Wednesday, 31 March 2010

FLY Camp - Postcard Time

Dear All

Weather in Copenhagen could be better (who wants cold, wet and blustery?) but still having fun at FLY Camp! Looking forward to DH joining us tonight for the rest of the Easter break :)

  • DD8's turn to make breakfast today - chocolate croissants. And very good they were too! :)

  • Room Inspection, followed by 15 minute declutter session in the kids rooms. Set those Flylady timers and go, go, go! ;)

  • DD8 is working on papers (she has inherited that particular Achilles' heel from me). DS10 is working on his desk.
  • Solo Playtime (while I nip to supermarket for Gin supplies to tide us over Easter...Danish shops are closed Thursday, Friday and Monday)
  • Make-your-own-roll (kids chose liverpâté, I chose seafood salad). Orange juice to drink and apple slices.
  • Trip to Experimentarium, a science museum/playground. DD8 makes a great weather presenter, I'm still dreaming of being on the big screen :)

  • DS10 is on kitchen duty and is making Roast Chicken for dinner
  • The voyage into space - the Final Frontier - continues as we turn our living room into a cinema and watch Star Trek IV (DD8's favourite, the film with the whales)
  • Little Campers get the chance to swap dormitories tonight...they're allowed to sleep in each other's rooms or the guest bedroom
Night folks! Have a wonderful Wednesday! :)

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

FLY Camp - Settled In

Dear All

Having a lovely time at FLY Camp! Wish you were here? :)

  • Scrambled eggs for breakfast, DS10 to make them. Plus pancakes leftover from yesterday's breakfast :)
  • Room inspection. Then '15 minute Declutter Session' in DS10 and DD8's rooms.

  • While the kids declutter, I feather dust and clean their windows.
  • Solo Playtime - computer or Nintendo while I do the ironing.
  • Visit to the Danish Zoological Museum. An exhibition on Evolution...
  • Lunch at the museum (Danish meatball sandwich and iced tea), followed by a spot of drawing. Lucky for us, these animals sit very quietly while we work :)

  • Head home, stop off at local library to pick up the Star Trek DVDs we've ordered.
  • Quiet Time (so Mum can have a nap...)
  • Hot Chai/milk and biscuits on the deck - coats on - in the sun :)

  • 6 minute NEWO Strength Workout (Fancy joining in? The workout is here.)
  • Solo Playtime
  • Homemade pizza
  • Film night - turn living room into cinema. Star Trek and popcorn. Live Long and Prosper!
  • Bedtime and lights out. Another fun-filled day planned for tomorrow...
That's all, Campers! Hope you have a terrific Tuesday! :)

Monday, 29 March 2010

We're going (FLY) Camping!

The kids are now on Easter break from school until a week on Tuesday - hooray! :)

We're staying at home and will be seeing family and friends for lunch etc over the weekend. But the next few days we're 'going to FLY camp'. Flylady Camp! :)

We've done this a few times before and it's a great way to keep us amused during school holidays. The first couple of days it's nice to sleep in and just veg out. But soon the kids are climbing the walls, with me, I should add, right behind them ;)

Want to give it a go? Print out your Camp Journal - click here to download it for free - from the Flylady website. Discuss what you're going to do with your little campers and make a rough plan. Not too many activities per day - we are on holiday remember! :)

Here's an example of what one of our days looks like:

  • Make pancakes for breakfast
  • Room inspection (beds made? no toys lying on the floor? dirty laundry in the basket?)

  • Treasure Hunt (for example, find 15 old drawings to throw away, 2 pairs of socks that are too small, 3 toys you don't play with, 2 books you don't read, 5 pens that don't have lids)
  • Watch TV, play Nintendo or computer for 15 mins (while Mum works on her blogpost...)
  • Exercise time - 6minute NEWO strength train or NEWO intervals (skipping or running)
  • Free time to do as you like! (Which invariably turns into the kids playing in their own rooms with the toys they 'rediscovered' during the declutter session.)
  • Ryebread with liver paté, cucumber slices, salami sticks, plain yoghurt/müsli. Milk to drink.

  • Cinema with friends ‘How to Train a Dragon’ in 3D

  • Dinner when Dad comes home. Oksekød i fad/beef in a bowl (DH's recipe is here) and salad.
  • Family game of Rummikub or Scrabble...which, of course, contains the Danish letters æ, ø and å

  • Curl up in bed with a good book, a hot water bottle, a torch and a mug of Ovaltine
  • Lights out! ;)
Okay, I need to go rescue the Mess Tent before it starts living up to it's name. Hope you have a marvelous Monday! :)

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Scaredy Cat Challenge - Can you smell carrots?

My latest Scaredy Cat Challenge was to get on my bike and cycle to the next town. Go on, you can laugh if you like - it's a round trip of about 10k (6.2 miles)! But as I haven't regularly ridden a bike since I was about eight years old (and have owned a car for 21 years, half of my life) then you might understand where I'm coming from. Some people have a fear of driving, I have a fear of cycling ;)

Thursday was a beautiful day - it really felt like spring had come to Denmark. With all the snow we've had this winter, I didn't dare believe that spring was actually a certainty rather than a possibility. I ran 3k in the park with the girls first thing in the morning and decided to strike while the iron was hot. Filled up my purple NEWO water bottle, put on my cycle helmet and started my heart rate monitor...

I can't claim it was plain sailing or that I made good speed. It was extremely windy. Made me sympathise with Jacob Haugaard, a Danish comedian who was famously elected to Parliament in 1994 with his manifesto for 'more tailwinds on Danish cyclepaths'... Not to mention 'standardisation of hoover bags', 'longer green lights at crossroads' and 'young men for single mothers' ;)

But I kept Jonathan Roche's (founder of the NEWO system) words in my head. (Jonathan is truly inspirational. You can listen to the archives of his internet radio show here.) One of his favourite lines is "When climbing a mountain, don't look up at the summit. Just make for the next shelter". Or in my case, just cycle to the next lampost. And, bien sûr, when I reached the next lampost, I found out that I could make it to the next one, and the next one... Lo and behold, I got to my destination with stopping once! ;)

And my destination? My favourite little shop in the next town. The Pink Flamingo. Where they feed my 'addiction'. Scarves. I had promised myself (yet another) new one if I faced my fears and passed this particular challenge. Because one of the fun things about these Scaredy Cat Challenges is deciding on a lovely big carrot to dangle before my little red nose :) Here's my 'carrot'. Turquoise - one of my favourite colours and the 'hot' colour for summer 2010.

If you want to see what else The Pink Flamingo has to offer, lookie here at a previous blogpost. And if you're lucky enough to live near to Hellerup, then go and see for yourself!

Is there something you'd like to try but fear has been holding you back? Learning a language, decluttering your dungeon, trying a new hair colour? If you have a blog and want to hold hands with me on a Scaredy Cat Challenge, then what are you waiting for? Sign up with the MckLinky below :)

Hope you have a super Sunday - with plenty of tailwind! ;)

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Choco Birdie Nests

DS10 and DD8 had their Easter lunch at school on Thursday. The kids make all the decorations, set the tables and then sit down to a feast :) Everyone brings in a dish to share: ryebread, roast chicken legs, vegetables in every shape and form, fish cakes, sausage rolls, Danish meatballs, boiled eggs, pasta salad, fruits sliced up and fruits on sticks, orange and apple juice...

Every year we bring the same dish. Choco Birdie Nests. And they disappear pretty fast ;)

You'll need:
  • bar of chocolate
  • All Bran cereal (the one that looks like twigs, if you can get it)
  • small egg shaped sweets or chocolates
  • baking paper or cupcake cases
  • feathers (optional)

Melt the chocolate v-e-r-y slowly over a low heat. Don't let it burn! (If you're a virgin chocolate-melter, use a water-bath.)

Add the All Bran, a bit at a time, and stir well to coat.

Spoon into paper cases. I like to use an icecream scoop, for even portions. You could also just drop spoonfuls of the mixture on to a piece of baking paper.

Plop one or three or five eggs (remember that odd numbers always look best when displaying food) into each nest and leave to set.

I'm a sucker for those cuter, than cute 'duck-egg blue' coloured eggs. Add a few feathers and you're ready to party!

If you want to complete the theme for your own Easter table, why not make the Easter Lunch Bunnies that I did on 'Crafty Tuesday'? Click here for instructions. We sowed cress in our ones, but you can fill them with eggs.

Have a simply eggs-citing Saturday! :)

Friday, 26 March 2010

Blooming Marvelous

I got back from the schoolrun this morning just before 8am. The sun was shining and - gasp! - it felt warm. So I didn't go straight into the house, but spent 15 minutes cleaning the garage/boot of the car and tidying up the plants at the front door.

If there's one thing I love about the Flylady system, it's the power of 15 minutes.

But I felt we needed a bit of colour... So I bought some bedding plants at 11.30am. And by 12.15pm I was home and finished planting... Want a look? Here's my Ikea bag filled with goodies from the lovely wee florist in Vangede (the one next door to Danni Sko/Danni Shoes) at number 39 Vangede Bygade.

I started by filling this old tin basin that someone had put out for the rubbish collection.

Emptied out some weeds from an old pot and suddenly our main deck (which I can now see from the new kitchen) looks more inviting.

Here's the table on our round deck, where I have my mid-morning coffee. Sometimes - gasp! - in the sun.

And last, but not least, the latest addition to the collection of pots on the front step.

Hope you have a fantastic Friday and a blooming marvelous weekend! :)

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Menu planning Thursday - 25 March 2010

Only one more school packed lunch to make...the Easter holidays are in sight - yeehaw!

  • Danish Biksemad, which got dropped from yesterday's menu. What's that, you ask? A kind of hash: fried cubed potatoes, beef, onions, topped with a fried egg, served with ketchup or brown HP sauce and cubed beetroot. One of the kids' (and DH's) favourites. And the potato/onion/beef mix comes in a bag from the freezer - easy! ;)

  • DBIL (Dear-Brother-In-Law) is coming to watch the kids while DH and I are out rocking to Magtens Korridorer (see Monday's blogpost). We'll give DBIL dinner before we go ;) I'm making roast lamb with creamy, tomato sauce. Green beans with sugar and bacon - recipe from Jenny's blog. Thanks, Jenny, for the idea - may not be healthy, but they taste darn good! ;) And gratin dauphinois - my own, quick n' easy shortcut recipe is on the blog right here. And very good it is too! ;)

  • It's the final of Danish X-Factor on the telly tonight. Chicken in puff pastry, smashed cauliflower (idea via Leanne Ely, a.k.a. The Dinner Diva from And a big, green salad.
  • Will probably make Crab Quiche (a variation on the basic quiche lorraine using tinned crab, cheese, eggs and spring onions) and more salad.
  • The first dish that DH ever made for me, Oksekød i Fad. Or in English, 'Beef in a Bowl'! A Danish variation on shepherd's pie which uses truckloads of ketchup. Terribly glamorous! ;) If you'd like to try it out, hubby's recipe is here.
  • Using my crockpot today and will do a whole chicken or pork chops in it, depending on my mood. Whatever I make will be served with wholemeal pasta.
  • Quesadillas or tortilla wraps using yesterday's leftover chicken or chops. Veggie sticks on the side: cucumber, red pepper and carrot.
Bon appétit!

Spring is here! Have a thoroughly thrilling Thursday! :)

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

'Where Are We?' Wednesday - Climbing The Walls

I was going to make this one of my "Those Crazy Danes" posts but, as it's a dull, dreary Wednesday (in addition to being Hump Day) here in Copenhagen, I thought we should have a little bit of fun. Ready for another little Danish photo quiz? Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin...

Here's DS10 - already at the top - and DD8 climbing right up behind him. She's wearing her pink ski suit. I took the picture about 10 days ago when we still had zero temperatures. Today, joy of joys, we're going to reach 7 degrees (45f)! :) But, as usual, I digress...

So where are we? Any guesses? Just so as you don't cheat and look at the bottom of this post, here are a few gratuitous pics while you ponder. My favourite film....

And tulips I bought when it was DH's birthday back in January...

OK, back to the quiz. You've had enough time, can you guess where we are? Give in?

It's our local library. Which has book shelves that you are allowed to lie on (DS10) or sit on (DD8)...

Or climb and crawl on. From one end of the library to the other. Don't forget to remove your boots! This is another picture of DD8. In her Carnival outfit, a dalmation dog ;)

Does your library look like this? It's a pretty weird idea but is certainly popular with the younger customers :)

It's also a 'help yourself' library. When you have a pile of books, DVDs, jigsaws and Wii games that you would like to borrow (for free), you go up to the computer station and plonk the whole pile on a pad. None of that old-fashioned scanning items one by one... And before you can say' "Bob's your uncle", the machine is printing out your slip. When the time comes to return your booty, the library send you an e-mail and, if you like, you can renew the whole lot online. There is no set upper limit on the number of items you can borrow. And the Danes borrow a lot. I've often seen people with 30+ books. They even come prepared with a backpack.

When the world around us is changing, whether it's computer technology, health reform or the bookshelves at the library, embrace the change. Don't look back! ;)

Have a wonderful Wednesday! :)

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Crafty Tuesday - Easter Lunch Bunnies

Tuesday is the day I do a spot of crafting. Today is no exception! Here's your 15 minute craft...something for the Easter lunch table. Super simple  = great for the kids. If you make these bunnies within the next couple of days, they should be fully sprouted with cress in time for Easter. Otherwise you could also fill them up with (chocolate) Easter eggs ;)

Okay, time to set your Flylady timer for 15 minutes and 'get cracking' [insert big ho, ho here].

You'll need:
  • empty milk or juice carton
  • pair of scissors
  • coloured paper or carton
  • glue stick
  • cotton wool
  • cress seeds

Cut down your empty carton.

Fill it up with cotton wool.

Cut out some 'grass' from a length of green paper or carton and stick on using a glue stick.

Now it's time to make a 'wabbit'. I folded over my paper and drew one freehand. There are plenty of templates and stencils on the net if you need inspiration - just google "rabbit template".

Cut out your 'wabbit' and stick him on to the milk carton. Feel free to draw on eyes, a nose, etc. I like my things pretty plain. Also because I sometimes end up with a Hot Cross Bunny instead of a cute-faced one... But I couldn't resist adding a little bit of cottonwool for his powder puff tail :)

Dampen the cotton wool and sprinkle over the cress seeds. Leave on a warm windowsill for about a week and keep the cotton wool damp. I'll post another picture when we see start to see some growth ;)

When the cress is sprouted, put your Easter Bunny on the table along with a little pair of scissors and let guests help themselves. Though you might have to explain what cress is to younger guests... I remember one Easter where we put cress on top of our egg mayonnaise salad and DS10 (then just a tot) asked, "Why are you putting grass on my food?" Bon appétit! ;)

Hope you have a terrific Tuesday! :)