Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Five things I learned while breastfeeding


It's World Breastfeeding Week! There are lots of reasons why I think talking about this topic is important - one of which is because even as a breastfeeding mama myself, I still find there's so much I don't know and I still feel self conscious about what others might think. It's a taboo topic I'd love to try and help normalise. I've written various posts about our feeding journey in the past, so today I want to share five things I have learned while breastfeeding.

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Thursday, 30 July 2020

Milestones


Inspired by Mamalina's beautiful blog post, I wanted to share this photo taken a month ago - at the time I was convinced Eden was about to start walking independently, but even now she manages a couple of tiny, teetering steps on her own.
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Friday, 24 July 2020

Plastic Free Shopping


Honestly speaking, plastic free shopping is literally near impossible for us. Particularly being on a low budget, J and I have had a conversation more than once that to be as low waste as possible we feel stuck between between a well balanced, healthful diet and a low waste shop with next to no variety.

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Sunday, 19 July 2020

Secondhand Sunday: Upcycling

I've been excited about this week's #secondhandsunday because it's the first time I've upcycled clothing in forever! And my first time ever dyeing clothes.

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Breastfeeding a toddler


Today's prompt for #setmeplasticfree is "homemade" and it got me thinking I actually want to talk about breastfeeding today - and about breastfeeding a toddler.
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Skinsence Coconut Milk Shampoo Bar

Ad - gifted|Perfect for #plasticfreeJuly, I was recently sent a shampoo bar to try from Skinsence. This is a coconut milk shampoo bar designed to restore the pH of the hair. Skinsence are a new discovery for me but I'm so glad to have found them - the shampoos are handmade in small batches and free of SLS, synthetic fragrances, animal fats, detergents, harsh chemicals and plastic packaging (I love when a delivery doesn't come in plastic so this had me at hello!)
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Plastic Free Fashion

Today's prompt for #setmeplasticfree is "fashion" and I have a lot of thoughts on the fashion industry (explained much more in my #slowfashionseason post here from July 3rd) but basically the TLDR is we all need to buy less, make conscientious choices, and think about how ethical our wardrobes really are. For those of us (🙋🏼‍♀️) who don't always have the money to buy from responsible, organic and ethical brands who pay workers a fair wage and are responsible to the environment, buying second hand is a great option. This way we aren't voting with our money for companies that don't care about their workers or the planet.

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Thursday, 16 July 2020

Staying hydrated (Plastic free!)


Today's prompt for #setmeplasticfree is "staying hydrated" - I'm a thirsty breastfeeding mama so hydration is very important! I've already seen some scary statistics this morning regarding disposable bottles (if you haven't already, switch to a reusable water bottle, coffee cup or both depending on your lifestyle habits) Currently we use BPA free litre water bottles that I expect to last for a very long time, after which we will switch to stainless steel replacement (any recommendations on brands that have a litre option would be welcome!)
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Sunday, 12 July 2020

Washable Wipes for #plasticfreeJuly


We're packing a bag... We're going out for the day! And that means a couple of nappies and some washable wipes.

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Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Self Care (Plastic Free July Edition)



There's a saying "busy hands, quiet mind" and I find this is really important when it comes to self care. My go-to self care habits include baking, yoga, drawing or painting - they're habits that I enjoy, they're good for the soul and allow me to be in the moment and recharge. Self care is today's prompt for #setmeplasticfree and to me a clear link is that my love of cooking and baking means that we hugely reduce the amount of plastic food packaging in our house by buying very little prepackaged snacks. I bake almost all of the bread that we consume (hands up who still has their lockdown sourdough starter going?), as well as breakfast bars, snacks and treats for us all. I use silicone moulds and reusable liners too which means there's next to no material waste. My next mission is oat milk to reduce the amount of cartons we consume. Nutritionally it also means I'm in complete control of what goes into our food and I can make much healthier snacks knowing exactly how much salt, sugar, oil etc has been used. This act in itself has a mindful effect for me as there is a definite comfort in knowing I'm making nourishing food while causing far less waste that is detrimental to the planet.

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Monday, 6 July 2020

Eco Bathroom Swaps


Today's prompt for #setmeplasticfree is "bathroom" - this is one area I still have a lot of changes to make. On the one hand I use reusable bamboo makeup wipes, a moon cup, a shampoo bar. But I still have too much plastic for my liking in the form of product packaging within our bathroom. We don't have any single use plastic in our bathroom exactly, but some tubes aren't easily reusable or recyclable. With products including conditioner, deodorant, shower gel and toothpaste I sometimes struggle to find something effective, vegan and cruelty free that doesn't come in plastic, that is affordable enough to regularly purchase. I also found that during lockdown many hygiene products were harder to get hold of because of panic buying, so I know I ended up buying a few things during that time out of necessity that I wouldn't normally purchase. So any recommendations for brands or products you love that fit this criteria would be great!
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Sunday, 5 July 2020

Plastic Free July: Cloth Nappies


When I found out I was pregnant with Eden I knew I wanted to use cloth nappies. A friend had used them and I remember being super curious about this at the time and knowing that's the path I'd choose when the time came, even though Eden wasn't even thought of then! Cloth nappies are today's prompt for #setmeplasticfree - and of course there are huge environmental benefits of cloth nappies and wipes. Getting away from single use anything is an excellent mindset for a start, and the frankly terrifying statistics on disposable nappies and baby wipes speak for themselves.
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Saturday, 4 July 2020

Five Reasons I'm Vegan (Compassion)


Today I'm continuing my mini series about why we are a vegan family! We choose to be vegan due to three factors: health, compassion and the environment. I'm not here to be militant or scary, but I hope everybody can learn from some of these facts! Today's focus is on veganism for the animals. This is a hard subject to speak about but it's a very worthy one as many of the facts aren't common knowledge.

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Friday, 3 July 2020

Slow Fashion Season



So it turns out #slowfashionseason has begun! As ever I'm the last to know about such things but I think it's so important to chat about slow fashion. I'm a former charity shop manager and that's hugely influenced my buying choices (why buy new when you can reduce, reuse and recycle am I right?!) but until I watched The True Cost and started to get educated I didn't realise the true impact of my former impulse buying.
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Plastic Free Kitchen


Today's #setmeplasticfree prompt is "kitchen" - possibly the worst room in the house for single use plastic. With a kitchen I think it's really important not to fall into the trap of buying extra, unnecessary things just because they're eco (Little Mindful Life made a great point about reusable straws - far better than single use, yes, but how many of us were using straws much in the first place?!) Repurposing what we already have is better for the environment than single use anything  - some examples include:

💚 Reusing old tupperware or even takeaway containers rather than using cling film.
💚 Microfibre reusable cloths rather than anti bac wipes (we use 11 billion each year, they're responsible for 93% of blockages in UK sewers, and the vast majority contain non-biodegradable plastic. If you cannot bear to wash a cloth, switch to plastic free kitchen roll and anti bac spray)
💚 I bought some reusable silicone lids for covering bowls as an alternative to cling film (there's always a half eaten bowl of baby oats in our fridge)
💚 Cooking from scratch more inevitably means less packaging, even though the supermarkets still have huge issues with unnecessary packaging. Where possible, veg boxes, pick your owns and veg markets are a good way to consume less plastic.

As for us - our biggest consumption of single use plastic by FAR is the fruit and veg we buy at the supermarket. However, we're lucky enough to have a garden big enough to grow vegetables in, and everything is thriving following the changeable weather we've had - hopefully harvesting our own will make a big impact on reducing the amount of veg wrapped in plastic that we need to buy in the shops.

What are your favourite kitchen eco swaps?

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Thursday, 2 July 2020

Plastic Free Toys

Today's prompt for #setmeplasticfree is parenting, so I want to talk more specifically about plastic free toys. Last week I ordered this absolutely beautiful Lanka Kade mushroom and minibeast shape sorter from Babipur. Lanka Kade are an ethical, fair trade company and this is a handcrafted, versatile wooden toy as the beautiful bugs are painted on both sides and can be stacked and played with individually as well as for problem solving with the shape sorter. We both love playing with this one!

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Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Plastic Free July


This month, for Plastic Free July, I am joining in with the #setmeplasticfree challenge by @rainbeauadventures and @earth_punk_mama on Instagram. You can find me at @littlepackofvegans.
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Friday, 26 June 2020

Five reasons I'm vegan (health)


Today I'm continuing my mini series about why we are a vegan family! We choose to be vegan due to three factors: health, compassion and the environment. I want to start speaking a little more about some of these factors in greater detail. I'm not here to be militant or scary, but I hope everybody can learn from some of these facts! Today's focus is on veganism for health. A balanced, whole foods plant based diet is one of the healthiest diets you can have so I have a multitude of facts to choose from for today's post, but I'll stick to just five!

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Monday, 22 June 2020

Upcycling: a new hobby?


When I was pregnant I bought this plain wooden mirror from a charity shop with the intention of painting it. Last week I finally got around to it. I wanted to create a magical woodland scene on it, and for it to go in Eden's room.

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Saturday, 20 June 2020

Five reasons I'm vegan (environmental)


I wanted to start a new mini series chatting about some reasons why we are a vegan family! We choose to be vegan due to three factors: health, compassion and the environment. I want to start speaking a little more about some of these factors in greater detail - I'm not here to be militant or scary, but I hope everybody can learn from some of these facts! Today's focus is on veganism for the environment.
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Thursday, 18 June 2020

Confessions of a cloth addict


A rainy day means catching up with the laundry that needs putting away. With the assistance of some toys and books, Eden's always pretty content to hang out and help me with this job. Of course one of the things that is in a constant turnover of washing and drying are cloth nappies - it's always satisfying tidying these away nicely because ah, the designs are just so pretty.

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Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Vegan chocolate sandwich muffins

Yesterday we had the pleasure of having Eden's best pal come over for a little garden visit - Everleigh turned one on Monday and birthday girls need birthday cake. I tried a new recipe for the first time which I'm actually really pleased with - it wasn't the healthiest of bakes I've made as I was low on ingredients but it was certainly a worthy treat. It's super easy too!

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Friday, 12 June 2020

Apple strudel breakfast bars


 Recently my cousin told me a recipe for apple strudel cocktails (raspberry gin or vodka, prosecco and cloudy apple juice, FYI.) Somehow I've not gotten around to making those (a rookie mistake!) but I DID make apple strudel breakfast bars instead! We get through a lot of oats in our house - they're cheap, nutritious and Eden absolutely loves them. This is a new combination - inspired by @littlemindfulvegan who uses applesauce to bind her oat bars. Because we get through lots of these I like to play with the recipe, so these consist of a few layers: a soft oat and fruit bar, layered with applesauce, and topped with crunchy cinnamon oats.

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Monday, 8 June 2020

Vegan Vitamins for Toddlers: What We Supplement & Why


Something I'm asked often about raising Eden on a plant based diet is whether we have to supplement her diet - the short answer is yes, we do! But in fact, I'd give her vitamins regardless of veganism.

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Friday, 29 May 2020

Witch Cake X Lace and Whimsy "Divine Feminine" Vegan Candles


In a feat of perfect timing, today some candles arrived in the post from Witch Cake's "Divine Feminine" collection. I have shopped Holly's beautiful creations before and love them: everything is vegan and cruelty free and handmade in small batches.

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Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Cloth Nappy Hacks


Using cloth nappies is actually incredibly simple (see previous posts for reasons to make the switch, how to wash them easily, etc) but there are a few things I like to do that help make it even easier and integrate seamlessly into our day to day living. Ready for some cloth nappy hacks?

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Friday, 22 May 2020

Vegan Raspberry and Cacao Rice Pudding

I've had one of those elusive, very productive mornings: I baked sourdough and put out the nappy wash I prepped last night. I've made Eden some oat bars and put dinner in the slow cooker. I've done the dishwasher, put on more laundry, but most excitingly, I made this raspberry and cacao rice pudding.

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Thursday, 21 May 2020

Purflo Maxi Nest Review


I really stand by the fact that you don't NEED loads of "stuff" for a baby, their needs are simple and they are not materialistic as much as you naturally want to give them the world. But something I really didn't expect to become indispensable for us was a baby nest! (I'm going to chat about our sleep journey today, please remember to follow all safe sleep guidelines, this is our own personal experience.)

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Wednesday, 20 May 2020

The Joy Journal for Magical Everyday Play by Laura Brand


The  Joy Journal for Magical Everyday Play by Laura Brand: my current bedside reading, this book was a birthday present for Eden via me, as I felt a one year old isn't that into "stuff" but is super into learning and exploring - I hoped the ideas in this book would create far more fun over a long time than any one toy or item. I see a lot of supermums on Instagram sharing excellent structured play activities and games, but as a first time mum I honestly rely on Eden to teach me what she's capable of and what she'd like to do - I've never had to entertain a little one before so I'm a total novice. I hoped this pretty book would spark a few creative ideas we can try out, in a relatively easy and inexpensive way.

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Tuesday, 19 May 2020

One year of breastfeeding


Eden's birthday, also marked another milestone: one year of breastfeeding. I've been thinking about writing this post for a while now but have struggled to find the words, namely because I am still taken aback at how emotional the whole topic of breastfeeding can be for a parent. It still feels like there's a lot of stigma when talking about it.

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Monday, 18 May 2020

Foraging for Nettles / Stinging Nettle Pie


This might sound mad but stinging nettles are incredibly nutritious, tasty, and are lurking in many of our gardens for free! When Eden was born we brought a big batch of vegetable pasta with nettle pesto into hospital in with us as there wasn't much vegan food available. It was delicious and really kept us going through the first hazy newborn days, so I like them even more now.

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Friday, 15 May 2020

Fern Sanitary Pads


It upsets me greatly to think that one day I'm likely to be telling Eden about how when I was young there were more fish than plastic in the ocean. For this reason I feel very passionate about reusable sanitary products. Considering
 that those who menstruate could use up to 16,000 disposable sanitary products in a lifetime, it is shocking to think of the waste that just one person can create. Sanitary pads are made of up to 90% plastic, they're uncomfortable, full of chemicals and they don't biodegrade.

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Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Not a LUSH "haul"


Back in 2012 I started a blog that was kind of the opposite of this one. I had no concept of the impact of fast fashion, thought more was more, and posting "hauls" from going shopping was an in thing. Now "hauls" are NOT a thing because being wasteful and accumulating loads of stuff, often for the sake of having something to post online, is rightly no longer perceived as good content. However I received this LUSH Cosmetics delivery this morning and it took me back to those early blogging days (this would be called a "mini-haul") except luckily there's nothing wasteful in here - everything can be reused or recycled, down to the paper tape on the packaging. I placed a LUSH order because I wanted to try one of their shampoo bars but I got a few other treats as well that I thought I'd share.
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Vegan Carrot Cake

 We had another first in our house on Eden's birthday yesterday: the first cake J has decorated! I was assembling the cake (as the icing is best done at the last minute) and a tired birthday girl decided she couldn't wait a moment longer for a feed. So J finished it off and did a lovely job - and Eden very happily ate all of her slice (no walnuts on her bit!) I thought I'd share this recipe for anybody else that needs a good vegan carrot cake in their life.
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Friday, 8 May 2020

The Organised Mum Method

So is anyone else here part of #TeamTOMM? I guess a year ago I'd have considered owning a book about housework a peak low, but then Hinching became trendy and now here we are. ..
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Wednesday, 6 May 2020

World Maternal Mental Health Day



It's World Maternal Mental Health Day and raising awareness of this is so important. I chat a fair bit about mental health in a roundabout way in my posts on Instagram but it's not something I've addressed directly.

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Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Cloth nappies: the different types



Can you tell the difference between these nappies from the outside? Okay, some have poppers and others have Velcro, not to mention the gorgeous different prints, but it's the way they work on the inside that makes them all really different.

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Thursday, 30 April 2020

Cloth Nappy Wash Routine


It's #RealNappyWeek so let's chat about washing routines and the importance of getting the right detergent. There are so many great and informative posts out there about wash routines but everybody's is a little different, and the more people showing how easy it is means that, hopefully, more people might consider making the switch to cloth. ♻️

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Wednesday, 29 April 2020

DIY Rosemary Hair Rinse


Our new house came with two huge rosemary plants in the garden, and whilst it's commonly used for cooking it's also amazing for all kinds of herbal remedies including hair rinses. Rosemary is really good for scalp health and can stimulate hair growth.

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