Friday, 26 March 2021

The perfect eco-friendly light bulb moments with Save Money Cut Carbon { AD - Review }

 * AD - The items featured have been gifted for an honest review. *

*All thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own. *

We have been slowly making changes in our lives to be more eco friendly as a family for several years now. It's been building as a small passion inside me since and this year I shared how I'm challenging myself to make more eco swaps in 2021. Which is why I am so excited to be working with SaveMoneyCutCarbon throughout the year to share with you ways you can be more eco-friendly. 

One of the first swaps I was ever aware of that was more environmentally friendly was light bulbs, you know the spiral shaped bulbs we all had in our house at one point or another? Well much has changed in the world of eco light bulbs since then. SaveMoneyCutCarbon have just opened their online light store on their site. It features some of the best rated LED light bulbs available and offers more than just products with advice and inspiration on the best LED lights for the right places in your home. 

When it comes to taking the first steps into making eco-friendly swaps I think a great place to start is with small items that will last a long time, just like LED light bulbs. All the LED bulbs featured in this post last 1500 hours which is 15 times longer than a filament bulb! That is a real benefit, buying one light bulb that will last so much longer would not only save you money but cuts back on how many light bulbs are sent to landfill every year. 

It's not the only benefit that comes with changing bulbs either, by changing to an LED bulb you can save money by using much less electricity to run and it saves you time. Yes really, you can save time thanks to the immediate on and off with an LED Light, there is no waiting around while the bulb warms up and gets brighter. Plus you won't need to change it as often, which saves even more time.

I was really surprised when the LED light bulbs first arrived, The selection of bulbs and fitting options available is huge! You can see above that we received a large selection of products including bulbs with E22, E27 and bayonet fittings. The bulbs ranged in size from small to very large and featured bulbs in several styles, ranges and shapes. 

My absolute favourite has been the Osram Vintage 1906 LED Filament Smoke Big Globe which has an E27 fitting. This Vintage style bulb feature a smoke glass effect with a coiled LED filament inside. It is also a dimmable and has a wattage of 5w. This bulb is really large at almost double the length of a standard bulb size, it makes for a beautiful feature light. It would be perfect in a living room, dining room or even a hall, I decided to put it up as a feature in our bedroom paired with a low hung light fitting which allows the light to hang over my bedside table. You can see above it makes quite the statement and with the dimmable feature it make for a perfect reading light since it has a warm white light it is relaxing and calming, just what you need if you read late at night in bed like me.

We also received another Vintage style bulb from the Osram range which is the Vintage 1906 LED Filament Candle in Gold. This Vintage bulb features a beautiful spiral glass design which is unique and would be perfect for more decorative style light fittings like chandeliers or open/ glass wall sconces or fittings. You can see the unique design on the bulb above as well as the extra warm light it gives off, great for a warming atmosphere in a room. This bulb features a wattage of 2.5W and is energy rated as  A++ making it really cost effective to run too. What is not to love?

The smallest LED bulb was the Osram Parathom LED Filament bulb which had an E14 fitting and gives off a warm white light. The wattage is 4w and this also features an A++ engery rating. I was surprised by just how small this bulb is, you can see it compared to my hand in the photo above. The small size makes this better for smaller lights that give a nice decorative look while still giving off a good glow of light when being used, it would be great for small desk spaces or places where you don't want the lights to be a feature but still be functional. 

The final Osram light bulb was the Parathom LED Filament Bulb which is around the same size a normal light bulb, it also looks almost the same as a normal filament bulb with the same shape, opaqueness and would be the perfect first switch for anyone who is nervous about how LED lights might look in your home for the first time. I like a warm white tone to a light that is used in various rooms around the house which is where this bulb would be perfect, halls, living room, dinning room or even in bedrooms. This 4W bulb is also energy rated as A++. 

We also received a Philips Scene Switch 3 step dim bulb which is the final E22 fitting but has a very unique feature, this bulb will turn your normal light switches into a dimmable light! You won't need ant extra fancy equipment to be installed, the dim feature is accessed by turning off and on your normal light switch, This particular light bulb was more difficult to photograph to show the change in light temperate and brightness but you can see the change above with the first setting being at 100% brightness on the right, at 40% in the middle and at 10%  to the left. This bulb is a 2w, 4w and 8w with an energy rating of A+ and gives off a warm white glow which grows warmer when dimmed down. This bulb would be perfect in a living room. 

One last bulb was included in our box from SaveMoneyCutCarbon, it featured a bayonet fitting which is what most of our built in lights use. This was a Philips CorePro LED bulb in frosted, this is the bulb I instantly think of when someone says LED bulb lighting, It features a more white opaque look than that of a filament style light bulb. This is a 8W bulb with a warm white light and is perfect for any room in the home. 

The final product was not so much a bulb as an entire light fitting. That is the LEDvance battery powered Linear Cabinet Light which is 200mm long and features a sensor to detect both light and movement. This easy to install cabinet light comes with everything you need including the magnetic strip, wall plugs and screws as well as easy to follow photo instructions on the pack. 

To install the LEDvance Linear Cabinet Light you remove the magnetic strip from the back and install by either screwing in the plugs and screws or pealing off the sticking back from the strip and pushing onto the underside of your cabinet. Once attached you can place the light over the magnet connecting it to the metal panel built in to the underside of the light. 

I love how quick and easy this was to install while still allowing me to get easy access when the battery needs changed again. I also really like that this light is more of a bright white light as this is the perfect kind of light tone you want in a kitchen where you will cooking and baking. 

You can purchase all the lights featured from SaveMoneyCutCarbon: Vintage LED Filament Smoke Big Globe £22.95Vintage LED Filament Candle in Gold £3.45Osram Parathom LED Filament Bulb £3.45Osram Parathom LED Filament Bulb E27 £1.45, Philips CorePro LED bulb in frosted £2.75 and LEDvance battery powered Linear Cabinet Light £16.80 

Do you use LED lighting in your home? 

If you do I'd love to know what your favourite bulb was?

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Making the most of the smallest things { Our Ordinary Moments }

 It's been a strange few weeks, life has been half normal since Dylan's birthday at the start of the month. However I've felt like the rest of us are in this suspended limbo waiting for normal life to fully begin again. 

We've been trying to help ourselves out of this strange feeling by making the most of everything we are doing. Dylan's birthday balloons stayed up a whole week, which probably doesn't sound strange for anyone else but every night after a birthday in our house Simon goes around popping balloons because he hates them. Our arch lasted 7 times as long as we usually expect it to and so we made the best of it. 

We had a full on photo session with each child having a turn to play in the middle of the arch on my bed. It was simple, we stayed at home and they had an absolute blast. They played for 2 hours! My phone is full of wonderful photos of smiling children and it helped me to see we can enjoy all the small things a little bit more. Something we've all been realising this last year. 

What are your favourite small things that you try to make the most out of? 

Friday, 12 March 2021

Our Favourite Books - Postman Bear & Hide and Seek Pig by Julia Donaldson

 Bedtime stories are a huge part of our daily routine, it's the steady constant at every bedtime that helps us all calm down after any kind of day. Some days the stories are long, some days they are short and some days there is just more than one. Usually the days with more than one story are short books made mostly for younger children but that are so well loved we still enjoy them now. This month involved two of those books. 

A girl is sat on a wooden floor in front of a white wall. She has a black dress with glittery stars and planets all over it.  The girl has blonde hair and blue eyes, she is smiling at the camera with her hands held out near her shoulders. She has a book floating above each hand, one reads Hide and Seek Pig with a pig sneaking illustration on the left, the right side has a book that says Postman Bear in red and has an image of a bear holding letters on. Above each book is the same book open. It shows images from inside the book with the left showing a washing line with colourful clothing and the pig stood beside it. the right book shows the bear walking through grass with a letter in his hand and a crow behind him. Above these again is the same pages as the book is more closed over. Above this the same book is closed showing the back with the blerb just out of focus. All the books are surrounded by tiny white glitter like diamond and circle shapes to look like magic.

The most loved books in our bookcase during February have been Postman Bear & Hide and Seek Pig by Julia Donaldson and  illustrated by Axel Scheffler. They come from the same set of books called Tales from Acorn Wood and are of course little lift the flap books that children all adore. Both Postman Bear & Hide and Seek Pig are short books with just one sentence on each page. This makes them perfect for toddlers and older children as they don't need to keep their attention for long. Having a shorter book as a favourite has let Avery get more involved with our bedtime reading this last month. 

A book sits on a white surface. The cover says Postman Bear in large red lettering. Below it says "a lift-the-flap book" in the same red. An illustration of a bear holding up letters as he walks along a path with a few green plants around and an orange oval as the background. The bottom has text that reads "The Creators of THE GRUFFALO" Underneath reads Julia Donaldson to the left with Axel Scheffler to the right.

Out of the two I think the most loved is Postman Bear, the story follows bear as he prepares for his birthday and invites his friends to a special birthday party. Throughout the book you meet Bear and his three friends, find out where they live and read along as Bear prepares for a party. Each page includes it's own lift the flap from letters to open through to doors to peek behind. 

A book sits on a white surface. The cover says "Hide and Seek Pig" in large green lettering. Below it says "a lift-the-flap book" in the same green. An illustration of a pig wearing yellow dress with flowers all over under a white apron while sneaking past a green bush to the left of the pig. A white hen is peeking out from the left of the bush. The ground beneath them is grassy with a green oval as a background behind the image. The bottom has text that reads "The Creators of THE GRUFFALO" Underneath reads Julia Donaldson to the left with Axel Scheffler to the right.

Hide and Seek Pig follows along a different story, we read along with Pig as she plays a game of hide and seek with Hen. Hen is really good at hide and seek, we meet many other animals along the way, all peeking out or seen through various objects in Acorn Wood. Pig looks for Hen everywhere, it's only when Pig goes to have their picnic that she finds Hen hiding inside. Just like Postman Bear each page has a lift the flap to open. 

An up close photo of a frog wearing brown trousers, a  shirt with green and red check lines under a green vest jacket is holding a letter that reads Bear.An up close photo of a frog wearing brown trousers, a  shirt with green and red check lines under a green vest jacket is holding an open letter that reads "come to my party".

These books are lovely board books with firm pages and nice thick flaps to lift up. They have a little area to put your finger in to open the flap easily, this also means that you have to look for the flap well to find it as it sits flush with the page. It really helps to add a bit more to the book for toddlers and younger children.

An up close image of a book open on a page with the illustration of a animals in an orchard full of fallen apples. to the left stands an orange squirrel wearing brown shorts, a white half length sleeve top and a green necktie, beside a brown rabbit wearing a green pinafore with white polkadots on and a white t-shirt underneath. A big pail of red and yellow apples sit in the middle, to the right stands a pig in a yellow dres with red flowers all over and a white apron over the top. Just in front of the pig stands a crow wearing a red shirt with blue overalls. Below the image reads " Maybe Hen's behind this pail. Can you see a furry tail?"

We have long been fans of Julia Donaldson and are also huge fans of Axel Scheffler as an illustrator (and author too) so having these board books created by the wonderful duo is great. All our other books by the two are for older children and have proper paper pages which just aren't appropriate for a one year old. Axel Scheffler has brought his unique illustration into the two stories and brought each character to life in the way we know and love. His use of bright bold colours, shapes to create detail and textures really add to the books in the Tales from Acorn Wood series. 

If your searching for books that are perfect for starting to read together with you baby or books for more independent reading for toddlers then these will be perfect. They age well, children continue to love them after the toddler years and the idea of a lift the flap book remains exciting long after they leave their first years of life. My 8 year old still loves both Postman Bear & Hide and Seek Pig. He's often found reading them to his younger siblings now. 

You can purchase Postman Bear for £4.99 and Hide and Seek Pig for £6.99

What have been your favourite books at bedtime recently?

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Thursday, 11 March 2021

8 years of you - An open letter to my eldest son

 Dear Dylan,

I say this every year as I sit down close to your birthday to type out my thoughts to you as I reflect on another year with you, however this year I think more than ever I truly appreciate the year we've had together. It's not been an easy one that's for sure. Life has changed this year, as I typed up your last letter the world was doing good and now it's all changed. We spent most of this year at home, we've just celebrated your birthday without friends or family and made the best of it we could. I can't quite believe a whole year has now past and we've had 8 years of you in our lives, brightening our days and sharing your world with us.

You've been a superstar, you've learnt at home for 6 months out of the year and your doing all we can ask, we've played, grown, changed and stuck together. Watching each day as you've changed, learnt and been amazed by science experiments that we usually wouldn't see has been wonderful, a small perk to the stress of juggling learning at home with everything else. 

This year we've saw you protect both Scarlet and Avery, teach them, play together and grow your bond more than ever before. When you see something cool you immediately want them to see, you look for them when your down and together you seem so much happier. Your the best big brother they could wish for! 

Your also becoming so independent, you just go off and get what you need, when you want it, no more asking for small tasks to be done by us and it's such a huge milestone for me to watch you grow into a fully independent boy, embarrassed by us fussing or trying to help. A bittersweet realization that you won't need us in the same ways anymore.

We can still see your personality changing, your love of books still growing as you enter the world of novel reading and the true feeling of getting lost in a great book is sparking inside you. Right now your enjoying reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid but our book case is ever expanding to meet your changing interests and needs.

I can't wait to see how you change over the next year, how your taste in books grows with you, if you still find your imagination that never flails and what you will be like. Will you still adore Pokémon like you do now? Will you still be kind, thoughtful and considerate of others? I hope you will, I hope we see more and more of your strong and independent personality that is caring and kind. I hope your still excited by magic potions made of food colouring and water that make you believe your magically strong or wise or invisible because I hope you hold onto your wonderful imagination forever.

Love Mummy

Monday, 1 March 2021

First signs of spring {Our Ordinary Moments}

Welcome back to Our Ordinary Moments, the last few weeks have been hard but this week we say the first signs that spring was coming! 

The days are growing warmer now, we've seen the sun several times this week and it's still light at dinner time. I don't know about you but for us spring really lets us get back outside properly. In winter we tend to stay home much more, avoiding the wet and bitter cold but it has a big effect on us all. This year more so than ever before since there hasn't been any reasons to get outside for school runs, mum's and tots sessions, visiting family and much more has all been cancelled for so long now that I don't really remember the last time we did everything.

Spring is changing all of that, we've been out 3 times this week for a long walk, play at the park  and even for a picnic.  I find after a good day outside walking, playing and doing something different really helps us for the next few days, everyone is happier and more relaxed. 

It all helps add more positive days to our week. Not to mention the thought of lockdown finally reaching its end come April for hopefully the final time. 

How has your past week been?

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