Tuesday, 29 November 2016

things that freak me out

  • calling people I don't know
  • when the symbol for new a friend request shows up on Facebook
  • calls from unknown numbers 
  • if I meet someone that knows me/my name and I have no idea where I know them from
  • driving
  • when the doorbell rings and I'm not expecting anyone
  • when people ask me about my job (actually less now when I'm not working)

(by the way. That spider on the light switch actually doesn't freak me out. But i figured someone might get freak out by it and thus better relate to the theme of this post. You are welcome.)

Sunday, 27 November 2016

things that put a genuine smile on my face this weekend

  • the sound that Hugo makes when he sits and watches brids through the window. It's not a very cat-like sound, more like a soft bleeting or something. I'm wondering if he tries to imitate the birds or if he's just upset or whatever. But it's the cutes thing ever
  • we slept in on Sunday and I stayed in bed browsing though Instagram before I got up, as usual, and then when I walked in to the living room Andreas had put on Christmas music!
  • video chatting with my friends Alis and Steve
  • starting to watch the new Gilmore Girls episodes. I'm only halfway though "winter" so don't spoil anything!
  • This:

Saturday, 26 November 2016

50 questions

I stole this list from Sandra who got it from Hanna:
1. who do you trust?
Andreas. My family and closest friends. 
2. Where would you like to be right now?
It's Friday today so it would be awesome to be back at Martinique, the pub just a few minutes from our house in Stavanger, hanging out with my friends. 
3. Favorite city?
Göteborg. Singapore. London. 
4. Favorite number?
19 (my birthday and Derby number) 13 & 1 (my numbers when I played soccer)
5. What was the most recent thing you ate?
A piece of licorice fudge. NOM!
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
7. What's the weather like right now?
A bit grey and cooler than usual, so maybe 25 degrees. Celsius. 
8. Who was the last person you spoke on the phone with?
Probably mum
9. What's the first thing you notice about a guy?
Uuuh. I haven't been boy-hunting for 16 years so... maybe a good pair of shoulders? 
10. What's your shoe size
11. Favorite TV-show?
This one is pretty hard, but on shared first place is Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Doctor Who. But I also love Sherlock and Supernatural. And then there's Game of Thrones, Walking dead and X-files.
12. Do you have any siblings?
Yes, my older brother Martin.
13.How tall are you
1,62 m ca 5 foot 3.
14. Haircolor?
My natural hair-color is a dark, quite colorless blond. Grey-beige. We can say nougat to make it prettier.
15. Eye color?
Dark blue
16. Do you use contacts?
I have, but I don't anymore since contacts can't help with me being cross eyes these days.
17. Favorite holiday?
Christmas, probably.
18. Favorite month
May, June, July
19. Have you ever cried without reason?
20. What's the last film you saw?
I saw the Darjeeling Limited yesterday. Love Wes Anderson

21. Favorite day of the year
I like Saturday. And my birthday. And new years eve.
22. Are you to shy to ask someone on a date?
Haha! I have no idea! I think I could do it if I was single. I was quite brave when I was a teenager, and although that has changed in many ways I think I'd manage. 
23. Can you stand on your head? Without the help of a wall
Yes, I think so
24. Hugs or kisses
I like kissing one particular person, but hugging you can do with so many others too, and that's nice!
25. Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate. But I also love licorice. 
26. Do you have any tattoos?
No but I want one. A nig bird on my back. Or a small discreet one on my arm. But I can't decide and maybe I'm too much of a chicken. 
27. What do you listen to right now?
A lot of Post Modern Jukebox and Metallica this week.
28. Do you have a crush on any celebrity?
No, not really. But I think David Tennant and Iwan Rheon are pretty hot.
29. What books do you read right now?
I'm reading a book about the terror attacks in Norway 2011. I'll post a review on it as soon as I'm done.
30. Piercings?
No. Well, my ears. When I was a teenager I had a boyfriend with a piercing under his lower lip, that was pretty cute. 
31. Favorite movies?
Ugh, so hard to chose. I like almost everything by Tim Burton and Wes Anderson, but I do also enjoy a good superhero or fantasy movie. V for Vendetta, Sin City, Scott Pilgrim vs the World and Deadpool are other favorites. 
32. Favorite sport?
To play? Roller Derby or soccer. To watch? Soccer, track and field or handball. 
33. What are you doing right now?
I've just finished my schoolwork for today and got inspired to answer these questions when Sandra's post came up in my Bloglovin-feed. When I'm done I'm going to prepare dinner for tonight and then go to the gym. 
34. Natural, salty or butter-y popcorn?
Salty and butter-y
35. Dogs or cats?
Cats. But I want to have a dog at some point in my life too. 
36. Favorite flower?
Lily of the Valy and hydrangea
37. Have you ever been caught doing something you shouldn't?
Probably, but I can't come up with anything right now. 
38. Do you have a best friend of the opposite sex?
 Yes, several. Andreas is my best friend, but there's also Rich, Steve and other Andreas. They are all really close friends of mine. 
39. Have you ever loved anyone?
Yes. And still do. 
40. Who do you want to see right now?
Today I really miss having my friends around. Tuulikki, Emma, Alis, Lotten... everyone.

41. Are you still friends with anyone from school?
Yes, from high school. My gals, Hanna, Emma, Minna and Veronika are people I try to see at least once a year if I can! I hope I get the chance to see at least one of them over Christmas this year. 
42. How do you impress a guy?
Guys need to impress me. Oh well. By being relaxed. I don't know. 
43. Do you like to travel by airplane?
Well, I overcame my quite severe fear of flying a few years ago and now I'm pretty cool with it. But the 12 hour flights I have to go on now to get back to Europe is pretty boring.
44. Right or left handed?
45. How many pillows do you sleep with?
One really flat one.
46. Do you miss anyone?
47. Do you listen to radio?
No, I listen to podcasts, Spotify and audio-books. 
48. What's the best decision you made this year?
To go to both Herräng and Castle Camp. To not continue working remotely for my old employer. (the decisions to get married and to move to Brunei were made last year, btw)
49. Worst decision of this year?
Uh. I obviously forget bad stuff fast. Or I haven't made any! Let's go with that. 
50. Most recent app you downloaded?
RepCount. It's a gym diary.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

a weekend in KL

Last week Andreas and I, quite spontaneous, decided to take advantage of a good plane-ticket offer and some bonus hotel-nights and book a weekend trip. The excuse being a celebration of me finally having my dependent visa in order! Yay! So we actually spent last weekend in Kuala Lumpur. Again, I haven't gone through the "real" photos we took we our "real" camera and anyway thousands of photos from someone's vacation isn't all that fun so I'll just post a few of my iPhone pics.

We didn't make a lot of plans before going, we basically just wanted to eat a lot of good food and maybe get some Christmas shopping done. Oh and Andreas needed to buy some diving gear too. Not having a car here in Brunei makes these things - shopping and going out for a meal - not so easy.

We stayed at Mandarin Oriental hotel, right next to the Petronas towers, which meant we had easy access to a few nice shopping malls and restaurants.

The first day we decided to go on separate shopping errands and then met up for lunch (tapas) and a visit to the Aquarium. Both me and Andreas really like animals so this was one of the few the we had decided to visit before going here. 

There are some pretty freaky creatures in the sea, right?

The next day the whole city center was full of people protesting against the corruption in the government and we decided to stay out of it as much as we could. We walked (no taxis available that day + roads shut off) to a big park where we found among other things a butterfly-garden and a bird-park. This is also where you can find the botanical garden and planetarium but we didn't have time to visit those this time. Again taking selfies with representatives from the animal kingdom was our priority. 

To make sure we'd get some proper food in KL we had made a couple of reservations beforehand. One was to the restaurant in the hotel Shangri La's foyer which was pretty fancy. None of my food photos came out good, but we ate an eight course tasting menu that was... alright. The food was sure well made and stylish, but I'm pretty sensitive to texture and some of wasn't my taste. I wore a pretty dress though, so let's have a look at that instead. From Lindy bop. 

Talking of food, though... Our hotel had the best breakfast buffet! I mean, besides that time in Utrecht ( howI miss that brown long hair and fringe!) when we got champagne and strawberries for breakfast, this beats everything. They had - among many, many other things - a pancake/waffle bar. Yes you heard me. It was heaven

On the last day we only had one thing sceduled, afternoon tea, but before that we did another touristy thing, went up the Petronas towers and had a look at the view. It was nice. But, not in any way spectacular. Plus it was sort of expensive and you had to stay in a group and for a certain time and we got a bit bored. I've read somewhere that you should go up the TV-tower instead, maybe next time.

We finished off our weekend with afternoon tea a at St. Regis hotel. I ate so much and had so much tea, but I love this. It's like having a "fika" for hours and with champagne.

The next time I go back to KL (which is only about 2 hours away) I'm planing to check out the possibility to dance Lindy hop... that should be fun!

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

tuesday tunes: nostalgic edition

When I was 14 one of my best friends (and sometimes crush) was drummer in a band. He was the one who got me in to listening to Metallica and still many of their songs are on my "favorites" playlist on Spotify. This clip that both Andreas and my friend Steve sent me on Facebook a few days ago totally made my day. I think Jimmy Fallon is brilliant, and this is just beautiful. 

Saturday, 19 November 2016

I've read: looking for Alaska

by John Green

I've wanted to read this book for a long time. I remember writing it down in my "to read" list maybe five years ago. I haven't read any other books by Green, nor seen any of the movies based of books by him, The fault in our stars, or Paper towns. I bought this one at the airport in Bali on the way home and it only took me two days to finish.

Anyway. This is such a great story, with characters, language and situations that draw you in. The narrator is the boy Miles, and the story is about his junior year at a boarding school in Alabama and the friends he makes there. It's a story about being a teenager, about being in love and about famous last words. 

The chapters are called "Eighty seven days before", "Forty five days before" and so on, so all along you expect something big to happen. And of course it does. 

Green writes in a way that just keeps you reading, without much thinking about the words, somehow. In the best way. I really liked this book, 

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

link love: blogs I like right now

I've been following many of the same blogs for a very, very long time. Many (like Niotillfem, Elsa Billgren, UnderbaraClara) since I began reading blogs and started this little diary of my own back in 2009. But the past few months I've found a couple of new ones, probably because I have so much more time to read blogs now... Anyway. Most of these are Swedish, but a few of them are worth following just for the photos, so check them out!

I've noticed that I am more and more drawn to blogs written by people who are not as "famous". I still really enjoy the "bigger" blogs I've followed for so long, but it's harder to identify with them now, some how. I tend to read more blogs with less followers these days, partly because their everyday lives are more like my own, and partly because they just feel more personal. I like blogs that are quite general, and I don't really follow any pure food blogs, or fashion blogs. My favorites are the ones that mix a little bit of everything, like DIYs, outfits, life hacks, personal opinions, tips on what books to read, what podcasts to listen to, and so on. Then the blog becomes more of what a conversation with a friend would be like, and that's pretty awesome. Most of the blogs I follow are created by creative, smart, feminist women and I like how getting perspectives from other people's lives can inspire and broaden my own horizons. Plus, I'm so impressed of how professional all these people are. These blogs all look so polished and the content is of very high quality.

OK, so I've followed Polichinelle for way longer than a few months, but she is so awesome I wanted to mention her anyway. This music-teacher/vegetarian food lover is funny, down to earth and just makes so much sense. Love her. She shares a lot of vegetarian receipts and the occasional outfit, but without focusing on consumption. She's brilliant. 

Well, this is actually another one I've followed for a year or so, but who is also so awesome I want to mention her specially. Sandra is such an inspiration. She creates beautiful and manageable DIYs and if I ever start liking to cook I'm sure I'll try some of her receipts. She's also seems to be a very smart, logical and sensible person with good taste. I was totally inspired by her to buy the glasses I'm currently wearing by the way, and I love them. 

Another Sandra! This one is quite new in my blog feed. A combination of poetic, personal language and photos that makes me want to be better at documenting my own life. Oh and to live in her apartment. I love the pictures of her home and the thoughtful way she writes about big and small things in everyday life. It's also a big bonus that she lives and writes about life in my old hometown Göteborg, a place I sometimes miss A LOT.

Beautiful landscape photos. Just stunning. Jonna moved away from busy city life to find a new and simpler one in a cottage in the middle of nowhere. She lives with her fiancee and bunch of cats and dogs and documents all of this in fabulous photos. She's also a very talented painter and inspires me to pick up the paintbrush again...

This is another one of the newer ones, for me. I don't remember how I found Elin's blog, but it was via another blog, recommending it. This is one of the more specialized blog that I read, focusing on digital technology and how to use it. Not only is it a relief to see a young woman writing about this, the blog is generally very informative and inspiring. I'm not super in to some of the things she writes about, but there have definitely been some cool tips and recommendations! Elin also plays roller derby wich kind of makes me like her even more...

Tuesday, 15 November 2016


Hello bloggy. It's Tuesday today, but right now one day is pretty much the same as the other over here. Which I'm totally fine with. I finally feel like I'm getting in to routines for the weekdays now at least, even though they are pretty loose. I'm working out a bit more, running on the beach every now and then in the mornings before it gets too hot, and then going to the gym or swimming with Andreas in the evenings. It actually feels quite ok, it's so much less boring working out together with someone. And then I study during the days of course, but one ff my courses is already finished (it came as a bit of a surprise) so now the workload is pretty light. I'm spending some time looking for Christmas gifts online as well. That's nice, even though it's hard to imagine Christmas being just a month and a half away when you live like we do. Strange.

Three good things today:
  • This afternoon me and Andreas are going to another house here in the area and have a look at a palm tree they want to sell. Since we all of a sudden have a huge parking lot just opposite our house there's a lot more people driving by here and we want to screen our garden off as much as possible. So we might buy it. 
  • We are going on a weekend-trip to Kuala Lumpur this weekend and tonight we're going to look around for some restaurants to book tables at. My mouth is already watering...
  • Speaking of food, I had a pretty tasty smoothie bowl for breakfast this morning. Blueberry, frozen banana, apple, almond-milk and blueberry juice. I like how after some experimenting last week I'm finding some favorites. 

Saturday, 12 November 2016

new eyewear

A while back I went on an online shopping spree at ExtraOptical (not sponsored). I needed to update my eye-wear wardrobe for my sunny Brunei-lifestyle. Just before I moved to Brunei I got myself a new pair of glasses after consulting with my eye-doctor and optician, and now I decided I also needed updated sunglasses with the same prescription. The kind of glasses I need that helps with my cross-eyed-ness are usually quite expensive, but luckily buying glasses online means they get a lot cheaper, of course with the drawback that I don't get to try them on. But I've been buying a lot of my glasses online (the ones I use every now and then to get a bit of variation in my looks) and I've yet to send a single pair back. I usually buy my everyday glasses from a "irl" optician though.

Anyway. I had hoped the glasses would be finished when I came home to Sweden a month ago, but turns out they arrived one day too late for me to bring them. Here's what finally ended up in Brunei after my mom was kind enough to send them to me!

I'm really happy with them. I have always loved aviators and I wanted a retro pair as well, to go with my 50s and 60s summer dresses. Both pair fit, although I might have to adjust the pilot ones a bit, but most important - I can see really well with them! Yay!

Thursday, 10 November 2016

smoothie bowl-ing

This past week I decided to try an improve my food intake a bit. Not that I usually eat that bad (anymore) but after two weeks on vacation with a lot of tasty food, meat, cocktails and snacks I wanted a bit if a change for a while. And no, I don't believe in detoxing so that's not what this was. But I did end up eating a lot if fruit and vegetables, mainly in liquids form, in the shape of smoothies. And I ended up trying something new to me, but totally super common on interwebz: smoothie bowls. Pretty much exactly the same as a smoothie, but in a bowl and with topping. Brilliant! 

Banana, peanut butter, oats, almond milk and orange juice with hazel nuts and kiwi topping

Kale, apple, banana, almond milk with banana and hazelnut topping 

Apple, celery, kale, kiwi, apple-juice with hazelnut and kiwi topping

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

diy: hanging planter from a light bulb

we don't have windowsills in our house, so finding places for all the plants I want to have here has proved to be a bit challenging... I've been searching my favorite inspiration-site Pinterest for alternatives and have found a bunch of good ideas there. This time I was inspired by a post from Green Obsessions and then made my own variation with some additions. If you want to do the same, follow the instructions on how remove the fill-tube and inner glass-seal from the Green Obsessions post, and be careful! I'm so glad we have a little workshop in our storage room so I can play around with stuff like broken glass and such without it being too much of a catastrophe...

Anyway, once the bulb was cleared up and cleaned I made two small holes in the metal and attached a jute string so I could hang it up. With the help of my glue gun I covered the rest of the metal part with the same string, this also helped hiding the glue and metal wire I used for securing the string for hanging the bulb. I think this turned out really nice. If I had more bulbs - I don't - I would have made more! I like how you can see the roots from the cutting.

words about not really having any words

I was thinking I could write something positive. Like, nice things I have planned, just to distract from world events. But I can't focus. Today is just such a reminder of how many people out there in the world that have such an completely different look on life and what matters than what I believe in. I'ts really an eyeopener and very disheartening. I don't know what to say that isn't just a long tirade of profanities.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

what i'm actually doing here

Well, maybe you have wondered, and maybe you haven't. But here's a post showing a little bit of what I've been up to this fall when I haven't been traveling, i.e. what I've been doing in my courses. Because it's not all just Pokémon Go and lounging on the terrace, I assure you!

My first course is called Typography, Form & Graphic tools and it's been really interesting. We have access to video lectures and I really enjoy learning more about this. Mostly we do shorter exercises and nothing fun to share here, but I've definitely picked up some very helpful tips for working in InDesign. Plus learning about typography has been way more interesting than I expected. 

The other course, Introduction to Graphic Design has also been above expectations. This course have been the most fun, with really interesting, relevant and creative assignments. So far I have been working in InDesign, Illustrator an Photoshop to complete them, and I've been picking up a few new skills on the way. Unfortunately (or not, really) I have been traveling for quite a big part of this semester so the I haven't given the assignments all the hard work they'd deserved. I've completed them all, but I haven't spent near enough time on the creative processes, so the concepts have been a bit on the weak side... 

The first thing we did was three different business cards that had to include a portrait of ourselves. I'm not super happy with how my cards turned out, but here's what I look like as a illustrator illustration. Although, I see now that the colors here look totally off. Darn. I still have a lot to learn about CMYK and RGB...

The second assignments was fun: creating a band-logo, plus LP cover and band poster for a fictional band. I chose to work with a swing band, called the Swing Cats Cradle and here's what their debut LP looks like.

The third assignments was an essay and not. my. best. work. Let's leave it at that. I got a pass grade, so that's OK.

Finally, I just delivered a complete graphic profile for another made up client, this time I came up with a Norwegian translation agency, called Translett. I got inspired by my friend Alison! Anyway. We had to design a logo, business cards, stationary plus merchandise and that was a lot of fun! Again, I was in Bali for two of the three weeks we had to do this so I felt a little bit rushed in coming up with the concept. I feel ok about it, although in the end I think this logo communicated "travel agency" rather than "translation agency"... Oh well. This is what their stationary would look like:

Anyway. It's been fun and totally worthwhile so far. And now I have applied for more courses on the same theme for next semester. We'll see what i end up doing. 

Monday, 7 November 2016

#ootd monstera monday

It's been such a long time since I showed an outfit on the blog! So why not start this week off with a nice green ensemble I wore to match our backyard today, otherwise spent jogging on the beach, doing errands with Andreas over lunch and then mostly sitting in front of the computer studying.

I'm finally figuring out what I'm comfortable wearing here, with the heat outside, the AC-cold inside and what-not. I've have moved so many of my "old" clothes to storage and updated with a few new pieces. This is one of the outfits that I feel most comfortable in right now. It works both inside and outside, pretty much. Inside it's nice to be covered since there's always a draft from the air-con. This tunic is thin and breezy and work pretty good with the heat outside. Also I'm totally in love with all things palm, monstera or tropical flower patterned right now. So this one is a win. Bought at indiska in Sweden this summer. And well, tights are just comfortable. I can't really wear dresses or skirts without tights under because of sweat-issues, so this is a nice compromise.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

a year ago today

"Remember, remember the 5th of November..."

This quote has a totally different meaning to me than the original one. And yes, partly because I associate it with one of my favorite movies, V for Vendetta, spoken in the voice of I've of my favorite actors, Hugo Weaving, but mostly, for a year now, it has represented anticipation, change and a fresh start. The 5th of November 2015 was the day Andreas found out he got the job here in Brunei, and subsequently the day we got engaged. Because we knew we couldn't live here together without being married. 

A year ago on Instagram. Just before I found out.

A year ago. A year that has been totally crazy in many ways, but also totally great.

Friday, 4 November 2016

I'm pretty sure I should get myself a hobby

Remember how well I had thought through what I needed to do to get acclimatized here in Brunei? How clearly I understood that I should dive right in to it and start trying to meet new people? Well. I don't want to. I'm incredibly comfortable just hanging around the house, working on my courses, doing small home improvements, reading, going on walks, working in the garden and so on. I'm great at being alone. Also, I'm not alone. Andreas comes home for lunch everyday and I'm constantly surrounded by cats. And if I need to talk to someone else I just text a friend or family member back home. And I do have a few acquaintances that I think might become friends in a while. I'm fine! But I guess I should get some kind of social hobby anyway. It's kind of expected, I think. And the truth is, in a way I miss it. A proper activity. The past few years in Stavanger I had two major things that took up most of my spare time, outside work: Lindy hop and roller derby. These two hobbies gave me the opportunity to travel to various places all over Europe and I got to know some people that are now among the best friends I've ever had. Plus, I got a lot of exercise! I honestly never thought that could happen, you know, finding your thing, once you are a grown up. And I miss that, a lot. But what are the chances I can find something new like that again?

still my favorite spot