I miss hearing the call to prayer before sunrise every morning, the sunshine and the small winding roads in the old city. But I don't miss the olives for breakfast. See my blog entry
The cruise from Stockholm was the highlight. Breathtaking, really. We found Helsinki to be down-to-earth, friendly and a just-right size. See my blog entry
Why on Earth did it take me so long to visit London?! Rivals Paris for best city in Europe. Avoid Oxford Street and Covent Garden, and head to Chelsea and Holborn. See my blog entry
It was my third trip to Paris, but our first while living in Sweden. And, more significantly, our first with a baby in tow. Metro ≠ baby friendly. Centre Pompidou = 10x more fun with a little one. See my blog entry.
bergen and oslo, norway
Think Colorado. Flooded. Oslo is a refreshing little city and the fjords offered beautiful views in all directions. Not love, love. But definitely like, like. See my blog entry.
prague, czech republic
Yes, it has beautiful architecture. But no soul. Skip it and go to Budapest instead.
We only spent a night here, but I could tell immediately that this was a city I could live in. Hope we can get back there sometime soon. Loved the new architecture, friendly people and the gigantic, wooded park.
A great place to relax, see endless fields of daisies, drink sangria and be surrounded by the smell of orange blossoms. See my blog entry.
amsterdam and delft
Amsterdam was one of our favorite European cities and Delft is a little gem you wish you could fit in your pocket and take home. Loved the individual style and easy-going nature of the people. See my blog entry.
Hurry, it's already been discovered. Wonderful cheap food and an outdoorsy mentality. See my blog entry.
Reminds us of home. Really relaxing and laid back. See my blog entry.
hong kong and tai pei
Super friendly people and so romantic. See my blog entry.
Loved Villefranche and the whole area east of Nice. See my blog entry.
Loved the tapas and eating paella on the beach. See my blog entry.
In November 2005, my husband and I moved to Älmhult, Sweden, for my dream job. Five years later, our little family of three moved back. Except, back turned out to be a brand new place called Portland.
Through rain, sleet or snow, we're playing outside every day this week!
It's part of a campaign by Polarn O. Pyret, my favorite Swedish brand of kids' clothes.They want families to commit to getting outside this week. No matter what the weather is.
And while getting out is kind of the norm in our house, I have to admit that the fall rain does make me reach for the car keys a bit more if we have somewhere to go.
But not yesterday. Instead of driving to Sophie's ballet class, we walked. I put Mathis in the Ergo, and dressed Sophie in her new super-cute cupcake rainboots and waterproof jacket.
I know that getting out with the kids is supposed to be for their benefit, but I've been realizing lately that I feel better every time I'm outside, too. With an infant attached to my hip all day, it gives me a chance to breathe a little deeper, get perspective and say hi to people in the neighborhood.
And just like working out for 10 or 20 minutes is better than zero minutes, I'd like to think that getting outside for 10 or 20 minutes a day is good, too. For everyone.
I find that I am at my most stressed-out right before Lewis gets home, as I am dealing with a cranky post-nap toddler, a hungry/needy infant, a hungry dog, dirty dishes and figuring out what to make for dinner. So when a recipe for butternut squash gnocchi landed in my inbox yesterday, I had an idea to kill three of those birds with one stone: Sophie would help me make dinner. (What was the third bird? Mathis was entertained by the whole thing.)
Last week, we moved our IKEA HEMNES TV bench up into the little room off our kitchen. It was just supposed to be a temporary spot. But, as you can see, it turned out to be a great little workbench for Sophie. So it's staying. I'm going to try to find ways for Sophie to help me with dinner more often because it was a huge hit on so many levels: no stress for me, a happy kid, a yummy dinner and a picky toddler who licked her plate clean because she made it.
I have been slightly petrified by all the bare walls in our newly finished basement. Like it's so intimidating to have a blank canvas that it's hard to know where or how to start. But my sadness over Sophie's boring off-white room pushed me over the edge. Two tacks have now been hammered into the wall to hold up this handmade fabric pennant banner!
The idea started after I made Mathis a baby quilt a couple of weeks ago (thanks to parental guilt for not making him a darn thing) with my sewing machine from Sweden. It survived. The transformer seemed to do its thing without blowing up the machine. And the IKEA fabric I used for Mathis' quilt lent itself well to a fabric pennant banner, which I have wanted to make/get for Sophie for a while.
I found this DIY page with great instructions, spent Saturday afternoon cutting triangles and sewed it all together Sunday morning.
Two little tacks have broken the ice ... just in time for the little man to move into his sister's room (!!!).