Spring in Stavanger

Or Stavanger in spring. Whatever you prefer.

I spent last weekend visiting friends in Stavanger. We got to do a quick boat trip in the fjord and were lucky to have the nicest weather. Today I’m going to show how pretty the old part of Stavanger is. Stavanger takes picturesque in a whole new level.

Small wooden white houses, very well-preserved, are full blooming this time of year. During my walk, I saw people talking care of the flowers and the houses. There’s a ton of work and laws, as far as I know, making sure that this part of the city looks that way.

If you ever find yourself in the old part of Stavanger, there’s not much more to do other that look around you and take the beauty in. Also, you’ll want to take as many photos as you can.

You may also find yourself daydreaming about that perfect Scandinavian white house with the pops of color. I did and now I desperately want a green door or a red one and as many colorful flowers as possible.

The other thing that I want? A small garden with a view. If only I didn’t kill any plant in my possession.

As I mentioned, there’s not much more to do in this part of the city. There’s a cute little coffee place and two or three shops selling overpriced ceramic art. But that shouldn’t deter you from visiting!

In case you’re wondering, it was pure chance I color matched my surroundings.

What do you think? Is Stavanger in your travel list yet?

More from Stavanger soon! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and watch the stories for some live updates from my trips.

5 looks for Athens in spring

Athens in spring has an unpredictable weather. One day it’s super warm and sunny and the next it’s 12 degrees and windy. Having lived in the city for 24 years, I know how to pack the perfect outfits for a trip to Greece.

Apart from the suitcase, you’ll need some sort of jacket. I bought mine in Norway, after falling in love with it for a while. It’s from Ganni, a Danish brand, but you can find similar for a much lower price point. My second piece, I never travel without, is my faux leather backpack. I got so many compliments on it. Keep in mind that the zipper gets completely destroyed after about a year and a half of daily use though*.

Leather jacket: Ganni, Backpack: Mat and Natt, T-shirt: Only (old), Jeans: Lindex (old)

Then, I like to pack my mid-season little black dress that can be dressed up or down. I love the transparent piece of fabric at the bottom. I bought it last year and it has been one of my favorite pieces since.

Leather jacket: Ganni, Backpack: Coccinelle (old), Dress: Le temps des cerises (old), Sunglasses: Persol

Sunglasses are very necessary in Greece, because it’s usually very sunny this time of year. I find that anything brown or purple fits well with my skin and hair color. I’ve stuck to these colors as long as I can remember myself.

Another great option for spring is a trench coat. To be honest, I wanted the one from Burberry, but I found a Zara one that looks very similar. It looks so cute with my dresses.

Trench coat: Zara (old), Bag: Coccinelle (old)

I usually travel light, so to spice up my basic pieces I bring some kimonos that change-up my looks completely. Both kimonos are my latest purchases from the Greek brand Attrattivo. If you want to find some Greek fashion look no further.

Kimono: Attrattivo, Jeans: Lindex (old), Shoes: Geox (old)

Lastly, I want to touch a bit on shoes. When it comes to shoes, I’m all for my Nikes. They’re sort of my trademark. But when I’m not wearing my Nikes, something that happens a lot more often in Greece than in Norway. I go for comfort. All my shoes are easy to walk in, even my heels. Two brands I trust for this are Geox and Gabor. They don’t look like an old lady’s pair of shoes, do they? Just my two cents.

Kimono: Attrattivo, Jeans: Lindex (old), Shoes: Geox (old)

Cardigan: Attrattivo, Jeans: Lindex (old), Shoes: Gabbor (old)

You can find way more photos of my looks in my Instagram and Instagram stories, where I upload at least once a day, no matter what :).

What are your must-haves when it comes to spring trips to the south?

Note: Special thanks to my photographers in Athens. You guys did a great job.

* This happened to another friend of mine as well, so it’s a defect. I replaced the zipper at my own cost and it works fine now after two and a half years.

Two sugar-free cookie recipes
that are actually delicious

I’ve been on a cooking kick lately, but I’m also watching what I eat. Summer body in the making. So, I’ve been looking for recipes that can satisfy my sweet cravings without making me feel guilty*. Recipes that follow specific diet rules (ie. gluten-free, sugar-free, etc) typically give so and so results, but this past week I was lucky to find two cookie recipes that ticked all the boxes. If I didn’t know, I’d have never guessed they’re sugar-free. Go ahead and try them out for yourselves.

Carrot cake cookies with dates and almond flour

Recipe adapted (by mistake) from My little expat kitchen **

Servings: 20. Preparation: 10 min. Cooking: 10 min. Total time: 2 hours 20 min.


Ingredients:

  • 75 gr almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 65 gr butter
  • 65 gr coconut oil
  • 65 gr honey
  • 1 egg
  • 95 gr pitted dried dates, chopped into small pieces
  • 60 gr grated carrot

Instructions:

  • In a bowl, sieve the almond flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, nutmeg and cardamom.
  • Cream the butter, coconut oil and honey, until creamy and fluffy. Then add the egg and mix until incorporated.
  • Add the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Mix until it looks homogeneous. Mix in the dates and grated carrot.
  • Chill the mixture in the fridge for 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven at 185 C.
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Shape your dough into 20 small balls.
  • Bake for 10-13 minutes, checking often. (I overcooked mine!)
  • Let them cool down completely.

The thing with this recipe is that I thought I had all the ingredients the original recipe asked for and then when I was done I realized I used almond flour, instead of coconut flour. I also didn’t have enough butter, so I used half butter, half coconut oil. In the end, I though they would turn out meh, but they’re so delicious! My mother, who enjoys almond flour in any sweet treat, will love them. I’ll make sure I’ll have a batch ready when she comes for a visit.

Oatmeal date cookies

Recipe adapted (intentionally) from The food charlatan **

Servings: 12. Preparation: 10 min. Cooking: 12 min. Total time: 60 min.


Ingredients:

  • 90 gr (1 cup) oats
  • 90 gr (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter
  • 170 gr (1/2 cup) honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 100 gr pitted dried dates, chopped into small pieces

Instructions:

  • In a bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt.
  • Melt the coconut butter with the honey. Let it cool down a bit. Add in the egg and mix well. Add in the vanilla.
  • Add the butter mixture into the oat mixture. Mix until it looks homogeneous. Mix in the dates.
  • Chill the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven at 165 C.
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Shape your dough into 12 small balls. Press them down so they’re flat.
  • Bake for 12-13 minutes, checking often. (I didn’t overcook these. Lesson learned!)
  • Let the cookies cool down completely before you enjoy them.

These are the first oat cookies that I truly enjoy. If you’re skeptical about “healthy” recipes (and you should be), please try these. They’re so good. Try the original recipes as well. They’re worth it.

Hope you found something good to bake this weekend! Talk to you soon!

* This makes me feel soooo guilty by the way.
** The original recipe must be just as good, if not better. I’ll find out soon.

10 things that make me happy: 04│2017

April has come and gone in a blink of my eyes. For most of the month I was in Greece, where the weather was beautiful and the food was plenty. During my stay, I run my first Color Run, but didn’t love it. Actually, I was expecting much more. I also was the photographer at another wedding. Maybe I should make portfolio one day. This experience was so unique, but very tiring.

In other news, I plan some changes on the blog. I’ll let you know soon, but exciting things are coming.

Here’s what made me happy in April.

Instagram

– Be a wedding photographer for a day

– Fresh flowers in the house

– The process of getting back in shape and that I have enough time and energy to go to Yoga class again

– Find a new favorite scent

– That my hair is getting longer

These cookies

This theatrical play (Yorgos Chrysostomou is my crush <3)

– A summer haul, even though it’s still a bit chilly in Trondheim

– The way he makes me smile

Follow me on Instagram to get daily photos and updates. I’ll be back with more photos and surprises soon! Keep in touch!

My travel make up bag: 2017 edition

I haven’t done a travel make-up bag post in a while. I’ve been on a no-buy for make-up since the beginning of the year and plan to keep it up until I drastically use up or declutter most of the make-up I own. So here’s what I’ve been carrying with me lately.

Nars Multiple in Cape Cod

This shade is discontinued. It’s the perfect contour/bronzer shade. I’m not good at bronzing, but this gives the most natural result.

The manizer sisters trio

I’m not into highlighting unless I’m going out at night. That’s why I thought it was smarter buying this trio to ease me into the world of bronzing and highlighting. This trio is perfect for going out at night and for the summer. It’s also super travel friendly. However, I’m not going to repurchase when (if ever) I run out of it.

Stila convertible color in Peony

I love this blush. It’s the most natural color and it’s cream. It’s my everyday shade these days, particularly since it stays good for 6 months. Who can finish a blush so fast?

MAC mineralize skinfinish natural in Medium Golden

This is my go to powder that doesn’t look like powder. I use it under my eyes. It doesn’t brighten, but that’s not the look I’m going for anyway. It’s super natural. It’s also my second pan.

MAC prolongwear concealer in NC20

I bought this to use it as a concealer, but I mix it in with my foundation when I want to increase the coverage and make it last longer. It works like a charm.

Estee Lauder double wear light in 2.0

This is my favorite foundation at the time being. I lasts all day, no matter what, and it looks so natural. I reserve it for trips and when I have somewhere nice to go, but plan to only own this (and maybe the original double wear), once I empty my other foundations.

My custom MAC palette

I use omega and charcoal brown to fill in my eyebrows, haux as a crease shade and woodwinked an all-over lid shade. I can make many different looks with that custom palette, from smokey eyes to easy morning looks. It’s so versatile. The bonus is that I can change it up in the summer if I find I want different colors from my 15-pan custom MAC palette.

MAC paint pot in Groundwork

I don’t have oily lids, but my eyeshadows crease unless I use this. I also have it Soft ochre, which is very light for me. Groundwork is perfect on its own or as a base.

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide mascara

I haven’t tested that out yet, but I plan to open it on my trip. Hope it turns out great.

Stila stay-all-day waterproof liquid eye liner in Jet black

This is my only liquid eye liner. It makes making a perfect line so easy. It also does what it claims. It is waterproof and stays there all day. What more could I ask for?

MAC eye kohl in Powersurge

One of the worst eye kohls I’ve ever used, this eye pencil was dry since the moment I bought it, so much that the tip breaks off every single time I try to use it. It is so awefull, but I paid for it full price and I’ll want to throw it away. Avoid at all costs.

Burberry effortless blendable kohl in Jet black

This is the best kohl I’ve ever bought. It can be used on the lips or the eyes. I’ve tried both. It lasts for ever, it blends perfectly, it is smooth. I’m going to get it in more colors, once I use some more from my collection for sure. Golden brown, I’m looking at you.

 

MAC So chaud

I love orange lipstick in spring. I wear it all the time. It’s my favorite colour. Instantly brightens my face!

Isadora Let’s go twist-up matt lips in Bohemian and Ruby gem

I think Isadora is a Swedish drugstore brand. These lipsticks were a lucky find. They are hydrating, stay in place for hours, don’t dry out the lips and the colors are to die for. A nude and a berry are all I need.

Lip liners

I rarely use lip liners. I have a red one from Kiko and a natural one from Rimmel, but I can’t say much.

 

My tools

I own a collection of MAC eyeshadow brushes (217, 219, 221 and 224 are all I need) that I love and the rest of my brushes are from Real Techniques. I also use a beauty blender. I make sure I don’t forger my pencil sharpeners and my tweezers. You never know when you’ll need them.

What do you have on your (travel) make-up bag right now? Anyone else on a no-buy?

Lessons learned from my first half-marathon

I’ve been planning to run a half-marathon since 2015, but sometimes life and injuries and stupidity comes in the way. And because life comes unexpectedly in the way, it makes it more of an achievement. This spring I had all the luck and dedication to make it work. Here’s what I learned.

On training

Most of the people I met hadn’t had any training at all and were hoping to finish. This made no sense to me. If I run a race, I don’t do it just to cross the finish line. I do it for the training. I do it for the motivation. I like to have a goal and work towards that goal.

On discipline

I found a 10-week plan online and tried to follow it. Midway through my training, I was running more often on the treadmill than outside, because Norwegian winter can be tough, but I was still running all my long runs outside. Outdoor runs were hard. I wore spikes for the ice and multiple layers of clothing and was still cold sometimes. It wasn’t satisfying. Indoor runs were boring and I was replacing most of the easy runs with interval training. Looking back that was my biggest mistake, because intervals make you tired. And as time came closer to the race, I became exhausted, both mentally and physically. Had I followed what my plan said, I wouldn’t have gone through that level of exhaustion. Lesson learned.

On nutrition

I was thinking that I could lose some weight (not that I have much to lose) during my training, but I was so wrong. I had to eat enough to fuel all that intense training and in the end I ended up gaining a bit of weight. It’s not smart to try to lose weight, while training for a race. Eating enough nutritious food is important.

On race day

Race day is a new day. When race day came, I knew I had to let go of whatever happened during the training. I could forget all the hard runs and focus on my plan for the day. It would be stupid to think of all the things that could hold me back.

On my body

Both my body and my mind coped very well with the distance. I had minimal pain while running, my mood was great and I didn’t feel tired at all when I crossed the finish line at 2 hours and 12 minutes. Talking about it later on, I found out I could have run faster, but being a first-timer I was too scared to go full on. I don’t mind a bit though.

On the next day

Or actually what happens next. I didn’t want to continue training that hard, but I still wanted to run another half-marathon in the future. I did a bit of research, gave myself two weeks of minimal running, enough time from my brain to miss running, and ended up with a more personalized plan. For now, I’ll let my body get used to the kilometres. I won’t do any speed work, but rather focus on building base, many slow kilometres every week.

Do you plan to run any race anytime soon? I’m already thinking of the next half…

ps. Photos from my trip to Athens, where I run my first half-marathon on March 19th.

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