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Plastic Product Review Recycling Reducing plastic The Environment

Splosh Review

It’s time for ‘another way to reduce plastic’ product review from me.

I have already swapped out my general cleaner/ window cleaner/ toy cleaner/ floor cleaner for Koh (which you can find the review here), and my dishwasher tab and washing tab provider for Smol (this review still needs writing!).

These changes still left the problem of buying soap bottles, washing up liquid and toilet cleaner. Whilst these are all fully recyclable by combining general curbside recycling and Terracycle, I thought there could be a better alternative, and for that I turned to Splosh.

Splosh seem to have solved the plastic problem in a different way. Rather than producing and supplying endless plastic bottles they send you one (or as many as you need, like soap and toilet cleaner as you may want one per bathroom). That one bottle lasts and with that, you’ve saved 95% of plastic waste. They do hand soap, washing up liquid, laundry detergent, surface cleaner…. and more.

But you want to save 100% plastic?

Well you can. You can then get refills to resupply the original bottles. These refills are concentrated, so supply a number of refills before they are empty. You can then, save up the refill pouches and send them back for free. Simple, and then its 100% plastic free with an endless reuse and recycle system. The fact the refills are concentrated too also saves on the environmental costs related to shipping, so that’s another win, oh and they fit through the letterbox!


For this review we tried the grapefruit washing up liquid, rose and lotus blossom and blackberry soap and mint and eucalyptus toilet cleaner.

Both the soaps are foaming and moisturising leaving your hands feeling fresh, the toilet cleaner smells lovely and fresh and the washing up liquid is tough and smells summery and fresh. Overall, in terms of scent and effectiveness, the Splosh products work exactly as the standard alternatives (like Fairy washing up liquid, and Carex soap).

But Isn’t refilling a pain?

It’s simple. For the soap, just fill to the line on each bottle with hot water, top up to the neck with the refill solution and shake. in this example, one refill refills the soap bottle 6 times, although others are simply refill and use.

It must be expensive then?

Compared to leading hand soap providers, this does clock a little higher at 8p per 100 ml more. However, if you subscribe you save 10% and with big refills you can save even more. As the website says, ‘With each refill, you get that flicker of satisfaction you’re doing something good for the planet’ which makes up for the tiny price increase.

Overall, its a keeper for me and I thoroughly recommend it.

The ratings

If you’re interested in Splosh, I have a referral code you can use below.

Referral code: IPQMARYYX6

Daddy reviewed, Munchkin approved.

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Product Review

Munchkin’s (/mostly Daddy’s) Favourite Six at 2 years old

It was at just 7 months old I wrote the last favourite eight. 16 months later his tastes, or rather ours, have changed. Here are our top six.

6. A Tuff Tray

This is essential if you want to contain that messy play from the rest of the house and gives Munchkin a clear indication something fun is coming his way. Its useful for all messy play and sensory fun inside and outside the house. Useful, as once we didn’t use it for lentil play and It’s safe to say we found lentils for months after.

5. Trains and Cars!

Oh, Munchkin, you had to get that one in didn’t you. But after all, trains and cars do fill a lot of our free play time. If you’ve got a Hey Dougee fan we recommend their train set. It’s fully wooden, well designed and features all the great Hey Duggee characters. Woof woof.

4. Garden activites

Beyond running and being chased, chalk drawing on the slabs and splashing in the paddling pool, we have an Easel and sandpit from plum play, which I can’t recommend more. Future plans include a mud kitchen for the summer too.

3. His Q-play Trike

It’s nice to start giving them new experiences early when it comes to modes of transport and hence we got Munchkin a trike early on. It was probably a year ago, and he still cant reach the pedals! But it now can start to show him steering, so when those little legs are long enough, hes already got half the skill set. We have a full review of the trike we have here.

2. A good, in our case Cosatto, car seat

Now it doesn’t need to be Cosatto, although we love them for their bright and fun patterns in a world of dull grey and black car seats. But the seat we have, with all its latest safety and security features gives us peace of mind on all journeys (not that we have been making many lately!)

Great for naps too

1. The Mutable

Most importantly, our daily go to activity table, the Mutable. This little bit of perfect Italian design, incorporates many activities in one. From chalk and white board to puzzle base to lego and duplo board. It has a handy stowaway for the boards, and a incorporated storage bag. It wins for Munchkin, and for Mummy and Daddy. Read my full review here.

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Day to day Parent

Five tips for a New Dad

You are excited, but apprehensive. You make the most of those final full nights rest before being flung into a world of changing nappies, sleepless nights but magical moments. Everything changes, so here are my five tips for a new parent, from my experience.

Day one for me

1. Share the Responsibility.

This is 2021, and parenting isn’t the Mum’s job, so its time to share everything. Share the piles of baby washing, the feeding (if you can), the bath times and the bum changes. Chances are you are both equally knackered, so make it the best for you both.

Oh that note, don’t sleep through the night feeds (as hard as that can be). I would always wake, and ask if there was anything I could do or if Natalie wanted some company. This meant I’d usually do the bum change, then pass to Natalie for a feed.

2. Remain in the moment

I started blogging and my Instagram during time off with our Munchkin, but this is where time begins to fly. So pull yourself away from your devices and have some quality time with your little one. You can read about my realisation of this in ‘Living in the Present‘.

3. It can be overwhelming. Take some ‘me’ time.

This could sound like the opposite of points 1 & 2, but its also important to have some time to yourself. Make time for whatever helps you unwind, as all that play and baby books could send you a tad crazy. So make a deal with your partner to give an hour to them, and half one yourself.

4. Split all the jobs and always offer to help

Similar to point one, split all the other jobs. Take a 50:50 approach and see how it helps. My wifey and I split everything, from the cleaning, to the washing to the garden. As a result, there’s never a disagreement and with a little baby around, that’s more important than ever.

5. Make time for your partner

It’s easy to spend all your time on your little one and forget about each other. It may seem silly, but it can be good to schedule in a ‘date night’ or trip away (when permitted) while the Grandparents get some baby time. We had a spa night away in Munchkin’s first year. It was great to have some chill time and some ‘us’ time.

Do you have any other tips for new dads? Let me know in the comments.

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The Environment

Other Ways to Reduce Your Environmental Impact at Home

I have focused my environmental posts on the reduction of single use plastic as this the issue I’m most passionate about. (If you want to catch up, all the posts about reducing plastic are below). However, there are many other changes you can make to reduce your environmental impact. Here’s some other switches we have made, which may inspire you to change.

1. Chose Renewable or Carbon neutral Energy.

This is simple. When you look to change your energy supplier each year (which is good to save some pounds too), also look for green energy companies. We switched to Bulb last year with 100% renewable energy and carbon neutral gas.

2. Reduce the amount of energy you use. Use less energy led bulbs, power saving modes

Using less energy doesn’t always seem simple but there are a few easy things to switch. Next time your light bulbs need changing, get longer life, lower energy LED alternatives. Really need your games console on ‘always on’ or your TV on standby? Look at smart plugs, which can turn it all off completely or activate power saving or Eco modes.

3. Compost your waste

If you have a spare corner in the garden, consider home composting and if not, consider getting a ‘brown’ bin subscription, Food waste can be easily composted, producing nutritious compost to help grow food for next year. (I’ve got half this sorted, composting for years but still need to build a planter to grow food, thats one for this year!)

4. Save heat with insulation

We recently got our loft boarded, which meant checking their was sufficient insulation. This keeps our carbon neutral heat where we need it.

5. Consider reducing your emissions

If you can, walk or cycle instead of driving. When you change your car, consider hybrid, plug in hybrid or electric options. I’ve recently gone to Hybrid with my latest upgrade.

6. Recycle recycle recycle

Recycle what you can. Terracyle what you think you can’t. Reduce buying the things you can’t recycle where you can and consider buying second hand. You can find out about Terracyle here.

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Categories
Development and discovery Parent Parent's Learning

10 things I’ve Lately Learnt as a parent.

Last time I wrote one of these posts things were different (find it here). We were allowed out of the house for non essential reasons, Munchkin was a tiny 8 month old, and our biggest fears were feeding Munchkin the right things. So at two years old, here’s the latest things we have learnt.

1. Even as they sleep through the night the tiredness continues

You fool yourself that tiredness will improve as they master sleeping through the night. But no, the days become more demanding, and as a result you are equally sleepy.

2. They grow up too fast

It’s a line you’ve heard before and its true. One minute they stay still, the next they are running from room to room. One minute they giggle and ‘ga ga’ and the next they sing full lullabys and demand what they want, when they want it. Time flies when you are a parent.

3. Parenting (at this age) improves lockdown

I think we are lucky we have Munchkin in lockdown. We haven’t lost our minds with boredom or completed Netflix. Entertaining him keeps us entertained and consequently improves our lockdown.

4. They copy every thing you do

This thought always takes me back to that old smoking advert showing toddlers smoking crayons as they copy their parents. But its apparent daily how munchkin picks up little mannerisms or turn of phrase. Often surprisingly quickly.

5. If they like to climb, every household object is a climbing frame

We’ve got a climber in Munchkin. Every time he’s quiet he’s either mounting a dining chair or jumping on the sofa. The world is his playground, which means we need eyes in the back of our heads.

6. Nursery is amazing for development, albeit blooming expensive

We can’t fault our decision to use nursery, although it costs a bomb. He learns something everyday, grows in confidence and it gives him the opportunity to see and bond with others his age (especially important right now!)

7. You will eventually get bored of certain programmes

Don’t worry Dugee, there’s always room for you, but move over Teletubbies and In the Night Garden, if I never see a Ninky Nonk or Tubby custard again it will be too soon.

8. The last stage always seems easier

When they progress through the developmental stages, you are always eager for the next stage. But when they come, you always miss the ease of the last. The important note here is to live in the moment, moving on from the past and not looking into the future. Just enjoy the here and now.

9. You shouldn’t feel offended when they don’t choose you

As they find their voice, they start to make choices, and this includes which parent should do what. Munchkin went through a 100% Mummy phase, to a 100% Daddy phase and now its mostly 50:50 again. It is believed that when your child begins to choose, its because they feel safe and secure, so it should never offend as saddening as it may be.

10. There is no parenting manual

This needs no explanation. All our children are different and therefore there’s no manual or rule book that dictates when things should happen. If there was, Munchkin would have been late for all the gross motor targets. But now hes running about like an Olympic runner so all is good.

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If you want to see what we learnt at Eight months, check it out here.

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Categories
Plastic Reducing plastic

Start 2021 by Preventing Plastic Pollution.

While there’s enough going on right now, and the headlines focus on other issues, plastic is still a problem for our planet.

Here’s some new tips to reduce or remove plastic from your everyday. We have made these switches alongside those previously covered:

All opinions are my own, and where I profit this is highlighted.

1. Choose plastic free dishwasher and washing tablets

For all your dishwasher and laundry (bio and non-bio) needs there is one supplier who stands out for us, Smol. We have been using them for a few months now and can honestly say there no reason not to switch. They are cheaper than leading alternatives and equally effective, with fully cardboard packaging but still with child safe locks, delivered to your door and with a free trial.

Check out Smol at smolproducts.com

2. Clean and protect your entire house, and reduce your plastic foodprint

There a full review of Koh here. But, put simply, they provide cleaning cloths and solutions with reusable bottles and washable cloths. The solution works on your oven, but is safe on your kids toys. More recently, they have a developed a solution which repels bacteria for 7 days from application – clever stuff and plastic reduced!

Visit koh.com

3. Buy from responsible retailers.

I’m not saying this is always easy to find out, but if you look around you can. For example, we have recently got some lovely dried flower displays from our good friend SunSoakedFlorals who uses 100% plastic free packaging.

beautiful dried flower wreaths and displays – zero plastic

Similarly, if you need a new board game, big potato board games have removed all plastic from their packaging. If you are interested I can also give you 22% off*. Contact me on Instagram or by email for a code.

*I earn commission on sales at big potato board games, but own enough of them to prove my thoughts are genuine.

4. Use biodegradable nappies when the reusable ones are in the wash

While reusable nappies are brilliant during the day for us, they struggled at night, and there was always the wash days which needed disposables. Biodegradable disposables may expensive, but when using them at the rate we do, when balancing with reusables, its unnoticeable. For biodegrable nappies we use kit and kin. But other good brands exist such as Naty, Beaming Baby and more. We chose kit and kin for their cute designs.

Visit Kit and Kin at kitandkin.com

5. Choose plastic free deodorant

I switched to natural, plastic free deodorant by AKT over six months ago and It’s one of the best things I have done. It smells great, makes me sweat less, contains no carcinogens like antiperspirant and is developed by west end performers (and I love a musical).

Image from aktlondon.com/

Smell better and save plastic at aktlondon.com

6. Protect your gadgets with biodegradable cases

Here’s another great one I discovered recently. If, like me, you like to upgrade your devices, you also tend to buy a new case to protect it. And what happens with that case when you recycle your device? Here’s where Pelacase come in, they make durable, but compostable phone and airpod cases and watch bands. I’ve used one for two months, and noticed no difference to my usual plastic housing. So next time you upgrade your phone, upgrade your case too.

Use code WM to save at uk.pelacase.com*

*I earn commission as a wavemaker at pelacase but my opinion would be the same regardless.

Do you have any more plastic free swaps? Let me know in the comments.

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Day to day Plastic Product Review Reducing plastic

Koh – The all in one cleaner – review

I never thought I cared that much about cleaning, then I spent months at home during lockdown and kept seeing the same adverts. One cleaning solution for all jobs, which powerfully cleans the oven but is equally safe for kids toys. There was only one way to know if it works. I had to give it a go.

I bought one of their packages. This included cleaning solution (delivered in a wine box style container), reusable washable cleaning cloths, a refillable spraying bottle and some tough diamond scrubbers. That’s a significant saving of single use plastic bottles and cloths. Its also eco-certified, vegan and cruelty free.

I tested the bathroom first. Blimey did it shine like never before, and all without burning my nostrils and throat with bleach (the usual occourence when scrubbing the grout.

Then came the true test, the oven. Following the instructions, you spray and leave the solution on for two minutes, then spray a diamond scrubber and get to work. Our oven needed some TLC, but after one go it improved substantially, and after two looked good as new. No over-priced, hazardous oven cleaning set in sight.

A few months down the line, impressed, we tried the mop package. With reusable, washable mop pads this is another game changer. It also comes with a neat little silicone scrubber and hair catcher. The pads attach and detach easily, and machine wash for re-usability.

The solution is scent free. However, that makes it personalisable. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to the bottle, shake, and you’ve got your own personal fragranced cleaner. We’ve currently got some lavender scent and its lovely!

Then the most important one. It’s child safe (although keep the neat solution away from their little hands). What it means, is we can go from the oven to his toys, knowing when dry, they are perfectly safe to play with again. And we can use it with the mop, knowing he can crawl or walk over it straight after!

Price wise it also pays for itself. With what I now have, compared to the oven cleaner, non washable mop pads, mop solution, window cleaner, cloths, bathroom cleaner, bleach…. etc etc I now just have one solution.

Therefore its cheaper, safer, effective and better for the environment!

I’ll sum it up easily:

Price, safety, useability, environmental impact

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Do you have any eco friendly cleaning switches? let me know in the comments below

Daddy reviewed, Munchkin approved.

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Celebrating Christmas

Happy New Year 2021

Happy new year and thanks for reading the first post of 2021. 2020 may have been a rubbish year for many, so let me start by sharing my condolences with the people who have suffered or lost a loved one.

With Lockdown 3.0 starting as I write this, it’s hard to be optimistic about the year ahead. Hopefully, people will realise the importance of following the rules this time around, and we can approach the light at the end of the tunnel which is there, albeit a tiny glimmer.

With that, please know my inbox is always open and you can find that on my contact page, or drop me a DM on Instagram. Don’t hesitate if you need a chat.

With 2020 done and dusted, I would like to send my appreciation to anyone who reads my mutterings. I feel justified in buying the domain now as 2020 saw ~400 visitors jump by more than 230% and for that I am eternally grateful. If you missed any posts from 2020 I’ve added them all to the post carousel below.

So onto a new year of blogging. Facing 2021 with the same trepidation as last year, with little ideas for new posts, but comfortable knowing I felt this way last year but managed to put out 10 more posts than the previous year.

Thanks for reading, following our journey and being there for us.

Is there anything you’d like to see in a future post?

We hope you have a good 2021.

Daddy and Munchkin

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Celebrating Christmas

Building the Festive Magic in Munchkin

Whilst this isn’t a normal Christmas, like I spoke about in my last post ‘A Covid Cursed Christmas‘. The magic of Christmas is definitely starting to build in Munchkin.

The start of the magic was first spotted when the decorations went up. We have a large bunting spelling ‘Christmas’ (believe it or not) near the dinner table. When it went up he immediately was drawn, point out the ‘S’ and ‘T’ sounds. ‘Christmas (baby please come home)’ came on the playlist, and I sang along with my arms above my head to the ‘Christmassss’ bit. Munchkin immediately copied, and now does it nearly every meal time.

If you want to picture me singing that. Here’s the song

Christmas has come around perfectly with how now he seems to learn a new word each day. He loves to point out the various ‘Reindeeeeer’ decorations (everything he says is cutely drawn out), when there is snow in books, the Chrisssssmass tee (Christmas Tree) and baubles (which sounds more like bubbles). You also can’t stop him pointing out the lights.

Oh and my, he loves the lights and sounds. He always notices when we have forgotten to put them on demanding ‘lights, ON!’. One time, when i picked him up from nursery I pointed out some new lights that had gone up. It must have been the night everyone decided to put them up as the whole 20 minutes home was ‘lights…lights….lights, lights lights…. short pause… lights!’

Whilst Munchkin may have been scared the first time he met Santa (his face was as if he had seen a ghost), we didn’t expect much on his street visit. However, when we flew past on his car towed sleigh he was mesmorised! It’ll come as no surprise the next day he came down, saw a Christmas book, pointed and said ‘Santa!’

It’s a shame we won’t get to see all the ones we love this Christmas, but will the magic starting to build in Munchkin, I’m sure we will have a exceptional Christmas.

1 sleep to go!

‘Chrismasssssssss’

Have a fantastic Christmas 2020,

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Celebrating Christmas

A Covid-Cursed Christmas

While we have it better than most, being in tier two, not locked down alone in London, or self isolating and suffering with the wretched virus, its safe to say this has and will be a Christmas to remember.

Rewind six weeks or so, My Mum (You may know her as Nannyofmunchkin when she writes on here) had the perfect rule of six plan. We would see everyone in slots, and we would host Munchkin’s Auntie and Uncle (my Sister and my Bil (brother in law). It was the perfect, covid-guideline friendly plan.

Then came the three household plan. This changed it to a traditional Christmas at Nanny’s but without seeing my wife’s side of the family. This was tough but accepted.

We were just getting used to that idea when tier four struck. We are now down to just five: my sister and her hubby, me, Munchkin and Natalie. The first Christmas I won’t see my Mum, Nan, or Natalie’s family, and Munchkin won’t see either Nan or Grandad or Great Nan. Let’s hope Zoom/Teams/Skype hold out!

So it’ll be different this year. I’m currently desperately trying to find my Christmas spirit again. But with Munchkin, I’m sure it’ll be magical as always. Different, but still a wonderful Christmas.

Even though now, just 3 days away, I’m expecting further changes to our plans….

Stay safe this Christmas, and as ever, my inbox is open if you need a chat or a cute festive Munchkin photo.

Sending our love and ‘big cuddles’ to everyone struggling this Christmas.

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