Wednesday, February 3, 2016


What's that?  Well it's not a type of flea (loppa in Swedish) and it's not a medicine with weird side effects - it's an old Swedish tradition including cross-country skiing, blueberry soup and lots of fresh snow.  The real Vasaloppet is a 90 km (55 mile) long distance cross-country ski competition between Sälen and Mora. There's some interesting history behind the event (if you're inclined to click on the link above for more) and it's biggest and oldest cross-country ski race in the world held typically held the first Sunday in March.
2015 Vasalopp winners Eliassen from Norway and Kowalczyk from Poland
Fingers crossed that there will be snow in this neck of the woods as we were just invited to the annual Boston Vasalopp in Weston, MA in February 14th.  Given by SWEA (Swedish Women's Educational Association) and The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce of New England this is a fun outdoor event in which local Swedes best one another on a measly 5 mile course.  There are shorter kid events too.

Personally, I have fond memories of my daughter doing the mini ski course at the flattest part of the flattest town in Sweden.  (Tee, hee.  My little 5-year old girlie in her booger-green ski suit was so cute!)  At any rate, flashback is over, here's the event information for those of you "i trakterna" (the area). Pray for snow.  We won't be here but hope that some of you can make it to Vasaloppet!

SWEA Boston and SACC New England invite you to a True Nordic Tradition,
The Boston Vasalopp cross-country ski race at Weston Ski Track.

Bring Your Family and Friends - All Levels Welcome!
The Race for adults is approximately 5 miles (9 km) long while
kids' races are shorter and organized according to age.
A great outdoor event on the cross-country tracks includes:
All-Day Trail Pass, Starting Fee, Blueberry Soup (Blåbärssoppa),
Semlor, Hot Dogs, Coffee, Prizes and more!
  • Race registration, ski rental and fitting begins at 8.30am

  • Kids Race will start at 9.30am

  • Adult Race will start at 10.00am  

Ski rental is available at the Weston Ski Track: adults $15, children $8

Date: 2/14/2016
Time: Registration starts at 8.30am
Place: Weston Ski Track 
190 Park Road Weston, MA 02493

Join The Vasaloppet - get your ticket today! 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Looking for work and parenting in Sweden

Hi everyone, still looking for work but a couple of good interviews this week so we'll see.  Fingers crossed!  I wish sometimes that I was back in Sweden where I had a good job with a decent wage and great working environment.  For me that meant set times that I could rely on, a boss who saw my value and helped me improve, and two breaks (coffee and lunch) that Ingelill made me take because I should!  Don't you love that mentality?  That to take care of children, you need to take care of yourself?  I do, and it's true.  A teacher can burn out but with some easy preventive measures, like a 15 minute break with a cup of coffee and a silly magazine, we can get up refreshed and keep giving 100%.  If I was ever in school administration that would be a big part of my mantra - take care of the teachers so they can take care of the kids.
my little Vikings learning outdoors
Here's an excellent article for those of you who would like to  better understand the culture in Sweden and how it results in a different parenting style.  Basically the "it takes a village to raise a child" approach is alive and well in Sweden but instead of your neighbors pitching in there's aftercare for all, and free daycare/school from age 12 months+.  How much easier would it be for me to get a job if I knew that my children would be well taken care of?  It's drives me a little nuts to think of the things I've given up sometimes.  (For example 480 days of paid maternity leave to be shared by the parents.) I sure hope handsome hubby appreciates it!  I love the US (sometimes not so much) but my husband always and truly.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

This is Sweden

This is at any rate a movie about Sweden that will be shown tomorrow in New York when Mikael Damberg, Swedish Minister of Industry and Trade, visits the stock market.  I love it, do you?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Art before dishes

Here's some excellent advice for everyone from brain pickings.  As I have a Start 2 Art class tonight it's one I am going to follow today!  Need to get crackin' :)

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Formex concludes

Formex is a great place to pick up on new retail trends.  I've written about it before, here and here, it was such a wonderful thing to do many moons ago with my friend Christina that I've followed it ever since.  It appears that a blue and white boho look will be in full force in Scandinavia this spring. The exhibit which is held in Stockholm for three days every January and August just concluded today.
Emma Fällman
Emma Fällman was announced the winner of the award 'Formex Formidable 2015' which is a great honor.  The jury selected the designer of these lushly designed silk scarves which can be purchased online in Sweden because, to quote from the Formex website.
Emma Fällman’s Totem Tiger stands for strength, bravery and beauty. And her Cockatoo represents positive change. This is young Swedish design with an attitude.Imagery that exudes both urban tattoos and folk art in an exciting cavalcade of patterns. It awakens the tiger within us.
Really?  Not sure a scarf can do that, but they are as gorgeous than Hermes which makes them at 2250 Swedish Krones a relative bargain ($261).  Hermes on the other hand will set you back about $395.
La Marche de Zambeze scarf by Hermes 
And finally here's a link from the amazing  Frida went to Formex and came away with inspiring shots of beautiful textiles and designs.  Enjoy!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Beautiful torp (cottage)

Today's daydreams led me to Sköna Hem, a Swedish magazine with inspirational and aspirational home decor, perfect for soft house porn.  Check out this spread on the beautiful little cottage in the woods north of Stockholm.  It's tiny, only 40 square meters or 430 square feet, and it's off in the woods in Broby close to a lake called Yngaren.
Check out the dining room with its old fashioned charm
The living room is adorable yet hits on all the latest trendy colors (soft blue and rose, see Pantone's Rose Quartz and Serenity color of the year here).
Don't you love the oven? The kitchen is the only room without wallpaper.  Love it!
The whole place reminds me of some of my favorite Swedish illustrators, and the feeling of being hidden away in the woods which is a very acute longing in many Swedes.  Just being with nature in Sodermanland would be a dream.  It's for sale on

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Danish Girl (not really she's Swedish)

Congratulations to Swede Alicia Vikander, nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress for her role in "The Danish Girl"!  Did you see it? I haven't but this girl is everywhere! Here she is sharing glogg with Will Ferrell and Jimmy Fallon. She is lovely and talented.  Heja Alicia!