July 30, 2020

Where to Stay in Oslo: Cochs Pensjonat

We are a group of 3 adults and 1 kid so for our Scandinavian trip, I planned to book our accommodation in Airbnb but when I started to search, I had a difficult time because most of the available rooms are already outside of the city. While planning for our trip, my mom messaged me that she already booked our stay in Cochs Pensjonat so this gave me an idea to look for a hostel, 2-3 stars hotel or guesthouse instead.

So we stayed in Urban House Copenhagen by Meininger in Denmark, Hotel Generator Stockholm in Sweden, and for the last leg of our trip, Cochs Pensjonat in Norway. This guesthouse is located in an old, historic building which is walking distance to Royal Palace. They started operating since 1927 so the place looks old but still charming.

The Cochs Pensjonat is located in the heart of the city, it is 45 minutes drive from the Oslo Airport, 20 minutes walk from the city center, walking distance to subway station and less than 2km away from Oslo Central Station. We traveled via SJ Train from Stockholm Central Station and we arrived in Oslo Central Station after 6 hours.

Read: Traveling to Oslo Central Station from Stockholm Central Station via SJ Train

The cozy guesthouse is 1.7km away from the central train station so we took a taxi from there up to the hotel and if I remember it right, the taxi fare is more or less NOK400 and we find it expensive for a few minutes ride but we had no choice. We also took a taxi on our way back to Oslo Central Station but we only paid less than NOK200. Same lang naman na wala traffic, pinaikot-ikot yata kami ng una namin nasakyan.

Anyway, we arrived at Cochs Pensjonat and you need to take a lift to reach the reception area. They asked for our passport and we paid the full reservation which is NOK4080 for 3 nights stay, we used our Philippines credit card and the posted bill is PHP25,307.70. The rate is more expensive compared to our Copenhagen and Stockholm accommodation.

They offer different types of rooms that can accommodate single, couple, family, or group travelers. They have a Quadruple Room which is perfect for our group, the room looks simple and it is only 20square meters. The room is tidy and housekeeping clean it every day. We have 4 single beds, mini table and chairs, TV, mini-fridge, cabinet, bathroom, kitchenette, and kitchenware. Yey! This time we can cook our own food inside our room but there is only an exception, no frying.

After several minutes, we went to the grocery so we can buy foods and drinks that are enough for our 3 days stay. Since our stay fell on Holy Week, the supermarket will be closed for a few days. The REMA 1000 is only 50 meters away from the guesthouse. There are also bars, restaurants, and convenience stores within the area so food is not a problem as long as you have a budget.

As I mentioned before, Cochs Pensjonat is located in the heart of the city so we saved money on transportation, we just walk, walk, and walk. It is tiring but thankful that we had good weather during our stay. It is just a few minutes walk to the Royal Palace so we always pass this mansion every day. If ever we will go back to Oslo, we will still consider Cochs Pensjonat for our accommodation.

Read: Radisson Blu Airport Hotel Oslo

Day 1 is Oslo Norway

July 24, 2020

Traveling to Oslo Norway from Stockholm Sweden via SJ Train

I know I am not yet finished with my Stockholm, Sweden series but let me skip it for now since I have no idea about the situation in Sweden. But in Norway, it seems that life is back to normal because I’ve seen relatives who are on the road traveling within Norway. How I wish we could do that here in the Philippines.

But it looks like it won’t happen anytime soon so let me reminisce our trip in Oslo Norway, let me start with our train ride from Stockholm to Oslo via SJ train. If Copenhagen to Stockholm has 5 train schedules, for Stockholm to Oslo, we were down to two schedules only which is 9:10 and 15:08, we chose the earliest schedule since we don’t want to arrive in the evening. Travel time is 5 hours and 59 minutes.

There are different types of ticket, you can choose first class or second class, then non-bookable, rebookable and refundable. For our Copenhagen to Stockholm, my mom chose the refundable ticket but when my mom received the confirmation and read the fine prints, she agreed with me to buy the non-rebookable ticket for our train trip. Hehehe!

SEK 1850 - Non-rebookable
SEK 2147 - Rebookable
SEK 2429 - Refundable

Total is SEK1850 for 3 adults and 1 child, I was so surprised when I saw the breakdown of the ticket because we only paid SEK5 for my son which is only PHP27.80 (current exchange rate). This is one of the perks of traveling with a family, they give discounts. Imagine, nakabiyahe anak ko from Sweden to Norway for less than PHP30.

SEK 615 - Adult
SEK 5 - Child

Since we had an early trip, we checked out before 6AM, from Generator Stockholm we just walked up to Stockholm Central train station. To save money, we did not take any taxi since we’ve been walking from the hostel to the train station for the past few days so even with our luggage, it won’t be difficult.

Read: Where to Stay in Stockholm: Generator Stockholm 

When we arrived at the train station, we immediately checked our boarding gate then we had our usual breakfast at McDonalds. We took our time eating breakfast because we have nothing to do at the train station. While waiting, my husband bought some chocolates at the convenience store, just beside our boarding gate. We survived Stockholm Sweden without cash, we only use our credit card for everything, even for comfort rooms which SEK10.

The train arrived on time, we have comfortable seats and free wifi. I did not bother to take photos or videos because this was my view. Toinks!

We had lunch at the Bistro, my husband just bought bread and Swedish Meatballs. The total bill is SEK158 without drinks.

 After 6 hours of train ride, we were back in Oslo, Norway. We stayed at Cochs Pensjonat for 4 days and 3 nights. After our Scandinavian tour, my husband went back to the Philippines while my son and I stayed in my mom’s place.

Read: Traveling from Copenhagen Denmark to Stockholm Sweden via SJ Train 
Traveling in Scandinavia via SJ Train 
Traveling Around Norway via NSB Train 
Where to Stay in Oslo: Cochs Pensjonat

July 23, 2020

Breakfast Waffle

We have a waffle maker at home but I stopped using it because I was having a hard time cleaning it. It is supposed to be a non-stick waffle maker but I don’t know bakit lagi may dumidikit and ang hirap alisin after ko gamitin. I checked this old blog post, and I can’t remember if this was also the last time that I cooked waffle, almost 8 years ago na pala and I’m not sure if my old waffle maker is still okay.

Moving on, my husband bought a new waffle maker last February but it was only this month that I was able to use it. I’ve been cooking a lot of pancakes and French Toasts during this community quarantine so for a change, nagwaffle naman ako. This time, I only use the Pancake Instant Mix for my waffle.

I love my new waffle maker, it is so easy to use and so easy to clean. And because of that, naubos ko ang 4 packs ng hotcake instant mix namin. My son loves eating it with Nutella.

Next time, I will try to cook waffles from scratch, baka mas okay ang texture. I’m missing the waffle that we usually eat in Norway. Parang gusto ko ulit ng bagong waffle maker, na ganito shapes. Hehehe!

Updated: October 2020: Waffle with Whipped Cream

I was planning to make crepe last month so I told my husband to buy whipped cream. Fortunately, he found a whipped cream at the grocery. We don't normally buy whipped cream but after trying this, I guess, mapapabili na ko lagi. I forgot to make crepe but I used it for our waffle. Mas masarap and waffle + Nutella + whipped cream. Elle & Vire is a French brand pala and according to my research, they are number 1 in the cream market and number 2 in the butter market. I just can't remember the price, I will update this post kapag bumili na kami ulit.

July 31, 2012


No classes for two consecutive days and I feel like a student again because I’m also happy. Class suspension means I have more time to do my chores and blog hopping but my son wasn’t happy because he loves to go to school even on the weekend. Every morning when I say “it’s time to take a bath”, my son will shout “Yehey! School time!” well, I do hope that he will be like this till college time.

Anyway, while doing my chores, I saw our waffle maker and I know that it’s been years since the last time I made a waffle so I cleaned the waffle maker and checked the internet for an easy waffle recipe. We made this for our merienda, I ate 2 pieces and my son ate 4 pieces. Next time I will add cheese or sausage.

July 20, 2020

Betty Crocker: Super Moist Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix

My husband went to Landers last month and he bought a lot of instant cake mixes. I asked him to buy our favorite brownies mix but it was not available so he bought Betty Crocker cake mix instead. We already tried and tasted this brand for the past few years so it became a staple in our pantry. I’ve already blogged about their products before.

Super Cake Yellow Mix 
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix 
Super Cake Lemon Mix 
Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix  
Oatmeal Cookie Mix 

Among these products, our favorite is the oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. Anyway, last weekend I baked the Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix and it turned out okay, not super moist but not dry. You can eat it without frosting but if you want to make it special, you can add frosting like Chocolate Ganache and Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. I still have 2 boxes of cake mix and 1 pouch of cookie mix that I will try in the next few weeks. 

Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix Recipe 

1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs

1. Heat oven to 350F for shiny metal or glass pan. 325F for dark or nonstick pan. Grease bottom and sides of the pans.
2. Mix cake mix, water, oil, and eggs in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed or beat vigorously by hand 2 minutes. Pour into pan.
3. Bake as directed or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool ten minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before frosting.

Pan Size and Baking Time 

13”x9” - 30 to 35 minutes
8” Round (2) - 30 to 35 minutes
9” Round (2) - 25 to 30 minutes
Bundt - 40-45 minutes
Cupcakes - 14-19 minutes

July 15, 2020

Quarantine Greeting Cards

One hundred twenty-three days since community quarantine started and I’m patiently waiting for the day that we are free to go out again without hesitation and fear. Staying in the house for more than four months is no joke, the only time I went out is when I went to the dentist and law office. It was only few hours but when I got home, I worried about the virus. I feel safe when I’m at home so I’m a little bit paranoid when I went out.

During those four months, there are so many special occasions that had passed like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, my husband’s birthday, and my son’s recognition day. We usually celebrate these occasions by traveling, staycationing, or eating out but because of the pandemic, we have no choice but to stay indoors.

I can’t even buy gifts for my two boys because I can’t go out and online shopping is not an option because I am not sure about the delivery. Good thing that our love language is not “receiving gifts” so we are perfectly okay without gifts. My husband bought cakes during those moments and I’ve made digital cards and video as my gift. Hehehe!

Community quarantine is not a hindrance, you can still make someone feel special during their birthday, anniversaries, or any other special events. If you can’t go out, you can shop online, there are so many stuff that you can buy online depending on your budget. If you have a limited budget, you can purchase digital cards that you can download. You can send the digital cards via email or social media or you can print these cards and mail it. These cards are available in my shop.

Happy Quarantine Birthday! 

Wishing you a Happy Quarantine Birthday from a distance 

Sending you a virus-free card on your special day! Happy Birthday 

Happy Birthday! Wish I could be with you 

We might be apart today but you are always in my heart.

Buy these cards here.

July 13, 2020

Michiscape is Now on Etsy

Last week, I planned to use my Cricut Maker and make some projects but after setting it up and trying it, I realized that I need more time to learn how to use it. I stopped my Cricut project and out of the blue, I decided to push my plan.

I’ve been meaning to have my online shop where I can place my printables and social media graphics but as usual, I always feel that it’s not the right time and I’m not yet ready. But I took my courage pill and start registering my shop on Etsy.

Since I’m not yet ready, it took me several days to figure it out. I won’t deny that last week I feel so stressed because I did not expect that there are so many things to do especially listing the products. So far, I only have few products, you can buy instant download digital cards, tags, and stickers. You can visit my shop here

I only have 1 sale after one week. I know that I still have a long way to go. But despite that there is only ONE SALE, I still feel happy because
Finally, I DID IT.
I started even I feel that I’m not ready
I started even I feel scared.

F.E. Marie said, “Even when you fall, even when nothing goes as you expected, even then, be proud of yourself. You tried, and there is nothing more courageous than trying.” 

If you are like me who are feeling scared, I’m sharing these motivational quotes so you too can conquer your fear

“I always did something, I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow - Marissa Mayer” 

“If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, then you’ve launched it too late” - Reid Hoffman 

“Do the best you can until you know better, then when you know better do better” - Maya Angelou

“Stop letting your potential go to waste because you don’t feel confident or ready enough. People with half of your talents are making serious waves while you’re still waiting to feel ready” 

P.S. If you want to start an Etsy shop, I have a referral link so you can get FREE 40 listings. If you are an on Etsy too, care to share some advice. :)

July 02, 2020

Second Half of the Year

The first half of the year is gone and we’re now in the second half of the year 2020. Six months had passed, and those months are so challenging, overwhelming, and heartbreaking. Today is Day 110 since community quarantine has started and a lot of things happened even I’m just inside our home.

I was reading my Day 32 of Community Quarantine post and I shared that despite what happened in the past 3 months, I still try to be positive. In spite of the community quarantine and being stuck at home, I still feel okay. Then 4 days after I posted that, life hits me hard, my sister passed away and my world turned upside down. 

I wanted to scream “Noooo, this could not be happening to me”. At that moment, I don’t know what to feel anymore, my heart was really shattered into tiny pieces and I don’t know how to be whole again. There are days that I feel that I am just existing but not living. I kept on telling my heart to beat again. It is a long process to get back up and it took me a while to go back to my usual routine.

I am a planner so I always have a short-term or long-term plan but after what happened these past several months. I’ve learned to let go of my 2020 plans, I try not to worry about the future and I take one day at a time. I may not understand what is happening to my life right now, but I still have faith that someday, I will know the purpose and reason.

"Take one day at a time. Today, after all, is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday" - Billy Graham

I’m meditating on this song Blessing by Laura Story “Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops. What if Your healing comes through tears. What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near. What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise”

Though there are sad times, I cannot deny that God is still faithful and I am thankful for all the blessings.

1. When my sister passed away, I was helping her family in processing the death claims. It is hard to process because I can only call or email and I cannot travel. I’m really grateful to people who helped us and my sister’s family in getting some requirements and documents. We are just starting to process kasi kailan lang naman nag-open ang mga offices.I just hope na mawala na ang Covid19 and magkaroon na ng public transportation so it would be easy for us to process.

2. I’m grateful because my husband has still work, hindi siya nasama sa 2% na nalayoff sa company nila. I’m glad that he is still working from home, no need to go to the office, and no business trip.

3. I am thankful that after 109 days of being stuck at home, I was able to go out. Last week, I got my quarantine pass and my dentist messaged me that they are already open. I immediately booked an appointment because it’s been 3 months since my last brace adjustment. That was my quick visit to the outside world.

4. I'm happy because my son is “Gold Eagle Awardee” again. Ang sad part lang, wala kami Recognition Day kahit online so I’m praying na sana next year back to normal na. Nakakasad yung Online Graduation.

5. After 3 months of waiting, I finally received my Living Cash Benefits, naabutan kasi ng lockdown yung check. I’m happy because I am still alive and I can enjoy the benefits of the memorial plan that I purchased 15 years ago.

6. Lastly, even though I’m stuck at home, I’m still happy because I have freelance jobs from time to time. It keeps me productive during this pandemic time. I need to be busy para hindi ako malungkot.

I wanted to end this post with this quote “Be strong now because things will get better. It might be stormy now, but it can’t rain forever”