Category Archives: Spring

My Upper West Side Man

A few weeks ago, we were in New York City, and a friend let us stay at her apartment in the Upper West Side. We took the briefest of naps before heading out for a very long night, and when we hesitantly stepped out from under the awning, we discovered that the miserable and humid drizzle of an hour before had turned into a clear, cool, sunny early evening. I immediately fell in love with New York City for the hundredth time.

Spring flowers in bloom

This week, I’m obsessed with nature. Spring has returned yet again, and with it, flowers. I feel like I live in a fairy tale.


Every time I go outdoors, it smells like expensive old-lady soap. In a good way.





A very short review of Ystad Saltsjöbad

Within half an hour of arrival, I looked like this:

More to follow later!

Romantic Getaways, Contract Renewals, Makeovers, and Awards: it’s a weekend update.

Simon and I are going on a romantic getaway. (Does anyone say that in real life?)

Simon and I are off to Ystad for a little Fredagsmys!! (Friday-mys… for more on “mys,” check out: 9 Swedish Words that Should Be Incorporated into English Pronto, Immediately, Now or Christmas time in Sweden: THERE WILL BE GLÖGG!)

We got a gift certificate from a bunch of our friends as a wedding gift last November, and now we’re finally taking advantage of it. We’ll have one night at Ystad Saltsjöbad Hotel and Spa… complete with a four course dinner, access to the pool and spa area (treatments not included), and special late-night access to the pool and spa area with sparkling wine and fresh fruit. I AM SO EXCITED!!

My Expat Blog at got renewed

Yayyy!!! It’s never a sure deal, so I was very, very excited to have the Expat Blog renewed yet again!! Hip hip hurrah!! You can always find it at

Transatlantic Sketches got some props from Alltop.

Here’s some good news that I didn’t get around to sharing a while back: Alltop has accepted this blog as one of the top blogs on the internet related to Sweden! Woohoo! You can see my fancy new badget in the right-hand column. Alltop is a curated blog aggregator, so you can use it to search for “verified good blogs” on a range of subjects. For example: Sweden. Where my blog is. Niiice!

Featured in Alltop

Transatlantic Sketches is getting a makeover.

In anticipation of starting my own business in Sweden (more on that later), Transatlantic Sketches is going to get all gussied up. I found out that someone I went to middle school in Grand Rapids with (St. Stephens, yeah!) is now a fantastic web designer, so Onyinye MK is going to create a brand new look for my blog and website sometime around the end of May/beginning of June. Sweet.

Catch up on the Expat Blog

A lot of my best work recently has been on the Expat Blog, so I’d love for you to check it out if you haven’t seen it already.

Adventure to Vollsjö Mill

Feather-crazy, bedazzled twigs: The true story behind the Easter Feathers (one of my favorite posts of the last couple months!)

9 Swedish Words that Should Be Incorporated into English Pronto, Immediately, Now


Stress Less, Speak More: 15 Tips to Help You Learn a Foreign Language (Part 1)

Stress Less, Speak More: 15 Tips for Learning a Foreign Language (Part 2)

This weather is cray.

A week or so ago, the weather looked like this:


Today, we have a blizzard. Why??


I accumulated too many hours at my day job in March, so I’m chilling at home this morning and working on my blogs. If I had a choice, I would prefer to just get paid overtime instead, but since I don’t have a choice, this slow start to the week is pretty darn nice. I’m not going to enjoy braving the weather on my way to work later!

Midday walk in Slottsparken (The Castle Park) in Malmö

The obsessive documentation of Spring’s arrival continues.



Friday was warm and sunny, so my coworkers and I ate lunch on the double and used the rest of our break time to take an energetic walk around Slottsparken (The Castle Park) in Malmö. It was packed with other walkers who seemed to have had the same idea. Swedes are like moths, drawn to the light, and after a year and a half living here, I am just the same.

So obsessed with Spring right now

Today, sunlight filled the train cabin on my weekly trip to Landskrona, just as it has for the last few weeks. But today, unlike in past weeks, the sun was still shining while I was on my way home.

I got off at my stop at 5:28 pm and the first hill up to my neighborhood was illuminated with this magically soft, warm light that didn’t go away until after 6. It’s heavenly, observing the gradual but unmistakable approach of Spring.

Bring on Spring!

Signs of the season: spring flowers, muddy sidewalks, balmy breezes and best of all—sun, glorious sun!

Two weeks ago, I was surprised to wake up one weekend morning because of sun shining into our bedroom, a first in this new apartment. Now the sun is up ahead of me even on weekdays, making it unnecessary for me to turn on the kitchen light as I groggily make my way towards the coffee pot in the morning.

And would you believe it, I’m finally down to wearing just one coat and one pair of socks instead of two of each.

Hello, my name is Kate. I’ve lived in Sweden for about a year and a half now, and I’m obsessed with the weather.  

Oh, and by the way. This March marks one year of writing this blog for the Swedish Institute. (You can read my first blog post, “Welcome to the neighborhood!” here.)

In that year, I’ve gone from a pretty clueless, under-employed expat with a tenuous grasp on Swedish to a fully-employed, halfway Swedified expat using Swedish every single day. Oh yeah, and then there was this little marriage thing…

All the changes that have happened in 12 short months—pretty awesome and totally unbelievable. Thank you so much for reading. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

This an excerpt from the Expat Blog at Click here to read the full post!


This is where I’ll be today!!

Very exciting :)

For more info and a detailed background on the “holiday” we’re celebrating, check out my blog post on!

Spring in Sweden is a non-stop parade of holidays; this is not a joke.

Maybe at its heart Valborg is just about FIRE! Unbelievable displays of FIRE! Photos by (clockwise) dark botxy/Flickr, t_buchtele/Flickr, WixPix/Flickr

Spring in Sweden: Absolut Bliss

Could I be more in love with spring? No. I couldn’t.

Last night, I got off of work a little earlier than expected, so when I got to Lund, I biked from the train station to Anna and Nils’ apartment. Simon arrived 30 seconds after I got there, and the four of us took Castor (Anna and Nils’ dog) out for a walk through the horse pasture. I don’t know where the adult horses were, but we met some new arrivals: six foals born in the spring. Love.

Some were shy, some were attention-seeking, and they were pretty reluctant to leave each others’ company. We hung out with them for a little while and pet the ones that were willing to be petted, then continued on homeward for some dinner.

3 new foals in Klostergården

Here’s a picture from last Monday, which we had off since it was “Annandag Påsk.”

Annandag Påsk in Lund's Botanical Garden

In other news… if you want to know what I’ll be up to on Saturday, check it out on my Expat Blog on Valborg Valborg Valborg!!

rain and cold
are not conducive to fun.