February is an interesting time of year. On one hand, we are in the middle of winter here in Hertfordshire with snow and sleet outside my window as I write this.
On the other, we are almost in March and the snowdrops are raising their little heads above the soil and this makes me very excited. I can’t wait for the beautiful bluebells to pop up in my local woods in the next coupe of months.
This time last year it was a very different story. My Facebook account brought up some images taken on my dog walk in February 2017, a couple of days before I was taken into hospital with sepsis. I hadn’t been unwell (these photos demonstrated that I was out and about with my dog) and I certainly hadn’t anticipated being critically ill so quickly and it was a shock for everyone around me. This episode has made me re-evaluate my life choices and has helped me to focus on the things that are important to me.
So what are my favourite things this month?
Part of my role as a Doula is an educator and I found this book to be a lovely addition to my Pregnancy, Birth and Post-Partum library. It’s beautifully presented using stunning images and reflective prose and talks about how we can care for the new mum without pushing her to get back to normal as soon as possible.
Even if your post-partum days are behind you, maybe you have a friend who would like a copy? I would recommend this lovely book for its recipes and ideas for taking life at a slower pace regardless of where you are on your childrearing journey.
Anatomy of a Scandal is a page-turner and I am loving it so far. It tells the story of a rape case told from different angles – the man who has been accused of rape, his wife and the prosecuting barrister. There are a few twists and turns along the way which really grip you and the writing makes this book unputdownable.
I have been trying out new products in an attempt to ditch the plastic and here are my top four.
I have tried a few bamboo toothbrushes after ditching plastic ones last year but the ones I have used in the past are a little soft for my liking. These ones, from Dental Aesthetics on Amazon, have been my chosen toothbrushes for a few months now. They are nice and firm and have all the eco-credentials that I’m looking for in a bamboo toothbrush. Click on the title of the image to take you to the page.
My Bamboo Cup
Just take a look at this beauty! I was drawn to the William Morris styling and colours and the size is perfect for making sure that I take in plenty of water during the day. I carry this around with me in my bag and take it to the gym where I prefer drinking water from than the sports bottles that I have used previously.
I know that I may lose a few of you by talking about washable sanitary pads but bear with me if you can. As a society, we just can’t carry on throwing sanitary pads and nappies away in the rubbish without thinking about where they go after we dump them. The plastic alone is one reason to rethink our usage and, once you have seen images of the carnage that we are causing to our planet, I believe that we all have a responsibility to look at alternatives.
I buy mine from a company called Honour Your Flow who sell lots of different colours and materials to suit all women – including post-partum. I have used reusable pads from them for a long time, I throw them in the wash and they come out clean and ready to reuse. They have saved me a fortune too.
Lastly, my favourite friend. If you haven’t invested in white vinegar as a cleaner yet, please let me introduce you to this amazing product. Firstly, if you buy it in 5 litres bottles, it costs next to nothing.
I use white vinegar as a fabric softener in my wash. A cap full in the fabric conditioner section of my washing machine makes my clothes feel lovely and soft and doesn’t smell of vinegar at all. I often add a few drops of essential oils too. Check out my favourites here.
I use white vinegar to clean my sinks – put it in a bottle and spray onto any areas of limescale. Leave it for a few minutes and wipe it off. It cleans AMAZINGLY!
Descaling a kettle.
Descaling my kettle was the first time I found the many uses of white vinegar. Chemical descalers were really expensive and white vinegar worked perfectly. Pour it in, bring the kettle almost to the boil and leave it for 15 minutes. It’s the only time that I find the smell a little off-putting but that’s fine if you’re saving pounds each time you descale.
Until next time….
I hope you have enjoyed my February Favourites. If you have any questions about moving towards a greener way of living, drop me a line and I’ll send you some resources that I have picked up along the way.