Spring time with Gallerix wall art.

in collaboration with Gallerix 

You know that spring is slowly making its way back into the horizon, when you hear the sound of screeching seagulls. It is one of my favourite sounds in the entire world as it reminds me of the sea, summer, seaside and it symbolises the end of winter. Ever spring, I get an urge to spruce things up in the interior front and this time, I ordered a new linen sofa in front of the kitchen to create a new coffee spot. I sold my old computer table as I do not need a specific workspace and created this soft ambiance area instead. I love the way it adds another space to the house and visually looks more appealing this way.

I also got the chance to have a new collaboration with the poster brand gallerix which came during the right time with my spring clear-out.  I thought it was quite special to order a poster of a map with the coordinates for our future house. I thought it would be unique and meaningful and was thinking of giving it my husband as an anniversary gift. I love the idea of a coordinated map, as we all have places that are important to us. At first, I was thinking of placing the coordinates for the place in Italy, where we got engaged as this also holds a special place in our hearts. However, I think our house coordinates can look great in our new home, so I went with that instead. If you are thinking of ordering some prints yourself, find inspiration from this collage of prints on the wall that have been made by interior specialists to see what prints suit each other. For the next twenty one days, I will be sharing a discount code xoamys30, where you can get 30 % of your discount.

Maybe it was the sound of the seagulls this morning or that we are heading towards spring, I wanted to also order these cute little sailboats in size 50 x 70 cm in a white wooden frame, to place into Lucas’ room. Since Suvisaaristo is very much a seaside area to live, I thought the sailboats would be a cute addition to his future room. I also love the muted colour palette it has, very elegant and pleasant to my eye. Maybe my son will take up sailing as a hobby when he grows a bit older.

This Sans Couture print is lovely with a neutral colour palate, that works well with the prints I ordered last time, such as the Matisse print. I love the petals as it feels timeless, spring-like and visually it is something I will not get bored of easily. Moreover, the coordinate map in size 50 x 70cm in a white wooden frame is also visually appealing as you can change the colour of the landscape and roads from black and white to a neutral light sand colour with white roads. Many may think that this does not show the details clear enough, but I personally love that the contrast is left to a minimal and does not bounce out too much from the wall. This will eventually look great in our house. It even shows the little sauna on our plot at the moment and our neighbouring houses which is a great little detail. I love the little spruce up or house got this spring, now I am only waiting for the weather to get warm enough so I can begin planting flowers on our balcony.

Cherry Blossom & Rosemary Ice coffee

‘The sky has turned into a pink bloom as the cherry trees open their petals’

The cherry trees have sprung their petals open this week and are in a soft pink bloom. Every year, their beauty tends to makes you stop as they cast a blush blanket into the sky. The 11 peonies represent our 11th anniversary, that I received from my hubby, so we decided to take a morning walk in the cherry tree park. The blossom of a cherry tree is so short-lived, maybe their rarity makes them even more sacred. They represent fragility and the beauty of life and since we are living amongst such uncertain times, their symbolism seems even more touching. Cherry trees are a visual reminder of how precious and precarious life can be and it’s good to take it all in as Spring starts to blooms. Spring, also brings along ice coffee and this morning, we started our day with a sweet rosemary coffee concoction.

I came across some iced coffee recipes a few backs and the one with rosemary syrup sounded interesting enough to try. You would never think to pair the two together, but actually the mild hint of rosemary syrup in the background, tastes quite elegant. Now that that days are slowly getting warmer, iced coffee consumption is on an increase as well. Maybe this is something for you to try too this weekend?

Make the Rosemary syrup

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 few twigs of Rosemary
  • A few drops of vanilla extract (optional)

In a small pot, bring the water and sugar into a boil. Add the rosemary and vanilla and let it gently simmer for about 5minutes. Allow the sugar to dissolve and pour the syrup into a heat-proof glass jar. Let the rosemary steep in the syrup for a few hours before removing it.

To make the iced coffee, add some ice cubes into a glass, add a shot of espresso and pour any milk of choice on top. Drizzle some rosemary on top and stir.

Countryside campfire Lobsters & Calamari Tentacles

‘Nordic style easy seafood campfire grilling’

When the weather is on our side and is beautifully sunny, one of our favourite ways to cook at the countryside is by the lake on a traditional log campfire. I just love the crackling sound of the logs, the flickering flames and the 360 views of nature around you. This is one of my favourite seasons as you can see little signs of spring around you. Some type of wood anemones, white and blue push through on dry patches of land and birds are busy making nests on the bare trees. The first signs of sprigs and willows are apparent, asparagus season is on its way and the spring sun is intense against the face.

Nevertheless, campfire cooking requires something easy, minimalistic (as you are way from the kitchen), a little rustic, thus seafood works perfectly. We purchased calamari tentacles and pre-cooked lobsters (frozen) that worked as cooling-aids for the rest of the food during our four-hour drive up to the cottage. We used a cast iron grid for cooking on the fire and with the lobsters & tentacles, you can’t go wrong!

CALAMARI TENTACLES

Calamari tentacle Marinade

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 1/2-1 cup oil
  • 2 chili (medium heat)
  • salt/pepper/lemon zest

Finely chop and mix all the ingredients above into a large bowl. Coat all the calamari tentacles, cover and leave to rest in the fridge for about an hour. At this point you can prepare all the extras that you will need at the campfire. Cut lemon wedges, chop some dill and prepare homemade aioli. It takes under 15 minutes to make and you basically need a handheld blender and a cylinder type measuring cup.

Easy aioli

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 garlic cloves (grated)
  • 3dl oil
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon strong dijon

Basically place all the ingredients into the cylinder measuring vase/cup and blitz with the handheld blender until it becomes frothy. Pulse the mixture and blitz it for about 10minutes. Place the aioli into a small bowl, cover and leave into fridge until the food is ready.

To prepare the calamari, place the tentacles in between a cast iron grid and place on top of a campfire that has lots of coal. Cook on both sides until the tentacles are ultra crispy. Squeeze some lemon juice on top, a bit of salt and enjoy with the aioli.

I love sitting near the warmth of the fire, I love the smell and sound from the logs and the drying spring nature from all its snow.

LOBSTERS

  • 1 whole lobster per person (we used frozen pre-cooked ones)
  • Garlic butter (mix together butter & grated garlic)
  • lemon wedges
  • chopped dill

Prepare the lobsters: Of course fresh lobsters are always better, but you need to take into account the ease when going to the countryside. Frozen lobsters are very convinient in these settings-  Thus, boil in hot water (about 5 minutes) according to instructions on the package. Half the lobsters with a sharp knife. Add some oil, salt, pepper on the flesh and place between the cast iron grid. Cook on the camp fire for a few minutes until it becomes to charcoal a bit. Squeeze lemon on top and sprinkles of dill.

I absolutely loved the lobster that was accompanied with chilled white wine that I kept cold pressed into the snow. Parts of the claw may crack open byt he heat of the fire and if not, it is easily opened by hitting it with a rock.

Blooming Countryside Willows

‘Spring is blooming through the snow at the countyside’

Even though we have some snow left at our countryside, you can tell Spring is well on its way from all the chirping birds, blooming willows and warmth in the air. The days are magnificently bright and day by day, all the snow is melting away. My husband and I took a quick four day trip to our cottage, a quick escape to the midst of nature to enjoy some sauna, campfire food and lots of nature walks with Bella. I adore blooming willows in the forest, they are teh softest introduction to Easter and Spring!

Spring Moodboard

Spring calls for loose pants, light-weight shoes and splashes of blue tones. Al fresco frothy coffees, juice figs and bare shoulders to expose those sun-kissed freckles. A little bit of ruffles, puffy sleeves and more time spent outdoors!

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‘Easter Inspo’

‘Easter inspo with an easy duck Roast’

The seagulls have migrated back to the city and easter is soon here, it means Spring is just around the corner. It’s so amazingly light here from morning to evening even though we still have snow, but it seems like Spring is slowly but surely on it’s way.

As easter is this week, I wanted to share this wild duck recipe that we cooked at the summer place the last time we were there. Even though lamb is more traditional easter, any roast works perfectly! At the countryside, we love to cook rustic cozy dishes that are comforting and hearty in style. This stew was cooked in a traditional stone oven that heats with fire giving the ducks that amazing robust smokey flavour, but a normal oven will do as well! The duck meat literally falls off the bone and the vegetable broth keeps it moist while it cooks in the oven for 4 to 5 hours. Because we cooked with the stone oven, we actually left it to cook overnight and in the morning the ducks were marvelous! For dessert, not try a coconut kinder tart with a sprinkle of matcha powder on top!

Wild Duck Roast

Ingredients

  • 2 whole wild ducks (small in size)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 entire garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 leak
  • 1 parsnip
  • 2-3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup red wine
  • salt/pepper/ bay leaves/rosemary

Directions

Roughly chop and peel and vegetable that will be used as a base for this stew. In a large pan, add a dollop of butter, rosemary and oil. Seer both sides of the duck for about 3 minutes and leave to rest on the side. In the same pan (may need to add a little more butter), quickly sauté the roughly chopped vegetables for about 5 minutes. Add in a bit of vegetable stock to soak up all the juices from the pan. Place the vegetables on the bottom of the oven dish with the ducks on top. Add the vegetable stock and wine, salt, pepper, bay leaves. Place lid on.

We placed the ducks into a firewood stone oven that gives the ducks an extra amazing flavour and left it in there over night and the following morning as we opened the lid, the ducks were crispy and still warm.  However, you can just as easily use a normal oven. If you do so, preheat to 200 celsius degrees. Drop the temperature after 30 minutes to 150 celsius and let them cook for about 4-5 hours with the lid on.

Serve ducks whole, with a sprinkle of sat and pepper on top along with fresh parsley. The meat should literally fall of the bone.

 

 

 

Coconut kinder egg tart

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking power
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • 1- 1 1/2 cups coconut cream or milk
  • 1 kinder egg
  • 3 pieces of dark chocolate

Directions

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder. In another bowl, mix the butter and sugar. Add egg, coconut milk and vanilla. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients. Transfer the batter into a butter-lined cake tin and press the kinder egg and chocolate pieces into the middle of the batter. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until toothpick can be inserted and removed clean. Once the cake has cooled, sift matcha powder on top and garnish with toffee chocolate eggs.

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‘Sunday Spring Home’

My favourite spring mornings are made of sunshine bursting through the window, numerous cups of coffee and healthy smoothie bowls in bed. Our house is scattered with all kinds of blooms giving this sunday a spruce of spring.

Green Smoothie ingredients

  • 1/2 cup  oat milk
  • handful parsley
  • handful mint
  • chunk of ginger
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 banana
  • tablespoon flax seeds
  • 1 celery stalk

Blend into a creamy mixture and garnish with blueberry, mint, chia and hemp seeds.

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Spring Mornings

spring

Spring Mornings

As the days get warmer, I’m able to keep the balcony door open at all times and listen to life outside. The occasional scooters wiff by, the water fountain is dripping in the garden below and the first bumble bees are resting in the sun, while the birds nest on the rooftops. The curtains blow gently in the light breeze, to me white linen curtains are sensual and soft, I constantly notice myself staring at them as they dance to the wind. The olive tree peeks through the doorway giving a Mediterranean feeling to the house. It is my favourite accessory at the moment, it just feels like I have a bit of Italy at home. That fresh espresso smell in the morning gives me a good feeling, also a feeling back to Italy... Lately we’ve been enjoying beautiful coloured organic eggs, from soft pale beige to hazel browns. From salty to sweet, we’ve also indulged in Danish waffles where I made the most delicious filling from ricotta & cream cheese. I’ve also started to look a bit into my honeymoon outfits and instantly drawn to flowy white bohemian dresses. Little dainty bouquets of flowers bring me joy and spring moments like these inspire me in every single way.

Spring in my hands

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beetroot juice & baby’s breath…

The beauty of Spring is the new-found lightness in the air, the sign of new beginnings and the essence of summer at your fingertips. It means one step closer to grand moments; the birth of my first nephew, a walk down the altar with my best friend and a honeymoon that I literally cannot wait for! It is the promise of warmth, a season of blossoming flowers and the time to starting planting herbs on the balcony. Even the raindrops seem far more delicate now, the anticipation of cozy thunder evenings behind white curtains that blow in that brewing storm. Even the birds have a new rhythm to their chirp and the sea seems like a sparkle of diamonds. It is that first cup of tea on the balcony in the calm morning breeze watching the seagull nest on the rooftops and feeling that warmness from the sun rays as one freckle forms after another. I cannot wait for the cherry blossoms to burst open, visit farmers markets that spill with veggies and walk through colourful meadows with hay touching the edge of my toes.

This moment of happiness is from our kitchen, a morning of creating flower arrangements for a special babyshower and drinking home-made beetroot juice. Through these photos, I was trying to capture the delicate softness of the baby’s breath surrounded in an equally calm setting with the sun shining gently through the linen curtains. I’m playing around with thyme, mint, white spring flowers and baby’s breath that happens to be one of my favourites. While I take a sip of my mahogany juice, I feel spring in the tips of my fingers and I feel a little tingle in my stomach from all the upcoming excitment.  oh.. and don’t forget to try the juice!

Beetroot Juice

  • 1 large beetroot
  • Ginger (about 1 cm x 1cm in size)
  • 2 apples
  • ice
  • pinch of salt

Blend all the ingredients until a lovely deep red smooth juice

 

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