A glimpse of life in pictures

Uncategorized

I think it’s safe to say that this summer is very different, but it doesn’t mean it’s bad.. Here’s a current glimpse of life in pictures; lot’s of delicious food & ice coffees, days at seas (we have a boat this summer!), quality time with loved ones, cat cuddles, reading, and lot’s of walks outside in fresh air and wonderful sunsets.. It’s not bad at all! ๐Ÿ™‚

How’s your summer so far? โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Š

The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez

Uncategorized

“The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez leaves Netflix viewers in tears with graphic descriptions of modern day child abuse”

Gabriel Fernandenz was only 8 years old when he was brutally murdered by his evil mother Pearl and her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre in 2013. The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez is a heartbreaking documentary addressing how a child was consistently let down by a system when he most needed the help. Based on in-depth-reporting by L.A. Times journalist Garret Therolf, this documentary doesn’t shy away from detailing what this poor child went through during his short life; Gabriel was subjected to horrific torture, including repeatedly beatings, being shot in the face with a BB gun, forced to eat cat litter, locked up in a closet for hours, and pepper sprayed in the face. The cruel nightmare ultimately ended when his mother and boyfriend beat him to death. But even worse, the Department of Child and Family services and law enforcement were called to the scene multiple times before Gabriel’s death and no action was taken, eventually allowing his abusers to continue the torture until the horrific end.

This documentary does not only show torture inflicted on Fernandez by his mom and step-father and the failure of protective services, but also puts other shocking details on the agenda, included incompetent law enforcement, abuser’s homophobic motives for violence, horrifying evidence that was ignored by the system that could have potentially saved his life, Gabriel’s suicide note and pleas for his mothers love, how Gabriel’s murders where punished for the murder, but the social workers eventually were let off, and how Department of Child and Family Services also had failed in other similar cases. Unfortunately, the Gabriel Fernandez case is not unique. This is a heartbreaking documentary worth seeing, it can be found on Netflix.

And just like that the world stopped for a while..

Uncategorized

Happy Sunday everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚
I wish I could say this under other circumstances, because it’s been a couple of scary weeks and I believe this is just the beginning. The COVID-19 is now officially an epidemic and no one knows for sure how long this will last, only time will tell. The streets are empty, all public institutions are closed, people try their best to keep their distance, and bars, restaurants and coffee shops are for the most part closed. Norway is on the top ten list over countries where the virus is spreading in a fast pace, with 1205 infected and 3 deaths so far. It’s important that we, as single individuals, follow up on the responsibility and directions set by the government; if you feel fine, remember to wash your hands frequently, use hand sanitizer if necessary, and avoid areas with lot’s of people.
If you feel sick, stay at home. If critical, contact necessary medical services. I would also encourage everyone who’s not working at the moment to help out/volunteer if possible. If someone has to work, offer to look after their children. If someone is in quarantine/home isolation, offer to help out with grocery shopping, etc. We can all do a little something to help out! โค๏ธ

In the meantime, I hope that my blog will be a refuge if you’re stressed out about the news and want a distraction. It’s in times like this it’s important to remember the good and positive things. That being said, it doesn’t mean we’re forgetting the current situation (which is highly impossible right now). Have a good Sunday everyone and stay safe and healthy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Free Bucketlist ideas!

Uncategorized

When I was writing my Bucketlist a while back, I became aware of how many things that came with an actual cost and it gave me an idea โ€“ to make a Bucketlist with ideas that doesnโ€™t (hardly) cost anything! At first I thought it would be a big challenge to come up with some ideas, but to my surprise, it wasnโ€™t hard at all.. While some ideas require a little cost (which you can solve easily by using food you already have at home, take advantage of your current gym membership, borrow items from others, etc), most of the ideas are completely free!

– Try “plogging” (Read more about it here)
– Start a non-profit organization
– Spend quality time with your significant other
– Go for a walk outside in fresh air
– Try canoeing/kayaking
– Go camping
– Remodel a piece of furniture you got for free
– Sleep outside in a hammock
– Read a book in the sun
– Re-connect with an old friend
– Run a (half)marathon
– Volunteer for a good cause
– Make something new for dinner
– Donate blood (if you can handle needles)
– Paint a picture
– Have a beach bonfire
– Do something nice for a stranger
– Mediate (use free meditation apps)
– Try a new workout class (use your gym membership)
– Invite friends over for a barbecue
– Hike a new trail
– Complete a big puzzle
– Grow a herb harden at home
– Finish a crossword puzzle
– Write a letter to your future self
– Suprise someone
– Be a tourist in your own town
– Be a tourist in a new town
– Enjoy a late breakfast in bed and watch Netflix
– Become an organ donor
– Hand-write a letter to someone special
– Do a charity walk
– Invite friends over for a movie night
– Sleep under the stars
– Learn to knit
– Make a homemade beauty product
– Go completely offline for 24 hours
– Spend a full day at the beach
– Go berry picking and make your own jam
– Talk to a stranger
– Bring food/bakes goods to someone sick
– Adopt a pet (if you don’t have one)
– Make seasonal gifts to your friends
– Watch a favorite movie trilogy
– Play Yahtzee/playing cards
– Watch the sunrise & sunset
– Go for a bike ride outside in fresh air
– Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while
– Go cross-country skiing
– Be someone’s mentor
– Sing karaoke at a bar
– Learn to do the perfect push-ups/pull-ups
– Create a passive income product
– Have an outdoor picnic
– Attend a free show/concert/conference
– Go fishing and catch your dinner
– Visit your local library and read books for free
– Make homemade popsicles
– Have a girlfriend’s sleepover
– Go on a road trip someplace new
– Make homemade ice cream
– Visit a museum of interest
– Have a full SPA day at home
– Go skinny dipping
– Play an outdoor game (volleyball, football, basketball)
– Learn a new language
– Make smore’s on a camp fire
– Start a petition to make a difference
– Play a board game
– Locate new/listen to your favorite podcasts
– Clean out your apartment/basement and throw away/donate/sell things
– Help out in your neighborhood
– Host a clothing-swap party
– Take a long soaking bath and relax
– Bring watch a favorite tv-show
– Go ice skating
– Swim in the rain
– Go on a cabin trip (borrow a cabin for free)
– Make a gratitude journal
_ Try a new baking recipe
– Participate in “free hugs”
– Create your own personal recipe book
– Host a dinner party at home
– Meet someone through networking
– Be a pen-pal
– Be determined and quit a bad habit
– Join a free club or team
– Start a club of your interest
– Do your own manicure/pedicure
– Complete and document a 365 day photo project
– Go for a run outside
– Make your own library at home (people give away books for free all the time)
– Do a detox cleanse
– Collect money for a good cause you’re passionate about
– Have a movie marathon
– Try a new workout class
– Start a petition
– Handpick wildflowers and give them to someone you care for
– Create an outdoor movie theater at home
– Make and enjoy your dinner outside in nature

I hope you can take advantage of this guide to get some ideas on things you can do without ripping off your wallet completely.. Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

10 easy ways to help the environment โ™ป๏ธ

Food, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

I’ll be the first one to admit that I haven’t been particularly concerned with the challenges related to the climate, environment, and our planet in the past, but it’s something I”m slowly becoming more aware of. There is a Norwegian saying that goes as follows “Not everyone can do everything, but everyone can do something” and I really believe there is something to it. Require everyone to become vegan overnight is not only unattainable, but also unrealistic. If you want to make some changes, start small. The first thing you have to do, is to change your mindset – do what you want and can, not what others ask of you. You’ll never be able to please everyone anyway.
I have personally made some small changes in my life to approach this problem and it’s feel good!

“Going green” is easier than you think and taking care of our planet is not only a responsibility, but a privilege. If you need inspiration to get on track, here are some easy ways to help the environment;

โ™ป๏ธ Walk or ride a bike when possible
If you can walk or ride instead on driving a car, do it. It will not only make a change in terms of the environment, but you’ll also get some fresh air and your daily steps in as well – it’s a win-win for everyone!

โ™ป๏ธ Invest in an electric car
If you depend on a car and drive a lot, I would suggest investing in an electric car.
We invested in a BMW i3 a couple of years ago, which is one of the best investments we’ve made. It doesn’t only make a change in terms of climate, but also saves us money in the long run, respite have a second car loan.. No more gas money or toll road payments!

โ™ป๏ธ Bring reusable shopping bags to the store
When grocery shopping, bag it yourself! Before you head to the store next time, make sure to bring a reusable shopping bag with you (you can buy them almost everywhere). This is one of the best efforts to reduce plastic. A major shout-out to the Norwegian grocery store chain Coop for their initiative to reduce the use of plastic with 25 % by 2025 – they sell reusable shopping bags to it’s customer for 10,- NOK ($1), and every time you bring them to the store, they will refund 1,- NOK ($.10).

โ™ป๏ธ Pick up garbage outside
“Plogging” is a concept combining picking up trash outside while walking/jogging.
Next time you go for a walk outside, bring a bag to pick up trash outside. I’ve made a habit of doing this whenever I go for a walk and I have never had a problem with filling up a bag full of garbage, unfortunately. So people, stop throwing your trash on the ground – not cool!

โ™ป๏ธ Understand expiration dates
Buying products with short expiration dates will definitely save you money in the long run. An important note, is that the “best before date” doesn’t necessarily means “bad after”. However, there are some exceptions where you should be more careful such as meat (products), chicken, and certain dairy products.

โ™ป๏ธ Bring a reusable water bottle
I can’t remember the last time I bought a plastic water bottle/coffee cup.
I invested in a solid reusable water bottle a long time ago and I use it every day, whether it’s at work, going to the gym, it’s filled on my nightstand before I go to bed, or if I’m in my car. The tap water in Norway is so fresh, cold and clean, so there’s no reason to buy bottled water. I also bought a take-away coffee cup that I try to bring with me whenever I’m buying coffee. I always buy iced latte that usually comes in plastic cup, so this is a great way to cut back on plastic.

โ™ป๏ธ Recycle your trash
Sort and recycle your trash is not hard at all, so there is no reason not to do it.
In Norway our recycling and waste system is pretty easy; every home has different colored bins for your waste and it’s divided into bio waste, paper waste, plastic waste, glass & metal waste, and a separate bin for the remaining waste.
Hazardous and electrical waste can be returned for free to recycling stations or shops that sell electrical products. Bottles & cans can be returned in most supermarkets and you can choose if you want to get money back, or donate the money to charity.

โ™ป๏ธ Buy second-hand instead of new when possible
Buying second-hand has never been more popular! While it might be tempting to always buy the newest and latest, a pre-owned version will often offer the same good value (depending on what you buy of course). I will avoid buying certain things used for safety’s sake (e.g. car seats, bike helmets, personal items, etc), but I have found some great items at a flea market for a super cheap cost. Read more about my best flea market finds here. Buying second-hand will not only save you money, but you do something for the environment as well!

โ™ป๏ธ Grow your own food when possible
And we’re not talking about a vegetable garden her (even though you can do that if you have the space and will to put in the effort), but start small. If you have the space for potted plants, a mini herb garden with fresh herbs such as chives, rosemary, thyme, basil and mint are good options. Try growing your own strawberries in a pot or hanging basket, as strawberries are one of the best fruits to grow in a container. You can also plant a fruit tree/bush. While it might take some time to see the final produce, but how nice would it be to pick apples, pears, plums, raspberries, and redcurrant from you own garden?!

โ™ป๏ธ Focus on minimizing food waste
Meal prep, learning to love leftovers, and cooking big portions are all great ways to minimize food waste. Before grocery shopping for the upcoming week, take a look in you fridge to keep track of the ingredients you have. If you have vegetables that are borderline going bad, why not make a stir fry? Or grilled vegetables? Maybe a chicken salad? If apples or bananas are going bad, make a delicious apple cake or a delicious banana bread with chocolate chunks. The options are many!
Few people wants to eat the same thing for dinner five days in a row, but throwing away reminders of last night’s meal just to avoid boredom isn’t the most eco-friendly option. Instead, try getting creative in the kitchen and use your leftovers to cook a new meal.

Have you made any changes in your left to help the environment? If not, itโ€™s time to step up the game! โ™ป๏ธ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ™‚

A day well spent and future plans

Uncategorized

Hello everyone, and happy Thursday! ๐Ÿ™‚
After working Monday – Wednesday this week, I’m finally enjoying a a day off before a full working weekend ahead of me.. This day has been nothing but good so far – I slept inn, enjoyed a delicious breakfast, went for a two hour long walk outside soaking up some much needed sunshine and fresh air, had lunch, and as we speak, I’m sitting outside my favorite coffee shop sipping on a delicious iced-latte with caramel (which is my go-to coffee any day!). I really can’t complain! โ˜€๏ธโ˜•๏ธ

The Coastal Path – my favorite outdoor area!
Coffee outside in fresh air..

Entering 2020, one of my goals this year was to be more consistent in my updates on this blog and with this being fourth blog post in six days, I feel like I’m a good track here. The challenge is to keep it that way. One of my main challenges (or excuses) for the lack of updates in the past, even to myself, was the minimum time I had available. But I have come to realize one thing – you have the time to do anything you want, you just need to figure out your priorities. And I have made myself a promise to make this blog a priority, because I love doing this. I get to be creative, do research, read other blogs, take pictures, and talk to different people from all over..
Another goal is to focus more on networking (both in Norway and internationally) and I’m thinking about creating an Instagram account for this blog. One shouldn’t underestimate the value of networking, especially in these days, as it’s often comes down to who you know in any arena in life. Networking is the future!

Do you use networking in your life, both personally and business wise? I would love to hear! Have a great day everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚

Festival Survival Guide

Uncategorized

Festival season has arrived yet again and as always, I’ll be at Stavernsfestivalen!
The best part about a festival is that there is so much to see and do. However, it can also get a little overwhelming when you’re dealing with many of your favorite bands, multiple stages, long lines, a huge festival area, and big crows of people.
Factor in the large group of friends you’re going with, and it adds up.. But that doesn’t mean that your festival experience will be unsuccessful – it’s rather the opposite! There are many things you can do to prepare for a festival, because let’s face it; with some tricks up you sleeve, your festival experience can be a better one! ๐Ÿ™‚

pizap.com15621553717521 TO


Picture s from last years festival

From personal experience, here are some of my best festival tips;

Get you festival wristband in advance
I’m telling you, this will save you a lot of time! The first day of the festival, many people are trading their tickets into festival wristbands by the festival entrance, so to say the lines are long is an understatement. If possible, get you wristband in advance before the festival. Stavernfestivalen offers their festival goers to pick up their wristbands one week in advance, which we always take advantage of. If you are going to Stavernsfestivalen, the different locations to pick up wristbands can be found here.

Load up you festival wristband in advance
Stavernsfestivalen has come along way since they used the paper festival wristbands, now they use Intellipay cashless payment technology, which is a digital payment system. The chip on your wristband is your “wallet” and is used for all payments at the festival area, such as food, drinks and general merchandise. You can also download an APP and create an account to re-fill your wristband. This system is not only more secure, but saves you lot’s of time because you don’t have to wait in line to top of your wristband – drink a beer and dance instead!

Agree on a meeting point for the group
We did that last year and it was such a great idea!
While we all head to the festival and agree that we should stay together the entire time, it’s time to be realistic and just realize that’s not gonna happen. People most likely want to listen to different artists, some head to the bar to buy beer, others need to use the restroom, and some wants to buy food – and that’s pretty much how it goes the entire festival weekend. In between all over the above, it’s also nice to sit down, listen to consents or talk to people, all while enjoying an ice cold beer in the (hopefully!) sun. Agreeing on a meeting point was a great idea, because you could always find someone at the meeting point if you decided to sit down for a minute.

Bring an “emergency festival kit” with you
I have my own “emergency festival kit” that I always bring with me – it contains painkillers (ibuprofen and paracetamol), sunscreen with high SPF, band-aids for blisters, sanitary products, wet wipes, and hand sanitizer. Even though hand sanitizers usually are available at the festival area, they have run out in the past and I don’t feel like eating my food without cleaning my hands. No thank you!

Fully charge a portable power bank
A portable charger is essential, because you phone is doomed to die at some point. I take a lot of pictures/videos, I use social media a lot and my friends and I call each other countless times during the festival to locate each other, which truly tap my battery faster. While some festivals do have phone charging points, it’s likely you have to wait on like for a long time to charge your phone, which means missing out on music and dancing – it’s not worth it!

Don’t forget your sunglasses
Sunglasses and festivals goes hand in hand, it’s kind of a package deal. They are not only used as one of the most frequent festival accessories, but a festival is probably the only place you can wear them if it’s dark or raining without people looking at you funny, hehe.. Not mention, they come in quite handy if the sun pops out because you don’t have to squint when watching your favorite artists play!

Drink lot’s of water
This is probably one of the most important notes, especially if it’s really warm outside! Festivals have you walking and dancing literally all day, burning considerably more calories (which also requires more water) and sweating (which dehydrates you even further), so don’t forget to drink enough water to stay hydrated. A general rule to follow is 1 cup of alcohol/1 cup of water! For those of you going to Stavernsfestivalen, water and free cups are available near most restroom areas!

Enjoy all the madness & have an amazing time!

A glimpse of life in pictures 1 ๐Ÿ“ธ

Uncategorized

I can’t believe we’re already in the end of June, which means July is just around the corner.. can someone please hit the pause button on the clock?!
Anyway, I would like to introduce you to a new column called “A glimpse of life in pictures”. As stated in the sentence itself, I’ll be showing you small glimpses of life in pictures. I personally love to read blog posts, but I believe pictures are a necessity. Visual is the thing you know! Here’s what I’ve been up to lately;

pizap.com15618629364231Celebration of Pride Month – such an important cause!pizap.com15618629913541
Genuinely being overall happy.. pizap.com15618630293891Spending lazy days at the beach.. pizap.com15618630690581Enjoying delicious lunches outside.. pizap.com15618631125701Made lots of delicious homemade granola (recipe here)pizap.com15618631578281Quality time spent with family โ™ฅpizap.com15618632262471I celebrated my birthday..pizap.com15618633055271Where we ate lots of delicious Mexican food..pizap.com15618633432631And made the most mean Mojitos..pizap.com15618634087751Lots of cat cuddles with our little man..pizap.com15618634431491Invested in a new pair of shoes and a bag I absolutely love!pizap.com15618634837891Celebrated 5 years of marriage & 15 years together with the best man in the entire world โ™ฅpizap.com15618635174681And went for several walks on the Coastal Path..

So far, June has been pretty good (even though it went by way to fast!). Have you been doing anything fun lately? ๐Ÿ™‚