Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Decor

These are a few of the ideas I have found on Pinterest

A craft to do with my 7 year old.
Combined décor and Christmas gift for my sister in law.
This would look so lovely as a centerpiece either on the dining table or on the kitchen island.
So easy and so pretty. And not to forget safe from toddlers who like to blow on candles.
Would look so pretty on a little note to every guest.
I would love to make these to decorate outside the front doors of both my sister in law and
my mother in law as these does not take up that much space.
A collection of printables. Easy and fun décor.

More of the same as the one above but with nuts and lentils.

These are some of the ideas I have for our big family gathering which will be the week of Thanksgiving. Since we are moving back to Norway next year the whole family will be coming from California and the East coast to Seattle to celebrate Thanksgiving with us. Many of them I have never met. My sister in law is hosting, she and my mother in law are cooking and I have asked to please be allowed to decorate. Maybe I will even cook or bake something too.

Monday, October 17, 2011

One thing at the time

Sometimes things happen that makes other things fade in the background and last week things happened.

This year I am Co Coordinator (Coco for short) for my church’s MOPS group. Leaving for Norway this summer I knew I was going to be the Assistant coordinator, but when I came home I learned that the coordinator was moving to Colorado and that me and the other assistant had to take over. Then there were an unnoticeable communication failure in the system that got set up and last week it surfaced and roared it’s ugly head.

Women were crying, angry, confused, stressed, feeling guilty without reason, anxieties soared and things seemed to be falling apart.

I had to start somewhere. My Coco and I had agreed upon me taking care of the Newsletter, Hospitality and Moppets so I started there. Newsletter was running smoothly, the Newsletter Coordinator was on top of it and I were done with my article and edits within a few hours. Hospitality was running smoothly as well and communication was good between me and the Hospitality Coordinator. Then there were Moppets.

One of my friends had taken upon herself to learn how to write a database for our MOPS group and she was getting frustrated trying to communicate with everyone involved. The Database involves Finance, Registration, Discussion group leaders, Mentors and Moppets and while communicating with Finance and Registration was going well she still got nothing done because the others were not communicating their needs to her.

For a whole week I had meetings with everyone involved and after changing the Leadership of Moppets I now have communication in place there as well. After later finding that Discussion group Coordinator and Mentor Coordinator was not communicating well, I had had enough and told everyone involved that from now on we will just have to have one meeting a month for a while where we can discuss everyone’s needs and expectations to this database. So now there is peace again.

What I have learned from this is

  • When you don’t hear anything from somebody that is not necessarily good.
  • When no one else can I can, if someone else can I can’t.
  • Always take one thing at the time and solve it before taking care of the next problem.
  • I have strengths I didn’t even know I had and I am more organized than I thought I am and if not I can always wing it.
  • Tomorrow is always a new day with new sheets of paper and brand new crayons.
  • Whatever mistakes you have made there is no shame in admitting it, ask for forgiveness and then fixing it.
  • Working with friends are hard, but as long as you are open and speak truth about your shortcomings, your hopes and expectations you will still keep them.
  • Communication is key.
  • Pray and God listens.

So due to this I did blog about some pins with ideas for Christmas gifts, but I have not made a list yet, maybe I will do it tonight when I am done with everything MOPS for tomorrows meeting. I have not made a Thanksgiving décor list, but I have pinned a lot. And the room by room list is not yet made unless you count the mental one in the back of my head. And that new system for meal planning is not started yet, but I have at least blogged about one of my favorite baked treats this past week.

I am so blessed that I get to be the Coco of such a great group of women (we got about 86 women counting mentors and all) and I love all and every one of them and feel ever so blessed that I get to serve for them before I move next year.

And lastly a picture of what happens when mamma gets to busy with MOPS… thank you Sofie for being so good at entertaining yourself…


Linking up with

Easy Change Season Wreath

A year ago I made a twine covered wreath and yes it took a long time to wind the twine all the way around, but it was so worth it.

I started out with some fall colored fabric flowers that I pinned to it and I had it hanging all through the fall till Christmas came and I hung my Christmas wreath up.

Then this spring I went to Joann and bought some sheet moss, twigs with leaves and pretty pink flowers, a nest, a few eggs and a little bird. I pinned those on using nails with big flat heads. That way when I am tired of the moss and all I can just take it off.


Then suddenly it was fall again and in five minutes I removed the summer décor except for the moss, added my fall flowers and voila fall is here.


I hope this might be an idea for you who have little space for seasonal décor.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Grateful Sunday 35


Yesterday was such a beautiful day and since we couldn’t be home due to our realtor showing our condo to some potential buyers the girls and I decided to go out for an early dinner and then head to a park to play. Yes it was just me and the girls, Jesse went to work at 4am and then headed to a soccer game after wards to see Kelsey Keller’s last home game for the Sounders, he didn’t get home until 11pm.

So lets see what I am grateful for this week.

341. God showing me personality traits I didn’t think I had.

342. God giving me strength and wisdom to solve conflicts of bad communication.

343. God teaching me humility to say I am sorry when I make mistakes.

344. God teaching me patience when working with adults.

345. Sunny days to spend time with my girls.

346. Little girl falling asleep on her potty.

347. An understanding husband when meetings and phone calls take up my time.

348. My body surprising me by being able to do more than I thought.

349. Safe bike rides with my little girl.

350. Prayers being answered for my friends.

Linking up to

The last pictures from Norway


Before leaving Norway Isabel got to go with her Godparents to their home where she got to ride on Godmothers horse and sing Abba as much as she wanted.


Sofie and I went with my parents to my hometown and on the way were naps in the car, beautiful landscapes, a ferry and ice cream.


While in my hometown there were some gray weather, bike rides and a walk with my dad down to the new small boat harbor where we got to watch a boat exit the big harbor. I also got to see things before hidden by old harbor walls by the old herring oil factory where my grandfather once worked and which is now part gallery and part concert hall.


The time of the Midnight sun is coming to an end. We finally arrived in Tromsø where I went to College and Jesse and I spent the first three years of our marriage. We came up for my cousins wedding and got to see all our family for a wonderful weekend of adventures and parties.


Paper cranes were hanging from the ceiling. The kids where dancing. Isabel actually kept going till 2am while the rest of the kids left around 10pm. She is a real dancing queen.


The tables were beautifully decorated with subtle colors.


The bride were beautiful, the groom hansom and the flower girl oh so cute. The happy couple is Godparents to both of these young ladies.


The wedding cake. All the animals ended up with my kids and are now all over my house. I believe that all together there were about 12 cakes. We love cakes for all occasions in Norway. The day after the wedding we all met at the place where the party were held to help with cleanup and eat some more cake.

We had such a wonderful time and are so grateful that we got to join them for their wedding. So this was the last week of our stay in Norway and I will not be going back until I move back next year. Till then I will cherish all the memories from this trip.

Braided Norwegian Sweet Bread


  • 21 ounces or circa 5 cups (600 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (125 grams) sugar
  • 1 tsp Cardamom (I like a little bit extra so I do 2)
  • 14 Tbsp (200 grams) butter
  • 5 tsp Dry Active Yeast
  • ca 2 cups (3 deciliter) milk
  • 3 eggs


  • 1 egg for egg wash
  • Pearl sugar (I know you can find it at IKEA)

Mix flour, sugar, cardamom and yeast in a baking bowl.

Cut the butter into the flour.

Warm the milk up to circa 100 degree Fahrenheit.

Whip the eggs lightly and add them and the milk to the flour.

Using your dough hook work the dough well, cover it up and let it rise to double the size.

Knead the dough lightly and divide in three equal sized rolls. Roll each on out to a long roll and braid them together.

Let it rise for another 20 minutes. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle Pearl sugar on top.

Bake in oven at 400 degree Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Temperature Norwegian Style

I was browsing some Norwegian blogs today and came across this one that I just had to share as it made me laugh because I am a Norwegian living in Seattle, with 68 degree Fahrenheit in my kitchen I am feeling cold, maybe a sign that I have been here too long.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A start on my Christmas gift list

For my parents, sister in law, mother in law and father in law this would be the perfect gift.
Some canvases, paint and a sharpie marker makes perfect little butterflies of the print of
their feet.


For the girls in the family, there is 5 cousins, these would be fun no matter how old they are.

For my cousins and aunts it would be so nice to make these to represent their children.
Isabel could make these as gifts to those on her list.
A great idea for my girlfriends.
My youngest cousin would love this for her camera and so would I.
One of my cousins like to ride his bike and I am sure his wife and he would like one of these.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I have a life

My friend and I were joking the other day about our “work titles”. We are both “stay at home moms”, but lately neither one of us have been spending much time at all at home. She has four kids, all girls, the oldest is in kindergarten and the youngest is about 9 months old. I have two girls at two and seven years old. Her days are filled with dropping off and picking up one at school, taking this same one to her ballet classes, taking the second oldest to gymnastics classes and then doctor appointments and play dates. My days are filled with dropping Isabel of and picking her up from school, play dates for Sofie, meetings and volunteer work where I have to visit other peoples homes or be at the church. For a while I spent up to 6 hours a day at church working on volunteer stuff while Sofie was playing by my feet. Our new titles we found were “Stay in van mom” and “Stay at church mom”.

For a while I was worried I wouldn’t know what to do with myself ones this busyness subsided and I would have to go back to being a “stay at home mom” again. Things slipped at home and I just did a minimum when I was home.

Finally the day came and I had to find out if I had a life again. I got so overwhelmed. My house was a mess and I had to clean it up as our realtor told us that our buyers bailed on us and we again had to put the house on the market. When you have to you do it. Over the course of a weekend I managed to clean up the whole house and get it show ready. Now I do only minimum maintenance to keep it up and it is working out good.

I also finally got back at blogging again. Slowly finding me in all of this mom business and volunteer busyness. The next thing now is getting back at making lists. Christmas is coming up really fast now and considering the fact that I have to send gifts to Norway I need to get started a.s.a.p.

Also considering the fact that I have to start focusing on downsizing due to our upcoming move back to Norway I will have to start working through room after room to find what we want to keep and what we can give away or sell.

By next week I will have a Christmas gift list made, a Thanksgiving décor list, and a room by room list started. Also I will have started on my new system for meal planning.

I am linking up on Anti Procrastination Tuesdays to keep me accountable.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wedding gift


On October 1st my husbands stepsister got married to the man of her life. We were so fortunate that we got to go up to Vancouver BC. to celebrate the day with them and we wanted to bring a thoughtful gift even though they had asked for no gifts as their apartment is very small and they really couldn’t fit anything more there.

My first thought was that we should make a date for them, but we live to far away to set up something special. Then I thought of one of me and my husbands favorite things to do before we had kids, cooking together and having picnics.

I went to JoAnn and found a perfect little picnic basket, a couple of towels and two candles. Then to Trader Joe and found some crackers and tapenade for an appetizer, pasta and a sauce for dinner, chocolate covered ginger for dessert and a bottle of red wine to enjoy with it all.


I wanted to make the towels a little special and found this H in one of the fonts on my pc. I printed it out on freezer paper (just make sure it is the ruff side up in the printer) and then cut out the black part, ironed it on the towels and used black fabric paint on a sponge to fill in the cutout. I love freezer paper stenciling. They turned out just perfect.

I assembled everything in the basket using some red ginger ribbon to make bows matching the basket and added a card. I really hope they enjoy this little gift.

A wedding gift really doesn’t have to be expensive, it is all about the thought you put into it.

What was you favorite wedding gift or what is your go to staple when it comes to giving wedding gifts?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Grateful Sunday 34


331. A day all to ourselves, just me and my husband at a wedding last weekend.

332. For the strength to pray in front of 80ish women for the first time.

333. For the wisdom he gives me in his word.

334. For the colors on his palette that he paints our world with now.

335. For always providing what we need and gently saying no when we ask to much.

336. For little girls who needs to pray.

337. For friends who stay friends even though time parts us.

338. For fellowship with other moms.

339. For a basket full of love.

340. For Him teaching me to forgive.

Again linking up to



My second book to read this summer was “Committed – a Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage” by Elizabeth Gilbert the author of “Eat, Pray, Love – One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia.”

I recently finished Gilbert’s bestseller Eat, Pray, Love and when I found Committed ready to download at my library I just knew I had to read it too.

Just like Eat, Pray, Love this too is a memoir. The difference is that it also contains some socio-historical bonus sections as she is trying to make peace with the complicated institution of marriage.

I still find it amazing that I actually found this book immensely interesting and that after being married 10 years could learn so many new facts about marriage that I didn’t know from before. For example that society didn’t invent marriage, couples did that. Society just tried to control the couples, but have never been able to do so.

I would definitively suggest this book for my friends and family to read as I really enjoyed reading it myself.

I was not asked to write this recommendation for this book, but I am an affiliate of Amazon and will make some profit if you use this link to buy the book.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Healthy Banana Bread


My kids love bananas and I love bananas for my smoothies, but some weeks we just don’t eat enough of them and they get too old for our taste.

This time I decided I wanted to try out a new recipe for Banana Bread and after checking out several different ones I ended up mixing three recipes into one.

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup yogurt naturel
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp bakingsoda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

I mixed the sugar, flax seed, bananas, milk, yogurt and egg in my kitchen aid till it was more or less smooth. Then blended together all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl before adding it to the wet ingredients and just folding it together till all the dry ingredients were just moist. Pour into a greased bread pan.

I baked it on 350 degree Fahrenheit for 1 hour, but I think that was just a little too short and it could probably have used another 30 minutes.

It tasted delicious and is kids approved. Not too sweet and definitively full of good stuff. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My New Design

Yes it has now been almost two months since I last posted anything. A little embarrassing when I was able to keep posting for the two months I spent in Norway without internet. I just got writers block and my life got 10 times busier than normal all of the sudden.

I want to shout a great big Thank you to The Girl Creative who redesigned my blog for me.

The Girl Creative

She was so easy to work with and she knew exactly what I wanted even though I had no idea myself. All I did was answer her questionnaire and add a picture of some color inspiration I found and some blogs that I liked the design on and she figured out what would work for me. I am absolutely in love as this is more me than the photos of my family that I had made myself a while back. They were just to dark and busy for me, but I had no idea what to do myself. So thank you, thank you, thank you to The Girl Creative.

Right now I am just trying to get my labels hooked up with my pages. Not the easiest thing I have ever tried, but I think I just found a tutorial that might get me there. Then I will start working on a new routine of writing posts. I have to find something that works for me and also find out what it is that I really want to write about.

Since my schedule has become a lot busier than it used to due to my MOPS group and the fact that I am trying to get out more to see friends than I used to it is hard to find time to write and that is why a schedule for my blog might be good. When I was on vacation I would spend one or two nights a week writing and working on my photos and then I would schedule them one or two weeks ahead. It really worked for me then and I will try to do the same now.

Thank you for sticking with me.