Easter Weekend

Life has been super busy and I am sorry that I haven’t had as much time as usual to blog about ethical fashion. I have been really busy with work (in a good way!), I have just enrolled to do a Diploma in Digital Marketing and campercan season has finally arrived, so this weekend was spent our first trip of the year to WestonSuper Mare.

Although I haven’t been blogging as much as I would like, I have been sticking to my ‘no new clothes for a year’ sustainable fashion challenge. Now three months into the year, I haven’t bought any new clothes. Actually it has been pretty easy, especially as I have been so busy, I don’t have time to think about shopping. The time that I do have I try to use relaxing and spending time with family and friends rather than spending money on stuff I don’t need. So far it is proving to be a win win situation.

As time is ticking on and I have another super busy day tommorrow, I thought I would just share a few Instagrams of my Easter weekend.

coastal woodland walk Easter Weekend
We went on a lovely coastal woodland walk – enjoying the best of both worlds, beautiful views of the sea and lots of mud for my daughter to stomp in!open top bus Easter Weekend
We cruised the seafront from Sand Bay to Weston on the open top bus. A journey which I never tire of on a sunny day.

donkey ride Easter Weekend
We took the girls on a donkey ride.
beach8 Easter Weekend
We walked along the beach
chocolate bunnies Easter Weekend
I hid eggs and chocolate bunnies around the campsite, the girls found them and scoffed them.
instagram1 Easter Weekend
I have discovered my new favourite hairstyle for camping, braids. They stop my hair
getting tangled up in the wind. It was great to also have the chance to wear my Patagonia T shirt which sums up just how I feel with its slogan ‘Live Simply’

I hope you had a lovely Easter weekend and managed to make the most of the fantastic weather. What have you been up to?

With warmest wishes

Heart Prints – Thrifty Thursday Valentines Special

If you can’t wear a cute heart print outfit on Valentines Day then when can you wear one? But actually, I think heart prints are pretty classic and easy to wear making them a great find in a charity shop any time of the year. Here are just a few of the lovelies that I have spotted in the Oxfam online shop.

Not only is charity shopping really thrifty with many of these lovely pieces costing less than a tenner but shopping in Oxfam also helps to reduces clothes waste, has much less of an impact on our beautiful world than buying new and helps a very worthwhile charity at the same time, it is just about the ultimate in guilt free shopping! In case you are worried that your order won’t fit or suit you, they also have a 21 day return policy(except wedding dresses or overseas returns), which makes it pretty to easy to shop with them.
hearts 5 Heart Prints   Thrifty Thursday Valentines SpecialHeart Print Shorts by River Island – Size 12

hearts 7 Heart Prints   Thrifty Thursday Valentines Special
Vintage Heart Trousers by Richard Shops – Size 28″

hearts 4 Heart Prints   Thrifty Thursday Valentines SpecialRed and Gold Heart Blouse Size 12

heart 1 Heart Prints   Thrifty Thursday Valentines Special
Black and Red Top by M & S Size 8

heart 2 Heart Prints   Thrifty Thursday Valentines SpecialBlue knee Length Dress by Next – size 14

skater dress Heart Prints   Thrifty Thursday Valentines Special
Skater Dress by Tofu Size 8

If none of these pieces take your fancy, why not try updating something that you no longer wear with some DIY upcycling. I love this tutorial for a DIY ripped heart tshirt or this DIY heart on your sleeve projector check out this very cute heart chain stitch for embellishing just about anything.

Hearts, how will you be wearing yours for Valentines Day? on your sleeve perhaps? Whatever you do, have a lovely time.

With warmest wishes

Healthy Nut, Seed and Banana Snack Bars

Snackbars Healthy Nut, Seed and Banana Snack Bars
Inspired by a recipe on clean food blog, Deliciously Ella and by a comment by Mr S about the multiple bags of open seeds and nuts that I have in the kitchen cupboard, I decided to try and create some healthy snack bars from food that I already had in the house and needed using up.

This  healthy snack bar recipe basically features a mixture of nuts, seeds and dried fruit that I have bought to top porridge and yoghurt or to make salad dressings with. I think it would work well with just about any mixture of wholefood seeds, nuts and dried fruit that you have got. I also used ripe bananas that needed using up for this recipe, there isn’t really any substitute for this as it is what holds the bars together. My snack bars tasted a bit like flapjacks only a lot more filling and not nearly as sweet. If you have a sweet tooth, you could double or triple the amount of honey for a more sugary snack.

I am hoping that they will be a good alternative to cakes and biscuits for the me and the children and a more healthy option than the supposedly ‘healthy snack bars’ that you can buy in the shops.

This recipe makes about 12 healthy snack bars or more if you cut them smaller!


2 large ripe bananas
2 cups of mixed seeds, nuts and dried fruit (I used flaked almonds, cashew nuts,walnuts, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds and raisins)
2-3 cups of oats
1 -3 desert spoons of honey
A little oil/ spread to grease the tray
DSCN3821 2 Healthy Nut, Seed and Banana Snack Bars
Preheat the oven to about 160 degrees celsius Mix together the nuts, seeds and dried fruit chopping any larger nuts or dried fruit into smaller pieces.
DSCN3828 2 Healthy Nut, Seed and Banana Snack Bars
Peel and mash the bananas until they form a smooth puree.
DSCN3831 2 Healthy Nut, Seed and Banana Snack Bars
Add the seeds, nuts, dried fruit and honey to the bananas and mix.

DSCN3835 2 Healthy Nut, Seed and Banana Snack Bars
Add oats until the mixture is quite dry (it should form a ball that could almost be rolled out). You may need to use more or less oats depending on the amount of banana puree and types of nuts, seeds and fruit you used.
DSCN3839 2 Healthy Nut, Seed and Banana Snack Bars
Line a tray with baking paper and grease and transfer mixture into the baking tray. Use the back of a spoon to spread it out to the sides of the tray and pack it down.
DSCN3843 3 Healthy Nut, Seed and Banana Snack Bars
Bake in the oven at about 160 degrees celcius for 25 minutes. Half way through remove the snack bars and score so that they are easier to cut/ break into pieces once cooked. Keep an eye on yours snack bars as the nuts and seeds can burn quite quickly.
DSCN3848 2 Healthy Nut, Seed and Banana Snack Bars
Allow the bars to cool before removing from the tray and breaking into pieces. And there it is, yummy healthy snack bars.

These snack bars smell amazing when they are cooking. They are really filling, packed with plant based protein and nutrients making them great for pre or post workout snacks and for lunch box or tummy fillers for children. I made them with the help of my 7 year old who loved mixing up the ingredients and eating them!

Are you trying to eat healthy in 2015? what are your favourite healthy snacks?

With warmest wishes

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No New Clothes for a Year

No New Clothes for a Year1 No New Clothes for a Year

I am perhaps a little late jumping on the band wagon but I have decided to take up the challenge, which has already been taken up by a number of other bloggers, for ‘no new clothes for a year’. I am hoping that it won’t be a particularly tough challenge as I have as many clothes as I need and I love vintage clothes and charity shopping. I am still going to write about ethical fashion brands for the blog but my outfits (and all the clothes that I wear in general) will be clothes that I already have plus the occasional ‘new’ vintage or second hand pieces. It will also be made much easier by the many places to go for tips including:

My Make Do and Mend Year

Vintage Vixen

Eco Warrior Princess – Buy Nothing New Challenge Its Easier Than You Think

Yummy Green Mummy – 2015 – Giving Up Buying New

Westy Writes – No New Clothes for 2014

If you know of any more no new clothes blogs or posts please let me know in the comments.

I will also be using the ‘No New Clothes for a Year’ challenge to introduce a greater focus on buying less and second hand clothes to this blog and hope to be posting more DIY / upcyced fashion posts to this blog as well as a weekly ‘thrifty Thursday’ feature. I hope to get the challenge off to a good start by having a massive clear out of my wardrobe and sorting out a pile of clothes to mend, alter and upcycle.

My ‘no new clothes for a year’ challenge will have a few little get outs though. I will if I need to buy new underwear and fitness clothes as these are not things that I would be happy buying second hand, but for these I will of course try and stick to my usual principles of buying from ethical and sustainable brands. And of course presents don’t count because it would be rude not to accept a pressy but I won’t active encourage anyone to buy me anything new as a present and if asked will suggest second hand or vintage choices.

So there I have done it! I have committed to no new clothes for a year. Are you doing any sustainable or  fashion challenges this year?

With warmest wishes

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My Eco Christmas in Cornwall

beach 4 My Eco Christmas in Cornwall

This year we decided to have a less is more kind of Christmas. We scaled down the number of pressies and the amount of food and instead packed up the car and headed to Mawgan Porth in Cornwall for a more eco friendly Christmas and the chance to relax and have some family time.

We stayed….

eco cottage Cornwall My Eco Christmas in Cornwall

At Merlin Farm Eco Cottages – a family run business and beautiful escape just 10 minutes walk from Mawgan Porth Beach and about an hours walk around the headland to Watergate Bay. They were super luxurious, cosy and had everything we needed (including bamboo bath robes) but had also been built and equipped with the aim of minimising their environmental impact (you can read about this on their  website if you are interested). Just outside our gate was a field with horses, chickens, ducks, horses and donkeys which was heaven for my youngest. She even got the chance to feed them on Christmas Eve.The cottages have received countless awards including a Green Tourism Gold Award.

DSCN3547 2 My Eco Christmas in Cornwall

We walked…

beach My Eco Christmas in Cornwall

Christmas Eve we went for lunch in the local pub followed by a walk on the beach before cosying up by the log burner to watch Elf.

christmas day My Eco Christmas in Cornwall

Christmas day, after pressy opening, we cooked, ate and cleared up a traditional Christmas lunch by 2pm before heading for another beach walk.

rainbow My Eco Christmas in Cornwall

Boxing day,the weather wasn’t really good enough to walk along the headland Watergate Bay for lunch at the Beach Hut (one of my favourite places to eat watching the waves roll in)as planned so we had to drive, but did manage yet another walk on the beach. Finally the day after boxing day, we attempted that walk along the headline but got scared by the very strong wind and a fast approaching storm and chickened out half way there, taking refuge from the rain and a quick bevvy (or two) in a local pub.

We ate….

DSCN3501 3 My Eco Christmas in Cornwall

I ordered everything we needed from the local Trevilley Farm Shop.I was glad to be supporting a local business and buying food that had been produced locally including meat, eggs, cheeses, cream, cakes, chutney, jam, bread, butter and even ice cream. Our food was delivered to the cottage on the evening that we arrived with the most amazing Cornish pasties, still warm from the oven, which was just what we needed after the journey. The food all tasted amazing and the veg was really fresh.

This year I tried to buy as many hand made, organic and sustainable pressies as possible. Mr S had t shirts from People Tree, my mum, a hand painted scarf and my dad, locally made chilli sauces and chocolate. The children both had electronic pressies but I tried to choose useful presents that would last.  I made my own wrapping paper and Christmas crackers.

I also got some very lovely pressies including

charlottes web My Eco Christmas in Cornwall
A feather bangle by Charlottes Web, a fairtrade brand on Notonthehighstreet.com from my mum and dad.

pressy2 My Eco Christmas in Cornwall
Body Shop Body mist and a photo album from my girls

pressy 4 My Eco Christmas in Cornwall

and some CDs and a necklace from Mr S by Wolf and Moon, which I featured in my Handmade Christmas gift guide here.

DSCN3652 41 My Eco Christmas in Cornwall

I also got a lovely cardigan from Bibico from my sister, M & S PJ’s from my Mother and Father in Law and some money, which I used to treat myself to an organic cotton handyband by Seasalt Cornwall (pictured above with a Seasalt Cornwall jumper, a pressy from last Christmas)  from the beach shop at Watergate bay. It kept my ears toasty warm on our windy walks and can worn in lots of different ways. With the rest of my money, I have treated myself to a few ethical and sustainable pieces of clothing in the sales which I will no doubt be featuring on the blog soon.

I wore…

DSCN3515 3 My Eco Christmas in Cornwall
Dress by Annie Greenabelle, Leggings by People Tree
DSCN3544 3 My Eco Christmas in Cornwall
Dress by People Tree (Mr S also wearing his new People Tree t shirt)

DSCN3593 4 My Eco Christmas in Cornwall
Whilst it was cosy in our cottage, there was a strong sea breeze outside! I was glad of my jacket bought from a vintage fair a few weeks ago and a hat from Ricefield Collective.

So that is it, a very relaxing Christmas in Cornwall! I would definitely do it again. I am now back to work for a few days before New Year. What did you get up to over Christmas? I hope that you had a lovely time!

With warmest wishes

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Happy Christmas

DSCN3450 3 Happy Christmas
Jacket – Rokit vintage
Necklace – a pressy from my mum
Top – M & S (Fairtrade)
Skirt – Kinky Melon Retro Boutique (AKA Vintage Vixen)
Boots – Dream in Green

Only a few days to go until Christmas and I can’t wait. I have been pretty organised this year so have food, pressies and outfits all sorted for the days ahead. No more work until after Christmas giving me a lovely relaxing break and the chance to focus on spending time with my lovely family. I am attempting to have an ‘eco ‘ Christmas this year which means cutting back a little on consumption and concentrating on the more important things like spending time with family and friends. I have to admit it has been quite tricky but even a little more sustainable has to be better than nothing. I will hopefully share more about that after Christmas.

In the picture above, I am wearing the outfit that I wore to go Christmas shopping in Bath a few weeks ago. The skirt is from (Vintage Vix’s) Kinky Melon Retro Boutique at which I picked up when they visited Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair in Bath. I love the bold pattern and colours on the skirt and it super comfortable to wear. So unusual for me to find a long skirt that actually fits and doesn’t need altering to stop it dragging on the floor.

Here my instagrams from the last few weeks…

bath abbey Happy Christmas
Bath Abbey

apres ski bar Happy Christmas
The Apres Ski bar at Bath Christmas market
mexican santa Happy Christmas
Mexican Santa- possibly my favourite Christmas tree decoration ever!
christmas tree Happy Christmas
christmas cat Happy Christmas
Christmas or no Christmas, this cat loves to sleep
white christmas Happy Christmas


mince pies Happy ChristmasA day off work and the chance to watch a Christmas film and scoff mince pies

Well that is it from me for now, I am signing off for Christmas.

I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas.

I look forward to lots more sustainable style and ethical fashion in 2015! I am ever hopeful that it will be the year when ethical clothing becomes the norm and fashion slows down.

How have you been preparing for Christmas and what are you hoping for in 2015?

With warmest wishes

10 Sustainable Style Life Hacks

life hacks header 10 Sustainable Style Life Hacks
1. Know your wardrobe
Knowing what is in your wardrobe is probably the best way to reduce the amount of clothes that you buy and ensure that you make use of what you already have. Stylebook closet App is just one way to manage your wardrobe on your iphone or ipad. You can add photographs of all of the clothes that you own and then organise them by categorising them, planning future outfits and keeping track of what you have worn. There is even a calender and packing lists. You need never look in your wardrobe and announce “I have nothing to wear” again!

2.Charity shop from your armchair
Charity shopping is probably the best place for finding sustainable fashion. Not only are you making use of something that has already been made adn may otherwise end up in landfill but you are also helping a worthwhile cause. Whilst charity shopping is great fun and a great way to create your own individual look on a budget, it can be a little time consuming. The Oxfam Fashion website gives you the opportunity to quickly search a huge amount of charity shop stock, filtering by colour, style, size and brand. They even have a return policy incase your chosen item doesn’t fit/ suit. For upcycled fashion, you can also armchair shop at Fix Up, Look Sharp (for CLIC Sargent) and TRAIDremade.

3. Get the low down on brands quickly
If you have spotted a lovely dress whilst browsing online but aren’t sure about how sustainable it might, the Ethical Consumer guides are a great place to find out how your favourite fashion store rates for a variety of factors including environment, animals, people, politics and product sustainability. Looking for a brands sustainability or corporate responsibility statement on their website can also be confusing as they may be lacking in detail, generalised, full of jargon or just plain missing altogether. Ethical Consumer makes it easy and straight forward to decide which brands you do and do not want to buy from. You can customise the rating by deciding on how important each of these factors are to you and also compare the scores to other similar retailers.

3. Swap your clothes

Clothes swapping parties are great fun and easy to organise but if the thought of organising one is just too daunting or you just haven’t got around to it, why not ask friends to bring along an unwanted accessory to swap, next time you invite them to dinner. Not only will each guest go home with something to refresh their wardrobe but the stories behind the accessories will also be a great source of conversation over dinner. Websites like Girl Meets Dress and Wish Want Wear have a great selection of designer dresses for hire.

4. Stop buying magazines

Magazines are usually funded by advertising so it is not surprising that their pages are dedicated to telling you what ‘essential items’ or ‘must haves’ you can’t possibly do without for the season ahead and as if that isn’t enough, they usually feature more adverts than content. Blogs feature real people, are free to read, full of great information and don’t use paper and ink, making them a much more sustainable choice than magazines. Rather than encouraging you to keep buying clothes that you don’t really need, there are now many blogs giving inspiration on how to wear charity shop finds and create your own DIY style.

5.Collect sustainable style inspiration

Pinterest and Polyvore are just two platforms that you can use to collect ideas for sustainable style that you see whilst browsing the web. That way when you do need to buy something new, it won’t take you too long to find where you saw that amazing organic cotton dress or fair trade hand crafted accessory. There are also lots of great boards, pinner and Polyvore outfit makers to follow for sustainable style inspiration.

6. Update something old with an interesting accessory
Adding an interesting accessory like a vintage scarf or hand crafted piece of jewellery will add a new lease of life to a basic piece of clothing in your wardrobe which you may have got a little bored of.

7. Borrow something
If you need a one of piece of clothing for a special event but you probably won’t wear it again, cut down on cost, environmental impact and storage space by borrowing something. If you don’t have a friend that can lend you what you need, why not consider hiring? You can pick yourself out a beautiful designer dress that you won’t usually be able to afford.

8. Give your clothes a little TLC
Clothes that are loved and cared for will last longer. There are some really simple things that you can do to prolong the life of your clothes. Invest in good quality hangers to ensure that your clothes stay in shape, use cedar wood balls to keep moths well away from your knitwear, wash dark and colour clothes separately and always read the care labels on your clothes.

9. Shop online

Shopping online is quick, easy and will give you access to many more ethical and sustainable fashion brands than you could find on the high street. If you get to know which styles are likely work best for you, you can also ensure that you get a beautiful piece of clothing that you are likely to wear for many years to come.

10. Shop my store
Ok last but not least (and a completely shameless plug!), you could also check out my ethical fashion store which features a large selection of ethical and sustainable fashion including organic, upcycled, fair trade, vegan and vintage clothes. The search function allows you to quickly find an ethical alternative for whatever you are looking to buy or you can browse the ethical fashion brand directory to discover alternative places to shop.

Do have any extra ideas to add to the list? Please let me know in the comments below.

Make Your Own Wrapping Paper

Make your own wrapping paper Make Your Own Wrapping Paper
This year I have been opting for mainly locally made and handmade Christmas presents. So I thought I would try and make them look extra special by making my own wrapping paper to wrap them in. I also like the idea that by using recycled brown paper as a base I can make a more sustainable alternative than conventional wrapping paper. It was also really fun to do and the children really enjoyed joining in and creating their own wrapping paper designs.

DSCN3458 2 Make Your Own Wrapping Paper

The actual process of creating the wrapping paper was really simple. I just used a rubber stamper and ink pad to stamp on the designs in various different ways. I started off with diagonal lines of penguins but tried lots of other options including rows of penguins with random ones standing on their heads.

penguin stamp Make Your Own Wrapping Paper

I used a very cute hand carved penguin stamp from Skull and Cross Buns, a store on Not on the High Street. They have lots of other options from reindeer to snowflakes and robins. I also got a black in pad but there are lots of other colours to choose from including red, green, silver and gold.

There are also some other great choices of stamps on NOTHS including this pick and mix set of Christmas stamps which could work really well for wrapping paper designs with a mixture of different stamps. I can’t remember where I bough the brown Kraft wrapping paper from but they sell rolls of recycled Kraft paper here.

pressy Make Your Own Wrapping Paper

I also used the stamp to make matching tags for my presents. I bought a pack of Kraft recycled brown gift tags and also some bakers twine for tying around the pressies from the Pulp and Twine shop on Etsy here

Finally fed up with the house getting cluttered up with rubbish plastic, like the sort of toys you find in christmas crackers, I decided to make my own this year. I used the penguin stamp to decorate plain brown blank crackers from Crafty Little Bugs which I can then make up and add my own pressies, perhaps nail varnish or hair clips for the girls and lottery tickets for the adults.

Hope you are having a fab weekend. What have you been doing to get ready for Christmas?

With warmest wishes

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Handmade Christmas Gifts – Not on the High Street

In the second part of my handmade Christmas gift guides I have chosen some lovely pieces from Not on the High Street, one of my favourite online retailers at the moment. They have so many amazing and unusual gift ideas and quite a few eco friendly options too. I have already bought quite a few of my Christmas pressies from NOTHS!
original silver leaf necklace Handmade Christmas Gifts   Not on the High Street
Handmade silver leaf necklace by Sonja Bessant , a self-taught jewellery designer maker from South London who makes high quality, contemporary, handmade jewellery.

original spotty fingerless gloves and hat set Handmade Christmas Gifts   Not on the High Street
Hand knitted hats and gloves by Lowie are a lovely colour that will go with everything with cute heart details and pompoms. Lowie are a fashion brand that focuses on handmade accessories with the aim of creating them as ethically as possible, without jeopardising design. Where possible, they use organic or sustainable raw materials.

original hand knitted red wool socks Handmade Christmas Gifts   Not on the High Street
Bibico also create some beautiful and ethical hand knitted pieces. These handknitted snowflake print socks are a really cosy treat. They are made from 100% wool under fair trade principles in Nepal.

normal tribal arrowhead necklace Handmade Christmas Gifts   Not on the High StreetThis Tribal Arrow Head Necklace by Lucie Ellen is handcut from plywood in Lucies Garden Studio in East London. Where ever possible she tries to use reclaimed and eco friendly materials in her designs.

normal pussy cats handmade clutch bag Handmade Christmas Gifts   Not on the High Street

I love siamese cats and this cute bag would definitely be a very welcome Christmas pressy! It is made from boiled wool and unbleached cotton by Sarah Culleton in her home studio in Derbyshire. It is made from boiled wool,unbleached. Her store also features lovely purses and glasses cases which would make lovely stocking fillers.

Have you started Christmas shopping yet or do you prefer to leave it a bit nearer the time?

You can check out my other Handmade Christmas Gift Guide here.

With warmest wishes

Win a JORD Wood Watch

ely 10 front angled noshadow Win a JORD Wood Watch

Today I am teaming up with the fantastic sustainable watch brand JORD with a giveaway to win a gift certificate for the JORD website worth $129 plus free shipping.You can pick out your favourite from the lovely selection of wood watches using the certificate for full or part payment depending on the watch that you want.

JORD watches offer a natural alernative to the plastic and metal materials that most watches are made from. Each piece is unique, handcrafted from sustainable wood.

You can check out the full range here on the website.

The Giveaway closes on Monday 1st December 2014, so don’t delay enter it today!

a Rafflecopter giveaway