Horse People

The day was perfect. Darling Stella was happy to be spending the summer day with her young rider.

Horses have been apart of my life before I was born and will probably live on long after my time, not only through photographs, stories, or memories but through life values. I was born into the horse life, my father taught me that horses are a great escape and my childhood was sheltered under the family hobby, Harness racing. I could always be found talking with the old-timers at the races and introduced myself by my track name ‘Maija McGee’.

Malin’s pony Marshal checking in to see everything is ok.

The family hobby gave me strength, physically and mentally, to think and act outside the box. When I was 10 years old, I turned a ‘mountain’ into money and helped the local greenhouse/gardens by supplying all-natural eco-fertilizer to their rose bushes. The roses soon became the talk of the town and everyone wanted to take their wedding photos in the garden. Easily amused, I thought this very interesting and concluded that one person’s undesirables could be someone else’s gold.

At an early age, I was on my way to starting my own business. Sadly, I was unable to lobby for help. I could not convince my sisters or friends that my business was a good employment opportunity and I soon surrendered to the fact that I did not have enough labor to keep up with the never-ending supply and strong demand.

Stella moves from a quick walking gate to a gallop.
A slight movement can have a big reaction.

Horses have also taught me about subtlety. A slight change in the air or touch can send a signal that will trigger a big reaction. Horse people often have an ability to feel a given situation, take note of changes in behavior or intentions of those nearby and make a quick assessment of the situation as safe, dangerous, uninteresting or a chance to help.

I say that horses will probably be a part of my life long after my time because my children, especially my youngest daughter, has been bitten by the horse bug and has started riding lessons with an amazing teacher. Small groups (maximum six children) per horse camp with emphasis on learning subtlety. How the rider should only need to think ‘gallup’ as a signal for the horse to respond (a little help with balance and a squeeze is also a good signal: Hint: bareback).

In a soft and stalwart tone, Malin instructs her riders and shares her knowledge with her students.

The camps are located in our amazing countryside (på Bjäre) in Southern Sweden at Malin’s ideal farm. It is near rolling hills, deep woods, and long sandy beaches (see pictures below). The kids will even have a chance to taste the homegrown vegetables and maybe they will be inspired, like I was, to start a business…

English charm in the Swedish county.
Cows enjoy the sun in the hillside pasture on the farm.
Seeing things from different angels adds spice to life.
Small groups (6 students) allows the teacher time with each rider and their horse.
Malin also offers one-on-one lessons for new riders.

If you are in the area and have the opportunity or desire to share with children horse values such as; responsibility, respect, safety, and joy, I can highly recommend Malin and her fine ponies at Kvinnaböske Ridskola. I would be happy to help you and your family find lodging in one of our fine StayCay Rentals. There is still some opening available at the riding camp and places nearby to stay in June, July and August – 2017. Contact respective businesses soon as space is limited – Malin for riding camp and Maija for home rental.

Notice: I (Maija) offer 1000:- SEK discount on a home rental when booking a weekly rental through this post – please share via social media and tag a horse lover that might be interested in visiting us this summer.

Horse people events in the area this summer

My personal MN horse collage – where it all began.

Horse people events in the area this summer

Riding camps 13 June – 2 August: Kvinnaböske Ridskola as discussed in the post above. Perfect opportunity for kids to gain a good base knowledge, love, and respect for horses. See schedule for more information.

16th – 18th June 2017: National & International Horse Trials (Eventing) in Össjö outside of Ängelholm (week 24). An exciting opportunity for the entire family to see top class horse trials in Southern Sweden. Horse trials is an ‘all-around’ combination competition where riders compete in dressage, cross-country and show jumping. More information at Össjo Hästsällskåp .

StayCay Rental has an apartment for rent in nearby Munka Ljungby. A well planned two-story ‘apartment’ with kitchenette, new bathroom, large balcony and open living and sleeping area. Perfect place to relax after a day at the horse show. Only 10 km from the horse trial competition. We have a larger apartment in beautiful Vejbystrand see for more information about StayCay Rentals and contact information.

8 – 16 July 2017: Sweden’s largest and most well-known horse festival, often considered to be a ‘lifestyle’ event. Nearly 1000 horses and riders plus 600 staff, participate in this well-organized event. Tickets are expensive and often sell quickly. More information at Falsterbo Horse Show.

Båstad Horse Show 2017 (?): I am hoping that, for the third year, Båstad’s Riding Club (Båstad Ridklubb) will arrange Båstad’s Horse Show. Last year nearly 500 riders took part in this horse and pony competition in dressage and jumping. More information about 2016 can be found at their Facebook page Båstad Horse Show.

When we travel we look for an opportunity to spend time with horses. These darling ’wild’ horses are from Vieques, Puerto Rico.

Wishing you a happy summer, safe travels and I hope you have a chance to spend it with a fellow horse person and many loved horses and ponies.

Warm regards,

StayCay Maija

Tennis in Sweden

In beautiful Båstad you can enjoy high standards and quality time on the beach, in the woods or on the town.

Skistar Swedish Open & Ericsson Open

An unforgettable opportunity to see tennis with world class contenders in beautiful Båstad Sweden.  Previous Erickson Open participants include; Serena Williams, Mona Barthel, Johanna Larsson and Chanelle Sheepers.

Interested in renting a home during tennis week? Make it a staycation: book with StayCay Rental

16 – 23 July: Skistar Swedish Open
23 – 30 July: Ericssonopen

See you in Båstad – Sweden

Thursdays in Rammsjö Hamn

Dancing in the rain with Hallavara Stompers at our 40’s party.

Rammsjö Hamn is an picturesque harbor located in Southern Sweden (på Bjäre). Visit this unique place by boat, bike or hiking and you will understand the charm. If you are lucky the little restaurant will be open and serving good eco friendly, locally produces eats. If you are extra lucky you might get to hear some great live music – 2016’s Thursdays were filled with good jazz music (so good I had to invite Hallavar Stompers home to play at our 40s garden party).



Hope to see you in 2017 enjoying this jewel of a place.

Harbor hopping in picture perfect Skälderviken Sweden

Sweden Sport break…

StayCay Rental offers guests holiday home rentals so that you can relax and experience spring break like a Swede. Stay in one of our beautiful homes and you will find space for the entire family and time to be together.

While staying in one of our homes you can trust StayCay to provide tips and activity recommendations. Spending ’spring break’ in Sweden would be different from the 90’s / MTV version of ’spring break’. Test our ’Sportlov’ and ’Easter break’, see how we spend time off from school. Hint: parents and students run to the hills, looking for excitement and winter recreation. Check out StayCays film to see how we like to spend our time off in late winter… Inspired? Check out our homes for rent.

Sweden Spring Break 2017

Top 5 sick staycation tips

Before I had children, I remember my parent co-workers entering the office with a warning, by lunch, their child’s school will be calling demanding they pick-up their feverish child. Really? Did my co-worker have a crystal ball or supernatural powers? No, the truth was their child had a fever the night before but they did not want to call in sick, so they self prescribed a dose of acetaminophen – to get the parents through the work morning.

The term VAB (Vård Av Barn) is a Swedish abbreviation that stands for paid time off from work to nurse a sick child. Swedish parents are compensated and protected by social security laws when their child is sick. This security creates norms and customs regarding when it is acceptable for a sick child to return to school, activities and other social spaces. The peak of claimed time off is in February or as Swedes say, VAB-ruary. In the case of the stomach flu, custom dictates a sick child stay out of public places for 48 hours after the last family member has ’been sick’. Resulting in a child feeling well enough to be active but potentially contagious. Unchecked, this energy can result in  crazy cabin fever or an opportunity for a sick staycation. We prefer a sick staycation.

Our TOP 5 sick staycations tips;

1) If it is cold, foggy or grey don’t hesitate GET OUTSIDE. Rollerblade, bike or bundle-up in a stroller and take a walk. With a little activity your child will forget they are feeling down. Pack a backpack and venture out in the woods. Make sure to have something was to drink and plenty of water. Take time to sit in the moss and listen to the birds. The woods offer shelter from rain and wind and imagination.

2) Dress-up and make a play or a movie. Let your child decide what character they want to be and the time will fly by. When they get a little older they can add music and edit their photos and videos into a movie. Check out or video ‘Indiana Elly’. We were lucky to get our big sister involved.

3) Get out the paint – join your child and make a mess. You might even make some unique gifts.

4) If you child is missing a lot of days from school, keep them up-to speed by ‘playing school’. Let them be the teacher and find out what subject they are interested in.

5) Play board games or put together a puzzel. This is a great way to wasted the time. Drink plenty of fluids – offer a favourite food or drink.

Most important – try to enjoy the time together!

The First Year

StayCay –  Rental, Service and Inspiration

Happy Holidays

StayCay started with a belief in slowing down and focusing on important things; family, health, nature and being. Taking a vacation requires a cost/benefit analys that should not only consider a financial cost but a efficiency analys. For example, a vacation can be spent on an exotic island or it can be as simple as staying at home and visiting places and people we care about – a staycation.

To be sure, undertaking a journey across the world is an indulgence rather than a necessity.  It is a great way to expand our knowledge about the world and experience social interactions we would otherwise miss. Yet, these experience cost money and a tremendous about of time. Think about the endless hours spent searching for the best place to visit at the best price. Consider, the time it takes to pack, find someone to look after the place (watch the family pet), fix passports and visa applications, waiting in security lines and last but not least wasting time with entertainment systems while sitting on the airplane. Don’t forget unpacking and washing when you get home. I think you get my point, it is not only an indulgence of money but time.

A staycation on the other hand, allows you to save on accommodations and travel but also time and energy. By staying ’home’, you have money over for the activities you want and time to be with the people you have been missing while rushing off to work.

A middle option, somewhere between exotic vacations and staying at home, is the family cabin. The place were we can ’just be’ and indulge in the hobby we cherish. Yet, owing a family cabin is not only an economic luxury, it can also be a social liability for many extended families. How many times have you heard how the family cabin has been the catalyst for many uncomfortable or non-existent family visits?

2017 should be the year you try a 4th option – take a StayCay with us. We rent homes and cabins and add extra service to that your vacation is what it should be – time for slowing down and focusing on important things; family, health, nature and being. We have made a top staycation tips for 2017!

Chanterelle 'gold'.Tip 1: The North Woods

Hiking trails are  in abundance in Sweden. In the late summer you can hunt for the ‘gold of the woods’ – Chanterelles.

See Skåne by bikeTip 2: Kattegatleden

Bike Sweden’s West Coast on the inter regional bike trail.  Tip: Spend a relaxing week in Vejbystrand.

img_3034Tip 3: Midsommar

Every June, Sweden celebrates the longest day of the year. Every village has a special celebration. Pick wildflowers and make a crown for the dance.

vejbystrand beachTip 4: Vejbystrand

Enjoy our little village with a big heart. Tennis, sailing, football, music, the beach and the outdoor pool.

World class tennis in Båstad Tip 5: Tennis in Båstad

Watch tennis at its best in beautiful Båstad. Enjoy shopping, dinning and dancing.

Pyttebro - bridge over Rönneån from our StayCay boatTip 6: Skälderviken

Rent our StayCay boat and get out on the water and see seals, dolphins and more. Just a short trip the Vejbystrands harbor and you can set anchor på Hallandsväderö or Kullaberg.

Last year, we were able to help 10 homeowners rent out their homes and we are proud to have helped over 15 families with their ’staycay’ in our community. Our goal for 2017 is double these numbers. Hope to see you in 2017!

Fall in love with Skåne this autumn

2016 – Skåne opens our door to the world with Eurorando 2016. Right in our backyard, you can hike 3 beautiful trails that are near historical sights, harbor, fields, orchards and breathtaking views. Just a two hour flight from Stockholm, two hour train ride from Copenhagen or a car trip down from Oslo. The best part about these trails are they are open all year round!

If you are interested in golf or horseback riding it is good to know we have some of Swedens finnest courses and riding areas just minutes away!

We also have Swedens best and most beautiful farming county. Bike along the new Kattegattleden and you will see the seasons finest offerings. Combine this with hunting for the forests ’gold’ (mushroom and berry picking), a vist to our fine farm stores for an unforgettable ’foodie’ weekend. We can tell you where to buy the best lamb, wild game, smoked sausages, local grown beef and seafood delights.

We even offer a beautiful home where you can cook and enjoy these treasures. Make a get-to-getter long weekend with friends or family and staycation at one of our beautiful homes. Check-out below for pictures of the amazing autumn home in Stora Hult Sweden – In the heart of it all.

Check out our fun video.

Dairy Princess for the day

In 1965, Mary Ann Titrud Springer represented Todd County as Minnesota’s Princess Kay of the Milky Way. She was from a little village and the first person to have her bust carved out of butter and placed on display at the MN State Fair.

Over 50 years later, in a little village in Sweden, two friends played Dairy Princess for the day. They milked the cows until the job was done. They laughed, they worked and they loved it. Later, I was told that a job is only work when you have to do it alone. When you have help it is play. No butter carvings of these girls. They now understand the meaning of från jord to bord (from the ground to the table).

The next day we separated the cream from the milk and made different dairy products. We ended with Swedish pancakes. They were so sweet, they did not need sugar.

Princess for the day

Saving for something big

Big idea

Dreams, goals or ideas: they are the motor of our lives.

Be careful with your dreams, even the impossible ones. They are the motor of our personality and keep your life interesting. People around you will often support you. Sometimes they won’t.

Your parents, partner, boss or friend may or may not share your dream. It is your dream. Work with it, let it be your driving force… as long as it gives you positive energy. Listen to those who respect you, they will often see warning signs if your dream starts taking over the daily tasks; eating, exercising and sleeping. After all, everyone ends up with their head in the clouds sometime.

One thing is certain, taking action towards your dream is a DIY project! You will need to take advice along the way and ask for help when you are stuck. Yet, you are the only one to decide to pick up the tools to build or deconstruct.

Check out the below video for inspiration. The volume is low, so you might need to turn it up slightly.

DIY – making dreams

Making meaning: Ice-cream social

'Park Bench Philosopher'

When I grew-up we had the ‘Ice-Cream Social’. My grandfather made old fashioned vanilla ice-cream and my mother baked blueberry pies. This was our chance to eat the best pie and ice-cream our neighbours had to offer. Although there was never an official, ‘blue ribbon’ pie, everyone knew to come early, in order to have a chance to consume that pie you had been dreaming about all year.

Consumption is a changing concept. In medical terms it pertains to an infectious disease cased by the bacteria MTB or Tuberculosis. According to Wikipedia, consumption becomes dangerous or ‘active’ approximately 10% of the time. Consumption is also something the majority of the world is deeply embedded in. Our social, economic and political systems burn or grind depending on the levels of  economical consumption. Many scholars agree that economical consumption is, like the medical reference, dangerous – some of the time. Depending on your ideology, you might define too much consumption as being ‘dangerously active’ 10%, 20% or even 80% of the time.

Sustainable consumption is moderate consumption. One example of moderate consumption is second hand shopping. Donating, purchasing and supporting second hand shopping is fun, and it contributes to a sustainable level of consumption. The money collected from second hand shops often gets circulated back into our communities. Take for example, the Red Cross, Good Will or even our very local Vejby Loppis. The concept of moderate consumption is a popular concept and is being endorsed by large companies. In Sweden, garbage management companies, are making so much money off our waste that they are attempting to change our behaviour by encouraging, not only sorting of plastics, food waste, cardboard, glass and metal from the ‘rest’ of the garbage, but campaign  longer lasting products and buying building supplies (like kitchen cabinets, doors, windows) through second hand outlets.

I want to share my youthful sweet precious memories with my children and at the same time I want to teach them about sustainable living. Many things from my youth have changed and I have moved to the other side of the pond. Yet, wherever we find ourselves, human nature will create spaces for a local ‘modern’ version of the ‘ice-cream social’. If you are in town this weekend, come to our little Vejbystrand and see how popular and fun second hand shopping can be.

Special ‘Second Hand Farmers market” at Vejby Loppis in Vejbystrand. Come early – 11:00 – to check-out your dream items. Action and selling begins at 12:00. Entry cost, 20 SEK and includes coffee and a sweet bit to dip in your coffee. Please park at the public school – Magnarps skolan and you are sure to find a great treasure to take home or just enjoy this community event.

Park at:
Magnarps skolan
Magnarps Byaväg 333
266 53 Vejbystrand

Thank you Vejby IF for your Facebook post, NSR for information on your campaign, and my friend Sanna for sharing her spring cleaning pictures.

If you are unfortunate to miss this event, be sure to book for calendar for another community event in nearby Vejbyslätt.  Sommar Community Garage Sale on July 17th from 11:00 – 13:00. Search in maps for Vejbyslätts bygata – Once you are in Vejbyslätt, you can’t miss it!