torsdag 29. desember 2016

Writing a Five Year Plan

The years between finishing high school and starting at university was basically a big mess, going from job to job and sometimes being unemployed (NOT fun) and I honestly felt I was only existing, not living. It was only when I found out I had ADD and non-verbal learning disorder I saw a tiny light in the end of the tunnel. A bigger light came when I finally got accepted into university for an undergrad degree, majoring in English language and literature.

For the first time in YEARS I could finally look a bit ahead and not just day by day/month by month. I also finally got a bit of a hope that I could actually achieve something. Now I'm in my final year at my undergrad degree and I've written the first draft of a five year plan, starting in 2017, so that I can work a bit more on myself, which I felt that I was unable to do during the years inbetween high school and university.

Some of my goals on my five year plan includes finishing my undergrad degree (obviously), take a couple of Coursera courses, get CELTA certified, get a (permanent) job and keep it, write/publish a novel, volunteer, save cash for an MA degree, and obtain a driver's license (even at the age of 28 I still don't have it).

I might sound a bit ludacris, but before starting at university, I felt as if I was in a limbo state and that I now finally can allow myself to dream and have goals for my future. I think a lot of people could potentially benefit from writing a five year plan so they feel that they have something to work towards, especially if they are in a similar situation I was in earlier.

A couple of blog posts that I found helpful writing my five year plan was this one and this one.

Have you written a five year plan or have been thinking about writing one? Regardless of the answer, never be afraid to dream (big).

tirsdag 20. desember 2016

Making a Home; Round Up of Christmas Gifts in a Jar

Christmas is soon upon us and if you need any ideas for some last minute gifts, this blog post might help you with that. I find Christmas gifts in a jar a pretty cute idea and many of them is suitable for a low budget. Personally I feel that it's not the amount of money you spend on a gift that matter, but the thought behind it, and honestly, why spend a lot of cash on a gift you're not even sure the reciever will like?

Here is a little round up of gifts in a jar ideas;
Keep Warm Kit Gift Jar
Tea Time Mason Jar Gifts
101 Gifts in Jars Recipes
Mason Jar Christmas Gift Idea
Christmas in Jars - Linky Party
5 Colourful Handmade Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas
Reindeer Noses Mason Gift Jars
10 Ideas for Handmade Hifts in a Jar
51 Christmas Gift in a Jar Ideas
5 DIY Baked Gifts in a Jar With Free Printable Recipe Tags

Do you guys have any great gifts in a jar ideas to recommend? Feel free to post it in a comment. Also, if you need any more inspiration on gift ideas in general, feel free to check out my Christmas gifts board on Pinterest.

torsdag 15. desember 2016

Thirsty Thursday; Slow Cooker Gingerbread Latte

It's less than two weeks to Christmas (where on Earth did the time go?) and yesterday I had a craving for slow cooker latte. I ended up making it a bit Christmassy; I made a gingerbread variety. I think this one could be suitable for Christmas parties as well, as it is gingerbread-flavoured and it doesn't take any space at the stove top, you only need to have in mind how many you're serving, and adjust the measurements accordingly.

Slow Cooker Gingerbread Latte
Yields 3-4 (depending on the mug etc)
1 liter milk
1 dl maple syrup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tea spoon ground ginger
1 tea spoon vanilla sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tea spoon whole cloves
Pinch of nutmeg
5 dl strongly brewed coffee
Gingerbread cookies for garnish (optional)

Add all the ingredients (apart from the gingerbread cookies) in the slow cooker and put it on high setting for around 2 hours or until heated through. When serving, use a sieve so you don't end up having cinnamon sticks or whole cloves in the coffee.

tirsdag 13. desember 2016

Making a Home; Recipe for Lussekatter

In Norway and Sweden, it is a tradition celebrating Saint Lucy Day (or Santa Lucia as she is called in Norwegian) on December 13th. 

One of my earliest memories of that day was the procession my kindergaten had at the local primary school where we was dressed up in white gowns/cloaks singing the song "Santa Lucia" while handing out "Lussekatter", a Christmas cookie/treat. Also, one lucky kid at kindergarten had the honour to be "Lucia", wearing the light crown and walking in front of the actual procession (I never got the chance, and I'm still a bit bummed over it, because I remember I desperately wanted to).

Here's a video showing the song and the procession (though not with Lussekatter).

Since I'm anyway writing a post about Santa Lucia and Lussekatter, I wanted to share with you a recipe for, you guessed it, Lussekatter.

1 kg all purpose flour
5 dl whole milk
150 grams white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
1 gram saffron (can be substituted for 1/2 teaspoon tumeric)
2 eggs, one for the dough and one for brushing the cookies
50 grams fresh yeast (one one sachet dry yeast)
150 grams melted butter, cooled a bit down
Raisins for decoration (optional)

Mix the saffron, egg and the yeast in the milk. Mix all other (dry) ingredients in a bowl. First add the milk mixture in the bowl and blend it a bit before adding the melted butter, so you don't end up with scrambled eggs in the dough.

Let the dough rise for around 45 minutes, and then cut the dough up in small pieces and make figures as pictures showed here. Let the lussekatter rest/rise for another 45 minutes on a baking sheet. Before placing them in the pre-heated oven, brush them with the remaining egg and decorate with raisins. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Put them in the oven for around 8 to 10 minutes.

mandag 12. desember 2016

Menu Plan Monday Week 50

New week and therefore it is probably time for a new Menu Plan Monday post, thanks to the lovely blogger Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie. This week is my first full week of Christmas break, as I had my last final oral exam on Wednesday (and I've already got the result; I got C.).

At the moment I'm having a bit of trying to use some of the stuff that I've already got in my pantry, freezer and so on, just to try and clear some space, esp. considering that I ordered something from, a Norwegian brick-and-mortar AND online store for overstock groceries and soon past the expiration date, yet still edible/usable goods (yay for ordering 30 packs of noodles for 19 cents a piece, or $5,79 total, which is basically a great bargain when you're a student in Norway. Come on, it's dinner for a month under $6).

I'll probably write a very own post about after I've picked up the package at the post office. Now, over to write about what I was supposed to write about, this week's menu plan.

Here it is;
Monday; Leftovers from Sunday
Tuesday; Fish Fingers
Wednesday; Spaghetti Bolognese
Thursday; Leftovers from Wednesday
Friday; Fish Fingers
Saturday; Thai Red Curry Soup
Sunday; Fish Fingers

Other; I will probably make Slow Cooker Spiced Mulled Wine.

Do you have a menu plan for this week/month?

torsdag 8. desember 2016

Christmas Gifts That Give More

Has everyone started the shopping for Christmas gifts, started to think about them, or are you like me, who is already finished? Finding the "right" gift is often a bit of a challenge, especially if you're going to buy something for someone who has "everything" (I guess we all have at least one person like that on our list).

In order to give you guys a bit of inspiration, I wanted to share with you some charities that you can donate to (and potentially get a symbolic card to give) and/or some actual physical gifts to to purchase. Considering we live in the age of consumerism, I think it's okay to actually give some thoughtful gifts that give a bit more. Not that I say it's wrong with "regular" gifts, but personally I enjoy both giving and recieving gifts that has a thought behind it and I am a big sucker for charities that do good stuff.

I have divided the list into two sections - one for my Norwegian readers and one for my international readers, so no one feels left out (and I'm not saying that my Norwegian readers can't purchase anything from the international ones or vice versa). I could also might mention that this list is a bit for inspiration, so if you want to purchase holiday gifts from a different charity, feel free to do so as I know this list is loaded with animal charities.

Røde Kors
Redd Barna
Kirkens Nødhjelp

Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary
Blind Cat Rescue
The Donkey Sanctuary
Wild Cat Sanctuary
Bat World Sanctuary
Bear With Us
Shadowland Foundation
Snow Leopard Trust

An addition is the 2017 calendar from a Canine Epilepsy charity, but I'm not quite sure if it's up for sale yet.

tirsdag 6. desember 2016

Making a Home; Round Up of Christmas Crafts

One of the things I like about Christmas time is doing some crafts. It takes away some of the holiday stress a bit to sit down and make something with my bare hands. I decided that I wanted to share a round up of Christmas crafts with you guys.

Some of them is simple enough that you can do them with your kids (if you have any) and some of the crafts might be suitable as handmade Christmas gifts (an added bonus there, you get the chance to be a bit crafty AND tick off a few Christmas gifts at the same time - great, isn't it?).

So here they are;
DIY Snow Covered Pine Cones
Pipe Cleaner Christmas Tree Craft for Cards
Christmas Mason Jar Luminaries
Carving Twig Gnomes
Felt and Pine Cone Elves
Craft These Formed Yarn Ornaments to Adorn Your Christmas Tree
Gingerbread Sugar Scrub Recipe
DIY Peppermint Sugar Scrub
Epsom Salt Snow Candle
Felted Hearts
Table Decorations: Place-Card Holders
Cinnamon Ornaments

Do you do any Christmas related crafts? If so, feel free to come with ideas in the comment section.

mandag 5. desember 2016

Menu Plan Monday Week 49

After a wee bit of chaos the last couple of weeks due to final exams, I've finally got the time to write a Menu Plan Monday post, hosted by I'm An Organizing Junkie. Like seriously, how do people with kids manage their days? I stuggle as it is and I'm both single and childless, so I want to give parents a wee bit of credit.

Luckily I have my last final exam on Wednesday, so I'm soon getting Christmas break. It is in a sense almost a bit bitterweet as I've finished my final written final exam a couple of weeks ago and this week I'm doing my last final oral exam, as in the spring I'm doing my BA thesis and only that. It's my last Christmas break from uni for crying out loud (and as you might figured out, it's a lot of countdowns/finals to cross out this year). Am I weird for actually enjoyng university a bit, apart from the actual exams of course?

I might need to stop now, otherwise this post is totally going to spiral into a post I didn't plan for. So here we go, here's my menu plan for this week.

Monday; Mexican Tomato Soup
Tuesday; Fish Fingers
Wednesday; Beef Stroganoff
Thursday; Spaghetti Bolognese
Friday; Leftovers from Thursday
Saturday; Fish Fingers
Sunday; Vegetable Soup

torsdag 1. desember 2016

Thirsty Thursday; Hot Spiced Apple Cider

Considering that we're in one of the darkest months of the year, I wanted to share with you my go-to recipe when it comes to hot spiced apple cider. It can be used for those cold nights when you want something "comforting" or you can use it for when you are entertaining (just double or triple the recipe, depending on how much you need).

So here it comes, my recipe for hot spiced apple cider.

Hot Spiced Apple Cider
1 liter apple cider
3 cinnamon sticks or 1/2-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 desiliter brown sugar
1/2-1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
A pinch of nutmeg
One orange or two clementines, in wedges

Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer (under a lid) for 10-15 minutes. When serving it, strain it to remove the spices and wedges of orange/clementines.

tirsdag 29. november 2016

100 Things To Do This Christmas Season

December is coming pretty soon and I wanted to give you some ideas of activities to do during the Christmas season. Some of them are perhaps most suitable either for kids, families, singles or couples, but it's up to you if you want to do any of the ideas listed. If you're planning on doing an "activity advent calendar" I'm sure you can get a bit of inspiration from this list.

And don't worry, not even I have all the time in the world to do all the 100 ideas on this list, and it's unlikely that I will do those involving snow, as my area of Norway isn't "spoiled" with a lot of snow.

Here is the list of 100 things to do this Christmas season.
  1. Host a Christmas pot luck
  2. Make mulled wine
  3. Bake Christmas cookies
  4. Make a gingerbread house
  5. Make edible Christmas gifts
  6. Make homemade Christmas gifts (not edible)
  7. Make snow lanterns
  8. Play in the snow (if you're lucky enough to have snow in your area)
  9. Make snow angels
  10. Build a snowman
  11. Have a snow ball fight
  12. Take photos in the snow
  13. Go caroling
  14. Listen to Christmas songs
  15. Go iceskating
  16. Have a picnic inside by the Christmas tree
  17. Find the sleeping bags and have a sleepover by the Christmas tree
  18. Put up decorations
  19. Do holiday inspired crafts
  20. Take a walk in nature (feel free to bring the camera along!)
  21. Take a drive to look at Christmas lights/decorations
  22. Drink hot chocolate with marshmellows
  23. Watch a Christmas movie
  24. Have a Christmas movie marathon
  25. Read a Christmas-themed book
  26. Have a Christmas readathon
  27. Get your photo taken with Santa
  28. Decorate the Christmas tree
  29. Host a cookie exchange/decorating party
  30. Take cookies/gifts to family, friends, etc
  31. Serve at a soup kitchen
  32. Go sledding (with or without dogs)
  33. Attend a local Christmas festival/market
  34. Write a letter to Santa
  35. Make paper snowflakes
  36. Experience a Christmas tree lighting ceremony
  37. Dress up
  38. Make New Year's resolutions
  39. Have a pot luck dinner with old friends
  40. Plant indoor flower bulbs
  41. Make your own Christmas wrapping paper and/or gift tags
  42. Go see The Nutcracker
  43. Kiss the person you love under the mistletoe
  44. Embrace wearing the ugly Christmas sweater in your wardrobe
  45. Learn how to knit and/or knit a scarf
  46. Do some volunteer work
  47. Donate a toy/present to a local Christmas gift drive for those in need
  48. Make, write and send your own Christmas cards
  49. Stay in PJ's all day
  50. Give a "secret" gift to someone
  51. Make indoor s'mores
  52. Make some handmade Christmas tree ornaments
  53. Make cookies and milk to leave outside for Santa on Christmas Eve
  54. Elf on the Shelf
  55. Have a Christmas countdown
  56. Have an advent calendar
  57. Give your kids (or partner) a new PJ on Christmas Eve
  58. Visit the library and borrow Christmas books (or movies/music)
  59. Get a Christmas manicure
  60. Rock red lipstick
  61. Enjoy peppermint and/or gingerbread lattes
  62. Create a Christmas playlist (music)
  63. Read by the Christmas tree
  64. Have a Christmassy bubble bath
  65. Host a Christmas movie night
  66. Make and drink wassail
  67. Make a hot chocolate bar
  68. Write a Christmas wishlist
  69. Wrap Christmas gifts
  70. Have an ugly sweater party
  71. Put up Christmas lights
  72. Shovel someone's driveway (if snow)
  73. Cut down your own Christmas tree
  74. Sleep in a cozy cabin
  75. Kiss someone at midnight
  76. Do an outdoor winter photoshoot
  77. Try a new soup recipe
  78. Buy a pair of fuzzy slippers
  79. Go through old photos
  80. Write a handwritten letter to a friend or familymember
  81. Catch snowflakes on your tongue
  82. Throw a game night
  83. Wear something that sparkles
  84. Pay it forward/do a random act of kindness
  85. Catch up with old friends at a café
  86. Get up early and have your breakfast at a café
  87. Sit by the fire and relax
  88. Make a gift for your  teacher(s)
  89. Visit old relatives (like grandparents)
  90. Donate old toys (and other things)
  91. Find a place with "proper" holiday cheer/spirit
  92. Donate to a non-profit in need
  93. Share a meal with someone who needs a friend during the holidays
  94. Celebrate Winter Solstice
  95. Have a date night with your partner (and WITHOUT the kids)
  96. Give your kids a Night Before Christmas Box
  97. Maybe you could start having a couple of Harry Potter inspired Christmas traditions
  98. Shop for stocking stuffers
  99. Dust off the formal attire and attend a Christmas symphony orchestra concert
  100. Visit a farm that has an "open day" with a Christmas theme

søndag 27. november 2016

Weekly Happiness Week 47

Another week has passed and here are some of the things that put a smile on my face.

A free coffee at Starbucks on my birthday

Visiting a local secondhand book shop and buying a couple of books

Being finished with my last written exam at university (as long as I pass it of course)
Trying out a relatively new local restaurant
Recieving a gift card as a birthday gift
Decorating my flat for Christmas

onsdag 23. november 2016

My University Goal

I haven't written too many "personal" posts on this blog, but this is one of those posts, so you can get to know me a bit better.

At the moment one of my biggest goals is to finish my undergrad degree at university. I had originally planned to do the degree full time (three years), but I'm now on my fifth and last year as a part time student. I love what I do (English major, history minor) and it is in a sense sad to be finished this spring even if it has been a couple of bumps in the road, having ADD, non-verbal learning disorder and general anxiety disorder.

Maybe it is a bit because of the bumps in the road that has made me even more determined to finish my degree, especially considering that I have been told by so-called professionals (aka a shrink) that I probably shouldn't be studying at university at all, considering the ADD. Come on, seriously? ADD'ers aren't "stupid", we just function a bit differently and with the right help, we can accomplish a lot (some of us even without ADD-medicine).

This might seem like a bit of a rant post, but my point is that I've dreamt about going to university since I was a kid; now I've finally gotten the chance and I'm seizing the opportunity while I can. I'm also not letting the ADD, non-verbal learning disorder and anxiety define who I am, as it is just a part of me, not the whole me.

torsdag 17. november 2016

Thirsty Tuesday; Basic Smoothie Recipe

Sometimes I don't have that much of an appetite in the morning and I guess I'm not the only one. One of the things that have helped me a bit is basically having a smoothie (and possibly some oat porridge) just to have some fuel to kickstart the day. A thing that I have done is making portion sized packages of smoothie mixes, so it's just to thaw the pack for 15-30 minutes before putting it in the blender with some liquid.

The recipe I'm going to share with you is the basic recipe, so you can add what type of fruit and/or berries you like yourself, whether it's raspberries, strawberries, mango, blackcurrants, you name it (though I don't know how well it will go with apples, as they tend to get brown relatively quickly).

Basic Smoothie Recipe
2,5 dl fruits/berries (diced if needed)
Half a banana (diced)

Add these ingredients in a zip lock bag and freeze until needed. When having the smoothie, take it out 15-30 minutes before to allow some thawing. Then put it in the blender (the fruits/berries and banana, not the zip lock bag) with 1,5 dl of prefered liquid (I often use milk or orange juice).

mandag 14. november 2016

Menu Plan Monday Week 46

Sometimes I feel that the time fly away so fast and we're already in the middle of November. It also happens to be my last week with lectures at university for the term (!) and next week I have the first of two exams. Yikes! Hopefully I'll pass them both, even though it's always a bit nerve wrecking.

With my normal "laziness" when it comes to dinners, here's my menu plan for the week. And as before, this blog post is written thanks to the weekly feature at the blog I'm an Organizing Junkie

Monday; Heinz Tomato Soup
Tuesday; Autumnal Stew
Wednesday; Leftovers
Thursday; Heinz Tomato Soup
Friday; Fish Fingers
Saturday; Pasta with Cheese Sauce
Sunday; Fish Gratin

Do you have a weekly menu plan and if so, what's your plan for the week?

søndag 13. november 2016

Weekly Happiness Week 45

It's the end of yet another week and here is some of the things that put a smile on my face lately.

Reading a poetry collection while drinking coffee

Stock up on various items on sale/discount at the grocery store (they had a big $1.5 sale)
Having a great lunch at a Chinese restaurant

torsdag 10. november 2016

Pros and Cons of Shopping

I have a confession to make; I have a slight dislike towards going shopping for clothes. Now I’ve finally busted a myth that bloggers (and women) love hanging out on the mall, spending HOURS on shopping for clothes. Weird, huh? I guess we’re all different after all. While some like mindless wandering around checking out everything, I have a list of things I need, go in search of it, find it, buy it and get out as soon as I can. In worst case scenario, I try the piece before purchase, but that is rare (unless we’re talking jeans and tight fitting dresses as I struggle to find something that fit me as I’m plus sized).

Luckily there is a thing called online shopping, which means I can purchase a lot of those items that I don’t need to try on before purchase in peace and quiet without being surrounded by a bunch of other shoppers. It’s not that I dismiss brick-and-mortar shops, by all means, as I often use them as well, but for an introvert, online shopping can occasionally be a good thing. Some online shops have even free shipping, and possibly return as well.

Just as a small note when it comes to brick-and-mortar shops; do use them, especially the local and independent ones, as they are in need of costumers in order to survive. For instance, a couple of my favourite local independent shops in my area include a coffee and tea shop and a Middle Eastern/Asian grocery store and in both shops, I get really good customer service. Often the independent shops go the extra mile to keep their customers and it does show.

But back to online shopping; a couple of my favourite stores (when it comes to clothes and assecoirs) include Etsy, Zalando, Indiska, Nelly and beyondBeanie. The latter one is totally awesome, as they use local artisans to make their items and they donate to charity; one bracelet means dental care for one child, for instance.

My main point here could possibly be; feel free to use online shops (at least don’t be scared of them), but please remember to use the brick-and-mortar shops as well, as people are dependent on having a job. It’s all about balance, one doesn’t exclude the other. Some things you could only find at online stores and some things you could only find at brick-and-mortar shops.

Just to finish things off; here is a couple of tops I got in the mail today from Zalando.

tirsdag 8. november 2016

Making a Home; Round Up of Advent Calendar Ideas for Kids + A Few For Adults

I almost feel a bit sacrilegious for writing the first blog post about Christmas in November, but since it is one of the biggest holidays, probably the biggest holiday in Norway at least, it sometimes needs a bit of planning. One of the things that could be okay to think about even in November, is the advent calendar if you're going to have one.

So in order to save some stress, and give you parents a bit of inspiration ahead of time, here comes a round up of advent calendar ideas. I decided to give you a variety of ideas, from reverse advent calendars to activity and Christmas book calendars and a lot in between, as no family is the same. Who knows, maybe you get the inspiration to switch it up a bit?

Mostly for the kids;
Reverse Advent Calendar
Book Advent Calendar
Bookish Christmas Countdown
Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar
Printable Advent Calendar Activity Cards
How to Make a Family Activity Advent Calendar
25 Days Of Family Christmas Activities
Easy DIY Advent Calendar Jar + 35 Advent Calendar Ideas
Children's Advent Calendar Printable
DIY Christmas Tree Advent Calendar
Free Printable Vintage Advent Calendar
Free Printable Advent Calendar Treat Bag Kit
33 Clever And Adorable DIY Advent Calendars
25 Advent Calendars
35 DIY Advent Calendars to Make Now So You're Ready for December

Adult advent calendars;
12 Days of Christmas for Your Spouse
12 Sexy Days of Christmas
Daddy's Advent Calendar
Tea Envelope Advent Calendar

mandag 7. november 2016

Menu Plan Monday Week 45

New Monday and therefore a new Menu Plan Monday post, thanks to the lovely blogger I'm An Organizing Junkie. I can admit that I'm sometimes a bit "lazy" (or efficient?) as I'm a university student, but I still need to eat, otherwise how can I get some fuel in order to study?

Anyway, here is my menu plan for this week.

Monday; Tomato Soup with Macaroni
Tuesday; Pollock with Mashed Potatoes
Wednesday; Heinz Tomato Soup
Thursday; Fish Fingers
Friday; Pasta with Cheese Sauce
Saturday; Fish Gratin
Sunday; Thai Red Curry Soup

søndag 6. november 2016

Weekly Happiness Week 44

It is the end of another week and therefore it is probably time for a new Weekly Happiness blog post. Here is a few of the things that put a smile on my face lately.

On Halloween, my literature teacher had with her a pumpkin bucket filled with candy that was passed around in class. She certainly get A+ for being a nice teacher.

A yummy cappucino while I waited for the bus to visit my grandparents.

My so-called assistant who wanted to help me with my presentation in sociolinguistics.

Reading the horror novel The Jack in the Green by Frazer Lee.

fredag 4. november 2016

Under the Tuscan Sun; 15 AirBnB Places in Tuscany, Italy

(Contains affiliate links)

What is there not to love about Italy; culture, food and wine. There is also pretty landscape and some awesome places to stay, thanks to AirBnB.

Feel free to check out this places for inspiration.

Il Fienile in Pietra - The Stone Barn

San Casciano in val di pesa, Toscana, Italia
The Stone Barn is a portion of an old farmhouse, a few km from Firenze and Siena but nestled in the beautiful countryside of Chianti. With its private garden area with a table for lunch or dinner o...

Apartment in romantic village

Casole, Toscana, Italia
Borgo Farneta lies between Siena and Volterra and you will discover in these places a very beautiful Tuscany. The village is surrounded by nature. It can be reached from Casole d'Elsa by a dirt roa...

Villa Organi cottage in Toscana

Vaiano, Toscana, Italia
Set in the beautiful Tuscany countryside, the historical garden of Villa Organi has a sophisticated stone cottages, a swimming pool and an intense relationship with nature through a rich breakfast,...

Charming "Nido" in mediaeval borgo

Gaiole in Chianti, Toscana, Italia
On the highest point of a hill set among the mosaic of the vineyards, typical of the Chianti Classico area, in the heart of a medieval village, you'll find the Pieve Marsina The house, composed of...

Organic farm hills of Florence

Figline e Incisa Valdarno, Toscana, Italia
Ready for an authentic rural Tuscan lifestyle experience?..The deers graze the fields near the house, you can hear wild boars grunting and the crickets singing...Healthy food, good wine, friendly...

Santa Caterina b&b Monteriggioni

Monteriggioni, Toscana, Italia
Located on the first floor of a bautifully renovated farmhouse, the apartment has 3 double bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a large kitchen. It is possible to rent the whole apartment or just a room. ...

A lovely farm home in Tuscany

Larciano, Toscana, Italia
Podere Galilea is situated in a typical vineyard, which is part of the Montalbano Chianti region. Surrounded by the evocative hillsides, against which the ancient medieval castles of Vinci, Larcian...

Delicious country-house in Chianti

San Casciano in Val di Pesa, Toscana, Italia
An ideal location for a holiday or a break in Tuscany, Chianti. The peace and beauty of the Tuscan countryside, the proximity to great art cities (Florence, Siena, Pisa, Lucca), a delicious an...

Chianti Independent farm

San Casciano in Val di Pesa, Toscana, Italia
The Farmhouse Accomodation is a completely restored 60 sqm "Fienile" barnhouse. It is situated in the heart of the Chianti region in a dominant position on the Pieve di S. Stefano at Campoli (Ninth...

ROSA cosiest and romantic studio

Greve in Chianti, Toscana, Italia
Apt. ROSA, cooking corner, room with double and single bed and nice bathroom with shower. Outside private terrace with table to read and eat under the shade. Flat at ground floor. High timbered ce...

Casa al Bosco, Donnini - The BARN

Reggello, Toscana, Italia
the apartment is at the same location as the FARM, part of a typical Tuscan country house (casa colonica) set in the middle of nature. It has a living room/kitchen, two bedrooms, one bathroom and ...

Hayloft in historical Villa of 1300

Lastra a Signa, Toscana, Italia
Enjoy the sensation of living in a unique hayloft inside a 14th-century Villa. An ancient structure equipped with all modern facilities. A private garden in a peaceful context, near yet far from th...

WATCHTOWER small castle by Florence

Bagno a Ripoli, Toscana, Italia
Romantic, Family friendly, Historically unique, Magical atmosphere, 360 degree views of the countryside and Florence. Convenient location: perfect for honeymoon/anniversary, family trips, friends t...

Poggio di Dante zona Camaldoli

Poppi, Toscana, Italia
Fattoria storica nel comune di Poppi a pochi minuti dal monastero di Camaldoli. Casolare in pietra in posizione panoramica .Una Toscana affascinante ricca di storia e natura, pace e relax.

Santa Chiara b&b Monteriggioni

Monteriggioni, Toscana, Italia
A BEAUTIFULLY RESTORED FARM HOUSE LOCATED 3 KILOMETERS FROM SIENA AND 56 FROM FIRENZE. Easily reachable from the “Badesse” turnoff of the Siena – Firenze motorway. Only 400 meters to the train Stat...

mandag 31. oktober 2016

Menu Plan Monday Week 44

Wow, is it already Halloween and soon November? It is anyway a new Monday and therefore time for a new Menu Plan Monday post, thanks to the blogger I'm an Organizing Junkie.

I like to have a plan when it comes to dinners; I have an "overall menu plan" where I've listed all the dinners I have all the ingredients for, and with that one I plan my weekly menu. The overall menu plan helps me keep track of what dinners I have, so I don't end up planning to eat let us say fish for five days straight, and it also helps me use the groceries I do have at hand and what days I really need a plain simple dinner or leftovers (as I'm often a bit tired after lectures).

At the moment I'm having a bit of a "project" trying to clear out some of the stuff in my freezer and some of the canned goods I have due to a bit lack of storage (the punishment of living in a small flat I guess).

Here comes my menu plan for the week.

Monday; Leftovers from Sunday
Tuesday; Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Basil Tortellini Soup (with a few tweaks)
Wednesday; Leftovers from Tuesday
Thursday; Fish Fingers
Friday; Rajma Masala
Saturday; Aloo Mutter
Sunday; Salmon with Creme Fraiche and Mango Chutney

søndag 30. oktober 2016

Weekly Happiness Week 43

Sunday has finally arrived again and now it is time for me to look back on the things that made me smile this week.

Pretty leaves on campus

Completing my goal on Goodreads of reading 100 books this year
Recieving four books that I've ordered in the mail

tirsdag 25. oktober 2016

Making a Home; Some Personal Autumn Essentials

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Due to the fact that the autumn most certainly has arrived, I just wanted to share with you a couple of my favourite autumn essentials for bringing the cozy autumnal feel into the home.

Food and Drink
Honeybrush, Mandarin and Orange Tea
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Apple Pie Spice

For the Home Spa
Northern Forest Scented Tealights
Goat Milk and Chai Body Lotion
Cedarwood Scented Incense

I'm one of those who like nice scents, and one of the things that gives me a bit of comfort on the cold autumn nights are to curl up on the couch with a blanket, lighting some candles and drink some tea or hot chocolate. The scent is in a sense vital for me to enjoy those moments, whether it is from a hot drink or a candle or similar.

mandag 24. oktober 2016

Menu Plan Monday Week 43

New week and therefore a new Menu Plan Monday post, thanks to I'm an Organizing Junkie. I'm one of those who enjoy being a bit organized and it really helps me when it comes to managing "everything" that needs to be done, considering I'm a student who live on my own (whether it's food, studies, lectures, errands, chores, you name it). I'm single and childless and find it sometimes a bit difficult, so I have to give moms out there a bit credit.

Anyway, here is my menu plan for the week.

Monday; Heinz Tomato Soup
Tuesday; Meatballs with pasta
Wednesday; Leftovers from Tuesday
Thursday; Heinz Tomato Soup
Friday; Fishfingers
Saturday; Pasta with Al Forno Sauce
Sunday; Salmon with Creme Fraiche and Mango Chutney

I can't deny the fact that some of those dinners sound a bit boring, but quite frankly, microwave dinners (like Heinz Tomato Soup) or leftovers basically save the day when I come home from lectures exhausted with a bit of lov blood sugar and need food NOW.

søndag 23. oktober 2016

Weekly Happiness Week 42

Considering the fact that it is Sunday, it is probably time for a new Weekly Happiness post. Here is some of the things that put a smile on my face this week.

Sending out these socks to their new owner in the United States (I'm an Etsy seller)

Relax at Starbucks in Stavanger with a Pumpkin Spice Latte and a poetry anthology

Participate in Dewey's Readathon

Saving roughly $10 while grocery shopping just by being strategic enough and buy some stuff on sale/discount
Meet one of my friends for a coffee at the book café on campus
Finding the sheet music for Aslan's Theme (from the BBC adaption of Narnia) that I thought I had lost

torsdag 20. oktober 2016

6 AirBnB Castles in Scotland Where You Can Stay the Night

(Contains affiliate links)

Have you ever dreamt of living in a castle? I know I have at least. Unfortunately my wallet can't afford to buy one, but the next best thing is the possibility to rent either an entire castle, or at least a private room for the night, thanks to AirBnB.

Here is a few castles in Scotland, where you can spend the night.

Romantic Medieval Tower

Peebles, Storbritannia
Authentic medieval tower with roaring log fires and all modern comforts. In beautiful countryside on the River Tweed. Ideal for exploring the Scottish Borders. Biking at Glentress 5 minutes; Edinb...


East Lothian, Storbritannia
Colstoun is arguably the oldest inhabited home in Scotland. Certainly it is the home that has been inhabited the longest by one family, with the Brouns having lived in and owned the home for almost...

Elegant 18th Century Castle

Midlothian, Storbritannia
Melville Castle provides a comfortable selection of rooms and suites within the elegance of an 18th century castle. As one of Edinburgh’s most charming destinations, you’ll soon find out why so man...

Illieston Castle, Edinburgh Airport

Newbridge, Skottland, Storbritannia
Illieston is an historic and romantic family home located in the country side and bounded by the river Almond yet only 10 minutes drive from Edinburgh Airport. We welcome guests to stay on their ...

Historic castle in Borders

Gordon , Skottland, Storbritannia
Experience staying in a Scottish castle in the Borders. Double sleigh bed with private shower room and bathroom. Completely private and hidden away, a gem to be discovered.

The Tower at Faside Castle

Edinburgh and Lothians, Storbritannia
The Tower at Faside Castle, Edinburgh and Lothians

tirsdag 18. oktober 2016

Making a Home; In Love With Teabox

(This post contains affiliate links)

I've been in love with the online shop TeaBox for some time now. Not only do they have a "regular" online shop, but they do also have subscription options (various weight and it's costumized to what types of tea you like).

I recently purchased a couple of packages with Craigmore Classic Winter Frost Black Tea from the Nilgiri tea estate on sale and I really love the tea. One of the bigger bonuses with TeaBox is that even when you click on the "air mail" option the package arrives relatively quickly, considering it's shipped from India.

By the way, if you want to purchase anything from TeaBox, feel free to use this link and we both get $10 off on the next purchase.

mandag 17. oktober 2016

Menu Plan Monday Week 42

I saw that the blog I'm An Organizing Junkie had the weekly feature Menu Plan Monday and I decided I could write my own menu plan post today.

As I'm a university student living on my own, I'm not always having "fancy and blog worthy dinners", so I hope you guys bear with me. Nevertheless, here is my menu plan for this week.

Monday; Heinz Tomato Soup
Tuesday; Fish fingers
Wednesday; Meatballs with pasta
Thursday; Leftovers from Wednesday
Friday; Thai Red Curry Soup
Saturday; Salmon with Creme Fraiche and Mango Chutney
Sunday; Leftovers from Saturday (yes, I know, leftovers on a Sunday)

Other; Slow Cooker Caramel Latte on Saturday, as it is Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon.

søndag 16. oktober 2016

Weekly Happiness Week 41

(This post contains affiliate links)

In the society of today I feel that we're all in a rush and in a sense forget to "stop and smell the roses" from time to time. Personally I'm trying to be grateful for some of the small stuff that happens during my week, even though it's sometimes a bit hard. When we get old, I don't think it matter that much that you got that fancy promotion at work, but rather those small moments. For those of you who have kids, when was the last time you actually "was in the moment" and enjoying it while playing with your kid(s)?

Perhaps time to get to the point before my mind wanders off too much and sound too "preachy". Here is some of the things that put a smile on my face this week.

Making a successful batch of Slow Cooker Caramel Latte

Poetry street art on the ground close by one of my favourite coffee shops

Recieve the tea I ordered from Teabox

Having a relaxing evening reading The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle while eating marzipan chocolate and drinking tea

Finally recieving the September box (!) from Glossybox
Dye my hair red with red henna hair dye
Baking pumpkin pie for the first time

torsdag 13. oktober 2016

Thirsty Thursday; Slow Cooker Caramel Latte

I'm a big fan of using the slow cooker that I purchased a couple of years ago. Earlier this week when I was craving "fancy coffee", but didn't bother going to a coffee shop, I ended up making it myself in the slow cooker. Fair enough, I know it can't compete against a properly made coffee, but sometimes a "replacement" can work fine. And yes, you can use the slow cooker for more than just stews and soups.

Slow Cooker Caramel Latte
1 liter milk
5 dl strong brewed coffee
1 dl caramel coffee syrup

Add the ingredients to the slow cooker and stir. Cook it on high for about two hours until heated through. Then it is just to scoop it up into individual mugs. This recipe is for about 4 portions, depending on how big your mugs are.

onsdag 28. september 2016

5 Out of the Ordinary AirBnB Places to Rent in the UK

(Contains affiliate links)

Sometimes we all need to "escape" the everyday stress. One way of doing that is to do some travelling. The downside is that there is a fair chance you might end up at a somewhat unpersonal hotel room. Luckily AirBnB does exist and you can find a wide range of places to sleep.

Here is five out of the ordinary AirBnB places to rent in the UK.

Converted Chapel in the Countryside

Halifax, England, Storbritannia
Our delightful converted Methodist Chapel sits in the Yorkshire countryside. You have a choice of 2 lovely bright double rooms plus private bathroom, kitchen space and your own back door & parkin...

The Open Book - a bookshop holiday!

Wigtown, Storbritannia
Nestled into the pristine lowlands, The Open Book is a charming bookshop with apartment above in the heart of Wigtown, Scotland's National Book Town. Live your dream of having your very own booksh...

Beautiful, Large & Self-Contained

Parton, Storbritannia
Accommodation is a spacious double room set within a unique Georgian Stable House, surrounded by acres of tranquil woodland and situated on the east coast of Loch Ken. It comprises of a large doubl...

Castle Creavie, cheese Loft

Dumfries and Galloway, Storbritannia
A spacious self-contained apartment for two people in the original cheese loft adjoining the farmhouse, set amidst beautiful peaceful Galloway farmland.

The Haybarn Scottish Highland cabin

Balquhidder, Storbritannia
The best designed and made of the Tuarach wooden cabins, this is a real Hobbit house! 2 rooms = 2 double & 2 single beds. Next to loch with mountains and pub nearby. Wood burner- wood for sale on-...