Slow Living 2012 - Month 7

Welcome to Month 7 of the 2012 Slow Living diary - a record to help me keep track of my personal achievements over the past month. For a detailed description of each category, click here.  

As always you are most welcome to join in with your own Slow Living post in this format, just leave a link to your post down the bottom of the page any time during the month of August and enjoy reading what other people have gotten up to..hopefully gaining some inspiration too!  (Please remember to leave a comment below so I can add your blog to my sidebar)

July 2012

Jeepers! Can you believe it's already the end of July? The year is literally flying by! Just one more month of winter here until we will hopefully see some warmer weather and a little drying out of the ground (?).

July was indeed the month of hibernation for us and it was soaked up right up until the end. That's not to say that nothing went on though...

{Nourish}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.
I've been a bit of a sourdough yo-yo this month, very up and down. It would be nice to get into a regular rhythm with it. I did however go to the trouble of sourcing some unglazed terracotta tiles to be put in our oven when baking bread which makes for quite a bit of 'nude' baking..that is, without a tin! I've placed the tiles two thickness high (about an inch thick) and they run the entire rectangle of my oven deck. They are working well if preheated for around 30 minutes before baking. Homemade pizzas on them were a big hit!

(The 12yo has started making dinner once a week..which is wonderful! We aren't fussy either, so long as her offerings are edible and fresh, we're all very happy!)

{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
Yes, no need for me to wax lyrical again about the homemade stock. It's about the only thing that's being made to store at the moment and we're loving having fresh, beautifully flavoured stock on hand.

{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.
Much upcycling of fabrics went on for baby garments along with reusing otherwise waste cardboard for tags.

{Green} Start (or continue!) using homemade cleaners, body products and basic herbal remedies. The options are endless, the savings huge and the health benefits enormous.
We've been making a big effort lately to turn off lights and appliances when leaving the room, the tweens are the most challenging part of this equation though, their brains just aren't geared up to turn things off (yet!). I'm relying on the oven less and less - as with last month, using the slow cooker and gas stovetop for most meals. Hubby also placed a couple of oil heaters on timers to warm areas for the mornings where the fire doesn't reach. (Does wearing a parka to keep warm while cooking dinner count too...? ;)

{Grow} -  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!
As with last month, still very little action in the garden. Garlic is chugging along nicely, silverbeet generously keeps offering more and the broccoli are (finally!)  forming heads. I must plant extra next winter, it seems like we've been waiting ages for them. The little winter potato experiment I had going has sadly withered after one too many heavy frosts! Not to worry, you need to try these things, right?

{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. 
Eeep! Creating items for my new shop was the focus this month. Crochet, knitting and sewing - it all took place, I even braved the chilly sewing room on several occasions!

{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. 
I've borrowed a book from spinning group called 'In a spin'. I'll include a proper link in the next day or two, it's a fantastic book with info on spinning all sorts of different fibres and how to go about dyeing them too.

{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.
More shopping at ethic took place, I'm looking forward to playing with some new flours I bought there. I also created a facebook page for this blog to which I can add updates. I'd love to see you there!

{Enjoy} 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.
A few stand outs this month were experiencing snow with the girls' great grandmother, lazy pyjamery school holidays, the sheep and wool show and celebrating my brother's 40th with a clue focused rally..such a trip down memory lane to places where he (we) had grown up! A really fun day!

They call him..The Tickle Monster!

So please tell me, how were things in your month?


  1. I don't think I've ever been the first to link up. ;-)

    You're inspiring me with the winter gardening. I haven't tried a winter garden yet, so maybe this year. ;-)

  2. It always gives me a bit of a shock when I read the posts from people in the opposite season...beautiful gardening posts when we are snow bound here, and "hibernating" and hot cozy dinners when we are trying so hard to stay cool and not turn on the oven. Your dinner picture looks delicious and has sparked an idea in my head as well. I think my 13 year old could manage something like that (he's not the "chef and baker" - that is my 9 year old) to get him interested in learning to cook.

  3. I can't believe there's only a month of Winter left down under - I don't think we've had 30 days of sunshine up here! Ah well, a good excuse to get busy with the wool basket. Love your shop by the way. x

  4. Beautiful month you've had, Christine! I love that your daughter is making dinner once a week, I'm going to put that suggestion to my sons. :) I hope the shop is going well, and we're actually having a bit of success with potatoes this year - they're growing really well so far! Have just planted some more. xx

  5. It was a busy month for you! Your brother's birthday sound fantastic! Great idea. Do you flour the tiles for the nude bread baking or does the bread come off anyway?

    Not quite ready with my post for the month. I'll be back later in the day.

  6. Our winter is pretty much over and I still have brassicas that have not fruited yet so there is a good chance nothing will come of it. I have been doing some nude baking too on my pizza stones. But I still seem to be having issues with my dough spreading too far.

  7. OOops I didn't make it this month - maybe next month - enjoyed your update though!

  8. I love that your daughter is cooking dinner - my mum had us do that growing up and we loved it. Also meant when we moved out we had a good repertoire of meals under our belt.

    I wish we had something like Ethic near us, but I've got it on my list of places to check out when we come iut Woodend way later this year :-)

  9. My 11 year old is currenlty spending this week at a cooking day camp - hopefully by the end of the week she will be able to start making some family dinners too. July seemed to fly by in my corner of the world - looks like we've all been busy.

    You have great photos!

  10. Just posted but a disapointing month for me - must do better

  11. Following along with your slow living experiences really motivated me to work harder in the areas I have been lacking. No, I don't believe being so uncomfortable you need to wear a winter coat to cook should be necessary :-)

  12. Hi Christine, a little late in the day for this, but that was my month.

  13. Lovely to link up again and see what you have been doing. Those pizzas sound good!

  14. Another lovely (if freezing) month! I'm also a little slow at linking up.... but that's the point right ;)

  15. Sounds like you have had another great month Christine, I hope your shop goes well, how exciting! Wish I had have got up to the Sheep and Wool show, it looked and sounded a fantastic day!
    Lovely to link up again! Julie :)

  16. What a lovely post :-) I just found your blog and I have to say I love it!I look to following along <3

    Sarah xx

  17. Hey Christine!
    Wow so many people joining in so regularly! Its great! Love reading about your month - LOVE your shop - and love reading about everyone elses! ts a part of themonth I really look forward to!! - K xx

  18. Love the cosy family meal photo, nothing to beat a Winter's evening than the warmth of family time around a table.

    Your shop looks great. Well done.

  19. love your shop. You inspire me.My 11yo love to do pasta salad one day a week. I enjoy baking bread and pizza, but it's too hot here now!!!!

  20. Hey again!
    I have spent a lovely morning visiting al the wonderful and insipring blogs that have joined in with your link this month. Fr some reason - I cant leave comments on all of them (probably my 10,000 year old computer) so I thought I'd leave them here for them to read! Cheers - Kara

    Ooooo! Love the ducky races! That looks like a lot of fun! What is the last picture of the car about? Do they drive it? Where did you see it? The rug is marvelous! I think I might need to make one of them! Looking forward to seeing it finished! - Kara

    The grow bag is definatly a great idea! That slug is huge, it would feed my chookies for a while though... Its funny for me that you like the toads... The Toads that visit our place in Queensland are all noxious pests that are poisonus to boot! We "eradicate" any that come to visit!
    You have had a busy month! I'll be back to see what else you get up to! - Kara

    MRS B:
    That quilt is beautiful! Well done for getting it finished - no matter how that was acheived! And congratulations on the canoe, that will be a lot of fun for the whole family, Im thinking!The Help is a great book - I really enjoyed it. I could hardly put it down! All that reading, you are having a good month! - Kara

    I know the joy (?) of the small harvest Sue! I am lucky if I can a) get it to grow and b) harvest it before the possums eat it! Make sure you photograph that pie when you make it. Im looking forward to sharing in that success! Good luck with the change in lifestyle around your eating. Its always a challenge but worth it! - Kara

    That purple brocoli looks wonderful - I'd plant it for the colour even if it didnt taste too good! Your garden is seriously organised and with so much in it! Im impressed (and have a bit of garden envy at the moment!)Keep us in the loop with your sons chicken business - Im hoping to start selling eggs by Christmas so would be interested to see how its done! Hope you have another wonderful month! - Kara

    That "cheese" cowl is wonderful! I bet your daughter just loves it! Dont teenagers eat a lot, with or without onion marmalade?! And those wedding flowers are very very well done!
    Looking forward to seeing what elae you get up to! - Kara

    Yes the starting early is smart - my neighbour has a few christmas cards made already... You are another hint that I need to get my a into g if i am going to have any homemade gifts this year! Your garden is wonderful - another use for feed sack too. I have a few and am never quite sure what to do with them. Looking forward to your next month! - Kara

    Your birthday banner is wonderful! I love it!
    Your boys birthday sounds like it was a lot of fun - the cake is fantastic!
    I like your attitude towards the books you are reading. There is too much violence and bloodshed in so many books and movies for me - Like you, I dont read or watch them! Yes - Let us know how the camembert goes! Have another great month! - Kara

    I have just gotta try tin can bread! That is such a wonderful idea! All that cheese - yummmmmmm! And a jigsaw - Thats what we need on the kitchen table. We bought a new one a while ago - Im off to the cupboard to get it out right now! Thanks for the reminder. - Kara

  21. Hi Christine, another great month for you. I've just done my entry too.

  22. mmmmm.... the tickle monster is very funny

    Tony :)

  23. Hi Christine, sounds like you have had another lovely month and have once again made Winter sound all toasty and warm. I must apologise I am behind with my posting - will really really try to get my monthly link up very soon!In the meantime I will enjoy all the other links.

  24. Hi Christine, it looks like you've had a great month, despite the cold and wet! Congratulations on setting up your shop, that's a great achievement. I've finally managed to get my post completed. Happy last few weeks of Winter!

  25. I find that lights being left on is one of the biggest challenges for me, as my five year old really hasn't got the notion of doing so herself yet! So, you have my sympathy :)

  26. love it all! This month seems less hectic than some before it (in writing anyway!) you are an inspiration to me in the motivation department - and many others but I need the motivational inspiration lately :)
    I don't comment very often because my wifi is agonisingly slow and often makes comments disappear, but I keep up with, and love your blog so much. I really enjoy being a part of this month by month community as well. I am about to start writing my post for the month - a little behind schedule! (See, motivation haha).

  27. I've just discovered your blog and i love what you are doing, and will take part in the link up from next month. the ideals you're striving for and inspiring in others are right up my street, and i try to do as much as possible in my small north London (UK) flat.
    right, off to read the links and get inspired!.

  28. Recently found your blog and love what you're doing Christine, so I've decided to jump in and join. Very inspiring and just what I needed to get me out of my winter hybernation mode here in South Africa!


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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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