Merry Christmas

Photos © Aina - Modern Country
Hi everyone,
It has been a very long time since I last did a blog post. It was in fact early autumn, since then I started a new job and life has been very different. One year on sadly  my shoulder is still not entirely healed from inflammation, but every day a little bit stronger ;) Which means I have starting sewing and stitching. I have missed it all so incredible much! Meanwhile I have been inspired by different creative Instagram accounts, like Woodfolkknits, who made me a beautiful par of knitted mittens a couple of weeks ago (seen above). The mittens are made from a maritime wool and feature a traditional Maritime/Maine pattern known and flying geese or crow's feet (heritage wool from Briggs and Little wool). I am very inspired by the talented knitters seen around, the fantastic patterns they create and also beautiful wool fabrics, specially tweed and tartan wool fabrics from England, Scotland and Ireland. I appreciate the growing love for traditional skills, great craftsmanship and natural living everywhere I look, especially since these ingredients are a big part of my own life as well.
The gifts are carefully wrapped, all the shopping is done, even the Christmas tree is up and twinkling. I just need to bake a pudding and send a couple of cards I forgot last Friday. Feeling very warm and fuzzy, here's to a Season filled with warmth, comfort and good cheer.
 God Jul - Merry Christmas - Joyeux Noël !
~ Aina ~

Early autumn

A few eventful months later, and I am slowly beginning to realize autumn is very near.

I am extremely happy with the beautiful weather we have had and still have. Ok, I do have a vague memory of pouring rain showers and thunderstorms non stop for a couple of weeks or three, nonetheless all is forgotten now when thinking about what we have enjoyed during this warm and friendly season.

It is late summer here in the south east of Norway, well, it is actually early autumn, but the leafs are still vibrant green and the tomato plants are giving us plenty of fruits. But that is also all what there is, no cucumbers, no herbs, no beets, leeks or salads either. We have been travelling more this year, exploring a few new places in our neighbouring countries. Having less time for gardening, made me appreciate time spent with our friends in their gardens, lakes and places nearby. 


Picking and harvesting green beans with Solveig in Denmark, looking out on her lush garden, is as good as it gets, .


Two of my favorite things to do, strolling local markets and taking pictures of old buildings.

    During our holiday in West of Sweden we visited a few historical buildings. Läckö  Castle is a medieval castle on the shores of Vänern, the largest lake in Sweden. The day we went I already had a few different places in mind, however we ended up spending more than 5 hours exploring this memorable place with fabulous decorated rooms (including floors and ceilings!!), wine cellar and loft included. Not forget the little herb garden and an interesting well displayed exhibition, while listening to  live baroque music outside in the courtyard.


       The National Museum of Sweden holds the country's largest collections in the area, much of which have never been shown before. At Läckö Castle, over 130 items designed by female artist are featured on the second floor.Here you find materials such as silver, pewter, ceramics, glass and iron, materials not primarily associated with female designers. It was a very informative day, having much pleasure in learning more about these talented women. And not at least finding this fantastic castle I definitively will visit another time.

As October rolls in, I reflect with great thankfulness the cows, the fields, the markets and all the delightful cafes, tiny cheese shops, peaceful views and welcoming friends. I know I can cope better with the tough winter season when looking back at these cheerful memories...

Photos © Aina - Modern Country - a few taken with my mobile phone.

I hope you enjoyed a wonderful summer season also.

~ Aina ~

Summer lingers on...


Eating al fresco while still enjoying my last mackerel, I realize it has been far too long since I have been checking my blog. Not have been posting for two long months it is time for a little update.


Summer lingers on and it has been far too much of a joy welcoming the sun back, which has been often absent during the winter months draining me from every inch of an desire and energy. Now It feels wonderful being met with sunbeams when waking up looking out on our garden, giving me plentiful of ideas and positive thoughts to carry out. It can be a challenge living so far up north, but the very special thankfulness you then have makes every spring and summer month so very precious.

I am definitely happy about the abundance of seasonal fruits and vegetables available, giving me ideas for new recipes, although the old are still very much reused. A summer favorite is Mackerel, homemade fresh pesto and new potatoes, tossed with some olive oil, herbs and salt. So yummy !

Photos © Aina - Modern Country

Summer I love you so very much.

It's just the little things... holding hands with my sister, taking a nap after dinner.
The hammock provide the perfect place to slip away.

~ Aina ~

Beautiful May

Photos © Aina - Modern Country
Spring is in full bloom and I am happy to share these little pleasures with you !
~ Aina ~

In anticipation


Last week we experienced another snow storm and were covered by 20 cm of snow. But today when strolling around my garden I could feel the spring in every breath of fresh air. I was amazed to see that the apple and plum trees were full of clusters of buds. Within a few weeks these buds will burst and the flowers will fill the garden with wonderful scent and I will be there to capture the magnificent sight.

 Plum tree.
Here you can see how generous the flower buds are, not long now before they will burst open !
Old mossy Apple tree buds.
Have you seen any signs of Spring yet ?

 ~ Aina ~

Looking ahead

Hi everyone, it was certainly a long time since we last spoke. I hope you had a great start to the New Year. I am slowly mending from an inflamed shoulder and overworked arms. It really has a visible influence on my energy level to be able to do more, and I am more cheerful now that I can make plans which I can accommodate with gratifying thoughts. I have to get used to blog again also, after 8 years one should think I would know ? However I have to confess, is is increasingly hard for me to think of something new to blog about, and since many now also are on Instagram I have been left with the thought of leave this little space behind. How do you feel about Instagram versus blogger ?
I am not on Instagram yet, however I do read a few. One I do visit regularly is Nigel Slater`s little inspiring place. His images are mouthwatering and recently he reminded me of something, it is certainly time to order in some vegetable seeds!  And so I did. As always I go for the easier grow, like herbs, tomatoes and cucumber. This year however I have been a little brave and will try to grow spinach also. I think it is such a useful and versatile vegetable. I like it best steamed, but often I pick the leaves as I use in salads. It is delicious with fish. And, in addition spinach is hugely expensive here in Norway, always great to save a few pennies..
Have a lovely weekend
~ Aina ~


  Christmas is a little bit different this year. Previous years it has been a tornado of guests, or we have been accompanied with lots of friends and family members. This year we keep things small scale and dinner for only the two of us. The food is easier than normal, a huge thanks to our wonderful fishmonger who makes all the preparations, only for me to set the table and lit the candles. Very thankful, saving my arms and helping me recover from the inflammations. The cards have been written and sent by my husband and the decorations are sparse. Focus on health, warmth and love is the only thing on my mind. And surely that's what christmas is all about ?
I wish you all cosy warmth and much joy. May your Christmas celebration be filled with all the wonderful things you are longing for. Give and receive friendly hugs, appreciate the moments, share the Love.
From the southeast of Norway, To all my blog friends
~ Aina ~


It`s That Time Of Year Again

Hi everyone, I have been wanting to get back to you and say hello for such a long time. I have been missing you very muchDue to an injured shoulder I have not been able to do much, no sewing, no keyboard tapping, no heavy lifting. Even washing my hair has been a real challenge. Feeling very lucky that this is not a permanent situation, realizing how difficult life would have been without my two hands. I am still taking things slow (took me a couple of hours writing this post) but at least, now you know.
Below a note I started writing to you over a month ago, thought maybe it could still be relevant.

Photo © IKEA Life at home

My friends, I hope you are well adjusted to the new temperatures and the changes of the new season. Lately I have been snuggling up and searching the internet for ideas how to make autumn wreaths, ordering a new fantastic bread knife and slowly I am also thinking about what to bake, make and how to decorate our home for Christmas. A bit early perhaps, but cleaning up my coffee table stack of magazines I found a couple of country living magazines from last November and caught myself longing a little bit. Have you already started making some plans ?

Via Design Sponge

This beautiful autumn wreath sparks a few great ideas, how to make a Christmas wreath looking pretty with a fresh mix of seasonal greenery, fruits and berries.

~ Aina ~



 Photos © Aina - Modern Country
Early signs of autumn.
Misty mornings, leaves turning red, stacking firewood with our neighbours, apples ready for jam making, pears are juicy and ready for cooking. Things I will never take for granted..
Hope you are having a relaxing weekend.
~ Aina ~

End of summer

Hi everyone, how was your summer ? What did you do ?

I hope you had a wonderful time and feel energized and happy now when we are heading towards autumn. Personally I can`t believe that four months has passed and this is actually the end of another summer. The evenings are a bit more chilly now and I am busy harvesting the last tomatoes.

Surely my intention was to update my little blog more often this past season and tell you all about my adventures, but somehow it felt more important to be present and enjoy one of the best summer in years. We did not have a single drop of water for many many weeks, not sure what the farmers felt about that, however I am very thankful for every single ray of sunlight that made my cheeks look red and healthy.

I honestly have not spent much time indoors, being occupied with living life to the fullest. What else could you do when summer seduce with such abundance of lively green and rich flavors of seasonal vegetables, fruits, fish and herbs. And the evenings are filled with conversations while enjoying the sunset  when another day is coming to an end. You just have to take it all in.
These moments I will remember and treasure the most when winter is cold and rough.

One morning my husband served me this delicious looking plate. An utterly savory moment I appreciated very much, as he never cooks !

Here a few images I captured this summer.


We watched our friends` lovely little hen house being built, with nest boxes for egg laying and with a couple of perches. 

The second time we arrived the hens eagerly waited to get out digging and airing their feathers a little bit.

With silky feathers they are lovely to hold and cuddle.

We took a couple of weeks off and drove to our rented holiday home in Denmark. We spent a few days in Kerteminde, an old market town and fishing port, which lies at the second largest island of Denmark. Beautiful view here at the harbor. I like spending time by the seaside, I feel very quickly energized.


I loved this small fisherman hut painted in black.

Salty air. Smell of fish, tar and rope.

During our stay in Denmark we also had a couple of memorable days at Gelskov Gods. A charming and unusual Bed & Breakfast, combined with art and French Antiques. Although we originally came to celebrate our 17 years together, I left feeling hugely Inspired by the exterior of the buildings and the fantastic interior.  

This kitchen !! 

Our bedroom had such nice floorboards. And I liked the rather artful solution with an old antique bench for lamps and books as a headboard.

A fabulous old barn crammed full of French antiques and collectables. Only sad that we drove a "tiny little" car.
  All Photos © Aina - Modern Country

As I am very much interested in Scandinavian Art, I experienced a few reflective moments here at the museum of Johannes Larsen.

As I have much to recap here in blogland, I can`t wait to read about your summer activities. I am looking  forward to blog more often with you also. Do have a nice evening and a glass of wine,  


~ Aina ~