More Adventures In Zero Waste

We love cheese, and there is a great cheese shop not far from work where I can choose exactly what I want and have it wrapped in paper. The only downside is the expense. The cheese is delicious, but it costs a lot more than our usual prewrapped supermarket options. I think for me the cost is worth it though-it seems more precious in smaller quantities and we seem to savour it more.

The fruit and vegetable box we’ve been getting delivered is also more expensive than our previous supermarket run. It’s nice getting surprised by things you probably wouldn’t buy. I didn’t particularly enjoy the squash we got last week, but the tart I made with the leaves and stalks of the beetroots was a revelation and I’ll be making one this week.

It turns out crackers are incredibly easy to make and I’ve done two batches over the past week, one with wholewheat flour and another with white. I’ll tweak the basic recipe I found online, and experiment with rolling the dough much more thinly but they beat the fancy artisan crackers I’ve been disappointed by hands down and a much cheaper alternative.

We’ve been eating a lot less meat since I’ve made a special trip to the butcher with my own containers, so our spend is way down. We’re enjoying eating more veggie options packed with beans and stretching our meat over many more meals than we did before. Health wise, this can only be a good thing.

My no shampoo project continues. I still don’t love it. My hair isn’t amazing me with it’s natural beauty and I’m still only continuing it because of my stubborn streak. Getting rid of deodorant in favour of sweet almond oil with a few lemon essential oil drops is still working just fine.

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More Adventures In Zero Waste

And Now, The End Is Near

Three debates down, none to go and we’re nearly there. I still have moments of cold hard fear when I think of the stakes. The thoughts of having a man who might deem me too unattractive to sexually assault in charge of the nuclear codes makes me want to send him a DVD of Threads. Anyone interested in what happens when things get out of control and nuclear weapons start flying needs to watch it.

And Now, The End Is Near

Sleepless, But Not In Seattle.

Along with many more films of myriad genres, I’ve never seen Sleepless in Seattle. This post isn’t about films anyway – I just like playing with words in a way I can’t do in my paid writing job.

I’m in a different time zone to the USA, therefore I was in bed long before the debate started last night. I woke up at 3am, realised there was no way I was getting back to sleep because the debate was playing on my mind so I unwisely sneaked into the computer room and started following the drama.

I went to bed an hour later, tired but more than a little relieved that Donald Trump hasn’t managed to form a coherent political strategy during the four and half hours between when I fell asleep and when I woke up.

I have a really busy week in work, and I know I won’t be getting much sleep because of my schedule so I guess last night sleeplessness wasn’t the best start. I think a bath and an early night will help tonight. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s having sleepless nights – Tony Schwartz must also be tossing and turning.

Sleepless, But Not In Seattle.

Woman Power

I found this via Reading My Tea Leaves. These are some very inspiring women and now I feel lazy and like I could be doing a lot more with my time if I stopped getting distracted by the internet.

In work I have very little power, but one power I can wield is changing every single use of the word ‘mankind’ to ‘humankind’. It always feels good, even if I know its a very minor victory probably edited out by those above my paygrade ten minutes later.

Woman Power

She Had So Few Possessions That She Valued Them All…

…is a line from Echoes, by Maeve Binchy. It is definitely a line that’s been playing in my head head lately, as I continue my decluttering and living more lightly process. Discarding and learning to love and live with what I truly like is a luxury, I know, in a world where myriad problems affect countless people in war torn areas and other less stable parts of the planet. I appreciate that I have the time and headspace to mull over things like this.

She Had So Few Possessions That She Valued Them All…

Book Review: Simple Matters, By Erin Boyle

I bought and enjoyed this book some time ago but I’ve recently reread some chapters that really appealed to me as I continue my journey through zero waste consumption and decluttering. Hence, a book review.

Erin Boyle’s blog is Reading My Tea Leaves and I’ve read it for some time. Her approach aligns with a lot of how I approach living in a world that tells us we need to consume more, but I have noticed an increase in her level of sponsored posts and some of the brands she’s partnered with are simply out of my price bracket or can’t be bought outside of the USA without paying considerable shipping expenses. Therefore, I was interested to see whether her book would offer me a little more than things I cannot afford or cannot purchase.

One of my favourite things about this book is the pictures. They’re calm and really showcase her style, which I happen to like, being a fan of what’s loosely termed Shaker style since I first read about it in an old copy of House Beautiful my mum held onto. I wish my photography skills showed my home off as well as hers do. That simple, scrubbed look is quite timeless and her apartment’s look definitely inspired me a little.

I also enjoyed the chapters on decluttering and organising. I’ve been on a mission to do both for about a year now, and the Life Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo really did change my life. About half of my possessions have gone. I think Erin’s approach is probably a little more realistic than Marie’s ‘get it all done in one big go’ advice, and it’s definitely closer to how I’ve actually decluttered.

Organising in a 500 sq ft apartment is, I would imagine, difficult but essential-I cannot imagine living in the 173 sq ft that led me to her blog in the first place. I’ve never lived somewhere that small and we moved from a two storey three bedroom house to a three storey five bedroom house, so one would imagine I am not in the market for tips on living in a small space. I think that Erin’s advice on organisation works even better for those of us in bigger homes, however, as I have found that my stuff will expand to fill the available space and this means increased mess and difficulty in finding anything. So, this is a chapter I regularly reread.

Less helpful for me was the advice on recycling as I regularly use the WEEE system for electrical waste, and the list of documents to keep as it was USA-focused. The book is certainly in the same ‘voice’ as her blog, and some of the advice can seem a little preachy. If you’re a person to take this in the right spirit and skim over the parts that are too anecdote heavy, then you’ll probably enjoy the book more than others who may think some of the books is a little too blunt.

I don’t think this book told me anything I didn’t already know I should be doing, be it cutting back on heavy duty cleaning supplies, not keeping multiples of useful things ‘just in case’ or getting rid of dusty half-used cosmetics, but it certainly looks very beautiful and it’s easy to read and dip back into. It would make a very lovely present, for the right person of course and probably not someone who’s of the more is more mindset. I enjoy reading it, and for the moment I read bits and pieces during a lazy evening as part of reinvigorating my current zeal for living with less.

TL/DR, a great looking book and a nice read. It isn’t for everyone, but for me it was well worth the money.

Book Review: Simple Matters, By Erin Boyle