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Have a passion for interior design and plants, books and music, DIY and creative projects, arts and travelling.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

DIY: Coffee scrub

Recently I discovered a genius way of recycling - lovely body scrub made of used coffee grounds! Besides dried coffee grounds there are only two other ingredients: sugar and oil. The scrub with coffee gives extra stimulation to your skin not to mention the smell!


1 cup dried used coffee grounds
1 cup sugar
Approximately 1 cup of oil (here I used coconut oil, but any oil would do)

Mix all the ingredients and put in a jar. Enjoy!


Sunday, 20 September 2015

DIY: Lavender eye pillow

Recently I discovered the benefits of eye pillows, which has relaxing effects (I didn't even know that pillows for eyes existed!). These are used to relax after yoga, or just to fall asleep. I am really happy for mine with lavender fill (for extra relaxation). It is a very easy DIY project, which doesn't require too many ingredients or skills.

Use only the flowers and not the stems

1. Dried lavender flowers
2. Linseed
3. Some leftover fabric
4. Sewing machine, or you can also sew by hands (after all not much sewing is required for such a small pillow)
5. If you need even more aroma, you can add some lavender essential oil (for me that was't necessary)


1. Sew a small rectangular pillowcase (the size is up to you), leave a little opening for the filling.

2. Mix approximately equal amount of linseed and lavender flowers and fill in the pillowcase. I rolled  a paper tube to make it easier to put the mix in the pillow.

3. Sew the opening and voila!

I would suggest to make a separate removable pillowcase, so that you can change them and keep them clean.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Crochet pullover

The summer is almost over and it is soon time for cozy warm pullovers! After crocheting a huge blanket with bubble stitches and with some leftover yarn, I decided to get into another project, this time a pullover (in total match with my blanket! Wonder if anyone would find me under the blanket wearing the pullover).

The project is still in the process, but it is almost there!

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Crochet blanket. Finally!

After some months with on and off crocheting I finally managed to finish this blanket and damn satisfied with the result! 

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Easiest and healthiest breakfast

Today my day started with this superhealthy breakfast, which is so fresh and tasty! Not to mention the health benefits of chia seeds and berries! It has only few ingredients and easy to make. 

2 dl almond milk 
3 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla sugar 
A handful of fresh berries 

Mix almond milk with chia seeds and vanilla sugar. Let it stay in the fridge overnight. In the morning mix well and add a bit more almond milk if needed. Put the berries on top and viola! If you want it sweeter, add a little bit of honey. 

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Crochet craze - bubble stitch blanket

Working on a large crochet blanket with bubble stitches. Takes time and lots of money for yarn, but I know it will pay of! The bubble stitch looks complicated but quite easy really. I learned it from this video tutorial.

Friday, 19 June 2015

No food waste

Growing up I was taught that throwing out food is almost a sin. Not because I grew up in a communist Mongolia with deficits on some food, modest choices and likewise salary, but because we were taught that food is a result of hard work of people and throwing food means disrespect.  With years my view against food waste was strengthened by more arguments related to poverty and environment. I wouldn’t say that I am holy with it comes to food saving, but I do my best to keep up with it. Therefore I would like to share some of my tips to avoid food waste.

1.       Keep your food right and tight
Obviously keeping your food in a way to prolong their freshness is the must if you want to avoid food waste.
Keep most of your fruits in a room temperature. Some fruits and berries like it more cool, so keep your peaches, raspberries in the lowest compartment of your fridge. Apples can survive in 0 degrees Celsius, so if you had a good harvest, you can keep them in your garage away from humidity and light. Some veggies like squash, eggplants and pumpkins should be kept in a cooler place. Potatoes, garlic and onions tend to sprout out, so it is best to keep them in a dark and dry place.    

The dry foods like flour, rice, dried beans and lenses, dried pasta, sugar, salt can be kept way beyond the “expiry date” label. Just remember to keep them dry and cool and in well-sealed bags. If you are not sure if these are still fresh, use your nose – if it smells wrong, it should go out, if there is mould – out! Oils, vinegars, soya sauce, honey like to be kept in a cool and dark place.
Wheat bread should be kept in a plastic bag and in a room temperature. The rye bread likes cooler and dry place, so you can put it in a fridge.  

All dairy products should be kept in the fridge. If you serve milk with coffee, take out only what you need and avoid letting the milk cartoon standing on the table. It goes for butter as well and the butter should be kept in a container with a lead on.
It goes without saying that all the meat, fish and poultry should be kept in the fridge. Use them before the expiry date. But they can also be kept in a freezer, which will extend the expiry date. I usually divide the meat into smaller portions and put them in a freezer. This way, you defreeze only what you need and keep the rest of the meat fresh. If you defrosted fish once, you have to eat it, as you cannot freeze and defreeze it more than once.

2.       Wonder-freeze
You can freeze just about anything. Leftover food, fruits, veggies, spices, dairy and even eggs! The general rule is that you keep the food in the freezer for 3 months (although from my experience food kept for more than 3 months is perfectly edible and safe). Remember to put the food in well-sealed containers or plastic bags in order to avoid odour contamination from other food.

I make double portions of food and freeze the leftovers. That saves food and time for preparation, as you only have to warm the food. That is a lifesaver and much better alternative to the take-away pizza or kebab, when you come pretty crashed from work in the evenings and just can’t pull yourself together to cook. If you made just too many dumplings and ravioli, freeze them without cooking. If you have some leftover spiced up minced meat, make small meat balls for the next time.  
Frozen veggies and fruits have just as many vitamins as the fresh counterparts. If you have too much veggies lying around in the refrigerator, which are at risk of being thrown out, cut them and freeze them for next time! The fruits and berries the existence of which you forgot - cut and into the freezer for a healthy smoothie in the mornings. This way, you will save time and money! But do not freeze cucumber or uncooked potatoes!

Your fresh herbs and spices will keep freshness in the freezer, frozen chili pepper and ginger are almost as fresh and you don’t have to wait till they are defrosted. Fresh herbs can also be frozen in different ways. You can top up a little plastic cup with herbs and olive oil or mix the herbs with butter. You can also freeze the herbs in water. I make ice-cubes with fresh pieces of lemon and mint leaves.

If you have some pesto left – freeze them for the next time, but remember to put it in a plastic container or bag, as glass might break in the cold.
You can grate the cheese that you didn’t manage to use before its expiration date can perfectly be saved in the freezer for the next occasion pizza topping, lasagne or for cheese scones. You can also freeze thick cream in smaller portions to use for the sauces. Try also to mix yogurt with fruits and berries in a blender and freeze them in smaller containers – lovely substitute for ice-cream!
If you want to freeze eggs, you have to separate the egg white and yolk and freeze them separately. I must admit that I find the method of separating whites and yolks just to freeze them too much of a hustle. But the small packs with pasteurized yolks or whites can perfectly be kept in the freezer for later use.  

Fresh pasta is perfectly freezable as well.  It is also possible to keep the leftover dough in the freezer in a plastic bag, but I didn’t try to freeze bread dough myself, but all the homemade pasta, butter dough and dough for cookies are perfectly safe in the freezer if you put them well-sealed.

Any type of bread can come to freezer, which will be lovely and fresh after some minutes in the oven.

What comes to canned food - as soon as you open the can put the content in a plastic container and keep in the fridge.

3.       Love your leftovers
Parts of veggies that you don’t want to add to your wok, let’s say, broccoli stems, chop them in the food processor and add to the meat balls. Healthy and no waste!

Leftover mashed potatoes are great next day, mix it with couple of eggs, chopped onions, little bit of flour and spices, make small sized balls and fry them in oil – that would make a nice side dish! Again, no waste and money is saved!

Leftover cooked veggies from previous dinner – potatoes, carrots, cauliflowers and whatever there is (ham, salmon leftovers ets) can make perfect frittatas, homemade pizza or pies the next day with just few additional ingredients. Just remember to put them in the fridge right after the dinner.  
And of course, freeze the leftover food – stews and soups. You will thank yourself later. Don’t let the meals to sit night over, freeze them right away (after letting the meal to cool down a bit).

The ripe fruits can make a lovely desert, if you make a fruit salad – cut into smaller pieces all you’ve got and mix them with little bit of whipped cream, or crème fraiche and add a pinch of vanilla sugar.  
Leftover bread can be minced in a food processor and added into meat balls. Or you can put the crumbles in an oven for a short while and top your moussaka. I also make croutons, by cutting the bread into small cubes and putting them some time in the oven for short time - depending on the bread (white bread usually requires shorter time – just to get a golden colour, and rye bread needs longer time).

The crunchy croutons are lovely with a soup or salads.

You can also mince the rye bread, mix it with little bit of sugar or honey, distribute evenly on the pan and roast it in the oven for 15 min or until they are nice and crunchy. This mixture will be a lovely fiber addition to your breakfast yoghurt.  


4.       “Date of expiry” panic

Trying to avoid food waste by any means and getting some nasty stomach infection is obviously not the option. But religiously throwing out everything which is just a couple of days beyond the expiry date is also not an option. My rule is – use your senses to determine if the food is a no go.

But there are things which I am extra cautious with. Canned food, which stood open in the fridge for some time is a no go for me at all costs. Nor the sausages, which are beyond the expiry date is worth of taking risks. Anything mouldy should go directly to the trash bin. The mouldy part can be a small part, but that is only the part of it which is visible, all the nasty stuff has already gotten into the rest of the food. However, one exception is cheese. If you see a mould on the cheese, just cut it off. The rest of the cheese will be edible. But that is only the hard types of cheese. Eggs can give some nasty surprise if they are too old, I wouldn’t take a risk, but there are ways to determine whether eggs are still fresh or not. Learn to test your eggs for freshness here.
Other than that, use your senses. If your milk or thick cream has a weird odour and has big clumps swimming in it – out with it! If your yoghurt and crème fraiche has mold – out it goes! (that means that you can still enjoy them after the expiry date, as long as there isn’t any mold).

Tuesday, 2 June 2015


Recently I finally invested in a weaving loom! I had some previous experience with it, but that was 15 years ago, and I loved it! So now - weaving it is!!! 

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Instagram update - part 2. Books!

Got slightly hooked up on traditional textiles 

Next book on my reading list

A colouring book - fight your stress with it!

Highlights from Instagram - part 1

Just some updates from my Instagram 

Beautiful Kyrgyz shyrdak with Mongol slippers
Experimenting with flowers

Experimenting with flowers
Knitting a pillowcase together with our neighborhood cat 

One of the best purchases in Barcelona - a ceramic mug


DIY: My first kantha blanket!

I was always fascinated by colourful eastern patters and textiles. One of these that I find lovely is the Indian kantha blanket. So using a couple of old sarongs, an old fleece blanket I decided to make my very own kantha. Although I am not a sewing person - just not accurate and patient enough for big sewing projects, I find that making kantha was fun (especially because the stitches don't have to be perfect and you can decide yourself the distance between the stitches). The stitches on my blanket have 0,5 cm in between in the middle of the blanket and 1 cm on the rest of it. Except for not requiring a huge accuracy and sewing techniques, the advantage is that you can use old fabrics, pieces for kantha, so you don't have to spend a lot of money to buy fabrics. Using an old fleece blanket in between the fabrics means that you can wash it safely wash it.

And of course the best advantage of it all - I found hand sewing soothing and fun while binge watching "Orange is the new black".

Now that I know how to make it, I ordered a number of beautiful used saris from India (you can find them on eBay for a very good price) which can perfectly make a huge blanket (saris are rather long - 4 meters on the length and 1-1,5 meters wide).

1 cm stitches in different colours 
Final result

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

A little update on the crocheted bookmark

I think the crocheted bookmark I made earlier was a bit dull. So I made a little tassel to it. How do you like it?

DIY: Paper flowers decoration

This weekend I was busy with arranging a confirmation/ nonfirmation party for my daughter. I spent some time working on the decorations for the party and I made a huge amount of paper flowers. Some people asked how did I make them, so here I am sharing tutorial. As you can see there are endless versions you can make.

You need: 

  • paper napkins in different colours 
  • scissors 
  • colour papers 
  • paper stapler 

1. Start with making the middle of the flower by cutting coloured paper (I chose black here, but you can choose whatever suits you).
2. Cut the napkins in a shape of flowers. It doesn't have to be perfect.
3. Layer the shaped napkins and the coloured paper (the middle of the flower).
 4. Staple in the middle
5. Now the most lengthy phase - shaping the flower. You have to detangle all the layers of the napkins one by one for a nice and fluffy flower.
6. Then just fold all the "petals".
 and voila!

Monday, 4 May 2015

DIY: Upgrade your sofa with new pillows

From time to time I feel like changing the whole furniture in my apartment as I get new inspirations. But instead of making huge changes, you can make small upgrades with large effects. 

knitted pillowcase from leftover yarn 

wooden beads as buttons
Tunisian crochet also from leftover