Self-Sufficiency and Jam

The Good Life

Maybe it was that quirky TV sitcom from the seventies; The Good Life, that led to my hankering for a life of self-sufficiency. It’s a hankering that’s existed for the longest while and one I feed frequently with articles about growing your own fruit and veg, preserving it through the winter and stocking your own pantry with all manner of homemade paraphernalia. Of course this has never actually translated into reality. I have skirted around the edges of self-sufficiency with great aplomb, but actually living off the land completely doesn’t really sit with my very cosy suburban life.

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My Sanity Saviour – Knitting and my Knitwit Friends

Rainbow Wool

I can’t believe I’ve been writing this blog for over a year without mentioning what has become a cornerstone of my life. I joined my first knitting group about 4 years ago during the winter months. Seemed like a good way to keep these gardening fingers busy while the garden was snoozing. Little did I know how much I’d benefit from the therapeutic click-clacking of needles in the warm and supportive bosom of fellow knitters.

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Greening our Way back to School

Green Schooling

I’m so disorganised this summer. I haven’t sorted out school uniforms or shoes and I’ve only just ordered school books. I think I’m in denial that the summer is over. Where on earth did it go this year? Never mind, it’ll all sort itself out and if my kids have to wear last year’s uniform for a couple of weeks, well so be it. Might mean I get pre-loved ones or new pieces at half-price!

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Minimalism, my way

Minimalism Detail

I’m very late with my blog post this week primarily because I’ve been knee-deep in DIY for the past two-week and only just got finished at 1am the morning carpet was being fitted. We’ve been living in this house for 8 years and had the 40-year-old carpet ripped out when we installed a new heating system 7 years ago. It’s taken us that long to fit a new one, for lots of reason. Now we’re the proud owners of the most sustainable carpet our budget would allow; an 80 % wool 20% nylon carpet laid on underlay made from offcuts of furniture foam. We considered getting a 100% wool carpet or one made from another fully biodegradable fibre but they weren’t as hard wearing as 80/20 wool/nylon blend and when we install carpet we do so for life. This is the carpet people will be spilling tea/whiskey on at our wake!

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Sustainable Ethical Shoe Brands – Updated 19th September 2017

Ethletic Trainers

I find buying sustainable, ethical shoes in Ireland an absolute nightmare. It seems that either you go for vegan plastic or biodegradable leather. I’ve know canvas shoes are in vogue at the moment and I’d happily chance a pair of canvas trainers in showery Ireland but not a pair of canvas pumps – too risky! To date I’ve limited myself to trying to buy the most durable shoes I can find in an effort to buy less shoes overall but this blog post has introduced me to some really stunning options that I’m keen to road test in the future. I would prefer though, to buy.

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Mesmerising Naturally Coloured Homemade Pasta

homemade star pasta by Salty Seattle

I am completely blown away by the skill of the amazing Linda Miller Nicholson, a mum from Seattle who dyes her own pasta with natural colours creating edible works of art. I think these would make amazing presents if you were able to get the hand of them, plus the ingredients aren’t expensive so what have you go to lose.

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Baby Buying – What you DON’T need

organic wooden frog rattle

I must have liked some baby stuff recently because Google and Facebook keep showing me ads for baby stuff at the moment. This reminded me of just how much crap i accumulated in the run up to my first baby, most of which was completely unnecessary and took me ages to dispose of in a sustainable manner.

Here is my list of all the stuff you DON’T have to buy in preparation for your bundle of joy.

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Sutainable Ethical Swimwear

under the same sun bikini

Thankfully I don’t have to buy a swimsuit this year. This is a task I absolutely abhor and it is something you need to do you have my sympathy. Here are a few swimwear companies that may offer a more ethical, sustainable option than your high street. The first two consider the sustainability of the materials that they use, while the others are simply made closer to home, i.e. the UK.

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