02 July 2018

Day 1: Night nappy challenge, why?

So why am I doing the SACNU night nappy challenge? I'm part of the SACNU (South African Cloth Nappy Users) team and we're passionate about helping parents cloth diaper successfully and showing that cloth nappies are accessible to everyone. Cloth nappies for night time can sometimes seem very daunting, especially for parents with heavy wetters. That's why we decided to do this challenge so we can help and encourage parents to try night time cloth in a fun way. 

By asking parents to use at least 2 or more types and brands we're hoping that they can experience a variety of night time cloth and in that way find the perfect solution for them. My eldest was an extreme heavy wetter as a baby and I know the struggle in finding a perfect nappy, after lots of tweaking and trial and error, I ended up loving cloth for night time and found it was the only leak-free option. There is a type of cloth nappy to fit every family's needs and budget, sometimes it might take a bit of a learning curve, but you won't find a more comfortable and breathable option than cloth.

I love a challenge and I love all things cloth! We also exclusively use cloth nappies at night already so this is a fun event for me to share with fellow cloth parents.

I'm looking forward to reading everyone's experiences this week and seeing what works and learning from what doesn't.

Learn more about the 2018 SACNU night time challenge here

28 June 2018

Review: Slow Down Products Zero Waste Solutions

I am currently focusing on moving over to a more zero waste lifestyle, slowly but surely. While we've been reducing our eco footprint by using cloth nappies and reusable menstrual solutions over the past few years, there is a lot still to be done in other areas. It can seem overwhelming when looking at the bigger picture, but the best thing to do is just to start with what you can. Every small change is good and everything adds up. 

Over the past few months we have been taking small steps by using reusable bags when we go grocery shopping (and when we remember to take the bags with, I must add!). Recently we have expanded that with a few other reusable bits and bobs that I ordered from a local WAHM, Slow Down Products. 

So let's jump in and I'll show you what I got and how it's working for us. 

First up were these reusable produce bags. I ordered the 20 x 20 cm size, which is the smallest one I believe and I find this size very practical. It's big enough for our weekly fruit shopping hauls (and my kids go through a ton of fruit!). Something to note is that the yellow/green mesh is quite a bit sturdier than the other colours, so it's great for heavier items like potatoes, bananas, tomatoes, onions (especially when you are buying a lot in one go).  I love the drawstring closure - makes it very easy to handle when at the shop and it's easy for the cashier to open it to check when weighing the items. We usually buy fruits & veggies at Food Lovers, so don't have to worry about price stickers, however I have used them at Checkers as well and then I just stick the price directly onto the bag, no problem. The sticker comes off easily with no residue. The bags fold up quite small, so it's easy to pop in your handbag or into your reusable carry bags when going shopping. We bought 4 of these bags initially and found that to not quite be enough for our needs, so I've ordered another 4 and I think that will do the trick. The amount you need is very personal and will depend on the variety of fruit/veggies you buy as well as how often you go shopping. So I would recommend buying a few and seeing how that works and then add to that as you need. 

Secondly I got two bamboo straws along with two straw sleeves so you can pack the straws in your handbag for going to restaurants etc. The straws fit perfectly into the sleeve and there is a little attached elastic which keeps everything closed and contained so you don't have straws falling out all over your handbag. We have some bamboo straws which a friend gifted us with but they are a bit wider and so my kids are not the biggest fans of them. So I opted for the narrow bamboo straws this time and they are a great size with a comfortable mouth feel. I also got a coconut husk straw brush to clean the straws with and that makes clean up a breeze. But it will generally also work to give them a quick rinse after use. I did wonder how the bamboo would hold up over time with exposure to liquid, but I was needlessly worried as they are holding up perfectly. I have ordered another two so the whole family can join in on the bamboo straw fun when out and about (at home it's generally just the kids that use straws). 

Rewrabzz. Image credit: Slow Down Products
Lastly I picked up a Rewrabzz, which is basically the reusable alternative to cling wrap. To be fair, we didn't really use clingwrap very often before, but I was curious about these, so I figured I'd get it for those times when we do use clingwrap. I got the size small (32 x 32cm) with sweet almond oil and it comes with a string and instructions on how to tie a slipknot. The string is used to keep the wrap in place as this wrap is free from pine resin so doesn't cling to the items. The small is a good size I find for wrapping small items in the fridge - say cheese, or sandwiches to stop them drying out. You would need a bigger size to cover bigger bowls with say salad for example


In terms of quality I am very happy with all the items received and so far everything is holding up quite well (after about one and a half month's usage). I like that the items are customisable - for example you can choose the colours of your produce bags, as well as the sizes of the bags, straws, straw sleeves and Rewrabzz. The Rewrabzz are available in a few different prints too.
Bang for your buck

Prices are very reasonable in my opinion, very comparable to similar items available locally. Also bear in mind that while the initial outlay of stocking up on reusable alternatives might seem like a chunk, you end up saving money (and the environment!) in the long run. It's not all or nothing either - I like that you can buy one or two items as and when you are able to and need them. 

Final thoughts

Slow Down Products are a great go-to for your zero waste supplies - offering a good range of reusable solutions to get you started and to keep you going. I definitely recommend giving them a try. You can contact them via their Facebook page to order.

Disclaimer: I paid full retail price for these products and were in no way compensated for this review. All image credits belong to Hippie Safari, unless otherwise indicated.

08 June 2018

Review: Bam+Boo Baby Hemp AIO

Description: The Bam+Boo Baby Hemp AIO is a OS nappy that has a waterproof PUL outer layer with a micro-suede lining and two hemp inserts sewn onto the cover (At the back and front of the nappy). Each insert consists of 3 layers of hemp cotton blend. The Hemp AIO has 4 rise settings, single leg gussets and double waist snaps to adjust the fit around the waist and legs.

05 June 2018

Review: Mini Matters Night Fitted

Photo credit: Mini Matters
Description: The Mini Matters fitted night nappy consists of a shell with a cotton terry outer layer and a 100% cotton inner lining and 2 loose inserts: One snake-style insert that can be folded to maximise absorbency in the wetzone and one booster, both consist of 100% cotton layers. This is a snapless fitted and a Snappi can be used to fasten the nappy. A fold down rise (FDR) is used to adjust the rise of the nappy. The Mini Matters Night Fitted was designed and is manufactured locally with fabrics sourced locally too.

20 May 2018

Flats Challenge 2018: Day 7, What did I learn?

Making Sunlight Gel

It's the last day of the flats challenge, and it looks like I wanted to keep it interesting! After being away for work (and a bit of leisure in between too) for 3 days and arriving back home. I realised my detergent wash finished. Oops! Living on a farm and a small farming community, even if I was keen to drive all the way to town to get detergent, no shop would be open. I did have a Sunlight bar at home, so my son and hubby joined in to help me make Sunlight Gel* for my last bit of hand washing. I'm very relieved I kept a bigger stash of flats for this week now, otherwise I would have run out today. After the Sunlight gel sets I have about 18 flats to wash and hang up.