Copycat Trailmix

I am a big fan of trail mix…sweet, salty, a variety of interchangeable ingredients, you can’t go wrong. Buying pre-packaged trail mix, however convenient, is quite pricy. Polly Turmix is 36kr for 300g, that’s 126kr per kilo!

Trailmix

I decided to make my own version and it could not have been easier. My version has all the same ingredients, except for honey roasted nuts. I couldn’t find them so I substituted dark chocolate (not that I’m complaining). This homemade snack cost a total of 77kr for 1175g, which is only 65kr per kilo. That’s some big savings right there!

Putting this together is pretty self-explanatory. Just gather all of your ingredients and dump them in a large bowl. I like to mix mine around quite a bit so all the flavor from the chilinuts gets incorporated into everything else.

Trailmix ingredients

Poured in large bowl

Trailmix in bowl

Obviously you can choose your favorite trailmix foods. There are endless options. Pretzels, almond, hazelnuts, candy, shredded coconut, etc. I made a version a couple of days ago for my husband which had almonds instead of chocolate. (I know, he’s crazy for not liking chocolate).

I used only REMA brand products because they have the best price. If you use another brand or different ingredients, your cost will be different from this recipe.

Copycat Polly Turmix:

1 bag of chilinuts

1 bag regular peanuts

1 box of raisins

1 dark chocolate bar

1 bag of cashews

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and enjoy!

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Toothless Granny Square

First of all, sorry for being away for so long. I have been job hunting, and spending most of my time writing applications. My son just started daycare though, so I now have a bit more time to write.

Speaking of my son, he is a huge fan of How to Train Your Dragon. And I must admit, that so am I. Toothless is just so darn cute! So, in honor of that adorable dragon, here is a pattern I wrote for a Toothless granny square.

Toothless Granny Square

Materials: H hook; E hook; red, black, and green yarn; yarn needle

Crochet a basic circle granny square with a square boarder. I used this pattern from Madebydo. Make the circle black and the boarder red.

Basic Granny

Once that’s finished, start with the ears.

Right ear:

Right Ear

With black, insert H hook between the 2 dc in the top right corner. Sc in same st, ch 6.

Row 1: Sc in 2nd chain from hook, 5 sc (6sc)

Row 2: Ch 1, turn. Dc in same st. Dc, 2 hdc, sc, slst in last st.  5 slst along opposite side. Slst into next st and corresponding st in black circle. Repeat with next st. Tie off.

‘Make sure the rounded part of the ear is facing out. You might have to twist it a little to get it right.

Left ear:

IMG_0023

Insert hook 1 st to the right of the left corner. Follow same instructions for right ear.

Spikes:

IMG_0025

With H hook, attach black yarn with slst 2 st to the left of the right ear.

Row1: Sc in same st. Sc in next st, ch1, turn.

Row 2: Dec, tie off.

Where to place other spikes:

IMG_0026

2nd: 3 st to the left of the first spike

3rd: 3 st to the left of the left ear

4th: 2 st to the left of the 3rd spike

5th: 3 st to the right off the right ear

6th: 3 st to the right of the 5th spike

Eyes (make 2):

With black and E hook, make mc. Single 6 sc into mc.

Round 1: Attach green and 2 dc in every st around (12 st )

Round 2: Sc 4, *hdc, 2 hdc in next st* x 2, hdc, 3 sc, slst in next st. Tie off and leave long tail for sewing. (14 st )

Sew eyes to Toothless’ face with the pointy ends facing towards the center of the circle. Weave in all ends.

IMG_0029

And there you have it! This is my first time writing a pattern, so if you find any mistakes please let me know.

I hope you enjoy this Toothless granny square!

*Please do not redistribute this pattern or use my pictures. You may sell items made from this patterm, but please post a link back to this post.*

How I made my toddler’s art center for only 30kr ($4)

Until very recently I just could not get my toddler to sit still long enough to do any kind of art project. Lately however, he has discovered how fun drawing can be…epecially drawing on himself. So I decided to make him an art center. We already had a table and chair for him in the livingroom, it just needed to be cleaned up a little.

Table Before. Renovation

This is what it looked like before…not very pretty I know. It was turning into a catch-all and he had no room to draw. I started the renovation by browsing Pinterest for inspiration and then I went through all my craft supplies for anything I could use.

This was my supply list ( You can easily use whatever you have on hand, this shouldn’t cost much money.)

  • Frame (This one is from Ikea)
  • Paper
  • Cardboard letters
  • Chalkboard (Bought at Kremmerhuset, but it’s no longer for sale. They have this and this though)
  • String
  • Tiny clothespins
  • Cardboard box
  • Table (We have this one from Ikea)
  • Chair (Bought at Kremmerhuset, but is no longer for sale. This one or this one from Ikea would work well though.)
  • Plastic basket (Bought from Nille)
  • Paper organizer
  • Plastic buckets
  • Small screw-in hooks
  • Colored pencils/markers/chalk
  • My son’s artwork

Art Center

This is the finished product. I think it turned out pretty well. Much better than the mess it was before. Now let’s just see how long it will stay this way.

Table after renovation

The chalkboard I bought from Kremmerhuset about a year ago and had been using it as decoration. I put some scrap paper in a basket and a paper organizer that I wasn’t using. The plastic buckets actually had chicken wings in them and I just washed them out and hung them from hooks I screwed directly into the table. I made the easel from a cardboard box, by cutting the sides off and duct taping the ends together.

Art wall

My favorite part is the artwork on the wall and the poster I made. I used thumb tacks to attach the string and clothespins for the art.

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso

The poster was really simple…I already had a bunch of small cardboard letters from earlier projects,  I Googled “quotes about children and art” and this was my favorite. I just glued them to paper I cut to size and put it in an old frame a frame I was currently using for something else.

The best thing about this whole project was that it only cost me 30kr! I had to buy the hooks and the red paper, everything else I already had.  It’s amazing what you can do just by repurposing old items and looking through junk drawers and craft supplies.

DIY Cardboard Barn

My dad recently sent us a package that contained a couple of small boxes. I love cardboard boxes! You might think I’m weird, but when you have a high energy toddler, you will do anything to entertain him.

That is how a simple box was turned into a barn for my son’s stuffed animals. It was really easy, mostly because I didn’t take the time to paint it. It would have looked nicer, but I knew it would be destroyed at some point.

cardboard barn

I cut one corner off the flap on the short side and used it as a template for the other three corners. I left the flaps on the long sides alone. Then I cut a long rectangular piece from another box to use as the roof. I duct taped everything together and cut out a door. Duct tape was used as decoration, but also made it more durable for all the opening and closing it would certainly endure.

DIY cardboard barn

And then…I gave it to my som before I remembered to take pictures, of course. But my son is happy with it and all his little animals have a place to sleep now.

I already had the duct tape, so the total cost of this 10 minute project was… FREE!

Have you ever made any toys out of cardboard?

Game Night, Pizza, and Ice Cream Cookie Cake

This past Saturday marked the first game night for my friends and me. We played Dominion (an awesome game btw), ate good food (homemade pizza, cinnamon rolls, strawberries and cream, and homemade ice cream cookie cake), and enjoyed good company.

It was also our friend’s birthday, so we surprised him with a gift and cake. He had no idea we knew it was his birthday so he was very happy wqith what we did.

The pizza I made turned out really well. I always use the dough recipe from Annie’s Eats, it has never failed me.

It was so good my son grabbed a piece before I could take a picture

It was so good my son grabbed a piece before I could take a picture

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a huge fan of tomato sauce on pizza. That’s why I used ranch dressing on one and bbq sauce on the other.

mmm...BBQ sauce

mmm…BBQ sauce

The cake was extremely easy to make…

Chocolate chip cookie dough

First, I made a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough from Pinch of Yum.

Press dough into pan

I divided it in half and pressed it into the bottom of a circular spring form pan.

Giant cookie

It went in the oven for 12 min and then I repeated the process with the rest of the dough.

Spread softened ice cream into pan

Once the two large cookies were completely cooled, I put one cookie back in the pan and spread on a nice, thick layer of ice cream. I put the ice cream in the fridge that morning so it was still solid, but spreadable.

Set second cookie on ice cream

The second cookie went on top and the whole thing went in the freezer for a couple of hours.

Cut top off piping bottle

Once it was completely frozen, I decorated it. I went for a simple, yet classic look. I totally failed at plan A, so this is a spur of the moment and thrown together plan B. The piping bottle I had just wouldn’t work properly, so I cut the end off, squeezed out the frosting, and spread it around. Then I simply covered it in sprinkles and set it in the freezer until everyone arrived.

Homemade ice cream cookie cake

Note: Plan to eat this immediately after taking it out of the freezer since it melts very fast.

That’s all for now. Come back tomorrow for homemade playdough and bubbles.

Free Rewards? Sign me up!

“I don’t want free products and rewards,” says no one ever! Why would anyone pay full price for something they can get for cheap or even free? There are many stores in Norway that offer special prices and rewards for members. And the best part is that membership is FREE! Here is a list of stores and companies that offer free membership, and what incentives they have.

Free Rewards

Kitch’n

*Special offers online and in-store

*Get access to offers 3 days before all other customers

*Receive 200kr coupon when you register

*Receive free gift on your birthday

G Sport

*Member only offers

*Can receive offers before other customers

Plantasjen

*Special member only offers

*Receive bonus points when you shop

Boots Apotek

*25% off different products

Barnas Hus

*Special prices for members

*Access to newsletter and offers first

BR

*Receive 1 sticker (1 point) for every 25kr you spend

*50 stickers = 50kr to spend in the store

*Receive free birthday gift

*Free entry to Legoland for members ages 3-12

*Get 3 days at Dyreparken and Badelandet in Kristiansand for the price of two.

Scandic

*Earn points towards a free night…after 5 nights you receive a free night

*20% off food at restaurants and mini-shops on weekends

*Other special member offers

Nille

*Every 2 weeks Nille offers a different discount to members

Coop

*Earn 1% back on purchases made at any Coop store, to be put into your coop account

*Earn money back from purchases made at Esso and Statoil

*Receive personalized coupons in the mail

*Special member deals in-store

Ikea

*Receive discounts on various items

*Free coffee and discount on food

*Contribute 30 øre to UNICEF every time you use your Ikea Family card (at no cost to you).

Ark

*Special discounts and offers for members

*English books are 3 for 2

*Free e-book app

Kid

*50% off any item ( one time only )

*3 for 2 on candles and napkins

*New offers every two weeks

*Free shipping when you spend over 500kr online

Black Design

*Special member only offers

*Take part in competitions and win prizes

Lindex

*1 point for every 1kr you spend (double if you pay  with Lindex credit card)

*Receive 25kr for every 1000 points

*If you 2000kr in 3 months you receive 2000 extra points

Dressmann

*Register for their newsletter and receive a 30% coupon

Kupongkode.com

*Has coupons for most stores and companies in Norway

I hope this list is helpful. I know I will be taking advantage of some of these offers.

Do you know of any other stores with free membership? Leave a comment below!

8 Ways to Save on Your Grocery Bill: Part 2

8 Ways to Save on Your Grocery Bill Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of 8 Ways to Save on Your Grocery Bill!

5. Freezer Meals

This one saves both money and time. By making meals one week, or even one month in advanced, you cut down on trips to the store, you already know what’s for dinner, and all you have to do is take it out of the freezer and throw it in the crockpot.

6. Plan Your Meals

This goes right along with #5, but maybe you don’t want to make your meals ahead of time. By planning your meals for the week, you still cut down on the stress of figuring out what to make, and you won’t be roaming aimlessly in the store. Just make sure you go through your cupboards and refrigerator first to see what ingredients you already have.

7. Shop Once a Week for Fresh Produce

It is normal in Norway to run to the store every day or every other day to get what you need for dinner. However, that can easily rack up your bill fast. By only going once a week for perishable items, you seriously cut down on impulse shopping.

8. Go Vegetarian.

No, not permanently! ( Unless you want to.) Even by making one meal a week meat-free you can save money. Bean salad and potato soup are two of my favorite vegetarian meals.

Bonus!

Bring reusable bags on your shopping trips

At 1 kr per bag, it doesn’t seem like much, but it will add up over the year. This is especially true if you go to the store multiple times a week.

I’m in a giving mood today, so here is….

Bonus #2! (hmm…maybe I should rename this post “10 Ways to Save on Your Grocery Bill.” But maybe not…everyone likes a bonus!)

Pay Attention to the “Per KG” Price

It may cost more upfront to buy a bigger package or a different brand, but if the “per kg” price is lower you will save a lot of money in the long run.

Our total food budget for two adults and a toddler is about 2500kr a month. We do tend to spend a little more during the summer though because we like to bbq. However, I make my own hamburgers instead of buying pre-made.

How much do you spend on groceries for the month? Do you have any other tips on saving money at the store? I would love to hear from you!

8 Ways to Save on Your Grocery Bill: Part 1

8 Ways to Save on Your Grocery Bill Part 1

Let’s face it, food is super expensive in Norway. I know I was shocked when I first moved here and noticed that it cost almost $5 for less than 2 liters of milk. While I have mostly gotten used to the prices here, I still try to find ways to cut costs as much as possible. Here are 8 ways I save thousands of kroner every year on groceries for my family.

1. Bulk Shopping

Every month on payday, we do the bulk of our shopping, This means we buy all the meat, canned goods, and frozen food we will need for the rest of the month. We also buy one weeks’ worth of perishable food. Depending on the deals they have going on, this usually costs between 1600-1800 kr.

2. Red Stickers

Each time I walk into a store my eyes automatically search for red stickers. These little stickers mean a product is close to the expiration date and is at least 50% off. I will stock up on these and just throw them in the freezer.

3. Make it Yourself

I would have resorted to this anyway, even if we didn’t need to save money. Norway is very limited with its options for American food:chilli mix, spinach and artichoke dip, and deep dish pizza for examples. However, going the homemade route is also an excellent way to avoid the high cost of pre-made food. (It’s healthier too.)

4. Stretch Your Food

This is something I learned from my dad. This means using a small amount of meat and adding other, less expensive, ingredients to make it a bigger meal. For example: two chicken breasts, combined with broth, rice, and lots of yummy veggies, becomes two meals for my family. I am a big fan of frozen vegetables. You get the same nutritional value, but for a fraction of the cost of fresh veggies.

If you enjoyed this post make sure to come back tomorrow for Part 2!

Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookies-På Norsk

Her er oppskriften for eple havregryn kjeks jeg skrev om forigårs. Nå er det på norsk. Jeg har oversatt ingrediensene, men du må lese instruksjonene fra Amy’s Healthy Baking.

Apple pie oatmeal cookies

Apple pie oatmeal cookies

100g havregryn

90g rugmel

4g bakepulver

4g kanel malt

1g salt

28g smør, smeltet

1 stort egg

5ml vanilje

120ml honning

1 medium eple

Kom tilbake snart for å lese om åtte måter å spare på dagligvarer regningen.

Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookies

Last weekend our friends came back from a one month vacation in the States. The catch was that they were only here for one day before they left again for 2 weeks in Kenya. CRAZY! We didn’t have much time with them, but we managed to fit in a cookout on the beach…in Hell. Hell, Norway that is. And yes, it does in fact freeze over.

Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookies

Anyway, we got to catch up with them and eat some good food. These Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookies by Amy’s Healthy Baking were a big hit, and deceptively healthy too! Just make sure you dice the apples very fine, otherwise it will be difficult to incorporate them into the batter. You can get the recipe in Norwegian here.

Cookies in Jar

I also made a yummy chocolate, greek yogurt dip that I will share in a later post.

Chocolate Greek Yogurt Dip

For now, I hope you try the cookies and check back on Wednesday for my next post – 8 Ways to Save on Your Grocery Bill Part 1.

These cookies are definitely on my list of favorites. What is your favorite cookie recipe?