Latest Posts

Camping with Kids: Why we love Wowo

Rob and I discovered our love for camping not long after we met. It was a natural progression to  take the boys and it has now become part of family life. We love campsites that offer freedom and adventure. We first came across Wapsbourne Manor Farm or Wowo (as it is affectionally known) about six years  years ago before we were married. It is a very family orientated site it but certainly isn’t exclusive to families and we felt very comfortable. In fact, I think everyone feels welcome at Wowo. They have created a culture or micro community that feels like home the moment you arrive. It is a place for proper old school fun with an emphasis on allowing your kids to be ‘free range’ in their 150 acres of natural playground. So if mud pies, rope swings, camp fires and den building send you into a panic, it’s probably not going to be your thing.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetCamping is split into five fields which all have a slightly different feel and aspect. Best thing to do is try it out, have a wander and see which you prefer for future trips. We love wandering round the site and checking out where we might pitch up next time! This trip we were in ‘Upper Moat’ (reserved for large group bookings) as we had over ten pitches on this occasion. We requested to be at the North end near the trees and rope swings, and Wowo were helpful as always and had allocated us more than enough space for our group to be comfortable and happy.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetWe arrived a day ahead of the group to get ourselves settled. The campsite was quiet even though it was half term as weekends are busiest. There is some sort of magic about this place. I mean camping in general does give you an opportunity to escape the urban life we are used to, with screen free time and hours in the day to while away, just pottering about in a contented kind of way. But Wowo is just all kinds of special. You arrive and are immediately transported into a calmer, better version of yourself. Children are just running free all around. Within an hour Arthur had made friends with a nearby family and the older boys took him under their wing. Once our other friends arrived, the kids played ALL DAY LONG from rope swings, digging in the dirt to role-playing their favourite tv heroes, they are more contended than ever. We allow them freedom to explore and the confidence they feel is evident.

Processed with VSCO with b5 presetIf you are looking for something more secluded, you can camp along the ‘Tipi trail’ where pitches are nestled in the woodland, or if you are more a glamping kind of family you can opt for one their very cool yurts or shepherds huts. One of our group didn’t have any camping equipment so they hired one of the bell tents arranged via Wowo which came fully kitted up with everything you could possibly need for the weekend. To be honest, it was the envy of the whole group! These can be pitched anywhere so a really flexible option.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetYou can do as little or as much as you like here. If your kids want some more structured activity (or you really want to finish them off for bedtime so you can have a glass of vino), theres plenty of options. You can book onto different workshops depending on the time of year but examples are; circus workshops, bushcraft, foraging or woodland walk. I personally love the fairy preservation society workshop! On Friday night there is a pizza and fish & chip van, so if you want to just come for the weekend, pitch up and relax this is perfect. Now don’t be misled, this makes it sounds a bit commercial but it really isn’t. It is just a perfect solution for people wanted total and utter relaxation! They have some breakfast options including waffles and pancakes too. At the weekend the were also supporting a local brownie group with a bake sale so we go some delicious cake too!

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetOne of the best bits of the weekend is the Saturday night soup. Grab a bowl, rock up to the village where the giant Teepee stands and you will find freely flowing (and yummy) soup, bread and butter. How much do they charge for this? Nothing, absolutely nothing. The sceptical of you might say “well thats just included in the price of your weekend”. Well no, camping is cheap, very cheap compared to a lot of other family holidays or days out. I’ve never known anywhere else that does anything like it. So why do they do it? To build a sense of community, to bring strangers together to enjoy acoustic music, a natter and hearty food. It’s awesome.

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Processed with VSCO with f2 presetCampfires. What can I say? It’s just not camping without a real fire to toast marshmallows (vegetarian ones available on site) and keep you warm of an evening as you sup on your cider and catch up with family and friends. We’ve done quite a bit of fire building at forest school and its a fantastic kids activity. Arthur loves making ‘dragon sneezes’ which we learnt at Sussex Wildlife Trust when using our flint and steel to create sparks. The kids really enjoyed joining in to make their contribution to the fire. Logs are delivered every evening around the campsite so it couldn’t be easier.

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Processed with VSCO with f2 presetThere are plenty of facilities with showers and toilet blocks, including family showers. You will find compost ‘pump’ toilets in all fields. At the entrance, you will find a large barn that houses  not only fridges and freezers but sofas, toys and ping pong if you fancy a break from the sun (or rain). There is also a small shop at reception selling milk, local eggs, apple juice, sausages and various other camping essentials.

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Processed with VSCO with f2 presetWe tend to stay on site as thats the kind of camping we like. We hang out, we relax and we enjoy our surroundings. If you did want more from your trip there is loads near by. The Bluebell railway is just down the road (walking distance) which is amazing for all your little (and big) train obsessed people. Sheffield park gardens and Wakehurst place are a short drive away and also well worth a visit.

So if you are looking for some off-grid, screen free time where nature is your playground, then you might have found your perfect spot.

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Please note: I have not been asked or paid to provide this review. All opinions are genuine and my own. I just love this place x

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The Helpful Hiker

Cloth Nappy Myths Busted!

Since starting out with cloth I have heard a plethora of wild and bizarre statements so I thought I would quash a few of the right here, right now.  The one true fact about cloth that can be a bit scary is that there is so much choice but really that’s like one of those ‘positive negatives’ that you have ready to wheel out at an interview, like ‘I’m a perfectionist’! I’ve used cloth for two children now and it’s easy, fun and gives you a sense of community with other cloth users, you wouldn’t hear that said about disposables now would you? If you are thinking of starting out with cloth or old hat, some of these may resonate with you.

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Cloth nappies are difficult to wash

I picked this one first because it is a passion of mine to spread the word about easy wash routines. You will so often hear people talking about strip washing, bleaching, special laundry detergent and buckets full of smelly nappies. Nope. It’s really is super easy. In a nutshell, cold rinse, long wash and line dry if you can. That’s the abridged version but that’s pretty much it. If you start out with a good wash routine all will be well.

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Your nappies will leak

Wrong again. In my experience disposables cannot contain newborn Poonami. It squirts up the back and boom, every time you need a change of outfit. Because of the elastic around the thighs and back waistband, cloth nappies contain the poo much more reliably than disposables. As for changing times, I change Eli’s nappy every 3-4 hours just as I would a disposable.

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It costs a fortune

Ok, you got me on this one. With cute prints like the Tots Bots ones featured in this post it’s hard to not add to your stash when new ones are released. It’s generally acknowledged that if you stock up with an adequate supply of cloth nappies (around 25 for full time cloth) then you could save £££ compared to disposables. That’s even with the impact of washing on your household bills. If you are on a stricter budget, often two part system using a wrap and insert (like peanut wraps and pads) are a good economical option. If you go on to use your stash for future children you are definitely quids in!

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It’s Gross

As someone once said to me. Sorry, have to disagree with you there. You know what is ‘gross’? A nappy sitting in landfill for 200-500 year. Waist should be channeled in the appropriate way, and poo should go down the loo! In the UK, over 8 disposable nappies are sent to landfill EVERY SINGLE DAY. There are lots of ways to removed waste from cloth nappies without ever having to get your hands dirty. I personally put mine under the water as the toilet flushes and never have an issue.

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Wetness in cloth causes nappy rash

With my first son, Arthur we used cloth part time at certain points and he was always getting nappy rash in disposables. I have used cloth exclusively with Eli since about two weeks old and we NEVER get any sort of rash! If i’m ever worried about his skin I use the lovely Weleda nappy cream which is gentle and mild.

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Cloth nappies with make your child bandy legged (wide gait) and delay development

Really? Is that the best you could come up with? Wrong again. My own personal experience is quite the contrary as is the experience of many other cloth bum mums. Modern cloth nappies are not bulky. We have a wide range of nappies and brands. All in one nappies like the Tots Bots easy fit stars are super easy to use and nice and trim so no bulky cloth between the legs. I give Eli nappy free time every day, just as I would do if he was wearing a disposable. There is absolutely no evidence that cloth nappies will cause any physical or developmental problems / delay.

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Cloth nappies are hard work

Cloth nappies do indeed involve more thought. You probably need an extra wash every two to three days. But hey, to be honest the washing machine is permanently on in my house so it really makes no odds to me! You will never run out and its not a monthly expense you have to account for if you already have your stash and are on a tight household budget. If you follow me on social media, you will know I believe in being a conscious consumer and that we should give thought to all our purchases and speak out with your pennies. The slightly odd thing is, I actually love washing and folding my *ahem*, Eli’s cloth nappies 🙂

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Cloth nappies are fun!

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The nappies featured in this post are the brand new Tots Bots elements prints released today. You can get these prints in Easyfit star, Teenyfit, Peanut wraps, wet bags and happy mats too! If you want to know what I think of the easyfit star you can read my review here.

As always, I love to hear what you think and answer any questions so drop me a line…

The nappies in this post were provided by Tots Bots. All opinions are my own.

In Focus: Milovia

The Brand

Milovia are a Polish company that have an ever rapidly growing fan base in the UK over the past three or so years since they started out in 2013. They sell a range of beautiful and functional fluffy goodness. I have been a fan ever since I came across their brand but in the last six months or so have really fallen in love with them. I have a big range of their pocket nappies and these are a firm favourite with both me and my husband (queue shouting “where are the Milovia honey” in the background). This month we’ve been trying out their wrap system and so thought i’d share a bit about how we got on!

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Features
  • One Size – birth to potty (9-35lbs)
  • The outer fabric is the waterproof,  PUL fabric with a micro fleece section at each end to protect babies skin
  • Simple to use
  • Can be used 2-3 times with only a change of insert if wrap clean
  • Snap closure and rise setting
  • Can use with a variety of inserts, boosters or fitted nappies of all sizes
  • Super fast drying times
  • Bright, vibrant patterns

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The Nappy System

This is a nappy wrap system. For those of your not familiar with these terms it simply means it is a waterproof cover that you can use an insert with or alternatively use a fitted nappy (like a bamboozle) underneath. You can opt for the Milovia microfleece inserts which come in small, medium and large and have their own lovely fleecy top layer than can go directly next to babies skin (and is the softest thing you have ever seen!). You can also use a muslin, prefold or a terry square as you would with any other wrap. This makes it a really versatile and affordable system as you can reuse the wraps and choose boosters / inserts to suits your budget and preference. You buy as just a wrap which is great as you can genuinely choose whatever inserts you fancy.

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Absorbency is excellent if you use the Milovia micro fleece inserts, I never have an issue with leaks. I usually change routinely ever 3-4 hours in the day and this seems to work well with no wicking (leaks around the leg fabric).

This wrap is a birth to potty and it does therefore what it says on the proverbial tin. I would say that it is not as generous in sizing as some other nappy wraps on the market so if you have a real chubby thighed baby it may not hold out as long as alternatives. However, saying that, Eli is 16 months / 20lbs and on the middle rise snaps with no signs of needing to go up any time soon. They have an excellent fit around his legs and I never have any issues with marking on the thighs / tummy. The waist and rise snaps are easy to use and not fiddly like some brands I’ve come across. If you’ve followed me for a while you will know my love for poppers!

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I use these wraps over a fitted nappy at night such as a bamboozle and they are super comfy and have no issues with leaks. I have also used with a large and medium insert and that works just as well.

The prints are some of the most vibrant and colourful I’ve seen and they are really popular. The print featured is ‘noisy animals’ and I love the funky pattern on white background. In my experience they also hold their value very well so when you come to a point of not needing nappies any more *sobs* then you know you will get a good return on your investment. These wraps retail at around £14.50 and inserts are £3-4 depending on size. Of course you can pick up terry squares or muslins super cheap!

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Caring for your nappy

You will hear lots of wild ideas about how to wash your nappies, but let me tell you, it really is very simple! If you start well with a good wash routine you will be fine and unlikely to encounter any issues. Here is what I would recommend:

  • Always wash your nappy before first use
  • Keep nappies in a bucket for a maximum of three days (no need to soak)
  • Put in washing machine and place washing powder in a separate drawer (not in the drum with your nappies)
  • Avoid fabric softener, baking soda, vinegar and optical brightness (I use persil non bio and live in a hard water area)
  • I add a scoop of violets mineral bleach but that is purely preference
  • Wash on a cold rinse first
  • Set to a longish cycle, I use the cotton one which is about 2 hours (avoid eco cycle as this does not use enough water to get your nappies clean and rinsed)
  • Wraps should only be line dried or on an airer but other nappies can be tumbled on low

Voila! It really is simple.

Pros
  • Really versatile system
  • Cost effective
  • Easy to transport / use on days out / holidays
  • Amazing prints
  • Easy popper system
  • Excellent fit around the leg
  • Can be used for both day and night
  • Super fast drying time
Cons
  • Only available in popper so not for any velcro lovers out there (poppers really are amazing!)
  • Slightly smaller than other wraps on the market so not ideal for really chunky bubs
  • Made from microfibre / fleece so not suitable if your preference is natural fibre
Other lovely Things

Milovia also make matching blankets and pillows which are also super cute. I’ve got the matching blanket and lion pillow and they look gorgeous in my boys animal themed bedroom. The inside of the blanket is a thick terry cloth with lovely soft fabric on the outside. I use it for a bedspread but the boys like to tuck up underneath it for stories at night too. It doesn’t have a waterproof layer but we still use it for a picnic blanket when out and about. We were at an outdoor performance of Wind in the Willows the other day and I lost count of the amount of people that tapped me on the shoulder to ask where to buy one! I love things that have multiple functions but are also really beautiful and this fits the bill nicely.

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And the dog…

Well it seems Bella is giving it the seal of approval! So the only issue is how to get her to give it up…

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I love talking all things cloth and fluffy so do get in touch if with your questions…

 

The products in these photos were provided by Milovia in exchange for review but all opinions are honest and my own 

Tots Bots: Something for everyone…

I’m a massive fan of Tots Bots and have been from the word go. I first discovered cloth nappies when I was pregnant with Arthur. Me and hubby were at the national baby show and stumbled across the Tots Bots stand. They were super helpful and we got so excited by the idea that we made the investment there and then in a birth to potty kit made up of factory seconds so it was an absolute bargain! It’s one of the best decisions we made as expectant parents and its now become part of family life.

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Earlier in the year, Tots Bots released their new ‘playtime prints‘ which have proven to be real popular especially the Kaleidoscope print. So popular in fact they decided to release a wet bag and happy mat in the same print as limited edition! I love this print. Its bold, stylish and funky. We already have the nappy in the Easyfit Star and it’s gorgeous on the bum. If you are new to cloth or Tots Bots and want to know more about their Easyfit Star all in one nappy you can find my blog post here.

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The happy mat is one of my go to parenting essentials. I have one in the ‘dazzle’ print and it has been one of the most useful things I have, both at home and out and about. The top layer is super fluffy and absorbent, the type of fabric you want to just stroke or rub on your cheek (ok maybe thats just me then). It has a padded core and the waterproof patterned underside. It rolls up really neatly with a little tie and packs into any change bag nicely. When Eli was little I also used to double it up as a play mat or for tummy time. I’ve since bought for lots of friends who equally love it. It would be in my top ten go to essentials for parents I think (yes I love it that much). Of course its not only for cloth bums but perfect for any baby regardless of what nappy system you choose, especially sensitive little bums.

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I’m a bit of a wet bag fanatic, which probably goes hand in hand with being a crazy nappy lady. A bit like the happy mat, all parents (in fact all people) can make use of a wet bag. They are so multifunctional. We use ours for nappies and wipes (both clean and soiled), swim kits, wet clothes, beach stuff and food. Someone recently also told me they used it to protect their camera on the beach which I thought was an excellent idea! They feature a waterproof fabric and zip, and have a useful snap on handle that can be used for hanging in the house if you’re limited for space and don’t want a bucket, or can attach to your buggy.

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I recently wrote a guest blog post for Tots Bots with my top tips for getting out and about with cloth nappies which you can find here.

Thanks for stopping by, I’d love to hear your favourite go to nappy essentials…

Disclosure: The featured products were provided to facilitate this review but all opinions are honest and my own.

 

Babygrow Veg Bag

This month I’ve been joining in with plastic free July and have been talking about reducing our single use plastic waste. Although the ultimate goal is to live ‘plastic free’, the most important thing is to cut down on plastics that have a life span of a few minutes. Coffee cups, straws, carrier bags and water bottles are four of the main offenders. Something used for a moment then chucked in the bin. I think a lot of people are on board with reusable bags these days, it just takes a little planning ahead. So why not go one step further and think of ways around stopping using those little flimsy veg bags you get in the supermarket? Can I hear you all shouting “count me in”?! Of course, glad you can join me.

So i’ve got a super easy hack for you to turn unwanted babygrows into pretty little produce bags! If you’ve got some old babygrows / vests, scissors, cotton and can vaguely navigate a sewing machine (or have a willing friend who can) you’re in with a fighting chance of getting these spot on.

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If I was a more efficient sewer I would tell you to wash and iron your babygrow before starting this project, but hey let’s face it, I haven’t washed my kitchen floor in about six months so let’s assume my iron hasn’t seen the light of day for quite a while.

Start by cutting a straight edge along the bottom removing the popper section (don’t throw away as that may come in handy later).

Turn the babygrow inside out so the right sides of the fabric are touching  and you can see the seams. Again, if I was a more organised person I would probably pin along the edge I’m about to sew to keep it nice and neat, but hey I’m lazy.

Use a zig zag stitch as that tends to be better for stretchy fabric. I always double over my first and last few stitches so they stay nice and tight. Try to stay quite near to the edge as you don’t really want a big hem.

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Turn inside out, and…voila!!

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Cute huh?!

The downside to these is that the cotton weighs more than say a muslin or fabric which is virtually weightless. One of these weighs about 30g (a small apple is 150g) so you need to be mindful of that when deciding what you will use them for. I weight my veg first then stick them in the bag after. The nice thing about these is they are 100% cotton and and because the fabric is that little bit thicker it protects delicate fruit. I just love looking at them and thinking of my little squish wearing it once upon a time!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and I love hearing your comments so drop me a note below! I’m going to be sharing my other produce bag hacks soon so let me know if there is anything you would like to see!

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In Focus: Baba + Boo

The Brand

Baba + Boo are are the creation of ‘accidental business woman’ Eve who started out in 2009 on a mission to make the planet a fluffier place. She is an absolute delight to deal with. You will know if you have spoken to her for any reason, that she really cares about the planet, her customers and your babies. Eve made the decision not to go back to work after having her two babies, so with her passion for cloth nappies and living a greener life this company was born. Personally, I am totally inspired by women like Eve. There is many a day when I think of alternative careers that would fit in better with family life but I’m not sure i’d ever have the guts to do it! So high five to you lovely mama.

Features
  • Pocket nappy (outer shell that requires inserts)
  • One size (from 10lb to potty)
  • Popper closure
  • Bamboo + cotton inserts
  • Microfleece lining next to babies skin which wicks away moisture direct to inserts
  • Inserts made with 70% bamboo and 30% cotton

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The nappy

This is a pocket nappy. For those of you that are not seasoned cloth nappy users, this  simply means you have a shell outer made of PUL (the waterproof layer) attached to a microfleece inner layer that has an opening at the back to insert your booster(s).

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The nappy comes with two boosters made from 70% bamboo and 30% cotton, they are generously sized (15 x 35cm) and very absorbent.  The nappy feels nice and squishy and Eli certainly seems comfortable. As with all pocket nappies it is slightly more bulky than some slim all in ones but this certainly hasn’t been an issue. Absorbency is great, I usually use both inserts and easily been getting 3-4 hours in between changes with no wicking (leakage onto the leg fabric) or leaks.

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This nappy is a birth to potty system which grows with your baby (10-36lb) and I would say the sizing is generous. The snaps on the front can be ‘snapped down’ to adjust the size according to the fit of your baby. On Eli I use the middle snap and this is more than generous for his size. The fastening is also a popper system where you can adjust the size of the waistband to suit your baby also. I used to love velcro when I was first starting out in cloth but actually I’ve really grown to prefer poppers and they are equally as flexible.

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One feature I particular love is a gusset within the microfibre inner layer. This helps create a barrier to any possible poonami incidents. I am a massive fan of gussets!

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There are some really cute prints available, my favourite currently is ‘Elf Town’! This nappy retails at £12.95 which is an excellent price point for the quality of the nappy. They are available from Babi Pur from this week in Elf town, Woodland friends, Toadstool and Moonshine and you can use the code ‘Buddy’ for a cheeky 10% off!

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Caring for your nappy

First thing I will say is never stress or worry about washing nappies, it really is very simple. The best way is to have a good wash routine from the start and you shouldn’t run into any issues. Here is what Baba + Boo recommend:

  • Prewash your nappies a couple of times before using them at 40’C and dry in between washes to boost the absorbency of your inserts
  • Rinse nappies on a cold wash before washing at 40’C without fabric conditioner, regular bleach or stain removers which can harm them. Whenever possible, line-dry your nappies – they can be tumble dried on a low setting.
  • If using a barrier cream on your baby, use a liner.

Its as simple as all that! Personally my wash routine for all my nappies is; cold rinse, full cotton wash at 60 degrees (usually 2-3 hours) and sometimes a final cold rinse. I use a full dose of detergent as I live in a hard water area and a scoop of miofresh. I line dry where possible but if the weather isn’t being kind to me I dry on an airier indoors and finish off in the tumble. This is what I have found works well for us but please be aware that deviation from the manufacturers guidance may invalidate your warranty.

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Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Generous sizing
  • Double gusset
  • Good absorbency
  • Cute prints
  • Not too much prep and can be tumble dried
  • Excellent price point (especially with the Babi Pur code)
Cons
  • Some people to not like microfibre against babies skin and prefer natural materials
  • Only comes in poppers so if you prefer velcro these may not be for you
  • Limited prints, although they do bring new ones out on a regular basis
  • Only available in pocket style nappy (newborn and birth to potty)

We have also been trying out one of their fab wet bags, which are really generously sized and we’ve got on really well with them. I can’t wait to go camping as it is going to be perfect for that!

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Eli is 11 months old and weighs 18lbs. The nappies were provided in exchange for review but all opinions are truthful and my own.

 

 

 

Easter Craft: Okonorm Egg Dye & Watercolours

When I was planning this activity with Arthur, he kept asking me “are the eggs dead Mummy”. We had long discussions around how the egg wasn’t alive etc etc. He kept asking, and asking…and asking. Then I suddenly realised, I had told him we were going to ‘dye’ the eggs and therefore assumed that they would then be ‘dead’!

Anyway, if you are looking for nice quick and easy craft that children of almost any age (under supervision) can enjoy, then this may be it.

I discovered Okonorm when I bought some of their modelling clay from Babi Pur for a stocking filler for Arthur for Christmas. If you hate play dough as much as me, then you will love this. I hate that play dough gets everywhere, tiny little bits all over the carpet and it just drys out rendering it completely useless. Okonorm make an eco clay made with waxes, paraffin, purified natural chalk and eco dyes. Although the colours are bound to get mixed together, you can still use it time and time again. All their products are environmentally friendly, non toxic and made from sustainable resources.

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The egg dye kit is super quick and simple and lots of fun too. At £3.95 a pack its a very affordable activity. The set contain five colours – red, yellow, green, orange and pink. You can dye about five eggs with each sachet, any more means a less intense colour. Just remember that the natural pigment from the egg shell will affect the ultimate colour and this will vary quite a bit. I found the lighter colours (orange and yellow) only changed the eggs I used very subtly, but achieved a more intense colour from the pink, green and red.  The dyes are made of completely natural ingredients (curcumin, chlorophyllin and cochineal natural food colours and rock salt) so perfectly safe to eat, and gluten free. Here’s a quick step by step guide but it’s really very simple (if you follow the instructions):

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  • Pour 750ml of cold water into a stainless steel saucepan – don’t use enamel pans as they will be stained by the dye.  Add one dye sachet.

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  • Place 5-7 eggs in the saucepan, ensuring they are covered by the water.

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  • Bring to the boil, stir the dye and allow to boil for 7-10 minutes.

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  • Remove the eggs from the pan and set the colour by running under cold water. You can experiment with different timings and colour intensity.

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It really is as simple as all that! You can decorate however you choose but a nice way to  make patterns is with damp cotton wool or cotton bud. We made Dino eggs!

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As the yellow and orange had a less impressive colour we decided to paint them with our Okonorm watercolours. I like to break our craft into bite sized chunks in order to maintain Arthurs interest and this activity seemed to work really well. It also meant I got to have a little paint and play too!

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I absolutely LOVE these watercolours. All you need is a pot of water and the paint. They make hardly any mess and can be cleared up really quickly which is pretty important when you have a kid like Arthur that 2 mins into an activity has had enough! I’ve since bought the 12 set.

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Interestingly, I also bought some duck eggs to try out, thinking white would give the most intense colour. Wrong! The dye hardly took at all. So personally I’d stick to your lovely free range chicken eggs.

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Pros:

  • Good value
  • Quick and easy
  • Non toxic, sustainable, environmentally friendly
  • Edible

Cons:

  • Less intense colouring from the orange and yellow
  • Needs supervision for boiling water

 

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Thanks to Babi Pur for providing the egg dye kit. All other products purchased by me and all opinions are my own.

Mother’s Day Eco Craft: Daffodil Bunting

If your child is anything like Arthur, their attention span for crafting will be similar to that of a small fish. I used to find this incredibly frustrating, but now I try to find activities that either hold his interest, or are broken down in bite sized messy chunks. If I try to provide too much (well actually, any) structure the whole thing quickly dissolves lots of stropping (mostly me) and then quickly, boom, it’s all over. I try to allow him as much freedom to explore the activity and make it his own as possible, but I will admit, this doesn’t always come naturally to me. Count to ten…repeat. I hear you say ‘why bother’? Selfishly, because I love craft and I want to share that with him and if it’s on his ‘terms’ we all get along fine. Craft is also a perfect opportunity to use up old bits and bobs, like the card and egg boxes in this project.

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This is the perfect craft activity for a boy (or girl) like Arthur. You can break it down into easy sections, it can pretty much all be done independently and they will feel a great sense of achievement seeing it hanging on the wall. It’s pretty simples, but…

  • Grab some large sheets of white card. I either reuse card or I buy recycled from Eco Craft who have an amazing range of stuff to choose from. Paint the whole card yellow – perfect for Arthur as it requires no instruction and he can use big heavy strokes, which he is comfortable with (I only gave yellow paint or else everything would turn into a muddy mess). Leave to dry.
  • Cut out sections of egg boxes, use both pointy and round bits and paint these orange. Leave to dry. I saved the top flat sections for making easter baskets.

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  • Draw random petal shapes on the painted card and cut out. Depending on the age of your child they may need help with this bit! I prefer random shapes as that reflects nature best.

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  • Stick orange egg box sections onto yellow petals using glue.

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  • Attach to twine with sticky tape.
  • Hang up somewhere and admire all the pretty!

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It’s as simple as that! Because of the way this craft was broken down, Arthur and I really enjoyed it together. A proper mothers day treat 🙂

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I’d love to hear how yours turn out!

This activity was inspired by Nurture Store.

New Name: Same Old Me!

First of all, I’m a scatty, indecisive person so this was bound to happen at some point! Since starting my Instagram and little blog I had a niggling feeling that the name wasn’t right for me. Initially I was using the tag line ‘A Reusable Life’, but as time went on I really felt that actually this would be a more appropriate name for my blog. Cloth nappies have been, and will continue to be a main interest for me, but over time I’ve been thinking more about the other reusable and sustainable aspects of our lives that have evolved in the last year or so. I really enjoy sharing ideas that I have come across to cut down on waste and plastics, not just reusable nappies.

I feel really excited that I finally made the decision to do this and I hope you continue to follow along with me on this journey of ‘My ReUsable Life’!

Love

Heather xx

 

 

Lanco Toys

I discovered Lanco relatively recently and have since acquired quite a few of their lovely things, so thought I’d share with you a bit about them. I am always interested to know something about how toys (or any other products) are produced before they reach our home to be loved. Lanco are a family run business from Barcelona, making latex toys since 1951. They make eco-friendly toys from 100% natural rubber produced from sustainable common rubber trees (Hevea Brasiliensis) which is both natural and biodegradable. They ‘tap’ the sap from slits in the bark and collect it in cups – how cool is that?! Amazingly this process is carried out by hand, in fact the entire production process is by hand, from making moulds to decoration. Once moulded the latex is hand-painted with non-toxic lead free paint safe for our little ones to chew and mouth. Free from PVC, BPA, Nitrosamines, and Phthalates. I think my favourite ‘fact’ about the company is that 83% of their employees have been working with them for more than 20 years, which speak volumes to me.

The first Lanco toy we got was ‘Bo the frog‘. Arthur was never really much of a chewer, his teeth seemed to come with very little fuss! On the other hand, Eli is the total opposite and boy do we know it! He is constantly mouthing things, dribbling, chewing his fists, etc, so we wanted to find some new toys to help him through this phase. We had some wooden teethers, but when I saw Bo it looked completely different to other ones I had seen previously. He is a lovely vibrant green, squeaks and has a textured ring to hold. To be fair, the main reason I got him is because my nickname from childhood is ‘frogsy’ so I couldn’t resist! He was a massive hit with Eli. I really like the fact that the head section is soft (Eli likes to shove the whole thing in his mouth) but the ring handle is hard so great for chewing.

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The next Lanco toys we got were the ‘Ocean Bath Set‘ which Eli was given for Christmas by his Auntie and Uncle. This contains a crab (Peepo), dolphin (Blue) and octopus (Jay). Best thing about these toys? NO HOLES! Yes, you heard me right…no horrible holes to fill up with mould that then gets squirted all over the place. Sounds too good to be true, right? I would recommend drying them off with a towel after use just to make sure mould doesn’t build up, but we’ve been loving them since Christmas with no problems. Its so nice to know that Eli can get in the bath and chew some toys without covering himself or his mouth with mould!

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We gave Eli an ‘Ollie the Octopus‘ in his stocking at Christmas and I have to say I think this is my favourite one! I’m not even sure why to be honest. I just love the look on its  cheeky little face! It is a bath toy and it does have a hole so I squeeze it out good and proper at the end of bath time and we haven’t had any issues as yet. It is also a great teether and for playing in general. I do like a toy you can wipe down!

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Babipur sent us three lovely toys to add to our collection; a sensory ball (pastel), Maggy the Snake and Hunter the Hedgehog. All three of these toys make fantastic sensory toys. I’ve added them all at different time to Eli’s treasure basket and he is fascinated with them. He uses the ball to crawl around on the floor rolling it in front of himself (who needs a flashing noisy crawl ball eh?!). I especially like Hunter, and so does Eli. He is so tactile and the perfect size to pop in my pocket when we are out and about and I want something to distract or amuse him. He is the perfect toy to complement a treasure basket. Maggy has a really interesting texture because of the scales, again making her perfect for our treasure basket rotation. The texture and feel also seems very appealing as Eli loves to mouth and squeak it.

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We love our Lanco toys and I think they make great gifts. They aren’t necessarily something people have seen before and I like to get gifts that are interesting, different and eco-friendly. Priced between £6 and £13 also makes them nicely affordable and if you use the code ‘Buddy’ at Babipur you can get 10% off the price too.

The only problem is, our four legged friend has taken a shine to some of these toys so I think we will need to be ordering something from their pet range to keep our baby girl Bella happy!