Skip to main content

Slowing Down the Slow Living Essentials way - March 2013

I have been following Christine at Slow Living Essentials for over a year now! And in 2012 she started a monthly round up to record on our blog, how we have "slowed down" under nine categories - I have been doing this since she started it in 2012 and really get a lot out of it. This is my March 2013 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. 

We host International students for a local language school and its heaps of fun! Whats even more fun is having students interested in what you are cooking and how. Even basic bangers and mash are greeted with praise and wonderment! In return we get all sorts of yummy meals cooked in return - the latest being French chocolate cake and Belgian waffles - all being cooked from scratch - yummy!

We went over to Stradbroke Island over Easter just for a day trip and I took plenty of food with us. I made bacon and egg pie, savory muffins, nibbles plate with home made roast potato dip, fruit and hot cross buns and plenty of water and cordial. I threw in a bit of junk food as it was a special occasion but as it came from the supermarket and was on special - it wasn't so expensive! It saved us a fortune, as feeding five people at takeaway shops all day would certainly have cost more than the $40 I reckon I spent!

PREPARE: Stockpile and preserve. 

Not big in this category so far this year...

REDUCE: Cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing. 
Done a bit more repairing of washing baskets this month! I'm loathe to throw them out when its just the handle - fixing them is very satisfying!

GREEN: up our lives. Start (or continue!) using homemade products. 
Its a bit of a challenge to find areas to green these days. Got the basics down pat. Got all the easy and cheap ones going well. Its the big stuff like ditching a car or going solar that are left to do these days...

GROW: plant/harvest. What's growing this month?

I have bitten the bullet and joined Food Connect here in Brisbane and I'm really enjoying it. It takes a few weeks to get your head around what you get (just seasonal produce) after so many years of "having what ever I fancy whenever I want". Food Connect has about 70 farmers that they buy direct from and each week deliver a box of veges (from a selection of sizes and types) to your local city cousin and then I go around and pick it up. Its a great way to meet people and a fresh, seasonal and sustainable way to eat. I did a whole post on it if you want to hear the whole story - here!

CREATE: to fill a need or feed the soul. Create for ourselves or for others. 
I'm STILL working on the big quilt! If this was back in the days before sewing machines, I'd be 100 before I ever got to sleep under it!!! Each time I do a bit more (especially with the machine) I have even more admiration for the women who used to make these by hand and by lamplight!!!

DISCOVER: Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests.
Finally got a copy of "Sweet Poison" that another blogger recommended a while ago and I'm still going on Kitchen Literacy, which is very enlightening! Got a stack of books on Globalisation for my next Uni unit (People and Globalisation) and we get to make up our own question for our next essay and I'm hoping to do something on Food Systems and Globalisation... will defiantly be interesting!

ENHANCE: Community: The rewards for your time are often returned tenfold.
Really enjoying my communities at the moment. I'm out and about meeting new people and doing lots of new things recently!
Still working on making the host family community website for the language school we host students for, a lot broader and more useful for us all as well as a few face to face meetings with other host families!

ENJOY: Life! Embrace moments with family and friends!
Ah - what a wonderful month! We hosted another afternoon tea party, had dinner with some old friends, helped out at my in-laws church working bee and went out for lunch with one of my dearest friends whom I though was overseas for three months but she hadn't gone - confusing... but great to see her!

Also had morning tea with a neighbour that we have had for 10 years but barely know, farewelled one student (Missing you so much already Elodie) and welcomed another (Hi Janika!).
Oh and my brother took his new baby and wife to NZ to meet the rest of the relatives which I got to participate in by email! (Thanks Mom!)

IMPROVE: Change or create a habit, work on an aspect of mind, body or soul that needs a wee tweak.
For January I wanted to get involved in three exercise activities each week - I have finally managed it after two months of trying. I do aqua on Mondays, play basketball badly on Tuesdays and have joined the social swimming group at the local school pool on a Wednesday - I was hoping social swimming involved li-lo's and champagne but so far it has involved swimming a few kilometres each time I turn up - the coach assures me I can have my Li-lo and champange  on the last night of the year!

March was all about not eating at the place I get my petrol from - I found this quite easy. Except for one time I was driving away with a full tank of petrol and a bit of beef jerky when I realised what I had done. I think it was because its a petrol station I have never used before in the late afternoon when I am most vulnerable to eating things I shouldn't or don't want to - at least that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

March is going to be all about having breakfast! I am so bad at it and I pay for it in the late afternoon (see above!) Lets see how I go with that one!

As always I enjoy popping over to see what other slow livers are up to. Some times I cant get past the security things (You know, put in the letters or numbers thingos)  but even if you cant see my comment, know I have been and enjoyed!

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


Anonymous said…
The easiest way to stop buying food at gas stations - purchase a butter tart, bite into it and realize that it tastes like gas fumes. Yuck! I haven't bought food from one since.
Kathryn Ray said…
I have so much respect for the people who make quilts... so much patience seems to be required.
Practical Frog said…
Its the packaged stuff i go for! I need to buy petrol in the mornings not a 4pm when Im on a sugar low and can talk myself into anything...
And yes - there is a huge amount of patience and unpicking that goes into a quilt!
-K xx
Anonymous said…
Your food connect sounds great, hope the idea spreads quickly.

I'm with you on the quilts, even with a machine mine look nothing like the older ones that were done by hand.
Wendy Meijer said…
Lovely month :) Quilt colours are gorgeous!
Practical Frog said…
Food connect is fabulous! Lovely people too by the way - incredibly accommodating!

This may be my last quilt class quilt as its also VERY expensive. I think I will still make them, but out of recycled material rather then new.

Thanks for dropping by! - K xxx
Mrs B said…
I love your quilt!! The purple and green is a lovely mix of colours.
Practical Frog said…
Practically everything I own is green or purple - with the exception of the animals - although I do have a lavender aracana that lays green eggs!!! - K xx
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

Killing cockroaches with boric acid v borax!

We live in Queensland. We have cockroaches. Lots of cockroaches! Why the NSW rugby team is called the Cockroaches is a mystery to me - surely ours are not only bigger but more plentiful??? At any rate, I don't like living with them (and I'm quite sure they  are not so fond of me at the moment!!) and I have been going through the usual gauntlet of sprays, solutions and bombs to get rid of them...

But I'm not so keen on the chemical aspect of all this spraying and bombing. I hate the smell and can almost feel disease and cancer growing in me every time I spray. I'm OK with the resident cockies getting a lungful of chemicals and then keeling over but I feel its impolite (and probably illegal) if my guests and family members do the same thing!!!

We went through a faze of killing them by hand (and flyswatter and rolled up newspaper and underfoot) but its hard and frustrating work and it probably was only culling the dumb and slow ones - leaving the smart fast ones to breed!!!

What to do when your cat attacks a bird... and doesn't kill it.

We have an eight year old cat who we got as a stray about six years ago. The vet reckoned she was about two when we got her and we did all the right things and got her spayed and vaccinated and all that stuff. She loves people and no matter where you are in the house or garden, she will not be far away. She really good with kids and will put up with the squishiest cuddles and a far bit of toddler tail fascination before bolting out the door to escape. She is well fed (despite the look she is giving me and the empty bowl below...) but not fat - but still the  urge to hunt and subsequently kill still seems to be quite strong.

Last weekend, she pounced out of nowhere on a rainbow lorrikeet - thankfully my husband and a band of teenage boys were also there and managed to grab the bird before the cat had done more than pounce. Now we have a slightly mangled still alive but obviously unwell bird on our hands - what do you do?

Here's what we did...

We found a box - popped an old towel in t…

Refilling old candle holders with new home made candles!

I had a number of nice wee candles that had burnt down to the bottom of their containers. They were too nice to throw away and I decided that I might be able to refill them with some more wax that I had lying around and use them again. Jumping straight in as I am apt to do.... I learnt a bit about candle making the hard way!

Here's what I did...

First I gathered up all my old wax. I scooped the wax out of old candles by either melting it for popping the whole container in the freezer for 10 minutes or so - most of the wax just popped out of its container after that!
I bought a length of candle wick from my local handcraft store. This was 6 meters and cost me $4.
I used the double boiler method of melting all my wax together. I used an old tuna can as I was only planning on filling four small candles. Don't let any water boil over into your wax. It will make your candles go funny...
I gently stirred the wax as it melted.
I measured the depth of the candle holders and then doub…