Christmas in October

Merry Christmas!

Our lovely days in the woods are now over and it’s time to go back to reality again. Christmas have been wonderful and we can’t wait for the real Christmas with the whole family.

First night we decorated Gingerbread cookies to hang in the window for decoration during our stay. Everyone enjoyed it and made some beautiful creations. The focus was on top, as you might see on the pictures.

 The morning after we got up really early for a few hours drive to a big wholesale store. We did find a few Christmas gifts and some things to M’s apartment. I don’t know any other guy that would go there voluntarily, and not complain once! M is kind of great, I must say.

For dinner we made a traditional Swedish Christmas table. Or sort of, we took a few of our favorites that was doable at the time. Meatballs, sausages, eggs with mayonnaise and shrimps, potatoes, mackerel in tomato sauce, beetroot salad… And of course a few picks of candy with chocolate, oranges and marshmallows shaped like tiny Santas. It all tasted like Christmas is supposed to do. We only missed the ham, and the meatballs should be home made. And all of Grandma’s cookies.

 

 After dinner we played the Christmas gift game. In case you haven’t heard about it I’ll run the rules quite quick. Every contestant bring one, or a few gifts, for a given amount of money. They should be wrapped nicely. It’s more fun to see everyone fight over your gift. Everyone around the table takes turn to throw a dice, a six and you get to pick a gift. Do NOT open now! When all gifts are taken, one person sets an alarm clock on a secret time (usually around 15 minutes or so, depending on how many people taking part). The dice keeps walking around, but now when you get a six you get to steal a gift from someone else. When the alarm rings you get to keep the gifts you’ve won.

 We finished of with some hot chocolate before we went to bed, and today it was time to go home and work for a few hours. Overall it couldn’t have been better. It was so relaxing and, I think,  very much needed for all of us, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some sort of mini-Christmas again before it’s time to celebrate for real.

Hope you enjoyed reading about our little celebration!

Christmas is here!

Hey!

Almost done with my packing. Tonight I’m taking two of the people I love the most, my sister and my boyfriend, to our cabin for a few days of Christmas!

In Sweden Halloween is not a very big thing. They sell a few pumpkins in the store for decoration, and there might be a few kids doing Trick or Treat, but not much more than that. The next big holiday here is Christmas and we are excited! 

We all work hard and could use a bit of relaxation. We all love Christmas. No one else is on the same level as we are yet, so we thought, ‘Why not go away for a couple of days’. And now it’s all in for Christmas. (Don’t worry, we will not go with all this until December. It will be packed down in boxes for a month or two after this. We just want a pre-taste.)

Tomorrow we will go to a big discount store, a few hours by car from the cabin. I think everyone in Sweden knows about this place, and people go there from all over the country. We will see if we can find some things for M’s appartment (since I’m pretty much moving in one step at the time) and if we find some Christmas gifts we will purchase them now.

If we find some gifts we will wrap them tomorrow night, watch a Christmas movie, eat Christmas inspired snacks, play the Christmas gift game and just have a cozy time.
Have you started thinking about Christmas yet?

Home alone

Hi everyone!

Tonight M is out with his friends, so I’m all alone for the evening. Even though I miss him a little, it isn’t too bad to have some alone time. I decided to make some lunch boxes for the weekend, then take a long shower before I put on my PJ’s and joined my friends Tea and iPad for a night in. The iPad was a birtday gift from my parents, and might be one of the best things ever. It makes blogging and keeping up with the social network around it soo much easier. I went straight to buy a Bluetooth keyboard, which is absolutely perfect! It’s like a mini laptop that fits into pretty much any bag. For work, on the bus or train… I’m in love!

When I logged in toTwitter I noticed there was a Bloggers Do It Better Chat that was about to start and I was happy to join in. I realized how much I’ve missed interact with other bloggers. It has been a while now since I’ve been so up to just about everything else. One of the best things about blogging is all the lovely people you get to meet.
I also realized I miss the Bloggers Do It Better Challenge. I don’t seem to get notifications or e-mails anymore, so I’ll have to find out what is up with that and see if I can join in again.
How do you spend the time when you get a night for yourself?

 

 

Fashion Outlet of Chicago

When we decided to go to USA we were recommended to go to a Premium outlet. We had our eyes on one in San Francisco, but since we didn’t end up there we had to rethink that plan. We asked our friend Google if he knew a place in Chicago and was told to go to Aurora. Good thing, we thought, but wasn’t sure how to get there. We found a tourist information and went in to ask for help. The lady we met told us that they had opened up an outlet center close to the airport, and that it was a lot easier to go to than the one in Aurora. The center was called Fashion outlets of Chicago, which is why we didn’t find it googeling Premium outlets.

From city center we took the train from Clark Lane to O’Hare, and a shuttle bus to the outlet. When we got back home we found out that you could take the train to Rosemont instead and get a free shuttle. We paid about $20 for our shuttle.

The center has 130 stores, which is quite a lot compared to the malls I’m used to at home. And the prices are not to talk about. USA is really cheap compared to Sweden to start with, and with all these sales I can tell you I was in heaven!

To give you a hint about the prices in USA compared to Sweden, I bought a shirt for my brother that he has been looking at here. I didn’t buy it at the outlet, and it wasn’t on sale, but still it was less than half price of what I would have to pay here.

When we arrived we went to the information desk because we wanted to buy Green Saving cards with additional discounts. As we told them we were from Sweden we got the cards for free (instead of $5/each) if we could show our ID-cards, proving we were visitors. Most discouts were something like “additional 10% off if you shop for $100”. We did use quite a lot of those discounts, so they would have payed off, even if we hadn’t got them for free.

We arrived around 11a.m. and left after 6p.m. And we did some great findings! Brands that I would never be able to buy at home, to prices that I usually spend. US Polo and Calvin Klein became the stores that we opened up our wallets to the most. Did some fantastic deals there. If I did have to pick my absolute favorite from the outlet I think it would be my DKNY “cozy”, a cardigan that you can wrap in several different ways. Original price on the price tag was $175, I paid around $50, including taxes.

We found the center big enough to have everything we wanted, but not too big so we were able to check out all the stores and still go back if we realized we missed something. There was a big food court so it wasn’t any trouble finding a place to sit when you needed a break.

We would really recommend going to this outlet center, especially if you’re used to European prizes. Keep in mind though, that this is the first one I visit and have nothing really to compare with. We will for sure go back there next time we go to Chicago.

 

 

 

Three months celebration

Good evening folks!

Yesterday me and M celebrated thee months together. Since it was a Saturday, he had the evening off and I got off work quite early he took me out for dinner. He actually started Friday night by giving me a card with a clue about where we were going. The cards keep coming yesterday morning and as we were getting ready. Nailed it at four points this time! He likes to plan in surprise and make clues, so this wasn’t the first time. Usually I don’t get it until the last clue at two points, mostly because I haven’t always heard about the places before.

This time we went to a place called Lemongrass, which serves Asian food. It’s supposed to be one of the top four restaurants where we live. I had roasted duck with bok choy, which was really good! M had a beef course that wasn’t too bad either. No complaints on the service either, so I can definitely see us going back there sometime.

After dinner we were supposed to go and see a movie, but we weren’t really happy about the available seats. We decided to go home, but ended up at a pub, taking a beer.

Overall, a very nice evening, with loads of talk about future trips. Bahamas and Maldives are on the top of the list for next year, and Tokyo in 2016 when M turns 30. Many adventures to come!

Got some beautiful roses.

Me at the restaurant
M at the pub

Summer (so far) in pictures

Hello there! 
Summer so far has been really busy. It has been the warmest summer in the country for, I don’t know how long. People have been coming to the mall just to get away from the heat. I’ve never seen so many people shopping in the summer before. On top of that all colleagues has been on vacation. Not at the same time, fortunately, but it has meant a lot of work. Even so, the summer has been amazing and my vacation is still to come. I work for one more week, then I’ll have two weeks off. Starting with a bus trip to Austria with my dear sister to watch my lovely football team qualify for a rather big tournament. 
Since I didn’t post any pictures last time, I thought I’d share a photo bomb with you today. Enjoy! 
My love is treating me with flowers from time to time. Always
brightens the day. 

I’ve been spending time with my loved ones,
in one of the places I love the most. (Our cabin)

I’ve taught my boyfriend to eat sushi. He now
loves it! (And actually suggested it for dinner
tonight)

We’ve been to the beach and watched the
sunset. Never really realized I had such a beautiful
place so close

We’ve had cozy nights with tea and
pretty awesome chocolate. 
I’ve been practicing my cooking skills by
learning to make fudge. 

I’ve been treated with even more beautiful roses.

Pancakes at Portobello Road market in London

Cupcakes from Hummingbird Bakery. Insanely tasty! 

Charles Bridge in Prague. First trip together with my boyfriend.

John Lennon wall in Prague

An update

Hi everyone!

Seems to be hard to keep up with the blog and all of your lovely blogs, with so much else going on right now. Since I happened to find some spare time, I thought I would do a small update about what has been going on lately.

M and I have been keeping seeing each other, and since a few weeks we’re officially a couple. He is absolutely wonderful and treats me like a princess. I couldn’t be happier than I am with him, and I would lie if I say he don’t take most of my time, either seeing him or thinking about him.

Me and my sister went to London for the weekend and got home this Tuesday. It was a lovely trip, and we did a whole lot of shopping! I won’t say I’ll do a post of everything, since I know I might not have the time to keep that as a promise. But perhaps you’ll see some of it in upcoming outfit posts. I still wish to keep the blog going even though I know it will be hard to find the time for it for at least a couple of weeks more. This time we decided to go to  Notting Hill and Portobello Road Market. We ended up going there one time on the market and two more times just because we loved the surroundings. Otherwise we spent most of the time on Oxford Street. This was our fourth time to London, so we’ve seen most of the tourist attractions before, so I wouldn’t say it’s a waste to just go shopping. I had planed to show some pictures from the trip, but I can’t find the cable to my camera at the moment.

We have had quite a lot to do at work lately, and I’ve been working a lot more than my contract tells me to. So, we shouldn’t just blame M for my absence here. Six working days a week isn’t uncommon and the shifts has been quite long. I’ve been quite tired, but I always get happy when the pay check arrives and I see that all the work pays off. Right now I’m having a week’s vacation though, which I started off with the London trip.

On Saturday it’s time for my friend’s wedding, which I’m really looking forward to. Got some nice dresses in London, and I can’t wait to wear one of them then. It will also be great to meet all of our friends and celebrate the happy day with C and C.

On Monday I go back to work for two days, then on Wednesday M is taking me to Prague for a few days. I was just supposed to have one day off next week, but when my boss found out M is having his vacation then she was kind enough to rearrange our schedule, so I got three days off instead. M got really happy when I told him and booked us a trip. Really excited about that! I have never been there before, but heard that it’s a beautiful town!

Hope everything is well with you all too, and that I get the chance to catch up with everyone soon. Until then, Lots of Love!

When a girl meets a boy

Hi everyone!

Long time no see. The past few weeks, or the last month actually, my attention has been drawn to one thing, and pretty much one thing only. After a nice dinner with work me and my colleagues went out for some drinks in town. The guys at the table next to us started talking to me and my colleagues, and I was getting along very well with one of them. With a bit of pressure from my colleagues (and our own free will) I gave him my number at the end of the evening. “I think you’re supposed to wait for three days, but I find that a bit too long. You’ll hear from me in two.” was the last words he said to me that night, and two days after that the first text came.

Since then my blogging nights has turned into nights of phone calls that lasts for hours, a wonderful date and several nights of just hanging together, meeting my family and a few football games. When I was sick this week he turned up with a bag filled with fresh fruits, smoothie, candy, a magazine, a little souvenir from our favorite football team and very tasty cream buns to the whole family. I must say he’s kind of sweet. He is working night shift tonight, so this is the first night in a very long time that I’m spending alone and not on the phone. Feels kind of weird actually.

It’s kind of amazing how two strangers can along so incredible well. We share the same interests, want to see the same places and value the same things in life. I think we have an exciting journey ahead of us, with an unknown destination.

Hope to be back again soon!

Lots of love to you all!

A day off

Hey guys!

So last week was insanely busy as well, with work, work, dinner with friends and extra work. Never thought today would come, but it did and I got my day off. The weather has been a amazing the whole weekend and today I got the chance to enjoy it. I decided to bring my sister to the city.

We had a great day, eating lunch by the canal, doing some spring shopping, trying out a FroYo place we’ve never visited. Back at home I took the doggie out for a long walk in the sun, just enjoying the weather. Wish I could have another day off tomorrow, but then it’s back to work again.

I must say I’m so happy to read all your nice comments here, and it really inspiring me to get back on track again. That is the main reason I’m jumping in with a short post now, even though I won’t be able to show what was in my shopping bags until tomorrow. But at least I know what to do next! I’m also very excited to try, and review, one of the things in the bag. As if that wasn’t enough I got the new topic for Bloggers Do It better, and I think I have a plan for that one already to publish next week. I’m full of inspiration again, so hopefully I’ll be back on a more regular basis again soon.

Bright sun called for the big sunglasses. 
Come back tomorrow to find out what’s
inside the bags. 

Bloggers Do It Better

Hey guys!

If you’ve read my latest posts you know I’ve been crazy busy the past weeks, and it will be so for at least this week too. This week we have 20% off on everything in the store, so we have loads to do. Today is my only day off this week, and I was lucky enough to get to spend it with my very close friend that is moving to Greece next week. Monday was the day of an important football game at our home arena, and last night the whole family went to an instruction evening to get to practice driving at home. That being said, there are plenty of reasons why I’m a day late with this weeks Bloggers Do It Better post.

The topic this time was Bargains, and for me this was an easy one. The past few weeks I’ve been saving a lot of money. All because of my smoothie mixer. I used to spend loads on buying smoothies at my favorite place at the shopping center, but the mixer here has already saved up for itself (well, I didn’t pay for it myself but if I would have, the money would be saved by now). Not to mention all the variety I get now! I used to be stuck with my favorite mango smoothie, but now I’ve been experimenting with lots of different tastes. Also, it’s perfect for making soups for lunch, making me save even more money!

For soup I love using broccoli and cauliflower, just adding some salt and pepper. Maybe some herbs for an extra touch. Was told to use some lime or lemon, so I might try that next time.

For breakfast as a fresh start of the day I love a carrot smoothie with some orange and ginger.

Since I often work long days I try to bring a second smoothie to work. That one is usually a bit fruitier. A favorite is banana, raspberries and vanilla yogurt. If I work closing shift I like to ad an egg to stay full a bit longer.

Hope you got some inspiration from this post. If so, feel free to follow me on Bloglovin and Twitter. Hopefully I’ll be able to go back to my normal Blogging routine soon. Miss you all!