Sofia Vendela

Kategori: Christmas

What I got for Christmas

Hello, luvs!

Christmas has just been and I thought I'd join the trend and write a "what I got for Christmas" post. This isn't me trying to brag, nor me trying to make anyone else feel bad nor superior. I just thought it would be fun to share since I so enjoy seeing what others got and want to show appreciation to those who've given me something!

There are a few things that I haven't included, either because I've eaten it, forgot and left something out or received it after I collected these shots. I also received some money and a few books that I'm looking forward to reading! And as I'm writing this I am realising that I forgot to include tea that I've received... one box from Vetekatten and another from T2 from Australia.

I got some lovely luxury slippers and a robe

This Parisian style mirror pre-1900's

LUSH products

New sheets and duvet in Swedish sizes

And a new computer (!!)

 

Love,

Sofia

 

My Outfit on the Streets of Sthlm

Jacket - Vero Moda, Pinafore - Urban Outfitters, Polo - H&M, Boots - Vagabond, Bag - Michael Kors, Hat - ASOS

As you've seen in a previous post by now, Ida and I met up for coffee and to exchange Christmas presents! We had so much fun and could've gabbed for hours but I had to take the tube to Arlanda airport to pick up my dad, first time I've seen him in almost six months and it was a lovely reunion. I hope you are surrounded by your loved ones this Christmas and have had a merry season!

 

Love,

Sofia

My Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas, lovelies!

I just got home from Uppsala and have collected all my photos from the last two days (the 24th and 25th) into a rather long post for you guys so that you can get a little bit of Christmas joy and insight into how my family celebrated Christmas in Sweden for the first time in eight years. Enjoy!

Thanks for the figgy puddings from Haigh's, Eve! Missing Haigh's chocolate so much right now!

Our little breakfast on Christmas eve morning for gift giving within the family

My Christmas eve eve tradition, a Lush bath with gingerbread, "julmust" and a movie, in this case, I watched a Fawlty Towers called The Germans.

The aftermath

Such an empty tree post gift giving

Misha looking cute as always, loving the wrapping from my Christmas present

Then, we headed to Uppsala for "julbord" with mum's side of the family and secret Santa, so much fun!

Finally, we all headed back to a family members house to give out gifts and enjoy some mulled wine and Christmas sweets

We all slept over and enjoyed more family time around the breakfast table with sandwiches, Christmas ham, juice, yoghurt, coffee and tea

I hope you are all merry and bright and have had a lovely Christmas season!

 

Love,

Sofia

My Christmas Outfit

Dress - ASOS, Shoes - H&M, Tights - Lindex, Earrings - Lovisa

Oh my Christmas is here! I'm having such a wonderful day with presents, several cups of coffee, a little chocolate figgy pudding and family time with mum and dad. I hope your Christmas is also incredible (and if you celebrate on the 25th), I hope it will be. Merry Christmas readers!

 

Love,

Sofia

Christmas Fika with Ida

Hello and Merry Christmas lovely people!

I'm writing this on the twenty third and yesterday, Ida and I met up for coffee and pastries at our favourite Vetekatten cafe. We took the time to gab over everything that has been happening for the last few weeks and exchanged Christmas presents. (Thanks for the lovely gift, Ida).

I just got an Asos order with this baker boy style cap that I'm loving, despite the fact that its a little small... One size does not fit all.

We are true coffee lovers and Vetekatten's coffee cups are larger than my head so its a perfect fit!

Look at this gorgeous lady! Loving those earrings.

We celebrated with a saffron bun and blueberry bun along with splitting a cheese sandwich, yum!

Thanks for the lovely present, Ida!

Ida opening the present I got her

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas, you get the gifts you want but most importantly, that you are surrounded by those you love and those who love you. Merry Christmas!

 

Love,

Sofia

Delicious Hot Chocolate Recipe

- Ingredients -

1 cup milk

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1 to 2 tbsp sugar

1/4 tbsp vanilla extract

a pinch of salt

 

- Method -

The method is suuper simple! Whisk the milk in a pan with the cocoa, then add the sugar, salt and vanilla extract. If you want, this is where you could also add peppermint extract, chilli powder or a cinnamon stick, whatever flavour you're going for. Pour the steaming hot cocoa into your cutest mug, top with some marshmallows, whipped cream (I didn't in the pictures) and a touch of cinnamon and enjoy!

 

Love,

Sofia

How to be Stylish in the Cold

Merry Christmas, luvs!

Christmas is almost upon us and if you're in the northern hemisphere (or the actual north), then it's going to be pretty cold where you are. One of the worst things about winter is the fact that its so cold so you can't wear any cute outfits and jeans and a t-shirt is always your go to. That's why I thought I'd compile a list of some tips and tricks to stay extra warm (but still manage to be stylish) this winter.

 

Layering

Layering has been a huge trend this autumn during fashion week and continues out of necessity into winter. An idea is to start with something tight (like a shirt), then throw on something warm (like a sweater) before you grab a warm and insulating winter coat. Another idea is to go invisible. By that I mean is instead of layering over, layer under your outfit. Wear tights under your jeans, layer socks (or buy proper winter socks), wear a thermal top under your blouse or bike shorts under a skirt. When it comes to layering, it is customisable, it's difficult to give ideas since everyone's wardrobe is different. Just try to assess your outfit and see what isn't going to be warm enough.

 

Focus on accessories and details

When your whole outfit is going to be almost the same every day, it's time to look to accessories, jewellery and the small things for assistance. Add a sparkly choker or thin scarf to you grey t-shirt n jeans, find an eye-catching bag that isn't the same colour as your coat, wear frayed or reconstructed jeans, put on some statement earrings, find a pair of cute boots, apply red lipstick, do your hair in a 60's half up-do with a scarf. The options are endless, you just need to be creative and think what would suit your style and what you already have in your wardrobe.

 

Experiment with hats

This is a simple one but to many (including me), not an obvious one: hats. There are so many hats that have had their moment in autumn that can still be gorgeous with a winter coat. A favourite of mine is the baker boy (or marine) cap but classics include the broad-rimmed hat beanie and beret.

 

Wear thigh highs

 

I love skirts. They suit my style really well and give me a silhouette that I want. So when winter rolls around, you bet I'm figuring out a way to still be able to wear my American Apparel tennis skirt. One solution is to wear thigh highs, whether it be socks or boots (or both), finding a warm pair of socks that you can wear on top of a pair of tights keeps you just as warm (if not warmer) as jeans.

 

Invest in a proper jacket

When about 90% of your outfit is covered by a big jacket, it makes sense to invest in something proper yet fashion forward. However, this really isn't as simple as it sounds since finding a gorgeous jacket that is also wearable, timeless, incredibly warm and something that you'll use in three years is very difficult. Try to look at the material of the jacket you're buying, along with the stuffing and length of both its arms and body. Try faux fur if you're feeling crazy or how about focusing on the cut like a trench coat, parka jacket, peacoat, cape or wrap jacket. Otherwise, black is a classic that I always go for but if that isn't for you, try something like a brown, navy or maybe a subtle plaid. Crazy I know. Although these colours may be boring, they are practical and will work with all your clothes. A unique colour is super fun one year but the next year you could be tired of it so before you invest, make sure it is something you'll love for a long time.

 

Scarves and gloves

Scarves and gloves shouldn't be forgotten since a coat can only cover so much of your person. Investing a little extra in these proper accessories is very important since you'll be wearing them every day for at least three months. Finding a more expensive scarf in a proper material will be so great when it's minus 18 degrees outside and your soul is weeping. Since I go for black jackets, i like to pick up a grey, cream, beige or dark muted orange for my scarf. With gloves, you want to do the same, find a pair of insulated gloves in a proper material that will keep your fingers toasty all winter. Hope it helped!

 

Love,

Sofia

Gingerbread Recipe

- Ingredients -

 

3 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp ground ginger

1 3/4  cinnamon

1/4 ground cloves

85 g butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 cup dark syrup or molasses

2 tbsp vanilla

 

- Method -

 

In a small bowl, whisk together baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves until well blended. In a separate bowl, beat butter, brown sugar and the egg on a medium speed until well combined. Then add the dark syrup and vanilla and mix again. Add in the dry ingredients until smooth. Divide the dough into two sections and wrap each half in glad wrap. Let it sit at room temperature for between 2-8 hours or overnight. While the dough is sitting, preheat oven to between 175-200 degrees (celsius) and prepare two baking trays with baking paper. Start with one-half of the dough and roll it out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. Cut out the biscuits with cookie cutters as desired and place them on the parchment, a few centimetres apart. Bake each sheet in the oven for up to 9 minutes (or until dark brown, not yet burnt). Allow the gingerbread cookies to cool so they'll firm before decorating with icing. For that, mix together icing sugar, egg whites and a little lemon or vinegar. And you're done, enjoy!

 

Love,

Sofia

Cosy Christmas Tag

Hey, lovely people!

Christmas is in less than a week (!!) and I thought I'd do a Swedish Christmas question tag. I know that I have a lot of readers outside Sweden so parts of this may make no sense to you. I did my best to translate the questions but some words had to remain in Swedish and even if others are in English, be prepared to google because I had to. You can think of this as an opportunity to learn more about Swedish Christmas traditions and/or a way to find new traditions for yourself.

 

Gingerbread or saffron buns?

Oh god I love both! home-made gingerbread though, I'll eat saffron buns from anywhere!

 

Marshmallow Santas or toffee?

Toffee (or knäck). I still like marshmallow Santas but only if they've been open for a week and get a stiff texture, not at all like marshmallow.

 

Ice chocolate or marsipan?

Marsipan figures. Ice chocolate usually has a weird texture.

 

Meatballs or sausages?

Meatballs over "prinskorvar".

 

Christmas sausage or Christmas ham?

Never had either so I prefer neither.

 

When do you want the first snow to fall?

It snowed first on November second and it's snowed several times since then but I'd love to wake up to snow on the 24th, so maybe on the 23rd or 22nd?

 

Salmon or herring?

I don't like fish so neither.

 

Brawn or paté?

Oh god no.

 

Paradis chocolate or Aladdin chocolate?

I really don't have a preference, chocolate is chocolate and I just do my best to consume all of it.

 

Spareribs or "Janssons frestelse"?

Janssons Frestelse, if it's without the anchovies.

 

Mulled wine or "julmust"?

I love both so it depends if I'm in the mood for something sweet and hot or cold and fizzy.

 

Beetroot salad or "dopp i grytan"?

Never had "dopp i grytan" so beetroot salad. Preferably just regular salad though tbh.

 

Ris a la Malta or rice pudding/porridge?

Porridge. I'll eat it all year round.

 

Home or away?

Home with family, maybe a Christmas party at our place with relatives and friends.

 

"Mysteriet på Greveholm" or "Sunes Jul" Christmas calendar?

I've only seen the recent Mysteriet på Greveholm, not the old version. If we're speaking pre-2000's, I love "Pelle Svanslös".

 

Sweden or abroad?

Sweden. I've been abroad too many times during Christmas.

 

Give or get gifts?

I love to give people gifts! But sadly this year, I really haven't had any free time and it's just been a stress factor.

 

Chocolate calendar or present calendar?

A chocolate calendar I think.

 

Fake or real tree?

Real, I love the tradition of going to a tree farm and picking the perfect one.

 

Arne Weise or Ernst?

Ernst 100%

 

Have you ever had a green lawn during Christmas?

Yes. Several times in Sweden and every time in Australia. Well.. we didn't have a lawn but hey...

 

When du you decorate for Christmas?

The first of advent, so in the last days of November.

 

Is there anything negative about Christmas?

Since school finished the 21st, I don't have enough time to enjoy it by buying gifts, listening to music and watching Christmas movies. Instead, I'm writing essays, studying for tests and heading to school every day.

 

Favourite Christmas film?

Love actually.

 

Favourite Christmas calendar?

 Lassemajas Detektivbyrå and Hotell Gyllene Knorren.

 

Are you satisfied with Christmas when it's over or do you want more?

I'm often sad when it's over, you really grow to miss the season when you've been surrounded by it for at least a month.

 

When do you open your presents?

 

In Australia, we did half of the family's gifts on the morning/afternoon of the 24th and exchanged some with our friends in the evening when we'd have our Christmas party. Then we'd do the other half in Aussie style on the 25th and do some other friend gifts when we'd celebrate with an Aussie Christmas at someone else's house. Since this is my first time celebrating Christmas in Sweden since I was seven, I'll have to guess that we will be doing everything on the 24th.

 

Favourite Christmas scent?

Baking gingerbread, Christmas LUSH bath bombs and mulled wine with almonds and raisins.

 

What creates the most Christmas mood?

There are so many things! Baking Christmas treats with a good Christmas movie in the background or watching "Luciafirandet" on the 13th with the family and saffron buns.

 

What is most important about Christmas?

To appreciate, to slow down and take a break by just enjoying the season with those you love and whom you feel loved by.

 

Love,

Sofia

 

Little Black Party Dress

Dress - Misspap, Shoes - H&M

At my school, we have an event annually called a house supper. This is where everyone from that specific house, dresses up black tie style in minus 2-degree weather and heads to school for a dinner with school friends and acquaintances alike. Since I felt like I really missed out on something last year, I really made sure to go this time. Although I was seated at a table with no one I knew, the evening was lovely due to the atmosphere, lovely decorations and my new favourite dress (as seen above).

 

Love,

Sofia

Christmas Outfit Ideas

Relaxed yet Chic

 

Christmas Party Outfit Idea
 
 
Classic Cut

Delicious Knäck Recipe

- Ingredients -

2 dl whipping cream

2 dl golden syrup

2 dl granulated sugar

1 dl chopped almonds

2 tbsp breadcrumbs

2 tbsp butter

Paper toffee moulds

 

 

- Method -

Mix cream, syrup and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil without a lid. Stir occasionally and leave it on the heat for 15 to 30 minutes. You'll know that the toffee is done when it succeeds "kulprovet". Do this by pouring a little of the mixture into a cold glass of water, let it sit for about a minute before trying to roll the toffee into a ball. If the toffee is firm and moldable, take it off the heat. Add the almonds, breadcrumbs and butter before stirring. Divide the mixture between the toffee moulds and let them solidify. And voila, enjoy!

 

Love,

Sofia

 

Saffron Bun Recipe

Ingredients

200 g butter

5 dl milk

2 packets (1 g) saffron

1 sugar cube

1 packet (50 g) yeast

a pinch of salt

1 dl sugar

3 tbsp luke-warm water

2 eggs

15 dl all purpose flour

1.5 dl raisins + raisins for garnish

1 egg for brushing

 

Method

Melt the butter, pour in the milk and make sure it's luke-warm at about 37 degrees. In a mortle and pestle, grind saffron and the sugar cube before adding it to the mixture. Crumple up the yeast in a bowl and add sugar, salt and the water before you stir. After, pour in the saffron milk, add the eggs and mix again. Leave out about 1 dl of the flour for powdering your surface and dough later. Mix in raisins and the other 15 dl of flour. After the dough is properly combined, cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave it to rise for 1 to 1.5 hours. While the dough is rising, turn the oven to 260 degrees and cover two baking trays with baking paper. When the dough has risen, place it on a floured baking board and knead it lightly. Separate the dough in half then divide each of those into four pieces before dividing those into four separate pieces. Roll out each dough piece and make an "S" shape before popping it on a baking tray. Garnish the buns with two raisins and let them rest for about ten minutes. Brush the buns with egg and put them in the oven for up to eight minutes. Let them rest under a towel. And voila, enjoy!

 

Love,

Sofia

Lovely Adventsfika

Last Saturday, I had a few friends over for "adventsfika". We had a wonderful time and were absolutely knackered when we'd finished gabbing over tea, mulled wine and sweet treats like saffron buns, marzipan figures, gingerbread, toffee, ice chocolates and such.

 

Love,

Sofia

Winter Tag

Favourite winter nail polish?

I like a classic white or dark warm red

 

 Favourite winter beverage?

Well, I do love coffee but for a seasonal flare, I love to go for Nespresso's Christmas capsules. Other than that I also love mulled wine with almonds and raisins along with julmust.

 

Most worn winter clothing pieces?

Probably my black winter jacket from Vero Moda and my black American Apparel tennis skirt

 

Most worn winter accessories?

My gold Brandy Melville ear jackets that look like two arrows, my black mocha choker and my black Vagabond Chelsea boots.

 

What are your plans for the holidays this year?

 

I'm planning on working, writing for this very blog and spending plenty of time with family since my dad is coming up fro Australia. I also want to enjoy the holiday season by Christmas shopping, watching Christmas films, eating Christmas treats etc.

 

Favourite winter scent/candle?

Recently, I found a lovely cinnamon candle from Lagerhaus for about 59 SEK, such a steal!

 

All time favourite Christmas movie? 

Definitely Love Actually, my all time favourite movie. So sweet and so heartwarming, definitely worth a watch.

 

Favourite holiday treat?

Oh god, that is impossible to decide... Saffron buns, gingerbread and toffee I think!

  

Favourite winter lip product?

I like a classic red lipstick or a warm brownish red and loads of lip balm of course!

 

Favourite Christmas songs?

White Christmas, Auld Lang Syne, All I Want For Christmas Is You and Mer Jul.

 

What's at the top of your wish list?

Uhm probably Rebecka Minkoff's black mini M.A.C and Ray-Ban's gold n' round sunglasses.

 

 

My Gift Guide

Artistic/Urban Outfitters lover

Gift Ideas for the Artistic type

These gifts range in prices so pick and mix as you choose! A few ideas are as follows: a camera (either SLR or Analog) or polaroid (I recommend the Instax mini 90, mainly because its the one I wish I got instead of the mini 8) or some Instax or 36mm film. Coffee table books are always a fun like How to be a Parisian, Bad Girls throughout History or How to be Mindful. A record player is a nice expensive gift but some records are also fun if the person in question already has one. Notebooks and customisable books are also great, by customisable books I mean travel journals, "letters to my future self", mindfulness colouring books etc. At Urban Outfitters you can also get cute little kits like the bonsai tree kit (as seen above) or one of those pothead or cactus kits. Posters and art are a nice idea like the travel scratch map above where you scratch off the gold from any country you've been to. Something that I always appreciate and know is popular among artsy people are art supplies like sketch pads, new/more paint, new brushes etc.

 

Fashionista/Blogger

Gift Ideas for the Fashionista

When it comes to clothes, you want to be really careful with sizes, that's why I personally avoid buying clothes for other people since they may not like the style or it may be the wrong size and it's so awkward to ask fo a receipt. I usually go for jewellery and things that are one size or are supposed to be oversized such as statement earrings, midi rings, classic and simple necklaces, hats (I personally like sailor caps and broad rimmed hats) or bags. There are many brands that are reasonably priced yet unique and well made like ZARA, Pop and Suki and Kate Spade. If you are unsure, GO FOR GIFTCARDS. I can't say that enough, it may be boring but it's better to let the person in question choose for themselves instead of getting something that they'll never use.

  

Foodie

Gift Ideas for the Foodie

Great for anyone who likes cooking, baking, food or who's just moved out (so pretty much anyone). Gift ideas: cookbooks, kitchen appliances like a Kitchen Aid or a coffee machine like a Nespresso or percolator. Other ideas include cute coffee mugs, pretty baking accessories and chocolate or truffles. Yum! If you want something more DIY-able, bake some sweets like biscuits or toffee and package them up in a cute box with a sweet note, tissue paper and some ribbon. Another idea is to create a "cookie batch in a jar" which is done by putting dry ingredients to your chosen recipe in a mason jar along with the full recipe and voila!

 

General/Basic

General Gift Ideas

These gifts are more for anyone, just basic things that the majority of people seem to like, need or use that can range in price according to your relationship. Some of these include LUSH products (make sure they have a bath tub before buying any bad products), a 2017 calendar, candles, fun board games like Cards Against Humanity, earphones, phone cases and TV box sets or subscriptions for e.g. Netflix, Spotify or a magazine. If you want something more personal, I suggest creating a photo album with pictures of you two along with sweet notes and memories or a wall calender customised with your own photos. Hope this post gave you some ideas!

 

Love,

Sofia

My Favourite Christmas Calenders

Lassemajas Detektivbyrå

This Christmas calendar is about Lasse and Maja who run a detective bureau and help the local police officer to solve crimes. I grew up reading the books so when it became 2006's calendar I was ecstatic. I grew so nostalgic writing this post and couldn't find it online or on youtube so I ordered the Dvd from some website and am going to pick it up when I finish writing. Can't wait to watch it again after 10 years!

 

Hotell Gyllene Knorren

This is my absolute favourite calendar of all time. I have seen it so many times that I can almost quote it. This one is about a family who move from Stockholm to the country where they open a hotel and struggle to keep it open. I also ordered this Christmas calendar online and am sooo excited!

 

Barna Hedenhös Uppfinner Julen 

The best recent Christmas calendar since the last two haven't been so good. That calendar was also an adaptation of a series of children's books that I read as a kid and have very fond memories of. Love!

 

Pelle Svanslös

I think I got this as a Christmas present from my parents as a kid and watched it obsessively, only a few years ago did I realise that it was a Christmas calendar and not just a great movie, it is so well done.

 

Superhjältejul

 

This is one of the first Christmas calendars that I saw when I'd moved to Australia and was nostalgic as a little nine-year-old. It was a remake of the TV series about two superheroes and I remember really enjoying it, I think you can find this one on Youtube if you're interested!

 

Love,

Sofia

 

Best Christmas Movies

Love Actually

Love Actually is my absolute favourite movie and the fact that is is a Christmas movie just makes it even better! It is such a sweet and heartwarming film about people with connected timelines. It shouldn't just be overlooked as a "chick flick" (hate that word) because it is an incredibly well-done movie that is very intelligent, funny, festive and moving.

 

The Polar Express

 

A super sweet movie with a lovely ending about a boy who takes a train to the North Pole. During the movie, he goes on a festive adventure where he learns about friendship, bravery and the love of Christmas.

 

The Grinch

A Christmas classic based in Whoville. It is about the bitter Grinch who plans on ruining Christmas for all of Whoville's citizens. A great and funny movie!

 

Mer om oss i Bullerbyn gif

This is for my Swedish readers, if you were anything like me, your childhood was all about Astrid Lingren and Barna i Bullerbyn. The movies were my favourite growing up, the first one being about summer and autumn with the second movie covering the Christmas season. Such a lovely film for nostalgia.

 

The Nightmare Before Christmas

This is more of a movie in between Halloween and Christmas since it relates to both. I've written about this movie so many times that it's not even funny since it is in my second favourite movie of all time!

 

Sagan om Karl-Bertil Jonssons Julafton

An old school Christmas classic for all the Swedes out there. You've probably already heard of this movie if you are or speak Swedish so enough said, watch it! 

 

It's a Wonderful Life

This is a movie that I've heard about every year and never actually seen, until this month and now I completely understand the hype. It is such a festive and lovely movie that makes you feel so warm inside.

 

Elf

This movie gives me a little anxiety but its worth it for the great acting of Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel. It is a great movie about a human elf who leaves the North Pole for the US and is a little naive about American culture and the lack of belief in Santa.

 

Sex and the City 1

You may not think that this is a Chrismas movie but this is the best time of year to watch it! The four girls get on with their lives as the seasons go by and by Christmas and New Year, the movie comes to a heart-warming conclusion that makes me cry every time. Hope this post helps you Christmas cheer!

 

Love,

Sofia

Saffron Bun Bake

This was my evening last night, baking "lussebullar" for my adventsfika with a few close friends. If you remember my post from the first of December (How to have the best Christmas), I wrote that about the idea to bake Christmassy treats with atmospheric Christmas music in the background, so so I've done. Hope you all have time to bake some delicious treats yourselves, it's worth it. Psst: expect a recipe in a few days!

 

Love,

Sofia

Best Christmas Music

Some of my favourite Spotify playlists for the Christmas season. In order: a great well-rounded Christmas list, Christmas classics, classical Christmas music, Lucia music, my personal Christmas playlist and finally a more cosy and acoustic Christmas playlist. Enjoy!

 

 Love,

Sofia

My Wish/Want List

Wish and Want List
I have a little list of things that I want to purchase for myself so I thought I'd compile them into a lil' collage and share them with y'all. And if any family members are reading, this could serve as some extra inspiration but hey this is more for me. So in a jumbled unorderly order: a cropped turtleneck sweater, Rebecca Minkoff Mini M.A.C, Sailor cap, mum jeans (both black and blue), round Ray-ban sunglasses, Sock boots (these are Mango), Instax and 36 mm film, 1 1/4 inch (32-35 cm ish) curling iron, Hourglass highlighter, coffee table books and art supplies.
 
Love,
Sofia

 

NK Christmas Decorations

 There is an air of wonder about the large department store, the tall building is covered in lights and pine garlands that almost creates an illusion of half structure, half Christmas tree and the festive windows gather around its base like colourful gifts for one and for all. The crowds are gathered around the brightly light windows. Everyone wants to see this year's theme. Children run up to glass, their noses almost touching a the observe the colourful life within. They point, ooh and ahh before shuffling down to the next window while their parents pull out a phone to try and capture the moment of childlike wonder. However, the crowds make it impossible to get a perfect shot of the nutcracker-like ballerinas spinning in the forest. Everyone stops to look, whether they're on their way home, rushing to find that perfect gift or taking an evening stroll through the city, they all stand at least somewhat briefly, to survey the spectacle that is the NK Christmas decorations.

 

Love,

Sofia

How to have the Best Christmas

Merry Christmas!

It is the first of December and no one can deny that 'tis the season. So to celebrate my love for Christmas, I am going to have a new post up every day for the month of December with recipes, gift ideas, Christmas movies and festive activities! This is a list that I've compiled, specifically for Stockholmers but it can be applied to anyone. It entails fun things to do to get in the Christmas spirit and I'm going to attempt to do all of the things on my list and document them on this blog so you'll have to check back in every day for something new.

 

Finding the perfect tree

Imagine: walking through a forest of Christmas trees, smelling that green pine smell that instantly signalling to your brain that the Christmas season is upon us. Buying a Christmas tree is such a staple for me, I have such strong memories from when I was young and my family would go to Zetas or Ulriksdals trädgård to pick out a tree. The darkness would be lit up by garden lights and candles that created such a cosy atmosphere along with their cute cafes providing hot drinks for those needing a rest while picking out whatever it was they needed. It was that feeling, that feeling in the air that covered everything in a Christmas-tinged haze of excitement and the smell of pine trees that sticks with me to this day. And with that trip down memory lane, I definitely think that buying a tree is worth it, even if it's just a little one.

 

Ice skating in Kungsträdgåren

Here in Stockholm, we have a frozen man-made pond/lake in Kungsträdgården that becomes a cute spot for ice skating during the winter, very festive. I probably won't be ice skating this year because I don't think I have any extra time since I've also lost the touch for ice skating due to living in Australia but maybe next year...

 

Going to Christmas markets

If you live in Europe, this is most likely a thing that you already do since Christmas markets are very common here. A week or so ago I released a post listing my favourite Christmas markets in Stockholm (find it here) and I also went to the market in Gamla Stan the other day (link here). If there is a market where you live I highly suggest you go since it's a magical affair where the air smells of sugared almonds, the people are milling around the stalls of Christmas gifts and treasures while others sit back and enjoy a cup of steaming mulled wine and maybe a saffron bun. So cosy.

 

Watching this year's Christmas calendar

Another Swedish cult classic and the first episode came out this morning! I'm writing this post on the 30th of November so I don't know the outcome. I'm planning on getting up a little earlier and watching the first episode with cinnamon porridge and a cup of coffee. If an episode a day isn't enough, check out the previous year's Christmas calendars. I'll have a post up with my favourites in a few days so stay tuned! Last year I also started listening to the podcast Christmas calendar and I definitely think you should too since you can still find the past few years of calendars on the iTunes podcast app. I like to listen to the most recent episode while walking to the bus since it is only about 10 minutes, perfectly matching my walk. My final Christmas calendar related tip is to see the living calendar in "Gamla Stan". I've never been but plan on going at least once. Apparently, every day around 17.00 (just an estimate, since I can't remember the actual time. Google if you're interested), there is a type of scene out of one of the many buildings windows and there is a rush to find it among the locals and tourists milling about. Sounds like such a fun and creative idea!

 

Seeing the NK Christmas windows

Every year the department store NK has a festive theme in their store windows that attracts a lot of attention. Last year's theme was Christmas through the last 100 years and this year is specifically aimed at children, titled "The Magic Forest"; quite similar to the Nutcracker in theme.

 

Watching lots of Christmas movies

Yes, we binge watch shows and movies all year round but now you have an excuse: ..its festive...? That counts right... You are perceived as a little strange if you watch Christmas movies all year round (apparently...) so now it time to stay up till 3am every night in a festive frenzy of Love Actually and Home Alone. In about a week I will be sharing my own recommendations in case you run out of movies 'till then.

 

Baking festive treats

This is something that may seem obvious but taking time out of your schedule to bake something Christmassy is harder than you may think, but as you probably know, the result is worth it. I love baking toffee (knäck), saffron buns (lussebullar), gingerbread (pepparkakor), maybe a gingerbread house (pepparkakshus) and snowball cookies (my favourite synonym for them is Russian tea cakes). Those are my staples that I bake every year but its always fun to try something new so comment if you have any favourite recipes you love. I will be posting some recipies as well on here starting with snowball cookies...

 

Watching "Luciafirandet" on SVT

Here in Sweden, we have a thing called "Lucia" on the 13th of December and since I was a little kid, my family has watched "Luciafirandet" on SVT almost every year. It so cosy to get up at 7:30 while its still dark outside, make some coffee, warm some mulled wine and some baked Christmassy goods along your breakfast while watching the lucia festivities. If you're not inclined to be up so early (or don't have to), you can still catch up on SVT play whenever you choose.

  

Make an evening of wrapping presents

I love giving people presents and I also love the process of finding the perfect present through to wrapping it really nicely. That's why I like to have an evening where I settle down with a hot drink, put on a good movie or TV show, gather my equipment and gifts around me and package everything up nicely. It's so much fun and very relaxing to get it all done at once.

 

Have adventsfika with friends

On saturday I'm hosting a little get-together with a few friends where we'll drink mulled wine, eat saffron buns and have a nice chat. It's fun to organise and bake everything for the relaxed event because now you have an excuse to consume loads of Christmas treats and spend time baking instead of doing homework.

 

Enjoy a book with a seasonal drink 

What's better than being wrapped up like a burrito in a blanket with a good book or movie along with a steaming cup of coffee while the snow is falling outside your window. Whether you buy one at Starbucks or make one yourself, everyone enjoys a seasonal drink. Later in the month I will have a post with some drink recipies for you to recreate if you're, like me, not inclined to go to Starbucks.

 

Having a relaxing evening on the 23rd

I don't know if this is something that others are inclined to do so maybe this is just a personal tradition but I like to have a relaxing evening on the night before Christmas: the 23rd of December. Since the month can get quite hectic and I'm usually a little wound up when heading to bed that night (excited yet nervous and a little stressed for the coming day), I like to have a "spa night". By "spa night" I still don't mean anything too drastic since I find it exhausting to do all the prepping and priming. Instead, I like to take a bath with a lush bath bomb, drink some julmust, maybe eat a saffron bun and watch a Christmas movie. After that I may do a face mask and paint my nails for the coming day. Nothing too extreme, just a little beauty routine that helps me relax.

 

Love,

Sofia

Gamla Stan Christmas Market

A few days ago I went to the annual Christmas market in Gamla Stan that I wrote about a week ago in my post detailing the different markets around Christmas here in Stockholm. It was so lovely with so many lovely stalls selling sweets and treats to passersby, if you haven't been I definitely suggest you go before it gets too hectic before Christmas.

 

Love,

Sofia

Favourite Vlogmases

Hello, lovely people!

Christmas is coming and with that comes Vlogmas on Youtube! They were first started by Ingrid Nilsen and have been a season staple ever since then. I've been watching all of the main Youtubers Vlogmases for the past few years so I thought I'd share my favourites!

 

Zoella - 2013

Ingrid Nilson - 2012

Jim Chapman - 2013

Tanya Burr - 2015

Elle Fowler - 2012

Alisha Marie - 2015

Tess Christine - 2015

Meghan Rienks - 2014

As I'm writing this I'm watching Meghan Rienks' 2014 Vlogmas and am a little distracted ahaha, it's just so good! I hope November has been treating you well.

 

Love,

Sofia