Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Beauty Tuesday: Sleek Faux Bob and Homemade Hairspray Recipe

In this post I will show you how to go from this:
to this:

in less than five minutes, with no heat, scissors or aerosols. I'll also share my homemade hairspray recipe. Let's start with the hairspray.

(Note: in some of these pictures I had ear buds in as I was on the phone, so that's what that black dangly thing is. I am so good at multi tasking!)

You will need:
Peppermint essence, orange essence or vodka

White table sugar

Spring water, filtered water or rain water

A clean, empty spray bottle

In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to the boil, then turn down the heat and add 2 tablespoons of sugar to it. For a firmer hold, add more sugar (this is what I should have done to completely eliminate my fly aways, but I didn't).
Stir well. When the sugar is dissolved, add 1 teaspoonful of flavouring essence or vodka. The advantages of flavouring essence over vodka are: I had it in my kitchen already; flavouring essence contains glycerin, which draws moisture out of the air into your hair; you'll smell like peppermint/oranges. It really is up to you, though.

For the hairstyle, you will need:
Anything from two to infinite bobby pins or other hair pins. I used four of these Amish style ones, I would need eight regular bobby pins.

You'll also need your homemade hairspray.

First, lightly mist your hair all over with the spray, then (without using a hair tie) roll your hair into a loose, low bun.

Using both hands to keep it as even as possible, roll the bun under itself.

Spend some time adjusting the bun to make sure it will be sitting where you want it, then pin it in place from underneath.

Give the finished style another misting and smooth down any fluffy bits. My two tablespoons of sugar is no match for the humidity here today, but it's better than it would be without anything. Here's a shot of me swanning about, pretending to be in a Jane Austen story:

The Jane Austen reference has nothing to do with the hair, I just like to pretend I'm in one of her books sometimes.

If you have a natural beauty post you would like to share, you can link it to this one using the guidelines I included at the bottom of this post here.

Worlds of love, my lovelies!
Cassandra Louise.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Meatless Monday: Spaghetti and Meatless Balls

This Meatless Monday I'm sharing a recipe I only made for the first time last week, so rather than tell you exactly what to do I'll tell you what I did. This recipe uses Quorn Meat-Style Balls which are vegetarian but not vegan.

You will need:
One tin of diced tomato (mine had basil and oregano so I didn't have to add those as they're not in my garden at the moment)

Two medium - large tomatoes

One carrot (grated, even though this one clearly isn't)

One small - medium zucchini

Roughly 200g of sliced mushrooms

Minced or crushed garlic

Half an onion. This one is red, but I think a brown one would be more suitable


One bag of Quorn Meat-Style Balls

One large-ish bunch of chopped parsley and cooking oil. which there are no pictures of because I'm slack

In a large pot, add the onion and 1 teaspoonful of garlic, along with a good splash of cooking oil

When everything starts to smell delicious and dinner-y, add the mushrooms and enough water to just cover them, and pop the lid on the pot.

Let that simmer (low heat) for about fifteen (15) minutes. You should have something like this, probably:

Add the grated carrot and chopped tomato and zucchini, along with the parsley and a little more water.

Stir, and cover for another ten - fifteen (10 - 15) minutes on low to medium heat. You now have the sauce:

Add the balls and turn the heat up slightly. Leave it uncovered for this bit. Check back and stir periodically.
This was taken at about twenty (20) minutes after adding the balls. I decided it was time to put the spaghetti on.

I took the rather controversial step of cooking the spaghetti in the sauce, because that's what my Nana always did when she made "Skeddi and rissoles" and that turned out fine.

I ended up with this very delicious meal. 

I was actually having an off day and I was surprised it turned out so well. By "well", I mean it was nice enough to make my whole day better. Yay! :-)

Happy Nibbling!
Cassandra Louise

Monday, 20 October 2014

Garden Update: Plant Babies

Things are going quite well in my garden. I did get potting mix and I moved the four pea seedlings to their own pot. It really is too hot for newborn peas right now, and unfortunately I've already lost one. The other three seem to be holding on, though. Go, go little pea plants!

My lettuces are starting to look like lettuces, too. They're all in a clump as they self-seeded, but I've found lettuces can usually sort themselves out.

I've thinned out my carrots, leaving the biggest, strongest looking carrots where they were, I transplanted the very smallest few to other tubs in the garden and moved the medium-sized carrots further apart in the carrot tub. Carrots hate being transplanted, it's really their least favourite thing to do, so I watered them in with seaweed solution to ease the shock. I will be surprised if the smallest carrots recover, but at least they have a chance... when I say "smallest", I mean this size:
See that little red-orange thing? That's a carrot!

I sprinkled some more dirt in the carrot tup to cover up the exposed part of their roots, so now my carrots look like this:
Well that's actually much blurier than I thought it was when I took it. Really my carrots are not blurry at all, but they do have a lovely crop of green fluff.

I removed the mini greenhouse from my chilli today and moved the pot into the main part of the garden. It's now this big:

The other new plant babies I have are strawberries. I got this handy little all-in-one greenhouse from Kmart:

And it now has four tiny little strawberry sprouts in it. I tried to get a good picture of the actual sprouts, but it turns out they're camera shy.

What's going on in your garden? :-)
Happy Planting!
Cassandra Louise

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Beauty Tuesday: Microbead-Free Exfoliation

Last week I decided that every Tuesday would be Beauty Tuesday and I would talk about sustainable fashion, environmentally responsible cosmetics or natural beauty products on Tuesdays. This Tuesday, I want to talk to you about microbeads.
You've probably heard about microbeads but you may not know what they are. A lot of companies use microbeads as a selling point. It is a selling point - microbeads are great for exfoliation - but microbeads are wreaking havoc on our waterways and marine life. Microbeads are plastic. They are tiny little pieces of plastic that go down your drain and then never, ever dissolve or disappear.

You can read about what microbeads are, exactly why they are a problem and what products you may have that contain them here (the link will open in a new tab).
If you have something with microbeads, I would suggest throwing it out. You should know by now I don't suggest throwing things out lightly, but the less microbeads flooding into the ocean, the better.
I don't have a photograph of microbeads for you as I don't want to demonise a particular brand or product, so I drew some for you:

I didn't think that adequately captured how evil they are, so here they are lighting a bushfire and running away:

And here's one making a fish sad:

But on a serious note, they make fish more than sad, they make them sick, dead and extinct. Don't use them.
"But what," I hear you cry, "can I exfoliate with?! I'll get all scaly! Do you want me to be all scaly?"
Of course I don't want you to be scaly, and that's why I've made this simple recipe for you.
You will need:
The most gentle conditioning baby shampoo you can find

Normal white table sugar

And... that's it. Pour one tablespoon of baby shampoo into a small bowl or a teacup.  For the kind I have, 1Tbsp is ten pumps, so that's easy.

Next, add two tablespoons of sugar to it.

You can either just let it sit, or poke it with a spoon for a bit, either way, in less than a minute the sugar will have absorbed all the baby shampoo and turned into a sort of crunchy gel:

You can use this scrub and know that you will not be scaly and you are helping to keep marine creatures and environments safe.
If you have very dry skin, you can replace the baby shampoo with olive oil or coconut oil.

I would like to make this post an informal link-up, which will be open... well, basically forever since it's informal. If you have a beauty post you would like to share, link to this post on yours and leave a comment here letting me know you've linked up.
You could link an environmentally-friendly alternative like this, a natural skin or hair care product like the one linked herea fashion-centred op shop/thrift post like the one at this link, or a refashion project like this one. I really look forward to seeing your stuff! :-D

Happy Scrubbing!
Linky love,
Cassandra Louise.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Garden News: Chilli, Carrots and Peas

Remember my mini greenhouse from this post?
Well, look what's in it now!

I moved it slightly so it was over the strongest plant. If I still get more than one, that's fantastic, but this way I'm guaranteed to get at least one. It's about 5cm tall now. I think I'll be taking the greenhouse off it in about a week.

My carrots are recovering well and the roots (the carrot part) have visibly started growing again.

Very soon I'll need to go through them and move them a little further apart. There's some very straggly ones that are having a lot of trouble and they may need to come out, but I'm soft hearted/headed [delete as applicable] so I'll probably make a carrot nursery for those ones. 
The little one on the right of the screen probably can't catch up.
I also found the kind of surprise you only get when you put your used potting mix back in the compost to refresh:

Surprise pea plants have come up in the tub of a native plant I potted up a few weeks ago. It's really getting too hot for peas, but I still want to give them the best start I can.  On Saturday I walked to Coles with my wheelie bag (you know, like grannies have) to get some potting mix to rehome my peas, as I don't have any more compost ready right now. Turns out Coles no longer sells any potting mix. Boo! So today I'm walking to the next closest shop which may have some and hopefully wheeling some home to replant those peas before they climb on my native friend there. Potting mix is heavy and I'll be walking really quite a long way considering, so that's my workout for the week, thank you very much!

Happy gardening!
Lots of Love,
Cassandra Louise.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Witchy Tea

I'm calling this "witchy" tea because it just came to me, like blam! and insisted on being made right away, so that's what I did; "witchy" just seems like the right word for that. Please excuse my not-so-good photos this time, I didn't want to put the kitchen light on and disturb the serenity.

You will need:
A sprig of rosemary

Two slices of lemon (or a tablespoon of lemon juice)

A green tea teabag

A camomile teabag

I don't like camomile tea, I have those teabags for my hair, so I was surprised when my body said that's what it wanted, but anyway...
Put everything in an infuser or a teapot

Add slightly-less-than-boiling water

And let it stand for at least three minutes.

I let mine sit for about five minutes before plunging and pouring.

And I stirred in about a teaspoonful of ground cinnamon, because I'm me.

I found this very pleasant. I wasn't sure about the camomile, but I tasted it before I added any cinnamon and my reaction was I don't hate it! I was surprised, I really was. I need to learn that good things happen when I trust my inklings and intuition.

Worlds of love,
Cassandra Louise.