Archive for ‘Green Living’

May 1, 2013

Fluffy Bums: Real Nappy Week 2013

The Great Cloth Diaper Change 2013

Artwork Courtesy of Christine O’Brien

Well what a crazy week Real Nappy Week was this year!! I attended the Great Cloth Diaper Change at Babame in Newry and saw an amazing amount of fluffy bums being changed for the world record attempt!! Also met some lovely new mamas AND attending the warehouse sale afterwards for a few bargains!!

This year was the year of the Clothopoly which nearly had my head turned it was SO much hard work!! Sixty six different websites all with a hidden letter somewhere on them which you had to locate, AFTER you’d located all the letter you had to find the phrase they made. I even had Mr BP and his daddy on board trying to crack the anagram and eventually we managed it. The top prize was £500 worth of nappies so it was well worth entering and with 10 second prizes of £250 I just had to have a go!! I was EXTREMELY fortunate to be one of the ones who one a 2nd prize!! Wow!! Check out my awesome prize!!

Clothopoly £250 Prize winner!

Totally overwhelmed at such an amazing prize and it’s been great fun trying out all the different nappies on Noodle! He’s currently rocking his green MioSolo pocket and looking great in it!

Hopefully everyone else enjoyed RNW and will be trying their best to enter lots of competitions next year!!

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January 5, 2013

Green Fingers: Succulents

I, like most people, love plants growing indoors because they give a sense of warmth and life as well as being something beautiful to look at. The one major problem I have is that I can’t seem to manage to keep much alive!!! One species of plant I do love are succulents! As they require little attention and can still give a lovely green tone to your living space they are perfect for me. However they don’t all come with flowers and colour but there are ways to still make your plants your plants stand out!

3 Ombre Jellyfish Air Plants

3 Ombre Jellyfish Air Plants

Set of three by PetitBeast

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Vintage Book Succulent Planter

Vintage Book Succulent Planter

By RootedInSucculents

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Gilbert The Succulent Troll

Gilbert The Succulent Troll

By TrollSucc

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Hopefully, even if you’re as bad as me at keeping plants alive, you’ll find something to brighten your day and home!!

June 28, 2011

Update!

I know it’s like I’ve fallen off the face of the earth but there has been shit going down!!! I ended up really sick again, and hospitalised for more IV rehydration then I ended up in pre-term labour!! That was really scary, they gave me injections to mature Ace’s lungs and tablets to try and relax my womb to stop the contractions. They kept me in for a few days to monitor me to ensure that he would be okay and so far so good. Then we ended up with no internet/phone for weeks because of a silage tractor pulling the line down [one of the downsides of living in the countryside!!].  As if that wasn’t enough my beautiful Pandabear ended up hospitalised this weekend after taking a febrile convulsion due to an upper respiratory tract infection!! She’s now on antibiotics and still a little off colour but nearly back to normal. It just seems I can’t catch a break right now!! Fortunately Mr BP has been an absolute angel [for a change!!] and has really supported me and been there for me.

I’m now down to the last 3 weeks of my pregnancy and have spent a lot of time researching vaccinations [to vax or not.. or to delay?], a baby carrier for Mr BP to use [as he will not use my slings AT ALL!] and whether I want to put delayed cord clamping to my [as yet unwritten!] birth plan!!! It seems there is so much to do and not enough time to do it… you’d think that after 9mo to prepare I might be some way to getting things finished. Even with having being in pre-term labour I still haven’t packed my hospital bag!!

In other news my fantastic home-made washing powder [click to read original post with recipe] is still going strong and I haven’t even used half of what I made even with the extra washes for the cloth nappies! I also bought a few Itti Bitti Tuttos during the RNW [Real Nappy Week 16th – 22nd May 2011] offers. I so loved the Itti Bitti D’lish I had but they just did not work for Pandabear’s shape at all which made me really sad, I’m so pleased the Tuttos do work for her because they feel so nice and work well too. I also like the fact that the Tuttos claim to work from 7lb all the way up to 44lbs!

I definitely recommend you head over to Alternative Mama’s blog for her giveaway which closes tomorrow [June 29th 2011 @ 21:00 GMT]!!

April 18, 2011

Blooming Baby: Lifefactory

I stumbled across these gorgeous eco-friendly bottles. Not only are they green but they’re also gorgeous!! They are glass bottles with a silicone sleeve which comes in a number of colours. We all worry about the chemicals that are leaking from our baby’s plastic bottle into their milk or juice but this takes that worry away completely. The glass is free from chemicals and they’re super easy to clean as you can just throw them in the dishwasher. The silicone sleeve helps prevent breakage, looks stunning and provides good grip for either you or your baby to hold.

 9oz Baby Bottle

There are beverage bottles available too, however, they don’t have the “thermal shock” protection that the baby bottles do. The thermal shock resistance means that the baby bottle can go from freezer to fridge to hot water if you wish to store breast milk in the bottle for later use!!  The price isn’t too dissimilar from a regular baby bottle and in the UK they retail for about £9 for the 9oz size. They also come in a 4oz and 9oz size and can be converted from a baby bottle to a sippy cup style top by just buying the caps separately. The baby teats come in a range of flow rates so it’s just a case of buying the next stage of teat for your little bundle or even just buying new teats for a 2nd child rather than having to buy a whole new set of bottles!! They can also be converted to a snack holder using a lid.

Although Lifefactory are an American company the bottles are available from a couple of online stores in the UK too, like Colourful Baby World and Earthbaby although the accessories are more limited and I haven’t seen the adult beverage bottles available here. That being said even if you were looking for a baby gift that was a little bit different I’m sure they would be well received by most parents!

April 15, 2011

Somewhat Crunchy: The Great Cloth Diaper Change 2011

You may or may not have noticed my passion for gorgeous Fluffy Bums, my ever-growing stash of cloth nappies doesn’t seem to end! I stumbled across a link for The Great Cloth Diaper Change 2011 and of course my interest was immediately peaked. I hadn’t heard of this, what was it?


Artwork Courtesy of Christine O’Brien

According to their website it started as Judy Aagard’s [of TinyTots] dream to host an event for families to celebrate Earth Day and turned into a Guinness World Record attempt at the most cloth nappies [or diapers!] simultaneously changed! No matter where you are in the world you can take part on April 23rd, 2011 at 9AM PDT [that’s 16:00 for UK peeps!]  just by looking for a location near you to head over to [you may need to pre-register!]. There are certain requirements as per Guinness World Record rules so make sure you check those out too. Unfortunately there isn’t time to sign up to host a location but they are planning on running the event next year so if you’re unable to take part this year don’t be disheartened!

If you need more information you can head over to their website, or one of their Facebook groups, to find out more!

April 12, 2011

Penny Pinchers: ThredUP

It’s days like today that I am eternally envious of my US neighbours. Sometimes it really does feel like being in the UK we get the short end of the stick, although in saying that I’m sure there are plenty of examples proving the same for them!! While browsing some penny pinching sites online I came across this one, ThredUP, which deals in 2nd hand kids clothing but which is NOT available in the UK… I’m most upset!! It looks so easy and convenient.

Gift boxes

Just waiting to be opened! Photo by For Goodness Cake

You pick a box, you can search by gender and age or even add specific brands, and pay $5 + shipping for your box of gently used clothes. The sellers tend to list the types of clothes and even the season they are suitable for or whether they’re mostly tops or a mix. You put together a box of your kids clothes or toys that you no longer use or if they’ve outgrown them and send it on when someone wants your box. How easy is that!! I know I would be horrendously excited waiting for a box of unknowns to be able to go through them and admire each piece! It’s great if you’re trying to save some money or would rather recycle than buy new. There seems to be a real variety in the items listed too… now if only we had a similar service in the UK…

April 11, 2011

Somewhat Crunchy: Home-made Washing Powder Review

“Trial 1” went very well!! In fact since my post I’ve notched up 5 loads of washing, partly due to the excitement and testing of the home-made washing powder. It’s removed stains from a white hoodie stained with coffee and poo stained nappies and leaves everything smelling of… well… nothing! Everything just smells of clean, if you can call that a smell?! I just wish mine looked as good as this:

2113 Washing Washing by Andy Linden

Now I’m wondering if I should attempt some sort of pre-wash stain remover using the borax substitute as most of Mr BP’s jeans are destroyed from being at the horse yard he was volunteering at. I mean the minor stains weren’t really an issue at all but he wears the same jeans for a week and the dirt just gets ground in. The only stain left on the jeans I washed today is a large stain on the knee, looks like he was kneeling in something… I just don’t want to know what it was!

Having a huge tub of washing powder also encouraged me to make space for it so I took 10 minutes to clear the shelves under the sink – including the old used cloths, gross!!

All in all I feel as though I’ve been very productive!

April 10, 2011

Somewhat Crunchy: Home-made Washing Powder

I think using cloth nappies makes you think, not only about the amount washing detergent costs but, about the amount of chemicals you’re washing down the drain into the system AND putting next to your precious little’s bum! It made me look at my laundry pile in a whole different light and I started to think about eco-friendly ways to look after both my washing and my family. I found hundreds of washing powder recipe’s online and many other people who have obviously already “been there and done that”. It was nice to know I wasn’t alone in my quest and I immediately set to work to find the ingredients I needed for some. I used a recipe I found on Mother Earth News and have “trial 1” current running in my washing machine as I type this so I will update on how it all goes!!

I haven’t added the essential oils as being pregnant lavender can have an adverse effect but I’ll maybe add some orange essential oil if I want fragrance. As borax can be damaging to aquatic life I opted for borax substitute and used pure grated soap. I only made 75% yield of the recipe but you could cut it down as much as you needed/wanted:

Simple Washing Powder

16 cups washing soda
12 cups borax
8 cups grated castile or glycerin soap flakes*
3 tablespoons lavender, lemon or grapefruit essential oil

Combine washing soda, borax and soap flakes. Add essential oil and mix with a wire whisk. Use 1⁄8 cup per load.

Yield: This recipe makes enough powder to last a family of four one year.

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-home-living/make-your-own-lavender-laundry-detergent-for-pennies.aspx#ixzz1J9iG54Ns

Pure Grated Soap Flakes

I sat last night grating soap which sounds like a bit of an arduous task but no matter where I looked I couldn’t find soap flakes and buying them online meant waiting longer for something when I could grate my own!! It was surprisingly easy and therapeutic and I felt good knowing I had done the labour myself. I then set to work measuring all the ingredients and mixing them together, having only bought about half of the borax substitute that I needed I had to wait until today to finish it but I now have a nice big yield sitting in a box.

My Home-made Washing Powder

There are hundreds of recipes online for all sorts of eco-friendly, green cleaning products. My next stop will be white vinegar!!