Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A trip to the Far East



My last post about traveling got me thinking about all the travels I've made over the past few years, and no doubt about it going to Shanghai, China was at the top of the list.
Before Stockholm and London I lived on the west coast of Sweden, Göteborg for 3 years with my family where I made friends with a group of amazing girls. I guess the group started with Adina and Elsa who have known each other since birth, then Anna flew over from across the pond and joined in a few years later. A few years after that Rebecca and I joined, and yet another few years later Frida joined the group. I've known these girls since I was six and we've managed to stay close friends for over 13 years - isn't that insane?! I'm impressed, especially since I haven't lived in the same city as them for 10 of those years! Anyways.. as 2011 came around Adina and her family moved to Shanghai. Another member moving far away, but I think we were all quite confident that the distance wouldn't change things, especially since we couldn't wait to visit ! So we did and now after a bit of a quick summary of our friendship, I thought I'd take you along on a trip down memory lane...

 Here they are gorgeous girls after a day of shopping, which by the way was what filled most of our days there..

It was my first trip to China and I LOVED it. How lucky am I that a year later my dad moves there?! 


The smog was a worry for me before we went, you hear these extreme accounts of the smog, but thankfully Shanghai is a bit better off than Beijing and on our last day we were graced with a completely sunny day with no clouds and no smog. This is kind of what it looked like, bit grey but the photo makes it look worse than it was to be honest.

Besides shopping and getting stuck in traffic, we also pranced around parks


Oh yes, I meant that quite literally.


As we ventured through parts of Shanghai we came across this beautiful park, it wasn't the biggest of parks and what we found amusing was that some sort of sports team were doing laps around the park. Since it took them about 2 minutes to run around the whole thing we saw them a number of times...and decided to race them. Rude? naaaah they loved it! kind of...

And of course we headed down to "The Bund" to look at that infamous Shanghai skyline, and I've got to say, it was incredible. It's all so huge and its difficult to take it all in!



Another thing thats hard to get used to in China? The insane amounts of people that live here! Now down here by the Bund are a lot of tourists, but thats just as insane, there are so many people visiting Shanghai everyday that these tourist places are filled to the brim all the time. 


We also managed to head over here on Annas birthday night, the lights made it even prettier and before we headed out for a "night on the town" we also stopped by here to pose for some photos.. We all took photos like crazy and I think Anna had 500+ photos at the end of the trip. So of course we wanted to document this night as well...



...what we weren't expecting were the 100 Chinese people wanting to document this as well:



To show our thanks to Adina's parents for letting 5 extra girls (they already have 4 daughters) stay in their house, we wanted to get some flowers, and what better place than a gorgeous flower market around the corner from Adina's house.


Gorgeous!


Of course we were tempted to buy these huge peppers and put them together as a bouquet like Ashton Kutcher in "No strings Attached" (although he used carrots)


We ventured over to the lovely Yu Garden...




Luckily no one fell in...


i could probably add about 100 more photos...but I'll pass. This post is leaving me all nostalgic and wanting to go back..luckily I will be in almost exactly a month (although this time will be to Beijing, exciting!)



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Travel or Travel?


My best friend Malin left Stockholm this week to return to Sydney for a second time for a "gap year" trip. She's going to live and work there for a few months and well..skip our awful Swedish winters. I've never been to Australia and I would love to go, I'm definitely jealous but after I dropped her off at the bus station I started thinking about how funny it is that two people that are so similar in some ways, can be so different in other ways as well? When I think about what Malin is doing, it's so right for her, it doesn't feel strange that she's going back, but I would never be the one doing it the way she is.

 Right now my friends and I are at the age of the word "travelling" not just meaning a vacation, but...a new lifestyle. Being a "traveller" is more than just a 2 week beach holiday, you have to live out of a backpack and stay in 1 dollar hostels and get food poisoning but still decide to go out and party because there's always something going on every night. To each their own and I am definitely not trying to bash what thousands of young adults are doing, what I'm trying to say is that I love traveling, but I don't like "traveling"... make sense? There are so many different ways to see the world, and I want to see it all someday, but I wouldn't do what Malin is doing and I think thats the charm in friendship. You see and do things differently and you kind of get to experience everything because of that. Now I get to know what its like to be a 19 year old in Sydney even though this little 19 year old is sitting in Stockholm hours and hours away.

There are so many places I want to go to for my second "gap year", but I just don't have the time (or the money for that matter) to squeeze it all in! I want to go to China and see my dad, Australia to see Malin, England to see my boyfriend and friends, and New York to visit Anna. Why am I not a millionaire? ...make that billionaire actually. 

I really do feel that travel broadens the mind and teaches you a lot about not only your new surroundings but about yourself too, and I can't wait to see it all! But, I've managed to cover a bunch of places in the past few years, among them are these two trips! 



A trip to California...


...And another to China.


So what sort of traveler are you? 

See the world all at once, or do it bit by bit through the years?



From this summer in Nyköping, I miss that little nugget already!




Monday, October 28, 2013

"Bodylicious"



Bodylicious is a "how to get your dream body" book that makes stupid "diets" look ....more stupid (?). I'm a huge fan of Sofi Fahrman, she is a swedish blogger, author, journalist, and now the co-creator of a  fitness and health book. I have always been or tried to be active, when I was younger I played loads of sports, but since I moved to Stockholm staying active has become harder. I wanted to change that, and I'm going to try and follow the tips in this book to help me out along the way.

This book is definitely not about trying to lose weight the fastest or in an unhealthy way but it is about how important it is to eat healthy and gives you simple straight forward tips on how to do that. It's about how to squeeze in good work outs and good meals on busy days. It's easy to follow and I really like  it!

Its only made in Swedish as of now, but the other day on Sofi's blog she revealed that its being released in the states in English as well! An amazing feat and means for you international readers that you'll be able to get your hands on it (in a language you can understand) as well!





Sunday, October 27, 2013

Places


A few years ago my parents made my sister and I these posters, they're a little different from each other and I wanted to show mine. I love the idea of collecting places in the world that have in some way or another been important in the building blocks of my life. 
We've got places we've lived, where I was born, places we love and places we love to visit. 

I think it was a brilliant idea and you can make your own here


Friday, October 25, 2013

Planning on a weekend in Stockholm?


No? ...why not? You should, seriously.

Start planning now. And don't worry, I'll help ;)

I understand that those first sentences probably aren't very convincing, and if you weren't planning on going to Stockholm at all you might need some convincing. So I'll try my best at that.

First of all, timing: you'll want to go in the late spring or summer, avoid the winter, its awfully cold but the worst is the darkness. So November-March are no-no months. I would suggest May or June as the perfect time.

Long weekend? Arriving on a friday afternoon? Here's what you should do first:




after checking in to your hotel drop off your suitcases, freshen yourself up and head out and over to Gamla Stan. Its the most touristy spot of Stockholm and I wouldn't put off hours to go there but you'll have to see it! The "Old Town" as its called is home to the royal palace and taking a stroll around Gamla Stan and ending up down by the palace is a great afternoon stroll. There are some cozy cafés and pubs as well so if you're feeling a little tired from the trip plop yourself down with an ice cold beer or a steaming hot cup of tea. Just do me a favour and avoid the main tourist street: "Västerlånggatan", you'll know which one it is, its with all the crappy touristy souvenirs! Don't buy stuff here, get yourself and your family and friends some Nordic Fashion instead, more about that on your Sunday plan.





(photos of Gamla Stan from Pinterest)

Like the look of those photos? Find yourself a restaurant there as well for dinner.

Saturday:
Wake up (relatively) early and eat some of that delicious hotel breakfast, you lucky dogs, and then head out for a walk out on Djurgården - if you've been following my blog its the place that takes up about a third of all my photos.. it's beautiful and one of my favourite parts of Stockholm. 







When you've trotted around and enjoyed the beautiful sights then head over to Strandbryggan for a well deserved break 
take a walk on Djurgården and end up there for a late lunch and a glass of rosé. If you're feeling extra Stockholmer? Snob-out and get yourself some Fanta and Rosé, a so called "St. Tropez" at Strandbryggan. it's actually not too bad ! 




Its even quite popular with our furry friends ;)

Once the day starts to turn into the evening hurry back to your hotel and put on your best Stockholm-outfit and go for pre-dinner drinks at Nosh and Chow....when you're done have a bit of dinner at Taverna Brillo. The food is delish and when you're done with that? Stay and have some ice cream and head over to their bar. There is always a good DJ playing and gets pretty busy after 10-ish!

Sunday is the perfect day for slightly-hungover-mostly-tired-shopping! Stockholm is an amazing fashion city and its filled with shops of international, Swedish, and other Nordic brands that are definitely worth a visit !

Start at NK on Hamngatan, its the biggest, and fanciest, department store in Stockholm and its a great place to stroll around in, there are great brands and since its quite big you'll need all your energy. After that, head to Biblioteksgatan where stores like Sephora, Filippa K, Cos, &Other Stories, Stella McCartney, Tommy Hilfiger and Efva Attling are. There are loads more but I won't bore you, figure it out yourself! ;) 




Since I'm hoping your arms will be tired from all that shopping end up at Espresso House on Birger Jarlsgatan (opposite 7 for all Mankind and the new Zara Home store) and sink into one of their cozy couches and eat the famous Swedish cinnamon buns or "Kladdkaka", whatever you prefer, before heading back to wherever you came from ! 


Love,  
                   
                      from Stockholm

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pinterest


I've started to understand this obsession that a lot of people have with Pinterest. So I've been pinning away over here, take a look! 





Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tv show hang outs


I watch a lot of TV shows, I find it easier than picking a movie most of the time, but the down side is that I get stuck and watch whole series way too fast. But one of my favourite parts is that most TV shows always end up creating this "hang out" spot for the cast, and I want those in my life! A place where you know that at least one of your friends will be at all times.

I want a café like Central Perk in "Friends"



I want a bar like MaClaren's Pub in "How I met your mother"



I want a diner like the pier diner in "The OC"




or like Joe's in "Grey's Anatomy"



I want a breakfast spot like in "Sex and The City"



Is that too much to ask for?!



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Weekend To-Do List: Stockholm


Even though Stockholm may not be the biggest city in the world, it starting to become a city competing with cities like London in "hip" points, and I'm loving it. 

Loads of new bars and restaurants are opening and I thought I'd give some tips on places that I like right now and would suggest for a little weekend fun in Stockholm.



Taverna Brillo  is an Italian style restaurant that opened earlier this year and it has become one of the most popular restaurants in Stockholm. Its at Sturegatan 6 and would definitely go on a saturday night, if not to eat I would go to the ice cream bar, or regular bar for some yummy cocktails.


Bouqeria is a tapas restaurant in the shopping mall Mood in central Stockholm. It's super popular and I would definitely recommend their "square" in the middle of the mall and go with some lighter "pintxos" and a glass of wine.


Wiener Caféet is a very newly reopened restaurant/café/bar on Biblioteksgatan in Stockholm and its amazing! I went last friday with a friend of mine and I'm so happy he suggested it! I had a delicious Caesar salad  and I discussed this with my mom. The quality of a restaurant lies a lot in how they do their Caesar salads, I mean if that isn't good...there can't be much else thats good. And they passed my test with flying colours - so its a definite must-go restaurant! Take a break from shopping with a glass of champagne or a hot chocolate, you won't regret it.

Monday, October 21, 2013

All You Need is Love


A song worthy of a little dance around your home in your pyjamas/girls night outfit/guys night outfit/workout outfit/any outfit really is a song off Avicii's new album True

The song is called "All You Need is Love" and...just take a listen will you? It's great 




Saturday, October 19, 2013

Make your own happy place

I have a big poster on one of the walls of my bedroom filled with photos, old plane tickets, money from different countries I've visited, a lottery ticket from my 18th birthed, festival wrist bands and just loads of memories on there. It makes me so happy to have everything gathered together and if I ever need a pick up I'll just take a look. It was more than a year ago I updated it so now I felt like I needed a change!

I took some photos of the best bits, so take a look !


My favorite fishing boat of Paros, Greece.


My excellent tourist shot of London - whenever I see it, it makes me want to pack my bags and go.


I found that quote in a magazine one time and I love it. Don't wait for someone to blow you away, blow your own mind away. Amaze yourself.


Santorini and Swedish House Mafia. A whole lotta love ;)


"A friend is someone who knows everything about you, and still likes you" I think this definitely applies to our group of friends, we've all made our share of embarrassing mistakes, but what are friends for ?


The whole bit! I've got Friends and family spread out all over the world in one picture. From California to Shanghai, and of course Stockholm.