Thursday, February 2, 2012

slow living in 2012...

Anyone who knows me well enough, knows that I love to cook from scratch.  I love to try strange things( like fermenting foods) that will provide my family with good health.  I love to make my own skin care products.  I love to use natural things to clean my home, and myself.  I love to make handmade toys for my children.  I love to pick fresh herbs from my garden. I love to tick one more thing off the list that I don't have to buy at a supermarket.  I love that I can choose to make my home as chemical free as I can.  I love to be somewhat self sufficient,  and I love the challenge of being able to make things rather than buy them.  All of these things help me to enjoy my version of living simply, and if you haven't already guessed, I love it like that !

Christine, over at a blog called Slow Living Essentials has come up with a brilliant idea.  She has created an outline for a monthly blog diary based around 9 slow living categories.   I've decided to join in with her, and hopefully many others, and will post a monthly diary based on my goals and achievments for each one.
Here's a list of the 9 categories below, but for a full explanation, head over to her blog

SLOW LIVING - Month by Month 2012NOURISH: Make and bake as much as possible from scratch. Ditch overpackaged, overprocessed convenience foods and opt for 'real' food instead. Share favourite links/recipes/tips from the month here.

PREPARE: Stockpile and preserve. Freeze extra meals or excess garden/market produce. Bottle/can, dehydrate or pickle foods to enjoy when they are not in season. Aim to reduce dependancy on store bought items especially those known to contain BPA and other suspect additives. Stocking up on dry goods when prices are low counts too.

REDUCE: Cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing. A ladder into a strawberry planter? A sheet into a dress? Share ideas and project links here, allowing others to be inspired.

GREEN: up our lives. Start (or continue!) using homemade cleaners, body products and basic herbal remedies. The options are endless, the savings huge and the health benefits enormous.

GROW: plant/harvest. What's growing this month? What's being eaten from the garden? Herbs in a pot, sprouts on a windowsill or and entire fruit/vegetable garden -opt for what fits space and time constraints. Don't have a backyard? Ask a friendly neighbour or relative for a small patch of theirs in return for some home grown produce, they may surprise you!

CREATE: to fill a need or feed the soul. Create for ourselves or for others. Create something as simple as a handmade gift tag or something as extravagant as a fine knit shawl. Share project details and any new skills learnt here.

DISCOVER: Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests. Trawl libraries, second hand shops or local book shops to find titles that fill the need. Share titles/authors of what is being read this month.

ENHANCE: community: Possibilities include supporting local growers & producers, help out at a local school/kindergarten, barter or foodswap, joining a playgroup or forming a walking or craft group. Car pooling where possible and biking/walking instead of driving. Even start up a blog if you haven't already - online communities count too! Or maybe just help out someone trying to cross the street! The rewards for your time are often returned tenfold.

ENJOY: Life! Embrace moments with friends and family. Marking the seasons, celebrations and new arrivals are all cause for enjoyment. Share a moment to be remembered from the month here.

Carole's slow living - Month 1 (January)

NOURISH: We've had a great start to the year with our decision to prepare and eat more 'real' food.  My favourite salad was this blackbean, sweet corn and capsicum salad, made using dried black beans from the storage cupboard.  Made kefir cheese and loved it, need to get creative and use more of it.  Continuing to make milk and water kefir, so glad the kids love it.  Need to make time to freeze some home baking for school lunches.  Make sure there are always enough left overs from dinner for my husbands lunch the next day.  Must make a sour dough starter.

PREPARE:  Mango chutney, frozen mango slices, fish stock, chicken stock and beef stock for the freezer.  Went through our emergency pack, time to rotate some of the food , and need to add digital copies of important documents.

REDUCE:  Cut up an old towel to use as baby wipe cloths.  Cut the legs of my husbands old work pants and made them into work shorts. 

GREEN:  Have a nice fresh batch of olive oil body lotion, coconut oil face moisturizer
                 and  deodorant in the bathroom.  Would like to find a good toothpaste recipe that we will use.

GROW:  thyme, basil, chives, parsley, sage, stevia, ginger, turmeric.

CREATE:  the kids love their new felt toys - a horse and an elephant.

DISCOVER:  From the library, "Bills Everyday Asian" by Bill Granger - BEST Asian cookbook ever! 

ENHANCE: COMMUNITYWalking with my daughter to school and home again every day, and  keeping my blog active.

ENJOY: LIFE: Australia Day - first time Ruby  watched fireworks and wasn't scared...and the first time Marlise has seen fireworks, EVER!  and they both loved it.


  1. It's wonderful to have you along for this, Carole! School baking is something I must get on to, too - hopefully this weekend. Have a lovely month!

    (Great tip about the towel into baby wipes - wish I had done this when my ones were small! I might still cut into one anyway, we never seem to have enough face washers around!!).

    1. something this challenge has done is that it has made me aware of so many things I want to do, and how little time I have to do them all !!!...really need to organie myself a bit better i think.

  2. That blackbean salad sounds delicious. I’m keen to try kefir soon and baking for school lunches is something I want to find time for also.
    I used old towels as baby cloth wipes too – but sewed flannelette (from old flannelette sheets) on one side so that there was a softer side as well.
    I love that you included “walking with my daughter to school and home again every day” under community. Can you imagine how more connected our communities would be if all children walked or rode to and from school (if they lived close enough of course)? I’ve been trying to ride my daughter to and from school but am resorting to the car far too often because of running late. I need to change that.

    1. Tricia, I love that there are other like minded people out there !!