DIY Dresser Makeover! (+VLOG)

Last weekend I set myself a little project. It was my first weekend off since returning to work, so I wanted to make the most of my time even though I’d had the guts of 8 weeks off to do whatever I wanted…

The main reason for this is because I’d actually ordered the items I needed for this makeover on Amazon 2 weeks previous to returning to work, but of course because the way things are in the world, online deliveries are taking a little bit longer than usual.

I got the dresser about a month ago, after trading it with a neighbour for my older dresser (it came up in conversation that I was looking for what they had and vice versa, so we swapped), which was over 5 foot wide with six drawers in it, but it was just too wide for my room. As much as I loved my new dresser, it was preowned, so it had a few blemishes and scratches on it, so it was in need of some TLC. I got the idea when I got message off my cousin suggesting that I should paint it black and put some gold handles on it! I instantly loved the idea and hopped onto Amazon to see what I could find.

V33 110807 Easy Furniture Paint, Carbon Black Satin, 500ml https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07KST827G/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tau_A3oYEb9FXF76X

Finding the black paint was no issue— I got a tub of ‘carbon black’ furniture paint in a satin finish which is just what I wanted. My room is very industrial/rustic in style, so this was the perfect choice, as I have plenty of other black coloured items in my room for it to match with. When it came to looking for some gold handles to replace the old ones on the dresser, this wasn’t as easy. The few that I saw on Amazon were either really expensive and/or there wasn’t enough of them. I needed 10 handles in total, and handles seem to either only come in packs of 6, 10 or 12, which made it difficult as it narrowed down my selection. After a bit of looking around on Amazon, the site finally made a suggestion, like they sometimes do if they see you’re looking for particular items, and it suggested these white handles with an abstract floral skull design on it and I fell in love with them straight away. What was even better was it was a 10 pack, and it was super cheap too— £8.99 for 10 handles, with free shipping!

Kaizen Casa Cabinet Knobs Round Skull Skeleton Head Drawer Dresser Handles Kitchen Cabinet Round Pulls Hardware https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07TJJC2CZ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tau_z6oYEbH3KS3VH

All that was left to do was wait for the items to arrive, which was last Thursday, if I’m not mistaken, and then I set to work on the dresser on the Saturday. It wasn’t too difficult of a job. The hardest part was sanding it down. I’m not sure what it was coated in previously, but it wasn’t that thick, but it was a bit shiny, so I needed quite a gritty sandpaper to get a good grip of removing it. Once the sanding was done, the drawers and old handles were removed, and the surfaces wiped down, I got to painting.

I think I’m about halfway at the point of this picture >.<

I didn’t have a primer to hand, and it was suggested that maybe I should prime it first, so what I did was first painted a thin enough layer of the paint onto the dresser and let that dry before then going in with the main coats of paint.

And voila, one complete makeover of a dresser! I absolutely love how it turned out, and it was so easy to do—I’m creative, but not the handiest when it comes to things like this—and it wasn’t too expensive either. It all came to a total of €30 give or take a euro or two, once you throw in the sandpaper, brushes, etc, which I either had in my shed, or picked up cheap in a local shop which sells anything and everything at really good prices.

That’s it for this week! Have you done any DIY’s or makeovers recently? Le me know in the comments, and I’ll see you all next week 🙂


#PlasticFreeJuly2019: Reduce Plastic in the Bathroom!

So as we continue on with #PlasticFreeJuly2019, I thought that I’d share another aspect that I am trying to improve on, and that is removing the amount of plastic I use in the bathroom. Believe it or not, the bathroom is one of the biggest culprits for the amount of plastic we use and waste, and when you go looking, there are actually so many easy replacements.

Plastic waste is a problem in the bathroom – from toothpaste tubes to shampoo bottles. … If you’re trying to reduce your own plastic waste, one place you may feel a little stumped is in the bathroom. When it comes to hygiene and beauty products, plastic packaging is often hard to avoid  — from friendsoftheearth.uk

One of the first things I replaced in my bathroom was the soap. I stopped using dispenser soap and went back to the traditional bar of soap. Yes, those old things, remember those? The one I use, and in fact, most of the products I use in the bathroom is by Bull Dog. Along with the bar of soap, I also use their moisturizer, face wash and stubble moisturizer.

The bar of soap, straight away depletes a plastic soap dispenser from our bathroom, and the bar comes in cardboard packaging, making it recyclable. As for the moisturisers and face wash, the ‘plastics’ that Bull Dog use are made from sugarcane.

The tubes that Bulldog’s products come in are different. That’s because Bulldog is the first male skincare brand in the world to use sugarcane as a raw material in our packaging. So instead of using plastic from fossil fuels, Bulldog’s tubes use sugarcane plastic, made from Brazilian sugarcane, a renewable source that needs little more than natural rainfall to grow. — from bulldogskincare.com/sugarcane

Images via bulldogskincare.com

Each year skincare companies use lots of plastic in their packaging. Most of this plastic is made from fossil fuels, which are non-renewable and release carbon dioxide which contributes to global warming. — bulldogskincare.com

Next up Processed with VSCO with n2 presetis my toothbrush. I’ve stopped buying standard plastic toothbrushes, and instead have replaced mine with a biodegradable plastic alternative. I’ll be the first to put my hands up and say, yes its not a plastic free alternative, but it’s still an alternative. I did try the bamboo toothbrush everyone is going mad for, but I can’t stand the texture of it, personally, so I found this biodegradable plastic alternative. Ironically, I now can’t find them on Amazon (maybe the seller removed the listing?) but the packaging did insist it was biodegradable–hopefully I wasn’t deceived.

Approximately a billion brushes are thrown away in the United States annually — that’s 50 million pounds of waste. Roughly 3.5 billion brushes are sold worldwide each year — they all have to go somewhere, and that somewhere is usually landfill. It’s staggering to comprehend. But we can change it. — via Susan Goldberg on medium.com

Along with my toothbrush, I also just recently switched out my toothpaste and mouthwash. In the past couple of months I’ve been following a small little starter company on Instagram called Green Outlook, and I finally placed my first order there last week and picked up a few bits, including toothpaste and mouthwash.

https://www.greenoutlook.ie/product-category/bathroom/

These alternatives are much better than your standard shop bought toothpaste and mouthwash. They don’t contain fluoride, so they’re less abrasive on your teeth and the packaging they come in is completely plastic free. With the toothpaste you simply apply a pea sized amount to your toothbrush with the supplied wooden spatula, and the mouthwash comes in capsules that you dissolve in 20ml of water and rinse and gargle like you normally would with regular mouthwash.

There are so many other replacements too, including using roll-on deodorant instead of aerosols, avoiding plastic packaging by buying alternatives, and basically just being more conscious of how and what you use in the bathroom. I recommend checking out GreenOutlook.ie for all they have to offer in being plastic free–everything on there has zero plastic and even the packaging it’s delivered in is from recycled materials.

I could go on forever, but I feel like that’s enough for now to bombard you guys with. If you’ve any questions, feel free to ask them and I’ll answer to the best of my abilities.

If you’re getting fed up with my #PlasticFreeJuly2019 posts, this may be the last one — no promises though!

😉

Easy Homemade Cold Brew Coffee in 3 Simple Steps!

Last month I shared with you guys how to make yourselves an Easy Homemade Iced Latte in 3 Simple Steps. Today I want to share with you a cold coffee that doesn’t require as much effort, but you might have to wait a little longer for this one.

Before I go any further, I want to clear something up: an iced coffee and cold brew coffee are not the same thing! An iced coffee, is hot coffee poured over ice, whereas a cold brew coffee is coffee that has been made with nothing but cold water.

Generally with cold brew coffee, you make it from coffee beans, or ground coffee beans, if that’s how you buy them. You grind your beans and pour cold water over them and then place it in your fridge overnight and that’s when the magic happens. By letting the coffee sit overnight (8-12 hrs) it takes a lot of the bitterness and acidity that can be associated with coffee away, leaving you with a nice cold coffee beverage. Let’s get on with the how to then, shall we:


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Step 1

So like I said you’re going to need coffee beans, or ground coffee. Anywhere between 50g-80g of the stuff depending on how strong you like your coffee. If your beans are ground already, you’re good to go to the next step, otherwise get your beans, and ground ’em up to the consistency you desire.

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Weigh your coffee!

Step 2

Next you’re going to take those ground coffee beans and pour them into a french press, preferably a larger one as opposed to the one-man french press. The reason for this is you’re now going to pour 400-500ml of cold water in on top of your grounds. Get yourself a spoon or a utensil now and give the grounds a stir, making sure they’re all soaked by the water.

Place the top of the french press on your coffee but do NOT plunge YET and place in your fridge for 8-12 hours. I recommend doing this the night before, before you go to bed.

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My french press with coffee waiting to be chilled in fridge

Step 3

Rise and shine friends, it’s coffee time! After your time is up, remove the french press from the fridge. Now you can plunge that coffee, but make sure you do it slowly. I don’t know why but they always recommend you plunge the coffee slowly.

You’ll want to have a container/vessel of some some sort handy to pour and store the cold brew in. I recommend something that can hold 300-400ml, as that 400-500ml of water you poured in last night has now condensed and been soaked up by the coffee grounds.

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Keep your cold brew chilled in the fridge for upto a week!

Get your glass, a couple of ice cubes (to your liking and depending on how big your ice cubes are, I personally go for anywhere between 4-8) and your cold brew. Pour the cold brew in on top of the ice, but don’t go all the way. You’re going to only want to go halfway, because you’re not done yet. Next you need to pour about an espresso sized cup of water in on top of the cold brew, otherwise it’s going to be like drinking concentrated fruit juice without diluting it with water, if you catch my drift. The water dilutes it enough that it’s drinkable. You’re good to go from there, stick a reusable straw in it and off you go, or if you’re like me you can add a dash of milk and/or whatever way you take your coffee, sweeteners, syrups etc.

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Cheers!


There you have it: you’re own homemade cold brew coffee! The best thing about it is, you should have enough in that batch for 2-3 more beverages, and even better news: it will keep in your fridge for 1-2 weeks! So you only have to do all this once or twice a week, depending on how much you love cold brew–if you’re like me it’ll prob be 3 times a week!

😉

 

#PlasticFreeJuly2019: Stop Food Waste

Two weeks ago I made about #PlasticFreeJuly: Be More Enviromentally Friendly, and how July is being a month of awareness of how much waste we produce on this little planet of ours. While plastic is one of the massive causes, food is also a massive thing that we are wasting in our everyday lives, and that’s what I want to highlight in today’s post.

Last Monday I ventured off to a talk all about how to stop food waste and how to be more sustainable with our food/food waste. It was a very interesting talk hosted by Taz Kelleher, co-founder of Sustainable Fashion Dublin, and from that she has created Sustainable Food Dublin; along with her she had Dee Laffan of Food and Wine Ireland, Eoin Cluskey from Bread41 Dublin, and Stop Waste Ireland all sharing their tips and tricks on how you can be more aware of what you are wasting.

LRM_EXPORT_50646465177112_20190711_145210556
The 1st Sustainable Food Dublin talk

Here are some of the key things I took from the talk:

  • The making of 1 quarter-pounder burger = a 90 minute shower!
  • Even if a cup, plastic or paper, says it’s decompose-able unless you recycle it properly/put it in a compost bin, it’s actually causing more damage to the environment, due to the gasses the cup emits while in general waste. You’re better off just using reusable cups and bottles.
  • While shopping, try and avoid foods that are wrapped in plastic. If you can buy your fruits and veg loose, it’s much better than buying them in plastic. Some supermarkets allow you to discard of plastic off their produce at checkout and sometimes even have bins provided.
  • Composting is key to fueling our planets natural resources.
  • Try and avoid processed foods whenever possible.
  • Be the solution, not the problem. If you feel overwhelmed with all these new things, try take on even just 1 new habit every month. Start with reusable cups this month. Something else next month, and so on until these habits are everyday life.

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leaflets we were given at the talk

Solutions to Help Prevent Food Waste:

  • Plan your meals for the week before going shopping. Only buy as you need, never ‘just in case’.
  • Try keeping leftover foods in clear containers. You’re more likely to want to use the food quicker before it goes bad if you can see what’s in the container as opposed to coloured containers, or containers you can’t see through.
  • Try not go by best before/use by dates. Use your senses to your advantage, sight, smell and taste. Just because produce says use by 07/12/19, it’s not automatically going to go expire at midnight.
  • Buy local, buy fresh. When buying meat and fruit and veg, try shop from your local butcher, markets, and fishmongers. Also don’t be afraid to ask questions about where the produce is from.

4 Key Things You Can Do To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint:

  • Eat Less Meat — Try having one meat free day a week.
  • Buy Seasonally — find out what fruits and veg grow in each season, and try to eat them when they’re ‘in season’, as that’s when they are at their best.
  • Buy Local — buy from your local butcher, fishmonger and markets, as opposed to buying from massive supermarket chains.
  • Cut down your food waste. There’s very little food that can’t go in your food waste bin, but that doesn’t mean we should just chuck it in there. Try freezing leftover portions, or heck even feed it to the dog (once its safe for them of course).

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Free kombucha was given at the talk. I’m now reusing the bottle for my cold brew coffee.


Our generation are probably one of the most wasteful generations in existence, and it’s now more than ever that we need to become more and more aware of what we’re consuming, how we’re consuming and what we’re going to do to change that going into the future!

If you’ve any questions, feel free to ask, and I’ll answer to the best of my ability, and if I can’t answer, I’ll veer you in the right direction!

🙂

#PlasticFreeJuly: Be More Enviromentally Friendly

In the past few months, I’ve been trying to do my bit and reduce the amount of plastic waste I use in my every day life. Now, in today’s world, it’s not the easiest thing to do with plastic being almost everywhere, but at the same time, it’s not impossible and there are solutions and alternatives to stuff we use and buy every day.

I’m hopping on the #PlasticFreeJuly bandwagon, making sure I use, purchase and waste as little plastic as I physically can. Like I mentioned, I have been trying to do this over the past couple of months, so I do have a little advantage, but for those of you who feel like you would also like to join me on doing our bit to make our planet a little better, here are my tips, tricks, solutions etc.:

Coffee Cups & Water Bottles

This is probably one of the easiest things you could do starting today! How many plastic bottles do you go through? Just think about it. How many to-go coffees do you get every week? Imagine if you had a reusable coffee cup or water bottle. How many cups would you have not used? How many plastic bottles would you have avoided? If it’s between 5-7 of each, then you’re part of the problem. Get yourself a reusable coffee cup and reusable water bottle the next time you’re out. They’re not that hard to find. Most cafe’s now offer the option to purchase a reusable coffee cup while queuing, and even better again, some offer a discount if you hand them a reusable coffee cup when you order your coffee. As for the water bottle, you can get them almost anywhere. What size you get is completely up to you. I have a 500 ml bottle, a 1 litre bottle and a 2 litre bottle, and which one I use depends on what kind of day I’m going to have.

  • Disposable paper cups contain 5% polyurethane plastic, making composting and recycling of disposable cups extremely rare. — from ecoffecup.eco
  • Half a trillion disposable cups are manufactured annually around the world; that’s over 70 disposable cups for every person on the planet. — from ecoffecup.eco
  • Just one person switching to a reusable water bottle keeps 2,580 balloons of CO2 out of the air per year. Drinking from reusable water bottles can be safer then disposable bottles. For instance, a glass or stainless steel option won’t contain BPA, a harmful chemical used when making some plastics. — from add-impact.com

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Straws

Yes, that’s one of my iced lattes from a few blog posts ago and yes, that was indeed a stainless steel straw in the photo. Plastic straws were on of the first things I cut out when I started, and it’s also super easy to replace them, and it’s only going to get easier as more and more companies are replacing plastic with paper straws. For those of us at home it’s super easy too, paper straws are the common replacement, but for those who aren’t 100% keen on paper, you can also get other alternatives like bamboo and stainless steel straws, like pictured above. I bought my steel straws in TK Maxx, but I know lots of places are now selling them like Sostrene Grene and Flying Tiger have the paper straws.

  • In just the U.S. alone, one estimate suggests 500 million straws are used every single day. One study published earlier this year estimated as many as 8.3 billion plastic straws pollute the world’s beaches. Eight million tons of plastic flow into the ocean every year, and straws comprise just 0.025 percent of that. — from nationalgeographic.com

Shopping Bags & Produce

“A bag for life”. How many times have you seen that written on your plastic ‘reusable’ shopping bags, only to end up bringing it home and throwing it away. When it comes to shopping, try bring a reusable bag that’s not a plastic bag, or even better, try not accept a plastic bag. Most places offer a paper bag alternative, or even better, bring your own! I use this tote bag I picked up in Penney’s a while back, and if I know I’m going to be picking up a few bits, I’ll bring a backpack with me too. As for produce, this is a recent endeavor for me, where I’m more conscious about what I’m picking up and how it’s packaged. Now-a-days all our fruits and veg seem to come wrapped in plastic–why? What’s wrong with the non-plastic wrapped version? I’ll also try refrain from putting the veg into the small plastic bags they offer to put said fruit and veg in–there’s no need for it!

  • Reusable bags are sturdier than disposable bags. Each reusable shopping bag has the potential to eliminate the use of 1,000 plastic bags over its lifetime. Reusable bags are durable enough to be used for much more than just shopping trips. — from sites.psu.edu

Those are just some of the tips I have to share with you folks, I could probably spout on about so much more, but I don’t want to bore you guys. Hopefully I’ve gotten it across to you guys that it’s so important that we become more enviromentally conscious in everything we do, because unfortunately we can’t help that plastic is everywhere–heck, it’s even in the very air we breathe!

Easy Homemade Iced Latte in 3 Simple Steps!

Hi everyone, and welcome back to the blog! I know it’s been a few weeks since my last post, but I’m back, and have a few blog posts lined up for the next few weeks, enjoy!

Today I’m sharing with you how I make my very own homemade iced latte’s! It’s so simple, and all you need is coffee, your coffee making tools, some milk and ice!

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All Photos © Dean Kealy

I’ve been making these on and off over the last few months, and I feel like I’m finally confident enough to share with you a recipe/method in which everyone who loves iced coffees will enjoy!

Step 1

Make your coffee! This is the easy part. Simply make yourself a cup of black coffee, whichever way you prefer, whether it’s with a french press, a cafetiere, with a machine or bog standard instant coffee. Make sure it’s not a massive mug though, we only need less than half a cup of coffee.

Next, your going to take 3-4 ice cubes and pop them in your freshly brewed coffee, and swish it about until the ice cubes have just about melted.

Step 1.5: (optional)

This is the point where if you like sweet coffee, you’re going to want to add your sweetener or flavorings now! Personally I enjoy mine with a teaspoon of honey, but you can add a syrup of your choice if you like. Simply add it to the coffee you’ve cooled, and stir.

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Froth your milk

Step 2

The next step is to froth your milk, and make it nice and fluffy, to really make it the ‘latte’ part of the drink. Take your milk, any kind will do, I personally use non-dairy (almond, coconut, soya etc), but normal dairy milk works too. What you want is about a 2/3rd ratio to your coffee. To froth it, simply pour the milk into a french press, and plunge it consistently for about 30 seconds until it gets nice and fluffy. If you don’t have a french press: you can pop the milk into a leak proof container or a protein shaker, and shake the crap out of it until it goes fluffy.

 

Step 3

We’re on the home stretch now. Pour your cooled coffee into a glass, mason jar, whatever you want, and pop as much ice as you like in with it. Next, your going to take that lovely frothy milk, but instead of just pouring it directly in on top of your coffee, you’re going to take a table spoon, and pour the milk over the tablespoon in on top of the coffee. This make the milk sit on top of the coffee and drip down into it giving a really visual effect.

Final Step:

Grab yourself a reusable straw (no plastic here thank you very much!), pop it into your iced latte, and don’t forget to Instagram the shit out of that thing, because damn! Now you can enjoy your very own homemade iced latte!

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Enjoy!