I am only writing this post now because I have spoken to so many people and we have all had the same questionable moments of following an active blog and then suddenly, they stop being updated or just disappear completely. You, my readers, have given me so much time by reading and commenting on my articles, that it really seems only fair that I should take the time to share the current situation honestly with you.
I have spent so much time here on the blogosphere and made so many friends, that I have always wanted to continue my blogging here as long as was possible. However, it seems that timing and circumstances have come to a moment where I may have to say farewell to the blog. I knew myself that when I made the decision to end my affiliate marketing with large companies and to stop my promotions from affiliate platforms and instead to focus on encouraging others to shop locally and frequent the small businesses near to them, that any income from the affiliate marketing would stop and I most likely would not be able to pay for the website when the time came to do so. While many would cite this, and my refusal to ask for reader donations (it’s just wrong…) as bad business decisions, I do not. I wanted to encourage others to help small businesses, and I did. I was so horrified by highly successful influencers begging followers for money when the pandemic hit that I wanted to maintain some dignity myself. I was able to do both those and because of that, I do not feel a failure or anything of the kind.
So I just wanted to inform what is happening and that there is a high chance that I will be saying farewell to Lifexperiment Blog. It has been an amazing 5 years here and I thank you all so much for making these years so much fun! I wish you all happiness in your lives and success in your journeys. Thank you so very much for all of the support, friendship, ideas, encouragement and laughter!
I did a little potato planting experiment last year. It was late autumn when I was able to clearly see the results of my little experiment so I decided to wait and write about when planting season began this year. As many of you know, I have access to a small space where I can plant some food plants during the planting season. I had tried a put some potatoes to ground, but it required so much digging and preparing the ground that I had been looking for maybe easier ways to plant some potatoes that were a bit easier on the back.
I found so many information filled youtube videos from enviable homesteaders and I decided that I would try something simpler. So, I planted ‘no dig’ potatoes at the small outdoor planting space and at the same time I tried planting potatoes in a planting bag on the terrace to see which one, or if either, might work for me.
It wasn’t such a big surprise to see that neither really worked as well as the traditional planting method. However, I do want to try the ‘no dig’ planting method again because it seems promising, the only problem being that I am an amateur.
This is how each method worked for me:
‘No dig’ really should be ‘no till’ method because you can’t just put the potatoes on top of grass. The area must have a layer of earth, but no grass so if it is a previously undisturbed area, you will have to do some digging. Fortunately for me, the area I have for planting is in a space which is specifically used for planting so there was already a layer of earth without the grass for my use.
The process is quite simple. Put the potatoes for planting on the top of the layer of earth and cover with hay, compost or more dirt. I covered mine in a loose hay. Leave for growing and uncover in the autumn for your lovely potato harvest!
Results: Many potatoes were found and they were larger than I have ever grown before! (Not to be too excited, all the potatoes I have ever grown are all quite small. Think: new potato size) The bad bit is that the birds were attracted to the hay I used for covering and the little thieves stole much of it. I know now that I should have put a much thicker layer on the top because at least half of my precious potato harvest had green (toxic) spots from being exposed to sunlight and so had to be composted instead. In total, I retrieved 1 3L bag of edible potato. I would recommend this method to anyone with a small allotment for planting or if one has a planting space of their own at their home, and has access to covering material such as hay, dried grass cuttings or compost.
Planting bags have been quite the trend recently and I can understand why. Planting bags are perfect for use in small outdoor spaces such as the terraces or balcony of a flat as long as there is some exposure to sunlight. They might even be suitable for a sunlight-filled area indoors of a small flat, but I have not tried that because the planting bag I purchased allows for the water to drain through the fabric.
The process is even simpler than the ‘no dig’ method. I used one 15L bag of mixed earth and compost. I put half of the 15L bag into the planting bag, and then placed the sprouting potatoes in a layer with a few cm space between and when those were all played carefully with the sprouts up, I poured the rest of the 15L bag on the top to fit the planting bag. Then I just placed the planting bag in an area with good exposure to sunlight and let it be. Watering is necessary and it can really be more or less depending what climate you are in. I gave quite a bit of water when the earth on the top of the planting bag looked dry.
Results: This method is for certain the easiest one and recommended for the person who doesn’t have the time for entire days spent on planting. Potatoes did grow in these planting bags, though they were quite small. Smaller even than the new potato size I had previously grown with the traditional planting method. The good thing about planting potatoes using the planting bag method is that they can be started earlier in the season. As potatoes even begin to sprout in the refrigerator, I find that it is ok to put them out if the weather is still a bit cold. No problemo! Being able to begin the growing sooner and leave until autumn may result in larger potatoes. If you like the small potatoes, this is really a perfect way to get those!
If you have plans for planting some kind of things this spring, I hope that you have found this post helpful. I have hope that people will try to keep some kind of food plants this year, wherever you are and what kind of home you live in because having the ability to grow ones own food, even if it is 1 small tomato plant or a bag of potatoes, is an important skill to have.
Read more here about why potatoes are a recommended food for always having in the budget-friendly kitchen.
I am making a new phrase… ‘Pandemic Minimalism’. (Or at least I think I am!)
Speaking seriously though, it is time to redefine the context of the term ‘minimalism’. When one considers the term ‘minimalism’ usually the image that comes to mind is that of space living areas with only a few pieces of basic formed furniture, or a specific number of clothing items one is allowed to have (by the rules, you know) and the methodology of giving away all ones’ belongings until there is nothing but what is necessary for daily living + maybe 3 books on the shelf for those sentimental moments.
After watching endless amounts of people compete with each other to see who can live with less, perhaps it’s a good time to move into a more realistic form of the minimalistic lifestyle. In my mind, the just mentioned aesthetic is no longer practical for the lifestyle we are living this year.
How does the pandemic have anything to do with minimalism?
It’s simple: We want clean space for living and our spaces / items need to be appropriate for the life we are living now.
What my meaning is that well, take economics as an example… Globally, we find ourselves in a situation where we can no longer spend irresponsibly. Those lunch breaks from the office or time spent waiting for the train while walking through the shops is no longer an option, which has probably made a noticeable difference in spending habits because the urge to purchase the item when it is in one’s grasp is much greater than when it is not. Due to this separation and the need to be more careful with our monies, we have an opportunity to make more thoughtful purchases and to be happier with the purchases we do make.
What makes ‘pandemic minimalism’ different from ‘minimalism’?
Answer: Maximalism. It’s weird, no? But still, it is logical. Lush fabrics, beautiful and comfortable clothing /items and luxurious living spaces can be (& really should be if you are living in anything other than your own large estate) minimal.
As we are spending so much time in our spaces, it seems just logical to me that we would want them to be comfortable, welcoming and perhaps even luxurious. And as guests in the home are a luxury of the past, why not take the opportunity to make your space all about you?
In regards to clothing, at the current time, purchasing new party clothes is not so necessary nor is it needed to have a new different suit for the workplace every day of the week. By eliminating these purchases and focusing more on what feels good and is appropriate for life now, such as jeans and a nice sweater or a work blouse and trousers for online meetings, we are able to easily reduce our additional spending and the percentage of wardrobe space of these items.
Did you just invent this name?
Yes. Yes I did. However, it is a real concept. Also, I should really stop writing to myself in multiple person format.
How does one do pandemic minimalism?
Remember this statement: Use what you’ve got, replace what you need. This applies to all things from eyeshadow to furniture. Clothes wear out, items are used away and furniture reaches a point of no longer functioning for the need or aesthetic. While using your items, save some money towards your next purchase. A small jar for coins or cash is always a good way to save for a much appreciated new addition to the home. During that time, research, research, research! Look for the items you like the appearance of. Discover the fabrics and patterns that make you smile. Bookmark the designers websites or small shops which carry those high quality crafted items so that you can revisit it when you are ready. And, most probably, by the time you have saved the money to purchase the item, the item(s) you are replacing will be ready for retiring.
Purchasing high quality and well crafted items may have a heavier price, but the quality will last so much longer and look beautiful while doing so. And remember, that as you are purchasing less, one luxury purchase will be preferred to 100 small unnecessary purchases, and this is how minimalism is achieved.
Break the perceived rules of ‘minimalism’ and make your items work for you.
Does the idea of Pandemic Minimalism appeal to you?
When a household is working to get their finances in order, ‘luxury’ purchases are always the first to go. But what about those of us who have long ago removed the ‘luxury’ from our budgets and are still left searching for creative ways to curb our spending? Well, we begin to seriously reconsider our purchasing priorities.
I have decided to write this post because I see quite clearly that so many people in the world (myself included) are feeling the economical effects of the previous 13 months of the pandemic and the associated restrictions. In times like these, people must reevaluate their spending and consumption patterns. This doesn’t mean that one has to change lifestyle completely. But it is worth reconsidering those convenience meals for hardier and healthier home cooked meals which may just be a bit less expensive too.
Enter the humble potato.
The potato has a long history of thousands of years and is now one of the top 3 staple foods.
Ironically, with all this potato-y goodness, this food is highly ignored as the filling food that can be the base of a variety of simple, few ingredient dishes, that it really is. In my mind, potatoes are that kind of base food that we tend to ignore because we are so accustomed to seeing it and they can feel a bit boring when compared to shelves of convenience foods in the shop.
Below listed are just a few of the many dishes that can be made with potato:
Potato Bakes (There are many varieties)
Roasted Potatoes with Spice
Frittered Potatoes (or Homemade Hashbrowns)
The list is never ending, but the above recipes only call for a few ingredients. Speaking the truth, if you only have potatoes, butter or oil, salt, some herbs and maybe some cheese in your kitchen, it is possible to make at least half of the dishes on this list. This is why I like to have potatoes available in my home because it is really easy to make something, even when that feeling is that there isn’t so much food variety available in the cupboards, there is always what is needed to cook potatoes. Also, potato can be eaten raw if you are busy. I enjoy snacking on raw sliced potato when I am busy, although I admit that my husband is quite horrified by it.
Potato is also a filling and healthy food! I always eat less when I have potatoes. It is really filling for the appetite.
I would recommend, especially if you are currently living on a very small budget, to substitute some of your normal meals or ready foods which may cost more money, with potato dishes. The savings are such that it will be immediately noticeable on the food shopping bill.
Brought in Dead by Jack Higgins is my Recycled book reading challenge book, even though I quite much discontinued the RBRC, apparently I am still reading the books. This is the 2nd book of the Nick Miller series.
Set in London in the 60’s, this suspenseful book provides a real look into police procedure of the era. The detective (Nick Miller) comes across a young suicide victim, who is not a suicide at all but is actually a murder victim. And the story continues in the search of Justice. It is difficult to discuss this book in depth without giving away the entire story. I very much dislike it when someone tells me all the suspenseful bits and then there is really not so much left for me to discover myself by reading. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it as a good read for you also. I would say that it is a medium level suspense read. Not so difficult as to easily fall of the wagon and get lost in the characters plots, but complicated enough to keep the readers interest.
As with any series, it is always best to start reading from the beginning and forward in the correct order. This is one of the points that frustrates me with this challenge. If I find a book in english that I can read for this challenge, I only purchase the one – as most times it is all you will find in a used items shop – and I never purchase books that say on the cover that they are part of a series. Then I find myself reading book 5 out of 12 and I never really know the backstory or the in depth characterisation. So I am always missing that important information.
I have found myself getting lost in the labyrinth of WordPress settings at times and I made an interesting discovery days ago. Where there was a page of comments waiting approval and spam comments, which has always been those bot comments filtered out, I discovered a hidden treasure pile of comments. Actual comments, from actual people that I have been interacting with for a long time in some circumstances. Some of these from many months ago and these comments never showed themselves for approval. So, I have been replying to ages old comments recently. If it was a comment of yours, I am very sorry for the delay!
I just hope that no-one feels that I have just been ignoring people. Sori sori!
If you are someone who can tell me why comments from people who had been approved for instantaneous posting of comments previously, are suddenly in my spam comments folder, it would be good to know so please tell us!
I think many of you will agree with me that these last months, almost a year, being so much time indoors and watching the walls has been…well, there’s many ways to describe it. One thing is for certain though, and that is the thing that when one watches the walls for a long enough time, the walls get boring.
So of course, when I was given the opportunity to select a canvas from Photowall and review it, I was happy-happy. You see, I have spent an incredible amount of time recently searching online for nice design ideas, inspo and the like. I know myself that Photowall has some truly beautiful designs and I cannot stop looking at my canvas now.
I have been wanting a large detailed world map, as I travel often and it fits with my lifestyle. But, I’m not so in love with those classroom maps which can be purchased in the book shops. I wanted something….special. Now I have it! As you can clearly see, I prefer vintage, earthy items in my living space as it works with my love of natural building materials such as wood and stone. Also, this wall is situated in an ideal location across from windows so the natural light really brings out the vividness of the colours in the canvas.
The canvas was customisable so I got a large sized about 150 x 110 cm with the request that the canvas and image wrap around the inner framing. The canvas comes rolled and nicely packaged inside brown paper so that it prevents it from being damaged and the inner frame is packed with it and needs to be assembled.
I was a bit nervous about putting it together because it is not something I am skilful with. However, even my brain was able to process the simple and very clear instructions and so I was able to annoy my husband greatly while telling him what he should be doing. (Hah!) Speaking seriously though, it is surprisingly easy.
The frame has an adhesive and the canvas has cut edges for marking, so we just laid the frame along the edges and peeled away the adhesive tape, smoothed along the edges, then rolled the wooden frame inwards and repeated on all sides. Then its really just reinforcing the edges and tightening the screws. The piece for supporting the canvas on the wall is thick enough that it doesn’t give that feeling that it will fall away. I told you that it was easy!
This map is actually ideal. It’s a vintage map with all of the vintage imagery and detailed artwork on it, but the actual country lines and area names are those that we use today.
It’s quite easy to see why I am so fascinated by this canvas. Overtime I look at it, I have nice memories from past travels. It is a good reminder of happy moments. Something that is much needed during these isolating times.
Photowall has a variety of beautiful designs ranging from vintage, artistic, fantasy gardens, sports, cities and so many more.
The variety is great, as not only are their own print designs are available as canvases, feature walls and prints, but it is also possible for having a canvas of an image of your own that you love.
If you are bored of watching your walls and are ready for an addition to adore, I recommend taking the time to scroll through some of the offerings at Photowall. You won’t regret it! The cool people at Photowall offered a 25% discount code for my readers: “lifexperimentblog25” This code will give a 25% discount on any product from the Photowall website and it is valid for one month. Ie; through the end of February.
After 12 months of closures throughout the world, an unprecedented number of businesses are closing their doors for the final time. Large corporations are suffering, but small businesses seem to be taking the damage most severely. People need to do something to help support small businesses. Now.
I have always had a focus on small businesses here, but in the interest of being able to pay for this beautiful website, I have also represented large corporations – because that is where most sales go. However, now it is showing that while small businesses are closing permanently at a high rate, large corporations such as amazon, have profited many times over during this year. This heavy shift in profits to singular entities made me reach a point where I really needed to consider my priorities.
There are times in everyone’s life when we must make decisions between what is comfortable and what is needed. This is one of those moments for me. I have spent much time considering the current situation and I have decided that I will no longer represent the companies which are making such high profits while small businesses suffer. I will promote small businesses only, instead. This was not an easy decision, because I do understand that it will not be profitable and I most likely will not have the funds to renew this website when the time comes. However, I feel strongly about this as my conscious will not allow me to do otherwise.
In representing small businesses, I also ask that you, my dear readers, might take a pause and consider your own purchases for a moment. I feel strongly that if all of us shifted just 1 purchase away from our convince file and made rather the same purchase but from the small business, that would in itself make such a big change in the current situation. We have become so comfortable in our convenience that we seem to forget the significance of our small shops. It is understandable that certain services are most necessary while we are in the middle of a pandemic, as a whole, we still need a shift in our thinking.
I worry a bit to say this (because I already receive some *interesting* emails at times) but… If you are someone you know owns a small business, you can contact me and we can discuss if there are possibilities for promotion and what may work best.
Please note the following before contacting:
Most of my readers are in EU, USA & UK.
Businesses must be verifiable with registration & info accessible via online search. I have a level of liability here and I take that seriously.
No businesses with political or religious affiliations. This is neutral territory.
I have given much thought to the human condition, as of months recent and considering the current circumstances and restrictions, I thought today would be the day to write about it.
Love, in all its chemical laden abundance, seems to be the most significant bonding emotion in the world today. Be it love for family, love for friends or compassion for others, love is a very important binding factor which connects us all in our humanness. It is a connection which everyone of us (even the green grinches) strive to achieve with at least one other.
In my mind, we all contain that part of us from youth in which rejection from others (be it real or perceived) hurts so deeply. Although so many are isolated from those they love, we should all consider ourselves fortunate to have a strong connection with others in our lives. And even though the shiny packages will be so much less this year, it is more important to reinforce that the human connection is there, than it is to make purchases.
So many have suffered heart ache and loss this year. Loss of those loved, loss of businesses, loss of homes, loss of workplace, loss of human connection and even….loss of motivation. The luxury of being selfish, staying angry or being complacent exists no longer. People need to know that others care. If you aren’t already, please, make a call, send an email, post a card, send a text or take the time to help another – even in a small way – this holiday season and beyond.
This part of the human condition, love and compassion for others, is something which has carried humankind through crises throughout history. In my mind, forming a community, helping others, caring and contributing – even through a kind word or friendly gesture – is something that each one of us can do to help brush away the pervasive sense of loss and reinvigorate those around us.
Happy Holidays to my friends here in the blogosphere. I appreciate all that you do and for sharing your valued time to read, comment, share friendly ideas and dialogue with me on this platform which have brightened many cloudy days and I’m hoping to share many bright days and laughter with you on this platform in the coming year, 2021.
Highly restricted travel possibilities this holiday season, understandably, can make planning fun holiday experiences difficult. Aaaannnd …. what do we need so much this year? FUN HOLIDAY EXPERIENCES! This is why, when I realised that Finnair is offering this very cool experience, I had to get more information and share this with you. So I contacted Finnair and they were so friendly to share all the information I needed on this initiative.
Lapland is a highly popular winter destination for travellers from around the globe. Rovaniemi is a city within Finnish Lapland at the arctic circle. This area is sought after as a tourism destination for many reasons: incredible arctic nature, dog sledding, reindeer, undisturbed and amazing night skies, landscape, native culture and Santa! Ask any Finn where Joulupukki (Santa) lives and the answer will always be Korvatunturi (the fell where Santa’s workshop is located).
This year, Finnair had the brilliant idea to offer virtual reality flights to Lapland to meet Santa so that people everywhere can enjoy some holiday fun. The VR experience offers a 360 degree view in which the traveller can be fully immersed in the experience. The trip includes the flight, a comfortable seat in Nordic Business Class, refreshments served by the friendly cabin crew and amazing views of the starry night sky while flying under the borealis. Once the flight lands in Rovaniemi, travellers cross into the arctic circle and have the opportunity to meet Santa at his cabin!
The flight takes some time to fly under the aurora borealis on it’s way to Lapland. The arctic borealis viewing is a popular pastime amongst star gazers and adventurers alike, as arctic skies are some of the most amazing, star-filled and even colourful night skies to enjoy.
Once disembarking in Rovaniemi, enjoy the crisp arctic air and warm holiday feelings when crossing the arctic circle to visit Santa at his cabin!
Travellers from all over the world flock to see Santa and now we are able to share in this experience, uninterrupted and without large crowds, for a reasonable price while donating to charity. Win-win-win!
The virtual reality flights are scheduled twice daily, starting on Christmas Day 25/12 and going through New Years Eve 30/12 during two times of the day: 12.00 EET and 19.00 EET. Flights can be taken via laptop, smartphone and VR headsets with web browsers that allow video play. As I understand it, the tours are in the English language.
The flights last approximately 30 minutes and cost 10 euros (or 12.30 usd). The proceeds from these VR tours are donated to UNICEF to help slow the spread of Covid-19 and minimise the impact children that have been adversely affected by the pandemic, globally. Tickets for the VR tours can be purchased by visiting the Finnair shop page by clicking here.
This experience is something that can potentially bring joy to people and families everywhere and I would absolutely recommend trying it.
This is truly embarrassing and I do apologise. I needed to downgrade my website because…economy. Support told me that I may lose some content and I was prepared for that possibility. It seems that the resetting of my website resulted in the system going peanuts and apparently sending out more than 30 notifications for both random published posts as well as some drafts that had been just sitting unfinished in a folder for a very long time.
So please, if you see many emails from me in your inbox, this is what it is. Just delete it and continue on with your day.