Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thursday, May 14, 2015

SAUTÉED WEEDS

  I´m all nuts for wild edible greens now! It´s been a rainy spring, which apparently has made the "weeds" grow luscious and generous. I´ve been collecting them almost daily with my three-year-old daughter, trying to pass down the knowledge. =)

  Today I boiled the first new potatoes of the season and served them with sautéed wild greens and tofu for the whole family.

A pan full of the most nutritious and natural greens ever, straight off our yard (we never fertilize).

This time there´s goutweed and fireweed, seasoned with fresh chives and lovage from the garden.
The recipe (serves 2-4):

4 cups (1 liter) freshly picked mild-tasting wild edible greens
a bunch of chives
a few leaves & stems of lovage
2 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
soy sauce

+ Chop the greens and lightly sauté in a skillet in little olive oil with the garlic.
  Serve over potatoes (or rice or pasta) and drizzle soy sauce over it.

  Super healthy, nutritious and free of charge! Can it get any better?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

AROMATHERAPY NECKLACE

  I have been asked a lot about aromatherapy jewelry for those who do not have their ears pierced. Well, here is the solution: aromatherapy necklace!

Now available on Nelland Boutique!



  It took a lot of research to find the proper type of pendant, because I want all my jewelry to be first and foremost be safe to wear. Essential oils are so strong, that I do not want to risk their contact with the skin.
  This pendant is solid in the back, so it will not leak any oil when in touch with clothing or the skin. The front is abundantly cut open for the oil to evaporate through, while still protecting clothes from staining.
  I fixed the pendant to the middle of the chain, so that it always stays in place, keeping the lock in it´s place in the neck as well.

  I welcome this new type of aromatherapy jewelry to my collection with open arms! On days when I want to wear teeny tiny stud earrings (on which it is impossible to add essential oil), I can now boost my being with aromatherapy via my new necklace! Cool!

  Check out more on Nelland Boutique on Etsy!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

FREEDOM FASHION: THE WHITE TEE

  A white t-shirt is as basic as a shirt can get, and a staple in any garderobe. Here´s my version of it, the long-sleeved way.

Worn casually with a pair of jeans, this look is a classic. What it does best is showcase the bearer´s own characteristics, by being so plain itself. I go with a super natural look with minimal makeup and accessories.
Couldn´t help adding a small twist to it... =)

The right side seam is longer than the left, and is then pulled together with a strip of elastic band, stretching the band while sewing.
The wrinkling effect goes around the waistline giving detail to the back too.

To maximize the glowing light effect of the bright white fabric, I wear minimal makeup with this shirt. Only off-white matte eyeshadow on the inner corner of the moving eyelids, a little mascara, and clear lipgloss.

Here´s the reason why I never wear bright white at home...  =)
  A classic white t-shirt, especially when fitted rather tightly, is an eternal fountain of youth. It simply looks fresh and energetic, and makes a timeless pretty staple. Me like!

Monday, May 4, 2015

BELTANE BLAST- SALAD

It is that time of the year again - wild edible greens time! Super charged with nature´s own vitamins and minerals, they are a true superfood. Eating wild, non-cultivated foods is the most environmentally friendly way to go, not to mention nutritious!

This bunch is mostly goutweed, with a few leaves of dandelion along in it. To chop it, I first rolled it into a tight ball, and then simply sliced/chopped it thinly with a knife.

Young, fresh white cabbage is another of Beltane´s treasures I crave each year. Compared to the "usual"/old head of white cabbage, this is more leafy, mild tasting, and less fibrous. Slicing it with a knife works well for making a salad, whereas the old heads need to be shaved or grated.

Mixing the two greens and serving with organic, home made rye & spelt bread makes a powerful lunch that´ll provide strength and happiness until dinner time.
  The recipe for the salad (serves two hungry people):

2 cups of mild-tasting wild edible greens (or 1 cup stronger ones)
1/2 head of fresh, young white cabbage, finely sliced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 clove of garlic, minced
black pepper to taste

+ Toss and mix in the seasonings. Serve.


  The recipe for the bread (makes 12 pieces):

2 cups water, slightly above lukewarm
1 cup wholemeal rye flour
1 cup wholemeal spelt flour
3 oz. (10g) dried yeast
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup cold pressed sunflower oil (or other mild tasting kind)
more spelt flour, until a soft dough is formed

+ Combine the first six ingredients, mixing well. Add the oil and then more spelt flour until you get a dough you can easily roll onto a baking sheet lined oven tray with a rolling pin. Sprinkle a little flour onto the baking sheet, roll with the pin to cover the whole oven tray. Take a fork and poke some holes into the dough so it won´t rise high in the middle, then take a pizza cutter and roll three lines vertically and two horizontally over the dough, so once baked, it is easy to bend the slices apart from each other.
  Bake at 400 Fahrenheit (200 Celcius) for 25 min.

  Today I had this with bancha tea, and felt healthy and invigorated afterwords. I think I´ll make it my Beltane staple from now on!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

FREEDOM FASHION: ZEBRA DRESS

  I wanted a black ´n white dress with print. That´s all the plan I had when heading for the fabric store. I found this unusual but subtle zebra cotton knit fabric, that I fell in love with right away. For once shopping was easy!

The texture is quite rough, but the fabric still feels comfortable to the skin and breathes so well.
I surprised myself by choosing to make a dress of the zebra print, because at a first glance it calls for a shirt. When accessorized minimally, the look stays casual yet interesting.

This outfit is a great place to wear my new MBT walking shoes (yes, I know they were a hit ten years ago, but to me they still rock  =), which also dress it down.

Instead of being cut on a straight fold, the center back seam sculpts the figure slightly. The weather is still mostly cool here (I´m even wearing my winter coat still), so I made the sleeves in 3/4 length to keep me warm enough.

With natural makeup and a pair of sleek earrings, this look makes a great staple for work. 
  Two funny occasions took place today, when wearing this dress.
  First at work a colleague of mine came up to me complementing my dress, and telling me she has made a sweater for herself of the exact same fabric! I mean, what are the odds to that?
  And then second, after work shopping for groceries, an elderly gentleman came to talk to me, calling me a princess, and telling me how I looked prettier than the newly selected Miss Finland... What a joke, but we both got a good laugh and he made my day. By no means do I think of him as a perverted weirdo, who ought to go where the sun does not shine. Just the opposite! It´s awesome how he spread a positive and playful tune around him. We need not be so serious all the time, even with strangers!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

TEATOX

  I don´t ever recall doing a detox in my life... (if a poor try on Master Cleanse twenty years ago does not count as a detox, it´s more like a fast). My outlook is merely a continuous overall healthy eating, not a diet or detox.

  BUT now I ran into this "teatox", which sounded so subtle and easy that I decided to give it a go. You know, just for fun and to see if it makes me feel any different. For a tea lover like me, a teatox sounds just perfect. =)

The duration is four weeks, during which you drink a refreshing cup of herbal tea right in the morning to kickstart your day, and another the last thing in the evening, every other night, to ease you into a good sleep.

The teabag fills up as it soaks in hot water, and there´s enough flavor to make two cups of tasty brew.
  If there´s any internal clarification or soothing effect on the way from this teatox, I welcome it with open arms. If not, at least I´ve been able to enjoy numerous cups of delicious tea!



Saturday, April 11, 2015

PROJECT SUMMER HOME

  Finally we got our hands on the main cabin at our summer home! It is about time to renovate it, we´ve had it for nearly four years now. Easy does it, we´ve learned. Living in and getting to know your property is the key to successful remodeling.

  The ice finally melted off, and we were able to go there by our boat. It actually feels like summer season has started already!

Looking at this picture of our boat bay, it also looks like summer too! But in reality, it was only a bit above freezing...

Signs of spring have arrived here too.

Flag up to show summer season has started! Yay!


The project begins. This is the main room, I guess it could be called the living room. So far we´ve already taken down the old bunk beds and half paneling on the walls. The bunches of panels are awaiting installation.

Originally this room was the kitchen, which we turned into a bedroom two years ago. Now it is getting another makeover.

When it comes to survival in cold and windy weather, something´s got to give. In this case it is style... =)
It was not all springy sunshine, we also got cold rain (and occasional sleet).
An unfortunate creature on the shore...
I got a tip from a Kentuckian friend of mine to try out Jack Daniel´s. Wow, so different and tasty from the Scottish or Canadian whiskies I´ve tried before. Really yummy, and surprisingly girly. Me like. Thanks Carl!
I was actually able to be helpful!

After two days of work. We built a whole new bedroom and added a window to it too. Now there are two bedrooms, in which three of us can sleep (we´ll see where the fourth one will end up... on the couch maybe?).

This is the first bedroom after makeover (the one that used to be kitchen.).
The new, second, bedroom. Here the color of the walls is quite close to the original. We used breathable and non-toxic wood wax for finishing the wood paneled walls.
In between the bedrooms we were able to squeeze a tiny toilet. It will be an eco-friendly waterless one, but more about it later.
  Phew, that was a lot for one long weekend! Now we just can´t wait for the next one!!!  =)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

THURSDAY TORTILLAS

  Thursday and tortillas rhyme and swing, making my Thursdays as healthy as these vegan and low-fat tortillas are delicious. It is still a weekday, not yet time to indulge in unhealthy and hard-to-digest party foods of weekend. Especially this weekend when it´s Easter!

A complete meal. Marinated veggies and tofu as the filling.

As much as I like to eat home-made foods, tortilla bread is one thing I cannot do. It always ends up either too thick or too thin, and it always tears apart (I use wholemeal spelt flour for the dough). So this is one place where I take a shortcut, buying them ready from the store. I figure that filling them with fresh, fibrous vegetables adds up to a lunch on the healthy side overall. It´s okay to aim for perfection, but it´s also okay to understand it is impossible (and inhuman  =).

  The recipe (yields two big fajitas):



1/2 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1/2 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1-2 tomatoes, halved and then thinly sliced
5 mushrooms, thinly sliced
3-4 kale leaves, finely chopped
6 oz. (200g) firm tofu, cubed

Mix all with this marinade:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp soy sauce
black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1 small clove garlic, minced
cayenne pepper, to taste
a squirt of raw honey

+ Let sit in room temperature for 15-30 min, mixing occasionally.
  Ladle on tortillas, roll up and enjoy.

  If you like yours more creamy, some plain (soy) yogurt or avocado do the trick well!

  This is my version of the always gorgeous Mimi Kirk´s fajita recipe from her book Live Raw. She is such an inspiration!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

NORI POPCORN

  The first full week of work is behind now. It´s mostly been about learning new routines and timing them correctly. No biggie.
  I´ve also come up with a new recipe for quick fix munchies, when coming home after work with a growling stomach; nori popcorn.

Home popped corn with sea salt and dried nori sprinkle! A surprising combination I craved one evening, and found addictive. This stuff is actually healthy too!
The recipe (yields approx. 3/4 gallons/3liters):

a snug cup (2dl) dried corn kernels
4 Tbsp cold pressed sunflower oil (nice and mild tasting)
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp green nori flakes

+ Pour the oil in a big kettle/pot with a lid. Heat up on the stove until it steams lightly, then add the corn and immediately close the lid! Once the corn begins to pop, lower the temperature slightly and keep popping until there´s a couple of seconds silence between the pops in the end. (It will only take a few minutes altogether.) Remove from the stove and let sit with the lid on for a few minutes. Remove the lid and sprinkle in the salt and nori. Toss and serve!

  The popcorn stays well in room temperature for days, but naturally it is at it´s best freshly eaten.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

EASY COCONUT COOKIE BALLS

  I love baked flour foods, but am not a miraculous baker. Probably so because I don´t have the patience to knead and wait for the dough to rise many times over, and I like mine healthy, not loaded with white flour and extracted added gluten.

  These coconut cookies were a big hit at my daughter´s birthday party recently. Since I made them for others, and to be served in a party, I made them with regular white wheat flour. But when I make them just for myself and my daughter (the rest of my family can´t/won´t eat them), I use freshly home ground whole spelt flour.

The cookies are formed into balls, so there is no need to roll the dough even once!

The dough itself is not super sweet, but the cookies are dipped in powdered sugar once baked. It adds both, appeal and apparel. I personally found it hard to stop eating them... luckily the recipe makes about seventy cookies. =)
 The recipe (makes approx. 70 pieces):

250g room temperature vegan margarine
1,5 dl + 2 dl powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
5 dl wheat flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
5 dl dried shredded coconut
(small splash of soymilk if needed)

+ Preheat oven to 175 C. Whip up margarine and 1,5 dl powdered sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla sugar, flour and salt. Stir carefully. Add in the coconut and stir once more, adding a bit of soymilk if the dough is too dry.
  Roll out little balls, about 2 cm by diameter, and place onto a baking sheet layered oven tray. Leave some room for the cookies to spread in the oven. Bake until the balls have become only slightly tanned, about 10 min. Be careful not to burn them.
  Dip the cookies in powdered sugar once cooled down. Serve cold and store air-tight.

 (Original recipe called "Snowballs" from the awesome Raisa Kettunen´s party food book "Puputyton Juhlakirja".)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

FREEDOM FASHION: DARK BLUE PRINT DRESS

  Wow, it´s been a while since I´ve sewn for my Freedom Collection, but it is still alive and kicking!

  This dress is brand new, and I even wore it to work yesterday, on my very first day back after maternity leave.

The fabric is super comfortable and quite stretchy viscose-like material that drapes well. The pattern I used to make the dress is the same I used for the light blue one for Imbolc, but now I added an inch wide elastic band to the waist for some definition.

The print is so dominating that the outfit does not need further accessories. The shoes give it a more sporty and relaxed touch.

Makeup is natural and fresh. Matte off-white and medium grey eyeshadow, warm pink blush, and sheer nude beige lipgloss polish off the look.
  Funny thing is that while my Freedom Collection was initially designed for off-duty days, now I strongly felt like wearing this dress to work. Perhaps it is out of humbleness. When I was a kid, we moved a lot, from one city to the next. When I was nine, I went to three different schools, all in different places. It was tough, but it taught me an invaluable lesson of what it feels like to be an outsider, the new kid. And back then I learned it´s best to cultivate some humbleness in the beginning. You know, sort of check out the mood and situation of the place before really letting myself loose. Like they say "you gotta know the rules before you can break them".

Thursday, March 19, 2015

EATING PLAN FOR OSTARA

  This plan leans on whole grains, veggies and legumes. The baseline drawn from macrobiotics, but including less salty foods, as they tend to make me retain water. Also noticeable is that I´m returning back to work (tomorrow!), so speed is another important factor here.

8am Breakfast: 
2 cups (1/2 liter) kukicha tea with soymilk
3 big rice cakes with coconut butter and honey

Pasta and bolognese cooking up for on Monday. Two kettles, one for whole wheat pasta and the other for gluten-free kind for my son.

12pm Lunch:
2 cups (1/2 liter) bancha tea plain
Mon: pasta bolognese (with tvp=textured vegetable protein crumble, not meat)
Tue: vegetable-flat breads
Wed: tofu stir-fry & brown rice
Thu: tortillas with beans
Fri: pizza (vegan & low fat without cheese)
Sat: pancakes (including finely grated veggie like carrots)
Sun: miso soup with tofu

Creamy oat porridge with raisins and mulberries.


4pm Dinner:
2 cups (1/2 liter) kukicha tea with soymilk
oat porridge with raisins/honey/jam

7pm Supper:
apples

  The times given are merely approximate, and need to be adjusted to each day´s needs. This eating plan acts as a strong stem when planning my grocery shopping list. If I want to improvise, so be it, but with this in mind I won´t have to do the daily pondering of "what shall we eat today".


Monday, March 16, 2015

OSTARA EARRINGS

  These are the latest additions to the selection of my aromatherapy earrings. Designed and hand made by me, of pure wool, metal and glass, these earrings upgrade any look with a touch of sophistication. Pastel colors suit Ostara/spring perfectly, while white and blue suit any season.

  
  All available online on NellandBoutique, only 20 euro/pair (including shipping + handling worldwide).
  Needless to say, a pair of aromatherapy earrings make an excellent and unique gift idea!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

NETI YOUR NOSE

  Neti is a sort of a bottle or a pot designed for rinsing your nose, on the inside that is. Now that the pollen season has started, it is an excellent time to pick up this refreshing method of cleaning your body more thoroughly. It clears out the nose internally from small particles we inhale daily, like dust, mold, tiny flakes of skin, pollen and other type of allergens floating in the air.

All you need is a pot and a measuring spoon for salt (which are sold together).

Unraffinated seasalt is recommended, and lukewarm tap water. Mix them up, and off you go!
 I bought my neti pot nearly ten years ago, and am a bit ashamed to admit I have not used it regularly, not even annually... =(  But now I dug it up, and have been using it every single evening for a week. I can tell a difference, it really cleans the nostrils, and makes them feel more open. Ever since my childhood I remember having more or less of a stuffed nose, with one side or the other always somewhat swollen/clogged. Using the neti pot has relieved those symptoms, and it feels good knowing I´m doing something good for my body.
  Here you can watch a demonstration of how it´s done.