Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Getting things done

Last week I had a long list of things I need to get done by today. I am happy to report that I finished most of it by Monday. It has actually been so busy I have hardly had time to post anything lately. Here is a recap of what got done and the few things that didn’t.

  • Kitchen ceiling: cut trim, put it up, spackle, sand, clean and paint ceiling.
  • Dining room: Clean off craft table, cut trim, paint trim, put it up, clean walls and repaint.
  • Entry: Sand the door, wash it, paint it. Plant flowers and spruce up the stairs.
  • Walls, baseboards and doors: clean them off with manpower.
  • Master bedroom: Pack up books, disassemble bookshelf, purge, pick up, make bed ready for guests, spackle, sand, paint, and put up new curtain rod. Wash window and vacuum.
  • Walk in closet: Purge, pack away and organize. Vacuum.
  • Master bath room: Purge, clean, organize cabinets. Change light bulbs. Make ready for guests, wash floors, sinks and bathtub.
  • Hallway: Do laundry, purge and reorganize Sofie’s closet. Vacuum and pick up.
  • Bathroom: Organize laundry area. Purge, clean and organize cabinets.
  • Kids bedroom: Go through preschool papers and artwork. Purge, pick up organize and vacuum.

I think that should be it.

The few things that are left on my list is fine if it waits till closer to the day we actually have our condo listed. This week I am taking the week off. I still have a few things I need to get done, but mostly I am just enjoying having family visit with us.

Till next time I need to

  • make a newsletter for MOPS.
  • make teacher appreciation gifts for the PTA.
  • get my house back together after the guests leaves.
  • purge and organize the water closet room.

Thank you for keeping me accountable, I really appreciate all your comments and encouragements.

Linking up to A-P Tuesday at New Nostalgia.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Grateful Sunday 21

It has been such a busy week and I haven’t been able to keep up with my regular posts, but never if I would miss this one.

201. Children snuggling, seeking comfort only I can give them.

202. A safe road trip for my cousin and her family who is driving from Boston to Seattle, by LA.

203. A visit from my cousin and her family.

204. My hardworking husband who doesn’t mind me wanting to use the miter saw and making all the cuts myself.

205. A kitchen ceiling that took less time to finish than we thought.

206. A new family for our dog.

207. A footbath late in the evening.

208. In-laws volunteering to watch the little one so I can go grocery shopping by myself.

209. Friends and mentors praying for me and my family.

210. Little girls so willing to help purging, packing and moving furniture around.


The picture is taken by my cousin on her way across America.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Our week in pictures

Sunday we went for dinner at my mother in laws house. The weather was beautiful and quite warm so while we waited for hubby to arrive we played outside.

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Tuesday we gave Laika away to a new family. We met them at a park and since the weather was so nice, I decided to try to have a photo shoot. The first picture of Laika and Sofie was a daily thing at our house. Every day Sofie would hand feed Laika. Wednesday she walked around the whole house with a hand full of cat food calling for Laika. Needless to say it broke my heart to see her search for her best friend. Unfortunately we just could not keep Laika any longer as my allergies to her is getting worse and we are about to sell our condo and look for a rental.

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Laika was very much Isabel’s dog. I love this picture of them.

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Kisses and playing and rolling on the ground. Best friends forever.

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Wednesday Sofie and I cleaned over at my mother in laws house. She always plays with her dollies while I clean. I came into the living room to get something and found this. She is sitting in the babydoll bed feeding her little babies the bottle. See those pigtails? For a while she wouldn’t let us take them out at all and would cry if they fell out. She looks so much older with her hair up. Silly little girl.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Me in Pictures

Visiting blogs linked up to Eisy Morgans Coffee with Friends I found My Life, His Grace. Sydney was doing a Flickr photo mosaic to describe who you are. She found it at an other blog called Grammy’s Recipes. I thought it looked like fun and figured I’d give it a go. The directions are as following.

Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr search, using only the first page, choose your favorite image, copy and paste each of the URL’s into the mosaic maker (3 columns, 4 rows).


1. What is your first name?

My name is Marianne. This one doll kept coming up as the best representative for my name. Not sure if that means that I am a doll?

2. What is your favorite food?

I will just have to say vegetables. Every time someone asks me what I want for dinner I always say anything as long as it has vegetables with it. When I cook at home I use way to little vegetables, I really have to get better at it, but my family hardly likes any.

3. What High School did you attend?

When I was an exchange student in the US I attended El Molino High School in Forestville, California. That was where I met my husband. That might actually be a good story for another time.

4. What is your favorite color?

My favorite color is Yellow and I love flowers. Especially in spring when the yellow really lights up the world around you. In my next house I want to have more yellow. Some rooms with gray walls and yellow accents and some with yellow walls. I think I will like that very much.

5. Who is your celebrity crush?

His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Norway Haakon Magnus. As a young girl I always imagined meeting him (even though he is way older than me) and that he would fall in love with me and I would become a princess. Instead I got married right before him to an American and he found a single mother and fell in love with her. This year I think we both have 10 year anniversaries.

6. Favorite drink?

I must say Frappuchinos. I love, love, love them and sometimes I have one a day. My favorite is Mocha with a dash of Raspberry or orange in it. Mmmmmmmmm….. Btw I make my own at home to save money. I buy the mixture they use at the coffee shop and blend it at home, just as good as at Starbucks.

7. Dream vacation?

That was easy, Norway of course. I want to go home. This picture is from the district that my dad is from and where I will be staying for the most of the summer this year.

8. Favorite dessert?

Norwegian Chocolate Pudding with vanilla sauce. I pretty much survived my childhood years on eating this. I was sick a lot and would loose my appetite, but the doctor told my mom to let me eat what ever I wanted and all I wanted was this and bananas. The doctor was happy with that. This and bananas are still my two favorite things to eat when I am sick and anytime really.

9. What do you want to be when you grow up?

I have always wanted to be a teacher and I have a masters degree in teaching. Unfortunately I don’t have my credential here and have not been able to teach since I moved to the US. I decided against getting my credentials here too because it got to expensive for me. Next year we are moving back to Norway and I hope to find a job teaching right away there.

10. What do you love most in life?

Most in life I love to read books. I would read all the time if it wasn’t for life getting in the way.

11. One word to describe you?

Chatterbox. I have a hard time keeping quiet when in company with other people than my family. I constantly try practicing to listen to others and asking them questions about them. The best picture to describe that is apparently a waterfall named Chatterbox.

12. Your Flickr name?

My flickr name is my name unfortunately. But one of the names in my email address is elf so I used that instead today.

1. Marianne, 2. Preparing Vegetable Stock, 3. El Molino High School, 4. Yellow!, 5. hkh_kronprins_haakon-68, 6. caramel frappuchino, 7. Steigen, 8. Puddings!, 9. Timken Roller Bearing Co., calendar, September 1950, teacher at desk, 10. Read Across America Day, 11. Chatterbox Falls, Princess Louisa, BC., 12. elf 2

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Busy day

My husband is off of work today. He usually has at least Tuesdays off and sometimes even Thursdays. Since he actually had two days off this week we decided to try to get some things done. This is why I haven’t posted any of my regular postings this week.

Today I have spackled all around the house.

I washed ceiling and walls in the kitchen.

I cut trim with a fancy electric miter saw, made perfect measurements and kept all my fingers intact.

I painted some trim white and my husband painted the kitchen ceiling.

I did a ton of laundry that I still have to fold before I go to bed. I also started organizing Sofie’s closet, but that will have to be accomplished tomorrow.

I am attending a Homeowner association meeting in about 5 or 35 minutes, I don’t remember but it is at my neighbors so I’ll find out soon.

My in-laws are on their way here from Vancouver BC expecting to see the kids who’s bedtime it is in an hour. They could have come earlier, but as usual they took their time getting here.

I made mashed potatoes for dinner today and managed to cut my left hand pointy finger on the peeler. I can barely type with it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Eisy Morgan: $55 La Posh Giveaway!!

Eisy Morgan: $55 La Posh Giveaway!!: "Welcome to DAY 4 of the Birthday Bash!! If you have missed any of the other giveaways check out the links on the right! Today is the ch..."

One of my favorite bloggers is having a birtday bash where she is having a different giveaway every day.
Go check her out, she writes about everything good in life and I have got so many fashion and style tips from her, together with beautiful pictures of awesome quotes.

Spring Cleaning Day 5


I am trying my best to follow along with Anna’s Spring Cleaning at Ask Anna. Her day 5 of spring cleaning is to clean walls, doors, baseboards and touch up painting. I am in a little big of a special situation right now as we are getting ready to put our condo on the market for a short sale.

Every day though I wipe down one spot or another, such is life with young children. Today I will start with the walls, doors, and baseboards in my dining room, kitchen and hallway. There are places I need to touch up on the paint too, but since I will have to finish the trim in the dining room and the ceiling in my kitchen I will wait with the paint till I am done doing that.

I will skip the living room for now as it has to be repainted. The upstairs I will clean the doors and baseboards.

Every wall is now  cleaned off and spackled, but of course my camera is still at my mother in laws…

Spring Cleaning Day 7


For our last day of spring cleaning Ask Anna wanted us to clean our Washing Machines. She has a great tutorial on how to clean you Top Loader and as I have a brand new Front Loader I thought I would do this one over at my mother in laws.

Every week or so I clean my mother in laws house. Her washer is at least 8 years old and has never been cleaned. I took a look last Wednesday and this is what I saw.


Today I brought over my netbook with Anna’s tutorial and went to work. I should of course have brought vinegar since I had a feeling she didn’t have it, but I forgot. Instead I used my latest obsession

all-purpose cleaner with powergreen™ technology

It cut through all the grime and lime buildup and smelled divine. I am using this cleaner for everything now, but have yet to buy one for my own house. It actually comes in several different smells, but I just love the Pink Grapefruit one. The washer is unfortunately very rusty around the opening and I was not able to remove that.

I ended up cleaning the outside of the washer and drier, the floors and taking care of some spider web here and there.

Of course while hoisting all my cleaning utensils and the kiddo out the door I managed to forget my camera at my mother in laws house. I will have to go back later and get it and then update this post with the pictures that I actually did remember to take.

Btw all opinions about Method is my own and I was not compensated by them by any means, although if they ever wanted to I wouldn’t say no.

Spring Cleaning Day 6


One thing I don’t think about doing very often is cleaning my grout. Thank goodness I don’t have much of it in my house, there is only grout on my kitchen counters and on my powder room floor. Anna at Ask Anna is doing a Spring Cleaning and our task there is to clean the grout in our homes.

I assessed the grout in my powder room and found that it was clean. We barely use that room. The floor needs to be washed though.

In my kitchen I have tiles on my counters and a couple of years ago I had to redo all the grouting. Unfortunately the store (who shall remain nameless) advised me to buy the wrong grout and it is now a very sandy grout instead of smooth. Since I did put sealant on them then they really aren’t bad now except around the sink.

Ask Anna has a tutorial on how to clean your grout, but I was stubborn and wanted to try a tip I read somewhere else (I can’t remember where now). The tip said to use Oxyclean paste to clean your grout. This is how that went.


My tools. Oxy Clean, a toothbrush, a little cup with water. I also used a sponge and a rag.


I applied generously and then I left it for a few hours (mostly because I had to go to my mother in law to eat dinner).CIMG4248 

When I came home it had dried. I am not sure if that is why it didn’t work as well as I had hoped for.


The black around my sink is still there, but it isn’t grout right there though. My grout is nice a clean again. Right here (sorry I forgot to take a before picture here) there was a spot of blue food coloring that I have scrubbed on for a year. It is now gone. Grout is sealed and ready to go.

Will I advise others to use Oxy Clean for this? Maybe, but it sure does make a mess. Next time I might try the spray instead.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

So much to do, so little time…

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday and I am terribly late today. It has been two very stressful days for me and it will only get worse before it gets better.

That is why I need to do a brain dump here now, but first lets see what I managed to get done last week.

  • Wednesday: Clean my mother in laws house; wash floors at home; do laundry; wash walls at home; clean my netbook; clean grout in kitchen and powder room.
  • Thursday: Clean my bathrooms; cook up my ground meat; bake; ok ok I will plant flowers; clean up my craft table.
  • Friday: Sew something; clean something; if it’s not raining…it is Seattle folks I will do my kitchen ceiling.
  • Saturday: Make a dent in the community mulch pile.
  • Sunday: Organize my calendar; clean up a little; post some ads.
  • Monday: Grocery shop; run errands.

    I am not going to really go into the grout in the powder room as it really isn’t dirty, but I will wash down the walls and the floor later. The walls are yet not done, but I got the tools to get it done. Flowers are thriving although still not planted in my planters. I just found out I need to get some more to fill it out and make it nicer here. My craft table will get done, but I am a creative person…. The kitchen ceiling is in progress.

    Next week I will:

    • Kitchen ceiling: cut trim, put it up, sand and paint ceiling.
    • Dining room: Clean off craft table, cut trim, paint trim, put it up, clean walls and repaint.
    • Entry: Sand the door, wash it, paint it. Plant flowers and spruce up the stairs.
    • Walls, baseboards and doors: clean them off with manpower.
    • Master bedroom: Pack up books, disassemble bookshelf, purge, pick up, make bed ready for guests.
    • Walk in closet: Purge, pack away and organize.
    • Master bath room: Purge, clean, organize cabinets. Change light bulbs. Make ready for guests.
    • Hallway: Do laundry, purge and reorganize Sofie’s closet.
    • Bathroom: Organize laundry area. Purge, clean and organize cabinets.
    • Kids bedroom: Go through preschool papers and artwork. Purge and organize.

    I think that should be it.

    We just gave away our dog this evening. We have had Laika since spring 2007 and she was and is very much loved by my children. But with Sofies illness and my husbands crazy work schedule she just didn’t get the exercise and care she needed. On top of that, with us selling our condo as soon as we can and then moving back to Norway next year, she needed a new home. She is not going to live with a young family, mom, dad, two month old baby and a 7 year old female dog. They have already invited us to come back and visit with Laika.

    I am sad to see her go, I will miss the crazy dog who never gave up being a puppy. I will miss my running buddy and I will miss my daughters best friends and confidante. My heart is bleeding especially for Sofie who first word was Aika and who asks for her as soon as we have been away from Laika for more than an hour.

    I have mentoring tomorrow evening and a meeting on Thursday evening. I really don’t know when I will have time to blog. Now it is almost time for me to go to bed. Better post this and link it up to Amy at New Nostalgia.

  • Monday, April 18, 2011

    Grateful on a Monday 20

    I didn’t have time to write this post yesterday as I were outside enjoying the beautiful weather God graced us in the Northwest with.

    I am so grateful today for so many things, among others

    191. Finding a realtor who cares.

    192. Knowing what is up ahead for us more or less.

    193. Knowing that God knows what his plan is for us.

    194. A little girl wanting to help even with the very hard work.

    195. A very little girl who is finally showing the world who she is.

    196. A husband who takes charge and cleans our home.

    197. Knowing that Jesus is my Lord and Savior.

    198. Little girls playing quietly together for hours.

    199. My husband wanting me to treat myself to something new.

    200. People being so nice and kind when you are nice and kind to them.

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    Spring Cleaning Day 4


    Last Tuesday there were finally weather to clean my windows outside. Well at least the ones I can reach. Even with my extender rod I can’t reach the windows that are one floor above me. The inside of my windows I actually cleaned when I washed my curtains. Multitasking you know.

    I have two sliding doors. One on each side of my condo and I have always been so annoyed with them being so hard to open and close. Well no wonder when I looked into the track. I have always cleaned the part of the track that is inside showing when the doors are closed, but not the rest of it. It was icky.

    I even had to pull out my vacuum to get it all. On Wednesday I did the same thing at my mother in laws house when I cleaned there.

    Now my sliding doors are working just perfect and I am so happy that Anna showed me that this actually has to be done. I don’t know why I haven’t thought of this myself before.

    Here are some before and after pictures.

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    Spring cleaning optional day


    I finally got to clean my computers today not that they really needed it as I think my husband recently did it. We have my netbook, my daughters laptop, my husbands Macbook and his iPad2.

    My netbook gets cleaned once a week, well since my office is on the kitchen counter my the sink it's easy that way.

    Yes my six year old has her own laptop and there is a very good reason for that. She goes to Norwegian school online. Every afternoon after she is done with her homework from her first grade public school class that she attends, she goes online and joins Norwegian kids all over the world for a class in Norwegian. She needed her own computer for that and for her homework there. It is also used my me and my husband, me for watching my favorite shows and my husband, I don't know what he uses it for actually.

    My husband has a Macbook and a new iPad2. The iPad2 he takes with him to work and he cleans it several times a day. The Macbook is beat up, but he uses it daily for random stuff. And being white it is always dirty.

    I just used a soft microfiber cloth slightly moist to clean them and used canned air to get dust and crumbs out from under the keys.

    I forgot to take a before picture, but here is a picture of them all lined up all clean and shiny.


    Saturday, April 16, 2011

    Friday Coffee and thoughts on Saturday

    It is a wet and dreary day outside today, I guess that is why I am actually sitting down writing a few blog posts. Yesterday (Friday) it was a rather nice and dry day here and Sofie and I decided to ride our bike down to the mall to meet a friend at the play area to play for a while. It was so nice even though it really hurt riding the bike as I went for a long run Thursday. All the hills were steeper and longer than usual and I had to walk most of them. It took me 10 more minutes than usual getting down to the mall. Oh well, we didn't mind since it wasn't raining.

    In the afternoon the girls and I attended an art gallery reception with my mother in law and Isabel's first grade teacher. The artist, Max Lyonga, who were showing his work had been in Isabel's class on Thursday and held an all day art lesson and their class's art were being shown together with the art of the artist and art made of kids from Cameroon where the artist is from. It was really neat and a fun experience for Isabel.

    Thursday I went running in the morning. The ground were so soggy wet that I got stuck in the mud all the time. Some days I wish I could run on Asphalt. I am still sore from it. My husband had the day off and we cleaned the house and made dinner together, such a rare treat. In the afternoon we had a realtor visit us. We have decided to forth with a short sale of our condo. Hopefully within the next month or so. It will be very busy getting ready for it here.

    There are two reasons for us doing a short sale, one is that we are moving to Norway next summer and we need to sell here first and since the condos in our neighborhood is now selling for half of what we bought for we will never be able to sell without a loss unless we do a short sale, two is that when our daughter was diagnosed last year with immune deficiency it depleted all our savings even though our medical insurance is really good and we can barely make our payments now on the condo.

    This upcoming week is going to be busy and fun. We are getting ready for family from Norway to join us for Easter. I am going to write a couple more posts today. Sorry about posting all in one day, but I have a lot on my mind.

    Thank you for joining me for coffee this morning.

    Energized through Gymnastics

    When I was 5 years old my mom decided to let me join our local Gymnastics club. Not that we had that many other choices. Where I grew up we only had a Gymnastics club, Swimming club, Soccer club, Folkdance club and the Ski club.

    I first started out doing the usual kids class where there were mostly just playing and getting used to the equipment. When I was 6 I moved up to the competition level and learned the basics of uneven parallel bars, balance beam and floor exercise. I did my first floor exercise show when I was 7. Then when I was 8 my coach moved and the whole program disappeared.

    That is when I started doing TeamGym in groups of either just girls and mixed girls and boys groups.

    I also did a few years of Rhythmic Gymnastics which I also competed in and later coached myself.

    After I turned 16 my whole gymnastic career has been centered around TeamGym and Display Gymnastics. I have competed and won with my groups, I have coached and I have choreographed. For 11 years this was how I stayed in shape and had fun, even through my first pregnancy. I even got to travel the world doing this, going to Gothenburg, Sweden and Lisbon, Portugal for the World Gymnastrada.

    At 27 I moved to the states and I have not been able to find an adult group doing this kind of Gymnastics here, but next year I will be moving back to Norway and I hope I will be able to join again.

    Here I want to share three videos taking at last years competition in my field. The first one shows First Place in big group, the second one is First Place in small group and the last one is to show how we also incorporate Rhythmic Gymnastics into this field. My hope is to join Finnsnes IL Turn next year as that is where we plan to move.

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    The best Healthy Apple Muffins

    Seriously, these muffins is the best “healthy” apple muffins I have ever made. They were crispy on the outside when I took them out of the oven, but soft and juicy on the inside. The kids both loved them and so did their babysitter. By the time I got home from the baby shower there were hardly anyone left and I made 23 muffins before going to church Sunday morning.

    I found this recipe at the Smitten Kitchen after doing an internet search for Healthy Apple Muffins. Seeing the pictures I have so much to learn when it comes to taking pictures and reading her recipe had me convinced that this was it. And I was so right. I am totally making this again today.

    Here is a picture from the Smitten Kitchen as I never got to take a picture of mine before they were all devoured.

    whole wheat apple muffins

    When I make them next I will do some substitutions that I have found while reading the comment section that others have done.

    Change 1 c white, 1 c wheat flour to 1/2 c white, 1/2 c wheat, 1 c rolled oats and possibly add some ground flax seed.
    Change 1/2 c granulated, 1/4 c brown sugar to just 1/2 c brown, with a good sprinkling of brown sugar on top or just some extra sugar in the batter as I accidently put 1/2 cup brown sugar in mine last time they were fine, I think that’s what made them crunchy all around actually.
    Change 1/2 c unsalted butter to 1/4 c apple sauce, 1/4 c canola oil.
    Added 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/4 tsp ginger.

    You can also substitute the egg for 1 Tbsp of flaxseeds mixed with 3 Tbsp of water. The yogurt or buttermilk can be substituted with any kind of milk mixed with 1 Tbsp of vinegar I saw hazelnut, almond, oat, and soy milks being recommended.

    If you would like to make this you will find the recipe here.

    Linking up to

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    I keep doing it

    Lets see….

    • Flowers bought 4 weeks ago, not planted yet.
    • Finish trimming the dining room, not bought yet.
    • Finish trimming the kitchen ceiling, not started.
    • Paint my front door, spray paint bought.
    • Sell two of my strollers, pictures taken.
    • Put the dog up for adoption, kind of sort of done.
    • Sew hats and put up for sale.

    I keep procrastinating on these tasks and believe me, I have some really good excuses for doing so.

    • To much pollen outside, my allergies are bothering me.
    • My brother in law have not bought them yet.
    • My neck hurts to much to work on the ceiling.
    • To cold outside to leave the front door off for a few hours.
    • To scary with all the craigslist murders and robberies.
    • My kids love her too much.
    • To busy with the kids.

    So what have I done?

    • I have had a lot of fun with my kids and my husband.
    • I have made two pieces of artwork.
    • I have redone my master bedroom.
    • I have purged and organized.
    • I have washed windows.
    • I have washed kitchen cabinets.
    • I sewed slipcovers for my chairs.
    • I made baby shower gifts.
    • And a whole lot more I can’t even remember.

    This week coming up I will

    • Wednesday: Clean my mother in laws house; wash floors at home; do laundry; wash walls at home; clean my netbook; clean grout in kitchen and powder room.
    • Thursday: Clean my bathrooms; cook up my ground meat; bake; ok ok I will plant flowers; clean up my craft table.
    • Friday: Sew something; clean something; if it’s not raining…it is Seattle folks I will do my kitchen ceiling.
    • Saturday: Make a dent in the community mulch pile.
    • Sunday: Organize my calendar; clean up a little; post some ads.
    • Monday: Grocery shop; run errands.

    It is now in black and white, a day to day plan. Will I make it?

    Linking up to Amy’s Anti Procrastination Tuesday at New Nostalgia.