Cobalt Blue and Bright Green

January 30, 2015 § 2 Comments

In general, even though blue is my favorite color, I’m not a fan of bright blue. (I’m definitely a greyish blue person.) This combination of cobalt blue and prospering, green plants by Vicky at Living Four Seasons is stunning, though:

Vicky at Living Four Seasons blogpicture403

I especially like the saturated colors against white and pale wood tones. Just lovely! Great job, Vicky!



Diamond-Pattern Wallpaper

September 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

This wallpaper makes my mouth water:


Harmony wallpaper by Ellos; image by Heidi Lehto.

Harmony wallpaper in black by Ellos; image by Heidi Lehto. The diamond pattern makes a surprisingly good-looking wallpaper. I especially like this blue version:

Ellos Harmony Blue Wallpaper

Harmony wallpaper. Ellos.

What’s not to love – my favorite blue combined with a watercolor-like effect. πŸ™‚

And why does it make my mouth water? As us Scandinavians know well, this kind of diamond pattern in black & white is often used in salmiakki (salt liquorice) packaging, like this one below:

Fazer salmiakkipastillit


Curses! Now I’m craving a particular, chewy Halva salmiakki. Or super salmiakki by Fazer. Mmm…. Salmiakki is definitely one of those tastes of home that you can’t get in the States. Or if you can, it’s not the particular type you want at the moment, or you have to pay an arm and a leg for it. Gnnnh. Ohwell.

Special Dinner: July 2014

September 8, 2014 § 2 Comments

For the 2014 special dinners, Mr. E suggested we should look at some of the less often used cookbooks in our household for inspiration. July’s dinner actually came from two cookbooks, not one: Pam Hoenig’s The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook and Chocolate Ecstasy by Christine France.

Jul 2014 Special Dinner

As starter, we enjoyed a clam, corn and sausage chowder, made with fresh, local corn. Mr. E roasted the corn on the grill before cutting the kernels off to put in the chowder. I was pleasantly surprised at the resulting smoky flavor. The combination was delicious!

The chowder was followed by chicken with olives and artichokes. It was a paella or risotto-like dish with calamari kalamata olives and chicken from a local farm. Unfortunately, the olives rather overwhelmed all other flavors, but I’d imagine it would be very yummy with regular canned olives.

For dessert, Mr. E made a sumptuous black and white chocolate mousse. Smooth, rich and refrigerator-chilled perfection. Ahh!

Jul 2014 Table

I used a combination of colorful and white dishes and a yellow-orange Marimekko poppy runner for a simple yet summery table. (And forgot the napkins. D’oh!)

This dinner was fantastic! We’ll have to try the chowder in the winter with frozen corn to see whether it’ll come out as delicious as with fresh corn. I hope so!

And now that I’ve finally posted July’s special dinner (hello there, procrastination), it’s time to do August…

Everyday Photo Challenge: 4 of 5

April 12, 2014 § 1 Comment

Everyday photo challenge! Photograph and post a detail from your everyday life once a day for five days.
If you want, you can invite a new person to join in every day.

Here’s my day four:

Daily Challenge 4of5

Most days our kitchen island is full of computers and snaking cords.

Previous days: One. Two. Three.

SUPER Kitchen with PANGcake Recipes and All

February 28, 2014 § 2 Comments

This made me laugh out loud:

Super Kitchen

Photo: Patrik Hagborg; found via Desire to Inspire.

From a Swedish home. Photo by Patrik Hagborg; found via Desire to Inspire.

Seems I have pancakes on my mind this month. πŸ™‚

Happy weekend!

November and My Happy Things

November 7, 2013 § 1 Comment

It’s November. It’s cold and dark. It’s time to think about things that make you happy.

The only thing better than tea and a good book is tea in a Jane Austen themed mug and a good book… πŸ™‚

Tea mug

Brookish on Etsy.

Mr. Darcy proposal mug by Brookish on Etsy.

AAAaaaah, books!

Falling Book Bookend

Art Ori Design.

By Art Ori Design, from Design My World.

Keeping warm with wool…

Leg Warmers

CozySeason on Etsy.

Leg warmers with traditional Nordic star pattern by CozySeason on Etsy.

…and keeping warm with the help of a fireplace:

Painted Logs

Karen at The Art of Doing Stuff.

Karen at The Art of Doing Stuff. Although at this time of the year, I prefer a functioning one. This is such a cheerful idea, though, that it’s worth remembering. Kudos, Karen!

All the stuff above is immaterial, though, compared to my life with Mr. E. This academic year, he is up for tenure. It’s been a stressful process for him – all the paperwork, statements, various documents, evaluations both in person and on paper, and copying said paperwork in – gosh, I don’t even know – triplicate? Quadruplicate? This week he had his tenure meeting. The committee did recommend to the powers that be (= people above them in the uni. administration) that he be tenured. Hooray! Now we have to wait for the official decision, which should come some time in the spring, we’re told.

There is no doubt in my mind that you deserve tenure, Mr. E. Your insight and patience – and yes, geekery – make ancient history accessible for your students and so much more than names and dates. The world would be less if you weren’t teaching.

Wedding Day

(Our wedding day over 10 years ago. Gosh, aren’t we young!)

I’m so, so proud of you I’m gonna burst! πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€

Special Dinner: October 2013

November 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

Mr. E decided on doing special dinners with a color theme this year. When Mr. E was little, he associated months with a combination of two colors (much like his colors for weekdays). His aim is to make dinner with ingredients that are naturally as close to each month’s colors as possible; food dyes are right out for this project. October colors are black and orange.

Orange was not that difficult, but black was almost impossible. For an appetizer, Mr. E made a pureed squash, carrot and sweet potato soup. Then we had home made sushi, and ended the meal with chocolate chip cookies and milk.

Oct 2013 Special Dinner

I was very impressed with Mr. E’s sushi. He filled them with roasted squash, carrot, and sweet potato (leftover from making the soup) plus smoked salmon. The seaweed wrappers looked so dark they read black in the late afternoon light. The really nifty touch was to use some cooking water from the squash to color the rice. The color wasn’t very strong, but there was a definite hint of orange.

Oct 2013 Sushi Plate

Another colorwise impressive feature was our drink: dandelion wine that we picked up at a local farm. It looked very yellow, if not orange, especially against the orange table setting.

Oct 2013 Dandelion Wine

The wine tasted very different. I think we ended up calling the taste vegetable-y. I don’t think it will be a favorite, but I’m glad to have tasted it.

Black wasn’t only difficult for food, but table setting as well. (I seriously don’t like black. Living in New York City desensitized me a bit, but I do not like it. at. all.) When Mr. E announced his color theme for this year’s special dinners, I decided I wouldn’t buy anything new for the project. So, I had to cheat to make the black and orange table work.

Oct 2013 Table

I made placemats from cardstock, which was a little too painfully orange to go with our dishes. To tone the color down a bit, I made β€œwoven” overlays from paper strips on the orange and brown spectrum that I cut out of magazines. Our small paisley plates had just enough orange to play into the color scheme, but other than that we had to do with white dishes and glass. The yellow napkins also toned down the intense orange of the cardstock placemats and went with the orange Marimekko poppy fabric runner.

Our black and orange dinner was, all in all, a success. I hope we both got our brains in good shape for problem solving, for November will be even more difficult: silver and grey. Oy vey!

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