Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year, everyone!

Print made by Ms. Sunshine using lettermpress for the iPad

Happy New Year, Godt Nytt År, Gott Nytt År, नये साल की हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं, ಹೊಸ ವರ್ಷದ ಶುಭಾಶಯಗಳು, नवीन वारशाच्य शुभेच्छा, નુતન વર્શ્ભીનંદન from our home to yours! 

I hope all of you have a lovely new years eve. We plan to celebrate 2011 and the upcoming new year with some Greek food, lots of alcohol and fireworks. 

We wish that all of you have amazing and happy adventures in 2012, and we hope you can all come see us this coming year.

Ms. and Mr. Sunshines

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays!

The Sunshine family Christmas tree

Happy holidays, everyone! I hope all of you are having a great holiday weekend, and are celebrating these last few days of 2011 (yikes! - where did this year go?) with family and friends and lots of good food and drinks. I would love to hear what you are doing to see off this year!

We at the Sunshine household have had a busy (but fun) past few weeks. Mr. Sunshine's cousins who study in Sweden are here to spend Christmas and New Year's eve with us. They arrived yesterday, and as usual, Mr Sunshine and I were running around trying to get the apartment in order before they arrived. A lot of shopping trips to Ikea later, I am happy to say that we might just have the most organized home we have ever had. 

We have had a lovely Christmas so far. Yesterday, we decorated our tree, listened to some good music,  went for a lovely walk around town, and ate lots. Today, we plan to make our very first Norwegian-American-Indian inspired Christmas dinner with pinnekjøt as the main star of our meal. I am keeping my fingers crossed to see how it turns out.

I am going to take a break for a few days, and try and be back to posting regularly after the New Year. If I don't get to speak with you before that - have a lovely Holiday season! Stay warm, if you are in a cold place. And if you live in a warm place, well, then go have a few Mojitos for me!

Much love,
Ms. Sunshine

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas time in Stavanger

I came across this at the Stavanger Sentrum a few days ago. The first video is of carolers (I think) in front of the cathedral. There were a bunch of older kids in white robes (you'll see them in the second video) singing hymns and carols and then little kids. The second video is a clip of a procession led by the kids in white robes, and followed by people holding sparklers. The procession started at the cathedral, went around the lake once and ended at the same place it started. I am yet to find out it's significance. You can also see the city tree in the videos.

Around and about Stavanger

The harbor the before it started snowinga
Christmas decorations

View of the harbor from one of the streets in Stavanger Sentrum

Christmas lights on a tree in the middle of the lake

The love tree

Gingerbread houses at the Aftenblad building

Gingerbread house

Gingerbread house

Gingerbread castle. I would love to live in one

I can't believe this is all edible

Sugar window panes

Winter wonderland

So pretty

Ginger bread greenhouse

Yummy Eiffel tower

Yes. They protest here too. The sign (I think) says "Stop the Islamization of Norway" 

The counter protest. Their signs say "Stop the hating of muslims" Most of these protesters were young

This one is for our dear friend L. Come visit us - there is a chocolate store full of these!

The view from our bedroom

At our first Julebord - Christmas dinner at Mr. Sunshine's office

So pretty!

We took our first train ride to Ergesund to a Christmas market. I was so excited. Unfortunately, it rained the whole time we were there (surprise, surprise) and we couldn't take a lot of pictures

At the Christmas market

The glogg stall at the Christmas market 

Our holiday cards, stamped and ready to be mailed

Christmas carolers in front of the cathedral

Lovely collaboration - Inbox (12)

From the Inbox(12) website
Inbox (12) is a collaborative project that combines four of my loves in life - travel, mail (post, if you live anywhere else in the world but the US), postcards, and art. I am or may not have done a little happy dance when I first found out about it on designworklife. So this is how it works, or at least I think this is how it works: you buy an issue - each issue is a set of 12 postcards from a city - and they send you 12 postcards in a year from the city you choose. You can also choose to get postcards from all five cities - Madrid, London, New York, Tokyo and Berlin. Each postcard is created by a different artist.

I think this would make a lovely gift idea, especially for someone who would love to travel to one of these cities. Imagine the surprise on the recipient's face when she/ he receives one of these postcards in the mail (ok, ok post). Or you could get one for yourself, and dream about faraway places!

An issue of Inbox (12)

Thursday, December 08, 2011

A few clean corners of our new home

Pretty tulips

Yes, indeed

The wood burning oven

It has been a quiet few days

The truck that brought our stuff
Do you hear the crickets? Things have been quiet around the blog and the Sunshine household lately. Our stuff arrived last week - all of it in almost mint condition. It was like Christmas, only a month early. We did lose 4 boxes  - well, actually the shipping company lost 4 of our boxes.  Mostly clothes and kitchen stuff. Thankfully we have insurance so we'll get some of the monetary value back. Sentimentally though, we lost quite a bit - all of Mr. Sunshine's wedding outfits, some of my nicer Indian outfits that I owned since my college days and was saving for any future baby girl Sunshines, and several nice (and new) pieces of clothing that I was very fond of. Ah well, I suppose it is all part of the moving process. 
Neat stacks of boxes
waiting to be unpacked

I have spent the last few days unpacking and putting things away, and the apartment still looks like a disaster zone. Gah! I hate unpacking. It is one of my least favorite thing to do in the whole entire world at par with gift wrapping (the actual physical act of wrapping of the object), and just behind chopping onions, and any kind of food prepping. 

Since Stavanger is the oil and gas capital of Europe, we meet a lot of expats here. Some of 
them in the oil industry, especially the ones who 
work off shore and in operations tend to move around a lot. One person I met has moved, with her family, 13 times in 10 years! That is an average of 1.3 moves every year! 

Let the chaos commence
While I think it would be awesome to travel so much (on someone else's expense - the best way to travel and see the world!), I can not even begin to imagine the constant packing and unpacking that goes with it. Plus, I am kind of a hoarder. 
Yes, we packed stuff in garbage
bags. We did put them nicely in
sturdy moving boxes
And NO, I am not as bad as the ones of TV. I just have a hard time parting with things. It is a trait that I inherited from my Ajji. She never threw away things. The only difference is that she would use, recycle, up-cycle and repurpose things constantly. I just keep collecting them hoping that I will need them one day. I am getting better though. I now have a policy (one that I very loosely adhere to) to deal with all the crap I (we) tend to accumulate: if something has not been used for 6 months, it is never going to be used. Throw it. Anyway, this was my longwinded way of saying: oh, my goodness! all the packing and unpacking involved in moving 13 times in 10 years -  I would not be very happy!!!! But then on the other hand, I'd get to see, and live in places like China, and Australia, and Venezuela, and France. That would be very cool!

If you had the choice of living in a country other than your home country - where would it be? Leave a comment and tell me - I would love to hear from all of you. 

Ms. Sunshine