January 25, 2019

Shopping Small | Handmade + Eco-Friendly Gifts

When I first had Eloise, I made the mistake of going massively overboard with not only my spending but with the sheer amount of gifts I bought for her first christmas and birthday’s and she really couldn’t care less. I remmeber her first Christmas, she was sat there surrounded by presents and gave absolutely no fucks whatsoever and I had to re open the majority ebcause she just got bored. By her 3rd birthday I had really toned things down and I’ve tried to keep that less extreme present buying urge under wraps (no pun intended) with Lily. I’ve done pretty well and haven’t bought an exessive amount for either of them for years but this year I really tried to be more eco friendly with my present buyiing for Lily’s 3rd birthday.

By her 3rd birthday I had really toned things down and I’ve tried to keep that less extreme present buying urge under wraps (no pun intended) with Lily. I’ve done pretty well and haven’t bought an exessive amount for either of them for years but this year I really tried to be more eco friendly with my present buyiing for Lily’s 3rd birthday.

Homemade + Eco-Friendly

Natural Building Blocks

All these blocks have been made from the leftovers of pruning tress from my Grandparent’s garden/fields. My Mum cut them all up for me and I sanded the edges down so basically she did all the hard work really. These will be amazing for small world play and even just sensory play because the textures of the wood on each of the blocks is so different and not to mention that this is super eco-friendly too and didn’t cost a penny.

Crochet Duck Pond

I love crocheting although I’ve not really picked up my hook in a long time but still, this all took me about half an hour to make so I can’t have lost my mojo too much. The pond I made using scrap yarn from a project I did ages ago now, the lily pads the same and I bought some lovely little Lanka Kade wooden ducklings to go on it. I currently have this in one of Lily’s independent play trays along with some Grimms wooden pebbles, a real pebble and a blue silk scarf. Again, great for small world play and Lily absolutely loves ducks so she was so pleased with this, I was so happy. She even chose to go and feed the ducks as her brithday treat over going to the zoo, the butterfly farm or dinosaurs, thats how much she loves ducks, haha.

Wooden Figures

I have lusted over the Grimms rainbow people and Grapat Nins for years but could never justify the price but still kept them on my wishlist in the hope that one day I would have a midnight spending spree and buy them when I was in a daze but that day never came but I did find some unfinished wooden peg dolls, acorns, and trees on eBay of all places and stained the wood myself! If anyone is interested in a DIY post on how I did that then holla but I digress. Lily loves these so much, she loves little people and “things” to decorate her mini-worlds.

Crochet Granny Square “Blankets”

Lily loves tucking her toys in although normally she raids the baby wipes, tissues or kitchen roll to make little blankets for them all so I thought it would be a nice idea to make her some actual mini blankets for her little toys. So far these are a hit and she loves tucking her small toys up with them. I’ve actually popepd them in one of her independent play trays along with some small wooden animals and some peg dolls for her.

Holztiger Dalmations

Now I obviosuly didn’t make these ones but they are handmade (and eco-friendly). They’re all made from native maple and beechwoodanf hand finisheed with quality wood stains. We have a little collection of these beautiful animals and I just think they’re so lovely. I love the design and how they’re built to last. Definitely ones to keep for the grandkids.

Small Businesses

One Dear World

Back before Christmas I sneakily asked Lily chose which of the four One Dear World characters she would like and she chose the lovely Hope. fast forward to the end of January, more than enough time for little minds to have forgotten Lily opened one of her birthday presents and inside was Hope.

Hope is one of the four rag dolls who are all part of the One Dear World family whose aim is to promote diversity and inclusion within the toy market. Thier mission is to “inspire children to be caring, curious and respectful of the world” by introducing multicultural dolls and their stories to children so that they can “appreciate themselves as they are, respect others and experience the world of diversity”. It’s a rare occurrence to see dolls that represent any form of diversity, at least in my experience, outside of a couple of Disney Princesses most dolls I see in shops are white and I don’t like the message that puts across.

The dolls themselves are beautifully made and sourced from a manufacturer certified by the ICTI Ethical Toy Program which safeguard and improve ethical and sustainability standards in the global toy industry ensuring that these lovely little dolls are made kindly to the people, and the planet. One Dear World are also part of 1% For The Planet meaning they donate 1% of their profits to a selected non profit partner of 1% For The Planet who focus on one of more of the six core areas: climate, food, land, pollution, water and wildlife.

Little Munchkins Playdough

Lily loves playdough more than life itself, she would be playdough if she could I reckon. I found Little Munchkins Playdough through Instagram and was instantly sucked in by their rhubarb and custard scented playdough although I ended up buying their unicorn set instead somehow, haha. Lily is going through the inevitable unicorn phase (dinosaurs are still way up there in her priorities) so I thought these would be really fun for her as well as introducing another sensory element to her play with the amazing bubblegum scent! These smell amazing, so amazing I could eat them. I won’t though because we all know playdough tastes gross unless you’re a toddler. They have recently brought out some eco friendly playdough packaged in earth friendly containers and using biodegradable glitter!

Maddie and Me London

We love Maddie and Me London hair clips, I discovered them last year on Instagram and we now have quite a few and they are beyond beautiful and wonderfully made every time. They are always packaged amazingly, this one even came gift wrapped with a lovely personalised note which I think is just so lovely, this is something I only tend to see with small businisses and it’s always so nice when someone takes the time to not only make beutiful products but also make sure that it is packaged just as beautoully. I love good packaging, it’s my weakness.

Mimi & Lula

Mimi & Lula small business is one that I’ve only very recently discovered, I think it was Rhiannon Ashlee who posted a photo of some of their gorgeous accessories she had bought for her little girl and I thought they were amazing! I love how they incorporate dinosaurs into their hair clips and accesories because not all little girls are 100% into fairies and princesses, some love dinosaurs too!

I got Lily the most beautiful little golden glitter dino clips and a light blue dino handbag both of which she loves! We love everything dinosaur in this house!


I bloody love literally everything this shop sells, I love the girl power, feminist vibes that every time is adorned with and basically a whole lotta yes to all things Mutha.Hood. I got Lily the pink “Strong Girls Club” tee (planning on getting El one too when they’re in stock in her size) and I love it! I’m all about empowering my girls and if you can’t wear empowerment slap bang in the middle of your torso then were can you.

So that’s your lot! That’s what I got Lily with the exception of a couple of books and the most horrific looking Minion cake she insisted on having from Tesco, haha.

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