Ice, Ice, baby!

We woke up to a beautiful day. New snow had fallen during the night and the sun was shining from a perfectly blue sky with quite acceptable temperatures around -1°C.

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No way that we would stay inside after having such a view from our breakfast table. We packed S. ice-skates, I. pushchair and wrapped ourselves in several layers of clothes and went off. It takes us no more than 5 minutes by car to reach the biggest lake in Sweden, Vänern, which is frozen this time of the year (at least large parts of it). It´s amazing!

Quite a lot of people had the same idea as us and “our” corner of the lake was quite busy but we did not mind.

ImageWe took a stroll on the ice and little I. fell asleep in her pushchair, which was perfect. That way we got the chance to focus on S. ice-skating, which is difficult to do when I am alone with the two otherwise.

S. insisted on leaving the lake and to skate on a little ice-skating-rink close by. We spent about an hour there and it was quite fun to see her “being an ice princess”. Her skating has really improved this winter and she totally LOVES it. Her only concern is that her ice-skates are black and not princess-proper pink but I assume she will get over it at some point.

After being out for quite a while we decided to return to the car. By then I felt like a frozen Daiquiri and we were all ready for some waffles.

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All in all quite a nice day, how was yours?

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Good shit man!

It´s -10° C outside. Not really a terrible temperature for a Swedish winter but still enough to make me want to stay inside. Especially since the wind behaves like a little, angry bulldog and bites your cheeks as if there was no tomorrow. So instead of aiming for self-destruction, we aimed for self-indulgence and spoiled ourselves with “chokladbollar” (chocolate balls), which are simple to make and yet delicious. They do not require any cooking or baking and even the smallest children can get involved. All you need is some butter, cocoa powder, vanilla sugar, sugar, cold coffee and oatmeal. Here is the complete recipe:

100g butter
1 dl sugar
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
2-3 tbsp cocoa
3 dl oatmeal
2-3 tbsp strong, cold coffee
pearl sugar or coconut flakes for garnishing

Mix butter, sugar and vanilla sugar thoroughly. Add oatmeal, cocoa powder and coffee. Stir until everything has turned into an uniform dough. Form small balls and roll them in either pearl sugar or coconut flakes. Et voila, ready to eat! Dead easy isn´t it?

In a perfect world, I would now show you a picture of our mouth-watering result and you would get even more inspired and test it. Unfortunately this is not a perfect world and the picture I have might instead turn you off. We lacked both pearl sugar and coconut flakes for garnishing and as a result our chocolate balls looked like….

…exactly: Elk droppings. But trust me, they were really, really good and my 2 year old asked immediately for “mer bajs, mamma” (more poop, mom) after tasting the first little ball. Why would you want a star in the Guide Michelin, if you can get such a wonderful critique!

 

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Every dog has its day

I always liked the idea of having a pet but really, truly owning one turned out to be a whole different story. My childhood rabbit was starving of affection and would have starved of food as well if my parents had not interfered. Similarly two goldfishes, given to me as a present to keep me company in my very first own apartment, did not survive for more than a couple weeks. Luckily for the rest of the pet world, I learned my lesson and never got pets again. They were for other people but not for me.

Today however, things changed because the solution to my ”liking-the-idea-of-having-a- pet-but-sucking-at-having-one” was served to me on a silver plate. My father in law had been dog sitting for three weeks and was quite sick and tired of it. Since I needed a babysitter, we made a deal, me dog today, he kids on Friday and it worked out great. At least the dog part… Fingers crossed the kids part goes as smoothly.

It has been a busy day but a great such. I had more fresh air and more exercise than I had in a long time and the kids loved to have the little fellow around. We went for a stroll in the woods where they proudly walked the dog (or well, I am not sure who walked who), had a snack at our place during which little I. learned that it is not a good idea to throw food during a tantrum, while a dog is patiently waiting underneath the table to grab any bite he can get, took a bath in our new bubble bathtub whilst Sigge fell asleep on a pile of our clothes after I refused to have him in the tub (– not over my dead body!!!) and spent lots of time chasing the little sucker to get all the kids toys back in our possession.

Now everyone except for “the parents” is sound asleep and silence has entered our home. To me, this is the perfect setting to finish this post, lean back on the sofa and watch super awesome MD House. After that it is time to say good-bye and return my new friend to its owner. Alive and kicking and hopefully already looking forward to our next date as much as I do.

Thanks, Sigge for getting me over my pet-ophobia or whatever I might have been suffering from. 🙂

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Ultra rapid time flying…

…holly cow, 4 month have passed and not a single word from me. Trust me, it is not that I wanted to keep you waiting. I had the best intentions but life came in between. And what a crazy life it has been. We have moved twice within the last 4 month, I started a new job (and finished it the other day), the kids started a new daycare and M. had to travel more than ever with his job. Some days I was so groggy that I was sound asleep by 8 pm.

Now life is getting back to a more normal pace. We have moved all our belongings to our new apartment on Tuesday, unpacked nearly everything during the following days and are now reaching a point were we could actually watch a movie at night without having a bad conscience because of all the must-be-dones that lurk around each corner and wait to be taken care of.

Right at this minute I am sitting on the train to Stockholm. Am going to meet the real estate agent tomorrow and hand over the keys to our old apartment. It feels weird and I sit with one eye crying and one eye laughing. The chapter Stockholm has now officially come to an end, which is really sad but I am glad that we got the chance to already peek into the new chapter, which looks very promising. There is lots of potential and hopefully we can make the most of it.

What´s going on in your life? Are you doing it tumble drier style as well?

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From England back to Stockholm and then off to Karlstad

We are back from our expat experience in England but somehow we aren´t. Because we didn´t return to where we left off. We skipped Stockholm. Turned our backs to her even though she had done nothing to deserve it. Are we out of our minds? The city we love. The city that we consider the most beautiful place in the world. Swap her against a much smaller and much less glamorous town. Why?

Well, to tell the truth, our relation-ship has changed since we got children. Things became more difficult between us and when Karlstad turned up we made up our minds, sold our apartment and moved. Moved to where the sun always shines, because that is what they say about Karlstad. So far we were not disappointed. During our two month here we have already had more sun than during our 18 month in England. But it is not only the weather that is attractive. There is much more to this town than one might think at first sight. Lots of nice little places to discover, a fantastic country side and very friendly people.  We felt welcome right from the start.

So, now lets just hope that life here continues as it has started and that our relation-ship with Karlstad and Värmland will be just as tight as it used to be with Stockholm. If things go well you might find me in 40 years, sitting in my rocking chair and with a nice glass of whisky at hand, reciting the ode to Värmland, which goes something like this:

Oh Värmland, you beautiful, you magnificent land
You crown jewel among Sweden’s provinces.
If ever I should reach the Promised Land
I would still return to my beloved Värmland.

For there I want to live, there I want to die
If one day I take me a bride*** from Värmland
I know it’s something I shall never regret.
For there I want to live, there I want to die
If one day I take me a bride from Värmland
I know it’s something I shall never regret.

And if I could sing, it might sound like this:

***this part I consider as done because I took a groom from Värmland. That should count, right?

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