Sunday, 4 February 2018

16 minimal waste Valentine ideas

Luke & I shall be skipping the boxed chocolate, oversized stuffed bear, diamonds & flowers this Valentine’s Day & embracing one of these ideas. (Please note most of these ideas are catered to Perth, WA but there may be similar places in your area).

For the romantics
*Gin gin observatory- for something different view the night sky with state of the art telescopes. Located over an hour out of Perth. Open Friday & Saturday nights, bookings are essential.
*Or you could name a star for your beloved.
*Ballet at the Quarry (you will score extra brownie points). (Photo above)
*Dinner out somewhere special; Nobu & Neho are tops for Asian food!!
*Write a poem.
*Laze on a beach whispering sweet nothings to each other at Penguin Island. Or you could join a yoga session (bookings essential).

For the adventurous
*Hiking at Serpentine national park (photo above taken at Serpentine falls).
*Climbing jacobs ladder.
*Shooting guns at Lonestar (we have been before & it’s loud & a bit overwhelming for me).
*A date at the WACA (you will score extra brownie points).

For the budget conscious
*Pack a picnic at Araluen botanical park (everyone will surely be at kings park).
*Website minimalist baker has a plenty of healthy sweet recipes for you to make.
*Cake cafe “Greens & Co” in Leederville. Something for every taste bud. The ceiling is covered in lanterns which provide a lovely ambience.
*Break out some board games (ok I do love a board game but not for all).
*Complete a crossword together or better yet design your own crossword with the answers of all your partners favourite things. You can also check out the range online here (header crossword is from this site).
*A sunset walk along the beach.

And most importantly appreciate each other.

Happy Sunday friends!
Grace ox

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Slow fashion: Timeless pieces

Its a new year & I have updated a few more pieces to my wardrobe. With styling myself I have chosen slow fashion & timeless pieces which brings me to the purchase of these 3 garments (which I bought towards the end of last year, with my clothing purchases less than 8 in 2017. Yay!!).

Timeless pieces to me are pieces that wont outgrow fashion fads which I can easily mix & match with my current wardrobe to get the most wear out of. Stripes are always a staple in my wardrobe, I know they arent for everyone but they complement my skinny frame (I try to stay away from black as it makes me look even skinnier). This t-shirt is from Salvation Army opshop & purchased for $4.
I usually shy away from buying new but my friend Kaysey saw these pants at Frankii ($79.99). The relaxed fit (I plan on using these pants to sew more pants infuture), the gorgeous mustard colour & the fact it was made of linen (it takes less water & chemicals to cultivate than other fibres) had me sold.

I love the bow detailing at the back of this straw hat visor purchased for $8 at Vinnies op shop. Its a perfect summer hat.
Moving forward this year; I am appreciating the clothes I already have, mending, altering & only adding pieces I need (my bathers' elastic are starting to go so I will need another pair infuture) & documenting anything I buy here to keep me on track to buying only what I truly need.

Happy Saturday friends!

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

The sharing economy

*Gratefully receiving bulk handmedowns for both boys (thank you Michelle & Sam! and Belinda for the cloth nappies! ox)
*Passing on outgrown clothes, toys, rockers, highchair.
*Abundance of homegrown passionfruit, mandarins, oranges, mangoes & lemons going back & forth between friends so none is wasted.
*Welcoming empty Moccona jars to be reused (thanks Louie!)
*Being kept in the loop on sustainable events & hacks (thanks Kym & Kaysey!)

*Community gardens welcoming anyone to learn about gardening, to be involved in their community & even peruse their compost bins.
*Checking the mail for neighbours whilst away.
*Letting someone push in line at the checkout because waiting that extra 5 minutes is A-ok (this time lol).

*Wanting the best life for my boys & paying it forward by volunteering time to help at a local op shop/ foodbank to help those struggling to get back on their feet to have the best life they possibly can too.
*Friends & families getting in on it & clearing out their pantry's to stock up the foodbank.

*Gifting a care package for someone doing it tough.

It really is the season to be jolly & grateful that so many people are getting on board with sharing excess stuff with people who can use it without expecting anything in return.

Happy Wednesday friends!!

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Happy Thriftmas!

I love the magic of the festive season & oohing & aahing over anything Christmas related in catalogues or shops but I wont be hitting the shops in a buying frenzy. Instead Im embracing "Thriftmas" where I will be buying my kids secondhand goodies at an op shop instead of new at a shopping centre. I pretty much do this for their birthdays too. Not only is this cheaper (I have found many new items for a fraction of the cost at a shopping centre!), it saves valuable resources being used & by buying at an op shop Im supporting the services that op shop is funding (like councilling & food hampers).
So this Christmas I urge you to embrace Thriftmas too.

Be the change, gift the change.

I have put together some gift guides to suit a variety of people based on things I have bought secondhand for inspiration.

*Trendy recipe books, novels, frames, posters/artwork, one of a kind vintage earrings or tops (I get so many comments on that sequin top when I wear it), designer labels- that wooden bag is Oroton & there also always seems to be an abundance of cds & dvds catering to any taste.

*Basic recipe books (can you believe I bought this whopper of a recipe book for $1), magazines for any downtime we mums get to relax, scarves (this is for me as I always have bad hair days, Im yet to master how to knot them stylishly), boardgames (again Im a sucker for vintage boardgames, I chose this & Twin peaks boardgame for the boys to gift me this year at Christmas, totalling $8 for 2 vintage games ; ET is perfect for family games night), & which mum doesn't want to be organized- notepads (Im always on the lookout for Kikki K notebooks) & an assortment of occasion cards work a treat. Tupperware is also a great find too.  


Children are the easiest to buy for with most being grateful for any gift received. Everything purchased in these 2 photos was under $5. Kobe is receiving a magic kit & Dr Suess activity book this year for Christmas. Craft kits, science kits, activity books & superheroes seem to be a favourite with Kobes age group (5-6 year olds). Im putting aside the soap making kit for when Dylan is old enough, it will be a nice activity to do together. If in doubt; books & dvds are usually a safe bet.

Op shops are a treasure trove of kids favourites like Toystory, Barbie, Dora, Superheroes, Thomas the tank engine, Peppa pig- its hard having to restrain yourself. I have a little collection of Vintage Christmas Golden books (they are the best!) which I bring out every Christmas to read to the boys. That teletubby cost me 50 cents & Im trying to get it to be Dylans comfort toy since he gave up his dummy. I also think boardgames & learning cards & puzzles are great for toddlers motor skills.
I really struggled figuring out a gift guide with things I had previous bought in an op shop which suits a male as Luke tends to prefer new soccer shirts as his gifts. There are always dvds with crass humour, a great novel, gardening books, journals, games, dvds, cds or clothes to fall back on.
Having a look over these giftguides; 90% was under $5 with most costing a couple dollars.
I would love to hear what your gifting for Thriftmas?
Happy Tuesday!
Grace ox

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Slow fashion

Slow fashion is a term coined to garments & accessories that are made to last & mostly handmade usually in a small batch production. Which is the opposite to fast fashion. In Australia, according to ABC's War on Waste we throw out about 6000 kilograms of textiles waste every 10 minutes. With Slow Fashion October nearing its end. I'm sharing some labels who you will be wanting to keep their clothes forever as most their products are timeless & of high quality.

Hey Jude Kids (Pictured above)
The graphic prints alone have my heart all in a flutter. I'm spewing I missed out on the Bowie collection. Handmade in Dandenong ranges, Melbourne.

Little Noggi
Hats are made in very limited supply (around 50-100 per batch) so you have to be super quick to be able to purchase them. Made in neutral colours & in Australia by the very talented Sheree. Sadly the studio is closed until 2018.

Pons sandals
An ever so stylish summer sandal. You could picture yourself frolicking along the coastline of Menorca where they are made. The soles are made from recycled rubber. Check out this video of sandal production. For authencity, check for the "Avarca de Menorca" label. Predominately available in America, & in Australia it is available in Bondi beach & Camberwell.

Funkis clogs
No wonder the swedish are part of the worlds happiest nation with these comfortable yet stylish clogs. I live in mine the whole year. I seriously push my little one up a hill in a pram in them on the school run & yet to have a blister. Such a bonus they are made with sustainable wood.

Camp Cove swimwear
Bathers made from recycled materials & in Australia. The designs are very 60's inspired.

I stumbled across this label getting lost in Melbourne. Minimalist fashion at it's best. The lastest collection has just dropped. This label is all about buying less but better quality.

Happy Thursday friends!

Saturday, 9 September 2017

8 tips for minimising waste at a party

A few months back I hosted Kobe's 6th birthday party at a community centre & wanted to keep the waste to a minimum. Here's a few simple things I did to keep wastage low.

1. Set up a drinks station. I sourced peach tea for the grown ups in glass & coke in cans, these were hardly touched? Maybe just water jugs next time. I provided jars as glasses aswell as an assortment of mix matched melamine cups. I even used an empty clean Moccona coffee jar for the Hulk cordial (unfortunately the cordial came in plastic. But it is the first time I used cordial since my teenage years so I wasn't too worried for one slip).
2. Use large towels as table cloths instead of those coloured plastic throwaway table covers.

3. Provide reusable cloth napkins to put the party food on. I sewed around 20 napkins & had 10 already to cut down on paper napkins being used. A friend did bring me spare paper napkins. Next time I'm bringing my kids melamine plates. I did run out & thankfully had some brown paper party bags to use to put the cake slices on.
4. Opt for paper party loot bags instead of plastic. I was going to source lollies at a bulk shop or books to put in the loot bags but a friend offered to buy a piñata filled with goodies (yes there was plastic in there but the gift was very thoughtful & the kids really enjoyed the piñata).
5. I chose games like musical chairs, musical bops, and I even painted a Captain America shield on a piece of cardboard for pin the star (pin the donkey) game. Prizes were books not toys.

6. For Kobe's gift from Luke & I, 2/3 was preloved. I managed to find the Scooby books & Robot at the markets in mint condition. Unfortunately the slippers came in plastic packaging (which I plan to post back to the company I bought it from). We spent $15 all up:)
7. Boycott balloons & streamers. They all end up in the bin afterwards anyway. Instead I used secondhand action figurines which Kobe & Dylan can play with for many years. No doubt they will be used again for one of Dylan's birthdays.

8. If you go for packaged party food, go for ones packaged in cardboard (which is easier to recycle than plastic).  I bought  the Patties party pie/sausage roll range which comes in cardboard. Aeroplane jelly which comes with paper & cardboard. Crackers did come in foil (which I took to Redcycle) & cardboard. And I bought the fruit all loose. A friend kindly gifted the iced cupcakes. And his rainbow cake came in a cardboard box. The only thing that came in plastic was the coloured popcorn which I took the packaging to Redcycle. I set up a recycling tub underneath the table so I made sure anything that could be recycled I took home to recycle.


Overall I ended up with 2 little tubs of rubbish which could of easily just of fit into a regular bucket & I think that I can do better for Dylan's 2nd birthday party later in the year.

I would love to hear what you did to reduce waste when hosting a party?

Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Places in Perth that are friendly when you bring your own containers/keepcups/cloth produce bags

I thought since it was coming to the end of "plastic free July" to keep the momentum going why not share a few places in Western Australia that are ok with you bringing your own containers/keepcups or cloth produce bags into a shop & boycott the stores packaging for your own.

It helps that I have a phrase ready incase the staff are confused (which happens all the time).
"Hi, I brought my own container may I have my produce in that please? I don't want any excess packaging coming home with me".
And since we are in Plastic free July I will add "Im doing plastic free July".
If they are still weary
I add  "It's easier for me to carry in my own container" insert 2 whinging small children & they are oh so willing to accommodate me :)

The following places did not have any issue with supplying my own container/cloth bags/keepcups.

*Coles deli department
*Woolworths deli department
*Rumps shakers (Southern River)
I have also heard that Five star meats (Wanneroo) & The naked butcher (Mundaring) & Olsen's butcher (Roleystone) are happy to place meat in your own containers.

The following bakeries I had pies placed in my own tin
*Miami bake house (Forrest highway)
*Four season patisserie (Kelmscott)
*Trackside bakery (Perth trainstation). I actually had some muffins put into my reusable cloth napkin instead of a paper bag.

And these bakeries I was able to put bread in a clean pillowcase
*Coles (depending on which ones had instore bakery with bread still unpackaged fresh from the ovens)
*Bakers delight

Cafés/Food stalls/Food trucks
The following put my food in my own container
*San churros- I get my takeaway Churros in a large container, I even bring dip cups. They have a 1/3 rate of remembering to NOT give me a straw thou when I order a drink to have there...
*Churro central food truck
*Bubble & Bimble food stall
*Miss Lucy delicious foods truck (they have me craving bao buns 24/7! See photo above!!)

*Hoyts movies
*Canning river cafe
*Little llama food stall (South Freo Growers Green market)
*Green & Co (Leederville)
*Cafe with El Abuelo coffee van- was happy to accommodate my playgroup with those who brought their own mug

I would love to hear any plastic free/paper bag free wins you had if your Perth based so I can add to the list.

Happy Tuesday friends!

*I shall update this list when I find more places:)