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Great Cloth Diaper Change event!

Real Nappy Week will be concluding with the Great Cloth Diaper (nappy) Change on the Saturday. Cloth nappy enthusiasts across the globe will be changing cloth nappies at exactly 11am their time on 20th April, to produce a giant Mexican wave of nappy changes from the Pacific Coast round to the far east! Most places are combining the record breaking attempt with family fun days including children’s entertainment, stalls, coffee and give aways!

Last year’s attempt was for total number of nappies changed at exactly the same time and 8,251 nappies were changed. In order to achieve that, British groups were changing nappies at 5.30pm (9.30am PST) and European/Asian groups even later. Imagine how many we will be able to achieve with everyone changing at a much more sociable 11am!!

Newcastle’s event is taking place at the Crisis Skylight Cafe, City Road, Newcastle, NE1 2AF and will start at 10am. There will be stalls for the grown ups to browse including Phoenix Cards, Forever Living and Grow Up Green. Entertainment for the little ones will be provided by Mini Maestros of South Shields. Crisis Skylight will be providing refreshments including home made cake.

In order to help cover the costs of the event, a raffle is being held with prizes including: Blueberry one size nappy, Bambooty Nappy, something from Tiny Nippers nappies, a huge bottle of Violets laundry liquid, a gorgeous baby toiletries set from Bare Bodycare, a breastfeeding necklace from Mama Blessings, an address book from Sparkle Sand Art and others…

If you can’t make the event and would like a raffle ticket they are £1 a strip, and any surplus made will go to Tiny Lives (which raises funds for the SCBU at our local hospital), drop me an email on aggie@growupgreen.co.uk and we’ll sort you out!

There are also goody bags for each attendee, which will include samples and goodies, discount vouchers and more.

So try and get yourself down to the Crisis Skylight Cafe on 20th April, with a baby prepared to change into a commercially available cloth nappy (Guinness regulations). Please bring a change mat or towel for your child to lie on to protect the cafe’s floor! Sign up here https://www.facebook.com/events/483251555071358/

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Real Nappy Week

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Strange things happen the third week in April each year. You may walk into a soft play and find piles of fluffy nappies stacked on the table, be invited to a friend’s house for coffee and find she is waxing lyrical about her “stash” of cloth nappies and how much money they have saved her/how cute they are/ how green, or even, you may hear about an international record breaking attempt for the most cloth nappies changed at the same time. What am I talking about? Why, Real Nappy Week of course!

Real Nappy Week is the cloth-bottomed baby of Go Real – the campaign for real nappies and this year will run from 15th – 21st April. The them is Real Nappies – Real Change, and different events will be happening around the country to allow people to find out more about cloth nappies and celebrate everything about them.

This is what Go Real have to say about the theme:

“Change is good….. Evolution is normal isn’t it?! By telling someone you know about Real Nappies, it might change their life and they in turn might change someone else’s life, like a butterfly affect. Let’s spread the word in an effort to make Real Nappies the ‘norm’ for future generations.

Really Changing Lives

Think – Baby and Parental Benefits. Comfortable, dry, cushioned bottoms make a happy baby. Early potty training and overall cost savings make a happy parent! And don’t they look great too!?

Really Changing Landfill

Think – Environmental benefits and reducing the amount of waste going into Landfill – Think ‘Waste Minimisation’ not just recycling.

Really Changing Futures

Think – Changing a habit of a generation and start the evolution. By raising awareness of Real Nappies amongst future generations of parents – through information, fashion and fun – we might make evolution happen!”

Real Nappy Week events locally include:

Nappuccino at Serendipity Tea and Trinkets in Sunderland on 15th April at 10am

Nappuccino at Berwick Surestart on 15th April at 1.30pm

Nappuccino at Runamokka in Whitley Bay on 16th April at 10am

Nappy chat at Baby Buddies at Alnwick Surestart on 16th April at 1pm

Nappuccino at Play station in Gosforth on 17th April at 1pm

Nappuccino at Rothbury Baby Clinic, Rothbury Community Hospital  17th April 1.30-3.30pm

Nappy chat at Rothbury ‘Mums Meet UP’ , Rothbury Community Hospital 18th April 9.30am

Stall at Mummy and Me Festival at Gateshead Library on 19th April 11-3pm

Nappy chat at Hexham NCT Bumps & Babies, Corbridge Friday 19th April 1-3pm

All welcome at these events whether you are new to cloth, a clothie aficionado or just cloth curious. We’d love to see you, so do come!

More information about Real Nappy Week and how you can get involved can be found at Go Real

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The 4 meal chicken!

I want to keep up with a regular blog entry, but don’t really have anything cloth nappy related I want to say today. So I thought I’d share with you one of my thrifty eco ideas that I regularly put into practice. The 4 meal chicken.

In the west we eat far too much animal-based protein. It’s bad for our health, it’s bad for the environment and it’s bad for our pockets! Reducing how much meat we eat is a big step towards food equality across the world. I, personally, am not prepared to become vegetarian, for a barrel load of reasons, but we do try to reduce how much meat we eat!

Two things to bear in mind as you read this. 1. I’m feeding 2 adults, 2 children and a toddler, if you are feeding teenagers or adults, you won’t get 4 meals out of one chicken! 2. If you are used to eating a lot of meat, you may have to start with a 2 meal chicken as you wean your family off!

OK, so here we go.

Day one.
Bought the biggest chicken I could afford, a free range one from Morrisons (Aldi is also good for large free range chickens at a good price)

I roasted the chicken and served it as follows: 2 slices of breast meat for the adults, 1 for the children. I served it with roast potatoes, broccoli and carrots and lots of gravy (made with the juices from the chicken and the veg water). The gravy is important as it makes the meal feel meatier, even though you are using less meat. (If you have a very hungry person in your house, make Yorkshire puddings too!)

Day 2.

I picked the remains of the breast meat, back meat and wings and made a pie filling with the left over gravy and carrots from day 1, some mushrooms, 2 celery stalks, a glass of white wine and a blob of double cream (left over from the dessert I’d done on day one!). I used ready roll puff pastry to make a pie with the filling and served with mixed root vegetable mash (potatoes, swede and carrot)

Day 3.
I asked my hubby to pick the meat off the legs to make a curry, which he did and added mushrooms, peppers and some tomatoes that were past their best. As he was cooking, he used a jar of Sharwoods Tikka Masala. Served it with rice.

When I cleared up I discovered he’d only used 1 leg, so we still had the meat of one leg left…

Day 4.
I picked the meat off the last leg. I stirfried it with an onion, handful of mushrooms, a red pepper, 2 celery stalks and a whole head of savoy cabbage. Stirred in some hoisin sauce, soy sauce, a splash of sherry (works instead of rice wine!) and some garlic. Served with noodles.

So, that was it for the poor chicken? Well, not quite. It’s now sitting in my slow cooker, with some herbs from the garden, an onion, some peppercorns and some celery to make a stock. The stock will be combined with more celery, and any left over veg and a handful of pulses tomorrow to make a hearty soup for lunch. So maybe I should call it the 5 meal chicken!

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My real nappy journey

A potential customer at last week’s roadshow asked what qualified me to give real nappy advice, to which I replied 7 years of unbroken cloth nappy usage! A lot has changed since I first nervously put a cloth nappy on my baby’s bottom and texted my husband with “wow, he has a cute big bottom!”

Seven years and 3 months ago I had my first baby. I had been made redundant just before I got pregnant and my husband had just been accepted to go back to university to retrain. We had little money coming.

We also were both keen environmentalist, believing that we should use resources wisely and, having heard that Cambridgeshire (where we were living) would run out of space for landfill in 10 years, we really felt we had to find an alternative to disposable nappies.

Like most first time mums, I started with research on the internet, at which point my head exploded! What was the difference between all in ones, pocket nappies, fitteds, flat nappies. Why would I choose bamboo over microfibre and what on earth is a nappy nippa?!

My next step was to ask friends advice. Unfortunately, I only had 2 friends using cloth nappies at the time. One did it “old skool” with terry squares, pins and plastic pants (I kid you not!) and the other was using prefolds.

So baby arrived, and I was non the wiser. So we used disposables for a few weeks, albeit “eco” ones!

My friend who used prefolds lent me her newborn set. I gave them back a week later, fed up with the fact that they leaked EVERY time I put him down for a nap. (Apparently they’re great if you have a girl, but bad for a boy!).

Then I heard that Cambridgeshire Real Nappy Network lent out trial kits. At last, a chance to try a selection of nappies and finally understand what people were talking about.

My trial kit arrived in the post and contained 1 all in one, 1 pocket, 1 terry square, 1 fitted, 1 prefold and a muslin, with a couple of wraps. Not great as far as trial kits go, not even enough nappies to do 1 day with a newborn. I did at least find out what a nappy nippa was!

At the end of the trial I decided I wanted to use fitteds, but couldn’t afford them! So I bought a coupe of packs of terry squares, some nappy nippas and some Motherease wraps. I also picked up some Kushies all in ones in a charity shop!

These nappies did my fine for the first 6 months, had cost less than £100, and meant I didn’t need to buy anything else. However, when my little man got mobile, things changed. I couldn’t pin him to the change station while folding a terry square, or even hold a folded square in place while he wriggled. So, I went ebay shopping for some fitteds. I manage to pick up some WAHM made Totsbots Fluffle copies for really cheap and they did the job. The only down side was the all in ones, which leaked and took 3 days to dry!

Role on another 3 years and baby number 2 was due. My husband was now working and I couldn’t face going back to folding terry squares, so decided to buy some size 1 fitteds (my experience with the Kushies had convinced me that 2 parters were the way forward). Luckily for me, I picked up a pack of motherease one size, with a few size 2 fluffles and some fleece liners at an NCT nearly new sale for £50. These did us fine until she decided she liked the sensation of drinking when she was about 18 months and would wet through everything, no matter how well boosted!

Baby number 3 has since come along and we are making do with the nappies we have, but of course I have 4 trial kits stocked with some of the best nappies on the market! So when they are not out on loan, I am always stealing Gro Via, Easyfits, Bum Genius and Diddy Diapers for my little man!

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North East Baby and Toddler Roadshow

Wow! What a day we had yesterday! I am so worn out, I am still in my pjs at 11am.

The North East Baby and Toddler Roadshow took place at the Falcons Rugby Club in Kingston Park, Newcastle and Grow Up Green were there, spreading the clothy love.

I don’t know how many people they had through the door, but we didn’t stop talking to people from doors opening at 10am til doors closing at 4.30pm.

We met people who were die-hard cloth nappy users wanting to know what new fluff we had in, we met new mummies wanting to know if there was an alternative to the huge amount of money they were putting in the bin each day and we met mummies to be that still thought that cloth nappy meant a terry square, safety pin and plastic pant, that we could surprise and amaze with the range of wonderful cloth nappies available.

We sold some nappies and accessories, and gave away so much information about trial kits that I think we are going to be very busy in the weeks to come. In fact, I came home to 2 new email enquiries!

Keep an eye out – if there is an event like this one again next year – I’ll definitely be there!!