Monday, 31 May 2010

Pamper Monday - No time to stop! :)

It's Pamper Monday here on the blog and today I'm putting my money where my mouth is (or where my blogmouth is) and - gasp! - going off to pamper myself for tonight's Girls Night Out instead of writing a blogpost... ;)

My fingernails sorely need a bit of attention. But I gave them a quick coat of pink nail varnish (five minutes before DH came home from his trip, ready to take on babysitting duties) and I was good to go :)




I'm hanging out with the girls at the Comedy Zoo...




and then cocktails at one of Copenhagen's 'in' places




...have a great Monday night, just enjoy yourselves, who knows what's round the corner?

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Scaredy Cat Challenge - Freeze! Part Three

What's a Scaredy Cat Challenge? To be honest, anything you like! ;) A project you've been putting off. Lifestyle changes you'd like to make. A new hobby you'd like to try. You decide. We're here to cheer you on and hold your hand! Need inspiration? Go take a peek at what my fabulous blog pals are up to - we're all doing different things...together! In strict alphabetical order they are Asfora, Candace, Emma, Lee, Lesley, Liz and Sheryl. Always room for one more! :)

My own current Scaredy Cat Challenge is getting my (three) freezers under control. By the end of last week I had put everything into one freezer and made an inventory. I've only been using the meat etc that is in there for my menu planning, so stocks are going down, albeit slowly ;)


Here's what's in there, as of today, Sunday:

MEAT (all of these are servings for four people)
1 marinated chicken fillets
1 steaks
1 ribs
1 minced beef (cooked, ready for crockpot)
2 minced beef
1 minced chicken
1 large ham
1 chicken legs
1 cod fillets
1 quorn fillets
2 veggie starters
½ fish fingers

READY-TO-EAT (again, these are servings for four people)
suppe (meatballs/dumplings for Danish soup)
Biksemad (Danish beef/potato hash)

1 asparagus soup
1 asparagus/chicken filling for pastry tarts
1 ready-made crispy chicken fillets
1 ready-made crispy fish fillets
1 pizza
1 chopped chunky bacon
3 sliced bacon
2 liverpâté

VEGGIES/FRUITS
1½ sliced potatoes
2 potato rösti
½ oven chips
1 sweetcorn
1 mini onions
1 mixed veg for crockpot meals
½ peas
1 green beans
½ spinach
ginger
leftover bananas for use in smoothies/cakes

DESSERTS/PASTRY/BREAD
1 box mixed icecreams
½ B+J Phishfood icecream
½ B+J Cookie Dough icecream
1 puff pastry
1 baguette
2 packs pitabread
1 ryebread
1 morning rolls for weekend
5 Kærgården (Danish butter)

MEDICINE SHELF
½ bottle Krone snaps
Various dregs of Christmas snaps, Linie Aquavit and Porse snaps

I'm going to try and get rid of (i.e. eat) as much as possible this next week. And then the plan is to carefully (very carefully) only restock the main freezer in the kitchen. Then I can unplug the basement freezer. My safety net will be the little mini freezer (which is part of the fridge in the basement) for impulse buys. But there won't be any more of them, will there? ;)

And what will all this achieve? Less money spent on electricity. Fewer trips up and down stairs - perhaps alleviating my newly-discovered asthma? ;) Easier menu planning and less food waste. We shall see! :)

Have you got a Scaredy Cat Challenge of your own? Something you've been putting off? Join us - we shall hold hands and be scared together! Use the MckLinky below...

Have a super Sunday! :)



Saturday, 29 May 2010

Pavlova versus Lego Men

Last night's dessert was a huge hit. So much so, that it was devoured in one fell swoop. Not one measly crumb left for tonight, boo! ;)




I started by making a pavlova (which is basically a chewy meringue and, apparently, the national dessert of New Zealand...). This particular recipe - which comes from Nigella Lawson - had cocoa powder and balsamic vinegar added...




We topped it with whipped cream



And strawbs



And my personal favourite - raaaaspberries ;)



And - for the pièce de résistence - some chocolate Lego men




I bought the icecube trays from the http://www.lego.com/ shop last week




And those little chocolate Lego men are just too dang cute!




Have a super sweet Saturday! :)

Friday, 28 May 2010

Feel Good Friday - The Flylady BBR

Last night I faithfully did my BBR. I used to only do it Monday to Friday, thinking I could take the weekends 'off'. Ha, big mistake! Lesson learned! ;)

BBR - to the uninitiated - is Flylady's Before Bed Routine. A little checklist which sets you up for a good 'tomorrow'. Here's mine:
  • check the diary to see what's going on tomorrow
  • make sure kids have schoolbags/sports bags/library books etc ready
  • lay out clothes/accessories
  • set the table for breakfast
  • get to bed at a decent hour ;)
When I checked my diary last night, I realised I needed to set my alarm clock (actually my iPhone) 15 minutes earlier than usual.

First on the agenda this morning was an art exhibition in DD8's class. From the (somewhat ungodly) hour of 7.30am to 8am! DD's class have been studying the French impressionist painter, Claude Monet, in their Art and Danish classes. This morning the parents were invited to see what they've been up to, enjoy a cup of coffee and look at the masterpieces. This is DD8's painting of the bridge at Giverny. Isn't it good? :)


Quickly back home to unload the dishwasher and collect DS10 who had an appointment at 8.30am with the school orthodontist (who lives in the same swanky building as the school dentist). DS10 isn't getting a brace until next year, so today was just a quick check-up. Here's DD8 in the orthodontist chair (there are 8 state-of-the-art dentist chairs lined up in a row, divided by screens...children on a conveyer belt!) because - yep, she's getting a brace too... ;)


Moving swiftly on...and back home again. Just time to change into my pink running jacket and shoes and meet my sweetie friend V at 9am for our NEWO interval run in the park. A short 3k run today. We finished just as the rain started dripping down from a heavy, summer sky. Which is a bit annoying as it's nearly the month of June and I've only had my sandals on twice. TWICE!! But at least with all this rain the park looks fantastic and everything is blooming lovely...


Anyway, it's just gone 10 am, so I'd better get cracking and finish the Flylady MR. Morning Routine. But that, as they say, is another story... ;)

Hope you have a fabulous Friday! :)

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Menu planning Thursday - 27 May 2010

Another week - another menu!

THURSDAY
We didn't have the homemade Danish fishcakes from last week's menu, so - voilà - here they are again! Serving with little gem lettuce, 'remoulade' relish, lemon/raisin/almond couscous.

FRIDAY
Friends coming over for dinner. Smoked salmon/prawns on hot potato with dill dressing. (Yes, this one keeps popping up at the moment - a real summery starter.)



Followed by beef steaks, béarnaise sauce, green salad, baby potatoes. No dessert, just a huge bowl of sweets while we're watching Disney Show! :)

SATURDAY
Eurovision Song Contest night ;) Homemade pepperoni pizza. Will make a nice dessert with the kids. Then sit back and let the voting begin!




SUNDAY
A new tradition in the house...'Pasta with Leftovers' night ;)

MONDAY
Something quick as I'm out with girls to Open Mike Night at Comedy Zoo! Quiche with bacon and cheddar cheese. I usually use this recipe from Recipezaar.




TUESDAY
Scout night for both kids at different times. One of our stand-by meals: Danish biksemad. Cubes of potato and meat fried with onions, topped with an egg and served with cubed beetroot. Plenty of ketchup ;)

WEDNESDAY
Roasted chicken legs, jasmine rice made in the ricecooker and fresh carrot/cucumber sticks.

Bon appétit! Have a thoroughly thrilling Thursday! :)

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Those Crazy Danes - on a bicycle made for...three!

You all know that the Danes are big bike enthusiasts, right? That's why I did a Scaredy Cat Challenge a few weeks back Can you smell carrots? in order to get me back in the saddle... There are cyclepaths the length and breadth of the country and lots of kids bike to school. No such thing as schoolbuses here, that's only something we see in Hollywood films. And the Danes bike all year round - in all weathers. I'm sure I've told you before that the Danes have a quaint saying "Dårligt vejr findes ikke - kun forkert påklædning!" (There's no such thing as bad weather - just the wrong clothing!)

But did you know that really, teeny tiny Danes bike to kindergarten? And crèche? They get to ride in style in one of these...



I think they probably painted the names on this one to avoid it being stolen. No wonder, as the going rate for a cycle trailer is about 4,000 Danish kroner. About £460 or $660! Mind you, there's space to fit two or three very small Scandinavians in one of these things...



They come in all shapes and sizes. And colours...I love pink and turquoise together! :)



Pink not your thing? How about camouflage?



Whatever colour you go for, just remember that it isn't always sunny in Wonderful Copenhagen. Remember that rain hood!



Hope you have a wheely wonderful Wednesday! :)

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Tee-hee Tuesday - Have you heard the one about...?

Okay, it's been over a month since I dragged my girlfriends along to Abba The Show in Copenhagen. Don't you think it's high time that our high hair and high heels got another airing? ;)

Our next Girls' Night Out will be the "Open Mike Night" at Comedy Zoo, a really cosy stand-up club, slap bang in the centre of Copenhagen. As the name implies, you never know who's going to be performing. But it's always a good mix of comedians who are new on the circuit and 'known' names who are trying out new material for their own shows. And the price? 65 Danish kroner (about £7.50 or $10). For Pete's sake, that's even cheaper than a cinema ticket! For three riveting hours of live stand-up! Cheap drinks too! [said the canny Scot inside her. Hic.]


Here's a youtube clip from Comedy Zoo so you can get a feel of the place for yourself. These Open Mike evenings are always sold out and you sit jam packed together at little tables - a great atmosphere. But a word of warning... If audience participation isn't your cup of tea (or glass of wine), make sure you sit right at the back of the club! ;)



Hope you have a terrific Tee-hee Tuesday - whatever language you laugh in! :)

Monday, 24 May 2010

Pamper Monday - 3 minutes!

Pampering doesn't have to take loads of time or cost money. It took me under three minutes to go out and cut these blooms from the garden, stick them in a glass and place it on the kitchen windowsill.



And they made my day. Especially now...with the rain pouring down outside :)

Have a marvelous Monday!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Scaredy Cat Challenge - Freeze! Part Two

As I announced last week, my latest Scaredy Cat Challenge is to get my freezer under control. Truth to tell, at the moment I'm using three different freezers - yikes! On Monday morning (as soon as the schoolrun was done and before my NEWO run), I set my Flylady timer for 15 minutes.




I started this challenge by going through our big old freezer, drawer by drawer, and taking an inventory. Luckily most of the stuff was already in the correct drawer (meat, vegetables, freezer meals, bread, icecream/pastry) and I only had a small bag of stuff to chuck. Mostly bread - why do so many half loaves end up in the freezer food cemetery? ;)




On Tuesday morning I emptied the contents of the tiny fridge freezer into the big one. Added the items to my master list and chucked out some old bags of frozen fruit. And no, I'm not going to even think about the 'best before' dates on those bags - progress not perfection! That little freezer is now empty. But, um, might need defrosting...



On Wednesday morning I felt more challenged. It was time to decant the contents of our new kitchen freezer into the basement one. I think I felt overwhelmed because everything had just been pushed in - I hadn't made any kind of system for the drawers in there. This is how it looked last Sunday...




But I took a deep breath, set my timer for only 5 minutes (five minutes wasn't going to kill me, right?) and stuffed a couple of shelves' worth into a plastic bag. Took the bag down to the big old freezer and worked as fast as I could. Each item was either a) put into the correct drawer and added to master list or b) put in the rubbish bin. Just three more 5 minute sessions and it was empty - yippee!




Well, perhaps not completely empty. I decided to leave the snaps bottles in there ;)




Did you see my menu plan this week? I've only used meat etc that I already had in my (abundantly stocked)freezer. No more food is going back in there until further notice!

And what happens next with this particular Scaredy Cat Challenge? You'll just have to wait until next Sunday for the next ex-ice-ting installment! ;)

Don't forget to check out all the other fantastic challenges my virtual friends have embarked on...weightloss, decorating, sewing, exercise, anti-procrastination. You name it, we can do it. Holding hands and being scared. Together! :)

Would you like to do great things too? Add yourself with the MckLinky below.

Have a simply super Sunday! :)


Saturday, 22 May 2010

Golden Years?

All in all it's been a rather strange couple of weeks. Last weekend DH discovered that - after (what seems like...) 43 years of showing off about his (supposedly) 20/20 vision - he needs reading glasses. Badly! [chortle!]


This weekend I discovered that -at the [sniff!] tender age of 42, a whole twenty months after embarking upon regular, intensive exercise - I've got asthma...


But instead of being annoyed at getting flashing warning signs that we're 'getting old', DH and I are delighted! Are we going to be like those old folks in the film Cocoon? Are we going to have a second youth? Yep, we're hoping that we're going to experience a whole new lease of life. Keep your eyes open for updates. Just inhale deeply first ;)

Have a super Saturday! :)

Friday, 21 May 2010

Feel Good Friday - Time for Bed

Before I started on my Flylady journey, I never wanted to go to bed. After a long day with the wee ones I felt like I deserved some 'me' time at the end of the day. "I want to stay up late and watch rubbish television, eat crips (or chocolates, preferably both!) and go to bed when I feel like it!" Our bedroom was one of the worst places in the house.

These days I love going to bed - and the earlier the better! ;) These days my wardrobe is (a little...) easier to navigate. These days there's nothing (yep, nada) under the bed! These days there's no bedside clutter. At least, not so much. Now you see it...





Now you don't! (Our bed/headboard/rolling shelves are from those clever people at Ikea - Malm series)





Our (Renate Slinga) duvet cover is from Ikea too (the only place we buy bedding) and - when the sun shines in - it looks fan-flippin-tastic...




Just the spot for a quick pamper with my little pink pamper basket :)





Have a fabulous Friday evening wherever you are - I won't wait up! ;)

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Menu planning Thursday - 20 May 2010

The heat is here - hurray! :) After almost 8 months (my word, it's been a loooong winter) of chilly temperatures we're finally warming up again. And speaking of all things cold...have you seen my latest Scaredy Cat Challenge...Freeze? For my menu this week I'm only using things I have in the freezer - I'm doing a Flylady declutter ;)

THURSDAY
'Warm' salad: boiled eggs, baby potatoes, chunky real bacon,tomato, cucumber, spinach leaves, homemade croutons




FRIDAY
Another branch of DH's family is coming to stay so - guess what - Parmesan Chicken it is! Jasmine rice (made in my ricecooker) and a simple green salad to go with it. Dessert is chocolate/banana cake...to use up all the frozen bananas I've somehow managed to stockpile...

SATURDAY
DH family is still with us. They're out for a slap-up lunch they won't be too hungry tonight. An old standby, Crockpot lasagne. Will serve with salad (and veggies sticks for the little ones).

SUNDAY
We might be alone! ;) If the weather holds - please cross your fingers - we'll be firing up the barbecue for the first time this year and grilling pork chops and sausages. With tomato/red onion/sweetcorn/cucumber relish. And bonfire 'stick' bread, made by the kids.




MONDAY
It's yet another religious holiday in Denmark today - Pinse (Pentecost). Everyone is at home and I'm going to try something new today...Crockpot barbecued spare ribs. Got the idea from Flylady website...dump ribs in crock, pour over barbecue sauce, switch on, go off and enjoy the holiday! No doubt we'll be having Ben + Jerry's icecream for dessert :)

TUESDAY
Scout night for the kids. Homemade Danish fishcakes (fish is already minced and frozen, comes from the deli section at the supermarket). Will serve them with noodles and green beans.




WEDNESDAY
Wholemeal pasta and any leftover meat and veggies that might be floating around... ;) Fresh fruit salad for dessert (the kids will chop everything up), topped with fresh mint leaves from the garden.

Bon appétit! Hope you have a thoroughly thrilling Thursday! :)

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Those Crazy Danes - All roads lead to...my heart?

I've told you before that the Danes are a strange mix. Fabulous timeless design. But often a quirky twist. How about these street signs? We're the only place in Denmark that has them. At first glance they look perfectly normal, very classic...



But if you take a closer look, you'll notice that the 'j' in the word vej (street) doesn't have a dot over it. It has a little red heart, awww! ;)

Wouldn't you like to live in Sommervej (Summer Street)?
Believe it or not, Lykkevej (Happiness Street) is just around the corner! ;)

The streetsigns were designed by the architect Knud V. Engelhardt in 1923. The little red heart was his 'signature' - the hearts only appear above the letter 'j' in the word 'vej' (street). And almost 90 years later, the signs in our area are still being made the same way. But enough of the quaint street signs he designed...he was also one of Denmark's first industrial designers. How about these round message boards he designed which are dotted all over our area. I love them! Nice big round top to stop the rain from ruining the posters...




...but notice that the big round foot at the bottom slopes outwards. It's designed like that for a very good reason. To stop dogs from weeing on it! Tee-hee! Or should that be tee-pee? ;)

Did you notice the red heart at the bottom? ;)


If you can't get enough of Engelhardt's work, you can buy an enamel number sign for your house - your own piece of quirky Danish design! The link to the enamel sign makers is right here.

Have a wonderful Wednesday - remember to walk on the sunny side of the street! :)

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Tee-hee Tuesday! Fun down under...

DH are going to a concert on Sunday night. "Flight of the Conchords". Two 'funny guys' from New Zealand who have achieved cult status here in tiny Denmark. They've done a couple of television series (though I've never managed to see any episodes) based loosely around their repertoire of songs. We're going to the concert with two friends - K (who's originally from New Zealand) and her husband D (who's Danish). K and D lived in New Zealand for a couple of years and studied at university at the same time as Jermaine, the sexy one with glasses! ;) Small world, n'est-ce pas?

Our good old local Danish library had a copy of their CD!

So as it's Tee-hee Tuesday here on the blog, here are a couple of clips to show you what DH and I are letting ourselves in for...

Here they are 'live' - the first clip that K recommended we watch. "Business Time"


"Hurt Feelings" Have you ever been told that you look like a lama? ;)


Tee-hee, do you like 90s music too? I was hooked by the word "jazzercise" at the beginning of this one...surely the most ridiculous word ever?!


Enjoy...hope you have a terrific tee-hee Tuesday! :)

Monday, 17 May 2010

Pamper Monday - Bite me!

Copenhagen, Monday morning, 8am. I've just delivered the kids to school and I'm unlocking my bike and putting on my cycle helmet. I'm already saying to myself 'in an hour it'll all be over and done with'. The 'it' in question being my dentist appointment. If you don't know what the word 'dentist' does to me, go read my post Fangs for the Memory ;)

But as it's 'pamper Monday' here on the blog - the day where I focus on little ways to pamper myself (a keystone of the Flylady system) - this presents an ideal opportunity for me to do something nice! :) My dentist appointment is at 8.30am, so it's just a tad too early to partake of the beer in my dentist's waiting room. Yes. Beer. Did you read Fangs for the Memory or not? It's all explained there...

The appointment goes well. I'm finally (fingers crossed) rid of that darned infected root that caused so much heartache and tears...not to mention neverending dentist bills for root canal work, an operation on my jaw and, when that failed, removal of said darned tooth/root and, finally, its replacement with a bridge. I had the bridge put in back in January and it's doing very nicely, thank you very much. So today I'm let off with a couple of x-rays and a general clean-up. And no fillings, Mum! :)

So what can I do for a little treat afterwards? My only other options at 9am in the morning are the bakers, the supermarket, the newsagent or the bagel shop. I never made it past the bakers....


A lovely høj chokolade snejl ('high chocolate snail', which is a big cinammon roll with chocolate on top). The dentist probably wouldn't approve. Bite me! (said the 'snail') And let me tell you - it was terribly good with a warm cup of chai...



Hope you have a marvelous Monday! :)

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Scaredy Cat Challenge - Freeze!

Hooray, we've got even more FLYgirls taking the Scaredy Cat Challenge! Liz and Sheryl have now joined myself, Lesley, Lee, Candace, Asfora and Emma. Are you next? :) Remember, it can be anything you like - something you want to do but are having trouble starting. We're here to hold your hand! :)

Today I'm starting a new Scaredy Cat Challenge. Something I've been putting off for months...six months, to be exact! Oh, the shame! ;) We remodelled our kitchen at the end of last year (it's all here on the blog...) and I got a brand spanking new 'American' fridge. Which to those of us in Europe means b-i-g. The old fridge went out the front door and the old freezer was moved to the basement - just in case. I was glad to get a fresh start with my freezer because, although I'm getting really good at meal planning (thanks to the Flylady, I've been planning meals for over 30 weeks - go me!), I'm really bad at forgetting what's in the freezer. And not using it. And buying more. You get the picture?

After 6 months, my new freezer looks like this. No rhyme or reason any more to how things are stored...just shove them in! ;)



The old freezer (you remember...the one we kept, just in case) is also full of food!




Though in my defence, at least the baskets are marked with categories: meat, bread and pastry, vegetables. And the most imporant one with all the goodies! :)




Did I tell you that we also have another little freezer space? The little box on top of our very first fridge - which we also keep in the basement. This freezer is very occasionally used for 'stash and dash' but most of the time it's left completely to its own devices - eek! ;)




Many moons ago I used an inventory - I just typed up a list of the main things that were in the fridge (minced beef, lamb steaks, frozen peas, etc) and crossed them in and out. So I think that's my first task. Any ideas welcome! And if you want to join me on this, or any other challenge...join up with the MckLinky below!

Have a super Sunday! :)