Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Quality Street



(All photos sampled from various media sources on the net.)

I'm on the list!

The Outnet is celebrating their 1st birthday with a sale where everything is only £1! However, it looks like the sale will be taking place on Friday April 16th. That particular date I'll be roaming the streets of New York for bargains. Otherwise I'd be stuck in front of my laptop trying to snatch some goodies. I guess you could say I'm on the list but out of the race.

If  you're not on the list but would like to be, just sign up at The Outnet.com. They ship worldwide. If you should happen to get your hands on one or more designer beauties, it would be fun seeing them on your blog. Good luck! :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tablecloth that turns spilling wine into poetry

Hey! Look at this fantastic innovative tablecloth from Norwegian furniture designer Kristine Bjaadal:

(Photos by Kristine Bjaadal)

What looks like an ordinary white damask tablecloth, turns into a poetic suprise if one should happen to spill something on in. Isn't that just so neat? No more embarrassment if an accident happens. I want one of those!

See more of her designs on her blog.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

One year ago: Random spring Sunday in Oslo

The Opera House basking in the sun

Officially, it's spring.

Only the weather in Oslo has not yet been informed. It's grey, it's cold, it's partly wet and while making a 5 minute guest appearance yesterday, the sun was last seen for a whole day more than a forthnight ago. Frankly, it's hard to stay upbeat. Even the spring flowers on my terrace seem to have gone into some sort of weather depression. Blooming? No way!

After one of the most gruelling winters in living memory, I'm begging for some sunny weather to hurry up and arrive. It doesn't look like the weather gods have any intentions of answering my prayers soon, though. For all foreseeable future - that means until Easter ends - the forecast is predicting more of the same old, same old grey, overcast and fairly cold and wet weather type. To cheer myself up, I've been looking at some pictures from last year's spring.

One particular Sunday the weather was so glorious 3 of my friends and I spent the whole day touring the Opera House and walking along the quayside downtown. We even enjoyed our first outdoors beers for the year.

Lined up outside the restaurant overlooking parts of the harbor

Sarah and Brita and dozens of other sun worshippers

Having fun on top of the roof

Admiring K/S Norge (Norway) - the royal yacht 

Looking up at the medieval Akerhus fortress from the quayside

The view from underneath the castle over to Aker Brygge, a very popular area with both locals and tourists, full of shops, restaurants and bars. That's where we're heading!

Not as much as the tiniest little gust of wind - looking out the Oslo fjord,  the sea was like velvet

 Arriving at Aker Brygge, we were extremely lucky to find a vacant table in the sun - the placed was packed!

The first outdoor sip of beer for the year, with many, many more to come later on in spring and summer

Passing the National Gallery on my way home, where among other beautiful art one can admire one of Norway's most famous and internationally wellknown paintings - The Scream by Edvard Munch.

The flag on the roof of the Royal Palace told the tale of the King being home. Maybe he was waiting for his ship to be  ready to take him out for a cruise on the fjord?

In the summer, one can go on guided tours inside some of the official rooms in here. The King and Queen live on the third floor. On the first floor, to the right in this image, are the guest suites. When President Bill Clinton, as the first sitting American president, visited Oslo in November 1999, he was offered to stay here. He wanted to, the guide told us, but above the most powerful president in the world is an even more powerful minder. Secret Service's response to his wish: NO!

Oh, Sun and warmer weather.....where art thou?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Redecorating my bathroom = 5 Balenciagas

Reading home stylist Emily A. Clark's inspiring interior blog and her post about Pondering my Powder Room, I decided to write a bathroom post of my own as I'm shortly going to redecorate this particular room in my flat. After spending parts of the last few weeks browsing through dozens of brochures, I've come to the conclusion my taste in bathroom interior is on par with my taste in handbags. That means non-budget friendly.

However, as my bathroom looks pretty much the same now as it did when I bought the flat seven years ago, it's time to give it a real facelift. This is how I've been living since the original mirror I had got damaged:

Loose Ikea mirror standing on the bathroom sink, electrical cord hanging out of the wall as I have been completely unable to decide on both a new mirror and a lamp for the mirror, huge old-fashioned sink with practically no space to put one's stuff when applying make-up, an unsightly grey concrete wall (the builder was obviously a cheapie as he didn't care to have the part of the wall that was concrete tiled), tiny granny style cupboard with little storage space and boring grey tiles on the floor. I'm sick of it!

This is what I want to wake up to:

 (Photo by kuma.dk)

A Kuma Divine7 sink, with white high gloss drawers that have built in grips. Extremely practical, easy to clean and the drawers close softly by themselves when given a little push. Only I don't want the sink to be black, but in a material called Terrazzo. It can be had in many colors, but my choice is white marble with grey and a few pink stones mixed in. According to the producer, this material is 2 1/2 times stronger than concrete. (Not that I have any intentions of testing whether the claim holds true!)

(Photo by Kuma)

As for solving the problem with the mirror and matching lamp, I want one like this, only bigger, with lamps and a plug for the hairdryer and toothbrush built in:

(Photo by Foss bad)

For the floor, I'm getting new tiles, in grey slate, like this:

(Photo by maxbo.no)

And finally, my old-fashioned toilet standing on the floor is getting replaced by one hanging on the wall, with a soft close seat that closes itself in the same way as the drawers and with a quick release function which makes the seat easy to take off for cleaning:

(Photo by Villeroy & Boch)

The grey concrete wall is getting covered by the same high gloss white tiles as the rest of the walls. I want to keep the walls white, as a darker color is gonna make the already small room seem even smaller.

I'm so looking forward to getting this done. The plumber will let me know right after Easter when he can start. It's not the cheapest solution I could have chosen. However, I'm pretty sure I'll quickly forget about the selection of Balenciagas I could have had when I'm smiling happily to myself in the (new!) mirror every morning.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sensible shoes

So I've been all around town, looking for a pair of sensible walking shoes for running around shopping and sightseeing in New York. Today I found them:

*hysterical laughter*

Well, you gotta give me they're practically flat - on the underside...

*more hysterical laughter*

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Topshop to Oslo - finally!

(Oslo's parade street Karl Johan on May 17th, our national day. Photo by aftenposten.)

Hurrah! We Norwegians have been waiting for Topshop to establish themselves in Oslo for years. Now they have finally found their dream premises, and will be opening a 3 floor, 2200m2 store on Oslo's parade street Karl Johan next spring.

Only one more year to go, and we'll be able to go get our hands (litterally) on their huge selection of budget friendly fashion without having to worry about shipping from the UK and garments that don't fit and have to be shipped back. Good thing there's still some time to save up. Come the opening day and I guess the line outside will match that of the children's parade on our National Day! Only the flags will be Unions Jacks!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Inspired by other bloggers

Do you find inspiration from other bloggers? Since I started blogging, I keep finding interesting blogs all the time. Fashion, interior decoration, photography, drawings, beauty, lifestyle...you name it, I add it to my blog roll . Who knew when I created this blog a couple of months ago than in such a short time I would be spending so much time reading other people's blogs?

Often, these other bloggers write something that inspire me to take action. Take this post about new gear from She left on a Monday, for instance. That caused me to look for a new and better lens for my camera, like this one from Sony - a 50mm 1.4.

(Photo by Sony)

It's on my shopping list when going to the US. There it costs approx USD 370. Here it's a little less than the double. Good thing I saw that post and started craving better bokeh before my trip, as the lens becomes so much more affordable. Hopefully, my readers will also get to enjoy nicer photographs. Of course, great images don't all depend on better gear, but it helps. At least if the photographer finds interesting motifs...;)
(My hair, circa December 2007)

With regards to the upcoming trip, I also found a great tip on the blog of She Wore It Well, when she wrote about her New York memories. Posting a mouth watering picture of a fortune cookie dessert from restaurant Tao I just knew I had to visit that place while there. Looking it up on the web, they advised to book a month in advance as it's so popular. Now that my booking is confirmed,  I can't wait to have that chocolade mousse filled fortune cookie. YUM!

The latest one to inspire me is Struggling to be stylish. Her post on Keeping it going versus making it better caused me to think about how I'm finding the balance between keeping things as they are when I'm running short on time or energy, and making progress in all my projects whether in the home or otherwise.

As a side effect of chemotherapy, I'm suffering from something the doctors at the Cancer Centre call Chemobrain. Some of the symptoms are being unusually disorganized, fatigue and taking longer than normal to complete routine tasks. That means getting started on things and/or finishing them often feels like trying to climb an insurmountable wall. Add that to the usual lack of time when there are more projects than one on the list, and you get my drift.

Eh...where was I?

Oh yeah, right...Over the course of the last few years, I've had to adjust my  normally busybody and impatient personality from "everything's gonna have to happen right here and now " to "one thing at a time". So if I feel tired after washing half the floor, I take a break to reply to mails or read some blogs before I wash the other half. (OK, being entirely honest here - sometime it doesn't get washed until the next day. But that information is strictly off the record, just so you know it. I blame it on too many interesting blogs. Besides, who knows if I should happen to find one with tips about how to get the floor to clean itself?)

If I have to choose between visiting a friend for a nice evening, like I did yesterday

and get my bike ready for a spin on ice free roads, I do the bike later, like today:

Somehow, the important things get my priority, while the not so important can wait. While everything is no longer happening immediately, whatever needs to be done eventually does happen in due time.

Every now and then, though, I get a real burst of energy. That feeling of being ready to take on whatever is one I make sure I take advantage of for all that it's worth. So while the pleasant night with my friend last night amounted to a great way of spending one's time, it also recharged my batteries, giving me an energy kick. Thus, I not only did the bike today, I also took on my terrace:

Old flower pot ready for the bin, accompanied by unwelcome greetings from doves 

Cleaning the whole terrace, taking the furniture out from winter storage and trying to scare the doves with a homemade scarecrow.

Checking out my gardening efforts from last fall, hoping they will have survived the winter and become like this:

while waiting for spring for real so it all can turn into this:

I know it's not always easy, but my way of balancing it all is trying to think: Relax. Stay cool. The world won't come to and end if I don't get around to do everything today. Always try and prioritize what's most enjoyable or what will eventually give you the greater satisfaction having accomplished. There's much truth to the saying "Life's too short", if you know what I mean.

Today's outfit:

 Spring cleaning couture. :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Responding to a challenge

The other day, I was challenged by blogger Soul Princess to reply to a long list of questions about myself.

While it's always flattering being tagged by someone, I have to admit I'm always the one among my group of friends that breaks the chain when these types of e-mails and similar text messages are sent around. Normally, I just don't possess the patience needed, and think my time is better spent doing something more academic, say, for instance, doing my assignments spying gorgeous shoes like these ones from Gina:

Or even taking part in their competition to win your pair of choice at a value of up to GBP 450. Come to think of it, I probably should keep quiet about the competition, lest I will get even more competitors for the prize. Haha...But Gina sure makes some really beautiful shoes. If I ever should happen to get married, I might choose one of their crystal studded models, like these ones:

(All photos by Gina)

But I digress. I'm very good at that. The questions in the challenge don't disclose that particular trait, but there's a lot of other information to give about oneself in reply to the numerous questions. Armed with a glass of red wine, a bag of crisps and some music playing in the background, I set about the task of being a good sport and picking up the glove virtual pen. Here we go:

1. What time did you get up this morning? 10 AM'ish. I'm definetly a type B personality during winter.

2. How do you like your steak? Don't eat much meat but I wouldn't decline my sister's fantastic roast with a red wine sauce and tons of broccoli.

(Lucy totally agrees my sister's cooking is yummy)

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Half of Sherlock Holmes. Way too modern. For detective stories I prefer David Suchet's Poirot.

4. What is your favorite TV show? Sex and the city forevah!!!

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? I can think of many places. The two requirements would be a) warmer than here b) close to the ocean - being at sea gives me a great sense of freedom.

 (The one that got away was thiiiiiiiiiiiis big)

6. What did you have for breakfast? A litre of water.

7. What is your favorite cuisine? Mexican.

8. What foods do you dislike? Way too many to specify. I'm very particular.

9. Favorite Place to eat? A good restaurant anywhere.

10. Favorite dressing? Just don't give me Thousand Island!

11.What kind of vehicle do you drive? My last car was a Mazda 626. Now it's a bicycle.

12. What are your favorite clothes? Jeans. Always searching for the perfect pair.

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? I've done every continent except Africa. A safari in the Kruger park in a game reserve called Mala Mala is high on my wish list.

(Photo by Mala Mala)

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? Full.

15. Where would you want to retire? A tiny villa with a view to palm trees and the ocean somewhere warm.

16. Favorite time of day? I love sunsets and sunrises.

17. Where were you born? Arendal, southern coast of Norway.

18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Sailing regattas when I can follow them from either a) a boat nearby or b) a nice spot on the beach on a sunny day.

19. Bird watcher? Occasionally, if I have my camera along.

20. Are you a morning person or a night person? Night in winter, morning in summer.

21. Do you have any pets? Used to have two ferrets. 

22. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? If so, they'll be on my blog the minute they happen. :)

23. What did you want to be when you were little? Shop keeper.

24. Are you a cat or dog person? Dog.

25. What was your last drink? Drinking red wine now.

26. Always wear your seat belt? Not in taxis.

27. Been in a car accident? Someone hit my car from behind, luckily at slow speed.

28. Any pet peeves? I can't help thinking of people wearing real fur as evil Cruella de Villes.

(Photo from blog Rdujour)

29. Favorite Pizza Toppings? Quattro formaggio.

30. Favorite Flower? Clematis. I'm forever trying to grow the perfect one on my terrace each summer:

And bougainvillea. In the Caribbean they grow them all over walls and fences, and they become huge. Norway's too cold for that, but a small one will thrive in the sun in the summer:

31. Favorite ice cream? Anything that's in my freezer at the moment. And there is always ice cream in there.

32. Favorite fast food restaurant? I just got a new one. In Copenhagen they had one with grilled sandwiches and fries cooked in a healthy way. Don't remeber the name right now, though.

33. How many times did you fail your driver's test? None.

34. From whom did you get your last email? The plumber from whom I decided to accept an offer for refurbishing my bathroom.

35. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? The travel agency.

36. Do anything spontaneous lately? Couldn't resist a tempting piece of cheesecake with my coffee after Thursday night's exhibition..

37. Like your job? My "job" at the moment is finishing my degree in media sciences. I love the freedom of being a student.

38. Broccoli? It's good for you!

39. What was your favorite vacation? That has yet to come when I can convince some of my friends that spending a week or two on a sailboat in the Caribbean will be the best vacation ever.

40. Last person you went out to dinner with? My friend Brita. We do that spontaneously every now and then.

41. What are you listening to right now? Canandian songstress Amanda Marshall. The album: Intermission. Playing right now: Fall from grace.

42. What is your favorite color? Blue.

(Over the top? What do you mean over the top?)

43. How many tattoos do you have? None.

44. How many are you tagging for this quiz? I'll leave it open for anyone reading it to do if they like

45. What time is it? 2 AM

46. Coffee ??  Don't usually drink it, but when I do I prefer espresso or moccha.

Puh...that sure was a long list! If you've read all the way down here, you might be the next one to pick up the challenge of replying? If so, let us know in the comment box, so we can all go take a look. :)