Meet Reginald!

I am in constant pursuit of turning my little apartment into a castle. Of course, castles generally have mounted deer heads or other game.

What about when you’re an animal loving environmentalist and all about sustainability?

Make one!

I found this instructable and knew why I had held on to those nice big flat pieces of cardboard leftover from the few items I had to buy from IKEA when I first moved in (there’s no way I was going to be able to get a sofa, bed or kitchen table home and carry it upstairs by myself so I had to get those ones from someone who delivers!)



Can’t take all the credit for this one, I did cut out the templates and stick them all to the cardboard. But when you’ve got such a handsome fellow around who’s particularly talented with a stanley knife, well, why not!


Then of course I took over again for the fun part…


The handsome fellow made the edges more rounded than the instructable, and added some stability at the base of the neck by cutting slits into the backing board and making little cardboard boxes to pack in the gap before we glued everything together.

And now,

Meet Reginald…


The newest member of my Castle staff.


I’ve printed the pattern and put it together with cardboard as a little ‘do it yourself’ gift for friends who are so inclined. You could of course paint or decoupage the cardboard, I’m told my brother is going to make his out of wood. I’d love to hear about it if you make one! Leave a comment or send me pictures…

Love Amanda

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Two girls on the search for an all natural, socially and environmentally responsible foundation that actually works!

I’ve done this before, and with deodorant, and with skin care, and with food and with everything. When, however many years ago it was now, I suddenly had this epiphany that I couldn’t buy anything if I didn’t know who had made it, how they were treated, what their work and pay conditions were etc. etc. Which then led to ‘oh my goodness what am I putting on my skin!’ and ‘Oh my goodness what am I eating!’ At the time I stumbled upon Sophie Uliano’s gorgeously green which was an excellent starting point to cleaning up! (click here to read my review) Another great help after my 6 or 7 months of not shopping at all, and then learning how to shop again, consciously, was Australia’s Peppermint Magazine.

I pretty much had everything on track in Australia, then I moved to Germany. When I was living out of a youth hostel and needed thongs (flip-flops for ‘non-Australian’ readers) and a towel for the showers I couldn’t spend days researching or weeks waiting. Over the last years in Germany the rules I made for myself which dictate my shopping habits lapsed somewhat. Now it’s time to clean up again!

I’m teaming up with my good friend and sustainability expert Helena of LakritsSalt&Frukost in pursuit of a reliable, all natural and socially & environmentally responsible foundation.

Where we are at:

Me – I’m currently using MAC – it’s the only one which holds perfectly all day and doesn’t make me go orange. MAC support Aids research & have a recycling program – but let’s not even look at the ingredients list.

Helena – is using Laura Mercier and Kiehl’s because of their light weight coverage, pale shade and long-lasting results.

What we need:

I want coverage! There’s too much redness and under-eye bag going on for super sheer foundations. Ideally a foundation I can build up, which blends well on itself so I can have more coverage where I need it without adding concealer. Whereas Helena has very pale and sensitive skin, and her biggest mission is to find a light-weight formula that does not cover up her freckles but blends in seamlessly and gives a dewy look to the skin.

So off we go!

Detailed reviews coming soon!

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Monday night Marmalade

With a collection of citrus fruits going bad there was nothing else for it but to make marmalade. I’ve made a citrus jam or marmalade (no idea what the difference is or why there is one, must look that up some day, feel free to comment if you know) twice before. The first was with oranges only, and tasted fine, but didn’t set at all so it was more of a syrup. The second was with mandarins, which set so hard it was like toffee. Oh wait, I lie, three times, somewhere in the middle there I tried to make grapefruit marmalade, but I burnt it quite thoroughly. Not wishing to waste the home-grown grapefruit I still went through the process of jarring it and transporting it home to my parents, where my mum took one look at my jars of black chunky sticky somethingerather and, well, it got put to the compost.

Anyway! I went straight in as I tend to do, without a recipe, chopped some left over lemon, two old oranges, an old mandarin and what turned out to be a clementine (skin on) and threw it all into a saucepan over medium heat. I collected up all the pips, and not having any muslin cloth or a suitable strainer I fished around and found a ‘gift’ tea portion wrapped in some kind of net cloth with a ribbon and figured that would do. Put the tea in my cup ready for Tuesday morning and tied up the pips in the little synthetic and probably not entirely suitable for the purpose piece of material.

Next is sugar. I have two flavoured sugars in my cupboard and when I opened it the first I saw was the lavender sugar. Which seemed like a good choice. I did a cursory google for citrus and lavender marmalade or something like that, established that people had done something similar before, at least with oranges, decided it must be a good idea and in it went.

Add Sugar Simmer

Simmered for about three hours, stirring in between cleaning the house, making dinner and sending emails/shopping online.

Simmer More

It looked so good to begin with, but for some reason the skins didn’t quite go that nice candied soft chewy texture. Possibly because I don’t follow a recipe. Instead it will be some tough chewy citrus skin marmalade.

Citrus and Lavender Marmalade

Taste’s good though 🙂 and it’s not burnt!

Scones at mine this weekend?

Have a great week everyone!

Love Amanda

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