Kindness is the Way

Originally posted to my Instagram account on November 9, 2016, the day Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States of America.

Hippie in Disguise Kindness Mabo Nico Nico Kids on the Moon Wild flowers

 

My first thought this morning, after learning the outcome of the American election, was that I didn’t want to diminish the relevance of this event by posting my thoughts to social media. I felt as though, to some extent our cultural distraction with social media is one of the problems that contributed in no small way to the character of our global political challenges. Depending on the day, Facebook is the most popular website in the world. Instagram has over 300 million daily users. These are by far the most relevant places to communicate – and therefore are the place, the stage, to say important things to [potentially] lots of people. To speak up on social media is not to debase the conversation, it is to cast one’s net of influence as wide as possible. And so…

I am troubled by reactions to a Republican win that encourage divisiveness, in social media speak “unfriending” – this is tantamount to building a wall, a wall that many people were, rightfully, deeply offended by the concept of. If divisiveness brought about this situation, divisiveness will not solve it. We all need to work harder to understand each other, to listen to our foes, to listen to people who think differently from us and to find a way to live together.

Reflections from great thinkers who have lived the experience of hate, violence and oppression push me to think that engagement rather than withdrawal is the path:

  • Darkness cannot drive our darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” –Martin Luther King jr.
  • If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then s/he becomes your partner.” Nelson Mandela
  • If you want peace, you don’t talk to your friend. You talk to your enemies.” –Desmond Tutu
  • Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” –Dalai Lama

Please let this event be the pressure we need to pursue kindness whenever possible, to make kindness the way.

With much love to each and every one of you, Danielle

***

Let’s be friends! Please come find me in other places:

Eco Label: Plant-Dyed Organics by Shaadee Mae

Shaadee Mae Hippie in Disguise Plant dyed organic clothing

In June I started a new blog series over on the Enfants Terribles Magazine blog today called ‘Eco Label Love’. For this series I share interviews with small companies who produce clothing and other products in a sustainable and ethical way. The fashion industry can be pretty terrible in terms of labour practices (for example, this). And, fast fashion is sorely contributing to landfill.

We need another way to clothe ourselves. With care. Slowly. Ethically. Mindfully. Sustainably.

While the most sustainable choice is always to buy second hand or thrift, thrift is not an option for everyone. This is why I want to celebrate companies who are leading the way toward a more sustainable and fair (or more than fair) industry. When it comes to sustainability, this means the fabrics are organic and renewable, locally sourced and sewn, or eco-dyed. In terms of ethical production, this means the garments are sewn and produced under fair conditions, as locally as possible.

Shaadee Mae Hippie in disguise Making Mindful Children Plant dye organic

For my second interview, I spoke with American Designer Shaadee about her new line SHAADEE MAE. Shaadee designs adorable one-piece jumpsuits for babies and toddlers, that are gender-netural, made from organic fabrics and sewn locally. Shaadee has been experimenting with using plants to dye her textiles, to take make her production that much more eco-conscious. The sleeveless suit Sen is wearing in the photos included in this post was dyed with pomegranate.

Please visit the Enfants Teribles blog to read my post here.

You can find SHAADEE MAE‘s online shop here, follow them on Instagram here and on Facebook here.

***

Let’s be friends! Please come find me in other places:

Have you subscribed to the Global Guardian Project yet? These are monthly learning capsules for children and families to learn about global stewardship. Each month features a different country’s wild life, landscape and challenges, and includes art projects, activities, meditation, recipes and more! Use my discount code: HIPPIEINDISGUISE for 10% off, you can read more about it here

Minimalism and Slow Living: Slow, Minimal Family in a Fast, Big City

Global Guardian Project Hippie in Disguise Homeschool Slow Living Gardner and the Gang

Tomorrow the Global Guardian Project‘s Rwanda learning capsule will be released. As a little sneak preview, my interview that is included in the capsule (along with articles and information about Rwanda’s wildlife, local recipes, meditation, art projects, inspirational people and lots more) has been posted to the GGP blog.

In the interview, I talk about how our family brings our values related to minimalism and slow living into our everyday way of life and how these are motivated by our commitment to live in a sustainable manner. I talk about the importance of time in nature, unstructured days, our car-free lifestyle and lots more.

I hope you’ll find it interesting!

I would love to know what you think, so please come back and share your views in the comments below.

  • You can link to the interview here.

If you aren’t already a monthly subscriber to the Global Guardian Project, please consider signing up. For $14.99 a month you get a monthly digital capsule full of learning, art and adventure activities suitable for children of all ages, but especially ages 4-13. The capsules include facts, information and vocabulary related to wildlife and sustainability. They also include recipes (including video tutorials), meditations (including audio recordings to guide you), inspiring videos made by children around the world doing great things to support the health of the planet, digital downloads, art projects and more. Each capsule focuses on a different country. Upcoming countries include Rwanda, India, Canada, Sri Lanka, Thailand and many more!

You can read my post about the Global Guardian Project here. Visit their online shop to subscribe here.

  • BONUS: All subscribers are mailed a beautiful world map to use interactively with the capsules or just to decorate your wall with.

Discount code: Please use ‘HIPPIEINDISGUISE‘ at checkout to get 10% off your subscription.

***

Let’s be friends! Please come find me in other places:

From Minimal to Zero: My Garbage Free Journey

Zero waste garbage free shopping lifestyle beautiful farmers market produce Hippie in Disguise Danielle Chassin

Just over a year ago I interviewed the Devine Family for my series on minimalists. Living off the grid in a place with no garbage collection they had to develop a way to live that minimized garbage production. I was fascinated, all the while knowing that garbage – items that are thrown away with explicit intent of never being made useful again – is a modern phenomenon. We were making little garbage at the time, but I decided I wanted us to get to zero. So, off I went figuring out how to do that.

About a month ago, after I wrote about our experience participating in Plastic Free July, I was approached by Maximizer Magazine (a digital magazine about minimalism and simple living) to write about ways to reduce waste. I figured this would be a good place to share the story of our family’s pursuit of a garbage free, zero waste lifestyle and some simple tips for people interested in cutting down on the waste they make.

If you are interested in reading about our journey, the magazine is free to download at this link.

Update: the first issue is free, however you will need to subscribe to read issue 3, which includes my article. Sorry for any confusion!

***

Have you subscribed to the Global Guardian Project yet? They are monthly learning capsules for children and families to learn about global stewardship. Each month features a different country’s wild life, landscape and challenges, and includes art projects, activities, meditation, recipes and more! Use my discount code: HIPPIEINDISGUISE for 10% off , you can read more about it here

Let’s be friends! Please come find me in other places:

Global Guardian Learning Capsules Giveaway

Hippie in Disguise Rideau River Ottawa Canada

I’ve teamed up with my friend Rebecca to *giveaway* a 6-month subscription to the new Global Guardian Learning Capsules. You can read all about them in my post here.

In a nutshell, the Global Guardian Project is a monthly online subscription focused on global stewardship for families and children, home educators and anyone who loves to learn about the world and help make it a better place. Each month subscribers receive a learning capsule by email focused on a country and its wild life. The first capsule was Brazil (released August 2016), in two weeks the Rwanda capsule will be released. Future capsules will feature other countries including India, Australia, England and many more. Each capsule includes beautiful photography, facts and information about the country, it’s wildlife, global change makers and inspiring people, recipes, vocabulary and much more. There are also art projects and free digital downloads, podcasts, videos and guided meditation recordings.
Global Guardian Project Rwanda Capsule Homeschool

The capsules are both informative and inspiring, helping us understand how simple, small actions can make a big difference. Most importantly, the capsules highlight some of the things children are doing around the world to make a difference, showing us that there is no need to wait to for adulthood to make a positive impact.

To enter the giveaway, visit my Instagram account (rules are explained there too) and look for the giveaway photo, and make sure to:

  • Sign up by email for the FREE sample capsule by visiting this link 
  • Like and comment on the giveaway photo to let me know you signed up for the free capsule
  • Tag a friend in the comments who is a fellow global guardian, and if they sign up for the free capsule and follow @globalguardianproject too, then you’ll both win a subscription if your name is drawn the winner. Pay it forward!
  • For an extra entry: Share my Facebook post about this
  • For an extra entry: Repost my Instagram post about this with hashtag #ggpgiveaway

Contest closes Thursday September 8, 2016 at midnight (Pacific Standard Timezone) and is open worldwide. Good luck friends!

Let’s be friends! Please come find me in other places:

Plastic Free Living: 9 Ways to Get Inspired and Informed

Plastic Free July Zero Waste Plum and Sparrow Market Basket

This past July our family participated in Plastic Free July, you can read about it here. To update you, we are continuing on with our project to eliminate plastic from our lives, still making poor choices some days, but all in all doing much better at keeping plastic to a minimum in our home.

There are a lot of great resources on the web to get people motivated to eliminate plastic from their lives, both practical and funny. Here are a few places you might want to check out for more plastic free inspiration, resources and entertainment:

  • This video by Tim Minchin Canvas Bag – watch it to the end, it’s worth 3 minutes of your life.
  • Litterless Blog, a great resource for making less waste, practical and achievable. And read my interview with Litterless blogger Celia here.
  • A great post for beginners is over on Less Makes Happy where you will 5 tips for getting started.
  • The Beauty in Simple, another great blog with practical tips for how to live a busy life with kids and make zero (or close to) waste. You can also read my interview with Juliehere.
  • Resource: The book ZERO WASTE HOME by Bea Johnson is a resource I refer to every week to solve simple zero waste problems, so far I haven’t come across a problem the book couldn’t offer a solution to.
  • Real talk: I have been really enjoying the Petalplum blog lately, Ellie has been sharing her month of plastic free in a funny, practical, humble and achievable way. Read this post and this one too.

On my site:

  • How To: A simple tutorial for wrapping gifts with fabric instead of paper and plastic tape.
  • Inspiration: The original source of my inspiration to live zero waste was the amazing Devine Family from Australia. Read about them here.
  • DIY: How to make your own milk, the recipe is for cashew but you can use oats, almonds, sesame seeds, rice, and it works just great.
What websites, blog posts and other resources have you found funny, helpful and inspiring? Please share in the comments below!

Let’s be friends! Please come find me in other places:

Have you subscribed to the Global Guardian Project yet? These are monthly learning capsules for children and their families to learn about global stewardship. Each month features a different country’s wild life, landscape and challenges, and includes art projects, activities, meditation, recipes and more! Use my discount code:HIPPIEINDISGUISE for 10% off and read more about it here.

Luv Mother Mthr Merino clothing Hippie in Disguise Cape Cod

Back to School Giveaway with Luv Mother Merinos

Luv Mother Mthr Merino clothing Hippie in Disguise Cape Cod

To celebrate back-to-school and the changing of the seasons here in Canada I am hosting a special giveaway with Luv Mother over on their Instagram account!

Luv Mother makes merino clothing and accessories for children. I am very particular about the source of our clothing. Luv Mother produces their clothing ethically. You can read about their sourcing and process here. Not only is their product made ethically they also do all sorts of extras to make sure they are operating in as sustainable a way as possible:

  • They buy carbon offsets for their shipping footprint
  • They package with recyclable and compostable materials — and no plastics!
  • They save all fabric scraps from production and re-purpose them, for example by sharing them with artists
  • The list goes on…

We are a vegan family and although wool is an animal product we have opted to include it in our wardrobe because we feel that when *truly* ethically sourced it has a much lower environmental impact than other fibres. Did you know that you can wear a wool item up to 100 times without washing it? Think of all the water and energy saved! Did you know that wool is biodegradable? When it’s life is over (although it has a long life) it nourishes soil. Many synthetic fabrics contain plastics which never ever break down, which in turn harms ecosystems and all the plants and animals that are part of it.

Giveaway:

Luv Mother would like to giveaway a three-piece outfit of your choice to one person following their Instagram account!

Luv Mother Mthr Merino clothing grid

To enter, visit the Luv Mother Instagram account (rules are explained there too) and look for the giveaway photo, and make sure to:

  • Follow @luvmthr on Instagram
  • Like and comment on the giveaway photo
  • For extra entries: Tag friends in the comments, separate each friend into a different comment so that it is easier for me to make the ballots ???? No limit to number of friends tagged.

Contest closes Monday September 5, 2016 at midnight and is open worldwide. Good luck friends!

***

Have you subscribed to the Global Guardian Project yet? These are monthly learning capsules for children and their families to learn about global stewardship. Each month features a different country’s wild life, landscape and challenges, and includes art projects, activities, meditation, recipes and more! Use my discount code: HIPPIEINDISGUISE for 10% off and read more about it here.

Let’s be friends! Please come find me in other places:

Slow LIving Project nature collection vanillalemoncake

Slow Living Project: Explore Photo Winners (and some news)

Luv Mother and Mabo Clothier by Hippie in Disguise Cape Cod Beach

It’s been just over a year since Melanie and I launched the Slow Living Project. Initially the project sought to inspire others to share their slow living moments through photography. As the months went by the number of contributors grew and we explored different facets of slow living through a variety of themes, the project became more than simply a celebration of photography, it became a community and a pool of inspiration around the notion of slow, mindful living.

Participants began talking more about slow living in their captions, testing the idea, pushing it, contemplating, and always inspiring thought. As the months passed, I found myself evolving and changing. I was so inspired and guided by the photos and captions that my way of life changed. I joke that slow living made me lose all sense of deadlines, which is a little bit true, but I also found myself changing in other ways. Slow was really sinking in. Slow was no longer something I did on my days off of work. Slow was infiltrating my very state of mind. By the way, slow doesn’t mean (for me) that I do things at a slower pace necessarily, sometimes it does, but what it means is that I approach my day, my task, my interactions in a mindful way — meaning very connected with the present, connected and in touch as much as possible, in a singular way, with what I am doing in the present.

From my own evolution it became clear that the Slow Living Project would need to evolve too. But I will get to the at the end of the post. First let’s celebrate the winners of the photo contest!

In July, Melanie and I announced we would host a photo contest to celebrate the first year of the Slow Living Project. In partnership with our awesome sponsor  – Magic Organic Apothecary – we awarding 6 prizes this month for our favourite contributions to the #slowliving_explore hashtag on Instagram. As there were around 3,000 photos in that gallery this was no small feat (see the gallery here). But after many chats Melanie came up with 6 photos (down from about 60!) that we loved. (You don’t know how many times I wished for extra prizes!). What you’ll see below are excellent photos, no doubt, but technical ability is not what we are looking for. Really we are looking for a moment of slow living captured beautifully, poetically. As well, we tried to gather a collection that showed variety and would inspire in many ways. Slow living and exploration are personal, we all do it our own way, alone and with children, family, friends, indoor and outdoor, physically and mentally.

Without further ado…

VeronikaGphotography Slow Living Project

Photo by @veronikagphotography

Magdalenadom Slow Living Project Fog

Photo by @magdalenadom

Slow Living Project siblings on hay stack

Photo by @_jessarose_

Slow LIving Project nature collection vanillalemoncake

Photo by @vanillalemoncake

Slow LIving Project

Photo by @tania_mcmahon

Slow Living Project beach silhouette

Photo by @treeoftash

Winners can email Melanie at geoffreyandgrace@gmail.com to claim their prizes. As well, check out Melanie’s post about the winners here.

A massive thank you and heartfelt hug to everyone who contributed this month to the hashtag and to the project over the past year. You have changed my life for the better! Melanie and I (and countless others no doubt) have been inspired by the moments you shared. We’ve been inspired so much, that Melanie and I knew we had to make a few changes to the Slow Living Project.

Going forward we will no longer have monthly themes, instead we would like to introduce the hashtag #slowlivingforlife. This reflects Melanie and my understanding that compartmentalizing slow living doesn’t feel right to us anymore. It is a way of life, it is a perspective. We also, in embracing slow living, have had to be reasonable with the amount of work we put on ourselves, so we will now post to our blogs every so often, when the inspiration strikes. Please continue to tag your photos on Instagram with the slow living hashtags, as we hear all the time from people writing us that the slow living galleries on Instagram have been hugely inspiring. Won’t you please inspire someone today?

As a little memory jog, our year in themes and hashtags was:

You can also see a collection of our favourites from the past year on our Pinterest board, click here.

Thank you once again for contributing to the project. There will be lots more writing on slow living coming up in this space so please check back or subscribe by email or bloglovin.

Wishing you a beautiful, slow day. xo, Danielle

Let’s be friends! Please come find me in other places:

Stitch and Forage: A Seasonal, Natural Guide for Summer

Guest post by: Melanie Barnes

melanie

If you are interested in making the most of the Summer months in a seasonal and natural way, and on a budget, the ’Stitch and Forage’ E-course is a brilliant guide. Created by Hannah Bullivant from Seeds and Stitches and Herbalist Natasha Richardson, it also has some wonderful contributors, Sara from Me & Orla, Kate from A Playful Day, Laura from Circle of Pine Trees, Rachel from The Foraged Life, and myself from Geoffrey & Grace.

The section I created was a guide to self care focusing on meditation, including the benefits, why you should meditate, and how to begin. We look at breath, Mantra and energy flow (Prana). Plus, there are two meditations for you to try and practice.

I really love this quote on meditation, I find it to be great inspiration….

“In the beginning you will fall into the gaps in between thoughts – after practicing for years, you become the gap.”  – J.Kleykamp

Let me tell you a little bit more about the course…

Stitch + Forage is as self paced e-course, made up of four core modules; ‘Forage’, ‘Make’, ‘Gather’, and ‘Tend’. You will receive a beautifully designed PDF with all the tutorials, planning tools, resource links, and printables you need for the course.

The modules contain features covering:

  • How to survive hay fever with herbal remedies
  • The joy of camping; both maximalist and minimalist
  • Styling a Summer dinner party
  • A guide to Summer beers
  • Simple, useful Summer crafts
  • How to make your own Summer sour
  • Recipes for seasonal foods
  • Taking care of your skin in the sun
  • Nature meditation
  • The best holiday, garden and beach reads
  • Simple ways to entertain kids
  • Ideas to have a more mindful, eco-Summer

The cost  is – £30  – However there is 50% off until August 31st.

If you would like to sign up to the course, and for further details please see here.

***

Thank you for sharing Melanie!

Let’s be friends! Please come find me in other places:

Digital Minimalism Declutter Hippie in Disguise Salt Water Sandals Nico Nico Clothing

Digital Minimalism: Essential Tips for Decluttering your Camera Roll

In the news! My friends over at Impressed App asked me to share some tips for managing our digital camera rolls.

Here’s a little sampler from my article:

“Minimalism and de-cluttering are definitely on trend, and while some of us have gotten pretty good at keeping our homes and work spaces free of clutter, digital clutter is a whole domain most of us ignore. It’s easy, right? Digital files don’t take any physical space, aside from the hard drive in our phones or computers. And with near infinite storage capacities between our many devices and clouds, it’s easy to just keep snapping photos endlessly and not worry about how many we have accumulated. Until…we want to make a photo book or print a few for our walls, then we have the daunting task of sifting through hundreds (if you are lucky) and usually thousands of photos. It’s enough to make you quit before you start.”

To find out what my super easy tips are visit the Impressed App blog here.

What tips do you have for managing digital clutter? Leave a comment below!

Let’s be friends! Please come find me in other places: