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NORWAY IS THE HAPPIEST COUNTRY OF 2017

So it’s official; Norway is the happiest place on earth, at least according to The World Happiness Report just released today on the International Day of Happiness! This report is based on measuring how happy people are and why, and it is great to see that all the Nordic countries are in the top 10. In fact, the Nordic countries have been dominating the top spots in this report for all of the five years it has been published.

Top 10 happiest countries 2017;

    1. Norway
    2. Denmark
    3. Iceland
    4. Switzerland
    5. Finland
    6. Netherlands
    7. Canada
    8. New Zealand
    9. Australia
    10. Sweden

“What works in the Nordic countries is a sense of community and understanding in the common good.” – Meik Wiking (chief executive officer of the Happiness Research Institute, Copenhagen)

// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad

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NORDIC PLACES I WANT TO VISIT // HAPPOLATI RESTAURANT IN OSLO

If you are planning a trip to Oslo be sure to check out this beautiful restaurant designed by Anderssen & Voll. Happolati is located on St. Olavs Plass and is a lovely mix of Asia and Scandinavia, with both the interior and the food inspired by Japan with a Nordic twist. The space looks open and inviting, and the dark floor blends nicely in with the bar. I love the creative wood lamp on the wall which reminds me of origami, a lovely detail!

Tempted to visit? Have a look at the menu and make a reservation here.

// Photo credit: Elisabeth Heier

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MY HYGGE MOMENTS // COZY LUNCH DATE

I am a ferm believer in enjoying those little things in life, appreciate the moment and just be happy. I know there are so many things in life that can get you down (we all have those moments..) and because of that I think it’s important to have times to look back at and say to yourself “in that moment I was truly happy!” It can be things like meeting your best friend for a coffee & a chat, popping a prosecco bottle with a group of girlfriends or as simple as a walk in the park when the light hits the trees in that magical way. It can be laughing so hard that you start crying, getting a smile from a stranger just when you need it, or listening to your favourite music. Those moments are what keeps you going, those moments will lift your mood on a cloudy day and put a smile on your face.

For me one of those moments I will treasure for a long time was a cozy date with my boyfriend when we were in Norway. We decided to take a little drive to a place called Hå Gamle Prestegard, which is an old vicarage that served as the residence of a senior civil servant several hundred years ago. Today, as well as hosting exhibitions and events, you can find a cafe serving lunch as well as cakes and coffee for guests. When stepping inside you get that warm welcoming feeling, its like visiting someone you know and eating lunch in their living room. The cafe has the perfect Scandi vibe and the food is rural and hearthy. We had the chicken soup, which was perfect as it was a very windy, cold day. Sitting there in silence, enjoying the meal and looking out at the view of the pebble beach was one of those moments. A truly happy moment.

// Photo credit; Ingrid Opstad

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AUTUMNAL TRIP TO STAVANGER, NORWAY

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Last week I came back to Italy from a lovely week in Norway. Here are some autumnal images I took there to start your wanderlust off..

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While visiting Stavanger I had to check the newest addition in town; Kokko! After hearing so much about this coffee place I was very curious to see it for myself, and I was not disappointed. Kokko is a space for anyone interested in coffee, architecture & design. It is a café, but also has a architecture firm located on the top floor. Because of this the interior is very aesthetically pleasing with a lot of great details like an exposed brick wall, a cozy fireplace and a open wood shelf. There is also a great selection of design and lifestyle books for sale, and of course coffee plus delicious looking food.

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I also had a lovely walk along the Hafrsfjord walking path looking at cute houses, the beautiful scenery and breathing in the fresh autumn air – recommended if you are in the area!

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// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad

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NORWEGIAN SUMMER MOMENTS

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Earlier this month I spent a lovely week in Norway visiting family & friends, and was so lucky to be there on the hottest week this year to actually experience the Norwegian summer in full. What I love about the Norwegian summer is that on hot days (yes they do exist!) there is still a fresh breeze that keeps you from feeling too hot. On a day like that people tend to spend as much time as possible outside going to the nearest beach or for hikes in the beautiful nature. For me there is nothing like a long walk along the fjord to clear your head and breath in the cool air.

This particular fjord is in Sandnes where I am from, a lovely little place in the region of Rogaland. Even though it is quite small it is actually the 8th largest city in Norway and is located south of the city of Stavanger which is larger and a great place to visit.

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And when we are on the subject of water, there is nothing as good as the seafood selection you find in Scandinavia! In my family we always have seafood on Friday evenings, and my dad goes to our local fisherman to purchase freshly caught prawns, crabs and lobsters on his way home from work. It is the best part of the week for sure, so good and healthy.

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This time I managed to stop by the Swords in Rock! This 10 meter tall monument of three swords is placed in Hafrsfjord, Stavanger to commemorate the battle that united Norway into one kingdom in 872. It is situated in the beautiful scenery of the Møllebukta area, on the inner part of the fjord where you can also find a popular beach. The monument is really impressive and a popular photo-op for tourists!

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I also had a trip into Stavanger where I had a walk around in Fargegata (the colourful street), a must-see! It is a street full of wooden houses in all colours with a very creative and fun vibe. Here you can find a range of cafes, bars and little shops – the perfect place to stop for a coffee or a beer in the summer. I went to Hanekam for a outdoor drink, or utepils as we Norwegians would say. This quirky bar has a very cool and vintage interior, with a lot of little special touches like the sink in the toilet thats made out of a whole drum-set.

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And of-course I had to get some deliciously sweet Norwegian strawberries before I left, because it isn’t summer until you do!

Now when its so hot here in Italy I am dreaming about Scandinavian summer days, so I might have to escape back to Norway later this summer.. Stay tuned!

// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad

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HOME

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December was such a lovely month, it was great to spend time at home in Norway charging my batteries. Here are some things to look back at & cherish from this winter;

I turned 30, which was not as bad as I thought it would be!

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I got those cool balloons from Søstrene Grene btw, they have a great selection of part supplies but also just other random bits & bobs to brigthen your life.

Walking around beautiful Stavanger and looking at all the cute & colourful doll-houses along the harbour. If you haven’t been there I highly recommend it, especially the old town located right next to the city centre with a collection of 18th- and 19th-century white wooden houses. A very idyllic place!

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Spent many evenings cozying up on the couch watching Netflix & eating Christmassy treats…

Speaking of treats, I made these super delicious gluten & dairyfree gingerbread bisquits! It was my first time trying to make them from scratch and I’m so proud that they turned out so great, especially since it’s quite hard doing glutenfree baking.. I used this recipe which unfortunately is in Norwegian but there are probably similar ones in English out there.

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I received these prints from my dear Instagram friend @oh_corrin which I can’t wait to hang up on the wall.

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And I was so lucky to win this super cute DONUT WORRY pin made by the talented Jesiiii on a giveaway hosted by my sweet friend Sprinkledlife.

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As it has been very cold I have basically been living in these soft knitted slippers from H&M & woollen jumpers like this one from Oysho..

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Other than that I much enjoyed spending some quality time with family & friends, eating good food, exchanging gifts and being merry! Oh and I have been obsessed with pinecones lately..anyone else?

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OK now I’m ready for summer.. Please come soon!

// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad

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