Friday, December 5, 2014

Thanksgiving and Christmas decorating



These are some pictures from our Thanksgiving! We made sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, salad, green bean casserole, vege gravy, reindeer instead of turkey, and garlic bread. And we also watched the Thanksgiving Day parade while we ate and skyped my family back in Florida. We both had school earlier in the day but the afternoon was very relaxing and fun. It was a great Thanksgiving!

The day after Thanksgiving we put away the fall decorations and started decorating for Chistmas! It makes the apartment much cheerier especially since the we are in the darkest month of the year here. The sun sets before 2 pm now and doesn't rise until 9 am. And it looks like dusk during the "daylight" hours. But these Christmas decorations make all that easier to deal with :). Our sweet neighbor from our last apartment gave us the tree and lights and the rest we picked up from thrift stores. We even found a stocking with a B on it! It is very traditional in Sweden to have lights in your windows at Christmas time, maybe to pretend it is sunlight? It hasn't fooled me yet but it looks nice :). 

We also visited a town a couple hours north of us called Skellefteå last weekend because they were offering free bus rides. They had a cute Christmas market complete with dancing around a giant Christmas tree and lots of Santas. 

We had a lot of fun exploring a new city.  Umeå has their Christmas market this weekend. We missed it last year so we are definitely not going to miss it this year! :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Swedish icecream and an updated update!

If anyone knows me they know I am obsessed with mint chip icecream. But in Sweden mint chip is about the only flavor I have never been able to find. 

Pepparkaka (gingerbread) is one of the best I've found so far.

Salty licorice...yum? I've grown to accept the candy licorice now but I draw the line at icecream.

Orange chocolate...hmm not too weird but this is really more common then mint chip? 

And one of the weirdest I've seen is peach jalapeño. Mint chip is apparently too odd but peach jalapeño? Perfectly normal. I teased Alex about buying this but then ended up eating half of it while he was at I can't judge it too much I guess. 

So if any ice cream flavor designers in Sweden are reading chocolate chip is amazing and I recommend you to try it.

The blog I posted earlier today was actually from last week but for some reason it didn't post! So I thought I would update my update.

This is an actual picture from my bike ride home today. A bit foggy and frosty but no snow! It's forecasted to snow this weekend though. Woohoo!

Thanksgiving is next week! We plan on making pumpkin pie (I brought a can of it home with me from Florida this year, I learned my lesson!), sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, salad, corn, and maybe some kind of Swedish meat like meatballs or elk or reindeer instead of turkey. I bought slices of turkey last year to avoid cooking a whole turkey for just myself (as Alex is a vegetarian) but they just didn't cut it. So we will see what we end up doing. And of course we will watch the Macys day parade during dinner! A weird tradition for me to not watch it while sleeping on the couch after running the Turkey Trot but it was a fun tradition from last year. I'll try and post a Thanksgiving post later on. And the weekend after Thanksgiving we are taking a free bus ride to the town an hour north of us (Skellefteå) to go to the Christmas market and get away for a couple days. So I will try and take lots of pictures! :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Life update

This was today's weather (with temperature in celcius, it was a bit warmer this week). The days are getting shorter and shorter. I'll miss you sun.

It snowed last week so I learned how to bike in the snow and ice. It goes a lot slower but wasn't so bad. That being said, I hope it never snows again. :)

Putting decorations out for Thanksgiving! 

Carving pumpkins for Halloween. This was something we didn't do last year and I missed it so it was fun to get to do it this year.

Me being all sciencey. 

Hope you all have a good rest of the week! We're going into town to see the movie Interstellar tonight, and most importantly that means...CANDY!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A day in my Swedish life

I thought that I would write a post about a typical week day for me. My week days change quite a bit day to day and week to week depending on my thesis work but I picked one that was pretty normal.

 I woke up around 7:30 am and ate breakfast, got my school stuff together and started the long process of putting on lots of clothing layers for my bike ride to school. It takes about 25 minutes to get to the university where I am doing my thesis work. It's really not too bad except for when it rains. The only thing that can make me wish for snow is biking in the cold rain.

I bike by a lake on the way to school, I don't usually stop but I did today to take a picture and it was very beautiful even though it was a bit of a dreary day outside.

Almost to school! There is a bike path the whole way there and I usually don't see many other people until I get closer to campus. Look at these trees though! Lucky I took a picture of them because now they are basically bare and have dropped all of their leaves!

This is SLU, the university where I am doing my thesis work. I technically attend Umeå University but since they are located about 100 feet from each other they work together a lot so I was able to do my thesis here instead :). 

SLU has these really cool murals by the staircases, this is just a tiny part of one.

Then I go upstairs to the lab, put on my lab coat and start taking a bunch of samples to be tested. Above is an example of some algae I'm growing in wastewater.

I typically finish with all the samples before lunch and then after lunch I bike about 10 minutes to my Swedish class at SFI, or Swedish for immigrants. 

My Swedish classroom! It looks like I'm the only one there but there were about three others this day, but I waited until the break to take the picture. I really like my Swedish class and wish I could go more often.

After I finished Swedish class I met Alex in town while he took a break from writing a paper around 3 because we needed to show the tax office our marriage license so it could be registered in the system. I didn't get a picture of us doing that but this is a picture of the new mall they are building that we checked out on our way there.

The skies were looking a bit dark and scary so we tried to rush home afterwards.

You can't really tell from this picture above, but it started raining and we got SOAKED. And we still had about a thirty minute freezing cold windy bike ride home.

Finally home! We had to hang up all our layers and layers of wet clothes. Also you can see here our very Swedish style shower. There is a curtain but no boundary separating it on the floor. I barely even notice it anymore.

It stopped raining so we decided to walk to the store nearby and get some milk because we wanted to make pancakes for dinner after that freezing cold bike ride home.

We stopped to take a picture on our way back :).

I finished a couple things up for school while Alex cooked the pancakes (and apparently snapped this picture!). He makes the best pancakes.

Then we watched a movie and relaxed a bit and then went to sleep. Besides the cold rain it was a pretty normal, but wonderful, day. 

Maybe I'll do another post like this after winter comes, because our lives in winter day to day are a lot different than in the fall.



Monday, September 22, 2014

Back in Sweden!

After two wonderful months visiting family in Florida and getting married (!) we are back in Umeå. We are all moved into our new apartment and slowly trying to make it look more homey. Our bike ride to school is only twenty minutes now (compared to 45 before) so we are loving the new location! School has begun for us both and I have just been doing some lab work for my thesis and Alex is writing a big paper. Today the temperatures changed dramatically, all of the sudden the highs are in the forties instead of the sixties! :O I'm not ready. But it is really beautiful out with all the leaves changing color again, it's just hard to get excited about it when you know winter is coming afterwards. I've been going to swedish class a couple times a week as well and it seems to be going ok! Sometimes I think I'm really understanding the language and then the next day I won't understand a thing so it's a frustrating process but hopefully it will pay off! Here are some pictures from our time here the past month! And a few from the wedding as well!

We seem to have a seventies theme going on, we were given the comfy armchair by our old neighbor and we bought the couch for about 30 dollars. It's really comfy and we love its quirkyness.

Alex's birthday was last week so I made him a kladdkaka cake and it was so yummy. It's like a giant brownie.

I made my first loaf of bread! But it tasted pretty bad. I realized too late that one packet of yeast in the US and Sweden is not the same this tasted wayyyy too yeasty. But sweet Alex still ate it.

The trees starting to change on our bike ride home last week. They are even more yellow and brown now.

The really great view from our laundry room. It's hard to see in this pictures but there are some pretty mountains in the distance.

We saw the northern lights again finally! The moon was super bright but you could still see the northern lights moving across the sky, it was pretty awesome.

Our perfect wedding day in Florida!

I will try to take more pictures and start posting them here more often again! :)