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 last we are approaching my favourite season. Join me as I share my month of February..

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? 
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!


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!!

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!

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!

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}

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!

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!}

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? 


  1. Congratulations on your anniversary! I love the cake; it's so pretty!

    Tell me, is the lemon verbena straight from your garden? I love the idea of sewing or crafting with a friend. I hope to do this myself one day soon. Maybe in March....

  2. Thanks, Linda! Yes lemon verbena is straight from the garden. I dry it on the bench for a few days before good. It was great to make the time for crafting with a friend.. something to try and do more often. :-)

  3. It's certainly been strange summer weather, I'm sure everything ripened much earlier last year, despite all the hot days we've had. I'm so glad you got through the fire season safely, there were some pretty scary days there for a while.
    And you're the second-last person on the planet to read Nourishing Traditions, I haven't got there yet either ! ;)

    1. Yes, those fire danger days were very stressful, T. Very thankful autumn is on it's way.. :)

  4. You really take the most amazing food photos, Christine! Really delicious!
    The weather has delayed so many things in the garden here too and it feels all a bit strange with tomatoes just ripening and cucumbers in full flush. I'm thinking winter veg too now and hoping that the weather becomes a little more sedate!
    Great to catch up with your happenings again. Thanks for hosting.

    1. Hi Evi, yes, bizarre gardening weather - absolutely! Looking forward to hopping over to your space. :)

  5. I really enjoy reading what you are up to each month, you are always so productive. It certainly has been a strange season all over for vegie gardens. Lets hope the winter vegie patches provide lots of nourishing food. I really enjoyed joining in for the first time. Well I am another one who hasn't read Nourishing Traditions yet!

    1. Hi Sharon, great to have you pop in! Really looking forward to putting the effort in for a winter veggie garden this year. Fingers crossed for good harvests, eh?!

  6. I can smell the dukkah! Lovely post, and inspiring. Make that third last...

    1. Wonderful to have you along again, Cath. :)

  7. I'm going to have to look up dukkah now, to see what it is. Good luck with the summer harvest - it won't be far away for you now.

    1. Hi Heidi, dukkah is a mixture of toasted nuts and seeds, ground down to a crumbly mix with spices added. Soo good. We always liked to have it with bread and olive oil, but since cutting back on gluten I have been thinking of different ways to use it in the kitchen. It is really flavorsome! :)

  8. You had a month of yum! Those sprouts are most definitely friends, and that dukkah looks amazing :)

  9. Congrats! Our wedding anniversary was Feb as well - 23yrs! Thanks for the opportunity to read about the goings ons in your your neck of the woods and I am glad the fires did not reach you!

  10. Christine, the above comment was when my daughter was logged in, just in case you were wondering ;)

  11. Hi Christine, Lots of goings on in your house! Your photography is great - those brussel sprouts look good enough to eat!! (well, I'll eat 'em, certain members of our household certainly wont!) Thanks for hosting again! - K xx

  12. You really do take great pictures, I must confess the watermelon and the tomatoes and brussels sprouts just made me drool, we have quit snowing and are now up to our ears in rain. I know it happens in the same order every year and every year I get impatient! Dukkah looks good and I too plan on looking it up! Thank you again for another month of fun!

  13. Sounds like you have had a wonderful month. Happy 'Belated' Wedding anniversary.
    I would really like my husband to make home brew - my dad used to make it all the time when I was small and I loved the smell and the accidents (some times the bottles 'blew up').
    Your sewing is amazing - I'd love to have a skirt with a cool pocket like that.
    Looking forward to hearing all you tips for coconut use. I think I read somewhere that it can be used as a base for sunscreen - does it mention that in you book?
    Happy March (snowing here - again)

    1. Hi Emma, the book doesn't refer to sunscreen properties of coconut oil but does mention the healing benefits of using it after the heat has gone out of a sunburn. I have read elsewhere though that the SPF rating of coconut oil has been measured between SPF4 and SPF10. ;)

  14. Looks like a lovely month. Congrats on your anniversary. Lovely photos too!

  15. Sounds like a very busy and productive month - I'm amazed you managed to get any sewing done at all! Particularly jealous of your homebrew... Something I'm meaning to try but haven't quite worked up the courage for yet...

  16. I haven't read Nourishing Traditions yet either, although I did have a peak at a copy on a friends shelf last week. I am going to borrow it when I have a bit more time!

    What a busy month you have had, hope your garden produces more of a crop soon, sounds a bit like last summer here.

  17. did the month come around so quick. Give me a week ,and I will get my post done.
    So glad you are reading Nourishing Traditions - don't worry, I think I was the second last person to read it after being pestered by everyone for ages.
    Another productive month at your house . I am intrigued by the coconut book .

  18. Hallo there, I cannot remember how I came by your blog ....but I love it and on reading your nine points link up criteria I feel so connected cause they are my thoughts exactly in my writings . I'm still new and learning a lot about the workings of my how to get the links connected but once I work it out I'd love to join in. Thank you for the opportunity to with like minded. Many thanks from Alexa at


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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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