Monthly Archives: January 2016

How to relax without electricity, tv or gadgets?

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On sunday I wanted a nice chilled out relaxing day. Lets face it I would be happy with this most days, but sunday in particular I was so tired! It was the kind of day where you want to just stay in your PJs and sit on the sofa watching tv all day long. But then I wondered about how I would relax when my off grid dreams come true? What could I do instead of watching tv, playing on my gadgets? What is laid back but doesn’t use electricity?

I had previously looked into entertainment options that don’t rely on electricity, but most required me to use my energy and that defeated the point of this day.

So on Sunday I decided to cope without my electrical gadgets and entertain myself in a nice chilled out way.

  1. Read – To be honest this is basically all I did on Sunday and realised its just as relaxing as watching tv. I rotated between a comic book (for when I felt really tired as pictures helped), a non-fiction book (this one was about living off-grid which fixed my google addiction) and a fiction novel. This surprised me, as although I like to read I usually think of it as quite a tiring activity but it wasnt.
  2. Simple crafts – I’m talking knitting, crochet, sewing etc. Something you can do whilst sitting on your butt!
  3. Music – By this I mean play an instrument. I’m not very musically talented but I found the ukulele quite easy to learn and like to sit down and play on that in an evening. Would work just as well on a lazy day
  4. Bake – I’ll be honest if I hadnt removed all the tempations of processed quick foods, I may have faltered on this one on sunday. I couldn’t be bothered to bake. But once I did I felt quite good. I baked a simple cheese and onion pasty but something like cheese scones would do. If you have a bit more energy than I did you might want to try and bake something a little mote complicated.
  5. Snuggles – lets face it snuggles and hugs make us all feel good. So if your family is around snuggle up and have a little chat together, if your on your own then why not spend time with your pet if you have any. I love sitting with my bunnies and having little cuddles. Heck if your lucky convince a willing friend or family member to give you a massage!

So there are five of my favourites, but im sure if you just comit to no technology you will all come up with lots of other things you can do to chill out without electricity.

Minimalist Wardrobe: Time to Downsize

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Well New Year new me… or at least as far as my wardrobe is concerned! Come New Year day I decided I had enough of the ridiculous amount of clothes in my giant wardrobe, chest of drawers and yes I even spread out into my office drawers… Oops!

For the record, the majority of my wardrobe was bought second hand or handed down to me by family and friends. I try to get all of my clothes second hand where possible in order to minimize my impact on the environment. But really there was too much of it and it this raised a number of concerns. One I was buying into consumerism, fashion fads and the waste culture. Two I wouldn’t fit it all in when I eventually get my FreEco Bus Converted, heck even bought would be a good step to achieve!

So I remembered seeing things called capsule wardrobes on Pinterest and began to do a bit of digging. I have found out about Project 333. And decided on New Years Day to join the challenge. I minimized my wardrobe down to about 30 items (including shoes and coats, but excluding underwear, PJs, workout gear and lounging clothes) per season.

It was so difficult to decide on which items to keep and give away. In the end I decided on about 30 items for each season. The ones for Autumn, Spring and Summer I put away into my chest of drawers. Whilst the Winter items remained in my wardrobe.

The rest I put in a pile to give me chance to decide if I was happy with my choices and in a couple of weeks if there are any items that I think nooo I can’t be done with loosing that, I have 3 spare spaces per season to play with… if not, they will be packed off to the charity shop.

I have found it so much easier getting ready in the mornings, but also I feel like I have made a practical step towards my FreEco Bus dream and also a better move for the environment. Now my clothing focus is not on what is on trend, but what is practical, multi-functional and good quality.

Have any of you done anything similar? I would love to hear about your experiences!

Our Pond Building Adventure

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On New Years Eve, me and my daughters had a wonderful day embracing and caring for nature. I had been reading up on permaculture principles, mostly in preparation for when we do manage to obtain our own land but also to try and use some in our current rented house.

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My research pointed out to pond building to provide a habitat for wildlife particularly frogs who would also eat garden pests such as slugs and bugs.

The total project cost £30 as I felt that it was better to invest in a good pond liner for this project and I see that as quite a long term investment. I’m not really sure how you would do it for free.

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Me and my kids set to work digging a hole, aiming for about 50cm deep but with sloping edges so frogs can get in and out of the pond easily. Then we removed any sharp objects like stones from the edges, lined the pond with something to prevent punctures. Old carpet is good but we didn’t have any so we used old bed sheets. Then put the pond liner down and anchor it with some stones whilst you fill it with some water. Simply edge it with stones and voila a pond.

WP_20151231_004We are going to try and get some water lillies from a friends pond and added our pet goldfish who enjoyed the freedom from the tank and is loving his new home!

All in all it was a great project and I think I will plan a pond in every future garden from now on! There’s just so many benefits! It’s like a beautiful, natural pesticide that protects rather than destroys wildlife.