Slow living can ripple through every aspects of your lifestyle. Not only can it change how you choose to spend your time but which brands you are happy to support as well.
Recently I had the pleasure of attending a slow living event to celebrate all things slow lived. It was a wonderful opportunity to spend a peaceful few days escaping from the normal day-to-day and I also had the privilege of leading a session at the event too.
The event was run by Weeknd:In, who are all about helping independent brands grow their audience in an authentic way by using the power of social media and influencers.
When Olivia invited me to teach a yoga session and talk about slow living a little, it seemed like a wonderful opportunity to have some interesting conversations about all things slow. As you all know slow living and making time for those wholehearted moments is fundamental to my and our way of life as a family, and I am always happy to share how we manage to slow things down, the things that work and the things that don’t.
What better place could there be to escape to for a few days than the beautifully quiet Elmley Nature Reserve. Surrounded by marshes, birds and the river estuary off in the distance, you are literally in the middle of nowhere. The long winding track that weaves its way through the marshes to the heart of Elmley is at least a few miles long, and you really feel like you are ‘off grid’.
There are the coolest little cabins dotted about the landscape so you can experience Elmley at night in all its starry wonder. Head over to Canopy and Stars to see the different accommodation available.
First up we made upcycled slippers with Juta Shoes. You can buy their handmade leather espadrilles made from leather waste rescued from UK landfill from the wonderful online shop Aerende. I love Aerende’s ethos; as well as working with makers that create beautiful handmade items, they also only support products that are ethically and sustainably conscious. I have been happily padding about in my slippers since I got home and it was lovely to be able to lose myself in an hour or two of crafting and chatting.
After a yummy lunch provided by Abel & Cole, we had the privilege of listening to the most inspiring story from Syreeta from Moss (pictured below). ‘Moss’ (Moments of Sense and Style) design and make notebooks, candles and the nicest matches I have ever used. Their’ brand’ and what they do is deeply interwoven with their life and what has happened to them over the last few years. Moss was borne from the need to look for the light in a dark time in their lives, and the best way to hear more of their story is from Syreeta herself over on her blog.
Dinner was cooked for us by Tom Herbet from Hobbs House Bakery and he did wonderful things with some butter and wild garlic that we dipped his homemade sourdough bread into over the open fire. You can instantly tell that Tom loves what he does. The way that he talked about the food he was creating was so infectious. I don’t really know anything about sourdough… but I feel that it could be just my kind of baking – it is slow bread after all.
Hannah Bullivant from Seeds and Stitches styled the table for dinner beautifully. With linen napkins, a few scattered candles and some magnolia it was the perfect place to gather together and enjoy the home cooked food that Tom had prepared. It was one of those meals when everything tastes so good that you want to keep eating even when you are full.
In the morning I taught a yoga session and meditation and chatted a little bit about slow living and why it’s inextricably linked to wellbeing for me. It was a really calm class with a deep relaxation at the end, and everyone was able to snuggle down under the softest blankets courtesy of The British Blanket Co.
Before our final session we had lots of fun looking around a beautiful old farmhouse that needs restoring. It will eventually be available as accommodation, but for a group of Instagramers it was pretty perfect as it was. Who doesn’t love a bit of beautiful decay right..? There was a photo opportunity in every room.
We all had so much fun making smudge sticks with Kate from The Owl & The Apothecary. Basically smudge sticks are little bundles of herbs, usually sage, that help cleanse a room or person. The ritual of lighting the stick and letting it smoke around a space or around a body (aura) is called smudging and it is used for spiritual cleansing, healing and blessings and washes away any negative energy. I have a white sage smudge stick that I regularly use at home and I used to use at the end of my massage treatments and sometimes at the end of a yoga workshops too.
It was wonderful to spend an hour or two getting creative with the herbs and crystals and I also made one for Bailey which she is very excited to use.
Finally I just want to take a moment to spread the love and mention some of the wonderful products from the ethical independent brands that gifted things for the slow living event.
I have been loving using the small bottles of deliciousness from Evolve. I only try to use natural products in our home and Evolve create the sort of beauty products that feel totally luxurious. Handmade from their small studio in Hertfordshire see their range here.
Lastly, who dosn’t love a cotton string bag – thank you Timmy’s, who also have a great selection of ethical items to replace disposable things people use on a daily basis. From bamboo toothbrushes to a Mooncup, from metal water canister to reusable straws, have a look at their products here.
All the above brands gifted items but as always all opinions and thoughts are entirely my own. I only share with you things and shops that I really love and think you will enjoy too.