Sunday, 28 February 2010

Scaredy Cat Challenge - 28 February 2010 (On your marks!)

Last week I wrote that I was (in the words of 'NEWO' Jonathan Roche) going to 'crank up' my weekly running distance in preparation for this year's 10k race. (Last year I took up running - yes, me, the non-sporty girl - and ran a 5k for the very first time.)

My running buddies (two female friends, H and V) and I run two or three times a week and our usual distance is 2.5 to 3.5k... Or so I thought! Because when I checked the RunKeeper application on my telephone (it uses GPS to work out actual distance run, speed etc) I found out that it was actually over 3k - woo hoo! On Monday, when we ran a new route that we thought was a shortcut, we actually ran 3.5k! On Tuesday I ran our newest training route and it measured...4k! Double woo hoo! ;) So, surprise, surprise, we have actually been running longer distances than we thought...

On a side note, my sweetie friend Krista in Nova Scotia (she of The Moistest Brownie Ever fame) sent out a siren call on http://www.twitter.com/ for help getting started with exercising. She was interested in trying the NEWO approach to exercise. It's very much like the Flylady's system of using babysteps - ditching the 'all or nothing' mentality. So we are now doing the 6 minute NEWO strength exercises 'together' on http://www.twitter.com/ ! ;) Which is great for me because, as I've usually already done some strength exercises earlier in the day, I'm getting some extra workouts in... :)

Remember...if you'd like to join in the Scaredy Cat Challenge, sign up below! Candace is about to do a 'reveal' on her challenge - can't wait!

Have a fabulous 'the-days-are-finally-getting-longer' Sunday! :)

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Fingers on the buzzers!

My sweetie best friend H held a girly birthday dinner bash last night. After the first course, she unwrapped her gifts one by one - as is the way in Denmark. [Note to non-Danes: when you go to any type of party, whether in a private home or function hall, there is an assigned 'gift table' called et gavebord where you place your parcel!]


After the main course, as has become our little tradition, we had a quiz. (I always make up a song/speech for the birthday girl or a quiz.) I don't know about you but I've always loved quizzes. Which I fear goes hand in hand with the fact that (as I like to believe...) I'm always right! And, though not be terribly ambitious, I am fiendishly competitive! ;)

Here's the quiz I made for H's birthday dinner yesterday. It's a short, personal one and took me about half an hour to put together. I put in a few trick answers and even her sister didn't get all the answers right - ha! ;)

Feel free to use the idea for your next get together. Just remember to take plenty of paper and pens with you! :)
  1. What was the name of H's first pony (or first pet)? [multiple choice answer]
  2. Where did H meet her husband? [multiple choice answer]
  3. Last year H and I ran a 5k race in Copenhagen, which one? [multiple choice answer]
  4. H has lived in various European cities. Where has she NOT lived? [multiple choice answer]
  5. What is the name of H's Dad? And H's Mum's dog?!
  6. H has her birthday in February. In which months were her two daughters born?
  7. H has had several jobs. Including what? [multiple choice answer]
  8. What is H's favourite type of chocolate? Milk, dark or white?
  9. If you looked in H's handbag right now, which brand of lipstick would you find? [multiple choice answer]
  10. H is a party-smoker. What brand? [multiple choice answer]
Hope you have an intriguing Saturday! :)

Friday, 26 February 2010

I heart scarves!

I did a Friday post on scarf love (Fridays here on the blog are all about the things I l-o-v-e) back in October. If you want to read it, it's right here! But here we go again because Missus Smarty Pants (the Flylady's style sidekick) mentioned how important they are on her radio show on Tuesday. (Tee hee, Leslie, thanks for indulging my addiction!)

I told her I had bought a new scarf that very day. She asked for a picture and I said I would post one. I realised when I took the photo that - oh my goodness - I've bought not just one, but three (count 'em) new scarves in the last couple of weeks. Yikes, they're multiplying! :)

Here's the one I bought on Tuesday...silk, patterned with fringes, in pink, purple and yellow. I wore it with the yellow cardi on Wednesday, folded in a triangle and with the big triangle hanging down at the front (or bib style, as Leslie calls it).




Here's a big cotton one (could double as a sarong) which goes with all my coral, orange and pink tops. I wear this one swathed around my neck a few times. Good for keeping me warm in these (never-ending) freezing Danish winter temperatures and makes my 'fronts' look full! ;)




Same scarf, same clothes, different angle. The orange waistcoat (Samsøe + Samsøe) I bought recently (isn't it a great happy colour?). The pink fitted cardi (Oasis) I've had for over 15 years. Love the fit, love the colour. Have worn it, washed it, worn it, washed it, for years. Takes me everywhere. I will seriously need therapy if anything ever happens to it! ;)




And, the last one for today...a long, fine-knit woollen, coral/orange scarf. I bought the matching batwing cardi (Bruuns Bazaar) before Christmas (it's also great for wearing over dressy evening tops). The pushy sales assistant wanted me to buy the matching scarf but I wasn't convinced. Until, of course, I saw it reduced to half-price in the January sales...


Funnily enough, I'm actually using the scarf on it's own on a daily basis right now as it's extremely warm and brightens up my black winter trenchcoat...


And whaddayaknow...now DD7 wants to get in on the act! Here she is today, Friday, wearing her - first - very own scarf (kids' range at H + M) [please excuse me for a moment, I need to wipe away a small Mum tear...]



When we got to school and she was changing into her slippers she said, "Mummy, I want to have lots of scarves like you." Aww, that's my girl! ;)




Hope you all have a fabulously fashionable Friday! :)

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Menu planning Thursday - 25 February 2010

Here's this weeks rundown of what's coming over the counter at Kitchen Copenhagen! :)
 
 
THURSDAY
  • The kids have made a special request...homemade pizza pepperoni! Lots of salad to go with it, bien sûr... ;D
FRIDAY
  • My bestest friend and running buddy - the wonderful H - is having a girly birthday dinner so I am out to par-tay! Will be taking my bike as it's going to be a long, well-oiled evening... (And, yes, my cactus tablets are ready and waiting in my makeup bag!) The kids are DH are fending for themselves.
SATURDAY
  • Lamb. Have put this on the menu several times in the last couple of weeks but plans have changed and it's still in the freezer. Time to get it out and get it roasted! Serving with it's usual partners-in-crime gratin dauphinois and tomato salad. Dessert? Don't know yet!
SUNDAY
  • I'm out, again, yay! This time for a girly birthday brunch - my other good friend and running buddy, the lovely V! :) For tonight's family dinner I'll use up any leftover lamb with some pasta. If there isn't enough lamb, I've always got bacon. Will probably do a pudding tonight - thinking of a steamed pud with custard.
MONDAY
  • Trying out a new recipe from Silvana Franco's book "The Hi Lo Cookbook" She's a great family cook, you can find some recipes from that book online here. I'm doing her Sticky Pork Chops. Going to make them in the crock. Chinese noodles along with it.
TUESDAY
  • Family fave...'Hurdy Gurdy' Swedish Sausage Stew (my recipe is here) and bulghur or spelt (made in my ricecooker) with it. Can make it with my eyes closed and when I open my eyes it has disappeared! ;)
WEDNESDAY
  • Leanne from http://www.savingdinner.com/ sent out a recipe as part of the Flylady's Winter Olympics shindig for Low Carb Greek Turkey burgers. Now I come to type the name, it's kind of funny putting Greece and Turkey together in the same sentence (if you live in Europe, you'll understand!). I've got some minced chicken in the freezer, so going to give them a whizz :)
That's all folks. Hope you have a wonderful 'Little Friday'!

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Wake Up Wednesday!

As you may have seen, last week the kids were off school for the Danish Winter Week. It was a violent shock to the system Monday morning to get out of bed and be sitting at a desk by 8am. Poor wee things! ;) And tough for poor old Mum who has to wake the sleeping babes...

Candace will no doubt approve of the jammies! ;D

Do I have to wake her?

Anyway, needs must! Our normal schoolday breakfast is chocolate müsli mixed with plain porridge oats (the Danes traditional breakfast is raw porridge oats with milk and sugar) and milk or orange juice to drink. Yesterday I lured them with boiled eggs, crispbread, milk and All Bran muffins. Today was American style pancakes stacked high, Maple syrup (in honour of the Olympics...) bananas, apples and orange juice.

Tee hee, you can even see the words "oh" forming!

And tomorrow? Who knows. But I'll be setting the table for breakfast as soon as dinner is finished. And I'll be setting my alarm again for 10 minutes earlier than usual. Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday! :)

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Crafty Tuesday - Cute Cones

Today's craft (yep, it's Crafty Tuesday again here on the blog) couldn't be simpler. Won't even take the magic 15 minutes!! ;)


You'll need:
  • paper or carton
  • scissors
  • glue, gluestick, gluegun or stickytape
  • pencil or pen

Draw circles (use a cup or small plate as a guide) on the paper or carton and cut out. I used a pair of zigzag scissors to give some of them a fancy edge.




Gently roll the circle into a cone and glue down the front edges.




Cut out a length of paper (should be at least the diameter of the starting circle) to make the handle. Dab glue on each end and stick inside the cone.




You can then decorate them according to the occasion. We made yellow ones today for our Danish Easter decoration... Gather branches, hang the cones, feathers and eggs on your 'tree'.




DD7 filled the cones today with feathers. But in the week up to Easter we will replace the feathers with...chocolate or marcipan eggs! ;)




Hope you have a terrific Tuesday! :)

Monday, 22 February 2010

Pamper Monday - A Musical Interlude

Pamper Monday has come around again. Where does the time go?? I've had a nice winter week's holiday at home with the kids. Took a lot of gentle coaxing to get them out of bed this morning... Back into their ski suits, hats and gloves, out into below freezing temperatures and (yes, more) snow and in to school by 8am. But I've just finished baking a batch of All Bran muffins for their return, so don't worry, we'll get all snuggly this afternoon :)

My dinky square muffin cases from Sweden!

As it's Monday, it's time to think of new ways to pamper... As you may or may not have picked up from this blog, I 'heart' music. Big time. It's the one thing that can change my mood in a heartbeat. We have a large CD collection (ca. 700) plus lots of stuff on the computer, iPods and my (beloved) iPhone.


But I keep listening to the same old stuff and only buy CDs if I absolutely have to have it. Yet we have free access to millions of tunes via our internet provider. I just haven't taken the time to get it organised on the computer. Tee hee - I'm already hearing the Flylady's voice in my head! ;)

So I'm setting my timer for 15 minutes and off to download some stuff. And will enjoy listening to it via my cordless headphones while I'm ironing, doing my WHB or doing a spot of decluttering. After all, a change is as good as a rest...

Hope you have a musical Monday! :)

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Scaredy Cat Challenge - 21 February 2010 (Get on Yer Bike! 2)

Another week has passed. And still no success with the bike challenge... I've got good excuses - family has been here, I've been ill with a bad cold. But, once again, the killer has been the weather. Snow, snow and more snow. And ice :( Oh well, at least the back garden looks pretty!



So I'm putting the Bike Challenge on hold (until the Great Danish Thaw) and moving onwards and upwards. And a bit further. I'm going to raise the bar on my weekly runs. I run with my sweet friends - V and H - three times a week. Rain, snow or shine. We normally always take the same paths through the park and it works out at roughly between 2.5 and 3.5k.

V and I are running a 10k race this summer (we did a 5k last year), so we need to push ourselves a bit further with our training. Which is scary. But exciting. And I know we can do it. Just have to believe we can! ;)

So this week's challenge is to run the extra mile, if you excuse the pun :)

Candace is also participating in the Scaredy Cat Challenge. Go see what she's up to! And if you want to join in the fun, we can hold hands and be scared together! Just add your blog below... :)

Have a simply super snowy Sunday! :)

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Cupcake Crazy

We've a new addition to our baking accessory family...isn't she a beauty? ;)




Today we made a big batch of 24 fairycakes (cupcakes) in order to christen our little perspex baby. We decorated half the cakes, the rest have been stashed in the freezer for (lucky) impromptu guests :)

(Following recipe is from Nigella Lawson's fan-flippin-tastic 'Domestic Goddess' book, she uses half this quantity for 12 fairycakes)

To make 24 fairycakes you'll need:

250g of plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
[or use self-raising flour if you have it, not available in Denmark]
250g sugar
250g butter (one pack)
1 teaspoon vanilla powder (optional)
4 eggs
4-5 tablespoons milk



Put everything in your mixer, apart from the milk.



Whizz until smooth then pour in milk slowly and whizz again.




The mixture should be quite runny.





I use an icecream scoop to put the mixture into paper cases - it means they all come out the same size. Don't put too much cake batter in each case...you want to leave room for a thick layer of icing! :)




Bake for about 15 minutes in a warm oven. 200c or 400f. Will be nice and golden. Cut off the little 'bumps' on the top - to give you a nice, flat surface for decorating. And, yes, you're allowed to eat the 'bumps' while the cakes are cooling....



Then decorate according to your mood and/or age... We used three tiers of the cake stand for our display today but for those special occasions you can go with a towering inferno of five. I bought my stand quite cheaply from http://www.ebay.co.uk/



Bon appétit!

Have a simply super Saturday! :)

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, 19 February 2010

Farewell Friday

My brother and niece left this morning to return to the tropical heat of...Edinburgh, Scotland ;)

It's been snowing here in Copenhagen since they arrived. It snowed on our trip to Sweden. There was a mini snowstorm yesterday. And it was snowing heavily when their plane left today. But at least they got the front seats on the metro out to the airport ("hey, look, we're driving!") so their trip ended on a high! ;)


The kids and I have been pottering around the rest of the morning. DH is at work and it's very quiet with 'just' the three of us. We've done a mini WHB (Flylady's lightning 'make your house cosy' programme) and are going to'make 'a cinema' this afternoon, eat some popcorn and sweets, and just chill out. I'm still nursing my cold. Don't know what the kids are going to watch and - quite frankly - I don't care! :)

I know what I'm going to watch. Have been thinking about it since the Winter Olympics started. I'm not a sports fan. At. All. But it's kind of impossible to ignore all that luge, skiing, speedskating, curling, cold sports stuff which we're being bombarded with on the telly right now. It has, at least, reminded me of my favourite 'make me feel good' film. "Blades of Glory"!

So I'm going to fetch the remains of my pick'n'mix chocolates from Sweden, get the fire going, put my feet up, cover myself with a blanket and enjoy every last minute of it. And ponder how on earth he kept that dove in his suit the whole time...

Hope you have a fabulous Friday! :)

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Menu Planning Thursday - 18 February 2010

My Scottish brother and niece are leaving tomorrow morning and then we'll be back to just the four of us. Meanwhile, the snow continues...


THURSDAY
Chicken Parmesan (made with panko breadcrumbs) with tagliatelle. Spinach salad on the side. Hot dinner rolls. Didn't have the chance to make pancakes on Shrove Tuesday (we were in Sweden), so we're making a big batch tonight :)

FRIDAY
Beef tacos and veggie sticks.

SATURDAY
Lamb steaks. Easy, tasty comfort food and DH's fave meat. Gratin dauphinois on the side and steamed broccoli/cauliflower.

SUNDAY
Impossible Cheeseburger Pie. I've seen this mentioned on several recipe websites and it seems to be a fairly well-known American dish. Let's see what the family make of it! ;)

MONDAY
I do a NEWO run on Mondays and then my WHB (weekly clean), so I l-o-v-e having something easy planned for dinner. Using my crockpot today to do pork chops in sauce and will serve with brown rice done in my ricecooker.

TUESDAY
No need to cook today as the kids and I are at the Scout annual meeting where we'll be fed and watered :)



WEDNESDAY
Hump day. Roast chicken legs, couscous with apricots, pinenuts and raisins. Have some salad to use up too because it's Wednesday and 'clean out the fridge' day...

That's the menu done for yet another week, hooray! Have a thoroughly thrilling Thursday! :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Wonderful Wintery Wednesday

It's our second day here in Malmö, southern Sweden. Great breakfast at the hotel to set us up for the day... Bacon, sausages, Swedish meatballs, scrambled eggs and beans.
Yoghurt and (several) Danish pastries. Washed down with apple juice and caffe lattes. Hot chocolate for the wee ones :)



Shame I didn't have any room for the cereal, cheese, sliced meats or...pickled herring, anyone? ;)

We took a vote as to the day's activities and there was no way we were going to avoid a second trip to the swinning centre http://Aq-Va-Kul.se Though I sat on a deckchair 'beachside' today, as I'm choked with the cold and woke with almost no voice this morning.


Two hours later and it's lunchtime. M-o-r-e food. Steaks, burgers, chicken and the children's favourite (help yourself, won't you, surely we don't need to ask twice) icecream buffet at the knockdown price of Sek.20 (about £2.50).



Hit the shops again as DN12 (niece) wanted to buy a little walrus snow sledge. Will no doubt be put to the test tomorrow.


Then back on the train to Copenhagen, Denmark. Back home to Daddy, who's been working hard all this time and earning the pennies for our little jaunt. But don't worry, we'll be extra sweet to him tonight ;)

Have a wonderful, wintery Wednesday! :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

'Trevlig' Tuesday

It's the Danish schools' winter week and my Scottish brother and niece have flown over for a few days holiday. Today, Tuesday, we've left the snow in Denmark for...the snow in Sweden! ;)


We took the train over the Sound this morning (the journey from Copenhagen to Malmö takes about 45 minutes), had a lovely lunch at a café by the little square, did a spot of shopping (new baking accessories for me - yippee!), had free afternoon tea and Carnival cream buns at our hotel, spent an exhausting 1 1/2 hours at Ak-Va-Kul (a swimmingpool/waterland), checked out the after-dark lights at the children's playground,


topped up with 'godis' at our favourite Swedish 'pick'n'mix' sweetie shop


and are now back at the hotel and about to go downstairs for dinner. Hard to believe we only arrived here 7 hours ago! :)

And even though I'm away from home, the Flylady is never far away... Can you guess what colour the Swedish trains are..? ;)


Hope y'all have a 'trevlig' Tuesday! :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, 15 February 2010

Pamper Monday - Oh la la!

While I was queuing at the chemist the other day, I had a rummage in one of those dangerous little baskets where they have 'end of the range' bargains.



There was a dinky little set of three nailvarnish pots...a French manicure set. Spurred on by my recent Scaredy Cat Challenge success of submitting my feet to the half-heaven/half-torture of a pedicure, I've decided to start giving my fingernails a bit of extra TLC.

So on Thursday night I ran a lovely bubblebath (Lush bathbomb), armed myself with a glass of wine and a bag of Maltesers and had a good old soak while listening live to the FLYshow (Flylady's call-in show).

Then gave myself a short pedicure and manicure and finished off with 'French nails'. A little stripe of white along the top of the nail, a coat of very pale pink, then a clear top coat. Voilà!



Climbed into bed and slept like a bébé... :)

Hope you all have a marvelously manicured Monday! :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Scaredy Cat Challenge - 14 February 2010 (Get on Yer Bike!)

So I didn't succeed with last week's challenge of cycling to the Next Town. Not for lack of trying. Nor for lack of forward planning. I prepared my bike the day before - had to dig it out first of all...





Rrefilled my NEWO water bottle (after defrosting it) so I wouldn't run out of steam while on my merry way :)




'Tidied' out my front wicker basket to make room for any possible pamper purchases that I might make 'en route'...




But in the end I was defeated because of all this slippery stuff.





There may, however, be a thaw on the horizon. So keep your fingers crossed, your cycle helmets on and check in again next Sunday! And while you're waiting, please go check out Candace who is making great progress with her own Scaredy Cat Challenge! :)

Want to hold hands and be scared with us? Add yourself with the McLinky below!

Have a simply super Sunday :)