The Melody Festival is an annual music competition organized by Swedish public broadcasters Sveriges Televisin (SVT) and Sveriges Radio (SR). It determines the country's representative for the Eurovision Song Contest, and has been staged almost every year since 1959. Since 2000, the competition has been the most popular television programme in Sweden; it is also broadcast on radio and the Internet.

When I grew up it was sent as one programme but in 2002, SVT introduced a competition with semifinals so the potential number of contestants are now from around twelve to thirty-two. This makes it even more exciting. It all starts on Saturday the 3rd of February and the the final is on the 10th of March. Are you ready for some Mello Fever?


1. Sigrid Bernson – Patrick Swayze
Song writer: Andrej Kamnik, Josefin Glenmark, Peg Parnevik, Sigrid Bernson

2. John Lundvik – My Turn
Song writer: Anna-Klara Folin, John Lundvik, Jonas Thander

3. Renaida – All The Feels
Song writer: Laurell Barker, Jon Hällgren, Peter Barringer, Lukas Hällgren

4. Edward Blom – Livet på en pinne
Song writer: Edward Blom, Thomas G:son, Stefan Brunzell, Kent Olsson

5. Kikki Danielsson – Osby Tennessee
Song writer: Sulo Karlsson, Kikki Danielsson

6. Kamferdrops – Solen lever kvar hos dig
Song writer: Herbert Trus, Danne Attlerud, Martin Klaman, Krstoffer Tømmerbakke, Erik Smaaland, Kamferdrops

7. Benjamin Ingrosso – Dance You Off
Song writer: Benjamin Ingrosso, MAG, Louis Schoorl, K Nita


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This year the Christmas/New year´s trip went to Sri Lanka. We have been here once before, in 1994, and we said then that we had to go back. We loved it then and we loved it now. My favorite hotel chain, RIU, recently opened a hotel in Ahungalla, Sri Lanka so we booked it. The Hotel Riu Sri Lanka is located on a magnificent beach set against a stunning backdrop. The all-inclusive hotel's gastronomy stands out because of the wide variety of options available. There is a Italian and Asian dishes, as well as local Sri Lankan cuisine.

After arriving at Colombo airport a 2 hours bus trip was waiting to get to Ahungalla. To our surprise nothing had changed in 23 years. The infrastructure was still as bad as in 1994, poverty, in general dirty and scratchy. Yes it was same same but in some way different. The people is very friendly and curious and anxious to sell you whatever they have to sell. Last time we travelled with Ving but this time we travelled with Tui. The excursions were the same as last time so we mostly spent the days soaking up sun and strolling on the beach.

There is something magic about Sri Lanka, the drop under India. The island is home to many cultures, languages and ethnicities. The food is divine, the heat is unbearable but yet so sweet, the sunsets so beautiful and the people so charming. Sri Lanka was famously described by Marco Polo as one of the finest islands in the world, and I am willing to agree.


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A few weeks ago I turned 50, and do you what, I was exited about it. It is a life time milestone and it feels great. You know when you were younger and you thought that people in their 50s were older than dirt...but I don´t feel old at all. I feel young and full of life and that the best is yet to come. My real birthday is on the 12th of November but I started the celebration already the 1st of November. I was invited to the most delicious lunch by the famous Swedish chef Björn Franzén at Bobergs matsal, NK in Stockholm. After lunch I got my first prezzie, a beautiful Michael Kors bag.

Between the 9th and the 13th of November, Mats and I had wonderful days in Spain house hunting. So my birthday was spent in Torreblanca with sunshine, sangria and Spanish food, just the way I like it. At night we had my birthday dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant in the old parts of Malaga (sorry about that but Italian food are better than Spanish). The dinner was delicious and we had the best service all night. (if you want to read more about Spain, see my earlier post).

The real 50-years party was held on the 18th of November together with my brother-in-law Rickard who turned 40 this March. We set up a Country & Western theme party with 60-ish guests and we had a blast. Everybody had really gone all in to fix their clothes and hats for the night and there were cowboys and indians all over the place. We locked the door 4.45 am after a successful night full of laughter and dancing.

After the 12th of November I have been celebrated here and there in a lot of different combinations. My work mates at Tegelviken surprised me with a really cool picture and wine. The principal gave me a gorgeous orchid, I have been invited to dinners with friends, I have been invited to Icebar Stockholm and so many birthday fikas that I lost count. So to sum this up I must say that it is a bliss turning 50. And the best part is that I got so many nice prezzies that I have not used yet so next year is going to be filled with usage of all the gift certificates and trips that I got.

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Mats and I we have been talking about buying (if you ask me) or renting (if you ask Mats) a house on the warmer parallel for quite some time now and we have agreed on looking at Spain. There are millions of houses on the market right now but the most important thing for us is to live in a nice, cosy, picturesque area. I can see myself sitting at the local restaurant, sipping my sangria and eating my tapas in a narrow alley with the bougainvilleas hanging like pink clouds over me.

So the house hunt, or rather the area hunt has started. We decided to kill two birds with one stone and take a trip to Spain in conjunction with my 50th birthday. I said, "Let´s go down south to Malaga and start there", he said "Let´s go up to Alicante and start there".....so Malaga it was. We stayed at Malaga Barcelo Hotel just behind the Maria Zambrano station which was an excellent outpost for our excursions.

Arriving to Malaga was a bliss, the weather was like a fine Swedish summer day, +24 C and a warm breeze. We stayed on the Malaga coast, Costa del Sol, for 5 glorious days and visited so many villages, small towns and beaches that we lost count. But there was some of the places that really caught our eyes and hearts. La Colina, Torremolinos, El Pinillo, Benalmadena, Torreblanca, Los Boliches, Fuingerola, La Cala and Calahonda. The place that I fell in love with was Nerja.


We decided to go to Spain this time of year to see how the small towns were off tourist season, if they were dead or alive. I mean we do not want to live in a closed down village half of the year. But to our surprise it was still pacey at most of the places. Costa del Sol - checked.

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Day 4 in Nashville was spent at the Johnny Cash museum after having a fantastic breakfast at Biscuit Love. The original location for Biscuit Love opened in 2015 in a popular shopping and dining area of Nashville known as The Gulch. Lauren and I went here earlier this week just to have some "fika" and we loved it so we thought we go back for a breakfast.
The Johnny Cash Museum features the world's largest collection of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia in the world. We spent a whole afternoon walking through the life of the Man in Black depicted in interactive exhibits, films and much more. Exhibits spotlight different periods in Cash's life, including his years in the Air Force, his marriage to June Carter and his famous prison concert tour.

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Nashville has always prided itself on its music, food and an overall amazing atmosphere. But now its insanely talented wall art has taken a hold on much of the culture. There are countless Instagram photos dedicated to showing off the street art Nashville has to offer. If you ever find yourself in Nashville and have some spare time between visiting amazing restaurants and taking in the country music history, stop by some of these beautiful works of art.

For example in The Gulch, the artist Kelsey Montague has painted big angel wings on a black wall. See more of her here http://kelseymontagueart.com/nashville-whatliftsyou-wings/

Lauren and I spent a whole day mural hunting and we found some amazing art on the walls of Nashville (see pics below).

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Today we visited the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, also called the “Smithsonian of country music”. In the museum’s core exhibition, Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music, visitors are immersed in the history and sounds of country music, its origins and traditions, and the stories and voices of many of its honored architects. The exhibition is revealed through artifacts, photographs, and text panels, with a rich overlay of recorded sound, vintage video, and interactive touch screens. Here you can find all there is to know about country music.



The museum also has a "Hall of Fame Rotunda" and it was designed to recognize Hall of Fame members in a style befitting the high honor of membership. Everyone recognized here is an equal. The reason why the room is round is round to ensure that every Hall of Fame member has a place of equal importance.

Read more at http://countrymusichalloffame.org/

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My friend Lauren and I make a trip somewhere every year. For no reason our trips have been to different places in the USA. Last year we explored the Grand Canyon since she conveniently live in Phoenix, just a couple of hours from Sedona. This year we planned on going to Nashville, the Mecca of country music.....and we do love our country music. Lauren listen mostly to Georgia Florida Line, Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean but I am more into Dixie Chicks, Lady Antebellum and Rascal Flatts.

Lauren had booked a Mustang for us to get around in, however when she was picking it up at the airport she got a yellow Camaro instead.....potato potato. We named the Camaro, bumblebee. The first day we explored downtown Nashville. We checked out the most famous Honky Tonks like Tootsie´s. Tootsie's has three stages that host live local talent day and night; covering modern day country music. If you haven´t been to Tootsie´s you haven´t been to Nashville so naturally we stayed there to have a drink and burger. Everywhere country music were playing and the atmosphere was just great.

In the afternoon we drove to Lynchberg to visit Jack Daniel´s distillery, it was just 30 minutes outside town. We had the best guide ever that told us everything about whiskey making. Good whiskey and a good story go well together, and we enjoyed both as we were walking through the Jack Daniel’s Hollow guided by one of their seasoned storytellers. The tour ended with a little tasting session. The visit was so worth the drive, read more at https://www.jackdaniels.com/


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The banana tree is the largest flowering herbaceous plant in the world so that makes the banana a berry. Bananas are grown by millions of small-scale farmers and plantation workers in tropical regions. They are the staple food for millions of people in developing countries and the favorite fruit in our grocery basket. But when buying bananas do you think about the working conditions of the farmers, if the bananas are organically grown or do you just care about the price?

In Sweden we eat 17 kg bananas pp/year and as a consumer it is you who have the power, the power of choosing the right banana. There is really just three things two choose between, organic, Fairtrade or cheap. The organic banana stands for sound, natural environment, solid care for animals, good health and social responsibility. Fairtrade stands for bananas that has been produced by small farmer organizations or plantations that meet Fairtrade social, economic and environmental standards. And cheap stands for "I don´t care".

If you hesitate watch the film, Bananas, that is recorded on behalf of twelve Nicaraguan banana workers, tackling Dole Food in a ground-breaking legal battle for their use of a banned pesticide that was known by the company to cause sterility. After watching it you will never ever eat a non organic vegetable again.


http://www.bananasthemovie.com/ see the whole film here!


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One of my favorite Swedish fashion designer is Gudrun Sjödén. Her concept is to have as many of her products as possible produced in an environmentally-friendly way, not just a limited and exclusive line. One of the trademarks of her work through the years has been the focus on sustainable design and the inspiration she finds in nature’s flora and fauna.

Environmental awareness has evolved over the decades, wandering in and out of fashion, Gudrun says. From the first tentative, almost unfeasible efforts of the 1980s, through her first eco-collection in the 1990s to today, when green is taken for granted. Gudrun Sjödén Company believe that the small steps enables to achieve the big results.

I just love the feministic, flowerish patterns her clothes offer and the fact that all clothes are manufactured in an environmental material does not make it worse. Go green, go Gudrun🌷

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