Saturday, 16 December 2017

Live Lagom plans for 2018 - saving energy and money

Being the only human in the house, I pay for everything, and as I don't currently have much money, it usually means that after rent and bills, it would be ideal if we could live on air as there's no money left for much more.

So, Live Lagom is the perfect project for me!

Due to budget restrictions and ethical reasons, I am already somewhat "living lagom", but I will take this as a challenge towards fine tuning everything as much as I can πŸ˜„

We were asked to make a new year's resolution, which was difficult for me as there were so many potential options..

My first thought was to grow food indoors, but as I was browsing the IKEA catalogue, I soon discovered that the €100 budget (which we are given for this project) would not be nearly enough, and I couldn't afford to pay any extra. After all, my only suitable indoor grow spot, is the kitchen window sill, which is already full. So, to grow anything else than my current herbs, I would need garden shelving, pots, lights, etc. It's also not just about not having enough funds for it all, I don't really have the space for it, and I have cats.......

So, scrapping the indoor gardening idea, I decided to try and save energy instead!

I haven't yet received my items, but here's a walkthrough of my Live Lagom shopping list;

Mulig drying rack was my "#1 item" - I already have a similar drying rack, but I have to machine dry all towels and sheets as it would take too long to air dry them on the rack, and I would need the rack for my clothes. So, if I was to have two racks, I could air dry everything!

Unfortunately, it was out of stock, but I selected another drying rack (more about the replacement items in the end of my list)..

JΓ€ll white laundry bags with stands, are a nicer way of laundry management than my current plastic bag system..

FΓΆrtrolig food containers are something I'm really excited about! They are glass containers, so can be used as oven dishes (without the plastic lids, obviously), but they are also great for storing food in the fridge, with the air tight plastic lids.

I am getting four FΓΆrtrolig dishes, two in 31x23x9 cm, and two in 17x23x9 cm. They are the largest options, and will be good for batch cooking. That way, I can cook enough food for several days while the oven is hot, and then just microwave meals on the following days.

Vuku wardrobe is not the prettiest piece, but there is nowhere in the house to hang clothes, other than an open rack, which is not really an option when you have cats, and lots of spiders..

This will go upstairs in the bedroom, where I don't spend time, so I don't really need this to look all pretty. And it's not exactly ugly, either!

Toftbo bath mats! I congratulated myself for remembering this long time dream while creating my list! πŸ˜ƒ Every time I've been to IKEA, I've pawed these ΓΌber-soft bath mats, dreaming of stitching two of them together to create a soft and huggy pillow case.. So, I'm getting two, for that purpose!

Vitsippa pillow, to go with the Toftbo mats.. This will be something soft and warm for cosy sofa time

And finally, a grey/black Gurli throw.. Saving on heating, with the help of extra blankets..

Like I mentioned, somewhere above, I didn't get the Mulig drying rack, and had to get replacement items. I got these;

Frost drying rack, which doesn't look as sturdy as Mulig would have been, but on the other hand, this has more space for smaller items like socks and underwear, so I will be using this one with my clothes, and the older rack with sheets and towels.

As I still had a bit of money left, I decided to get another Gurli throw, but in a different colour - dark orange. You can never have enough blankets, especially with cats in the house..

I should be getting my items sometime next week, and I can't wait! πŸ˜ƒ

We're also going to have a workshop soon, where we will probably make draft blockers. Much needed as there is an icy draft on the floor, and my feet are often cold, even with double woolly socks on..

I have already picked ideas from other lagomers, and used an old cardboard box and tin foil, to boost the living room radiators.. πŸ‘€


Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Suomi 100

Today is the 100th Independence Day of Finland - I might have some rye bread.. πŸ‘»πŸ’¨

Friday, 1 December 2017


I'm officially getting to Christmas mood, now that it's December

The house is smelling lovely as I've been simmering lemons and orange, with cardamom, and a little bit of fresh mint.. I just have it on low heat, and I keep adding water and occasionally giving it a stir..

I've also opened the first doors in the advent calendars.. This one is postcard size..

Traditional style..

Wintery nature and a bit of Christmas magic..

This is a Finnish Christmas tree - they're celebrating 100 years of independence, this year, and the independence day is 6th December.. #Suomi100

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Aliens can't see my radiators now.. =D

Friday was really cold, which sucks as I'm trying to stretch my kerosene to last for the whole winter..

However, I was reading the Live Lagom group on Facebook, where another member was asking if anyone had tried adding tin foil in the back of the radiators..

Well, I had cardboard, and tin foil, so I decided to try it there and then! πŸ˜ƒ

Usually, when the heating is on and I'm sitting on the sofa, I have to reach back and hold my hand over the radiator behind the sofa, to make sure it's on.. Due to the high ceiling and open plan house, the heat just seems to disappear almost instantly..

However, after adding tin foil behind both living room radiators, I could instantly tell the difference! I can now just sit on the sofa, and I'm feeling the lovely heat from the radiator

I'm so going to tin foil the other radiators, too! πŸ˜ƒ

Related link: Does tin foil behind your radiator beat the cold?


Sunday, 5 November 2017

Excited about IKEA Live Lagom =D

Some time ago, I came across IKEA Live Lagom application page - I don't even remember where I saw it, I'd never heard of it, but it seemed interesting, so I submitted an application, and then forgot all about it..

Well, on my birthday, recently, I received an email, which notified me that I'd been chosen! πŸ˜ƒ

I have to admit, I was sceptical.. My first reaction was, this has to be a fake.. But I hadn't mentioned anything about my application to anyone, and everything in the email header looked kosher, so it turned out to be real

I'd selected to participate in the induction workshop at IKEA Carrickmines as it's on my route to Bray, so I could combine the two trips - see, I'm already thinking lagom.. πŸ˜€

It took place today, from 8am - 10am, before the store opened.

There were five of us participants (plus the IKEA team, and one participant brought her daughter).

We had tea / coffee, and a mountain of bikkies / pastries, while learning more about Live Lagom.. πŸ˜ƒ

Can't wait for the December workshop..

A nice little freebie


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Hallowe'en noms in Bray

I was in Bray for Hallowe'en, which was nice - no little monsters in Drumree..

We had lunch at Coffee Delights - nom πŸ˜ƒ

D hung some skulls on the hedge.. Below, a couple of videos;

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Little monsters got a bag of Skittles + a box of Smarties + mini chocolate bar (which was either Mars, Twix, or Crunchie)..

A couple of boxes of Smarties had broken in the bag, so I "had to" eat them.. πŸ˜ƒ

We watched the whole series of Stranger Things 2, so it was around 4am when I arrived home, and had to stay up for a while to keep company for Cara & Cuddles, before we all went to bed.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

The Doobie Brothers & Steely Dan concert in Dublin ♥

I hadn't been in a concert since 1997 (just free gigs, here and there), so this was a nice post-birthday treat - The Doobie Brothers (these first pics and video snippets are of their gig) and Steely Dan, at the 3Arena in Dublin

Parking was a bit of a nightmare as the on site parking was only for those who had pre-booked, which is feckin' ridiculous (and insanely expensive).. So, had to park illegally, and hope for the best - it turned out great, and free! Woohoo!

The place was packed (they've added another night, on Monday, after playing London first!), and it was all awesome..

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I have to say, about The Doobie Brothers, for a group that's been there for decades, their voices were AMAZING!!! You'd think, that all the touring and whatever else goes with that life, would eventually affect singing voice, but no.. Strong, fantastic voices.. I'm impressed!

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There were some sound issues, with only the band being able to hear themselves temporarily - this happened a few times.. Above, the audience was spontaneously singing Molly Malone - I think, this was after the first time the sound dropped.. (Patrick Simmons had sort of started singing it, earlier on, hence the song choice..) πŸ˜ƒ

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Without Love is like one of my favourite tracks on the car radio (=I'm usually listening to Radio Nova..) ♥♥♥

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They finished with Listen To The Music (second encore), and unfortunately, it was a bit of an anticlimax as the sound went again 😭 However, the audience kept it going That was pretty awesome..

And then, Steely Dan.. πŸ˜ƒ

I never thought I'd get to experience Steely Dan live, but I'm very happy that I did.. I actually found their music quite late - only about ten years ago, through D.. He had old Steely Dan tapes (as in, C cassettes!!!), and we used to listen to them during scenic spins, until the tapes were stolen.. (Yes, some scumbag in Bray, who probably didn't even know what C cassettes are, had to steal them.. I hope they ate those tapes, and died..)

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Warning: If you have sensitive teeth, don't watch the above video.. Some piercing sounds there..

At times, it was kind of Twin Peaksy, with that curtain and all.. πŸ˜‚

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Dirty Work

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Everyone in Ireland knows Reelin' In The Years.. πŸ˜ƒ

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That drum solo (which was awesome) was too much for my phone, so it sounds like porridge on the video snippet.. 😭 But check out the audience reaction

I wish I could go again on Monday!!! πŸ˜ƒ

Friday, 27 October 2017

Easy veggie stew recipe

I've posted loads of variations of this in my Finnish blog, so I thought I'd post one here as well πŸ˜ƒ

This is a brilliant recipe as you can pretty much use any ingredients you like, just chop and mix, ovenise, and that's about it.. I'm all for cheap and effortless cooking, which brings a tasty result!

I won't include a list of ingredients as you can pick what you like - instead, I'm going through all the steps with photos.. The amounts are not cast in stone, either - it really depends on the size of your oven dish.

The first layer; I started with pouring some vegetable oil to cover the bottom of my oven dish.. Then, I chopped some fresh basil - you can use any herbs you like.. Fresh is nicer, but dried is fine as well.. I added some sea salt, black pepper, and chilli powder.. Here, I've added a few cloves of garlic - when I don't have fresh garlic, I use garlic powder.. If you don't like garlic, just leave it out, or use something else instead.. And finally, I've added a chopped onion.. The onion isn't necessary, either, or you could use chives, or some other type of onion instead!

For the next layer, I chopped butternut squash, which I'd never even tasted until quite recently, but I really love it, and it adds lovely colour to the food as well

As my oven dish is not the largest, I mixed the first layers at this point, and just added the rest of the layers on top of everything - the flavours will still get around in the oven πŸ˜ƒ

A layer of cherry tomatoes..

A layer of parsnip..

I added some garam masala, and sweet chilli sauce (not necessary, or can be replaced with something else, if you like).. Also, and this is quite important: add a cup of water!

Once, I actually forgot to add that water (thanks to my attention-seeking cats..), but I added it later, when removing the tin foil, and it was still fine - but ideally, add it before ovenising.. πŸ˜‚

I covered the dish with pierced tin foil, and baked it in 180C fan oven for the first 25 minutes.. (NOTE: if you have a different type of oven, adjust temperature and cooking time accordingly - Google will find some helpful conversion sites, if required..)

After the first 25 minutes, I took the dish out of the oven, and removed the tin foil..

Normally, at this point, I would add a layer of sliced mild white cheddar.. However, I was low on cheese, so I added some nice lumps of butter instead.. (Butter = goooood..) πŸ˜ƒ

Then, I baked it for another 25 minutes, this time without the tin foil..

Tada! (It does actually look much nicer when I've added cheese - I'll post a picture in the end of this entry - but it's very nice without the cheese as well!)


For me, this is the whole meal, but it's also a nice side dish.

Now, about those alternatives..

Here's a picture of a very similar stew, where I'd added thin slices of butternut squash on top, and after the first 25 minutes in the oven, a layer of mild white cheddar in slices.. I just love the look of that golden brown cheese, mmmm..

I've also used crumbled feta cheese, with and without the cheddar..

Various ingredients I've used, so far; potatoes, different types of onions, chopped curly kale, pre-cooked beetroot, carrots, parsnips, butternut squash.. (If using spuds, carrots, parsnips, or anything dense like that, chop it smaller to make sure that it'll cook in the same time with the other stuff..)

For the oil, I've used olive oil, sunflower oil, and rapeseed oil - use whatever you like.. The same with herbs and spices - be experimental, or use your personal favourites πŸ˜ƒ

I doubt I'll ever get tired of this recipe as it's so effortless, and using different ingredients, it doesn't feel like you're eating the same stuff again and again.. I usually buy whatever LIDL sells for 49c, and cook with those - stretching the tiny budget to the max..

This doesn't necessarily have to be all vegetables, either - I've sometimes added chopped kabanossi sticks, leftover chicken, etc.