My 53rd birthday – part two! (Dinner and gifts)

[See the first part of my 53rd birthday here.] Birthday dinner was with the family at one of my favourite bistros, Café Wilder, in the Christianshavn area of the city, nestled among the canals!

It was a beautiful evening – heatwave of 28c/82f – and everyone was looking for shade, or out on the water…

But let’s get on with the food! Plus a wee glass of bubbly to get us started. I went for my absolute favourites, oysters, to start. Truth be told, I wasn’t really that hungry, due to the heatwave, so I showed restraint and order just three.

Followed by tartare of beef and the most fantastic French fries. With a big dollop of mayo. I’ve eaten a lot of tartare in my time, and the Café Wilder version is my favourite in Copenhagen.

Oysters and tartare not your thing? Here’s the menu!

We decided to skip dessert (we later enjoyed icecream and cake at home) and took a walk around the canals and Copenhagen harbour to cool off…

And my favourite gifts this year? So many lovely things plus, of course, the beautiful flowers from hubby. Perfume – Acqua di Giò – which I love! I first tried this perfume when I picked up a tiny sample bottle of it at one of our Clothes Swap parties. And loved it so much that I asked for it for my birthday. My previous bottle of perfume (Jour d’Hermès) was a Christmas gift, and I used the very last “skoosh skoosh” of it on 24 June. How is that for timing?!

I also received hair and skin care products with one of my favourite scents, coconut . Some lovely Weleda bath products – relaxing (lavender) and reviving (ginger). Plus another gadget because I love to have music wherever I go… When I’m in the bath or shower, I can now listen to my favourite music with this little (waterproof) speaker! Do you think it goes up to 11?!

And as I mentioned in the first part of my birthday post, I also love my new Hot Fuzz themed cup! Just the ticket for my morning coffee, or evening cuppa. And it matches the running t-shirt I bought last year… Yarp!

So, that’s all for this year’s birthday – I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

See more of Copenhagen and Danish hygge here


May the Danish hygge be with you!



Menu plan – 7 July 2020

Menu planning…we have a simple salad or fresh, raw veggies with most of our meals

What’s on the menu this week at Casa Copenhagen? We are into vacation season now, and taking things easy with a mix of old family favourites and a few new recipes. Remember when you are menu planning to “K.I.S.S.” – keep it simple, sweetie!

  • Build-your-own-burger with oven-baked potato wedges and salad
  • Spaghetti Carbonara with wilted spinach, my homemade foccacia (my recipe for foccacia is here) – I had written Carbonara on last week’s menu plan but we had a last minute change and made Spaghetti Bolognese instead. So this week it’s definitely Carbonara!
  • Potato gnocchi with mushrooms, garlic, spinach, white wine, cream and parmesan (there’s a good simple recipe for that here )
  • Pad See Ew – Thai Fried rice noodles with pork tenderloin and broccoli (from the Danish book Foodfanatic Thai by Nadia Mathiasen – recipe is here
  • Green lentil salad (with feta, tomato, cucumber, lemon/mustard/honey dressing) OR we might go a different route with a Baked Feta Salad with Lentils Will depend on how we feel on the day!
  • leftovers or out to dinner/takeaway
  • and, if our plans change (which they invariably do…) smørrebrød, which is open-faced Danish rye bread with various toppings!
Cherries from our garden…eaten by the sea for my morning swim breakfast!


May the Danish hygge be with you!



PS: Looking for more easy menu planning inspiration? I have plenty of easy recipes (and crafts!) on my YouTube channel!

OOTDs (Outfit of the day)

If you want to know more about my wardrobe, see our famous Clothes Swap Parties, and why I love using the Dressing Your Truth system to build a capsule wardrobe, see my YouTube series! More info on Dressing Your Truth here

LLAP! May the Danish hygge be with you! Hugs! Diane

Books! What I read in the merry month of May!

[Reposting due to technical problems with the original]

I love reading – a quick and easy way to pamper! And, as I usually get my books from our fantastic local Danish library, it’s free too! Here’s what I read during the month of May. Our Danish public libraries were closed during the Covid Lockdown so most of these books were borrowed online (e-books and audiobooks). I use eReolenGlobal and Libby apps to find/read books, plus Goodreads to track what I’ve read.

A Dream of Death by Connie Berry. Cozy mystery set in Scotland, first in the Kate Hamilton series. I’m always a bit wary of books by non-Scottish authors set in Scotland but this was surprisingly good. My rating: three out of five stars.

Blackberry Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke. Number 17 in the Hannah Swensen series. I had high hopes for this one because Joanne Fluke is a popular cozy mystery writer but this was truly dreadful, with mundane dialogue which seemed to be there to fill out the word count. So disappointing! My rating: one out of five stars.

The Liar in the Library by Simon Brett. This was a re-read for me (I’ve read all of Simon Brett’s works) because I was desperate for something “cozy” during the Lockdown by one of my favourite authors. Not the best in the Fethering series but a nice, mindless read where you feel right at home with your favourite characters. My rating: three out of five stars.

Twelve Slays of Christmas by Jacqueline Frost. First in the Christmas Tree Farm Mystery series. Audiobook. You may wonder why on earth I was listening to a Christmas cozy during the month of May but it sounded interesting and turned out to be a very entertaining “listen”. All the Christmassy elements and would be perfect for December reading! The sequel will definitely be on my list for this year’s Christmas hygge. My rating: four out of five stars.

Started reading The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley and, so far, it’s very promising. Will give you an update next time around.

And one cookbook which is worth mentioning (usually I flick through a cookbook, find one recipe I want to try and then return it immediately to the library). Quick + Simple = Delicious by Emily Kydd, a British food writer. We had the Danish version “Hurtigt + Nemt = Lækkert”. My son made several recipes from the book (see our recent menu plan by clicking here) and he wants a copy of this book when he moves into his own flat. Praise indeed! We are now checking out Emily Kydd’s other cookbooks. Our rating: four out of five stars.

Happy reading!



PS: If you’re looking for book suggestions and reviews, my friend Sue has a great book blog!

You can find my hygge books, magazines, tv programmes and music YouTube videos here…

VIDEO My summer vacation/projects, Flylady Camp, coping with guests/volunteering, self-care bingo!

My last video before the summer vacation…who needs some motivation? We are chatting about our summer vacation plans and projects, Flylady Camp, coping with guests/volunteering, self-care basics and my bingo card!
My Flylady Refresher Course videos are here and the info about the Flylady Camp is here


May the Danish hygge be with you!



Menu plan, 30 June 2020

What’s on the menu this week at Casa Copenhagen? A mixture of meals to suit the very mixed summer weather we are having!

  • Forloren Hare (Danish meatloaf – my recipe is here ) A homemade one which I have in the freezer…I was going to use it last week but our plans changed. Served with potatoes, carrots and creamy gravy.
  • Simple Red Thai Chicken (cooked by our son) with rice and naan bread
  • Lamb burgers, pesto potatoes, ratatouille
  • Spaghetti Carbonara with wilted spinach, my homemade foccacia (my recipe for foccacia is here)
  • Pork chops with a tabbouleh salad (bulgur, parsley, onion, cucumber, tomato, fresh mint)
  • Bibimbap (again! yes! it’s a staple in our house) made by our daughter
  • Chorizo, chickpea and egg salad
  • and, if our plans change (which they invariably do…), smørrebrød or leftovers!
Red Thai curry made by my son

We had a heatwave last week and have been eating a lot of koldskål…the taste of Danish summer!

Danish koldskål with kammerjunkere and strawberries

You can see it in my Summer in Denmark YouTube video…

Bon appétit!


May the Danish hygge be with you!



PS: Looking for more inspiration? I have plenty of easy recipes (and crafts!) on my YouTube channel!

VIDEO Summer in Denmark! Crazy graduation traditions, hygge Copenhagen! Diane with the Secret Slob

What makes it summer in your part of the world? Special food, visiting a theme park, flora and fauna? I’m excited to be doing another video with my friend Steph, the Secret Slob! Today we’re giving you our top 3 summer favourites… Here in Denmark we have some rather crazy Danish High School graduation traditions! I show you how we eat “koldskål”. And it’s time to hygge in Copenhagen!


May the Danish hygge be with you!



For more info on hygge and my life in Denmark, see my YouTube series…

Hygge, life in Denmark and travel videos


Woo hoo, thanks again for all the brilliant ideas you have sent in for FLYLADY ZONE 1 (entry, hall, dining room ) Errand Day, self-care and gardening! I will add to the list as more ideas come in. Keep scrolling down, there is a lot of inspiration here!


  • fresh plants or flowers for the hall, porch or dining room
  • candles
  • lightbulbs
  • cleaning suppies
  • entry mat

And here’s a nice idea for Errand Day! “Errand day pampering for me usually includes a coffee and my favorite podcast or audiobook playing in the car as I go place to place. Simple but special.”

This is my “self-preservation” bingo card. I pick a couple of ideas from the lists below and it makes me more deliberate about “taking care of me” during the week! You can click the photo, save and print or copy paste into your own document. Or if you’d like to customise, here’s a link to Canva (though you need a paid subscription to edit)


  • cut a bloom from the garden/buy a single flower for the hallway
  • add a flower pot to your entryway/postbox area
  • “redecorate” the area with items borrowed from other places in the house (vase, candlestick, lamp)
  • add a blanket for the cooler evenings outside on the porch/veranda
  • use your “best” china and glasses from the dining room – every day is a special occasion!
  • use one of your “best” glasses (wine, crystal) and enjoy a glass of chilled water, add some fresh mint or a slice of lemon
  • set the dining table with flowers/candles, turn on some background music and enjoy lunch or dinner – alone/with family/online with friends
  • hang a crystal in the dining room window or entryway
  • make paper flowers to display on the dining room table
  • make a wreath or welcome sign for your front door
  • make a small “tableau” in the hall/entryway or dining room (some candles, a flower, a photoframe, something which makes you smile)
  • diffuse your favourite scent or light a candle while doing your zone work
  • listen to your favourite music/podcast while doing your zone work
  • once you’ve completed some zone work (decluttering or cleaning), sit outside/in your favourite chair and read for fifteen minutes
  • sit outside on your porch/veranda and read or enjoy a cup of chilled water or hot coffee
  • sit outside on your porch/veranda and admire your efforts!


  • take a “step back” and look at your porch/entryway – what would a visitor notice?
  • clean and organize your deck/patio/porch
  • declutter dead plants, remove weeds from plant pots, etc
  • sweep the paths
  • sweep the pavement
  • prune any overhanging branches
  • sweep the garage
  • create a garden basket to live by the front door
  • create a herb pot to live by the front door
  • wash the front steps
  • wipe down the front door (repair/paint any scratches, etc)
  • remove weeds from the garden paths
  • dust off porch/veranda furniture
  • change the wreath/flower decoration/welcome sign


May the Danish hygge be with you!



And if you’d like help with cleaning and decluttering in the Flylady Zones, I am here to guide you through!

VIDEO Your Monday motivation! Weekly Home Blessing, self-care, Flylady Zones 5 and 1!

Here’s your Monday motivation! What a crazy, fun week it’s been! I’m starting out with a full blown Weekly Home Blessing and then will add in a few zone tasks. We are working in Flylady Zones 5 and 1 this week (split week). Remember to be consistent with your Morning and Evening Routines and the rest will fall into place. I’m shaking my pom poms for you! Rah, rah, rah!


May the Danish hygge be with you!



53rd birthday – Part One!

🎂🖐🇩🇰 Today is my 53rd birthday, woo hoo! As is the Danish tradition, my family woke me up – singing the traditional birthday songs in English and Danish- and brought me my morning coffee… 🇩🇰🎉☕🎤🎶

🚲🏊‍♀️ Then I showered and dressed to shoes (aqua jumpsuit and gold sandals/jewelry) and headed out on my bike for a birthday breakfast swim with my Besties, Helene and Vibeke. We swim all year round (we are vinterbadere) and have been celebrating our birthdays with a breakfast swim for the past 8 years 🎂🎂🎂 Helene and Vibeke have their birthdays in February, so usually there’s snow or ice then and we eat the birthday breakfast in the changing room at the bathing club. But for mine, we can usually eat outside in the sunshine and today was no exception. The temperature today was scorching by Danish standards…sea 21c/69f and air 27c/80f. And the heat is still rising this afternoon! ☀️☀️☀️ In Denmark they say that the weather is dependent on your behaviour during the past year…so I have obviously been a very good girl indeed! LOL!

We always swim in our “birthday suits” (yes, we are vinterbadere) and today I wore the “Birthday Hat” (and only the birthday hat…) when swimming, as is our tradition 👒 Afterwards we feasted on fresh rolls (with butter, jam, honey and cheese), a wienerstang (long log of Danish pastry) and lots of tea. Cheers! Velbekomme!

Calm sea today

Cycled back home again to finish my Morning Routine (Flylady Routines keep me rolling along on the High days and holidays) and to open more gifts 🎁🎁🎁 Hubby bought me a beautiful bouquet of roses and knows me so well: I prefer pink roses to red 😊💝

And one of my gifts was a new tea cup! “Yarp”! Love it! Those of you who know my fascination with the movie Hot Fuzz will appreciate the immense pleasure I’m going to have all this year, if people ask my age, of being able to say, “I’m actually 53”! 😅

Time for a birthday nap! 😄💤 More of my birthday celebrations coming up in Part Two! 🖐🥂🎁🥳🎂☀️👒

LLAP! May the Danish birthday hygge be with you! Hugs! Diane

If you want to know more about celebrating birthdays in Denmark, here’s an old video of mine… 🎁🎂🇩🇰

Menu plan, 23 June 2020

What a week of celebrations ahead! Our son’s graduation from Danish High School today, Danish “Sankt Hans Aften” (bonfire night, midsummer), my birthday on Thursday (which means a birthday breakfast swim with my Besties plus dinner out with the family) plus we’re hosting a big graduation party for classmates, friends and family at the weekend. Whew! My simple daily routines are keeping me sane and I’ve kept this week’s menu plan super simple, plus stocked up on various “ready meals” and easy to throw together food (frozen pizzas, sausages, mixed salad bags, etc) so that we aren’t caught out by last minute changes. So here’s what’s on the menu at celebratory Casa Copenhagen!

Takeaway sushi tonight for our son’s graduation day – congratulations to our “wee” boy! 👏🥂👨‍🎓🇩🇰💐

IKEA meatballs with readymade potato salad and a simple mixed salad (grated carrots, spinach, sliced apple, tomatoes)

Danish biksemad (chopped onion, potatoes, beef), available in the freezer section of the supermarket. Topped with fried eggs, pickled beetroot and ketchup or brown sauce on the side.

My birthday dinner will be at one of my favourite restaurants in the Christianshavn area of the city, on the canals. (Photo from autumn 2019)

At the bistro I can get my fill of my favourites…raw oysters to start, then steak tartare and fries… Yum! Plus a glass (or two) of champagne.

I also have some salmon in the freezer so if I ask my husband sweetly he may make his famous four-ingredient Creamy Baked Salmon.

Danish meatloaf “forloren hare” – you may remember I made two loaves a couple of weeks ago, and popped one in the freezer for a later date. Now is the time! Will serve with new baby potatoes, warm red cabbage and a creamy gravy.

For our graduation party, we’ll have food catered from a local Thai restaurant, plus we’re going to make lots of cake: chocolate brownies and black bean chocolate cake (just whizz together and bake). My recipe for that is here…

That’s it – bon appétit! And remember, when menu planning, to K.I.S.S. – keep it simple, sweetie!

My “wee boy” graduating today


May the Danish hygge be with you!



VIDEO Survival tips for a busy summer! Plus birthday/graduation outfits…

Survival tips for a busy summer! Plus my birthday and graduation outfits! This week we are celebrating my son’s Graduation, Danish “Sankt Hans” (a bonfire night, similar to midsummer), my birthday on Thursday, plus a traditional student party with friends and family at our home this weekend. Lots to celebrate but we are crazy busy – here are my best tips to keep you sane! You can also use these tips when you are having a rough week, dealing with stress or bereavement.

If you’d like help setting up some simple daily routines, my Flylady Refresher Course videos are here


May the Danish hygge be with you!




Here’s my cleaning/declutter list for the bathroom! 🎉 Once again, in order to save on printing ink (said the canny Scot…), I typed my lists in black ink and printed them on coloured paper. If you don’t have a printer/don’t want to print, you could take a screenshot of the list and keep it on your phone. I’ve based my lists on my own bathroom and things to declutter in this area. Remember to adapt – make these lists work for you! You can also find full detailed cleaning lists for zone 3 on the Flylady website (click here). Flylady Zone 3 is the bathroom plus one other room of your choice (more information about that here). Simply cut and paste what you need into your own blank document. If you are someone who thrives on lists, you may also want to make a list for your guest bedroom/laundry room/office/garden shed, etc. Just make sure that you are getting off your “bahookie” (backside) and cleaning things, and not getting bogged down in making perfect lists! LOL!

I printed my cleaning list and declutter list and put them back to back in a plastic sheet. Ready to cross off the tasks as I go! During the week I keep the list in my cleaning caddy. That way I can use any spare minutes I have to do one of the tasks. No more marathon cleaning sessions…do you hear me?! LOL! The aim is not to cross everything off the list this week but to keep moving forward in this zone and get something (anything!) done.


Scan the room, put things away
Dust ceiling/corners
Wipe skirting boards
Dust flat surfaces/window sills
Wipe door handles/light switches/
fingerprints or marks on walls
Shine windows, mirrors
Detailed vacuum session
Wash bathrug
Wipe down shower/bath/sink (inside and out)
Straighten cabinets
Empty/wash rubbish bin
Clean fan extractor
Clean shower drain cover
Dust/water plants
Wash brushes/combs
Rotate seasonal items/candles


Empty bottles
Raggedy towels/facecloths
(donate or cut up and use as rags)
Medicine, first aid supplies
Makeup and toiletries
Bubble bath/shower gel
Hair products and accessories


Clean grout/reapply

Here’s a link to the template I made using Canva, but you would need a subscription to make changes to it. I therefore suggest you use cut and paste from my text above or from the Flylady’s lists.

Would you like some ideas for pampering, gardening and errand day in this zone? See this blogpost for inspiration!

And if you would like some company while you clean or declutter, I am always reading with my cleaning caddy and my pom poms to cheer you on!

Let’s clean and declutter in the Flylady Zones!

Have fun!


May the Danish hygge be with you!


VIDEO Let’s chat!

Lots of great questions from you this week on YouTube and Instagram. Are you living in survival mode – how do we change that? What time I wake/go to bed. Winterbathing with my family. How to use the Flylady system with your partner or kids. Plus the Christmas ornament mystery is solved! Grab a cup of coffee or water and let’s chat!

You can find more Question & Answer videos here…

VIDEO Clothes Swap Party, hygge with friends!

See what happens at our hygge Clothes Swap parties in Copenhagen, Denmark! We swap clothes, books, gently used toiletries, jewelry, household goods, sports gear, kids games, etc! 😍 Anything left over is donated to a women’s or men’s shelter, or charity shops / thrift stores. Win, win! Zero waste! And there is no money involved. You can see more of our hygge Scandinavian parties at