Endless Blog Challenge

Sunday so soon?

Without further ado; here are some topic suggestions for next week:

In my Spotify Time Capsule playlist. I dunno about you but I love it when Spotify gives me playlists. I don’t usually listen to them to any extent, but it usually opens my eyes up for a track or two that I can add to my own playlists.

Most recently, we were presented with a time capsule playlist. Based on this list, share:

  1. A “What?!” song, one that you don’t really understand how it ended up in your specific playlist.
  2. What artist/group has the most songs in your list?
  3. A song you’d forgotten about, one that made you go “Oh yea, that one, 💕.”
  4. A rare song. As in, a song that’s probably not in most people’s playlist.
  5. Favorite song in the playlist?
  6. One or more artists/groups missing in your playlist. Something you used to listen to a lot that isn’t in your list.

Feminist Friday. I’ve got something specific in mind: a book with a feminist theme that you really like, fiction or non-fiction.

Skincare tag pt 1. This is an old tag created by makeupTIA. In total, it’s 12 questions, but I’m splitting it up into 3 parts, simply because I’m a big believer in the short post. These are the first 4 questions:

  1. What is your skin type?
  2. How do you store your skincare?
  3. Favorite ingredient?
  4. Most indulgent product?

Viel Glück!

Eight empties

Let’s start off with three empties from Boots:

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I absolutely love the Tea Tree & Witch Hazel with Active Charcoal facial wash from Boots. Thought if that is good, the scrub and mask must be too.

Ach nee. They were not. The scrub is nothing like the facial wash, it’s just, mildly buffing at best, with none of the effect of the facial wash. And the mask, it’s supposed to be on for 10 minutes. I get no effect after 10 minutes, the damn thing doesn’t even dry.

And unfortunately I accidentally ordered two of it, so I have another one to use up. So what I do is I start with a C vitamin peel and then put the mask on top and leave it for an hour plus, which does something. But I will definitely not buy this ever again.

Natural Collections waterproof mascara though; it’s a mere £2 and I’ve had far more expensive mascaras that are not better. It’s nothing special but perfectly decent everyday mascara. Will stock up when I’m in the UK next. That being said, I’ve just opened my first tube of the Too Faced Better than Sex mascara and…let’s just say I’m not overwhelmed. But then, at least it doesn’t make my eyes water, which is good. Could well have been the case.

Next up!

Couple of NYX products:

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If I had not already bought the Urban Decay setting spray that everyone raves about, I would definitely repurchase the NYX setting spray. Because the UD spray does not seem to work for me. I’ll give it a few more tries, but so far the results have been: a. no effect, b. melting my makeup (???). Best use: wet brushes. I’ll give it the benefit of doubt since my skin has been out of wack, but since that seems to have been sorted I’ve just gone back on the foundation, so I’ll give it another go.

The NYX Liquid Suede, ah, it is a favorite. This is the shade Sandstorm and it’s a lovely brown-ish shade, on the pale side. If I didn’t want to try other shades I would definitely buy another tube, it is perfect for everyday use.

One shower cream and one hand cream:

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This is one of my favorite shower creams ACO’s rhubarb and raspberry. I am obsessed with rhubarb. I also have the lotion. Soo jaa..whenever I can find a bottle I will get it. Don’t know why it still says limited edition? I think I’ve been buying it on and off for a couple of years at least.

Lush’s Helping Hands. Well. I ask a lot of my hand creams. And I’ve tried a lot of hand creams in my days; I know a good hand cream. This is sadly not it. Mainly because it is greasy. At least on me. Does not dry the way you want it to when you’re say at work? Or if you want to put on cream and then about your business and not leave greasy marks on everything. I do tend to forget this, or wish that I remember it wrong because I’ve bought it way more than once; I tend to like Lush more in theory than reality. Sadly, I’ve had better.

Last one! Is a food one. Well sorta. It’s one of my favorite chai teas:

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Do I have a list of favorite chais? Yes I do. The Four O’Clock white chai is in my top 5 easy. But it is, as far as teas go, on the expensive side, and because it’s tea bags, I feel like it should be a sometimes product, from an environmental and economic POV. Which requires no efforts as it’s not that easily available around these parts.

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This has been an Endless Blog Challenge post.

This week’s favorites

Blog

Arga Tanten (English: The Angry Lady). A blog about skincare run by a lady who is no longer in her 20s.

You might have noticed that any blog/channel/pod about skincare run by a lady over 30; it is my current obsession. This is no slight on 20-somethings; their concerns are different from mine.

As it so happens, this lady also has the tip of the week: let go of the cotton pads and just slap your products on using your hands. I can do that?!?

I was thinking of getting reusable cotton rounds, but I’ll def give this a go first; the fewer things the better, right?

Lippies

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Pre-spending diet, I managed to pick up two new NYX Lingerie lipsticks. I’m going sans foundation type product for now, and as it turns out, my favorite shade Corset looks terrible with my naked skin. So I did my research and found two colors that work well with my natural color: Exotic + Ruffle Trim

Another trick to make them work better with your natural color is to blot. (Maybe that’s just me? Maybe everyone else do blot their liquid lipsticks?)

The NYX Lingerie range remains a firm favorite for me. Stays on your lips, not sticky, only drying if you put on A TON (coincidentally why Beauty Mark works less well, because it’s patchy, and then you start to layer and that just does not end well and I’m so off topic. Never mind!), excellent shade range, I have no desire to try anything else because this works. I love it when you find something that works.

…what also works, when you leave home and forget all your lip products, is taking a (clean!) finger and putting shadow on your lips, top it off with some EOS lip balm. Just.  Saying.

Instagram account

This might be a bit of a weird one. I follow the food brand Saltåkvarn on Insta, and I’ve been loving their posts lately. There’s been lots of porridge posts lately. And. It just makes me very happy.

Especially when they turn porridge into dessert:

Book

I’ve read Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange. Saw a few negative comments on GoodReads; how are there people not liking this book?? I’m basically in love! I love everything about it, including the size of the book, you know, that it’s more of a square than books tend to be?

I want more books like this!

I also need to mention Nina Hemmingsson’s På A svarar jag hej då. Feeling sorry for all of you who don’t speak Swedish and are missing out.

Find

Spotify Discover Weekly has actually presented me with something quite brilliant. Had no intention of listening to it, but in my general undecided state as to what to listen to that particular day, Spotify started playing Emma Ruth Rundle and it was love at first sight.

It’s somewhere between Chelsea Wolfe and PJ Harvey. Have a listen!

 

Line in a song

Om vi nånsin behövt ett mirakel så kan det få komma nu.
(If we ever needed a miracle, now would be good)

Not so much the actual words as the delivery; I’m obsessed with the delivery.

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This has been an Endless Blog Challenge post.

Woman crush Wednesday

I’m living and breathing Kakan Hermansson.

OK. Maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but I am currently loving getting out of bed in the morning because that’s when I do my makeup while listening to her podcast Under huden med Kakan Hermansson (English: Under the skin with Kakan Hermansson), where she talks about skincare and feminism with various guests. The best way to start your day.

Her blog is my current go to source for anything skincare related.

This isn’t a new crush. She used to be on the radio years and years ago, as a side-kick on PP3 and Morgonpasset, and while I don’t agree with her taste in music, I always loved her bluntness and strong opinions. She maked even the shittiest show worthwhile listening to.

And then she quit the radio. Years ago. Still upset about that? Kinda a little?

Also. Let me remind you of the book she wrote a while back, which I gushed about here. I’ve planned a reread, because the audio version is on my book streaming service of choice.

As if that wasn’t enough. Her general appearance is an inspiration.

Whattap wednesday

A post shared by Kakan Hermansson (@rnbhermansson) on

What also has me well excited is the fact that she’s met and spoken to Roxane Gay (another of my crushes to be sure); it’s been recorded and you can listen to it here. And yes, it is in English.

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This has been an Endless Blog Challenge post.

The Endless Blog Challenge

This week! I propose being hella lazy and repeat a couple of favorite topics from previous weeks.

Women Crush Wednesday. I could do this every week. But that seems excessive..?

This week’s favorites. Listing favorites; it doesn’t get old for me.

Remember that empties post I suggested prepping for a while back? It might be time. Doesn’t have to be many. There’s a lovely Swedish blogger who uses the heading Tre tomma (English: Three empties, obvs the alliteration is lost in translation), and it always works out marvelously. I.e.:

Empties. On a theme or completely random!

Optional: update on reading status, i.e.:

Currently reading. Needs no further explanation I’m sure.

That’s it!

September summary

Let’s wrap up September!

Not that I know why I seem to be so damned thrilled about that.

If it was up to me every month would be September. Best month, easy peasy. Weather is on its best behavior, by which I mean it’s less bright, and that alone makes life infinitely easier to deal with.

Rainy and cold you say? Ja?? Is nice! Reasons to stay inside, get some proper clothes on, and I can finally open my blinds.

 

Listened to

Could Architects just take a goddamn break already? New track and I can’t even tell if it’s actually good anymore. I just feel like I have no judgement and love whatever they put out. 100% biased.

So that overshadows the new Alazka release Phoenixthe title track of which is still a favorite:

which is the album I wish was Panik’s comeback record, och alas, a world of no, it was not. To be clear, this is one good album and any band putting this out should be proud.

That damn Architects track also overshadows the new Stray from the Path release Only Death Is Real,

…the new The National Sleep Well Beast

…AND the new Novelists release (Dear all, could you maybe consider spreading it out a little??? I can’t give you the attention you deserve.)

Being as an Ocean though. Being as an Ocean may just be the one that didn’t quite get overshadowed. Because this is exactly the record I wanted them to release, i.e. what they’ve created is finally in sync with my taste. There’s even bit of piano on this record. If I was PMS-ing I would cry.

Current favorite track off of Waiting for the Morning to Come: Thorns.

I’ve also binged Under huden med Kakan Hermansson. To a point where both reading is music is suffering from it.

 

Watched

Have you. Seen Architects. At Reading? How is the sound this good when it’s live??

Yesyes! I know I’m way overdue for a new favorite band. I’ll find one eventually. It’s not looking good though.

 

Read

Naomi Klein’s That Changes Everything. Might have mentioned.

 

Firsts

First Sephora shop ever. Because I needed (apparently??) the plum shade in the Kat von D Shade + light palette. EXACTLY the purple I’ve been looking for, as expected. And speaking of purple…

Dyed hair purple. It’s. It has many advantages. Such as it doesn’t seem to bleed as much as the red dye, goes better with most colors (e.g. cannot stand yellow when my hair is red). But. To be honest. I miss the red.

Adopting a skincare routine. Not a minute too soon some would say. Not my mother tho.

Mom: Are all those bottles yours…?
Me: Yes!
Mom: What was in that package?
Me: MORE!

I wish I was more like my mother; she’s a true minimalist. In that respect. I’m not even sure she has any type face cream.

 

Skincare

I know it’s too soon to talk about favorite skincare products, but, well, it’s my blog and its main purpose has to be space for me to do whatever I want?

Without further ado: madly in love with these guys:

I don’t usually fall madly in love with Body Shop products, but this camomile cleanser and vitamin E serum-in-oil are just so lovely!

 

Food

Made this excellent warm salad (it’s what we call “bowls” in Sweden) the other day, out of necessity: beets roasted in wasabi sesame and olive oil + kale, raw cabbage and vegan roasted garlic mayo, black beans and a really nice bulgur. Which I’ve already managed to make a weekly staple. And it was pretty too. And there was a picture. Which I then proceeded to lose (???).

I’ll give you this ginger shot instead:

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And because I live in fear of being mistaken for a healthy person: I don’t take it as a shot, I mix it with my water. Because I am obsessed with the that ginger bite.

Monthly menstrual report

Congratulations all speakers of Swedish! You can enjoy this fabulous video-taped podcast:

30 minutes menstruation + birth related bleeding💕 💕 💕

Another good thing about this month: no menstruation for me! I told you it was good.

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This has been an Endless Blog Challenge post.

5 fall favorites

I’ve distanced myself from the metal. Wee bit. Always easier in fall.

I maintain that any fall soundtrack must include at lest one Richard Hawley track. This year, my pick is the 2003 release Run for Me:

Another favorite for fall is the latest Fink release, the album as a whole is my current go-to for whenever I’m not sure what I want to listen to, but I want to listen to something. Not Everything was Better in the Past is a nice one.

For some reason, Amy MacDonald always makes more sense to me in the fall. This is an old favorite I was reminded of when listening to an old mixed CD in my car:

I’m also adding Daughter to my playlists, e.g. Smother from the 2013 release If You Leave:

And obviously, Jonathan is a given. Som om from the album Klagomuren, one the best albums there ever was /fact.

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This has been an Endless Blog Challenge post.

Experimenting with skincare

I’ve quickly abandoned my environment obsession and replaced it with a keen interest in skincare.

Currently, my skin seems to have two settings: oily or flaky dry. Like WTF?

I care for one reason only: you can’t put makeup on that. Unless you like your makeup patchy. (Did I also have to try just to make sure? You bet I did!)

Enter research skincare.

I have binged skincare by all my favorite YouTubers, added some Caroline Hirons, Under huden med Kakan Hermansson obvs (why didn’t I get on this train sooner?? Her combination of feminism and skincare is beyond brilliant!), and checked cruelty free status of a bunch of brands. It’s pretty much all I do. Read? But why? When I can watch another Pixi cleanser review??

Previously: sorta didn’t watch skincare at all, because what do I care? (Exception: hand creams. Care A LOT. But no one ever talks about that.)

So far though, this has gotten me to a point where I’m more confused than I was before. Certain about one thing only: there’s lots of trial and error to come.

Speaking of which. Went on a wee shopping spree. Sorta wished I’d stumbled on the cheat sheet on Caroline Hirons’ site before that; it’s a what products to spend money on, and what products you can buy for cheap. And grouped and sorted according to age! You have to love that.

Not that I’ve really splurged so far, but I was contemplating an expensive clay mask. However. You can make your own for barely any money! Didn’t even know you could; want to try this asap! Not least because that has to be better for the environment, right??

For similar reasons, I have purchased the camomile cleanser from the Body Shop.

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Not sure if it’s a cleanser one should be using if the skin sometimes is on the oily side, but oh, it melts away makeup and makes me forget all about my favorite Superdrug wipes. Also, no wipes=better from an environment point of view. (…apparently didn’t abandon the environment completely..?) Bonus: can keep my contacts in, which I find is frequently a problem with any makeup remover, somehow they get in your eyes an leave a film or some gunk on your contacts.

Unfortunately. Making up for whatever decreased environmental impact the cleanser involves by using C-vitamin peeling pads. People in the know say these specific ones are good. I’m not so sure. Don’t they make me more orange? And sticky? Or is that something else?

What I am most definitely loving tho, is this spatula for mask application.

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The feeling of spreading your mask on with this thing is so satisfying.

I’ve settled on this routine as my starting point, but as per usual, I’m not great at following instructions.

I did a wee experiment. Because my face felt sticky, I wanted to see if I was using too much product. So I sorta didn’t moisturize. Until I really felt I needed it and then only with a tiny bit of cream at a time.

Do you know what happens when you do that? (You probably do.)

You get yourself two sizable dry patches, that’s what happens. Skin in general feels kinda tight and itchy too, but that’s a minor problem. By comparison.

And so, mission of the day was to get an exfoliating sponge, preferably an AHA moisturizer, and a good night cream, possibly also an oil for nighttime use. According to online sources, that could maybe work for dry patches.

So I’ve now slathered my poor abused face with the youth concentrate Body Shop gave me, when I bought this serum in oil:

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Which I put on top of the concentrate (as instructed, dunno what the concentrate does), serum in oil btw, feels so, so nice on the skin, followed this with a layer of AHA moisturizer:

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My skin is not unhappy. Happier than it’s been for weeks actually.

Super excited to see what mood my skin decides to be in tomorrow, if this combo actually was as good as it seems or if it was just for now.

Not quite getting my hopes up. My skin seems just about as fickle as my menstruation.

The Endless Blog Challenge

We are heading into the last week of September, it’s safe to say we are well into fall.

As the month ends on Saturday, it should come as no surprise that for next week, one of the topics proposed is:

SEPTEMBER SUMMARY. Or September favorites, whatever you want to call it! Some sort of wrap up of September.

Let’s stick with the fall theme.

5 FALL FAVORITES. If I’m being honest, I’m expecting five songs you’ve added to your fall playlist, but let’s not be restrictive! Any type fall favorites, completely random or on a theme.

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY. Interpret as you will, but sticking with the theme is one suggestion.

Good luck!

How to learn to love beans

This is the guide I wish I had when I went vegetarian. Because OH how I struggled with the legumes.

My first encounter with legumes, other than white beans in chili, was not a happy meeting.

Green lentils. No hint of a spice. As some sort of side dish? Shudders.

Don’t do that. Took me literally years to recover.

It’s actually not THAT complicated, there’s basically two things to it:

ONE. Buy canned and/or frozen.

There is one simple reason for this: if you’re unfamiliar with beans and/or lentils you’re not going to know what they’re supposed to look/taste like. If you start out buying canned/frozen beans/lentils you’ll learn, which will be immensely helpful if you want to start cooking them yourself. Which I personally think is a bit overkill, even if it’s something I do. I suppose it’s good for the environment, your personal finances and ehm, if you need something to do Saturday mornings? To make you feel you’ve accomplished something over the weekend?

And supposedly, if you struggle to digest beans, canned beans is a better option.

TWO. Start with the easy ones

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Some of them require less practice than others; this is a list of 4 of the easy ones, including examples of what to do with them.

Red lentils

This was probably my first love. The flavor isn’t overpowering, they more or less just add a bit of a crunch. Who doesn’t love a bit of crunch?

One of my go-to dishes for the longest time was just throwing together some rice, red lentils, scallions, red and yellow pepper and cucumber, and then dressing it with bit of olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper. And when I could be bothered, sprinkle of sesame seeds on top.

Black beans

This is obvious, isn’t it? Black bean burrito bowl. Black beans, cucumber, a nice tomato, bit of corn, some avocado, add salsa and couscous. What more could you possibly need?

If you want a recipe, I would say head over to Minimalist Baker; she has some of the best ideas for food. And it’s simple too!

Edamame

Ah the edamame! Or soy bean, if you want to be less fancy. The nicest green color, bit of a crunch, goes really well with Asian inspired dishes (i.e. stuff you stick wasabi in). It’s also got an excellent protein-calorie ratio (i.e. lots of protein for few calories). I.e. makes it easy to make your meals protein-packed, if that is something you want.

Defrosts quicker than any other bean which is a bonus.

For me, this love story started out with a lazy sushi bowl. Basically, you cook brown rice, stick in the soy beans when its done to let them defrost for a minute, add some cucumber, shredded nori sheets, avocado and pickled ginger.

For spices! Mix sesame seed oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce and wasabi. Top with sesame seeds.

There are lots of version of this bowl; if you haven’t a lazy vegan sushi bowl in your life, you need to get to it! My version is probably based on this recipe, which used to be available on some other site back in the day. Yes well. Not important.   

Great white beans

There’s nothing the great white doesn’t go with. Had this been by first encounter with beans, I’d gone vegan right away.

I think it’s a consistency thing. That, and they work real well with pasta and greens. This is what I usually do: great white beans, pasta, pesto, asparagus and zucchini. 

Fry asparagus and zucchini in a bit of olive oil and garlic, cook the pasta and when it’s done and drained, add pesto and beans. For some additional texture you could add fresh veggies, e.g. leafy greens, and/or aubergine puree, or tomatoes. Olives is another option. To make it look nice if nothing else.

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This has been an Endless Blog Challenge post.