Monthly Archives: March 2017

Slow Home: Cleaning with Vinegar

Slow Home: Cleaning with Vinegar

OK. Let me get this out in the open before we move ahead…

The next few Monday shows are about cleaning your home BUT BEFORE YOU GO AWAY BECAUSE THAT SOUNDS INSANELY BORING I want you to know that the info we’re going to share is actually interesting and relevant and designed to help you:

    • save money
    • use fewer toxic chemicals in your home
    • simplify your cleaning routine
    • minimise waste
  • keep the same level of cleanliness as commercial cleaners

I know, I know. Not everyone wants to spend ten minutes a week listening to people talk about cleaning. But the fact is each and everyone of us needs to clean in some capacity, so why not make it simple and sustainable? In fact, if I could encourage anyone to make one change towards a more sustainable lifestyle, this would be it.

To kick things off, today Ben and I talk about the hero of green cleaning – boring old white vinegar. Without doubt it’s what we use the most of when it comes to cleaning our house, and we talk about how we use it to clean the:

    • kitchen tiles
    • bench tops
    • cupboard doors, handles and interiors
    • fridge – inside and out
    • stovetop
    • oven
    • microwave – inside and out
    • pantry shelves
    • mirrors
    • shower glass
    • bathroom tiles
    • vanity top and cupboards
    • wooden floors
  • tile floors

We discuss whether it actually cleans as well as the commercial products, if it’s as hygienic as bleach, and whether we’ve noticed any difference since adopting green cleaning a few years ago. We also talk about the practicalities – how to use it, what equipment you need, and if there are any downsides.

As always, this Monday show ends with a simple action we’d love you to try for the next seven days. This week try using white vinegar to clean your kitchen bench tops and bathroom vanity and see if there is any noticeable difference in the outcome. It doesn’t have to be better than your regular cleaner, but I’d love to know if it’s the same. Feel free to let us know in the comments. In the meantime though, have a great week!

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

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Creating a Slow Home with Amelia Lee

Creating a Slow Home with Amelia Lee - Episode 141 of The Slow Home Podcast Given the name of this podcast it’s perhaps unsurprising that Ben and I often talk about the idea of creating a slow home – that is, a home that works for you, dependant on your lifestyle, circumstance and priorities. So often we talk about this in really broad terms though, not necessarily getting in to the nitty-gritty practicalities of what a slow home actually looks like. So this week we decided to go deep in to the question of home, and specifically, what does the ‘home’ part of a slow home really look like? How does the idea of slow impact the spaces in which we spend so much of our down-time? How can we adopt those ideas into the building we live in now, or the building we may live in in the future? It was a complete no-brainer for me to speak with Amelia Lee about this topic, as Amelia is someone who walks the slow home walk. She’s an architect based in the beautiful Byron Bay hinterland, who helps people create homes that support the life they want to live, rather than create houses that require a life-support in order to exist, and what’s more, she’s been on her own journey towards intentional living for the past few years and understands better than most the impact it can have on the spaces we live in. Today we talk about the philosophy of Slow Home design and why mindfulness and intention should be the cornerstones of the home we create. We also talk about Amelia’s personal journey towards intentional living and how a trip to Uganda proved the pivotal point for her in recognising the excess in her own life and society in general, as well as what that meant for her fast-growing architecture firm. The idea of a Slow Home – one that is simple to live in and light on the environment – is something Amelia and I discuss in depth, including ways you can incorporate the idea of a slow home in to both your current house, or any future home.

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

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

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Rituals: Gratitude

Rituals: Gratitude - Episode 140 of The Slow Home Podcast

We’re wrapping up the simple rituals series with today’s episode, which is all about gratitude.

Now, I think gratitude gets a bit of a bad wrap, because we see it as an attempt to Pollyanna ourselves out of challenging situations, or to avoid dealing with negative feelings. But I’m a firm believer in the power of gratitude, and today we talk about how making it part of your day can not only help you see the positive in your day-to-day life, but also shift your mindset into one of contentment and peace.

One of the ways I find gratitude most helpful is that it stops me from taking the good things for granted. By ritualising the act of gratitude we’re telling ourselves that there are good things in life (no matter what kind of day we’ve had) and they are absolutely worth celebrating. And it’s here, in those taken-for-granted things, that we find the cure for discontent.

When we’re so convinced that we’re missing out, that we’ve been hard done by, or everyone else has all the luck, we’re ignoring all the good we do have in our lives. By paying attention and choosing to be grateful for them, we shift our mindset to one of plenty, or abundance, of enough. And from that place springs contentment.

We talk about my own approach to gratitude, as well as some other, practical, non-bragging ways of practising gratitude, including:

    • taking photos
    • documenting on Instagram
    • journalling
    • Liz Gilbert’s Happiness Jar
    • nightly ritual of gratitude at the dinner table
  • thanking your self or your body during meditation, prayer, yoga, exercise

This week we’d love you to commit to a daily practise of gratitude. It doesn’t need to be over the top or public, but just the act of taking a moment to reflect on the wonderful things that have been part of your day – big or small, it doesn’t matter.

Let us know if it makes an impact though – leave a comment, post over on Facebook or share your thoughts Instagram – we’d love to know if it was helpful. In the meantime though, have a wonderful week!

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

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

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Finances, shopping and rediscovering your Why

Finances, shopping and rediscovering your Why - Episode 139 of The Slow Home Podcast

It’s Hostful time! And, like every single month, in today’s episode we do our best to answer some incredible listener questions. But before I get in to it, I just want to let you know how much we enjoy these episodes. Not only do Ben and I get to have conversations about really interesting and important ideas (with quite a few stupid jokes thrown in for good measure) but we also discover things about slow living along the way.

So while I know people ask us questions because they think we may have something helpful to offer, we learn just as much from your questions as you do from our answers. And for that, I am so, so grateful.

If you’ve got your own burning questions or even a mild curiosity about an element of slow living, please feel free to leave a comment on today’s post and we’ll add it to the list of cracking questions we’ve got lined up for the next couple of months.

In the meantime though, today’s episode takes us through five varied topics, as we answer the following questions:

    • What impact did slow living have on your finances?
    • How do you judge if something is necessary and “valuable” enough to warrant purchase?
    • As your items start to get a bit tatty, when do you replace them? Or do you keep repairing or mending instead?
    • How does one re-learn oneself?
  • Other than decluttering, what aspect of slow living do you feel has made the most difference in your family’s life?

Some of these topics I feel relatively confident tackling, while there are others that I feel very much like a novice myself, so while we talk through our own experiences, I’ve also included links below that will point you in the direction of people who are much more knowledgeable than us.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a question for today’s poggie, and for anyone whose question we haven’t yet answered, please know we’re trying our best to get through them all.

Enjoy the poggie!

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

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

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Check out after listening:

Love Slow? Support the show!