Tag: blog everyday in may

#BEDM – Home Sweet Home

I’ve written a few posts about the ongoing changes we’re making to our home. It’s still a work in progress – does that ever change? The list of things we need to do is quite overwhelming and with a very depleted budget, we’re kind of stagnating and ignoring all the jobs. We’ll probably tackle the garden next, when we’ve got a few good weather weekends. We’ve spent soooooooo long on the garden that we want to just get some plants in and leave it the hell alone. It’s sucking out my will to live! We still only have one plant in it and it wasn’t something we put in. It’s much easier to make small, but noticeable changes to the house. For instance, we switched our lounge around a bit by bringing in the big wingback chair from my room and moving the bookcase out. It’s practically transformed the lounge. Love when that happens, and it didn’t cost a penny! Some of our other most recent changes have been born out of necessity.

Spice Rack

This littls unassuming spice rack has made a massive difference in our teeny, tiny kitchen. Previous to this, our spices were just in the cupboard, taking up a lot of space and it wasn’t easy to find them. With the resurgence of cooking from scratch, being able to see what spices we’ve got, what we need to order and which ones are going out of date, has been essential. We desperately needed a better way to store our spices. So one Sunday, we headed to Yarnton Antiques, one of my favourite places, and spent about 15 minutes, looking and picking up these few things. That’s all the time it took and boy, where we pleased with our purchases! This little spice rack cost about £12. It looks like a chap put it together in his garage for his wife to store her spices and for that reason, it reminds me of my grandad, because that’s the kind of thing he’d have done for my nana. It’s absolutely perfect, fits in the kitchen a treat and is ideal for our little collection of spices.

Bread tin

We’ve also been looking for something to store our kindling in. We’ve had it in a basket, but this doesn’t work well, as you get bits all over the floor. Plus we wanted something fire resistant, as we keep it all quite close to the wood burner. We found this old bread tin, and again, it was really reasonable. I’ve wanted something like this for ages, but there’s just no room for it in our kitchen and we don’t eat that much bread, but the kindling fits in perfectly so we’ve got it in the lounge, ready for next winter.

Spoons Before

We also spied this little unassuming box. I had a peek inside and found these old spoons. They were on sale for £2.50. It would have been a crime to leave them there, so they were added to the pile, knowing it’d take me about 10 minutes to clean them up when I got home.

Spoons During

It didn’t take long to get them clean. I used some silver polish and my silver cloth to get them spruced up and they are gorgeous! They’ve got some markings on the back, which is on my list to research to see if we’ve picked up something really ancient. Either way, we’ve got a lovely set of spoons for a really good bargain.

Spoons After

It’s not very often I can walk into a shop and find three things that I really want/need, find them within budget and agree with my OH that they’re the right thing. They’re just perfect for our little house!

Have you found any great things for your home recently? Any planting tips for the garden or good places to find antique bargains?

#BEDM – Fashion, Beauty and Grooming

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been concerned about animal welfare. Recently I discovered that the shampoo I was using had been tested on animals. Naively, I thought we were passed this for cosmetics. I choose not to eat meat because I cannot separate the supercute image of lambs in the field with food on my plate. It’s my choice. Therefore, I don’t want animal products on my face or in my hair. So began the hunt for cosmetics that were cruelty free and vegan if possible. I’m not much of a makeup person. I can go weeks without a scrap of makeup. (I’m not making a statement, I’m just lazy!) Grooming, however, is more important to me. Mainly because it makes me feel better and a good indication of my mental state e.g. if I’m not grooming, I’m not in a good way. As my old makeup and products run out, I’m looking for and using cruelty free products.

 

natural beauty

1. Lavera Foundation // 2. Organic Surge Body Cream // 3. Lavera Organic Deodorant //

4. Hairy Jane Shampoo // 5. Hairy Jane Heat Protector // 6. Hairy Jane Conditioner //

I’ve had some shocking foundation experiences in my time. (Haven’t we all?!) So I always go for the lightest in colour, as my skin is akin to that of the Cullen family e.g. deathly pale. The Lavera foundation is pretty good, especially seeing that I couldn’t test it before I bought it. It’s quite thick and requires quite a shake before using for the first time. A little goes a long way so you don’t need much at all and it covers well. I love a good body butter, the thicker the better. I have crazily dry skin from head to toe so I need something that does the job and will moisturise my skin all day. This Organic Surge body butter has a lovely smell, lasts for ages and does the job. I’ve since bought a second tub and wouldn’t swap it for the world. Okay, I’m going to admit something to you now. I don’t shower every day. Obviously if I’ve worked out, then I do, but if I haven’t, I just don’t. So I need a deodorant that’s going to last. I’ve used organic deodorants in the past and they’ve not quite done the job, so I was slightly reluctant with this one, especially as it’s not cheap. But hey, money isn’t everything. I don’t think stuff being cheap is always a good thing. This Lavera Deodorant does what it’s supposed to and I’ve really put it to the test. Feel free to smell me if we ever meet up! (Kidding. Please don’t. That would just be weird!)

One thing I am quite precious about is my hair. No really! After years and years of having dull, frizzy hair, I’d finally managed to get gorgeous, shiny locks. I was devastated to find out my super shiny shampoo was tested on animals. I needed to find something decent to replace them. I’d used a Lush Shampoo & conditioner, but wasn’t overly keen. Then I read about Hairy Jane over on A Little Bird (at least, I’m pretty sure that’s where I saw it, but I can’t seem to find the post now!) Hairy Jane are handmade hair products by a hairdresser in Brixton. I love them! They smell great and make my hair super shiny. I use the nourishing shampoo, light conditioner and the hair perfume with heat protection, whether I’m straightening my hair or not. I think it’s fair to say that I’ve found the shampoo and conditioner that I’m going to use for the foreseeable future. Great smell, great shine, ethically sourced ingredients = happy me.

How about you? Do you have any products that you simply couldn’t live without?

#BEDM – British Sandwich Week

I have a bit of a love/hate thing with sandwiches. Yep, I feel that strongly about it. Mainly because veggie options are: cheese or egg. You might get somewhere that spices up the option by adding onion to the cheese (why?!) or a bit of salad to the egg. But my experience with buying veggie sandwiches is appalling. So much so that I don’t bother unless I’m about to starve, which is hardly ever. My biggest veggie sandwich gripes are:

  • Waaaaaay too much filling. This is especially common with cheese (and it’s not even nice/real cheese). Sandwich places seem to feel a bit sorry for veggies and fill the sandwich/bap/baguette with so much cheese that about a third of it falls out into the bag, another third falls over you while you’re eating it, leaving generally a respectable amount between the bread. What a waste.
  • Egg mayo. Or should that be mayo with a few chunks of egg thrown in. Not sure if there’s an EU ruling on getting rid of surplus amounts of mayo, but most sandwich places seem to be a bit free & easy with the stuff. Hold back sandwich people, I’m not suffering from a mayo deficiency!
  • Very limited choices. To be fair to sandwich places, I don’t blame them for this one. I struggle to know what to put in a veggie sandwich, which is why I don’t bother most of the time. What do you put in a veggie sandwich? Standing in the queue at the sandwich shop or in front of the veggie options in M&S leaves me missing tuna. It’s the only time I really miss meat/fish because what else goes in a sarnie? After being vegetarian for over 10 years, I still have no idea.

Well, I had no idea, until I found this article on the Martha Stewart Facebook page the other day and went Pinterest crazy!

veggie sarnie

The Martha Stewart website has a whole section dedicated to veggie food. (A revelation!) Not only that, it has a section for veggie sandwiches. I couldn’t believe it! Not only that, there wasn’t a picture of an over mayo’d egg sarnie to be seen. Needless to say I haven’t tried any of these recipes, but when I’m organised enough to make a veggie sandwich, this is where I’ll be going to get a recipe or two.

How about you? What’s your favourite sandwich filling?

#BEDM – Weekend Morning Routine

Here I am, a day late with this one. Oops. I found myself completely wiped out yesterday afternoon, so made some flapjacks and watched a few Gilmore Girls episodes to recover. Anyway, here you go!

Our weekend morning routine is pretty much dominated by Poppy. (I wonder why she thinks she’s the Alpha Dog?!) Poppy isn’t a fan of weekend lieins. In fact, last weekend, she slept in until about 7.30am, which is highly irregular for her. She’s used to us getting up at 6.30am and getting fed at 7am. As she gets up early, we generally tend to get up to, feed her and head out for a walk. We’ll either just do our usual walk around town, especially if we’ve got plans later in the day or chores to do, or we’ll head out for a longer walk somewhere else. (I usually write about these and you can find some great walks around Oxfordshire in my Poppy category.) I think we all really like heading out and finding somewhere new to walk, especially if there’s a cafe nearby for a cheeky tea & cake break!

alpha dogSometimes, we don’t get up straight away. We let Poppy out, feed her and then we all head back to bed with a cup of tea. Before we got Poppy, we agreed that she wouldn’t be allowed on the bed. This lasted for less than five minutes! She loves curling up between my OH & I, as we catch up on reading books and blogs. This usually lasts for as long as my back can stand it. It tends to hurt if I stay in bed too long so I tend to get up and stretch, which usually prompts the other two to get moving.

I love going out for brunch on a weekend. To me, it seems really indulgent, to have someone else make you breakfast and take your sweet time over something that you normally have to inhale to get on with the day. Yesterday, I enjoyed brunch with some great friends of mine and we try to catch up as often as we can. Despite the breakfast being slightly disappointing for a few of us, the company was excellent!

brunch

As I write this, my OH is getting everything together for us to head out on a new walk. Sadly, Poppy woke us up super early this morning and left us every possible present under the sun so we’re ready to get on with our day! How about you? What are your plans for this glorious Sunday?