Olive That and more...

In our town we have a little pearl which I tend to visit when hunting for small gifts for housewarming parties, teachers, hosts or simply for my self.
It is a store filled with olive oils, vinegars, different salts and a very friendly treatment.
There are olive oils and vinegars for every taste and need.
You get a little sample, taste it carefully and have to choose very wisely otherwise you end up buying everything :)
I do not do wine tasting but i will be the first one signing up for a oil and vinegar tasting...
Not to mention all different salts.
I know it is not healthy with salt but to me it makes wonder to the food and is a very important ingredient in my cooking.
And i had no idea there were so many out there which all taste different.
I am also a fan of all these wooden bowls and trays because they add so much warmth to the kitchen and they are really beautiful to look at.
Beauty and function in symbiosis!
Me like!!!
Vinegar wise you will find chocolate flavour, blueberry, fig, espresso, cinnamon pear and many many more.
A vineagar heaven so to speak!
The way they display it in the store gives lots of ideas of combinations, suggestions and future puchases.
So do not be surprised if you suddenly end up with a gift from Olive That and more.
( that sounded like a commercial...)

New Hope...

The dark aura i was surrounded by in my last post is gone!
Melted away by the sun...
Softed by love and chased into a dark corner in my heart.
We took a trip down to the area around Princeton to visit beautiful friends and for some of us to play some golf. No need for names...
So while the men were visiting a golfcourse the rest of us visited Lambertville and New Hope ( love that name}.
Two villages on each side of the Delaware river, one in New Jersey and the other one on the Pennsylvania side, with a lot of history to share.
The day was glorious and added some extra beauty to the environment.
Unfortunately it was hard to capture the athmosphere in the villages one more bohemic than the other so the amount of pictures are low.
The villages were connected by a bridge which offered stunning views...
And when we reached the other side and one of the first thing that caught my eyes were this happy door i immediately felt that this was my kind of "hood".
Instead of keeping a trimmed tree natural they had made it fun and decorative and very kidsfriendly by judging of Bella's giggling:)
I felt I was more geographically south than i was and really enjoyed the buldings and the surroundings and later i read that New Hope was chosen as one of the best places in the northeast of the USA to buy a summer vacation home.
I guess I was not the only one with the same positive feeling then...
My youngest daughter did not really pay any attention to the buildings ( could not care less) but loooved all the flowers that edged our way and enhanced the vibrant athmosphere.
An almost hidden bench that probably had a lot to tell if it could talk...
Yes a very pleasant visit and a place i would love to come back to just to get to know it better...
We did not have time to explore Princeton but had a lunch there before heading back.
To see old-new friends again and get to know them better made my heart warm and to explore more of what our beautiful world have to offer added some extra value to my saturday experience.
I could not have asked for a better weekend:)

Finally friday

Some days it feels difficult to live abroad!
Some days it feels difficult to be a foreigner.
Some days it feels difficult to speak another language!
Some days it feels difficult to be a mom.
Some days it feels difficult to be a wife.
Some days it feels difficult to be me.
Some days it feels difficult to get older.
Some days it feels difficult to wake up in the morning.
Some days it feels difficult to get on that crosstrainer.
Some days are clody.
Some days are dark.
Some days are cold.
I am so glad it is Friday!

Flower power


Bunny fun

Since I am a collector i find all sorts of things in my cabinets or drawers!
That comes very handy when Bella is having a playdate for example.
So today we found a kit for making rice crispy bunnies!
Perfect entertainment for two kindergardener!
Combines edible with creativity and fun. 
What could be better a wednesday afternoon!?
And it is so easy!
You just pour the rice crisps in a big bowl...
...melt the butter with marshmallows so it becomes a thick and sticky batter.
And then mixing everything together to a big sticky lump.
Then press it into a bunny mold, turn it upside down ( hoping it is sticky enough to hold together...) and
tadaaaa! Two bunnies ready to be decorated under gentle care:)
Two very focused and concentrated girls...
Well maybe not so focused the whole time.
All the decorations looked so yummie...
 But they left enough to make the bunnies how they wanted them to look.
They were also looking for inspiration in each others work so it is kind of difficult to notice any difference but that also meant they were equally proud, happy and both very satisfied with their creations.
I do not know if the happiness came of the fact that i had promised they could eat it afterwards though :)
If they could have swallowed the whole bunny in one bite i am sure it would have been even better but a boring mom put and end to that intention.
This was definately good enough.
Happy kids is happy mom!
A typical win-win situation an ordinary wednesday!

In love with fall

There is something special in the air when fall is knocking on your door!
I looove this feeling when the air becomes crisp and clean, you really need that poncho ( my favorite clothing) or thicker sweater to feeel comfortable, the use of white jeans has expired and you find yourself filling up your stock of candles.
I love when the sun is making loooong shadows, it's power is only strong enough to warm in direct sunlight and is eager to set in the evenings.
I llooove when the light outside has a magical glow...
...almost so you can expect a little goblin passing by in a swosch:)
I looove when even nature is slowing down in tempo, dressing up into a fall costume and is just accepting the fact that soon they can rest and reload their batteries for the coming spring .
I looove that there is absolutely nothing you can do about it so best thing is just to embrace , enjoy and make the  fact that darker times will follow, into something positive.
Falling in love with fall!
That is my way:)

Important monday!

Today was the day!
Today was the day when a lot of decisions had to me made.
Today was the day we had to finalise the drawings for the kitchen in order for the kitchenmaker to actually start making it.
Five people including me had to have a saying...
The architect, the bulding company, the kitchen company and the teamleader on site.
All of them had opinions, experience and knowledge that helped me in th right direction of creating an inspiring place for me to cook in...
Many hours later and many corrections later i think we nailed it!
This means they will start making the kitchen asap and that thought created small butterflies in my tummy and a big smile in my face :)
That would mean that further progress is to be expected...
And all this will eventually be sorted out, reorganized and covered underneath a nice wooden floor.
I am always trying to se the beauty in everything but i find it very difficult to spot anything that could spell beauty in these pictures...
So now I just have to find my patience again ( it somehow vanished without further notice) and start my waiting journey.
But as we say in sweden : the one who is waiting for something good never waits too long!
Silly expression though, i would like to change the word "never" to "always"...

Turtleback zoolicious

I never get tired of zoos!
Bella never get tired of zoos!
So best thing to do when the cravings hit us is to visit a zoo:)
We have this small zoo close to our town which we normally go to and evey time we are there we find something new to be amused of.
I find it so rewarding to go with Bella who thinks all this zoo business is close to magical.
With big open eyes she just take in every thing around her and she is so impressed by the whole thing we can not do anything but see things through her eyes.
"Look" she shouts and points and God forbid if you do not pay attention or is lacking enthusiasm...
Most of the animals were active this time and offered many opportunities for us to laugh, enjoy...
...and admire.
Everything from birds...
...to different cats...
...and all other kinds of creatures could be seen :)
They have made an effort to create lifelike environments and if that is not enough...
and just watching the animals is not enogh one could pretend to be one self...
And it is ALWAYS a good time to practice handstands:))
To see the sparkles in her eyes, her dancing through the park and the happy laughter that succeeds one after another transforms my heart into a warm soft jelly.
This little zoo always deliver and our Saturday turned into a heartwarming, fun and rewarding day.
Exactly how a Saturday should be!

Muffin tops

I have noticed something!
My appetite and my metabolism don't understand each other any more!
They clearly don't even speak the same language!
How is it possible to just one day wake up feeling you have to lift up your belly in order for you to close the button on your jeans?
I mean how can you feel surprised?
Like you wouldn't have seen any sign earlier?!
Who am I fooling?
People look different. 
People are tall, short, round, slim, big feet, short necks, some have  gigantic hearts, some have hearts made of stones, some have dark skin, some have freckles, blue eyes or green eyes or maybe just one eye. 
There is room for all of us on this planet. 
Earth itself is round!
But my little brain is right now in a very selfish mood and is  only focusing on my own muffin top. 
Its cursing it self for having neglected all signs and  the misunderstanding between food intake and muffin top outcome. 
I loooove muffins though!
Clearly my whole body loves muffins. 
But  I don't think muffin tops suits me. 
I don't feel good about having them kind of outside my tummy...
Not like this wonderful woman...( I so wish I could have that approach)
So Maybe my body is screaming for help and this is a way for it to get noticed. 
"Stop eating so much chocolate covered pretzels, sea salt caramels and bagels"!
"it is not good for you'!
Maybe it's time for me to start listening to that. 
 So now I'm declaring war!
I will try to help my appetite in understanding my metabolic language and I guess it will be a lot of fights before they can make peace...
Beach project 2015 has started and  it's tine to burn those muffins!
And now its also Friday so some kind of treat (maybe a  muffin 😜) I think I have earned just because of all that tension I felt starting a war!
See I'm hopeless!!!
happy Friday 

Ikea -again...

i do have to say that Ikea has a safe place in my heart!
Now they are releasing a new collection " Inverkan" (impact) in collaboration with craftsmen from Doi Tung development project in Thailand. 
Doi Tungs social mission is to recreate all the forests that have been destroyed in the production of opium and to improve health care and education in those areas affected by the illegal drug trafficking. 
The money from the sale of Inverkan goes to different projects around the world to support economical, environmental and social development. 
The collection consists of handmade ceramics and handwoven textiles in coordinated natural colours, white, purple and grey.
Beautiful things but unfortunately not available in all stores:(
Only a few in Sweden, Switzerland and Austria. 
Love the colour combination. 
Specially this time of the year when we need some warmth in our homes. 
Pictures from ikea!
Sometines I'm very proud of being Swedish!

Vase love

Today a little part of this world where I live is being washed!
Its pouring out there and I just love it!
I love the noise coming from the raindrops when it is hitting the windows and roof. 
I love the smell from the asphalt and from the garden. 
I also love my new vase that this rainy day will serve as a peace of sunshine!
Sometimes im a very material girl!
It is funny to realise how a "thing" can make me feel so happy...
I don't really know if it is the brass and glass combination that appeals to me ( I'm like a "Magpie" , loves everything that shines) or the fact that I can create my own personal flower decoration just by using the brass pattern and structure in the vase. 
 I was so eager to start using it so I did not wait until I bought new flowers but instead used the ones I already had at home. Therefor a little funny mix but I still think it looks beautiful!
Talk about recycling...
 The flowers just fall into place the way you want it and I think it will look gorgeous also with only white and greens. Possibilities seem endless...:)
 Pictures were taken yesterday when the sun was not hidden by the clouds. 
 So this vase with it's flowers is my replacement of the sun this rainy morning. 
I feel so lucky to have so many suns in my life!!!

High Line yeehuuu!

Yesterday the whole family decided to be wild and crazy and went in to Manhattan to walk the High Line. 
The High Line is an abandoned elevated railroad that's now redesigned and built as an airial greenway. 
It runs from the meat packing district through Chelsea and offers beautiful views, arts and lots of greens. 
It was the first time for me and I loved every moment!
I love that wherever you look you have a peace of art in front of you...
Weather it is buildings or...
...real art!
Like from a modern painting...
I love the mix and not-always-match thinking!
Here they create room for every taste and make it work just wonderfully and walking up here gives you another perspective on things even though it's not that high up. 
Along the way there are plenty of opportunities to sit and relax, have a drink or just enjoy  
Note my daughter trying to get in the picture:))
They have tried to plant the same greens that were overtaking the rails while not in use but have made it in a more organised way. 
You are walking through concrete and " jungles", dull colours and colour explosions. 
You are passing by well known landmarks ( although with some distance) but still present ...
Although the bees and other kinds of "mini monsters" in the bushes were more attractive to a teenage boy :)
When not restrained by a father...
Some people always wants to fly higher...
That does not go for my oldest though who had enough and just wanted to be on ground level for some food options:)
I think Olivia also was sharing his opinion...
While I was just in a enjoy -here -and -now face even admiring a building site with its construction work. 
There is definately beauty in most of the things around us. 
Only need to open our eyes. 
Walking the High Line is a good start to look at the world from a different view. 
Here at the meat packing district it starts...
A very finacially viable activity that includes fresh air ( manhattan air though) art, architecture and people watching in one go.
A Sunday in my taste!
Loved loved loved it. 

A normal sunday!

I can't remember where I got this picture from but I thought it is such a beautiful message. 
I so believe in the " law of attraction" and if we everyday are thinking positive thoughts im sure our minds will lighten up automatically and it will be more easy to find that smile that lays within us just waiting to be released!
So today I will be grateful for the sunshine, my family and all the love that threatens to overflow my heart. 
Today I will try to bring out the peace that apparently is to be find within my spirit ( oh I love that thought) but somehow sometimes is difficult to find. But the one who search is the one who will find....
Today I will also try to find that voice that will tell me all things are possible. . 
I will not only just find it!
I will force it to speak louder and actually shout at me:  All Things Are Possible!
So this normal Sunday will be the FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF MY LIFE  I will feel grateful, peaceful and hopeful!
Phew... That sounded kind of big...
But it is a choice!!!
happy Sunday!!!

At our road...

Long time no see!
Days are just passing in the speed of light and I have to remind myself to stop for a while and breath...
So I forced my self out for a little stroll down my street and I realise how much beaugy I am surrounded by. 
This is the wall that embraces our garden from the street and I just love the way it looks. 
Soft meets rough...
The house that hosted the garden party we attended the other day...
Most of the big houses are built in the beginning of the last century and will probably last another 200 more years. 
There is an air of safety and security around these buildings that appeals to me. 
A lot of trees and greens makes it inviting and friendly. 
Winding pathways and hidden buildings makes a perfect ground for your imagination:)
All the houses look huge but they ranges from gigantic mansions to small villas but they all come together in peace:)
Nothing is of modern style though. 
Traditional and old fashioned is the land mark in this area which makes a very harmonic impression. 
Bella and I were busy guessing what kind of people, what life and stories there are behind all those different walls. 
There were absolutely no limits in our imaginations...
Despite all the green walls that protects the houses we never felt intimidated. 
It was only a friendly reminder of where the property began...
You know how I have a thing for benches. 
I have the same thing for driveways!
Particularly the ones that kind of does not tell you what you will find at the end...
As taken from a "Home alone" movie:)
Bella found an imprint of a hand that trigged an idea of a magical hand that had created all these little kingdoms that form our road. 
And around Christmas our own castle will hopefully be ready...
At least they now are working to make that happen!!!

Magical photos

I came across these beautiful and magical photos of a one-handed girl taken by her mom Holly Spring
They have shown up here and there on different social medias  but I felt I also wanted to share...
The photographer wanted to show her daughter that if she just believes in herself there are no limits to what she can achieve. 
My heart goes warm every time I look at them and I am amazed of how much a picture can tell. 
This little girl seems to have so much life experience already by looking at her face and her eyes...eyes full of wonder and strength.
The world is really magical and these photos goes hand in hand with my belief!
( photos from hollyspringphotography.com via Bored panda)


I read that my very much anticipated release of Danish designer Malene Birger's first decor collection finally has taken place!!!
I feel so excited!!!
She is calling her style raw, intuitive and with artistic and direct contrasts. 
The essence of her own style. 
In the collection which is still pretty small she is combining her experience in fashion, design and global travelling with her respect for cultural influences and traditional crafts. 
Malene Birger's goal is to build bridges between art, design and interior. 
Birger1962 wants to bring traditional arts and crafts into the future. 
In the collection you will find tableware, lamps, furniture, decor and pillows and throws. 
But also rugs, scents, books and hand picked art. 
The decor collection is expressing her own eclectic approach to interior design, her influence from Arabian and African cultures but also her love for design and objects from the 70's. 
Craftmanship and modernity in harmony. 
Through Birger1962 doors will open and bring styling and ideas into your home. ( definately my home)
I must say that all these brown, black and white colours look so harmonic and inviting to me now after a colourful summer so I'm more than ever welcoming the fall and Birger1962 decor collection. 
A cup of tea, a dream and a piece from her collection and my season is safe:))
( pictures from her web page)

Neighbourhood get-together

Today everybody on the street was invited to one of our neighbour's for a "little" BBQ!
Apparently a yearly event but a first timer for us. 
A little hint of the house from the front yard ...
With their own little rose garden including a water fountain imported from France. 
So peaceful and so beautiful you just wanted to skip the party and bring your cup of tea and sit down on one of the benches just to relax, smell all the flowers and just be...
Exactly like Bella did...
But on the other hand we are glad we did not skip it:)
American people are good with parties like this as it is a part of their culture. 
As a foreigner it is a very positive experience and a good way to meet new people. 
And to eat good food 😜
A backyard big as a my hometown acted as the perfect setting for this festive afternoon. 
There was something for every age...
On every level...
For every taste...
And for every interest. 
I loved to explore their garden and every "room" in it. 
It was full of secret spots and places where you easily could find some peace. 
Just to sit on the steps and overlook the scenery was good enough. 
Despite the threatening fall the garden was in full bloom and spread some extra warmth to our hearts and minds. 
Some of us felt so warm they needed to cool down in the pool. 
Of course there are many ways of doing it...
And me I always have this thing for benches. 
Think of how many stories they must have listened to and so many friends it has carried. 
This afternoon this particular one was constantly filled with chatting girls, guarding parents who was watching their kids in the pool and now and then just a place to put handbags or towels on. 
After a BBQ in the garden at my neighbour's a Sunday afternoon I feel like a bench too. 
Full of impressions, stories and faces. 
And hopefully some new friends:))

iPhone fun!

Usually I find Bella's selfies in my phone but today it was big sister- with -friend time. 
These girls are just cracking me up!
So lookalike, thinkalike and doalike:)
Always up for fun things...
So when I handed over my phone to have Olivia answer a text while I was driving I think they considered that as an invite to use it further...
The photos are in order so it's easy to follow their minds.
Or not...:)
So far pretty ok but maybe a little boring though...?!
Lets spice it up a little!
I so want to know what they are thinking. 
Two beautiful teenagers with hearts full of dreams. 
Two beautiful girls with the whole world in front of them. 
Two girls with a camera in front of them...
No comments...
Lets hope these faces are not reflecting my driving:))😜
How on earth did we manage before without a camera on our phone?
( how did we manage at all without a phone?)
But thanks to my phone now these girls made my day!
Thanks to my phone these girls made the world look a little more smiley. 
Thanks to these girls the sun continued to shine despite the threat of thunderstorms. 
Love you girls!
tjing tjong


Usually I'm full of patience and tolerance!
I seem to have lost those qualities though...
Almost three weeks have passed since my last renovation update and the only difference is the addition of tools and other work related stuff. 
It is not that I'm loosing my hopes and dreams...
I just want my dreams to be fulfilled quicker.
This is still what will become a kitchen but in this speed the workers are doing their job it will probably not be finished before we move out again:(
The same with Olivia's bathroom!
The only sign of it being a girls room is the pinkish insulation material in the wall...
And I think that is not the real purpose of it:)
On good days I can think of all this different machines as magic wands that will create something beautiful from my fluffy cloud of dreams. 
But only on good days...
The good days are decreasing.
Im so very aware of the need of people to hold that magic wand and right now they are painfully absent!
All these things from the kitchen and family room just piled up together in our sunroom just waiting to get back to normal...
No chance of getting it's own space what so ever!
What you see is what you get!
So if I don't see anything I would need for cooking for example I will not get it either. 
Its somewhere there but...
One should never give up hopes and dreams though so tomorrow is a new day...
Maybe there will be some people with the intention of doing something In our house
Yes! Positive thinking!
Frustration go away!!!

European waxing center

I have lost weight!😜
Hair weight!
At the European waxing center!
I tried first this place in Miami when I wanted to flaunt my legs in a nice dress but could not see them for all hair...
My constant companion decided to document everything although on this photo it looks like my head is being chopped of and not the hair:)
I have been waxing my legs a quarter of a century! ( gulp)
But never had such smooth and less painful experience in my waxing life as in this place. 
This is how the wax looks before they put it in a "slow cooker". 
Its made of 100 % beeswax, applies at bath water temperature and adheres only to the hair- not to the skin. 
Maybe that's the trick. 
The less painful trick. 
The legs on the picture are not mine but shows the process of the hair removal. 
Applicates with a wooden spatula ( new one every application) , cools and then gets ripped right off. 
No strips needed!
This waxing experience is just so much more comfortable ( not saying it's pain free) than any other waxing method. 
And waxing is not a nice treatment!
More like a punishment for being hairy...
But in this case I'm not only loosing weight after a waxing treatment, I strut , glow and feel fabulous too:))
Pictures from European waxing center, Minnesota mamas must haves

Today was the day...

Today was a big day!
Today was the day before the real school starts!
Today was orientation day!
The last day of wearing your own choice of clothes for the rest of your school years...!
The day when you saw your new classroom for the first time. ( kind of)
The day you met your new teacher and all your classmates. 
The day where all the butterflies in the stomach, all the expectations and all the excitements came to real. 
The day you so seriously listened to what your teacher had to tell that you could hear a pin fall...
The day when your little private part of the classroom was empty for the last time. 
Tomorrow it will already be filled with a bag pack, a change of clothes and a lot of expectations. 
Today was the day when all this summers reloading, recharging and energyboosting came to an end and from now on will be distributed in small portions thrrough out the year. 😜
Today was the day when all the hopes and dreams of the kids will soon be written down and posted on this board...
When letters will start to form words...
Words that will be saved for the future in a personal map or binder and will act as a " pride lifter" for the parents. 
Words that will be read in books and that will enrich my little kid's world. 
Today was the day when organised playtime again became a treat and a learning experience at the same time. 
When teamwork and doing things together becomes strength...
Today was the day when you realise you will see your friends every day for most of the year!
( here my downloading of pictures stopped working)
Today was also the day your mom have been looking forward to but for totally different reasons!
Whoppi doooo:))

I love the 80s...

We got ian invitation to a party in the spirit of the 80s!
Tjihoo we said and thought of dancing, karaoke, and a fun late night.
So of course we went the whole way...
We did not think of that American people might interpret "party" and "theme of the 80s in clothes and music" differently...
I really think we gave our neighbours a chock!
This ballon was probably the most wild and crazy there theme wise...
It was a beautiful setting in the backyard of their house with a BBQ area , pool house and stations with activities such as beanbag throwing and table tennis. 
Over the whole place a soft blanket of music from the 80s embraced us and made our memories from that era bubble. 
Since there was no really dancing or DJ-ing though my hubby felt a little "mal placé" there...
He placed his guitar in "rest mode" and decided to instead take on the swim guard role.
He did not have to worry though...
There were others who aspired on that job too😜
 And at least one fan clinged on to the rock star ( it might have been a gesture of mercy though 😜) and he had to be happy with what he could get because there was not really a line of fans. 
Of course there was one more little fan!!!
We are so very grateful though to our neighbours for such a nice initiative and good way for us to get to know people. 
I do wonder if the PEOPLE really wanted to get to know US after this...
But what the heck!
We will never avoid culture differences, we will just have to learn how to meet them, embrace them ( if possible) and make the best out of them! ( read not over do them)
When we left the party three hours later, around 9pm, we laughed!
But only to our selves and how silly we were and looked and ...that we probably would do the exact same thing next time again!
At least I would!
It's difficult to teach old dogs how to sit...


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