living simply

wants & living simply :: a manifesto for 2015

ellie9 Comments

I've decided to start this new year with a manifesto. Not so much a resolution, but perhaps a way of living and thinking about our footprint on this planet and our daily actions in a different way. Of not guilting ourselves, but giving ourselves a way of re-thinking how we want to live. Of choosing at each moment what we want, how we want, why we want. 

I find new year's resolutions for me bring about a guilt that I never keep them, that I've let myself down by barely lasting a month or even a week in some cases. I'm hoping this manifesto can help with my ideal of how I wish we could/would live, but also be an easier way for our whole family to be part of it. Often these ideals are pushed by one member of the family (me!) and the others don't really want to go along with it.

So.... here it is. My new year manifesto ::

If we want it, we should question our want
If we do still want it, we should make it
If we can't make it, we should get it second hand
If we can't find it second hand, we should buy it ethically
If no one makes it in an ethical manner, we should re-think our want
Only after this shall we consider any other options. 

I do hope that this is a good way for all the family members to live with our consumerism, want want want. To re-think how we fit within society - to re-think if our wants are based on other people's wants, or if they really are more of a need. To retrain ourselves to work out that often our wants don't fulfil what we think they will, that just as often we actually feel remorse or disappointment, after our wants are purchased. 

I also know that this is a journey we have be on for a long time. Compared to how many many others live, we do not give in to wants and whims and consumerism. My kids are always telling me 'it's not fair, everyone else has one'..... Well, my reply is we aren't everyone else. We don't go shopping for the sake of it, we don't buy new toys or books or clothes or anything just because. We do still consume, we get things that we don't necessarily need, but my hope is that we can live this year a little less and then next year a little less.

I am going to be practical in this way of being, not enforcing this in every instance of our lives. Also, I need to be aware that there will be things we need to buy that are wants. Within our business we have purchases of new items - these are necessary for our business, for our livelihood (and I may talk about this at a later stage). Our house-building will have new-purchase needs as well. 

But, hopefully this manifesto can help us all - the children and the adults - to live a happier life with less, to want less. To actively choose to want less, rather than feeling deprived on less. That's the ultimate - to stop the wants. To change the wants. To want less, to live with less, to live on less. 

I'll be sharing this journey here this year, and on my instagram feed as well. I aim / hope to be more present here on my blog. By sharing my story and ideas with you - perhaps you'll follow along. I do hope so, even just a little. 

I'm keen to hear your thoughts on new year resolutions, on manifestos, on consumerism, on wants and wants..... 

{Hi Amy - who asked when I was coming back! Hopefully now. xxx}

making from scratch || seaweed & sesame crackers {a recipe}

Recipes, Slow & Sustainable LivingellieComment

With back to school looming a week ago, I was trying to think of ways to ease myself back into the school morning routine. One of the things that was so lovely about homeschooling, was the not having to make school lunches and deal with half-eaten school lunches every afternoon. Or the other kids making of fun of my kids' school lunches. And such matters.

I knew I would get myself in a fluster and a flurry every morning if I wasn't prepared. I am not naturally an early riser, so dragging myself out of bed on a cold Winter's morning in the dark little shack to make school lunches isn't the top of my list!

Best way to remedy this was make a plan. A school lunch menu was talked about, and written down. A list of options to choose from, then a daily list of what the kids wanted to eat compromised with what I wanted them to eat, and what I knew they really would based on experience. 

Added to this is my ban on buying packaged sweet or savoury biscuits / crackers, or any fast lunch-box packaged items.  For more reasons than one; the sugar / salt content is so much more than I like in either sweet biscuits or savoury crackers, the plastic packaging is crazy and thoughtless (Ryvita's are one of the few that have minimal non-plastic packaging, and aren't really kid-enjoyed!), the cost and the speed at which a packet of biscuits is consumed in my house. I haven't been buying any biscuits, bare the occasional few, for all year. 

Some time ago, Ari declared he wanted some crackers, so set about making some. Yep - my 8year old boy came up with this recipe! With a few tweaks from me, and a continual change of additions and tastings, here's our recipe for:

Go Crackers for Ari's Crackers!  Seaweed & Sesame Crackers

2 cups of flour (of your choice, can be gluten free flour or nut 'flour')

1 cup LSA (or almond meal or similar)

1/2 cup each of white + black sesame seeds (or mix up with whatever seeds you like, sunflower, pumpkin seeds, flaked almonds, etc etc)

1 TPS each ground cumin, coriander, rock/sea salt

1/2 cup olive oil (or whatever oil you like using)

A few sheets of nori roll seaweed or wakame

Mix together with enough water to just make a workable dough, not too soft. Wrap in a cloth (I use these

beautiful beeswax wraps

) and leave in fridge for 1/2 hour. Roll out in batches between two sheets of baking paper until very thin, chop seaweed sheets into sliver using scissors, and roll/press into crackers. Add more seeds and press in too, if you want. Score into shapes and place on baking tray (leave it on one sheet of baking paper and transfer whole lot to tray). Bake 180-200C until looks cooked; 8-15 mins. Once cool they will be crispy. 

Enjoy with homemade dips, cheeses or on their own; I've been loving beetroot/yoghurt & a homemade cheese dip lately. Nibble nibble yum yum.

I'd love to know if you make some, and any variations you work with.