Norwegian writer and photographer living in the English countryside. Author of “The Cottage Kitchen” cookbook. Photography and cookery workshops.
Our garden is blooming at the moment,so before leaving for Norway, I picked a few little flowers to add to some presents for friends and family. I´m not much of a planner, but since my mother has made me a calendar with all the birthdays of my nearest and dearest handwritten in, I´ve become more organised. Isn't it a bit early to wrap your father's birthday gift already my English gentleman @theo_maxfield suggested as he tied the ribbon. Since my parents recently moved to a new home, I’d ordered him a personalised key case from @notonthehighstreet so he’d never forget his keys. I smiled, knowing it was over half a year early. Perhaps it could pass as a wee housewarming gift, I replied, before tucking in the flowers from the garden under the ribbon. After all, when you love someone, why wait till their birthday to give them little presents. #ThinkThoughtful#ad
Norway is at its best this time of year with warm winds and wild strawberries. I’ve been scoffing them down with generous amounts of thick whipping cream. Drinking the pink flavored cream after all the berries have been devoured, with great gusto. This weekend we had our one day workshop in the heart of Oslo with an incredible group of lovely women. My friend, author, and photographer Ina @matpaabordet joined in as a guest teacher and my partner in crime @theo_maxfield charmed with his decadent cheese and charcuterie lunch boards. The windows @studioask were wide open letting in that soft summer breeze, making this bright and beautiful studio bask in light. Kickstarting our intensive one day workshop the lovely Lene from @coffee101oslo led us in a mesmerizing tasting session that involved slurping, sniffing and spitting. I felt like quite the pro at the end of her intriguing coffee session laughing at my utter ignorance on the subject. There’s something ever so magical that happens when a group of creative women gather, brainstorm and share their story of how passion became a full time job. We piled back into the car after a whirlwind of a day, little Emma, my wonderful mother and my English gentleman, and agreed that we may have been the ones hosting this workshop, but we all left inspired to the brim by our participants @kajsa_kajsa@libelulajewellery@designsalong@juliane_andrea_ and @matpaabordet This morning as the tea kettle whistled and we packed our car for another road trip with my little family into the heart of Norway, I poured myself a cup of tea, happy and tired feeling so incredibly grateful to get to meet so many wonderful people during my workshops. We love changing things up, keeping it fresh, always personal and hopefully ever so inspiring, and we have some really exciting workshops coming up this Autumn, Winter and next Spring. To sign up for our workshop/Retreat newsletter pop over to the link in my profile. Can’t wait to share our next location with you!;) #mmforsbergworkshop#creativewomen
She’s more beautiful than ever. My mother. She’s the first person I hugged when we arrived in Norway after four days on the road through Europe, and she’ll probably be the last I hug when we leave next week. She’s my lighthouse, and my heart swells when I watch her with my daughter Emma. They sing together every morning just like she did to me, traditional little melodies that she learned from her mother, 76 years ago. The agin process can be so beautiful. I try to embrace the process, the journey that looks much more inviting on my little daughter than on me. My mother is aging with such grace, full of wisdom, humor and passion for life. I hope I will too. I hope my little daughter will learn to love and embrace this journey through life, and grow strong in herself, just like my mother. Eagerly pursue knowledge, yet allowing time and actions transform it into wisdom, and that she, much like my mother will choose kindness first. My dear friend Hannah @hannahargo said it so well the other day when she expressed hope that her daughter would always be a bit kinder than necessary. I hope my little Emma will too. That’s she’ll be kind to the people she meets on her way, and kind to herself as she embarks on this journey through life. #fridaymusings#age#bekinderthannecessary
Summer temperatures have sprinkled its warm magic all over the countryside and everything is bright green and filled to the brim with flowers. With the absence of rain, the garden beacons ever so temptingly and more meals have been enjoyed in the cooler afternoon breeze there than not. I like making fresh salads with whatever is in season, an right now the asparagus is sprouting up everywhere, so I made a quick pearl barley, mixed greens with asparagus and crisp baked chicken paired with a delicious honey mustard dressing from @hellmannsuk. It's made with natural ingredients and is gluten-free without lacking in flavour, so I sprinkle it on generously and serve my little family while Mr. Whiskey, my dog, is sprawled out on the grass next to our feet. These fleeting days of sun and warmth feel like a treat and so we're making the most of it, enjoying our al fresco dining even if the sky tempts with a dose of English rain. #hellmanns#BetterWithHellmanns#chickensalad#ad
Like this, he asked and arched his back tucking in his front paws to gain balance. Like that indeed, I replied, as he nestled his wet snout into the white blooming roses in our garden. It’s intoxicating soft scent has been perfuming our garden for weeks now, and judging by the many buds still closed to the outside world, it will continue blooming all summer long. This has never been my favorite season, more drawn to the mystique of the moodier autumnal months, with wet leaves, fog, smoke bellowing out of wonky cottage chimneys and hearty stews bubbling on the stove. But England has made me love summer, its many gardens and the ritual of open garden days in June and July. On the 24th of June, Tisbury, my little countryside village has a “Hidden Garden” day, opening the gates to charming little gardens all over town, where chilled lemonade will be served from pitchers, and tea with milk accompanying slices of homemade cake. I wouldn’t miss it for the world, however this year I’ll be in Norway during this magical event. If you’re passing by or in the area on the 24th, do pop by for me and report back. #hiddegardensoftisbury2018#myenglishcottage#whiskeyandmoi
Are you homesick, he asked as we passed the border to the Netherlands on the first leg of the road trip to Norway. I am a bit, I replied, and grew nostalgic as I gazed out of the window at the glowing sun that was still hovering above the horizon line at 10pm. These endless light summer days make my heart skip a beat. Calm sea, buying freshly boiled shrimp from the local fishermen as they anchor up by the pier in town. Warm June and July days where the sun sets at midnight and rises again shortly after feels ever so magical.
I call Norway home, and I call England home, and sometimes I call Italy home. And maybe that’s ok, to have more than one home and to feel deeply rooted and connected to more than one place. But here’s the truth, no matter where we are, which country we are visiting, or place we go to, these three are my home and true north. Mr Whiskey, little Emma and my English gentleman @theo_maxfield makes home a place of the heart more than a destination. #roadtripmusings#myenglishcottage (Beautiful image by the lovely @her_dark_materials )
After gloriously beautiful days with the lovely @jennifahbravo during our private workshop this week, we packed our bags, kissed the roses in the garden goodbye, and hit the open road. A thermos filled with tea, a little bag of biscuits and finger sandwiches, all neatly wrapped in our picnic basket ready for our five day journey to Norway by car. We love the adventure. BBC4 is tuned in and our map has a circle around my parents home in Norway. Many of you have asked how to travel with a little on, and I can honestly say it’s really not that challenging. We make sure not to overthink it and simply hit the road. If she cries we stop and feed, play, sing and change her nappies on our laps. And then we hit the road again. My only tip is make sure to bring plenty of snacks, a good play list with great tunes, and simply come what may. The less we make plans that we have to be at a certain place, be at a hotel before dinner or dark, the easier it is. And when our little Emma looks at me as if to say, she’s not quite sure, I tell her stories of all the adventures that’s right there at her fingertips if she’s just willing to jump, not overthink it and simply do. She may not get the message just yet, but hopefully my repeated words will stick with her as she grows older and fearlessly, albeit with a bit of research and planning, jump into the unknown and breathe in this beautifully wild world in big deep breaths. #justdo#adventuresahead#roadtrip
Let’s not celebrate Valentine’s day this year, he said, a few days before the day. I should treat you like it’s Valentine’s Day every day! If you love someone you don’t celebrate that one day a year, you show it everyday, he continued. He may perhaps have wanted to get out of making me breakfast in bed, but it sounded lovely in my ears, so I smiled and agreed to celebrate our love everyday. It made me think about my mother. We talk often on the phone, sharing our daily lives with each other via a cable across the channel. If Valentine’s was going to be all year round, then maybe birthdays should too, so I decided to sprinkle little gifts, cards and letters my mother’s way with regular intervals. I made a few things, and bought a few things, one of them being a beautiful little illustration print from @notonthehighstreet customized with my mother’s name, Yvonne. Because really, if you love someone, why celebrate that only one day a year;)
Yesterday we got summoned. It was late at night and my English gentleman @theo_maxfield and I sat in the sitting room and talked with our feet up after a long day. We heard steps and then a snout pushed against my bare legs. Do you need to go out, I suggested, and got up from the sofa, kissed him on the forehead and went to open the doors to the garden. He gently trotted in front of me leading the way towards the door, before turning and nosing towards the stairs up to the bedroom. We’re not going to bed just yet, I told him, and made my way towards the garden. He stayed put by the bottom of the stairs. Come on then, I urged, but he didn’t move, but rather sat down and sighed. What is it I asked, and made my way back towards him. As I got closer he got up and slowly began walking up the old wooden staircase to our low ceiling cottage bedrooms. I simply followed. He made a left turn at the top of the stair, and knocked the bedroom deep open with his paw. I entered as he took a seat next to our bed I sat down and looked at him. I tapped gently with my hand in the duvet, inviting him to sit next to me. He leapt up and curled up close with his head on my lap, and closed his eyes. You just wanted to snuggle didn’t you, I whisperers into the night, before we both fell asleep paws and arms tangled, to the cool breeze from the open window. I guess sometimes, when all else fails and we feel a bit overlooked, a good summoning of our tribe for a needed snuggle is in order. #mrwhiskeystories#whiskeyandmoi
With summer heat, and the scent of roses blooming in the garden, wafting through the cottage, I asked my English gentleman @theo_maxfield to light the big fireplace in the kitchen. The ever so talented Ros @her_dark_materials was paying us a visit this week, and even if the garden was ever so inviting, I wanted to serve our cheese and charcuterie lunch in the kitchen. He just smiled, and opened all the doors and windows so we wouldn’t melt, before lighting the fire. He knows me well by now, my quirks and weird little habits, like lighting the fireplace during warm summer days. We had a glorious day. I made my grandmother’s doughnuts, a recipe from my cookbook “The Cottage Kitchen” and washed it all down with a thick and glossy chocolate sauce that my mother used to make. It may have been international doughnut day yesterday, but at the cottage we save these tasty treats for only one day a year;) #nationaldoughnutday#thebakefeed#thecottagekitchencookbook
Right after my mother´s 76th birthday, our little Emma was born, and since we had been unable to attend her birthday, I made plans to sprinkling little gifts to her throughout the year to celebrate her, the beautiful human she is, the way she's a mother, and grandmother, and her unwavering love and support. She stood there leant up against the window with my daughter in her hands when I unwrapped one of her presents, a @notonthehighstreet name print. I never like my old fashioned name when I was younger, but I remember thinking my mothers name, Yvonne, was ever so elegant. «Is that for me», she exclaimed as she saw the print with her name on it. «Oh, its beautiful Marie»! I watched her smile and kiss our little daughter and I thought, you're the very best gift a daughter could ever wish for. #mothersanddaughters#birthdayallyear#ad
It’s been muggy and warm, with wild thunderstorms at night. I’ve curled up close to him with the windows wide open, Mr Whiskey by our feet and Emma sound asleep in her cot. I love a good thunderstorm I tell him, and he squeezes me and confessed that he loves them too. Mr Whiskey on the other hand is a bit unsure about it all, shivering with his paws tucked in close. It’s good to be home after two weeks on the road and in Italy. This new life with our little Emma has changed everything for the better and I’m so incredibly grateful to be her mother. I realize more and more that everything is phases. Everyday she discovers something new or makes a new sound. This phase is perhaps mostly about nappy change, not always in as charming of a location as our favorite picnic spot above, but I’m learning to enjoy every aspect of motherhood. So we snuggle up even closer at night, and open the windows to the cooler nighttime breeze. This is our new life, and today is the only valid currency I have, so I inhale, exhale and change nappies like there’s no tomorrow. # Wednesdaymusings (Ps: Get a peek into our little world through the incredibly talented and ever so lovely @her_dark_materials on her IG stories )