Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Speaking of homesick, I always seem to cry at anything Tori Amos sings or plays - as I have never heard so much emotion from an artist.
One of my favorite Christmas songs is called "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" and when I hear Tori's version "Emmanuel" she never fails to haunt me and make me feel at home, away from home. She makes it a little extra cozy while I'm counting down the days until I make my way home this holiday season.
I wouldn't label this a Christmas album, it's more like Winter Solstice material which I can enjoy months after the holidays - which I really enjoy.
Amos has re-worked classics, making them her very own. Her daughter even sings on this album, on one of my favourite tracks called "Holly, Ivy and Rose".
If you want to set the standard for holiday music, you must get "Midwinter Graces".
It is going to be one of your favorite albums for years to come! :D
I want you to listen to her brilliant version of "Star of Wonder", for you to check out below!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Seriously - they're SO warm. I actually found she has FINALLY reopened her webshop at http://www.karitraa.com too - so now everybody can enjoy - and buy - her great line of clothes. There's a new collection too, "White Planet", which seems quite interesting.
Friday, November 27, 2009
It is such an exciting time of year for all, but at the same time I am getting a little homesick, being away from home and family. I'll be home sweet home in 3 weeks, which makes me insanely happy, and excited!
Norway, and specifically, my city of Stavanger, is getting into the spirit by doing a couple of epic things like putting a Christmas tree on top of the bridge by helicopter.
I can just see it over the house tops from my kitchen window - and enjoy it in the dark evenings (and afternoons - seriously - it's super dark here!).
If you want to see a video of the event, you can find that in this article in one of the local papers. There's also a guy climbing all the way up there to put it in place - crazy man!
On Sunday, they will officially light up Stavanger town in the center, (including the Christmas tree on the bridge) with a wonderful light display, and also cover up the main broadcasting tower in the area, like a Christmas tree.
This was first requested some 5-10 years ago, by a little girl who wrote to the mayor and asked if they could decorate the tower with Christmas lights so Santa could find them easier - and it has been a tradition since.
How excited are you for Christmas? Can't wait to go home to all its Canadian Christmas coziness.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I wanted to post this picture for the Canadian Thanksgiving, but I found it too late so I saved it for this one and it still makes me laugh just as hard as the first time.
I hope you have wonderful eats and family time! You have lots to be thankful for. Have a healthy and happy turkalishious day!
I wanted to post MADtv's version of the American Thanksgiving Story. Enjoy!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I've been quite jealous eyeing these tasty treats at social gatherings, watching the whipped cream ooze out amidst the glutenous pure enjoyment. Unfortunately, the usual ones have a crust at the bottom, and whatever else that I can't have - so I just gave up on the goodness altogether.
Well, Delicato, the Swedish based company, saved the day and I got to have a taste of how amazing these coconut sweets really are. Where they worth the hype? Yes, I think so!
This company, along with thier site is pretty helpful and amazing. They list everything they bake, including all the ingredients, with an extremely helpful chart if you are allergic to anything!
They have decident chocolates on their list of goodies (I must try) as well. I can't wait to discover more of this brand and what they offer. You may be able to find them in North America, as I haven't really looked, but they make an upwards of 200 pastries and are proudly the biggest manufacturer in the Nordic region.
The taste is nice and rich and not that fake sweet. Their baking is genuine and enjoyable. If you come across anything from this brand, try it! I am pretty sure you won't be disappointed! :D
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
As some of you may know, I wish I could live like Lady Gaga's no-pant life, but for now, I rock some pretty sexy tights. Ever since working at Wolford, my love for tights has heightened and I am probably rated semi-obsessed by now.
I've found a couple of lovely patterns that are super warm in the winter. I was almost sweating tonight, wearing them - despite all the holes. They contain silk, which can also be warming in the winter, and cooling in the summer. They also have some lovely, fine merino wool for extra warmth!
The two I am wearing in each picture are Dania (top picture, colour moccasin) and Nirina (bottom picture) tights. Taylor Swift (love her) was also sporting the Dania style in black when she appeared on the town getting some ice-cream :)
Definitely suggest these!
You don't have a Wolford shop in your area, you can find them online. Make sure to check out their beautiful "ready-to-wear" collection!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
If there's one Christmas tree ornament that I really like, it's the woven heart. I've seen it around lots here in Norway - they usually make it from two different sheets of paper. What was the history behind it - I wondered?
Actually - it seems these lovely ornaments originally come from Denmark. In the 1840s, the German started making, and exporting, glass balls (and after a while - other shapes and figures).
These also ended up in Denmark - and the paper hearts were developed as a homemade, Danish, alternative to the more posh glass ornaments. They were made of red and white paper, and were designed to stimulate a sense of nationality
The first recorded paper heart was actually made back in 1861, by renowned Danish author and poet H.C. Andersen.
I'm sure many of my readers outside of Scandinavia may not have heard of him (I hadn't before I moved here) - but when I mention that he's written tales such as; "The Ugly Duckling", "The Brave Tin Soldier", "The Little Mermaid", "The Emperor's New Suit" and "The Princess and the Pea" ... I'm sure you know his work at least. You can see a full, impressive, list of his work here.
If you would like to try your hand at making some classic, traditional, Scandinavian Christmas ornaments, I've added a helpful diagram below.
Try it with your favourite wallpaper or any other kind of paper that match your decor ... or don't match at all. I love those trees the best! ;)
Oh - and it doesn't have to be with only two woven strips, like below - you can have as many as you like. as long as you can just manage to weave them together :)
Saturday, November 21, 2009
I wanted to wait with posting my thoughts about New Moon last night, as I am 6 hours ahead and didn't want to give any extra deets.
With 14 year-old "Twi-hards" in full effect, I thought I was attending a concert called "Shirtless Teen Idols". (Can't believe this site still exists!)
It was sort of cute how these girls laugh at everything as they are still trying to find their sense of humour. It was like a laugh track, often misplaced, even the most serious of parts got it's share of giggles.
Thank you girls for the true concert experience. The movie was showing in what looked like an original live theater (the old main theater here in Stavanger) - so perfectly gothic and Twilight inspiring.
Personally, I enjoyed Twilight over New Moon, as a more humble approach to the book series. When I first laid eyes on Edward Cullen, it was like wow ... yes. This time it was overplayed, with both Rob and Taylor (ripping off shirt scene), much like Megan Fox in Transformers 2.
You just lose the magic when they spruce up the sexuality with awkward wind-blowing entrances. I am much more reserved. Not saying Robert Pattinson is like that, I think it would be awesome to have a spot of tea and shoot the shizah and mention his Ren & Stimpy comment that no one seemed laugh at or get on the first commentary (had to watch that version because original Twilight was too quiet on my laptop - promise).
Maybe because I read the second book before watching this flick, that my imagination was quite influenced. Although, I loved the dream scene in the beginning, and the vanishing effect on Edward - especially underwater - impressed me.
Some of the book-to-movie scripting were done like George Lucas cheesy Star Wars style, but it at its best it was as good as could be, with loads of good laughs. :D
Would I see it again? Yes, but I think Eclipse will be much better.
Did you like New Moon? More or less than Twilight?
Friday, November 20, 2009
This was the video that brought the original LOLs,
And here was her makeover for "Los Sarah Loca" on The Lopez Show (George Lopez). Click the link as I couldn't embed!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Danish designer house Georg Jensen has a beautiful jewelery line that I wouldn't mind getting a couple pieces of.
This design team also has a keen eye for simple and beautiful, Scandinavian minimalistic decor (I really want the teapot to the right!).
We got a beautiful large "bloom" bowl as a gift and tonight we finally finished the small collection with the petite version. Ours are now officially filled with oranges and one big honey-dew melon! :D
"BLOOM - inspired by nature's own shapes
BLOOM serving bowls follow the easy curving lines one finds in nature
Based on flowers she discovered in her travels in Asia, designer Helle Damkjaer created the BLOOM serving bowl. The bowls represent petals of the exotic blooms she came across while she was abroad. Asia has been a strong source of inspiration to the designer throughout the years.
They are perfect to use as part of the dinner table setting but can also be used as decorative touches, for a bowl of fruit center piece perhaps. The matt stainless steel is soft to the touch and pleasing to the eye. It is modern without feeling industrial. The sloping shape creates a soft reflection.
A celebration of nature's innumerable forms."
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I came across this house-trained and adorable little otter - called Sidney the Otter. It's like owning a cat and dog in one! :D
She is even wearing a collar! Is it possible? Are they easy to train? I would rescue one in a second if I could!
Enjoy baby Sidney in this video below (minus the cheesy music) ;)
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
This winter, I am going to really try and ski proper *echo of laughs galore*, as last year I found myself in the middle of the mountain and half way up the T-bar ski lift, when I involuntarily took a snow pie to the face and warmed up what was left of my ego with tears.
Olympic champion and mogul skier hailing from Voss, Norway (yes, also where that tasty water runs) Kari Traa (getting sheered by men in top picture) takes a different and more fashionable approach to sportwear in her own wonderful fashion line.
I have grown to love her designs after moving here. There is a bunch of Norwegian inspired underwear garments and sweaters, cute socks, cozy mittens and hats that would make me fall confidently and in style this year.
I hope she gets her online store up and running again, but until then, I will search the stores and enjoy what I find. If you are out of the Norwegian area and would love to get your hands on some of her swag, keep checking her site. Hopefully we can buy from it soon! :)