Sunday 31 March 2019

Our Family in March

March ended with the not only Mother's Day but also the clocks going forward which means the day started too early. It got better thankfully with a lovely afternoon at the beach with both my babies and my Mum and we got our last minute as ever family photos.  We managed five happy faces looking at the camera in one (never six, obviously) but I think my favourite is this first one where not a single one of us knows where the camera is clearly!

March was full of colour, sunshine and preparing for spring.  We watched daffodils bloom, we considered wearing sandals before slipping our feet back into trainers and we (well I) started buying all the lovely summer things.  We had ice cream at the beach, paddled in the sea barefoot and I am pretty sure that all four children had huge growth spurts as they seem to be getting bigger everytime I look at them!

This month I loved getting back into running, buying sandals in the hope of summer weather, sending the children outside in the garden when they get in and going to the pub quiz with friends.

Ed has loved turning 29 again, watching Star Trek, going to a gig with some friends and a brewery tour.

Dylan has loved celebrating his friends birthday, karate club at school, going swimming with friends at the weekend and bringing me tea in bed this morning.

Archie has loved choosing new trainers, watching Dumbo at the cinema, planning how he would spend a million pounds and afternoon park trips with his friends.

Finn has loved practising writing his name, his very first swimming lesson, having all the bedtime stories and the road map I made on the floor from washi tape.

Cora has loved watching Dinosaur King, cuddling her piggy, playing with water out in the garden and cheesestrings.
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Saturday 23 March 2019

Five Ways to Cut Out Plastic in the Bathroom

Plastic is so convenient that it is easy to overlook the problems associated with it and the fact it doesn't break down and needs to end up somewhere (usually in a landfill site). I am so conscious now of my plastic usage and am trying to make changes where I can to use either reusable products or products in recyclable or little packaging.  The bathroom was one of the easiest places to make cuts and I wanted to share 5 ways I have cut down on plastic in our bathroom ( and a few ways I still need to).

Solid Shampoo

We are so used to liquid shampoo in bottles but there is another option.  shampoo bars can look like bars of soap but my favourite is Beauty Kubes, a cardboard box with 27 individual cubes that can be crumbled in my palm and mixed with a little water to create something that resembles the common shampoo.  Not only are they zero waste but they also contain fewer chemicals and leave my hair feeling softer and cleaner for longer.  

5 ways to cut out plastic in the bathroom, plastic free bathroom,
Soap Bars

Liquid hand soap is so easy but it comes completely packaged in plastic and little hands get a bit pump happy and we get through it so fast! In our bathroom we now have bars of soap that come unpackaged (or in brown paper as I like Lush soaps the best and we currently have 'respect your elders'). They are easy to use, leave our hands clean and last for so much longer!

5 ways to cut out plastic in the bathroom, plastic free bathroom,

Bamboo Toothbrushes

I have changed over to a Humble Bamboo Toothbrush and haven't looked back. It feels as easy in my hands and as nice on my teeth and I know that it isn't harming the environment either with the materials or the packaging.  Humble is socially responsible, helping the humble foundation provide oral care and education in many developing countries.  When it comes to throwing it away, the bamboo can be popped in the composting bin!

5 ways to cut out plastic in the bathroom, plastic free bathroom,

Who Gives a Crap

I heard about Who Gives a Crap toilet paper at least a year ago but it took me a long time to get round to ordering.  I wasn't sure I wanted to store all that tissue in the house and there is obviously a bigger outlay than picking up a small pack every time you are in the local supermarket.  I love how each roll is wrapped in paper rather than plastic though and having it delivered to the door is so easy! Half of the profits are donated to charities that help build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world.

5 ways to cut out plastic in the bathroom, plastic free bathroom,

Flannels instead of make up wipes

Make up wipes, just like baby wipes are so easy and disposable that sometimes I could forget that each wipe was made up of plastic and was sat in a landfill breaking down slowly into microplastics.  Now I use a flannel or reusable wipe to clean my face and I can pop it in the wash with the towels once I have used it.  There are no extra washes, no extra effort and no extra costs.  In fact, as I started using the flannels more, in an effort to not spend any more money, I cut up an old baby towel that is no longer big enough to wrap around my growing babies and made my own flannels.

5 ways to cut out plastic in the bathroom, plastic free bathroom,

Whilst there is significantly less plastic in our bathroom now, there are still areas I need to improve and I am always looking for ways to do that.

I have tried a toothpaste that comes in a glass jar but despite my best efforts I couldn't get used to it.  If you have any ideas for plastic free toothpaste I would love to hear! In the meantime, I recycle our empty toothpaste tubes through a local Terracycle program.

I have swapped over the reusable shampoo but I haven't yet found a hair conditioner that leaves my fine knotty hair tangle free.  I am still looking for new products to try that might eliminate the conditioner bottle from my shower.

There is a metal Muhle razor that I am intending to try once my current plastic based razor is finished but I am making sure I get any last uses from the one I own first as I don't want to throw it away until it is done! I am a little nervous about getting a metal one but it will be fantastic to get rid of another piece of plastic from the bathroom.

Do you have any tips for cutting down plastic further in the bathroom or any waste free products that you love?

5 ways to cut out plastic in the bathroom, plastic free bathroom,

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Tuesday 19 March 2019

What the Kids Wore - Raspberry Republic

Although it is still very much jumper weather, I am getting excited for summer and starting to buy bright clothes ready for the beach.  The new Raspberry Republic collection is full of colour and I love the funky designs, as do the children.  As soon as Dylan spotted Finn's t-shirt with rollerskating papayas he asked if I could get him one the same and Cora and I had great fun spotting the pink dolphins on her Samba skirt.  The collection is called Viva Brasil and is available at Little Footprint .

We had a little trying on session followed by a balloon game and I took a few photos of the clothes in action - full on bouncing, spinning, falling over, mid giggle action.  The t-shirt has plenty of growing room (this is age 5-7 on Finn who is 4) and the samba set is age 2-3 on a petite nearly 3 year old.  I love the outfit for the beach but the skirt is great for now with a long sleeved top and tights as well (see the last couple of pictures).  We were sent these items from Raspberry Republic but I have already bought some of the new collection as I love these bright colours on Finn especially and they are so much fun for the summer.  Everything is made from organic cotton and is super soft as well as holding the colour well (we have bought past season bits that we love too).  If you want outrageously fun designs which are like nothing you have seen before then check out Raspberry Republic!

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Monday 11 March 2019

Archie's Style - Nununu

Archie's outfit was gifted in exchange for a review

He knows what he likes and he knows what he doesn't.  He makes his own choices and sometimes they are the same as his friends and sometimes they aren't.  He isn't afraid to be different and I love that about him.  He is confident but not in an obvious way, he is thoughtful and loving and he makes me so proud.  He is possibly the easiest of the four children and I feel bad that he doesn't always get as much attention as they might but he is hilarious when you spend time with him one on one, even if he doesn't stop talking.

When Nununu asked if I wanted to pick a few bits off of the website, I knew straight away it would be for Archie, not just because it is often the little two that get sent clothing but because it is just his style.  Nununu is edgy and cool but still playful and comfy.  The shapes are built for movement and play and Archie will always pick his Nununu clothing out his drawers given the choice.  I let him pick his outfit and he went for these red and pink trousers with numbers on them (current favourite colour is pink) along with a short sleeved t-shirt (which we have layered over a long sleeved one for warmth) and a baseball cap which he hasn't taken off since it arrived.

We recently discovered a deserted skate park behind the fire station and it is favourite place to play, running inside the bowl, scooting round the edges and down the sides and trying to read the graffiti (which all seems to be clean words thankfully!) so I took a few photos of him wearing his new favourite outfit here.

I hope this amazing boy of mine continues to be who he is and proud of it.  I know peer pressure will kick in more and more and at 6 he is still so little but I love the person he is becoming.  

Archie is an average sized slim six year old wearing the 6-7 here.  The clothes have plenty of growing room and he will get plenty of wear from them.  The trousers have working drawstrings so work well for different shaped children.

We were sent Archie's top, trousers and hat for the purpose of this post
 but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own. 
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Thursday 7 March 2019

Five Reasons We Love Camping as a Family

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The way we travel has changed since we had children and now camping is one of our favourite ways to get away.  We have stayed in tents, caravans, mobile homes and everything in between and there are so many reasons why this makes seeing the world as a family more fun.  These are the top 5 reasons why we love camping as a family

1) Camping is usually the cheapest accommodation which means that we have more money to spend on treats whilst we are away (and we can justify more trips!).  Pitching our own tent is the cheapest, but staying in a mobile home usually costs a fraction of the amount of a hotel and we mix it up between these two.

5 reasons to love family camping, family camping, camping with kids,

2) All the campsites we have stayed at have great outdoor spaces and the children love throwing on some clothes and being outside straight away.  They love exploring the area, swimming in the pools and playing in the playgrounds.  I love the fresh air, the detox we naturally get from screen time and how exhausted the children are from it all every evening!

3) Everything we need is in one place.  Most campsites tend to have a shop, a restaurant, a swimming pool and some entertainment which means everything is accessible and we never have far to go.  It meant we could stop taking a stroller much earlier as the children can manage everything on foot.

5 reasons to love family camping, family camping, camping with kids,

4) Having four children means we can never fit in a single hotel room and we don't always want to be split up.  Camping is perfect for bigger families as we can arrange a bigger tent or caravan to accommodate all of us and we can put the children to bed in their rooms and still have some adult space to stay up late if we want to.

5) When we are planning our holidays, top of the children's list of priorities is the chance to make friends.  They are such sociable beings and they want the opportunity to meet other children to play with, either in kids clubs, at the playground or just running around and we always find campsites to be really sociable for both adults and children. 

5 reasons to love family camping, family camping, camping with kids,

We have been looking at Yelloh Village for a camping holiday as they have 84 luxury campsites across France, Spain and Portugal including some that are perfect for winter ski holidays!  Their sites have something for every type of camper and great facilities and I love the term 'open air hotels'. These photos from some of our camping adventures last year are making me really desperate to go again!

5 reasons to love family camping, family camping, camping with kids,

Are you tempted by camping or already converted?
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