Checking of my Bucketlist! βœ”️

Food, Lifestyle, My Bucketlist, Travel

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This month I finally checked off another point on my Bucketlist; a visit to Lofoten! πŸšπŸ”πŸŒ¦βœ”οΈπŸ˜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 AustvΓ₯gΓΈy, GimsΓΈy, VestvΓ₯gΓΈy, FlakstadΓΈy, MoskenesΓΈy, RΓΈst and VΓ¦rΓΈy. We visited my dad’s birthplace VΓ¦rΓΈy, a small island located approximately 30 km from main body of Lofoten archipelago. It’s accessible by ferry and helicopter from BodΓΈ, 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 BodΓΈ 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! πŸ™‚

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 BodΓΈ a day before due to stormy weather, so we spent the last night at BodΓΈ 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? πŸ™‚

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! πŸ™‚

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! πŸ™‚
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! πŸ™‚

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

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

My Fall Bucketlist πŸ

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.. πŸ’›

Endlessly exited for fall, here’s my Fall Bucketlist;

🍁 Have outdoor bonfire nights with good friends

🍁 Go apple picking and make homemade apple jam & the best apple cake

🍁 Invite friends over for friendsgiving

🍁 Go for many walk outside in fresh, crisp air

🍁 Update my fall wardrobe (I want a new coat, a fluffy scarf and some new jeans)

🍁 Read some new books in front of the fireplace

🍁 Spend some much needed quality time with good friends

🍁 Go on a cabin trip in the Norwegian mountains

🍁 Get busy in the kitchen and try out lot’s of new recipes

🍁 Paint and decorate our livingroom for fall

🍁 Enjoy delicious coffees outside in fresh air at my favorite coffee shops

🍁 Try out at least 3 new workout classes at my gym

🍁 Visit and discover some new cities in Norway

🍁 Visit Lofoten and check off another point on my Bucketlist!

My World Bucketlist! πŸŒ

Lifestyle, My Bucketlist, Travel

β€œEvery man dies – not every man really lives” – William Ross

Traveling has, and always will be a huge part of my life. It gives life a sense of purpose, which is really important to me. Allowing myself to dream big (which you all should!), there are so many things I want to do and places I want to see in the world, so without further ado;

Here’s my World Bucketlist;

🌍 Grab a coffee and go for a walk on the High Line in New York, USA
🌍 See the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) in Norway
🌍 Admire the art at MOMA in New York, USA
🌍 Spend a full day at Bondi Beach, Australia
🌍 Ride a bike on Sullivan’s Island, SC, USA
🌍 Give the elephants a bath at an elephant reservation in Thailand
🌍 Explore a wildlife Safari in Africa
🌍 Enjoy the colorful scenery in Cinque Terre, Italy
🌍 Hit the waves on a surfboard in Sri Lanka
🌍 Drive Highway One from San Diego – San Francisco, USA
🌍 Enjoy delicious Italian food at a local boardwalk cafe in Italy
🌍 Rent a private longtail boat for a full day in Thailand
🌍 Walk across Brooklyn Bridge in NYC, USA
🌍 Ride a bike and enjoy famous sandwiches in Copenhagen, Denmark
🌍 Swim in the Blue Lagoon in Reykjavik, Iceland
🌍 Go on vacation in the Hamptons, USA
🌍 Pet a kangaroo/hold a koala in Australia
🌍 Admire the sunset at Oia, Santorini
🌍 Eat a lobster roll from a local crab shack in New England, USA
🌍 Be a foodie at Smorasburg open air food market in Brooklyn, USA
🌍 Enjoy an afternoon tea in London, UK
🌍 Visit the colorful neighborhood Bo Kaap in Cape Town, South Africa
🌍 Feel the vibe in the French Quarter in New Orleans, USA
🌍 Hit a bargain in the souks of Marrakesh, Morocco
🌍 Eat gelatio on Rome, Italy
🌍 Go wine tasting in Napa Valley, USA
🌍 Watch a live hockey game in Toronto, Canada
🌍 Shop for bargains at Rose Bowl Flea Market in Los Angeles, USA
🌍 Enjoy a delicious smoothie bowl in Sri Lanka
🌍 Experience the carnival in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
🌍 Experience the blended cultures in Hanoi, Vietnam
🌍 Spend a crazy night out in Las Vegas, USA
🌍 Walk on the Great Wall of China
🌍 Admire the architecture of the Milan Cathedral in Milan, Italy
🌍 Take sunset pictures of the Sydney Opera House & Harbor Bridge
🌍 Party on a NYC rooftop in New York, USA
🌍 Jam to the music at the Coachella festival in Palm Springs, USA
🌍 Float in the Dead Sea in Israel

Do you have any places you would want to see/thing you want to do? πŸ˜€

Free things to do in New York City!

My Bucketlist, Travel

New York is one of my favorite cities! I first visited NYC back in 2007 when I attended a seminar before moving to San Francisco to work as a nanny and I can’t wait to head back someday.. I love NYC for many reasons; the international vibe, the good energy, charming neighborhoods, and lot’s of great restaurants, bars, outdoor markets and attractions. It’s impossible to get bored!
One of my biggest dreams and Bucketlist goals are to live in New York City for a month and experience everything the city has to offer “like a local”. Last year I created a New York City Bucketlist and in preparation for a future “short term move” I decided to create a list over free things to do in NYC. With a high price level (because yes, NYC is expensive), this guide definitely comes in handy. Money saved on attractions and activities you can do for free, is money you can spend elsewhere (I’m voting for shopping and great dining experiences!). If you’re thinking about a future trip to NYC, I hope this guide will be helpful to you. Enjoy! πŸ™‚

– Bring your own food, drinks and snacks and have a picnic in Central Park
– Take the Staten Island Ferry and take in the views of Manhattan Skyline & Statute of Liberty
– Tour the City Hall of New York City
– Walk across Brooklyn Bridge at sunset (the most ideal time for the best pictures!)
– See the monuments at Ground Zero
– See a free concert at Summerstage (NYC Largest performing arts festival)
Take a picture at Carrie’s Steps (For all the Sex and The City fans πŸ’ž)
– Walk around the iconic New York City neighborhoods
– Go kayaking at the Downtown Boathouse waterfront
– Visit the National September 11 Memorial Museum (Free entrance Tuesdays after 5.pm)
– Take a walk on the High Line with a take-away coffee
– See the massive billboards on Times Square
– Visit famous film & TV locations
– Read a book in the Rose Room at New York City Public Library
– Visit the MOMA – Museum of Modern Art (Free Entrance Friday’s 4-8 pm)
– Take a free outdoor yoga class or boot camp class in Bryant Park
– Attend a “movie under the stars” (Here’s a schedule for 2020!)
– Admire the flowers at Brooklyn Botanical Garden
– Step inside and admire the beautiful art & architecture of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral
– Explore the iconic Grand Central Station
– Visit Governor’s Island
– Attend a Chelsea Art Gallery Opening (Here’s a list over exhibitions + if you attend an opening on Tuesday, there’s usually free cheese + wine!)
Attend a free group meditation class
– Experience the busy vibe of stressful brokers at Wall Street
– People’s watching by the Bethesda fountain
– Spend a day at the beach (Here’s a guide to the best beaches close to New York City)
– Go for a stroll/run through Central Park
– See the world’s most iconic tree-lighting at Rockefeller Center
– Visit more free New York Museums (overview here)
– Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade
– Browse the Brooklyn Flea Market for inspiration
– Go on a free walking tour of Manhattan (Sign up here)
– Test your skills and knowledge and by at a pub quiz
– Visit the Whitney Museum of American Art (“Pay what you wish” on Fridays 7- 9.30 pm)
– Sign up for a free Brooklyn Brewery tour and learn about beer brewing
– Check out a free comedy show (google online how to get free tickets!)
– Check out some of the best street art in Bushwick, Brooklyn
– Visit the Guggenheim Museum (Free entrance Saturdays 5 – 8 pm)
– Play Bingo with a group of friends in Bryant Park

Have you ever been to New York before? Any recommendations? πŸ™‚

The Coastal Path – a complete guide!

Lifestyle, My Bucketlist, Travel

This is without a doubt one of my outdoor favorite places! Located between Stavern and Helgeroa i southeast of Norway, you’ll find the Coastal Path – a 35 km signposted coastal path where you walk along rocky shores, sandy beaches, shallow bays and wooded areas. Along the way you’ll find breathtaking views, several camping sites, lot’s of boats and many cabins.. The Coastal Path is a fantastic experience if you enjoy walking, as you can see and hear the seabirds, breathe in the fresh, clean air, and simply live in the moment.. It’s definitely a must-do if you ever visit Stavern!

To make the most out of this experience, planning is essential. In addition to walking the Coastal Path, you also have the possibility to soak in some history and see some historic sites and monuments along the way.. Here is a map over the Coastal Path and if you plan to walk the entire path, I would set aside a full day.. πŸ™‚

Guide to Walking the Coastal Path

What to bring; comfortable shoes + clothes, a backpack, food, drinks, snacks, toilet paper, swimwear, towel, sunscreen, sunglasses, and your wallet. Make sure to put on comfortable shoes and clothes, I recommend workout clothes and sneakers with a solid sole. Depending on the weather, you might want to bring a fleece jacket + a wind jacket, as it’s definitely better to bring more than less. A good backpack and something to eat and drink is essential. I would recommend freezing a bottle of water + bringing a bottle of water, that way you’ll always have cold water at hand. Snacks such as trail-mix, chocolate and fruit is also a good idea. If walking in the middle of the summer, make sure to bring a towel and swimwear. There are many great places where you can take a dip in the ocean, which feels great after walking for a while. You’ll also pass several camping sites along the way, all whom have a convenience store.. If you find yourself suddenly craving some ice cream, your wallet comes in handy!

Meeting point – Stavern City Center; your day starts in Stavern City Center. If you depend on coffee in the morning, I recommend stopping by Det Gule Galleriet Cafe. If you’re like me and prefer cold coffees, I highly recommend their iced latte with caramel. It’s soo good! If you need to stop by a grocery store, there are a couple to choose from where you’ll get pretty much anything you need.

Places to visit along the way

Frediksvern Fortresss; you start you trip with a historic walk through Fredriksvern fortress. Fredriksvern is Norway’s first main navy base and the original name was Fredriksvern Verft, named after King Fredvik V. who reigned at the time. Fredriksvern has played an important role is the development of Stavern as well as in the Norwegian maritime history, and the place has been a harbor since ancient times. Today, you’ll find several art galleries and small exhibits as you pass through, and it’s also a walking path leading one of Stavern’s greatest beaches Corntin.

Hall of Remembrance (Minnehallen); is a national memorial site right next to Cornin beach. The memorial was commissioned by the Norwegian Parliament after WWI to commemorate the fallen Norwegian sailors of both World War I and II. The monument was designed by two architects from Oslo and is formed as a pyramid of locally quarried rocks. Inside you’ll find the sculpture “Abyss” and in the crypt, 7562 sailor’s names are carved on copper plates. At the alter in the main hall, you’ll find a commemorative poem to the fallen sailors by the Norwegian poet Herman Wildenvey.

Nevlunghavn; is located in a harbor located four kilometers south of Helgeroa. A former pilot station, Nevlunghavn is now a charming fishing village who has managed to preserve it’s original character – it’s characterized by many small white houses, it’s narrow streets, it’s many fishing boats and fishers who bring their catch ashore, and the views of the Skagerrak sea. In the harbor, you’ll also find several oceanside restaurants serving freshly caught, bars and cafes. I recommend grabbing lunch at Nevlunghavn Cafe & Conditori. From Nevlunghavn there are approximately 2.5 kilometres to MΓΈlen, which is definitely worth a visit!

MΓΈlen; is Norway’s largest beach of rolling stones and it’s a part of “Vestfoldraet”; the terrain left behind after the end of the most recent ice age 10 000 years ago. It’s a national treasure and one of the most popular attractions, both among locals and tourists. The cultural landscape is one of the most majestic landscapes in Norway; the areas had 16 large cairns, many up to 35 meters in diameter, with almost 200 small cairns in rows parallel to the shoreline. The cairns probably served as “sea markers” along the shipping lanes between different trading centers. This, combined with striking natural beauty and the position on the edge of the sea, makes it a must-see in the area. If interested in rocks or birds, this is the place for you; more than 100 different types of rocks and a total of 316 bird species has been found at MΓΈlen. In the summer of 2008, MΓΈlen was also made an official part of the UNESCO European Geopark.

Enjoy! πŸ˜€

Interesting links from around the web #11

Food, Lifestyle, My Bucketlist, Travel, Wellness

6 science-backed ways exercise benefits the body and brain

I’m definitely trying this luscious, flavor-packed, rock-your-face-off vegetarian tortilla soup.

A cat’s purring is a much more complicated for of communication than we’ve assumed

18 things we learn about Taylor Swift in her documentary Miss Americana (which you should watch, it’s really good!)

Five great Interrail itineraries across Europe

Loooove this Wool Blend Wrap Coat in the color pebble!

Quaint small towns, beautiful beaches, adorable lighthouses, and even a few fabulous cities; this is the 21 best places to visit in New England

The best theme party ideas actual party planners could think of

I love this article on a shared-workspace concept (if you’re interested and in New York, you can join here!)

The most thoughtful gift from a friend

Food, Lifestyle, My Bucketlist, Travel, Wellness

Buying gifts for family and friends is a thoughtful way of showing how much you care. One thing I’ve noticed, is that many people are concerned with the cost and the size of the gift, like it’s always supposed to be great and expensive.. Why is that? I think that personalized and thoughtful gifts, regardless of how big and expensive they are, are the best gifts one can give and receive.. A couple of days I got a gift from a childhood friend. We’ve been friends for as long as I can remember and we know each other well. This gift is a proof that she truly knows who I am and what I appreciate. It’s one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received! πŸ™‚

It was a fill-in Bucketlist book for 2020!

There was a page with different Bucketlist genres, including creativity, adventure, body + health, family + friends, financial, love, career, self-improvement, food + drinks, travel, top secret and other.. A great way to get some inspiration!

The fill-in pages were great for reflection. One the first page, you’re supposed to fill it what you do, why you want to do it, who you want to do it with (if that’s the case), what has stopped you before, how to make it happen and how you expect it to be. On the second page, you fill in what you did (when, where, with, and how), what you learned, how it made you feel, the best part of the experience, and if you would do it again.. Such a cool concept!

The first thing I noticed when I opened the book, was a greeting written by my friend. The sweetest words about our friendship + she threw me a challenge (which I always love, hehe).. You gotta love thoughtful gifts like this! ❀

What’s the sweetest gift you’ve received or given to someone?

My personal goals for 2020!

Food, Lifestyle, My Bucketlist, Travel, Wellness

Christmas and new years is over, we already hit January 6th, which means it’s time to focus on this years goals! I’ve always been a big fan of creating a Bucketlist and setting goals for myself. While many people hate it, to me, it symbolizes a fresh start with an opportunity to make a change. I do believe the reason people often oppose it, it because they often feel a sense of disappointment if they fail the goals they set for themselves. The key is therefore not to drop everything called goals and resolutions, but maybe shift your perspective and set more attainable goals for yourself.. Because there’s nothing better when you reach one of your goals and can check it off your list! πŸ™‚

Here’s my personal goals & resolutions for 2020;

Self-Improvement
I’m a person that likes to grow and constantly seek ways to improve and become a better version of myself and what I do. I think that’s important for all human beings, because who doesn’t want to be the best version of themselves? πŸ™‚
I want to focus more on self-improvement in 2020. I want to challenge myself more and look into getting a group exercise certification. I’ll also continue to volunteer for the non-profit organization I joined last year. With busy lives (which I know first hand!) it can be hard to find time to volunteer, but it all comes down to priorities and passion. The benefits of volunteering can be enormous, both for yourself and other individuals. To offer vital help to people in need, the community or worthwhile causes dear to your heart can truly make a great change. I experienced this first hand when I was so lucky to meet individuals in need; the feeling when they hugged me, eternally grateful after receiving food on the table and presents to open, can not be described. I can’t emphasize it enough; if you can find the time to volunteer for a cause dear to your heart, do it!

Continue to work towards a more stable financial situation
Achieving financial independence is something most of us work towards every single day. From experience, it doesn’t take much effort to make small changes that will make a great impact, but it definitely takes patience, dedication and some sacrifice.
A couple of changes we’ve made so far that’s made a big impact on our financial situation is; starting to shop for christmas presents early (I got such good bargains, but great gifts!), pay attention to different offers at the grocery store and stock up on items you use a lot, and maybe the most important thing of all; sell all the things you don’t use. I went through our stuff in our apartment, basement and attic, sorted everything we don’t use and sold it. All the money I make off of selling things I no longer use goes directly into our holiday savings account. We’re currently saving for an upcoming family trip to Thailand, so this addition of money comes in handy! My financial goals for 2020 is to pay of my credit card, save a total of 50 000,- on my BSU account (savings for buying a home), and add extra money into my retirement account. Once we’ve hit a more stable financial situation, I want to start saving for a trip to travel the world!

Continue the great investment in my overall health
There is nothing that makes me feel better than a great workout! It also feels good to look back at 2019, were I was able to keep a somewhat stable workout schedule throughout the year and I was able to challenge myself, which is something I’ll continue to do in 2020. I’ll continue going to yoga and focus more on mindfulness and meditation, mainly because I’ve become more aware of being present and it’s really important to me. I will forever cherish spin class as one of my favorite workouts, but I’ll also continue to focus on mobility & stretching, body pump and strength training. After undergoing a huge renovation, my gym does not only look amazing but also offers a new group exercise schedule with lot’s of new classes I would like to try out. I will also focus on spending a lot more time outside in fresh air!

Travel and see more of Norway
Since 2020 will be the year we’ll be working hard towards achieving a more stable financial situation, we have decided not to take any huge trips abroad. Instead, we’ll be seeing more of Norway and everything our beautiful country has to offer. It’s always been a goal of mine to see more of Norway, but let’s be honest – we always travel abroad (which I think is the case for most people). Last year I checked of a point on my Bucketlist and climbed Gaustatoppen, which was a great experience. This year I hope to climb Prekestolen and visit Stavanger, visit my sister in Arendal, visit Oslo to meet up with good friends, visit Kristiansand, spend days at seas in my in-law’s boat and hike outside in nature (we bought hammocks last year and I can’t wait to try them out!). Also, residing in Stavern (which is voted Norway’s best summer town several years in a row!) many great things are awaiting us this summer; hopefully many lazy days at the beach, walks along the coastal path, market days, celebration of my birthday, stand-up-paddle boarding, visiting the Citadel Island and Svenner Lighthouse, bike rides outside in fresh air, try out new restaurants, and spend quality time with family and friends. I don’t think we’ll have a problem keeping ourselves busy!

Do you have any goals sett for 2020? πŸ™‚