Category Archives: organic

Mmmm, eco-purchasings

Well, nearly bought (the website is playing silly bees with me):

People Tree jute cosmetic case – £4.50

My make up bags recently have varied. A while ago I was using a carrier bag from Selfridges and Co. After coming back from Berlin and with all my ‘liquids’ sitting in one of those free bags you get from airports so security don’t hack you to death, I just decided to carry on using it. Very classy.

At the minute, I am using a small FCUK bag that I got, complete with body stuff from a relative for Xmas, and I’m gonna guess here, in about 2001. I have never used the FCUK products as ever before I knew about FCOD’s I knew that FCUK products were probably tested on animals. The bag is cute though and has come in very useful.

Unfortunately, the dual knowledge of eBay and that Urban Decay/Hard Candy cosmetics are not tested on animals (FCOD – 2004) has meant that my makeup collection has grown a bit from what it was to include heated eyelash curlers (I am THAT vain. Actually, I got them because conventional curlers don’t work and instead just rip out my eyelashes), and 3 liquid eyeliners…with which I have been making a total mess with. Thus, stuff no longer fits in my FCUK bag and my only other makeup bag is impossible to use because everything is stacked up in the bag. This People Tree one is nice a flat, so I can find everything easily at 7.00am on a Saturday morning and paw stuff onto my face in the vague places it should go.

Also, Hard Candy Stain & Shine (shade – Stop) is my favourite product at the mo, bought from this seller. I remember when a berry coloured cheek stain was produced by the Body Shop (in their pre-L’oreal days), I saw it in a copy of J-17 when I was about 14. It was £10 though, and that was about 2 weeks pocket money, so I never bought it. I remember thinking that it was a lovely deep wine colour, and the model’s cheeks look dewy and rosy, not cakey and pink like the overdone powder blusher of girls at school.

The obvious one now is Benefit’s BeneTint, but predictably, tested on animals. Cue some wanker saying ‘Haha, they blush rabbits cheeks, how can that annoy you?’ The amount of times I’ve had to explain to people that animal testing isn’t doing rabbit fur with hairspray, its about grazing their skin and eyes and putting chemicals in them, amongst other things. Christ, I could burst. Anyway. Then I found Hard Candy’s lip n cheek version. AMAZING.

On the ethical vibe, Sky.com have a 20% off at Adili voucher until the 30th April, so obviously I have been cruising it to use my maths in the quest for ethical bargains!

I have narrowed it down…same top, 2 different colours, viz;

Frank & Faith ‘Beatrice’ bamboo top

Black or this weird colour named ‘mink’? On the F&F site it looks a nice grey. I suit grey, but I wear a lot of grey clothes. On the Adili product page it looks grey in the model picture, but a sort of biscuity colour in the product photo. I generally avoid things that are skin coloured, they probably wash me out and make me look undead.

I also like the black, and black looks quite good on me. But, black is black…its a boring colour and it would obscure the ruching effect which is kinda the focus of the top. Couldn’t it be green…or yellow??? Something? Gah. In the grand scheme of things, not important. But hey.

For din dins: Sainsburys organic tomato & marscapone sauce with Morrisons organic spinach and ricotta tortellini. Yum.

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Meatylicious

Animal/meat related posts from modblog:

A Tattoo Good Enough To Eat 

Hen Tattoos

The first one mentions the vegan sleeve I enthused over a while ago. I much prefer the vegan sleeve, partly because of subject matter but also the vibrancy of it. Part of the attraction and art of good food and things from the earth is their colour. But, also the subject of the black and white sleeve is veal demi-glace, which is a stock/sauce that is combined with espagnole or something. Basically, it has veal in it, and veal-production is a cruel industry. The tenderness of the veal meat comes from lack of muscle usage and how do you restrict muscle usage? Restrict the area with which the animal can move around in. Cruel? Yes.

Luckily for consumers that eat meat but also have a conscience, there is a push towards ‘rose veal’. Industrial veal is white, whereas because rose veal calves have actually been able to move, their meat is pink, hence the name. I would still only encourage people to buy organically certified rose veal, to ensure the calves and their mothers have been kept in good conditions.

The hen tattoos are gorgeous. I’ve probably mentioned my bird-fancying (haha) before. Most birds are just very cute. I really like chickens and would love to keep some, even though we have a cat. Apparently, chickens can defend themsleves against cats with a peck, which shouldn’t be needed to deter Tom, who was scared of -and chased by a- domestic rabbit on a daily basis.

Also linked on the hen tattoo page was Twwly’s DIY chicken rearing site, which I strongly encourage everyone to look at. It shows how animals should be raised and how good home grown food can be. Which reminds me, it’ll be veg sowing season soon. I hope to grow tomatoes, spinach, basil and chillies. We will be growing other veg, but to start me as an independent grower off, its best that I grow things I will actually eat!

Still vaguely on the topic of meat, I bought this:

  Paul Frank ‘Bob Braces Dog Picnic’ Watch

How brilliant is it??? It is a dog eating a sandwich on a watch. One of the straps has hotdogs on it! Sod your stainless steel fancy ‘grown up’ watches. I want mine to have an orthodontically challenged dog on it.

I know I posted a while ago of some Russian doll twill tape I bought a while ago, intending to use my current watch face to produce my own new watch. I was having a bit of a dilemma over how to attach the fabric/ribbon round the watch for easy washing (my job can get messy) and battery changes. No need to worry, fate sorted out my watch for me. Half way through my Saturday shift I noticed I could actually touch the hands of my watch, meaning the watch glass had either pinged off somewhere or had smashed into someone’s bag or the freezers. God knows. Anyway, I am one of those people who becomes surgically attached to their watch. I don’t have time at the mo to fanny about with designs and finding a suitable watch face with appropriate loops for the ribbon.

I didn’t like spending £45 on a watch, but Paul Frank is a quality brand, the straps are man-made not leather, it has a dog eating a sarnie (did I mention that already?)  and how oftendo I buy watches? My last watch was bought ages ago out of the Argos catalogue. It broke, so it was sewn back together, the fake leather ‘thongs’ started falling apart and off, still I kept it. I do not let go easily.

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Two things that are awesome.

The first is nerdy, the second was yummy.

Awesome Thing No. 1 – Me being allowed near historical objects, viz:

The object is a slater’s knife, used surprisingly enough for cutting and applying slate for roofs (I’m convinced the plural of roof should be rooves but hey.). Its forged from iron and has a wooden handle core. It was corroded, the wood was dry and brittle and had previously suffered from wood-boring insect infestation. There was also something that had been spilt on it.

3-in-1 oil, some wire wool, white spirit, Synperonic A7 (a detergent) and Renaissance Wax later and I had this in my grubby gloved paws:

Even if you know zilch about conservation or couldn’t quite frankly give a crap, you have to admit that for a first try, thats pretty neato. The aim was to make the object stable but also aesthetically pleasing, without making it look un-natural. I could have used the airbrasive machine and blasted the corrosion off, and I would have ended up with a shiny grey knife. But you don’t expect a century-odd old piece of building equipment to be nice and shiny do you?

Awesome Thing No. 2 – The last time I ever drunkenly agree to bake a complex cake

Okay, this wasn’t a solo effort. I managed to snaffle my pallypals Jules and Beth to help and make a bit of a nice day of it. It was for our friend Phil, Chap-reading, winkle-picker-wearing, vinyl aficionado Noughties Mod and his Modtastic 19th birthday party. The drunken agreement was made after a few free karafes of wine on the last night in Athens.

The recipe was from the newly boycotted Delia ‘I can’t get into the politics of food’ Smith, from a tatty old book of hers my parents bought when they moved in together in the early 80’s. My fresh distate for Delia happened last week when it became apparent that her new book ‘How To Cheat At Cooking’ was essentially about creating ready meals (i.e. tinned beef mince with frozen mashed potato in the oven apparently makes a ‘cottage pie’. AS IF)

Don’t even get me started on the varying comments she has made about organic food and animal welfare recently.

Luckily, I can remember the cake recipe off by heart so HAH. Its a chocolate cake, covered in chocolate buttercream, black icing record, liquorice stylus (we had to go tot local shops in order to get a sherbet fountain for this!), Jelly Tot knobs (Jelly Tots are now veggie, before you ask) and icing speakers/dials. Yum.

The cake was fantastico. So much so I found myself scraping the leftover buttercream out of the lid of a biscuit tin I brought it in at 2am whilst drinking a can of cider. Good times.

 

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In out in out shake it all about

My Mum, as may have been previously discussed, is a bit on the loopy side. Last week she was consulting all her diaries since c.2004 to find out the exact day the postman delivered her Wimbledon ticket confirmations. She was even trying to calculate the impact of leap days and working days and maths is not her strong point.

Anyway, she got No. 1 court tickets for the 2nd day of the Championships. She wasn’t disappointed, even though she had been rooting for men’s finals (she has had men’s semi-final tickets the past two years) but is pleased because it gives her more of a fighting chance of seeing this sexpot before he smashes his racquets/breaks his leg:

Mmmm, Marat Safin. Seeing him would possible send my mother into a camcorder-upshorts frenzy but will also complete her Wimbledon Trilogy of Boris Becker (achieved over a decade ago, obv. She contemplated suicide when he gave up pro tennis…forshiz), Rafael Nadal (last year’s semi-finals) and Marat.

What it also means for me is a jolly haunt Darn Sarf to hide upstairs in my Nanny’s house while my Dad prepares ever-smelly tuna or salmon sandwhiches for my Mum and Aunt to gas everyone out on the Tube whilst swigging Pimms from a Sprite bottle.

It meant for me the V&A last year (Surreal Things and an expensive handbag) , Pizza Organic on Old Brompton Road, where I had a crackin pizza and my Dad had a yummy (his words) beef burger and the best freaking jacket chips ever. It also meant the Whole Foods store and general London bound meandering.

I’m already on the look-out for exhibitions to attend and organic restaurants to eat at (maybe just Pizza Organic again!) but whilst my Dad sits in a cafe or potters around the parks I will go to the Howies and American Apparel stores and just go batshit insane (in my mind, we have already discussed how difficult I find it to part with money.)

But, these are the things I would buy from AA if I had a million squids and carbon footprint/cotton production was no problemo and I thought that I wouldn’t look ridiculous in some of these things:

 

1. Organic jersey t-shirt in ultraviolet/dijon. AA makes the best girly t-shirts and what could be better than it being organic?

2. Stripe calf tube socks in lotsa different colours. As close as I’ll ever get to wearing cool PE kit.

3. Vegas legging in mauve/black. I hate leggings especially shiny ones but the colour and kitsch of these is just so fantastic I couldn’t not post them. See ridiculous item.

4. Poplin hoodie. I like the pale colours, but would prefer brights as my skin tone is roughly that of the actual fabric. But, my favourite part the model, she is lovely. I want her hair (and face) very much.

5. LONG JOHNS! Nuff said.

6. Two tone mini dress. No way I could carry it off in real life, but by Jove it looks nice.

7. Denim short shorts in peacock or almost black. I know every six-former and their mother is doing the shorts-black-tights-heels combo right now, but I seriously think I could rock it as my legs are OK when tights disguise their purpleish hue and it would keep me cool during my funky dance-hoe-downs (I have them)

8. Bandeau dress in raspberry or Black.

9. Mesh tank in gold/burgundy. Its a bit see-through so a tank top underneath would be required but its just such a fantastic colour combo and awesome.

10. Ditto the shorts. What is it with me and glorified 70’s PE Kit. I blame Rockstar by N.E.R.D and Juno. Mind you, I’ve coveted the shorts since the summer.

11. Highlighter u-neck tank in yellow. Would wash me out terribly but fluorescent colours win.

12. Boy briefs in aqua/black. Best pants ever invented.

13. Rib henley in grass. I love green and I love buttons on scoop-necks.

14. Shirred cap sleeve in yellow. Wish there were more non-pale colours for this, but I like the cut. The model is also cute, reminds me a bit of Cheryl Tweedy, the fittest out of Girls Aloud.

So yeah. If you’re not a girl you probably found that boring so best you scrolled now. Gonna go eat a veggie sausage roll. Yum.

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It ain’t what you do its the way that you do it…

You know how I love food right? I love eating it, cooking it, growing it and debating the ethics of it. I’ve recently had two very good meals, made with roughly the same ingredients (using up stuff in the fridge) and thought I’d share them with you. These arent recipes, because unless its baking my Dad and I very very rarely measure ingredients. We just lob them in the pan.

First up: Mediterraneanish cakes

Make a bit of mash potato (I used very little because the texture of mash makes me want to hurl, but it is a very easy binder)

Shallow fry in some good oil some chopped garlic and red onion and some ‘Cheatin’ Chorizo Chunks (bought as an experiment after my Dad’s free-range/organic pigmeat epiphany)

Lob some mash in the pan with the smelly oniony stuff, some Philly cheese (I used the new organic version) , torn spinach and torn mozzarella (ditto on the organic, now only available in Lincoln from Morrisons so we buy like 10 bags and then freeze them)

I also put in some tomato puree to give it a nice rosy colour, but thats optional. Season with dried/fresh herbs, salt and pepper. You’re not stupid, you can guess how to season stuff.

Split the mixture into portions and make ‘patties’ on a chopping board dusted with flour. I found a nice size was about 8cm in diameter. Spread beaten egg on both sides using a pastry brush and quickly cover it in breadcrumbs before it disintegrates into a mess in your hands. Chuck it in the oven until both sides are golden brown. I made two and served it with a bit of Danvil Organic Tofu Ravioli we had kicking around.

By the way, the organic tortellini I mentioned in a previous post is great value. You get approx 45 bits in the packet and they puff up so much when cooked that you only need 15 or you’d burst! Then all you need is some seasoned chopped tomatoes/white sauce and wahey!

Anyway, second meal, which was lovely comfort food after work on Sunday. Like I said, the ingredients are similar because we were using up things.

Tomato and veg pasta thingy. Like a fake lasagne.

Boil pasta (We used wholewheat fusili). Shallow fry chopped red onion, garlic, that chorizo stuff (nice and smoky and spicy) and aubergine chunks. Chuck chopped tomatoes in and simmer on a low heat to remove excess water. I actually put in a bit of Heinz Tomato & Chilli Ketchup as well, its a cheap way to add extra richness and subtle spice. Season to taste. Add pasta and then put the mixture into small ceramic dish.

Tear spinach into pieces and layer on top of the tomatoes and pasta. Add some yoghurt above the spinach (its optional, but as this doesn’t have a cheese sauce, I found this stopped the upper layer of ingredients turning into mush. The cooked yoghurt takes on consistency of I dunno, cottage cheese?). Cover with breadcrumbs and top with sliced mozzarella and bake until golden brown and bubbly.

Also food related:

Vegan Sleeve – BMEzine Modblog

How beautiful and vibrant and just so bloody wonderful is this tattoo?! VERY! Even if you hate tattoos you’ve got to admit, that’s a nice piece of visual sweetness! Mmmmm, fruit.

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Well, at least they were charitable criminals

Two crap things:

1. I’m not very well, and my head feels like its filling up with helium, and not tin the good ‘laughing gas at Leeds festival’ sorta way. The snotty way. I have nearly 10 hours at work tomorrow and refuse to call in sick. That is the stubborn capitalist in me. MONEY.

2. I have been locked out of my bank account for the next week. I received a letter from Nationwide’s Special Investigations team, alerting me that there had been possibly fraudulent transactions on my card. I rang them up, which was a difficult thing for me to do (I hat hate hate phones). My account is now frozen for outgoing payments till I receive my new card and pin number. They tried to buy £250 of goods off the internet, but curiously also tried to make a donation of £2 something to Christian Aid. So they are also nice fraudsters haha.

Weirdly enough, in this climate of fear that most people in Britain live in, I don’t feel violated by this, that someone had my details and thus was trying to pinch my hard-earned wages and student loan. I don’t feel the sudden urge to write a letter to the Daily Mail wailing “I’ve been duped, probably by one of those LORD FORSAKEN Lebanese Loops. As it is called Lebanese, it must mean the criminals are those funny speaking foreigners. VOTE BNP!”

But I’m not, because that is totally bonkers. If anything, I was more pissed off when some scumbag stole my phone out of my work fleece a year ago. It was a brand new phone that cost over £100. It shows the clientèle I get. I had my phone blacklisted and bought a new one. These fraud’sters’ got away with nothing, so yar boo to them.

It does mean that just like when I was 17 I am relying on Mummy and Daddy for moula.

 Not crap things:

1. I love this, but am unsure of whether to get it (not that I’ll have a chance as I can;t use my card, I could beg Leo/my Mum) because its unaccredited wool…but it is looovely:

 

Mivvy Hoodie, £40 reduced from £80. Howies 

 A flash of colour in the hood, crinkly look, BUTTONS (god, I love buttons on things, its the grandma in me)

2. Whilst fighting our way through the Cake-and-sausage-roll Cub Brigade and 50+ Axa Sun Life Subscriber ‘Oooh isn’t he lovley’ Dodgery Old Woman Society, my Dad and I encountered organic spinach and ricotta tortellini. HUZZAH! My Dad has pledged to only buy organic/free range pig meat now, after reading in the Times that outdoor reared pork still means that the pig spends its last three months in a unroofed shed. Not acceptable.  But my Dad is a chorizo fiend, and organic charcuterie meats are difficult to come by in supermarkets/farmer’s markets. I have found some online suppliers though, so my papi doesn’t have to go without.

Found a lovely alternative to the very pricey Frogprince necklace I posted before:

 Prince Charming, approx £12

Bonus points for being reworked vintage. Saves raw materials and give stuff a new lease of life, and is approx 15% of the price of the other necklace, ha. My Mum is looking for vintage Emerald (her birthstone) rings for her 25th wedding anniversary/birthday (same day, like Shakespeare. My Mum’s ambition is to die on her birthday like him too). I’d personally got for an Art Nouveau piece, but my Mum’s not really a Nouveau person. I imagine her as more Deco than anything.

Anyway, I’m rambling now, so I bid you adieu. (And can I just say that I had my highest number of visitors yesterday, so thanks to you lovely pixelated computer people!)

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Sunshine, lollipops rainbows.

Firstly, may I just say “HUZZAAAH” because I handed in my first term work today!

Secondly, some house porn: The Cheltenham Underground House

The above was featured on Grand Designs the other day and when it was completed I thought it was brilliant. You can’t really get the full view of it from the website gallery though. Okay, so in my opinion there are too many neutral colours (though I love the dark brown wood used) but I like rancid, retina burning colour schemes. But I think my favourite part was the view from the ‘master bedroom’ roof garden. Looking directly down into the ‘underground’ patio-thing…wonderful! Also the giant skylight and the wave shaped light reflectors were pretty groovy.

Thirdly –  Richard Sweeney paper sculptures. You know my love for origami and paper art in general, so seeing this made me happy. Some of the structures are so reminiscent of modular origami I’ve seen.

Fourthly – A bit of guilt venting. I find buying clothes difficult because a. I am an odd shape, b. I torture myself with ethical issues.  A while back I found a lovely pair of twill weave grey slim trousers from Miss Selfridge for £25. Of course, they are neither fairtrade nor organic, but they go with everything and are the perfect cut, and smarter than jeans. I bought another pair in black today (whooops)

Fifthly (this is getting just a tad silly now.)  I am unsure whether to buy this or not:

 I’m not sure whether it looks too….mumsy? I have been eagerly looking for shrugs/mini-cardis for a while as a. they would be v. useful if Britain ever achieves a temperature above 10 degrees. Also, I have a paranoid fear of arseholes ‘fiddling’ with my corset piercings if I wear strap tops/backless tops, and a shrug would be a quick and easy way to wear these tops (Standard cardigans get too hot).

Some would say that that is payback for getting corset piercings and being a tool. Obviously I don’t always wear ribbons in them like in the picture, that was just for my prom, but I still don’t trust people not to try and get their grubby hands on them!

 On the subject of top-half wear, I succumbed and tried on a waistcoat (I know, how painfully trendy. 3 years ago, no one but grooms and grandfathers wore waistcoats)  in Topshop today, with an eye that if it suited me, then I might buy this little vintage number from etsy for…I think it was $10, but it has since been sold. I think the waistcoat suited me, but the one I tried on was £35…so no, and again with the ethical torturing.

Sixth(ly???)  This will be the last one as this is getting ridiculous now. But my boyfriend, the long suffering Leo aka ‘El Nacho Hombre’ (he knows its grammatically incorrect, so don’t bother) has started a blog ici. I don’t know what his game is, stealing my hordes *cough* of faithful readers!

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