8 May 2013
Just a few short months ago I was approaching exhaustion following months of broken sleep caring for my baby and 2 year old. I wanted to reward myself with a pair of organic pyjamas that were comfortable and respectable enough to wear all day (if I'd had one of 'those' nights), easy to feed from, yet stylish enough to answer the door if a friend decided to call over unannounced.
Thinking I couldn't possibly find pyjamas that ticked all these boxes I did some research and was delighted to stumble across sorella & me.
sorella & me is a collection of luxury sleepwear, loungewear and maternity wear designed by Melbourne sisters Alisha and Anna. Made from beautiful organic and fair trade fabrics, their garments aim to nurture a mother's body whilst protecting farmers and their children from harmful pesticides commonly used in conventional cotton farming.
I have loved wearing my sorella & me pyjamas and am thrilled to announce that this Mother's Day one lucky Sustainababy subscriber will WIN a sorella & me organic lounge wrap in feather grey.
Generous to wrap around your growing belly during pregnancy, the organic lounge wrap is the perfect cover up for all seasons. It provides the privacy you need to discretely nurse your newborn when out and about and is handy as an additional layer for an afternoon stroll.
This competition is now closed. Thank you to everyone who entered and congratulations to our winner Rachael Shineton.
24 April 2013
By: Laura Trotta
Like many mothers with young children I'm carrying a few extra kilos. In fact, up until 11 weeks ago, I was carrying 20 kilos more than on my wedding day six years ago when I was at my goal weight. In recent times I have accepted my expanding waistline as a result of giving birth to two sons and a business, but somewhere in the past few years I got so absorbed looking after everyone else that I stopped looking after myself.
Early this year it became obvious to me that I wasn't happy and confident within myself and something had to change. It didn't take me long to realise that a happy and healthy mum equals a happy and healthy family and that by neglecting myself, I was indirectly neglecting my family.
I don't wish to bore you with my weight loss journey but I do want to share with you how I have shed nine kilograms to date, regained a heap of energy and actually enjoyed the process!
If you haven't heard of Michelle Bridges, click on this link now. She is the mastermind of the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation and in my opinion, is helping so many mums Australia-wide regain their energy, confidence, happiness and sense of self. I don't just love the fact that her program works, I love the fact that it is eco-friendly!
Participants don't lose weight by taking diet pills, meal replacement shakes or by eating branded processed foods low in points or calories (but high in preservatives and artificial sweeteners). The focus is on organisation, healthy eating, positive mindset and exercise. Here's a few ways how the Michelle Bridges 12wbt promotes sustainable living:
- Food waste is minimised as participants plan meals, shop to plan and eat to plan
- Meals are prepared using raw and unprocessed ingredients as much as possible
- Vegetarian meals are featured regularly and participants learn how to include more vegetables, pulses and legumes in their diet
- Participants learn the lifelong skill of how to plan, prepare and cook meals unlike other diets where ready-made microwave meals and snacks are delivered
- Meals are family friendly and children learn about healthy living and eating real food from a young age.
I'm currently in the final week of my first "round" and have enjoyed the program so much that I have just signed up for the second round starting in mid May. I'm not game enough to post my "before" picture here (I don't want to scare you all into unsubscribing from my newsletter!) and instead have posted a photo on me at goal weight on my wedding day in 2007. I can't believe I'm actually looking forward to losing the 12 kilograms I need to shed to look and feel like this again.
About the Author: Laura Trotta is an eco mum, environmental engineer and founder of Sustainababy. She lives in regional South Australia with her husband and two young sons.
Note: All views and opinions in this article are that of Laura Trotta. No payment has been received for the endorsement of the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation program.
3 April 2013
By: Tanya Fyfe (BEng(Environmental))
If you have duplicate or unwanted promotional magnets sitting around, why not snazzy up your fridge or make some great gifts by sticking them to the back of your own mini pieces of artwork? Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Cut shapes from pieces of your children’s colourful artwork – think stars, hearts or anything you can find a simple stencil for. Alternatively, cut out the shapes first then let your little ones decorate them.
- Used greeting cards often have pictures that lend themselves to magnet making.
- Cut pictures from magazines, recycled wrapping paper and old calendars.
Unless your pictures are already on cardboard, it is probably worth backing them with cardboard such as an old cereal box. I find it easiest to glue to picture to the cardboard first, and cut the two layers out together.
These ideas are very simple, but the opportunities are only limited by your imagination and that of your little ones. Stick the magnets on the back, and enjoy!
About the Author: Tanya Fyfe is an eco mum and environmental engineer and lives in the WA Goldfields with her husband Andy and son Billy (and one on the way!). The family's aim is to live sustainably and for Billy to grow up understanding where food comes from and how it is produced. They generate solar electricity and have an organic vegetable garden and modest orchard irrigated entirely with grey water.
27 March 2013
For many Australians, especially those living in regional areas, travelling long distances is a way of life. Having lived in Outback Australia for over 13 years, popping Mr 3 years and Mr 10 months in the car and driving the 600km to Adelaide has become second nature. I must admit though, the trip is a different ball game altogether when undertaken with a toilet training toddler.
Asking a child to "just hold on" until the next public toilet just doesn't work in the Outback where it's not unusual for rest areas to be more than 100 kms apart. Public toilets or even a roadhouse are even further again! It's hard enough for mums who can't quite hold on as long as we could before childbirth to last the distance, let alone a two year old!
For the times when public amenities aren't nearby and you can't immediately pull over and whip the potty out of the boot, the pop in car seat protector provides peace of mind. While they are fantastic for providing peace of mind on our country roads, I imagine they would be just as useful when stuck in traffic in our major cities.
Made from 100% polyester laminate with a fleece insert, the pop in car seat protector makes light work of soaking up any unexpected accidents. Available in several funky styles, they retail for $22, a tiny price compared to the price of the car seat they are protecting.
Sustainababy has one pop in car seat protector in grey to giveaway to a lucky follower. This competition has now closed. Congratulations to our winner Melissa Jones!
20 March 2013
By: Tim Ellis
Essential oils are becoming more popular as people discover their range of uses. One of the most popular essential oils, eucalyptus, has natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and is a versatile oil for treating a wide range of ailments. The five most popular uses are listed below.
Inhaling eucalyptus can help with respiratory problems caused by the common cold, bronchitis, or sinusitis. Add a few drops to about two cups of boiling water and inhale. The steam will help open the air passages making way for the oil to deliver its antiseptic properties into your lungs.
Another way to use this oil is to mix it with a carrier oil such as olive oil, and rub it onto your chest and back. Breathing in the eucalyptus vapours will also help relieve congestion, ease coughing and reduce inflammation.
Eucalyptus is reported to help some patients with asthma, but trigger an attack in others. If you have asthma, you should be cautious if considering the use of eucalyptus oil.
Joint and Muscle Pain
Eucalyptus essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties that help ease muscle and joint pain. You can rub the oil directly onto painful areas, or mix with a body massage oil or another oil. The eucalyptus will help to reduce pain, inflammation and stiffness associated with arthritis or over-used muscles. It is especially beneficial for rheumatoid arthritis, muscle sprains and general body aches.
Eucalyptus is a natural alternative to commercial insect repellents. You can use eucalyptus mixed with body massage oil, or mix a few drops into your favorite lotion. Often, people worry about the chemicals in commercial insect repellents, and this alternative protects you from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. You can also mix a few drops into water and spray on your cat or dog to keep them flea and disease free.
Wounds and Burns
Using eucalyptus oil has a wide range of uses for wound care. Used on cuts and bruises, it promotes healing and reduces the risk of infection. It is also useful for burns and aids the healing process while its antibacterial properties keep the area free of infection. Other uses include healing ulcers, and getting relief from bug bites and insect stings.
The eucalyptus oil should be applied directly to the affected area. If necessary, dilute it in a carrier oil such as grape seed oil or olive oil.
Eucalyptus is known to invigorate the senses. When used as aromatherapy, it can reduce mental fatigue. It is said to have a cooling property, which aids in the treatment of depression and other mental disorders. Simply place some essential oil on a cloth or cotton bud and smell. Other ways to make use of this mental wake-up oil is to add a few drops to boiling water and let the smell infuse the room.
When using eucalyptus essential oil, it is important to be cautious. Do not ingest essential oils. If used in large quantities, there is a chance of a toxic reaction. Eucalyptus is considered a safe option for the treatment of a wide range of ailments, and can make a great alternative for chemical laden products. If you are ever unsure about the use of eucalyptus essential oil, you should consult your doctor or a knowledgeable homoeopathic medical professional.
About the Author: Tim Ellis is a director at Bulk Apothecary and has over nine years of experience in natural healing remedies. He is consistently researching natural healing techniques with essential oils, aromatherapy and spices. Tim loves the outdoors, yoga, exercising and writing. When he's not playing in the outdoors he stays busy with his two children and beautiful wife.