Friday, October 31, 2014


 It is finally here, the photos of the lingerie and evening wear shoot I did in August. The very reason that forced me to start exercising (even a bit =).

First some of the usual, a.k.a. with clothes on.

And then the picture I was so scared of! But it turned out okay, considering I had not done any exercising for ten years, and I´m pictured next to a fitness model seven years younger than me who has no kids. =)
  Thanks to this photo shoot I now do some exercising and feel more confident with only lingerie on!

Thursday, October 30, 2014


  Don´t let the rawness of this soup fool you, it is delicious! And suits the Halloween table well.

Dreamy and creamy, absolutely suitable for non-raw-foodists too.

No clumps or bumps, only smooth and fluffy delight. No salt is needed in the making, this is a naturally sweet soup.

  The recipe (for 1):

1 lb (500g) carrots
1 avocado
1/2 inch (1 cm) piece of fresh ginger
fresh basil

+ Juice the carrots (makes about a cup). In a high-speed blender blend the juice, avocado, and ginger until creamy smooth. Sprinkle generously with chopped basil.

  The first time I ever made this soup I was lazy and skipped the juicing part. Well, it was edible but far from the deliciousness of this one. Juicing is definitely worth the extra dishes!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


 Each day of the week has a mood of it´s own in the plan I have designed for my girl´s garderobe. "Nostalgic" is the feeling I´m aiming for with this Thursday outfit for my 2 1/2 year-old. You know, like in the 40´s and 50´s when cardigans and skirts were the basic apparel for girls and young women.

  Although I´m not all for pink, I´m not all against it either. Perhaps every little girl can wear some pink every now and then, but not in a too mushy kind of way.  =) This one is bright and fun.

A classic cardigan and a skirt. The cardigan is streamlined, and is in fact just a shirt with a row of buttons sewn on top. The skirt is made of stretchy cotton jersey and is sewn together with the tights, so that they share a waistband. That way the skirt won´t twist and turn on her, but stays in place no matter how wild she gets!

Buttons repeat the dark brown of the leggings... does the neckhole edge. The brown binds the outfit together giving it a finished feel.
    No ribbons, bows, ruffles, or anything romantic or too cute, and a girl can surf with style in pink!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


 My stomach has gotten picky lately, so I´ll have to make some changes to my usual eating habits. It is unhappy with cooked vegetables, nuts and seeds (much fat in any form), and legumes. I don´t know why, and how long it´ll last, but for now I need to replace those foods with something else.
  So here is a brand new, healthy and slimming, eating plan for Samhain, with a new perspective. It now includes some organic dairy and even fish once a week.

 9.00am Breakfast:
 a cup of green tea
 a green pudding made with leafy greens, fruit, and vegetables

Green pudding made with dinosaur kale, zucchini, banana, and water.

1.00pm Lunch:
a cup of water + 20 drops of Echinacea extract
raw-food meal + an avocado, or 3.5 oz. (100g) cold smoked salmon (once a week), or 7 oz.(200 g) cottage cheese

A sample lunch of veggie dip, the sauce made with either avocado or organic sour cream.

4.00pm Tea:
a cup of green tea
a generous cup of flavored yogurt

Yes, dinner is really this simple, a bowl of yogurt. This one is apple & cinnamon flavored. It provides some fat, protein, and good bacteria for the gut, and acts as dessert for the day. Going cold turkey with sugar does not work for me. This much I allow myself.

7.00pm Snack:
a cup of green tea
1-2 apples

9.00pm Nightcap:
a cup of herbal infusion + soymilk
(and raw vegetables if hungry)

Saturdays: feel free to eat your favorite foods!

  This plan bases on one I created when I was sixteen, and lost nearly twenty pounds with it. I was way too skinny then, but luckily soon I left for the U.S. for a year as an exchange student, which fixed the problem more than enough. =)
  I use Erica Palmcrantz-Aziz´s book to guide me with the daily lunches. It keeps the menus varied and interesting without having to think for myself. =)

  I hope my stomach will agree with this plan, as it did twenty years ago. Wow.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


  Even if I did not have kids, I would like the house to be set for Halloween. Change is always welcome, and exaggerating fun is essential, and it lifts up spirits for us all. Here´s what we have in our kitchen:

A little goes a long, and a stylish, way. I don´t like layers on layers, instead keeping it simple and letting the few selected things catch the eye. Sometimes less is more.

The little pumpkin is grown by my sister, and the spider candle holder I originally bought for aroma lamp use. But after I invented aromatherapy earrings a year ago, I have not had the need for aroma lamps anymore.

Somewhat tacky, but fun, jack o´lanterns.

  Also we enjoy listening to Halloween radio to further get into the mood. And it works!

Friday, October 24, 2014


  May I present to you, my whole artistic Mabon fashion collection!

"Oliver Twist".
"50´ Cheerleader" (the garments were pulled right out of storage for this picture, that´s why the creases.)
"Scottish Plaids".


"Turning Leaves".

 Cool, now I´ll always know what to wear, and I´m all set for the Mabons to come!

Thursday, October 23, 2014


  The fifth outfit in my Mabon collection is inspired by the magnificent natural change of color in leaves in the fall. On a sunny day, when sunshine hits the beautiful yellow, orange, and red trees, it is probably the most gorgeous landscape over the course of a year.

This picture is from a couple of weeks back. By now nearly all leaves have fallen off, so it was about time got finished with this last outfit. =)
This color combo hits the nail to the head. Dark, murky green pants coupled with an earth-toned warm yellow shirt repeat the colors of nature around Mabon. I made the pants really wide (could I go any more against the grain of fashion? =) and the top snug to show off the female figure and balance each other.
 Considering that my Mabon begins in the first half of September and lasts through the later half of October, the 3/4 length sleeves are handy. In the beginning it can be still very warm, and in the end, like today, it can be below freezing and first snow flakes dance from the sky. The beads I´m excited about. I´m new to using wire in beading, and love to surprise myself on how each necklace turns out.

The trick of this outfit is actually the connection between the necklace and makeup. I used copper and green in both.
A snug top does not mean skin-tight to me. But it needs to sit well, while still leave some room to move in. This is my all time favorite basic shirt pattern, which I´ve used for nearly a decade (still in the same size too =).
Makeup: light shimmery green on the inner 2/3 of the eyelid, shimmery copper on the outer 1/3, and black mascara on curled lashes. On the cheeks I added medium beige blush (which in reality is actually a bronzer for darker skin tones) and on the lips coppery lipstick. The same colors as in the necklace. The leaf-shaped aromatherapy earrings are like cherry on the cake, unfolding the whole idea behind this outfit.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


  Once I was able to travel around Romania in fall, and it was breathtakingly beautiful! The tour took me through the capital Bucharest to the countryside, where I visited monasteries and local homes, and of course awed the gorgeous Carpathian Mountains. 
  What struck me the most was that most houses had numerous apple trees in their yards, and the size of the fruit was unbelievable. So large, great in number, and deliciously perfect-looking. They also commonly grew other foods too, like corn, and many houses had a cow and a horse. Horse carriages were a more common sight than cars in the countryside.
  And the people! So confidently stylish in their old-fashioned clothes. I watched them with admiration. The women wore floral dresses and a scarf around their hair, and the men had on straight pants, a collar shirt, and a type of hat, like a mini-stetson. It felt like I had rolled back in time about seventy years. Awesome!

  Romania left such an impression on me, that ever since I have longed for a similar dress to what the women there wore. And now the time has come. Here´s my tribute to Romania:

I made my dress way more streamlined than theirs, but we live in different cultures too. The fabric is rather busy with all the flowers around it, so I kept everything else to a minimum. No collars, buttons, or pockets. Nor big show-off pieces of jewelry.

The pattern is new, and this dress is the first one I´ve ever made with it. The style is more loose than in my earlier patterns, and that´s the reason I wanted to try this. For years now fashion has been exaggeratedly wide on tops, so I figured I´d give this a try for a change. Time will tell how it works, but so far it feels good, and is a nice change to my dresses.

Makeup is natural, only using different shades of brown. While the real Romanian belles might have chosen bright red for their lips, I opted for nude beige lipgloss. But I chose bright red for my earrings. Red roses with white pearls are such a classic over decades, that they complement this traditional look well.

  Thank you, Romania, for inspiration, showing me your beauty, and teaching me your way of life! What an awesome experience.

P.S. The pattern I used to make the dress is from here (number 14).

Sunday, October 19, 2014


  Alike all of my outfits, this one also comes from my imagination. It is an image that has formed in my head over the years as a result of all the things I´ve seen so far.

  Why I associate green plaids with the Scots, I do not know, but this style suits Mabon so well, that I need the look in my collection:

A dark green kilt-like mini-skirt with a tweed top.

I was sooo tempted to make a miniature beret of the skirt fabric, and attach it to a headband or something, but it would have made the look too costume-like. So instead I opted for a regular woolen dark brown beret, which repeats the color of the pants nicely binding the whole together.

The outfit consists of several smallish pieces, the shirt, mini-skirt, and pants, so I added only earrings as accessory. And remotely imitating a kilt, it is also somewhat masculine, so loads of jewelry did not seem appropriate.

Makeup is surprisingly colorful (which once again does not show properly in the pic, but take my word for it =) to balance the muted brown in the tweed-like jersey top. I added bright light green on the inner 2/3 of the moving lid to repeat the green of the skirt. It is of different hue, but green nonetheless. Then the rest of the face is accentuated with different types of brown. Medium brown on the outer 1/3 of the moving lid, beige blush on the cheeks, and beige lipgloss. The earrings are, naturally, my own aromatherapy ones made of coppery metal and white wool.
  This outfit replaces the kilt one I made a couple of years ago. The skirt back then ended up twisting around me as I moved, being a drag to wear. What I´ve done different this time is sewn the skirt straight on to the waist of the pants, so it is impossible for it to twist and move around.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


  As much as I resent exercise, I have stuck with my workout plan. But since the weather got cold again, I did some changes to it. No longer do I only go jogging and walking, I added a trampoline to the schedule too.

  Cold weather makes my lungs hurt when breathing heavily, so jogging outside does not feel good anymore. Instead, I walk briskly (and still jog down the hills to keep the heart rate up) to achieve that same approx. 130 kcal I did when jogging. This I try to do three times a week.

The weather outside these days rather draws energy than gives it to me. Not tempting at all.
   In place of jogging I now jump on my mini trampoline. It really saves me. Now I can still get a good workout, but in warm air, and I don´t even have to get a babysitter to do it!
  What I like to do is get up an hour before my daughter wakes up, jump up and down like crazy for half an hour, take a shower and get the whole biz of exercise out of the way before the day actually begins.

I set up the trampoline in our bathroom along with a laptop and get going. I enjoy watching clips on YouTube, which is something I otherwise never have time for.

  Up and down, up and down! This is more fun than running in the cold, dark rain. I have picked up some moves online to keep the half an hour more interesting.

  Three times a week is what I try to do with this one too. I can mostly get there.

  For someone who has never exercised in her life I consider this a major change in lifestyle. From zero to six times a week, plus Pilates once. Well enough for me!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


  This is my latest creation, a pair of delicate aromatherapy earrings perfect for all fall looks (especially for redheads):

Made of copper-colored, allergy-tested and nickle-free jewelry metal, red wool, and glass, these beauties will cheer up any gloomy and rainy fall day. I enjoy rosemary essential oil with them to make every day the best day ever. 
  The earrings are now available on Nelland Boutique (and make an excellent X-mas gift idea too!).

Monday, October 6, 2014


  Most of the clothes I have made for my girl lately have been quite girly. So now for a change I wanted to dress her in unisex, all around cool and classically stylish, clothes. But as always, comfort and coziness first.

A pair of soft & stretchy corduroy pants coupled with off-white and light grey jersey shirts. A true staple in anyone´s wardrobe.

This fabric was found in my old stash.
The sleeves bear a small detail so it´s not all that boring. =) But in a unisex outfit you have to be careful with details anyway, so that it still suits boys too.

Pants are made of a leftover piece from these leggings.
A wide zig zag works lots better than a twin-needle in my sewing machine, giving a more stretchy result.

This fabric is another leftover piece, but from my mom. Now I realize that this whole outfit is made of recycled material, so I can proudly call it a piece of "ragshion" (a term I discovered in all my cleverness =) some time ago). The sleeves are slightly cropped.
I turned the sleeve pieces inside out, so the reverse side of fabric is shown on the outside. The color is the same, but texture is super-soft and somewhat fuzzy. It creates a subtle change in the otherwise plain look.

  Lately I have sewn so much for my kids, that I´m running late on my own Mabon Collection. Better hurry up before the wheel turns again...!

Friday, October 3, 2014


  It´s all out there, just go grab it - for free. Forests are full of wild, natural, food at this time of year.

Mushrooms for lunch.

And lingonberries for dessert.

  More specific how-to on my column Nelland Living. Check it out and get out there!