mandag 27. februar 2017

Menu Plan Monday Week 9

New week and therefore a new Menu Plan Monday post, thanks to Laura at blog I'm an Organizing Junkie. I really enjoy writing these weekly menu plans, as I get to be a bit creative (and organized) when it comes to dinners AND I'm getting the chance to have a bit of circulation in terms of my groceries in the freezer and cupboard (dinner themed groceries, that it). For me, it's particularly important to have a bit of circulation in my freezer, as it's relatively small, so I often need to do a bit of "destash" if I want to purchase some groceries that will go in there.

So here is my menu plan for this week.
Monday; Breaded plaice with mushroom and shrimp sauce
Tuesday; Rice grain porridge
Wednesday; Fish gratin
Thursday; Vegetarian burgers
Friday; Sweet chili chicken wok
Saturday; Vegetarian burgers
Sunday; Oven poached salmon with creamy white wine and herb sauce

What's on your menu plan for this week if you have one?

Stock photo from Pexels

lørdag 25. februar 2017

Weekend Cooking; Slow Cooker Potato and Spring Onion Soup

Earlier this week I ended up using my beloved slow cooker for making Potato and Spring Onion Soup. I've seen several recipes for various slow cooker potato soup on Pinterest and with a bit of inspiration from a couple of them, I ended up making my own version and I wanted to share it with you. I've probably mentioned this before, but using a slow cooker is a nice thing, as it does most of the labour (apart from the prep work) and you don't need to think that much while making dinner with it. It certainly aids me while studying, and as I usually cook in big portions, I get leftovers to eat for a couple of days afterwards.

Slow Cooker Potato and Spring Onion Soup
Around 750 grams potatoes, diced
1 can sweetcorn (drained)
4-5 spring onions, chopped
7,5 dl stock
2,5 dl milk
2 tablespoons corn flour
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
Chopped parsley, to taste

Blend the milk and about 3 of the diced potatoes in a blender and add that mix, plus the rest of the ingredients (apart from the parsley) in a slow cooker. Cover and let it cook on high heat for 3-4 hours or low heat for 3-4 hours, depending on the potatoes. Just before serving, add the parsley.

onsdag 22. februar 2017

The Joy of Snail Mail

A few weeks ago I had a terrible migraine. What cheered me up that day was a postcard from a friend in the United States. Sometimes it's the small things that matter, even something as simple as a postcard waiting for the reciever in the mail box.

For me, since I've hand pen friends for over 15 years, it is a certain joy in both sending and recieving letters and/or postcards. There is something about sitting down reading what your friend has written and taking the time handwriting something in return. In this fast paced reality that a lot of us live in, I find it a bit soothing and relaxing having some nice letter sets in front of me while I write a letter. At the moment, I'm lucky enough to have pen friends from several continents and I do find it interesting to learn about the different lives through snippets written down on a piece of paper. Another good thing about writing handwritten letters is that you need to slow down and actually THINK when you write that letter, so it is in a sense a pratice of mindfulness, while you at the same time get the chance to make someone get a smile on their face when they see that your letter/postcard is in their mail box (and hopefully sooner or later you are the one standing there smiling by the mailbox).

But how do I get pen friends, you might ask? Well, there's a lot of options. Facebook groups are one place, but some of the web sites where I've been fortunate enough to get some long lasting pen friends from are Sendsomething.netSwap-BotPostcrossingPostcard United and A Month of Letters Challenge. Feel free to check those web sites out if you're interested.

Do you have any pen friends? If so, what do you like about having them?

tirsdag 21. februar 2017

Making a Home; Norwegian Carnival (Fastelaven) Traditions

In Norway, we do have a tradition Sunday to Tuesday running up to the Catholic lent called Fastelaven. One of the main things that happens is carnivals at several kindergartens and schools (among other places) in the shape of fancy costumes and celebration.

That Sunday, it's also a tradition to bake and eat what is called Fastelavensboller (a type of bun with whipped cream). It's only eaten during this part of the year, and if you are interested in making it, here is a recipe.

Another common feature is the birch twigs decorated with feathers. They light up the home until Easter, and it was originally a old pagan tradition bringing birch twigs into the home to invite the smell of spring. At Julia's Bookbag and in this Instagram blog post you can see examples of it.

Did you find anything of the stuff I mentioned a bit inspiring to either eat or do?

Stock photo from Pexels

mandag 20. februar 2017

Menu Plan Monday Week 8

New Monday and a new Menu Plan Monday post, thanks to Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie. How come that every time I try to do a "freezer detox", it end up being fuller than ever? Alright, there was "maybe" a couple of decent deals on frozen fish dinners and vegetarian burgers the last couple of weeks, so I couldn't resist as I'm a huge fan of fish and vegetarian dinners. The thing is, as I'm a student, I need to be a bit cautious money-wise, so when a good deal comes, why not take advantage of it? It's not like I want to be the stereotype when it comes to student dinners (aka eating instant noodles).

Stock photo from Pexels

Anyway, here is my menu plan for this week.

Monday; Slow Cooker Potato and Spring Onion Soup (I'll post the recipe later this week)
Tuesday; Leftovers from Monday
Wednesday; Chicken with carrot purée, peas and rice
Thursday; Pollock with mashed potatoes
Friday; Rice grain porridge (yes, a lot of Norwegians eat this porridge for dinner)
Saturday; Fish and chips
Sunday; Rice grain porridge

fredag 17. februar 2017

Friday Finds; Weekend Breakfast

(Contains affiliate links/ads)

Sometimes it's nice to sit down and actually have a proper breakfast during the weekend. In the hectic life that a lot of us have, how often do we actually relax and enjoy a slow morning while eating breakfast? Perhaps we all need to take some time and focus on the present. Here is a bit of inspiration, just to make those thoughts spinning a little bit.


onsdag 15. februar 2017

Why Self-Care Is Important and Ideas For How To Do It

We're taught it's important to brush our teeth once or twice a day, but it's rarely mentioned the importance of doing self-care, if at all. Self-care might sound like something extravagant and indulgent, but mental health is part of our health, right?

I do have my mental health issues and by trial and error I've learned the lesson that it is not a luxury, but a necessity to practice self-care. I've occasionally recieved  a few crappy comments from now former friends that I have some alone-time to recharge instead of being social, but guess what? If I'm in need of alone time and self-care, it is important that I get it, as no one gain anything from being around a person who is in desperate need of recharging their batteries - on their own. It is not being selfish doing self-care and/or a bit of alone time, because as I mentioned, it's not fair to anyone being miserable. We're all given a certain number of spoons in the morning - some of us recieve more, some recieve less and it is important to not run out of them before the evening comes.

Another perk of doing a bit of self-care is that you figure out a bit on what you like and don't like. People-pleasing chameleons who says "yes" to everything that gets thrown their way don't experience that concept that much. And remember, if you don't do a bit of self care and recharging, how do you expect to function from day to day? I might add that the list further down this post has both solitary activities and group activities, because even though you sometimes want to do some self-care all by yourself, sometimes self-care can involve others as well. It all depends on your mood and your needs.

Since I've already talked about why you should do self care, I wanted to give you some ideas how you can do it and if you're interested in reading a bit more about self care, feel free to check out Five Dimensions of Self Care and 50 Ways to Relax.

Here's some of my ideas (feel free to pick and choose, depending on your liking);
Cuddle with a pet
Play with a dog
Take a walk, or hike (on a beach, in a forest, or somewhere a bit outdoorsy)
Go for a swim
Clean and organize your space
Take a bath, perhaps with a bath bomb or something?
Practice yoga
Go to bed early
Read a book
Turn your phone off
Stay away from the computer for a while (at least an hour)
Stay away from social media for a while (at least an hour)
Do a DIY project
Do some colouring in a colouring book
Talk with a friend
Write down a list of all the things you're grateful for
Light a candle (or a few candles)
Do a home spa (think face masks etc, depending on your liking)
Make a homemade meal
Bake something
Indulce in that cup of cappucino (or other coffee) that you like
Cozy up in a blanket
Buy yourself some flowers
Drink some yummy tea or hot chocolate
Visit a café or coffee shop with a friend
Catch up with an old friend
Get a manicure
Go on an alone-date
Listen to some music
Practice positive self talk
Read some poetry
Engage in random acts of kindness
Practice gratitude
Buy/wear some sexy lingerie
Practice healthy boundaries
Learn something new
Be creative in one way or another (like knitting, painting etc)
Do something for the first time - like going at a new restaurant
Slow down and be present
Bingewatch your favourite TV-series
Go to a museum or an art gallery
Start your own vegetable patch or herb garden
Go out for a long Sunday brunch
Go to a farmer's market
Watch a movie at the cinema
Send a handwritten letter to a friend
Go to the park with some food, a picnic blanket and a good book

mandag 13. februar 2017

Menu Plan Monday Week 7

New Monday, which means time for a new Menu Plan Monday post, thanks to Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie. At the moment I feel like I'm in a limbo, as I'm waiting for my project proposal for my BA thesis to get approved sometime this week, so I don't dare to do that much in regards of prep-work before I get the "all clear". Regardless of university, I still need to eat and here is my menu plan for this week.

Monday; Fish Gratin
Tuesday; Swedish Meatballs
Wednesday; Vegetarian Hunter's Stew
Thursday; Leftovers from Wednesday
Friday; Norwegian Meat Cakes
Saturday; Pollock with Mashed Potatoes
Sunday; Norwegian Meat Cakes

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

Stock photo from Pexels

søndag 12. februar 2017

Weekly Happiness Week 6

Week six is almost over and here is a few of the things that put a smile on my face this week.

My little buddy who loves to have a lookout spot

Enjoying coffee and chocolate cake at the library café
Handing in my thesis statement and project proposal before the deadline
A few cute bullfinches eating outside my flat
Reading a few good novels

fredag 10. februar 2017

Friday Finds; Valentine's Day Gifts for Her

(Contains affiliate links/ads)

Are you still in search for a Valentine's Day gift for the woman in your life? If that is the case, here is a bit of inspiration for you. Some of the ideas might not be "standard" cheesy romantic gift ideas, but I know that at least I would love to recieve something like this. If nothing else, this gift guide could function as a bit of inspiration (chocolate and candles are usually never wrong).

Arnica Massage Oil | Clay Masks | Hand + Body Wash {LAVENDER+THYME} | Awaken Skin Rehab Scrub | Stryn ullledd offwhite, str 130×170 | Duftlys Vanilje | Cemo - Trøfler Havsalt | Cemo - Gourmetkaffe Java/mocca |

onsdag 8. februar 2017

Ideas for a Valentine's Day Date

It's soon Valentine's Day and if you're going on a date, but have no clue what to do on that date, I wanted to share a few ideas with you guys. I might add that there is no reason why you can't combine these ideas, or for that matter, use it as a general date idea list, as the year has over 364 other days, but since this month is February, I'm thinking about Valentine's Day.

Anyway, here is a few ideas. Some of them cost a bit of money, some are outdoors and some are at home, so you can pick and choose a bit, depending on what you like.

Trip to a museum or art gallery
Buy or make a kite and fly it on the beach (bonus if you catch sunrise/sunset)
Mini road trip
Board game night
Movie night
A twist on a restaurant date; instead of having a tree course dinner at one restaurant, go to one restaurant for the appertizer, one for the main and one for the dessert,
Go on a concert
Breakfast in bed
A hike in the forest or another nice spot for hiking
Bookstore hopping
Bar/pub crawl
Cooking course
Explosive Ceramics 101 if you're anywhere near Cape Town, South Africa
The Labin Coffee Tour if you're near London, UK
Coffee shop

(Photo credit; Pexels)

mandag 6. februar 2017

Menu Plan Monday Week 6

New week and time for a new Menu Plan Monday post, thanks to I'm an Organizing Junkie. The more I do those menu plans, the more I tend to love them. Why? Mainly because I get a bit of variation in my dinners, but also because I get some circulation when it comes to the food im y freezer, pantry etc and it really helps me a lot.

So here is my plan for this week;
Monday; Fish burgers
Tuesday; Curry flavoured noodles
Wednesday; Lighly breaded cod
Thursday; Pizza Mozzarella
Friday to Sunday; Yet to be decided

What is on your menu plan for this week if you have one? And if you don't have one, do you have any plans on starting to write a menu plan?

Stock photo from Pexels

søndag 5. februar 2017

Weekly Happiness Week 5

It's already February, and here is some of the things that put a smile on my face lately.

The first sign of spring

Enjoying an alone-date with a poetry collection and coffee at the local Starbucks

A Chucky street art piece in Stavanger

Borrowing a few books at the library and see that the library café has reopened after maintenance
Recieving an advanced reading copy of a book in the mail

lørdag 4. februar 2017

Weekend Cooking; Round Up of Valentine's Day Recipes

As a preparation for Valentine's Day, I wanted to share with you a round up of Valentine's Day inspired recipes. Not all of us can afford fancy travels (a bit of hypocrisy since I wrote that Friday Finds about AirBnB rents yesterday, I know, please don't kill me) and therefore have to celebrate Valentine's Day back home. Sometimes it's the thought behind it, and the efford you put in, not the size of the wallet, that counts.

So if you want to surprise your partner with some homemade food, here is a bit of inspiration for you.




Other Treats

(Stock photo from Pexels)

fredag 3. februar 2017

Friday Finds; Romantic Getaway

(Contains affiliate links)

It's soon Valentine's Day and some might want to do a romantic getaway. So in order to inspire you guys a bit, I wanted to share a few romantic spots you could rent through AirBnB, as I believe it is important to remember to take time for your partner. I might add that all of these places are in Europe.

Treehouse Greece

Tsichleika, Peloponnisos, Hellas
Relax in nature, be pampered with breakfast in bed, and full meal of your choice served with organic wine, under the tree, take a free yoga session or add a massage to end your day. All food and w...

Charming Rooms in a real Castle A

Vorden, Gelderland, Nederland
Be welcome and feel at home in our 13th century castle ! Feel the 800 years of charm and history. We have 4 guest rooms (so not the whole castle !). See other Airbnb-page to rent other rooms : htt...

Maisonette in Pyrgos, Santorini

Pyrgos Kallistis, Aegean, Hellas
"Anthea" is a renovated traditional house of 19th century, situated in Pyrgos village. The name "Anthea" was inspired by its surrounding garden which is filled with hibiscus and pomegranate trees. ...

Hatch's Castle - William Hatch Room

Ardee, Louth, Irland
Hatch's Castle has many beautiful features including the Dome Hall, the original spiral staircase, and a wonderfully restored drawing room on the first floor, where you can sit down and relax. We'...

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...

Bed and Breakfast in Luberon

Cavaillon, Provence-Alpene-Côte d'Azur, Frankrike
Nos deux chambres sont situées à une extrémité du Mas avec vue sur le jardin et la piscine. Cette chambre: "La Tête à Tête" est pour 2 personnes et se situe au rez de chaussée avec une terrasse pri...

Luxurious stone villa in Crete

Chania, Kriti, Hellas
it is a cave from natural rock that at previous years was used as a house by the family in the beginning, and as storage of agricultural products much later. In 2007 after careful renovation and r...