Imperfectly Eco-Friendly- Let’s Just Start!

With the sometimes frightening headlines regarding climate change, masses of information and conflicting arguments. Trying to do your bit and knowing where and how to start can quickly become overwhelming.

However taking a greener step forward and having a mindset change in how you manage your life, home and consumption can help both the environment and often yourself on your greener living journey.

The important thing is not to be put off, just by living we create waste. None of us are perfect, we all make mistakes, perhaps even often! Throw in some conflicting choices, when you’re under pressure and before you know it you’re wondering if you can consider yourself to be Eco-Friendly at all! It’s OK, just start and keep on going.

Think Slow & Sustainable

Some of the choices we make are habit and others practicality or even emotional. If your green light bulb moment has gone off, that is fantastic. However please don’t immediately start replacing everything with an ‘Eco-Friendly‘ alternative and throw perfectly usable items away unnecessarily.

Alternatively if you’ve been wowed by a zero waste video (some are seriously impressive!) but now frightened to throw anything in the trash! Filling your garage or basement with unloved items or worse, garbage, isn’t a great idea either. There is a transition period.

I can assure you, these people didn’t get there overnight. It’s a journey. Everyone’s lives, households, jobs and passions are different and in fact frequently changing. You could be trying to alter behaviours you have been doing for years, and also have other family members that are sadly not really on board with your new found ideas!

Making things manageable, small habit changes that you can build on, is likely to be more successful. Go easy on yourself, you’re in it for the long haul. You are much more likely to stick to sustainable thinking and living if you don’t try and do to much too soon.

We don’t need a few people to do Zero Waste perfectly, we need loads of people to do it imperfectly.

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How To Create A Stylish Sustainable Wardrobe

Creating a sustainable wardrobe not only helps the planet, helps support fair and ethical trade and working conditions it also helps you. Not only are you more likely to start wearing more natural fabrics, which will allow your skin to breath, helping your mind and body. You’ll become wiser in what you buy, where from, what works for you and your body shape, loving and utilising all of your clothing and then options for reusing or recycling once an item is no longer wanted or beyond repair. In the long run, you will also save time, money and energy!

Here are 14 sustainable fashion tips you can start doing today to create that stylish sustainable wardrobe

  • Press Pause on Purchases
  • Be Confident In Yourself Your Style And Your Vision
  • Choosing colours and clothing styles that support and compliment you
  • Organise – What do I already have
  • Create a sustainable capsule wardrobe
  • Use Accessories to change a look
  • Repair
  • Sell, Swap, Donate
  • Reuse
  • Recycle
  • Decide on what you need
  • Sustainable fabric choices
  • Where to buy
  • Take care of your clothing investment

Press Pause On Purchases

Over-consumption is one of the biggest factors regarding environmental issues. Fast fashion is exactly that…fast, not made to last or even expected to last because next season a different version will be made, and you’ll be expected to buy.

Creating a sustainable wardrobe involves thinking about your clothes in a sustainable way. They are an investment and an investment in you. You need to think about you, change your mindset don’t feel pushed into ‘The must have’s’ for the season. Start thinking in terms of ‘might have’s‘ and if its right for you and your wardrobe needs.

Stay away from the sale rail, unsubscribe from store emails, clear your browser from automatically opening to stores and make it difficult to buy anything clothes related. The chances are that unless you literally have no functioning underwear, socks or tights, you really don’t need to buy anything for at least a month and probably longer. Giving you a chance to work through most, if not all of the steps below.

If you think there is something you desperately need or has popped into your inbox with a massive discount, leave it where it is for 48 hours or even better a week. The chances are you won’t feel the same or have the same rush of ‘must have’. Putting distance between you and your habits in purchasing is where you can make the most gains in time and money. Most of us have bought something in the heat of the moment, then regretted it later or only worn the item once. Yes, you can return the item, but lets face it, its not usually something any of us want to be bothered with, and it could have been omitted just by pressing the pause button!

Being sustainable is not just about buying everything Eco-friendly, its about shopping wisely ensuring everything is really what you want, need and love to wear.

Be Confident In Yourself, Your Style And Your Vision

Be honest, and ask yourself the following questions:-

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Gift Ideas That Keep On Giving

Struggling to think of gift ideas for a friend or loved one? A special birthday coming up and they literally have everything? An Eco conscious friend your nervous to buy for? Look no further my list of top eight genres with lots of thoughtful ideas that keep on giving and don’t cost the earth in more ways than one in the process!

  • Planet Friendly Ethical Fashion
  • Gifts Including Memories
  • Gifts For The Gardener
  • Gifts That Support Someone Else
  • Experience Gifts
  • Practical And Personal
  • The Gift That Gives Elsewhere
  • The World Of Words

Planet Friendly Ethical Fashion

There is something about wearing natural fibres, that have been ethically and fairly made that puts a spring in your step. Whether an actual clothing item or a gift card, you can’t go wrong with a sustainable ethical clothing brand. Items produced in organic cotton, bamboo and hemp, not only bring a great talking point, they are a delight to wear, allowing your skin to breath and they last.

I love bamboo clothing, I came across the fact that you could make clothes with bamboo several years ago, which at the time to me, just seemed bizarre. I was intrigued and so I ordered some clothes. To speak in a very British way when my package arrived.. I wasn’t disappointed! For the not so British let’s go with awesome!

There are now multiple brands from Lucy & Yak to Noctu. The brand I have personally used for several years is Thought. Once delivered, I was amazed to open something that wasn’t full of plastic. (Even the outer bag was beautifully designed, paper and encouraged you to reuse). From the first feel of the softness and quality of that bamboo top and the cosy bamboo socks that snuggled around my toes, I was sold!

Since that time they have added more lines, with home, make-up, jewellery and accessories. As a company that has an ethos of responsible sourcing and caring about people and nature its a brand worth considering.

I have since purchased plenty of bamboo socks amongst other things as gifts!

For a link to the website click here.

Gifts including memories

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Less is more – My own story

It started with a hedge!

Many years ago I was engaged in the most arduous garden job of cutting the hedge. The hedge that grew at an insane speed. Little did I know that this hedge would change my life! Whilst busy getting frustrated, I noticed a large clearance van outside a neighbors house quickly being filled with household contents and furniture.

The elderly lady had passed away a few months before. I knew she had no local family and her only child was a son that normally lived some distance away. I could see him overseeing the removals. The property had been sold, and the van quickly became crammed with her possessions.

It really hit me that as the men shut up the doors, how final it all was. That van was filled with a lifetime of possessions and furniture unwanted by the son or anyone else.

  • You do not know what is around the corner.
  • You cannot take it with you

I had many questions – What was the point? Why did we all work so hard to maintain houses? Why did we buy or acquire so many things? What should or could we do with those things? Over a lifetime many items will become lost, broken or worn out and will be replaced. However some items can hang around for years. We may notice and enjoy them….but sometimes not!

House moves are stressful

House moves are stressful but can often result in unopened boxes in a loft leftover from a house move from several years before. I’ve known people that have moved those unopened boxes from one house move to another.

We all have our own experiences and points of view of essential items. (If I’m ever able to possess a pair of Manolo Blahnik killer heels, then yes I probably would consider them essential!!!)

How many of our possessions when we die, realistically get taken by a friend or family member? At the time of my personal enlightenment the Swedish word ‘Dostadning’,  translated as ‘death cleaning’ in English was unknown.

Something really shifted inside of me that day. A seed was planted, a snowflake settled. Over time they gathered momentum, and my life looks very different now. I still don’t own a pair of Manolo Blahnik’s, but I do possess a smaller property without a hedge!

Dostadning’ from the the book by Margaretta Magnusson, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

Why Less Is More

With so many lives changed either temporarily or permanently in the last 12-18 months, the term, ‘less is more’ has possibly never been more relevant and can actually be beneficial in so many areas of our lives.

Wanting More

The temporary joy in acquiring something new, for most people, particularly in the western world rarely lasts that long. We move on surprisingly quickly. The cycle of wanting more material things or experiences therefore needing more money to buy them, which intern leads to push for promotion or a search for a job that pays more money to pay for them. The more ‘stuff’ you have the bigger the home you need, or possibly forced to pay for storage. The increased home and contents insurance. The time and/or money needed for repair or just maintenance, it can go on in a constant cycle.

Joshua and Ryan from The Minimalists are extremely honest in their stories of dissatisfaction , where they had achieved everything they thought was important in life – the 6 figure career, the home, the car, the seemingly perfect lifestyle yet they were unsatisfied, depressed, stressed and in debt. This then caused them to make large lifestyle changes.

In general, once basic needs, health and security are met the correlation between greater wealth and greater happiness is no longer the same and can even start to diminish.

More Options More Decisions

Having little or no choice can be too restrictive and make us unhappy or feel that we have no autonomy over our lives. More choice increases our happiness however too many choices can be overwhelming and we then end up with too many decisions to make.

How many people have a closet full of clothes yet they feel they have nothing to wear or late for work trying to decide?

Twenty years ago I travelled to Canada, wonderful, amazing country. However coming from the UK at that time if you asked for a coffee, the chances are it was given to you white, if you wanted black you would have to say before the milk went in, and no one had heard of nut milks! I think some places may have offered cappuccino if you were lucky!

So back in Canada, up early, slightly jet lagged we wanted to have a look around and decided to go out for breakfast. We found a cafe with huge options on the boards. I thought I’d make it easy by going for a coffee and a doughnut. The poor waitress was probably equally alarmed at my lack of knowledge and how many questions it took to get my order. First question what type of coffee then decaf or normal? milk? what kind of milk? Dairy, nut or soya? OK dairy -full, semi or skimmed? Sugar? what kind of sugar? We then moved onto the doughnut…what kind of doughnut? what flavour? Iced or plane? I think at this point I stammered something like plane with plane icing! I just remember feeling exhausted by the time I sat down!

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7 Reasons Why You Should Make Your Own Soup

There is something incredibly wholesome and satisfying about homemade soup both for the cook and the recipient. A large pot on the stove simmering away with that welcome aroma floating through the house is a scent encompassing the feeling of warmth and cosiness on a cold night. Equally satisfying, open a flask at work, school or out in the cold and you have instant tingly home cosy warmth to wrap your hands around. If this isn’t enough to get you heading to the kitchen and peering in the fridge for possible soup ingredients, then see below for 7 reasons why it is worth making your own soup!

In a rush…don’t need the reason just want some recipes? – Scroll to the bottom of this post!

  • You know exactly what is in it!
  • Nutritious
  • Low Calorie & Filling
  • Easy to make
  • Low Cost
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Easy to Freeze

You know exactly what is in it!

Hate to state the obvious but the reality is, you make it, you know what’s in it! Equally goes for any homemade food you’re creating from scratch. Ready made soups, do tend to have a higher salt and sugar content, so something to check on the ingredients breakdown label. I do not need to add sugar to my soups, and may not always add salt, if I feel it tastes fine without. Some items being added for example in my Broccoli & Stilton Soup the Stilton being cheese, will already have salt in it. As will ready made stock cubes and other ready made stock options. You can get reduced salt or (reduced sodium) stock. If you are worried or need to limit your salt intake, you can also just either use water, or make your own stock without any salt. For my recipe on How to make stock click here.


As most soups have plenty of plant based ingredients and meat based soups only usually have small amounts of meat as well as vegetables. The vitamin and mineral content of this meal is usually high depending on the ingredients, also, nothing is lost by throwing it away during cooking, everything remains together. It is also an excellent way of hiding specific unfavourable nutritious items that won’t be eaten normally by some family members (especially little ones) but are acceptable in soup.

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Quick Cold Remedy That Works

I have been using this natural cold remedy for myself and family for years. It helps with all miserable symptoms of cold and flu…. runny nose, sore throat and coughing. If I feel a cold coming on I will usually have a drink as soon as possible to start increasing my vitamin C levels and boosting my immunity.

As staying hydrated is an important part of reducing symptoms this warm drink helps with that. The vitamin c in the fresh orange juice and lemon, the natural antibacterial properties and immune boosting properties of garlic and calming effects of honey which coats the throat helping coughs as well as being an antioxidant. All work together to help reduce and ease cold/flu symptoms.

(Honey should not be given to children under 1 as there can be a risk of causing Botulism, for information on this illness click here ).

Its a quick and easy recipe, and well worth a try. I will usually have 2 or 3 glasses of this per 24 hour period, as well as water and any other beverages.


  • 80 ml fresh orange juice
  • 1 to 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 slice of lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • hot water


Pour the orange juice into a 1/2 pint glass or large mug, add the slice of lemon. Slice the garlic cloves in half and add, top up with hot water (1 cup or more), add the honey and stir. Allow to cool slightly before drinking.

Chicken Soup is also well known to help with cold and flu symptoms. My Leftovers Vegetable Soup recipe has a chicken version to see this recipe click here

Please note this post does not replace the advice given by a qualified doctor. If you have any health concerns or persistent symptoms you should contact your doctor/health practitioner.

5 Instant Happiness Tips For a Bad Day

Here is a list of 5 go to tips when you’re having a bad day or suffering from low mood, and why they work.

  • Drink a glass of water
  • Go outside and look at a tree
  • Think of something or someone you are thankful for
  • Check your happy list
  • Breathe more deeply

Drink a glass of water

It really is that simple. Up to almost 60% of the human body is made up of water, and according to H.H. Mitchell, (Journal of Biological Chemistry 158) the brain and heart are composed of almost 73% water.

What water is doing for you in your body:-

  • Required for the manufacture of hormones & neurotransmitters
  • Regulates body temperature (sweating & respiration)
  • Forms Saliva
  • Keeps mucosal membraines moist
  • Allows your cells to grow and reproduce
  • Flushes waste products out of the body
  • Keeps joints lubricated
  • It is the main component of most body parts
  • Helps deliver oxygen throughout the body
  • Acts as a shock absorber for your brain and spinal cord
  • Helps convert food to components needed in the body to survive.

As the water composition is high in our brains, and it is needed to manufacture hormones and neurotransmitters. Its easy to see the correlation between water and mood. Its worth seriously considering the daily requirements of our bodies (in general 3 litres for an adult male & 2.2 litres for an adult female).

There is also further evidence as to why a glass of water will effect mood. In Dean Burnett’s fascinating book The Happy Brain, (can be purchased through amazon here) he explains how we are able to do lots of things without thinking, its called habituation. We stop noticing things we do all the time because they are not biological relevant. It means we stop responding to things that have no biological consequence. Pain for example is something the brain must respond to as it means damage has occurred, this is biologically relevant, and so can’t be ignored.

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What Is Art Journaling And How Do I Start?

Art Journaling can really be anything you want it to be. A more official description is perhaps a ‘visual diary’. It’s a place where you can record and express your memories, thoughts and emotions through art, words and imagery. That may sound scary but it really isn’t, and you don’t have to be trying to feel or express anything. See below for what it is good for and how you can start.

How does it help?

It’s an excellent way of taking some time out and expressing yourself in a different way. It’s great for getting things out of your head and left on a page! You can do it alone, get together with friends, join a group or all three!

How do I start?

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