Introducing French​ culture through books, music, films, painters and more!

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Oh, Paris – I am so lucky to have you, right where you are … IMG_5018.jpgIMG_4852.jpgunnamed-3.jpgunnamed.jpgunnamed-2.jpg

Who else is OBSESSED with everything French at this moment in time? 

 

France is a country that’s filled with culture. Sure, they do have their ups and downs when it comes to the cinema – they experiment a lot and sometimes a bit too much! 

HOWEVER …

When they do something well, it ends up being a masterpiece! Yes, I’m thinking about you Simone de Behavior, and you, Christophe Barratier, and you Edith Piaf … 

So let’s begin my list of absolute FAVOURITES in French culture, some have been recent, some have been with me all my life. I hope you get inspired! 

 

BOOKS 

 

  1. “When things of the Spirit come First” by Simone de Beauvoir 

“When she was alone again, an immense happiness flooded into her: at last she was going to be able to show what she was made of! She opened the window and leant out over the garden: thousands of sticky little leaves twinkled in the sun and all springtime murmured in her bosom – the inner wealth accumulated in solitude was yearning to blossom into action. Ecstatically, Marcelle greeted the renewal of her heart as the dawn of the renewal of the world itself.”

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2. “Les Misérables” by Victor Hugo 

“The power of a glance has been so much abused in love stories, that it has come to be disbelieved in. Few people dare now to say that two beings have fallen in love because they have looked at each other. Yet it is in this way that love begins, and in this way only.”

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3. “Bonjour Tristesse” by Françoise Sagan

“A Strange melancholy pervades me to which I hesitate to give the grave and beautiful name of sorrow. The idea of sorrow has always appealed to me but now I am almost ashamed of its complete egoism. I have known boredom, regret, and occasionally remorse, but never sorrow. Today it envelops me like a silken web, enervating and soft, and sets me apart from everybody else.”

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CINEMA 

 

  1. “The chorus” (directed by Christophe Barratier) 

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Why: First of all, Christopher Barratier did a great job with this movie! The scenery, the music, the actors – everything is on its place. It’s beautifully rich with drama, forgiveness, love and the discovery of new talents. 

 

2. “Amélie” (directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet) 

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Why: It’s not a lie when I say that Amélie will actually change your life for the better. She’s cute, she’s smart, she creates her own inner world and she’ll inspire you to do the same! Somehow, she makes being alone look simple and even fun – because it’s all about your attitude and what you make out of your time here on earth. Also, it’s set in beautiful, spectacular Montmartre, which is a sure stimulant for the eye! 

 

3. “Jean de Florette” (directed by Claude Berri) 

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Why: Beautiful is too little a word to describe the scenery, the people and the story of this movie! If you wish to see a little bit more of the French country-side, watch this movie and you’ll for sure enjoy every second of it! Moreover, it’s about love, envy, hatred, revenge, family-tragedies and much more! French at it’s best … 

 

MUSIC

 

  1. Edith Piaf 

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Favorites: 

  • Non, je ne regrette rien
  • La foule 
  • Je ne’en connais pas la fin
  • La vie en rose 

 

2. Camille Saint-Saëns

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Favorites: 

  • Le Cygne 
  • Dance macabre in G Minor, Op. 40 
  • Carnival of the Animals, R. 125: VII – The Aquarium 

 

3. Claude Debussy

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Favorites: 

  • Clair de Lune 
  • 2 Arabesques in E Major, L. 66: Adantino 

 

4. Erik Satie 

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Favorites: 

  • Première Gymnopédie 
  • Gnossiennes: No. 1 – Lent 

 

5. Carla Bruni

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Favorites: 

  • Quelqu’n m’a dit 
  • Chanson triste 
  • L’amour 

 

PAINTERS & SCULPTORS  

 

  1. Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

 

2. Jean-François Millet

 

3. Edgar Degas

 

4. Auguste Rodin 

 

Hope you liked my list, keep on being inspired, every day. Remember that♥

 

 

Amour, 

Aftur S. Nerdrum 

What Jane Austen’s New Years resolutions would sound like …

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“Hmm … I wonder what one would want to fix on one’s behavior if one would want to be a more well-mannered, educated young lady with good wife-potential in 2019?” Jane asked herself in the darkest of dawns while getting her pen ready to write down a couple of notes before midnight:   

1. Complain less. You want to be the heroine, not the heroine’s best friend. 


2. Nurture your love for the home. Remember that there isn’t any better place on earth, and your papá wouldn’t like all the traveling that you constantly find yourself day-dreaming about. 


3. If not dancing, then submit all your remaining love and commitment in the pianoforte. Stick to duets and light afternoon-background music. It will charm both your life and others. 


4. Whenever you find yourself in confusion or in doubt, take a long walk. It is the second best remedy after books.


5.  Do not take carriages with people you hardly know. Stick to family. One never knows what situation one might find oneself in! 


6. Avoid any kind of romance when it comes to handsome men with sideburns – before investigating his past thoroughly. Better be safe than sorry. 


7. Take a chance on love, or take no chance at all. Better to remain single, than unhappy in a marriage. 


8. Seriously. Stop reading stories that end in tragedy for your sister, Cassandra. She’ll only grow fonder of staying in her despair. Rather, try searching for books with happy endings, and if you can’t seem to find one, write one yourself. 


9. That hero-character that you’ve been daydreaming about for years now – you know, the one who acts all proud and arrogant in the beginning, but ends up being the sweetest, most humble creature on earth – yeah that one; Make him come alive this year. Write that character down in your notebook. Who knows, it might end up becoming a novel …?


10. If you’re in search of a true lady-friend, try looking for someone who can write a long letter with delicacy and ease. 


11. Don’t focus on the time you mispronounced a word or sang a false tune in the company of refined gentlemen. Make it a rule to think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure. 


12. Do not fall into a passive rage next time you hear something about being a failed daughter or ending up an old maid. The very point of having a mother is learning to accept her flaws – and if the subject of matrimony matters as much to her as writing does to you, try to understand her next time. 


13. Not everyone’s lives are meant to be meddled with. So next time you feel like telling someone they shouldn’t marry a farmer, hold your tongue. Things aren’t always what they look like from the outside. 

 

With love, 

Jane Austen ...


 

#janeausten #janeaustennewyearsresolutions #jane #newyears #resolutions #femaleliterature #thejaneaustenclub #books #mrsknightleyslibrary

New Year’s​ resolutions don’t often work out – try this instead!

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The New Year is coming up, and I can already feel the anxiety creeping up on my body.

Can you feel it too? 

I don’t know about you, but I never really liked this ritual with New Year’s resolutions. They’re usually too demanding and energy-draining, knowing that we’ll most likely fail them within a week or less. HOWEVER – this year I decided to make a difference. 

By researching my way to a better and more effective way of doing resolutions, I stumbled across a video by Valeria Lipovetsky (my favorite YouTuber!) – she came with some brilliant questions that you can ask yourself – as a smarter and much more effective way of actually sticking to your goals. (If you want to check out this awesome video, click HERE)

Here are the questions she presented: 


STEP ONE – REFLECT ON YOUR YEAR

 – What moment stood out in 2018? Why?

– What happened in 2018 that helped you grow as a person?

– What happened in 2018 that you are most grateful for?

– What in 2018 didn’t work for you? Why?

– What is your biggest takeaway from 2018?

STEP TWO – ASK YOURSELF THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

– What areas do I want to focus on in 2019?

– If I accomplish only one thing in 2019, what would I want it to be?

– How do I want to grow as a person in 2019?

– What should you stop doing in 2019?

– What do I need to do to bring myself happiness in 2019?


Eager to make a change, I decided to write down all these questions and make a very girly, inspirational, motivational bullet-journal out of it – which you can also try out!

In fact, I’m going to give you FREE templates on this journal –  just click the PDF-file further down in this article♥

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TO DOWNLOAD THE TEMPLATE, CLICK ON THIS LINK: 

New Years Resolutions Girly Template

I hope you liked my little idea of a bullet-journal for New Years, and I hope that some of you decide to try it out! I would love to know whether it worked for you or not, as well as different ideas and solutions on how to stick to your goals next year♥

Speak soon, and … HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Love, 

Aftur S. Nerdrum 

 


SAY HELLO♥

INSTAGRAM: aftur_spildo 

Email: afturspildo@gmail.com

#newyearsresolutions #goals #bulletjournal #motivation #mrsknightleyslibrary 


 

10 tips and tricks for hosting the best Christmas/book party

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“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.”

Andy Rooney


 

Alright! There are only a few hours until the big day and I can already feel the stress and anticipation coming from the people walking in the streets.

Floors must be washed.

Ingredients must be bought. 

Cookies must be ready. 

The Santa Costume must be hiding in the garage. 

The tree must be decorated. 

Presents MUST be bought! 


If I’m not entirely wrong, Christmas can sometimes feel a little bit too demanding and not as joyful and relaxed as expected. But don’t worry. If you thought Christmas ends after the 25th, you’re wrong!

Remember that you can always host a delightful Christmas-gathering/party any day between Christmas Eve and New Years! And why not throw in a book-club while we’re at it? 

 

#1 – Limit your guest-list to only 7-10 people maximum 

No need to appear over-social. It’s so much better to only invite your closest and dearest family and friends for this kind of gathering. It makes it more fun, cozy and you’ll feel freer to come with inside-jokes and talk about whatever you want with the people who really know you. Also, if you’re doing a book club/Christmas party, it’s safer to only invite the literature-interested among your group of friends! 

#2 – Stock up your house with homemade cookies, finger-food, christmas-wine and Christmas-cocktails! 

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HERE ARE MY BEST ESSENSIALS:

  • Recipe for gingerbread: HERE
  • Recipe for Whipped shortbread-cookies: HERE
  • Almond snowball cookies: HERE
  • Christmassy Finger-food ideas: HERE
  • Best Christmas martini: HERE
  • Best Christmas poinsetta-drink: HERE

 

#3 – For predrinks, make cotton candy champagne glasses! 

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This is a very festive and holidayish drink + very easy to make! Just put a bunch of pink cotton candy in a glass and pour the champagne in. Can it get fancier than this? 

 

#4 – Have a Christmas-playlist prapared! 

Personally, I prefer instrumental, classical music to these kinds of gatherings. But you do whatever suits you best! The point is to set the mood so that your guests feel comfertable and well relaxed. Here is a good playlist that I use: 

 

#5 – Brew lots and lots of coffee and make lots of hot chocolate! 

It’s important. Firstly, some of your guests might not drink alcohol (you never know!) so then it’s crucial to have something festive and Christmassy that they can enjoy as well. Plus … who doesnt want some coffee with their cookies? Always, always go overboard with these things. The more the merrier! 

#6 – Select a theme for the evening

If you’re doing a book club/Christmas-party together with your other bookworms, why not have a Charles Dickens theme where you focus on discussing his most famous holiday-book; “A Christmas Carol”? You could all dress up in clothes from his time and bring original copies of the same book with beautiful drawings and illustrations in them? There’s alot you can do literature-wise for a Christmas-party. Let you imagination go wild! 

#7 – Make sure your house is decorated and put lit candles in every room

You have no idea how much this sets the mood. And the candles are not optional, it’s a MUST! 

#8 – Prapare activities for your guests

If you’re doing a book club/Christmas party: 

  • Play the literature-roleplay-game: One person is chosen to play a character from a famous book, while the other guests have to guess who it is and from what book. If you manage to guess the character, you get 1 point, if you manage to guess both the book and the character, you get 2 points. The goal is to get 20. The winner gets a price. 
  • Discuss a book with the theme of Christmas (fex: “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens or “The Father Christmas Letters” by J. R. R Tolkien). 

If you’re just doing a normal Christmas party: 

  • Make your guests decorate your tree together 
  • Have a DIY-night, where you all make the christmas-decorations from scratch! 
  • Make everyone bring gifts and Play Secret Santa 
  • Decorate Christmas cookies together 
  • Bring a saved box of chocolates with different types and flavors of chocolate. Blindfold one of the guests and make them eat one. Can they guess which flavor it is? 

 

#9 – Make the house smell nice and christmassy by bringing in a lot of fir-twigs, orange peel, cinamon sticks and cloves

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It’s nice decorations AND it smells heavenly in the house! 

 

#10 – Drink some alcohol or do something that relaxes you while you’re praparing the party 

This is the most important one on the list. It’s so easy for us to feel stressed and moody and stiff in the neck during hilday-times. Yes, there is a lot to do and prapare, but remember to take it easy. Drink some wine while you’re making food or do those yoga-stretches in-between baking. It may seem like theres no time for it, but you should always put yourself and your own health first, above everything else. The Holidays are for spreading love and happiness. It’s for relaxed time with family and friends. Remember this. 

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Merry Christmas everyone♥


 

Love, 

Aftur S. Nerdrum 

 

Aftur’s Christmas Calendar: 22nd of December

SARAH LEMKUS 

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She is a YouTuber, a mother, a wife and a nutritionist living in Australia together with her family. She makes videos about family life, food, personal stories/sufferings, health, philosophy/psychology and much more! Ever since I found one of her videos, I have been feeling so inspired by her. She always wanted to be a mother, however, she was diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovaries (PCOS) at age 16, which includes having very unbalanced hormones in your body. Because of this, her doctor told her it would be very difficult for her to have a child. But that didn’t stop her! After marrying at 19 and settling down, she dived into lots of different research about nutrition and health. She started taking care of her own body, testing out different diets etc – and then – despite all odds – she fell pregnant at 20 – just ONE YEAR after getting married! It was what she always wanted, and she didn’t let her diagnose stop her from having it. I love this type of mindset and drive – really, you can relate it to anything that’s going on in your life right now. If there’s a job you really want, but you don’t have all the qualifications needed – don’t let it stop you! If this woman managed to get pregnant with her diagnose – you can get that job too! It’s all about what’s going on inside your mind. Thank you @sarahlemkus  for making me realize this and for showing me the ups and the downs and lovely positives of having children at a young age. You inspire.

 

Love, 

Aftur S. Nerdrum 

Aftur’s Christmas Calendar: 21st of December

STEFAN ZWEIG 

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“Only the person who has experienced light and darkness, war and peace, rise and fall, only that person has truly experienced life.”

His first book I read was “The Royal Game”. I remember it like it was yesterday; I was taking a train ride from Sweden to Norway – the trip lasted 7 hours, but it felt like less than 10 minutes. Reading his book was like watching an intense series on Netflix. In fact, it was better. Reading a little bit and then taking a break is something that’s not possible with this story. Word for word – I had to know everything in one go! There was no going around that. In the end, I was left with a thousand and more question marks. “But why? But how? But ….” yeah …. that was pretty much what my brain sounded like when I went off the train and into the station. Ever since then, this book and story has been on my head. It was my first introduction to this incredible Austrian novelist and play writer. I have yet many books of him to read, and I can’t wait to dive into each one. “The World of Yesterday” is also a treat. Thank you Stefan Zweig, for contributing to a huge amount of inspiration to my writing.

 

Love, 

Aftur S. Nerdrum 

Aftur’s Christmas Calendar: 20th of December

VICTOR HUGO

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How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss, and all was said.

There’s poetry to be found in every single one of his sentences – each word and expression is like drinking a sip of the sweetest wine. This man is officially a French novelist from the romantic movement of the eighteen hundreds. But for me … he is a man who has existed everywhere, in every time. 

Read his masterpiece “Les Misérables”.

You won’t regret it. 

Buy the book HERE

 

Love, 

Aftur S. Nerdrum 

 

Aftur’s Christmas Calendar: 19th of December

ELINE DRAGESUND

She is an incredible designer and tailor from Oslo, and believe it or not – she has actually made these beautiful clothes that I’m featuring in these pictures↑↑

Every day I am in shock by how much work she gets done. Not only is she a mother, but she also works every day nonstop to achieve her dreams. This is a woman to be inspired by, and it’s also a woman who makes extraordinary beautiful and timeless clothes which YOU can wear today! Just go to her Instagram account; @eline_dragesund – here you’ll find out how to get a hold of these clothes. And I promise you will not regret looking into this. Who doesn’t want to look timeless in a world which is so full of this boring consumerism?? who doesn’t want to look drop dead gorgeous in a coat which can’t ever be recognized by another girl – cause you’re the only one – or one out of very few in this world who’s wearing it? Thank you, Eline, for showing an example of a hardworking, strong woman who follows her passion and dream in life + makes breathtaking clothes!

Find her clothes HERE

Love, 

Aftur S. Nerdrum 

 

 

 

Aftur’s Christmas Calendar: 18th of December

HANS ZIMMER 

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“If something happened where I couldn’t write music anymore, it would kill me. It’s not just a job. It’s not just a hobby. It’s why I get up in the morning.”

Since the 1980s, he has composed music for over 150 films. Over many years, he’s been building himself a strong work ethic and a deep, passionate love for movie-soundtracks. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one loving his work from ex. “Inception”, “The Gladiator”, “Interstellar” or “The Da Vinci Code”. And you can really hear, through his music that he absolutely loves his work. In an interview, he even said that the only reason why he wakes up in the morning is to create music.  

Thank you @hanszimmer for inspiring so many people across the globe (including myself) to build and create something beautiful in our lives. I still listen to your music every day, when I write, when I read and when I daydream about a greater world. 

 

Love,

Aftur S. Nerdrum 

The 7 most romantic and unique gift ideas for your significant other

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WARNING: These are very romantic, couple-like presents — maybe you and your bf/gf are not there yet ….? 

But if you are … 


  1. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman 

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Why: Read this book together, and you’ll be guaranteed with amazing growth in your relationship! Falling in love is easy. Staying in love—that’s the challenge! How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts, and just plain boredom of everyday life? THIS BOOK has the answers. Figure out each other’s different love-languages, and you are gold. No more silly misunderstandings and misinterpretations anymore! Tempting …? 

Get it HERE

 

2. The Quiz Book For Couples by Kim Chapman 

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Why: Similarly to the book mentioned above, this gift can also help spark the early flame of your relationship – by taking some quality time out and doing something completely new and out of your comfort zone – like taking a quiz together. This book is broken down into sections with questions for the different aspects of your relationship. Each person answers the questions individually and then compares his/her answers to the other person. The person with the most correct answers wins that section and gets to chose from a reward given by the other person – and this reward can be anything! Use your imagination … 

Get it HERE

 

3. Name A Star – Lovers Edition

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Why: (ALERT- THIS ONE IS VERY ROMANTIC!) You and your special loved one can be together forever in the midnight sky! Yes, It’s true. I’m not kidding. You can actually get two stars named after you + they can be next to each other as a sign of your love and appreciation …? 

Get it HERE

 

4. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke 

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Why: This one is not as romantic as the previous ones – HOWEVER – it’s filled with great advice on how to live one’s life, improve on weaknesses and strengthen ones qualities. And since relationships are all about self-growth and noticing each other’s weak spots, this book is just PERFECT for both parties! You can read it together at night, underline important quotes and have discussions about it afterward. This is (at least for me) the very best thing about being a couple with someone! Namely; The mental connection. 

Get it: HERE

 

5. “open-when-letters” 

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How: (I also wrote about this gift idea in “The 7 best gift ideas for mothers” – HERE)

““Open-when-letters” is very easy and very fun to make. You just buy a bunch of little envelopes and cards, write a little message on them and put them in a box. Your significant other is not supposed to open them all, only if they’re feeling a certain way, or on a special day (depending on what it says on the envelope). Inside you can write whatever you like – use your imagination and put your whole heart into this project. (WARNING: This can turn out very emotional! You MIGHT cry or make your significant other cry …just saying.) Your message on each one is up to you, but here are some examples to make the process a little bit easier:

  • Open when you’re feeling happy 
  • Open when you’re sad
  • Open when you feel rejected 
  • Open when you feel lonely 
  • Open on your birthday 
  • Open when we’ve just had a fight
  • Open when you’re unable to resolve an inner conflict 
  • Open when you’re sick 
  • Open when you’re feeling hopeful about the future 
  • Open when you want to take a walk along memory lane 
  • Open when you’re losing faith 
  • Open on Christmas Eve 
  • Open on New Years 

And so on and so on … 

 

6. A gift-card from your local cinema  

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Why: If you’re a couple that likes to watch a lot of movies, and maybe ESPECIALLY go to the cinema together, this gift is perfect for your significant other! Throw in some extra money on that gift card, so that you can enjoy watching up to 5-6 movies at any given time. Your partner will love this! Plus – it’s a great excuse for you two to spend more quality time out with each other:) 

 

7. A commissioned drawing or portrait 

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Why: If you feel like being extra unique and extra sporadic this year, commissioning a portrait of your significant other is the best gift! It will make them feel special, valued and appreciated. It will also be a gift that will bring sentimental value into your home♥ But remember to choose a clever painter/drawer, and don’t do it unless your partner is into these creative, artsy things as well! 


 

Ok, that’s it for today’s post! I hope you liked this little list. Do tell me if you’d like more of these:) 

 

Love, 

Aftur S. Nerdrum