January 20, 2016


I'm a bit disappointed in myself for not writing as frequently as I used to. I think the reason being I feel more integrated now. Life is just happening and everything is falling into place. I'm settled. Of course that doesn't mean I still don't feel like a bit of an outsider. I don't totally feel like I fit in. I feel like I'm in more of a limbo. I feel like if I were to move back to the United States I'd miss Norway and while I'm here in Norway I miss the United States. My brain is still always churning cultural differences between the two countries. And not a day goes by that I don't complain about how tiny and illogical Norwegian parking spaces are. But more to my point, life has just been happening in my neck of the woods. I have promised myself today I will be lazy and just stop for a bit and write. So I am. :-)

Refleks is a tiny, but important part of your mørketid (dark time) clothing choice. As many people have places to go by walking, or just getting out and enjoying some fresh air, it's extremely smart for one's safety to wear refleks. As shared below are some informative videos on refleks.

Informative video on refleks
Du lyser ikke i mørket
Kjenner du noen som skal ut og gå i kveld, så send dem denne.Del gjerne, for dette er enkelt, men det redder liv.Hvor mange så du?
Posted by NRK Møre og Romsdal on Sunday, November 22, 2015
Refleks on my arm and leg while outside running. 

And even refleks on the stroller. 

November 10, 2015

Autumn Decor

A few weeks ago I was introduced to BloomNation - a flower delivery service and was inspired to share some of my own ideas of how I as an expatriate use my own cultural background in my personal decorating with my blog readers.

My husband and I bought our first house last year. When I first moved here to Norway and moved into his apartment I never had the feeling of fully being in my own place. It just felt like I moved into my husband's bachelor pad. Of course I did change a few things, but once we bought our own home I felt like I could completely let loose and feel like our new house was my blank canvas. I do whatever I set my mind to as far as decorating my home - inside and out.

I do like having a bit of American-ism in my decorating. I really love primitives as can be seen in my kitchen. When in America, I enjoy finding primitive decor and bringing it back to my home in Norway. For example, I have a sign in my kitchen I bought from Tennessee that says, "When mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." I incorporate milk cans, milk jugs, the head of a rake (to hang potholders and wine glasses), and my own homemade crafts in my home decorating.

Fall is one of my favorite seasons to decorate for. I love the colors and I enjoy the autumn holidays. With Thanksgiving coming up I needed to decorate with what I have for the festivity. As seen below is my current dinner table decoration.

As pictured: Milkcan bought from michaels.com
Cotton stems (I twisted 5 small ones together to get one large one)
purchased from Søstrene Grene 3 kr a piece.
Burlap banner with Happy Thanksgiving painted on it.
Pumpkins and leaves bought from Nille
Milk bottles from Clas Ohlsen
Artificial flowers ordered from ebay.com

Lately I've been trying to use what I can find to help decorate for Thanksgiving. Luckily I make a lot of crafts because being an American living in Norway, I have found nothing with a turkey on it. No surprise there!

Feel free to check out BloomNation on Pinterest and also their own site for some decor inspiration!

August 16, 2015

Berry picking

Why buy berries in the late summer when you can pick them yourself? 

Last fall, my husband and I bought our first home and we now have a spectacular view of the woods. Our daughter has recently discovered the joy of picking raspberries and now that she knows she is welcome to her own free buffet of raspberries, I'm often dragged into the woods by a wild 2 year old shouting, "Here, Mamma!" as soon as we reach the raspberry bushes. 

Picking berries in late summer is a popular thing for the Viking people to do in the untamed Nordic wilderness. ;-) I often see others picking blueberries or raspberries along the forest, or wherever else wild berry bushes can be found. 

My berry sweet partner in berry picking. 

Blueberries picked from my back yard, not the forest. :-)

Wild raspberries.

This was my first time making raspberry jam. :-) 

July 29, 2015

The matpakke

A staple in Norwegian life is the matpakke. An openface sandwich with cheese, leverpostei, or other forms of pålegg (the wonderful word that basically means all types of food you can place on bread) is what a matpakke consists of. 
Bread + pålegg + waxpaper + bread + pålegg + waxpaper 
and continue.

 Simple as that. :-)
The matpakke is brought to work, to the forest, to barnehage and school, to the park, etc. 

A complete matpakke.
2 sandwiches made of polarbrød (the bread of the northern folk) to be shared between me and my little girl. 

Extra food for another matpakke box.
Fruit snacks brought from USA, a banana and a can of leverpostei.

The matpakke is such a large part of Norwegian society that children bring them to school on a daily basis as warm lunches we are so accustomed to in the United States aren't served in Norway.

The typical lunch drink of choice is milk, but also a thermos of saft is acceptable as well.

A walk in the woods. It's the perfect time to put a matpakke to good use.
To be completely typisk norsk (typical Norwegian), bring a Kvikk Lunsj candy bar as a snack. ;-)  

June 16, 2015

Norway's best medicine

So much of Norwegian culture is revolved around the outdoors. Generally speaking, the Norwegians are very outdoors-y people as they like to gå på tur (go on a hike), visit the coast, go camping in their hytte up in the mountains and of course, skiing. I think it is common for foreigners to kindly make fun of Norway and its regard to "curing" oneself with time in nature, or if you really want to get crazy, take a paracet and gå på tur. ;-)

Norway's best medicine comes from the great outdoors - which it has a lot to offer as it's a very "wild" country. There's plenty of forests, cool, crisp, fresh air, mountains, nearly everyone takes advantage of good weather days and soaks up the sun, and the beaches are amazing in summer months - all the more reason to eat lots of ice cream in the summer!

For me and part of my "feeling better" plan, I've been trying to do as the Norwegians do and spend some time with good ole Mother Nature. Evidence shows that spending time in nature is beneficial to health and wellness, so why not try it? I rarely go hiking here, there and everywhere as the nordmenn do, but I have taken up gardening as a hobby and I absolutely love it. It's calming, relaxing and it's a wonderful feeling of accomplishment to know I'm growing my own food.

Unfortunately, slugs have eaten some of my vegetables, but I'm still learning and after asking some family for advice I feel like I'm prepared to deal with slugs for next year's garden. I already have ideas to extend my garden next year as there's one side of our yard I haven't even thought of using until recently, which means more veggies and berry bushes next year! :-)



I have various berry plants.
Maybe next year I can make some
black berry cobbler from this! :-) 

I couldn't forget about my cat and planted
her some catnip. :-) 

Onions in a raised garden.

Tomatoes with eggshells added to the garden bed
to deter slugs - YUCK! 

And I did plant some flowers just for

 Source: Phillips, A. (2011, July 1). A Walk in the Woods. American Scientist, 301-301.

May 30, 2015

The very merry month of May

May is usually a very busy month. There are several days to celebrate in the month of May. hence why I haven't posted in a few weeks.

There has been 17. mai....

The beautiful daughter in her bunad. 

Us together at the local school. 

Mine and Arild's 3rd anniversary....
My 26th birthday......
and I actually had a Kentucky Derby themed birthday party! 

Apples made into roses. MMMM Food art. 

Horse shaped Kentucky Hot Brown, rose apples and alcohol free
mint juleps. 


And me enjoying my mint julep. :-) 

Very pleased with the gifts I received! 

The 3rd anniversary of me living in Norway....

Strolling through Brekkeparken.

Colorful tulips! 

My Norskprøve 3 or A2/B1 exam... 
which I hope I passed!

study study study

Because I like making various things in my free time, I've attempted to start selling my own homemade products. I have started my own Facebook page with various things I've made so far. Feel free to check it out in the link below if you wish! 
                                                              Tøff Cookie

And I have now been hired for my first job in Norway!

Perhaps most importantly I have finally had an epiphany and I feel so much better and more at ease with myself. I've realized what I'm looking for isn't sleep, or time, or space, or work, or this or that. It's to just feel some sort of peace with myself. It's common sense really, but it took me quite some time to figure that out.

I've finally started thinking, 'Hmmm....I think I've got this!' when it comes to living in Norway and feeling like I can actually do something here and learning the language. For 3 years I've been more along the lines of thinking, 'What am I doing again?' and last year had been particularly rough as I've felt very hopeless many times to say the very least. Now I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel and I'm certain it's not an oncoming train. :-)

What a busy, busy month! 

May 7, 2015

The art of koselig

En koselig morgen.

Norwegians are the kings and queens of koselig. What exactly is koselig, you ask?
It is my favorite word in Norwegian. Possibly my favorite word that exists to my knowledge. And there's a lot of words I like, rumpetroll,rumpeballer, smilhull,bøtteballet, tjuesju and so on. Koselig doesn't quite translate to English.

It's a feeling. It's an action. It's the atmosphere. Koselig is a lot of things.
It's warmth and comfort. It's being in the presence of loved ones in the evening. It's laughing in a pub with your closest friends. It's intimacy and love. It's warming your feet by the fireplace while wearing knitted woolen socks. It's candlelight on a dark night (or day). It's cuddling with your significant other under a blanket while sitting outside sipping hot chocolate - or cuddling on the couch with chocolate ice cream, watching Netflix, whatever your thing is. :-) It's something as simple as lighting candles.

I think of koselig as an art. Because it is an art. I'm sitting here sipping my chococino (that's the closest I get to drinking coffee) after having lit several candles because it's a very dark and drizzly day. It's making a dark day brighter and that is absolutely necessary for survival.