The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez

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“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.

Cafe Olivia

Lifestyle

If you’re looking for a cafe that’s anything but the typical mainstream coffee chains, look no further; Cafe Olivia is the place to visit next!

Located in the middle of Stavern city center, this cafe offers charming old-school interior, a great variety of food, delicious coffee, beer & wine, several types of cakes to satisfy your sweet tooth, cold water + ice and complimentary free WiFi. A big bonus is the super friendly staff + an outdoor patio that’s perfect for warmer days. If the weather cooperates, enjoy your lunch and a coffee outside in the sun. (I recommend the baguette with scrambled egg & Serrano ham + ice coffee with caramel!). Try it, you will not regret it!

Combine a visit with a walk along the Coastal Path, a visit to Fredriksvern Fortress, a stroll around Stavern city center, or all of the above. The summer months (June, July and August) is definitely the best time to visit, with markets days twice a week, lots of stalls selling different products, concerts, etc. However, there will be tons of people everywhere! Cafe Olivia is open all year round Monday – Sunday. Enjoy!

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˜€

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

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Happy Sunday everyone! πŸ™‚
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! ❀️

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! 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 perfect left-over lunch!

Food, Lifestyle

If you’re looking for a new way to make your lunch, look no further!
A couple of days ago, I was looking through my fridge to get some ideas for lunch.. I had some leftover potatoes from a previous dinner and lot’s of vegetables that was borderline going bad, so I decided to be a little creative in order to avoid throwing away food. Paired with a fresh sliced piece of bread and a couple of eggs for protein, this turned out to be a easy, but delicious lunch!

Ingredients
2 eggs – 3 hard boiled potatoes (cooled off), 1 slice of whole-wheat bread – a handful of red pepper – a small handful of green onion – cucumber

Directions
It can’t get any easier than this; cut potatoes and all the vegetables into pieces and fry in a pan with a little butter, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside and make the eggs in a pan. Cut cucumber (or any vegetables you want on the side!) in pieces and pair with bread + butter.
Tomatoes, avocado and feta cheese are also great options as sides.

Enjoy!

Free Bucketlist ideas!

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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 – to make a Bucketlist with ideas that doesn’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 wasn’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! 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˜€

Hello March!

Lifestyle

Spring is officially here! Or, at least if you look at the calendar.. We have been blessed with the warmest winter without snow so far, so I have to admit my heart dropped when I woke up to snow a couple of days ago. As we speak it’s raining outside and the snow is finally melting, which is totally fine with me. March is the ultimate spring month and I’m so exited for warmer temperatures, hopefully sunshine, longer and brighter days, and to spend more time outside. But in the meantime..

Here’s what I’m looking forward to in March;

β™₯ Girls trip abroad
I’m going on a all girls trip to Krakow in the last weekend in March and I’m so exited! We (us girls) have been talking about going on a girls trip forever and now we finally found the time. I can’t wait to spend quality time with the girls, do some shopping, enjoy good food and delicious drinks, squeeze in a little sightseeing (I want to explore the Jewish Quarter), try out the Krakow nightlife, get a massage, and soak in everything Krakow has to offer!

β™₯ Remain consistent in my updates on this blog
One of my main goals for 2020 was to remain consistent in my updates on this blog and while I think I’ve done a pretty good job in February (13 updates), there is always room for improvement. My goal for March is to update this blog every other day, so a total of 16 blog posts throughout the month. This really shouldn’t be a problem as I love what I’m doing. Currently prepping many fun topics, so stay tuned!

β™₯ Have a vegetarian week
After making the most delicious creamy tomato soup last week, I’m more eager to explore the vegetarian world. One of the main reasons for eating more vegetarian food, is to consume more greens and vegetables (I know I don’t eat enough) and to see if it has an impact on how I feel after a meal. This is not to say that I’ll be a full blown vegetarian, but it’s fun to experiment in the kitchen. I have my eyes set on a handful of recipes, which I’ll be sharing on the blog.

β™₯ Do research on traveling in South-East Asia & Australia
I love traveling and it will always be a priority in my life. We are heading to Thailand on a family vacation next year, but my dream is to explore more of the world in the future. I have my eyes set on South-East Asia and Australia; I want to visit and explore the real side of
Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Australia and Sri Lanka. Early planning is the key to success and our goal is to get the most out of this trip for as little money as possible. Have you been to any of these places? Any tips, tricks and recommendations are highly appreciated!

β™₯ Spend more time outside in fresh air
To me, March is the definition of Spring, which means spending more time outside in fresh air. We’re talking outdoor bonfire nights, many walks along the Coastal Path, hiking someplace new and be outside in general.. I love spending time outside! Did you know that there are many benefits of spending time outside in fresh air? You’ll have increased energy, improved digestion, cleaner lungs, it’s help bolster your immune system and have an overall impact on your physical health – all good reasons to get outside!

Do you have any fun plans in March? πŸ™‚πŸŒΈ

My Workout Playlist

Lifestyle, Wellness

Happy Saturday and happy weekend guys! πŸ’™
How’s your weekend treating you so far? Regardless of what you do, I hope you have a good one! I kicked off Saturday morning with a good workout and it felt great! Now that I have established a new and steady workout routine, I also discovered the need to update my workout playlist.. I decided to keep some of the old good ones, but also added a few new ones. If you need to pump up your workout playlist, here’s whats currently on repeat on mine;

🎢 “You need to calm down” – Taylor Swift

🎢 “Play” – Alan Walker

🎢 “Fontena pΓ₯ Yongstorget” – Sondre Justad

🎢 “Hotel Walls” – Smith & Thell

🎢 “Salt” – Ava Max

🎢 “Blinding Lights” – The Weekend

🎢 “Changes” – Mike Perry feat Dimitri Vangelis & Whyman

🎢 “Haloes” – Ina Wroldsen

🎢 “Sucker Punch” – Sigrid

🎢 “Something New” – Axwell – Sebastian Ingrosso

A good mix between the old and the new, but I’m still looking for more tunes to add to my list. Any recommendations? Feel free to drop them in the comment section below! 🎢 Happy workout!