Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Our World

I don't normally watch these kind of things. Not because I don't believe them or I am not interested, but because I can't watch it without crying. I couldn't even watch the Planet Earth series - I wound up bawling my eyes out every time. But tonight, I forced myself to watch this video. It wasn't easy, but it reminded me that we all have to start changing the way we think. How we consume. What we consume. And what we do with it all when it's finished. I have a niece and nephew now - I want them to see polar bears in the wild and not at the zoo.

Monday, November 10, 2008

If I Had a Dime...

for everytime a Swede told me about one of these:

Top Ten Swedish Inventions
1. The pacemaker
In 1958, Rune Elmqvist developed a small battery-driven pacemaker. The first operation was carried out later that year, but the device only lasted for a few hours and further adjustments were made. The patient, Arne Larsson, survived the tests and lived until 2001.

2. The three-point seat belt
Nils Bohlin’s great invention from 1959 is reputed to save one life every six minutes. It is thereby considered to be one of the most important safety innovations of all time.

3. The Global Positioning System
Håkan Lans is the great mind behind the satellite-guided GPS system that ensures many car drivers reach their destinations on time and without hassle.

4. Tetra-Pak
Through the ideas of Erik Wallenberg and his dedicated team, the solution to packaging, storing and distributing liquids such as juice and dairy items was developed in 1951 and has since spread to fridges all over the world.

5. The telephone handset
As early as 1885, Lars Magnus Ericsson created the telephone handset, which was just one of his many improvements to contemporary telephones.

6. The flat screen monitor
The building of the flat-screen monitor was made possible by Sven Torbjörn Lagervall’s discovery of ferroelectric liquid crystals in 1979. The technology was developed and in 1994 mass production was begun.

7. The ultra sound
In 1950, Hellmuth Hertz started his pioneering work with ultrasound for medical diagnosis. Together with cardiologist Inge Edler the technique was successfully developed for the analysis of heart diseases.

8. The safety match
In 1844, Gustaf Erik Pasch patented the safety match when he replaced the poisonous yellow phosphorus with non-poisonous red phosphorus.

9. Dynamite
Alfred Nobel invented dynamite in 1866, which earned him one of the 355 patents he had managed to assemble before his death in 1896. Through his life he founded 90 companies and made a huge fortune. In his will he set up the Nobel Prizes for physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace.

10. The zipper
The method still used today, based on interlocking teeth, was invented in 1913 by Gideon Sundbäck. Initially it was called the “hookless fastener” and was later redesigned to become more reliable.

(List published on TheLocal.se)

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Evans Visit Sweden

So Mandy, Caden and Chase came to Sweden to visit us the past couple of weeks and we had an absolute blast. I went to bed every night completely exhausted but so excited to wake up the next day and see my smiling nephew's face. He is so much fun, very expressive and a generally a good natured baby. We went on long walks with Reagan, went into town for lunch and chocolate with my American friends and relaxed a lot at our apartment. Lucky for me, my sister and I share the same idea about vacation - sitting around, drinking coffee in the morning and planning what we will cook for the day. I was so sad to see them leave but it was eased a bit with our plans to go to Dallas for Christmas and the knowledge that they WILL return next year. Caden was a "rock star" on all the plane rides - which was a huge relief to me and Mandy. We tried to take lots of pictures, but when you're just sitting around, drinking coffee - well, you're not too inspired. We did manage to capture this fantastic picture:
Quite possibly the funniest picture...ever! So glad to see Caden is just as happy about the Veuve as I was!!! :-)

Have a great weekend!
~Monica

Thursday, October 02, 2008

CALL+RESPONSE


The Film CALL+RESPONSE is a feature length documentary film that reveals the world’s 27 million dirtiest secrets: there are more slaves today than ever before in human history. CALL+RESPONSE takes viewers deep undercover where slavery is thriving -- from the child brothels of Cambodia to the slave brick kilns of rural India -- and reveals that in 2007, Slave Traders made more money than Google, Nike and Starbucks combined.

Luminaries on the issue such as Madeleine Albright, Julia Ormond, Ashley Judd, Nicholas Kristof, and many other prominent political and cultural figures offer first hand accounts of this 21st century trade. Performances from Grammy-winning and critically acclaimed artists including Moby, Natasha Bedingfield, Cold War Kids, Matisyahu, Imogen Heap, Talib Kweli, Five For Fighting, Switchfoot, members of Nickel Creek and Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers and Rocco Deluca move this disturbing information into inspiration for stopping it. Former child soldier and current African hip hop celebrity, Emanuel Jal, gives a chilling performance recounting his experiences and calling for help for others experiencing destruction in Uganda and Sudan. Dr. Cornel West connects the music of the American slave fields to the popular music we listen to today, and offers this connection as a rallying cry for the modern abolitionist movement currently brewing. To see the trailer visit: www.callandresponse.com

The New Model
Human slavery represents one of the most atrocious human rights violations in history. The CALL+RESPONSE film acts as a call to action. Awareness without action has limited impact. CALL+RESPONSE doesn’t just raise awareness, but goes on to inspire people to ask the question: “What can we do to help?”

Human rights activism is changing. The world’s issues cannot be solved alone by governments and non-profits. Solutions require community-based participation. We promote the concept of OPEN-SOURCE ACTIVISM whereby all individuals possess unique and valuable tools to fight slavery. We also provide a robust and exciting interactive platform for viewers to go after watching the film. There they will find ways to effectively respond, and to share their response with the community at large. We are currently in the process of developing a portfolio of both high impact field projects for viewers to fund as a community as well as important actions they
can take for each aspect of human slavery: sex slavery, labor slavery, child soldiers. These are all based on expert insight and advice from those working on the front lines of the issue.

The real impact of this endeavor, then, lies in what we the standing army does after they have been mobilized. We hope to not only help them answer the question of how to help, but to also connect them with the most appropriate programs. We want them to truly make a difference. We invite them to become part of the story of change and that story involves them in
exponential impact. Furthermore, because this film was funded completely through donations, CALL+RESPONSE also gives 100% of its profits to fund these global field projects.

The Movement
In addition to the stars and luminaries in the film, the CALL+RESPONSE movement has attracted a vast team: Tribeca, Myspace, MTV, The UN, US State Department, Warner Brothers, Sony Records, Salvation Army, YouthAids, International Justice Mission, Wordpress, Working Assets and Paste Magazine.

The film acts as a powerful Call. Millions around the world are Responding. Modern abolitionism must be a bottom-up movement wherein all talents, interests and skills are utilized. CallandResponse.com is a ground-breaking online interactive platform which combines the passion of justice and scope of a Presidential Campaign with the swagger of Rock & Roll.

CALL+RESPONSE’s chilling undercover footage, stunning performances and life-changing interviews expose the audience to the world’s 27 million most terrifying secrets and culminates in a single question: “What Will Your Response Be?”

WAYS YOU CAN HELP RIGHT NOW:
1. Submit to us your ideas and advice for effective & appropriate action responses.
2. Apply for project funding. Allow us to help enable your successful work.
3. Build the movement.
a. Place a trailer and/or web banner on your blog or website. You can find it at www.callandresponse.com/trailer
b. Join the film’s Facebook “causes” and MySpace page. Invite your friends to do the same.
c. Post 10 flyers at your work, school, cafe and gathering place.
4. Watch CALL+RESPONSE in the theater on opening weekend. Invite 5 friends.

FAIR TRADE PICTURES
0 510.465.2290 | F 510.465.2294
INFO@CALLANDRESPONSE.COM

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Daily Show

I don't care what side you are on, this is really funny!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Best Damn Breakfast

So, while I may travel a lot and move around WAY TOO MUCH, I am a bit of a creature of habit. Every morning during the week I eat the same thing for breakfast (that is, when I've run out of my favorite cereal that I force my family and friends to bring me) - Vanilla Yogurt with Granola. Nothing special, right? WRONG!! I make that granola and in my humble opinion it's damn good. I could wait for the next family cookbook to come out, but then only a few of you would get the recipe, so I'm willing to part with it here on the world wide web. I actually got it from another food blog who created it based on a restaurant in Chicago.

Homemade Granola
Preheat oven to 375F
Mix Together:
3 1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup coconut (unsweetened)
3 tblspn flax seeds
3 tblspn sesame seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup toasted nuts (I think pecans taste best)
2 tspn cinnamon
1 tspn salt
1/4 cup brown sugar

In a separate small bowl whisk together:
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tblspn honey
1 tblspn maple syrup
2 tspn vanilla extract

Add this to the dry ingredients, stir well and spread out on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 5 mintues, until golden brown. Once done, add:
2 cups dried fruit.
Enjoy!!

In the summer, I've stopped adding dried fruit since there is so much available. But in the winter I usually add dried blueberries, cranberries and raisins. Put this granola on vanilla or plain yogurt with fresh fruit and you'll be satisfied for at least a few hours!


Another thing that I miss terribly is vanilla lattes. Oh yes, I can get them here but the closest coffee shop is not within walking distance like at my sister's house nor are they on every corner here in suburbia. So I decided to try my hand at vanilla syrup. I'm not sure why I waited so long to do this as it's really just a simple syrup with vanilla but most of the recipes I saw wanted me to use vanilla beans and while yes I can buy those - I have TWO very large bottles of vanilla I need to get through (one of many purchases I made at Sams before moving!). Anywho, I understand now why they suggest the vanilla bean as the extract causes the syrup to be a little off in color. But I don't care about that - it's going into my coffee anyway! So here's that recipe too, in case you live in the boonies (or foreign country) and can't get your vanilla latte fix.

Vanilla Syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Bring water and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat, add vanilla - enjoy!

So that's it - until next time!!
~Monica

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Sweet Girl

So I recently discovered Windows Movie Maker on my new computer and while it is in Swedish, I've managed to fumble around in it enough to put together a couple of different things. I'm going to really work on this and perfect it, but for now you'll have to enjoy my really sappy video to my girl Reagan. Enjoy!!!
video

Tell me what you think - too many effects?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!

Hope everyone is enjoying their day off and relaxing just a bit. I thought I'd give you something to look at in the event you have crappy weather and are indoors!First off, fresh rhubarb and strawberries. Now, to some this is very boring but to me, it means spring/summer is here!! The strawberries are from SWEDEN (not Spain or somewhere a little more hot) and the rhubarb is from my mother-in-laws summer home. As you may recall it grows wild there but I discovered another patch in the soccer/skateboard park on my way to the grocery store today. Who knew?! I'll be making some kind of cobbler, I'm sure, in the coming days - who knows, maybe I'll try my hand at Aunt Polly's delicious Strawberry/Rhubarb cobbler. She gave me the recipe when I was home along with a box of yellow cake mix since I can't buy that here.


A picture of our balcony with the newly planted flowers! I'm loving our outdoor space and will continue to focus on this part of the home until my parents arrive. I was thinking of ripping out the plastic green/white flooring but in the pictures it looks nice. It's gray concrete underneath and I was just going to clean that and maybe buy a couple of outdoor rugs instead. Hmmm - what do you think?
A close up picture of one of the planters - our herb 'garden'. Right now we have rosemary, flat leaf parsley, sage and lavender. Unfortunately the sage doesn't seem to like it outdoors (or indoors for that matter) and may have to move out and make room for basil. We use basil a lot more than sage anyway.
A close up of Mr. Cat with the fern. I REALLY wanted to hang a couple of ferns from the ceiling, kind of Southern Living style. Unfornately we get direct sun from 12noon until 8pm/9pm. I'm not sure if these types of ferns could handle this kind of sun - does anyone know? Granny? I read that Australian ferns do well in direct sun, but I'm not finding any of those...yet.

Tonight I'm making hamburgers, french fries and cucumber salad served with an ice cold Coca Cola. I may ditch that idea and go for a glass of wine though - it's so beautiful today we'll be sitting outside and soaking in the last rays of sunshine before it gets dark.

Have a great day!!
Monica

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Back in a Flash

Back in Sweden, packing this week, moving Saturday - does it ever stop? I guess only when you're dead, right?! ;-)

I have a bunch of photos from my trip, but I'll post my favorite for now
Isn't he adorable? Does he look slightly bored with the photo shoot, though? ;-)

Ok, I lied - one more from that day
Just to prove he does open his eyes every once in a while now!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Little Bit of Heaven

Me, Indy and Tee at the Evans Ranch
I think I start out every post with an apology - I know it's been a while but I do have a few valid, good excuses!! Traveling a lot, working a lot and hanging with my new baby nephew in Dallas. Lucky for me, I was able to go out to the Evans Ranch and ride Tee. It's been while since I've riden and even longer since I rode western, but it was wonderful and I now have a new best friend. Isn't he handsome?
I'll post lots of pictures and things later - like mid-May since I was clever enough NOT to bring my camera cord to upload pictures and we're moving as soon as I get home. Sorry!!
Take care,
~Monica

Monday, February 18, 2008

Vitamin Cheese

Look what I found in the grocery store? Bulgarian sheep's cheese!!! Very exciting for the 1/4 bulgarian! So I just HAD to buy it and I just HAD to photograph it and taste it. It has the texture of a feta cheese but the taste is a bit different. At first, you think it's similar to feta, but as you continue to chew, it becomes stronger in flavor - almost spicy. A little research on the internet a few seconds later, and I discover that the consider this 'brined' sheep's cheese. And that defines this cheese perfectly. It's milder cousin, the feta, doesn't hold a candle to this cheese. I ran across a few recipes with this cheese so I'll be defnitely making these this week and posting them for you to try.

In the meantime, say cheese!!!

Sorry, I couldn't resist....

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Well, well, well - what do we have here? Another post!!! Yes indeed!!!

Just wanted to fill you in on some exciting news for Anders and I. We are now, proud home owners as we just bought our first apartment! It is around 900 sq. ft. which by American standards, is small. But by Swedish standards, is a nice size. While I certainly loved our house in Dallas, I didn't enjoy cleaning the entire thing of which we probably only used 900 sq ft - you know? Plus, this goes along with the idea of living smaller and making do with less therefore creating a smaller 'footprint' in the environment. Ok, now everyone get together and let's hug - or at least hug a tree!!! ;-) No, but seriously, we couldn't be happier. The layout is great, and while there are certainly some things that need to be done to improve the place, it is extremely liveable as is so we can take our time. Our move in date is in April some time - most likely the end of April as I will be traveling the entire month of March and going to Dallas in April to see my adorable nephew. Did I mention him yet? Oh yeah, his name is Caden!!!

So now my days are spent day dreaming about paint colors and furniture layout. I have promised myself to take my time (as you know, I like to build rome in a day!) and will tackle the balcony first. I'm thinking Texas meets Japanese zen garden - what do you think? I want to get one of those iron stars or some kind of funky texas art. I'll have to drag Mandy and Caden to a antique store while I'm home. Then onto the guest room as I hope to have my parents stay with us a few days (until we get on eachother's nerves) when they visit in July. Of course, painting over the wallpaper will happen rather quickly too. I HATE TO PAINT but unfortunately it cost too much to fly my cousin Carl over to paint!! HA! We'll tackle the BIG projects (bathroom, kitchen, floors) later on.

So, that's it on the home front. The next couple of weeks will be spent starting to pack (since I won't be around much soon) and getting ready for my work trips to Switzerland, Netherlands and Australia. WOOOHOOO!!

Have a great Sunday!
Monica

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Baby, baby, baby!!!

More absolutely adorable pictures of my nephew. I am so not biased, am I?!
Is he not all boy or what?!?! He's the perfect combo of my sister and her husband, I think. Maybe a little Aunt Mo thrown in for good measure!!! ;-)
Caden sleeping in the cradle. Apparently (family, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) our great grandfather built this for his children and it has since been used by two generations. Very cool and VERY heavy.

Life for me...well, things are good but I don't want to jinx anything so I'm going to keep my mouth shut for a couple more days. I'M NOT PREGNANT, however.

Later!
Monica

Friday, February 01, 2008

And now introducing, the most beautiful baby EVER!

Caden Myers Evans
6lb, 15 oz.
19"
born on 1/31/2008 at 9:06pm

Mom and baby are doing fine - isn't he just perfect?

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Happy January!

So, it's been a while...I know. I could give you a whole bunch of excuses, but they would be just that - excuses. But, my cousin Derek posted a message yesterday that made me remember that people do read this blog, every once in a while, so I should try and update every once in a while, right?

I don't have any pictures other than this one because 'someone' in my family has taken the memory card out of the big camera and hidden the small one...Reagan!! ;-)

This picture is of our dinner from Celebrating Italian Cuisine Night which was on January 17th. I mistakenly thought it was Pasta Cabornara only, so that's what I made. This is the true, Italian version, with like 4 ingredients. Yes, that is a raw egg yolk - and the meal was so good!!!

Life is good too. I'm still contract working for the hotel and will be traveling a bit in March. Right now, the only confirmed trip is Switzerland and the Netherlands, but I may get to go to S. Korea and Australia (again) too. We'll see. But the trip I am most looking forward to this year is Dallas to visit my nephew, Caden. While at this very moment, he is not born yet, he is certainly on his way. Mandy went to the hospital earlier today but she may have stalled out a bit as she is not dialating past a 3. We'll see - in any event, she'll be popping that baby boy out soon and I can't wait to meet him. These are definitely the hardest times for me, though. Everyone's at the hospital and I'm over here wondering what is going on. It would be the same in Boston, or Cayman - but the option of catching a weekend flight is kind of out of the question. These are the compromises one makes....

The rest of the family is doing well. Reagan and I have been exercising a bit more lately. We keep waiting for winter to arrive, but mostly it's been in the high 30s/low 40s and dreary. No snow at all this year. We are only in January, however, and if I remember correctly we received some snow in April last year on Easter. Plenty of time, plenty of time. I discovered a new trail really close to our apartment that goes right by the water. Really peaceful and not too hilly. I took Anders out on a run last weekend (his first in two year) and I thought we both were going to die. I hadn't run that trail since BEFORE I went home for Thanksgiving, so it kicked my butt too. Need to get in shape if I'm going to attempt the Stockholm marathon in June. I'm also working out at the local gym. It's like a YMCA - funny little aerobic classes that you can't really make fun of when you end up being the one gasping for air and getting dizzy...what a wimp I am. But it makes for good cross training (?).

Now, I'm off to walk the dog before I head out to meet Anders for some tapas. We have found a great little tapas place near where he works that is pretty reasonable. We always have a good meal there and their house wine is delicious. We attempted to have a alcohol free January (they call is a 'white month') but it was more like a beige month. As you can see from the picture, I just HAD to have a glass of wine w/ my italian meal. Anders claimed that the Italian/Swedish mafia would come after us if we DIDN'T have wine with dinner. Anyway, at least our livers were given a mini-holiday and since tomorrow is February, will...might as well celebrate!!!

Here's to Mandy, Chase and baby Caden!!!!! I love you all very much and can't wait to see you soon!!!!
Monica xo