strycksele/sweden

strycksele/sweden

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christmas comes and goes, another new year, another fireworks display and then… January. January seems to be the most forgotten month of them all, a quietly blue-grey month which no one plans for and no one suspects. I decided this year, it was going to be great. so with that, I planned a trip to the land of Ikea and we all know how boss that place is… (find me a house that doesn’t own at least half of Ikea).

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Sweden – It is crazy beautiful, nothing at all like I’ve ever experienced. I hope that my time here may encourage you to visit this country, for she has an incredible, peaceful, beauty that encourages every one of your senses to come alive. to breathe in fresh, clean, cold, crisp air (the kind that you feel deep in your lungs), to feel the icy air on any skin you have bravely left bare, to see and hear the quiet, calm demeanor and to hear your inner voice in total awe.. because, well, silence.

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upon landing in Skellefteå (pronounced ‘Shelleftayor’), a short flight from Stockholm, we were greeted by the much-anticipated sight of softly, falling snow… wonderful, peaceful, stillness. It feels a lot like walking through the wardrobe into Narnia… there’s something special about the quality of sound when it snows, a sort of eerie muted silence. already overly excited for the next few days, we needed to head for supplies. it continued to snow covering the cars slowly but surely, ensuring all cars look the same. huge supermarket purveyed and supplies bought (they don’t shop like frantic’s in an apocalypse like we do when it snows, it’s all sensible adult purchasing…) we then attempted to head to our home for the next week.

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my mate tommy

tommy moved to Sweden to live with his Swedish girlfriend just over a year ago and hasn’t looked back. They have been renovating their home for the past year in the near Arctic weathers and she’s a beauty. A perfect blend of Nordic style with personality. One of my personal favorites is the antler toilet role holder and the old pipe work pulled from the house, now the downstairs loo light fitting. Empathetic and creative talent at it’s very best.

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so now, you’re in Sweden, what to do?

husky tour

you HAVE to go on a husky ride, I may have looked terrified when I learned how strong the dogs can be and how you must be nothing less than a dog whisperer, but honestly once you get going… it’s much easier than they make out. sure there are some bumps along the way but the experience is so incredible and the sights are insane.  at the end of the day you’re on the ultimate form of arctic transport, akin to Santa and his sleigh. it’s up there with one of my most favorite encounters ever.
check out Flarken Adventures for more

cross country ski

if you enjoy the great outdoors and you love skiing then you will deffo love a bit of cross country skiing. again it’s all about the sights, the sounds, or lack thereof, and the insanely fresh air. the skis are skinnier than ”normal skiing” skis but they are the best way to travel about on foot (try walking through knee deep snow) and guarantee a good workout (the kind that makes you feel righteous whilst eating a whole family sharing pack of Maltesers), as well as a sightseeing adventure. we took some firewood and a small picnic mainly consisting of jaffa cakes, went on the hunt for beavers, reindeer, and moose and came home to hot showers hot food and a roaring fire.

max

‘MAX’ Swedens answer to a McDonald’s and when in Rome one must put aside their fear of fast food making them instantly obese and sample the local delights. bloody hell, it was good. definitely nothing on McDonald’s frankly feeble vegetarian attempts at a dried out, over fried, disc of GM grease.
fyi i had the halloumi burger (no mayo..!) with some of the best chips I’ve had in my life and a sparkling lime drink.

northern lights

now we were extremely lucky because the lights came out two nights in a row and in a spectacular way. to the point that local Swedes were even totally balled over by how special they were. the pictures can’t and won’t ever really do them justice, so if you want to see them then you must go and be there under the night sky. keep a close eye on the sky each night and you just might get lucky. even if you don’t, the remoter parts of Sweden have incredibly clear skies due to lack of light pollution so you can see a billion’s stars, which in itself is pretty magical too.

playing with snow

sure, we’ve all played with snow, we’ve grown up and we think we’ve seen and done it all. now, go play with some snow properly.
here’s what you do… boil the kettle, go outside with a cup, fill it with hot water (this sounds dangerously similar to making a cup of tea, I hear you say) then, throw said cup of boiling hot water over your head. wow, right? yess.

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other reasons why ‘Sveden’ is great

eco

the Swedes take eco living seriously, and to be honest quite right too. they pay you back for recyling and everyones on the band wagon. i like their moral compass, it can only be leading them to good things and I think we could all learn a thing or two from their eco living passion.

beavers, moose, reindeer

the local wildlife is, of course, the hardy type. we sadly did not see any beavers of moose as they are rarer, however, we did see some reindeer. reindeer are very comical to watch running, their legs splay sideways and their heads flail backward. it’s all a bit haphazard and the reason they’re running? is you. they’re not very confident creatures but they are fun to go out and sight see. the first you’ll know of them is their little nesquick poo’s dotted on the white snow.
moose plays a part in the swedish diet. i, of course, didn’t try any but for one of our party of whom was eager to give this unknown delicacy a try, I am told it’s yummy and tastes quite like beef.

snow

with almost guaranteed snow through winter, it really is a whole world of fun. the children in Sweden are resilient and healthy because they play outside a lot and no wonder because snow is so much fun. it creates the ultimate play zone, soft and pliable.

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we had the ultimate trip, the trip of a lifetime and one I will never forget. would I go back, yes, have I missed it, definitely. am I glad I risked my extremities and explored in minus gazillion degrees, hell yes.

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the end

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travel tips

the main thing with Sweden is it’s cold, -30 isn’t unusual so one might wonder what the funk they are supposed to wear in weather that freezes all it touches. well, layers. you’re gonna want to invest in some thermals, some warm socks and I would recommend merino wool and some warm footwear. on most given days I would venture out with thermal pants, with either leggings or tights over the top,2-3 pairs of socks plus my ski pants and then thermals, long sleeve top, jumper, a lightweight puffer jacket, ski coat, gloves, snood and a wooly hat. so just a couple layers.

links

womens thermal top
womens thermal pants         
womens lite puffer jacket 
mens thermal top
mens thermal pants           
mens puffer jacket

photo credits

the good ones – tommy
the other ones – myself

My Daily Outfit; Day Four

My Daily Outfit; Day Four

I got a bit caught up sorting everything for Angus’ birthday this weekend so I didn’t have time to write the last blog post of the week so I apologise for the delay. Never fear, here it is! The last day of our trip was a sad but fun day. We enjoyed Bruges so much and look forward to the next time! 

So my final outfit I chose to wear because I wanted to feel comfortable whilst travelling home and whilst saying our goodbyes to this great city. 

I wore:

Lace Dress: Primarni

Red Boucle Cardigan: Forver21 

Same scarf, same sunnies and boots with some tights I recently bought from Sainsbury’s. They are amazing really soft and perfect. They were 40 denier in a pack of 3 for about £5 so in my opinion a great essential purchase!















Our final lunch was at The Gingerbread Tearoom. It’s right next to Lizzie’s wafles, which is where we went the other day. It was empty when we arrived and we were feeling quite full of rich Belgium food by then! I had carrot and coconut milk soup, an amazing combination. Angus had a goats cheese panini with honey and a white hot chocolate!





So until our next trip I will leave it there. Thanks for joining! X

Angus’ Surprise Trip; My Daily Outfit

Angus’ Surprise Trip; My Daily Outfit

Day 1.  So it turns out planning and carrying out a surprise trip for someone is really hard! It’s easy to plan, fun.. Very fun! I have just found it so hard to keep it a secret from the boy in my life who I tell everything. In fact I did tell him by accident whilst he was pretending to listen to me.We are currently waiting in the Eurostar waiting room, so naturally he now has some idea! I love travelling by Eurostar. Having done it only once before Im not an experienced ES passenger but I have super fond memories of the family holiday which began with the (at the time) fresh new way to travel. I wasn’t disappointed this time around. The boarding process is much easier than the airport security bag searching scariness. The architecture of the building is nothing but stunning.





Once on board we travelled virtually the  whole way with only three others in the carriage. It was perfect! The seats are comfortable enough to snooze in and we enjoyed looking out the window (when we weren’t underground) at the urban  then rural views of London, France and then Belgium. Excuse Angus’ ..um face? 😜Other than some train snacks to keep us going, I brought my drink of the moment and listened to my current audible book. I am only in the very early chapters so not enough to tell you yet.I thought it would be a fun idea to blog my outfits each day as I definitely have more fun with my style on holiday than I do during my normal working week. 

Outfit 1. To Travel 

From Head To Toe

Necklace; lilac – New Look. I love this colour which is surprisingly versatile. As its a pale colour it goes with most things. The shape of the drops are very pretty and feminine. Scarf – I bought this at a local market and its a one of a kind. It’s great cod it’s really light and obviously has a through colours so I can wear it with quite a few things. The fabric is ‘plumpable’ (nice made up word for you there!) and I wear it in various ways. I thought it matched well with the jumper and a scarf is great to have when travelling to conver to a small blanket, a pillow and/or an eye mask!

Top; black lace – Forever 21. You can’t really see it other than the sleeves poking out but I wore a nice peplum top. I knew the jumper would keep me warm and I wanted the lace to show to add a pretty and feminin edge. 

Jumper; purple – Sainsbury’s (in the sale! £9 It’s pure cotton to!) I can’t get onto the Sainsbury’s website from Belgium so I will look it up when im back. I love this jumper. I bought it in 2/3 sizes too big for days like today where I need comfort, style and warmth.

Jeans; black – Topshop. Old stock but really comfy and a staple of any wardrobe. 

Boots; black – Schuh. Currently reduced to £39.99. A real bargain! They are super comfortable and wearable with everything. Mine are a bit worn out now so I’m tempted to get a replacement pair as they’re in the sale. Though I am on the hunt for a nice new smart/casual ankle boot so watch this space. 

Jewellery- I then wore my usual Thomas Sabo watch but popped on this midi ring from Astrid & Miyu a long with my Zodiac ring with Virgo birthstones. I love these rings as they are so unusual, dainty and pretty. They come in nice packaging and you can get 10% off your first order online! 



Night Time

To take me from day to night I took off my scarf and jumper and put on my Faux  fur Lipsy jacket. I put on some red lippy and grabbed my little handbag. We were quite tired from travelling by this point so it was quick and easy – perfect!

We ate are a restaurant called Toms Diner. I would highly recommend it. I’m happy to do a seperate post review on it if you like. Let me know in the comments below.