Interesting links from around the web #7

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Great ideas for zero waste cooking – how to use up produce scraps

How Amsterdam became the bicycle capital of the world

Non-alcoholic summer drink recipes to enjoy on a warm summer day (or any day!)

London’s best street food markets and food stalls

These Melon Caprese Skewers are the perfect refreshing side dish for grilling this summer

Airplane etiquette rules for a happier flight

5 proven therapy techniques to improve relationships

Aubrey’s guide on “Summer spots worth a ferry ride to, in New England” makes me want to visit New England asap!

Use this Giant Grid of Salad Dressings chart to spice up your salads

Homemade Apple Cake

A deliciously easy apple cake made from scratch – this soft and tender apple cake is packed with big chunks of apples and features a crunchy topping sprinkled with almonds – it’s apple-licious! 🍏

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I love cake any day, and few things beat a delicious homemade apple cake with a side of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.. I had a handful of apples on my kitchen counter that was borderline going bad, so to minimize food waste (and make cake of course, who am I kidding?), I decided to throw together an apple cake! In case you’re in the mood to try it, here’s what you need;

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Ingredients

4 large apples – 2 teaspoons cinnamon – 200 g butter – 200 g sugar – 4 largs eggs – 2 teaspoons baking powder – 170 g white flour – a handful of chopped almonds

Directions

Preheat oven to 160 C/320F. Use a baking sheet at the bottom of the spring pan to prevent the cake from sticking to the pan (I use this one in 9 inches/22 cm).

Peel, core and chop apples into large chucks. Put them in a zip-lock bag with a little cinnamon and sugar, shake so all apple chunks are covered.

Mix butter and sugar together, I recommend using a kitchen machine for this.  Make sure to leave your butter in room temperature before using it, as it makes it easier to work with. Add the eggs at the end.

Stir together flour, cinnamon and baking powder into a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Chop of handful of almonds into little pieces to use for topping.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Stick the apples into the batter and sprinkle with chopped almonds on top. Bake for 50 minutes in the middle of the oven, remember to cool of before serving.

Tip; the cake gets better on the second day, when the apple juices seep further into the cake. Serve with a side of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, and enjoy! 🙂

Checking of my Bucketlist ☑️

For the longest time, one of my goals has been to discover more of Norway and I love being outside, so what’s better than going on a hiking trip?! 🙂

Last week I checked of another point of my Bucketlist; I hiked Gaustatoppen!
Gaustatoppen rises majestically above Rjukan in Telemark, Norway and with it’s 1833 meters above sea level, it provides one of the best panoramic views in Norway! On a clear day (which we we’re blessed with!), you can see as much as 1/6 of Norway. The trip is approximately 4,5 km one way and takes about 3 hours included breaks. One the top you’ll find Gaustadtoppen Tourist Cabin – the lodge under the sky where trekkers and mountaineers meet. They serve warm and cold drinks, a small selection of food, and the most delicious waffles I have ever tasted!

Here are some pictures if you’d like to see;

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I have wanted to see more of Norway for the longest time, so I just decided to get started! Have you been to Gaustatoppen before? If not, it’s a trip I highly recommend! 🙂

My tips for throwing the best festival pre-party!

Festival season has arrived yet again and I couldn’t be more exited!
Music is the heart and soul beyond many things, for some, it’s even a way of life.
Five years ago we started the tradition of going to Stavernsfestivalen with a big group of friends and we don’t plan on stopping this year – this is a steady tradition we love!
The festival takes place the second weekend of July and is just around the corner, which means it’s time to prepare the festival camp! Every year before the festival, we invite our friends to a festival pre-party at our place. There’s nothing better than a fun pre-party with (hopefully!) great weather, a backyard barbecue, lot’s of ice cold beer and delicious drinks, fun drinking games, great people and a positive vibe – just as it should be! 😀

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Here are my best tips for hosting the best festival pre-party;

Make sure to always have cold drinks at hand
This is very important, because who want’s to drink warm beer or wine? I know I don’t! The number of people attending our festival pre-party varies from year to year, but we are rarely under ten people (and we have been over 20 in the past!), so it’s clear that a regular fridge will be to small to cool off everyone drinks. We therefore invested in a huge tub referred to as the “festival tub”, we fill it with ice and it’s perfect for cooling off the alcohol. We use this tub for many occasions, whether it’s the festival pre-party, a summer party of birthdays.. This is definitely the smartest purchases ever made!

Entertainment
There are many ideas for entertainment, but we always enjoy playing a drinking game such as Flipcup of Beer-pong, or the popular Scandinavian game called Kubb (read more about it here). Flipcup is a fun drinking game that I was introduced to in college and it’s always fun to see how committed and competitive people are after a few drinks, hehe.. The goal is to drink up and get the cup turned upside down. If you don’t know what Flipcup is, you can read more about it here.

Food & Drinks
Going without food and drinks is not ideal, especially at a festival pre-party since people often consume large amounts of alcohol. It’s important to make sure people eat a proper meal + drink cold water in addition to the alcohol. A general rule of thumb would be 1 cup of alcohol/1 cup of water to stay hydrated, this is especially important if it’s hot outside! When it comes to food we always make it easy; we fire up the grill and people bring what ever they prefer to eat. Another good suggestion would be to set up a taco/nachos buffet. This is food that most people like and it always hits a home run, especially when drinking alcohol.. Accompanied by a big bowl of guacamole and ice cold corona, I’m definitely on board! 😀

Music & A Great Playlist
Music is a necessity at a festival pre-party and so is a good playlist. Feel free to use Spotify to create your own festival pre-party play list, and you can also ask your guests in advance if there have any music requests to add to the list. The advantage of creating a set playlist is that you’ll avoid people constantly searching for music and switching songs – my experience is that many people find this very annoying in the long run.. They key is to provide a long playlist with different music so people don’t get tired of the same music on repeat all the time. Include some of the artists playing at the festival and you will definitely get the party started!

Accommodation for Guests
We always have friends staying with us and we love it!
Staying at an festival camp in a sweaty tent (it’s July after all), standing in line to shower/use the bathroom and without access to a fridge with cold drinks is not appealing to me at all (it’s possible I’m to old for this). Since I’m lucky enough to call Stavern my hometown, we always invite friend to stay at our place during the festival. Three days at a festival can be exhausting, I therefore think it’s important to offer my them a comfortable place to stay. Always make sure to offer people a comfortable place to sleep, comforter + pillows in clean sheets, towels and shower-gel/shampoo/conditioner available to all. We always make sure our apartment is clean and tidy,make sure there is fresh air in all rooms and give people the freedom to do whatever they want – I always want our guests to feel like they are home!

Miscellaneous Items
Make sure you have enough toilet paper at hand. When people are drinking, people use the bathroom a lot and there is nothing worse than running out of toilet paper. In addition, I always have hand sanitizer, feminine hygiene products, and paracetamol/ibuprofen for headaches available.

A Good Breakfast
A weekend with drinking takes it’s toll on most of us (let’s face it, we’re not 20 anymore), a good breakfast is therefore a must! We always buy breakfast for the entire festival weekend and split the bill afterwards. At the breakfast table you’ll find fresh bread/baguettes, eggs, bacon, fruit and vegetables, various toppings, and drinks such as juice, soda, and water. When breakfast is consumed (and often even before breakfast!), we kick of the pre-party with the first beer. Cheers!

Do you have any good tips to share? If you are one of the regular festival goers – use sunscreen, drink lots of beer, jam to the music and dance the days away! 🎶💃🏻💥☀️🍻🍾😀

Festival Survival Guide

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! 🙂

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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 📸

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 ♥pizap.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 ♥pizap.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? 🙂

Hungry Heart Cafe

In the small town of Larvik, hidden in the most charming and colorful backyard you have ever seen, you’ll find one of the cutest cafes; Hungry Heart! ♥
Full of flowers, (hopefully) sunshine and the smell of delicious food and fresh grounded coffee, you’re always greeted by the kindest, smiling and most friendly staff. Taking pride in serving mainly organic food, this cafe offers a wide menu, including well tasting smoothies, delicious coffee, colorful salads, tasty sandwiches, pastries, and ice cream. I recommend the chicken wrap, pumpkin & sweet potato soup, the ciabatta with brie cheese and ham, the brownies, and try the iced latte w/caramel!
They also have other healthier options at hand, such as chia puddings, yogurts, and locally made kombucha!

This place is definitely worth a visit! 🙂

My 5 Favorite Instagram Accounts Right Now📸

Instagram has become widely popular around the world and is one of my favorite social media channels. Even though I don’t consider myself as a very dedicated poster (I post every now and then), I can spend hours of scrolling through my feed double tapping. I use Instagram as a source of inspiration (for example when planing theme parties), and there are so many categories to choose from! What I love about Instagram is the possibility to capture and share the most fun, awesome and memorable moments of life, and not to mention connect and interact with like minded people. I’m drawn towards people who are inspiring, positive, and has that “little extra” and I have gained some favorites throughout the years.
Here are my 5 favorite Instagram accounts right now;

Humans of New York (HONY)
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Humans of New York began as a photography project in 2010. The initial goal was to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers on the street, and create an exhaustive catalogue of the city’s inhabitants. Taken together, these portraits and captions became the subject of a vibrant blog. HONY now has over twenty million followers on social media, and provides a worldwide audience with daily glimpses into the lives of strangers on the streets of New York City. Over the past five years, it has also expanded to feature stories from over twenty different countries. The work is also featured in two bestselling books: Humans of New York and Humans of New York: Stories. The stories are wonderful, heartbreaking and powerful all at once – definitely an account worth following!

Isabella Löwengrip
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Isabella Löwengrip is a swedish blogger and businesswoman who started her blogging journey at the age of 14. Besides being an growing entrepreneur with over 1,5 millions followers worldwide, she was also awarded “the most powerful business women in Sweden” in 2018. I love her Instagram account for several reasons; you get a glimpse of her daily life including traveling the world to attend meetings & other business related taks, luxurious vacations, amazing and classic outfits and interior, all that with a glimpse of her eternal love for her two children. It’s nice to see that one can “have it all” (depending on how you define this of course!), but I think Isabella is very inspiring on many levels!

“A House We Built”
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“A House We Built” is an Instagram account run by a husband & wife team who designed their dream home from scratch. After moving in, they now focus on decorating and designing, as well as completing several DIY projects around the house. Their house features a “modern farmhouse” look and pretty much resembles my dream house; all white, clean and modern details, large windows, a walk-in-closet, my dream pantry, and lot’s of space. And my love for cats makes me love this account even more; they have 3 cats and they are displayed on almost every picture – what’s not to love?!

Khalil Rafati
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The first time I heard of Khalil Rafati was through the Skinny Confidential Podcast. Khalil Rafati was a homeless drug addict living on the streets of LA on Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles, who later turned into a millionaire. Addicted to heroine and cocaine he was literally on the verge of death, until he one day decided to turn his life around. Today he is the owner of two successful businesses; SunLife Organics and Malibu Beach Yoga. It’s hard to describe Khalil’s story in words, so I would suggest listening to his interview with Lauren & Michael on the Skinny Confidential Podcast (It’s so worth your time!). Khalil is the perfect example of how anyone can turn things around, regardless of how bad things are. Its such a powerful story!

Lesliesteph
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Leslie is the VP of Content at Cupcakesandcashmere, one of my favorite blogs. After reading many of Leslie’s posts online, I feel like “I know her” in a way. Besides being an excellent writer, she is also an amazing storyteller and good at taking pictures. Her Instagram display a combination of all the things I enjoy in life, including traveling & experiencing new places (I love her travel guides!), being outdoors and active, homemade delicious food and restaurant visits, her cat, current events in LA, a hint of interior and the importance of spending quality time with great people. Her Instagram provides a “feel good vibe” that makes me overall happy. Check her out!

Do you have any favorite Instagram accounts? Feel free to share them in the comment section below! 🙂

Interesting links from around the web #6

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8 Non-work related activities that increase productivity

Love Kiki’s “Guide to Portland in a weekend” – it makes me want to visit!

Recipe for the Rosé Gummy that has a 12,000 person wait list (make it at home!)

The ultimate guide to travel when you have no money

9 clear rules for coffee shop etiquette

A complete guide to spending summer in the Hamptons

I’m definitely making this Frozé (Frozen Rosé) this summer

A nutritionist’s perspective on why she doesn’t always buy organic food

I love this linen & cotton dress for warmer summer days

Street Libraries; A tiny vestibule of literary happiness

A couple of days ago I passed the cutest little library I have ever seen; a little home-built library on a public street. Filled with books, it serves as a “library on the run”, where anyone can borrow a book, read it, and put it back. Little did I know (after a quick google search) that this so-called “Street Library” is a literary revolution making it’s way around the world.

Originally started in Australia, Street Libraries are a beautiful home for books, planted outside someones home or on a public street. It’s described as a “window into the mind of a community” and the goal is to share the joys of reading with others. I love reading and I absolutely love this!

I borrowed a book I plan to read in the sun with an iced coffee!

Have you ever seen a Street Library before? 🙂