Family rules!

I found this picture hanging on the wall at a friends house!
I thought that was exactly what we need to emphasize to our kids but also to constantly remind ourself of in this life!
An easy guide for the hard school of life...
If it only would be so simple!!!

The five elements in Feng Shui.

In Feng Shui you are using five elements as a basic principle when you are trying to create balance.
These elements are :
Water : where you can find in black an dother dark colours
            in glass, mirrors, water arrangements and art picturing water
Wood : you will find in green colours
            plants, pillars and stripes
            and pictures or wallpaper with plants, gardens or flowers on
Fire    : all the light ( electrical, candles, sun and fireplaces)
           fur, bone, feathers and wool
           pets and people
           the red colour spectra
           art picturing all the above and triangles. pyramides or cone shape
earth  : is in tiles, ceramics and bricks
           earthcolour and some yellow tones
           squares and laying rectangles
           empty spaces and cut wood ( like wooden floors or a wooden bowl)
Metal  : we find in metals, rocks , untreated cristals
            arts in metal, circles, ovals and arcs
            white and pastel colurs
Together they create balnce:
But in the wrong amount we can also achieve the opposite:
The easiest way to get balance is to use the colours that will bring the energy you are looking for.
Colour is very powerful as it is an expression of light.
All five elements are also known as universe building blocks!.
That would give you a hint of how important these elements are...


A style which inspires me a lot i found in this appartment which belongs ( or belonged, it was for sale when i took the pictures from the real estate agency) to the head of the interior designers at one of our big magazine in Sweden, Sköna hem.
I love the colours, the mixture of style and that you actually get the sense of someone living there, not only for displays.
The livingroom from different angels...with a sofa that our entire family fits in.
From the living room you reach the diningroom...
A collection of beautiful vases in the same colour palette...
The office.
The hallway...
Bedroom ( maybe not so calm and peaceful for being a bedroom) with its brave mix of pattern and colours.
And finally the kitchen which has a totally different style than the rest...
( photos from hemnet)
I am not so sure about this kitchen but for the rest I do love the passion for colours that is shown, the collection of things from life and interests. 
All this come together as a very ecletic style and to me that is what life is too:
Elements from a variety of sources! Picked with care and treated with love.
It just can not go wrong!!!!

The sunday in picture.

Despite waking up to a glorious day with clear blue sky and sweatshirtwarmth weather I had this very rare moments of being completely bored and cold not even appreciate the sunshine.
Those days are in their painful truth very productive and forces me to initiate changes in my life so these boring days actually become very positive in the end. Is it not good?!
We (me and the kids) anyhow ended up taking advantage of the beautiful day and went to a small litlle zoo not far from us...
When we arrived we were saluted by big sunflowers...
...and could not just but enjoy.
Ha ha my poor kids who have to be dragged around to different places...
But i guess it was not too bad in the end...
...and they kind of tried to blend in...
...although some of them seemed to scare the praire dogs away :)
We looked at small penguins...
...big Bisons...
...scary wolfs...
and big bears.
We saw pretty girls...
and not so pretty alpacas. Look at his teeth!!!
We continued our promenade to the "country of cats",
where it was not only us enjoying the beautiful day...
From the kids all time high favorite : the red panda... the pyton...
and ending with very small zoo inhabitants.
And with so many suns watching over us it just had to be a good day!!!

Schoolplay night!

Yesterday it was time for grade six yearly schoolplay show.
The kids have been working very hard but have unfortunately lost a third of their rehersaltime to snowdays and illness and when i picked up Olivia after school finish and just hours before the big premiere she was in tears and absolutely devestated.
One of the responsible for the play had told them it was "painful" to watch them play!!!
How can you tell kids just before the premiere of their show that they are not doing a good job?!?!
A mail came a minute after the meltdown that they will be cancelling the nights premiere and instead have an open dress rehearsal.
That decision removed probably a lot of stress and tension cause apparently it was the first time that group did the entire play from start to finish without any major disruptions.
I was so proud and so happy that so many parents showed up to support their kids in this stressful moment.
Here is the dramateacher appologizing for the quality of the show before it starts...
The story is about a group of gentlemen who are made up of animals and have characteristics of both humans and animals. It has a beautiful storyline with a mix of adventure, morality and friendship.
My daughter was of course the star :) but on the other hand the stage were full of stars if you would ask all other parents..
There she is! Pretty in pink...
Always in the center...
Out rowing...
...and fishing...
and this is the sign of victory! They did it!!!
All the kids proved the adults wrong!
It is difficult to see here so far away but i am sure it is almost toutchable the relief and exaltation they all felt when the play was over.
A big hoorray to all the kids for presenting such an advanced play in such short time and in such good spirit!!!
I am quite sure i would not have been able to do it better myself :)
Happy saturday!

Aquavit, nordic cuisine

One day me and my dear husband decided to go wild and crazy and actually went to check out a scandinavian restaurant in the middle of Manhattan :)
It has one michelin star and we learnt that the restaurant "transforms Nordic cuisine with extraordinary care".
The interior was very scandinavian with modern pieces combined with more rustic elements.
Beautiful and with a very clean and pure scandinavian style.
We had an 8 course tasting menu of modern Nordic selections and in came one after another of beautifully presented dishes with a hint of a traditional flavour... sardines and elderberries,,,
Unfortunately that was more or less what i remember because the rest was too complicated to keep in mind...
and very difficult to take a picture of...
...scottish langoustine and sea urchin ( i think it was...)
,,,lamb and sweet potatoes,,,
Well at least you get a hint of how it was presented even though I have no idea what is was :(
To be honest we both thought it all tasted more or less the same and was too advanded compositions for our simple taste. Do not misunderstand it was all very good but I prefer more pure and genuine cooking so all this weird ingredients combined together was a lttle wasted on us despite the scandinavian base.
My takeaway was the fantastic presentation, the little farewell gift:
So nice and very much appreciated, a :kladdkaka" , mumsfillibabba!
And of course the interior and familiar athmosphere. 
(Not to mention the efficient and fast service.)
Hmmm anybody who wants to go scandinavian after my attempt to write a review...?
Personally i am going Italian and make a traditional spagetthi carbonara ...
ciao ciao

Plants in Feng shui

I feel i am walking around with a thorn in my soul for some reason and then i thought of cactuses and immediately made the connection with my feng shui lessons where we right now are learning about plants in your home.That was a long shot but anyhow...
Don't we all feel good in the nature?
Beautiful colours that all come together in a harmonic mix and different forms and material that just fit in like pieces in the puzzle of nature. ( oh my how poetical)
In nature we can relax and collect energi and feng shui is about trying to take in nature in your interior design to try to create the same satisfaction.
Not only is it beautiful and decorative with plants and flowers but it is also good for the enrgy in a room and actually serve as a climate improver where they are being kept.
Other good things that are being proved with keeping plants in your home are:
~stresshormones decreases,
~better koncentration
~make us calm and harmonic
Plants you should not use are;
~sharp and jagged plants ( creates the same in people)
~sad or saggy plants
~dried flowers ( dead energy)
~ bonsai tree ( strangles the energy)
What plant you choose will enhance your style in your home so try to keep the same green tone all over.
For example a palm will give your room a colonial spirit , a geranium will create a more rural look and a hydrangea will go more towards the elegant feeling.
( photo from simplicity)
(photo from simplicity)
What ever you choose it will for sure bring vibrant energy and harmony and who does not want that in your life!?
I will actually take it a step further and make a green juice and let nature pour down my throat and even make my belly happy :)

At my house...

To quick with the keyboard.
I will try again and see if it takes all my written nonsens this time. Maybe there is an inbuilt censorship...:)
Anyhow i wanted to share some pictures from our house. I know i have been mentioning the importance of "listening" to your house to try to find the style that will be embraced by the house and speak your on style at the same time. Well i think we are heading in the right direction in our home...
our living room... on the opposite side of the sofas there will be a glass cabinet and a sideboard too.
a weird`light`angle of our livingroom. Its taken the same day but with the sun in different windows
Our dining room...
I would ever never have chosen this kind of traditional furniture but in this house and on this very place it is absolutely perfect :)
We also have a bar...
And the very alert viewer can spot the photographer in the right lower corner of the mirror ;)
And this is the sitting area in the "bar room"
Golden chairs for golden moments!
actually love that room, so peacful
Enough of the house viewing!
It is not finished in any way but we definately have a base to work with. 
Then we nned to add carpets, pictures on the walls, plants, curtains and other decorations so more pictures are to come.
We also have a few more room but i wanted to share some of them that are almost done since we are rushing very slowly...
It does take time!
Now i am lucky enough to have one of the golden moments to sit down with a cup of golden tea in a golden chair and just enjooooyyyyy!

At my house...


Kinky boots

What a weekend!
Snowed in and the next day sunshine and then snowed in again and then sunshine...
We anyhow had tickets for the musical Kinky Boots so we defied the bad roads and weather conditions and went in to watch it. And wow, what a musical...
A musical with the songs and music written by Cyndi Lauper and is based on a true story about a man who inherits his fathers shoe factory.
A drag queen comes to the rescue when he needs to find new solutions to keep the business afloat.
Its also about being true to yourself and to think outside the box.
A heartwarming musical about overcoming prejudice and transcending sterotypes and that you definately need a little glamour in your life...
Some good advices were given:
Wonderful and very wise words!!!
Although some of us did not seem that interested in all those good advices :))
The theater itself The Al Hirschfield theatre was of the old nature with nicely decorated ceilings and windows...
... and where you almost get a feeling you can touch the anticipation and exitements that surrounds you when you go to an event like this.
We all left the musical with a warm feeling in our heart and maybe some hidden desire of wearing more names mentioned :))

All hearts day and a poem

Happy Valentine everyone!
We started early by decorating cookies...
This day will only be about cuddles, kisses and loooove!
The sun welcomed us this morning when we woke up and presented a magical winter wonderland again.
Yesterday was crazy!
I mean i am a viking but the storm yesterday was weird!
Snow, wind , rain, icerain, and thunder and lightning... and then a thin layer of ice on the roads. Not good!
I have borrowed a poem from a friend ( written by her friend Tracy Fitzpatrick regarding the storm and i think she explains in word what many of us just been thinking...
Can you tell i am kind of fed up with this weather now?!?!
Now back to cuddles again!
sunshine and love to you

Snow and Swank

Another snowday! 
Its grey and dark and foggy despite the white snow so glad to be indoor... ( picture by Max)
This time its ok because that means we have 5 days off since the kids anyhow would have a long weekend due to Presidents day (a day honoring George Washington the first president of The United States)
So right now im feeding my curiosity of how other people have it at home by via magazines visit homes from celebrities .
Today im doing a sneak peak in Hilary swank's Manhattan retreat:
Beautiful and looks very pure to me. Just as her apartment:
Love the big windows with just sheer curtains which allow the light to flood. Definately needed today but i dont know about a hot summerday though...
Rough meets modern! Me like
The kitchen area. I wonder how she keeps her counters so clean and empty...
Or she maybe has taken Feng shuis advice of "clearing the clutters" to another level :)
Again fresh flowers... imagine that hallway without!
A cosy corner inviting you to bring a good book and nice cup of tea and just cuddle up..
A tiny little workarea with a very nice lamp! Looks like a Bestlite from here...
Beautiful shaped bathtub...ready to embrace you with perfect temeratured water :)
And then jump in between clean and crispy sheets. Two of the same lamps and bedside table on each side of the bed creates balance i have learned so maybe she really has been taking the same course as i am doing...
All in all i think this is a very nice home. not over the top at all but a home that you can imagine yourself in.
A down to earth home which goes well with the look of the owner.
Thanks Elle Decor for sharing
Time to shovel!!!

Pytt y panna ( small pieces in a pan)

This is Jamie Olivers version on the picture. mine is not so sophisticated though...
Time for a simple and typical swedish dish!
Its perfect when you have a lot of leftovers in the fridge.
You will need :
Leftover meat of any kind ( i used beef)
Boiled potaoes
Chopped onion
Pickled beetroots in vinegar
Fried egg
Start with putting the potatoes in a fryingpan with butter.
Season with salt pepper and paprika.
Mix in the onion and let the onion get soft>
Set aside.
Continue with the meet and bacon in the pan but no need to season.
Mix everything together and serve with the beetroot and a fried egg. Decorate with parsley.
Mmmm yammi yammi and easy peacy>
Kids love it, even my picky ones despite it doesnt look as tempting as Jamies :))
enjoy my wednesday treat!
Now its time for me to pick up a sick litlle princess from school:(  They just called so got to go!

More hotel

Ok lets see if it is working now. 
The crazy in me has calmed down so everything is just fine...
i wanted to show you a little of the hotel interior:
Here you had a bar to the left and the restaurant to the right;
One floor up you would have big spacious ballroom ...
The rooms could look like this:
They do have smaller room too...
When it was time for some "me time" you could head off to the spa...
Just looking at this picture makes you feel relaxed :)
The lunchrestaurant...
and other eating areas. 
It was in generall a very very nice hotel but we had a few problems with the service though...
we could order a coke and it would take about 45 min to get it so something was not right there. 
But that didn't stop these people ( among others) to stay at the hotel:
Tom cruise with family
 Kate moss 
Maria carey
Paris hilton
And donatella Versace   
And the week before us apparently Rihanna. 
No wonder people was disappointed with our appearances :)
so bye bye copacabana palace thanks for having us!!!

Copacabana palace hotel

I got a few requests about showing more of the hotel in Rio but to be honest I didn't take so many pictures in there so this is a mix of mine and internet:)
 It was located just on copacabana beach with a beautiful view of the sea!
The pool area. Too hot to spend a lot of hours in though. The umbrellas were needed:)
This is how we were greeted every time we entered the entrance doors...
Just the other side of the lobby...
The day we left to go back home it was crowded outside here with paparazzi and other people waiting to get a glimpse of a famous person. It was a well known soapopera new season premiere party or something like that. They looked very disappointed when they realised we were "nobody" :)
And again I seem to have a hard time uploading pictures. 
I will try to post more pictures later, right now it's not working and it's driving me crazy...
and who wants to deal with a crazy person?!?!
 To be continued

Party factory

Bella is booked more or less every weekend now with birthday parties at different venues. 
Yesterday it was her second time at this place:
Yay... A hysterical place with the possible purpose of exhausting the kids in as short tine as possible. 
So the kids are being channelled into one room for a certain amount of time where they climb, jump and slide ...
And when the kids are done the mom goes wild :)
Then it's time for the next exhausing room...
Up up up and down down down...
Not really time for posing but ok mom... Quickly!!!
My big girl loves this place and get so happy when Bella gets an invitation ( no one in her age groups will have a party there although they would probably love to so joining her little sister works perfectly fine)
Picture time! I took my position and was ready to shoot when suddenly these arms just stretched out in front of me taking the photo I've been preparing for ... Hmmm I can see the arms of my daughter though:)
Well what is a ruined group picture when there is a cake seved :)
All this takes place in one and a half hour...
That is what you again can call a party factory!!!
what happened to hide and seek, draw a tail on the pig and "fish pond" party in the house of the birthday kid?!

The beauty of the cold

The other day when I opened my eyes in the early morning and looked out through the window I was greeted by the world like this:
Can a day start better?!
With a warm little body close to mine and a blond hairy mess on the pillow next to me and suddenly a soft arm wrapped around my neck I got filled with pure love. To my kids, to my other half and to the world!
Even the cold weather has its beauty. 
Everything was covered in ice like dipped in a magical formula. 
I wonder if the buds felt frozen or just comforted in the crystal pupa that was suddenly embracing them...
So beautiful everywhere and it was so easy to imagine this icicle to start dripping ...
... With a promise of warmer weather to come. 
Meanwhile I m going to make the best of this cold Saturday :)

My last view of Rio

Now I have almost covered my week in Rio at least the big things. 
One of the last things we did was to take a little train up to the statue of Jesus Christ overlooking Rio de Janeiro. 
Here seen from the behind but still a magical view. 
The statue is considered the largest Art Deco staty in the world and is 30 m tall ( not including the 8 m pedestal) and is about 28 m between his stretched arms. 
The view from the statue is stunning and I definitely got the feeling that the city was under protection from someone above...
This is by the way the lake I was biking around earlier that week...
Two happy look alikes or "wannabe". Whatever you prefer :)
The last day of excursions some of us decided to take a bike ride in the "jungle" beneath the Christ of redeemer. 
We biked for 45 km or 30 miles and it was a great ending of our trip. To bike in the nature with Rio almost underneath you filled me with respect and gratefullness ( but was also giving me a sore butt) to all the beauty this world offer. 
In my opinion this is so so beautiful!
On this very place where all happy bikers are posing ( I think my ear is trying to escape from helmet) a former emperor built this terrace and a big table made of stone where he would took his queen for dinner and just enjoy this:
You should eat with your eyes too it is said!!!
So bye bye Rio! Hope to see you again :)
To me you were a place where all the world came together in peace love and sunshine! 
Happy friday!!!!

Still Rio 3

Ok let's see if it's working now...
we were at the samba school...
Amazing details!
I had to try one of the head decorations and oh my, I would need a neck of a bull to carry that one. 
A little sneak peak was offered us in one of the restaurants we visited and it was just amazing. 
From now on I will look on the pictures or from tv showing the carnival with completely different eyes. 
That visit was a true art and culture experience and has found a place in my heart :)
Tomorrow will be the last look-back pictures from my week in Rio. Don't want to bore you...

Rio 3

Will try to finish up my week in Rio but it is so difficult. 
I experienced a lot which makes it hard to just brush over...
Anyway we paid a visit to "Samba city" where all the preparations were in full bloom for the upcoming carnival.
This area was built by the city of Rio to allow a place for the samba schools to practice their routines and build their floats and parade costumes. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take any pictures in there because everything had to be kept in secret before the big carnival competition. 
About 300 people were working on costumes and floats from the one school we were visiting and I think we all were stunned by the quality, creativity and artistic skills from all these people. 
These are just two of maybe 100 different ideas of costumes. 
No time for a brake...
Samba city is the place where samba schools strive to make all their dreams into reality. 
And just looking at all these fantastic creations, feeling the strong teamspirit and all the hard work that take place for only 1 hour and 22 minutes once a year during this competition left me with a wow feeling. 
If they win, the school not only win money and a trophe but also the acknowledgement and reputation of being a good school which means more investors, more sponsors and more people willing to devote their time. 
Just this school seemed to have accomplished a lot ...
Seem to have problem again uploading pictures...
will be back!!!

My view of Rio 2

Im continuing to give you a look-back of my trip although it is difficult to really give you a sense of all the beauty I've been experience. 
One thing we did was to take a bikeride around a lake in the middle of Rio and beneath the Christ staty. 
Easy peacy lemon squeeze. Definitely not a hard ride but nice to be outdoor. 
Having the Christ of redeemer overlooking our bikepath gave the whole experience another dimension and the rest of surroundings added on to the positive feeling. 
Here you can see one of the favelas again climbing up the hills. 
After a 15 minutes of biking we did a pit stop at one of the coconut stands that were located along the path. 
He just "shwoffed" his gigantic knife and "poff" you had a refreshing and healthy drink. 
Yammi yammi for your tummy!
In the evening we took the cable car up to Sugarloaf mountain. A rock that got its name from it's looks from a traditional shape of refined loaf of sugar and rise 396 m straight from the waters edge outside Rio. 
It offers an amazing view of Rio and it's surrounding :
One of the beaches surrounding the city...
The colour of the sea...
Just loooove the combination of water and mountains...
Rio is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world and I'm willing to totally agree with that. 
At the top you would find all sorts of women. Made of stone...
... and real ones:)
Not to mention the beautiful sunset ...
Its just a few minutes difference but so much more glowing in the last photo. 
And then I got crazy and thought that even the cobblestones were almost glowing in its simplicity
Silly me!!!
But i think that is what I'm always trying to do. Finding the beauty in every thing and in Rio it was very easy!!!
to be continued...

My view of Rio!

Im home and I'm back!
Back from sunshine, warmth and smiling people to snowstorm, closed schools and fighting kids! 
I really wanted to share my fantastic week in Rio but was unable to upload pictures to my blog so now I will have to do a look-back galore instead. 
My strongest memory of the week was the visit of two favelas ( slum areas) in Rio. 
Out of seven million people 1,5 millions live in a favela. 
I didn't know what to expect but here is what I found:
All the favelas are mostly located up the hills surrounding Rio and therfor has a fantastic view. 
From a distance it looks almost picturesque but when you get closer it reveals a complex architechure. 
Colours are always present and helps to give a positive impression...
Even the locals are dressed in matching colours:)
Small narrow alleyways gives you the feeling of walking in a maze...
And it's almost always dark everywhere but the chairs are painted in sunshine...
I saw a lot of love around and many smiling people and this picture will have to represent the peaceful impression this favela was trying to give the visitor. 
The government is trying to change the living in the favelas and pacified them a couple of years ago and it has since then improved the conditions a lot for the inhabitants. 
It has a hospital, library, banks, shops and a school:
Here is the entrance to the school. It was now closed for summer holiday but is welcoming kids every afternoon to gang out there and to stay away from the streets. 
A classroom...
A pool area:)
a stairway to knowledge. 
And of course flowers...
And trees!
all in all it was a very humble experience but not a sad one. There were no misery only poverty and I not only learned about favelas but I also got a new understanding about different aspects of Brazilian society. 
They all seem eager to change the bad reputation the favelas have ( now called communities by the way) and the impression you get from this tours at least is that it is going in the right direction. 

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