Category: Lists

The all out weird celebration that is Swedish Midsummer

It’s happening this Friday and I’m here to guide you through all things midsummer.

Maybe it’s not a surprise that swedes got some of the weirdest and slightly craziest traditions. Midsummer is one of them and even I, a swede myself, have a hard time explaining the tradition of jumping around a maypole as a frog… But here’s a few things you might want to know if you’re a newbie to all things midsummer or just plain curious as to what the weirdos up north are celebrating.

Swedish midsummer- Celebrated by a country of weirdos

1. It will rain. Every year, to no avail, it will rain. Some years it’s only a few drops of water and other years it’s a downpour. But no matter where you are in Sweden, it will rain during midsummer celebration. Mark my words.

2. Dancing around the maypole like a frog. I couldn’t make this up if I tried. Some traditions are crazier than others. Traditionally you meet friends and family early in the day to make the maypole and then raise it together. After that you spend about an hour jumping/dancing around the thing to obey the old God (As I said- Weirdos, the entire bunch). Note to self- not every maypole is a work of art…

3. We like to make food the center of every tradition and celebration and midsummer is no different. The midsummer meal is basically our christmas meal but more summerish. Fresh potatoes, pickled herring (yes you read that right) and as desert- anything strawberry.

4. Don’t forget the drinks! If there is one thing swedes like to do more than eat- it’s drink. And there is nothing like a bit of liquid courage to get you through some of the embarrassing games and maypole-activity the day have in store.

5. Flower crowns. It’s summer after all and flowers are the center of summer symbolism. Therefor it’s tradition for the girls to walk around with flowers in their hairs. It’s lika a national wide coachella! Just make sure to watch out for the bees. Bzzzzz….

Midsummer flower crown

I hope everyone will have a lovely midsummer, no matter if you celebrate it or not. Remember to drink responsibly and really elongate those frog movements.

All the best,

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My Magical WishList!

Magical Wishlist

 

I just wrote a list of things I want and probably will bock off sometime in the future. So I thought, why not share my greed and material happiness with the world?

  1. iMac. I’m sitting by my big as desk with my teeny tiny laptop and I just want something bigger and better and shiny and new. Heart-smilyface.
    m
  2. Brimnes guest bed from Ikea. It’s the swede in me I’ll never be able to remove. This glories, while kind of boring furniture, will be turned into a cozy reading nest where I will spend all of my free time.
    + A super duper good mattress because I need to feel like a princess
    + Pillows until the end of the world. Big fluffy pillows!
    m
  3. Books!!! Because I can’t get enough of them and I need all the books in my life. All of the books!!!
    m
  4. A dog. Who doesn’t want a fluffy little animal who’s always happy to see you and will love you unconditionally? Woof!
    m
  5. Ring light. Because (as stated before) I live in the cold and dark as fuck country of Sweden and there never seems to be enough daylight.
  6. Final Cut Pro X. Because my current Final cut Express has gone on a strike and I can’t seem to get it to cooperate with me.
  7. Small vlogging camera. Just because it’s easy to keep in my pocket and I’m not particularly found of the quality the iPhone produces.

As stated before, this is a magical wishlist and a very materialistic one. Not all of these things are going to come my way. But some of them might. I hope. *Holding my thumbs so hard*

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10 easy preparations for nanowrimo!

NaNo-2015-Participant-Banner

 

1. Create a novel at nanowrimo.org

It is 100% true that you will not be able to win if you don’t even create a novel. So go over to the nanowrimo website and sign up and join the party! For me, the most troublesome part of creating a novel is naming it. I can’t tell you how many of my nano-projects in the past have been named WIP for the first few days before I’ve been able to come up with something more fitting.

2. Stock your pantry

This is important! Do not underestimate the importance of good snacks. A tasty candy bar or a nice cup of tea can easily be used as bribes for you to write 500 more words.  I personally prefer popcorn but whatever rocks your goat and increases your creative process- go for it.

3. Find nano-friends on social media

Maybe you are like me and don’t know anyone IRL who does nano but still want to discuss and talk about the process and problems that crawls upon us as the month progress. Use social media, there are literally millions of people doing nanowrimo and a majority of those spend a lot of time on the internet (procrastination anyone?). Join a facebook group, find friendly nanowrimos on twitter or subscribe to fellow nano-writers on youtube.

4. Visit the nanowrimo forum

You can basically find whatever you are looking for at the nanowrimo forums. Maybe you need a small pep talk from a fellow nanowrimo or you want to talk about your annoying sub character who can’t seem to shut up. I usually spend my times at the adoption society forum for some out of the box ideas or to get a name for the neighbors cat.

5. Make a playlist

Some people like to write in silence and that’s totally fine but I have found that I work better with music in the background. Maybe you want to add music your main character would listen to or music that fits the mood of the story. I usually make a playlist with songs I’m into at the moment and that fits the story, in lyrics or music.

6. Tell someone you’re doing nanowrimo

This will make your dedication to the project reach a whole new level. Because no one wants to admit defeat when your parent/bf/gf/bff asks how the writing is going. And if you don’t want to spill the nanowrimo beans to a close one, why not use your newly acquired friends on various social media sites.

7. Get a halo

“A halo?” you ask excitedly. I know, sounds awesome, right? Basically you can get a halo by donating to the nanowrimo cause. Nanowrimo is a non-profit organization who runs on donations and does a lot for aspiring writers all over the world. Not everyone has the money to spare and that’s totally fine. But if you think the nanowrimo-crew are doing a great job why not consider donating 10 bucks. And as a bonus you’ll get a halo!!! Yay!

8. Get yourself a 50000 word bribe

Not all of us can reach the finish line on pure dedication and stubbornness but needs a bribe or two to get there. This is totally fine. Find something you really want but for some reason haven’t acquired or done yet and make that your bribe for reaching 50000 words. My second year of nanowrimo I promised myself to buy Scrivener if I successfully managed to reach 50000 words, 5 years later and it’s still my go to program during writing.

9. Identify your procrastination techniques

It will happen and there’s no point telling yourself otherwise. The important thing is recognizing what your procrastination is. Maybe you are one of those freaks who cleans the house or maybe you become a master chef all of a sudden. Procrastination is totally fine and totally normal, but at one point you need to realize that your bathroom does not need a scrub down since you cleaned it yesterday. I usually procrastinate with TV-shows and I have learned to use them as daily bribes for writing.

10. Commit!

You wont be able to get very far if you don’t commit. So as you start this crazy project visualize yourself at the finish line and believe in yourself and your ability to write a novel. In no time at all it will be the 30th of November and you’ll have written 50000 words!

If you’re doing nanowrimo, tell me what you’re preparations look like for this crazy month to come.

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9 Things to Pack in Your Carry On – Long flight edition

CarryOn Long Flights

 

1. Phone

Your precious device that is your lifeline to the rest of the world. And while some flights have wifi on boards, far from everyone does, so remember to keep it in flight mood! You’ll just have to wait and reconnect with the world when you land. However, the phone is still your camera and your music storage. It will come to great use during the long hours on the plane.

2. Headphones

This is your life savior. This smart little device have 3 functions on a flight.
1. (the obvious function) Use them to listen to music or watch movies with.
2. (the please-do-not-disturb-function) Did you happen to get seated next to Chatty-Cathy? While it’s nice to exchange a few words with you’re closest neighbor on the flight it can also get real annoying real fast if all you want to do is relax and have some quiet time. Just pop in those earphones and it will work just as well as if you had a do-not-disturb-sign on your forehead. Just make sure they are plugged into something or you will not only be a jerk, your neighbor will know about, scheisse!
3. (The noise reducers) Is the kid two rows back making the entire airplane listen to their one-kid-show involving monologues, singing and a few sprints up and down the aisle? The earphones might not be as good as some hard core earplugs but they will reduce the noise enough for you to think about something else.

3. Computer/Tablet

Your entertainment for the flight. Most longer flights have individual entertainment stations and while those are usually equipped with a pretty good movie selection you might want to watch the TV-show or movies you have on your own device or you might want to work. The computer will be your best friend.

4. Snacks

Nom Nom Nom!

5. A book

I don’t mean an actual book made out of actual paper. We live in the age of technology and I want to welcome everyone to the very handy thing that is e-books and audio books. Just download your book of choice to your phone or tablet and you have some good entertainment without the extra weight in your bag. You’re welcome!

6. Lady supplies

Are you a dude? Too bad. Ladies- always be prepared. It’s not fun to be on an 20 hour flight without the necessary supplies.

7. An extra sweater

Flights have air condition, and the system will be pumping out fresh (cold) air into the plane from take off until you reach your destination. And you might be thinking that I’m just overly sensitive, and you’re a warm blood and there’s no way you’ll get cold. Well, if you don’t use the sweater as a heat protector you can be handily fold it up and use as an extra pillow (The pillows the flight company provides is usually thinner than F. Scott Fitzgeralds The Great Gatsby).

8. Toothbrush and toothpaste

This is the time to invest in some travel sized toothpaste (under 100ml). You might want to take care of that morning breath of yours for your fellow travelers sake (and your own).

9. Deodorant

I’m not saying you stink… but you stink. Ain’t nobody smelling like roses after sitting on a plane for hours and hours on end. Splash some of that fresh scent on your body before you leave the airport to go hang out with the locals. Don’t forget, it needs to be less than 100 ml to get through custom.

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Fall Wishlist

Fall wishlist 2015

 

1. Travel– No matter what kind of wishlist I make I’m pretty sure this will always have a special place on the list. For every place I visit my bucket list gets longer and more specific. It’s a talent of mine.

2. Mild weather– Don’t get me wrong, I love the big autumn storms that occasionally passes over Sweden but for the most part I wish for minimum amount of wind and just the smallest of drizzles. The wind part is a big deal, that way I can use my umbrella without looking like a disoriented Mary Poppins.

3. Movies– This is the best season for movies and this fall looks like it will be some pretty good movies coming up, like the last Hunger Games movie. Can I hear midnight premier anyone?!?!? Oh yeah! And then we have Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Pawn Sacrifice and We Are Your Friends. I can’t wait.

4. Fall TV– I cannot get enough of it! So many shows- so little time! For those who are interested, I wrote an entire entry just about the many TV-shows I’ll be watching this fall. Anyone else joining in on the madness?

5. Winning the lottery– For obvious reasons. Not that it will ever happen considering I’m one of those who never spend a dime gambling! But why can’t someone just pick me out in a crowed and hand me a stack of bills (In the non-prostitue-way)?

6. Soups– As it gets colder I hope I take the time to make soups. This might be my best comfort food during the fall season. And the way it warms my soul and body gets me all happy and giddy inside.

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