I had such a nice evening all by myself yesterday that I'm still smiling today! I love that feeling that lingers on and I want to bottle it up to days when my mood hits bottom (yes, I have days like that)! Some might think it's crazy that I need it and enjoy being alone so much, and it's ok if you do. Maybe I am! I just know I do need it and it makes my time with my family matters more because Ive taken my time to rest and calm down - founding my inner balance and listened to my inner voice! 👌🏻
It's not easy to follow up on an as important and strong message that I tried to get through to you in my blog entry yesterday. It feels almost disrespectful to go back to my everyday life and talk about unimportant things like how my day has been or how I feel about ordinary things which has no meaning or effects in the bigger picture, the crisis in our world needing our actions. But, life goes on and although not being things affecting the entire world, those "unimportant" things might just be important in the smaller perspective. To someone, or some of us. To me.
I've had a busy day at work, and as mentioned above, the crisis in this world makes it selves known during my day at work too. Not because we handle direct questions connected with the crisis (climate change affects us all of course), but because it affects us all as human beings and most of us have a strong urge to fight in the cause or at least to talk about it and spread the word. To make ones thoughts, opinions and even intentions known. It takes time from most of us, mainly on coffee breaks or lunches, and I think it needs to. Although being far from the core of the fight, we feel for the cause and we want to be a part of the solution. We want to help, to aid, to contribute. That is who we are. We see injustice and we want to make it right, it's as simple as that.
When someone is hurt, I want to take away the pain.
When someone is afraid, I want to comfort them.
When someone is threatened by war, I want to give them peace.
When someone is starving I want to bring them food.
When someone is freezing I want to give them warmth.
When someone can only see darkness and hate I want to show them light and love. ❤
I guess what I'm trying to say is; don't think that we're giving up on you just because our lives continues on as they've always done. We carry on the fight as we've promised, using social media and by spreading the word. By contributing in the ways possible for us from afar. Putting pressure on our own government to take action or by supporting you doing the same wherever that might be. By donating time and/or money wherever our aid is needed. But as we do that, our everyday life continues on because it has too.
So don't be surprised or disappointed when my blog entries will speak of truly insignificant things like what shade of nail polish my five year old daughter wants me to buy or what I'm having for dinner. I'm still here, I still care, and I'm doing what I can to make this world better place, for all! 🙏🏻❤🙏🏻
As I sit here, waiting to leave for my daughters big birthday party at an indoor playground with 19 of her friends, I can't help but to feel like a warrior ready to go to war. And no, it's not because the challenge of taking on a huge group of exited kids, but of what is happening in the world. More to the point, what is happening in the US right now. The newly elected president has spent his first two weeks at the post to challenge the climate (more like doomed it), building walls between countries and people (literally) and banned people from entering the US just because of their religious beliefs and their heritage and origins. Not even considering that som of them arrive as refugees, in terrible conditions and in need beyond our understanding! And this is just a pick of all the awful things he has put in motion.
Some may say this is not my fight. That I'm not a US citizen or that I live to far away to be bothered. But this is everyone's fight! This effects us all, no matter where we live or act in this world. That is what makes us humans! We care about those hurt or in need of aid! We care about those being mistreated and we come together to help and aid them. And this world, our planet, must be taken care of by all of us! Not just a few countries and a few people, but by all countries and every human living in this world. Climate change is real and we need to act on that, not try to hide the truth! No one can do it all, but every one can do something!
I will not sit here, safe in my home and in a country in peace, and watch as the world is slowly shifting into a place where equality no longer exists. Where war rages as we stay silent watching people, children (!!!) dying on the streets. Where love and acceptance of our differences are substituted by hate and fear of what separates us - no matter if that is because of whom we love, our gender, what we believe in, where we are from or what we look like. We must come together and show the leaders of this world that our opinions matters and that we are a force to be reckoned with. We might have chosen them as our leaders but that does not mean that they can do what they want and stop listening to us! They are supposed to make us come together, not to separate us!
I've spoken up in political questions and issues earlier and that have made me a target. I've been threatened by people online, in awful and nasty ways, and yes that has surely frightened me. Threats, empty or not, are still threats. I will not accept to be a target of threats just because I speak my mind. Freedom of speech is still as important to respect as it's ever been. It is ok to tell me you disagree, but let us not disrespect and threaten people just because we disagree!
So, as I get ready to leave and take on all the kids at the party, I feel thankful for the safe environment I live in because it gives me the strength to fight for others. To aid and support! And I'm thankful for the ability to speak my mind and for us humans being able to come together and support those in need so far away from us and not being limited by distance. I promise you, I will not stop, because I will need you to do the same for me if the tables were to be turned!
We are all equals! We all deserve peace, a safe environment, happiness and love! ❤
Today we had the first birthday party of the weekend for my daughter. Our families came to celebrate our little 5 year old with gifts and a lot of love. We started with a simple lunch. Something suitable for children, for a vegetarian and for me that only eat gluten free food. I thought a lot about different ideas and I finally decided to go with tacos. 🌮 Which just happens to be one of mini me's favourites.
It's a lot of chopping included in making tacos, especially when you choose to make your own salsa, but it's so worth it. So fresh and without all that added sugar that's included when buying the ready product. Anyways, I didn't take a picture of the dinner table and all the ingredients but you know what's included; guacamole (homemade of course), tomatoes, cucumber, red onions, paprika, cheese, salad, coriander, meat (and soya mince for the vegetarian) and the salsas. And nachos and tortillas. And some creme fraiche, but maybe that's a Swedish thing? I'm not sure it's included elsewhere?
It was really tasty, if I may say so myself, and we had the birthday cake for dessert. 🎂
I love having my family over, it's not that often that we all get together, and I found myself thinking how important my siblings are to me and how much I love them. And my little brother, whom I love immensely, is more and more turning out to be a younger version of my father (at least on the outside). I'm super proud of them both (third sibling wasn't here, but I'm proud of him too) and love them more than I can say.
Now I'm resting to save up some energy for the party tomorrow! 20 little boys and girls running around is going to be tough! But fun! We're going to have the party at an indoor playground, so I'm hoping all the kids will have a blast! I'll tell you all about it tomorrow! Now chocolate, tea and my Kindle!
Today is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. I've read a lot of horrific stories in the news from survivors from the holocaust and I've read a lot of history books about the Second World War. The stories have always fascinated and scared me, and as I grew up the diary of Anne Frank was one of the most important books I read. It never left my heart or my mind and for some reason I felt a strong need to save her. For years. In some ways I still do. I thought that if I just had faith and kept hoping that she didn't get caught and killed - she wouldn't be. She'd be safe. I remember reading about the truth of her destiny and trying to accept it.
Tonight I watched a beautiful women, 93 years old, and one of the remaining survivors of the holocaust tell her story on tv. Her parents was killed at Auschwitz and she survived with her sister although being moved to Treblinka before being saved at the end of the war and taken to Sweden. Still to this day she visits schools all over Sweden to talk to our young about the concentration camps and her life before, during and after the war. She talked about her fears about reliving the history as our world today seems incapable of learning from the history. I fear that too. More than anything.
How could we forget what happened in Auschwitz and all the other concentration camps around Europe? Come to think about it, how could we forget any of the wars fought? And the people effected by them. We should honour their memories by listening to their voices and by remembering their stories.
We must all fight for peace. We must make an effort. We must help and aid those in need, no matter where and why. We are all equals and the history has shown us repeatedly how not to do! How to slow down and not blindly follow those who lead. To dare question and be brave. We need to learn from that. We must learn. We must stop this negative spiral we're in and believe that we can make a change. Together. In peace.
I wear my fair share of makeup, I admit. I've talked about this on the blog earlier, that I would never leave my house without make up on. And yes, it has everything to do with my lack of confidence. I know that, but it's not a problem for me. I need 10-15 minutes every morning to get ready, so I'm ok with that. And it gives me at least parts of that confidence that I'm lacking. 😜
Anyways, what I was about to say was that although being one of those women that wears makeup, I've never liked wearing lipstick. At all! I'm not sure why, but I never use it. I can appreciate it on others, and envy those full and luscious red lips you see on models. Maybe it's because I don't have lips like that to start with. 👄
So now you know, lipstick is just not for me! And in these awful Trump-days a totally irrelevant blog entry like this might just get your mind off all the tragedies and let your mind rest for a bit. 😂
And for those of you wanting to read something with more substance, come back at a later date. I have a few things to say about the stupidity of Trump acts too. Just not tonight, my heart is smiling and I don't want it to darken with frustration. Not tonight.
I'm cutting it short today as it's mini me's birthday.
We woke her up just after six in the morning with a birthday cake and by singing happy birthday. And quite a few gifts! We spoil her a bit, I admit, and I don't feel bad about that. She's a sweet girl and she knows to be both grateful and thankful. I'm not raising a brat. 😊
Now I'm off to cuddle with this amazing and gorgeous little girl!
My mood has improved greatly since yesterday, and tonight I'm even smiling without a specific reason. I just feel content and happy.
I think I just needed to get things of my chest yesterday and now that the weight is lifted I feel at ease again.
Tomorrow is mini-me's 5th birthday 🎉 and she's sooo exited about that. All her gifts from me and her father is on the kitchen table waiting for her, and a cake 🎂 is ready as are the balloons 🎈 and candles. We're celebrating her in the morning and then again in the evening, after getting back home from work/kindergarten. And on Saturday our families are coming over to celebrate her, and on Sunday she's having a birthday party with her friends! So it's going to be a busy weekend!
Some days are just not as good as others. They can start off really great and then just loose it's "goodness" as the day changes into night. But you never know, what tipped them over just might tip them back! Just saying!
Sunday evening and I've just spent a well earned hour on the couch reading.
Today was all about mini-me and things that makes her happy! So after a long and nice family breakfast we went to the movies to watch one of her favourite cartoon characters, the strongest bear in the world (according to us Swedes) "Bamse". The movie is called: "Bamse and the witches daughter" and mini-me loved it (I did too, Bamse was a favourite of mine growing up as well).
I'm not sure you could find Bamse in English (being a Swedish bear and all 😆), but if you do and have young children at home you should introduce them to Bamse and his friends!
After the movies we hurried to McDonalds for a late lunch (yes, we were being bad parents but we had no time to make a stop at a real restaurant, she ate in the car) on the way to mini-mes tennis lesson. It was the first tennis lesson since the beginning of December and mini-me was super exited, as was her BFF. They had so much fun! I love watching them play and fool around. Afterwards we went shopping, actually something the entire family enjoys, and had super fun. I didn't really find what I was after, but it was fun either way. Mini-me was happy, buying a flower to her room and a pink ewer. We ended with dinner at a real restaurant this time and went home happy and content!
One of the missions with today's shopping was to buy this shelf for the hallway and stuff to fill it with. We did buy it (as you can see), but I didn't find the "stuff" I'd planned to place on the shelves, but apparently I had some things at home already. 😆 And no, I didn't really know what to buy, I rarely do, I just know when I see it (which drives my husband nuts because I need to stroll around all the stores in search for something unknown). I'll continue on searching though because I have a vision in my head and it's not yet fulfilled. I'll keep you posted, now I'm getting back to my Kindle date!
The nightmare came to life. What shouldn't happen did and the future feels more uncertain than ever. Yesterday was Inauguration Day in the States and the world hold it's breath. Maybe we still do. Most of us understand that this is not a good thing. That we will have to face unwanted and terrible changes. And frankly, it scares the shit out of me! Sorry for being so frank! But! Neither I or the world will hide in fear! Not this time! We've seen evidence of that even before yesterday, but today millions of people all over the world came together and marched for equality, love, peace and respect for all. No matter where we come from, what we believe in or who we love! Showing everyone that we will not have it! We will stand up for those threatened by the new government and president in the US, but we won't stop there. We will stand up against injustices all over the world! All of us that have the strength to fight for those who doesn't, for those hurt or in need of aid. Enough is enough. Love is love! We are all equals!
Together we're strong. Together we'll make this world strong, beautiful and peaceful again. Love is love is love is love is love...
Some days you just want to climb into bed and hide under the covers! Not because you had a bad day necessarily, but because you feel drained! I had one of those days today! I fought all day to be at my very best, top performance deliveries on all levels. And through it all I felt I needed to keep my head up high and stay positive no matter what! Meeting every challenge with a smile and empowering those needing it! And I felt I did! And I had a lot of positive feedback coming my way. But as I sat down behind the wheel in my car I felt totally drained! Like a ballon out of air!
But! As some parts of your mind (and body) screams for that shelter under the covers, others fight for finding a refuel of that lost energy! Although resting for sure could do just that, with a four year old in the family it's just not the best choice as it will make her cranky and/or restless! So, finding that energy refill have to include an activity that she would fancy! So, we went to our favourite Thai restaurant and had dinner before going to the grocery store for some chocolates! Then back home we made tea, ate that glorious chocolate while watching "Finding Dory"!
As I sat on the couch with my little girl cuddled up in my arms and Dory swimming on the screen in front of us I couldn't think of a better way to refuel! It was pure perfection!
Yet another long day of work, the last issues handled from home. I'm so grateful for being able to combine my work with being a mother, and without giving up on my career goals. I know that isn't an option for many people, which makes me even more grateful. 🙏🏻
I'm spending my night in the company of some candles and a hot cup of tea. Trying to relax and let go of all the tensions that builds up in the muscles in my back and neck after a long day. I'm going to contact my massage therapist and get help with loosing up some of the muscles in my back that's been bothering me for a while. If I leave it for too long it works it's way up in my neck and I don't want that happening!
But for tonight I'm just planning on relaxing. Enjoying my tea and a date with my Kindle!
I'm traveling a lot this spring. In March I'm going to Hannover on a business trip and just e few days after arriving home I'm leaving for Budapest with my girlfriends! In April I hope to go to London with my sister and nieces and in may I'm going to Spain to celebrate my father in-law on his 70th birthday.
I've never been to Hannover and Budapest before so tonight I spent an hour googling what to see and what not! And of course, I researched and read tons of comments about finding restaurants and cafes serving gluten free alternatives on their menus! And it looks like it's going to be a lot easier to find me some good gluten free food and bread there than it was in Vietnam! 👍🏻
I love traveling, no surprise to you, and I'm really looking forward to my trips! I'm also going with my little family to Spain for a few weeks this summer and if I'm lucky I'll fly to New York in the fall. But that's to be decided later on, just wishful thinking right now. 😜
Now I'm off to bed. A long day awaits me tomorrow at work!
I'm sorry friends, for not writing any blog entries for two whole days! And I don't have any good excuses to tell you. I just didn't feel up to it!
Had this great weekend planned with two separate girlfriend dates on Saturday, but I woke up feeling a bit under the weather and had to cancel them (actually one of my dates cancelled on me first) both. So instead I decided to make this a lazy weekend and think I managed that quite well!
I made some efforts though! Like dressing one very empty and white wall in the kitchen with some new pictures and a little shelf. I'm not done yet, but this will be your little sneak peak!
Oh, and I'm almost watched through the entire first season of "Van Helsing" on Netflix. I hate series like that, making me feel constantly terrified, but for some weird reason I just can't help myself. I get stuck watching and I feel my body tense up (shaking) with that fear from the first second of every episode. Crazy! I'll feel so relieved when I'm done with season 1 so that I can stop watching it! 😜
The last couple of days I've been thinking a lot about how some of us get so sucked up in the past that we forget to look forward. Why do we let the events of the past get such a strong hold of our minds that we loose the ability to look away from it? This is a really interesting question and in some ways I can relate to being affected by my past, but the whole "loose sight of my future and dwelling in the past" thing has never been an issue for me. For some reason I've always found a way to refocus on the matter at hand, instead of staying stuck.
I've learned over the years to live and act in a world constantly changing, and I like that. You might even say I love it! I'm pretty sure I would get bored if I wasn't a part of that. And maybe it's that part of me, the one easily bored, that has kind of an issue understanding people who chooses to linger in the past rather than leaving it behind. To me it's so simple that I don't get why some choose to make it difficult?!
Something sad/hurtful/unexpected/challenging happens, something that affects you so much you feel absorbed by sadness/guilt/fear or whatever suffocating emotion you can think of! Whatever the feeling you get lost in it and you can only focus on the pain/fear. All you see are problems! Mountains to climb without the correct gear or oceans to swim without a life vest! You see the steep walls on the mountain and you fear loosing your footing and falling down a ravine, or the high and cold waves that will tear you under the surface of the sea and drown you. I get that! Dwell in that for a few seconds, we all do at times! It's ok! But then you take a deep breath and you carry on! You think of other mountains you've climbed or oceans you crossed way back! How did you manage that? What tools did that give you and how can you reuse them this time?
You accept the situation and focus on the good things that will come from it ever happening in the first place! Ok, so this has happened and I'm sorry it did, but what can I learn from it and how can I bring everything good from it with me into the future? I will not let the darkness of it drag me down or under the ice! I am stronger than that!
I get that some people doesn't think this is easy. I get that they're pulled down into a crippling state of mind. I just have to find a way to get them out of that, Making them believe in themselves and their ability to get through it! And accept that it sometimes is going to take them a whole lot more time than I would want it to.
Finally! The first night since arriving home from Vietnam that I haven't fallen asleep after dinner! It's 21:36 and I'm still up, amazing! Hopefully that means I won't be waking up around 04:00 in the morning tomorrow! Fingers crossed!
So now that I can't complain about being tired then maybe I should complain about freezing my butt off? Because I am! Truly! I hate winter! I hate it dearly! Im not at all a winter kind of girl! I hate skiing, skating and every other winter sport or activity you could think of during winter. I'm just not ok with being cold! So why am I still living here, up in the north? Honestly? I'm not sure! And I could easily see my self moving somewhere warmer!
To eliminate the freezing cold I bought and ate some sunshine earlier today. Sunshine in form of a pomelo. And let me tell you, it tasted just as it does when in Vietnam! Highly addictive! ❤
I had this great plan for my blog entry writing today. As I've been holding back (or rather giving in to sleep) when writing I decided today would be the day when I composed something really profound and even life changing! But, noooo! That won't be happening! Not today!
I'm still to tired to make that happen, to do it right. So instead I went into the bath and my bubbles! ❤
I'll have to wait on that profoundness to be written another day.
Today is our last day here in Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh city. We've been walking around discovering new sites today but mostly focusing on the shopping part. It's now about five hours left before the plane take off and we're relaxing in the executive lounge at our hotel after having checked out from our hotel room.
They've just finished serving the afternoon tea and our tummies are full of fruit, sweets and pastries!
I couldn't eat all of these though as they contain gluten, but the macaroon was tasty (despite the nasty green colour).
There was a lot of variations to choose from. These were just a few examples!
Now we're chilling in our sofas in the lounge for the remaining hours before liftoff. My sister and niece is getting their nails done at the Spa and my brother in law is getting a massage while we enjoy our sweets.
See you again when we land in Sweden. The flight time is estimated to 13,5 hours (Ho Chi Minh - Paris) and then an additional 2,5 hours from Paris to Stockholm, landing around lunchtime on Friday.
My long shopping day was sadly cut short by a fierce headache today. 😔
I had to return to the hotel room and rest even before having eaten lunch (which I do here at around two in the afternoon). But after a few hours of rest I was ready for by evening at the hotel Spa! I had a facial and a massage booked and after that headache it felt sooo good with the massage! I really need a masseur/masseuse in my everyday life, preferably one that can give me a massage on a daily basis! 😜
I'll take a swift rein check on that shopping day starting early tomorrow morning because we fly home at midnight so there's not a lot of time left. 😬
But then again, I'm like an amazon woman here so most of the clothing seems to be a few sizes to small anyway. Asian women are so petite and beautiful - I look like a clumsy giant next to them! Its so much easier to find clothes for mini-me! Well, well, we'll see what tomorrow brings! Now I'm off to bed!
I've been walking all day. Looking at and experiencing the city life of Ho Chi Minh. Sightseeing.
We started off with the Notre-Dame Cathedral. It was of course beautiful but you're not aloud inside more than a few meters if you're not there to pray. I would have liked to walk further in and looked at all the beautiful church windows.
But, I'm glad we stopped by either way, it's a truly beautiful cathedral.
Next stop was the war museum.
Outside the museum were a lot of different vehicles (I'm not sure you even call them that, but it'll have to do) out in the yard.
And although understanding the terrible power of all of them, and the force of violence that they inflicted during the Vietnam war, I'm not really impressed/interested in studying these closer up.
To me, the interesting part of this museum is remembering the awful history of the war and learning from it! Not; how can we fight better or build better weapons, bombs and war-vehicles and tactics! Why did this war start, how can we avoid that in the future? What happened with us (humans) during this war that made us capable of so much violence, torture and death, and how can we make sure that we never do that again?
Somewhere in all the misery and remnants of the war, we also need to realise that wars effect nature, Mother Earth. Another lesson to learn from, we want this planet to survive humans, not be killed by us!
Last stop before doing some shopping was the famous Rex Hotel.
The Rex Hotel was made famous during the Vietnam war when it was hosting the American military command daily. The hotels rooftop bar was a well-known hangout spot for military officials and war correspondents.
After some shopping and relaxing by the hotel pool when coming back to the hotel, we went up to the executive floor for some complementary afternoon tea.
And there were a lot of pastries and goodies to choose from (I'll take pictures tomorrow and show you), and surprisingly even gluten free ones. Otherwise eating gluten free here in Vietnam is really a challenge!
We ended our day here in Ho Chi Minh at the rooftop bar at our hotel and had some drinks as the sun set.
I'm terrified of heights so this thing with rooftop bars is really a challenge for me! 😳
My sister and brother in-law had some fruity drinks while I tried two different kinds of martinis.
The first one was the most delicious one, a coconut martini! 👌🏻 The second one was a chocolate martini, it didn't photograph well and it wasn't that tasty either (so you'll get no picture of that one)!
Tomorrow we're going shopping, and in the afternoon I have two hours booked at the spa in our hotel. Sooo looking forward to that!
A facial and a massage booked for me to enjoy! Pampering myself a bit before going back to Sweden and my everyday life! 😊