Welcome Welcome!!

WOW, 2011 was a doozey of a year, no? For me at least, there were highs, there were lows, and all the bits in between. I’m not one for making new year’s resolutions, but I will commit to letting go of last year, wiping the table clean, laying out a nice crisp cloth, and taking things as they come. I certainly feel I’m starting off from a good place – having quit sugar last year, I now feel clean, calm, sharp and light. I’m looking forward to sharing some sugar-free tips with you, and helping you cut the chord, if that’s what you want to do. Sugar holds us back. Letting it go is finding freedom.

This year’s going to be all about that - letting go of the things that hold us back. Mindless things, wasteful things, unhealthy ways. Hopefully it’s a journey you want to share with me.


So this is how it’s going to be –
  • I want to learn and share long-lost skills and bring them back into our homes (like growing vegies, making filo pastry from scratch, sewing sewing sewing!)
  • I want to consume less, appreciate more. I want to live more true. I wrote about that here once.
  • I want to pare back, get rid of stuff I don’t need. Stuff clutters our minds and hearts.
  • I want to lessen my reliance on carbon-based systems 
  • I want to connect more with nature. My thoughts on connecting here.
  • And lastly, I want to connect with you, with other like-minded people, to share ideas, thoughts and issues, and work things out together.

I’m truly excited by all this, and this is how I try to live now.
  • I don’t eat processed food – there’s no canned veg or tinned fruit or bottled sauce in my house
  • I avoid food packaging as much as possible (I don’t own a cow so I resort to bottled milk), and I avoid single-use plastics, like bottled drinks
  • I don’t use chemical cleaners in my home, or on my body
  • I compost, and limit food waste (mish-mash meals!) 
  • I ride my bike when travelling locally, or I walk. I use my car only when I have to
  • I use a hanky instead of tissues
  • I make a lot from scratch, like yoghurt, coconut milk, passata, chicken stock, bench cleaner
  • Our veggie patch is about 4 weeks in (grow my pretties, grow).

What I’m looking forward to most, what’s floating my boat at the moment, is this idea of making more from scratch. My idea of sustainable living isn’t about buying a heap of eco-friendly products and calling it done. Just like money can’t buy you happiness, or love, you can’t fix the world by buying stuff. Instead, living sustainably is about paring back, buying only what’s needed, making what we can at home, being resourceful, mindful. My ‘eco-friendly’ lip balm ran out months ago and I haven’t replaced it. I realised I didn’t actually need it. I eat lots of coconut oil and good quality fats, and that keeps my skin from getting too dry.

There’s another reason to pull out the saw and whack together your own coffee table. Studies have shown that when we make things ourselves, with our own two hands, we overvalue our creations. Even when one table leg is just short of the others, we see it as a creation of pure genius, and that makes us happy. They’ve called the phenomenon the IKEA effect, and I’m counting on it this year – making our own stuff makes us happier (and frankly, the earth happier). My new series MakeYour Own is in this vein. Meet me at Mikes has a looooong list of do-it-yourself goodness, also.

What are your hopes for this year? What do you want to change to live a better, more sustainable life?

Oh in the meantime, some pics from my recent trip up to north coast NSW. Loved every minute of it, such a beautiful region. It's the perfect place to soak in the energy of the outdoors, and be reminded of what it is we're caring for.

The most easterly point on the Australian mainland

The iconic Byron Bay lighthouse

Dancing to bongos at dusk on Byron beach

The beautiful Byron Bay

The stunning, rugged Coffs Coast

Me, about to hone in on a latte at Beachwood Cafe in Yamba

The view from the deck at the Lodge in Bellingen

Surfers, not getting any, at Coffs Harbour.


  1. Love it! Unlike you, I'm all for goal setting (I think I just like writing lists), but since we left New Zealand with our little family we've been on the mission to slowly simplify our life. Starting with THINGS and stuff that we own, then moving onto products we use on our bodies and in our home and of course, always looking for ways to be better in the kitchen.

    Great blog, thanks for sharing :)

  2. Thanks Pamela, just checked out your blog, love it! Good to see you've quit sugar too :)

  3. Hi Maria!
    It was only after I read this post that I reflected on the changes I made to my lifestyle in 2011. As a result of reading your blog....
    I stopped eating out as much and got rid of processed foods from my fridge and pantry and cook the vaste majority of my meals using whole foods
    I shop at farmers markets and ditched the supermaket
    I significantly reduced my sugar intake with aspirations to dump that habit for good
    I stopped buying 'stuff' and have saved big $$ in the process
    I spend more time connecting with nature and as a result feel more relaxed than I ever have.
    I'm on the war path to detoxing my home of nasty chemicals.

    As the saying goes..."when you know better, you do better" thanks maria for helping me know better so I can do better...xx

  4. That is SO fantastic, thanks Angela for the feedback, so lovely to hear your changes. Now that you mention it, I'm doing my research and will be posting on detoxing your home soon! It's amazing isn't it, little changes make big differences.


    Maria xx



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