Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Market In France

The market in Annecy, France, is a real treat. To go there with a couple of girlfriends is even more of a treat. I was lucky enough to do this "girls-day-out-in-France" last weekend. YAY! Unfortunately the weather was not the best but this picturesque little town made up for the cold and grey sky with its cute narrow streets, colorful buildings and wonderful atmosphere. I just could not have enough of its beauty and charisma. This was my first visit here, but it won't be my last.

We left early in the morning and took our chance to have a traditional French breakfast at a cute café, indulging in croissants and brioches with hot chocolate. We wandered the market streets of the old town chasing treasures and I was very tempted to by a vintage crochet granny square throw... I saw it and had this vision of it belonging to a charcoal grey sofa of 2016 in a modern flat somewhere in Stockholm. I thought this crochet blanket would make a great interior design statement in a trendy home like that, bringing life and character with its vibrant colors and homespun style, linking the old with the new, the past with the future... I didn't buy it. It was only 40 Euros (!!! All those hours some lovely lady has spent making this blanket...), but I don't own a modern flat in Stockholm and I don't have a sofa of the latest 2016 model... So the blanket was left behind for someone else. I kind of regret it... Isn't it beautiful?

By noon the streets were packed and we escaped into a French restaurant for lunch (Eating out twice in the same day, WOW!). We had such a great time, purchased a few items and the day passed by way to quick. I'll go back there any day for yet another treat.


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Monday, November 28, 2016

First Of Advent

Pattern: Wilma's Winter Set by me.

Everyone slept in on Sunday morning and I was first up at 8 am. I immediately started to prepare some Christmas porridge. Soon after Emmy Bo came downstairs and we took out the advent chandelier. Candles, moss and mini toadstools. That is pretty much all you need. And the traditional advent chandelier of course.  Later we continued to put up decorations while listening to Christmas carols.

We walked the woods behind the house in the afternoon, my littlest girl, me and Jay, then there was tea and ginger cookie house making time. It was our first attempt on building a ginger cookie house. A store bought set from IKEA had to do. It worked out pretty good, but I think we have to work on the icing a bit. We struggled to get the right consistency and found it really hard to make swirls and pretty decorations. Any tips? Maybe we need at real piping tool? Make a special icing?

This morning Luca and I lit the first advent candle while having breakfast. Everyone else fast asleep as we are the early birds here. 6.30 am we get up and 7.30 am he is off to school. I enjoy those quiet mornings in the dark. Especially now when lights are in the house making it all cozy and warm.

Happy First Advent everyone and may your week be a really good one. Do you have an advent chandelier as well? Or what is your tradition?

Note: Crochet scarf and hat pattern: Wilma's Winter Set by me.


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Friday, November 25, 2016

Swapping Screen Time to Forest Walk Time

As in so many families, our kids are glued to a range of different screens throughout the day and although the sun is shining I find it hard to get them outside on the weekends. It was so much easier when they were younger. Then you could just buckle them into their car seats in the car and take them to a playground, forest or park to rumble around. Then you could tell them to go outside and play, and they did. Because Mama said so and Mama is in charge.

At 9, 12 and 15 it is a different story. Letting go of the constant parenting control, to give my kids freedom to grow into adulthood and allowing them to find a balance between screen v. real life time, is a bit of a challenge. We struggle. We do. Just like many of you do too. I know I'm not alone in this and that is kind of comforting, but the situation is still very frustrating. I've written about it before (here and here) and I'm sure this is not the last time this topic will be mentioned on this blog.

So what can we do? We are swapping Screen time to Forest Walk time. Jay is good at getting the kids to come along on walks in the woods or just getting outside in general, especially on weekends. This last Sunday we took the girls out for a walk in a precious Woodland reserve called Le Bois De Chaine. It is so beautiful there and we used to go here often when the kids were younger. I think it has been a few years since our last visit.

We had a great time! With the sun out and a mild wind we could watch the tree tops flapping like chop sticks above us. Super cool. And on the ground we found beech nuts (watch this super cool little video I found on You Tube) to Emmy Bo's delight. She loved picking, peeling and eating them. It says they are slightly toxic when raw, but I think you would have to eat quite a lot for any toxic effect. ;) Let me put it this way, Emmy Bo is still very much alive after eating dozens. :)

We found a mountain creek that we haven't seen before. We stopped to listen and watch it for a while. I want to come back in spring when it is wild and full to the brim with mountain water. Then I'll put on my swimsuit and jump right in! And the kids too! We will scream and laugh and feel so alive! Afterwards I want to have hot chocolate and cinnamon buns all wrapped up in warm towels and blankets. That would be quite an event, don't you think? I bet there will be pretty spring flowers all over the place as well. Oh yes, I'll be back here in spring for sure.

And just a last few words. THANK YOU all for your fantastic support. This blog post was supposed to come up earlier this past week but I got to busy reading all your comments on my previous post. I'm so happy to be a part of this fabulous community and incredibly flattered but your admiration, encouragement and sweet words (big sigh and red cheeks....) I'm looking forward to many more deep conversations in this place. I'm sorry if I haven't replied to you all but you should all know that every word has been read multiple times and put a great smile on my face and it is not rubbing off yet. See you all around and have a Happy First Advent.


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