January 30, 2015

What's the matter with ja?

When I first met the man who'd later become my husband, I thought he had a tic or some little quirk with his speech. Of course by us just talking online and then Skype, I never caught on until I met him in person. That's when I thought he had a speech abnormality, tic, or something, but I didn't want to bring it up for fear of hurting his feelings. Anytime I'd say something, he'd inhale "yeah" in agreement with me. As it turns out, he just has a case of Norwegian-itis.

The next time we met, he did this less, so I assumed he was just less nervous this time. I didn't notice it again until after I moved to Norway and it returned. Except this time every Norwegian did it!

This is actually an ingressive sound Scandinavians make in which they inhale when they say "ja" sometimes. In some way it sounds as if they are startled or scared and gasp when saying "ja."

Here is a Youtube video I found where you can listen to the ingressive "ja" sound.

Kind of interesting to hear, right?

It's little quirks like this Norwegians don't even think about being confusing or different to foreigners. Just like for me and many other native English speakers the rolling of the R is absolutely impossible.

Wikipedia has a sound clip of the Norwegian ingressive "ja" sound as well.

I've been trying my own take on the ingressive "ja" except my husband has asked me to please stop. That is hubs code language for, "You're not doing it right, Please don't worry about making that sound ever again. People will wonder about you."

So next time you talk to a Norwegian, listen carefully as they answer with an inhaled "ja."

January 27, 2015

Welcome to Sweden

Now that my husband and I have our daughter on a schedule that is finally functioning better, we can have the evenings to ourselves. Recently we have actually finished watching the first season of Welcome to Sweden which can be seen on Netflix, but it also aired on NBC this past fall.

If you're into comedy and culture shock, this show is definitely for you. It's especially relatable for my husband and I as Sweden is very similar to Norway. We can also relate to finding both humor and frustrations in our cultural backgrounds just as the show's characters, Bruce and Emma have.

Created by Greg Poehler (Amy Poehler's brother) who also stars as Bruce, a New Yorker moving to Sweden to be reunited with his Swedish girlfriend, many cultural aspects between Scandinavia and the United States are pointed out with fun humor.Cultural changes such as taking shoes off vs. leaving them on when inside a house, clothing and "dressing American" (which I am just now catching on to), learning the language, friendliness/ warmth/ talking to strangers, modesty, and job seeking with NAV are discussed with decent humor in the show, plus many more cultural differences. Much of the culture is the same in Sweden as in Norway

Welcome to Sweden can be viewed on NBC (in America) as well as Netflix. I'm looking forward to Season 2!

And if you haven't already, those of you who regularly follow my blog can also view and follow it on Facebook by clicking this link here.

January 24, 2015

Now on Facebook

My New Norwegian Home is now on Facebook! I've been a major procrastinator about making a Facebook page for this blog, but it is up and working now. Just follow and like the link here to start following whenever I post something new!

Takk and god helg everyone! :-D

January 22, 2015

Januar salg

I've been living in Norway for nearly 3 years. I've now come to the conclusion the best times to shop in one of the most expensive countries in the world is in January and July. January because it's after Christmas and you can find some pretty nice deals and July well, I'm going to take an educated guess and assume it's to try to lure customers in since so many people go on vacation that month.

After lunch with a friend last week, I stopped by the local shopping center and went into H&M. I found tons and tons of children's clothes for 30 kroner (about $3.95). I decided to stock up on bigger clothes for Pia to grow into later this year. I also found some clothes I know she will need for barnehage in the fall which were marked down quite a bit.

The weekend before last my husband and I were told about a sale on carseats at Barnas Hus. Some car seats were 40% off. The normal price of the carseat we purchased was about 4600 kroner ($605 USD), but we paid 2600 kroner ($342). Of course Pia doesn't need a new carseat now, but she will soon outgrow the one she's been sitting in since birth.

I found a fleece outfit at Barnas Hus 30% off. 

30 kroner shirts, dresses and leggings for the little one
from H&M. 

Next year's snowsuit for Miss Pia 50% off! 

At least in my experience here, I've noticed many sales in July as well. For example, last summer I bought a few packages of hair ties and other hair accessories for 5 kroner a piece at Glitter. It IS possible to find decently priced things in Norway. You just have to look a bit!

January 14, 2015

The 10 kroner sale

One of my 12 New Year's Resolutions is to waste less. Waste less money, time, energy, food and space. 

When there's a 10 kroner sale (about $1.35 at today's currency rate) at either ICA or Spar, I tend to stock up on sale items like soap, fabric softner, napkins, canned vegetables and fruit. 

Each item here cost 10 kroner.
Pancakes, waffles, pasta, pizza dough, toothpaste, fabric softner, etc.

I really look forward to scoping out the 10 kroner sales and stocking up on items and I'd like to think it saves money in the long run.

January 12, 2015

Brunost, langrenn og lusekofte

We had a game night Saturday night and tried out the game Brunost, langrenn og lusekofte. It is a game of questions to determine which player is the most Norwegian at heart.

The game consists of a series of questions about how you'd react to a certain situation. Most questions can be answered with a yes or no and you are given positive or negative points depending on the answer. The player with the highest score wins and is deemed most Norwegian at heart. 

Some question topics include manners, fashion, music, culture, and just every day norsk life.

We had a lot of fun playing the game and the cultural discussions we had. I'd highly recommend it for a game night if anyone is interested in Norwegian culture!

And on a side note, I CRUSHED my husband at being Norwegian! ;-) Arild had many negative points and a friend of ours was most Norwegian out of us all. I tied second place with my brother-in-law. 

January 9, 2015


When I get a craving for American products I can't satisfy from makeshift recipes, I usually order from iHerb.com. While I can't find EVERYTHING I'm looking for, I can usually find quite a bit and it's very helpful.

At one point there was an 8 lb for $8 shipping deal. 

These days, I usually use iHerb to just order snacks for my little girl. Occasionally I'll order food or other products for myself or the family. One of my favorite things to order are Annie's graham cracker snacks and of course, chocolate chips. A favorite of my husband's is microwavable macaroni and cheese.

My first iHerb.com order. 

They used to have a 4 pound for $4 shipping per box, but unfortunately they have changed their shipping rules. Now it is charged by weight (the more the box weighs, the more you're charged) as long as the box is still 4 pounds or under.
The snack catcher. This is a genius invention
and has come in very handy for the cheerios

Latest order from iHerb.com
I seriously DO NOT take pictures of every iHerb box I receive! 

Mac & Cheese, graham snacks and Nestle cookie brownies! 

However, there are some items which cannot be shipped to Norway, such as Vitamin D.

I am only suggesting this site on account of how much I love ordering their products when I need an American fix. If anyone is interested in buying anything from the site you're free to use my customer code which will give a first time customer $5 off an order less than $40 or $10 off an order $40 or more. My code is RKH007.

Happy Friday!