Making S’mores with outdoor fire

I won’t sugar coat it, day camping is not always easy, specially when you’re accompanied by three children and its freezing cold outside. But at the same time it helps us all feel more relaxed while our body and mind can take a break from the hectic everyday schedule and readjust to the calm rhythm of nature: hiking in the woods makes time feel like its standing still and the best part for the kids is probably spotting animals (never gets borings to see their reaction!), embracing nature fully while hiking, and cooking simple things on a wood fire!

The is something natural almost instinctive that I experience every time we light up a wood fire as the sun is nearing sunset. We spend hours just gazing the vibrant fire, exuding such heat that can be felt on the face and warms up our my hands. Whatever thoughts was burdening your day don’t exist at that moment, all you can focus on is the moment. Pure joy, it warms your heart, literally!

I have wanted to make some proper American S’mores every since my kids watched it on Barneys & Friends. They were curios when they saw scouts make s’mores over an open fire. I promised them that we would have a go one day. The day has finally come.

I know that this recipe doesn’t require instructions, its pretty straight forwards. My reason for sharing our experience is to motivate you guys to do more outdoor activities. I hope our s’mores will tempt some of you guys to try it out with your families, or even alone.

Ingredients:
  • Graham crackers, broken into squares
  • Hershey’s plain milk chocolate bars
  • Large marshmallows
Equipment needed:
  • Long metal skewers (for roasting the marshmallows)
  • Bonfire, campfire, fire pit*
Instructions
  1. Take one large graham cracker and break it in half (one for the top, one for the bottom cracker).
  2. Cover one of chocolate cracker halves with chocolate pieces to fit the graham cracker.
  3. Put a marshmallow (or two) on the stick and hold it over the fire until roasted and slightly golden brown.
  4. Take the toasted (still on the stick), and lay it on the side of the graham cracker with the chocolate.
  5. Take the other half of the graham cracker and cover the hot marshmallow, pressing down firmly enough to pull out the stick.
  6. When the S’mores is fully assembled, wrap it in between two large sheets of foil placed on the corner of the campfire to keep warm, while making the remaining ones (it will also help the chocolate to melt a little bit more). Eat it warm while holding it like a sandwich.

5 Self defence tips for kids

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In the era of #metoo, it is more important that ever that we teach our kids ways in which they can speak up and stand up against bullies and harassment in all shape and forms.

if your child is unprepared and unaware of what bullying can look like, he or she might experience it and not be able to express whats happening. It doesn’t serve any child to be defenseless when it comes to bullying, and the best way to empower them is to prepare your child in advance. Have a conversation with your child on how to deal with bullying what the signs to look out for are before it happens.

When most people think of self-defense, they think of hitting back. the essence of self-defense has nothing to do using violence or striking someone. It’s about being aware of your surroundings, listening to your gut, knowing when to leave before a an issue gets out of hand and learning how to use a (confident) your voice and how to stand up for yourself. Here are five strategies children can use to defend themselves against bullies.

Trust your instinct.

Teach your kids to be aware of their surroundings. If something doesn’t feel right it’s important to be more vigilant. It is crucial that we teach our kids to listen to the inner voice and pay attention. Being aware of what’s going on around them will help them assess a situation based on the information their surroundings is giving them. Trusting their instincts will not only will help protect your child from bullying but it is also an important life skill. The earlier they can learn to be aware of it the easier it will be to trust their instincts.

Building Confidence.

A great way in preventing bullying is to build self-esteem in your child which will give them a boost in confidence. Having good posture, making eye contact and verbal assertiveness by speaking up when necessary. By contrast, if a child slouch and keep their eyes averted, it can make them appear to be an easy target. Work with your children on these techniques. And awaken the power that lies within so they don’t feel helpless.

Flight over Fight

Too often children have hard time realizing when asituation is heading in the wrong direction and when to walk away. Our job as a parents is to teach them that walking away from a bad situation is not being weak or cowardly. On the contrary, it takes courage to walk away from a situation that is escalating.

Using self-defense techniques

Although you shouldn’t encourage your child to fight, there are certain self-defense techniques they can use to protect themselves when attacked. For instance, there are techniques for blocking a punch that is thrown at them. There are also techniques for removing a bully’s fingers from their wrists as well as techniques on how to get free when being restrained. And there are techniques on how they can defend themselves from a group attack. All these strategies can be learned in a self-defense class.
Remember, when teaching your kids about self-defense skills against bullies, encourage them to diffuse the situation by using a strong voice or walking away. Also, Make sure your kids know that it is acceptable and encouraged to make a lot of noise if someone is threatening them or hurting them.

Taking a Self-defense class.

One great thing you can do is to enrol your child in a self-defense class. There are many options out there for kids of all ages, find one that suits your child and where they can have fun. Your child will not only learn how to defend themselves, but also build their confidence and teach them discipline. Most times, diffusing a verbal bullying involves knowing how to respond verbal assertiveness with confidence before it can ever evolve to physical bullying. These are the steps we can all take as parents to teach our kids how to stand up for themselves.

6 ways new dads can make family-life easier

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1. Be a tower of strength

After birth, many mothers experience roller coaster rides of emotions. When the hormones go crazy again, it’s important to keep calm. It takes time for the hormones to settle again. Even well-intentioned pep-talk can cross over. Respond to outbreaks calmly and understanding & give your wife some time for herself.

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2. Daddy does it differently!

Fathers treat their children differently than mothers. And that’s just as well! Babies love and need that difference. Listen to your heart and stomach and combine this natural intuition with helpful tips. How to find your own way. Treat yourself to pure daddy days. Only you and your baby. This makes the bond even stronger and you get to know your baby from a completely new side!

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3. VIP diaper session

Just sneak off to work in the morning? That would be too bad! Take your child on the arm and enjoy the time together. Wrap up your baby, chat with him a bit and then put him to bed to mom. So your partner can wake up gently and you can spend valuable time with your baby.

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4. The work has to stay outside

It may be difficult after a hard day at work to take on all the fatherly duties. Try to keep the stress in the office and turn it off on the way home. Walk a short distance and buy dinner on the way so you do not have to cook at home. So you have more time than family.

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5. Men’s evenings with your baby

Do you miss your male friendships? In order not to completely disappear from the scene, grab your baby and walk to a friend. A soothing coffee or sports treacle can not hurt men too. Absolutely think of the vial and the diapers. Fill the milk powder already in the bottle and take the warm water in the Thermo bottle. If the baby is breast-fed, you can easily transport a puff with breast milk in an insulated bag. So it works on the way with the food.

6. Theme changes are good 

After the birth, everything revolves around the new family member. This is a good thing. Nevertheless, make sure that even non-baby talks take place. Your partner is not only the mother of your child, but also a woman. Invite friends without children, then automatically other topics of conversation arise.

Brunch at Greasy Spoon

Founded by Brits and located at the heart of the hipster södermalm you find our go to brunch spot GREASY spoon. I come here almost everytime I’m in the mood for some good old brunch. They serve the brunch de la brunch, a hearty brunch and great coffee all day long, and best of all, no reservation needed! Come as you are, take a seat and get ready to leave with some food coma and unbuttoned jeans.

Good Morning!

 

Moms and dads, today do at least one thing for you. Whatever it is that makes you happy, do a little bit of it each day. Your children are watching. Let them see you be happy!

As i said in previous Posts, before i came to Sweden, i never had a cup of coffee in my ENTIRE LIFE! Now it is the “it” in the morning. Coffee first, then parenting. Instant Dad! Just add coffee.

 

Coffee quotes

As you sip your cup of coffee, take in some of my favorite coffee quotes. May your drink of choice, e.g. coffee, hot or iced tea, Diet Coke, hot chocolate, be stronger than your toddler.

“What do you want?”
“Just coffee. Black – like my soul.”
Cassandra Clare

“As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?”
Cassandra Clare

“Even bad coffee is better than no coffee at all.”
David Lynch

“I’d rather take coffee than compliments just now.”
Louisa May Alcott

I wish you all a good day full of love, joy and a shot of espresso 🙂

Marco

Moving to Sweden part 2

 

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We landed in Stockholm Arlanda at approximately 4pm in the afternoon. It was already dark and the only thing lighting up the streets were the white packed snow. There were not many people around in comparison to the bustling Munich Airport.

After eating an early dinner at Max Burger place we made our way to our new place we would come to call home. After driving for hours through the Swedish landscape which was filled with endless woods and stunning views we made it.

I had rented a temporary 2 bedroom flat and it was empty apart from a kitchen table left in the corner of the kitchen. Time has passed beyond the regular bedtime for my two sleepy daughters…
… to be continued

6 ways moving to Sweden changed me

1. Fika

Before I arrived in Sweden I never had a cup coffee in my entire life!!! As a newbie to Sweden I quickly learned that fika (coffee breaks) is an important part of Swedish work culture. This is where you get to socialise with your colleagues and catch up on office news in an informal way. It is a great concept. The real challenge of office fika is gauging what is a “lagom” amount of time to spend at this compulsory activity.

2. Fewer the friends, the better

I was used to being surrounded by tens of ‘friends’ in Germany. Hanging out, talking, gossiping & helping if one is in trouble. Moving to Sweden not knowing many people, one learns to pick the ones that you gel with and not just anyone to hang out with. Spending quality time is more important than just being with random people you can’t connect with.

3. Lagom

The Swedish-English dictionary defines lagom as “enough, sufficient, adequate, just right”. Lagom is also widely translated as “in moderation” or “in balance”. Lagom is a Swedish word meaning just the right amount. It’s also widely translated as in moderation, in balance and perfect-simple. It’s an important concept to understand as it is applied to just about every aspect of life in Sweden from dress sense to work performance. Lagom is the stamp of approval; too much or too little usually gets the thumbs down.

4. Patience

I used to get angry and impatient while standing in a queue and the people in front of me take their time to do take out their wallet when I arrived in Sweden, people staring, made me lose my cool. Maybe it has to do with the lifestyle, but since everybody here maintains patience while standing in a queue, crossing the road, at the tax office, almost everywhere that one goes, I am much more tolerant. Seeing all of this taught me a lesson or two and made me much calmer.

5. Enjoy your Summer, it won’t last long!

Coming from a country where you often have four seasons in one day and where snow is rare, proper winters and distinct seasons were both a novelty and a challenge. It is hard to beat the simple thrill of walking across frozen water or tobogganing or skiing down a hill at speed for the first time. Good weather days are few and far between and so is the sun. Since good weather is a blessing, I have learned to value its importance more than ever and relish it while it is around.

6. Compassion
Growing up what now a days can be called conservative, I have always been taught to help the elders, stand up to offer my seat, great them and carry their shopping. Yet we are quick to judge others and even too long hair on a men can be seen as undeacend. Swedes have compassion is built within the society. They treat every human equal and never judge anyone.