Happy Palm Sunday!

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Easter is my favorite holiday because of the weight it carries for me spiritually. So I always look forward to being creative for this holiday and making the most of this season. Last year I did the traditional painted eggs with a little extra glam. Click here to view. This year I had a little less time at hand, so I took an easier route. But I hope it’s just as “glam.” I simply repurposed some oval shaped Christmas ornaments as eggs and them hung ’em on branches. If your eggs are plain, all you need to make the shine is: glue, glitter and gems. That would be 3G!
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A picture of the gems hanging on Norwegian “troll branches.”
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My favorite egg has a cross, which brings me to the hart of Easter: “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-5, ESV)

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With Love,

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Happy Valentines Day

Love is..

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,endures all things.” I Corinthians 13:4-7
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I made a cake for my Valentine this year. Thought I’d try one of his favorite cakes: The Red Velvet Delight. 🙂

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A ring holder makes a for special gift idea.
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IMG_6366No time for baking and need a cake for a special occasion? My dear friend Daris, introduced me to the best Red Velvet Cake that money can buy  from Nothing Bunt Cake . You will only want more!

With love,

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New beginnings

Beautiful flowers from a beautiful friend.

Beautiful flowers from a beautiful friend.

At this point, I’d be surprised if people were checking in to see what’s up at Restoring Design. I could sit here and list my excuses for not posting lately, but I’d rather  suck it up, admit temporary defeat, and now write about what’s new. 🙂

On Jan 16th, we finally moved into our new home! For those following the blog, you may recall that we lived in a charming little apartment fit for Mini Mouse and her little friends. The size of our previous dwelling space is analogous to the size of a European serving of cake: shockingly small. Our guests had the same reaction as Americans do when they’re served a delicious tart: “This is great, but why sooooo tiny??!!” All “funnies” aside, I must add that I loved our life in that little shoebox with all its ups and downs, and I felt a hint of melancholy while closing it up for the last time. Life has taught me that happiness cannot be measured in square-meters. True happiness can only be found in that which transcends the earthly, i.e., Joy that springs forth from a heart that has experienced restoration with a glorious God. Lately I have been reminded of the familiar words “Where your treasure is, there your heart is also.”

My prayer is that our new home will be a place where the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ will rest, and a blessing to all who visit us.

P.S Stay tuned, ideas are in the making.

With Love,

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Cake!

What are your top 10 excuses—or, shall I say—sensible reasons for baking a cake on an ordinary day? I have realized two things today: (1) Summer is coming to an end here in Oslo, and (2.) Summer is way underappreciated. Based on two simple facts, I have deemed sunny days worthy of massive cake consumption. Maybe it’s because I’m Scandinavian? Nah… I’ll make up any excuse to eat cake and drink coffee with friends and family!

Well, I did my research and found the perfect chocolate cake. It takes me a little while to compare recipes online but it always pays off when I do. The trick is to decide what you’re making, tab all your findings, and then start comparing ingredients while noting down what you think is vital for creating a sensational cake. For some reason I always end up incorporating ingredients from other recipes. I call it “the merge of baking.”My hubby and I finished this delight in a day and a half. The recipe was one of the top 10 winners in a “Norwegian chocolate cake bake-off.” The recipe can be found here. My secret “merge” move was to add some apricot jam. I simply let my layers soak up hot apricot jam before icing the cake. It makes for a very moist and super delicious treat!

Thank you Jamie Oliver

And thank you, hubby, for cooking. I LOVED every bite. Just a quick tip for those of you who want to know where to pick up your special meats and pasta. There is a little shop at Sanktanshaugen called Gutta På Haugen. They have anything Gourmet: sausages, cheeses, and your favorite condiments.

Ingredients

Fresh Thyme

Flat leaf parsley

Garlic (of course)

1 Onion

Dried Chili

Salt’n Pepper

Spanish Chorico

Give it a go!

Love,

Battenberg Cake

My lil’ sis turned 25 yesterday, and that was reason enough to try out this famous British delight. After giving it a go, I understand what the hoopla is all about. This cake will even make the “I’m not much a cake person”  person go for seconds. It’s really easy to make and it has a vintage look to it. Here is the instructional video (if you want to be inspired, too!):  How to make Battenberg Cake.

Make it easy on yourself by doing a thorough prep job, i.e. read the recipe closely and put out everything you need before getting started.

This is how I made my divider: I used a single sheet and folded it in the middle. It helps to use a little butter in the corners to make it stick in place.

I made the rose out of plain marzipan.

Steps:

1. Add a little food coloring to make it look like a rose. Don’t add too much coloring or the dough will become overly sticky.

2. Roll up a little ball and then make it pointy like an upside-down cone.

3. Make another seven to eight balls.

4. Using your roller, make thin, flat  circles, roughly 2 inches in diameter on wax paper.

3.The first flat circle you’ll shape around your cone. Create layers with the remaining leaves making sure they fold outward.

The birthday girl got her cake fix on her special day. I love you to Reese’s Pieces, Kristin!

Thanks for stopping by on your special day, Auntie!

Always with love,

Back on track

My little bundle has arrived. She was born on the 30th of June, at 4:10 pm. Labor was no less than a 21 hour, intense hike up and down Mount Contraction  (Thank You, Eve!). Although we endured a little drama along the way, the ending was all good. Nova checked out of her utero hotel close to 8 pounds. Now, six weeks later , I’ve got a smiling, drooling, kicking, and healthy little pile of delicious blubber. Since the baby fog has officially lifted, and life has started to normalize a little, I am exited to continue posting some of the excitement going on around  here. By excitement, I mean starting on my low-budget kitchen rennovation.

Since we live in an old house, I am thinking of going a little retro with a mix of country charm. A while back I pulled some inspiration from the website House to Homes. Since then I have stumbled over the perfect cabinet knobs to fit our space. You can easily change the face of old cabinets with a fresh coat of paint and by replacing outdated knobs with new ones to fit your theme. Although I bought mine here in Norway, I found that Amazon has every cabinet knob you can possibly imagine. I went for elegance when I picked mine.

I know this is a short post, but I wanted to say hi and show you the first step to my new project in the most important room in the house! Thanks for stopping by and feel free to offer your suggestions!

Before

After:

Thanks for stopping by

Love,

Renewing old frames, and just waiting…

Hi Everyone,
My due date for this pregnancy is within hours reach, so I’m eagerly waiting for my little angel to arrive. At this point the house could not possibly be any cleaner (I have a bad case of nesting going on), the bags are packed, and the cupboards are stuffed with dippers, wipes, and creams that any would tackle any kind of baby rash. That said, my home projects and blogging have been on the back burner lately 😉
However, I do have a little nugget to share: a project I did a while back when we were living in our little desert casa in Arizona. If you have any old picture frames lying around that could use a little TLC, this is an easy project. All it takes is a couple boxes of spray paint, maybe some old jewelry, gold leaf paper, a little corner of beautiful textile, and viola!
Steps Taken:
1. I started by cleaning the frames before I sprayed them with a sea green paint. Then I applied gold leaves. The gold leaves stick easily to the painted surface
 2. After the paint dried I applied a vintage border by decoupage, and some gems to its surface.
3. Lastly, I used a thick fabric (textile) as a backdrop in the frame instead of inserting pictures.
The pictures aren’t that fab because I used my iPhone. (If you want a clearer picture let me know and I’ll send one to you.)

Love,

New Centerpiece Idea for Dining Room Table

Flowers are spectacular. They’re fun and they add color to any space of your choosing. But I think they look the best when featured as a centerpiece on a dining room table. That’s why I love to fill my tall, cylinder glass vase with an assortment personal favorites such as tulips, classic roses, or spectacular orange lilies like the ones posted above. The downside: the dent they make in my wallet and their short lives (one week tops!). This made me think of other things I could fill my vase with that would be just as eye-catching and fun as my flowers. I think I found something that won’t decay after a few days in the limelight. Hurra!

One Sunday afternoon my hubby and I were enjoying lunch with a couple who just bought a fish tank. As they were telling us about their new roommates (little fishes), one particular roommate somehow managed to swim its way into my memory box. The fish, which now lives in my brain, is not only eye-catching but requires as little maintenance as a beautiful bouquet of flowers. So, who is this little booger? It’s the Japanese Fighting Fish, of course!

The vibrant purple and maroon colors on this fish compliment the glass crystals that my glass cylinder already possesses. And the good news is that I only need one fish to keep it simple and interesting. Besides, if I add another, there will be war! Further, this fish enjoys swimming up and down so it’s a win-win. Think about it: you provide a vertical swimming pool for your dining table “star” and a little entertainment for your guests. Luckily, Norway’s larges fish store is only a five minute walk away from where we live. Let me know what you think. Is this a go or a no-go? (Below is a “bottle” version of what I have in mind. I will be using a tall vase.)

Always with love,