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I'm Wendy and welcome to Moral Fibres, my green lifestyle blog. Here you'll find all sorts of thrifty and easy hints and tips for living a greener life that won't compromise your sense of style.

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Food & Drink September 16, 2014 posted by

Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe

Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe

Around this time of year the American side of the internet goes crazy for pumpkin pie spice anything.  Pumpkin pie spice isn’t readily available in the UK, and I was feeling a bit left out of the pumpkin party, so I had a go at making my own.  It’s so good that I had to share my pumpkin pie spice recipe with you!

Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe


Prep Time: 1 minute

Total Time: 1 minute

Serves 1 Jar

Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe

Make this homemade pumpkin pie spice recipe in minutes to add a tasty autumn taste to a variety of recipes.


  • 3 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 2.5 Teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
  • 1.5 Teaspoons Ground All Spice
  • 1 Teaspoons Ground Cloves


  1. Measure out your ground spices.
  2. Mix them together.
  3. Store in an airtight jar
  4. Voila - home pumpkin pie spice!.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin

If you want to make more or less just scale up or down the recipe to suit .


If you’re looking for ideas on how to use your pumpkin pie spice mix I’d recommend sprinkling your spice mix over hot chocolates or coffees as a good start!  Alternatively add to chocolate chip cookies, cakes, pies, pancakes, rice puddings, or muffins for a sweet and warming treat.

It also tastes pretty amazing sprinkled over roasted vegetables, or on roasted butternut squash seeds (or even pumpkin seeds!).  For breakfast try stirring a spoon into your porridge.  The list is endless!

Placed in a pretty jar, the pumpkin pie spice mix would also make for a lovely gift for the keen baker.

There are so many ways to use this pumpkin pie spice recipe so I can see how Americans get their knickers in a twist over it!

 pumpkin pie spice recipe

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    Babies September 12, 2014 posted by

    9 Clever Clothes Shopping Tips

    9 Clever Clothes Shopping Tips

    Today I’ve got a really useful guest post from Jessica Berentson-Shaw, a New Zealander with a passion for ethical clothing and social justice.  Jessica blogs over at Muka Kids – where she’s documenting her adventures in setting up a kids ethical clothing enterprise.  Jessica is sharing with us her clever clothes shopping tips for buying kids clothes that will help you get the most out of your money and the clothes that you buy.

    A lot of the clothing we buy these days is of the cheap, and what I call, ‘uncheerful’ variety (lets face it no-one was smiling while they were making them).  Cheap clothing may not have a long and fruitful life & therefore will have a heavier footprint.  However, sometimes spending more does not always equate to a long lasting garment either.

    It’s a bit of a minefield, so to help you out here are 9 clever clothes shopping tips to ensure the clothes you buy (new or old) live to a ripe old age and tread much more lightly on the earth.  I have focussed mainly on kids clothes here, but these tips apply equally to all clothing.

    From fabric choices, to considering buttons, and more, these shopping tips will see you right!

    environmental impact of clothes

    1. Look for quality fabric

    Look for heavier, thicker, fabrics with closer weaves or knits as these tend to be more durable. Avoid polyester components as these will pile and be scratchy within months.  Give it a feel: does it seem like a quality well made fabric? Ask the shop about the weight & density of a fabric if you buy online.  Expect a sensible answer.

    Types of fabrics that tend to have a longer life include denim & corduroy and heavy knitted cotton fabrics.  Those with a small component of ‘elastic’, for example lycra, can also be beneficial for retaining the shape and longevity of clothes.

    2. Is the fabric is fit for purpose?

    Look for clothes where the use of the clothing is well matched to the fabric it is made from. Have the designers even considered this issue during it’s making, or perhaps tested it with wearers?  Lightweight denim for kids winter trousers is never a good choice unless you live in a hot country!

    3. Certified organic fabrics are better quality

    There are two reasons for this.  The first is about the way the cotton is grown, the second is to do with the treatment it receives during processing.  Studies have shown that compared to conventional cotton, organically grown cotton has longer and stronger fibres, with better quality yarns being produced from organic cotton.

    Organic cotton is not put though chemical treatments during cleaning, processing, dying and printing, many of which are petroleum or acid based and can break down the fibres at a molecular level.  In the final stage of production, clothing is also often given a Teflon, polymer or formaldehyde based coating to reduce creasing and give a smooth feel,  These chemicals may weaken the fibre, and reduce the life of the item.  So certified organic cotton clothing is likely to be better longer lasting product, and better value.

    4. Look for clothes that allow for growth

    Where kids are concerned a longer lasting item often equates to one that still fits after a growth spurt.  Most kids tend to grow up not out a whole lot, so cuffs on arms and legs that can be turned up and then down are a good buy, or looking out for hems that you can turn up or down.  In waistbands look for elastic AND drawstrings for both a stretch and a pull in.

    5. Account for the weak points

    Have potential weak points been considered and perhaps reinforced, maybe with patches on the knees and elbows?  How about reinforced stitching in places like the crotch or underarms?

    6. Look for clothes that have multiple functions

    Multifunctional garments means you can get more wear and more value from clothing.  Reversible coats & jackets; pyjamas tops that double as t-shirt (only you will be the wiser!); leggings that can double as tights, the list goes on!

    7. Know a thing about kids heads

    Mini adults they are not: kids have heaps to learn and a big head to match.  So check out that neck line – does it look a tad small for that extending neural development, or a not particularly stretchy fabric?  A good ribbed fabric around the neck will help with stretch.

    8. Transverse the seasons and fashions

    ‘Fast fashion’ (and cheap clothing) is a cash in on the idea we always need the new next best thing.  Here is a tip: great design lasts years not weeks.  A good stripe, or a single colour will never go out of fashion, whereas character based clothing will be out as soon as the new Peppa Pig comes along!  Look to the long term item and clothing will still look appealing in the wardrobe next year (or on the next child!).

    vintage kids dress

    Jessica’s  daughter in a dress  she wore as a child

    9. Buttons & Zips

    There is nothing worse than all the buttons on a garment falling off within a few days of wearing.  Don’t be afraid to give them a tug to test the quality of the stitching of them!  Buttons do offer one benefit though – they are an easy fix.  Zippers on the other hand wear out, and are hard to fix, so are not always the best choice for longevity: though if you make friends with a good repairer they can replace a zip in a jif!

    Got any tips on what to look for when buying for years not seasons? Any particular pet peeves in kids clothing? I’d love to hear them.

    Top photo by Flickr user LeAnn, licenced under Creative Commons 2.0.

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      Day Trips September 10, 2014 posted by

      Some More of Fife: Earthships & More!

      Some More of Fife: Earthships & More!

      The last post I did on our  holiday was getting quite lengthy (you can see part one here), so I thought I’d break it up into parts.  Here is part two: we fitted in a bit more as there is a surprising amount of things to do in Fife!

      One of the things we were keen to do in Fife was take a trip to the Earthship at Kinghorn.  I had already been to the Earthship, about 9 years ago, so it was interesting to go back to see how it has changed since then.  My other half has never been before, but has a very very healthy interest in earthships, so it was good for him to see one in action.

      If you don’t know, earthships are low impact eco homes made of tyres rammed with earth and stacked up on top of each other.  They are typically built into hillsides to take advantage of the geothermal mass, and tend to have large south facing windows for maximum solar gain.  If you ever get a chance to visit one, like this one in Fife, then you really should – they are fascinating!

      earthship Scotland


      Earthship Kinghorn

      Since I was there last they’ve added a yurt, above, and really expanded on their gardens.  I have seen plastic bottle greenhouses all over the internet so it was great to see one up to close to see how they work:

      plastic bottle greenhouse

      There’s also a huge polytunnel where Earthship volunteers are growing their own produce.  My little ‘un is really into her veggies so she found the polytunnel more interesting than the Earthship!  I couldn’t get her out of the polytunnel!

      polytunnelmassive vegetable

      Look at the size of that squash!  It’s a monster!

      tomatoes on the vineKinghorn Fife

      It’s free to get in and have a look around, although donations are encouraged, and you can book guided tours (at a cost) for groups who want to know more about Earthships.  They also run courses all year round on all aspects of sustainable living too, which is pretty cool!

      On our last full day in Fife we were at a bit of a loose end, so armed with fishing nets, we took a walk along a coastal path from Ravenscraig Park in Kirkcaldy to Dysart.  We didn’t really have high hopes for the walk as Kirkcaldy isn’t exactly known for it’s stunning scenery but I have to say we were very pleasantly surprised!

      Kirkcaldy FifeWendy Graham

      Dysart Harbour Fife


      Pan Ha Dysartfishing with nets

      Dysart Harbour is really lovely and although there isn’t much to do in Dysart itself, we whiled away quite a while fishing (for stones!) on the seafront!  We ended up the day back in Ravenscraig Park, which it, itself is really pretty with a great playground for kids.

      There are heaps more things to do in Fife – we didn’t touch St Andrews or the villages of Pittenweem or Anstruther – they’re on our list for next time!  And have you been to Fife?  Is there anywhere we’ve missed that you’d recommend?

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