Follow by Email

torsdag 17. april 2014

The world's best mayonnaise?


When I first started eating paleo back in January, I didn't know how to go about eating three meals per day that didn't include legumes, grains or dairy. While I've frequently been without dairy for shorter periodes of time, I then was allowed to eat grains and legumes.

Now, all these were banned, and I actually had to include a good source of animal protein in every meal. Though I've always been conscious of eating enough protein by adding lentils, quinoa, nuts and dairy to my meals, I suspect I haven't eaten enough protein in the last 20 years. This is based on the fact that I was always tired and got hungry every two-three hours. Eating paleo, I can easily go for five hours without eating, I never feel like snacking, my blood sugar is totally stable and I therefore never feel fatigue, like I did before. Add to this that my 14 days-a-month period pains, knee ache and acne have more or less vanished, and it's paleo and meat all the way for me!

Though I like to cook and love trying out new recipes, I had never actually cooked with meat before, as I became a pescetarian in my first year at university. This was my first time living on my own, not being fed by my mum, and I was inspired by my new friends, who made delicious vegetarian meals. I still don't feel very competent as a meat cook, but I improve by the week.

I've always looked down on meals that I saw as traditionally Norwegian (how my dad liked to eat) - a piece of meat, potatoes, maybe some vegetables and gravy. Now I eat like this about 50 % of the time, as every paleo meal can't take equally long to prepare: I'm dependent upon prebaked sweet potatoes and sauteed vegetables, along with grilled or baked fish and meat. Surprisingly, I'm really enjoying my "boring" meals, as I like all the ingredients and I always ensure that I have a yummy sauce to pour on top.

My favourite sauces are the sunshine sauce, made by Mel of the blog theclothesmakethegirl.com (I talked about this sauce and pad thai here) and her incredible mayonnaise.

My, oh my, is this mayo lovely! Buy the cheapest olive oil you can find (I get mine at Rema 1000 for Nok 26 per bottle) and get whisking!

Before I tried this, I was daunted just by the thought of making my own mayo. But let me tell you, mayo has got an unfair bad rep as being difficult to make. It takes about five minutes to whip it up, and the only thing you have to be conscious of is to pour the olive oil in slowly. Well, anyone can do that, so it's not hard at all! It's also useful to know that the slower you go with the mix master, the thicker the mayo. The thicker, the yummier, me thinks.

I make a batch every week so I always have it available in the fridge, ready to pour over baked sweet potatoes, vegetables or a piece of chicken. This sauce ensures that I get the required amount of fat in every meal, without having to eat nuts or avokado three times a day.

Graphic print x 2

Inwear scarf // Pebble London pod necklace (similar) // Tateossian earrings
Worn Pretty leather jacket // Warehouse sweatshirt (similar with floral print)
Miu Miu skirt (similar with b/w print) // Anya Hindmarch handbag (similar)

Inspired by all the sporty looks in the April issue of British InStyle, I have teamed my graphic Miu Miu skirt with a comfortable sweatshirt that I picked up in the Warehouse sales last week. The last time I wore this skirt I styled it more classic (see blog post here) - I let the skirt stand out by using muted purple and navy in my other garments.

In this sporty look, I am mixing prints that are of similar colours but different proportions, which creates an interesting look. The rest of the outfit is more muted in the colours, so it will not compete with the prints.

On my feet are my New Balance trainers, the most comfortable shoes I own - my toes at dancing with happiness every time I wear them! They come in a range of different colours, and considering their comfort level, it's very tempting to get another pair...




onsdag 16. april 2014

Plaid trousers & emerald lace

Mango navy/red plaid trousers (a more subtle pair here) // Warehouse emerald lace top
Zara navy cardigan (similar) // Warehouse gold/mint necklace
Coccinelle sand handbag // Michael Michael Kors gold watch (similar)
Gabor black boots (similar) // Old gold cuff

I've had these plaid trousers for quite some time, but not been happy with how I have paired them until now. I have very few garments in navy, so I decided to think outside the box and not think of what goes with plaid, but rather which colours go well with navy.

I saw these trousers on mango.no and went to the Mango store to try and track them down. I've learnt from experience to always try on trousers before I buy them, as it can be hard for me to find a pair that fit well, considering my high waist and long legs.

Unfortunately, the store didn't stock this item, but they had a similar pair in the same cut that I tried on for size. Once I had established my size, the helpful staff ordered it online for me - I paid in the store and got them shipped to my home address free of charge. Only two days later I was the happy owner of said trousers!

I love the length of these trousers. Though they probably are supposed to fit long on shortish Spanish girls, they hit me at the top of the shoes, which is a cool preppy length and great for wearing with brogues and other flat shoes. To soften the preppy style of the trousers, I paired them with an emerald lace top and a crystal necklace. To be practical for the rain outside, I chose flat boots, but they would also look great with black heels.



Yummy paleo pad thai


Since the start of the new year, I've been experimenting with a paleo diet. Having struggled with my digestion for the last 15+ year as a pescetarian, in addition to general fatigue and tiredness, I thought eating meat again was worth a try. Since I don't like additives and cook all my food from scratch anyway, paleo seemed like a good choice. I had read about the diet on several blogs and in many magazines, and the book "It starts with food" by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig soon found its way into my Amazon shopping basket. First I read the book from cover to cover, then I got cooking.

When it comes to recipes and cooking, I need pretty, drool-worthy photographs to feel inspired, not page up and page down with text. Unfortunately, "It starts with food" book gave me more of the latter than the former, but luckily they recommended the blog theclothesmakethegirl.com, written by food wiz Melissa. And wow, does this woman know how to cook! At first, I cooked from the recipes on her blog, then I bought her book Well fed 2 (Well fed 1 is on back order (out of print?) on Amazon).

One of the first recipes I tried were Mel's sunshine sauce, a nutty, spicy sauce that you can either use as a sauce with sweet potatoes/vegetables and e.g. a pork chop, or you can add it to a stir fry. She suggests using the sauce to create pad thai. I'd never actually heard of pad thai before, but oh my, is it yummy!

You'll find Mel's recipe for pad thai here.


I have made this recipe on numerous occasion, changing it up a bit each time. This time around, I used bits of pork and a selection of vegetables I had available - carrots, brussel sprouts, yellow onions, celery stalks, celery root and mangetout. It's also delicious with tiger prawns or pieces of chicken - use what you have hanging around in your fridge.


Traditional pad thai is made with peanuts, but since these are banned in the paleo diet, Mel suggests making the sauce using sunflower butter. I'm actually not that fussed about what kind of (non-peanut) butter I use - I take what I have available. The sauce above is made from 50 % sunflower seed butter and 50 % cashew butter. It's also yummy made from almond or hazel nut butter (have your actually tried hazelnut butter? It's one of the most delicious things I've ever tasted!).

Since I love nuts, I added a handful of cashew nuts to the pan, and garnished with another few nuts. Yummy!

I suggest you make a couple of batches of the sauce - use half for the pad thai and keep the rest in the fridge to dress up a steak or a grilled chicken breast.

Velbekomme!

tirsdag 15. april 2014

What to squeeze into a tiny handbag

Normally, I tend to wear a largish handbag that can take everything but the kitchen sink, as I'd like to be prepared for any eventuality when I'm out and about. There should, however, be a limit to how much stuff one needs to bring to the cinema, so last week when I went to see the brilliant Swedish film "The hundred-year old who climbed out of the window and disappeared (Swedish trailer here), I carried my new Givenchy clutch with my comfy outfit (blog post here). It was a challenge, but this is what I managed (with difficulty) to squeeze into this bag. My keys (car + flat) had to be carried in my jacket pocket and the brolley in my hand...

Givenchy Obsedia clutch (here in purple) // YSL spectacles
Spectacle cleaner (my right glass always gets smudged)
Coach coin and card purse (similar) // iPhone 4
Mulberry iPhone cover (discontinued; similar)
Tissues // Nuxe lipbalm (great moisture! See more French faves here)



DVF wrap dress

DVF Kira wrap dress // HM camisole (similar)
HM tights // Minelli heels (similar, similar)
Michael Michael Kors watch (similar) // See by Chloè bangle
Hermes H bangle // Snö of Sweden earrings (I also love these)
Old necklace (similar in silver)

My favourite dress shape is the wrap dress and Diane von Fürstenberg has, without doubt, the best cut and selection! A couple of weeks ago, I took advantage of a special promotion in the Matches seasonal sale and bought this leopard print version of the classic wrap dress.

I was so excited when I revealed the dress from the DHL box, that I immediately had to make an outfit with it. While many wear wrap dresses without anything underneath, I always layer with a camisole, as I otherwise would be looking at my chest all day, making sure my bra isn't on show... This time, I wore an aubergine lace trim silk camisole, as its colour was very classic and expensive-looking next to the animal print. I chose a pair of tights in the same aubergine hue, and finished off with black chunky heels and gold jewelry.

Now, I just need a good occasion to actually wear this outfit! Wanna go out for drinks, anyone?





My heels are from the French shoe chain Minelli. They have a store on Rue de Republica in Antibes, which is just around the corner from the flat I've been renting. Minelli has a great selection of leather shoes at a reasonable price point, the most expensive priced at around 200 euros, while sandals and heels are about 100 euros. While their closed toe shoes are too small for my 41,5 feet (they only run to 41), I can easily wear their open toe shoes. This pair is in size 40 and fits me perfectly.


mandag 14. april 2014

Happy thoughts

Throughout 2014, I will strive to do things that make me happy, after neglecting this for the last few years of my life. Here are three things that have cheered me up in the last week. Hopefully, this post will inspire you to do more things for yourself that make you a happier person!


{1} Fresh flowers
Since January, I have always got at least one bouquet of fresh flowers on display in my flat. Their bright colours and prettiness just make the whole flat feel more cosy and warm - and that makes me happy!


{2} Sharing a meal with old friends
Last year I started a food club called Persilledusken (The parsley sprig in Norwegian) to combine my two loves of trying out new recipes and sharing a good meal with close friends. A really nice catch-up-on-the-last-five-years dinner with old colleagues earlier this week has made me consider reviving Persilledusken again. There's not enough food and friends in my life!

Vernazza, one of the Cinque Terre, Italy
{3} Italian
I love everything Italian, in particular the language. It just sounds so passionate and romantic! For the last few weeks I have been learing Italian on the superb language site Duolingo. This free (!) online course sure beats the socks off the tedious and time-consuming classroom courses I've previously (not) attended. My goal is to be able to make myself understood in Italian in time for my friend Å and I's three-week holiday in the Milan/Lake Garda region next summer!

DIY // Decorate an Easter table

Rosendahl Grand Cru glasses (white wine, beer), purple tealight holders and vase (discontinued)
Porsgrund Porselen white tealight holders (discontinued, but I really love these)
Ikea china // White bowl from charity shop // Stelton Maya 2000 cutlery
Princess Alba place mats (in grey here)

Earlier this week I hosted a dinner for old colleagues. Since the dinner was happening so close to Easter, I decided to play around with an Easter theme for the table setting, using all the Easter eggs I have made as the central design element. You can see how the eggs are made in this post.


To some of the eggs I added a hanging loop, while others were made to decorate a bowl.

I collected some birch branches in the forest, making sure they had some buds that were close to coming out. Keeping them in water in the living room for a couple of days made the buds come out to show bright green baby leaves. This was very pretty against the bright colous of the Easter eggs, which I used to decorate the branches.

When using branches like these to decorate a dinner table, make sure that they don't poke anyone's eyes out or block the view of the dinner guests! As a safer alternative, the table also looks pretty with yellow tulips as the center piece:



I used the eggs without a loop to decorate each dinner plate and piled them up in a white bowl (charity shop find) when it was time to eat:



A chic alternative would be to use the eggs as place card holders; place the egg in an egg cup and attach a card with the person's name on it to the egg with a pretty pin.


When decorating the table I used colours that remind me of Easter and spring; deep purple placemats that remind me of crocuses, white and pale blue plates similar to the colours of eggs and yellow napkins inspired by chics. This made for a bright and cheerful table setting.

PS: I realised after I had taken these photos that the cutlery is missing from many of the place settings. I forgot to fetch them from the dish washer before shooting the photos...

torsdag 10. april 2014

Leather moto jacket & watercolours

 Blk Dnm leather jacket // Inwear scarf // Banana Republic shirt
Samsøe + Samsøe sweatshirt // By Malene Birger necklace (similar)
Cheap Monday jeans // Givenchy handbag (here in red, here in purple))
Old shoes // Hermes H bangle // Pandora leather bracelet
Silver bangle - gift from Thailand // Emporio Armani watch (similar)

A few days ago I went to the cinema with a friend and this is what I wore during the windy and wet adventure. This was the first outing for my Blk Dnm leather jacket, a piece I searched after for weeks before I found it my my size - the jacket runs quite narrow and small, so I needed a large. It is available in both a short and long version, and I love that the long version fits me perfectly both in the body and sleeves. Many shorter leather jackets tend to look like boleros on us tall girls.

To balance out the biker look, I paired the moto jacket with a floral sweatshirt and grey jeans. The crystal necklace added a touch of bling to the outfit.







onsdag 9. april 2014

How to // Shop leather trousers for tall girls

I have tried on – and not being able to pull past my knees – a range of different leather trousers in the last few years. I will now to give you the advice I wish someone had given me before I spent Nok 3.000 on leather trousers that are now so annoyingly loose and badly constructed that I can't wear them.

Leather expands a lot with wear. If you buy a pair of non-stretch leather trousers that are supposed to fit normal to tight, they will be quite loose after 3-4 wears.

Tall girls also have to be aware of the fit and construction of the trousers. Fitted trousers with a side zip and a smooth waist band (no belt loops) tend to be too short in the waist for us. To make them fit in the waist, you need to size up, which makes them roomier around the hips – the waist band is holding them up. After a few wears, they will loosen in the waist – and now they will become too loose. As they don't have belt loops, you now have no means of keeping your trousers up - other than pulling them up yourself every ten minutes or stuffing a big sweater inside. So look for trousers that either have an elasticated waist band that fits snugly when bought or a jeans shape with zipper and belt loops.

Another problem we tall girls have is finding trousers that have the required leg length. Look for leather trousers that are either very long or properly cropped. The almost cropped-but-really-only-too-short-to-fit-as-regular-trousers is not a cool look. In the current sports trend, leather trousers shaped like relaxed gym trousers are popular (I have my eyes on these from Gestuz). These should also be worn cropped, to slim out the bagginess around the hips.

Look for trousers with seams that are sewn down. Many of the cheaper brands (e.g. HM) simply glue their seams down, and these will come undone after a few wears.

So which brand delivers according to my spec?


My favourites are Helmut Lang’s stretch leather leggings (and no, I’m not sponsored by them). They are really elastic (you will need to size down one to two sizes), they have a medium/high rise, elasticated waist band and REALLY long legs. They also keep their shape really well over time. They need to be dry cleaned, but the handy thing with leather is that you can just wipe them off. They are also great for windy and wet weather – the wind won’t penetrate and the water runs off! These leggings are reissued every season, always in black, in addition to a few other neutral colours. I'm wearing the black version in the photograph above (read the full blog post here).

Yes, the Helmut Lang leggings are really expensive, but my tip is to first try them on in a store, so you can find your size. Next, look for them in the online sales each season. Both my pairs have been purchased at 50 % off in the My wardrobe seasonal sales. My recent indulgence were these Drome leggings in bright red when Matches ran a special  promotion last week. They have a shorter rise than the Helmut Lang leggings, so they don’t fit as well.

These were my tips for shopping for leather trousers for tall girls. What are your experiences? Have you found a brand that fits particularly well? Please share with us!

tirsdag 8. april 2014

Graphic print & a dash of purple

 Miu Miu skirt (I also like this one and this one) // Zara cardigan (similar)
HM longsleeved t-shirt (similar) // old necklace // Sand belt
old tights // Anya Hindmarch handbag (similar) // Gabor shoes (similar and similar)
Reiss coat (similar) // Ray-Ban sunglasses (similar)

Inspired by the current trend for geometric and artistic prints, as seen at Chanel, Celine, Giorgio Armani and others, I decided to pull out my favourite Miu Miu skirt from 10+ years ago (see style.com's inspiration photos of the pop art trend here). If you choose one of the louder and more colourful prints in this trend, your look can become very eye-catching, in particular if you go for a dress, coat or long skirt. If you prefer a more quiet and classic look, choose a top that peeks out under a cardigan, a scarf tied around your neck or a mini skirt like me.

I don't have many artistic prints in my closet, but I wouldn't mind owning a couple of the more classic pieces that can easily be matched with my current wardrobe while also be appropriate to wear for the next few seasons. I'm leaning towards a graphic white and black top from Celine (here), or possibly the Zara copycat print in a skirt, seen here.

For now, my Miu Miu skirt will do. This skirt is a good length for us tall girls - it covers my bum by a good margin while still showing off what I consider to be my best asset, my legs.

Since the skirt hits me on the hips and doesn't automatically create a waistline, I added a belt on top of my cardigan to give me more shape.


To brave the outdoors, I added my much loved Reiss coat and Ray-Ban sunglasses. Yes, we had sunshine yesterday, but today it's back to rain, rain and more rain for the forseeable future, so I'm going to be all bundled up for five degrees celsius in my next few outfit posts.



mandag 7. april 2014

DIY // Make your own Easter cards


As I've mentioned before (here), 2014 is my year of handmade gifts and greeting cards.

This blog post on Cupcakes & Cashmere inspired me to try embossing, and it's the perfect hobby for those of us who want quick results. I've made quite a few cards since that blog post and now time has come to make Easter cards to send to friends and family.

Embossing is a simple technique for creating metallic print on any kind of paper or cardstock. Purchasing the heat gun, the acrylic block and the rubber stamps are a one-off expense and you will reuse these again and again. It's recommendable to buy the stamps off season, when they tend to be on sale - I bought my Christmas stamps at a great bargain in January.

In most countries, the embossing powders seem to come in a range of different colours, however, they are limited to only five in Norway. Since I'm currently hooked on anything gold, I've used this colour on my cards.

Here is how you emboss you own Easter cards:


Supplies:
Blank cards
Glue pad
Acrylic block (for attaching the stamps)
Rubber stamps with an Easter theme
Embossing powder (I have used gold)
Embossing heat gun
A small brush
A glue pen (optional)



Select the stamps you want to use and place them on the acrylic block, making sure they will look good on the card.



Press the stamp on the glue pad, making sure all parts of the stamp has got glue on it. Then press the stamp onto the card, this time making sure all parts of the stamp are touching the card, so the glue gets transferred. The glue is invisible, so it's hard to see where it has adhered.



Pour embossing powder over the glue, being quite liberal. To get the extra powder back in the pot, bend the card in the middle and tap on the sides so the card acts as a funnel, making it easy to pour the powder back in the pot.



Remove excess powder by gently tapping the card on the table, using a small brush to get off the last few grains.



Finally, switch on the heat gun and hold it about 8 cm (3 inches) from the print for a few minutes, until the powder changes colour and solidifies (the gold powder goes from a greenish tint to bright gold). The paper will warp as you apply the heat, but will straighten out again as it cools down.



On my cards, I printed a larger motif on the front and a smaller on the inside.



If you have a steady hand and cool handwriting, you can use a glue pen to write a message on the front, as I have done with the Happy Easter card. You can also use one of the smaller stamps to print an Easter motif on the outside of the envelopes.



Some practical advice // To keep the mess at a minimum, I do the embossing over two sheets of plain paper. On the top sheet, I keep the powder pot on the right and the card on the left. When there's a large heap of stray powder on the right side of the top sheet, I bend this sheet to a funnel and pours it back into the pot, making sure to hold the pot over the second sheet of paper below.

Happy Easter!

lørdag 5. april 2014

DIY // Colourful Easter eggs


Hooked by the craft bug, I have spent a few days decorating Easter eggs for myself and my friends. Be inspired to make your own colourful eggs and decorate with what you find in your local craft store!


Supplies:
Styrofoam or cotton wool eggs
Paint in 4-5 happy colours
Paint brush
Bamboo skewers to hold the eggs while painting
Clear glue tube with a fine spout
Narrow lace ribbon in various colours (about 1 cm wide)
Narrow silk ribbon in various colours (about 3 mm wide)
Narrow silk ribbon in various colours (about 5 mm wide)
Short feathers


Start by painting the eggs. Use the skewer to hold the egg to avoid getting paint on your fingers.


Let the eggs dry over night.

Now comes the fun part of decorating!


You need a layer of the wider silk ribbon or the lace at the bottom, then add the thin silk ribbon on top. The wider silk ribbon is used for hanging the egg.

You choose whether the trim runs around the length or the width of the egg. If you go around the width of the egg, you can add several rows of trim. In the photo above I have cut the trim, ready to glue it on to the eggs.

Make sure to use a glue tube with a thin spout, as you only want glue underneath the trim and not spilt all over the egg. I used disposable plastic gloves for this part, as I hate getting glue on my fingers, which then makes everything (in particular the feathers!) stick to my hands. Simply change out the gloves when they get sticky.


If you want to place the eggs in a bowl, glue the trim over the hole in the egg and glue the feather under the trim somewhere on the longer side. If you want to hang you eggs, add some glue in the hole, use the skewer to push a loop of ribbon into the hole for hanging. Then stick a feather in the same hole.

Here is a closeup of eggs with hanging loops:



And here is inspiration for "loop-free" eggs:



Be creative with where you hang your eggs. Below I have used an orchid and birch branches, respectively:





If you are giving away the eggs as a gift, place the eggs in a used egg carton (careful so you don’t break the feathers!) and tie a bow with yellow ribbon. Decorate with a feather:


Next DIY coming up is how to make pretty Easter cards.

PS: Do you have any great Easter craft ideas to share? Please comment below, with a link to your blog post.


Amendment:
I've added several more photographs of the eggs, hopefully making it easier for you to replicate them on your own.