Feb 25, 2012

Happiness can be......

- Coming home again for the first time in AGES and being greeted with warm hugs and kisses from your incredibly missed friend!
- Being taken out to dinner to your favorite restaurant (East), where the food is so delicious that it makes my mouth water by the pure thought, by that same friend.....and she knows you DIE for this food.
- Coming home to her place after dinner to find that she has even bought you presents (crazy girl ;)) that are SO YOU and they are even wrapped with Cupcake pattern gift wrapping!!
- Staying up way too late, catching up on everything and nothing.
- Having a loooooong breakfast together....sharing, laughing, remembering, dreaming and planning.....
- Having a friend who has proactively tried out the best place in Stockholm for your favorite pastry to ensure you don't waste your time (or your calories for that matter ;)) on something that is simply not worth it.

Happiness is being lucky enough to have a friend like Aryan..... I love you sweetheart!!! Thanks for everything!

Sadness on the other hand, is having to say goodbye to that same friend, not knowing the exact date of your next meeting.
Some spicy Kimchi 
Korean pancakes
Asian Shrimp Cocktail but with Nordic shrimps.... Honestly one of the best things ever!!!
Cupcake theme on the outside.....cupcake theme on the inside ;)) Someone who knows me well!! <3
....and she had even bought me lactose free stuff =))
In this box lies a little piece of heaven!
Swedish traditional pastry: Semla!
The bakery "Vetekatten" in Stockholm even makes them in lactose free versions!
Now I'm on the train on my way home to see my family and friends in Köping and hence, more emotional meetings coming up ;))


Feb 20, 2012

Today's outfit

Going for dinner with friends in Poland, dressed in:
Shirt from Hilfiger
Jeans (Stella) from True Religion
Boots from Diesel
Jacket from Kookai
Watch from Marc by Marc Jacobs

This is my first attempt ever to blog using my iPhone.... Hope it worked ;))

Feb 19, 2012

Currently, I'm.........

Happy about: A loooot of things!! Just to mention a few, we had friends here for the weekend which was great fun! We are also making some really exciting holiday plans for end March (still to be confirmed).
Disappointed about: Nothing......actually....
Looking forward to: Tomorrow morning I am traveling to Poland for business and in the evening I will meet up with two of my friends (and former colleagues) and I have really missed them =) On Friday I will go home to Sweden for a long weekend to celebrate my dad's marriage and his 60th birthday. Am really looking forward to see my friends and family again!!! It's been waaaaaay too long.....
Listening to: All kinds of music! Still have a hang-up on Florence + The Machine's "No light, No light". Am also really loving "Shine" by Benjamin Francis Left as well as "Fader" and "Love Lost" by The Temper Trap....among many others ;) 
Hoping: That I will have enough energy to go for a run before it gets dark today. I feel that I should go, but struggle a bit with the motivation to go. He he!
Thinking about: A friend whose birthday is next week and I'm wondering what to get her and WHEN as I don't have much time. Hmmmm.......
Smiling about: Some recent touching phone calls with friends and family.
Wishing: That I didn't have to spend parts of the evening packing....but oh well...
Sad about: Having to get up so ridiculously early for the traveling in the next two days! I am really not a morning person ;)
Wanting: To buy so much stuff when I go home to Sweden!! Mainly food.... Gosh I miss the food back home....the only sad thing is that most of the things I miss need to be refrigerated. Does anyone have any tricks on how to travel with stuff that needs to stay cold?
Feeling: Quite tired but also very excited about all of our plans and upcoming events!!

....and here some shots to summarize the weekend:

Our two guests and Chris admiring the spectacular view of the Alps
We went to Vallee de Joux on Saturday.....
...where the lake had frozen and it was an amazing amount of people skating, walking, eating and playing on the ice.
It was an amazingly beautiful day! Only -1 degrees and sunshine =) 
Chris tried some ice skating
Fun in the sun
Snowfights galore ;) 
....and yes, he probably deserved this revenge snow-kick ;)) 
.....and an abundance of beautiful sceneries!!
I love having guests so I can experiment in the kitchen. This was the starter I made:
Butter seared Scallops on a Blood Orange Salsa bed
For main course: Couscous Paella
The dessert was certainly not an experiment, but more a safe card ;))
Swiss Meringue served with Creme Brulee flavored ice cream and Whipped Cream
Wishing you all a great Sunday!

Feb 13, 2012

Obsessions to survive the winter....

I love winter...I do....but now I've had enough and can't wait for spring to arrive! Until then, here is my winter survival kit.

1. I can NOT stop playing this amazing song by Florence + The Machine on repeat!!!! Certainly making this exceptionally cold winter more pleasant ;)

2. H.O.T   C.H.O.C.O.L.A.T.E
Must be made from real chocolate (no sugar packed powders) and preferably with a pinch of chili added ;)

3. My Abercrombie hoodie with lots of artificial fur to stay warm.
I have literally moved into mine.....and I intend to stay inside it until this winter is over! Today it even came with me to the office, despite the dress code.

4. Winter running
Such an incredibly refreshing feeling and running on the soft snow feels good for the legs and joints!!
....still some snow on the hat ;)
5. How does anyones lips survive the winter cold without a jar of Smith's Rosebud salve? A classic and I probably use mine 5-6 times per day in winter....
5. Keratin complex from Coppola to spare the hair through all the blow drying!
....oh and the light coconut smell doesn't exactly hurt either ;)
6. My leather gloves!! Wouldn't leave home without them.....
7. Gadi hand care set! 
Bought mine in London and I love it!!! It's like magic for the nails and hands.
8. Ingrid Michaelson's new album "Human again"! 
It's absolutely FABULOUS!!! Favorite track varies from day today, but right now my favorites are "Palm of your hand", "End of the world", "Blood brothers" and "Ghost".

9. Bubble baths with Philosophy as my faithful companion ;)
10. Making all kinds of warming soups!!!
My Jerusalem Artichoke soup with Parmesan crackers
What do your winter survival kits contain?


Feb 12, 2012

1351 days

Time goes by so fast and yet, it is so unnoticeable.... I have now spent 1351 days in Switzerland. That's 193 weeks....or 3 years and 8 months....and yet, in so many ways, it still feels like I just moved here. I know I look older, but I don't really feel older. I know I have learned and experienced a lot, but I can for sure not account for 1351 days?! Maybe around 300 days where I remember exactly what I've done with who without cheating by looking back in my calendar. Isn't that strange?

I don't feel as if I'm wasting time...really...I mean it! Not at all....but at the same time, isn't this quite a missed opportunity? What would you do if you right now found out that you have 1100 of spare days to spend? How would you spend them? With who would you spend them? Would you seize each and single day or would you also find yourself wondering where 3/4 of your time went? ...and isn't it quite a coincidence (or perhaps not at all) that a similar share of ones time is also either spent at work or recovering from work? ....and yet so much of our time and energy is spent on making impressions, presentations, analysis, achieving a certain status, meeting deadlines and meeting the right people....achieving success (?).....making a career.

I actually really enjoy working.... I do. But I think I need to start turning more of my time into precious moments, turning moments into precious memories and memories into life..... Life is precious and sometimes, we forget this...and confuse trivial things with things that really matter...


Feb 8, 2012

My interview with The Weepies

Source: http://theweepies.com/
It was one of those rare moments....you know the moment where you hear a sound that makes your insides glow and you instantaneously fall in love and want more....MORE. You want to know "What or who is this that just moved me so deeply?" and you Google parts of the lyrics or the soundtrack of the movie you just finished watching (when I say YOU, maybe I just mean me...this is what I do ;)) Anyway, to try to make a long story short, this is how I found the Weepies, roughly two years ago, and it is a love that does not fade....not even an ounce....in fact, it grows! ....and now they are at the top of my favorite bands/singers. With this in mind, you can maybe imagine the excitement I felt when hearing back from their management that they would happily (HAPPILY!) participate in this interview. I must also add that I'm almost equally excited to find how their honest, humble and sweet music also so well reflects the way they answered all the questions. 
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you........

My interview with The Weepies
Linda: For the readers who have not yet discovered The Weepies and your amazing music, tell them a little bit about yourselves... What do you want us to know about you?

The Weepies: We’re songwriters from the USA.  We were both solo artists who were fans of each other when we met.  We began writing together soon after, and have been writing together for 11 years now.

Linda: You have now sold more than a million singles and half a million albums..... This is a great achievement!! When did you start feeling that you were successful?

The Weepies: We still rent a small house, and drive a 2004 Toyota Matrix, so that’s weird to see those numbers in black and white like that.  It’s been very gradual, so I suppose it never felt like, “poof, we’re successful.”  But we did quit our day jobs a decade ago, and we are still excited about being able to do this every day. Probably the most successful-feeling moments are still private, artistic ones, when writing or recording goes well.  There was a feeling of momentum in 2006 when we were touring dozens and dozens of nights in a row, and over a few months the crowds went from 12 people to a thousand, and that was astonishing and connective.  As far as the sales numbers it feels totally surreal.

Photo by Jeremy Cowart: The Weepies in their backyard - a Linda - Lost in Switzerland exclusive premiere ;))

Linda: I once read how the name the Weepies came about and found this so beautiful: 
"The Weepies came about from a few different sources,  but one was,  you know,  those sort of old movies that were called weepies,  where you could basically be guaranteed that if you needed a good cry,  you could go and see one of these and bring your hanky and have a good time. And we want to be able to provide that for people. 
We want to make music that touches them and moves them in that way, the place where tears come from, for joy and for sorrow".
This is certainly how I feel when I listen to your songs!!  "Living in Twilight" and "The world spins madly on" moved me to tears when I first heard them, "Antarctica" and "Take it from me" almost makes me feel slightly intoxicated and songs like "Be my Honeypie", "Be my thrill" and "Same changes" makes me smile and...well.....bouncy! Are they deliberately written to make me feel this way? Do you also get deeply moved by the music you write and do you manage to keep the feelings for the songs considering that you must play some of them rather frequently?

The Weepies: Thanks for the compliment!  We just try to make songs that move us personally. We don’t take it for granted at all, songs seldom work if we’re not actually feeling them as we write.  We’ll abandon many more than we finish because of that.  And then our favorite performing moments are when we feel the song again, maybe in a new way.  It helps to lean on the audience, which is another amazing experience.  You really do get in touch with other people’s emotions during the song on some occasions.  The group-feeling thing is addicting and not our usual mode – we’re much more insular day to day.

Linda: Not sure that everyone knows, but you are not only an amazing duo in the studio and on stage, but you are also married with kids. I find the whole story about how you two met amazing!! You were both individual singer/songwriters and fans of each others music... For us with, let's call them, "normal day jobs", it would seem almost as an impossible thought working together with the one we love for various reasons. What are the pros and cons? How do you make it work? ...and also, can you ever switch off from work?

The Weepies: We basically work every waking hour, and some when we’re half-asleep – it’s just a personality thing that both of us have, and had before we met.  We truly love having a work life that’s so intertwined - the downside of working with your partner is you have to face them even when tired or irritated with them (not that this ever happens by the way can you please put your dishes away you don’t need to “soak” your cereal bowl in the sink darling). It can be intense, but for us it beats not seeing your wife or husband by a mile.

Linda: What is the most exciting article or review you have ever read about yourselves?

The Weepies: Reading about ourselves gives us the spins, we avoid it whenever possible!  PASTE did a nice article awhile back, the writer was very kind, and we truly appreciated that.  It was one of the earliest articles that treated us like a legitimate band, and that was really fun.  But again, good or bad, too many people’s opinions don’t really help you be productive or happy, so we attempt not to read it.  We slip up late at night when awake with the baby sometimes, it’s always, always a mistake.

Linda: I have always found it so amazing that I never seem get tired of your music all though my playlist "The Weepies" is, by far, my most frequently listened to over the past couple of years. My own personal thought on this is that it might be because you take turns in being the main voice in your songs. They are all with that "Weepies feeling" to it, but with a different sound. How does this process work for you of choosing who sings?

Source: http://theweepies.com/
The Weepies: Again, thank you! Steve always wants Deb to sing, and Deb attempts to get Steve in front of the mic at all.  The reason things tilt toward Deb on the records is that Deb is a little less shy about her voice.  When we met, we were already infatuated with one another’s voices, our dynamic likely grows out of that early relationship.

Linda: Your song "Same changes" was chosen for the Soundtrack of "Morning glory". How did this come about and was it a song recorded for the movie or an existing song that they picked?

The Weepies: “Same Changes” was written and recorded during the same time as the “Be My Thrill” record – it’s about our kids in the back yard.  “Be My Thrill” wasn’t a concept album, it was just really a record of a time in our lives, so what was going to go on the record was definitely up in the air.  Our label at the time (Nettwerk) has great ties to film & TV, and some music supervisors and others were given a sneak preview of a bunch of tracks we were working on.  This movie expressed their keen interest, and we didn’t want to say no to a movie with Harrison Ford, Rachel McAdams and Diane Keaton.  

Linda: How important do you think being featured in different soundtracks has been so far for you? I was also thinking about "Can't go back now" which was featured in the "Adam" soundtrack and your music's appearances in various hit TV shows (such as Grey's Anatomy, How I met your mother, One tree hill etc. just to mention a few).

The Weepies: It’s been critical to our being able to continue doing this for a living. Most people wouldn’t know about us without some of the placements. Really it’s impossible to understate the effect it continues to have.  Music placement is the new FM radio. 

Linda: If you had the opportunity to design your dream gig (no limits!), choosing everything from venue, artists to collaborate with, location, theme, audience etc. How would you describe it?

The Weepies: NO limits?  Maybe we’d play at the next solar eclipse.  With the Grateful Dead (come back Jerry!)
Realistically though, headlining shows are most often our favorites, as opposed to festivals or group collaborations – the audiences tend to know what to expect and it feels very much like “Go Team!”  Ryman Auditorium and San Francisco’s Fillmore are the best venues we’ve played yet – I suspect there are many more that would be fun!

Linda: List your own 5 favorite The Weepies songs =)

The Weepies: Well, whatever we’re working on now is probably our favorite.  And there are ones we love and want to defend for having been generally overlooked. But we tend to come back to (and are grateful for):
"World Spins Madly On"
"Somebody Loved"
"Nobody Knows Me At All"
"Be My Thrill"

Linda: Who inspires you both musically and why?

The Weepies: Each other, seriously.  Then we take different types of inspiration from our friends and peers than we do from our elders and past masters.   We are really students of it all, so we try to work off of everything we hear.  We give each other “writing challenges” all the time, and we’ll take a similar challenge from listening to Benny Goodman or Ryan Adams – write a song like that.  Write with that sort of attitude.  Write a song that changes keys like that, or write using just two chords like that.

Linda: All though I am far from bored of listening to all your already available tunes, I am obviously very excited about a possible release of your next album! Can you share anything regarding progress and timings?

Source: http://theweepies.com/
The Weepies: We are working hard!  We have dozens of new songs.  We have not set a date, and we don’t have a label.  It’s a cyclical life – write, record, tour, collapse, repeat.  We’re in write-record.  The biggest question for us is, are we going to be able to do another big record, or is it possible to go back to the early rock and roll model of releasing a single song (and maybe a B side) at a time, and release one every short while?   We’re keeping our heads down for a couple months more at least, we can feel that the writing part is still working for us at the moment, and we want to stay in that moment as long as we dare.  The cycle will come back around likely sooner rather than later.

Linda: Unless my information is incorrect, you only did one European tour back in 2006 (unfortunately before I found out about you). Any plans to come back?

The Weepies: First, that tour was a blast.  Second, that tour nearly broke our backs!  It was wonderful, but we were massively understaffed (ie: we were on our own as a band, no tour manager, sound person, roadie, driver, interpreter or local contacts).  We’re sort of in the dark about what level of support there is.  Next record, we’d love, love, love to get back.

Linda: Thank you wholeheartedly for all the inspiration, emotions and happiness your music brings!!! ....and thank you for taking the time to do this!! I am a huge fan and will have one of my most exciting moments clicking the "Publish" button."


Feb 5, 2012

Learning to ski: Seriously?

Painfully necessary
Is there anything more uncomfortable and unnatural to walk in than skiing boots? I know I know......they have to be like this, but for a beginner like me, they are just another obstacle standing between myself and a day of full enjoyment... Now, sometimes I more feel like it's a day of more or less constant awkwardness. 

The question I keep getting is "Why do you keep going if you never feel so good doing it?". The answer is quite simple. I have never really been this bad at anything and I'm certainly not prepared to start being bad at things now. This however also gives me a great deal of frustration! My improvements are too slow..... "Why can everyone else just swooooosh down the slopes fearlessly?". That's just it...I know the answer......it spells:
F e a r l e s s l y. That's the key. That's what's missing! I am anything but fearless when it comes to skiing. I have the technique....I do....I really do...but I simply don't have the guts to take the risk to fall flat on my face and hurt myself. 

Sometimes I wonder if I will ever feel entirely comfortable with this.....but on the other hand, I suffered from the same kind of nervous absence of confidence when I first learned to drive a car. Obviously, the driving teacher, way back when, thought I was good enough to have a license, to drive on my own on the roads without any restrictions such as "Oh yes, you got the license, but please avoid the highway as I'm not sure you can manage". Nope....it was a free pass to EVERY SINGLE ROAD. Very similar to my skiing teacher telling me "You don't need anymore lessons....you have the technique so now you just need to practise. Good luck!". Well....I learned to drive, didn't I? ;)

Today we didn't go for long....only a couple of hours as it was ridiculously cold (-15). That was enough today. Don't get me wrong, I have about a 50/50 (maybe even 60/40?) when it comes to enjoyment vs. awkwardness right now. I can really enjoy the less steep parts of the blue slope and I LOVE the feeling of watching the snow covered spruces on the way up that lift, while the sun rays are warming my face or the feeling of managing to improve on something....it's just that I never liked the feeling of status quo......and, unfortunately, I still also LOVE the feeling of taking off those ski boots ;))
Mont Blanc
Chris, arriving at the bottom of Le Brassus
The view from where the first lift stops
Me, skiing down that hill in the speed of a turtle
Such a gorgeous day!
Us (Chris looking a bit sad in this pic, but he's just concentrating to keep his head still ;)))
Hope you all had a great weekend!