A Drop of Blood all in time for the Bram Stoker Festival.

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The Bram Stoker Festival takes place the weekend of – 26th to 28th of October.The three-day festival will peel back the layers of the city to reveal Stoker’s Dublin. Prepare for a weekend for all the family with walking tours through the lane-ways and hidden steps of the Victorian macabre aspect of the city; literary workshops exploring horror writing with award winning authors for both teens and adults; Stoker-themed theatre, lively discussions on all things vampire, and a highlight being an evening of spooky spectacle from renowned street theatre company Spraoi in the majestic surroundings of Dublin Castle.

To celebrate this fab and spooky festival and highlighting Dracula’s love of Blood. I have pulled out one fab book that I picked up for my little girl in my local charity shop when she was really young but I just knew it would come in handy some day. The book first published in 1968 by Adam & Charles Black – London,  with the fitting title ‘A Drop of Blood’ written by Paul Showers and illustrated by Don Madden. It is from a series of Let’s Read And Find Out which covered a wide range of scientific subjects in a very clear manor for children to understand. My daughter is not yet 4 and she was recently asking about what was inside her arm and why when she cut her knee red “stuff” came out, so I thought it was time to read this lovely book.

The illustrations are great, the story is really simple, yet scientific. I even brushed up on my biology myself!

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It gives insight into what makes up blood, how scabs form and what they are for, and how the circulatory system works.

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The book has been reprinted and re-illustrated with a more Vampire theme you can purchase it on Amazon Here. But, I must say, I really loved the classic illustrations compared to the new vamped up style. At the end of the day they both teach a really great lesson about what is inside ‘A Drop of Blood’

adropofblood new illustration

Another review was by Curious Pages Here.

Enjoy the book and be sure and check out the Bram Stoker Festival, looks like a lot of educational fun for Halloween. Baawww Haaa Haaa!

Mother & Daughter Bonding – Kooky time!

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Eabha has recently started a new crèche as some of you recently read, and she is still getting used to the ‘newness’ of the experience. Each morning she want’s me to stay and “mind me” but obviously I have to go and do my jobs that couldn’t possibly get done with a busy 3.5year old glued to my hip. I have been taking care to reassure Eabha that I will be back to collect her everyday and trying to spend a little QT with her and make her adjust a little easier.

And then I met Sophie Morris – the lovely and bubbly creator of Kooky Dough. A pre made Kooky Dough, pretty much what it says on the tin! You can purchase a box of Kooky Dough in the chilled isle of Tesco, Spar, Superquinn and a few other stores around Ireland . And in the UK you can pick these up in Waitrose. Check out here for more stockists.

Eabha LOVES cookies, baking and sweet things. So the marriage of cookies, STOPPPING and take time out of the daily grind to spend TIME with my little girl – who is showing signs already of growing up and giving her that QT that I spoke about was a perfect match.

And also the process of cooking the kookies appealed to me so much more than just opening a packet of them.

Needless to say we both enjoyed the experience and the end result was even more enjoyable. I didn’t even have to wash-up, perfect. Warm cookies, a glass of milk, a cup of tea and CBeebies was just what the doctor ordered after a busy morning of crèche.

Thanks Sophie xx

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Has the term Ethical become the new fashion buzz word?


I have begun to think that the term “Ethical” has become a word or concept that some fashion brands have latched onto because their PR department told them so!? With the down turn of the economy, the first thing to go from a persons budget is fashion clothing and accessories – similar to the axing of the marketing department…. And with other trends like upcycling, craft and design and the resurgence of DIY, fashion companies have to do something to stop the loss of foot fall.

The term ‘ethical’ basically means knowing what is right and wrong – well on a more philosophical level, as one persons view of what is right and what is wrong can be totally different. But with ethics it is a broad based view of how your decisions and actions will affect everything else. So when analyzing the history of how ethical fashion companies have been towards other humans, the environment and the profits from fashion – is it any wonder I am pondering just a little to their new found love for ethics?!!

This may seem very negative way of looking at something that can only be positive. Can a not so ethical in the past fashion company, make up for lost time and start to make change? Will fashion companies drop all the buzz words and again laugh all the way to the bank as soon as we are all foolish and loaded again!?? I am still the doubting Thomas in the corner but I do like second chances and I particularly like a change for the better, especially when people and the environment are the key beneficiaries 🙂

I see and compare the brands that have started off with Ethics at the core, giving back in what ever way they can to the large high street chains that have creamed it. Brands like TOMS who give a pair of shoes or glasses to a child for every pair you purchase. The items are also manufactured in a sustainable and ethical process.

What ever way I think My thoughts will be minuscule to the might of the large high street chains, but I am thrilled to see a positive change in what is an industry driven by wants and an insatiable consumer apatite for items they certainly do not need! But, I will also live in hope that my fellow human beings will begin to realize that “less is more” in the fashion department also.

The Ecover Message In A bottle Campaign – It will be your bottle, your message, WIN one today!

So my head is always bursting with idea’s, how to save the world, how to save money, how to save using chemicals, how to fit everything into my busy day. Some times ideas come easy and some times they get lost in my head, sometimes they arrive at very inconvenient hours of the night.

The main purpose for my ideas and my main reason for doing what I do is I love to engage everyday people. To captivate, to invigorate people, in ways that collectively we can make a change. I like to view myself as a catalyst for change as sometimes it is not easy to see the wood from the trees and as an individual living in a world full of 7 billion it is very easy to say – to heck with little me making any kind of difference. Well I say to heck with that thought as if everyone thinks like that, yes the outcome is negative but imagine if everyone said OK I can do this then together we can make a difference?

Take my little tiny snow flake story that I use as an example – each tiny snow flake is as individual as you are, beautiful intricate designs as unique as your finger prints. Some are smaller than others and some bigger.  Collectively the snow flakes fall from the sky and can cover continents. But imagine if each tiny snow flake said “Oh No I can’t fall from the sky, I am so tiny I will not make a difference?”

When I went to London for the Ecover bloggers event and for the unveiling of their fab idea to close the loop on recycling and use plastic reclaimed from the sea as well as their very own plantastic made from raw sugar cane. You can read my post on this here. And can view all about this on the Ecover webpage here. I had the idea and shared it with the group that wouldn’t it be very effective if we could get people power to get behind a natural, environmental or political problem and each of us wrote  and posted our Message In Our Bottle’s to for example the Prime Minister in the UK the Taoiseach in Ireland or who ever we collectively wanted to target to make change happen.  Ecover and Jen Gale from My Make Do and Mend Year decided that my idea was a good one and we are now in the process of rolling it out 🙂 Jen has already started and you can read all about her recent blog post here.

JENS ECOVER BOTTLEI am waiting on my Ecover Personalised bottle with my name on it to arrive my husband will now definitely not do any chores as the cleaning product will have my name on it…LOL! But while I am waiting I have taken Jen’s bottle to show you what it looks like.

Ecover have given my readers the chance to WIN one of 5 personalised bottles – That is an Ecover product with YOUR name on it, so you can keep the cleaning all to yourself, ha ha – but you can use it to be refilled or write your letter and post it to highlight a cause. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS TELL ME IN A COMMENT BELOW WHAT CAUSE YOU WOULD TARGET WITH YOUR MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE TO WHOM AND WHY?

Lauren from Ecover, Jen from My Make Do and Mend Year and myself will be picking the best causes and taking them a step further we will also be giving the winners of the best 5 causes a free personalised bottle. In time we will also create a centralised information point where the Message In A Bottle Campagne can grow into a worldwide effective system to highlight hot environmental topics.

You bring your concerns to us we get groups of people to jointly post the message in a bottle and together all our bottles and all our messages make such an impact that the person, political party, company or who/whatever sits up and listens to us all and makes a change.

The first area of change I would like to target with a message in a bottle is the mental fact that the UK, still has not brought in a plastic bag levy? In Ireland we were the first to bring in this change and it has worked a treat everyone brings their bags to the shops and if you forget you pay or go without – the crazy thing is people will actually pile all of their shopping into a trolley and they into the car boot rather than pay for a bag. This would be the first change but I have a million more to follow….

If you have an Eco product then it makes sense to have an Eco bottle!

This time last week (06-03-13) I was sitting around a table in the heart of London with some great minds.  Bloggers with a GREEN core and the good people from ECOVER to discuss a secret mission! It was an early flight but I was excited to be invited and even more excited to find out what was going to unfold!

The mission was top secret and it had every good reason to be. ECOVER’s Message In Our Bottle was a very exciting pledge. The pledge to close the loop and create a fully sustainable and recyclable plastic. Reducing the amount of raw materials in their bottles which is always a good thing as an eco product more than any other product needs an eco bottle. Generally the customer who buys an eco product has already bought into a personal mission of doing a little bit to save and help the planet. But when you really look at the bigger picture the green customer probably accounts for less than 10% (if even that) of the global consumption of the product. Lets take the product as cleaning products as this is what Ecover sell. Generally when people purchase cleaning products the cost, smell maybe even the branding have huge bearing on the choice the customer makes. Large brands have very large marketing budgets and they use these budgets as it is a dog eat dog world with lots of profits to be made. I fully appreciate that you need to make healthy profits to keep a company viable but what are massive profits to a company when the resources needed to produce them are reducing and the environmental impacts are so catastrophic. Large brands do not spend as much on constant environmental development like the eco alternative brands. And ironically the eco brands do not spend much on advertising!

Every one knows that eco products are a little more expensive but when you equate the little extra cost to the peace of mind that when you clean your loo or pop on the dishwasher the local eco system can at least have a breather. Ecover have been in the driving seat of developing and implementing new environmental products and techniques using their Plant-Astic plastic made from 100% sugar cane since 2011. You can rest assured that you little extra is funding a team of scientists and engineers developing new innovative ways to save our planet, making it easy and convenient for consumers to reduce their carbon foot print.

Imagine paying fishermen to land their haul of sea plastic as well as the fish – this is now a reality! It is a very worthy and clever idea Waste Free Oceans and the fishermen that participate should be applauded. By 2014 each Ecover bottle will contain some amount of sea plastic that was ‘fished’ by fishermen already at sea, hence no extra consumption of raw materials to land the haul of sea plastic.

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The other lovely ladies who shared this experience where:

Nicola Baird – Homemade Kids

Melinda Watson –  E for Good & The RAW Foundation

Jen Gale – My Make Do and Mend Year

Lynn Fancy – A Slice of Lemons Cake 

I am not sure if there was a trend with the amount of women to men in the room was a whopping 7:1, are women more interested in protecting out planet?? This is a little thought to follow up on I think. I hope Ecover’s Digital Manager – Peter Rosier  was not too out numbered or too overwhelmed! I really enjoyed the trip, met the good people behind the scenes at Ecover and some very lovely lady bloggers like me! Not to mention Ecover’s Message In Our Bottle….it is a very good green message indeed 🙂