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Slowing down the Slow Living Essentials way - December 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 have been doing this for the last eight months and really got a lot out of it. This is my November reflection on Slowing Down - the Slow Living Essentials way!

NOURISH: Make and bake as much as possible from scratch. Ditch over packaged, over processed convenience foods and opt for 'real' food instead.
After the festive season there were lots of left overs. We got sick of eating them fairly quickly as I'm sure we all do. This year I got a bit creative with the left overs and I made anti-pasto muffins (basic savoury muffins with chopped up antipasto in it) a variety of dips to go with all the left over crackers and biscuits for lunch, there was a few ham, cranberry and cheese toasted sandwiches and a smoked salmon quiche that went down well!

PREPARE: Stockpile and preserve.
The only thing we stockpiled over the festive season was calories!

REDUCE: Cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing.
We composted most of our wrapping paper, reused boxes and bags for re-wrapping and are re-gifting a few Chrissy presents that missed the appreciated mark...

GREEN: up our lives. Start (or continue!) using homemade products.
We did a fairly green Christmas - recycled cards, newspaper wrapping paper, less food, well chosen presents, homemade work mates gifts and last years decorations...

GROW: plant/harvest. What's growing this month?
My main harvest this month has been eggs!!! With only the brand new baby and the still not so well chook not laying I have eight regular layers now. My Aracana came on line with her green eggs and disappointingly, the other chicken that was sold to me as an Aracana, started laying white eggs, not green or blue or olive like she might have. At least she lays eggs!

CREATE: to fill a need or feed the soul. Create for ourselves or for others.
Been trying to create calm and order from the Christmas /New Year Chaos...

DISCOVER: Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests.
Books that were gifts, Instruction manuals, receipts and road maps are the only texts that got read this month!

ENHANCE: community: The rewards for your time are often returned tenfold.
So many communities at this time of the year! Christmas Parties at my various works, Christmas parties at my husbands work, neighbours Christmas gatherings, cards from people you love but only catch up with at this time of the year and lots of wishing total strangers a Merry Christmas!

ENJOY: Life! Embrace moments with friends and family.
See above but add extended feasting with family!

IMPROVE: Change or create a habit, work on an aspect of mind, body and soul that needs a wee tweak.
I did well with the guest thing this year - I'm usually keen to help and get involved with the preparations and again on the day even as a guest. This year I waited till I was asked to help/make/provide and then did so with enthusiasm. For the rest of the time I ate, drank and chatted to which ever relative was sitting closest and didn't (overtly) worry about what was happening in the kitchen. It made for a much more relaxing Christmas!

This month will be about getting back into an exercise routine. I'm trying to do at least thirty minutes three times a week - and Yoga doesn't count! So this morning I will bike down to the shops or the few things that I need instead of taking the car and check out the local swimming pools and go for a swim early next week.. Lets see how I go with this one!

I love this check-in at the end of the month! I hope you are going to continue to host it Christine! I have really enjoyed so many aspects of it!

I love cruising over to other blogs and catching up on whats been happening for others and enjoying reading about every ones exploits, thoughts and ideas. I do always leave comments but have noticed that sometimes they don't come up on the comments page or I can't get past some of the 'security' devices ("type in these letters" thingys). So, even if you can't see my comment - know that I have been visiting!

Thanks for the opportunity to share again Christine!!! Have a great month everyone! - Kara xx

**** For some reason Blogger wont let me upload pictures... I will try again later and see if I can add them this afternoon! - K xx****** Ah Ha! it seems to be a blogger/Internet explorer issue for those of you with  the same problem. Go into "HTML" instead of "compose" and you will have no problem getting the pictures up and then you can edit them back in "compose". Cheers - K xx


Kathryn Ray said…
I'm still laughing at "stockpiling calories." LOL
Anonymous said…
I would love knowing how you made your anti-pasta muffins that sounds interesting.

I'm sorry your chook isn't giving you colored eggs, I loved the colors you showed a bit ago I had only ever seen brown or white before.

I'm glad you got to enjoy your Christmas by relaxing more, gotta cringe at those extra calories that we all seem to find during the holidays.
Practical Frog said…
Hey Kathryn! - I reckon I put on at least two kilo's over Christmas!! Its the extra alcohol and chocolate combined with Christmas Carols,Im sure!

Hi Lois!
I have a basic sweet/savory muffin recipie and I simply diced up all that yummy antipasto and popped that in instead of , say chocolate chips. Its an old Edmonds cook book recipie (World famous in NZ)and now Im thinking about it - I think its the one for Blueberry muffins with 1/2 the sugar and a pinch or two of salt and pepper along with a cup of chopped up olives, tomatoes, feta cheese, roast capsicum, artichoke etc - works for me!

I will have anothe go at putting some pictures up - it very annoying when blogger wont co-operate!

Enjoy your snow - its 32 here today and muggy. We might get a storm to cool things down for the night, I hope!
- K xx
Anonymous said…
Let me know if you find an easy way to use up that stockpile of calories - cause I managed to stockpile a few myself. December was a little hectic, wasn't it? It'll be nice to get into the slower months - at least on my side of the world.
Practical Frog said…
Hi Heidi, yes December is hectic and January is a slow month here as most of Australia is at the beach or suffering from Post Christmas Motivation disorder! As for the stock pile, Im about to google Aquarobics... Probably not helpful with your weather at the moment! - K xx
Jeybird8 said…
I always forget to comment(cos I read it in outlook, so can't comment from there anyway!!)! Love reading your round ups for the month!
Practical Frog said…
Hey! Good to hear from you! Its fun to write them! Talk soon - K xx
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