Monday, December 29, 2014

"Lilyhammer" Is Back!

Looking for a show to curl up with and watch this holiday season? Netflix recently released season 3 of the Norwegian hit drama series “Lilyhammer.” The show follows mobster Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano (Steven Van Zandt) as he moves to Lillehammer, Norway, under the Witness Protection Program to start a new life.

The show first premiered in Norway and was introduced to American audiences in February 2012 when it came to Netflix. It paved the way for more Netflix original series, including “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black.” Check out this article from Rolling Stone and the season 3 trailer!

 Anya Britzius is editor of Viking magazine. She lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and enjoys baking, reading and keeping up on modern Norwegian trends.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas from Sons of Norway

Christmas is upon us and I want to take this opportunity to send you a message of good tidings from myself and the entire Sons of Norway Headquarters' staff! 

It is my sincerest hope that you will find yourself surrounded by loved ones and sharing in the spirit of the season.

I also wanted to let you know that in celebration of the holidays the Sons of Norway Headquarters will be closed on Wednesday, December 24th and Thursday, December 25th. We will reopen for business at 8am on Friday, December 26th.

In the meantime, I wish you all the hope, wonder and joy that Christmas can bring!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Stunning Lofoten Wedding

Jakob Granqvist / Nordica Photography
Have you seen the stunning wedding photos featured on The Huffington Post and NRK? It showcases why Norway’s natural beauty makes for a breathtaking backdrop for a wedding. Check out the photos of couple Sirena and Eric’s September wedding in the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway. Photographs were taken by Nordica Photography. 

Jakob Granqvist / Nordica Photography

Friday, December 12, 2014

J.Crew in Norway

American retailer J.Crew goes on location around the world for its style guides and catalogs. The brand photographed its Holiday 2014 Style Guide in Hardanger, Norway. J.Crew is known for mixing colors, patterns and styles—and this style guide is no exception. It has curated a selection of stylish cold-weather gear including colorful sweaters and outerwear, with touches of sparkle and plaid.

Travel notes about Norway and the Hardanger region are sprinkled throughout:“The region is known for its lush valleys, majestic mountains and one really long fjord (the Norwegian term for a narrow channel of water). The Hardangerfjord, created from melting glaciers over 10,000 years ago, stretches over 100 miles long.” 

Norwegian company Frost Media produced the photo shoot, which took place in August. Check out this behind-the-scenes photo from the shoot.

Anya Britzius is editor of Viking magazine. She lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and enjoys baking, reading and keeping up on modern Norwegian trends.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Norway's Nobel Past

Every December, all eyes are on Oslo as the Norwegian royal family and Norwegian society gathers for the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony. The tradition dates back to the early 1900s. Did you know that Alfred Nobel was actually from Sweden? In Viking’s December issue, we look into the life of Alfred Nobel and several theories why his will states that the Prize must be awarded in Norway.

Looking for more information? The Norwegian Nobel Institute was founded in 1904 to aid the Nobel Committee in selecting a Laureate. In addition to extensively researching each nominee, the Institute hosts seminars and conferences on peace-related topics throughout the year. The library housed within the institute stocks resources on war and peace throughout history.

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded in Oslo City Hall on
Dec. 10, 2014. Watch the lectures and award ceremony at For more information on Nobel’s life, check out this timeline. 

Anya Britzius is editor of Viking magazine. She lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and enjoys baking, reading and keeping up on modern Norwegian trends.

Friday, December 5, 2014

NATB 2014: Another Successful Year!

As you probably know, last week was Sons of Norway’s 30th Annual Nordic American Thanksgiving Breakfast. It was a morning filled with fun and fellowship as our MC, Don Shelby and guest speakers  Andrew Zimmern, Kevin Kling, and Reverend Ruth MacKenzie shared inspiring stories about freedom, faith, family & friendship. If that weren't enough, the audience was treated to some amazing musical selections from the Gustavus Adolphus Choir as well.

This year Sons of Norway welcomed an audience of nearly 1,000 people, which is quite a feat considering doors opened at 6:30 am on a Tuesday. But that really stands as a testament to the dedication of all the attendees and the organizations who worked together to make this the best event it could be.

What’s even better news is that the event raised nearly $15,000 for two Minnesota-based charities that support communities in need throughout the state. Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of our attendees, the Minnesota Military Family Foundation and Second Harvest Heartland can continue in their respective missions by providing assistance to those in need across Minnesota.

With that, Sons of Norway has wrapped up another great Thanksgiving Breakfast and is looking forward to making the 31st annual event even bigger and better than ever! Big thanks to this year’s speakers, all the attendees who woke up early and made this a morning to remember and, of course, to all the individuals and organizations who worked together in making this year’s event such a success!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sweet Photo Shoot

Looking for a good way to spend quality family time and spread holiday cheer this season? Get together in the kitchen with loved ones and bake! We at Viking magazine were in the holiday spirit earlier this fall as we planned our holiday cookie photo shoot. Check it out on page 20 of the December 2014 issue.

Choosing which cookie recipes to feature was no easy task. We looked to two of our favorite Scandinavian cookbooks, The Great Holiday Baking Book,” by Beatrice Ojakangas and Scandinavian Christmas, by Trine Hahnamann. Read on for a peek behind the scenes of the photo shoot.

What: Viking’s Holiday Cookie Photo Shoot
When: October 8, 2014
Where: Blue Ox Studios, Minneapolis
Photographer: Tom Thulen
Food styling: Betsy Nelson

8-10:30 a.m. — Bake cookies on site at the studio
10:30-11:30 a.m., Cut out gingerbread cookies, set up lighting equipment
11:30 a.m-1 p.m. — Place oat and cranberry-orange cookies on set and take photos (seen on pages 22-23)
1-3 p.m. — Frost gingerbread cookies and take photos (seen on page 20)

Before the shoot, we planned the layout.

Cutting out letters using gingerbread dough

Food stylist Betsy Nelson icing the cookies

A view of the opening shot

Cranberry-orange cookies!

The layout coming together on screen

Looking for more cookie recipes? Don't forget to check out Sons of Norway's Recipe Box. 

Anya Britzius is editor of Viking magazine. She lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and enjoys baking, reading and keeping up on modern Norwegian trends.