Friday, 29 March 2019

Curiosity

Alice & James on Curiosity

BBC 1 at 2.15pm on the 1st April




My best friend James and I, drove through some crazy snow, wondering if we would make it! Dressed for being on TV, we dug out the car in the first light of day. After abandoning the car, we had to walk quite far to get to the studio. (I was in heels, he did have to catch me a few times!)

 I have been on TV a few times now, and I love being in the studio filming. Everyone at Hungry Gap was lovely, lively and we all had a blast filming for the new show Curiosity. It sounds like a cliche when people say, 'oh he's lovely in real life' but in this case its really true. Paul Martin is lovely in real life, such a fun and fab host! Both of us had a great time filming. I could have lived in the 'Retro Room' in fact add that room to my house and it wouldn't look out of place. I was a very good girl and I didn't try to walk out with any of it under my arm. I did fall in love with the chair...I have the perfect place in my house for that chair....the sideboard.....Don't get me started on the jars....



Am sure this new show will be a huge hit, it was so much fun to film and am really looking forward to seeing the end result!  


I've just been informed that James and I are kicking off this new show as the first episode!  

I hope you all enjoy it as much as it was to film.













Thanks to everyone for such a wonderful day filming! 



Thursday, 14 March 2019

My Mid-Centry Living Room



Make the best with what you already have!

One of my top sayings is ‘do your best till you can do better’ and ‘do the best with what you have, till you have better to do better with’ goes hand in hand.

A few years ago we moved the kitchen in our house, into the main room of the house. The sitting room was huge in relation to the rest of the house. Every dinner party growing up, we would be huddled around a table which barely fit in the old kitchen. Laughing the night away while the huge main room of the house lay empty. Next time your at a dinner party, I bet you won’t move from the dinning-room table to the sofas. Unless it’s arranged by offering ‘after dinner drinks in the drawing room’ etc. Modern living, mainly happens in the kitchen. Let’s face it, the kitchen is the heart of the home! Anyone with young children will understand my struggle of a tiny kitchen away from the main room of the house. I would have to rush to the kitchen, rushing to make dinner while listening and checking on the minis in the sitting-room. It was stressful.


Don’t get me wrong, open planned living has its down sides too! When my son was shown a photo of an oven and asked what it was called at school, he replied with ‘hot!’ A kitchen in your main living space really leads it’s self well, to kids helping at dinner time, a real family space.


Before you go knocking down walls, check their load baring....I remember the joy of watching my mother with a sledgehammer....only to later find out a large crack had started to grow..... I 100% know that my zist for getting on with the DIY was watching and helping my amazing mother. Only this evening, hammer in hand sorting out the sound system for the sitting-room. Having plumbed in my replacement dishwasher earlier (having lifted/moved the old one out onto the drive the day before and moving the new one into place.) I smiled and giggled to my self, remember those late nights being woken by my mother to check out the rearranged living room.


I live in a house build in 1972. Having lived here since 1999, (moving away for a number of years and moving back about 8 years ago.) (Its my family home.) I know the house and the space very well. There are many of the same style house around me, and knowing my neighbours well, it’s interesting to see what people have done to improve the flow of the house and make the most of the space.






The large sitting room before moving the kitchen


Like many houses built in the 1970’s it has an internal garage. Only now do I own a car which may have had a chance of fitting inside this very thin and not very long garage. Needless to say, most have converted this space into a living space. Most have go for a fully open planned. I felt though that you lost quite a lot by doing that. It’s good to have separate spaces. We all do need our own space, and sometimes just adding a small office in the back of a garage can make a space feel much bigger than if that space had been opened up.


By moving the front kitchen, we gained a laundry room and a much bigger hallway/entry space.


Giving a far greater bigger feeling space. It also made the space we have much more useable.


If your looking at your home, and wondering how you can improve your time living there. Think about not only how you use the space now but what you already have. Adding a laundry room, has been amazing, not something we all factor in. Where do you sort your washing? Mine was pilled onto the sofa, attacked my children, and often took up lots of space. Now even thought its a very small room its all contained.


Something which made a huge impact was changing the windows to french doors. I was staring the windows one day, thinking they where the same size as doors. We had a single door in the middle and two large windows each side. I was right they where the perfect size so we put in french doors and changed the centre door for a window. This now opens up the whole of the back of the house in the summer is amazing.







So I knew I wanted to improve the kitchen situation. I looked at where all the current supplies where coming into the house. Costs can get out of control very quickly if you are talking about moving kitchens where there is now no gas, electric and water supply. That’s where you start. I was moving the kitchen but only to the other side of the kitchen wall. Also very lucky, there was an old gas fire in the sitting-room. So I knew we could use that for the oven. Being that it was within about a meter to where I wanted to put the kitchen. Also part of the old kitchen was to become the laundry room. So it would be very easy to plumb in a sink and the stack for the loo was right inside the new laundry space. Down the line I knew I could add in a very much needed, downstairs loo!






Moving the kitchen, adding a door to the back of the garage


Am not going to lie, it was hard-work around small babies/toddlers. Really good builders made it easier and being able to cook in the old kitchen while the new one was being built was a god send!


Look at your space, what works, what drives you a little nuts due to not working, what do you all ready have?


A little note here that often old style fittings, kitchens, bathroom suites can be worth some pennies. Don’t go throwing and smashing up what you already have. If your working on a budget, re-use as much as possible. Also you can get some work done for you, but offering things for sale as long as they remove it! (Make sure though, you disconnect any services and do this at your own risk!)


So, being a single mother of three adorable minis, am on a low budget. After my husband left, the space didn’t feel like it reflected me. I had made a start over the years and was very happy with my bedroom but the main living space felt like an after thought. It was really, as we ran out of money and other projects came first over finishing the house.


How did change my sitting-room on a £0 budget??



This is also how I did up my bedroom too, a £0 budget!


Big tip, big, big tip. Have any Ikea units in your house? Where I am, they sell second hand really well! Using Facebook market place (many other things out there you can use, gumtree, eBay, preloved, esty, local paper, etc) I love that Facebook market place, has no selling fees! It’s also quick, but you do have to give up a lot of information, ie, mostly collection only, so when selling you do need to give out your home address. The difference is that they also have your full name, and public profile information too. So just keep that in mind, when selling on Facebook. Also, your friends and family, will see what your selling. That many not seam like a odd thing, but people did comment to me, when I was doing up my living-room, ‘your selling loads on Facebook Alice.’ Erm....not really no but erm.


With my £0 budget I used items in the space I was wanting to change to fund replacement items. I sold the sofa, side units, all sorts. As I was selling I was also searching for a replacement item or idea. So I didn’t sell the sofa and buy other sofa. I brought this unit-






This was my most expensive item, this G-Pan unit with hairpin legs cost £60. Thats really not a lot of money when thinking of new items of furniture but on a 0 budget, that was a big chunk! I sold the Ikea white unit, which I brought at a discount in the clearance area at Ikea a few years ago. This is still one of my favourite items I brought, it fits all the virgin bits and bobs, the surround sound/bass too! On top is my record player which is plugged into the surround sound as well as the new projector. So you don't have to change over any plugs or switch between the two.


I wanted to not only change the look of the space but use the space better. I have a very small kitchen. No over head cupboards. This was on purpose, as it’s an open space and I wanted to keep as much feeling of space as possible. This means that I only have an under counter fridge and the freezer is in the garage (soon to be moved to the laundry room.)


So for quite some time, with no lovely display units, I used what I already had. Some Ikea bully bookcases, just put on the counter space to store my china and all the other stuff....


It worked but it looked really messy :(



Then I found this unit, and it makes the perfect larder! It fits everything and more which the on show bully book cases housed. (In a much nicer, clearer way too!’ This unit was £25 delivered! I had looked for ages for something to fit this space, trying out lots of different things in it over the years! Selling the bully book cases and getting this unit, made the space more useable, a place for things but also freed up the kitchen. Giving back that wonderful big space !






The unit at the centre of the photo is the 'larder' Using Kilner jars I already had on the open shelves for things like pasta and flour, and in the closed cupboards is loads of food storage! (Unfortunately the original sitting room door was smashed and for a long time just removed due to safely. Its been replaced now with this lovely oak door. You can see the white door leads to the office and this unit 'the larder' couldn't have fit into this space any better!


People say that walking in this room is like walking back in time. I love it! It’s such a calm space and so relaxing with the record playing playing and the units lit with my beautiful objects. I was so happy to get things down from being boxed up in the loft and at last on show.


This is one of my favourite units. It was £10. I think that due to its size many had been put off going to get it. It’s about 8ft wide! The bottom half fit in the back of my amazing 1980’s Volvo ‘Ditto.’ The top half, my wonderful friend drove over with her motorhome van and the two of us moved this huge, huge unit! I was so proud of us two girls, moving this huge thing just the two of us. It is as heavy as it looks. We pushed it into place, it had been a guess it would fit there. We stood back and my friend said. ‘Wow, it looks like it has always been there. Made for that space.’ I agreed. I later, after the flood, had to move this unit on my own, am not going to lie, it was hard but I managed!






So many of these where just thrown out, for the modern look. They are amazing. I wish I could fit more of these in the house. They are built to last. The lights all still work, it has a cocktail bar built it and the bottom fits my record collection in perfectly. Also a cutlery drawer, a place at last for my family items I have been given over the years. Also huge drawers! Filled with all the grown up things like spare batteries, paper, envelopes etc. It’s a real statement bit of furniture. It cost me £10!!! It’s got a few marks from when we had the building work done but bet this will be passed onto my grandchildren and still going strong!



This huge bit of furniture just fits so easy into the space, it hides how big it is. I brought a few paintings from the same lady and a lovely 1970’s lamp. (Which I love.) The paintings are not what I would run out to buy but I love how kitsch they are. They look amazing in the space, and work really well with the look I was going for.



By selling my huge 8+ seated sofa I opened up the space to being able to fit so much more into it.






The 8 seater sofa was in an L shape taking up this whole space!


Remember me saying, make the best of what you already have? Well, am very lucky to have my Great Grandparents sofa. It’s 50/60’s and my favourite sofa to sit on! It had been hidden away in the front of the house and mostly used to dump washing on while sorting. Now it takes center stage in the living room. I was sat on my huge Ikea sofa, thinking about how I didn’t find it all that comfortable to sit on and that it was only me sitting on it. Why on earth did I need such a huge sofa!







I do need to find the budget or a free chair, as a three seater sofa is a little limiting but still workable.



We did have blinds but they had become battered over time, mostly by toddlers running in and out of the French doors. There where large windows and a center small door to the back garden. I remember staring at the windows thinking that they looked the same size as French doors. So now, we have two French doors and a center window. This makes the space wonderful in the summer months. Pretty much opening up the back of the house! I had a lot of fabric given to me, which was vintage and the type of fabric which doesn’t need to be hemed! So one night I set to work making very easy curtains. The same as I would make for a caravan. With curtain wire, boom! It made such a difference. Warming up the space and making it feel so much better than the broken blinds and sheet up at the middle window. Is it the fabric I would have picked for the space? No, mostly likely not but I don’t think I would change it now.



You don’t need to make big fancy expensive curtains, curtains wire and a little time and the space feels so much better! You can also use old sheets, check out charily shops for old curtains. New to you curtains make a huge difference to a space!





THE FLOOD....






Its taken a long time, just after I had started to get this space sorted, the dishwasher flooded. It was a very hard three months, my children where amazing at living around, builders, drying machines, repair men. It was mega stressful. Finding asbestos.....








At one point the insurance company where talking about removing the whole ceiling....The whole of the ground floor had to have the floor removed. That one dishwasher made such a huge mess of the whole ground floor of the house, the water traveled under the flooring, soaking into the floor and walls! We still have to save up to replace the floor in the hall and front room but at least the main living area is finished. This room, had £1000's spent on cleaning up from the damage. So my 0 budget only covered the furniture not the paint, plaster, new flooring etc. Which all had to be replaced due to the damage. I completely changed the look of the room, just by changing the furniture and blinds to curtains. We saved up extra pennies to do extra things like the projector (Starting prices are around £50.) If your looking for the Mid-Centry Modern look, I highly recommend a projector, its fun at parties, I have youtube playing music in the background when I have put the records away. I have linked up a apple tv to the projector, this means I can link my phone to the projector, and watch Prime and Netflix. A retro room in a modern world!







I think I only ended up (after the money I made from selling the units I didn't like) spending £5 over my 0 budget. I already had the dinning room table, I found that on the side of the road. The chairs are G-Plan, and I found them in a shop in Portsmouth for £20!!







Here is the dinning room, all ready for 'girls night' dinner. Love my 1960's painting for £5, its so quaint!



An extra chair from my bedroom and the table set with all my vintage bits and bobs. The unit at the back was a gift!







I love having a dinner party and getting out all my vintage things. Lots of charity shop finds on this table, and check out the old jam jars for glasses ;)







Not only does the space now reflect my style, its relaxed and homely. Its mid-century modern, yet retro. Its still very minimal in its feel, yet the warm colours of the curtains and units make it feel cozy.







Me in my 1960's cocktail dress, one from my mothers collection


Now my house is starting to look like its my house :)



















Check out my first item for the hallway. I have been looking for a retro telephone table with chair for years and years! My friend tagged me, as the lady was throwing it out! Huge thanks to that lady and my friend who tagged me. Working on a budget doesn't mean you can't have lovely things! When I have saved up some pennies and start work on the hallway I will let you all know how I get on.




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Monday, 4 March 2019

Meet Maggie


Maggie




Hidden in a back garden where she had sat for a good 25-30 years unused was the once very much loved Sprite Alpine. 


Here is a little sneak peek of one of my trips to try and collect Maggie


Where she had sat for 25-30 years
How she was left, ready to go, awning and camping stuff at the ready!

Hidden in the back garden

She had been loving looked after, and used very regularly. Till the age of her owners meant she was left unused. Sadly with the death of her owners, and with the sale of the house the caravan needed to be moved. She was inherited by such a kind and wonderful couple, who wanted her to go to a good home. Me!


It took me three attempts to get her back out on the road and on her way home to me. Unfortunately just like Margo, Maggie’s a-frame had started to rot where she sat. Her jockey wheel had stuck into its highest position. My first trip, I arrived in a 1970’s dress, not really the right outfit for the weather and job.... I had a good look round and saw some damage to the a-frame. Like Margo, I wouldn’t be able to see the full state of the a-frame till she had been lifted. I managed to at that point remove lots of the camping items inside, awnings wheels etc. This I knew would help me when I came to pick her up. 


Second visit, it was all about her wheels and brakes. Surprisingly her brakes where fine, and didn’t need the level of work (thank you Dan) that Margos did to get unstuck! 

Her previous owner was quite the engineer, a real old school do it yourself, with what you have sort of guy. He had made a winch to help get her down the small hill out to the road and back into her resting place at the end of her trips. A very clever man! So I did giggle to my self when I took off her wheels.....I really wanted to ring my Grandpa and show him photos. It was raining so I couldn’t get good ones, of the very interesting way he had got the wheels to fit.....



I was trying to remove the first wheel and was wondering why the socket wouldn’t go all the way over the bolt. It kept rubbing on the edge of the wheel, odd I thought, while working quickly in the freezing rain...they where not Sprite wheels!! They where so alike I hadn’t noticed till I spotted that new holes had been drilled in the wheels to fit the Sprite stud pattern!! Even the centre of the wheel had been pushed out to make it fit on....managed to remove it while giggling to my self at the level of safety (or lack of) and they cleverness of it!



When getting to the second wheel, I had even more fun and games. In order to not get the same problem of the socket not fully fitting around the bolt to tighten it, he had added a sort of washer. By washer I mean a bit of pipe, to push the bolt out way from the edge of the wheel. This meant it could be tighten but then I wondered how I would get this very old and tight pipe off! A bit of a job in the freezing rain but with the right tools and a bit of playing about I managed it. 

I had borrowed Stanley’s wheels (with a new set of tyres on) to go and pick up Maggie. So now her borrowed set where on and I had dig up out of the ground a little, I could take a look at her a-frame.....

Nope, not towing that!! Much more damage than I had seen on my first look. But I had got loads of the big jobs, wheels, brakes etc out of the way. So a-frame....I had two options, transporter (flatbed like Margo, which Dan helped me with) or weld her where she sat! Maggie was much closer to my home, so I rang my mobile welder. Hoping a patch job would be all she needed. 

The weather had started to turn and at last we where getting some sunny days! Yes I thought, no more rain.....

So today was the day I thought, sun was out and the lovely welder arrives....down pour....I mean rain!! I don’t know what it is about Maggie that every day I got to work on her it rained! 



Patch job done lots of messing about with garage doors and the amazing welder stuck about for a while and helped me push her. (click here for his contact details.)  I couldn’t have done it without that help so am truly grateful!! So the four of us, pushed her out of her 25-30 years resting place.

Out on the road she was at last!!! Big hugs all round, was such a huge achievement!! People had stopped to see this caravan coming out of the garage. Not many knew she was the other side of it, hidden in the garden! 


Hooked up to Ditto (my 1985 Volvo 240) she looked right at home as she had been towed her own life by an A reg Volvo saloon!! 

Lightening board on and a few checks and off I went, waving goodbye to the lovely couple who had given her to me. 

Back home, Ditto didn’t miss a beat getting her reversed onto the drive. A job I’ve not done before, almost into her resting position to be done up.....

So as you know, if you follow my blog, am a single mother of three children now. Am very used to getting on with things on my own, am very independent and am normally very, very careful....

It’s been a very hard few months, the house had a flood, and I’ve on my own moved and lifted everything in the house. I mean, huge furniture, washing machines, dishwasher.....I only the other day took two full of water radiators to the tip on my own. Having carried them from the back of the house...am pretty strong for my size and used to it. Well....am not sure what happened but Maggie slipped of her jack (I know, I know, how many times have I told all of you, AXEL STANDS) and some how the a-frame and caravan landed on my foot....

I landed, am not sure how I got the caravan off me, am covered in bruises...hurt my back, hip and shoulder....quick thinking I took a moment to just sit where I had landed and then hobbled into the house. Grabbed painkillers and drank a glass of orange juice. Thinking that would be good for shock...

Next a had a bit of a problem, the school run was fast on its heels and the car seats where out of the car. The amazing couple who had inherited Maggie had also given me a sideboard to hold records and two large sets of drawers. All circa 1960’s, knowing how much I love 60’s furniture. To get the car seats back into the car, these needed to be lifted and put in the house. I don’t know how, but I quickly got on with lifting/hobbling each one back into the house, then putting back the seats and then lifting each car seat into position. 

Then I drove to the shops to get their after school snack. Then drove to the school, parking as close as I could. Text my lovely friend who’s an osteopath and asked for advice...along the lines of hey honey, what’s good if you drop something heavy on your foot. Elevate and ice was her reply. Ermmmm I thought, ice.....chips it is! Thanks Sainsbury’s, along with the snacks I had also brought some frozen chips and they where perfect. 


The thought of walking/hopping into school started to feel quite overwhelming. So I sent a WhatsApp message to two of my amazing friends who where also on the school run. The title of the group message was ‘dropped a caravan on me.’ 

To which they thought I was joking, and like everyone I told there was a mixer of laugher and shock. I am truly blessed with the most amazing friends. I’ve had the worst year, but finding out who is really there for me has been wonderful. One of these amazing ladies is a first aider. She took one look at my foot and said she would be surprised if it wasn’t fractured and that I needed to go to a&e. That was harder to hear than the pain, the thought that I had broken my foot was terrifying. What on Earth would I do!!!

Some how these amazing ladies came up with a plan, one taking and looking after my three small people. Along with the other mums two, so that she could drive me to a&e. You know what it’s like, the waiting times can be insane!! Am not the sort of person who ever asks for help, am stubborn with my independence. So for these two wonderful women to have rallied round me was so huge. So many of my friends offered help that night and still are. Am truly blessed with amazing friends. THANK YOU!!!! 

Off to hospital I go, with a phone on low battery and a bag of frozen chips! 

Quickly seen and xrays. I think I was praying to God for my ankle not to be broken. What would I do without being able to drive, how could I work, alone with three children to care for, what would I do on crutches for 6weeks or more. I was pretty stressed out. Thank you so much for keeping me calm. Truly blessed with good friends. 

No brakes (thank God) but very badly damaged. Crutches for at least a week, gentle movements and no weight bearing on it! 

Am not going to lie, making me use crutches is one way to slow this gal down!! I’ve had to ask for help, not something am used too at all. I don’t like being a burden on others at all! 

The caravan, Maggie is still in the position she fell in, waiting till next weekend for my lovely best mate to put her properly in place. 

So you will all have to wait for my update, video and tour, as am laid up on crutches for at least a week. I know, I know, am such an idiot and ever so lucky I didn't do anything worse!! 

UPDATE COMING SOON....


The tour:


Tuesday, 29 January 2019

1 Vintage 1960's Caravan, 1 Classic 1980's car & 3 Childern





My very first camping trip in Margo (1967 Sprite Major) alone with my children. They are 4, 6 & 7. They are mostly loud, busy and are behind with their understanding and speech. It was only my 3rd trip out towing with Ditto (1985 Volvo 240) and Margo. I haven't hitched up that many times and never towed on my own with my 3 children. Am a pretty outgoing person, stood on stage in font of hundreds of people and given speeches but I have always been worried about pulling into a petrol station with the caravan on the back....What if there is no space to turn, what if i can't reverse...loads of what if's. So I made sure I would have to full up the car on the return and didn't go find a petrol station without the caravan before hitching up and leaving. I DID IT! 3 busy kids in the back and having to reverse as the petrol cable couldn't reach over the car...



I knew once I got this trip out of my way I would be able to do it again and again. Each time getting easier. I have to face that am now a single mother of three and am not going to give up on taking them away. It gives us so much freedom and lets us have holidays much cheaper and which I can just about afford. People like Disney shaped my childhood into thinking I needed a prince to save me, well I have done pretty much everything on my own for a long time anyway. What we are told is that we need someone to save us and we are only a strong independent woman if we don't ask for help. Well, its ok to ask for help and heck, when caravanning there is always someone who at one point didn't know how to hitch up or get their oven working. Its ok to say, hey would you mind helping me get the jockey wheel unstuck or moving my caravan. Like the wonderful Pam said to me 'You can do anything.' Thank you Pam, your right, I can, I towed, I hitched and unhitched and my children had a wonderful weekend and didn't want to go home. Made friends and got to run about in the fresh air. 




Now don't get me wrong it was not all rose petals and sunshine! Three children with extra needs who are unsettled anyway, in a new caravan for the first time (they where very used to Daisy, I was too, and still working out where to put things in Margo.) There where moments of pour Joy and some pretty hard moments with over tired mini people and just one me. If your caravanning on your own, I highly recommend a rally. I knew I was meeting understanding friends and lovely people. Made a huge difference knowing there was people I knew in the field. Whats great about being in your own caravan, is you pick when you want to come or go. We needed to get back for a very important birthday party so we left a little early. 





So the campsite, it was beautiful. Am editing a video just of a little walk around, early in the morning in the fog. Beautiful. 




Would I say it was a child friendly site....hmmm. Yes and no. With so many people fishing I felt I had to keep a check on how loud the children where being when walking by the lakes. There where a few families with younger children fishing but over all, it was very quiet. I would say its more suited to those looking for a quiet campsite. The road noise in the videos is really loud and walking around in the morning it was very noticeable. But I didn't hear it in the caravan at night or in the daytime chatting to friends etc. Its a well laid out site but there is construction going on. 


If they added a playground at the back of the field then I think it could really bring more pull for families.



It was though, very beautiful, and wow in the fog. Goodness beautiful! 


I was so proud of my self and faced one of my fears and thats getting petrol while towing!


I left the campsite knowing I would need to get fuel, in order to push me to do it while towing. I know it may sound silly, but I was worried about getting stuck in a petrol station. Its a long rig, 16 foot caravan and over 16ft car, and a-frame.... I DID IT!! 


There where so many amazing little wonderful moments of joy, it took us a little while to get used to Margo but the space was perfect! The boys loved the bunkbeds and there was just so much more room than in daisy. Out own bathroom made a big difference with having small people and me being on my own did mean I didn't have to leave minis on their own in the night for loo runs! 


There is nothing quite like making a coffee in the van, brings back so many childhood memories for me and i know am giving my children the same!



Unlike a hotel room or rented, a caravan is your own space. A space the children know and filled with your own things so it makes it a much more relaxed space. Though it did take us a little while to get used to the new amount of space in Margo. Top tip, toys which are only saved for the caravan! Also you can keep minis busy for ages with a washing up bowl and some toys! (He was washing his dinosaurs for ages!) 




Was so nice to see the minis playing with a few of my old toys! It doesn't take much to keep them entertained with a few friends on site! 



There is soooooo much space in Margo!! I can't wait to get away again. I did work out I was lacking lots of things, being the first time taking the minis away with me.....Lights being one of the things! Very lucky to have great friends with the Retro Caravan Club! Enter ice-cream fairy lights! 


I think three nights was pushing our luck for my first time away alone with the minis but it was such a wonderful mini holiday and now I have done it i can't wait till next year! Margo needs lots of work but she is usable for the moment. If your worried about going away as a single parent or on your own, join a club and go on a rally. People are so friendly when caravanning, as most had to learn at some point and there is always someone about to help push a caravan. GO FOR IT!! Am truly proud that I haven't given up my caravan and that my children will get to go to some amazing places. 


Click below for my video:


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 
Unwrapped
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.' - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1287722.stm



ps://plasticgarbage.weebly.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-decompose.html


https://edition.cnn.com/2018/01/14/world/plastic-straws-ban-campaigns/index.html