I'm Krisha - a Scandinavian mama and physician, a crafter, and an avid coffee drinker - trying to nudge my family towards a greener lifestyle!



Moving on


3 years – it’s been 3 years since I packed up all my craft boxes for what was supposed to be a very temporary move.   Three years since I blogged. 

We had so much going on at the time I packed those boxes up.  I had just learned some insights about myself and one of the kids that I am still trying to come to terms with - I was entering the last stages of my residency in psychiatry and had to go back to working full time, and endured changing workplaces twice over a two year period.  My oldest was becoming a teenager and finishing middle school, my youngest was in the midst of her terrible two’s and my middle one was getting the proverbial squeeze.  On top of all that, we started building a new cabin on an island that does not allow cars.  In hindsight I think we were nuts!  But something had to give and so we decided to give up our beautiful 4th floor walkup.  In a glimmer of self-insight, we decided not to buy and potentially renovate a new house at the same time as we were building a new cabin.  We thought it would only be 8-10 months or so before the cabin was finished and we could get on with our lives.  Or so we thought. Thank G-d we did not start yet another project!  As we got into zoning trouble at the island and the actual work at the cabin got delayed, and all of a sudden it was time for B’boys Bar Mitzvah and, let me tell you, that really was like planning a little wedding. 


At this point it was almost a year since my craft boxes had been packed down and I missed them, but how could I allow myself to ”indulge” with all the more important stuff we had going on around us? Time out for a blog post? Unthinkable!  


Gradually more and more of the things I really thought was important, like eating healthy and not using disposable cutlery, started falling to the way side. This way of life could so easily have slipped into the norm.  Around us we saw that being Jewish in Norway was getting harder and harder.  There had been a horrible attack on an event in Copenhagen. My children had experienced open anti-Semitism in school and our community house and kindergarten was being guarded by police with loaded guns.  Norwegian police ordinarily don´t wear arms.  I was on alert daily and surely came of as paranoid to all my non-Jewish friends and colleagues. But as Woody Allen puts it, ”just because you are paranoid, does not mean that no one is out to get you.”  And this tension, it  made it hard to calmly raise our kids with the values we hold important.


Then one day my husband came home and asked “how do you feel about moving to London for a year or two?”  Oh an adventure! I thought YES YES YES.  But, the decision meant a halt to my residency and even more crazy stress before we left.  But oh what a gift to our family and us. A chance to recalibrate and stake out a new course of direction mid- life?  An opportunity for the kids to take part in a bigger Jewish community?  How could we possibly let such a chance slip by?  So about a year and a half after my craft boxes got packed up and we got the bar mitzvah behind us (B’boy did such a great job!) I started preparing for my second switch of hospital department and our move to London, all the while the construction out on the island was still going on.    At this point we were no longer nuts, we were absolutely in the denial of what is within reason to get everything done.  And last summer it all came to a crunch. Within the same three weeks we furnished the cabin (still not completely finished) moved out of a rented house, placed most of our stuff in storage and shipped half a truck to London. 

Arriving here a year ago I felt like a rag doll.  I usually have more thoughts and ideas before I have my first coffee in the morning than most people have in a week, but at this point had no idea what I wanted to do, or could manage to do with all this time on my hands.  Of course none of us had thought about the fact that just moving to a new country and settling with a family of five would be rather busy in of itself.  Making the adjustment was more challenging than I thought.   Then we got a dog and I started walking and thinking. And gradually I caught up with myself and the family has settled.  We’ve joined a lovely synagogue and slowly a rhythm has started to emerge.  It took a year.  

And now right before Rosh Hashanah I have unpacked the last of my boxes!


What I have found over these past few years is that what really matters to me finds a way to manifest itself and bring me about. It always has.  I have found that the more hectic your lifestyle, the more strained your relationship to yourself and the people around you becomes. Not to mention how much more junk you consume under the” busy” excuse for convenient choices.  I have experienced firsthand that the more stress you are under, the first thing you let go of are the things that helps you cope – they don’t seem as vital or urgent at the time – but letting them go could have detrimental consequences.

Most importantly, I have learned to accept that balance is not static –  balance is having faith that you will rebound in the bad moments but even more so its knowing that the good moments are not the norm you are striving towards its the moments you somehow express gratitude for because that’s how you maintain the balance.

For this insight I am grateful and I wish you all a healthy , meaningful and sweet new year! Shana Tova!  - May we all be inscribed.


all boxed up - reflections of a pack rat.

We are moving!

We made the decision about 4 weeks ago and next week we are out of our 100 yr old beautiful "railroad" apartment. I am going to miss the high ceilings, the special light and the quiet in the middle of the city. But things change and sometimes you've
just got to move on.

Its been kinda crazy around here, as you can imagine. I did not really internalize that moving would generate so much formality, meetings, form filling in addition to the madness of packing and sorting! Speaking of madness - moving always make me lose something essential: my sanity!

The hardest part though,has been going through our storage in the attic. We have lived here for 10 years, and that attic has been like a Grandmothers treasure trove. The storage space up there is dangerously huge. When we moved in here our life was on high gear. Within one year we made 3 moves. From a rural cabin to the city via a rental to this space where we just threw our stuff in, re - grouped and moved to Atlanta for 6 months. At that time B - Boy and Lini - Bean were tiny little beings and I was about to start my first internship in the hospital. My husband was finding his footing in the Norwegian work environment. So boxes from the last move and moves past got pushed further and further into the depths of that attic. For two weeks now I have been chipping away at those boxes. So many memories! How young we once were! All the junk I have saved!

I guess I am a pack rat and I really think that being a pack rat is very much like being a gambler because every once in a while I will hit that jack pot. Like last night I found a T- shirt I saved the very first time we made a move together. Well actually it was my husband that moved, I was his girlfriend just helping out. At any rate he was really happy to be putting on that really old Grateful Dead t- shirt! It's pay days like that that maintains the habit. However, we would have been just as happy without that shirt. Most of the stuff I have sifted through has promptly found its way to the flea marked or a trash bag, with surprisingly little sentiment or regret.

There are things that are hard to sort through though. Like old photos, letters and mementoes. Some of it I remember putting away for sorting and saving later. These things has brought back memories and generated feelings that was not always happy or welcome. Going through these kinds of things are also very time consuming so mainly I now have it neatly boxed up. My husband and I have agreed to take one box at the time, sit down with a nice glass of wine and enjoy the memories, save the ones who we need to properly and let the rest go.

What are your experiences with moving? I'd appreciate any good tip or lesson learned!

Happy week to y'all!





New pencases for a new school year!  


Did you know that the second busiest shopping season of the year is the back-to-school season?  I used to think of this time of year as a simple rite – refreshing our supply of pens and other school supplies.  Rather, not surprisingly, it turns out that late summer is another season of shipping state-sized quantities of plastic around the world that we all know will only consume available land-fill space by Christmas. 

Since I am not immune to the same urges to give me kids bright supplies for the new year, I found an alternative.- these wonderful pen cases from elQulitero on Etsy.   elQulitero is truly a cottage industry for up- and recycling on a small and sustainable scale.

It was also such a pleasant shopping experience – they made one custom for Lini- Bean exactly the same as the one they had in the shop which I orderd for B- Boy – and they added some elastics for the erases and sharpener in such a cool way.


The pen cases proved to be very functional!  The kids and I love them . Lini Bean even pointed out that the material does not schmutz up as easily as the plastic / nylons kinds she used to have.

I also really enjoyed the little dialogue Andrea and I had going while shopping. It was very nice and a bit surprising – my very first time shopping on ETSY was with a blog friend and I did not expect the same kind of friendly banter from a ”stranger”   This made me want to explore their background a little bit which generated this little interview:

How did reuse and recycling become important to you?

-for us recycling and reusing is a thing of common sense, in the way that there´s a lot a excellent material that becomes waste too soon!. For example, the carpet of which the pencil cases are made was used only 3 days in a craft market, after that it was junk (the organizers kindly gave it to us instead of throwing it to trash)... the resources are not unlimited, so we should used them several times if it's possible (as we say in spanish hay que sacarle el jugo!!)

How did you come up with this business idea?

-we have had the idea of doing "something"  for a long time, at first we did a diary and with that we "discovered" the carpet as material and began to explore with it. But I think that our primary idea was to do something that we commonly used such as notebooks and cases. I'm a painter and printmaker, so I think that our next step is a case or bag toward that end.

How does blogging work out for you and your business?

- we are very aware of the importance of the internet and social media; nowadays it's an amazing time in which we are able to connect with almost everywhere.  Blogging is a huge window to visit the house of others and to let the others visit your house. The best thing for me is to realize how different people from different places share a lot of things in common, that really gives you the sense of "belonging" even, though you've never seen them.

What are your future hopes for elQuiltro?

-we feel that we're still evolving and we have a lot of things to learn and materials to try. We both  (Felipe and I, cousins and quiltro team mates) have our jobs (Felipe is a printer, I'm a mom- housewife-artist) and  wedream of the day that we can merge our daily jobs with elQuiltro, that day we'll be awesome!!

I agree with Andrea about blogging! - And don’t you just LOVE the wrapping they used? What a nifty way to reuse paper! 

I really want to provide the homemade experience for my kids and I really want to make environmentally sound consumer decisions  as often as  possible.  Being in a full time job though makes it hard to find the time to make all your stuff yourself.  This, I think, is where ETSY fits in.  It is not only a very inspiring site for us crafters - it also makes it possible to buy hand made responsible products . In other words, it’s ideal for the urban handmade homestead!    And that’s why I have decided to share with you my favorite ETSY experiences and to post a link to their ETSY shops on my sidebar for a month at the time – endorsed by recyclingmama! So today I add elQuiltero! Please take the time to visit their shop and their blog - they make the most wonderful things!




The balcony garden!

As the height of summer is behind us here in Oslo, I am enjoying the fruits of my balcony garden. It's been such a whirlwind of a summer - we have had so much fun, although I guess I have been on a bit of a blog break. 

I had every intention of keeping up with my blog through the summer with all the extra time I expected to have, but, as we all know, the reality for parents is that we have to hustle around to keep up with our kids at home or on holiday.  (My other excuse is still no broadband at the cabin, which might not be the worst thing in the world.) 

Anyway, it was an awesome summer, culminating with a week in Tuscany.  While I was in Italy, I admired the tomato gardens which seemed to be everywhere.  It seemed like, wherever there was space for a container, a tomato was growing out of it. 

So, in fact, the best part of the summer was yesterday, when I came home to harvest my own ripe cherry tomatos from my own urban balcony.  OK, sure, these were purchased pots of what might be the most overpriced tomatos in the world, but hey, tomatos are always expensive in Norway, and these were the best I ever had.  Seriously. 

Having tended to this little garden all summer I am now motivated to put in a vegetable garden at the cabin next year. One of the reasons I have not started a vegetable garden out there is because the deers apparently love to eat everything green. But late last night I had an idea to fix the problem, which I can noodle on all winter.  After all,  homesteading is all about the planning, right?  Stay tuned to this blog - if my solution works, I'll report it here for you dear readers with a deer problem.

Hope you had a great summer and you are welcome to leave me a link to a summer post on your site in the comments section - I'd love to pop over for a visit! 


meat free monday 

Today it was one of those Mondays. By the time I made it to the grocery store this afternoon both baby A and I was frazzled after a whole day of work and kindergarten. It was very clear to me that our diner tonight required efficacy and simplicity both in shopping and cooking! And so I went for this oldie but goodie.  A pasta salad consisting of red kidney beans and macaroni. I was first introduced to this dish while visiting with friends in Colorado. Lini Bean was a mere 10 months then and she just loved showing of her pincer grip picking up individual beans and macaronis. I never had a written version of this recipe and so gait has evolved over the years.  I usually garnish it with cilantro, but I have stopped buying fresh herbs in plastic wrapping and so i used mint which grows on my balcony instead. And boy I will not go back to cilantro!


1 cup canned red kidney beans, drained. 

1/2 cup macaroni of good quality - boil until alldente

1/4 - 1/2 of finally chopped red onion. I add more when serving as a side for grown ups less for kids but never omit it - it does make a difference!

1tbs apple cider vinegar, 1tbs olive oil, 1 ts sugar, a pinch of salt and some pepper to taste. - Mix these in the bottom of your serving bowl. Chop a little fist of fresh mint leaves Mix all the ingredients and you are done! this dish is good both cold and warm.  I served it with a nice fresh bread and heaps of butter - I love butter... 

What did you do for Meat Free Monday?





this moment


- A Friday ritual.

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by soule mama

I would love it if you shared your moment with me in the comments section aswell!

  Happy weekend!