Friday 26 August 2011

Wedding invitation stuff....

I am incredibly excited that this weekend's plan include a wedding invitation construction line! These are some of the elements that are being incorporated:

Wednesday 3 August 2011

Coveting...Green Patriot Posters

Green Patriot Posters is a communications campaign involving the production of posters that encourage sustainable living. The website invites designers and artists to submit posters dealing with sustainability and some of these are now available in a book. Green Patriot Posters, by Dmitri Siegel and Edward Morris, contains 50 detachable posters and has been printed using 100% recycled paper and vegetable inks. It can be purchased via the Design Museum shop.

Wednesday 27 July 2011

Home stuff....

According to Sunday Times' Style magazine last week using jars as vases ('shabby chic' apparently) is on the way down...oh dear. I still think it looks rather good, but perhaps I am just not on the cutting edge of interior design.

Antiques dealer Robert Gordon's home was profiled in the Sunday Telegraph magazine and wow, I just found it incredibly inspiring. The kitchen is particularly gorgeous and such a contrast to the modern, package-ordered kitchens I seem to see so often. Gallery via The Telegraph.

Monday 18 July 2011

Cool Summer Stuff I want to do but probably won't get round to...

......but don't let that stop you! Weekend time seems to be at a premium at the moment and the next few are already booked up with weekends away and trips to see family up North but there is some very cool stuff going on in London in the coming weeks and I would suggest those of you with some free time check it out.

1. Visit the Urban Physic Garden, a pop-up community built garden celebrating medicinal plants. The garden is open to the public from 11 June to 15 August and there will be talks, workshops, film screenings and other very interesting-sounding stuff going on.

(Picture credit: Mike Massaro)

2. Attend Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair at Old Spitalfields Market on the 29th of August. This fair is a nationwide one and takes place not only in London but also in 30 other towns and cities. All traders are scrutinised for quality and affordability. I haven't ever attended one of Judy's fairs myself but apparently the careful screening makes it more accessible than some...and more likely to induce you to part with your cash.

(Picture from Vintage Style blog)

3. See a film outside on the Summer Screen at Somerset House. Screenings take place from 4 July to 7 August and films being shown include The Princess Bride, Thelma and Louise and The Big Blue.

Thursday 19 May 2011

Coveting....TOMS University Navy Classics

I have noticed an increasing amount of interest in a shoe company that have actually been around for a while now. It seems that TOMS have made it onto some one's 'trends' list as there have been a number of press mentions lately as well as the obligatory sightings on young and lovelies out and about in London. Which has made me think again about how much I like these shoes, not only for their simple, comfortable design but also for the company's philosophy and 'One for One' movement. One for One means that for every pair of TOMS purchased, the company gives a pair of new shoes to a child in need. For more information visit the TOMS website. Their shoes can be bought direct from them or from various retailers in the UK, including Office and Schuh.

Monday 16 May 2011

The first UK Green Film Festival....

The UK Green Film Festival is being held for the first time this weekend. The festival will showcase films and filmmakers dealing with environmental issues and climate change themes. A few of the films being shown include FernGully, Godzilla and Plastic Planet. It will include the nationwide premiere of the film 'Planeat', a story about a quest to find a sustainable, healthy diet (which doesn't sound quite as thrilling as say, Godzilla, but should be fairly interesting....).

Thursday 12 May 2011

Surely the best deck chair in the world......

I have been coveting a penguin design deckchair since I first saw them online about two years ago. And now I have one...and the absolute best part is that it only cost £30 instead of the usual going rate on various websites of about £60. I have to say, and quickly before I get in trouble, that this bargain buy had nothing to do with me. I am the worst haggler in the world, I would be rubbish on The Apprentice. No, the OH deserves all the credit for his amazing haggling skills and at Waterstones no less. He spotted two penguin deckchairs at our local branch recently that had been marked down to £40 as they had clearly been there a while. So of course I wanted one but luckily the OH stopped by to purchase and mentioned that they looked like they had been there for years, so how about he takes one off their hands for £30...and they said yes! Kudos to the salesman for being flexible. So we are now the owner of what I surely feel must be the best deckchair in the world. And it matches my jeeves mug!

Thursday 28 April 2011

Slightly random car boot purchase....

I am not entirely sure what these little pots are supposed to be used for....but they cost me £2 at a car boot and I just couldn't resist, particularly as they match our green kitchen so well.
Any suggestions on what to use them for welcome. Jam would be one option of course, it's just that, to be perfectly honest, I don't frequently offer four types of jam at my breakfast table!

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Homemade strawberry lemonade...

I love lemonade and original homemade is my favourite but with a recent excess of strawberries I decided to try the strawberry variety and it was well worth the effort. I found various recipes online, all fairly similar but I mainly followed this one from Gastronomy Domine (I added a little more sugar and I used my handheld blender to liquefy the strawberries as I didn't have time, ie. the patience, to soften overnight). It was pure loveliness in a glass.....

Thursday 14 April 2011

Sale on at Ethical Superstore

Ethical Superstore are in the midst of a massive clearance sale and there are some hefty discounts going on that you might like to take advantage of. Unfortunately, most of the clothes items for sale that I would otherwise consider seem to only be available in very limited sizes (ie. only in large) but if you are lucky enough to find your size it is well worth a look. A number of their other home and grocery items have also been significantly reduced.

My top sales picks are:

Komodo Merino Stripe V Neck Jumper £13.79 (was £56.12 but only available in XL)

Marrakech Mosaic Glass Lantern £8.38 (was £16.75)

Spiezia Lemongrass & Marigold Body Scrub £11.25 (was £22.50)

Monday 11 April 2011

Stroopwafels from 'The Grocery'

I don't often take a lunch break at work...I know one is supposed to for improved productivity and work-life balance yada-yada but generally I would rather get more done and be able to leave on time. However....the recent spate of sunny-gorgeousness outside has made me resent being desk bound for long periods at a time and so I have been 'popping out' to get some fresh air and enjoy the sunshine on my face. And I do actually work in a very interesting area (Shoreditch) and have discovered some great shops and pubs and cafes in the last few days that I have generally known about but never actually located. In particular I can't believe I have never been into 'The Grocery' on Kingsland Road despite having walked past it a few times. It's right up my street (figuratively and kind-of literally), and crammed with not only lovely organic and/or fairtrade groceries but various organic cosmetics and toiletries as well. In their own words "The Grocery sells organic, fresh and whole foods, household goods and all your favourite everyday brands. Our stock is sourced from reputable local producers and we advocate good trading relationships. We supply healthy, well sourced produce, keeps prices down and tie our efforts in to local community needs." All of which sounds good to me. I am not quite sure where my purchase of Stroopwafels (Syrup Waffles) fits in with these policies but I had been after some since reading about the Holland House Festival on the weekend and The Grocery seemed as good a place as any to pick some up. Will definitely be stopping by there a bit more often in future....

Tuesday 5 April 2011

Join the Fish Fight....

Luckily for me, I am not a seafood fan....not because of any sustainability arguments (although there are many) but just because I honestly can't stand the taste. As I was so fond of reiterating during my childhood when well-meaning relatives would try and encourage me to eat fish, prawns, lobster, calamari etc...."nothing from the sea please! I don't eat anything that swims or lives underwater". But this isn't really about my fussy eating habits. This is about Greenpeace's current campaign to improve the sustainability of UK tinned tuna, and they are doing incredibly well but they are still appealing for consumers to help them even more and influence, in particular, John West and Morrisons, to raise their games.

Many of us are familiar with the dangers of certain commercial tuna fishing methods and the impact they have on sharks, rays and other marine species. If you want to know more, I suggest you check out the Greenpeace website ( and/or check out Hugh's Fish Fight which is being shown again tonight at 10pm on More 4.

A fantastic number of supermarkets and manufacturers have joined the campaign and improved their methods but for some reason John West and Morrisons are lagging behind. The simplest thing you can do of course is not buy John West and not shop at Morrisons but you can also join the campaign by writing to them via the Greenpeace website. With so many supermarkets improving their methods there really is no excuse for others not to do the same, so make sure you voice your disapproval and let them know it's not a minority 'treehugger' concern but something that everyone is aware of and not prepared to accept!

Friday 1 April 2011

Coveting....Neal's Yard Remedies Cosmetics

Neal's Yard Remedies have recently launched a cosmetic range. As per their usual product philisophy, none of the products have been tested on animals and contain no parabens, bismuth oxychloride, mercury, phthalates, talc and carmine.

Although there is an increasing range of organic, 'no-nasties' beauty products available now, cosmetics are one area that can be tricky for make-up lovers who are looking for more natural products. Neal's Yard Remedies new range, which includes lip glosses, eye shadows and eye liners, is a welcome addition and I personally have my eye in particular on the English Rose Lip Gloss, which at £9.50 is fairly reasonably priced.

Wednesday 2 February 2011

The things that got me through January....

My local library
Carmex (Cherry) Lip Balm
Fenjal Bath Oil
Aero Lambs
Endless cups of tea from my 'Jeeves' mug

Happy February! The days have started to get longer and the daffodils are starting to appear and I am already in Summer planning mode (a trifle optimistic for sure but it is pleasant daydreaming after the cold and grey January we've had).