Every year, here in Sweden we celebrate Stockholm PRIDE. This year on July 30th, about 40,000 people participated in the Stockholm Gay Pride parade itself, but over
The Premier of Star Wars has creped onto the BIG SCREENS! No Spoilers here!
I just happen to be invited to a gathering at “The American Store According to Charles” for a Star Wars/ Wine Party on December 15th 2015.
Now, if you have NEVER been to this store, take some time and GO!
If you are missing some of your favourite Stateside items and nibbles, they have it here! I was even more surprised at the variety of food, candy and sundry in the wonderful store.
Charles is the owner and a New Yorker (YAAY!) and understands how it is to miss your favourite things and not be able to find them. Well, I think you will definitely find it here!!
The BONUS this night along with the Star Wars theme, was the presentation of a Wine called APOTHIC RED. “Discover The Dark Side”.
This wine is from California and was introduced by Anna Spendrup. Name sound familiar? It should. The family owned Sprendrup Brewery are taking it forward with their sister company called Spring Wine & Spirits.
In my humble opinion, this wine has a smooth, dark red, fruity flavour that isn’t overpowering. It would pair wonderfully with a nice steak or even a beefy sirloin burger because there is no fight for who’s flavour will take over. It also tastes lovely all by itself.
I am sure that many of you have seen “Star Wars” at least twice by now, and are already planning a New Years Eve film time. Well, treat yourselves and guests to some great snacks from The American Store, or even a cozy dinner with a glass of Apothic RED.
Then, ring in the New Year with Star Wars:The Force Awakens!
“May the Force Be With You”.
…..It had to be said.
I am sure most of you didn’t know that I LOVE to bake. I usually bake something at least once a week.
Well, with the recommendation of a good friend and reaching the Final Audition, I will be one of 12 Contestants on a Swedish TV show called “Hela Sverige Bakar”.
It’s in the same vein as “All Britain Bakes” and “The Great American Bake Off”,
It’s Premier is Thursday September 10th at 9pm on TV 7.
The Contestants bake within certain categories. There are two Judges who are masters at the craft of baking, Johan Sörberg and Birgitta Rasmusson. The show is hosted by the lovely Tilde de Paula(center).
The experience was unimaginable. The warmest side of it all was meeting the other contestants. None of us are Professional Bakers, nor have we gone to school. We do this for our own personal love and goals. We all became friends rather quickly and have stayed connected even after the cameras were turned off!
It was a great adventure for all of us. We laughed and joked as if we’d known eachother much longer than the time we were together.
Most photos of us are all from blogs, articles and the show.
This is to show you a side that is not always seen on camera or articles.
All of us have lives OUTSIDE our kitchens. We are Teachers, Cooks, Artists, Entreprenörs, Homemakers, Fashionistas, Nurses, Students, Firemen, Career minded people who just love to bake and have fun doing it!
The talent in these bakers ooze out like buttercream frosting. Sometimes making the most difficult desserts seem as easy as making a Meringue pie!
You want proof? Please go to MY+SWEET for links to our blogs, Instagrams, Youtubes and Facebook pages! You will be pleasantly surprised by the awe inspring and jaw dropping cakes and sweets prepared by us!
Tune In to the premier episode of “Hela Sverige Bakar” , this Thursday September 10th at 9pm on TV7 or catch it on TV4Play!
Featured Photo by: Andreas Lundberg
August 1rst was Parade Day for PRIDE Week! Stockholm’s Pride Festival is Scandinavia’s largest festival. From July 27th -August 1rst, It celebrates diversity and promotes tolerance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities.
This year also marks Same-Sex Marriage rights!
In the United States and 20 countries in Europe, it is now legal for same sex couples to marry internationally.
Same-sex marriage in Sweden has been legal since 1rst May 2009, following the adoption of a new, gender-neutral law on marriage by the Swedish Parliament.
I am usually a Spectator on the sidelines taking photos, but this time I was a participant seeing the Parade and spectators at a whole new angle.While I walked the trail, it was encouraging to see and feel the positive energy. It was also wonderful to recognize friends supporting the cause and calling my attention to them to connect. We were 86 out of 200+ groups that walked the Parade that day!
Now at the end of August, we can still, and hopefully will celebrate and support Stockholm Pride. For more information, Just follow the link and remember to continue to show PRIDE!
“There are moments you remember all your Life. This is one of those moments.”
I am dedicating this Title to a series of life experiences that for me, were just too unbelievable to be true. Things I just couldn’t imagine happening, that I will remember and cherish always.
I remember in Jan 2013. I was away in Botswana…(we’ll get to that later) and was contacted by Darcie from the U.S. Embassy. Long story short, I was asked to sing the U.S. National Anthem at their Independence Day celebration. After I said yes, my head hit the floor. What an honour. Never could I have imagined such a request asked of me. I practiced but never could have imagined the magnitude of the moment.
Even more tense that I had to sing it A capella! I was so nervous, sharing the stage with our Ambassador Mark and Natalia Brzezinski but mostly to sing the Anthem in front of Ambassadors, Dignitaries, Officials, Honoured guests, peers and friends. It was overwhelming.
May 2014… I get a mail from Darcie asking if I would sing the Anthem for the Embassy’s 4th of July Party. I was again elated and honoured but nothing prepared me for the rest of the information. The party was to be held in Visby Gotland during Almedalen! If you had been a fly on the wall, you would have fell off for laughing at me so hard as I screeched and jumped around! I had never been to Gotland in all my years in Stockholm and to experience Almedalen was going to be a weekend to remember!
The party took place at the Governor’s garden. The food and festivities were unforgettable. The energy was electric. This time, a different nervouseness as I was outside and my voice not only reached the people in the garden but outside the walls to the boat docks. With The Ambassador and Natalia by my side, I remember how quiet it became as I sang. I saw phones rise up and realized that these were not only photos being taken but recordings and film of me singing… Yeah… no pressure.
Third time is a charm…yet bitter sweet.
My third time to be asked to sing the National Anthem. This time at the Embassy with a State Fair theme. Red, White and Blue jeans. I missed that part.
This party also had a great blues Band headed by Brian Kramer. Great food, great games, Fresh Cotton Candy and Fried Oreos! Don’t knock ’em until you tried them. This time when I sang, it felt very soothing. My thoughts drifted a bit. I thought about the fact that this is the final term for Ambassador Mark Brzezinski. He would be leaving in a month and we would be receiving a new Ambassador. Mark and Natalia will be missed.
U.S. Embassy Independence Day Party! “The State Fair” June 2015
OOOOH, the weather outside is…not so frightful anymore.
A tad chilly but the minus temperatures are hopefully in the past. We are finally in the double digit temps. Aaah… the sun is shining bright. We are finally starting to peel away the layers of clothing.
FLASHBACK to warmer times and cool places…. July 2014… Gotland! 🙂
My first time in Gotland. I was totally left to my own devices. I had connections. My cool friend Cecilia has a Summer house there. So, when I told her I was coming to Gotland, she and I knew we HAD to meet up!
Right after the Embassy’s July 4th Celebration, it was time to break out. Cicci called me at the hotel and I met her at the docks. Hmm, that sounded quite seedy.. 😉
It was just after 6pm and the sun was still fairly high… Gotta love Swedish Summers.
So, we took a drive away from the hustle and bustle of Visby. We headed North and the further we drove, the more scenic the ride became.
When we finally stopped, parked and walked up to this small café. Folks were sitting outside. The waitress asked us where we wanted to sit, I replied that we could sit outside but Cicci insisted that we go inside. So, we walk in. I went in first. My jaw dropped! HOLY CRAP! Yes, I said this out loud with a look of surprise on my face! It was a diner!! Not just ANY diner but an AMERICAN Diner! Like “Happy Days, The Fonz and Laverne and Shirley” Diner!
It was the cutest place with the red vinyl barstools at the counter, the jukebox, the red booths and the nostalgic comic book paintings on the wall. It felt as if someone just plopped this place down like a mini space capsule.
I had to laugh. It had all the fixins of a real 50’s Diner. Minus the extras like wine and kanelbullar, this was a spot known to the locals and those who sought out a quaint, funky hideaway to chill out after you have been in town. The menu had the typical Milkshakes and hamburgers with french fries along with BBQ Spareribs, beer and some not so typical items like muffins, coffee and bookmakertoast with Gotlänsk Oxfilé.
What is a Bookmakertoast and how is it made you wonder?An open-face sandwich to have originated in Ireland. It’s a slice of bread which is fried and then smeared with a good mustard, lettuce and then a slice of beef tenderloin or sirloin steak. Freshly grated horseradish and a raw egg yolk(yolk optional) on top gives an extra kick!
Afterwards we hopped in the car. Cicci schooled me on Gotland and the Gotlänsk dialect which I refused to emulate AND embarrass not only myself but shame the wonderful folk of Gotland!
Our car journey took us to Lickershamn.
Lickershamn is a small settlement and fishing village situated in Gotland Municipality. The place is most noted for the rauks in the area. A Rauk(in English) is a stack or seastack. A geological landform consisting of steep and often vertical column or columns of rock in the sea near a coast, formed by erosion. They are formed when part of a headland is eroded by the force of the sea or water crashing against the rock. The force of the water weakens cracks, causing them to later collapse, forming free-standing stacks and even a small island.
Here in Lickershamn is Gotland’s biggest rauk the Jungfrun (“The Maiden”)