Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Holiday Essentials


I leave for Greece this week. Greece has always had a very special place in my heart - we started travelling around the islands when I was around 7 and we went for weeks every year. But as I got a little older I started planning my own trips - so now I haven't been back in 3 years! Thats forever in my book, and its about time! So this year I'm going for 3 weeks with first my family and then my boyfriend..and then my boyfriend and my family. I'm really excited! But being away for so long means having to pack like my entire closet but after so many summers I have learnt what you really need while lazying away on a beach, so here's what I am going to bring: 



bringing a huge wallet to the beach seems pointless, I bring my card, some cash, and my phone and put it in this - Marc Jacobs and super bright orange so its perfect when you get a little tan :-)


So loads of sun cream and Moroccan Oil for my hair - the sun and salt water for 3 weeks will no doubt try and dry my hair out but aparently this will help 


Aint' no body got time fo' red spots


The most delicious body butter from the Body Shop: Blueberry


Bikinis, lots, and lots of bikinis...


The cobble stones, sandy beaches and really, really, high steps up to our hotels make heels and other uncomfortable shoes impossible so these flip flops will be glued to my feet 24/7





Monday, June 24, 2013

Foreigner at the solstice


I've had the fortune of celebrating Midsummer a few years now, in Sweden the world stops if you don't celebrate and most out-of-
Sweden-swedes carry on that tradition in their respective countries. In England however its not a bank holiday (for us Swede's its weird to even think about working that day) So for the years I lived there we never really celebrated. I would be in the sweltering hot of London, or on a beach in Greece unaware of the day of the week, much less any "important" dates passing by. So I guess you could say that I'm a bit new to Midsummer, and I thought I'd try and share an outsider's perspective.

In England everyone loves the dry sunny summers, after a rainy (not snowy) winter they are always sick of the rain. Who wouldn't be though? But it makes sense that they don't celebrate Midsummer in the way that Swedes do. How many hours there are of sunlight becomes a big deal when we go from seven hours in the winter to 20 hours in the summer - how can you not celebrate that? 

During the month of December one of the northernmost places in Sweden, called Kiruna, have sunlight between 10:14 - 12:41. During the month of June - the sun doesn't set in Kiruna. From 2.5 hours to 24 hours a day of sun you can start to understand the phenomenon that is Midsummer.

It's not just celebrating the sun though, the original tradition was all about celebrating all different kinds of fertility. As the days grow longer and the sun reaches our cold country, plant, animal, and human life has time to be re-born - and thats why we dance around a huge pole that (if you didn't already know and thought it was a huge coincidence) resembles a big p***s 

Lovely people right? I think so, because why not celebrate the P***s

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Midsommar


The biggest holiday in Sweden is no doubt "Midsommar" or Midsummer. It is such a huge deal in Sweden (probably because half the year is complete darkness) and people take their celebrations seriously. Stockholm becomes a ghost town and everyone flees the city to country houses. Their own or someone else's. Either way, you must not stay in Stockholm. Midsommar is on the summer solstice, AKA the shortest night of the year - in Sweden the sun barely sets and you spend all day and night outside, shivering under blankets and being eaten by mosquitos - its because you have too, and its amazing. My weekend was spent at my best friend Filip's summer house with a few friends and his parents and their friends. We arrived at about 11:30 and were immediately offered wine - on Midsommar you drink, no questions asked. We sat down to lunch at 12 with "sill" (pickled herring), potatoes, Pie, lots of meatballs, and lots and lots of schnapps. You eat, sing songs and drink shots. Drinking before you've barely swallowed breakfast is a hard thing to handle, but I think we all did quite well this year.


Filippo and Nicole





My favorite boys: Filip and Gustav


The craziest and cutest Dog ever, Mojje


Filip and Jonte cuddling while watching the folk dancing 


We met up with Filip's neighbour, Elliot, who had a bunch of people over for Midsommar as well - here are a few of us !




Nicole and I got some snuggles in with the pup, he was the craziest dog who ran around constantly, but as soon as you picked him up he relaxed. So cute!


The guessing game. This drinking game is hilarious when you're already a little tipsy (don't let this be the first game you play) you stick a card to your head without looking at it and you're supposed to guess whether or not your card is the highest by looking at everyone else's. You look silly, and the "oh my god he thinks he has the highest card, he has a 2!!" thoughts going through your head at the same time as the alcohol is what makes this game fun. 


My bestie Filippo



Filips amazing summerhouse


See? I wasn't lying about the blankets. I think we have 3 or 4 covering us.


This is what 9+ hours of drinking will do to you: You try to take one nice photo and it turns into a weird photo shoot.


After this I was too scared to bring my camera...there were too mnay drinks flying around and we ended up on Elliot's brygga/jetty dancing until the sun started coming up again... We spent the next day recuperating with pizza and movies on the couch. The perfect Midsommar. Thank you Filip!


19 on the 19th


My birthday was this Wednesday - and like the title suggests I turned 19 on the 19th which apparently is my golden birthday? Only happens once (unless I live until I'm 119 which I mean to be honest, could happen)

I am usually so excited for my birthday a month in advance, but this year it just didn't hit me. Maybe because 18 was such a big milestone and turning 19 doesn't really come with anything new. But, the night before I got just as excited as I always do and slept so poorly. I ALWAYS have bad dreams the night before, I must be so anxious that it transfers into my dreams. I had 3 bad dreams with about the same storyline - I had slept too long and missed my birthday breakfast, my boyfriend overslept and didn't come to sing for me, and there were no good strawberries to make good Pimms. It was AWFUL - so when we woke up I was relieved to know that I hadn't missed it (and we found good strawberries too)! My boyfriend gave me the prettiest Bracelet and I giggled like a litle girl when he gave it to me. Gustav is the best gift-giver in the entire world, he catches up on little details and remembers them, he knows how much I love Mulberry so this year...I got a little surprise from there!

We headed over to my favorite breakfast Place, Sirap and we ate way too much and way too fast - thank god we took our bikes there so we could just roll over to one of my favourite bars Happy and collapsed into their sun couches and enjoyed the weather in Stockholm. After a few hours we had to get up from our summer slumber and get ready for the evening. I had my Swedish friends over for some English drinks, Pimms! Most had never had it before and everyone was pleasantly surprised...which obviously means we went through almost 3 bottles, countless Strawberries, and two pots of Mint between 10 people. not to mention all the Corona's when the Pimms ran out. We grabbed a few "to go" and headed over to our resident club, Collage

I have found such a lovely group of friends here and I am so blessed to have them in my life! ... not to mention I got some pretty good gifts too ! So, thank you to everyone who was there and shared my big day with me ! 


I wore shorts from Hollister and a "handmedown" shirt my friend Malin gave me





Every year we always have a birthday dinner a few days before my day because I usually want to spend it with my friends, and I always request the same food...its just too delicious to ignore. With strawberries and ice cream for dessert of course! 




Birthday Brunch consisting of French Toast with blueberries, apple, cinnamon and of course syrup. Bagels with cream cheese, the most amazing scrambled eggs, and the star of the show: American pancakes, Blueberries, Bacon and syrup. Who knew?! 


15 minutes later, it was all gone...



...So we escaped here and had a little nap


Some birthday-bubbles. We drank the champagne my boyfriend gave me on my last birthday - how did I manage to keep it for so long? 


The preparations - so yummy I want Pimms again !

The presents: 


The most delicious scented candle ever from my newest friend, Isabel. 


My amazing new bracelet, I'm obsessed!


A bottle of fancy pants Rosé from Caroline, and then a HUGE magnum bottle from my boys. When they gave it to me and I let out a little surprised and excited yelp they just said "only the best for you" and gave me a hug. Gotta love 'em.


And the créme de la créme of Presents - the prettiest skirt I've ever seen from Hunkydory (Swedish brand with amazing clothes). I had been lusting after this skirt for months, everyone from massive blogger Sofi Fahrman to the Crown princess Victoria of Sweden have it and I had kind of given up on it (its not exactly a high-street brand), until I saw it on sale the week before my birthday. Thank you mum for convincing dad! 

All in all, a fantastic birthday, Thank you ! 

11th June

Our internet mysteriously broke the other day...and I cannot believe how handicapped I felt without it... What was I to do? I use my TV to watch movies through my laptop and rarely watch regular TV anymore, my time is spent on blogs, Facebook, and other random websites and without the internet I had soo much more time on my hands, which to be honest, was kind of nice! 

Anyways, I had loads more photos from my friend Anna's graduation/student and I've been gone for a few days to celebrate Midsommar (more about that later) so I wanted to put them up here because they make me so happy! 







The Song of the Summer


I know that this song will be the "sommar plåga" as we call it in Sweden. You know that one song that is so overplayed but makes you so happy anyways because of all the memories you have when its been played? This time the song is by our favorite DJ here in Sweden - Avicii 

Wake Me Up:


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Anna


My best friend in the whole world graduated from high school last week. We've been friends since we were 6 years old, and now both us are 19 (or I turn tomorrow) and we're both high school graduates! It's so crazy how far we've come, and I am so so proud of her and so so happy to have been there with her to celebrate! And man did we celebrate, her party was one of the best I've ever been too, haven't had that much fun in a long time. 

Swedish graduations are special...as I mentioned in my last post and I have been so nostalgic and really missing my big day  - I was scared I would be jealous and wouldn't think it was fun. I have never been as wrong in my whole life! 

I started "her" day preparing the rest of the food and house with her parents. Me and her little brother were put in charge of balloons and alcohol ;) 

We were a bunch of "young people" with a few of our friends, family friends, and her little brothers friends. We played drinking games and mingled with parents, ran around playing with younger kids and had so much fun! At about 11 we left to go to a nightclub that her graduating class had rented for the night - it was fun, but the party definitely peaked at her house, and how often can you say that? 

To sum it up, I loved it, and I love you Anna! 







My internet is being very slow, so I'll add more photos next time !

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Early Summer Days


There are few things better than Swedish Summer. But there are fewer places where I would want to be right now. The weather has been amazing in Sweden this past week, I've been working a lot but any chance I got I was out in the sun! 

It was almost 25 degrees this past Sunday - I cycled out to Djurgården and suntanned for a few hours...ended up getting a b***h of a shorts tan but oh well ;) 





Recognize him? The BIGGEST football star ever was at the spa in the same mall where I work, I jumped at the chance to get a photo of him, and literally started jumping afterwards as I was so star struck! For those of you who don't recognize him, thats Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Swedish player at Paris Saint Germain right noooow!



A quick break during our day to meet up by Junibacken for a little sun - amazing weather and amazing view



My lovely new bike ! I couldn't be more pleased, been biking EVERYWHERE recently - I'm hoping it'll kick be into shape


Enjoying my new shoes...



I finished at 5 on friday so my boyfriend prepared a picnic for us and we biked out to Djurgården (yes its my favorite spot in town, and so close to where I live so its a hard place to ignore)




My gorgeous boyfriend :)




New Sunglasses! Ray Ban aviator blue mirror - obsessed



Strawberries and Rosé - he knows exactly what I need on a friday evening 


I am so in love with this city sometimes - gorgeous view over Djurgårdsbrunn




Bad iPhone photo - good boyfriend