FLY Camp – Postcard Time

Dear All

Weather in Copenhagen could be better (who wants cold, wet and blustery?) but still having fun at FLY Camp! Looking forward to DH joining us tonight for the rest of the Easter break 🙂

MORNING

  • DD8’s turn to make breakfast today – chocolate croissants. And very good they were too! 🙂

  • Room Inspection, followed by 15 minute declutter session in the kids rooms. Set those Flylady timers and go, go, go! 😉

  • DD8 is working on papers (she has inherited that particular Achilles’ heel from me). DS10 is working on his desk.
  • Solo Playtime (while I nip to supermarket for Gin supplies to tide us over Easter…Danish shops are closed Thursday, Friday and Monday)

LUNCH

  • Make-your-own-roll (kids chose liverpâté, I chose seafood salad). Orange juice to drink and apple slices.
  • Trip to Experimentarium, a science museum/playground. DD8 makes a great weather presenter, I’m still dreaming of being on the big screen 🙂

EVENING

  • DS10 is on kitchen duty and is making Roast Chicken for dinner
  • The voyage into space – the Final Frontier – continues as we turn our living room into a cinema and watch Star Trek IV (DD8’s favourite, the film with the whales)
  • Little Campers get the chance to swap dormitories tonight…they’re allowed to sleep in each other’s rooms or the guest bedroom

Night folks! Have a wonderful Wednesday! 🙂


FLY Camp – Settled In

Dear All

Having a lovely time at FLY Camp! Wish you were here? 🙂

MORNING

  • Scrambled eggs for breakfast, DS10 to make them. Plus pancakes leftover from yesterday’s breakfast 🙂
  • Room inspection. Then ’15 minute Declutter Session’ in DS10 and DD8’s rooms.

  • While the kids declutter, I feather dust and clean their windows.
  • Solo Playtime – computer or Nintendo while I do the ironing.
  • Visit to the Danish Zoological Museum. An exhibition on Evolution…
  • LUNCH

  • Lunch at the museum (Danish meatball sandwich and iced tea), followed by a spot of drawing. Lucky for us, these animals sit very quietly while we work 🙂

  • Head home, stop off at local library to pick up the Star Trek DVDs we’ve ordered.
  • Quiet Time (so Mum can have a nap…)
  • Hot Chai/milk and biscuits on the deck – coats on – in the sun 🙂

  • 6 minuteNEWO Strength Workout (Fancy joining in? The workout ishere.)
  • Solo Playtime

EVENING

  • Homemade pizza
  • Film night – turn living room into cinema. Star Trek and popcorn. Live Long and Prosper!
  • Bedtime and lights out. Another fun-filled day planned for tomorrow…

That’s all, Campers! Hope you have a terrific Tuesday! 🙂


We’re going (FLY) Camping!

The kids are now on Easter break from school until a week on Tuesday – hooray! 🙂

We’re staying at home and will be seeing family and friends for lunch etc over the weekend. But the next few days we’re ‘going to FLY camp’. Flylady Camp! 🙂

We’ve done this a few times before and it’s a great way to keep us amused during school holidays. The first couple of days it’s nice to sleep in and just veg out. But soon the kids are climbing the walls, with me, I should add, right behind them 😉

Want to give it a go? Print out your Camp Journal – click here to download it for free – from the Flylady website. Discuss what you’re going to do with your little campers and make a rough plan. Not too many activities per day – we are on holiday remember! 🙂

Here’s an example of what one of our days looks like:

MORNING:

  • Make pancakes for breakfast
  • Room inspection (beds made? no toys lying on the floor? dirty laundry in the basket?)

  • Treasure Hunt (for example, find 15 old drawings to throw away, 2 pairs of socks that are too small, 3 toys you don’t play with, 2 books you don’t read, 5 pens that don’t have lids)
  • Watch TV, play Nintendo or computer for 15 mins (while Mum works on her blogpost…)
  • Exercise time – 6minute NEWO strength train or NEWO intervals (skipping or running)
  • Free time to do as you like! (Which invariably turns into the kids playing in their own rooms with the toys they ‘rediscovered’ during the declutter session.)

LUNCH

  • Ryebread with liver paté, cucumber slices, salami sticks, plain yoghurt/müsli. Milk to drink.

AFTERNOON

  • Cinema with friends ‘How to Train a Dragon’ in 3D

EVENING

  • Dinner when Dad comes home. Oksekød i fad/beef in a bowl (DH’s recipe ishere) and salad.
  • Family game of Rummikub or Scrabble…which, of course, contains the Danish letters æ, ø and å

  • Curl up in bed with a good book, a hot water bottle, a torch and a mug of Ovaltine
  • Lights out! 😉

Okay, I need to go rescue the Mess Tent before it starts living up to it’s name. Hope you have a marvelous Monday! 🙂


Scaredy Cat Challenge – Can you smell carrots?

My latest Scaredy Cat Challenge was to get on my bike and cycle to the next town. Go on, you can laugh if you like – it’s a round trip of about 10k (6.2 miles)! But as I haven’t regularly ridden a bike since I was about eight years old (and have owned a car for 21 years, half of my life) then you might understand where I’m coming from. Some people have a fear of driving, I have a fear of cycling 😉

Thursday was a beautiful day – it really felt like spring had come to Denmark. With all the snow we’ve had this winter, I didn’t dare believe that spring was actually a certainty rather than a possibility. I ran 3k in the park with the girls first thing in the morning and decided to strike while the iron was hot. Filled up my purple NEWO water bottle, put on my cycle helmet and started my heart rate monitor…

I can’t claim it was plain sailing or that I made good speed. It was extremely windy. Made me sympathise with Jacob Haugaard, a Danish comedian who was famously elected to Parliament in 1994 with his manifesto for ‘more tailwinds on Danish cyclepaths’… Not to mention ‘standardisation of hoover bags’, ‘longer green lights at crossroads’ and ‘young men for single mothers’ 😉

But I kept Jonathan Roche’s (founder of the NEWO system) words in my head. (Jonathan is truly inspirational. You can listen to the archives of his internet radio show here.) One of his favourite lines is “When climbing a mountain, don’t look up at the summit. Just make for the next shelter”. Or in my case, just cycle to the next lampost. And, bien sûr, when I reached the next lampost, I found out that I could make it to the next one, and the next one… Lo and behold, I got to my destination with stopping once! 😉

And my destination? My favourite little shop in the next town. The Pink Flamingo. Where they feed my ‘addiction’. Scarves. I had promised myself (yet another) new one if I faced my fears and passed this particular challenge. Because one of the fun things about these Scaredy Cat Challenges is deciding on a lovely big carrot to dangle before my little red nose 🙂 Here’s my ‘carrot’. Turquoise – one of my favourite colours and the ‘hot’ colour for summer 2010.

If you want to see what else The Pink Flamingo has to offer, lookie hereat a previous blogpost. And if you’re lucky enough to live near to Hellerup, then go and see for yourself!

Is there something you’d like to try but fear has been holding you back? Learning a language, decluttering your dungeon, trying a new hair colour? If you have a blog and want to hold hands with me on a Scaredy Cat Challenge, then what are you waiting for? Sign up with the MckLinky below 🙂

Hope you have a super Sunday – with plenty of tailwind! 😉


Choco Birdie Nests

DS10 and DD8 had their Easter lunch at school on Thursday. The kids make all the decorations, set the tables and then sit down to a feast 🙂 Everyone brings in a dish to share: ryebread, roast chicken legs, vegetables in every shape and form, fish cakes, sausage rolls, Danish meatballs, boiled eggs, pasta salad, fruits sliced up and fruits on sticks, orange and apple juice…

Every year we bring the same dish. Choco Birdie Nests. And they disappear pretty fast 😉

You’ll need:

  • bar of chocolate
  • All Bran cereal (the one that looks like twigs, if you can get it)
  • small egg shaped sweets or chocolates
  • baking paper or cupcake cases
  • feathers (optional)

Melt the chocolate v-e-r-y slowly over a low heat. Don’t let it burn! (If you’re a virgin chocolate-melter, use a water-bath.)

Add the All Bran, a bit at a time, and stir well to coat.

Spoon into paper cases. I like to use an icecream scoop, for even portions. You could also just drop spoonfuls of the mixture on to a piece of baking paper.

Plop one or three or five eggs (remember that odd numbers always look best when displaying food) into each nest and leave to set.

I’m a sucker for those cuter, than cute ‘duck-egg blue’ coloured eggs. Add a few feathers and you’re ready to party!

If you want to complete the theme for your own Easter table, why not make the Easter Lunch Bunnies that I did on ‘Crafty Tuesday’? Click herefor instructions. We sowed cress in our ones, but you can fill them with eggs.

Have a simply eggs-citing Saturday! 🙂


Blooming Marvelous

I got back from the schoolrun this morning just before 8am. The sun was shining and – gasp! – it felt warm. So I didn’t go straight into the house, but spent 15 minutes cleaning the garage/boot of the car and tidying up the plants at the front door.

If there’s one thing I love about the Flylady system, it’s the power of 15 minutes.

But I felt we needed a bit of colour… So I bought some bedding plants at 11.30am. And by 12.15pm I was home and finished planting… Want a look? Here’s my Ikea bag filled with goodies from the lovely wee florist in Vangede (the one next door to Danni Sko/Danni Shoes) at number 39 Vangede Bygade.

I started by filling this old tin basin that someone had put out for the rubbish collection.

Emptied out some weeds from an old pot and suddenly our main deck (which I can now see from the new kitchen) looks more inviting.

Here’s the table on our round deck, where I have my mid-morning coffee. Sometimes – gasp! – in the sun.

And last, but not least, the latest addition to the collection of pots on the front step.

Hope you have a fantastic Friday and a blooming marvelous weekend! 🙂


Menu planning Thursday – 25 March 2010

Only one more school packed lunch to make…the Easter holidays are in sight – yeehaw!

THURSDAY

  • Danish Biksemad, which got dropped from yesterday’s menu. What’s that, you ask? A kind of hash: fried cubed potatoes, beef, onions, topped with a fried egg, served with ketchup or brown HP sauce and cubed beetroot. One of the kids’ (and DH’s) favourites. And the potato/onion/beef mix comes in a bag from the freezer – easy! 😉

FRIDAY

  • DBIL (Dear-Brother-In-Law) is coming to watch the kids while DH and I are out rocking to Magtens Korridorer (see Monday’s blogpost). We’ll give DBIL dinner before we go 😉 I’m making roast lamb with creamy, tomato sauce. Green beans with sugar and bacon – recipe from Jenny’s blog. Thanks, Jenny, for the idea – may not be healthy, but they taste darn good! 😉 And gratin dauphinois – my own, quick n’ easy shortcut recipe is on the blog right here. And very good it is too! 😉

SATURDAY

  • It’s the final of Danish X-Factor on the telly tonight. Chicken in puff pastry, smashed cauliflower (idea via Leanne Ely, a.k.a. The Dinner Diva from http://www.savingdinner.com/ And a big, green salad.

SUNDAY

  • Will probably make Crab Quiche (a variation on the basic quiche lorraine using tinned crab, cheese, eggs and spring onions) and more salad.

MONDAY

  • The first dish that DH ever made for me, Oksekød i Fad. Or in English, ‘Beef in a Bowl’! A Danish variation on shepherd’s pie which uses truckloads of ketchup. Terribly glamorous! 😉 If you’d like to try it out, hubby’s recipe is here.

TUESDAY

  • Using my crockpot today and will do a whole chicken or pork chops in it, depending on my mood. Whatever I make will be served with wholemeal pasta.

WEDNESDAY

  • Quesadillas or tortilla wraps using yesterday’s leftover chicken or chops. Veggie sticks on the side: cucumber, red pepper and carrot.

Bon appétit!

Spring is here! Have a thoroughly thrilling Thursday! 🙂


‘Where Are We?’ Wednesday – Climbing The Walls

I was going to make this one of my “Those Crazy Danes” posts but, as it’s a dull, dreary Wednesday (in addition to being Hump Day) here in Copenhagen, I thought we should have a little bit of fun. Ready for another little Danish photo quiz? Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin…

Here’s DS10 – already at the top – and DD8 climbing right up behind him. She’s wearing her pink ski suit. I took the picture about 10 days ago when we still had zero temperatures. Today, joy of joys, we’re going to reach 7 degrees (45f)! 🙂 But, as usual, I digress…

So where are we? Any guesses? Just so as you don’t cheat and look at the bottom of this post, here are a few gratuitous pics while you ponder. My favourite film….

And tulips I bought when it was DH’s birthday back in January…

OK, back to the quiz. You’ve had enough time, can you guess where we are? Give in?

It’s our local library. Which has book shelves that you are allowed to lie on (DS10) or sit on (DD8)…

Or climb and crawl on. From one end of the library to the other. Don’t forget to remove your boots! This is another picture of DD8. In her Carnival outfit, a dalmation dog 😉

Does your library look like this? It’s a pretty weird idea but is certainly popular with the younger customers 🙂

It’s also a ‘help yourself’ library. When you have a pile of books, DVDs, jigsaws and Wii games that you would like to borrow (for free), you go up to the computer station and plonk the whole pile on a pad. None of that old-fashioned scanning items one by one… And before you can say’ “Bob’s your uncle”, the machine is printing out your slip. When the time comes to return your booty, the library send you an e-mail and, if you like, you can renew the whole lot online. There is no set upper limit on the number of items you can borrow. And the Danes borrow a lot. I’ve often seen people with 30+ books. They even come prepared with a backpack.

When the world around us is changing, whether it’s computer technology, health reform or the bookshelves at the library, embrace the change. Don’t look back! 😉

Have a wonderful Wednesday! 🙂


Crafty Tuesday – Easter Lunch Bunnies

Tuesday is the day I do a spot of crafting. Today is no exception! Here’s your 15 minute craft…something for the Easter lunch table. Super simple  = great for the kids. If you make these bunnies within the next couple of days, they should be fully sprouted with cress in time for Easter. Otherwise you could also fill them up with (chocolate) Easter eggs 😉

Okay, time to set your Flylady timer for 15 minutes and ‘get cracking’ [insert big ho, ho here].

You’ll need:

  • empty milk or juice carton
  • pair of scissors
  • coloured paper or carton
  • glue stick
  • cotton wool
  • cress seeds

Cut down your empty carton.

Fill it up with cotton wool.

Cut out some ‘grass’ from a length of green paper or carton and stick on using a glue stick.

Now it’s time to make a ‘wabbit’. I folded over my paper and drew one freehand. There are plenty of templates and stencils on the net if you need inspiration – just google “rabbit template”.

Cut out your ‘wabbit’ and stick him on to the milk carton. Feel free to draw on eyes, a nose, etc. I like my things pretty plain. Also because I sometimes end up with a Hot Cross Bunny instead of a cute-faced one… But I couldn’t resist adding a little bit of cottonwool for his powder puff tail 🙂

Dampen the cotton wool and sprinkle over the cress seeds. Leave on a warm windowsill for about a week and keep the cotton wool damp. I’ll post another picture when we see start to see some growth 😉

When the cress is sprouted, put your Easter Bunny on the table along with a little pair of scissors and let guests help themselves. Though you might have to explain what cress is to younger guests… I remember one Easter where we put cress on top of our egg mayonnaise salad and DS10 (then just a tot) asked, “Why are you putting grass on my food?” Bon appétit! 😉

Hope you have a terrific Tuesday! 🙂


Pamper Monday – The Sound of Music

Mondays here on the blog are me days. Not about little old me. Oh, okay then, maybe just a teeny bit! 😉 More about the things I can do just for me to recharge my batteries. Creative ways to be nice to myself! 🙂

Music is my world. The one thing that can change my mood in a heartbeat. Or a single guitar riff 😉 And if films should be seen on the big screen, then music should be experienced live. Last weekend DH and I went to see the Swedish rock giants, Kent. And I’m still high, 10 days later! 🙂 This week I’ve got not one but two (count ’em) gigs to look forward to…

Thursday night I’m taking a trip down a 1990s memory lane with Heaven 17, those awfully clever boys from Sheffield, on their Penthouse and Pavement Live tour. And sometimes they add in a little number by the Human League too, so fingers crossed! 🙂

Friday night is going to be a Copenhagen classic. Denmark’s finest punk rock band Magtens Korridorer (which means The Corridors of Power). Click on the link and then move your mouse over those handsome boys, one by one – you won’t be disappointed! 😉 My sweetie friend Rasmus is their guitarist.

They’re playing – as always – at my favourite, favourite Copenhagen concert venue, VEGA. Built in the 1950s, it was named Folkets Hus (People’s House) and was a kind of headquarters for the unions. Today it’s a listed building and still s-u-p-r-e-m-e-l-y stylish. Mahogany wooden floors, the ubiquitous Danish design lamps, elegant staircases (that don’t always lead where you think – or maybe that’s too many G+Ts on my behalf?), woodpanelled walls, snug bars. Sometimes I think I should have a beehive hairdo to fit in with the glamorous feeling of the place. If you’re interested in architecture or style there are lots of great photos of the various rooms here. All in all, it’s going to be a great night. By the way, if you want to come along to Magtens K on Friday, you’re too late. It’s a sell out. Yay! 🙂

Have you had a little bit of what you fancy recently? Rock, theatre, stand-up comedy? Then maybe it’s about time you treated yourself. Just remember to do the Flylady thing and book your tickets well in advance…

Have a marvelous Monday! 🙂


Scaredy Cat Challenge – Running (Wo)man

Ready for some more picture fun? Okay then. What’s the difference between this photo…

…and this one?

Give in? Answer: Half an hour and 5 kilometres! 😉

I had a fan-flippin-tastic week of running thanks to a series of changes of plan. We ended up running 5k on Monday and another 5k on Tuesday! The sun shone down from a clear Copenhagen sky and we even felt warmth on our faces 🙂 Thursday we were out running again. And – stone the crows – it’s now getting so mild that I even left my beanie hat at home. But we ‘only’ did our ‘old-faithful’ route through the park of 3k 😉

So I’m feeling confident now that, if I keep up the good work, a 10k race this year will not only be feasible but maybe even enjoyable..?

Well folks, it seems like my Scaredy Cat Challenge to run the extra mile is well underway. What’s the next challenge? Hmmm, now that the snow has finally taken a hike, it’s time to get back on my bike! 🙂 I attempted that challenge back in February (one of the earlier posts about it is here) without success and think it’s time for a rematch.

So this week I’m going to attempt to cycle to the next village. Wish me luck!

Good luck with your own challenge… Have your own blog and want to join in? Sign up with the McKlinky below…

Hope you have a simply super Sunday! 🙂


Recipe for (party) success!

As you all know, I’m a huge fan of the Flylady. If you don’t already know that, then you haven’t been paying enough attention! 😉 I love her planning tools for keeping organised. I love systems that make light work of any task…

On Saturday’s I usually share a favourite recipe here on the blog. Today I want to share a recipe for success, ho ho! Party planning success 😉 I’ve taken the idea from the Flylady Control Journals (all of which you can find right here) and made my own (Birthday) Party Control Journal. It’s not perfect, it’s a work in progress. But a few people have asked for it, so here you are! 🙂

I’ve used it the last couple of years when planning birthday parties for DD8 and DS10. We held a fantastically fun birthday party for 12 girls from DD8’s class yesterday afternoon and everything went swell, just swell… 🙂

If you’d like a copy of my (birthday) party planner, I’ve uploaded it to http://www.keepandshare.com/ (Thanks, Candace, for the name of this website.) You can get it by clicking here or by clicking on this link

http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/1814455/birthday-party-control-journal-doc-march-20-2010-4-58-pm-26k?da=y

My party planner is based on a traditional Danish children’s party. Did I forget to add something? Do you like it? Then please leave me a comment. Don’t forget to leave your boots at the door… 😉

Have a simply super Saturday! 🙂


Like Mother Like Daughter

DD7 turns 8 tomorrow. I know it’s the most clichéd thing to say but…really, where does the time go? What happened to my little baby?

Here’s a picture of her,

taken at Danish nursery when she was about 5 years old.

Sometimes DD7 drives me nuts. (Though, thankfully, we left the screaming stage a couple of years ago.) A lot of the time I just don’t understand her. But most of the time I love her! 😉 The other day, as I was leafing through old family photos, I found the following pics. The proverbial apple certainly doesn’t fall far from the proverbial tree… Does that mean that there’s a chance she’s going to – help ma’ boab – turn out like me? Time will tell. Watch this space!

Me in my school uniform at around 5 years old.

And here’s my Mum, around the same age.

We obviously have a penchant for white hair bows in our family.

Hope you have a fantastically fun-filled Friday! 🙂


Menu planning Thursday – 18 March 2010

I ‘planned’ in a couple of days with leftovers last week and it worked really well. No complaints and no food went to waste…hooray! So here we go again with food recycling 🙂

THURSDAY

  • Hanging up my apron tonight because DD7 is going to School Dinner Club at a classmate’s house and DS10 and I are going to see Avatar 🙂 DH will be enjoying the leftovers of my yummy Forloren Hare (Danish meatloaf).

FRIDAY

  • We’re throwing a party for DD7 (soon to be DD8…) classmates today. 14 girls. Yikes! 😉 So dinner is something nice and easy. Spaghetti bolognese, pasta med kødsovs (as it’s called here), pasta with meatsauce. Leftover birthday cake for dessert 🙂

SATURDAY

  • We’re invited to a special lunch/brunch today, so tonight we’ll probably have leftover spaghetti bolognese from Friday with salad. Or [shock horror!] some frozen pizza I have stashed away for emergencies! 😉

SUNDAY

  • The steak salad I had planned for last weekend didn’t happen, so it’s on this week’s menu again. Spinach, rucola, cherry tomatoes, fried onions and beef steaks – peppered, fried and finely sliced.

MONDAY

  • Using my crockpot today and will be making a mild chicken curry (will use a bit extra chicken, so I’m sure to have ‘leftovers’ for Wednesday). Will serve with basmati rice (with cardamom pods added) made in my ricecooker and warmed nan breads.

TUESDAY

  • Scout night for the kids, at different times during the evening. Biksemad. Which is a kind of Danish hash: cubed potatoes fried with onions and cubed pieces of beef. Serve with a fried egg on top, ketchup and cubed beetroot. The kids love it! 🙂

WEDNESDAY

  • Will chop the leftover curried chicken from Monday and mix it with mango chutney and mayonnaise (a cheat’s version of Coronation Chicken) and serve wrapped up in tortillas with salad or veggie sticks on the side. If there isn’t much chicken left to make a decent main course, I’ll pad out the meal with a dessert…

Bon appétit!

Hope you have a thrilling Thursday! 🙂


Those Crazy Danes – Part 5 (Flying the Flag)

I love those crazy Danes. I love the contrasts. Super liberal. Super traditional.

One of the top news stories yesterday was the proposed legislation to allow homosexual couples to adopt. The majority of Danes are behind the idea. The Danish Government is against the proposal but yesterday announced that – when it goes to the final vote – they will not force their own members to toe the party line. They will allow their members to vote according to their conscience. (The general expectation is that government members, like the opposition, will vote for the proposal.) Super liberal. Hello 2010! 🙂

But being liberal doesn’t give you carte blanche to start messing around with Danish traditions. Traditions are sacred here. I hope to goodness you’ve all made the Secret Snowdrop Letter that I posted yesterday? Or else you’re in big trouble! 😉

This morning I was out buying a few last minute things for DD7’s birthday party. The girls from her class (14 of them) are coming here on Friday afternoon. My first stop was the supermarket. Because no Danish birthday party is complete without…flags. Flags for the dining table, flags to stick in the food, confetti flags to scatter on the tablecloth, a paper tablecloth (with Danish flags on it), mini sticky flags to stick on the birthday cards and presents, plastic flags to put in the flowerpots outside your front door. Don’t forget to stick flags into your driveway, on your gate and along the front of your fence so that everyone knows you’re celebrating and can find the way to the party! You’re getting the picture now, aren’t you? If not, here’s one I took of the stand at the supermarket 😉

And please, please don’t forget to take a flag (or two) when you go into the birthday girl’s room and wake her by singing. It’s traditional…

Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday! 🙂