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Thursday, 24 December 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

God jul and merry Christmas from Glasgow! Hope everyone is having a lovely holiday!

Monday, 21 December 2015

HOME ALONE BINGO - PRINTABLE!

We’re leaving for Glasgow in a few days, where we’ll be celebrating Christmas with Graeme’s family. I’m very excited! A few of our friends are also planning on being there over the holidays, so we’re hoping to cram in a Christmas celebration with them too. Back when I lived in Glasgow, I lived in a flat with five others and we used to have an annual Christmas celebration together before we all went home to celebrate with our families. It usually involved a roast of some kind (complete with Christmas crackers and paper crowns), a secret Santa exchange and the ritual of everyone cramming together and watching Home Alone while we eating Christmas cookies and sweets. It sounds pretty simple, but it’s potentially one of my favorite Christmas traditions.


Our little Christmas tradition is sadly no longer an annual occurrence, now that we’re all grown up (ha!) and we all live quite far apart, scattered around the UK, Norway and (currently) El Salvador. But last year we all managed to get together in Manchester, which was all sorts of wonderful and the night ended with us making a human pyramid (as you do!). Sadly we won’t be the whole group this year though, so this will be more of a mini-celebration. And I’m not sure if there will be a secret Santa exchange this year, but there will definitely still be Home Alone. So to mix it up a little, I’ve made these Home Alone bingo sheets to make the viewing a little more exciting! There's 6 different sheets, and they consist of specific scenes and classic quotes from the movie. And obviously, there will be a prize for the winner! You can download them here, if you'd like to add a bit to your Home Alone viewing this year too. Cause Home Alone might just be the ultimate Christmas movie (closely followed by Elf?).

PS. I found so many fun Home Alone articles while I was researching to make this. Like this one where a doctor diagnoses Marv and Harry's injuries, and then obviously, this. Poor, traumatized Kevin.

Friday, 18 December 2015

ORANGE & DARK CHOCOLATE COOKIES


I don't really feel like I've done enough baking this Christmas. How are you doing with your Christmas baking this year? Somehow, I still haven't made gingerbread, even though all the ingredients have been sitting ready in my cupboard since about December 1st. How has this not happened yet? I don't know. And is it really Christmas without gingerbread? I'm not sure about that either yet. But one thing I have gotten around to making are these orange and dark chocolate cookies. I love the combination of dark chocolate and orange. And while I was in the process of baking them, Graeme came home from work and tried one before I had added the dark chocolate drizzle, and excitedly exclaimed "these taste like Christmas!" So maybe gingerbread won't be necessary this year?

I also got a bunch of cookies out of just one batch, so it kinda feels like I've put in more of an effort than I actually have. And that's never a bad thing in a month as busy as December! I used a pretty small cookie cutter (a super cute Christmas tree one I got in my Haribo advent calendar last year!), so I ended up with about 120 cookies! But they're dangerously tasty, so there's certainly not that many left anymore.

Orange cookies recipe:
300 g flour
200 g butter
100 g icing sugar
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
zest and juice of one orang

Dark chocolate drizzle:
100 g dark chocolate
50 g butter

Directions:
Mix all the cookie recipe ingredients together and let the dough chill for an hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Roll out the dough, stamp out the cookies, and bake for about 10 minutes until they just start to go brown. Take them out and let them cool.

For the drizzle, melt the chocolate and the butter, either in a bain marie or the microwave. Drizzle over the cookies, and leave it them out until the chocolate is set. Yummers.


Sunday, 13 December 2015

PHOTO BOOK: KOREA

I actually made this photo book forever ago. But as I was giving a copy to my sister for her birthday (which was last week!), I wanted to wait until after I gave it to her before I shared it on here. That's the thing when you've got projects you're excited about, but you're giving to someone--sometimes you have to wait a while before you can show it. But here we go!


My sister lived in South Korea for a while, and I was lucky enough to squeeze a visit in right before she moved back to Norway. I already posted some photos here that I took with my Diana F+, but I also took tons with my DSLR that I always intended to make a photo book out of. My photo book library is slowly but surely growing, and I love looking back at them.


Since I visited a couple of places while I was in Korea, I decided to divide the book up in "chapters" after the places I visited; Geoje, the DMZ, Seoul, Busan and Oedo, with a title page for each (like the one below). I usually put my photo books together in a random order based on aesthetics, but this book ended up following the natural chronological order of my trip, it seemed a bit tidier that way. As per usual, I went with a photo book from Blurb. I love how easy these are to make, and so far I haven't been disappointed with the result. Here's a few of my favorite pages (in no particular order)!

I love the last one, with my sister and her crazy hair in the wind!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

OUR ANNUAL CHRISTMAS BEER TASTING

Juleøl, or Christmas beer, is a long-standing tradition in Norway. It's actually one of the oldest Christmas traditions, stretching as far back as to the Vikings who toasted to the Norse gods, and it was such an important tradition that when Christianity took over the Church adapted it and gave it a new symbolic meaning so that the tradition continued.


Graeme and I have our own annual Christmas beer tradition though, where we get a selection of Christmas beers and do a blind tasting, score the beers and declare a winner. But since I'm pregnant this year, a Christmas beer tasting was obviously not in the cards for me. And an evening where Graeme does all the tasting while I sit there going "so?! What was that one like?" sounded a bit lame. So instead of scrapping our tradition all together, we decided we'd expand it a bit and invited a couple of friends to join us! (Which in turn lead to some hilarity as we invited people before we announced our pregnancy, and had one guest in particular who was very concerned that the evening wasn't going to happen after all when he found out I was pregnant.)


So for our tasting, we asked each guest to bring two varieties of Christmas beer, about 500 - 750 ml of each. Graeme made and printed some scorecards, complete with a space for comments (they always seem to get better as we go haha). You can download these here if you'd like to host a similar night yourself! We kept the food simple and served a cheeseboard, but made sure to serve some Christmas cookies too, as a lot of these beers are quite dark and sweet with hints of coffee, chocolate and vanilla, and thus team up well with sweet cakes.

As for which one was this year's winner? Lucky for me, I have a leftover unopened bottle that doesn't expire until 2017. ;)

Thursday, 3 December 2015

NOVEMBER IN INSTAGRAMS


December is here! Are you ready? I'm definitely not. But I'm very excited about the upcoming month! November has been cold and dark, so much so that I've actually barely been on instagram (I think that first photo pretty much sums up a huge chunk of my month haha), so this is a super short "in instagrams" post! I'm also noticing that the few photos I did take this month were mainly food related haha. Then there was of course also the news I shared in my last post.

Plans for December include hosting a Christmas beer tasting night, going to Glasgow for the holidays, and hopefully visiting Julebyen Egersund! I've been meaning to visit the Christmas market in Egersund for about three years now, so it's way overdue. I'm also debating back and forth if I should make another December album, like the one I did last year. I had already decided I definitely wasn't going to, that I was gonna skip this year and come back strong next year. One issue I had was that I had a terrible printer, so printing out every picture was a nightmare and I only ended up being happy with about half of them.  And a major problem last year was actually taking enough pictures, as I work full time and pretty much only get daylight on the weekend (which won't be a problem next year as I'll most likely be on maternity leave). But then the other day I dug out last year's album and it kinda made me want to make another one, and I've been obsessing a little over it ever since and making plans in my head. And now I have a much, much better printer... ah, decisions!