Tag Archives: advent

Our Weekend, Week 51 – Almost Christmas!

Not many days left until Christmas now, so I thought I would catch you all up with what we’ve done since last weekend, and what our plans are for Christmas.

Yesterday we had our annual Christmas party, but we made it a bit smaller this year, and made some proper vegetarian Christmas food and just one dessert. (The past two years we have had some sort of snacks available and lots of desserts!) We also made our delicious mulled wine and winter Pimm’s again, and I think everyone had a great time. 😀

Today we drove down to Sofi’s parents in Skåne with Lisa and Tommy, and stopped off for a nice lunch in Falkenberg on the way. We will be here for a few days and will celebrate an early Christmas on Tuesday with Sofi’s parents, brother, and Lisa & Tommy. On Wednesday we will fly to England to celebrate Christmas there.

It will be nice for Sofi to have Christmas food in both Sweden and England, because the food you get is very different, and I know she’ll love it. For me, so long as I get Brussels sprouts and roasted potatoes I am happy…otherwise I would rather eat more “normal” food than Christmas food…but what I am looking forward to though is having English Christmas desserts: minced pies, Christmas pudding, Christmas cake. These are probably my favourite thing about Christmas in England, and my mum has already made the Christmas cake and will make a Christmas pudding for Christmas Day 😀

So with all that food going down (and probably some alcohol as well), how will we avoid going up in weight too much and also keep our training going? Well, we have taken our running and cycling gear with us. We are planning on having a couple of runs down here in Skåne (one short one tomorrow probably, and then one long one on Tuesday – there has been a lot of talk about doing about 20 km), then I will cycle in England and Sofi will run and cycle in England.

There is always a lot of free time around Christmas (if you’re not working), so there is definitely time for exercise! We’re not planning any intense sessions, more steady sessions just so we get out and don’t put pressure on ourselves to go fast in case our bodies are tired…and weighed down by all the food! I’m looking forward to our run on Tuesday and then getting some rides in while we’re in England.

 

So our week looks like this:
Monday – Christmas shopping, short run
Tuesday – Early Swedish Christmas, long run
Wednesday – Flight to England
Thursday – Christmas Eve party at my sister’s, long ride (hopefully)
Friday – Christmas Day, rest day
Saturday – Boxing Day, ___ ride
Sunday – Sale shopping, walking round shops

 

We hope you have a very merry Christmas, we’ll post something again soon!
/Jason

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Our Weekend, Week 50 – Lucia!

It’s Monday again, yay! Or not 🙂

We had a great weekend so that makes up for the fact that today it was cold and dark when you had to go up and go to work.

On Friday we both came home from work feeling a bit tired, like you usually do after a long week going up at 6 o’clock. We still decided (or I did) that a session on the turbo trainer and rollers for Jason would be a good idea to set the mood for the weekend. Sometimes physical exercise makes you relax so much better than to just go lie on the sofa.

We did an interval session with Sufferfest video. This was my first time this winter on the turbo trainer and it felt good! After the session we made a nice dinner and just relaxed.

On Saturday we got up early because my parents were coming to see us. When they arrived we had some coffee before going into town for lunch. After lunch Jason made a quick detour to go and get a signed copy of Fredrik Kessiakoff’s new book. He is a Swedish former professional cyclist. Jason then joined us at Liseberg.

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Liseberg is an amusement park here in Gothenburg and in December it turns into a Christmas landscape where you can see snowmen, snow covered Christmas trees and Santa Claus. It all feels a bit artificial since there has not been any real snow yet this year. But you do get into a nice Christmas feeling with all the Christmas music playing and the Christmas food that you can buy as well. There is an ice skating rink and they have real reindeer from Lapland (north of Sweden).

We walked around and looked at everything and bought a few things. My mum entered one of the many raffles they have and was lucky enough to win a large box of chocolate 🙂

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After a few hours we went back to town so that Jason could buy a Christmas outfit. In the afternoon after my parents had left, I went for my second running session of the week. I had decided to do 3 sessions this week and since there were only 2 days left it had to be done! 🙂 So, I went out with the intention to do an interval session. Unfortunately it had become very slippery on the roads so it was impossible to run fast and when it is dark you have to be extra careful since you can’t really see what you step on. The last thing I want is an injury so I decided to take it slow. It is better to finish the session in a different way than to skip it altogether.

In the evening we made a nice dinner and an apple pie! We love apple pie and it was delicious. There will be a recipe up shortly.

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On Sunday it was Lucia and time for Jason to use his Santa outfit. He was doing a cyclocross race here in Gothenburg. I came to see the race just as they were starting. Many cyclists had shown up but Jason had the best outfit 🙂 The sun was shining and I really enjoyed standing there in the sunshine watching them get muddy.

Jason had a few problems with his Santa outfit. I don’t think it’s the best cycling outfit (at least not if you want to win). However, that was not what he was after. He just wanted to have fun, and so he did. He won a prize for best outfit in the race so I think he was pleased 🙂

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Very amusing for me to watch and before going home I went past town to buy a few things. When I came home Jason was already home again and washing his bike on the balcony. I made us some lunch and after eating I decided to go for my last running session of the week. The plan for the final session this week was a distance run. I will try to do one every week now and a distance between 10-15 km. I knew there was about 1 hour of daylight left and so it was perfect for an hour’s run. The sun was still shining and it was the perfect temperature. It had become a little bit icy on the roads again so I had to take it carefully on Sunday as well. That didn’t matter though since I did not want to push too hard and keep the average pace to 5.20-5.40 min/km. In the end I ran 11 km with an average pace of 5.25 min/km so it was perfect.

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We then did our weekly shopping and ended the evening with a Christmas movie and the left-over apple pie!

This week is a bit hectic but I will really try to get my training sessions done no matter what.
I hope you will all have a great week!

/Sofi

Our Weekend, Week 49

This weekend was quite hectic and somewhat lazy, if that’s possible. On Thursday we went to IKEA and Mio to buy some new furniture, some of which we made up when we got back and the rest we did on Saturday. We bought a matching bookshelf (they only had one last time), and a new side board to replace the desk in the living room.

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On Friday, we had our friend Sanna over for dinner (dumplings and fried rice), followed by some glögg (Swedish mulled wine) and Lucia buns.

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I (Jason) have been ill most of the weekend; I’ve had what I suspect to be a tummy bug since Thursday. I woke up early on Saturday hoping to be better, and to go for a long ride with some friends (with a 09:00 start about 11 km from home), but I felt much worse than I did Friday evening. 😦 So after telling my friends I wouldn’t ride, me and Sofi made the final piece of furniture before Sofi went to spin (in her new Bianchi socks that she got in her advent calendar), and then my day was spent playing PlayStation and feeling sorry for myself (especially as it was such nice weather)!

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Once Sofi came home, we had a really fresh salad and then we prepared for my work’s Christmas party. The party is held not far from where we live (it is literally like Pocahontas said: just around the river bend), so we were able to get ready at a relaxed pace and then walk to the restaurant.

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They served traditional Swedish julbord (which translates to “Christmas table”, but it is basically a buffet of mostly meat – they barely eat any vegetables at Christmas in Sweden!), with plenty of booze and entertainment. We stayed until about 1 a.m. as we were having a good time hanging out and dancing with my colleagues and friends 🙂

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On Sunday we both felt very tired, and my tummy felt as bad as it did Saturday morning, so it was another day resigned to playing PlayStation on the sofa for me, and a day spent napping for Sofi.

For dinner on Sunday we made a delicious tomato and basil soup with garlic bread. We also made some really nice white chocolate and cranberry cookies, which taste quite festive!

The cookies we really simple to make: 75 g unsalted butter, 150 g caster or light muscovado sugar, 1 egg, 150 g plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 150 g white chocolate, 75 g cranberries.

  1. Set the oven to 180°C.
  2. Chop the white chocolate and cranberries into small pieces/chunks.
  3. Whisk the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  4. Whisk in the egg.
  5. Whisk in the flour and baking powder.
  6. Fold the chocolate and cranberries in the mix.
  7. Roll into 16 balls and spread out on some baking paper on a baking tray.
  8. Place the cookies in the oven for about 10 mins, or until golden brown on top.
  9. Take out and leave the cookies to rest for a few minutes before placing them on a cooling rack.
  10. Enjoy!

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This week will be quite hectic again, and we will be preparing a few things for our Lucia party at the weekend. So hopefully we’ll have some nice recipes for mulled wine, Lucia buns, and more cookies next week.

Have a nice week,
/Jason and Sofi

Our Weekend, Week 48

December is here, and Christmas is almost upon us! In Sweden, the days are fairly short now, so making the most of the daylight is something we have to do, and this weekend we did it really well!

On Friday we both went to town after work to buy a few things: I, Jason, bought some bits for my bike, and we bought some Christmasy things for the flat as well! We then headed home and had some inspiration for what to make for dinner (we discussed it on the bus and it all came together as we went to the supermarket). In Sweden, it is very common to have “taco night” on a Friday, which actually means eating any sort of Mexican food. (I am not even sure Swedes know what tacos are, seeing as most people seem to eat fajitas and still call it taco night!) We never usually make Mexican food, but our inspiration on Friday was very Mexican: enchiladas! (Recipe coming soon!)

Enchiladas

Enchiladas

On Saturday, we both skipped our usual RPM (spinning) class in favour of exercising outside in some daylight and on an untypically-dry day. (Most of November the sun has been hidden behind clouds and most weekends we’ve had a bit of rain.) It wasn’t a warm day though: -1°C and breezy. I went for a 70 km bike ride, but Sofi went one better and ran a half marathon! She actually almost turned around after 2.5 km, but apparently the Strava challenge she signed up to was motivation enough to keep going a further 18.6 km!

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Jason wrapped up warm on his ride.

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Sofi collapsed on the floor after her run.

We also made some raw food energy bars and raw food cacao snack balls, both of which took very little time to make and were delicious! 😀 For dinner, we made pizzas with different toppings – I had potato on my pizza, among other things.

On Sunday we rewarded our hard work the day before with a lie in, followed by 90 mins of RPM…wait, that second part doesn’t sound like a reward… After struggling to walk home, we had a very simple soup, which we ate with our caraway bread (which we prepared on Saturday and baked on Sunday morning before RPM). We then made some traditional Swedish Lucia buns (saffron buns) to take to our friends’ for fika, along with the rawfood balls.

Lucia buns!

Lucia buns!

For dinner we enjoyed more of our bread, and lit the first of our advent candles. Today we opened our advent calendars as well. I’m not as manic as my sister is about Christmas, but now it’s December, I really can’t wait!

Another busy week ahead for us this week, but we promise to post more recipes, and get back into our blogging groove 😉

Have a nice week,

/Jason and Sofi