Living the Dream

4 women 4 cities 4 goals

July 29, 2014
by Viveka
0 comments

Rio recap

So as you’d know if you follow me on Instagram, I had the good fortune of attending the World Cup final in Rio a couple of weeks ago.

Going to Brazil for the biggest sporting event in the world, was something I had been thinking about for quite a while, but as is usually the case for me, it was all done in a whirlwind last-minute frenzy, 7 days before the event itself. It felt like a dream, finding out I had a ticket for what must have been the most sought after game in the world, picking up my new passport, 4 days before departure, and booking the flight and accommodation after that. But it all worked out perfectly, and the dream continued as soon as I landed.

On arrival in Rio on the Friday night, I crashed out, but woke up full of beans the next day, and after my first Brazilian coffee to kick-start the day, I headed for the beach, and the magic started from there.

Walking to the southern end of Leblon Beach where I was staying, I suddenly felt compelled to turn around, as I realised I may be able to see Christ behind me, and when I did, and saw him towering over the city, it was every bit as impressive as I had imagined. I couldn’t help but have a little SATC moment, squealing at the mere sight of it, and I realized this was once of those moments you just had to savour so I remained on the side of the road, with my tears of joy and feelings of happiness and gratitude for a good few minutes.

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This was my first sight of the statue, which was to become my obsession…

Brazil are the champions of fresh juice-making so I used the only Portuguese words I know apart from Thank You (Obrigado) and ordered a fresh pineapple juice (suco de Abacaxi!) which I enjoyed while overlooking the full length of Leblon and Ipanema Beaches.

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Next up I decided to walk along these famous beaches, and they didn’t disappoint. While strolling along and enjoying the sight of locals and tourists playing sports and having fun in the sun, I came across a volleyball court that seemed a bit busier than the rest. On closer inspection I found that none other than my old ‘friend’ Fabio Cannavaro was here playing with his illustrious buddies.

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You may recognise him from such iconic images as this one…

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Filming an interview at Real Madrid training ground in Barajas, Madrid. 

or this one…

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Lifting the World Cup with the Italian team in Berlin in 2006.
Image courtesy of www.italianfootballdaily.com

The bench was every bit as glamorous and a veritable who’s who of ex-World Cup players lined up to watch the casual game; from left to right Vieri (Italy) (hiding under a towel), Thuram (France), Veron (Argentina) and Davids (Holland) (totally checking me out from behind his signature shades… or so we’ll pretend for the sake of the story…!).

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Stay tuned for Part 2 of my Rio Adventures.

 

July 23, 2014
by Carina
0 comments

On my way…

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Most Swedes have been coming here since childhood, but for me the first time was just three years ago. On that trip I wanted to find out if the island maybe had a house for us. We didn’t find what we were hoping for, but I don’t want to give up the thought of an easily accessible second home in a place where the sun shines a bit more often than it does in my neighbourhood.

And so, suddenly, at the spur of the moment, we booked a flight leaving in… well, seven hours later. I am not hoping to find a house this time either, but I am looking forward to just hanging out with some friends for a week.

The next 148 pages of STIL have just been printed in Milan and I feel that it is time to take some days off.

The island?
Mallorca, of course.

Need to start packing!

C

 

Image courtesy of iberiaplayas.com

July 22, 2014
by Viveka
0 comments

What goes up…

… must come down?

Seems like it at the moment anyway. After the extreme high of going to a World Cup Final in Rio de Janeiro, and discovering this amazing city, I guess I had it coming…

This is how I am spending my time at the moment:

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Regular programming resumes as soon as these take effect!

(In the meantime, a few teasers of my time in Rio are available via Instagram @vivekalivingthedream

Instagram

 

July 18, 2014
by Melanie
0 comments

My favourite thing about summer is…

What do I love most about summer?

Diving into the ocean.

Children and husband aside, the ocean is my favourite thing. Every time I stand before it, I am filled with peace and wonder.

I love plunging into cool, crystal waters; diving under crashing waves; tasting salt; being so small in such a vast space; and being cleansed – body and soul.

There is such joy in this perfection of nature, and I am reminded that life is magnificent.

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Image is Stephanie Kaser’s acrylic on canvas.

 

July 17, 2014
by Carina
0 comments

My favourite thing about summer is…

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I might be complicated in many situations. I might not settle for the easiest solutions and I very seldom stay happy with something that is only almost what I wanted.

But when it comes to summer, I have just one simple wish. To be able to wear my Havaianas and with that, have a reason to paint my toenails.
When I can do that, life is just a little bit better.

 

C

 

July 16, 2014
by Viveka
2 Comments

My favourite thing about summer is…

… (at this point I question the wisdom of such a statement as summer is so magical that it’s harsh to have to choose one thing, but at least one of my favourite things is); early mornings.

I am not a morning person by any standards, as those who know me well, know well. But if I was ever going to enjoy an early morning, it’s during summer. There is something about the light that is so gentle, refreshing and seductive.

And there is something about how the quiet sounds. In summer, in the right location, the early morning is quiet in a way that makes me want more. It’s like your private moment with earth, that helps you bond and reconnect. It makes me want to get up and savour every moment, knowing that it will energize me for the rest of the day, no matter how early it is.

Long live early summer mornings…

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Tomorrow, find out what’s Carina’s favourite thing about summer.

July 10, 2014
by Melanie
1 Comment

Happiness is…

This time of year is, for me, a time of reflection.

And for the past five years, I have done this by the ocean.

This year, I have been reflecting on what makes me happy. Truly, deeply, simply happy. Not happy as a mother or a wife or a woman, but as a spiritual being.

It hasn’t been hard to identify these things, although it has been harder to express some of them with clarity, even to myself.

But here they are.

1. Being called Mummy.

My children are that bit older now, and “Mum” is their most frequent refrain. So when I hear “Mummy”, my heart swells with every emotion all at once. All the love and pride and thanks and hope and fear that I feel for my babes smashes together in a perfect moment.

2. The Ocean.

Children and husband aside, the ocean is my favourite thing. Whether walking by it, swimming in it, sailing on it, gazing upon it, or even simply imagining it, the ocean fills me with peace, wonder and clarity. I love plunging into cool, crystal waters; diving under crashing waves; tasting salt; being so small in such a vast space; and being cleansed – body and soul.

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3. Music.

Whether its home alone, music blaring style; or in the car with the windows down and the volume up; or in a club; or just the slightest hint of a song playing in the distance that sweeps me up into a memory.

4. Moving.

Running, dancing, walking, cleaning, standing at my desk. Being still leads to itchy feet; moving keeps me balanced.

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5. Security.

This one has been a bit of a realization. I need to feel secure in order to feel happy. That is emotional, financial, and physical security, so quite a lot to manage at any given time. Mess with one of those and it deeply affects my psyche.

6. Doing things that count.

More and more often these days I find myself asking– “in 5 years, will anyone care?” De-prioritising those to which the answer is “no” is uplifting.

7. Looking through old photos.

Re-living memories reminds me that I am. Equally, making memories now makes me happy because I can foresee that future time when the now is so cherished.

8. Girls nights.

And all the carefree banter and stomach-aching-laughter that comes with them.

9. Rainy days.

I love a rainy day mainly because it gives me an excuse to stay inside and be lazy. And a rainy Sunday? Bliss!

10. Fresh bed sheets.

Even better following a shower after a busy day, or a late night.  (Changing into track pants after a long work day has much the same effect!)

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July 9, 2014
by Carina
1 Comment

There’s no place I’d rather be…

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…than in Stockholms Skärgård when I am at my weakest and most fragile and the Skärgård is in its very best mood.

This spring and the start of the summer have been tough. Hard and tough. Good in many ways, but I have also been through times that have been tearing me apart.

But this weekend I left my Mac Book (hard decision, but I brought my iPhone and my iPad and decided that I could manage a weekend with only those two devices) at home and went out to the place that heals me like no other.

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Friday afternoon – Bye, bye city! I have a V8 in my boat and I am going to use it (and an amount of fuel worthy of a space shuttle) to reach my destination.

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Friday evening – A toast with a cold Pol Roger (in a plastic glass) on a cliff far, far out in the archipelago.

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I was there. Besides taking photos of my shadow, I also went to an island big enough to manage a short, but hot, 5 km run. I needed it.

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The boat was there. It’s fast – a good thing.

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The compulsory dinner att Finnhamn was there.

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The seals were there. Actually I think the whole family was there this time.

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My new bag from Dagmar was there. Very compatible with the cliffs and the colours of the archipelago! Need one? Get it here.

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The two people I love most in the universe were there.

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And the sunsets were there.

I have travelled the world. I have seen more sunsets than I can count. But there are no sunsets like the ones far out in ”Stockholms Skärgård”.
If you yet haven’t experienced them – do it!

Now – back to ordinary life for a while. But this time with the belief that I will be back out there soon. Very soon.

 

C

 

July 8, 2014
by Viveka
1 Comment

Life is full of surprises…

And isn’t that what makes life so great. Some surprises are good, some are not so good, and some are downright spectacular. But either way, life itself always keeps us on our toes. Or as Mother Gump said; ‘life is like a box of chocolates’.

I’ve just had a very nice surprise in the chocolate box that is my life, which means time is scarce, and so I’ll keep it short but sweet, and add a promise of full disclosure very soon.

In the meantime, follow me on Instagram for news… @vivekalivingthedream

Instagram

But before I sign out, just a little something to continue on the theme from a couple of our posts last week (here and here):

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For more information about this campaign, go to: www.girlsummitpledge.com

 

July 3, 2014
by Melanie
2 Comments

All my life…

… watching America.

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You may have heard of Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. The Court ruled that “closely held” corporations are permitted to deny female employees insurance coverage for contraception, if the corporation’s owners are against contraception on religious grounds.

Like many others, I find a number of things about this ruling deeply concerning.

And yet again I find myself wondering – what is wrong with the US? They seem just so deeply out of whack?!

There is limited space here, so if you want to read some news coverage of what this is about, check this BBC link.

However, my feelings about this case and this ruling are –

  • A corporation doesn’t have a faith. Its owners may, but a for-profit entity is not capable of religious belief.
  • The ruling therefore means that owners of for-profit companies are free to impose their religious beliefs on others – and particularly on those that work to sustain their businesses.
  • Decisions about a woman’s health care should be made in a doctor’s office, not in a boardroom. As most women know, contraception is used for a variety of preventative health measures, not just for family planning purposes.
  • The ruling opens the door to employers being able to deny coverage of other essential health services – such as a child’s vaccine or a life-saving blood transfusion – based on religious beliefs.
  • It also opens the door to employers to discriminate on the basis of race and/or sexual orientation, if such discrimination aligns with their firmly held religious beliefs.
  • Lastly, and probably most significantly, the ruling fundamentally discriminates against women, particularly those who lack the financial means to pay for contraception out of pocket, and takes the US back closer to a time when women had no rights at all.

Regarding affordability of this healthcare, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in dissent, said: “It bears note… that the cost of an IUD is nearly equivalent to a month’s full-time pay for workers earning the minimum wage.”

 

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Image courtesy of BBC.com.

The First Amendment has been routinely flouted, with many arguing that America was founded on a Constitutional right of freedom of religion. Many have taken this a step further – saying that Americans shouldn’t have to abandon their religion simply because they own a business.

As it turns out, the Supreme Court agrees with that creative extension. I wonder what the Founding Fathers would think.

Unfortunately, the First Amendment doesn’t say anything about hypocrisy.

You see, whilst Hobby Lobby took the Government to Court because, on grounds of the deeply held religious beliefs of its owners, it did not wish to provide insurance cover to its female employees for contraception, the same company with those same owners is more than happy to invest in companies that make those very same contraceptives

 

God Bless America.