working on it

Between some travelling, some hiking and some early nights (hey, it’s still winter which means it’s a good day if I manage to stay up for an hour or two after getting home from work) I have still been eeking out a few minutes here and there for creative time.
As this is meant to be a creative blog I figured I better show you what I’ve been working on.
knitting. little home by hand blog
The AlpenglΓΌhen cardigan has been on my needles for a while. Getting the body done and doing cables for the first time went really well but then I got stuck a little and have been waiting for motivation to strike to pick it back up again. I love the deep rich red of the yarn and I’m sure whenever this gets done it will be worn a lot!
knitting. little home by hand blog
knitting. little home by hand blog
For mindless evening knitting while watching a series I’ve picked up a pair of socks again that has been lying in wait for months. I think I might actually finish them this year. I love knitting socks but it usually takes me months to complete a pair in between other projects.

Speaking of other projects, have you seen Liesl‘s new pattern, the Henny Hat? Liesl has been one of my favorite blog people for a long time and I’m thrilled that she is starting to sell her own yarn and patterns! I already started my Henny Hat, so that makes three projects on the needles now – I’ve officially become one of those knitters with an overflowing project basket and no idea what to turn to next. Sigh.
meal planning. little home by hand blog
You might remember the healthy eating series I started a while back? Well, I’ve been working on eating better for a long time now and progress is being made, slowly but surely! The fact remains that neither J nor I have a knack for cooking so I needed to approach this systematically.
I took a day off to figure out what kind of food I wanted to be able to prepare (easy, healthy, quick, few and readily available ingredients) and picked out a few choice recipes for us. These were printed on heavy cardstock and I made up our very own recipe book which we consult every week before going shopping. So far this is working really well for us! Having a plan has resulted in more focussed food shopping and a sense of obligation to actually cook at the weekend.

Two new favorite recipes of ours are roasted veggies of any kind and this yummy kale quinoa bowl. I’ve compiled all my recipe research on Pinterest though not all of those recipes actually made it in ‘our’ book.
meal planning. little home by hand blog
I have much more to say on this subject but for the sake of actually getting this post done before work I’ll stop here and write a more detailed post on request. Let me know if you’re interested!
learning tin whistle. little home by hand blog
Last but not least I have a new hobby (as if I needed another one, right?) – for years I’ve been thinking of picking up the Irish Tin Whistle again and learning to play it. Having lived in Ireland for a year as a teenager this has always been a dream of mine. I played the recorder as a kid (who didn’t?) and there were actually several tin whistles I bought in my teens lurking in my mom’s basement.

As soon as I picked it up again I remembered how much fun it is and this time I mean to go through with it. Getting started with a few online lessons and this Lord of the Rings tutorial I am now on my way through a few simple tunes. The hardest part is getting the fingers up to speed but maybe by next Christmas my brother (who teaches himself piano) and I will be able to provide some family entertainment.

Any of you play a musical instrument? Are you a natural cook or did you have to learn it the hard way like me?

I have more hiking and travelling posts lined up. If you want to be really up to date and see my mobile photography be sure to follow me on Instagram or Twitter for daily peeks πŸ™‚

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17 thoughts on “working on it

  1. Martha

    Looks like you have been very busy. I love the knitting projects you are working on. The colors are fantastic.
    Healthy eating takes some time to adjust, specially getting organized to prepare it yourself. But it is so rewarding. Roasted veggies is my favorite go to dish. And they are perfect to pair with salads or whole wheat pasta.

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  2. Lindsay

    That red! Those cables! I can’t wait to see your cardi finished.

    I, for one, would love to hear more about the food stuff. Ever since getting pregnant, my resolve to make healthy food at home has been a massive challenge. Sometimes we get on a good roll, but we eat out a lot more than I’d like. I really need some inspiration on methods for quick, easy, healthy meal planning.

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  3. Alina

    What a lovely warm post! I love the rich red cables, so textured! I would love to hear your experience on clean eating. I’ve been pretty consistent with my food choices for a long time now, and it is really the best and only way to stay healthy and full of energy. I am sure you are on the right way! Keep going!

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  4. Ruth

    your cardigan is lovely! I’m thinking I may just have to cast on a cardigan for myself at some point after seeing the lovely photos of yours (this one and the Ramona cardigan- so beautiful). As for having multiple projects on the needles at once, all I can say is welcome to the dark side πŸ˜‰ haha…no, but seriously I totally agree that sometimes you need a bit of mindless knitting while watching something or having a conversation or whatever. I’m trying to scale back on the amount of projects I have on the go at one time though.
    Would love to hear a post about your meal planning and recipe search! I didn’t learn to cook until I moved to Germany (I always thought it was something I couldn’t do, plus my hubby is a brilliant cook) and I’m always on the lookout for simple and healthy meals! The binder really is a great idea.

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    1. Kristina Post author

      You’re lucky that you husband is into cooking. I think it’s fine as long as one person in the household knows how to approach meal planning πŸ˜‰ For us the problem was that neither of us is really into it or knows how to cook and that made it really difficult to find out how to start.

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  5. Chloe

    Sounds like you are making the most of winter even with shorter days – I agree, some days I basically come home, eat, and go straight to bed. I’m not sure I have any cooking tips, but I do remember starting out not really enjoying it, or having a feel for what I was doing. Like anything else, practise helps, I suppose πŸ™‚

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  6. Serene View Photography by Heather-Joan Carls

    Hi. Sadly, I don’t have a musical bone in my body. My Mom tried to get me to do piano lessons when I was a young teen, but I just couldn’t pick it up and quit after the 4th lesson. I can play the first five notes of Yankee Doodle Dandy, so does that count? lol I had always wanted to play the ocarina though. It’s tune is so entrancing. My baby sister, she is the most musical of us all. She started with the recorder. Went to the bassoon, and is teaching herself the flute and piano! Pretty awesome! She is one of four people in the county who play the bassoon too.
    As for cooking, it takes practice and perseverance. Start with making prepackaged foods like a meal out of a box or a bagged meal out of the freezer and then start deviating to following short and easy recipes from there. I did a short stint Ina cooking class about three years ago before my back issues really flared up that gave me the basics I needed to cook. Don’t be afraid to deviate from recipes a bit or just throw some meat, veggies, and seasonings and maybe some cooked rich or pasta in a pan and cook it up. Cast iron cookware is your healthy go-to cookware too. Practice makes perfect. πŸ™‚ Don’t give up. It will come to. I am not the best cook in the world but I am not the worst either. Deserts, baked goods, and breads are a whole different story though. πŸ™‚

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    1. Kristina Post author

      Thank you, I really want to be able to cook simple meals from scratch to avoid all the chemicals in prepackaged foods. We’ve moved on from those but not yet in the stage where we’re comfortable to deviate from the recipes πŸ˜‰

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  7. Inge

    I love that you’re playing the tin whiste! I also played the recorder (didn’t know it was called that!) for a long time as a kid and I like to pick it up every now and again and play something incoherent on it. I also love that you’re doing a Lord of the Rings tutorial! So fun.
    I do like cooking and would say I have a knack for it, but figuring out what to cook every day is still quite a task. I’ve used my blog as a sort of favorite recipe collection for a while (you can see them in the category “food”) and still refer to that every now and again. I might start adding some recent favorites!
    Beautiful knits too and I love seeing my pouch in action!

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    1. Kristina Post author

      I think every kid in Europe at some point is made to learn the recorder, right? I’d love to read some of your new recipes, I’ll go check out your food section now πŸ™‚

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  8. Lara

    Hi, you know you’ve been very inspiring to me, anytime I read your blog, I felt that life isn’t that bad:) I love all your knit and sewing projects, and traveling of course. And photography. And I admire your desire to take on new hobbies. I sometimes find myself too tied up to 9-5 five day week work, and on weekends I just simply don’t have enough time, or just want to relax and do nothing. I played a guitar 12 years ago, but I don’t have musical ears and I can’t tune it myself, but still someday (when I retire I guess) I will play more, I really would like to be able to play Spanish guitar tunes.
    As far as cooking goes, that is where I thrive! πŸ™‚ I cook dinner from scratch every day, just very simple few ingredients meals, my goal is eat whole non-processed foods only. It’s actually pretty exciting! I even make my own mayo. But I have a lot of practice, I’ve cooking since probably 10. But don’t let lack of skill stop you! You will only get better! πŸ™‚

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    1. Kristina Post author

      Aw, thanks Lara! Isn’t that the great thing about blogs, they make us realize how many beautiful things are out there! I’m glad you enjoy reading here πŸ™‚
      I know what you mean, it’s hard to motivate yourself to do anything after a long work day – at least for me it is. I just find that I am happier when I have one (or five) projects on at any given time. That said it’s totally fine to just relax and do nothing at the weekends!
      I envy you your cooking talent! Do you have a blog where you post recipes by any chance? I’d love to know more!

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  9. Lara

    No, I don’t have a blog. I’m more of a reader!:) What really helps me is when I think what to cook, I start thinking what protein I have available to make- fish, chicken, ground chicken, sausages, and serve it with two vegetable side (roasted broccoli and carrots, sautΓ©ed bell pepper and mushrooms, sweet potato and onions, etc) to keep it simple. And if I feel like big salad, I’ll serve that with protein instead. Rice bowls, quinoa bowls, any grain bowls are pretty healthy and easy. I’m all about easy! πŸ™‚

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  10. Pingback: changing the way you eat – step by step | little home by hand

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