Let yourself be

Our living room view

While we were renovating our apartment in Copenhagen, I was working two jobs, attending a semester of hard classes and adjusting to life back there after spending the majority of the previous 14 months in the U.S., I received a package. I left it in our 10 square foot hallway, that had 5 doors, nonetheless. My friend and roommate, who couldn’t avoid constantly tripping over it, asked what was in it and why I hadn’t opened it yet. It was a winter coat. I needed a good coat for survival of the winter. But it was dusty everywhere from the walls being refinished, despite our good efforts to seal the affected room with plastic drop cloths and tape. And all of our belongings were stuffed into one room and there was barely room to walk around in there and I just didn’t want to unpack it and look at it and most of all, DEAL with it. I just didn’t have the energy to make a decision and I was worried that I wasn’t going to like it or it wasn’t going to fit so I would have to find a different one. After a couple a days I finally opened it and it has been my favorite coat for the past couple of winters. (I don’t know how I would have survived the first winter here without it!) 

But, that’s what I do in my head too. I just ignore the stuff I don’t want to deal with. Which can sort of work out if it’s only one thing like the package for a couple of days. When you stumbled over it, at least you knew what caused it. Then we had to stuff even more furniture in an even tinier room for a while so it overflowed all the way into the hallway. Like, you had to cross an armchair, a lamp and a couple of storage boxes and all the miscellaneous  to get to the front- or bathroom door. When you lost balance then, it was hard to pinpoint exactly what did it. 

And then you find yourself crying and feeling a little overwhelmed in the bathroom at Home Depot without really knowing what is wrong. Because all the little things get build up. All the downs, I just shove ’em away. But there IS ups and downs, it’s supposed to be that way and it’s all alright. It’s alright to have a bad day in between the good ones. So I’m enjoying a cup of hot tea because the morning is a little chilly for the first time in a while. It is still supposed to get warm later and I might have an ice cream date so it’s still all good. 

A pep talk from me to me a couple of weeks ago. If you need one, it’s for you too!

Watermelon salad

Today I’m sharing a real summer recipe. I brought it to the 4th of July party and it was such a hit. And adding the fact that it took me about 7 minutes to throw together before we left the house makes it a winner for me. So if you’re looking for something easy and delicious to bring to the next cookout or wondering what you’re gonna make to go with your weekend grilling, try this salad. I promise you won’t regret it!
Watermelon salad with goat cheese and roasted pumpkin seeds 

Ingredients

  • arugula
  • watermelon
  • fresh goat cheese (my favorite is honey chèvre)
  • fresh mint
  • pumpkin seeds
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • balsamic glaze 

Instructions

  • Over medium heat, dry roast the pumpkin seeds in a small skillet. When they start popping and get fragrant, add about a tea spoon of olive oil to make the sea salt stick. Sprinkle on the salt and take off the heat and let cool.
  • Rinse your greens and spread them on a large plate.
  • Finely chop the fresh mint.
  • Add watermelon and top with crumbled goat cheese, mint and pumpkin seeds and give it a generous drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Done! That was easy, right? Make yourself a gin and tonic to go with it and enjoy! 

Recipes I want to try 

I have injured my ankle in a  s t u p i d  way. Like, really stupid. I was sitting in a waiting room and when I got up, I didn’t realize that my left leg was a sleep so when I shifted my weight from my right leg to the left, the left didn’t correspond accordingly but instead my ankle sort of collapsed underneath me. Causing me to lose my balance and fall over, nose first, desperately reaching out for the nearest chair but miss and instead stroke a lady down her legs. 
Now I’m on the couch with my ankle in a brace and on top of a pillow and outside its the hottest days of the summer and while I start getting aggravated at least five times a day, I try to remind myself of all the good things I have and that I still can do, instead of all of the things that I obviously cannot do. Like walk. Or run. Or swim. I’m not very mobile because the relationship between me and my crutches  is, uhmmmm, difficult to say the least.

I had hoped, I would be better by now when the doctor told me to go home, put some ice on it and elevate my leg 10 days ago. I definitely expected to be skipping by the time of our trip to Florida this month. But then today,  a salesman at the car dealership told me the veeeeery encouraging story about how the exact same thing had happened to him and how he had to use crutches for THREE months and that he had chosen not to get surgery, but now regretted it because every single time he walked on an unlevel surface, he was in pain. Oh, and how a friend of his has just undergone aforementioned surgery.Thanks a lot for that sunshine story, buddy. 

Anyways, one thing I CAN do, however, is spend a lot of time online and I don’t have to wear pants. Here are five recipes I found while browsing around that I can’t wait to try!

  
1.

Healthy Zucchini Bread. We bought a big bag of zucchini at Costco this weekend and Justin also got a couple of big ones from a colleague, so there’s zucchini on the menu this week! This zucchini bread looks really delicious. So delicious, that I might have to turn on the oven even though it’s already hot enough.

   
   

   2. 

Roasted zucchini burgers with garlic whipped feta. I’ve already established I’m a big zucchini fan and feta is also on the list of favorites so this seems like a match made in heaven to me.



  

3.

This Vegan Caesar Salad looks like the perfect summer night dinner. Simple, green and fresh.

  
4. 

Double tomato pesto spaghetti with zucchini noodles. As I mentioned above, we have a ton of zucchini right now and are also on some sort of ongoing tomato kick, so this seems like a winner!

  
5.

Banana coconut and chia Popsicles. It’s summer and this looks like the perfect cool-down treat. I want to try these, too! I need to get some popsicle molds asap. 

How to make the best cold brew for iced coffee 

  
 
      

   

Now that summer is finally here I’m not always super excited about a hot cup of coffee in the morning. I love iced coffee but until recently I never really cracked how to make it at home. If you just cool down hot espresso it gets bitter and the ice cubes are melting way too fast making it a watery disappointment. But! I’ve found out how to make coldbrew (that they charge an arm and a leg for in supermarkets) and I’m telling you, it’s a game changer and also so so easy. It almost sounds too good to be true, right? 

Cold brewed coffee

1/4 lbs (125 g) finely ground coffee

2 quarts (2 L) water 

Mix the coffee and water in a big bowl, cover and let sit for at least 8 hours or overnight. Strain, either through a coffee filter or just a colander with an old clean kitchen towel, bottle and enjoy! 

I like to fill the glasswith ice cubes (when it gets extra fancy, made from the cold brew), half coffee and half almond milk. I usually like my coffee unsweetened, but for a little afternoon treat I like to swap the regular almond milk for the vanilla kind and like 1/4 tea spoon agave syrup. Try it out! 

Justin has been in Maine eating lobster all week and I picked him up at the airport this morning. He’s been up since 4am so he’s napping, I’m about to head out for a yoga class, and then I think we’re gonna drink a beer on that sunny balcony of ours a little later. Have a great weekend! 

Growing an Avocado Tree

  
   
We eat a lot of avocados every week and every time I cut one open and pitch the pit, I’d wonder how hard it could be to grow my own avocado tree. That was going on for awhile until I finally just did a quick google search and realized that it’s almost ridiculous how easy it is. Or, I can’t say yet if it’s easy to actually grow them, since I’m not quite there yet, but it’s definitely easy to getting started. All you need is an avocado pit, a couple of nails or toothpicks, a glass of water and some patience. The first one I put in water just cracked and I just peeled of the skin. I have a total of six avocado pits in the window sill now and I’m impatiently waiting to see the first shoot. And project ‘avocado tree‘ has made rethink what I throw in the trash that could possibly become a plant so now they have been joined by a pineapple. But that’s another story. 

  

Illustration by Jessica McGuirl

I wish I were still jet lagged 

When I travel from Europe to the U.S., I always enjoy the first couple of nights where I get tired early and wake up in the early morning without an alarm clock. But somehow my body always settles back into it’s natural rhythm of wanting to stay up late. What is up with that? No matter the time zone, when it comes to adjusting to a daily rhythm, I naturally want to stay up late and struggle with an early bedtime. I really have to be strict about my schedule and the sometimes it can even feel like I’ve turned around to be an early sleeper, but as soon as I’m not forcing the early bedtime, I’m right back to where I started. 

The last couple of nights I’ve had an extra hard time falling asleep. I toss and turn and my body and mind are tired but somehow just not tired enough to shut off for the day. It makes me long for the days right after I returned where I would snooze off early and wake up early and well rested. I don’t think I can blame it all on my night owl DNA, though. When I close my eyes, a confetti canon of thoughts go off in my brain. It’s a time of transition around here. I’m back from my trip, I’m taking my driving test this week, we’re almost done with the house and there’s no more being in limbo between Copenhagen and here. I’m here now, a resident, and not in processing anymore. The daily life and routine that for a long time was held back by practical things like the fact that I didn’t have a work permit or that my immigration was in processing is now so close within reach. And all of the thoughts about my day to day life and my future that could be pushed away with the excuse that it wasn’t relevant at the time. But now, the time is now! And it is so exciting and so scary all at the same time. The swarm of thoughts that buzzes throug my mind about the present and the future and also about what we should eat for dinner tomorrow and if sea horses really do hold on to each other with their tails (they do, FIY) can probably be attributed to just that. That it is really scary to not have anymore excuses or hold ups where I can park my thoughts because there are no more circumstances to hide behind. It’s time to dare and it is time to dream. And now I hope I can literally go do that. 

Good night! (I hope!)