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Judith reporting from the Nordics, today .. Sweden

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This report is written by Judith de Graaff from Joelix and all images are by Judith.

When heading to Stockholm we stopped at Gränna. This is where the typical Swedish candy is made. It is a bit of a tourist trap, however it is so nice to see how the peppermint rocks are actually created. Great for kids too! Of course you'll have to treat them (and yourself) on some red&white polkagris afterwards.

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Stockholm is often referred to as the Venice of the North. And, indeed, there is water everywhere but... you don’t need a gondola to get around. The underground system works perfectly well and gets you everywhere. It is a very green city too; there are lot of parks which fill up rather fast when the sun comes out. At the end of the day we were so exhausted by the extremely extensive exhibitions at the Moderna Museet that we decided to go on a refreshing boat trip. Unfortunately there were no boats going to the Stockholm Archipelago (Skärgården) anymore. We were told by many Swedes that this is one of the most magical places of Stockholm.

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Instead of starting our day in the city center, we decided to walk through the Södermalm area, which was very quiet when we visited. You'll find another hairdresser on every streetcorner. Which makes sense when you see all the well cut Swedish people around. Some of the shops we visited were Acne(of course! Nytorgsgatan 36), 6/5/4 (Nytorgsgatan 27) and Regn (Högbergsgatan 30). At Regn you can buy an updated version of the traditional Swedish raincoat. A very very good looking raincoat.
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When you visit Stockholm you should absolutely drop by Kon-stig (Åsögatan 124). It's the very best art bookshop I've ever been to. Here you'll find a superb collection of art books, limited editions, one-of-a-kinds and out-of-print books. It is one of this places you don't leave empty handed.

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Judith reporting from the Nordics, today .. Denmark

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This report is written by Judith de Graaff from Joelix and all images are by Judith.

During the month of may, my husband and I travelled through Denmark, Sweden, and Norway for 3 weeks. We had a wonderful stay in the Nordics including reindeer, elks, tasty kanelbullar & Danish pastries, fjords, supercute red Swedish cottages, Legoland, great weather, excellent design shops and so much more. In this report I will take you along with me to the 3 Scandinavian capitals: Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Oslo.

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But our first stop will be Odense on the island of Fyn in Denmark. Odense is a small city which is mostly known for the Hans Christian Anders hus, where the famous fairytale writer was born. It has now been turned into a museum. Of course we also visited Brandts, the Art Center which houses the Kunsthallen, Denmarks Mediamuseum, and the Photography Museum. After the visit we had coffee at Cafe Biografen at Brandts, which also houses a cult cinema.
 
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In the city center you'll mostly find big chain stores. The store of the Grene Sisters (Vestergade 25) is no exception to that (you'll find many of their shops throughout Scandinavia) but it's still a cute and inexpensive shop for tiny decoration goodies, candles, storage boxes, notebooks and so much more. Definitely worth a visit.

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Copenhagen is a great city for shopping. It's home of some of the best shops we've seen in 3 weeks. Vintage (genbrug) shopping is big too, there are a lot of second hand shops and fleamarkets everywhere. We were lucky to find a Fog & Mørup lamp for 50DKK (10USD) on a flea market in Nørrebro, near the apartment we rented through AirBnB.
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One of my favorite shops in Copenhagen were Liebe (Kompagnistræde 23) and Stilleben (Læderstræde 14). Both shops carry contemporary handmade table wear, vases, door knobs, stationary and so much more. The styling of the Liebe shop is really amazing. You will absolutely find the perfect gift for a newborn baby in here. Susan Liebe really amazed me.

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Lisette reporting from Barcelona

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This report is written by Lisette van de Graaf from cute suite and all images are by Lisette.

To be invited by Irene to share some of 'my' Barcelona on Bloesem is a tremendous honor and definitely a challenge for a someone who has only just started blogging. Thanks ever so much, Irene! For seven years now, I have been living in Barcelona, and to this day, this wonderful city continues to amaze and surprise me.

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I am inspired by its beauty and the many artful and architectural details that surround me everywhere, and delighted to discover new things in places I have passed lots of times before... I thought I'd take you on a bit of a wander around the area where I live, and show you the various places I like to hang out, shop, eat, or just people watch.

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Let's start at Olivia Cafe (on the corner of Carrer Notariat and Carrer Pintor Fortuny), where I usually have my mid-morning coffee and sometimes one of their delicious rolls or home-made cakes or muffins.

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Sometimes, I'll change my routine and treat myself to a scone at Buenas Migas, and sit on their terrace, on the lovely Plaça del Bonsuccès, to watch 'the world' go by.

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Other great places to do that, while having a drink or enjoying a snack or meal, are any of the café terraces on Plaça Vicenç Martorell,

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Irene reporting from Pulau Ubin in Singapore

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Another Birthday in the family this week... Happy Birthday Love of my Life! It was a wonderful day today and I hope you enjoyed it too? We went to a small island here in Singapore, calles Pulau Ubin. Yes for you who didn't know Singapore has a couple of islands and some of them are absolutely worth visiting.

Pulau Ubin is known for it's bicycle tracks, so DUtch as we are we had to go and see for ourselves. We start by driving to Changi Village, but taking a taxi is a very simple alternative. At Changi Village you will find that brings you to the island, only 5 minutes away but a nice little adventure, especially for young kids :) see the image of the ferry here below. 

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Pulau Ubin is an island North East of Singapore where often said as the last “kampong” (village) in Singapore. When you arrive at the Island you are warmly welcomed by lot's of Chinese decoration and a world of bikes... bikes, bikes and more bikes... al for rent... that's what we did too of course :)

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Everything at the island is simple and easy, you just follow the path... what I liked during the day, was being outdoors in the jungly forest and of course all the details in the small village. Lot's of chinese temples and offerings. For lunch we went to one of the fish/crab restaurants and after spending around 4 hours at Pulau Ubin we decided to go back home. Of course there is much more to explore on the island but the heath and two very young boys were ready to go back home.

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There is an intriguing story about a 'German Girl Shrine' at Pulau Ubin that I first heard about via this wonderful blog by jeffrey and flora,  two Americans living in Singapore. Some people really worship this ghost from the past.. today we did see the sign of a small road leading up the holy place, but we are saving this little adventure for our next trip to Pulau Ubin. If you are already curious than click here and read Flora her wonderful story about the German Girl and her Shrine.

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All images were taken by me, Irene, you can use them for your blog but please give credits via this link. 



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Marjon reporting from Stockholm

Kaart

**Report by Marjon Hoogervorst

This year my friend Maaike and I choose to go to Stockholm… This was our destiny, because when we were in Copenhagen, I wanted to buy a book from that city. But when we pointed some nice things to do in the book later in the restaurant, I realised I had bought a City guide from another city: Stockholm (stupid!)…. So you understand: we had to go there now!!! So we did and please find here some tips my favorite shops!

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And there we were in february 2010…. Brrr… It was minus 15 degrees, so it was too cold to take my camera out my bag most of the time…

The places we liked the most were Gamla Stan and the Sofo Area. Both areas have really nice little shops you must see!

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Gamla Stan is the old town where the history from Stockholm starts... here you have lots of nice restaurants and cafe's to eat and to have lunch...

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By Gooey Brand I bought a T-shirt for my son, which Milan shows here in a very special pose ;). These t-shirts are from 100% organic cotton and all designed and hand printed by Petra Busch. 

SOFO (in the Södermalm area) is the area with a lot of small shops from designers and passionated people who sells their beloved goods. 

For nice baby clothes, toys and special things for children, you have to go to Uni. The shop owner and designer is Erica Laurell, I love here style.  

At the Åsögatan most shops carry fashion with really beautiful collections!!! I like the Shoerepairshop the most… but as usual: this is also the most expensive shop…other ones i liked were matilda wendelboe and geronimo things

In one of these shops I bought a sheer cotton silk blouse with a cute ruffle on the back and rollup sleeves from loloandlulu.

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Manos is a really nice shop from ceramist Karin Eriksson. Behind the shop is her atelier where she creates!  We bought here some special presents and souvenirs! 

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In 6/5/4 you can buy some nice clothes, accessories and drink a cup of thea/coffee/smoothie at the bar.

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I looooooooove chocolat, that’s why I wanted to drink a cup of hot chocolat in this shop: choklad fabriken. This was our last visit in the Sofo area, we went back to the central area: Norrmalm

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In Norrmalm you have David and Martin. They are jewellerydesigners with a specific style born out their interests in art, movies, fashion and nature… In the future they’ll open a shop in Antwerp (Belgium)!!! 

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As always in every blog and book they wrote it… you have to go to designhouse Stockholm! . This was our last shop we visited before we had to go and get the plane back to Amsterdam!

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These are our shopping results we spread out on the bed in our hotel room! We stayed in the Hotel birger Yarl. On the left you see my buys were I wrote about (the tshirt from Gooey Brand, the red/white tshirt from Marimekko, the shoes I bought by Nilson, the happy socks by 6/5/4, the rabbits, the stone and the candle by Manos, special Stockholmtea at the Tea Center (Hornsgatan), eyeshadow…………… :)

..Photographer Marjon Hoogervorst

 

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