new country, new blog

I wasn’t quite sure if this blogging thing was right for me. That’s why I kept quiet for ages, and let my old page turn dusty.

Now I’ve got a second wind, after the talented hjartesmil worked her magic and created this new, pretty page for me.

So much has happened in my life in the last 6 months. New country, new home, new job, new daily life, new routines, new existence. Baby boy due in 8 weeks. Matt practicing his Norwegian with me every night at the dinner table. Feeling like life is starting again, somehow, and that the past is just a distant dream. All thanks to this growing presence within, the one I can feel, but who I don’t know yet. It’s a beautiful thing.





Seeing the road ahead, and knowing that it’s mine to walk. These are the things that are rightfully mine, the trees and the flowers, the air and the endless horizon. To be so at absolute peace about what’s going to happen next, that it almost doesn’t matter. That is what it means to be home.


it’s yours

“…that thing you want, that thing that feels like it’s a hundred miles away…it’s yours. It always has been. All you have to do is go and get it with starlight and butterflies…”

This week has been a reminder to myself that whatever it is that I’m seeking, all I need to do is to reach out and grab it. Too much effort is put into thinking about what we don’t have or supposedly can’t have, rather than what we actually have and are able to obtain if we try hard enough. Trust me, I understand, because I’m a master of this myself. I have since realised that the world consists of two types of people: the ones who do and the ones who think about doing. Which one are you?

I had the privilege of sitting in a beautiful little park in East Melbourne after work one night this week. It was 20 degrees and  comfortably overcast, with a mild wind carrying with it the smell of freshly sprung spring flowers, and I was in heaven.


I discovered a little quiet street behind my noisy work street, where birds were chirping and I could sit down and recharge my batteries for 10 minutes before heading back to the busy workday.


I stumbled across a divine Saturday morning Makers Market, where people were selling the beautiful things they had made themselves.


I picked up these home made treasures for myself:


Just remember. It’s yours.

norwegian food

It recently dawned on me, whilst on holiday in Norway, how much Norwegians love their food! The specialities are endless: fresh bread with liver pâté, pasta salads with shrimps, fish! fish! and fish! salmon, cod, meatballs and “komler” (potato balls with salty meat and sausage), cured meats, brown cheese, black coffee, waffles and the list goes on. As we sat in a small town near the coast, about 35 km south of Bergen, enjoying ourselves a serving of traditional fish soup, Matt started thinking about how the small cafe serving traditional Norwegian foods & snacks could re-invent itself into something much more interesting and profitable. ‘This fish soup’, he said, ‘is pretty average.’ ‘How about some more interesting dishes, like a tasty pasta dish, a delicious curry or at least something a bit more interesting? This business could do really well.’ Like any other Melburnian, he believes interesting is better than traditional. That garlic and onion should form part of everything you cook. That wine is better than water (well hey, I’d have to agree on that one!!)


Thing is, after careful consideration, I realised Norwegians love their food just like the Italians love their pasta. Like the Chinese love their ducks. The Norwegian cuisine might look dull at a first glance, and let’s face it, you are lucky if you even get some salt & pepper in your fish soup! However it is what it is, and every time I’m there I seem to scoff down those fish cakes like there is no tomorrow. I eat bread for breakfast AND lunch, sometimes even dinner. I emerge myself in ‘lefser’ & waffles & brown cheese (the latter has yet to be approved by the French as cheese, but I’m not one of those who judge a cheese by its smell). I sip black, filtered coffee like it’s something I do every day anyway, and I like it (however I also think it could be about time to start importing some more espresso machines over there!). Then there’s ‘rekesalat’, that shrimp coleslaw you slap onto fresh bread. Not for beginners necessarily, but all in good time. Just getamungstit.

So in reality, the Norwegian cuisine isn’t weird or dull. It’s just….Norwegian. And while it ain’t breakfast 638 ways, I still have a big place in my heart for it.

kaffe og vaflr



The last week has been a whirlwind of different activities, particularly now that I’m also in the market for a new job! Never a dull moment as they say. I still managed to fit in a cheeky morning tea at Hausfrau yesterday.


Hausfrau is a bakey in Yarraville serving up great European delights, like Apfel Strudel and Danish pastries. I always come here for a treat and to catch up on my reading with the wide selection of magazines available.

On my way home, I caught a glimpse of a fabulous set of table & chairs outside ‘Sedonia’ in Seddon Village. Like any other breathing 30 year old female, I am a tiny bit obsessed with vintage. Sipping a cocktail in these chairs in the backyard on a balmy summer night? Don’t mind if I do!


I’ve been mildly obsessed with coffee as well lately, so no wonder I had to laugh when I noticed this little quote on a wall in Yarraville village.


Now, if only I could add ‘young, feisty and with sex appeal’ to that, both the leader of the opposition AND me might actually get somewhere! For the rest of you, ask yourselves what you’ve done wrong to potentially get that guy as your next prime minister.  It must have been something really….bad.

Pass me the guilt, please!

My favourite television show at the moment is ‘Little Paris kitchen’ (SBS, Thursday nights @ 8 pm), where a young lady from the UK is living it up as a cook and food writer in a tiny apartment in Paris. I’m completely obsessed with the show, and so are a lot of people around me. So, apart from the whole living in Paris scenario, what makes this show so good?

  1. Rachel Khoo (the cook and food writer) is wearing her excellent collection of vintage outfits, which includes funny coloured knitted socks. Of course everyone loves vintage, so it’s sure to be a hit.
  2. She’s got a fringe extraordinaire going on (from one fringe queen to the next).
  3. Apart from a super cute British accent, she speaks perfect Françoise, enough to make me embarrassed I ever tried to learn it for five years in school only to end up with a half dodgy ‘tu t’appelle comment?’
  4. She lives en PARI! (Ops, already said that).
  5. She cooks in a tiny kitchen, with one stove top and a tiny oven, which should make any poor student living in dire conditions ashamed of their baked beans on toast diet (ashamed, I tell you!).
  6. She gets to eat all the baguettes and cakes she wants because quite frankly, it tastes too damn nice to resist and besides, she lives in Paris for God’s sake.
  7. And staying on the matter of eating, the absolute BEST thing about this show is that Rachel is cooking with…drum roll please…. cheese, cream, sugar, chocolate and BUTTER!! (iiiikk).

Now, can I please at this point be allowed to have a nervous breakdown about all the guilt that exists in my life…….I mean, I eat BREAD (in fact I love bread so much I tend to have it for breakfast AND lunch!), I eat butter (oohhh), I eat cheese (Greek feta, goats cheese, brie, cheddar, you name it and I eat it, several times a week), I eat cream, I eat eggs (why hello cholesterol, and by the way: how un-vegan of me!), I eat potatoes after 7 pm and I eat pasta whenever I see fit (ravioli, spag bol, carbonara, sometimes even a cheeky mac and cheese however always homemade, not the processed stuff…ehhh). So please allow yourself to point the finger at me, because I have already declared myself well & truly guilty! I have absolutely no knowledge of any super foods; I have a dodgy old blender which hardly blends, inherited from my mother in law; my favourite drink is red wine (no healthy juices here) and every day, I eat a big, fatty avocado, as if it was some kind of healthy fruit! (duuuhhh..)

So here I was, looking at websites where women had substituted bread with dust, pasta with quinoa and coffee with something green and slimy (gives you great energy, apparently! Well, so does coffee!!!!!), thinking that ‘gee I must be half dead already’. As it that wasn’t enough, I also visited some strange online airwaves where super skinny women were photographing their super toned abs (steroids?), and their firm bums in the latest Nike run wear, whilst proclaiming their love for the gym (at least 7 times a week everyone, oh wait does that mean every day of the week, hmmm oh well who has a job and a life anyway!). The same women were cooking their gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, and hold on, sugar free foods, in other words food without the nasties, ‘the horrible stuff’ (i.e. flour) and at this point I felt just about ready to curl myself into a ball and rock back and forth whilst singing a hymn from my child hood.

But please, don’t get me wrong, I own both a gym membership AND a cookbook by Michelle Bridges. I also make a lot of wholesome home cooked meals, but I am not prepared to die of shame the next time I discover I don’t have much in the fridge because I work hard and catch public transport, and instead end up devouring boiled pasta with butter and parmesan cheese (and a maybe tiny bit of cheddar…!) for dinner. Or for enjoying sitting down at a street cafe with a cappuccino and a croissant, and for putting the finger up at the buckwheat chocolate cake. For me, life is all about give and take. I go to the gym, I love working up a sweat, and I love getting strong & fit. However I also cut myself some slack at the same time. Meaning I don’t always eat five a day (although I try my best) and I don’t need to be slaving in the kitchen for hours to make every tiny ingredient from scratch (and quite frankly, who the heck has the time to do that anyway)!

So here I was, feeling beyond guilty about my ‘crazy’ lifestyle: involving anything from coffee first thing in the morning, to a sandwich for lunch, and wait for it, roast potatoes and pan-fried fish (in butter of course) for dinner! And then Rachel came along, rosy cheeked and all smiles, cooking with beautiful French cheeses, cream and more than a dollop of salty, French butter! Can I just say….THANK YOU RACHEL! Not only for preparing and endorsing mouth-watering dishes on telly, but for being normal, and by that I mean having a normal body weight and cooking with simple, old-fashioned ingredients like white flour, caster sugar and filo pastry. I will not proceed to have a nervous breakdown then, after all, because at least now I know that there are two of us out there with our crazy, normal ‘eat everything in moderation’ diets!

Now, where is that smart phone so I can get a photo of those abs……..

#guilt #nervousbreakdown #howaboutsomechocolatecake?

Rachel KhooCheese_blog




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