Thursday, April 17, 2014


  Pasta Bolognese is always in place, year round. This time I made it low in fat and semi-raw, meaning that the pasta and TVP (textured soy protein) are cooked, but the tomato sauce itself is all raw. A nice and healthy combo, keeping in mind that the swimsuit season is approaching...

Brewer´s yeast on top adds a nice, cheesy, flavor without all the fat.

The recipe:

Cook pasta.

Soak TVP in some water, season with soy sauce.

Tomato sauce (yields 1-2):
9 cherry tomatoes
1/2 red bell pepper
3 sun dried tomatoes, soaked
black pepper
sea salt
piece of garlic (adjust to taste)
two pinches of paprika powder

+ Blend all with a hand blender (such as Bamix), until broken down into small pieces, but not all smooth. Done!

Quick, easy, cheap, and will not make you fat. Can it get any better than that?!

Monday, April 14, 2014


  I have always searched for the perfect bag. Tried backpacks, totes, big handbags, small handbags, but never yet been fully satisfied.

  In my frustration I came up with an idea worth giving a try for: a bag-in-a-bag.

When I step out of the house, I´ll be carrying one bag.

And when I get to my car, I take the small bag out and place the big one in the trunk. The small one comes in the car with me.

In the small bag I have everything I always need; cell phone, keys, wallet, some makeup, one cloth shopping bag, and some tissues. In the big bag I have stuff I don´t always need, but which is priceless to have with me; two more cloth shopping bags, allergy medicine, an extra diaper for my girl just in case, a flashlight, pen & paper, etc. 

The big bag is only 1/4 full when leaving the house, so it fits quite a lot of things still inside it when on the go. I have found myself throwing in it mail, smaller purchased stuff I do not want wrapped in plastic (I avoid plastic bags vigorously), water and other snacks, my gloves and hat once the car has warmed up (I also avoid inside heaters, I feel it´s a waste of electricity), and everything unimaginable. Very handy.

Keeping things simple. I used ordinary snap fasteners to close the bags with. They are quicker to open and close than a zipper. Speed is what I appreciate when digging in to answer the phone or grabbing my wallet.

  Dark grey and bright yellow are the key colors of my Ostara palette, that´s why I chose to use the combo here. These bags will now go with all of my Ostara outfits.
  The outer material is faux leather, originally meant for furniture. It is sturdy and stiff but easy to sew. The lining is 100% cotton. 

  This duo has made me feel quite efficient on the go. I´m very satisfied with how this bag-in-a-bag has worked in the real world. So glad I gave it a try!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


  SpongeBob SquarePants is our family´s all time favorite. Our son, now 9 1/2 years, fell in love with him as a two-year-old. Now our daughter, just recently turned two, has also learned to dig SpongeBob above all else. For us parents, he has rocked through all these years, and still continues to do so.
   In short: SpongeBob SquarePants rules!

  Ostara is the perfect playful time to honor Mr. SquarePants. I designed this modern-day outfit for myself, inspired by him.

Yellow, of course! Yellow and dark grey are the two main colors in my Ostara palette. This look is inspired by SpongeBob, not a direct copy of his image. Yin and Yang, style and costume-like, it´s all about balance. But fun it has got to be! The bright sunny yellow here does just that.

The fabric of the pants is repeated in the hairband, just to bring everything together. It´s a nifty little detail possible when making you own clothes, but not when store-bought. Makeup is almost nude, keeping the look young and fresh (Ostara is the time of childhood). I applied shimmery light yellow/golden eyeshadow on the inner 2/3 of the lids, and medium dark greyish brown on the outer 1/3. Beige blush on the cheeks, and yellow/golden gloss on the lips. A note on the necklace: originally I planned to dig up an old SpongeBob keyring I know we have somewhere, and turn it into a necklace for this outfit. It was meant to be the centerpiece, sort of "explaining" the whole idea in this look. But so far I have not yet found it! What a shame. I will have to get a new one if I don´t find it soon. But a SpongeBob necklace it will be!
The sleeves are this wide, making the shirt nice and comfortable. I like to wear essential orange oil on the earrings for this outfit. It is fresh and lifts up spirits (plus decreases anxiety, eases abdominal- and menstural pain, promotes good digestion and is relaxing). 
  Long live SpongeBob´s innocence, cheerfulness, enthusiasm, trust in others, positive mindset, and helpfulness. I have a lot to learn from him...

Monday, April 7, 2014


  After making myself the Sarah Kay- inspired outfit, I was still left with some strips and pieces of the fabrics. So I decided to make a similar outfit for my girl. Like mother like daughter, almost. =)

I call this "Saturday Outfit" because I think Saturday is the most relaxed and fun day of the week. A day when you´re supposed to laugh and play hard, chill out, and enjoy life to the fullest. Clothes can be more relaxed than on any other day, and the more colorful the merrier. This style does deliver: green stretchy shirt combined with baggy purple pants.

Yo-yos have become a favorite of mine. They are so comfortable for little kids to wear, and easy for mommy to make... =) These ones add color and texture to the subtle green shirt (which looks strangely grey in these pics).
More yo-yos on the flip side. The trick is that you can only see one set of yo-yos at a time, either on the front or the back. Enough is enough.

Funny thing is, that I used the same type of decoration in the previous Saturday Outfit I made last August (My girl has outgrown that, so I needed to make a new one.)
  This outfit has proven to be great in use. The model of the pants is actually meant for boys, but I think girls also deserve to wear comfortable, as well as pretty, clothes!

Saturday, April 5, 2014


  Lush green summer is ahead of us, and I have been preparing for it by making a brand new style of earrings.

Green lace leaves with clear glass beads as "dew drops". Totally down to earth and natural, a tree-hugger´s dream.  =) I have enjoyed wearing essential eucalyptus oil on them. It is refreshing and cleansing, and clears up sinuses (which is nice during this pollen season).

Although the earrings are quite big, they don´t pop out too much. As you can see, they go well with a no-makeup look too. Their subtle hue of green makes them blend in with our (humans´) natural coloring. And despite their size they are very lightweight, and thus easy to wear.
  I can´t wait for the real green leaves to arrive!

P.S.  I made a few extra pairs, which are available easily on Nelland Boutique. 20 euros/a pair (including a gift box + shipping & handling).

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


  Bunnies, pussy willows, eggs, and witches are all traditional themes of Ostara. So far I have covered the first three on the list, and now it is time for the fourth one to beautify my wardrobe:

See the whole story here on Nelland Living (my column at
Playing with clothes and apparel is so much fun! 

Monday, March 31, 2014


  The combination of garlic, cucumber, and dill is totally irresistible! Here it is in a soup form, which makes a nice and healthy meal with whole grain bread.

I can´t get enough of it! My tzatziki soup is very smooth and creamy, vegan and mostly raw. A real all-you-can-eat-without-getting-fat food.
The recipe (makes 3-4 cups):

1/2-1 clove garlic
1 avocado
1 cucumber
dill, dried or fresh
1/2 zucchini
pinch of sea salt

+ Place all ingredients in a blender, add soymilk as needed to reach the desired consistency. (I like my soups thick.)

  I enjoyed this soup with whole grain spelt bread with vegan margarine. Simply satisfying.