tirsdag 27. juni 2017

Making a Home; Two Good Online Shops for Cheaper Groceries

(This post contains affiliate links)

I wouldn't say I'm a cheapskate nor one of those people you could see on "Extreme Couponing", but as I've been a student for a few years, I do enjoy to save a few bucks on groceries (I've written a post on How To Save Money on Groceries earlier this year).

Apart from those tricks I listed in that mentioned blog post, I also sometimes purchase groceries from Holdbart.no and Matsmart.no. Both of them specialize at overstock and soon to expire goods and they sell them 20-90% cheaper than the retail price. Holdbart.no has the slogan "Best before, but not bad afterwards", which in a way, summarize the essense of it all. Instead of throwing edible food in the dumpster, they sell it for a cheaper price, which is good both for the wallet and the environment. One example of that it benefits the wallet; if one add up all my savings from my two last orders (one order from each store), I've saved close to $120, which is quite good considering that "everything" is so expensive in Norway.

Part of my last order from Matsmart
Do you have any shops (either online or brick-and-mortar) in a similar style that you like to shop from? Or have you considered purchasing groceries from a shop like that? Feel free to comment below.

mandag 26. juni 2017

Menu Plan Monday Week 26

It's a new Monday, which means it's time for a new Menu Plan Monday post, thanks to Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie. I'm still having a "freezer destash" going on and luckily I've got a bit more room in my freezer at last, even though there's still room for improvement.

Stock photo from Pexels
Here is my menu plan for this week.
Monday; Tomato Soup with Macaroni
Tuesday; Norwegian "Pytt i Panne"
Wednesday; Pasta with Broccoli Cheese Sauce
Thursday; Fish Gratin
Friday; Norwegian Pancakes
Saturday; Fish Gratin
Sunday; Tomato Soup with Basil

torsdag 22. juni 2017

Thursday Movie Picks; The Woods

It's a new Thursday and time for a new Thursday Movie Picks blog post, thanks to the blog Wandering Through the Shelves. The theme of  the week is the woods and below are my three picks, if you're into watching a horror movie during the summer.

Dead Snow; A Norwegian movie combining both nazis and zombies.

The Blair Witch Project; Fair enough, one could have a discussion how scary it is, but how could one write a movies about woods-list without mentioning it?

Friday The 13th; Speaking of classics, how could I possibly forget Friday The 13th?

tirsdag 20. juni 2017

Making a Home; Elements of Scandinavian Home Decor

(Disclaimer; this post contains ads/affiliate links)

Growing up, and still living in Norway, I have been slightly drawn to Scandinavian home decor, even though I get influences from various places (and trends, for that matter - I am pretty eclectic). In that respect, I wanted to list a few key elements of Scandinavian home decor, considering it is close to home.

Neutral Colours
Grey, white, beige, brown and black is the most common colours in terms of Scandinavian home decor. The lighter colours do a lot to the interior, and the mood for the inhabitants of the house. Lets face it, at least in my part of Norway, where it rains quite a lot during the autumn and winter, it is essential for us to have something that lights up a bit.

Letting the light in
Speaking of light - another common feature is large windows without dark and heavy drapes to let in all the natural light we can get.

Another element that brings light and air into the Scandinavian home decor is the simplicity, aka lack of clutter and knick-knacks. The statement "less is more" is true in this case and if one think about it - the less clutter, the easier to clean. Simplicity is also shown in furniture design which focus on form and function. It's worth noting that a lot of Scandinavians love double-duty furniture, for instance poufs that functions both as a storage unit and a pouf or living room tables with hidden compartments for (you guessed it) knick-knacks.

Bring in the outdoors
Natural elements is one of my favourite things about Scandinavian home decor. As I mentioned earlier, not all Scandinavians are lucky enough to have nice weather all year around, so bringing a bit of nature indoors helps a bit. A few plants gives a pop of colour and wood are often used from floor to ceilings (no wall-to-wall carpets and plaster walls!).

Natural materials in general
Sheepskin, reindeer skin, wool, ceramics, wood, metal etc are often used to add some texture into the homes (and bringing the infamous nature indoors).

As most of the Scandinavian countries are far from warm during the cold winter months, a fireplice is more or less a must have. When it is a proper autumn/winter storm, it is really nice being indoors under a blanket, looking at the fire.

Is there some of these elements that you like or do you have any thoughts about Scandinavian home decor? Feel free to comment below.

mandag 19. juni 2017

Menu Plan Monday Week 25

(This post contains affiliate links)

It's a new Monday, which means it is time for a new Menu Plan Monday post, thanks to Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie. Last week I ended up jumping of joy as I got top grade on my BA thesis, so now I can finally relax in terms of the grade. I honestly didn't believe I would recieve such a high mark on it, but I have no reasons to complain.

Stock photo from Pexels
Anyway, here is my menu plan for this week.

Monday; Norwegian Pancakes with Blueberry Jam
Tuesday; Spaghetti Bolognese with Simply Organic Italian Herb Spaghetti Sauce Mix
Wednesday; Leftovers from Tuesday
Thursday; Norwegian Pancakes with Blueberry Jam
Friday; Chicken with Simply Organic Sweet Basil Pesto Sauce Mix
Saturday; Norwegian Pancakes with Blueberry Jam
Sunday; Frozen Pizza

lørdag 17. juni 2017

Weekend Cooking; Top Five Cafés and Restaurants in Bryne

Even though I live in a relatively small town, we're fortunate enough to have a few cafés and restaurants. So if you ever happen to be in Bryne (Norway), here is a list of my top five cafés and restaurants I feel is worth checking out.

Så Takk - One of the newest additions, run by a food blogger and it's located at M44, a shopping center. There is also a selection of coffees and such to bring home.

Kjøkkenet - It's located in Storgata and is probably THE place for a yummy chicken sandwich or coffee while in Bryne.

Unn Deg - Another newcomer and located right beside the railway station.

Møllehagen - One of the fancier restaurants in Bryne and they have really tasty burgers.

Garborgstova - The library café in Bryne, where you can have cake, coffee and Eastern European lunches/dinners.

torsdag 15. juni 2017

Thursday Movie Picks; Movies Based on True Events

It  is a new Thursday, which means a new Thursday Movie Picks post, thanks to the blog Wandering Through The Shelves. The theme of this week was movies based on true events and here is my picks.

Hotel Rwanda; It tells a bit about the genocide in Rwanda

Pearl Harbour; It tells about the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbour

12 Years a Slave; It tells the tale about a free man who got abducted and turned  into a slave

tirsdag 13. juni 2017

Making a Home; Whole Grain Breadbaking Course at SocialCooking.no

In mid-May I was fortunate enough to attend a course on whole grain breadbaking at Jakob's Brød in Stavanger through SocialCooking.no. I had won a free course through a competition on Facebook, but the course I was originally going to attend was cancelled, so I ended up with a breadbaking course instead (fortunately SocialCooking.no has a lot of interesting courses, so it wasn't a big issue really).

The baker and the bakery, Jakob's brød, has been in Stavanger East for several years and it is one of the few bakeries in Noway which specializes in sourdough. The course I attended was interesting and as a bit of a foodie, I found it a bit cool to be "in the back" of the bakery, where all the baking take place on a regular basis. For those who are really curious about the recipe, you can find it here.

It's maybe worth mentioning that if a cooking and/or baking course sounds interesting and you live near Stavanger, you can check out SocialCooking.no for upcoming courses (I think the ones in the autumn/winter will be published in August). If you are interesting in testing some of the baked goods at Jakob's Brød, the bakery and café is currently located in Haugesundsgata 7 in Stavanger.

mandag 12. juni 2017

Menu Plan Monday Week 24

It's a new Monday, which means a new Menu Plan Monday post, thanks to Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie. Tomorrow is the deadline for the teachers to publish the grades for us who has written a BA thesis this term, so I'm a bit nervous until the results are in. Hopefully I will pass with an acceptable grade. *Fingers crossed*

I'm still doing a "freezer destash", but lucikly the pile of groceries are getting smaller and it will be even smaller when this week is over.

Stock photo from Pexels

Here is my menu plan for this week.
Monday; Nachos
Tuesday; Vegetarian Burgers
Wednesday; Fish & Chips
Thursday; Vegetarian Burgers
Friday; Fish & Chips
Saturday; Pasta With Broccoli and Cheese Sauce
Sunday; Norwegian "Pytt i Panne"

Do you have a menu plan? If so, what is your menu plan for this week?

lørdag 10. juni 2017

Weekend Cooking; Round up of Picnic Recipes

As it is finally summer and hopefully decent weather were you live, I wanted to gather some picnic recipes. It's nice to spend some time outdoors when the weather allows it and why not enjoy some food outside while we can?

In the area of Norway where I live, the weather is often a bit unstable and I sometimes joke that not only does the weather change by the hour at times, we can even have both sun and rain at the same time. Due to that problem, I enjoy the nice weather while it lasts, even if it's for just ten minutes. It's important to appreciate what one got!

Stock photo from Pexels
Anyway, here is the recipes I mentioned. Maybe one or several could be used at your next picnic?

Peanut Butter and Banana Roll-Ups
Rainbow Fruit Cups
Chocolate Filled Strawberries
Rustic Manchego + Heirloom Tomato Crostata (+ How to Pack the Perfect Picnic)
Smoked Salmon Lavash Wrap with Spicy Greens, Fresh Cucumber and Sprouts with Savory Lemon-Dill Cream Cheese Spread
Herby Picnic Potato Salad with Kale, Apple & Chickpeas
Melon Proscuitto and Mozzarella Skewers
Mini Blueberry Pies
Easy Peach Tea Recipe

If you want some picnic hacks to make the picnic a bit easier to pull off, feel free to check out this post.

Do you often have a picnic during summer? What is your favourite go-to place having one and/or what is your favourite recipe?

mandag 5. juni 2017

Menu Plan Monday Week 23

It's a new Monday, which means it's time for a new Menu Plan Monday post, thanks to Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie. Recently, I figured out that I needed a new "freezer destash" in order to make room in my tiny freezer. I can admit that it's sometimes a bit easier said than done doing "all the way" on this one, but if I can clear out quite a bit, then I will be satisfied. One of the fortunate things about doing a "freezer destash" is basically the fact that I don't need to spend that much money on dinners.

Stock photo from Pexels
Here is my menu plan for this week;
Monday; Tacos
Tuesday; Nachos
Wednesday; Fish Gratin
Thursday; Tomato Soup with Macaroni
Friday; Fish Gratin
Saturday; Pasta with Broccoli and Cheese Sauce
Sunday; Tacos

torsdag 1. juni 2017

Thursday Movie Picks; Tall Buildings

It's Thursday again, which means it's time for a new Thursday Movie Picks post, thanks to the blogger behind Wandering Through the Shelves. The theme of the week was tall buildings, so here are my picks.

A Short Film About Love; a movie doesn't need to be long to be good.

Safety Last; A good classic

Metropolis; Another good classic

mandag 29. mai 2017

Menu Plan Monday Week 22

It's a new Monday, which means it's time for a new Menu Plan Monday post, thanks to Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie. For me, it's a bit weird knowing that I'm not a student anymore, but luckily it means that I have a bit more time making dinner (for the moment at least), but it doesn't mean that I sometimes will make simple dinners.

Stock photo from Pexels
Here is my menu plan for this week.

Monday; Pasta with Broccoli and Cheese Sauce
Tuesday; Breaded Cod
Wednesday; Tomato Soup with Macaroni
Thursday; Fish Fingers
Friday; Vegetable Soup
Saturday; Fish Fingers
Sunday; Pasta with Broccoli and Cheese Sauce

lørdag 27. mai 2017

Weekend Cooking; Round Up of Barbeque Recipes

As it is more or less barbeque season (some places it has already started, if you have been lucky enough with the weather), I decided I wanted to share a round up of barbeque recipes. Not only are barbeque something social and laid back, an added bonus is that there are few pots and pans to clean afterwards. Sometimes though, the inspiration for what to grill can be more or less non-existing, so if you want to try something new, feel free to check out the recipes below.

Stock photo from Pexels

Sweet Tennessee BBQ Sauce
Bourbon Whiskey BBQ Sauce
Pineapple Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce

Grilled Hawaiian Barbecue Chicken in Foil
Honey Chipotle BBQ Chicken
Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken Skewers
BBQ Chicken Bacon Pineapple Kabobs
Beer BBQ Chicken

Pesto Grilled Shrimp

BBQ Bacon Meatballs
Beef Teriyaki
Moroccan Kefta Kebabs

Balsamic Garlic Grilled Mushroom Skewers
Grilled Baby Potatoes with Rosemary
Grilled Watermelon Feta Basil Salad
Jalapeño Popper Macaroni Salad

Grilled Peaches With Vanilla Ice Cream

torsdag 25. mai 2017

Thursday Movie Picks Television Edition; Time Travel

It's Thursday and time for a new Thursday Movie Picks, thanks to the blogger behind Wandering Through the Shelves. The topic of the week was time travel TV-series and here are my picks.

Dr. Who; One of the more classic TV-series.

Stargate SG-1; One of my favourite series.

Outlander; Scotland AND time-travelling?

mandag 22. mai 2017

Menu Plan Monday Week 21

It's a new Monday, which means a new Menu Plan Monday post, thanks to Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie. Last week was a bit "crazy" in the sense that not only was I doing the finishing touches on my BA thesis, I also celebrated Norway's national day with my grandparents on Wednesday, doing a bit of secondhand bookshopping with a friend of mine on Thursday, but I also was on a whole grain bread baking course on Friday.

Earlier today I handed in my BA thesis and now I basically got summer break, with a bit of a vacuum as I've been so focused on and busy with the thesis that I will have no clue what to do in order to make myself "busy".

Stock photo from Pexels
Even though my student days are over at the moment, I still need to eat and here is my menu plan for this week,

Monday; Vegetable Soup
Tuesday; Fish Fingers
Wednesday; Broccoli Pasta
Thursday; Fish Fingers
Friday; Tomato Soup
Saturday; Yet to be decided
Sunday; Vegetable Soup

lørdag 20. mai 2017

Weekend Cooking; Muffins With Mini Smarties

I'm among those people who suddenly gets a baking-kick. Recently, when I had a wee break in writing on my BA thesis, I ended up with baking muffins with mini smarties. Now I want to share the recipe with you. By the way, it is possible to use regular sized Smarties as well, I just happened to have the mini-version at home when I was baking the muffins.

Muffins With Mini Smarties
115 grams melted butter/margarine
1 1/2 dl sugar
2 eggs
2 dl all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Around 1 dl Smarties

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius.

In a bowl, mix the butter and sugar really well. Whisk the eggs and blend them in the sugar/butter mix little by little. Add flour, baking powder and Smarties and fold it gently into the batter until the batter is smooth.

Divide the batter into around 12 muffin papers, about 3/4 full.

Bake them in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Let them cool on a rack.

torsdag 18. mai 2017

Thursday Movie Picks; The Renaissance

It's a new Thursday and time for a new Thursday Movie Picks blog post, thanks to the blog Wandering Through the Shelves. The theme of  the week is the renaissance and below are my three picks.

Shakespeare in Love; As a bibliophile, I "had" to include this movie on this list. It is after all about Shakespeare.

Elizabeth; This is a movie with Cate Blanchett as Queen Elizabeth and it portrays the early years of Elizabeth as a monarch.

The Countess; A movie about Countess Bathory, also nicknamed "Countess Dracula".

tirsdag 16. mai 2017

Making a Home; A Visit to a Local Asian Grocery Store

I have no issues admitting that I love Asian and Middle-Eastern grocery stores/super markets. The small town I live in are fortunate enough to have not one, but two Thai grocery stores. One of them is named OK Thai.

One of the biggest perks with OK Thai is that they have an online shop as well and it's possible to pick up the order at the store instead of getting it delivered by mail. Yay for saving on shipping, esp. when I actually live in that town. Why spend money on shipping when all I need to do is to take a five minute walk?

This is part of the haul I picked up today, which among other things include Garam Masala, rice paper for spring rolls, Kimchi, Szechuan pepper and some tea. I've struggled to find the Garam Masala at regular grocery stores, so it's really nice to have Asian grocery stores nearby that have it in stock.

This month, OK Thai also has a 10 per cent off-sale at their online store, which makes it a bit cheaper to order items from them. The discount code can be found on the front page of their website.

Do you like to purchase items from Asian/Middle-Eastern grocery stores? If so, what are some of your favourite finds there?

mandag 15. mai 2017

Menu Plan Monday Week 20

It's a new Monday, which means it's time for a new Menu Plan Monday post thanks to Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie. At the moment, it's the final countdown in terms of my bachelor thesis as the hand-in deadline is in the beginning of next week. Because of that, I figured out it would probably be for the best in terms of my sanity that I make some quick and easy dinners (some of them freezer meals that just need some time in the ove). Boring? Maybe a little bit, but I do need to eat even though I'm a student and in terms of time management, dinners that make itself in the oven or are in general quick to make are really helpful. An added bonus is that I get the chance to do some destash in my freezer.

Stock photo from Pexels
So, here is my menu plan for this week;
Monday; Pasta di Parma
Tuesday; Breaded Plaice
Wednesday; Vegetarian Burgers
Thursday; Breaded Cod
Friday; Pasta di Parma
Saturday; Breaded Plaice
Sunday; Vegetarian Burgers

torsdag 11. mai 2017

Thursday Movie Picks; Deserts

It's a new Thursday and time for a new Thursday Movie Picks blog post, thanks to the blog Wandering Through the Shelves. The theme of  the week is deserts and below are my three picks.

The Way Back; It's the story of a group trying to escape a Gulag camp during WW2.

Rabbit Proof Fence; I believe it's a must-see movie when it comes to discrimination.

The English Patient; Combining a love story and WW2.

onsdag 10. mai 2017

10 Books About Mental Health

(This post contains affiliate links)

At the moment, I'm participating in Mental Health Blog Challenge 2017. In this post, I wanted to make it really easy by writing a top ten list with books about mental health. Why? Mainly because for two reasons; it is an relatively easy way to educate oneself and in the spirit of bibliotherapy, people with mental health issues might feel less alone. Some of the books are fiction while others are non-fiction and combined, they cover various issues, whether it is depression, ADD, autism or other mental illnesses.

So here is my list.

mandag 8. mai 2017

Menu Plan Monday Week 19

It's a new Monday, which means it's time for a new Menu Plan Monday post, thanks to Laura at I'm An Organizing Junkie. As I've stocked up on various goods lately, it is probably time for me to make use of it, which the result is this week's menu plan. Even though it is nice to have stocked up on dinners, I can't store them "forever", especially since I don't have a big freezer nor cupboard to store everything.

Stock photo from Pexels
Here is my menu plan for this week;
Monday; Mexican Tomato Soup
Tuesday; Norwegian "Pytt i panne"
Wednesday; Spinach Soup
Thursday; Spaghetti Bolognese
Friday; Leftovers from Thursday;
Saturday; Tomato Soup with Basil
Sunday; Lasagna

torsdag 4. mai 2017

Thursday Movie Picks; Clones/Doppelgängers

Wandering Through The Shelves hosts the weekly meme Thursday Movie Picks and this week's theme was clones/doppelgängers.

Here's my three picks.

Æonflux; Charlize Theron as an assassin, what is there not to like?

Avatar; If one analyze the movie a bit, there is a lot to it.

Jurassic Park; Well, perhaps cloning dinosaurs wasn't the brightest idea.

mandag 1. mai 2017

Menu Plan Monday Week 18

New Monday, which means a new Menu Plan Monday post, thanks to Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie. Sometimes I feel like times fly a bit, as this is my final month at university. It's almost a bit sad knowing that I will not be attending classes in the autumn, but unfortunately I don't have the opportunity to take the Master degree at the moment (I will eventually though, when I get the chance).

Stock photo from Pexels
Anyway, here is my menu plan for this week.
Monday; Tomato Soup
Tuesday; Beef Soup
Wednesday; Pasta in Cheese Sauce
Thursday; Norwegian Fish Nuggets
Friday; Leftovers from Thursday;
Saturday; Chicken Tandoori
Sunday; Leftovers from Saturday

lørdag 29. april 2017

Weekend Cooking; Jamaican Jerk Tacos

(Disclaimer; this is a sponsored post, in which I was given free items in return for an honest review.)

In late March, I was one of several people who were chosen to do a campaign for Santa Maria through Buzzador. What I was going to test were the new Jamaican Jerk Tacos items in the Street Food series. As I'm always into trying new flavours and I'm interested in street food, I couldn't resist the opportunity of testing it out. I also ended up googling Jamaican Jerk Chicken and came across this page, for those who are into jerk chicken made from scratch.

Here's the items that were included in the kit; coconut and pepper tortillas, mango sauce and Jamaican jerk spices. The steps were easy to follow and I enjoyed eating it as it was many flavours going on at once, though I might leave out the mango sauce next time.

Even though this was tasty, I might try making Jamaican Jerk Chicken from scratch another time, just to compare with this Jerk Taco kit.

fredag 28. april 2017

Friday Finds; The New Jewelry Brand Buddhism Enthusiast

I can easily admit that I'm by no means a slave-to-the-most-recent-trends fashionista or have a "thing" for expensive designer brands like Michael Kors etc (please don't even get me started on the fact that I've seen 12 year old girls having a Michael Kors bag as school bag here in Norway, as it's probably worth a blog post on its own).

What I wanted to share with you today is a new jewelry brand I came across, thanks to Instagram, which is called Buddhism Enthusiast and sells bracelets and necklaces at their online shop. The jewelry is simple, yet really stylish and for every purchase, 25 per cent is donated to help support buddism in war zones and protect buddhist patrimoine.

Personally, I ended up purchasing the Positive Mantra Bracelet, as I felt it suited me rather well considering my own outlook on life.

torsdag 27. april 2017

Thursday Movie Picks Television Edition; Police

As the blog Wandering Through The Shelves has this weekly meme called "Thursday Movie Picks", I wanted to start writing a few such posts. This week's theme was a television edition with focus on police, so here is my three picks when it comes to police TV-series.

NCIS; Even though the cast has undergone some changes in the later seasons, I still love that show, partially due to Abby.

Dexter; A bad guy killing other bad guys.

Midsomer Murders; Sometimes all I need is a British crime TV-series.

onsdag 26. april 2017

5 Poetry Collections to Read for Poetry Month

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Even though it is late in the month, I wanted to give you a list of five poetry collections to read for poetry month. It is some variety in terms of the collections and it is just a small number of poetry collections that are actually available. As there is a book for each reader, there is a poet/a poem/a poetry collection for each reader. Trust me, I know the feeling of being fed up by poetry analysis at school and I didn't really appreciate poetry until I started at university, thanks to an amazing teacher in American literature who introduced us to Allen Ginsberg and Sylvia Plath among others (thanks Eric, for sparking my joy of poetry).

Anyway, here is my tiny list of poetry collections and anthologies worth checking out. If you know of any poetry collections/anthologies you want to recommend, feel free to post in the comment section below.