Showing posts from October, 2015

Happy National Chocolate Day!

I knew it, chocolate really is good for you!  (Read more in article below from Nordstjernan, 10/28/15) Rejoice and spread the good news!  Now how about one of these lovely goodies to go along with your fika?  ;) It's kladdkaka, which basically means messy cake and it's oh so good.  Try the recipe Swedish here, and let me know what you think.  Happy National Chocolate Day!

Swedish researchers find the good in chocolate. A 2010 study from Linköping University in Sweden found that cocoa may reduce blood pressure by inhibiting the ACE enzyme, which regulates fluid balance and blood pressure in the body. Rejoice chocolate lovers, you can have that extra piece – but make sure it’s of the dark kind. A new study from Sweden has found that dark chocolate could control one’s high blood pressure levels and thus keep one's heart in good shape.
Dark chocolate is already known to contain high levels of antioxidants, which are thought to be beneficial to health. Now, a team from Sweden …

Trollhattan horror

On Friday, October 23rd a man in his 20's attacked teachers and students at a school with a sword in Trollhättan, Sweden.  Two people are dead from the violent attack and two others are in intensive care. The attacks were racially motivated.  The young man, Anton Lundin Petersson, was a 21-year old Hitler admirer and he left a suicide note describing his plan as explained in The Local here. This type of violence is unusual in Sweden and especially terrifying in a country that accepts more refugees per capita than any other EU country.  The attacker, who later was shot by police, luridly posed for a picture before committing the assault at the primary and middle-school.    More here on this tragic event -  I am crying for Sweden. :(

Crafting extravaganza

Ok peeps, got my creative mojo back and this week it's all about burlap!  I made a runner with my daughter's class at school to be auctioned off later and it came out great.  They stenciled on it using my stencils and wrote what they are thankful for on it with sharpies.

This was more about the organizational aspect than art to me, I had to figure out how to accommodate 23 kids and keep them busy and productive for an hour while I helped 4 kids with the runner.  What we came up with is making place mats - basically they drew Thanksgiving scenes on yellow paper which will be laminated. In my back pocket I had a third project for those that finished early - paper towel napkin rings which they painted.  Phew!  It was a busy day but fun.

Now I'm waiting for my new crafting group to come over to "Huset Lagom" for some fun making more runners and drinking hot cider.  I really hope that they like the project too.  At least I have a lot of experience now with the proce…

Creativity to the MAX!

I feel shy and slightly ashamed in front of you dear blog reader because I have failed at my goal.  I resolved to make something every day and although I have dabbled in making things most days I did take Sunday off, and I will admit, it was glorious.  I have too many things going on right now.  The big lesson for me is if you want to be creative you have to make space for it -- mentally, physically and time-wise.  I haven't done so.  My time is filled with projects and work and kids and house.  Everything is piling up.  Not feeling exceptionally "lagom" (balanced) right now, but I am excited because all the things that I am involved with are positive and fun. 
My job right now is substitute teaching and this week I have been at a vibrant Reggio-Emilia inspired preschool where the young naturalists were busy at work and play.  My home projects include starting a crafting group for friends which launches this weekend!!  I am very excited to share my house and love of mak…

Day 5 - A Cute Birdfeeder!

For those of you new to "Living la vida lagom" (which means basically living a balanced life) I am trying to make something every day for a year.  It's been a challenge trying to fit this resolution (read more here) into an already overloaded life while trying to stay sane and balanced, but so far I have managed.  Do not be surprised though if many of my "creations" are actually just quick ways to up-cycle what I've already got, or something I already needed to do.  I am learning though that by putting "Making Something" top of mind is forcing me to ask - Could I make that instead of buy that?  Could I use what I already have?  and What do I want to make today?  I consider that progress.

Inspired by some adorable bird feeders I saw recently at "The Vintage Bazaar" I asked myself those questions today and came up with this - a cute bird feeder on a broomstick.
 The original idea looked like this:
Yes they are super cute but with a propri…

Day 4 - Connections and Brownies!

Today I went to a "Boost Your Business Boston" seminar given by Facebook where I mingled with people who actually do run businesses, drank coffee and got great swag.  Oh, and listened to informational seminars.  But seriously, check out these cute hats Mail Chimp was giving away!  I gave one to each of the kids and a pad to HH - I felt very grand and generous spreading the wealth among the hoi polloi at home. The speakers included co-founder of Little Passports, owner of Hopsters, the media manager of Museum of Science and Repat Quilt founder.  It was held at the Cyclorama in Boston and I learned a lot about Facebook and Instagram.

Soooo, what did I actually make today beside connections (and my kids happy when I gave them their new hats) you ask?  Well dear reader I have to say I snuck under the wire on this one with some quick brownies that my dear daughter and I made before bed.  So there, I did make something today (barely) so day 4 was a success.  And now I need to go to…

Day 3 - homemade cards!

Hi again, the resolution of making something every day for 365 is is well underway but it is a hard thing to fit it in.  I love doing it but so many things get in the way (like cooking, meeting people, working - ya' know somewhat important stuff.)  Ha, ha!

I am happy to say that on day 3 that I am still on track with my resolution!  I made cards - two weddings, two thank-you's, one rock star birthday -- it all adds up big bucks at the card store so I whipped 'em up using scrapbook supplies. I tried to be creative. That's day three for you!  Tomorrow I may have to get the minions to help me stay motivated. :-)

The Christening of Prince Nicolas

The Swedes are just cracking me up on Facebook now as they analyze this photo to the max.  Turns out that the two hat ladies to the right are Chris O'Neil's relatives.  Victoria (in the purple) is of course Princess Madeleine of Sweden's sister and next in line to the Swedish throne, and next to her is little brother Carl Philip.  His new wife Sofia is not in this picture but you can see her here and here.
I guess there's a whole website devoted to hats and her "fascinator" got the thumbs down.  Even Princess Madeleine, the new mother, got skewered in the Facebook thread but I think she looks beautiful.  Someone said her eyes seemed to be looking this way and that (Som utklippta, påklistrade, upp- och nedvända) and others said that she looked stiff.  What do you think?  I think she's really a very pretty princess.

Day Two of Making Things - A Video!

Today I made a video out of pictures.  I know for some of you that's the easiest thing in the world but I am a Luddite. Ironic really considering that I blog (but for those of you who've actually scrolled down my posts and noticed the random missing photos I imagine it doesn't come much as a surprise).

So yes, I made a movie and I am going to share it with my daughter's fifth grade class.  I would share it with you but I will let her see it first.  It's about Vikings and there are scads of cute pictures of the kids playing Vikings, visiting a Viking village and just plain being cute.  Did I say mention they were cute?  ;-) Hopefully she'll let me share my first "movie" (it'a real nail biter, ha, ha!) or at least not be too embarrassed when I show it to her class.

So day two of my resolution to make something for 365 days, I tried something new and it worked out.  I learned a couple of things too -
don't get distracted, stick to the planhave a …

Day One of Making Things Resolution = A Garden!

Today I made a garden.  OK, not just in one day, but I did finish it!  And what a lot of work it was!  I mean crazy amounts of moving dirt, digging out rocks, cutting and removing roots, putting in good dirt, and picking out plants.
Basically it took a couple of weeks to get it all done.  First I decided that our front yard was an eye sore because the grass wasn't growing.  We had ripped down the vines growing on our retaining wall when cracks were discovered in it, leaving us with an ugly*** wall and an ugly*** lawn.  I told handsome hubby that he could tinker with the lawn in the back yard to his heart's desire but that I was going to grow a flower bed in the front of the house.
I wanted to look out of the kitchen window and see something pretty, not realizing that the dirt in the front was the worst concoction of sand, clay, rocks and roots ever seen.  Ugh!  Determined though I persevered ferrying buckets of bad dirt to the dump, dumping them in one area, and then fillin…

artist home


Hej!  What do you think it takes to be creative?  A space in which to create was always my go-to excuse.  But now I have one.  Then it became time in which to create.  But now I have it.  So.... what's next?  Do I really need a beautiful flat in a converted factory, or a grant to study art in Southern France or what!!  Obviously I just need to get going.
To that end I am going to challenge myself, a la Gretchen Rubin in "The Happiness Project" to make something every day for 365 days!  A half-hour sketch, a painting, knitting, or making a garland - it all counts.  I need to do this!!  I can do it.  I just need to get started, but it doesn't mean I can't dream of this sweet little loft ;-

The 17 funniest expressions in Swedish (and how to use them)

Maybe I need this:
Hejsan allihopa!  Thinking of Swedish friends and family today and I realize that my Swedish is getting a little rusty when I have to ask myself "is this really how you say that?" as I write them a little note or message.  But then again who wouldn't be confused!  When you check out these expressions you'll see what I mean. ;-) Also on my mind a possible shift blog content as I try to incorporate my day-to-day reality with my lagom (balanced) life.  Sorry if that sounds a little cryptic but I am figuring things out and I promise you that Sweden is still in my heart and that I will always be a proud Swedish-American!  (If not always the best at actually speaking Swedish)  Here's a laugh to brighten up your Tuesday and have a happy day! The 17 funniest expressions in Swedish (and how to use them)

Twist your buns

Here's a good looking recipe for the Swedish National Treasure, kanelbullar c/o Swedish Dreamish.  Thank you Anna for letting me share your recipe.  And check out how cool she twisted the buns.  OK, don't get your buns in a twist - it's not that hard! ;-)  And if it comes out wrong they still taste oh so good.  Yummy with a nice cup of coffee.  Enjoy!

Soft, fluffy, doughy - a delicious treat! INGREDIENTS
1 package dried yeast (2 ¼ teaspoon)
5 3/4 - 6 1/4 cups flour (14-15 dl)
1/2 tsp salt
150 g butter (softened)
2 cups and 4 tsp milk (5 dl)
1/2 cup Swedish syrup (1 dl)* Blend dried yeast with flour (save a little for later when kneading the dough).
Melt butter in a pan, add milk and warm it to 104F (40 C), use a thermometer to get exactly right temperature.
Mix together flour, salt and syrup and add to the warm liquid.
Blend well, either by hand or by using a food processor to a shiny and smooth dough that doesn’t stick to the bowl, approximately 5 minutes…