Early Winter Adventures

I don’t know why, but my brother and his girlfriend keep coming to Denmark in November, which is probably the most boring and unattractive month of the year. Ok, probably not, because you get a nice feeling from all the Christmas preparations, January and February are much more boring. But seriously, nature has not much to offer at this time of the year, and the weather is not too friendly either. I keep telling them, that they should visit us in the spring or summer, but in vain…

Anyway, we always try to get the maximum out of their visits, so we tried our best this time too. Apart from a lot of playing and feeling cozy inside, we went for quite a few adventures with them.

First things first, we had to go to Aarhus. Aarhus is the city where we used to live until July. My husband and I used to study here, we lived in the same dorm, then moved together, had two kids in Aarhus, so we really love this town. But being the second largest city in Denmark (with its 300 000 inhabitants!!!! 😀 ), and a university town, the house prices were just too high for us, so we decided to set root 30 minutes away from there. But we still keep going there, because of the nice shopping possibilities. Our visitors always ask for 1 or 2 trips to downtown Aarhus, to raid their favourite shops. Well, they are my favourite shops as well 🙂 One of them is Søstrene Grene, and the other one is Tiger. Both  chains are a heaven of cute, small and cheap little things, especially before Christmas. I am not going to reveal (to you, or to my husband) the amount of money I’ve spent in those two shops during the last few years, because one just cannot resist all the cuteness and all the ideas…  My brother and his girlfriend also had some problems at the end of their visit, when they were trying to fit all their new stuff in the suitcase… 🙂

While there were here, we also ceased the possibility, and visited the local Christmas market, that was held on Saturday. It was held in the assembly building of the village, it was crowded from all the people, most of them already familiar to us, and had a few stalls offering amazing products from the crafty people of the area. Who knows, probably next year I’m gonna be one of them… 😉 The first person we bumped into was Cherry’s little friend from preschool, Jonathan, and a few minutes later they disappeared together under a table…

If we were already out and going, we decided to give a little sightseeing tour to my brother and gf, around our village. Well, it is a nice place, but the tour didn’t take long 🙂 We took a look at the church, then the football pitch, and walked home, passing by some cows and horses, that are standard equipment in every second household in the village 🙂 I am sure that our visitors, who happened to see Copenhagen the day before, were impressed by what they saw 🙂

The day after I took them for a little tour in the forest. I had this nice idea of packing the kids up in a pair of strollers, getting some blankets, some food, and present a little picnic at our favourite lookout spot. The kids created a nice atmosphere for the walk, by screaming from the top of their lunges at the first part of the tour, but later Cherry cheered up when we covered her with a few blankets, and she played that she is the little mole, sitting in her little mole car, and ordered my brother to push the stroller faster and faster. Paddington simply fell asleep after a while. We had our picnic with biscuits, some fruit, and hot chai latte, but it was so freezing cold there, that we wrapped it up quite quickly 🙂

The week passed fast, and yesterday I drove them back to the airport in Billund. They wanted to go and see the town of Billund, so we did, in spite of my husband’s warning, that there is simply nothing in downtown Billund. He was right. Billund has an airport, has a holiday center, and most importantly, this is where Legoland is located, and it attracts a lot of visitors. But the town itself has nothing to offer. Empty, boring streets, not even a nice church, no old buildings, or cute little passages, nothing. Well, we all know it now 🙂

The only thing we found interesting, was the windows of the Lego Inspiration House, where they put to display the development of Lego through the decades. It was funny to see, how much it has changed since the beginning.

Thanks to our little trip to “downtown” Billund, we almost got to the airport too late, but my brother and gf made it, and were home in Budapest a few hours later. See you at Christmas, guys 🙂

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Wow, a Liebster Award!

It is kind of shocking and amazing and a very nice feeling, I got my very first blog award!!!

Rainbow Junkie nominated me for a Liebster Award, and I was happy and honoured to receive it. Thank you very much, again 🙂 Her blog is all about crocheting, you should definitely check it out!

Here are the lovely tasks going hand in hand with this award:

Post 11 random facts about myself and answer 11 questions from the person who nominated me and nominate 11 blogs for the award:

So, here we go:

11 Random Facts:

  1. The first thing people notice about me, are my freckles. I have a lots of them, and I learned to love them during the years. I got them from my Mum, who once was travelling on a bus when a funny guy turned to her and asked: “What’s up? Has someone pooped in the ventilator?” And since my Mum is a visual type, instead of getting offended, she started to laugh at the mental picture, and by doing this, repelled the guy.
  2. I have a bachelor in Economics, with special in Catering and Tourism, and I am a proud owner of an Msc. in Finance and International Business – sounds boring, he? 🙂
  3. I like to sit in lotus position – sometimes I even eat in this position.
  4. My first pets were a couple of turtles, I only remember the name of one of them, he was called Gerzson.
  5. This year, when I turned 30, I started a lot of new things in my life: sewing, running, and recently even crocheting.
  6. I was in labour with my daughter for 63 hours! 63!!!
  7. I tend to kill plants in pots. So last week I bought my very first plastic plants…
  8. I used to live in the same room for 24 years, this is where my parents brought me home from the hospital, when I was born. Then I decided to move away, from Hungary to Denmark. That is a distance of 1800 kms.
  9. Since then I have moved 4 times.
  10. I am terribly moody. Just ask my poor husband 🙂
  11. In high school I wanted to become a psychologist. I am happy now I didn’t get accepted to the university then.

Answering 11 Questions:

  1. Why did you start a blog? – Well, that is a long story. Unfortunately I was diagnosed whit post partum depression after the birth of my son, and one thing I did trying to overcome it was to become a little bit more creative, as a therapy. I started to blog about my progress in this recently. Also, I am not very good at making friends in person, I kind of shy away, I am better in writing, so I was hoping I can become a part of a virtual community.
  2. How many blogs do you follow?  77 and counting 🙂
  3. What makes you happy? – That is a tough question… let’s see: The laughter of my kids and sunshine.
  4. What are you most grateful for? – My family and their health.
  5. What is your favourite food? – Hmm, it changes all the time, but you can always buy me with any kind of pasta
  6. What sort of weather do you like best? – I like anytemperature, as long as it is sunny. Well, I don’t really like when it gets too hot or too cold though…
  7. Which famous person would you most like to meet? – Uh… any of my favourite authors, see below. I mean, all of those, who are still alive… it would be creepy meeting the deceased ones…
  8. Where would you most like to go for a holiday? – It is again hard to answer, because I would like to see the whole World, if I could choose 🙂 But for a city holiday I would choose Edinburgh, and for a sea-sand-sun kind of holiday my dream destination are the Maldives.
  9. What sort of books do you like to read? – I most like historical books, let them be fictional or based on true facts, like Ken Follett, or Philippa Gregory. I am also the greatest fan of Agatha Christie and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, among others.
  10. What style of music do you prefer? – I really like all styles of music, from opera to pop music. Usually I listen to the radio when I’m driving, and I have a nice playlist of powerful music for my running sessions.
  11. What characteristic do you hope other people will most value in you? – I really don’t know… it would be nice if they just liked me no matter what 🙂

The 11 blogs I would like to nominate, and thereby sentencing them of doing the same thing I just have:

In completely random order

  1. http://featheredneststudio.com
  2. http://byhandlondon.com
  3. http://happylittlekiwi.com
  4. http://thegreendragonfly.wordpress.com
  5. http://sethsnap.com
  6. http://georginagiles.wordpress.com
  7. http://stirandstitch.wordpress.com
  8. http://simpleandchicblog.com
  9. http://jumpforjoyphotoproject.wordpress.com
  10. http://ohsewtempting.wordpress.com
  11. http://devoncountrydiary.wordpress.com

They all inspire me, of different reasons 🙂 Check them out!

And now 11 questions I would like to ask:

  1. When did you start your blog and why?
  2. If someone wrote a book about your life, what would be its title?
  3. What made you cry of laughter for the last time?
  4. Who is your biggest role model?
  5. What is your earliest memory?
  6. What was the most unexpected gift you ever got?
  7. What do they friends say they like most in you?
  8. You rule the World for one day. What is your first action?
  9. Is there a book you keep rereading from time to time? Which book is it?
  10. You can go back in time and change one and only one of your past actions. What would it be?
  11. Who was your last thought last night before falling asleep?

Welcome, visitors!

It is not often I receive visitors from home. But today I did 🙂

Exactly at noon I packed the kids into the car and we set out for Billund Airport, which is about 90 minutes drive from here. A little bit later the silent tunes of the radio were overcast by the gentle snoring sounds of two sleeping children, the best thing that can happen to any parent in a car 🙂

At 13.30 I was sitting at the arrivals, together with my freshly woken sleepyheads, Paddington clearly not knowing where we were and why, and Cherry, who is a big and clever 3-year-old, kept asking, when do the visitors arrive. They soon did: My brother (4 years younger than me) and his girlfriend came to greet us happily 🙂 We haven’t seen them since the Easter holidays, and they haven’t been in Denmark since last November, when they came for Paddington’s baptism (my brother being one of the godparents).

Cherry had this theory, that we have to pick up my brother and his girlfriend, because they don’t own a car, but no problem, because she is going to buy one for them… then a biiiiiig, angry animal will come, and will eat the car… then she will buy another one! How generous of her (and somewhat scary) 🙂

Luckily, despite our worries, we didn’t meet any big, angry, car-eating animals on our way home, and we could proudly show off our new home to our long awaited guests 🙂 Later on they presented us with the gifts they brought for us, obviously mainly for the kids 🙂

Then we ended the evening with a nice and cozy dinner and some play.

We are going to have a lot of fun and trips in the following week. Poppy is reunited with her little brother, and is happy 🙂

Look, I’m crocheting!

It is official now. I have a new thing.

Since I’m still desperately unemployed, I just keep starting new and expensive hobbies. And the new one is crocheting. I mainly blame Pinterest for it… if Pinterest didn’t exist, I had absolutely no idea about the endless possibility of cuteness that lies within crocheting. But I got hooked up by the idea, so I went to my favourite fabric (and now also yarn) shop, and bought my first supplies. I also went to the local library to borrow some teaching material. Here they are, nicely set up, ready to be used. You have to use your imagination and picture a nice big bucket of enthusiasm as well, that is standing right beside the bucket of yarn.

Then I started.

I opened the books. Then I decided to turn to the internet for a little bit of extra help. Yes, as I heard someone once saying it, we live in an age, where girls learn how to crochet from Youtube, and not from their grannies 🙂 So here I was, staring at different video tutorials where each and every one of them did everything completely differently from the others, and I got confused and overwhelmed… But I’m not a quitter, I decided to learn crocheting, and made a commitment by investing a smaller fortune in supplies, so I kept looking, until I found what works the best for me. I mean who works the best for me. It’s Mikey 🙂

Yes, I got myself a male crocheting teacher, and he is great!!! I instantly fell in love with Mikey, grabbed my hook and yarn again and went into war. It was still not easy in the beginning, I clearly remember reaching a point when I felt like crying and throwing the whole thing I was holding in my hands out of the window. But then I tried again and again. Youtube is great, because I could just pause or rewind Mikey whenever I wanted to, and a few watching of the first few lessons later I actually started to come up with something crocheting-like activity.

And check this out, my first sample of simple stitches! I was sooooo proud of myself at this point 🙂

And I went on, along with Mikey, and slowly entered the wonderful world of crocheting. Look at my first sample: it contains all the basic stitches. And yes, it is crocked, it is uneven, it is messy, but it is mine 🙂

 

Look, a granny square!!!

 

Look, a circle!!!

 

Now I felt confident enough to start the real thing. I made a trial for my very first crocheting project: I would like to make a retro circle blanket, following the instructions of Adele. And guess what. Not even 36 hours after I stumbled upon Mikey, I was done with my very first retro circles, yay 🙂

 

I know, they are still a little bit messy and uneven and everything, but Mikey says that I’m gonna get better at it as I practice, and I believe him!

A lovely, relaxing weekend later, spent at my in-laws, I can proudly present you with the first squares of my very first crocheting project:

 

I have to say, I’m completely sold. Crocheting is my new craze. I’m already dreaming of soft blankets and stylish beanies and cardigans and and and… More to come, stay tuned 🙂

 

 

Grenaa

Have I told you about Grenaa? Guess not…

Well, Grenaa is a little town in Denmark, where my husband’s parents live, where he went to high school, this is where we got married, and where we got our daughter baptised (not our son, since the church was not available for the date – he was baptised somewhere else). To conclude: we love Grenaa 🙂

Since we don’t live that close to any of our parents, brothers, sisters, etc. so that we could see them any time we want to, we try to make it up by travelling a lot, receiving a lot of guests, and be together with our family very intensely those days. In the case of my husband’s parents, we usually visit them once a month, and we spend a whole weekend there.

Just like we did this weekend 🙂

It is really relaxing, especially for me, because the weight of household chores is just lifted off of my shoulders these days 🙂 Obviously, I help out my mother-in-law in the kitchen, and I clean up after the kids, but it’s still not the same as at home, where I have to plan the meals, got the washing machine on the run basically all the time, trash can is waiting to be emptied, so on. Grenaa is just pure relaxation 🙂 We are pampered, my mother-in-law is an amazing cook (meaning very high standards and expectations from my husband’s side, when it comes to dinner…), and probably even a better baker.

We tried something new this weekend. Apple porridge. I mean, it was new to me. My husband used to have apple porridge very often as a kid, but through the years of our relationship, I never had the chance to try this Danish specialty. Until now. To be honest, I was a little bit skeptical to begin with. Apple porridge in itself sounds just fine, but the Danish way, that they simply pour cold milk over it and spoon it into their mouth… well, let me just tell you a little story: when my parents were visiting us in Denmark a few summer ago, and we freshly handpicked some strawberries on the way to visit my in-laws, my husband’s Mum put the strawberries on the table, with some milk and cream. My parents and I looked at each other: what was that supposed to mean? In Hungary we sprinkle some powdered sugar on the strawberries, or top them with whipped cream, what’s the deal with the milk? My own Mum even said, she was not gonna try this combination, because (citation follows) “I don’t feel like spending the whole afternoon on the loo”. Yes, the concept was new to us, but my Dad and I tried it (my Mum did not, see above), and constantly fell in love with the milky strawberries. So this time I was not that surprised by the apple porridge bathed in milk. But I just couldn’t get rid of the mental picture of me spending the rest of the afternoon on the loo 🙂 While I was picturing this, my husband dug in, and expressed his happiness, by saying things like “Oh, this is very good” and “I just got a flashback from my childhood”, and in the meantime our daughter was licking the milk out of her bowl, and meowed occasionally…

Ok, it cannot be that bad -I thought, and tasted the apple porridge with milk. And it was good. Not as good as the strawberries with milk, in my honest opinion, but good 🙂

There was also a very cute episode this weekend. My husband took a few family photos that can be found all over the house, then showed them to Cherry. Cherry is a clever little girl, and she can name everyone on the photos. But genetics played a trick on her this time, when she mixed up my father-in-law’s picture from his time in the military service with my husband, and when she looked at my personal favourite picture, that shows my husband and her big sister when they were very small kids, sitting under a pine tree, holding a pair of cats. She said that it is her and Paddington on the picture 🙂 I remember when I first saw this photo, and thought how sweet and cute my husband was as a baby, and we were surely gonna have some cute kids together. And it turns out we did! Actually we produced the mini copies of my sister-in-law and my husband 🙂

And another garland…

After I was done with the little heart garland, I still felt, that our living room was too simple and white and empty, even for a Scandinavian living room 🙂

Well, obviously, after a good play from the kids’ side, the living room is far from empty and white and boring, being covered with different toys, buckets, children books, remote controls, pieces of papers, pillows, blankets, sticks that the dog dragged in from the garden, crumbles and orange peels… But that’s just not the style I had in mind.

Anyway, I decided to make another garland, this time a huuuuuge one, to kind of create a frame for the wall behind the couch. So I took some paper scraps I always have, and started to cut out circles of them, while watching TV in the evening.

And I was cutting, and cutting, and cutting and cutting and cutting…

 

Until I ended up with a sore right hand, and a tray full of colourful circles.

Then (the day after) I began to sew them together with simple stitches, short distances in between them. And I was just sewing and sewing and sewing and sewing… and the pile of circles around my sewing machine just kept growing and growing and growing and growing…

Until I ended up with this:

If I measured it correctly (I used my arm length to do so), the result was about 10 meters of circles, impressive 🙂 Never knew I had so much scraps lying around…

Now all I had to do was to grab a hammer and put a few nails in the wall above the couch. After that I hung up the garland, just to realise that it became a tiny little too long 🙂 I decided to cut it into two, a bigger and a smaller part, and the shorter garland I hung up above the glass door leading to the sunroom. So actually I ended up with two garlands, yay 🙂

I heart the heart garland

Since we only moved in to our house, well, let’s see… 4 month ago, there are still many things that are under progress. I am not talking about my family’s ability of making a terrible, stinky mess all over the place in less than four seconds, that part is totally working… Right now I mean that the whole concept of decorating is still evolving, mainly in my head 🙂 But slowly-slowly, the small ideas are taking physical shape.

Like this easy little heart garland I wanted to make for so long for a door, that is standing in between our living room and the dining room. Watch out, a new tutorial-like post is coming up 🙂

 

This afternoon I got a very long break from being a Mum, Paddington decided to sleep for almost 4 hours (whooa!), and Cherry was having a little rest, sitting with her Dad in the living room, watching (surprise) My Little Ponies. So after finishing some chores, and before starting to prepare dinner, I decided to make the heart garland at last.

I took out some origami paper, and ended up with  7 pieces of 7 different colours. I mainly went with the blueish-greenish colours, but for a pop I decided to include one piece of dark red paper, as a statement 🙂 Then I folded very simple hearts of them, here is how I did:

(I would like to apologise for the poor quality of the photos – I guess you all know, that good photos require a lot of natural lights, but unfortunately we have just entered this few months of the year, when natural light is going to be a very rare guest in the Scandinavian countries)

The Origami Hearts:

Step 1: Fold your paper of choice in half twice, to make creases along the diagonals, then fold back

 

Step 2: First fold the upper corner to meet the center. Then fold the bottom corner to meet the top.

 

Step 3: Fold both sides into the middle, to meet the center line (Hey, it almost looks like a heart already 🙂 )

 

Step 4: Turn your heart around, then fold in the little corners on the sides and on the top.

Step 5: Turn back around and you will find love 🙂 See? I told you it was going to be easy 🙂

Now I had a bunch of pretty paper hearts in front of me, it was time to make a garland out of them

The Garland:

I placed the hearts next to my sewing machine (well,you don’t really need a sewing machine, you can sew them together with hand) in the order I wanted them to hang, from top to bottom. You might have realised, that this kind of heart is tricky, because it opens up easily in the middle. So instead of just sewing them with simple stitches, I decided to zigzag them along the openings, to make them a little bit more, well, stable. As you can see, the little hearts turned out to be a little bit Frankensteinish this way 🙂 Or, as if they had been broken, then mended, bless them 🙂

So starting with the uppermost heart, I zigzagged along it, then pulled the thread still connected to its bottom for about 10 cms before I started to sew on the next heart. I tried to keep an approximately even distance in between the hearts.

Voila, about 15 minutes after I started to fold the first heart, I had a garland in my hands 🙂 I just needed to hang it on the door, and secure it with some tape.

Cherry said: “Look, mummy! Ohhh, how pretty…” 🙂 She is my best critic 🙂