Arts and Entertainment

Christmas calendar

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Today I learnt to make a Christmas calendar. It was so much fun, and the hours flew away. I started at 11.00 a clock and finished at 20.00, and the hard work was worth it. To find an activity that makes you forget time, is important. We all need to wind down, and making things is my guilty pleasure. What is yours ?


Husband Illustrated Every Single Day He Spent With His Beloved Wife

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Husband Illustrated Every Single Day He Spent With His Beloved Wife 

It’s hard not to tear up while scrolling through affectionate Curtis Wiklund’s illustrations. The Michigan-based wedding photographer drew every day for a whole year to document his life with his beloved wife Jordin.

Wiklund was inspired by Jordin who was doing her own 365-day photography project. “During that year, many people told us they felt like they got to know us better through the drawings, like they were a peek into our personal life,” Wiklund writes in his website.

Whether it’s brushing teeth together or getting positive pregnancy test results, Wiklund depicts it with warmth and tenderness. It’s a nice reminder that there’s always room for romance in daily life.

P.S. Wiklund is working on publishing a book of his sketches. You can sign upfor a newsletter on his site.

Our Tree

Our trip to IKEA

My Birthday coming soon

My Wife Watched The Season Finale Of Castle Today

Some Place I’d Like To Be

Post-Shower, Pre-Hairspray

I Still Learn Something New About My Wife Every Day


Cold Season

Dumb Fight

She Read To Me, I Played Guitar For A While, And Then I Drew A Picture

What should I Draw?

You are still my Valentine

Scratching as a sedative

When My Wife Is Out Of Town, I Forget To Eat Or Sleep

My Sleepy Girl

Snowboard Goggles And Onions

Did a lot of Laughing Today

We are pregnant!

I Love her so much

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Protected: Trust the universe, and you will get what you need.

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The worst job in the world

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The worst job in the world?



Part of Nature by Stuart Mcmillen

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Part of Nature cartoon

This cartoon is heavily influenced by the books Natural CapitalismPaul Hawken, Amory Lovins and Hunter Lovins (1999) and Mid-Course CorrectionRay Anderson (1998). It is also in the same vein as the flash animation “The Story of Stuff” by Annie Leonard, which I watched when I was about 90% of the way through the drawing process.


Moonlight sonata

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Good morning!

I am so happy I bought a piano and started to take piano lessons. Right now I am trying to learn one of the most beautiful classical pieces by Beethoven. Here you can find the list of the 10 best Classical Music Pieces. In the meantime, enjoy the moonlight sonata.


Feet of Baggage

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Reblog from Magic Behind the Morning

Let’s talk about baggage. No, not emotional baggage. Physical baggage. When my grandmother died, all of her belongings and her mother’s belongings, including several rooms’ worth of large pieces of furniture and boxes and boxes of glass and china, went to my mother. When my mother died and my father moved, all of that stuff, along with many of my mother’s belongings, were divvied out between my sister and me, which meant that I ended up with half of four generations of belongings.

What I’ve discovered about myself is that I am the master of manipulating myself into keeping things that I don’t want or need, much of which have no emotional or monetary value for me (insert dramatic Hoarders soundtrack here). Here is my logic: “Oh, but there is a label on this handkerchief that says it came from my grandmother’s friend’s mother; I can’t get rid of that!” Or “Well, I don’t actually like this sweater, but my mom wore it at some point in time so I should keep it,” or “This doesn’t hold any fond memories for me, but I feel like I need to keep it anyway.”

have gotten rid of things here and there, so it never felt like this was a serious emotional problem deeply affecting my quality of life, but at some point I looked around my home and realized that almost none of my belongings were actually things that I picked out. Truthfully, I have accumulated the type of belongings that many people don’t have until their late fifties, and even then have had much more time and emotional space to cull through them. Most of my furniture was willed to me. Most of my clothes to this day are hand-me-downs from someone.

On the one hand, my gratefulness for having been given these items far overpowers any frustration that I have with it, and truly, there are many things that I have that I absolutely love. Still, the strange thing is that at it has taken me until my late twenties to stop and ask what my personal style truly is, and what I want my belongings to look like, or even what kinds of belongings I want and need in my life. I used to believe that having these items was saving me money as well, and I’m sure the smaller items were, but the thing is, items that take up physical space mean more cost in moving and storing those items, especially for someone who has moved several times like I have.

I recently read a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. I won’t go into everything the book says (you can read it if you want to) but there were four pieces that I took away that were the most helpful for this type of baggage:

1. Only keep things in your life if they “spark joy” in you.

2. When you get rid of belongings, thank them for the place they have had in your life and the things they have taught you. Sometimes an item’s purpose is to teach you what you don’t like.

3. A gift’s purpose is to show the gratitude and love of the giver. Once the gift has been given, it’s purpose has been filled. 

4. If you are keeping something purely for sentimental reasons, consider taking a picture of the item instead. 

I am now immersed in a deep process of tidying up. And here is where I have created a method that Marie Kondo may possibly hate: the guilt box. It’s label literally says “Stuff I Feel Guilty Getting Rid Of.” Everything in that box are things I am keeping not because I love them, or because I find them to be useful, or because they have great sentimental value, but simply because I feel guilty getting rid of them.

What’s the point, you say? Well, the point is that everything outside of that 2x3x1 box in my life brings me joy. I’m allowing myself that much baggage, that much guilt, that much “but what if I need thing X?” or “but so-and-so really loved thing Y.”  In allowing just a little bit, I can quell any anxiety, guilt, or fear I have about getting rid of other belongings; if I can fit it in the guilt box, I can keep it. And, I’m hoping that by being brutally honest about the reason I’m keeping things, I can become more discerning about what I keep and what I discard.

What I have found through this is that I have a true love for many of the things I have in my life that were given to me, like my grandma’s beautiful quilts, much of my mom’s jewelry, and some absolutely beautiful dresses and cardigans that I was given by my in-laws. I hadn’t noticed how much I appreciated those things before because I hadn’t had the physical and emotional space to savor their beautiful history and fine craftsmanship. Now that I am starting to identify the types of things that bring me joy in life, I am hoping to truly savor my home, and to discerningly bring only things into my space that truly enchant me.


Ten ways to feel better when depressed

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Depression is like a heavy, black blanket where no light comes in. It is hard to breathe, as if someone put a candle inside a glass-jar with no oxygen. It is even hard to see any light, any hope as the blackness surrounding you hides what could have been positive and uplifting. Luckily, there are ways to throw the blanket away, even if it`s heavy and you feel like the energy to lift it just isn`t there. Here are ten things you can do if you feel depressed or hopeless.

  1. Try to figure out what used to make it happy. Write it down and read it when you feel sad. Try to do some of the things that were good for you before you got depressed. This can be small things, like eating something you like. For someone it can be meeting a trusted friend, or playing your favorite music
  2. Find or make a box that is only yours. Feel free to decorate it any way you want. In it you can put things that remind you of the good things in life. It can be pictures from times you felt happy, emails or letters from someone who care about you, or objects from your past that you loved, and that remind you of happier times.


  1. Talk with people who care about you.
  2. Get out of bed. No matter how tired or lethargic you feel, try to get up and do SOMETHING. If you are seriously depressed, everything is an effort, so remind yourself that it is a real accomplishment if you manage to do small things. Depression is a serious condition, almost like having cancer or another disease. It`s not your fault, and you deserve to give yourself positive feedback like you would to a friend who suffers.
  3. Try to exercise. Research shows that only five minutes of intense exercise is enough to produce results. Your mood will life and your brain will be flooded with nutrients and oxygen that might contribute to feeling better. If you can`t manage to get a pulse, try to at least take a walk or do something else that involves moving your body.
  4. Take a warm shower, and feel every drop on your skin. Feel the warmth, if possible close your eyes to intensify the experience.
  5. Register what you think. Depression have a profound effect on your thinking, so it`s important to notice what you say to yourself, especially if you start to harass yourself. You would`t verbally abuse someone else, so why do it to yourself?
  6. Eat healthy. Some types of food are known to lift your spirits. It might be diary products like cottage cheese or warm milk with honey, or types of food with tryptofan, the precursor to serotonin. Serotonin if often lacking in depressed brain, so try to enhance the level of it by being conscious about what you eat.
  7. Read good books with tips, or stories from others who have been depressed and managed to get out of it. In this way, you won`t feel so alone. I highly recommend books from David Burns, they are easy to read and full of practical tips.
  8. Protect yourself. When depressed, you don`t need to put yourself down by being self-destructive. A lot of depressed people, feel they don`t deserve anything good. But isn`t it the other way around? When you feel so bad, you actually need to be taken care of, either by others or yourself. Self-soothing and self-compassion are two of the most important skills you need to get better.
  9. For some it might help to write down happy memories you`ve had. Read it when you feel like nothing good happens, because our brains are biased to search for mood-congruent information and this might get you out of the rut. If we are sad, sad memories pop up like balloons eager to burst. For that reason, reminders might be necessary to drag yourself out of the negativity spiral.

These are just some tips, what matters the most is finding your own ways to fight depression. These tips might ignite some ideas that might help you remember what to do when you feel like everything is hopless. Depression is like your enemy in a war, so be sure to be well equipped when you have to defend yourself from lethal attacks.

How to make a Blessings Box |



Protected: The sound of running in my mental maze

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DIY disaster

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Some people just have to flick their fingers and a new cupboard is ready. Not just ready, but beautifully crafted with swirls and delicate patterns. Some can put designer things together in a way that makes others gasp when they visit their stylish homes. Some make artful cupcakes that provokes guilt when you take a sugary bite. You have the handyman with his hammer, ready to hit a nail anywhere and anytime. Or the carpenter who avoids a heart like I would get if I tried to figure out how that carpet will fit nicely into the corner. The perfect fathers, mothers or brothers who can create something beautiful in no time.

If you wonder, I am no DIY superwoman. When I touch something, no amazing patterns manifest themselves on the surface I try to transform. If anything, what happens is that some color blotches suddenly appear on the smooth, newly painted surface. I have no patience, too shaky hands and a picture in my head of how I want it to be, with terrible aptitude for getting it out there. It`s lost in translation, so to say.

Today I tried to paint the wall in my bedroom. Why?

FullSizeRender 2 Because some months ago, I hung a blue cupboard  up. First I thought looked quite good when I painted it and put on laces and wall stickers. When it came up, I realized once again that my genial ideas should stay in my head unless I want to bring suffering to the world. I actually had to throw it away. I hope the garbage employees forgive me when their senses are insulted by the glaring colors and the too-sweet “always kiss me goodnight” pasted on it.

Back to the painting. When I took down the cupboard that just didn`t fit in the corner I had devoted to it, I didn`t take the time to hold it properly. Before I knew it some nail (that I should have removed) had scratched my purple wall and left visible wounds. For weeks I have felt irritated and lethargic because I am thinking about selling the apartment and know I can`t do that when my wall looks like a war-zone. But yesterday a friend invited himself over even if I said it was no use, as I didn`t think I would have the time, energy or DIY-abilities to succeed. He told me to stop whining, and arrived with a roll for the paint and paper to cover the floor (as I probably wouldn`t made the effort myself and probably would have peppered my new floor with purple splotches). 

I was optimistic when we first started , but then came some glitches, like that the paint I had bought was far from enough. I had to drive to a new store where I managed to buy the wrong color. It wasn’t the tiny color, but I was too frustrated to do anything about it, and we started painting with the new color instead. Or, to be honest, he started, while I happily took care of the corners and brought coffee. I think he realized that I had to keep away from most of the painting to not risking ruining the wall one more time.IMG_5754IMG_5752

We managed to paint the wall in an hour. And here I had tried to avoid painting it for weeks because I simply didn`t have the fantasy to imagine that it might actually work out fine.

The next day he came back, and we started to paint again. But he soon discovered what I tried to ignore: We did not have enough paint. So he sent me out again with an exasperated sigh, and I had to speed-drive to the store to get more paint. When I finally arrived at the store, I went straight to the painting apartment and found a young employee willing to help. But that wasn`t easy, as I had no idea how he could produce the right color. I had to call my friend so he could send a picture of the label with details I needed and supplement it with the other piece of paper that I got the day before when I bought the first can of paint. The young paint-expert had to try to piece together the confusing bits of information. His solution was to stir some paint first and not blend it properly before I had looked at it. In that way we could be sure that I had the right color. 

He started the blending process, while I was tripping because it felt like it took forever. 30 seconds IS a short time if you are inpatient like me. When he finished and showed me the result, I thought it was too dark, but wasn`t completely sure. I thought it probably would make it worse to start adding other colors into it, and said it had to do. I bought two big cans of it, which wasn`t cheap. Ten minutes later I was back in my apartment, where my friend almost had finished the whole wall. There was really just a small part of the wall left, and that annoyed me as I had bought two huge cans of paint. But what annoyed me more was when I opened the can of paint and saw that the new color was miles away from the other color. I wanted to throw the can out the window together with my head, but that wasn`t possible, especially since my overly positive friend said it would be no problem: We could simply paint the wall one more time! He also pointed out  that the new color actually fitted the rest of the room better. He was right, off course. He isn`t only a handyman, but wise too.

One hour later, my wall looked much better, and I finally felt that the world was a good place to live. 

Funny how things can change and become better, even when you think they won`t.