Friday, 31 January 2014

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Hummingbird Skirt and Top

Finally, some sewing!

I bought the Hummingbird pattern in November but have only just got round to making it.

I wasn't sure about the shape of the top for my rectangular body shape - peplums are a bit of a no no apparently but I fancied giving it a bash, more to see what the Cake patterns were really like than anything else!

I took my measurements (yikes, need to shrink a bit!) and cut out the appropriate size ( I used some cotton jersey interlock that I got on ebay). The top went together well but I made the mistake of not trying it on before sewing the peplum on and ended up with the top bit being a bit big. I managed to tweak the fit, not perfect but ok for a first go (I have now taken it in and it is so  much better). I cut the low neck not realising how low it was and, since I don't want to add the fancy collar, I am left with a top I have to layer.

I feel a bit like the back end of an elephant in it (!) so may not wear it all that much anyway!

I made the skirt from some Fairtrade Organic Denim which creases like crazy but is lovely and soft. The skirt went together well after I worked out that there really was a pattern piece missing and downloaded it! The skirt was massive when I tried it on so took a good 2 inches off the waist and it is still a bit on the loose side... Next time (and there will be one soon, I love the skirt on) I will know that I need to cut a smaller waist measurement!

Linking to some of these fab link parties!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Monday, 20 January 2014

A Harry Potter Party

Big E is 8 today, how time flies! On Saturday we had a Harry Potter Party for his friends, here is a peek, can't put many of the photos on here because they all have other children in them! 


When they arrived they went to Ollivanders and each got a wand (I made 15, forgot to take a photo of them all though!).

I used this method and it worked so well, everyone thought I had bought the wands!

They then all got a spell book and pencil.

I did and Potions class with them and we did 2 experiments. This one, which is the classic bicarbonate of soda and vinegar experiment, and this one,  which is oil and water which you make bubbles in with fizzy tablets, you can see the remnants of the second one below.

They loved them!

We then had a Herbology lesson and planted Beastly Broad Beans and Snapping Dragon Flowers. Again they loved it.

Then it was time for food. We just had some fruit, popcorn and some crispy cakes as it was mid morning but I did make some Butter Beer for them to try.

We had loads of candles about the house, both fires on and Moaning Myrtle in the toilet! We put an mp3 of Myrtle on my husbands phone and hid it in the toilet so whenever they went in they heard her speaking.

Everyone had a great time and I saved a fortune. It worked out at about £2.50 per child rather than the normal £8 - £10 per child if you go to a play centre!

Yesterday we had a family 'do' and I made a special cake (the one for the party was awful!)

I can't believe my baby is 8!

Linking to some of these fab linkys!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

DIY Beaded Bracelet from a Cracker Bracelet!

My Mum is a cracker addict... She buys the Christmas Crackers in the January sales so she gets the nice ones cheap then keep them until the big day!

This year they were very pretty with silver plated things inside and beads on wire on the outside, so , naturally, I rescued the bracelets and beads and instead of adding them to the stash I processesed them straight away. The first one was used to make my double stranded bracelet, this one was kept more intact!

I layed the beads out to choose which order to attach them, then put a headpin on each bead and attached them to the bracelet.

The only problem with making things from cracker bits is that it does feel a bit cheap so I suppose I will have to keep it :)

Monday, 6 January 2014

Detox your makeup bag!

I am not sure I have ever mentioned it here but we don't use 'nasty' chemicals in the house. From cleaning to skin care, everything is as natural as possible (although I have an emergency bleach for poo on the floor incidents, thankfully they don't happen often:) ). We chose to do this when I was pregnant with Big E and I started reading about the chemicals in deodorant getting into your milk and from there is snowballed!

Changing from chemicals to natural for everything has involved hours of research and lots of label reading so I thought I would do a wee series of posts about what I avoid and what I use to try and help those wanting to make a change.

Today is make-up! Before I go any further I should say I am no make-up expert or Chemist, in fact I wear it about once a week when I can be bothered, but the contents of my make up bag are carefully researched before I buy them (oh what a geek!).

There are some main chemicals I avoid when choosing make up:

Parabens - these mimic oestrogen and can cause hormone disruption. They are are in so many things it is scary!

Oxybenzone - This can cause cell changes.

Anything with illuminating particles and all non-natural sunscreens as they are normally nanoparticles which are a fairly new invention and not well researched even though they are small enough to be absorbed into the blood stream.

Anything that sounds plasticy ( eg acrilate)!

Formaldehyde (yes the stuff they use to preserve bodies...) - Formaldehyde is a carcinogenic impurity released by a number of cosmetic preservatives. Often found in nail products.

There are loads of others to avoid - I use the EWG Skin Deep database to check ingredients if I am unsure although I stick to certain brands now that I know are mostly 'safe'.

After much research I bought these products and have stuck with them:

Bare Minerals -  Foundation which has an SPF, Bisque (concealer), blusher and eyeshadow.

UNE lip sheen, lip gloss and mascara.

That was the total content of my makeup bag until a few days ago when I spent some Christmas money on:

Lavera eyeshadow to, apparently, accentuate my green eyes!!
2 Bare Minerals lipsticks

Lavera Beauty Balm tinted moisturiser

Not very much but the basics are covered!

I normally buy makeup and skincare products from the following sites:

Love Lula: I buy most of my make-up and skin care stuff from Love Lula, a fantastic website who have very high standards about what they supply in terms of chemicals and ethics. They also have a very good points system, I got £15 off my order just from using points I only half realised I had collected :)

Naturismo: A great site with free delivery worldwide. A slightly different range of products to Love Lula and sometimes a bit cheaper.

Ethical Superstore: More for my shampoo etc but sometimes they have makeup

I have also bought the UNE stuff from Boots and the Bare Minerals from Bare Minerals direct.

I hope this has been of interest to some, and I should say that I have not been asked to review any of these things, they are just the products I have bought and have an opinion on. 

If anyone has any other recommendations for natural make-up I would love to hear them!

Linking to some of these fab linky parties!

Saturday, 4 January 2014