Monday, September 1, 2014

Peeking out

View of Gamla Stan & Södermalm from Kungsholmen  |  Peeking out on afeathery*nest  |
Notice something different?

Take a look up. All the way up to your address bar.

I finally bought my own domain!

I'd been thinking that since I've (surprisingly) kept this up for almost two years now, perhaps it was time to make it all nice and official.

And that's not all...

A few fortuitous encounters happened because of my Instagram feed (which I made "public", but still anonymous, a few months ago) and this (anonymous/private) blog after moving to Stockholm. Like: a tourism organization for the city found me via my photographs and asked if I'd like to write about my experiences as a new expat in Stockholm on their site.

Of course I said yes.

Which brings me to the the next little surprise.

While I don't know who all of you are (although I see your digital footprints—thanks for visiting!), maybe you'd like to know who I am? If you've been curious about what comes after the "J", head on over to my updated About page. You'll also see a link to my writing gig for View Stockholm there (and if you happen to like what you read on their site, I'd love if you would share and like the posts).

Starting off my favorite season with a bang, eh?

P.S. Please update your feed readers & Bloglovin'!

One year ago:
Lavender and peppermint muscle-relaxing boo-boo balm &
Dante's layette
Blogger Tricks

Friday, August 29, 2014

A reset of sorts

Hammarby Sjöstad outdoor gym utegym  |  A reset of sorts on afeathery*nest  |
It's that time of year again—when everything starts anew, for me at least.

And in the name of resets, shifts, and the like, I'm going to spend some time this weekend doing a little behind-the-scenes re-jiggering of my online life.

In case I somehow bring down the Internet by doing so, or at least my little corner of it, and you don't hear anything from me next week via your bookmarks, feed readers or email subscriptions, do a little Googling and I'm sure you'll find me again.

Till then, a few tidbits that I've found or have been on my mind lately:

+ + +

Wine that doubles as a dessert:
I've discovered a wine that tastes and smells just like a chokladboll! You know how much I love those little chocolatey, nutty, espresso-laced balls of deliciousness, so this was quite a find. If you're from Sweden or have had the delight of eating one and want it in a glass, or if you're not / haven't but have wondered what I was gushing about, please try and find Diemersfontein's Coffee Pinotage from South Africa.

While I pride myself on multi-tastking well, I probably shouldn't:
"Every day we’re assaulted with facts, pseudofacts, news feeds and jibber-jabber, coming from all directions...Every status update you read on Facebook, every tweet or text message you get from a friend, is competing for resources in your brain with important things like whether to put your savings in stocks or bonds, where you left your passport or how best to reconcile with a close friend you just had an argument with.
..If you want to be more productive and creative, and to have more energy, the science dictates that you should partition your day into project periods. Your social networking should be done during a designated time, not as constant interruptions to your day.
— "Hit the reset button in your brain", The New York Times

Exercising in public:
I'm not one to get my training in at the gym or in group classes—I'd much rather prefer to do all that at home, sometimes with candles lit, or else just during the natural course of my day, but I was always a little intrigued every time I passed one of Stockholm's utegyms, or, outdoor gyms. They looked so raw and real and the fact that they're always in pretty pockets of greenery helped up the interest factor. When a new one was installed right behind our apartment (pictured at the top of this post), I had to try it. Besides a much older lady and myself, all the other people there were men and women accompanied by babies in strollers. There's something pretty amazing about seeing a woman lifting weights while her child amuses itself and looks on placidly. I'll definitely go back.

One year ago:
El Martinez &
Citrusy tweaks for you and your kitchen &
Slothful sleuthing

Monday, August 25, 2014

Another go at it

After my last little flop, I regrouped and popped out two new projects that, thankfully, I did not end up unraveling. The first was a birthday gift for S, our friends' daughter, who celebrated her third with a big bash this weekend.

// Sidebar: I wish* I could send you a taste of the food that S's grandmother on her mother's side made for the party. That half of the family is Kurdish from Iraq, so the cuisine was slightly reminiscent of home (from both my own family and my brother's wife's, whose family is from Afghanistan) and I filled my plate three (and a half) times from platters of the most heavenly-scented rice (with the cracklings on top!), pomegranate and cilantro salad, meat-filled rice balls that were incredible and delightfully crunchy and savory, and chicken you can't even believe could ever be so crispy.

I haven't had much Middle Eastern or Indian subcontinent food lately (despite Stockholm being full of it thanks to so many foreigners from that part of the world living here now), which probably accounted for some of my gluttony. (The rest was entirely because the food was outrageously delicious). The table was also dotted with jars of rosewater "soda" and of lime-mint water, and we interspersed the afternoon with perfectly brewed tea served in gorgeous glasses with scrolled gold carriers. My hands were too full with the food and the tea to take a picture, but trust me, I felt (and dined) like royalty! //

S is going through her princess phase, specifically Snow White, so I thought that a little pair of knit ladylike fingerless gloves with a crocheted flower on top would suit her perfectly. But it's always a little tricky to make something for children, even more so this time for me because I didn't measure her beforehand (although I was lucky that last weekend she was playing with my knitting bag and when she asked what the ruler was for, I demonstrated by measuring her hands. When I came home I rushed to measure what I had already finished making and thank goodness, they were the right size).
There's also the element of "finickiness" (for lack of a better word) inherent in making or gifting a child something—I wanted to create something that S would like and enjoy for a long time, not just for a few hours.
So you can imagine how ecstatic I was when after the party her mama sent me a photo of S sleeping...still wearing them. I'm still smiling about it!

P.S. I also whipped up a new market bag. The last one was long and narrow, this one is short and wide. That first is perfect for wine and olive oil bottles, milk cartons, flowers and R's bread, while I made this one for vegetables, cheese, and other squat market goodies.
*Actually, I don't know if I would, even if I could, send you a taste. It was that good and I might not be inclined to share...

One year ago: My American boy