Monday, March 30, 2015

Påsk- Easter in Sweden

Hello, it's snowing outside (kid you not) but the household is still intent on Easter and celebrating it to the max!  Here's some interesting information on Easter (påsk) in Sweden.  Personally I am looking forward to "Dymmelonsdag" (otherwise known as "hump day") because I like the sound of it. Have a good week - the countdown has begun!

Svarta måndag 
In the old days this day was called Black Monday because it was the day when chimneys were swept. 

Vita tisdag 
Tuesday was called White Tuesday because the chimneys had been cleaned and were nice and white. 

Exactly why it is called “dymmel” and what a “dymmel" is remains unclear. But on Wednesdays everybody had to be quiet to observe Easter, and a little wooden clapper was put on all the bells of the churches. Such a thing is called a “dymbil” and perhaps that’s why it is called “dymmelonsdag”. Also, the old Nordic word for quiet is “dumb” and it might derive from that. 

Maundy Thursday in Swedish is called "Skärtorsdag" but has nothing to do with the Swedish color for pink (skär). In this case “skär” is an old word for cleansing and cleaning as Jesus washed the feet of his apostles. Skärtorsdagen is also the day of the Last Supper. It was a dangerous day to be out, because the old spirits had been let loose (when Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus). Skärtorsdag’s night was the time to get engaged with the devil. He usually appeared at road crossings, and you could sign a contract with him that in exchange for riches, he would get your soul. Contracts like these have actually been found; the people who signed them were executed. 

Good Friday was of course the day Jesus was crucified. As you can hear in the Swedish word for the day, it was a long (lång) day, and painful. In remembrance of Jesus, fasting was especially important this day, and it has been a holiday in Sweden since the 17th century. Until 1969, public entertainment was prohibited on this day in Sweden. Everything was closed, including movie theaters and restaurants. 

Check this link for more

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Boda Borg in Boston

Take a look at my new pages, one on art, one on Nordic Niche, and another on the books I've read recently.  Hope you enjoy them!  Here's a scoop for those of you like me, with jumpy kids at home in the Boston area.  A Swedish company is opening a "Boda Borg" here.  What's that?  Well
"borg" means castle in Swedish and I guess this place offers "questing" in a castle!

The 30,000 square foot building in Malden will bring obstacle courses blended with puzzles solving. It's the first of its kind in America although the Boda Borgs have been around in Sweden and Ireland. My kids will love it!  Can't wait for it to open this summer at 90 Pleasant Street in Boston.  Read more on their website: Boda Borg, or for more information on the company check out betaboston.
Boda Borg is a chain of indoor "questing" facilities. (Photo courtesy of the company.)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Bathroom remodel dreaming

Nice looking bath picked up from Ricedesignblog via Pinterest (NOT our ugly little one)
Hubby and I are contemplating a bathroom re-do for our extremely small "master bath".  If the Lilliputians had a "master bath" it would look like this one, with a super small tub, hardly any space to move around, and a toilet that defies you to get up because it's so low to the ground.  Having no building skills whatsoever I figure the most DIY we'll get around to is pulling up the ugly vinyl flooring and possibly smashing the laminate vanity (I've always wanted to do that.)

So far our search has taken me to Lowe's, to internet sites like "Urban Outfitters" and craigslist.  As you can obviously our budget is also "Lilliputian".  But before reality sets in too hard, here's what I'm thinking.  The tiles I like are really quite simple.  They are from Lowe's and you can use any color grout you like to coordinate.
For the bathroom vanity we're thinking of this little piece which will give us more space to move around than our current one, also at Lowe's called "Emberlin".
I'm also wondering what to do with ugly-*** mirror and big bulb lights that are straight out of the '70's.  Hubby wants a medicine cabinet, but I'm thinking of using two bigger mirrored cabinets from IKEA for over the toilet.  These are called "Lillången" and have nice shelves on the sides for even more storage.  
So what to do with the mirror?  Some people put a frame around it which I like, and there is also the possibility of adding driftwood or tile along the sides which could be cool.  The ugly lights will be resolved somehow.  I am kind of liking this concept, which just covers the lights like so:
Cool huh? Check it out on at Vanity Shades of Vegas.

One last thing, if you like the farmhouse look you might like the Hemnes bathroom line, NOW on sale at IKEA, until 3/31/15!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Fashion, Spring 2015

Michael Kors, spring 2015
Hej!  Thinking of fashion today, and how I could really use a lift.  Headed to the closest store (happened to be TJMaxx) and just was seriously uninspired.  So I thought, 'k, if you can't find anything fun, make it!  Well I can sew but the issue is, I don't know what to make.  Living in the 'burbs, and slogging through this seriously debilitating winter (with Sorel boots as the height of fashion) I just don't know what looks good anymore! 

If I were to sew something I might try for a summery skirt and top, perhaps like these ones by Michael Kors, but keeping most of the pattern to the top.  What do you think?
Gingham is in too, and these skirts look easy, breezy and fun.
Who knows if it will ever get warm enough to wear something resembling this or the cool clothes in this ad video for H&M, see Cochella Clothes at H&M  In the meantime I'm enjoying dreaming of summer sun wearing clothes like these.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spettkaka and other Swedish treats

Hej!  This interesting video will make you smile.  He talks about some "skånsk" treats including the classic dessert, Mårtens gås (goose dinner), and falafel - yes, falafel!  :) Yum!

The 400-Year-Old Swedish Dessert That Will Make You Dizzy:

Sunday, March 15, 2015

And the Melodifestival winner is Heroes!

So the results are in and Heroes won!  I'm happy for several reasons:
  • I bet my husband that Heroes would win which he did royally with 35.5% of the votes
  • I liked Måns Zelmerlöw's singing and his behavior during the big reveal was appropriate - nice to see he's not too cool for school.
  • Måns is from Lund, my Swedish home town, yeah!
Here is the song, which I think has good chances at the Eurovision contest on May 3rd. 
Below please find my snarky comments (in italics) on each of the contestants because the best part of watching the show is getting to make fun of everyone.  That and eating cheese curls ;-)

The Final contestant list annotated by the snarky Swede aka me
  • Samir & Viktor - Groupie (Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad, Kevin Högdahl, Maria Smith, Viktor Thell) Groupie instead of selfie cry tons of back up dancers, and two "Wham!" wanna-bes. They were excited to get points from some international country... not sure which one.  Can you say "Zoolander"? 
  • JTR - Building It Up (JTR, Erik Lewander, Iggy Strange Dahl) I missed this one - my video cut out, but it didn't get a single vote so no biggie
  • Dinah Nah - Make Me (La La La) (Dinah Nah, dr alban, Jakke Erixson, Karl-Ola Kjellholm Meh, cute girl but the song and the mess of chessy back-up dancers makes it a miss.
  • Jon Henrik Fjällgren - Jag är fri (Manne Liem Frije) (Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Erik Holmberg, Tony Malm, Josef Melin) Lots of people wanted this "yoik" song to win (see my blog about this style of singing that the Lapps created here) but I thought it was over playing the Swedish angle.  And that's saying a lot. ;-) Great Britain liked him.

  • Jessica Andersson - Can’t Hurt Me Now (Aleena Gibson, Fredrik Thomander) She's stunning, and so was the dress, but the song felt old, whiny and dusty.  She said that she would change her clothes if she won Melodifestivalen so I guess she's stuck wearing this one. Ha, ha!
  • Måns Zelmerlöw - Heroes (Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad, Joy Deb, Linnea Deb) It won by a landslide.  The song is good and so are the special effects.  He's cute too.  Like that.
  • Linus Svenning - Forever Starts Today (Aleena Gibson, Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad, Fredrik Kempe) Facial hardware, tattoes and hard body don't mix with sappy song and off-key vocals. Forever does not start today for this guy.
  • Isa - Don’t Stop (Isa Tengblad, Johan Ramström, Gustaf Svenungsson, Magnus Wallin, Oscar Merner) She's a 16 year old cutie.  Hubby asked. "Who's that Zara Larsson?"  Good question, but no, not as good.  And again with the bad dancing, what's up with that?
  • Magnus Carlsson - Möt mig i Gamla stan (Thomas G:son, Lina Eriksson) I really did not like this song.  Guy seemed desperate, and I gues it's his eigth time at the Music Festival so it all makes sense.  The whole thing, including his eyebrows, felt overproduced.  Sorry.
  • Eric Saade - Sting (Fredrik Kempe, Hamed ”K-one” Pirouzpanah, David Kreuger, Sam Arash Fahmi) This was my second favorite.  He had a Michael Jackson jacket which deterred by a nice danceable song.  He's from Skåne too!

  • Mariette - Don’t Stop Believing (Miss Li, Sonny Gustafsson) Mariette, what can I say, the dreadlocks and crow apparel didn't work for me.  The Mediterrean nations seemed to approve but it was cheese city.  The witches coven in the back didn't help one bit. It's so bad it's funny.  I have to post her video so you can check out the dancer with weird feet that appears early in the song.  Not to be believed. 
  • Hasse Andersson - Guld och gröna skogar (Anderz Wrethov) Good old Hasse, so Skånsk he's almost a parody of himself, but fact is I do know people who talk like that.  Anyway the whole package with the syrupy dance band nostagia, combined with his heavy accent proved too much for my taste.  Many Swedes loved him of course. HH called him the Swedish Kenny Rogers - Kenneth Rogersson perhaps?
My son thinks I'm being too cruel so my apologies, in advance, but it's just toooo much fun not to diss.  Add comments if you have anything to add or think I'm nuts.  (Swedes can get very passionate about this stuff I know.) More here about the contest  melodifestival-2015.html On to Vienna!  I bet Conchita is looking forward to meeting Måns.  Can you see why I love this ****?
Conchita Wurst

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Melodifestival! Finals in 30 minutes...

The countdown begins, and I've got up and running. It's a strong bunch of contestants this year, should make for a good show.  Hubby is making us some smoothies, and I've got the popcorn. And may the best man, woman or other win!  More here about the contest

The Final

The line-up of the final looks like this:
  1. Samir & Viktor - Groupie (Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad, Kevin Högdahl, Maria Smith, Viktor Thell)
  2. JTR - Building It Up (JTR, Erik Lewander, Iggy Strange Dahl)
  3. Dinah Nah - Make Me (La La La) (Dinah Nah, dr alban, Jakke Erixson, Karl-Ola Kjellholm)
  4. Jon Henrik Fjällgren - Jag är fri (Manne Liem Frije) (Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Erik Holmberg, Tony Malm, Josef Melin)
  5. Jessica Andersson - Can’t Hurt Me Now (Aleena Gibson, Fredrik Thomander)
  6. Måns Zelmerlöw - Heroes (Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad, Joy Deb, Linnea Deb)
  7. Linus Svenning - Forever Starts Today (Aleena Gibson, Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad, Fredrik Kempe)
  8. Isa - Don’t Stop (Isa Tengblad, Johan Ramström, Gustaf Svenungsson, Magnus Wallin, Oscar Merner)
  9. Magnus Carlsson - Möt mig i Gamla stan (Thomas G:son, Lina Eriksson)
  10. Eric Saade - Sting (Fredrik Kempe, Hamed ”K-one” Pirouzpanah, David Kreuger, Sam Arash Fahmi)
  11. Mariette - Don’t Stop Believing (Miss Li, Sonny Gustafsson)
  12. Hasse Andersson - Guld och gröna skogar (Anderz Wrethov)