May 29, 2010

"Borta bra men hemma bäst"

It's now been nearly two years since I moved away from Sweden, and all though it's normally quite easy for me to adapt, to stay positive and think ahead, some days this is really, really truly difficult.

If someone would ask me if I ever regret moving - there is no way I'd ever say yes!!
What is there to regret? I love living abroad!!
I love this feeling of complete independence!!
It toughens you up and makes you a stronger person. It gives you the feeling that you are in complete control of your own destiny and that YOU, and no one else, is at the steering-wheel
- windows down, full speed on open roads, stereo-blasting with your favourite music, wind in your hair!! A daily dosage of light adrenaline hitting you in a slow, steady stream.

....but then, there are times, not often, but like right this minutes, when this indepencece can also switch over to complete and utter loneliness (borderline style) and when it does - a wave of sadness so intense and so powerful washes over you and in that moment it is as if you realise exactly how small you are in this world. You don't stand a chance.....
All you can do is just close your eyes and let it pass by....because just like fear of the dark or the anticipation just before getting a shot at the doctors-office, you know that eventually, probably almost instantly or at LEAST shortly it will all pass by and you will again be back in that drivers-seat! Smiling...looking into that rear-view mirror thankful for all the things you've seen, feeling happy for and somewhat proud of yourself for daring to jump!

To all my wonderful friends and family back home: I miss you Always.....


xox
Linda - Lost in Switzerland, feeling a liiiiittle bit home-sick...after all, I'm only human ;))

May 27, 2010

In the mood for baking cupcakes?

Ever dreamed of baking cupcakes as scrumptious as the ones from the Magnolia bakery?
Well guess what? Here is the recipe and some incredibly cute baking-accessories ;)

Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes Recipe (2 dozen cupcakes)
Ingredients
• 1 1/2 cups of self-rising flour
• 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
• 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
• 2 cups of sugar
• 4 large eggs (room temperature)
• 1 cup of milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (pre-heat the oven properly to ensure the right temperature).

Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
Combine the flours in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy (about 3 minutes).
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.


Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes.
Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing (also from Magnolia)
Ingredients
• 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
• 6-8 cups of confectioners’ sugar
• 1/2 cup of milk
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla.

On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.
Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of a good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar.
If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.




Enjoy!!!!

Links to the baking accessories:

xox
Linda - Lost in Switzerland, dreaming about cupcakes .......mmmm.....

May 21, 2010

Taking a closer look at love......

...or subject should more accurately be "How to keep believing in love".
For my frequent readers, you'll know I had a give-away a few weeks back where one of the tasks to win was to suggest upcoming blog-topics.

Just to be clear.... I'm no expert!! Simply a blogger with a task....or a mission if you will.......

EMMA E - this one is for you ;))

How to keep believing in love
Well......honestly, when you are happily in love, this is the easiest thing in the world and just the opposite when you are not.
So, how can you keep believing in love when all you do is get hurt, get turned down, feel alone, get flirted with by people you couldn't even consider having a 2 minute conversation with or worse (?) not flirted with at all??
Gosh..... If I had the answer to this, I'd be rich in selling books and probably even have my own TV-show by now!! No one can really answer this question as it would depend on everyone being shaped in the same mold....which is far from our reality!
BUT, I do have some thoughts on things to keep in mind while trying to believe in love ;)

There is absolutely NO reason for you to settle for something less than awesome!! If you are afraid of being alone, ask yourself why and work on that first..... I mean, if you don't like your own company, why do you expect someone else to? A mindset like that wears off on people...


Remember that YOU are certainly unique and awesome!

Everyone has flaws. No one is perfect!! That's as true for you as for everyone else.........

Trust your intuition.

Compromising is sometimes necessary, but beware of compromising too much on things that really matter to you!! After all, you want someone who loves you, no?

All good relationships require hard work...... Flawless is for things - NOT for people.

Believing that you alone can make someone else happy or believing that someone else alone can make you happy is neither realistic nor fare (I'm trying to learn this one myself ;)) ...finding someone who loves to see you happy is probably more the key here than finding someone who can make you happy.

Stop obsessing about it!! People can sense these things more than you can imagine....whether THEY know it or not. ......so stop obsessing, but don't stop trying. I realise being alone and being low is not easy....but do you honestly think being happy all the time is?? Hard work pays off in the end.....

Tell yourself that when it comes to love, being naive is way better than being cynical!!
Imagine meeting someone for a date and all you hear is "I don't believe in that shit...." or "Everyone knows love is for fools....." or "Of course there is no such thing as love at first sight!!".
Not fun to hear.....not fun to believe.....simply not fun.

Meeting someone while your out dancing/partying is tricky....but I do have a small theory!!
I call it "The smiling theory" (yes, it has been slightly tested, but it should be mentioned, there was alcohol involved.....both for the testers and the preacher of this theory ;)).
Best shown in pictures:

POSERS (I'm talking Zoolander, Blue steel ;)) will be sure or at least have huge potential to find someone willing to take them home for the night.

SMILERS are much more likely to find someone who falls in love with their smile and will want to make sure that smile stays on.
KEEP SMILING!!!! If not successful, at least you'll train your facial muscles ;)) (Happiness is the best facelift!).

Shouldn't the question rather be "Why would you NOT believe in love??" After all......Everybody wants to love and be loved in some way.

......and those who say they don't, believe they have a good reason for it. My opinion is that they are most likely wrong - but you or I can't change their minds. They have to want to change and some people are unfortunately comfortable being miserable..... Sad but nevertheless true. Love is scary!!!! Especially the thought of unreturned love.

Mindset is key! Keep believing. You have to!! “A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes” Mahatma Gandhi

....last but not least!! Miracles happen over and over, the sun rises every morning, people have invented AMAZING things, roughly 359 000 children are born every day. Why would you not be able to believe in such a natural part of life as LOVE?

I think this Deepak Chopra quote is veeeeeery good too: "The known is the prison of past conditioning. We must step into the unknown to be free"
...isn't it also so that many times, we are still dwelling on things that happened in the past which disables us from moving on?? Are you attracted to the impossible because you don't want to be vulnerable in the possible?? Maybe you don't want to let someone in because you're scared of being hurt? Be bold!! Take risks! Dive into the cold water!! After all, if you never try, you'll never know........ Try and fail - but don't fail to try!!
What doesn't kill you DOES make you who you are and you are stronger because of it. Regretting things you never did is much worse because you didn't even get the experience out of those, just the headache ;))

Be yourself in your quest for love!!! Everyone else is already taken!

Conclusion....
There is no such thing as a special universal recipe for love or for how to make someone love you OR to fall in love with someone for that matter.... What you can do is simply relax and go with the flow!! BUT, make sure you are fit for purpose. What I mean is make sure you are happy with who you are and if you're not - find out why and deal with it.
Enjoy your own company....same principle, if you don't, ask yourself why. I for sure believe that change is possible if you WANT to change.


I think this is the 3rd or 4th time I write this - but I will write it over and over again:
THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER!!! You can do whatever you want to do (within legal limits ;))) and be whatever you want to be!!! Believe this and good things will come your way........eventually.......

xox
Linda - Believer in and lover of LOVE ♥♥♥ .....lost in Switzerland...

A long weekend, a wedding and high hopes for better weather...

Toooodleeedoooo!

Weekend, a long one, just around the corner (well, actually for me it already begun this morning)!

The plans: Relaxation, picnics, a wedding, shopping and hopefully a few good movies...
The weather: Still really bad here, but I'm feeling hopeful! The weather forecast says 21 degrees and sunny tomorrow with 90% certainty ;)
The mood: Quite awesome actually!

I decided to take the day off today....... Why? Just because!! Sometimes I have the feeling that there is never ever enough time to do what I really want to do, which is simply relax. So today, I slept in until almost 10, had a late and long breakfast while watching Greys Anatomy and just plan to spend the rest of the day taking care of myself. Blogging, shopping, some kind of massage or facial-treatment, gym and/or a long walk is on my to-do list today, but nothing is forced....no musts!

The weather has been ridiculously bad here in Switzerland lately but I have high hopes for the weekend!! Seriously! I have been freezing like a shaved polar-bear!! BUT now I'm hearing 24 degrees towards Sunday/Monday and all I can say is WELCOME MARVELLOUS RAYS OF SUNSHINE!!!
For the Swedes reading this, I know you are better off!! Yes, I have been reading your blogs, Tweets and Facebook updates with words like "incredible heat", "sunshine", "tanning", "BBQ" and even "sweat" (yes!) etc etc and have felt such an envious kind of joy.....if you know what I mean ;) Well.....good things come to those who wait with patience I hear and I am very well trained in being patient........and I do agree to 99% with John Ruskin:

“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.”

So on to the wedding..... Yes, my boyfriends friends (gotta love these way of describing relations....is there really no easier way than "my friends dads friends cousin" etc? I'm asking for help here ;)) wedding party is tomorrow! Shirts have to be ironed, dresses need to be matched with shoes, bags and ties, inventory levels of rightly-coloured-make-up needs checking, nails need to be groomed and painted, hair-styling thoughts need to take form and and and etc etc etc..........if you are a girl, you are very likely to know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. If you are a guy, you are more likely to shake your head and think things like "Oh for F's sake!" or "I'm so happy I'm a man" or maybe even "Eeek!" and all I can say is "I hear ya!".
...but what can I say?? I'm actually comfortable in the girlie-girl-stereo-type.....not because I have to, but because I want to.......... Don't knock it till you try it!

Anyway, that's round-about what's happening over here at the moment!!
Hope you have amazing plans for the weekend or if you don't, that you make the most of that potential opportunity for resting and regain some energy.

xox
Linda - Lost in a pile of thoughts related to shoes, bags and dresses and getting VERY close to the final choice ;)

Ps. I'm also starting to plan some posts as suggested by you in the latest give-away competition, so keep checking....

May 17, 2010

Over the top award


I have been the lucky receiver of the "Over the top award"!
This "Over the top blog award" has some rules :
1. Use only 1 word answers.
2. Pass along to 6 of your favourite bloggers.
3. Tell them you've given them the award.
4. Tell the person who awarded you when you have posted your answers!

1. Where is your cell phone? Table
2. Your hair? Straight
3. Your mother? Anne
4. Your father? Tom
5. Your favorite food? Seafood
6. Your dream last night? Swimming
7. Your favorite drink? Champagne
8. Your dream/goal? Happiness
9. What room are you in? Livingroom
10. Your hobby? Singing
11. Your fear? Regret
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Parent
13. Where were you last night? Chris
14. Something that you aren’t? Disciplined
15. Muffins? Cupcakes!!!!!
16. Wish list item? Watch
17. Where did you grow up? Munktorp
18. Last thing you did? Balance-board
19. What are you wearing? Cosy-clothes
20. Your TV? 42-inch
21. Your pets? None
22. Friends? AWESOME!!
23. Your life? Busy
24. Your mood? Fabulous
25. Missing someone? Always
26. Vehicle? Yep
27. Something you’re not wearing? Fur
28. Your favorite store? Shopbop.com
29. Your favorite color? Rainbow
30. When was the last time you laughed? Earlier
31. Last time you cried? Saturday
32. Your best friend? AMAZING!
33. One place that I go to over and over? Dominican Republic
34. One person who emails me regularly? Boss
35. Favorite place to eat? Picnic

I will pass this award on to:

+ the next blogger who comments on my post ;))

xox
Linda - not so good at one-word-answers, lost in Switzerland

Things to remember.....



I wish you all a wonderful week!!
xox
Linda - Lost in Switzerland

May 9, 2010

Photo post: Magical forests....

Oh you sunny, misty morning: Wanna play??
I have such an incredibly strong love for forests and trees!! Not really in a tree-hugging style.....they just make me feel....peaceful.....which is why I decided to share some amazing pictures I've stumbled upon while surfing the WWW.
Now take a deep breath and imagine you are out walking in these forests...............

“In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they're still beautiful.”
Alice Walker
“It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.”
Robert Louis Stevenson

“The clearest way to the Universe is through a forest wilderness”
John Muir

“The world's a forest, in which all lose their way; though by a different path each goes astray.”
George Villiers

“Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more.”
Vincent van Gogh

“A forest bird never wants a cage.”
Henrik Ibsen

“The heart of another is a dark forest, always, no matter how close it has been to one's own.”
Willa Sibert Cather

“Have a deep respect for the source of life and also for the ocean, for the forest,
for the stars and for the truth.”


“That delicate forest flower,
With scented breath and look so like a smile,
Seems, as it issues from the shapeless mould,
An emanation of the indwelling Life,
A visible token of the upholding Love,
That are the soul of this great universe.”
William Cullen Bryant

Enjoy your Sundays......
xox
Linda - Lost in Switzerland, soon about to enjoy her Sunday, walking in the forest and I certainly hope I won't get literally lost ;)

Movie recommendation - Juno

Juno (2007)
4.5/5

I'm hoping that most of you have already discovered this GEM from the end of 2007, but just in case you haven't - here is my next movie-recommendation.

Juno (Ellen Page) is a teen facing an unplanned pregnancy by her classmate Bleeker (Michael Cera). With the help of her best friend Leah, Juno finds her unborn child a “perfect” set of parents: an affluent suburban couple, Mark and Vanessa (Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner), longing to adopt. Though she faces some tough decisions, Juno flirts with adulthood and ultimately figures out where she belongs.....

Juno is such a bundle of quirky fun and all though it is a comedy it is also incredibly moving at times!
Brilliantly directed by Jason Reitman who also directed another one of my favourite movies, "Thank you for smoking". It is intelligent, rich on witty-dialogue and sweet and Ellen Page is nothing less than FANTASTIC as pregnant teen Juno!!
In fact, Ellen Page's performance alone makes this movie worth watching ;)
..also a BIG PLUS for the adorable soundtrack.

Watch the trailer:


....or read more about it here:

Enjoy!!!
xox
Linda - Lost in Switzerland

May 6, 2010

.....aaaaaaand the winner is....

....wait for it.............




Robin

Congratulations!!!
You just won the first season of this LEGENDARY TV-series ;))
I will send you an e-mail to ask for the shipping address!
If you have even half as many laughs as me - I know you'll have a blast watching these episodes!

Enjoy!!
xox
Linda

Ps. For those of you who weren't as lucky as Robin - I will have another give-away if my page ever gets 200 followers =)) ...and if not, I will find some other reason!

May 4, 2010

Another Friday =))

Coucouuu!

I just came back from a lovely dinner with a friend who I haven't seen for a couple of months. All though I'm not going to say that a low frequency is a good thing - I will say that for me, this is a kind of proof to me that it really is a good friend when you haven't seen each other for some time and it still feels like just yesterday!! Thanks for a great eve Milly

I'm........
Happy about: The fact that I'm now the proud auntie of a healthy and adorable little baby girl called Cindy ♥♥♥ Can't wait to meet her!!!
Thinking about: About the details for the upcoming Swedish Midsummer party! Am reaaaally looking forward to some genuine Swedish tradition!
Listening to: The sound of cars passing by outside the slightly opened window....
Wishing: That I had 77 days of paid holidays that I could just take..like now.....and travel around the world!! ....or just sleep.....and have picnics every day (among other things)!
Worrying about: The fact that I'm arranging a big meeting next week and that I am nowhere near finished..... Power point and I are, unfortunately, gonna have to spend some quality-time together this weekend!
Feeling: Tired but very very happy!!
Hoping: That the rain is also gonna take a much needed rest this weekend and let the sun come out to play! I mean......how much water can a sky loose in one week?!
Looking forward to: The weekend! You have noooooo idea....
Wondering: ....where Noah kept the woodpeckers on his Ark?
Thankful for: Good friends!!!
Wanting: ...to crawl into bed and head into the land of sweet dreams! ZzzzZzzzZzzzzz.....

...now that's my current reality in 2 min's!

Will leave you off with a quote about friendship that I really love:
“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”

In two hours it's here........... Gotta love Fridays!!!!
What are you up to this weekend?
xox
Linda - Lost and blissfully happy in Switzerland

May 2, 2010

My extended weekend in Sweden

Yes, it was indeed supposed to be a long weekend in Sweden, 4 days to be precise, but what can you do when a gigantic cloud of volcanic ashes prevents the planes from taking off as scheduled?? The only thing reasonable I'd say:
Enjoy it!!

You see, that's not very difficult when you are stranded in a city like Stockholm ;)
.....and so I did enjoy it and the long weekend turned into a long week.
It was already a fantastic schedule before the 4 extra days became a fact..... Here it is, a short summary of both a planned visitors and a stranded passengers daily schedule!!

Thursday
Beeing picked up at the airport by the worlds greatest Aryan! Heading into Stockholm for lunch at NK, to my knowledge the best Stockholm shopping-mall for mid/high-end fashion, where I always order the same thing: Shrimp and avocado salad (this is a standard and a must whenever I'm in Stockholm)!! To die for!!!
After this lovely meal, we did some shopping and I filled up my storage of Voluspa scented candles (in my opinion, the best there is!).
The weather was awesome, so we then headed into "Gamla stan" (an absolute must-see!!!) and to my surprise - they had opened a Ben & Jerry's ice cream bar there!! OH MY GOODNESS!!! Again - simply divine!!
In the eve, we had dinner at one of the best Asian restaurants in Stockholm, East, where I had the best sushi ever, inside-out rolls with tempura fried tiger-shrimps, asparagus and avocado....mmmmm.......
The evening ended in the Ice Bar - which is always a fun thing to do if you are in Stockholm. If you go, I do recommend you to make a reservation before - especially if you go on a Friday or Saturday, as this place attracts a lot of tourists ;)
Friday
Fantastic start of the day with a reservation at No Limits Spa! This is a great thing to do with your friends or for a bachelor/bachelorette party! No Limits is a hair and beauty salon but you can also reserve a little mini-spa in their basement. They have a whirlpool, a sauna, a couple of showers and a bar (you can also bring your own food and drinks, which is really cool!). We rented the place for 2 hours and felt perfectly relaxed after!
After that, some thai food at another fantastic restaurant in Stockholm, Koh Phangan and then I got on a train to Koping (my hometown) to see my family and friends.
We had a lovely BBQ in the sun and then spent the evening catching up. What would life be without friends and family??
Saturday
After a lazy morning, I went to see my dad, my brother and his girlfriend in my dad's new apartment. We had a classic Koping Sunday lunch - Kebab (seriously!! If you are ever in Koping or just passing by with a little bit of hunger, you have to try the "Kebabrulle" or the "Kebabpizza" at Pizzeria Maestro!!! Trust me..... I have never had Kebab of such caliber anywhere else in the world!).
After the always so emotional "Auf wiedersehen's", I headed back to Stockholm again to attend Aryans house-warming party. What a blast!!!
Sunday
Oh lazy Sunday.......first spent shopping at Barkarby outlet (Love their Peak Performance store and managed to properly refill my training-wardrobe!) and at Kista Galleria (opened every day of the week from 09-21!). Then off to Balsta to see Patricia and the kids - BLISS!!! We defied the wind and the short rain-shower and had a little coffee-picnic on the beach, playing soccer and feeding the birds. Absolutely awesome!!
....then the SMS came "Your flight has been cancelled. Please do NOT proceed to the airport! Visit www.swiss.com for the latest information."
So, unknowing what would happen next, I went off to the next scheduled stop: Dinner with Johanna and Daniel!! As always, they had cooked amazing food, were the perfect company and I loved every minute of it!!
Monday
At this point, I was supposed to be on a flight back to Switzerland - but Mother Nature had other plans for me. It was a beautiful day, I had no plans and the sun was shining........what to do?? I'll tell you the perfect thing to do on such a day if you are around Stockholm: Go to Sigtuna!!
You see, on a sunny day during the weekend, this place is CROWDED with tourists which can bring some frustration for the less patient (such as myself ;))!! It's such an idyllic little town just by the lake Malaren and it offers, not only a genuine sense of Sweden - but also amazing foods, pastries and chocolates ;)). If you go there, I sincerely recommend you to try the restaurant "Farbror Bla" (AMAZING food!!) and also to have a "Swedish fika" at "Tant Brun".
It was the perfect day!!!
Tuesday
This morning started with 1 1/5 hrs in the Swiss telephone queue. After someone finally picked up, I was nicely informed that the very first available flight back was on Friday......taken!! After all, all train-tickets were also sold out and driving a rental-car to Switzerland from Sweden is NOT an option!
Again a day without plans and with a sunshine that had to be soaked in properly!!
This day was spent in Stockholm city looking around, shopping and stopping by my former colleagues at Disney/Buena Vista to say hello.
Something that I love to do is as well in Stockholm is strolling around in Hotorgshallen, checking out and, of course, tasting the foods from all over the world!
I was also really happy to see that there now is an "Urban outfitters" store at Biblioteksgatan!! I love this store and its concept and was completely unaware that it had found its way to Sweden!
I love happy surprises!
In the eve, the dinner was consumed at a fab little Persian restaurant called "Kharazmi" in Vasastan that I can also sincerely recommend!!

Wednesday
The return of the snow! This shouldn't be surprising for a genuine Swede. Every Swede knows that April-weather is as unstable as Bambi on ice and yet, I found myself shocked that the lovely spring-weather so quickly could be replaced by such crappy and cold weather, only suitable for Polar-bears. Switzerland suddenly seems like heaven on earth and sympathy for any Swede with less hair-growth than those polar-bears started to arise.
Not much to do this day really........and honestly - in need of a little rest ;))

Thursday
The last day, suffering from a little bit of separation-anxiety which was cured by spending another day strolling around in Stockholm city and an evening with great friends at a little bohemian restaurant/bar called "Babs Bar". It must be mentioned that their restroom is an experience that must be..........experienced!!! ;))

Hooray for the cancelled flight and the extra time and "forced holidays" in Sweden - but Booray for the backlog of work waiting for me when I was again back at work on Friday efternoon and for the classic "Post-Sweden depression" that always follows me when I'm back in Switzerland without my next visit home already scheduled!!
The good news - In Switzerland, spring has now REALLY arrived and temperatures have reached between 20-26 degrees and I have some really great friends here!!
My glass is almost full..........

xox
Linda - Busy and back in Switzerland

My Little Fishies