Nancy Dee For Valetines Day


DSCN3900 2 Nancy Dee For Valetines Day

For Valentines Day myself and Mr S went into Bath for Tapas. My outfit features a dress and jacket by Nancy Dee, one of my favourite ethical brands at the moment. Nancy Dee makes all of their clothes in the UK from beautiful soft, comfy and cosy organic cotton jersey fabric. It is a real joy to wear. I couldn’t help accessorising my outfit with my glitter heart necklace by another ‘Made in Britain’ fashion brand, Tatty Devine. If I can’t wear a heart necklace on Valentines Day then when can I wear it!

The boots are my faithful Dream in Green boots which are made from vegetable tanned leather. This is a more eco friendly alternative than conventionally tanned leather. I love these boots as they go with just about anything and the wedge heel means that they add a bit of height but  are still really easy to walk in.

It was lovely to have a bit of time to ourselves for once as life can get so crazy busy with work and the children’s busy schedule of homework, clubs and socialising. On Saturday I also did my first training walk in preparation for a 30 mile walk across the Brecon Beacons. It was amazing to get out in the fresh air early in the moring and the perfect opportunity to catch up with my 2 friends who I haven’t seen since Christmas. As usual the weekend has just flown by and I can’t believe that it is back to work tommorrow.

I will finish by sharing a few Instagrams from the last week.

poncho Nancy Dee For Valetines Day
I love dream catchers and was delighted to get this very cute mini one along with the seventies poncho that I ordered from LA based, Desert Cat Vintage on Etsy.
huevos ranchos Nancy Dee For Valetines Day
This is probably one of my favourite breakfasts ever. Huevos Rancheros.It is basically egg poached in a salsa (tomatoes, onions, chillis and peppers), served on warm tortilla with grated cheese and avocado.Jamie Oliver has a recipe for it here.
bento Nancy Dee For Valetines Day
My daughter loves having Bento lunch boxes or ‘themed lunch’ as she calls it. I don’t have time to make it every morning but this week I managed to make a Valentines themed lunch with teddy sandwishes and heart shaped veg.
td Nancy Dee For Valetines Day
My Tatty Devine heart necklace
lady1 Nancy Dee For Valetines Day
As soon as I sit down for a second, the cat jumps straight on my lap.

flowers Nancy Dee For Valetines Day

Red roses from Mr S.
cake Nancy Dee For Valetines Day
A very yummy Valentines cake made by the girls.

I hope that you had a fab weekend, whatever you did.

With warmest wishes

short001btn Nancy Dee For Valetines Day

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

short001btn Heart Prints   Thrifty Thursday Valentines Special

Thrifty Thursday – Vintage Ponchos

DSCN3815 2 Thrifty Thursday   Vintage Ponchos
I have had a real craving for vintage ponchos lately. So much so that I couldn’t help but treat myself to a few from Etsy (One of which is pictured above). There have been lots of blanket capes around this winter but I don’t think that anything you could buy on the high street really competes,to an original vintage poncho. They are usually made from much better quality materials and have unique details that you won’t see in the high street shops as much. I really love the bold colour and pattern on my poncho. They are also really cosy. I am hoping my vintage ponchos will not only be great for this cold winter weather but also on cooler evenings when camping or at festivals.

Here are a few of the other vintage ponchos that I found on Etsy.
Vintage ponchos Thrifty Thursday   Vintage Ponchos

Top right – 70’s Arran Knit Poncho – Gold Canary Vintage (Etsy)

Top left – Vintage Native American Blanket Cape – Black Pagan Vintage (Etsy)

Bottom left – 70’s Fringe Poncho – Crush Vintage Candy (Etsy)

Bottom right –  Blanket Poncho – Shabby Babe Vintage (Etsy)

If there is one place that sells amazing vintage ponchos, it is Etsy. Here are just a few of the lovelies that I have seen. Although many of them come from the US or  abroad so have a higher delivery charge, I still think they are pretty good value for such a gorgeous and wearable piece of history.

For anyone who can knit Etsy also have some pretty amazing vintage poncho knitting patterns and craft supplies.

Do you shop on Etsy? What are your favourite finds?

 

Pin It short001btn Thrifty Thursday   Vintage Ponchos

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!

Ingredients 

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

Pin It short001btn Healthy Nut, Seed and Banana Snack Bars

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

Pin It short001btn No New Clothes for a Year

Natural Beauty – Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Body Mist Review

pink grapefruit body mist Natural Beauty   Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Body Mist Review

For Christmas my daughter bought me the Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Body Mist. Whilst I used to shop at the Body Shop quite a bit in my teenage years, I would never have thought to buy this product myself. I was however really impressed by both the body mist and the Body Shop’s commitment to fair and ethical trade and reducing their environmental impact so I thought I would share a little review. As part of my ongoing commitment to buying more natural and ethical skin and beauty products, I am also going to running a regular natural beauty feature reviewing the products that I try out and adding natural beauty section to my ethical fashion store.

The product had a really lovely subtle but refreshing zesty smell which was very natural and smelt just like grapefruit. I found the mist perfect to use for when I am doing a 2 hours of workouts and want to smell fresh but a strong perfume is too much (both price and strength of scent). The scent lasts quite well perhaps 4 -5 hours, it doesn’t last as long as perfume but is great for a quick refresh. I can imagine it would be particular good for the warm weather and is likely to form part of my festival essentials kit.

The bottle has a spray applicator which I much prefer to the aerosol used in many body sprays which tends to get right up my nose and make me cough and feel chesty.

I decided to review just how natural, healthy and ethical the ingredients in the body spray are. Luckily the Body Shop list full ingredients on both the Pink Grapefruit body Mist itself and on their website. There is also more information on the website about the community fair trade products used by the Body Shop including alcohol which is used in the fragrance products. This information can also be assessed by a QR code on the bottle.

The ingredients list is fairly short and I can’t see any known nasties in there, however I am not sure how suitable it would be if you happen to have sensitive skin. The Body Shop perfume products are made from organic alcohol from Ecuador. The alcohol is made from sugar cane that has been organically grown, cut by hand, ground to extract the juice, fermented for 24 hours and then heated over a fire to distil. The Body Shop works with CADO, a co-operative of over 200 smallholder family farmers to produce its organic alcohol in Ecuador, helping to preserve biodiversity in the area and to provide a sustainable livelihood for the farmers.

The Body Shop  is also against animal testing, minimises  packaging, works to promote positive esteem through their advertising and marketing campaigns and campaigns to stop human trafficking, domestic violence and other important issues.

What do you think of Body Shop products? Do you consider them to be eco friendly and ethical. I would be really interested to hear your thoughts?

With warmest wishes

Ps Please check out my store for lots more ethical and natural beauty brands.

short001btn Natural Beauty   Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Body Mist Review

Everyday Ethical Fashion, Birthday Celebrations and Natural Beauty

DSCN3739 2 Everyday Ethical Fashion, Birthday Celebrations and Natural Beauty

Jacket – Nancy Dee (organic cotton)
Heart Necklace – Tatty Devine
Top – M&S (Fairtrade Cotton)
Jeans – Oxfam (originally M&S)
Shoes – Clarks

Last weekend Mr S, the girls and I headed over to my mum and dad’s house to stay for the night and to go to my sisters 40th birthday party at a nearby venue. It was a fantastic night and it was so lovely to see my big Sister along with Cousins, Aunt, Uncle and Grandma. After dancing all night, it has taken me all week to catch up on my sleep but it was definitely worth it. The outfit pictured above was what I wore before the party. The jacket by Nancy Dee is made from organic cotton jersey making it amazingly comfy to wear and the perfect sort of sustainable and ethical fashion to wear for everyday. I also wear it quite often with a black dress for work. For the party, I wore my People Tree Lulu Moon Print  dress(organic cotton again).

As my sister is only just over a year older than me, it got me starting to think about my 40th next year and what I want to do. I will probably have some sort of party/ celebration for family and friends but would also like to arrange a special trip for the four of us. I have no idea what yet but I think it would be great to experience either some amazing culture or wildlife and scenery. I am not keen on too much noise or hussle and bussle. So far I have been thinking about Iceland or Scandinavia. Please let me know if you have any ideas or have been any where amazing that would you could recommend for a family holiday. I will of course be starting a Pinterest board soon.

This week, I have also been thinking about the beauty products that I use. In 2015 I would like to start using more natural beauty products and will hopefully be sharing some reviews on this blog. Do you have any recommendations for great products or good blog to follow that feature natural beauty and or ethical fashion. Please share in the comments below.

I hope that you are having a lovely weekend. I am chilling out this weekend and apart from a few exercise classes and a big pile of washing, I haven’t done very mcuh. Anyway I am off for another cup of tea!

With warmest wishes

short001btn Everyday Ethical Fashion, Birthday Celebrations and Natural Beauty

Lovely Layers

DSCN3720 2 Lovely Layers
DSCN3723 2 Lovely Layers

Earrings – Bristol harbour market
Cardigan – Nomads
Circular Scarf- Nomads
Dress – Annie Greenabelle
Leggings – People Tree
Shoes – Clarks

It is so cold and windy at the moment, I could quite happily wrap myself in a duvet and not come out again until spring arrives! When it comes to clothes at this time of year, comfort and cosiness are a major priority for me. Being quite short, bulky sweaters can be a bit over powering and make me look even shorter so I often opt for thin layers which are warm but not too bulky. As far as ethical fashion goes, I am pretty lucky, there are plenty of choices for jersey clothes and sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton, bamboo, soy and viscose are almost always super comfy and feel great against the skin. Some of my favourite brands for supersoft and sustainable fabrics are being Nancy Dee, Annie Greenabelle, Earth Kind Originals and Seasalt Cornwall.

I recently treated myself to a few new layers with my Christmas money. I was pretty pleased with this outfit as I think it is probably one of the most comfy outfits I have. The dress is Annie Greenabelle and the leggings by People Tree, they are both made from organic cotton, the cardigan and circular scarf are by Nomads Clothing, a fair trade fashion brand.

2015 has been pretty busy so far with lots going on at work and at home. I have applied to do a Diploma in Digital Marketing, which I will begin next month. It should keep me busy!

I have also been busy updating my Ethical Fashion Brand Directory. I thought it would be good to give a little more information about each brand rather than just a list of links as it one is really special in its own way. I am over half way there so should be finished soon.

Other than that, I have been drinking lots of tea, which is definitely one of my favourite activities in this cold weather. Unsually this weekend, I shall be partying.

to kill a mocking bird Lovely Layers
Last night I went to see ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ at the Theatre Royal in Bath, which was fantastic. I read the book for GCSE which was a long time ago now, the play really brought it to life. I would definitely recommend seeing it if you get the chance.

tatty devine 2 Lovely Layers
I also treated myself to a few little goodies from Tatty Devine with the last of my Christmas money.

What have you been up to so far in 2015? and what are your favourite clothes for this time of year?

With warmest wishes

Pin It short001btn Lovely Layers

Tobias Clothing Linen Shirt

DSCN3698 2 Tobias Clothing Linen Shirt

Over the past few years, I have been on a bit of a mission to convince Mr S of the merits of ethical fashion. I will have to admit that it has been a bit of an uphill struggle but finally I feel am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. He really appreciates good quality in his clothes (a key feature of many ethical clothing brands) and is beginning to insist on them, so I have noticed him starting to take an interest in ethical fahion brands.

I was recently contacted to see if I would like to recieve a shirt from Tobias Clothing to feature on the blog. I was pleased to accept the shirt for Mr S to try out as not only is it a really well made and high quality 100% linen shirt but it is also ethically made. Tobias Clothing donate 10% of the profits from each shirt sold to Akanksha Foundation. The Akanksha Foundation helps to educate underprivileged slum children in Mumbai, such an important way to help them towards a better life and helping to lift them out of poverty.The organisations moto ‘Every child deserves a childhood’. You can find out more about the Ashanka Foundation here.

Mr S’s observations of his Tobias shirt

It is a great fit and is easy to wear. I ordered one size down as recommended for a slimmer fit. I also love the colour and the unique and fun flashes of pattern in the sleeves.

DSCN3718 Tobias Clothing Linen Shirt
He was also pleased to find that his new Tobias shirt went perfectly with his People Tree jacket for a ‘smart casual’ look, just what he needed to go out to dinner over the Christmas break. The shirt will also be great for when summer arrives (I know it feels like a long way away!) as the linen is super cool to wear.

Tobias also have a great range of 100% cotton shirts with a soft collar for a relaxed look and patterned cuff lining for those that like an indivdual look. You can check them out here What do you think?

With warmest wishes

short001btn Tobias Clothing Linen Shirt

Ethical Fashion in the Sales

I always think the sales is a great time to try a new ethical fashion brand. With reduced prices and most ethical fashion brands having their own signature styles that don’t really go out of fashion, you can often bag yourself a great investment piece that will stay in your wardrobe for many years to come. In the past I have been a little too quick to grab bargains just because they were reduced rather than because it was something I really needed or wanted. I now tend to avoid the post Christmas rush to grab a bargain in the sales, instead allowing myself a little more time to carefully consider what I am buying. Here are my favourite ethical fashion finds in the sales

sessun Ethical Fashion in the Sales
First up the Altia Marl Jersey dress by Sessun at ASOS. Sessun is the label of French designer  Emma François. She is known for both her feminine but functional aesthetic with simple silhouettes highlighted with unique detailing and her ethical stance. Wherever possible Sessun clothing is made from organic fibres and Fairtrade crops. This 100% cotton dress is reduced from £90 to just £40!

reclaimed2 Ethical Fashion in the Sales
The ASOS Reclaimed collection features vintage, deadstock and reworked pieces, that have been sourced from around the world. I love the versatility of this A Line Denim Pinafore which has been reduced from £90 to £40.

lulu moon print dress cb75f18b3a16 Ethical Fashion in the SalesI already have this Lulu moon print dress by People Tree and it is probbaly one of my favourite dresses. It is made from organic cotton by a social enterprise working to empower disadvantaged women of the slum communities of Mumbai, India. It has been reduced from £105 to £52.50. Shopping ethical fashion in the sale at People Tree helps them to generate the resources to place orders for future seasons ensuring a brighter future for the artisans and producer groups involved.

spring lilly cardi wst1888 apple front2 Ethical Fashion in the Sales
This apple coloured Spring Lilly cardigan by Braintree Clothing is made from soft organic cotton and adorned with pretty crochet flowers. It is perfect for layering over dresses when spring arrives.

Shakespeare008 3 1024x1024 Ethical Fashion in the Sales
For the fellas, there are also some bargains to be had with this lovely linen shirt at ethical menswear brand Arthur&Henry reduced from £79 to £60. Arthur&Henry shirts are top quality and ethically made from high quality organic and fairtrade cotton.

Zalando dress Ethical Fashion in the Sales

SkunkFunk is another of my favourite ethical fashion brands and this lovely Zora dress (which by the way I would happily wear for work or a night out) is reduced from £105 to £55. SkunkFunk make clothes that last beyond the latest fashion trend and are also made from sustainable fabrics.

Did you buy anything new in the sales? Do you have a strategy for sales shopping? I hope you are having an amazing 2015 so far!

With warmest wishes

Pin It short001btn Ethical Fashion in the Sales