15+1 Gift Ideas For Father’s Day – The Ethical And Ecofriendly Edit

Lately, I got to know a lot of great, small indy shops and places with ethical and eco friendly goodies and values. Some of them are start ups, the others are established, but they all have one thing in common: the visionary people behind them, who are passionate about a greener, fairer future.

With Father’s Day is just around the corner (18th of June), I thought it would be nice to introduce my favourite new ethical and ecofriendly shops, so I put this gift guide together with really cool present ideas for all the daddies in your life. Enjoy browsing and spread the love.

1. Pigeon Baseball Tee From Lost Shapes

I’m a huge fan of baseball tees. It’s 100% organic cotton. The stencils are hand drawn, hand cut, and hand screen printed in the Lost Shapes studio. All Lost Shapes tops are sourced from manufacturers that are held to account by the independent Fair Wear Foundation. To read more (there’s a lot more reasons to love their products!) visit their site. Lost Shapes is founded by a young and talented designer: Anna Brindle. £23

2. Family Day Out On The Bocketts Farm

Bocketts is located in the picturesque Surrey Hills and one of our favourite, local family day out destinations. Last year I wrote a review about how much did we enjoy our first visit, read it here: Family Day Out At The Bocketts Farm. I love thoughtful presents, but nothing beats the gift of being together and having quality time. Adult tickets at £10.50

3. Eco Friendly Razor Set From ManOrganic

A very manly gift, isn’t it? These razors are completely recyclable, the handle is made out of yogurt cups, 100% recycled, #5 plastic and recyclable after use. Pair it up with something equally cool from ManOrganic, browse for more ideas. £6.99

4. Solar Powered And Wind-Up Radio From Re-Wind

It’s portable, has a built-in LED torch and a built-in headphone jack. No need for batteries to power, you can charge it by solar power, wind up or USB charging. Saves money and energy. £19.99 Available at Amazon.co.uk: NEW Re-Wind Wind-Up Solar Powered Rechargeable Portable AM/FM Radio with built-in LED Torch and USB Charging Port (Cable Included) – No Batteries Required – LCD Display, Alarm Clock, Headphone Socket

5. Clock Made Of Upcycled Vintage Kodak Tin

Found this clock on ReMadeInBritain and it was love at the first sight. I absolutely love this idea, just too cool, isn’t it? It’s also a limited edition. £25

6. Wise Owl Tea Jamaican Lemongrass and Sage Organic Tea (Pack of 1, Total 15 Tea Bags)

I love Wise Owl Teas. They only contain organic ingredients. Thumbs up for that. This one is great for a morning brew, although naturally caffeine-free. The lemongrass with the sage makes such a unique combination, a must try. £6.99

7. Peshtamal Towel From Cotton And Olive

These fantastically colourful towels are hand woven, so each and every one is a piece of art. Can be double up as a sofa throw, a sarong or even a tablecloth! £27

8. Reusable Bamboo Coffee Cup From Surfers Against Sewage

Made of organic from bamboo fibre (the world’s fastest growing, most sustainable crop). It is also BPA and phthalate free and doesn’t contain petrochemical plastic. Available in 6 colours. Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) is an environmental charity protecting the UK’s oceans, waves and beaches for all to enjoy safely and sustainably, via community action, campaigning, volunteering, conservation, education and scientific research. £12

9. Notebook With Cover Made Of A Vintage London Map From WowThankYou

I just love this idea and it’s so beautiful. A stunning, handmade item. Truly one of a kind. A North London map journal, made from a continuous section of a genuine Bartholomew’s vintage map which is at least 50 years old. £10.50

10. Lilliput Dorset Gin

With home-grown organic Rosemary, organic Basil from Egypt, organic Thyme from Spain and organic fresh water fermented Kalamata Olives from Greece. Lilliput is a proudly rainbow micro business which supports equality and diversity. £33

11. Earth Monk Organic Cotton Hoodie

100% organic cotton. 10% (excluding VAT) goes directly towards helping sustain the Peruvian Amazon rainforest, its people, traditions and biodiversity. Even more cool stuff in their webshop. £55

12. Seedball Pick And Mix Gift Set

Seedball founders Ana and Emily (girlpower!) are conservation scientists and their plan is to save the bees, the butterflies and the wildflowers. Seedballs are fool proof: just pop on top of soil, water and watch grow. How awesome is that? £18.99 Also available at Amazon.co.uk: Bee & Butterfly Garden Offer – Set of Bee Mix, Butterfly Mix & Urban Meadow Seedball Tins

13. De-Stress And Un-Wind Wellbeing Gift Set

I’m an Indigo Herbs of Glasonbury ambassador, very much fond of their products, they are fantastic quality, so it’s just natural, that I feature one of their gift sets. This box includes herbal tea and massage oil, 100% pure botanical ingredients. £19.99 Also available at Amazon.co.uk: De-Stress and Unwind Git Set – Indigo Herbs

14. Hemp Eyewear Sunglasses

Currently available to order on Indiegogo, Hemp eyewear is handmade using organic hemp fibre to make solid and lightweight frames. Hemp is a renewable and diverse resource. Sunglasses from £88

15. Thought Bamboo Socks From Indigo Natural Living

These dog patterns are just too cute and I love the colours too. The socks are made of bamboo and the suppliers have to provide their workers with safe conditions, a living wage and are free from harassment. £20

16. What Daisy Did Brooklyn Backpack

What a brilliant idea! This bag (and the whole collection) is made in the UK from high grade ex-military materials (like waxed canvas). These materials are 99% locally sourced, 95% being recycled which means they have a very small carbon footprint. They are working together with The Northampton Hope Centre, a local homeless charity, offering a scheme to offer employment to vulnerable and homeless people. £70

 

One Messy Mama

Mother’s Day Giveaway: Win A Carry Me Wrap By Fornessi

A few weeks ago I reviewed a fantastic new baby wrap by Fornessi

I absolutely loved this wrap, and there are lots of reasons for that! Read my review: Fornessi Carry Me Wrap Review

For this Mother’s Day, we teamed up with Fornessi again and one very lucky mama can win a Carry Me Wrap in fabulous Fresh Blueberry colour (worth £59).

For a chance to win, simply enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

This competition will open on 21st of March 2017 at 12:00 am and will close on 28th of March 2017 at 12.00 am.
One winner will be selected at random.
UK entrants only.
No cash alternative will be offered.
The winners will be announced on Captainbobcat.com social media outlets and will be contacted by email.
The winners will have 28 days to respond to their winner’s email.

 

 

One Messy Mama

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November Rain Waterproof Poncho Review And Giveaway

There’s no bad weather just bad clothing! I wear sneakers or wellies, gilet with a hood and jeans from autumn to spring. My husband keeps making fun of me, how I became a “Surrey Mummy”.  Well, we’re not going to sport an evening gown to drop the kids off at school, are we? What I was actually missing is a proper rain coat. Now, that I have a tandem buggy to push, I can’t navigate it skill-fully with a single hand. Therefore, when it’s raining, I can’t hold an umbrella, and I can’t keep fidgeting with the never deep enough hoods. (What are they meant to be used for, really?)

Lucky me, November Rain just sent me a gorgeous waterproof poncho to review. Designed in Australia, these ponchos are just landed in the UK. I picked the Oriental Bird pattern, as it looked so pretty and colourful on the website.

My review 

I was pleasantly surprised: the pattern and the vivid colours are the same in real life. Second pleasant surprise: it fits and sits nicely, even though it’s one size for everyone. Tested it on a grey and rainy Monday morning: it also does its job well and is 100% waterproof. The hood is deep enough, and it’s equipped with a front pocket, which is great for the house keys and the phone, no need to carry a bag. All together it looks very durable and it doubles as a wind cheater. Another very clever idea of the makers, that the little carrier bag is made from the same waterproof material, so if you have to fold it away whilst it’s still damp, no problem.

These ponchos are printed using sublimation. This printing method uses very high heat to transfer the print to the fabric, which is an eco-friendly waterless method. 

The giving back project

November Rain pledges 10% of all revenue is donated each quarter to various water related projects. The first project is progressing in Northern Thailand (a hydrophonic vegetable growing system at a children’s rescue mission).

GIVEAWAY

Win this fantastic rain wear in the colour of your choice, just perfect for the spring showers ahead! Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions 

This competition will open on 28th of February at 12:00 am and will close on 8th of March at 12.00 am.
One winner will be selected at random.
UK entrants only.
No cash alternative will be offered.
The winners will be announced on Captainbobcat.com social media outlets and will be contacted by email.
The winners will have 28 days to respond to their winner’s email.

Review: Tiffany Rose Maternity Dresses – Competition: Win A Tiffany Rose Dress

To start with: I’m a huge fan of Tiffany Rose, since I bought my wedding dress from them, when I was expectant with Bobcat. But there’s plenty of other reasons.

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I was lucky enough to be invited to their sample sale held in their workshop. Since I’m pregnant with my second child, the timing couldn’t be any more perfect. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit, not only because I found fabulous dresses for the rest of my pregnancy to wear (especially, that spring and summer are around the corner along with all the wedding season and birthday parties) but because I got to see their workshop where these gorgeous dresses are getting ready for manufacturing. And the ladies working there are just so sweet and friendly, very much in love with the products and the concept. The dresses are designed and manufactured in England meeting with the highest standards of quality. They are ethically produced and the fabrics are sourced from British mills. I love the quality of their jersey and the elastic lace dresses. They won the Queen’s Award in 2013, which is the UK’s highest accolade of business success.

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I also found it great, that the sizes refer to the pre-pregnancy sizes, so no need to guess your current size. Nor you are going to get 2 sizes bigger dress when you order your regular size. I’m size 8 and Tiffany Rose’s size 1 fits perfectly. I bought some maternity wear lately and I found it quite annoying that size small is more like a size 12 or medium, when it comes to maternity wear.

In the end of course I ended up with a few dresses – it was so hard to choose!

I even decided to give a dress away, a size 1 jersey dress combined with lace. One of my lucky readers will get this beautiful dress. See pictured:
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To win this Tiffany Rose dress enter here and good luck! (UK entries only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Maternity Wear Wish List Spring/Summer 2016

Yay! Spring is on it’s way! Or at least that’s what I like to think in mid January, counting the weeks till March. And for pregnant mummies it will make life a little easier: dressing without all those thick layers which makes you look and feel even more huge. I still like to look good and embrace my changing figure at the same time. For one, I don’t like to hide my bump. The Guardian had a thought provoking article the other day (Is ‘maternity wear’ becoming a thing of the past in fashion?) about how maternity wear is changing into something less obviously made for pregnant women: could be worn by anyone, pregnant or not. The thinking behind it is justifiable: save money on the clothes you’ll only wear for a short time. However, women do need to work and wear appropriate clothing right into the 3rd trimester (like me) and some of them, whilst finding a boxy and oversized item cute and different, definitely don’t want to wear them on a daily basis (like me). I was a teenager in the 90’s, that was enough thanks, no more checked flannel for me.

So here’s my wish list for the upcoming spring/summer season from my favourite maternity clothing makers, just a few nice items.

JoJo Maman Bebe

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Navy Spot Maternity Dress • Embroidered Jersey Top • Short Sleeve Maternity Top • Breton Jumper

Isabella Oliver

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Ellison Maternity Shirt •  Harris Maternity Cardigan • Sofia Maternity Top • Zadie Strech Maternity Skinny Jeans

GAP

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Drapey Woven Shirt • Essential Zip Hoodie • Solid Crew Sweatshirt • Raglan Sweatshirt Dress

Next

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Under The Bump Cigarette Jeans • Embellshed Top • Print Ultimate Dress  Over The Bump Denim Leggins

And some of them are also wearable post pregnancy. 😉

 

Review: InstaNatural Aloe Vera Gel

I received this fab product as I often review natural and organic skin care products. I am a huge fan of 100% aloe vera products, because they work. Simply. I was introduced to the miraculous effect of the pure aloe vera years ago, when I was living in Ibiza and I paid my first visit to Casita Verde, which is the headquarters of the Green Heart organisation. They turned Aloe Vera into everything: food, juice, skin care products, you name it. Ever since, I regularly use it, primarily as an everyday skin salvation.

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No wonder, I was very excited to receive this product. And it didn’t disappoint me. I’ve tried a couple of different aloe vera gels before, and InstaNaturals’ gel clearly is an outstanding one. I used it for my hair and skin all over my body and one thing I’d like to highlight: it’s a great relief for itchy bump skin! I’m pregnant and as some other mums already surely know this: itchy bump caused by the slowly stretching skin can be quite annoying. The gel’s deep hydration capabilities, however, worked very well. I applied it right after shower and the soothing feeling lasted all day, no itching. Lovely cooling sensation right after application. It’s great for me all year round as my skin gets dry in the winter and it’s quite visible on my hands. The gel worked well for that too. As for my hair, I used it as a conditioner after my regular shampoo and left it on a for a few minutes. I’m very pleased with the effects in this case too. It’s got lovely, natural aloe vera smell and a very smooth texture. My skin absorbed it very quickly, much quicker than a cream based moisturizer.

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And another good point: it’s cruelty free! The company started as a small local business in Florida. The product line was developed by focusing on using premium organic and natural ingredients in their formulations without the use of harmful parabens or ingredients. Learn more: InstaNatural.com UK customers can purchase the products on Amazon: Aloe Vera Gel for face and hair

 

Review: AA Skincare Frankincense & Rose Deep Cleansing Face Mask

Received this new product directly from AA Skincare as I often review natural beauty and health products. Before this I haven’t heard about them, so I purposely avoided to go online and check out their other products and reviews in order to remain completely uninfluenced.

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What they say: This deep cleansing and intensely nourishing face mask will leave your skin feeling soft, supple and hydrated. Gorgeous ingredients such as Frankincense essential oil will help to rejuvenate and tone the skin, whilst Rose oil will nourish, hydrate and moisturize.

I used the mask 2x with a 2 days gap between each use. I have combination skin with dry skin over my cheeks, which can be sensitive too.

First use: applied the mask on my face and neck, smoothing about a large tablespoon of it all over my skin. The texture resembles a thick whipped cream, naturally clay – coloured, that’s what you expect from a mask developed by a natural skincare brand. I immediately loved the scent of it, a very luxurious smell of rose, almost therapeutic. Rose oil is known for benefiting the sensitive skin – and the first experience with this mask confirmed this: it didn’t make my skin itchy whilst having the mask on! No cracking no drying either. Only a nice warming effect (not uncomfortable) and after 7-8 minutes (recommended 5-10 minutes) when I washed it off, my face wasn’t red at all. I noticed healthy rosy skin on the cheeks, but unlike after scrubbing or other masks containing too many chemicals, it wasn’t red nor painful. My skin felt softer, and though it wasn’t left with a sense of dryness, you’ll need to put some moisturiser on.

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Second use: did the same thing again, leaving the mask on for 7-8 minutes. It’s so gentle that I had no problem with putting it on again only 2 days after the first use. I was surprised at how soothing it feels even on dehydrated patches. On this occasion I noticed that it looks like the clay absorbs the excess oil. Washing it off with warm water followed by a splash if cold water really helps to close the pores.

I would recommend it as a weekly treatment, it really cleanses your skin, leaving decongested and very soft. In my opinion, based on my own skin type it would be suitable for sensitive and dry skin as well as oily skin. Priced at £7.94 for 100ml.

Find the product here: Frankincense & Rose DEEP CLEANSING CLAY MASK

Winter pregnancy – must have clothing items

Since I’m expectant with Bobcat’s little brother or sister (we will only find it out later), I decided to shop smarter than last time. A lot smarter. No impulse buys, I know now what will defo look silly, what are the must haves and things you really, REALLY don’t need.

Luckily nowadays we don’t have to wear our partner’s shirt (unless that’s your thing) or badly tailored, oversized dresses with Peter Pan collar. We can still dress after our style, wear our signature pieces and be a women without any prefix.

Let’s start the must haves in this blog post, sort of basics list what I definitely need.

Winter. Pregnant. Sorry, but you’re the least lucky: got to buy more clothes than a summer mummy. Or maybe you are lucky 🙂 wink-wink…

  1. Maternity tights. 2 pairs of them, preferably black. Last time I bought H&M 40 DEN maternity tights in black great price for the quality: I still have them and will wear them this time.
  2. 2 pairs of trousers or jeans. Go for a black and dark blue slim or skinny fit jeans, I was even wearing them with smart shirt and blazer to work. 2 years ago I bought them in H&M, but now couldn’t find any black jeans I like, so I went for Jojo Maman Bebe Supersoft Skinny Jeans (picture No. 1) in both black and navy. Job’s done, looks great on, great quality. Just what I wanted. Another note: I do prefer over the bump designs, they are more comfortable and also warmer in winter.
  3. Leggins, a pair or two. Now these ones are coming from Jojo Maman Bebe again, since I still have one pair sitting in my wardrobe. The Comfy Cotton Rich Maternity Leggins do what they promise in their name: they are super comfy and they last (picture Nr. 2).image
  4. 2 long sleeve tops and 2 short sleeve tops. Since I really liked the jeans, I also ordered 1 of their great designs: Wrap Maternity Top  in beaujolais colour (raspberry).  The other long sleeve is a plain grey top from GAP Pure Body long-sleeve v-neck tee Plus I also bought 2 Support camis and 2 plain V-neck tees. because I had them last time and they are very comfortable, versatile and can be added as an extra layer to ant clothing item. imageAnother long sleeve top came from Seraphine: Striped Side Popper Nursing Top because… Well, again:  I can’t live without Breton stripes even when pregnant. Also like the side poppers making the top suitable after giving birth too and looking cool at the same time. Really nice design.
  5. Dress. Maybe 2 of them, depending on your budget. When it comes to dresses, I prefer to have a sash or a belt and an empire line or a wrap over to give my pregnant figure a tone, which reminds me how I actually look when not expecting. Minus the bigger boobs of course. I bought a wonderful Isabella Oliver dress as my going out dress, this one of course not the cheapest, but to be honest, not the most expensive either. And if you only buy one really good quality, premium material item which will last throughout your pregnancy and you just can’t wait for ANY occasion to wear it – it is this dress for me. Ivybridge Maternity Dress (picture Nr.2). I also bought a shirt dress from Mamalicious on ASOS Mamalicious Long Sleeve Knitted Dress (Picture Nr. 1) which was love at the first sight: soft grey colour, knitted and warm. I’m also a great fan of the belted shirt and thin knitted dress, so couldn’t possibly resist.

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With these basics I’m still OK wearing my cardigans and blazers. When the time will come to buy some maternity jumpers and coats they will be on sale – must resist now, better to wait. 🙂

Images were made with InstaCollage.