Tea Pops

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Since today was the last day of August, I wanted to cross another item off my summer goals list. I had been wanting to make popsicles for a while but was sad to discover that our tiny freezer (our fridge is bar sized, just fyi) couldn't fit regular sized popsicle molds. But! I found these mini ones in a strange, small grocery store in Iceland! I couldn't have been happier. So the other day, despite the rainy weather, I made some Earl Grey popsicles. They were super easy to make - I just brewed a triple strong pot of tea, added a squeeze of lemon and some honey and put a basil leaf in each mold. I'm sure mint would be even better but I only had basil on hand and it actually tasted pretty ok with the lemon and bergamot. I think I'll keep experimenting through the fall with different flavours. Such a nice and easy treat!

A Year as a Copenhagener

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

So it's been a year ago today that I started this little blog and wrote this post about moving to our first place in Copenhagen. I had completely forgotten about it when I used the same title last week in this post about coming back to Copenhagen after our honeymoon. I guess that's a good indication that Copenhagen has really become another home for me. Either that or I just have a terrible memory. It's been a big year, with some ups and downs, and I thought I would take a moment to look back on everything that has happened. This will likely be yet another of my long and rambly posts. Feel free to scan.

Last summer I graduated from university, packed up my things and said goodbye to my life in Canada. I met up with Mark in Odense and we took a quick trip to Berlin, to celebrate being done with living apart. Together, we lugged our suitcases on a train to Copenhagen and we moved into our sublet apartment in Christianshavn. While Mark spent the fall commuting to Odense to finish his undergrad thesis, I signed up for Danish lessons and started volunteering as an art director for a non-profit cafe. I also had time to work on some domestic projects, learning about knitting and baking, and to explore my new city. In October I started my internship at IMO where I learnt that despite my love for art, working in an art gallery isn't completely my cup of tea. We got engaged and found an apartment that would be our own. I went home for Christmas, and it was lovely as always. I was lucky enough to be there to meet little Lily, which was a magical event. I also got pretty sick that winter, with a reoccurring sinus infection that turned into pneumonia. That, combined with the dark and cold Danish weather, made the winter seem long. Mark started his masters here in Copenhagen and I spent the late winter and early spring applying for grad schools, jobs and other internships that weren't very successful. I wasn't sure what I wanted, and it seemed that everything was just a little bit harder that it needed to be. I made a portfolio website (which I later lost when my computer crashed) and I opened a vintage shop. Then I started to plan our wedding, taking days to make paper flowers and dying tablecloths. We got married, and it was wonderful. We had a flurry of family and friends come to stay during the spring and summer which was also wonderful, if a bit cozy in our tiny apartment at times. Life got busy and I had a few hard decisions to make which added a lot of stress. Allie came and took me to London, which was a much needed change of pace. I came back feeling inspired and ready to take on the summer. I got a job in a busy Vietnamese restaurant, which will be the last time I take a job that makes me feel bad just in order to make some money. We spent some of the summer on making our apartment a home. Then we went on our honeymoon to New York and Iceland, which was amazing and also left me thankful for the life we've made here.

I can't believe how fast my time here has gone. There are so many things I've come to love about my life in Copenhagen. I love biking everywhere which I'm a bit surprised about (and a bit proud), considering my lack of skills at the start of the year. Getting around on my bike has quickly become one of my favourite things about living here and the way the city is set up makes it so easy and safe. I also love our neighbourhood, and being just a quick bike ride to the ocean or the centre of the city. Best of all, it really feels like a neighbourhood. We say hi to neighbours and shop owners on the street and have our coffee shop, library, food co-op and community garden right along our street. I love walking next door and buying flowers before stopping in at the food co-op to pick up our bag of produce and go the weekly communal dinner at the garden. I'll be switching to a yoga place nearby so that everything we do (besides school and work) is all right here. I also love having friends and family around. I'm so lucky to have an amazing community of people here, as well as back in Canada. Having Mark's family become my family and being able to reconnect with friends from high school has been so great. Of course, I still miss my friends and family in Canada dearly. Sometimes I feel pangs of homesickness and realize that what I'm missing are the people there, and that they are actually what's home to me. I'm really grateful for being able to have two homes though and for being able to experience another culture and life here. I'm excited for what another year will bring!

Congratulations if you made it through all that, I should personally make you a little gold medal!

The Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Ever

Monday, August 29, 2011

It's been way too long since I've had a baking post up here and with this crazyrain (meteorological term) continuing, I think it's cookie time. I made these Smitten Kitchen cookies for the first time a while ago and was really impressed. While I love many of Deb's recipes, this one just nails it. I'm always looking for the perfect cookie recipes, and this one is definitely my new go to for oatmeal raisin. They are chewy, slightly cinnamon-y and the right amount of salty and sweet. I think the trick is to under do them slightly. For you silly raisin haters out there, you could also probably sub in chocolate if you are going to be like that. Nom nom.

Our Apartment: The Office

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I know I've promised honeymoon pictures but I also promised the last pictures of the apartment. With Mark starting school tomorrow and me trying to catch up on the Danish I missed from being away, this weekend has been all about getting back to school. There's so much I love about this time of year, but more on that later. But it seems like an appropriate time to show you our desk. It's a bit funny that I'm showing this last, since it's one of the first things we did. Mark built this custom desk which is amazing because I have no idea how you would use this space otherwise. It's also great because we can set it up exactly the way we want. The desk rests on our receiver, so we can have wireless sound in the apartment through the speakers under the desk and the ones that Mark will be wiring soon in the living room. There's also a filing cabinet with built in organizers for office supplies and paper which I love, because desks never seem to have space for that. Then we both have our sides, Mark with his ergonomic set up and chess game (his latest fascination) and me with my Mac and vintage tchotchkes. It's nothing too exciting, just where we, you know, compute. Right now I've just stashed all the cables in baskets under the desk but one day I'll organize them properly, as well as put up hooks under the desk for our bags since we always end up leaving them on the floor. So that's it for our apartment, thanks for coming on the little tour! And sorry for the grainy photos, it's been crazy stormy and dark weather lately.

What we did: Built a custom desk, set up wireless stuffs.

Still to do: Install bag hook on underside of desk, organize cables. Oh, also get a proper bulb for my dinky little trash-lamp.

Where things are from: The desk is made of two MDF boards, the desk legs, lamps and my desk chair are found, Mark had his chair and electronics from before, all the other little things are thrifted (and some are for sale in my shop!) and I made the calendar for Christmas last year.

Home Sweet Home

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

We're back! We had an amazing time on our honeymoon and I can't wait to show you pictures and tell you stories. But right now we have camping stuff drying out all over our apartment, I have thousands of pictures to sort (seriously, and that's not including the analog or Super 8 rolls) and a Danish novel to read for class. Even though we had a great trip it feels so good to be home and to have my Tiggy back, all plump and happy from his catcation at his aunt and uncle's. So come back for more soon, please and thank you. And here is a little peek of us at Coney Island.

Our Apartment: The Bedroom

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friends, I've run out of daylight. It's past midnight, we're still packing and I haven't even finished our teeny house tour. I also wanted to show you pictures of our bowling & beef party! So I'll leave you with a picture of the place I'll hopefully be curling up soon in and you'll have to wait to see the other half of our bedroom (the "office") when I return. Maybe a back to school special? Ha. I'm sure you'll all be waiting with bated breath. Anyway, the bedroom. This was one of the trickiest spaces, since it's long and narrow with a slanted ceiling on one side (the office side) and a strange little nook in the corner. Mark hacked an Ikea cabinet and built in some shelves to create a custom closet area in the nook (I have another cabinet for my clothes at the foot of the bed). There are also drawers in the bed which is great for storage but made finding a beside table a challenge. We put up more shelving in here (still to be painted) for Mark's medical text books and notes which I don't love aesthetically but it's part of being married to a doctor-to-be, I suppose. The Danes have separate duvets for each person, isn't that smart? I'm not a big fan of fluffed up beds, so I like that ours is really simple. And that's it! I should really go to bed now guys. I'll see you when I get back, ok?

What we did: Installed bedside lamps and a ceiling light, built shelves, made a custom closet, hacked an Ikea cabinet to make to separate closets, put up a bedside storage shelf

Still to do: Buy a new ceiling light, paint shelves white, either frame our poster or hang it with bulldog clips.

Where things are from: The bed and linens Mark already had from Ikea, the Hudson's Bay point blanket is mine from my parents, the lamps were thrifted, bedside table is from the (not so) dollar store here, the cabinets/closets and mirror are used from Ikea, the vintage Copenhagen poster was a wedding gift, and I made the dreamcatcher.

Our Apartment: The Dining Room & Kitchen

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I got behind in our little home tour! We threw a birthday party for Mark's brothers and I'm running around getting ready to leave on our honeymoon. I'll try to make it through the rest of the apartment before we leave Friday so there is room for lots of trip photos when we are back! So today, I'll put the kitchen and dining room together. It's a bit of a joke to say things like "dining room" and "kitchen" like they are actual separate rooms when we are talking about one tiny room. Our kitchen is especially tiny, and was even more so when we moved in. It was just the one wall, with the sink, hot plates and small open shelves. The large cupboard is actually a fridge but we couldn't live with one bar sized fridge (especially with all the nice veggies from our food co-op) so we got another one. We also added another kitchen unit, which happens to match quite nicely, so we could put in a stove and microwave and have a place to store all our pots and pans and pantry items. Our table is also expandable, so we are able to have a dinner party for 8 people if we want (we have extra chairs in our basement storage) which is really great. I would hate to feeling like I can't have people over because I live in a small space. The open living space works pretty well in this room, since we can cook, eat and hang out while being together. We struggled a bit with finding a place to put books since there is no room for a bookcase, so eventually we put it up high on the wall above the table which works well.

What we did: Added an extra unit to our kitchen, installed task lights in the skylight over the counter and an adjustable hanging lamp over the dining table, painted and put up bookshelves and framed and hung art (using leftover pictures from a calendar I had made for Christmas).
Still to do: I'd like to blow up a photo really large and hang it in place of the smaller ones. Or put pictures up of friends and family. I just need a way to make it look not cheesy. And I'm worried a bunch of little frames with all the books would be way too busy. We'll see. We also want to paint the table with white milk paint since I'm not a big fan of the yellow-y varnish.
Where things are from: The fridge, convection oven, and kitchen unit (originally from Ikea) are used, the microwave was found, all the pots, pans and plates were thrifted, the bowls are from Mark's grandparents and the task lights are from Ikea. The dining table was a hand-me-down from Mark's parents, the vintage chairs and light are thrifted, the rug (really Tiggy's scratching post) and wood for the shelves were found. I think just saying found is nicer that saying found in the dump, yes? But still, free stuff is awesome.

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