I am participating in the Graze Summertime challenge and have been sent their new summertime range to try and wanted to share my review with you. To be honest, this is not the 1st time that I am trying Graze snacks as I used to subscribe and have them delivered at work when I used to work in an office. I like them a lot, as they are convenient and handy. It was really great to always have some healthy snack at work.
I really like that each pack now displays either the calory or protein content. I try to eat more protein (as I don’t eat much meat) but never know if I am eating enough protein everyday, so it is useful to know how much extra protein I get when eating one the Graze snacks.
Each individual pack is enough for one serving (although, sometimes I feel greedy and eat 2 packs!) and some are more fullfilling that others. For example, the flapjack is very satisfying as a snack when I am really hungry but other packs like the summertime punch are lighter and are good for nibbling on in between meals.
There is quite a large choice to chose from (over 100) and at the moment you can get your 1st box at half price: https://www.graze.com/uk
The Graze snacks are great for instant gratification. But, I also buy other seeds, nuts and dried fruits in bulk, which I use for cooking and baking. I organise them in glass jars on an ikea shelf (yes, I know that nuts are better stored in the fridge but I have no space left in the fridge and I eat them up quickly).
Disclaimer: I received the Graze snacks in the picture for free but the opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
Oops, it’s been several months since I posted here. I haven’t forgotten about my 2016 planners, I will take some pictures and will show them to you next time.
I’ve been streamlining my life recently. The stress of trying to conceive got to much, so I have decided to take it easy this year. I want to focus more on little things that bring me joy and happiness, and at this time that means babysitting for family members (I love babies!), gardening, cooking and working on my house.
Here are the newest installations in the living room/sewing room:
An Ikea Varde shelving (the same one I have in my kitchen and also on my kitchen windowsill) for some of my books. This shelving can handle a lot as there are about 100 books there. And my little collection of magnetic butterflies. I am having fun putting them everywhere, like on that pink metal plant pot on the shelving).
And an Umbra invisible bookshelf in a little corner of the living room. This is a very clever little thing as you cannot see the shelf itself, you just see the books. My partner liked it a lot so he bought another one for himself (a double one for his blue ray discs).
I need to find more storage for my books as my collection keeps growing and growing. I grew up in a household full of books (the norm when your father is a writer and a professor), so books are a treasure in my own house. At the moment, I am into spiritual books and wholefood cookbooks.
Do you also hoard books? Please share any of your book storage.
Just a few updates that I wanted to mention a while ago but forgot.
1. My friend Tony Selimi (who is a life coach) has written a book last year and briefly talks about me in his book. You can read the part about me (he calles me Lova Rajao in the book) in the free preview on amazon (section 5 titled Healing):
2. I’ve set up a new newsletter for my shops. All subscribers from the old newsletter will be transferred to this new one. You can subscribe by clicking on the banner on the right side of my blog or sign up by clicking here:
3. The gardening season has started. I am a bit late this year as I only started sowing my seeds end of march. The 1st seeds I sowed were tomatoes and chillis (yes it is very late for chillis but I can overwinter them indoor so it is ok if they only get a short season outdoor this year).
Tomatoes are one of my favourite crops, I tend to grow for flavour mostly. These are the ones I am growing this year:
Old favourites that I grow every year:
Sungold (very sweet cherry tomato, I eat these on their own like fruit)
Ildi (yellow pear cherry tomato, very prolific)
Black Krim (super delicious salad tomato)
Green Zebra (very delicious salad tomato)
New ones that I am trying in 2015:
Suncherry (like sungold but in red)
Stupice (very early tomato, if you sow them early enough you can harvest some in june)
Coeur de boeuf (a french favourite for cooking)
Saint Pierre (french heirloom)
As for chillis, I am growing:
Hungarian hot wax
Padron (the tapas pepper)
And a couple of varieties I got on portuguese ebay, one of wich is called Tree chilli as it looks like a mini tree (I grew it last year but forgot to overwinter it so it died).
I start my seeds indoor in the living room. I am trying some jiffy 7 pellets this year and quite like them for small seeds like tomato seeds. I don’t use any growing lamp or heated bench. I only use some non heated propagators. I bought a wooden shelving unit last year that is the perfect size for those propagators, it is actually a linen storage shelving from Argos with a fabric cover which I obviously dont use. I only use it untill my seedlings can be planted outdoor, it then gets disassembled and stored in my potting shed and I re-assemble it again every spring when I am ready to sow seeds. Here it is last year:
That picture was taken april 17th last year. Same time this year, my seedlings are still so very tiny hence the lack of picture.
Congratulations to Hanta Ralay, you have won a handmade case for your Iphone 5. I have sent you an email requesting your address so will post your prize once I have your address. I don’t have a malagasy fabric, so will make it with another fabric that has a malagasy style to it.
There was only one participant so I will keep the remaining 2 cases for another giveaway in the future.
On the home front, I have been itching to do some organising. I have lots of books and they are all over the place. I started with my cookbooks, I like to browse them on the sofa so it made sense to have them all near the sofa. I have a Leksvik coffee table from Ikea which is perfect for the job. It was originally in a plain dark wood colour so I painted it pearly purple. My partner added some castor so that the table is easy to move around when needed.
These are close ups of the books if you are curious:
They are loosely organised by genre.
I left one slot for snacks.
I also have my vitamins and herbal supplemetns in the red box, and below that are my diaries, notebooks and gardening catalogues.
Next, I want to tackle my gardening books but I don’t know where to put them yet!
While the garden is getting lots of my attention, the house gets behind. We are now in our 4th spring in this house and I feel that there are still lots I would like to do and improve. One area that still needs improving is my sewing space which is half of my living room.
The living room is supposed to be a living dining room but instead we chose it to be a living creative room (well, it’s my creative space as my partner gets a whole room for himself that he uses as a music room and office). One way to solve the lack of storage in my sewing space was to buy an Ikea Expedit shelving, the one that has 16 cubes. I decided to put it on my sewing table, which is really great as a sort of vertical storage.
So that’s one storage issue solved. Next I need to think of a creative way to have a neat cutting / ironing area as right now my ironing board is to big and I’m using a hacked breakfast bar as a cutting table (it’s great as it’s higher than a desk or table and it’s the same size as my cutting mat), ideally I would like just one long table that incorporates my cutting mat and a custom made ironing board.
As you can see, I use various colourful bags and boxes as storage inside the expedit, they are all from Madagascar but you can buy similar ones from Rice DK.
I have also made some new cushion covers for the living room sofa. I used some of my favourite fabrics to make them: fine cord with designs similar to kenzo fabrics and oilily fabrics for the front, and purple velvet for the back, they all have a side zipper.
I’ve also took out the broken pink slatted blind in our bathroom and sowed some curtains for the window. I used a fabric by Jennifer Paganelli called Vintage floral for the front and the lining is pink peony solid from Moda Bella.
This window is southfacing so the geraniums there have all flowered since. We also added a little shelving to add more storage space.
Next on my list is sewing more pillow covers for our bed.
I finally managed to get pictures of my craft corner. I’m so happy and grateful to have such a space just for me. It’s a multi purpose room as it stocks all my sewing, jewellery making, candle making (kilos and kilos of soy wax), aromatherapy, packing materials plus paperwork for my voluntary jobs. So the storage had to be thought of carefully.
Most of the storage is from Ikea: there’s the Granemo glass cabinet which I love as it allows me to see all my fabrics and books, I got some cheap kitchen Faktum frames on top of it for more storage, and next to it on the left there is a Pax wardrobe with a mirror door (the one that is only 35cm deep) that stores bulky items such as interfacings, polyfill, batting and folders. On the right of the Granemo cabinet, I have all my gemstones in some Fira mini chest with drawers (still to be covered in fabric) and next to it there is a kids’ 3 door cabinet (it was in the bargain corner and came with hilarious animal fury doorknobs) that houses my candle making materials.
There are more storage under the table: on the front there is an Andy drawer unit on castors, on each side there is a Laxvik shelving unit with glass top (this is so cheap and perfect under my table), and on the back there is another kitchen Faktum frame with lots of colourful bags from Madagascar that stores more candle waxes and bits and pieces.
I finally made time to take pictures of my beloved sewing studio but the weather was tipically english (grey and rainy!) so my pictures were not good. See what I mean! I made the necklace a while ago, it’s made of sterling silver and a light topaz, the topaz was faceted for a ring but I had it drilled so that I can use it for a necklace.
So I’ll start again with the pictures as soon the weather is sunnier. I also looked online for more inspiration and found the following ideas, the first picture is from Pottery Barn Teen again and the second one from Better Homes and Gardens.
PS: in case you are wondering why I haven’t blogged much lately, it’s because I’m super busy at the moment, finishing an end of year accounts (one of my volunteering jobs for a charity) and preparing a counselling workshop that I’m going to teach in a few weeks time.