Slow Living: a Q&A with blogger Laura Willers, Hearth and Nook

“Slow living gives you the space and energy to really appreciate what you fill your life with.”

You may have seen the hashtag used on Instagram. But Slow Living is more than perfectly styled photos and doing less. Slow or simple living can put a stop that a default busy feeling. It’s about learning to appreciate all that you do and have, and not overfilling your life with the things you feel you should be doing, buying or feeling.

We spoke to Laura Willers from Hearth and Nook to hear how she’s trying to live a more intentional and authentic life. Laura’s blog gives her readers attainable and realistic tips for a slower, more simple lifestyle, from capsule wardrobe building to minimal interior styling.

Hi Laura, to start us off, could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m Laura. During the day, I work in an office job in London but in my free time I run my creative project photographing and blogging about slow living, from lifestyle ideas through to interiors.

I’ve learned how to create a lifestyle where I can prioritise doing what I love: spending weekends at home with my husband and our one-year-old son, getting outside into nature, and seeing our family and friends.

how would you define slow living?

Slow living to me is about creating the space to breathe, slow down and live mindfully in the present moment, rather than always thinking ahead or rushing from one thing to the next.

It’s about deciding what is important to you, how you like to spend your time and the people you want to share it with and choosing to create your lifestyle around that. By focusing on what you truly want, you can shed the things that are unnecessary – all the “should dos” and “ought to dos”. I think there’s also an element of understanding that there is a time for everything and embracing that: acknowledging that there are only so many hours in the day, that rest is important, and to move with the seasons.

Has it always been a philosophy/lifestyle that you followed?

No, definitely not!

I used to rush through life, filling each day up to its absolute maximum and then trying to add a little more on top. I felt like if I wasn’t constantly doing something then I wasn’t making the most of my time.

I bought into the culture of being busy. I thought that having a diary full of social engagements, shopping, events, and exhibitions was what a woman in her 20s, working in London was meant to be like. I would squeeze as much into my weekends as I could and would wake up exhausted on a ‪Monday morning, wishing I could have another day to just rest and relax. ‬

How did you get started and do you have any tips for beginners?

I realised after a very long time that I wasn’t happy, in fact, that I was exhausted all the time!

When I went on maternity leave, I wanted to change my lifestyle. I wasn’t sure how until I started finding other bloggers and people on Instagram who were talking about slow living and minimalism.

Here was this idea that there was another way of living: where you could give yourself permission to live the life you wanted to lead. It took some time, but I realised that I was enough in and of myself: that I didn’t have to pretend to be someone I wasn’t or like things that I didn’t. If I wanted to spend my weekend at home and in the garden with my family then that had just as much value as anything else.

For anyone who wants to make a change, I would say give yourself some time to sit and really think about what’s important to you. Write down your dream lifestyle and what it is that you really enjoy doing. I made a huge list of everything from spending most of my time with my family, right down to tiny things like eating ice cream and kicking up piles of autumn leaves. When you know what really matters to you, you can work out how to create your day around that and prioritise your time accordingly.

It’s also really important to just be kind to yourself: change takes time but you can do it.

What impact do you feel slow living can have on our planet?

Slow living gives you the space and energy to really appreciate what you fill your life with. You find yourself being more aware of the value of things around you. It’s led me to want to surround myself with things that are well made and ethically and sustainably created so I’m very conscious of which companies I buy products from.

I think slow living also helps you reconnect with the natural world around you; from a city park to your local country paths, to the bunches of flowers that you put in vases around the house. When you’re not rushing from one appointment to the next, you have the time to look up and notice the colour of the sky or the changing of the seasons.

It makes you realise just how important the environment is, and I think you end up wanting to make sure that you have a positive impact on the world around you.

How has slow living impacted your personal and home style?

I honestly think it has impacted every element of my style and the way we live in our home.

I created a capsule wardrobe, embracing the simple style that I’d always wanted to follow but which didn’t always feel on trend. Now I can’t imagine not having it. Everything I wear feels like me and there’s no stress in getting dressed or time spent in the morning figuring out what to wear.

We spend so much more time at home now, so we’ve decluttered and created storage that works for us. It makes being at home easy and restful. We know where everything is and tidying up at the end of the day is quick and easy. Whilst I’ve always loved a Scandi style, focusing on how we like to spend time in the house has meant that we’ve designed the rooms around those activities. We have a big open plan living, dining and kitchen space, so we can spend the weekends together – one of us might be baking a loaf of bread whilst the other is playing with our son.

We’ve also got a growing collection of houseplants and we’re always foraging bits and pieces on our walks or from the garden to bring more nature inside.

In times of stress, how do you remain balanced?

This can be such a tricky one. We all feel times of stress even if we’ve taken on a slower lifestyle. I usually feel stressed when something is out of my control, so I’ll try to up my level of organization to reassert some order.

I’ll use my bullet journal to write a list of things I want or need to do and by when, breaking it all down to small steps that feel manageable. I also find that going for a walk in the countryside really helps – the simple process of putting one foot in front of the other and letting your mind wander amongst the landscape really calms me down. The fresh air and a bit of exercise are good too.

I’ve started recently doing the meditation exercises on the Headspace app. Some of them are really quick, so you can do them before bed or just find a quiet place in the house for a few minutes. I use them as a quick stress reliever, but I’d like to build them into a daily routine to help keep a feeling of balance.

Big thanks to Laura for sharing with us what slow living means to her. Go take a look at her blog Hearth and Nook for more advice and ideas.

How to make your home a little greener in 2019

When it comes to making new year resolutions, it’s not always a case of ‘go big or go home’.

Starting at home, small changes that we can all make can make a big difference to our planet. Beginning with a few simple swaps and new habits, you’ll find yourself well on the way to making 2019 your greenest year yet. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

In your kitchen

Most of us are aware of and concerned by the harmful outdoor air pollution that’s associated with living in towns or cities. But, what about our homes? When we spend so much time indoors, it’s crucial that we do what we can to reduce the toxins and chemicals that we’re putting into our air. One way to do this is by swapping to more natural cleaning methods.

Eco-friendly cleaning products, such as Ecover and Method, contain fewer toxins and pollutants and come in sustainable packaging that can be refilled time and time again. For totally natural cleaning solutions, try half lemons to scrub and shine up your oven tops or a diluted vinegar mix and recycled newspaper for a streak-free finish on your windows.

In your bathroom

From plastic toothbrushes to disposable razors, single-use cotton buds to plastic shampoo bottles. Our bathrooms might be our relaxation zone, but they could be the worst room in the house when it comes to plastic waste. Luckily, there are easy swaps that can be made.

We’re huge fans of shampoo and conditioner bars. By cutting out the packaging, you’ve already taken a big green step. These packaging-free bars are not only kinder to the environment but tend to be made with more natural ingredients that are kinder to your body too.

Most mainstream period products also contain a staggering amount of unnecessary plastic. Switching to KIND’s tampons with biodegradable cardboard applicators and paper packaging is another easy way to make your home more eco-friendly. Reusable products, like our KIND menstrual cups, could be the only period care you need for the next ten years, making them kinder to your purse as well as your planet.

KIND tip: Add a separate bathroom bin for recyclable waste and refill whatever packaging you can from your local zero-waste store.

In your bedroom

Fast fashion can be described as cheap clothing collections that are influenced by catwalk trends and designed to hit the high street stores quickly for us to impulsively buy. It’s the dress you bought for £20 to take on holiday and never wore again or the cheap t-shirt that didn’t survive its first wash. Although the price tags can seem appealing, the impact that this throwaway fashion consumption has on our planet is getting out of hand.

One way to make your look more sustainable is to build yourself a ‘capsule wardrobe’. A capsule wardrobe is a term used to describe a collection of 30-40 practical and versatile items of clothing that work well when styled together. A capsule wardrobe favours quality over quantity and helps us to shop more consciously only for what we know we will wear for years to come.

In your garden

OK, let’s step outside. Whether you’ve got acres of land, a trendy roof terrace or a city-friendly balcony, there are a number of ways you can make to make your outdoor space a little more eco-friendly.

You might think that growing your own food is something that only those with huge gardens or access to an allotment can do, but that’s definitely not the case. Windowsills, communal yards and balconies can provide happy homes to fresh herbs, vegetables and salad. From seed to plate, growing your own dinner is a rewarding way to live more sustainably and reduce your carbon footprint on our planet. Naturally organic and free from any packaging, your homegrown foods offer massive nutritional and ecological benefits over their supermarket alternatives.

Whatever you’re growing, creating your own compost out of household waste such as coffee grounds, vegetable peelings, shredded newspapers and nut shells can help to create a nutrient-rich and naturally-fertilised soil for your garden or yard. You can learn more about composting at home here.

Throughout the year, we’ll continue to share ideas and inspiration that we hope will help us all take small, achievable steps towards greener living, with changes that are kinder to our bodies and kinder to our planet. What eco-friendly habits will you be introducing in 2019? Let us know by tagging us in your green living posts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Introducing the KIND menstrual cup: Now available in Boots!

We are excited to announce that we are expanding our range and launching a reusable menstrual cup.

At Kind Organic we champion women’s health. We’re passionate about providing alternative products that are both kind to the body and kind to the environment. That’s why we are excited to launch our first reusable period product!

Introducing the Kind cup

The Kind cup has been developed with a super-soft and flexible design for effective protection and long-lasting comfort.

Our goal was to provide a reusable product that was kind to skin. Softness and comfort are always a key factor in any of our products. That’s why the Kind cup is hypoallergenic and suitable for delicate skin.

From chatting to customers before launching our cup we understood that insertion and removal is daunting when trying a menstrual cup. The Kind cup features rounded edges and conical pressure-release holes for easy, smoother insertion/removal.

How do I use the Kind cup?

If you’re new to menstrual cups, then you can find folding techniques and advice both on the Kind cup box and in the leaflet provided. We also have information coming soon to the website!

There are two cups available:

  • Size 1: We advise this is suitable for women under 30 years old who have not given birth vaginally
  • Size 2: We advise this is suitable for women over 30 years old and/or women who have given birth vaginally

 

Our Kind cup tip

Between cycles always sterilise the cup and store safely away from any liquids or containers that can contaminate the cup. For example, airtight Tupperware containers are not suitable. The Kind cup includes an organic cotton drawstring bag. Organic cotton is a breathable material so it’s perfect for storing the menstrual cup.

Got a question about menstrual cups? Get in touch with our team who will be happy to assist.

Our cups are currently stocked in Boots UK (both in store and online).

Wales online article featuring Kate Bache, CEO of Kind Organic

From the article: “Although girls outperform boys in the Stem subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) in Wales, women are still under-represented in the workforce.
The shortage is such a concern that the Welsh Government is taking action to recruit and retain more women in the Stem workforce.
Traditionally, part of the problem has been the lack of positive role models for girls in science. However, that is starting to change.”
Read More of the article

International Women’s Day: Kind Organic supports #BeBoldforChange

Women’s health is a hot topic, and with females across the globe empowered to champion the rise of their status at home, in the workplace and in health, we are seeing many instances of change.

Kind Organic is supporting International Women’s Day 2017, and in particular this year’s theme, #BeBoldforChange… As a business seeking to change the feminine care sector, our founders Kate and Steph are change makers in their own right.

Continue reading “International Women’s Day: Kind Organic supports #BeBoldforChange

#BEKINDTOYOU – easy tips for a healthy body mind and soul

As women, we naturally care for others first and often put family, friends and partners before ourselves. This is even more reason for taking time for yourself, to nurture and care for your body, mind and soul everyday.

Kind Organic was founded to take a small step to help you be kind to you, and alongside our range of pure feminine hygiene products, we’re keen to show how easy it is to #bekindtoyou!

Keep an eye out for our #bekindtoyou campaign on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We’ll be sharing easy, healthy hacks that you can perform alongside even the most mundane everyday tasks.

From deskercize inspiration to powering up your brain, our #bekindtoyou tips and tricks can help you introduce healthy habits into your everyday routine.

We’re keen to hear how you are KIND to yourself and any health hacks you do to keep your mind and body active.

Share your tip with us using the #bekindtoyou hashtag and we’ll spotlight them on our channels