Vote For Me!

I am requesting your help.  I would love for you to vote for my blog in the Heritage Bank Savvy Saver Blog Awards.  I did a post with video about making your own Cafe Style Muffin Wraps to save money and everyone seemed to think it was a great idea!

If you need some incentive the Heritage Bank is giving away $100 CASH CARD to the most creative voter.

So it’s a win for you and for me!


savvy saver

The Lifestyle Category winner (Public Votes) wins $2000 which I plan to put towards constructing a Permaculture Garden which I will use to educate others in Permaculture and Gardening Principles via my Web TV Channel.  So please cast a vote in my direction and I will be sooooo very grateful.

(Voting closes on 9th October 2015)



Coffee Capsule Crisis

I am no good in the morning without my dose of caffeine. Mine comes in the form of the strongest Twining’s brew, Irish Breakfast Tea but for millions of other caffeine consumers out there, they can’t function without their hit of coffee.

With coffee shops charging up to $6 a cup, is it any wonder that the Coffee Machine Industry came up with Nespresso(esk) options. No one, including the inventor of the little plastic unit that contains the custom blend George Cluny prefers, could have known how quickly and easily these little menacing machines could have taken off.

Of course as a Christmas Gift last year they became “The Thing” but the repercussions based on their consumables are akin to a K-Cup Invasion. In 2014 enough K-Cups were sold that if they were placed side by side they would encircle the planet 10.5 times!  Most of these end up in landfill as they are not biodegradable or recyclable!  It’s truly an environmental disaster.

If you have one of these machines I encourage you to discontinue it’s use before the K-Cup destroys the planet.

Take a look at this video and be afraid, be VERY afraid!

Little Crop Circles

As you know I have my very own Crop Circles that are my concrete raised garden beds, so when I came across this video it got me in straight away.

Check out my Crop Circle post here.


I think that this method of watering would be perfect for my particular garden beds in fact any circular container will definitely benefit from having the water directly at the source rather than wasting litres of water from the overspray of most sprinkler systems.

They claim that just a 30 second burst of water delivered in this fashion per day will be enough to grow 50 or more plants in the circle which is a fraction of the water usage via conventional irrigation. On the larger scale, the company promises that a single acre of crops planted with the larger Little Crop Circles devices can match the production of a 5-acre farm, which may allow small farmers to be more competitive and more profitable.

What do you think?  Take a look at the short video and let me know.

Plant this Movie

I can’t tell you how much joy I experience growing my own veggies in my own backyard. It is only surmounted by the euphoria I feel when I can make an entire meal from my own home grown produce.

In fact one of the reasons I first started writing Farewell My Manicure was my desire to share this feeling with my friends and family and inspire them to do some veggie gardening themselves.

Fast forward to the next generation and we will be in a very big food crisis, so now more than ever the movement of Urban Gardens need to ramp it up!

Take a look at this great trailer for the film “Plant this Movie” directed by film maker Karney Hatch and narrated by Darryl Hannah. The movie itself is available for streaming for $2.99 and download for $5.99 right now!

I hope you are inspired to make the most of the space you have at home and grown some food for your family (and friends and neighbours).

Get This Prescription Filled at your local Forest

In a world where our children grow up staring at screens rather than laying on a forest floor staring at the clouds, nature needs it’s own publicist.

When kids drive remotes rather than billy carts, slouch on sofas rather than climbing trees, build mine craft cities rather than tree houses, nature needs it’s own advertisement.

While young people text and snap chat rather than talk to each other, pet animals on Farmville but never touch real feathers or fur, use an apple rather than picking one from a tree and eating it, nature needs some media attention.

So some clever people have come up with this… enjoy!

Share the video with a friend or family member.  Not only will they get a chuckle but also maybe a bit of motivation to get outside this week and experience Nature for themselves.

9 Easy Ways to use Less Plastic

Oh I dream about a day when we can live a zero waste life.  I know some people out there are getting very close but it seems that even though we as a family are very environmentally conscious we are still fighting an up hill battle to try to reduce our waste products in the hopes of leaving a lighter footprint on the planet.

It can be a daunting prospect to live without producing any waste, but rest assured that ANY effort you make will have a positive impact on the environment.

Every year over 6 million tonnes of rubbish is dumped into the worlds oceans, 80% of which is plastics with a further 10% of this being plastic bags!  Here in Australia only 3% of our plastic grocery bags are recycled, and even if you reuse them as bin liners they still end up choking up the waste management system and filling up our landfill.

And water bottles…. don’t get me started on water bottles!  Although plastic bottles are recyclable many end up in landfill and they take almost 1000 years to break down.

With plastics being such a monumental problem, what can you (just one person) hope to do to make a difference?

Well, let’s just start by following these nine simple ways to help reduce your plastic usage.


Sprouting Pencils!

At a time when consumerism well, um, consumes us, it’s lovely to know that some innovative thinkers out there are focusing on the planet, sustainability and cuteness all at the same time.

Such an innovative company is Sprout.  They have found a way to incorporate a seed inside the end of your pencil so that once you have finished sharpening it down to a stub, you can put it in a pot and water it and the seed will Sprout and grow a vegetable seedling, a herb or any number of other plants of your choosing.  What a wonderful idea!  You can buy a pack that is a dedicated herb garden, the coloured pencil set has a combination of flowers, veggies and herbs.  Such clever thinking!

I’m suggesting this would make such a lovely Christmas gift for a budding artist in your family whilst teaching sustainability and fostering a love of gardening all at the same time.


Here is their promotional video.  Check them out at

Planting Guide September

It’s time to get down and dirty in the garden with September heralding the start of Spring here in Australia there are just so many veggies and herbs that are primed to be planted this month.  Be prepared to loose your manicure!

For those of you who liked my last post about growing your own sponges, it’s interesting to note that September is the time to plant Loofa as well.  My favourite herb Tarragon is also on the list so I will be off to get some seeds for this flavoursome beauty this weekend.

While I love all the seasons, it won’t hurt me at all to say goodbye to Winter.  Here in Queensland our Winter is very mild (particularly in comparison to other parts of the globe) but those early mornings are so much easier to get out of bed for now that the sun is rising early too.

Happy planting people!

Planting Guide September

planting guide september pg 1planting guide spetember pg2

Grow Your Own Luffa Sponge at Home

Recently I commented that you could grow your own natural sponges for doing the washing up or using in the shower or basin.  I found this great post about it on and although I couldn’t work out how to reblog from their web site I encourage you to go and visit their page for more excellent gardening tips.

8 Easy Steps to Grow Your Own Luffa Sponge

By John Bagnasco

Save on the high boutique prices for all-natural, luxurious bath sponges! It’s easy to grow your own Luffa Gourds and discover even more uses for this fascinating, porous fruit!

Loofah Vine TrellisWhen luffa gourds are harvested young at 4″-6″ long, they are a sweet, tasty vegetable that can be stir-fried, sauteed, or cooked with meats or tofu just as you would zucchini squash or okra. They can also be sliced or diced in a salad like a cucumber and mature gourd seeds can be roasted. Also, the young flowers and foliage can be cooked for greens (great with butter and a pinch of curry).

Train the vine onto a trellis or fence to save space and to produce more rounded fruit. These gourds can reach anywhere from 6 inches to 2 1/2 feet long, and about 4 to 7 inches in diameter. They ripen to dark green in late summer, and for sponge harvest should be left on the vine until the skin begins to shrivel. When this occurs, harvest them and scrub the skin away, revealing the porous, dense network of tan-colored matter within. They will be full of seeds; just cut the gourd to desired size and shake out the seeds. They’re ready to use!

Step 1
Pick a spot to grow your luffa gourd. A sturdy trellis about 5 to 6 feet high along the back of the planting area, which receives full sun is perfect. A fence or arbor also provides good support for the sponge vine.

Step 2
Once danger of frost has passed, plant the luffa gourd in a hole that has 50% of an all-organic compost like Denali Gold mixed into it. Sprinkle 1 cup of Miloranite around the plant and water in thoroughly.  Avoid overwatering established luffa plants, as excessive moisture, especially in clay soils, can cause root diseases and poor growth.

Step 3
Remove all the first flowers that appear and the first four lateral branches of each plant to increase the yield and quality of fruit. Snip off branches using pruning shears and remove flowers by pinching them off with your fingers as close to the stem as possible. Remove any damaged or spotted fruit from the vine immediately, as it cannot be saved.

Step 4
Harvest luffa sponges when they have matured on the vine, usually around the end of fall. Look for lightweight fruit with dry, dark yellow or brown skin. Leave the fruit on the vine as long as possible, but remove all luffa gourds immediately after the first frost or they will begin to rot.

Step 5
Loofah FlowersIf the gourd is dry, striking the luffa pod against a hard surface will loosen the skin and seeds. Slightly crushing the sponges can also loosen the skin. This is especially helpful for peeling less mature luffa with hard green skin. The skin will normally fall off easily if the luffa is fully mature

Step 6
The bottom tip of the gourd can be cut off and many of the seeds can be shaken out before peeling. Use your thumbs to find a loose spot along a seam. Push in to create a tear and pull apart the skin. Tear up the seam. Try to get all the skin off as little pieces left behind tend to turn brown.

Step 7
Harvest LoofahApply water pressure from a hose sprayer to remove most of the sap color. It washes out many seeds also. Washing with soapy water in a bucket and then spraying is another option. Squeeze and shake out excess water. If your luffa fiber is very dark, or has many dark spots, soaking in a bucket of water with one cup of bleach for 3 to 5 gallons of water will remove most stains. Don’t bleach longer than necessary. Rinse well.

Step 8
Finally, allow the luffa sponge to dry completely in the sun. Rotate as needed. Sunlight will also lighten and change the color. Leaving in the sunlight for longer periods will change the texture… it gets rougher feeling. Make certain sponges are completely dry before storing or mold may grow on any remaining sap. Dried luffas can be stored for years as long as they stay dry and dust free.

Loofah 1 Loofah 2 Loofah 3