless cups of tea, maybe some hot chocolate.
 
practicing / patience, selflessness, appreciating the now.
 
mastering / balance between the spiritual and the superficial world.
 
learning / a martial art of some sort, more about astrology, how to play guitar, how to not get attached to boys.
 
playing / more board games.
 
finishing / the last season of downton abbey without completely crying my eyes out.
 
reading / books on the subject of philosophy, well-being and the spiritual mind.
 
hearing / nick drake – milk and honey. and of course my autumn playlist on spotify.
 
watching / dead poets society. this beautiful and brilliant movie always puts me in such an autumny mood.
 
walking / long forest walks, staying close and connected to nature.
 
wearing / like always, big chunky knits, and pajamas as often as possible.
 
cooking / interesting, healthy, vegetarian meals together with my sister.
 
working / hopefully with something related to my interests. the job hunt is going steady as we speak.
 
traveling / small get-aways to the countryside now and then.
 
wanting / a still and harmonious autumn with hints of excitement.
 
 
LOU

Ananda Gaorii

 

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I thought I would finally write a little about the wonderful place I’ve been staying at during the past few months, and about what I experienced there.

In the end of this summer I started going through some major life changes in my life. I left the city with all its stress and shallowness and went to a yoga retreat on the Danish countryside, right by the sea. Firstly, I can say that living here has made me wonder ‘what the hell I’ve been doing’ for the last couple of years. 
I’ve put so much focus into things that only bring stress, tension and anxiety. Society has been controlling my life, telling me what I need, what I should do, how I should look, how I should act, how to life my life. This is of course something that isn’t obvious to most of us while it’s happening, and even when we start realizing it, it’s still quite abstract and hard to grasp.

 
It came to me that I was prioritizing very little of what actually makes me happy. I even wrote a list of things that bring me joy, like being in the nature, staying active,  laughing, dancing, singing, cooking, meeting new people, health, traveling, learning new things. But despite knowing all of this, I would insist on spending my days doing the complete opposite.

 
Sitting alone inside in the dark for hours, distracted by technology and social media, going out partying, using substances to get a very temporary feeling of happiness and energy, having dead end conversations with people about superficial things, having to take a job that I hate – just to get more money – just to be able to consume things I don’t need, caring way too much about what people think and obsessing over the smallest of problems, contemplating about the past, stressing about the future.
Why would I consciously choose to live like this? Looking at it all in an objective way suddenly made me realize that this is madness and definitely not the way I want to live my life.

 
Though, when you have built up this shallow type of life through the years, it can be really hard to let go. It takes a big amount of willpower, bravery and determination to be able to let go of some of these things that you identify yourself with.
Most people are afraid of leaving their comfort zone, because they don’t know who they are beneath this “surface of material things” and by letting go they will feel lost and exposed. But it doesn’t have to be black and white.

 
You don’t have to give up everything and completely re-invent yourself. You don’t have to go to India and meditate on a mountaintop to find happiness. Just ask yourself what is important to you. For me, the most important thing is to find a long-lasting way to be happy and to practice harmony inside.
To wake up in the morning and feel a sense of meaning. That’s why I decided to detach myself from every source of misery I could find in my life, and replace them with as much goodness as possible.

 
Going to this yoga retreat in Denmark happened to tick in a lot of these boxes of goodness.
My time there included:

 
Practicing yoga and meditation daily, strengthening both body and mind, setting free emotions that have been buried within me.

 
Working as a volunteer, which means helping out at the retreat with whatever needs to be done (things like garden work, cooking, cleaning). This keeps me active and gives me a purpose each day. In exchange for helping out, I get to stay and eat there free of charge, which in itself takes away all financial stress (I didn’t think about money at all while staying there).

 
At the retreat they are working towards becoming a completely self-sustainable eco village, with a high focus on environment, health and well being for everyone. So by volunteering there, I’m working for a better future and can enjoy everything with a better conscience.

 
Being surrounded by nature. This has created such a calmness in me and has made me feel so much more connected to the world. To live in a place where you can find complete silence just outside your door. Not just to look, but to actually see the nature that surrounds you, and that way observe beauty in its purest and simplest form.

 
Living and working together with others. Communal living in itself is something that gives me a great sense of  joy and excitement. Constantly meeting new people who all share their own stories and life experiences.
All kinds of unique and wonderful characters, from all corners of the world, from different backgrounds and cultures, coming together in this one place.
Learning from each other and sharing our own knowledge about how to live better lives. Working together as a team, creating new things and appreciating these beautiful moments together.

 
Letting go through music, dance and other group activities. Living in an open and accepting community like this really brought back my inner child. I felt so free to just let go completely, without this  constant worrying of “being cool” or messing up in front of others.
Nobody cares if your singing is a bit out of tune. I’ve been reminded of how it feels to actually laugh from the depth of my stomach, to test my limits of weirdness and ‘sillyness’, to be as much of myself as I can be without anyone judging. It really is such a liberating feeling.

 
I already miss this place so much and can’t wait to spend more time there next summer. And the great thing is, if yo do a little research you can find places like this all over the world. It doesn’t have to cost anything if you volunteer, so don’t let the question of money stand in your way.
If you feel like you need a break, if you’re interested in a spiritual life, or if you’re just looking to try something new, remember that there are opportunities like these. Test your limits, get out of your comfort zone, see what’s out there.

 

 
LOU

#OUTFIT

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Sweater Massimo Dutti
 
Pants Monki
 
Scarf H&M
 
Shoes Beyene
 
 
LOU

VEGAN CHOCOLATE CANDY

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Normally I prefer salty snacks over cakes and candy, but lately I’ve been experiencing some pretty intense cravings for sweets (especially chocolate), and found this great recipe for gluten free, dairy free, healthy, completely vegan, no bake chocolate cake pops! It seems too good to be true, really.

These brownie cake pops are made with black beans, which actually didn’t surprise me much since we nowadays use healthier things like avocado, banana, dates, coconut and beans, as a replacement for what is considered unhealthy baking ingredients.

What you need

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
5 tablespoons raw cacao powder
2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter (or any nut butter)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Toothpicks/cake pops/straws
Topping/sprinkles

 

For the melted chocolate:

1 dl coconut oil

4 tablespoons raw cocoa powder

2 tablespoons honey

pinch of salt

What you do

In a food processor, combine the black beans, cacao powder, sunflower butter, maple syrup and sea salt. Process for a couple minutes, until the mixture is well combined and doughy.

Roll the dough into round balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Pop in toothpicks/sticks/straws. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 15-20 minutes.

Put the coconut oil, cocoa, salt and honey in a pot and melt it all on low heat while stirring. Dip the brownie pops in the melted chocolate and place on the sheet. Decorate them with coconut flakes, salted nuts or other sprinkles. Leave in the fridge for at least an hour.

Note: There was some left of the vegan melted chocolate, so I decided to make some choco-almond-sea salt-candy.
Just mix the chocolate with some roasted almonds, sprinkle some sea salt on top and put it in the fridge until solidified. Then cut the chocolate bark into small candy pieces and roll them into squares of baking sheet. These were SO incredibly yummy and easy to make!

 

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Next time I will try to make ‘healthy fudge chocolate bars’. Find the recipe and other goody things on my food-pinterest here.

LOU

MALMÖ

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Lately I’ve been moving around a lot from one place to another, and when I left the retreat to go back home to Gothenburg, I made a stop at my sister’s place in Malmö. For those of you who don’t know, Malmö is a city in the very south of Sweden, only 30 minutes away from Copenhagen in Denmark.
Since my sister moved there to study a few years ago, I’ve visited Malmö more and more often, and have become very fond of this place. So much that I’ve actually decided to move there myself this autumn (that’s the plan anyway, though as the libra-sign that I am, I still seem to change my mind every five seconds).
 
Malmö is quite moderately sized with a warm, cosy atmosphere. It’s located right by the sea, has a large amount of beautiful parks, and the citizens tend to ride their bikes everywhere. For being such a small city, I’ve found that it has a surprisingly vibrant feel to it. There’s constantly new innovative projects going on, especially regarding important subjects like feminism, racism, refugees, environment, ecology etc. Anyhow, it’s all pretty exciting.
 
I spent the last few days there, looking at an apartment, trying to figure out what my purpose there would be, and just hanging out with my sister at her place.
 
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It so happened to be the Swedish ‘cinnamon-bun-day’, so we decided to bake a whole bunch of them. Cinnamon buns are awesome.
 
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This is such a cosy apartment with moody colors and lots of books and plants everywhere.
 
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Malmö is very up-to-date when it comes to vegan/vegetarianism/ and you can find a large number of animal-friendly (and eco-friendly) cafés all around the city. We went to one of them, the ‘Raw food house’ for a completely raw plant-based lunch.
It was amazing. I tried the Asian sesame-salad, made with cabbage, zucchini, carrot, broccoli, pepper, herbs, a creamy sesame sauce, with cashews, apple and seaweed on top. And of course a chocolate chai-cream cake for dessert. So good that I forgot to capture in with my camera.
 
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Finally, we took a long walk through one of the great parks, where some of the trees are as tall as I’ve ever seen before.
 
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LOU