Happy new year!!!

So has this year come to an end!
A year full of travels, friendships, fun, adversities, emotional roller coasters, laughs, weeping, happiness, boredom, frustrations and renovations. 
A year full of life!!!
Now we are heading in full speed towards next year...
And next year I will make a wonderful year!
This list I found on Pinterest goes hand in hand with my own thoughts.
I will work on a few things that I can do better but also enjoy more what I'm already good at...
Next year will also be filled of everything life will offer!
Good things and amazing things. 
Probably bad things too but we need that for the balance in life...
Next year will be a fantastic year!
And I will be here to embrace it with open arms!!!
Hippy happy new year to all of you!!!

Mud Australia

Since we hopefully will have a kitchen within a not too far of a future I have started to take a deeper look into my current stock of dinner ware. 
To have a complete new kitchen kind of entails needs of having everything also inside the cabinets in a new and updated style. 
A friend of mine recommended Mud Australia. 
A Sydney based design company specializing in dining and serving ware. 
And i am so happy she did!!!
It looks amazing!
All the plates, mugs and bowls come in "millions" of colours and they all blend together in an unique way.
Its just for me to mix and match wether I just want to stay in a variety of shades that complement each other or pick a mix from all the beautiful colours that are offered. 
Each piece is crafted by hand which gives them that irresistible irregularities in size and texture.
The clay is also tinted all throughout which gives the colour amother depth...
The inside is then coated with a clear glaze while the outside is left natural but lightly sanded.
 With it's simple lines and easy to combine colours they will just add that extra little dimension to my new soon- to -be kitchen.
For everyday use and for special occasions.
And it will look good inside my cabinets too...
Beauty comes from within!!!
( all pictures from Mud)

Home sweet home!

What a wonderful week we have had!
My heart is wrapped in love and my mind is full of sunshine!
The whole week has been filled with lazy mornings, golf ( for some of us), fun, beautiful restaurants and laughter. 
Glitter and glamour have of course been constant ingredients when in Miami so I'm considering myself "full" now and will evenly be distributing a splash of that for future need in my everyday life. 
Our art experience gave a little extra dimension to our visit and so did the oldest kids concert "Life in colour"!
Both were focusing on colours and one of them more hands on...
Now we are back in our home sweet home, ready to take on design problems and other decision with refreshed eyes and mind. 
I don't even mind doing the dishes in the bathroom or getting water for my tea from the bathroom...
Just kidding!
I can not wait till kitchen is done and we can swap plastics for china and takeout for home made!
But I will be waiting with a smile...
Thats the effect of a week in Miami with very special friends!!!

Art a la Miami

Here it has been cloudy and rainy for a couple of days and what is better to do then than to visit a museum...?
( A lot of other things thought the kids but we dragged them along)
And the colours on the paintings from Beatriz Milhazen's "botanical garden" was so happy and uplifting it gave all of us a boost of energy. 
It was a beautiful experience and very inspirational and made me wish I could take up painting again, not that I could possibly compare my own creations with these but definitely get impulses and ideas from all the happiness on the walls at that exhibition. 
Colours have a special effect on me and my mind and I felt enriched and energised by the bright and brave combinations this artist was using for her art.
A botanical garden is considered a place for sensual enjoyment. 
And although ARTificial the paintings did definitEly pass on that feeling. 
It was only the scents that were missing...
When we have had enough of flowers we browsed around the rest of the museum which offered a nice mix of different time eras and their artists and styles. 
I guess despite the absent of the real sun we managed to fill our need with different kinds of warmth and energy and so we finished the day with sunshine in our minds...
Another good day to add to our list:)

Monkey Jungle!

Yesterday we decided to go wild and crazy and went to Monkey Jungle!
It turned out to be a beautiful and very cute experience that was appreciated of all of us.
We took the rainforest tour so we would have a chance to really meet the monkeys in person...
I love this environment with all the uncountable numbers of different hues of the green colour. 
The green tones have a calming effect on my mind which was a welcoming break from all the glitter and glamour im surrounded by here in Miami:)
I love the glitter but it's good with balance.
We got nuts for the monkeys and was told to just reach out with an open palm and the monkey would come...
And sure they did!
They were welling from all over and jumped or climbed on us like we would have been a tree.
 Someone was very happy with the possibility of hanging out with the monkeys...
They were absolutely adorable!
Light, careful and curious they approached us, grabbed their food and either jumped away or continued to use us as trees. 
 They especially seemed to like the head of our friend...
He constantly had a little monkey sitting on top of his skull:)
The two bigger apes we were of course not able to shake hands with but they definitely added on to the whole positive experience...
Great and fascinating animals and a pleasure to have had the opportunity to be so close to them. 
( Im surrounded by different kind of " monkeys" at home but this was something else. More real so to speak)
A day full of joy and I think a few of us left that place with a dream of having their own little monkey...

Christmas Eve...

Our Christmas Eve went in the sign of laughs, love and laziness!
What else can you do when it's warm and sticky outside and the Christmas feelings are noticably absence...
No matter how many hats of Santa you were trying on or how many lights and decorations you drowned your house in...
I mean we really tried...
And we definitely saw the signs of someone having been there...
But what is a lack of Christmas spirit when you are with family and friends in a relaxed environment with the only purpose of having a good time together. 
That for sure make up for everything!!!

Christmas time!

Ho ho hoo!
Merry Christmas from us!
Picture was taken just before we left for Florida with a go pro and it came out pretty ok...:)
Now we have swapped a potential "white" Christmas for a green one.
A swedish "smörgås bord" for a barbecue.
Family for almost family. 
But still a  Christmas tree, joy and time together!
And sun, warmth and pool are not bad either...
Or glamour, glitter and Miami...
Not to mention beautiful friends, love and quality time!
This will be a goooooood Christmas!!!
Hippy happy holiday!!!

Kitchen update and escape...

I do not seem to find the time to write something in here. 
Too much life in between...
We have escaped a cold and rainy New Jersey for a warmer and sunnier Florida.
Our kitchen is still not in "cocking shape" so it was better for us to leave the mess and spend some time with our good friends in Miami. 
Slowly slowly things are starting to come together. 
Sinks have arrived and are in place although one was missing first and held up the whole process...
All is good now though and progress is in sight again:)
The backslash is a nightmare!
It really is a jungle out there but as I predicted before I think we will end up with plain white subway tiles to calm down the busy cabinets.
It is important to work with contrasts and doing a lot of pattern or textures I realise does not really work when the cabinets have a lot of details. 
On the other hand I then can go crazy in the ceiling above the island. 
Im thinking of painting it in a shimmering champagne tone or towards silver...
We got to have an eye catcher in this otherwise so "humble" kitchen:)
Floor is done and only needs to be stained in the same dark brown as the rest of floors in the house. 
The floormaker did a great job so the result is a beautiful and solid piece of art made to walk on...
The same goes for the family room. 
It was such a good move from our side to remove those ugly tiles that before made the room cold and hard.
Now it feels welcoming and inviting again.
Too bad we will not be able to use these areas for our Christmas holiday but we will on the other hand spend a more pleasurable time in there when it is all finished...
Ok time to let the brain rest from renovation now and get back to the pool, friends and our little frozen princess!

Walk-in closet update!

I have totally forgotten to show the finished version of our walk-in closet. 
Im so very happy with it although it quickly got filled...
At least we are able to close the sliding doors on two walls which make the room a bit calmer than it was before. 
Everyone can already now see that my very neat and organised husband is doing acrobatics of joy when he walks in to this little pearl of clothing storage:)
Before I had to keep my shoes on the floor for example whereas now they have moved into their own little space.
We can actually see the carpet that was underneath all my shoes now...
This wall is almost only for hangings now. 
With doors!
Perfect for hiding the mess behind:)
Shelves have propagated and allow us now to leave some space...
That only goes for the male side of this closet though. 
The female side is crammed since long:)
And last but not least all the drawers have moved out on the floor and even doubled up in amount. 
What is left now is to adjust the doors ( a very uneven floor is challenging the doors ability to stay aline).
Find a nice and sparkly chandelier to create a contrast to the strict and modern style of the interior. 
Add an upholstered stool in a crazy animal printed pattern just to be silly...
And for me to maintain the nice and tidy look i have managed to keep in that closet for a week now:)
One will never know...
Is it really to late to teach old dogs how to sit?

Backsplash thoughts

After having had a few rides in the emotional roller coaster it feels good to only have more superficial problems to deal with:)
Our backsplash is still not decided yet but I have found beautiful tiles that I think would give the kitchen an extra little shimmer...
This is a shell stone that goes very well with the grey cabinets.
It reflects the lights in all different angles and gives the wall an almost magical touch.
The only problems is that it doesn't go so well with the white Carrara marble...
This one is a little safer when it has more of the white but still surrounded by the shells.
I would put them diagonal on the wall though to losen up the strict feeling you get with the squares.
And the light still seems to perform a dance when it shines on the shell but in a smaller scale. 
Then we have a classic arabesque...
Beautiful, light but with the impression that you have continued the countertop up on the wall...
This sea salt coloured crushed glass tile is also one of my favorites.
Goes well with both cabinets and marble and makes the light sparkle and gleam...
I'm sure some glamour in the kitchen will not do any harm and will make the chef dance!!!

It is difficult!

Actually a not so suitable greeting when I feel like I do...
More like grrrrrrrrr. 
Or buhuuuu...
I do find it so difficult sometimes to be a parent.
Especially when they are heartbroken or hurt by people they thought were close...
It is difficult:
When it is about painful friendship, let down feelings, confusing rumours or other teenage problems that happen now and then in that age.
When I as a parent will have to dig deep into my inner storage and bring out the big arsenal from the wise, encouraging, comforting and advising area in that bank. 
When I as a parent wish I would have a manual of how to use this arsenal in the right way...
It is difficult:
When I as a parent need to show more love than ever ...( love them most when they deserve it least)
When I as a parent need to show some mature manners when I most of all want to scream, bang the door and run away...
When I as a parent realise I have forgotten to tell my kids that people are not always what you expect them to be...
It is difficult:
When I as a parent need to wipe those tears or glue together those broken pieces of their hearts. 
When I as a parent need to come up with answers and explanations of why people act in a not so nice way.
When I as a parent need to defend my " treat people they way You want to be treated" view of life. 
It is difficult:
When I as a parent realise that the expression " small kids small problem, big kids big problems" suddenly seems so painfully accurate. 
When I as a parent wish there was such thing as a "resign from the parenthood" sheet to sign...but instead dress in an armour with a heart of a tiger, ready to go into war...
When I as a parent try to point out that hope, forgiveness and ability to move on also are part of the healing process.
Not only tears or anger...
When I as a parent try to remind the kids that there is always a new day tomorrow...
Yup, it is difficult...

Five minutes of embarrassment!

Also this weekend passed in the speed of Hertz!
Despite ( or maybe because) the little chaos we are living in at the moment, me and Ajax had plans for a date night in the city with a dinner and theatre visit in mind. 
Little we thought of the traffic...
It took us 2.5 hours to get into the city instead of 30 min. 
Bye bye nice restaurant and hi hi Mc Donald's ...
A little disappointed we made it in time for the play though. 
A beautiful and poetic story about a man and his search for something that might only exist in his dreams.
In a small theatre like this the play gets very intimate and the actors skills and the story itself kept the audience in full concentration not wanting to miss a word of what was said. 
One could hear a pin falling...
After the play the embarrassment hit!
Through a business acquaintance to Ajax who was a friend of Hugh Jackman we were asked to come behind the stage to say hello to the actor himself. 
Worst mistake ever!!!
I do not feel comfortable in situations like this. 
Hesitated already from the beginning but apparently could not resist.
No matter how famous someone is, they are human beings too who eat, sleep and poop like any of us. 
And to be "chased" by people who wants to have a glimpse of that star must be so so difficult, and I don't want to belong to those who can not give them some privacy. 
But in that moment I felt like one of those "hunters".
Terrible terrible feeling. 
We were kind of hustled into the actor's loge, said hello to Hugh ( I got a kiss on my cheek), chatted away for a little while ,( he was very nice) ,asked by the personal assistant to give the phone to take a picture of us, ka tching, picture taken and bye bye!
So humiliating, so wrong and so embarrassing. 
Do not ask me what I had in mind but definitely not this. 
We should have been happy with just the pleasure of the play. 
Now i left the theatre with a bitter and sour taste in my mouth, a kiss from the actor on my cheek ,and cursing myself for falling into the trap.
Must have been the bad traffic that caused that lack of common sense. 
The only other reason I could think of is I guess I'm only human too...
( and I did not wash my cheek that night...😜)

Anthropology again...

Today I have been finishing up my Christmas shopping so I more or less can consider me done. 
Im sure it was the few snowflakes from yesterday that gave fuel to my productivity ...
I also had time to enjoy my favorite store Anthropology for a little while before it was time to pick up the kids. 
I don't know why I like this store so much...
I very rarely find clothes I like and as much as I like their home decoration things I find it difficult to apply in my own house. 
But the feeling in that store is so positive, so embracing and motherly and very yin ( yin-yang)!
I can go in there and I immediately feel peaceful and harmonic.
It is weird that a store can have that effect on you...
Maybe it is the mixture of soft natural colours together?
Or that everything in the home department passes on a "homemade" and genuine feeling. Like it has been done in a thoughtful way with the only purpose of feeding the eye with beauty combined with function...
Or simply the way they display their goods!
Beautiful and colour matching organised chaos of stuff.
It is not a store that comes across as "less is more"...
There are millions of clothes, hats, scented candles, bowls, books, cups, blankets and more in an irresistible mix that is just candy for my eyes:)
So high on eyecandy but with peace in mind, I ended a perfect productive day and got a perfect start of a busy afternoon with gymnastics, pick ups and a winter concert at middle school on the schedule. 
Can definitely not complain:)

Small falling stars...

This afternoon the sky decided to sprinkle a few stars on our world!
I would like to believe it was for me because I felt I was missing the true Christmas spirit despite my "table of joy".
( hmmm my phonecamera does definitely not do a good job in the dark)
But I immediately had to reassess my belief when I saw Bella!
Of course it must have been for her joy all the stars fell...
So wonderful to watch her facing the sky trying to catch as many snowflakes as possible with her mouth just to get a taste of some "star quality". 
So wonderful to watch her sliding around like Bambi while laughing out loud.
I actually think that would have been the best Christmas gift ever!
But I doubt the snow will even survive the night...
For a short while this thin blanket of fallen down stars also made the world look even more beautiful.
For a short while it sparkled that little missing part of spirit I had been waiting for.
In a very short time it also made Bella soaking wet:)
But I'm very grateful that the world was sprinkled just as much as needed to get Bella to fire of her smiles in a heartwarming speed, for the older kids to hope for a snowday ( extremely wishful thinking) and to give me some true feeling for Christmas. 
Even though it's already melting away It magically managed to brighten up a grey day and a grey mind.
Small falling stars ...
Love love love

Wish list time!

Year after year my kids manage to write very humble and modest wishlists to Santa. NOT:)
I do not know if they think they have been extremely well behaving and good at all levels and want to be rewarded for that or they just hope Santa have not paid so much attention to their being ( he has so many other kids to watch) so their wish list would just slide in between the other kid's lists without being reviewed...
A massage chair to sit in in front of the television I can find on the list for example.
Preferable a recliner...
An air drone with a camera that can take both pictures and video. 
We already have one in the household but sharing is not even to think about...
An iPhone six plus! The bigger the better...
In this case size really matter:)
A mi coach soccer ball!
A smart-ball that provides near instant feedback on speed, spin and strike point when kicking. 
A tool one can not live without...
,An X-box one with FIFA game to go with the ball:)
The Beat pill! 
A portable and wireless speaker that "brings the music wherever you go"!
Apparently a vital wish...
This is just a few of the things that are on the list. 
Further down on the very same list the wishes become more resonable...
Maybe the unicorn will fit in under the category of "might be hard to live up to" since it should be able to walk, fly and tolerate to be painted on...
I love my kids!
I love their wish lists!
They make me smile every year. 
And it is only a WISH list after all!

Our summer house in wintertime.

My parents sent me pictures the other day from our summer house and when I saw them my heart skipped a beat!
I so love that place and to see the house embraced by the late fall and still look so safe and inviting made me wish for a visit asap...
It really is something with that house and the environment that makes me believe I have found my place for dreaming, relaxing and just being.
So "naked" and lonely and just waiting to be filled with people and life. 
I can see myself wrapped in a blanket sitting on one of those chairs with a big cup of tea and just indulging the sun, the peace and the positive atmosphere...
Despite being the beginning of December the roses are growing and seem to be striving to reach the sky:)
I really like the poles they are climbing on. Makes a modern break to the otherwise old fashioned theme. 
Like a statement they just stand there dressed in roses and make our place even more beautiful. 
Finally our cabinet I ordered at the end of the summer also arrived and fitted in like a hand in a glove in the kitchen. 
I will fill it with both beautiful and more practical things so filled it will be:)
Now it is just standing there empty but proud and till the summer with the nice company of both garden furniture and the barbecue. You can not be picky with your company ...
So tonight I know what I will be dreaming of!!!

Kitchen update...again.

During this passed week all focus have been concentrated to the kitchen area. 
During this week my heroes have been working hard for their money ( actually my husbands). 
But now a kitchen is forming...
We are still waiting for the appliances but everything else is slowly finding its place.
Fridge and freezer will embrace the food pantry to the right in the picture. 
The stoneman is a little worried about how the get our 1700 pounds marble slab in place on the island though without breaking it ( or the carrier's back) since it that big. 
We shall see...
A big american stove with extra "everything" will sneak in between this cabinets and will hopefully always be ready to serve me in my culinary experiments :)
If pasta bolognese or similar easy things can count into that...
On this side here there will be open shelves and behind all of it tiles of some kind as for the wall behind the stove. 
Still working on finding a solution on that...
 This kitchen will consist of many drawers but those who know me also know that I will have no problem filling them :)
I can't wait to see what progress this coming week will bring!!!
Otherwise this weekend has been about organising my closet, driving kids and helping Santa Claus planning Christmas gifts.
All done in pyjamas:))

My table of joy!!!

Although I looooove Christmas with all the lights and decorations I decided tonight (!) to not to go crazy since we are anyhow living in a small chaos with things EVERYWHERE!
Instead I dedicated a consoltable in our living room to become a Christmas table and just put together what I had in terms of Christmas inspired decorations. 
Candle holders, greens, golden pine cones and left-over ornaments ( without string) became enough Christmas for me to feel happy with my decision. 
Of course we will have a christmastree, some stars in the windows and branches of pine tree in a vase but that's it!
I kind of feel I'm acting in a very rebellic way and is almost letting this christmas down but our home is overflowing with stuff that does not belong where they are now due to the renovation, so to decorate all over with glitter and ornaments would just add more to the chaos...
Yup this is definitely the right decision for our home and I enjoy every time I have to pass that table.
All the Christmas feelings running through my veins become bubbles of joy when I look at it and that is what this feast is about to me. Joy!!!

New walk in closet!!!

I am now everyday surrounded by around 10 men working on our house in order to get it in good shape for Christmas. 
Six of them have been working on all our closets.
They have now come out from the closet too...:)
And oh My what I'm happy with that!!!
Within feng shui it is positive to work with hidden storage so the good energy will find its way ( to my husbands delight).
What also is important ,for the same reason, is to clear the clutter ( also here to my husbands delight). 
So the whole Sunday was spent in the closet cleaning out old things, things I don't like and things I have not used in loooong time. 
Im a big collector and have kept things from my teenage years!
From stone age as my kids used to say:)
Four black garbage bags later ( 3 of them will go to charity...) I felt relieved but at the same time sad. It was hard for me to get rid of things because I find excuses for everything I possess. 
I will use it working in the garden (!), I have good memories with it or I simply just like it although I will never again use it, are my favorite arguments.
So with the good energies in mind I forced myself to take action and this was even before I saw the result of the closet guys work. 
When I saw how it actually would look like I made peace with myself. 
Only the favorites can go in those beautiful cabinets!
The best thing is they will have sliding doors covering the hangings!
My shoes though will instead of living on the floor have a new place on those slanted shelves but without doors so that will of course be a challenge for me to keep that look tidy and neat. 
Ajax gets the other half of the closet in exactly the same way. 
Sliding doors in front of hangings and open shelves for "displays". 
Drawers have moved out in an island in the middle of the room and has actually propagated from eight to 16 drawers. 
To be honest I can't wait to fill those drawers, shelves and hangers with everything a woman need to look pretty!!!
With 10 guys working towards my happiness I can not complain a Wednesday like this! 
( they actually cleaned the closets and vacuumed and wiped the floor too so it is only for us to "move in" again)

HM Home Christmas inspiration

With a background in one of Swedens biggest retail company (H&M) I still tend to keep an eye open ,just for fun, on their business.
I always feel very proud when they do good, contract new designers or starts new projects. 
This Christmas inspiration from HM Home makes my heart jump...
I think they have managed to combine a modern traditional (!) style with a hint of glamour which I think is an irrestible twist. 
Love the red and green mixed with the beige/white and gold...
The blue sofa with the white pillows combined with the gold and brass is probably my favorite though since it has that glamour that makes the blood in my veins run faster:)
Yup im very proud of this company and I will definitely klick the button to get these beautiful vases...
I can see them being used in all seasons but for Christmas now I will dress a group of them ( hopefully they are not sold out) in a single red amaryllis stem in each of the vases. 
Swedish Christmas in style:))
( all pictures from H&M)

Gingerbread house making...

What is a fun thing to do for a 5 year old girl and her "slightly" older dad a lazy day before first of advent?
A gingerbread house of course!
A very concentrated father is carefully reading the instructions while the daughter is so excited she can not sit still but is bouncing up and down beside him:)
It said on the package " building family fun" but in this case this was only a thing between a father and his daughter. Still fun though...
She was asking for I t, he got it for her, but then he also decided to execute it with her...
Reeeespect to that!!!
I stayed out of it, trying to take a few pictures but that was not so popular though. Might explain the slanted outcome of some of the photos...
Decided instead to enjoy the silence of two people focusing on a project together only occasionally interrupted by giggles and chuckles.
Together they solved small practical problems and helped each other out on this "challenging" journey of building
a gingerbread house.
Watching them creating this house in total teamwork spirit filled my heart with a warm and loving sensation. 
The beginning of the Christmas month could not have started off in a better way!

Renovation updates...

It is weird but I always feel I need a holiday coming home from a vacation. 
Im tired, slow and lacking energy even though I have had a relaxing, recharging and energy filled experience.
I blame it on my age...
First half of the weekend therefor went in the sign of "doing nothing" , just a few million visits down to the washing machine, a long walk and then a horizontal position in the sofa:)
Second half was spent in the closet!
Preparing for this coming week...
While we were away things were happening here in the kitchen area.
Cabinets arrived!!!
Cooking is coming cloooooser!
This man here will try to do his best to make sure the cabinets become a kitchen before Christmas but the way he told me made me understand that they are really not sure how that is going to happen...
A little sneak peek of what is going to be "the" kitchen!
My husband wanted a more traditional style while I wanted to go more modern so this kitchen will be a combination of both, a marriage of styles that will hopefully last:)
Seeing these cabinets every time I come down the stairs now are both painful and exciting. 
I want it to be finished already yesterday!!!
Well the last thing that is abandoning a human being is hope so I will keep my fingers crossed that my Christmas present will still be a Christmas gift and not something the Easter bunny will bring...
But it is not only in the kitchen things are happening!
In our family room the floor is done and is only waiting to be stained...
I can't wait to fill the room with Christmas, stars and candles, fill the sofa with comforting blankets and pillows and get the fireplace going...
For now though it's time to stop dreaming and get back to reality i.e washing machine and story telling.
Love this mix of dreams and reality! Makes such a good stew of life:))


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