Thrifty Thursday – Upcycled Hair Accessories

upcycledtie Thrifty Thursday   Upcycled Hair Accessories
For today’s Thrify Thursday post, I decided to share an idea I have for upcycling an old tie. It is super easy and only takes a minute so I have decided to create my first ever YouTube video to show how I did it. Whilst I have enjoyed making this video, I am not sure it will be a regular thing, in fact this may well be a one off!

Whilst I love wearing scarfs in my my hair, they can be a little bit flimsy and slip out of place. I find that a tie makes a much better hair accessory as it stays in place better. I also love the variety of bold patterns, rich colours and glossy silk fabrics ties are made from.

It was pretty easy to make. As you can see from the video, you just pull the tie under your hair and tie at the top. Then tie in a bow and loop the loose end back through the centre of the bow once or twice. It took me a few attempts to work out exactly where to tie it to get the right size bow. You can make the bow bigger or smaller depending on how flamboyant you would like to be.

DSCN3998 31 Thrifty Thursday   Upcycled Hair Accessories
Dress – Ousider
Necklace – Made UK
Tie – Oxfam

And here is the finished look (which I accidently edited out of the end of the video).

This probably has to be one of the thriftiest posts that I have ever done as it costs nothing to borrow a tie out of your mans wardrobe, if you can get away with it. Mr S wouldn’t let me near his ties but I did happen to have a few lovely silk ties which I bought from Oxfam to make silk dyed Easter eggs. When they arrived, I loved the patterns so much that I decided they were too good to chop up and dye eggs with so I am keeping them to put in my hair instead. They also make lovely belts to wear with dresses.

Oxfam have a fabulous selection of silk ties including vintage and designers ones. I am lusting after all of the Liberty prints ties in their online shop!

I hope you are having a lovely week, mine has been pretty tiring so far. I can’t wait for the weekend.

With warmest wishes

short001btn Thrifty Thursday   Upcycled Hair Accessories

Natural Food – Deliciously Ella

I have recently become a little bit obsessed with Deliciously Ella, a natural food and healthy living blog filled with some seriously delicious but extremely healthy food. If you follow me, you may have noticed my Insatgram and Twitter are filled with food posts. Since Christmas, I have decided to try and cut down on the amount of sugar and processed carbohydrates in mine and the childrens diet. I wouldn’t say that we ate badly but some bad food habits were starting to creep in and both for the sake of my own and my children’s health, I think it is really important to focus on eating a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables and doesn’t contain too much of the bad stuff.

What I really love about Deliciously Ella is that she doesn’t recommend depriving yourself as she has lots of alternatives that are filling and satisfying but also help to wean you off sugar (which is actually a bit addictive). I have also recently switched to only eating meat very occasionally instead of most days, so it is great to get some ideas for protein rich plant alternatives that taste amazing. You can check out Ella’s video above for some great tips on how to quit bad habits and get healthy.

sweet potato brownies Natural Food   Deliciously Ella
homemade hummus Natural Food   Deliciously Ella

The sweet treats section of the blog is definitely where most of my attention has been but I have also been trying out some of the delicious salad ideas (homemade hummus and roast Kale pictured above) for mine and the childrens pack lunches. Yesterday I made a batch of sweet potato brownies which were an outstanding success, deliously rich and gooey with a really chocolately and slightly bitter flavour. I added my own extra ingredient of some pecan nuts to up their protein content even more.

Do you think about eating natural food? have you checked out the Deliciously Ella blog or cookbook.

With warmest wishes

Pin It short001btn Natural Food   Deliciously Ella

Fair Trade Fashion for Fairtrade Fortnight

Fairtrade Fortnight 2015 is from 23rd February to 8th March. It celebrates and promotes Fairtrade products including coffee, sugar, cocoa, tea, bananas and cotton and the positive impact that buying them can have on the lives of the farmers growing them. Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers. It’s about supporting the development of thriving farming and worker communities that have more control over their futures and protecting the environment in which they live and work. The Fairtrade mark is a guarantee for shoppers that the products have been produced in accordance with social, economic and environmental standards set out by Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International .

Whilst you can buy clothes made from (certified) Fairtrade cotton, the Fairtrade mark is only used to certify commodities rather than manufactured products like clothes. The term ‘Fair Trade Fashion’ is used to describe clothing that has been manufactured in accordance with fair trade principles. Fair trade fashion is often handmade in developing countries and involves a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency, and respect placing importance on the rights of marginalized producers and workers. Yup it is pretty confusing but both certified Fairtrade cotton clothing and fair trade fashion are both good options if you are looking for beautiful clothes that make a positive difference to peoples lives. Here are some of my favourite places to buy them:

martha embroidered dress in grey dc2cc077a38d Fair Trade Fashion for Fairtrade Fortnight

People Tree – the pioneer of ethical fashion, creating amazing clothes made in co operatives around the world with organic and fairtrade cotton.

pachacuti Fair Trade Fashion for Fairtrade Fortnight

Pachacuti – Amazing panama hats which preserve traditional artisanal skills in the Andes through combining high quality, environmentally-friendly materials with Fair Trade working practices.

bibico Fair Trade Fashion for Fairtrade Fortnight

Bibico – beautiful clothes handmade by fair trade groups in India and Nepal.

sessun jacket Fair Trade Fashion for Fairtrade Fortnight

Sessun – a sustainable fashion brand that uses organic and fairtrade cotton wherever possible.

adini dress Fair Trade Fashion for Fairtrade Fortnight

Adini – a very affordable ethical fashion brand with its factories being certified by Sedex.

nomads shirt Fair Trade Fashion for Fairtrade Fortnight

Nomads – Beautiful hand made clothing  that comply with a comprehensive Fair Trade policy. Nomads is recognised by the British Association of Fair Trade Shops.

Have you ever shopped with any of these brands? If so, what do you think?

Have a amazing week!

With warmest wishes

Pin It short001btn Fair Trade Fashion for Fairtrade Fortnight

The Shift Dress – Thrifty Thursday

shift dress 2 The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday

I wanted to dedicate this weeks thrifty Thursday to the humble shift dress. I have a number of different shift dress and being quite short with out much of waist, the style always works well for me. The shift dress pictured above (the picture was taken in 2011 but I have been wearing the exact same shift dress today) cost me around £10. Not bad for a dress that I wear so regularly. As shift dresses are such a classic style, they are not usually difficult to pick up in  a charity shop.

I find a plain colour is perfect for showing off my favourite accessories including statement necklaces and scarves. I also love a patterned shift for a brighter look for the evening or worn with a jacket for work.

Oxfam Fashion just happen to have a lovely selection of shift dresses at extremely thrifty prices. Here are my faves:

reiss shift dress The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday
Reiss Cream Ivory Shift Dress – Size 12/14

Floral Shift Dress The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday
Floral Shift Dress – 12/14

vintage lace shift dress The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday
Vintage Handmade Lace Dress (1960s)

vintage betty barclay dress The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday
Vintage Betty Barclay Shift Dress

debut black dress The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday
Black Shift Dress – size 12

navy and white shift dress The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday
Navy and White Shift Dress – Size 12
fluorescent flowery shift The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday
Fluroescent Floral Shift – Size 12

What do you think of shift dresses? do you wear them?

I hope that you are having a good week? Not long to go until the weekend, I am so ready for it!

With warmest wishes

short001btn The Shift Dress   Thrifty Thursday

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