Monday, 27 August 2018

Less Plastic...

I think by now most of us have seen the horrific video of a straw being pulled out of a turtles nose....We need to reduce the amount of plastic we use daily. It can seem like one of the hardest things to do but am hoping to show how making some small changes can have a big impact. 

Not only in reducing the amount of plastic but also our household waste.

Many of my followers, do so for different reasons. Some will follow just for my Vegan dishes, others my love for Vintage Caravans or for my reviews. Many are not Vegan, and I want to state for the record that am not trying to push this on my lovely followers but just share what I do. 

Even by just changing one meal a week to veggie or Vegan it can make a huge impact. I love when one of my followers asks for help in ditching dairy or how to seal a leak on their caravan. Through my blogs and videos I want to help others, share how I do things and give my self a way of looking back on our adventures.  

Am sure you will all agree, we need to start thinking more about our impact on the planet. When I was a child, we where taught 'save the planet for our children's, children....' Now we are being told we could lose our oceans, not in our Grand children's life times but OUR life times. Yes I may sound like a tree hugging hippy right now, but don't you want our beautiful planet to be around, even, dare I say thriving for our Grand childern? So what small thing can you change right now? 

Change just one thing, and the impact will still be BIG!

For me, I have always been a huge car fan and I feel like I have balanced out our big old car by not eating meat and dairy. If someone told me I could eat meat or drive a petrol car - am going to pick the car ;) So naturally, being more mindful about what we eat, has lead to me thinking more about what we buy and use. 

You know am from a long line of hoarders and love using old things. I love to buy second hand, love a boot fair or charity shop. So I started to think what else I can change to reduce my foot print. 

We have seen the signs at the beach, leave only your footprints and its so important. I don't want to be remembered for the amount of waste I left hundreds of years into the future but what I meant to my loved ones. 

Here are some scary figures:

A disposable nappy - 200-500 years
A plastic bag: 10-500 years.
A plastic straw: up to 200 years.
A plastic water bottle: 450 years.

Every day, Americans throw away 500 million plastic straws

My mother asked for a straw at a bar the other day, and was so happy to see it was a paper straw. The barman told her how when he handed people a paper, not plastic straw most shouted abuse at him! They wanted a plastic straw, so if the only thing you do from reading this blog has happily accept that paper straw I will be happy! Please support companies reducing their use of plastic. 

This is one of my lovely followers Steph: 

'Although I am a meat eater I follow alot of vegan blogs as I have learnt so much about our environment and ways we are harming it without even realising. What really brought this home for me was watching Blue Planet 2. With the pilot whale carrying her dead baby killed by plastic. Also The Russel Howard hour with a section on good deads where a girl volunteers her time to collect plastic from her local river. It made me stop and think, every day I make a packed lunch for my husband using 3 sandwich bags, every couple of months I'm throwing out plastic toothbrushes, plastic hair brushes, plastic everything! It's shocking to think my great grand children will die aged 100 before my plastic waste is almost gone from this world. Even then it isn't truely gone, just disintegrated small enough that we can't see it. I decided to make small changes little by little until I was living almost entirely plastic free, some immediate changes were super easy. I no longer use straws or sandwich bags, instead I use tin foil and tupperwear boxes. I have bags for life which I ensure I use for all shopping not just food. I've sourced biodegradable bin bags and a bamboo toothbrush for when I need to buy these. My next thing was my food shopping, everything is plastic wrapped usually in multiple layers of plastic so I thought OK let's go to my local green grocers and buy individual items. I thought this would be expensive but as it turns out it cost me the same as in the supermarket, but I have less waste and I chose individual items rather than buying a big bag of stuff and hoping they are all OK, I'm also supporting an independent shop which is always a great thing. Some items still came in plastic but as I said this is a journey to reduce my use to almost zero. This shop came to £30 but £5 of this was on treats for my pets, it will last us a week, myself, my husband and our three parrots who eat large qty of fruit and veg daily.

As it came 
The only remaining plastic
It really wasn't hard at all to make this switch, it was simple required no planning, no effort and no extra cost, if everyone made the same effort imagine the impact this would have on our oceans and environment! Steph Suter, follower of Seaside housewife'

Thank you so much to Steph for sharing that, and like she said these things are easy to change with little thought. Also its supporting local smaller independent shops too, win win!

Here are some of the things you can change -

Washing Powder/Liquid - What do you currently use? Small plastic tabs, big boxes? I switched over to Soap Nuts years ago, its saved us huge amounts of money, so much better for our skin and the planet. Also has reduced our waste and use of plastic.  Click here for my review of Soap Nuts.

Plastic Sandwich bags - You can make or buy reusable sandwich bags. Not only helping the planet but pretty too! Am am working on a pattern I will share with you soon. Also think about the wrappers you have, the loaf of bread you brought, don't just throw that plastic bag away but reuse it! 

Plastic Straws - Do you really need that plastic straw? I m so used to drinking when out with a straw, if wearing lipstick it means it won't all come off on the glass. Am so used to it in fact I think I would spill a drink all down me if without one.....So how do we replace? You can buy paper straws, metal ones and I have even seen ones made from pasta!! I have just ordered some amazing metal straws to try out. Soon as I have used them for a while I will link the review here. 

Throw Away/Disposable Nappies - Cloth! Cloth is amazing, so much better for babies skin. It can take a moment to get your head around but once you do it becomes easy. Some makes hold their value you can resell them! Not only will you help the planet, your babies skin but also save a lot of money! There are lots of helpful cloth groups on Facebook to help you know what to do and where to get. Feel free to message me about this and I will try and get a blog post all about cloth!  

Shampoo Bottles - This was one I really hadn't thought of, till a follower mentioned it. We don't use much shampoo as am not a fan of over washing all the goodness out of my hair. Having said that, I thought, one less plastic bottle is a good thing so why not try a 'Shampoo Bar' Wow I LOVE it! Click here for my review of the Lush shampoo bar!

I will adding to this blog post very soon, quite a lot happening here at Seaside Housewife so there will be lots more to add!!

Clicks to where I got those scary facts from. 

'It will take 200 to 500 years for a disposable nappy to decompose, leaving a legacy to your children's grandchildren.' -


Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Retro Festival 2018

This was my 3rd Retro Fest, my first was with Daisy (who still needed a lot of work) and three mini people. 
My second was a child free weekend with my husband and a very show worthy Daisy. 2018 was only my second outing as a soon to be divorced, single caravaner. 

Only Margo and Ditto's second outing together and their first show! 

Ditto is still not running right, am awaiting a quote....its going to be a scary quote. :(

I thought I had taken a small truck load of clothes but I could have taken more.

 I did giggle a few weeks ago when a lady was looking at retro dress while out shopping with my best friend. She remarked that they where good for 'fancy dress' I giggled out loud. As at the time I was wearing one of my favourite 1970's dresses. (Yes I wear retro/vintage every day, even the school run. Though sometimes you won't spot it.) 

So for retro fest I took my more dresser outfits and all the extras like hats and gloves.   

This is my all time favourite dress. From my Mothers collection, and slowly getting to the point where I will have to stop wearing it due to damage :( Its well hidden here though. This is my 'hand-me-down' outfit. I made the hat many years ago, the gloves where my Granny's evening ones, the petticoat is also from my Mothers collection. Fake fur shall is my Great Grandmothers, shoes and bag where a gift from my lovely friend. Am still as always working on getting my hair right, it does what it likes lol.

You can see here the sliver tread which runs through the dress. I will cry when I won't be able to wear this one anymore but am hoping to take a patten from it. 

Meet Cherry Bomb, and wow, what a trunk! Not only is she a show stopper but her owner is lovely too. Took me under her wing and introduced me to such a lovely group of people who I danced the night away with! 

People really do pull out all the stops for showing at Retro Festival! One of my friends beautiful caravans

I truly had one of the most amazing weekends in a very long time. I felt completely free to be my self and was complemented for it! Treated to afternoon tea in the 1940's tea room, danced the night away and taught lots of Jive moves. I will have to get some lessons between now and next year so I can keep up! (Remembering to not wear a corset next time for dancing...) 

The bands where brilliant, I loved the singer, I will have to look up his name. 

Wonderful event. 

As you all know am from a long line of hoarders, so I already have a lot of retro items in my home. Am always on the look out for new items and Retro Festival is a fab event to look!

I was very good and only brought two items one being this 50p coaster! Not only is it a babycham one but also my star sign! 

I love seeing everyone dressed up and just look at this chap with 'PatsCrap' I think all men should take leaf out of this guys book as a well dressed man is far more attractive! 

I have been waiting for ages to see what my china looked like in Margo and I love it! Also showing off my Grandparents glasses and my picnic box! I still need to make at least one more set of curtains....

I still can't get my hair to do what I want but am slowly learning to just roll with it and not fight to much! As it ends up doing what ever it wants anyway! 

Click above to see my video :)

Keep an eye out for more blogs and videos about Retro Festival coming soon.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Renovating A-Frame, Chassis and Legs

Poor Margo had been stored on grass for over 20 years, and the difference between her and Stanley is shocking. Stanley was stored on the drive and has no damage to his a-frame and legs (only age related.) 

This is what stopped me from towing her home when I went to get her, a-frame was rotted into the ground. :(

But with the help of the wonderful Dan, we got her home and then the hunt for a welder began!

Thanks to Twitter a perfect welder was found! (Thank you!!)

Overall, there was not too much damage to the rest of her, but without a workable a-frame she was going no where fast and we only just got her into position before it fell apart!

 Enter the amazing welder from Mobile Weld Ltd!

She looked so odd missing her a-frame.

This is what was left of the rotted a-frame.

It was really amazing to watch the new frame going on, he paid such attention to detail. 

Thats better!

Yes am a very messy painter but I had limited time! 

Here is the video all about getting her a-frame rebuilt and ready to go back out on the road! 

Monday, 23 July 2018

Bailey Phoenix

I was very lucky to be invited to the launch of the new line of caravans from Bailey. They where founded in 1948 and is the longest established uk independent manufacture. This year 2018 is their 70th anniversary! Happy anniversary Bailey!


So if you have followed me for a while you will know I love retro, from dresses, cars and caravans. Here I was looking around a brand new caravan. I have never been a fan of white boxes, old vans, have so much colour and clever ideas. Having said that, I was wowed by the new Phoenix vans. They had really thought out the layouts, offering a lot of different set ups. Keeping the vans in neutral tasteful colours, means they are really easy to personalise. 

Sitting down in the 650 (above) I really fell for the large front window. Walking into the vans, gave me such a relaxed light feeling and others joked that I wouldn't need to scrub and paint down a chassis! I do think though it would be easy to put your stamp on these vans, also very easy to live with the calming colours they come in. 

You can pay extra for dressing pack, which includes the throw pillows and blanket above.

The range: 

Starting with the two berth Phoenix 420 

Phoenix 420

There are four different layouts with 4 berths, Phoenix 440, 640, 642 and 644.

Phoenix 440
Phoenix 440

Phoenix 640

Phoenix 640
Phoenix 642

Phoenix 642
Phoenix 644
Phoenix 644

They have one layout for their five berth.

Phoenix 650

Phoenix 650

Also a six berth with this layout. 

Phoenix 760

Phoenix 760

If you need help on picking which one is the perfect layout for you, they do have a way of comparing on their website. Click here for a link to their site.

So which one would I pick!?

Phoenix 650

Phoenix 650

I think I would go for the 650, I love the bunk beds. I would leave them up in the day so each child had a place to chill if they wanted. That would also mean I would only have one bed to make up each night. Making good use of outdoor dinning if I wanted to leave up the bed ;) Am not sure how I would get on with a rear bathroom but my children are good sleepers so I don't think it would be a problem walking passed them in the night. I like that I would close a partition to where the children where sleeping if I was up later, cooking etc. They have really thought out layout, keeping the vans clear looking yet inviting. 

They do stand out from the rest of the modern white boxes, with the huge front window and clean lines of the outside design. 

I like that they have opted for a side storage locker and kept the front clear. 

I must say there was a lot that I liked. Simple, ready to go, easy to use, well thought out. I was also surprised how much they had fitted into this prize bracket. These vans didn't feel like entry level caravans, they didn't feel basic. Just ready to go and easy to add too. 

The price range is £16,699 - £19,999. 

If you look at the price of a new car, and think about what you are getting for the money I was really impressed. Is it out of my range, yes, but I still think its not a huge amount of money when you look at the cost of just one holiday! 

I just looked up the cost of a weeks holiday for a family of four, one week (let that sink in, just one week.) In August is between £2605-4447 for just one week! 

Ok so when you take your new van away you have a few other costs, insurance (this is not a legal requirement but I highly recommend it!) Possibly storage costs, petrol and site fees. Having said that, once you have your van, you can go away as many nights as you want, every weekend! Just for a few weeks, heck you can do like I have and have her on the drive and just sit and have a coffee brake in her when its been a stressful day! You can stay on sites from five pounds a night, up too about 30-40. Join a club and go on rallies, building life long friendships for you and your children. You can go away on your own, with your partner or your whole family, getting extra sleeping room in the awning. A caravan is freedom! From just staying in a site up the road or traveling the world, once you have your van you can holiday your way! 

Even with my huge love of vintage van, I can still see so much I love in these new Phoenix caravans. Well done Bailey you have impressed me, will these vans make me think of a modern van....maybe...I think I need to stay in one to compare. I do have room on the drive for another ;) 

Thank you so much to Bailey for inviting me to have a look around the new range. 

Click here to check out their website.

If your looking for your first van, I highly recommend having a look around this well thought out range. 

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Take me away

Take me away, far away.
From the sun, from the sea.
Take me away, far away.
From your eyes, from your stare.

Take me away, far away. 
From the moon, from the stars.
Take me away, far away.
From the breeze, from the waves.

Take me away, far away. 
From the dark, from the cold.
Take me away, far away.
From the secrets, from the dreams.

Take me away, far away. 
From your love, from your pain.
Take me away, far away.

Never explain.

Monday, 16 July 2018

First weekend away in Margo!

Titchfield Abbey

My first weekend away without my mini people, Margo's first tow in over 20 years, first time Ditto my Volvo had towed, first time with a new A-Frame!! 

Also (not including driving Daisy onto the drive once) only my second tow! So as you can imagine, I was a little worried! If I couldn't do it, now being on my own, what would I do, no way I could give up on caravanning! 

Well, we all knew she would, Ditto towed like it was no big deal. Margo bumbled along behind with no bother and me, well I spent the whole drive with the BIGGEST smile on my face!! Me towing, check me out doing it! As soon as I pulled off the drive (thank you so much to the boys next door who helped me with her stuck jockey wheel) I felt elated and free. Now I knew I could take my children anywhere and not have to worry that I was now on my own. Don't get me wrong am not living on cloud 9, thinking that towing and caravanning as a single mother is going to be a bed of roses but at least I know that I can do it! 

She may need a lot more work, but wow am so proud of Margo and me! In this photo you can even notice I haven't finished painting her legs, as it was too hard to get to them at the back (she was mega close to the house) also she has a lightening board on the back as I need to do more work to her lights :) 

I have to say a HUGE shout out to my best mate James, am very lucky that I have a few best friends who means the world to me and this guy is one of them! 

 Its been a very hard few months, but he has come over and helped to keep Ditto (my 1985 Volvo 240) safe and on the road. Helped me out loads with Margo too, knowing how desperate I was to get away he came over to help get her ready in time. Huge thank you to everyone who has been there for me, messaged me everly day to remind me to eat, or just check in on me. All the people who have turned up with gifts to make me smile and given up their time just to let me talk and help me get through it. Thank you to you all. All my wonderful twitter followers who have checked in on me too! Thank you!!

Wanna make me smile like this? Tell me I can have a drive of your classic car! Thanks James, made my weekend having a go in Bluebell! I can't wait to film her for you all, just a few jobs he would like to finish so she is perfect for her tour! 

I love going on a Retro Caravan Club rally, as its like stepping back in time. Here is Ditto, my 1985 Volvo 240 with Margo my 1967 Sprite Major and Bluebell, Morris 1970 (am going to get shot if I have got this right but I can't remember if she is 1970 or 1972, I bet I am well out now I have written it down) and Maranda 1968 Sprite Major. 

Me and my bestie went for a walk around the beautiful Abby, which is free to do and then for a drive in his amazing Moggy!

As you can see, Margo still has loads to do and even currently has a lightening board on but she's on the road and being used for the first time in more than 20years! 

I have only 2 more curtains to make (I ran out of backing) Its so wonderful to get all my bits in the caravan and what I have found is there is so much room and storage!! LOADS. Its fun to try things in different places to see what would work and fit where.

Had a lovely view of the Abby from my van too! 

She is completely perfect for me and my three mini people. I couldn't have picked or found a more perfect van. 

She still needs another coat of paint on the walls and ceiling, loads of jobs but she's rolling on her own wheels and new a-frame! 

Am a little in love with the Babycham beer mat...this may go for a walk about to my van if he's not careful...

Yes this has been my first chance in years to have a drink with friends......

So after I cooked dinner in my Major, we headed back for drinks in James. 

When I say drinks, I mean a LOT of Babycham.

I was feeling pretty sleepy the next day, but my eyes where green which means I was showing how happy and relaxed I was in the van.

What do you do when your away without your mini people, take loads of photos of your self it would seam! Am not used to being in the videos of when we have gone away, so I wanted to make sure I was in this one! 

I spent the most part of Sunday, laying in the sun drinking coffee and playing records. I don't remember the last time I was truly this relaxed. 

If you don't have a sun lounger, get one, wow! It was so lovely! 

It was lovely to chill out and we had our pick of Majors to sit in! I loved looking for the small differences in just one year. Drawers are so different in the 1968 compared to mine! 

The fabric is just so perfect and you would think it came with the van, so different to my yellows in Margo. 

Lots more work to do on Margo but so worth it. Just one night away and it was like the world had lift from me. I can't wait to get traveling in her this year and to finish a few more jobs on her! 

Am truly lucky to have such wonderful friends and this one is pretty much my little brother. Thank you for all your help with Margo!

Here is my video!