Slow living month by month December 2012

I found Christine’s slow living month by month part way through the year and decided to follow along.  It has been a wonderful way of seeing just how much I accomplish each month, and how much I get to enjoy my life on a daily basis.

Being as how we are entering in a new year, I thought I would make some changes to the blog, nothing big just a few tweaks.  First, I finally swallowed my pride and added a page where you can see my apartment in full color pictures. There are still things I would like to change but there it now is for all to see.  Then I decided to change the look of the blog, feel free to let me know what you think of the new look


On to December in Review

1. Nourish:  to make and bake from scratch opting for real foods.  

This is probably where I did my worst this month.  I was lulled in by the bakery section at the store…carrot cake and pumpkin rolls, along with a couple of peach cobblers called to me and having no stove in December left me wanting a few treats.  I got a handle on this after a few tastes.

2. Prepare:  Stockpile and preserve, aim is to reduce the dependency on store bought items.

Well obviously I failed here (see above).  There was no stockpiling going on this month, rather I have been eating from those stockpiles by making pots of soup now that the weather has turned cold.

3. Reduce: household waste by re-use, re-purpose, and repair

Okay I’m better here.  With the help of a little one we re-purposed some of the recyclables into gift tags for Christmas, I also re-used a couple of cans for storing the children’s markers and crayons rather than recycling them, and after updating all my light fixtures last month with CFL and LED bulbs I spent time re-purposing the incandescent bulbs into ornaments using what I had on hand.  I also finished repairing and updating a desk that was left out by the dumpster and have it currently listed on Craigslist.

4. Green up our lives: using homemade cleaners, beauty products and basic herbal remedies.

There isn’t much new here as all my cleaners are green as with my beauty products.  I did make one change which is in  how I moisturize my skin.  While I have been using aloe for a while now I decided to try using coconut oil for my skin as winter really plays havoc with my already dry skin.  I can’t say enough about how it works.  My skin is thanking me!  I also shared with you my homemade gift bags I made last year which has eliminated all wrapping paper from my Christmas on my part.

On Christmas I saved the wrapping paper that was left behind by others along with gift boxes, such as shirt boxes and am using them for crafts for the little ones when they come visit.

5.  Grow: plant/harvest.  What’s growing this month? What’s being eaten from the garden?

Absolutely nothing! Does it count that I re-potted a new sprout from my aloe plant?  It’s winter here, and too cold for anything including me.

6. Create: to fill a need or feed the soul.  Create for ourselves or for others.

Okay so I can say I created something.  While I listed the ornaments and tags under the reduce section, there was also a scarf I finished in time for Christmas for my grandson,  I updated an ugly lamp and lampshade for me, I also tried my hand at decoupage for the first time updating an old pot which holds a poinsettia plant and a vase for a pianist friend as a Christmas gift using the shredded sheet music and a honey jar.

7. Discover:  Reading texts relevant to current interests.

After November when I did the least reading probably in my entire life I made up for it this month carving out time for myself and a book.  I read the following:

  • Little House on a Small Planet
  • Living Like Ed: while much here I’ve already done to green up my life the end of the book’s worksheets are extremely valuable for anyone wanting to green up their lives.
  • Room to Grow: An Appetite for Life by Tracey Gold:  Having suffered from anorexia I was curious to see how Tracey overcame her problems.  I can’t imagine having gone through my problems in the eye of the public.
  • Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs
  • Cradle to Cradle: I found this very interesting, although definitely written for businesses after the beginning chapters.

8.  Enhance: Community

Not sure I can list anything here. I am indoors more now, the garden is asleep under feet of snow and everyone is hibernating.

9. Enjoy life:  Embrace moments with friends and family, marking the seasons and celebrations.

December is a full month with Christmas, and three birthdays (mine included).  We enjoyed having my youngest son and his family up for Christmas.  Earlier in the month I was fortunate to be able to share a free bag pipe concert with my grand daughter as well.




  1. The blog looks great! I think changes come to each of us as we simplify our lives.
    I would like to share the titles of two simple living books. These aren’t new. I have been using both as a guideline for better than 20 years. living more with less and the more for less cookbook. I reread them each year and use them often for reference.


    • Thanks for the books suggestions, Mary, I believe I read the More for less Cookbook a while back, but seeing as I don’t cook much I don’t have it here. I will putting Living More with Less on hold at the library. Glad you like the new look here.


  2. I really like the look of the blog Lois, really well done. Also, I wanted to say something about your #8 above. You do enhance the community. The blogging community. Never underestimate yourself my friend.
    Took a look at your pictures of your apartment. Really nice and cozy. 🙂


  3. Hi Lois, Lovely work on the new appearance of your blog.
    I noticed on your reading list, “Simple Living Guide” by Janet Luhrs.
    This was one of the first books I ever read on simple living, and was a kick start for me in changing my life. I bought it from the US as it was not available in Australia. It still has pride of place on my bookshelf of Sustainable and Simple Living resources.


    • Thank you, it’s starting to grow on me. I enjoyed the Simple Living Guide, there was a lot of good information in there, of course it would have been more helpful had I read it earlier, but that’s the way things go.


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