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

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Getting to Know my Misfit Fitness Tracker (1)

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For Christmas this year, my wonderful and loving mother and stepfather bought me a fitness tracker. I had done some research. I have tried some different trackers over the years and tried on and played with even more. I’m a picky tracker-user.

Misfit’s Shine 2 seems to tick all the important boxes. My main peeve is that I’m not huge on wearing things on my wrist, if I can avoid to. I am the same way with socks, TBH. My Misfit came with a wrist-band and clip, so I can stick it on my bra to do it’s thing. I know it isn’t accurate and all that, but TBH I am not concerned with accuracy, I am much more interested in seeing my trends.

I like that I can choose not to do anything with my weight. I did tell it my approximate weight, for accuracy’s sake, but I was able to set my “weight goal” at no change.

I am not tracking my food at the moment, as in the past it has triggered unhealthy behaviour. I am open to possibly needing to do it down the road as a part of my mindful eating journey. There is no need or app-pressure to track food or water. It does, however, have a movement reminder feature which I love – especially when I am sewing or writing and lose track of how long I have been sitting.

I have a dodgy back and if I sit for too long one day, it can screw up my whole week. Another thing that messes up my flow is sleeping poorly/not enough/too much. My lifestyle allows for quite a lot of freedom to do things as and when inspiration strikes. I am a homebody and prefer to host visitors than go out. My kids have sleep-style phases that I am always trying to do my best to work with/ensure everyone has access to what they need. They will be going through puberty here for a number of years and all kinds of sleep patterns are considered normal during this time. My job as mother is changing and as I am able to slip back into my own unique sleep patterns, I want to be sure I am getting a good amount, consistently.

One drawback to the sleep tracking is wearing the sensor. I put it on my wrist, but I keep taking it off in my sleep (I told you, I don’t like wearing things on my wrist) – so the data is only an approximation. Again, though, I suspect I will be able to track trends.

The one thing I didn’t expect to like as much as I do is the clock feature – it’s such a tiny thing and I am never far from a clock thanks to living in 2019, but I love it. It is simple and understated. It is easy to understand the minute you know what the lights mean.

On my Shine 2, the reference lights are white, the hour light green and the minute light is flashing purple. It feels like something from an old sci fi movie with random lights that I understand.

I am not all puppies and kittens about it though. I have read reviews about it falling out of the clip and getting lost. I don’t go out much, so if I did drop it, it would turn up eventually… but at the size of a £2 coin – I can imagine it wouldn’t be easy to find.

When going out, I will generally wear it turned so it it comes unclipped, it will fall into my bra and will also just do my best not to drop it.

I can’t speak to the battery life or water-resistance, yet. I do plan to take it to the pool though in 2019!

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