Soy Candles for an English High Tea

How sweet are these limited edition tea cup candles? Filled with fresh cut roses and soy wax, you can enjoy the beautiful rose fragrance and the fact they are environmentally friendly. Soy wax is non-toxic, biodegradable, made from renewable and sustainable resources and just to be even more king of the candle world, soy wax burns ‘up to 50%’ longer than paraffin wax. Corfe Candles’ vintage bone china tea cup comes with matching side plate and will ‘glow through the china as it burns down’ so you can savour the last drop of soy.

Corfe Candles hand make their gorgeous and inventive collection of candles in Dorset, always keeping the environment in mind. There are also Soy Scented Votives available in delicious fragrances such as Banana Nut Bread, Vanilla Hazelnut Mocha and Peppermint. I can’t wait to try the Mediterranean Fig or Orange Clove ones. These candles just may be the way to overindulge without going up a dress size!

Corfe Candles offer a bespoke design service and deliver internationally.

Vegan Confectionery (because we eat candy too!)

If you are vegetarian, vegan, health conscious or just love hearing about new sweet treats that taste sublime, then have I found the goods for you! Biona Organic Tutti Frutti Jelly Bears are the answer to gelatin eschewing girls the world over (only carnauba wax is used in these little bears). The certified organic ingredients and fruitful flavours are tangy and burst happily about on the taste buds. They taste like the real thing to me (and I used to be quite the authority on candy back in the day when gelatin was too hard for me to give up).

Pop these chewy bears in your handbag for that 4pm sugar slump or take them to the movies so you feel just like all the other candy munchers. And if you have any kids in your life, decide whether to share these delicious treats with them at your own peril because they will love them.

I have yet to try other confectionery from Biona but they also offer organic tutti frutti wine gums, cola bottles, licorice bears and pineapple chews. If anyone has tried these or other vegan confectionery they love, do let me know!

Eco Fashion Spotlight – Cri de Coeur Vegan Shoes

Attention shoe lovers and animal lovers, today is a ‘praise the shoe gods’ kind of day!’ Call all of your friends and let them know you are now going by the name of Imelda Marcos because you will probably be buying every pair of Cri de Coeur’s Spring line of shoes!

I’m not going to distract you with too many more words when there are shoes involved. I’ll state the important eco criteria so you can move swiftly onto staring lovingly at these stunning shoes.

Cri de Coeur shoes are all vegan and handmade in Europe.
Cri de Coeur are not just content helping beautify the tootsies of eco girls everywhere but they are also committed to helping the planet. They have ‘partnered with Carbonfund.org’ to offset their carbon emissions and have also ‘pledged to sponsor a tree’ which will be ‘planted for every pair of shoes sold’. Very impressive!

 

cri-de-coeur-vegan-shoes-alexaALEXA
These open toe boots with cut out zipper and sand coloured canvas are the ultimate attention-grabbing shoes! I’m sure they will be gracing the pages of every top fashion magazine.

ABIGAIL
I love, love, love the coloured heel on these adorable sandals. So simple yet so striking! Available in Geranium (above) and also Gold.

CHLOE
These Chloe shoes are the perfect pair of elegant flats to have in your growing vegan shoe closet! They will look great with anything! Available in Black (as above), Mimosa & Midnight Black or Black & White.

cri-de-coeur-vegan-shoes-melissa

MELISSA
I’ve been seeing a lot of strappy-ness in the shoe stratosphere lately and I think these black suede effect Melissa shoes with zip front are sublime.

FRETA
A fantastic take on the strappy sandal! These edgy summer ready shoes will look perfect with any skirts, dresses or shorts.

cri-de-coeur-vegan-shoes-sierra SIERRA
Who would have thought an elastic band could look so chic and elegant? These Sierra shoes are ideal for work, casual or formal occasions. The Sierra shoes pictured above are ‘Moonless Night Suede’ (faux) with grey elastic band. Also available in a gorgeous Mimosa and Midnight Black colour.

Glass Straws and Food Containers

I was so excited to find these beautiful glass straws and food storage containers. I’m not a fan of storing lovely, homemade meals in plastic containers as you hear so many frightening stories about plastic leaching toxins into your food. Not good!

The straws will come in handy now for summer too. You can enjoy delicious iced teas and smoothies with a pretty glass straw. You can even take one to work or to picnics (in a hemp or bamboo case) so you can say no to plastic when out and about. Straws are also great for protecting teeth from stains that can come from copious iced tea and coffee drinking (or sugar from fruit juice smoothies). Not only are these glass products reusable but don’t you think glass is just a lot more civilised and prettier than plastic?
glass-strawsGlass Straws from GlassDharma – Made in the USA
David Leonhardt, the creator of GlassDharma straws mentions that ‘as of March 2008, McDonald’s serves an average of 52 million meals per day (per their website)’ and asks us to consider how many of those customers were handed a disposable plastic straw! Opt for the reusable and safer alternative with GlassDharma and choose from three different straw styles and accessories that are all handmade in the USA. They are strong and durable (dishwasher safe) as they are made from borosilicate glass. GlassDharma even offer a ‘Lifetime Guarantee Against Breakage’ and can repair or replace a broken straw.

There are three different straw styles to choose from:
Simple Elegance (opening image) – from $6 or a set of four with brush is $27
Decorative Dots – from $7
Beautiful Bends (pictured above) – from $8

bamboo-cases-for-glass-straws
Bamboo Hard Case

Accessories
Store your glass straw in either the Hemp Soft Sleeve or Bamboo Hard Case (from $9).

Visit Glass Dharma to learn more or visit their online shop to purchase their products.

glass-food-storage-containers

Glass Food Storage Containers – Made in the USA
I think these glass containers are wonderful and clearly many other people do too as they are all on back order at Free Market Organics until June 30, 2009. But that’s not long to wait and definitely worth it! Store your organic and seasonal delicacies in containers of various shapes and sizes from Anchor Hocking (‘made fairly in the USA’).

Various sizes available

2 cup – from $9.95 or four – $34
5 cup – $12.95
12 cup – $15.95
Small set of three – $32.50
Large set of three – $36

Homemade Organic Granola Recipe

There is something very satisfying and comforting about having a homemade breakfast cereal in the house. Once you whip up a batch of this delicious and healthy granola, you’ll probably never opt for the store bought stuff again. Enjoy this granola with either dairy free milk or yogurt and sprinkle lavishly with ruby red and luscious blue seasonal berries. Oats are great too for releasing energy slowly and they will keep you going until lunch without needing to snack. But if you do get the munchies later on in the day, this makes a great nutritious snack that will stave off any hunger pangs. It’s so tasty and has just the right amount of sweetness, nuttiness and fruitiness. I think I need to go and grab another bowl now!

Ingredients

  • 500g bag of organic jumbo oats
  • 1/2 cup of organic shredded coconut
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 cup of your favourite organic dried fruits (cranberries, apricots, figs)
  • 1/2 cup of organic nuts such as almonds, pecans and walnuts
  • Organic sunflower oil
  • Organic honey

homemade-organic-granola-recipe-2

How to make

  • Spread the rolled oats into a roasting dish, sprinkle liberally with cinnamon and the coconut and mix together.
  • Combine the sunflower oil and honey in a cup to measure just less than 1/2 cup. Pour this over the oats and use a fork to ensure all the oats are well covered.
  • Place in a 200 degree (celsius) oven until golden brown (approximately 20 minutes). Be sure to watch the oats carefully and stir them often as they can cook fairly quickly.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool while you prepare the dried fruit and nuts in a separate bowl.
  • Use some kitchen scissors to easily cut the dried fruit into smaller pieces. Add the fruit and nuts to the oats and mix well.
  • I store my granola in an airtight glass jar and the mixture keeps well for 3 weeks or longer.
Enjoy!

Is There a Dr Bronner in the House?

Every household needs soap but what soap do you choose when you have concerns about skincare ingredients and their effects on your body and the waterways they wash off into?

You’ve probably heard scary and alarming stats about the skin absorbing 60% of what is put on it and also how palm oil (a staple ingredient in soaps and oh so much more) is contributing rapidly to deforestation. Wow, that’s a lot of guilt from one simple shower or hand wash! Soap should wash our sins away not add to them!

dr-bonners-soap

Since learning all this, I’ve been favouring Dr Bronner for my shower and hand soaps. Initially I was bamboozled by the plethora of print on Dr Bronner’s labels and thought it was a bit expensive here in the UK but once I purchased a bottle and diluted it, I found it lasted a very long time. I also found it came in really handy for many things around the house such as making my own dishwashing liquid and for removing stubborn stains (a drop of baby mild liquid soap removed a stain on wood surface that a regular cleaner could not).

Dr Bronner soaps are clearly the eco leaders in soap land and I think it’s great how these latherlicious soaps are so considerate of people and the environment!

WHY DR BRONNER?
Fair Trade Ingredients (IMO certified)
Organic Ingredients (Oregon Tilth)
Fair Trade Palm Oil from Ghana. Production of their oils ‘does not contribute to deforestation’.
‘100% Post-Consumer Recycled Cylinder Bottles and Paper Labels’
Completely biodegradable
Not tested on animals

INGREDIENTS
Classic Liquid Soaps
Water, Saponified Organic Coconut, Organic Palm and Organic Olive Oils, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Essential Oils, Citric Acid, Vitamin E

dr-bonners-orange-soap

Citrus Orange Organic Bar Soap – Ingredients
Saponified Organic Coconut Oil*, Saponified Organic Palm Oil*,
Saponified Organic Olive Oil*, Organic Glycerin, Water, Organic
Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba)
Seed Oil, Organic Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Organic Citrus
Medica Limonum (Lemon) Oil, Organic Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil,
Citric Acid, Sodium Chloride, Tocopherol (Vit. E), (* Certified Fair
Trade by IMO)

OTHER USES FOR DR BRONNER
Brushing teeth (although I haven’t tried that yet)
Cleaning – diluted or neat
Shampoo
Laundry

STILL NOT CONVINCED TO SWITCH TO ORGANIC?
HERE ARE SOME ICKY INGREDIENTS IN REGULAR SOAPS
  • Triclosan – anti-bacterial agent that is a ‘probable endocrine disruptor and carcinogen’
  • Triethanolamine TEA – ‘immune system toxicant and possible carcinogen’
  • Propylene Glycol – ‘alters skin structure, allowing other chemicals to penetrate deep into the skin’
  • SLS Sodium Laureth Sulfate – foaming agent that can alter skin structure
  • Phenoxyethanol – preservative
  • Parabens – may alter hormone levels
  • Artificial Fragrances & Colours

– Source: Teens Turning Green

dr-bonners-soap-and-scents

SCENTS & SCENTS-IBILITY
Pretty: Rose or Lavender
With antiseptic oils: Eucalyptus or Tea Tree
Strong but pleasant scent: Peppermint or Almond
Unscented: Baby Mild
My favourite: Citrus Orange (zesty, summery and uplifting!)

Available in many convenient sizes
2 oz, 4 oz, 8 oz, 16 oz, 32 oz and 1 gallon

Where to purchase
Visit Dr Bronner to learn more (and view the range of organic Pump Soaps) or UK peeps can purchase online at Love Lula (236ml liquid soaps at £4.99 / organic soap bars £3.50) or check your local health food store.

Healthy Winter Warming Drinks – Part One

Cinnamon, Orange, Honey and Rosebud Tea

cinnamon-orange-honey-and-rosebud-tea– Ching-He Huang
The dried rose buds make this drink sheer prettiness in a cup! Oranges, cinnamon and honey are the only other ingredients you will need to create this gorgeous winter drink.
View recipe at Delicious.

Spiced Hot Dark Chocolate – Body + Soul

spiced-hot-dark-chocolateThis delicious and decadent drink has to be good for you with dark chocolate, soy milk, cayenne pepper and spices.
View recipe at Whole Living.

Chai Tea with Soy Milk – Martha Stewart Living

chai-tea-with-soy-milkDuring winter, every time is Chai time! The combination of spices such as cinnamon, cloves and fresh ginger really do warm the soul.
View recipe at Martha Stewart.

Mulled Cranberry Cocktail – Whole Living

mulled-cranberry-cocktailWhat could be more Christmassy than this? Its fun, festive and delicious. I’d personally switch the sugar for your natural sweetener of choice and then sip away. Merry Days!
View recipe at Whole Living.

Hot Cocoa with Almond Milk

hot-cocoa-with-almond-milk– Martha Stewart Living
Few things are more comforting than a cup of hot cocoa. Try making your next one with this recipe using almond milk and cinnamon sticks (and maybe switch the sugar for agave or something similar).
View recipe at Martha Stewart.

Mulled Apple Juice – Emma Lewis

mulled-apple-juiceSo simple yet so sip-tastic! You only need five ingredients for this Christmas time drink.
View recipe at BBC Good Food.

Vegetarian Lunch Recipes for the Week Ahead

MONDAY – Rainbow Superfood Salad (Allegra McEvedy)
Get some health in a bowl with this colourful quinoa, broccoli, beetroot, cabbage and mushroom filled salad.
See recipe at Good Food Channel (was UK TV Food).

TUESDAY – Bulgur Salad with Chickpeas, Roasted Red Peppers and Spiced Cumin Dressing

If you want some light, flavourful salads for summer and picnics, then this Smitten Kitchen recipe sure looks good. Add some organic pitta breads and you’ve got a luscious lunch sorted!
See recipe at Smitten Kitchen.

aromatic-noodles-with-lime-peanut-sauceWEDNESDAY – Aromatic Noodles with Lime Peanut Sauce (pictured above)
This easy to make recipe can be whipped together in 15 minutes and hello, there’s lime peanut sauce! Delicious. This will definitely leave co-workers or surrounding picnic companions with serious lunch envy!
See recipe at Food Network.

THURSDAY – Ottolenghi’s Wild Rice Salad
Ottolenghi’s four London locales always have amazing salads and dishes on display and long queues of hungry diners. If you don’t live in London or haven’t bought their cookbook, you can try this salad with pistachio, dried apricots, mint and rocket.
See recipe at Ottolenghi.

herb-marinated-peppers-on-bruschetta-with-home-made-pesto


FRIDAY – Herb Marinated Peppers on Bruschetta with Home Made Pesto

If you work from home or just want an easy weekend lunch, this tasty bruschetta will bring a little gourmet gaiety to your house. Enjoy the zangy burst of flavor from the lemons, peppers, basil and garlic and when you proudly make your own green pesto, you may be inspired to make extra in order to stash some in your freezer for pesto pasta emergencies.
See recipe at Good Food Channel (was UK TV Food).

Eight Great Graphic Organic T-Shirts

bellamy-tee-people-tree-t-shirtBellamy Tee – People Tree
made in india (IFAT) / organic cotton
Give a shout out to renowned ecologists, Bellamy, Attenborough, Nutkins and Oddie by wearing this truly eco tee.
People Tree – £15 (was £22)

crop-circle-t-shirt-mociunCrop Circle T-Shirt – Mociun
handmade in new york / organic cotton
A white tee or top is an essential item for summer and when you add a silver / orange crop circle into the mix, well, you’re the leader of the fashion pack. This fun tee mixes style with kookiness perfectly so that you can wear this dressed down with shorts and jeans or dressed up with sleek skirts and chic blazers.
Beklina – $80


butterfly-top-mika-machidaButterfly Top – Mika Machida
made in nyc / organic cotton
This ‘save the natural habitat for butterflies’ top is a wonderful fusion of creativity and quirkiness. I love the idea of using the butterfly’s antennae as the straps for one shoulder. Too sweet!
Planet Threads – $198


what-would-ben-do-t-shirtWhat Would Ben Do T-shirt – Look for Fiddleheads
made in chicago / organic cotton
I love a tee with an intelligent message and a sense of humour. This tee ticks both boxes for me, plus it looks downright cool. This one will certainly be a conversation starter!
Etsy, Look for Fiddleheads $26

christian-lacroix-tee-environmental-justice-foundationChristian Lacroix Tee – Environmental Justice Foundation
made in Turkey (Fair Wear Foundation) / organic cotton
Christian Lacroix is one of several stellar designers that helped The Environmental Justice Foundation (EFJ) produce a line of fair trade, organic t-shirts that help raise awareness to end forced child labour and the use of toxic pesticides within the cotton industry. Pick your favourite design and look great while supporting a great cause.
Fashion Conscience – £32

10-speed-tee-sub_urban-riot10 Speed Tee – Sub_Urban Riot
made in usa / organic cotton
This ‘bicycles are best’ tee should get your eco transport message across effectively and stylishly as long as you don’t wear it while driving, in which case you’ll need a plausible story prepared such as, ‘my bike is in the shop’ or ‘of course my car is electric / hybrid / running on last night’s leftover olive oil from dinner’.
Greenloop – $32

rain-forest-t-shirt-andiraRain Forest Tee – Andira
made in peru / organic cotton
A tee with stunning symbolism. This tee, featuring an upturned rain forest is from Andira’s line of Rain Tees which feature the ‘thoughts, illustrations and names’ of school children ‘living in endangered rain forests across Central and South America’. For every tee sold, a tree will be planted in an area of rain forest that has been destroyed in Costa Rica.
Econscious Market – $34.20

white-leopard-sash-edunWhite Leopard Sash – Edun
made in peru / organic cotton
Get your leopard on the green way with this v-neck tee from the perpetually cool label, Edun. Keep the look edgy by wearing the tee with skinny jeans or inject a flash of bright colour with a fun skirt or pair of shorts.
Edun – 55 Euros