Happy Snowday!

Adding to the weirdness, we finally got winter this season! …or rather, the winter season decided to come and visit us during spring!

It’s not too bad, since it meant my kids wanting to be outside having snow ball fights! They would have wanted to go skiing, but our skis are at my parents’ place, and they’re self-quarantining for a while yet, so we just let the kids do whatever else they could outside in the snow.

That turned out to be snowmen! First this one tiny one, then a whole family (which I forgot to photograph)

The positive thing about being bored – you sometimes become more creative!

Happy Snowday/Wednesday to all of you out there!

 

 

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Our delicious everyday salad

If there’s one thing that’s a staple in our household, it’s leafy greens.

We eat at least one bowl of salad every day, and even more now that all five of us are stuck at home most of the time.

And it’s so delicious! The way we prepare it is:

1. we wash the leafy greens and some broccoli

2. we chop them up using a mezzaluna (they’re available online in kitchen stores)

3. we also chop up some nuts, usually walnuts

4. then we add assorted seeds

5. and a salad dressing, made by mixing organic apple cider vinegar, olive oils and herbs

It’s such a delicious base for any meal. You can just add tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, avocado, some chicken, goat cheese, and just about anything that tastes great with a lot of greens.

And it looks great in a bowl!

Our goal is that half of our meal is leafy greens and vegetables, and using this method it is really simple to get enough of these very important nutrients.

 

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My DIY yellow rings-necklace

This was such a fun necklace to make!

I knew I wanted to have two interlocking circles, and I also wanted to incorporate one of my old necklaces. I started by drawing two circles on some felt using some glasses and bowls as a template.   Then I sewed all the yellow heart-shaped beads to one circle, and round glittery beads to the other circle. I filled it in with small bronze-colored beads that I suspect have been going around the family circles since the 80s waiting to be used!

It’s such a nice necklace to wear, it has such a good weight to it, and the earring doesn’t stick to your body which makes it perfect for me and my allergies.

All made from scraps. All it took was a lot of patience, a virtue I seem to have a lot of these days! I haven’t made a necklace in quite a while, but I feel my hands start to get itchy when I look through my pictures. It is so relaxing to sit and sew beads and listen to an audiobook or a lecture or something.

 

 

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DIY Colorful spring flowers

Here are some easy spring flowers to make – I used crepe or silk paper for these flowers, but you can easily use newspaper or whatever paper you have at home!

You need some wire, a pompom or something similar (or leave it out!), some markers, washitape and paper

First I glued pompoms onto some wire.

I made the centers of the flowers by cutting green crepe paper in thin slices, not all the way through.

The petals are made from crepe paper.

I cut them all out in thick bunches, and drew dots or stripes on each individual petal.

From the left: pompoms glued to wire. Wire + pompoms with some green crepe paper glued around. Petals in heaps. Some petals glued to a flower. All the petals glued to one flower, and then finally – three finished flowers.

I glue all the petals using a gluegun. Mine gets really hot, so be careful when gluing! Or take things slowly and just use ordinary wood glue.

After that I wrap the wire/stem with washitape. 

The finished flowers are really pretty!   

I make leaves by glueing wire to some green paper.

A heap of flower centers.

My bouquet has been steadily growing.

I also made some yellow flowers. And lots of more green leaves! 

It’s such a colorful lovely flower right now when spring hasn’t yet sprung completely in our neck of the woods!

And some much needed color! (although you can easily make pretty flowers like this using only white paper also!)

 

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New lamps for the living room

I decided that we needed new lamps for the living room. Might have something to do with the fact that we’ve been home almost constantly lately! (those of us who are able go for walks outside, or play outside in the yard)

I made some new lamps just like I did the lamp for my room.

I cut out rectangle-shaped paper with rounded short sides, and folded them into hearts.

I stapled them together, first as hearts, then into a big flower. I made two versions, one bigger, one smaller and glued them onto each other. Then I glued a circle on top of the flowers.

I used some cardboard (an oatmeal box or something like that) for hanging the lamps.

I glued them into place using a bowl as support. And I glued the things wrong! Don’t do like I did in the picture above! The opening needs to be to the side, so that you can string your lamp through it easily.

The lamps are really pretty when the spring light streams through the windows.

And I had all the materials at home – printer paper and some cardboard.

Have a great week everyone – we’re still homeschooling and self-isolating, and having a good time! And today the sun is shining and the spring flowers are out in droves – a good day!

 

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DIY Green snake necklace

This is one of my favorite pictures of my daughter – we had so much fun there in the woods surrounded by all those flowers and all that greenery!

My daughter wore a crown I made out of glass beads, a gown made from two old curtains, black pants and boots and my favorite necklace – a green snake.

This necklace took quite some hours to make! First I had to figure out the pattern. I cut out pieces of newspaper and wrapped them around my neck. When I was satisfied with the shape, I cut it out from felt fabric.

The black beads have been with me ever since we lived in Copenhagen more than ten years ago. The eyes of the snake are round bauble-like beads, that were used for a bracelet. The rest of the beads are old broken necklaces and bracelets.

This is quite the statement necklace, and I always feel fancy when I wear it! The snake wraps closely around the neck and the head bites the tail (there’s a hidden clasp beneath the head, and a ring on the tail-end of the necklace to hook the clasp on).

I especially like the idea that I finally got a good use to all those green necklaces I had saved for ages! They are just perfect for a snake like this.

P.S. I haven’t added a template to this post – write a comment if you want to create your own necklaces like these, and I’ll see if I can at least take a photo of my templates! They’re all just pieces of newspaper that I’ve cut into the shape I wanted.

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Life right now

Well, that was quite a week! It’s such a strange situation we’re living in, when the whole world is in the same boat.

My parents were stuck in Spain, but fortunately got to come home yesterday, so now I can finally relax at least a little bit. I’ve been so tired as a result, and even took a nap today, but that is so necessary right now – I need to be the family cheerleader so that my kids have a good time despite all the awfulness around the globe.

As a result of all this strangeness, we as a family suddenly have much more patience. Things that used to annoy us to no end barely even register. We have so much time all of a sudden, so in the midst of all this awfulness there is this warm feeling of abundance, of closeness and warmth.

I’ve also talked to my kids about being patient with their teachers. They are all doing their very best to keep the schools running, and if my kids sometimes get confusing instructions it’s just because this is a new situation for everyone. We all need to adjust to this new normal, and instead of becoming angry at people we can try to be more understanding. In fact, I don’t think I’ve been angry more than once this past week, and usually I’m annoyed with at least something, usually kids bickering. But they haven’t even been doing that too much. I think they understand that these are special circumstances, and I’m sure we’ll have arguments and disagreements as the weeks go by, but for now I’m happy that these past days have gone well.

One day at a time is my new mantra. One day, one hour, one breath.

I can feel my hands start to shake when I get too stressed, so I try to limit my access to the news and social media. That’s the hardest part! I’m drawn to all the online newspaper, and I read so many articles until I feel sick. And then I watch bunny videos to calm myself down, or look through Instagram stories – my new favorite pastime.

And in the evenings, the whole family gathers to watch Gossip Girl – our new ritual. We get up at 8 every morning, have breakfast and then the kids start their school on weekdays. We eat healthy food for lunch, and the kids cook and bake when they feel like it. And in the evening we do yoga, meditate and watch TV together.

If everything in the world wasn’t so awful, this would actually be rather lovely. We’re living our best lives in the midst of all the chaos, and I hope to keep doing it for as long as needed.

Hope you all are safe and loved and taking care of yourself!

 

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The end of one very strange school week

It’s Friday, but what a strange Friday! I usually wait for Monday, so that I get a few hours to myself to do all my own projects and to just relax. But now all our routines are turned upside-down, and I’m looking forward to the weekend, and perhaps some hours to myself?

I feel like my main job right now is to be the cheerleader of the family, so that everyone will have a good time and not stress too much about the situation that the whole world finds itself in.

So. Now more than ever I try to focus on self-care. I sit in the infrared sauna almost every morning. I do yoga. I meditate and make a gratitude journal as I always do. And above all, I try to just go with the flow and not have any expectations of the day.

I watch opera with my kids if the mood strikes us.

I cook and enjoy the food.

I just lie on the floor if I feel like I need it.

And I try to be there for the kids when they need help with the school work.

I almost don’t say no to any suggestions from the kids. ”Can we have X or Y for dinner?” ”Yes!” (except when they suggest something unhealthy – we really focus on health right now. And those no’s the kids accept without complaining)

”Can I watch Netflix?” ”Yes, go ahead!”

”Do you want to watch Detective Pikachu with me?” ”Absolutely!”

”Do you want to play a video game with me, Mom?” ”Yes!” (although it ended with me falling asleep in front of the computer…!)

And the kids are having the best time! Many of their friends complain about being bored at home – not my kids! We’re going on little mini-adventures each day, with the kids doing presentations on different countries and us cooking some food from that particular country. My daughter does gym sessions for her friends over the computer. My oldest son lives life almost like before (the perks of being a nerd and a gamer!), only with a bit more opera thrown in! My youngest is a bit stressed out over letting down his teacher, but I try to encourage him and explain that nobody expects things to go perfectly in this very unusual situation.

And I’m so grateful that we started a meditation practice before all this happened! The kids have been meditating twice a day now, and do their gratitude journal at night. And every night, the whole family watch ”Gossip Girl” as our new ritual.

It’s strange living in this very mindful bubble, but it’s exactly what I need at the moment with all the horrific news from all over the world. Mindfulness and bunny videos!

   

P.S. I’m so grateful for the kids’ teachers who are doing such a great job! Thank you each and every one of you! <3 It was awesome talking to you all today, and we here at home will do our best to help you with your work!

 

 

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The weirdness that is now

I took these photos just a few days ago, but it might as well have been years – the world has changed so much in so little time.

We’re all at home, all five of us, and so far it is going great. I’m technically an extrovert, but I usually need space to gather my thoughts and relax. And there isn’t much of that at the moment!

So I’m thinking: this is my challenge right now. To find space for myself while living with all these other people. To be able to write and create despite being interrupted. To find calm and happiness amidst all the anxiety.

I need to prioritize self-care at the moment, and I can feel how it is especially important right now! I need to be a good example for the kids, and I can’t be that if I’m not calm and happy. So I need to get my stress levels down, eat good food, enjoy nature, and be mindful and just accept everything as it happens.

I’m stress-crafting a bit at the moment! I watch opera and make flowers and take breaks and help the kids with whatever they need help with. We all meditate and exercise in the morning, and if it wasn’t for the small thingy that is the pandemic life would be pretty sweet.

We have each other, we have a big house and a garden (courtesy of me always wanting to be prepared – I’ve mentally prepared for this ever since the bird flu, when we lived in a small apartment in Copenhagen).

It feels so odd to go outside where nature continues as if nothing has happened.

Weird.

”May you live in interesting times” – an old supposedly Chinese proverb/curse. And these are definitely interesting times!

I try to take one day at a time. I am so grateful for my meditation practice. I am so grateful that my kids have a meditation practice. I am so grateful that my kids value their school and do their homework diligently every day. I am so grateful that I somehow through all this found a love of cooking that just popped out of nothing.

I stand in the kitchen and slice ginger and garlic, and smell the scents wafting through the house. I savor the tomato sauce that has been cooking for an hour, the aroma infused in every little bit of the stew. And the lemon peel that gives a slight after-flavor.

We cook food from different countries each day – Japan, France and Thailand so far. And I send bunny-videos to people, and watch funny stories online.

We’ll get through this, we will, and hopefully all of us will take with us valuable lessons into the unknown future. It’s weird times, folks, and my family are trying to make the best of it!

Go check out:

Kitchen quarantine with Massimo Bottura

He’s a master chef who streams from his kitchen every night – such a wonderful happy family! It lifts our spirits to watch them!

 

And look, dolphins in Venice!:

Dolphins in Venice!

 

 

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The brown butterfly necklace

I don’t know about you, but I definitely need distractions nowadays! Fun things to do, friends to talk to, cute bunny-videos to look at. I try to dream away and step into my fantasy land for a little while – Pargasia, where everyone who wants to be a princess can be that! Or a pirate if you choose that – anything is possible!

We sometimes step into that alternate reality for a bit, my daughter and I. Like on the picture above, taken one lovely fall afternoon.

Nosipho is wearing a hat I’ve created plus the brown butterfly necklace that I’ve only worn for a couple of occasions.

This was a superfun project! I drew the butterfly onto a piece of felt. Then I sewed beads in blocks of color so that it would look a little bit like a butterfly.

The necklace is lined with suede, and feels soft and comfy against your body. The blue-green beads are a leftover from the 80s when my mom crocheted jewelry (there was this crochet bead-fad at that time). Feels fun to use up all those lovely beads that I’ve stored for so many years. They get to shine once again!

 

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