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Time for a Swedish giveaway! (CLOSED)
January 10, 2011 0:34 AM



I thought it was about time I had another Swedish giveaway! Yay! Like last time, the prizes will consist of some Swedish treats and a personal gift from me. I will pick the winner in a live broadcast via my Ustream channel on Wednesday January 19th, I will be back with the exact time later.


These are the prizes:

- Napkins with Swedish flag motive
- Four wooden butter knives
- A car air freshner with Swedish motive
- Swedish crispbread
- Some popular Swedish candy; three different kinds of salt liquorice candy, Ahlgrens bilar   and Peppermint Rock Candy - polkagris
- Our traditional Christmas drink, Glögg
- A postcard with motives from my hometown Karlskrona
- And my personal gift, spring water from Lyckeby

As for my personal gift. I wanted to give away something which has some sort of connection to this giveaway, as well as to me and where I live. And I was so excited when I got the idea to give away some water. Huh!? Well, just a few metres from where I live here in Lyckeby, is an old water pump. It has actually been here for centuries. And people still come to fetch water from it today, even though we can drink water directly from our taps. But this spring water is tasty and has a long history behind it, which I'm sure is why it is still frequently used. It is also why I thought it would be cool to give away some of this spring water from Lyckeby, Sweden.

Below are pics of the pump, as well as some history about it.


Top left pic: this is how close it is to my apartment. Top right pic: Some close ups. And below pic: an enlargement of the text which is written on the info board next to the pump.



And this is how I made my personal gift. I boiled a bottle in water, made labels, filled bottle with spring water, and voila - finito!

Giveaway rules!

Now to the most important part, HOW TO WIN these prizes! All you have to do is answer these two questions in a comment below.

1. What country do you live in?


2. What do you love about the country you live in?


My answers:

1. Sweden

2. I love that we can drink water straight from our taps here. We are very fortunate to be able to do that, something I definitely appreciate!

I look forward to your answers. :-)

/A.L

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Lucia celebration in Karlskrona
December 13, 2010 9:03 PM



Today we celebrate Lucia in Sweden. Which means that across Sweden you can hear and see Lucia march and sing carols with her entourage of maidens - tärnor and star boys - stjärngossar. On this day we also eat Lucia cats (see my previous post Lucia cats all over the place for more info about these buns).

Here in Karlskrona we choose a Lucia every year to represent our city. Her job is to visit different places around Karlskrona and sing. Tonight it was time for Lucia and her entourage to sing at our town square, Stortorget. So to town I went, even though it was freezing outside! Traditions, traditions, lol!

Below are some pics from this evening, and a short video of Lucia and company singing a traditional Lucia song called "Natten går tunga fjät".





Originally our Lucia celebration is based on the saint Lucia, a holy virgin of the 200's who lived in Syracuse, Sicily. However, her destiny to be killed for her Christian faith has nothing to do with our Swedish Lucia tradition. Actually, our current Lucia tradition did not emerge until the late 1800s. But as long as the Julian calendar was used, the solstice fell on December 13, and Lucia was also a harbinger of better times and longer days.
Sources: nordiskamuseet.se, historiesajten.se


If you want to read more about Swedish Christmas traditions CLICK HERE!

/A.L

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Lucia cats all over the place
December 8, 2010 8:18 PM



Yesterday I helped my mum bake Lucia cats - lussekatter, also known as saffron buns or Saint Lucia buns. It's a tradition to eat them on December 13th in Sweden, when we celebrate Lucia. (You can read more about how we celebrate Lucia and the origin of this tradition on my Christmas page.) Now, I'm not a big fan of baking, I prefer cooking, so I would never make these on my own. But they do taste best when they are home made! So in order for me to grab a few from mum with a good conscience, I decided to help her bake them (well, roll them into shapes), anyway :-) Here are some pics.



The dough, unfortunately not too tasty raw :-(



Different shapes, the classic shape is S. My mum likes to fill them with either almond paste or lingonberry. But I prefer "normal" ones, with just raisins, though the other two alternatives taste great as well.



And here we have the finito productio. With an almond paste filled classically shaped Lucia cat on top of the pile. Yuuummyyy :-p

If you are interested in a recipe for Lucia cats, here is one: Saint Lucia buns

/A.L


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First Sunday of Advent 2010
November 28, 2010 8:54 PM



In Sweden we have a countdown to Christmas, which starts four Sundays before Christmas Eve. And it's called Advent. Advent first, second and so on. This countdown is marked by lighting a candle in an Advent candlestick each Sunday.

Growing up we always ate rice pudding - risgrynsgröt (like a porridge) on these Sunday mornings in my family. And of course this is something I still do, like an obsession. Or perhaps I should call it tradition, LOL!



Here is my bowl of rice pudding I had this morning, topped with cinnamon and sugar. Usually you have milk with it as well, but I prefer without. The rice pudding can be eaten hot or cold. And behind the bowl is my Advent candle stick with the first lit candle.



Another Advent tradition is to have Advent stars and candle sticks lit in your windows. In the left pic you can see how I have decorated my window. The right pic is of my neighbourhood. In this pic you can see how almost every window have these decorations, even though they look tiny, hihi. And now that our Advent season has kicked off, it's time to buckle up, hold on tight, and don't let the stress bugs bite :-p

Origin Advent

Advent is Latin and comes from the Latin word "Adventus Domini" which means "coming of the Lord". Today's Advent celebration is a phenomenon that emerged during the 1900s. Advent stars, Advent candles and Advent calendars became popular in the 1930s in Sweden. Source: nordiskamuseet.se

If you want to read more about our traditions during December, and how I celebrate Christmas - CLICK HERE.

/A.L

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It's all about booze!
November 13, 2010 5:12 PM
Updated: November 14, 2010 5:53 PM


I know that in many countries you can buy alcohol pretty much 24/7, but not in Sweden. So I thought I'd share how important it is to plan ahead if you want to buy alcohol in Sweden.

The only chain of stores in Sweden where you can buy alcohol exceeding 3.5% in alcoholic strength is Systembolaget. Systembolaget is a state-owned company with monopoly to sell alcoholic beverages in Sweden. Systembolaget has limited open hours, closed Sundays, in some citys open on Saturdays until 1 or 3 pm and during weekdays usually open between 10 am - 6 pm. To buy alcoholic beverages exceeding 3.5% at Systembolaget you must be 20 years old. However you are allowed to buy all sorts of alcohol, and drink of course, at pubs and restaurants from the age of 18.

If you want to read more about the origin of our Systembolag and alcohol regulations, visit THIS LINK


The pics below are from Systembolaget closest to my home here in Lyckeby. I went there today to buy some beer for tonight, yum! I mean, it is Saturday after all :-)





And because alcohol is quite expensive in Sweden. Many Swedes, including me, love to take bus trips to Border shops in our lovely neighbour country Germany (where it's a lot cheaper). Below are some pics from such a trip me and my sister went on last year. The city we targeted was Puttgarden, Germany.





I'm curious, what do you think of our booze rules, hehe? And how does it work in your country? Are there any regulations regarding alcohol?

Have a lovely Saturday! Cheers! ;-)

/A.L


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Pics of my Kalmar shopping bonanza
October 31, 2010 2:50 PM

Kalmar is a lovely town about 80 kilometres from Karskrona. It's located near the ocean and has a lot of attractive features. But what makes me consistently go there is of course, ta da - IKEA! IKEA opened up a store in Kalmar a few years ago, and today the area around IKEA is packed with all kind of different stores + a shopping mall! Yihaaa!!!

Like a mentioned in the previous post, one of my birthday gifts was a day of shopping in Kalmar :-) Last Friday me and my gift giver ( mum) drove to Kalmar, where I cashed in my gift and had a wonderful day! Of course I took a lot of pics while we were there :-)






Above pics: IKEA and its surroundings.





Above pics: One of the latest additions to this area is the shopping mall Mode, I love it! I bought two pair of shoes, three jeans, two shirts and the scarf in the pic above (not the hat though...).





Above pics: Inside IKEA.

In case you don't know what IKEA is, here is a short history lesson;

IKEA was founded by Swedish entrepreneur Ingvar Kamprad in 1943. Today it is a major retail experience in 40 countries/territories around the world. What makes it unique is the low prices, which are low mainly because you have to assemble pretty much everything you buy at IKEA yourself. In the lower pics above you can see the shelves where you fetch your dismantled furniture and proceed to checkouts. I also always find a bunch of stuff I never knew I needed until I find it at IKEA.

It is a huge store characterized by Sweden. And the IKEA restaurant always serve traditional Swedish meatballs, as well as other typical Swedish food. It is definitely worth a visit!

All in all I had a great day in Kalmar! Thank you mum :-)


/A.L
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Ronneby and cinnamon bun day
October 4, 2010 18:58

My mums partner asked me if I could give him a ride back from Ronneby today, because he sold his car to someone who lives there. I saw this as a perfect opportunity (excuse) to do some shopping :-)

Even though Ronneby is a smaller town than Karlskrona, they do have a few boutiques we don't have. So, I grabbed my mum and shopping we went!

Now, I usually wear/use my favourite things until they are pretty much rags. And what I have been looking for lately is a new handbag. I really didn't think I would find one today, but can you believe it - I actually did! Yay! And here it is:



I also saw a sign that said:




Which means "It's cinnamon bun day today". Naturally I had to buy a cinnamon bun! This one is now in my stomach:



I'm not sure why we celebrate a cinnamon bun day though? Or if it's celebrated just in Sweden? But who cares, lol! Good excuse for a little treat :-)

/A.L
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Last day of cents
September 30, 2010 1:33 PM

Today is the last day you can pay with this coin in Sweden.




It's worth 50 öre, or half a Swedish crown. In US dollars, or cents, it's worth approximately 7 cents. And you can't really buy anything for just 50 öre here in Sweden, not that I know of anyway, so I guess that's why they have decided to stop using it. Still, money is money is money, so I'm going to search through my apartment to gather up whatever 50 öringar I've got, and SPEND them all!



Ha! I had a few :-) Today they are worth 24 Swedish crowns, or approximately 3 US dollars. Tomorrow - NADA! Let's see if I have enough strength to get my ass to the store today, I've been sick all week... But I'll be darned if that's gonna cost me 24 crowns, as well as being home from work - grrr!

/A.L
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Some Swedish traditions
September 21, 2010 13:21

I have been working on adding some pages about Sweden to this blog for quite some time now. Today I finally finished two pages of my favourite Swedish traditions. I have written about my experiences of them, a few pics and some history behind the traditions.

I will continually add new pages about different "Sweden" topics. They will be added in "About Sweden" in the menu, and of course I will post whenever I have finished a page.

To visit the new pages, click here --> Traditions or Christmas

Let me know what you think, and if you like the pages please click the like button on them :-)

Thank you!

/A.L

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Results are in...
September 19, 2010 23:12

Unfortunately, I can't say I'm surprised, but it still saddens me that we lost. Another four years of increasing the gaps in society between those who have, and those who don't. However, I must say, what really concerns me about this election outcome is that one party, which have never been in the Swedish Parliament before, managed to get in.

This party is called Sverige Demokraterna - Swedish Democrats. And, regardless of what they try to portray themselves as, they are basically a xenophobic party. Not too extreme - but extreme enough to make me feel like this is a major concern!

Even though "my side" lost, I still feel like the Social Democrats' leader, Mona Sahlin, did the best she could under the circumstances. It's not easy to have a position no one else wants, or refuse to take responsibility for. She stepped up to the plate when no one else had the guts to, and I commend her for that.

I think it's easy to blame others for what went wrong, or is wrong, both in our lives and in society. If you don't like it - do something about it! Don't act like children and do the opposite to demonstrate your discontent, that's when shit happens...

/A.L

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Time to vote!
September 19, 2010 12:16

Today is the big election day here in Sweden. Will our Parliament remain the same for another four years or not? Well, however you vote, I think the most important thing is that you do vote! So this morning I grabbed Lisen and wandered to my local polling house here in Lyckeby to cast my vote.



Lisen waiting for me while I'm in the yellow house voting.

/A.L

 
 
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Sweden
Page 1 2 3 4 5
Time for a Swedish giveaway!
Lucia celebration in Karlskrona
Lucia cats all over the place
First Sunday of Advent 2010
It's all about booze!
Pics of my Kalmar shopping bonanza
Ronneby and cinnamon bun day
Last day of cents
Some Swedish traditions
Results are in...
Time to vote!
 
   
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