Saturday, May 25, 2013

Dress

My friend, Alison, is expecting her first child and I was invited to her baby shower last night. Unfortunately  I was busy doing bridesmaid's duties for Chris and Laura's wedding on Saturday. I wanted to make something for Alison as I love to make things for other people, in case you did not guess already.

I had two flags leftover from my bunting and so I wanted to reused this for a dress I saw on See Kate Sew. I thought the fabric would look great as a pocket on a dress. So on the way home from work, I stopped by my favourite fabric shop, Cally Co. I looked around a bit for some inspiration but I think I am never quite sure of my choices so again I asked for assistance and the lady said that opposite colours would be great and are quite in, check me out!

Anyways, I was happy that it all was coming together, so I cycled home and cut out my pattern.The directions were very easy to follow. Once I had and idea of what I was doing, it came together very quickly








Hand pleated!
I do not have a ruffler foot so I was excited when my pleats were not too bad!











Front
This is the finished product! 











Pocket from bunting flag


Back

I could not resist this label!

Thought someone else would like to use this pattern.

Kimx


Friday, May 24, 2013

Natural Weed Kill

I have a patio off the back of my house and moss, grass and other plants keep growing through the cracks despite how many times I clear them out. I am not very keen to use any chemicals because of Dusty and Ruddles, my dog and cat. I came across the suggestion to put salt on the cracks and this will kill the plants. Two weeks ago, I tried it out as you can see in my picture. I did this one morning before work so I had to call Jon and let him know what it was so that he would not freak out!

It did work, it probably took longer than the strong stuff. I went back the following wee and redid it over the places I missed.

I thought I would share this because I know some parents and pet owners are not keen to use pesticides in the garden. So here is an alternative for you.

Bunting!

I made some bunting for the Cam Sailing Club's Summer Party and also because I always wanted bunting but wanted to make it myself.

I got the template from the Big Lunch website. A couple of weeks before I got some squares from Cally Co store in the centre of Cambridge. I was a bit unsure with what I had picked out and almost went with the set that they had already bundled together but the lady said mine looked great together.

From my last escapade doing curtains and pillow covers for the caravan, I was really not looking forward to working with my sewing machine. I did not know what was wrong with it and because it was American, I wasn't sure if I could take it anywhere to be fixed. It was gathering on the bottom which is a symptom of the tension not being correct. In my case, it was because the bobbin case was broken. So I ordered a new one and now it works!
So I cut out my triangles. You can use shears and make them one sided, but I cut out two so mine would be double sided. I drew a triangle with my pencil and pinned them as I went along..
Then I cut them out and then sewed them along to the long sides and turned them right side out.
Then I lined up the flags along the bias tape. You need to leave enough on both ends so that you can tie them up. I pinned the entire line. Then I sewed from one end to the other. I ended up having enough flags to make two sets of bunting.













Et Voila! C'est fini!




Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Chocolat Chocolat- the answer to my prayers!

If you didn't know already, which I am surprised because I talk about it all the time, it is a daily function for me, I am allergic to milk. I found out in 2007 and it has impacted my life ever since. Think about what you ate just today. Cafe latte? Biscuit with your tea? Milk in your cereal or butter on your toast? Cheese in your sandwich?. Starting to get the picture? Oh, did anything have whey in it? This is a common filler for the food manufactures and also is a product of milk. I also am unlucky because I am allergic to soya too.

 And no, I do not have an lactose intolerance so I can have eggs. I, like the other million of food allergy sufferers, have this obstacle course that we have to conquer on a daily basis and its not as simple as just not having a cat, its EVERYWHERE and unavoidable unless you of course eat nothing. Rant over.

Sorry about that but I sometimes get the impression that people do not know how hard it is and I am not on of those that suffer from anaphylactic  shock. BUT, yes there is one! Some people do know that 'us' people miss out on a lot of what the rest of them get to enjoy.

I got a message on Twitter from a lovely shop in Cambridge, Chocolat Chocolat (a shop I would instantly avoid, I mean, chocolate and milk go hand in hand, right?), asking  me "what were the weirdest combination of chocolate I had ever had?". I wrote back and said that I was allergic to milk.They informed me that they do a chocolate for people like me! I was so excited because no one ever caters to 'us'. Do you know how many times I have had fruit salad because there wasn't anything else for dessert? I am soooo over fruit salad.

Jon and I were in town for a play and stopped by to see what Chocolat Chocolat had to offer. It is such cute little shop with beautiful chocolates decorating the shelves. It was busy because it was a Saturday but the staff were very helpful, pointing out which ones that I could have. The other thing that also impressed me is that they knew the difference between the allergy and the intolerance.

I got some chocolates and maybe its because I have haven't had chocolate in a long time, they were fabulous. I think this might be my guilty pleasure when I am in town.

Well done Chocolat Chocolat!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Loving my steamer!

Late last year I stayed at Jane's house so we could work on some business and due to the distance between us, we thought it best that I stay over which means we could tackle more in one go, providing the wine didn't get in the way!

Jane used her steamer to make dinner. She prepare her store bought potatoes and her locally procured red onions and carrots. It was amazingly good. I thought I could use a steamer as it seems that we get stuck in a rut and it is another way to get us to eat veggies. I must of mentioned this whilst I was over because guess what I got from Jane for Christmas, you guessed it, a steamer pot set.

I think I probably use them at least three times a week. I really like them because the veggies are so soft without being disgusting, you can add some herbs for flavour and they don't seem to take as long to cook as when you boil them, I generally boil everything for 30 minutes. It has also decreased the amount of vegetables that are wasted because we haven't eaten them in time. It also reminds me of the veggies that I would eat at my Grandma's house on Saturdays so you can say it feels like home to me.

You can also get really efficient and boil rice in the bottom with the water while cooking your veggies and maybe even some fish. I did try this but overcooked the rice so will have to add that later probably the last ten minutes.

Anyway, its an efficient way to cook your veggies without losing the nutrients and can spice up the veggies that you are consuming. Bon appetite!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Why I went for the iPad and am loving it!

I recently purchased an iPad, which I know is not a purchase lightly. Recently I have been thinking about my MGI Bill. You see I served my country for 10 years and now have money to go to school. I already have an MBA and so it is time to study for leisure. Living in England has increased my interest in history which luckily for you, I talk about that on another blog.

I have enrolled in a Bachelors in History in Modern European Studies. Maybe one day I can become a tour guide in Cambridge showing other Americans why its so important and why I love it.

So back to the headline. I am traveling a bit this year which is a bit difficult when you are being a distance full-time student (I am hoping this will only take 1.5 years). I have to be able to complete assignments if I am here, Japan or touring the East Coast of the USA. I already have an MacBook (I was on the Apple bandwagon before the iPad arrived) and it still works, but its a bit bulky for the kind of traveling and everyday studying I intend to do.

I have only had the iPad for a few weeks and fallen in love already. I have upgraded my MacBook so that they can communicate with each other better and Jon has been able to upload his apps so that we can 'share' the iPad but I also find it very easy to write posts like this. It is actually more useful than I thought it would be.

My Gmail accounts hold my life, I have been able to get everything to sync properly, although that took a while to sort out emailing from the separate email accounts.

I have set up templates to share between the two computers because while I love my iPad, it has its limitations and could not fully replace having a desktop or laptop. These are synced in iCloud so no need to email between your computers. You can also use Dropbox to bulk up your storage space and hold the same documents in several locations.

iPads use Pages which also works with and produces Word Documents so if you have a PC, you are not limited to the documents you can share. I think that Pages is easier for designing newsletters and formatting pictures.

One more great feature, I can Facetime with my buddies back home! I love talking on the phone but Facetime is a great alternative to being together in person!

I highly suggest a tablet if you are like me and struggling with a heavy bag, one time I couldn't turn my neck for a week! It can make you more mobile and help get you organised!

Do you have an iPad? What do you love about it?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Book Review- Confessions of an Eco Sinner by Fred Pearce

I got this book from the Cambridge Carbon Footprint library. As you know, I am becoming more interested in the impact of our shopping.

Fred Pearce is an environmental journalist who takes a trip to see where his purchases have come from. He follows the flour milled by the local bakery he uses, where his fish comes from and many other items that he owns.

He goes to see where the shrimp in his Saturday curry comes from and the impact of these markets on the local population. In the case of the shrimp, a lot comes from Bangladesh and is making a lot of people more poor and is very corrupt business there.

He also follows the fish he eats and learns that not only are African countries are overfishing the waters where fish were plentiful but there are European trawlers which jus drop nets and pick up everything and leaving nothing for the locals. That is happening in the UK as well, many fishermen are being run out of business by these trawlers and soon there will be not fish for us to eat.

I really liked this book because it does address the issues our consumerism creates but doesn't do it in the language that everyone cannot understand and doesn't lose your interest like I have found in other books.

This is a great beginner book if you are interested in the impact of our shopping habits on the world.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Book Review- Eat Your Heart Out- Felicity Lawerence

I have joined a book club tied to the organisation that runs the Carbon Footprint class that I attended. I was looking to join a book club or even start one, so when I heard about this one, I was excited!

Initially I wanted to belong to a group that has the same interests that I do and it would give me an avenue to meet people because if you live in England, it is hard to meet people, ask the English! I am becoming more concerned with the ethics of the way the world works and my impact on that (says the woman typing this blog from her brand new iPad).

I often think about how do we move forward ethically but do not impact the future or the world and have decided that it is such a big task, that I can only focus on the little bit that I can do. In my defense of the new purchase, I have always been a fan of Apple machines since 1999 and my purple Imac and this is to help me with my studies for my Bachelors of Arts in History in Modern European Studies. I already have a BGS and an MBA but this degree is purely for leisure and free thanks to the US Government and my 10 years serving my country (I am the 1%).

Back to the book review...

This book was more in depth than the other one that detail the impact of the fast food industry. I really liked how this book did the history and brought us up to speed about how we got where we are today.

I know that the economists and politicians go on about the global market, but I am starting to think that not only is this not the best way to go for all of the nations but particularly new nations that have been persuaded to to join the global market. It is unfortunate that the companies in the US and other nations work closely with the US government representatives and negotiators at the WTO, World Bank ad IMF. What happens is , they are persuaded to join the global market and when they do they cannot compete with the highly subsidised crops from the US and the EU which only increases the poverty that these countries experience.

Some very interesting points raised by this book:
-American taxpayers pa 3/4 of the value of corn exports.
-All corn i the US used to turn into liquid fuel will only meet 20% of American demand.
-Cuba stopped getting fuel from Russia and could not find another source due to US fuel embargoes and the national weight has dropped 1/5 because there is not enough to eat.
-in 1970, chickens had 8.6g fat per 100 g and now it is 23g per 100g. The protein level is down 30% and this is the first time that fat has outweighed protein. Also omega-3 levels are down.
-It is best to eat well reared rather than intensively produced food.
-The iron content of milk in down 60% from 60 years ago. The calcium level is down 2% and the magnesium level is 21% down too.
-When cows are allowed to graze off the land, the omega 3 levels go up and there is a diversity in the food chain.
-Organic milk has 68% more omega-3 fatty acids which reduce the risk of heart disease, some forms of cancer and vital for normal brain function.
-Omega-3 is not produced by the body do must be consumed and processed foods are short on them.
-"Rather than going back to producing better quality raw milk less intensively, nor working ore sustainably in the face of climate change, nor in trying to make sure the profits are fairly shared but moving up the food chain, and trying to break int high margin-to-cost, highly processed foods' page 93.
- Probiotics (luckily I am allergic to milk so no hope for me using these!)
-made out of cheap yoghurt reconstituted from skim milk.
-high in other unhealthy ingredients like sugar.
-but does help with diarrhoea caused by antibiotics or IBS
-did not even contain bacteria listed on the label.
-did not affect the total number of bacteria in gut.
-FSA checked is safe but not if they were effective.
-in 2006, Thai government went to reduce sugars in baby foods from 3% to 10% to fight obesity and US blocked it in the Codex Alimentenium Conclusion.
-"Our money has been used to encourage overproduction of a bulk ingredient for manufacturing that is damaging our health."
-"When the WHO dared to suggest that sugar consumption around the world should be reduced because it is causing chronic diseases, the US sugar lobby provided extraordinary show of its determination to fight off all threats".
-2003, WHO and UN Food and Agriculture Organization published a final draft spelling out the dangers of excess sugar, fat and salt consumption.
-1st time sugars likely cause of obesity.
-people should eat no more than 10% of calories of sugars.
-1981 Pres Reagan wrote Executive Order suspending US FDA powers on aspartame (sweetener).
-The current fishing rate is unsustainable but it is not too late to make a change according to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
-Antisocial behaviour in prisons dropped when people got required nutrients.
-80% fish consumed in EU comes from outside EU and is not regulated property and sometimes is on black market and takes years to arrive to the UK.
-Government told us to use hydrogenated vegetable oil and margarine unsaturated fats and turned out that they were worse for us than butter itself.
-Children should not have soya milk even if they have a cow milk allergy because it is equivalent to having five birth control pills a day.
- Children should not have the following artificial colourings (E110, E112, E122, E124, E104 =, E129 and E211 (sodium benzoate) because it makes them hyperactive.

Overall the book was a huge eye opener to me, I thought I had learned enough from the previous book but to find out that there are slaves in Brazil due to the rise in soya disgusts me. Another thing that really bugs me is big businesses putting profit in front of the welfare of the people who make it happen.

I really hope to become a more conscious shopper but in the end, I don't think that it is our responsibility to monitor this but since the government isn't doing the job, I guess its on our
shoulders.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Clearing out the cobwebs

One of my New Year's Resolution was to detox my house. I have decide to make a good clear out of my house and it will either go into the trash, recycling, charity or to sell. I usually try to clear things out twice a year because it really makes you feel renewed. So this weekend I downsized my Christmas stuff from two huge plastic bins down to one. I have cleared out the loft and emptied 3 bins of stuff up there. In the end, I had 3 boxes for sell/charity, a huge bag for recycling and one bag for trash.

I am on a race to finish all the books tucked in a nightstand before I will start to use the Kindle I got for Christmas. I will miss books but there are so many for free, yes I am still collecting books to read when I am through the heap. My favourite website for free books is Daily Free Books.This saves space and makes it easy to travel.

I have looked through my craft stuff and got rid of the stuff I will never do anything with and compiled a drawer for myself for future projects that are more likely to be used. As you know I have been on a crochet kick lately and have really got some good projects on the cards and will share with you in the future.

I find serenity on have very little stuff but I think that comes from moving around so much. It makes it much easier when you are packing light.If only the hubby wasn't a collector :)

What are your resolutions this year and how are you doing on them?

Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Cards

Are your Christmas cards ready?

I always buy mine after the last Christmas when they are dirt cheap. I go through the cards we received that year and write new ones (minus the address) to ensure that I don't miss anyone who thought of us and then I am ready for next year.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Shop after Christmas for Next Year

I love shopping after Christmas because that’s when I get most of the stuff I am giving away the next year. This year for my friends I got a photo baubles half price. I am going to put 2 photos of us together and some glitter in the baubles. I also got some lotions from Marks and Spencer that were on sale of course. I will get something else but I haven’t found anything yet.

Last year I made scarves for my friends.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Cake

I wanted to make something for Christmas and since I am in the habit at the moment of using up what I have, I was looking to use up the fondant that has been sitting in the cupboard for a while (it was still good!).

I follow the blog, Craft Gossip, and saw this lovely cake and knew that this one, from Cake Whiz, was the one!

I also used her recipe for vanilla cake, which it surprised me that it used olive oil but came out very moist. I tried the recipe first at a work Christmas party for cupcakes.

It was really easy for me to make which was great because we just returned from a few days away. I got the coloured fondant from Lakeland, but I am sure that you can find them in any kitchen shop. She also gives you a recipe to make your own. I did have to make my own orange coloured fondant but I just mixed the food colouring and added the white fondant and then let it sit to harden.

I made a mini cake for the igloo like suggested in the recipe.

This would be a fun craft for small children wanting to help out!

It was delicious!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Crocheted Dress

The thing I like about the internet is that there are so many free resources for crafts. I had some left over yarn that I wanted to use up and really wasn't up to the task of making an adult size item so I made this little dress.

I got the pattern for this little girls dress from Crochet Me, which is a great resource for any crocheter. I was able to do this in two days while I was on holiday. It was great because I ended up using up all the yarn, I hate when you have stuff left over and you feel like you have to use it all up.

If you are interested in crocheting, I taught myself to crochet with a little help from Jane and Lynn, but found that Youtube is a great resource if you just can't understand how to do a particular crochet.

What inspires your crafts?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cranberry Studded Mincepies

I was trying to make these but didn't have small stars so used the next best thing! For people who do not like mincemeat, this is a great alternative as it is more cranberry based.

Yummy!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The next wave of organization!

I nearly died the day that Google stopped supporting Blackberry! All of my calendars are in Google, my blogs are in Google, my life is in Google!

I used to have Google sync on all of my calendars on my BB but they stopped that app from working. I can only now have one calendar and it has to be the main one tied to an email account. I set up a few different Google account for different areas of my life and imported the calendars over. I was so afraid that I would have to add everything all over again but it wasn't as bad a I feared. Also you can request that an daily agenda is mailed to you every morning.

I granted access to all of my profiles to my blogs and delegated to them as well so that prevents the need to sign in and out of each account for different things.

I had heard from the Vicky and Jen's podcast about how using gmail was a great interface for when you have several email addresses. It took me a while to organise the inbox how I wanted and I really like the label feature because sometimes items need to be saved in more than one place. Also its nice because you can just login into one place and its all there!

If you are looking for one place for everything, I think that Google is the place to go and I think I might upgrade to the IPhone next because Google still supports them.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Advent Calendar


I love the Advent calendars the British have and thought if I had one that I could just put sweets in and use year after year, I could cut down on the waste.

So I ordered this online, drew the pictures on it and painted it. It felt like it took forever but I was pleased with the results!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Chirstmas Crafts

My mom sent me these a while back and I thought it was time I finally did them. It was a bit confusing at first but once I got the hang of it, it was easy! I like trying new things especially when it works out!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Cookies in a Jar

Usually I run around to get everyone I know a Christmas present; this year is going to be different. I am making my gifts that are going to families. It’s pretty easy, I have been saving up coffee jars all year. I am making cookies in a jar gifts. I have seen this done in the States so I am interested in how this will go down. Basically you are putting all the dry ingredients for cookies in a jar and tying directions to the jar. All they need to do mix it with the eggs and butter and put it in the oven.

Here are a few sample recipes in case you want to do this too:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Book Review- Fast Food Nation- by Eric Schlosser

I am like the average teenager in America, I had a job at the local Mickey D's and bought into the whole institution that they built. When I started to read this book, Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, I was appalled the impact on people, environment, animals and the world that the ‘all American’ establishments have had and have vowed to never to eat at one ever again. I know those are strong words but I am going to use my buying power and make a difference. I don’t buy much from the fast food chains from America since they are not as prevalent as in the US, you know every 5 minutes you pass one, but now when I am in places and have a choice of places to eat these ones will not be one of the ones I choose.

This book was very descriptive and I could identify with the people that worked in the restaurants because I was one of them. It was a chance for me to make some of my own money whilst I lived at home. I did enjoy the job and the people there but I was 15 years old, it was my first job and what did I know I was just a kid.

I am a meat eater but after reading this book, I will become a more mindful of where it’s coming from. I will continue to eat meat, I think whilst these animals are a food source, I don’t think that they should live like their lives are worthless.I also think that I deserve to eat better quality meat from reputable sources.

Here are just some things that I found shocking:
  • 90% of all new jobs are through McDonald's.
  • One in every eight people have worked in McDonald's
  •  90% of children recognise Ronald McDonald and that the McDonald logo is more recognised that the Christian cross
  • One in nine people can go all of their life and never step foot in an independent shop.
  • McDonald's is the largest private employer and also the lowest paying one (consistently earning less than migrant farmer workers).
  •  They get Government subsidies for training people which is something that they are looking to minimize as much as possible and they end up losing the staff member and get paid again when they hire a new person.
  •  The typical American eats 3 hamburgers and 4 French fries per week. They drink 56 gallons of coke a year and each drink has 10 tsp of sugar in it.
  •  There are more prison inmates than full time farmers.
  •  They often only have part-time workers so that they do not have to provide healthcare.
  • Cars were initially very affordable due to the fact that the Government paid to lay out the roads but with inner city trolleys, they had to pay for the expansion and repairs. GM bought all the trolleys and dismantled them and built buses instead (not a carbon friendly option)
  • McDonald's advertises in schools and McDonald's was the first one that targeted children in marketing. Other places followed suit .  I can remember the Pizza Hut Bookit club.
  • Places like Exonn and logging companies sponsor books have made the marketing slanted saying that those were not bad for the environment.
  • Cattle are killed once they are done milking (4 years).
  • Cattle are being feed dead pig, dead horses, cattle blood and chicken fecal matter. They used to be fed dead cattle, chicken, cats and dogs.
  • In the US they are allowed to pump them with growth hormone and antibiotics. That ends up in you.
  •  In order to kill the cattle they shoot it in the head with a screw to stun it and then they slit its throat.
  • The USDA does not have any power to make a company to recall any meat that is found contaminate with Ecoli. The same goes for chicken and Salmonella.
  • Working in the slaughterhouses is really dangerous and often these people are illiterate, non-English speaking migrants. They have a high rate of injury and are often influenced to not report their injuries.
  • Chickens are dropped off with the chicken farmers and picked up seven weeks later for slaughter. Chickens are feed dead cattle.
  • Surprise, surprise the big companies lobby so that they don’t have to treat our people, health, cattle and earth with more respect.
These are just a few that stick out in my mind but there is so much more in the book. This is not free market at its best, its greed at its best!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Carbon Conversations



As all my faithful readers will know, I am becoming more interested in being green and saving money but can you do both? What impact does all the consumerism that has been going on have on the world?

I am very interested in this topic. Whilst I first came upon it when I was in search of saving money, I think that you can save the world doing this too. I have over the past year decided that I do not need as much stuff as I already and am slowly parting with it. But I also think that future purchases, I will try to be more thoughtful, I mean we only have one planet Earth. 

I found out about a local class called ‘Carbon Conversations’ ran by the Cambridge Carbon Footprint and I was intrigued. I am also interested in being surrounded by people that share my same interests. They always say that if you want to be successful, surround yourself with successful people. I am taking that one step further, if you want to be green and earth conscious, you must surround yourself with green and earth conscious people.

At first I wasn't sure what 'kind of' people would be in this class and would I fit in. I know I am not the kind of yogi peaceful person like my friend Catherine but I am not someone who is completely the other way either. I was happy to find that I 'fit' in perfectly. All the people came for a range of reasons, either because this was a personal interest or it is something that they studied in and wanted to learn more. It nice to hear the range of views and really think that format helps to get you thinking about your habits.

For the class, we got a well written workbook with some shocking facts about the environment and what is and isn't being done. I was shocked about the effect my home country has on the world. My personal opinion is that they don't inform us enough about how our choices impact others. There are not enough governments doing what they can about the planet and lowering our impact and 'big business' is too busy getting politicians to vote in their favour and not looking at the big picture.

I know a lot of people think, 'why should do anything when everyone else is not concerned?', I think that we should all do our part and when we get together it creates momentum. We also need the people in charge of our country, those people in councils at national and local levels, to put in place the infrastructure so that we can make the real changes but they will only do that if we put enough pressure on them to make the changes needed.

So I am nearing the end of my course and  I have learned a lot. Some personal changes that I am making:
  • putting up shrink wrap on the windows to help keep in the heat.
  • putting up a curtain around the front door to keep the cold air out.
  • looking to buy from more local shops when I can especially when it comes to food.
  • ride my bike to brownies during the summer time to reduce my mileage.
  • Continue on wearing out my clothes to reduce how much I buy.
  • Continue to grow and make changes
 Changes cannot be made over night and I know that. All I can do is be conscious, keep talking to people about this and be informed.

Perhaps if this is an interest of yours, you can sign up for a class or contact a group doing the same sort of work.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Reuse Christmas bags

I reuse Christmas bags like no one else I know. My in-laws know that they should just put together a pile of the bags and I will kindly save them from the bin. I don’t care if they aren’t filled to the top or look brand new, it’s the thought that counts, right?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Eco Femme

This post is not everyone's cup of tea and I hummed and hahhed on whether or not I should write about it, but then I saw quite a few of my friends love things like Eco Femme and the Mooncup and I thought I will put it out there because other people might be thinking about the same issues. This post is about female menstruation products so if you don't want to read about this move on.

I have been looking online for a product like Eco Femme for a while. I don't like the thought of the thousands of 'waste' from a natural process. I also wondered what people did before Tampax and Always hit the scene. I found these in Daily Bread, a community co-op and a great place for a lot of alternatives to the mainstream options.

I also have a Mooncup which does take a bit of getting used to but once you have passed the getting to know the cup, its not too bad and again you are not clogging up the plumbing and there is no waste!

Just putting some alternatives to feminine products.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Wedding Present

I have to tell you the background before I tell you why I made this for my friend Claire.

When I was in junior high school, we had penpals with students from England. I was paired up with Claire and we wrote each for a couple of months and we always said that we would meet in Paris. Well, here come the power of Facebook. Years later, I remembered her name and always typed it in to see if I could find her. I did find her and it turned out that she lives only 1 hour away.

I was invited to the evening reception of her wedding and wanted to make her something because it would also be the first time we meet. Its not perfect but it comes from the heart.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Salt Dough Craft

I wanted to make something for my running buddy, Anna's birthday.I also wanted it to be a house warming present very long overdue as Anna bought a house earlier in the year.

I was initially inspired by the antiqued butterfly tags when I was searching for ideas for my friend who is getting married next May. She loved them and I thought that this gift would be a great way to see how hard they would be to make and if it was worth it.

I found a great recipe on this website. A word to the wise, don't try to dry them out in October, its not hot enough so you will be waiting days! I ended up putting them in when I was cooking dinner, killing 2 birds with one stone! I found this and knew that this was what I was aiming for (but did not achieve!). I am no Martha Stewart but I do have hopes on getting better.

I think they are cute and I hope that Anna does too!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I caved! I bought some clothes...



But I did buy them when Debenhams was having a sale and I thought about how versatile they would be with my current clothing. What caused me to break down? After I lost all that weight, I never bought any short sleeved shirts which with autumn coming, I felt I needed. I had tanks tops and long sleeve shirts but nothing in between. I don't feel like a failure though because when we have a wardrobe that we are comfortable in and suits us, it saves us money and we feel better about ourselves. I did not go shopping mindlessly and I bought pieces that will survive the trends.

How do you save money on clothing? If you do shop do you feel guilty?