Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Outfit post: The Belt you've been looking for

About two years ago, I purchased a long black velvet dress from a vintage shop for an absolute bargain, and whilst I love it, it has always felt as though something was missing. It was just a bit... plain.

I paired it with big hair and a long statement key necklace, and still felt as though I was missing something. Until I found a belt in a charity shop that was just what I was looking for, after only two years of looking! It was only £2.50.  I haven't managed to wearing it with this dress yet but I have paired it nicely with a high-low skirt and leggings.

Yes, that's my daughter there trying to eat a shoe. But I felt like the chain link silver belt had just the right sort of hippie feel to it for the skirt, and it will break up the plain dress nicely. And please ignore my awful hair here!

Black leggings - H&M
High-low skirt - Ebay
Vest - H&M
Bolero jacket - Necessary Evil
Belt - charity shop

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

A late Gothidays post

I didn't manage to post in time for The Curious Professor Z's week of Gothidays but I still wanted to contribute a little!

We got our tree up right on time which I was very pleased about because I was worried we just wouldn't be organised enough to do it until right before  Christmas and I wouldn't get to maximise the festivities in the house. It's our first Christmas in our own home, so apart from a few choice items that I've had for years most of our decorations are brand new, which is very exciting for me.

Our large tree all squished up in the corner of the living room, it covers the storage box so Reegan can only play with the toys that are currently not in the box until she gets new ones for Christmas. She doesn't seem to mind.

Some cool key ornaments from Ikea, they caught my eye because they look like they are made from bones.

 This clock doesn't really match anything else I have but it's a little Steampunky so I couldn't resist.

My old faithful who has been with me for years.

At the moment this is out tree topper because we haven't got any else that Rob deems Pagan enough to replace it. He wants to honor the origins of the holiday.

And finally a candle lantern also from Ikea. It gives off a lovely glow but it was a complete nightmare to assemble! Apart from some food and present shopping experience are almost prepared for the holidays now. Yay!

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Outfit post: an under-appreciated old dress

So hopefully I can commit myself now to an outfit post each week. I didn't manage to post my face of the day last week because my plans went kind of wrong. It was my little sister's fifth birthday on Friday, so we went up to my mum's house to stay with them that night. We went out for a nice family meal and spent Saturday morning playing with her new toys. For her birthday I gave her a face painting set and thought it would be a great activity for us to do together and would make for a cute FOTD post, so I sat down and let her paint my face ENTIRELY pink.

After a few minutes it started to feel itchy and crusty so I had to wash it off. It turns out that my skin didn't agree with the face painting and I ended up with a splotchy red face for the rest of the day.

So onto my outfit, the main piece of which is a little skater dress that I got from Primark three or four years ago, and I have swung back and forth on liking/disliking it and actually almost threw it out on more than one occasion. I recently just started wearing it again and have fallen back in love with it. I think it definitely had something to do with one or two compliments that I got wearing it.

I wore this outfit (minus the nbc socks) to an appointment with the dressmaker who is making my wedding dress, she is wonderful at her job and I have known her for six years now, so I trust her opinions when it comes to fashion. She complimented me on the outfit and it really boosted how great I feel wearing this dress, and I wear it a lot more than I used to. When you feel comfortable and confident in what you wear it makes such a big difference. I actually love the silhouette so much that I'm planning on using this dress to make a pattern for another one.

I'm also wearing a crushed velvet bolero with bell sleeves, the cuffs featuring laser cut velvet and lace trim, floral patterned fishnet tights and a black belt. I'm not wearing shoes because they are not allowed in the upstairs of the house, especially not on the precious black bedroom carpet! But I was wearing my patent black docs.

Who else has varied relationships with old items of clothing?

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Dracula and date nights

We have been very fortunate in the past couple of weeks to be able to go on a couple of date nights without our toddler with us. The first was when we went to see a theatre production of Dracula at Arnos Vale (yes, we have been visiting there alot lately, they have a lot of events going on! Although I still haven't taken the official tour...) it was supposed to be a partial outdoor performance, starting at one building to begin with, and travelling to another during the opening scene. The weather, however, had other ideas, there was a big storm that night and the wind was atrocious. It made for the perfect atmosphere though!

Our program

The cemetery cafe was open so I treated myself to a nice cup of hot mulled wine whilst we waited for the production to begin. I was a little nervous about whether or not Rob was going to enjoy it, because if he hadn't of wanted to accompany me I was planning to ask a friend along as it's not really his sort of thing. I was mortified when he told me during the interval that he had fallen asleep and the person behind him had kicked his chair, but he does have difficulty staying awake at the best of times. He can't help it, he just falls asleep ridiculously easily! Excepting that little incident I think he had a good time. I really enjoyed the evening as I haven't been to the theatre for years, not since my mum used to take me when I was still at school. It was a very small cast of eight members, with a couple of actors playing multiple characters and they performed an adaptation written by Scottish playwright Liz Lochhead. There were a couple of deviations from Bram Stoker's original that bothered me a little, such as changed character surnames and the fact that Lucy and Mina were portrayed as sisters in this version. But that's just a fan being finicky.

The final scene was performed outdoors in the end and it was quite wonderful.

Our second date  night was last week when we had our appointment to give notice of marriage at the registry office, and since it was in the city centre at six 'o clock we took the opportunity to go out for dinner with friends on a double date afterwards. We went for steaks at a grill house, and it was two for one on cocktails too. Yum!

Ammaretto peach sours! My favourite 

Silly selfie!

I had steak with fries and blue cheese sauce, and tiger prawns and calamari with chilli and tomatoes to start. Blue cheese and seafood are probably my favourite foods. Apart from chocolate. Obviously. The double date part ended up being spontaneous because we spotted my friend'stating boyfriend driving infront of us on the way into town, and it turned out that he was picking her up from work so it was perfect timing on all parts!

Anyone else ever been to a theatre production of Dracula?

Friday, 27 November 2015

The gothic housewife

Since we moved into our own place two months ago I have gone from young mummy living out of one room and hovering awkwardly in my boredom in someone else's house, to full time housewife with a million things to do every day. I must say I only work two days a week so shout out to all you mamas with full time jobs - I bow down to your multi-taskedness!

Whilst we are STILL unpacking and getting things in order I will never feel at ease and like I have gotten everything done. There are shelves and furniture items still required  to finish things off, for example the cabinet for my teacup collection needs to be assembled in order for me to unpack them all. I have been quite hard on myself about not having a perfectly clean house too. When I lived with the inlaws their clutter drove me mad, so now that it's my clutter it's obviously my fault. I know it's silly, and I am recognising that I need to be kinder to myself but I never really realised just how houseproud I seem to be!

 Perhaps  what I'm finding the most difficult, however, is how I really don't fit the stay-at-home-mummy mould at all. I have struggled a lot with 'mummy friends' because when my daughter was born I was floating in the horrid middle category of being too old at 19 for 'young mum' support groups (and all the other help that goes with it) and being much too young to fit in with the other mums, who were in their 30's and even 40's . They were career women who left having kids quite late. They were all married with 'good' jobs and mortgages and great maternity pay. I was a blue haired teenager shacked up in a caravan with her previously married boyfriend. Talk about unconventional.

Don't get me wrong, I really love my life and am very grateful to be able to spend so much time at home with my child. I just feel a bit alien about it all sometimes. I rock up to a mummy meetup in my tattoo t-shirt and bat leggings, sporting freshly dyed hair and false eyelashes  and I can feel all the unmade up faces following me across the room. They are all so very mumsy. And I, I am so very un-mumsy. Apart from the women I already know, I can't talk to anyone. I am terrible at making friends. I want my daughter to make friends and have fun, but preferably not whilst I'm feeling so uncomfortable surrounded by so much normalcy. I am so self conscious that people are staring, judging, wondering could I even be this child's mother? I don't look outwardly maternal.

But then there is the passionately maternal part of me, who co-sleeps with her child and is a huge breastfeeding advocate, secretly I love to do things the hippy way. Mothering is the best job in the world. It comes so naturally and is so rewarding.  I love babies. I love being pregnant. I love all of it. It is so empowering to make these offbeat parenting choices amidst opposing opinions and to feel like I am the best parent I could possibly be because of it.

Some days are wonderful, I feel satisfied and productive and some days I feel trapped inside my own house, not contributing anything meaningful to anyone. On those days I want to be able to be my old self, wear totally impractical and completely beautiful clothes, and craft all day long without interruptions. I haven't crafted at all since we moved and I need to fix that. Things will come in time, I hope.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

FOTD Friday: conservatively gothic

Apologies for posting a little late, but my little baby bean picked up some sort of plague from a play café last week (more on this alien experience soon!)  and has passed it on to me. We have spent the majority of the past two or three days snuggling on the sofa during the day and I have had to work the past two nights. I am quite enjoying having something regular to post about each week, so that when I have no other inspiration I still have something to write about. I'm thinking of doing some more regular themed posts so if anyone has any ideas please let me know!

On to this week's look, conservative (in my book at least) goth makeup that was inspired by youtuber ReeRee Phillips and her corporate goth look tutorial video.

Who knew cars were so good for selfie taking?! Am I last to the car selfie party?

So it's basically a pale peachy and white eyeshadow base,  with reddish pinks blended out from the crease and topped with cat eye style eyeliner and white eyeliner in the inner corner. I have become rather fond of white eyeliner on the waterline and the inner corner, it allows me to wear my favourite heavy eyeliner whilst still opening up the eyes.  I finished the look with my usual Vamp matt lipstick and light cheek contouring. I had also just washed my hair and let it dry naturally. 

I could comfortably wear this look in a formal environment and feel put together. (work doesn't count I wear whatever the hell I want to work!) What are everyone else's 'corp goth looks?

Friday, 13 November 2015

FOTD Friday: twin buns hairstyle and Red Cherry lashes review

So this week's look is equally about hair as it is about makeup but I didn't think anyone would mind! It was a very red look, as I incorporated the colour into both my eyes and my lips, and as my hair was relatively straight and smooth I thought I would try a twin buns hair style.

As you can see, I sectioned the hair into top and bottom layers and put the top half (excluding fringe) into pigtails, which I then wrapped around my small bun inserts. I felt like my hair looked shiny and healthy that day, but it's still so thin that I had to back comb it to make sure the bun inserts were covered up completely! I don't think my hair has completely recovered from post natal hair loss yet... hahaha!

For the makeup I used my usual Vamp matt lipstick from Pretty Zombie, with black eyeshadow on the lids blended out to red. I also got a new foundation from Lancome, which I am seriously obsessed with so I might write a review on that later. In this look I'm wearing a new pair of false eyelashes that I got from a UK website called False Lashes UK, but they are Red Cherry lashes imported from the US. I have heard of people on YouTube and such recommending these and seeing as the website I got them from were so cheap and had free postage I thought I should try them.  Plus I needed a couple of new pairs because I'd gotten rid of some older heavily used ones recently.

I purchased two pairs, numbers 43 and 218, in this look I'm wearing 43 but both pairs are fairly similar.

What I love the most about them is how comfortable they are to wear, which is because of the style of the band, which as you can see is very thin and the lashes are attached in small sections rather than all the way across. The thinner lash band means that the strip is much more flexible and therefore easier to apply, so you can glue it closer to your natural lash line which makes them bled in and look much more realistic. Because they are also real hair they are not shiny and plastic looking like some false eyelashes, which I really hate the look of. I like to try and find that balance of lashes that are long and shapely but naturalistic at the same time. I would really recommend these to someone who is new to false eyelashes or isn't very confident applying them because they are so easy and comfortable. Also to anyone who lives in the UK the site is well worth buying from because they were only £3.50 each with free postage. I haven't stopped wearing these since I bought them... That's how great they are.

Friday, 6 November 2015

FOTD Friday: a pastel goth look

So to get myself back to regular blogging again I'm going to start at least one weekly feature: face of the day Friday.  It will also encourage me to do more makeup posts because I haven't done many of those lately.

I realised recently that I don't really own any pink eyeshadows that aren't neon, and when I found this little trio of pearly pinks discounted in TK Max it seemed like perfect timing. Whenever I go with such soft girly colours on the eyes I like to balance it out with dark lips, which works well for a pastel goth look. Paired with the eyes is a matt black lipstick from limecrime,  and short spiky lashes that remind me of the Japanese gyaru makeup style. I actually used three eyeshadow colours but they are all very similar looking, with the lightest shade at the inner corner, the medium in the middle and the darkest in the outer corner and blended into the crease. I used white eyeliner in therror bottom inner corner to open up the eyes and only a little black on the bottom outer corner, with a very thin line of eyeliner along the upper lash line just to help the false lashes blend in nicely.

Before I go I also wanted to share this video with an old favourite youtuber of mine Sebastian Columbine because it really spoke to me on an emotional level. The wording explains exactly how I feel about wearing makeup, and for any girl who loves makeup or has found herself defending her use of makeup to anyone it is the perfect argument. It is the way any woman should see wearing makeup.

Happy Friday everyone! X

Thursday, 5 November 2015

October update

So as it has been pretty much a whole month without me posting, I will write a little update on the whole of October. We are pretty much settled in the house now, although the living room and spare room are still full of unsorted boxes. I'm trying to get through them but it's  slow going when I have so much washing and other housework to do because drying clothes is a task when you don't have central heating. Whilst it's good that I'm almost never bored anymore, I don't really do much for myself anymore, like blogging or crafting. I even bought myself a beautiful old writing desk to do crafts on, and I haven't had the chance to use it yet. Also because Reegan took the handles off of the doors and tried to eat them.

There she is sitting behind the living room door. See that lovely ornate black door handle too? Rob wants one on every door in the house, but they are quite expensive so we are stuck with just the one for now!

I really wanted to decorate the house for Halloween but things are so disorganised that I don't know where all my bits and bobs are and couldn't really justify buying new ones this year. I carved my pumpkin into Mr Oogie Boogie and had a string of wooden black bats in the window and that was it. But I had a fairly busy week for Halloween which was nice because normally I just do whatever my other half wants to do as his birthday is November 1st, and usually he just wants to stay at home and relax and maybe have a meal with friends.

On Thursday night we went to an outdoor screening of The Addams Family at a local cemetery, which was a lot of fun. We had pulled pork from a BBQ van and I drank cider for the first time in a long time.

My outfit, if you can see the Addams Family t-shirt, and my Necessary Evil fishtail skirt. I finally have a good place to take outfit selfies!

I kept stopping to take photos as we were making our way through the cemetery and Rob was getting impatient with me! It's just so beautiful there.

The only thing is that there wasn't any parking available, so we parked at the top outside the gates (it is situated across a big hill) and had to walk all the way back up in the dark afterwards. Creepy.

Saturday morning was spent queing like a true Brit. Basically there's a tattoo artist I know who drinks in the pub where I work, he's done work on a few of my friends and is quite sought after so he only takes bookings on one day of the year. We got up and out of the house for 7.30 am  (for me this is a massive achievement!) And out of 110 people booking tattoos in I was there early enough to be number 10 in the line. He was also giving away merchandise so I got a t-shirt and an a3 print, which I'll show you guys when it's up. I  booked in to have a half sleeve done, which I've been pining after for about two years and I'll be having work done once a month from January to August (so it will be done before our wedding which is October 1st). I'm after a Tim Burton Alice in wonderland theme and I can't wait to get started!

After we finished at the tattoo shop my friend, her boyfriend and I went out for a full English breakfast before scouring the charity shops for Halloween costumes, completely last minute but it was a lot of fun. My mum was babysitting my daughter for me the whole weekend so I spent the rest of my day doing housework and all the other little jobs that are difficult to get done when Reegan is around. I put two heaps of washing away in thirty minutes when normally it takes me two days. I felt so productive!

We went out for a few drinks that evening but nothing heavy.

If you can tell my costume was a ventriloquist dummy then I did something right.  If not... Haha.  If you can see my friend wearing the Frankenstein mask behind us, let me just tell you that his costume looked amazing. He is a very tall and broad man anyway but he had inflatable shoulder pads in his jacket to make him look bigger and the effect was quite authentic. I helped my friend in the Cruella wig with her makeup and we were pretty pleased with our efforts. 

I was proud of myself for waking up on Sunday without a hangover, so when my mum brought Reegan back to my house I was ready to take on the day! I made Rob a big breakfast for his birthday and we spent the day together just the three of us and went out for a curry with friends that evening. All in all a most enjoyable week. Did everyone have a good October? 

Friday, 16 October 2015

The Big Move

Just a quick update to tell everybody that we are finally in. It has been one of the most physically and emotionally draining weeks of my life. Second only to when my daughter was born. I have been yearning to write about it all week, but I either haven't found the time, or when I find myself with a free hour or so I just want to switch off and chill out. We did all the moving on Sunday and by about 5pm that day I hit this wall of exhaustion and pretty much just shut down. I was able to take care of Reegan and that was all I could do without just passing out.

There's still boxes and crap strewn about the house, but it's MY crap, and it's in MY house, which in itself makes me feel so much better. For the past three years Rob and I haven't had anywhere stable to call home, so my life has been packed up into boxes and scattered amongst various family members's storage spaces. I have found a new level of peace from knowing that we are here settled and all of my crap is sitting under one roof here with us rather than worrying about finding this or that from who's spare bedroom etc.

We are having our first social gathering at the house this weekend. It's a kind of freedom I haven't felt for a long time, because you can't invite people over to visit an already crowded house which isn't even yours. I used to feel so isolated not being able to have friends and family over, especially after having a baby so young when most people my age are out partying. Before we had our daughter Rob and I both worked Friday and Saturday nights so I was never alone. I only work two days a week now and not those evenings because Rob does and it's hard to get childcare all night long on a Friday!

 Whilst Reegan hasn't settled in yet and has been very hard work, our dog Inca has made herself right at home in her new bed under the stairs. Surprisingly well actually considering how she is still recovering from a little accident last week. She caught one of her claws in her cage when she was running in and out and ripped it clean out of her poor little foot. It bled heavily and we had to take her to the vets for emergency treatment. It was so bad they sedated her and cauterized it, but luckily she got to come home that night. The whole thing was pretty distressing and I nearly lost it but I'm proud that I managed not to have any tears, and Inca was back to her usual greedy self the next day. We are now waiting to see if her claw will grow back or not. 

Here's some new house pictures to nose at while I get things looking pretty enough to take more! 

 This is our window storage box, which we have since stained dark oak and added black ornate hinges to the lid.

  Our unfinished kitchen.

Our bedroom colour, which does NOT look like it did on the tin. At first I hated it but I've warmed up to it now.

 Finally, my controversial living room colour choice.  I love it, and Rob got his 48" TV he wanted, so we're even!

Monday, 21 September 2015

Your green hair isn't pretty enough

Colourful hair is a lifestyle choice.

So I wanted to write a proper post about having brightly coloured hair. I did write a post about my hair journey before, so check that out if your interested  (also you can laugh at old embarrassing photos of me!) But I have never really spoken about the impact my hair choices have made on my life. Whenever I talk about it with people, I always tell them that having *instert current colour here* hair was a real commitment and a definitive life style choice. Aside from the obvious risk of damaging your hair and possible DIY disasters, you do put some things at risk when you choose to go bright.  

Firstly, when you want to go a very bright colour, you have to take the time to bleach it at least once all over (for me three times) and then commit to having your roots bleached every inch or so. This is unless you naturally have very light hair, if so, I'm jealous of you! But for me this is maybe every 8 weeks or so. Once you are bleached, you have to colour it several times in order to attain a really vibrant tone, if you only do it once you will probably be very disappointed with a mediocre or worse result. I have had so many people tell me after bleaching they coloured it once, it looked crappy and they had "ruined their hair" and almost immediately went back to their previous colour. You just have to have a little patience. After that you might have to dye it every single week to maintain it. I only dye mine every other week now, but I also only wash it twice a week at a push. I also have abandoned my hair dryer in favour of gentle natural drying (my favourite way is to wear pigtail plaits when it's wet, the next day it's soooo mermaidy) and I straighten my hair rarely. Heat styling will further damage my hair and fade the colour  ( as will sunlight. Hiss!)  My hair also bleeds colour when wet, so I wear a hairband on my hairline for exercise, I don't swim, and take my own towels when I know I will be showering away from home. My bed linen and pillows are also stained, so I always take spare sheets or pillows as a guest when I stay somewhere. 

Unfortunately, as we all know, being unconventional can also affect our careers. When my old boss got wind of my plans to go blue (back when I was brunette) he threatened to fire me if I went ahead. I was on a zero hours contract at the time and he was pretty crappy to most of the staff, so shortly after this I quit in favour of the pub I work in now, the manager was my boyfriend's friend, and he offered me a job regardless of my appearance. Although at the time he had super long hair and a beard! But the kind of atmosphere at our place is very laid back and casual, we are a locals' pub and every one knows us. We never even had a uniform until a month ago, and even so it's only a t-shirt and we aren't forced to wear it. Sometimes I think about what I might do if I ever had to get another job. It's a difficult one because I really don't agree with judging someone by appearance  (as long as they don't look scruffy that's what matters) and if someone didn't want me to work for them because of how I look then I wouldn't want to work for them anyway. But my opinions on work and careers are another subject entirely.

There are also people's opinions to contend with. As I have said before, I normally have nothing but compliments from most people when it comes to my appearance. You get the snarky "it's not halloween yet" comments every now and then, and there's the people who throw me a patronising back-handed compliments about wearing skulls and bats in my hair. There was this one guy who used to drink in the pub where I work, and he would always get drunk and give me the same speech about how much prettier I would be if I was "normal" and his daughter also went through this stage, she had red hair and her nose pierced you know. It was funny because I would just nod and smile along with him, and then the next time he came in he would have forgotten all about it because he was so drunk, and would proceed to give me the speech all over again.

When I went to pick my four year old sister up from school (situated in a quintessentially English village by the way) all the mums were pointing and whispering behind my back. The mother of my sister's little friend was the only one who had met me before and indiscreetly went around the playground proudly dishing out the juicy gossip surrounding us.

But since we announced a couple of months ago that we are getting married my hair has become a hot topic once again even among close friends and family who have long since become used to what I look like. "So, will you have green hair at your wedding??"
"Are you dying your hair back before you get married?"
"What colour is it going to be for the wedding? Not green surely?"

It's like just because I'm getting married I am expected to suddenly become "bridal". My leafy coloured coiffure is some how not deemed feminine enough for the mainstream ideal of how a bride should look. Even those close to me have questioned me, who outwardly seem accepting of my colour when to begin with they thought that green was an ugly colour choice. It's  as if to say, "Well this green haired stage you're going through right now, that's all very well and good but it's not really a suitable choice for a wedding is it? I mean you've had your fun with it now but you should pick something a bit more sensible for your wedding dear."

Honestly I don't know what colour it will be when we get married next year. I've been feeling like a change for a while now, so who knows!

Anybody else had these sorts of opinions to contend with? How did you handle it? 

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Good news

So a little explanation as to why I have been so quiet this past couple of weeks, WE ARE MOVING HOUSE! We are so happy, we got the news a week and a half ago and it has been all systems go trying to get the new house in a livable state so that we can move in ASAP. It's only five minutes away from where we live now, with three bedrooms and a nice garden. We are planning to finally grow our own vegetables! Although at the moment I'm in the process of pickling all of the jalapeños that Rob's dad has grown, because nobody in the house likes spicy food but me, and I couldn't possibly eat them all myself. At the moment the house has no central heating so we are having a wood burning stove fitted tomorrow. Then we have to replace all the carpets and the kitchen and paint the walls before we can move in.


We have already started painting two of the rooms and my inlaws already disaprove of our colour choices. Guess what boring people? I DON'T CARE IF YOU LIKE IT OR NOT. WE LIVE HERE NOW!! Hahaha.

Yep, our living room is now pink. Ish. 

This is us and we are expressing ourselves and making our own mark on the house. We won't be living there for longer than two years, but we want to love living there whilst we do. I'll post updates and photos as we go along so keep your eyes peeled!

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Small changes and some eco product reviews

I'm really trying hard at the moment to make some positive changes in mine and my family's lives that will hopefully have less of an impact on the environment. Environmental issues of all kinds are really very important to me, as they should be to everyone, and I don't think that one really takes much explaining. But as a young family some factors of our lifestyle will particularly affect the environment and those are what I'm concentrating on right now.

Here are my biggest concerns:

1. Disposable Nappies/diapers. The conventional sort are full of chemicals and take a very long time to break down in landfill. If one child can use an average of 8000 disposable nappies before they are potty trained, when four out of five mums that I know use them, that is A LOT of waste. Various sources claim they can take anywhere from 50 to 500 years to break down, depending on their make-up and the particular landfill site.

2. Our heavy usage of plastic. I have to say this one really gets me down. Sometimes I feel like we are drowning in this unsustainable, non degradable material. I know most plastics these days are recyclable but in my opinion it just isn't enough. When you have children you are suddenly surrounded by it, dummies, bottles, toys, toothbrushes, cups, spoons, bowls. Argh!

3. Toiletries cosmetics and cleaning products. Not to mention most packaging is plastic, a lot is animal-tested or paraffin based (you know oils, moisturisers and the like) or just plain artificial.

Now I'll tell you about some of the ways I'm trying to change our habits for good.

First up- nappies. Our living situation means that there is usually a queue for the washing machine, so whilst I desperately wanted to use cloth nappies it just won't be possible until we have moved house. So instead, I use eco disposables. They can be expensive compared to the dirt cheap deals you get on conventional disposables but the environmental difference is huge. They are all natural ingredients  (this also goes for the wipes and nappy sacks) they are completely bio-degradable and compostable. They take such a short time to break down that when I empty the outside nappy bin once a week the ones at the bottom have dissolved their nappy sacks and are falling apart already. It's great.

Plastics: obviously this one is particularly difficult. When you have a child, people buy them things. You can't just tell them no, or that they can only buy nice traditional wooden toys. You can gently encourage books and wooden toys of  sorts, but you can't keep them away from plastic toys completely, plus it kind of just feels cruel. But as parents we only buy one special gift for our daughter for birthdays and christmas, for example a baby trike for her birthday. Reegan just doesn't need that many toys, she has a lot of them and half of them she isn't even that interested in. Sometimes I give her a big mixing bowl and a spoon or a whisk and she will play happily for ages, the same with some wooden blocks or a cardboard box.
But things that I can control, I do try to make good choices. I have recently switched us onto wooden toothbrushes because I couldn't bear the thought of between six and ten of them (if you follow guidlines to replace every 3-6 months) going in the bin every year, just from the three of us.

So this is the eco bamboo toothbrush, which I found for a reasonable price on amazon. I bought myself a child's brush because  I have receeding gums, so I need soft bristles. Aside from the length of the handle I don't feel that the size has really been adapted for a childs mouth because the head is quite big. The bristles are nice and it's grippy to hold but the dry smooth wood against my mouth can sometimes make me gag, so if you have problems with gag reflex (hah) normally then do not go for the adult size (hah).

I also have a bamboo hair brush, which is barrel shaped for fringe styling. It's fine for purpose but you couldn't brush your hair with it normally because the bristles are extremely spiky and uncomfortable. I won't replace my normal (plastic) hair brush unless I absolutely have too, and then I'll switch to a bamboo one.

Finally cosmetics. You have probably heard me talk before about switching to cruelty free and small makeup brands, which is going well and I am also discovering some quite nice brushes (Eco Tools and So Eco). Eco Tools do a wonderful set of brushes for the eyes, and So Eco have a 'finishing brush' supposedly for blush and powder that is perfect for stippling on my foundation. It's feels all lovely and posh (get my fancy adjectives!) and the bristles are very soft. I used to use the Real Techniques stippling brush but the So Eco one is a lot bigger and softer so I am officially converted.

Real Techniques on the left, So Eco on the right

I have also been using a 'natural' deodorant for my underarms, after years of switching between Nivea and Sure roll ons because of my sensitive skin, plus after a little while I would seemingly become immune and smelly and so have to switch brands again. But this new stuff is great. It comes in a tin and you rub it in with your fingers like a balm, it's lavender scented and thick with little grains that feel exfoliating.

Putting it on in the mornings is a little ritual I quite enjoy and it feels nice on my sensitive armpits even after shaving. And it really works! It was about four pounds I think, and supposedly lasts six months, when I used to use one in under 2 months at £2.50 a pop! I got it from a website called Boobalou in case anyone is interested.

I'm still using E45 liquis paraffin cream on my face and body because it's the only consistent solution to my dry and sensitive eczeme prone skin. I use it as a facial  moisturiser morning and night and before makeup. If anyone can suggest an alternative I'd be grateful!