Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Get to grips with eco-friendly cleaning all year round with SaveMoneyCutCarbon's Home Club

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

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

Since it is now spring time, we've all got our gloves on and are getting on with the usual spring cleaning or preparing for more people to visit with lockdowns ending. Either way it all adds up to getting a whole lot more cleaning done. Which is why this months box from SaveMoneyCutCarbon includes eco friendly alternatives to some of the cleaning products you use all the time. All of the products in this box are from the kitchen section on SaveMoneyCutCarbon.

What was inside our box:

  • Four pack of rainbow ecoLiving Compostable Sponge Cloths   -   £4.00
  • Three pack of ecoLiving steel scourers   -   £2.85
  • One roll of ecoegg  Reusable Bamboo towels   -   £7.05
  • An  ecoLiving Dish Brush with removable head    -   £5.45
  • An EcoCoconut Multipurpose Bottle Brush   -   £4.45
  • Two pack of EcoCoconut Biodegradable Scourers    -   £3.55
  • One OceanSaver Anti-Bac Starter Kit   -    £2.50
  • Five OceanSaver EcoDrop refills; Kitchen, Glass, Bathroom, Multi-purpose and All purpose floor cleaner.   -    £1.50 each
While all of these products are available for everyone to purchase on SaveMoneyCutCarbon at the prices above, customers who are part of the Home Club will get added benefits which includes getting products at lower prices and the perks don't just stop there either!

What are the benefits of being a SaveMoneyCutCarbon Home Club member?

There are more than a few benefits to being a Home Club member. You will be able to get all the products on their site at a lower price thanks to their Home Club Price Promise. This means that all the products on the site are available to members at the lowest prices around. If you find a product cheaper then SaveMoneyCutarbon will refund you the difference, that is how confident they are that will get the best prices available from them! Take the OceanSaver EcoDrops refills above for example they cost £1.50 on but if you are a Home Club member you will save 20% and only pay £1.20.

While we're talking about lower prices, you will also get early access to any special offers or hot deals which will help to save you even more money.

I think my personal favourite perk is that Home Club members get Priority dispatch, I am always leaving ordering to the very last minute I can. Knowing that if I forget to order until late at night I will go right up to the top of the dispatch list for the next day gives me a little piece of mind. 

You will also be rewarded for all your purchases through SaveMoneyCutCarbon as a Home Club member, this is with Planet Points. Making purchases will earn you points which can later be used to save money when you purchase other products from the site. 

The final and probably the biggest benefit from being a Home Club member, (at least for me) is getting access to the Regular, Reliable Delivery service. 

What is the Regular, Reliable Delivery Service from SaveMoneyCutCarbon ?

 Changing over to more eco-friendly products doesn't always mean you don't need to repurchase them. There are plenty of times when an eco-friendly product will run out and that is especially true when it comes to cleaning products. Let's face it they just can't be expected to last forever! Which is why some of the cleaning products we have been sent like the OceanSaver EcoDrop refills and the removable heads for the ecoLiving Dish Brush are included in SaveMoneyCutCarbon's Regular Reliable Delivery Service.

The Regular, Reliable Delivery is a subscription service available to Home Club members. You can choose any of the products on SaveMoneyCutCarbon which have the purple Regular, Reliable Delivery icon. Using the drop down menu on these products lets you select which delivery intervals you want, after that SaveMoneyCutCarbon will send you out your products so you don't need to run out! It's such a great idea. 

The whole process is customisable, you can have one regular delivery set up to arrive at your chosen intervals with several products inside to cover everything you need in one delivery. You are also able to set up several Regular, Reliable Delivery slots to meet your needs.

You won't even need to keep track, as another feature of the Regular, Reliable Delivery service is that you will get an email reminder one week before dispatch of the next box. This lets you know that another delivery will be coming but it also means that you have a chance to change or postpone the delivery if you don't need new products yet or you need to add something in. All of which can be done at anytime as well as cancelling, there is no minimum commitment period for the service.

Home Club Benefits the planet too!

When it comes to SaveMoneyCutCarbon's Home Club the benefits extend beyond just you. Home Club helps you to do better for the planet, by choosing to have regular deliveries of eco-friendly products you use regularly will cut down your carbon footprint. That is for several reasons, the products themselves have used less carbon to produce, are made from less carbon or no carbon and your getting one delivery instead of potentially more.


Another benefit for the planet is that you are reducing waste, even by just swapping to one of the products I featured in this post you are cutting down on the amount your throwing away. I'll use the Ecoegg Reusable Bamboo Towels as the example, one month ago we use 2-3 rolls of kitchen paper every week and this week we have used half a roll which was only because I forgot to put the wash load on and the reusable towels needed washed and dried! That means we have stopped 1.5 to 2.5 rolls going into the bin in every week, imagine how many rolls we'd thrown away last year alone! 

The even better news is that all these perks are available right now to all Home Club members on SaveMoneyCutCarbon and joining costs just £4.99 per month. It's such a small amount for so many perks and costs less than a decent cup of coffee. 

Which Home Club benefit do you think you'd benefit most from? 

I think for me it would have to be the priority dispatch, I'm just so forgetful and usually order all the stuff I need to late at night when I've laid down in bed! Anyone else remember everything the second you try to sleep?

Monday, 24 May 2021

How to create your own celestial clay wall decor {DIY Project}

 This year I really wanted to start finding my creative streak again. I enjoy the feeling of starting a project, getting my hands on the whole process and having a finished product. Towards the end of last year I found several celestial style clay wall hangings and I knew I wanted to create my own for our bedroom. I had a few ideas but in particular I wanted something with the various stages of the moons cycle.

I decided I wanted to create several wall hangings ranging in size and shapes for our bedroom that followed a celestial theme but would work together to create one piece that would hang on the wall over our bed. I knew that I wanted to use air dry clay to create the piece and I had a firm idea in my mind to get me started. The piece would be three different sized garlands to hang in a set. 

To create the garlands you will need:

  • Air Dry Clay 
  • Acrylic Paint in your choice of colours
  • Paint brush 
  • Circle & Star cutters or templates
  • Rolling pin
  • large lolly pop sticks
  • Nice, string thread, twine or similar cord
  • Ruler
  • Water
  • Nails or Command hooks

The first step will be to create a plan for what you want your set to look like. Sit down with a piece of paper and a pencil, start with the garland that will be the smallest first. You can create the shapes you like or you can just follow the same design I created.

I wanted the smallest size garland to have the moon phases in a small scale, the full moon in the middle would hang lowest with each phase having a matching height either side. My second garland would have stars of three different sizes in three sets with the stars hanging rom biggest to smallest with  matching height for the biggest, a shorter height for the medium and an even shorter height for the smallest. The final garland would have another set of moon phases that are bigger, thicker and more polished with rounded out edges. This garland would hold the moon phases side by side instead of hanging below the garland. 

Once You have a plan on how you want your finished set to look you need to get started on softening up your clay by rolling it round and using the heat in your hands to make they clay more malleable. When your happy with the clay you need to roll out your clay to a nice even size. I used 1 lolly pop stick to get the right height for the small moon phases and the stars. However I stacked and taped 3 sticks together to get the right height for y larger moon phases. 

In your design you will know how many of each shape is needed. To create one set of moon phases you need 4 full circles. Once you have all four, set one to the side as your full moon. Cut the next circle in half with a ruler to get your half moon phases. The final two pieces will be your crescent and gibbous phases, using the circular cutter or template place it on the circle with enough space to create the crescent moon shape you want. The end result will be one full set of moon phases. Repeat this step for the other set. 

Remember to also cut out your star shapes in their different sizes. I used a set of three small cutters to create my stars. I wanted to have three of each for a total of 9. 

After each piece had been cut out I used a straw to make a hole in all the pieces where I would want them to hang. The small moon phases and the stars had this at the top of each shape while the bigger set had one on each side of the moon phases. This is where you will add the thread or twine to create the garland. I also smoothed out the sides of all the pieces by using my finger dipped in water. You can then round the edges out to create a more cohesive shape like my larger moon phases by working the smoothing over each side until your happy, I only did this on one side but you can create this on both side of the piece if you want.

Allow all the pieces to dry on a flat surface for around two days. After a day go back and turn the pieces over so the back can also dry. As they dry you will see they clay go from a light grey to a white. The whole piece will be entirely white when dry and will be hard. When your pieces are completely dry you can move on to the next step.

Now is the time to paint everything, I wanted to stick to a metallic theme to mimic the moon shining so I went with a silver and gold acrylic paints. You can choose whichever colours you like, match it to your other d├ęcor in the space it will go or perhaps you want a boho look, which you could use more neutral colours for. I used just one coat on each moon and two coats on the stars for an even coverage. Remember to allow each to dry and to paint the backs too.

When it comes to the assembly it is probably the most technical part of the project so I will lay out each of the garlands assembly as one paragraph. I used my Gutermann Metallic thread in gold and silver to create the garlands. I wanted something thin but still noticeable and it fit the metallic theme well. However you can  use whichever thread or cord you like. 

The smallest garland was made by putting all the clay moon phases onto the tread in the right order. Once everything was on I tied small loop on the end which will be used to hang the piece up. Working from that end you will have all the pieces attached to the thread with one end tied off and the other still on the spool. Work your way along starting with the waxing moon closest to the tied off side, leave enough space to be the hanging part of the garland and enough again for the cresent to hang down a shot distance. Tie a knot right above where the crescent moon now sits. Then gather the thread above the moon phase to where you had wanted the hanging distance to start, tie another knot and you will have made the first hanging crescent. Move over 2-3cms and again add how much distance you want the next phase to hang down ensuring it is lower than the previous one. Repeat this step for the remaining phase and the full moon. To do the final stages you will want to match the length each phase hangs at with the ones you already created. I simply folded the piece in half and matched each up before I tied the thread off at the end. 

The medium garland with stars did follow a similar motion, I added on all the star pieces in the right order they would hang with three sets of large, medium and small. Once attached I tied the end and followed the pattern. This time I wanted the large stars to hang longest, the medium to be a smaller height and the small to be the smallest height with a 3-5cms in between each star. I used the same technique from the smaller garland by tying off the various heights to get the hanging star effect. 

For the final garland I used several lengths of thread, each doubled over and then tied once it had been looped through the two moon phases I was joining together. This created a large loop in which both pieces joined together, I then hid the tied off piece behind the moon phase. Repeat this until each phase is connected. To finish this garland you need to a long loop attached to each end moon phase so that this can be hung up. You can tie a smaller loop on each end if you like, it makes it easier to hang up. 

All that is left is to hang the piece! I used small nails which I added to our wall but you can use the command hooks if you'd prefer not to or if you are renting. Start hanging with the smallest which is easier to centre on the wall or in my case, above our bed. You can then add the other two below with however much space between as you like.

I am really pleased with my finished result and I enjoyed working with the clay. Now as you can see our bedroom wall is currently grey however I will be changing that to a dark blue or black colour sometime in the future which will make the piece pop so much more! 

I already have a few other celestial themed clay ideas I want to create for our bedroom. I have since created another star garland, in a rainbow colour scheme for Scarlet's all above her bed. It is very fun and perfect for a child's room.

Where would you hang a Celestial Clay Wall Hanging in your home and what colour scheme would you go with? 

Love this idea? 

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Friday, 21 May 2021

What I read in April 2021 { Monthly Book Round-up }

I was always a bookworm as a child and even as a teenager and into my adult life. Becoming a mother of three made life busy and I dropped so many great hobbies, such as reading. Now that I have picked it up again I just can't stop! Each month I have read more and more, I've had some terrible reads, the worst book I have ever read was included in last months round-up post and I can safely say I have read at least four now that have been so could I just couldn't put them down. 

In April I managed to read 4 books, not much for some but a big achievement for me four months in.

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becki Chambers - ★★★★★

The first few books I read in April come from The Wayfarer series which I started with the first book The long way to a small angry planet at the end of March. As soon as I had finished with the first book I had to order the second to arrive the next day because I knew I wouldn't be able to wait any longer. The second book in the series is A Closed and Common Orbit, which tells the story of two different characters and has two different timelines. The first is the story of an AI called Lovelace who has left their ship with a stranger after waking up to the reality of their human counterparts losing their friend Lovey, Lovelaces previous installation that had to be reset after a terrible accident. Now Lovelace in inside of illegal synthetic body kit that closely mimics that of a human sapient, right down to the ability to bleed! Now comes the task of learning to live in the outside world, a place where her protocols were never meant to be. The journey of discovering herself, her needs, wants and the things she enjoys is not an easy one and we learn about her entire discovery of the body kit where she now lives and the galaxy itself with the help of a few friends. One of which has their own journey of discovery to share. 

The other story which runs alongside that of Lovelace is of another character, Pepper. Her story however is set 20 Solar years in the past. Pepper is the Mech Tech who help Lovelace escape her ship after she'd installed her software in the body kit. However she also knows what it feels like to not know who you are and to be thrown into life planet side in a galaxy full of sapient. You see Pepper was once Jane 23, she had a hard start in life and had to learn so much for herself. This alternative timeline runs through the book jumping to and fro between each chapter from Pepper to Lovelace's story.

This book os the story of two very different people, in two different circumstance that are also very similar. An AI hiding in a human body kit and a human who was modified to meet a need. Their stories are both of becoming acclimated and aware of living lives in a whole new way, one that is very different from their original intended purposes. They each battle their own inner turmoil while trying to discover a world they should never have stood in. 

For me I think this book gives the reader a real insight into the fights and the inner thoughts and the fights or feelings of any person who feels they don't quite fit into what society deems to be normal. The fact the stories are told in a whole galaxy full of accepted species only amplifies the social separation that both these characters have. I loved this entire book, more than the first which I didn't even think was possible! Each character was unique, their own personalities all very apparent and I loved every one of them. That and the whole story had me hooked, I just couldn't stop reading to find out what would happen in each story. I know this is one I will return to again and again! 

Record of a Space Born Few by Becki Chambers - ★★★★★

When humans abandoned Earth they didn't know what they would find in the galaxy. Still they took their homesteaders, made from the dismantled buildings and materials left on the dying planet and they headed for the stars. It's centuries later and while the fleet has served it's purpose the exodus fleet is still home to many humans, who are still following the traditions and lifestyles of their ancestors who had first left earth in search of a new planet.

However Humans are now citizens of the Galactic Commons, a whole galaxy full of sapient species and their unique choice of home, life sustaining systems and their ethos are all piquing the interests of their galactic neighbours. Living on board of ship that rarely sees anyone outside your own species can quickly feel threatening when they start to come on board. 

The events in this book follow directly after the end of the first book and alongside the second in the series timeline. This book follows the lives of five humans and one Harmagian aboard the Asteria in the Exodus fleet. At first most of the characters seem to be disconnected with only their home connecting them together. As the story progresses the lives of all six characters start to line up after one event touches them all.

At first I didn't think that I enjoyed this book as much as the other two, the disconnection of the characters was throwing me off. It was only after 3 evenings of reading that I realised how quickly I was progressing. I never saw the event that changes all the characters lives coming, in fact I thought they would all meet in an entirely different way! I felt all of the effects of the event as if I was aboard the Asteria myself. I was heartbroken for those onboard and shocked at what had happened. I do feel that of the books I had read so far I could relate most to this book and it's events, they are mostly human but also one of the characters is a Mother, this made it easier for me to put myself in her shoes and to imagine how I would make the same decisions and choices. It was so easy to imagine myself on board running around after small children and living a life on a ship far off in a distant galaxy.

The Galaxy and the Ground Within by Becki Chambers - ★★★★☆

The events in this book happen at 20 solar days after those in the first book although this could be a stand alone book, no prior knowledge is needed to understand what happens. Knowing the first three books does give you a better understanding and this has a few references to events from book one which gives you a more detailed insight. 

This final book in the series is set on a planet called Gora, it was once a barren and inhospitable planet that stopped anything from growing. Gora was however the perfect place for galactic traffic to pass by. Which is why it has become inhabited, life on Gora happens under habitat domes which are dotted all around the planet. These domes are regularly filling and emptying with the travellers of the galaxy as they stop on their way to other places.

One of these domes is the Five Hop Stop, home to a Laru mother and her child, it provides services and products to those passing through or who need to dock their ship while they wait for their allocated travel times. Things go very wrong one day when the very anthracite system of satellites which floats round the planet goes into free fall, effectively cutting the entire planet off from the galaxy above. The Five Hop Stop has three lay overs docked when  the possibility of leaving Gora becomes impossible for several days. It forces the different species to get to know each other in ways they hadn't imagined they would. Each is forced to view life from each others perspective. We learn about each character and their species as they share more than they ever thought they would on Gora. 

I did enjoy this book, although not nearly as much as the other three in the series. I felt like it was lacking in the huge event. Of course the satellite system falling to the planet was huge and very exciting I just wanted more around the middle to end of the story. Compared to the other books it just wasn't as exciting, I didn't get as lost in this story as I did the other despite enjoying all the characters and their stories. It did feel like an end of sorts, maybe just not as exciting as I'd wanted but it was satisfying all the same. 

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot - ★★★★★

The final book I read in April was The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot, I had been keeping up with Rebecca from Mum Of A Premature Baby when she read this as a read along back in March and I knew I just had to read it! 

Lenni and Margot meet at their ending. Lenni is a 17 year old terminal patient at the Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital while Margot is an 83 year old Heart patient. They first cross paths when Lenni crashes into the new art room at the hospital during a class for older patients. It is here inside this room that the plan from which this story is set comes to be. An odd friendship is struck between the two patients and Lenni has the idea to to create 100 paintings, which will each have their own story from Lenni and Margot's lives. The idea comes when Lenni realises that between them both they have lived for 100 years, a number f years that Lenni never thought she would live. 

Each of these one hundred paintings, drawings and other kinds of artwork they will create a story of their lives, one hundred pictures for their one hundred years. It is through the telling of each story behind each picture that we heart the lives, loves, heartbreaks and the years that both Lenni and Margot have lived. We see the web of moments each lived and now shared with the other. 

I completely fell in love with Lenni and Margot, their stories had me laughing, full belly laughs, crying heartbroken sobs full of ugly tears and even had me doing both more than once! There was so many twists and turn that I never would have seen coming, there was truly wonderful moments when I wished I could hug the characters to share their joy and of course there was heart-breaking moments when I was crying along. I know that having reached the end of this book it is a story that will stay with me for a long time It's been almost a month now since I finish reading and it feels like just yesterday. 

This whole book stays in your mind, it's a true testament to Marianne Cronin as a writer to have brought this story to life so well that you really can feel like your right there beside Lenni and Margot living life alongside them as they take this journey through their past at the end of their lives, in a hospital waiting for the end.

Everyone should read this story and learn about the One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot!

During April I really found my stride with reading again, I loved being sucked into the stories of each book and was reminded of how much I enjoy reading books in a series in particular. I am looking forward to finding more great book to sink my mind into and to discover many more authors to read. 

What is your favourite book series at the minute?

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Busy weeks full of sun { Our Ordinary Moments }

 I haven't been sharing our ordinary moments lately, not because we haven't had much to share but because life has been busy, school starting back has made life busier, our days at home are enjoyed more and we're making an effort to get outside more. It all adds up and time for sitting down to write becomes limited to very late nights or juggling a toddler and typing. I'm trying to get myself back into the flow by typically cramming a whole post into the 10 minutes I get to enjoy my morning coffee! 

Last week was honestly the busiest we've been in a while! We started the week with a entire house clean, we wanted to be on top of housework since my mum would be around for the whole week and being able to drop everything and spend time with her was going to be a priority, it's the first time we've had someone they can spend real time with in almost a year. Actually since the last time we saw her! 

The rest of the week was spent preparing for Avery's birthday, baking together and of course all the celebrating that goes along with it. I will be sharing more about Avery turning 2 during the week. 

We also managed a morning park trip to one of the favourite parks for my three, we rarely go as it gets very busy in the afternoon and becomes a bit of a nightmare to keep track of three children when they are all different ages. They loved getting to roam around pretty much as they pleased and I can see early park trips becoming our thing this summer. 

How was your week and your bank holiday? 

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