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?



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15 comments:

  1. Ha!!! I really am first!!! Must be the beginning of the year because I'm sure this will be the last time that I'll be the first to finish my slow living post!
    Lovely to read about your happenings again, Christine. You really take the most gorgeous photos.

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    1. Nice one, Evi! Good to visit your space and catch up with your goings on. :-)

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    1. Hi Marigold Jam - I have sent you an email! ;)

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  3. I have done my post and followed your instructions so hopefully I will now be in your "gang" if all worked as it should!

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    1. Wonderful, Jane! So nice to have you joining in! :)

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  4. Hi Christine! Glad you are continuing this - I got slack at the end of last year with all things bloggy but hopefully life is back on track and I will be a regular! You have been busy. Lots of lovely photos and food. I will be very interested in your new food ideas as I have been toying with some of them too! Good to be back! - Kara xx

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  5. So glad you are continuing this in the new year, I have enjoyed participating and am looking forward to your food experiments as well. Always looking for new things to eat! Thank you for the opportunity!

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    1. Hi Kathy, lovely to have you linking in. :)

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  6. Belated Happy new Year and thanks for the opportunity to link up and learn from others too. We are also delving into paleo eating.

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    1. Yes, a belated happy new year to you and yours too, Wendy!! Will be very interested to hear your thoughts on the paleo way..

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  7. Mr Widget doesn't like me anymore.I have been trying and trying to put my link up but it won't go on. It keeps asking me for a photo and when I do that then my name just disappears.
    I am reading paleo info to bits at the moment and had my first attempt at Kimchi !! You sound like you have had a busy enjoyable month!
    My slow living post is at http://thelittleblackcowblog.blogspot.com

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    1. No problem, Kim, I have sorted evil Mr Linky out ;)

      Kimchi!! This sounds intriguing..would love to hear more!! :)

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  8. Hello Christine. I am super impressed at your sauerkraut, when I tried it mine went mouldy. I know I am late in posting, but my Slow Living post explains why.

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Thanks for taking the time to stop by and say hi. I enjoy reading your comments and just love to hear what you are up to.

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