Nov 30, 2010

Day 07 – My best friend(s)

Friends! What would life be without them?! I would certainly not like to find out.......
Through the years, I have had many friends. I have always loved meeting new people and made friends very easily when I was younger. Some have come and gone, but some, like the people I will describe in this post, are the ones I know I can always count on and I hope they know they can expect the same from me in return. These are the people who I would consider close to me, regardless of passed time.
Please note that this list of people is not in any kind of ranking!!! Each of my friends mean the world to me and bring something unique to my life and the role they play in my life is indispensable. 

My dear friends,
I love you all so much and without you, I would feel incomplete.

We have known of each other all our lives, growing up in the same town, going to the same  school, but didn't really become close until I was 15. After this time, we were inseparable for years and years until I moved to Stockholm......which of course complicated things in terms of distance and unfortunately made us grow somewhat apart. 
Madde and I have been through so much together, through good times and bad, for better and worse, and in many ways, she is probably the one who knows me the best. She is also a close friend of my family which is great as I always know what is going on in her life even when we haven't had the time to catch up.
Regardless of frequency, when we spend time together it feels like time has been standing still and we can just pick up where we left off and this to me is absolutely invaluable.

Of all my friends, I would say Aryan is the one I have most in common with and also the one I spend most time with. 
We met while working together at NEC in 2002 and slowly built a friendship that I am now certain would withstand anything and that will last forever. A very relaxed friendship without any expectations or pressure......and for me, a bit like the sister I never had with whom I can talk about absolutely anything and we always have sooo much fun together, whatever we do.
Since many years now, Aryan is the first one I call when I really need to talk....but in general, we are both equally awful at staying in touch via phone ;))

What can I say? Patricia and her absolutely adorable and wonderful kids, Enzo and Nelly (who I've known their entire lives), are like my second family!! 
We know each other since 2001 through our previous relationships and were actually, literally, in each others extended families. 
I feel a kind of connection to Patricia that is difficult to explain, but I know we have a friendship built on a pure, genuine love and again, I am certain we will stay friends forever.
When I go back to Switzerland, this is always one of my most difficult goodbyes and it always ends in tears.....

Johanna & Daniel
Johanna and I met while we were both working at ICA (via Manpower) back in 1999 and all though we have never been in such frequent contact, we managed to stay in touch ever since. Also a very relaxed friendship.....
We lost touch for a while when she lived in Germany, but then one day (I think in 2002?), by coincidence, we ran into each other in Solna (a suburb of Stockholm) and found out we were practically neighbours. She had then met her husband Daniel (her boyfriend at the time), and he was, just like her, an amazing person.
Well it is no secret that I have a past and actually, we used to spend some really great times together as two couples and we all got along so great! We were toastmaster and toastmadame at their wedding and I must say I have never been at a wedding feeling more certain that two people belong together than at their wedding. 

Tanja & Therese
Now you are probably wondering why I am writing these names in one headline? Well, first of all, these amazing ladies are almost inseparable....but secondly it is because when we meet, we are almost always the three of us together......naturally ;)
We also met at work (at Unilever in Sweden in 2006 to be precise) and almost instantly, we just clicked. I don't know any other people who can make me laugh like a complete and utter retard in such a heartfelt way like these ladies can!! On top of this, we can of course also have real heart-to-hearts and they were both there for me when I needed someone the most and I will never ever forget that.....

Milly & Anja
I met these lovely ladies here in Switzerland, again through work.
They are the people who have made my life here bearable while going through the biggest transitions of my life.....and they are amazing!!
They are both "expatriates" like me, so it is fairly certain we will not live in the same country for much longer (it's actually already for sure). My hope is, however, that we will always stay in touch, wherever we are.

These are my closest friends....for better or worse. 

Nov 29, 2010

Day 06 - My day (in detail)

Just another manic Monday? No actually quite a calm day compared to the previous 9 months. 

Presenting - My day in detail (as much as I'm willing to reveal that is ;)):

07:00   The alarm clock rings but I'm in no shape to get out of bed. All I can think is SNOOOOZE and fall back a stone....shameless.

08:00   The alarm clock rings again, same scenario, but this time I only snooze 20 minutes....still shameless.

08:20   Jump into the shower

08:30   Getting dressed and ready for work. The result on the left hand side.

09:10   Quick breakfast... I have a piece of Butterzopf with fig jam and a glass of fresh orange juice.

09:45   Arriving ridiculously late (and feeling even more ridiculously tired) at work. I feel embarrassed, so I say "Good afternoon".

09:50   Working on all the unread e-mails. Have 133 of them.

11:30   Putting up some ad's in the office to sell my treadmill (interested? Pls leave a comment ;)) and making a call to set-up a tyre-change appointment.

11:46   Discussing lunch plans with my collegues and we decide to go out for lunch to get some fresh air and change of environment.

12:00   Going out for lunch. We decided on Santa Lucia, a favourite Italian restaurant close to our office, and below you can find some pictures of what I ate (I almost always choose this combo...).
It was delicious (but I could probably kill off a smaller army of Vampires with my breath after that garlic and chili spaghetti!).

13:10   Back at my desk......angry because my e-mail isn't working. I have plenty of new e-mails in my Blackberry, but I can't see them in my inbox. I have very little patience for things like this.

13:20   Giving up my desperate attempts to solve the problem myself (checking all the cables, connections etc) and head down to IT. They fix the issue and I feel like an an idiot as their solution was "Try a reboot" and it worked.........

14:30   Taking a break from my standard to-do list to take a mandatory web-based "course" on Information Security that ends with a test. I score 100%.

14:44   Am very tempted to visit the ice cream box we have here with all it's divine contents at our disposal......but don't.

 15:55   Gave in to temptation and had a Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough!! 

16:00   Chaired a telephone conference while eating a Ben & Jerry's ice cream (I consider this as a kind of achievement....much more than scoring 100% on some mandatory IT test! ;))

16:20   The meeting was MUCH shorter than normal, so am already back at my desk to type up some minutes....

16:30   Recieved some very good news that I had to double check if it's really accurate as if it is - it's WONDERFUL from a work perspective.

16:32   After staring into space for a couple of minutes in total shock of the good news (sorry can't share it in detail), I recieved proof that it really was true. If I was a dog, my tail would be wagging!!!

16:40   Trying to focus on my to-do list again, but must admit my mind is straying a bit.......and I realise I sometimes really struggle to keep a secret when the secret is good news!

17:30   Back on going through e-mails. I still have plenty.

18:15   All in all a good day. Am now down to 59 e-mails, but since we are all out of the office tomorrow, attending a kind of seminar and our customers are not, I know that will NOT be the case on Wednesday ;))

18:34   Leaving the office and going to the gym....

18:45   Arriving at the gym....realizing while changing that I forgot my training top at home. After quite some unpolished words and contemplation of going home instead, I realize that all though it doesn't please me, I could actually work out in the top I was wearing during the day and go for my exercise! After all.....the alternative was going there for nothing. As I was at the gym yesterday and will again go tomorrow, I decided to only do cardio today and spend 1 hour on the Cross-trainer while watching BBC World News. Did some stretching exercises and was off again.

20:25   Back home and jump straight into the shower. It was freakin' cold outside!!

20:40   Quick dinner of bread, yoghurt and coffee..... I had no energy to cook anything that didn't fit in a toaster or required a quick spread of butter.

20:45   Finish writing this post while waiting for Chris to come home, listening to the music of my blog and downloading the latest episode of Dexter (I am sooooo psyched to watch it!!) also feeling quite happy that this post is finally done. Hehe!

The rest of the evening will be spent surfing on our January trip to the Dominican Republic, relaxing and maybe, juuuuust maybe, watching Dexter ;))

Over and out.


Nov 28, 2010

Day 05 - My definition of love


First of all, thanks to all who voted in the little poll I had here on my blog to help give me inspiration on how to deliver this post.  

I must say that I think love is impossible to really, truly  define.....especially since love can feel very different depending on the situation and love is of course also perceived and felt very differently from person to person.

The love I will try to describe (or define) is love the way I feel it.......that is the love between two people...when it is mutual (and I've tried to make it as short as possible, as I know I could talk about it all day long ;)).

Love is: 
That "us against the world feeling" matter what.
Two hearts beating as one.
Feeling that you have found your home in another individual.
Believing you are the luckiest person on the planet.
A feeling that makes us smile for no apparent reason.
A feeling which brings a willingness to sacrifice and compromise
and the inspiration to change for the better.
A common strive for equilibrium.
Being someones favourite "Hello"
and someones hardest "Goodbye"!
Friendship set on fire.....

....and I also think the picture describes the feeling very well.


Nov 27, 2010

Day 04 – This is what I ate today


Hope you are all enjoying your weekends so far!
For sure I am as it has been snowing like MAD here in Schaffhausen and it's absolutely gorgeous outside.

So, in this post I am supposed to tell you what I ate today, but I think I'll show you with pictures to make it at least a tiny bit more interesting ;))

Breakfast with warm Bagels, boiled eggs, fresh orange juice and Swedish coffee with Hazelnut syrup and foamed milk....

A Cappuccino while having a break during ice skating.....

Then a much needed Swedish Blossa Glögg with almonds after coming home absolutely covered in snow after spending the afternoon ice skating.

And finally dinner made by Chris, Dampfnudeln =)) 

I hope that will be all........all though I must say there is a slight risk something more will go down as we are just about to watch a movie ;))


Nov 26, 2010

Day 03 – My childhood dreams

I had so many.....most of them very influenced of the RIGHT HERE and RIGHT NOW.

The first dream I ever remembered having was becoming a carpenter. This one seems quite surprising now (!), especially since I never really managed to finish that many projects in the woodwork classes in school due to a complete lack of talent and patience. My feeling is that this dream was probably  inspired by my dad who was almost constantly fixing something or building something with wood during summer and I was very fascinated by the whole process.

My strongest and most frequent childhood dreams were about soccer, horses and gymnastics. I remember clearly wishing I was a professional soccer player, gymnast or rider. Then after my career as a professional athlete would be over, I'd become a coach in any of these sports. I was very sure at least one of these dreams were going to materialize one day ;))

The one dream that always remained constant was the one of love and one day having a family of my own. I was never one of those girls who played marriage or dreamt of being rescued from a tower by a handsome prince, but I always dreamed I'd one day meet "The one". 
"The one" and I would fall head over heels in love, with only eyes for each other and we would eventually get married and have children. We would never need abundance as we would find the essentials in each other and when we'd say "For better or worse" and "until death do us part" we would mean it.

I was always a very simple girl...........with a complex, highly imaginative and quite restless mind ;)


Nov 25, 2010

Day 02 – My parents

Meet my parents

My mom: Anne 
A very playful lady but one who can also be incredibly firm when needed. She has changed a lot over the years so it's difficult to give one simple description of her as a parent.
When I was a child, she was, in my opinion, too hard on us when it came to responsibilities and such. I mean, parents should be tough - but they also have to let their kids be kids.
On the other hand, this is one of the reasons why I'm quite a tough cookie myself sometimes and this is something I really came to value in myself and it has helped me through some difficult situations.

As I grew older and after my mom and dad had separated, she became the incredibly sweet, soft and caring person she is today! We became more like friends than purely mother and daughter.
What has always been consistent is that she has always loved me the best she could (let's face it, I wasn't exactly the role-model child either ;)).

My mom is a teacher, a job that suits her perfectly and I am very proud of her for making this change in her life (started the studies at the age of 40!!).

My dad: Tom 
My dad and I were always very close when I grew up! He was easy-going, fun to be around and my friends also really liked him. It also helped that for a while, he was coaching our "for fun" soccer team.
He is actually half Finnish, which make me a quarter Finnish and he speaks Finnish fluently.
His mom (my only living grandparent) and brother (my uncle) lives in Finland and I have 3 cousins on his side.

My dad moved quite far away a little more than a year after the separation, so I didn't see him so much for a while. During this time, our contact became less good - but as he recently moved back to Köping, it should be easier in the future.

My dad loves fishing and I love to go with him! Unfortunately, since I moved to Switzerland, this is not easy to do these days..... When he still lived in his house (up until not so long ago) he would always smoke a trout for me whenever I'd come and visit as he knows it's one of my favourite foods!
I am very very happy he finally moved closer to "home"!

My Bonus dad: Kalle
....well, his real name is Gunnar, but that's a name I've never called him. After all, I didn't even know his real name was anything BUT Kalle until more than a year after he started to date my mom. They are happily married since a number of years (am a little bit ashmed that I can't remember the exact year......) and I know I can always count on him if I ever get into trouble, if I just need to talk or if I simply want a Grappa ;))

These are my parents..... They have sacrificed a lot to bring up my brother and me. Hopefully they have also gained something ;)
I love them to pieces and wouldn't replace them for anything 


Nov 24, 2010

Day 01 – Introducing myself

You would think this one would be fairly easy.....after all, I'm just introducing myself, but the start is turning out to indeed be a challenge! Anyhow, here goes ;)

My name is Linda Maria Margareta Andersson. I am 31 years young (well...I insist!), turning 32 in March.
I was born in a small, Swedish city (population of around 17 000), about 150km's north-west of Stockholm, called Köping.

Growing up, I lived with my mom, dad and brother (who you'll all get to know more of later on) waaaaay out in the country side in a small, red house (a typical Swedish one) in Munktorp and I felt like the luckiest girl in the world! Not because the house was small, of course this was not always practical nor fun, but because I had the good fortune of living next door to my grandmother (my best friend and idol in every possible way) and grandfather, my uncle and nature was literally aaaall around me! We had all kinds of animals (not joking! Almost all kinds!!) and I also had horses that I rode, cared for and loved with all my heart. Living so close to animals also made me into the vegetarian I am today.....

All though I had some very good times in Köping and some very good friends there, I never truly felt like I belonged and this feeling turned into a need to get away as soon as I graduated from school. 
When I was 19, I moved to Västerås, a bigger city not far from Köping, but still didn't feel like I was in the right place.
Luck soon came my way and I was offered a job in Stockholm in early -00 and jumped on the opportunity to follow this path. In my opinion, one of the best decisions I've ever made.

A lot of things have happened since then! Successes, disappointments, career changes, heart changes, heartbreaks, laughter, failures, happy moments and all of the above and below and as you probably know, I now live and work in Switzerland since 2,5 years.

This is my life, in short, sparing you of the details for now as some will be revealed later and this is what has made me who and what I am today; 

A ridiculously happy and positive person (sometimes annoyingly so, which I also find pleasure in sometimes ;)), with some life-inflicted darkness inside that also makes me judgemental when it comes to my core values. 

I am a genuinely caring person with so much empathy that I can literally feel the pain when someone else tells me that they got a paper-cut.  I can also be very sad and emotional at times - but this is something I actually wouldn't want to live without as I believe you wouldn't have lived fully without these experiences. 

I thrive on challenges and rarely say no to new opportunities to learn something. I am highly competitive WITH MYSELF (in capitol letters as I am often misunderstood as competitive with others), wanting to always prove to myself that I can manage, but over the years I have also learned to separate the important battles from the insignificant......and am still learning.

What will always be ME is that I always do my best when I have my heart set on it and I am very loyal to those close to me (core value alert!).

Regardless of the impression I sometimes seem to give people, the smallest things in life make me the happiest as well as giving and receiving love (I wouldn't call love a small thing, quite the contrary ;)).


Launching the 30 day Blog Challenge!

Dear Sweet, Wonderful Readers,

After many if's, when's, how's and but's, I finally decided to jump on this web-train that so many bloggers out there are doing: "The 30 day Blog Challenge". It is about writing 30 blog posts, with pre-defined topics, one every day (I can tell you, for me this will not be entirely possible, but will do my best to complete the 30 posts ASAP), and these kinds of challenges exist out there for bloggers in many different versions and languages, but I have decided to go for this one:

Day 01 – Introduce myself
Day 02 – My parents 
Day 03 – My childhood dreams
Day 04 – This is what I ate today
Day 05 – My definition of love
Day 06 – My day (in detail)
Day 07 – My best friend(s)
Day 08 – Hobbies and talents
Day 09 – My beliefs
Day 10 – This is what I was wearing today
Day 11 – My siblings
Day 12 – Favourite wardrobe items
Day 13 – Photo(s) from my childhood
Day 14 – In my handbag
Day 15 – A favourite memory
Day 16 – Friends from the past
Day 17 – My dreams 
Day 18 – Memories of a birthday
Day 19 – My regrets
Day 20 – Confessions of a shop-a-holic
Day 21 – A photo of me taken more than 10 years ago
Day 22 – This upsets me
Day 23 – This makes me feel good
Day 24 – This makes me cry
Day 25 – My fears
Day 26 – I swear! It's a true story!
Day 27 – My favourite place
Day 28 – This is what I miss
Day 29 – My dreams & ambitions
Day 30 – My love

Am looking forward to get started......but must admit, am also a teeeny tiny bit nervous!
I also challenge YOU, if you have a blog, to do the same ;))

Well, I hope you will find something interesting here and I also hope to read similar posts from some of the bloggers I follow (see the right hand side of my blog ;)).

Enjoy the rest of the week!

Nov 21, 2010

Movie recommendation - Adam

Adam (2009)

Soon after moving in, Beth, a brainy, beautiful writer damaged from a past relationship encounters Adam, the handsome, but odd, fellow in the downstairs apartment whose awkwardness is perplexing. Beth and Adam's ultimate connection leads to a tricky relationship that exemplifies something universal: truly reaching another person means bravely stretching into uncomfortable territory and the resulting shake-up can be liberating.

Adam is one of the most touching romantic comedies I've seen in a long time with a story so beautifully heartfelt and genuine! It has one of those rare, magic feelings to it that only happens when there is a chemistry between the actors themselves, but also between the actors and the script.

The story itself (about Adam, a man with Asperger's Syndrome who falls in love with his upstairs neighbour), is very compelling and also provides an insight into this, actually quite common, autism spectrum disorder, so it has kind of a double message. 
More movies like this please!!

Both Dancy (known from Confessions of a Shopaholic and The Jane Austen Book Club) and Byrne (known from Sunshine and 28 Weeks Later) play their roles brilliantly!

I had such a sweet time watching this film, so my sincere advice to you is: Don't miss this little gem!

Watch the trailer:

....or read more about it here:

Enjoy and please do let me know your thoughts!


Nov 16, 2010

Winter wishes

Meet my little niece ♥


Home is where the heart is.....

After spending almost a week here in my home country Sweden, visiting friends and family, I must say this expression feels more true than ever: "Home is where the heart is".....truly.

Luckily for me (yes, luckily!), my heart is now clearly divided between Sweden and Switzerland! An entirely new feeling for me. Normally my visits back home to Sweden are ending with severe anxiety attacks caused by not wanting to go back. An anxiety that turns into great sadness and last for weeks and WEEKS after my return. Feelings of loneliness and fear (and in some cases realisation) of being left behind by near and dear ones........feelings of realising that life has moved on for everyone, without you or even for everyone BUT you.

Now, for the first time (all though I'm sad to say all the goodbyes), I am looking forward to coming home to Switzerland....
For the first time, I feel that I have a home in Switzerland and I know that my family and my real friends will always be here for me, just like I will for them, wherever we are and whenever we need each other. 

2½ years have passed since I left Sweden. 2½ years I've spent building a new life and a new home. Pieces of my heart are here in Sweden and pieces of my heart are in Switzerland.... 2½ years to realise that home is where the heart is - wherever it is. 


Nov 8, 2010

Belong by Cary Brothers

I am OBSESSED with this song!! The best I've heard in a long time....


Nov 1, 2010

First day of November....

...and today I had the feeling everyone in Europe were on holiday.....but us ;)

Really great as I could reduce my massive e-mail backlog down to half (oh and if that sounds like nothing to you....just to put things in perspective, I receive between 70-150 e-mails per day....but today only around 40 ;)).

It's been a while since the last update, so here goes:

Currently, I'm......
Excited about: Going to Sweden again in 10 days!!! Can barely think about it as if I do, I can't manage to do or think about anything else ;)
8 sweet days with friends and family. Heaven on earth!!! ....and I rented a car this time as well, so I can get around faster. 
Thinking about:  Friendship and friends in general.... Everything from the importance of good friends, to how not to be hurt by people you thought were close friends as you suddenly realise that they are no longer someone you can count on, to how lonely it can feel when you don't have so many friendly faces around and of course, how to potentially make new friends. Oh how I miss the simple times of sandboxes, marble games, cartwheels and heartfelt laughter!!
Disappointed about: Not having so many people around who know me well enough to know there is no evil or hidden agendas in anything I do.
Sad about: Trying hard not to be about anything, but must admit the above thoughts and disappointment makes me feel sad....
Hoping: That speaking more German at home will make me learn the language faster.... As I never intended to stay here and as we speak English at work, I haven't spent as much effort in learning the language....and honestly, when living in Switzerland and especially in a smaller town - this is crucial for integration!! I can't even go to the cinema here which is quite painful for a movie-addict like myself. Self-inflicted pain though.
Seriously considering: Signing up for a photo course in Zurich. 
Regretting: That I was too tired to go to the gym yesterday as the gym I go to is closed the whole week for renovation work..... On the bright side, I get to practise my backhand in both badminton and tennis this week instead ;)
Trying to convince myself: That I really needed and deserved that around 100g of Chocolate that I just "inhaled" like a cookie monster. For what it's worth, it was DELICIOUS!
Looking forward to:  Watching the new episode of Dexter!!! I love that lunatic and really believe it's the best TV series ever!!
Feeling: Very much in love and very thankful that I have people (friends and family) in my life I can count on, who I know I will always give the same in return. Without them I'd be literally lost.
Inspired by: All the whirling, colourful leaves outside and by sweet Maddie (of Sprinkle Diary), so young and sooooo talented!! Can't help but wonder where I would have been now if I had that much talent when I was 16 ;)) She has a very inspirational blog, is starting a feminist fashion magazine, takes incredibly beautiful and creative photos AND has an Etsy shop! ...oh and did I mention she is doing all of this on top of her studies?? ;)
Proud of: Finally posting my interview with Kate Havnevik!! I am so impressed with her.... She does almost everything on her own! She plays instruments, sings, writes, records, mixes etc etc. She has her own record label and she really made her own luck.
Wishing: That many more people enter the Kate Havnevik give-away!! C'mon gals and guys! The deadline to enter is November 6th =))
Wanting: A picture says more than a thousand words they say, so on the right side in pictures, my little wish-list!

...and to finish off this post, some questions from my "Anonymous question box" on Formspring:

Q: What was your first paying job?
A: Picking wild oats in huge fields.... It was a summer job. My first permanent job was as a waitress.

Q: I'm old on the outside, but I'm feeling so young on my inside..please feel free to give me a hint...:-))
A: Stay in touch with your inside.....that's more important than a number ;)

Q: Name your top 3 countries you want to visit next
A: 1. Dominican Republic 

(yes, for the 4th or 5th time...but I love it ;))
2. Japan
3. Canada

Keep the questions coming by asking me something anonymously in the little pink box above or by clicking here:

I wish you all a great week!