Last step tone class with Mario

I hate good bye's. I really really hate them!

As my membership at my old gym 20 hours Abbruzzi is expiring next Tuesday today I went to say good bye to the fitness instructor Mario. I have regularly been attending his step tone class every Thursday for almost two years, since I started at 20 hours. Mario's step tone class consists of 20 minutes of step aerobics followed by upper body and abbs work out.

Mario is that kind of fitness instructor knowing the names of the regular attendances in his classes. Even if we are around 30 people attending his classes he makes it feel more personal. He is great at motivating the people and make them do their best. People are not only training well during his classes but everyone has fun.

I am the well known Swedish Mary that he happily makes fun of in front of everyone. Few times I have got upset but most of the times I have liked it. I have always been standing in the front and I got to know his classes by heart. With his help I have learned how to do every single little exercise perfectly well and he actually used to say I am professional.

I will miss Mario and his step tone class a lot and my heart almost hurts when I walk out of the gym today. 

Now I gonna meet up with Stephanie for a nice aperitivo :-)



Cardio & tone light

The same fitness class can for someone be the hardest and best workout ever and for someone else attending the same class it can be just like a lazy warm up. It all depends on how committed and motivated you are as a person.

I am normally one of those jumping around most but instead I am not one of those choosing the heaviest weights to push hardest. I am normally highly motivated anyway and most of the times I try to make the most of the work out classes I attend.

Tonight I didn't anyway. I did everything but in the lazy way... When the others jumped high I just made a small little fake jumps. When the others pushed big wights I just had the smallest ones in my hands. I wanted to go to the gym both for not letting down Silvia that I had promised to join but then I felt I wanted to work out, just a little bit, so I did. And it felt good.



Keep calm and watch gossip girl

What a terrible day. It started off bad and did never got better. And I am not feeling better either.

The only positive thing of the day was the peak up of visitors this blog has got the last couple of days. The double amount suddenly. A less positive thing is the aggressive e-mails and comments some of you seems to feel free to send me, just because you have a different political point of view. ..

Tonight I am just staying home hoping that it will help me getting better. And now I gonna watch gossip girls with my flatmate. Just what I need, to watch something brainless to be able to totally relax. Good night.


Goverment-less Italy

Sunday and Monday's election in Italy ended up with no real winner. The center-left (Bersani) got slightly more percents than the center-right (Berlusconi) but no single party or coalition ended up getting enough votes to set up a majority government. The "standup comedian" Beppe Grillo got ca 25% of the votes while the above mentioned coalitions got around 30% each and as long as no one of these decides to shake hands with one of the others (small chance/risks) no Government can be created. So for now, Italy is goverment-less and for how long that will be case no-one seems to know.

I so wanted Monti to end up with more votes so he could end up joining the center-left coalition which for me would had been the only real good outcome of this election. Now there is a risk (quite small anyway) that the comedy star Bebbe Grillo (I rehesitate to take him seriously) joins the center-right side which would be a disaster.

The problem is that the (not very serious) Italy are the fourth biggest economy in Europe and it is therefore also very important for the whole European union economy. I feel sorry for the world being dependent of something as confusing as the Italian election...

What will happen next is so far very unclear... But I do have hope in president Napolitano, that he once again will find a good solution. Fingers crossed.


Not a good start

Good morning!

My morning has been everything but good....

The election results were not surprising but I feel disappointed and a bit sad anyway. Sad for Mario Monti. He has done such a great job to turn Italy around in the correct direction and the people are thanking him like that. The only non criminal Italy got in the election. The only normal one. The only good one.

Nothing to do. Italy and the Italians will never change. But maybe I should be happy? I will live a "better now" but then the Italians will live a worse future instead while I will move away...

Well. Then this morning my flatmate locked herself into the batchroom for 45 minutes and I couldn't get ready. Have to leave home without brushing my teeth. Bad mood.

Got to the train station and ALL the trains in my direction were suspended because of an incident. Sigh. Have to take the underground to the other side of Milan and wait for the train to go to work there.

Not a good start. And I am still sick! Now I am soon arriving to work, late. Will have a cup of tea and calm down before starting off the busy work day...



Italy has voted...

The elections are over and done and now we all want to know the results! As the results are equally important for the European union's future as for Italy's  the whole world is waiting for the outcome of this big election. Late tonight or tomorrow morning we will get it.

So far we only know that only just just above 50% of the Italians did vote. Crap weather conditions could have been a reason for it even if I would like to hope not. How much influence can 5 cm of snow have on the Italian population?



Grease musical in Milano

Grease lightning! :-)

It's the first time I go and see a musical in Milan. I saw so many during my years in London, the capital of musicals, that I haven't been interested to check them out in Milan. Bad move from my side. Yesterday I went and I so much enjoyed it.

I struggled to arrive to the theater because of the snow (yes, we still have snow in Milan, sigh) so I arrived in a very bad mood. I got a tall man in front of me so I got even more upset but then the show started and the happiness just flew over the whole public. People sang, danced and clapped their hands throughout the whole show just like they do in London. And the grease gang was great, fantastic voices!

Then... the whole show was in Italian. All the grease songs I know by heart in English was in Italian. In the summer night song they didn't sing "Tell me more, tell me more Was it love at first sight? Tell me more, tell me more Did she put a fight?" but they sang "Dimmi dai, dimmi dai, Quanto hai speso per te? Dimmi dai, dimmi dai, Le hai parlato di me?".

It was like I went to see "The sex and the city movie" at the cinema when I just arrived in Italy. Carrie talking in Italian was the most weirdest thing ever. Equally strange was it to see Danny and Sandy talking and singing in Italian. But after few minutes I got used to it and even if I knew the story it was like seeing a completely different show seeing Grease in Italian.

Now I wanna see more musicals in Italian!


Doing my best not to get sick...

Yesterday afternoon I wasn't good at all. Sore throat, coughing, blocked nose and tiredness. I could really feel I was getting sick... So I immediately started off my little self treatment with the amazing Beechams flu plus I got in London plus multivitamins, strepsils for the throat, many cups of hot tea and lots of freshly squeezed oranges and lemons. 

Today I am not feeling neither better but thanks god not even worse and I hope I manage to stop the cold that was blowing up.... 

Now I gonna take a nap and then get ready for tonight's big show :-)


Ragu and wheat

Like I wrote earlier, yesterday I cooked a massive ragu that will last for many meals. A part from making spaghetti bolognese of it my second favorite is eating pure boiled wheat together with the ragu. 

I know, it doesn't neither sound or look very good but it actually is very tasty. And healthy. 

I remember when eating it once, it was like a year ago or something and Torri came by and I asked him if he wanted some... He just looked at me like I was crazy and rejected my offer. But then he tried it from my plate and he ended up eating almost everything. So you see, it doesn't look very good but it really is.


Saturday 24th Feb 2013

Yesterday was Saturday and I hardly remember what I did. Feels like I did nothing but it is not really true. 

I woke up early, met up with Silvia and went to Virgin for a terribly hard hard Nike Fusion conditioning-class. At least it was real work out! The plan was to do two classes but after that one we were more than satisfied and decided to relax in the SPA instead of doing more workout. 

When I got home I spent a couple of hours to cook a ragu... Like 5-6 portions of ragu so now I will be eating ragu for some days, hehe.

In the afternoon I went searching for new glasses. Last weekend I forgot my glasses in the office and I felt blind the whole weekend so I decided it was time to get another pair. Also because my eyes has slightly changed since I bought the ones I got over 4 years ago... It took me more than two hours inside the Salmoiraghi e vigano-store to choose a pair that was ok. I choose the Ray Ban you see above but black! Fingers crossed they turn out nice as they cost 400 euro. 

Then in the rain I took a walk to Anna's place where we drank 2 liters of hot tea and ate an alternative style of dinner. Very nice though. Above you see Anna's massive tea collection that has grown bigger than mine and her soooooooo sweet little cats. 

When I got home, tired and cold I went straight to bed and watched the movie LOL until I felt a asleep. Someone told me LOL was so great but it honestly didn't give me anything. It was pretty and funny but nothing more than that. 

My rate:
( m m + )

That was my Saturday doing "nothing".... ;-)



Hiphop, spa and a night in

This afternoon I finished earlier from work and I went straight to Virgin village. I tried for the first time the hiphop dance course.... I love hiphop music and I love dancing to it. But to make a hiphop choreography was trickier than I thought. It was lots of fun but I can´t say it was much of a real training session. 

After the course I went to the spa and just relaxed. Not sure how long I stayed but it was so nice and calm. I just love it. 

Back home I ate and started to watch the movie "The vow", a romantic comedy based on a true story. Torri arrived in the middle of the movie but he didn't see much of it. But he made us some nice herbal teas at least. However, I really liked the movie. It was very sad but as it was based on a true story I believe it was beautiful. Very romantic.

My rate:
( m m m + )

Now I have to close everything and go to bed as I have promised Silvia to meet her at 10.30 tomorrow morning. Zzzz...



Italy should vote...

On Sunday and Monday Italy is voting. It is the big Italian election 24 and 25 February 2013 everyone (the whole world actually) has waiting for is finally here. The result is important not only for Italy but it is very important also for the whole eurozone and kind of important for the whole world economy.

Milan has since over a month been full of election posters and the TV hasn't done anything else than talking about politics. My head is exploding. Both because it is too much politics for my taste, but also because even if I have read as much as I could in the last few days and have talked to many different people I find it impossible to get the whole picture of this election.

To make is sound "dramatic" the Italians can choose in between:
- One soon 80 years old man that should not only retired but should also be put into prison
- One university professor
- One stand up comedian
- One politician that in the last weeks has been in the center of a bank scandal
- Then we had a big liar but he resigned just the other day....
I would have no clue who to vote for, that's for sure.

But I am not alone. They say 1 of 5 of the Italians still today doesn't know who to vote for. But the other day I found this website: Voi siete qui

I answered 25 tricky questions and got the result above. Apparently, I lean towards the center-left side and many of my opinions goes well together with the parties of Mario Monti. I am not overly surprised. He is the only one, according to me, able to get Italy moving towards in the right direction. According to his ideas the Italians would have to live a bit harder life for a while with higher taxes, higher costs and better controls.... But I do believe that is the only way Italy would be able to have a brighter future.

Unfortunately many Italians don't think like that, they have never done and will never do. They want to live good today, no matter what the future will bring. That is why the country is close to collapsing. Few years ago people has retired at the age of 40-45 years, can you image how high pension costs Italy has got today? Also, many employees, paid by the state, still today works part time and earns as they would do full time. School teachers works never more than 20 hours a week and earns over the average Italian full time salary. And they have got more than 3 months paid holiday a year as well.

But well, a small detail to all this is that I can't vote in Italy. But it is interesting to read and discuss the Italian politics anyway.

Here is a very interesting article from the Economist "Who can save Italy".
I agree with every word they say.



Lace pink fashion party

You can't live in the fashion capital Milan without attending some fashion events from time to time. When working at Rinascente I went a lot, I had more time and I also got more invitations. 

Now it was some time ago so when Matteo and his vip friend send me an invite to the Lace pink event I couldn't say no. It was a complicated process both getting on the guest list, getting the personal code to get the free pass and then to get in. It was almost only men outside when we arrived to Fabrii and I could easily slink in as a couple. Inside everything was free. Champagne, cocktails, food and the wardrobe. I got a free little make up done as part of the event. Actually everything was very nice.

The only thing, as it was only very good looking and kind of posh people that got on the list for this event and that manage to get in (don't ask how I manage to get on that list) it wasn't much of mingle around atmosphere but more hanging out with your friends and look at the others. But it was nice anyway. The little 60's dance/striptease show was quite fun as well.



Cardio & Tone with Silvia

One of the great things with my new gym, the Virgin Village, is the the massive range of choices it offers. Going to the gym directly from work means I am arriving there around 18.45 so for me starting a fitness class at 19.00 is perfect.

At 19.00 we have a choice of four different fitness classes and tonight Silvia choose for both of us and we did "Cardio & Tone". It is a tone up class focusing, like the name says, first a bit of cardio training involving a quite tricky aerobics choreography and then muscle training with lighter weights and more repeats. It means that the muscles will work out perfectly well but don't get pumped up too much.

The class was really heavy. Really good training. I enjoyed the choreography bit a lot and the toning bit less but all together I liked it. Good to know what Wednesdays can offer :-)



Hot bath, self treats and a good book

Got home late from work today. First I had lots to do at work so I stayed later and then there were problems/strikes in the train traffic so it took a while to get home. Got back late enough not being able to join Silvia for the latino dance class so instead I had dinner with Luisa and then when she went out I decided to have a little relaxing self treat evening.

I started off with a hot bath with a good book. Afterwards I felt so tired so I went for a nap on my bed while letting my eyes relax under a delighted eye masque. Now I am ready to go to bed and will just read a bit before sleeping. 

Pictures above:
1. Luisa's bath gel :)
2. My new favorite schampo and conditioner. L'Oreal Expertise Ever Strong. It has really helped my dry and damaged hair to keep stronger these hard winter months. Really good. And it lasts forever. 
3. Victoria Secret body butter. I love the Victoria Secret body creams but Amber Romance is not my favorite perfume thought. Far to strong and sweet for me. But it leaves the skin very smooth like all Victoria Secret creams. 
4. This absolutely fantastic eye masque is great for tired eyes. Shu uemura repairing eye masque. It freshens up, moisturize and helps against bags and dark circles around the eyes. Shu uemura can't be find in Italy anymore. I wonder who made that stupid decision? Their products are really great.
5. Me with the masque on.
6. The book I am currently reading


Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

I have now read the third and last book of the Hunger games Trilogy. The original title is Mockingjay, I read it in Swedish and it is called "Revolt".

This book starts of with lots confusing events, twists and turns and I guess it would be impossible to understand anything of it if you haven't read the other two books. As I had a gap of few months in between the second hunger games book and this one it took me some pages to get back on track and remember the story. Hmm, not a good start. But then the book gripped me and I happily read it all.

I really much enjoyed the first hunger game book while the second was still good but more of a disappointment. The third was nothing like the other two. The personalities were the same but I was waiting for a "hunger game" to start but it never did... There were some horrifying and intriguing scenes that made me kept reading but I must say I was expecting more from it.
One nice thing was that I felt it was easier to relate to Katniss, the lead character in this book. All she has and is going throw is terrible and I felt for her throughout the whole book.

I would like to add that I believe Suzanne Collins being a very good writer despite all. She has come up a totally original story and created a complete own world. The whole trilogy was for me unique, an action packed story nothing like anything else I have ever read. Maybe because it is my type of books, who knows. But I liked them a lot.



My Monday dance course

I have got some questions what kind of dance course I am attending each Monday and I realize I might never have explained it very well....

The dance class I attend is called Aero Dance and it is some kind of fitness dance course. The ballerina instructor sets up a new choreography each time that we have to pick up and then dance together. The music is normally commercial pop/house even if we have had lesions with african, bollywood or hiphop style.

Now I only have two Mondays left of my loving dance course and I know it will be hard to say good bye my last day. It has been one and a half year since I first started it so it has become a bit part of my life...



Sushi at ristorante Orba

Tonight it was time to try out something new! I took Stefano with me and went to a Japanese restaurant 10 minutes walk from my place, Ristorante Orba. Sushi all you can eat (nowadays most Japanese restaurants in Milan has it) for 18.50 - dessert included but sashimi excluded. Already there it got a big minus, my favorite is sashimi so how can they exclude it?

Well, Ristorante Orba was nice as a interior, very pretty actually. The staff was ok and and the sushi was ok but absolutely nothing special. 


Masterclass Zumba part two

Back at the zumba party weekend at Virgin Village I attended the "masterclass Zumba part two". It was similar as yesterday's class but suddenly today the room was full of "barbie girls".... 

Together with these fake boobs, fake lips and fake haired girls I was slightly better in the zumba moves compared to yesterday but instead I felt a bit pale and boring looking at the girls around me with perfect bodies, hair and make up. 

Anyway, not thinking about them I can now admit that I am suddenly a big fan of zumba. But if I gonna ad it to my weekly schedule of dances and yoga I feel I do too much cardio training and no straights/weights at all. Not good. I need a better plan...


Sanremo festival 2013

2013's Sanremo festival is over and done. It has been going on every single night this week and he big final was yesterday. I only saw the final and I was surprised to enjoy it a lot. Not all, but many of the songs were very nice and the winner was great. Yes, the right song won

The Sanremo final was seen by 14 millions of people, that is more than whole population in Sweden! And... a bit less than 25% of Italians population. Not bad. A big event in other words and I think they managed to make it very good this year. It felt up to date for being in 2013. Italy normally manage to get things done traditionally making these kinds of festivals the same since 50 years...

Marco Mengoni won with his song L'essenziale and you can hear it clicking on the link above. I love it. I got it on my phone already by the mid of this week as I liked it so much so I was happy to see him win. He will also be the one representing Italy in the Eurovision song contest in Malmö in May. It might be a to "normal" song to win it (there are always the strange ones winning) but I hope he will reach a good position anyway!

Now I am gonna go back to Virgin Village for another Zumba master clsss. I am all exited. 



Linguine with jumbo prawns, cherry tomatoes and chili


This is one of my favorite plates! Prawns and zucchini or like this prawns and cherry tomatoes. And it is so easy to make...

All you need is:
- Linguine pasta
- Fresh prawns
- Cherry tomatoes
- Extra virgin olive oil
(- white wine) - Makes it nicer but I skipped it today
- Chili, garlic, salt and pepper

Yammi dinner! Now I have my cosy dress on and will slip down in the sofa with a nice herbal tea and watch the San Remo- final on Rai 1.


Zumba party weekend

This weekend, the my Virgin Fitness Village is hosting some kind of zumba fitness weekend. I am not a big fan of zumba. The zumba classes I have tried has been ok but not as fun as the different kinds of fitness dancing classes where the focus is on the dance choreography. 

Today I joined a class called "Zumba masterclass". It was a zumba class at a slightly higher level with the best zumba instructor. That for sure was something else than the zumba classes I have done before. It was hard but so much fun. I felt like being on the beach dancing those silly group dances I love, it was just slightly more difficult moves. The music was great. The instructor girl even better. I had so much fun. 

Before the zumba I went running for 20 minutes. I just forced myself to do it even if I hate it.
After the zumba I did abbs and push ups. 
Then.... I went 1 hour to the SPA.

Oh I love my gym. It is my paradise. 


Efficient Saturday morning

This was my Saturday morning:

- Wake up 10am - Good morning Erima (the teddy)
- Tea time! Plus sandwiches and some yogurt
- Breakfast dessert - Swedish orange pepparkakor, love em!
- Went to "my" trailer to shorten up these two dresses
- Went to the shoe repair with three pairs of boots
- Massive food shopping and I got some nice fresh jumbo prawns for tonight :)
- Lunch: Soup with my favorit Italian bread
- Freshly squeezed oranges and lemons
- In the meantime I have also done three washing machines
- Now I am talking to my mum on the phone and soon I am off to the gym/spa



Pope Benedict XVI Resigns

In the beginning of this week the Pope Benedict XVI announced  his resignation. He is saying his reasons for this big decision is that he is tired and sick which would prevent him doing a good job as the Pope.

A good job? I ask myself, is being "a pope" a job like being a receptionist, a taxi driver or a politician? I thought they say the pope was chosen by god into that massive role of the leader of the whole catholic world? The Italian politicians (no names) don´t want to leave their jobs until they fall into the grave but the pope is now resigning like he was just anyone.

Rumors are anyway saying his reason to resign is something else. They talk about internal conflicts in the Vatican, "bank problems" or just emotional problems with the Christian population. I am curious to know the real reason but my opinion remains; A pope should not resign.

The pope Benedict XVI´s last day at his job is the 28th February and at 8pm he should walk out of the church for good. A new pope should be chosen around Easter. Interesting.


The Impossible - a true story

Yesterday I went to the cinema to see the movie "The Impossible" - a true story about a Swiss family surviving the tsunami disaster in 2004.

I went there thinking it was a action movie about a tsunami but I didn't know it was The tsunami and not that it was a true story either.

I ended up crying like a baby. And I wasn't the only one. It was like when I saw The Titanic at the cinema, half audience cried a lot.

In 2004 I had someone very special and close to my heart, there in the middle of the tsunami disaster, so obviously I felt it all very near. I remember the days after the tsunami as it was yesterday. Seeing the film yesterday touched me in a very special way.

It was a beautiful film. And knowing that it was a true story made it even better.

My rate:
( m m m + )



Dinner at Steppy's

It is freezing in Milan in these... The humidity is really high and the terrible fog is making the streets creepy... In other words not weather to spend time outside.

Today after work I went for a nice dinner at Steppy's place. Perfect timing for a little girl dinner I say!

Now I am on my way home and I better put the mobile down before I freeze my fingers off.

Pictures from today above
1. Steppy's fascinating Victoria Secret cosmetics collection
2. Steppy and I in the sofa
3. A ballerina cookie I found on my desk this morning from my sweet Swedish colleague
4. Photo at Steppy's place remembering of the amazing warm summer festival...

Good night



Cold snow and hot latino dance

Coming back from Stockholm to Milan weather wise was no difference... It is around 0 degrees and snow in Stockholm and it is the same here in Milan. I like snow but in Milan it just means lots of complications.
Tonight I was brave enough to go back to the latino dance course without Silvia. This time we mixed samba and reggaeton. I still can't get the samba moves but the reggaeton is more my style. Lots of fun anyway.
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