Wednesday, January 28, 2015

New York, New York

It is a wonderful town.  Headed down for a couple of days, pre-Juno, and enjoyed the heck out of it.  I saw three shows ranging from wonderful to just so-so, ate lots of good food, went to a nice little museum called the Neue Galerie and hung out with my father.
First we saw "Disgraced" which is an intimate play set in an Upper East Side apartment where a dinner conversation quickly jumps off the rails and enters the place where it never should have gone. I just kept on thinking "hasn't anyone ever taught them not to talk about politics or religion?" because that's pretty much what the characters do for the whole play.  The acting was great and it made for a good discussion afterwards.

The next show we saw was the last performance of "The Last Ship" with Sting in one of the leads. He wrote the lyrics and the music, which was good, but I wish there was more of it.  Three songs does not a musical make.  Wild applause by breathless hanger-ons followed practically every song and there was great swells of it at the end.  The actors seemed genuinely moved by it.  A special night to be sure but I felt it was a let-down, especially since Sting never took off his shirt. ;-)  Kidding!  Here's what someone smarter than me said about it, review of The Last Ship.
The Last Ship's final night on Broadway
We saved the best for last in my opinion by seeing the delightful "Into The Woods" at the Roundabout the following day.  I loved it.  The Fiasco Theater Production of the play, which of course was written by Steven Sondheim, was witty, and very enjoyable.  The small cast did a wonderful job of jumping into different roles and clothes on stage, shedding one persona for another in a blink of an eye.  This was especially hysterical when the prince became Cinderella's ugly stepsister or vice verse.  Now that I've finally seen the play I feel like I'm well prepared to view the movie "Into the Woods" directed by Rob Marshall, and I look forward to comparing the two.

So much fun in New York, it was a shame that the blizzard had to come and ruin it.  I missed the dinner for which I had bought my extra special $16 dress (ha, ha) but I will hopefully be able to wear it another time soon.  I had to leave on the train home a day early, but I'm glad that I did as I was able to enjoy the snow-days at home with the kids instead of in a bus terminal somewhere!  Hope you had a great weekend too.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Packing for New York

Heading to NY for a weekend! Here's a peak at my bag -  black Michael Kors pants that feel like sweatpants (so comfy), a killer dress by "baileyblue" that I snagged at Marshalls for only $16 (love that price and the lace inset in the back), a couple of sweaters including a knock-off of one that Gwynnie wore that I coveted, a gold sweater and a black cardie to go with the dress.  Now, what shoes?  With a snowstorm heading our way, that's the real question du jour.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Looking to find your inner Swede? Sharing a casting search post:

Looking to find your Swedish roots? This is for real people: read on!  I've seen the show and it's a lot of fun.  Good luck!

Hi! My name is Denise Karlström and I am working with casting in Sweden, at a production company call Meter Television. Meter is known for TV- programs such as "The Biggest loser", “Masterchef” and the NBC hit Min it to win it. We are now conduction a nationwide casting for season 5 of the nominated TV series, “ALLT FÖR SVERIGE” (The previous working title of the show was Great Swedish adventure). We are looking for outgoing, fun and adventurous people in different ages for next season. They have to be Americans of Swedish descent and never have visited Sweden or any of the other Scandinavian countries before. 
Some Swedes settled down in your state when they immigrated back in the days. Therefore we would like to ask you if you know anyone with a little bit of Swedish blood that want to find out about their heritage?! We would be super happy and really appreciate your help if you could pass this information on or put it up on your webpage. Our deadline to apply is Feb 11 2015. The show will be shooting in the summer 2015. To apply for our show you have to go on
Thank you so much for reading this and for your help! Best regards, Denise

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Who could resist posting this?

See the link above to the Guardian?  Really, 'nuff said.  I just think this video is hilarious, but I guess you have to "think like a Swede".  If you get all hot n' bothered about Tinky Winky in the Teletubbies then this is NOT for you. So don't watch it then!  But if it doesn't bother you, the song is quite catchy. The idea is to talk about things like human bodies before kids get all embarrassed about it. When I worked at a Swedish preschool the kids were introduced to information about animals - male, female and baby - the kids understood that there were differences between them.  And it was no big deal.
Remember Jerry Falwell, and the furor that erupted over the show? Here's a reminder of this silliness.  So funny to see this video and compare it to the old show, just chalk it up to cultural differences friends.  And on that note, there's some interesting tid bits on cultural concepts that we don't have in the States.  Personally I love Danish "hygge" - the embodiment of warm and cozy which just about perfect his time of year.  To learn more about that and some other cultural concepts take a look at the link below.  Enjoy!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Icelandic Horses

Horseback riding is big in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries. The Icelandic ponies are very poular for children because of their smaller size and nice dispositions.  I found this adorable picture of our little pricess on an Icelandic horse which was taken a couple of years ago.  Isn't she cute? The horse race is one of the purest in the world and they are stocky little souls. Click on the video from Kentucky Life if I've piqued your interest to learn more about these lovely animals..  

I'd love to head over to Iceland to meet some of these beautiful horses and go for a ride through the countryside. There's even a horse park in Iceland called Fákasel Horse Park, located about an hours drive from the Keflavik airport, where you can see a horse show every evening (see photo below) and meet the horses in their barn during the day.
Fakasel Horse Park photo
The horse above is doing the "tölt" - the fifth gait which only the Icelandic ponies do that is sometimes called the "running walk".  The Vikings brought the horses with them with Iceland, and no other horse breeds are allowed on the island. I understand why they are very proud of their horses.  Can't you imagine running over the lava fields on one of these little guys?  I think the kids and I would like it.  And even if you can't make it overseas there are places locally to try as well, like this one in Waitsfield, Vermont that looks nice, for example ( search for places closer to you.

Martha Stewart rode an Icelandic Horse and had this to say about them; "At first glance, these small, compact creatures look adorable and pony-like.  However, in addition to being adorable, Icelandic horses are very strong, very spirited, and very fast!"  Sounds fun!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

10 Steps to Swedify Yourself

10 Steps to Swedify Yourself
Here's a cool resource, and it's free.  (Click the link above, and it will lead you to babbel and free Swedish language lessions.) Bone up on your Swedish, and while you're at it, they've got some funny tips on how to "Swedify yourself".  And yes, I do like marmelad on my cheese sandwich.

For those of you American Swedes who have just found my site - welcome!  A brief introduction: I am born in America and have lived in Sweden so I speak both languages; which I have tried to teach (unsuccessfully) my two children.  With a handsome hubby and a job as a teacher, I am a lucky lady who tries to stay current in all things Swedish - the news, the customs and friends and relatives in the "old country".  I'm up for all kinds of silliness.  I hope that you like my blog!  Please leave a comment. Tack!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Balaclava weather

OK, it's officially cold - a hunker down, drink your hot cocoa, dress in layers and turn up the thermostat kind of cold.  Just the right kind of weather for .... balaclava babe!  Ha, ha!  It's not the most stylish of looks but thanks to the "Friendly Swedes" at The Friendly Swede, I for one plan to stay warm on the ski slopes this season.  It's a nice soft hat so I'm hoping it will do the trick.  Read more about Swedes and cross-country skiing here.  Balaclava babe wanna-bes can check out  Do you like cross country or downhill skiing better, or are you a stay in the lodge kind of guy or gal?  Curious minds want to know. :-)