Another great mag especially if you are expecting a baby, is Cosmo Pregnancy. The maternity fashion is just gorgeous, I’m amazed as to how much more stylish and fun it is now compared to when I had my first baby seven years ago. Yummy mummy’s I say! Check out our funky Sandy Feet Bucket Hat in the Summer 2011 issue, out right now.
It’s 7am on the morning of Lucia Day – 13th December. It’s pitch dark and cold, the thermometer is showing -8 below and it has snowed during the night. The air is electric with anticipation and excitement. No one is asleep; instead there is a feverish activity in every house…
“Have we got everything? I can’t believe you broke the star! What are we going to do now?”
“Where is the tinsel mum? You know I need it for my hair and this is too short!”
“Iiiihh I’m so NERVOUS, imagine if everybody laughs when I sing my solo!”
Finally everyone is off to the local church, community hall or school. The activity is now reaching frantic levels. Kids get ushered into the back room. Quick quick! All you can hear is giggles, hushing and an occasional;
” Why do I have to wear this stupid cone on my head?”
“Someone has to do it and you were Santa last year so now just hush up and be the ‘Star Boy” and for goodness sake don’t forget to SMILE!”
“OMG, I have forgotten the words I’m supposed to say!!! And stop standing on my Lucia shirt, it’ll get dirty! “
“There are sooooo many people here; I don’t think I can do it!”
In the meantime out in the halls, churches and schools, the windows have steamed up by now. The air is thick with the smell of wet clothes, candles burning, ginger bread, ‘glögg’ and coffee. The only sound you can hear is the coughs, people sniffling, scraping of chair and whispers. It’s dark, the lights are off.
Silence and then the faint sound of voices singing, coming closer. The flickering of candles and THERE THEY ARE! The “Lucia train”. The proud girl that has been chosen this year to be Lucia is leading the others with a crown of candles on her head. It’s so beautiful. All the mum’s eyes mist over. Dad’s clearing their throats, a bit emotional. It gets you every year!
There is nothing I love more when it comes to Swedish traditions than the Lucia celebrations. This is Christmas for me. Enjoy.
Fabulous baby and kids shopping magazine, Shop 4 Kids is now out four times a year! Yep, that is one issue for each season so happy days if you like to sample ideas for cool things to shop for your little munchkins.
One must do Christmas preparation back in Sweden is to bake ginger bread cookies (pepparkakor). Our family does this every year so on Saturday we got stuck into it! The kids were having a good time and husband was sneaking around eating half the dough so good fun was had all around.
I had picked up some new cookie shapes from IKEA of some Swedish native animals. Cute hey?
Here is the recipe for those who want to have a go:
1 tsp Bi-Carb Soda
2/3 cup Golden Syrup
2/3 cup Sugar
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Cloves
40 g melted Butter
1 egg, lightly whisked
3 ½ cup Flour (approx)
Heat up and stir together Bi-Carb Soda, Golden Syrup, Sugar and spices in a pot. Don’t boil. Transfer to a large bowl. Add melted butter and the egg. Stir in flour, take it out and knead, keep adding flour until you have a non stick dough. Roll out using a rolling pin about ½ cm thick. Bake the cookies in 200 C for approx 4 – 5 mins.
Every Sunday morning my family head down to the beach where Max, my 7-year-old does Nippers at our local surf club. As I was standing there on the beach watching him and his mates run in the surf and Tilli, my 4-year-old building sand castles next to me, I realised how totally opposite my kids lives are compared to what mine was growing up back in Sweden. Not only is winter happening there right now but also the different ways I used to spend my weekends as a little girl. So much of our leisure time was revolving around snow and ice activities and my kids have barely seen it!
I was completely obsessed with ice skating growing up. I wanted to be a figure skater and nearly killed myself practising jumps and pirouettes every day after school!
Nothing was more fun than flying down a hill in a ‘pulka’. The faster the better! We did this for hours and hours until we were completely frozen and had snow inside every layer of clothing!
We’ve never stocked any type of jewelry at Baby goes Retro so when lovely Catrine Åberg’s email landed in our inbox we were a little apprehensive to start off with but quite intrigued as well. We always get excited over Scandinavian design so it was an easy decision to take a closer look. After viewing the first few pieces of the Cooee collection it was an instant – Yes please! It was the design, the colours and the clever use of acrylic that grabbed our attention on the spot. The collectiont has a simplistic, stylish vibe with an unmistakable Scandinavian edge – an unbeatable combo in our minds! Catrine also told us about her new kids range that had just launched to rave reviews so that sealed the deal for us. So drumroll please…. and let us introduce some selected styles from Cooee’s Eccentric line for all you lovely women and the cutest of the cute kids range for your offspring!
My daughter Matilda took one look at the Lucky Clover necklace and said “Mum, I LOVE this one, when can I have it?” What can I say, my 4-year-old knows style when she sees it!
Fun fact: The idea to create Cooee came from a visit to Australia, hence the name.
The Swedish movie "As it is in Heaven" (Så som i Himlen) was on the other night on SBS. What is it with me and that movie!? Have anyone else seen it? I've probably seen it at least 6-7 times and I still cry so hard when Gabriella (one of the characters) sings 'her' song. Sometimes I can't even breathe for all the sobbing! It just grabs me every time the way she finally stands up for herself against her horrible husband. It doesn't hurt either that her voice is just amazing and gives me goosebumps. See it if you haven't and especially if you need a good cry!
Only watch this if you have seen the movie, otherwise it’ll spoil it!
When I turned 18 my dad gave me this beautiful necklace by Kalevala Jewelry. I fell in love with the brand and the history behind it and have added a few more pieces to my collection over the years.
Kalevala’s designs are based on the Finnish heritage, drawing inspiration from archeological finds, old tales and cultural influences. Every piece of jewelry has a story to tell, it offers the bearer meaning and emotional attachment.
Kalevala still make the very same bronze heart pendant that my dad gave me all those years ago, and now their whole range is available for us here in Australia as well!