Monthly Archives: October 2012

Half a jar of Gumption!.


Today i had a play with the gumption i made yesterday. I found the recipe of the down to earth forum.

i made up a half portion – 1/2c baking soda, 1/2t glycerin, 1/2-1 t dishwashing liquid, 1/2t essential oil (eucalyptus or tea tree)

you may need to add a touch of extra cold water – very small amounts as you want a soft paste not a liquid. I thought i had added to much essential oil (eucalyptus) as the smell was very strong yesterday, but opening the jar this morning and it wasnt so bad.

I decided to test it on this –

as i dont have a dishwasher i have to handwash them so the draining board is always dull!. so i trialled half the board first –

and you can see how clean its looking!. then i carried on and finished the rest of the sink –

it didnt quite shift some of the more stubborn limescale marks, so i did replay some gumption to those, and left it for a little bit longer. it has helped.

I certainly enjoyed using it and would use it again – very easy and quick to make and use. now all i need to do is find a bulk supply of baking soda!.


pottering at kitchen


today has been a making day, pottering around the kitchen cooking and concocting!.

I made soup ….

i made up the recipe myself, featuring kumara, squash and carrot. its ok, but then i’m not a soup person, but hoping to change that thru the winter!.

then i made gumption

its a cleaner – i’ve only tested a small area today, but will do a proper test tomorrow.

and finally tonight for dinner

pea and ham risotto – yummy, with smoked lardons!.

Slow Living Essentials


again this month, i am following the slow living essentials prompts to think about how i  can lead a more simple life.

NOURISH: Make and bake as much as possible from scratch. Ditch over packaged, over-processed convenience foods and opt for ‘real’ food instead. Share favourite links/recipes/tips from the month here =

I have continued my baking efforts, making something at least once a fortnight. I had another go at the Tan Slice, and this time got the colour of the caramel right, but did not cook it for long enough, so the base was a little bland and soggy!. I probably wont make it again for a while! As usual i continue to make my own dinners, although do confess to the odd microwave meal from Waitrose – i love their pea and ham risotto, and the version i made was a touch bland – i plan of rectifying that however!.

PREPARE: Stockpile and preserve. Freeze extra meals or excess garden/market produce. Bottle/can, dehydrate or pickle foods to enjoy when they are not in season. Aim to reduce dependency on store bought items especially those known to contain BPA and other suspect additives. Stocking up on dry goods when prices are low counts too. =

I enjoy this part of a more simple life. At the weekend i brought myself a slow cooker and a stick blender with a view to more batch cooking for the freezer, and getting more into making and eating soup. I have found some interesting sounding recipes via Pinterest that i am eager to try. I made a casserole last night in the slow cooker and the meat was melt in the mouth tender – yum!.

REDUCE/Reuse/Re-purpose/Repair: Cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing. A ladder into a strawberry planter? A sheet into a dress? Share ideas and project links here, allowing others to be inspired. =

I am afraid i cannot think of anything for this other than to hang my head in shame and say that i still have not hemmed the additional wee wipes – they have been sitting on the sewing machine all month and i look at them on a daily basis!. Must apply myself more!.

GREEN: up our lives. Start (or continue!) using homemade cleaners, body products and basic herbal remedies. The options are endless, the savings huge and the health benefits enormous =

Erm, not alot to report on progress here also, other than lots of ‘research’ on Pinterest!.

GROW: plant/harvest. What’s growing this month? What’s being eaten from the garden? Herbs in a pot, sprouts on a windowsill or and entire fruit/vegetable garden -opt for what fits space and time constraints. Don’t have a backyard? Ask a friendly neighbour or relative for a small patch of theirs in return for some home grown produce, they may surprise you! =

My blueberry has finished fruiting and now putting on growth, ready for pruning in another month. The leaves are turning a lovely red.  I need to start thinking about where it can go for the month of Dec, when i am in NZ for Christmas.

CREATE: to fill a need or feed the soul. Create for ourselves or for others. Create something as simple as a handmade gift tag or something as extravagant as a fine knit shawl. Share project details and any new skills learnt here =

More head hanging in shame here – i looked at the picture for the crochet and i have only added one line to it since i last took a photo of it! I have also got to pull my finger out and work on the quilt i want to give its recipient at the end of the year!.

DISCOVER: Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests. Trawl libraries, second hand shops or local book shops to find titles that fill the need. Share titles/authors of what is being read this month =

After reading the 50 shades books i have not picked up a book for recreational purposes. I have however been reading work related books. I have been meeting a student in the local library so i have been taking advantage of swapping books – i have a quilting book, a HFW veg book ( to find soup and vegetarian meals), and a hairy bikers baking cookbook to look at one of these evenings!.

ENHANCE: community: Possibilities include supporting local growers and producers, help out at a local school/kindergarten, barter or food swap, joining a playgroup or forming a walking or craft group. Car pooling where possible, and biking/walking instead of driving. Even start up a blog if you haven’t already – online communities count too! Or maybe just help out someone trying to cross the street! The rewards for your time are often returned tenfold. =

The walking continues and the clothes continue to get looser!.

ENJOY: Life! Embrace moments with friends and family. Marking the seasons, celebrations and new arrivals are all cause for enjoyment. Share a moment to be remembered from the month here. =

I have been enjoying plenty of live sport lately! I am both a sports fan and a hermit, and i enjoy my weekends when there are things to watch – The Rugby Championship, the T20 World Cup Cricket, the GP this past month. This time is my recharging batteries time and its very important to me in order to keep me balanced.