Thursday, January 29, 2015

IMBOLC FASHION: SNOWFLAKES

  When I pulled out my Imbolc garderobe last week, I noticed, for my own surprise, that it was one outfit short. A slight setback, since I thought I had covered it all last year. Oh well, now I got to let my imagination fly again, and here´s the result:

A loose-fitting, light blue stretch jersey dress. I see Imbolc mainly in light blue and grey, so this outfit nails the essence of it, snowflakes and all.
These snowflakes I made three years ago, when expecting our daughter. Back then I still had the time and peace to work on something as time consuming and detailed as these. They are just right for this freezing wintery weather, turning cold into beauty. The dress fabric is quite thick and up close actually looks a bit like quilt material. =)

For once the makeup is showing! I repeated the cool light blue in my eyeshadow, binding the whole look together. Besides the eyeshadow the makeup is very natural. Only nude tones are used on the face, light beige on the cheeks and clear glittery gloss on the lips.
  It was a lot of fun creating and making this outfit. Now I´m kinda glad I was one outfit short!  =)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

MISO SOUP

  It is so much fun trying out new recipes! I´m exploring the macrobiotic way of eating now, and today made miso soup for breakfast. It takes a bit of getting used to, eating soup in the morning, but it tasted good and was warm and comforting, not to mention healthy.

Tofu and zucchini in miso-nori broth. (Seaweed is something I´ve never liked. I´ve tried it several times, and it usually makes me gag. BUT now I found untoasted green nori flakes, which are fine. I sprinkle them on almost anything, and when kept in small amounts, I don´t mind the taste. Cool!)
  The recipe (serves 1):

3 oz. (100g) tofu, cubed
1/2 zucchini (or any veggie you have in the fridge, like cabbage or carrots,) chopped roughly
1/2 clove garlic, grated
1 tsp dried green nori flakes
1 tsp dark brown rice miso
soy sauce, to your liking
water

+ Place zucchini and some water in a pot and bring to a boil. Let simmer for a few minutes, then turn off the heat. Add the rest of the ingredients and let warm for another minute or two.
  Serve with plain green tea and rice cakes.

  I´m used to eating sweet breakfasts rather than savory, so for me this is quite different. Not weird, but different. It feels like in the morning anything goes, as opposed to the evening when I seem to need sweet foods. Savory just does not satisfy in the evening, but for breakfast it´s a great alternative!

Monday, January 26, 2015

WINTER CRUISING

  Things wound up so, that last weekend I ended up on a cruise ship alone, without company. I never get to go anywhere alone, so I was exhilarated!

The boat was new, and I´d never been on it before. Taking short cruises is something I like to do pretty much every winter, as a mini holiday outside of the summer cabin season (at the moment the ice is not yet thick enough to walk on, and we´re waiting to get to the cabin).

The weather was not at it´s prettiest, but I didn´t care, I got to stay inside in the warm the whole time!

A time for relaxation. I partied up until very late, slept long, had an abundant breakfast, took a nap, watched tv, shopped, and ate again. Plus enjoyed live music by various artists throughout the cruise. How cool!
  Then I returned home refreshed, ready to do laundry and cooking again... =)
  I value it highly to take a break from the usual in regular basis, to prevent life from becoming boring. That´s a feature I wish to maintain until and throughout my old days too. Life should never feel boring. If it does, it´s time to conjure up something new and exciting!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

EATING PLAN FOR IMBOLC

  Taking a leap towards macrobiotics again. After eating raw foods for months, my body craves cooked grain now. And since I´ve always been a fan of intuitive eating, I trust macrobiotic-like food being good for me now. Variety is always good.

A basic macrobiotic-style breakfast. Oatmeal sprinkled with green nori flakes, small green salad, and kukicha tea.

  Ten years ago I bought my first ever macrobiotic cookbook. It was informative, even too much so, but it left me confused and not knowing how to proceed. The recipes were not mouthwatering either, so I buried the book in the shelf for years.
  The second macrobiotic book I ever bought was "Mayumi´s Kitchen". So much easier to read and follow, but it was not hard core macrobiotic, and after all did not differ that much from ordinary vegan eating. But it was interesting and a good experience.
  Now I´m eagerly waiting for my copy of "Changing Seasons". Until it arrives, I glimpse at the online version of it.

Purple cabbage-celery-apple salad with yogurt-ginger-mint dressing.

  I´m taking a relaxed approach to macrobiotics by focusing on whole grains or whole meal, home made products like porridge and bread. Along with grain I´ll eat both raw and cooked vegetables. Some fruit and vegan sources of protein accompany the previous, but not even every day. What I will add to my daily menu is small portions of seaweed, miso, and fermented cucumbers. White sugar is eliminated, but more natural sweeteners such as dates and honey can be used in moderation. That about wraps it.

Wholemeal pasta with carrot-parsnip-rosemary sauce and fermented pickles.

  Since I´m a girl with a major sweet tooth, this will be an experience to me. On weekends I will indulge in chocolate or candy, but otherwise I try to reduce my sugar intake. How awesome would it be to live sugar-free Mon-Fri?!

Wholemeal spelt bread dough on the way.

The plan: is to eat whatever low-fat grain-vegetable dish I want at any time of day. I will test and learn from the suggested 7-day meal plans of "Changing Seasons" macrobiotic cookbook, but I will also use other sources of vegan recipes, altering them if needed to lower fat content and increase wholeness in grains.

Chocolate-zucchini cake sweetened with dates.

  Meal times follow those of my diabetic ten-year-old son´s healthy ones:
 8-9am breakfast
12pm lunch
4pm dinner
7pm supper

    Yum, healthy Imbolc!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

VALENTINE´S DAY GIFT TIP

  Valentine´s Day is practically just around the corner, and it´s time to start thinking about how to show love and appreciation for that special someone (or yourself!).
  I´ll be darned if these brand new aromatherapy earrings I made don´t do the trick, along with some sensual ylang-ylang essential oil! You can get them from my little shop Nelland Boutique for only 20 e/pair.

Sweet pink hearts are for the younger generation of lovely women.
And these beautiful classic red ones for the more experienced chicks.
  Love is the greatest power in the world, so let´s celebrate it to the fullest!
  Have a love-filled and most romantic upcoming Valentine´s Day! 


Sunday, January 11, 2015

YULE FASHION COLLECTION

  Although Christmas seems long gone, in my calendar Yule time extends all the way from early December through mid-January.
  Now Imbolc is approaching and it is time to sum up my Yule wardrobe. It´s all done and completed now, and instead of the usual five outfits, there are seven in this collection. Christmas and New Year both fall in Yule period, and they both have strong individual styles. So I made a couple of outfits just for Christmas and just for New Year.

This first outfit, St Lucy, can be worn all through Yule. It is merely wintery, not Christmasy.

The applique in the shirt is so rich, that only a pair of aromatherapy earrings is needed to complete the look.

Sheepskin tunic is also appropriate all Yule long. (I wear it with dark grey leggings, but I did not include them in the picture because I have not made them myself but are store-bought.)

Only tiny golden earrings are needed for this surprisingly masculine outfit.

The third outfit, Cottage look, is also wearable all through Yule.

This year I added new earrings for variety.
  The previous three outfits make the base of my artistic Yule fashion collection. In addition, here are the rest, which take turns. First two are for setting Christmas mood:

Gingerbread dress.

To my own surprise, The Elf outfit is the only one that celebrates the most obvious Christmas color, red.

This Yule I made new aromatherapy earrings to match the necklace, which I also remodeled this December. Live and learn. Perfectionism keeps one going. =)
The Fireworks outfit is for post-Christmas, when it feels like I´m ready for New Year´s mood.

All new diy jewelry this year.
Ball Drop in NYC is the other outfit for post-Christmas Yule time.

  I´m so happy to have completed this Yule collection! It´s an amazing feeling to know that I now have a fully working wardrobe for work, all year round!


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

YULE FASHION: SAINT LUCY

  Inspired by winter´s beautiful snowy forests and St Lucy´s Day (celebrated Dec 13th, particularly in Sweden these days) I created this outfit for myself:

This is as wintery as it gets. Nature is in all different shades of grey now, like the base of my outfit, with snow piled on evergreens. No signs of Christmas, simply celebrating true winter. This outfit is great all through Yule (early December through mid January).
Nature´s art, my never ending source of inspiration.

My art. Green aromatherapy earrings complement the look. In this traditional makeup, with faint red lips and cheeks, I try to capture the essence of ancient beauty ideals. Mankind has always sought for and appreciated beauty, and often traditional is better than quick fashion trends.

The shirt is simple cotton jersey, and the pants are dark grey corduroy.

The appliques continue in the back. Back is often neglected and left plain for some reason. I like to add detail there too, when appropriate.
   In truth, I´m no saint, and don´t try to impersonate one, but my goal is to shine happiness and good mood around me, making my own little bubble a better place. Deep down that´s selfish, but I believe others benefit from it too by (hopefully) getting a smile on their face. There´s enough bad in this world, so every effort adding good to it is welcome!