The best of 2016!

Happy new year to everyone! I must say I didn’t want 2016 to end because it was a wonderful year!  Many things happened, others were learnt, accomplished, and some other things, I learnt to let go. So here is my 2016:

The best of this year was definitely the arrival of our beautiful daughter. My life has changed completely, for good. And she has shown us how much love we have for each other. In July, we celebrated our first anniversary as wify and hubby!As we have done every year, we met my family from Peru. This time in Spain! We had an entire month for enjoying ourselves!This year I turned 30, besides analysing my body, I started to analyse my life up to now, the negative or positive things I have or have done. And I learnt to be more grateful for the good things and to forgive myself and others for our mistakes. Because we cannot change the past, so it’s better to look forward and try to give the best of ourselves to be a better person.

Professionally, I got a promotion at work, I can be called now Key Account Manager Europe (I love the title!). I’ll continue this position when my maternity leave ends, and I am happy that I have cool colleagues and such a good environment waiting for me in some months.

We had the amazing opportunity to live the last months of 2016 in Kuala Lumpur. This let me see the world with different eyes. To live into a new and very diverse society that teaches you something every day. I met fantastic people, visited amazing places and all these experiences will be always with me. Just before traveling to Kuala Lumpur we bought an electric car, a Nissan Leaf for my use. Although it’s nothing of luxury, it is a perfect family car and consumes no gas whatsoever! So I feel I am doing my part to avoid climate change.

At home, we have refurbished all the rooms in the second floor. Our baby bedroom is so cute!

Even if it’s tough, but yes I managed to deal with criticism or people talking bad behind my back. Either if I decided to do something or not, if I have something or I don’t have it, whatever!!! If it comes from people you barely know or don’t care about, just let it go. If it comes from family or friends, well… figure out if it is a constructive critique to your life. Remember there is always a good answer, with kindness. As for the bad-intended energy, escape from it. Me and my hubby are honest and good people, and we decided that this peace that we have inside, goes nowhere else.

Finally, I started this year with a new mantra “be joyful, be compassionate, be thankful”. We can only start this year with a great smile on our faces for all the good things. I hope everybody is looking the future with the same enthusiasm and that you make your dreams come true! Welcome 2017!

Lots of love,

K

Merry Christmas… or Merry Crystals?

Some days ago I was sad to read some controversial Norwegian news of a school in the city of Stavanger. There were 2 problems very bad addressed. The first, kids taken to a Christian sermon, regardless their believes. I mean, if this was just a cultural tour to church that’s fine, that can be in a Mosque or Buddhist temple, it wouldn’t matter because that’s about teaching the children about humanity and the existence of a lot of religions. But, as an atheist parent, I would react if my children are taken to a religious ritual as a normal practice. The second problem is probably worse, modifications of some sections of Christmas songs, because they are related to Christianity. Honestly, the songs are about Christmas. And Christmas is part of Norwegian culture. Keep in mind that there’s a large group of Norwegians that are atheist! But for them, it’s not a religious thing even if some songs mix a bit with the history of Jesus.I grew up celebrating Christmas with the arrival of Jesus. At midnight my mom used to give us, me and my sister, the Baby Jesus in porcelain, to complete our manger (where Maria and Joseph had Jesus crib). The turkey and/or pork and the multiple salads were served with hot chocolate, no matter how hot the weather was. That anxiety to see if Santa read our Christmas wishes! Mom always said he was very busy and sometimes had trouble finding the toys we wanted haha. And the fireworks at my grandma’s neighbourhood with a lot of kids… those were our traditions (that I will always look back with some nostalgia). I am glad and I respect that my loved ones still connect Christmas with religion because that has a special meaning to them, which makes them happy. If somebody comes to say to all the Peruvian families that this is offensive, they would feel offended themselves and wouldn’t change anything.My point is, why in Norway we have to tell the kids to replace the term “Christmas” in the songs? Why can’t we just respect Norway’s traditions and let the kids be happy with them? It is very sad that immigration has a lot to do with this. Even worse that Norwegians cannot celebrate their own traditions in their own country. What is it so harmful on a song that cannot be accepted by other groups? I think this is going too far.

I hope the Norwegian Christmas doesn’t change at all. I emigrated from Peru to Norway about 3 years ago, my very first Norwegian Christmas was probably one of the sweetest celebrations I’ve ever had in a very long time. Very different, unique in its own way. For the first time I saw the snow, built a gingerbread house with my hubby, had the aroma of the pine indoors, tasted the secret family recipe of the pinnekjøtt (lam ribs), julebrus (a red soda only available in these holidays), among other delicious treats. But the biggest joy of that celebration was to see the children really enjoying it, dancing and singing the Christmas songs around the tree with the family. Simple, but magic and fun. I just wanted that my future kids feel that same happiness every year.

K.

At Vin’s Resto Bar by Zomato

Let’s put it like this: It’s impossible to start a diet in Kuala Lumpur. At first, the challenge was to stop going to KFC, then it was to pull Tom’s arm out of there. There is such an infinite range of food choices around you, from ethnic to western, that  you’ll probably want to scan every place. But even a lifetime wouldn’t be enough for that! Happily, last Wednesday I received an invitation from Zomato to chill out with local foodies at Vin’s Resto bar & Velvet Lounge.

But what is Zomato? I never heard of it before either. Zomato is a food network that helps people discover restaurants, cafes and bars around them. It has a friendly platform with useful information about the restaurants, and rankings based on food reviews; just like Tripadvisor does with cities, Airbnb with accomodations or Uber with taxi drivers. Personally, I like it! Check out if you have Zomato in your country, then you can download the Zomato app from your smartphone!

So, I took my uber to Vin’s, excited to meet new people, taste and discuss about great food 🙂 Vin’s is an italian resto-bar with a special menu. If I didn’t like the food, simply I wouldn’t be posting about it. Here some pictures of my yummy dishes at Vin’s:

Mascarpon Mushroom Bruschetta

Smoked Salmon Mozzarella Pizza, with capers and onions

Baja Cod Soft Shell Taco

Banana Pecan PieIce-cream Swizz Chocolate Panna Cotta

The group:

K.

First weeks in Kuala Lumpur

mom and baby in kuala lumpur

mom and baby in kuala lumpur

family expat in uala lumpu malaysia

How can I start? I love Kuala Lumpur! It’s been almost 3 weeks since we arrived to our apartment and my first impressions have been only positive. The location is just perfect! We are in Bukit Bintang area, surrounded by everything we need: groceries, cafes, restaurants, shopping malls and more. Inside the apartment everything is nice, we have a great view from the 13th floor. We were thinking about refurbishment/styling if necessary, but still we needed to live here first, for a couple of weeks at least, to think about improvement potential.

There is so much to see and do in KL….but adaptation came first. Since our jet lag was over…I have been like a bird flying everywhere to have a suitable nest for the family. It’s impressive that even when I am not going to the office and only taking care of the baby, I felt I needed an agenda. Among many trips, I went to Ikea to provide my princess a good cot and covers. Other essentials like food processor, steamer and baby accessories could be found in a department store called Parkson, it has EVERYTHING and at very fair prices as well (advice to KL expats). We’ve been also passing by some furniture shops to decide on the apartment styling.

Once adapted to our place…the relaxation started! There are many places where you can go for beauty treatments for low price. But this time I chose to pay Norwegian prices for the very top services (where actually the royalty goes!). My pedi and mani were done at Luxe by the Nail Parlour in Suria KLCC Mall, just below the Petronas Towers. I had exfoliation, mask and gel. My nails still look stunning. Plus, I was amazed by the focus on details. As I skipped my hair colour for weeks and my roots were shouting “heeeelp! I couldn’t feel more confident to get a very good job at Saw Salon, same shopping mall. The treatment was thoroughly done in shorter time than expected, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. Plus, the place is run by very service-minded and friendly staff. I felt very honored that Saw himself did my highlights 😀

luxe by the nail salon

Luxe by the nail salon

saw salon in kl

Because Baby doesn’t need these treatments, I found another beautifying way for her and that was this set of baby girl bows. I found a skilled tailor across the street that made them very well. (Inspired by instagram).

kuala-lumpur-1-4

A couple of pictures of a lunch break visit to Tom’s workplace…

baby girl and dad in KL

family expats in kuala lumpur KL

In other news, my little one is now 6.5 months. In this last 1/2 month she has developed so fast. Before she didn’t have any interest of rolling over. Suddenly she is mastering both tummy to back and opposite way frequently. In addition to this, she is working on her crawling. She’s eating very well her solid foods, and I can see how much she enjoys her fruity desserts by the way she opens her little mouth , it’s adorable. Sometimes when we hold her in the arms, she hugs and bites us, I just want to eat her as well.

foodporn

 

baby princess

baby in kuala lumpur

There is no way we can feel more lucky than this. We are just living the present, staying at home or visiting new places, but most importantly giving joy to each other. Hope you have a nice week-start!

K.

 

 

 

A break in the everyday life… in Malaysia!

norway mamma og babyHello everyone around the globe! These days have been crazy, and I am not talking about Trump as the new president of the U.S. (which at least has taken all the attention from the Kardashians). But I feel I’ve been running all the time, my life as new mom, wife and housekeeper is sometimes exhausting and gives little time for hobbies.

Last week the weather did make us grab our winter jackets and reflectors. This is no joke. -6 degrees and darkness starting by 16.00 can be tough for somebody that just moved from South America a couple of years ago. So, taking the opportunity that Tom could work in his office in Malaysia, we said, why not? We have been working so hard together that we felt we deserved to give ourselves a kind of retreat; escape the world for a short period, and fully recharge us with more experiences. (although Tom has to work in daytime).

soverom styleAnd I must say I cannot feel more EXCITED!!! This time I will REALLY visit Kuala Lumpur. The first time I came here with Tom I skipped to visit Batu Caves because of shopping and limited time (we managed to squeezed 13 flights in a month around the continent and Australia). But this time, I SWEAR this is not happening again! The most exciting thing, is that I will have the little task to elevate Tom’s apartment, which is in the center of Kuala Lumpur. I am really looking forward!!! I have been reading décor magazines and taking a look on the internet to get some inspiration. Styling or complete make-over? We don’t know yet, Tom hasn’t been there for years and I haven’t seen it before because it has been rented all the time.

elle magazineThe most important for us is that the apartment gets the luxury-look within a budget and that it gives a top experience for our future guests. I selected the following styles (see collages below). I still cannot decide for one. Any suggestions? I guess we will have a better idea when we see the real condition of the apartment and what we find in the market.

Classical with modern touches

new-life-malaysia-classic-1

new-life-malaysia-classic-2

Industrial Décor

industrial decor

new-life-malaysia-industrial-2

industrial decor

Scandinavian Inspiration

new-life-malaysia-scandinavia-1

scandinavian

I will come back later with the “before and after” pictures. Finally, I wanted to share this: Tom and his little princess in his 1st Norwegian* father’s day, isn’t it so sweet?

*In Latin America father’s day is celebrated the 3rd Sunday of June, that’s why I specified Norwegian father’s day 🙂

new-life-malaysia-baby-dad

Have a nice week!

Xo.

K.

External Sources:

  1. Picture n.8
  2. Picture n.14
  3. Pictures n.4-7, 9-13, 15-17

 

Sweater Weather

It was a long, but REALLY long time since I left sweatshirts at the college period. Looking back at the trends, it was cool to wear those loosey-floozy cotton sweaters with jeans and Uggs. Now, I would give this Miranda Presley look to that outfit.

miranda-presley

It is fall, my baby is 5.5 months and I feel I am running everywhere to meet my baby desires. My energy to dress up very nice is literally on the ground, when talking about clothes, the most important for me now is to be comfy (yeah…au revoir high heels). Honestly, sometimes I would just start my day in pajamas or wouldn’t bother to put bed covers on me. And that’s when the sweater came back to my life! Fortunately, there are really good alternatives in the market to match these sweaters to many occasions. Here there are some for inspiration.

sweater weather Slim sweatshirt from Karl, black pants and ankle boots, not too relax but either elegant.

sweater-weather-sweatsuitSweatsuit for chilling around, I paired a top from Red Valentino and a bottom from H&M.

sweater-weather-quoteQuote sweater, just for the fun of the message, from New Look. Top advice, even if your office has a very relaxed dress code, don’t bring them there 😉

If you have more suggestions, I would love to read them 🙂

Xo

K.

Apple picking days + easy recipe

apple picking fall family activity recipes pai

Good evening everyone! I haven’t been posting so much lately as my little one has been napping for very short periods during daytime. I cannot complain, it’s so cozy to spend the most of my time with her. We had a nice start of fall in Bergen, cool and sunny. For this reason, me and baby have been making any excuse to be outside of the house everyday. Last weekend wasn’t an exception of course, but we remembered our garden had an “apple infestation”.

Our apple trees were like a surprise for us, because we found out they were actually apple-trees after we bought our house. Since then, I’ve been dreaming of apple picking as a family activity, and I hope my kids love this in the future.

God kveld alle sammen! Jeg har vært litt lite online i det siste fordi min lille prinsesse har veldig korte lurer om dagen. Jeg kan ikke klage i det hele tatt, da er det så koselig å nyte tiden min med henne. Vi hadde en fin begynnelse av høstens sesong, kjølig men solskinn. Takke være det fine været, har jeg og baby benyttet enhver unnskyldning til å være ute. Sist helg var heller ikke noe unntak, men vi husket at vår hage hadde en overdose med epler.

Våre eple trær var som en overraskegave til oss, fordi vi oppdaget at det var epletrær etter vi kjøpte huset vårt. Siden det, jeg har drømt om eple plukking som en familie aktivitet, og jeg håper virkelig at mine barn liker det i framtiden.

apple picking fall family activity recipes pai

apple-picking-family

apple-picking-me-viktoria

It is funny to see that our apples are not perfect at all. But there is nothing more rewarding than hunting our own food. That’s why we love them, no matter if they have these funny Troll noses 🙂

Det er morsomt å se at eplene er ikke perfekte. Men det er ikke noe mer givende enn å jakte på vår egen mat. Vi elsker dem, selv de har troll neser 🙂

apple-picking-noses

Earlier during this summer…

Tidligere i sommer …

apple-picking-gule

apple-picking-tom

apple picking fall family activity recipes pai

Baby contributed with the harvest, and was a very important member of the team 🙂

Baby hjalp med plukkingen, og var et viktig medlem av teamet 🙂

apple-picking-viktoria

With a large amount of apples, it is very wise to plan for desserts. But this year, I wanted to relax a bit and not schedule so many recipes in so short time (we have already so many activities these days!!). So the idea of storing frozen apple pie filling came to my mind, and the best of it is not only the flavor, but the practicality to have it whenever we want 🙂   Here is my recipe, I worked in batches of 2 kg of apples, which is enough for 4 pies:

Ingredients for the apple filling (for about 4 pies)

  • 2 kg apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced.
  • 2 l water
  • 3 3/4 cups/480 g. white sugar
  • 5 tbs /75 ml lemon juice
  • 1 cup /120 g. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp /4 g. salt
  • 2 tsp /8 g. ground cinnamon

Preparation:

In a bowl, add the sliced apples and lemon juice.

In a large pot, set medium heat and pour the water, let heat for a couple of minutes. Add sugar, cinnamon , cornstarch and salt. Stir for a couple of minutes. Set medium-high heat, add the apples and keep stirring for 5 minutes more.

Let the mix cool for 1 hour, and save it into tupperwares. Then you can freeze them.

*For the pie crust, the easiest and quickest is to buy pre-made ones. But you can also make it from scratch like I did. I followed the recipe that you can see in this link: Pie Crust.

apple-picking-result

So finally, you can taste the fruits of your labor 🙂

Xo.

K.