Sunday 7

This is my second week of vacation and I’m already feeling as if there isn’t enough time to just not work. Four weeks of vacay (well, OK, I moved the last two days because I need to go to the UK to see a band, but it’s practically four weeks) – not nearly enough. So stressing about that. Because I make sense, in general.

Spent the weekend with these guys:

I.e., at my aunt’s, feeding her cats while she and her family were out of town. So now I’m dreaming of a house of my own + couple of cats.

This week’s soundtrack: In This Moment. On Monday I decided enough is enough, I cannot be listening to the Carry the Fire playlist for another week. It’s not fair to the other songs. I picked out my favorite In This Moment tracks (The Promise, Blood, Scarlet, Adrenalize, Burn, Whore, The Blood Legion, Beautiful Tragedy), a few All Ends (Still Believe, Wasting Life, Close My Eyes), my current fave Annisokay track (Wolves in the Walls), a track by Enter Shikari I can’t get out of my head (Torn Apart), two tracks off of The Downward Spiral (Ruiner + Eraser), Manson‘s Devour, Bondi St Blues by The Amity Affliction and allowed myself a single track from the Carry the Fire album (Back to Back) – and that’s what I’ve been playing on a loop all week. Or at least until I was informed by the Internet in general that the Dustin Kensrue track I’ve been loving and still haven’t quite let go of (It’s Not Enough) is in fact on Spotify under the name The Modern Post. My research skills; clearly not up to par.

spotify

I’ve been blending tea like a crazy person. Currently unable to pick a single tea to drink, I keep blending two or more teas. Pinch of the green lemon + ginger, pinch of black apricot, or pinch of Needwood + Chai special – you get the idea. In addition to which I’m having tea like there is no tomorrow. This has to stop.

Mustard. Mustard is my other food addiction. I’ll have it on a slice of Finn Crisp, with avocado, with tomatoes, on a rice cake, cucumber on top, on brussel sprouts (cover sprouts in mustard, roast in oven), in dressing with beans – there is no meal I will not have something with mustard on. It’s ridiculous, but I’m not aware of any negative effects in terms of health, unlike too much tea, so I’m not worried about it. I’m sure I’ll get bored with it eventually.

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Me and Spotify have not been getting along this week. I keep searching for Spotify issues because it currently takes about 5 minutes (minimum!) for Spotify to start running on my phone. It sometimes just freezes, and the other day, it also managed to crash my phone. I’m not happy. And I just recently reinstalled Spotify because of the issues previously mentioned. I need someone to tell why it behaves this way; I tried the turning it on and off again, didn’t work, now what?

Much of the week was spent researching binge eating. Stumbled on Josie Mai on YouTube, well worth a watch if you’re interested in the topic. Or if you’re interested in health and fitness.

How was your week?

xo,

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Top 5 situations requiring tea

Te kattkopp

While unpacking. I’m a terrible packer and always end up packing half of everything I own, and I do own too many things. Unpacking is a lengthy business; tea is necessary.

what's in my bag

Cleaning. In the past I’ve had a glass of wine while cleaning, but there are certain risks involved with this habit (even if it is probably the only thing ever that can make cleaning anything like fun). One risk is cleaning being a bit..sloppy. There is also the risk of things breaking. Not that it’s a frequent occurrence, but there are a lot of close calls. I find that tea works a bit better than wine. Tea + a playlist including nothing but whatever song/s you’re loving at the moment. If that means listening to Famous Last Words on repeat for hours, so be it.

Long breakfast. Tea is basically a reason to spend a lot of time having breakfast. If there is no tea I have no interest in a long breakfast.

tea

At 11 every single day at the office. Don’t expect me to stay at the office if I can’t have my cup of tea at 11. I will not.

When putting on makeup. Makeup and tea is an excellent combo. But do make sure to not apply the loose powder anywhere near the tea. I learned that the hard way.

needwood tea

 

xo,

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Applying the lipstick 

manson lipstick

Sometimes I worry that I apply lipstick as if I’m Marilyn Manson.

You know, like this:

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I’m not sure why I worry; one can only hope to be this handsome.

Also. Not even when wearing the NYX Stone Fox does my application look like Manson’s. I mean, clearly:

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Will stop worrying now.

BTW: Just realized the Sleek Vintage Romance palette and the NYX Stone Fox are a match made in heaven. Just a tip. In case you like me was wondering just what the hell this shade goes with. Sleek Vintage Romance. Any color in that palette. My top pick right now tho: Forever in Florence (purple) + Romance in Rome (blue) and a dash of the H&M let it shine in the inner corners.

Lots of love,

A quick look using the MUR Chocolate Vice

I am a deeply impatient person. Max attention span on one task: 30 minutes. MAX. I generally want any given task to take a little less time than that. The task of putting on makeup especially.

So I thought, during this staycation of mine, I’d use the matte brown shades in the Makeup Revolution Chocolate Vice palette to create a quick everyday look.

What also helps reduce time is that I’ve gone off using concealer (because I feel this is a good look, and my hormones are currently behaving), and I’ve long since stopped curling my lashes and decided eyebrow gel is just overkill. Where I struggle is not using 10 different shades of shadow – not because using many different shades is bad, but because simplicity is a goal.

This here is the palette I’m working with:

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I start by applying my usual base, a No7 primer + Lumene eye primer, followed by the No7 Beautifully matte foundation in cool vanilla. Still so in love with this foundation; it works amazingly well with my combination skin, keeps me matte all day, easy. Don’t even need powder. I add some radiance, using the Makeup Revolution Radiance.

makeup revolution radiance

Set it all with the NYX setting spray.

nyx finishing spray

Put on my brows, currently enjoying the lighter shade in the IsaDora palette which make my thin eyebrows look more natural, i.e. like their patchy selves. On to the eye shadows!

I start off using this medium brown shade; I know some people like to put a lighter shade underneath. I’m not one of them. There is no such thing as too dark in my world, so there is literally no point adding a lighter shadow underneath, that would just make my life more difficult. I apply the shadow all over my lid + into the crease. This is the shade I’m using:

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Next, I add a darker shade to contour the eye; it goes into the crease and under my lower lash line. I use a clean angled slightly fluffy brush to blend it all. I want no sharp edges anywhere. This is the shade I’m using:

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Next, I want to add a lighter color in the inner corners. I usually use whatever shade is more white, but this time I’m opting for a shade leaning more towards peach, the middle one here:

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I just dab it on using my fingers. This was a master move; to me, this is what makes this a fun everyday look that I would consider repeating. I also want just a bit more shadow around the edges, so to avoid looking like a raccoon, I choose a lighter brown shade and apply it around the edges. This is the shade:

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Wee bit of the H&M pure definition mascara on that and the eyes are done.

For the lips I’m trying out the NYX lip primer; their bullet lipsticks clearly require some primer and it turns out it works perfectly. Keeps the lipstick (a matte in the shade Minx) well in place and enhances the color. I.e. does exactly what it should. Unlike say the E.l.f. ditto. (I’m sorry E.l.f.! I want to love you but you’re making it so damned difficult.)

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Finished look:

 

Verdict: Quick and easy, love the finish of these shades. Sis would definitely approve; sane everyday look accomplished.

xo,

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The Popsugar Reading Challenge; A Book and Its Prequel

det grönare djupet

As a part of the Popsugar reading challenge I’ve been reading Det grönare djupet by Johanna Nilsson. Nilsson is not a new acquaintance; I’ve read a few of her novels and especially enjoyed Rebell med frusna fötter (Rebel with frozen feet). It is one of the reasons I selected this particular book for the challenge: I knew and liked the author. This novel was published in 2015 and it’s a dystopia set in a future where there’s a war between a totalitarian world state and a state where liberalism has been taken to its extreme. This book is the ‘a book’ part of this category.

My interpretation of this category of the reading challenge is quite liberal. If it was translation, it’d be a case of free translation for sure. In 1940, Swedish novelist Karin Boye published the dystopian novel Kallocain, she died the following year. This novel is a continuation of Boye’s novel. I’m reading Kallocain later on, as the prequel. I’ve read it before and I liked it, so another reason I picked this particular novel to read was because there was a fair chance I’d like it. And I did. Which I consider a personal success, considering the past 6 months of reading a total of 1 book. I’m in constant fear that I’ll become a non-reader, as a result of just not liking any book ever again.

Anyway.

I love the idea of this novel, I love that someone would be brave enough to use Boye’s story as a starting point. It’s a bit like claiming the story for their own. Thank god it was Nilsson and no one else, I keep thinking. I can think of a number of authors who would dare do this and who’d ruin it for sure. If only they ever thought of it. Fortunately, they didn’t.

That being said, I don’t find myself madly in love with this novel. I don’t care what happens to the characters, the only thing keeping me reading is curiosity, the wanting to find out what will happen next. Which is a rarity for me; I’m one of those readers who don’t mind knowing the end. I’ll read any story just to find out how they get to the end. In this case, not sure I’d kept reading had I known the end. Maybe, maybe not.

I also like it better in theory than in practice; it pits one extreme world order against the other, communism against liberalism, arguing that it doesn’t matter which, in its extreme neither is a viable option. This idea is certainly interesting. However, as it turns out, not the focus of the story.

So I’d like to discuss something else. I’d like to discuss the concept of hope. The following exchange takes place between two of the novel’s main characters, Linda Kall and Edo:

“What, in addition to air, water, and food is a life necessity?”
Suddenly it is clear to me.
“Hope.”
He nodded and said:
“Yes, hope is important. But hope for what?”
“That you’re not alone. That there is someone or something out there who knows that you exist and isn’t indifferent to it.”
“A god?”
“Yes, or another human being.”

I’ve been thinking about hope. Because I’ve been listening to All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us. (Oh yes, I can fit this record into any context, that and Nick Cave.) Well that is sort of the reason. When it comes to music, I don’t usually listen to lyrics, I just want the feeling, words are irrelevant. But because I use Twitter, and mainly for band news, I was made aware that a line in Gone with the Wind is “Hope is a prison”.

I don’t know about you but I started out thinking that was kind of a dumb statement. What do you mean hope is a prison? How can hope be a prison? If there is no hope there is only despair and where does that lead to? Despair is freedom? That doesn’t make any sense.

Until suddenly it dawned on me (or maybe I just really wanted it to make some sort of sense) that hope is basically the American dream. I.e. the hope that you will be the one exception to the rule, that which keeps you from seeing that there is a system, and in this system you are a loser and what you should be doing is breaking out of the system, not playing by its rules – and in that way hope is in fact a prison. I am so convinced of this interpretation that I refuse to listen to the explanation coming from the writer camp (the line has since been explained by a member of the band in an interview, forget which or what was said, but I know there is an explanation out there). Also, if you’ve ever studied literature you know better than to listen to the author’s interpretation. S/he doesn’t have the answers; the answers are in the text, or possibly other texts. It’s called analysis, or so I’ve been told.

My conviction does, however, not work well with the idea expressed by Nilsson. What does this mean? There are different types of hope? That it’s a matter of perspective? Could you argue that from a philosophical perspective hope is one thing, but from a political perspective it is something entirely different? Or is one interpretation simply invalid?

I can’t not agree with Nilsson. Hope does strike me as a necessity. If there is no hope, there is no point and then why bother? I struggle to see a different response to ‘there is no hope’. I mean, consider Nilsson’s scenario; you’re alone, there is no one else, or, everyone is completely indifferent to your existence. There is no hope. Actually, come to think of it, this, having no hope, strikes me as a prison, or at least a dead end. How do you move forward without hope?

And do you even have a choice? Can you decide that you no longer have hope?

We could go down the language route; hope can be explained in a number of different ways, suggestion that there are in fact different types of hope, but I’m not convinced that it’s a relevant perspective. So I will leave this discussion here with the following:

1) May have to reconsider my interpretation of “Hope is a prison”; if I’m going to accept that statement at all.

2) I love it when one text makes me think of another, especially when it leads to having to reconsider a previous reading.

Yours,

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Sunday 7

Seven things summing up my week:

Had a sudden case of Manson obsession. I blame my Pinterest feed for randomly reminding me of funny/clever things Manson’s said. Spent all Monday listening to Manson, Manson and more Manson (bit of Amity Affliction thrown in for good measure of course). Changed all my electronic device backdrops to this face:1468844068062.jpg

Pretty. Ja? (Highly rhetorical question.)

Changed my blog layout. Cause of much frustration. Thought it had to do with my lack of coding skills and was all prepared to enroll in a course until lugn och fin explained that is how we all feel trying to change the blog layout. Haven’t entirely abandoned maybe needing to acquire new skills one way or another, but I take some comfort in knowing it’s not just me.

Peanut butter obsession back with a vengeance. Could live off of this stuff.

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Got some good use of all of my shorts. As it’s summer. And it is hot. Lived and died in black, loose-fitting tops, H&M leggings + shorts. final1469386101794 (1).jpg

So completely in love with the H&M shorts that I bought another pair on Friday + am considering getting a white pair as well. Apparently I’m under the impression that I’m some sort of Dave Gahan ca 1988/Martin Gore hybrid and can actually pull that off.

Fucked up my leg and haven’t been able to walk properly all week. It’s a tradition. I do it every year. I cannot do any type exercise in moderation, so I always end up hurting myself. I usually last until the end of the summer tho, so new record. Go me.

Visited sister in her new apartment over the weekend. She has the best view. She’s got three cats spying at her from that top balcony (below). And three cats on the balcony below her. I am green with envy.

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Impressed myself by hemming not only one but two whole dresses. They’ve needed hemming for literally years; kept procrastinating. Because that is just how much I dislike hemming. So basically, my vacation has not been a waste; I can do absolutely fuck all the remaining weeks and still feel pretty good about it. Because I have hemmed two dresses.

How was your week?

xo,

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Getting good ideas; shopping at H&M

h&m haul

Don’t you just love it when youtubers give you brilliant ideas? I was watching one of my favorites, Miss Budget Beauty, do an H&M haul where she mentioned buying a pair of jeans shorts in a size larger than she usually gets. Admittedly not a novel idea, I’m sure we all do this, I’d just never thought to do it with shorts.

So I just had to go to H&M. Obviously. Buying one thing only at H&M, not something I do.

First, the shorts! Actually love these, they were so soft and fitted me so well I bought two pairs. In two different sizes. Love both fits. And I usually hate H&M bottoms.

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high waist shorts

If you get shorts you need tops. I got an over-sized t-shirt and a top thingy. The top has a quite deep cutout in the back. Love back cutouts.

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t-shirt // top w/ cutout

And I picked up a few essentials while I was at it, leggings and dry shampoo. I recently got the Batiste XXL dry shampoo, but I am not entirely convinced that it’s not just a styling product, so a regular bottle was realized.

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2-pack leggings, 60 den // 2-pack leggings 3/4 length // dry shampoo

Bit upset to find this:

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Washing instructions in the leggings. Like honestly. There should be less of the washing instructions not more. If not for the environment then because no one can possibly wear the clothes with all these washing instructions, so what’s the point in having them there?

xo,

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The red and the black; 2 dresses from ASOS

Ah yes, the dress! This wondrous piece of clothing. It is the solution to indecisiveness, i.e. no need to match top and bottoms, just on with the dress and you’re out, as well as  a way to spend as little time in a store as is humanly possible. Because trying on a dress in the store? What are you mad? You hold it up to see if it’s the size you want, having found the size, buy it, and live happily ever after.

There is no one piece of clothing as comfortable as a good dress. Comfortable not only in terms of not strangling any part of the body, but it will make you feel appropriately dressed in any situation. Possibly with the exception of at the gym. Not sure that would be entirely practical.

Why people insist on wearing jeans on a daily basis just a mystery to me.

Two of my most recent finds from ASOS:

Black dress. Empire waist. Worn with my favorite black H&M control top tights and a Mackintosh necklace. Probably wore it with my Converse.

Red dress. Actually oxblood according to ASOS. Button down. Black H&M leggings, choker and a pair of platforms with ankle straps.

Love both of these dresses; the short sleeves are just right and I’m in love with how this material falls. Comfortable and oh so 90s. Perfect everyday dresses.

xo,

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Top Ten Tuesday

Let’s have another top 10 Tuesday! If you’re unfamiliar; this is a weekly meme from The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is: Ten Books Set Outside the US. Easy peasy! That’s pretty much the majority of all books I’ve ever read! Of course. It does give me maybe too many books to chose from?

Let’s try to pick 10 books where the set is of some sort of importance for the story, to make it a bit more relevant.

Fallvatten by Mikael Niemi. Let’s start off by testing your patience with a Swedish novel that, far as I know, has not been translated. It’s set far up north in Sweden, the Suorva Dam breaks and disaster ensues. Basically. Completely fictional of course, it’s a study of human behavior in a disaster scenario, as you would imagine, the flood is not the scariest part.

The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory. The book I was struggling with for about 6 months. Usually, putting a book aside if we don’t get along like a house on fire from page one is not a problem. But I just really, really wanted to read a story about Mary Queen of Scots. Obviously, this story is set in England. Mary never makes it back to Scotland in this part of her story.

Er ist wieder da (Look who’s back) by Timur Vermes. Hitler suddenly wakes up in present day Germany and becomes a stand-up comedian. Loved this book, it’s absolutely hilarious. Can’t recommend it enough. Favorite part: when he’s getting an email adress, which can be seen in the trailer of the movie here.

Utvandrarna (The Emigrants) by Vilhelm Moberg. Set in Sweden in the mid 1800s, about the people who emigrated to America. Not my favorite novel, but the musical has ensured that this is a book you’ll never forget.

Stalins kossor (Original title: Stalinin lehmät, translates as Stalin’s cows) by Sofi OksanenI really expected there to be a translation into English of this book, but I guess not? It strikes me one of the greats. It’s a brilliant mix of politics, eating disorders, the Soviet and Estonia/Finland, and brilliantly executed.

Kärlek i Europa (Love in Europe) by Birgitta Stenberg. Published early 80s, but I’ve only just recently discovered it. It’s the first in a series of autobiographical books that Stenberg wrote. Actually one of the best reading experiences I’ve had in the past few years; I will be rereading. Stenberg frequently lived abroad when she was younger, and this book takes place during a time when she mainly lived abroad. It takes place in Sweden, France, Italy and Spain.

The Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave. The set is probably not that important here. I just wanted to mention Nick Cave. Obviously. The story is set in Brighton, and starts out with the haunting picture of the pier burning and the birds screaming.

Ein überdimensionales Meerschwein frisst die Erde auf (An oversized guinea pig eats the world I guess? I’m not qualified to translate from German) by Markus Karg. This is the book about the world’s best band (oh yes, this is a fact). They’re from Germany in case you didn’t know. So obviously this is set in Germany. Or at least so I assume, I never did finish it. I’m saving this as a project for when I retire. 

The Expedition – A Love Story by Bea Uusma. Sweden in general loved this book. It’s non-fiction. Mainly takes place on White Island. It’s about three Swedish explorers who planned to go to the North Pole by a gas balloon. They never made it there; it crashed on the ice and they died before they made it back to civilization. It’s an excellent read. It had me completely obsessed with cold, icy places for months and months, I was watching any type video material from any place where it was cold and snowy. Including the North Pole webcam.

Freja (Freya) by Johanne Hildebrandt. Takes place in Sweden during the Bronze Age, soo… not actually Sweden, but what would become Sweden. This is one of my all-time favorite novels. Hildebrandt has basically taken characters from Norse mythology and based her story around them. I keep looking for books similar to this because the idea is so wonderful, i.e. fiction about the Norse gods. It is also the main reason I forced myself to watch Vikings, it’s nowhere near as good as this novel, but it’s not bad.

What books would be on your list?

xo,

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The Popsugar reading challenge: an autobiography

scar tissue

I love spending time in the world of Antony Kiedis. No it’s not the first time I’ve read Scar Tissue. Maybe third? First time was when I lived in Largs (Scotland), first book I picked up from their little library – absolutely thrilled because I was in the middle of a raging Red Hot Chili Peppers obsession at the time.

I’ve since bought the paperback – which is why I’m pretty sure I’ve read this particular copy once before, making it a total of 3 reads. It doesn’t look like I’ve read it more than once anyway. I break the backs of paperbacks to let myself know which books I’ve read and which I haven’t.

I realize some people have problems with this book. There’s a whole lot of drugs in it. This is not a concern I have because a. it was clearly a great part of his life; what’s he supposed to do? Lie? Not that I’m against lying, as long as it makes a good story, but that’s beside the point, b. the drugs do make for an excellent red thread running through the book. Plus, I like stories about people who make choices that perhaps aren’t smart, that maybe isn’t the right choice, people who mess up, are messed up – and I don’t even care if things work out. I don’t want to read about people doing the right thing. Does anyone? Does that even make a story?

That being said, it does get just a little tedious when he still hasn’t gotten sober by Californication, but you know, that is his story. Deal or read something else. Actually, I always forget just how much drugs are in this book. What I, however, frequently think of is a much shorter passage where he goes to the jungle, and as you would imagine, things do not go well: 1468777628471

Neither of this is why I’ve read this book more than once. And it’s not because The Peppers are my favorite band, (they’re not, and that’s never a reason to love a book, as I’ve found out, unfortunately). I’m just a sucker for readability and good use of words, which I find this is. May be subject to taste I suppose.

In general, I am a fan of biographies, musician biographies in particular. Undoubtedly because I listen to a lot of music. Watch a lot of videos and interviews, and have been for a very, very long time now. I like it how these different media types give you a different perspective of the same story. It’s like consuming a very strange series consisting of a number of different media.

What I have a slight problem with, and what makes reading a bit of a struggle, in my opinion, is Kiedis’ view of women. Basically, his view of women is similar to my view of lipsticks. Oo. Pretty. Must have. That’s objectification for you. So tiresome and old. But then, what would you expect? Some things are just endlessly expected.

By the way, this isn’t a review, just a few random thoughts. If you want a review, there’s already more than enough. GoodReads is an excellent source, for example.

So that’s the second book of the reading challenge completed; I’ve started on the third book, which is the a book and its prequel category. I’m reading Johanna Nilsson’s Det grönare djupet (The greener depth), followed by Karin Boye’s Kallocain, because I’m being kinda liberal in my interpretation of what this category means.

 

Yours,

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