Homemade Deodorant - Eco Living

Andrew and I gave up on shop bought deodorant a while ago. After reading Bea Johnsons Zero Waste Home and realising how easy it would be to make we decided to give it a go as quite frankly what did we have to lose (apart from our friends if it didn't work!) The real test was always going to be Summer. It can get really hot here. We work...we sweat...and we smell. But I can thankfully say the homemade stuff works it's magic and I'm pleasantly surprised.

There's no doubt that there are days when it needs to be applied more than once, but the bicarbonate of soda is great at getting rid of those unwanted odours. After trying a few different recipes my current favourite one is in Handmade Beauty by Annie Strole. It uses coconut oil, shea butter, bicarb and arrowroot, which I managed to find in my local bio shop. We customise it with whatever essential oil takes our fancy, which is currently clary sage. The ingredients make it more of a solid deodorant, we keep it in a jar and just scoop and apply with our fingers.

Have you tried using a natural deodorant? Do you have a favourite use for bicarbonate of soda?
A Green and Rosie Life


Midwife Toads

We found something fascinating in our garden this weekend. Since the start of Spring we've been hearing an unusual noise in the garden as the light begins to fade. The best way to describe it is like a smoke alarm that's losing it's battery power and you get a high beep every 3 seconds. Whatever animal it was we knew that there were a few of them around. Every night we are bombarded with a call and response session as one would beep near the house and another would reply off in the woods, then another somewhere else. We spoke to a number of people about what it could be, the best answer we got was a Scops Owl, though I knew it couldn't have been as one noise seemed to be coming from the flower bed in front of the house.

Well this weekend we discovered what it was...midwife toads! Uncovering our pile of sand we found these nestled in the dark, carefully looking after their eggs which are attached to their backs. It's the males that carry the eggs, and when they're about to hatch they'll start looking for water. We have a number of water points on our land. We have a pond in front of the house, which is where I imagine they'll head to first. But we also have a couple of wells, and water collection points by the garage and barn. So come Summer we may be inundated with toads!

Are you a fan of wildlife? Have you found an unusual animal recently?

Zen Painting At Wild Oak Wood

Calling all artists! We have a very special workshop coming up next month. Alex Hubbell is a friend and super talented artist who paints with watercolours. I think her work is beautiful and I was delighted when she agreed to host a workshop here at Wild Oak Wood. In her half or full day session you'll learn the art of zen painting. Alex will give you a toolkit of brushstrokes that you can then use to capture the world around you in vibrant colour!

The course is open to all levels and if you're intrigued you can see more of Alex's work on her website here. Do watch the video of her painting I find the process mesmerising. If you're interested in signing up for this workshop please email us at hello@wildoakwood.com to book your place!

Ivor The Survivor

It's been a pretty heartbreaking weekend. Our flock of chickens has been devastated by some animal who has killed all except one, now lonely, cockerel. I thought things were a little quiet on Sunday morning and went to check on them as usual. What I was met with was a mass of dead chickens (I'll spare you the gruesome details) and one lone, slightly bemused cockerel, wandering around amongst them. This has happened before, and we feel rather guilty as it was our fault once again for not closing the door to the hen house at night, despite the fact that they are now enclosed with fencing all around them. Three are missing, and part of me hopes they'll still wander home at some point.

I get it...it's all part of nature and living in the countryside. It's a sure sign of Spring to see all the animals returning and finding food. I would understand it more however if it was killing just for food. But to kill all that it finds seems more like a game, and that seems unnecessarily cruel. The kids were sad, we are all still sad, but for the sake of Ivor the Survivor, as our remaining cockerel is now named, we'll carry on with a new brood soon.
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