Monday, 30 April 2012

Slow Living

A few weeks ago, I was reading Kathryn's blog post about slow living and thought it was a great idea.  So I clicked on the link and it turns out there are a bunch of people doing it.  I thought I might join in this month too.

Original source: I think this is the first has the details
And to link up this month: slow living essentials

So here we go:
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 always try to cook as much as possible from scratch.  I try to add new things all of the time.  I have been using the farmer's market a lot more as more items are brought in.  We are very lucky to have a dedicated group of farmers that come twice a week, even through the winter.  Right now, mostly it is produce that stores well in cold storage (apples especially) and root vegetables, but we also have two butchers, two "egg farmers" a baker, and a few that grow everything in green houses so that we still have quite a variety to choose from.  I am down to going to the grocery store every 2 or 3 weeks, except for dairy...we still don't have dairy at the market.  This means that my fridge is full of ingredients rather than ready food.  I am trying to keep things on hand that the boys can have for snacks when they come home from school, like muffins and such.
Inspired by the market on Saturday, I made a "pizza, panzerotti, pie"
Home made, whole wheat pizza dough, in a deep dish pie plate (make sure you lightly oil your pie pan first), loaded with sauce, smoked kolbassa from the market (which I browned in a skillet), mushrooms from the market (which I sauteed in a skillet), broccoli from the market, and cheese, topped with another pizza dough and sealed shut.  Bake at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes, until the dough is nice and golden.
I served it with a side of sauteed kale, sprinkled with salt and lemon juice.
One piece had pineapple instead of mushroom (not from the market, but what can you do).  The boys thoroughly enjoyed this as leftovers for lunch the next day.

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.
The school the boys attend has a peanut fact I believe it is now district wide.  So, tonight, I made almond butter to replace the peanut butter they so miss.  I had a big bag of almonds in the freezer that I picked up when it was on sale.  I will let everyone know how it turns out.

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.
I am constantly trying to reduce, re-use, re-purpose...This week, I cut up an old towel that was still in pretty good shape but had blue paint splatters all over it.  I serged the edges (you can see I still have to sew in the ends) and ta-da...I have 9 new dishclothes.  I have a friend reading this right now who is thinking I could just go to the dollar store and buy 3 for a dollar, but I actually like making things from items that would normally be thrown away.  

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.
Nothing new on these three items, however, I have printed out the directions for a homemade all purpose cleaner (just need to pick up some castille soap) and a homemade bug spray.

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.
 There is always something new being planted around here.  Right now, I am trying this new (to me) celery trick where you plant the heart of the celery and regrow a whole new plant...
and my chamomile seedlings are actually doing all right.  We haven't been getting much sun, so some of the seedlings are looking a might bit sad. These, I think, will actually make it to the garden.

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.
I am always making things...I NEED to make things.
This month, I came up with the treasure collecting pouch.  All the instructions and the pattern are on my last post.

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.
This week, I am reading "can it, bottle it, smoke it" by Karen Solomon.  It's a fantastic cookbook (yes, I am actually reading the cookbook) with great homemade snacks, sodas, preserves and things you can make at home that you wouldn't think of.  I will be testing out the bagel recipe this week hopefully.

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.
This month I made a few pockets for Lori to take on her trip to Africa.  I didn't think to take a picture before sending them off, but if you YARN ALONG with Ginny on Wednesdays, you probably saw several last week.

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.
This may be the hardest part.  Our everyday lives are so full of what we NEED to do, what other people NEED us to do, and what SHOULD be done, that I think it is important to document the things we do just for fun.

Phew...that was a lot...but I have been thinking about each part for a few days now, so I just had to put it together.  I am pretty sure I will keep this up, and maybe do a bit here and there as well.

Now, I'm gonna help my son with his homework and then go check what everyone else posted.
I will also be linking this up with Frontier Dreams for Keep calm craft on.

Also, I am having a 20% off sale in my etsy shop...use the 
code MAMA20 to get 20% off everything (except shipping)


  1. welcome! I am finding so many wonderful new blogs through this challenge.

  2. Your pizza pie looks great! Loving your crocheted work and seeing that bag reminds me that I made a similar one and must actually sew the strap to the bag! Also am wondering whether my husband has thrown out the celery heart I had on the bench just now or not ... Maybe I can plant it!

  3. What a great list. Looks like you are doing a lot already. I should think it is a really good exercise just writing it down. I know that there is always more that I could be doing, and other things that have lapsed, but its so positive to acknowledge what's already being achieving. Off to cheeck out that link.

  4. love your treasure collecting pouch!

  5. Im doing the same thing with my towels. If they have holes in them, or in the case of one, has paint on it, im cuttign them up into towels and wash rags. The paint one can be a great scrubber.

  6. Lots of things happening in your month! Just stopped by to take a peek via SLE...... thanks for sharing!

  7. I love the pizza pie idea, that looks delicious. And thanks for the celery tip, I hadn't realised you can regrow it either. Pity I threw out a stalk yesterday...!

  8. Hi! So glad you joined up. :-)

    I am so envious that you have a year-round farmer's market. Ours opens in a couple of weeks.

    The homemade almond butter sounds delicious.

  9. Oh my goodness, your pie looks delicious, Natalie! And your crochet pouch is just the sweetest thing. Thanks for linking up! :)

  10. what a clever idea with the pizza pie...thanks for sharing :)