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Ode to the sofa bed

23 February, 2016

With the prospect of having my sister and her son and my folks visiting us all at the same time, combined with the need to fill out big yurt up with furniture, I have spend an inordinate amount of time searching for a sofa bed. I mean, crazy amounts of time. I have come to believe that there is no point to a sofa if it isn’t a sofa bed. There’s not many black and white belief systems I adhere to these days, or hard and fast principles of life in governed by. But that’s one. Always buy a sofa bed. 

There always room at the inn with a sofa bed. No need to dump someone on the floor after its gotten too late and raucous after dinner. You have a bed! Right here in this implausibly small corner of the home! 

They are so tiny- house friendly. In a tiny house (or big yurt) everything needs a dual function. The fire is also the oven. The side table is also storage. Even toilets, in most self respecting off-the-grid homes, are dual functioning, with the humanure eventually being used as compost for the flowers. (It sounds gross but it is great!!) 

Finally sofa beds help you keep it real. They have such an association with rank student flats that littering then around your nice middle class home – or yurt- help you keep your feet on the ground! (Even though actually you can get some super swanky sofa beds these days- check out Sofa Sofa.)  

So yeah, that’s where I’m at, folks. I’ve bought two secondhand sofa beds in the last month and I literally walk guests in and fold them out proudly, saying “you can drink too much gin if you like, we have a sofa bed, you see” 

sofa bed 

Disclosure: this is a sponsored post!

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7 questions that will make you a conscious consumer

6 February, 2016

If you live in a wealthy nation, most of my readers do, you are almost certainly a solid part of consumerist society. I live on a farm. We try and consume as little as possible, we grow and make and thrive without malls, but still, I am undeniably a consumer and waster. It is immensely hard to escape it. Here are some questions I ask that help me make the best consumer choices.

Do I really need it?
Gosh, what a hard one! Do I neeeeeed it? I can find myself to be quite convincing when there is something I want, but don’t perhaps need. I often find though, that giving myself a few days to sit on a purchase decision takes the shine away and I feel my urge disappear.

Can I make it?
Even if you don’t count yourself as crafty the internet is FULL of ways to make stuff from other stuff. I needed a cookie cutter once and instead of buying one I used some flat wire and made an awesome one! Check out Makezine for inspo.

Can I get it locally?
Do you have a Saturday or Sunday market? Save your purchases up and buy them locally, hopefully they will be handmade and have way less airmiles in them. I buy my wash cloths from an old lady at the market who knits them. No packaging, no miles, no money given to a bit supermarket corporate.

Can I get it made by people who I know aren’t being exploited?
Please do do a google search for your item with the word “fair trade” added in it. There are so many ethically made versions of things. Try TraidCraft for lots of things.

Can I buy it second hand?
Be patient, and persevere, and you could very well find exactly what you need, but from Gumtree of a charity shop. I am amazed at how I can buy whole Christmas lists secondhand. FullSizeRender (7)

Can I get a version that will last?
Do a bit of research, and perhaps spend a little more money, to buy something that will last. There are heaps of consumer forums and directories such as Interact that point the way.

Can I buy it through people who pay their tax?
Just quietely…. there are some big outlets out there, from whom you can buy anything, but who are a leeeeetle bit bad. Like, they don’t pay taxes. And I am a big fan of taxes! They are the only institutionalised method of redistribution we have! Opt for a better outlet to buy your stuff from.

Can I mitigate the excess waste?
Be inspired by the Zero Waste bunch who make almost all of their consumer choices dependant on how much waste it produces. I saw a blogpost of someone’s waste from last year year and it filled a glass jar. A GLASS JAR! I fill a glass jar when I sweep the kitchen floor! What is up with that? Amazing. I am inspired to choose things especially because they don;t come with all the packaging.

This post is a collaboration with Interact!.

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Top tips for a winter bedroom makeover

13 October, 2015

With the cold and dark nights of winter looming ahead of you all (definitely NOT gloating here about being in the Southern Hemisphere) I think it’s the perfect time for people to get prepared by making our bedrooms perfect little havens of cosiness and warmth. Let this guest poster inspire you – including photos of our own cosy bedroom.

Whilst the prospect of giving my bedroom a makeover once gave me the feelings of ear in regards to the cost and effort involved, I’ve done a little research and realised that with just a few subtle touches we can all magically transform our bedrooms quickly and cheaply too!

Layer up

 

I’m sure it’s not just me who seems to spend a much longer amount of time in bed in the winter months. Something about being curled up in bed knowing that the weather is horrible outside is an essential part of winter for me – but that doesn’t mean it can’t be stylish.

I just love this deluxe velvet bedspread from H&M Home. It’s got a wonderfully luxurious outer layer, whereas the inside has a shabby-chic inspired cotton fabric to stop you getting too hot. But it’s not just bedding that should be updated for the winter months, as all of your soft furnishings could do with a touch of winter charm.

The country look of this Welsh woollen cushion from Seld is perfect for creating feelings of cosiness and comfort in your new-look bedroom.Family bed in yurt

Get the basics right

Whilst accessorising a bedroom can be a lot of fun, it’s always important to get the basics right. I don’t know if I’m just being vain, but having a good full-length mirror is very important for when I’m getting dressed up to face the day. And if you’re feeling a little luxurious, then consider one of these gold bevelled mirrors from The Chandelier and Mirror Company that will definitely lighten up those long and dark winter evenings!

Of course, we can’t forget the bed. Whilst getting a full bed replacement might not be something that us mere mortals can afford to do each year, we can always save up and get some inspiration by checking out Bedstar‘s wonderful oak bedstead that’s made out of environmentally-friendly Hevea wood, so that you can get a perfect night’s sleep without feeling too guilty about your carbon footprint.

living in a yurtLots of colour

 

And finally, when it’s so bleak and dreary outside, you’ll definitely be wanting to add a splash of colour in your winter interior. It doesn’t even have to be a big effort, as simply adding a few of vibrant red flowers in a calm and serene interior can instantly make your bedroom stylish, chic and luxurious!

Would love to hear how you plan to cosy up your home for winter 😀

Disclosure: This is a Sponsored post!

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Made in Britain with love

19 July, 2015

8 years ago me and my friends were sitting on the tube in London when we came up with a killer idea. A fair trade fair on Oxford Street! At Christmas! A Christmas Fayre with ethical stuff on the busiest shopping street in the world! And do you know what, we pulled it off and it is still running today. That is the power of collective dreaming, I reckon!

👌Change happens when we dream collectively 👊 #streetart #bristol

A photo posted by Lulastic & the Hippyshake (@lulasticblog) on

(I’d change the name though, even though we honestly thought it was genius when we came up with it. Fair Christmas Fayre! Like fair, y’know wow what a winner! Now I just think yikes, what a mouthful.)

We had stall holders come from all over the UK with handmade, certified fair trade and Made in Britain stuff. Only once did a dodgy one sneak in – someone turned up with non stick frying pans made in China. Pfft. Who let them in? *blushes*

It was an inspiring day, apart from when you tuned in to what Oxford St shoppers would say. They’d pick up an item and turn it over and say “OMG I can get this for a tenth of that up the street!” They were completely oblivious about slave labour conditions and all the issues surrounding pound shop tat.

The worst was when they stuck their heads in the market just to ask where Primark was. I wanted to bop them on the head with a beautiful fair trade cushion.
Keep It In The Ground Blog
My Voucher Codes have just released some encouraging research about whether people would prefer to buy “Made in Britain” items or from abroad, discovering that 58% would buy from Britain, and 40% would pay extra to do so. You can read a bit more about the findings here.

I think this represents a real change in our shopping habits. People are becoming aware that buying Made in Britain is more likely to support small business rather than huge corporates, better working conditions and a regulated minimum wage standard.

We are finally getting that the way we spend our money is a vote for, or against, a better world.

*high fives*

PS For more ethical shopping check out my affiliate chummos Ethical Superstore for tons of Made in Britain and fair trade stuff.

Disclosure: this is a sponsored post.

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DIY Inspo

4 November, 2014

I can remember visiting Ikea with my folks when I was a kid. I used to fill my pockets with free pencils (it’s no theivery if they are free, right?) and sit on the sofas and admire the framed pictures. I’d imagine the perfect rooms were my home.

I get the same feeling just looking at the Betta Living site. Here are some of my favourite snippets:1

1// I love the basic canvas this white design provides. It allows for these perfect pops of colour – it also means you can update those pops of colour whenever you want for an almost transformational effect.
2// This playroom- eek! There are loads of made to measure wardrobe options on this site which makes storage, particularly for kid’s rooms a breeze. Something I really struggle with.
3// I am just basically in love with these stone tiles. They are AMAZING.

Not that it wouldn’t take a few seconds for us to wreak marmitey havoc across those beautiful rooms! Hehehe. (Have you seen the It’s Like they Know Us Tumblr? It is only just the most awesome thing on the internet right now.)

Got to love any companies that make it easier for folk to do up their own homes in this stylish manner. Thanks Betta Living for the Inspo!