Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


Leave a comment

half way to 30

By this I mean I’m half way between being 25 and 30, and I would like to check in and see how I’m doing on my 30 before 30 list.

27.5

Ideally, I’d be half way through…

  1. Topping off my 25 before 25 list means two international trips. One to Italy and one to Greece, these have yet to be completed or even booked. Though I have gotten married, watched some IMDb movies, and found a great lasagna recipe. I’m still working on running a marathon, painting a painting, learning to play the guitar and doing a handstand push-up. 3/9 – not quite half.
  2. There are 20 items on my Things to do in Sweden list, and I have completed 16 of them. Though I’ve only posted on 11, so stay tuned. I’m definitely more than half way done on this one, so that feels good.
  3. Still going strong on reading a book a month.
  4. I’ve only read 10 of the 24 books that I own and have not yet read, so that’s certainly not half way.
  5. And I have yet to read a single one of Francine’s “Books to be Read Immediately”.
  6. I have my Swedish driver’s licence.
  7. As well as my Swedish passport.
  8. I have not seen the Grand Canyon.
  9. Nor have I gone to Vegas.
  10. Evelina and I went to Iceland on our honeymoon. We highly recommend the helicopter rides.
  11. I still need to build a savings plan in order to strictly follow it.
  12. My family tree is still just a seed, in need of soil, water and sunshine. To be honest, I haven’t even been to the store to buy the seed. That is to say, I haven’t even begun.
  13. I did my best running å-loppet this summer, but my training was not up to par (a.k.a. non existant).
  14. The long list of posts that I’ve promised to write is not so long anymore, I only have 8 of 26 posts to write to get everything wrapped up and tied with a bow.
  15. Four of five things to DIM (do it myself) off of Pintrest ain’t bad, I’m definitely pleased to be well on my way with this one.
  16. No cruises completed or planned, unfortunatley.
  17. With one of ten movies watched, I can’t exactly claim to be half way on my IMDb movie list.
  18. And zero of five Nordic movies watched is certainly not the percentage we were looking for.
  19. I have started my university studies, soon to be 1/3 of the way through my degree, so this one is definitely a check plus.
  20. Baking a princess cake is still squarely in the “To Do” column.
  21. Seven of ten things to cook from Eggtons blog is a great place to be at my half way point.
  22. No barking dogs here.
  23. I did get a brand spankin’ new pair of glasses, that time I accidentally got an eye infection. (Does anyone purposefully get an eye infection…?)
  24. No graduation to attend yet.
  25. And no Ice Hotel visits.
  26. No Northern Light sightings.
  27. And I am a long way off from getting 100 burpees in.
  28. Of course, that big birthday surprise was an event to remember! Cross that one off the list.
  29. There’s no need to start planning my big birthday bash yet.
  30. My 35 before 35 list is also still a long way off.

With only 6 things completed, and 4 items half way completed I’m more than a stone’s throw away from the halfway point on this list. That’s okay though, still two and a half years to go!

signature

Advertisements


2 Comments

get another pair of glasses

Now, I’m not instructing you to do this, but rather citing number 23 of my 30 before 30 list. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have completed another item off the wonderous list and gotten myself another pair of glasses. During my 25 before 25 list I purchased these bad boys, though now that I’m a little older, and a little wiser sillier I went and got a pair of glasses to make sure my outward appearance reflected my inner person.

IMG_3460

That, or I got a wicked bad eye infection and was advised not to wear contact lenses for about two months. So I figured I’d take the chance to update my eyewear. I had actually been thinking about doing it for a while, getting new glasses that is, not getting an eye infection. The timing really couldn’t have been better.

The other up-side is I now resemble comical glasses/nose/mustache guy. You know the one:

This guy

All my life’s goals are being achieved here.

signature


1 Comment

book of august: middlesex

Don’t think I’m ahead of schedule here, this is actually my book of August from a while ago…So I’m little behind schedule, but here it is:

Middlesex

When I say a little behind schedule, apparently I mean three years behind schedule. *geeze* I am apparently a horrible friend. Okay, horrible might be a strong word, but I’ve definitely been slacking on my friend duties. My bad.

Let me explain. My friend Elizabeth and I (name obviously changed to protect identity) decided to do a book club. This book club consisted solely of the two of us. Meaning that we would both read the same book in a months time, and discuss it over Skype.

I did not read the book in a months time. Nor did we ever Skype about it. I mean I did finish the book just now, so we could theoretically Skype about it now…but I didn’t even tell Elizabeth that I’ve finished the book. This will be the first she is hearing of it. Alright I’ll say it. Horrible friend = me.

Let’s disregard that though and focus on the book. I don’t like to dwell.

Middlesex was on Oprah’s book list. Or recommendation list. Or some kind of list written by Oprah, you know the one:

Anyway, I think that is why Elizabeth suggested we read the book. Oprah knows her shit.

To be honest though, the book wasn’t exactly up my ally. Though you may have guessed that since it took me THREE YEARS to complete. I mean it’s not like I’ve been actively reading it for that long, there have been breaks….okay, nevermind.

It did get really good for the final third of the book. But it is really important you read the first two-thirds in order to understand the end…well the moral is, it may be a great book for you, but for me it was an exercise in discipline and determination to be a good friend.

I hope this makes up for it! … ?

signature


1 Comment

memory lane: welcome to spain dracula!

Spain part 3 of 3. The final installment. Join me today along memory lane back to my 25 before 25 list. Number 16: visit a friend at their new residence.

“Welcome to Spain Dracula!” Katie shouted to me across the bus station.

Not really. But maybe she should have.

Since we don’t live in a fake Tina Fey improv session, when I arrived in Don Benito Katie walked across the train station and introduced herself to María-José. As you remember, my new friend.

Spain pt. 3.1

After saying farewell to María-José, Katie and I made out way to Katie’s place of residence for the past year. The difference between Madrid and Don Benito was striking. Just taking the short stroll through the city center to Katie’s apartment made that clear. Don Benito is a charming little city, where Katie was working for the year as an English teacher. Her time in Spain was coming to a close, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to travel Spain with a new native. (You become a native in a year….right?)

Spain pt. 3.2

Katie’s front door

The view from the balcony

The view from the balcony

After getting to Katie’s apartment (and checking off number 16 on my list), I dropped off my bags and we went back into town to drink tinto with Katie’s friends. The next day we were heading down to Sevilla so it wasn’t a late night, but it was great to meet the people Katie had spent the past year with.

Yummmm....tinto

Yummmm….tinto

Little did she know, a sun burn was on its way

Little did she know, a sun burn was on its way

Sevilla was hot. This was May, and I had just recovered from a Swedish winter, so believe me when I say, Sevilla was hot! We meandered through the city taking in the sights. Ate often at this little chain restaurant they have in Spain, 100 cervezas, where you buy tiny little sandwiches and get a pint of beer at ridiculously low prices. We drank more beer on the beach, and I managed to get ridiculously sun burnt (as I failed to heed the advice from María-José who warned me of this on our ride). Over all it was an awesome time.

Spain pt. 3.6

Spain pt. 3.7

In the evenings we ate dinner in charming little spanish squares. Where the tall buildings surround us on all four sides, yet the squares are still big enough to harbor small trees. Small children run through, laughing loudly, aided with extra energy at the late hour because of their timely siesta earlier that day.

It was in one of these squares that Katie and I had one of our conversations that I will never forget. There was the sound of a guitar trickling out a nearby open window, and Katie asked me how I knew Evelina was the one. I grinned, sipping my Spanish red wine in the moonlight and explained: It’s like I’ve found this person. I am hers, and she is mine. And everything else in the world, all the noise, it will settle down. It will resolve. there’s no need to think or worry about that. Because, forever, there will be us.

I had never before put my love to words for another before, and that evening is a moment I will always remember. For this I will always love best friends, and Spain, and red wine, and moonlight.

signature


Leave a comment

seven samurai

Have you seen this movie? It. Is. So. Awesome. I had never seen a movie actually in Japanese, with subtitles and everything. Man am I glad I started with this one. It’s from IMDb’s top 250 list that I’ve talked about before.

IMG_6714

Here are my thoughts on the movie, of course without giving away any spoilers, because you guys gotta go see this one for yourselves!

  • I had no idea all Japanese men bald in the exact same pattern. Apparently even very early in life.
  • The farmers were sitting in the so-called third world squat – which is interesting because it’s discussed in the weight lifting world as the go to for form improvements. Those farmers could probably learn to squat a lot, and fast!
  • It was very thoughtful of the sound editors to always play chirping birds during the daytime and hooting owls during the night-time – so the viewers wouldn’t get confused.
  • When were muskets invented?

My favorite lines from the movie:

  • Even bears come down from the mountains when they’re hungry.
  • A true samurai won’t get hit.
  • Won’t fall for that trick again, eh?

You may be wondering about that last quote, doesn’t seem particularly zen or samurai-like. I just thought it was hilarious that it was apparently Canadians who translated the Japanese. Eh?

Now, go watch. This movie was so good.

signature


3 Comments

evelina’s favorite lasagna

Guys, it’s time to celebrate! I have finally done it! The lasagna to rule all lasagnas.

IMG_6643

That’s right, it’s a dessert lasagna. It’s a magical chocolatey treat, that Evelina truly does enjoy. Time to officially check off number 15 on my 25 before 25 list (moved over to my 30 before 30 list). Seriously guys, I’m so stoked to tell you about this lasagna.

While this may not be quite as nutritional as the latest recipes I’ve posted, this lasagna is truly good for the soul.

Ingredients:

  • 36 regular Oreo cookies
  • 10 tbs butter, melted
  • 1 100g package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbs cold milk
  • 5 dl whipping cream
  • 4 portions chocolate pudding (for 4 people)
  • 5 dl cold milk
  • chocolate pieces to decorate

I originally saw this recipe on a friend’s Facebook, but when I went back to try to find it, it was long gone. So I just Google searched a recipe, but ended up changing it considerably. This is what I did.

Directions:

  • Using a dull knife cut the Oreo cookies in half, then slide the cream off. Place the Oreo cookies in a closable plastic bag, saving the cream centers for later.
    IMG_6629
  • Crush the cookies with a rollingpin. You can also use a food processor, but seeing as we don’t have one I opted for the rollingpin method. You’re looking for fine crumbs.
  • In a 9×13 in pan empty in the Oreo crumbs and combine with melted butter. Using a fork, mix the Oreo crumbs and butter evenly. With the fork push the Oreo and butter mixture firmly and evenly across the bottom of the pan. Place pan in refrigerator while preparing the next layer.
  • In a large bowl whip 5 dl whipping cream.
    IMG_6632
  • In a medium bowl use a hand mixer to mix the cream cheese and 2 tbs milk until fluffy. Then add the sugar and 1 & 1/4 cups whipped cream. Mix well. Spread this layer over the Oreo crust. Return to refrigerator between layers.
  • In a medium bowl prepare chocolate pudding according to package instructions, I used 5 dl cold milk whisked into the chocolate pudding mix. Place the pudding in the refrigerator for 1-2 minutes. Or leave at room temperature for up to 5 minutes.
  • Spread the slightly chilled chocolate pudding over the cream cheese mixture. Carefully place the Oreo cream centers on top of the chocolate pudding layer and return to refrigerator for -10 minutes to allow pudding to solidify.
    IMG_6634
  • Spread the remaining whipped cream as the top layer, and decorate with chocolate pieces.
    IMG_6636
  • Best served after being chilled for an additional 30-45 minutes.

This dessert comes highly recommended, let me know if you try it out!

signature

 


Leave a comment

a resolutions update: follow up plan

Let’s get this post off and running by first calling attention to the fact that I have yet to share my 2015 New Year’s resolutions. Now that we’ve called attention to it, I’ll get back to that in a minute.

As I left you after my resolutions update in November, I was focusing on making a lasagna that Evelina likes as much as I do, and finishing my painting. I did make a lasagna. I did not paint a lasagna, or anything else for that matter.

First, let me tell you about the lasagna. Step one involved getting Evelina’s favorite meat sauce recipe. Ground beef, crushed tomatoes, yellow onion, salt & pepper. Not complex. I soaked my lasagna noodles in warm water with oil while making my sauce. I carefully layered sauce, noodle, sauce, noodle, sauce, noodle. Finishing with noodles on the top was strategic, as I coated the top layer with cheese. This top layer is then easily removed, because of Evelina’s distaste of cheese. Popped that bad boy in the oven, and waited for the complements.

Latest lasagna

The best I got, was that it wasn’t as bad as the last one. (Y’all remember my pastelon?) Thanks babe. I was then informed that Evelina’s mother’s meat sauce recipe is not in fact her favorite recipe. So the quest continues. I have one final plan, the plan to top all lasagna plans. Garfield would be impressed.

On to the painting:

painting?

This is the current state of my painting. So, yeah, painting is a generous term for this. But this leads me nicely into my New Year’s resolutions for this year. I’ll be continuing my tradition of carrying over my as-of-yet incomplete resolutions on to the upcoming year. Here you have them:

  1. Do a hand stand push up
  2. Paint a painting
  3. Find a lasagna recipe Evelina enjoys as much as I do
  4. Do 5 things off Pintrest successfully
  5. Watch One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Seven Samurai

If you noticed that my “run a marathon” resolution was not carried over, kudos to you. It is still a long-term goal of mine, but in an attempt to be more realistic, I am not including it as a goal for 2015. Maybe 2017, 17 always has been my favorite number.

With one month of 2015 already behind us I’ll have to be sure to be particularly effective this year.

See you out there.

signature