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Slowing down - the Slow Living Essentials way. March 2012

I have been following Christine at Slow Living Essentials for a while and in January she set a challenge to record on our blog, monthly, how we have "slowed down" under nine categories - I did this for January and February and really got a lot out of it. This is my March reflection on Slowing Down - the Slow Living Essentials way!

Here's what I did...

NOURISH: Make and bake as much as possible from scratch. Ditch over packaged, over processed convenience foods and opt for 'real' food instead. I have decided to try baking again. I'm not much of a baker but really want to move away from buying store bought cakes with all those preservatives that make them last for months without growing any mould. The banana loaf I made in the weekend seemed to go down all right and I have an apple, walnut and raisin loaf in the oven right now, with bread ready go in as soon as its out and then some homemade gourmet sausage rolls after that! 

I had to try a piece - with butter that just melted into the slice! Mmmmmm!

PREPARE: Stockpile and preserve. I scored a dehydrator from a friend and gave it a bit of a run. It was an experiment rather than an attempt to stockpile anything but I'm considering having a decent go at making some meat jerky. I'll have a chat to my butcher and see if he will cut the meat for me and if he will (and I know he will) then I'll give it a whirl and blog the results. 

REDUCE: Cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing. I made some recycled bags out of our chook food bags and a couple of old pillowcases! And figured out a way to use up an old milk bottle, some pesky bread tags as well as a way to keep my compost bucket a bit cleaner!

GREEN: up our lives. Start (or continue!) using homemade products. I have had some success in this area this month! I had a natural product war on the ant invasion and seem to have won!!! I have also been right into the bi-carb and vinegar this month to see what will come clean with it. The loo got a real hard time and it is now sparkling inside and out. I have made some old spray bottles up with tea-tree and/or eucalyptus oil and left them in the bathroom to spray around the shower bath and loo when the idea grabs me. Its much easier to reach under the basin and give the shower a spray than to wander all the way down to the kitchen and get it. I have found the mould and grot greatly reduced in the week or so I have been dong this! I also had a go at making some homemade green skin care products! (Keep an eye out for the post.)

GROW: plant/harvest. What's growing this month? My micro-greens got drowned while we were in NZ for a week :( We are planning to have a clean out of the vege garden over Easter and replanting it for winter. In the meantime I have replaced the spider plants in my hanging baskets with native violets and other flowers since I seem to be able to grow flowers and I love looking at them out the kitchen window when I do the washing up!

CREATE: to fill a need or feed the soul. Create for ourselves or for others.
A fun month for creations! Wedding horseshoes and garters, my contribution to a 50th birthday banner and towel rack tags so we all know which ones are ours! We had a new lady at our neighbours craft morning which defiantly feeds the soul!

DISCOVER: Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests. Got to have a look at Rhonda's book - Down to Earth and thoroughly enjoyed that! Ask your library to buy a copy if they don't already have one. I'm also doing a uni unit that gets us to watch some videos on stone age type cultures. They have a huge amount of leisure time as they don't 'need' much. It made me think that's for real.

ENHANCE: community: The rewards for your time are often returned tenfold. I do my regular social basketball with a bunch of people of varying ages and abilities up at the PCYC. I have an aunty in hospital that I still haven't been to visit but have sent postcards so she knows we know where she is! I missed my Blue Light disco canteen gig as I was in NZ this month but I heard it was a great night as usual! I got Leibster-ed which definatly created new blog connections in my wee online community this month!

ENJOY: Life! Embrace moments with friends and family. This one was easy this month! Spending a week in NZ with family and friends with a wedding smack in the middle made it easy to spend quality time with friends and family! Our newly wedded couple have gone to the Gold Coast for part of their honeymoon but we will have them here for the last week, which will be fun. We also said goodbye to our Swiss student with a steak at a local waterfront pub which is a bittersweet experience. But we will be welcoming a Thai student in the next few days.

At the wedding with the mother of the bride. A friend I have known since primary school!
I think about the review from time to time when I do things and look forward to sharing! This is a fabulous idea! Thanks again Christine!


Kathryn Ray said…
You are very creative in the Reduce category.

How wonderful to be able to see your friends daughter get married after being friends for so long. :-)
Practical Frog said…
Hi Kathryn! I only managed to reuse a couple of things but its better than throwing them out!I have found a craft that may use up some more milk bottles - stay posted! And yes it was wonderful to spend a whole week with friends that are much closer than a lot of my family!
Christine said…
You scored a dehydrator from your friend? How lucky are yoU! I'd love to try home dried apricots sometime..

Genius idea with the chook food bags turned green bags and it sounds like you had a wonderful time in NZ! :)
Juggler said…
Thanks for the review on Rhondas book, I am seriously considering purchasing it (and in fact have it open on my browser on the QBD site, as I type). I am glas that as you say it is more about hte philosopy of it all rather than the how-to. Love the sound of your week away in NZ, we are heading over next August and we can't wait.
Practical Frog said…
Hi Christine, Hi Juggler! NZ was great - Christchurch is still very broken. Lots of work still to be done, Lots of buildings still to come down (200 still in the CBD to be demolished) But the weather was fabulous and away from the wreckage, NZ is still very beautiful! One day I will go home! - thanks for dropping by! - Kara
Practical Frog said…
Oh - and while I think about it - Juggler, just order the book through your local library. If you like it then buy it and if its not what you are looking for, no harm done... - Kara
Sounds like you are on a real roll with your baking Kara, very impressive to line up three things one after another!
Anonymous said…
an aunty in hospital?
Practical Frog said…
That was a good day with the oven CGCG! Dont do that often at all hence its worth blogging about! But it was a yummy day!

Hi Mom! Its Aunty Annie and her foot. They have moved her to a hospital closer to us for the rehab (cant go home until she can look after herself cause she lives by herself)and Gill is checking up and visiting her lots - its me that's been too slack to visit! Your sisters are all fine (As far as I know!)
- Kara xx
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