July 2020 Buck Moon

July’s full moon’s a Buck Moon named after bucks antlers starting to regrow. Its other name’s Thunder Moon as July can be thunder stormy crazy (this year, Barcelona was thunder stormy in September).

Full moon rise and volley ball

It was also an extra special full moon, another penumbral lunar eclipse like in June’s Strawberry moon. The moon crosses through the faint outer edge of Earth’s shadow aka the penumbra making part of the Moon appearing slightly darker the usual.

I didn’t take many shots of the moon in July. The zoo where I take most of my moon shots has changed its opening hours due to Covid-19, closing at the time previous summers the ticket office was last entry. I get longer at the zoo however the light’s different with moon yet to rise or be visible at the zoo. I’ve included this month’s Moon series some summer light shots, flowers, butterflies, animals soaking up the sun enjoying one the hottest months of the year and my favourite season, summer 🙂

Moon rise
The only way too cool off in the summer. Sea lion Barcelona Zoo
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Recycle Less: Recent Plastic Free Finds

Welcome to another Recycle Less! For the past few years I’ve been cutting down my plastic waste, trying to buy less, reuse, repurpose and find plastic free alternatives. 

Food and cosmetics remain my number one plastic waste. Thankfully more brands are using bio degradable plastics and glass bottles. Sometimes however the price tag is still too high. Sometimes there isn’t a plastic free alternative. Sometimes you look at the label on glass bottle, realise the sticky label’s plastic. Sometimes you know the ingredients in the skin care or hair care bottle is better for you and the environment when washed or flushed down the drain, however the bottle’s plastic. One thing I am noticing is European supermarkets like Carrefour and Alcampo own brands are finding plastic free alternatives. For example going back to foil and cardboard for chocolate bars, while other main name brands are still wrapping chocolate in plastic. It’s a small step in the right direction.

Anyways, recent Recycle Less Finds

Bambaw Bamboo Bottle Brush Set

Plastic free bottle cleaners have been on my to buy list of ages however the prices were never right or they didn’t ship to Spain. Cleaning bottles I was relying on shaking soapy water in the bottle after the last bottle cleaner plastic bristles disintegrated and letting water run into the bottle until no more suds were left. I’d completely forgot about replacing them until checking Amazon basket total they were in the save for later basket. The bristles are sisal bristles are made from the agave plant with a soft cotton mop like end. They work great. I still have to let the water run rinsing out suds, however the bottles are so much cleaner. I like that they come in different sizes and lengths. Rather than use the spilt ring, I use an old keyring carabiner, hanging them on a hook next to the sieves and colanders.

BamBaw Reusable Paper Towels

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Lanikai Pillbox Hike, Oahu

First Hawaiian Hike! For once we got out fairly earlyish but still late as we’d been travelling the day before and spent the afternoon exploring Honolulu’s main shopping street. Although we had more fun finding Farmland Farm in Ala Moana Mall, one of Oahu’s supermarket chains in the evening, getting back late and eating late which was the theme of the whole Oahu and Northern Californian trip earlier this year.

Farmland Farm was also the best recuerdos or souvenirs. All gifts are local to Oahu or the islands, supporting small businesses. I got some great flour sack print towels I’ll never use as they’re too nice! I want to frame them instead. Sadly researching the printer they’re no longer printing. Farmland Farm also has a great organic section mixed in with non organic foods (which I like, as you get more options) and sold many Hawaiian brands. It was a little expensive factoring in most other items are shipped in however we found everything we needed. During the whole trip we only ate out 3 times, none of which were in Oahu. 2 times were great, the other a disappointment. We prefer to stay apartment hotels or airbnb to keep costs lower by making own meals. We get back late when most places have closed the kitchens so it makes more sense. Being vegans, it makes everything easier to make own meals too.

2nd Pillbox. Chinaman’s hat in the distance

Anyways, The Lanikai Pill Box hike is in Lanikai, Kailua along Kaiwa mountain range I think the posher part of the Island. All the houses looked kinda immaculate driving through the neighbourhood and looking down from the hike the lawns looked manicured. We parked near the golf course, so it’s in a posher area for sure. 

We found out about the hike from watching a few YouTube videos before and online I think Trip Advisor. The start of the hike is a blink and you’ll miss it. It’s just a road construction sign with directions. Some comments said it can be muddy and thankfully it was dry. We only took our workout trainers as who needs hiking boots in Oahu?! Maybe shoulda took them. I felt for girls in sandals, cute IG outfits for the pictures awaiting ahead struggling on the path. The trail is ranked intermediate as it gets rocky and steep in places with parts of the trial nothing to grab hold onto. Being British we find the term hiking a little weird. Even saying the word hike is weird. For us it’s a walk. Hiking is what takes you all day or a few days in remoteness in the mountains and even then we probably wouldn’t use the word hike. Anything less is a walk regardless of the terrain with trails being paths. The hike takes about an hour’s loop to the first pillbox.

As usual I’m a shit editor with photos. I cut out a lot. A lot!

Path to 2nd Pillbox
Chinaman’s Hat in the distance

The views at the top are 100% worth hiking up for. If you want no humans, Instagrammers taking all day to get the shot go early. It’s a popular trail, everybody wants a photo of them there. I did too but I gave up waiting my turn or any vista with few humans. We hiked onto the 2nd pillbox with less people and then onto the 3rd which is now just it’s base. So much quieter and got to walk through shaded wooded bit. We didn’t see anybody past the 2nd pillbox. The hike went on over the range top however as it was getting late in the afternoon, there was a beach to hit and more importantly the water. 

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Nat Alters A Waistband

Seamstresses, seamsters, alterations people, sewing people and tailors look away. 

My Mum’s mum was seamstress and dressmaker. My Mum can turn her hand to anything hand or machine sewn, hand or machine knitted, she can make it. Dresses, jumpers, trousers, you name it she can make it, nothing fazes her. My sisters an amazing craft sewer, cross stitcher and knitter. Then there’s me. I can fix buttons, fix/repair rips and tears messily, alter strappy tops, t-shirt arm lengths, do basic alterations. Very basic alterations and never look at the underside. Although you can’t tell the underside to the outside as to how messy it is. My patience isn’t up there for things sewn or knitted. 

Shorts before. Compared to the photo above you can see a size difference in the waistband. The left leg hem look aligned however it fits okay on. While air drying I refold the hems to align better. I didn’t notice at time of purchase as I liked this particular pair of shorts colour. What do you expect from €20 shorts?

This year like last year high waisted shorts and jeans were in for the summer. In Pull and Bear I found pair of Mom style high waisted denim shorts whose colour and style I liked. More high waisted than Mom and at the right price. Around €20 give or take 10 cents or 1 cent. The only problem was the waistband had unnecessary elastic in. 

The unnecessary elastic waistband

The next size up was too big on the hips. I knew my size was the right size. I didn’t get why they added elastic to the waistband. There was no need. They were the only denim shorts I’d found that were the right length and that I liked. In the changing room a light bulb went off. 

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Beauty Finds: Frank Body, Blossom Jeju and Olivarriel, Controlling Cystic Acne and is Hyaluronic Acid Vegan?

Welcome back to another Beauty Finds! This edition I tried and tested, Frank Body Creamy Face Scrub and Anti-Make Up Cleansing Oil, Blossom Jeju Pink Camellia Soombi Blooming Vitamin Radiance Booster and Pink Camellia Soombi Blooming Essence Facial Oil and Olivarriel Skin Barrier Emollient Cleansing Bar. 

As always I look for cruelty free, vegan if possible, natural, clean ingredients. I eat honey so depending on the product and if I think the honey source is good I use some products with honey in. Another other animal derived ingredient is out and that now includes hyualauric acid (see Blossom Jeju Pink Camellia Soombi Blooming Vitamin Radiance Booster review). I do my best to avoid palm oil as I prefer orangutans, petrochemicals and their aliases (3rd or 4th gerneration derivates maybe), parabens, phtalates, SLS, silicones and other nasty ingredients. With skincare it’s a lot easier. With make up I go for cruelty free products. My skin type is oily, sensitive, acne and now anti aging. 

Frank Body Creamy Face Scrub Now Original Face Scrub*

For babes that have one minute to get their glow on, I’m the guy for the job. I’m a targeted exfoliator that cleans pores, buffs away dry skin, and keeps skin clear thanks to my blend of coffee, bamboo, and walnut. Your skin will look glowing and even from the moment you rinse me off. For best results use me 2-3 times a week after cleansing. Acne and blemishes don’t stand a chance.

The ingredient list on this scrub I like. No nasties and all natural. It’s not vegan as it contains honey, but I eat honey (from good sources) so sometimes depending on the brand I’ll buy products with it in. My skin felt smooth afterwards but it wasn’t a scrub I reached for often. This could be because I prefer Kora Organics Turmeric Brightening and Exfoliating Mask. It’s quite liquidly and the walnut granules take some time to rinse off. I found it better to rinse off in the shower with a face cloth than just the sink and face cloth. If I’m honest as I use Frank Body body scrubs if I haven’t used the Kora Organics exfoliating mask before showering I’ll the use the body scrub on my face as I feel I get better results. Would I buy again. No. I’d prefer to just use sugar in my face cleanser or Kora Organics Turmeric Brightening and Exfoliating Mask.

Frank Body Anti-Make Up Cleansing Oil*

I’m a natural cleansing oil that takes your second face off. My combination of coffee, grapeseed oil and vitamin E dissolve dirt, helps acne, makeup and all your attempts at winged-eyeliner. It’s a wipe-free makeup remover that starts oily then evolves into a creamy, milky liquid when mixed with water. Leaves your skin clear, bright and panda-eye free.

Again I liked the ingredient list as it’s all natural however I felt it just didn’t remove make up especially eye make well or leave my skin feeling cleansed even with a foam cleanser afterwards. I also didn’t like the packaging. Way too much plastic used. Would I repurchase? No.

* The only Frank Body products I use now are their body scrubs. I stopped drinking coffee a few years ago switching to hot lemon in the mornings and more green tea. After a month I noticed a huge change in my acne or rather cystic acne. I was however still using until last year Frank Body Caffeinated Face Moisturiser which has coffee in. When I stopped using it while I had still had at that time of the month mild cystic acne, I noticed after switching to products not containing any coffee my acne improved especially that time of the month cystic acne. I know cystic acne is also hormone related, but since I’ve stopped using coffee products on my face I rarely get any now, only when a little stressed.

Blossom Jeju Pink Camellia Soombi Blooming Vitamin Radiance Booster

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