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Showing posts from March, 2015

Påsk- Easter in Sweden

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Hello, it's snowing outside (kid you not) but the household is still intent on Easter and celebrating it to the max!  Here's some interesting information on Easter (påsk) in Sweden.  Personally I am looking forward to "Dymmelonsdag" (otherwise known as "hump day") because I like the sound of it. Have a good week - the countdown has begun!

Svarta måndag
In the old days this day was called Black Monday because it was the day when chimneys were swept. 

Vita tisdag
Tuesday was called White Tuesday because the chimneys had been cleaned and were nice and white. 

Dymmelonsdag 
Exactly why it is called “dymmel” and what a “dymmel" is remains unclear. But on Wednesdays everybody had to be quiet to observe Easter, and a little wooden clapper was put on all the bells of the churches. Such a thing is called a “dymbil” and perhaps that’s why it is called “dymmelonsdag”. Also, the old Nordic word for quiet is “dumb” and it might derive from that. 

Skärtorsdag 
Maundy Thur…

Boda Borg in Boston

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Take a look at my new pages, one on art, one on Nordic Niche, and another on the books I've read recently.  Hope you enjoy them!  Here's a scoop for those of you like me, with jumpy kids at home in the Boston area.  A Swedish company is opening a "Boda Borg" here.  What's that?  Well
"borg" means castle in Swedish and I guess this place offers "questing" in a castle!

The 30,000 square foot building in Malden will bring obstacle courses blended with puzzles solving. It's the first of its kind in America although the Boda Borgs have been around in Sweden and Ireland. My kids will love it!  Can't wait for it to open this summer at 90 Pleasant Street in Boston.  Read more on their website: Boda Borg, or for more information on the company check out betaboston.

Bathroom remodel dreaming

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Hubby and I are contemplating a bathroom re-do for our extremely small "master bath".  If the Lilliputians had a "master bath" it would look like this one, with a super small tub, hardly any space to move around, and a toilet that defies you to get up because it's so low to the ground.  Having no building skills whatsoever I figure the most DIY we'll get around to is pulling up the ugly vinyl flooring and possibly smashing the laminate vanity (I've always wanted to do that.)

So far our search has taken me to Lowe's, to internet sites like "Urban Outfitters" and craigslist.  As you can obviously our budget is also "Lilliputian".  But before reality sets in too hard, here's what I'm thinking.  The tiles I like are really quite simple.  They are from Lowe's and you can use any color grout you like to coordinate.
For the bathroom vanity we're thinking of this little piece which will give us more space to move around…

Fashion, Spring 2015

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Hej!  Thinking of fashion today, and how I could really use a lift.  Headed to the closest store (happened to be TJMaxx) and just was seriously uninspired.  So I thought, 'k, if you can't find anything fun, make it!  Well I can sew but the issue is, I don't know what to make.  Living in the 'burbs, and slogging through this seriously debilitating winter (with Sorel boots as the height of fashion) I just don't know what looks good anymore! 
If I were to sew something I might try for a summery skirt and top, perhaps like these ones by Michael Kors, but keeping most of the pattern to the top.  What do you think? Gingham is in too, and these skirts look easy, breezy and fun. Who knows if it will ever get warm enough to wear something resembling this or the cool clothes in this ad video for H&M, see Cochella Clothes at H&M  In the meantime I'm enjoying dreaming of summer sun wearing clothes like these.

Spettkaka and other Swedish treats

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Hej!  This interesting video will make you smile.  He talks about some "skånsk" treats including the classic dessert, Mårtens gås (goose dinner), and falafel - yes, falafel!  :) Yum!
The 400-Year-Old Swedish Dessert That Will Make You Dizzy: https://youtu.be/-spamtZh46Y

And the Melodifestival winner is Heroes!

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So the results are in and Heroes won!  I'm happy for several reasons:
I bet my husband that Heroes would win which he did royally with 35.5% of the votesI liked Måns Zelmerlöw's singing and his behavior during the big reveal was appropriate - nice to see he's not too cool for school.Måns is from Lund, my Swedish home town, yeah! Here is the song, which I think has good chances at the Eurovision contest on May 3rd.  Below please find my snarky comments (in italics) on each of the contestants because the best part of watching the show is getting to make fun of everyone.  That and eating cheese curls ;-)
The Final contestant list annotated by the snarky Swede aka me Samir & Viktor - Groupie (Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad, Kevin Högdahl, Maria Smith, Viktor Thell) Groupie instead of selfie cry tons of back up dancers, and two "Wham!" wanna-bes. They were excited to get points from some international country... not sure which one.  Can you say "Zoolander&quo…

Melodifestival! Finals in 30 minutes...

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The countdown begins, and I've got svtplay.se up and running. It's a strong bunch of contestants this year, should make for a good show.  Hubby is making us some smoothies, and I've got the popcorn. And may the best man, woman or other win!  More here about the contest http://livinglavidalagom.blogspot.com/2015/02/melodifestival-2015.html The Final The line-up of the final looks like this: Samir & Viktor - Groupie (Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad, Kevin Högdahl, Maria Smith, Viktor Thell)JTR - Building It Up (JTR, Erik Lewander, Iggy Strange Dahl)Dinah Nah - Make Me (La La La) (Dinah Nah, dr alban, Jakke Erixson, Karl-Ola Kjellholm)Jon Henrik Fjällgren - Jag är fri (Manne Liem Frije) (Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Erik Holmberg, Tony Malm, Josef Melin)Jessica Andersson - Can’t Hurt Me Now (Aleena Gibson, Fredrik Thomander)Måns Zelmerlöw - Heroes (Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad, Joy Deb, Linnea Deb)Linus Svenning - Forever Starts Today (Aleena Gibson, Anton Malmberg Hård af S…

Sweden's new font of knowledge

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So OK, this has been in the news for a whilte but I thought I might point out for those who haven't heard (probably most everyone I gather) that Sweden has a new type font.  Meh, you say? Well it actually is pretty exciting not only to designers and other type nerds, but also politicians who are a little skeeved by the supposed rise of "Swedish Nationalism".  Whoa, I think introducing a type font and mentioning the rise of nationalism in the same sentence is a little bit far-fetched.  I mean let's face it, Sweden has always been a very aesthetic culture.  Having a new "national font" is not the same thing as an anti-immigration sentiment or is it?  Read more on gizmodo for their thoughts on this matter. Personally I think a little Swedish pride is in order - just as long as you don't make me use Sweden Sans I am Ok with it.

To quote one of the Söderhavet's designers, Stefan Hachenbach: “We have an expression in Swedish, lagom, which means ‘not too m…

Travel to Sweden!

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So excited, we booked our trip to Sweden!  I am thrilled to be heading back to see friends and family there.  I looked around the internet for some ideas, and ran across this little article which is kind of fun if you are, like me, planning a trip.  Read CNN's article which will give you some good ideas to prepare you for a trip there.  And it's a great time to go!  The dollar is at a high so it's not as expensive for Americans.  Don't believe me?  Check it out here, dollar at 9-year high.  See?

FYI, the Swedes still are not full members of the European Union so don't stock up on euros.  You can get krones but they will take credit cards everywhere, and here's an important tip - KNOW YOUR PIN!  I can't stress this enough as our American credit cards are quite antiquated.  In Europe they won't ask you for a signature, they will ask you for a pin code.  If you are like me and you don't know it, you will be in trouble.  Luckily the last time I ran acr…

Kakelugn

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Hi everyone, one of my favorite inspirational home decor sites has posted a series of kakelugn shots. What's that?  It's a fireplace from the 1800's that uses a tile surround, and usually is the prettiest and warmest place in the house.  Check out this nice white one in the corner of this modern, white kitchen that My Scandinavian Home posted.
Another beautiful white one is in the livingroom.  Typically you would have burning logs and you could close the doors to keep the room warm for a long time as the tile heated up, several hours even after the fire went out.  That sounds pretty good right about now.
Here's another shot of the beautiful living room.  Even without the kakelugn this room with its high ceilings, beautiful floors, and chandelier would be a place I'd love to kick off my shoes and hang out in.  File under living room inspiration!  Inspired by the stove?  Read mrre about swedish kakelugn at this site with beautiful shots and great information at thes…

Are you Swedish?

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So is this finally time to touch upon the growing debate taking place in Sweden about the rights of Swedes, who's Swedish, and who should stay and who should go?  NO!  I am not going to go there other than to say as an American of Swedish descent I am disgusted by the Sweden Democrats who oppose integration of immigrants, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweden_Democrats.  Don't they realize that immigrants bring a host of skills and resources to the party?  Then again, living in America, I also know how hard it can be to live in a multicultural society and that it's important that all sides be heard.  I plan to get more knowledgeable about this important issue when I am in Skåne... in the meantime, passing on some old timey fun stuff on finding more out about your background.

If you are of Swedish descent and would like to research your background the Swedish Genealogy Guide has a lot of interesting information including this resource to help out with your research: http://s…

Polkagris

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Candy, candy, candy....the Swedes are renowned for the sweet tooth.  They actually eat more candy than any other country!  (37 pounds/per person/year)  Here's some links to candy that you can make at home, or buy on-line that will remind you of the old country.

Polkagris (literally "peppermint pig)
In Grannä they make their mint polkagris and other "karameller" in this shop.  You can buy the delicious goodies at the shop or online in Sweden (didn't seem to work with my American credit):
http://www.polkagris.com/shop.  And for more information about this yummy confection check out Nordstjernan.  For those of you willing to get sticky, the peppermint recipe is below!*

Swedish Fish
I wrote about this once before (here) but check out these gorgeous all-natural Swedish fish and other beautiful candies at Sugar Fina! http://www.sugarfina.com.  They do ship in the US and internationally (although that's a little rich for my blood, sorry Mamma.)

Chocolates
Mmmmm... Mar…

The Swedish Chef and beautiful buns

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Ok, here I am back again with another delicious recipe... semlor or fastlagsbullar as they are also called are something that the Swedes look forward to all year.  These buns are especially delicious because they are served with mounds of whipped cream and filled with almond paste.  Yum!
I decided to make a batch on a particularly snowy day and they came out delectably even though I used the spray whipped cream and old marzipan.  Well we were snowed in!  ;-) So if these were good I bet yours will be even better.  Here's the recipe for semlor. (Semla is singular, semlor is plural.)

Just a little background on the buns, they are traditionally served on Fat Tuesday and sold for the month of February - March in bakeries across the country.  I found this nugget of information on the Local site (local.se):
The buns hold a notorious role in Swedish history linked to King Adolf Fredrik. On the day now known as Fat Tuesday in 1771, he collapsed and died after eating a meal of lobster, cav…