Skipping the supermarket and thoughts on 'outsourcing working mums' and 'DIY punk housewives'
Two seasonal summer soup recipes to use up zucchini and tomatoes

Slow Living Diary {January 2012}

The sort of information I share in this blog is different to what I might share if I was chatting to a friend over a cuppa. I’d probably tell them about the delicious batch of lemon balm tea I made and how I had to throw it out because it went mouldy, or the crazy challenge I’ve signed up for.

Reading some of the entries in Christine’s monthly diary ‘Slow Living Month by Month’, I got the sense that the information being shared was cuppa fodder. I couldn’t help but join in.

So grab a cuppa and real along. This is my January in a nut shell.

{Nourish}

Brown rice vegie bake

It’s been a busy month so I’ve resorted to regular favourite meals, including lentil loaf, dahl, and brown rice vege bake (shown above). To save on cooking time I’ve been cooking in bulk and we eat the same meal for few a days, varying the vegetable side dish. It's boring but reduces cooking and washing up time.

{Prepare}

Bargain! $1 box of tomatoes.

I’ve enjoyed preserving plenty of free and frugal fruit this month. There were the free foraged apples and last week I turned a $1 box of tomato ‘seconds’ into five bottles of tomato sauce.

Our lemon balm bush needed pruning so I made a jar of lemon balm tea. I stripped off the leaves, washed them, dried them in the dehydrator, and chopped them in a food processor. It was absolutely delicious and I was feeling rather pleased with myself, until a few days ago when I discovered the jar of tea was full of mould. Looks like I didn't dry the leaves enough.

{Reduce}

My new (old) folwers unit

I was thrilled to receive this old fowlers unit from Kate in a LETS trade. Up until now I’ve done my bottling in a pot of boiling water on the stove. I’m looking forward to being able to process more bottles at once.

Working from home has reduced the amount of driving I do. I'm working from home three days a week, but I have been a little too easily distracted, so I have been trialling the pomodorro technique.

{Green}

After a few months of wondering whether to let my hair grey naturally, I decided to continue dying my hair with henna. On a recent visit to a local Indian grocery store (super cheap source of spices and pulses) I was thrilled to discover Henna for only $4 a packet instead of the $24 I usually pay when buying it at the organic food store.

{Grow}

Very little has been happening in our garden. There’s always rhubarb and a few herbs, but that’s about it at the moment.

My garden has been neglected for almost two years since we discovered the lead contamination. Making the garden lead safe is going to take some effort, so I've been delaying until I have the time to plan the garden carefully. That ‘time’ is not far away because I’ve enrolled in a Permaculture Design Certificate course. I can’t wait!

{Create}

Easy reversible headband

I enjoy making birthday gifts. This month my mum got a new bag for her dancing shoes and one of Little Eco's friends got a headband made from vintage sheets using this easy tutorial.

Playdough - My favourite frugal birthday gift.

Little Eco and I also enjoyed making frugal and fun playdough as birthday gifts.

I was thrilled to have my first magazine article published. It was an article in Peppermint Magazine on ethical and sustainable places to eat, shop and play in Newcastle. I've started to really enjoy writing so was excited about the opportunity. I also enjoyed writing this months post over at Childhood 101. It was on a personal topic, enriching the life of an only child, and it was a pleasure to read some of the comments from Mothers in a similar situation.

{Discover}

I recently discovered that the 22nd of April is International Mother Earth Day. That is one day I will definitely be celebrating!

{Enhance}

In a moment of insanity I registered for WildEndurance and managed to convince six friends to join me. We'll be walking 100km in less than 36 hours to raise funds for the Wilderness Society. I thought it would be a fun way to spend my 40th birthday.

{Enjoy}

Mums new engagement ring :-)

We celebrated my Mums 60th birthday, which turned into a surprise engagement party. I was thrilled to see my mum share this wonderful surprise with many of her friends and family. My Mums long-term partner had planned, and kept secret, the engagement for months and even had a ring custom made. The ring was made by re-using gold and stones from sentimental family jewellery.

So what would you share with me if we were chatting over a cuppa? How was your January on the simple living front?

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