Slow Living Essentials Oct 2012

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this is just a brief SLE post this month, as i have only just had my laptop fixed and working better!. i’m joining in at Slow Living Essentials blog.

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

** i continue to make my own food. It was my birthday during the week, and i had to bring a cake, so i made the sour cream coffee cake i always make, which is a lovely moist cake. I’ve made what i call fridge cake a few times – something quick and easy.
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 dependancy 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.

** because i am heading to NZ for a month in 3wks time, i haven’t done a lot of stockpiling, more using up what is in the freezer as much as possible, although, i will be leaving stew in there for when i get back and feel up to facing the supermarket!.

REDUCE: 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 have used an empty laundry gel capsule container to hold supplies to the Project Life scrapbook i want to begin – it’s nice and tall and can hold taller items without them falling over!.

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.

** this is the category i have had most success with this month!. I have finally started using homemade cleaners – gumption from the ‘Down to Earth’ forum, and i have also been given a recipe from a Colombian student which i am going to call Colombian Cleaner, but is just a lemon juice/vinegar/ baking soda mix. I’m just waiting to finish a squeezy bottle to finish, then will be making it up and trying it out, but she swears by it and says its all she uses.

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!

** sadly, nothing to report here – the blueberry needs to be pruned – i just need to get some secateurs as i gave mine away when i shifted into this place!.
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.

** i added a couple of rows to the crochet cushion cover, but not progressed any further. I continue to play with art journals, and am wanting to start Project Life this month.

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.
** i haven’t really been reading much this past month, other than work related things. Now that the course i was writing has taken place, i’m ready to read something fun and romantic!.
ENHANCE: community: Possibilities include supporting local growers & producers, help out at a local school/kindergarten, barter or foodswap, 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 – a new coat is going to be needed however – the one i use isn’t waterproof enough, and all this walking in the elements is going to have me soaked to the bone (had an issue last Sunday on the way to the course which brought this all home to me – i got my back wet and didn’t realise until my jacket was completely soaked!.)

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.

** spending time with LM this past month, having dinner with her and putting her to bed.

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