New week

The weekend just rushed by over-filled with friends, some training and a Sunday dinner at dad's. 

I spend Saturday evening at Zarah's with her, her boyfriend and an old friend from university that I hadn't seen in maybe 6 years. It was one of those "feeling-good" evening. We did more and less nothing... Drank lots of tea, ate ice cream and chatted but I left feeling very good and serene. 

On Sunday morning I went for what I thought would be a quick fika with my Greek friend Ioannis but it ended up being a very long lunch with him, Sandra and maybe 8 of his International friends from different part of the world. I realized that Ioannis is just as social as I am, the more the merrier, so it is just obvious everyone should be welcome to join when we organize something. 

In the afternoon I went for my second lesson of street dance. Sigh. I still feel crap. I don't have the right flow in my dancing style so I really have to practice, it's just that I don't think Stockholm has got any hiphop clubs where? 

The picture above is from a dinner at dad's place on Sunday evening. 



Vegetarian lasagna for the girls

Cooking my favorite vegetarian lasagna

The gang; Johanna, Arancha, myself, Laura and Cicci

Lasagna result :-)
Italian sfogliatelle

Celebrating Laura for signing a great new job contract

Great night with the girls!

I have been having cravings for vegetarian lasagna for a while and as I don't have a own at home it was decided that I would go to Johanna's place to make it and so, we made a little girl night out of it. Everyone contributed to the dinner with something and in the end we had loads and loads of nice food, cheeses, cakes and icecream to eat. Even if we ate like pigs I think we didn't even ate half of what we had. 

As Laura just signed a new contract for a great job we celebrated that with some champagne :-)



Dinner with my bff Erika

In life we have different kinds of friends. We have close friends that know everything about us. Friends we go out partying with. Friends we might share specific interests with. Friends we just meet and talk to rarely but when you actually see them it feels like it was yesterday you saw them last time. And there are friends, maybe less close, that you meet just once in a while to have a good chat. 

Erika for me has gone through all these stages of friendship. We have been those inseparable best girl friends at lower school. Then we ended up in different classes for few years and just met once in a while. Then at high school we got back in the same collage/class and became inseparable again. Party friends, training mates and she was the one that knew every step I took. Few years later once again we mostly met to go horse riding together. 

During my years abroad we have always kept in touch and every time I got home to Stockholm Erika was that adorable and annoying friend that did all she could to spend as much time as possible with me those very few days I stayed in town. It might have stressed me at times but at the same time I just adored her effort to spend time with... little me! That is true friendship.

We are two completely different kinds of persons but in common we got that we have strong opinions, we love to talk and discuss and we both have the courage to be able to say what we actually think about things (something we both hate when other people don't do...).

At the moment we are at completely different stages in life but I think and hope that won't change anything in our friendship!


(Ps. bff stands for best friend forever ;)


First time at my new choir

The other day I started my new dancing class which was one of my new year resolutions. Today I had my first "lesion" at the choir I will join which was another of my new year resolutions. 

I used to sing in a church choir when I was younger and I used to love it, but then other more "important" things filled my time so I quit. 
Then, when I lived in Ireland, my friend Matteo and I joined a gospel choir which was very interesting and fun as well but that was only for a three months period, since I haven't been singing at all expect from at home. I sing out loud daily at home ;) 

The choir I have joined this time is a pop and rock choir lead my the singer Caroline af Ugglas. Today it was mostly a vocal therapy lesson but we did sang the adorable song "Imagine".  
Caroline af Ugglas seems to be such a energetic, positive and funny person and I am really looking forward to be singing for her this whole semester!

The pictures above has nothing to do with the choir... They were taken today when I had dinner with Tobii at Texas Longhorn at Skånegatan. We both had massive and really yammy burgers which was well needed after my hour of "Shape" at Sats.  



Cinema night - Hundraåringen

Me out walking with Tobii this morning :)
Went with Laura to the cinema tonight to see "Hundraåringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann" (The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared). It is a strange film title but the movie was really beautiful and pleasant. It was a different kind of feel-good movie that really gave me many laughters. It is about coincidences in life, how one thing can lead to another when you less expect it. It is about enjoy every moment in life and see the positive in everything that appears.

I expected a good movie but it was much better than that. It gave me something more than just a funny comedy movie. As the book with the same title was a great success I will for sure read it, not now but in few months time. I bet it is a fantastic book.



Cozy evening in Huvudsta

Completely empty subway station on my way home... 

Huvudsta is a suburb north west of Stockholm city, more and less on the opposite side of the city from where I live. My dear friend Zarah just bought a beautiful flat in the area and tonight was the first time I went to see her it. We had dinner, ice cream and sat down talking for hours while drinking tea, just like we always do :-)

Huvudsta for me brings back lots of memories from my childhood as I spent very much time at the riding club in the area, Huvudsta ridklubb. I get warm just thinking about it. It was my favorite day of the week when I went there and I could spend the whole day not only riding but cleaning the ponies, help out at lessons and watching my friends riding. Dollar, Skelton, Zara, Perry, Joe are just some of the ponies who still fills me with love when I think about them. 
In some kind of way I have to start riding again this year. It is something I have been missing for so long so I just have to get back in the saddle as soon as possible, it is one of my 10 new years resolutions. 


Welcome back the old hiphop-Maria

Today I started my new street dance course that I gonna attend the next coming five Sundays. It was fun but really difficult. 

First of all I don't really have that hiphop feeling in me anymore. 10-15 years ago I only listened to hiphop music and I was much more into it than I am today. Secondly the choreography was  complicated and tricky to catch up. But it was my first time in a very long time so I can't really expect myself being the best but for sure it is a new challenge. 

Every Sunday at 4pm I will go to Globen to dance hiphop and in between these classes I gonna start listen more to hiphop at home to get the hiphop-flow in me... 

Welcome back the old hiphop-Maria! :-)


Hello winter!

As October, November and December passed by without any snow and with temperatures far above the normal I began to believe that we wouldn't get any real winter this year. Or maybe I wished for it. I was wrong, obviously.

It started snowing last Saturday and I was happy like a kid when walking around in the winter wonderland. It felt magic.

One week later it doesn't feel that magic anymore as I already had enough of the cold weather. I still like seeing the glowing white snow in the parks but I don't have a proper winter jacket and I suffer from the dropping temperatures. And I believe I am not alone as Stockholm suddenly feels empty. 

Yesterday I went out shopping and I had the stores all for myself, there were no-one around. And when talking with my friends most of them planned to stay in watching movies in the evening, and I did as well. Last night I went to a friends place at Östermalm, had a hot indian dinner and watched the movie Elysium. Quite cool movie actually. 



Skybar and Restaurant Dalanisse

Friday late afternoon and according the trendy Stockholmish tradition you should go for a "after work" (aw) with colleagues or friends. I don't work but sometimes I join in anyway even if I am not overly happy start drinking alcohol at 5pm in the afternoon, before dinner... 

Yesterday I met up with Johanna and Arancha for a drink at Skybar. I like that bar even if the staff is quite insolent, but the view is nice anyway!

Last Sunday was my adorable dad's birthday but as he has been away for ages down in Rome and just came back the other day we celebrated him with a dinner at one of my favorite Swedish restaurants Dalanisse last night. After dinner we went to my mum's place for the cake :-)

Now I just woke up and it is snowing heavily outside but I think I gonna pop away to the gym anyway... The snow is beautiful and cosy but it makes everything you wanna do much harder. Sigh.



Hot Mojo yoga

My loading kit before the Hot mojo class

Today was the last training session in our what Johanna and I called "our intensive training week" and to end it all in a hard, cool and hot way we decided to attend an hour of Sats Hot Mojo

Hot Mojo is a kind of Birkam yoga (yoga in a 38 degrees warm room) even if can say it is slightly different than "real" bikram. First of all it is only 55 minutes long while Birkam is always 90 minutes. Then I must say the exercises are a bit easier at hot mojo than they are at the regular birkam yoga session. However, hot mojo is one hour of yoga in a 38 degrees room and was challenging enough for both Johanna and myself. 

And... thinking about it, I can admit I actually prefer Hot mojo instead of Birkam, it is a little bit more on my own level as I keep fainting almost every time I attend Birkam.  



Vietnamese dinner at Noodlehouse

I just got back home from a really delightful and different kind of dinner with Anna.

It was Anna that proposed to visit the Vietnamese restaurant Noodle house for our late Christmas dinner together and obviously I was happy to try something new. We both ordered a hot Vietnamese noodle soup which was just perfect in these very cold days. I haven't eaten that much Vietnamese food in my life but now I want more of it. 



Winter walk and yoga

It has been a quite cold but at least sunny day so my mum and I went down to Årsta skogen (Årsta forest?) for a long walk this morning. I am so happy that I found what I could call a massive park or mini forest close to my place and I am sure I will go for many many walks there from now on. 

This evening instead I went to my usual "Wednesday yoga" class and I was a bit surprised how fast the level is raising higher. Among some almost extreme stretching poses we are now supposed to know (or at least try to do) some really hard yoga strengths poses. I really need to practice more to keep up with this yoga course...

Tonight I met Cicci, ate a good pasta, made a really nice smoothie and made some plans for this spring :-)


ViPR training and dinner at Caliente city

Our training week goes on... Yesterday we tried ViPR which is a new kind of group exercise class  at SATS which uses the training tool called ViPR - a hollow cylinder with many different grip options. ViPR's multifunctional properties make it a training tool that provides fitness, strength, balance, agility and mobility in a challenging combination. 

After just 10 minutes Johanna turned around and looked at me looking kind of painful and says "this is far over my level" and I must say I felt the same. Lifting and swinging around that ViPE thingy was far much harder than anyone could ever imagine. You reach using smaller muscles that normal people never uses and it was very tricky techniques to get as well. However, we manage to do the whole one hour of training class and was quite proud of ourselves when we got out. Don't think I will ever do it again though...

After the class we went for dinner at Caliente city. Caliente is my favorite tapas restaurant at ST Eriksplan so I was happy to try out their city restaurant. The food was equally good as at my favorite place but the place itself was slightly less cosy and much less crowded. 



Crossfit with Johanna

I guess that my blog this week will look like a proper fitness blog and that is because Johanna and I have decided to make this an intensive training week. 
Johanna is trying on a one free week at SATS so we will simply try to make the most out of it.

Sunday we did Sats energy which was mostly a cardio class so yesterday we did the opposite and join my personal trainer Andreas for his crossfit class. 

Crossfit is an highly intensive straights circle training program which for sure gives great results. Andreas will hold this class every Monday and I have promised I will try to attend at least once or twice a month which will be a real challenge. 



Making SATS-energy training video

Yesterday Johanna and I started our "intensive training week" together at Sats Hötorget. For seven days we will try out different fitness classes together every day. 

So, to start it off we choose SATS energy with Ari. I have never tried SATS energy before but learned it was a highly intensive and tough cardio training involving simple moves in fast pace. What we didn't know when we entered the class was that we would be part of a training video. The class that was supposed to be 55 minutes ended up taking the double time as we had to take some bit and pieces over again. When the camera man in the middle of one of the last songs for the fifth time stopped us complaining about something and said we had to do it once again I wanted to kick his head off though... But the whole experience of making a training video was actually quite fun and inspiring to give it all as I don't know how many people who's gonna watch me jumping around... 

I can admit both Johanna and I were extremely tired when getting out of the gym though, and I was very happy that my friend invited me for delicious pulled-pork-dinner at his place so I didn't have to cook myself ;)



Winter walk along Årstaviken

Pictures from my long walk along Årstaviken yesterday morning.

It might had been cold but incredibly beautiful!

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