Christmas Spirit

Hey guys!

Long time no see. A few months back I said yes to an opportunity to develop my company and since then a lot of doors opened and all my awake time has been dedicated to these projects. I’ve been working at events, planning events and attending to events to learn more about what possibilities I have with this. It has been stressful, but fun and worthwhile. You’ll probably find out more about this if you continue to follow me here, but today I want to do something different.

Even though November and December always seems to be the most stressful time of the year for me, I’m a big fan of Christmas and the season fills me with a happy spirit, despite all stress that I’m not able to avoid.

Yesterday Martin and I, both took a day off to celebrate his birthday and decided to spend it on a Christmas market and do some shopping for our first Christmas in the new flat. The Christmas tree will have to wait for a few more weeks, but some Advent decorations was in place. I’m keeping today’s post short and just share some pictures of the Christmas spirit that’s spreading around our home at the moment.

Christmas Spirit

Have you made any Christmas posts yet? Post your links in the comments. I’d love to read them! 

Little Christmas Eve

Good evening,
The day before Christmas Eve, is something we Swedes like to call Little Christmas Eve. When I was younger this was the day we got our Christmas gifts from our parents, before we changed that to Christmas Day.
Anyhow, we still always do something together on Little Christmas Eve. Today we ate some of the favorites from the Christmas table, and played Bingolotto. This is a bingo game on tv, that is shown every week, but we only watch the Christmas special. We never win, but it’s taking part that counts, right? And the best part is that I can crawl up in the couch in my lovely PJ Salvage pj, with Christmas dogs on it, that Martin gave to me when we were in New York.
I also got two little gifts. The first one was a Lush gift box that was given to me from the company I work for. Martin was kind enough to drive by my job to pick it up from my boss. The second gift, from Martin himself, was a big bag of my favorite candy.
My last project of the day was to make knäck for tomorrow. Knäck is a sort of candy that needs to be eaten on a Swedish Christmas. Toffee with almonds, and it has become my job to make it every year. It tastes yummy!

Do you have any traditions for this day of the year?

Christmas Inspiration | Gift Wrapping

Hi,

We’re getting closer and closer to Christmas, and the past few days I’ve been spending quite a lot of time on the gift wrapping. This is something I love to do and put quite some effort to every year. Some more advanced than others. I tend to buy quite a lot of gifts, and this year I have my boyfriend and his family to gift to, so there is a few gifts under my tiny tree.

If you’re not done with all your wrapping yet, and needs some inspiration to get going, this post is for you. I haven’t taken pictures of all my gifts, but I have collected some to show. I am not the person that uses one or two different kinds of papers to make it all match under the Christmas tree (it never would anyway with six people putting their presents there). I like to mix match and give every gift their own identity. Enjoy the pictures, and if you’re interested, read my thoughts bellow.

1. I love using miniature ornaments on my gifts. It’s an easy way to show extra effort. If you look carefully at the picture you will also see a golden net under the red ribbon. One of my favorite wrappings this year.
2. I like to save small pieces of paper from other presents to use as a mat under the ribbon. An easy, and cheap way, to give the gift an extra touch.
3. Sometimes less is more. Just a little bit of ribbon, to show the beautiful paper with the reindeer.
4. Again, less is more. Just a simple bow to go with the old fashion Santa paper. 
5. No Christmas without glitter! Sometimes I like to go out of the box and not only use the traditional colours. This year I had no choice when I found that beautiful bling ribbon, and blue and pink where the only colours left.
6. Old fashion is beautiful. Here the traditional brown paper with God Jul (Merry Christmas) printed on it. 
7. Another way to wrap the ribbon around the gift. Still with focus on the really cute paper.
8. I always have to make one very special gift for my sister to open up. It’s tradition! This year with double mats under the ribbon, laces and ornaments. I’m sure she’ll like it.
9. The last gift was actually wrapped about three years ago. It was my contribution to the Christmas gift game. My Grandmother decided this was her gift and worked really hard to win it. She did, saved the box, put a present in it and gave it back to me for my birthday in September the following year. For Christmas I filled it up again and gave it back to her. We’ve been doing this ever since. It’s getting a bit nagged, but that’s part of the charm.
What do you think? Do you have a favorite from the ones above? Or a nice idea to share? 
Let me know in the comments! 

Christmas tag

Good evening!

I’ve been catching up a bit on my favorite blogs these past days and was inspired to do a Christmas tag. I’ve seen a few different tags out and about and have picked my favorite questions and mixed them as some answers might explain an answer further down in the tag. Hope you enjoy it!

Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

In Sweden Christmas Eve is actually the big day. For my family it means that we gather with grandparents, aunts, uncles an cousins in either my family’s house or at my grandparents, just before 3 p.m. That is the magical time of the year when Donald Duck’s Christmas starts. It has been a tradition for generations, and a change in that is a very sensitive subject for all Swedes. During the show we eat all sorts of cookies and mulled wine or a sort of Swedish Christmas root beer. (Or coffee for Grandpa).

When the show is over we talk for a bit during the last preparations for the dinner is being made. Our Swedish Christmas smorgasbord contains pickled herring, salmon, eggs, ham, meatballs, chipolata sausage, potatoes, red cabbage, Jansson’s temptation (a gratin of potatoes and anchovy), mackerel in tomato sauce, brussels sprout… The list goes on forever.

After the dinner, Santa usually comes to visit for a few minutes before it’s time for the Christmas gift game. (Read about it in this post if you haven’t heard about it before) During the game we of course eat all the candy we’ve made.

When the game is over and all presents are opened, it’s time for the rice pudding, hoping to find the almond! I tend to find the almond every year and always win the glory and a box of chocolate. (Last year my grandmother put a second almond in the pudding to give everyone else a chance too. Guess who got both the almonds? Yup, that was me!) Then we just sit for a few hours and talk until everyone is ready to roll home.

Christmas seems to be all about the food, but we do have a lot of fun with all the loved ones as well. I’m sure you all know the drill!

Do you open your presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

As I just wrote about, Swedish Christmas is on Christmas Eve and that is the time when I get, and give, my Christmas gifts from Grandma and Grandpa. I don’t get all of the gifts then though.
On Christmas day it’s just me, my parents and my sister and brother. This year my boyfriend will join us too, since he has become a part of the family now. In the morning everyone is laying their last hands on the gift wrapping, maybe writing a last gift poem and such. For lunch/early dinner we eat the left overs from the Christmas Eve dinner and as soon as it gets dark outside we gather around the Christmas tree to give each other our gifts.

Do you like to stay in your PJ’s, or dress up for Christmas?

For Christmas Eve I always dress up, but Christmas day is usually PJ’s all day.

Which do you like better, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

This one is impossible to answer! I love Christmas eve with everyone around me, and I love the quality time I get with my closest ones at Christmas day. But ever since I was a child there has been something special with Christmas Eve, and I do get to meet family that I don’t see every day so maybe a little advantage for Christmas Eve.

Have you ever built a Gingerbread house?

I did sometime when I was younger. My mother built it and we helped with the decoration. Me and my sister have been talking about building one for years, but we never seem to find the time with everything else that we want to do.

What do you like to do on your Christmas break?

It has been years since I had a Christmas break. Working in a store, Christmas is the most busy time of the year. But since I’m not working this Christmas I look forward to just relaxing, watching movies and I really hope for some snow to play in!

What’s your favorite Christmas meal or treat?

This is a really tough one, but I do love the Christmas ham so I think I’ll have to pick that. Or my Father’s toffee.

What’s your favorite holiday movie?

This one was easier! The Grinch! No Christmas is complete without watching it at least once.

Have you ever made a snowman?

Yes, of course! I love building snowmen. One year I built about 20 tiny ones. I wanted to build the whole soccer team that I support.

Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
I think my childhood Christmases over all. When my parental Grandmother and Grandfather was still alive, my cousins’ parents were still married and everyone was gathered at our house. At that time when Christmas was only magic, because you weren’t aware of all the stress that it can bring as well. I LOVE the preparations and Christmas as it is now, but there’s still something special about Christmas as a child.

Favourite Christmas gift?
I’ve gotten so many lovely Christmas gifts through out the years, but an all time favorite is the season tickets to my football games. It’s a gift that lasts for a whole year and bring loads of memories for a lifetime. Also, it’s one of my father’s favorite gifts to give, for the same reasons, and as happy I am to receive the gift, I am to see the joy in his face as he hands it over.

What tops your tree?

Well… I guess this is where most people answer a star, or an angel, or a spire. It used to be a star. But this year my dad helped decorating the tree.

What’s the best part about Christmas for you?

I think that the best part of Christmas for me is everything Christmas is supposed to be. With all the tittle-tattle of Christmas gift, the preparations, the food, all family close and the natural joy in everyone’s eyes.

Hope you found this post interesting. If you have any special Christmas traditions you’d like to share, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Christmas Inspiration | Nail art

Hi there!

Just about one more week, then it’s time for my favorite season of the year! I’ve always loved Christmas, but the past few years I’ve been working crazy the weeks before and after, so the Christmas spirit hasn’t really been there as I wish it to be.

As you may know I used to suffer from panic attacks as I was younger, and with everything that has been going on in my life lately I haven’t been feeling very well. When I woke up in panic this Monday, and felt my heart beating in a rushing pace I decided to call the doctor. I know I’ve been stressed out for a while now, and I know my head and body well enough to know that this meant it was time for a break. The doctor put me on the sick list, and I won’t be going back to work until the 4:th of January. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, because in one way it feels like giving up, but I also know that it was the right thing to do and it will help me come back sooner.

Anyway, as I got a bit more time on my hands I’ve decided to go all in on Christmas. I will get my time to relax, and I have all the time I need to make nice wrappings, make candy and decorate for a lovely Christmas.

Today I’m going to show you my Christmas nail art. I found these lovely stickers from Allura in London this summer, and even though it wasn’t the right season I just couldn’t walk past them. Aren’t they lovely?

For this look I’ve used Chip Skip from OPI. This was something that I found in New York that is supposed to make the nail polish last longer. Really look forward to see if it works. As a base I’ve used Second Nail from Isadora, and as a topChina Glaze First and Last. Both colours are from China Glaze as well, and are defiantly my Christmas favorites, 182 Ruby Pumps and 1261 This is tree-mendous. Love all the sparkles in them!

So what do you think of my Rudolph nails? Let me know in the comments bellow! 
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Christmas in October

Merry Christmas!

Our lovely days in the woods are now over and it’s time to go back to reality again. Christmas have been wonderful and we can’t wait for the real Christmas with the whole family.

First night we decorated Gingerbread cookies to hang in the window for decoration during our stay. Everyone enjoyed it and made some beautiful creations. The focus was on top, as you might see on the pictures.

 The morning after we got up really early for a few hours drive to a big wholesale store. We did find a few Christmas gifts and some things to M’s apartment. I don’t know any other guy that would go there voluntarily, and not complain once! M is kind of great, I must say.

For dinner we made a traditional Swedish Christmas table. Or sort of, we took a few of our favorites that was doable at the time. Meatballs, sausages, eggs with mayonnaise and shrimps, potatoes, mackerel in tomato sauce, beetroot salad… And of course a few picks of candy with chocolate, oranges and marshmallows shaped like tiny Santas. It all tasted like Christmas is supposed to do. We only missed the ham, and the meatballs should be home made. And all of Grandma’s cookies.

 

 After dinner we played the Christmas gift game. In case you haven’t heard about it I’ll run the rules quite quick. Every contestant bring one, or a few gifts, for a given amount of money. They should be wrapped nicely. It’s more fun to see everyone fight over your gift. Everyone around the table takes turn to throw a dice, a six and you get to pick a gift. Do NOT open now! When all gifts are taken, one person sets an alarm clock on a secret time (usually around 15 minutes or so, depending on how many people taking part). The dice keeps walking around, but now when you get a six you get to steal a gift from someone else. When the alarm rings you get to keep the gifts you’ve won.

 We finished of with some hot chocolate before we went to bed, and today it was time to go home and work for a few hours. Overall it couldn’t have been better. It was so relaxing and, I think,  very much needed for all of us, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some sort of mini-Christmas again before it’s time to celebrate for real.

Hope you enjoyed reading about our little celebration!

Christmas is here!

Hey!

Almost done with my packing. Tonight I’m taking two of the people I love the most, my sister and my boyfriend, to our cabin for a few days of Christmas!

In Sweden Halloween is not a very big thing. They sell a few pumpkins in the store for decoration, and there might be a few kids doing Trick or Treat, but not much more than that. The next big holiday here is Christmas and we are excited! 

We all work hard and could use a bit of relaxation. We all love Christmas. No one else is on the same level as we are yet, so we thought, ‘Why not go away for a couple of days’. And now it’s all in for Christmas. (Don’t worry, we will not go with all this until December. It will be packed down in boxes for a month or two after this. We just want a pre-taste.)

Tomorrow we will go to a big discount store, a few hours by car from the cabin. I think everyone in Sweden knows about this place, and people go there from all over the country. We will see if we can find some things for M’s appartment (since I’m pretty much moving in one step at the time) and if we find some Christmas gifts we will purchase them now.

If we find some gifts we will wrap them tomorrow night, watch a Christmas movie, eat Christmas inspired snacks, play the Christmas gift game and just have a cozy time.
Have you started thinking about Christmas yet?