19 October 2017

Beeswax Wraps

Once I'd started planning my War on Plastic I couldn't stop finding things that were made of plastic and it all became a bit overwhelming. Then I heard about Bees Wax Wraps and thought that was one way that I could make a start.

When we had the cottage in Norfolk I was really fastidious about the fridge and insisted everyone used clingfilm. If you are renting a house out you don't want a manky fridge and since then I'd been trying to think of something to cover food in the fridge other than a plate on a bowl which isn't always that effective. Now, I'm not sure I would use these in a rental cottage purely because I'm sure someone would wash them incorrectly but hey, I'd probably give it a whirl.

These wraps are squares of cotton covered in pine resin, jojoba oil and beeswax. They are 100% natural, the pine resin is antibacterial, they are reusable and biodegradable.

I was slightly put off by the price tag - quite a lot if they weren't going to work - but ordered up the Medium Kitchen pack - no pain no gain and these should last a while. In the medium kitchen pack you get two medium size wraps and two small wraps. The medium wraps are about 30x30 cm big enough to cover most bowls, wrap sandwiches and cheese. The small wraps are 16x16 cm and cover the tops of tins and jars and unused vegetable halves. I now have my eye on the family pack.

I confess they arrived and they felt like a bit too much effort to use so they sat patiently on my shelf until I got a grip and realise that really is a waste of money and read the instructions, lectured my husband and put them to use. Why did I lecture my husband? Well you can't wash these in hot water - they must be washed in cold, soapy water otherwise (i'm guessing here) the wax comes away from the linen and they lose their stickiness. Every three months or so you put them in a 100C oven for 3 minutes this will pasteurise them. I've put the full list of how to use them below.

I love these. And it's not just me. My husband, usually slightly unmoved by this sort of thing, loves them as well. As my mother has pointed out they are not completely airtight in a way that clingfilm can be but they genuinely stick well (you stick wax to wax if that makes sense) wash and dry quickly and are ready for reuse. You can't chose your design but I got some lovely blue stars for one of my medium sizes which is a big win as I love stars.

I now rarely use clingfilm. No I haven't banned it from my life altogether as I still need to find a substitute for it when I am making fridge cake... these may work as long as the mix was cool enough but it would take a large wrap and then would they taste a bit of beeswax?

For full information go to look at their website. There are videos on how to make cool little pouches and sandwich holders which I've yet to try. There are a few companies that do these but I really do encourage you to go through Carly and Fran. Not only is it their wraps I'm vouching for but they had such great customer service and included a lovely handwritten note with the order. They have a real kitchen business feel which I welcome with open arms as someone who ashamedly spends too much time getting Amazon Prime. There are lots of different packs to choose from - kids lunch,

I actually think these would make fab, unusual presents maybe if you are going to stay with someone or for Christmas. I'm always on the look out for house gifts or stocking fillers for men and the Bee Bombs would be great if you know a hard to buy for man who has a fire.

To Use:

  • Wash in cool soapy water NOT hot - hang to dry
  • Every 3 months or so put these in the oven at 100C for no more than 3 minutes
  • Do not cover hot food - wait for it to cool. All food should be cold before being covered with the wraps
  • Not suitable for the microwave
  • Basically do not get these hot

18 October 2017

Jack Dominick Andrew Harrod

I realise he never got a post like his brothers so here he is. Born 2nd July 2017

1 September 2017

Baby Favourites

These are some of my favourite things I've been using since having Jack. There are lots more that I missed off - like the gorgeous Aden + Anais towel and flannel set I was given which is so lovely - let me know what yours are in the comments below. Probably a bit too much information in here for some - also if I seem to get shorter during filming that's because it's hard with a baby on your knee!

Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets
Aden + Anais Towel
Lil Cubs Swaddle Muslin
Ana Wiz Washable Natural Bamboo Breast Pads ( Mixed, Pack of 12)
Kit + Kin nappies
Natracare Maternity Pads
Multi-Mam Balm
PPOGOO Waterproof Burp Cloths
Marks & Spencer Baby Grows
Breastvest Breast Vest Top

5 August 2017

The Breastfeeding Box

Anyone who knows me or how follows me on Instagram will no that, although I do it as much as I can bear too, I hate breastfeeding. It does not make me feel bonded to the baby, it makes me feel a strange combination of resentful, trapped, inadequate and like a cow. I do it because I can and there are lots of women out there who would love to be able to and can't and because it is good for them. I am a crap milk maker though so the boys have all had top up bottles when either they, or I, need it. Why they don't recommend combination feeding more often I have no idea. I'm sure if they did more women would breastfeed but to feed a baby when you aren't making enough milk or hate it and feel that it's an either/or option is ridiculous.

Anyway, part of my problem with it is that having been a mountainous pregnant person you are suddenly not pregnant anymore and (eventually) much more able and mobile and yet there you sit, pinned under a feeding baby staring at the mess/washing up/DIY/gardening/whatever and unable to do anything about it. So, pretty quickly with Ned I made myself a breastfeeding box.

On one of the many errands I sent my mother on when he was a newborn I asked her to pick me up a box from the Spend & Save and in it I put a load of things that I was always wanting when trapped under a feeding baby. It didn't make breastfeeding great but it made it so much better. I was prepared when visitors came round, if I was bored, hungry or thirsty and if the baby did a massive puke I had a muslin to hand. When I was getting ready to feed Ned I'd get my box and plonk it down next to me and I knew I'd have everything to hand. If I forgot to do this it would mean I could ask someone to bring it to me instead of saying 'can you get my nipple cream it's in the bedrooms' then 'oo sorry can you find me some water' followed by 'can you find a muslin?'.

I also hate that visitors expect you to whap your baps out in front of them, or turn up while you are feeding and looking like a hag. So I have make-up that I can slap on while someone else answers the door.  I often try to take myself to another room and I'd say at least half the time the visitor would come and find me.

I recommend this to every new mum (second and third time round I used it less as I was basically feeding Jim and Jack on the move) and it's especially good if you've had a C-section because they you really shouldn't be moving about while feeding. You are fairly mobile when you are feeding but if you have a fussy or colicy baby you don't want to move an inch if they've settled. I've listed below what I put it in but you can add your own stuff obvs. You get the idea.

  • When I get back from the hospital I edit and transfer my washbag to the breastfeeding box (you can see in the pictures... it has watermelons on it). In the washbag I have breastpads, nipple cream, tic tacs, lip balm, blusher, deodorant, Clinique Moisturse Surge spray, hand cream, hand sanitiser, hand mirror, black eye liner and mascara (I cannot be viewed without mascara as a minimum requirement).
  • Flapjacks or other similar snacks but I like flapjacks. Oats are good for making milk so basically, while you are breastfeeding, they are a health food. 
  • Something to read - I have a backlog of London Review of Books though a kindle is ideal if you are feeding as there are no pages... which can be problematic.
  • Baby wipes
  • Muslin
  • Remote controls if you are as scatty as me
  • Notebook and pen - transferred from hospital bag. With Ned I kept having to write down timings because he wanted to eat again and I couldn't persuade the midwives that I wasn't making enough milk. Thank god for friends who convince you that top-up bottles won't kill the baby. Also useful for doodling, writing shopping lists and thoughts on the new baby if you are so inclined. 
  • Bottle of water - I don't usually approve of bottles of water but if you've breastfed you know that horrible immediate and desperate thirst that can appear as soon as you've got them on. 

3 August 2017

The War on Plastic

This may sound odd but for a while, in fact almost since I had Jim in 2015, I've felt a bit like my life was on hold. You are very much at the beck and call of a newborn baby and so therefore having a social life or any time to yourself is rare. I also sort of knew that we would have another baby and therefore there were lots of things there was no point in doing until after that had happened. Well, it's happened and finally there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Yes I have a newborn, a 2 year old and a 4 year old so it's not like I'm going all night raving in Ibiza (I've done that and hated it so I won't be doing that anyway but you see what I mean) but apart from my boobs, I've got my body back, I'm not going to be pregnant again, I'm not going to have another newborn. My life from no on is post-baby.

This has manifested itself in many ways but one of them is I have started my own war on plastic. I realise that, although I recycle and use a Brita FillandGo Water Filter Bottle, I've basically been ignoring the massive plastic problem. And it's not just plastic, I've looked into reusable nappies but have been too scared to try them. So I'm slowly but surely eradicating plastic from the house and have started using biodegradable nappies and though i'm still concerned about the amount of plastic in my bathroom that's all my stuff I feel like I'm making progress.

All the things I've found and am using I'll be reviewing on here and will be using the label 'War on Plastic', so you can see all the posts there. You can also see what's going on on my Instagram where I'm @corinnaharrod

Please let me know what you are using to wage your own war on plastic and any suggestions you have and good brands to know about - I'd love to hear from you. 
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