Homemade Naturally Dyed Playdough

Homemade naturally dyed playdough for our nature tots group tomorrow! I adapted a recipe by the @thejoyjournal (check out her gorgeous nature play ideas!) to make a large batch and to use fresh veg / berries instead of powdered for cos its what we had on hand. The colours don’t show well in the photos on such a grey day but they are so lovely and vibrant!⁣

Such a great recipe because it uses all store cupboard ingredients rather than cream of tartar / glycerin in most recipes which I never have in.

Just mix together:⁣
– 2 cups of flour ⁣
– 1 cup of salt⁣
– the juice of half a lemon ⁣
– 8 tsps of coconut oil ⁣
– 1 cup of warm water ⁣
– A couple of tablespoons of natural colouring – beetroot powder / turmeric etc (I just used a chunk of fresh beetroot / handful of elderberries blended with the water, oil and lemon then added to the wet to the dry ingredients). ⁣
Mix, the knead and add any extra flour or water if needed until resembles your perfect playdough consistency and voila!

Enjoy – my little ones did and I hope the whole group will tomorrow! L x

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DIYs, Less Waste

Hand Me Downs – Helping Your Clothes Last Longer

Sooo tired this week (and not just Marls 😴)! Both girls have worn these jammies and they’ve recently been handed down to Marls, I’m so hoping they will survive so Rory can wear them too, then they’ve done all 4 🥰

Here are a few tips to make your clothing last longer / pass on easier to future children or friends:
– buy more unisex / gender neutral clothing – buy good quality where you can – we try and aim for natural fabrics even though we generally only buy secondhand, I find cotton lasts so much nicer than polyester garments.
– buy dark colours where ever you can to minimise staining deeming them unsuable, (essential for us cos our kids get MUCKY – hello mud and blackberry juice 😂)
– wash at lower temperatures
– wash less (spot clean if you can, not possible often with kids and how they spill / get dirty, I know!)
– air / line dry instead of tumble drying – use a gentle detergent (we like EcoLeaf powder) – search google / pinterest and learn some simple stain remover tricks and mending techniques for when things do need a fix up. The sun alone is fab for stains and we keep a debobbler on hand for freshening up old fabrics / jumpers!
Do you have any other tips? L x

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Buying Secondhand: Tips For Buying Used Clothing on eBay

I have a tonne of charity shop and carbooting tips to share for #secondhandseptember.. but I know that kind of shopping requires the privilege of being able to get there and having the time, so I also want to share a host of tips and tricks for buying secondhand online too. ⁣

My favourite places to shop secondhand online are:⁣
eBay⁣
Depop⁣
Facebook marketplace ⁣
Facebook selling groups⁣ ⁣
I will go into some of these in more detail in future posts but here’s a few eBay tips for today… As well as picking up ace secondhand clobber from folks having a clearout, there’s loads of resellers of vintage and regular clothing (I do this myself – hence the photo!) who being businesses offer detailed listings with measurements and great returns policies so you don’t have to worry about forking out and something not fitting right. On eBay you can filter by ‘used’ only, and also by ‘returns accepted’. ⁣

Searching for lowest price and P&P and items ending soonest can throw up some real bargains, and the buyer protection is amazing! Bundles can also work out amazing value especially for kids clothes. ⁣

If you are looking for specific items setting up a saved search, for example ‘tan saltwater sandals size 5’ with alerts for when it’s listed helps to make sure you can snap it up when things become available.
Share with me your fave eBay buy below and let me know if I can answer any more questions! L x

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Secondhand September

Morning! Today marks the start of #secondhandseptember – a campaign run by @oxfamgb to challenge you to buy no new clothing for a month. And what better place to start than with a Sunday morning car boot sale! ⁣

11 million items of clothing end up in landfill every week, and with the spotlight recently on the environmental crisis now is the time to start making steps to change our consumption habits. And if that is not enough of a motivator, maybe the fact that you can save an absolute tonne of money too might be!

It’s pretty much become a lifestyle (and necessity) for us in recent years to always buy #secondhandfirst so I’m super excited to share a tonne of tips this month of how to get everything you might want or need for free, traded or on the super cheap secondhand (and don’t worry there are loaaads of options for folks who aren’t in to trawling chazza shops or getting up and tramping round a field at 8am on a Sunday – though I can’t imagine why, it’s my fave 😂😍) ⁣

I won’t share everything on here as I know it’s not everyone’s bag but come follow me on Instagram if it’s ya thing 😚❤ L x ⁣

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Less Waste Life: Repair & Make It Last

A very un-instagram photo, because whilst I talk of swaps a lot, one of the biggest changes in buying, spending and wasting less has been really valuing and taking care of the things we do have. Maintaining, repairing, making it last. We’ve learnt so many new skills in the process too – fixing our clothes, bikes, oven, hob, broken electric cords, washer and dryer when they’ve had issues. You can learn anything on YouTube eh, what a resource!

I’ve had my phone for about 4 years now (we buy used / refurbished phones and have Giffgaff rolling contracts for £10 a month to save £ on contracts) and recently it started overheating and not keeping charge. In the past I would have totally justified an upgrade, but we got a £6 replacement battery kit on eBay, thought we may as well try, and with the help of a YouTube tutorial it’s now good as new, we have the tools now should we need to get phones apart again, and the old battery is off for recycling, yay!👍🏻 Have you repaired anything recently that you could have just chucked? It’s a good feeling hey?! L x

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Less Waste Birthday For Our 4 Year Old

Since its #plasticfreejuly here’s what we got Marls for a #lesswaste simple birthday… Thrifted Peppa Pig cuddly toy (50p), Lego tow truck (£2), Set of Maisy books (£1) and a few pick and mix sweeties in a paper bag (his request 😂🎉). Game I knew he would just love… Huge 👍🏻 to @orchardtoys whose puzzles / games are made from card, in Britain and did you know they replace up to 3 pieces a year for free if you lose / damage them? How awesome is that?! L x

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Less Waste Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping since we started to lower our waste… Our girls go to forest school on the Thursday, so we stop off at the greengrocers on the way home for our shop (I kinda love it as early years #homeeducation for the little kids too, Marley loves helping and counting out what we get ❤). I meal plan, then buy enough fruit and veg for the whole week (to supplement what we’ve grown at home).⁣

There is a bakery next door where we can also get #plasticfree (gorgeous 😍) bread. I buy enough for the week and freeze in the paper bags what I won’t use in the first few days, taking it out the morning of the day we will need it 👍🏻. We get bulk wholefoods delivered every couple of months, and nip into Tesco or Aldi while the girls do gymnastics once a week if there is anything else we need, trying to get tins, jars or cardboard packaging where we can.⁣

I try and minimise visiting shops, especially big supermarkets as much as possible as I don’t particularly find it an enjoyable experience – its such a time (and money!) sap if I don’t meal plan and end up popping in every few days for bits we need! I’d love to hear more about how you shop for your family, if you are making any changes or wanting to? Its all so dependent on our time / circumstances and what’s accessible locally, but hopefully increased pressure will mean more supermarkets focussing on sustainability in the near future! L x

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Less Waste Family Car Kit

When we began reducing our waste (and I was riding the wave of late pregnancy organisation mode 😂) we made a little #lowwaste car kit to make it easier to stay #plasticfree on the go (we certainly don’t always manage this but it helps us do better, most of the time, which is good enough for me❤). We have a takeaway coffee cup for me, a metal bowl and spork each, lots of produce and shopping bags, jars for bulk foods, an old takeaway tub for baked goods / leftovers etc. and I also keep a couple of spare reusable nappies, wet bag, cloth wipes and an old filled water bottle to wet them. It saves me remembering everything on the morning of going somewhere, which is helpful for a mama with extreme baby brain / very demanding small people 😂
And in case your interested in the thrilling contents of my car boot 😂 I also keep a picnic blanket, baby sling and blanket, a thin towel for each of the kids, a onesie for each kid, my granny trolley and a camping chair so I can sit and feed comfortably out anywhere. I kinda love seeing whats in people’s cars / fridges / bags, is that weird?! 😂😂 L x

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Plastic Free July

Keys, purse, water bottle, everywhere. Anyone else on board with #plasticfreejuly – trying to refuse single use plastic where we can? Maybe just taking shopping bags or a reusable water bottle more is a first step for you this month, or maybe you are taking big steps to changing the way you shop or making more yourself to avoid plastic covered everything in the big supermarkets. I’d love to hear what’s going down in your home?! And I’ll for sure be here sharing what we are learning too ❤

Also if you are after a brill long lasting steel reusable water bottle and ain’t on a kleen kanteen budget (like this mama ✋✋) this was £6.60 delivered from eBay (5.50 for the kids sizes), had mine about a year and recently replaced the kids plastic ones too as they’ve broken / got chewed / manky in the lids over time (I keep them as a spare water bottle for wetting wipes in the car now!). They are great (oil the bamboo lid every now and again to take care of them and don’t leave in water / dishwash) and I’m hopeful they’ll last for yeeeeears.
L x

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The Nissan Leaf for a Family of 6! Chatting Electric Cars…

Electric car chat! Everytime I post a story with us in the car I get a tonne of questions about what car / seat we have that fits 4 kids in one row the back.. ⁣

So, we have a little @nissan Leaf electric car that we absolutely love. Its lovely to drive, unreal cheap to run (no petrol or tax) and we have had no repairs to date in almost 6 years of owning it. We mainly just charge at home, on @ecotricity 100% renewable energy, and energy from our own solar panels. ⁣

We have a very early (one of the first on the road) that we bought secondhand a few years old, it gets about 60-70 miles to a charge now (slightly less in freezing weather or peak district crazy hills) which is actually plenty for 99% of the driving we do.⁣

Its certainly not an option right now for lots of people, with having restricted range (other than a 2nd car for a short commute / peeps who work from home like us etc) but newer EVs are doing over 300 miles to a charge, with the @Teslamotors model 3 changing the game with the technology and being the about the same price as a standard new petrol car (so in a few years being an accessible price for more people). ⁣

It works so well for our family that we sold our big diesel second car last year as it was only being used a few times a year and we worked out it was cheaper to get a train or rent for holidays or visiting family (i’m hoping we can find a local person with a 6 seater car we can pay to rent off through a peer to peer site rather than pay a big company) ⁣

It also has helped us to be more mindful of how far we travel and to focus on living more locally, which has been unexpectedly kinda great!

In order to keep it when we had our third child we got a @multimac_seat secondhand on eBay. They are pricey but the cost savings on not having to changing our car for 3 and now 4 kids was well worth it for us. It’ll fit until our eldest is 12 when we need to re-evaluate.

Anyone also got or considering an electric as their next car? My hubby @garythopkins is a massive enthusiast and will try and answer any questions / bust some myths for anyone interested! L x

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