Friday, 31 January 2014

Things I Loved This Month, January 2014.

This month I've loved...

* starting a shiny new year, with my boy, fizzy wine and Indian food * lie ins * new hoover * nice work-y chums * watching Girls series 2, Sherlock, Call the Midwife and 13 Going on 30 * crochet magazines * treating myself to a Hellbunny dress, it's lovely! * skyping * eating lots of veggies and healthy stuff * vegan croissants and pain au chocolat, sooo good! * learning to make dhal * take away * blankets and pink PJs * seeing The Hobbit part 2 at the cinema and buying a bag of popcorn as big as my torso (popcorn for brekkie and lunch the next day too!) * Going to the Barbican in London to see David Tennant in Richard II, it was sooooo good and we had such good seats.  (He is beautiful!) I went with mum and we had lovely falafel for tea before coming back and all the trains were on time * my pom pom maker came in the post! Pom Poms! * visits from lovely people * doing courses at work and getting certificates! * making crochet bunting * 

I want to say thank you to all of you who have visited or followed me here at my new blog, that makes me very happy too!

Hope you've had a great month!?

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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Pins of the Month.

I love pinterest.  Arguably, I spend waay to much time on pinterest.  Here are some of the best things I've pinned this month...

Susie Stars's pin on Pinterest.

Do you use pinterest?  Maybe we could be pinterest friends?!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Vegan Oat, Flax Seed and Coconut Flapjack Recipe.

My breakfast's were leaving me hungry mid morning, so I decided to add a bit more variety to my morning feast.  These are quick and easy to make and definitely fill you up until lunch time!  Although they are nice to eat at any time in the day, of course!

If you click on the emboldened text in the recipe, you can see that I've linked to the nutritional details of each ingredient, because that's something I'm thinking about these days.  (Unfortunately finding nutritional info was hard, I had to resort to Wikipedia, if any of you know of a better source for nutritional info online I'd appreciate it).

2 desertspoons vegan margarine
2 desertspoons golden syrup
2 desertspoons white sugar
2 desertspoons desiccated coconut
3 desertspoons golden flax seeds
1 desertspoon poppy seeds

Melt margarine, syrup and sugar together in the microwave.

Add enough oats to soak up the mixture but still remain wet enough to stick together.

Mix in the coconut and seeds.

Line a baking tray and fill with the mixture.  Press down.

Sprinkle sugar on top if you want a crispy finish (I used soft brown sugar).

Bake in the oven until firm, about 15-20 minutes, cool, cut into as many pieces as you want, then store in an airtight container.


Linking up with Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Little Crochet Projects, Crochet Rainbow Card and Phone Case.

It was the birthday of the lady that runs the Rainbow Guide unit I help at, so I made her a suitably rainbow-ish card.

I'm quite pleased with the crochet rainbow, I made it up as I went along the just glued it on.  I poked two holes in the card and threaded some embroidery floss and letter beads through to spell out her name, which I think looks quite effective too.

A friend asked me to make this for her, a pink phone case.

I made it with 2 strands of magenta yarn held together for extra squidginess and quick-to-make-ness, then added a little flower and a crochet button.

I'm working on some crochet bunting for over my front door now, are you crocheting or making anything at the moment?

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Tuesday, 21 January 2014


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Going Low 'Poo. Weeks 1 and 2.

Just before Christmas I decided to go Low 'Poo.  

Here are some definitions for you in case you think I'm talking about something toilet-related!  No 'Poo means no shampoo, washing your hair using only natural substances, usually plain water, or bicarbonate of soda and vinegar.  Low 'Poo means using only shampoos that don't contain nasty-chemicals on your hair.  Google it if you want to know more, there's lots of info to read online.

Recently the Lush Karma shampoo bar and Jungle solid conditioner I'd used for years stopped working for my hair, I was fed up with it looking horrible so I bought some cheap bottle shampoo and conditioner from Aldi, which made my hair lovely and shiny again.  My routine was to wash it 3 or 4 times a week, towel dry, comb through with a wide toothed comb then smooth a bit of almond oil through as a leave in conditioner. 

But I didn't like the strong smell of the Aldi shampoo.  Or the fact it came in plastic bottles.  Or the fact it had lots of nasty chemicals and SLS and parabens in it.  And then I remembered that the Lush shampoo and conditioner had SLS's in too.  And then I decided to try something a little more natural. 

Here are some photos of my hair before.  I have thick, curlyish, shoulder length hair cut into layers. It tended to be nice and wavy and bouncy just after I washed it, then the waves and curls would gradually drop out the 'dirtier' it was.  I only ever brushed it right before I washed it, because brushing it would make it all frizzy and static.  It was nice and shiny too.  (I'm missing my old hair now I've started thinking about it!)

These are recent photos...

And these are of a very young me (there's one of me at my school leavers prom, doing the macarena, with enough hair gel to set my hair solid!  Others show my baby hair, how it looked when I used to slap the frizz ease on and when I had my hair super duper, waist-length long!  It was a lot curlier when I used to put product on it to hold the curl, I wonder if there's something natural I can replace that with...

Now I use this eco friendly, made in the UK, fair trade, SLS-free solid shampoo and apple cider vinegar as a conditioning rinse, or I wash it with plain water.

I'm still trying to work out the best method for me, I'm not sure yet how often I should be washing it and stuff like that, I'm working it out as I go along...

Week 1 - My hair was quite happy for the first week.  I washed it twice, with the solid shampoo and vinegar.  My hair doesn't smell like vinegar - hurrah!

Week 2 - I had a few of days of greasy hair, not just greasy at the top, but greasy all the way through the strands of my hair.  The worse bit is right in the middle at the back of my head, it is grease city.  Urgh.  My hair was flat like a pancake and I was most unhappy.  My scalp was really itchy too.  I washed it once with shampoo/vinegar and a couple of times I gave it a rinse and a bit of a head massage just with plain water while I was in the shower, which made it feel a bit better.  While my hair was still wet I put a little almond oil on, as a leave in conditioner.

Here are some photos of my hair during the start of it's low 'poo journey...including some crazy morning hair in photo one, and photo three of very flat greasy hair, which is what I mostly had.

Have you ever gone no or low 'poo?  Any tips?

Linking up with Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Charity Shopping, Glass Birds, Plant Pots and Badger Mugs.

Here are some second hand treasures I have found recently...

Glass bird, 30p from the car boot sale.  Glass penguin 70p charity shop.

Retro plant pots, ceramic one £1, plastic one 25p, from the charity shop.  I think the plastic one is quite old, it says made in England on the bottom, whereas most modern plastic things come from China.

Pink and purple badger mug, 50p.  Stag espresso cup 20p.  Charity shop.

Cat mug, 20p.  Currently a nice home for my basil plant. Charity shop.

Have you found any treasures?

Linking up with Magpie Monday at Me and My Shadow.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Library Love. Arabel's Raven, The Fiery Heart, Save with Jamie and Easy Crochet Country.

This month I've been reading...

Arabel's Raven - Joan Aiken
When I was little the BBC made this book into TV series, which I loved.  Arabel has a very naughty pet raven, called Mortimer, he has many socially unacceptable habits (such as eating the stairs) but sometimes, he saves the day.

The Fiery Heart - Richelle Mead
This is the fourth book in this series, which follows on from the Vampire Academy series, which has been made into a film.  Even though they're for teenagers and about vampires, they're not badly written or Twilight-ish at all, just lots of supernatural action and romance in a nice, easy read.

Save with Jamie - Jamie Oliver
There are a few veggie recipes in here, the first chapter is about 50 pages long and is called 'veg', so there's a few to choose from even though this book has lots of meaty recipes too.  I'm especially tempted by the giant rosti, yum!

Easy Crochet, Country - Nicki Trench
Nicki Trench is my favourite crochet pattern writer, so I had to check this out and it doesn't disappoint.  It's full of lovely, wearable patterns for hats, shawls, scarves, gloves as well as pretty things for your home.  I can see myself buying this book, and the rest of the series, it's so good!

Have you read anything excellent recently?  I currently have 19 books in my waiting to read pile - eek!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

What do Vegans Eat?

I get asked this question a lot, so here's a photo-record, quick snaps of the every-day vegan meals and treats I've eaten in the past week or so...

1. Sausage Curry stir fry - with rice noodles, red pepper, onion, spring onion, sweet corn and peas.
2.  Popcorn - made on the stove, with melted vegan margarine and salt.
3.  Pan roasted seeds - sunflower and pumpkin seeds dry roasted in a frying pan mixed with raw sesame seeds.
4.  Aldi Dark Chocolate Reindeer - £1 each, om nom nom.
5.  Sandwich - brown seeded bread with Granovita Original Organic Vegetable Pate, which I think is yummy and perfect for lunch box sandwiches.
6.  'Chicken' burger, potatoes and veg - I was really excited to try VBites vegan and soya free Southern Chicken style Burgers, but I didn't like it.  I had it with my favourite type of potatoes though, boiled potatoes with melted vegan margarine and chopped spring onions, broccoli and sweet corn too.
7.  Hartley's Lemon and Lime Jelly Pot - yummy, ready made jelly with no gelatine!
8.  Hmmm, this was a bit of a concoction, left over mushroom pilau rice from a takeaway, mixed in with stir fried onion, pepper, spring onion, garlic and peas, with steamed veg on the side.

So there we go!

Linking up with Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Easy Green Actions...January 2014...

Here's this month's list of easy green and eco friendly actions...

Sign Friends of the Earth's online petition asking big businesses to reveal the true impact their products have on the earth and on the people making them.

Use Greenpeace's online checker to see if your (UK) home might be in a future fracking area, if it is you can enter your details into their online form, to legally refuse permission for this to happen.  Worryingly, my flat is in a possible fracking zone.

Sign WWF's online petition to protect Virunga, an African National Park at risk of being exploited for oil.

Join in with Veganuary, Viva's challenge to go vegan this January. They provide lots of support and yummy recipes online.  If that's all too much for you, then why not make your new years resolution to eat meat free once a week with Meat Free Monday.  You can find my ideas for meat free meals here.

If you have any ideas to be added to this months list, then let me know in the comments section and if I like it, I'll add it!  And feel free to share any of this info (or the whole post) wherever and with whoever you like - if you sign any of the petitions and use social media then please consider using the share on facebook or twitter options that pop up, it increases the reach of these actions and awareness of these issues even further.  

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year, New Blog...

It feels like a good time to make a fresh start, so here I am with a new blog name and web address.  I have imported all posts and comments from my other blog and I will be slowly making moves to post here instead of there.

I would love it if my bloggy friends would follow me over here, use the bloglovin' widget or the followers widget to keep following my blog!