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Slowing Down the Slow Living Essentials Way - April/May 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. 

I have had an incredibly busy April that involved being sick, buying a a house, going away, doing an exam and getting a dog which all took up so much time that blogging went by the wayside - but here I am back again! This is my April/May 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. 

Since I started getting my fruit and veges from Food Connect I have cooked every night except for our usual Thursday night $5 takeaway. When you have fresh, crunchy veges that taste so good, its hard to do anything else!

Its interesting to eat by the seasons and to plan meals after the box arrives. I'm sure we are eating more veges as I hate to waste any of it. I'm never 100% sure what I'm going to get and this weeks custard apples were a lovely surprise! Great fun to show to overseas students as they are not the prettiest of fruit to look at and don't taste like apple or custard!

I have also managed to fit in a bit of baking here and there. Im not a huge baker but Im getting better with the same old recipies over and over - this weeks offering was cheese and silverbeet muffins that seemed to go down all right!

PREPARE: Stockpile and preserve. 

Just harvested some Rosella's! Yummm - gonna make a couple of jars of jam from them! (there's not that many of them really... :(  ) We are stockpiling Passion Fruit from a rouge vine that sprang up unexpectedly out of a mock orange hedge, just because we cant eat as many passion fruits as the vine is producing!

REDUCECut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing. 

We swapped rooms this month with our students as they have more use for a big room than we do and as a result, I had a big linen sort out and took a ton of stuff off to the second hand shop. So I have reduced my linen cupboard down to what I actually need and use, which is some sort of first. I tend to shop for this sort of thing at the opshop and when you can get a sheet set and doona cover for around the $12 mark - I started ... collecting it. I also marked the uncovered doonas so I can see what they are without having to open them out.

GREEN: up our lives. Start (or continue!) using homemade products. 

Have decided that Monday is my no car/drive day. I usually need to catch up on a million things as I work in the weekends and am mostly home anyway. Lately I have biked to the shops or to the park for morning tea with a friend instead of just jumping in the car. I used to do this a  but but the rains and flooding put a stop to it and then suddenly using the car for EVERYTHING is a habit that you don't question again...

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

Umm - Rosella's and Passionfruit! About 4 dozen rosella's and a hundred million Passionfruits!

CREATE: to fill a need or feed the soul. Create for ourselves or for others. 

My neighbour is back from her trip to England and so our Monday afternoon coffee and craft is back on with lots of the neighbours popping in for a chat and coffee even if they didn't craft this week! I'm making a rag rug to go on the floor by my bed as my wee tootsies get a bit chilly as the mornings get colder here in the tropics. Sometimes it gets right down to 12 degrees at night!!!

I got some Australian Animals stickers and made some tags out of takeaway container lids so that I can label all my students things in the shower, kitchen and bathroom. They were thrilled and love the stickers!

DISCOVER: Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests.

Just finished a uni exam on People and Globalisation: Don't want to see another academic text - ever again.... Only three more units (and about $5,000) to go...

I just discovered that Micheal Pollan has a new book out called "Cooked: A natural history of transformation" and went to ask the library to order it and discovered that they had just bought it! So I'm first in the queue to read it as soon as they cover it!

ENHANCE: Community: The rewards for your time are often returned tenfold.

Off to volunteer at the Winter Life Line Book Fest this long weekend. I'm on the pricing and registers and will cry every time I see a book I'd love to have going out the door for a $1. Its always a fun thing to do - If you live in Brissy - come and say hi!

ENJOYLife! Embrace moments with family and friends!

Had my brother over from WA recently and got to see my newest nephew again. Had a weekend away with my husbands brother and lots of hanging out with neighbours who went to the UK and the others who went to Hervey Bay... 

Oh and we spent 5 days in Port Douglas! Its fun to see how the other 1/2 live! Resort living definitely has some appeal - well for a few days anyway! We have friends who have a time share something or other that allowed us to hang out with them at the Resort for the cost of our (cheap) airfares! An offer too good to pass up. 

IMPROVEChange or create a habit, work on an aspect of mind, body or soul that needs a wee tweak.

This month I want to make Monday my car free day. I used to bike around a lot a while ago and then the floods put a stop to it and I never went back to it.

I find these bitsy blog challenges to be really motivating. Cause I know I have to report back here, I tend to stay honest and it stays in my consciousness - or is it because I write it down... Either way its a good way to make some changes for me!

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


africanaussie said…
Oh I missed it once again! I really want to get back to doing this monthly - as you say it is a wonderful challenge to keep on track and be accountable. You can very easily freeze passionfruit pulp. I enjoyed the rosella dried to make tea - it is a beautiful pink colour and marvellous taste.
Practical Frog said…
Ah ha! - freezing passion fruit pulp - that's the answer!!! At the moment we are just eating, eating it it and between you and me, I'm ok for passion fruit until the next season right now.

How do you dry the rosella? I just turned that lot into a couple of jars of jam which always go down well as its only available from back yards and home kitchens and not from supermarkets!

Good to hear from you! I'm hoping to have a few minutes this weekend to go blog hopping, so I'll drop by and say hi! - K xx
Christine said…
So nice to read about your month, Kara, thanks for sharing. I really like your tip for the doona daughter's wardrobe is 'sheet central' in our house and is always chaos due to people pulling sheets out then stuffing them back in again. Good to hear you had a relaxing break, too! :)
Practical Frog said…
Hey Christine! I'm soooo pleased with my clean out! I'm down to practically 2 sets for each bed and that's it! The students beds are a bit mix and match but thats ok as all the sheets, dooner covers and pillow cases go together now.
The break was great - but not long enough - they never are! Thanks for dropping by! - K xx
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