Weekend Friday Favourites

Welcome to another Weekend Friday Favourites that’s hopefully more regular. I have no excuses other than plain laziness the past few months. 

Weekend Friday Favourites is a favourite post to post so I’ll get straight into what’s been making me smile or caught my eye recently. 

HM Home Recycled Cotton Rugs

Visiting a friend I couldn’t stop admiring her rug in the living room lounge. It was so nice to sit on (she has a 1 year baby so you’re on the floor playing) I got thinking that’s what’s missing with my sofa. I had a look at some, saw the price and left it for when there’s more pennies at the end of the month until I went to HM Home. Knowing it probably wasn’t going to be big enough I got it anyway as I liked the texture and colour. It’s more or less the size of a yoga mat, way too small for the sofa so I added to my ‘office’. Checking online HM Home have the same version in larger sizes however maybe too big and on the pricier size. I wasn’t prepared to pay €99-199 for a rug when the first one was €29! I decided to wait until the sales however I found by chance looking again in HM Home the next size up at €39. It’s not the perfect size as it does doesn’t go. I’m happy and that’s the main thing. It feels so nice under my feet and separates the room into a living room from the bikes. In the office/spare room it again separates the room and while the desk can get messy, it gives it a bit of luxe feeling. HMHome España currently only sells the 2 larger sizes here.

Spring

The first official day of spring, winter returned but as quickly as it returned it disappeared with almost a week of blue skies. This winter has been grey with few fully sunny days. I’m not sure if this is due to climate change as usually winter’s here are sunny. The temps are going up and that makes me happy feeling warm sunshine, seeing trees getting dressed, changes in light. This time last year Spain was in it’s 5th week of lockdown with only being allowed out for work unless can work from home, food, pharmacy, doctors. I could only watch spring from the balcony and while the light was getting brighter and spring warming up, inside was dark. 

Gyms Reopened

Back in February Catalunya allowed gyms to reopen! While the whole of Spain has a curfew, the central government gave regional governments the power to reduce covid-19 transmissions bar total home confinement again. Catalunya I think was one the strictest, but we were allowed out. Some weeks only in our towns although exercise we could travel further. Gyms were closed for a while October to December to be closed again in January. For now they’re back open with restrictions but I’m so happy to be training in a gym again and back climbing indoors (this girl is a bad climber for outside climbing. It’s complicated, gym climbing’s easier to get to). 

DIY Dreamcatcher

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Beauty Finds: Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant Cream

Welcome back to another Beauty Finds! This edition, Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant cream.

I have a few requirements when it comes to cosmetics and skin care: cruelty free, natural, clean, vegan better. I do my best to avoid the nasty ingredients such as SLSs, parabens, PEGs, silicones, etc. Petrochemicals are the sneakiest with so many derivatives and aliases. I also avoid palm oil and it’s derivatives as I prefer orangutans. Coconut oil marketed as the good oil I’m also cutting down on as it can be just a damaging crop as palm oil. If I do get products with these ingredients in I try to get organic or sustainably sourced. With make up it’s a little harder so I go for cruelty free brands. I prefer products with less plastic and thankfully more brands are aware consumers don’t want unnecessary plastic (or governments are telling them less plastic). My skin type’s oily sensitive, acne prone and now wrinkles. I know nothing stops those lines, but if I can delay them then….

I think I found this in Target on holiday last year. I had been making my own deodorant for a while and wanted to try one without baking soda. While baking soda isn’t all that bad, it’s alkaline and skin’s slightly acidic. Over time this combo can leave skin more vulnerable to infections, pollution and sun exposure as the skin’s natural acid mantle and moisture barrier is damaged. I can’t remember how much it was, checking the price it was around $14 plus tax. It was for sure a holiday buy! I was drawn to it’s almost plastic free packaging too. The only plastic was the safety seal. The jar’s glass and the lid metal. Easy for recycling or repurposing. The safely seal according to their website is slowly being transitioned to a recyclable liner. The foam liner can be sent back to them for Terracycling.

I was also curious to try to to see how it was compared to my own deodorant. Arrowroot powder the first ingredient is the binder. I use cornstarch in my own as that’s what I can buy in Spain. I’ve tried searching for arrowroot to see if it makes any different but can’t find any. Magnesium hydroxide is the baking soda alternative that helps stop odor causing bacteria on the skin’s surface without impacting the dermis or absorbed by it. 

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Beauty Finds: Sioris Stay With Me Day Cream

Welcome back to another Beauty Finds! This edition Sioris Stay With Me Day Cream!

I have a few requirements when it comes to cosmetics and skin care: cruelty free, natural, clean, vegan better. I do my best to avoid the nasty ingredients such as SLSs, parabens, PEGs, silicones, etc. Petrochemicals are the sneakiest with so many derivatives and aliases. I also avoid palm oil and it’s derivatives as I prefer orangutans. Coconut oil marketed as the good oil I’m also cutting down on as it can be just a damaging crop as palm oil. If I do get products with these ingredients in I try to get organic or sustainably sourced. With make up it’s a little harder so I go for cruelty free brands. I prefer products with less plastic and thankfully more brands are aware consumers don’t want unnecessary plastic (or governments are telling them less plastic). My skin type’s oily sensitive, acne prone and now wrinkles. I know nothing stops those lines, but if I can delay them then….

I discovered Sioris in Miin Cosmetics last year. Initially I was a little skeptical. The packaging is minimal, I didn’t want a plastic packaging brand again (dream on Nat) but I wanted to try new moisturisers. Their own site is mostly in Korean so I rely on stockists for product and brand info such as Miin Cosmetics. I believe the packaging is minimal with investment in the actual lotions and potions. Previously I was using Kora Organics and Honest Beauty moisturisers but I wasn’t happy with them. Kora Organics lotions (from douglas.es) are expensive for what they are, Honest Beauty, Honest Hydrogel Cream (from douglas.es) I liked, but couldn’t find what their hyaluronic acid sources were. Honest Beauty last year dropped a vegan line which had me questioning the hyaluronic acids used as they can be animal derived.

I decided to try Sioris Stay With Me Day Cream which the girls at Miin Cosmetics recommended. My skin in a day or 2 looked so much more healthier I went back to purchase the You Look So Young Night Cream and A Calming Day ampoule. Sioris isn’t an organic brand but everything they use is natural, mostly vegan and seasonal. Yes, seasonal. They use seasonal ingredients in many of their products. This also means that sometimes products aren’t available due to selling out fast until the next batch. Their prices aren’t cheap, but they’re not too expensive being mid range price with a little going a long way. All products are nasty ingredient free save one below. The products also are fragrance free, with no artificial fragrances or perfumes added so the smell of products is subjective. Some say it smells bad, but honestly it doesn’t smell of anything. Their Forever Young Night cream does as it contains tamanu oil, but the scent dissipates quickly and I’ll take that scent over artificial heavily scented or perfume any day.

So far most Sioris products I’ve used I’ve liked. Stay With Me Day Cream is a Daily Moisture Cream formulated with Schisandra fruit to help hydrate the skin intensively without being oily. Jeju Calendula and Ceramide also help soothe and strengthen a weakened skin barrier.

The cream has a slight pink hue which varies from batch to batch as it doesn’t contain any colouratives. The only ingredient that is on the bad list is butylene glycol. It’s rated 1 on ewg safety list and it is in the first 1/4 of ingredients. I’m hoping however all the other ingredients cancel out any damage done. It’s first ingredient is citrus junos fruit or yazu fruit which renowned for it’s high vitamin C properties (I’ve just started a yazu serum: by Urang (Miin Cosmetics here. Yes, I love Miin Cosmetics!) which it packed with it and have noticed a huge improvement in skin tone). Schisandra fruit is renowned for it’s skin calming and restorative properties. I’m in! Calendula calms skin and acne. 

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Recycle Less: Zara Home 100% Cotton Shower Curtain Review and DIY Bathroom Mould/Mold Remover

When I started a few years ago reducing my plastic waste, a non plastic PVC, polyester or nylon shower curtain has been low key on my radar list for a while. 

I usually opt for PVC shower curtains as they’re easier to keep clean against mould. Urgh. No matter how hard I try it forms. Anti Mould Tip! Not an environmentally friendly way to remove mould in bathrooms around the shower or bath seals. I use eco/bio, environmentally friendly, cruelty free bathroom cleaners however sometimes I need something a little more stronger. I read that soaking cotton wool in a bleach solution placed over night over the mouldy areas can remove it. I was skeptical at first, not thinking it would work well as the mould was in the silicone. Long story short, it worked. I couldn’t believe how well it worked! Almost pearly white grouting back! 

Researching plastic free shower curtains, hemp and cotton were the 2 main fibres that came up. Hemp’s the best as repelling water and keeping mould away, however my budget isn’t hemp shower curtains. As the curtain didn’t need replacing per say, I kept an eye out every now and then shopping. Zara Home last year has gone almost to the consumer plastic free. To the consumer. I’m sure the packaging products arrive in store is plastic. The only plastic seems to be tags holding together napkins and tea towels, security tag stickers or elastic ribbons holding product info tags on say linen. They’ve even replaced plastic protective wrap post sale with the only way I can explain it stretchy paper cut similar to cotton string bags. They also do now 100% cotton shower curtains

Plastic free minus the elastic ribbons
Made with 50% ecologically grown cotton

100% cotton shower curtain with something else on it. You can tell by touching, it has a protective water repellent layer on it. This is also apparent when it wet. Only the bottom part in the bath get wet both sides. The higher up bit doesn’t on the decorative side. The label and neither does zarahome online say what the coating is. I’ve read that some water repellent coating on waterproof clothing is actually harmful to the environment as it runs off. I could ask, but haven’t. 

Repurpose-ful packaging

No flooding has occurred bar from the bathroom design. The previous PVC shower curtain which was easyish to remove mould by wiping with bathroom cleaner and sponge, I washed and left to dry in the sun then vac packed to be repurposed for say painting or replacing the cotton shower curtain you could easily shape around the bath taps and wall not to cause a flood. The cotton one doesn’t stick the wall as good, so I place say a shampoo bottle and bath duck like below so it doesn’t flood the bathroom floor. 

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Winter City Birds

Happy Spring! 

Jackdaws

Catalunya’s finally easing up some covid-19 restrictions! We can now travel freely throughout all of Catalunya however only visiting other regions in Spain for work or exceptional conditions. Malls have reopened, chiringuitos beach bars, life guards are back for the summer season. Fingers crossed they don’t roll them back in a few weeks. Each Spanish region has been given powers to control the pandemic bar total home confinement, with the central government setting a curfew that’s been in place since October last year. It’s due to end the end of May but with numbers rising again, it’ll probably be in place until the end of the summer. 

Starling

Birds being as free as they are, are the lucky ones. They can come and go as they please. Only worrying about food and predators. Sometimes I wonder if people are mean to birds, killing them as they can come and go as they please as humans they can’t. They’re free to fly away from danger, they’re not subject to complex human cultures. Well the lucky ones are. Many kept for food, for sport in conditions no one would want to live in, seen as nothing more than money or a commodity (says she who would like another cat and in doing so to rescue one animal, many more will have to be killed to feed it) or persecuted for only trying to feed themselves by eating crops and plants. 

Birds, fill the skies with song, colour, pollinate plants, spread seeds, are landscapers, the clean up crews, kept wetlands in check, help play vital roles in natures delicate balance as all over their habits are shrinking due to deforestation and climate change. Did you know that veeries can predict if the Atlantic hurricane season is going to be bad just from the time they leave to migrate to Brazil (something I learnt from Netflix’s Connected)? A tiny bird can sense the weather months in advance. That’s some crazy mind blowing, amazing predictions that could be lost to climate change.

Anyway, some wild zoo birds this winter back in January and February. There’s no way I’d see them in the parks. I think they know they’re safe at the zoo (well not the pigeons the seagulls hunt). 

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