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A cordless vacuum for pet owners. AEG FX9 review…

Every now and again I turn down an opportunity which I later regret. Some time ago, I was offered a cordless vacuum to review when cordless vacuums were still relatively new. I thought they were an interesting curiosity, but I didn’t really see the point of them, so I passed and decided to take another product instead.

Then earlier this year my parents bought one and I watched as my dad leapt into action to clear up a mess in seconds and a light bulb went on in my head…

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Reusable baby wipes on trial – Year Of Simplicity

This month my quest to simplify our family life and reduce waste has lead me to try out Cheeky Wipes reusable baby wipes. Five and a half years into parenting might seem like an odd time to make the switch, but it had honestly never even crossed my mind that such a thing as reusable wipes existed until a few months ago and I thought I had to give them a try just to see how practical they really are.

A month later I can honestly say I will never use disposables again, the kit is so well designed and the one thing I hadn’t been expecting, was to find that they actually did the job better… and they completely do!

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Lagom is the new Hygge – A year of simplicity

A month ago I shared with you my ambitions to use this year to reduce our household waste, live more frugally and declutter. It turns out I wasn’t the only one thinking along these lines and since I wrote that first post I have been introduced to the Danish concept of “Lagom” which means “just the right amount” and is about being frugal and fair, creating balance in your life and living sustainably. Yup, it turns out I could have called this my year of “lagom” – except for the fact that no one would know what I was talking about!

So how are we getting on? Well six weeks into 2017 the small changes we are starting to make are already having an impact. Our household waste wheelie bin is now barely half-full and I no longer panic about missing a collection, thanks largely to the introduction of waste food composting. After resisting buying a special bin for the kitchen, I finally gave in and you can see that and the composting bin bags in the video.

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Beginning a year of simplicity – January

Over the last year or so I’ve found myself starting to reassess the way we live, by making small but significant changes in our home life. Last summer I cleared out a load of my clothes and introduced a capsule wardrobe, we attempted zero waste party bags at Theo’s birthday, I stopped colouring my hair (18 months ago!) and we cut back on what we bought at Christmas. I also discovered the Minimalists and the great Make Do & Mend Life group on Facebook.

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As we started 2017 I wanted to document these changes, but I struggled to label exactly what I was doing. In the end I settled on a year of simplicity and so for the next 12 months I’m going to do a blog update and a vlog every month talking about how we are reducing waste, adopting some minimalist principals and finding ways of living more simply.

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Behind the scenes at a Water Babies underwater photo shoot (video)

It never ceases to amaze me how two children in the same family can be so different. Whilst Theo still hasn’t cracked swimming (despite classes and lots of encouragement) it was obvious even when Alice was eight months old that water was something she loved. I wish I could go back to the lovely teacher who gave Alice her first (free) taster session at Eurocamp in June and tell her what an incredible journey she started her on.

Shortly after we came back from France and whilst we were considering how and when we start Alice doing ‘proper’ swimming lessons, Water Babies got in touch and offered her a term’s tuition. In truth I had dreaded swimming lessons because I had a fixed idea of them being held in a huge public swimming pool with cramped echoey changing rooms, but the Water Babies classes were at a local health club with a view of a golf course and a lovely cafe next door, so how could I say no!

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After completing that first term it was obvious we’d be mad to take Alice out of the lessons as she was thriving and learning so much, she spent half the lesson laughing and the other half kicking and splashing in excitement! So these days we are happy paying customers of Water Babies West Sussex, but before our first term finished we had one more opportunity with the company, we got to try out one of their famous underwater photo shoots.

If you’ve ever wondered how they achieve the consistently stunning images of babies immersed in water (with no adult supporting them) then you can finally see how in this video. I have a huge amount of respect for the photographer who photographs babies, in water… whilst holding his breath!

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