DIY body scrub…very very bright pink!

I adapted a Martha tutorial to make this bright pink scrub today, all for under £3 (I had some ingredients at home but still waaaay cheaper than a shop bought spa version!)

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I used two cups of epsom salt, 100ml of almond oil, five drops of lavender and chamomile blended oil and mix mix mixed with a small amount of natural red food colouring to give the satisfyingly pink colour.  These photos are taken half way through, once topped with the second cup of epsom and a little more almond oil it mellowed to a lovely rosy pink!  A real softening treat on a budget!

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Eco Friendly Fashion Upcycling Ideas in 30 Mins

This is the first post in a series of Eco Friendly Fashion Upcycling Ideas in 30 Minutes (or less!)

We’re starting with a simple brooch

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For cash and time poor crafters like me it’s nice to put old fabric stash items to good use

This brooch is made from fabric scraps cut into different sized circles and layered up. You want to get loads of different textured fabrics going on here!

Stack your circles and machine or hand stitch four lines to attach them as shown, then cut through all the layers at a midpoint between stitches as shown being careful to stop short of the centre

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Ruffle up your petals and pinch them in the centres to give more texture

Add a simple safety pin and pop on a coat or bag

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Lunch Bags for Adults: Belo&Me Jute Bags Product Review

Remember those ‘little brown bag’ lunch bags everyone used to have?  I was looking for something that sort of size and shape for my work packed lunch and had an unsuccessful try at making my own too, then I saw this beauty from Belo & Me, eco-friendly and just the right size and shape I jumped at the opportunity to try one in the name of all things lunch!

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What is jute?

Jute is a soft plant fibre produced in India and Bangladesh.  It is the perfect eco-friendly option instead of using plastic or paper.  Plastic bags are not biodegradable and the manufacturing of paper bags requires large quantities of wood, meaning less trees on our planet. Jute has none of these problems and results in a hard wearing, strong, long lasting bag.

Why jute?

‘The average plastic carrier bag is used for five minutes, but takes 500 years to decompose’ (DEFRA, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) – think of all the lunch outlets that send us away with a plastic or paper bag, that’s a lot of waste, people use reusable shopping bags, why not a reusable lunch bag?  Maybe it’s that they don’t want to be stuck with an empty bag post lunch?  This one folds up and fits in my work bag so that’s that problem solved!

What’s good about it?

Look how much space!  I fitted all this in and had room for a few cheeky snacks for Joss too!  (Ham cheese salad wrap and granola yogurt if you’re wondering!)

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Sturdy and hardwearing this will easily carry a small picnic for us in the summer and the range of designs means there’s something for everyone, popular owls, heart designs like mine, cupcakes and butterflies too.

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The price? 

£3.75 for a lunchbag with very reasonable P&P too.

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What’s also good is that the bags are handmade so you’re supporting a mama in her business endeavours as well as wearing your eco heart on your sleeve and your lunch in your hand!

Family Fever

Real Nappy Week 2014 Cloth Diapers Rock

What’s the story here? 25+ Mams and Dads and babies sat down together with changing mats and what’s that they’re holding in the air? Nappies! Cloth nappies to be exact.
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This week is real nappy week and we took part in the 2014 great cloth nappy change this weekend. As a real nappy user of almost two years now I wanted to point my readers to two of my earlier cloth nappy posts here and here

They highlight the benefits of cloth nappies and offer lots of handy tips too.

All major nappy retailers offer discounts and competitions through Real Nappy Week so if you’ve been thinking about going eco now is the time to try! There’s a great competition today with Babi Pur over on Facebook on the Real Nappy Week page!

Two years on our stash is still going strong, though I think potty training is nigh these will definitely be kept just incase we ever happen to decide to have another child as they have plenty of life in them yet, truly eco-friendly!

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Romanian Mum

Mumslist: the Easter buddy came to town

Real Life

Last week was Easter and a really lovely family time that extended into Joss and I having a lovely afternoon out on Tuesday too.  New shoes for her and a treat or two for me! She loves her sparkly shoes so much that she keeps stopping to take another look!

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Joss was pleased that the ‘Easter buddy ‘ remembered her!

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Today also saw the Great Cloth Diaper Change so we headed to Newcastle along with 25 (may have been more!?) littleys to take part in the international world record bid, aiming to get as many people as possible changing a cloth nappy, we caught up with some friends, met some new folk and created a work of art too!  It’s Real Nappy Week next week so I’ll be blogging some cloth bum tips again.

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(Photo by Mandy Charlton Photography event in Newcastle organised by Grow Up Green)

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Work life is getting interesting, I have a jointly written paper that’s being published next week and I’m exploring blogging research findings for other outlets too, so work and home are taking some interesting converging routes, more on that in the next few weeks

Blogging Life

I’ve published a post this week that has really pushed me in terms of honesty and writing, but I’m glad I finally pressed publish on my birth story part 2 and although its focus on a very bad time in my life made it hard to write sharing it is a big part of my recovery.  I also really enjoyed writing a bit of a forward plan for my blog to pin down the direction I want to go in, and this post about bloggers using research skills to generate content has been crazy busy in terms of hits!

I am pleased to have a few review posts coming up, and I’ve finally sat down and written out a day by day list of the linkys that I like to enter so I don’t forget to join in, and have put aside an hour a week to reply to comments and do some wider blog reading around parental mental health and wellbeing.

Inspiration

An oldie but goodie I’m trying my hand at Flylady’s cleaning routines again after reading this post

I’m exploring Vines as a canny way to include a short burst of video into my blogging, I’m not really up for vlogging but this is a good compromise for those moments where Joss is singing etc, so far so good!

Mums' Days

- See more at: http://www.mumsdays.com/#sthash.dwy14iKa.dpuf

An uncoventional baby bedtime routine

We have a different routine to other people’s book, bath, bed etc. Ours look like this:

Bath
Moneybox fun
Porridge (with Abney and Teal)
Nappy change
Blastoff
Say night night to everything
Tuck in for bed

Moneybox fun is basically emptying and refilling her moneybox, it’s a time of sheer joy when you’re nearly two and like counting A LOT!

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Blastoff is where we say goodnight to her toys, Tramp and Monkey and count down from five, then we blast off to the window and look out and say night night to everything, she usually likes to say night night to something topical from her day, once it was an axolotl, other times its naming every member of our family individually and saying a protracted night night, it ends with “night night cars, night trees, night night lights” and as we close them “night night blinds”

A little unconventional but it works, by night night blinds she’s asking for her bed!

Expressions - Actually Mummy...


Ethans Escapades

A quick make

A quick post as I’ve been working in Manchester today so a good five hours travelling there and bac. A friend of mine had a baby girl last week and I wanted to make a card but didn’t have time to go out and buy materials so this was made from my existing stash, thrifty but it was nice to put together some materials that I’d forgotten I had, including some lesser used washi tapes.

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How big is your carbon footprint?

It was Earth Day yesterday and a friend sent me an interesting link from WWF

A carbon footprint calculator. Ironically I had just taken Joss to have her feet measured and the fitter was amazed that Joss only has one pair of shoes, I just don’t believe in waste and having more than we need, so one pair it is! It was with this philosophy in mind that I took the footprint calculator test (oh and Joss’ feet are a four and half if you’re wondering!)

I was surprised to see that our familial footprint, whilst lower than the average suggested that if we all lived the way this family does we would need 1.6 planets and we have only one.

With this in mind I signed us up to the seven day challenge and at the end of the week I’ll be sharing what we’ve learned on our eco journey.

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What about you, did your footprint give you a surprise?