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Tuesday, July 22nd

Save Water

As a family, we try to be aware of the impact that our lifestyle choices have on our planet. We grow some of our own produce, we recycle all that we can, we reuse or donate goods we don’t need rather than throwing them away, we use reusable bags. I think it’s really important that we raise our children to see these things as normal, as opposed to having the ‘throwaway’ mindset that seems to be prevalent.

Another area that we are concious of is to save water. 97.5% off the water on earth is salt water – which only leaves 2.5% fresh water available for us! Conserving our water is such an important topic – especially when we see images on the news of people struggling to survive through a drought in third world countries. Here in the UK we take for granted the fact that we can turn on a tap and have an endless stream of water.

Leaving the tap running, washing dishes under a running tap, running a fresh bath for each member of the family all waste water. The girls know to turn of the tap when they’re brushing their teeth, while we don’t have a dishwasher {which can actually save water!}, we run a bowl full of water for washing dishes and start with the cleanest things first so that everything can be washed in as little water as possible. I’ve always bathed more than one child together too.. Lola prefers a shower these days, but Kiki and Baya either bathe together, or Baya hops in after Kiki has finished. We try and keep our showers to less than five minutes each to conserve water too {Lola does NOT like this!!}

water calculater

I’ve always thought that a dishwasher would use more water than washing by hand, so I tested out this Water Calculater to see if I was right {I wasn’t}. I was surprised at just how much water we would save if I didn’t wash by hand after each meal. Of course, if you are on a water meter you’d also see a saving in how much you are spending – not to mention your time. I could have almost an extra five hours a week!!

This infographic has some great tips for saving water. When you realise just how many people in the world don’t have access to clean water, it really makes you more appreciative of being able to turn on tap. Are you aware of how much water you use? Do you try to save water?

infographic_world_of_water_facts_big

Tuesday, July 22nd

Feeding a family at a festival

The Dead Good Burritto Company

A few people have asked me about food at a festival – mainly in terms of how expensive is it, especially when you’re taking a family with you. You could easily buy every meal out, but that would have blown our budget feeding 5 people three times a day plus snacks! You could also completyl self-cater for every meal… but what we opted for was to take food for breakfast/lunch/snacks and then buy an evening meal each day.

Camp Bestival has an amazing array of food stalls, and to be fair, they were pretty reasonably priced and tasted fantastic too! We found a great pizza stall that satisfied even my fussiest eater, Baya. Kiki was excited to find mushy peas WITH mint sauce{!} and there was a stall in the soul journey that offered mexican food – I had there mixed plate with tortillas, salsa, sour cream, rice and veggie chili more than once.

With such a choice of incredible food on offer, it would be a shame ot not be able to try at least some of it out. By eating out for dinner each night, we got to sample some of the delights while sticking to our budget.

We ate breakfast in the tent, and made sure we were all full before we headed out for the day. I packed a picnic each day with plenty of snacks to keep us going. I don’t know about anyone else, but if my kids get hungry then they need to eat NOW! So having snacks to hand avoided having to buy costly snacks multiple times each day. We made sure there were plenty of bits at the tent too if we were in need of supper before we crashed each night.

Here’s a list of food we took with us:

Essentials
Tea
Coffee
Orange/Apple Juice
Milk {we took two 1-litre bottles, and froze one before we went}
Squash – it was incredibly hot last year and we drank tonnes. We took juice bottles into the arena each day, there are water taps where you can fill up for free. This year we have these super concentrated squash’s to throw in our day bag, I use them really weak to just add a hint of flavour for my ‘won’t drink water’ five year old!}
Alcohol – obvs not for me this year! But last year I took some cider, and G took some cans of lager to have when we were at the tent. Remember that most festivals don’t let you take in glass bottles, so any spirits will need decanting before you go. Also some may have guidelines on how much alcohol they allow you to take onto the campsite.

Breakfast
Cereal – we took a couple of those mini selection packs, the girls ate them when they first woke up each day. Also useful for supper!
Brioche – transports easily, yummy toasted with a little jam!
Sausage/Bacon
Baps – we had a veggie sausage or bacon butty each day for breakfast too… turned out great to have a nice full tummy and lots of fuel to start a busy day

Lunch/Snacks for day time
Wraps – easier to transport than sliced bread
Cheese – I took a box of cheese I grated at home for putting in our wraps
Fruit – apples/oranges/bananas – easy fruits to throw in your daybag with out getting squished
Crisps
Cereal Bars
Individual Cake bars
Mini boxes of raisins
Oatcakes/Mini breadsticks

We take anything that needs keeping cool in a cool box. Last year we filled the cool box with ice for a few hours before we needed to pack the food in so it was good and cold. Make sure everything going in is cold, and fill it right up. Stuff any gaps with newspaper. The key is to opening it as little as possible and keeping it shut nice and tight. While stuff had obviously defrosted by the end of the weekend, everything was still fairly cool. We also ate the bacon first, and took veggie sausages that were frozen for the last couple of days.

Again, all of the snack foods proved useful if we needed something extra once we got back to the tents at night. My kids seem to eat an awful lot anyway, and when we’re on the go all day we eat even more! Having snacks on us always in the daytime really helped – if the girls know that we don’t have snacks, they’ll tell me they’re hungry every time they see something that looks tasty! We budgeted around £40 a day for our evening meal – which fed the five of us [two adults and three kids} very well.

This worked really well for us last year, and I’m hoping it does again this year! I’ve been stocking up on bits an pieces with my grocery shop the last few weeks, so all that’s left is to get the fresh food at the last minute. Are you going to any festivals with your kids this year?

Monday, July 21st

Maternity Series – Week 18

Maternity Series - Week Eighteen

Eighteen Weeks – so close to the halfway mark! I’m so impatient now for our twenty week scan! I wish I could go right now. We’ve been talking names this week, and think we have *the one*. My fabulous new pram arrived this wee – thanks to Cosatto. So all we really need are clothes once we know the gender!

I’m still feeling pretty good, a little tired but ok in general. Sleeping is starting to get a little uncomfortable. I need an extra pillow or two else I wake up with an aching back. There’s not much else to say at this stage… all is good and we’re just impatient for December to arrive and this little bubba!

I treated myself this week to a pair of maternity jeans and a white maternity dress.. I tend to live in leggings and long vests, I’ve a few skirts that have stretchy waistbands that will go under my bump, and my normal shorts still fit {for now!} I need to pay a visit to h&m to stock up on a few more of their long vests – they’re great for layering with shorter tops, and they’ll keep my bump covered and cosy all the way!

dear baby.. week eighteen

Mother's Always Right
Sunday, July 20th

29/52

Baya – exploring in the grass that was nearly as tall as her
Kiki – I think this was a ‘stop taking my photo Mama’ face ;)
Lola – Cooling down in the river

Linking up with Jodi

Saturday, July 19th

River Days

I think one of my very favourite places to go is the river… even in the winter I like to go and hear the water rushing by. But on a hot summer’s day, I don’t think there is a better place to be. Thursday was one of those glorious summer days – hot, clear blue skies and so much sunshine! Papa had a day off, so we packed up a picnic, hopped on the bus and spent the day by the river in Llangollen.

The rocks on the river are a great place for a picnic {as long as you don’t mind a few ducks joining in!} The kiddos love wandering around the rocks, watching for the little fish swimming in the water and feeding the ducks. I sat happily on the rocks, feet in the freezing refreshing water, watching the kiddos and Papa splashing around in the river.

Llangollen is beautiful – a picture perfect little town, we’d actually love to move there. It was the perfect way to spend the day, we finished it off with drinks at The Cornmill before we hopped on a bus home and had a BBQ for dinner. Bliss.

Saturday, July 19th

Positive Pregnancies

I’ve teamed together with the Mama Academy as one of their MAMA Ambassadors to help promote positive pregnancy and champion their cause.

Ambassador image 1

A little about them:

MAMA Academy is a registered charity working alongside The Royal College of Midwives. All information on our mums side of the site has been written by our medical team of health professionals and the midwives side of our site has RCM accreditation.

The aim of MAMA Academy is to equip all expectant mums and healthcare professionals with vital knowledge and education to give every baby the best chance of arriving safely and healthily. We want to help mums have healthy pregnancies and support midwives to aid consistency of maternity care right across the UK.

Our team consists of various mums and healthcare professionals whose passion is to educate to help see the numbers of baby loss decline. If our information can help save just one baby then all our hard work will be worthwhile.

We aim to reduce the numbers of stillborn babies in the UK by:

Raising awareness of baby loss.
Educating expectant mums and on health in pregnancy, complications and how to reduce the risks of stillbirth.
Assisting healthcare professionals by keeping them up to date with the latest practices, guidelines and research to provide consistent maternity care.

Pregnancy is an exciting time, but can also be a little over-whelming especially if it’s your first time. The Mama Academy website is full of useful information on healthy diet, when to call your midwife, baby’s movement, etc. They also offer a downloadable leaflet of helpful information for expectant mums – great to print out and keep to hand.