Friday, September 27, 2013

made my week: cushion covers

I decided to treat myself this week. I've been more domestic than normal and kept the living area tidy (I normally struggle to do this). This has been good for the soul.* Also during my normal 'work' hours I made these 2 cushions. 

At the beginning of the week it was our 11th wedding anniversary. During our first years of marriage we made each other awesome gifts using the traditional anniversary gifts. Since children not so much. This year its supposed to be steel. BUT...

Our bedroom is my least favourite room in our house. The walls are painted a purple/mauve colour. Which looks bad with our grass green and blue duvet cover. Green and blue colours are in my life ALL. THE. TIME. but I'm really over this duvet cover. We purchased it as a gift for ourselves with our wedding money. So 11 years ago. Lately I took the cover off and had the duvet bare as that looked better to me. 

So for pleasure I sat in front of the sewing machine. First time in a while. Happy, happy feelings. Now I want to make the bed. I used material I've had for years and some a dear friend gave me last week. 

Degree of difficulty: I added zips and I find zips hard to sew other than that it's easy enough if you don't mind using a gazillion pins to make sure you catch the pom pom ribbon. 
Cost: about $3-4 for the pom pom ribbon (which I brought at 30% off from Spotlight), fabric free from 'the stash'.
Time: 2-3 hours each one (that pom pom ribbon was a killer)
Result: 11 year anniversary present tick (for me at least). I keep walking past our bedroom just to look at the bed. Not sometimes blue today folks. The Man about the House reckons he needs a 'metal' CD. 

* Another thing good for the soul is the movie "Gardening with Soul" which is one at the movies at the mo.

Showing and telling (a day late) at Leonies

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Spring has sprung | giveaway


a green life | a spring has sprung giveaway

Do you get a spring in your step when spring is in the air? I know I do. It's my favourite season. My creative spirit becomes ignited, a get busy around the house, start to think about a new wallrobe, start excising again and dream about how organised I'll be for Christmas this year. 

I have gathered or made this collection of things (mostly while out opp shopping) together for the crafty, home loving women who stumble upon this post. One winner will receive the following:

1. A black, flowery bag with little bunny and dodo. This is a new handmade bag made with    thick tapestry outer material and a black lining. 

2. Cute, reversible, short overalls for a little baby, 3-6 months. This is also new and handmade. In purples and creams on one side and pink, purple and grey on the other. Lovely detailing with cute domes and buttons. 

3. A two-colour Infinity scarf by a green life. This is made with a preloved, floral sheet and a lovely textured stretchy olive green fabric. More a green life infinity scarf's will be available here later this week. 

4. A unique rainbow hand died doily by a green life. It's 27cm in diameter. I could see this as a cushion, on clothing or in a little rainbow loving child's room. 

5. Faux fur collar from an old jacket. I added a cream ribbon to enclose it. Great for a date night or girlie drinks. 

6. Atmosphere label shoulder bag (made in Ireland), mustard coloured, soft leather feel (but actually PVC). It looks brand new. Score. 

7. Light used The Dalai Lama's Book of Love and Compassion. Wise words to live by. 

8. A bright pink and rose serving set by French Bull for playing ladies at a high tea or similar. They are 100% you can find similar here. 

9. Three hand embroidered linen placemat's with lotus flowers. Prefect to make something look pretty whether that be a table top or for craft. 

10. Two vintage yellow and cream rose pillowcases. 

It's easy to enter by answering the question- what do you love about spring- on the below thing-a-me. You can have as many as 7 entries by clicking a few more buttons and sharing the love. 

I think this thing-a-me is pretty easy but if you have any problems please let me know. The winner will be announced one week from today at 8pm EST. Open to NZ people only. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS NOW CLOSED! PS. a green life is having a Spring Sale this week over on the facebook page

lessons from my homeopath | bath salts

This begins a series of lessons/notes in my journey to better well being by visiting a homoeopath. Homoeopathy considers the totality of the patient's symptoms, personal traits, physical and psychological state, and life history. 

One of the first lessons I learnt (I've been going regularly for a few months) is about epsom bath salts. I knew that Epsom salts were good for aching muscles. My Mum told me this when I was little. For years I’ve been known to have a soak after a hard day in the garden or coming down with the flu and feel much better or at least relaxed enough to go to sleep. But what my Mum didn't know is what Epsom salts are - magnesium sulphate*- and the benefits of them. Not only are they a beautiful way to relax, but they increase circulation and increase magnesium levels. 

Baths can be wonderfully healing, cleansing as well as relaxing, refreshing, and/or awakening even without the addition of anything special in the water. The hot water draws toxins out of the body to the skin’s surface, and while the water cools it pulls toxins from the skin. The warmer the water, the more powerful the detox effect will be. 

Adding a bath salt augments this detoxification by causing you to sweat. A soak in bath salts assists your body in eliminating toxins as well as absorbing the minerals and nutrients that are in the water. Minerals and salts make the bath water feel silky and leave your skin cleansed and soft.

-    Common Ingredients:
  • Epsom Salts (or magnesium sulphate) helps replenish the body’s magnesium levels, combating hypertension. The magnesium is absorbed into the blood stream in a form which can be used straight away. The sulphate flushes toxins and helps form proteins in brain tissue and joints. You can use a couple of tablespoons or up to a cup per bath if you are requiring the therapeutic effect of magnesium.
  • Rock Salt  (or sodium chloride) naturally harvested sea salt contains minerals, helps draw toxins from the skin and soothes sore muscles. It is visually striking because it is chunky. If you have the budget you could use Himalayan Pink Salt as the mineral composition is greater than rock salt.
  • Baking Soda is known for its cleansing ability and even has anti-fungal properties. It leaves skin very soft.
  • Aromatherapy Oils are optional, but they smell divine and they have particular therapeutic properties to take advantage of. Examples include lavender for relaxing, tea tree for cleansing, ylang ylang and rose for stimulating/romancing. 
  • Ginger can be either ground ginger or ginger infused tea. Ginger can increase your heat levels, helping to sweat out those toxins. It may cause your skin to turn slightly red for a few minutes, so be careful with the amount you add. Depending on the capacity of your tub, and your sensitivity, anywhere from 1 tablespoon to 1/3 of a cup can be added. Most people sweat profusely with the addition of the ginger, and if you wrap your body in a blanket immediately after getting out of the tub, you can continue to detoxify through perspiration for another couple of hours. This is beneficial if you are trying to rid the body of a bug of some sort, like the flu, or a cold.
Epsom Salts can be found in the beauty isle (often beside the soaps) in most supermarkets. Different rock salt's can be found at the supermarket too. I found getting ingredients from Moore Wilsons and Bin Inn cost effective. I did try to check the ethical, fair trade type issues but it was difficult to tell. 


Soaking do’s and don’ts
  • Some information on the web recommended that you make the first time you soak with Bath Salts 5-10 minutes due to the health risks of feeling dizzy. Other information warned about taking hot baths and salt baths if you have heart trouble, high blood pressure, or are diabetic. I found one site saying don’t take baths while home alone but most of you reading this are Mum’s so that’s exactly when we’d want to relax in a bath. Just use your common sense.
  • The first 20 minutes are said to help your body remove the toxins, while the second 20 minutes are for absorbing the minerals in the water.
  • Any time your body detox’s you flush out toxins so drinking lots of water is needed.
  • These baths tend to make you tired so ideally have them before bed. 
  • After the bath rub down your body with a loofah or vegetable bristle brush. This can help to stimulate the lymphatic system, which can aid with the release of toxins. Use long, gentle sweeping strokes aimed toward the heart.
To use as an exfoliator
Mix 2 tablespoons of bath salt with a handful of your body wash. Gently massage mixture onto skin to slough away dry patches, revelling in a healthier looking complexion.

Recipe - New Product
Sorry I'm not going to share the recipes I found as since it’s pretty easy to make (sh don’t tell) and looks nice in glass jars it’s a green life's newest product. Available at the moment is a relax and detox blend. They can be purchased on the a green life face book page and at upcoming Spring Markets.

* Actually I used to know this I discovered while going through my 6th form Chemistry notes last weekend as one does.  

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

a bit mixed up

Who else gets the feeling August and September have gotten themselves a bit mixed up? 


Follow my blog with Bloglovin OK So I know I'm a bit late with this. I think I did try to do this a while ago but I think that was a fail.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Becoming the Mama I Want To Be: One day at a time

Today was a good Mama day so I thought I'd share. I read Stella's post about how to make a small child happy, namely play doh. As I was going to have 2 kiddo's on a school day* I decided that was the first thing I'd do to free up some time for me. I made a batch up using this recipe. I love adding the essential oils to it too. I still use these ones.  

Now my children have the concentration, sitting power of a goldfish so to sit down and play with the play doh for one and a half hours in one sitting. Happy kids, happy mummy. The six year old ended up making food out of it, giving the food made up names, labelling it, displaying it, arranging a shop and giving us money for purchasing her food. Helped by the fact I sat down with them and just popped out a few times to put on and out the stinky, smelly linen. 

Then we played cards, now Mr Happy, at 4 and a bit doesn't really play cards. So I read to him and played cards with the sick child. Recently Storm has been asking what the Joker card is for- "can't we play a game with the joker mum" she asks over and over again. So I think what's another little kids game that's not snap. something about FISHing. I grab my handy dandy notebook (laptop) and find the instructions for GO FISH. Within minutes she's got it and we're off. She won I kind of let her. Is that OK?

Today I was the Mama I want to be. I was intentional and that's often the key. 

* Basically August was a write off for me in terms of getting ahead with my 'work' due to a tummy bug and other general bugs that found a home at our house. Have you had this tummy bug? It lurks in the middle of the night around here. 

Sewing kits in tins for kids

Do you remember the tins that became these awesome, cute as sewing kits? 
You can see my post about them here or buy them here

While I've not found any more adult sized tins I have been collecting these kids tins. 

I know cute eh! My children keep spying them and they love them 
(they want them actually).  

So I've been collecting things to create little mini sewing kids for children. Spot the snail tape measure, cute scissors, pom pom ribbon and neon ribbon. It's lots of fun finding, hoarding, and collecting things to make these up. I was going to try making an old school finger knitting tool with a wooden sewing reel. I still have mine from when I was a child.  What else do you think should be in them?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

a bit of this a bit of that: Op-Shop Show Off: 27 August 2013

this was all in a days work out at the (op) shops

 cute bear I couldn't resist

Books. I always look at the books. 
I was very happy with the Wind in the Willows book. 
It has those amazing thick pages with absolutely vivid colours in the pictures.  

And how many Hansel and Gretel books does a family really need? 
We just HAD to have this one with moveable characters. 
Spot the little hand keen to do some moving. 

and instead of waiting forever in a day...
 We painted the little house printer tray (from the first photo) 
for Storm's room straight away. Was it sacrilege to paint it?
 It's now in her room but we don't really have anything to put in it.
Maybe her Lego Friends could go in there?

and I may have painted the little letter holder (also in the first photo) 
to change it up using Talia Christine's idea.
I'll save that for another time. 

Join in with Op-Shop-Show-Off

Friday, August 23, 2013

the copy cat list

Making : decisions about money
Cooking : plain jane food as we've had a tummy bug
Drinking : coffee BUT with little or often no sugar.
Reading: blogs, stuff ( of nonsense, facebook (nothing literary here folks)
Wanting: things lots of things 
Looking: much better due to new hair dye
Playing: the memory game with Storm
Wasting: time in the evenings, no energy left 
  Sewing: finishing up some tribal inspired kids pants
Wishing: to finish a couple of DIY home interior projects
Enjoying: my favourite month
Waiting: for my brother's family to visit from Perth
Liking: pom, poms. It's taken a while to be sure that I did but I have gotten 
over the 80's thing and now I do
Wondering: what the right thing to do is
Loving: never being able to say goodbye or goodnight without a kiss and a cuddle 
Hoping: we can make our dreams come true
Marvelling: how half a day chopping wood can change winter so much for the better
Needing: more hours of child free time
Smelling: my new deodorant
Wearing: Kathmandu fleece purchased 8 years ago for $30
Following: the liberty/cowl/eternity scarf craze
Noticing: the first little bluebells underneath the washing line. they gave me such joy last year.
Knowing: with your gut what the right thing to do is. Master Happy is so loving his new Steiner Kindy. Best decision/thing about this year by far!
Thinking: we need a date night to see this movie. I seriously love After Midnight and Before Sunset. 
Feeling: exhausted
Bookmarking: always ideas/images for a green life products
Opening: well that might be telling
Giggling: when both kids were crying with frustration at each other this afternoon.
didn't help.
Feeling: happy/sad
 Photos from my garden yesterday. Green, Blue and a splash of pink. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Winter Night Market coming soon

I have 10 draft blog posts all half ready to go so watch out folks. I think from now until Christmas is going to be crazy good. I've got that Spring feeling in my step. Have you?

In the mean time have you checked a green life out on facebook or felt. We are having a winter market night soon. You never know what might you might find.  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bambi, Faline and The Great Prince of the Forest

Recently I spent 6 days at my Mum's & Dad's sans Storm, the six year old, and Master Happy, the just turned four year old. I left the Man about the House in charge. 

I needed to get away. I had needed too for some time. 

I spent most days stitching felt animals (like this pony one) onto clothing while sitting in my parents sunny Blenheim lounge amongst at the familiar clutter. I made 9 cute things- more on these soon. My Mum has been collecting old vinyl's so we sat and listened to those. Basically the music of my childhood. Obviously I did not want to come back. 

I took along this cute little embroidery hoop and stitched over some of the details on this adorbs cord fabric. I kept it simple. I've not captured how good the variegated green looks in the middle. The batteries died on the camera but wanted to get this up tonight to join in with the Matariki Crafting link up

In my mind Bambi is top left with his childhood friend and future lover Faline on the right. And Bambi's Dad The Great Prince of the Forest below (did you know Bambi's Mum was unnamed? What is with that?). Thanks to the lady who crafts rather dangerously I had a quick thought to copy her satin stitch idea she used on this cute balloon to go over the white stitches in The Great Prince but it wouldn't work with the antlers. Phew!

PS. Feeling refreshed after "cruising on the interislander". I thought this was funny but my Man about the place didn't. 

PPS. I hope the formatting on this post looks better on your computer than this did on mine. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

pony dress for matariki

I thought I'd join in the Matariki crafting blog hop as I always want to join these types of things but never quite get around to it. I have a pile of winter clothes all ready for a little applique to add some personality to them. First off the pile is a reversible pony dress made in black/blue/brown knit polyester with a brown felt running pony with blue embroidery thread. It can be worn from 6-9 months as a dress right through to a tunic top for a 2 to 3 year old.

You can buy it here if you'd like ;-) 
(Sorry it's now sold)

And killing 2 birds with one stone I'm joining Show 'n Tell for the first time too! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Product review: Livie and Luca Shoes

About 3 years ago I stumbled upon Livie & Luca shoes. It was love at first sight and I used to  visit the site to peruse the beautiful shoes and imagine them on my children's feet.                                                                                         

They have names like petal, bloom, stego (as in stegosaurus) and metric vintage. 

What is so cool about them, you see it's not just the brightly coloured velvety soft leathers. It's also that the two co-founders, Mitzi Rivas and Amie Garciaare, are Mum's- their children are Livie and Luca! The website says Live & Luca is about

  • whimsy and joy: I mean look at these shoes
  • giving back: they donate 10% of online sales to charity and donate gently-worn shoes to children in Honduras, 
  • sustainability: and eco-friendly practices 
  • handmade: by artisans in China and Mexico  


We've had 5 pairs of these shoes/boots and they wear and wear. We've had the boots pictured above on Master Happy for 3 years. They have done both kids. I'm looking at getting him the ones with the measuring tapes next. They don't ship to New Zealand from their web-store "because we try to give our wholesale accounts as much business as possible". I emailed them to ask you see. That is pretty nice I thought. The NZ stores that sell them are. They are between $60-80 NZ. Several overseas online shoe shops do sell them to NZ (which honestly is likely to be cheaper). 

However if you would like our gently worn preloved pair above which are not scuffed! Which are a size 9 in a mustardy yellow (the colour made popular by Dee here and here). They are listed on trade me until Friday night 21st June 8.30pm with a starting price of $35. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

heart broken

Please cross your fingers (pray if you do that sort of thing) that we are making the correct decisions for our family. I'm feeling so vulnerable and not a good mummy for dropping Master Happy off at his 4th kindy/preschool in 2 years this morning. We were so happy with our Montessori preschool in Christchurch but it's smack bang in the middle of the Red Zone (oh we loved biking there beside the picturesque Avon River which BTW will be looking stunning right now). So we made the decision to come back to Wellington (our heart home we thought?). Sometimes I regret our decision to leave as we knew 'the plan' there. Have you seen some of the cool stuff happening in Christchurch?
2011, age 2, first day @ Montessori, 2 and a half hours x 2 a week
Now we've been to the closest kindy while on a waitlist for a Montessori, then Montessori, then home with mum (Montessori didn't work out) and now another kindy while we are on the waitlist for Te Ra Rudolph Steiner. It is breaking my heart. He wants to go back to the 'old, new kindy' to play with 'honey bunny' (quite obliviously the bunny). He was so sweet this morning at the 'new, new kindy' they introduced him at mat/circle time then when the teacher said they were going to make music he got up and did a little dance for them (to imaginary music), then sat down, bent his head and went all red. He is so excited to be there and it does tick lots of boxes for him. I was happy for him. Also somebody told me he looked so cute. Blush.
wearing hungry caterpillar pants, t-shirt and bag
It would have been nice if I could insert an almost 4 year old photo outside the new, new kindy this morning here but it's not as our camera is 'misplaced' I really hope I've not left it outside! Like days ago.... starting to get a bit worried....
staying at home with mum looks like this
The problem lies in not knowing what community we belong to or with. Should it be about lifestyle, ease, finances, the beach, the people. Of course it should be about all of these things but I have this habit of doubting everything. Personally I have a hang up with the 'living in one place thing' as I went to 3 primary schools and I think it affected me. It definitely mucked up my 2 brothers learning and behaviour. Oh and chuck into the mix knowing our friends (let alone our children's godparents*) wouldn't put their children into a Montessori or Steiner is not helpful. Too different but SO nurturing. I sometimes feel that if my Mum and Dad lived close none of this would matter as we'd have more support as a family.

Quietly hoping somebody has something wise to say today in the comments.

* knowing that the godparents will be reading this. Here's a disclaimer (if that is the right word): that is totally OK as we'd be happy for them to choose what they would choose for our children which would be right because it would be what they would choose which is why we choose them. 
** also my man about the house commented that my grammer and speling is aweful these days but you'll excuse me, right, as it's been a while since any academic or professional writting and I have Mummies Brain. Mistakes on perpose.

Monday, May 6, 2013

help advice needed

Many moons ago I had this idea. Sewing kits in tins. A resource a wanna-be-sewer could use to get going fixing and making things around their home. Since having this idea I also spied Megan from Mousehouse's Kids Crafty suitcases. So gathering all my ideas together. 

I started collecting tins. I started collecting things off trade me and from opp shops to put in the tins. I searched button jars the Kapiti Coast over. Last week I brought NEW things for the tins from sewing shops (in matching colours by this stage). Like cool as scissors (ok in my opinion). So now I'm done (for now) I've made 4 tins with coordinating themes/colours. Just in the knick of time for Mothers Day (Ok maybe a bit late). 

BUT I need your advice bloggy pals- how much should I price them for? Many of you would know how much in terms of Recommended Retail/As New these things in tins would cost. Or even if everything was thrifted how much that would cost. Add to that my fluffing around and what should we get? 

Also where should I try to sell them. I have them on my a green life facebook For Sale album but should I try trade me/felt/a craft market or all of the above (in which case can I sigh out loud). Or  are any of you keen? Make me an offer if you are. Love to hear what you think. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

I remembered them

 Master Happy and I (to find out about our 'names' on this blog check here) went along to the ANZAC day parade in Paekakariki. Storm had come down with a tummy bug so the Man about the House and her stayed home (and made ANZAC day bikkies). 

 I don't know about you but on ANZAC Day I think about my Grandparents. I wonder what 'those' days were like for them. The gentleman above had is 5 year old great grandson there at the parade. And look at all the medals the lady beside him has. I wonder whose they were and what they were for. I was standing beside her at one point and I'm kicking myself for not asking her. 

The community marched along behind the parade. As we contemplate where we want to live (this village is about 7 minutes north of us) I look at these hippies and wonder if we'd fit in. Most probably. 

Source: Wikipedia

Personally I always choke up at The Last Post and Binyon's Poem "For the Fallen". Above panel from Christchurch Cathedral. I like to think they have managed to save it. 

Master Happy exploring the poppy's with his second ANZAC day biscuit from the cuppa inside the Memorial Hall. 

and the biscuits awaiting us when we got home. It's the Man about the House's fav recipe. He makes them quite often as we usually have all the ingredients. I sat down to a coffee, another bikkie and my knitting needles. Prefect for me. 

Then I made pumpkin soup for lunch to go with scones also made by hubby. The rest of the day passed away uneventfully. Nice.
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