Saturday, 31 March 2012

Slow Living Month 3

Has another month gone by already? Over at 'Slow Living Essentials' blog, Christine is running a Month by Month diary style post of what she has achieved over the past month.
Here are my confessions of how things are going at Monarch Place.  Am I really saving money, paying down debt, slowing down and doing more of the things I enjoy?  It's been a very busy month workwise, so I don't think slowing down is going to be one of the accomplishments this time.

Some new recipes and some old favourites were tried this month.  Old favourites being the 'Pineapple Muffins' and our families 'Secret Salad Dressing', and the new ones were using left over fruits in a 'Fruit Clafouti'.  I also started making our own home made ice-cream again after not doing this for a long time.  It is so much better for you as there are no added colours and preservatives and other nasties. 

The new season vegetable seeds and seedlings were planted out in freshly prepared garden beds as our main growing season has just begun here in the mid tropics.  There are still some grasshoppers around and a few diseases from everything being just too wet from all the rain but on the whole everything is forging ahead and looking great.  In fact I will be picking cucumbers within a week! I must ring Mum for her old 'Bread and Butter Cucumbers' recipe.

I've been reducing the amount spent on buying new clothes by revamping my existing ones and teaming different items together to create new outfits.  A few accessories added here and there can lift a boring outfit to completely new levels.

We had our Climate Smart Home visit by an electrician to show us how we can be more efficient energy users.  He installed meters that display how much electricity is being used at any one time by one or many appliances and also provided some energy efficient light globes.  

I also tried some more green cleaners using white vinegar as the main ingredient.  The fabric softener is working nicely so I will definitely keep making that one.  I also cleaned out my front loading washing machine with vinegar and a hot wash and it has never smelled or looked so clean and fresh.  That is a definite winner as front loaders can take on a mouldy smell quite quickly.

I am enhancing the beauty of our outdoor areas with flowers.  I have collected a variety of objects to use as pot for colourful bunches of Petunias.  They have now just started flowering and things look brighter outside already.
Vegetable seedlings in the garden and some lovely little Sweet Peas for their beauty.  The sweet peas have just started to curl their little tendrils around the strings I tied onto the old room divider framework and they are making their way upwards.  I'm sure that it will soon be covered in a flourish of wonderful smelling and beautiful flowers.

My creativity has been limited to a little bit of knitting, dishcloths mainly and finding unusual things to place in the garden like the different items turned into flower pots and the room divider turned into a plant climber.  I have holidays for a couple of weeks now so I'm hoping to be a lot more creative, especially as I am in the middle of creating a guest room and a craft room.  Stay tuned for next months confessions.

I have discovered that no matter how much covering you have put down when you are spray painting, you have not done enough.  I recently spray painted an old wooden chair and had boxes and drop sheets creating floors and walls around the chair but somehow the overspray still managed to get on the floor and some nearby shoes.  My black work shoes now have a slightly grey tinge to them. Oops!

I've also discovered I'm pretty good with a drill.  I've hung some hanging baskets and brackets, and I've drilled holes in the 'unique' flower pots.

Friends and family have both played an important role in my life this month.  I had friends drop in that I haven't seen in many many months and also we have established a sort of routine where my daughter and son-in-law, and my sweet 6 month old grandson, visit one night per week and stay for dinner.  It is so lovely to be able to see my grandson growing, seemingly right before my eyes.  Just this last month he has learned to roll around the floor, say his first words, work his walker and sit up on his own.  It has really been a month of firsts.  They grow up so fast don't they?



  1. Lovely to meet you through Christine. I love that bright yellow watering can!

  2. What a cute baby. :-)

    You've reminded me that I need to run a vinegar rinse through my washer as well.

    How do you like your electricity meter? I have a feeling that if I had something like that, I would be completely obsessed. :-)

    1. Hi Kathryn, Yes I'm obsessed with the electricity meter, it is a great little tool. I definitely don't fill the electric kettle anymore than the one or two cups full as it is a huge electricity user, increasing both the Kilowatts per hour and $$$ per hour as well.

  3. Thanks Wendy I'm trying to bring lots of vibrant colour into my garden via any means available, pots included!

  4. Great to have you joining in again, Chez! Precious times to be had with this little grandson of yours..enjoy. :)


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