Sunday, 26 February 2012

The best hot chocolate in the whole wide world

In Oslo there is a hotel, just off of the main high street, called Hotel Bristol. 

My two flat-mates and I used to visit this hotel every so often to soothe our poorly-almost-broken hearts. The interior seems so fancy with giant glass chandeliers, a water fountain and a man who sits and plays piano, while ladies in expensive-looking fur coats sip on their coffees. There are big cozy armchairs to sink yourself into and rows upon rows of antique books lining the shelves in the corners. 

They make the hot chocolate using real, melted chocolate and there is often enough for three cups each (very good value for money, considering this is Oslo and this place seems so luxurious) and it is served with fresh cream topped with fruit. 

It is just what you need when the weather is icy and you want to forget your worries for an afternoon. 

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I've been Tagged...

A couple of days ago I noticed I had been tagged by Jeremy. He asked me some questions, which I have answered below and now I have to tag 7 others to answer the questions too. I've never done this before but I thought since they are nice questions and I would like to get to know some of you, I would take part:

1. What is your dream vacation?

I would really love to go to Iceland. It has always been my dream to go there. I would also love to go to Hawaii, since I've heard it's possible to see the Milky Way from there. 

2. Are you spontaneous or do you like to plan ahead?

I'm quite spontaneous, I like surprises and surprising people and I love to just get up and go and do something without planning. However if I feel nervous or anxious about something then I need to know every single little detail of what's going to happen, in advance. 

3. Tell us one thing you want to do but don't dare do it.

Travel into space! When I was in primary school, we got the opportunity to write to some astronauts. I thought it was the coolest thing ever and ever since then I've always wanted to go to space.

4. What's your biggest phobia?

Terrorism. I hate taking public transport, it makes me feel really uncomfortable. 

5. If you were stranded on a desert island-what three things would you want with you? (Not including your laptop or family)

An Astronomy book since I would have so many nights to look at the stars, Alexander Skarsgård and some cribs, for our many babies. 

6. Name three blessings in your life.

At the moment:
1. My mother. She is like a best friend to me. 
2. Eunseong, my flatmate. She always takes such good care of me. During the hard times I had here, she made sure I ate properly and stayed with me when I was crying. She is even doing my washing up for me at the moment, since I burnt my hand a little the other night. 
3. The fact that I am studying something that I really love. I have spoken to so many people who are studying subjects they felt they had to do, that their parents wanted them to do or that they are just naturally good at but don't necessarily enjoy. I feel so lucky to be able to study something that I am really passionate about. 

7. What was your nickname in High School?

I never really had a nickname. One of my good friends called me Fleur and my little brother who was born when I was 16 began calling me Kiki, so a lot of people now call me that. 

8. If you could meet the President of the United States, what would you say to him?

I have absolutely no idea. I really don't have an answer for this one! 

9. If you could be any literary character, who would you be?

I would be Ariel Manto from The End of Mr Y. Not only is she my favourite character in literature, but she has the ability to travel through to another dimension and to enter other peoples' minds. She knows a lot about quantum physics and is researching a book about something called the Troposphere, a place where all consciousness is connected. She's a really interesting character. 

10. What is your favorite quote?

I know you're scared. Don't be. The world is really beautiful. - I'm not sure where it comes from.

I am tagging the following people:

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Where are all of the animals hiding?

Today I would like to talk about animals. Living in a student village doesn't give much opportunity to see animals, nor does living in Scandinavia, apparently. 

Scandinavia seems like such a natural environment, you'd think that it was possible to see wild animals all of the time. Back home in England, you frequently drive past fields full of rabbits, catch a glimpse foxes in your garden or spot a herd of deer rushing past you in the woods. 

With such wonderful forest creatures living in the forests, I always (childishly) thought I would be surrounded them at all times. I had this sort of Snow White, living amongst the deer and owls thing going on for a while. But that's really not the case. Since there is so much forest here, the animals rarely come to the roadside or anywhere near the people. They don't really need to. 

It's a shame, I never expected I would miss wild animals like I do. But can also be quite nice. I was lucky enough this morning to peek out of my window and be pleasantly surprised with  two red squirrels playing and chasing each other through the trees. (Red squirrels are very rare in England). It's nice to be able to appreciate these things. 

What's your favourite animal? I love all of the typical Scandinavian animals, especially deer and bears.

PS have you seen this bed linen from They have a lovely online shop, you can find the link at the bottom of this post. 

(pictures lovingly taken from herehere & here)

By the way, the top picture is fabric and comes from this shop, which sells the loveliest printed fabric! Aren't they pretty?

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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

A, B, C, D, E, F, G.....

A couple of days ago, when I was feeling all "I need to be a responsible person! I need to get up at 6am everyday and do yoga and drink coffee in my most sophisticated-officey-i-function-and-cope-like-a-real-person-look-at-all-the-things-i-get-done outfit" I decided to be brave and join the A-Z challenge that I came across the other day. 

I'm super excited for this. Some people are using themes, but since my whole blog is pretty much theme-based, I'm going to stick to writing about Nordic things. So during April, there will be 26 Nordic topics to read about, one for every letter of the alphabet. Even J, Q, X and Z. (I will find something original beginning with those letters, I WILL!)

Please join me in this challenge, It's going to be fun and such a lovely way to meet people, since the idea is to visit a few new blogs each day! Click Me

My illusion of being sophisticated is ruined once you see the state of my desk, but it sure is a cozy little writing space. 

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Sunday, 19 February 2012

Sunday Recipe: Norwegian Waffles

Björn and I spent our Sunday wandering around Oslo's Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden. We stopped to have a fika in this sweet little cafe, when we grew tired from walking. We were served waffles with cream and fresh, homemade strawberry jam. They were delicious and, since waffles are such a traditional Norwegian food, I decided to put up a recipe for you all to try!

Traditional Norwegian Waffles

5 dl plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1dl sugar
5 dl milk
2 eggs
50 ml melted butter
a little salt
1 tsp vanilla essence

1. Mix together the dry ingredients and add the milk to make a smooth batter. 
2. Beat in eggs, butter and vanilla.
3. Leave for 30 minutes so the batter can set, then cook it using a waffle maker. 

Note: I believe any waffle maker is suitable for these waffles, but for those authentic Norwegian heart-shaped waffles, it might be nice to try to find a Norwegian waffle maker. 

These are traditionally served with fresh cream and jam, but I like them with whipped cream and strawberries. They can also be eaten with cheese, or just simply sprinkled with sugar. 

Enjoy them with a nice cup of coffee and the company of good friends!

(pictures lovingly taken from here & here)

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Saturday, 18 February 2012

Norwegian Forest Cats...

... are super cute...

One evening in Sweden, when we were down by the lake, one followed us home. He slept outside the little cabin whilst we slept and came inside in the morning for cuddles. He was gorgeous. 

I would love to have one of these to snuggle with on a Sunday morning, with my coffee. Wouldn't you? 

Friday, 17 February 2012

Icelandic poppies

Here in Oslo it's still the middle of winter. To brighten up my mood, I trekked out in the snow yesterday morning and bought a pretty little bunch of pink and white tulips. It got me thinking about spring and how much I can't wait to walk out in the fields and pick some wild flowers. 

What's your favourite flower? I adore peonies and tulips, but...

...aren't these Icelandic poppies absolutely beautiful?

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(pictures lovingly taken from here & here)

I'm back!

So, after a long break, a new flat in a new country and a short, but quite horrific stay in Heartbreak Hotel, I have decided to come back and write again. 

I won't say much about these last months as they have been particularly difficult for me but I will tell you this: I am currently living in a pretty, slightly dirty flat in Oslo, a short walk away from a beautiful, snowy lake and am super busy studying Norwegian at the university here. 

It's really quite difficult picking up writing again, after all of this time, but I'm going to go straight into it, whilst pretending I haven't noticed the huge gap in time. I hope you will do that too! 

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