Alongside writing the odd post, we love to read others, gaining insight into the future of parenting and plenty of tips! Here’s a few of our favourite bloggers. Because, if you found me, you’re likely to like them too!
I’ll update this over time, so pop back and find some new blogs to follow every few months.
It would be wrong to not put Emily first. This is the fantastic Mummy who inspired me to start, and helped me get into blogging in the first place.
She’s so down to earth, so honest and not afraid to say when its all going wrong. She many a great money saving tip, and her blog is a place for all the issues new parents face.
These two are a fantastic Mummy and Daddy duo with the cutest little man Grayson, and their latest equally adorable furry addition of Bella.
Their blog gives great parenting views from Nursery to great days out, recommends new music in New Tunes Tuesday, whilst also tackling tougher issues, such as sexual harassment and educating our children about white privilege.
There no one post to highlight, check out their blog and give them a follow on the ‘gram.
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.
If you’re interested in Splosh, I have a referral code you can use below.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For me, a huge priority for the future of our children is sustainability. Our planet has shown us that it is struggling and it is our responsibility to listen.
The idea of making changes can often be incredibly overwhelming, expensive and may not even align well with our daily routines and lifestyle.
As such, it is important to consider making small but gradual changes in your daily life and commencing with things that will be accepted and used immediately. In doing so, the changes you make will be more inclined to form long lasting patterns of behavior, increased feelings of success and a greater likelihood to try other eco friendly alternatives in the future!
It’s about setting yourself up for success and even one small change can make a very big difference!
What do I mean by this…?
Well, my first real eco-friendly change commenced over 16 years ago now, when I became a mum for the first time.
I bought my very first set of cloth nappies!
Back then, the nappies were not pretty at all! In fact I was definitely overwhelmed by the idea of using cloth, having lots of washing, touching poop – and terrified as a young 20 year old of those safety pins!
However, I commenced the journey because I wanted a better future for my child. I had seen footage and read information about the impacts of disposable nappies on our environment, particularly increased landfill and the damage to our seas and wildlife. I had also read about the huge financial savings that went with this change. For me, it was definitely worth trying!
These days, the change is even easier with modern cloth. They work just like a disposable (snaps or Velcro) and are fully washable.
They also come in the cutest designs, which is definitely very exciting for a Nightmare Before Christmas fan such as myself!!
I find that on average, I spend about 5 to 10 minutes extra per day managing my cloth nappies compared to those days where I have had to use disposables (for example when I have been on holidays).
They are just so easy and truly do not require huge changes in your daily life or routines to use. I am forever washing with three children, what is another load of washing every couple of days?! Cloth nappies do however make a huge difference to the planet – with even just one change a day!
How can something so small make a difference?
In the first two to three years of your child’s life, it is expected that you will change approximately 5,500 nappies!
In Australia, this means that over 2.1 BILLION disposable nappies will be thrown away every year.
Although the majority does end up in landfill, others will enter our waterways, or discarded on roadsides and parks. The damage can be devastating for the health of our natural ecosystems, particularly for our aquatic animals.
From a financial perspective, using disposable nappies exclusively will cost you approximately $2000! This is money that you will literally be throwing away!
How many cloth nappies are required to service the first few years of your child’s life?
20 – 30 cloth nappies are considered ample to support your child for their first few years of life. This equates to 13 cents a nappy change and a grand total of around $200 for the lifespan of your nappies to maintain them (water and detergent).
Although the initial outlay can be expensive, you will save so much money in the long term and if you care for your nappies according to their recommended guidelines, they may also benefit another family at the end of your journey.
I have actually sold some of my nappies as toilet training has commenced and get around 50% of what I paid back!
Cloth nappies range in price, starting at around $6.99 for a basic shell. These days, you can purchase cloth nappies from a range of places, including Aldi, Kmart, Big W and various other department stores.
I do however, recommend spending a little more in the initial outlay phase and buying a decent brand that has good reviews. There are so many wonderful brands out there that have been tried and tested for quality, durability and affordability. If you are in need of recommendations feel free to check out my Instagram for reviews and ideas – @chickedy_and_chic.
The average price that I have paid for my nappies has been around $25 to $30 each (new). These come with the inserts, care instructions and have been tried and tested by many users so that you can be confident in their quality and value for money.
If you were to buy a full time stash at this price, your outlay is approximately $750. But remember, this will last you for years and no impulse buying crisis will ever interfere with your ability to buy nappies again! Yes… this happened here in Australia!
I also have a huge portion of my stash that is second hand. As a cloth nappy and eco advocate, I love the idea that I am able to reuse and recycle. In fact some of the cutest nappies from my stash are second hand!
When I became a mum for the second time, this is exactly what I did… I found a mum selling her entire stash (75 nappies!!) and bought all of them for $200! They were in excellent condition and have served my two youngest children right through until the end of their nappy journeys.
Cloth nappies can be sanitized if you are concerned about buying second hand.
Important Environmental Facts
It takes one cup of crude oil to make just 1 disposable nappy
It takes twice the water to produce one disposable nappy than to wash your cloth nappy 200 times!
Disposable Nappies are not biodegradable, meaning that it can take between 300 and 500 years to breakdown (if at all)
Cloth nappies do not require soaking, bleaches or nasty chemical treatments. My cloth nappies go into a dry pail after use and get washed every 2 days according to the CCN recommendations for safety. How easy is that?!
I use environmentally safe washing detergents and wash on a 40-60 degree Celsius cycle. I wash mine in with my towels to maximize the benefits and save time, energy and water.
Cloth nappies are made from environmentally sustainable materials with some fibres such as bamboo, hemp and wool requiring less water and energy to produce. They also are often free of harmful pesticides and can be ethically sourced with ease. Many do use plastics (to provide a waterproof layer), however it is often created from renewable materials like paper pulp! I am actually less excited by cotton as the cotton industry is one of biggest pollutants!
Health and Safety Facts
Cloth nappies use less harmful chemicals, dyes etc like chlorine, alcohol and sodium laurel sulfates. Many of these chemicals have been banned in women’s products due the dangers to health, yet can still be found in many disposable nappies!
Cloth nappies allow for airflow and the body to breath this means less bacteria, chances for rashes (you must still change your baby regularly) and other more serious long term health risks. There are also a number of studies that have looked at temperature differences that exist between disposable and cloth, again demonstrating a preference to make the change!
Cloth nappies do not need to be changed more frequently than a disposable (every 3 hours is standard). However, there are specific overnight nappies that can allow you to go longer between changing and are highly absorbent. I have two toddlers, one just turned 4 and the other is 2.5 years. Both use cloth at night still and although they are very wet when they wake in the morning, there are no leaks! These nappies often require a wool cover to be placed over the nappy to provide a waterproof barrier.
Caring for your Nappies
Cloth nappies do not require soaking or any chemicals. Just place them into a dry pail!
If you wash every few days, you can pop the nappies and inserts into pre-wash cycles then do a main wash every 2-3 days.
Always follow the guidelines and care instructions that come with your nappies or join a Facebook or Instagram Group that can help you to care for your nappies. This will ensure that your nappies stay clean, smell and bacteria free and that you will be able to use them for years to come!
Never put your nappy in the dryer (inserts you can put in dryer on low heat) and never use barrier nappy creams or fabric softeners as this can drastically reduce the life and effectiveness of your nappy.
The cloth community is in general very supportive. I have made so many amazing friends and connections over my past 16 years as a cloth mum. If you are unsure, need recommendations or are facing any challenges, I can almost guarantee that there is a Facebook or Instagram group to help you through! We are all parents, all know the struggles and challenges of newborns and children and so it is all about empowering each other to succeed.
I have also seen a number of groups on the rise just for dads! I love this idea and think that it is absolutely brilliant. Our world and stereotypical formula of ‘mum at home’ is no longer the only way. We need to empower dads to also feel confident in taking environmentally friendly steps in their parenting and support them. Welcome Dads!!
The feedback that I generally have read from men is that Velcro Modern Cloth is preferred compared to the snaps. Velcro is definitely much easier to use (but remember to fold the Velcro tab before popping it in the wash!).
Daycare and childcare centres will also often be very supportive and accommodating. When my middle child attended Daycare, I would send a pod of approximately 6 nappies and some wet bags. The feedback from our centre was that cloth was equally easy to use compared to disposable!
Designs and Styles
You can buy cloth nappies in virtually every design on the planet!! This is where you hear many parents joking about the cloth nappy addiction…. IT IS REAL!
I have my workhorse nappies, but I also have my collection of pretties! I have My Little Pony, Carebears, Nightmare Before Christmas, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Dinosaurs, Disney and so much more! Your cloth nappy can be transformed into an outfit in its own right! My girls absolutely love selecting their nappies and of course have their favorite designs.
Cloth nappies can come in different styles and with different types of inserts and elastics. You can buy cloth nappies in Velcro or with snaps (which can be front or side).
I recommend trying a few brands when you buy your initial stash so that you can narrow down what your personal preference is. You can always resell or donate any cloth nappy that doesn’t work well for your family. Personally, I am not a fan of side snapping nappies, but I do prefer snaps, particularly on toddlers who have learnt to remove their clothing with ease! I have also recently learnt that you can also turn them around with the Velcro or snaps at the back to avoid removal and nudie runs!
WAHM vs Commercial Styles; You will often see the term WAHM used in cloth nappy circles. This stands for Work at Home Mum and indicates that this nappy is handmade. I love supporting local families and small businesses and definitely have a large portion of WAHM nappies in my stash! I also love that you can tailor the nappy to what suits you. You can choose the fit and the fit is very trim compared to some of the commercial styles out there!
Abbreviations and Lingo
This part was definitely the trickiest to learn for me! However if you are unsure of what someone is meaning, I suggest asking to clarify. There are also some great pages that have cheat sheets of abbreviations online – Google was my friend for a long time!
Buying Cloth Nappies
There are many stores that stock cloth nappies. Often, these stores will assist you with the fit and style so that you purchase something that is best suited to you as the parent or baby. My preference is to buy your nappies after baby is born.
You can also purchase online.
If you do purchase online and are not able to view the product, make sure that you check the reviews first.
Again, I recommend buying a few different brands and styles to try before you buy a complete stash of nappies. Start with buying 3-4 cloth nappies and try them out before attempting to go full cloth. You want to increase your chances of success, which means being strategic in the style and brand that you select.
You may even want to master the daytime cloth nappy process before going to overnight styles and use, as this can be a little trickier if you are a beginner.
I have bought some brands in the past (mostly because of their amazing fabrics) that have had a huge cult like following, only to find that the fit was way off for my children. I was so pleased that only a few were purchased and that I could resell them with ease!
I am all about reducing, reusing and recycling! I own a large number of cloth nappies in my stash that are second hand, however there are a few things to know if you wish to buy pre-loved.
Ask Questions – what is their washing routine? How many nappies are in their stash (the more nappies, the less use that they will have had in theory)? Did they buy the nappies new or secondhand? How much use has it had, including how many children have used it? Does it have any stains? What are the elastics like? What is the PUL or plastic inside layer like? Ask them to sell photos if buying online. I also recommend paying via Paypal Goods and Services where possible because if there is an issue, you have buyer protection available.
View the nappies if possible. When you look at the nappy there are some important things to check. Unfortunately, there have been some occasions where I have purchased a nappy or a bulk lot of nappies, only to find that they are delaminated or have slack elastics!
Make sure that you check the elastics. Are they slack? Are they absent? There are generally elastics around the legs and in the back pockets (sometime on the tummy). These need to be tight or the nappy has a very high chance of leaking. Tight elastics provide a better seal and trust me it is worth checking!
Turn the nappy inside out (if you can) and look at the PUL (plastic lining). Is it bubbling? Is it lifting? Discolored? Does it make a crunching sound if moved around?
This plastic coating is probably one of the most important elements in your nappy! It is what makes it waterproof. Make sure that it is in good condition and that there is no bubbling, lifting or discoloration.
Check for stains, smells and any damage to the liners/inserts. Sometimes inserts can curl and this is normal, however you do not want holes or stains. Check the snaps and Velcro to make sure that it is all in good working condition.
Again, I recommend starting out with just a few brands to narrow down what you like before completing your full stash.
Making your own Cloth Nappies
Can you sew? Making your own cloth nappies can be so rewarding and a wonderful way to tailor a nappy to what you prefer and the designs that you love.
Handmade nappies often provide a more trim fit that can make clothing sit a lot better – particularly shorts and leggings.
I recommend joining a cloth nappy group for this, for example – ‘How to make your own cloth nappies’ to get advice on things like the best materials for your inserts (hemp, cotton, microfiber, bamboo).
The fabric that is generally used in cloth nappies is PUL. PUL is a polyester fabric, backed with a waterproof laminate coating. It is used a lot to make cloth nappies but can also be used to make bibs, art smocks, bed wetter sheets, training pants, menstrual and breast pads, carseat covers, pram liners, baby change mats and so much more. It can be purchased in the most adorable prints! There are many online stores that stock PUL.
Some of the more popular patterns that can be purchased to make your own cloth nappies include:
As mentioned, my stash is diverse and includes a mixture of brands, styles and new, handmade and secondhand. However, I do have some preferred brands.
These include (in no particular order):
Mimi & Co
Bare and Boho
Close Pop In
My Little Gumnut
Bibs n Buns
From the Rose Garden (FTRG)
Libby Lou Rose (LLR)
Will you make the change?
If you have any questions or need support, my inbox is always open! You are also free to check out my instagram – @chickedy_and_chic for lots of recommendations, eco friendly ideas, parenting and play strategies. I am all about empowering others and am a very positive, welcoming person.
– Costello A et al 1989 The Sanitary Protection Scandal. The Women’s Environment Network
Hi There! My name is Tegan and I am a mum of three girls aged 16, 4 and 2.5 years.
I am also a psychologist and criminologist, who holds a particular interest in early childhood learning and development.
Over the last decade, I have connected and learnt so much as a practitioner and a mum, but enjoy learning each and every day.
I also love to share my knowledge and ideas!
In my career, my specific field of interest has been working with children impacted by trauma and as such, I have worked extensively in the fields of sexual abuse, domestic and family violence, drug and alcohol abuse, foster care and supporting those in or at risk of child safety intervention.
I joined Instagram as a means to beat Covid boredom and was so blessed by the experience. I have networked and connected with so many likeminded professionals and parents – including Daddy and Munchkin. I love this blog so much because it includes everything… parenting, tips and ideas, reviews and more!!
If you would like to connect or are interested in any of my play based ideas, learning strategies or eco based suggestions, please visit
As I approach a rather big birthday, I can look back on my career and feel rather pleased with how things went, would I have done anything different? Absolutely not.
I knew from the age of 11 that I wanted to be nurse, followed by a career in midwifery and never even considered another occupation. I choose my ‘O’ levels accordingly and applied at the age of 15. I was given a place on the course, dependent on my exam results, to commence when I was close to 18. This was not a life choice, it was an absolute given.
In May 1979 I started and had a hard working, but rewarding 3 years of training, with a really lovely group of people, some who I am still friends with today. Training was very practical in those days, you learnt on the job and was never supernumerary. As a second year student you could be in charge on a night shift which would never be heard of today. It was scary at times, but being thrown in the deep end was a quick way to learn.
After qualifying in 1982, I spent 1 year on a medical ward and the next 23 years on a paediatric unit. I loved working with babies and children and liked the variety of specialities, medicine, surgery, orthopaedics, urology etc.
The great thing about nursing was that when I had my family, I could work part-time nights so maintaining a career, with little time away from my children.
In 2006, came my first major life choice. I decided to leave my job to start training in midwifery, to follow my original career plan. For many reasons this did not work out and six months later, I was unemployed.
I found a job within 3-4 weeks and this became the best job I ever had. I started work at a local Walk-In-Centre and spent 12 very happy years there, with again, many lovely colleagues. I had returned to a job where patients had a huge variety of conditions, with expanded my knowledge immensely. Each shift was interesting and though hard work, time would fly by. So, although midwifery did not work out, it led to greater things and the highlight of my career.
The responsibility increased over the years and the staff changed. Some shifts became overwhelming and the pressure increased, so I decided to try another change of career to a less challenging role and returned to the local hospital to work in a day clinic. Generally it was a good move and I enjoyed the work, but some of the staff were not very friendly and after one year, I decided to take early retirement.
This was a huge decision, as I would loose a large amount of my pension, but after waying up the pros and cons I finally left in 2019.
Again this worked out for the best, with my Dads rapidly deteriorating health, I was on hand for both my parents as needed. Today, I still look after my Mum, although my Dad has now passed away.
So after 40 years of working for the NHS, I feel I have done my bit. My career has been interesting and when it came to opting for a different pathway, it always worked out for the best, no second thoughts required.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 alljobs, 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
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 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?