Tag Archives: party

I’d love to have a glass, but I’m the designated driver

At a party a few weeks ago where I happened to be the designated driver, this was one of the drinks served. I chose the right party to volunteer to not drink alcohol.


Parent tip

Next time your kids have a party, introduce the “phone bowl!” Works great for having guests actually interact with each other!


A quiet New Year’s Eve

I’m not sure if it’s age or lack of sun, but almost everyone I know in Stockholm (including me) just wants to spend a quiet New Year’s Eve with their family this year. Oh, we still plan to dress up, eat a fancy dinner and have champagne, it’s just that … I’m not sure, maybe we just want a relaxing night where we can be ourselves and not worry about impressing other people. Or maybe we’ve reached the age where we are able to do exactly what makes us happy, which tonight is playing games, laughing and enjoying good food & drink with the people we truly love most in the world.

… Or maybe it’s just way too cold here to head out to a New Year’s Eve party in the snow wearing pantyhose and high heels.


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Sure, the green nail polish felt summery and fresh until the lady at the party offered me a napkin so I could “get that avacado dip off” my nails.


Grocery shopping in Texas

On our recent trip to Texas, I was in the grocery store buying a vegetable platter for a party. The man in line ahead of me bore a great resemblance to “Uncle Jesse” on the Dukes of Hazard, complete with blue jean overalls. He glanced at my vegetable plate and then turned to me and said, “I’d eat yer vegetables, but I ain’t got no teeth!”

(And sure enough, he did not have any teeth.)

Then, because apparently buying a vegetable platter means you’re a health food nut, he started in on why he doesn’t like sushi.

“I tried them sushi things once. Don’t care for ’em. I hear sushi gives ya worms.”

Thanks Uncle Jesse. You’ve just ruined both sushi and vegetables for me. This is why I’m looking forward to online grocery shopping.


Indoor Play Centers – A 2-hour Lord of the Flies Experience

This past weekend, my child was invited to a birthday party at an indoor play center. These centers are great, especially in places like Sweden where we don’t always have the option to play outside weather-wise.

Many parents host parties for their children at these places, and I had to drop my youngest at one of them last Saturday. Upon entering the facility, I lost him in a matter of seconds as he dashed into the sea of screaming children throwing plastic balls, riding tricycles, and bouncing out of trampolines. I went on my way to the adult indoor play center (the local mall) and returned to collect my son after two hours.
Do you know what happens when you load about 200 kids into a play center all hyped up on cake and candy? It’s a tiny war-zone. I waded through crying, limping children fighting over foam pillows and shoving aside the weak in order to be first to the air cannons (which are never aimed at the painted targets, but are constantly focused on other children with slower reaction times). After ten minutes, I found my son at the top of a bouncy slide. There were 4 other children up there as well. I watched one boy shove my son into the side of a wall and then KICK him down the slide. I picked up my stunned child and carried him above the madness as quick as I could to the exit. Sure, I could have climbed up the slide to yell at the offending kid, but as he and I both knew, I would have met the same fate as my son. The best strategy was a quick escape.
My son and I broke through the outer doors into the rainy afternoon and praised our daring escape, following it up with a long nap once we got home. I can only hope that his friends managed to make it out with minimal injuries and psychological trauma. The war of “Captain FunTimes Play Center” will be commemorated in our home each year as we celebrate our narrow escape and remember those who lost their dignity, bravery and possibly their pants to the ball pits and bouncy slides.
Photo: Getty Images


My son is going to a party at his school this evening.  No, it’s not a Valentine’s party.  Because this is Friday the 13th, it’s a HORRORtine’s party!  What a great idea!

I remember Valentine’s Day in school back in Texas. You had to worry that you wouldn’t get a Valentine.  If there actually was a dance, you had to worry about getting a date.  Too much love in the air and too much disappointment.  Not a good combination for pre-teens or teenagers.

In college, one of my friends went to a school that would have a President’s Day dance instead of a Valentine’s dance.  Yet another good idea.  Lots of people dressed as Abraham Lincoln.  Less intimidating.

So this Valentine’s I have to search for some devil horns and facepaint as the theme to my son’s school party is “Good vs. Evil.”(He informs me that everyone in his class plans to dress as evil.  “It’s just more fun.”)


Duck bachelors

Every day I walk on the edge of a nature reserve near our neighborhood.  For 3 years, now a pair of Mallard ducks have made their spring/summer residence in a large puddle near the sidewalk.  Technically, this puddle is almost a small pond and I’m not going to ruin their home by pointing out that it only exists because of mud and rain.

A few weeks ago, the Mallard couple turned up again.  It was a nice sign of spring returning and I was happy to see them.  Each day for a week, they swam around, having a nice chat.  But the second week, the female disappeared only to be replaced by 2 more males.  And when I walked by this week, there were 4 males and no signs of females.  In my mind, the couple got into an argument and the female stormed off.  She’s probably tired of having to chase off the magpies while the male sits around ordering bread baskets and the latest feather maintenance products. The male’s friends heard about this and are now gathering around to make it a rockin’ bachelor pad (puddle) to cheer him up.  “Don’t worry about her man, she was always rufflin’ your feathers!  There’s other ducks in the lake!”

My husband says the females must be off laying eggs, but he just doesn’t understand human duck nature the way I do.

Male Mallard Duck Race

Let’s make party

We are soon staying in an apartment on vacation through AirBnB – a website where people can rent out their apartments.  I was just checking the one we chose to learn more about the area.  The host writes:

“You have awesome possibilities to have a nice dinner, or drink something in a bar or make party. ”

Yes.  We shall make party.

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I got one year left to be in my 30s, starting….NOW!

Today is my birthday.  I’m 39 years old.  I have one more year to check off the boxes on forms that say 30-39.

Goals for age 39:

1. Get carded at least 3 times at the liquor store.  C’mon… I can still get away with it, right?

2. Continue to ignore getting a cholesterol test so I may continue eating nachos throughout the year.

3. Add more video games and movies to my daily routine.

I’m offline now.  Time to drink champagne, eat chocolates and be completely irresponsible.


Halloween is the 31st!

As usual, I like to complain each year about Sweden not understanding that Halloween is one day, not a week or 2 weeks.  It also never falls in November.

Most Swedes just find the closest weekend to celebrate which normally ends up being in November.  This just doesn’t work for we Americans.  Halloween is ONE DAY.  Once it turns November, we are magically not in a Halloween mood anymore.  Novemeber has nothing to do with Halloween.

Of course we are invited to a Halloween party on November 1 this year.  It’s nice to actually get to go to a party and I’m sure it will be fun.  My plan is to set the clock so that October 31 runs 48 hours and I can enjoy the party without wondering why I’m dressed as a zombie in November.



Halloween costumes

Next week is fall break here in Stockholm – much like spring break, but in the fall…. yeah, you get it.  Anyway, because so many kids are going to be out of school next week, most kids get to wear their costumes to school today (Friday).

I have tried to convince my children to dress up as insurance salesmen, but they aren’t going for it.  I really thought it would be simple and we have a lot of ties.  I do have to praise my youngest who offered to be Bruce Wayne instead of Batman.  Good boy.

As for myself, I’m going as a vampire or zombie – depends on how the makeup turns out.  The rest of the building will believe I am a typical Halloween monster, but I know the truth.  My outift symbolizes the blood drained from my system in a soul-crushing workplace where we all must follow orders like mindless zombies.  But when my boss asks, I’m Dracula.



Party in Aisle 3

This past weekend I went to a book-release party in the book department of a department store.  This has to be the strangest place I’ve ever been for a party.  I’m fairly sure that whoever runs the department store must have realized that everyone would be using books for coasters and potato chip plates.  Even stranger was that there were 2 bands performing.  This was not a bookstore or a large book section; it was a small crowded book department.  The screaming singer was crawling on the floor between the displays for Fifty Shades of Grey and Pokémon Adventures (an odd combination to have next to each other anyway – but maybe not….. I haven’t read either).   It really took away from the atmosphere they were trying to create.

I started wondering how you could ruin other parties just by location.  Nobel award dinner at McDonald’s?  80th birthday party at a butcher store?  Retirement party at the pharmacy?  For myself, I’m planning my 40th at the airport security line.





One of the cultural differences I noticed when I moved to Sweden is that Swedes will never take the last of anything.  If you attend a Swedish party, by the end of the night there will most likely be 1 chip left in the bowl and one tiny slice of cake.  On Christmas there is only one candy left in the candy box by the end of the evening.

This week at my office, I brought a bowl of jelly beans from my recent trip to Texas.  When I came to work the next morning, there were 2 small jellybeans left in the bowl.  They stayed there all day until someone else brought in a bucket of candy and I tossed them in there.  (Yes, by the end of the next day, the new bucket had one piece of candy left sitting in it.)

Later in the week I brought 4 leftover cookies from a batch I made at home with a note saying, “Please help yourself.”  I wasn’t surprised when I came in the next morning to find one cookie left in the bag.  However, by lunchtime the cookie was missing.  I asked around and found out that a co-worker from Poland had taken the cookie.  It’s good that we have such an international staff or we’d be left with one of everything.

The good thing about all of this is that when we have a family gathering, I can always take the last of everything.  That last piece of candy at Christmas, the last piece of birthday cake – I just smile and say, “I’m American so I’ll just be taking this here.”

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