Upcycle Charger Idea

I have had my eye on these DIY charger "upcycle" ideas (from Pinterst of course) which only requires a mild crochet skill, a few materials and an array of design options. Call it a Pinterest hack of some sort. The point is to wrap yarn or cotton around your charger wire in a way that looks ascetically pleasing and serves the purpose of adding a protective barrier for cuts, bumps and dirt.


You will need the following; a ball of knitting cotton (try make sure it's 100%), a crochet hook, a yarn needle, and a stitch maker (optional). You will single crochet all along the the wire. Here's a quick video tutorial on how to do the single crochet stitch. As you go along the wire, twist the work so that it creates a swirl effect. Use a stitch marker if you remove your crochet hook so that your work does not unravel.


It will take a while to crochet along the whole length of your charger so make a cup of coffee and put your favourite series on the TV. Once you finish and your entire wire is covered then you will need to tie off your ends and weave them in with your yarn needle. Here is a video tutorial on how you do this. Now you're done!

My main purpose to do this to my own charger is the fact that it gets dirty really quickly because it's white. I also leave it plugged in most of the time (the plug is off at the wall) so it often lays on the floor where the doggies walk and may trample it. Pretty and effective. I wish I could have found the multicolour cotton which would have made a rainbow effect as you crochet but my local craft store did not have any so purple just had to do.


Is this something you would try? Comment below!

Claire

Weekend Ramblings

I have been spending a lot of my spare time thinking about a plan for my future career. This means most of that very valuable brain juice is being directed away from my blog, but only just for a little while. My sweet Husband has also been away for the past 5 weeks so I have been running our house/mini-zoo all by myself. I have about 13 drafted posts in my box but I am simply not getting around to finish them and make sure they are edited well. For now, until I get my shit sorted out ducks in a row, I will share a few scattered thoughts which came to me over the weekend.

Invisibobble
I received a sweet package last week with the Limited Edition Invisibobble with the Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon looped inside the hair ring. This Pink Power Invisibobble collaborates with BreastCancer Now to assist with their work in breast cancer research. Let's support each other because we don't know how strong we are until being strong is the only choice we have!


Adele
I wasn't really an Adele fanatic back in the day. I listed to her songs and enjoyed them but I never took the time to appreciate her as an artist. How great is her new song, Hello? It has been on repeat all weekend. Your thoughts, Love? Hate?

Santa Shoebox Project
I dropped my box off this weekend just like many others across the country. Even though it might be too late to drop off your own box, you can still donate a Virtual box which is pre-packed and delivered to a needy child. Unfortunately Santa Shoebox has not reached 100% of their 100,000 target for this year so please consider donating a virtual box for this cause.

A Healthy Me
I haven't shared much on this subject on the blog or social media but I have been taking my health and eating habits more seriously over the past few weeks. In 2013 I did a "Live Healthy" series on Miss Claira-Bella but it did not last long at all, hence why I haven't shared a new series yet, in fear that I will let people down if I don't succeed. I found out this month that I have a hormonal condition that makes me process sugars and carbs differently to others which explains why I have gained almost 15kg in the past few years and cannot get rid of it. Let me know if you would like me to do a full post on this. I am trying to cut out artificial sugars and wheat from my diet as a trial so see if I notice any changes in weight, energy and overall feeling about myself. Wish me luck!

Moose the Great
In June this year we adopted a 7 week great Dane Puppy. We love the breed and for safety reasons, it was always our plan to get a horse-dog. We named him Moose (Malcolm likes to call him "Moose The Great") and he is just the cutest thing! He is 6 months at the end of October and I cannot believe how something can grow so big in such a small amount of time. He is becoming a handful though, especially when I have to deal with him on my own. We got Tensai at 6 months so most of her naughty puppy phase was out the way and she was neutered so her hormones didn't have an effect on her behavior. Moose Still has his man bits and now that his hormones are starting to charge through his system, he is just so excitable and gets so worked up no matter how much you try calm him. Mix this with his general lack of brain cells (the breed is not the smartest) and his size and weight, it is really tiring. He has his sweet moments which totally outweigh the trying times so I am excited for the future and to watch this pup develop into his own "person"

June 2015 vs October 2015.
That is all the ramblings I have time to share right now. Normal posts should resume soon!

Claire

What's in my Santa Shoebox

My box is finished! I can finally share what I have packed for my little 10 year old pledge. I mentioned in my first post about Santa Shoebox that this in my first year participating in the project an I must say I have enjoyed the planning and packing. I don't have kids of my own so this was a new experience, buying school supplies and little girls clothes. Definitely got my broodiness out of control (hehe). 

Anyhoo, here is what is in my jam packed box for my little Rebecca.


Educational supplies: A small writing book (I'm sad the proper A4 ones don't fit in a shoe box), A pack of silly face stickers, a multi pack of stationary, a case for her stationary and a mini school Dictionary (this was the most expensive item in the box but I really felt that this would be used during the rest of her school career).


Sanitary supplies: Cute Hello Kitty face cloth, Bar of Soap, Toothbrush and kiddies toothpaste.


Toys: (I had no clue what to get) Two dolls and a Minnie Mouse lucky packet.


Clothing: Cute little Summer dress, leggings to wear underneath if its colder and a hand crochet beanie made by myself (which is aimed for the winter months). Sweets: Jelly Tots!

Now I have the difficult task of playing Tetris to fit all of these items in the box so it closes properly. I don't think elastic bands will hold this thing down. Want to see what my box looks like? I did a post here on tips to decorate your Santa Shoebox. Share your boxes with me on Twitter and Instagram :)

Claire

Mavala Garden Party - Hortensia

Mavala Hortensia RSP R65. Excuse the wonky thumb nail. I'm going through a stage of frustrating nail breaks!
I very seldom have instances where I find a nail polish "unforgettable" and by that I mean every time I visit my nearest Dis-Chem and walk past the Mavala stand, this specific policy catches my eye and I go home wishing that it was in my collection. It took about three weeks of convincing myself that I don't already have a similar shade and this week I snatched up this beauty for Mavala's new Garden Party collection.

Mavala protective base coat, Mavala Hortensia and Mavala Colorfix topcoat.
I am pretty chuffed with my Spring mani. I had the perfect nail polish sandwich on my nails using my fave Mavala base and top coat. Read my review on the base and top coat here.


Overall this polish is a pretty pink. I feel that is a good combination between pastel and bright pink. Not too "baby" but not too "disco". I did have a slight issue with streaking when applying this polish. You can't really do too many strokes on your nail otherwise the polish starts to make bare patches. You just have to apply confidently and don't mess around. I suggest doing 2 or 3 very thing layers in order to get good coverage and minimize patches. Using a Top coat helps to smooth out any light patches which I was happy about.

It also took a fair amount of using the Google machine to find out that Hortensia is just another name for Hydrangea. You might notice that the other 5 shades in this collection are also named after flowers, hence the "Garden Party Collection". Being a green-thumbed lady and all, I love the whole look, feel and general idea of this collection.

Image Source
Let me know what you thought of this polish and collection. Do you have any of the other shades? Share some pictures of your  garden party mani on Twitter.

Have a great weekend!
Claire

How to decorate your Santa Shoebox

As drop-off deadlines are fast approaching, I thought I would share a few tips on how you could decorate your Santa Shoebox (using mine as an example).

There are guidelines that the Santa Shoebox team asks you to follow in order for the whole project to run as smoothly as possible. Firstly, your box should be around 34x11x20cm and this will vary quite a bit from person to person as not all boxes will be exactly the same but try stick to these dimensions (my box is 29.5x11x19.5). Secondly, do not wrap your box in such a way that they lid cannot easily come off when reaching the drop-off area. I assume some boxes may be checked and additional items added if needed so wrap your lid separate to accommodate this process. And lastly, leave a space at the top right corner, on the top of the box, for your label. Again, this makes scanning easier on collection day.


You can go crazy with the personalising of your box. Get the kids involved with kokies, stickers and other crafts. I don't have little ones so I did a classy design for my little 10 year old pledge, Rebecca. Festive wrapping, which you see packed out in all the shops already, is a nice way to add to the kiddies excitement on the day that they receive their gift. I used some extra glittery paper for the name and accent spots here and there. I found this paper at my local craft store and it is quite hardy so it will still be all sparkly when Rebecca gets it!

You can even decorate the inside but for my box I just lightly stuck two pieces of neon pink paper. The aim here is that my little pledge can take the paper out and draw on it if she'd like. You can stick in a personal letter from you and your family and even include a photo of yourself if you are comfortable doing so. Like I said, I don't have kids but you should take advantage of this opportunity to keep yours busy and it is also super fun for them to do.


You can follow Santa Shoebox's Pinterest boards where they have tons of ideas on previously decorated boxes as well as what to include in your box for your specific pledge age group.

I hope this helps spring up some ideas on how to decorate your Santa Shoebox and remember there is no limit to your creativity. Next week I will be sharing what I have included in my box so subscribe to my newsletter (to the right of this page)  so you don't miss out on more ideas. Tweet me some pics of your beautifully decorated shoeboxes!

If you haven't pledged a box yet, there is still time! Go to www.santashoebox.co.za and follow the sign up process. Pledge target is currently only at 63%. 

Claire

My Favourite Kitchen Companion - Epimax Lotion Review


Epimax Lotion RSP R44.95
Being a young home owner, savings and any additional hard earned cash goes towards maintenance and fixer-upper tasks around the house and garden. Luxuries, like a dish washer, are really not a priority so I do things the old fashioned way. My hands are dipped in hot, soapy water quite regularly which is such a skin destroyer and an irritation if you are like me who cringes when your skin is dry.

Luckily I got the opportunity to try this nifty pump bottle of Epimax Lotion*. It sits on my kitchen windowsill ready to use on my hands after each load of dishes I scrub. It's not loaded with fragrances and is mainly targeted toward those who have dry skin. The ingredients are simple as they are there to do one job and that is moisturize and act as a barrier to all the nasties we touch throughout the day. Liquid paraffin, purified water, glycerine, vitamin E and two paraben ingredients. No artificial colouring or perfume and it is dermatologist tested. It comes very close to the traditional aqueous cream but just a bit thinner in consistency. Not much else to elaborate on beside that this should be a staple in every household.

The fact that I reach for this lotion on a daily basis means that I like it a lot and I feel it really does mositurise your skin. I will admit that I would use it a lot more on other parts of my body too if they somehow worked in an SPF into their formula. That would be awesome! I highly recommend this product after a few months of testing and would definitely repurchase the pump bottle again as it is so convenient to use.

Prices as spotted in Dis-Chem in September: 
100g tube R34.95, 
250g tube 49.95, 
100g tub R24.95, 
400g tub R45.00, 
450g with pump R44.95, 
Epimax Junior and baby 400g tub R54.95,
Epimax Plus 400g tub R69.95.

Visit their website for full product ranges and descriptions.

What lotion are you currently mad about? Comment Below.

Claire

*Product supplied at the Freebees PR editors day

Monday Pastime

Image Source
Lets all just throw a little tantrum because our weekend is over, mmmkay? Before you get started on your long list of tedious work tasks for the day, check out a few things I pulled off the interwebs over the weekend which I thought would make a good pastime. Waste some time at work and have a look!

These sweet and intricate illustrations. Untranslatable words by Marija Tiurina is also a language lesson so not a complete waste of eye-ball use.

Need to send someone at work a note? Thank you, sorry or even "hey, I like you", Bureau of Communication has you covered!

Gather those co-workers around you and have a bit of a Science class lesson about Clothing in a can

Songs that are surprisingly growing on me;
Hold my Hand - Jess Glynne
Cool for the Summer - Demi Levato
Love Myself - Hailee Steinfeld

A sweet story about an Alchemists Letter. Also cute to show your kids.

Zoella's sweet Pug Birthday party. If only my doggies would sit still for photo's like this!

Relationship type stuff - Why Marriage isn't for you (quite a sweet article actually).

Chicara from Lipgloss Kisses is having a party over on Instagram with the hashtag "#lipglosskissesparty". Daily prompts photo challenge which is really fun even if you aren't really that into Instagram. Follow me to see my piccies!

Advice going forward this week: Be safe, everything in moderation, nothing in excess and be sure to check back to Howse Life posts from last week and even further than that. September was a great comeback month and I would love for you to comment on your faves!

Claire

Angels on my tastebuds


Who knew we would be swapping soup and stews for fruits and salads so soon and so rapidly. Now that Spring and Summer are in full swing I though I would share some yummy foodie pictures which I took from my Pinterest Board, Yummy In My Tummy. If any of these catch your eye, do check them out on my Pinterest board.

Catch up on my other Pinspiration posts here. Enjoy your Saturday Lovelies!

Claire

Cous Cous and Chicken Salad Recipe

  
I have had this chicken salad about four times this week already which I am taking as a sign that it is really really good because I easily get bored with eating the same meal over and over again. I am sharing this really easy recipe as it is super affordable (read a few cheats at the end of the post) and with hope that you love it too.


What you need:
Cous Cous
Cucumber 
Green pepper
Shredded or cubed chicken
Chopped almonds (optional)

Dressing
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Cumin
Black pepper
Fresh or dried parsley
Soy Sauce
Garlic (optional)

The rest is pretty simple, as salads are. Dice. Chop. Peel. It's all about preference really. Forgot to add almonds before taking this picture but I also wanted to note that if you are not into a lot of crunch in your salad maybe skip the almonds as there is plenty yummy, juicy, crunch with the cucumber and green pepper. You can also rather use a mixture between green, yellow and red pepper to liven the appearance. And Voila! 


A quick few buck saving tips: Most Spar's and deli's have single piece, already roasted, chicken for like R15 - R20 (depending on the size) so if you are making this salad for 1 person this could be a viable option instead of cooking to much just for yourself. For the Cous Cous, get the instant kind where you just add boiling water and it is ready in 5min. It can save a lot of time and it also lasts longer (I've had my box for almost a year now). 

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. Please Tag me on Twitter or Instagram with your salad recreations. I would also love to hear your creative suggestions below on what else you think would go well with this salad. I am always up for new things!

Claire