Norwegian Lessons: Koselig

For the past several years the world—or at least the U.S.—has had an obsession with Scandinavia. It started with Sweden—specifically IKEA and minimalist design and fashion. (The latter extends beyond Sweden, of course, but in my mind Sweden was always the capital of the Scandinavian minimalist aesthetic.) Next came Denmark, and specifically the concept of […] Read more…

Looking forward…my 2018 goals

I don’t remember the last time I made a New Year’s resolution. Generally speaking, I’m not going to do something if I’m not going to be good at it. And I tend to assume that statistics (like 92% of people fail to keep their resolutions) dictate my future. (Major mindset issues, I know. I’m working […] Read more…

Norwegian Lessons: Jul

As we were getting ready for vacation, Christmas was starting to come to Oslo, with large swathes of Karl Johans blocked off where they were going to build a Christmas market. By the time we returned, the Jul season was officially in full swing, with not only Julemarked (Christmas markets) popping up around the city, but also Julekaffe, Julebrus, and yes, even Julepølse. 

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Three Can’t Miss Dishes in Seattle (from a former local)

Ask any expat what their favorite part of going home is and they will most likely say “the food.” If they don’t, they’re lying. (Unless they say “free babysitting by the grandparents,” in which case they are probably telling the truth. Of course, they’ll most likely go out to eat with that spare time, which takes us right back to food.) 

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How to Travel like Adults…With a Toddler

Before we moved to Europe, it seemed as if all of our friends either stopped traveling once they had kids or they only went on Disney vacations (or to visit the grandparents). And while there’s nothing wrong with an occasional Disney trip (the first place I want to travel to after we move back to Seattle is Aulani) I couldn’t imagine that being the only kind of vacation we ever took.

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Nesting in Norway

When we started considering moving to Norway, one of my first requests was that the furniture that was in storage in Seattle be shipped to our new home. We’d been living in a partially furnished flat in Prague and while we’d brought plenty with us from Seattle, very little of it was furniture. All of L’s bedroom furniture had come with us, sure, as well as a mattress (that’s since been replaced—go figure), and a little hippopotamus footstool that I just had to have when I stumbled upon it on Houzz and that I thought would cheer me up on even the dreariest of days. But the rest of the “big stuff” was either provided by our landlords or purchased after we arrived.

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Minimalist Toy Collection for a Two Year Old

One of the areas in which I most struggle with minimalism is my son’s toys. It’s pretty clear that the benefits of toy minimalism go well beyond making it easier to clean up. And who wouldn’t want to lengthen their toddler’s attention span? But at the same time, I hate the idea of missing out on the one toy that is going to turn him in to a genius. (Newflash: No toy is going to do that. But that doesn’t change the fact I worry about it.)

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Norwegian Lessons: Barnevogn

I wasn’t going to write this post. Linguistically, this isn’t the most interesting word—we already know that barn means “child,” so if you speak English (and I assume you do if you are reading this blog) it’s not hard to figure out that barnevogn is “child wagon” aka “stroller.” And I would really like to move on to some less child-centered words.

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Raising a Toddler Abroad: Prague versus Oslo

People are always very surprised when I tell them I think Prague is more child-friendly than Oslo. Isn’t Oslo part of the Scandinavian wonderland in which everyone is happy all the time, the quality of life is high across the board, and kids are allowed carefree childhoods outdoors? 

The difference, I explain is between a child-friendly and a family-friendly environment. And it begins with the countries’ very different approaches to parental leave, though the effects go well beyond that.

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A Luxurious and Relaxing Weekend in Mallorca (With a Toddler)

So when my husband asked where I wanted to go for my birthday, I immediately said, “To the beach.” I didn’t much care which beach we went to, as long as it would be (substantially) warmer than Oslo. That didn’t really narrow my choices down, though, so I started looking for places in Europe where it would be over 20 degrees Celsius in October. After a little research, I decided on Mallorca.

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