Monday, 29 December 2014

Wandering the Streets of Edinburgh

My flight home on the 22nd wasn't until late afternoon, so I decided to spend a few hours in Edinburgh before going to the airport (Glasgow's airport doesn't really have any flights to Sweden, so I flew from Edinburgh). The weather was a bit schizophrenic - very windy (as always in Edinburgh), sometimes sunny and sometimes cloudy and rainy. Thankfully, Edinburgh is pretty in all weathers.

I spent a few hours wandering up and down the streets, popping into quaint shops every now and then. I also visited the Greyfriar's Kirkyard for the first time (I've always walked past it, but never actually visited), where I got mud all over my boots on the way to the gravestone of Tom Riddell (from whom J.K. Rowling borrowed Voldemort's name!). Finally, I walked through the Christmas market, both first thing when it had just opened and was completely empty, and later on when it was considerably more crowded. 

Even though I didn't do anything special, it was lovely to just wander about and soak in the atmosphere. Edinburgh is wonderful at Christmas time.

Love, Mimmi.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Snapshots from the last few days

I've devoted the last few days mainly to spending time with my family, lounging around and eating, which has been really great. In the same lazy fashion, I thought I'd show you some snaps that I've taken since I got home. :)

Sunshine, snow on the ground and -10 degrees Celsius is what Sweden has offered these past few days. It's proper winter and I love it.

Mum sadly didn't yield to my wishes of getting a real tree, but our plastic one is rather lovely either way. I love how it makes the living room so cosy and festive.

Candles have been lit, all the time. As soon as it gets dark (around three in the afternoon), the matches come to use. This lovely candelabra lit up the table at my grandparents' place on Christmas Eve.

I've stuffed my face with chocolate, but also with real food. This is the dinner on Christmas Eve. The first round with cold things, and the second round with the warm things. Yum.

It was so great to see this wee gentleman again. He's probably the sweetest dog ever.

Today my mum and I visited Uppsala, a beautiful city located not that far from my home town. We wandered around, popped into shops, and paused at cafés to fill our stomachs and warm our frozen selves.

I hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas!

Love, Mimmi.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas

Just checking in to wish you all a very Happy Christmas! Whether you're celebrating today (like me) or tomorrow (like I imagine most of you are), I hope you'll have a wonderfully magical Christmas, filled with food, laughter and cosiness.

Lots of love,


Sunday, 21 December 2014

Happy Post #9

Pictures from our Christmas dinner this Friday.

Oh dear, it's already time for another appreciative post. Time has really flown by, hasn't it? Oops, here I go again, going on about how quickly time passes. I'll just stop talking about that and crack on with the positivity.

The things that have made me happy lately are...

Getting through my exams and semester one, and finally being on Christmas break. I had one exam this Tuesday and two on the Thursday, which was nerve-wrecking and terrifying in every way. The feeling of relief and joy when they were all over was quite something though and almost made up for it.

And in relation to that -- being able to relax, do whatever I want and enjoy the festive season without feeling guilty about not revising. It's such a good feeling! I'm so excited about having a few weeks where I can read and watch whatever I want.

Spending a few lovely days with the girls before we all parted for Christmas. To make up for the last couple of lonely, studious week and all the exam anxiety, we made the most out of our last weekend together for the year. After our exams were finished on Thursday, we had a relaxed evening together, exchanging Secret Santa gifts and chatting away until the early hours of the morning. The following day we went grocery shopping, then cooked a Christmas dinner and ate until we were incredibly stuffed and tired. It was really great. I'm so happy I've met these girls, and it'll be so weird not seeing them over the holidays.

That said, I'm really looking forward to going home to Sweden for Christmas, which I'm really excited about. Because of flights being expensive and whatnot, I'm the last one to leave. Most people left yesterday, and then the last one of my friends left today, so I've got this evening to myself before I go home tomorrow. I don't mind being alone for a bit, but it'll be so nice to get home and see the family again, and celebrate a Swedish Christmas!

I'll let this appreciative post be short and sweet, since I already touched upon a lot in my last post. I'll just finish off with a few posts that I enjoyed reading over the past couple of weeks:

Anya's post about the Bakewell Christmas Market.

This article about being a morning person on ALO.

Suzie from Hello October's thoughts on body bashing.

Megan's beautiful photos of her Christmas tree.

Alice's guest post about Christmas traditions on The Tea Drinking English Rose.

And that's it for this time!

Tomorrow I'm going to spend a few hours in Edinburgh (I'm flying from the Edinburgh airport) before I take the plane back to Sweden, which I'm really looking forward to. I haven't been to Edinburgh since back in September when I first moved to Scotland, and I know how beautiful it is during Christmas so it'll be lovely to have a wander. So expect some Edinburgh photos soon!

Okay, now I'll go back to packing and listening to Christmas music.

Love, Mimmi.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Life Lately

So, exam stress got to me and I really didn't have the time or inspiration to write a post yesterday. On top of that, I haven't really been up to much lately and didn't have much to write about. Ever since lectures finished on the 5th, what I've mostly been doing is revise, revise and revise. However, today I had my last two exams which means that I'm now free! I admit that "FREEDOM!" has been yelled quite a few times already today. It feels really fitting since we're in Scotland.

I thought I'd just do a small post about what I've been up to the past couple of weeks that hasn't featured on the blog. Quite a lot of the time I don't bring my camera with me (although, quite a lot of the time I do...), and there are moments that just can't really be made into a whole separate blog post.

I've been into town a few times, both in the light and in the dark (which is not that hard, as it gets dark at four these days). I spend most of my time in the West End, but sometimes it's nice to get down to Buchanan Street, especially since it is now all glittery and lovely with its Christmas lights.

I saw the last The Hobbit movie at the midnight premiere last week, but was really disappointed. I'm a big fan of the book and of Tolkien's world in general, but the movie was just ridiculous. Have you seen it? What did you think of it? I've also been getting into Christmas movies. The first one I watched was The Holiday, and then a couple of days ago I watched Nightmare Before Christmas. It's a brilliant movie.

As I mentioned in my last appreciative post, I've been to a lot more gigs since I got here. Last Saturday I went with a friend to see We Were Promised Jetpacks at one of the student unions. The support act was Fatherson, and both of the bands were really great.

Last Sunday I had Christmas dinner with my flat and a few others. I don't spend a lot of time with the girls in my flat as neither of them do the same subjects as I, and my closest friends are the English Lit girls. However, I do really like my flatmates and it was really nice spending some time with them. We made roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, honey roasted root vegetables, and then I had a nut cutlet whereas they had a roasted chicken. For dessert two of the girls had made a Victoria Sponge, which was really lovely.

And finally, having exams means you can treat yourself, right? I went into town for a while after my first exam on Tuesday, and when I walked past the Christmas market I just couldn't resist trying some Dutch pancakes. I had them with nutella, and they were so so good. After our last exam today me and the girls went to our favourite bakery to celebrate. I had a lovely pain au chocolat and a latte.

Now I'm just unbelievably excited for Christmas, and it feels amazing to be able to enjoy it without having to worry about revising. I'm going home on the 22nd and I'm really looking forward to spending some quality time with the family.

How has your week been so far? Are you excited for Christmas?

Love, Mimmi.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Dinner at Zizzi

The last week has mostly been spent studying, either at the library or at the desk in my room. I have three exams next week (which I'm really not looking forward to), so I've had to really make an effort to revise. Even though I do like my subjects, it has been quite tedious. Since we've all been buried in our books me and my friends haven't seen each other much this week, but we decided to go out for dinner on the Friday as a treat to help us get through the revision period.

We decided to go to the Italian restaurant Zizzi. They've got a couple of restaurants in Glasgow, and we decided to go to the one in Cresswell Lane, which is the lane across the street from Ashton Lane. The location is lovely and the restaurant itself is really homely and nice as well. 

I opted for a pizza with goat cheese, mozzarella, roasted vegetables, artichokes, rocket salad and olives. It was divine, but seriously massive. I gave my friends about a quarter of it, but still couldn't completely finish all of it. To go with the pizza I had a cheeky glass of white wine, and all in all it was such a good and satisfying meal! We all left really stuffed and happy. Food is definitely good for the soul.

I hope you've all had a good weekend! What have you been up to?

Love, Mimmi

Friday, 12 December 2014

The Christmas Tag

I've seen this tag floating around the blogosphere for a while, and since I'm a very, very big fan of Christmas I thought I'd give it a go. I'll take any chance I get to talk about Christmas! I would love to read other people's answers, so please do this tag if you find it interesting, or link me your post if you've already done it :)

Alright, here we go.

1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie?

Love Actually is probably my ultimate favourite, closely followed by The Holiday, The Grinch and Elf. Also - I don't know if they're Christmassy enough, but I really love The Nightmare Before Christmas and Edward Scissorhands.

2. Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

In Sweden Christmas Eve is "the big day" so naturally that is the day for opening the presents. When we were younger we always got one or two gifts in the morning, and then we were given the rest in the evening. 

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?

This is a hard one! Probably just the collective memory of all my childhood Christmases, honestly. Even though I still adore Christmas, it will never be as magical as it was when I was a child.

4. Favourite festive food?

Saffron buns and gingerbread. Oh and rice pudding and spiced Swedish Christmas bread. I'm definitely more for the sweet than the savoury during Christmas! Swedish Christmas food is very centred around meat (especially pork), which I used to love as a kid. Earlier this year I became a pescetarian, so this will be my first Christmas without eating meat, but I really don't think I'll miss it much. I can still eat my favourites; cured salmon, brussel sprouts (love those wee things!) and Jansson's temptation.

5. Favourite Christmas gift?

Oh no, this is a difficult one. I honestly can't think of anything in specific, but I always love the small, thoughtful gifts that my mum gets me - things that I might've mentioned that I want, or that she just knows I'll like.

6. Favourite Christmas scent?

The smell of gingerbread fresh from the oven. Oh my days.

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

As mentioned above, the 24th is the day of celebration in Sweden. Most years it looks something like this: a lazy breakfast, lounging around, cooking and preparing for the big meal, rice pudding for lunch, more lounging around or preparing, watching the yearly Donald Duck tv show (I really don't know why this is such a big thing in Sweden, but it is, haha..) in the afternoon, more lounging around?, then eating the big Christmas dinner (which takes a long time, as it should), after which it's time for the presents. Usually we'll make time for mulled wine and sweets at least a couple of times during the day and evening, too. 

8. What tops your tree?

A star, of course!

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) you always asked for but never received?

I don't think so. I was such a boring, reasonable kid, haha. One of my older sisters, however, always asked for a horse. She is still just as horse crazy.

10. What's the best part about Christmas for you?

Just spending quality time with the family, plus the whole atmosphere of it. It's definitely the best time of the year :)

Okay, that's enough procrastinating for this morning. Now I really have to get back to revising for exams...

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead of you :)

Love, Mimmi. 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Baking Saffron Buns

The first Sunday of Advent was dedicated to baking gingerbread, and for the second Sunday of Advent (last Sunday), my friend and I had decided to make another traditional Swedish festive treat: saffron buns. In Swedish they're called 'lussebullar' and they are traditionally made for St. Lucia's day on the 13th. Most people, however, eat them for the whole of December. For me, it's really not Christmas without them!

Saffron buns are simply sweet rolls flavoured with saffron, making them beautifully yellow. They are believed to originate from Germany, and historically they're supposed to scare off the devil who appeared in the shape of a cat to beat children. Their yellow shade represents the sunlight, which the devil is scared of. Most of the time they're shaped into an s, which is supposed to represent a cat (although I don't really see how) and then decorated with raisins. 

Since we couldn't find fresh yeast (which I'd always use back home) and had to use dry yeast, we used an English recipe from BBC Good Food, which actually worked out really well. We made most of the buns in the traditional s-shape, but our Scottish friends, who joined us about halfway through, contributed with some more creative shapes. We also made a few with cinnamon filling, like a wonderful fusion between saffron buns and cinnamon rolls. They were so good!

When they were all done we heated up some mulled wine to have together with the warm, fresh saffron buns. Delicious. My freezer drawer is now full of these beauties, which is making me really happy! Hopefully they'll help me get through exam revision...

Have you done any festive baking so far?

Love, Mimmi.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Happy Post #8

Last Sunday's sunset, seen from my kitchen window.

...and so it's time for another appreciative post! It feels like I wrote the last one just the other, but it has already been more than two weeks. I can't believe how quickly time flies, and I can't seem to stop mentioning it. Is this a sign of getting old? Either way, I've had two really good weeks, so let's crack on with the positivity!

The first of this month marked the day of my blog's six month anniversary. I started this blog back in June because I was incredibly bored and wanted a creative outlet. Since then I've found that I really enjoy having this little space on the internet, and I'm so grateful for those who read and appreciate my ramblings :)

Gingerbread! It's rather wonderful having a big tin of homemade gingerbread in your room. Like Sam so aptly put it, they're like Christmas in your mouth. I might or might not be eating one while writing this...

Having a chocolate advent calendar. I'm such a child when it comes to Christmas, and having a chocolate advent calendar is a must. I've had one every year for as long as I can remember and it just wouldn't be December without one! I love finishing off breakfast with a wee piece of chocolate.

Left: Irish indie band Walking On Cars at King Tut's the other week. Right: George's Square's interesting Christmas decorations.

And whilst on the topic... the Christmas spirit. I've always been a big fan of Christmas, but even more so this year. I think it might be because I'm living by myself, because it was the same last year when I was in France. I seem to be bursting with excitement for Christmas!

Gigs. I didn't get the chance to go to many concerts back home in Sweden but since moving to Glasgow I've already been to four, and I have one more planned before Christmas. It makes me so happy that there are so many opportunities to go to gigs in Glasgow and I'm determined to take full advantage of it over the next few years.

The colder weather arriving. We've had quite a few really nice days where the sun is out and the air is cold and crisp, and I love it. That said, this Saturday was really mild and rainy, but the nice weather returned today and I'm crossing my fingers that it'll be sticking around.

And finally, here are six blog posts that I've enjoyed reading over the past couple of weeks:

Natalie's thoughts on the problems with too much blogging advice.

Sofia's post about skincare from the inside out.

Sophie's thoughts on being negative about positivity.

This inspiring post from Jenny's "Words"-series.

This list on A Little Opulent of things you should stop overthinking.

My friend's photos from our gingerbread baking (her photos are ten times better than mine!).

What has made you happy recently? And do you have any great blog posts to share?
I hope you've had a great weekend!

Love, Mimmi.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Cushion & Cake

A couple of Sundays ago, after wandering around Kelvingrove Art Gallery for a good couple of hours, my friend and I decided it would be nice to have some tea/coffee and cake, and went to a tearoom nearby. I had been to Cushion & Cake once before (on a 'tea crawl' with the Jane Austen society back in September) and knew it was nearby, but wouldn't have thought about it if I hadn't seen a sign directing us to it. Good move, Cushion & Cake.

Cushion & Cake is a rather small tearoom, with only about fifteen seats. When we arrived we were the only ones there, but after a while we were joined by a couple of others. Sunday afternoons seem to be a good time to go if you like it calm and quiet, though.

The interior is very pastel-y and cute. To be honest, it's a bit too cutesy for my taste, but the homeliness, the good tea and the pastries all make up for it. They had a few cakes which looked lovely, but seeing that they had scones with clotted cream and jam, I obviously had to go for that. My friend opted for a chocolate cake, and I think we were both really chuffed with our choices.

Cushion & Cake is located on Dumbarton Road in the West End of Glasgow, very near the Kelvingrove Art Gallery. It's a really nice spot for some tea or coffee and cake, and they also offer soup, sandwiches and afternoon tea. The staff is really lovely and the atmosphere is homely and relaxed.

Have you discovered any tearooms or cafés nearby lately?

Love, Mimmi.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Baking Gingerbread

Gingerbread-baking every year before Christmas is a tradition in my family, even though I'm now living by myself in another country I still wanted to do it. Thankfully, I have a Swedish friend here who shares my excitement for Christmas, so the two of us agreed that we would definitely do it. This past Sunday was the first of Advent (which for some reason is a pretty big deal in Sweden) and we decided that it was the perfect day for welcoming Christmas with some homemade gingerbread. 

Around lunch-time on Sunday we met up, and then spent about four hours baking, getting flour everywhere and listening to Michael Bublé's Christmas album on repeat. It was a wonderfully festive afternoon.

We ended up with a massive pile of stars, which resulted in two full cake tins for the two of us and another one for our friends. Having a tin full of gingerbread sitting in your room is both wonderful and dangerous.

I thought I'd share the recipe and technique we used, in case someone would want to try out making Swedish gingerbread. This recipe is based on this one, but slightly altered. It's a massive recipe (it makes about 120-150 gingerbread), so I'd suggest dividing it by two (or four...) if you don't want as many. 


1 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tbsp ground cloves
2 tbsps ground cinnamon
1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
300 grams of unsalted butter, at room temperature
225 grams of granulated sugar
160 grams of brown sugar
1 egg
the zest of 1 lemon
300 ml golden syrup
300 ml double cream
900 - 1100 grams of plain flour

Day 1:

1. Sift together the spices, the salt and the bicarbonate of soda.
2. Mix in butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and the egg, together with the spices.
3. Add lemon zest, syrup, cream and flour and work until everything is incorporated and you have a smooth, relatively firm dough. 
4. Put the dough in the fridge overnight to set.

Day 2:

5. Take out the dough and heat the oven to 180° Celsius. Roll out small chunks of dough as thin as you can and stamp out your gingerbread.
6. Put the gingerbread on a baking sheet lined with baking greaseproof paper and bake in the middle of the oven for around 8 minutes, until golden brown.
7. Take out and let cool on a cooling rack.
8. Decorate with icing if you wish, or enjoy them as they are!

If anyone ends up trying the recipe out, let me know if it worked out for you. 

Tell me - have you ever made your own gingerbread? Is there anything you always bake each year for Christmas?

Love, Mimmi.