Vicar's wife & mum of three. Simple living, family & nature. Pembrokeshire, Wales.
Happy Friday! We've managed to organise a rare child free day today, but due to life craziness we haven't even planned what to do yet. What would you do with a free day?
"...it's when we're rushed that we reach for the rubbish". This quote from @mamalinauk really resonated with me as it's exactly what I have found in our plastic free food experiment this month. When I plan ahead and cook from scratch we can significantly reduce our weekly waste, but as soon as I get tired or routine changes and we reach for convenience food or rely on a supermarket delivery the plastic starts to pile back in. So what am I thinking in the 3rd week of our experiment? 1) this needs to be a mindful decision. Reducing waste is not just going to happen BUT if we actively make even small changes (like asking for produce bags not to be included in our food delivery) it would add up to a big difference. 2) I need to find some systems for coping with the times that our normal routine fails. Maybe cooking and storing spare meals in the freezer? Batch cooking snacks at the start of the month? 3) I continue to be frustrated by the supermarkets. They hold so much power and they need to start reducing some of their unnecessary packaging. It's nice to imagine that everyone will start shopping locally again, but in reality we're hooked on the convenience of supermarkets and I don't believe 'low waste' can become mainstream until they make a change. As always I love to hear your thoughts and ideas x
I really struggled last week feeling so lethargic after our trip to Dorset, probably not helped by the relentless rain (did it even get light?!) and the fact Ivy was off school with a tummy ache. I'm going to force myself back into routine today in the hope that it helps; first job today is making bread (I'll do a plastic free shopping update on stories later). What do you have planned for this week?
I can't believe it's a whole week since we got back from our half term break! This is Colmers Hill in Dorset and is part of the reason we wanted to go and visit that area. When Josh and I were 15 & 16, gawky teenagers who hadn't really noticed each other before, we went on a church youth trip and drove past this iconic hill topped with trees on the way home. Josh randomly said "I'm going to take my wife up there one day"...and I thought "I wish that was me"...and the rest is history! We first visited when we'd been married about three years but it was fun to explore more of Dorset this time around. It's a beautiful county! The whole @symondsburyestate is so worth a visit and they have a lovely cafe and shop. It will always hold a special place in our hearts ❤
Firstly, this is my favourite ever oil combination for creating a harmonious atmosphere and soothing anxious thoughts. Go diffuse it and thank me later. Secondly, following on from my post yesterday I've been speaking in my stories about what you should look out for when you're buying an essential oil. Many of the oils available on the highstreet still contain added chemicals, synthetics or fillers. Before you buy ask yourself do you know anything about the oil brand? Do you know how they sourced their crops or what land they used - was it organic and sustainable? Did they use the correct distillation process with no chemical involvement? Young Living is totally open about how they produce their oils and they are involved from the seed being put in the ground until the oil is bottled. If you haven't already, go and read my blog post and find out how you can get started on your toxin free journey with oils you can trust. As an extra celebration anyone who buys a Young Living starter kit with me from today until Monday will get free shipping 👌👍 Message me to find out more.
I am so happy to see so many people starting their toxin free journey, buying chemical free products and making their own cleaning products. BUT I am also noticing some people unwittingly using some 'green' products and essential oils that I know still contain synthetic chemicals. Have you heard of 'green washing'? It's when companies market their products as natural or eco friendly just to make more money without a real commitment to going toxin free or being ethical. If you want to go toxin free do your research and don't trust a product that says it's natural without checking the ingredients list first and download an app like 'think dirty' which will rate how toxin free your products are. I've written a whole post on how to know if you can trust an eco- product up on my blog - the link is in the bio
I've decided to make my food shopping during November as plastic free as possible. I feel like if I go all in for a month then it will help me change some habits and work out how to practically move forward being plastic free. So far I've made my own bread, topped up dried goods from @plasticfreepantryuk, and visited my local shops where I used my own containers to buy meat and vegetables. My only fails were with cheese, cucumber and potatoes which came in plastic (and I could have got the potatos loose too if I'd waited until the next shop 🤷♀️). I topped up with a supermarket shop which contained some needed packaged items, and to be totally honest a couple of unnecessary 'treat' items. I know I should be avoiding processed food and snacking on bulk bought nuts or something but I'm just not ready yet to sacrifice EVERY product that comes in plastic! Living rurally we're not surrounded by zero-waste shops or delis that would make this easier either and this week I would have missed the poppadoms with our curry or the snacks for date night. If you've got any plastic-free tips for those extra 'treat' items, or even any supermarket/brand products you know are low waste then please let me know!
Goodbye October...you've been beautiful. (How is it November?! 😱)
I followed @fordeabbey's magical feed long before I knew where it was located, so I was excited to find that we were staying close to it this week. I can confirm it is just as lovely as their photos suggest.
Going on holiday with kids is tricky. You want to relax but actually nothing is much different from home (and they wake you up at 5.30am!). After a weekend of them tag-teaming moaning and crying I was beginning to despair...but today has been lovely. Everyone behaved and the Autumn weather was absolutely perfect. This sunset just topped it off ❤
Whoever thought daylight savings was a good idea obviously did not have to get up with young children 🙄 (This was taken yesterday at a chilly, and very autumnal @nationaltrust Montacute House)
I am tired. Like that deep down 'I'm running on fumes' tired. I still find it so hard to stop though because the to-do list stretches on and clergy life means that work and home are always inextricably linked. Even Instagram (which should be for fun!) still sometimes feels like an eternal algorithm treadmill where you have to jump through hoops to get ahead. Anyway, what I'm saying in a long winded way is that I'm taking a week off with no lists, no plans and no commitments. I might post here or I might be quiet. If you're new around here (🖐 hello) don't go anywhere. Normal service will resume after half term x
We all want our homes to be cosy and welcoming, but step away from your scented candles and air fresheners for a moment and consider whether they are worth filling your home with synthetic chemicals which could seriously harm your health. I've got a whole post up on my blog about the toxin free alternatives to scented candles and air fresheners we've been using. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Most people have become aware of how damaging plastic is to our environment and cutting down our waste is the next thing on my 'toxic free home' list, but I'm just finding it so tricky. We've made lots of the simpler swaps like reusable coffee cups, wax wraps, shampoo bars (and more) but the amount we still send to landfill is horrifying. Most of it is related to our food and that's the area in which I'm struggling to change our habits. I can think of a ton of ways we could cut down; make our own bread and biscuits, ditch convenience food, take our own containers/bags to the local shops...and we do those things, but they all take extra time out of our busy week and sometimes I just need to do a supermarket online delivery. It's much easier to do this than to drive to town and do a weekly shop in little shops with kids in tow. I just wish the big companies would cut down the plastic they use. My latest delivery had bananas, a melon, onions and potatos all wrapped in separate plastic bags. THEY ALREADY HAVE A NATURAL WRAPPING!!! Why?! I know it's all small steps towards the end goal, but now I'm aware I feel guilty looking at all excess packaging just because I haven't been organised enough to get to a plastic free place...but I can't do everything or I would go insane! If you have any good ideas for shopping plastic free I'd love to hear them x (P.S I didn't know what photo to use for this so I made Ivy pose with a melon on her head - you're welcome 😁)
When I first tried out Young Living essential oils I didn't expect to love them so much or want to tell other people about them. Three years on and I use the oils, and oil infused products multiple times a day and it has made the transition to a toxin free home so smooth. Have you ever used essential oils? What are your thoughts? I've been on my stories talking all about a Young Living essential oils subscription box that I received today and you can see just how many of these products I got for FREE! I've also got a post over on my blog all about getting started with essential oils if you're interested in going more toxin-free. 😍
We've been chatting all about organising children's toys over on my stories today and I've loved hearing all your thoughts. I've written a blog post all about how we organise our children's toys and why I think a minimalist approach can be so beneficial - the link is in the profile if you're interested. Do you feel like you spend your whole life clearing up toys or do you have any good organisational tricks up your sleeve?
We went to a proper old school harvest supper tonight in a rickety village hall in the middle of nowhere. The air was really cool and crisp as the sun went down. It couldn't have been more different from yesterday's crazy storm!