Archive | natural living

Homemade soap, the traditional Castile way

Spanish grandmother Francisca, 81, prepares traditional homemade soap.We spend our lifetimes living and learning, collecting little pearls of wisdom and knowledge that shape the way we think and act and perceive our world.

But sometimes, I think, we forget that the elders in our society have walked these same paths before. They’re like a great beautiful leather-bound book of knowledge just waiting to be cracked open and read. We just have to find the time to honour that wisdom, to seek them out and listen and learn from their stories.

A few months back I spent an afternoon with the grandmother of my friend Juan (y’know, the guy of homemade vegan Nutella fame.)

Grandmother Francisca is 81-years-old, and grew up in Spain during the difficult years of civil war and rule under Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, a time of using and reusing by necessity because often there simply wasn’t enough to go around. Continue Reading →

Can natural treatments heal acne after quitting birth control?

Calm Buddha resting on green grass

My skin was almost flawless throughout my teens. So it was a rude shock to hit 20 and abruptly descend into full-scale acne. Suddenly, awfully, I had it all. Whiteheads. Blackheads. Huge, painful, headless cysts sitting just below the skin. Scabs and scarring.

I felt revolting.

One day, a jerk in a bar made a crack about my “pizza chin”, driving a dagger straight through my self-esteem. The next week I booked myself into the doctor and got straight on the birth control pill. My skin cleared up within weeks and, considering the problem solved, I carried on with life.

Until now. Continue Reading →

Natural homemade laundry detergent powder

Homemade laundry powder2

For a long time now I’ve been wanting to swap out store-bought laundry detergents and make my own all-natural washing powder, as part of a gradual shift toward making my home totally chemical-free. I just kept putting it off because I thought it would be difficult, both to find a good recipe and then to make it.

Turns out I was wrong on both counts.

A few weeks back I fiiiiiinally bit the bullet and I couldn’t be happier with the results. I’ve tested this particular powder with all types of fabrics and colours and everything has emerged in perfect condition and squeaky clean.

What’s more, the powder is unbelievably easy to make and the ingredients are so cheap. Continue Reading →

I want to ride my bicycle

Bike 1

I don’t have a car. I sold mine a few years ago after it burnt too many holes in my wallet. It’s not so bad without a car. PT in Brisbane is reasonable and I love to walk, especially when it’s raining. I like to hang my hand out of the umbrella and feel the cool rain drops sprinkle their magic across my skin.

As lovely as this all is, doing my weekly market shop by foot has become more of a chore than a pleasure. My neck and back don’t like being laden with heavy bags full of delicious fruit and veg. And I don’t particularly like looking like a crazy bag lady either. So I decided to get a bike. Continue Reading →