Wednesday, 7 December 2016

three super basic items that you should have at home to make life easier

Every now and then you buy something that makes a way bigger impact on your everyday life than you had expected. You find yourself using/reaching for this object several times a day and can't for your life figure out how you lived without it before. Here are three of my items in this category. Feel free to be inspired. Maybe not by the sort of un-sexy photos, but by the function. 


Lo and behold, our broom. Oh how I wish this was prettier or went better with the rest of our interior, because it's no use I put it say ever. It just stand right next to our front door and I use it several times a day to brush away  sand that have escaped the litter-box or threads from the carpets that the cats keep pulling out. One major reason for why this is working so good for us is that we don't have any thresholds, not even at our front door. I guess it wouldn't work as well if we'd have those. 


I introduce to you: a trash can. We keep this one in the kitchen, right next to the counter where we prepare all of our food. Both me and Andreas are amazed on how much easier it is to keep the kitchen clean with this compared with just keeping a trash can under the sink. I mean, we actually use this one, instead of collecting things on the counter and then at some point throwing it away. I think it's both the fact that it's so big and doesn't get full as fast and that it is actually visible that makes it more user friendly. 


And last but not least: the candy jar. I've never really been able to keep candy for long without eating it all up, but this actually work! We now have a tradition of taking just one candy (it's usually fudge in there) with our after-lunch-coffee during the weekdays and it's such a nice tradition! It feels a bit luxurious and just knowing there's always candy there just makes life a bit easier and fun. Every now and then we empty it all at once, but that's also ok, sometimes you just need a lot of fudge. But then we make sure we refill it so we can have our nice little tradition during the weekdays. Everyone should have a candy jar. Or a cookie jar, I guess. That would work too. 

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

this years wishlist - fun fun fun!

We are almost a week in to December and it's time for another look at my Christmas wishlist! I'm finally getting back to reading actual books again, and me and Andreas do enjoy the "occasional" movie-night. But books and DVDs are not that easy to find here. Hence, the necessary entertainment part of my wishlist! Including a few other well themed bits and bobs:

1. City of Dark Magic- Magnus Flyte / 2. Fangirl t-shirt (skreenedtees.com) / 3. Iron Man 3 
4. X-files season 10 / 5. Thor - the dark world / 6. The Bone clocks - David Mitchell 
7. Doctor Who official cook book - Joanna Farrow / 8. Batman vs Superman / 9. Captain America, Civil War
Basically, as long it's either Doctor Who related, a Marvel film for my collection or a book with any kind of supernatural elements, I'm good.

10. Promarker pens / 11. Harry Potter and the cursed child - JK Rowling / 12. Tardis ear-studs (Etsy.com) 
13. The color master - Aimee Bender / 14. The thinking woman’s guide to real magic -  Emily Croy Barker
15. The best of Graham Norton / 16. Jungle Book / 17. Vampires in the lemon grove - Karen Russell
18. Buffy-pin (gimmeflair.com)

Sunday, 4 December 2016

not always pretty, but always prefect

Good morning! Just wanted to drop by and say hi and let Hugo and Cricket have a short appearance here on the blog, it's been a while. Just have a look at their pretty faces and the carry on with your day. 





Saturday, 3 December 2016

Two places you need to visit in the south west of Sweden

It's already been over two months since I was in Sweden, but I found these photos in my phone and remembered that this was something I wanted to blog about!

If you find yourself in the south west part of Sweden, in the area of Fritsla and Skene to be exact, there are two places you should visit if you are interested in interior design and antiques:

Fritsla tyglager







This place is hidden away in the tiny town of Fritsla, but it's a biiiig shop over three floors with loads of lovely things. They sell home decor and fabric and I wanted everything. No, not really, but I did leave feeling a bit frustrated that I couldn't buy stuff for the simple reason I couldn't fit it in my luggage and bring home to Brunei. I did buy a few small things though, so it wasn't all bad! But seriously, such a nice place!


From their homepage: 

"Specialité; Vrakgods från tidens hav, skönhet i förfall, spillror ur det förgångna"
"Specialties: treasures from the sea of time, beauty in decay, fragments of the past"






This is the place where you are sure you would find a magical amulet, a flying carpet or at least a cabinet with a secret back door to Narnia. It a mesmerizing jumble of super old stuff, 70's lamps and old, dead animals (which I of course do not support. Animals are not ornaments, whether they are alive or dead). You will see things you remember from your grandparents house, thing that you think should actually be in a museum and things you just have no idea what it is. European mixed with Asian, African and then a polar bear head just because. And you can buy all of it, if you have to money. I left with only a leaf-shaped brooch from the 50's but that made me happy so I'm all good. I mean, just looking at this crazy horse/dog/lama in the last picture just made my day, again.

Friday, 2 December 2016

my favorite apps

I'm totally addicted to my iPhone. I love it and it's with me all the time. The reason is not only because it's my way to keep in contact with people on the other side of the world but because it helps me keep track of my to-do's, stick to my routines and obviously, provides an almost indeterminable source of entertainment. 

Here's what my two most used frames of my iPhone looks like. The apps are sorted by function, theme or, in some cases, just color. On the first page I have my social media, photo and entertainment apps, on the second my fitness, list and generally handy apps.  And here are a few of my favorites right now:



Audible
I've used Audible.com for buying audio-books for several years, but only recently downloaded their app. Now I have access to all of my Audible library and just have to download whatever book I want to listen to again from the cloud. The downloading part do take some time obviously, depending on wi-fi connection, but at least I don't have to connect my phone to my computer and download via iTunes. Another drawback is that you can't actually buy books via the app, so I have to go to the homepage, buy the book there (I have a membership so at least I don't have to go through the hassle of paying, that happens automatically). and then go to the app to download it. But still, easier access than before.

BBC news
We don't have any TV channels and don't subscribe to any new in paper-format so sometimes I feel I need something a bit more substantial than the very selective news I pick up via Facebook. This is a great app for that and I notice that I tend to read more Asia-related news bow than before... The stories are quite brief but the app always gives you related stories to click on if you are interested in a topic.




Runtastic
Yeah, running has never been my thing. I've never liked it. But with this app I got a program, a voice that tells me what to do when I'm out and when to do it and it keeps a record of my "progress". It makes running just a tiny bit fun and since I've always like competing at least now I can do it with myself.

Way of Life
One thing I have noticed since I started living this life where I'm home all day and don't have an office to go to is that my routines are completely gone. And I needed something to help with that. This app helps you set up goals for your week - you decided them completely by yourself - and then the only thing you do is you check off the list. Did you do that, yes or no? It gives you an overview of you good an d bad habits and it's actually quite helpful. For me one of the most important one was "brush my teeth twice a day" since I always forgot to brush them after breakfast. Usually I would do that before leaving home to go to the office, but now I just stay home it's so easy to forget! I've actually set a reminder for this one so everyday at 10 there's "did you brush your teeth Annika, did you really?" message on my phone and it works! Other habits I have in there is go to bed before 11 pm 5 days a week (I never keep this one), use floss twice a week (I'm getting better at this one) and running 3 times a week (eeeh, not always).

Dreams diary
I've always enjoyed my dreams, to some extent even my nightmares. They are often vivid, absurd (obviously) and makes me wonder about how my brain really works. Fun though. But lately, expecially since I've gotten the habit to brows through my phone every morning before leaving bed) I tend to forget my dreams as soon as I wake up! This little app, shich is pretty much just a note pad, is a reminder for me to just jot down a few lines about the dream and that is often all I need to remeber the dream later.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

this years whishlist - stuff for our home

Hello December! Christmas month! To be perfectly honest, I have zero Christmas feeling. Not so strange since it's constantly around 30 degrees Celsius here and Christmas isn't celebrated in Brunei, so no ornaments or trees anywhere. But. That hasn't stopped me from starting to buy Christmas gifts and, maybe most important, figuring out what I want to put on my wishlist. I'm not going to pretend I don't love getting gifts. I love giving too, and I'm loving that part more and more for every year, but yes, I'm still quite childlike when it comes to Christmas gifts.

We are going home to Sweden over Christmas and when my dad asked a few weeks ago if I could send a wishlist (yes, we still do that) my initial thought was "I don't really want/need anything" or "it's just going to be a hassle trying to transport things back from Sweden", thinking I finally had grown too old for enjoying the gifts as much as I used to, but then... I started thinking... and for sure there are things I want! I just had to change my mindset a bit from the usual "what would be nice to have" to "what am I really missing" or "what can't I find here that I need". I ended up with a bunch of useful stuff on my Pinterest wishlist-board, and well, after some serious browsing I ended up with quite a few items from the "what would be nice to have" category as well... But that's all right. Coming up with a wishlist is fun in itself, it's not just about getting the stuff. I ended up with so many things on my list that I'm actually splitting this into three separate posts (I know, I'm a greedy little person!) and I'm starting this off today with stuff I like for our home. 

 I chose a "few" things to highlight here on the blog,  maybe to inspire someone else, and while compiling these collages I realized there are a few trends...


1. hanging planters (Etsy.com) / 2.  frame (Lagerhaus) / 3. canvas flower pots (Granit) 
 4. pillow case (Society6.com) / 5. fabric baskets (Lagerhaus) / 6. watering can (Lagerhaus) 
7. golden flower pots (Lagerhaus) / 8. tropical leaf prints (Etsy.com) / 9. banana-leaf shower curtain (Society6.com)



10. poster hanger (Lagerhaus) / 11. Mab Graves print (Etsy.com) / 12. cat mug (ASOS.com) 
13. jewlery hanger (Etsy.com) / 14. mesh hanger (Lagerhaus) / 15. mesh basket (Granit) 
16. Simon Stålenhag print (redbubble.com) / 17. box (Lagerhaus) / 18. flamingo lamp (ASOS.com) 
19. bed side lamp (IKEA) / 20. Bokkei print (Society6.com)

...like how obsessed I am over banana-leaf (and other tropical) prints, that I all of a sudden like stuff ornamented with flamingos. Other than that many things are quite practical and based on real needs, like how I can't find flower pots here, and that I need more frames for posters and prints. Oh, and then the actual posters/prints. I talked about all of these artist in this post, but again, Mab Graves, Simon Stålenhag and Bokkei are just so super talented I want to wallpaper our entire house with their stuff. These three a favorites though. 

Next wish-list post will be all about entertainment, stay tuned!

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?
Blue-green
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
39.
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?
Obviously
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?
Right
45. How many pillows do you sleep with?
One really flat one.
46. Do you miss anyone?
Yes
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!