5 Favourite Bollywood Dance Acts

How could I choose only five? There's an abundance of rhythmic, catchy, romantic and entertaining Bollywood dance acts out there.

I’ve limited myself, but still chosen the ones that I constantly come back to, for the haunting tune or the beautiful dance. Or both.

Here’s a selection, representing a variety of styles that can serve as a decent introduction to Bollywood. Enjoy!

My absolute top favorite. I love the song, the swirling choreography and the beautiful clothing. From the film Devdas.

A video wich is highly influenced by classical Indian music and dance. Make sure to watch after 03:04 where they’re dressed up and looking like they should. From the film Bhool Bhulaiyaa.

A catchy tune, colorful clothing, a lot of hand movements and facial expressions – what more can you ask for? From the film Agneepath.

A classic. Famous actress and dancer Rekha performs in the 1981 screen version of Umrao Jaan. If you like this one, watch some of the dance acts in the 2006 version as well (search for Umrao Jaan in the YouTube search field).

For the fifth and final video, I’ve chosen one that is easy to like. Actually, this was the video that I first saw in 2009 that, together with this one (ok, I couldn’t limit myself to five...) convinced me that Bollywood dancing would be something for me to try. From the film Bunty Aur Babli.

Today is the first dance class for this semester, and I can’t find the words to describe how much I’ve been looking forward to it. Dancing is what you should be doing on a Friday night, right?
In need of more Bollywood? I have a YouTube playlist where I collect my Bollywood favourites, and of course a Spotify playlist as well. 

My at Home Yoga Routine



If you’re not into yoga, maybe you should skip this post. Or, wait a minute! Please stay. What if you find something you like?
I said the other day that I would share my at home yoga routine. I have several versions of it, but this is the one I do most frequently. This session takes me about 75-80 minutes.



Relaxing in Savasana, 2 minutes.
To focus and slow down.

Warm up exercises for lower back

I’ve had some problems with mine so I have a programme from a physiotherapist.


Pranayama - Breathing Exercises

I alternate between a few different exercises. My favorites are fire breathing (also called breath of fire), Nadi Sodhana and Anuloma Viloma

Sun Salutations

Sun salutations, ten rounds. Three in slow tempo to really stretch and warm up, seven rounds in a tempo that makes me sweaty and out of breath. After this, I relax in Savasana again for 1-2 minutes.

12 Basic Asanas

Find out more about the poses here.


Meditation and Mantra Chanting

I love this slowing down meditation video She feels a little insecure in the beginning, but as soon as the actual meditation starts I find her voice very soothing and pleasant.
After this, I move on to some mantra chanting. Right now I use the Gayatri Mantra. [Listen on Spotify].
Do you feel awkward about saying these things? Personally, I don’t really mind. To me, the mantra is simply something that helps me prevent distracting thoughts from taking over my mind. I actually think it’s a good thing that I don’t really understand or can relate to what I’m saying...


I end each session with relaxation, and I have a favorite video to help me.
I must have watched this video at least a hundred times. I know every single word of it, and my favorite part is when she says ‘there’s nothing to hold anymore, you can just let go…’. I don’t know, but those words really do something to me.
And, that's the end of it.
Sometimes, I listen to music while doing yoga to get in the right mood. Most often, it’s this Spotify playlist
I'm ending this post with a disclaimer... Yoga is good for body and mind, but if you’re not sure of what you’re doing, you must be careful, especially if you have back or neck problems or if you’re pregnant. If you’ve never tried yoga before, start by seeing a yoga instructor.

New Obsession: Rusty Bikes

Thinking that this – old and rusty bikes – just might be a new obsession of mine. This beauty was caught outside Bjärka-Säby Castle this weekend.

Sturefors Castle

Sturefors Castle, a 20 minutes drive from Linköping, is one of my favorite among our nearby castles. It's a private one, so you're not allowed to enter it, but there's a nice park and beautiful surroundings where you can go for a stroll and have a picnic.
We've been there a couple of times now, and every time we've been practically alone. I like that. You can fantasize that the castle is yours. All yours.
The castle was built in 1704, by architecht Nicodemus Tessin the younger for count Carl Piper.
Sturefors slott ligger bara sisådär 20 minuters bilfärd hemifrån oss. Slottet är privatbostad, men trots att man inte får gå in i det, och trots att parken i ärlighetens namn är en aningen eftersatt, så är det faktiskt ett av mina favoritslott bland dem som vi har så nära inpå.
Omgivningarna och parken är vackra, och varje gång vi har varit där har vi varit i stort sett ensamma. Då kan jag fantisera om att slottet är mitt. Bara mitt.
Slottet byggdes 1704 av Nicodemus Tessin d.y. för greve Carl Piper.

Homemade Pesto

Last week, I saw a couple of blog posts here and there on homemade pesto.
So, am I really allowed to take up more of Internet’s valuable space with my basic, super simple recipe? Well, if you don’t tell anyone it’s here, no one will really ever notice… It’s our secret, OK?
My recipe is a little different from regular pesto. First of all, it’s vegan. Second, I’m not using pine nuts. Ever since I suffered from pine mouth I stay as far away as I possibly can from them… Have you experienced pine mouth? It's awful!
This is how I prefer my food. A few ingredients of good quality with subtle taste.
My pesto contains:
1 pot of basil (by that I mean like 3 dl/1.3 cups), 1 dl/0.4 cup walnuts and as much olive oil as you prefer (I used around 3-4 tablespoons). Put it in a blender and mix until it’s smooth. Add flaked salt to your taste.
Keep in an airtight jar in the fridge for no more than a week.

Thoughts on Goals

I have thought a lot about goals, recently. You’re supposed to have goals in your life, right? And there are people who get paid to motivate others to reach them.
I'm convinced that with courage, stubbornness and a lot of hard work, the wildest dreams really do come true. My job was such a goal, that I actually set for myself already during my studies.
Reaching my goal was ... magical. I will not say anything else, but what my inner motivational coach forgot to tell me was how to enjoy this victory for more than... let's say a week, and how a goal-oriented person lives his life when the target is actually achieved. The striving and the constant kicks quickly becomes a drug.
I still haven’t nailed down all the different factors that, combined, led to my fatigue depression, but I know that my stubbornness played a large role.
Currently, I struggle to find the balance. I want to continue to be an enthusiastic, goal-oriented and passionate person – that's who I am – but I can’t afford to end up in the same situation again.
I don’t have all the answers, but when it comes to setting goals, I will in the future really take my time to think through
  • What goals I set,
  • why I want to achieve them, and 
  • what I'm willing to sacrifice for them.
Few things are worth sacrificing your health and relations for, for example.

Den senaste tiden har jag funderat mycket över mål. Mål i livet ska man ha, och det finns människor som får betalt för att motivera oss andra att nå dem.
Själv är jag övertygad om att med mod, envishet och en massa hårt arbete så kan de galnaste drömmar gå i uppfyllelse. Mitt jobb var ett sådant mål, som faktiskt formulerades redan under studietiden.
Att nå målet var… magiskt. Jag ska inte påstå något annat, men det min inre motivationscoach hade glömt att tala om för mig var hur man njuter av segern i mer än… låt säga en vecka, och hur man som en målinriktad person lever sitt liv när målet faktiskt är uppnått. Strävandet och de ständiga kickarna blir snabbt en drog.
Jag har fortfarande inte lyckats lista ut vilka alla de faktorer är som samverkade för att just jag skulle drabbas av utmattningsdepression, men jag vet att envisheten var en av de stora bovarna i dramat.
Jag kämpar för att hitta balansen. Jag vill fortsätta att vara en entusiastisk, målinriktad och passionerad person – det är den jag är – men jag vill inte bränna ut mig ännu en gång.
Jag har inga färdiga svar, men när det gäller mål så kommer jag i fortsättningen att ta mig en ordentlig funderare över
  • vilka mål jag sätter upp,
  • varför jag vill uppnå dem, och 
  • vad jag egentligen är beredd att offra för dem.
Få saker är värda att offra sin hälsa och relationer för, till exempel.

Le Fabuleux Destin de Moi – Week 34

Monday: Went for a walk in the evening. It was around 8 o'clock.
Måndag: Gick en kvällspromenad. Klockan var strax efter åtta.
Tuesday: Met with the rest of the Bollywood girls and made dancing plans for the autumn.
Tisdag: Träffade Bollywood-tjejerna och gjorde upp dansplaner för hösten.
Wednesday: Some weight training at home. I do anything as long as I don't have to go to the gym...
Onsdag: Styrketräning hemma i sovrummet. Vad som helst, bara jag slipper gå till gymmet...
Thursday: Slowly making progress on my knitted scarf. Might be ready to the fall. 2013.
Torsdag: Det går så  sakteliga framåt med min halsduk. Kanske är den klar till hösten. 2013.
Friday: Homemade pesto. Will share my recipe in an upcoming post.
Fredag: Hemmagjord pesto. Delar med mig av mitt recept längre fram.
Saturday: Went to Bjärka-Säby Castle. The café is now closed for the season, so we just had to go there.
Lördag: Åkte till Bjärka-Säby slott. Nu har caféet stängt för säsongen, så vi var bara tvungna att passa på.
Sunday. Apple season. We're trying to eat as many as we can, but – oh my! – these trees are productive.
Söndag: Äpplesäsongen är här. Vi försöker äta så många vi kan, men kära nån vad träden är produktiva.

My Yoga Journey

For years, I was certain that yoga was my thing. I knew, before I even tried it. The thought of being in control of body and mind appealed to me, as well as the thought of getting limber as a cat.
So, I went to the gym. And I tried Ashtanga Yoga. Power Yoga. Yoga for Beginners. Medium Difficult Yoga. I felt like I was trying everything, like I was really giving yoga a chance, but it was constantly rejecting me.
I always felt insecure during the classes. I was constantly comparing my abilities and myself with the others in the room. Still, I was certain that yoga was my thing. Or, was it just the idea of being a yogini that appealed to me?
Based on my previous experiences, I admit it was a risky project going on a 10-day yoga trip to India with a group of people I had never met, with a yoga teacher that I knew only by name and face. But it was the best thing I could have done!
This was something totally different. I discovered that the poses, asanas, was only one part of yoga. Relaxation, breathing exercises, mantra chanting, and meditation was equally important in the classes. As students, we were also given an insight into Hindu mythology and the yogic way of life.
For the first time, I understood what yoga was all about, at least to me.
Here’s my view: Yoga is not about making a perfect dolphin pose, or whatever pose you would like to master. Every pose has its purpose.
For example, standing forward bends lengthens the hamstrings. If I feel a stretch while my fingers are still 10 inches from the floor, it’s not a problem. I’m doing a perfect standing forward bend for my body, where I am right now.
Understanding this somehow took the edge of the anxiety that someone else was ‘better’ than I. I was feeling a stretch. She was feeling a stretch. In other words, no one was better than the other. We were both perfect.
Since that yoga trip in January 2011, yoga has been an important part of my life. Sure, there are weeks (sometimes even a whole month...) when we are apart, but whenever I choose to come back to yoga, I'm welcomed and accepted, and I wonder why I ever left.

Vishnu Syamlal is the teacher who helped me discover yoga. He is a certified Sivananda Hatha Yoga instructor. In his classes, he combines Sivananda Hatha, Kundalini and Vinyasa yoga. Asanas, breathing exercises, meditation and relaxation are always included. He holds weekly classes in Stockholm and workshops in Sweden, Norway and Paris. 
And, no, I'm not sponsored by Vishnu. He doesn't even know I'm writing this. I'm just sharing my yoga journey with you, that's all.
In an upcoming post, I will share my at home yoga routine, along with some favorite relaxation videos and mantras. Stay tuned!
Oh, and if you speak Swedish, I recommend reading CrimsonAnna's open letter to her body regarding yoga.

Beauty Tips By Roald

Roald Dahl, author, gives us the best beauty tip.
I wish you all a nice and sunny weekend. I will fill mine with some gardening, good food, tea drinking and cat cuddling. Maybe a movie or two. Do you have any plans for the weekend you would like to share? 
Bästa skönhetstipset kommer från Roald Dahl, författare.
Hoppas ni alla får en fin och solig helg. Jag kommer att fylla min med trädgårdshäng, god mat, tedrickande och kattklapp. Kanske en film eller två, om andan faller på. Har du några planer för helgen som du vill dela med dig av?

Object of Delight #3

A pair of old but dearly loved shoes. I got them on a trip to the US in 2008 (today I'm actually a bit ashamed of the 'Oh, look at everything I bought' pic in that post...). Shopaholic? Me? Not any more, I tell you.
These shoes are perfect for an early autumn outfit, before it gets too cold (or wet). The colour makes me think of autumn leaves and the little bow is just too cute.
The rug? Bought in India.

Roasted Root Veggies With Dijoghurt

Dijoghurt? I just made that word up. Definition: A delicious combination of yoghurt and dijon mustard, that goes along perfect with roasted root veggies.
Here's the recipe. Or, at least, some kind of instruction.
Peel root veggies, the ones you find tasty and as many as you and your dinner guests can eat. Cut in 2-3 cm/~1 inch pieces. I used potato, carrots and beet. We also had an awful lot of leek (purjolök) at home, so I added that as well.
Drizzle some olive oil and liquid honey on top of it all, add flaked salt and thyme. Mix it all up, using your hands, and make sure you get a nice distribution of all your ingredients. Roast in the oven for half an hour or so at 225°C/450°F.
For the dijoghurt, take approximatley 5 large tablespoons of thick yoghurt (it doesn't have to be a high fat yoghurt, but you want to use some kind of food yoghurt or the Turkish/Greek kind). Add 2 teaspoons dijon mustard, maybe one half teaspoon olive oil and some thyme. Stir until it's mixed.
We ate this with a green salad and quorn fillets, and it was a perfect weekday dinner.

Restyle: Satin Ribbon Bangles

I made these satin ribbon bangles for my friend Anna on her 31st birthday a couple of weeks ago. Buy some chunky bangles and simply wrap satin ribbon around them. Attach each end with some glue (preferably on the inside, where it doesn't show).
It's really simple, and the opportunities are – as always – endless! Play around with different colors and patterns.
I will definitely make more of these.

À Bicyclette!

1. From Me To You 2. Niznoz's photostream on Flickr 3. J. Crew Cycle Chic, found on State College Cycle Chic
Jag var en sådan som hade kunnat arbeta gratis för Motormännens Riksförbund. "Bilist, javisst!" var mitt motto. Cykeln samlade damm ute i förrådet. Jag avskydde att bli svettig, att få håret tillrufsat av fartvinden och att försöka frakta alla tusen väskor, påsar och pryttlar i cykelkorg, på pakethållare och handtag. Och sambon – sann cyklist i själ och hjärta – sörjde.
Men, sedan ett par månader tillbaka har jag börjat se tjusningen med att ta mig fram på två hjul istället för fyra. Jag cyklar numera självmant, utan att behöva bli tjatad på. Föredrar faktiskt cykeln, även de dagar då regnmolnen lurar vid horisonten. Jag har blivit en cyklist.
De dagar det känns motigt nynnar jag på Montands 'À bicyclette' och ser framför mig hur jag, iklädd en blommig 50-talsklänning, susar fram på en gammal damcykel med ett stort leende på läpparna.
Är du cyklist?
 Photo: Let's Go Ride a Bike
I loved my car. In my opinion, it was almost a human right to have one. The sound of the accelerating engine was the sound of freedom.
My bike was nothing but a dust collector. I hated it. I hated getting all sweaty, having my hair ruined by the wind and trying to carry all my stuff on the bike. And Boyfriend, being a true cyclist, was probably losing faith in me.
Then, something happened. Since a couple of months back I can see the charm of riding on two wheels instead of four. I cycle unbesought. I actually prefer the bike, even on days when rain clouds are piling up. I've become a cyclist. 
On days when I'm in doubt, I hear Montand's 'À bicyclette' in my head, and visualize how I, dressed in a flowery 50's dress, am swooshing past everyone on an old lady's bicycle with a huge smile on my face.
Are you a cyclist?
  • The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets.
    ~ Christopher Morley, American author and editor

  • Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling.
    ~ James E. Starrs

  • Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.
    ~ Grant Petersen

  • If I can bicycle, I bicycle.
    ~ David Attenborough, British broadcaster and naturalist

Le Fabuleux Destin de Moi – Week 33

Måndag: Läser Marian Keyes Vattenmelonen för tredje gången. Jo, den får mig fortfarande att fnissa.
Monday: Reading 'Watermelon' by Marian Keyes for the third time. Still makes me laugh.
Tisdag: 40-årskalas med supergod knytismiddag.
Tuesday: Birthday party with fabulous dinner.
Onsdag: Trädgårdstragedi. En stor gren, översållad med plommon, pallade inte trycket och gav upp.
Wednesday: Garden gloom. A branch, full of lovely plums, became too heavy and fell to the ground...
Torsdag: Balkongmys ända till solnedgången. Tog ut datorn och läste bland annat det här blogginlägget.
Thursday: Sat on the balcony 'til sunset. Brought my laptop outside and read this blog post.
Fredag: Fortsatte att njuta av det fina vädret och satt ute och ritade mönster hela kvällen.
Friday: Continued to enjoy the late summer warmth and sat outside drawing all evening.
Lördag: Ännu ett 40-årskalas. Jag klädde mig i rött och gult för att representera Spanien i lagtävlingen.
Saturday: Another birthday party. I was dressed in red and yellow to represent Spain in the team competition.
Söndag: Brunch på stan. Cyklade förbi det här fina budskapet på väg hem, halvvägs upp för en brant backe.
Sunday: 'Smile, you're alive'. A message written half way up on a steep – and I mean steep – hill. True.

It's Fine. Isn't It?

- Bret Easton Ellis in a Paris Review interview.

Att vilja. Våga. Drömma. Kämpa. Önska.
Å ena sidan.
Att bara vara. Acceptera. Känna tacksamhet.
Å andra sidan.





To want. To dare. To dream. To fight. To wish.
On the one hand.
Just being. Accepting. Feeling gratitude.
On the other hand.

August. Reminded of Why I Love August.

Ligger raklång på en solig balkong och suger i mig av värmen, en sådan värme som lägger sig som en skir slöja över huden, knappt märkbar. Precis lagom. Jag är omringad av sommarens alla mättade färger. Än tronar trädkronorna majestätiska och gröna över mig. Än prunkar rabatterna rosa, röda, vita, gula.
Och äpplena, de har just börjat mogna.
En sådan här dag blir jag påmind om varför jag tagit för vana att ha sen sommarsemester. Inte bara för att få njuta av förväntan och längtan under juni och juli, utan också för att det nästan alltid är jättefint augustiväder. Minnet kan som bekant luras, men är det inte så?
Jag ska försöka njuta så mycket jag kan av de här sköna dagarna. Pyssla i trädgården. Lapa sol tillsammans med katten. Lagra energi och värme. Den här tiden på året.
Den här tiden på året.
I’m lying on a sunny balcony, draped in this very special August warmth, the kind that barely touches your skin. Just like a sheer and gauzy veil. Everywhere I look, I’m surrounded by the saturated colors of summer. The trees are still towering majestic and green. The flowerbeds are still flaunting their pink, red, white and yellow.
And the apples, they’re just about to ripen.
On a day like this, I'm reminded of why I usually take my vacation rather late in the summer. Not just to enjoy two months of anticipating and longing during June and July, but also because I’m a firm believer in beautiful August weather.
I'll do my best to really enjoy these almost heartbreakingly amazing days. Potter about in the garden. Soak up the sun together with Cat. Storing as much energy and light as possible. This time of year.
This time of year.

Pregnancy Photos – Anna, 5 Weeks To Go!

Say hello to my dear, dear friend Anna who just had her first child – Charlie. This is what Charlie looked like some five weeks ago, when Anna and I spent a whole day together taking more than 300 photos of her and the baby bump.
I'm so excited to get to know Charlie, and to hear more about this life changing experience of having a child.
Check out my Pinterest board for more pregnancy photo inspiration!

Wearing & Tearing

Yes, I was actually wearing this while clearing weeds from our rose plantation. Gardening is so much more fun if you dress up a little!
I've had the dress for ages (there's actually a post here from 2008 where I'm wearing it). The pattern and the colors give me a nice 70's vibe, although it's bought new from Vero Moda. 
The short sleeved cardigan is from H&M, and when did I buy that? Can't remember. Must be 3-4 years ago.
And finally the shoes, cheap ones from Skopunkten... I remember wearing them for a party in 2006, so they're at least six years old.
Yes. I do tend to keep my clothes for a very long time.

Peach and Pineapple Smoothie

God morgon mina fina! En ny vecka rullar ut sig framför oss, ännu en sommarvecka – eller hur? Om sommarkänslorna börjar tryta, testa den här persiko- och ananassmoothien så kommer du raskt i stämning igen. Det är ett löfte!
Persiko- och ananassmoothie
Lagom för en person

1 persika
1 centimeter ananasring, skalad
Juicen från en apelsin
Ev. garnering

Lägg persika och ananas i en mixer och kör till en slät röra. Pressa apelsinen och använd juicen till att späda ut smoothien till önskad konsistens. Toppa med nåt snyggt, som hallon, blåbär eller kanske lite citronmeliss.
Kan detta ens kallas för ett recept?
Good morning to you, all my lovely readers. Aahh, a new week – yet another summer week, right? If you're starting to feel autumny, try this peach and pinealpple smoothie, and you will think you're on a sunny, Caribbean beach. It's a promise!
Peach and pineapple smoothie
Serves 1 person

1 peach
1 centimeter (0.4 inches) pineapple ring, peeled
Juice from one orange
Some garnish if you like
Put peach and pineapple into a blender and mix until it's smoothe and liquified (does this make sense in English?). Squeeze the orange and add the juice to make the smoothie drinkable. Garnish with something pretty if you wish, like raspberries, blueberries or lemon balm.   
Is it even allowed to call this a recipe?

Le Fabuleux Destin de Moi – Week 32

Min vecka i bilder.
My week in pictures.

Måndag: Tog en löprunda, den första på evigheter.
Monday: Went for a run, the first one in a very long time.
Tisdag: Besökte biblioteket. Älskar lukten av böcker.
Tuesday: Went to the library. Oh, how I love the smell of books.
Onsdag: Om allt annat misslyckas kan jag i alla fall ta en bild på katten samtidigt som han nyser.
Wednesday: If all else fails, at least I can take a picture of Cat while he's sneezing.
Torsdag: Fika på Babettes kafferi, Linköpings snyggaste café.
Thursday: A cup of tea at Babettes, the cutest café in town.
Fredag: Missförstå mig inte. Jag älskar träd. Vi behöver bara inte fler i vår trädgård.
Friday: Don't get me wrong. I love trees. I just don't want any more of them in our garden...
Lördag: Lunch (men ingen shopping) på IKEA. Är inte livet glamouröst och romantiskt ibland, så säg. 
Saturday: Lunch (but no shopping) at IKEA. Ah, isn't life glamorous and romantic?
Söndag: Konsert på Bjärka-Säby. Otto Freudenthal spelade Brahms.
Sunday: Concert at Bjärka-Säby. Otto Freudenthal playing Brahms.
I've also been using my weekly planning wheel, and it really helps me to remember what's important in life and to spend my time wisely.

Just Read: On the Road

Författare: Jack Kerouac (1922-1969)
Boktitel: On the Road (svensk titel: På väg)
Utgivningsår: 1957
Översättning: Läst på orignialspråk
Mitt betyg: 3/5
Jag håller det kort den här gången, jag har ju redan skrivit så mycket om Kerouac och hans magiska ordbehandling (här, här och här). I On the Road, även aktuell på bio, skildrar han sin och vännernas resa genom det stora landet USA.
Det finns partier även i denna Kerouac-roman som är så galet välskrivna att jag finner mig själv sittandes med ett fånigt leende på läpparna. Berättarlusten, tempot och ivern får min puls att öka flera gånger om, men där slutar också mina positiva omdömen.
För även om man skulle lyckas (jag lyckas inte) bortse från allt mansgriseri och sexualiserande av femtonåriga flickor så blir den här romanen så fruktansvärt tradig. De far och fram och tillbaka från öst till väst, från norr till söder och tillbaka igen, så många gånger att jag till slut tappar räkningen och det faktiskt blir ganska tjatigt.
Jag har skrivit tidigare att jag läser Kerouac för det vackra språket, inte för handlingen, men det finns gränser till och med för vad jag tål. Läs inte den här. Läs Big Sur och Dharmadårarna istället, de är mycket, mycket bättre.
Author: Jack Kerouac (1922-1969)
Title: On the Road
Year of publication: 1957
Translation: Read in original language
My rating: 3/5
I’ll keep it short this time, I've already written so much (only in Swedish though) about Kerouac and the magic he creates. On the Road tells the story about him and his friends, and their journey across the US.
There are parts also in this Kerouac novel that are so amazingly well written that I find myself sitting with a silly smile on my face. His burning desire to tell this story, the beat and the frenzy makes my heart pound faster. But that’s about it.
Even if one could (but I can’t) ignore the macho attitude and the way they sexualize fiteen year old girls, this novel is so terribly long-winded. They travel back and forth across the country, so many times that I eventually loose track and it becomes quite tedious.
I’ve said before that I primarily read Kerouac for his beautiful language, not because of the plot, but there are limits even to what I can bear… Don’t read this. Read Big Sur and The Dharma Bums instead, they're so much better.

Bjärka-Säby (the new) Castle

Inga kungar, inga drottningar, men väl så flådigt ändå. Nya slottet Bjärka-Säby, en halvtimmes bilfärd från Linköping, uppfördes under 1790-talet bara ett stenkast från det gamla slottet Bjärka-Säby.
Det var Greve Germund Ludvig Cederhielm som lät uppföra slottet i barockstil, ritat av arkitekten Fredrik Magnus Piper. Piper anlade också den engelska parken vid slottet.
1872 övertogs slottet av familjen Ekman som hade det i sin ägo fram till 1980, då det donerades till Sionförsamlingen i Linköping, som äger det än i dag. 
I dag är slottet kursgård och retreat, och ett utflyktsmål inte minst tack vare caféet och de fina omgivningarna.
Att besöka ett slott som faktiskt används har både för- och nackdelar. Som besökare släpps du relativt fri, och det är tillåtet att ta så många bilder du någonsin kan. Samtidigt blir slitaget desto större, och tyvärr också de småhafsiga restaureringarna och konferensstolarna från 80-talet...
Summan av kardemumman: Jag skulle inte åka en omväg enkom för att besöka det här slottet, men för den som ändå har vägarna förbi eller befinner sig i närheten är det väl värt ett besök.
The new castle Bjärka-Säby is situated a 30 minutes car ride from Linköping, Sweden. It was built during the 1790's in Baroque style. No kings or queens have lived in this castle, but wealthy Swedish families.
Since 1980 it's owned by a Christian community, and the castle is used for conferences and retreats. It's also a good excursion goal, not least thanks to the café and the beautiful surroundings.
Visiting a castle in use has its ups and downs. On the plus side is the freedom you are given as visitor, you're allowed to touch the furnitures and can take as many photos as you want. On the downside is the wearing and tearing, the somewhat sloppy restorations and the ugly conference chairs from the 1980's...
Visit this castle if you happen to pass by, but I wouldn't do a detour for it.

Trust Your Taste

Jag skrev i går om en av hemligheterna bakom framgångsrik second hand-shopping; att kunna se saker ur ett annat perspektiv. Ytterligare en hemlighet är att våga lita till sin egen röst.
I en vanlig affär, med sprillans nya saker, har någon annan "godkänt" allt som står på hyllorna och hänger på galgarna. Det är lätt att följa trender, oavsett om man vill sticka ut eller passa in. Men i en second hand-butik...
Där väller, till exempel, klänningar från minst sju årtionden över dig, och de är blommiga, prickiga, randiga, rutiga, enfärgade, med och utan volanger, långa, korta, voluminösa och slimmade... Allt är tillåtet och den enda som kan säga vad som är snyggt och rätt är... du!
Klänningen på bilden ovan hade varit ett givet köp för mig om jag hittat den ny i en vanlig affär. Nu, eftersom den hängde bland en massa gamla trasor på Myrorna, så vred och vände jag på den i det oändliga och funderade över om man verkligen fick gå omrking och se ut så. Det låter kanske fånigt, men jag är inte någon storkonsument av vare sig modemagasin eller -bloggar så har jag ingen aning om vad som gäller.
Det blev ett köp, som synes, och jag älskar den. Och det leder fram till slutsatsen att second hand-shopping också kräver att du vågar lyssna till din egen röst och lita till din egen utomordentliga smak.

I wrote yesterday about one of the secrets behind successful second hand shopping; being able to see things in a new light. Another secret is being brave enough to trust your own voice.
In a regular store, someone else have approved everything that’s on the shelfs and hangers. It’s easy to follow a trend, whether you want to stand out from the crowd or fit in. But in a second hand store…
Well, there’s a chaos of dresses from at least seven decades throwing themselves at you, and they are floral, polka dotted, striped, checkered, plain, with and without frills, long and short... It’s all there and the only one who can decide what’s right is... you!
If I had found the dress in the picture above in a fancy boutique, I would’ve bought it straight away. But, as it hung among a bunch of old rags in a second hand store, I spent forever thinking if it was really ok walking around looking like that? I know it sounds silly, but I’m not a big consumer of neither fashion magazines or fashion blogs, so I have no idea of what’s trendy or not.
I bought it though, as you can see, and I love it. And that leads to yet another conclusion about second hand shopping; you have to listen to your own voice and trust your own excellent taste.

Summer Peach and Balsamic Pizza

I have this idea about mainly sharing my own recipes on this blog, but this Peach and Balsamic Pizza was so delicious that I just have to spread the word. Actually, I feel I owe it to you. The recipe is found at one of my favourite food blogs, Love & Olive Oil (those bloggers deserves an award for finding the missing word in that Beatles song. All you need is....love. And olive oil. Oh, and don't forget the pasta).
I didn't have any basil at home, so I used thyme instead and it was just as delicious (what do I know, I haven't tasted it with basil... but you know what I mean). I also sprinkled some flaked salt on top of the pizza after baking. Yummy!
Just try it, and serve with a huge bowl of rocket salad (that's ruccola in Swedish).

Object of Delight #2

Det är massa saker på den här bilden, men den här gången är det den randiga lampan som står i fokus. Den ramlade jag över under förra veckans loppisrunda. När jag såg den kände jag att något hade hänt med mig. I vanliga fall hade jag tyckt att den var rätt ful och inte bekymrat mig mer om den, men nu såg jag den, verkligen såg den, och insåg att den skulle göra sig alldeles utmärkt bredvid porslinskatten i sin fina fängelsepyamas.
Och det är det som är tricket med att loppisfynda, att tänka bort de omedelbara associationerna och se saker på ett nytt sätt. Nu står min älskade lampa ovanpå den blanksvarta lilla byrån, som också den är ett loppisfynd.

Och svaret på frågan är: JA. Jag handlar nästan enbart begagnat. Vet ni (nä, hur skulle ni kunna veta det, men låt mig berätta) att det nu har gått snart fem månader sedan jag var inne i en vanlig affär med nya, oanvända saker, ja, förutom mataffären såklart och hobbybutiker som jag gör ett undantag för. Det är stort för mig som är en shopaholic på avvänjning.
There are many things in this picture, but this time it's the striped lamp that’s in focus. I stumbled over it during last week's second hand shopping spree. Seeing it made me realize that something has happened to me. Normally I would have thought it was pretty ugly and just strolled by it, searching for other treasures. But this time I saw it, I mean I actually saw it, and realized that it would be perfect next to my little cat in his prison pajama.
And I believe that this is one of the secrets behind successful thrifting; to wave away the immediate associations and see things in new ways. The lamp was brought home, and it’s happily placed on top of my shiny, black drawer, which is also a second hand find by the way.
And the answer is: YES. Almost everything I buy nowadays is second hand. Did you know (no, how could you know, but let me tell you) that it’s been almost five months since I was in a store with new, unused things (besides the grocery store of course, and hobby boutiques that I make an exception for)? I’m very proud of this, being a shopaholic at weaning.

DIY Handmade Notebook

Visst kan du köpa en ny och fin anteckninsbok, men så mycket roligare att göra den själv! Det här är ett pyssel som legat och gnagt inom mig länge, länge. Nu är det gjort och jag är barnsligt nöjd! 
Sure, you can buy a new and fancy notebook, but isn't it so much more fun to make one yourself? I've been wanting to try this DIY for such a long time. Now it's done, and I'm sooo proud!

Välj ut ett antal pappersark som ska bli sidorna i din bok, inte för många om du som jag är nybörjare, då blir det svårare. Alla sidor behöver ju inte vara kritvita, pröva att blanda in gamla tidningssidor exempelvis. Jag slängde in två sidor från en fransk Elle från 50-talet och en papperspåse...
Choose sheets of paper for the pages of your book, not too many if you just like me are a beginner. All your pages don't necessary have to be white, try mixing in old newpapers for example. I used two pages from a 1950's French Elle and a small paperbag...

Vik pappersarken på mitten och placera dem i varandra.
Fold your paper sheets at the middle and place them inside each other.

Välj ditt omslagspapper. Jag använde en gammal tapet från mina morföräldrars hus.
Choose a cover. I used an old wall paper from my grandparents house.

Klipp omslagspappret till önskad storlek, förslagsvis lite större än själva boksidorna.
Cut your cover to the size you want, preferrably just a bit larger than the book pages.
Använd ett pappersark som mall och rita ut var du vill ha dina hål för att sy ihop boken. Ju fler hål du gör, desto stadigare blir det, men också mer pilligt och tidskrävande. Fem hål fick räcka för mig. Använd en nål för att göra hål genom mallen samt alla andra boksidor, några i taget så går det lättast. Var noga med att sätta hålen jämnt.

Use one of your paper sheets as a template and mark where you want holes to stitch it all together. The more holes you make, the more sturdy it will be, but also more time consuming. I decided that five holes was enough for me. Use a needle to make holes through your template and all the other book pages, a few paper sheets at a time is easiest. Make sure to place your holes evenly through all the pages of your book. 
Välj tråd att sy ihop boken med. Jag använde brodyrgarn i tre olika färger. 

Choose a thread to stitch your book. I used embroidery thread in three different colours.
Du kan sy ihop din bok på säkert tusen olika sätt. Jag började längst ner på bokryggen och gjorde en liten tofs.
I'm sure there are a thousand ways to stitch your book. I started at the bottom of the spine of the book, and made a small tassel.
Sy genom alla hålen och fäst tråden ordentligt när du är klar.
Stitch through all the holes and secure the end of the thread.
Med största sannolikhet kommer du att upptäcka att dina boksidor är lite olika långa (eller breda, kanske är mer korrekt att säga?). Så blir det ju när man viker dem på mitten och stoppar dem i varandra. Du kan jämna till dem med hjälp av en liten kniv, eller helt enkelt bestämma dig för att det är snyggt som det är. 
You will most likely discover that the pages of your book are not of the same length (or is 'width' more correct?) now. That happens when you fold them at the middle and put them all together. You can use a small knife to correct it, or simply decide that you like it just the way it is.
Jag satte helt vanlig tejp längsmed kanterna på mitt bokomslag för att göra det lite mer stabilt. Syns knappt.
I placed ordinary tape alongside my book cover, to make a little more firm. You can hardly see it. 

Klar! Nu kan du ta med din fina bok till ett café och väldigt diskret och heeelt oavsiktligt visa upp den för de andra cafébesökarna.
And you're done! Bring your cute and handmade notebook to the nearest café and show it, discreet and unintentional of course, to the other guests. 

Le Fabuleux Destin de Moi – Week 31

Min vecka i bilder.
My week in pictures.
Måndag: Fyndade en finfin blommig väska på Myrorna. Det var kärlek vid första ögonkastet.
Monday: Thrifted a flowered bag, it was love at first sight!

Tisdag: Middag med barndomsvänner i Söderköping. Jag fick te ur den här fina kannan.
Tuesday: Dinner with old friends in Söderköping. I was served tea from this lovely teapot.

Onsdag: Hade en sån där dag som inte gör sig på bild.
Wednesday: Had one of these days...
Torsdag: Bakade krusbärs- och hallonpaj som sedan avnjöts utomhus i sommarvärmen. 
Thursday: Made gooseberry meringue pie and enjoyed it outside in the summer heat.

Fredag: Hängde på fik (stans bästa; Chocolat) med sambon och avslutade kvällen med Batman på bio.
Friday: Me and Boyfriend went to our favourite café, and finished a perfect Friday with Batman.
Lördag: Sambon deltar i Björsäter Triathlon. Därefter grill- och födelsedagskalas hos Anna. 
Saturday: Boyfriend participates in a triathlon race. Thereafter combined barbecue and birthday party.
Söndag: Picknick i parken vid Sturefors Slott.
Sunday: Picnic in the park by Sturefors Castle.

Gooseberry Meringue Pie

Precis som stjärnorna på himlen och alla sandkorn i öknen är hallonen i vår trädgård omöjliga att räkna. När vi erbjöd grannarna att plocka lite trodde vi att överskottet skulle minska, men i gengäld fick vi röda krusbär tillbaka. Vad gör man av alla bär? I synnerhet som vi inte är några storkonsumenter av vare sig saft, sylt eller marmelad.
I går blev det en krusbärs- och hallonpaj med marängtäcke. Perfekt för den som gillar kombinationen av surt-surt-surt i kubik och lite sött till det.
Krusbärs- och hallonpaj med marängtäcke
Ca 6 personer

Till pajskalet:
2 dl vetemjöl
1 tsk socker
1 tsk vaniljsocker
90 g smör (jag tjatar jämt om det, men använd smör, inte margarin)
1 ägggula
1 äggvita till pensling
5 dl röda krusbär (ca 300 gram – och det går säkert lika bra med gröna)
5 dl hallon (det är ungefär 280 g)
2 äggvitor
1 dl socker
1 näve kokosflingor
Börja med pajskalet. Blanda mjöl, socker och vaniljsocker och hacka sedan ner rumsvarmt smör. Dela på äggets gula och vita (spara båda). Tillsätt äggulan och arbeta ihop till en deg och tryck ut den i en form med löstagbar kant. Låt vila i kylskåp i 30 minuter.
Sätt ugnen på 225°C. Pensla pajskalet med äggvitan och grädda i 10-12 minuter.
Sänk värmen till 150°C. Lägg bären i pajskalet och gör sedan marängen genom att vispa äggvitorna till ett hårt (och jag menar hårt) skum och sedan tillsätta socker och vispa igen. Klicka ut marängsmeten över bären, strössla över lite kokosflingor och skjutsa in hela härligheten i ugnen. Grädda i 15-20 minuter.
Servera pajen varm. Tack vare marängen behövs ingen vaniljsås eller glass till.
Just like the stars in the sky it's impossible to count all the raspberries in our garden. We offered our neighbours to pick some of them to decrease our berry overload, but they returned the favour by offering us red gooseberries from their garden. What to do? A gooseberry (and raspberry) meringue pie, of course!
This pie is recommended for those of you who fancy the combination of sweet (meringue, raspberry) and sour (goosberry).
Gooseberry Meringue Pie
Servings: 6
For the pie shell:
0.8 cup plain white flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
90 g butter
1 egg yolk
1 egg white to brush the pie shell
300 g red gooseberries (I'm sure the green ones will make a delicious pie too)
300 g raspberries
2 egg whites
0.4 cup sugar
A handful coconut flakes
Start with the pie shell. Mix flour, sugar and vanilla sugar. Add butter, cut in smaller pieces. Crack the egg and part the white from the yellow (you will be using both of them). Add the egg yolk and mix into a dough. Press it into a baking pan with removable bottom and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. 
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Brush the pie shell with the egg white and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Lower oven temperature to 300°F. Put the berries in the pie shell and move on to the meringue. With an electric whisk, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed. Add the sugar, and whisk again. Spoon your meringue over the berries and sprinkle some coconut flakes on top of everything. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Serve warm. No vanilla sauce or ice cream is needed, thanks to the meringue.

Amazing Autumn Planning Guide, part 2/2

If you missed the first part, here it is.
In this second and last part of the planning guide, the time has come to prioritize.
Your lists are probably filled with sweet dreams and feelgood activities, and it’s time to decide which of these that are most important to you and find the must do’s and want to’s to dedicate some of your precious time to every week.
I’m also sharing my way of visualizing my priorities – a ‘weekly priority wheel’.


1. Look at your lists. Are there common denominators? Items you can cluster? Make notes, brackets and arrows, underline, star or strikethrough – anything that helps you sort out your thoughts.
2. Pick out the three things on your lists that are absolutely dearest to you. It should be things that you feel you are almost dependent upon for survival (or at least to stay happy).
3. Choose eight (or more if you wish, but try to be realistic in terms of what you can accomplish without burning yourself) things that you need and/or want to do every single week. These choices should in some way reflect and correspond to your three dearest things-list.

Time to get creative!

I chose to visualize my priorities in a wheel. The hub, in the middle of the wheel, holds my top 3 necessities: family & friends, health and creativity. The idea is to highlight these as important reminders if you suddenly find yourself lost in the stress.
Between each spoke (eker, in Swedish), I’ve written my eight every week choices.
  • Family and friends (including the dear cat): No words needed. Absolutely necessary to make space each week to nurture your most important relations.
  • Blog: My blog inspires me to take on creative challenges and express myself in words and pictures.
  • Writing: Writing has always been a part of my life, and I’ve been wanting for a while to get serious about it. I feel the time has come now to dedicate at least a few hours every week to writing.
  • Food: Although I still like to see myself as a healthy gourmet, the truth is that during the last years, I’ve spent less and less time on eating, sometimes even forgetting to have lunch and skipping breakfast. This needs to change! I’m actually following CrimsonAnna’s advice to plan my meals ahead every week, starting today.
  • Bollywood: I love to dance, especially Bollywood. The music is cheerful and you get to use colourful clothing and heavy make-up and jewellery – no further explanation needed. Bollywood dancing also supports a healthy lifestyle, which is in the hub of my wheel.
  • Yoga: Same here. I like it and it makes me healthy.
  • Housekeeping: Well, nothing that I love to do, but have to. This is just a reminder to take some time each week to tidy up my home.
  • Work: Well, I’m still on sick leave but guessing I will be ready to go back to work sometime during this fall. Putting it in my weekly priority wheel also serves the purpose of reminding me not to let work outrival the other spokes in my wheel. It's just one of many things in life.
There were two things on my wish list that I wasn’t really happy to remove, so these are hanging as bonus activities for me to pick like sweet apples whenever I get the time. Instead of taking on weekly pottery classes, I will look for a weekend course.

How to use the weekly priority wheel

Keep it visible. Consult it every Sunday when making plans for next week. Make sure you stick to your three top priorities and make time and space – each week – for the eight spokes.
Happy planning!

5 Favourite Notebooks

Yellow covered handmade notebook from Etsy Shop Buntmal. Yellow is a new favourite colour, warm and cosy. I also love the structure of this cover fabric.
Jag spinner vidare på nystartskänslan med fem fina anteckningsböcker för drömmar, att göra-listor, teckningar, dagboksanteckningar eller kanske recept. Att öppna en helt ny anteckningsbok fyller mig alltid med en särskild slags förväntan.
With this fresh start feeling bubbling inside of me; here are five favourite notebooks for dreams, to do lists, sketches, diary entries or maybe recipes. Opening a new notebook always fills me with inspiration and expectation.
Photos from each respective Etsy Shop
Handmade pocket notebook from Etsy Shop Cabin Dreams. I'd love to use this one for work related stuff.
A notebook a month collection from Etsy Shop NinaPaperStories. I love the idea of structuring my notes like this and the candy-like colours puts a smile on my face.
Big book of ideas notebook from Etsy Shop ohNOrachio. I like the simple illustration, white on beige. Also, I like to think that this notebook would inspire me to think great thoughts and come up with big ideas!
Hammerhead shark notebook from Etsy Shop leanimale. I think this little shark is too cute and so brave, reaching for the stars although it might be scary. A good reminder.

Amazing Autumn Planning Guide, Part 1/2

Click here for part 2.
Ok. It's NOT autumn yet, but August always fills me with that feverish fresh start feeling that makes me want to plan, organize, and buy heaps of pens and notebooks – out with the old, in with the new!
In that spirit, I’ve spent some time thinking about what I want of this coming autumn, a process I hope will help me to stay focused as well as balanced. In a series of two posts, I'm sharing my way of prioritizing and organizing the different parts of my life.
It’s no rocket science, but something that worked for me (of course, I can only refer to the process itself so far, but it felt really good taking some time thinking about these things).
The goal: Finding out what makes you happy and creating space for just that!

Roles and Relations


We all have different roles in our lives, some that we have chosen, some that have been given to us, and others that are… just there. I believe healthy and happy relations are key to a good life, therefore, take a few minutes to list the roles you have.
 I am: Girlfriend, daughter, sister, friend, cat owner, blogger and communications manager/colleague.
What’s on your list? Would you dare to prioritize? Is there a role you’re not comfortable with, something you would like to change? Think about it and write it down if you wish. If you, like me, are or used to be a workaholic, it can be helpful to have your priorities black on white, to remind you of what's really important when the wheels are turning faster and faster…

What makes you happy?


What makes you smile, laugh or relax? Make a list of these things, focusing on the activities you would like to fill a regular week with. Don’t be shy, don’t hold back – prioritizing comes later. Here’s my list!
This makes me happy: Dancing, reading, writing, being crafty and creative, yoga, photography, walking, spending time with family and friends, seeing new places, trying new things, taking time to prepare my meals and eating healthy, and, finally – doing... nothing.

Dreams and Goals - Wish List


Now, make a wish list of things you want to accomplish this autumn. This list is supposed to be specific and more goal oriented than the last one.
Like this:
I dream of: Freshen up my French, writing a novel (get started), take Bollywood dancing lessons, take ballet lessons, learn how to turn clay (dreja, in Swedish), and get started with an embroidery project.
If this were a bread recipe, this would be the part where it would say: set aside to rise. So, let these thoughts soak in during the day. Tomorrow, it's time to take a new look at the lists, with fresh eyes, and start prioritizing.
Happy planning!
What are your best planning tips for a happy everyday life? I'd love to hear about them!