Weekend Coffee Share

Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share! Can I get you a cup of coffee? Tea? Or maybe some hot chocolate? 

Yesterday my kids and I enjoyed some hot chocolate during a break while playing in the snow. It was about 2F and hot chocolate was absolutely amazing!

How are you doing? I hope your holiday season was everything you wished for. I have to say this was the best Christmas break ever! It’s been such a wonderful mix of family, nature, relaxation, good food, exercise, and just everything I wished for. 

From my walk earlier today.

On top of it all I handed in my final report for the class in Social emotional difficulties and special needs education today. It’s due on the 17th, but I was hoping to finish my report this weekend, so that I can focus on work next week, and have a little break from school until I start my new school on the 17th (Degree of Master of Science, Main Field of Study: Educational Work.) I’ve ordered all the books I will need for the first half of the semester, and they should arrive any day now. I have never studied anything on this advanced level, and I might be in over my head, time will tell, but for now I am super excited! I don’t know how well you know me, but I am very stubborn, and now I’ve decided to get this degree, and I will not give up easily. It’s just something that interests me, and that I really want to do.

Also from my walk earlier today. It snowed all morning.

Do you feel that you got the time off you needed during the holidays? Are you ready for 2022? Did you make any new year resolutions? I wrote a little about mine last week. What I didn’t tell you is that I also decided to join a local gym (I told you I was thinking about it a few weeks ago.) I not only joined the gym, I had a PT help me make up a training routine that fits me. This week I’ve been there three times, and I am planning on going tomorrow as well. I feel great! 

I decided to skip the gym completely today, and take a really long walk in the snow instead. I just love snow.

I also spent some time cleaning out my closet during my break. I have a routine of doing that at least twice a year, once in the winter, and once in the summer. I have a capsule closet, and I like having only what I actually use there, anything that I don’t use I donate to charity. This time I also donated some holiday items that I don’t feel a need to save. I’ve limited myself to only store one box of holiday decorations, and the tree in our storage unit. (I would never rent a storage unit, because I think it’s insanity to pay to store stuff that you don’t need, but there is a storage unit that comes with my apartment. We mainly use it for our bikes.) 

I know that it’s going to be a very busy spring, and I am so happy to start out feeling great, and on top of my game. Would you like a refill on your beverage? Thank you Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share, and thank you for sharing your initiative with the food bank in your community. You are an inspiration to all of us! 

Stay safe out there, and please tell me what’s going on in your neck of the woods. I’m going to try to visit everyone’s coffee share this weekend.

Love,

Maria  

What does cozy mean to you?

A hot beverage on a cold day certainly makes things more cozy in my world.

As I am writing this I am coped up in my apartment with my daughter that is sick. She’s been ill since last Wednesday, no, she is not dying. First she had the winter vomiting disease (not fun!) and then it turned into a sore throat and fever. We took a Covid test yesterday and are waiting for the result. What does this have to do with cozy? Well, it’s not fun to be sick, but we are making the very best of the situation. (After the winter vomiting disease left us we are doing so much better, anything is manageable after that.)

A Christmas themed tray that I usually serve seasonal fruit and nuts on during the winter. The house pictured on the tray looks like the traditional houses in my region Dalarna (Sweden.)

It’s 8F outside, the world we see through our window is white, not so much snow yet, but frost. The frost is building up with new layers every day due to the cold. Everything is white. This past Sunday was the 1st of Advent, when you traditionally start decorating for Christmas in Sweden. They light up our town with beautiful decorations starting on the 1st of Advent. I haven’t seen what it looks like yet this year, since I am at home with my daughter, but I cannot wait to see the decorations as soon as she gets well.

I carried our Christmas decorations up from the storage unit in the house next doors, and we washed some Christmas themed tablecloths (we never have tablecloths the rest of the year,) and rinsed of the decorations in warm water (they were a little dusty.) My daughter thinks that the ritual of opening the boxes of Christmas decorations is magical. I think it’s rather cozy to transform our home to match the anticipation for Christmas. I am a minimalist, and I don’t overdo the decorations, but I do appreciate some Christmas feeling. 

Santa in my window
Advent lights in the center of my kitchen window, a very important Nordic Christmas tradition. Everyone have Advent lights. Greetings from Jack Frost on the outside. Yesterday the frost stayed on the windows until 2pm, the sunset was at 3pm..

My daughter told me a couple months ago that she don’t believe in Santa (or the Easter bunny) anymore. She did last year. She also said that she would be very disappointed if I didn’t pretend that he was real, she wanted to keep the magic even if she knows that Santa isn’t real. So while I was hanging up the stockings (not a Swedish tradition, but something we brought with us from the US,) I reminded both of my children that it is not allowed to touch the stockings, because if they do the magic disappears. My daughter kept a straight face and swore that she wouldn’t touch the stockings. LOL. 

Santas helper filled the stockings last night. Kids still haven’t noticed..

We haven’t decorated the Christmas tree yet, but if my daughter have enough energy today, or tomorrow we might do that. We were gifted a beautiful artificial tree last year, it’s going to be perfect for many years to come. Spending time with my family anticipating the holiday season is definitely a cozy time of the year for me. We are expecting more snow this weekend, and I believe the colder weather is here to stay, making things even cosier, as we bundle up with more layer of clothes. 

One of our Christmas themed tablecloths. God Jul = Merry Christmas.
Hot chocolate is a cozy treat on special occasions at our house.

This week I’m linking up with my friend Terri’s Sunday Stills, and the theme for the week is CozyWhat does cozy mean to you? While reading Terri’s post and some of the other participants post the appealing word got an even wider meaning to me. Still, the deepest meaning of the word in my world, would be stress-free time with loved ones. Tell me in a comment what cozy means to you, or write you own post about it. Feel free to leave a link to your post if you choose to write a post about it.

Love,

Maria

Weekend Coffee Share – first week of November

View from my kitchen towards the living room.

Hi, 

Since Covid numbers are going down drastically, and zero people are being treated at the intensive care unit for Covid in our town (at the moment,) I am inviting you to have coffee in my home! To be on the safe side, let’s keep a distance, but it is SO great to see you here! What can I get you? Can I get you a coffee? Or some tea? I have some delicious green matcha tea, some homemade herbal tea (mix of my own herbs,) and regular black tea (Lipton I believe.) The coffee is dark, rich, and organic, made in the french press. I have to admit the coffee is rather strong, even when I try to make it not as strong as I like it for guests, It always ends up being rather strong. It is good though, that is a promise! Quality coffee is a priority in this home. 

I could honestly say that quality over quantity is true for most things in my life. I try my best to avoid the consumerist lifestyle, only pursue things that adds value to my life, and my children’s life. That filter keeps me content and happy. Speaking of adding value, I’ve arranged a little surprise adventure for my daughter for her winter break. My son usually visits his dad on his breaks, and he is also older, pretty much independent. My daughter on the other hand spend a lot of her free time with me. During Covid I’ve restricted our life to keep us safe, here in Sweden we’ve had recommendations to follow, no lockdowns. I’ve followed the recommendation to the best of my understanding of them, leading to a lot of restrictions for my daughter, like it has for many people around the world. We are still careful, but can allow ourselves a little more freedom now. Because of that I’ve been able to arrange a little surprise, that I believe will lift her spirits. Since it’s a surprise I won’t spoil it by telling you, but I promise that I will write about it in the last coffee share of the year. I’m going to have three weeks off for Christmas/New Year. It’s something to look forward to as the days get shorter. Do you have any plans for Christmas yet? Or is it too early to start thinking about? 

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I baked bread with almond milk, and oats yesterday. It turned out to be delicious. The loaves had a soft, soft inside, and a slightly harder crust (not too hard.) My daughter claimed that this bread is now her favourite. I put some in the freezer. I usually cook and bake a lot in the weekends, and less during the work/school week. I try to make everything we eat from scratch. At least the kids always have the option to eat homemade meals, sometimes they choose other food, but I try my best to give them healthy options. I aim for us to eat by the season, and purchase local ingredients, or grow myself, when possible. Right now we have garlic greens, and an abundance of salad growing at our balcony. There’s some parsnip and other root vegetables on their way (still tiny, I tried some yesterday.) The nights are freezing now, but it is still warm(ish) at my screened in balcony/sunroom. What is the weather like in your area?

Yesterday I took a longer walk all by myself. I walked around two lakes, and taking a shortcut through some picturesque backroads of our town on my way back home. I love going for long walks to clear my head.

The rest of this weekend will be relaxing. I am planning on going for a bike ride later today, I have a little bit of school work to do, I am going to read with my daughter, bake some more bread, and make a nice Sunday dinner for the kids. There is absolutely no stress what so ever. All the important have to’s are already taken cared of. Can I give you a refill on your beverage?  What are you up to this weekend? Thank you Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share.

Love,

Maria