Monday, February 28, 2011

More to Catch Up On


I've been really enjoying my time in California, and having lots of fun sightseeing and shopping. My husband and I just returned from a lovely weekend in the Napa Valley too (watch this space for more details). Meanwhile, there has been a lot going on back at my main site, The 21st Century Housewife.


My recipe for Colourful Sweet and Spicy Coleslaw has been featured by Rebecca Jean over at Midnight Maniac’s Meatless Mondays today.  Please do go and visit and if you have a meatless recipe you can link up to this great carnival. 


Two weekends ago we were in San Francisco and enjoyed breakfast overlooking the city at the top of the Fairmont Hotel - you can read more about our experience here.

Also do please check out some more of last week’s recipes including




Nigella Lawson’s Maple Pecan Bundt Cake


And my Haddock with Guacamole Rice – a delicious way to use up leftover guacamole.

Wishing everyone a great week! 

Putting the Environment First with Ecover and the Observer Ethical Awards


Lucy Siegle, Mick Bremens, Colin Firth and The Recyclists (last year's winners of the Ecover Ethical Kids Award)

It’s official…the ‘green Oscars’ are back. The sixth Observer Ethical Awards, in association with Ecover, have been launched with an all-star judging panel whose eco credentials are truly second to none – including Ecover’s very own managing director Mick Bremens and marketing manager Clare Allman as well as Oscar winning actor Colin Firth and model Lily Cole.

The awards recognise organisations, individuals and young people whose work makes day-to-day ethical living more accessible and achievable. Recognition for this work is vital to a more ethical future, so Ecover is once again proud to be the headline sponsor.

Last year’s winners include Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who beat Jamie Oliver and Joanna Lumley to take the title of Campaigner of the Year for his Landshare project. This year the public can once again vote to decide who will join Hugh in the eco limelight as Campaigner of the Year, as well as voting for the best ethical Local Retailer, Online Retailer and Global Campaigner.

Mick Bremens, managing director of Ecover, comments: "The Observer Ethical Awards are a hugely exciting project for us to be involved with and we are looking forward to seeing which innovative, inspirational and likeminded organisations and individuals will win this year. Our hope is that through our day-to-day work and support of the awards we will encourage many more people to follow an ethical way of living."

As always members of the public are able to nominate the best and brightest individuals, organisations or companies who continually strives to put the environment first, then visit www.observer.co.uk/ethicalawards to register your nomination.

You could win one of a host of amazing eco prizes just for registering your vote, but get in there quick as voting closes on 11th March.

If you want to keep up with the latest Observer Ethical Awards news, click here and ‘Like’ Ecover’s page.
  

Friday, February 25, 2011

Feed Me Tweet Me Follow Me Home Blog Hop #8


I’m very pleased to be co-hosting this foodie blog hop with the Hella D of Helladelicious and Alex of A Moderate Life.

The linky is called Feed Me, Tweet Me, Follow Me Home and it is a true blog hop. This means, that if YOU wish to run the hop on your blog, all you have to do is get the linky code from the bottom of this page and list it on your blog for your readers to join in.

The rules are very simple, because it is a “follow me” linky.

Just enter your link to your blog below, Follow me on Twitter and ‘Like’ The 21st Century Housewife on Facebook. Or you can follow me here in the side bar or at The 21st Century Housewife’s Kitchen.

I will follow everyone back, but if I happen to miss you please drop me an email or comment letting me know where you have followed or ‘liked’ my blogs, and I will follow or 'like' you back. 

You can use your blog badge or any photo you like from your blog as your thumbnail and you can link up any time during the week. Visit as many other blogs as you can, follow their blog, grab their tweets and RSS feed if you do not already. If you do grab their info, please leave them a comment so they know they have a new friend. If someone visits you from Feed Me, and grabs your info, please return the favour- It’s a great way to increase your followers and promote your blog, so please pass the word around!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ada Zanditon and Ecover at London Fashion Week 2011




My favourite laundry brand, Ecover, loves fashion and as part of the ongoing partnership with cutting edge, eco-fashion designer Ada Zanditon, the fashion loving laundry brand supported Ada’s presentation at London Fashion Week when it opened on Friday 18th February.


Ada presented her AW11 collection ‘The Cryoflux’ at On|Off with a film inspired by the collection, directed by Andrew and William Ho. ‘The Cryoflux’ presents Ada’s most beautiful and wearable collection to date. You can view this amazing film by clicking here.

Ada’s collection features a range of dresses, from tailored influences to fluid looser asymmetric shift dresses. True to form, Ada has included a selection of sensational showpiece dresses, inspired by the captivating natural formations of the Antarctic broken, frozen waterfalls. Her pieces are striking, and I found many of them very covetable!

Emma Bennetts, brand manager for Ecover says: “We support Ada Zanditon as we believe it is important to help young designers bring their talent and creativity to the forefront of the industry. Her designs are always innovative, stunning and cutting edge. Ada considers the environmental and ethical impact of fashion, sourcing ways to minimise these effects in her design processes. At Ecover, we also work hard to ensure that our products are ecological with minimum impact on the world around us, so working with someone like Ada is a natural fit with the fashion world.” Ecover’s new laundry range has been developed with the fashion conscience in mind, and has a gentle yet powerful product to care and clean every type of fabric.

I’m looking forward to watching Ada Zanditon as she continues to evolve as a designer. I’m sure her future collections are going to be something to look forward to!



The 21st Century Housewife has not been paid for this post.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Great Start to The Week



There’s a new Meatless Monday recipe back at my main blog The 21st Century Housewife today – Colourful Spicy Sweet Coleslaw is a side dish you will make again and again. It's a great way to use up ends of veggies, and it's so addictively tasty, I’ve been known to eat it standing at the fridge with a fork straight out of the bowl!!


Also, I’ve been featured on Veggie Converter’s wonderful Meatless (Vegan) Mondays today! Kristi’s blog is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to include more vegetarian and vegan meals in their diet, and especially for those who have vegetarian, omnivore and/or vegan ‘blended families’!

Here’s to a great week!

Hats Off To Levi's


Like most moms, I almost live in jeans. It’s acceptable to wear them in all but the most formal of places these days and I love them because they are easy to dress up or down with different tops and accessories. A well fitting, comfortable pair of jeans is a joy to wear.

But finding said pair of well fitting, comfortable jeans can be a nightmare, and shopping for them can be soul destroying. Most jeans advertising features air brushed waif-like models, and gives the impression that no one over the age of thirty should even consider denim. Well, I’m definitely not waif-like and I am definitely over thirty, so this can mean that I sometimes wear a pair of good fitting, quality jeans till they literally fall to pieces.

But this week I discovered something wonderful - Levi’s Curve ID.

It was the advertising in the window of the Levi’s store that gave me the courage to walk through the door. It was talking about women with curves - and jeans that would actually fit them. And fit they do. The wonderful salesgirl who helped me made sure that the jeans I bought fit like a glove, without feeling uncomfortably tight or binding in places I would really rather not mention. It was a revelation.

Slight curve, demi curve, bold curve or supreme curve, these jeans are designed so they sit in exactly the right place on your body, and don’t gap at the waist. You can measure yourself at home or be measured in store to find out your Curve ID. Do be aware that sometimes your actual Curve ID isn’t the one you will be measured as. I’m officially a demi curve, but actually, it’s the bold curve jeans that fit me better, fitting me better than jeans have ever fit me before. However the sales staff could not have been more helpful and finding the correct size was easy. I walked out of the store with not one but two pairs of well fitting jeans feeling great about how I looked - and I can honestly say that is the first time in years I have walked out of a jeans store feeling that way!

See the Levi's advertisement at the top of this post? All those women are wearing jeans with a 32 waist - and they all look great.  Well done Levi's! Admittedly many of the models in other Levis advertising are still incredibly thin, but this advertisement is a hugely welcome step towards the diversity being promoted by parts of the fashion industry, organisations like  All Walks Beyond the Catwalk and bloggers like me that other retailers would do well to pay heed to.

So if you are dreading your next shopping trip for jeans, get yourself to your nearest Levi's store.. If your experience is anything like mine, not only will you find great fitting jeans, you will walk out of the store feeling great - and how often does that happen when you are shopping for jeans?!



The 21st Century Housewife has not been paid for this post. When I find something this good, I like to share! And I’m delighted to report that Levi's Curve ID jeans are also available in the UK and Europe!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Guest Posting



I’m guest posting at Alea’s blog, Premeditated Leftovers today. Please do go and visit - there are two quick and easy Snack Cake recipes to try - Chocolate and Banana or Carrot , Walnut and Ginger.

I’ve also got a new post published over at Miss Simplee Sufficient, so please do check that out too.

Have a lovely Sunday!

San Francisco For The Weekend



We have come into San Francisco for the weekend, and are staying at the lovely Fairmont Hotel San Francisco on Nob Hill. We are having a wonderful time despite the virtually constant torrential rain, although it is making sightseeing difficult. Having said that, San Francisco is a fabulous place to shop anytime, and the rain is making shopping the perfect activity! I have found some seriously gorgeous shoes and some beautifully fitting jeans, as well as a few foodie delicacies at Williams Sonoma’s Artisanal Market this morning.

Here are some links to posts from previous visits to San Francisco, when the weather was a little more friendly for sightseeing!





Wherever you are, I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Feed Me Tweet Me Follow Me Home Blog Hop



I’m very pleased to be co-hosting this foodie blog hop with the Hella D of Helladelicious and Alex of A Moderate Life.

The linky is called Feed Me, Tweet Me, Follow Me Home and it is a true blog hop. This means, that if YOU wish to run the hop on your blog, all you have to do is get the linky code from the bottom of this page and list it on your blog for your readers to join in.

The rules are very simple, because it is a “follow me” linky.

Just enter your link to your blog below, Follow me on Twitter and ‘Like’ The 21st Century Housewife on Facebook. Or you can follow me at here or at The 21st Century Housewife’s Kitchen. I’ve just joined Networked Blogs, so you can follow either or both of those blogs on Networked Blogs if you like too. I will follow you back, and if you drop me an email letting me know where you have followed or ‘liked’ my blogs, I will follow you back in all those places. You can use your blog badge as your thumbnail if you wish and you can link up any time during the week.

Visit as many other blogs as you like, to make new friends and follow their blog, grab their tweets and RSS feed if you do not already. If you do grab their info, please leave them a comment so they know they have a new friend. If someone visits you from Feed Me, and grabs your info, please return the favour- It’s a great way to increase your followers and promote your blog, so please pass the word around!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

You Are What You Wear - Ecover at London Fashion Week 2011


Once again, my favourite ecological laundry brand, Ecover, are going to be a big part of London fashion week. As part of their ongoing partnership with cutting edge, eco-fashion designer Ada Zanditon, the fashion loving laundry brand Ecover will support Ada’s presentation at the On|Off on Friday 18th February.

Ada will present her AW11 collection ‘The Cryoflux’ with a film inspired by the collection, directed by Andrew and William Ho. ‘The Cryoflux’ presents Ada’s most beautiful and wearable collection to date.  

Ada’s clothes are beautiful with a fabulous modern twist, and I’m really excited to see more of her collection which features a range of dresses, from tailored influences to fluid looser asymmetric shift dresses. True to form, Ada has included a selection of sensational showpiece dresses, inspired by the captivating natural formations of the Antarctic’s broken, frozen waterfalls.

Ecover’s new laundry range has been developed with the fashion conscience in mind, and has a gentle yet powerful product to care and clean every type of fabric.

Emma Bennetts, brand manager for Ecover says: “We are supporting Ada Zanditon as we believe it is important to help young designers bring their talent and creativity to the forefront of the industry. Her designs are always innovative, stunning and cutting edge; we cannot wait to see what Ada will deliver this season.

“Ada considers the environmental and ethical impact of fashion, sourcing ways to minimise these effects in her design processes. At Ecover, we also work hard to ensure that our products are ecological with minimum impact on the world around us, so working with someone like Ada is a natural fit with the fashion world.”


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What's Up At The 21st Century Housewife


There are lots of new posts back at my main site, and I’d love for you to check them out.

Need some hints and tips? Here’s a post about my Top Kitchen Hints and Tips, with a link to even more hints and tips for all around your home.


Think making pizza from scratch is hard? It really isn’t, and it’s even easier if you use a bread maker for the dough. Here’s my recipe for Pizza Dough in the Bread Maker!


Hope you are having a wonderful week. I'm off to California tomorrow, and I'll be blogging from there for the next couple weeks, so watch this space!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Feed Me Tweet Me Follow Me Home #6


I’m very excited to be co-hosting a new blog hop with the wonderful Alex of A Moderate Life.

The linky is called Feed Me, Tweet Me, Follow Me Home and it is a true blog hop. This means, that if YOU wish to run the hop on your blog, all you have to do is get the linky code from the bottom of this page and list it on your blog for your readers to join in.

The rules are very simple, because it is a “follow me” linky.

Just enter your link below, Follow me on Twitter and ‘Like’ The 21st Century Housewife on Facebook. You can also follow this blog and /or follow me on Networked Blogs, by clicking on the 'follow' buttons in the sidebar of this blog. I will follow you back.

You can use your blog badge as your thumbnail if you wish and you can link up any time during the week.

Visit as many other blogs as you like, to make new friends and follow their blog, grab their tweets and RSS feed if you do not already. If you do grab their info, please leave them a comment so they know they have a new friend. If someone visits you from Feed Me, and grabs your info, please return the favour - it's a great way to increase your followers and promote your blog!






Wednesday, February 09, 2011

What's Cooking Back At The 21st Century Housewife

There’s lots of cooking going on this week over at my main site - The 21st Century Housewife.




There’s a great new meatless dish from Meatless Monday - Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers.

And a lovely comforting family meal that is great on a cold evening – traditional British Sausages and Mash with a delicious Madeira Onion Gravy.

Hope you are having a great week so far!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

More From Last Week on The 21st Century Housewife


Here are some more of the posts from last week on my main site, The 21st Century Housewife


Check out these easy and delicious Homemade Salad Dressings


Easy Omelettes are wonderful for Sunday Brunch, or for easy mid-week meals.


Special Cherry Tomato Bruschetta make a great snack or light lunch – and would be perfect for Super Bowl Sunday!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!


Thursday, February 03, 2011

Feed Me, Tweet Me, Follow Me Home



I’m very excited to be co-hosting a foodie blog hop with the wonderful Alex of A Moderate Life.

The new linky is called Feed Me, Tweet Me, Follow Me Home and it is a true blog hop. This means, that if YOU wish to run the hop on your blog, all you have to do is get the linky code from the bottom of this page and list it on your blog for your readers to join in.

The rules are very simple, because it is a “follow me” linky.

Just enter your link below, Follow me on Twitter and ‘Like’ The 21st Century Housewife on Facebook. I will follow you back. You can also follow this blog on Google Friend Connect if you like. I’ve just started to include the Friend Connect Widget after all these years so it would be nice to see some more followers!

Do hop on over and visit Alex at A Moderate Life as well!

You can use your blog badge as your thumbnail if you wish and you can link up any time during the week.

Visit as many other blogs as you like, to make new friends and follow their blog, grab their tweets and RSS feed if you do not already. If you do grab their info, please leave them a comment so they know they have a new friend. If someone visits you from Feed Me, and grabs your info, please return the favour!


Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Accepting Ourselves As We Are



It’s a passion of mine to encourage women to accept themselves as they are in their lives right now. Life is definitely is far too short not to love the skin you are in. Like so many others I have struggled with self-esteem – even anorexia in my teens - so I know how very hard this can be. This isn’t the first time I have written about this issue on The 21st Century Housewife -  I wrote Just As You Are about three years ago now and it continues to be as relevant today as it was then.

As someone who cares deeply about self esteem in women, I’ve long been a fan of Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty and I welcomed Bobbi Brown’s Pretty Powerful campaign. But it also seems that the fashion industry are finally getting the news that beauty comes in all shapes, colours, sizes and ages. Thanks to an initiative called All Walks Beyond the Catwalk founded by Caryn Franklin, a British fashion writer and broadcaster, Debra Bourne, a fashion consultant and Erin O’Connor, a model and designer, there is a great move afoot inside the British fashion industry. The All Walks mission is “to expand upon the imagery coming out of London Fashion Week and mirror a more realistic range of women, in age, size and race, than standards currently offer.” In the words of the three co-founders “Beauty is individual. It’s not restricted by race, shape, age or size.”

On the 11th February, from 6 to 10pm, All Walks are curating an exhibition called ‘Snapped’ at the National Portrait Gallery in London.  It contains nine specially commissioned fashion portraits by Rankin. Featuring  women of all sizes and shapes wearing looks by designers Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, Giles Deacon and Matthew Williamson, the portraits will be displayed throughout the Gallery. Debates, soundscapes, illustration masterclasses, a photo booth and many other events mean that this evening promises to be one to remember, and one that I hope will create the beginnings of a change in attitude that will travel around the globe.

However, while magazines and advertisers still insist on ‘enhancing’ even the most beautiful of women as a matter of course, and while many designers still espouse the ethos that beauty only goes up to size 6, there is still a long way to go. And one of the only ways we can really see the kind of change we need is if we help to make it happen ourselves.

But how can we do this?

First of all, we need to really begin to accept ourselves just as we are. I know it is hard to resist the media, critical voices around (and even inside) you, but this is an integral part of growing as human beings. How can you sustain personal growth if you are constantly tearing yourself down about your appearance? We need to stop criticising our own appearances, and stop teaching our children to criticise theirs by our example.

We then need to begin to celebrate the beauty in every woman, no matter what her age, size or race. We also need to resist the media culture that uses appearance as a weapon against those in the public eye, which in turn encourages us to criticise other women.

The next step is to insist that the media and advertisers see the diversity that exists in beauty too by using our power as consumers. When questioned, magazine editors insist that women like to see images that have been altered using photographic techniques. Really? I honestly don’t know any woman who would actually agree to that. In truth, the reason they don’t want to stop using these enhanced images is because it is all part of how advertisers encourage us to spend our money.  When we are wracked with self esteem issues it makes us an easy targets for this kind of hard sell. And only we can make it stop.

One of the only really effective ways to do this is through how we spend our money, because that is often the only language retailers and advertisers can understand. If we support brands who use a variety of women of all shapes, sizes and ages in their advertising over other brands who do not, perhaps the message will begin to get through. And this goes for fashion retailers and even top line designers as well. Whether we are shopping at Target or on Rodeo Drive, we as consumers have tremendous power to effect change.

In the words of retail consultant Mary Portas,

“It’s just bonkers to think that fashion is only fabulous on teenage models – it’s even more bonkers, commercially, to think that is where the money is.”

If we spend our money with brands and designers who support a healthy attitude to beauty – and avoid spending money with those who don’t - we can encourage the industry to change. And I dearly hope that as time goes by, more and more industry greats will adopt a healthier attitude towards the models they use and the images they promote. Variety is, after all, the spice of life.

Know in your heart that you are uniquely beautiful. Don’t let anyone or anything convince you otherwise. The media want you to buy things and others might want any number of things. They might want to make themselves feel better by putting you down, or perhaps to make themselves feel needed because you feel you need them to ‘fix’ you. They might even want to sell you something. Either way, anyone who tries to tear you down definitely doesn’t have your best interests at heart - and they are definitely wrong. By all means aspire to be stronger, fitter and healthier, take care of your skin and your hair, and make the most of everything you are.
But above all, the most important thing is that you know, and actually believe, that you really, truly are beautiful just as you are right this minute.

I’ve done a mini guest post about this same topic over at A Moderate Life today as part of Baby Steps to A Rockin’ Life. Do please go and visit.


The 21st Century Housewife has not been paid for this post.