Wednesday, March 23, 2011


For this week's blog, we are exploring the wacky world of time zones! We agreed on a date and time, synchronized our watches seven hours apart, took daylight savings into account and synchronized again (this time at six hours apart), all so we could show you what we were doing at exactly 20:37/8:37 PM in the UK and 2:37 PM in Utah on Wednesday, March 23, 2011.

Maddy, UK time

My time, though I am a fan of the 24 hour clock thing, I pretty much knew that as a rule, at this time o' night I'm either on ma laptop, or in the shower.
The next tab or two over though, I was having a chat with Oona, my lovelie- So I print screened it for ya, nothing too innapropriate, by our standards.
The content of the conversation deteriorated somewhat is the 8 minutes since I took the picture.
We did have a very in depth discussion about One born every minute, our lateast fascination, and The friday song, Oona tried to claim Rebecca Black was her cousin (If this makes no sense, you need to type Rebecca Black into Youtube this instant)

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world...

Tamsin, Utah time.

2:37 P.M. At the exact same moment when Maddy was chatting with Oona, I was bundling Espen into the stroller for a trip outside to enjoy the sunshine. This was made slightly less idyllic by the fact that we had just had our house sprayed to prevent ants and spiders and had been instructed to keep Espen off the floor for half an hour. But only slightly. Espen had stealthily commandeered a pen, and was very interested in the self-timer on the camera. I was concentrating hard on fitting a wriggling little foot into a shoe. Thanks to the couch for acting as camera man.

What were you doing on Wednesday at 2:37 PM MST/20:37 GMT?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The makeup.

I'll admit, I don't have a make-up bag, more a freakishly tidy and organised drawer, when I'm anxious (all the time) I rearrange it- everything has a place.
I realised after many, many years of frustration, that not only does my make-up break in a ( or 6) bag, but it's also really easy for Oli to pick up and walk off with, like the whole thing, but when I have a drawer, it's more likely she will just pick one thing to steal, and the rest will go unscathed.
You have to pick your battles.

I'm a bother once or twice a week kinda girl, but I like to have enough choice for whichever look I'm feeling, it normally involves a base, foundation or tinted moisturiser, depending on what situation my skin is in (normally foundation) a light blush, sometimes a teeny bit of a contour with bronzer, with the focus on the eyes, where I have honed my artistic skills in on a retro flick of black gel liner, I've got the Bobbi Brown long wear, But I want the clinique, lips are normally just Vaseline.

{Apologies for the appalling lighting, inspiration struck to get this post out when daylight was all but gone}
{The Make up Drawer- note my old retainer case}

We'll go in order shall we?
 I thought so too.

I have dry skin, so I don't like a lot of powder on it, and prefer liquid- I am currently liberating the Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser from my Mutti- I am Olive skinned when given some sun, and my Mutti is pale as an Irishman's daughter, so I don't get how it worked out, but it's almost a little on the tan side for me, which Is why it was looking rather forlorn away from all her other make up. (that I'm not babysitting)
The Estee Lauder is FANTASTIC and I am almost out, I will need a new tube for summer when my skin is at it's best.
And the Revlon colourstay is brilliant, and So affordable, since I don't get an allowance anymore, I live day to day right now!

{I am blessed (cursed) with big old rosy cheeks, so am careful to never overload them!}
I avoid powder where I can, but if I know it's going to be a long night with Lot's of pictures, I'll do it.
My sleek Luminous powder is great, but just to finish, never all over, I think my skin would just start falling off.
The Chanel is the most gorgeous blush ever- no. 63 plum attraction, T'was a gift from my Mutti from one of their collections back in November.
And the Bare minerals is a really natural, Matt bronzer, that makes you look like you just got off a plane, which is great really.
I am wanting to get a new cream blusher, mine is MIA right now- any suggestions?

The colours are a bit out of whack here- but this is a great neutral Estee Lauder palette, I only really use the very neutral colours though.
I use Two mascaras- like books I can never stick to one, that is with anything really, I like Falsies by Mabelline and Big fake lash from collection 2000- I am not big on Kohl pencil, but Have a couple by Estee Lauder that are nice and subtle, I don't have big eyes- especially in Glasses, and they don't really help Y'know?
But I love my Chanel pencil in Claire, it's sort of concealer coloured, but manages to make your eyes huge, I also like to use it as a lip liner to stop a really bright lipstick bleeding out.
Fun fact.
And my beloved Liquid eyeliner, Long wear by Bobbi Brown, but I think I would rather have got the Clinique, because It dries out pretty quick.

I'm really wanting a big ole' brush set, I might save up for one from Sigma, I've had so many make-up artists at counter's telling me that they really are the key to any look.
But Mine are all pretty new.
The Gold Glittery brushes up ahead are by Estee Lauder, and were in a Holiday collection promotion this year.
Th Blue is a Brilliant eyeliner brush that I bought in an artists shop, and it's just as good, if not better, as the super expensive Bobbi brown one it's next to.
The black Brushes are really nice for blending and blush- by Bare essentials and stolen, brazenly, from my Mutti, she's very enduring.
The pink one ...I forget.

Lips, I normally think lips are at their nicest when they don't have scummy lipgloss wearing off, so am always wearing vaseline, but I have a couple glosses, one by rimmel which I like for when I'm tanned- and a plumper from Soap and Glory- My Lipcote sealer for when I wear a piller box red- which is missing at the moment, but I don't do it too often as it's an awful lot of upkeep if you're out, a brilliant fuscia, which I suspect is something that if I want to wear, I better wear now, not if a few years.
I love Rimmel's lipsticks myself.

.....It's hard to explain things, and keep it interesting, My 'pologies Ladies.
But even if you just looked at the pictures, let me know your must have's!
I am taking concealer reccomendations now.
Oh- and For all you who have your irish pride on today- Happy St patricks day, I just found a three litre bottle of Cider in my Bag from a festival last summer, so tonight might pick up!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What's in your makeup bag?

This week we're sneaking a big into every girl's bag of tricks: the makeup bag. Admittedly, showing off the contents of my own make-up bag is a little scary, somehow. I don't really wear makeup most days, and even when I do, it's usually pretty minimal. Nevertheless, here it is!

In all its glory, behold the Might Makeup Bag!
I'm pretty sure I've had it for about a decade now. My mum gave it to me, and I believe she has an overnight bag/big handbag that matches it. Full disclosure: Until a few days ago it was full of pink dust because my blush had gotten smashed and made a huge mess. Thank you, oh mighty internet, for providing me with an opportunity to clean it up!

Here it is again, with its little guts spilled all over the place. Espen has currently confiscated the big brush (which I'm pretty sure I once swiped from my aunt - Sorry, Sigrid!) and is triumphantly waving it around and calling it a "bus".

Here is the stuff I use regularly:
Mascara: Covergirl Lashblast fusion, black.
Blush: Physician's Formula, Blushing Sunset.
Lipgloss: L'Oreal Color Juice, Raspberry Smash.
Eyeshadow: Wear Infinite, Golden Sunset.
Assorted brushes. One for eyeshadow, one for blush and one for blending.

Mostly I just wear blush and mascara. I just bought the blush to replace my old one that has been discontinued (you will be missed, Max Factor!), but so far I'm quite liking the Physician's Formula one. It's pretty light on my skin, and adds a pretty natural looking glow. I do like my red lipgloss for a bit of low-key glam. The eyeshadow is a good color, but doesn't really have much staying power, so I'd like to replace it. I probably should wear some sort of foundation, but I haven't found one I like yet. Any ideas?

And here's the stuff I carry around and hardly ever use.
There's the Snoopy mirror that my mum gave me, also about a decade ago (Do you think she was trying to tell me something?). I prefer a full-size mirror when I do my makeup, but good old Snoopy has gotten me out of a tight makeup spot more than once. A lipgloss, two lipsticks and a lip liner, all in safe and neutral colors. White eyeshadow for highlighting, and a couple of MAC eyeshadows. I loved the new-penny colored shade stick, and it always looked fantastic in the mirror, but any time I saw myself wearing it in a photo, I just looked tired and inebriated. Not a good look!

Anyway, that's my makeup bag for you! Check back later this week when Maddy, a mere slip of a girl, will school us all in the art of makeup. And tell us; what's your makeup staple?

Friday, March 11, 2011

These are a few of my favourite things; stuff edition

My mum would like to thank Tamsin for this weeks idea- it forced me to finally retrieve my freshly washed sheets and put them back on my bed (more on that later) I'm big on bedding.
As Tamsin mentioned in her post, this week we're searching for our inner material girl- right up my street, I'm a girl who Love's stuff and sections, and organisation within containers.
It's a gift and a curse.
Since technically my house is my parents house, they commandeer most of the stuff, my room however, regardless of the sister whom I share it with, is plastered in my taste, and my stuff- the reason being that Eve unseasonably went skiing just when our room got it's turn with Dad's paintbrush, so I got free reign, I suspect this is because Eve had been throwing around colours like orange, yellow and red, not colours I wanted on my walls.
So it's basically my room, but I sometimes let Eve in.
Now we've cleared that up I'll let you in on a few of my favourite things.

Up first- My lumie alarm clock- it is a light alarm clock, whereby the whole section above the alarm lights up gradually for a period of 30 minutes either at the time your alarm is set to wake you up- or as a sunset motion when you go to bed, I don't know how it works, but in the three months I've had this, the day's I haven't bothered, I've been tossing and turning for hours.
Magic- I couldn't be without it now.

Not just my bed- where I seem to have taken up residence, but my duvet covers, I picked the very pale pastel green of our walls so that I could have these duvet covers! I fell in love them whilst wistfully perusing Laura Ashley- just my (mutti's) luck they were in the sale when we headed to get them.
I love how pretty and sort of vintage they look whilst being fresh- the room instantly looked done when we got them- FYI they are pretty crumpled fresh out of the wash as I have had a previous ironing disaster and don't even attempt it anymore.

My bottle of Daisy by Marc Jacobs, now, forlornly empty, this was a gift from my lovely mutti, and other than her own Chanel perfume which she has worn consistently for some 20 years, and instantly makes me think of her- it is one of very few scents that doesn't give me a headache- Good thing my birthday is right around the corner- and how pretty is the bottle?!

Just a couple weeks ago Eve brought me this home from a trip to see our grandparents in Bournemouth- it is a teeny tiny dream catcher which I love, eve tends to stick with edible gifts to be safe (she also brought home a sick of chili rock?) but this time went for something different which I just love, I've always wanted one, thinking they are cool objects- and this totally looks just like the one Jacob gives Bella in Twilight.
It keeps me safe from bad dreams now.

When I made my first holy communion aged 8 I had a big party after, One of our Godfathers, and my dad's friend since school, brought along his girls and his wife, and they gave me this frame, ever since It has sat on my desk with this picture of me on a ride at Bournemouth pier, check out that bob and those original Woolworth's Jelly shoes! Ever since I was little I have been enamoured with Fairy's- there is nothing more magical, and even though it is a nightmare to try and get dust out of all the detail- I just love it.

I ought to have included my whole dressing table, it is beautiful- I think, and there is a lovely story behind it, but that is for another post, But for lack of a better place to store most of my littler necklaces- and a few favourites, they reside piled with some headbands atop my little pivoting mirror, and I love to look at them, it reminds me of when I would stare in awe of all the little baulbauls piled in my Grandmother's antique jewellery box when I was little- though in honesty I still do it when I'm down at her house.

My last favourite, and one of my favourites, you would think I got this book years ago, as I'm nearly 17 and far too old for fairies right? I asked for it as a birthday present two years ago- we found it in Costco and It is the most beautiful book I have ever owned- I wish I could explain all the gorgeous illustrations and letters and...I would just go on for ever, instead I am urging anyone with little girls, or even bigger ones, to order one, you'll be popular for ever, in fact, I am seriously considering asking for this one for my birthday.
I just don't know where to draw the line!

That was fun- I'm such a girlie girl I could have gone on forever, but there is only so much pink and magic before everyone just goes the opposite way.
We'd love to hear some of your favourite things, Until next time,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

These are a few of my favourite things: kitchen edition

This week we have decided to get our material girl on and tell about some of the things in our life that we love. None of this "raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens"-nonsense, we're talking objects, possessions, earthly goods. All the stuff you can't take with you when your number is finally called.

When I started touring my house in search of those things that make my heart happy, I found that I kept ending up in the kitchen. Weird, I know. I do have a few theories about why that is, though:
  1. The kitchen is the heart of the home. No room feels safer, cozier and more welcoming than a kitchen done right. I am trying to do it right, and thus gathering the "tools" to make our kitchen feel like home.
  2. Much as I love interior design and decor, I have a hard time collecting objects that are purely decorative. I am much more likely to fall completely in love with something functional that is also pretty. Form definitely follows function in our house!
Anyway, after discovering how many of my favourite things live in the kitchen, I decided to just narrow things down and keep my list to the kitchen.


I fell in love with these little bowls at Anthropologie during a trip to San Fransisco, and Nick very sweetly bought me eight of them for Mother's Day. Because mothers understand dessert!

I had a clear vision of the perfect eggcup in my mind, the kind Plato would be proud of, but couldn't ever find it. I searched online, looked in all my favourite stores - nothing. Then, when I was in Norway a few years ago, I went into a little store and found exactly what I had in mind. Scandinavian design and decor enthusiasts will nod knowingly when I say that they're from Greengate.

One of the most hoped-for items on our wedding gift registry was a Kitchenaid mixer. I think I was almost as happy to discover that some lovely family members had bought us one, as I was to marry Nick. (OK, no. But I was excited!) I just think their design is completely gorgeous, and they're so functional as well. Ours is in frequent use, and, almost six years later, I still get a little thrill when I see it sitting on the counter.

I also love me some linens. Tablecloths, napkins, towels... They are the perfect marriage of form and function (did I just say that?). I'm always on the look-out for a good table cloth, although not to much avail around here. America: you have forever captured my heart as far as tasty salads are concerned, but you do not know what you're doing with tablecloths. Repent! The three in this photo are a wedding present from my parents (blue), a wedding present TO my parents in 1977 (brown), and a hand-embroidered heirloom piece given to us by a good friend (white). I especially like being able to use a little bit of family history in our home.

Next, my Erté calendar. I love having a big, bold, splashy calendar in our otherwise fairly muted kitchen, and like Erté's 1930s-ish style. It's extra nice that we get a new picture every month, which is a nice way to be introduced to an artist that I'm not very familiar with otherwise. You can find a very similar calendar with some of the same images here.

Another gift from Nick. I saw this Anna Maria Horner apron when we were on a trip once, and thought it was so sweet and really wanted, but for whatever reason I didn't end up buying it. Imagine my surprise when four months later it was under the Christmas tree! I love how romantic and feminine it is, without being too saccharine. I always feel pretty when I wear it, which is pretty impressive for an apron.

This plain white jug/pitcher/whatever you like to call it is really nothing special, but I love it. It's clean, elegant and a bit old-fashioned. I think it's at it's very best when overflowing with pink tulips. You can get your own at this exclusive little boutique.

Well, that was a little tour of some of the things I love in my kitchen. There are more, but girl's got to maintain a certain aura of mystique about her, don't you think?

Check back later this week to see some of the things Maddy loves. I think I can guarantee there won't be any photos of the top of fridges in her post!

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Oh wow- I owe everyone an apology, but a missing camera and being sick led me to put off posting for as long as possible- here I am!
So, as Tamsin mentioned we're both keen readers, I would buy a book every Saturday back when I got pocket money, the good ole' days.
It's likely linked to having a particularly small attention span- but I tend to read at least three books at any one time.
Right now?
One of my new years resolutions was to read The hobbit and the Lord of the rings trilogy, by Tolkien, and so I am very slowly making my way through The hobbit- unusual for me as I'm known for reading at the speed of light, but I feel like it's the kind of book that I need to read a chapter at a time to really 'get' y'know.
I think it's brilliant, of anything, I need a book that makes me feel like I'm somewhere else, if It's even marginally out of this word or magic, chances are I've memorised it by now.
How fantastic to be a hobbit? I really want to live in the shire myself.
Anyway- I've got all three Lord of the ring books bound in one huge book lined up next.

Vampire Diaries- juvenile to say the least, but people seem to forget that I'm not yet sweet 17 (March 27th!)
and again, it's something to read when I'm in a bad mood and is normally in the close area around my bed, so I can reach for it- I found all the books in a brand new bundle whilst sorting through books at Oxfam where I volunteer, and immediately put it through the till as I love the TV series.
Likewise with my next choice.

Harry potter- I am the biggest fan ever, I always always take one of the books with me if I'm going on a long journey, on holiday I'll take the lot, It's a book I'm always in the mood for, I totally entered the Ultimate Harry Potter quiz at school last year- of which the winner was never announced, but let me tell you- it was me.

The white queen by Phillippa Gregory- it was a gorgeous, romantic historical read, and having read all of her books (honestly- bar The Red Queen, which I'm saving my pennies for) I loved this the most, when I'm stuck for new books to read, I read this.

And lastly, A thousand splendid suns by Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite runner- another favourite, I loved The Kite runner, even though it made me cry, and a friend lent me this, I'm halfway through and in love, I already prefer it to The Kite runner, even though they're both not one to read when depressed.

And that's it for the moment, if you think of any books I may love based on this sporadic selection I'm working through right now- let me know!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Reading Right Now: What's on my nightstand

Seeing as we are both pretty avid readers, we thought we would take a look at what we're both currently reading by utilizing the age-old test of "what's on your nightstand". Or bedside table, should you be so inclined.

While Maddy is a six-books-at-at-time kind of a girl, I'm more of a start-to-finisher. So I was thinking that a visit to my reading stash would be quick, boring and consist of essentially one book title. But, not so! It seems I have all kinds of reading material going on:

Top to bottom:
The Tale of Genji, by Murasaki Shikibu. It seems that there is part of my brain that is still in college. This part of my brain is almost solely responsible for choosing the books I read, and we both (my brain and I) consider reading as a way to continue my education on my own. That is why I'm reading the Tale of Genji, a book written in Japan in the 11th century. It's generally considered to be the first novel ever written, and tells the story of a young prince, Genji, his life and his many (many) romantic adventures. Because it was written before there were any real rules about how a novel should read and what they should look like, the structure of the story gets a little weird in places. The writing-style can also be a bit dense, seeing as the translation works hard to get the feel of the original, 1000 year old Japanese language across. However, that part of my brain we mentioned is enjoying something to wrestle with, and I'm enjoying the story.

A Girl Named Zippy, by Haven Kimmel. My good friend Caren, who has excellent taste in just about everything, recommended this for book club this month, and I am so glad she did. I probably wouldn't have picked A Girl Named Zippy up by myself, but ended up really enjoying it. It's a very funny, very sweet memoir about growing up in small-town USA in the 1960s and 70s. I started reading it one night after we had gone to bed, and had to stop because I kept waking Nick up with my giggling. I'd recommend this to just about anyone. And then I'd return it to the library, like I should have when I finished it three days ago.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot. Hands down and easily one of the best books I have read in years. Thought-provoking, haunting, touching, just an amazing book. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is non-fiction, but tells one of the most incredible stories I have ever read, all about a woman who died of cancer in the 1950, and then went on to change the world.

The Book of Mormon. In Norwegian. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and try to make scripture study a part of my every day life. This year my husband, Nick, and I are trying to read the Book of Mormon together in Norwegian, which is tricky, seeing as we're usually both so exhausted at bedtime that all we want to do is sleep. We will persevere.

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, by Marc Weissbluth, M.D. I swear this book has quite literally saved our lives by showing us how to teach Espen to sleep well (12 hours a night!). I keep it by my bed to stay current on changes in his sleep habits as he gets older, and for advice on how to address any bumps along the way.

Caring for Your Baby and Young Child, Birth to Age 5, Steven P. Shelov, MD, MS, FAAP. Another one I keep on hand to refer to as Espen hits a new developmental stage, or if I have any questions or concerns.

On the left:

Real Simple Magazine. Goodness, how I love this magazine. I've been reading it since I was in college, and attribute at least half of my domestic successes to it.

On the right:

Fortellingene om Teskjekjerringa, by Alf Prøysen. A collection of children's stories about Mrs. Pepperpot that Nick and I bought the last time we were in Norway, when I was pregnant with Espen.

Den Røde Sangboka. A Norwegian song book. What is this doing here? Was I planning to serenade Nick in bed? Who knows.

And that's it's for me! Check back for Maddy's reading list later this week, and if you have any great book recommendations, please let us know!
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