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Three great products from the Testagram box

An English Mamma in Stockholm: three great products testagram box_letterbox

There are three great products in my first Testagram box, which I received a couple of weeks ago. If you’ve not heard of these subscription boxes, they are a little along the lines of beauty boxes but with recently launched household products for you to review.

You can choose the types of products that you want; as you can see I have cast the net wide to start with. Also, it is pretty much food-based, which is even more of a bonus.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: testagram product preferences

Each box costs Skr 59 and they arrive every few months. For my Skr 59 I got eight different products in my first box.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: testagram box contentsYou can see the helpful hand there, pointing to the product the boys most wanted to try (and, coincidentally, that is the one they were least likely to be given…).

Box contents

  • Coca-Cola Life
  • Finn Crisps Rye Snacks – Sourdough and rye
  • Finn Crisps Rye Snacks – Tomato and rosemary
  • Flora with butter
  • Happy Ears ear plugs
  • Risenta bean pasta
  • Risenta fruit ball snacks
  • Via washing capsules

Three stand-out products

Of the eight products, we liked all of the ones that we tested (we’ve yet to try out the ear plugs and the Flora with butter) but three really stood out. The boys adored the rye snacks, especially the tomato and rosemary flavoured ones. I found them a little too bitter, to be honest, but they wolfed them down, and as they are high in fibre and low in sugar, that’s fine by me. I preferred the sourdough and rye variety – they were especially good with a bit of cheese and some fig relish. Mmmm…

Even more popular with the boys than the rye snacks were the Risenta fruit balls. In fact, I don’t think I even got a chance to look at them once I opened the package. They were gone in a flash.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: testagram box risenta frukt bollar fruit balls

And the product that I loved the most was the soya bean pasta, also from Risenta. Since I am keen on replacing gluten in some of our meals, I was excited to test this. I really liked this, although Husband and the boys were not so keen – I suspect largely because of the green colour. E in particular is highly suspicious of green food… The only thing I found was that you need to keep an eye on the time as the pasta can easily become too soft – something a lackadaisical cook like me needs to remember.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: testagram box risenta bonpasta bean pasta

Wide range of products

The other products were also good: the washing capsules from Via were easy to use and far less messy than using powder or liquid detergent; the Coca-Cola Life was okay but disappointingly still had a lot of sugar in it (19% of the total) but we rarely ever have soft drinks and it was still interesting try to this Stevia-enhanced drink; and the ear plugs were comfortable. We haven’t been able to test the Flora with butter yet. We received a voucher covering the full cost (inside an empty tub ) but I’ve not yet been to the supermarket to get one.

I was impressed by the range of products that we were sent, and I can’t wait for the next box to arrive and see what treats we get.

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The week

So far, it looks like this week will be a repeat of last week. O is sick again – or most likely not again but the same thing looping around. Hopefully we should know tomorrow when we return to the doctor for more tests. This constant testing in the Swedish medical system is slightly concerning for someone from the UK though. I cannot remember one time having a blood test at the GP

On the upside, I went and collected this baby yesterday.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: week balance training gym membership card chia seeds

Two month’s membership at Balance gym in the city. I spotted a Groupon offer a couple of weeks ago and got this for Skr 349 (saving me more than Skr 1,600). I really need to get back on track with my training (and I don’t even want to think about how many times I’ve said that in the last few months). I’ve already signed up for a couple of classes this week (circuit training and kettlebell training) and I’m heading there tomorrow if I can (a sick O permitting) to check out the equipment and maybe hop on a running machine for a short blast.

And the chia seeds are because I keep on reading about them and I’m keen to try them out and see what all the hype is about. If you have any favourite recipes, please let me know.

I’ve booked a table for us for lunch on Saturday to try out the new Jamie’s Italian restaurant in the city. I’ve not heard anything one way or another about it, so it will be interesting to test it. Have you been yet or been to a Jamie’s Italian somewhere else? I wasn’t a fan of him before but then I heard him interviewed on Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4 and I changed my opinion completely.

So that is what is happening this week with us. What plans do you have for the week?

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How to keep your husband happy

I think I’ve discovered the answer to how to keep your husband happy and it’s a simple solution.

A few weeks ago I spotted a gorgeous pair of ponyskin ankle boots with a thin, think heel and I fell for them. However, they were Skr 2,500. For a pair of boots that are not likely to get a huge amount of use over the Swedish winter. But they were gorgeous.

Have I mentioned that they were gorgeous? Well, they were.

But then yesterday, I found these in Deichmann of all places.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: how to keep your husband happy new boots frugal purchase

Okay, they’re not ponyskin but they aren’t pleather. The heel is not as thin, but that will probably mean they’re more comfortable in the long run. They are a very similar style to the others and if they fall apart, then so be it, as they cost Skr 399.

And Husband is pleased because I have “saved” Skr 2,100. And he also thinks these look okay on me.

So there you have it – if in doubt, keep your husband happy and buy the cheaper ones.

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Theas Bryllupsblogg – married at 12 years old

Theas Bryllupsblogg has been created by children’s charity Plan Norge, detailing the life of Thea who is to be married at 12 years old to an older man.. The blog looks just like it should for a girl that age: pink, glittery and with photos of Thea and her One Direction posters (in fact, top of her wedding gift list is a One Direction bed set). It is really quite a chilling read, as you follow her being told that she can no longer attend school, won’t be able to work and that her friends won’t be attending her wedding.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: theas bryllupsblogg married at 12 years old

What an amazing and effective campaign.


An English Mamma in Stockholm: september monthly round up boy football banner
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September – monthly round-up

When I sat down to write my September monthly round-up, I realised that on the face of it, it seemed a normal month. Actually though, it was far from it. It was a month of new beginnings, with O starting football school each Sunday, E deciding that he wanted to be potty trained and me determining that I need to get back on track with my eating and training.

September was the month of my cousin’s wedding so we spent the first week in the UK with family. The boys were in their element at the wedding venue, where there was a woodland playground and toys on loan.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: September monthly round up train set toys

An English Mamma in Stockholm: hunstham court wedding venue bedroom

(We moved that cot for E as soon as we could! Love him dearly but we (and he) would much prefer him at the other end of the room with O.)

An English Mamma in Stockholm: huntsham court grounds garden wooden mushrooms

The boys loved spending time with my dad on his allotment, digging up potatoes and picking flowers.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: boy with a sunflower

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The first rule of CrossFit

Since the first rule of CrossFit is always to talk about CrossFit, I am going to do just that. Apologies to all those who don’t like it…

On Monday, I actually had a good session, unlike the past few weeks’. The overhead squats (15kg and 20kg) felt easier than they have for a while, the practice pull-ups were tough but I succeeded (despite having weakened so much that I can no longer do a pull-up unassisted) and even the bike went okay. And this was a new bike that had just arrived and was harder than the previous one. I cannot tell you how long it felt like it was taking to reach 12 calories of burn on this one.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: the first rule of crossfit post training

The goal is now to train every Monday with my trainer, run twice a week and train at home with the kettlebell every week. My training bag is here with me today and the running machine is calling my name.

Seven weeks and I have a tunnel to run.

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A Year in Books – October

Choosing a book for a Year in Books for October could have been really easy. After loving September’s book – The Death of Lucy Kyte, by Nicola Upson – so much, I reserved a previous novel by her and collected it from the library last week. But how dull would it be to use Fear in the Sunlight as my book this month and have two books by the same author in a row?

Instead, I’m challenging myself. I’ve bought a somewhat longer novel for October: Night Film by Marissa Pessl. I loved her previous novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics so much that I have read it two or three times (before children, obv.), so I was pretty excited when I saw she had a new book out.

The interesting thing about this book is that it comes with a free app that you use to access extra features. One aspect of Special Topics that I liked was the illustrations, and Night Film takes this even further with photos, videos and more. You use the app and your phone’s camera to scan the little bird symbol and unlock the extra features.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: a year in books october night film

The little I have read so far, I’ve really enjoyed: the way that Marissa Pessl builds the suspense is excellent, although I think I like the narrator of Calamity Physics a little more than the narrator of this book. But we’ll see.

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Working mamma woes

This post by Alyssa at The Sparkly Life really struck a chord with me and made me laugh out loud: working mamma woes! So many and such recognisable things there: the “crafting”, which is our house extends to making collages from the business daily and using Post-its to mark favourites in the Lego catalogue; the panic and the rush from one thing to the next, desperately trying to fix one mess before the next is created; and, of course, that moment in the middle of the day when you realise how many more hours until bedtime.

It seems that autumn is really here and winter on its way: we had one sick child last week and it looks as if there might be another this week…

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A Year in Books – September

A little late for the month for September’s A Year in Books, but I wanted to record it because I actually managed to finish a book this month. It helped that I bought The Death of Lucy Kyte by Nicola Upson as a Kindle book and that we had a week in England, where I could grab a half hour here and there to read it. It also helped that the book is excellent and gripping.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: september year in books death of lucy kyte nicola upson

And this novel actually follows nicely on from June’s book, since Josephine Tey is the main character in this one. And I’ve now just reserved one of Upson’s earlier Josephine Tey novels as I enjoyed this one so much.

I also managed to get July’s book out of the library again and finish that off, so it’s a double victory. Let’s just ignore the fact that I completely forgot to write up September’s book until now…

And this leaves me a few days left of this month to plan October’s book.