around the world

Peaks.

so i did spend another week in the mountains. but different ones this time. surrounded by the astonishing peaks of mont blanc, les grand montets, l’aguille de midi, l’aguille de vert to name a few. the mountains works curious wonders with your well-being. it is like returning as a new person. so my resolution for the coming year is to visit the mountains more. much more.

All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2014. All rights reserved.

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Places, Sweden

White days.

after a few days up north i am back to repack my bags and then head to more southern mountain tops.

there is something about mountains. some kind of mystery that lingers. a taking, enigmatic feeling. and then of course there is the freedom. the clean air and the scenery faraway – of mountains, forests, sky and lakes. it fills you up and makes it hard to leave. what makes it even more amazing is when i put on a pair of skis. i then laugh from the top of the mountain down to the valley. the happiness flooding though me is amazing. and i never want to stop. ever.

this feeling made me start to wonder why so much of what is written, filmed, recorded, painted is about the painful moments in life. why don’t we focus more on the things that make us feel good? when someone asks how you have been, why don’t we answer with the best thing that has happened lately? when you make your new years resolutions why are they not about doing more of something that makes you happy? when the temperature creeps below zero why don’t you focus on the refreshing air that comes with it instead of complaining at the cold? i will continue to let the tiny but happy moments and situations fill me, allowing the good stuff to take time and space.

All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2014. All rights reserved.

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around the world, Photograpic, Places

Focus

my apologies for the lack of activity here. hard-drive crash happened. then exams happened. and then christmas grabbed my attention. still working on getting my computer in order. anyways. about a year ago i traveled around in east Asia (Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, Singapore..). that’s when i met these guys, on a backstreet in Taipei – casually playing their everyday game of something i don’t know. i love their focus and concentration. a healthy reminder to cherish the moment and focus on the task at hand. easier said then done.

oh, and i’ll get another recipe up here whenever i’ve digested all that christmas food and sweets…

All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2013. All rights reserved.

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fast eat, sweet eat, vegeterian eat

Plum rum jam

some memories of plums: the dried ones that i really didn’t like as a kid. the huge tree in my parents backyard, with red and yellow ones. all that sweet umeshuu (plum wine) in Japan. the salt and sour taste of pickled plums i’ll never understand. a so called (horrible) “plum tea”. fresh plum juice at some small place on a trip somewhere i can’t remember. and then there is this. plum and rum in one pot along with som dried figs that turned out to be a not too sweet, super quick jam.

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one small batch
6 plums
5 dried figs, cut in pieces
2 knives ends of vanilla
juice from 1/2 a lemon
1-2 tbsp Agave syrup
2 tbsp dark rum

wash the plums and cut in wedges, put in a pot together with the rest of the ingredients. simmer on low heat for approximately 40 minutes, or until it has reached jam-like consistency. adjust amount of acidity or sweetener to your liking. put the jam in a disinfected jar and let cool. serve with cheese, on the morning porridge, with your yoghurt or as a dessert together with some ice-cream. keeps for about a week in the fridge.

All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2013. All rights reserved.

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eats, festive eat, salt eat, sweet eat

Cinnamon Popcorn & Apple Chips

i know i might be late but i’ve had a popcorn epiphany. popcorn anything. any day of the week. this is my latest favorite. it’s like christmas and fall in one and the same treat.

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apple chips (a small amount)
two good apples

popcorn (single serving)
1 1/2 tbsp popcorn kernels
1/2 tsp canola oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp agave syrup (or maple?)
2-3 pinches of sea salt
a small handfull of apple chips (bought or homemade)

for the apple chips.
wash and dry the apples. cut in 4 wedges and remove the core, then slice each wedge in 1 mm thin slices (making small triangles). put on baking paper, making sure pieces are not on top of each other. now dry in the oven at 75°c for approximately 5 hours (or until crisp). to let steam out put a wooden spoon/kettle-holder in the oven door, that keeps it open.

now the popcorn.
start by popping the popcorn on the stovetop in the small amount of canola oil. medium high heat and the lid on, continuously swirling the kernels. when popping stops remove from the heat. powder with cinnamon, drizzle with syrup and sprinkle with sea salt. stir and then mix in the apple chips. indulge.

All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2013. All rights reserved.

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around the world, London, Photograpic, Places

Facades of happiness

happiness is an interesting thing. so very intangible, slipping through your fingers, making you pursue the chase over and over again. come to think of it, what is even being happy? and do we know when we are? last autumn i spent quite some time lingering upon this. the circumstances gave me both mental space and opportunity to ponder the subject. having this glade of time for self-exploration in an otherwise paced life was greatly valuable. i read. listened to other people’s experiences. made choices solely with regards to what i enjoyed and felt i gained from in that particular moment. went running. studied what i felt like. explored new places. went to the same places over and over again. experienced flow. thought.

of course this was a luxury with limitations. at some point you need to do the boring stuff, take others into consideration when choosing. but it taught me something and i had time to figure out my values and priorities. i learnt to appreciate even more the little things passing you by in haste. being caught by the beauty of the afternoon sky. the old facades in my home quarter. a perfect apple. my sisters stream of words. the smile of my friend. a soft sweater. playing the same song over and over. and this makes a huge difference.

my conclusion to this experience is that giving a little thought as to how we can affect our happiness is greatly valuable. to think about the way we approach life and it’s challenges. you just need to make a little time to figure out about what makes you feel good. life can be fantastic or it can be a never-ending struggle. why pick the hard way?

We’ve come so far, it feels so real.
All this time, that we’ve waited for it.
And who we are, and where we’re going to.
All this time, preparing for it.
Sort of Revolution, Fink

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All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2013. All rights reserved.

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around the world, London, Photograpic

When in England.

last week-end i went to london to visit Em, browse photo galleries, have long breakfasts and re-visit all my favourite spots. pizza at Princi, hot chocolate at Verde & Co, jewelry at Spitafields market, art at Tate, tea at Fortnum & Mason, dance at Barts, shopping at Whistles, a peek into Swallow street, breakfast at Gail’s, lunch at Daylesford, stroll in Kensington Gardens, sleep-over in South Ken. burgers at Byron. a good week-end away.

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All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2013. All rights reserved.

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