You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours!


Do you ever wish you were one of those really arts & crafty people who can see the value in what other people have left for the charity shop, and can turn it in to something fabulous and unique for their own home? Or perhaps you wish that you were just a bit more skilful with DIY, or cake decorating. Or maybe you just wish someone else would lend you their lawnmower every now and again so that you wouldn’t have to buy one yourself when your ‘garden’ is more like a grassy driveway and you don’t have anywhere outside the house to store one?

There can be a solution to all these problems!

We’re all becoming more and more familiar with the reality that people are generous with what they have which is surplus to requirements. I’m sure many of us these days are members of at least one local group on Facebook where people can list any items they no longer want or need, either offering to give them away for free or selling for a small fee, I think I’m involved in two. Having only moved out of home last year, I have been very lucky (as has my bank balance) to have been given for free 1 of our sofas, a folding dining table with 2 chairs, our bed base, and a washing machine.  I also paid very little for our TV and our coffee table. The favourite thing of all was when we decided to get rid of our mattress (deciding to fork out for a brand new one), and finding someone who wanted a mattress and was getting rid of a sofa bed, which we needed. Swaps are brilliant as they suit everyone! Read the rest of this entry

Mad Men Series 7 Teaser Trailer

How to Minimize Your Footprint While on the Road


You have a whole lifetime of travel plans. You’re off to the mall, work and grocery store on a daily basis, but you also have trips to take. You might take an airplane quite a few times in your life, and you might take a cruise now and then. Some people are truck drivers, and they are on the road all the time.

All that travel amounts to a pretty significant carbon footprint. If you’re interested in looking for a few ways to reduce that lifetime footprint, you’ve come to the right place!

Don’t Fly, Drive!

Airplanes are a major contributor to atmospheric pollution. There are more studies that should be done, but the ones that have all point to one fact: per person, air travel provides greater pollution than non-air travel. That’s why driving cross-country is a better idea for you and your family than flying.

Drive Less (Aggressively)

Almost everyone has to drive at some point. It’s almost impossible not to, so we may as well try and be reasonable about it. First of all, if you don’t really need to drive somewhere, don’t! Walking or riding your bike has the benefit of reducing your footprint while also keeping you in shape.

If you do need to drive, you can still reduce your footprint. Driving like a reasonable person can help you reduce your gas emissions by as much as 33%. In addition to working on your road rage, you can also reduce your footprint even further by keeping your car in shape. Regular oil changes, new tires and other general repairs keeps your car running better and with fewer emissions. Read the rest of this entry

Vintage Wedding; Modern Budget?

One of my best friends got married last year, a lovely week long holiday in Greece, with the wedding near the end of the week, hosted at the bride’s mother’s Greek restaurant in the mountains, after a ceremony which was put together at an abandoned site of the old village well. It was absolutely perfect, if a bit Mamma Mia.

Another best friend is getting married this summer, and as Maid of Honour I’ve been looking at venues with her (this is the gorgeous selected venue, a converted barn nearby, the owners offering a great deal of flexibility which is amazing!), thinking of themes, visiting wedding fairs and getting generally over-the-top excited about wedding planning! As an unmarried lady aged 28, I am of course getting the bug and can’t help but pick the bits of all the different weddings I’ve seen and start to plan my perfect wedding. This started in my head, but afraid of forgetting some of my favourite ideas, I’ve even been emailing them to my boyfriend. He’s good humoured about it all, but there’s still no ring! Alas, here are my hopes and dreams.

My boyfriend and I don’t have a lot of money, so a wedding would have to go mainly on a credit card. So I will literally be planning all of the ways to achieve something I think is beautiful and special, whilst also scheming to avoid being ripped off or charged ‘wedding rates’. Read the rest of this entry

5 Benefits I Noticed from Installing a Soft Water System

I live in the Midwest, and we have some of the hardest water in the country. I got really sick of dealing with all the hassles of hard water in my home. The endless spots on the dishes and mineral deposits in my faucets and appliances were driving me crazy. I decided to install a NuvoH2O soft water system to end the problems I was having with hard water in my house. It ended up being one of the best decisions I ever made. Here is a look at some of the greatest benefits I have enjoyed with this awesome water softening system.

Saving a Fortune on Soap

One of the worst things about hard water is that it makes soap less effective. Over time, this adds up to a lot of wasted money spent on using excess soap in the home. This does not just include the soap you use to wash your body, but it also includes soap used to wash dishes, do laundry and wash the car. Even though it has been only six months since we installed the soft water system, I have been amazed at how much less soap we are using now.

Cleaner Dishes

Another thing that is really annoying about hard water is that it leaves spots on your dishes. No matter how carefully you wash them, you will inevitable get spots on your dishes if you use hard water. That is one of the main things I am loving about our new water softening system. I no longer have hard water deposits on my dishes, and this is a big load off my mind. Read the rest of this entry

All About Stained Glass Windows

I don’t know about you but I often find peace in the inevitably chilly church, a cool, open place to contemplate life’s many wonders. The way the giant trunk-like marble pillars stand heavy in the ground and the gentle beams of different coloured light from the magnificent stained glass windows are reflected around the church, even into the darkest stone corners. Stained glass windows are something that I’ve always associated with the church and probably always will.

The windows are never boring or uninteresting, as throughout the day the ever-changing light causes the colours to dance across the floor, inviting your mind to imagine, or to return to memories, inspired by the different colours and patterns. They were an essential element to the fabric of ancient churches, both illuminating the building literally, and spiritually.  There is something about the soft haze of light that is very therapeutic.

Diving deeper

The history of stained glass windows dates back before even the middle ages, and the technical abilities required to craft these windows are often underestimated. The glass that was used in those ancient times was a fusion of the earth’s rocks:sand (silicon oxide), soda (sodium oxide) and lime (calcium oxide) all melted together at high temperatures. The coloured glass is crafted into stained glass windows in which small pieces of glass are arranged to form patterns or pictures, these pieces were traditionally held together by strips of lead, the weight being supported by a rigid frame. Read the rest of this entry

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