• Swedish of course!
  • December 26, 2013


    Happy Holidays!

    Christmas shopping barefoot among palm trees I kind of forgot it was Christmas.

    First year in California is disorienting because you keep thinking is still August.  But after a long flight to Sweden Christmas arrived after all. Although we’re missing out on snow here, it’s still very much Santa’s territory…

    If you are up for the most delicious Swedish Christmas drink I’ve added links on the bottom of this post to two things really worth trying this holiday season. GLOGG and SAFFRON ROLLS!

    A green Christmas around here.

    But plenty white inside.

    Santa is getting ready in the laundry room. Same routine every year.

    Fake tree to save some trees….

    And on a cold wintry night…

    …you must try some—-GLOGG

    It’s a mulled wine drink that all Swedes drink during the holidays. Check out the recipe on link above.

    (If you want to spice things up you can also pour vodka in it). It will certainly help you warm up during the coldest days.


    Saffron rolls are perfect with Glogg. Check Ewa from Delish recipe in link above.


    All images are from INSTAGRAM@JILLSORENSEN – join me there!

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  • September 16, 2013


    One lucky winner gets to have her home custom painted by Michelle!!!   The winning number is….

    Congratulations comment number # 15!!

    And for all of you who didn’t win, this might feel like winning, at least it does for me…

    You might be familiar with the amazing Josef Frank fabrics from Sweden. They are quite the obsession over here, but the price tag at $ 250 per yard stops most of us from purchasing it. My brother shared an article about the possible legal argument involving some old copyright laws going on back home. An English company is printing the famed fabrics for 1/4 of the price -www.textilis.com.

    I’m definitely going to want some Josef Frank fabrics in our new home!

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  • May 1, 2013


    Every year I say I will be in Sweden the last day of April for one of my favorite traditions – Valborgsmassoafton.  Yet every year comes around and with Luke  in school flying back home is not an option.   The last night of April Swedes gather around giant bonfires and sing songs to welcome spring. My mother is in love with this night and catches a few celebrations just so thrilled that the deep, dark winter now has an end in sight. I remember these nights vividly when I was a kid. Riding my bike for the first time of the year in the chilly spring air in awe of the giant fires.  It’s easy to forget living in Virginia with summer temperatures that back home some people are still skiing! Valborgsmassoafton gets everyone’s spirits up knowing warmer temperatures and lighter nights are coming.

    If you want to read more about the tradition you can do it here.

    All images various Swedish blogs and sources.

    All kinds of places have big bonfire celebrations. It was originally done on Easter to scare away witches, but since the 19th century it’s on the last day of April (and have nothing to do with witches! )

    As you can see people are not standing around in shorts!! It’s still cold over there!

    Some places still have snow on the ground.

    It’s a magical evening of toasting and singing in the dark night.

    Often mens choirs sing songs about how the winter is disappearing and how spring is rapidly coming.

    No Swede really remembers or knows that Walburgis was a saint (I think!) all they can think of is that soon they can wear shorts! And what better way to get rid of garden trash than a big fire in the yard?

    Valborgs celebration at a Swedish Ski resort.

    Living in a country covered with snow for several months, the sight of the first spring flowers make people seriously giddy. It makes them feel alive again. And as my mother said this morning on the phone, it gives her tons of ideas of things she wants to do!

    “Vitsippor” the first spring flower.

    Appreciation for nature lives deep in the Swedish soul. I don’t think you’ll find a country where they talk more about the weather!

    To all my friends back home, summer is coming, soon you can bike without mittens! Promise!

    NEXT VALBORG I will be home….seriously what’s better more homework, or an unforgettable memory?

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  • January 8, 2013


    Do you think you can buy a house for the price of dinner?

    No, you’re wrong – you can!  (Assuming you said no)

    You might remember some articles I’ve posted about my brother Peter in Sweden. He is becoming quite the name back home as his passion to rescue beautiful old buildings and villages is getting a big following.  (You can check out a previous post here on what crimes modern society commits.)

    Well, he might be up to the biggest task yet…When the old station house in Molkom  (20 minutes from my house back home) was going to be torn down, he stepped in, and this time in a very personal way.

    He bought it.

    This beautiful old bud building that once was a working elegant train station has seen years of wear and tear and neglect. It’s been everything from a pizzeria, to school rooms, to office building, but the decision finally came to tear it down. It was said it had bad water damage, and all kinds of problems and was no longer worth keeping.

    Much to the dismay of people in town.

    Many of the old homes just don’t fit in to modern way of life.

    This is how it looks today. Yes, in need of a serious makeover!

    So my brother stepped in and convinced the city not to tear it down instead to sell it to him, and yes they thought it was trash, so he got this whole house for the the price of a really good dinner.

    Yes, it’s true.

    When we were home for Christmas he was on the cover of all the local papers.

    People love when someone rescues old houses and turn them back to their old beauty.

    Thank You Peter for inspiring us all!

    The plan was that a local TV station back home was making a series of the revival of this house for television, and that local artisans would get involved. But as luck had it the TV station folded.  So now we’re looking for Plan B. The plan is to turn the house back in to it’s original state and make the inside an “office hotel”.

    Office space for entrepreneurs.

    We all went out on a cold (of course) but sunny day, to visit.

    Inside the ugly exterior the old wood work still exists.

    Can’t wait to follow this renovation! It has to get to warmer temperatures before any of this can begin.

    This is where people stood to wait for the train over a hundred years ago. Looking a lot fancier than us!

    The train still passes here four times a day.

    The inside has left overs from the various lives of the house. This room was an educational facility.

    Unfortunately all the old interior details from train station life have been removed.

    Left overs from a pizzeria.

    These are the old windows with moss in between the glass. This is something they did to make the windows less drafty in cold temperatures.

    We went across the street to a little cafeteria and saw this in the window….


    I’m so happy my brother took the risk to take this on. Clearly it’s a beloved building in this little town.

    How can we just tear down our history?

    What are we leaving our future generations?

    I’m so excited to do what I can to help Peter complete this.

    Who knows…perhaps this is the perfect project for “This Old House”?

    Do you have any great ideas? A contracting company? A TV station?  Feel like being adventurous?

    Seriously CALL ME.

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