Make Your Mother’s Day

When I was growing up we didn’t do Mother’s Day in our house. Of course my brother and I brought home the tat we were forced to make at school – enjoyable only for the break it gave us from Mr Woolridge and his fury at our inability to recite the 7 times table. Paper daffs, cardboard rosettes, mum figures made from loo roll inners – year after year of shoddily constructed offerings. Here you go mum, you’re welcome.

As we got older though we found that mum didn’t want Mother’s Day presents or even cards. She thought that if you needed to be told once a year to appreciate all her hard work, her unconditional love and the patience that we gave a daily battering to, then something was drastically wrong. So we stopped. No cards. No presents. No breakfast in bed. We thought nothing of it, that’s how it was. I know, I know.

Then I became a mum. Ellie was 9 months old on my first Mother’s Day. ‘She’ somehow forgot go to the shop and get me my first Mother’s Day card. First Mother’s Day – yep, I’ll say it again. First. Bit special. Y’know. I’m over it now obviously (so not) but from that year onwards, I bought my amazing mum cards and presents whether she wanted them or not. Bit of free advice here, err on the side of caution and get down those shops and maybe not just when the card shop tells you it’s time to think of her.

So, what to buy? You could go down the traditional flower route but we don’t sell flowers and this blog isn’t for nothing you know – it’s to tell you of all the wonderful gifts we have in Spektakulär Home and Spektakulär Gifts that are perfect for the wonderful mum in your life. Oh, where to start?!

Personally, feed me Lakrids Liquorice and you are guaranteed to be my favourite child (listening you two?) In 2007 the first Lakrids by Johan Bülow shop opened in Svaneke. The idea was to cook the liquorice in the shop, making sure that you could smell it in a radius of 100 meters. It worked. Everything was sold out within two hours. The last customer even bought the sample bowl on the counter. It is AMAZING!

Image by Lakrids By Johan Bulow

For lovers of natural body and skin care – we stock the luxurious and almost edible smelling range from Mirins Copenhagen. The company is one of our most loved and offers bath and body care products, using only natural and organic ingredients. All of their products are free of preservatives, free of synthetic additives and free of artificial perfumes.

All products are developed based on Herbalism and Aromatherapy, to enhance the mood in addition to pampering the body. Just gorgeous.

Image by Mirins Copenhagen

For something a bit different we have our Spira faces bags. We love these so much – the cushion range has long been one of our best sellers so we were delighted when they started producing matching bags. If you can find one that looks like your mum then you are totally aceing Mother’s Day and if not just buy her the Frank one – we all love a bearded, tattooed sailor (what, just me?)

Image by Spira Of Sweden

I have blogged about Lindform before but to save you the bother of trawling back through, let me describe this amazing brand again.
The inspiration for Lindform vases comes from Scandinavian nature with its organic tones and simple shapes. The company is a Swedish family business started on a small scale in 2007. They have since then grown to be a brand that is synonymous with Scandinavian design and quality. Each piece goes through several hand made processes resulting in wonderfully tactile, contemporary designs. Perfect as individual pieces and stunning in a group they have been a great seller for us here in Spektakulär since we introduced them a couple of years ago.

Image by Lindform

So, lots of ideas for you there and we have so many other ranges that would be perfect for making her day. Absolutely no excuse this year you lot…

Ruth xx

p.s. I spend a ridiculous length of time stressing over the apostrophe in Mother’s Day – is it your mother’s day or the day for mothers? I’d go the latter to celebrate all mums but gave in to majority rule #virgo x

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Walk All Over Cancer

After months of sitting still and eating more rubbish than ever my body decided it did not like me very much anymore and my mind was all over the place (not in a good place)! After we came back from Sweden I started to walk again and saw the add for Cancer Research #walkallovercancer. I knew straight away this was something I wanted to do, good for myself (as I know my mind is in a much happier place when I exercise) and do good for someone else!!

#walkallovercancer is a way to help raise money towards Cancer Research and together we will beat Cancer. Every day throughout March I will walk at least 10000 steps a day. Some days this will be easier than others. Please support me by donate here to my fundraising page. We will also create some boxes in the shops so please pop your spare change in there and best of all 30th March (day before Mother’s Day) we are having a BAKE SALE in our HOME shop at number 15 Colinton Road. So please save the date and join us then for homemade Swedish treats!

This will be a true challenge for me as I know myself and I am one LAZY lady and I give up so easily. It will also be a challenge for my family as I am making them walk with me, but also a fantastic opportunity to explore the beautiful Edinburgh and also to catch up with friends. Yesterday I walked for an hour with a friend while our daughters were at dancing and we walked around Craighlockhart Nature Park. Today the family walked (girls scooted) from Craigleith to Davidsons Mains via the bicycle path and we visited the grounds of the stunning Lauriston Castle. These are places I drive past but never explore, Edinburgh truly is stunning and I think this will be a month of me really getting to know this city I have now called my home for the last eleven years.

Even if you can not support me with money please do support me by follow me on our Instagram stories I will need all the encouragement I can get and please do pop in to the shops and ask me how am getting on!

Charlotte xxx

And we are back!

Hejsan!

Both shops are back up and running again after the Christmas and New Year holidays! This time of the year just makes me a bit gloom! The lovely Christmas lights disappears….booo! I am pretty sure you are all well familiar with the Danish word Hygge by now! Wow must have been the word of the year! And guess what Hygge does not finish when Christmas is over, no no Hygge is more important now than before Christmas (not jut for Christmas you know). We do need something to look forward to during the dark month of January! So at the moment I light up candles every night and enjoy a lot of cosy time with my little family, games, books and films (my kind of cosy).

Yesterday Richard and I managed to sit down and have a little chat about 2016 business wise and we made a plan for what to do for January and yay stock take time :) Well that is only one thing on our huge list. We have a very exciting year ahead and this year we really like to get Lilla out there! Time to make sure you and everyone you know knows Spektakulär has a little sister and it is only two doors away. Perfect for Scandi gifts and treats for you young ones. But let me just say thank you for supporting us, you are amazing!

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This morning my little helpers are in the shop with me and they are on quality control to make sure the toys we sell in Lilla is up to standard and yes I believe our Oscar and Ellen Doctor’s Bag has passed the test :)

Charlotte x

 

 

Home sweet home…

So week one past just like that and we have done NOTHING!

Maybe that is a good thing! Going home was well needed after the last few weeks in the UK. As a Swede and a small business owner I took this whole brexit thing very hard. So going home has given me lots of hope and also some ideas how our business will survive this (well hopefully).

 

Anyhow! Normally we go to Sweden for a few weeks since I really like the girls to work on their Swedish, I am really bad at speaking Swedish to them…oh well we are getting there! So the first two weeks it is just the girls and myself then Richard will join us as well. We have booked in to see a few of our amazing suppliers as well as lovely friends when he arrives which will be great. But at the moment we are visiting lovely local independent shops full of designs I personally love, exploring the forest behind my mums house and eating way too much.

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Hemlighter (Secrets), charming boutique filled of lovely treasures 

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Behind mums house is a forest and they just love exploring 

 

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After a heavy rain storm, out for a slug count…57 I think before they gave up (Yuck)

Sadly the weather is absolutely rubbish here, I can not remember the last time I have seen showers like this, it is cold, wet, dark, rather dull to be honest (it’s very disappointing). We try to go out for some walks when the worst is over and have been out picking blueberries and wild raspberries in the forest. Buying blueberries in the shop in UK, well for me they are not blueberries, these ones we pick our self, we got purple fingers (Lovisa was purple all around her mouth) and they are really colourful and tasty. Also found lots of raspberries so once again I need to concur my fear of snakes and also tics… oh man I hate those tics. Found one or two on my mums dog and cats…yuck! Even though they are covered in lots of protecting stuff they still get them, guess it does not help there are lots of roe deer here and they are covered in those vicious little horrid unnecessary blood sucking creatures.

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Blueberry picking in the rain

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Super tasty!

Otherwise we just chill, which I think has been very good for Stina, she is tired emotionally after her first year at school.

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Stina with her cousin Emma (Happiness)

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A visit to my grandmother Ulla

So hanging with cousins, visiting family, playing with new friends, me having tons of Fika (yes all my clothing is a bit tighter than a week ago) and so on is rather relaxing. Oh yes and Pizza, no there is no better Pizza in the world than SWEDISH Pizza. Any Swede who says anything else is not a true Swede (I am serious)!

 

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Saturday Sweets, A must in when in Sweden

I hope you are having a nice time as well and that the weather is better than here (however at this moment I am sitting in the sun on the veranda, hope this will last at least one day).

Don’t forget I have wonderful staff who all is looking after both shops while we are at home. At the moment I am not placing any orders but the shops are still full of lovely designs and we are awaiting in a few deliveries so please pop in and find a nice treat or gift. I have notice that the amazing Tulipop is flying out at the moment, surely not back to school already…

And our clearance sale is still going at Spektakulär. Still lots of lovely designs. Please do note that these are designs that will not be reordered again so pop in and grab a bargain.

Charlotte x

 

 

 

 

Brug by Wunderlife

Brug by Wunderlife

During the summer you will get a few guest blogs by our amazing ladies at the shops. Yesterday we took on a new brand to us, and this is by two local mums. As you know we are strictly Scandi focused! This is the first time (and probably the only) I have ever bent that rule and I do that only because I believe in this product so much and I really feel passionate about the Brug. Rachael has written a wonderful blog about the Brug and please do pop in and try it out for yourself, I am taking one with me to Sweden for the summer! Charlotte x

 

Hello lovely Spektakular blog readers, my name is Rachael and I can be found in Lilla most Friday’s and Sunday’s.

We have so many amazing products between the two shops but I wanted to take a minute to introduce you to one of the very newest, the Brug from Wunderlife.

Brug by Wunderlife
The Brug

As a mum to a VERY active toddler, I am always looking for products that will make things that little bit easier, saving me time and allowing me to concentrate on the more important things in life!

The Brug is a fantastic product designed here in Edinburgh by the lovely ladies from Wunderlife, with exactly this ethos in mind.

What is a ‘Brug’? I hear you cry?

Well… it’s a shoulder bag that transforms into a rug!

The Brug is water resistant, lightweight, machine washable and folds away into a neat pouch when not in use.

A day at the beach or the park? It’s perfect to stow all your kit; chuck it all on the Brug, pull the draw strings, fasten the buckle and zip, and you’re off. The long straps allow the Brug to be worn on the shoulder or across the body, keeping both hands free, and even fits nicely across the buggy handle. Once you’re there, it’s super quick and easy to unpack, and with the Brug laid out, you have a base for the day.

Ideal for travelling, holidays and camping too, the possibilities are endless!

But it’s not just for outdoors, the Brug is perfect for use in at home too. What better way to contain the Lego, or even the PlusPlus, on a visit to grannie’s? Or just a handy way to clear way the toys once the little ones are in bed and reclaim your living room.

Personally, I love that the Brug is machine washable. As someone who only has to look at a drink to spill it, and with two messy men in my life (Husband and Toddler), being able to stick the Brug in the washing machine is perfect!

Come along to Lilla, to find out more about the Brug. Touch it, try it out and you might just love it as much as we do!

Semla (Classic Swedish Bun)

Right Christmas is over and it is almost Shrove Tuesday. Here in the UK it is also Pancake day but at home it is all about SEMLA. Seven Tuesdays before Easter but in Sweden you can sadly find a semla in a local bakery or cafe just after Christmas. You can eat them just as they are or in a “hetvägg” which is not my favourite. You basically make it all soft and gooey in warm milk (NO THANK YOU). I am not a massive fan of semla (gosh I can not believe I just said that), I mean I like them but one or five is enough during this time a year and I do not need them every day which is I admit a bit un-Swedish because the right thing to do is to eat a Semla a day from Shrove Tuesday until Easter! In my home town Alingsås, (Alingsås is also known as the one and only Cafe town, every second shop is a cafe) there is a competition who makes the best. The bun needs to be fluffy, perfect filling of almond paste and then the cream needs to be perfectly whipped, and for goodness sake make sure there is plenty of cream. Oh gosh the locals are hard critics and I think everyone turns in to a little bit of a Semla expert! You should see some of the comments they make in the local newspaper (eye-rolling).

Anyway here in Edinburgh is a little group of Swedish mums (and dads), most of us have a other half who is non-Swedish and this group was created to meet up and sing Swedish songs with our bilingual children. Now these days it is more about us grown-ups gossiping while the kids trash someone’s home. Our turn today and look at me I have baked Semlor and here is a recipe for you!

I like to say thank you to M who also made the bun big style and brought with her as well as L who made wonderful classic chocolate balls. I made mini Semla (no photo before gone). They turned out perfectly fine, I find the mini ones a better size really. Not too much and if still room just have another one (ten is too many).

Here is a recipe for you of the MINISEMLOR. I hope you will make it and please do enjoy it with a cuppa, or like us coffee.

Ingredients: Makes about 40 Mini Semlor

1 dl = 100 ml

BUN:

  • 50 gram butter (as always good quality and salted)
  • 2.5 dl milk (always go for full fat)
  • 25 gram fresh yeast (I get mine from Sainsbury’s, ask in the bakery)
  • 0.75 dl caster sugar
  • 1 tsp grounded cardamom
  • 1 egg
  • 8-9 dl plain flour (480-540 grams)

1 egg (as eggwash before baking in oven)

FILLING:

  • 200 grams almond paste (see below how to make your own unless you just been to Sweden and bought some)
  • 1 dl milk or cream
  • 3 dl whipping cream
  • if you like cognac or some sort of liquor (mix it with the cream)
  • icing sugar as dusting

HOW TO:

  1. Melt butter in pan, add milk and heat to 37 degress (finger warm). Make sure not to hot then the yeast dies, if too cold it takes a bit longer before proving.
  2. Crumb up the fresh yeast in one large bowl, add milk butter mix and make sure the yeast dissolves.
  3. Add the grounded cardamon, sugar, egg and most of the plain flour.
  4. Work the dough hard until it feels light and ready (like bread)
  5. Let prove for 30 min (make sure no draft)
  6. Work the dough and make about 40 even round balls. They are small so don’t panic.
  7. Put on a baking paper covered tray.
  8. Let prove again for 30 min (do not cheat)
  9. Heat up oven while the dough is proving to 250 degress.
  10. Bake the buns in the middle of the oven for about 5-7 min, make sure they have a nice colour
  11. Let cool
  12. Cut a lid in each bun and take out some of the inner bun to use for the almond paste filling.
  13. Almond paste mix, grate almond paste, dash of milk or cream (the 1 dl) and the bun inners, create a nice smooth mix and put back inside bun
  14. Whisk whipping cream and put on top of paste.
  15. Lid on top and add some icing sugar on if you like
  16. ENJOY

 

How to make Almond Paste

  • 250 grams un-blanched almonds
  • 2.5 dl caster sugar

Part boil and peel the almonds, grind to fine powder in blender, add the sugar and mix for 5-7 min until nice smooth and warm paste.

You know this might sound hard work but it really is not. Not worse than making bread or bake anything really. It is just the proving that might take a bit of time. Why not give it a go and impress your friends and if you have a Swedish friend well this will be a massive and grateful surprise and I bet you they will be delighted. Everyone likes a Semla!

Have fun

Charlotte x

 

Copenhagen

Since Richard and I had the shop and the girls we sometimes struggle to talk about anything else than the girls or the business…I assume this is common called as life! However sometimes you think of things you did before this life (I mean the last five six years) and I think about our city breaks our just taking the car and go away somewhere for the weekend, and yes I must admit now and than I miss that more chilled life. However our girls are getting bigger and spending a weekend with grandparents is heaven to them and I know the grandparents love spending time with their granddaughters too. So after our summer holiday I got one of those spam/promotional emails from the airline we used flying back to the UK. Affordable tickets to Copenhagen! Well why not, asked the grandparents, asked Zuzanna to cover the shop and asked Richard to take time off work (well that was the tricky one since I liked to keep it as a surprise, sometimes it is good to have the shop to blame on). So Richard’s birthday is at the end of October and I bought the tickets in August, yes I managed to keep it a secret! I think everyone knew but not him and he was delighted when he found out (phew)!
So off we went, it was wet and windy but it did not really matter, we did enjoyed Copenhagen!

Even though we are not supposed to talk about business we do, owning your own business makes it your lifestyle! Owning your own business does not mean you leave work and have other things to focus on, no its always there. You do weird things like when having a coffee at a friends house you check the brand of the cup, small things like that! Anyway yes we did see The Little Mermaid (larger than I remember). Sadly lots of tourist hanging on her and I was not that touristy to do the same. We saw her, said hello and kept walking around the beautiful buildings. Oh I could move to Copenhagen in a flash, such a fantastic city. International, happy and chilled!

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Of course we have been in great shops, even said hello to lovely Jane and husband from our new brand Mirins Copenhagen and I am excited to introduce more of her lovely bath and body care products to our shop in the future.

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Spent a few hours in a amazing shops looking at New brands, displays and of course all the stunning Christmas Windows! Arrgghhh we need a bigger shop, I really like a great big space to show all the wonderful, functional designs, colour combinations or just inspiring designs… Oh well we shall see what the future holds!!!

Now if you have not been to Copenhagen, just go! It is relaxed and lovely, everyone speaks English (which is great because my Danish is crap). And this weekend Tivoli open its gates to their Christmas fair (which we missed…boooo)

Ohhhh LOVE
Ohhhh LOVE Illum Bolighus Christmas Window

Advent Stars
Advent Stars

SuperLove is SuperLivings own shop! So of course a little visit was needed :)
SuperLove is SuperLivings own shop! So of course a little visit was needed :)

SuperLiving amazing happy colourful candlesticks...hmmm which one!?!

We stayed at a lovely little Boutique hotel very central. SP34, great hotel, great atmosphere, great staff, great breakfast and hello wine hour (oh yes). Tiny let down was the room itself, but we hardly spent anytime there. And if you like a good burger, in connection to the hotel is Cocks and Cows, the burger place to go to! And just down the street is a great independent shop Nordic Nesting, well worth a visit!

Our lovely Boutique Hotel, just loved the wine hour and the opportunity to sit in a little library and read a book with a glass of something.
Our lovely Boutique Hotel, just loved the wine hour and the opportunity to sit in a little library and read a book with a glass of something.

Now back to reality, breakfast club and nursery, late nights in front of the computer and yes we are busy at the shop which is so fantastic. Thank you all for supporting us. Not all of our amazing stars are on display yet but we can go through them when you are in. And more fantastic Christmas decorations are arriving daily.

Charlotte x