Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Merry Christmas from my pretty little family

Merry Happy Christmas my lovely readers! Did you have a nice day? What was your favourite part?

I'm currently working on a horrible amount of essays, translations and assignments, but am coming up with lots of fun posts for the coming year :) Do you guys have any requests? Reviews, recipes, mythology, fashion (as you can see from the picture above, I'm obviously quite the fashionista), folklore, literature, anything at all? Just let me know and I'll see what I can come up with for you ^^*

I hope you are all safe, well and warm and that none of you have caught any of the horrid viruses that have been going round. I have a disgusting cold so I'm going to snuggle up by the fire and do some reading :)

Merry Christmas to you all!

the little nordic cabin

Monday, 10 December 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

After class this morning, I wrapped up warm and went for a little walk down Oxford Street, to see if I could find some gifts for my family. Since it wasn't too badly crowded, I walked down to Selfridges and had a lovely time wandering around each department, pretending I was rich and could afford to buy all kinds of lovely things ^^

I found these sweet little Swedish decorations. In Sweden they don't really have Father Christmas in the same way that we do. Instead they have Tomten, who has a similar role, but they also have lots of little Tomtenissar, which are kind of like his helpers. I think they're really cute, especially these ones, which make such sweet and simple decorations. (And their beards are so soft!)

It's always exciting to see the Christmas displays that Selfridges put in their front windows, however I wasn't a fan of their choices for this year. I did like this little Christmas doll that was hiding in the corner though, but she does have a hint of the horror movie about her... 

Have you been doing any Christmas shopping? Do you love it or hate it? I actually really love buying gifts for other people, especially when I find something I just know they're going to love! 

the little nordic cabin
x (hashtag sudden twitter obsession :)

Sunday, 9 December 2012

My Favourites of 2012 - Best Book

I don't even know where to begin when it comes to describing this book for you. I loved every single page of this book. I can't even pick a favourite character because they were all so wonderful! Aside from being beautifully written, The Night Circus has an enchanting and captivating plot and some of the best developed characters I've seen in a very long time. 

I'm going to admit something to you now. I completely judged this book by it's cover. I was looking for a new book at the beginning of the summer and it met all of my criteria with just the front page: Circus theme - tick. Nordic-sounding surnamed author - tick. Dazzling - tick. Breathtaking and Enchanting - tick. Pretty front cover - tick. Slightly embossed, shiny effect on cover - tick. Tick tick tick. Judging this book by it's cover really paid off. It was the title that got me, ever since reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen about 4 years ago, I have had quite an intense obsession with the circus. 

The story is about a young boy and a young girl who are involved in a challenge of sorts. The challenge is a mystery to begin with and the book jumps around in time and space from chapter to chapter meaning that you just cannot put it down. I'm not going to reveal much more than that plot-wise because I don't want to spoil a single moment of the story for you, but I will tell you this - the circus is so perfectly described that when I think back on reading about it, it feels like a forgotten memory of a real place, time, event and experience. I was blown away by this book. It has everything, fantasy, suspense, romance, personal struggle, emotion, loss and absolute exquisite beauty. I truly believe that Morgenstern is a magician herself.  

Please, if you haven't read this, put it on your christmas wish list. I promise you won't be a single bit disappointed :)

the little nordic cabin

Writing Prompt #3

 Today's beautiful writing prompt comes from a project by Gregory Colbert called Ashes and Snow. Please click here to visit his website. 

Where are these two? Are they parting from one another, or are they meeting after a long time apart? What is their connection? What is the girls story? 

As always, please feel free to leave me a comment with your writing, or link me to it on your page. You guys always write such lovely, imaginative things for me :)

the little nordic cabin

Saturday, 8 December 2012

What have I done these last months?

Now that it's getting colder, the New Forest is really beautiful. The frost makes it really mystical. 

Aside from exploring the forest by our new home, I've spent lazy mornings walking along the beach. I love the little beach huts and the hazy winter sun. 

Most of my time has been taking up by reading for my dissertation. It's going to be based on Tolkien and the Icelandic sagas, so I've spent many cozy mornings in Starbucks reading and drinking christmassy lattes :)

What have you been up to my dears? Do you love the wintertime like I do? 

the little nordic cabin

The Liebster Blog Award!

"The Liebster Blog Award is an award given from bloggers to bloggers that are small to medium in size or up and coming in the blogsphere. Liebster is German for "favorite." The award is a way to give beginning bloggers some worthy attention, make connections and let readers learn a little more about you."

I woke up to the lovely surprise of having been given this award this morning, despite my very long absence. It came from one of my dearest bloggers, Sabrina from Pouffia. Please go and visit her blog if you haven't already. Her posts are fun, smart and witty and I love to visit her site with a warm cup of something yummy and settle down for a little read now and again :) - also the description came from her page, I decided to repost it since it's quite sweet. 

So here are the rules:
1. Answer the 11 questions
2. Give 11 facts about yourself
3. Nominate 11 other lovely bloggers
4. Post 11 new questions for your new nominees

Here are Sabrina's questions for me:

1. Why do you blog?

When I was 19 I applied for a place at university for a degree in Scandinavian Studies. I hadn't done very well in school - I'd had a difficult couple of years and as a result I didn't get very good grades. I worked for two years for a travel company, dealing with foreign currency and fraud detection, but I wasn't happy there. My absolute dream was to study the Nordic region and to learn one of the languages. It was all I could think about. I would search the internet for information, read and read and read both novels and textbooks about the region, it was my only true passion. So I decided that I would apply for a degree in Scandinavian Studies, despite nobody believing in me or even supporting the idea. They thought it was too random, that it would lead nowhere and one of my teachers even told me I had no chance of getting into that particular university. I applied and was rejected. I was absolutely devastated. I cried for a couple of days and then I picked myself up and, more determined than ever, I rang the university and literally begged them for an interview. A couple of hours after the interview, I received my acceptance email. 

One thing I remember telling them, in answer to why I'd like to study that particular subject was: "because if i could inspire just one other person, if I could make one other person in this world feel the way that I do about the Nordic region, then I would be happy". That's precisely why I decided to start this blog. To find that one person and to give them the gift of determination to reach their dreams and to fall in love with a subject so deeply that they'd do anything to be allowed to study it. To inspire passion, I guess.  

2. When you feel sad, what cheers you up?

Cuddling with my little brother. He seems to sense when I'm feeling sad and comes and puts his arms around me and kisses my cheeks :)

3. If you could go back in time, what would you say to yourself?

I'm a worrier, so I would go back and tell myself not to worry, because everything so far has turned out relatively fine.

4. What should a perfect city include?

I was thinking of saying something like an area of undisturbed nature because I think that every city needs that - somewhere peaceful and beautiful to escape the busyness of the city, but actually I'm going to say this: Sleep Pods. I commute for university and I sometimes catch a lift with my neighbour. We leave the house at 5:30am and arrive in London around 7. I sometimes don't have class until much later and therefore have to sit in a cafe and consume as much caffeine as possible to keep myself from falling asleep. Sleep pods would be the.most.amazing solution to that. 

5. Who was the last person you hugged and why?

You guys, virtually, for sticking with me even though I abandoned you for three months!

6. Would you choose money or fame?

I wouldn't choose either because I strongly believe that neither can make you happy, but if I had to choose, I'd choose fame if it meant I could inspire and help people.

7. What's your number one rule in life?

That even when it gets hard, keep trying. 

8. Who is your white pony?

I don't know what that means :/ and when I looked it up, all kinds of weird definitions came up...

9. If you could be anything, anything at all, what would you be?

A magic princess elf, who could shape-shift into something cool, like a bear and could teleport whenever I wanted and have skills like healing and potion making. Obviously. 

10. Do you have a favourite stand up comedian, and if so, who?

I'm not really sure. There is an English stand up comedian called Michael McIntyre who is quite funny :)

11. What of your country, town, or culture do you really think people should try/see/do [fill in the blanks]?

When people contact me asking where in England they should travel to, I often respond telling them to go to a small, countryside village or town because there is often so much history and beautiful landscape there. Where I grew up, even though it was the middle of nowhere, there were such beautiful woodland areas and lots of ruined castles. There were a lot of sites where the old queens of England were executed, most famously, Mary Queen of Scots - there is a hotel where you can apparently see a dent in the banister of the staircase. The dent is said to be of her ring, because she was holding on so tightly on the morning of her execution. Of course there are lots of stories like this that are just myths and so on, but I think it's far more interesting than just walking around London for however many days :)

Facts about me:

1. Like Sabrina, I'm terrified of spiders. Every night before I go to sleep I have to do spider patrol, even though I know it's winter now and they're probably not around. I check under my pillows, shake out my duvet, then shine my torch (yes, you read that correctly, my torch) down the sides of my bed, both from above and the sides to make absolute sure there aren't any nasties sneaking around down there. I even wake up during the night, paranoid that they've crept in somehow and shine my phone on the walls and ceiling to check. Weirdo-alert. 

2. I don't believe in fate. I used to, but if you start trusting luck or fate or those kinds of mystical, magical things, you forget to trust yourself and your own judgement and actions. 

3. During my little absence, I went on a four day trip to Helsinki and I'm going to post about it very soon! 

4. I'm like a kid. I love children's literature, eating candy, collecting cute and pretty things and the colour pink. My boyfriend teases me very often about it, but I can't help it, childish things are much more fun than boring grown up things! 

5. I'm not very confident in myself. One of the reasons for my long break from blogging was that I just felt kind of silly and that I was too boring to keep anybody's interest. Your comments, therefore, have made me so happy, because I felt so welcome here! 

6. I absolutely love christmas

7. I'm suuuuuper ticklish. If someone even accidently touches my sides, I get ticklish all over, very intensely and all of a sudden and nobody is allowed near me because I get all giggly and tickly. 

8. If you rub the top of my nose, the space in between my eyes, I fall asleep almost instantly. It's like this odd, sleeping button. 

9. I have the best grandparents in the world. They are my heros and idols. They are so kind and sweet and cute and they are the two most in love people I have ever met. 

10. I'd love to be a writer someday, but don't know where to begin. I'm not very good at writing essays so I'm trying extremely hard at university this year. 

11. I had a really hard time coming up with these facts for some reason! Also, I should be studying but I'm so determined to blog more regularly that I'm doing this instead! 

Finally, time to nominate some of my favourites:

It's so hard to pick just 11 of you, I love all of your blogs dearly, but these are the 11 I'd like to nominate today:

1. Dana - The Daily Dose - Dana is one of the loveliest ladies I've met here. She's one of my best blogging friends. Every friday she posts funny pictures and videos and during the rest of the week she posts little snapshots of her life. I can't remember how we 'met' but I'm so glad we did :)

2. Laura - My Baffling Brain - Laura is another dear friend of mine. For the A - Z challenge in April she wrote about fairytales, so please go and have a look at her posts from that month as they make a lovely little collection of fairytale facts. 

3. Anna - Hindustanka - Anna has a lovely and interesting blog and often posts great pictures to go alongside her writing. I'm really grateful to her for sticking by me when I was away, sending a little comment to check I was ok and visiting me so regularly. Thanks Anna!

4. Haze - Moon-Lore - I adore everything about this blog. It's so simple and beautiful, every post is so inspiring, Haze is a kind and beautiful girl who I'm very thankful to have met. Please go and visit her blog, it's just perfect. 

5. Cherie Reich - If you love books, then pop over to this blog as soon as you can. It's full of little things to explore, she does book reviews as well, so it's a really inspiring place to be :)

6. Gail Gails Great Atlantic Northeast - Gail is another of my very dearest. I love her blog, she posts about a variety of things, as well as little glimpses into her life. She is so sweet and friendly and I'm very glad to have met her!

7. Jojo - Tahoma Beadworks - a wonderfully crafty blog, again with another friend behind it - I'm so happy to have made these friends here! She also posts beautiful photos so go have a look! 

8. Sara - Bichinhos Na Cabeca - another sweet girl with a very crafty blog. She's just put up a christmas post which I'm very excited to have a look at as soon as I've finished this post! I've missed you Sara!

9. R. Ivory - Rivory Chateau - A beautiful blog filled with wishes, thoughts and beautiful photos and music. I've known this lovely girl since I started this blog, long ago. Please visit her, you won't regret it!

10. Debra - Dream Weaver - Debra is like my American blog mummy. She's been away a little bit too, but her blog has always inspired me and taught me things and made me think. She's a very lovely, warm-hearted lady whom I've been missing! 

11. Like I said, there's too many of you to pick just 11 so I wanted to dedicate this last nomination to anybody who would like it, you all deserve it. 

My questions for you:

1. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

2. What did you actually grow up to become/what are you actually becoming?

3. Why do you blog?

4. If you could have any super power, what would it  be?

5. Which moment in your life so far are you most proud of?

6. Is there a book you think everybody should read?

7. Do you remember what you were doing on this day last year?

8. 1 year from now, where would you like to be?

9. What is your favourite country you've ever visited?

10. Do you have any sweet family traditions?

11. What is your favourite song at the moment?

Thank you again Sabrina for the award. I'll be amazed by those of you who made it all the way down here - I think this might be the longest post ever. 

If you have twitter, please follow me over there @nordiccabin, it's going to be a bit lonely talking to myself otherwise!

Have a beautiful weekend everybody, 

the little nordic cabin

Friday, 7 December 2012

the little nordic cabin

You might have noticed that I have decided (after months of internal debate) to change the name of my blog. 

The reason for this is that the previous title felt too limited. Although I am of course going to continue my efforts to inspire people about the Nordic region, I also would like to share various aspects of my life with you guys too. 

So please tell me your thoughts. Do you like the new name? I think it sounds kind of cozy :) I'd like to update my layout too, but I'm trying to find the perfect look. If you know anyone who is good with templates, etc, please do let me know!

I've also replaced the button for this site, you can find it just to the right -> 
please feel free to take it if you'd like it :)

Oh! and I made a twitter so be sure to follow me at @nordiccabin and let me know your usernames if you're there too so I can follow you!

the little nordic cabin

Sunday, 25 November 2012

I'm still alive!

It's been so long since I last wrote! I'm sorry for taking such a long break, it wasn't my intention. Remember that exam I told you about? The one where I was researching Roald Dahl and how being Norwegian had influenced his writing? Well, preparation for that kind of took over, but I'm pleased to say that the exam went well :)

Soon after that I started back at university and I was not prepared for how busy it was going to be! The first half of this term has just flown and it's beginning to dawn on me how very much I've got to do over the next couple of months! 

I miss you guys and I miss blogging so I will try to post a bit more regularly, especially now that it's winter, my favourite month for discussing all things Nordic, cosy and sparkly. 

Until then, keep safe and warm and tell me how your months have been. Did anything happen that made you smile?

inspire nordic

Sunday, 9 September 2012

The Jurassic Coast

Yesterday my family and I got up really early and took a trip down to the Jurassic Coast. It was a lovely journey, very sunny and hazy and we stopped off at a sweet little tea room to have some breakfast. 

We decided to spend the day at the little coastal town of East Lulworth. We parked the car at Lulworth cove and wandered around the museum and heritage centre, before walking down to the cove and exploring the rock pools.

After we finished our ice creams (caramel fudge clotted cream - I know) it was time to climb the incredibly steep hill that lead to the cliffs. I resented that hill too much to take a photo of it, but I can assure you it was very steep!

It didn't matter though, because when we reached the top we were met with the following views:

This last picture is of Durdle Door which is a natural limestone arch. On the opposite side there was a stretch of cliff leading out to the sea, still fully intact. At the bottom of the cliff was a tiny, miniature version of this arch, which will apparently look the same as this one in some thousands of years time.

While we were walking along the cliffs edge, we spotted some old people having a breakfast picnic and reading the newspaper. It must be such a peaceful and lovely place to spend the weekend :)

inspire nordic

PS: click here for some pretty icelandic music - live stream from Bestival begins at 6:30pm UK time :)

Thursday, 6 September 2012

A funeral for a worm

Yesterday was a tragic day. My little brother Jack and our cute little helper, Katie stumbled upon a worm, breathing its very last breaths, abandoned by the side of our driveway. The worm had no friends. She was dying all alone, frying slightly in the evening sun. 

Rushing into my bedroom, the worm tenderly wrapped up in a bit of tissue paper, Katie presented the tragedy to me, asking if I could save the poor thing. There was a dramatic wail of sorrow as I announced the worms time of death. 

A brief, but touching funeral was held. The inscription on the memorial rock above reads, ''I'm sorry you died Kelly''. 

Feel free to hold a minute of silence at your leisure.

inspire nordic

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Simple pleasures - cake for lunch

My little brother is starting at his new school tomorrow. His tummy has been full of teeny butterflies all day so we decided to bake a cake to take his mind off of his nerves. ♥

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Northern lights

Apparently the northern lights should be visible over Iceland soon, shall we run away together?

At the weekend my uncle who is a pilot told me he sometimes sees the lights from the sky! He also sails and gets to see the stars on a clear night with no light pollution!

How perfect!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Writing prompt #2

Here's this weeks picture, a favourite of mine from a little while ago. 

What is this crowns story? Did someone intentionally attempt to destroy it or has it been damaged by age? Was it worn by a lost prince or was it made by a loving father for his little daughter to play princesses with? I think it was washed up on the sea shore with other mysterious treasures :)

As always, feel free to leave me a comment with your writing, I love reading your stories, you guys are so imaginative! 

(picture super-lovingly taken from this lovely tumblr!)

inspire nordic

Simple pleasures

Getting caught up in the pouring rain a mile along a deserted beach and returning home to a steaming bath and a large mug of hot chocolate <3

Testing blogging from my iPhone, sorry if the format is off - hope it works nicely!

What are your plans today, dears? :)

Monday, 20 August 2012

Gardens of Decaying Art

This morning I was lucky enough to spot this article by Lomography detailing an installation by a German architect. The landscape architect lay down piles of books, which have been left to decay in the Jardin de la Connaissance in Quebec.

It reminded me of my visit to the Carl Larsson garden in Sweden - you can find some information here but I'm sure I'll write a post about it soon! We spent the morning drinking wild strawberry soda in the little cafe next to the artist's house before taking a walk down to the river at the bottom of the garden. To the side of the garden there is a little wood, thoroughly hidden by the long, swooping branches of the typical Swedish fir trees. If you sweep these aside and sneak through, you find yourself in an eerie little forest, filled with decaying pianos. 

Covered in cobwebs with missing or broken keys, the decaying pianos were scattered about, as if abandoned and longing to be played. The often screechy, out of tune sounds produced from these instruments certainly lent themselves well to what was arguably the most perfect setting for a 50s horror movie.

Of the book installation, which was a part of the International Festival des Jardins de Metis, a Denzeen feature describes the work beautifully, in a way that is also very relevant to the abandoned pianos:

 "Invoking the mythic relation between knowledge and nature integral to the concept of ‘paradise’, we invite the emotional involvement of the visitor by exposing these fragile and supposedly timeless cultural artefacts to the processes of decomposition." 

(top picture lovingly taken from here)

inspire nordic

PS: click here - I finally made a facebook page!