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...