Autumn Spiced Hot Chocolate: For your next camping trip (or to keep in the pantry for your next Netflix binge!)

A couple of weeks ago, we went on our first overnight family camping trip. It was also MY first camping trip. The idea of sleeping rough, barely separated from The Elements has never appealed to me. All that dirt. Those uncomfortable stones. The wind, argh! For years, I’ve rejected my husband’s suggestions that we go hang out in a tent.

Then he managed to catch me at the right time. Knowing that I’ve been trying to slow down, to make time to read and write again, he pitched it in just the right way: camping in peace and quiet, free from obligations, sitting next to a fire reading my book and writing in my journal. He finally won me over. We did a night away in a valley just out of Canberra in a quiet camping ground.ย  Continue reading

#15 A Simplicious Challenge: Finding flow through connection

The Simplicious Challenge: Iโ€™m cooking all 306 recipes from Sarah Wilsonโ€™s book Simplicious, to see the impact it has on the way I buy, cook, consume and waste food. Read the first post here, if you missed it.

I was planning on writing about homemade cleaning products in this post. I know – riveting! I’m glad that I didn’t too. (But, if you are interested, I’ve made a surface spray and glass cleaner from Live Simply which has worked well. Brooke McAlary has also been discussing ‘slow home cleaning’ on her Slow Your Home podcast recently.) ๐Ÿ™‚

Instead, I’ve been reflecting on ‘flow’ and how this looks in different parts of our lives. I had this lovely conversation last week with a couple of work colleagues, about the dire and depressing state of the world (yes really, it was lovely!). We ventured into what sometimes feels like the hopelessness of our efforts to contribute to positive environmental change. I REDcycle, use a bamboo toothbrush and own a keep cup; but my house is still hooked up to gas heating, a finite natural resource. My friend is spending a lot of money to double glaze his windows to reduce their energy needs, but at the end of the day – it’s just one house. Does it ever really make a difference? Are we all just doomed anyway? Continue reading

#14 A Simplicious Challenge: REDcycling, cold soup and an enormous beetroot cheesecake

The Simplicious Challenge: Iโ€™m cooking all 306 recipes from Sarah Wilsonโ€™s book Simplicious, to see the impact it has on the way I buy, cook, consume and waste food. Read the first post here, if you missed it.

Oops – that was a rather long blogging hiatus. I worked my butt off in January and early February until I finished my last uni subject (yippee!); and then promptly ran out of steam and hit the wall over the last month. I’ve been unusually tired and weary, and have felt the need to bunker down. In that busy parenting way, of course, which still requires the busy school-childcare-work run and all hands on deck!

But I’ve still gotta eat, right? So I’ve continued ticking along. It’s getting down to the final few Simplicious recipes now – closer to the ganache tart, but also the ones I can no longer avoid – like the Bone Marrow Bombs, which keep glaring at me from page 245 and which I keep skipping past.

In waste-related news, a commenter alerted me a few months ago to a fantastic initiative called REDcycle, which I’m really excited about. This initiative recycles soft plastics – think food wrappers and plastic bags – and turns them into outdoor furniture and play equipment. Awesome! Obviously, there is still a huge need to reduce the amount of plastic we all consume overall. Over the last few years we have reduced ours significantly, just by nature of eating less processed food, but it wasn’t until I started saving wrappers for the REDcycle initiative that I realised how much we do still use. Just in the last few days I’ve put aside frozen peas packaging, ziplock bags and freezer bags that are too far gone to be re-used, rice cake wrappers, bread bags – there’s heaps. It’s nice to think it’s being re-purposed for something functional.

Best of all, it’s incredibly easy to participate. Most Coles and Woolworths supermarkets have REDcycle bins out the front of the store (these are not well labelled, you may need to ask at the service desk) for easy disposal. You can check the map to see which stores in your local area are participating. Continue reading

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