Yet another clever Canadian invention

Posted on February 04, 2014 by claire ongley | 32 comments

I'm not a great fan of cling film. It just more plastic going into a landfill and I worry about nasty chemicals leaching into my food. I've tried biodegradable cling film, but it doesn't actually 'cling' to anything and you have to wrestle it off the roll which requires a level of patience that I just do not have. That's why I was pretty chuffed when I came across Abeego. Abeego is an all-natural, reusable, plastic-free alternative to cling wrap. It was invented by some clever Canadians, and as I'm sure you'll agree - everyone loves Canadians. They have brought us many an indispensable invention, including the zip, the electric lightbulb, the anti-gravity suit and Ryan Gosling. Where would we be without these things?

Abeego is made from pure beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin infused into a fabric made of hemp and certified organic cotton. Each ingredient was selected for its preservative qualities, so clever. Abeego allows your food to breathe, which slows down the rate of decomposition so you waste less. It's malleable so it adheres to any food container with the warmth of your hands. Amazingness!

I have been using mine for covering bowls of leftovers in the fridge, wrapping bits of avocados, cucumbers and lettuces, and for wrapping cheese, rather than keeping it in its plastic packet or putting it in a little plastic bag. I also keep my butter in it, which is a tidier option that having a mucky butter wrapper sitting in the fridge. I notice fewer bits of cling film, plastic bags and aluminium foil being chucked in the bin. Here's a shot of my Abeego Flats in action.


For those of you who take your lunch to work or eat a snack on the run, the Abeego Wraps and Snacks are just what you've been looking for! You can package up your sandwiches, nuts or crackers in a tidy compartment, keeping them nice and fresh for later in the day.





Remember, your Abeego covers are special and must be treated as such. Only wash them in cold water or with eco-friendly dish soap. They do not like high temperatures, and they definitely don't like the dishwasher or microwave. Treat them with kindness and they'll last you up to a year.



Abeego Flats $25 (pack of 3) 

Abeego Giant Flats $39 (pack of 2)

Abeego Snack  $18

Abeego Wrap  $25


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Blooming busy

Posted on January 29, 2014 by claire ongley | 9 comments

With our wedding only a month away, I'm finding myself quite immersed in wedding organisation. It serves me right for wanting to take the DIY approach to wedding planning. I hope I'm not the only one who started out saying my wedding would be very relaxed and I'd just do most of it myself, and the next minute finding myself devoting weeks to sourcing a particular shade of asiatic lily.

Yes, my latest project is wedding flowers. A few months ago I knew absolutely nothing about flowers, and couldn't tell you the difference between a dahlia and a chrysanthemum. Well, I can tell you that's all changed. Several hundred hours browsing at flowers online later, and I'm an expert on the subject...that's not entirely true, but I have acquired a moderate knowledge.

My plans to have peonies, dahlias and gloriosa lilies were dashed before I even got started, when I discovered they wouldn't be in season for my wedding day. As an alternative to peonies, I fell in love with David Austin roses, but they are tricky to get hold of in New Zealand. (I thought I might start up a side business.)

As usual, Pinterest has been my source of information and inspiration. I'm not sure how people planned weddings before Pinterest to be honest.

I thought I'd share some of my favourites blooms and bouquets from the perennial pages of Pinterest.


Alas, the glorious Gloriosa lily is not in season for my wedding day.

via Pinterest


Dahlias, peonies and roses....

via Pinterest


David Austin rose?

via Pinterest


Peonies, succulents, ranunculus, hypericum berries and garden roses...what amazing colours!

via Pinterest



Mini cream roses, apricot cottage roses, billy buttons, bright pink 'brains' 

via Pinterest


Dahlia, gloriosa lily, garden roses, amsterdam rose, ranunculus, hypericum berries, ilse peach spray rose, succulents

via Design By Aubrey Blogspot




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Christmas gift goodies

Posted on December 09, 2013 by claire ongley | 9 comments

Christmas is nearly upon us, and for those of you who have left it till the last minute (like I have), here are some suggestions to help you get your shopping done and dusted without setting foot in the shops. Hooray!


For Her


A Tunisian fouta or a Turkish pestemal towel is a great gift for young and old. With a large range of colours and styles to choose from, there is sure to be just the one for your mum, nan, sister or better half. We also have Turkish towels in hand size, which go wonderfully with a Klars soap. Or, how about a lovely all-natural soap teamed with a beech soap dish? We have a range of soaps made by Klars in Germany. A pair of fine Italian cotton socks from Etiquette Clothiers in New York or some Avarcas Pons sandals handmade in Spain are sure to impress. 

Turkish pestemal towels ($19-$63)

Tunisian fouta towels ($35-$39)

Klars soaps ($10-$25)

Beech soap dish ($17)

Etiquette Clothiers socks ($26)

Avarcas Pons sandals ($99-$109) Avarcas Pons take 6-10 business days to be delivered, and at Christmas time it may take a little longer, so be sure to get your order in as soon as possible. 


For Him


The men are always tough to buy for. Here are some ideas for the lads in your life. A BBQ brush is an affordable and useful gift for dads and husbands alike. A Harris Tweed toilet bag or a General Knot handmade necktie are perfect for the stylish gentleman. Shaving can be a luxury with a very special Redecker shaving brush made with genuine badger hair and some Sandalwood shaving soap. Socks are the go to gifts for guys, and these Etiquette Clothiers socks made with fine Italian combed cotton will raise the bar in any sock drawer. An easy win for any guy is a versatile Turkish towel. These lightweight, easy-dry towels are great for camping, sports, or the beach. Choose from several very manly colours.

Shaving brush ($65) 

Sandalwood shaving soap ($45) 

Etiquette Clothiers socks ($29) 

Turkish towel (from $39) 

BBQ brush ($12) 

General Knot necktie (Now $85!) 

Harris Tweed toilet bag ($75)


For the cook

For the cook in the house, we have you covered. A Tasmanian oak Colour Pop Serving board for jazzing up your cheeseboard. Keep food fresh for longer with an Abeego all-natural, re-usable plastic-free food cover, handmade in Canada. To care for the cook's pots and pans, a pack of two copper cloths from Redecker.

Tea towels ($10-$22)

Abeego natural food covers ($18-$39)

Colour pop serving board ($85)

Copper cloth ($12 for pack of two)


For the one who has everything

Even the one who has everything will find a use for a Turkish towel. A Hedgehog table brush is a fun and affordable option, or for the coffee drinker, an espresso brush to tidy up all those coffee grinds that gather around the coffee machine. Our pom pom garlands come in three colours and can be used for parties or just to brighten up a room.

Pom pom garlands ($35)

Hedgehog table brush ($19)

Espresso brush ($16)

Turkish towels (From $19)



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All aboard for a pop of colour

Posted on November 14, 2013 by claire ongley | 0 comments

The latest addition to the Izzy and Jean Co. range comes to us from Tasmania. I've been to Tasmania a couple of times, and always felt that the place and the people reminded me of New Zealand. Perhaps we both tend to be thought of as the 'poor cousin' to Australia, which spurs us on to do interesting and unique things to, dare I say, prove ourselves.

Colour pop serving board $85. Available in Turquoise, Yellow or White.

...Which brings me to Joe. Joe is a very talented guy who makes these superb oak serving boards from his workshop, Treehorn Design, in Tasmania. After travelling the world doing various odd jobs, he returned to his home in Tasmania to start a business designing beautiful objects from only reclaimed, recycled or sustainably grown timber. The environment is key to his philosophy, and he even runs recycling workshops and donates to the Wilderness Society and the Australian Conservation Foundation. His goal is to make things that 'people will enjoy, wear, talk about and misunderstand'. Sounds quirky, and I like it.

I hope you like these serving boards as much as I do. 

Claire x

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Is there anything you can't make with pallets?

Posted on October 21, 2013 by claire ongley | 1 comment

We're counting down to our move to the farm. Everything is on track except for our furniture, which isn't coming over from Sydney until February. Slight problem! Luckily, we have discovered that you can allegedly make almost anything out of pallets. Perfect for a temporary absence of furniture situation! Here are some cool pallet ideas for the keen DIYer.

With some clean pallets in good condition you can make a rustic bed frame.
via Pinterest

Looks nice with the lovely linen sheets.
via Bodie and Fou

A pallet sofa via Pinterest. Grab yourself a foam mattress and some cushions. Voila!

This whitewashed pallet coffee table would look cute both inside and outside.
via House DIY

Another pallet coffee table.
via Penelope Home

And, when I'm finished with my pallets, I'm planning to make one of these.
The pallet herb garden, via Pinterest

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Izzy and Jean on the move!

Posted on October 03, 2013 by claire ongley | 18 comments

It's been an exciting week at our house. After some tense negotiations, we have just bought ourselves a farm. It's located an hour out of Wellington, just near Otaki. We will be farming pigs (free range of course!) and experimenting with a few other farming-related ventures on the side.

Until now, I have been a city dweller - the bigger the better. I've lived in New York, Barcelona and Sydney, and always loved the buzz and excitement of the big city. But now the call of the wild has lured me in. Isn't it funny how your priorities can change....drastically. These days I can think of nothing better than getting out of the hustle, and getting back to the land. Mind you, I won't be getting my fingernails too dirty. My partner Daniel will be doing most of the farming, and I will be running Izzy and Jean Co.

And then of course, there's the house. This will be the first house that I have ever owned, and at 38, I am itching to get in there and start making it my own. The many hours browsing magazines and Pinterest, and the years of collecting bits and pieces, has left me armed with a mountain of stuff and ideas. Here are some of my dreams and inspirations for the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room of our new humble abode.


I long for a timber kitchen table with white painted legs. This one is the ultimate.

via Pinterest.

A nook for our coats and gumboots. I love this coat rack made from a vintage sign.



Simple luxury in the bathroom. Beautiful patterned tiles on the floor and oh, what a bathtub.



Subway tiles for the kitchen and timber benchtops. Glorious.



Mismatched industrial lampshades and chairs will look perfect at our timber farm table.

From Elle Decoration UK via Pinterest


White in the bedroom for rest and relaxation. If only I could find a vintage bench seat like this one.


A relaxed living room with cushions, rugs and check out that lampshade!
via Bolig Magasinet.

In search of the perfect rug... This is a gorgeous example of a Moroccan kilim. Check out Izzy and Jean Co.'s kilim rugs before I nab one to go in my new living room.
via My Marrakech.

Our farm.

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I like big maps and I cannot lie.

Posted on September 13, 2013 by claire ongley | 0 comments

On today's blog, I am expounding the virtues of wall maps. For the kitchen, living room or kids room, wall maps are a great way to create a unique 'feature wall'. Plus, they are both educational and inspirational. I think it's nice to be reminded that there's a big wide world out there!
My first pick is this enormous map with a matching purple dining table. Genius. Great lamp and painted white wooden floors too. The school chairs are a nice tie in with the map, without actually feeling like you're in geography class.
via Pinterest.
This vintage-looking scroll map looks like it has several maps underneath. I'm sure it is quite a conversation piece. I love the wooden kitchen table with white painted legs, mismatched chairs and huge light shade. 
via Pinterest.
Big does seem to be the way to go with wall maps. It also helps to have a superb table and light shades to go with it, as is the case here. This wall map room is really quite a sight to  behold.
via Pinterest.
Wall maps are great for kids rooms. They won't even know they're learning. This blue wall map decal looks so cute in this white and blue bedroom.
via Pinterest.

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