Live Below The Line – Day 2


So it is day 2 and my kitchen has just closed and I have had another very enjoyable day. The nettle tea is flowing as I type and it is so funny the reaction a simple nettle tea has received! Wait until I tell you what I had for dinner this evening…..

Firstly I want to thank those of you who sponsored me so generously I know times are tough and some times a spare few euro are hard to come by. But I just want to THANK YOU ALL for just even reading this is supporting my cause.

As the days are unfolding I am finding out more and more about myself and my limits – although the sugar with drawl were something nasty yesterday. I am also rediscovering FOOD and our relationship with what is such a basic need. But this need has turned on its head to what it is now for billions of us – a grossly wasted want. Instead of needing food we now want and expect it and want it with all the conveniences that we have come to expect!

One of my main fundamental questions this far is – What would happen if food production failed and there were global food shortages? Can you imagine the local super markets? Can you imagine the panic of normal working people who never had to think about food – where it comes from – the waste created getting it to the convenience store that the person stopped at on the way to work. What would happen to a normal civilized society?

So for today I had my three meals and made a few interesting discoveries in my quest to find FREE foods to supplement my very small budget of €1.19.

Breakfast: Porridge with water and dollop of Strawberry Jam. And of course a pot of tea with milk.

50g of porridge = €0.04

Strawberry jam = €0.03

Reused Tea Bag = €0.02

Drop of milk = €0.05

Total: €0.14

10am Cup of coffee:

Tesco cheap and cheerful coffee 1 tsp = €0.08

Drop of milk = €0.05

Total for the cup of you could get used to the taste but does the job waking me up coffee €0.13

photo (21)Lunch: Low Fat Natural Yogurt with some porridge on top and 1/4 of an apple

4 spoons of Tesco value Low fat yogurt =  €0.10

1/4 of an apple = €0.04

1 tbls of porridge oats = €0.01

Total €0.15


I just had to make this picture bigger as I just noticed my dog – Callie O’Malley doing a Photo Bomb!! LOL all those who know her will know she is part human and is obsessed with the family she will look at us hail rain or shine through the window, totally dedicated. While our other dog will be off sunning herself totally oblivious to the fact she has a family!




photo (20)Dinner: Chipatti Pancakes with garlic mushrooms and dandelion salad!! 

3 medium sized mushrooms that I bought in the reduced isle the whole packet cost €o.45 = €0.11

I very small clove of garlic = €0.04

Drizzle of olive oil = €0.04

Salt & Pepper = €0.02

Dandelion salad was FREE and guess what more good stuff packed into these leaves and what some would consider a garden pest! I obviously googled the whole idea before I went and chewed up the lawn and I also picked them where I picked my nettles yesterday – this is actually how I began to think about can I eat Dandelions as there were so many of them around. Check out that they have been eaten for centuries and that the French folk actually grow them like lettuce, read all about it HERE.

Chipatti Pancakes were to die for and were soooooooo easy to make – not sure of the effect on the waist line but hey they only cost €0.08 to make. I will be putting the method on how to cook these and the variations you can do in the next blog. ( My 3yr old had to help me as she thought we were making play dough, but she put chocolate in hers and we folded it over and fried it on the pan – needless to say I nearly fainted at the though of this! She and her dad ate them with ice cream 😦 and I just watched…..

Total for dinner €0.29

Because today was so under budget at 0.71c I have now gone into the kitchen and God help the two Oreo cookies that will be devoured!! And another 0.20c to the bill bringing todays eating in at €0.91

Thats another €0.28 put into my Live Below The Line Jar to go to Unicef Ireland and the Syrian Children caught up in that dreadful conflict that has been going on for over 2 years.

Thank You for supporting me with how ever much you can give as every cent counts.

To support me online visit MY Unicef Fundraising Page HERE

If you know me personally or my family and friends you can give them any donations and they can pass it onto me. Alternitavely if you would like to email me please do even if its just for the chat, I love to hear how my thoughts & actions can influence people :

Thank you all 🙂 XX

My Unicef Charity Page is now LIVE – you can now put your coppers in my jar!


To Live Below The Line is a really difficult challenge for me on so many levels  but to imagine having to do this on a daily basis without choice is the most difficult thing for me to comprehend  I decided to give this a go not only to raise funds for the children in Syria but also to create an awareness about the relationship we all have with food and how we take food for granted  disregard it and throw it in the trash like it means nothing to us  yet if it was taken away it would be survival of the fittest.

I was thrilled on Day 1 to put my 17cents left over into my jar and yes it has also thought me to really appreciate every cent as for some it means a whole lot more.

Thank You for supporting me with how ever much you can give as every cent counts.

To support me online visit MY Unicef Fundraising Page HERE

If you know me personally or my family and friends you can give them any donations and they can pass it onto me. Alternitavely if you would like to email me please do even if its just for the chat, I love to hear how my thoughts & actions can influence people :

Kind Regards  A very hungry Claire Lewis XX

Live Below The Line – Day 1


So Day 1 of Live Below The Line Challenge I have a budget of €1.19 to pay for all my meals, drinks etc for 5 whole days. It has been a great day so far, besides my 3pm slump when I nearly went through the door for some chocolate – my €1.19 budget just wouldn’t allow for any treats and I didn’t want to eat any sweet things anyway. I want to do this and really go without something I really love and that is any thing containing SUGAR!

Breakfast consisted of Porridge with half milk and half water with a dollop of jam!

I bought 1kg/1000g of Jumbo oats for 0.79c so my 50g bowl of oats this morning cost just 0.04c.

Milk cost 0.10c including milk for the tea

Dollop of Jam cost for the jar 0.99c so for the dollop it should be 0.03c

Pot of tea = One tea bag and I will be reusing it!! Cost 0.05cents

Total breakfast spending = 0.22cents

The first thing I had to do this morning was to sort out my charity as seeing as the charities on the website were all UK based I thought it easier for sending a cheque and currency convertion etc to the Irish equivalent. So my chosen charity is Unicef Ireland  with any money that I raise going to The Syrian Crisis where this harrowing account of the crisis will put an ease to my rumbling tummy –

The Syrian conflict is now older than its youngest victims. For more than 2 years now, millions of Syrian children have been suffering daily horror and misery. With more than 70,000 deaths  – almost the population of Galway city – including thousands of children. Enough. Enough.” – UNICEF Ireland’s Executive Director Peter Power

photo (16)Lunch Time consisted of two rice cakes with cream cheese (it was the end of a tub that needed to be eaten today or end up in the trash so I figured I needed to eat it)

Rice Cakes x2 = 0.13c each = 0.26cents (pretty expensive to be honest and has put a whole in my dinner budget)

Cream cheese – end of life tub = 0.12cents (I am reducing the cost of this as it was destined for the bin)

Total for lunch = 0.38cents 

total budget remaining = 0.59cents

photo (18)Dinner Time a rice dish using left over boiled rice, soya sauce, broccoli and carrot.

Value rice 50g 0.11cents

1/4 of a carrot 0.04cents

1/5 of a head of broccoli 0.18

Soya sauce – 2 tsp – 0.07cents

Salt & Pepper – 0.02cents

Total = 0.42cents

For Tea I had a pot of fresh Nettle Tea, I went out for a walk and picked a fresh batch of nettles. I needed a drink that didn’t involve milk as I love milk in tea and coffee and I know it was eating into my budget. I used to pick nettles and drink the tea when I was younger and I love the smell it brings me back to the days running in the field next to our house. I know the health benefits of nettle tea are great but when reading up today I didn’t realize how BIG the health benefits were – so I will keeping this tea on my list of top teas to drink especially because of the high Iron content. I am not a vegetarian but I don’t care very much for red meat but I am a firm believer that there are greater sources of iron out there without looking to animals. But I will eat what ever comes my way but I will not go out of my way to eat meat, if that makes sense to you all??

photo (19)

So today on Day 1 of my Live Below The Line Challenge I came in under my €1.19 budget at €1.02

If you would like to sponsor me please feel free to email me at and I will send you on the link to my Unicef Ireland fundraising page where you can make a safe and secure online payment. Or if you know me personally I can arrange to sort this out with you over the next week or so. It is a good cause and I hope you can give just a little or just even send me an email to encourage me and help me on my hungry little way!!

Josie Yorgason Blogalist Winner 2013 – Debute Blog on ‘Earth Day’.

University of Mary Washington on Earth Day

The first Earth Day of 1970 was filled with anti-war sentiment and planet conscious
festivities. Every year on April 22nd, people across the globe come together to celebrate and
appreciate the earth for its many wonders.

The picture to the left is University of Mary Washington on Earth Day, April 22nd 2013.

This year, I wanted to celebrate earth day by reducing my use of plastics and avoid
buying products with excessive packaging. Clearly, doing this for only one day is not effective
so I set my challenge in place on Earth Day and have stuck with my challenge thus far. The
first day, I had to focus and pay attention to everything I bought or used throughout my day (it
is a challenge, right?). However, even after one week, I find myself bringing my reusable bags
everywhere and asking for ceramics instead of plastic cups at coffee shops. I am happy to report
that I am approaching full-awareness of all the plastic that I would be using every day.



Besides being more conscious of all of the plastic and packaging wastes that can accrue
even after one day, this Earth Day, I focused on how others celebrated Earth Day in my current
city of Fredericksburg, VA. After talking with some friends, I found some common trends.
Walking instead of driving, eating lunch outside, shopping with reusable bags, and avoiding
shopping were among the top answers. After this, I wanted to see how my community as a
whole celebrated Earth Day by taking a walk around the town to see if I noticed anything in
celebration of Earth Day. I found some banners and signs that said, “Butts are Litter Too: Keep
Fredericksburg Litter Free”. This sign was a great reminder that even small things like cigarette
butts have no place in the environment and should be disposed of properly.

Butts are litter too











As I wanted to learn more about how residents of my community were celebrating Earth
Day, I visited my regional libraries (Rappahannock Regional Library and English Run Library),
where I was lucky enough to talk with the Adult Services Coordinator, Michele Brown, and two
authors of the recently published book Traveling the 38th Parallel: A Water Line Around the
World, David and Janet Carle, about the importance of Earth Day:

“Is the recognition of Earth Day important to you?”

Michele- “Yes, I actually remember the very first Earth Day I had in high school,
specifically. I was allowed to walk to school instead of riding the bus. This was the only day out
of the year we were allowed to do this!”

David- “Yes, I think it is very important and powerful that people are taking the time
to mark environmental issues, this is special. It is especially helpful when places and people
celebrate Earth Day the entire week.”

“Is the recognition of Earth Day important for the city of Fredericksburg
specifically? If so, in what way?”

Michele- “ Yes for Fredericksburg, it is important. We have many beautiful natural
resources that we must preserve.”

Janet- “It is universally important. For Fredericksburg, the Rappahannock River is so
closely tied that it is vital. We even wrote about the Rappahannock River and river preservation
efforts in our book.”

“What is one thing that you have done in honor of Earth Day in order to be more
environmentally aware?”

David- “Writing our book! Also, we both had park ranger careers which allowed us to
work with educating children on Earth day.”

“Is there a specific issue you would like to promote in honor of Earth Day?”

Michele- “Yes! Out global garbage situation is not pleasing. We have so much waste and
packaging wastes that we just don’t know what to do with. This problem is a national issue.”

David- “Yes, awareness of water and sustainability should be addressed. We all need a
better understanding of resources values.”

Janet- “ Yes, I think we all need to focus more on long term rather than short term
sustainability. Global sustainability is key.”

From my findings, I think the messages are very clear and honest. We are a global
community as inhabitants of the earth. Although April 22nd is the designated day to celebrate the
earth, we should try to understand Earth Day as every day. Now, this is where we turn to you,
what will you do to make Earth Day every day? Thinking about your everyday impacts is the
first step. The earth will surely thank you.


Irish People & The World unite to STOP the scandal that is the SALE of Irish FORESTS to pay back debt…..!

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There is nothing more frustrating than to see a grave injustice unfold at the hands of those who should be gardians of Ireland. The sale of Irish Forests to pay back our debt is beyond comprehension. Our debt has been caused by the bad banks and all the idiots that sat at the head of these banks Anglo Irish Bank in particular, not one of these men have gone to jail. This makes me mad, but what makes me ten million times madder is the plan to sell off Irish logging rights to the International Forestry Fund that has none other than our very own Bertie Ahern acting as Chairman.

Watch this video to see for your self what Bertie Ahern is up to HERE He has not only screwed Ireland and left us all for dead and should also be dragged to court for what he left happen in the banks when he was T/PM, now he has the brass balls to come back acting as Chairman for the IFF who want to eat up our forests to meet the IFF targets for growth which will mean more fat cheques for Bertie. As Asset Managers they want to make lots of money from the worlds natural resources this time it is wood and they want to attract investers hence this pathetic comercial. Bertie know’s Ireland is on its knees. as he teed this up when he was in power, now he is back to add insult to injury.

OK my blood pressure has eased again as I had a chance to think of the lovely day spent at Avondale House & Forest Park for The Save Irelands Forests Campaign. Jeremy Irons, Sinead Cusack, Paddy Casey and Christy Moore where out in force to offer their support for the cause. The decision on the sale of Irish forests is imminent and needs to be STOPPED. You can do your bit please SIGN THE PETITION HERE

Keep up to date with the next steps by liking the following Facebook Pages:

The Woodland League 

Ireland’s Natural Resources belong to the Irish

Natural Resources Protection Alliance  

Claire Lewis Co.

And sign up to receive my blog via email bottom right of my web page. Thanks to you all for the support lets get up and STOP this madness.

woodland league

My Upcycled Chair is in a competition – Help me win!!? :)

Hello everyone!


I would like to get your help to win a great book called ‘The Upcycle’ by Michael Braungart and William McDonough. I have entered my lovely Upcycled chair that I bought in a charity shop for €20 and stripped back, varnised and made new covers from the pattern of the old yuck olive green covers.  Here it is;


The competition is organised by the very talented and driven Lynn Haughton from The Upcycle Movement and all you have to do is like my chair’s picture. Thats all and you can do it HERE.

Thanks guys 🙂

Tortilla – they are so easy to DIY!

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My husband LOVES Tortilla’s fully loaded with tomato, chili, cheese and sides of guacamole and sour cream. We used to buy the packet version of the tortilla chips UNTIL an experience while on Honey-Moon in Vegas. We ate the most delicious home-made,  authentic version while eating in a Mexican restaurant and couldn’t believe how simple they are to make.

They also are a great way off feeding a few and if you are looking for a nice nibble dish for a dinner party this is it. Also, and my favourite reason for making these bad boys are they are a great way of using up food and the ingredients can be bought every week and used in various dishes.

To make the Tortilla’s: using wraps just cut them into triangles place on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Cook in the oven until golden brown.

To make the sauce we always keep tins of tomatoes and if you fry some garlic and onion and if you like a hot sauce some chilly add the tin of tomatoes and make sure you leave it to reduce down so it is not watery.

Pile all the home-made tortillas on a baking tray, load on the sauce, great some cheese and if you like add jalapeno Peppers.

Pop in the oven until it is all bubbling and golden brown.

Serve with sour cream and guacamole!! Yummy