#UseYourLoaf – reducing the amount of bread that goes to waste

It is Friday – Food Waste Friday – and this week, as well as reporting in on my food waste over the last two weeks, I want to focus on bread.

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Planning for flexibility

It is Friday – Food Waste Friday – so it’s time for me to account for my food waste over the past week. Today, I also want to talk about meal planning – specifically how to make meal planning work when you don’t like to stick to a meal plan!

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The Stuff of Magic – a review of the The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Twenty seconds of watching a clip on YouTube took me to a place I never thought I’d go – I read a book about about tidying and I enjoyed it.

I have just put down Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I am almost pathologically messy – books on housekeeping aren’t my thing. Four or five months ago I stumbled on a YouTube clip of a Japanese woman demonstrating how to fold your socks right. “Ummm, no thanks,” I thought and clicked onto something else. Soon the KonMari method (Kondo’s approach outlined in her book) was popping up everywhere – word was that it was as much about living more with less than housekeeping. I was intrigued, so I signed up as number 28 in the queue to loan a copy from the local library. It was worth the wait.

Continue reading “The Stuff of Magic – a review of the The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”

When sickness strikes….

It’s Food Waste Friday and I have some bad news to report.

For the last month our household has been plagued by illness. My son has recently started kindy (preschool) and has brought home all manner of winter bugs along with his very cute paintings. Needless to say our house is a bit of a disaster zone, as we limp through waiting for this to pass.

food waste friday
Food wasted in the three weeks to 28 August 2015

The disaster extends to our food waste. Over the last three weeks I’ve thrown away:

  • 3/4 cup of leftover vindaloo (usually I’d say “yum, breakfast” but not with a tummy bug!)
  • a cup of tinned tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups of quinoa
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 mandarins
  • 2 kiwifruit
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 egg

I am still suffering with a head cold, so I will keep it short for today.

I have one tip to pass along – don’t take the “best before” date on your egg carton as gospel. Often eggs are good for many days beyond this.

How do you know? The simple sink or float test. Put the egg into a glass of water – if it sinks it is good. If it floats to the top, it has gone bad. Sometimes the egg kind of hovers in the middle, bobbing like it wants to float, but with it’s nose still touching the bottom – it is still good, but not for long!

Egg test food waste friday
Floating to the top of the glass – this egg has gone bad

I hope this finds you in good health!

Spreading sunshine

I am parked up at the table in our sunroom/dining room. The sun is shining and there’s not a cloud in the sky. It feels like spring is on its way. I’m very exciting as winter seems to have dragged on forever.

sunshine blogger award
A lovely day – the view hanging out the washing

It is fitting that today I am talking sunshine – the Sunshine Award to be specific.

A big thank you to Simple Is The New Green for the nomination. If you haven’t already, head over and check out Simple Is The New Green. She writes about “Finding WELL-th: Purpose, Prosperity and the Pursuit of Happiness”. There is lots of thought provoking and topical stuff, written in a down-to-earth manner and with a dose of humour. I like it.

Here are the answers to the questions that Simple Is The New Green set for me.

What does your ideal day look like?

My ideal day would start with waking gently in my own time as the sun floods the room with light. We’d go on a fun family outing (beach, river, estuary, riding trains or anything involving animals) in the morning, and laze around home for the afternoon. I’d squeeze in some reading, writing and knitting. Our extended family would join us for a causal dinner, dessert would involve lots of chocolate and they’d be a great selection of craft beer. I’d have an early night with crisp, clean sheets on the bed.

 How do you find instant gratification that doesn’t cost anything?

Feeling the sun on my face, smelling the sea, hearing the waves hit the beach and seeing my son smile.

If you knew a disaster was coming and you have 10 minutes to evacuate your house, what would you take?

Such a Mum answer for this one – my son, his two favourite stuffed animals, his jacket, PJs, blanket, nappies, drink and snacks, plus my wallet, keys, phone and laptop, my husband and the back up hard drive.

And now to share some of the sunshine, I’d like to nominate the following bloggers for a Sunshine Award. Love what you do – thoughtful, wise but not too serious.

And my questions to them are:

  1. What is one book that you wish everyone would read?
  2. What is your go-to way to relax?
  3. If you could give one piece of advice to yourself 15 years ago, what would it be?

Is it sunny at your place? Feel free to join in, share your answers to the questions, share links to blogs you love and want to everyone else to discover too (that includes your own!)

Shopping more to waste less

It is Friday – Food Waste Friday – so time to check in about my food waste over the last fortnight.

Food waste, #foodwastefriday
My food waste – 7 August 2015

Not too bad, two mandarins and a lime. Why is there always one (or two) in a bag that goes bad?

I read an article in Slate this week suggesting that meal planning isn’t the answer to reducing food waste, but rather we should shop for food more frequently.

I definitely see the sense in this proposition – a lot can change in a week, whether it is a spontaneous meal out with friends (I wish) or, as was the case in our house this week, a sick child. We don’t write our meal plans with the aid of a crystal ball.

Back in my commuting days, I did more “little and often” shopping. I passed a supermarket twice a day at the train station or close by – it was easy to pop in and get what I needed as I needed it.  My patterns at home in the suburbs are different. I don’t pass a supermarket on foot on a daily basis. On the routes I do walk regularly, I sometimes pass a corner shop. Unfortunately, the local butcher has recently closed down. So instead, the supermarket is a weekly destination by car. I can’t see that changing in the near future.

How do you shop for food – little and often? In bulk every week or two? Or something different altogether?

Starting as you mean to continue – gratitude in the morning

My Mum recently found an old Garfield toy of mine in her attic. I loved Garfield as a child – we both liked lasagne and hated mornings.


July in New Zealand means dark winter mornings – getting up when it’s dark outside puts me out of kilter and can leave a cloud hanging over my whole day. Spring will come, but in the meantime, I’m open to strategies to beat the winter blues.

I found some inspiration in June’s Gratitude Circle posts – both Connie and Riley wrote of how they’ve benefited from starting their days with a simple gratitude practice. I resolved to give it a try with the hope of improving my morning mindset and outlook during the day.

How did I go?

Sadly, cure the winter blues it did not, but a few moments of gratitude before rising warmed my heart and has awoken an appreciation for my secure and abundant life.

Upon waking, I simply list the things I’m grateful for. A definite pattern emerged. Invariably, my first thoughts of thanks is for my snuggly, warm bed. As I contemplate getting out of my snuggly, warm bed I’m thankful that I live in a warm home, that I can afford to flick the heater on and enjoy a warm shower. A snore or snuffle from my husband or son turns my thoughts to my family and how grateful I am for their existence, their love, their support and their good health. As I consider the day ahead, I appreciate the freedom I have to plan my day, the choices and opportunities open to me and the level of self-determination that I exercise.

This simple practice, and its daily repetition, imbues me with a real sense of contentment. While I was safe, secure and free all along, I now feel safe, secure and free. Starting the day feeling this, and mindful that my family has all the necessities under control with no major worries or hardships, certainly brings a new perspective to my usual daily dramas.

I’m still no fan of mornings and I’m hanging out for spring, but a little gratitude in the morning makes each day a little brighter from the inside out. I intend to continue with it.

Thanks to Connie and Riley for the inspiration.

Are you a morning person? What morning routines do you use to set yourself up for the day?