December is picking up the pace..
So I'm coming back at ya with my second weekly tip of what I do to simplify December for the sake of my own wellbeing and the wellbeing of the planet.
If you've followed me for a while, you'll know I have a weird fascination with finding the quickest way to do things. I love timing things and filling in spreadsheets to dispel the myth of convenience.
It's how I know I got back 2 working weeks a year by going to the supermarket less often.
It's how I know that 9 times out of 10, the most convenient thing is not to leave the house.
There's almost always a way I can 'make do'.
It saves me time and money and reduces the temptation to buy things that I don't need.
Stay at home
Here's a couple of ways I've 'made do' already this December
#1 Take a plate
If I need to take a plate to an event, there's always something in the cupboard or freezer: My go to is a grazing platter with whatever I have on hand - cut up fresh fruit, popcorn, roasted nuts, dried fruit, cheese, sliced cold leftover meat...
I make a bulk lot of shortbread in November - the kids always love cutting out the shapes. It also freezes really well so I triple the recipe and can pull it out for an instant 'plate' whenever I need it.
I normally have a secret stash of sausage rolls in the freezer too (I get the I Love Pies brand which have good ingredients and come packaged only in cardboard which I can compost).
#2 Last minute gift
I'm constantly amazed at what you can achieve with a glass jar, a bow and a quick google search. I've whipped up gifts of Chai Latte Mix, BBQ spice rub, and sugar scrub in minutes from things I already had in the pantry.
Otherwise it's a perfect time of year for a quick forage in your garden - I love giving a simple bunch of tied rosemary, lavender or hydrangeas.
#3 Gift wrap
I'm a big fan of the Japanese art of furoshiki fabric wrapping. I usually have a stash of op shop scarves on hand, or an old pillow case or sheet that can be cut up.
Or another favourite is to use old newspaper, magazines or supermarket paper bags and then add string and something from the garden to make it look faaancy (refer to the image of my lavender and recycled shopping bag combo at the top of the email).
Next time you feel like you need to duck out to get something, challenge yourself to stay at home. You'll be amazed at what you can rustle up - and it feels strangely awesome when you nail it.