Saturday, 30 July 2011

Peppersmith Mints & Gums ( 20% off )


Seems there's a bit of a colour theme here of late, lots of yellow which coincides nicely with the arrival of a most delicious new tooth friendly mint from Peppersmith. Sicilian lemon & fine English peppermint Fresh Mints, they are bloomin' lovely, as are the Peppermint ones, but I have a particular weakness for anything with lemon in it (this week I'll be experimenting with Lemon Cornbread, I'll report back if it works). But back to the mints, like all their products they make them with good ingredients like xylitol and none of the nasties that are standard in most of the gums and mints out there. I'll let Peppersmith tell you about them in their own words:

'They’re made with the finest Sicilian lemons from the Femminello and Monachello varieties and picked from the superior winter crop. They also have a touch of our distinctive fine English peppermint, farmed in Hampshire, giving them a nice cooling freshness.

What’s more, accredited by the British Dental Health Foundation for being good for teeth, they actually help reduce the risk of plaque and tooth decay. And as you’d expect from us they’re free from artificial flavours, colours, preservatives and aspartame.'

No Aspartame. That's a huge selling point for me, it's why I stopped buying gum. Now I can have Peppermint or Spearmint, and they are developing a Cinnamon one which I can hardly wait to taste.

A good ethos twinned with good design always gets my attention so I can see myself being a long term customer, a few minutes nosey-ing around their website lets you see what they are all about. I'm quite nerdy about nice packaging and love both the box styles they have (one with a drawer, one with a flip top that catches to close) and they bring a sense of fun with a different moustachio'd movie star or historical figure inside to reflect the twin mint leaved 'moustache' of their logo. I also like the papers included to dispose of your used gum, so no more excuses for leaving it on the bus seat for me to sit on in my new jacket (15yrs on and I'm still annoyed about that).

So there you have it, Peppersmith, great products from great people, so great that they made a code for you to try them with 20% off, just type in CALLY when ordering from their E-buygum webshop, valid until 7th Aug 2011. You can also follow them on twitter and facebook or sign up for their newsletter to get product news and special offers, which is how I got hold of those delicious Lemon mints this week. Click here for stockists, or do what I did and ask your local health food shop or cafe to stock them (thanks Real Foods).

Friday, 29 July 2011

Fantasy shopping inspired by Silver Ragwort

Apologies in advance for any weird formatting or odd postings, blogger seems to be doing a few strange things with my drafts lately and I have to keep deleting and editing, not sure if that means multiple viewings for subscribers.

Inspired by the greys and yellows of the Silver Ragwort I posted the other day (and a sleepless night - something moving around under the house, cat, hedgehog, monster?) I did some fantasy shopping. I don't buy many clothes in real life and these days I can't often get to town for
window shopping, so I had a bit of fun collating some things I get if money, body shape, comfort, confidence and conscience (eco & ethical) weren't factors. I'd look completely different. I'd look like the way I see myself. Click to enlarge the big picture and hover over the wee ones for makers.

My reality is a much more budget friendly (mostly 2nd hand) and practical for sitting in dirt when I garden, which is 99% of the extent of any outdoor life I have at the moment. But when I was well I used to have a social life, travel, go to openings and, my favourite thing of all, make fancy dress outfits for parties, usually with a spacey/futuristic edge to them. These days I let Lady Gaga revel in that role, she and her team (and mega budget) do it so well. But here is a small selection of things that cover all my old and new life, only missing a pair of chunky grey men's workwear trousers which I already own (free from my old job), no amount of kneeling in the dirt would ruin the knees on those bad boys.

Lady Gaga sparkling origami headpiece at the Grammy's
Designed by Philip Treacy for Armani Privé

1: Melinda Young 2: Masao Takahashi 3: Gwen Hosker

Eco friendly house shoes by ETSY seller elephantandchickpea

Last days to make Elderflower Cordial

My Elder has been thrashed by the thunderstorms so last week was my last chance to make Elderflower cordial before the last of the flowers went brown. As an experiment I put half the flower heads in the freezer to see if it would be easier to remove them from their stalks - big mistake. They did come off fairly easily but within minutes went brown and horrible. From now on I'll stick to combing them off with a fork. I put some of the lemon and flower water in a bottle and added hibiscus tea, the colour was so summery. Here they are in bud and flower...

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Silvery grey and gold

Neckpiece by Brooke Battles (Via Velvet da Vinci).

Brooke's neckpiece made me think of my Senecio Cineraria, also known as Silver Ragwort. Books and TV gardeners often describe it as a plant that is grown for the folliage and that you should chop of the flowers, but I never do, the bees love them and I think they look lovely at every stage. My main plant has all these stages happening on it just now so there's lots to see.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Orgran Gluten Free Cornbread

I'm hugely craving this today. Orgran Gluten Free Cornbread

Fresh out the oven with melting soya spread. Equally delicious the next day when I squished fresh over-ripe raspberries onto it, it made it taste like a raspberry sponge cake. But ever since I've been craving madly. I think it's a reaction to having increased my raw food intake to about 80%. The more I eat healthy vegetables the more I crave sugar, fats and carbs. Mmmm.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Pulsatilla - bud to seed

Pasque flower - Pulsatilla Vulgaris, April-June

Seeds are often as beautiful, or more beautiful, than flowers, as is the case with the Pulsatilla. Last year I only had one flower/seed-head, this year I had lots, waving softly in the breeze. The Honesty has been amazing this year too, with some of the clumps developing purple seed-heads, which have kept their colour even after 2 months. You can see a few are still the usual green colour at the back. See my garden in detail here.

Honesty -Lunaria annua

Otchipotchi tiny white vases

Otchipotchi porcelain vases available to buy here. I'd love to add one of these to my little collection of tiny handcrafted white bud vases but as always, it's the postage costs that stop me. If I ever find myself in Portugal I'd love to visit and buy lots of Paula's wondrous white delights.

Scottish jewellers

Iona Brown -
Ring with salt crystals - DJCA graduate 2011

I love making crystals, haven't done it for years, so it was nice to be reminded of them and even better to see them incorporated into her jewellery. I don't know how wearable or lasting it is but that is part of the beauty. Lots of my own paper and twig jewellery pieces are still going strong after 20 years despite everyone telling me they would fall apart quickly

Merlin Planterose - Necklace, Ring and Silver Bowls - DJCA graduate 2011

As someone who liked working with nature to create my own metalwork, bowls and other works I'm really liking the techniques used by Merlin Planterose to, in her father's words, turn silver into stone. She used stone as both hammer and anvil to give a
beautiful natural texture to her pieces, which includes stone dust from the process which gets embedded into the silver. I'd love to see and feel the effect in real life.

Scottish jewellers

Not posted jewellery/metalwork in ages, in fact, for the first time in my life I actually forgot about Degree shows entirely this year (says something about the 'brain fog' taking over me this year, which I find worse than the physical symptoms of M.E./CFS).

Found a few online that I liked. Some from this year, some from previous years, here are two and I'll post more when my brain gets going:

Hannah Eccles - Brooches - ECA graduate 2010

Roisin Connolly - Edinburgh Street - DJCA graduate 2011

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Adding June flowers to Flickr

Finally uploading my June flowers to my Flickr plants album. Not necessarily great photo's but gives a good overview of the variety of life out the window. All the plant details are available on my Folia pages, which is what these photo's are intended for, so I can keep track of what's where when they retreat underground over winter.

I love how I say fill it out, as if there is any space left to fill!

Indoors my handy salad, growing has been a bit thin on the ground because all the space is taken up with plant cuttings. Mr P doesn't mind buying annuals for his garden but mine is on a very, very tight budget so I need to grow as much as possible now to fill it out next spring and summer for free. It's making me look differently at plants I didn't used to like. Suddenly, if something is easy to grow from cuttings and takes up very little space in winter I get interested. I've got a lot of varieties of Dianthus going on, it looks more like Granny Creates than Cally Creates. Another fave is the bright Oxalis which roots really quickly from cuttings. I don't know if I can keep it going indoors through winter but if I do I'll have masses for Spring. The little piles of leaves in the previous post were prunings from the Oxalis which has already been potted on and is growing happily...

Oxalis 'Sunset Velvet'

Friday, 8 July 2011

More June FLowers - spice tones

Bearded Iris, Oxalis, and Herb Robert leaves all brought some warm spicy tones to the garden this June. The irises have finished but the others continue on rampantly with the Herb Robert always a big hit with small bees. The Oxalis is an annual in Scotland but well worth it for all the vibrant colour it brings, really livening up gaps between other plants and always great next to purple toned foliage.
See my garden in detail here

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Is a Vitamix too noisy for a mobile home?

Question, does anyone know how loud a Vitamix sounds in a Mobile Home?

Update 18th July 2011: I bought it, and it is loud, but I don't need my things to be smooth so I mostly only have it on for 10-30 seconds. The violence of it still freaks me out a bit and my heart races with fear before I hit the button, I'm sure my face is a picture of scrunched up worry as if it's going to suck me in and mash me into a savoury dip. I certainly wouldn't dream of having it on long enough to make soup, but that's not why I wanted it anyway. Three days in it's already invaluable.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Deeba Rajpal - Passionate About Baking

I don't get about blogs much these days, as you know, so when I do it tends to be to get recipe conversions to UK measurements for things I have already or in search of Gluten and Lactose free alternatives to recipes I can't use anymore. I usually head straight for a few key GF/Vegan blogs as they tend to have tried most alternatives, but sometimes I stray into other territory and find new food blogs that I'd missed in my allergy free searches.

Such was the case today with the blog Passionate About Baking, written and photographed by Deeba Rajpal. I clicked on it and the most beautiful series of photographs of Black Sesame Macarons with Cherry Chocolate Ganache appeared and I had to share a few with you. And if you want to make them the recipe is here on Food Wanderings where she guest posted.

Macarons, not to be confused with Coconut Macaroons, you can see the differences in basic recipes here.

Friday, 1 July 2011

More June FLowers

More flowers because I said I show Liz the garden. See my garden in detail here. First up pink and grey/blue tones, more to follow in other colours.

1. Aquilegia 'Nora Barlow'. 2. Hebe in bud. 3. Dianthus 'Starry Eyes' uncurling it's petals which become white with wine red central markings. 4. An unknown Dianthus in bud, opens mid pink with darker pink markings. 5.The filigree leaves of Cineraria with the flowers of Calibrachoa. 6. Herb Robert in flower and bud.

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