I'm born in Norway, but my heart has found it's home in both Spain and the USA. As long as I have the people I love around me I could probably be happy almost anywhere. I love all the sweet things in life: to travel, to eat well, to spend time with friends and family, to shop (sometimes only through windows) and to create beauty around me. I'm a talker, but also enjoy quiet hours spent alone with a book. I laugh often and loud. And I'm drawn towards anything that sparkles! My friends tease me about that... More than anything I want my life to be meaningful - whatever that entails...
One of my favorite bloggers La Belle Mere UK was kind enough to pass this award on to me. She must have known that I needed a pick-me-up, because I'm in sunny Spain in bed with a cold. Misery! My family and friends have been out having a blast, while I have been in bed feeling sorry for myself. Not any more! I'm back baby!
So this award stipulates that I need to reveal 10 things about myself. Here we go:
1. I teach Spanish to 14-16 year old teenagers.(I know, the patience of an angel!)
2. I have had two emergency c-sections and told my husband to have a vasectomy "if he ever wanted to have sex ever again..." (Worked like a charm!)
3. I never go to bed until early morning hours... which means I'm in a constant lack of sleep! (Don't tell anyone... they think I'm just grumpy by nature!)
4. I'm a chocaholic. Which means I will steal, lie, fight and cry to feed my habit.
5. My husband was my first and only (!)
6. I LOVE to travel and would quit working in a second if I didn't need a paycheck. (I hope my colleagues don't read this as I have them convinced that I love teaching and that it's my true calling in life!)
7. I met Aha at the airport in the 80s when they were still unknown. Should have asked for an autograph. But at that time they were just 3 cute boys and we chatted for an hour!
8. I was once asked to be the lead singer in a Spanish Punk Band... They had never heard me sing, but I guess it didn't matter much! I declined.
9. I worked as a realtor in Tulsa, Oklahoma for 3 years. This is where I learned to listen to Country Music as it was the only thing playing on the radio 24/7. I also picked up the habit of decorating with far too many christmas lights - my husband found that especially annoying when he had to hire a manual lift to decorate our 13 meter (40+ feet) tall Spruce tree! I watched him through the window as he was hanging on top of that tree in a snowstorm and by his facial expression he looked like he was swearing... (But of course he wasn't!) He never took the lights down though... they are still there in our Spruce!
10. My husband and I bought an old nursing home and turned it into 24 student apartments. We turned the common areas into a big apartment for our family and were going to live there a year. It's now 6 years later and we are still there! Our friends think we are nuts...
I'm still on holiday in Spain and this week we have gotten some friends visiting from Trondheim (Norway). This means that I actually have to DO the things I have been blogging about all summer. So now I'm out playing in the pool with the kids, sunbathing on the beach, shopping like crazy (sales!), eating at fancy restaurants, playing cards and drinking wine. This leaves little or no time for blogging!
Getting home from another restaurant visit tonight I stopped by my husband's lap-top just for a quick look and found out that I have gotten an AWARD from Samsmama at Raising Stink. She is a new acquaintance, but I love her writing and her humor. She is one feisty mama - and she will give you the giggles! (Anyone that calls her kid Stink is alright in my book!)
Drop by her blog and say hello.
(I got both of this pictures - chose which one you want to grab, or grab both - like I did!)
The rules of the award stipulate that I have to pass this on to 15 people... Sorry, that's not going to happen - not tonight! So I have narrowed it down just a little bit. So this award is hereby passed on to a few of my favorite blogs:
La Belle Mere - this one is for you! I didn't even know you a week ago, and now I'm hooked. You crack me up every time. Hysterical in every way! PLUSS, you're the only one I know that has the SWINE FLUE! That alone makes you deserving of this prestigious award!
Vale at Les Cotrions has a beautiful blog that will immediately transfer you into the heart of Italy. You'll be surrounded by lavender and french country style home decor. I love her world!
Maya at A Beach Lovers Place has one of those blogs that I just want to visit regularly. Her photos and her posts often make me smell the salt, feel the sand and hear the waves. If you are a beach lover like me, you have to go visit her!
La la Lovely things is another favorite on my blog list. This is where I go when I want inspiration or need to see something pretty. Go visit her and enjoy all the la la lovely things!
And to a few of my Norwegian blogfriends:
Nanni at Nannisverden is an excellent storyteller. Very funny, but also philosophical and wise. She's a shabby girl, of course, and will drag you along to all the little quaint stores she finds on her path. If you haven't visited her, you should!
Marit at Som mine dager er takes the most amazing pictures. She finds beauty in the most simple things and is able to "seize" the moment like few others I know. If you visit her I know you'll have a lovely time just seeing her world through the camera. There is something about Marit that tells me we would have a lot to talk about over a glass of wine....
M at Et glimt av M is another one of my favorites. She can make a simple story come alive and will often write very short posts that grabs your heart in two seconds. (I have to learn something from her! Mine are just getting longer...)
Sorry, that's all I can do tonight. I have met so many wonderful bloggers and I wish I could honor you all for sticking with it. I'll keep coming by and visiting you as often as I can. In the meantime I leave you all with this little treat:
Now, if anyone has an idea for my pink post on Saturday - please let me know!
Okay, I promised I would share another embarrassing story. For those of you who have read the Biker Chic, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't read it you can A) click on the link B) just keep on reading here.
I was 21. I had spent the New Year's weekend at a youth conference with my best friend and two guys (don't even remember their names... Yikes, again that "blocked out of my memory kind of thing") The conference was in Sweden and we were going back to Norway. (8 hour drive)
My car had had some problems on our trip, but the nameless guys had taken care of it. Now everything seemed to work fine. We were laughing and just excited to get home. My friend and I sat in the backseat (in my car... go figure)
I was AGAIN wearing a maxi skirt, not black this time. I was out of the Madonna face and more into bohemian romantic at this time....
We had been driving for a long time and finally we saw the boarder between Sweden and Norway. We decided to do a quick stop at the gas station. I said I would get everyone an ice cream and ran inside.
I spotted the ice cream freezer. I leaned over and looked at the choices. Over at the cash registry a big group of young guys were talking and laughing wildly. I didn't pay them much attention, since my focus was now completely on the ice cream!
It's not easy to chose between so many different flavors and it took me a couple of minutes to make my mind up. The group of young men were still over at the other side of the station now completely cracking up. Unconsciously I went to pull down my sweater a little bit in the back when I noticed - WHERE WAS MY SKIRT?
My hand frantically tried to figure out what was going on back there... I felt a HUGE hole in my skirt - and my pantyhose... I could feel my cotton underwear. Throwing the ice cream back into the freezer and desperately trying to cover up my exposed butt, I ran out of the gas station just casting a glimps over at the young men that were now almost keeling over and pointing at me!
Outside the gas station there were plenty of cars and I headed over towards my ride. At this time the idiot guys with no names that were driving MY car decided to "play" with me by accelerating the second my hand touch the door handle. They drove about 50 yards and I ran after yelling for them to stop. When I finally came over, they pulled that same stupid stunt again! Here I was, running around the gas station, with an exposed bum sticking out of my frigging skirt!
When they finally stopped I was bawling! Yes, crying my eyes out like a little girl. The guys looked at me with surprise and then they saw my skirt. Their eyes widened and they went silent. I was now trying to regain some dignity (a little late) and said that I had no clue how half my skirt had evaporated. The two guys mumbled something that I didn't really understand. Neither of them looked me in the eye. "What did you say?" I asked trying to grasp the meaning. "We changed the battery and left the old battery in the backseat. The battery acid must have poured out of it and soaked up your seat..." GREAT! I had been sitting in battery acid for 5 hours!
1. Battery acid will MELT your synthetic skirt and your panty hose - if you're lucky it won't melt your cotton underwear!
2. When people are laughing behind your back, check if your butt is exposed
3. If you find yourself at a gas station with an exposed butt, DO NOT run after your car yelling. This will only attract more attention. Stay put with your behind against the wall until the stupid adolescent nitwits decide this is not a fun game.
4. I have found out that baking soda will neutralize battery acid - always carry baking soda! Sprinkle it around areas that might have been exposed.
5. Don't fret when you are totally humiliated - it'll make for a fun post on your blog 20 years later!
Yesterday I spotted a beautiful black and silver Harley. It looked very powerful and sexy and it brought back some crazy memories...
I have only ridden on a Harley once.
It was the summer of 89. I was 19 and on vacation in Spain.
Very young and kind of infatuated with this incredibly handsome (I thought so... must have been intoxicated) Spanish man that drove a Harley and always looked like he was bored. Actually, I don't remember his name... weird, must have blocked it out!
So finally one day he asked me for a date. *swoon*
I happily agreed and got ready for the big night. I wore a black corset top and a black maxi skirt and tons of necklaces and bracelets... (I know, sad Madonna copy! I think I even had a rhinestone cross...)
Yep, wore all of the above!
Did I mention I wore a black maxi skirt?
Something like this...
Eagerly I met him on the beach walk (Paseo Marítimo). Hey, I had forgotten all about the Harley! Now he gestured for me to get on. Get on a Harley! I didn't even know how to do that. So with very little grace and much awkwardness I climbed on and placed my hands around his waist. Mmmm... kind of nice. He slowly road along the beach walk and I felt like such a cool babe passing all the restaurants on the way. I even saw a couple of familiar faces looking at me with envy. Me, the biker chick!
Then we hit a crossing road and he started accelerating a little more... still kind of fun and exciting. The wind was blowing my hair (helmets are for sissies...right) and I grabbed on a little harder. Then he suddenly turned left and we hit the highway... OH, MY GOD! In about 2 seconds he was doing 160 km (100 miles) an hour and I could barely hold on to his waist. My hair was now almost being pulled off, my contact lenses dried up in about 10 seconds and I could hardly breath. Now, blind and without the ability to scream, I started PRAYING: "Pleeeease don't let me die! Pleeeease don't let me die! Goooood! Pleeeease don't let me die! Pleeeeease!" I could see myself lying in a pool of blood and crumbled up steel in a ditch somewhere. I have never been so scared my whole life! So I just kept on praying, trying to get this IDIOT to slow down. But I didn't dare to move my hands and he didn't hear my faint gasps for help, so he just kept going.
Live to ride? Yeah, right! Ride and DIE you mean!
Then something happened... the motor seemed to make little weird noises and you could feel it run uneven. NOW he started getting worried. He slowed down and pulled off the highway and started to slowly drive down some small city streets. I was regaining my voice by this time and my sanity, just thanking God that I was still alive. My date was muttering angrily about something being wrong with his bike. Every time he tried to accelerate the motor would start coughing! Very slowly he drove back to the Beach Walk and stopped in front of the restaurant where we were eating. Finally, I had survived! Thank you GOD!
As he got of the bike I could see the worry and frustration on his face as he was plundering about what was wrong. With little affection he reached his hand out to help me off the bike and as I lifted my behind to get off I felt a strange pull... What? I couldn't really get off the bike! As I looked down (simultaneously as my date) I saw to my horror that my black maxi skirt had been SUCKED into the exhaust pipes! And being of a nice synthetic material my skirt had melted and gotten stuck to that hot steel... YIKES!
My no longer so handsome date (his eyeballs almost falling out of the sockets) started cursing (in spanish ... I knew enough to blush) and yelling. He started tugging at the skirt to get it out of the exhaust pipes and my skirt had an elastic waistband! So as he was pulling frantically I felt my whole skirt being pulled off my but and exposing my underwear. I grabbed hold of the waist of the skirt and tried to pull it back up. He kept pulling it down. At the same time I was trying to keep my balance on the huge Harley. Now this would have been a horrible experience if it happened outside your house, I was on the BEACH WALK! Hundreds of people passing by! And within seconds a huge crowd of people started gathering watching this funny tug of war. I was MORTIFIED!
Finally, with a ripping sound, I could feel my skirt escape from the iron grip of the Harley. The people around us actually started to applaud! I managed to wiggle down from the huge black monster with no help whatsover from "Mr Charming". It was a sad sight! Since my skirt had actually melted, I had big holes around on both sides going all the way up to my thighs! Now with a crowd watching I tried to brush of my total humiliation and give a little shallow laugh. The brainless thug looked at me with a sort of mixture of disgust and fear (is she totally nuts?) and said: "Guess dinner is off, huh?" With a sort of shrug and gesturing to my skirt he obviously thought that I was going to run home and hide, but NO - it was payback time! "OH, I'm fine" I answered again with that crazy little laugh. "This is just the latest fashion", I said and pointed to my skirt. "I'm hungry!" I straightened my back, pulled myself together, tried to brush back my hair and put up a fake smile. I'm in awe that I actually did this - what a cool chic!
But totally out of my mind of course! What was I thinking!
Mr NOT SO HOT couldn't believe his ears, he now figured he was on a date with a total lunatic. Hello, I just wrecked his beloved bike. He was fuming and probably wanted to slap me. But there were so many people watching he just nodded and went sort of shelled shocked into the restaurant. I came stumbling in about five steps behind him. And I actually had a 3 course meal, with wine. I have no idea what I ate, or what we talked about. We probably didn't... It was totally PAINFUL! It was like pulling teeth whit a plumbing wrench. Still, for some strange reason I needed that closure. So when I finished the meal I got up (leaving him with the check), smiled again (incredible, should have become an actress!) and gave that podgy weak-chinned thin-haired eye-protruding STUPID dumbass (sorry!) a wave. I think I said something in the line of : "See you around!"
Didn't go on a second date and never rode a Harley EVER again!
Had to borrow this one from thefrisky.com
Now, I actually managed to go through another skirt-melting experience equally embarrassing a few years later. (I must be the only girl in the world!) Would you like to read about it?
Well, for those of you who read my post yesterday Walking the red carpet you got a glimps of one of my favorite pair of shoes - my beloved GEOX sandals. (In silver) I'll tell you more about those another day - promise! But anyway, they got me thinking... Maybe I should do a Pink Saturday Post about pink shoes? That would be a winner! So for the pink-loving ladies that visit me from Beverly's bloghere we go:
Shoes, shoes, shoes
or my subtitle : How I got thrown out of the shoe store by an angry italian babe
I don't have any pink shoes myself (a pair of pink Converse... a long time ago), but I knew just the store to find them. Right here in Spain they have an italian store named Psyco - yeah, I know, it's all in the name! (It turned out to be quite fitting too...) Where would I find better shoes for my post? So off I went - with my descrete little camera - to take some pictures of shoes that had that special, let's say pisazz...
Now inside Psyco you'll only ever see VERY slim, tanned, bleached blond or raven black haired women in skinny white jeans and tight tops that have glitter on them and are just short enought that you can see a little diamond in their bellybutton when they strech to get a shoe off the top shelf. They wear designer sunglasses in their hair, Gucci on their arm and usually have a much older husband (lover?) in tow... The girls that work there look exactly the same, minus the husband of course!
(this is Victoria B and NOT a real customer, but this is The Look...)
So maybe I looked a little out of place? With my 5 year old in tow (in lew of the husband), salty beachhair (neither blond, nor raven), plastic bags from the grocery store (in lew of Gucci), NOT skinny white jeans (for reasons you'll understand later...) and absolutely NO glitter on my top or diamond in my bellybutton. I did have a pair of designer sunglasses in my hair though! Should have made them treat me better, I think!
Well, the even skinnier than usual girl came over to me and took about 5 seconds while she stared at me letting her dark eyes scan my whole body, up and down and up and down - and then with a frown (REALLY!) she asked: Dsooo jouuu vant anising ere? It was clear that she thought I could never in a million years wear any of their shoes. (Actually, she was pretty right about that - I would NOT even be able to walk over to the mirror in most of the shoes there. But she could pretend, couldn't she?)
"Tiiiis are schooos for schpesial vomen and schpesial ocashions", she proclaimed with one perfectly plucked eyebrow all the way up to her hairline. (Probably one of their slogans, but coming from her it sounded like an insult. Why wouldn't she think I was a special woman that had LOTS of special occasions to attend?)
I tried to brush of the insult and smiled as sweetly as I could. "I'm writing about shoes on my blog and would love to take a few pictures!" The girled starred at me as if I was crazy: "Tat is forbidden!" She actually yelled! And all the other customers (two of the above mentioned type) turned and looked at me as if I had asked to sniff her shoes or maybe borrow a pair. "No pictures and NO riting about tis schtore - it is forbidden!" she repeated this time a little louder even. I felt like the worst criminal and tried to redeem myself with a humble look while I mumbled: "Sorry, I'll just have a look around then..."
Now the friggin little wasp (sorry, I was getting pretty angry by this time) started pushing me against the exit while she kept snarling at me: "Go avay! No pictures!" Gee, I had gotten that point by now! Then she added the words that made me go a little over the edge: "Go avay I say - no pictures. Tiiis are not schooos for biiiiig ladies!"
I couldn't believe my ears! I grabbed my camera and started taking pictures while that little tiny italian babe tried to push me through the doorway with little success. Her 5 inch heels were sliding on the slippery tile floor and her little twig arms didn't stand a chance...
HA! Sometimes it's good to be a "big lady"!
I'm usually not the one to bend the rules and cause a scene, but give me a break!
So here are my FORBIDDEN shots of crazy pink shoes! (And a few others that I managed to take on my way out....)
Now this pair isn't pink, but I love turquoise and these are kind of cool (in an over-the-top kind of way). They have wedge heels so I think I could probably walk for a couple of hundred yards. Too bad I can't go back and try them on!
Do you remember the beginning of Notting Hill when you see Julia Roberts walk down the red carpet, looking absolutely gorgeous,while a meteor shower of flashes go off lighting up her face and that smile? (To the sound of "She" by Elvis Costello of course.) I love that beginning...
I'm always a little bit fascinated by watching stars on the red carpet. They look so glamorous and put together - like they have the world on a string and are sitting on a rainbow (to quote "ol' blue-eyes."...) With their confident smiles (always very white) and designer clothes they know exactly how to pose to make their booty look small and their bust look perky! (Not the men of course... they just have to "suck it in".)
While they strut along the carpet with someone beautiful (but not too beautiful - this is not the time to be outshone) on their arm I cannot help but wonder HOW they feel...
Do they fill thrilled and excited? Do they feel drop-dead-gorgeous and adored? (Do you Julia?) Are they worried about their heels getting caught up in their dress or having left overs from dinner (at the Ivy) stuck between their teeth? Are they anxious about loosing that 2 million dollar bracelet they borrowed from Bvlgari or are they thinking of ways to nick it? (I really don't know what happened... I went to the bathroom and put on some makeup...wait, I think I saw Wynona Ryder right next to me!)
Do they worry that the others have better dresses or even worse: the same dress (yikes!)? (Never happens to Cher I bet! Or Ellen DeGeneres....) Are they having second thoughts about that pink tutu, or the swan wrapped around their neck (Hello Bjørk! What were you thinking?) Or maybe they are concentrating very hard on NOT breathing so that the pearl buttons on their corset-top don't come flying off like bullets giving Joan Rivers a black eye (another excuse for a little medical fixer-upper...) Bet that would be a sure way to get slaughtered by Joan and her charming daughter Melissa on Entertainment tonight!
Are they trying to suppress the look of utter shock that Victoria has lost another 10 pounds or that their former boyfriend is there with Ashley Tisdale (Who is she anyway?) Maybe they think about how much those 2000 dollar Louboutins HURT (Why are all expensive shoes SO excruciating? Is that some kind of rule.. the higher the price, the harder the sacrifice?)
Do they manage to hide the look of surprise when they see that their seat is WAY behind Jessica Simpson's? Maybe they frown a little about the huge crush they had on Mickey Rourke in the 80s having watched 9 and 1/2 weeks ten times? (Look at him now ladies! Not everything gets better with age... Sorry, Joan, that's just the facts of life!)
Are they thinking about how Tom Cruise really is quite short or that Oprah must have gained a few? Are they worried about their three kids at home with the two nannies that only speak thai and mandarin? Or are they secretly calculating the next house payment on their new Bel Air mansion? Do they feel jealous that their husband is casting a second glance at Nathalie Portman (who can blame him..) or excited that Johnny Depp whispered something in french right into their ear (Probably "move over fat cow", but everything sounds sexy in french...)
Next time you watch the Oscars, watch the stars and imagine what they are REALLY thinking an feeling... It makes the show so much more enjoyable!
As for me... I don't know if I'll ever walk the Red Carpet. But I did walk through an underground parking lot in Marbella the other night. I looked down and saw that right through the grey concrete there was a wide red line (just like a carpet). As I was about to walk over to our Masarati (No, just kidding... Opel Zafira... with bumps) I realized that it looked like I was actually walking the red carpet. I grabbed my iphone, got ready to take a picture... and suddently a car backed out with it's bright lights casting a magic beam over my feet! It looked like spotlights and I got the perfect shot!
So here are my feet on the red carpet bathed in the lights of a fancy car ... what I was feeling? Can't remember! Probably that I had to get out of the way before that fancy car hit me right in my booty...
Congratulations Vale! I'm so happy for you! Hopefully, you'll enjoy this magazine in months to come. Now you just need to send me all your details to firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can order the giftsubscription.
Please visit Vale at her beautiful blog if you want to be truly inspired. I have taken the liberty to include a little information about her and her blog:
Les Cotrions offers, in the heart of Lucca and in the pure Italian style, a range of products for home decoration getting inspiration from the retro atmospheres of the French and Scandinavian country homes. Each item tells a story, is found round Italy and Europe, in the antique markets, in the old fabric shops, in the artisans' labs. Home and table accessories, baskets, old glass bottles' transparency, jars, decorative objects from Northern Europe. Painted and distressed pieces of furniture, small “pieces of history” savouring of old and a hand-made home linen line, though up to give life to linen and cotton canvas collected in the old trunks on our return from the journeys in France.
And if you didn't win this time - don't worry! I'll be back with more fun givaways!
I'm a woman, mom, wife and teacher. My life is busy and stressful at times, boring quite often and there are plenty of little things that I worry about around midnight lying in bed. Too often I find myself focusing on all the things that I'm unhappy about. I'm sometimes gloomy when it's raining and I'm not excited about early mornings. I wish I would exercise more, eat less, earn more, stress less, listen more, talk less. Yes, there are plenty of things that I would like to change!
But I am also full of hope and dreams. I believe in happy endings and love everlasting. I'm surrounded by people who care about me and who accept me just as I am. I trust that there is someone holding my life in His hands and I do enjoy all the blessings that I have. Writing this blog I'm reminding myself that life is really wonderful and that little things can turn an ordinary day into an extraordinary adventure.
I'm excited to introduce you to all the things that make my life sweeter. Hopefully it will sweeten your day as well!