Browsed by
Author: London Vlogger

Wooden Chopping Board Review

Wooden Chopping Board Review

Last year I ordered this large wooden chopping board. It was for craft but it is a kitchen item.

What stood out to me was this on the product description:

Only with wood that has been collected in a renewable and controlled manner. Our priority is to offer our customers high-quality products, from an eco-responsible, and equitable sector managed in a sustainable way


It is made in Europe and has a form of eco-friendly vibe to it (I suppose, if you have Amazon vouchers lying around).

The wood is solid and does feel like it is well-made. A simple product that does what it’s meant to.

Finether Folding Table Review

Finether Folding Table Review

I’ve had this for over a year now so my review is based on long-term use.

This table is one that folds, and comes with chairs and without chairs. They are simple chairs with no backs but good enough to sit on comfortably for some time. They are available at Amazon:

Finether folding table with chairs

Finether folding table

In a nutshell:

The table folds in half which makes it great for storing and compact for easy transporting. Think carboot sales! It leaves plenty of room for all the stuff you need to sell.

The one with chairs basically stores the chairs inside when folded. So compact!

It has a handle to carry it like a briefcase when folded.

The table is wide enough to have a party. Plenty of room.

Really easy to set up and put away.

Build quality is good. It is lightweight but sturdy and even then, it can take some tumble.

3 height settings. The lowest setting is excellent for little kids, so is great for kids parties. The other 2 settings are medium and normal table height. Hence it makes the perfect table for selling on, for parties, for putting different food on etc. I use a table cover to make it look fancier and you wouldn’t guess it was a plain white table underneath it.

Because it’s so flexible in use, it is so worth it.

Kids Products on Amazon

Kids Products on Amazon

Lucear Baby bath towel/blanket

The reason why I am impressed with this product is because I have already got a very similar one from Aden + Anais which I kept for summer months. This blanket/towel from Lucear on Amazon is very similar to it but offers a different print on the towel/blanket. The material is really soft and it is affordable. It’s a large square shaped blanket/towel, enough for kids. To top it all off, the candy/sweets print makes it a little extra fun.
There are also matching washcloths available in the same material and style. The ones I ordered had a different pattern as well as ordering a pack of plain ones. These are nice for baby hampers and the material is so soft.

It doesn’t stop there. There are also matching bibs available. This set matches the patterned washcloth set I ordered and has a variety of designs including a cute little car print.

The weight loss journey starts again

The weight loss journey starts again

If you look back to last year, I was so motivated to lose weight and nearly got through a month. However we had so many celebratory occasions, I didn’t give myself a chance.

Now that it’s January and I cannot see any occasions coming up soon, and I’m not breastfeeding anymore, I’m ready to try again.

Today is Saturday, day 1, I’ve weighed myself and I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been. My breakfast will be weetabix and I’m saying no to sugar.

Here we go….

Instagram, Minimalism, Plastic-Free: Thoughts

Instagram, Minimalism, Plastic-Free: Thoughts

I’ve never been good at using instagram. I don’t like taking pictures of myself and uploading them to an open audience for example, so this rules out a whole load of instgram style posts, such as outfit of the day. I love food with different spices but sadly I’m not good at trying out lots of new things, so food posts are lacking too. I look at my instagram and feel a little embarassed, I see plastic.

Now I’m on my minimalism journey, it means I’m trying to minimise what I bring into my home. On top of that, I’m trying to go as plastic-free as possible, so that’s even less stuff to potentially photo.

To be honest, I am not worried about having a really sad instagram but maybe I could set myself challenges and see my progress through photos, seeing what I actually do bring into my home with all these new goals.

Follow me on instagram here and I’ll follow you back. It would be great to see what you buy and have replaced in your lives for every day items.

Plastic free & minimalism in real life – practical tips and the struggles

Plastic free & minimalism in real life – practical tips and the struggles

I have been so engrossed in the whole journey towards becoming as minimalist as I can be, having as less waste as possible and being as plastic free as possible but I know I am still far off the ideal goal.

What I also know is that there are people who have succeeded and not just for a week, a month or two months but many years. This is what keeps me going.

However that isn’t to say that the struggle isn’t real. Take for example, plastic straws. My little kids use them. It allows them to be independent as that’s what they love at that age but it also helps with less spillage with water and milk but as a family we’ve decided not to buy plastic straws at all now.

Over the last few months I have been searching everywhere for mini mason jars. I had switched to my kids drinking in standard mason jars with handles but they were too big for them. Shot glass versions of these were too small. I couldn’t find loosely sold glass mason jars anywhere in varying sizes. Last week I visited T K Max for something unrelated but then saw a pack of salt and pepper shakers which were the perfect size for my kids to drink from. The problem is, I came home and remembered the packaging is plastic and I won’t have any use for the lids.

We are so used to buying everything in plastic that during the early stages of learning to be plastic free, I may avoid it altogether in a place I’m surrounded by it (supermarkets) but forget in the next shop which is less obvious. However I’ll use this opportunity to email the company to raise awareness.

On the other hand I bought a glass bottle to pour from when out and about. It is a good size, less than a litre and portable. I’ll have to be extra careful when out but I have to carry spare clothes for my kids anyway so it doubles up as padding for the bottle.

I purchased a biscuit dessert to have with the tea from the dessert shop next store. My kids were with me and I shared a little. The plastic cutlery is easily accessible and as there was a really soft caramel layer, they used a spoon. Yes they could eat with their hands as we do this often but it would have been extra messy. I mentioned in a previous post that people ask what to do about crisps as they cannot live without them. My thought was we should step away what we have been driven towards in supermarkets who care about their profits and making money from you. This thought needs to be applied everywhere. Had I been healthy and not bought it, there would have been less of a problem. This is me being totally honest. As of today I won’t buy any and will stick to making it at home but this is the kickstart to us all eating healthily again.

Minimalism

Last night I found myself watching a vlogger on YouTube. It’s not even like I enjoy it so much but it’s like TV, sometimes you just put it on for background noise. It’s funny though, as nowadays I hardly turn the TV on but our phones replace TV with the availability of YouTube.

I found myself feeling so upbeat seeing this rich YouTuber wrapping expensive presents for their family. All the patterned wrapping paper enveloping the surprise inside. I came to the conclusion that it’s unhealthy to watch. In reality I am not taking part in any consumerism during December. If I gift anything to anyone, it is randomly throughout the year. I’m also not the slightest bit interested in expensive presents (ones that cost several hundred pounds each). It did make me thing that others on the same journey as me may struggle to break away from the attraction this time of year brings and which many YouTubers present. Remember, a lot of times they are being sent items for free, or being paid to advertise a product!

I also have no intention of buying wrapping paper ever again.

This brings me to a conversation I had with my mum last night. My mother showed me a picture of a a gift wrapped nicely in cellophane and ribbons and a bow. It did look good. It was someone’s profile picture showing what their place of work did for people who passed their exams. My mum is the person who has always said stay away from plastic bottles so I said to her that cellophane is not a good one either. My mum responded with something like we can’t really get away from this sort of thing and the whole gift experience (the way the gift is presented) really does show appreciation, care etc etc. And I totally get what she meant by it. We had a really good conversation about it. We are led to feel that having a gift wrapped in all these things and embellished with other things (a bow, a tag, a ribbon…) means luxury, thought, care, attention and so on. We can’t just give a gift as it is. No. That is too odd. But if we did that, how would companies make more money from all these extras we purchase?

It is a very slow and hard to explain journey, when it feels like you are nitpicking everything but I’m here and committed for the long run. There is still a lot to learn about but there are so many people sharing their advice online that it does make it that little bit easier.

Declutter… AGAIN?!

Declutter… AGAIN?!

I’ve said time and time again, it is shocking how many items can fit in a small box. Multiply this over and over again and you come to realise you have 1000s, not 100s, 1000s of unnecessary products. Things that you keep just in case, things are more luxury. You don’t NEED them, but you have them. Things that distract you from doing what you actually enjoy.

I’ve decluttering over and over again in my home but it was all part of one declutter mission. Our kitchen is still great. It is so easy to clean now as there’s not much to put away. The worktop surface is free from clutter.

There were a few bits and bobs ready to be sold, donated or given away and they sat in a corner of a bedroom, ready to go when I had the chance. However, my family visited me last week and I felt my place had that terrible cluttered feel that would tire me out before I started the whole minimalist journey. Once they left, I realised there was so much more that needed to go. It’s like I’m starting from the beginning again. I’ve not brought extra things into my home, and I was so happy with how most rooms were. Clean. Minimalist. Free from clutter on surfaces. But here I am, wanting to get rid of more. What more is there to get rid of? Maybe that candle holder that looks too busy now. Maybe that bed cover that looks too busy now. But I don’t want to give them away only to repurchase something to replace it.

I think I now need to sell a cupboard I have. It looks too big. We’ve managed to get all our clothes (me, partner, kids) into one wardrobe and two dressing units. These are all in my bedroom and so the one in the kids room seems overbearing. It needs to go.

And so I enter the next stage of decluttering and becoming more of a minimalist than I was. It’s like getting rid of a desk that you never used. But I’ve already done that… Although I did use it, it was the wrong size and impractical.

A True Cost & Blue Planet 2

A True Cost & Blue Planet 2

My journey towards minimalism and eradicating plastic turned into something much bigger after watching the Netflix documentary ‘A True Cost’.

I know I have a small amount of knowledge on all these global issues which affect both people and animals but this was an eye opener.

Learning how leather affects people in India was the first. Leather is treated with chemicals, the liquids dumped in the rivers of India and those who live locally seeing an increase in certain illnesses.

Another was buying certain seeds for crops and the use of fertilisers. In that village in India, kids were born with disabilities.

There is a point where you can’t just say it’s a coincidence. If the people are saying they are seeing an increase in conditions after the introduction of something else, I believe them but nowadays we turn a blind eye to this new found knowledge.

After watching the documentary I really did feel down, depressed I’d say. We went to the local supermarket and it was the first time in ages where we had spent around £10, and not the usual £20, £30 or £40. Looking around, all I could see was plastic, plastic and more plastic. Some things that don’t typically look like plastic but are. Don’t forget crisp packets!

Of course my zeal to learn more and how to find alternatives increased and I joined online groups but many of us were scratching our heads. Clueless. It is really overwhelming.

I noticed a few more documentaries mentioned but I felt so down, I couldn’t bring myself to watch anything else.

Fast forwards a few weeks and I watched the last episode of Blue Planet 2 on BBC. It covers many different areas of how our human habits affect the animals. From plastic in the ocean, to fossil fuels and even boats in the sea! And I felt depressed all over again.

However this depression needs to be turned into something more positive. It is so easy to just give up and go back to old habits but as humans we should act and be responsible, respectable and look after this planet.

What do we start with?

I’ve written about this before, but the first thing I did was have a no plastic rule. That doesn’t mean we have no plastic at all, but having a strong rule encourages us as a family to try everything we can to emit it from our household. And if there’s something we use and don’t know how to replace, then it is always on our minds, joining in conversations on finding alternatives and so on.

In our home we had both plastic and glass storage tubs. Although the glass ones have silicone lids (still plastic!). As throwing away plastic tubs and bottles is also wasteful, I passed them on to someone else who could use them or may not have much money and could use them. This was also part of our minimalism journey so made sense to us. We already had glass mason jars, so we drink from those instead of using plastic bottles.

On the other hand, although we use reusable bags for shopping, we didn’t have a solution for bin bags at home for the household waste. The aim is to work towards having almost no waste. This is a journey in itself but there are plenty of resources online we can learn from.

And the rest?

I have seen this mentioned a lot. Many wonder, where do I now buy crisps from? Where do I buy this from, or that from?

The problem here is with us humans. Remember, we’ve been fed into this buying and eating culture where we need snacks, we need to eat till our stomachs are full, we need to buy buy buy. This is for the benefit of the huge stores that sell this stuff, who need their profits. We don’t actually need extras. Actually, our bodies feel much better when we don’t eat till we’re full and eat clean. And there are alternatives, such as nuts, certain loose fruits and also making them at home.

This is a journey of giving up extras and being satisfied with less. It isn’t just about using less plastic, changing to renewable energy and avoiding boat journeys. This is in a way, tied into minimalism. Having less, eating less (but enough to fuel your body), gives more time to do things that you truly enjoy.

It is a journey where learning is at the very front. Oh how I thought leather bags were fine to buy, as long as animals lived a life where they were free to roam and fed well. I am not a vegetarian but I believe in animals not being used to test products. But now I know this translates into other areas like bags too, even traveller notebook covers!

At the end of the day, if you got this far, you know you’re not alone. We are in this together. We can campaign together, we can email companies about how they need to work towards less plastic, we can buy less so these stores do feel affected and we need to stand up against consumerism, not just in terms of goods but even food.

Feel empowered with the new found knowledge. We can help the planet be a little bit better. This is the start of the journey for me and I will post more as I learn. I may make mistakes but I hope I will be able to learn from you too.

Short and Sweet Amazon Reviews

Short and Sweet Amazon Reviews

I want to publish a post that is mainly a summary of random items you can buy on Amazon and whether they’re a good buy or not.

Prices change all the time so it must be the right price for you. Please make that decision before buying.

Kbnian Clothes Pegs

This is a good buy and the way these are made are much better than those old fashioned clothes pegs.

Stainless Steel Sieve Set & Whisk

This is actually one of my best buys from Amazon. The set is lightweight. The only negative is the sieve part is lightweight (but not flimsy, it’s well made) and so it’s easy to bend and lose its shape. I’m fine with it though.

Template Tool

I have one of these to give away so head over to my giveaway page to win it.

I ordered this thinking I’d use it for arts and crafts but this hit me at a time when I was heading for minimalism and so, although it seems like a useful tool, it’s not something I need.

Metal Hanging Flower Pot 

This set comes with 10 pots in different colours. As well as using them for plants, I find them a nice gift idea, filling them with snacks, pens, whatever takes your fancy. Add a little string and it makes it look a little fancy.

Washi Tapes from Amazon – Review

Washi Tapes from Amazon – Review

Washi tapes are so popular at the moment. If you use Traveler’s Notebooks or do bullet journalling, you’ll know all about it. It’s great for scrapbooking too.

So I decided to have a browse on Amazon to see what I could find. AliExpress is super cheap for washi tapes but if you don’t want to wait several weeks for it (with no tracking too), then Amazon is a great option, especially if you have vouchers.

Something colourful

The Ailiebhaus Decorative Washi Tape offers a variety of colours, mostly pastel shades. I would use them for underlining headings, separating sections, creating borders, making a frame around pictures and well, the options are endless.