You may have gathered from my previous posts that money is tight…non-existent really. My ‘disposable income’ disappeared when I signed my letter of resignation. So cutbacks had to be made. But I didn’t want to stop doing the things that made me feel better so I knew I had to find a different way of doing them. I have previously made my own body scrub but have been looking for recipes for face masks and intensive hair conditioners that use ingredients from the kitchen. I don’t want to be buying a load of expensive things to put on my face then wash away.
So the lovely Nicola from Yarn Box let me borrow ‘Natural Superwoman‘ by Rosamund Richardson which had loads of recipes for lots of different things. I made the oatmeal face mask but replaced the rose water with honey. It was super thick! But it felt nice on my face and left my skin feeling really smooth and soft. And it smelt great!
I think that when I do it again, and I will be, I’ll blitz the oats in a food processor first to make them a bit thinner. I got oats everywhere! Also, it does need something thinner than honey to mix with otherwise it can just be lumps of sticky oats on your face.
The other recipe I tried today was a hair mask that I found on Pinterest. This is what I love about Pinterest. You can see one thing and it links back to the website so easily. This recipe comes from the Stella Wishes website. And there are loads of things to look at on there. The recipes are great but I really love the beauty section and the pictures.
I didn’t have any apple cider vinegar in my cupboards so just used olive oil & honey. This meant for quite a sticky mask. It was so easy to do and I’ll definitely be using this again. I’ve already added the vinegar to this weeks shopping list because I think it’ll make it easier to spread through my hair. That being said my hair is definitely softer, smells lush and it was easier to straighten because it was so well conditioned. The ends which often look quite dried out look healthy again. The mixture didn’t drip so I was able to finish off the chores I’d been working my way through. A fabulous recipe!
A while ago I started following The Real Food Cafe on Twitter. They were opening up at Cogges Farm & celebrating with a food festival. I didn’t manage to get to that so on Bank Holiday my OH & I decided to take a trip to see the manor house at Cogges.
Cogges is trying to obtain charity status so we couldn’t pay by card, which meant a detour into the lovely town of Witney. I think the admission price is reasonable for adults (£5) but cannot understand why they feel they have to charge £1 for dogs! It’s not like a pooch is going to be bringing its pocket money! Weird! (Not that I have a dog…yet!)
I was expecting to see loads of animals but they only had guinea pigs, ducklings (super cute), chickens & turkeys. The guinea pigs were a bit shy so stayed in their cage. It was amazing to see that the chickens had previously been at a battery farm. They looked a bit worse for wear but it was good to see them out & about.
The best bit by far was the manor house. It had an amazing garden – full of veg & bee-loving flowers. Exactly what I want my garden to be like. Parts of the manor house are really old, like 1200’s kind of old, although the kitchens are currently dressed in the Victorian era. Just my cup of tea. In the kitchens were volunteers baking bread & welsh cakes and they had free samples for people to try. Bingo! They even had homemade butter & jam for people to try. They were all so delicious. The welsh cakes were cheese & chive flavour which I’ve never had before.
The upstairs wasn’t open to visitors so we headed out through the orchard & onto the river walk. There were bugs & flowers aplenty on the walk & we definitely saw evidence of otter activity! Something was making paths from the river, under fencing & across grass.
There were also loads of different flowers & plants that I’d not seen before but the bees were really enjoying. My favourite plant was this hairy looking one. I’ve never seen anything like it & would love to know what it is.
After all that it was time for lunch. We finally got a table & I had a lovely roasted veg & pesto sandwich on toasted bread. It came with a lovely side salad & coleslaw. The disappointing bit was the water. It tasted awful & was so bad you couldn’t taste the tea. There was also very little to see in the cafe or the shop. I’d hoped for some local produce/crafty bits. Maybe this will come later.
It’s well worth the trip, especially if you’ve got little ones as there’s loads for them to do. If you don’t have little ones (like us) then it won’t take long to get round Cogges & back in the comfort of the cafe! x
Every year I see blackberries out in the hedgerows & hear about people making jam etc with their free fruit. Every year I tell myself I’m going to do that. Well I finally did. On Saturday my OH & I went out blackberry picking to a park in Oxford. We started off small but it wasn’t long before we hit the mother load. I’d taken two tupperware boxes, just in case. It was a good job as we picked just over 700g of blackberries.
Once we’d got home, rinsed & de-maggoted them (gross!) I had to decide what to do with them. I’d promised my OH a crumble so knew that I was going to make an apple & blackberry crumble but that wouldn’t use them all up. Did I have enough to make some jam? I’d been collecting jam jars & lids for a while now, not for anything in particular, but when you get a good jar it makes sense to keep it!
I searched the internet for some jam recipes & came across one listing ‘Easy Blackberry Recipes‘. Perfect I thought, and it was a very easy recipe to follow. Despite not having the kilogram of fruit that most recipes ask for, this recipe made it easy to do the maths needed for the 500g of fruit I did have. Now I’ve never made jam before so I did have to nervously text my mum a few times but I think the result is good. I added the juice of one lemon to include some pectin but I didn’t include any apples because I wanted pure blackberry jam. I warmed my jars in the oven, as recommended in the recipe & this worked a treat. In the end I only had enough for three small jars but I’m quite happy with that. I’m not a massive jam-user so this way I can give one or two jars away and keep one for myself. Fear not, family & friends, you won’t be inundated with tons of massive jars full of jam!
I’ve made crumble loads of times before. I use my mum’s very tried & tested recipe and it never fails to deliver. But I had a recipe from a very old copy of Ideal Home Magazine for an oat crumble that I wanted to try. The fruit mix was the remainder 200g of blackberries & two large cooking apples. Then the oat crumble topping called for 100g of plain flour, unsalted butter & oats and 50g of golden sugar. I was a little dubious at first but when I put the mix on the fruit it definitely looked okay. That just left the taste test!
Final verdict: Very tasty! The crumble mix and the blackberries were absolutely delicious! I will definitely be picking more free fruit! x
I have recently resigned from my job (for a number of dull reasons which I won’t bore you with) so I’m in the process of trying to cut a few corners until something new comes along. Where’s a better place to start than my beauty regime? I normally use the Sanctuary Salt Scrub but at £10 a go I wondered if I could do better.
Well the answer is simply yes! I’d read a scrub recipe on Daisy Green Magazine’s website, courtesy of Gabrielle Treanor, so thought I’d give it a go. I wasn’t disappointed.
I started with getting my ingredients together, minus the essential oil as I didn’t have any. However, I will be getting some to add to my next batch. This is the best bit of doing something like this. You can make your batch to whatever size you want. If you don’t want to be wasteful then just use a smaller measuring cup. By doing that you can also vary the oils that you use. Once you’ve got a few in then one week you can use rose, the next maybe bergamot, following that orange or peppermint. You could even mix and match to make your own unique scent.
Once I’d measured out my sugar (and cleaned up the spilt bits – I’m a bit clumsy!) I poured it into a jar. This was just a clean one that I had to hand but if you wanted to make it bit more appealing (or maybe give it away as a gift) you could choose something pretty, tie some ribbon round the lid & attach a homemade gift card. (Family & friends be warned – something like this could be coming your way at Christmas!) Obviously you’d have to check/find out if they were allergic to any of the ingredients and check that you aren’t either before you smother yourself in it. I have had minor rashes from some scrubs before as I have sensitive & dry skin but I didn’t from this. The great thing is you are in control of the ingredients. You can buy organic, ethical oil & sugar so you know that it’s the best that it can be for all concerned.
Once you’ve added the oil to your sugar you mix it up & head to the bathroom. I have really dry skin that can become really painful if I don’t moisturise it. This also contributes to ingowing hairs (gross!) so I need something that exfoliates well but isn’t too harsh either. This recipe fits the bill. It is cheap to make, easy & quick to do. You have complete say over what goes in & it doesn’t leave the shower covered in muck (much to the relief of my OH!) I was left with soft skin that tingled nicely. It has worked a treat on my rough bits but hasn’t hurt my skin. I will definitely be making this again. A fantastic crafty way to get summer skin – even if the weather won’t let you show it off! x
For other homemade beauty recipes have a look on Daisy Green Magazine.