Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Best of 2015

{Image courtesy of the delightful Julie Williams Photography.}

{Image courtesy of the delightful Julie Williams Photography.}

2015 was a curious mix of saying yes to new and exciting projects (the podcast! our workshops! The Bloom!) and realising I’d bitten off way more than my slow-living self could chew (taking a long-term blog sabbatical! closing The Bloom after only a few months! succumbing to overwhelm and pnuemonia!)

Personally I’ve found it both incredibly challenging and wonderfully rewarding, and can already see that the things I’ve learnt this year will act as a strong foundation for an even more intentional year in 2016.

I’ve learnt a lot about passion, focus and saying no, and that I need to get better at the last two.

I’ve learnt about the joy of taking a risk and seeing what happens.

I’ve learnt that my personality isn’t naturally inclined to slow living, but it certainly benefits a great deal from it.

I’ve learnt that my challenges and obstacles aren’t unusual and I’m not alone in trying to overcome them.

I’ve learnt that I need to create boundaries for myself, and that if I respect them, others (almost always) will too.

I’ve learnt that The Joneses don’t hold a lot of appeal anymore and many, many people are looking for another way – a simpler, slower way.

It’s been such a big year of discovery and learning and mistakes and finding my feet, and I just want to say thank you for being part of it. I appreciate you endlessly and think you’re ridiculously awesome. 

As far as highlights go, we launched The Slow Home Podcast earlier in the year and have reached more than half a million downloads since May, and this website has connected with more than 1 million people since January. I can’t tell you how crazy those numbers sound to me.

We were also named by iTunes as one of the top new podcasts of 2015, and reached Number 1 in Australia. Again, none of that would have happened without you, so many thanks for reading, listening, sharing and commenting.

I can’t pick favourite episodes of the podcast as they’ve all been fascinating and inspiring to me, but in terms of downloads and comments, some of the most popular episodes have been:

And before I took my long-term blog sabbatical, these posts resonated most this year:

And just for fun, these are a list of some of my favourite things of 2015:

  • Best Book: Sick in the Head by Judd Apatow
  • Other Best Book: Yes Please! by Amy Poehler
  • Best TV Show: The Walking Dead
  • Other Best TV Show: Parks and Rec
  • Best Album: Sing to the night by Shred Kelly

Thanks again for a cracking good year, and here’s to a wonderful holiday season, a restful and safe break, and an amazing 2016!

I’m taking time offline between now and mid-January, but I’ll see you on the flip side.

Much love. xx

A very hostful holiday!

A very hostful holiday - SHP040

It’s hard to believe today’s show is the final episode of The Slow Home Podcast for 2015.

It’s been such a cracking year, and we’re so incredibly grateful for everyone who’s listened, shared, rated or reviewed the show since we launched in April. Without your help and input, the podcast wouldn’t be anywhere near as much fun to make. So, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

We’re rounding out the year with a final hostful, where Ben and I chat about the year that’s been, some of our highlights, some very exciting future plans, and we answer three most excellent listener questions. We also were interrupted approximately eleventy billion times while recording, so if we seem a little crazy – that’s at least part of the reason. The other part is that we’re like that all the time.

The questions we tackle this week are related to:

  • finding a balance between community service and living a slower life
  • how to avoid the ‘all or nothing’ tendency once we start to explore slow living
  • how to balance extra-curricular activities with a slower family life

As always, we discover there are rarely straightforward answers to any of these questions, which is what makes it so juicy and interesting to talk about. And also as always, feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below, as well as suggestions or requests for shows next year.

Finally, thank you so very much for being part of this show and this community in 2015. I pinch myself frequently when I see what a supportive, smart, like-minded group we’re part of and I just want you to know how much I appreciate you being here.

I hope your year-end celebrations are wonderful and that you embrace the opportunity for some downtime.

I’ve got a couple of bonus blog posts coming out later in the month and early next year, but for the most part I’ll be totally offline from Christmas Eve until mid-January and I CAN’T WAIT.

Much love to you and yours. xx

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Alternatively, you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

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Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

If you love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

If you love the show and want to support it by continuing to subscribe, listen, share with friends/family or leave a review on iTunes, that’s awesome too!

Most important of all, thanks for being here!

Mindful eating with Ali Wright – SHP039

Mindful eating with Ali Wright - SHP039

Have you ever found yourself eating your way through a block of chocolate, despite the fact you stopped enjoying it a while ago? Or ordered a big plate of hot chips even though you know you’ll feel bloated and heavy and low on energy in thirty minutes?

So why do we do it? Why do we repeatedly eat food that we know will leave us feeling depleted?

That’s what I unpack today with my guest, Ali Wright, a nutritionist who turned her own health around after reaching a crisis point just a few years ago.

What I love most about this chat is it’s not about dieting or following a certain food trend, and it’s certainly not about deprivation. Instead, Ali and I talk about the idea of ‘crowding out’ foods that don’t benefit us, with more of the foods that do.

The focus is also not on weight loss or fitting some arbitrary vision of health and wellness, but rather on eating well to be well. Refreshing, right?

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 

Today’s show is sponsored by Audible.com where you can access over 180,000 audiobooks, including Walking in this World by Julia Cameron. Click here to get a free, no strings attached, 30-day trial of Audible and claim one free audiobook of your choice.

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Alternatively, you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

If you love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

If you love the show and want to support it by continuing to subscribe, listen, share with friends/family or leave a review on iTunes, that’s awesome too!

Most important of all, thanks for being here!

Zero waste living with Bea Johnson

Zero waste living with Bea Johnson

Bea Johnson is a guru of zero waste living. Her family of four produce barely enough rubbish to fit into a small glass jar – every year – and she now spends time teaching others how to reduce waste and live simpler, more sustainable lives. She also has a kick-ass accent.

I have to be honest, coming in to this conversation I was expecting to walk away feeling overwhelmed and a little inadequate. Not because of Bea herself – she’s positively delightful – but because the subject of zero waste living has always seemed so all-consuming to me. So all or nothing.

But it took me only a few minutes to realise I needn’t have worried. As Bea and I got chatting, I realised that creating a zero waste life is really similar to creating a slow, simple life – it’s something created over months and years. Change by change, day by day, one improvement at a time.

We chat about her husband’s hesitance to adopt the zero waste lifestyle and how she eventually convinced him that it was worthwhile pursuing, and we also get into the practicalities of making a change like this – something I’m asked about a lot.

Interestingly, and somewhat relief-inducing for me is the fact that Bea doesn’t advocate the ‘make everything from scratch’ approach. In fact, this has been one of my biggest obstacles in looking to live a zero waste life, and to hear someone as successful as Bea tell me that she doesn’t necessarily make everything herself, well, that made it feel a whole lot more achievable.

I think you’ll walk away from this episode feeling optimistic, and if you’re anything like me, far more excited about the prospect of embracing the zero waste lifestyle.

This week’s episode is brought to you by…well, you! Some listeners want to support the show in a more direct way, so we’ve created a Patreon page so you can do just that. There’s no obligation to contribute – simply sharing the show with friends or leaving a review in iTunes is fabulous – but if you did want to help support the show financially you can donate as little as $1 a month and know that you’re helping us to cover our costs.

——

Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Alternatively, you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

If you love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

If you love the show and want to support it by continuing to subscribe, listen, share with friends/family or leave a review on iTunes, that’s awesome too!

Most important of all, thanks for being here!