Showing posts from April, 2015

From the streets of Helsinki to here

Would you dress like this?  Hmmm, not sure.  Coco Chanel said to always look in the mirror before heading out and take one thing off.  But I applaud her efforts!  And I truly like seeing some originality.  This picture is of Sari, and it's on (they posted fashion pics from the streets of Helsinki before moving to San Fran) and it's a great place to get inspiration on an off day.  The people look genuine and creative.  (For current fashion inspiration from the streets of San Francisco, check out  Another fun blog, but definitely more upscale is Here fashion savvy ladies like this dress up to the nines and put the rest of us slobs to shame.  Wish I had those gams!
One person I feel inspired by is Iris Apfel.  My mother and I saw an exhibit of her couture at Peabody Essex Museum and every now and then I like to see what she's up to.  The woman is crazy busy and she's almost 10…

Trash talk

Hej! This person did such a good job of explaining the Swedish recycling system I decided why re-invent the wheel, just give credit where credit is due, in this case "The plaid zebra" for writing it all down! Read it!
From a personal experience I was greatly impressed by the Swedish system.  We lived in Sweden in 2012 - 2013 and one day a nice looking brochure arrived at our rental house saying that soon we would all be recycling food.  OK, I thought, whatever.  The brochure clearly explained that we would each get a special recycling bin and paper bags into which to put all food and comestibles.  The bag sealed with a pick and stick strip, and they even sent some samples along.  I put everything in a drawer and with my American mindset thought "that will never happen".  Well gosh darn if a couple of weeks later we didn't actually get a bin and more bags delivered to the house fre…


Sometimes I feel like I am spreading the Swedish gospel.  It appears that I have become the poster child for Santa Lucia, and Swedish traditions in general.  Most recently I was part of our local multi-cultural evening where I made myself into a little Sweish gumma (old lady) and asked the kids tricky questions before giving them their stamps in "passports".
It was fun once I had the bread made, the display ready, and the son wrangled into helping me.  It is all worth it though. The kids were adorable and people interested. The librarian complemented me recently on the St. Lucia song and presentation I did about 5 years ago with my youngest, Special K.  It was special, and she remembered it. :)  Najs (nice). So I guess I'll keep on doing it. Heja Sverige!


Well this explanation from Gevalia kind of sums it up.  But, my thoughts on fika are more like this:
Fika Haiku Warm coffee, bulle sugar gossip served on side time to Fika now! Tee, hee.  Well not much of a poet but it is nice to take some time to treat yourself during the course of the day to a break with a nice cup of joe and preferably a sweet to go with, like a bulle (bun). I miss the days of sitting and chatting with my friends, or mom.  I made this painting when I was missing the warmth of my mother's kitchen and being able to stop by for fika with her.

I've seen a lot on the web lately about the idea of fika, it's certainly not too hard of a concept but I guess the simple things are something for which we all long.  Connecting over a cup of coffee everyday is a simple but well deserved treat.  Here's a nice recipe for bullar (Swedish buns) that you may like to have with your coffee. Fika mera!

Addendum from Ve…

Run, run, run

Today is the second anniversary of the Boston Marathon and hereabouts we are commemorating the victims by doing good deeds, having a silent moment and thinking of all the people touched by this senseless act of violence.  WCVB News Coverage A North Attleboro woman prevailed by writing a song "Boston Strong, Boston Proud" and has dedicated it to all the victims as well as the former major of Boston, Tom Menino.  More on Carol Hamblet Adams and her experience at the 2013 marathon as well as her special song here: song-dedicated-to-boston-marathon-victims

All of the proceeds from the sale of this song which is on iTunes are being donated to the Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Fund at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Reny was injured in the bombings but survived and doctors were also able to save both of her legs. The song can be found here:

I like the song and think it's really heartfelt.  Here…

Steampunk Silliness

There's a festival on May 9th that I'm itching to go to.  The hubby isn't sure, but I think it's a blast, I mean who wouldn't want to dress up as a cool alterego from the 1800's wearing bodice and boots?
A corset and a hat are obvious musts - but one must have a role to play as a Steampunk goddess - and that's what I am mulling over right now.  I wonder if I could add a Swedish twist, perhaps play a mild mannered Swedish teacher/spy with a devilish side.  What do you think?  By the way, turns out that Steampunk truly is everywhere, this picture was taken in Gävle Sweden last year.  Fun!
Finally a shout-out to this beautiful blog, Turns out she dresses like a historical hobbit and I love her style and sense of what suits her!  I think I'll reach out because I'm considering using my Swedish bodice from my folkdräkt (folk costume) as part of my Steampunk design.  Stay posted!

Happy Weekend!

Love this song!

Monkey Business

Look at these adorable little faces?  Who have guessed that these sweet little animals would be stuck in a political imbroglio involving Saudi Arabia and Sweden.  The pygmy marmosets (the world's smallest monkeys) have been denied entry into Riyadh after the Swedish foreign minister, Margot Wallström, dared to talk sense about Saudi Arabia.  (She was of course stopped before her speech but in the meantime she mentioned that she condemned the flogging of Raif Badawi*.)

“I had a phone call over Easter saying there would be no monkey business with Sweden,” said Jonas Wahlström, the director of the Skansen Akvariet in Stockholm. “The Saudis have heard that Sweden is a bad country.” Read here for more: No monkey business.

Well guess what?  We kind of think Saudi Arabia with its floggings, beheadings, discrimination of women and gays might not be the best of countries either.  But they do have good zoos from what I understand which now these little Swedish marmosets are now not allowed …

Wanna be a Viking?

Let's go berserker!  I should have posted this earlier but if you are in Ireland run to the Wicklow hotel on 7 April between 10am-6pm in Wicklow town, especially if you read this list and say "hey, that's me" - 

People over 6ft and sportyNo visible tattoosMales with long hair and beardsWomen with naturally coloured hairMen and women with punk style haircutsIrish residentsApplicants must be 16 and over
They need 8,000 extras for the upcoming season of Vikings which airs on the History Channel. The docu-drama stars Australian Travis Fimmel as King Lothbrok. It tells the story of the mythical Norse hero as he and his Viking tribe execute raids throughout England, France and northern Europe.The new series is understood to centre on King Lothbrok’s son Bjorn and will reportedly run to 16 episodes.  For more information check Would be fun!

Swedish Witches and Easter

What did we do for Easter?  Well we had a great big potluck party and went to church on Sunday. There was the Swedish tree (called påsk ris) with egg decorations and feathers that the cats went crazy over, and many eggs to decorate.  We had jelly bean trails and chocolate for the kids.  It was a lovely and busy weekend.  We cleaned the whole house which is similar to old Swedish traditions. Luckily one of the old traditions we don't carry on is hitting people with branches on the Friday before Easter, something they used to do in Sweden to remind people of Jesus's strife.  Now the branches just look pretty.  At least the cats and I think so. ;)