Back to normal…and party planning!

Hejsan, hej, tjenare!!

How are you, how was your summer? I really hope it was enjoyable. Myself and the girls headed home to Sweden for five weeks. Wow you say, that must have been such a fab holiday! Weeelllllll I am not sure I would call it a relaxing holiday!! Yes we go home, yes it is wonderful to speak my own language (basically the only thing I know in Sweden these days) and it is great to go home to be with my family. As you might know I am one of many many siblings and it is always great to see them all. One of my younger brothers had his first baby (sadly after we came back to the UK) which is so lovely! It is however hard to relax when you live in someone else’s home and you constantly worry you are in the way so no, it is not really relaxing. Returning back to our own flat and my own bed was actually quite nice. However this place, this place, sitting in the sand and just breathing that certainly makes me homesick! It is a small beach in a little village outside Alingsås. It is comfortable and it is easy for me to be in the water with one child that according to herself is an excellent swimmer (not true) and a non swimmer. My happy place! If I ever won the lottery, I would buy a house here!

Our local beach by lake Mjörn

Slowly we are returning to our normal everyday routine life with school, activites, work and all that stuff. For some it is super boring (missing the lazy days by the beach perhaps) and for some it is needed. For me it is needed, I personally need structure and planning to stay happy and most of all I need goals. Small goals, something to look forward to. And do I have something for us all to look forward too!

We are entering the month of September, normally a stunning month, still warm, a hint of crisp in the air and some trees will start to change colours. Autumn is my favorite season and not only that, September is also Spektakulärs Birthday Month. NINE we will be this September! Blimey!!!

Nine years of Scandinavian designs here at Holy Corner! I am not going to lie it is a huge mix of emotions and it has been full of challenges. But mostly happiness! We are so lucky to be part of this community and we do like to give something back. So during September we like to treat you a little bit extra! So what do you think? What shall we do? Well let us kick it off with a FIKA FRIDAY next Friday the 6th. Coffee and Cake on us! Pop in anytime between 10-12 (or until it runs out). Bring some friends, browse the shop and treat yourself or someone loved. You know we do love gift wrapping!

A typical Fika Friday at Spektakulär

Last year we had a fab day, we had birthday prizes and we were also up in our ears with Swedish buns from Soderberg . It was a great day and of course I would love to recreate the same wonderful atmosphere this year if not even better! So go on! Let me know what you like to see in the shop this September, what would make you join the party?

Charlotte x

Welcome to Lilla!

Finally we have open our second shop. We are delighted to welcome you to Lilla.

(Lilla is the Swedish word for Little)Lilla-logga-colour

Lilla is located two doors up the road at number 15 Colinton Road (just the other side of our lovely Spanish neighbours). Why did we open so near?  Well sometimes we get opportunities in life that we really should take and this was one of them, and frankly it is great, I nip in and out between these shops in seconds. Don’t even want to think how much time I would be spending driving between shops (and we all know how fantastic Edinburgh traffic is). We were offered this premises and we were thinking what on earth are we going to do with two shops next to each other. And that was the start of the idea behind Lilla. We always had a small selection of Children’s designs in Spektakulär but lately that section has grown and we saw more and more great products and brands that we knew we could sell if we had the space. Customers have been asking about a broader selection so not just babies, and to be quite frank I did feel it was a bit neglected! As parents ourselves we do know that our children do come first and since Stina started P1, well hello party hell. And personally I am so sick and tired of the mainstream rubbish that you can get from the big supermarkets. We thought we could offer something better.

Last Saturday we finally open the doors to our new shop and if you have been walking by you have seen us working away. The Wednesday night before opening all my wonderful staff came in to start the set up and it was a super night. These happy animal and party  sequin masks by Danish Rice, well apparently not just for children :).

Rice masks
Team Spektakulär/Lilla!

From now on you will see Zuzanna, Kirsty, Joanne and Ruth at Spektakulär and at Lilla you will find Anna, Emma, Rachael and Ruth. Me well I will just float about ;) No no I will now try to get a bit more organised (keep ignoring all that paperwork is not making anyone happy). You will find me in one of the shops every Saturday and half days during the week.

IMG_20160422_122659245
Delighted with the colours on the outside and the lovely Moose logo

IMG_20160422_210624713
Welcome to Lilla

We are now in the process of clearing Spektakulär of all the children’s designs including all the Moomins. We do know the Moomins are not just for children but we do believe that they will be best together with the books which are now located at Lilla. By clearing Spektakulär from all the children’s designs we are gaining lots more space and we are excited. Already this week we notice a huge change at Spektakulär. It is more grown-up, tidy and have a great feel. Which we are all very pleased with.

Sadly it did take us a bit longer to open than expected, I kind of forgot how much time and energy it takes to open a shop. I did kind of blamed the last one on being pregnant. Well if we ever open a third shop I might believe I will be more organised (hmm there is always hoping).

Last we like to thank you all for you kind words and your excitement and support regarding the opening of Lilla. Thank you! I do love our little chats in the shop! Sometimes it does feel very personal and I enjoy that from the bottom of my heart. We would not be able to do this if we did not have you to support and believe in us so thank you.

Charlotte and Richard x

February deliveries

Lovely happy Spring deliveries are starting to arrive, January is a odd month for us retailers. The happiness of Christmas is over, it is dark, wet and quite frankly rather depressing. My pocket is empty so assume yours are too. And it is just too early to fill up the shop with happy, colourful, bright Spring designs. So yes I can happily say I am delighted January is over. I am just a bit sick and tired of these storms though, even though it brings the most beautiful sky full of rainbow clouds where the unicorn queen lives (why not, I do love the imagination of a five year old), but I do not and I am NOT enjoy that the boiler gave up last night and it wont be fixed until tomorrow morning. It was not nice at all to get up this morning, I got up, put on coffee and fan heater in kitchen and went back to the warm bed and we all stayed there until it was warm enough to even be able to spend time in the kitchen area.

Anyway now I am placing Spring orders and they are starting to arrive already. Last week, happy cards arrived from Lagom Design. A great mixture of new home, baby, birthday, Valentine’s and lets not forget our beautiful mothers.

Yesterday jewellery arrived!!! Yes a fantastic delivery with beautiful jewellery by Swedish Våga. Lovely Spring collection. Among necklaces and bracelets we also introduce earrings which I think will be a lovely addition to the jewellery cabinet.

2016-02-02_09.22.21.jpg
Våga Jewellery 

We are also awaiting a beautiful Spring delivery from Swedish Sagaform. Happy pastels serving and cooking set mixed with new additions to the “on the go” Fresh range plus a lot more. You will not be disappointed!

piccadilly.jpg
Piccadilly Range by Sagaform Image Sagaform

And of course more plastic rugs are on its way. Love the Pappelina new FIA collection. Very happy. And wow the wonderful comments we have got on the stunning Regina that is now in the middle of the shop floor (yes please do walk on it, it is a great way for us to show you have fantastic these are).

pappelina_regina
Regina in romantic warm pink. Image by Pappelina

Tonight I am sitting with cushion orders and oh it will be a colourful Spring in the shop. Love the happy colours, it sure brightens up all our homes.

So plenty to look forward to and I shall try to keep up with the blog to show you what is arriving.

Charlotte x

Cinnamon Buns

Oh it is getting closer… a great day is upon us! Cinnamon Bun Day or as we say in Sweden: Kanelbullens dag! 4th October is the day and yes of course this weekend we will bake at home. Here are some facts by The Local that might be worth knowing.

Cinnamon Bun making

Buns are super tasty and should be eaten warm (just out of the oven kind of fresh) and with a glass of cold full fat milk!

So if you have never made them, well what’s stopping you? Why not give them a go this weekend. There are million of recipes out there, I personally prefer them super sticky and sweet with a hint of cardamom. Some people struggle to find fresh yeast (I have baked with dry yeast once…did not like it) however most local shops if they have a bakery will be able to sell you fresh yeast. My local Sainsbury’s do, I just head to the bakery smile and say please and 50g cost me about 20p. Well worth the money.

So here is a the basic standard recipe you can find on the packet of plain flour in Sweden. Now in Sweden we use dl which is decilitre. Apparently according to google 1 dl is 100 ml (well is that not convenient).

For about 40 buns

150 g soft butter (use real butter)

5 dl milk (use full fat)

50 g fresh yeast

1 dl caster sugar

0.5 tsp salt (I personally use salted butter and leave this out)

2 tsp ground cardamon (optional)

800 g plain flour

Filling:

150 g soft butter (honestly I think we are talking at least a packet 250 g when we bake)

1 dl caster sugar (come on, these are just guidelines)

2 tsbp ground cinnamon (well a little bit more does not hurt)

1 beaten egg for glazing at the very end

Right so this is how you do it.

  1. First warm the milk to 37 degrees Celsius (finger warm) too hot the yeast will die, too cold it will not prove as it should
  2. Crumb the yeast in to a large bowl, pour the warm milk on top and stir, let the yeast dissolve. Add small lumps of butter, sugar and cardamom.
  3. Add flour but save about 1 dl while working the dough on a baking table later (ok I had never sifted anything in my life before I move to the UK so you do not have to do that at all).
  4. Work the dough hard for 5 min in a machine or 10 min by hand, until it feel right (hmm, it needs to be airy yet firm)
  5. Let it prove, covered of course and out of draft for about 30 min. So make this dough then do your school run or enjoy a coffee or whatever you like.
  6. Work the dough on a baking table easy for a few minutes, divide it in to 4 parts. Use a rolling pin and make a rectangle shape. Not too thin but definitely not too fat. Thinner rather than fatter.
  7. Butter the rectangle (do not be shy). Mix the sugar and the cinnamon and spread over (so this is how it looked like at our home last time with did it)
  8. Roll them up as you roll up a swiss roll and cut in to 10 pieces . Put them either in large paper cases or on a tray covered in baking paper. Cover with towel and let prove for approx 40 min (do not cheat on the prove time).
  9. Oven on 225 – 250 degrees (I have no idea gas, but google tells me gas mark 8)
  10. Beat the egg and glaze the bun, we put a very typical sugar on top called pearl sugar and no I can not find it here. I buy it when I am home in Sweden, it will be fine without!
  11. Buns in the middle of the oven for about 5 – 10 min.
  12. Cool on a wire rack
  13. Enjoy, eat about 20 and either share or freeze the rest (always good to have a spare at home for some fika time)

Now you can use what ever filling you like, nutella, marzipan, jam…go for it!

If you leave them for a couple of days and they go a bit dry, pop them in the oven for a few min with a little lump of butter on top. And I like to defrost them in the oven with a little lump of butter. Mum had this trick back in the day before she stopped eating sugar. She took a couple out of the freezer and then put them on top of the coffee maker while brewing the coffee and a lovely smell of coffee and cinnamon spread in the house (we all have our tricks).

Now you better eat a bun this weekend! If you have an big blue shop nearby they have some “fake” buns (as my friend called them) in their food bit. They taste fine, never as good as homemade but I would not turn them down. And of course if you are local to Edinburgh you have Peter’s Yard, they are a bit here and there now in town. Lovely lovely bakes and the coffee is rather good too. 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

Hint hint… it is time for a new Pappelina order!

So it is time for another Pappelina order and yes there is a new catalouge, sadly not with us yet, but online…check it out.

Oh so many new lovely designs, oh I get all excited! Contemporary, stylish and so Swedish! I love it and I struggle a lot, oh which ones to pick for the shop? Hmm I might go a little bit crazy! And I love their cushions! Oh the feel just make you think of quality! No there is probably no need for me to go on, I love Pappelina and I am delighted how many of you do it too. See, you start with one then you get hooked!!!

I am about to place next order Monday 16th February (or Tuesday) so if you like to add a special one for yourself or a loved on let me know before then please. Pop in for a little chat, have a feel and check out the ones we have in store at the moment, call us 0131 6290941 or email me at hello@spektakular.co.uk for more information. Please do remember these lovely plastic rugs are made in Sweden and it is a delicate procedure so the delivery time can take up to six weeks. But it sure is worth the wait!

Enjoy

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