Archive for » May, 2013 «

100 Things Less

The primary culprit for me being behind on this blog is…. yep! You guessed it! My cake studio! I haven’t officially announced it on the blog yet so here it goes (drumroll please):

I have officially moved in!

Hooray! There is still a lot that needs to be done (so current pictures won’t be posted for a little while longer), but at least all the cake stuff (read: mess) is out of our house! I spent the whole time Chris was in the Czech Republic moving all my pans and bowls and tools into the shop and getting it all organized and, I really must tell you, it feels FANTASTIC! I had no idea I had SO much cake stuff and we both feel like so much of our house has opened up now that it’s gone!

The exodus of the cake supplies provoked a MASSIVE purging of the rest of our apartment when Chris got home. We decided that we had collected too much stuff, and it had to go. We decided to get rid of 100 things. I know…Whoah. 100 things sounds like a lot. But before you raise your eyebrow too high, you should pause and read this post by The Art of Doing Stuff.

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Sounds pretty simple right? We actually tried getting rid of 50 things like the article suggested a year or so ago by cleaning out the junk drawer and under our kitchen sink and were amazed by how easy it was to get rid of 50! So we decided this time around to up it to 100 and we surpassed it by leaps and bounds! I don’t have an official count because after a while I stopped counting the little things, but so far we’ve gotten rid of 110 bigger items!  Things like clothes, old sewing projects that will never happen, a giant bag of holy jeans, US electronics we just don’t use here, etc. Not to mention junk that collects like old papers, plastic bags, paper clips, etc. It has been amazing!

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I know it sounds rather zen… but possessing over 100 less things really has made us feel great! Just the knowledge that there is less stuff in our house  has made us feel lighter and more peaceful. I feel like we have less to weigh us down and keep us from being flexible and mobile in our life. Who needs all this STUFF anyway??

So… I would like to renew Karen’s challenge from her post a year ago. While you are spring cleaning these next few months, try throwing out 50 things you currently possess. Remember, 1 paperclip = 1 thing. 1 plastic grocery bag = 1 thing. I promise it’s not as hard as it sounds and it will make you feel amazing! Let us know in the comments if you do it and how it goes!

 

 

Category: Daily life  Tags:  4 Comments
A visit from cousins!!!!

Do you guys remember my awesome cousin Patrick?? He was our very first visitor back when we moved to Stavanger in 2011. He was only here for 3 days, but he must have liked it… because he came back and brought his new wife, Anna! Patrick actually had a conference in Oslo for his master’s thesis on LARPing, so Anna came to hang out with us in Stavanger for a few days while he was tied up.

The next 3 days were full of “girl time” as we hiked to waterfalls, explored the fjords, and wandered around Stavanger. I basically love Anna. We discovered we are ridiculously similar and I’m so excited to have her as part of our family!

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Patrick met up with us in Stavanger when his conference ended and the cousin adventures continued! We went to the Oil Museum, the Three Swords, and then proceeded to hike Preikestolen much too early in the season, as you can with all the snow and ice in the photos. Patrick and Anna definitely earned their Norwegian tiger stripes! They have the bruises from the slipper slopes to prove it!

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Patrick and his Norwegian doppleganger.

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Skittles found a new best friend.

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Cousins are seriously the best!

Training in the Czech Republic for deployment to Afghanistan.

Can you guys believe it’s May already?? Life needs to slow down just I bit I think!

I’ve been wanting to tell you guys about Chris’ trip to the Czech Republic for about a month now. As I was searching for the photos I realized it was all the way back in March! I feel like I barely blinked and April came and went! Poof! Gone! But I’m still going to tell you about his trip anyway, because it was pretty cool.

So here it goes.

Once upon a time NATO sent Chris to the Czech Republic for a week for Civilian Pre-Deployment Training. That’s right. Pre-deployment. As in pre-deployment-to-Afghanistan. Apparently sometimes working for the military means being sent into a war zone, despite not actually being in the military. He’s most likely be going in 2014. Bummer. In a weird twisted way though it’s kind of exciting. I mean…Afghanistan will forever be in the history books. and Chris will get to be there! Especially since Chris won’t actually get sent to the really crazy combat zones, so he should be fairly safe.

“Fairly” is the key word there. Hence why he had to go  to a week of vigorous training. Because even though he’ll be “fairly” safe… there’s apparently still the risk of roadside bombs and civilian hostage situations. Eep!

He had a blast though! They learned a bunch of survival skills, escape and evasion techniques, how to find and destroy mines, how to deal with chemical/biological/radiological/nuclear warfare, radio communication skills, and kidnapping and interrogation survival. They simulated a whole surprise civilian kidnapping and hostage situation and everything! Oh.. and it was all in the snow and freezing temperatures. Chris came home a bit roughed up, but definitely feeling mighty hardcore.

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Searching for “mines”

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I love a man in uniform!

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Chris and his coworkers.

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Socks hanging to dry in the barracks after a hard day of tromping around in the snow.

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The barracks.

At the end of the trip, Chris got to spend a day exploring Prague! His thoughts after his time in the city: “We definitely need to go back and see more of it!” Ummm… ok!

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Behind Chris is a lady in a dress, leading a donkey with a carrot hanging from a stick. Just another day in Prague… ?

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(Click for a better panorama!)

The Past Few Weeks

You guys… I know my last post was all about the lack of spring… but this weekend spring has sprung! A lot can change in a few weeks! It’s currently 75 degrees F (count-em: 7-5 degrees!). I’m typing this sitting outside on our balcony in a skirt and bare feet feeling the breeze in my hair and listening to the screams of the kids swimming in the pond across the way and the waves from the passing fjord boats. Chris is just inside the door reading in a sunny spot on the couch. It’s absolutely glorious. I swear I can actually FEEL myself soaking the vitamin D into my winter-pale skin!

Now…not to be gloomy on such a beautiful day or anything, but while it appears spring has finally shown it’s face, we’ve been living here long enough to know better now. Based on the past few years, around this time we typically get a major heat wave (meaning hanging out between 70-75 degrees) for a little while and then it dips back into wet and chilly for most of the rest of the “summer”. Even the locals accept that this may very well be the only true summer days we will get. So while it’s a little bittersweet, we are taking advantage of it!

Here are a few Instagram shots from our phones from the past little while to keep you up to speed. We’ve had a busy few weeks! Cousin Patrick and his new wife Anna came to visit, Chris has been working on setting up one of his old computers as a home server, Skittles is adorable as always, cakes and cupcakes continue to rule my life, we celebrated Norway’s Constitution Day,  we’ve been practicing our sailing skills we learned last summer, we watched our first Eurovision Song Contest, we planted a balcony garden, and the weather is finally allowing us to grill for real!

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It has been a good few weeks :)