bits + pieces

here are a few peeks into our home.... it's the little things that make a house into a home   ♥♥♥

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good earth living apothecary circle

i'm so excited to have come across laura emily's apothercary circle last week on etsy! it is a yearlong course that helps you to uncover the healer within you by building your home apothecary, and to gain the knowledge & confidence to use it. 

i've always been interested in alternative medicine, and have used herbs many times over the years. i'm thrilled to have found this course that i can do at home! there are a few other amazing ladies already signed up KatelynMarissaElizabeth and Kami}  - this is going to be an amazing course. here's a little info taken from the apothercary circle page:

When: December 21st 2012- December 21 2013
Where: Virtual classroom online.
--*Monthly lessons & tutorials on herbs, creating tinctures, salves, lipbalms, capsules, teas, clays, makeup, mist, perfumes, and cooking with herbs.
--*Group community.
--*herbal consultations
--*study of herbs & other holistic approaches.
 --*free downloads of over 10 e-books over the course of the year covering topics such as folk recipes, holistic approach to acne and skin problems, managing headaches & migraines naturally, understanding and beating fatigue, general family health, hydration, nutrition, space clearing, crystal therapy, and holistic wellness.
--*six virtual ecourses over the course of the year covering detoxing, cleanses, fasting, space clearing, intentions, and more. Members are required to participate with at least one, but all 6 ecourses/workshops are free and open to members of the Apothecary Circle
--*raw food prep & methods
--*food remedies & nutritional game plans
--*folk remedies
--*space clearing
--*Detoxing to cure & fasting
--*study of essential oils for medicinal properties
 --*blueprint for a physical home apothecary
--*Certificate in Home Apothecary.

*While space-clearing, holistic nutrition and detoxing are covered within the monthly lessons, individuals will have the option to earn an emphasis in their certification in either Space Clearing, Holistic Nutrition and Detoxing. Emphasis will be posted to purchase in September. These emphasis studies are not available to those who are not members of the Apothecary Circle. 

i wanted to share this with you today, because you can use my affiliate code Herbs180 to save 15% off this circle as well as everything in the good earth living store. You have until december to sign up, but if you sign up before the end of august you get a tonne of amazing extras!! I would love to see you there!

It's time we take health seriously and learn the tools. 
Earth medicine is a birthright. We, as women, are healers. 
Learn the skills, and live abundantly.

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a portrait of me

i was contacted a while ago by the lovely amalia, asking if i would like her to draw a whimsical portrait of myself. i checked out her etsy and was blown away by the beauty of her work! i quickly replied that i would love her to draw me, and sat back to wait for her to finish.

a little about amalia, in her own words:

"Hello, my name is Amalia and welcome to my hidden forest, where I keep all my treasures and untold secrets. I’m an independent illustrator of over 12 years, working mostly with traditional mediums, but also practice digital works whenever required. My work has been published in numerous publications such as magazines and books, special corporate promotions and worldwide organizational projects.
While I love the vivid imagery of Renaissance paintings and subtle story telling of Pre-Raphaelite art, I’m also a devoted admirer of the more modern Pop Surrealism. My art is mostly inspired by dreams, long lost messages, unspoken thoughts and meaningful conversations. It is the way I communicate best and most fluently, like sending secret messages out into the void."

when i opened the email i was thrilled with the portrait she drew...

what do you think?? i'm in love with some of the drawings in her etsy - i seriously suggest you check it out!! a big thank you to amalia for my beautiful portrait

you can find amalia here - BLOG // SHOP // REDBUBBLE

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this little miss turns six today! hard to believe it's six years since she was born at home in the middle of the night, after an incredibly short two hour labour!! she's still something of a whirlwind, always up to something and forever making me giggle. she's not afraid to say what she's thinking {or wind her sisters up!}

we're having a small bbq/tea party {weather dependant} today.

happy birthday miss kiki..... we love you xo

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camping adventures

we headed out this weekend on our first camping adventure since we got our new tent! friends were having a hog roast, so we stayed in their field, out in the wilds of wales. i was a little apprehensive after the terrible weather we'd had all week. we got the tent up and all unpacked just before a rain shower, but the rest of the weekend turned out pretty nice. no one slept very well the first night, i was too cold and miss baya woke up at five terrified of the sheep she could hear! 

we enjoyed the peace and quiet of the country and waking up to such a beautiful view. we did a little walking, heading up one of the hills. it was bliss just to be away from everyday life - and have no phone signal for a couple of days!

now we're back home to another busy week! i've got tonnes of stuff to do, and it's miss kiki's sixth birthday on wednesday too! there's some big changes coming up for our little family - i'll post about them soon!

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guestpost// instant film camera shopping with anna delores photography

Greetings, pixie friends!  Many thanks to the lovely Polly for welcoming me to her blog today.  My name is Emily and I blog at the Anna Delores blog, as well as run an Etsy shop + portraiture photography studio called Anna Delores Photography.

I'm hanging out with Polly today to share shopping tips for instant film cameras!  Instant film has gotten way better than the "shake it" Polaroid prints of the days of yore; there are lots of new and exciting options to choose from!

I was compelled to start this shopping comparison by a friend's desire for a instant photo booth at her upcoming wedding.  Here, I review your options and their applicability for both instant gratification at wedding photo booths and beyond.

First up: the Fujifilm Instax series.

The newest member of the Instax family is the Mini 50S in a sleek black finish (they call it "piano black").  Simply put, the 50S has the best shooting capabilities of the Instax instant film cameras because of its capacity for controlled exposure (so you can adjust for light vs. dark settings).  Reviews remark that the flash is pretty good for an instant camera and the images themselves are among the best produced by instant film.  Drawbacks, however, include the size of the print -- with borders, prints are about the size of a credit card (which means the actual image is even smaller than that) and the 50S requires CR2 lithium batteries, which aren't quite as widely available as AA batteries.  20 frames will cost you $22.00 (a little over $1 per print).

The Instax Mini 7S and Mini 25 also give you credit card-sized images and preceded the 50S in release date.  The 7S gives you four manual options for exposure setting, while the 25 selects settings for you based on detected conditions (in other words, you don't have to choose or do anything yourself with the 25).  The 25 also boasts a "smarter" auto flash and an optional close-up lens, but also pains its owner with having to hunt for CR2 lithium batteries.

{ Fujifilm Instax Mini 25 and Mini 7S }

These all seem like decent options for the casual instant film user.  Expect to pay between $50-60 for the 7S, up to $100-125 for the 50S (depending on where you buy).

Moving on to the widely-accepted master of instant film cameras, Polaroid...

Personally, I'm totally sold on the Polaroid Z340 Instant Camera, but the biggest drawback on this one is the price.  The $250 price tag is easily justified, however: this instant camera prints better quality (14 megapixels) and size (4x3") on smudge-proof, water-proof, tear-proof paper AND stores images on a digital memory card so you can also edit and print later on.  There's also a digital screen so you can peek at your images (and crop or make adjustments) before you print.  You can print instantly, save for later, or both.  You can also apply effects like fisheye or Lomo modes and can opt for a classic Polaroid border (or no border at all).

Even with all these exciting features, though, I know every bride in the universe is on a wedding budget, so I'm not about to recommend the priciest option without also suggesting alternatives.  The PoGo™ Instant Digital Camera - ZCAM is a nice compromise between the Fujifilm Instax 50S and the Z340: it has the digital display and editing options of the Z340 at a slightly lower price point (and from what I can tell, you can't save images to a memory card for later edits).

The final option I investigated are the classics: refurbished instant cameras made available by The Impossible Project, which saved the last Polaroid factory from extinction in 2008 (and thus continues to create classic-compatible instant films).  From Impossible, you can score goodies like a refurbished original summer sun Polaroid 660 kit or a Red Stripe 600 OneStep kit.  Prices vary based on the camera itself and availability, as well as whether or not the camera comes with film or not (though most of them come with at least a single starter pack of film).  Impossible also offers hard-to-find professional-grade Polaroids, but for our purposes I won't get into those details in this post.  You can explore for yourself if you're so inclined.  :)

Classic Polaroids can, of course, also be found on eBay and at flea markets all over the place, but the working condition of these will be a much bigger gamble than buying from Impossible, which tests the heck out of each camera before they ship it to your door.  I also found an interesting selection on Etsy, but the same concept applies here: working condition (as well as return policies) will vary considerably.

The verdict: Personally, I'd opt for the Z340 just because it offers so many attractive modern features and thus has wider applicability than a wedding photo booth.  If you're JUST looking for a one-day wonder, though, and for my friend's wedding purposes, I'll probably recommend the Mini 25 as a good "middle ground" option.

Would you ever buy an instant camera, or is Instagram on your smartphone good enough for you?  What would you use a Polaroid or Fujifilm instant camera for if you had one?

Thanks again to Polly for sharing her space with me today!  Hope you'll stop by to say hello at my permanent home base, too.  :)

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saturday sun >>>

least i hope there's going to be some sunshine!! we're off camping for a couple days today.... fingers crossed we don't get flooded out ha! i'm so glad to be going away, i've been super busy the past few weeks i'm in desperate need of a couple days off. i've been finishing off getting our homeschool plans and projects in place {i have a post about that next week!}, plus doing some work for a new blog project i'm involved in! i'm in the middle of making some new stock for my shop as well as for a couple of outlets here.

on top of all that i've sorted and decluttered my house... it started when i was reorganising the home school stuff and art supplies... i felt the urge to keep going and boy does it feel good to rid the house of some clutter! so it was very timely that i was offered some of ecover's new zero range to test out. we're already ecover fans in this house, but the new range has been specially crafted to for people who want a fragrance free allergy-approved. perfect for sensitive skin, the zero core range is dermatologically tested and approved by allergy uk.

we got sent some laundry liquid, fabric conditioner, washing up liquid, a tea towel and dishcloth in a cloth tote. i was interested to try out the laundry liquid and fabric conditioner, as lola and i have very sensitive skin, and i usually stick to washing balls as opposed to any liquids/powders - as most irritate our skin. we tried it out over a few washes, and so far so good! i washed our bedding in it which was the biggest test as we're laid on the sheets for hours at a time. but it looks like it hasn't irritated us at all - great news!!

i'll definitely be buying more of this range in future - if you want to try it out, you can buy it online here.

and now to go finish the packing for our camping trip :)

hope you all have a fantastic weekend

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pretty things

one // two // three // four // five // six

this week has been fantastic, it was our ten year anniversary yesterday and it's been one of those weeks where everything has just been peachy, y'know?? when you know that you're on the right path? i'm feeling so at peace with everything right now. today's for making blythe dresses ready for kiki's birthday next week, finishing a few projects and getting ready for going camping tomorrow! 

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