it has been a while

image of an open blank lined notebook page overlaid with text.
in brush font "it has been a while"
below in sans serif font: "so far 2019 has been a bit shit, so I've been hiding under my duvet - sue me"
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I Made: Laundry Powder

I recently experimented with making my own washing powder after watching one of those videos on Facebook:

I had bought a 2kg bag of Baking Soda/Bicarb on Amazon for… something (??)… a while ago, so figured that all I needed was a bar of soap and I would be golden. I got myself a bar of Dr Bronner’s Organic Lavender Soap and used some Lemongrass oil I had around. The smell is DIVINE!!

I used the simple recipe from the video and have been using 2-3 Tablespoons per load. Doing the maths, it works out to £0.30-£0.50 per wash. This is significantly more than the own-brand non-bio we usually use, which I tend to dilute to almost nothing at all by the end of the month. The way it usually goes, I split one fresh bottle between two bottles and top them both up with water and keep diluting throughout the month to, ideally, make one bottle last all month – which is a long way of saying I am CHEAP about laundry soap. I started doing it ages ago when we were really REALLY broke and because my eldest has eczema and this seemed to help, I just kept it up… also, I am cheap AF.

So – this stuff is more expensive and it is more work… but it is also much less plastic! And it really does smell lovely and works as well or better than what I was using.

I miss the ability to dilute it – so I did some searching and found this recipe for Liquid Detergent which I am going to try later this month.

Hat-tip to my friend C. who originally posted the video x

My 2018 Book Project 1/4

Last year, I made choice to only read/listen to books written by women. I got some amazing recommendations and books I read lead me down some interesting paths. Audiobooks are totally my jam (I use Audible) because I prefer to crochet when I’m sitting around. I can also stick my headphones in and sew, vacuum, do dishes, etc.

This post is the first of a four part series talking about my favourite reads this year as well as introducing my reading goals for 2019.

In January, I started strong with Sarah Knight’s The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck. I loved this book almost as much as I loved her book Get Your Shit Together. It got me thinking about my fuck-budget in ways that have made real changes in the way I approach the things I want to do and the things I need to do.

February, in keeping in my self-help book love, I read Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RDN and Elyse Resch, MS, RDN, CEDRD, Fiaedp, FADA, FAND. I honestly wanted to like this book more than I did, and I have decided to re-visit it this year and see if it clicks. I really believe in Intuitive Eating being something that can help someone like me who has had a tumultuous relationship with food and my body and disordered eating.

I felt quite shit about myself after that (I wonder, now, if my expectations were unrealistic) so for March I grabbed a title that Audible had recommended that sounded like it might make me feel better. You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero was funny and uplifting… if a wee bit woowoo.

It was while listening to Jen Sincero I realised I’d only listened to white lady voices, notably white ladies with backgrounds pretty similar to my own. So in April I grabbed a book that had been sitting on my wishlist for too long. Letter to my Daughter by Dr. Maya Angelou was beautiful and touching.

“Let’s tell the truth to people. When people ask, ‘How are you?’ have the nerve sometimes to answer truthfully. You must know, however, that people will start avaoiding you because, they, too, have knees that pain them and heads that hurt and they don’t want to know about yours. But think of it this way: If people avoid you, you will have more time to meditate and do fine research on a cure for whatever truly afflicts you.” 
― Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter

Happy New Year! – a happy 2018 photoblog

This past year has been challenging AF. But when has a year NOT been challenging AF? This has also been a year of incredible growth and change. This post is to look back at the many bright spots along the way. xo K

01/18

02/18

03/18

04/18

05/18

06/18

07/18

08/18

09/18

10/18

11/18

12/18

Holidays/Holigays 2018

Introduction part 2

As I mentioned in the first part, I am a bit of a world politics (and history) nerd now and that shit gets scary sometimes.

To cope with my anxiety and to manage my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, I take drugs (#noshame) and I make things. Last summer, while recovering from a frying pan-related back injury, I taught myself crochet. When I am able to sit (which is much more often now), I love to sew. My favourite things to make are small quilts that make for super cute scarves (Etsy) and I use my skills around the home LIBERALLY. I prefer upcycling things because it makes me feel warm and fuzzy to keep things out of the landfills.

And with the state of the world… I will take whatever warm fuzzies I can get! It’s a big part of what this blog is all about – surviving and (hopefully) thriving in an increasingly uncertain world.

So what will this blog be about? Excellent question!!

I don’t know. BUT. It will have stories about my journey through 2019 – a year where we might leave the EU and the world might go to war, and white nationalists might take over (they won’t… right?). It will also be about things like

  • getting fit as a fat woman without dieting
  • gardening for food as a terrible gardener
  • saving money without compromising ethics
  • pictures of us for my mother to show to my 95 year old Oma
  • nerdy shit like book reviews
  • my thoughts about things
  • unschooling teens
  • feminism
  • LGBTQ+ stuff
  • AND CAT MEMES!

xoxoxoxox Kate

Introduction part 1

Hello, my name is Kate and this is my blog.

I am a 39 year old cis white lady who lives where the Thames meets the Sea. I spent my first 31 years in Canada before uprooting with my husband and two small children to follow my dream of living in London. We only meant to stay for two years… but we fell in love with an eclectic town an hour outside of London and put down roots. The kids have now lived in the UK longer than they lived in the country of their birth. It’s hard to believe it’s been eight years since we leapt into the unknown.

And oh, how very unknown it has been! We came to the country at the start of austerity. We have watched our adopted home change in ways we could never have imagined. We have watched the entire world change in ways we couldn’t dream of. It’s been scary, overwhelming, upsetting, and inspiring.

We have dealt with health issues, economic issues, immigration issues, and education issues – and that’s just at home. I grew up in a politically engaged family (actually, in a way I grew up in two separate politically engaged families) – and as a form of rebellion/self-preservation, I tuned politics WAY out for years. I don’t think I voted until I was well into my twenties – I was a queer kid in Calgary, Alberta… I genuinely didn’t see the point.

All of that changed in 2004. The Iraq war was an obvious disaster and I was pregnant. I’ve been a nerd all of my life and applied that nerdy passion to politics and activism.

PART TWO