Monday, September 15, 2014

another one of them round up posts

1) I started taking ballet classes! Or rather, I took one ballet class, then missed out on the second one on account of me being out of the country, so I guess I should rephrase that as "I took one ballet class".

I'm not really sure what to think of it yet, but I had definitely anticipated that ballet for adult beginners (sporting pot bellies and white pantyhose, at that) would feel..kind of fun? Ironic? You know, that the room would be full of throaty laughter whenever we did our plies and first positions? Instead it all felt a little serious, to tell you the truth. But be that as it may. Now I have ballet shoes and will not stop before I look like the fox below and have the light and elegant posture I first set out to achieve.

2) I went to London and I'm tempted to add "for work" because that sounds fancier than "with work", which is closer to the truth. (I went with my colleagues, in case I left you confused there).

One of the things we did was go on a verrry long street art tour in Shoreditch. Long as in 3 and a half hours. That's long, and honestly, street art strikes me as a little outdated, so I rebelled and took photos of other things instead, including the fancy builder below, which I love, the pierced pretty boy in a barber shop, and a faded poster in the window of a closed-down shop.

3) On said trip, I got to see Johan's shop on Columbia road! Actually, I should rephrase this also, because it's technically not his shop, but rather his fiancé's. Captured By it's called and it sits at the very end (or beginning, depending on where you start) of Columbia road. They're open on weekends, and if you're into either fancy coffee, affordable design classics, Danish design icons, crisp white shirts and/or mouthwatering sunglasses, watches and pens, I say go there and have a chat with Johan and his woman, who are just the loveliest people ever.

I've snatched the photo below from their site, and while we're at it, I might as well add that the lovely interior is designed by Johan and his partner in professional crime, Maggie Bursa. They're an amazeballs team and you can learn more about them here.

over and out :)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Whoopsie daisy (Ups-a-daisy? Oops, I did it again?)

I realized I haven't blogged for almost one full month, so no wonder the comments section has just been going CRAZY!

(Not really, but I take it as a compliment if you actually scrolled down to check :)

I've got no life-altering stories up my sleeve, so I thought I'd do a little round up of some of the trivial things I've been up to lately. So yes, here we go:

1) I got photo-bombed by a pig?!
Does this look like a pig's hoof to you as well? Kind of a like a pig that goes "Yo, peace" and fails to spread its toes?

2a) I have experimented and failed with natural dies  
When I took this photo, I had a real nice DIY-post figured all out about how to use red cabbage and baking soda to create a really beautiful, dirty-looking blue. That plan didn't pan out.
2b) I have experimented and failed with the die-equivalent "of the everything bagel" 
My red cabbage die turned into a pale and sickly mint, and so I combined all the stuff I had around the house that you can use as natural dies and threw it into the sink. We're talking coffee grinds, turmeric, red cabbage, THE WORKS! Turns out that turmeric kind of trumps all other dies, which means my white-turned-mint cotton blanket is now a bright yellow, which I think is my least favorite color of all the colors in the universe. 
3) I took this photo a blueberry muffin, which I kind of like. 
4) And this photo of my desert rose against a painting I made, with a friendly nod to my current crush Helen Frankenthaler.  
5) I've been feeling really thrilled with this view! And getting to live in this place! And getting to enjoy that masterful design of the lounge chair on the right, which me dad has given me custody of, because he didn't have room for it as his new place. 
Honestly, sometimes it's absurd how excited I get about home. I LOVE home! Always have. 

6) I fixed up the bathroom and painted the walls a dramatic petroleum blue!
This really was a lot of work, because A) The walls were covered in fiberglass cloth and so I had to spackle and sand them down before even getting around to painting. B) That wooden counter was covered in thick, white paint, which I sanded down by hand. By hand, you guys. 
I set up my own company! Baby Cheeses, it's called, which is fun, because it sounds like Baby Jesus!  

It sounds like a bigger deal than it is, because essentially I just needed a tax registration number in order to freelance, and when I applied for one online it said: "Enter the name of your company" and I was like fuck it, MY company is going to have the grandest name of all! I toyed with the idea of naming it something really loathsome like "Brand Corp", because that would be kind of ironic and millennial of me. But I went with Baby Cheeses instead, which is still ironic and millennial, but more friendly, because miniature sized cheeses and/or infants that set out to absolve your sins is just great, I think. Anyway, so far, Baby Cheeses is a one-woman copywriting agency, and in an ideal world, I would provide you with a proper company e-mail for you to get in touch at, but since I don't have one, drop me a note at sarahcarlsonontheroof @ - because yes, I'm open for business! And yes, I'm taking applications! 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Kenya Backlog - round two :)

An adapted version of Café Habana's famous corn on the cob - chargrilled, with a spread of cream cheese, salt, chili and a drizzle of lime (or lemon, in a pinch). Ideally one would add cojita cheese, but I've found that a sprinkle of parmesan works just as well :) 

Bougainvilleas in bloom. I think I may have taken a million photos of bougainvilleas, because every time you see one, you feel you've stepped into a technicolor movie.

Johan at Ngong hills, overlooking Nairobi.
An apartment building we used to pass on our evening walk.

Sunbathing wild hogs at the Giraffe Center. Would love to keep one as a pet, if that's at all possible ;)
Johan and Maj at The Trout Tree. Awful food but they deserve 6 stars for ambiance.

A photo that's been sitting on my computer forever, waiting for the right blog theme that never really arrived ;)
The view of Ngong hills from Karen Blixen's house.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Kenya Backlog

My return home to Copenhagen caught even me by surprise, and somehow I'm stuck with the feeling that I didn't get to say my goodbyes. That I have unfinished business or something, or that I left a part of my home behind, which I guess really isn't as crazy as it sounds when you take into account that the apartment is still there with all our stuff in it, including my favorite piece of decor of all: Johan.

Blogging has always seemed to help me in this respect. By helping me process experiences and archive them both mentally and digitally. So, in an attempt to wrap my head around all things Kenya, here's a recap of a weekend-safari I went on with Johan and my BFF Maj, who came for a visit during my last week in Nairobi.

We stayed at the Sweetwaters Tented Camp in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy some 3 hours' drive from Nairobi. It sits right at the foothills of Mount Kenya, which looked every bit as surreal and breathtaking as it does in the photo of above. 

This was my safari team! Maj rode shot gun next to Johan, which was a wise decision, because she turned out to have an acute eye for wild life, spotting elephants way before anyone else.
Also, hanging out with Maj, you wind up doing a lot of things you sense you're really not supposed to do. Like urinating in a national park, say. 
The sanctuary is home to the big five, of which we got to see three - elephants, buffaloes and rhinos, whereas the lions and leopards behaved like the self-willed felines they are and stayed manifestly out of sight. But hey, who needs lions when you can sit and watch a big, beautiful elephant walk blissfully along the horizon - amirite? 

Same goes for this family of three white rhinos basking in the sun. I'd take a baby rhino over a lion any day :)

Here's Maj in an ad for her smart phone: "My life powered by Samsung Galaxy".  (Please note the elephant in the background, btw). 

Tough mudders!

A silver backed jackal. I think....Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong :)
3 adorable black rhino tushes. These gals are so big and massive it's quite humbling to be in their presence.

Here's Johan trying off his white-man-in-Africa-looking-into-the-distance pose. He looks deep, but really he's passing gas. (Now that's all you see, right?! Johan farting, I mean?)

Baboons are like the d-list celebrities of wildlife, and it's all because they're kind of small, come in large groups and find themselves unthreatened by extinction. Look at them. You can almost sense how they're all: "Screw them tourists and their big 5-frenzy. Let's just sit here with our iPads and turn our backs at every 4-wheel drive we see."

Here's my safari team with a bucket of ice for drinks and a plate of cookies because they were free. I also love this photo because I can tell Johan is trying really hard no to crack up! (More on that below...)

At night, so many animals came up to sip water from a watering hole right by the hotel. So there we were, sitting on the porch outside our tent as they all paraded by - elephants and their elephant babies, zebras and impalas. The wild hogs arrived too, took a sip and went "yo, can we get a little alcohol in this?" :)

Our tent! We pushed our beds together to form a double king sized bed so we could all watch a movie on my computer before falling asleep.

Morning coffee with an exotic bird. "Would you like toast", we asked. And then it lifted its wings into the air like a priest and said "Oh my god, toast is my favorite thing of all!"

And speaking of Johan suppressing laughter, here he is, at it again, in all likelihood because of something she said. 
"See, made him laugh"
"See, laughing hard"

The end :)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Road Stars

After trolling through Kenya and South Africa for our last couple of mini holidays, Johan and I decided that a summer in Scandinavia was just what we needed. For months in advance we started scheming all the things we wanted to do, like going on a guided walking tour of our neighborhood, riding our bikes from Copenhagen up through Southern Sweden and eating gravlax at Stockholm's Saluhall.

BUT THEN! After months and weeks of anticipating all the things we wanted to do (which, by the way, research has shown to boost your happiness even more than your actual vacation), the weather gods threw a bunch of curveballs our way, rendering all of Scandinavia so damn hot we wound up doing only some 3% of all the stuff on our imaginary itineraries. Instead we stayed inside sipping too many Aperol Spritz'es while having the following Beckettian conversation on repeat:

Me: It's so hot
Him: I know...I can't believe how hot it is

THAT SAID, we did actually make it to Sweden. Not by bike but by air conditioned Volkswagen, and here are a few photos from the trip, which I would like to save and show my future grandchildren:

Here's Johan in front of a sign in the parking lot of a pull-up, which I think my family has stopped at every single time we've gone from Copenhagen to Stockholm (or thereabouts). It's funny, but once you approach this location, you always feel it's time to get out, stretch your legs, stock up on chocolate and ice cream and go pee.

On this trip, we went to McDonald's more often than I'd like to admit. But the thing I like about McDonald's in Sweden is that fact that they just take your order for a meatless burger like it's no big deal. In Denmark they're usually: "You want a burger without the meat? A burger...but no meat? Sorry, I need to call my manager...." 
Loved this sign. Wanted to bring it home and use it as a bed spread. Good work you, anonymous art director. I hope they pay you well anf give you a company car.

This was our first destination: My mom's country house. So cute :)

I kind of forgot to take pictures, which is silly, considering how picturesque everything is at her place. BUT, I did snap this photo of a cute little tree house, which my mom made. My mom is clever like that.

My grandmother was visiting too, so she, Johan and I took off on a mini-road trip to the city of Mariefred to eat lunch and check out a nice castle. Then I took this photo of Johan and my grandmother for their future company web page. I dig my grandma's relaxed CEO pose. Generally, I just dig her a lot :)

Then my grandmother took this photo of Johan and I. Love her even more! :)
Then we drove on to Strängnäs where most of my lovely family lives and my grandmother took us out for ice cream by the harbor. She's gonna hate me a little for posting this photo, but I just love it! Reminds me of one of those photos you would've kept back in the pre-digital camera days. "You'll have to excuse our faces, but look at that scenery!"

In the evening, Johan and I continued to Stockholm, where we stayed at my mother's peach colored city house....kidding! We stayed at her apartment - this is just a pretty little castle in the island of Djurgården.

One very specific thing we looked forward to doing in Stockholm was eating. Good food is my primary reason for traveling these days. It used to be visiting art museums but now I'm all about trying out restaurants. First stop was Ramen Ki-Mama. I'd also really recommend Beijing 8, if you're down for dumplings.
That said, we did stretch ourselves and go visit Artipelag - a newly built art hall slash cultural venue in Stockholm's archipelago. 
Everything was so Nordic and organically integrated into the surroundings it was almost too perfect.

They had a very dreary art exhibition, but I really liked this bit. It's furniture from the 1930s by Axel Einar Hjorth for a sportsstuga, a sports cabin or weekend cottage where one would retreat from city life to do sports and enjoy the outdoors. In fact, the entire place was kind of a modeled on a sportsstuga, I'd say.
The best part of Artipelag, we both agreed, was the location, right on the water overlooking the Stockholm Archipelago. If it weren't for that fact that our parking ticket was about to expire, we could have stayed on the sun-heated rock for hours.