February 2, 2013

Slow Living :: January

My monthly update of the little ways that I am living more slowly, simply and sustainably.

This idea is the inspiration of the lovely Christine over at Slow Living Essentials. Find out more on her original Slow Living Month by Month post.

At the start of this year I identified 4 areas of my life that I wanted to put more effort into: Grow, Create, Play, Breathe. Each of Christine's 9 categories fit into or overlap with mine, except perhaps Breathe - which is all about doing less, being mindful and looking after myself. Hence I'm going to include this as one of the categories as well.


{nourish} I've been making a big effort to cut out sugary snacks from my diet, eat more interesting and wholesome lunches (less sandwiches) and use some new ingredients. I've been trying recipes with quinoa (love this stuff!), I've swapped canola oil for coconut oil (see why here and here) and I'm trying out some low-sugar sweet treats

{prepare} We're lucky enough to live in a berry and cherry growing area, so for the past 6 weeks we've been visiting the pick-your-own orchards on a regular basis. I'm guessing we'd now have around 6 or 7kg of rasberries and blueberries in the freezer, a couple of kilos of pitted frozen cherries plus 10 jars of stewed cherries (one each month until the season starts again in December). I've also bottled around 10 litres of tomato passata and pasta sauce.

{reduce} As always, we've picked up a few secondhand bargains from op shops (kids clothes, shoes for hubby), garage sales (a fab Husky vest for hubby) and online trading sites (fencing wire).

{green} We received our electricity bill for the last quarter and were pleased to discover that our 2kw solar system has generated enough electricity to leave us with a $2 credit overall. Yay!

{grow} In the garden: Harvesting cucumbers, beans, basil, parsley, tomatoes (just!), kale, silverbeet and zucchini's. The sweetcorn is coming along nicely as are the potatoes. Just sown are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, kale, lettuce, beetroot, tat soi, coriander and spring onions. In the paddock: 6 new sheep! Me: I've enrolled in an online course - Cert IV in Web-based Technologies.

{create} My main creative pursuit this month was starting this blog! I've been really enjoying taking more photos of day to day life too. Some sewing and knitting projects in the pipeline but with school holidays going on there hasn't been time for these!

{discover} I've discovered Pinterest and I think I'm addicted! 

{enhance} As part of my Landcare work I've started compiling information for a North East Local Produce Guide - the guide has the aim of supporting local farmers as well as reducing 'food miles'/carbon emissions.

{enjoy} Loved our relaxing family holiday time camping at Lake Cullulleraine near Mildura (as we do every summer). Lots of kids craft activities going on during the holidays. A night out for dinner, just hubby and I, while the kids had a sleep-over at their cousins. The excitement of starting a new school and a new kinder!

{breathe} Enjoying reading books outside in the late afternoon, while guarding the veggie patch from the chooks. Having a  couple of weeks off work and enjoying time without any schedules or routines... and a few afternoon naps. Looking forward to going to the gym each day (my 'me' time). 


  1. Hi Amber, lovely to have you joining in! Fantastic achievement on the electricity bill, very inspiring! Enjoy the month :)

    PS - good luck with the online course!

    1. Thanks Christine! I think I'm going to enjoy recalling all the good things about each month... it's a great way to cultivate gratitude! :)

  2. wow!, great news on the electric bill. Solar is something that is at the top of my want list - when i have a home to put them on!.
    I've been thinking about trying quinoa, but am not very brave on 'new' foods!. i used to care for a child who had it often and visually it didnt appeal to me, so i never tried it. it kinda reminds me of tapioca and that sort of thing from boarding school days!.

    1. I've found quinoa to be really filling so it keeps me going all afternoon if I have it for lunch. Give it a try! Think of it like rice - pretty bland and boring on its own but very versatile. Do you know, I've never actually had tapioca!!

  3. Nice to meet a new person in the slow living group. Your photos are beautiful - looking forward to seeing more.

    1. Thanks! I'm so glad I finally started my blog so I can join in with the slow living updates! :)

  4. ooh those berries and cherries sound really good!

  5. Hey Amber! I too am joining the ranks of those jealous of your solar power bill - its on my "nag the husband for" list! great to have you on board. I'm looking forward to reading of more of your adventures! - Kara

  6. Sounds like you've had a great month, 10kg of passata is very impressive! I hope you continue to enjoy blogging. I've been going for a year now and am hooked!


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