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Why I Left London and Moved to Brighton

Why I Left London and Moved to Brighton

Shall I tell you a secret? I wrote this post about six weeks ago and I was SO proud of it. I declared it a ‘brilliant writing day’ as I wrote two posts that day and I was as smug as if I’d penned a best-selling novel.

Squarespace lost them. LOST BOTH POSTS. I cried, then promptly moved back to WordPress before breathing a sigh of relief. But I couldn’t face re-writing such a perfect post so that’s why it’s taken me over a month to put digit to keyboard and tap it out once more.

But here goes……because in all the questions I get asked, this one is VERY high on the list. Why I left London and moved to Brighton despite the fact I know approximately three people who live here.

Lucy Lucraft-why i left londom and moved to brighton beach

In the two months, I’ve been living in Brighton what always surprises me is not how quickly I’ve adjusted, but how little adjustment was necessary. And I’m still waiting for the FOMO to hit every time I’m invited to something in London, something that would have taken me twenty minutes to get to once upon a time but would now (god-willing) take approx 3 million years on a stuffed train packed with cross commuters.

Obviously, that’s a huge exaggeration but Southern rail isn’t known for its efficiency and although I am really close to London and have a direct train in easy reach, it’s still quite the faff to travel up and down to the Big Smoke so I’m rarely in a rush to do so.

Even if I wanted to. Which, realistically, I very rarely do.

girl holding coffee on steps

Tired of London, tired of life

Because the truth is, I don’t. I spent my entire adult life in London, not really knowing how to be an adult outside of the hustle and bustle of a capital city. I know nothing of renting somewhere where you might pay less than 1000 per calendar month to share with 17 Australians and I don’t know how I’d cope if my nearest shop was a twenty-minute drive from my house. In fact, until now, I can’t remember the last time I lived in a house. Before I lived in London I guess!

I’m used to not worrying about travel times and train timetables. I lived in zone two the majority of my time in London so it was twenty minutes from anywhere I wanted to get to anyway. I had a nice little community, cool cafes and Oli and I went to our fave pub regularly. There were nice spots for me and Anaïs to go and everything felt quite…..safe? Convenient? I dunno. Maybe boring?

Yep. Boring. I was SO BORED.

London is lively and exciting and busy and, YES, ‘the Queen lives here!’ But did I enjoy living in a city home to over 8 million people, most of whom I didn’t know, care about or want to cross paths with?

I guess I did once upon a time. But after taking a big break from London life when Oli and I travelled long-term my priorities changed. I no longer craved nights out each week or going to new pop-up restaurants that I had to queue for because booking is passé.

man holding baby in air on sea front

Left my soul there, down by the sea…..

Anyone who knows me knows I love being by the sea. Not on top of the sea so much….because I hate boats. But under the sea for sure. And definitely strolling by the sea too.

I always knew I’d move my family back to the seaside because that’s where I grew up too. But I didn’t want to go back ‘home’ to Kent and longed for more of a city vibe (sorry, ‘vibe’…. really Lucy?)

I spent many a Saturday down in Brighton in my youth, and a few with Oli too. But I wouldn’t say I knew it well at all. So I can totally understand why people thought it was a snap, rash decision to up sticks and move further away from our family to a place we’d never lived before.

But I don’t really care what people think, do I?

Nope 😉

In lieu of a real reason, I can offer you this: It just felt right.

That’s all! I go with my gut on most decisions and this was no different. It just felt really right.

Was I scared of not having a Pret on every corner? Or of being away from a gazillion tube lines? Nope.

Scared of missing out? Yeah, a bit. 

Worried I’d become irrelevant at work and never be invited to another blogging party again? I mean…..after having a baby I was pretty much kicked out of the travel blogging community I was in anyway, so…nope, not really.

If you’re thinking about leaving London and moving somewhere else know this; when the time is right you WILL know. And you’ll never regret it because guess what? Living in my dream house by the sea trumps anything else London could ever offer me.

L x

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What Do You Want to be Known For?

What Do You Want to be Known For?

This post was originally one of the letters I send to my newsletter every other Sunday. But it had such a nice response I thought I’d share it on my blog too. If you want to sign up to receive them, head over to Mailchimp to subscribe in accordance with GDPR laws.

Have you ever heard someones ask you to use the following statement to help you hone in on your niche:

What do you want to be known for? 

I hear this all the time, and to be honest, it used to really bug me.

I DON’T KNOW WHAT I WANNA BE KNOWN FOR OKAY!

Being nice, and good at my job? Being a good writer? Not being shit?

But this year I finally got it. I want to be known for being honest, and not following the crowd.

So I’m gonna flip it over to you. What do you want to be known for?

Hear me out.

You’re a blogger who writes about lifestyle, and you have just started dabbling in IGTV as OMG YouTube is TOO MUCH. But everyone’s doing that aren’t they?

Yeah, they are. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it too if that’s your passion. But is that your passion?

In my SEO course, and with coaching clients I often talk about WHY. Like an annoying toddler, I’ll keep asking why. Sometimes that’s to crickets and that’s okay too.

It’s a thinker!

girl working in a hut in pai, thailand

The amazing Lola Hoad often talks about ‘finding your why’ as the most important tool within your business and I’m inclined to agree. It’s the thing that pushes you on when you feel demotivated and how you distinguish yourself from the crowd too.

So how are YOU going to define your why? Simple. It’s how you want to be known. What you wanna be known for, or as.

If you’re a maker with a passion for blogging about small business perhaps your why is to help people just like you.  And what you wanna be known for is for sharing your business tips and tricks in a fun and informative way.

Or maybe you have a lifestyle blog and love to write about style from the perspective of a thirty-something mama. Your ‘why’ is probably to show the world a body that you can’t see online right now. And you want to be known for pushing fashion boundaries and not dressing like a typical mum (yep, might have been thinking of Zoe de Pass for this one…..)

My why is to help bloggers who feel like I did when I started out. Confused, unworthy and totally disheartened. I want to be known as someone who shares advice honestly, and with 100% authenticity (I know, I know….that word!)

So every piece of content I create, from my blog, Instagram posts to my podcast episodes reflect this. Even when I’m a guest on other people’s podcasts.

My challenge to you today is this. What’s your why? And what do you want to be known for?

L x

woman self portrait with text overlay

P.S. I’m there is only ONE SPOT LEFT in my How to Start a Podcast Course. It’s gonna be so much fun, because the course won’t be my usual online module setup…..it’s over two GROUP CALLS with email support too.

Both calls are in August (1st and 7/8th) and if they don’t suit you have the option to schedule in a 1:1 call with me instead. The idea is that I’ll take you through the process from start to finish and we can focus TOTALLY on your idea (everyone will get a chance to talk in the group!)

Be sure to click the button below so you don’t miss out!

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Squarespace or WordPress: Which Should you Use for your Blog?

Squarespace or WordPress: Which Should you Use for your Blog?

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Long mage with title text over image of computer

Many of you will know my long and tortured history with Squarespace because of angry Tweets and rambling Instagram stories. I have been planning this post for AAAAAAGEEEES. Planning it, promising it and definitely not delivering it. Sorry.

I guess the reason for this mega procrastination is the fact I just can’t seem to gather my thoughts on whether Squarespace is better than WordPress, or vice versa. I don’t know which platform is better for blogging, and as one of the relative few in my niche who has used both I feel a weight of responsibility.

But enough time has passed and I’m finally ready to share my thoughts on blogging platforms and give you the pros and cons.

Squarespace or WordPress? 

I get asked the question a lot, and I find it tricky to answer without layering on a load of bias. I also feel a bit defensive as I know people are aware of the difficulties I had when joining Squarespace and I think sometimes that means my overall opinion might be dismissed as being an anomaly.

So I wanted to make this post as factual as possible. I want to share with you what I honestly think of both platforms, not as an expert (because I’m not!) but as a blogger.

Let’s start with my background and experience with both WordPress and Squarespace.  I started my blog on WordPress back in 2014 ish because that was the only platform I knew. I started on the free, hosted WordPress.com before moving to a self-hosted WordPress.org site.

To be totally honest, I did this against the recommendation of my more techy friends who all seem to hate WordPress! And I can understand why. The downsides are easy to see straight away, and there’s a steep learning curve — one riddled with obstacles and room to fudge up.

But learn I did, and although I always hated a few aspects of my blog, on the whole I felt comfortable with WordPress.

Until I became obsessed with the idea of moving to Squarespace late last year. Why? Blame podcast advertising, boredom and a desire to be a little bit different. Hardly any of my blogging friends used it so I kinda liked the idea of being a bit different.

And I was hugely swayed by the pros to using Squarespace – the fact the platform boasts award-winning customer service, superior design and is unlikely to be infiltrated by the Russians swung it for me.

The migration was NOT remotely successful. In fact, it was a monumental fuck-up. One that was never fixed.

 

But I got over it and moved on. Until I discovered more errors. New errors. Finally, enough was enough and a couple of days ago I decided to move back to WordPress.

I’ve never felt as relieved! This has been a costly, time-consuming and VERY stressful six months. But guess what? I gots me some EPIC blog fodder so here goes; my (balanced) opinion on Squarespace vs. WordPress.

SQUARESPACE

Pros

It looks beautiful | You don’t need to be remotely techy to make your website look dreamy, and it comes with some awesome design features such as Google Fonts as standard and the ability to tweak just about everything on your site while previewing the effects.

It’s intuitive | If you are brand new to blogging, it’s a simple platform that has everything in the place you’d expect it. Want to write a post? Hit ‘text block.’ Need to add a jazzy looking image gallery? Simple. The fact you can see how your blog post will look as you compile it is great, and I love the drag and drop style functionality.

It’s secure | Because SS is closed-source (meaning you cannot access the platform backend) it’s pretty near impossible for someone to hack into your back-end (guffaws) and mess things up.  WordPress is notoriously buggy and prone to hacks (I’ve even had a few attempts) due in no small part to the millions of developers making plugins who have access to the platforms inner workings.

It’s modern | It’s great for today’s blogger who might also have a podcast (you can host your podcast through Squarespace) as well as a YouTube channel (you can really easily embed video and audio blocks into your posts.)

Great customer service  | Okay, this is a pro and a con because the customer service can be excellent. It can also be shite. It depends who you get, so I can’t honestly give this as a reason to use SS over WP. But the cs advisors are all human, and they always get back to you….however useless their response may be.

And now for the cons. Settle in 😉

Cons

It’s clunky | Yes, the drag and drop is great but holy crap have I cursed Jesus a few times trying to slot my image just so. It can be overly sensitive and really irritating to move things around and you can really mess up your post too. Images have dropped off the page, text blocks have disappeared through me moving things around as the platform has been designed to do.

Lack of basic blogging utilities | What world do we live in where there’s NO AUTOSAVE?! I was warned about this by the lovely Helen and Sarirah so I didn’t lose any work (this way at least) but it hasn’t stopped me thinking it’s a HUGE con. Especially as there’s no warning anywhere. So I wrote all of my blog posts in an external editor first, a pointless extra step in my opinion.

Also, can I get a ‘Hell’s NO’ to the fact you can’t easily add a nofollow link? I spent AGES trying to work this one out before using the Markdown block instead of the text block. Whereas in WordPress you can seamlessly switch between the visual and text editor within the same blog post.

You can add internal links to categories and tags but to link to a single blog post is a faff. You have to find it manually and add it in.

In terms of SEO, which SS claims to have at the forefront of the platform I’ve struggled with endless AMP errors and incorrect image tags even on things only uploaded within Squarespace. I’ve reported them endlessly but to no avail, simply being told it’s an issue ‘with many moving parts’ and one that ‘may never be fixed’.

You can’t easily edit alt-tags. In my theme, I have to add them as a caption which is super irritating although not the worst thing I guess. But for Pinterest (where the Pin description is pulled from your alt-text) AND from an accessibility point of view, I think this is a con.

Yes the customer service is award-winning, but it should be because you’ll need them to do almost everything. Squarespace can be buggy and it isn’t always intuitive. I’ve found the endless tutorials to be filled with holes I uncovered after discovering a fault, or basically f@*cking something up and having to go to cs to fix it anyway.

You are not in charge of your backups They are performed by Squarespace (when? how many times a month? I dunno) and you have no control over whether it’s done properly. If you ever want to leave SS you can obviously export your data but there’s no way of knowing how up-to-date it is. That’s an issue for me. I think the lack of ‘caching’ is why there’s no autosave too….unbearable.

When it comes to exporting your data, not everything is involved.  This is not stated obviously anywhere (if at all!) and I had to push for a definitive answer from customer service who confirmed that audio and video blocks wouldn’t be included in your export. So…..if you have a podcast, and choose to host it on Squarespace? yEP. F*&ked.

Okay, let’s talk IMAGES. I mean….pretty important to a blogger right? Squarespace doesn’t host your photos like WordPress. So if you move your site from WordPress you will undoubtedly end up with image issues.  They don’t tell you this before you move…..

WORDPRESS

Pros

A huge majority of websites are powered by WordPress so there’s loads of free support out there if you need it. I find that to be a huge pro, but it’s not necessarily a downside that SS has less experts…..I guess for me, it helps that bugs are easily identified and a work-around by some geeky developer is normally found swiftly!

SEO is far superior using WordPress (although SS uses SEO as a selling point for their platform) and you can tweak and manipulate things much easier. I love having the power to tweak things quickly and utilise the power of the Yoast plugin too!

Yes, it’s harder to create a beautiful looking website BUT I love the fact there are so many people making gorgeous (affordable) themes. And you can tweak ANYTHING to make it your own.

Final point on customer service? I’ve never had to use WordPress’ customer service due to the fact there is far more info out there on how to combat issues and it’s a better product.

It’s REALLY hard to lose a blog post. Because WordPress autosaves your work, you can also see the revisions and go back to an earlier version if you want. I love that functionality! I also adore being able to write my posts in HTML if I want, and then edit in the ‘visual editor.’ You can be as technical or basic as you want 🙂

It looks as though there aren’t as many pros, but basically….all the cons of Squarespace have a WordPress pro partner.

Cons

Hmmmm, well — It can be buggy, as it’s open-source which means that any plug-in you use could infect your website with a virus at any stage. That also means it’s easier to hack into your website.

Although this is unlikely.

But unlikely isn’t never so you have to take a little bit of extra care to protect your data. A few simple (free) plugins can secure your site and I used to pay £20 a year for an amazing service that stopped spam comments, hacks and monitored my website.

The learning curve is a lot steeper. WordPress isn’t as intuitive at first but after a month you’ll know it like the back of your hand.

Overall I would really, really recommend using WordPress.  And I would 100% not recommend migrating from WordPress to Squarespace! But I can totally understand the draw to the sexy, design-led dream that is Squarespace and if you are a shop? Yep…..I’d probably choose it over WordPress too.

Anyhoo, I really hope that was both balanced and helpful!

L x

Helpful resources

WP Beginner post on the two platforms

Squarespace vs. WordPress postPin

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A Dreamy Stay at the Citizen M Hotel, Rotterdam

If you’re a long-time reader you’ll know I’ve never done hotel reviews. Or product reviews, in general, to be totally honest….in fact, I’m pretty sure I loudly proclaim I “don’t do reviews’ in my about me page. Which is awkward, because here metaphorically sat together; me writing a hotel review and you, loyal reader, reading it.

Why the change of heart? It’s twofold. I got a bit bored of travel writing, and when I found my mojo again I realised one of the things I liked reading was hotel reviews. Huh. And secondly, it’s a great service to offer brands when I travel in exchange to a complimentary stay.

So, one hashtagauthentic reason and one purely business one. Anyway, enough of that gumph. Here’s why I ended up staying at the delightful citizenM hotel in Rotterdam.

A mini-break in Rotterdam

The reason I was in Rotterdam for the weekend was to attend (and speak at!) a travel blogging-conference. So I should put my cards on the table now and tell you I arrived via
Amsterdamon Friday night (via a long-winded route) before leaving Sunday morning. I didn’t see all that much of the city at all, hence why I’m not about to write y’all an itinerary or recommend it as the next best city-break.

However, I did notice a few things and can even recommend you a cheeky brunch spot too. You are SO welcome.

Rotterdam is about 30 mins by train from Amsterdam but you can fly straight into the city too. I’d probably go back if I were to visit Amsterdam again and perhaps hop over to see the museums and markets for the day.

Because it’s a super-chill city and really easy to walk too – I didn’t need to use the public transport aside from zipping in and back to Amsterdam Schipol airport (which cost approx €13 on the inter-city train) which probably brings you to one of the reasons citizenM is so awesome — it’s literally opposite the Rotterdam Blaak metro station!

My stay at citizenM

First off, I paid for this myself. Just wanted to get that out of the way! I’d always wanted to stay at a citizenM after seeing a few friends rave about the London hotels, but given I lived in London it never seemed relevant to me.

So when I started searching for places to stay in Rotterdam I was pretty chuffed (and surprised) to see a branch of the boutique hotel in a super cool area of the city. I should say I was surprised purely because there are only six citizenM locations worldwide and one of them is only 30 mins away in Amsterdam so…yep, didn’t expect one in Rotterdam too.

The hotel ticked all of my boxes; Location in the Nieuwe Maas? Tick; Bar? Yep; Slight hipster-y boutique vibes? Absolutely. But if I’m honest, I didn’t think I’d be in the hotel for so long I’d need all the bells & whistles so was pleasantly surprised when I arrived to a really cosy room (they aren’t big, but somehow manage to feel spacious) with the coolest little luxuries.

Like I say, this was 100% paid for by moneybags herself aka moi. But I guess I should also admit citizenM is super affordable. My hostel days are over (unless I go back to Singapore that is) and, as a mum to an extroverted little bean, I was really looking forward to having a hotel room to myself.

Is that wrong? If so, I don’t wanna be right.

Anyway, although I wasn’t there for very long I REALLY made the most of my time and by that i mean I had a super long shower and watched all of the tv in bed. The hotel has iPads in all the rooms which you use to control the lights, temperature, films…..and obviously you can go basic and, erm, just use the iPad for internet too.

I so wish I had a video of what happens when you utilise the mood settings on the iPad because, no lie, I spent way too long going from ‘Romantic’ to ‘Chill’……and I even used the jazzy alarm function which woke me gently with the sound of birds. Quite different to my usual baby crying morning-song.

Here are my hotel highlights: 

The bar is so hip. Also open 24/7! Penguin books adorn an old bookshelf and you can enjoy a drink with a view of the Geldersplein, canal and the Marinersmuseum.

Everything was really reasonably priced and the hotel offers breakfast in the form of a delicious, but basic looking buffet I didn’t partake in. I went across the road to Lot & Dan which was SO YUMMY and Instagrammable. I also paid the same for my brekkie (€14) as you would at the hotel (although I didn’t get a belly-busting buffet…..)

What else? Hmmmm, the staff are crazy friendly and the bed was super comfy. And the marketing worked on me because all I want is to stay at another citizenM hotel so….yep, how stupid am I for saying no when the London PR offered me a free room over two years ago?! DOH.

Anyway, #bloggerprivilege aside, I can’t wait to stay at the hotel again and have a cheeky Amsterdam trip with my beau planned soon!

L x

 I review my recent stay at the dreamy, delectable citizenM hotel in central Rotterdam; the perfect city break destination. I review my recent stay at the dreamy, delectable citizenM hotel in central Rotterdam; the perfect city break destination.

Helpful resources

This Rotterdam post by the wonderful Abi King.

Booking.com are my platform of choice because of the super flexible cancellation policy.

I flew to Amsterdam but you can get direct flights to Rotterdam too.

Please note this post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click through and purchase something I get a tiny commission but you won’t pay a penny more.

A Beginners Guide to Making Zero Waste Swaps

Here we go again with another bloody thing to worry about! Yep, here I am again wanging on about yet another thing I’m endeavoring to achieve. This time it’s zero waste. 

I know, I know…..it’s actually not so easy to achieve waste nil pointe these days and, to be honest, I don’t strive for it. I actually don’t think that’s the point. It’s super easy to get sweapt up in yet another movement, buying a whole new kit and declaring: ‘no more shampoo!’ But the reality for me is that it’s a long, slow process I’ve been working towards for years. And my family have now joined me! 

So, I wanted to share my swaps and successes and tell you a bit about how I’ve been trying to reduce my waste. 

Why ZERO WASTE? 

Since exploring veganism, minimalism and capsule wardrobing over three years ago I’ve just become more……awake. And let me tell you, that’s super annoying! When we lived in Thailand we saw first hand the damage waste does to our planet with SO many straws, plastic cups,condom wrappers (I lived on a Thai island…..what do you expect?) and plastic bags washed up in the ocean every day. 

When we came home I read a little about the zero waste movement and, of course, watched Bea Johnson on YouTube but it felt so….hard. So inconvenient. I lived in a small flat with no garden at the time. Was going all Good Life realistic? I didn’t think so, so I did nothing at all. I didn’t really do much about it until my lovely friend Nicki Batchelor started her Zero Waste Kent account. 

I then began delving into loads of other accounts too. Mamalina, Eco Boost, Sustainably Vegan, Madeleine Olivia…….all varying in lifestyle and content but all giving me a whole heap of tips on how to make little swaps to my life. 

And swaps I MADE! Over the past year, I’ve been squirreling away, swapping plastic and making small tweaks here and there. 

Before I go into what I swapped out and by way of background my family consists of me, my husband and our little 14-month-old baby Anaïs. Oli and I are vegan and, at home, so is Anaïs (she has a banging social life and eats veggie when she’s out and about.)

Kitchen

The kitchen has been the simplest place to swap out bits and pieces for me. I think that might be due to the fact being vegan cuts out a whole heap of stuff anyway. Yay! BUT there are still some things lingering (leftover cleaning stuff etc) which I’ll use up before making my own.

I take old totes (we’ve all got stakcs of these right?) and little cotton bags to the supermarket and pop fruit, veg, bread and loose pastries in. It feels a bit like your stealing at first but don’t worry, nobody really notices! Top tip: the cotton drawstring bags I use have tare weights, which is really handy when you’re doing a zero waste shop as you can easily deduct the weight of the bag.

We don’t shop at the supermarket too much, as we get a weekly veg box from Abel & Cole and have been doing so for YEARS. Probably about 10 to be honest. We get the All-British veg box, not because we are Brexiteers but to reduce our carbon footprint a little.

Grains, pasta, rice etc are a bugger as they all come in non-recyclable plastic. In London I had a few zero waste stores where I could top up supplies with my own containers. But in Brighton……..holy crap there’s not much! Surprisingly so. There’s a small (semi) zero-waste store in Brighton called Hisbe I use and the wonderful Charlotte’s Cupboard is now delivering to me sans plastic to Hove too! Hallelujah.

We get loose ground coffee & recyclable pods from Pact and I have a mini tea strainer which I use with loose leaf Earl Grey (I know, faaaaancy.)

I make my own oat or almond milk too, which is surprisingly simple (one cup oats, four cups water, blend, sieve twice) so we’ve been saving money and those pesky tetrapaks too.

Oli lost all our Tupperware at work, a blessing as I replaced them with these glass Pyrex dishes with silicone lids. These are brilliant because you can pop them in the microwave AND oven (without the lid!)

I have some Zoflora disinfectant, which comes in a glass bottle but I’ll replace that with homemade cleaner when it runs out. And a couple of shops near me do Ecover refills so I’m using those to top up the washing-up liquid. Although to be honest, I’m sure I could switch to soap flakes?

When the plastic wrapped sponges and cleaning cloth ran out, I switched to wood-fibre cloths (and a scourer) I can chuck in the washing machine. They’re actually much better than the cheaper reusable ones so I’m not missing anything!

I think the first switch I made was to get myself a KeepCup. Oli has a couple too, and his are even more eco as they’re glass and cork. Mine is plastic, but I like the fact I can chuck it in the dishwasher. It’s great for my coffee addiction and most coffee shops give me some money off when I use it too. I also have an old plastic bottle I take out and about with me.

Bathroom

As a skincare product junkie, this is the area I’ve struggled with the most. Although I don’t use much anymore (I broke the addiction while travelling) I still like my skincare to be, ahem, toxic. I am 100% not on board for all-natural skincare just yet. I’m okay with that, for now.

We switched our electric toothbrush for bamboo toothbrushes when it ran out. I miss my electric toothbrush but hey, ho………..I just really can’t skimp on that three minutes now!

I don’t wash my hair very often anyway but I’m trying to wash it even less. Oli washes his every day which is tough……especially as shampoo bars are so expensive, so I’m trying to go no/low-poo (aka no shampoo, I’m not planning a life of constipation.) But…..I’m not looking forward to the ‘transition’ stage as after three weeks, it’s not greasy but…..it’s flaky.
YUK. I’m going to try a bicarbonate of soda scrub and an apple cider vinegar rinse. Wish me luck.

I use soap instead of bottles of shower gel, which is no drama and super cheap and I’ve never been one to use things like body scrubs, fake tan or shaving gel anyway so that’s not been an issue.

Deodorant has been crazy simple for me – I just bought a natural alum one (it’s a stick of mineral salt you use straight after showering.) It’s GREAT for travel (not liquid) and lasts for ages. It’s worked well for me, but annoyingly it’s in plastic…..

Another simple switch has been to my new safety razor, which is all vintage steel gorgeousness and a lot easier to use than I expected. The razor blade refillscome wrapped in paper and cost SO much less than the average plastic razor and refills (£23 for the razor, £10 for 100 refill blades vs. approx £13 for 8 basic Gillette refills.)

I’ve been using a menstrual cup for years now, but I recently switched from the Mooncup to the Organicup (gifted) and I LOVE IT. It’s just so much easier than tampons and I’d never switch back. It’s cheaper, better for the environment and better for you too. (PS you get free Organicup shipping when you use the code ‘wanderluce’.)

We’ve also ditched plastic wrapped loo roll for the super eco-friendly Who Gives a Crap loo roll which is 100% recycled, no inks/dyes and really ethical too; the brand donate 50% of profits to charities building toilets for those who need them. At $48 for $48 jumbo rolls, it’s cheaper than our usual brand too. Bonus.

Laundry! This has been so much fun since I switched to an EcoEgg which, while plastic…..lasts for 720 washes (three years!!!) for £28.

Baby

This one has been tricky, I’m not gonna lie. And I’m not totally winning because a lot of the time I choose convenience over zero waste/plastic.

But I’m making small changes here and there and trying to change mine and my family’s mindset when it comes to ‘stuff’ which, more often than not, we don’t need.

The first change has been to drop disposable nappies that sit on a landfill for 500 years for reusable cloth nappies. Oli was SO incredibly dubious about this it took me months to convince him. But convince him I did and he’s now sold….ish.

After reading this post by Rosie I tried out The Nappy Lady advisory service where she gives you recommendations based on your answers to a questionnaire about your nappy needs and lifestyle. We bought a couple of bits (although you’re under no obligation to do so) and tried three brands; Bambino Mio birth to potty all-in-one nappies, Little Lamb and Tots Bots plus Blueberry wrap.

I’m going to write a big reusable nappy review soon, but for now, I have to say the Bambino Mio nappies are my absolute faves. They’re as easy to use as disposable nappies, wash really well, come in cute prints and Anaïs loves them too. I loved them so much I bought a whole load used via Facebook and the lovely Sarah Starrs who was selling some of hers on Instagram. FYI this is NOT spon…..I paid for them all myself!

Anaïs doesn’t have so many toys, but those she does are gifted, hand-me-downs and mostly wooden. But we tend to go to the library for books and toys anyway, and I might pick up some bits and bobs at the charity shop too.

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simple zero waste swaps to make

Miscellaneous!

I don’t buy many clothes anyway but after doing Jessica Rose Williams capsule wardrobe guide I realised I had a couple of wardrobe gaps. So I picked up a vintage fur coat from my local thrift store Bobby & Dandy and a new bag from Mat & Nat, a vegan, ethical brand I love.

JUNK MAIL! This was the bane of my life when I moved to Brighton (Somehow I get so much more here) so I bought a ‘no junk mail’ sticker for the letterbox. I know you can recycle paper but saying no means you’re sending a message that one less person wants this marketing.

If you’re interested in making more ethical clothing choices I’d encourage you to check out my girl Elle Croft’s posts.

Because I’m vegan I save a whole heap of water and food waste by cutting out animal products. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of water waste, deforestation, and climate change so I’m happy to keep eating zero-meat! But if you don’t wanna go vegan full-time, even a couple of days a week will make a difference.

ps here’s why I’m vegan…..

I have a wee Kilner composter for our food waste, but Brighton & Hove is a particularly un-green council (I know, shocker!) and all communal composting schemes are full (which cuts out a LOT of the area as we all have notoriously teeny gardens) so I’ve been at a loss as to what to do. I’m thinking either a wormery or trying the Bokashi Japanese method where you pickle your food waste (cooked and uncooked, so great if you aren’t vegan.)

But for now, I’m just trying to use as much as I can (hello veggie stock, carrot cake made from peel and veggie peel crisps!) and composting the rest.

Phew, mammoth post! What do you think? Are you keen to reduce your waste? Any top tips for a total div like me?! You know the score, answers in the comments 😉

L x

Helpful resources

Mamalina & Plastic Free Me’s #plasticfreeparent campaign

Zero Waste Kent

Charlotte’s Cupboard (Brighton & Hove zero waste delivery)

Eco-Boost

The Mylk Man (plant-based milk bottle delivery service in London)

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