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August 2011
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October 2011

September 2011

{this moment} and {inspiring reads}

Climbing a tree

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soule Mama.

I hope you have a lovely weekend. If you manage to find a few quiet moments, and feel like some sustainable living inspiration, pop on over to my Inspiring Reads page.

This month i've included posts from two 'new to me' blogs: econest and Learnings from an earth mama. I'm loving econest so much that I couldn't help but include Maria's four latest posts.

I was pleased to see Isis's post on ethical swimwear. Isis's lists make buying ethical clothing easy. She's also posted lists for ethical shoes, underwear, tights and socks.

Caro and Co's post on Simple pleasures reassured me. "Life can be rich without riches.  And it can be full without a cupboard overflowing with toys or a drawer stuffed with computer games."

Rhythm of the home's article on The batch cooking group: cooking large for family and friends has motivated me to invite some friends around for a big batch cooking day...

How about you? What has inspired you recently?

It's World Park Day tomorrow, Saturday 17th September. It's a day for celebrating our parks and green spaces. There's loads of exciting activities planned for parks around the world. Check out what's happening around the world and across Australia, or in NSW. We'll be celebrating by visiting one of our local National Parks. Enjoy.

Are we making a mistake living in the city?

I'm committed to urban sustainable living. We won't all fit 'in the country' and i'm a fan of reserving bushland for nature, and farmland for farms.

I love urban living, and Newcastle in particular, but sometimes I do wonder if we're doing the right thing living where we do.

Pasher_Bulka {A littler Little Eco and I and the Pasha Bulker}

We live in a city with (apparently) the poorest air quality in Australia, our backyard is contaminated with lead, and the recent Orica chemical leak happened only km's from our home. Then this morning I read that Ibis eggs in city-based nests carry seven to nine times as many artificial chemicals as those of country-dwelling birds. It appears Ibis, living all over eastern Australia, could play a ''canary in the coalmine'' role in detecting contamination.

I don't want to give up on urban sustainable living, but crikey, the way we pollute our cities isn't making urban living any easier.

How about you? Is urban sustainable living your thing? or do you yearn for fresh clean country air? or are you already living an unpolluted country life?

Trading my time and skills for a meal

I've done this twice now, traded my time as a photographer for a home cooked weekday meal.


A while back I took some photos of a friends gorgeous baby (hardly a chore) and in exchange she delivered a hot, delicious home cooked casserole to my house on a weekday night. It was such a lovely treat to not have to cook a meal after work.

Sun cooking australia solar ovens

So when Heather from Sun Cooking Australia wanted to hire me to take some photographs of a solar Christmas feast, rather than have her pay me, I asked if she'd be happy to trade for a meal. She was. So tomorrow night Heather will be delivering a home cooked meal.

Sun cooking australia solar christmas cake

She also included a solar cooked fruit cake in the trade.

Sun cooking australia solar christmas feast

And Little Eco and I got to join-in the solar cooking christmas feast. A very good trade indeed.

How about you? Would you trade your time and skills for a home cooked meal? Do you trade skills and time amongst friends?

Two inspiring and fun play resources

Hi, my name is Tricia and I like to play...

I realised this only the other day when I was working my way through my mental list of weekend play activities to set up for Little Eco. Inspired by Issue 5 of Action Pack, I asked Little Eco if she would like to make some cornflour chalk paint.

She said no.

It was then that I realised I wasn't really setting up these play activities for her, but for me.

I like to play.

Action pack issue 5 cornflour chalk paint

So ignoring Little Eco's lack of interest I proceeded to make the paint for me.

Action pack issue 5 cornflour chalk painting

She eventually joined me once she spotted me painting on some pavers.

I do however have one problem with play. There's so many inspiring play resources available these days that I get frustrated at not having enough time to play.

Here's two of my favourite recent play resources.

Action Pack Issue 5 {chalk and cheese}

I'm absolutely in love with Action Pack, a mini magazine for kids (and parents) who want to do stuff. Loads of activities from issue 5 have made their way onto my mental list of activities I want to try. There's three different types of cheeses to make and a range of recipes that use up the whey left behind from the cheese making, including whey lemonade. I also want to try the beautifully photographed tutorials for making a plaster cast of your hand and making chalk. And we've already made the cornflour slime and cornflour chalk paint. The slime was already a regular activity in our household (it's become one of Daddy Eco's party tricks) and I know i'll be making the paint regularly from now on.

You can read my previous review of Action Pack ezine here and find out more here.

Play, Grow, Learn

Christie from Childhood 101 recently released yet another inspiring play resource: Play, Grow, Learn. Play, Grow, Learn is an e magazine full of 'playful activities and project ideas to make playtime that little bit easier for busy parents.'

I particularly enjoyed Kate's article on creating play scenes and Debbi's article on embracing messy play.

Brindle stick swag stick play

And there's an article by me on 'Sticky suggestions for incorporating natural objects in play'.

Stick play camp fire

Find or more about Play, Grow, Learn here.

How about you? Do you like to play? Do you have mental (or real) lists of play activities to work your way through? What is your favourite source of play inspiration?

p.s. It's Sustainable House Day this Sunday. I love that the day provides a perfect opportunity to sticky beak at other sustainable homes. Find sustainble houses in your neighbourhood here.