Author: Hemborgwife

A California girl living in Southern Sweden!

A Workout Update – Complete with Selfie Comparison!

I wrote back in March about my workout incentive of spending 100 kr at H&M for working out 5 x per week and I am happy to say I succeeded! To make it work I had to wake up extra early on the Friday we took the train to Stockholm and do a workout which really surprised Mr. H and I but I was determined to meet my goal.

Today I finally made it to town to pick out my winnings. I felt like a little kid waiting for the ice cream man and had to look at just about everything in the store even though I knew I was leaning towards some new makeup. I did find a cute shirt and dress but they were both over my budget so I then tried on sunglasses and looked at the shoes before making my way back to the cosmetics section. All the time I was looking Mr. H was at Clas Ohlson, a store kinda like Ace Hardware mixed with Radio Shack mixed with Frys maybe ahh it is a store that boys like ok, but he was done so got to help me narrow down my choices.

After we both decided I had tons of lipstick and nail polish I decided on these two items:

H&M eyeshadow and blush

I am already a big fan of their eyeshadow palettes and this one has all the colors that are wore out on my current ones.

I have never used blush before much because back in California there was always sun to make me not so pale but with these Northern winters I really could use some color. I tried it on once we got home and Mr. H said it cheered my face up, and then quickly added that I looked pretty before which made me laugh and I said I was glad because that is exactly what blush should do!

Now just to have a fresh face tomorrow to try out the new eyeshadows!

For April my goal is again 5 x a week and my prize is hair dye.

These are things I could technically just go get anyways but I really felt so proud of myself and happy today to pick out things that I felt I had earned. Also with the obvious benefit of weight loss with working out I am more eager to do up my makeup and hair.

march 3rd april 14th

I also wrote about my post workout selfies and I am so glad I started them now as it is such a great way for me to see the changes and keep motivated.

In addition to my monthly goals I thought I needed something bigger and I decided that my goal is to celebrate my 30th birthday, in July of 2015, in shape physically, mentally, and health wise.

Mr. H has been encouraged too and we are trying to slowly change some other habits like snacking mindlessly while watching TV during the week.

We figure that if we can make this good things habits by my 30th we will be helping to ensure ourselves a future free of bigger medical and emotional worries. Really Mr. H working in the hospital was a good wake up call on how taking care of yourself can never go wrong!

Meals of the Week – Ham, Tomato and Cheese Grilled Sandwiches

Well this week I could not decided which days to have which meals so this is what we are having in some order but for sure we will be having our modified Easter meal on Sunday. We decided not to do a full traditional meal like we did last year since it costs so much for just two people but when I saw beet salad in the grocery store flyer this week I had to have it!

Jessica Lynn Writes

Marinated Pork Kabobs with Rice

Lemon and Parsley Chicken with Mashed Potatoes

Hoisin Glazed Pork Loin with Mushroom and Onion Pasta

Crunchy Taco Casserole

Stuffed Pork Loin with Rice

Chicken Fajitas

Scaled Down Easter Meal – Meatballs, Janssons Temptation and Beet Salad


Ham, Tomato and Cheese Grilled Sandwiches.jpg

So this is a meal that Mr. H requests all the time and I always say yes because it is so easy and I thought I would share it this week since it is great if you are going to end up with lots of leftover Easter ham or actually just a little ham will work for this too and most the other ingredients can vary by what you have on hand.


Ham or Kassler – I normally use about 200 grams or one lunch meat size per piece of bread

1-2 Tomatoes Sliced

Cheese – You want a cheese that melts but not browns – with that being said I usually just use whatever is in the fridge

Mustard – I prefer a grainy mustard for this but like with the cheese use what you have

Sauce – Mix a heaping spoon of mayonnaise with relish and hot sauce – Ok third time’s a charm but seriously if you are not into mayo skip this and use some creamy salad dressing or once again whatever you have on hand

 Sliced Bread – super good way to use up some sorta stale end of the week bread

What to do:

Heat the oven to about 180 C / 375 F

Cover a baking sheet with baking paper

Lay your bread out on the baking paper

Spread a layer of your sauce of choice on bread

Lay your ham or kassler over the sauce

Spread a thin layer of mustard on meat

Lay tomato and other desired veggie on mustard

Cover generously with cheese

Bake until the cheese is melted and just bubbling

Enjoy with a side of kettle chips!


Sunday Currently – Clean Laundry and Healthy Snacks

an apple a day

These are my favorite posts of the week, collecting all the tidbits of the week and reflecting on life currently!

Reading: While doing laundry today I finished Dead Man’s Folly by Agatha Christie, it had a huge plot twist in the end that left me wondering if anyone in real life would go to those lengths. I guess I should hope I never find out!! The copy of the book I read also had the most wonderful cover.

Dead Man's Folly Agatha Christie

I love these old copies my grandparents find. The page edges were red and the book had that wonderful aged smell.

Writing: Scrabble scores, well that was really Mr. H but this week I am going to try and blog about book three of our Scrabble score keeping we have started.

Listening: After the recommendation from Kelly Lyfe I started listening to J. Roddy Walston & The Business and then got Mr. H hooked and they have been on almost all weekend!

Thinking: What a great thing stability is, this is going to be the first year in ages I have lived in one place and it is giving me a wonderful feeling of plan making and excitement over the idea of no packing up!

Smelling: Sesame, last night we tried a new recipe and it used Hoisin Sauce which I am now in love with. I now want to use it in all the recipes!

Wishing: That the glorious Spring weather could come without her friend hay fever, all week I have sounded like a schoolchild as I am all snively and head coldy from the forest coming back to life.

Hoping: To finally get to H&M this week and spend my winnings from last month’s exercise challenge. I am thinking some new eyeshadow and blush unless there is a dress I just cannot live without on sale.

Wearing: So a few months ago my grandma called me out on the fact that it seems I am always wearing the same Old Navy capri running pants and she is totally right because I am wearing them yet again today. However they are extra special today as it was the first day of the year I was able to go out with my ankles exposed since it was a balmy 52 F out!

Loving: Apples, now this may seem odd but I am usually not a fruit fan but last week I had a great granny smith apple, pictured above, and today I was so in the mood for another. I guess this whole working out thing starts making you eat healthy too!

Needing: A lightbulb, we have this hideous lamp in the living room but it was from Mr. H’s apartment from before I met him and so we have been using it since we do not want to spend money on a new one but the light bulb finally burned out this week  and of course it is not only ugly but has a weird one that we have to go to a special store to buy.

Feeling: Odd that Easter is next weekend. Since it is just the two of us we are not planning to do anything and it is making me miss the days when I knew my mom would have a giant Easter basket waiting for me in the morning.

Watching: We usually watch The Mindy Project on Hulu the day after it airs in the US but Mr. H is being a chicken and is nervous what is going to happen with Mindy and Danny so we still have not watched it which is driving me bonkers!

Stockholm- The Sights

When Mr. H and I go on weekend trips we like to pick one main sight to see whether that is a museum, famous monument or area of town and then set it to be seen on whichever day is our full day in the city. This way we get some structure but also lots of flexibility to walk down the street that looks cool or sit for hours in a fun coffee shop we find. It also helps us keep costs down as entry fees can be quite high and luckily for us if we visit somewhere in Europe and feel we need to see more we have the option to return in the future.

stockholm the sights

For our weekend in Stockholm we decided to visit the Vasa Museum. We chose this as our paid sight because the cost was low, 130 kr for me and 100 kr for Mr. H with his student ID which they checked, and because Mr. H had visited almost 10 years  ago exactly so we thought it would be fun to see what he thought now vs then.

Vasa Museum 1

When you initially walk in you are in a large open area with the recovered ship filling the main space and I will admit I was like ummm cool but where is all the other stuff we surely did not just pay to see the ship right! Even when I grabbed a map I was still a bit confused but eventually we got our bearings and spent about two hours exploring the museum. I am not sure if we saw every little bit of info but we were satisfied by what we saw and had fun taking pictures and reading all of the various plaques and displays they had.

One reason we left is because the lighting was dim to help preserve the ship which was making us tired and we were hungry and knew we could find cheaper food than was being served in their cafe.

Vasa Collage

I love taking silly pictures and I think that what I liked best about the Vasa Museum was they had all sorts of interactive things to take pictures with and made the experience of the boat sinking come to life that much more.

In the bottom middle picture Mr. H is trying to point to where we live on that map but it was hard to get close enough. In the bottom left picture I am in a diving bell, the picture I posted yesterday is Mr. H in it. He is also a foot taller than me and stood up in it but I was too scared!

If you are in Stockholm I would highly recommend visiting but I would say to either take the elevator the top or bottom and work your way in the opposite direction rather than starting in the middle like we did.


Also of note is that the museum is walking distance to many other museums and located in this lovely green space along the water. If you are of the picnicing persuasion this would be a lovely place to, we just sat along the water for a bit and felt refreshed but were a bit jealous of the others that thought ahead and had snacks!

The Royal Palace

On Sunday our train did not leave till the afternoon so after we checked out of the hotel we stored our bag and went out on a walking exploration. Since we have both been to Stockholm before we did not have anything particular in mind and since it was such a nice day we just really set out towards the shops.

We walked a route from our hotel down to a small square that was having a market then down a street of shops and ended up at The Royal Palace. Now Stockholm is home to two palaces but I was excited to see this one since, from the outside only, as I have seen it on TV for the royal weddings. Also our last name translates to home castle so I thought it was apt for us to take some pictures out front because you know we obviously belong there! (Edit to add when Mr. H saw he said o it is The Royal Man at the Royal Palace!)

We then took the same path back, doing a coffee stop, and relaxed in the hotel lobby a bit before heading to the train station.

Stockholm Street Collage

Thoughtful Thursday – II

thoughtful thursday


- This week I could not wait for it to be Thursday since then I got to use this graphic I made again! I did not talk about it before but the background pattern is a picture of snow I took from my window on the walkway in front of our building. I thought it looked so fun and a bit like a coral reef.

- Yesterday I had my first migraine that messed with my vision and it was so so so so so scary. It lasted about 10 minutes and I will say there was one moment that actually made me laugh after. When Mr. H was trying to have me describe what I was seeing I told him it looked like a portal to a different universe was opening up. So maybe I have watched too much Fringe lately huh!!!

- On another Fringe related note in an episode I recently watched they played a She Wants Revenge song in the background and today I am finally listening to the album and reliving memories of getting out of psych 100 late on Thursday nights and driving down the 57 and 55 fast with the windows down and the album blaring. Such young and happy days!

- We cannot stand the person that lives above us, we have never met them but they are so loud and alway drilling things. We kinda thought it was just us being uptight though until on Sunday the person that lives below us came up asked us if we could stop all the noise since her kid was trying to nap and I was like that is not us it is the guy ABOVE US. So yeah he is mega loud if the people on the first floor can hear him on the third floor and we are now justified in not liking him!

- There is an older gentleman that lives in an apartment near us I am assuming but everyday I see him walking around and around the block of flats we live in and he always looks so peaceful and happy. I have wondered if perhaps he uses that time to prayer or something and today he had a woman with him and I am just so curious about them. I am not very familiar with various types of traditional dress but the woman today had a really pretty scarf covering her head.

- Yesterday it was sunny so we wanted to get out and exercise rather than do it inside so we combined it with a trip to our favorite junk shop and found two glasses for 10 kr total that are going to be perfect for beer tasting. They are similar to the ones we used at Mikkeller and seriously for 5 kr a piece I do not care if we use them once and they break, wait no they are really cute I would be sad if they broke actually.

- Speaking of glasses I do most the dishes around here because I am home more but I hate washing any of our special glasses. Basically if it is store in the kitchen cupboards I will wash it but if it is stored in the china cabinet I make Mr. H wash it. I just have this huge fear of breaking things and being upset that they are broke and getting cut by glass. Mr. H is a pro though and usually hand drys them right away too which is even better.

I was hoping to do all my posts about Stockholm like bam bam bam and then hahaha that has not happened but here is a picture of what I will hopefully blog about soon!

Fredrik in Diving Bell

Yeah we know how to take awesome vacation pictures ;)

Meals on Monday – Sweet and Sour Pork

Hello! I surprised myself with being done with our meal plan and shopping list in like 10 minutes this week, well I guess it helped that Mr. H picked out 3 of the meals and said lets wait and do something special for Saturday so I only had to come up with three ideas of my own!

Jessica Lynn Writes
Sunday – Beef and Onion Gravy Pie
Monday – Stroganoff with Rice
Tuesday – Kassler Pasta Bake – If you are in Sweden and are interested in a kassler meal let me know and I will post this recipe
Wednesday – Mini Meatloaves and Mashed Potatoes
Thursday – Spaghetti Bolognese
Friday – Cheesy Ham Oven Sandwiches and Coleslaw
Saturday – Surprise Day
I had planned on doing a recipe on the Chow Faux Mein was making last week but once it was done we were so hungry no pictures were taken so instead how about some Sweet and Sour Pork! This recipe is adapted from Joy of Cooking which is one reason I love that cookbook so much is the recipes are so easy to individualize!
sweet and sour pork
1 lb Pork cut into chunks or strips – if you are in Sweden karre is perfect for this as is picnic bog – if you are in the somewhere else use whatever cut of pork you love
1 cup pineapple juice – from straining the can of pineapple chunks listed below
1 cup water
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp soy sauce
optional 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce – if I happen to have it I use it but otherwise I just use Maggi otherwise just the soy sauce is fine
1 cup pineapple pieces
1 bell pepper cut into strips
1/2 diced onion
What to do:
Season the pork with salt and pepper and then brown in a large skillet
Set the meat aside in a bowl
In the same skillet add the:
pineapple juice, water, cider vinegar, brown sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce
Slowly stir to combine and then bring to a simmer and let simmer till slightly thickened
Return meat the skillet with the sauce and the simmer covered until the meat is tender – the time will depend on your cut of meat but about 40 min – 1 hr
Once meat is tender add in the pineapple pieces, bell pepper and onion
Cook uncovered about ten minutes
Serve with rice

Sunday Currently – Spontaneity is Great

a study hungover saturday

Mr. H took these pictures of me on Saturday morning being hungover and so excited for freshly brewed coffee! On Friday we did our walk to town and bought some wine and beer and then we spontaneously decided to go out and had so much fun and then when we got home we Skyped with my grandparents till 2 AM!

Reading: Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie, it is meant to be one of the best Poirot stories and I am very excited to get into it. I am also happy because it features my favorite Christie character Mrs Ariadne Oliver, she is a veiled version of herself and they silly things she has her say and do always have my laughing.

Writing: Well before I started this I managed to do our grocery list for the week, sometimes it takes me ages but today I was done in a jiffy! It was easy though since our freezer is stocked with meat!

Listening: To the latest release of Johnny Cash songs, they were recorded in 1981 and we think they are just the perfect thing for some sunny weather and fun at home.

Thinking: About how much words can mean to someone and how the next person can take their meaning to be something so different. Mainly involving these two posts, post one  and the response,regarding what exactly is an expat and how no one ever wants to claim the immigrant title but if you ask me what I am I am 100% an immigrant!

Smelling: Cleanliness! Haha no but seriously yesterday Mr. H and I did a deep scrub of the bathroom and today I almost did not want to shower in there since everything was so sparkly and clean!

Hoping: That laundry this week goes easy, the last time I did laundry the machine broke with the clothes in it and was locked so I freaked out because you know I want my clothes and so then I had to walk home and get Mr. H and then of course it opened for him but then we had to take the soaking wet clothes to another room and while it worked out this is the second week something like that happened and it is not like laundry is that fun to start so it would be great if it just did what it is meant to on the first try.

Wearing: A bright orange tank top that has a hole in it, I love this tank top so much that when it got a hole I just decided to only wear it inside which is a fair compromise I think.

Loving: That the mega construction thing that has been going on all winter outside my window is done, seriously I have seen construction workers pee on the parking structure wall more times than I have ever wanted to which was zero by the way vs the million I have now seen.

Wanting: Coffee shop coffee, Mr. H made me great coffee again this morning but I would just love a giant sweet iced coffee.

Needing: Skin relief, my skin always goes crazy when the weather changes and I have been itching like someone hiding the fact they have chicken pox this week ie whenever Mr. H turns around I itch like crazy!

Feeling: Young, sometimes you have to be responsible and save and eat good but sometimes you say fuck it and go out and eat nachos and get drunk and it is just the best.

Watching: Stand up, last night we finally dragged our hungover buts to bed at midnight and then we ended up staying up almost an hour watching stand up clips on youtube.

What have you guys been up to this week?


If The Sun Is Out…

start walking


And do not stop till you hit the liquor store!

Hahaha today we have big plans to walk the 1.8 miles to town, right into systembolaget to pick up some wine for the weekend. The one condition is that we have to walk home too which I am being optimistic about because you know exercise and what not but lets be honest if there was not the wine I would take the bus home!

The thing is though in our town for both of us to take the bus home it is almost the cost of the wine which is just crazy right.

O and we are going big and getting the tetra pak rather than the bottle since you get an extra 250ml of wine but the excuse for that is if we drop it when walking it will not break.

See I have this all figured out!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and that the sun comes out for you too!

Stockholm – The Drinking Part (or the best part)

stockholm the drinks

Now Mr. H and I had our food plan to be thrifty and one museum picked out that had a student discount (post coming soon) because we had a plan for our drinks and it was to visit two bars we had been dreaming about for a long time. Lest you think us Hemborg’s are drunks it is just that we really love beer, you know how some people love wine and that is ok but loving beer is still kinda taboo, ummm anyways in Stockholm there are two craft beer bars that we set out to try!

Brewdog Stockholm 1


First on our list was Brewdog which opened last year. We have tried many of their beers and have always been pleased and we knew they had many others on tap and in bottles that are hard or near impossible to find in Sweden.

We each started with their Jackhammer IPA, it was the first time having it on tap and it was quite tasty but for our next beer we wanted to order from their bottle selection.

Stone IPA Love

Mr. H decided to go for a Stone IPA which as you can see he was very happy about! I have oddly never blogged about it but last summer we visited the Stone Brewing facilities and had such a great time and we really miss getting their beers at a good price. We were happy that they had this beer and that it was the best price for Stone we have seen in Sweden.

Flying Dog in the Wildeman

I ordered a beer from a brewery in my top 5 which was the Flying Dog in de Wildeman Farmhouse IPA. Not only did I love the glass they served with it but the beer was heavenly. Also when I went up and ordered I had a fun little chat with the bartender about Flying Dog which I find sorta of rare in Swedish bars which had me pleased.

Overall we thought the bar had potential but we did not love it. The things we thought could be changed were the layout as to get to the bar after sitting you had to basically climb through the other people sitting and when we first walked in we could only see the beers on tap and not the three page bottle list which made us order a beer we might not have and at around 72 kr per beer you want to spend that money wisely. I also feel that since this type of craft beer movement is still small but growing in Sweden the other clientele were not acclimated to this style of bar and seemed to be looking for their old stand bys of Tuborg and Carlsberg.

Mikkeller Bar Stockholm

Mikkeller Stockholm

The second beer stop we made was to the new Mikkeller bar in Stockholm, and I mean new as it was ut two weeks old when we went!

Drinking at Mikkeller

At Mikkeller they had all the beers listed on a giant board so it was easy to see what was available and you order either a large or small glass which was great for testing different beers.

large glass at Mikkeller

Mikkeller beers can be hard to find and often very price prohibitive so we were excited to be able to try some from the source as it were and we I think we ended up trying four different Mikkellers and one other that was on tap.

We enjoyed all but one which we thought was not bad but that the keg was off. After a bit of talking with the bartender I was able to trade it in for a different beer which was nice. I however would have been even happier if the bartender would have been more knowledgeable about beer and would have known it was off when she tasted it as well and not just said maybe I did not like it. Mr. H and I had both tried it and then asked a gentleman sitting behind us that just so happened to be from the Stockholm Whisky and Beer Festival and we all thought it tasted like vinegar which this style of beer should never taste like at all.

chips at mikkeller bar stockholm

The star of our time at Mikkeller for me though were the chips! Not only were they tasty, reasonably priced for a bar snack in Sweden, but I loved how they put them in a basket so I did not have to stick my hand in a greasy bag which is a pet peeve of mine!

I think this bar also has great potential but a bit of a leg up on Brewdog since Mikkeller is a brewery from Denmark and seemed to understand what Swedes would like better. The location of the bar also seemed better since next door is an established bar and overall the area felt nicer.

Bishops Arms Stockholm

The last bar we visited was not on purpose but on Friday night we were not in the mood to venture too far from the hotel or where we had dinner reservations so we went into the Bishops Arms. They are chain in Sweden, they have this weird thing where they have to be a certain distance from an Elite hotel, and we actually have one in Sundsvall.

We went in because like I said in my food post it is always nice to go somewhere familiar and trustworthy.

Mr. H ended up having two beers and I had two beers and a cider which all were great and reasonably priced.

They also had friendly staff and comfy little booths that you felt in no need to vacate. This also happened to be the place where I hear the most English being spoken on our whole trip!

For 5o kr we were able to get a bag of chips as well as a cup of assorted nuts which kept us happy till our 8 PM dinner reservations.

If you are in Sweden and looking for a wide variety of beer and a cozy atmosphere Bishops Arms is always a safe bet.


We also had a few beers in the hotel bar but I am saving that for the post on the hotel!

Meals of the Week – Meatball Subs

After being on vacation meal planning is just so hard, the cupboards and fridge are bare on purpose giving you not much to work with and I am just dreaming of those giant pizzas I blogged about yesterday. Alas one cannot survive on dreams so after some pouting I have a plan!
Jessica Lynn Writes
Monday – Lovbiff and Fries – ok so these were the two easily edible things lurking in the freezer
Tuesday – Creamy Tomato, Spinach, and Sausage Pasta
Wednesday – Sweet and Sour Pork – Joy of Cooking recipe which is just perfect
Thursday – Chow Faux Mein – recipe coming soon – also Mr. H came up with the name
Friday – Pork and Rice Burritos
Saturday - Nachos
Sunday – End of Week Chili and Rice – All the odds and ends into the pot and serve with rice!
meatball subs
Last week I shared a recipe for meatballs in tomato sauce served over spaghetti noodles and today I am sharing how to use that recipe to make meatball subs!
15-20 meatballs - homemade or store bought
Tomato Sauce – Around 3 cups – it really depends on how soaked you like them!
Mozzarella Cheese
What to Do:
Prepare your rolls
What we do is buy the pack of baguettes that are meant to be heated in the oven. I first slice them in half and then carve out a niche for the filling and then heat them in the oven till lightly browned.
baguette ready for filling
To do this cut a straight line across one side of the baguette, or roll or whatever bread you have, and then from the inner end make a slightly curved cut out and then scoop out the bread between the two cuts like making a little canoe in the bread.
This makes a stable base for filing of any kind as well as making them easy to transfer from baking dish to plate.
Once meatballs are cooked and sauce is heated through fill your bread and cover with cheese and bake.
Super easy meal and great for a Friday night playing games and drinking beer!