Sunday, 29 November 2015

Christmas Is Coming - Bearing Great Gifts

First Gift For Christmas this year! I got a job! Well, another job, a job I will do on the side of my regular job, but a job I am sure I will love doing in a lot of ways. You see, I got a job as a freelance content writer! Yay me! I am so excited about it  and can't wait to get my first assignment. I am actually going to get paid for writing! Well done, me! It won't pay all that much, but it will be enough to cover my Home Free addiction and then some. The important thing to me is that I will be writing, and I will make money doing it. How cool is that?

Today is the First Sunday of Advent. This is the day we start putting out and up our Christmas decorations. Most people do a little bit now and then the rest just before Christmas. I do it differently every year depending what I feel like doing. This year I put some of it up today and I will do some more next Sunday.

Another thing we do this day is to light the first out of four candles and then one more candle will be lit every Sunday for the next three until all four candles are shining brightly, and that Sunday will be Sunday before Christmas.

I did some baking today, I made Lussebullar, or Lussekatter as they are also called. They are sweet saffron buns that we only have this time of year. The Swedes are quite traditional in their Christmas food in the way that we have a lot of dishes we only make or eat at Christmas time, but some we have for other holidays too. That's one of the things I love about the Swedish Christmas, the food. It is lovely and very tasty, and the fact that only get to have it for Christmas makes it even better. And it helps make Christmas more special too. I will have Christmas dinner three times this year, as most years. The first will be with my office. We always have a nice Christmas smörgåsbord (spread, smorgoesboard) every year at some nice place. The night after we will have Christmas dinner together with our friends, this will be the fifth year we have it, We take turns at their house or our house, and we cook half of it each. We do Swedish Christmas food because she is part Swedish and our bf's love it even though they are British. It is always a great night with a lot of fun. And then of course for Christmas Eve when we celebrate our Christmas. The rest of the holiday will be devoted to left overs.

I ordered some gifts for myself for Christmas. I have been looking at and wanting a t-shirt and a hoodie from the Home Free Store for quite some time now, but with the price for the shipping I didn't really find it price worthy and important enough right now, especially with the trip to the UK coming up in January, but as they put them both on sale for Black Friday I took the chance and ordered them both. Happy days! Keep your fingers crossed the sizes will be good for me. It is very different sizes in the US compared to here.

Tuesday is the 1st of December and that day kicks off the advent calendar counting up to Christmas Eve, and so I'm thinking my video for today should be one with one in it. This is a Home Free Original, written by Tim Foust. If you haven't seen it before make sure to have your tissues ready to wipe your tears away. Here's Full of Cheer!


Sunday, 22 November 2015

Return of the Blogger

Hello, good people of the internet world, and especially my readers!

How are you all doing? I am very well, thanks for asking!

As you have noticed I haven't been around at all for a long time. I felt I needed a bit of a break, but I am back again now.

So much have happened, well, that was probably an exaggeration but some things have happened.

In my life of writing absolutely nothing has happened for a long time, which is why I needed the break, I just hit a wall when it came to all writing and I needed to re-evaluate it. What is it that I love about writing? Why do I want to write? For whom do I want to write? What do I expect from it? And other questions of similar kind have been floating around in my head. I don't have it all in place yet, but I'm getting there, and I know that when it all fits again I will have taken a step further up the staircase leading me to where I am going.

Unfortunately this means there will not be a book released this year, but don't worry, it will be there when the timing for it is right.

My personal life is the same as before; the same boyfriend, cats and son; although we have been crazy busy at work which has left me exhausted and tired and with a lack of creativity and energy outside of work. It's not ideal but I do still love my job, mainly because of my amazing colleagues. I am so happy to have them in my day-to-day life.

So, what about Home Free? I know you are all wondering, because let's face it, this blog has become in big parts a blog about them.

Well, they are currently on a break between their Don't It Feel Good Tour that ended about a week ago, and their Home Free For the Holidays Tour that begins on the 1st of December and will be leading up to Christmas. After that they have a break before coming to Europe! Yay! We are ready for them!

Oh, and I'm sure you all know by now that they finally released more dates for Europe but here it is if you didn't;

  • 27th of January; Birmingham, England
  • 28th of January; St Andrews, Scotland
  • 29th of January; Dublin, Ireland
  • 30th of January; London, England. 
You can get tickets to all the shows except the London show at their website. The London show is sold out as far as individual tickets are concerned, but you can still see them if you get the (full) Festival Pass for the London A Cappella Festival. The Festival Pass is more expensive, but will give you access to a whole lot of other acts like Naturally 7 and the Swingles as well as workshops and some other fun activities. You can find more information about the Festival and the Festival Passes on their website

Y'all know I have a VIP ticket, and my sister has a front row ticket, for London, but you might not know that we also have regular tickets for the Birmingham show. Yiiipppiiiiee!!! After all, that will be their real European debut, and I just had to be there for it! And thanks to the same Fry Angel Friend that helped me get my VIP ticket, we have at least a chance of getting to the Birmingham show in time before the show starts without having to pay for a 2-2,5 hour taxi ride.

You see, it is a matter of things falling perfectly into place; my sister's flight need to be on time, her luggage need to arrive on the belt quickly and the weather and the traffic need to be on our side too. My Fry Angel Friend is picking us up at the airport on her way to the show. If everything falls into place smoothly she should arrive there at about the same time my sister gets through customs and everything, and I am completely confident that they will, because, why else would things be naturally lining up like that. Send everybody that might have an effect on the outcome some love, you know; pilots, other airport staff, other people in the traffic and so on! Thanks!

On to other subjects; we are coming up to Christmas. Hooray! In Sweden we have the tradition of Advent with the four Sundays leading up to Christmas Eve (which is when we celebrate Christmas), and next Sunday is the 1st Sunday of Advent. This means putting up at least some of the Christmas decorations. I can't wait,

But, as someone who used to live where it was snow, darkness and pretty lights in all the windows during December (Swedes put electrical candles in their windows that light up the darkness) finding the "right" Christmas feeling is more work when living somewhere where it is blue skies, sunlight and a lot warmer. It doesn't come as naturally because all of those things are a part of it. So, I have to find ways to build it up deliberately instead.

Over the years I have found that smells, tastes and sounds are most important, so beginning next weekend I will start baking traditional Swedish Christmas yummies such as saffron buns and ginger snaps. Or maybe I'll buy some of it, because I can and it's less messy and saves time. The Swedish Christmas food is quite traditional, but I'll get into that some more when we're getting closer. Next Sunday our friends will be over for some Christmas dinner planning, some Glögg (mulled wine) and some saffron buns and ginger snaps. This is when Christmas becomes real every year.

Another very important thing to me this time of year is the music. I have to have Christmas music! I love Christmas music, always have and always will, and of course, Home Free has some of the best Christmas music out there. And, yes, I am partial because I already love them, but over the next month I will be sharing their Christmas music with you, just because I've been waiting to do so for months now, so if you haven't already heard their Christmas songs prepare yourself for some ear goodies!

First out is the newest one. I had never heard this song before we heard that they were going to collaborate with the one and only Kenny Rogers on it for Kenny's new Christmas album (another great album, btw) Once Again It's Christmas. I of course looked it up on YouTube and I didn't really like it. So, I was a bit skeptic. Of course, I should have known better. After all it is Home Free, my greatest music love of all times, together with one of my first loves in music. Kenny Rogers (and Dolly Parton) was my introduction to country music when I was just a kid and I have loved his voice ever since. Now, having said that; I still wasn't too excited when I first heard it, but I bought it and put it on my playlist, and the more I heard it the more I liked it. And now, now I absolutely love it. It is happy and fun and it has the trademarks of Home Free's unbeatable beats and unbelievably tight harmonies along with the strong, raspy and yet smooth voice of Kenny Rogers. The video shows the five men of Home Free looking sleek, all decked up in suits and vests, and Kenny with his white hair and beard in a red shirt and cowboy boots in the middle, like a countrified Santa Claus. It is perfect and simple and distinguished. It is Christmas. So, even if at first listen or look you don't really like this song, give it a few listens. Feel the song, hear the fun and the different parts of it. The details are so much fun in this song.

Anyway, that's it from me for now. I am glad to be back. I'll see you soon. Have fun, spread the love and take care!

Here's "Children, Go Where I Send Thee".