My new sideboard!

One of the pieces of furniture that arrived a couple of days ago was my sideboard. 
A table I never saw in real life but just clicked home from looking at a picture. 
One can say I'm really living on the edge...
But when I got it it was exactly as I pictured it and it fitted in to my living room like a hand in a glove. 
As usual it's not properly done yet but I was too eager to show it:)
Behind you can also see some of the old flower paintings I'm collecting to create "groups of summer" on my walls:)
With the rest of the house in a washed out theme those paintings add life to the rooms. 
Funny how "dead things" can create happiness in me but I feel a little glimpse of satisfaction when I pass by my sideboard and my paintings. 
Happy is just my middle name:)

Till we meet again!

Just got back from an airport run. 
Dropped off my friend:(
We have had such beautiful days together. 
No matter what weather, it is always warm and sunny around her. 
One early morning we went down to the beach, contemplated and agreed that our friendship is as eternal as the horizon , peaceful as the sea that morning and as bright as the colour of that track suit. 
Now we will both go back to our normal life but with our hearts and souls wrapped in a soft golden blanket:)
I so needed that.
Till we meet again!!!

Olof Victors

The days are passing by but I still have my beautiful friend keeping me company.
The Saturday we spent in different flea markets looking for my flower paintings.
That activity is kind of tiring but luckily this area is full of cute little places ideally for a coffe with a cinnamon bun:)
At Olof Victors you get a combination that will nurture both tummy and soul. 
To be able to sit down and rest your legs and indulge in something tasty feels so much more comfortable at a place which almost gives you the feeling you are in a friend's garden.
Just a homely and cosy atmosphere accompanied with homemade baking goods.
Happy tummies and happy people!
What a great treat a regular  Saturday:)
Best thing is you can buy and take home all the baked goods and kind of continue your treat at home...
Me like!!!

Food for my soul!!

So my furniture arrived and so did my friend!!!
A friend I have not seen for a few years but she is that kind of friend that just starts off where we ended last time. 
So we are filling our days with tea, laughs, talks, worldly problem solving, walks, and more laughs. 
Just to clarify we only walked this time so it is not us up there is the sky:)
But the area where we took our little hike is stunning and gave us almost a magical touch to our being and with the sun drenching us from above even our hearts got surrounded by a golden edge.
During our walk we passed cows, endless landscape, typical houses for that area and so much beauty and we both agreed the beauty really reflects our friendship.
Im feeling so spoiled having this friend in my life.
She is food for my soul!
And I'm constantly hungry:)

Operation living room!

Three exciting things are happening today!
I will get my very-much-looked-forward-to sideboard for my livingroom delivered. That's number one!
I will also get an old glass cabinet to put my books in. Currently they are scattered all of over...Número due!
The last thing but not the least... My very dear friend from Geneva is coming to brighten up my days, to share a piece of my paradise and just to be together. Yaaaaay!
This last picture shows where the sideboard is missing and operation livingroom will start!
I only hope it is what it looked like on the website...
Thats the tricky part with online shopping. 
Included in operation livingroom is also a flea market search for old flower paintings in golden frames. 
Its about time something is happening to the walls too.
My friend will be busy here:)
Meanwhile we will enjoy a few cups of tea on my veranda or in this living room. 
Actually absolutely good enough for me:)

Fashion show...

For a moment it stopped raining.
We immediately took the opportunity to arrange a fashion show with our purchases from the mall. 
Bella had been preparing for hours before so she was really on the go:)
Olivia also changed into model mood in no time. 
For the oldest one in the family it was a bit slow to get into the spirit...
I mean you can really tell what an explosive energy that is surrounding this mom... Not:)
At least she believes in the sun and invested in dresses so please just bring the summer on!!!
This sparkly and beautiful lady has a reason for being so glimmering. 
Today she is going back to the U.S. to see friends and attend a camp for a few weeks and she has been counting down since we arrived here:)
This young girl went all in and stood for hours in front of the mirror putting on lipstick. Olivia had to help her though wiping off the colour from the cheeks trying to limit it to her lips:)
Then she wanted us to end the fashion show by jumping around like frogs (?!)
Im so happy Olivia stopped taking pictures at that point...

Retail and photo therapy!

We never went to tivoli in Copenhagen because it rained (!) but instead we ended up in the big shopping mall. 
Such a big pleasure to just go in there and spend some money, kill some time and pampere your self.
Three floors of temptations for all ages. 
What is in the bag will be revealed another time:)
To get hold of mom's camera is also a wonderful way of entertaining yourself!
To imagine you are someone else, a famous person, a model or just Olivia brings great joy at least for me finding the pictures , wondering what kind of thoughts my daughter had...
And to include the little sister in this activity seemed to me a very generous gesture and made my heart warm:)
Yup, definitely two activities suitable for rainy days. 
Two activities that brought smiles, togetherness and new outfits:)

Sweden's most southern point.

We are in a bit of a tricky situation here at home now. 
The weather is bad, cousins have left and no friends. 
That means I have to start operation "family entertainment"!
Not for my kids but for me.
So I don't flip out or go more crazy than I usually am hearing them argue, fight or moan. 
For some reason they are not happy just reading a book...
We started of easy.
I took them to Swedens most southern point, Smygehuk.
A beautiful place with good ice creams:)
I think I prefer it more windy though. ( like i don't have enough of storms in my life)
Creates a more dramatic background with the waves splashing its white foam on to the railing at "the point". 
But the dark clouds also brought some drama to the scenery. ( and darkness to the pictures)
Just small things that would break the boredom and give us a change to breath, smile and indulge an ice cream in peace. 
It really is a beutiful place and we all went home in a better mood. ( phew!)
Today Tivoli in Copenhagen is on the schedule...
That means more smiling kids!!!

A swedish midsummer!

This year's midsummer celebration fulfilled all preconceptions about the swedish summer feast. 
Cold, rainy and more rain. 
But still so traditional, so swedish and so wonderful. 
Parents, cousins, sister, dancing around the Maypole, rain and wet clothes but good moods, smiles and happy times in a beautiful mix. 
The arrangement for every year is always full of hope of good weather and every year I feel sorry for the people arranging because most of the people leaves when the first drops start to fall. 
And the organisers are left with strawberry cakes, hotdogs and abandoned musicians...
Except for us and a few more families with enthusiastic kids that are fighting the weather gods:)
When we looked like drenched seals we left too though...
Something better was calling...
The traditional midsummer food with eggs, herrings, baked salmon, summer salad and meatballs. 
And a few more thing...
Like ice cream, meringues, whipped cream and warm raspberry sauce.
A day with swedish traditions shared with my swedish family. 
Love love love!!!

My little girl!

This six years old girl is one of a kind!
So wise, clever and full of common sense. 
Still so little, so depending and so attached. 
She is a constant company wherever I go and she puts a golden edge to my daily life just by being who she is. 
Positive, funny, curious and caring. 
Ok there lives a little monster inside her too which now and then peeks out ( more often recently actually but not to forget she is six), but that only creates some sort of balance... I wish:)
Sometimes I feel almost scared. 
I really don't want to do, say or act the wrong way so I destroy her way of being.
Instead I want to encourage, build up and make her strong enough to continue her own way.
Meanwhile I walk around with a smile in my heart...
She is only six years old but she has already created so much happiness it will last a lifetime:)

It's raining ...

Today it has been such cold, windy and rainy day.
Absolutely wonderful!
No excuse needed for just staying inside reading a book while the raindrops are hammering on my veranda windows. 
And when I anyhow went outside on my own free will with my daughter it was such a refreshing, invigorating and very wet walk:)
There is something in the air when it's rainy that appeals to me. 
The light is magical, it brings out all the scents from all the flowers and it just gives me the feeling that the world is being washed. 
And my daughter is sharing those moments with me. 
Behind my daughters smile is the pain hidden though. 
The pain of being bored, lonely and homesick. 
Some time spent only with her feels important but also very enriching and fun. 
A good laugh will make us live longer. 
My daughter makes me laugh so hard so I will probably be old like a dinosaur...:)
Mom and daughter time does not require any special conditions.
A mom, a daughter and some time together. 
It feels good every time!
Even when it's raining.

An hour in the forest!

A five minutes bikeride from our summerhouse is an area made for outdoor activities and recreations. 
It is such a wonderful place to get rid of "ants in the pants" , work your heart or just fuel up on peacefulness.
Sometimes I'm on my own, sometimes all the kids are keeping me company but today only Olivia joined.
Nature varies depending on what distance you are running but they all have in common a soft cushioned ground, that almost makes you float, birdsong and a magical feeling of wellness.
Its a place which brings enough shade when it's hot and enough light with the sunrays being filtered through the foliage but unfortunately also a ton of mosquito bites if it's a bad day:)
At the start area ( and the end) of those tracks there is an outdoor gym.
Very popular among my kids but actually a great addition to the theme of wellbeing. 
A visit here now and then will do as good for my body shape as a box of chocolate.
Only in a slightly different way...

Cousin love!

Our days continue to deliver holiday feelings. 
Late nights and lazy mornings, bird songs and butterflies...
So good for my soul. 
Today one of my sisters and the kids cousins arrived too.
Also good for my soul:)
Its a big age difference between the kids but "blood is really thicker than water" in this case and they have no problem hanging out with each other.
They really have been looking forward to see them and will miss them again when they are gone. 
Now we are only waiting for my other sisters and their kids ( plus A and my oldest son) and the happiness and the family will be complete and total. 
I think a big family is such a beautiful thing!
To my kids delight my sister is travelling with a "mobile home".
A cottage on wheel.
I thought that would be an unique thing but the whole camping area were full of the same. 
So I change unique to trendy. 
Good enough:)
I'm so happy to share a whole week of summer in Ystad with my trendy sister and my kids cousins.
I actually believe the sun even got a little stronger today:)
When my other sisters arrive I think ( and hope) it will get warmer too...

Our visit to the zoo!

As I told you yesterday we had such a wonderful day at the little zoo. 
Its more like a farm though where they instead of cows keep camels or bisons :)
It is such a beautiful place and I think all the animals are all taken good care of at least by judging of the space they are given and all that love they got from the caretaker which we witnessed now and then during our "tour".
The area where you are allowed to go in and touch, feel and hug the little creatures was of course the most popular even though it was kind of scary in the beginning. 
It was not long though till they went from barely touching to their first goat selfie:)
No wonder the animals seem to have a good time with an environment like this.
This timeless broad beauty that makes us believe in rainbow pots and a better world. 
Yup, a beautiful day in a beautiful place with my beautiful kids!

My veranda!

Today we went to the little Zoo here just outside Ystad but unfortunately I have not been able to download the pictures yet so that "report" has to wait till tomorrow. 
We had an absolutely wonderful day though which I'm now finishing off at my favorite place in my house while writing this. 
My veranda!!!
My veranda where I still only keep the basics but as long as I have somewhere to sit, pillows, blankets and a candle I'm in a good place:)
Here Im writing, reading, eating, playing games or just contemplating.
Im starting off my day here and I'm finishing my day here. 
Always with a cup of tea ( and sometimes a chocolate).
Its a beautiful place to be in when the sun is out and it's too cold to get outdoor. 
It is also wonderful to sit here when the rain is throwing heavy drops on the windows and it urges me to wrap a blanket around me. 
Nothing in the windows, nothing on the floor but a whole lot of soul sitting in the walls. 
Bella is calling this room her "art studio" and she is constantly in here playing, drawing or painting.
If the doors are open the garden makes a natural extension of this room.
It is such a pleasant room, drenched in light and positive ambience. 
Exactly how I want my summer and mind to be...

I hate mini golf!

Slowly slowly the every day routines are beginning to ask for attention. 
The peaceful atmosphere we started off with is somehow sometimes replaced with "ants in the pants", irritation and arguments. 
Since I wanted to do something to change the "not doing anything" rhythm I decided to take them mini golfing. 
Unfortunately I seemed to not remember how it usually is...
This harmoniq picture of my girls were taking before our mini golf game. 
I did not take a picture after the game cause I was afraid my phone would catch fire...
Every summer I either have forgotten how bad it was playing last year or I'm constantly hoping they ( actually all the kids) would have changed. 
I always feel my kids are the only one shouting, crying, or acting unsporting at the mini golf...
I don't know how many times I've told them to only cheer, encourage and support each other but the only thing they do is to tease, laugh at and talk negative to each other.
The most positive thing so far is that they have never thrown the club in someone's head.
I hate mini golf!
Tomorrow is another day!!!
Tjing tjing

Lazy day in Ystad!

Today jetlagged to the maximum we kind of didn't find the energy to do a lot. 
What is good then is that this is really the most perfect place to do just nothing so it was only to follow our heart and rhythm and let the day pass by without too much of an effort:)
The sun kept shining although it was kind of cold but we still could not resist walking along the sea and only stop for the mandatory ice cream but that was more or less the only "big" happening this day:)
The scenery and colours were stunning and almost no people around made this walk very serene although that feeling got an abrupt ending when the girls started to fight about a scooter. 
Serenity turned into agitation.
One scooter in the family turned into two scooters in the family.
Well the peacefullness was almost too perfect so I guess the kids thought it was time to bring in some balance :)
Nevertheless, all in all it was the most perfect start of our stay here in Sweden and Im starting to feel the calming winds blowing away all stress and give room for peace. 
And swedish chocolate...

Finally here!!!

So suddenly we are finally here!
In my beautiful little slice of paradise.
It rained when we landed but the closer we got Ystad in the car the brighter the sky looked. 
And at our house the sun threw its rays on it, lightened up every dark corner both on the house and in my soul and  made the world glimmer. 
The garden was full of lilacs in white and purple and I think the message to us was clear:
Welcome to Sweden!
Despite being tired to the limit I just had to get a few branches to put in a vase.
To be able to enjoy the lilacs a second time this spring/ summer ( in the US they are gone since a month) feels like the ultimate honour and I hope it's a sign of a wonderful summer to come. 
Now my job is to give this winter sleepy house a little tender loving care and to fill it with warmth and of course with life itself.
And that is exactly what I intend to do with my parents too!
But first some sleep:)

Wonderful unnecessary things!

When i started to go through my mental packing list for Sweden I realised there were a few things missing. 
Things that feel important to bring in order for me to kickstart the summer holiday. 
Extremely unneccessary things though if looking in to a wider perspective of life but I guess I am in a deep need of superficial and shallow things in this very moment:)
A new tie dye bag, a pair of white sandals, a pair of new sunglasses ( I think somebody must eat sunglasses cause I never have them when I need them) and a sweater to wear with jeans shorts or white jeans. 
Thats it!
Ingredients that will give me a silly positive start of my summer just by have had ended up in my bag.
I read that the month of May in Stockholm has never been so bad in 200 years but i have a feeling that my stuff are so full of summer so the weather can not resist but will start support my summery thing. 
For safety reason Im also packing the blue sky that suddenly decided to show up this afternoon and so well matches both my bag and sweater. 
I so wish life could be so simple and easy all the time...
Be ready Sweden!
Tomorrow Sunday we will be on our way!!!

First prom!!!

So now I have had a first experience of sending my oldest son out in the American prom world!
A big event that marks the end of the school year.
I actually don't know which one of us were the most nervous, him, me or the beautiful girl that asked him out.
But judging my state in this very moment ,horizontal on the sofa feeling like something the cat dragged in, I think I win. ( I really hope he is not horizontal yet on a sofa...)
Just looking at my son dressed in a tuxedo with too long pants and a flower on his jacket that did not want to stay upright made my heart overflow with love and tenderness. 
So grown up but still so young...
My son who first did not want to go to the prom.
My son who actually shaved for this occasion. 
My son who didn't want to do anything with his hair before the prom because there would be people at the dance lined up waiting for him and ready to fulfill his "man bun" wish.
I so would have loved to be a fly on the wall at the prom and at the post -prom -party they will attend after.
Instead I will be at home pretending that this is a normal day with nothing special happening.
Tomorrow I will listen to his first prom experience. ( I wish)
Trying not to sound too eager to hear every detail. ( although I want to squeeze every single word out from him like a dish cloth)
Trying not to sound too disappointed when he tells me nothing...( frustration is just the first name)
Now its late and that's why I'm taking out things in advance. 
Tomorrow is another day:)
To have sent of my handsome son to his first prom made a little mark in my heart though...
What a wonderful start of the holiday!

Mamma Mia!!!

My in laws left Sunday!
On the Saturday we finished up a wonderful week by taking them to see Mamma Mia the musical. 
In my opinion one of the most positive and energy boosting musical out there. 
The songs, the story and of course the swedish origin is absolutely amazing and made the bloodstream in our veines bubble. 
I have watched this show so many times but I never get tired of it. 
I just love the humour, the contagious positive energy and the happiness thIs musical is passing on.
A complete energy boost and a perfect ending for my in laws.
After an intensive week full of sightseeing, exploring and experiensing I do not think they were able to take in more of neither New York nor a busy 4 kids family. 
On the other hand I believe they got to experience the best of "New York for beginners" and hopefully they went back to their own home with minds full of fantastic memories and hearts filled with love.
The Mamma Mia musical crowned the week in the most perfect way:)

My kitchen being immortalised

A while ago I had a very distinguished visitor!
The swedish photographer Paul Brissman, active here at this side of the world, decided to take a look at our kitchen through his camera lens. 
But unfortunately it is nothing to be too excited about though because he had a specific reason to be there...
It was only our architect Simon Stigsby who wanted to get some professional photos of my kitchen for his website:)
It was very interesting though to see the kitchen from his view and his camera lens. 
There are so many different angles to look at the room from and I almost looked at my new kitchen with new eyes. 
What also was funny was the amount of time he needed to take one photo.
It had to be the right light, the right angle and the right motif. 
Considering all that time spent in my kitchen ( almost three hours for two pictures) one can wonder if he had difficulties finding those ingredients in my room:)
Every photo was carefully looked at on the computer and then edited to finally become the final product.
I so enjoyed watching him crawling on the floor, clinging on to the walls or in a corner. 
Everything to get the perfect shot!
Like a true artist ,using my kitchen as a canvas, his camera as the brush and the actual photo the final piece of art.
Me like!!!
And somehow our kitchen looked as nice through his lens as it does through my eyes:)

A midsummer night's dream!

Every year each grade at Olivia's school perform a play for the rest of the students and their parents. 
In seventh grade the tradition is to perform a Shakespeare.
So Friday night the whole family plus my in laws took a seat in the auditorium to enjoy Olivia in A midsummer night's dream.
She was one of the fairies. 
This was the setting for the play and OMG what a beautiful and talented group of seventh graders that then performed and made that stage magical.
 I did not understand a word (my English is not good enough) but when I asked the actors they did not understand either so I was in good company:)
What I understood though was the energy, the engagement and the glitter in their eyes coming from having fun on the stage and that was unbeatable. 
Also the choreography, the costumes and the positive spirit passed on a feel-good feeling to the audience. 
My Olivia was a fairy with only four lines but as a mom I of course thought she made the whole show!
Her face expressions and body language told me she really enjoyed being up there...
A wonderful Friday night filled with a beautiful mix of classic's and modern. 
Well done kids!
Im so proud of you and your performance. 

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