Thursday, 28 June 2012

New day: new DIY - Skin Drink Recipe

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
― Plato

There's my compassion quote for the day.

This morning I am going to make some more DIY Angels on Bare Skin - with added ground almonds.   And as my skin is getting red, angry and dry I need to make a face lotion.  My favourite is another lush product: Skin Drink, for which the ingredients are:  

Water, Fair Trade Organic Sesame Oil, Fresh Rose Petal Infusion, Fresh Organic Avocado, Almond Oil, Propylene Glycol, Cocoa Butter, Stearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Aloe Vera Extract, Organic Aloe Vera Gel, Evening Primrose Oil, Neroli Oil, Rose Absolute, Triethanolamine, *Geraniol, *Farnesol, *Limonene, *Linalool, Perfume, Methylparaben, Propylparaben

Out of these I have: water, almond oil, glycol (or glycerine), cocoa butter, organic aloe vera gel, evening primrose oil and rose absolute.

I also have orange blossom water which I think I will use in place of neroli oil.

And I would like to add a bit of jojoba and vitamin e oil to make the cream rich - which will probably make up for the lack of avocado and sesame oil.

OK, so now, by looking at other recipes by Hello Giggles and their tutorial.  I think I am going to do:

DIY Skin Drink

Water part
1/2 cup distilled water
1 tsp boiled orange blossom water
1 tbls aloe vera gel 
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp of glycerine

I omitted the 1/4 tsp desert salt for glycerine instead)

Base/carrier oil part
2 & 1/2 tbls almond oil
2 & 1/2 tbls jojoba oil
2 tbls coconut butter
1 tsp vitamin e oil
capsule of evening primrose oil

Essential oils
8 drops Chamomile Oil
4 drops Rose oil

In a clean and dry pan melt all of the oils together, set them aside in a blender or a bowl that can be used with a hand blender.

In another clean and dry pan add the distilled water, orange blossom water, aloe vera gel, honey and glycerine together and heat and mix until combined.

The oil base will be soft and opaque when ready to mix with the water based part.

When ready, slowly blend/combine both parts together and then add any essential oils that you would like.


I choose chamomile for my skin as it gets red and irritated easily - you can find the best for your skin by typing "best essential oils for "x" skin" into google.  I would recommend tea tree oil for spot prone skin.

OK - now I am off to do this.

I will update and let you know any changes to the recipe/explosions!



Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Been busy in the bedroom!!

“In separateness lies the world's greatest misery; in compassion lies the world's true strength.”
- Siddhārtha Gautama

Um, yes, after my counselling session yesterday I realised two things (with the help of my counsellor of course).  (1) I need to practise more compassion. MORE.  I already try to let every one on the bus before me, with joy, and I sometimes do a compassion meditation where I cut flowers from my garden and give them to everyone knowing that they will re-grow (and even give them to people I thought I hated).  But I tend to have less compassion for those I am around a lot - i.e. Aaron and my mum. There are loads of good suggestions here.  And (2) I need to value myself enough to do the things I want to do i.e. getting up and doing compassion practise, or being a clean and tidy person. There are loads of articles online about this, but I only found a couple that really ring true for me - such as this one. So - compassion for others and compassion for myself will be the flavour of the week.

I have FINALLY finished my college work! YAY!  And I got a merit in my last assignment.  Which, considering the work I put in, is very pleasing.

We have also been actually making changes to our bedroom:

Cool partitioned cabinet we got at the boot sale for £10

Our new collection of frames with old maps, thesaurus entry for "sex", a page from Alice in Wonderland etc.

Greenery in the bedroom - with upcycled fruit basket and heavy duty garden sack!

I am so happy to have an orchid plant...all that I need to do now is look after it! 

Also - I have an interview for a summer job on Friday morning, so all-in-all things seem like they are moving in the right direction.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Film Photos

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.
  - John Wooden

I went and got the film's developed yesterday in boots - and ended up paying £18 for a few nice photos, but a majority of unflattering, finger-in-the-way, unfocused photos. 

Next time I am going to go Old St and get the photos developed directly onto a disk and pay a lot less, so I don't feel cheated.

Although, the magic feeling of picking up the photos was unique and enjoyable.  So maybe when I am a bit richer I will pay the full price for photos to be developed.  Or I'll just have my own dark room.

One of the last photos taken on the Kodak underwater camera.  At the end of Ramsden Rd, London SW12

With the waterproof camera again. My feet in the garden.

Aaron and Jon after they went through old art they did together - the camera seems to be focused on the curtains/back wall.  Taken with normal film camera.  Jen & Jons new home.
Buster and Aaron in the health food shop - taken with waterproof (seems to be the best!!)

Posing in Elephant and Castle

Aaron looking sulky at home

Aaron with Passion (his bike).  I opened the camera at this there is sun bleaching, but I like it.

Angel in the garden (I like the shadow).

It was windy so the roses got blurred, but I really like the sun bleaching at the tip of the photo.

Battersea Power Station, from the back of Netherford Rd.  (this is before we dropped the camera...maybe it did work better before?).

The back of the car of the really cool older couple.  I heart them, wish I had been quick enough and bold enough to get a photo of them from the front.  Maybe I will wait for them in the car pack again. They were so cool. (Had to crop this photo due to my finger!)

My favorite photo from the 'normal' camera. Jen & Jons garden.

An example of my finger...damn you finger.  It only seems to happen with film  This is in the Galapagos Islands swimming with the sea lions.

Over and loads of stuff to do today.  Guess what...Ima going to finish my essays.  

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Ah-ha look at my goals from ages ago!

My plan is as below:
  • Now - March/April 2011; save, save, save, research South America, learn Spanish, do singing lessons, do some jamming, look after myself, volunteer for the LWT.
  • March/April 2011; go traveling for 5 - 6 months in South America.
  • September 2011; start an access to higher education course (2 evenings a week for a year) whilst working and saving money/volunteering.
  • Summer 2012; go traveling in Asia/India.
  • September 2012; start International Development degree at Sussex Uni (I got into Sussex, but will most likely be going to SOAS).
This means that it will be 2015 (and I will be 30!!!!) when this is all done; and maybe I'll change my mind along the way but I am pretty impressed and satisfied with my plan.

Also this post here is pretty interesting... 

It is nice to see what my plans were and how they have panned out :).  It just goes to show that a little bit of planning helps to reach goals.

A nudder organization day

"In order to succeed, you must first be willing to fail."
- Anonymous

Having a willingness to fail is hard for me!  Especially when I always want to the very best grades and outcomes.  However, I must learn that enough is enough and sometimes getting a pass or below the bestest best is OK.  It truly is.  

I suppose this comes under limited thinking, and after reading this post I started searching for ways to deal with limited thinking.  There is another good article here too.  It's funny to think that when I first started trying to get out of depression and a repressive lifestyle the first thing I tried to change was my thoughts, but still I have to keep them in check.  I suppose it just means practising mindfulness and reading to stop myself from slipping back into old patterns. 

Right, back to the organization.  Something that really needs organization is our 'big day'...for which I have so many here it goes (along with what needs doing):

Appoint 1 main photographer for most of the day.

Polaroid booth - need to buy impossible project film, borrow one more Polaroid camera and appoint people to booth. (budget - £200?).

Make a props box and chalk board for people to use in photos.

Crafts/decoration (budget - £400)

Work out and buy how much fabric is needed for bunting and then sew.

Ask every body to save up glass jars/bottles for the day as we are making:

UV glow jars and candle jars for night time.

Jars with brightly colored flowers in.

Buy fairy lights to go around the bottom of trees/hang outside.

Buy chinese wish lanterns. 

Other paper crafts - buy tissue/crepe paper for these.

Paper mache supplies.

Make a list of all specific things that need making and send out an email to crafters who said they wanted to help!
Buy loads of candles (find a bulk cheap supplier).

Food & Drink (budget - £500)

Find suppliers of alcohol for wedding (budget £300 for the night/day).

Find meat suppliers for the BBQ (budget £200).

Locate and contact local veg/salad farmers.

Locate and contact local cheese shop.

Email those who said wanted to help with food with sample/idea menus in order to budget and buy the right amount of food.

Buy/find large mason jars to have cocktails/salads/food in for the day.

Personal touch's

Think of what wedding favors we want to give to people?

Check if the typewriter is working and get quality paper for people to type messages on.

Organize photo book for people to write messages in.

Clothes (budget...£500 - for Aaron & I)

Go fabric shopping/look in charity shops/online/on ebay.

Try to draw up some ideas with Esther.

Start rough makes with sizing etc.

Buy glitter/look at tutorial for shoes again.

Invites (£100)

Check where the designers have got to with invites.

Order the invitation holders.

Collect/collate addresses to send to.

Flowers (free - £200)

Check and write a list of what brightly colored flowers are in season for September.

Rings (Budget - £250ish)

Choose/design rings

Organize London reception
I have already spoken to Jen about the cakes - we are actually going to have cake pops and maybe some other bits.  Should be super cool!! 

So, rather a lot to do then!  However I have homework to finish first, but it feels to good to have gotten this list written down and out of my head. Although I am sure there are some things I am forgetting...

The venue is costing £1200 including our private roundhouse for the 4 days.  In total we should be spending around £3500 for the weekend which isn't too bad.

Updates on my other (other, other) to do list:

  • Psy editing & email to Rohini.
  • Finish Anthro (ONLY GOT 2 PARAGRAPHS TO GO!)
  • Reading for Soc/look @ essay plan (writing today).
  • Clean up kitchen.
  • Clear out clothes for boot sale (Friday/Sat).
  • Put shoes in bedroom away (maybe use bottom drawer)(Friday/Sat).
  • Move books from bedroom (Friday/Sat).
  • Find a place to sell books from college(Friday/Sat).
  • Hoover under the bed and dust bits (Friday/Sat).
  • Move things from under the bed not used (Friday/Sat).
  • Call abbey re; closing account & money on credit card.
  • Call Natwest re; moving debt onto interest free credit card.
  • Call back to work office.  
  • Take throw away camera to boots to be processed (doing today). 

YAY!  I actually feel like I am getting through my list.  

I have been downloading and using budget/to do list templates from here  and collating ideas for the design of the wedding on pinterest. I am going to do my sociology essay (a pass is enough).  I'm going to do some work in a coffee shop whilst I wait for the photos to be developed in boots.



Tuesday, 19 June 2012


A jug fills drop by drop.
 - Buddha 

YER. Good saying Buddha.  I was looking for a quote to post for AGES...about cleaning.  It is not surprising that they're aren't that many inspiring quotes about cleaning, because I believe that deep down all humans resent cleaning as much as I do!

However, as this is something I would like to change in my life (for more than one reason) I have to remember that change doesn't happen over night...but can make a big difference over time.  Just like a drop of water cannot quench thirst, but a thousand drops of water can.

I don't have much to post about today...I had really bad sinuses yesterday and did not have a very productive day.  Today I cleaned out my sinuses with salt water and it seems to be helping.  However, I am feeling tired so I think I am going to have a short nap and then get on with my long list of things to do. By the way, for which, I have started doing before any fun-times activities like this blog.  For example this morning I made Aaron's lunch AND did the washing up, searched for and saved some jobs before doing this...a vast improvement to my productivity levels before.

I was thinking that the way I tried to get things done before wasn't working - 2/3 hours to myself in the morning (to do reading/writing/excercise)and then any bits that needed doing after that. So I have now changed it round a bit and am trying to do not so fun before fun tasks - it seems to be working - sshhhhh don't tell my subconscious 3 year old.

My long list of to do's

  • Psy editing & email to Rohini.
  • Finish Anthro.
  • Reading for Soc/look @ essay plan.
  • Clean up kitchen.
  • Clear out clothes for boot sale.
  • Put shoes in bedroom away (maybe use bottom drawer).
  • Move books from bedroom.
  • Find a place to sell books from college.
  • Hoover under the bed and dust bits.
  • Move things from under the bed not used.
  • Call abbey re; closing account & money on credit card.
  • Call Natwest re; moving debt onto interest free credit card.
  • Call back to work office.  
  • Take throw away camera to boots to be processed.

My motivations are various and include: improving ability to get a job, improving amount of credit paid back, (through switching credit cards), making the house look clean and tidy, removing dust and therefore allergies from my immediate surroundings.  Earning money to spend on material for the dress, finishing my course and be able to go to Uni. 

I am being accountable - I will give an update on here of how I am doing.

My reward will be having the entire weekend free, the Thursday dance class and going to get some fabric at some point during the week, maybe even going dancing in a night club over the weekend! And also personal reading/research time.

I will try cleaning the kitchen for 3 minutes after I have tried my anthropology work for 3 minutes!

I also have counseling today, and hope it will not just be revolved around me talking about my school work.  Hopefully it will make me feel better.

Some updates and last weeks organization post:

  • I applied for a job yesterday, and will apply for another today.
  • I have been finishing meals when full and taking rescue remedies (without alcohol in)to help with my emotional eating.  
  • I have already started and nearly finished the draft for Anthropology.

So far, so good and seeing as I can track my progress I feel a lot more positive about what I can get done this week.

OK, that's it - over and out!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Red Velvet Cake with Oreo Icing!!

We should give as we would receive, cheerfully, quickly, and without hesitation; for there is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers.  

~ Seneca

I really wanted to quote another book by hazeldon...But I am not allowed to reproduce it.  So I found the above quote which really resonates with how I would like to be.  

I always used to be keeping score - not just between mine and Aarons relationship, but with any one I had a substantial, or come to think of it, any relationship - e.g. I bought 'them' a drink last week, so they have to buy a drink this week to pay me back.  It was terrible and stressful and harmful.  There is another good article about it here.  

The bottom line is: if you really don't want to do something for someone then discuss it with them and try to come to an agreement, that way you don't start feeling resentful and score keeping again.  If they don't listen to you, or don't care then maybe you should rethink who you are hanging about with OR your approach to life.  

Update on the school work: psychology last essay, finished! YAY!  I also learned how to do the first row of crochet yesterday - beginners guide here.  I also found this video helpful.  I can't figure out how to do the second row yet, but think I will get it next time I try.

Today I have the sponsored bike ride which I found out is 10 miles (not KM as previously thought) and then some sociology and anthropology to do. So I am going to try and do my anthropology essay plan and reading this morning....and reward myself with ermmmmmm some sewing time. 

Also - HAPPY FATHERS DAY to all you fathers and children celebrating with your fathers!  Remember, humans are not immortal  - spend the time you have with precious loved ones before they are gone (you never know when it will happen).  

OK - Chocolate Red Velvet - Beetroot cake with Oreo cookie icing.
(we made 21 cupcakes and 2, 1 tiered cakes)

Cake mix:
2 really large beetroots, grated

620 g plain flour - sifted

2 teaspoons of salt

4 teaspoons bicarb

800 g caster sugar

100 g unsweetened cocoa powder (the darker 
and higher in percentage the better)

570 g unsalted butter

6 eggs, beaten

4 teaspoons golden syrup

Any red water left from cooking the beetroot to add to the mix if it gets dry.

Grate the beetroots in a small boiling pan, and start boiling!

Whilst the beetroots are boiling start measuring the flour out and sift it into a bowl, add the bicarb and salt.

Next, melt the butter and add the cocoa and golden syrup to it.

Add the sugar, melted butter, eggs and beetroot(in that order) to the batter and mix mix mix.  You can also add vanilla essence at this point too (we didn't have any).

That's it - batter is ready to go in the oven.  

Bake at gas mark 4 for about 40 minutes (I usually check after the first half an hour and then periodically every 5 - 10 minutes until I think it is done).

Note: this recipe is made from this and the very first beetroot cake I made (which is where I learned to melt the butter, cocoa and syrup) which I can't find...... 

Oreo Icing

2 packs of cream cheese (we used quarks non-fat, so we could feel a little healthier about this cake)

3 packs of 4 oreo cookies

300 g icing sugar

120 g butter (softened)


Mix the cream cheese and butter together first and then slowly add the icing sugar until it blends properly, then add crushed oreo cookies.  Alternatively you can add the ingredients in the same order, but in a blender (which makes the whole process a lot easier).

Last step!

Put the icing on the cooled cakes/cup cakes and EAT or give away as gifts!

You can get mini oreos to decorate too (if you so wish).



Saturday, 16 June 2012

Sat errrr day: recipe day.

If it's what you do and you can do it, then you do it.
Van Morrison

But can I really do it?  Procrastination has set in - I am avoiding all school work...or should day WAS last night, as I needed a nap, a very long nap which turned in to sleeping all night.
In order to stop myself from procrastinating I need to find out why I am putting off doing the essays.  OK, psychology - I don't want to do it because I think I can't do it and I don't want to hand it in to just get a pass. Anthropology - also, I know I haven't done enough research do this unit and Sociology, so I am avoiding actually facing the amount of reading I need to do.  
However, the bottom line is, if I don't finish the course I can't go to Uni - my ultimate goal of having attended the course. So, I am going to tell myself that getting passes in all of these essays in FINE.  They are the last ones and because of my procrastination will have to be done in a rush.  According to the life hack article - here. I should; 1. write a list 2. motivate myself and 3. reward myself 4. be accountable (I am posting this on the blog!) 5. do it for 3 minutes 6. embrace change.
  • Write nature vs. nurture 800 word essay.
  • Edit all 3 Psychology short essays.
  • Look at info given out in Sociology and my essay plan and work out which stuff I have to read.
  • Look at the assignment title for anthropology, write a rough essay plan and reading plan.
  • Do the reading for soc.
  • Do the reading for anthro.
  • Write drafts for both assignments.
  • Edit both assignments.
Sounds easy, right.  WRONG! Not if I still procrastinate due to fear.  As I was writing the list out I was feeling like, oh man, I'm not going to be able to do it, and then I'll fail the course and I won't get into SOAS or my backup choice and it's all going to be terrible, a waste of time and my family will be angry at me and my friends will tell me I am stupid and wasting my life. ERRRRKK>>>STOP!!!!
I think that's my worst case scenario there!  Best case scenario - I get the psychology essay done today (800 words shouldn't take too long). And try to do the reading for anthro/sociology today - then review and see how I am getting on tomorrow.  Eventually I will hand all my marked work in on Wednesday afternoon (even if they are just a pass).


Oh, and now my reward(s).  When I finish my work today I get to do something creative like sewing or learn to do my first crochet or maybe some tie dye...and Thursday I get to go to the 5 Rhythms Dance Class

I think the dance class and crochet motivates me the most.
This is being accountable - isn't it? Posting my plan on a blog?  I am going to try it for 3 minutes right after I post this.  AND I am really looking forward to going to university and I have the whole summer to get used to the idea of that lifestyle change, so I just need to finish the course.

OK - so there is the recipe for helping to stop procrastination.

Next week I will do an actual food recipe.


Friday, 15 June 2012

DIY Lush Angels on Bare Skin

“Sincere forgiveness isn't colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change. Don't worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time.”

- Sara Paddison

Whoop-de-doop-de-doop-de!  I have nearly handed in my final folder!  It will be handed in today with 2 essays to finish over the next week - I am so excited.

I just took a quick look at my list from Wednesday....I have been tidying up my clothes in the morning, but I haven't really been doing any of the other bits (apart from maybe putting together some ideas for our bedroom - you can see them here).  Also managed to find a beautiful gold ornate picture frame in someones front garden ...we're going to paint it a different color and add it to our starters collection of picture frames and mirrors.

I haven't applied for any jobs...BUT BUT BUT I will do one today (which will take me a while) and then one every weekday from Monday. 

Well...on with the theme for today.  I think I will do ermmmmmmmm making.

As I am concerned with trying to make a maximum of anything I buy ethical and good for humans, a while back I become interested in the ingredients in shower gel, moisturizers etc (explanation why here and even better article here).  At first I thought I would have to start using the expensive alternatives sold in Lush or Health Food shops like Jurlique or Weleda(out of the two I would choose Weleda).  But when you're feeling a bit poor it is hard to justify spending £10 on moisturizer instead of healthy I started thinking and looking up recipes for DIY moisturizer and face washes.

Seeing as one of lush's face washes - Angels on Bare Skin is my favorite I thought I would look up a recipe for that first - hey presto!  I found two....loads of other people had already had the same idea and they had added experience which made it a lot easier for me to start making it myself! The recipe for the face wash is here - it is SOOOO easy and quick (took me about 10 minutes to make 2 lots). I didn't have any almonds so I used mixed crushed nuts, linseed and dried lavender buds along with added orange flower water and lavender oil (as these parts are really your choice).   

I am yet to make the moisturizer as I have been enjoying mixing the organic base moisturizer with almond oil and different essential oils...BUT I did have an amazing link with thousands of recipes on, but I can't find it.  I have found this one though.  

Although it seems like a massive effort (OK, and realistically - it isn't as easy as picking up a bottle of lotion on your way home) - it is really fun and satisfying to be able to know exactly what is going on your skin (the biggest organ of your body).  Lots of people have mentioned that it must be really expensive, but actually, it cost me (or Aaron actually) about £55 to buy all the base ingredients: glycerine, almond oil, organic base moisturizer (1 ltr tub), coconut fat, coconut butter, white clay and lavender.  

But £55 is a great investment - as a very rough guesstimate I will be able to make at least 20 pots of facewash (£2.75 a pot compared to £7 in lush) - and we have been using the base moisturizer for 4 weeks now and it's only half way through....And that's not even considering the really easy face masks that can be made from the clay alone. Oh, and also the amazingly easy way to add glycerine, odorless alcohol (like high quality vodka), water and essential oils to make your own perfume!! 

Note: make sure the kitchen surfaces and pots you are going to mix up and store in are boiled and cleaned so you can be sure they will not go moldy!  

Hopefully next week I will be able to get some jojoba oil (which apparently is great for conditioning hair too) and a thermometer (to measure the heat of the water and keep it constant whilst mixing the components together) and then I will be posting about my homemade recipes! 

I hope this post will inspire people to think about what get's put on your skin on a daily basis and to start making some of your own home made products!!