Life, etc.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hi, friends. You may or may not have noticed that things have been pretty quiet around here lately. That's because I've been feeling pretty bummed out lately. For no good reason, which only makes me feel worse. I've mainly been combatting it with retail therapy, comfort food and bad tv but I'm really trying to get back on track. I've been thinking a lot about the things that make me happy and having the usual existential crises. I'm sure this is one of my problems - thinking too much and doing too little. So after having a bit of a breakdown last week where I found myself searching for last minute flights back to Vancouver, I took a day to do all the things that make me happy. Wandering around the city, having tea and treats, buying flowers, spending time with friends and sitting in the sun. The little things that remind me of how lucky I am. I sometimes don't give myself enough of a break for what an adjustment it is to leave your old life and build a new one. So, I'm trying to do that too. I'm hoping that things start looking brighter and that I get my groove back now that it's spring. Things might still be a bit quieter here but I will be back soon, I promise. I haven't been taking my camera out lately so here are some Instagram pictures from the other day. 

Knit Shorts

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I finished my second pair of knit shorts, the ones that I've been talking about for ages. My first pair didn't fit at all, so I ended up ripping them out and trying again. This time I followed Nicola's adaptions for some of it and made the rest of it up as I went along. Which is probably the reason that they are a bit wonky but I'm still pretty happy with them. They are surprisingly cozy! Also, it's really hard to take pictures of yourself. This is the only shot that worked, the rest are just funny.

Dutch Masters Style

Monday, March 19, 2012

As I wrote Friday, Mark and I finally booked our tickets to Amsterdam to celebrate our anniversary next month! It's all I've been thinking about since, I am really in need of a little getaway. And I guess seeing my husband again will be ok too. Being the nerd I am, I have already started planning - what to see, what to pack, etc. One of the things that I'm most excited for (besides all the tulips) is seeing the paintings by the Dutch Masters, the amazing light filled portraits and still lifes have always been favourites of mine. And it's always nice to see art you have studied in person, it feels a bit like seeing a celebrity, ha ha. Because I like to be crazy and impractical and match my suitcase contents to my destination, I put together some dream outfits inspired by Dutch paintings. Clockwise, from left:

Paintings, left: John Veermer, The Milkmaid (c.1657 - 58), and right: Simon Pietersz Verelst, Flower Still Life (later 17th c.)

Some Things

Friday, March 16, 2012

Woah, what happened to this week? It was a bit of a strange one for me, where the days felt slow but the week went by so fast. A lot of little things have been going wrong lately and I'm just generally feeling a bit grumpy these days. I'm trying to do little things to keep myself happy, (this video is my favourite, new motto) and should try to be more of an adult next week and get to bed at normal times and eat meals instead of biscuits. Enough whining though, this is a busy week coming up and I'm sure things will be better. Nicola and I are doing a jewelry workshop at Retro on Sunday afternoon where we will be making more fimo beads and such and I am also having an exhibition there that starts on Monday. I'll be exhibiting some photos from a project I've been doing called 'At Home' where I snoop around the places of new Danes and explore different concepts of home. I'm also planning to do a little installation as part of it. If you are in Copenhagen, please stop by and have a look! Otherwise, I'll be posting some photos of the homes I've photographed here in the upcoming weeks. I might also think about making it into a small zine, we'll see. A few other bits from this week:

+ Mark and I booked our tickets for our anniversary trip to Amsterdam next month! Does anyone have any suggestions for things to do? Or places to stay? I've been having a hard time finding something. I'm so excited! Hopefully all the tulips will be out.
+ Nicola and I had a two person finale party for The Bachelor last night where we ate cheesy pasta and talked about all the things that were wrong with everyone. So good. Did anyone else watch this season? I'm usually not into it at all but I got sucked in because it was just so terrible and hilarious. 
+ This is the first year in a long time that I don't have anything planned for St. Patrick's Day! I know it's mainly a holiday used as an excuse to drink bad, green dyed beer but I've mentioned before that I'll take any excuse to decorate or bake something. Last year I made Nigella's chocolate Guinness cake which was real good. I think both Jordan's follow the rainbow installation and Brittany's shamrock wreath are pretty cute ideas too. 
+ I really liked this post by Hannah, which has me wanting to wear leopard coats and make abstract paintings. I've been feeling rather uninspired and overwhelmed lately, so it's a good reminder to generally let go a bit and be less of a perfectionist. Plus everything she posts is just so pretty, I love all the colours in the paintings.

Happy weekend, friends! 

Bibi & Adam

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

This weekend my lovely friend Bibi and her boyfriend Adam were visiting from London. I still think of Bibi as one of my newer friends but we figured out that we've known each other almost ten years now. She's one of those people that when we see each other, it feels like no time has passed. Those kinds of friends are the best. It was spring time weather pretty much the whole time they were here, so it was a perfect excuse to take a Monday off and pretend that I was a tourist along with them. They were very patient being dragged all over the city, and posing for pictures the entire way. Aren't they cute?! I've been slowly coming up with a big list of all the things I like to do in Copenhagen when people visit, so I think I'll post a guide soon. Thanks for such a nice weekend, B & A! And thanks for the big tin of English biscuits, I don't think it will last too long around here.

Chai Concentrate

Friday, March 9, 2012

I've been meaning to make chai concentrate for forever and just now finally got around to doing it. I love chai lattes, but they are made with a gross powder here that doesn't taste like anything. I like my chai strong, spicy and sweet so it's nice to be able to make it exactly the way I like. It's a good drink for this early spring weather, which is still chilly in the mornings. I can just heat up some milk, mix in a bit of concentrate and take it along in a thermos to class. I followed this recipe, and used loose Indian black tea instead of tea bags.  It was incredibly easy to make, I can't believe it took me so long. I'll definitely never go back to chai tea bags or powder! 

Spring Things

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I had breakfast today while flipping through two of my favourite magazines, The Gentlewoman and Sweet Paul. My  friend Zoë got me a subscription to The Gentlewoman for my birthday back in October, and I was so happy to find it in the mail the other day. Surprise presents are the best! And Sweet Paul was just released here in Denmark, which is exciting since I loved looking at it online but print is always better for magazines. I also bought myself some blossoms, since I was missing the cherry trees back home. Such luxury! Some of the things that caught my eye: all the hot pink, the great sunglasses, and smart women in The Gentlewoman, the deconstructed salads and inspiration for an Easter brunch with lots of eggs and flowers in Sweet Paul. Made me appreciate my speckled egg in it's floral Cath Kidston cup from Alexandra even more, since it matched everything so nicely. 

Peanut Butter Banana Cookies

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I love the combination of peanut butter and banana. I've been making a smoothie version of the two for breakfast this past week but I decided to take it one step further. Since Mark's been away, I've been pretty bad about eating a lot of sweet treats with no one around to keep an eye on me. So I came up with these "healthy" cookies to feel a bit better about it. Here's the recipe if you want to try out your own:

Peanut Butter Banana Cookies
Adapted to be mainly gluten, dairy and sugar free from Two Peas & Their Pod

3/4 cup quinoa flour 
3/4 cup rice flour 
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp cold pressed canola oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg 
1 cup mashed bananas
2 cup old fashioned oats 

Whisk together dry ingredients, mix wet ingredients then add to dry. Add in oats. Drop by tablespoon onto baking mat and bake at 350/175 for about 13 minutes. To glaze, mix together peanut butter and honey with a tiny bit of cornstarch and drizzle over cookies. 


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Just a few pictures from a sunny Saturday walk around the lakes (søerne in Danish) and a tea and cake break with my pretty friend Julie. I'm feeling a bit quiet tonight, all tuckered out from a lovely day of lunching and shopping. Now I just have to decide if I should write the Danish paper that's due tomorrow or curl up with some knitting and a movie. I think we all know which will win...

March Etsy Treasury

Monday, March 5, 2012

I curated another monthly Etsy treasury, this time for all the spring things I'm dreaming of. Apparently I'm dreaming of bike rides, picnics, plants and still rose coloured everything. Pop over to see the full collection. I'm planning another mini update to my little shop soon too!


Friday, March 2, 2012

The sun has been out yesterday and today and it feels like it might be spring. I'm not getting too excited yet but it was the first time feeling warm with the sun in my face and I was reminded how beautiful Copenhagen is when the sun is shining. This is the bridge I bike over everyday, today it was so pretty that I had to stop and take a picture. I love the copper, and the views of the Opera House and the harbour. The water sparkling on the Black Diamond is also pretty incredible, I'll try to take a picture of that next time. I had some other posts planned for this week but they will have to wait for the next. I feel like that kind of thing is happening a lot in my life right now but I'm letting it go. I'm so ready for this new month, February took it out of me a bit and I'm looking forward to a fresh start. I'm also so ready to take a break from my winter coat and boots! Happy weekend, friends, hope you get some sunshine too wherever you are. 

Nice, Nice, Nice

Thursday, March 1, 2012

As soon as I saw this pillow by Nikki McWilliams, I knew I had to have it. That doesn't actually happen to me that often, even though I like a lot of pretty things, often looking at them is enough. But since I first went to England when I was 15, Nice biscuits have been one of my favourite treats. I mostly like them just for their positive self proclamation and scalloped edges, but their sweet, lightly coconut flavour is also perfect with a cup of tea. In case you are wondering, I side with the pronunciation "as in nice, the opposite of nasty", not the city in France. I have since tracked down Nice biscuits all over the place, stuffed my suitcase full of them from trips to England, and had other friends bring them back for me. I even included a picture of them in my post about food in London last year (looking at those photos still makes me hungry). So I was maybe a little over excited to bring this back from the post office with me today. It's such great quality and I love the little graphic punch it gives our normally pretty neutral and geometric space. Now I just have to decide whether I like it better on the couch or on the bed! In other exciting and somewhat related news, my dear friend Bibi (who works for the biscuit company who makes Nice biscuits) is coming to visit with her boyfriend next weekend! I'm beyond excited to see them and tour them around Copenhagen. Maybe I can convince her to smuggle me over some biscuits as well.

Oh, and did you guys have a good Leap Day? My Danish class was cancelled, so I decided to have a relaxing day off. I kind of wish I had done something more exciting since it only comes around every four years. But I just really love sleeping. And Happy March! I'm so glad it's almost spring. 

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