Thursday, 23 February 2012

When life gives you lemons...

...make lemonade, something like that right? It has been some time since I posted, life has been busy. I landed my dream job so we have been busily preparing for me to go back to work. Picked up some great work clothes from the op-shops and had my first day today. All went well and it was just wonderful to give my brain a workout, not that I have anything against nursery rhymes.

We continue to be full time cloth, well that WAS until our washing machine died! Life is really testing us this year so far. We have tried to fix it but we think it is a bit beyond it so we are on the hunt for a new one, well when I say new I mean second hand or free! In the meantime I'm lucky to have a lovely mum helping me out with the use of her machine, I also use the laundromat up the road and have had lovely mums offer to do a load for us! Gosh I just love community spirit.

The past couple of weeks in our area have been road side collection weeks and there is a LOT of junk on the side of the road, but if you look a little deeper you may often find some wonderful gems. We had a look on the weekend and Luke picked up a couple of old kids bikes, bought them home pulled them apart and created one great learner bike for Lila. She is a fair way off using it but it was fun and free. We also picked up a pretty cool wheelbarrow planter box for our herb garden. It was at the house across the road and Luke went over and wheeled it back. I had to laugh as it made the most god awful noise as it was being wheeled, not very inconspicuous at all!

Our planter box, in the 'garden'. Still on the lookout for some good soil...

Building Lila's bike

We have begun making our own bread. I'm not talking the pour the packet into the bread machine kind, I mean kneading the dough then letting it rise, then kneading then letting it rise kind of bread, its a work in progress to make the perfect loaf but my goodness it tastes good and gives your arms a killer workout! It is our aim to one day get a bread machine and have a fresh loaf every morning we need one.

I recently went for a hike with my dear friend as she is in training for a hike in Peru. I was completely expecting to die and her to have to drag me home but I was so much fitter than I expected! I guess all this walking not only saves money but it appears to be helping enormously health wise also.

Spending wise we are still plodding along, having not bought anything for coming up to two months now, I don't miss it really, I mean sure there are days where I'd love a bag of chips or something like that but the moments are always fleeting. The money is still draining out of our account, but it's being spent on much healthier and really, much more delicious things. There's nothing like a beautiful orange after a hard day, sure beats a bag of chips or lollies!

The latest with the No-Poo trial is that I washed my hair! I lasted 4 weeks, and the only reason I did it was because I had to turn up at work which is a very professional environment, and my hair was disgusting! I'm a bit annoyed I did it but I haven't had to wash it again since then. I think going the four weeks without washing has helped cut down the need and I fully plan to stretch it out and find alternative methods where possible.

The challenge has taken on a different vibe now. The initial excitement has died down, and living a less consumption-driven life is just becoming 'life'. It's good in a way, it means that living this way is becoming second nature, but it's beginning to feel like we're not trying hard enough. Admittedly we have many projects still not up and running, things like the vege garden, sandpit, compost bin and the like, and our home-made dish soap needs replenishing, so it's not like we've hit a wall, but we could use some progress to fire us up and make it feel like a challenge again.

Them's be fightin' words!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Free fun..., well, fun! With the no spend rules in place we have been forced to look for free entertainment for Lila. For the most part the parks and walks work just fine but with the recent heatwave in Perth things were getting a little stir crazy in this house. We stumbled upon some information on the Perth Museum last week and after a quick google discovered it opened nice and early and was free. Luke looked up the transport side of things while I packed up some peanut butter sandwiches and fruit. We caught the bus which stopped on the corner of our street to the train station and then took the train into the city. We had such a fantastic day, hours of entertainment in lovely air-conditioning with Lila squealing in delight at all the things to see and do. We went outside and had our sandwiches under some shady trees and watched Lila run though the fallen leaves, splash in water features and explore the musical playground.
We had a bit of time to kill before we caught the train home and as we walked by the art gallery we thought..should we? In theory it was a disaster taking Lila the tornado into a snooty art gallery but in reality it was awesome! Who knew there was such a great play zone for children in there!

Relaxing in the museum


Having a ball

With our New Zealand trip fast approaching I have been thinking about clothing, as I have very few warm clothes that fit me as I am considerably smaller than I was last winter. Usually I would have nipped down to the shops by now and bought the clothing I need, but in keeping with the rules I hit the op-shops and boy oh boy did I walk out with some bargains! I managed some jackets, pants, winter dresses, cardigans, long sleeve tops and track pants, quite a few of which still had tags on. After totalling what it would have cost me in the shops, I found I had got about $820.00 worth of clothes for a whopping $39.60! Very, very pleased.

I have struggled a little this week, perhaps that explains such a gap between posts! We're still going strong but the novelty has well and truly worn off. I've had an urge to buy, and I've had an urge to be lazy with my planning. Some days I have not wanted to cut up fruit before I head out with Lila and would much rather just grab something out. I've sat in a coffee shop with my mum while she ate and I sipped on tap water. I've had some really really hard days which included having a wallet stolen, then found, tripping and hurting my toe quite badly coupled with a toddler whose molars will just not cut through. It's those nights where dinner isn't even ready and it's 6:30 and all I want to say to Luke is "let's go get some fish and chips tonight, I can't be bothered." We're still here though, we're still in this journey and the hard days do pass. We haven't compromised and we have not given in to the oh so easy alternatives.

Most of the cloth nappies have arrived, the last order will come through this week. I dare say we will be full time cloth as of this week which is so exciting! Our 'no poo' journey is still going strong and I have a love hate relationship with my hair at the moment. I also have to let my readers know that I was truly blessed to receive a pack of blonde hair dye in the mail from a dear friend who had some she wasn't using sitting collecting dust in her cupboard. Along with the hair dye was a lovely gift of treats for hubby and I and some cute ducks for Lila to play with! Every day I am blown away by the generosity of people and the sheer volume of opportunities to re-use, repair and recycle if we take the time to scratch beneath the surface!