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There’s more than 2 parties

As the snap election has sprinted towards us, of course thoughts have been on my vote, what will make the most and best impact on our country? And it occurred to me that a lot, if not most, people simply vote for the preferred choice of the two biggest parties because ‘no-one else has a chance anyway’. This made me wonder what the election results would look like if everyone who preferred the policy of a smaller party actually voted for them instead of just voting for the ones who have ‘the best chance’ surely they all have an equal chance if we all actually voted for who we want? Even if they don’t take the lead and become the next Priminister they will have more seats and chance to grow and influence on what gets passed!


There’s more than conservatives and labour! We have gone back and forward between the two parties with the occasional influence of a smaller party creeping in. And so far from what I see, neither seems to have managed to make such a significant difference that we begin to like them and believe in them. So why stick with them when there are other options?

Here are a couple of links to website that provide extensive lists of Political Parties on the UK:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_the_United_Kingdom

http://search.electoralcommission.org.uk/?currentPage=0&rows=10&sort=AcceptedDate&order=desc&tab=1&et=pp&et=ppm&et=tp&et=perpar&et=rd&prePoll=false&postPoll=true&optCols=CampaigningName&optCols=AccountingUnitsAsCentralParty&optCols=IsSponsorship&optCols=RegulatedDoneeType&optCols=CompanyRegistrationNumber&optCols=Postcode&optCols=NatureOfDonation&optCols=PurposeOfVisit&optCols=DonationAction&optCols=ReportedDate&optCols=IsReportedPrePoll&optCols=ReportingPeriodName&optCols=IsBequest&optCols=IsAggregation

I don’t have enough milk to breastfeed- sound like you?

Unfortunately this is something I hear so many times. Lack of support available to new mum’s really doesn’t help: a lot of healthcare professionals are still using outdated information (a lot of professionals do give good information too). 

I am no professional, but I always do my research on anything I am passionate about, and I am passionate about helping as many women as I can to breastfeed. To me it has always been the natural option and I didn’t really have any doubts, but I know I am one of few women who feel this way. I had bottles in because I was told I should and I had been given some second hand ones from a family member. But in reality I didn’t expect to use them unless B accepted expressed milk in a bottle from dad (which she didn’t).

I have looked and looked for articles from professionals with their own research and references for months so that I could share it with you, but have struggled until now. Certainly finding something that is easy to read and not heavy on big words and is positive without making mothers feel bad.

This article from UNICEF is just what I have been looking for! It’s not long or wordy and says everything in plain English without going overly scientific. 

YOU CAN DO THIS!

https://www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/breastfeeding-the-dangerous-obsession-with-the-infant-feeding-interval/

Death by Chocolate 

Just over a week ago Mr M mentioned about his mothers birthday and he needed to get something. The conversation didn’t go much further than that since it wasn’t the main topic, it was that dreaded money topic! 

A few days passed and the thought crossed my mind again about her birthday. I hadn’t spoken to Mr M since about it so I decided to do some thinking of my own. What could I make for my mother-in-law?

A Giant Cupcake! I hadn’t baked properly in what felt like forever! Perfect opportunity to get my baking tools out! She loves cupcakes and loves my baking (used to be a regular occurrence)

Discussed it with Mr M and he agreed it was a good idea. It saved us money (I had most ingredients in and it costs less than buying anyway) and it is a thoughtful handmade gift.

So I spent a couple of days in the kitchen. Admittedly, it is significantly harder to do things with B ‘helping’ and it takes a bit longer. But she loves being involved and with the right direction and enough patience from me, we got it done! 


Giant chocolate cupcake, with chocolate buttercream filling and topping and decorated with chunks of various chocolates. Tempted to whip up a fudge type sauce and drizzle that over it too before we head off.

B helped make the cake, ice the board with the colour she picked (which was the hardest part as she wanted to eat it and poke holes in it! Perhaps it’s time for. Play dough activity) and sandwich the 2 sections together with buttercream. I decorated it when she went to bed, not sure I would have managed piping patterns with a 21 month old helping! 

The recipe I used was actually my standard cupcake recipe but doubled.

  • 250g butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs (I buy mixed weight)
  • 250g flour

To make it chocolate I substitute some of the flour for cocoa, I think about 25g but I’m terrible for measuring cocoa and always used more than a recipe called for!

  • Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy
  • Add eggs (best to have them at room temperature, same as the butter, to avoid curdling) and mix well
  • Gradually stir in flour/& cocoa
  • Split evenly between the 2 sections of the giant cupcake mould
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 160C for 1hr or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake

I’m not perfect

Today has been a bit of a mixed bag of a day with my journey to Zero waste. On one hand I feel like I’ve accomplished loads without spending anything. On the other hand my lack of funds seems to have caused waste too. 

Start with the positives:

  • I grated my off cuts of handmade soap to use as dish soap
  • I made a Birthday cake as a gift from scratch with little waste in packaging
  • I rebatched an ‘ugly’ handmade soap to hopefully end up something pretty I can gift to people.
  • I froze excess vegetables 
  • I prepped my own oven chips
  • Made homemade washing soda (not 100% what I’m going to use it for yet, but I’ve seen a few recipes)
  • Collated a list of cleaning/stain removal recipes (so I have an way reference point)

But! I needed to go to the supermarket for Icing Sugar and chocolate toppings for my cake, and milk for Mr M. But! As always, I check the reduced section for anything we need/will definitely use and picked up a few things. Unfortunately most of those things came in plastic packaging! 

  • Grapes
  • Raspberries 
  • Half cucumber (I got 3 because at 15p each they were cheaper than getting 1 full one and B is enjoying it at the minute)
  • Tomatoes


The net from the cucumber I will keep and use to make a homemade ‘scrubbie’/pan scrubber. The tubs from the grapes and raspberries, I may have some seedlings I can start in them. So they will at least get a bit of extra life. 

Plus, since they were in the reduced section I like to think I at least saved the food from landfill!

But I’m ok with this. I am on a Journey, and it isn’t a race, we do the best we can with what we have available. And today, although there are negatives towards reducing my waste, there’s more positives.

Zero waste packed lunch

Finally got chance to use my new sandwich wrap from OnTheGoDesigns! I was so impressed with how well made it is when I received it! 

It arrived in a mailing envelope wrapped in some recycled cellophane. When I spoke to the owner about this she was more than happy to accommodate less packaging and even considered rethinking it completely so it wasn’t plastic. Although, still quite impressed it was recycled not new. 

The beach theme is lovely and definitely gives a nice summery feeling! And made me feel a bit nicer in today’s cold, drizzly, wet weather.


With little planning (and even less in the fridge) I quickly gathered my zero waste lunch before heading to the Market with B, my sister and her baby boy. 


It was the first time I had planned to go out over lunch in months, giving me the chance to use my sandwich wrap. And it worked perfectly! I actually prefer it to cling film, and not just because it avoids waste, but my sandwich seemed to come out of my bag still intact unlike with cling film! I was very impressed. 

My sister loved the idea too! And was very interested in one for herself.

The material inside is a lovely soft wipable fabric and cleans a treat, I simply wiped it ready to re-use, but know I can throw it in the wash if it becomes particularly messy!

I look forward to using it again and definitely want more for the future as we intend on going on more daytrips in the summer when these will come in very handy!

And to top my day off I got my first discount for using a reusable cup in a coffee shop! Go Costa!

Free crates!

Ok they are only small but they are crates and still give the look everyone is after! And I can’t believe I didn’t think of this earlier! 

I took a trip to the garden centre today to see if they had anything I could use to stand some pots on to create a little height on my drive, walking through I saw a sign for bulbs, fill a bag for £4. Being new to gardening it sounded like a good deal coz it was mix and match. They were in crates on shelves and I didn’t think much of it until I came back round towards the till after finding very little (and certainly not cheap) and a lightbulb switched on! 

Crates! They’re in crates! They would look awesome in the garden! And on the drive! I wonder if they get sent back to the suppliers or binned. The thought of them being binned did upset me a little but it also meant that I could have some for FREE if they were being binned! 

So when I got to the till I asked the cashier, who wasn’t sure so asked someone in high vis (I’m assuming she sorted deliveries and knew more about what happened behind the scenes) and I was in luck! They get binned! So I asked for 4. I figured I’d see what I can do with these then can come back for more if I feel I’d like more. 

The result:

The empty looking pot actually has Cala lillies in that my mum gave to me out of her garden, they just haven’t got very tall yet so you can’t see them. I have 2 more to find a home for in the garden now and I may get a few more and stack them higher and grow strawberries out of them too! 

As a side not I may email the suppliers myself and see if they could offer a scheme to pick up the empty crates when they drop off full ones though to see less of them wasted. 

But until this happens get down to your local garden centres and ask for the bulb crates! And anything else you spot too! 

Add in the comments anything you found useful for the garden that was otherwise going to be binned, I love to hear all your ideas and freebies!

Zero waste food shop

Oh I was so excited when I received me new grocery bacha from DoYourBit! (Bonus they’re UK based too!) 

Having something I could get my veg in without plastic bags or paper bags that ripped or just having them loose in the bag (which wasn’t as much of a pain as I thought it might be) 


Organic cotton simple drawstring bags for my food 😊 and below my almost zero waste shop



I still can’t find cucumber without the plastic wrap! Even at my geengrocers! Oh yeah and the sticker on my apple

But it still all looks so much fresher and tastier! Not to mention bigger than supermarket stuff!

The bags are perfect and feel so durable and well made! I love the simplicity of them and the fact it’s local organic cotton at such an affordable price is amazing! I definitely recommend these! ❤️ 

Soaping success!

We decided to make soap as Mothers Day presents at Guides so I did a couple of practices in between my first attempt and running the session with Guides.

Making soap with 24 girls age 10-14 was tricky and took a lot of planning! But we did it! And this is the result:


I know they’re not Pinterest worthy but me and my Guide group are proud of them! 

72 bars of soap! Split evenly between lavender and chamomile, honey and oat and chocolate orange!

Disposable lent

Having been brought up in a catholic school, I was always expected to give something up for Lent to remember the 40days Jesus spent in the desert. 
The last couple of years I’ve been pretty lazy with it since it’s always something superficial that is given up (well that I hear of anyway): chocolate, crisps, fizzy drinks. Things you enjoy but can live without anyway.
So instead this year I’ve been looking at giving up something that might make a difference to our world now! (Yes I know it’s late but I don’t intend on giving it up just for lent and you could try anytime too) 

We live in a world of convenience and disposable products not really thinking about where the products go after it has been disposed of. And the reality is disturbing if you do a little digging.
Make a difference to your world and future, try giving up one of these things you probably take for granted and make a small step to improve our planets future:

  • Plastic straws– try a metal or Bamboo one like these from Amazon. Every straw ever made still exists now sat in landfill 
  • Disposable nappies– speak to your local nappy library about hiring a cloth kit to try they’re surprisingly easy
  • Disposable cutlery– bring this bamboo set with you. I like this one as it comes with a case.
  • Take out coffee cups– bring a reusable cup (some coffee shops even offer a discount to use your own cup) 
  • Plastic carrier bags– get a strong cotton/jute bag which you can normally get from your local supermarket or even pound stores.
  • Packaged fruit and vegetables– most stores offer loose produce, it’s usually cheaper too, or check for a farmers market or greengrocer nearby and you could always pack in these produce bags if you want to keep things separate.
  • Bottled water– filters are a great option, take it in a metal sports bottle or any reusable bottle you have in your cupboard (guess what, you’ll save some money here too)
  • Switch to soap bars in paper packaging rather than liquid soap. I’ve gone 1 step further and delved into the world of Cold Process soap making, but that’s another story.(shampoo is also available in bars)
  • Cling film- keep hold of a few empty pasta sauce jars and put leftovers in them, it lasts longer too or use this wax wrap instead
  • Ziplock/ Sandwich bags– pack sandwiches in one of these compact sandwich wraps or metal containers
  • Make-up wipes– how about using these Reusable make-up wipes from Earthwise Girls. If you’re handy with a sewing machine you could make your own too.
  • Dish sponges– I never liked them but my husband does. I like the look of crocheted un-sponges on etsy. Otherwise you could use a cotton cloth or a loofa slice which is compostable.

This year is the first year I realised how much of an impact our disposable lives have on the planet. And after many years superficially being concerned about the planet but lacking the knowledge/motivation to do anything about it, I have reacently been very conscious of what I buy/use/consume day to day, avoiding plastic (since every price of plastic ever made still exists and will not just disappear)and switching to natural products without chemicals. It was actually easier than I thought too. 

It doesn’t have to be expensive or Pinterest worthy to look at, mine certainly isn’t. Most of my swaps have been upcycled or just ditched all together and I realised I didn’t actually need them in the first place. 

It also doesn’t have to be done all at once. I’ve been gradually reducing my waste over the last 12 months, each time I run out of something I’ve replaced with something more sustainable. 

I’m by no means at ‘zero waste’ and still wonder how obtainable that goal is, but what is obtainable is you making 1 change to your lifestyle which will make a big impact on our planets future.

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