Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Spanish- & Swedish-inspired tapas consulate

Last week, NS and I ate a delicious meal at the new(ish) restaurant, Matkonsulatet, down the street from us. This tiny restaurant serves tapas largely inspired by Barcelona - and Catalonia as a whole - with a touch of Sweden. It was incredible

here's the place - cozy, eh?

We started with a cocktail that Spaniards traditionally drink before eating tapas. How very authentic of us, no? Although I can't remember its name for the life of me. 

Moving on, we ordered what felt like half the menu - and it sort of was, as there are maybe a couple dozen tapas to choose from and we got at least 8 of them.... crispy, buttery slices of bread with a garlic tomato spread; thinly-sliced chorizo like you've never had chorizo before; roasted potatoes with aioli (of course!); salad with roasted pears, blue cheese and hazelnuts; cod fritters; and a selection of Spanish cheeses. 

And the dessert - oh my: chocolate cremoso with olive oil and sea salt. I don't know what cremoso even is, but I love it. The thickest, creamiest soft chocolate ice cream-like substance - and coated with olive oil. It sounds odd, but I swear it works. 

Would I recommend this place? Claro que si! Should you go there now? Indeed you should! Right now! I mean, remove your gaze from this very screen and find the closest mode of transportation to Kungsholms Strand 157. On second thoughts, the entire Matkonsulatet team is traveling to Barcelona for some culinary inspiration in a couple weeks, so maybe wise to visit this little gem once they're back?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Some reflections on turning 30

It’s funny to be at the age where you’re supposed to have it all figured out – and not being close.
The age I've always assumed was so serious and grown-up.
Where drinking coke at a party will prompt automatic assumptions that you're pregnant – or trying.
And for those parties you do feel like letting loose, feeling increasingly regretful the next morning... or the next two mornings.

My sister-in-law once said she felt like a real adult when she turned 30. I don't know if I'd say I do yet, but somehow, reaching this big number wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. I struggled more with turning 20 than I have with 30 if you can believe it.

It's likely I’ll never really get to that fabled point of true adulthood, of being put together and feeling confident in what I’m doing and where I’m going. Of knowing how to balance all the facets of my life, and feeling happy in each one. Does anyone ever get there? Or is it more about pretending we do? Fake it 'til you make it. But when do you make it?

Whether we’re 30 or 70, maybe it’s more about taking our life experiences and making the best of the ones that are happening now. As a yoga teacher once told me, the most important thing in life is the thing you’re doing right now. I try to live by those words as best I can, although it’s often a struggle. And I think for me, turning 30 is more about that than anything being a real adult might mean. Who knows what the future will bring? What's the use of living in the past? Living in the now is all we really can do anyway.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Planking my way through winter

It's a snowy Monday here in Stockers, and the beautiful winter wonderland I'm always dreaming about is right outside my window, falling as we speak. This is frigid February - a special month for me (my bday month!), and also this year, the start of a challenge: the plank challenge. 

These 30-day challenges seem to be the new work-out trend. There's an abs one, squat, chest, burpee, thigh... the list goes on. I guess it makes sense; 30 is a nice round (and manageable) number to start off each month. 

not exactly planking here, but close

So yesterday, I started with my first 20 seconds of planking. The thing is, in my current housewife status, I've been going to the gym - Friskis & Svettis (Fresh & Sweaty in English) - nearly every day. There's not much of an excuse for me not to. Plus, I can get there on foot in about 5 minutes. 

I've got the gym class schedule down flat, and know most of the instructors' names. I know whose classes are the toughest, and which ones I can be a bit lazy in. I've mastered the online booking system. In a city so crowded, it's often necessary to book classes a whole week ahead of time. Crazy, I know, but I can so I do.

Part of my work outs on most days is a plank, usually for about 80 seconds. I struggle through it, huffing and puffing, in hopes that it will be easier the next day. It never is. Now I'm back to 20 seconds - names problemas - but according to the challenge, will be hitting 240 seconds by the end of the month. Can you imagine doing a plank for 4 minutes?! I certainly can't. Baby steps. I'll be reporting back on my planking in a month, either with rock hard abs or ... more likely not. Wish me luck!