Christmas Gift Guide Part 2: Something a bit eco-fabulous

When I put out a request for people to spam me with Christmas gift ideas for eco-friendly folk Thrashion Recycled Skateboard Jewellery came forward and knocked my socks off with not just a cool product but a great project link too. The guys at Thrashion Ltd produce jewellery and gifts from broken and recycled skateboards; and they have come up with another amazing and original idea for a new recycled skateboard product in time for Christmas, with a charitable aspect too!

Thrashion Recycled Skateboard Jewellery got together with illustrator Jon Horner to produce the first ever skate ‘SNAP’ game. The 52 full colour 350gsm silk laminated cards feature 13 different designs all illustrated by Jon Horner, and are reverse printed with another of Jon’s custom designs based on traditional playing cards imagery.

The cards are packaged in beautiful hand crafted games compendium style boxes which have been produced by Driftwood Surfboards and Thrashion Ltd from recycled skateboards and sustainable wood sources.

This new and completely original product will be launched in December 2013 but are available to pre-order through the Thrashion website now! These are a limited edition item and only 10 have been made. All profits made will be donated to Skateistan. Skateistan use skateboarding as a tool for youth empowerment in Afghanistan and Cambodia, supporting community engagement, education and empowerment.

Thrashion vs Jon Horner SNAP all designs

Disclaimer: This is a project I wanted to support, I received no reimbursement, payment, product or otherwise for this post.

Christmas Crafting Part 4 – making special cards for grandparents

I love to make Christmas cards to give from recycled bits and bobs, but have very little time to make a stack of 30 this year, we decided to give cards to very close family and friends this year, and do an e-card for others who would appreciate it.

This is Joss’ offering for her Daddy grandparents, and we’ve been making more this week, six in total with some decorated inside too!

Photo_45B6A6B8-216F-1D9F-21D4-F77650D36BB7

I was so impressed with Joss’ concentration, she sat for about 20 minutes with dabber paint pens, stickers and cotton wool and tin foil, did a bit of gluing as you can see from the sticky patches, and she scrunched up the tinfoil herself. The little penguins were peeled off and re-positioned umpteen times too!

That’s me for today, I’m working four days this week so posts are a little shorter and am dashing out the door now, but I do have an exciting post planned for next week, and of course keep entering my Organic Babies competition folks!

Christmas Gift Guide Part 1: Organic Babies Giveaway

I love to read Christmas Gift Guides both to get inspiration and get into the Christmas Spirit, but I wanted to bring out some important values in my own gift guide series which I’m focusing around an Eco-friendly festive theme.

Until Joss was 18 months old I used nothing but good old water in her bath, and we use washable wipes with water alone for nappy changes. It’s really important to me to avoid over exposure to chemicals and it was unnecessary for us to use anything more than water as it got her clean and was waste free! Now that Joss is getting a little messier with play and at mealtimes we wanted to introduce a gentle, nasty-free wash that is clean and green, and we were delighted to try the Organic Babies range by Green People. With organic certified ingredients and parabens, phthalates and other nasties out of the picture I felt confident to try the range, a little of the wash really does go a long way even when cleaning off blue paint following a messy session, and the calendula and hemp blend baby salve is another great option for keeping nappy rash at bay, but I also used it for Joss’ eczema to keep her skin soft and moisturised, and for my own dry patches – a great multi-purpose all rounder!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA (I received these products to review, all views are my own)

Green People very kindly agreed to help me kick start my gift guide with the ideal Christmas gift for parents-to-be or for a ready-made family, I have a fantastic Hello Baby gift set to give away to one lucky reader!
The gift set contains a trio of perfectly pure bath and skincare products that have been expertly blended making them perfect for new arrivals. Hello Baby includes Lavender Baby Salve an all round skin saviour and nappy rash essential. Scent Free Baby Lotion, a divinely nourishing lotion, perfect for baby massage. Lavender Baby Wash & Shampoo, super gentle organic bubbles for delicate skin.

Untitled

To enter just use the rafflecopter form below (opens tomorrow):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

T&Cs – UK only, giveaway ends midnight 8/12/13, Rafflecopter randomly chooses the winner and this choice is final, there is no cash alternative, responsibility for sending out the prize is with Green People

Autumnal crochet

A shortie from me today, I’m working five days this week so a bit behind with my home life let alone blogging! I have been taking it easier at night now that my latest uni assignment has safely reached the hands of my tutor, so I started a quick little snood for Jossy, a really simple mix of double and treble crochet with a lovely chunky wool, I just loved the autumnal colours that it reflects, gold, purple and green, I started making it for me but just knew it was for her once I saw the colour blend coming out, perhaps I’ll make myself a hat with the scraps!

1466215_10151692902727062_1855634266_n

Review: Christmas Gift Ideas from Treat Republic

Treat Republic is the place to go for handpicked and personal gifts.

logo

We all have one person that seems really hard to buy for, Treat Republic make gift shopping a breeze, there’s something for everyone and with well-defined drop down menus it didn’t take me long to find a few ideas for a good friend of mine.  I was lucky enough to be offered two Treat Republic gifts to review, I chose two gifts that appealed to the homemaker, a solid oak cupcake treat board, and metal robin watering can, having made no secret of my love of robins earlier this week!

As a blog with an eco-focus I like gifts that are handmade, long lasting and sustainable.  Wooden gifts are made to last, and Treat Republic sourced this lovely treat board in solid oak from Hop and Peck, a UK based designer who hand makes all of their products from sustainable wood.  Although the price is a little more than I would usually pay for a gift, at £25.99, the quality really is reflected in the price, and I would expect to use this for years to come.  It’s a sweet pared back alternative to the ubiquitous cake stand, small enough to store away but pretty enough to keep on display and is multi purpose, serving as a generic chopping board as well as a display board.  I was impressed by the finish, finished with Danish oil like my kitchen worktops!  This would make a lovely gift for a special friend, perhaps team it with some baked goodies you’ve made yourself too!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This lovely watering can really caught my eye, like the board it’s made to last, sturdy and functional and really very pretty too, the feet are really cute!  I’m imagining this rustic little robin redbreast outside in the snow awaiting the arrival of spring, but for now he’s been helping me keep on top of my bulbs and offering an encouraging eye as the winter pruning commences.  A great price at £15.99 I would pair this with some pretty gardening gloves for my friend who has everything, because it’s such a pretty alternative to the standard green plastic watering can!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Disclaimer: products featured were received free of charge, all views are my own

Capturing memories

Thanks to the ever generous Mammasaurus for a fab tute on creating galleries in WordPress, it worked!

Something that’s come up a lot in my reading around motherhood for my dissertation has been capturing memories of and for little ones.  Something everyone does in different ways, be it blogging, photos, writing letters to their little ones…

I do a silent sunday photo post every week, but you might not know that I have also taken a Sunday Photo of Joss every Sunday since the 6th May 2012, the day our darling girl was born.  Here’s a selection of them, and 18 months on we’re still going, I think we’ll do them until she doesn’t want to anymore.  I feel a mammoth tiled gallery of Sunday Photos coming on when I get them all uploaded in one place!

 


Toddler play, simple fun on a rainy day

When Joss napped this morning I got my stash of washi tape out (I love this stuff!) and used it to decorate some different lengths of tube cut from toilet roll inners.  I bought a huge bag of 250 straws and popped her down on this rainy afternoon with the colander, 10 colourful straws and the tubes.  First we talked about the colours of the straws, then she tried brushing them through her hair, and blowing through them, an hour later she was still playing, wearing the tubes as bangles and putting the straws through the colander tubes, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Pinterest is an amazing source of play ideas, at 11am I wasn’t sure how we’d entertain each other for the day, but at very little cost we enjoyed a really fun afternoon indoors!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The fun continued whilst I cracked on with a spot of washing up too!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Save the Blow Dry – I review the Queen of Shower Caps!

I love a good haircut and blow dry but with a messy tot at home I often end up washing that lovely blowdry out because of daily showering.  I haven’t come across a good shower cap that protects without giving me a bad case of flat hair.  I was really pleased to be offered the chance to test a new product on the market – Save the Blowdry’s Moisture Eliminating QUEEN of shower caps!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

With a soft micro weave terry towelling inner and protective pthalate free outer cover this is a great two in one product.

As well as zapping humidity and condensation you can turn the cap inside out and use it to keep your favourite hair treatment locked in  to give even better results.

What do you think, shower cap chic?  Couldn’t resist modelling it for you dear reader!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Whilst I didn’t rock this as effectively as the fab 50s lady on the packaging it did give really great results, keeping my blowdry going from a hen afternoon through to a hen party the following evening, which saved me £s and meant I enjoyed a great night out feeling confident that my hair was frizz free and fresh.  Although I have relatively short hair there’s plenty of space for a longer or more voluminous hairstyle.

Using this to lock in my favourite Lush conditioning treatment was a real treat too, there’s something about a luxurious shower cap that makes me want to enjoy a spot of pampering, so whilst my hair was drinking up the treatment I painted my nails and relaxed for 20 minutes, bliss!

This product retails for £14.95, I think this is a luxury bathing product so priced at the right level, and importantly each sale makes a contribution to Khandel Light charity – Every Save the Blow Dry sold through their website directly funds a fortnight’s safe drinking water for a family in the desert region of Khandel, making a basic, but vital difference to people living with constant drought, where temperatures soar to 45 degrees.

I received this product for free to review, all views are my own.

Festive books from Egmont, a cuppa and a cuddle

I think robins are my favourite birds, so pretty and festive, I love to see them at this time of year. This sentiment is shared and captured beautifully in a book we settled down to review this week, Little Robin’s Christmas by the multi award-winning Jan Fearnley.  We loved her book Mr Wolf and the Three Bears, whenever we go to the library Joss picks it out and I think this book will be as popular!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A gorgeous heartwarming tale that’s full of the true meaning of Christmas Joss loved Robin,’tweet tweet’ and has started to recognise Santa in pictures so this was a really rewarding read and we had a chatter over each page, pointing out snow, trees and Robin’s friends. It’s the story of how the robin got his red breast, and it’s a really delightful tale.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Beautifully illustrated this was a joy to pore over with a cuppa for me and a cuddle for Joss, who liked it so much she took it away to her little chair to look at the reindeer some more!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Next up this week was Michael Morpurgo’s Christmas Stories; for older children so Joss and I are tackling this one slowly, but what a brilliant read for adults and children alike!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I was delighted to see Quentin Blake’s illustrations, as well as Michael Foreman, Emma Chichester Clark and Sophie Allsopp, I love Blake’s work and as you may remember from our recent visit to the Laing Art Gallery with the Blake books and dog murals, so does Joss!

I devoured this copy myself in one evening and as well as tugging the heartstrings former Children’s Laureate Morpurgo brings the spirit of Christmas to life, I think that this timeless book will become a favourite throughout November leading up the the Christmas period for years to come!   Our favourite story is probably The Goose Is Getting Fat, will Gertrude be rescued from her fate?!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I received a free copy of both books from Egmont UK to review.