Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Slow Living Essentials Monthly 9 Link Up - March 2014

Helloo! I have missed this space this month. Things are just so very crazy busy here!! I am longing for the time when I can come and hang out more often here, which shouldn't be too far away. In the meantime, I'd love it if we can catch up on each others news and achievements over the last month. What's been happening in your world? Feel like joining in? It's simple, just leave a link to your blog post written using these nine categories, in the box below anytime during the month of April and enjoy the sharing experience with like minded bloggers that follows.

For more info on this blog link up series, please see this post.

March 2014


{Nourish}
What have we been eating over the past month? Good question! Loads of homemade chicken stock has been finding it's way into dishes, using the slow cooker picked up recently at the fire brigade flea market. The weather also turned strange and we found ourselves jumping from salads and barbeques to soups and hot roast dinners and then back again! I have been enjoying baking up some gluten and lactose free treats - my favourite being a chocolate beetroot cake that I took to my brother's house for a get together. Recipe will make an appearance here at some point!

I was also inspired and made up a few batches of a 'healthier' Anzac biscuit, which included linseeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut sugar and such. One of those winging it type recipes..you know? Savoury wise, I am turning every spare vegetable into fritters..loaded with cumin, coriander and other favourite spices, they are a family favourite, served with minted homemade yoghurt. Yum!

A healthier Anzac biscuit?


{Prepare}
Ahh, March, month of the pickles! My mum's cucumbers went out of control and she gave me a big bag full, and with a bowl here from our own garden to use up, bread and butter pickles they were destined to be. Our zucchinis also came at once (don't they always?) and these were made into a favourite relish recipe that I keep going back to (recipe is in this book). Chicken stock? Yes, I think I mentioned this. I find that putting it on in the afternoon works best for me, as then it can be left to simmer all night and turned off later the following day. This creates a most wonderfully dark, rich stock like you wouldn't believe! We have also been enjoying some of the homebrew hubby bottled recently..ciders and pale ales. I think they're still a little..'green', but he is loving them!

Bread and Butter Cucumbers & Zucchini Relish


{Reduce}
I was so impressed with a friend's strawberries growing in repurposed light fittings this summer, I set aside a morning to go to the local tip shop to have a good, proper scrounge for similar containers. It's been so long between scrounges, I had a wonderful time, coming home with more than just useable items for growing strawberries! But staying on track, I found several lengths of roof guttering that I am in the process of attaching to a brick wall in our courtyard, that I hope will create an abundant vertical patch. Growing them this way, I think it will be easier to net them as well as harvest...we shall see. Has anyone grown strawberries like this and do you have any tips to pass on?



{Green}
I have been loving the glorious days of autumn, it's been perfect for getting out and biking around town. After getting over the initial shock of pedalling places, my body has responded and I am noticing an increased level of fitness and a need for heavier gears where previously I was in the lightest gears. This is great! I love not having to rely on a car 100% of the time..even if I am just going to a friend's house or biking to the woodfired bakery for some (gluten free!) bread on a Sunday afternoon! Bliss!! Now if only I could fashion a basket to fit the pooch into (with seatbelt?!), all my dreams would come true! Well, very nearly..

{Grow}
We have started harvesting our summer crops and while generous, they are not as bountiful as previous years, which I have to put down to the limited time I invested in them this time around. We have, however, been enjoying the sweet juicy taste of homegrown corn once again, and a ridiculous abundance of french beans. Now don't get me wrong, I love beans as much as the next person, but sometimes I think a person can have too many! What are your favourite ways to use up excess beans? Blanch and freeze? Salads? Pickling? Do tell!

The first basket of the season.

An exciting event which took place this month was a hatching of some chicks! Our black silkie sat on six eggs and of those, three hatched, two being barnevelders and one a barnevelder/rhode island red cross. What I loved most about the whole event (besides obviously the hatching!), was the way she could tell the 'bad' eggs and turfed them off the nest halfway through the sit! She is one very cool mama..

Barnevelder chick, two days old


{Create}
My main creative outlet this month for me has been diving into photographicland. After going to a tutorial on audio visuals at my local photography club I managed to find a little bit of time to play around with this addictive form of creative expression. Music and pictures? In time, choreographed? However I wish it to be?  This is too much fun to even try to explain! If only there were 80 more hours in the week to play around with this new form of time vacuum..sigh.


{Discover}
See above! This was more than enough for my overworked, study fatigued brain this month. ;-)



{Enhance}
Supporting farmers markets and helping out with school woodfired baking featured this month. I also found myself in the world of volunteering in a local aged care setting one afternoon a week. I am finding this an amazing experience that I can't really describe; humbling, joyful, nurturing and touching all at the same time. I look forward to more visits..

{Enjoy}
After spending many, many hours looking forward to The Rolling Stones performing in our area, we were disappointed when we heard the news and the reason that was preventing them from commencing their Australian tour. Sad times for them.

Finding enjoyment on a smaller scale, hubby and I took in a local theatre show of "A Few Good Men", which had me in awe at the lengthy dialogue the cast delivered flawlessly! Getting out and enjoying little spots in our town for a Friday night cider or a small meal with just the two of us was also really nice. After watching Ferris Bueller with my daughter recently, he sums it up perfectly, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and take a look around once in a while, you could miss it".
So true! Save Ferris! :-)

How were things in your month?





Saturday, March 8, 2014

Eat Local Challenge #1

It was a challenge with a food theme. A challenge that got me thinking about where my food really comes from for one meal out of the month. A challenge that didn't sound too tricky to start with, but the more I thought about it, the more challenging it became.

For a person that is fortunate to have a veggie garden right outside her back door, there was an array of offerings to be considered. Zucchini fritters? Yes! No, wait, what about the flour, where is that from? It's surprising how many dishes have flour in them or are based around flour products, such as breadcrumbs. Being gluten and dairy free requires much consideration about 'substitute' items, such as nut milks (even if homemade (where are the nuts from?) and gluten free flours.I cringed when I examined some of the labels showing the origin of the ingredient on these items that had made their way into my pantry of late).

Read on to see what this month's local meal revolved around. As the weather becomes cooler and we are not harvesting from the garden so much I can see this challenge requiring loads more thought and pre-planning.

Thanks goes to Brydie from Cityhippyfarmgirl who really got me thinking hard about the small ingredients in my kitchen and for hosting this challenge...

On the menu:

Roast lamb with rosemary roast potatoes and a garden salad.


My preparation started by visiting my local famer's market...

I was lucky to pick up some beautiful, fresh vegetables which we don't have producing in our garden yet. Leeks, radishes, butter beans, tomatoes, beetroot, bay leaves and a local olive oil. At this stage, I wasn't sure what I was actually going to make so I wanted to keep my options open.

My mum also gifted me a bag of cucumbers and tomatoes during the week which was perfect timing for this challenge. 


The lamb was the last of a bulk order to use up from a local supplier (see below for details) and was cooked in the slow cooker all day, being a busy school and after school activity kind of day. Potatoes were drizzled in olive oil, rosemary and sea salt and roasted in a hot oven for about an hour.
(stumble #1 - sea salt!)


A quick lettuce and rocket dash took place to throw a salad together at the last minute. Ahhh! The dressing! How could I have skipped this important aspect? (stumble #2 - vinegar). We had olive oil but no local vinegar to make a quick dressing...see - it's the small things that gave me grief.
Mental note - investigate local vinegars at next farmers market..


Having a piece of local lamb in the freezer to use up helped me enormously with this challenge - although it won't be so easy next time. I have to let you in on a little secret though - I caved in and used some gf flour to make some gravy (stumble #3 - flour!). I can't imagine a roast lamb without a serve of gravy alongside. Again, it was the small things.

Where it all came from:


Lamb - Seven Hills Organic Farm  (Kerrie Valley - 18km)

Olive oil, butter beans and radishes - Woodend Farmers Market  
              
                                               Somerset Heritage Produce (Seymour - 93km)

Spring Creek Organics (Navigators - 100km)

                                                             Kyneton Olive Oil (Barfold - 50km)


Tomatoes and cucumbers - My mum! (27km)

Rocket, lettuce, calendula, garlic, potatoes and rosemary - my backyard - 10 metres. 

*************

Thoughts for next time: consider flour and milk alternatives and keep an eye out for local vinegar. 

                                  Jump on over to Brydie's blog to find out more about this challenge or to join in!



                           


Friday, February 28, 2014

Slow Living Essentials Monthly 9 Link Up - February 2014

Hello! Welcome back for the February installment of the Slow Living Monthly 9 link-up. As with previous months, I'm really looking forward to hopping over to your spaces to see what you've been up to and catch up on your news under these nine categories. 

New to this link up? Feel like joining in but not sure how? It's easy - just leave a link to your blog post at the bottom of this page anytime during the month of March, written using the nine categories as a guide and enjoy the sharing experience that follows, both with visiting other spaces and sharing your space here. For more detailed information on the nine categories and what they mean, please see this post. 

February 2014

February saw the return of routine in our days as school and study resumed. High risk bushfire weather, bizarre cold days and even a smell of Autumn on the wind..at last we are approaching my favourite season. Join me as I share my month of February..

{nourish}
In the kitchen there has been consistent action. February saw us enjoying homemade dukkah, which is fantastic to use as a crust on baked fish and chicken. Roast meats have hit the spot for low effort dinners and have been worthy of slicing the following day for lunchboxes and salads. I gave the life changing loaf of bread a go, but think I will cut back on the salt next time, otherwise it was really good! Smoothies for breakfast with my youngest have been a regular feature, and on the off days we are enjoying eggs of the scrambled variety. Salads have been going with just about everything as our rocket flourished and is slowly coming to the end of it's productivity. Tastes of summer I do love...

The brussel sprout - friend or foe? 
{prepare}
Loads of ripe fruit has been frozen (and consumed just as quickly!) in smoothies. I had great plans of having a decent stockpile but it's just not happening as we are getting through it as fast as we can freeze it! I also cranked out my old slow cooker and got to making stock again, something I feel does great things for my body. Hubby also happened to get into some preparing this month with the reappearance of the homebrew equipment and four batches of assorted ales and ciders were brewed and bottled. Yum!

{dukkah}

{reduce}
I love it when homebrewing as we now have enough saved glass bottles to make batches and batches of beer without having to resort to buying any. We have been collecting them for sometime, whenever our family gets together or we find ourselves picnicking. On occasion we have even been known to smuggle the odd 'empty' under our jackets as we leave our local pub... completely thrilling, have you tried it? This is always in the name of a rare shaped bottle that we I absolutely must have!!

{green}
Feeling great with the addition of lemon verbena tea appearing in my cup regularly, I was really pleased when my friend reported back the health benefits of this refreshing drink: *relieving digestive tract spasms (colon), strengthening the nervous system as well as reducing fevers. Good to know!

{grow}
Are things evvver going to ripen? Ahhh! Seriously, we have had progress with cukes and zukes, both supplying the initial offerings of the (imminent?) crop. Beans are coming along eveerrr sooo slooowly, as are pumpkins. And the corn? Well this is just in complete slow motion!! Thank goodness for rocket, lettuce, spring onions and the odd cherry tomato because otherwise I really would be feeling down. Bring on the summer harvest, I say!!


Elsewhere, I have planted a bed of brassicas in the hopes of cooler season offerings - broccoli, kale, and cabbage - both white and purple. I can hardly wait! And we do have eggs. Regularly. Which is good, because we are going through them nearly as fast as the frozen fruit I talked about a moment ago!


{create}
Minimal developments have taken place under this category this month. I will share a skirt that I've been meaning to photograph though, which I finished about a month ago. It was sewn from a vintage pattern picked up at my local goodwill shop yonks ago. I confess, it was the pocket that seduced me and it is still my favourite part of the skirt, even as it emerged from the pattern into a wearable garment. Imagine the fun a person could have with pockets like these..a whole wardrobe full of skirts with different patterned pockets..yes please! (It was also a little...short around the wrap, hence the extra panelling on the 'flappy wrap bit' Fear not thy legs, you are now covered modestly, even during a generous side breeze!).

{Vogue 8460}

{discover}
Trying to fit in a little leisure reading time in amongst study, I have been finding my nose in Brene Brown's 'Daring Greatly. Along with a couple of library borrowings of Sandor Katz and Michael Pollan. I am also currently absorbed in Nourishing Traditions which I'm probably the last person on the planet to read but am really enjoying it!

{enhance}
I loved reconnecting with my 'people' this month. Our Friday veggie group started back up again for another year of cake, coffee, chatter and gardening. And it was soo nice to head on back to spinning group this week with my wheel and bag of fibre. I always find out so much when I'm there, some of which has to do with fibery goodness, and some..well, not! But's it's always completely interesting and I would feel a little lost without it.

I enjoyed spending a day with a friend here at home when she brought her sewing machine around and we spent the day working on our latest projects. She, a tunic top of the coolest patterning and me, a beachy breezy top to go over swimwear (I may have missed the last of the warm weather though..).

The library near my mum had a guest speaker recently - a local author who has just released a book titled "The Coconut Cracked Open". We both took ourselves along and enjoyed listening to the benefits that the coconut can provide in our diet and our beauty regime. In the book, Christine Schang talks about the molecular structure of coconut oil, tips for using the array of coconut products now available and also shares some of her favourite recipes - both for eating and for skin/hair care. I was really pleased to go home with a signed copy of the book and am looking forward to trying out some of the recipes!

Our local sustainable living festival also took place which I enjoyed visiting as did our annual CFA flea market - THE community event of the year! It never disappoints! Truly. Supporting our local firefighters is important in any community, but it feels more so when living in a high risk bushfire zone.

{After school snack!}

{enjoy}
Ahh, February, month of the lovers. Hubby and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary. Conveniently it fell on the weekend when The Boss was in town and we took time out to enjoy this spectacular show. I have to say, I was significantly moved! That guy Bruce can really grab a crowd's attention!! And the band? Completely and utterly amazing!!

Closer to home it was nice to enjoy moments when there weren't the threat of bushfires on our doorstep. Walking through beautiful, local bushland, swimming in the cool waters of our 'res' and taking time to reflect on where I am at and where I am headed. These were what stuck with me most this month.


 So, do tell me, how was your month? 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Coconut Cream Pie

I was making dinner last night and had a hankering for a spot of dessert. A creamy, comforting dessert, that didn't need to be overly sweet. Soothingly gooey and squidgy was what I was going for. Stodge at it's best? Absolutely! I had that hankering for some stodge, it was certain.

This pie is the easiest pie you'll ever make. Not unlike a clafoutis come to think of it. The ingredients are whizzed in a blender or food processor and then poured into a dish and baked. If you don't have a blender, I'm sure a trusty old hand whisk will do just fine. It's the kind of pie one could easily play around with. On it's own it's a little plain, which was fine for me last night as I had some strawberry liqueur sauce to sneakily use up but I think it would be great with fruit inside or with fruit served alongside..whatever your preference may be. Pineapple, bananas, mango..all those delicious tastes of summer would work equally well here. Or a drizzle of boozy strawberry sauce on the side does not go unwelcomed, either!




Coconut Cream Pie

(gluten, lactose and sugar free)
Serves 6

Ingredients
4 eggs
125ml melted ghee or light flavoured vegetable oil of choice
1/2 cup wheat free flour (I used rice flour)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup shredded or desiccated coconut
400ml can coconut cream
toasted shredded coconut  for serving
optional - fruit pieces, coconut or other flavoured essence, boozy liqueur

Method
Lay fruit if using into a greased 23cm pie dish. Whisk or blend all other ingredients until smooth. Pour into greased pie dish.

Bake in a moderate oven for around 50-60 minutes, or until pie is set in the middle (it may rise and crack a little, but that's ok, it will drop as it cools).

Allow pie to cool. Sprinkle with toasted shredded coconut and serve with fresh or stewed fruit and/or fruit sauce. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Summer eating..

Hello! Quick question. Do you meal plan? I always have the best intentions of meal planning but never seem to stick with it on a regular basis. It works for a few weeks or maybe even a season but then I always seem to revert back to my five-thirty ways of rummaging through the fridge to find ingredients that I can turn into a meal...fast!

During the summer holidays it was really nice to be able to think of something to make for dinner and have the time to see it through - no kids' sporting drop offs or pick ups from friends houses to manage around the dinner preparations. There is no doubt that life definitely runs a lot more smoothly for us when I take the time to plan a week or a fortnight of meals. To keep myself motivated I'm keeping a record of what we've been eating lately, which I can jump back to if I find myself in that five-thirty black hole again..

1. Mixed vegetable frittata - so easy, this is my favourite kind of 5:30 slap dash dinner. It goes down well with a serve or two of homemade pickles, which reminds me - I must make more. Who knew cauliflower could be so good in pickle form?

2. Chargrilled vegies - good, honest, simple fare that always tastes good.

3. A favourite of summer - the humble bbq. I love that there are so few dishes to clean up afterwards..oh, and hubby does the 'cooking'.

4. Sweet potato and bean salad - this is one I like to play with. I like to add different types of toasted seeds/nuts and experiment with different dressings (balsamic/olive oil, mustard vinaigrette etc). It never disappoints.

5. As it says - banana and chia pancakes. Gluten and dairy free. Recipe here.

6. Blaukraut - German fermented red cabbage. This was my first successful attempt into homemade lacto-fermented vegetables and it's really good! Great to have on the side of a lunch or dinner plate.

7. Ahh, yes, the chip debate. My kids love 'em, heck, even I do, too! They just taste soo good, but are horridly bad for us. I was pleased to discover that sweet potato and parsnips make perfectly acceptable chips that fill that void in my appetite. The kids, well they are still in the convincing stage..

8. Lentil and radish salad - yum! Easy. Must plant more radishes..


9. I had never made scotch eggs until just recently when we went on holiday and I gave it a go in a meatloaf. It was gooood! And a real hit with the kids. I used 5 or 6 hardboiled eggs in the 1kg meatloaf - although next time will add a couple more. Youngish people find great delight in receiving their dinner with the surprise inside! A good one for hot days too, as it can be made ahead and served after it has had a chance to cool down, alongside a salad or two.

10. Sauerkraut - the second attempt. This one is a white cabbage, celery, carrot and apple concoction. I have commenced consumption and am finding it tastier that the blaukraut mentioned earlier..

11. Love a roast lamb. Always have, always will.

12. And it's all the nicer if the roast lamb is made into Greek souvlakis by the 14yo. Yum!! She had wrap bread. I didn't. It was still tasty as ever.



13. Another easy five o'clocker - the Thai green curry. One pot, half an hour and it's done. Plus I get to use some of our kaffir lime leaves from the tree and feel quietly pleased about that. What's not to like here?

14. Smoothies for breakfast. Any combination of fruits suits me just fine. Frozen fruits are best for that extra thickness! The youngest is fun to have along on this morning ride too.

15. Yes, I realise, a gluten free pizza is just completely wrong...but when the rest of the family is dining on crusted, yeasted, melted delights for dinner, what IS a girl to do? Seriously! It actually didn't taste that bad..surprisingly.

16. Ok, this one needs work - a quinoa and vegetable stuffed pumpkin. I don't know the exact origins of the idea but found it was calling at to me to be made..remarkably earlier than 5:30! Gotta love that. Cooked quinoa, sauteed onion, carrot, parsnip, chorizo and zuccini with a bunch of clashing spices and then baked in the pumpkin for a good hour, plus. Yuh...kind of ok, although seriously not a hit with the younger members of the family. More refinements necessary. Advice please?

Do you meal plan? Or are you a 5:30 scrambler like me? Is there any hope for us?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Slow Living Essentials Monthly 9 Link up - January 2014

Hello!! Welcome back for another fun year of the Slow Living Monthly 9 link-ups! I'm really pleased to continue offering this link up and hope you enjoy it as much as I do, whether you are a newbie at this blogging thing, or a seasoned pro!

Feel like joining in for some fun? To participate it's simple, just write a blog post in this style using the nine categories listed below (which you can read more about here) and then pop back here to leave a link to your blog post anytime during February. Thanks so much to everyone who takes the time to link-up, visiting your spaces is always inspiring! And also to those who read and leave a comment - you all make this little space such a warm community. xx

January 2014


{nourish} - A shift in eating patterns which saw me eliminating gluten and dairy (and also greatly reducing sugar) saw some rather large changes in what I, and consequently the family consumes on a weekly basis (I have posted more about this situation here).  Finding substitutes for commonly used foods was a huge focus for me this month and I confess to being a little overwhelmed at times by the choices available, weighing up what will be best for my health, food miles and friendliness to the environment. Completely overwhelming, right? To give you an idea of what's been happening in my kitchen I have been enjoying: smoothies, homemade almond milk, loads of salads, roasted root vegetables, green tea, coconut cream and oil in all sorts of dishes, beautiful fresh eggs from our chooks as well as a re-examination of the meat and fish we are consuming and options to improve on this.
{mango banana & coconut cream smoothie}


{prepare} - I had a go at making sauerkraut this month (or more accurately 'blaukraut' which translates as 'blue cabbage'). Who knew that fresh cabbage and a little salt after a couple of weeks could taste so good and be SO good for you? I'm loving having this in the fridge and have also started a white cabbage, carrot, apple and celery version which I'm hoping tastes just as good. If you are considering giving this a go, search for Sandor Katz on youtube and you'll be off and away in no time.

Our lemon verbena is also growing like mad at the moment and I am enjoying cutting off long stems and allowing the leaves to dry in the sun to then use for tea - so refreshing! I have also been collecting the leftover almond meal from making almond milk and drying this either in the dehydrator or the sun, depending on the weather for use in other dishes and also as a substitute for breadcrumbs. 

{'blaukraut'!}


{reduce} January always seems to be our clean up month, where we tidy up around the yard and de-clutter the home. Several bags of kids clothes were either passed on to friends or taken to the op-shop. To complete the cycle, I found a couple of really nice items that fit me perfectly are are exactly my style for just a few dollars - don't you just love it when you make such a find!
Making some cool summer clothing items for myself keeps me out of the mass produced, poor quality clothing shops and I am so much happier for it.

Elsewhere, I have been using some old net curtains in the veggie patch for protecting berries and fruit - which also has an extra bonus of filtering the harsh sun.

{green} - I recently stumbled across the healing benefits of drinking calendula in a tea as well as for topical applications. It really accomplished the job that I was hoping it would and I was glad to have a little supply of homegrown calendula on hand to use.

Each month I know I harp on and on about my skin but I was pleased to find that sea water also does remarkable things for mine and coconut oil works like magic on dry or sun-kissed skin.
While we were away at the beach, my daughter although she 'slip, slop, slapped' still ended up with a little sunburn on her legs and this was soothed by letting her soak in a bath with bicarb (baking) soda dissolved in it. About 3/4 of a cup in the tepid bath worked wonders..

{grow} - In the garden we patiently wait for the summer crops to grown and ripen. We have planted: tomatoes, corn, cucumber, beans, basil, beetroot, spring onions, lettuce, rocket, zucchini, pattypan squash, potatoes and one solitary pumpkin vine..I really don't know what happened there!

We have been enjoying eating blueberries (at last!), apricots, potatoes, lettuce, rocket, garlic, lemon verbena, and assorted herbs. The raspberry season this year was unbelievably light on with only just enough for pickings while watering. I can only hope next year will be an improvement! I have shnapps to make!!

Before heading down to the beach I did a big mulch over the entire garden with pea straw which has helped enormously with retaining moisture. The hugelkultur bed is cranking along and having dripper hoses and timers throughout the garden makes life so much easier in these hot summer months..


{create} - I was completely pleased with myself for finishing a pair of 'beach pants' before we went away. Now I have to say I'm not generally a leopard print kinda gal but this fabric was calling at me to make them into some light and cool pants! And they're really comfy too. And protect against the harsh, summer sun.

A dress was also made and in the odd moments when I'm feeling up for it cotton dishcloth knitting has been happening - I really want to have a years supply in the drawer. I have been using the waffle weave pattern that is freely available online and also in Rhonda's book.


{discover} I have been doing a bit of web surfing on paleo eating this month and while I agree with a lot of the principles I still think legumes and a small amount of grains have a place in my diet. Instagram helps enormously with this too as I can see real food that people are making in their homes and come up with ideas for my own situation. Lactofermentation has also been a wonderful new discovery and I am looking forward to learning more about this intriguing way of preserving. Lifting off a jar lid from my sauerkraut to see it bubbling away had me extremely excited!

{enhance} While we were away I supported the local farmers market near where we were staying and was pleased to bring home some veggie seedlings that I could grow as well as be a souvenir of our time away. Closer to home, just the other day I teamed up with a few like-minded women to do a little 'neighbourhood beautification'. Say no more.

{enjoy}  This whole month has been such a lovely time for me. It was nice to have a break from study and take time to enjoy home life and the outdoors. I loved spending quality time with my mum. More plans to head back to the beach are on the cards as we feel so refreshed afterwards. I am watching my middle daughter commence high school and all the new and exciting things that lie ahead for her. My eldest daughter just turned 14 and I am watching her growing into a young woman before my very eyes. I am ready to start a new year, feeling invigorated and inspired to pursue my goals.


How was your month?



**If you would like to add the Monthly 9 link-up badge to your blog, just copy the code below and paste it into your post or sidebar. Happy blogging!**
Slow Living Essentials Monthly 9 link up - Grab my button!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Slow Living Monthly 9 - same monthly link-up, different name..

Just a quick note to say that the monthly Slow Living link-ups will be running again in 2014!

I am just about to hop onto a new page and start jotting down notes under the various categories for my January installment. Are you thinking of joining in too? It would be wonderful if you did! It's so much fun to see what people have been up to and gain a few tips along the way as well as creating a visual diary to look back on. I love how it has grown into a feeling of a welcoming, little community, which is all thanks to everyone who participates, reads or leaves a comment. Thankyou!!

I have changed the name slightly, too. It is: 'Slow Living Essentials - Monthly 9 link up' which I think gives a more accurate representation of things. As usual, there are the nine categories involved: nourish, prepare, grow, green, create, reduce, discover, enhance and enjoy. More can be read about these categories here.

Just one more thing..I have created a little badge for the link-up. You are most welcome to use the badge on your own blog when linking up or in your sidebar. Just copy and paste the code below onto your blog:

Slow Living Essentials Monthly 9 link up - Grab my button!

My post will be up in the next couple of days with the box for you to link up with.

Have fun and I hope to see you there!
Christine xx
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