PERSONAL

OPEN KITCHEN CONCEPT

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Holy crap, people! I have never considered how much I would love the idea of an open kitchen, living and dining room. All in one place, where you can interact with one another while cooking. Guests can sit in the couch (which we by the way will get tomorrow – yay!) and chat with the host who is in the kitchen. It is so practical and cosy. Actually, cosy is the wrong word for it, because it is not quite as fitting as the Danish word:

Hygge!

It all happens in one room, and it is a wonderful idea. You do not have to feel separated from the party at the dining table while fixing something in the kitchen. At the same time, you can quickly call upon helpers from the living room.

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Our baby girl loves it as well, because she was quickly spot what each of us is doing. Whether it is when she is being fed and the other is preparing the rest of the food, or she is just playing in the living room before dinner.

Sadly, the open kitchen concept may become something we will look for when we will go on house hunts. And this means that we will be more critical and sort out the other pretty good houses. Well, heck – at least now we know what we are looking for – specifically!

Many hugs from EL ❤

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PERSONAL

SHOWERING IN A “CAVE”

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You guys… I don’t know if you share my enthusiasm for bath time, but it is my absolute favourite time of the day… Aside from breakfast, of course. I love taking showers, pamper myself and try out new sustainable products.

However, the places I have lived so far never seemed to fulfil my desire to stay for long at the bathroom, because it was either as small as a closet or rather disgusting from all the calcium that comes from the water in the city. Fortunately, our new place has the best bathroom so far. The shower cabinet is dark and large, and it feels like you stand in a cave while showering. When you pull the shower curtains close, the light becomes dim, and it automatically creates a cosy pamper-inviting atmosphere to my shower routine.

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Well, not that I actually have that many products to really call it a routine, since I am a person who firmly believes that;

less is more!

Yet it still feels like I am spoiling myself, whenever I step inside the shower cabinet.

And with this written… I cannot believe that I have spent a post writing about our new shower cabinet. How odd is that? Well, more fun stuff coming up – I promise!

Many hugs from EL

NATURE

FLEETING SNOW

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I don’t know if you guys are living at a place that is similar to Denmark… But here we have not had any decent snow and cold winter days for years. I remember when I was a kid, it had been so cold one night, that the harbour had frozen, and me and my friend went out and walked on water. Dangerous, but possible. You could also walk out on ice from the beach. It was beautiful and almost surreal.

Then there were winters where it had snowed so much that our schools closed, busses stopped driving and I remember I had to walk home with snow that reached my knees. The snow piles at my mother’s place reached the roof, and it looked like she was living in an igloo. The only thing that was acceptable to do in this kind of weather was to stay inside and drink hot beverages.

This year (the same as the last couple of years) we have only had snow for a couple of days. And it had started melting the day after its arrival. I think it is very noticeable how much hotter the weather had become, and storms and rain have replaced icy cold days here in Denmark. I miss the milky white snow that can cover up not only the ground, but somehow also any noise around it. I miss the days where it is cold for weeks and weeks, and snow is just a part of the winter months. I do not think that I will see such days again. Sad, but true.

Now I have to do with rain, rain and more rain.

How are the winters where you live?

Many hugs from EL

PERSONAL

THE PLAY ROOM

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We had no idea what to call it because it is actually meant to be a bedroom. We have a walk-in closet in there, and it would have been perfect to have a bed there as well. However, we also have a room upstairs and since we needed a spot for my fiancé’s stationary computer, it was much easier to get an internet wire through the wall between the living room and the bedroom.

Therefore, the upstairs turned into a very minimalistic bedroom with just one large bed, a crib and a chair where we can sit and read stories for our little girl. The actual bedroom with the walk-in closet became what we call a “playroom”. And here you may sit and think:

Kinky! Fifty Shades of EL! Now we are talking! Hubba-hubba!

However, the playroom is meant to be more like an office (as adults may call it). It is where my fiancé can have his computer. Where he can sit in the evenings and play a game. But it is also where our kid can play during daytime. She has her own corner for her toys.

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We have currently focused on getting things inside the three old boxes along the wall, as well as up in the heights on top of them. Hoping to inspire her to get up on her feet so she can reach for her toys. She loves to play on her tummy and pull her toys out from the boxes. She is a very linguistic little being, and does not crawl yet, nor can she pull herself into a standing position on her own.

We are currently not worried, since she develops according to her age, but we do keep an eye on her still.

You may also notice the paintings in the distance… These are the ones we will hang over our couch, which we by the way have finally purchased tonight. It will arrive in 6 days. YAY!

So, here is a small insider look of our new apartment. Raw and unpolished. A big mess in the play corner, but that’s how it is supposed to be. It is real that way! I hope you enjoy it.

Many hugs from EL

PERSONAL

NO COUCH

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Everything is pretty much in order at our new place, except one single thing! A couch! We are in desperate need of one – a big one – where we all three can hang out without feeling it getting too crowded. And besides that, it needs to become a bed for the few times my mum comes to visit. She always stays overnight.

We are currently in a big dilemma. Shall we buy a new or a used one?

If we want to buy a new one, there is a dream couch on sale until tomorrow, so we have to act quickly. If it shall be a used one, there are none at the moment. And the few there are have minor damages. Oh, the decisions need a tag #firstworldproblems

Besides, we are running a race against time, because we want to hold a birthday party for our families, and we cannot do that before we have more places to sit. We have postponed that party for so long that it is getting embarrassing.

Now we just have an empty corner in the apartment where the internet box is. Oh dear, we have not reached a decision yet… And we have not even thought about how we shall get the couch home once buying it, since we don’t own a trailer #firstworldproblems

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What small issues are you dealing with today that makes your life real and imperfect?

Many hugs from EL ❤

MOOD BOARD, PERSONAL

MOOD BOARDS FOR THIS WEEK

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There are two, because death has played a huge part of my mood the last few days. However, as I made the first mood board that represented how I felt when my friend passed away; fragile, strong, beautiful and almost ghostly, it slowly got overwritten by other moods inspired by her personality.

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Until her death, she was a happy girl who loved everything feminine, unique and beautiful. She loved art, plants and good music. She loved contrasts, gentle rose colours, sharp paint and everything that could provoke and inspire. She inspired me, and I sit here with more inspiration than ever. I want to create mood boards, I want to buy plants, I want to celebrate life, and I want to listen to all of the music she loved.

It feels like she is still here.

It is a healing process for me, and it boosts my creativity. All in her spirit.

Many hugs from EL ❤

NATURE, OUTDOORS, PERSONAL

WHEN THE FOREST HEALS

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I cannot declare myself healed from the news of my best friend passing away, because it takes time to fill that black void of space I feel in my heart. Yet as the sun shines down from a blue sky, and the air is crispy fresh, it drags me outside to inhale it deeply.

So down a bumpy forest path I walked…

With a stroller that held a sleeping girl, who would not sleep for long due to a current baby leap. I tried to enjoy the peace when I had it. I have always found joy when I was out in nature, even though the neatly trimmed forest I visited could barely be compared to actual nature. Nevertheless, the trees whispered to me, and I answered.

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The straight dark patterns of their stems were appealing in my time of sorrow, and it felt strangely melancholic as I pushed the stroller up the hill towards the sun. My best friend loved aesthetics, life and nature. She loved the wonder of a green forest, the darkness of naked trees in the winter and the fragile ever-lasting beauty of flowers.

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I dedicated this walk, and this beautiful sunny day to her.

Many hugs from EL ❤

PERSONAL

GONE…

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I have been quiet for a while in here, and it is with a good reason.

Saturday the 3’rd of February, my best friend in the entire world passed away from cancer. She had battled it for almost two years and finally her body could not take it anymore and shut down. The news of her passing broke me down, because due to the many changes in my own life, as well as the increasing pain she felt, we kept postponing our meetings. She did not want me to see her suffer, and I respected it… I therefore never got to say goodbye to her.

It is with a heavy heart that I write this post, and I have no idea where to begin… I want to tell her story, but there is no one better at doing so than herself…

If I should tell it, I would begin in May 2016. It had been a week of sunshine and warmth and as we strolled the streets of Aarhus, we chatted about how strange she felt recently. She had menstrual cramps and bled slightly. Both of us thought it was an STD, and I told her how important it was for her to seek a gynaecologist for a check. You see, she was a very private woman, when it came to things like these, and she had never been checked down there… Nor has she had an HPV vaccine – not even when our generation could get it for free for a year.

It was another lovely day that turned extremely dark when she called me at work to tell me that the doctor thought she had cervical cancer and needed treatment right away. The tumour was so big, that the treatment consisted of intense radiation mixed with chemotherapy, which meant that she would never be able to have children. I had to take deep breaths in order to drive carefully home to her as I rushed to see my best friend who was sitting with these sad news all alone.

And as she started her treatment, I became pregnant. In winter 2016, she was declared cancer free and could now look forward for an adoption (after five years has gone), you see, her biggest dream was to have a child. It was a ray of sunlight in the dark winter months and there was hope for the future.

Though something felt wrong. Her body felt weak, depressed and as if it was slowly eating itself up. When she asked for a check-up, they noticed that the cancer had spread itself to the lymphatics and from the examinations, they could see it has possibly spread to her entire uterus. With a heavy heart, she agreed to get it removed… But that did not help either…

The summer my daughter got born, my friend started a heavy treatment of chemo. And as she maybe have needed me the most, I dedicated myself for my own child that needed me more. As her hair fell of her head, leaves started falling from the trees. On September the 4’th 2017, she got the feared news… She could not be cured! The cancer has spread itself to her spine, bones, kidneys and lungs. From that day on, it went downhill.

Each month on the 4’th, she and her family celebrated life, and that another month had passed. In two days she raised 50.000 DKK for C-vitamin treatment to get energy for her remaining time. She was positive till the end… she truly believed that she could get cured, and so did I. The other possibility seemed so unreal. And whenever we met, we goofed around, talked only a bit about her illness, and instead laughed about everything like nothing was wrong. However, it strikes me how well my daughter could read her. Once we visited her, she cried the entire time. Screamed more likely. She did not want to be held by my friend. She knew something was wrong, even though us adults tried to hide it as well as we could.

It was past new years eve, she agreed to get hospitalized at a hospice. She told everyone it was to control her pain just so she could go home later. Maybe it was to keep that remaining hope she had. Yet it got worse and worse… and worse. I was so far away from her now that I could barely imagine what she was going through, even though I talked with her every day. Each time I tried to arrange a meeting, she cancelled due to heavy pain.

I respected her wishes, and I understood that she would maybe not want to see someone whose life is at a completely different place. As her life was ending, my life was beginning. But what could I do? I could not just show up, when she did not want to see me…

She wrote to me one final time… It felt like a final text from her due to the way she expressed her love and a promise of seeing me again.

A couple of days later, she died.

And this weekend, as I watched the white coffin getting carried away down the church corridor that was filled with beautiful flowers that she liked so much, I could not hold it in me anymore. My eyes followed it till it went though the heavy wooden doors. I wanted a glimpse of her one last time… A final glimpse. And I wanted to scream as tears silently rolled down my cheeks. I demanded to get her back! I demanded to see her.

Writing this post breaks my heart. It feels like I have a ball of dry air in my throat that I cannot get out. I feel breathless as I tap these letters. I cannot believe she is gone. Each day I find small things in life I want to share with her, but she is not there, and I feel lost and so alone.

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I know that she is not completely gone, because I see her everywhere still. I see her in the never aging aesthetic beauty of the flowers, the silliness of our common friend, my own strength and everything else she has taught me. She was so brave… Fragile but strong.

True to the end, no finer friend…

Now and for always ❤

parenting

MOVING WITH A 7 MONTHS OLD

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Have you had the time to appreciate how easy it is to move, when you don’t have children? No? Well, then take that time now! Even though it is always a huge mess and a bit stressful, when you have to switch apartments or houses, it is 100 times worse, when you have a kid with you.

We needed to pack a week ahead, and we live in a small apartment, so realistically it would only take maximum two days to do so. Yet, one of us needed to take care of our daughter, while the other needed to manage everything else. Pack into boxes, taking down lamps and pictures, organising stuff and finally clean and paint the old apartment. The latter took about three days for one person to do. Hands down for my awesome fiancé.

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The moving day was not even better. We were so fortunate to have friends helping us move, so my fiancé did all the lifting with them, while I took care of the little one.

I had to organise her naps, breakfast-, lunch- and dinnertime as well as helping the rest of the gang move our stuff, but at the same time not being in the way.

Therefore, I spent most of the day walking around with the stroller during her naps, and when she was awake, we were at our new place, putting things in order. Actually, as hard as it may have been; everything went pretty swiftly that day, and we can only thank our friends for that. They were so great!

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Now, one week later, we still need to hang up pictures, find a new couch and unpack books for the cupboards and shelves. Sadly, qe cannot do that before we have the couch, because everything needs to stand (and hang) in a specific distance to one another. Meanwhile, my car needed to get new winter tires and an inside wash, because we spilt plant fertilizer in it when moving. Holy f***! It feels like we will never finish… Fortunately, we have gotten used to living in a mess.

Many hugs from EL ❤

parenting

WHEN HE IS ON PATERNITY LEAVE

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With a title like that, you probably expect me to write about how wonderful it is having my fiancé at home, so that we both can take care of our daughter, and she can get a closer bond to him. And it is really amazing, but there are of course a few downsides that are rarely talked about. Because heck, if someone dared, then they would be considered as ungrateful and whiny. Yet in this post I will talk about the few problems of having the father at home with you that can make your blood boil as a mother.

Another opinion

When you have been at home with your kid for over a half year, gotten to know every single side of her, then you can get extremely frustrated if someone else comes and tries out new ways and has different opinions on how to do things.

Shut the hell up and watch me do my magic!

You have made a schedule and know exactly when to do what, and how the baby reacts to different things. Yet, as the other person comes and seems to be on unfamiliar ground, he might have another approach to parenting than you. After all, he is a father and not a mother. He does things differently, but heck… It is annoying as hell!

I know exactly how she looks when she has problems with her stomach, when she is tired and needs to sleep, when she can handle to play alone for a bit, and when she needs contact. He, however, still sees her as a newborn, and is therefore extremely careful with her, which often makes me look like a wild tornado when I play with her, because I know that now you can turn her upside down, tickle her and roll her around etc. It takes some time to get used to having another person around you with other opinions. I have to admit, it was much easier to be on your own during the day.

Too many cooks…

In Denmark we have a saying:

Too many cooks make the food bad!

Hey, I just googled it, and in English it is: “too many cooks spoil the broth!” Well, the meaning is the same. As two parents who are at home at the same time, we have different opinions on things, and we both want the best for our daughter, so we try a lot of things when she has a problem, because we both want to fix it. This can sometimes make everything worse.

And it is not even around the kid. I used to have a schedule for getting up, cooking us some breakfast and then eat it together with my daughter. However, mornings are now somewhat different, because I get her ready while he is in the kitchen making breakfast for all of us. This means that I rarely get to make my own food – not to mention take things more slowly.

Sometimes I just want to do things my way without interference!

Stressful days

Some days are “hair-pulling” days for me. Sometimes it feels like I have two kids at home, and it is very stressful. Since my fiancé often asks for my help to do things with our daughter, because he has not yet found his own routine, it takes a lot of energy to both help him and take care of my little girl.

Not to mention that he too demands attention.

Sometimes I just want to yell:

ARRRRGH!

And hammer my head against the wall. How come it can more stressful to be two parents at home rather than just one with a kid? It is a mystery.

Besides, it sometimes seems like the days are more stressful with him at home. There are more dishes, more food to cook, more stuff to do… The days where the tasks build up like mount doom stress me out.

So, this was it… I did not want to tell a romantic story about how wonderful it is having my fiancé at home, because nothing is perfect, and we are not always good friends. We disagree a lot. The most important thing is that we fix things together, and we talk to one another during our stressful imperfect days.

I hope you guys can relate to this.

Many hugs from EL ❤