cooking with kids, teenage reviews

Going Plastic Free

Going Plastic Free

As a family, Plastic Free July had us thinking – what can we do more to encourage people to be more aware of their plastic use, maybe going plastic free? Can we create a cleaner world for generations to come for July and the other eleven months?!?

Firstly – let’s remind ourselves WHY we are doing this:

“Crude oil extraction causes problems like deforestation, oil spills, pollution of toxic chemicals. From the 100 million tonnes of plastic produced each year, 10 million tonnes ends up in the sea. Plastic doesn’t break down like natural materials – there’s an area of floating plastic the size of Turkey* in the North Pacific.”
*source, Greenpeace via BetterShoes.org

Our family has made several changes over the last few years, so we’ve been carrying reusable bottles, going plastic free, and also reusable cups and cutlery (we love a Spork for the name as much as anything!) for when we are out and about.

KITCHEN

At home in the kitchen, we’ve ditched the plastic and sponge pan-scourers, and started using coconut coir crocheted cloths, we order our milk and orange juice to be delivered every other day by the ‘milkman’ – and love that he collects our used (clean) bottles (he is a ‘he’ yes before we start dissecting whether to call him a milk-delivery-operative) – , and we’ve been saving the milk bottle aluminium lids to pop in the recycling kerb side collection box too – we post them into a pop can – as they are very small!

We’ve recently been given an espresso machine, which we were loath to use because of the plastic (landfill) capsules – however, you can now buy compostable plant-based capsules so that’s a winner!

Howdens have put together this helpful guide with some simple ways that you can make more sustainable choices in your day-to-day life. With the kitchen at the heart of the home, they share top tips for creating an eco-friendly kitchen and to explore how even small changes can make a big difference. click HERE

And – we’ve even extended the plastic-free policy to the bathroom, with natural deodorant in a cardboard tube, and bars of shampoos too… it’s been an interesting experiment, but so far, we are very fragrant!

And shoes, man – so many modern shoes contain PVC (polyvinyl chloride); polyurethane plastic, TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) EVA Foam (ethylene vinyl acetate) (found this all out here: http://www.bettershoes.org/home/material-selection so we’ve even been rethinking that too – you CAN get shoes made from natural materials, like cork and organic cotton, and wool – like Po-Zu and Baabuk.

A really good read is this book, No. More. Plastic. by Martin Dorey, the fella who brought us #2minutebeachclean – it’s a really easy read, perfect for kids and teenagers and supports behaviour change and helping others habitually #choosetorefuse shopping bags, straws, takeaway containers and coffee cups – just to name a few.

This post has been written in conjunction with Howdens – although of course all thoughts and words and photographs are my own.

Further reading:

Sign the petition to The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP to “Make coffee cups recyclable!” HERE

Do you have bread bags, polythene, toilet roll bags, bubble wrap etc you want to recycle? post it to Polyprint.  accepts recycling from the general public. Please visit their website for details.   ♻️

life, teenage reviews

Our Perfect night in

Our Purrrrfect night in!

Ali writes:
Well, what could be more perfect than an autumn night in with your favourite cat and teenager right?

As these teenage boys get older, they want to spend more time apart from me – hanging out with their friends, or playing computer games and chatting online with mates. Having a kitten changes all of that – (as you will have read in other posts this year!) Kipper the cat has been such a blessing and has really brought the family together.

Ali-perfect-date-night-1-incredibusy

Once you’ve settled on the sofa on a Saturday night in to watch Strictly or the X-Factor (or both) Kipper the cat will find his way onto a warm lap and curl up and pin you down for hours!

I’ll admit, I’m pretty sure it’s cupboard love, as he’s always a bit more loving at breakfast and supper time if Whiskas cat casseroles are on the menu, but needless to say – it’s got both RB and myself back into cosying up on the sofa together to read a book of an evening – with a mug of tea and a play ‘Russian Roulette’ with a box of chocolates, (to explain, you take it in turns to eat a chocolate from the box without looking at the little diagram, which is really fun, as long as you don’t accidentally get the Turkish Delight).

We generally have refreshments on hand for Kipper too – whilst we are supping our tea, we always have a bowl of water in the sitting room for him, as well as fairly close to his food bowl in the kitchen – we read somewhere that they like to have fresh water available in more than one location  – frankly, for us, it’s simply a ploy to get him to hang out with us some more, ultimately, he’s turning into a bit of a teenager…

This post is in conjunction with WHISKAS® but all thoughts are my own

#DateNightWithMyCat

kids, teenage reviews

Baabuk Slippers as soft and gentle as our new kitten

Baabuk Slippers as soft and gentle as our new kitten

Ronnie writes:

Baabuk-incredibusyMum asked me if I would write a blog post about slippers – and as a 13yo there I thought that there is really not much I can tell you about my family’s LOVE of Baabuk slippers made from New Zealand boiled wool, so I thought I’d write about my new kitten as well, as he’s as soft and gentle as these slippers!

First though, this is what I know about Baabuk – each pair of their GUS slippers features the all-natural  benefits of wool, it’s temperature regulating, so these slippers will keep feet not too-hot now it’s heading towards warmer weather and not too-cold as it was when we got them (and the kitten) in January. Oh, and wool is also moisture-wicking and odour-fighting, (handy for my stink bob brother) thanks to its inherent antimicrobial nature, so you can wear them without socks, and wool is water repellent, too, which is also handy.

Green-Baabuk-incredibusy-kidschaos

The wool comes from sheep in New Zealand. Their wool then travels to Nepal to be boiled and felted into a single piece which becomes the woolly upper for Baakbuk slippers.

Apparently, the clog-bootie design is inspired by 16th century Russia’s Valenki boots, and is finished off with a natural rubber sole that gives a little extra grip.

Since our kitten (and our slippers) arrived three months ago – I love love love being at home, coming in from school, popping on my slippers, and hanging out with the kitten – it’s really LOVELY!

Orange-Baabuk-incredibusy

I thought I would write a blog post about how it feels to have a kitten in the house – and some top tips for making a new kitten feel welcome and loved.

So we did a lot of research before we got a kitten and there is some REALLY useful information on the BlueCross website and the RSPCA too if you are thinking of rehousing a cat.

Bringing the kitten home

We selected one room for the cat to live in from day one – this was my brother’s bedroom, as it’s the biggest – so we bought a natural scratching pole and made sure that the kitten’s food bowl, water bowl and cat litter tray were placed apart in the room (cats don’t like these things all close together).

Cats prefer a saucer or a plate to a bowl and we bought some eco cat litter – which works really well, and biodegrades rather than adding to landfill.

So each day after we got him, we opened up the space a little bit more for Kipper to explore, he played and slept in my brother’s room, and then on day two we opened up the landing for him, and day three my bedroom and so on until he then had the run of the house. This made him feel secure and familiar with one room – and he’s been happy pottering around the house ever since. We have moved the food bowl to the kitchen, and the cat litter tray is now tucked away in the hallway downstairs – he also has a water saucer in the sitting room as well as the kitchen – which he likes!

If you look closely at Kipper the kitten’s little feet, it looks as if he’s wearing slippers too! So he doesn’t feel too left out… (seriously, every family needs a pair of Baabuk slippers).

Finding a good Vet

All-four-Baabuk-incredibusy

Ask your local friends for Vet advice, we have found a lovely local vet, through a neighbour with a really happy cat, and picked up a second-hand wicker pet basket from Ebay (Mum tries to cut down on the amount of plastic in the house, and we always try to buy second hand too for things like this).

Today Kipper is at the Vet, having a chip, and being neutered – eughh… poor kitty! We are looking forward to welcoming him home and giving him lots of love.

These are all of our slippers, you will LOVE them, loads of colours (and styles) – if you’d like to know more about where to find them, click here

crafts, teenage reviews

How to make Porg Paper Chains

How to make Porg Paper Chains

15 and 13 year olds write:

We’ve created a chain of paper Porgs by printing off this FREE template and cutting multi-folded paper strips.

It could not be easier, in fact, we’ve even made a little video for you to show you how (make sure to watch right until the end as there are some outtakes of our new naughty kitten attacking the Porgs!)

 

Please use our FREE template (click here).

KidsChaos-Incredibusy-Porg-PaperChainTo learn this basic paper cutting technique with paper Porgs that you can either colour in or leave as is to create your very own scene from The Last Jedi!

Print off these paper chain Porgs again and again, and glue them together to make longer paper chains. They will make great decorations for parties, classrooms and your home.

You can even get your pencils out, and copy off our Porg Paper Chain Design shapes to draw onto sheets of newspaper too – if you don’t have access to a printer – this is a great way to have fun with old broadsheet newspapers that would be going to the recycling bin…. whatever you do, please come back and tell us how you’ve had fun with these paper chains – we love to see what you’ve all been up to and we love paper crafts so if you spot any Star Wars paper crafts we’d love to see them too!

 

Porgs were probably our favourite characters from the Disney / LucasFilm team on The Last Jedi Star Wars film- so adorable, and just look so sweet – The Last Jedi had a lot of humour, and the Porgs were quite a surprise – Porg sneakers

We’ve had a go at making little models with clay – more on that to come – meanwhile we can’t wait for these sneakers from Po-Zu to be delivered in April.

 

Watch our video here (with the naughty Kipper the kitten making a cheeky appearance at the end!)

KidsChaos.com is the Kid’s creative blog from Ali Clifford and sons…

Ali also writes at Incredibusy.com and had a hand in creating this template at the request of the boys!

For more Star Wars themed crafts click here

an

d here

kids, teenage reviews

The Penny Board 27″ skateboard vs the 22″ board

The Penny Board 27″ skateboard vs the 22″ board

PennyBoard-Po-Zu-sneakers Spike age 15:

As the weather is getting warmer, we are all coming out of hibernation and looking forward to spending more time outdoors – on my Christmas list this year, a Penny Board 27″.

I loved how it was packaged, (and will be using the big box to keep some treasures in!)

Ronnie age 13: I have had the smaller penny board for a couple of years, which I bought with my own money, and I love it – it’s still works really well, and I enjoy taking it out on our street after school.

Having tried a friend’s longer Penny Board, I found that the larger of the boards was easier to navigate around corners and I really think the big one is a lot better, because I would definitely recommend getting the larger board as you get taller (My brother agrees and he’s 15 and 175cm, and I’m 162cm)

As I skate on the road (which is a quiet London backstreet) you don’t feel the bumps as much as you would on a normal skateboard – and I would definitely say that it’s worth saving up to buy the REAL Penny Board, rather than cheaper copies as the quality is absolutely excellent, the wheel mechanism smoother and just looks so cool!

Spike age 15: We also found that the bigger size cruises easier and turning is smoother. The 27″ board is a bit longer and wider than the smaller 22″ size, offering a bit more surface area under your feet, and hey my feet are getting bigger every week now!

The Design on the board

The Gunmetal Red Metallic Fade 27″ is the perfect board if you want to shine with a little more stability.  the Metallic Fade is a unique look you can’t find anywhere else in the cheaper market. It is made with the same high quality formula Penny is known for, with a distinctive faded finish.

Perfect for riders of any skill level, the Penny Board itself is quite flexible so that balance is easier and the colours are really great, I like that and the bearings inside the wheels are  very smooth so that you can travel for quite a time without having to boost yourself again!

Thanks to the @incredibusy for help with the photos, and Po-Zu for the RESISTANCE sneakers – and if you’d like to see more cool shots, check out their instagram feed. #PennyAdventures