5 things I look forward to in December

Lifestyle

As I was writing the word December in the headline, I realized one thing; December is just around the corner! The final month of the year, which is also one of my favorite months. 2020 has been a dreadful year to say the least, so I can’t wait for a fresh start in 2021! Even though covid will still very much be on the agenda in 2021, I can only hope for a better year than 2020 on many levels. But until then, I’ll enjoy everything the wonderful month of December has to offer, including christmas and new years with the family!

Here’s 5 things I look forward to in December;

Starting a new job
I’m starting a new job on December 1st and I couldn’t be more exited! I’ll be working for the Norwegian Correctional Services, primarily with inmates who are serving their sentence in their home under the conditions of electronic monitoring (with an ankle bracelet). I was a criminal justice major in college and have a great interest in the area of sentencing and re-integration, so I’m very exited to get started. One of my goals for 2021 is to challenge myself more often, gain more work experience and impress in a new job, and this is a great opportunity!

Decorate our christmas tree
This year we are decorating our first big christmas tree in our apartment! We always spend the christmas at my parents house and our apartment is not to big, so we never had a big christmas tree (we only did a small fake one). But this year we’ve decided to get a real big one! My husband and I will decorate it together and I can’t wait to bring out all my favorite ornaments and welcome the christmas season into our livingroom. Decorating a christmas tree together is such a wonderful tradition! โค

Volunteer and make a difference
I volunteer for a local non-profit organization that helps individuals in need and it’s in seasons like christmas you truly notice the increased need for help. We collect christmas presents, stockings filled with goodies, and food donations to make sure people can enjoy a worthy christmas celebrations. It always amazes me how kind and willing to help people are, especially around the holidays. Volunteering is cause that’s really dear to my heart and it’s so rewarding to help people in my own community. If you feel like helping out, I suggest looking into different organizations in your own community.

Invite friends over for a christmas lunch
In the world of covid and all the restrictions imposed on us, it’s hard to gather people together. All annual christmas parties are cancelled and you’re advised not to gather big groups of people. I therefore decided to invite a few girlfriends over for a christmas lunch at my place, where we can enjoy delicious food and each others company. Times are strange and with all the restrictions imposed on us, I think it’s even more important to bring a few people together to prevent problems such as loneliness, depression and anxiety. By taking necesarry precautions such as no personal contact, washing your hands, and keeping an acceptable social distance, inviting a few close friends over shouldn’t be a problem.

Do some christmas baking/cooking
I love cooking and baking, and this christmas season is no exception! I always make sugar candied almonds, toffee with sea salt, the most delicious egg salad, homemade granola, and I have quite a few backing recipes I often use as well (recipes will be up on the blog!). This year I’ve decided to try out a few new recipes, including pickled onions and a chocolate almond biscotti recipe. If you have any favorite recipes, feel free to link them in the comment section below!

December, you’re more than welcome! โค

November and christmas vibes

Lifestyle

Today was probably the most beautiful beautiful day we have had in a while; sunshine, clear blue sky and cold fresh air + my hometown is slowly getting decorated for christmas. A christmas tree is put up on the square and our local hotel is also decorated for christmas.. There is just something special about the small town vibe, I love it! โค๏ธ๐ŸŽ„

This fall truly flew by in a blink of an eye and I’m so ready for holiday season!
I’m done shopping for christmas presents and in between starting a new job in December (which I’m so exited about!), I’ll try to enjoy everything December has to offer; decorating our christmas tree, wrapping presents while listening to christmas music and drinking mulled wine, do some christmas baking, and invite friends over for a christmas lunch.. โค๏ธ Looking back at this past year that’s been so different on many levels, it feels good to appreciate and be thankful for the small things in life.. ๐Ÿ™‚

Checking of my Bucketlist โœ”๏ธ

Lifestyle, My Bucketlist

Imagine waking up to this view after spending the night in a hammock – that’s what I did! โ™ฅ

Last weekend my husband and I packed our bags, loaded up on food, snacks & drinks, and spent the night outside in fresh air. For the longest time I have wanted to sleep outside in an hammock and after getting our hands on a couple of hammocks last year, we finally took the time to use them, and guess what? I can’t recommend this enough! We had an absolute blast! ๐Ÿ™‚ After getting our camp set and our hammocks ready for the night (which is the first thing you should do!), we made the best dinner; a bonfire-cooked steak! In advanced we prepared potatoes au gratin, a salad and fresh mushrooms we tossed in the pan with the steak. Accompanied with an ice cold beer outside in fresh air, it as the perfect meal!

Being outside also allowed us to enjoy each others company without any distractions – we put our phones away, had many great conversations and simply enjoyed the evening to the fullest. If you enjoy being outdoors, this is a great point to add to your Bucketlist. It’s completely free (you just need the proper equipment) and it’s also a covid-friendly activity. You’re outside in fresh air and it allows us to keep a distance from others, something that’s more important than ever – let’s all of us put in an joint effort to battle this virus!

Have you ever slept outside in a hammock? ๐Ÿ™‚

Beautiful Fall Day

Lifestyle

Happy fall everyone! ๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฅฐโ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜
Fall season is truly magical and one of my favorite seasons! One of the favorite aspects I love about fall is the cold, rainy weather and crisp air, accompanied with warm drinks, lit candles, blankets and favorite movies. However, today was anything but cold and rainy! I took these pictures on my morning walk before work today, it was so magical! Crisp air, sunshine, colorful scenery and complete silence.. plus I was getting my steps in! Good for the mind, good for the soul! โ˜€๏ธ

I wish I had the whole day off to enjoy the nice weather, but I’m forever grateful that I still have a job these days.
I hope you have a great day and enjoy it to the fullest! ๐Ÿ™‚

The best fall comfort food!

Food, Lifestyle

There are many reasons why I love fall and the food is definitely on top of the list!
Fall equals comfort food – rich stews, hearty hot meals, crisp apples, hot tea, and delicious warm soups.. So good!
Fall is the high season for root vegetables and with local vegetables in season, it would be a shame not to use them. The other day I was in the mood for something warm, nutritious, and delicious, so I decided to make a delicious vegetable soup with sausage. For a vegetation option you can drop the sausage – it’s just as good if you ask me! ๐Ÿฅ˜ ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s what you need to make it (a full pot);

Ingredients
Vegetable broth – 4 potatoes – 7 carrots – 3 parsnips – 1 leek – 1 kohlrabi – a handful of fresh chives – sausages or your choice of protein (optional)

Directions
Start my making the vegetable broth in one large pot (I use this one from Le Creuset). You can either pre-make the broth from scratch or use vegetable bouillon squares. I like the ones from Knorr, which is filled with a delicious blend of cabbage, leek, onion, carrots, celery, garlic and spices. The rich and authentic tastes adds great flavor to your soup! Chop all your vegetables and add them to the broth. Increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a broil. Once it’s boling, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are tender (use a fork to check it’s status). Season with salt & pepper as needed. Add the protein at the end.

Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚
.


Checking of my Bucketlist! โœ”๏ธ

Food, Lifestyle, My Bucketlist, Travel

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This month I finally checked off another point on my Bucketlist; a visit to Lofoten! ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ”๐ŸŒฆโœ”๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Š
Norway is the land of the fjords, the northern lights & midnight sun (which you can both see up north if you’re lucky!), viking history, trolls, quaint villages, and many scenic drives – some which can be found in the area of Lofoten in North of Norway!
The Lofoten Islands are draped across the turbulent waters of the Norwegian sea, far above the arctic circle. The main islands are Austvรฅgรธy, Gimsรธy, Vestvรฅgรธy, Flakstadรธy, Moskenesรธy, Rรธst and Vรฆrรธy. We visited my dad’s birthplace Vรฆrรธy, a small island located approximately 30 km from main body of Lofoten archipelago. It’s accessible by ferry and helicopter from Bodรธ, the closest city on the mainland of Norway. The helicopter takes roughly 25 min, while the ferry takes either 3 or 6 hours, depending on the route you choose. We took the helicopter out which was both comfortable and convenient, but also more expensive compared to the ferry. We ended up taking the ferry back to Bodรธ due to some technical problems with the helicopter and it was ok, but I personally prefer the helicopter because it’s quicker and you don’t have to deal with heavy waves and the sea, as I get seasick very easily. Either way, both options are available! ๐Ÿ™‚

This was a much needed family trip that we enjoyed to the fullest! Our days was filled with lot’s of walking and time spent outside (plus tons of rain + a little sun in between!), cozy breakfast mornings, the celebration of my sister’s 30th birthday, board games, great food & wine, and lot’s of quality time together. We ended up heading back to Bodรธ a day before due to stormy weather, so we spent the last night at Bodรธ Scanic Hotel before flying back to Oslo. Great hotel with good location + the best breakfast – highly recommend this hotel! (Ps; ask for a room with a sea view to avoid the traffic from the busy street).

As always I believe pictures says more than thousands words, so I’ll let the pictures speak for itself. Enjoy!

Have you ever been to Lofoten? ๐Ÿ™‚

33 Things I have learned in 33 years

Lifestyle

By judging the headline of this post, you must think that “Oh, she truly has it all figured out huh?”. Well, let me be the first one to tell you that that’s not the case at all. I don’t think anyone has everything figured out in life, ever. That being said, I’m a 33 year old woman who has lived long enough to have learned a thing or two along the way, or maybe I have just figured out what’s truly important as I’ve gotten older. Either way, I just wanted to share these thoughts with you.. ๐Ÿ™‚

– You can do anything you want in life
– Don’t settle for less, you deserve better
– Volunteer and give back to your community, it’s so rewarding
– Find your voice and use it
– Take care of your body and mind
– Continue to invest in yourself and grow as a person
– Be kind to yourself and respect yourself
– Don’t care to much what others think of you
– Travel and explore the world
– Don’t sacrifice quality time with family and friends for work
– Take time to be grateful for the little things in life
– Be kind to other people
– Don’t waste time on people who don’t treat you well
– Spend more time outside in nature
– Always be yourself – there’s only one you
– Don’t put limitations on yourself
– Don’t sweat the small stuff, it doesn’t mean much in the long run
– Making changes throughout life is a must (because we evolve and grow)
– Finding your passion is important
– Every relationship matter (if not, drop it!)
– You don’t need everyone to like you
– Jealousy is a wasted and damaging emotion
– Change is growth
– Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect
– The past doesn’t equal the future
– Don’t be afraid of taking risks
– Where you actually live makes a difference (find your happy place!)
– Incorporate physical activity and yoga in your life
– Live in the moment
– Missed opportunities are the worst
– If you hate your job, quit
– Know your strengths and weaknesses
– Failure is not final, it’s a step towards success – it’s how you handle things that matters

These are just some thoughts that crossed my mind, all of whom makes sense to me now..
I guess we do get wiser as we get older after all! ๐Ÿ™‚

My top 5 favorite food Instagrammers

Food, Lifestyle, My Bucketlist, Travel

I love scrolling through Instagram for inspiration and probably spend more time doing that than I’d like to admit (I don’t want to know my total screen time for Instagram, hehe).. If you’re getting hungry and are looking for some new inspiration, look no further; here’s my top 5 favorite food Instagrammers – Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

What’s Gabby Cooking

Julialtermuli

Hello Healthy Eating

Half-baked Harvest

Healthy Belly

Completed points on my Bucketlist

Food, Lifestyle, My Bucketlist, Travel

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As most of you probably know by know, I’m a huge Bucketlist fan – I love a good Bucketlist! ๐Ÿ™‚
My personal Bucketlist is long, but it also keeps growing every day.. I love reading other people’s Bucketlists as I’m always looking for new inspiration to add to my own. 2020 is the year I will always associate with the covid-19 pandemic, which hasn’t exactly been the ideal year for Bucketlist progress (and this year was suppose to be a good one!). But instead of moping around and think about all the things I should have done, I have decided to look at it from a different perspective; all the things I have done so far! As I was writing down all the things I have checked off my Bucketlist, it made me realize that I’m very proud of myself for achieving so many of my goals and experiencing so many fun things in life.. and this is just the beginning! ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’re interested, here’s the points I have checked of my Bucketlist so far;

โœ”๏ธ Voluntair for a cause I’m passionate about
โœ”๏ธ Serve in the military (Air Force 08/09)
โœ”๏ธ Gamble in Las Vegas
โœ”๏ธ Live in another country for more than a year (The U.S. + the Netherlands)
โœ”๏ธ Visit a stave church
โœ”๏ธQuit a job I truly hate
โœ”๏ธ Shoot with a weapon (In the Air Force)
โœ”๏ธ Become an organ donor
โœ”๏ธ Work as an aupair (In San Francisco, CA in 2007)
โœ”๏ธ Ride the cable cars in San Francisco
โœ”๏ธ Create my own personal blog
โœ”๏ธ Ride a bike like a local in the Netherlands
โœ”๏ธ Go to College in the United States (2009-2013)
โœ”๏ธ Celebrate a local holiday (Thanksgiving + Kings Day)
โœ”๏ธ Go on a road trip in the US (We drove from North Dakota – Florida)
โœ”๏ธ Shop at Portobello Road Market, London
โœ”๏ธ Go snowboarding in the Alps
โœ”๏ธ Visit Svalbard (October 2018)
โœ”๏ธ Have a campfire at the beach
โœ”๏ธ Host a theme party (Great Gatsby for my big 30!)
โœ”๏ธ Watch a drag show
โœ”๏ธ Celebrate Halloween in the U.S.
โœ”๏ธ Try Zip-lining (Down Holmenkollen Ski jump in 2014)
โœ”๏ธ Visit the Auschwitz/Birkenau Concentration Camps
โœ”๏ธ Visit Rotterdam Markthall
โœ”๏ธ Eat a meal with locals in another country
โœ”๏ธ Go to a drive-in movie theater
โœ”๏ธ Stay at a 5 star hotel (Panama Jack Resorts, Mexico 2013)
โœ”๏ธ Live in a big city (San Francisco 2007 – Leiden 2016)
โœ”๏ธ Have a fish-pedicure
โœ”๏ธ Eat a meal from a food truck
โœ”๏ธ Attend an American college keg party
โœ”๏ธ Go skinny dipping outdoors
โœ”๏ธ Visit the Red Light District in Amsterdam
โœ”๏ธ Visit Miami Beach (March 2011)
โœ”๏ธ Ride a helicopter (in the Air Force 08/09)
โœ”๏ธ Eat at Jamie Oliver’s Restaurant
โœ”๏ธ Enjoy a dinner outside in nature
โœ”๏ธ Climb Gaustadtoppen
โœ”๏ธ Have an outdoor movie night
โœ”๏ธ Go on a cabin trip in the Norwegian mountains
โœ”๏ธ Sleep under the stars
โœ”๏ธ Try plogging โœ…
โœ”๏ธ Live with locals in another country (Lived with a host family in San Francisco in 2007 + in college with international roommates!)
โœ”๏ธ Help someone in need

I can’t wait to continue checking of my Bucketlist in the future!
Do you have your own personal Bucketlist? If so, feel free to drop it in the comment section – I would love to read it! ๐Ÿ˜€

My Fall Bucketlist ๐Ÿ

Food, Lifestyle, My Bucketlist, Travel

This is how I spent my morning today; the best ice coffee with a hint of caramel, crisp and cooler air, sunshine, fall flowers and the changing colors of the leaves.. It was a much needed moment of solitude before work today, something I highly recommend everyone to do every now and then. So calm, relaxing and definitely the best way to start the day.. ๐Ÿ’›

Endlessly exited for fall, hereโ€™s my Fall Bucketlist;

๐Ÿ Have outdoor bonfire nights with good friends

๐Ÿ Go apple picking and make homemade apple jam & the best apple cake

๐Ÿ Invite friends over for friendsgiving

๐Ÿ Go for many walk outside in fresh, crisp air

๐Ÿ Update my fall wardrobe (I want a new coat, a fluffy scarf and some new jeans)

๐Ÿ Read some new books in front of the fireplace

๐Ÿ Spend some much needed quality time with good friends

๐Ÿ Go on a cabin trip in the Norwegian mountains

๐Ÿ Get busy in the kitchen and try out lot’s of new recipes

๐Ÿ Paint and decorate our livingroom for fall

๐Ÿ Enjoy delicious coffees outside in fresh air at my favorite coffee shops

๐Ÿ Try out at least 3 new workout classes at my gym

๐Ÿ Visit and discover some new cities in Norway

๐Ÿ Visit Lofoten and check off another point on my Bucketlist!