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

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Welcome September!

It is with mixed feelings we say goodbye to Summer and welcome Autumn. I mean who does not like the idea of a warm summer and long evenings in the garden with a tasty BBQ. This summer did sadly not bring great weather, at least not where we were. We missed the beautiful August heatwave in Sweden by spending our holiday there in July. But hey it was fine we got a few days of swimming in the lakes and one or two BBQ’s. We survived! Here are just a few images for you and for me to go a bit homesick (great).

So a quick Summer holiday note. Yes of course we went to Sweden, it is my home and where I would like us to live one day so a lot of Swedish for the girls and lots of amazing food for me. The girls and myself two weeks alone (well with my family and friends of course) and then Richard joined us for two more weeks. We ended our holiday with 24 hours in Copenhagen…oh Copenhagen we love you and we will try to do a longer trip there again next summer.

Since we arrived back it has been non stop, the shop has been repainted and it does look clean and fresh. Stina has started P1 and I did not expect it to be as emotional as it has been (think grey hairs appeared, not nice when you not even reached your mid 30’s yet or maybe I am just being shallow).

At least the shop is looking lovely and this week we had a photographer in to take photos for Google. So now if you google us you can see inside the shop. Of course we can not keep it looking this lovely all the time (you who have been in at Christmas you know how full it can get) but it gives you an idea of what we actually look like inside.

Now we like to welcome Autumn. I personally love Autumn. A sunny day walking in the forest with an explosion of colour in the trees and that hint of nip in the air. We are lucky to live in a country with four seasons. Even though not as extreme as Sweden, where it can get really hot in the summer and very very cold in the winter it is still stunning and I really need to make an effort to take the girls out and pick leaves and enjoy the colours as well.

Here at Spektakular you will see more designs and also some new brands, I have just placed our blanket and throws order from Swedish Klippan. I am very close to turn on the heating every evening now (not yet please) and it is also time to place orders for more candles. Autumn does bring darker evenings which means hello sofa, cozy blanket, candles, tea, homebakes and great books.

This weekend Richard and I will head to lovely London and two days of intense shopping for Spektakular. We will catch up with our suppliers, see more brands. After our visit to Sweden this summer I also fell in love with a few new brands and I have booked in to see some new agents which is very exciting.

But first, hopefully this week the first new seasonal stock by Swedish Sagaform is due to arrive. Including new additions to the so ever loved Oval Oak range which I am really looking forward to see.

Enjoy

Charlotte x

Sweden here we come!

It is finally time for me and the girls to head home for a long summer holiday. Fingers crossed that the weather will be great (kind of doubt it) and we can go swimming in the lakes and enjoy a lot of ice creams and BBQ’s.

Don’t you worry Zuzanna, Ruth and Anna (Richard one day as well) will look after you. Shop is open as usual all summer.

And if you by any chance missed it, our annual clearance sale has started! Do not miss it!! Full of great bargains including lots of beautiful cushion covers and runners by Swedish Linum, super stylish table top by Danish MENU and lots lots more.

Stina, Lovisa and myself are heading home to spend time with my family and friends and hopefully suck in as much Swedish as possible. I feel like the summer holidays is so fantastic for my girls language (and mine, ten years abroad does things to your own language). We get to spend time with our family, and get bombarded with Swedish and for someone like me who struggles so much keeping up the Swedish with the girls, this is great. I just really need to make sure I won’t swap back into English as soon as Richard arrives (like I did last year). Even if Stina might answer her cousins in English at least she understands what they say.

As soon as Richard arrives we are off to meet suppliers and do a little bit of Christmas shopping, well of course we will see lots of other great designs as well. So got a lot of FIKA booked in (yay). Shall do my best in take lots of photos. Please do follow us on Facebook or Instagram. I seem to be much better at posting there than here on the blog. Then we are back early August, Stina will spend a few nights at her grandparents in Aberdeen then it is time for her to start P1 (aaarrrgggghhhhhh WHAT!!!!!!!) more about that later.

Have a fabulous July, please do pop in to the shop for your gifts (wedding, house warming, new baby, birthday, surprise, anything at all) or go on, treat yourself with some Scandi designs! Or just for a little chat. Have fun and enjoy this summer!!!

Charlotte x

Hello Sweden

Yes I have been home, for a whole week…all by myself! And when I left to come back here I felt like I could easily stay for another week, month, year or forever even! Sadly a week in Sweden was maybe not the best. I mean I loved it so much I did not wanted to come back here at all. It hit me hard how much I miss Sweden and my family and my friends. I have a great family here in Scotland and great friends as well so am a bit mixed feelings. I guess it is life!

Unfortunately I did go home due to my beloved farmor (father’s mother) passing away. Even though it was excepted and I did kind of say good bye to her last summer I was hoping I would get one more summer with her. She was not well, so was almost 91 and she had decided it was time for her to go. So it was a journey home for me to join my family and say good bye and tell her we love her and hope she will finally meet up with farfar (father’s father) again. No I am not religious, I just have a little hope that they will be together again. My sister had arranged a massive flower arrangement from us grandchildren and she had written on the card, give farfar our love. That made me cry and warm to my heart. The two of them was a proper team and I do wish there is some kind of chance for them to meet up again.

My dad, Farmor, Stina and me in 2011

I decided to stay in Sweden for a week and spend time with my family and friends and to do a few business things as well. And yes I left the girls back in Scotland, but they were being so spoilt by Richard and their farmor and farfar so they did not really miss me at all! Hmmm, well I will missed them terribly and I did look forward to cuddles and snotty kisses and lots of stories when I got back. This time of year there are no direct flights between Gothenburg and Edinburgh so I did the Copenhagen detour, flights and then train. Instead of the direct train from the airport I took the Oresrund train across the bridge to Malmo and then the fast train to Gothenburg.

Gothenburg Train Station
Gothenburg Train Station

Got 20 min at Malmo Station and yes a massive bag of Swedish sweets! Felt a bit sick to be honest. Pick n mix is massive in Sweden, this picture is from last year when we went to our local food shop and Stina started to jump just looking at all sweets. I hardly eat sweets in the UK, but happily gobble it down while home, and not just a little, but happily so much you even feel your teeth is protesting.

Godis

Having the freedom of being home without any children and not a lot booked in made me a bit restless, so I took long walks and also dragged mums dog with me. I love the forest but since I am a bookworm I have read too many crime novels so obviously I expect dead bodies everywhere and I have a terrible fear of snakes so avoid going out in the forest summertime, but after a few goes, I felt relaxed enough to just stop and listen to the birds and the wind in the high trees and just peace and quiet. You sometimes forget how much peace the nature can bring, sure is good for your soul (and guess what I did not come across any dead bodies, not even a bloody finger).

Also the opportunity to jump in a car and go wherever you like. Thank you mum for lending me your car. Went to my sister one evening and headed out to her summerhouse (almost every Swede has a summerhouse, I guess it is due to our long summer holidays and the urge to leave your every day routine and just go away and relax) and put up a few rolls of wallpaper. Not done it for a long time so that was good and nice chat too.

Ja ja, might as well do a little stretch while at it I even managed to view a house, a house I walk by almost every day when I am home, mum live across the field in that red house you see on this image. Location wise it was very handy and yes I was curious. And it is even more handy to have a step dad who is a joiner to come along for the viewing. Lovely house at a good price but sadly needed new roof and a new foundation so good bye affordable house. Shame, would have been great as a little summer house for us. Not a big house but perfect for a small family, instead of us spending a few very long weeks at my mums every summer (think we all get a little bit tired of each other).

Now back in the UK, I think Stina was more interested in the gifts I brought with me home than me (hmm). To sum up this journey, full of emotions, fresh air and family love. When the girls was in bed on Thursday night, Richard and I was sitting in the sofa chatting, and I feel asleep in the middle of a sentence. Now a week or so later I am starting to recover and sometimes a routine life is what you need to think clearly and logical again and feel less emotional. Am really delighted to be back at the shop. Do love our little shop and it looks so inviting at the moment.

I am extremely grateful for Zuzanna and Ruth. I can go away from the shop and not feel worried at all. I can even go away for a month and they will look after it which is fantastic and relaxing. Thank you ladies, the shop looks loved!!!

Charlotte x

Star Trading Visit (Autumn 2014)

So I am finally catching up with all my posts and so on and hopefully I shall be better at posting images from the shop regularly before Christmas. Delivery after delivery is arriving at the moment and one brand I am VERY excited to receive in again is Star Trading. A Christmas at Spektakulär without our lovely, stunning, welcoming Advent stars and Candle Bridges would not be as amazing and fantastic as a Scandi Christmas should be!

So this summer when we where at home for our holidays we took the opportunity to visit Star Trading in Svenljunga, about 1.5 hours drive from my mum. Not bad at all,  so packed up and headed over for a little visit. Right, when we arrived, I think all of us, including a then 16 month old girl, first impression walking in through the doors to a 900 sqm showroom was WOW! We were all stunned and amazed, it was massive! And it was beautiful!!! Sadly non of my camera phone images does justice to how it truly was, so just imagine: brighter, bigger and more colourful!

Welcome to Star Trading!!!

It was very difficult to capture that amazing feeling of walking in to this room. It just went on and on. The girls and Richard disappeared in the back among the massive Christmas trees and of course cuddly toys that sang Christmas songs. They managed to set them all off at one time and Richard did say he never wanted to hear one of those again. But the girls were delighted.

Lovisa and Stina at Star trading, found the cuddly singing toys!

Malin and Mikael took me on a tour and we left 2.5 hours later, all exhausted but happy. I felt extremely inspired and excited. The colours of this year is grey, white and red and the shop will look so stunning. Our biggest order ever of Christmas lightning is leaving Sweden this week and I shall make sure I can be in the shop when this pallet arrives because as a shop owner every day is like Christmas when we get deliveries. Some more than others!

This year we have introduced a few more candle bridges, pretty stars, led candles (great if you young children or animals) and lots more Scandi decorative designs.

I leave you with a few happy images from our visit, think they will explain it better than my words…

And do pop in after 3rd November since the shop will look like a little Scandi Christmas shop then. Previous and current staff will come in on Sunday the 2nd and while drinking mulled wine we will create a wonderful winter shop for you!

ST 2014
Inspiration, these knitted balls light chain is on its way!
ST 2014
Lovisa and Richard checked out every design in the whole showroom!
ST 2014
The Viking Bow will join us again together with a friend.
ST 2014
Bull Candle Bridge in White is one of my favourites!
ST 2014
Trapp in white, red and grey will join us this Winter
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Wall of colourful stars
ST 2014
Colourful

ST 2014

ST 2014
Love this one, TOP in two sizes. Will look stunning on an occasion table or in a window!
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Must admit it is VERY difficult to decided which ones to bring in to our shop.
ST 2014
LED Candles, I love candles and with small children running around these is a great and safe option.
ST 2014
Lovisa and stars
ST 2014
Stina found a table a magically pens and paper appeared so she was happy colouring in while Lovisa found some stones (on display) and brought Stina one by one.

Do pop in for inspiration after 3rd November. Of course anyone can create a Scandi Christmas!

Enjoy

Charlotte x

A little mini-break in Scotland

Oh boy if you could only imagine how much I had been looking forward to this! A little mini-break, just Richard and I. So last Thursday, Stina did her last ballet lesson before the Summer holidays and we parents were allowed to watch and it was lovely. Their teacher Miss Walker is amazing, the excitement of a three year old is heart warming.

Stina at her Ballet
Stina at her Ballet

Richard got home from work, so quick dinner, packed the car, got the girls in to pyjamas and headed north to Aberdeen and to my in-laws. A few days of relaxation and being spoilt. I love it there, my in-laws are so helpful, enjoyable company and they love spending time with their grandchildren. And the girls enjoy it so much there, Stina loves spending time in the garden and their summer house with farmor (Swedish word for father’s mother).

Finally Richard and I were off for a night away, well needed! Had a few sleepless nights worring about Lovisa who is not a great sleeper. How will the grandparents cope, she will scream for hours! But farmor told me to relax and just enjoy the night away. What could happen? I think Lovisa actually did ok, only up once and settled quite quickly. My sister-in-law with family came up to Aberdeen that night we were away so they did get lots of help with the girls.

When we moved to Edinburgh in 2008, it was just the two of us and we had a lots of time. No children or business, these days I can sit down a Saturday evening and just wonder what we use to do instead of getting children in bed without a fight and then work a few hours in front of the PC or the never ending housework. And I guess we did go out more, had different conversations and we used to do weekend trips up in the Highlands. So during one of these weekend trips we came across Ard-Na-Collie, a fabulous guest house in Newtonmore. It became a place we just wanted to visit over and over again and we did not look for any other hotels or guest houses since we knew we would be happy there. Last time was in December 2009. And it was also the time when Richard FINALLY popped the question (romantically at Queens View in Perthshire)! Only took him three years! Then the whole business idea kicked off and I also got pregnant with Stina so we kind of stopped doing our weekend travels and focused on the business and becoming parents.

Silly selfie of happy people!
Silly selfie of happy and childfree people!

So on Saturday we left early, well not as early as we planned (due to rough night with both girls up).  Popped by Eighty7 Design in Aberdeen own by Danish Helena. Lovely lady, lovely shop. Clean, stylish and very Scandinavian. Do recommend a visit if you are in Aberdeen, we both do a few same brands and it is always so nice to have a chat with other shopowners. Headed towards another shop that had been recommended to us but got lost and just skipped it, and I was hungry which is not good (I get a bit grumpy when hungry) so towards Banchory and had a fantastic lunch at The Chatterbox. A comfortable tearoom with pleasant staff and very tasty food and cakes. Then off towards Balmoral, did the proper Balmoral tour a few years back when we had Swedish family over, so we just drove by it and of course managed to take a photo.

Welcome to the Balmoral Castle
Welcome to the Balmoral Castle
Stunning views
Stunning views
The Lecht Ski Centre
The Lecht Ski Centre

Headed over the Lecht and wow just wow, the views are breathtaking. None of my photos does it justice. The Lecht Ski Centre isn’t just for winter sports and there were and impressive number of cyclists heading over the pass. Some of them looked like they had a few doubts about why they had started climbing such an enormous hill…

Welcome to Ard-Na-Collie
Welcome to Ard-Na-Collie

Arrived at Newtonmore and the fabulous Ard-Na-Collie, I could probably do a blog just about this place. This former Hunting Lodge is on top of a hill with stunning views. The house is welcoming and it is a building you just want to move into and never leave. Imagine to wake up with those views every morning. Put on your wellies or walking boots and head out for long walks and fresh air, come back for a hot cup of chocolate in front of a log fire. I am not surprised this guest house is such a popular choice for many when looking for a romantic and comfortable get away. The owners Jacquie and Mike is a very pleasant couple who welcome you to enjoy your stay. The breakfast is fantastic, Jacquie is known for her award winning Eggs Benedict and I wish I had my camera with me down for breakfast (or even just my phone) because it tasted just as good as it looked. Plus I had a Bucks Fizz, yes for breakfast! I know, quite unusual for me, but hey Richard drove and it was my birthday.

The Hunting Lodge welcomes you
The Hunting Lodge welcomes you
Time to leave...sadly
Time to leave…
View from our room

Sadly had to check out and head back to Aberdeen but went up north first and drove along the coast through beautiful Aberdeenshire. We have not explored too much of Scotland, yet! But am getting quite familiar with Aberdeenshire and Perthshire. Think next year we can pack up the car and do a weekend trip with the girls. Maybe the West Coast or even north above Inverness is would be lovely to explore.

Aberdeenshire coast

Back to Aberdeen and lots of hugs from my two beautiful girls. I did miss them a little bit. Super tasty chocolate birthday cake and a BBQ for dinner. Perfect end to a great weekend.

Scotland is fantastic, beautiful buildings, green landscapes and stunning views. I consider myself very lucky to have this on my doorstep.

Charlotte x

Happy 1st Birthday Lovisa!

Wow our baby is a year!!! Amazing! So not a little baby any more! This stage is lovely but yes pretty hard work…she is high and low at the same time! Crawling and standing up and is ready for an adventure every minute of the day so home is baby proof once again.

Lovisa
Lovisa

Lovisa is such a happy little one, a lovely little character full of life and it sure makes me happy to have two lovely girls who makes me smile everyday:) She is so happy just to tag along everywhere and is with me at the shop or out at meetings. She has also started nursery two days a week and she seem to enjoy it. However I must admit I do not enjoy the new colds she brings home every week which means, oh hello mamma new cold ready for the weekend…cheers love!

Our girls
Our girls
Family photo...difficult to get everyone to look at the camera
Family photo…difficult to get everyone to look at the camera at the same time.

She is at the stage when she is finding her own little personality and yes my daughters are their mother’s daughters…what a temper! Anyway since Lovisa’s birthday timed quite nicely with Easter this year, all members in Richard’s family have time off work and managed to get together at the grandparents’ home in Aberdeen. Stina and I have baked a lot, sorry about the direct swenglish translation: mini semlor, chocolate balls, raspberry caves, love mums/mocha squares and Swedish cream cakes!

Stina is decorating the cakes
Stina is decorating the cakes

Birthday bakes

 

Birthday bakes

And with all the extra sweets with Easter, I think I might need to control myself or I will explode! At least I am actually not a fan of the UK chocolate egg bit. Yeah I will tell a lie if I said I don’ eat it, because I will but I prefer the food and bakes and a little paper egg Påskägg filled with pick and mix preferably salty liquorice than a too sweet egg.

 

Easter Eggs
Easter Eggs

I do hope you all have a lovely Easter and enjoy your holidays and not over eating just like me, I have brought my walking shoes, not so much walking yet, but the weekend is not over yet!

Charlotte x