Showing posts from September, 2015

"We are the World" Swedish Style

Last night Swedish artists collected money for the refugees by putting on a 4-1/2 hour musical extravaganza called "Hela Sverige Skramlar".  40 million Swedish krones were collected!  That's  4,755,648.00 US DOLLARS!   Wowsers Swedes, you really outdid yourselves, congratulations!  That's just amazing and so heartfelt. I feel so proud to be Swedish right now.   Here's where Americans can help: UNHCR.  It's photos like this one that started the wheels turning.  Did you know that half of the 60 million people now in flight are children like the one pictured?  Post World War II more people are fleeing strife now than ever. Pictures like the one above which I found on UNHCR's site have helped us really empathize with the refugees' plight.  Last night at "Hela Sverige Skramlar" Hans Rosling, Swedish academic and Gapminder founder,  said though that we really can't understand war.  His explanation of the tragedy of Syria was riveting - basicall…

Things Sweden Does Right


In Sweden health - both mental and physical - is taken seriously.  Here are some perks that MNN (Mother Nature Network) highlights in the above link.  This one is my favorite -

1. New parents are awarded great perks: Taking time off to have a baby? No problem. Sweden offers one of most generous parental leave programs in the world. New parents are entitled to 480 days of parental leave; of those, 60 days are reserved for the new dad. Swedes have permission to pick blueberries in the woods as a right of public access. (Photo: Måns Fornander/ And second for me if of course:
5. Vacations are big business: The average Swede get five weeks of paid vacation and works only 1,644 hours each year. That compares to an average of 1,776 hours annually in the 34 countries (including the U.S.) that belong to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Yet even with all that paid time …

Stopping and shopping in Newport, RI

Hi!  As my post on shopping in Stockholm was so popular I thought I'd do another on shopping in one of my favorite New England coastal town, Newport RI.

Newport is the great mix of tourists and locals; everyone from sailors to heiresses to hairdressers; all intending to have a good time, with lots of beautiful service personnel and retail staff ready to help them do just that.  To say that there's a lot of stores is an understatement.  I took it as my personal mission to walk all of Thames, the main shopping street, and even I had to turn around after steeling myself with an iced latte to help me on the way back.

So much to choose from, and to be honest, lots of tchotchkes and t-shirts.  But never fear, I am here to help with my minimalist list of fun places to hit up for interesting Newport items!

1. Scrimshanders: 14 Bowen's Wharf, 401-849-5680, scrimshanders
Just like you wouldn't leave Venice without looking at the Venetian glass nor should you leave the Newport…

Heja Sverige! Some Swedish big shots 2015

Swede of the year - Max Martin - awarded by SVIV (Swedes Worldwide) This music producer, and songwriter garnered Swede of the Year at a ceremony at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm this August.  Max Martin whose real name is Martin Sandberg has created music thats topped world charts for more than 20 years, and this year marks his 21st first-place hit on the US Billboard Charts.  Have you heard of Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Jessie J, Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry?  Yeah he's written songs for them, and more.  Check it out here.

SWEA Woman of the year - Petra Wadström - 2015 Petra Wadström from Stockholm created "Solvatten" which gives developing countries access to clean water by warming and purifying polluted water using the help of the sun's ultraviolet rays.  It's cheap, easy to use and is designed for women to use on their own.  The jury said "Petra Wadström's outstanding creativity and philanthropic ingenuity makes her a shining example of a Swedish inte…

New Scandinavian Cooking

Wow, not sure why I didn't know about this show other than I'm not much of a gourmand, and hardly ever watch PBS.  I feel so outted!  I hope that you will forgive me if I pass on the news (like 11 series into the making) of "New Scandinavian Cooking".  I am excited to watch this ASAP so please forgive me if I keep it brief.  :)  Salivating here... The PBS listing for our neck of the woods is as follows below (on WGBH Create) but if you live somewhere else in the States just use this link to figure out your show times.  Honestly I didn't even know about WGBH Create but here's how to get there too using your cable provider -  WGBH Create: Comcast 237, RCN 95, FiOS 874, Charter 115; digital 44.3
This should lead you to the Vimeo trailer for season 11:
Here's what they say:
In this season of New Scandinavian Cooking, hosts Andreas Viestad and Tina Nordström take viewers on a journey through Northern Europe, where they create tantali…

Hire the Swede!

Looking for a good worker?  The Swedes have a good reputation for being punctual, innovative, cooperative, hard working and good listeners.  I found that someone had taken the attributes of a Swedish employee and made a fun webflow with all these reasons and more to hire her!
Susanne Axelsson did a great job!  I have no idea how it's done, but as you can tell my techy side just isn't at that level.  But check her site out,, and her CV too, and maybe you will want to "hire the Swede"! And by the way, this Swede is looking for work too.  Any ideas?  Something that you'd like to see more of on the blog?  I am open to ideas, and would greatly your appreciate comments.  Tack!

Migrants or refugees

The refugee crisis is on everyone's mind in Europe.  The war in Syria has resulted in increasing numbers of people fleeing the country for refuge elsewhere.  If you are confused about what to call them, use the word refugee.  As Queen Rania of Jordania clearly states:
"A migrant is somebody who chooses to go to another country, they want a better job, education, or to unite their family," she said. "They can choose to go back to their own country and have protection from their government, whereas refugees are literally running for their lives."
To date Germany has taken in the most refugees registering over 450,000 this year alone.  Austria closed the train line to Hungary because there were so many refugees on the rail that there was massive congestion.  The islands of Greece have been overwhelmed, as well as Italy.  It is those countries closest to the crisis that have been most taxed but as the refugees struggle through those countries northward other lands …

A life is a terrible thing to waste

This says "A house that's too clean is a sign of a wasted life." That's true don't ya' think? ;-)  Happy belated Labor Day everyone!  All I did was lie on the beach, swim and eat leftover pizza.  What about you?

fashion week in Stockholm 2015

Everyone is buzzing about Björn Borg doing the moon walk...

Ok, maybe not figuratively but his models did at Stockholm's latest fashion week on his Mars runway!  (Check it out

Borg's clothes seem very sporty and simple.  That's often the case in Swedish fashion design - clean lines, sophisticated and lots of black and white is standard.  At Filippa K for example, the bucket bag made the biggest statement while the clothes were beautiful foils for the bag, and extremely wearable. Nothing too fashiony but minimalism at its best.  Here's what they say from the field about the fashion week in Stockholm.

Although there are exceptions to the rule, for example see Jumperfabriken for example, which I fell in love with during our last trip to Sweden, and BACK.
Fun stuff, check it out  "And fellow artists, worry about how you feel at the time".  Be confident like Kanye. ;-) Check it out kanye-west…