Tag Archives: slow living essentials

end of year Slow Living Essentials round up.

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i was looking at my blog list of interesting reading this morning (on my old blog!) and noticed that Slow Living Essentials blog had done a post on what she’d been up to these last couple of months. i was thinking i look forward to being able to join in again and started to think about what’s going on now. that’s when i realised i could actually join in as a few things i’ve been doing fit into these categories!.

so here goes, my end of year, 3 weeks back in NZ SLE essentials update!.

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.

=  this category is the easiest to talk about. Both my mother and i are cook from scratch people, so all meals are made by us, and i have begun baking for Christmas. cheese scones and butter tarts…….yum!

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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.

= Not alot in this category yet.

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 starting going round garage sales looking for things to re-purpose. I brought a rattan basket that i am using to hold craft supplies.

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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.

= nothing yet, but being as my toothpaste is just about finished, i am going to look for homemade recipes and give that a go.

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!

= the garden is in full swing – strawberries have been planted, restocks of lettuce, leeks and onions have gone in, cauliflower my father started is about to start providing big enough heads to eat!.  I also brought a blueberry at the market at the weekend which has about 6 berries on it. There isn’t alot of space here but there is plenty going on.

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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.

= this is mainly personal creating. I am starting Project Life from Jan next year, so have begun to make things now all my stuff has arrived from the UK. Since my last SLE post, i’ve also taken cross stitch back up and am spending time stitching most days, especially when there’s cricket on the telly!.

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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.

= mostly discovering what’s changing in Christchurch, where things are now etc. I’m also reading vege gardening books as i’m used to the UK growing seasons, so its kinda weird planting things now!.

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.

= i guess the only thing i can put in here for now is that i am driving my mother about as she isn’t driving anymore and has been stuck at home alot prior to my returning.

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.

= cat cuddles!. Need i say more!.

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i hope as time goes on i can get back into the swing of a more simpler way of life, but being as i live with my parents for now, i may not have as much free reign as i’d like!!.

i’m sharing with other like minded folk linking up at Slow Living Essentials.slo

Slow Living Jan 2013

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i’m afraid i dont have any pictures to go with this post!.

i’m linking up with the slow living essentials blog, where we stop and thing about what and how we do things in a more meaningful way.

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.

Since i got back from NZ, i’ve been very slow into getting back into making my own food and freezing portions. With all the horse meat being found in some cheaper pre prepared packaged food it’s really helped get my focus back into making my own. I don’t buy cheaper food products as a rule, so i’m fairly happy i haven’t consumed horse meat, but the whole scandal has reminded me that i need and should know what goes into my food, and where possible, grow/raise it myself.

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.

Mostly as above!!. However, while i was in NZ i read the ‘’Sweet Poison’’ book and am looking to majorly reduce or cut out completely sugar!. This means that i need to make more soups and sauces that i might have got out of a tin. Hopefully there will more news on this front next month!.
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

Not alot going on here at present!. Well…i suppose i did reuse a plastic spray bottle for the homemade cleaner i made!.

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.
yess!!! – i made up what i’m going to call ‘Colombian Cleaner’  after the recipe was given to me by an ex student of mine who hails from Colombia. Its a lemon juice/vinegar/baking soda mix, probably much the same as other recipes floating round the net. I’ve only tried it twice so far, but am very happy with the results.

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!
i can only dream……i should be drooling over seed catalogues now!. I still have my blueberry, which has put on good growth since it was pruned before i went away. I will need to make sure that once the weather warms up, i sit it in an open window to attract some bees so they can do their bit!.

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.

At the moment i am into making mini albums, and have been thinking i need to get cracking on the quilt that’s been ‘in the works’ for a few years now!. I’ve been pouring over pinterest trying to find a pattern that is easy for a beginner, and that i like!. I’m getting there!.

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

This month i discovered the Quilters series of books by Jennifer Chiaverini, which i am enjoying. Other than that, not a lot of reading beyond inspiration on blogs.

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

Beyond walking as much as possible, i don’t have alot to share here – but i’m hoping that will change as i am changing jobs to one where i get to share my wealth of knowledge and experience.

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’m enjoying the last few weeks in a job that has been interesting and draining in equal measures!. These last few weeks with colleagues have been great fun full of lots of laughter!.

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.

Half a jar of Gumption!.

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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

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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

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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.

Slow Living Essentials

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This is my first post followin the idea set out by Slow Living Essentials blog. I really like the idea of focusing on things that promote a more simplier pace of life, and on the things and items you use.

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

This is pretty easy for me, as i have been 95% making my own for several years now, however, now i’m back in my own space i am getting back into it in full force. I use very little preprocessed food in all meals i make, and now I no longer buy biscuits and cakes – i have to make them if i want them. this month i tried Tan Slice for the first time. its a common slice avaliable in NZ and if you love caramel like me, its yummy!.

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 =

for me, this relates to the above post. I live on my own, and i if i want to make sure i eat healthily i have to batch cook – pots of chilli or bog sauce. when i do my monthly shop i get meat for the meals i plan to make and i put several portions in the freezer for meals later in the month. this stops me eating junk sometimes when i’m tired coming home from work – providing i have remembered to take the meal out of the freezer.

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 =

not alot for this section this past month. I have reinstigated the wee wipes!. so much nicer than toilet paper!. I have another cot sheet to cut up and hem to add to the pile, as i accidently sent one wipe down the loo!.

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 =

at the moment, this is still in its infancy. i want to get into homemade cleaners firstly – i just need to find some recipes and have a go – maybe that should be my challenge to myself for this month!.

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! =

this section is going to be had to follow as i’m now in a one bed flat on the second floor with no outdoor space at all!. Still, when i moved here i brought a blueberry with me from my old allotment, and for the last 6 wks i have being enjoying freshly picked berries. this photo is of my last crop

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 =

this i like!!. I have slowly been working on a cushion cover – it really should be finished now but i’ve been waylaid by something (more on that later!). I have also been doing art journalling as i get the inspiration.

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 =

in my new place i am about 8mins walk from the main borough library. in essence that should be great, but i’m dismayed by the lack of books in the library, and they dont accept donations – i’ve tried!. anyway, i had to see what they had as i am writing a course for work and wanted some recent publications. you may also spy what has sidetracked me this month! – i gave in and have almost read all of the 3 50Shades books!.

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 =

I am not going to have a lot to add to this at the moment – i have to walk now, unless i use the buses, as i no longer have a car. my ‘spare tyres’ are not impressed that i walk everywhere and are leaving!!.

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’m not going to talk alot about this, but my enjoy moment is with someone who means a great deal to me.