Tagged: Travel

Hellooooo May!

I can’t believe it’s May already. We have forever been waiting for spring here in Stavanger and when it finally showed up a few days ago, May was just around the corner.

It’s been a couple of months since my last post on this website, and I’m sorry for dropping off the face of the Earth like that, leaving you guys hanging, without even a heads up. My apologies.

You see, a few weeks back my mum got ill. Nothing really serious, just a bit of a “bad” cold we thought. A couple of days into it, I woke up to a text from one of mum’s neighbors telling me that mum had been rolled into the hospital during the night.

Since mum has a habit of getting from bad to worse pretty quickly, due to her past history of pneumonia, combined with her not doing too good with medication, because of her autoimmune disorder (Sjøgrens), (we have had a couple of scares before) I wasn’t leaving much to chance this time… and booked a ticket to UK right away for the earliest plane we could get on.

After a nine hour trip B and I got to the hospital checking in on mum quickly before we called it a night. Over the next few days we visited twice a day, talked to the doctors, discussed medication and what we needed to do, to get mum back healthy.

Thankfully because of her quick admittance to the hospital and a few days with antibiotics through an IV (pretty much the only thing that works anymore) she was bouncing back and it was decided that she was well enough that she could go home 🙂

We stayed around for a while to take care of her, you know.. alt the little things of cooking, shopping, walking the dog, being mean making sure she took her meds 😉 and in general keeping her company, until she was back on her feet well enough she could fend for herself.

We are back home now, and I’m happy to say mum is getting better by the minute, as I got a text a couple of days ago that she was out and about doing a little shopping 🙂

I’m sorry I’ve got a couple of you guys worried about what was going on, but I haven’t felt much like writing…

But hey… I’m back now… so hopefully things should pick up a little 😉

 

 

October – Not what I expected

I should be sitting in the middle of an scrumptious brunch right about now, at a spa and wellness center in the middle of the woods. Well that didn’t happen. Instead I’m sitting at home having my morning smoothie (which, btw, is pretty good too).

Really? What happened? 

Remember I told you earlier this month that this would be a busy month? With three big birthday celebration, traveling to both UK and Oslo and a 4 day stay at a spa and wellness center?

Yeah, we remember. You had just been to your first birthday party. Your stepsisters 50th. And you were off to England next. Didn’t you go? 

Oh, no, I had my trip to England as planned. Took off on a Tuesday and back home on Sunday (well Monday morning really) and it was a good trip, all sorts of fun. I will tell you more about it later. Now when I got home though, I got sick, which for one, kinda sucked (who wants to be sick).

No, being sick is’t all that great. 

The worst part, though! I had to cancel going to the birthday party in Oslo.

Oh, no..

Yeah, I had been really looking forward to hanging out with my family. You see, I haven’t seen them in quite a while. And I also have some friends in Oslo that I also haven’t seen in … like… forever. I was kinda hoping to party all night 🙂 And then, next day, if my stepbrother and his wife felt up to it, I could have popped by their place for a few minutes, to hang out with my super cute nephews and check out their new house.

Guess that didn’t happen! 

No, and I didn’t get to hang out with my other friends either 😦

So, what about the Spa.. you did go, didn’t you?  

Sadly, no. The spa was part of my Oslo trip, so we cancelled that one too.

Noooo!

Yeah! Hanging out in the middle of the woods, with nothing but nature around, swimming pools, saunas, yoga, exercise classes, massages and I’m sure, loads of great food. It sure wouldn’t have hurt, either!

Bummer!

I’m with you on that one 😉 Guess I’ll just have to go later some time… Next year maybe?

So what are you up to now then? 

Now? Now, I’m sitting here, enjoying the heck out of this smoothie 😉

2016-10-22-11-44-14

October – a crazy birthday month!

Here we are, already into the month of October. I can’t believe how fast time is going by! What on earth happened to September?

Oh yeah, that’s right, September I was knee deep into my declutter challenge, no wonder time flew by!

So… what have I got up my sleeve for this month?

All I can say, is, that there are going to be a few trips and a whole lot of celebrating 😀

ballonsYou see, October is the month for birthdays, and big ones at that!

Yesterday I celebrated my stepsister’s 50th. It was an awesome party, and a very, very late night 😉

Next, is a trip to UK, to celebrate my brothers wife’s 40th birthday.  We’ll be stopping at Mums for a couple of days first, and then it’s “London, here we come” 😀

As soon as I’m back from England, I’ve got a few days at home, before I’m off again. This time it’s Oslo time, to celebrate my younger stepbrother’s wife’s turning 40.

So you see what I mean by there being birthdays all around 🙂

And what’s on the agenda as soon as all the birthday celebrations are over?

Well, then I’m off to a spa and wellness center, for 4 days of bliss 🙂 (I’m gonna be needing to recover from all the partying you know 😎 )

Will you be hearing from me while I’m on the road? Off course! I will certainly try. Somewhere in all this I should find a moment or two, to jot down a few words!

A fair warning, mind you!

I will not be bringing my laptop on any of the trips. I was thinking of testing out a iPad mini only scenario. I would like to find out how well I can manage, especially on blog related stuff.

You see, I am working on this minimalist list of items to bring, on future travels, and if I find I can get away with iPad only, for blog related stuff (or any stuff really), I will have significantly lightened my load. And then… maybe… there might be some hope, that I can get down to my minimalist backpack.

OK! Confession time!

I have never really properly finalized a post without my laptop! I reckon there will be some trial and error until I get it right (and probably some cursing.. now lucky you, you won’t need to listen to that, poor B on the other hand… )

So, this is my disclaimer!

I give NO guarantees for how it’s gonna look… I’m just saying 😏

 

A quick hello!

Seems like I’ve been a bit “off grid” (again), and I apologize.

It’s not like I have actually really been off grid (wouldn’t that be kinda cool to try), I’ve just been hanging around the house, in a offline all hunkered down kinda way!

Let me explain! You see… I had a fantastic trip to Italy for a few days around the month-end July/August… a trip I will tell you all about later.

Now, someone…  thought we obviously had had such a great trip, that they (whoever they are) figured it be a great idea for us to enjoy our trip even more after we came home… and promptly decided that giving some of us (we were 38 people on a trip) food poison on our last evening, was a swell thing to do!

Yes you heard me right!

A few of us came home with a gift!

Some from the travel party got hit already on the way home, and I feel soooo sorry for them. Being sick is bad enough, having to deal with it an a all day travel day, sucks big time.

Me? I got home, before it hit… but then… it hit hard.

Because of the meds I take on a regular basis for my chronic migraines and tension headaches, I’m already having some stomach trouble, throw in a sever case of food poisoning, and there you have it.. a receipt for disaster.

So this is what I’ve been up to.. staying at home tending to a spike in migraines (from the trip) combined with food poisoning, and you can see why I’ve been laying low.

The ONE redeeming factor?

I’ve lost 6 pounds!!!

And, I can’t say I’m hating having lost them, now if they will just stay off, I’ll be a really, really happy camper 😉

 

PS. Note to self. Never, ever… eat under-cooked meat again… while traveling!

 

Copenhagen – Biking the city – part 2

I’m still not done writing about the cool weekend trip to Copenhagen, that I had with with some friends, early June. Here are Copenhagen’s Friday’s, and Saturday’s excursions 🙂 And now we are here…

Day 3 Copenhagen – Sunday

Since we had such a great day biking around Copenhagen Saturday, we decided to spend Sunday on the bikes as well. As you can see from the map, we took off in a different direction of town this time around.

Map 4

Botanical garden

Our first stop on the way, was Copenhagens Botanical garden (1). There is no biking allowed inside the park, so we locked the bikes outside the gate and meandered around for quite some time. For some reason there wasn’t all that many people around, which I loved. It felt peaceful, you could sit down and relax and see no one for a while. And when inside any of the glasshouses, you didn’t trip over people.

The botanical garden has as many as 27 glasshouses, the oldest one, the Palm House, was built in 1874. The Palm house is the tallest glasshouse and there are spiral stairs that leads you up into the dome, where you can walk “among the top of the palms”. You can see some beautiful pictures of the Palm House and surrounding gardens here.

Botanical Garden 1

We walked through most of the garden and then took a side trip out of the garden and across the street to:

Rosenborg Castle and The Kings garden

Rosenborg 1

Rosenborg Castle (2) is situated right next to the Botanical garden and has a garden of it’s own, the Kings garden. Rosenborg Castle is a renaissance castle, built originally as a country summerhouse for the royal family in 1606, expanded several times until it was completed in 1624.

The castle was in use by Danish regents as a royal residence until about 1710, and since then it’s been only used as a royal residence twice. The first time was when Christiansborg Palace burned down in 1794, and the second time was during the British attack on Copenhagen in 1801.

Today, it’s a museum, where you can see, among other things, the Throne Chair of Denmark, The Crown Jewels and the Danish Crown Regalia

There are several buildings “attached” to Rosenborg Castle; Slotsforvalterboligen, The Commandant’s house and the Rosenborg Barracks, The barrack building is an old orangery complex (1709) that was converted into barracks for the Royal Life Guards in the years 1785-1786. The building was in use by the Life Guards until 1985. Today it has a small museum, and I believe it’s a protected building.

We didn’t go inside the castle or it’s surrounding buildings this time around, but we did saunter through the Rosenborg Castle gardens/Kings gardens.

Commandant 1

After hanging around the Rosenborg Castle for a while, eating ice cream and sunning ourselves. We walked back to the botanical garden gate, picked up our bikes and continued on to…

Den Lille havfruen/The Little mermaid

Little Mermaid 1

Just about everyone (at least in Scandinavia) has heard about the statue of the Little Mermaid (3) in Copenhagen. It’s almost impossible to buy a postcard from Copenhagen and there not be a picture of her on it 😉

The Little Mermaid is a bronze statue based on the fairy tale of the same name by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. It’s an icon in Copenhagen and a major tourist attraction.

I always thought the little Mermaid was sitting on a rock out in the water, but it turns out she is landlocked, sitting on a rock by the waterside at the Langelinie promenade.

Since there was a lot of tourist around (it was a bit crowded) we didn’t stay long before we moved on to …

Kastellet/The Citadel

Just down the road from the Little Mermaid you will find Kastellet (4) This old citadel was built in the years 1626 – 1663 (1626 initiated, 1663 rebuilt), it’s one of the best preserved star fortresses (a pentagram) in Northern Europe

In the Citadel area, there are several old buildings. A church (1704), the Commander’s House (1725), the Powder House (1712), the Prison complex (1725) and even a windmill (1847, replacing one from 1718) ++.

Mill 1

Kastellet is still an active military area, but it’s open to the public. You can walk around the ramparts overlooking the Øresund Strait, and the moats surrounding the citadel.  It was a beautiful place to lounge around, we even had our lunch sitting on the benches relaxing 🙂

Right next to the Citadel, you will find the Gefion Fountain, and St Alban’s Church (first church made of flint I have ever seen).

Flint Church 1
Leaving the Citadel, we biked along Amaliegade, which took us right into…

Amalienborg Palace square

Amalienborg Palace (5) is the home of the Danish Royal Family.  It consists of four identical palaces around an octagonal courtyard, and in the middle of it all, you can find a equestrian statue of King Frederick V.

Amalienborg was originally built for four noble families; but, after Christiansborg Palace burned on 26 February 1794, the royal family bought the palaces and moved in.

Amalienborg is just a stone’s throw from Frederick’s Church also called The Marble Church (6)

Marble Church 1

As you can see.. the sights in this city is just about everywhere…  and you can get lost in the all if you really want to, but we started to get hungry and continued on past The Royal Danish Playhouse (7) down to Nyhavn to find a place to eat.

Royal Danish Playhouse 1

Nyhavn was packed (as you would expect on a beautiful summer day) so we found ourselves an Italian restaurant down the road instead.

Nyhamn 1

After the meal we took of towards the Amager side of Copenhagen, and the Opera house. Before we got to the Opera house however, we found this really cool place where we could drink and eat (had we only known that before our so so Italian meal).

Copenhagen Street Food

Copenhagen Street food (8) is this awesome place (yes I could hang here all day) with colorful and tasty food trucks with food from all over the world. All of them situated inside warehouse 7 and 8 on the Paper island.

We had seen a lot of people hanging outside on the quay and was curious about what this place was all about, you would have laughed had you seen our faces when we walked into the warehouse… I just couldn’t stop grinning 🙂 The hustle and bustle, the smells (yes good ones) we were kicking ourselves for already having eaten. There were food truck upon food trucks, food stalls, drink stalls, music and did I mention all the great food smell?

We just had to get our hands on some of it… hungry or not.GT 2

Some sushi and a GT later, we got back on the bikes. After biking all day, and eaten our self silly on sushi (yes we did, even though we weren’t all that hungry, it was just that the food was THAT good) it was time to call it a night and head home… but… we decided to do a little detour first, as we wanted to see the Opera House, which conveniently was just one quay over 😉

The Opera house

The Opera (9) on Holmen, is an awesome building, at least from the outside. It was starting to get late so we only biked past it. One of the cool features of the placement of the Opera is that when you stand in the main entrance of the Opera, you can see the Marble Church through Amalienborg.

Opera House small 1

Just past the Opera House we saw an interesting area we just had to check out (did I mention we did a detour on our way home?)

The Naval Station – Holmen naval base

Turns out it was the Naval Station or Holmen naval base as it’s also called (10). The Naval Station used to occupy the entire area of Holmen, being the command base for the Danish navy in the years 1690 til 1990. Today, this Naval base is confined to it’s northernmost island of Nyholm, and is mostly a mix of residential, educational institutions and some military activities.

The base is open to the public, and it’s worth a trip if you are into naval ships. You can find historic naval ships and a few historic buildings like the Mast Crane.

Mast Crane 1

As you can imagine, it was the ships and Mast Crane that caught my eye 😉

Christiania – again

Leaving the naval area, we found this quirky road following one of the canals, turns out the road we followed put us right smack back in the middle of Christiania (which I wrote about here).

Had I known we were biking along this narrow stretch of land close to the lake at Christiania – Stadsgraven (11), I would have moved us one street over, so that we could have followed the road alongside the lake instead, and maybe, just maybe I could have found some of the houses I had missed out on, on our Saturday trip… Oh well, now I know.. for next time!

Onward to home we biked! And ended our day on the balcony, relaxing, winding down and preparing for our departure the next day.

Where did we stay? Well, we decided to try out Airbnb, first time ever, for all three of us. How did that go? Stay tuned and I’ll tell you all about it…

And I promise, it wont take me weeks.. like this post did! It was all due to computer trouble, which is hopefully now fixed…

Copenhagen – Biking the city – part 1

I had a wonderful trip to Copenhagen with some friends, early June, and you might remember I covered Friday’s excursion in my last post, and here we are on day two…

Day 2 Copenhagen:

Saturday, we started off the day with renting bikes. Walking is a great way to get around, but you cover more ground on a bike. There are several places to rent bikes in Copenhagen, and if I could give any recommendations, it would be to rent a bike as soon as you get there. In hindsight we should have rented our bikes from day one. It’s cheap, and would have saved our feet Friday 😉 We found a rental place just a few streets down from where we lived.

Biking around Copenhagen is very easy, not only is it flat as a pancake, but almost all roads have separate bike paths on the side, with their own traffic lights and even roundabouts. It was almost like driving a car, except you were on a bike 🙂 The city is pretty much  built for cyclists and there are more bikes than cars in the city centre. The people living there commute on bicycle and you’ll see people in suits, heels and skirts pedalling away. If you ever want to give cycling a capital city a try, Copenhagen is definitely the place to start,

This is what we did! 

We left our apartment in the morning, got our rental bikes and took off for the day.

Bikes small

 

I’ve drawn up a map on our Saturday route, the numbers on the map corresponds with numbers mentioned in the text below:

sykkeltur dag 1 c

Meatpacking district

As soon as we got the bikes we figured we needed a little food and we roamed the Meatpacking district (1) for a place to eat. The meatpacking district used to be, where Copenhagens meat industry had their businesses. Nowadays the area has turned into a more trendy restaurant and nightlife area. And it turned out we were too early and most places wasn’t opened up yet.  Instead we found a small deli a few streets up, where we grabbed some food for a quick brunch, and snack for the road.

Amager

Then we took of towards a couple of Copenhagen’s allotment gardens, on the island of Amager which is a large part of Copenhagen.  We decided to bike to these allotment gardens because we wanted some green time, time away from all the hustle and bustle of the city, where we could have a picnic and just relax.

Islands brygge

We biked along Islands brygge, it’s a area/street that follows the canal that separates Amager island and the rest of Copenhagen, and there are several sights along the way. One of the really cool ones are the Harbour Bath (2), an outdoor pool area. There are pools for the little ones, a large pool for people wanting to do swim training and a diving tower for people that wants to practise or just want to jump from higher ground. The area around the Harbour bath was packed with people. Some sunbathing in the gorgeous weather, some playing on the grass, and some hanging out at a oriental food festival. Right next to the Harbour bath, there is an area they have created where people can play kayak polo/canoe polo which… I’m telling you is a hoot to watch 🙂

Amager fælled/Amager Common

As we biked further along the canal, we found Amager Common. Amager Common is a large green area with fishing ponds, trails and loads of birdlife, and we hit the park right alongside the canal. A few hundred meters into the park we saw this cute little quay (3) and decide to stop for a picnic and a bit of sun.

Picnic stop

 

Being restless souls (that would be B and me… K could have stayed all day sunning herself I’m sure) we continued on into the park, where we biked around Sønderbro allotment garden (danish) (4). We stopped at Sønderbro for a refreshing drink (they have a small shop), before we continued on to Bryggen allotment garden (danish) (5)

On our way back towards the center of town, we biked along the bike trails within the Amager Common (6) and it was great. The birds were singing, we hardly saw a soul and if we hadn’t known better we could just as easy have been in the middle of the countryside miles from civilization…. It’s a beautiful area as you can see here!

Christianshavn – Christiania

When we hit “town” again, we were just down the road from Christianshavn and the freetown of Christiania. Christiania is Copenhagens fourth largest tourist attraction. Christiania has it’s own history, the idea behind Christiania is that is is a free, self run society, kind of a free state within the state.  They have their own rules and regulations. The place is famous for its liberal views on cannabis and it is still possible to buy hash and various strain of weed on Pusher street. They are however fighting hard to keep harder drugs out of the area.

Christiania small

The reason I wanted to visit the place is that the area around the lakes have all these little self built houses that are really cool (I’m a fan of tiny houses and other small dwellings). And within Christiania itself there are a bunch of quirky small houses. Since we had a dinner reservation at 18:30 and wanted to go home for a quick shower (I told you it was sunny and warm, right?) we only got to see parts of it all. But I will be back.. and maybe next time I’ll get to find some of the ones that are along the lakes, some you can see here.

All in all it was a great bike trip around the city, including several stops on the way, some sunning and a picnic on the quayside, you can easily do this in a few hours… from the moment we started biking, to the moment we were back “home”,  we had been out and about around 5-6 hours.

Our dinner reservation – Høst restaurant

I have to tell you about, where we went for dinner that night. I had first come accross an article about this restaurant a while back. It had gotten rave reviews as a place you could have gourmet food at affordable prices. I checked it out and loved the decor of the place, and decided if I ever went to Copenhagen I just had to try this place out. And thats exactly what we did.

The three of us decided on their three course meal, which turned out to be a six course meal. We had some wine and mineral water. The food in the three course meal was different depending on which menu you chose, but the added extras was the same regardless. One of us had the regular Høst menu, with the wine package and two of us had the Høst signature menu but no wine package, just single glasses of wine and beer. And I’m telling you.. it was worth it.

The food was great, the restaurant itself was cosy and really cool and the service was impeccable. All in all a great experience. And… we didn’t have to break the bank 😉

2016-06-07 22.32.49

 

After the restaurant, we biked back home and ended up, just like on Friday, on the balcony planning Sundays excursions.

Stay tuned for Sundays trip…

Touring my neighbourhood – Utstein abbey!

A couple of weeks ago, some friends from US and Germany decided to come visit me for a few days.  My friends are really into being out and about, so I figured I should at least try to keep them occupied. So guess who turned into the occasional tourist guide… yepp, me 😉

We drove around the area, looking at all sorts of sights, as there are quite a few things to do here in my region (Rogaland county). It’s a great place to visit.

As we roamed around, I thought.. maybe I should write about what places we’ve/they’ve seen.

Which again spark the idea of doing a small series on – Touring my neighbourhood – just in case anyone else decides to put the Stavanger region on their travel map!

And I’m kicking it all off with Utstein Abbey.

Utstein kloster - May 2016 w

The first day we covered a couple of historic sites, one of them Utstein Abbey (Utstein Kloster)

Utstein Abbey, is Norway’s best (and only?) preserved medieval monastery. The abbey is located at Klosterøy in Rennesøy municipality. About 30-40 minutes drive away from Stavanger.

There are bundles of history related to Utstein. I won’t be telling you everything, because the internet does this much better than me. But a few details can’t hurt 🙂

Utstein is mentioned in the history records going back to the 9th century, as it was cited as one of the residences of King Harald Hairfair, after the battle of Hafrsfjord.

There are some indications that the history of Utstein is even older, as Klosterøy and neighboring, Fjøløy, is rich in trace from prehistoric time. There are about 170 burial mounds registered here, the finds give no clear impression of these graves being from the elite environment, so it’s believed that local kings have had control of Utstein before Harald Hairfairs time.

But, let’s get back to the Abbey itself!

Utstein Kloster - May 2016 - Main

Most of the Utstein monastery were built in the second half of 1200 (1260) in a Gothic style, but there are indications that there was a religious building here even before that, as the baptismal font in the Abbey is from the 1100’s and there are reminisce of Romanesque style in the eastern wing (which originally was a freestanding house) dating back to the 1100s.

The church is unique in its kind in Norway, with the tower located midway between the chorus and ships.

Utstein Kloster - May 2016 - Church

The abbey was dedicated to Saint Laurence and was established during the reign of King Magnus in the middle of 1200s. The abbey was dissolved in 1537 and later came into control of the Garmann (1786) and Schanke (1885) families in Stavanger.

Utstein Kloster - Feb 2010 - Green Door

Utstein Abbey today, is run as a museum, course and conference center and even a few concerts are hosted here (oh, yeah, and there are rumours that it has it’s own ghost to).

It’s a beautiful place to visit, have a small picnic or just meander around, as the area is great for walks!

Utstein Kloster - May 2016 - Whole

Utstein Kloster - May 2016 Boathouse w

Even in the winter, the grounds are beautiful!

Utstein Kloster - Feb 2010 - Winter wonderland

 

Love to check it out from above? Here you go. A short YouTube video just for you 🙂

You want more on Utstein Abbey? Hopefully these will do the trick.

Region Stavanger – official tourist website

Stavanger Museum

Spotting History

Leaving on a jetplane!

Off to Houston I go…

Flying my bony little butt over to a bit of sun, warm weather and…  the frozen margaritas off course 🙂

Can’t wait to hang out with my friends, some of them I haven’t seen for at least 18 months. It will be nice to catch up.

While I’m on the plane, I’ll be working my fingers to the bone writing my next blog post. Which means I’m still going strong on my 21 day challenge.. in case you were wondering 😉

Well I’m off.. plane is leaving in a few minutes, see you soon!

PS. For anyone out there roaming the net looking… If you’re thinking my home is alone, think again! It’s got people 🙂 

PSS. Oh.. guess what I found on youtube… good old “Leaving on a jetplane” by John Denver, enjoy…

 

Minimalist packing!

After my experience of “lost” luggage on my trip to US last year (it took them 4 days to find it), I’ve decided to try a more minimalistic approach to my packing.

I’ve come across a lot of ultralight packing sites lately, where they travel with 20-32 litres bags, for months at a time. Now, there is no way I’ll ever be on their level of “small” luggage, but I should be able to travel for a week with hand luggage only, wouldn’t you think?

Here is the plan, one carry on and a purse of some sort! Now that can’t be too bad, I am after all only going to be gone for a week, so shouldn’t really need all that much stuff… right?

It all sounded fine, until I got mums shopping list, for Norwegian jam and mayonnaise, and then there is the chocolate I need to bring, a book or two for my mum…  What it boils down to, is that since the jam jar are bigger than the allowed 100 ml carry on bottles, the luggage have to go into the belly of the plane. As I’m travelling with a friend of mine (B), we’ve decided to send one of our carry ons as regular luggage and bring the other into the cabin. With only one carry on each, we still get to practice packing a “lighter” load.

So what am I bringing?

Well.. let’s see.

Beside all the goodies for my mum and my brother, this is pretty much my packing list for a week in England:

  • 1 blue jeans (wearing on the plane)
  • 1 white jeans (for dressing up)
  • 1 blue top (for dressing up)
  • 4 t-shirts (1 for the plane)
  • 1 thin long sleeved shirt
  • 1 tank tops
  • 1 hooded top (wearing)
  • 1 very thin sweater (for dressing up)
  • 1 short
  • 1 belt for shorts
  • 1 belt for jeans (wearing)
  • flip plops
  • jogging shoes (wearing)
  • thin rain jacket
  • thin down packable jacked (wearing)
  • 2 sleep shorts
  • 1 lounge pant
  • underwear/bra
  • 3 pair of socks (wearing 1)
  • thin neck scarf (to protect me from getting cold on the plane)
  • toiletries – the regular stuff like toothbrush/paste, face and body oil, shampoo, contact lenses, medication ++
  • 2 iPads + chargers (my mini, and mums Christmas present (yes, the one she hasn’t gotten yet))
  • small camera
  • phone + charger + ear buds
  • book to read on the trip
  • passport, money and e-ticket
  • sunglasses
  • regular glasses for the evenings
  • travel adapter
  • 1 box of Nescafe Cafe au Chocolate – gotta have my choca mocha fix, you know;-)

My gosh.. that is one awful long list of things.. doesn’t seem very minimalistic now, does it?

I’m sure I’ve packed more than I’ll need, but never mind. It’s not like I’ll be trekking this luggage all over the world now, is it? It’s only a quick trip to hang out with family. Still, it’s a good way to test how little I can get away with for a weeks trip.

So is all this stuff going to fit into my small carry on?

2015-07-20 19.23.36

Well… take a look, and see for yourself 🙂

IMG_4374

It all fit!

Thankfully, half of the stuff is not coming back home with me. Which means, when it comes down to it, I packed with space to spare 😉

So, off I go, tomorrow morning… See you in London!

Plans for 2015?

We are halfway into January, and you’re wondering, do I have any plans for 2015?

Yes, off course 🙂

I have plans within the areas of decluttering, finance, exercise and life in general! Why don’t you let me tell you all about it 😉

Declutter
In 2014, the focus was mostly on decluttering, and I’m afraid I still have ways to go 😦 Seems like decluttering and getting less stuff, inspires me to want less and less. So I will continue this in 2015. Last years goal was to declutter one item a day (365 items) and I far succeeded that, so I thought maybe I should try that one, one more time.. I think it will be harder this year to find the 365 items, but I’m sure gonna try 😉

I don’t know if you remember! Just like I’m reading myself out of my bookshelf, I’ve decided to watch myself out of my movie collection, and I also have this big, actually huge, photo project which I mentioned for you guys in November, that I will be spending time on this year.

My declutter goals for 2015;

  • 365 items
  • 100 Movies – that’s half of my collection
  • Cut my physical DVD series collection by 30% (yeah, that’s a lot, I have a lot, a lot of series)
  • 34 books –  I did 82 or something like that, out-the-door last year, but now I’m getting into more of the books I love…
  • Photo collection – oh lord…  I can’t even tell you what my goal is for this year! Half maybe?
    My overall goal is to keep key photos as physical photos, scan the other ones I’d like to have access to, and get rid of the rest. Now having several thousand photos, this is a task that will take time, and most likely spill over into 2016…

Only buying necessities
My focus last year on only buying necessities ( I want, I want – I want it now!!!) served me very well, as I had to spend quite a bit on medical treatments instead. It served me so well, I think I’d like to continue the focus this year. But with a small change compared to last years – I will add an allowance;

  • Books – I can still buy up to 10 books/magazines – preferable as e-books
  • Eating out – We did pretty good last year – we will try to squeeze even more this year, by reducing another 25% on last years results.
  • Flowers and plants – stay at the same level of last years result
  • New allowance: I can buy up to 10 non essentials throughout the year 🙂

Other financial goals
Last year I managed to pay off my car (a few months early) and I’m pretty happy with that 🙂 My ultimate goal on the other hand, is to have my house mortgage paid off, in 16 years or less, compared to the 25 it was originally. I’m 7 years in and have almost halved the mortgage so far, which is phenomenal! But it’s getting harder now that I’m on a severely reduced pay due to not working so much. Every January I pay a lump sum towards the mortgage, so my goal for 2015 is to save up 60 000 NOK for my lump sum in January 2016. If I manage that on my reduced pay, I’m doing very well.

Activity and exercise
Due to illness I have not been the most active person the last few years, every time I think I’m ready to start exercising, I’ve managed to screw that up somehow, and I’ve gotten worse again. Now on the other hand, I’m feeling better than ever and I think it’s time to give it another shot. But this time around I’m going to be careful about it and take my time!!!

The goal for this year is to build up to, by the end of the year: 7 days of activity a week, with 3 of these as real workouts.

  • By activity I mean something that gets me up and going and preferable out of the house, like a walk in the neighbour hood, work in the yard, run around playing with kids… just about anything that gets me out of that couch, gives me some fresh air, and brings me into a moving state 😉
  • With real workout I mean an activity like for example going to the gym, yoga, biking, running, Rollerblade … you get the drift.

Other activities/projects this year
I have a few other things on my agenda 🙂 Like; travel, projects in my yard, other projects, throw a garden party, ++
But these, I think I’ll tell you more about, as we move into the year 😉

So that’s it for my 2015 goals… enough don’t you think?