FRIDAY

After a long week with intense writing, it felt really good to make good use of this Friday. My day off. I finally got to clean the house (I guess shed season is back, again), and do some work at home. I found good company in Balder and some relaxed music. This week I've been so exhausted in my entire body, so I need to charge my batteries with some "zen music". And because of that, Enya has rolled over my speakers today. 

_DSC7083.jpg

I've made some purchases lately, that I hope we will have some benefits from during the next year. First of all I bought some reusable coffee filters from Be:Eco, in organic cotton. We drink a lot of coffee at home, and I wanted an alternative that doesn't contain any poison, OR produce any waste. But to be on the safe side - in case we should need more, I also bought coffee filters from Økoland, that's disposable and made of recycled paper. These are from "If you care". Also, since I want to use less plastic, I've decided to give these bee's wax papers a try. I bought nine of them, and hope that they are just as good as they seem, and that they can protect and keep the food fresh. I really needed to try them, 'cause boy do we produce a lot of plastic waste at home! Speaking of organic: I stopped using deodorant with aluminum many months ago. But being born with sensitive skin and eczema, I wanted to try a deodorant that's completely natural and organic. I have been wanting to try some of the products from Skinlove for a long time, and last week I decided that it was time. I bought the one with pineapple and coconut and the one with lavender. They are all plant based and vegan. Using a natural deodorant is a very different experience from using the artificial ones. You tend to smell more, but that doesn't mean that you stink. At least that's what my husband and friends have said. And yes - I have asked them! 

_DSC7090.jpg

It's been a long time since I bought myself a friday bouquet. But yesterday I bought Asters. The colours really made the room. And made me smile! Btw: that's my lovely father on the picture. He's been standing there since the wedding. I love seeing him everyday now. I really miss him. 

_DSC7086.jpg

The light was really amazing today. Like, really amazing!

_DSC7095.jpg

H came home with freshly baked sour dough bread from a micro bakery we have in town. This retired baker decided that he wanted to make baked goods and bread for fun, and his buissness just exploded with popularity! He even bakes in a mini bakery he have made in his shed, in his backyard. There's a line there of people picking up their orders the two times a week, when he bakes. I love being able to support passionate locals. They have the kind of spirit we need in every community. 

_DSC7097.jpg

With just little over a week left 'till our honeymoon, I'm trying to decide which dresses I should pack with me. I only know this: there's gonna be a whole lotta flowers. 

Have a great weekend! 

First wedding picture

The sky opened up. The driver that we had hired for the day, drove us and our photographer around to where the photographer had decided the best light could be found. It really didn't matter that we almost couldn't see through the water on the front shield at the car. It really didn't matter all that much that the suit and the dress got wet (I DID care about my hair, though). We ran out into a field. I ran out there in my bare feet. The feeling of water against the warm ground felt amazing against my feet. It also felt amazing to have a photographer, who also has become a good friend, with us to catch these moments. She brought out the joy, the laughter and the love. The driver sat in his car, calling the seanse madness whilst watching us there in the field in the pouring rain. I got mud on my dress, but I did not care. I felt free. I felt loved. I felt happy. I had every single one of my loved ones with me that day. People who did everything they could to shower us with love and the help we needed to have a great day. I had flowers, I had laces, I had love and I had freedom. And I danced in the rain. If I could relive it, I would. 

20799415_1672611472751235_6281207500632392245_n.jpg

Zero Waste

One of the things that I long for, is to live a life where I don't contribute to harming the environment. And to live a life where the environment doesn't harm us. This is of course something that I find very difficult, because it means that a lot of the habits that we already have need to change. I'm also a very impatient person, so I always wanna se the changes happen over night. But I need to remind myself that every lifestyle changes need to change over time. Because  every habit is a pattern that we need to break before a new pattern can be implemented into our consciousness. And thats why I need to start with the small stuff. The small changes that are easy to do something with, but still has a lot of impact on the coming changes. Like some sort of "spillover effect" on my daily habits.
With time I want to do a lot of stuff. I want to be more or less self sufficient with vegetables and fruits (at least during summer and fall), and I want to make my own soaps and be able to harvest plants from the forest and use them in my cooking. Also, I want to have a waste less household (it's really tricky to get rid of all the plastic here in Norway, since they wrap EVRYTHING in plastic at the grocery stores), and use the food waste to make my own compost. We have limited access to make our own food and compost our waste in our garden. That being said, we can make a difference one small step at the time. And someday we'll get there. So we've finally started to reduce the plastic waste in our household by doing this: 

(This is not an ad or a sponsorship)

(This is not an ad or a sponsorship)

I've bought these grocery bags from Be:Eco. And yes, it is kind of expensive to replace all the cheap plastic stuff you get at the store. That's why I've decided to purchase a little at the time. But having these bags (and I also have other bags I've gotten for free here and there, that we use when we go shopping) makes it SO much easier to replace the plastic. 

_DSC7017.jpg

For instance: We always need to use plastic bags that's hung up by the vegetables and the fruits when we go shopping. But with these nets that are see-through and very light, so you can just as easily buy and weigh the vegetables or the fruits like you do with the plastic bags. And the best thing is that you can use them over and over again and they doesn't produce any waste. And yes - you can wash them. Also, there are no toxins in the fabric like there are in the plastic bags. 

_DSC7022.jpg

You have NO idea how many plastic bags we have in our drawer. It's a completely waste of space. We don't need that many plastic bags, and I can't believe that the stores continue to to work on being more eco friendly without removing plastic. But now we're one step closer to a more environmental friendly everyday life. I get this tingeling sensation in my stomach when I get to do more eco friendly choices. If you have ANY advices on how to make the household more eco friendly and zero waste, PLEASE do share them with me! I'm ready!

Saturday: coffee, food and a brand new vintage dress

Today it's one week since we became husband and wife. Everybody said that the wedding day itself would just fly by. But I felt the whole day was like a whole weekend in itself. It never ended. This past week though, has felt just like one single day. It's gone by extremely fast. But we decided weeks ago that the weekend after our wedding would be reserved for relaxing and relaxing only. Monday started really slow and we were constantly tired until Thursday. But then the fog started to lift and we finally felt like humans again. So this Saturday has been really enjoyable. 

_DSC7001.jpg

Since we don't have a car at the moment, we walked all across town to do some grocery shopping. And of course: coffee. Balder was also of course with us. The poor fellow hasn't gotten much exercise this past week. 

_DSC7005.jpg

I keep looking at my ring and at my husband, and can't believe that I'm at that point in my life where I can call someone my husband. I didn't have those thoughts before the wedding, but I do have them now. Because now it's suddenly a reality. I'm a wife!

_DSC7011.jpg

We bought groceries for a stew. Im kind of tired of food these days, so the dinner has to be really simple today. So simple that we can eat the left-overs tomorrow and don't have to lift a finger. But even so, there are some ingredients I feel is mandatory in a simple dish: fresh herbs, meat from gras fed  animals and and fresh vegetables. I even have a lot of fresh carrots from my garden. I can't wait to use them! And do you see those shopping bags? They deserve their own post, but they are a part of my journey of becoming more mindful and "zero waste". 

_DSC7026.jpg

This bacon is from pigs who's been running wild and been fed eco friendly food. Happy pigs! I feel more at ease when I know the animals has been given a full life. They deserve that much. And if eating less and more expensive meat, then that's OK for me. I also feel I need to get myself a vegetarian cookbook, so I can eat more vegetarian food during the week. I need to get more ideas for vegetarian dinners that don't evolve around beans and chick peas. My body can't handle that kind of food. 

_DSC7031.jpg

By the way: I wanna show you this beautiful vintage 1970s dress that I found at a thrift store here in Kongsberg. I've been longing for it for a few weeks, and today I bought it. I feel I wanna use more skirts and dresses in my everyday life. Maybe finding this dress was the universe's way to tell me to embrace my sense of style more? I've had many revelations lately, and it seems like I need to embrace many things a lot more. And more so: embrace myself and who I am. Maybe it's all a little poetic, but I feel this dress is a symbol of just that. And with that being said: you should listen to this song. Over and over again. It's so beautiful. Finally, the closet behind me is something we bought to fit all of the wedding presents. It also deserve it's own blog post. Because it's real a beauty! Maybe tomorrow? 

Helt på blåbærtur

Med bryllupet overstått og en kropp så sliten på en måte den aldri før har vært - trenger den tid til å la ord og følelser modnes før det uttrykkes her inne. Helga før bryllupet hadde jeg og forlover Sahra en søndagstur i skogen for å plukke blåbær. Det var ikke akkurat flust med bær, og vi måtte gå forholdsvis langt for å finne noe. Bærene ble brukt i en kake som mamma bakte til bryllupsfesten. Men lite bær til tross, så var turen ut i marka svært etterlengtet for kropp og hode. Å planlegge et bryllup der man gjør mye selv, er utrolig krevende for kroppen. Men vi har fått mye god hjelp. Å bruke naturen når det koker innvendig er så viktig. Der eksisterer ikke sosiale medier, stressende møter, avtaler som må rekkes.. Og det eneste vi trenger å fokusere på er å hoppe fra den ene knausen til den andre. Å tråkke over en trestamme som har falt uten å skli på våt bark. Den eneste lyden vi hører er susing i tretoppene. Og nå på sensommeren kommer den deilige duften av røsslyng ridende på neste vindpust. Jeg trenger disse stundene. I naturen kommer følelsen av frihet. Og når jeg tenker på frihet, tenker jeg på hvordan sommeren er tid for å danse barfot i regnet. Og denne låten fra Santana får meg til å føle ekstra mye på nettopp det. For det var nettopp det jeg tok meg tiden til å gjøre i helga. Og da passer det ekstra godt at dagen i dag er det 48 år siden Woodstock startet i 1969. Og det var nettopp barfotdansing og frihet folk tok seg tiden til å gjøre til "Soul Sancrifice".  Og det er litt på blåbærtur å tenke på. Men jeg trives sabla godt på blåbærtur.  

Wedding chaos and a lasagna recipe

My maid of honor came to visit us yesterday, to help me do some preparations for our wedding next Saturday. What a lazy saturday it was, even though we had a lot to do. This Tuesday we're getting the key to the barn where we're having our wedding. And since I've been storing up all of these decorations the past year, I had so much to sort out. 

And while we're talking about laziness. Look at these two social beings with their smart phones.  

Sahra had ordered my lasagna before she came here. And since I love cooking for my guests, I gladly made some for her. 

It was one of those rainy days where the sky just opened up and the rain was pouring down for hours and hours. All we had was the sound of the rain and some smooth jazz on the radio. Having this kind of slow afternoons are one of the things that usually makes me feel SO relaxed. But yesterday I was all stressed out because we have so many things that need to be in order for the up coming event. Luckily I had good help from my best friend. 

The lasagna went in the oven.. 

.. my husband to be was smiling before he went out for a few beers with his friends.. 

.. and my maid of honour was enjoying a slow afternoon whilst the food she wanted was prepared for her.. 

_DSC6637.jpg

Having chaos in the kitchen is ALWAYS ok by me, as long as it's because I get to feed people I love. 

And when the evening came, we feasted. This recipe is so easy and delicious to make. I made with inspiration from this video from Laura in the Kitchen video I watched many years ago. And it never fails! I never follow a recipe to the point. I just follow my heart. Food should always be made with passion and not by rules. 

Bolognese sauce (ragu):

  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 400 gr ground beef chuck
  • 400 gr ground pork
  • 200 gr  bacon or panchetta, finely chopped
  •  Dry white wine (just enough to cover the vegetables and the bacon)
  • 1-2 cans of crushed tomatoes and tomato puré
  • Sugar
  • Fresh basil

    Bechamel sauce: 
     
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons of wheat flour
  • Whole milk (just enough to give the sauce the consistency that you want)
  • Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • Kosher salt
  • Parmesan cheese

    Other ingredients: 
  • Lasagna noodles
  • Ricotta
  • Mozarella
  • Shredded cheese (optional)

    Finly chop the vegetables and heat up the a large heavy pot with olive oil before adding the vegetables, and then the bacon. You can add some garlic if you'd like, but you don't have to. 
    Then add the meat, let it simmer with the other ingredients. Add the wine and let it reduce before you add tomatoes and tomato puré. When using tomato puré, you'll get the best out of the flavours if you let it heat up in a pan beforehand. But in this case you really don't need to do that, because the flavours will mix so well together anyways. At least that's my experience. But I highly recommend adding some sugar with the basil so bring out all of the flavours in the sauce.

    Let it simmer for 4-5 hours. It only get better and better by the hour. 

    Let the noodles lie in water for a few hours before you assemble the lasagna. 

    Then to the Bechamel sauce: 

    Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Whisk in warm milk, little by little. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, whisking often, until the consistency of cream, 8–10 minutes; add nutmeg and season with salt. Remove from heat. Chill if not using right away. I usually use it right away, and therefore I always make the béchamel right before I assemble the lasagna. 

    Preheat the oven to 220 degree celcius. 

    Make layers in a ovenproof dish. First béchamel, then the ragu, then the noodles, then ricotta, before doing it all over again till' you get to the top layer; finish the lasagna with béchamel, ragu, ricotta and then shredded cheese or/and mozzarella. Put it in the oven and let it bake for 50-60 minutes. When you take it out, always let it rest for 30 minutes before eating it. 

     

After we ate, we go to work. I worked with the table settings, and Sahra worked with the props to our photo booth. After all, what's a wedding without a photo booth in 2017? Isn't it mandatory by now?

After midnight we discovered that the props was glued all wrong, so we had to start all over again. Sahra was pretty frustrated and I laughed! 

But we listened to the wedding playlist and got in the groove, so we had a really fun evening after all. I'm really glad that I got some help, and I really think I'm probably gonna forget all about the stress when this is over, and only miss the anticipations. But we sure have some work ahead of us this upcoming week! Weddings are really a lot of work! 

Lately

Dagene forsvinner forbi meg, og før jeg rekker å registrere en dag så befinner jeg meg i en ny. Vi er for tiden inne i en bryllupsboble og derfor er jeg ofte for sliten og umotivert til å finne noe å skrive om. I morgen er det 6 dager igjen til vi er gift. Og nå begynner det å murre litt i mellomgulvet. Det er svært mye som skal på plass nå og jeg gleder meg veldig til både selve dagen og til den er over. 

For halvannen uke siden kom jeg hjem fra Nord-Norge. Den siste tiden har jeg vært forferdelig sliten og har ikke hatt energien til å gjøre noe som helst. Jeg merker svært godt at utbrentheten som traff meg for fire år siden fremdeles ikke har sluppet helt tak. Men når det kommer slike faser prøver jeg å ta meg tiden til å gjøre aktiviteter som krever minst mulig fysisk anstrengelse. For meg er det matlaging som fungerer meditativt. Og denne kvelden her ble det en italiensk-inspirert tapas. 

Et tips jeg fikk fra svigerfar var å kjøpe rå chorizo og rå salsicciapølser, snitte opp tarmen og blande farsen i en deig med ekstra hvitløk, chilli og persille. Deretter steke det i boller og ha de i tomatsaus. De brukte vi sammen med parmaskinke, mozarellasalat og focaccia. For å nevne noe. Det var fint å ta seg ordentlig tid rundt matbordet i tosomheten.

Solsikkene er endelig i sesong og jeg leter etter ideer for hvordan jeg kan implementere dem inn i bryllupsdekorasjonene mine. 

I dag startet jeg fredagen min med en god porsjon havregrøt av steel-cut oats, som jeg synes er best fordi konsistensen blir så mye fyldigere. Jeg toppet den med frukt og nøtter. Jeg elsker at havregrøten kan smaktilsettes litt sånn som man selv ønsker. 

Jeg satte speltrundstykker til kaldheving, slik at vi kunne få ferske rundstykker til helgefrokosten.

Kjøkkenbordet har blitt fylt opp av mye bryllupsstæsj etter dette bildet ble tatt. Og jeg regner med at det ikke blir færre ting her med dagene som kommer. 

Jeg leter etter inspirasjon til dekorering av lokalet. Både i form av blomster og bordsetting. Vi skriver beskrivelser av gjestene våre, lager program til kirka, kjøper inn de siste nødvendighetene, lager lister, syr duker og reiser hit og dit for å klargjøre alt til den store dagen. Og hver dag ser vi på hverandre og priser oss lykkelige for at vi bare skal gjøre dette en gang. Uavhengig om vi blir værende sammen for alltid eller ikke! 

Innimellom har jeg puslet rundt i huset og gjort småting, som å organisere og rydde bort småting jeg ikke synes spiller noen hensikt i hjemmet lengre. Det tømmes til stadigheter og jeg kjøper ikke inn mer interiør lengre. De-clutteringen fortsetter i det evige. 

Til fredagskvelden ble det en enkel gryterett med få, gode råvarer. Og som alltid smaker maten best når den får lov å trekke over flere timer. 

_DSC6617.jpg

I posten fant jeg to nydelige øredobber som ble sendt fra Elin, en svensk venninne fra kurset jeg var på i sommer på Öland. En uke som fortjener sitt eget innlegg, men som ikke har kommet helt til meg enda fordi det var en sterk og mektig opplevelse å være med på. 

Ost er livet. Og vi spiser det så ofte vi kan. Og for meg er osten best når den lukter skikkelig ille og er romtemperert. En uslåelig kombinasjon, men som gjør underverker for smaksløkene. Og helst balansert med noe søtt, som fikenmarmelade, aprikos eller honning. 

Kvelden vi skulle bruke sammen på bare oss to måtte til slutt vike for mer bryllupsplanlegging, så snart maten var inntatt. Vi får heller roe ned og sove ut når dagen er over og bryllupsreisen nærmer seg. Ha en fin fredags natt!

A week in paradise

One week at my favourite place back home. A pearl in the middle of a valley, just south of my home town Narvik. There are several houses around, but our cabin is perfectly secluded. No one can see us. And we can't see anyone else. The first few days I was completely alone. I needed the silence, since this summer had been anything but silent. And when the rain went away and the sun came to visit us, we could finally do the things we'd been wanted to do all summer long: wash our hair in the lake, go swimming by a rock in the middle of the water, row our boat, sun bathe and eat our food outdoors. But even though I really loved the sun, I could just as easily be pleased with rain and foggy mornings. Because all I wanted was to just be there. Be present. Have a easy week. Eat easy food. Don't have to worry about showering every day or talking to people just because I have to. No, I just really wanted to be alone and be present in the moment with all my thoughts. And I felt renewed and more wholesome when I traveled back south. 

A slow morning, and some kitchen de-cluttering

There's so many things I really want to do with our living situation. There's so many choices I want to make differently. And I really want to make those changes.. RIGHT NOW. But these things take time. And they really should take time too. In that way I get to take much smarter and more thoughtful choices. Like I want to have a much bigger approach to minimalism, and that's why I keep de-clutter our house on a regular basis. It would be much more stressful to do these things in a few days, so I'm sure taking my time and constantly finding all of these things I want to get rid of. Today I suddenly got the impulse to clean out the kitchen. 

_DSC6321.jpg

But first I just want to show you some pictures from my slow morning. I woke up around 8 am and just stayed in bed for a few hours. I didn't have any plans. I just wanted to read the news, look for some inspiration on Pinterest and find some calm. And after my morning shower I went outside with Balder. And the road beside our house was overgrown. So when he went in the bushes I couldn't possibly see where he was! 

I got really happy when I saw that the bees were flying all around the flowers. They are so important for our planet and eco system. 

I really wanted some flowers for our kitchen table, since all of my peonies had dried out and died during last week (thank you so much for that btw, H!). 

Back home I made myself a late breakfast/lunch and ate it while reading articles on my laptop. I really enjoy these quiet moments to myself. Last week I didn't have any privacy at all. And that was fine for a few days, but then I need some time all by myself. 

This was the best breakfast I've eaten in a long time, though. Porridge made of steel cut oats, walnuts, cinnamon, apples, akasie honey and then a slice of sour dough bread from a local baker on the side. And of course a lot of coffee! With this song on the speakers, everything was complete! 

 

And these red clovers.. They are so beautiful! I love that they are eatable. But do you have any idea how they can be used in food? Please do share your thoughts and ideas. I would really love how to use mother natures own refrigerator. 

And then to my kitchen de-cluttering: I didn't take any photos of the trash - but OH MY GOD, all the plastic that's in this house! It's incredible how much useless waste only one household can produce. I removed all the plastic I could, and filled up ALL of my jars with rice, flour, tea, spices, hemp seeds, and so on. First of all: my drawers got so much cleaner. Second of all: I could suddenly see all of my food, which means that I will probably lower the chances of me buying stuff I already have. And third of all: It looks better. I would really like to reduce all the plastic in my household but I don't know how to do that when we don't have stores where you could buy the stuff we need by kilos or grams. Any tips? Have you ever reduced the waste in your household?
 

I would really love to have a much more minimalistic household. Not because I think that the interior style of minimalism is something that I find very attractive. But the lifestyle and the philosophy behind not owning to much stuff, is something i feel more and more strongly about.

So right now this is on my household agenda:
- Keep de-cluttering every room, bit by bit (Rome wasn't built in one day)
- Try to figure out how to reduce waste in our household. And again: please DO SHARE your insights! 
- Try to find a way to reduce poison in our household. Like the ones you find in plastic bags, kitchen devices, etc.  

Now I'm off doing some wedding preparations. I'm kinda in a rush, so I'm sorry if there are some huge grammar mistakes in this post! //Julianne

A night in the wilderness

So this is probably the best way for me to take a pause from the everyday life. On Saturday I got picked up at the airport by H, after a long weekend at a very intense leadership course at Öland in Sweden. I was basically exhausted from all the work we had to do, even though it was a wonderful week. So we'd decided in advance that we would go straight up to a lake outside of the city and sleep over. It wasn't a coincidence that it was the one-year anniversary of our engagement. We just really needed this opportunity to log off everything and just be together. And so H had loaded up the car with food and the supplies we needed. The mosquito did NOT have mercy on us, and I still am scratching my arms and legs. The only safe place was beside the bonfire, and we just had to take shelter in the tent to get away from all the bugs. But the morning was BEAUTIFUL. I woke of somewhere between 7 and 8 am, and decided to go for a swim. Everything was so quiet and the sun was already above the tree tops. Me and Balder swam around a little bit and I washed my hair in the lake. The only sound I could hear was birds singing and some dragonflies that flew across the water. Who need's music when you have mother natures own sounds? It was so peaceful. And then we had a really long morning with slow cooked food and coffee. I really wish the day never ended, but duty called us back home. Even so; having just one night outside makes wonders for the spirit. And the best part was that my phone's battery was out. So that meant: no Facebook, no Instagram and no Snapchat. Just us two, our dog and the fresh air. I would recommend having these kinds of slow moments to anyone! Sometimes, all we need is to sleep between trees and water to find inner peace.