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Category Archives: February 2011

GIVEAWAY! : naturalmat.co.uk – Organic swaddle + winner of Miss Matatabi Fabric

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I’m excited to announce that I’m holding a FANTASTIC giveaway from Naturalmat. A company based in the south of England selling natural mattresses, bed toppers, baby bedding supplies, blankets and MUCH more

Naturalmat was started with the aim of helping babies and children sleep safely and comfortably in the best, most natural environment possible. Harnessing the amazing potential of natural and organic materials like organic coir, latex and organic cotton, we have created a range of handcrafted mattresses that are superbly comfortable, breathable, washable and non-allergenic.

Naturalmat are pioneers in natural fibre technology and have developed the most comfortable range of mattresses using innovative new raw materials.

  • Organic lambswool from certified Soil Association farms as well as being anti-dust mite, anti-bed bug and anti-moth.
  • Organic coir fibre– this sustainable material greatly enhances the ventilation and spring of the mattress.
  • Organic latex– the organic latex we use comes from the only certified organic rubber plantation in the world and we are the only UK mattress maker using it. The latex layer provides an immensely supportive core that is naturally breathable and totally hypoallergenic.
  • Horsehair tail– this is one of the most highly prized materials in the upholstery industry. It has long been used in mattress making for its incredible resilience and superior spring. We needle the horsehair tail onto a hessian backing which provides extra strength and protection for the springs whilst still allowing flexibility for independent movement.
  • Mohair and bamboo and are all from environmentally conscious sources and biodegradable.
  • Organic cotton– All our organic cotton sheets and bedding are certified in accordance with GOTS by the Soil Association.
  • Cashmere– one of the softest fibres available, cashmere is the ultimate in luxury natural fibres. The soft spring provided by cashmere gives an added dimension of comfort. Like wool, cashmere has inherent properties of ventilation and insulation but the quality of the fibre helps to create the most sumptuous mattress in our range.
  • These raw materials are combined to create a truly green product made by a British company.

The prize for this giveaway is a super-practical and baby essential  organic swaddle by aden and anais (I wish I had one of these when my little one was born)

It comes in a variety of prints though for the giveaway, the winner will receive on in the ‘enchanted’ print (great for baby girls and boys too):

For countless generations, mothers have swaddled and cared for their children with natural muslin. These organic swaddles are made of organic cotton that is grown and manufactured in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. Luxuriously soft, it is the ideal fabric to use on delicate baby skin. Measuremens 94cm x 94cm

  • Breathable – prevents overheating
  • Generous size – makes swaddling easy
  • Comfy – the more you wash it the softer it gets
  • Multi-use – stroller, nursing, or changing table cover, burp cloth, tummy time blanket and more

You have 3 chances to win! TO ENTER:

  • leave a comment below.
  • share this giveaway on the web (blog post, twitter, facebook etc) and let me know that you have done so.
  • ‘like’ my facebook page (over there at the top on the right) and let me know that you have done so.

The 3 winners will be picked by using random.org at the end of February and announced on this blog.

Good Luck!! x

Now for the 3 lucky winners of the Miss Matatabi fabric!

Using random.org I have selected that the 3 winners are:

’tillymintboutique’ – you have won – Kokka Japanese Fabric Melody Miller Ruby Star Spring – Bee Tomato Vine – 1 yard

‘GG‘ – you have won –  Kokka Heather Ross Far Far Away III Girls with Horses Japanese Fabric – grey – 1 yard

‘Celine Richard’ – you have won – Kokka Yoshie Miriporun Sunny Farm Japanese Fabric – orange, white – 1 yard

Congratulations!! 

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Felted Soap

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Here’s my first attempt at a felted soap – was really easy to do and didn’t take very long, it requires wet felting along with needle-felting for the design. The wool felt acts as a wash-cloth and can be re-used with another soap when this one has been used up or added to a wardrobe or drawers with a few drops of essential oil to keep things fresh!

Spa day

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My brother and sister in law kindly bought me a lovely trip to a Spa in the New Forest for my 30th Birthday, I decided to take my husband and booked it for his Birthday (which was Thursday). We had a lovely time and the facilities were really luxurious. I wasn’t as brave (or stupid) as him to tip the ‘iced water’ on myself after a hot shower but all the same was funny to watch his reaction! Our day also included a gorgeous afternoon tea with some delicious cakes and treats. Such a nice change from normal day-to-day life, to not be a ‘Mummy’ for a few hours and to have a giggle with my wonderful husband.

Cheesy mixed bean and spelt pasta bake recipe

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This is one of those meals that is eaten every week in our home – I think for the simple reason that we always have all of the ingredients in the cupboard or fridge and it can be thrown together without too much bother in the morning and then heated in the evening for dinner. It can also be frozen and is really low fat, really good for you, and even better – it tastes good!

Ingredients:

Approx 1 x cup of beans (any type at all or a mixture of any, pre-soaked and cooked) or a can of mixed beans.

1 x cup pasta (we use spelt but any shape/type will do

1 x can chopped tomatoes

1 x chopped onion

1 x cup chopped mushrooms

2 x chopped garlic cloves

A pinch of herbs

Seasoning

Olive oil (a glug)

Grated cheese – topped to taste

Method:

Cook the pasta until ready. In a seperate pan, add all of the other ingredients (olive oil first but the rest in no particular order) and simmer for approx 10 mins. Add the pasta, mix up and then transfer to a baking dish, top with the grated cheese and either wait until cooled and freeze or pop in the oven until golden and crispy on top on a medium heat. YUM! (I sprinkle with herbs on top too but it’s up to you!)

Tip – for non-veggies, a sprinkle of gravy granules adds to the flavour when cooking.

Getting things finished…..

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It was my plan this year to finish anything I started before starting the next crafting/sewing/knitting project. I have failed already and it’s not even the end of January yet. I am currently working on the following projects:

1) An A-line skirt created from some curtain material kindly given away on ‘freecycle’

2) A knitted dishcloth

3) A Beatrix Potter Cross-Stitch for my baby girl (started as soon as I found out that I was pregnant but once my bundle of joy arrived I couldn’t find the time to do it, so a lady in the US is currently finishing off the last few letters for me, can’t wait to get it back and hung on her bedroom wall!)

4) Bunting – it’s not quite long enough for the bedroom so I’m waiting for more fabric to come in before I can finish it.

5) A collection of Japanese memories to remind us of our honeymoon to be framed in our bedroom.

Today I’ve finished of mending a night-dress, mended another dress and I’ve added the poppers to a dress for my girl. Well, it’s a start.

Eco-cleaning

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I have put together a very basic ‘green cleaning’ kit which I use most days and mainly in the kitchen, there were a few reasons as to why I did this:

a) The move to Australia that we are planning is meaning that we have really had to save our pennies and this little collections of cleaning products is so cheap to make.

b) The post which I read (from my favourite blogger – Eco-milf ) inspired me to make this kit and is also where you can find the ingredients to make one – click here for the link.

c) A lovely colleague of mine made me aware of how many products that are bought from the shops are tested on animals, I now try not to buy these products either (seems there aren’t actually many around which are not tested on animals) so this is a solution to that too.

d) I seem to have a large and colourful collection of cleaning fluids, sprays, bottles and potions under my kitchen sink – I’m pretty sure I don’t need them all and have decided not to replace one when it’s gone if I can make my own cheaper and greener alternative (unless it’s REALLY necessary!)

It works a treat, the essential oils can be used for many different things at home too. I knitted the dishcloth from bamboo which makes it really soft yet absorbent and looks much nicer on the kitchen side as well. I’ve started knitting abother one out of recycled green cotton, one to use whilst the other is in the wash.

Carrot Cake

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I had a spare half an hour this morning so thought I would make a quick cake. The recipe for this carrot cake is one of Rachel Allens and is so easy, I’ve made it loads of times and it turns out well every time, plus the best part is that it is impossible to mess up, I don’t follow the recipe, just throw all of the ingredients in a bowl, mix up, and pop it in the oven for an hour. Delicious! (a link to the recipe can be found here)