Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I have mentioned a few times on my facebook something called "fredagsmys". This is basically the Swedish version of TGIF. I looooove fredagsmys. It's when you make a good dinner, sit in front of the TV and watch good Friday night TV such as "Så ska det låta", "Talang" "Skavlan" and some sort of movie ususally at 10pm. The first is a singing show. They get famous people to come compete with a "piano man" and they have different categories, such as the intro to a song, and the first team to identify it has to sing the song. It's a lot of fun! Talang is the Swedish version if America's got talent and it usually makes me mad because they say no to a lot of really talented people! Skavlan is a talk show with a Norweigien man, Fredrik Skavlan, who is doing a Swedish talk show. I love this because the people he usually has an American or English speaking guest and the guests all stay so they can all talk and there is always a singing performance. He surprisingly has a lot of really famous Americans on his show!

So fredagsmys is defnitely something I hope we do our whole lives. It's nice to wind down on a Friday night and spend some "cuddle" time together. Usually our fredagsmys involves some sort of alcholic beverage of choice. The other night, as you can see, it was New Castle. :)
The Swedish thing of the day is Swedish breakfast. As I was grocery shopping today, I was thinking about what Fredrik and I needed for breakfast the next few mornings and it hit me how my grocery list has changed. I was thinking about eggs for boiled eggs, caviar and cheese! What's wrong with me!

This is so typical. Coffee, of course, a soft boiled egg, bread, some sort of veggie, the cheese is missing and so is the butter, but if you eat caviar and egg, you don't need those. How appetizing does this look? ;) The tube is the Kalles caviar, which Fredrik LOVES and is definitely going to miss when we move back. Poor guy, he'll just have to eat hash browns, scrambled eggs, pancakes and fruit! :)

The Swedish word of the day is "frukost" which means "breakfast".

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Bird Section at the Zoo

I live in the bird section at the zoo. I go to bed hearing HUNDREDS no...THOUSANDS of birds. At first, when the snow was melting I was grateful to hear the chirps of birds. It means spring. Now I just want them to shut up! They chirp untill 10pm, when it gets dark. They start chirping at 5am, when it gets light! I've really never heard so many birds in my life chirping at once. I think of the movie "Birds". And not only is it birds chirping, it's owl's hooting, woodpeckers pecking and bumble bee's constantly buzzing around my head! (I know bumble bee's aren't birds, but they are big enough to me to be considered a bird!) Either way, I'm still grateful it's spring and I love sitting outside with the sun on my face. But once the bee's start really buzzing around I go in! Fredrik thinks it's ridiculous, but I am terrified of bumble bee's! I even kicked on the other day and of course, ran away like a little girl.

Aside from the birds and bee's there is other amazing wildlife going on here. We have 3 deers that live right behind my house in the forest. They are always walking around eating and stuff. There is something growing here called "vitsippor" which is White Cyprus. It grows everywhere. It's gorgeous. Along with "påsklilja" which is Easter lillies and of course, Crocus is growing everywhere. It's really amazing the amount of things that grow out of the forest ground.

This volcano situation, I think, is starting to get under control. Our local airport, Landvetter, was closed and is now open, I think. They close and open every other day due to the Icelandic volcano that won't stop erupting and is apparently going to erupt for 2 years of something like that. It doesn't really affect me, other than if there is an emergency, it might be a problem for me to get home or somebody to come here. So drive safe and use all other safety precotions!

This weekend, I have another 3 day weekend, like last week. It's SO nice to have 3 day weekends. I'm still putting in my 25 hours a week though. So hmm, without those 3 day weekends I'd be working overtime! It was a huge change going from 45-50 hours a week to 25. I don't mind it, but it will be nice to go back to a regular work schedule.

Sorry for this boring blog just about everyday life. I have been a bit uninspired to write about "Swedish" things, mostly because I've been here for 9 months and the newness has definitely worn off. Plus, there isn't much going on here. Once summer rolls around I'll have a ton to write about. The weirdo sun never going down, Midsummer and other great Swedish summer things. Leaving here July 27th, will be very hard. Especially going from the beautiful Swedish summer to the awful Kansas summer. But I will definitely be more than ready to be home!

The Swedish thing(s) of the day is my shoe rack and recycling containers.

I know this seems dumb, but in Sweden it's a big deal. Everybody has a shoe rack just like this one. Not everybody has one all to themselves, like me, but none the less, you must have one. Also, everybody MUST recycle. It's the law! Some houses are much more organized about it. Some are not. But, you must do it. The green is compost, the grey is non recycle items, and the red is recycle items such as metal, large plastic, newspaper, cardboard and glass. I really enjoy recycling and in the long run, it's not much more work than taking a huge, full trash bag out everyday! Plus, it's kind of fun to throw all the stuff in the right bin at the recycling station, except glass, it's really loud and breaks when you throw it in. ;) And yes, that's a pizza box sitting next to the red can. My cans are a little bit smaller than the average household. ;)

The Swedish word of the day is "recycle" which is "återvinna" and is pronounced "ohatervinna". In Swedish, if there are 2 of the same letter next to each other, you say it a little bit faster. It's like you emphasize the "i" and say the "nna" much faster. I really like the way it sounds, especially when Fredrik does it. It's one of the things that makes Swedish sound kind of sing songy. :)

Happy Earth Day från Sverige! :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010


After reading another person's blog, it made me realize, although I love Sweden. I am certainly proud to be an American and say I am from America. American's are criticized and shown in such a way that doesn't give the rest of the world a proper view as an entire country.

As somebody who has lived in another country for some time now, I can see why they have the view they do. They are seeing shows like "The Jersey Shore", "The Biggest Loser" and other shows containing "smut" that depeict American's as greedy, fat, selfish, idiots. And really, these shows have an affect. Many people think this is exactly what America is like. AND many of the people who truly believe this, have never stepped foot on American soil. It's not fair to judge if you have never experienced.

These are also the same people who love OUR television shows. "CSI" "Desperate Housewives" "Gossip Girl" "Grey's Anatomy", etc. and including many of our movies. America really gets an unfair deal. We provide lots of countries with a lot of things, but only get the back hand when it comes to an overall view. And by no means, do I think America is the perfect country or place to live, but it's a really great country and a really great place to live.

So, as most of my readers are American, I am sure you can see my side. Again, I want to reiterate, I love Sweden, I have learned so much here and I have a fair view of both countries. Yet, I am still not judging. It's about understanding and embracing the differences all of us have as individuals, people from different towns, and countries.

On a lighter note, the weather is beautiful! And last night Fredrik and I started a fire, grilled hot dogs, talked, laughed and enjoying the crackling fire. Perfect night.

The Swedish thing of the day is Swedish pancakes. They are thin and as big as your plate. The Swedish Chef is soooo good at flipping them in the pan, I love watching him make pancakes. They don't stack them up like we do. One at a time, with some sugar and jam and then rolled up. Yes, they eat them with a knife and fork! And of course, there are other variations, such as with fruit, whipped cream and me, I enjoy syrup on mine! :)

And see, not everything in the US is bigger. :)

The Swedish word of the day is "svensk pannkaka" which is "Swedish pancake" Yum!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Malmö och Köpenhamn

We started the day at 7:30, packing, coffee making, showering. We left Göteborg at 9am with Maria and Pontus. It's a 3 hour drive to Malmö, which is a very southern city, and the 3rd largest city in Sweden, following Göteborg. It's where Pontus is from.

Luckily I didn't drink too much coffee and we only stopped once! Go me! I'm usually the jerk who wants/needs to stop every hour or so. We made our way into the city, stopped to do some grocery shopping then headed to Pontus's mothers house. Nice, quant house outside the city limits. We ate lunch and then proceeded to the Turning Torso. This building was built in 2005. This building is awesome. Really, it is.
We walked around the pier, gazing at the beautiful architecture, the ocean and the beach. There is also a huge bridge that connects Sweden to Denmark, and that bridge is massive.

Then we went to the very very very southern tip of Sweden, which was kind of a cool feeling. It was cold, windy, but beautifuly sunny. So we got out, took a picture and got back in the car!

We went home, I made my famous chicken enchiladas and we called it a pretty early night.

The next morning we got up bright and early, ate breakfast, got dressed then hopped on the 8:30 bus into the central of Malmö. We had 3 minutes to kill so we walked around and ate awesome delicious cinnamon rolls. Got on a bus at 9:30 and headed to Copenhagen!

What a cool city. It was a perfect day (a little windy). Unfortunately we walked a very long way to see the "little mermaid" which is one of Copenhagens most famous attractions, well, she's gone. She is in China at an expo! UGH! So we took a picture of the sign. We walked around Nyhavn, which is the fishing harbour, ate some lunch, had some beer, went shopping, had more beer and went home. It was really a perfect day and a vacation I can call a honeymoon!


We traveled home the next morning and celebrated Easter with some delicious homemade Thai food and some movies. I really love spending time with Maria, my sister in law, and her fiance. I'm really lucky to have such great in-laws!

Lately, I have been enjoying time with my hubby. He's really wonderful and there is something so comforting knowing you are loved in such an unconditional way. We had been enjoying BEAUTIFUL Swedish weather. The snow is ALL GONE! And we have temperatures in the high 50's. It's been gorgeous and I even have a little sunburn on my face. Oops!

The Swedish thing of the day is a movie theater, which in Swedish is "bio". This theater, "biopalatset" is translated to "the movie palace". Wooo, makes you wanna see a movie, huh? We went and saw "Flickan från ovan" or "The Lovely Bones" this weekend. What a great movie. I read the book and really loved it and the movie was really good too.

The Swedish word of the day is "promenad" which means "walk". Fredrik and I went on a 2 hour walk the other night to the big bridge I wrote about earlier. We brought the camera and got some beautiful shots of the ocean!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Story of a Swedish Chef

There is a food here and it's magical, and I don't know why we don't have it in America. Sugar Cake. It's a very fluffy, sweet, yellow cake, with the main ingredient being sugar.

The first time I ever had sugar cake was about a year ago. Fredrik was visiting me in Kansas and he said one day 'I want to make you a sugar cake'. Uhm, ok, I love to eat and I love to bake and I've never heard of this. Ok, what do you need to make it? Sugar, eggs, milk, butter, flour, kardemumma and vanilla powder. ????

So we go to Hy-Vee and we look around and find Cardamom. Yea, never used that. But still no vanilla powder, can you use vanilla extract? It's liquid, I dont'w know, we don't know! Let's just try it and see.

Come home, watch TV, Swedish Chef doesn't want me in the kitchen. The Swedish Chef works alone. So it's a lot of noise, a lot of 'shit's' and 'hmm's'. I just ignore it. Finally a really, really, really wonderful smell comes from the kitchen. How long is that going to take? Don't ask questions! Continue watching TV. Finally, Swedish Chef swaggers out of the kitchen with a paper towel and says 'taste this'. Put a piece of the sweetest, warmest, softest, most delicious cake I've ever tasted in my life. The wonderful smell of Kardemumma and the fluffiness of the cake, wow. Swedish Chef, will you marry me?

I don't know if it was the magic of the first time I'd ever tasted Sugar Cake, or the newness of the Swedish Chef in my house, but man, that Sugar Cake beats all that I have ever eaten since then. Don't get me wrong, this cake is delicious, and I always love it. But Sugar Cake number 1 was a deal breaker. Swedish Chef was here to stay, if I had anything to say about it.

Now Swedish Chef is my husband, and I still sometimes call him my 'boyfriend' or 'fiance'. When do you get used to calling your husband, your husband?

The Swedish thing of the day is Sugar Cake.
This looks quite similar to how Fredrik and his mother make it, they make it in a larger flatter pan, and they dust it was sugar on the top. Delish!

The Swedish word of the day is 'sockerkaka' which is 'sugar cake' and is pronounced as it looks. But with a weird kind of 'u' sounding 'o'.

PS: pictures of the Malmö och Köpenhamn 'Copenhagen' trip coming soon!