reducing plastic usage

5 Ways To Reduce Plastic Usage In Your Household

Following on from the mesmerising Blue Planet 2. Many people have been left thinking about the effect plastic will have on our future world if our usage carries on as it has been. David Attenborough brought to light the fact that our oceans are littered with plastic. This is a problem throughout the world. Endangering many sea mammals and fishes in our seas. Also, the heartbreaking images of beautiful Coral Reefs dead. Our Little Pickles future will almost certainly be effect by this. So it is about time we did our little bit to clear up our act. So here are 5 ways to reduce plastic usage in your household.

Plastic Ocean

  1. Say No To The Straw – My Little Pickles love to drink out of a straw when we go out. We have already stopped using them at home, but I often give in when we are in a restaurant. It is now time to stand my ground and say NO to the straw. Even on those cheeky Mummy’s nights out. Some pub and restaurants are now stocking paper straws instead.  Say No to The Straw
  2. Buy unpackaged fruit and veg – In the supermarket, it is so easy to pick up the pre-packed fruit and veg. Next time you shop when you get home and unpack all that fruit and veg, see just how much plastic is used to wrap the food. I’m sure you might be very surprised and pick the loose items in future.
  3. Use cloth shopping bags – Carrying on with the shopping theme. As annoying as the carrier bag charge is, it was brought in for a reason. Nothing bugs me more than having to add a £1 or so to my shopping bill for bags. So pick up some cloth bags, I picked up some good sized ones from Primark for 50p each the other day. Great to fold up and keep in my handbag too, for my high street shopping trips too.
  4. Carry a reusable drink container – Buying bottled drinks out and about can also be very costly. Before you leave the house fill your water/juice bottles and help reduce the waste. Or if you are in need of your coffee fix to get you through the day. Invest in an insulated mug and when you pop into your coffee house as them to pop your takeaway cuppa. Or alternatively, slow down and take the time to drink your cuppa in the coffee show whilst watching the world go by.
  5. Get your milk delivered – This one is pretty old school. The milkman used to deliver milk fresh to our doors as kids. The glass bottled were then left out to be returned to the dairy, cleaned out and refilled. Keeping waste to a minimum, so it could well be time to search for your local milkman/woman to see if they deliver in your area. Get your milk delivered

I hope these few times give you some ideas of how to reduce plastic usage. Sometimes, however, we have to use plastic in day to day life, so please remember to recycle as much as you possibly can.

 

 

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Kids apps

Apps for your Little Pickles

A round up of our favourite pre-school apps for your Little Pickles

 

Sometimes parenting our little pickles is tough and when you just want to get on and get things done, what do we reach for? If you’re like me, it’ll be a twenty minute go on the iPad/tablet. I feel guilty doing it but then the peace and quiet quickly outweighs that twinge of guilt!

This post rounds up a selection of our favourite (free and paid-for) apps for pre-schoolers, so now they can learn through play and you can enjoy that rare peace and quiet…completely guilt free!

  • Teach your monster to read – this is an award winning phonics and reading app which takes children on a magical journey where they will meet colourful characters and collect rewards along the way.  Using synthetic phonic programmes that are used in schools, this is an ideal game to play at home and school. They can bring their ‘work’ home and you can enjoy interactively teaching them as they play! As their understanding gets greater, you can teach them other skills such as matching letters to sounds, more difficult words and reading full sentences.

    Download for £4.99 on Android or Apple or you can play for free on PC.

lego duplo app

  • Lego Duplo Train – specifically aimed at little ones from 1-5 years old, this Duplo train app enters your little one into a haven of role-play scenarios. Watch as your pickle builds on their creativity through play, learning about shapes and colours as they go – first they can be the train driver, then hopping off to load cargo and build bridges, fuel up the train and steer the train safely around the various colourful obstacles.

    Download free on Android or Apple

 

  • Little Digits – this is a really fun, interactive app which teaches children about numbers and counting from 0-10 by using the touchscreen of the tablet. Placing your fingers on the tablet screen will then display a number dependent on how many fingers are down – a real modern take on counting on your fingers!

    Only available for Apple users, you can download for £2.99 on App Store

    writing wizard app

  • Writing Wizard for Kids – this is a great app to aid your little one at the start of their journey to writing. You can choose font, difficulty, uppercase and lowercase, numbers or words – so the app really grows with your child and their learnings.  Once you have selected the number or word, a hand appears to show you how to write it, then you’re up! You follow arrows and targets appear to show the direction in which to trace – animated pics jump around to hold their attention to finish the word!

The download costs £3.89 and is available on Apple or Android.

 

  • Dora ABCs, Letters & Letter Sounds – Hola, hola, hola! This one is a must for fans of the little Spanish lady and her sidekick Boots. The idea of this game is to help Dora’s friend fly his plane to write letters. Using the airplane to follow the arrows and trace the letters, Dora aids by saying the phonetic letter sounds of the one being spelt out.  This is the ideal app for pre-readers whilst a brief curriculum overview is included for parents.

    Buy for £2.89 on Android

 

  • BBC Iplayer for Kids – designed for kids, security and safety are top of the ‘tick list’. From the app, let them discover their favourite CBeebies and CBBC programmes that they’re used to watching on the big screen. Because it’s aimed specifically at little pickles you won’t find any adverts or in-app purchases so not only are shows uninterrupted keeping their attention for longer but there’s no risk of running up surprise bills! Once downloaded, the app does ask for your child’s name and age so suitable content can be selected.

    Download free on  Apple or Android.

  • Interactive Alphabet  – a great app to help toddlers and pre-schoolers begin to learn the sights and sounds of letters. From the opening page, your little pickles can choose whether to play with specific letters of the alphabet or listen and watch the alphabet song. Think of this like the interactive version of the traditional flashcard –  text such as ‘D is for Dinosaur’ is shown with an image of a dino, ‘X is for Xylophone’ and your little one can play a xylophone by tapping the screen; associating pictures, words and objects with the chosen letter. This is the definition of learning through play!

    This app costs £2.99 and is only available for Apple users.



If you’re looking for more child-friendly apps for your little ones, or are looking to check an app is suitable, then take a look at Common Sense Media who provide independent reviews, age ratings and other information about all types of media.

Written by Jess from Prosecco Mum, you can follow her on all the socials below

www.proseccomum.com

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Used Kitchens

How to Save & Make Money on Your Kitchen

How to Save & Make Money on Your Kitchen

If you love cooking, you probably spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Even if you don’t like to cook, the chances are that your kitchen is still at the heart of your home, as a place to gather and spend time together as a family. If you’d love to improve your kitchen but you don’t have the budget to buy a brand new one, don’t worry, as there’s plenty of ways to both save and make money on your kitchen.

Save Money:

Renovate your Kitchen

If there isn’t anything structurally wrong with your kitchen, you can dramatically alter its appearance just with some clever renovations. The best place to start is the units – if you have a traditional wooden kitchen, you can easily paint or refinish them to change the colour of your kitchen. You can easily change the handles of your cupboards too, and shopping online via eBay will ensure you get a good deal. Once you’ve done that, have a look at the worktops. You can easily replace a worktop, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune either – laminate and granite are the most affordable materials. Next, the flooring. Vinyl can easily replicate more expensive types of flooring such as wood and stone.  The best thing about renovating your kitchen is that you can do it in stages and you can source the cheapest materials, which will save you money as you spread the cost.

save money on used kitchen

Buy Used/Ex-Display

If you’ve got your heart set on a new kitchen, you don’t have to buy one straight from the catalogues and sign your life away to a credit agreement. You can buy a used kitchen, or even one that is from a showroom, for a discounted price. Companies such as Used Kitchen Exchange offer a full service, where you can view kitchens online, make an offer or arrange a viewing and they will assist you with the entire buying process, liaising with the seller on your behalf to ensure a smooth sale. You will be able to find every type of kitchen, from traditional shaker kitchens to designer German kitchens, so you’re sure to find one that fits in perfectly with your home.

Make Money:

Sell What You Don’t Use

Take a look around your kitchen; are there any appliances that you don’t use? Maybe it’s a spiraliser from the Great Spiraliser Trend of 2015, or maybe it’s a smoothie maker from that health kick that you promised you would do last January. Have a clear out and sell any unwanted items on eBay or at a car boot sale, and put the money towards your renovations or a new kitchen.


Sell Your Kitchen

If you’ve decided that a new kitchen is what you need, why not sell your old one? If it’s in good condition, you could make a decent amount of money on it. Used Kitchen Exchange will give you a valuation, and if you decide to go ahead, they will professionally photograph your kitchen and list it on their website.

If your kitchen isn’t sellable as a whole, take a look at the individual aspects of it. If your units are in good shape but the worktops aren’t, replace the worktops and you’ll be able to sell the units! Even if you have fitted appliances, someone could be looking for the exact same appliance, so you might be able to make a sale from your old appliances.

 

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Baby Shower

Planning the Perfect Baby Shower

So the baby is cooking nicely, all the big ‘things’ have been ordered, nursery decorated and now thoughts can turn to the baby shower. Perhaps you are organising your own baby shower or perhaps you’ve been tasked with the job for the newest mum-to-be on the block?

Baby Shower

Here at Little Pickles, we’ve put together this short guide to help with planning the perfect baby shower!

First, consider the guest list – is this a girls only event or is dad-to-be included too? Are children invited? If family are on the list, it’s best to clear dates with them first to ensure they can make it – nothing worse than leaving family members out in the cold.

Once you have the guestlist it’s time to decide on the venue – the current trend seems to be hosting at a tearoom and having an afternoon tea style affair – though this does pose the question, does the host pay for all in the party or will guests need to pay for themselves?

Alternatively, if the host has a big enough area in their house that can be a great option – or even a local village hall or community centre.

Will there be a theme for the baby shower?

If the gender is known, go with the obvious – plan the theme around pink or blue, elephants and bunnies are nice, soft animal theme choices too – or if you’re not sure on the sex, then keep it neutral with whites, golds and pastels. You can never go too wrong with greys and yellows in my experience!

For the additional little touches, if you’re a creative type then homemade bunting and pompoms are a lovely touch to warm up the room. Etsy and Not On The High Street are fab for both generic and personalised items. Or if budget is a little stricter, Poundland and Home Bargains have an array of cheap and cheerful bits suited to a shower.
What food is baby shower appropriate?

If you’re not at a catered-for venue, like a café or tearoom, then the best food for a large number of people is a finger food/buffet style. Delicate cut sandwiches, pinwheel wraps, little sausages, pork pies, quiches, carrots, cucumber, peppers and dips and a few bowls of crisps. Be sure to make it all pregnancy friendly.

And don’t forget cake! Throw in cake pops for a splash of gender-related colour, if known.

Cake Pops

Another nice touch is to treat guests to mocktails in mason jars with paper straws!
What games are well received at a baby shower?

  • Baby bingo – who will be the first to get a nappy pin or baby bottle line?!
  • Guess the nappy contents – melted snickers bars or generous smears of marmite make fabulous meconium style nappy contents!
  • Guess the baby drink – gather together a number of babies bottles and fill them with various drinks and just like the nappy game, albeit a bit more pleasant, ask your guests to guess the contents.
  • Stick the dummy on the baby’s mouth – a bit of a twist on the classic children’s party game of pin the tail on the donkey.
  • Guess the date of birth and weight of baby – and if unknown, guess the gender!
  • ‘Advice for the parents’ cards – this is always a nice keepsake for parents to look back over in years to come
  • Decorate a babygro – arm yourself with a pile of white babygros and fabric markers and set your guests to work on designing

    Baby Shower DrinksFor the games, be sure to get some little prizes together to award the ‘winner’, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy but is a nice touch…if budgets allow.

But most of, remember, that the nicest part of a baby shower is to ensure that the mummy-to-be is able to chat and catch up with all of their loved ones; this will be the last time in a while that they’ll be sitting still, drinking hot tea without a baby puking on their shoulder or a toddler clinging to their legs!

Written by Jess from Prosecco Mum you can find her on all the socials below

www.proseccomum.com

www.facebook.com/proseccomum

www.twitter.com/proseccomum

www.instagram.com/the_prosecco_mum

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Dry Kids Review

Review – DryKids

We are a family that loves adventure, but for years I was definitely a good weather Mum. If it was rainy, windy or wet I would often opt to stay indoors. But as the Little Pickles have got older, some days we just have to get out for them to run off some steam whatever the weather. So when I was in the midst of kitting the Littlest Pickles in the family Aliza, 4 and Faryl, 6 with their winter wardrobe. I was pleased to receive an offer for some Dry Kids dungarees to review. So we opted for the cosy thermal lined ones, to keep the kids cosy on Winter walks. I let the kids choose the colour they wanted and slightly gender stereotypically Aliza opted for the hot pink ones and Faryl for the navy ones.

There was a choice of 4 colours in this style and they are very reasonably priced at £16.95. Plus there is over trousers, jackets, wellies and all in ones available too. I have fallen in love with the black padded jacket for Faryl so that is now on my shopping list for the future. DryKids Padded Jacket

We opted for the dungarees as they are great to keep in the car and pop on if we get caught in the rain. Or just have to get out to save ourselves from cabin fever. The Pickles are now dreaming of snow this Winter too as then they can stay warm and play out in it with their DryKids dungarees on.

I asked the Little Pickle’s what they thought.

Faryl, 6 – I love my new trousers as Mum actually let me jump in the puddles.

Aliza, 4 – I can get muddy now and don’t get wet.

Think that is a thumb up from them.

On a family day out to Stourhead recently, after a night’s heavy rain. The Pickles searched all day to find the biggest puddles they could to jump in. They did pretty well to find this one and splashed to their heart’s content. But reassured they were dry as a bone when we got back to the car. Shame I managed to stand in the firing line and got a little bit wet. Maybe one day I’ll have to get the grown-ups version so that we can do a bit of twinning with my Little Pickles!!!!

Also, the mud just wipes off bonus. Plus I found that they were a very generous fit, but with the shoulder straps and poppa’s they are adjustable. So will last more that one Winter for sure.

Now the Little Pickles are looking for the next rainy day to get on an adventure.

Written by Jessamine aka Mummy Pickle – Founder and Owner of Little Pickles Markets

Disclaimer – We were offered 2 pairs of dungarees in return for an honest review

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