Travelling light – 4 days with hand luggage

This is not the sort of post you’re used to around here, but since I love to see videos and blog posts of the things other people pack when going away I will write a packing post as well.

For me, travelling is a way of testing what I really need and what not. I always end up with too much stuff when I go away, so for my upcoming city trip to Munich with my sister I will try and only take the things I will really use. I will take clothes for 6 days for a 4.5 day trip though, but that is just my little bit of superstition, because I can be quite clumsy at times and it would not be the first time I spill a glass of orange juice over my whole outfit two hours into my holidays… So better save than sorry.

So without further ado; here is what I pack.

Clothes

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jeans * blue dotted dress * blue tunic *red blouse * yellow cardigan * blue cardigan * pj trousers, top and cardigan * headscarf (I wash my hair in the evening when on holiday and wrap the scarf around it to not get a cold) * thick socks (would not take these when going to a hotel) * 2 white tank tops for underneath the dress or tunic * draw string bag with underwear and socks * 2 pairs of black tights * blue scarf * brown ankle boots * grey ballet flats * umbrella * sunglasses

Not in the picture are my coat and a fleece cardigan which I completely forgot to put into the picture.

Cosmetics

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I rarely take full size things with me, so I always have a few small containers to decant things into it. Saves a lot of space and weight in the suitcase. Minus the sunscreen I could even take this things into hand luggage, but since we’re not flying I don’t have to worry about that anyway.
In the picture are the full size containers.

The Body Shop Rainforest shampoo decanted * brush * hairband and clips * a small comb * Crabtree & Evelyn talcum powder as dry shampoo * wash cloth * Lush Fresh Farmacy Facial cleanser in a tin * Lush Skindrink decanted * Radox Shower Smooties shower gel decanted * Lush T’eo deodorant in a drawstring bag * Sunscreen * nail clipper and tweezers * toothbrush * Lush Limelight toothy tabs decanted * tissues * q tips * Bulgari Omni Jade Perfume decanted * Cath Kidston Honeysuckle hand cream * Labello lipcare * Collection 2000 mascara * travel size powder brush * Boots Natural Collection Powder * Catrice Concealer

This and that

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2 books * pen and paper * 2 sets of knitting needles * small box with knitting essentials * 2 balls of yarn (enough for a kids hat and about 1/2 of a scarf for charity) * purse with €uros * Lumix camera (I won’t take my big Nokia for such a short trip as it is insanely heavy to schlepp around) * Ipod * phone * headphones * charger for phone and Ipod

One pot pasta with spinach and feta

Have I told you yet that I love pasta? And that I love feta cheese? And that one of my favourite vegetables is spinach?

Yes? Then this recipe will come as no surprise to you. I came across the whole one pot pasta idea a while ago and didn’t believed that it will work as I thought the pasta will not cook properly in the sauce, but it did and it tastes lovely and there is only one pot to clean up afterwards. Win win, isn’t it?

Since it will be the perfect thing to cook on a camping holiday I will make sure to pack the freezer of the camper van with some spinach and have a can of tomatoes handy when my sister and I will set out on our camping holiday.

I would recommend defrosting the spinach before as defrosting it while cooking will slow everything down. If you forgot to defrost it, just cook it in a separate pan and add later, this will then not be a one pot pasta though :-)

One pot pasta

What you need for two servings:

-150 g pasta
-250 g frozen spinach, defrosted
-400 g canned or fresh tomatoes (quartered)
-1 small onion
-100 g feta
-2 cups of water when using fresh tomatoes, 1 cup when using canned
-1 teaspoon salt
-pepper, basil

What you do:

-slice the onion. Put pasta, spinach, tomatoes, onion, water, salt and pepper in a pan and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat, put a lid on and let it cook for 8-10 minutes until the pasta is tender. Stir frequently
-dice the feta and add to the pasta for the last minute or two
-add basil and serve

Enjoy!

Goodbye, till next time!

Pasta with feta and olives

There are this evenings where I can’t be bothered to stand in the kitchen longer than ten minutes but still want a nice dinner. This is when this pasta comes in as it is quick, simple and very tasty.

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What you need for two servings:

-2 servings of pasta
-1 teaspoon red pepper
-1 teaspoon olive oil
-1 small onion
-1 can of tomatoes
-1 tablespoon tomato puree
-1 teaspoon vegetable stock powder
-100-150 of feta
-1 glass of olives
-Italian herbs or basil to taste

What you do:

-cook the pasta
-heat a frying pan up, add the red pepper and smoke for some seconds, be careful not to burn it. Put it on a plate
-dice the onion, heat up some oil in the pan and fry the onion for 1-2 minutes
-add tomatoes, tomato puree, stock powder and paprika and bring to a boil, add some water if needed
-let it simmer until the pasta is done, dice the feta and add it to the sauce with the olives and leave it for another minute. Season with Italian herbs and/or basil to taste and serve with the pasta

Enjoy!

Goodbye, till next time!

The 184 pence scarf

In summer 2014 I bought three balls of the most vibrant mustart coloured yarn at Tiger for a pound a ball. My intention was to make a scarf with a basket weaver pattern and I remember casting on a few stitches to try the pattern but then I put it aside. A while ago I came across it when I was sorting through my yarn stash and after I finished knitting all my Christmas presents I decided to knit myself a quick and simple loop scarf with it. Somehow I didn’t liked the idea with the basket weaver anymore, so I decided to go for a simple seed stitch. This had the advantage that I could take it on a long train trip and could still watch the landscape passing by while I knitted, something which I could not have done with a pattern where I had to keep count of stitches and rows.

The name of the pattern comes from the fact that I used 92 gramms of the yarn, so that cost me 184 pence…

Unfortunatelly, TIGER doesn’t have much information on the yarnwrapping (is there a name for that piece of paper around the yarn?), so all I know is that it is 110 meter par 50g and the needle size recomended is 6-6.5 mm, which is UK 3 or 4. Since I wanted it a bit loose I knitted on 7mm needles (UK 2)

My scarf is 90 cm wide, so if you have yarn that is a bit  different from mine just calculate the number of stitches to get 80-90 cm, depending on how lose you want it and knit with a needle that is one size above the recomended one. Just make sure to have an uneven number so that the seed stitch works out.

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What you need:

-100 g TIGER acrylic yarn, 110 meter par 50 g
-7 mm circular needle
-optional 10 mm needle
-scissors
-big sewing needle

What  you do:

-cast on 99 stitches. I cast on very tense which isn’t really good for a loop which should have the same width from top to bottom. So I cast on on a needle about 1.5 times of the one I’m going to knit with and then slip it over. I have interchangable circular needles, so I first put the 10mm needle on the wire, casted on, removed the 10mm and put the 7mm on. Like that, my cast on had about the same tension as my knitting.
-close the loop and start with seed stitch (don’t know the seed stitch? See below!)
-When you come towards the end of the second ball of yarn or when you reach the desired size of the scarf, bind of losely and wave in all the ends.

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The seed stitch

The seed stitch is a very simple yet effective pattern. All you need to know is knit and purl and you need an uneven number of stitches. For the first row you knit one, purl one, knit one and so on. The last stitch should be a knit. Then you just go into the next row with purl one, knit one, purl one. Like that you now have a purl above every knitted stitch in the first row and vice versa. You can now just knit and purl your way around and will always have a knit and a purl alternating, both horicontal and vertical. No counting required.

Goodbye, till next time!

Beetroot salad with orange and feta

I basically live on salad in summer and then turn to soup during winter. But somehow I seem to be fed up with soup at the moment and needed a wintery salad. Plus some vitamins won’t harm during flue season…

So what happened was this lovely spicy salad full of colour and vitamins and a bit of feta cheese to take some of the spicynes. If you want to get even more flavour why not chop the beetroot up some hours before, fill them in to a container with the sauce and stir/shake every now and then. Just add orange and feta and you’re good to go.

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What you need for one serving:

-1 cooked beetroot (about 200g)
-1 orange
-50 g feta
-juice of 1/2 lemon
-1 teaspoon oil
-salt, pepper
-dried or fresh ginger

What you do:

-Dice orange and beetroot
-Mix lemon juice and oil, season with salt, pepper and loads of ginger and mix with the salad
-Dice the feta and sprinkle on top

Enjoy! Goodbye, till next time!

Spring is in the air

Is it too late to come in with my head hanging in shame and saying sorry for being such a rubbish blogger?

No? Ok, so let’s move on!

Today spring seems to be back for a day – although it was even more springlike last Sunday – before winter weather will be back in charge for the next few days.

So I decided to make the best out of the spring-feeling and got up early to do some household and now just sat down with a lovely lunch. Can’t wait for more warm, sunny days!

So back to normal service around here I would say, with cooking, baking and crafting. Oh, there is a little difference though. Last summer I decided to reduce my meat consumption to a minimum. I can’t go completely veggi as there are things I just like too much but meat is now something which I have when I’m out or have visitors. So you will find much more vegetarian recipes around here or “vafourite” which are things I used to love with meat in it and will now try without.

Goodbye till next time! – which will be in a few minutes when I upload todays lunch recipe. So stay tuned!

What have I done the past 76 days?

I didn’t realized that my break from blogging was so long; 76 days to be precise. It just happened that I lost my blogging mojo when it was so hot and then never really got it back. But now I’ll try a fresh start.

So what have I done these past 76 days?

Suffered from the heat (we had many days with over 30°this summer and that was just too much for me)

Enjoyed my new job

Tried to cross stitch a massive picture in five weeks, in time for my sisters birthday. And failed

Spent a week in Brighton with my sister in August and enjoyed every minute of it. Well, besides the many minutes on day three where I felt like my own granny, all stiff and achy. Eventually I realized that this came from our failed attempt to go swimming the second evening when the waves where so strong that we not even managed to get into the sea

Went swimming in our local lido and the indoor pool quite often – and since they’re back open after their annual big cleaning session I will go there tomorrow as well

Decided that I’m finally really fed up with my weight and want to get rid of a lot of it

Smashed the screen of my Iphone and switched to Samsung

Spent a weekend camping with my sister

Attended the graduation of my oldest friend – we know each other for 20 years – and helped her carry a flag with a 2.5 meter long flagpole and a huge suitcase through half of the country

Finished a kids scarf for charity and worked on my massive scarf which I call “Stairs to the bay”

Decluttered and binned/donated almost half of my shoes

Still didn’t overcame my addiction to everything Muffin the Mule related, still watch the DVD up and down and bought a few of the books

Flirted with vegetarism and veganism and decided to become a weekday vegetarian. Means that I’m only cooking vegetarian, if possible also vegan, at home but will eat meat every now and then when out because I can’t go without it completely.

Bought loads of crafting supplies for various projects

Booked a short trip and planned another one, 2015 will be the year of short trips…

So, now you know what I have been up to lately and I hope the blog will now be back to normal service again.

Goodbye, till next time! (and no, I don’t hope it will be “Goodbye for a little while.”)

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