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You may remember that I posted recently about my own drive to use as few and as natural beauty and hygiene products as possible, and I’m really happy with the way that has gone, despite taking a couple of years to put into place. I try to approach simple living in a way that does not impact on my family too much; I’ve come to realise that doing is generally far more effective than telling. With this in mind, I do try to make purchases for our daughter that are well-researched and intentional, based on the principles of as natural as possible, and as sustainable as possible – but at the same time not compromising on quality and ease of use. So when I was approached by a company who have developed child-friendly, non-toxic bath-time products, for once I was curious and happy to take a look.
Paddy’s Bathroom is a new brand created by the team that brought us Ella’s Kitchen – their new range of toiletries is certified organic and contains no SLS, no parabens, no pthalates, no sulphates and no GMO ingredients. They are super gentle and sting-free on little ones’ eyes.
For those reasons alone I was immediately interested. Finding good quality, affordable products for kids on the high street or in the supermarket is harder than you would think.

Leela was very excited to open the parcel, and the packaging was clearly recognisable – the first thing she said was “Ooh can I eat it Mummy? “ Hmm…
Cue a conversation about how this was shampoo/bubble bath and definitely NOT to be eaten/drank (and a minor panic from me as to where I would store it safely just in case). I can see why Paddy’s have chosen to mimic the Ella’s packaging – it was a fantastic selling point for the purees and smoothies, but it does mean that kids instantly associate it with edibles!

The full range of Paddy's Bathroom kids toiletries.

The full range of Paddy’s Bathroom kids toiletries.

Packaging issues aside (and concerns were only about the bubble bath and shiny hair shampoo) I can say that our family have all enjoyed these products. For a start they smell delicious, and Leela loves the foaming texture not only because it’s fun to play with, but also because she could have a go at washing her hair without the shampoo running into her eyes. It was good timing for encouraging independent hand washing too. The brightly coloured bottles are child-friendly, Leela got the hang of the hand pump bottles straight away, while the Squirty Stuff bottles are just the right side of tricky, ie not too easy to get into if you’re three and want to make some kind of George’s Marvellous Medicine while Mum isn’t looking…

Foaming shampoo! Leela loved it...

Foaming shampoo! Leela loved it…

My personal favourite is the squishy mangoes foaming hair and body wash – it just smells SO good, although all the products smell amazing. It retails at £4.49 which is probably more than I would usually pay, but at the same time it seems to last for AGES making it worth the investment in my opinion. I also like that I don’t have to faff around with a lid when hair washing, and on an eco note the bottles are all recycle grade 5 so should be ok to go in most kerbside recycling. In fact, that’s my other issue with the bubble bath pouches – they are a recycle grade 7 which is rarely recycled anywhere, and also contains BPA which I do my utmost to avoid these days. But, in Paddy’s favour – the lack of toxic substances in the product itself means that I would happily purchase the Squirty Stuff hair and body washes again, if only to watch Leela make her hair into a mohawk like her daddy’s…

Just like her Dad! Bathtime is officially fun.

Just like her Dad! Bathtime is officially fun.

For added fun, Paddy’s also have a funky webpage and an app with some cool kids games, and more importantly they also donate to the Drop Buy Drop programme with every purchase, which aims to help kids in Rwanda get access to clean safe water.

Disclaimer – I was sent the Paddy’s Bathroom range free of charge to try out for review purposes, however all thoughts and opinions of the product are my own.

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After years of being a product junkie, I made the switch over the last year to all-natural, holistic beauty/personal hygiene. I’ve spent 25 years of my life searching for the perfect product that would fix my imperfections, remedy my red faced rosacea, and help me be, you know – better. I’m fairly sure I’m a few grand down having bought into the whole mainstream beauty regime! But these days my approach is more holistic for my body and the planet, and it looks a bit like this…

  
Natural Crystal deodorant – took some getting used to, as these days we’re all so used to ANTIpersperant, and yet perspiration is the body’s way of cooling down and getting rid of toxins such as excess salts, urea that are natural waste products from the body. To start with I just felt really sweaty, but after a couple of months I’ve noticed that I sweat alot less than I did before, and I feel like my body regulates itself effectively. This deoderant is obviously unscented, so I often use my favourite aromatherapy oils if I want perfume, either blended into massage oil as a moisturiser, or a drop on the neckline of whatever I’m wearing (don’t use any aromatherapy oils directly on skin as some can cause reactions. I recommend getting advice from an aromatherapist about best/safe uses of oils).

Avocado Oil – as a cleanser and moisturiser. Wow. This is the product I have been searching for, and it cost me the grand total of four quid, from the supermarket! A tiny bit as a cleanser when I’m in the shower (use it like a hot cloth treatment), and if needed a drop onto wet skin, my face has never been so happy. And it’s a brilliant salad dressing too! My skin is less stressed, rosacea flair ups are infrequent and I don’t get clogged pores. Honestly, it’s amazing. It also smells like a very expensive spa-massage (unsurprisingly, avocado oil is a fantastic massage medium).

Bamboo toothbrush and steel safety razor – my toothbrush can be composted after use, and the razor lasts a million times longer than plastic disposables, and will be recycled safely at the end of its useful life. Plastic doesn’t rot down, it just fills up our ever decreasing landfill, or ends up floating in the sea (google Great Pacific Garbage Patch and prepare to be horrified). And if it’s burned in incinerators then it creates a chemical called dioxin, aka the most toxic chemical known to man. No thanks.

Solid shampoo bar – loving this! Made with all natural products (by which I mean vegetable oils) and containing zero harmful parabens or SLS’s, as well as the bonus of no plastic packaging. Again, it took some getting used to as my hair had to adjust to no longer being stripped with chemicals – took at least three months but I am so glad I stuck it out. My hair and scalp are happier, softer, more manageable  and I don’t need to use any conditioner. Costs about £3 and lasts 3 months (unless you wash your hair every day, which I no longer find I have to do!)

And that’s it! I’m still using up the very few cosmetics that are left from my product-junkie days, I’ll be looking to replace them eventually, but only with natural and plastic-free products so any suggestions/recommendations welcome!

The deoderant and toothbrush are from a brilliant UK company http://www.earthwisegirls.co.uk

Solid shampoo bar from http://www.funkysoapshop.co.uk

I haven’t been asked to endorse these products, I just happen to love them 💕✨

I’ve been battling a few internal demons this last week – stuff from a LONG time ago that when triggered feels as raw as yesterday. This stuff has the potential to do some serious damage to my relationships and self-esteem, causes me panic attacks and periods of self-doubt and anxiety – so I consider it a priority to not shy away, but instead shine a light on, and bring awareness to what is going on inside.

As an ex mental health professional, I’ve been guilty of analysing this to death, and in some ways that has been useful – I think I have a pretty clear understanding of what happened and why I react to certain situations in particular ways. But I never quite managed to make the next step, into letting go. And that’s kind of the point really isn’t it? Work through it and let go. 

Just lately though, something seems to be shifting. As worries or stressful events have appeared on the horizon, my close family have been saying “Moll, go and do yoga”. Like I need any encouragement! But seriously, this yoga thing is helping – and my family and friends are noticing. Maybe it’s the breathing – I’m using it off the mat whenever I feel anxiety or stress building.  Maybe it’s the deep stretching which helps to release long-stored away emotions and tension. Whatever – it’s unexpectedly helping me through a process of letting go of old memories and subconscious emotions.  Just for once, I can’t really explain why.  And I think I’m realising – maybe I don’t need to. 


My three best tips for managing that anxiety moment: 

  • Alternate nostril breathing – hold down your left nostril with your right ring finger. Take a deep breath in through your right nostril. Close your right nostril with the thumb of your left hand and gently hold the air in briefly – then release your left nostril and let all the air out. Take a deep breath in on the left side, close off and hold briefly, then release the right nostril and let it all out. Repeat as many times as you like, best done in private if you want to avoid funny looks.
  • Be here, now. Reminding myself of the present moment is one of the most powerful tools that I use for relieving anxiety. Anxiety is a worry about the future – and the future never comes, it’s an imaginary idea! I use various approaches, one is to check in with my breath and body – where  am I right now? This helps my mind calm as I realise I’m not under any threat at this present moment, and slows my heartbeat. Our physical reactions to anxiety (rapid heartbeat, sweaty hands, shallow breathing) can feel as scary as the anxiety trigger itself, and spiral an even bigger stress response, so using this technique can be helpful in breaking that cycle.
  • Pigeon pose, childs pose, savasana. Pigeon pose should only be done with guidance from a yoga instructor, but childs pose and savasana need no instruction. Breath deep, calm your mind, and let go.

One of the things I’ve come to realise over the last year or so is that most of us carry a massive amount of guilt over the idea of self-care.  I’m not just talking about putting on make up or a nice outfit – I’m talking about taking the time out to really care for ourselves.  Mothers seem to find it particularly difficult to justify time to themselves, and even if they do take some time, it can be hard to go with the flow. The things I hear people saying are “I can’t switch off”, “my mind is always so busy” and “I find it really hard to relax”.  When we carry around this much busy-ness, when we don’t give our bodies and minds the time to unwind and unload, the result is tension – in our bodies and our minds! Which just adds to the sense of busy-ness and stress… it’s a cycle.

When we do yoga, whether it’s on the mat, or in day to day life, we give ourselves permission to focus on ourselves, even just for five minutes.  I love the moment when I get to my mat, make myself sit still and take a really deep breath – that moment is my self-care, when I’m reminded that by taking those few minutes to nurture myself and my body, I’m recharging and can go and be Mum/Wife/Friend again.  I love that if I don’t focus on what I’m doing on the mat, I will quite literally fall over!  It leaves no space to let my mind wander or race or think about my to do list.  And those five minutes of me-time create a whole load of new, fresh energy for being Mum again.  Five minutes to recharge – take a deep breath and see what happens…

Mornings can be an interesting time these days.  Since my daughter started at nursery a few weeks ago I’m never quite sure what to expect, be it tears (it’s hard to say goodbye when you’re three!) or giggles.  Either way, after the luxury of being a stay at home mum with no agenda for the last 14 months,  getting my little one washed,dressed, ready and out the door on time is definitely a challenge to my organisation skills!

This morning was different.  As I was gathering coats and boots together for the walk to nature nursery, my little girl asked if she could “do some Tara” – what she meant was yoga on youtube, courtesy of the lovely Tara Stiles.  I’ve always known that Leela enjoys trying out yoga poses with me, and she responds immediately to deep breaths and stillness when tantrums are imminent, but this direct request to do some yoga took me by surprise – and what a lovely surprise!  It really brought home the idea that our children respond to and mirror what we DO, what they see – and not necessarily to the advice we give them.  I figure, if she’s going to copy my actions, then it’s my responsibility to make sure that those actions are pretty AWESOME.  I won’t get it right all the time, but I consider yoga to be my way of being, applied to each and every moment that I manage to stay present (it’s a work in progress!).  Yoga is so much more than stretching on the mat – for me it’s about gratitude, self-care, intuition, movement, mindfulness – LOVE.  My hope is that Leela will pick up on all of these things, as well as the nice stretching – and know that anything is possible.

Love and light xo

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