Sunday, February 23, 2014


  This is an update to the look I made a year ago. The idea and source of inspiration (gorgeous natural minty ice) remains, but recently I found a nicer and warmer fabric for the shirt.

A lighter and more subtle hue of mint mixed with white and a hint of gold. This is one of my favorite patterns, a bat-sleeved shirt. It is easy to make and is a nice change to the usual sleeve fitting. Mint is difficult to find in fabrics, so there is not much to choose from. The fleece pants are the same ones I made years ago. That´s what I love about my wardrobe system, the good pieces endure for years and years, and never go out of style. My personal style that is, not fashion.

This shirt is accompanied generously by natural stone- and glass jewelry. They steer the look away from the 60´s Jacqueline Kennedy and bring ice-like pieces to it. There is quite a lot, I admit, but since the jewelry is like-colored with the shirt, they are not disturbing and add to the whole rather than steel the show. Some are old, some new, but they work together.
These bracelets (and three of the shortest necklaces pictured above) I got as a gift from my dear sister quite a few years back. Another proof that style never goes out of fashion!  =)
As I like to match makeup with the outfit, here I repeat the mint of the shirt in my eyeshadow. I applied it all over the upper lid and around the eye area in general. Then I added medium grey to the outer third of the upper lids to give the eyes depth. Enough is enough, so the rest of the makeup is neutral. On the cheeks I applied beige bronzer as blush, and the lips I covered with glittery clear gloss.
Now this ice faery is ready to go take over the world!  =)

P.S. I need to point out that even with a glittery and shiny look like this one, I don´t give up comfortableness one bit. Did you notice my shoes? Don´t worry, you were not supposed to... It is so slippery here at this time of year with all the ice and snow around, that I´m wearing "safety shoes" with metal studs at the bottom. They grip to the ice so well, that I don´t even notice the weather condition.
  In my style beauty and comfort do walk hand in hand!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


  We have a few upcoming occasions to attend, so I made my nearly-two-year-old a new dress to wear:

An old-fashioned model but in more modern, and perky, color. I bought the fabric nearly a year ago already, and now finally took the time to make it useful. Otherwise bright green would not yet be on the menu, not until Oestara and Beltane. But I know this dress will be useful all spring long.

All sewn-on details. Using a contrast fabric in the appliques gives it a nicely finished look.

The back is quite plain. The tie-band on the neck is the only detail, and I could not find it in green. Darn!

To bind the look together, I added a row of the satin ribbon to the hem as well. Now it makes sense and complements the look.

  The upcoming events are: two birthdays, visiting Granny, and a week-long camp. Looks like we´re in for a mini-series of super-fun!

P.S. The pattern I used for this dress is called "Sunday Visit" from Ottobre Design Magazine 3/13.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


  This look popped into my mind only some weeks back (as opposed to most of my looks, which I have envisioned in my mind for years): a picture of a lady in the summer in the 1920´s, standing on a terrace in the shade, sipping shampagne while chatting with her charming male and female friends. They are enjoying a pleasant Saturday afternoon and discussing politics and their latest holiday trips to exotic places. Life does not get any better than that.
  Here is what she´s wearing (omit the fact that it is winter in the pictures =) :

A true classic beauty;  timeless white blouse paired with wide-legged black trousers. Simple, sophisticated and elegant. This style also brings to mind Marlene Dietrich, but without the drama. In my version the blouse  is made of stretchy off-white jersey, and the trousers of thick black fleece to keep me warm and cozy.

The makeup is almost nude. White is a color that somehow lets the face glow and look pretty without any trying-too-hard gimmicks. Everybody looks good in white I think. All I did here was add glittery white eyeshadow to the inner corner of the eyes, and glittery dark grey to the outer. Blush is beige, and on the lips I applied glittery clear lipgloss. The earrings are my own aromatherapy ones, and they suit this look perfectly with their black-and-white style.

This outfit leans on the blouse, and I exaggerated it´s leading role by adding lots of detail straight on it. There is a row of black-and-white buttons for contrast, surrounded by off-white cotton lace and strips of clear beads. Other accessories are kept to the minimum in order to keep the focus on the blouse.
Often less is more.

  Now looking at these pics, I can actually imagine myself leaning back in an old armchair, having a good book in one hand, and on the other a small glass of sherry...
  In reality, at the moment I don´t  a) have time to lay back in any piece of furniture, b) read books, and c) drink hardly any alcohol. But I can see it happen in the (far) future, once I´m past my rush years. I have all sorts of plans for my retirement years, and while staying healthy and glorious is the most obvious one, reading books is also included. Not to mention an apartment in Florida to escape this cold and dark... =)

Thursday, February 13, 2014


  A big brown paper bag full of root veggies arrived at my doorstep today. Once again my neighbor, the friendliest organic veggie farmer, delivered awesome food to ous: potatoes, carrots, parsnips, root celery, beets, onions, and cabbage (not a root, I know =). Those are pretty much the only fresh, local and seasonal food left at this time of year over here.

  After a few weeks of eating mainly raw veggies, I decided to try cooking for a change. Here´s what I made:

A delicious veggie casserole with coconut milk and a green juice.

The recipe (yields 4): Peel, chop, and sauté the following in olive oil in a skillet: 8 egg-sized potatoes, 2-3 carrots, 1 onion, 1 beetroot, 1/2 zucchini, and 2 stalks celery. Season with salt, pepper and an herb of choice. Butter an oven dish, and place the veggie mixture in it. Pour 1 cup ( 2 dl) of coconut cream/milk over the casserole, and bake in a 350 Fahrenheit (180 Centigrade) oven for an hour. (We went outside to play in snow until the food was done.)
This nettle &  cucumber drink delivers raw goodness to the meal. Last May I collected some wild edible greens from our yard and put them in my freezer. Freezing is my favorite way to preserve greens. To make this drink (for one), I took three sprigs of nettle and a 2 inch (5 cm) piece of cucumber, and blended them in my Vitamix with enough water to make 2 cups (5 dl). To my surprise the taste was so mild, that I did not need to add any seasoning.
  The olive oil and coconut cream make sure this casserole is not something I would call light. But eating a normal-sized portion, which in this case is 1/4 of the batch, will make sure I don´t get fat. When combined with the beautifully green drink, this lunch left me feeling satisfied and energetic. So good, that I ate another portion for dinner! Really nice.


  Sounds just as overly sweet and syrupy as it is, my new outfit to celebrate the princess within me:

The name "cotton candy" comes from the fuzzy & furry material of the shirt (the same fabric I made a shirt for my daughter and a couple of hats of). Very warm for this cold season. Most little girls go through the pink phase, and I believe a tiny spark is left glowing inside us. Imbolc is the time of year to let that spark fire up into flames. Pink on pink: soft and furry pink shirt combined with another pink as skirt, topped off with pink jewelry and makeup. But when done subtly enough, I can pull it off as workwear. The grey and black tone the whole down nicely.

Cute is a rising style in Japan, and they say it is gaining common popularity there. I don´t think that´s ever going to happen where I live, but I´m not interested in that. I care about doing my thing, with thought and style. This look is a majorly toned down version of the awesome, genuine, Japanese Lolita-style. I was inspired by cute anime and Lolita, but made my own modern version of it by streamlining and simplifying.
I´ve always adored striped pantyhose, whether seen them on a random person on the street or a movie character. But never until now have I made a pair for myself. I was positively surprised; they do not make me look like a whale after all. Striped leggings definitely fall into the cute category, even in this murky color.

This was my starting point. Reality does not always match with my imagination, and once again I had to improvise. But none the less, I´m so happy with the end result!
Makeup, cute enough? Pink on the cheeks, lips, and inner lid of the eyes. But all are subtle tones, I do not want to look like a Barbie doll (which still seems to be the "it" look for many)!  Less is often more.

A close-up of the skirt fabric. Coincidentally it is made in Japan, so no wonder it suits the look.
  This is the outfit I wore to our princess weekend, and it worked well. It is more made up than what I usually would wear, and that makes it special. I like variety in my wardrobe, and hate dull and unimaginative looks. Can you tell...?  =)

  Hmm... perhaps I should wear this for Valentine´s Day too?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


  Last weekend I, with my sister and mother, celebrated the princess within us. We took a trip to a wonderland called Frantsila, where we intentionally only relaxed and enjoyed ourselves being lazy.

The main entrance. The buildings are old, oozing the atmosphere of their time. It feels like entering another realm.   The weather was not on our side, but it happens.

Frantsila grows organic herbs and makes heavenly skin- and healt care products based on them. Now their fields are resting, gathering strength for the upcoming summer.
There is a magical pathway criss-crossing around, in and out of the fields and surrounding forests.They call it the "herb route". No herbs visible in February, but I can only imagine what it is like in the summer!

But back to the main thing... These houses accommodate guests from all around the world, all year round.
The sauna. Freely accessible, as were all their marvelous beauty products from foot baths to boob lotions to detox extracts, and everything in between.

More guest rooms in this old lodge.
You can study many forms of alternative medicine and practices here. This room also provides an excellent space for morning yoga classes (which I must admit, I was too tired to attend after watching tv for too long in the evening. Pathetic...? Perhaps, but I figured this princess can do anything she wants to and does not have to get up so early in the morning  =).
Their cute little herb store. I felt like I wanted to buy 80% of the stuff there, but settled for a cook book and a balancing mixture of essential oils to be used with my aromatherapy earrings of course. Speaking of which, will be available in this shoppe in a few days (as soon as I can get the lot ready and shipped). How cool is that? Smart people run the place!
Food was one of the most important reasons we chose this place. Everything is vegetarian, with little or no dairy, and organic and local (if not self-grown) for the most part. And everything is made here in Frantsila kitchen. As a vegetarian/vegan I was in heaven! For once I could taste and chow down everything displayed. A-w-e-s-o-m-e!
The dining room is a cozy nook, where you can eat in peace surrounded by antique furniture and the friendliest atmosphere. The staff makes you feel genuinely welcome and special.
Adorable dried roses, lavender, and other herbs were hung from the dining room ceiling reminded us of last summer. How different this place must be in the summer, with flowers popping up everywhere, attracting butterflies!
  Everyone in our company enjoyed pampering remedies like shiatsu, massage, yoga, or aromatherapy.
  The initial idea was to let loose and childishly have fun playing princess just for one weekend. You know, not having to work, cook, clean or be one bit serious, and to be served and pampered. Frantsila sure delivered! Thank you.
 What a weekend!

Thursday, February 6, 2014


  It´s been six weeks now, that I have eaten raw blended soups and smoothies daily. Me, and my stomach, like!

  This soup is my latest concoction. I had it for lunch today, and loved it.
  I am a health freak, I admit, but only when it comes to "real" food (breakfast, lunch and dinner). I balance it all out by munching chocolate nearly every evening for dessert... =) 

Here is what the "soup" looks like before blending. Imagine eating it straight up like this? Think not!

What Vitamix does to it is like magic. I only added water and a sprinkle of Herbamare on top. Now this plateful I can spoon up in no time.

The result is sooooo soft and creamy.
The recipe (yields 1):

1 medium zucchini (preferably yellow, but if using green, peel it just for color)
1/3 of  a small lemon
1.8 oz (50 g) pine nuts
hot water
pinch of  Herbamare or seasalt

+ Mix all in a blender until creamy. Adjust the amount of water to your liking. Super simple.

  Of all cheeses, this soup reminds me of cream cheese the most. Another version would be cheddar. I think I´ll try that next week, by adding a pinch of turmeric for color, and a little brewer´s yeast for taste.
  When eating blended soups daily, I find it important to vary the recipes enough to keep it interesting. Although I read somewhere that an average person eats only six different types of meals in rotation. That´s not much, but says something about us being slaves to our habits. Hopefully blending will become a habit to me. There is just something powerful, primitive, sexy even, that draws me to raw foods. I can´t explain it. It´s magic!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


  As the name predicts, this hat it cute. Cute is suitable for Imbolc, because this time of year, to me, is all about being newborn and thus cuteness cannot be avoided! It is the beginning of a whole new year, and daylight has just started to increase after the long dark period. Sky is filled with baby blues and pinks, which the white snow reflects and gives contrast to.
  I recently discovered that the Japanese styles Lolita and cute anime are fit for my Imbolc. As a source of inspiration that is. As much as I adore both styles, I could not walk around in such costumes on a daily basis. Does that make me a wuss?

  Well, in the midst of the cold winter this wuss made herself a cute, but warm, hat to wear on daily basis:

Soft furry fabric to keep my brain head warm. The shape of the hat reminds me of a kitten with it´s still round and short ears. The ears of the hat are rather a subtle hint of ears, instead of an exaggerated feature. There is a fine line between fashion and costumes, and I like to stay on the fashion side. Pushing the boundaries, but with style.

Buttons hold the "ears" in place and give them form.

The back is plain. I wanted to keep it simple to maintain stylishness, and let the fuzzy fur take the focus. This hat is really warm. Recently we had temperatures around -4 Fahrenheit (-20 Centigrade) for two weeks, and I had no trouble outside enjoying the weather with this baby on!
  If you like my new hat, well, good for you! I made two extras which are easily available at Nelland Boutique, my little shop.  =)

  And because I happened to have the same material in adorable baby pink, I made a couple more hats of it too.

All the same but in cute baby pink.

This is even cuter than the blue one! Why did I not choose this color for myself?

  I´m so excited about being able to share my best discoveries with y´all through my little shop!
  Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


  I can´t believe it, but I made myself a wardrobe:

We have a (too) big master bedroom, and the extra space has always troubled me. What a better way to fill it than build a custom-fit wardrobe?

It is right next to my bed, so I decided to leave an opening to that end to serve as a nightstand. Now I have generously room for both my clothes, and night time accessories such as wakeup-light, cell phone, glass of water etc. And it was all my own idea, yipee. =)

  The doors... They nearly gave me a headache, when figuring out what kind I wanted, and what I would be capable of making (I have more aspiration than experience in woodwork). Instead of going for the easiest option, making them out of plywood, I wanted to challenge myself and go for what you see above. Wooden frames filled with chicken fence and gathered linen fabric.  I´m very pleased with the end result, considering I´m no carpenter.

 I can easily fit in my seasonal garderobe, by the sabbat, and my year-round Freedom Collection, plus the few pieces of party clothing I have. A true all-in-one wardrobe. There is still even some empty shelf space, but I´m sure it will fill up in no time!  =)

  It took a year to complete the project. It is painfully slow to get anything done when you have a one-year-old following your every step. =)
  I started last winter by making the shelf section. Then I let it rest over the spring and summer, until it crept back in to my mind last fall. The project got a good kick-start a few weeks back, when I was able to stay home alone for an entire weekend, and work on it without disturbance.
  Congrats to me, I did it!

  Now all I need to do is get all of my clothes sewn and ready, and I´m in for the perfect life... =)  Maybe not, but it is a delicious project to work on!

Sunday, February 2, 2014


  It is that time of the month again... Time to check out Nelland Living on!
  Now it is all about mouthwatering, but healthy, smoothies.

  As my eating plan for Imbolc is full of smoothies, I share a few really soft, mild, soothing, and easy-to-eat recipes to get anyone going nuts for smoothies.

  Let´s go!

Saturday, February 1, 2014


  Let me proudly introduce to you Nelland Boutique!

  You can now get a genuine piece of Nelland through my little shop, Nelland Boutique, selling my best ever pieces on Etsy. Prices are low, I mainly want to make this world a happier place. The pieces I share are ones that have made me and my life happier and more content. I hope that will happen to you too. Yipee!

   I´m starting with my recent innovation, aromatherapy earrings:

These pretty bows I introduced to you earlier. There are more colors available in my shop, check them out.
These are a more modern-looking earrings for aromatherapy/scenting.
Clever hollow metal earrings...
...which can be filled with different types and colors of yarn to hold the essential oil in. Two different styles available.
  I love these earrings so dearly I wear them daily! Altering the scent of essential oils with my mood. Try and fall in love! They make an excellent gift idea too.

  The selection of items in the shop will vary, depending on what you like and what season it is. We´ll see what the journey will be like. Help me help you, by spreading the word! (I have no budget for advertising... =)

  Welcome to Nelland Boutique! Let´s enjoy life together! That´s the purpose of the whole thing anyway!  =)