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Dear Daisy, It is your first day at school...

Natural Cleaning Products: What are the choices?

You may or may not have seen my latest post all about the rise of the cleaning bloggers. As the beautiful Mrs Hinch and her army grow by the day so does the controversy that surrounds some of those cleaning products that not only they are using, but we all are. (well most of us)

I have thought a bit about it recently and thought what could I be doing differently? Would it make an impact on the environment if I start moving to more natural products? The answer is it is a start, the more people that have that mentality and start making the move it can only be a positive transition surely? In the past when I have looked I was shocked to see how premium some products were, the prices of some of the products on the shelves surprised me. It just wasn't affordable to the majority of us. But recently I have been seeing some dupes out there and some reductions in prices.

natural cleaning products
Image Source: http://www.theherbshoppepdx.com

I just wanted to share what I have found and what options are out there for us. This is in no way sponsored, it was more a bit of research that I thought I would put out there.

First up there are truly natural products, Items you may have kicking around your house already and that can be bought almost anywhere:

  • White Vinegar
  • Bicaronate of Soda
  • Essential Oils
  • Lemon Juice
  • Olive Oil (Stainless steel magic!)
  • Soda Crystals
And then you've got the products that you can buy ready mixed in the supermarket. 

Method. So, Method was created as a collection of eco-friendly household cleaning products at the forefront of the green cleaning revolution, when people first started moving over to this way of cleaning. But I will be honest I found it expensive. Expensive when it is not a product I a picking up once a week but daily, using freely to clean our home. As a standard price in the likes of Tesco it is £3 a bottle but I am now starting to see it being promoted more and more and often it can be picked up for less than £2. However, in my local store I was unable to find more than 2 varieties, so a little disappointing. 

Ecover. Another brand out there that is similar to Method in the respect they are trying to make cleaning cleaner. And I am all for that. Again you're looking at anything above £2 for to get your hands on one of these products. 

I would buy the above products when they are on offer, but would I by them on the regular. I am not sure, and it does pain me to say that! 

I switch between Lidl & Aldi for my shopping usually, unless I am doing an online shop. And recently I have found them both to be offering some kind of dupe for these products. I knew it wouldn't be long before they caught up with the trend and as they usually do, lead the way. Especially when it comes to affordability. 

In Lidl I was pleased to see some Clean-ology products on offer the last couple of weeks. Clean-ology surface cleaners are at base price about £2.50 but they were on offer for two for £3!! They do some lovely scents so I have stocked up on them and I actually do love using them. My only issue being that you just don't know what you find in store week to week. 

I have also just seen that Tesco have started their own range too called Eco Active but I am yet to see this with my own eyes in store or in fact online. According to articles I have seen online though they are amazingly priced so I will be on the look out for them products in the future. 

What products do you use that we should all be trying?

Do You Need a Fancy Camera for your Blog? | AD

This is something I see get asked time and time again. And in my opinion the answer is NO, not necessarily. Not in all instances.

However if you want more control over your photos and the end product then they will certainly help. The impression you can get online is that perhaps the days where you could take photos on your phone and use them for your blog posts have long gone but that isn't true in every instance. If you are familiar with the blogs, chances are that you’ve come across some bloggers using professional photography for their content. People are now investing in high quality camera equipment to shoot photos for their blogs which sometimes are businesses too. But saying that I have seen lots of photos taking with a phone which have been beautiful. Half of my photos are taken with what I call the "big camera" and the other half which are more instant which are taken on my phone.

mirrorless camera Sony
Photo by @Benchallphoto (My husband) on our Mirrorless Camera

An expensive camera with more megapixels doesn’t make you a photographer, just someone who dabbles in professional equipment. But there’s more to photography than a really fancy, good camera. 

We have had a DSLR for a few years now and I have self taught (with some help from my husband) myself to use it. Although we now use a mirrorless camera most of the time the same principles apply. But if you have one of these cameras then you need to know how to use it, otherwise you may as well stick to your phone camera. We all know these things come with the biggest manuals we have ever seen and that they stay stuck in their boxes rather than being read most of the time. However with what I like to call a "big camera" there really are some aspects you should read up on.

There are a few key things that I think you should read up on how to do with your camera and a few aspects of photography that really will make all of the difference to your end results. Lighting is the biggest key thing that will change your photos forever. With the right lighting even a phone camera will produce some pretty fancy photos! Natural photo is best for shooting with a phone because lets face it their flash isn't the best feature but if you can crack the lighting then you will more than likely have something you can work with. Once you've taken a photo (whether that be on your phone or your camera), you can play with the "Exposure" tool in your favorite photo editing app if you haven't used it on your camera to see if you can make the image slightly brighter or less bright, without losing any quality.

mirrorless camera reviews

I am a big fan of a fancy, big camera but I also am a big fan of the apps that are out there now to use on your mobile phones. We can now take high quality photos that are good enough for our blogs and social media channels and edit them without too much hassle, all on the one device. It really does depend on your end subject, what you want to do with it and where you want t take your photography.

If you are interested in learning photography and how to use the various elements to your advantage then a DSLR or Mirrorless camera will be good for you, otherwise just keep at what you are doing and have fun!

Stiperstones shropshire

Hayley x

*This is a Sponsored post but all opinions are my own. 

Dear Daisy, It is your first day at school...

It's true. The time has come for you to head to school. Your uniform is hung waiting for you and your shoes all shiny next to your bag. Today, you embark on probably your biggest chapter yet, and as we rush about getting everything ready; hair brushed, teeth cleaned, back packed, I thought of so many things I wanted to say to you. Things I’ve been thinking of for some time and things I have probably already spoken to you about over the last few months.

A letter to my child on the first day of school

I don't know if you'll feel the butterflies in your tummy or if they'll stay put in mine, but either way I want you to be excited and not nervous. I just know you will absolutely love school and all of the excitement and adventure that comes along with that. I know it will tire you out and I am prepared for the sassy attitude to rear its head at the end of a long day. And I am prepared to be bamboozled with chat when you're ready to tell me all about it. There is no rush, you have over 10 years at school left to go... plenty of time to be telling me about your days and plans. You’ve been looking forward to this for so long.

You have to believe in yourself, believe that you're big enough for school now and that you can do what ever you set your mind to! Put on your biggest smile and embrace it, embrace all of those new friendships that are waiting for you and embrace those that are going with you from nursery. There may be questions from others as they get to know you, but embrace it and let them see who you are.

Have patience. I know you want to do everything now and perfectly, but be patient with yourself. Give yourself time to find ways of doing things and let others help you if you need it. Just because you are a big girl now it doesn't mean you have to do everything yourself, we all have little struggles from time to time.

First day at school poem

I would love for us to be at home together every day but the truth is it wouldn't be enough for you, you deserve much more. And I will always be here waiting for you anyway, you can have it both ways. My heart is aching a little because it feels like a big step but then I know you are ready and you have been for some time.

I know when you put on that uniform you are going to appear tiny, drowning in the smallest size the school sold. But you will soon fill it (that or I will have shrunk it in the wash!!) and it will just be the norm. We will soon be doing the good old sunday routine of washing, ironing and packing the bags ready for the next day. This first day will feel like a lifetime away.

You’re so excited for this day and have been busy telling everyone we come across. I am excited because this is the start of a new adventure. You want to be a doctor for animals when you grow up, and although that may happen when you're a grown up and that feels like a long way away – and there’s so much to do and learn before that – it all starts now, your little life adventure. Whether you still want to do that in the future, I don't know, but I just know you will be great! And I am excited to watch you grow and learn...

Have the best time little lady!


Other Bloggers letters to their babies: Surrey mama, Hey Its Romeca,