Showing posts from June, 2015

Almedalen - Sweden's power week

If you have any interest in Swedish politics you'll no doubt hear about Almedalen, a place the last week of June, where politicians and power brokers meet and mingle.  Held on Visby it crams political conferences into 8 short days, the perfect way for the political mavens to maximize their July vacations. The events are free and should be easy to get into but as there are about 20,000 attendees on a small island that's not really the case.  There are about 3000 events on this program this year Luckily they have the days figured out a little to help with planning giving one day to each party.  For more information about the issues discussed at Almedalen check out this link.

Here's the timetable for 2015 Sunday June 28th - Centerpartiet (Centre Party) Monday June 29th - Socialdemokraterna (Social Democrats) Tuesday June 30th - Kristdemokraterna (Christian Democrats) Wednesday July 1st - Sverigedemokraterna (Sweden Democrats) Thursday July 2nd - Miljöpartiet (Green Party) Fri…

Summer with Ernst

Love this guy!! Ernst Kirchsteiger is back on TV this summer in Sweden fixing up another house. Can't wait to see what he does with this one, it will knock your socks off without a doubt.  He's like the male Martha Stewart but more "gosig" (cozy).  In this video, he is making a garden bench.  I wish you could understand the words he uses to describe this project.  He's like a "carpenter bard" for example talking about in this video how it's helpful sometimes to make something small and "extremely constructive".  Huh?  At any rate -- love his patter and style -- it makes for some nice interior design drool and ideas. Here Sköna Hem (a Swedish interior decorating magazine) took some of his quotes and added fun pictures to them.
Like this one, above, that say "I get a little warm in my heart (or care about) when I sit in front of such an old house." Well, he probably didn't mean this house!  Here's another fun one that hand…

Summer in Sweden

I am longing for summer in Sweden - it's just so nice and pleasant there.  Here's a bunch of photos from summers past to help illustrate what I mean.  Summer in Sweden means to me ---
Plus long, long days full of fun before the sun goes down late at night.

Lax (salmon) Pudding

Looking for a good recipe for left-over salmon?  Try lax (salmon) pudding.  It's really easy to make especially if you have left-over potatoes as well.  Here's the recipe.  You don't have to use "gravlax" which is lox, you could use other cooked salmon, although it does give a nice flavor.  And for those of you who like Scandinavian cooking, turns out that Martha does too.  Check out Ms. Stewart's impressive collection of recipes here: Spiselig måltid! Yum.


CASSEROLE INGREDIENTS3 pounds medium russet potatoes1 tablespoon coarse salt1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped, and stalks reserved1/2 stick unsalted butter, divided, plus more for dish1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)1 1/4 pound gravlax (sliced 1/8 inch thick)Freshly ground white pepper, for sprinkling6 large eggs, lightly beaten1 1/2 cups half-and-half1 1/2 cups heavy cream DILL BUTTER6 ta…

Midsummer Madness

Phew, the party is over and it was a great one!  It was so fun to celebrate with Swedish friends and American family.  We had eleven kids over ranging in ages from 1 to 13 and some crazy fun Swedish moms who made the party happen by bringing food, and beverages to share.  Of course we danced around the midsummer pole too.  Ironically it was the most Swedish child of them all (Arvid at age 3 fresh off the plane from Sweden) who didn't know about the traditional dance.  We had to show him the ropes! "Små grodorna" (small frogs) is the best song for the little ones and we threw ourselves into showing him how to do it.  (Luckily no-one threw out their back doing it. Ha, Ha!)  The food was great too.  Check out this beautiful cake one of the guests brought.  Lucky us we have some leftover to share with dad on his day.  Happy Father's Day to all you Americans out there!

Glad Midsommar!!

Glad Midsommar!!  Here's how to make your flower crown for the festivities!  I hope you have a Happy Midsummer's Eve!  Real Swedish folk music for your enjoyment here: and a pic to match.  :)

Märta Måås-Fjetterström

This is the kind of name people associate with Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings but no, it was the real name of a real textile artist in Sweden (1917 - 1941).  Her rug studio is still in Båstad and I had the pleasure of visiting it a couple of years ago.  Märta produced rugs in over 700 styles in flatweave, floss and "rya" (hooked rugs).  The techniques are stunning and make for a Scandinavian statement.  The closest I ever got to buying Swedish rugs is at a flea market (loppmarknad) with my family where I snagged a couple of rag rugs that we still use and enjoy.  Here's my dad showing off the rugs!

There are a few of Märta Måås-Fjetterström rugs are shown on this link (textile and terrain) and you'll see that there's a breadth of design that makes them interesting and lovely. Cost is prohibitive for me personally but well worth it if you want a beautiful rug that will last. Used rugs can be found online at auctions but even so a rug like this one can go for …


Today I have a guest blogger - someone who's read the book on my bedside table has graciously provided me with a review so I know what I'm getting myself into.  Having just gone to IKEA I love this concept, the names of the products and the whole look of the book.  IKEA is a clever maze and I can see where someone would get the idea of setting a horror story there.  Can't wait to read it! Horrorstör ~ Grady Hendrix    Sometimes a horror story is just the thing. This one is set in a furniture mega-store called Orsk, a thinly veiled version of IKEA. There’s plenty of sort-of-Swedish brand names of various products, a twisting maze store layout, and references to notoriously problematic assembly instructions. The stores employees have been experiencing weirdly ruined merchandise and spotted some strange characters in the store. This leads one floor manager to gather a few employees for an after hours late shift to try to figure out what’s going on. Things go rapidly downhill …

Royal family follow-up

One more shout out to the newest member of the Swedish royal family - HRH Princess Sofia, Duchess of Värmland - who married Prince Carl Phillip on Saturday, June 12th.
At the reception, Carl Philip had a romantic wedding toast in store: "Today I am the happiest man in the world. Sofia, you fill my life with love and happiness. With your love I will be able to overcome all challenges. Dear Sofia, I love you."  Aww, so sweet don't you think?  I bet she's pinching herself today.
And in other royal news Princess Madeleine, Carl Philip's younger sister, just had a boy!  Here's a picture of her and her husband with daughter Leonore looking ready to pop at the ceremony. Grattis!
More information on Madeleine's wedding to Chris here.

Get me to the church on time!

This Saturday, 6/13, Prince Carl Philip will marry his love Sofia Hellqvist at the Palace's Royal Chapel.  It was "love at first sight" says Sofia of the dapper prince, and he concurs.  Interesting fact, she was quite the pin-up before their nuptials having been in an erotic model and former reality star.

But at age 30 she's ready to settle down and bygones are bygones for the young couple who just want to do good and design glassware (or whatever it is young second-to-the-throne types do).  Avicii and Icona Pop will play at the wedding, it should be a grand old time! DJ Avicii to play at the wedding
On the National Day, 6/6, Sofia dressed in the old-timey Swedish garb and stood in line with the future in-laws.  The article avows that the "couldn't take their eyes off of one another."  Even dressed like this? ;-)
I had fun studying this photo --- Crown Princess Victoria is always smiley and Daniel seems to be OK doing his part, the Princess Madeleine i…

FIFA Women's World Cup

Sweden is up today at 15.00 Canadian time (Winnipeg) against Nigeria.  Heja Sverige!  And on June 12th a big game at 19.00 (7PM) against USA!  Gotta figure out where to watch that match!  Have a great Monday and go soccer gals!

Update - Germany slayed Sweden (4 - 1) so they're out.  America will be playing China for the first time since 1999 on June 26th at 19.30 Winnepeg time, and Germany will be sparring off against France.  As states:
It has taken 16 years but finally USA and China PR will meet again on the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ stage. The 1999 Final remains a milestone moment for women’s football, with two well-matched teams doing battle in front of a 90,185 crowd; a figure which remains a world record for a women’s football match. USA triumphed by the slimmest margin that day – 5-4 on penalties after 120 scoreless minutes – and now Ottawa will host the two nations on Frida…

Happy Flags Day! Swedish National Day 6/6

From Nordstjernan:
The Flag - A National Symbol Historic facts, trivia and a list of celebrations in Swedish America. Today’s celebration of the flag on what's now National Day, June 6, started at Skansen in Stockholm in 1893. Celebrating Sweden on a special day had been discussed for some time, and several different dates were proposed, including that of midsummer. Arthur Hazelius, who founded the Skansen open air museum, wanted to use the opportunity to ordain a celebration in conjunction with the annual Spring Festival on June 6. List ofSwedish National Day Celebrations in the U.S.

Studenten and Kindergarten Celebrations!

Good morning!  I got to sleep in today - what a difference that makes!  I woke with my head full of dreams, and now with a belly full of coffee, I am raring to go ... to my computer to tell you about my week.  At school we had a mini "Celebration of Growth" for the kindergartners and it was so sweet.  Every child had someone special come to celebrate with them whether it was a grandfather, mother, father, or in the case of my little charge her mother, grandmother two aunts and three cousins!  It really filled my heart to see how many people love her, and to finally meet them was great.  The year of taking care of her all by myself at school was hard, but we bonded and I really like her. So now that summer is only 12 days away I'm happy to know that she is surrounded by family and that she will be fine. 
And soon I will be surrounded by family too.  I miss them so much.  There's something about being home with mom that makes you feel more relaxed, and I sure do need …

Ystad is for hobbits

OK, this is pretty funny I have to admit... the BuzzFeed office sent 14 photos and a video to BuzzFeed internationally (office in Mexico, US, Australia, France and the UK).  What they said spontaneously goes to show that the things we Swedes take for granted, like food in a toothpaste tube, just doesn't even hit the radar for most folks.  Loved the comment on Ystad, where my albeit small, but not Hobbit-sized relatives live!  Here's the link for more funny comments on things as varied as Kalle's Kaviar, and Princess Victoria.  Enjoy!  And BuzzFeed, if you come across my blog make sure to read about St. Lucia here ;-)
Julia (NY): I accidentally stepped in a puddle of classic NYC street urine today. Don’t show this to me.
John (NY): I’m sure the Hobbits are going to come out any minute now.
Adam (NY): A festive cookie house made to celebrate the Christmas holiday.