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Ayesha is a full time educator and part-time writer and journalist on a variety of topics, particularly craft, environmental issues and a combination of the two, crafting with recycled materials!

She is proud and happy to be a teacher in an International School in Slovenia where she is rewarded daily in countless ways by children of all ages from around 25 different countries.

In her spare time she stays in contact with family back in the UK and works on her doer upper house, in north west Slovenia (near the Hungarian and Austrian borders) and two vegetable gardens with her partner for life, John. She is also passionate and active in finding ways to reuse and recycle and live in a more sustainable way so that we may leave something for future generations to inherit.

Ayesha believes that the most important things in life are love and peace, finding them and keeping them is the most important thing she or anyone else can do. The community at Thriftyfun feels like an extended  family to Ayesha and she is very happy and grateful she found it.

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Zucchini Soup in pan

Cream of Overgrown Zucchini SoupIf you have reached the stage where neighbours are leaving zucchini on your porch or if a few have grown too large to grill, it's time for this creamy and delicious soup. It is simple and you can return to it again and again. These days I encourage a few larger fruits to form just so I can make it!

 

A bottle of homemade raspberry red wine vinegar.

When Life Gives you Lemons (or Raspberries)There is quite a story behind this little bottle of raspberry wine vinegar. About 12 years ago we bought a house in Slovenia with a vineyard- an actual vineyard of about 60 vines. We were very excited by the prospect of growing our own wine until we realised we didnt have a clue how to care for the vines or make the wine.

 

A bottle of homemade Miracle Orange Oil Cleaner.

Homemade Miracle Orange Oil CleanerBy happy accident the other day, whilst saving money making my own candied citrus peel for the upcoming festive baking frenzy, I 'discovered' a fantastic new cleaning product. It is fragrant, non-abrasive, chemical free and, best of all, FREE! It cleans and degreases most surfaces very effectively.

 

A Christmas present all wrapped up.

20 Weeks Until ChristmasI was shocked to see the first of the Christmas goods appearing in some of the stores in recent days. I suppose it is because I am from the generations for whom Christmas didn't appear on the horizon until the days became noticeably shorter and colder and the teachers broke out the glitter and glue.

 

Orangettes

OrangettesIn Europe Christmas means citrus, the green grocer's shelves are filled with citrus of every size and shape. The smell of the peel brings back happy memories of Christmas past. For me this is also the signal to do what I love the most; making something out of nothing and making a delicious festive treat to help my friends and family celebrate Christmas. Don't be daunted by all the steps, the ingredients are few and the delicious results and compliments make it well worth spending your time!

 

A bouquet of edible flowers on a wooden table.

A Bouquet of EdiblesThree wonderful sunny days this week tell me that the darkest days of winter are behind us. The seed catalogues landing in my inbox and in my postbox are filled with possibilities to make even more colourful and tasty edible bouquets than the ones I created last summer.

 

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My Frugal Life: Resolutions for 2011Aside from all the obvious resolutions I have just made for 2011 - to lose weight, eat more healthily, take more exercise etc., there is one other really important money and stress saving thing I have made up my mind to do.

 

My Frugal Life: Of Grandpas and GardensGardening with my grandad was a lesson in patience. When I was a child my mother worked to put food on the table and shoes on our feet so I spent a lot of my time with my grandparents who lived across the road from us.

 

Become a Frugal CrafterFor those of us who have fallen on tough times more recently, this essay is intended to help you find a creative outlet for free and perhaps the chance to make some gifts that will be all the more treasured simply because you made them.

 

Row of Wrapped Gifts

"Swap Not Shop" Event for ChristmasSwapping is better than Shopping! Instead of trying to work out how much you can get away with spending this Christmas, why not get friends, neighbors, and family organized and hold a pre-Christmas "Swap not Shop" event.

 

Zucchini

Make Use of Whatever Comes My WayYes it is the time of year we long for during long, dark winter nights, the time of warmth and plenty. Trouble for some of us is that plenty can quickly become a bit too much as the glut of produce arrives.

 

View of village skyline and mountains in Slovenia

My Frugal Life: Who Dares Wins!In the difficult financial times that many of us have found ourselves in over the past few years, giving up two well paid and secure jobs to take up one reasonably paid one in a new start up company in another country may seem a pretty strange proposition to put forward.

 

tap shoes

The Last Day at Grandma's HouseOutliving both her daughters had meant that, despite being cherished, respected and loved by her expanding legacy of grandchildren and great grandchildren right up to the end of her days, Grandma wasn't really known by any soul left living.

 

Exploding Box Valentine Card

Exploding Box Valentine CardI made this pretty exploding box Valentine card using a square milk carton for the basic box and some gorgeous vintage style wrapping paper. Total cost 50 cents!

 

My Frugal Holiday: Gift Ideas For ChildrenWhen money is tight and you have children to buy presents for it, is very easy to become disheartened and disillusioned about the whole notion of Christmas. But stop and think for a moment and you will soon realise that you can turn this difficulty to your advantage

 

Second photo of a wine cork key ring.

Floating Wine Cork KeyringA frugal, floating keyring made from wine corks and scrap is a great Christmas gift for any boat enthusiast or fisherman.

 

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