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Is all you’ve avo wanted a beautiful and healthy avocado tree? Avocados are hugely popular for their high source of nutrients and the fact that they are a low carb plant friendly food. Plus, be-leaf it or not, they are super easy to grow with a bit of patience, love and care.

To grow your avocado plant you will need:

1 avocado

1 plastic cup

Water

3 toothpicks

For potting:

1 medium sized pot

Soil – enough to fill your pot of choice

Water

  1. Take your avocado and cut in in half to access the seed.
  2. Wash off any excess flesh for a super shiny seed.
  3. We don’t want to be the devils avocado but, one of the best way to ensure spouting is to peel off the seed’s outer skin to reveal the lighter layer underneath. This means that when the new stem is prepared to form the seed can crack when it’s ready.
  4. Making sure the seed is facing upwards, (the top is the more rounded and pointed side) stick in your 3 toothpicks about ¾ of the way up the seed at an upward angle.
  5. You should then be able to rest your avocado seed in the plastic cup.
  6. Fill your cup until it’s just over halfway up the seed and set it up on a window with lots of sunlight. Change the water every 5 days or so to prevent any fungus or bacteria growth.
  7. You should be seeing a sprout in around 4 to 8 weeks.

Potting method

  1. When your seed has begun to grow a stem and has reached at least 6 inches tall it is then ready to pot.
  2. In order not to damage the root system, make sure that your chosen pot is deep enough to hold your plant and its roots without separating them. Plan out where they will be placed before adding soil.
  3. Add a base layer of soil and then position your plant. Hold it steadily whilst filling in the rest of your soil until level with the toothpicks.
  4. Slowly pull out your toothpicks. If they are too stiff to remove you can also cut them at the base, it may sound pit-ifully wrong but it’s ok!
  5. Give it a light water with room temperature water, making sure not to over do it and just moisten the soil.
  6. Remember to water it regularly as it and give it a weekly feed of fertiliser, as well as keeping an eye on your plant to make sure it’s tall and healthy.

Your tree should start to produce fruit in a few years depending on the type of avocado you’ve used. Avo great time planting!

 

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Goat milk is said to make your skin silky smooth, has tonnes of skin benefits and is easy to make. You’ll soon be the expert in your field and be producing some udderly amazing soap!

The benefits of using goat milk soap:

  • It’s a great fighter of acne. Goats milk contains antibacterial properties which prevents acne organisms from developing.
  • It’s creamy and high in fat, therefore effective in reducing inflammation, puffy-ness and moisturising the skin.
  • High in vitamin A which is good for repairing skin tissues.
  • Contains hydroxyl acid which helps remove dead skin cells.
  • It contains a mineral called selenium which is believed to prevent skin cancer.

You will need:

12.4 oz Goat Milk
10.8 oz Coconut Oil
10.8 oz Palm Oil
16.2 oz Pure Olive Oil
1.3 oz Sodium Lactate
5.3 oz Sodium Hydroxide
2.5 oz Sage & Lemongrass Fragrance Oil
2 drops Sweet Almond Oil
Herbs (optional)
2 containers – one bigger than the other
Hand held blender
Silicone Cube Mold

Method:

  1. Prep for your soap making by planning 24 hours ahead. Measure out your goats milk into ice cube trays and leave them overnight until completely solid.
  2. The next day, piece out all your individual cubes together in a container. Place this container in another larger one full of ice so that they stay chilled.
  3. Incorporate the sodium hydroxide into your frozen milk by slowly mixing half tablespoons at a time. Please take extra care when handling sodium hydroxide as it is a very corrosive chemical.
  4. Ensure that you’re mixing the entire time. This process will cause the mixture to warm up which can risk turning the colour darker so it’s vital that you keep your jug of cubes in its surrounding ice bath so that you end up with a lovely creamy colour.
  5. Once it’s all completely dissolved, add in the sodium lactate.
  6. Combine all of your oils in a separate bowl, using a bit of heat to incorporate them all together.
  7. Once cooled, add in your milky mixture gently into your oils on the edge of the bowl to prevent bubbles.
  8. Use a hand held blender to whist the two together in small, short bursts.
  9. Fill your silicone mould with the soap mixture and then place in your fridge immediately.
  10. After about a week they should be ready to de-mould, and then be ready to use in about 4 to 6 weeks once all dried!

You can adapt this method to whichever scents you prefer or after seeing what works best for you. The ones we’ve included are not hoof bad but you could even add in bits of thyme or lavendar before moulding, whatever floats your goat!

Once you’ve prepped and are ready to use your soap, place it in a soap holder of your choice. For more bathroom inspiration, check out our bathroom accessories!

 

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10 Quick and Easy House Cleaning Tips

 

If you’re leaving your house unattended for a little while, there are lots of ways to make sure your space is secured and least of a target as possible for potential break ins. In this post, we’ve collected all the best tips and precautions for you on how to keep safe and street wise.

  1. Alarm system

Having an alarm system in your home is a great investment. Not only can you go away in peace knowing that any unknown movement will be picked up on, but it can also provide a lot of reassurance. There are many type of systems available for whatever you may need, some of them including CCTV, outdoor sensored lighting, alarms on as many doors of the house as you like and even remote controlling so that you are able to check up on it whilst you are away. Always expect the unexpected!

2. Look lived in

Simple tasks like mowing the lawn really do make a difference to making sure your home doesn’t look neglected and vulnerable to break ins. Additionally, setting timers for the radio and lights in your house whilst you are away is a great way of deterring potential suspicions. Set timers for the usual time of day that you’d use these: for example if you use a radio to wake you up in the morning keep it on during your time away, making sure it can turn itself off. The same thing goes for lights: install a timer switch to set the light in your hallway to turn itself on when it gets dark for a few hours and people will think that you are living in the house as normal!

3. Warning signs

In order to be extra safe, it’s also worth making sure that anyone who may be potentially thinking of breaking and entering knows that you have security measures in place. Even if you don’t have a real alarm set up in your house or are yet to get one done, we would suggest getting an alarm bell box on the outside of your home, real or fake. This is a clear signal that you have taken precautions to secure your home.

4. A safe

If you are worried about any high value possessions you may have, using a safe will keep your mind at rest, in the knowledge that they wouldn’t be accessible to anyone who tries to find them. To take extra precaution, be sure to hide the safe away not in an open space where it could be easily found, perhaps at the back of a wardrobe or in a loft.

5. Help from your neighbourhood

If you are aware that your neighbours are around during your time away, it may be worth asking them to keep an eye out or check up on your home for anything unusual. This could be in the form of collecting your post, parking their car in your driveway or even coming in every day to feed a pet or open and close your curtains. Alternatively, if this isn’t an option for you it’s worth having at look at your local neighbourhood watch scheme to see how you could get involved and receive community alert messages.

6. Durable doors

In the majority of break ins, criminals break into the house or flat through the door either by forcing the lock or kicking it in. With this in mind, it’s important to keep your doors strong and secure. Which material is your door made out of? If you feel like this is a possible risk for you, consider fitting in a bar for extra strength and precaution. For advice on how best to install it, speak to your local locksmith who should be able to guide you through it.

In addition, glass doors are vulnerable as they are easy to break and then give access to the locks. Switching to laminated glass will mean that your glass is much more durable. Adding film will also give it that extra layer and make it more difficult to break.

7. Deliveries

Whilst it’s easier to prevent making deliveries to your address for when you’re away, trivial deliveries like letters and milk can be easily forgotten about. Luckily enough, postage services like The Royal Mail have in place a ‘Keepsafe’ service. This allows the post that you’d be receiving to be kept aside by them for up to 2 months, should you need it. As for milk deliveries, be sure to let them know the period of time that you’re going away for and they will be able to put deliveries on hold for you.

8. Home exchange

If you prefer to have someone living in your house keeping an eye on it all the times there are plenty of sites available should you wish to do a home exchange. Similarly to AirBnB, they include ratings, feedback and recommendations of other users for your safety. There is trust on both sides of care for one anothers spaces and best of all, you can go away and stay in another person’s accomodation for free! Not too shabby.

We hope you found some useful tips and tricks about how to keep your home secure if you’re going away. Remember, it’s always good to double check everything is safe and secure before you leave and try not to be too vocal about it: not everyone has to know that the house could be empty! We’ve thought of everything so that you don’t have to, 😉 have a great trip!

 

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How to Secure Your Home During Winter

 

Christmas is over and the new year is fast approaching! All that’s left is a few extra pounds and what’s left over from Christmas day and its build up. We’ve recognised that it’s this time of year where waste rises considerably more, so we’ve put together some ways for you to spend the post-Christmas period sustainably and guilt free.

1. Gift wrapping

  • Re use your leftover gift wrapping for another present later on in the year. If your paper has been teared in awkward places or has rips, simply` trim them along the edges when it comes to re-wrapping and fold over the areas which may not look as neat. If you are left with a smaller piece than you originally had after first wrapping, use it for a future gift which is smaller, such as accessories or jewellery which don’t take up too much space.
  • One of the best ways to sustainably gift your presents is to present them in gift bags. They can be used over and over again and don’t require any additional effort like folding and sticking. The same can apply to bows and foils which may have also been used to decorate your gift. If you wish to dedicate 2019 to the year of recycling to the max then be sure to try out giving gifts in gift bags from now on – not only does it look as fabulous as gift wrapping paper, but also encourages other people to pass them on and re use them too!
  • Another reason to not throw away your leftover Christmas wrapping paper is to use them for crafts. Pretty patterned or coloured wrapping papers have many other uses. For example, say you have some pretty gold wrapping paper left over – use it to cut out stars which you could be used to decorate cards and more. You could even use your favourite patterned ones the following year and DIY your own baubles by placing it in a clear ball. However, if your wrapping paper is particularly christmassy (with snowmans or reindeers), there’s no harm in storing it neatly for next year to save you some cash – and it doesn’t take up much space!

2. Recycling your tree

The time has come to take your Christmas tree down – it has done its job of embellishing your home all season, witnessed family coming together and the joy that comes with it. Along with the responsibility taken on when buying your tree, recycling it is also an important part of keeping sustainable over the Christmas period.

  • If you have an artificial tree be sure to keep it for as long as possible as it’s made out of plastic PVC which is incredibly difficult to decompose. According to the Carbon Trust, “you would have to reuse your artificial tree for at least 10 Christmases to keep its environmental impact lower than that of a real tree”. In order to store it away for the following year, we would advise cleaning it branch by branch to remove accumulated dust before storing it in its box. When storing it, avoid places which are too wet to better preserve the tree and the colors of the branches.
  • If you have a natural fir tree this is definitely the more ecological option in comparison.

– If you have already bought and used a tree which has been  cut at the root then it would have already dried out and can not be replanted. Make sure it does not end up in a landfill as they can take up a lot of space and the tree produces methane gas as it decomposes, an incredibly potent greenhouse gas.

– The most ecological way to dispose of it would be to recycle it – this can be done in multiple ways. The most obvious would be to put it next to your recycling bin for it to be collected, however there are many local councils which have tree collection points to ensure that as many trees are recycled at possible. Make sure to check your local council’s website for more information.

– You can also reduce your carbon footprint by turning your tree into wood chip for your outdoor areas or drying it out completely and using it as wood for your winter fires.

  • The ideal way of loving the planet you live in is by growing your own tree. Buying a pot grown tree means that you’ll be able to re plant it’s roots in your garden for the following year. The only downside is that your tree must not be kept indoors for longer than 12 days as there is a risk of them dying. However, Fir trees are very resistant plants so once re planted their root systems will get back into action rapidly, allowing them to flourish again for the following year. They need very little attention over the year, just make sure to keep watering it well.

Alternatively, should you not want to buy an actual tree, there are lots of ideas of how to make your own tree out of fun materials here.

3. Food waste

Although it’s certain that we love to eat our hearts out over the Christmas period, a lot of it still goes to waste. According to WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), UK households throw away £15 billion worth of food over the entire year, generating tonnes of avoidable greenhouse emissions. 

Here are a few seasonal tips on the best way to try and prevent it:

  • With your leftover turkey (or chicken) carcass, boil it into a soup that will last you for weeks.
  • Leftover fruit can be blended together into smoothies. If you have grapes with your cheese board, they can be frozen to go with drinks or by themselves – they taste like sorbet!
  • If you use Stilton cheese it can also be frozen for future cooking.
  • Cooked turkey can be blended for turkey mince or frozen for a later date.
  • Whip any leftover cream and freeze it.
  • Christmas cake can also be frozen. Top tip – pre slice and wrap it in greaseproof paper to save you from de freezing the whole thing if you just want a slice. 😉
  • Get inventive with leftover sauces, meats and herbs and turn them into whichever pies, curries and sandwiches take your fancy!

4. Old toys

Whilst the kids are off playing with their new toys after Christmas, there is a chance that they could reject their old ones. Its normal for kids to like the latest trends as they come, so if you find that your child isn’t playing with a toy that father christmas got them a few christmases ago, don’t throw it away. Instead you could:

  • Give it a new life with another child by donating it to friends and family who may want them. If this isn’t an option, charity shops or giving them to your local council will most likely take them. You could even give them to a place of worship, sometimes churches and synagogues take in toys for their community – whether you’re religious or not! There’s always a way, you can be sure that another child will thank you 🙂
  • If possible, give old toys a makeover. For example, should you have an old toy shop which has become worn and torn, revamp it with a lick of new paint or some extra nuts and bolts. It’ll soon be as if it was brand new!
  • If you have a board game which has some pieces missing or even a pack of cards don’t have any aces… recycle them and get back that cupboard space.

 

We hope you’ve picked out some useful top tips and inspiration, don’t forget to make sure to love the planet in the same way that you have shown love to your friends and family this holiday season!

 

More posts:

9 Trouble Saving Winter Car Hacks

Top 10 Tips Cutting Your Heating Bill by up to 40%

 

 

Pantone have announced their colour of the year 2019 as ‘Living Coral’. This vibrant and warm colour with a peachy orangey hue has inspired all kinds of interior design ideas for the up and coming year. We’ve put together some some of the ways in which you can inject the colour of the year into your home, so that you can find the best way keep your space up to date with the trendiest colour pallette.

 

Chair and table

This chair and table is a wonderful way of injecting brightness into your furniture. It would look especially good in your garden on a sunny day against the backdrop of some vibrant green grass.

Coral wallpaper

If you’re searching for a more prominent way of having ‘Living Coral’ in your home – look no further. This environmentally friendly wallpaper has a straight match pattern meaning it’s easy to measure out the width. You’ll start by putting it on 1 wall and then end up with this shade on all 4…

Hanging pendant light

This lampshade is a more delicate alternative to the vibrant and eye catching ‘Living Coral’. Should you want to introduce these pinky orangey hues into your colour scheme but have them toned down for the time being – this gorgeous pendant lamp will satisfy your colour craving.

Roman blinds

This roman blind is a great match to Pantone’s colour of the year. We love the balance of the transparent and opaque colours on the body and rimming of the blind. It even seems as if this colour scheme is the perfect combination of reds and pinks and would create ‘Living Coral’ when mixed together.

Toilet pedestal

Gone are the days of plain white and grey bathrooms. Be bold to add a splash of colour where you can for some added vibrancy to your bathroom. We’d suggest starting with something along the lines of toilet pedestals as they are a great non-committal way of doing it.

Vibrant toilet seat

Give your bathroom a trendy makeover with this tropical patterned toilet seat. Pair it in your bathroom with some real life palm leaves, and see your corner of the jungle come to life!

Indoor herb garden

If you’re a foodie, plant-fanatic or simply love the environment, you’ll love having an indoor herb garden in your home. If you’re not sure on how to get started, check out our guide on how to grow an indoor herb garden.

Patterned wallpaper

For those with a super stylish nature, take a look at this coral wallpaper which is patterned with subtle metallic flamingoes. This would go perfectly with a vintage style room paired with antiques – ‘Living Coral’ really is versatile!

 

We hope you picked up some inspiration on how to incorporate Pantone’s colour of the year into your home in a way which suits you. It’s beautiful vibrancy can be added to your space in so many different ways, so don’t hesitate to bring out the brightness in 2019 and start it off with a bang!

 

Pantone Colour of the Year 2018

Pantone Colour of the Year 2017